Fiqh As-Sunnah

The ability to perform Hajj, which is one of its essential conditions, includes the following:

1. A person must be healthy and physically fit. If one is disabled by old age or a disease that is incurable or is unable to perform Hajj for some other similar reason, he may, if he is financially capable, assign someone else to perform Hajj on his behalf and at his expense. This will be discussed later under "Hajj On Behalf of Another Person."

2. The journey to Hajj must be safe so that the pilgrim's life and possessions are safe and secure from any danger. If one is afraid for one's life from highwaymen or an epidemic or if one is afraid to be robbed of one' s possessions, then such a one is deemed as one of those who cannot afford the journey for Hajj .

There is, however, a difference of opinion among scholars regarding the entry fees and other charges levied on pilgrims. Can a person be excused and reckoned as unable financially to perform Hajj because of these charges? AshShafi'i and others are of the view that the presence of these levies does qualify a person to be classified as unable to perform Hajj, even though the levy involved may be paltry. The Maliki scholars disagree for they do not regard this as a sufficient reason for a person to be deemed as unable to perform Hajj, unless the amount involved is too exorbitant or is demanded repeatedly.

3. One must possess the necessary provision and also the requisite means of journey. Necessary provision here means that the intending pilgrim must have sufficient supplies for himself as well as for his family that he leaves behind. These supplies include sufficient and adequate clothing, housing, means of traveling, and tools for the pursuit of his trade or profession besides the financial means for the journey. (The person intending to perform Hajj should not sell his clothes, his personal belongings, or his house--even if they were abundant to get money for Hajj) Means of traveling imply that which enables him to go to Hajj and come back, whether it is by land, by sea, or by air. This concerns those who live far from Makkah and cannot walk there.

As for those who live in the vicinity of Makkah, this condition does not apply, for they are so close that they can go for Hajj on foot.

Some ahadith explain the Qur'anic words "those who can afford the journey," (Qur'an 3.97) as meaning provision of food and means of journey. Anas reports that the Prophet (peace be upon him) when once asked about the meaning of "those who can afford" said: "It means possessing means of sustenance and transportation." (Ad-Daraqutni considers this hadith sound) Al-Hafiz remarks: "Most probably its chain of transmitters is not traceable to the Prophet (peace be upon him). Tirmidhi as well has reported it on the authority of Ibn 'Umar but its chain of transmitters is weak. Abdul Haqq remarked: "All its chains of transmitters are weak." Ibn Al-Mundhir says: "It is not traceable to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the correct position is that it is a sound but incompletely transmitted hadith whose chain of authorities does not go back to the Prophet (peace be upon him)."

Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Prophet (peace be upon him) once said: "He who possesses sufficient provisions and means of journey for the performance of Hajj and yet does not do so, let him die the death of a Jew or a Christian." For Allah says in the Qur' an: "Pilgrimage thereto is a duty men owe to Allah - those who can afford the journey." (Transmitted by Tirmidhi, but among the narrators of this hadith are included "Halal" ibn Abdullah, who is unknown, and "Al-Harith" whom Ash-Sha'abi and others have described as a liar)

All these ahadith are weak in authority, yet most scholars regard provisions and means of journey as a necessary condition for Hajj. If a person has neither the necessary provisions nor means of travel, he is not obligated to perform Hajj.

Ibn Taimiyyah says: "These ahadith are musnad (A report which is traceable in uninterrupted ascending order of the narrators to its first authority) and have a sound chain of authorities, some are mursal (A hadith transmitted by a successor (atabi+), young or old, without mentioning the Companion who might have heard it from the Prophet directly. Ash-Shafi'i considers such a hadith weak, while Abu Hanifah and Malik consider it sound) and others are mauquf. (A hadith reported from a Companion through words or acts uninterruptedly or otherwise) They all prove that the ability to arrange one's provisions and possession of means of journey is a necessary prerequisite for Hajj, and this despite the fact that the Prophet (peace be upon him) knew that many of the people (in his time) were able to go for Hajj on foot. Similarly the words of Allah: "Pilgrimage thereto is a duty men owe to Allah - those who can afford the journey" underline the fact that ability and power are the necessary prerequisite for all forms of worship. It signifies the unspecified power or a little bit more than what may be necessary. In the case of sawm (fasting) and salah (obligatory prayers) the financial ability is superfluous and is not specified in the Qur'an, unlike Hajj for which it is an important requirement. Similarly, Hajj is a form of worship which involves traveling for which one must be in possession of sufficient means to support oneself (and one' s family), as well as be able to shoulder the cost of the journey as in jihad.

