Men of Excellence

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Friday Sermon 

7 December 2018

Delivered from Baitul Futuh Mosque

Men of Excellence

 

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Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih V a.a.

After reciting the TashahudTa‘awuz, and Surah al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa stated:

The first of the Companionsra [of the Holy Prophetsa] whom I shall mention today is Hazrat Ubaidra bin Zaid Ansari. He belonged to the Banu Ajlaan tribe. He participated in the battles of Badr and Uhud. (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra Li-ibn Sa‘d, Vol. 3, p. 448, Ubaid bin Zaidra, Dar-ul-Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990) 

Hazrat Muazra bin Rifa‘ah related from his father, “As we headed towards Badr, I accompanied the Holy Prophetsa, while riding on a very frail and weak camel along with my brother, Hazrat Khallad bin Raafi. Hazrat Ubaid bin Zaid was also with us. When we reached a place called Bareed, which is an area before Rauhah, our camel stopped and sat down.” This incident has previously been mentioned while giving the account of another Companion. 

He further states, “When our camel sat down, we prayed, ‘O Allah! We make this vow to You that if You return us to Medina, we will sacrifice this camel.’ At the time, the Holy Prophetsa was passing by and enquired what the matter was with both of us. We narrated the entire incident to him. The Holy Prophetsa remained with us. He performed the ablution and mixed his saliva with the leftover water. Then, upon his instruction, we opened the camel’s mouth and poured some of that water into the camel’s mouth and then some upon its neck, its shoulders, its hump, its back and its tail. Then the Holy Prophetsa supplicated, ‘O Allah! Make it possible for Raafi and Khallad to ride on it and to reach their destination.’ The Holy Prophetsa then left and we also stood up to depart. We caught up with the Holy Prophetsa at outskirts of Mansaf. Our camel was at the forefront of the caravan. When the Holy Prophetsa saw us, he smiled. We continued travelling until we reached Badr. While returning from Badr, when we reached Musalla, the camel sat down again. Upon this, my brother slaughtered it and distributed its meat as Sadaqah [charity].” Hazrat Ubaid bin Zaid was also present with them during this incident. (Usdul Ghaba Fi Marifati Al-Sahaba, Vol. 2, p. 181, Muaz bin Rifa‘ahra, Dar-ul-Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2002)(Imtaa’ul Asmaa’, Vol. 1, p. 93, Bab Khabrul Eer Alladhi Burika, Dar-ul-Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1999) (Kitabul Maghazi Li Al-Waaqidi, Vol. 1, p. 39, Badrul Qitaal, Dar-ul-Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2013)

Another Badri companion was Hazrat Zahirra bin Haraam al Ashja‘i. He belonged to the Ashja‘ tribe. He accompanied the Holy Prophetsa in the Battle of Badr. 

Hazrat Anasra bin Malik narrates, “Among those who lived in the villages was a man by the name of Zahirra. He used to bring presents from his village for the Holy Prophetsa. Before returning to his village, the Holy Prophetsa would also grant him provisions. The Holy Prophetsa used to say

إِنَّ زَاهِرًا بَادِيَتُنَا وَحَاضِرُوهُ

‘Zahirra is our friend from the rural area and we are his friends from the city.’”

The Holy Prophetsa had great love for him. Hazrat Zahir was a man of average appearance. Once, while Hazrat Zahir was selling some of his merchandise in the market, the Holy Prophetsa approached from behind and embraced him. It is also mentioned in another narration that the Holy Prophetsa came from behind and covered his eyes with his hands so that Hazrat Zahir could not see the Holy Prophetsa. Upon this, he enquired who it was and asked to be released. However, when he turned, he realised it was the Holy Prophetsa. Recognising the Holy Prophetsa means that when he turned slightly, he may have caught a glimpse of the Holy Prophetsa and realised it was him. Upon realising that it was in fact the Holy Prophetsa, he pressed his back against the blessed chest of the Holy Prophetsa. The Holy Prophetsa, in a light-hearted manner, said, “Who will purchase this slave?” Hazrat Zahir said, “O Prophet of Allahsa! You will make an unprofitable sale. Who is going to buy me?” Upon this, the Holy Prophetsa said, “In the sight of God, you are not an unprofitable sale. In the sight of God, you are of great value.” (Usdul Ghaba Fi Marifati Al-Sahaba, Vol. 2, p. 98) (Al-Isti‘aab Fi Ma’rifati Al-Sahaba, Vol. 2, p. 509, Zahir bin Al-Haramra, Dar-ul-Jeel, Beirut, 1992) (Al-Shama’il Al-Muhammadiyyah Li Al-Tirmidhi, p.143, Bab Maa Jaa’a Fi Sifati Mazaahi Rasul Allahsa, Ahyaa Al-Turath Al-Arabi, Beirut)

