5 October 2018
Delivered from Baitul Futuh Mosque
Men of Excellence
After reciting the Tashahud, Ta‘awuz, and Surah al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa stated:
In the previous sermon, whilst speaking about the Companions of the Holy Prophetsa, I spoke about Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘ud. There are plenty of narrations about him, either narrated by himself or others. Some of them were left out, which I will mention now.
Some of the elder and more senior Companions used to say about Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘ud that he had an exceptional status with regard to his closeness to God Almighty and his relationship with Him. In addition to the names of Hazrat Abu Bakrra and Hazrat Umarra, the name of Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘ud was also among the Companions, about whom the Holy Prophetsa used to specially advise others to take them as shining examples. And according to anther narration, the Holy Prophetsa used to tell them to hold fast to the way of Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘ud . (Jami‘ al-Tirmadhi, Abwaab-ul-Munaaqib, Baab Munaaqib Abdullah bin Mas‘udra, Hadith no. 3805)
The Holy Prophetsa had special trust in him and Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘udra also had exceptional love for the Holy Prophetsa. I have previously narrated some of the accounts of his life but there are many more. Some are similar to each other, each with its own perspective.
It is written about him that, in terms of spirituality, the company of the Holy Prophetsa had transformed Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘udra into a righteous, pious, and worshiping individual.
He was so fond of worshipping and offering his nawafil [voluntary prayers] that, in addition to the obligatory prayers and Tahajjud, he would also regularly observe the prayer at the time of chasht [period between morning and noon]. Similarly, he used to observe voluntary fasts every Monday and Thursday. Despite this, he would be worried that he was not fasting enough. Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘udra used to say, “My body begins to feel weak due to the Tahajjud prayer.” He used to observe a lengthy Tahajjud prayer. If one observes Tahajjud and nawafil as they truly deserve to be offered, then one indeed feels very weak. Hence, he used to say, “Giving precedence to Salat over fasting, I observe relatively less voluntary fasts.” (Sirat Sahaba Rasulsa, Hafiz Muzaffar Ahmad, p. 283, Nazarat Ishaat, Rabwah, 2009)
Once the Holy Prophetsa, after having addressed people briefly, instructed Hazrat Abu Bakrra to also give them some advice. Hazrat Abu Bakrra addressed them briefly. Then he instructed Hazrat Umarra and he also addressed them but even more briefly than Hazrat Abu Bakrra. Then the Holy Prophetsa instructed another person, who began delivering a very lengthy speech. The Holy Prophetsa instructed him to quieten and to take his seat. Then the Holy Prophetsa instructed Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘udra to deliver a speech. Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘udra praised and glorified God Almighty, then simply said, “O People! Allah is our Lord. The Quran is our Guide. The House of Allah is our qibla [direction]. Muhammadsa is our Prophet.” According to another narration, he said, “We are content with having Allah as our Lord and Islam as our faith. And I desire for you whatever Allah and His Messengersa desire.” Upon this, the Holy Prophetsa said, “Abdullah bin Mas‘ud has spoken the truth and I too desire for my ummah what ibn Mas‘udra has desired.” (Sirat Sahaba Rasulsa, Hafiz Muzaffar Ahmad, p. 284-285, Nazarat Ishaat, Rabwah, 2009)
When Hazrat Alira went to Kufa, Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘udra, who had previously lived there, was mentioned during one of his sittings. People praised him and said, “O Amirul Momineen [chief of the believers]! We have not seen anyone greater than Abdullah bin Mas‘ud in terms of excellent morals, teaching with kindness, keeping exceptional company and extremely God-fearing.”
In order to test them, Hazrat Alira addressed all of them and said, “I swear by God Almighty and ask you to tell me truthfully, whether you give this testimony with a pure heart.” Everyone replied that indeed they do so. Upon this, Hazrat Alira said, “O Allah! Remain a witness to this. O Allah! I also share the very same opinion of these people about Abdullah bin Mas‘ud. As a matter of fact, I hold him in even higher esteem.” (Al-Tabqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Sa‘d, Vol. 3, p. 115, Dar-ul-Kutb al-Ilimiyya, Beirut, 1990).
Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘udra fulfilled the rights of the bond of brotherhood with Hazrat Zubair bin Al-Awam, which was established by the Holy Prophetsa. Placing his entire trust in him, he bequeathed him to take care of all of his financial matters after him. He said that all of his affairs and the property that he would leave behind would be entrusted to Hazrat Zubair bin Al-Awam and his son, Abdullah bin Zubair. Furthermore, he said that their decisions in relation to his domestic affairs will be final and they must be complied with. (Al-Tabqaat-ul-Kubra, Vol. 3, p. 118, Dar-ul-Kutb al-Ilimiyya, Beirut, 1990).