In this regard we may refer to the Qur'anic verse (9.91-92) "Nor is there any blame on those who find no resources to spend, nor is there (blame) on those who come to you to be provided with mounts, and when you said, 'I can find no mounts for you,."'

In Al-Muhadhib we read: "If someone has the money to buy provisions and the passage to Hajj but he needs it to pay his debts, Hajj is not binding on him, whether the settlement of the debt is required immediately or is due after a time. The debts that are due for immediate settlement must be paid at once, whereas the Hajj may be performed later on in life. But if he spends all that he has on Hajj he may not be in a position to pay off his debt."

Similarly, if one is in need of a dwelling or a servant to help him, he may be classified as unable to perform Hajj. Likewise, if one needs to take a wife because he fears he may not be able to avoid evil, he must get married, for it is his immediate need. Furthermore, if one needs goods for his business to obtain requisite resources therefrom, such a one, according to Abul 'Abbas, Ibn Sarih, may be classified as unable to perform Hajj in view of his specific need. Al-Mughni says: "If the debt is owed to a wealthy person who does not demand immediate settlement of the loan, defers settlement to a later stage, and is ready to permit the debtor to proceed for Hajj, then such a debtor is (technically) able to perform Hajj. But in case the lender cannot afford to defer settlement of the loan, the debtor would be reckoned as unable to perform Hajj."

According to the Shafi'i school: "If someone offers another a free passage for Hajj, one is not obliged to accept the offer, for it is a favor and involves distress of being obliged to another person. If, however, such an offer is made by one' s son to perform Hajj, then one is obligated to do so, for one can perform it without being beholden to anyone else."

The Hanbali school is of the view that an offer of financial help by someone else does not obligate a person to perform Hajj, nor does this classify him as (financially) capable of performing it, whether the offer comes from a stranger or a relative and whether the offer provides means of travel and provision, or linanacial help as such.

5. There must also be no obstruction which may prevent people from undertaking the journey for Hajj, like fear of torture or imprisonment by a tyrannical ruler.

Hajj of a Minor and a Slave:
Though Hajj is not compulsory for these two groups it is quite valid if they perform one, but it will not suffice them as regards the Hajj prescribed in Islam.

Ibn 'Abbas reports: "The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: 'Any minor (child) who performs Hajj must perform it again after coming of age; any slave who performs Hajj and is then freed, must perform his Hajj again'." (Reported by At-Tabarani on sound authority) As-Sa'ib bin Yazid says: "My father performed Hajj with the Prophet (peace be upon him) who was performing his Farewell Hajj, while I was only seven years old." This was reported by Ahmad, Bukhari and Tirmidhi, who noted: "All scholars agree that if a minor performs Hajj, he must repeat his Hajj upon coming of age. Likewise a slave who performs Hajj, and thereafter gains his freedom, must also repeat his Hajj if he is in a position to do so."

It is also reported from Ibn 'Abbas that during a Hajj a woman lifted a boy, and asked the Prophet, "Will this boy be rewarded for Hajj?" The Prophet (peace be upon him) answered: "Yes, and you too will be rewarded." (The boy will be rewarded for his obedience, while the mother will be rewarded for helping and instructing him to perform Hajj. This hadith is also reported from 'Umar)

Jabir reports: "We performed Hajj with the Prophet (peace be upon him) and a number of women and children were with us. We said talbiyah on behalf of the children, and (also) threw pebbles on their behalf. This is narrated by Ahmad and Ibn Majah.

