Baha’i pilgrimage

Bahā’u’llāh says:

“The Lord hath ordained that those of you who are able shall make pilgrimage to the sacred House, and from this He hath exempted women as a mercy on His part.”

Reference: Bahā’u’llāh, The Kitābi Aqdas, p. 191

If this exemption of women is a mercy—as Bahā’u’llāh puts it—then why are men deprived of this mercy? After all, there was supposed to be equality between men and women and no distinction, was there not? Had `Abdu’l-Bahā not claimed that God has not put differences in any grace and mercy:

“He created everyone the same and gives all sustenance, nurtures all, protects all, and is kind to all. He has put no differences in any grace or mercy.”

Reference: `Abd al-Ḥamīd Ishrāq Khāwarī, Payām-i malakūt, p. 42

Baha’is argue that since traveling is cumbersome and tiring, God has shown this mercy to women and has taken them out of harm’s way. If this is the case why not show mercy to the men based on the same reasoning; for men become tired too.

Why is distinction made and why are men discriminated? Where is the equality that was being preached with pride? Furthermore, this creed was supposedly formulated for the 21st century not the dark ages. Traveling is no longer tiring, cumbersome, or harmful. How can the argument that this is a mercy for women be justified?

Courtesy: Twelve Principles – A Comprehensive Investigation on the Bahai Teachings


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