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra has also mentioned this incident on one occasion in relation to the compassion of the Holy Prophetsa. Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states: “The Holy Prophetsa was once going to the market, when he saw a poor companion, who had an unsightly appearance, carrying his merchandise in the severe heat. His entire body was covered in sweat and dust. The Holy Prophetsa quietly went behind him and just as children playfully and secretly place their hands on the eyes of another person and ask for that person to guess who placed their hands on their eyes, the Holy Prophetsa did the same. Having felt his soft hands, he realised it was the Holy Prophetsa and out of extreme love, he began to press his body, that was full of sweat, against the clothes of the Holy Prophetsa. The Holy Prophetsa continued to smile and then said, “I have a slave. Is there anyone who would like to purchase him?” Upon this, the companion said, “O Prophet of Allahsa! Who in the world would buy me?” The Holy Prophetsa replied, “You should not say this. You are extremely valuable in the sight of God.” (Sair-e-Ruhani, p. 489, Qadian, 2005)

Thus, these people were blessed to have been shown such astonishing expressions of love.

The Holy Prophetsa stated on one occasion:

إِنَّ لِكُلِّ حَاضِرَةٍ بَادِيَةٌ وَبَادِيَةُ آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ زَاهِرُ ابْنُ الْحَرَام

That is, every person living in the city has a relationship with someone from the village, and the person from the village, with whom the family of the Holy Prophetsa had a relationship with, was Zahir bin Haram. He later migrated to Kufa. (Al-Isti‘aab Fi Ma’rifati Al-Sahaba, Vol. 2, p. 509, Zahir bin Al-Haramra, Dar-ul-Jeel, Beirut, 1992) 

The next companion whom I shall mention is Hazrat Zaidra bin Khattab. He was the elder brother of Hazrat Umarra and had accepted Islam before Hazrat Umarra. He was also among the first people to migrate. He participated alongside the Holy Prophetsa in the Battles of Badr, Uhud, Khandaq [trench], and was also present at Hudaibiyah and the Bai‘at-e-Rizwan. The Holy Prophetsa formed a bond of brotherhood between him and Hazrat Ma‘n bin Adi. Both of these companions were martyred during the battle of Yamama. (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra Li-ibn Sa‘d, Vol. 3, p. 288, Zaid bin Khattabra, Dar-ul-Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990) (Al-Isti‘aab Fi Ma’rifati Al-Sahaba, Vol. 2, p. 550, Dhikr Zaid bin Khattab, Dar-ul-Jeel, Beirut, 1992) 

On the day of Uhud, Hazrat Umarra swore by Allah and said to Hazrat Zaidra (Hazrat Zaidra was the elder brother of Hazrat Umarra) that he should put on his armour. Hazrat Zaidra put on the armour for a few moments and took it off at the time of war. When Hazrat Umarra enquired of him the reason for taking off the armour, Hazrat Zaidra replied, “I also desire that martyrdom which you also wish for.” Hence, both of them removed their armour. (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra Li-ibn Sa‘d, Vol. 3, p. 289, Zaid bin Khattabra, Dar-ul-Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990)

Hazrat Zaidra bin Khattab narrates that on the occasion of Hajjat-ul-Wida‘ [farwell pilgrimage of the Holy Prophetsa], the Holy Prophetsa said, “You should take care of your slaves, feed them of what you eat yourself and dress them with the clothes you dress yourself with. Furthermore, if they commit an error, which you are unable to forgive, then, O servants of God, you should sell them and not punish them.” 

When the Muslims were weakened during the battle of Yamama, Hazrat Zaidra recited this prayer out aloud saying: “O Allah! I beg pardon for my companions who have fled and I absolve myself from any responsibility for what Musaylimah Kazzab and Muhakam bin Tufail have committed.” He then firmly took hold of the flag, entered the rows of the enemy and marching forward, demonstrated his excellent swordsmanship, until he was martyred. (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra Li-ibn Sa‘d, Vol. 3, p. 288, Zaid bin Khattabra, Dar-ul-Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990)

When Hazrat Zaidra was martyred, Hazrat Umarra said, “May Allah have mercy on Zaid. My brother surpassed me in two virtues; i.e. he accepted Islam before me and was also martyred before me.” (Al-Isaba fi Tamyiz Al- Sahaba, Vol. 4, p. 500, Dhikr Zaid bin Al-Khattab)

In a narration, it is mentioned that Hazrat Umarra heard Mutammimra bin Nuwayra recite some poetic verses in remembrance of his brother, Malik bin Nuwayra, upon which Hazrat Umarra said, “If I could compose great verses like you, I would also have recited similar verses in remembrance of my brother Zaidra, as you have recited for your brother.” Upon this, Mutammimra bin Nuwayra said, “If my brother departed this world in manner your brother did, I would never be grieved”. Hazrat Umarra replied, “Until this day, no one has consoled me in the same manner as you have.” (Al-Isti‘aab Fi Ma’rifati Al-Sahaba, Vol. 2, p. 553, Dhikr Zaid bin Khattab, Dar-ul-Jeel, Beirut, 1992) 