If a minor is able he may himself declare the state of ihram and perform the rites of Hajj. Otherwise, his guardian (An-Nawawi said: "The guardian who declares the state of ihram on behalf of a non-discerning minor, is the guardian of his properties, i.e., his father, grandfather, or the guardian appointed by law. Conceming the mother, the scholars differ. Some are of the opinion that her ihram on his behalf is only valid if she is appointed by law as his guardian. Others claim that her ihram is valid even if she is not the guardian) must declare the state of ihram and say talbiyah on his behalf, circumambulate round Ka'bah, run between Safa and Marwah, stay at 'Arafah and throw stones on his behalf. If, on the other hand, a minor attains the age of puberty on or before the Day of 'Arafah, his Hajj is then credited to him. The same applies to a slave who is liberated on or before the Day of 'Aratah. Malik and Ibn Al-Mundhir say: "To both of these people their Hajj cannot be credited as (replacement for) the obligatory Hajj, for they intended a supererogatory worship while putting on ihram; its supererogatory status cannot be transformed into an obligatory worship."

Hajj of a Woman:
Hajj is obligatory both for women and men alike; they must perform it whenever they meet the above mentioned prerequisites for it. In the case of a woman it is essential that she be accompanied by her husband or some other mahram (Al-Hafiz said in his Al-Fath: "According to the scholars. the condition for being a mahram to a woman is that legally it should be impossible for such a man to ever marry her) relative on the journey for Hajj.

Ibn 'Abbas reports: "I heard the Prophet (peace be upon him) saying: 'A man must never be alone with a woman unless there is a mahram with her. A woman also may not travel with anyone except a mahram relative.' A man stood up and asked: 'O Prophet of Allah! My wife has gone for Hajj while I am enlisted for such and such a battle, what should I do?" The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied, 'Go and join your wife in Hajj." (Reported by Bukhari and Muslim; the words given here are of Muslim's. This order underlines something desirable; it does not obligate the husband or the mahram to travel with the woman, if there is no one else but him. No one is obligated to give up his convenience so that another person might do what is not required of him)

Yahya bin 'Abbad reported that a woman from Iraq wrote to Ibrahim AnNakh'i: "I have not yet performed the prescribed Hajj; for although I am rich, I have no mahram who may accompany me on this trip." He wrote her back: "You are one of those whom Allah has not given the means to perform (Hajj)." Abu Hanifah, Al-Hassan, At-Thauri, Ahmad and Ishaq all hold a similar view on this issue.

Al-Hafiz says: "Among the Shafi'ite scholars the most commonly accepted opinion in this regard is that a woman may travel with her husband, or one of her mahram relatives, or a group of trustworthy women, or even one such (trusted) woman companion. According to one view, reported by Al-Karabisi and recorded as sound in Al-Muhadhib, a woman may travel by herself provided the way to Hajj is secure and safe. This applies to both Hajj and 'Umrah.

It is reported in Subul as-Salaam: "A group of scholars hold that an old woman may travel without being accompanied by any mahram relative."

This permission for a woman to travel without a mahram in the company of trusted companions or when the journey to Hajj is safe is supported by what is reported by Bukhari from 'Adi ibn Hatem, who says: "I was with the Prophet (peace be upon him) when a man came to him and complained of poverty. Another man complained about highway robbery. Thereupon the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: 'O 'Adi! Have you seen the city of Hira in Iraq?' I said: 'No, but I have heard about it.' The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: 'If you lived long enough you will see that a woman will travel from Hira and will perform Tawaf round Ka'bah, and she will have no fear except that of Allah."

This opinion is supported by the fact that 'Umar gave permission to the wives of the Prophet (peace be upon him) to perform Hajj while accompanied by 'Uthman and Abdur-Rahman ibn 'Awf. 'Uthman would announce them to people telling them to avoid looking at them or coming close to their camels. If, however, a woman fails to abide by this provision and performs Hajj alone - without being accompanied by any mahram - her Hajj would still be valid.

The author of Subul as-Salaam says that Ibn Taimiyyah said: "Hajj of a woman without a mahram is valid, and likewise of a person who is financially not able to perform it."

In brief, those for whom Hajj is not compulsory due to sickness, poverty, fear of highway robbery, or in the case of a woman because no mahram is available to accompay her, if these people nonetheless perform Hajj, it will be credited to their account. Some of them try their best (and exert themselves to the utmost) like those performing Hajj on foot, while others are guilty of sins, such as those who beg others to help them perform Hajj, or a woman that performs Hajj without a mahram male companion. Notwithstanding their valid excuse, if any of these people perform Hajj, it will be quite valid, for their sin relates to their (choice of unlawful) means and has no bearing on the objective as such.