Abu Wail narrates that Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘udra once saw the garment of a person tied around the waist in a manner that the cloth would reach the lower part of his ankles, upon which he asked him to raise it above his ankles. The person replied to him saying that he should also raise his garment above his ankles. Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘udra replied, “I am not like you. My calves are thin and I am also slim.” When Hazrat Umarra came to know of this, he reprimanded this person for speaking to Hazrat ibn Mas‘udra in the manner he did. (Al-Asaba Fi Tameez Al-Sahaba, Vol. 4, p. 201, Dar-ul-Kutb Al-ilimiyya, Beirut, 1995).
It is also possible that this person was arrogant as it was a custom at that time to wear long garments as an indication of one’s pride. Hence, he explained this to him and in response to this, without looking at how modest he was, how ardently he followed the commandments of God Almighty and how much he feared God Almighty, he replied in such a manner. Hence, when Hazrat Umarra came to know of this, he reprimanded him.
With regard to the obedience of Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘udra towards the Holy Prophetsa, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra has stated on one occasion that there is an account mentioned in the Ahadith [sayings and traditions of the Holy Prophetsa], from which we are able to gauge the spirit of his obedience. A person may listen to this and consider it to be foolishness. However, as I have mentioned, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra states that the secret of his progress lied in the very fact that as soon as he heard an instruction from the Holy Prophetsa, he would immediately be prepared to comply with it. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra states that in the Ahadith it is mentioned that Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘udra was once walking towards a gathering which was being held in the company of the Holy Prophetsa. He was still on the path outside, when he heard the Holy Prophetsa, “Sit down!” It seems that it was a large crowd and may have been too big and people were standing on the sides, upon which the Holy Prophetsa instructed them to take a seat. Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘udra had not yet reached the gathering, however, he heard the voice of the Holy Prophetsa while he was on the path outside and he immediately sat down and dragged himself to the mosque in that very posture, similar to the way a child crawls. A person standing nearby, who failed to understand the secret of how obedience and the very spirit of it enables nations to succeed in the world, saw Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘udra drag himself in this manner. He criticised him and asked him what kind of foolishness this was. He considered this to be a foolish act and was completely unaware of the fact that the primary principle for nations to succeed was, in fact, obedience. Nevertheless, he said to Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘udra, “The Holy Prophetsa intended to say that the people who are standing on the edges of the mosque should sit down. However, you sat down on the path and dragged yourself to the mosque. You should have entered the mosque and then sat down. What was the point of sitting down on the path?” Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘udra replied, “Indeed, this might have been the case. However, if I had passed away prior to reaching the mosque, I would not have complied with this instruction of the Holy Prophetsa and there would at least have remained one aspect, which I did not comply with.” This was the passion of these people in that they desired to comply with every word of the Holy Prophetsa. He further said, “I heard this instruction and I became worried that if had passed away at that very moment, a statement would have been added to my ledger of actions of not complying with this instruction, despite having heard it.” Nevertheless, he said to him that due to this, he did not consider it appropriate to continue to walk and to only sit down once he had entered the mosque. He said he thought of the unpredictability of life and whether he would reach the mosque or not. Therefore, he decided to sit down immediately in order to also comply with that instruction. Thus, these people assessed everything with such minute detail.
Hazrat Musleh Maudra further writes that there is another incident regarding the very same Abdullah bin Mas‘udra. During the Khilafat of Hazrat Usmanra, he once offered four rak‘at [units of prayer] in Mecca during the days of Hajj [Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca]. He had gone for Hajj, the stay there was short and he had offered four rak‘at. When the Holy Prophetsa went for Hajj, he offered two rak‘at, as a person on a journey is instructed to offer only two rak‘at. Following this, when Hazrat Abu Bakrra went for Hajj during his Khilafat, he also offered two rak‘at. When Hazrat Umarra went for Hajj, he also only offered two rak‘at. In other words, whenever they were entitled to shorten the prayers, they did so. However, Hazrat Usmanra offered four rak‘at. As a result, this created some commotion amongst people. They claimed that Hazrat Usmanra had modified the tradition of the Holy Prophetsa. Hence, people approached Hazrat Usmanra and inquired as to why he offered four rak‘at. Hazrat Usmanra replied, “The fact of the matter is that I formed a decision according to my understanding which is that presently, many people have entered Islam from distant places and have also started coming for Hajj from those places. Many of them are not as aware of matters related to Islam as people previously were. Now, they merely look at our practise; they look at what we, the older Muslims, are doing. Furthermore, they imitate what they see us doing and they say that this is the Islamic injunction. As these people come to Medina very little and since they do not get the opportunity to stay there and observe our prayers, I thought that if they observed me offering two rak‘at on the occasion of Hajj, and if they saw me shorten the prayer, they would return to their areas and immediately announce that they observed the Khalifa offer only two rak‘at and that the actual Islamic instruction is therefore to offer only two rak‘at. When these people return to their areas and announce this, it will create a sense of dissention within Islam and people will be misled as they will be unaware of the fact that the two rak‘at were offered as a result of being on a journey.” This was the decision of Hazrat Usmanra based on his understanding. Hence, Hazrat Usmanra said, “Due to this, I considered it appropriate to offer four rak‘at so that they will not forget that there are actually four rak‘at of prayer. As for whether or not it was permissible or not for me to offer four rak‘at, the answer to this is”, Hazrat Usmanra answered why he performed four rak‘at and why it was permissible for him, “that I married someone here in Mecca. So considering that the hometown of the wife is also my hometown”, all of his wife’s family, all of his in-laws lived there, “so for this reason I do not consider myself a wayfarer and I should perform the prayer in full.” This is a proof he gave in support of his reasoning. Hence, Hazrat Usmanra explained why he offered four rak‘at with the purpose of which he stated was so that the people were not misled and lest they stumble in learning the true teachings of Islam.
