An allegation is raised by opponents; they question as to why Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, did not perform Hajj?
Despite being fully aware and well acquainted with the conditions that make the Hajj obligatory upon a Muslim, the opponents obstinately level objections and indiscriminately abandon the very commandments and instructions laid down by Allah the Almighty.
Regarding the conditions of Hajj being compulsory, it is clearly stated in the Holy Quran:
وَ لِلّٰہِ عَلَی النَّاسِ حِجُّ الۡبَیۡتِ مَنِ اسۡتَطَاعَ اِلَیۡہِ سَبِیۡلًا ؕ وَ مَنۡ کَفَرَ فَاِنَّ اللّٰہَ غَنِیٌّ عَنِ الۡعٰلَمِیۡنَ
“And pilgrimage to the House is a duty which men – those who can find a way thither – owe to Allah. And whoever disbelieves, let him remember that Allah is surely independent of all creatures.” (Surah Ale-Imran, Ch.3: V.98)
There is no doubt, it is mandatory upon every Muslim who is able to travel to Mecca for Hajj once in his lifetime. However, the words of the above verse, “who can find a way thither,” signify three conditions: firstly, a person should have the necessary conveyance for performing the journey; secondly, one should have the required sum of money to bear the expenses; and thirdly, there should be peace and security on the way. (Sunan Abi Dawood)
Moreover, if a person is sick and lacks the energy to “find a way” to reach Mecca, it is not obligatory for him to perform Hajj. (Imam Razi, Tafsir-e-Kabir)
As a matter of fact, the conditions necessary for undertaking the journey of Hajj were not met with in the case of the Promised Messiahas.
Verdicts declaring him an infidel were issued in Mecca and the act of taking his life was considered a virtue. He was attacked on various occasions and attempts were made on his life by other Muslims. On the other hand, he suffered from the diseases of vertigo and diabetes. Hence, lack of health, peace and security were factors that hindered him from performing Hajj.
This allegation was raised within the lifetime of the Promised Messsiahas as well. He responded in a very comprehensive manner. Someone asked, “Opponent maulvis object as to why Mirza Sahib does not undertake the journey to perform Hajj?”
The Promised Messiahas answered:
“These people raise this objection out of mischief. The Holy Prophetsa lived in Medina for ten years. It was only a two-day journey between Medina and Mecca, but the Holy Prophetsa did not perform Hajj for ten years, even though he could have arranged for transport. However, the condition for Hajj is not only sufficient wealth, but it is also important that there is no danger of mischief and there should be means available to reach there with peace. When barbaric natured maulvis are issuing verdicts of death here and do not fear the government, then what else could they not do there? These people have no interest if we do not perform Hajj. If, for instance, I do perform Hajj, then will they consider me a Muslim? And will they join our Jamaat?
“Firstly, these Muslim scholars should write a declaration that if I perform Hajj, then all of them will repent at my hand and will enter my Jamaat and will become of my followers. If they do so and take an oath, then I will perform Hajj. Allah the Almighty will arrange means of convenience for me, so that the discord of maulvis comes to an end in the future. It is not ethical to object mischievously. This objection of theirs does not fall on us but on the Holy Prophetsa as well because the Holy Prophetsa only performed Hajj in his last year.” (Malfuzat, Vol. 5, p. 248)
Pondering over the sayings of the Holy Prophetsa, we find that someone else can perform the obligation of Hajj on behalf of the person who is not able to do so, owing to the lack of conditions which make Hajj mandatory upon him.
Once, a woman of Khatham tribe came to the Holy Prophetsa and asked, “O Messenger Allah! The obligation of Hajj made compulsory by Allah on His servants has become due on my father, but he is old and weak and he cannot sit firmly on the mount; so may I perform Hajj on his behalf?” The Holy Prophetsa replied, “Yes, you may.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Hajj)
Likewise, there is an account of a person who was performing Hajj on behalf of his brother, Shibrima, and the Holy Prophetsa did not forbid him from it. (Sunan Abi Dawood, Kitab al-Manasik).
According to the above-mentioned Ahadith of the Holy Prophetsa, Hajj was performed on behalf of the Promised Messiahas as well. Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra states:
“[My] mother told me, ‘Once, the Promised Messiahas, in the final days [of his life], expressed in front of me the intention to perform Hajj. Hence, I managed [to get someone] to perform Hajj on his behalf after his demise.’ My revered mother sent the late Hafiz Ahmadullah Sahibra to perform Hajj-e-Badal on behalf of Hazrat Sahibas and bore all the expenses herself. Hafiz Sahibra was an old companion and passed away a long time ago.” (Sirat-ul-Mahdi, Vol. 1, p. 44)
The Promised Messiahas was not able to perform the obligation of Hajj owing to the hostile conditions and lack of good health etc. If the opponents had pondered over the Holy Quran and the traditions of the Holy Prophetsa, they could have easily understood the factors due to which the Promised Messiahas was unable to undertake the journey of Hajj.
In the end, we present an instance that sheds light upon the deep emotional attachment of the Promised Messiahas towards the holy places of Islam.
Once, someone drew the Promised Messiah’sas attention towards the Holy Ka‘bah in Mecca and the tomb of the Holy Prophetsa in Medina. He became extremely moved and said, “Will I ever be able to see the tomb of the Holy Prophetsa?” Emotions welled up inside him and tears were streaming down his face. (Tehrirat-e-Mubaraka, pp. 155-156)