1. What does it mean to believe that people are born in a state of Fitra? Is this a physical or mental condition or does it simply mean that man is born with a clean state?
That is the real meaning of the word 'Fitra'. Man is not born with an inherited sin within himself. In the words of the Qur'an, chapter al-Balad, 'The City', Allah Almighty says "And We guided him and showed him the two ways - the right way and the wrong. " In chapter 30, Allah speaks about the natural creation - according to which Allah the Exalted created the human being. When we read in verse 30 "Set your face for religion as a man nature upright", the nature of frame of Allah, in which has created mankind - the Qur'anic dictum: man is born free, without sin. The Prophet (on him be peace) explained in a Hadith that "Every child is born with nature Allah created for free from sin. It is the child's parents who turn him or her into a Jew, Christian or a Magian."
In a Hadith Qudsi Allah Almighty says "And I created all my servants pure and free from sin. But devils came to them and pursue them away from the straight path, prohibited for them things I made lawful, and made lawful things I made prohibited, and they asked them [the people] to worship other than Me."
So from the basic Islamic point of view, Allah says that man is born as a new, clean state, without any sin. But at the same time, man is given certain qualities and potential. If he can make correct use of this potential, he will be able to discover the right way. This was the attitude taken by Imam Abu Hanifah, who said that if God had not sent Prophets to the people, their reasoning capacity should be enough to lead them to the recognition of the Creator.
(67 - Usul ud-Deen 5)
2. I desperately want to go for Hajj but I don't have any savings. I do, however, have a rich relative who is prepared to lend me the money for the trip. Should I go?
Hajj becomes obligatory on a Muslim once he or she is financially able to perform the trip and, in the case of a man, is also able to provide for the family in his absence - if they are not going with him.
Borrowing money to go for Hajj is generally discouraged, unless you have the means to make regular repayments. If, however, you are a little short of the total sum of money needed and provided you are employed and capable of paying the money back, it is all right for you to borrow. If you have large debts, you should not go.
(118 - Hajj 5)