This was a very exquisite explanation of his and full of wisdom, and when the Companions heard this, most of them understood, but some failed to and remained silent. However, the others who desired to cause mischief made an uproar that Hazrat Usmanra had acted in contrary to the tradition of the Holy Prophetsa. Thus, some of those among the mischief-makers went to Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘udra telling him, “Did you not see what happened today? The Holy Prophetsa acted in such and such manner whereas today Hazrat Usmansa acted in a manner contrary to it.” They also mentioned to Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘udra that during the days of Hajj, the Holy Prophetsa would arrive in Mecca and only perform two rak‘at of prayer whereas Hazrat Usmanra had performed four. Having heard this, Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘udra replied, “Look, it is not our duty to create mischief as the Khalifa must have done so out of his wisdom, which we do not realise as of yet. So do not cause conflict.” Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘udra then said, “I also performed four rak‘at behind Hazrat Usmanra but immediately after the prayer I raised my hands in supplication to God Almighty and prayed, ‘O Allah, accept from my prayer those two rak‘at which we would offer with the Holy Prophetsa and there is no need to accept the other two as a part of my prayer.’”
Hazrat Musleh Maudra states that how wonderful was this state of adoration which was found in Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘udra that he performed four rak‘at but was not satisfied to attain any more reward than the two rak‘at performed by the Holy Prophetsa. So he supplicated to God Almighty saying, “O Allah, accept only two rak‘at, not four.” As for those following in congregation, they performed the four rak‘at behind the Khalifa of the time out of sheer obedience. So they attained the reward of the prayer and also the reward of obedience, however, the perspective of Abdullah bin Mas‘udra was that he had obeyed but at the same time prayed to God Almighty saying, “I do not wish to receive more reward than what the Holy Prophetsa enabled us to attain when he prayed before us.” For this reason, he prayed to God Almighty to accept the two rak‘at only.
Hazrat Musleh Maudra then writes that Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘udra also possessed an exemplary level of obedience to Khilafat. He was not aware of the reason why Hazrat Usmanra performed four rak‘at in place of two, albeit this reason has been deemed correct by many. This is because whenever he would go to his wife’s home, he wouldn’t consider it to be a journey. Whenever he went to his son’s home, he never considered it to be a journey. Whenever he went to his parent’s home, he never considered it to be a journey. Therefore, his [dealing of the] matter was correct. This precaution of Hazrat Usmanra was so that the people coming from afar were not misled, and to prevent any obstacle in [the progress of] Islam and this is a proof of his extremely high level of righteousness. This was the extraordinary state of his piety that his intention was for the people to not stumble. Nevertheless, Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘udra was not aware of the reasoning at the time as to why Hazrat Usmanra had offered four rak‘at, yet he did not end his prayer abruptly. Rather he completed the prayer and showed obedience to Khilafat and then supplicated to God Almighty saying “O Allah, accept two of my rak‘at, not four.” This was the extraordinary obedience and spirit he had for following the Holy Prophetsa in every step. This is why despite the fact that the Companions were completely illiterate, and it was commonly stated that there were only seven literate people in the whole of Mecca, and in spite of this, they triumphed over the whole world. (Khutbat-e-Mahmud, Vol. 22, pp. 106-109)
Hence, as a result of their obedience, this is the station they attained and the success they gained. Therefore, we must always remember this particular point. This incident not only displays the obedience of Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘udra to Khilafat but also his ardent love for the Holy Prophetsa. This is why the Holy Prophetsa praised the stance of Abdullah bin Mas‘udra on many occasions and this is the way of avoiding mischief and disorder. Therefore, this is the example that every Ahmadi must try to follow.