It is reported in Al-Mughni: "If a person, not obliged to perform Hajj because he is unable (financially) to do so, should seek to perform Hajj, suffering hardship, traveling on foot and without necessary provisions, his Hajj will be quite valid and acceptable."

A Woman Should Seek Her Husband's Permission for Hajj:
It is desirable for a woman to seek her husband's permission for the prescribed Hajj. Then if he grants her the permission she may leave for Hajj; in case he refuses to give permission, she may still proceed for Hajj, for a husband should not forbid his wife from performing obligatory Hajj. It is an obligatory act of worship. It is unlawful to obey anyone in something that involves disobedience to Allah. A woman should perform obligatory Hajj as soon as possible, just as she should offer her prescribed daily prayers at their earliest prescribed times. In either case a husband has no right to prevent his wife from doing what is her obligatory duty. The same applies when a wife has vowed a Hajj, because it is obligatory like the prescribed Hajj. In the case of supererogatory Hajj, however, the husband may prevent his wife, and the wife must obey her husband. This is supported by a hadith reported by AdDaraqutni on the authority of Ibn 'Umar who narrated that while speaking about a wealthy lady whose husband had refused to give her permission to perform Hajj, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "She must not go for Hajj except by her husband's permission."

He Who Dies Without Performing Obligatory Hajj:
If a person dies before performing obligatory Hajj or if one vowed to perform Hajj but died before fulfilling one' s vow, his heir must assign someone to perform Hajj on behalf of the deceased. All the ensuing expenses in this regard must be paid out of the deceased's property, as indeed must be any debts left by him.

Ibn 'Abbas narrates that a woman from the tribe of Johainah came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said: "My mother had vowed to perform Hajj but she died before fulfilling her vow, should I perform Hajj on her behalf? The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Yes, perform Hajj on her behalf. Would you not pay off any debts your mother might have left behind upon her death? Pay off what you owe to Allah, for He is most deserving of settlement of His debt." (Bukhari)

This hadith underlines the obligation of performing Hajj on behalf of a deceased person, whether or not he leaves a will to this effect (it is a kind of debt for the deceased), and all debts left by the deceased must be settled, just as all other financial obligations such as zakah, an atonement or a vow transacted by the deceased has to be fulfilled.

Ibn 'Abbas, Zaid bin Thabit, Abu Hurairah, and Ash-Shafi'i hold this opinion. They consider that the expenses of the substitute (the hired person) must be paid out of the wealth of the deceased before dividing it up among his heirs.

In case the wealth is insufficient to cover both the cost of Hajj (by the substitute) and settlement of the deceased's debts, the expense of Hajj must be paid first, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Allah is most deserving that His debt be paid back."

Imam Malik says: "A person may perform Hajj on behalf of the deceased only if the deceased leaves a will to that effect. If the deceased leaves no such will, then a Hajj on his behalf may not be performed, for this worship involves, more than anything else, physical exertion and struggle and as such, no other person can replace or substitute another person. If a deceased makes a will regarding it, then Hajj may be performed, meeting all its cost from out of one third of the share of his heritage."

Hajj On Behalf of Others:
If someone has the ability to perform Hajj but afterwards he is unable to perform it due to sickness or old age, he must arrange for someone else to perform Hajj on his behalf, for he may never be able to do it himself. In this respect, such a person is very much like the deceased, hence the permission for him to choose his substitute in Hajj.

This is based on a hadith reported by Al-Fadl ibn 'Abbas, who says: "A woman of Khath'am said, 'O Prophet of Allah! Allah has prescribed Hajj for His servants. (Now that) I am grown up, I find that my father is an old man, and he cannot ride on the camel (for long). Should I perform Hajj on his behalf?' The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: 'Yes.'" This happened during the Farewell Hajj. (Reported by the Group) Tirmidhi considers it a sound hadith with a sound chain and adds: "On this topic, reports other than this hadith are also found; they are of sound authority, and the companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) believed and practiced accordingly; they held that one may perform Hajj on behalf of a deceased person." At-Thawri, Ibn al-Mubarak, Ash-Shafi'i, Ahmad and Ishaq also hold a similar view. Imam Malik says: "If the deceased leaves a will that someone perform a Hajj on his behalf, then it may be performed." Some scholars like Ibn Mubarak and Ash-Shafi'i say that it is permissible for an old man, who is unable to perform Hajj on his own, to arrange for a substitute to do it on his behalf.

