Islam, a religion that was founded in Arabia, later spread to almost all parts of the world. This spread saw distant and far-away nations coming into the fold of Islam, along with their cultures, languages and customs.
This spread of Islam had started in the life of the Holy Prophetsa but also continued after his demise, and still does to this day. But Allah the Almighty knew that this was destined to happen, so He revealed the commandment of Hajj and made it obligatory for every Muslim, with the right means and resources, to take up the journey to Mecca and perform it at least once in their lifetime. Alongside many other benefits that this unique mode of worship has for the faithful, the elements of unity and solidarity stand out, especially in the modern-day situation.
Hundreds of thousands of Muslims flocking to Mecca in the Islamic month of Dhul Hijjah to collectively perform circumambulations of the Ka‘bah and other rites in congregation, makes a sight that indicates the vastness of the Muslim world. Colour, creed, nation all left behind to unite in a worship in the very land that witnessed the genesis of Islam and was its cradle for the early years.
This clearly shows that Muslims can unite if they so desire. It further goes on to prove that Muslim nations, and their leaders, can also unite if they so desire. The latter, unfortunately, is now seen and understood otherwise and it is sad to see that they have lost the desire to unite.
Where has this desire been lost? And why? The story needs more space than an editorial but we can try to at least go through the turning points of the tragic story. Islam was meant to be a religion, a faith-based ideology with a political philosophy but no political interests. But as Islam spread to various nations, the geo-political boundaries began to emerge and started to get bolder and deeper with time. The urge to grow politically stronger than the others kindled and turned into a blaze that later refused to be extinguished.
Then there was the fuel of sectarianism that turned this blaze into a wildfire. Islam, that was once the bounding, centripetal force amongst all nations, was transformed into a centrifugal one. Then came the time when the “Pan-Islamic” sentiment was exploited not to unite the Ummah, but to bring it under the control of one leader. This lust bore negative results (more negative than the desired outcome) and pushed Muslim nations farther away from one another.
Then there came in nations with even greater lusts, luring Muslim nations into becoming allies for agendas that were grossly in contrast with Islamic teachings. Such nations, or “powers” as their power-hunger likes them to be called, exploited the notion of Jihad to have these so-called Islamic nations fight off the parent-power’s enemy. The cold-war is not too distant in the fog of history and still fresh in the global memory; the “jihadis” prepared in Afghanistan and the north-western tribal areas of Pakistan continue to shake the world-peace to this day, albeit in varying guises.
A man of God, by the name of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas of Qadian, warned the Muslim nations in 1903 that they would have to reconsider their understanding of jihad (as the Holy Prophetsa of Islam had understood and explained it) or else it would backfire on none else but the Muslim world. The Muslim nations deemed it not essential to pay heed and are now suffering the consequences. The powers that had hired these Muslim nations are triumphant but the Muslim nations make, very sadly, the most insecure, vulnerable, poor and instable regions of the world.
Today, the successor of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas of Qadian, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaa is delivering the same message through all modes of communication possible: a 24-hour television channel, writing letters to world leaders, addressing the parliaments of these so-called powers and, above all, addressing the heads of Muslim states through his sermons, addresses and letters, urging them to understand the true message of Islam. He has, on many occasions, called the Muslim Ummah to understand how they are being used as pawns in the proxy wars that they are fighting, ironically, for and against their enemy. He has called for unity of Muslim nations so that Islam can again be seen as a unified force; a force that strives to establish peace and not otherwise.
Hajj calls for the same: unity. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih, as always, is only asking the Muslim Ummah to follow the Quran. The message is simple and clear, the response is confused. May Allah enable the Ummah to unite once again and understand the true message of Islam.