On one occasion, Hazrat Umarra met a caravan of people. But because of the darkness, he was unable to see them. Among that group was Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘udra . Hazrat Umarra sent someone to ask where the group had come from. When he enquired, Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘udra answered “Fajjul-Amiq”, i.e. from a distant track. He then asked “Where are you heading to?’” He answered, “To the Baitul-Atiq (Ancient House)” i.e. to the Ka‘bah. Hazrat Umarra asked, “Is there any scholar among them?” and instructed someone to ask them which verse of the Holy Quran is the loftiest. Upon the enquiry of Hazrat Umarra, Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘udra , who was in that delegation answered:
اَللّٰهُ لَآ اِلٰهَ اِلَّا هُوَ الْحَيُّ الْقَيُّوْمُ۔لَا تَأْخُذُهٗ سِنَةٌ وَّلَا نَوْمٌ
“Allah – there is no God but He, the Living, the Self-Subsisting and All-Sustaining. Slumber seizes Him not, nor sleep.” (Surah al-Baqarah: V.256) (He cited Ayatul Kursi.)
Hazrat Umarra then asked, “Which is the most encapsulating verse of the Holy Quran?” Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘udra answered:
اِنَّ اللّٰهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالْاِحْسَانِ وَاِيْتَآئِ ذِي الْقُرْبيٰ
“Verily, Allah enjoins justice, and the doing of good to others; and giving like kindred.” (Surah al-Nahl: V.91)
Hazrat Umarra then instructed the man to ask which is the most comprehensive verse of the Holy Quran. Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘udra answered:
فَمَنْ يَّعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ خَيْرًا يَّرَهٗ۔ وَمَنْ يَّعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ شَرًّا يَّرَهٗ
“Then whoso does an atom’s weight of good will see it, And whoso does an atom’s weight of evil will also see it.” (Surah al-Zilzal: V.7-9)
He then asked which verse of the Holy Quran causes one to tremor the most. Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘udra answered:
لَيْسَ بِاَمَانِيِّكُمْ وَ لَآ اَمَانِيِّ اَهْلِ الْكِتٰبِ۔ مَنْ يَّعْمَلْ سُوْٓءًا يُّجْزَ بِهٖ۔ وَ لَا يَجِدْ لَهٗ مِنْ دُوْنِ اللّٰهِ وَلِيًّا وَّ لَا نَصِيْرًا
“It shall not be according to your desires, nor according to the desires of the People of the Book. Whoso does evil shall be rewarded for it; and he shall find for himself no friend or helper beside Allah.” (Surah al-Nisa: V.124)
Hazrat Umarra told him to ask which of the verses of the Holy Quran is the most promising. Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘udra replied:
قُلْ يٰعِبَادِيَ الَّذِيْنَ اَسْرَفُوْا عَلٰٓي اَنْفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوْا مِنْ رَّحْمَةِ اللّٰهِ ۔ اِنَّ اللّٰهَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوْبَ جَمِيْعًا۔ اِنَّهٗ هُوَ الْغَفُوْرُ الرَّحِيْمُ
“Say, ‘O My servants who have committed excesses against their own souls! Despair not of the mercy of Allah, surely Allah forgives all sins. Verily He is Most Forgiving, Merciful.’” (Surah al-Zumar: V.54)
After hearing all of this Hazrat Umarra then said, “Ask if among them is Abdullah bin Mas‘ud.” The group said, “Yes, by God, he is amongst us.” Having heard all this, Hazrat Umarra knew that he was a man who had deep knowledge of Islamic Fiqh [Jurisprudence]. (Naqoosh Sahaba, Khalid Muhammad Khalid, p. 68-69, Irfan Afzal Press, Band Road, Lahore)
Indeed, after hearing all of his answers, Hazrat Umarra knew that it could only be Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘udra who could give such scholarly answers.
Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘udra relates, “On the day of Badr, the Messengersa of Allah said, ‘What do you suggest regarding these prisoners?’ Hazrat Abu Bakrra said, ‘O Messengersa of Allah, they are your people and your family; keep them alive and give them respite, and perhaps God may cause them to repent.’ Then Hazrat Umarra said, ‘O Messengersa of Allah, they drove you out and rejected you, bring them forth and strike their necks.’ Then Hazrat Abdullah bin Rawaha said, ‘O Messengersa of Allah, find a thick jungle and leave them in there, then set it alight.’ The Holy Prophetsa heard everyone’s suggestions but did not make any decision and returned to his camp.”
Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘udra states that people began to discuss whose advice would be taken. A short while later the Holy Prophetsa came out of his camp and said, “Allah makes some men’s hearts so soft that they are softer than milk, and He makes the hearts of some men so hard that they are harder than rock. Your likeness, O Abu Bakr, is that of Hazrat Abrahamas who said:
فَمَنْ تَبِعَنِيْ فَإِنَّهُ مِنِّيْ ۖ وَمَنْ عَصَانِيْ فَإِنَّكَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيْمٌ
‘So whoever follows me, he is certainly of me; and whoever disobeys me – Thou art, surely, Most Forgiving, Merciful.’” (Surah Ibrahim: V.37)
He also said, “O Abu Bakr, your likeness is that of Prophet Jesusas who said:
إِنْ تُعَذِّبْهُمْ فَإِنَّهُمْ عِبَادُكَ ۖ وَإِنْ تَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ فَإِنَّكَ أَنْتَ الْعَزِيْزُ الْحَكِيْمُ
‘If Thou punish them, they are Thy servants; and if Thou forgive them, Thou surely art the Mighty, the Wise.’” (Surah al-Maidah: V.119)
He then addressed Hazrat Umarra and said, “Your likeness, O Umar, is that of Prophet Noahas who said:
رَبِّ لَا تَذَرْ عَلَى الْأَرْضِ مِنَ الْكَافِرِيْنَ دَيَّارًا
‘My Lord, leave not in the land a single one of the disbelievers.’” (Surah Nuh: V.27)
The Holy Prophetsa then again said to Hazrat Umarra, “O Umar, your likeness is that of Prophet Mosesas, who said:
رَبَّنَا اطْمِسْ عَلَىٰ أَمْوَالِهِمْ وَاشْدُدْ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِهِمْ فَلَا يُؤْمِنُوْا حَتَّىٰ يَرَوُا الْعَذَابَ الْأَلِيمَ
‘Our Lord! Destroy their riches and attack their hearts – and they are not going to believe until they see the grievous punishment.’” (Surah Yunus: V.89)
The Holy Prophetsa then said, “Since you are all in need therefore the prisoners shall be freed if they pay ransom, otherwise their necks shall be struck off.”
Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘udra states, “I said, ‘O Messengersa of Allah, exempt Sahl bin Baida from this ruling, for I heard him speak well of Islam.’ However, the Holy Prophetsa remained silent.” Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘udra states, “I was never more afraid that a rock would fall on me from heaven than on that day, but eventually the Holy Prophetsa exempted Sahl bin Baida.’” (Chaar Abdullah, Mufti Muhammad Fayyaz, pp. 34-36, Urdu Bazaar, Lahore 2017)
He believed the silence of the Holy Prophetsa to be his displeasure and thus, out of the fear of God Almighty and His wrath, his state changed dramatically. The status of his fear of God Almighty was extraordinary. According to the practice of the Holy Prophetsa, Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘udra would only deliver a small lecture on Thursdays, which was succinct but profound in meaning. His words were so effective and eloquent that Hazrat Abdullah bin Mirdas relates that when Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘udra would finish his speech, it would be their desire for him to continue speaking. In the evenings he would often mention one narration from the sayings of the Holy Prophetsa and whilst relating the Hadith, his affection and love for the Holy Prophetsa would be evident. His student, Masruq, states, “One day he was narrating a saying of the Holy Prophetsa to us. When he said the words, ‘I heard the Holy Prophetsa say…’, his body began to tremble out of fear to the extent that his clothes could be seen moving. To be more cautious, he then added the words, ‘Perhaps the Holy Prophetsa said these words or used similar words.’ Whilst narrating a saying of the Holy Prophet he would be extra cautions. This was due to the warning of the Holy Prophetsa that whosoever narrated a false Hadith would be accountable.”
Another example of this level of caution can be assessed by the following narration. Amr bin Maimoon narrates, “I visited Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘ud one many occasions over the course of one whole year. He would be very cautious when narrating any Ahadith. Once I saw that when he said, ‘The Messengersa of Allah said…’, he went in to a state of anguish and sweat began to drip from his forehead. He then said, ‘The Holy Prophetsa used the words to the effect…’. (Sirat-e-Sahaba, Hafiz Muzaffar Ahmad, pp.283-284, Nazarat Ishaat, Rabwah, 2009). The level of his fear of God was such that he would say: “It is my wish that I am not raised after death so that I am protected from any accountability.”
Hazrat Abdullah narrates, “Once Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘ud fell ill and became anxious. We asked, ‘We have never seen you this troubled at times of illnesses before now.’ He responded, ‘I fell ill all of a sudden and do not consider myself prepared to face the afterlife and this has been worrying me.’” Whilst speaking about his own death, he stated, “That day shall not be easy for me. My desire is not to be raised up after my death.” It is narrated by inb Mas‘ud, “He wrote this as part of his will and included Bismillah [In the Name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful]”. (Al-Tabkaat-ul-Qubra Li-ibn Sa‘d, Pt. 3, p. 117, Abdullah bin Mas‘ud Dar-ul-Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990)
These days it is quite common to write Bismillah. However, the fact that ibn Mas‘ud has specifically mentioned this means that Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘udra possessed the true cognizance of these words. He understood the attributes of God Almighty being Al-Rahman [The Gracious] and Al-Raheem [The Merciful] and for this reason he began this document by using these attributes. He had the understanding that if there was anything in his will which could lead to the displeasure and punishment of God Almighty, then these two attributes of God could grant him protection.