The above hadith also lends support to the view that, both for a man or a woman, it is quite permissible to perform Hajj on behalf of another man or woman. There is nothing against this in the Qur'an or hadith.

Position of a Sick Person Who Recovers:
If a sick person recovers after someone has performed Hajj on his behalf, he will be considered as having performed his obligatory duty, and he will not be required to repeat it, for it would imply the obligation of performing two obligatory pilgrimages (rather than one). This is Imam Ahmad's view. The majority of scholars are, however, of the view that such a substitutory Hajj will not suffice a man to absolve him of his obligation, for his recovery shows that his case was not really hopeless (and he should therefore repeat it), for the decisive factor in this respect is cessation of illness and restoration of his health.

Ibn Hazim is inclined to the first view. He says: "When the Prophet (peace be upon him) commanded to perform Hajj on behalf of those who are unable to walk or ride (i.e., cannot travel for Hajj), and told that this will pay off their debt to Allah, then indeed the debt is settled, and their effort accepted." And surely if an obligation is removed or fulfilled, there is no justification for its repetition, especially when there is nothing in the texts to support it. Had such a repetition been necessary, the Prophet (peace be upon him) must have clearly mentioned it, but as he did not, there is no reason for its repetition.

Conditions for Performing Hajj on Behalf of Others:
Before performing Hajj on behalf of someone else, a person must have performed his own Hajj . This is based on the hadith in which Ibn 'Abbas narrates that the Prophet (peace be upon him) heard a man saying: "O Allah! Here I am in response to Your call on behalf of Shabrumah." The Prophet (peace be upon him) asked him: "Have you performed your own Hajj?" He replied: " No", whereupon the Prophet (peace be upon him) told him: "You must perform Hajj on your own behalf first, and then tor Shabrumah." (Abu Daw'ud and Ibn Majah) Al-Baihaqi says: "Its chain of authorities is sound, and in this regard it is the most genuine report."

Most of the scholars hold that it is not proper for a person to perform Hajj on behalf of others prior to performing it on his own behalf, whether or not he is able or unable to do so.

Hajj in Fulfillment of a Vow While Having to Perform Obligatory Hajj:
According to the verdict of Ibn 'Abbas and 'Ikrimah if a person performs Hajj in fulfillment of a vow, while he has yet to perform the prescribed Hajj, then it should suffice him (and absolve him) trom both. 'Ata and Ibn 'Umar, on the other hand, hold that one must first perform the Hajj obligatory on him, and thereafter perform another Hajj to fulfil his vow.

No Sarorah (Delaying) in Islam:
Ibn 'Abbas reports: "The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: 'There is no Sarorah (delaying performance of obligatory Hajj) in Islam.''' (Ahmad and Abu Daw'ud) Al-Khattabi remarks: "The word sarorah has two meanings:

1. a person who does not marry and leads a life of celibacy, like monastic Christians; or
2. someone who has not performed Hajj. In other words this means that no one able to perform Hajj should fail to do so, because in Islam there is no delaying of obligatory Hajj.

Some scholars refer to it as a proof that a person who has not performed Hajj is not allowed to perform Hajj on behalf of others. Al-Awza'i, Ash-Shafi'i. Ahmad and Ishaq hold this view. Malik and Ath-Thawri say: "Such a person's Hajj depends on his own intention." Al-Hasan Al-Basri, 'Ata and An-Nakh'i also hold a similar view.

Getting a Loan for Hajj:
Abdullah ibn Abi 'Awfa relates: "I asked the Prophet (peace be upon him) about a man who has not performed Hajj, 'Should he not get a loan to perform Hajj?' The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: 'No"' (Al-Baihaqi).

