100 Years Ago… – Proposal of journey to England and response to a Paighami’s letter


    Al Fazl, 13 June 1924

    Hazrat Musleh e Maud

    In his Friday Sermon of 23 May 1924, Hazrat Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih IIra spoke about the proposed journey to England for the first time. While the consultation and prayers were ongoing, the opponents of Khilafat voiced various objections to this journey. Huzoorra mentioned a letter sent by a Paighami or ghair-mubai‘, [i.e., those who did not take bai‘at of the second Khalifa], in which he suggested that instead of spending money on the travel expenses, it would be better to spend it on an orphanage.

    This Friday Sermon was published in the 13 June 1924 issue of Al Fazl. The summary of the response by Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra and his mention of the proposed Europe’s tour is as follows:

    Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra said:

    “Firstly, the decision regarding the journey has yet to be made, as I have previously mentioned. […] However, at this juncture, I deem it necessary to dispel this misconception related to its expenses. This clarification is required, as this misunderstanding could also arise in others’ minds and mislead them.

    “All the pillars of Islam are defined, well-established, and have specific rules and regulations. For example, Zakat has a rule that if one possesses 40 rupees for a year, they ought to pay one rupee, not give away all their wealth. Similarly, with respect to fasting, the injunction is not to fast indefinitely but specifically during the month of Ramadan. Conversely, regarding anyone who contravenes this commandment by fasting perpetually, the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said that such a person would be condemned to the lowest level of hell. (Musnad Ahmad, Part 4, p. 414) […]

    “In the same way, it is obligatory to perform Hajj once in a lifetime; it is not commanded to be performed every year. Moreover, certain conditions are stipulated for Hajj, and those who meet these conditions should perform it, while those who do not are exempt. Then, salat must be performed five times a day, not continuously throughout the day, and there are specific times when salat is prohibited. Likewise, there are also regulations for sadaqah (charity). God Almighty states: ‘And keep not thy hand chained to thy neck, nor stretch it out an entire stretching,’ (Surah Bani Israil, Ch.17: V.30). Rather, one should adopt a balanced approach.

    “In short, the sharia has established specific regulations and boundaries for all of the pillars [of Islam] to prevent any setbacks from exceeding these limits. Consequently, the sharia has set certain regulations in these pillars with respect to the spending of wealth, [mandating a balanced approach], prohibiting the expenditure of all one’s wealth. Similarly, there are specific regulations regarding the offering of one’s time, and one sacrifices their time for it. It is not commanded to worship God Almighty all day to the exclusion of all other activities. Rather, the sharia also sets out the rights and responsibilities towards oneself, one’s spouse, and others. […]

    “It is not commanded to spend the wealth on only one branch [of the expenditures] and neglect all of the others. For instance, if all funds were dedicated solely to orphans, neglecting other areas, the system would soon collapse. However, it is all the more necessary to take care of the orphans, and for this very reason, approximately 40,000 rupees per annum are spent on this cause. Moreover, if we include the additional sum of money spent through various jamaats independently, it will add up to about half of our chanda. We support and take care of orphans to the best of our ability, but if we were to allocate all chanda to orphans and neglect other works of the Jamaat—such as the Langar Khanatabligh, compilation, and publication—the community would soon perish. The Jamaat thrives by managing various tasks, strengthening them through various means, and ensuring that all branches are adequately supported. […]

    “We allocate around half of our chanda to orphan care, though these expenditures are not publicly visible because we have neither established orphanages nor advertised their existence to show the number of orphanages and the strength of orphans and widows residing therein. […]

    “On certain occasions, we are required to spend money to manifest the glory and greatness of Islam across the globe and counteract damage to its reputation. If we continue to take care of the rest of the departments and do not spend anything on the majesty and splendour of Islam, it will be detrimental to Islam. Thus, it is also essential to spend money to manifest the magnificence of Islam.

    “For example, one of the objectives behind the tabligh efforts initiated in the Malkana [region] was to secure the grandeur of Islam and tackle the Shuddhi Movement — started by the Aryas to efface the prestige and majesty of Islam. For this purpose, our Jamaat had to sacrifice its wealth, lives, and time, and endure great hardships, resulting in increased recognition of the Jamaat on a grand scale. Moreover, those who previously paid no attention have now shown interest, as evidenced by the many people joining the Community following the Malkana Movement.

    “Hence, financial expenses are sometimes necessary to uphold the glory of Islam, and one is required to bear the hardships. This is one of the objectives behind my visit to England, however, we have to see whether or not it is an appropriate time to go there. The question is not about the expenses, and if I postpone the plan to visit England with the reason that this money should be spent on orphans, I would say that by doing so we would miss opportunities for significant advancements, which are related to the increased recognition that might become a means of great progress. In addition, though it cannot be said that my visit will result in the conversion of every single person to Islam there, it will at least serve as a means for presenting the true teachings of Islam.

    “On the other hand, if we follow the aforementioned letter’s suggestion to allocate the funds solely for the care of orphans, others will argue that the money should be spent on tabligh since the orphans are already being supported and taken care of. If we then decide to allocate the funds for tabligh, some will advocate for spending on education instead. This indecision will make it impossible to manage the expenditures effectively. Therefore, we must address the needs of all departments equally and not focus on a single aspect; otherwise, the Jamaat will face ruin. […]

    “Hence, we prioritise the care of the orphans and widows above all, while also addressing the needs of other departments. This [balanced approach] is the only means for success. Otherwise, neglecting any department will lead to the Community’s downfall, marking the beginning of its decline. Therefore, it is crucial to support all departments for the progress of the Jamaat, allocating resources according to their needs.”

    (Translated by Al Hakam from the original Urdu, published in the 13 June 1924 issue of Al Fazl)

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