Through the grace of God Almighty, Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘udra had become so affluent that in the last years of his life he stopped accepting his stipend (Usdul Ghaba, Vol. 3, p. 387, Dar-ul-Kutb Ilmiyah, Beirut). He had no financial constraints and left behind an inheritance of 90,000 dirhams. However, despite all this he wrote in his will that at the time of burial, his shroud should consist of very simple cloths worth 200 dirhams and also that he should be buried alongside the grave Hazrat Usman bin Maz‘un. As mentioned earlier, Hazrat Usmanra lead his funeral prayers and he was buried in Jannatul-Baqi‘ in the evening. There is another narration that after the burial of Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘udra, the person narrating the incident walked by his grave in the morning and noticed that there was water sprinkled on it (Al-Tabkaat-ul-Qubra Li-ibn Sa‘d, Pt. 3, p. 118, Abdullah bin Mas‘ud Dar-ul-Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990). This displays the great respect people had for him. They solidified his grave overnight by sprinkling water on it.
Abul Ahwas narrates, “After the demise of Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘udra I was in the presence of Hazrat Abu Musa and Hazrat Abu Mas‘ud. One of them said to the other, ‘Has ibn Mas‘ud left behind anyone like him?’ The other responded, ‘At present there is no one amongst us like him. Perhaps after we pass, someone like him may be born.’” (Al-Tabkaat-ul-Qubra Li-ibn Sa‘d, Pt. 3, p. 119, Abdullah bin Mas‘ud Dar-ul-Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990)
Hazrat Tameen bin Haram narrates, “I have attended numerous gatherings of the Companions of the Holy Prophetsa, however, I never met anyone more averse from the material world and more concerned about the Day of Judgment than Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘udra.” (Al-Isabatu Fi Tamyiz Al-Sahaba, Vol. 4, p. 201, Abdullah bin Mas‘ud, Printed in Darul Kutub al-Ilmiyya, Beirut, 1995)
The second Companion that I shall mention today is Hazrat Qudama bin Maz‘unra. Hazrat Qudama bin Maz‘unra was the brother of Hazrat Usman bin Maz‘unra and was the husband of Hazrat Safiyara, who was the sister of Hazrat Umarra. (Al-Isabatu Fi Tamyiz Al-Sahaba, Vol. 5, p. 322-323, Printed in Darul Kutub Al-Ilmiyya, Beirut)
Hazrat Qudama bin Maz‘unra had multiple marriages. One of his wives was Hind bint Waleed, who gave birth to Umar and Fatima. One of his wives was Fatima bint Abu Sufiyaan who gave birth to Aisha. Umm-e-Wald was another wife, from whom Hafzah was born and Hazrat Safiya bin Khitab gave birth to Hazrat Ramlah. (Al-Tabkaat-ul-Qubra Li-ibn Sa‘d, Pt. 3, p. 306, Qudamah bin Maz’oon, Dar-ul-Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990)
He was nineteen years of age when he accepted Islam so he accepted Islam at a very young age and his entire family left their homes in Mecca and resettled when the migration to Medina took place. His entire family was hosted by Abdullah bin Salma Ujlani in Medina. When the Holy Prophetsa migrated from Mecca to Medina, he arranged permanent residences for Hazrat Qudamara and his brothers by allotting them plots of land. (Sattar Sitaareh, Talib Al Hashmi, p.66-67, Al Badr Publications, Lahore)
Hazrat Qudamara was amongst those early Muslims who participated in both the migration to Abyssinia and to Medina. He was able to participate in the Battle of Badr, Uhud and all other battles alongside the Holy Prophetsa. (Al-Isabatu Fi Tamyiz Al-Sahaba, Vol. 5, p. 322, Printed in Darul Kutub Al-Ilmiyya, Beirut, 1995), (Al-Tabkaat-ul-Qubra Li-ibn Sa‘d, Pt. 3, p. 306, Qudamah bin Maz‘un, Dar-ul-Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990)
When Hazrat Usman bin Maz‘unra passed away, he left behind a daughter and instructed his brother, Hazrat Qudamara, about her upbringing. Hazrat Abdullah bin Amr narrates, “Both Hazrat Usman bin Maz‘un and Hazrat Qudama were my maternal uncles. I visited Hazrat Qudama and requested for the hand of the daughter of Hazrat Usman bin Maz‘un in marriage and he agreed. Mughiyerah bin Shaba visited the mother of the girl and persuaded her to give her daughter’s hand in marriage by offering a financial incentive and the girl was also of the same opinion as her mother.” In other words, there was proposal of marriage, however the girl and the mother were inclined towards another proposal. This matter was then presented to the Holy Prophetsa and he called for Hazrat Qudama and asked him about this marriage proposal. Hazrat Qudama replied, “O Prophetsa of Allah! This girl is my brother’s daughter. I will not be negligent in selecting someone to marry her.” That is, she is the daughter of my brother who passed away. I will find the best possible person for her to marry. “Therefore, I have agreed to the first marriage proposal as I consider it better.” The Prophet of Allahsa responded, “This girl is an orphan. She will marry whomsoever she pleases.” Since her father is not alive, even though you may have agreed to the best suitor, however her consent should be sought. “She will accept any one of the two marriage proposals that she prefers.” Thus, this was the decision of the Holy Prophetsa. The narrator himself was the girl’s relative and had sent a proposal for marriage first but he states that instead of him, her marriage was settled with Mugheerah (Al-Isabatu Fi Tamyiz Al-Sahaba, Vol. 5, p. 323, Printed in Darul Kutub Al-Ilmiyya, Beirut, 1995) and they accepted the proposal which the girl and her mother had chosen. This is how the Holy Prophetsa established freedom of choice for women and taught the Muslims to take special care of the orphan. He made sure that she was not wronged because her father had passed away and the girl’s opinion should be sought. Hazrat Qudamara passed away in 36 AH, at the age of sixty-eight years.
