Monday, October 20, 2008


About a month ago during a Q&A session at a Majlis Tazkirah Subuh (Kuliah Subuh) on the subject of “Ikhlas” (sincerity) I put up a question regarding Upah Haji. The Ustaz promptly replied positively that it is “sah” and could be practised by us Muslims. He went on further to say that it is in fact a good act especially when it is performed by our students there and it should be done “secara ikhlas”. At least we can help these students to get extra income to assist in their studies. These students have already performed the Haj previously, so they can perform for others – I can’t remember whether he mentioned only for those already dead or also for those still living. He quoted the nas from a Hadis Sahih, that a lady came to see Rasulullah and asked if she could perform the haj that the mother has “nazar” but died before she could do it. And Rasulullah SAW said she could. So based on that the practice of “Upah Haji” is considered sah.
Frankly I have my reservations regarding this. Firstly, on the subject of “ikhlas” – can anyone be really ikhlas in doing anything if he is paid to do it? On that reason alone I believe the performing of the haj has become null an void. In this respect I believe we should limit it to only the siblings who could do it, and that too if the parents had already the desire/niat/nazar to perform the haj. This to me is line with the Hadis which says when someone dies all his amalan is cut off except for 3, one of which is “anak-anak yang soleh yang mendoakan buatnya”.
Secondly, I am afraid the present practice of “upah haji” and even ‘umrah’ has indeed become commercialised. Just imagine it is advertised in newspapers and magazines and even on tree trunks!! Upah Haji is normally RM1,500 and Umarah RM300. It is as though “pahala” can be bought and sold! I am no religious scholar, but as a layman I think it is just not right!
Thirdly, for those who want to help our students in their studies, why must use this to help them. Where is the sincerity to help then?
Certainly in a Majlis Tazkirah such as the above it is not expected to be arguments and debates on any subject. So through this blog I am expressing my humble opinion with the hope that perhaps others could comment and correct me.

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