Performing Hajj with Unlawfully Gained Money:
Someone performing Hajj with unlawfully gained money, may technically fulfil his prescribed duty of pilgrimage, but according to the majority of the scholars, he will be guilty of sin for doing so. Imam Ahmad disagrees and holds that such a Hajj is not enough for a person to absolve him of his prescribed obligation, and this is more correct as the sahih hadith says: "Surely, Allah is Pure, and He does not accept anything but what is pure (and clean)." Also it is reported by Abu Hurairah that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "As soon as a pilgrim sets out for Hajj with a provision which is lawful, and puts his foot in the stirrup (rides his mount) and calls out: 'O, Allah! Here I am in response to Your call,' an announcer answers him from the heavens above, saying: 'Your call has been heard; you are a happy one; your provisions are lawful, your mount is lawful and your pilgrimage is free of sin and acceptable.' But, if his provisions are unlawfully gained, and he puts his foot in the stirrup and calls out: 'O Allah! Here I am in response to Your call,' an announcer from the heavens above answers him back, saying: 'Your call is not accepted; nor are you welcome; your food is unlawful; your provisions are unlawful; and your pilgrimage is not free of sin and is unacceptable."' Al-Mundhri says: "This is reported by At-Tabarani in Al-Awsat, and also by Al-Asbahani in a mursal hadith from Aslam, the freed slave of 'Umar bin al-Khattab."

What is Better in Hajj: Riding or Walking?:
Al-Hafiz writes in Al-Fath: "Ibn al-Mundhir says there is a difference of opinion as to what is better for a pilgrim, walking or riding during the Hajj.

The majority of scholars hold riding is better, for the Prophet (peace be upon him) did so, and because it is more helpful (in concentrating) on praying and making supplications to Allah, apart from other benefits. Ishaq bin Rahoweh says: "Walking is preferable for it involves more exertion and hardship (in the cause of Allah)." We may say that whether a person walks or rides during Hajj depends on each person and his particular circumstance .

Bukhari has transmitted from Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) saw a man leaning on both sides on his two sons, whereupon he asked: "What is the matter with this man?" The people said: "He has vowed to walk during Hajj." The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Allah is in no need whatever of torturing this man." Then he commanded the man to perform his Hajj riding."

Doing Business and Leasing Rides During Hajj:
There is no harm if a pilgrim engages in trade and business during Hajj or 'Umrah. Ibn 'Abbas said: "In the beginning when Hajj was prescribed, the people used to trade at Mina, 'Arafah, and the market place of Dhul-Majaz (A place close to 'Arafah) during the Hajj season, but they feared it might be forbidden for them while in a state of ihram. Thereupon Allah revealed the verse (Qur'an 2.198): "It is no crime in you if you seek of the bounty of your Lord (during pilgrimage)." This is reported by Bukhari, Muslim and Nasa'i.

Commenting on the above verse, Ibn 'Abbas adds: "The people used to shun business while in Mina, so they were instructed to engage in business or trade while pouring down from 'Arafah.''ls Abu Omamah At-Taimi narrates that he said to Ibn 'Umar: "I rent mounts to people during Hajj season, and the people tell me that my Hajj is void." Ibn 'Umar asked him: "Do you not don Hajj garb, say talbiyah, go around the House of Allah, pour down from 'Arafah, and stone the Satan?" The man said, "Yes, I do." Ibn 'Umar said: "Then your Hajj is quite valid (and you will be rewarded for it). A person came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and asked him something similar to what you asked me, whereupon the Prophet (peace be upon him) remained silent until this verse (Qur'an 2.198) was revealed to him: "It is no crime in you if you seek the bounty of your Lord (during Hajj season)." Then the Prophet (peace be upon him) sent for the man and recited the verse to him, saying: "Your Hajj is valid." This is reported by Abu Daw'ud and Sa'id ibn Mansur. Al-Hafiz Al-Mundhri said Abu Omamah is not known (as a narrator).

Ibn 'Abbas says that a man asked him: "I hire myself to these people to guide them in performing their rites of Hajj; will I have a reward for Hajj?" Ibn 'Abbas said: "Yes." (And then he recited) "To these will be allotted what they have earned; and Allah is quick in account.'' (Qur'an 2.202) This is transmitted by Al-Baihaqi and Ad-Daraqutni.

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