May God Almighty enable us to follow in the footsteps of these individuals who had deep insight about faith, and through their loyalty and faithfulness they showed an outstanding level of love for the Holy Prophetsa, and God Almighty safeguard us from causing any disruption.
After the prayers I will lead two funeral prayers in absentia. The first is of Mrs Amatul Hafeez Bhatti Sahiba – wife of Mahmud Bhatti Sahib – of Karachi, who served as Sadr Lajna of the district of Karachi for a long time. She passed away on 27 September at the age of 93; to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.
Her father’s name was Dr Ghulam Ali Sahib and he was among the Companionsra of the Promised Messiahas. Due to the fact that her father served as a doctor in the army, he was stationed in various places, as a result of which they had to live in several cities. Wherever he would stay, he would ensure that there was a spiritual atmosphere around them. This was a unique characteristic of the companions, in that wherever they would reside they would establish a spiritual atmosphere around them. After a few months of preaching, most of the people in his supervision would become Ahmadi. Dr Sahib would then establish a Jamaat and use his house as a centre. In this manner he was able to establish several Jamaats.
It was his desire for his family to derive benefit from the spiritual atmosphere of Qadian and therefore decided to settle his family in Qadian. Amatul Hafeez Sahiba’s mother also dedicated her life for the service of the Jamaat. Amatul Hafeez Sahiba lived in the spiritual atmosphere of Qadian from 1936. Having completed her Matriculation examination, she pursued religious studies until her fourth year of studies. During this time, she had the good fortune of regularly attending the Darsul Quran [lecture series on the Holy Quran] delivered by Hazrat Musleh Maudra. She had been serving the Jamaat for as long as she could remember. She was married to the son of her maternal aunt, Mahmud Bhatti Sahib. There is a long incident connected to their marriage.
Hazrat Musleh Maudra says, “I saw in a vision that the girl’s mother sent me a letter through her daughter and enquired about a certain marriage proposal and also mentioned his name. Thereafter, exactly what had been seen in the vision was fuflilled wherein the girl came with the letter enquiring about the proposal.” Hazrat Musleh Maudra approved this proposal and said, “Whatever I saw in my vision is now being fulfilled in exactly the same manner as I had seen.” Thus, Hazrat Musleh Maudra also agreed to this proposal. After their marriage in 1948, they settled in Karachi and she served diligently in Lajna Imaillah of Karachi. Alongside this, she continued her studies and at a mature age she obtained a masters degree in Arabic from the University of Sindh in 1972. She achieved this with an excellent first class result.
In 1975, Amatul Hafeez Sahiba’s husband went to Africa for work purposes and from time to time she would also go to Africa. She worked as the National Sadr [President for Lajna Imaillah] in Liberia, (West Africa). Then due to the [civil] war, they had to leave the country and returned to Karachi. She is counted amongst the five thousand Mujahidin for Tahrik-e-Jadid. In 1991 she was elected as Naib Sadr [Vice President] and also secretary for education of the district. During the Jubilee celebrations, she was awarded a degree for her 15 years of service from Lajna Markaziyya [Central Women’s Association]. From 1997 to 2018 she had the opportunity to serve as Sadr Lajna for the district of Karachi. She carried out many events throughout Karachi, which is a vast city. She held meetings with different offices and strengthened their administrative organisation. Her services spanned seventy years, from 1938 to 2018.
Amatul Nur Sahiba, serving as the President for Lajna in Karachi, said, “She rendered a great service for 70 years. She was extremely kind hearted, met others with a smile and speaking politely was ingrained in her nature. She was very punctual and whatever duty was assigned to her, she would note it down in her diary immediately so that she would not forget. Whenever she received any directive or instruction from the headquarters, she would call the relevant department and immediately notify them, she would not wait for the office to open and then convey the message. She fulfilled her duties with great devotion and showed a true example in her complete devotion and obedience to Khilafat.”
