Why I have not been able to perform the Hajj [Pilgrimage]?

by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad

Translation and Notes by Dr. Zahid Aziz

The Light (UK), November 2009 Issue (pp. 7–8)

Editor’s Note: An allegation made against the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement is that he did not perform the Pilgrimage to Makkah. As the time of Hajj [Pilgrimage] is approaching this year, it is topical that we present below his own reply from his book Ayyam-us-Sulh, pages 167–169.

Objection: Despite being able to afford it, he has not performed the Hajj?

Answer: This objection exposes your level of knowledge of the shariah [Islamic Law], that you consider lack of means as the only condition under which Hajj is excused. Due to wasting your life in worldly entanglements, you did not know even the simple teachings given in the Quran, Hadith and books of Islamic law, according to which it is not only lack of means but several other reasons are allowed by Allah as valid grounds for not performing Hajj. One of these is danger to health. Another is lack of security along the route or in Makkah itself. Allah the Most High says:

مَنِ اسۡتَطَاعَ اِلَیۡہِ سَبِیۡلًا ؕ

“Whoever is able to find a way to it” (The Holy Quran, 3:97).

It is strange that, on the one hand, the malicious ulama [clerics] bring a ruling from Makkah that I am a kafir [non-Muslim], and then tell me to go to the Hajj. They know that if the ruling of being a kafir has been issued from Makkah then that city has become a place of trouble (fitna) for me, and God requires us to avoid going to places where there is trouble. So I cannot understand this objection. These critics know that during the days of trouble and disorder in the land the Holy Prophet Muhammad [pbuh] never performed the Hajj. It is established from the Hadith and the Quran that one must refrain from going to places where there is trouble. What kind of an evil ploy is this, that they tell the people of Makkah that I am a kafir and then raise the objection again and again that I have not performed the Hajj? — We seek refuge in Allah from their evil.

One should ponder why they are so concerned that I have not performed the Hajj? There can be no other reason except that they have planned within themselves that if I went to Makkah I would be pursued there by a group of wicked people who would announce loudly that I am a kafir who ought to be sentenced to death. If a Divine order came, I would ignore taking precautions, but until then the conditions set by the Shariah must be observed. To save oneself from places of trouble is the way of the prophets. In Makkah the reins of government are in the hands of people who have the same views as those who call me kafir. Since the people here regard me as deserving of being put to death, will the people there punish me any the less? Allah says:

وَ لَا تُلۡقُوۡا بِاَیۡدِیۡکُمۡ اِلَی التَّہۡلُکَۃِ ۚۖۛ

“and do not cast yourselves to destruction with your own hands” (The Holy Quran, 2:195).1

I would be a sinner if I knowingly took a step towards destruction by going for the Hajj. To take a step in contravention of the command of God is a sin. Performing the Hajj is a conditional command, dependent upon certain conditions being fulfilled. However, the command to save oneself from places of trouble and from destruction is absolute, without any conditions. So you should ponder as to whether we should follow an absolute command of the Quran or follow a conditional command despite confirming that its conditions do not apply.

Apart from this, I ask you people this question: When the Promised Messiah would appear, would it be his first duty to rescue Muslims from the dangerous tribulations of the Dajjal [Antichrist] or to go to perform the Hajj as soon as he appears? If, according to the Quran and Hadith, the first duty of the Promised Messiah would be to perform the Hajj, not fighting the Dajjal, then those verses and reports should be put forward so that they can be acted upon. If the first duty of the Promised Messiah, for which he will be appointed according to your beliefs, is the killing of the Dajjal, which I interpret as meaning to destroy false creeds by means of arguments and signs, then that is what must be done first. If there is any integrity and fear of God, then the question must be answered whether the Promised Messiah, after coming into the world, would first have the duty of performing the Hajj or he would first fight the tribulations of the Dajjal. This issue is not intricate at all. The answer can be found in Sahih Bukhari or Sahih Muslim. If the evidence from the Holy Prophet, may peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him, is that the first task of the Promised Messiah is to perform the Hajj then I shall do it under any circumstances, whatever may be the consequences.

However, the first work of the Promised Messiah is to combat the tribulations of the Dajjal. Until I am free of this work, to turn towards the Hajj would be to go against the prophecy of the Holy Prophet. My Hajj will take place when the Dajjal, having forsaken unbelief and Dajjal-like activities, will perform the circuits of the House of God (tawaf).2 For, according to authentic Hadith reports, that will be the time of the Hajj of the Promised Messiah. See the hadith in Sahih Muslim which says that the Holy Prophet saw the Promised Messiah and the Dajjal performing Hajj at almost the same time.

Do not put forward that the Dajjal will be killed, for the heavenly weapon in the hand of the Promised Messiah does not kill anyone bodily, but kills their unbelief and false ideas. In the end, a group from among the Dajjal will become believers and perform the Hajj. So, at the time when the Dajjal will start to think about belief and Hajj, those will be the days for us to perform Hajj. Now is the first task upon which God has set us, the destruction of the tribulation of the Dajjal. Can a man do any work against the will of his Master?

Translator’s Notes:

1. The hadith report mentioned above by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad runs as follows in Bukhari. The Holy Prophet related:

“While sleeping near the Kaba last night, I saw in my dream a man of brown colour, the best that one can see amongst brown colour, and his hair was long that it fell between his shoulders. His hair was lank and water was dribbling from his head and he was placing his hands on the shoulders of two men while circumambulating the Kaba. I asked,

‘Who is this?’

They replied,

‘This is Jesus, son of Mary’.

Behind him I saw a man who had very curly hair and was blind in the right eye, resembling Ibn Qatan in appearance. He was placing his hands on the shoulders of a person while performing Tawaf around the Kaba. I asked,

‘Who is this?’

They replied,

‘The Masih, Ad-Dajjal’.”

(See Volume 4, Book 55, Number 649 in the Muhsin Khan online edition.)

2. By saying

“My Hajj will take place when the Dajjal, having forsaken unbelief and Dajjal-like activities, will perform the circuits of the House of God”,

it seems Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is indicating that the Muslim world in general will only give up opposition to him and accept him at the time when his work and mission have resulted in the acceptance of Islam by the Western nations.

Thus the second part of his reply to the objection,

“why have you not performed the Hajj”,

is that his work is first to bring the great, world-dominating, non-Muslim, even anti-Islamic, nations of the world to perform the Hajj.

Footnotes:

  1. Editor’s Note: The next verse, 2:196, is about the Pilgrimage. ↩︎
  2. Author’s Footnote: Let no one raise the objection here that in my book Izala Auham it is written that the Dajjal will perform the tawaf with ill-intentions as a thief goes around houses with bad intentions, but my present explanation is contrary to it. Dajjal is in fact the name of a group of mischief makers who wish to spread on earth worship of others than God and impurity. A careful reading of the Quran and Hadith reports shows that while a group of the Dajjal will forever be planning to cause harm to the true religion, and their tawaf will be like that of thieves who make circuits around houses at night, but another group, whom God will grant spiritual sight and guidance, will perform the tawaf by having gained faith and guidance.

    Therefore, the real significance of this hadith report is that it will be fulfilled in both senses. Hence, external events also show that some Christians appear to be prepared to accept Islam, having abandoned the Christian religion in their hearts, while others, in the manner of thieves, are seeking to lay desolate the House of God and making deceitful plans of all kinds. ↩︎

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