Amatul Bari Nasir Sahiba has worked along with her and she also wrote, “She would get the work done in a very loving manner and would not let her subordinates feel as if she was asserting her status of an officer upon them. During her tenure, 50 books were published by Karachi Jamaat and the book which has the entire collection of the Promised Messiah’s Persian works was published by Karachi Lajna during her tenure as president. She had great patience and I believe that her greatest qualities were her patience and calmness. She had the ability to ponder deeply into a matter, particularly in instances of domestic issues, she would listen to both parties and accordingly give advice. Her effort would always be to bring about a reconciliation.” Even today, these domestic disputes and issues are increasing in our Jamaat; may God Almighty guide both parties [involved in such cases] and they should seek to resolve these issues, and may He also guide the office-bearers so that they can effectively resolve these disputes.
He daughter-in-law writes, “She treated all her daughters-in-law like her own daughters and we could approach her and speak about any issue of ours without any kind of hesitation.” The General Secretary for Lajna Imaillah has also written, “While running the office she would treat us all equally and would always guide us.” Her daughter-in-law further writes, “She paid great focus towards the recitation of the Holy Quran. She taught all her grandchildren how to read the Holy Quran and taught them religious knowledge. She treated the workers in the house and also the poor with great kindness. In fact, if any of them passed away, she would take care of their family members too and would always strive to fulfil their rights. May God Almighty grant her forgiveness and mercy and elevate her status. May He also enable her progeny to follow in her footsteps.
The second funeral is of Adnan Vandenbroeck Sahib, who was the National Secretary Umur-e-Kharija [External Affairs] for Belgium Jamaat. He passed away on 29 September; to Allah we belong and to him shall we return. His father was Rizwan Vandenbroeck Sahib who was the first Belgian Ahmadi, who accepted Ahmadiyyat in the 1960s. Adnan Sahib did not accept Ahmadiyyat because of his father, in fact he said he wanted to research for himself and thereafter, he performed Bai‘at in 1994. After accepting Ahmadiyyat he was very active in the field of tabligh [preaching]. In 1998 there was a tabligh gathering in Belgium and Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh, referring to him, said to the gathering, “I have a translator, who can translate from English into French and Dutch.” By the grace of God Almighty, he was extremely helpful in this regard during those days.
Dr Idris Sahib, the National President of the Jamaat in Belgium writes, “He was suffering from cancer and through the grace of God Almighty when his condition began to improve, he started coming to the mission house again. He would always say that it is due to the blessings of God Almighty that his health had improved because all the other patients of this same illness had passed away. Right from the beginning, he was a member of Belgium’s public relations team. In 2016, I appointed him as the National Secretary Umur-e-Kharija and he rendered this service with great diligence. He played a vital role in introducing the Jamaat at government level.” Amir Sahib further writes, “He would go to the governmental offices with me and he would tend to the administrative work of Amoor-e-Kharjah even while he was ill in hospital during his last days. He was also a member of the Dutch translation team. He spent great effort in translating various books into Dutch and conducted the final review of the Friday sermons. Similarly, he would review the translation of all the press releases.” Amir Sahib further writes, “During my various travels, he would express that his illness had proved to be a source of mercy for him because during this time he had the opportunity to read the books of the Promised Messiahas and other literature of the Jamaat and his faith in God Almighty had further increased. Even during the course of his illness, he remained content with the will of God of Almighty. During his last days, he would always advise his elder brother that he should spend less time in worldly endeavours and devote more time to Jamaat work.” Amir Sahib further writes, “He also used to tell me that his brother could be very useful in the Umur-e-Kharija team, therefore I should get him to work.”
His mother says, “Ahmadiyyat entered their family through Adnan Sahib’s father, who lived in Iraq for seven years and there he had the opportunity to read the Holy Quran and he also accepted Islam. When he came to Holland, he met Imam Bashir Sahib and as a result of his preaching, he accepted Ahmadiyyat. He once met Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh in Belgium and requested him to pray that may God Almighty enable him to remain steadfast.” Adnan Sahib’s mother further states, “His father had no interest for material possessions.” She says, “My son Adnan also followed in the footsteps of his father. He offered his prayers regularly, served the Jamaat and was loyal to the institution of Khilafat. He would listen to the Friday Sermon every week and would also make his children listen to it. He would always remain ready to serve the Jamaat and had a deep bond with Khilafat.”
May God Almighty elevate his status and grant him His forgiveness and mercy. May God Almighty grant the Jamaat devoted individuals like him. He leaves behind his wife, one son and one daughter. May God Almighty enable them to remain firm on their faith and increase them in their faith and enable them to follow in the footsteps of their father.
(Translated by The Review of Religions)