There is another detailed narration regarding this incident. Hazrat Umarra said to Mutammimra bin Nuwayra, “You must be extremely grieved at the death of your brother” He pointed towards one of his eyes and said, “This eye of mine lost its sight due to this very grief. I wept so profusely with my functioning eye that even the defective eye assisted in shedding tears.” Hazrat Umarra said that this was such an extreme state of grief, that perhaps, nobody who lost a relative had grieved more than him. Hazrat Umarra further said, “May Allah have mercy on Zaid bin Khattab. If I was capable of composing verses, I would certainly also have wept for Zaidra as you weep for your brother.” Hazrat Mutammimra said, “O Amirul-Momineen [leader of the faithful]! If my brother would have been martyred during the Battle of Yamama in the same manner as your brother was, I would never have wept for him.” These words touched Hazrat Umar’s heart and consoled him about his brother. Hazrat Umarra was immensely grieved at the loss of his brother. He used to say that when the morning breeze blew, he could smell the fragrance of Zaidra. (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra Li-ibn Sa‘d, Vol. 3, p. 289, Zaid bin Khattabra, Dar-ul-Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990)

One of the associates of Musaylimah Kazzab, Rajjal bin Unfuwah, was killed by Hazrat Zaidra bin Khattab. In one narration, Rajjal bin Unfuwah has been mentioned as Nahaar. This was the person who initially accepted Islam and took part in the migration and was also a qari [a person who recites the Quran according to the correct rules of recitation] but in the end, joined Musaylimah. (Therefore, we should always pray for our end to be good.) He said to him: “I heard the Holy Prophetsa say that he has included you in his prophethood.” This was the greatest trial for Banu Hunaifa. Hazrat Abu Hurairara narrates, “I was once sitting in the company of the Holy Prophetsa with a delegation. Rajjal bin ‘Unfuwah was also with us. The Holy Prophetsa said that there is an individual among you, whose molar teeth would be in the fire as tall as the mountain of Uhud. (In other words, he will be in the pit of fire and) He will mislead a group of people. Later, only Rajjal bin ‘Unfuwah and I remained alive and I would always remain apprehensive about this, until Rajjal bin ‘Unfuwah joined Musaylimah Kazzab and testified to his prophethood.” (Al-Isti‘aab Fi Ma’rifati Al-Sahaba, Vol. 2, pp. 551-552, Dhikr Zaid bin Khattab, Dar-ul-Jeel, Beirut) 

Rajjal bin Unfuwah was killed in the battle of Yamama by Hazrat Zaidra bin Khattab. 

Hazrat Zaidra bin Khattab was martyred by Abu Maryam Al Hanafi. After Hazrat Abu Maryam had accepted Islam, Hazrat Umarra asked if he was the one who had martyred Zaidra. He replied to Hazrat Umarra, “O Amirul-Momineen! Allah the Almighty granted honour to Hazrat Zaidra through me, and Allah did not destroy and humiliate me through him.” Hazrat Umarra said to Hazrat Abu Maryam, “In your estimation, how many of your people were killed at the hands of the Muslims on the day of Yamama?” Abu Maryam replied: “A little over 1,400 men”. Hazrat Umarra said: “How pitiful was the end of those who were killed!” Abu Maryam said, “All praise belongs to Allah who enabled me to live on to the extent that I was drawn towards the religion that Allah had chosen for His Prophet and Muslims.” Hazrat Umarra was pleased by this statement of Abu Maryam. Later, Abu Maryam became the qazi (judge) of Basra [Iraq]. (Al-Isti‘aab Fi Ma’rifati Al-Sahaba, Vol. 2, p. 121, Dhikr Zaid bin Khattab, Dar-ul-Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2002) (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra Li-ibn Sa‘d, Vol. 3, pp. 288-289, Zaid bin Khattabra, Dar-ul-Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990) 

Details of the next companion relate to Hazrat Ubadara bin Khashkhash. Waaqdi has related the name of Ubada bin Khashkhash as Abda bin Has-has whereas Ibn Mandah has related his name as Ubada bin Khashkhash Anbari. Nonetheless, he was from the Balli Tribe. He was the paternal and maternal cousin of Hazrat Mujazzar bin Ziyaad. He was the confederate of the Banu Saalim. (Usdul Ghaba Fi Marifati Al-Sahaba, Vol. 3, p. 53, Ubadara bin KhashKhaash)

Hazrat Ubada bin Khashkhash took part in the Battle of Badr where he captured Qais bin Saaib. Hazrat Ubada bin Khashkhash was martyred on the day of the Battle of Uhud. He was buried alongside Hazrat Nauman bin Maalik and Hazrat Mujazzar bin Ziyaad in the same grave. (Usdul Ghaba Fi Marifati Al-Sahaba, Vol. 3, p. 157, Ubadara bin Al-KhashKhaash, Dar-ul-Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2003) (Usdul Ghaba Fi Marifati Al-Sahaba, Vol. 3, p. 513, Ubadaa bin Al-Has-haasr, Dar-ul-Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2003)

The next companion is Hazrat Abdullahra bin Jad. His father’s name was Jad bin Qais whose title was Abu Wahab and he was from the Banu Salama, one of the tribes of the Ansar. His maternal cousin was Hazrat Muazra bin Jabal. Hazrat Abdullah bin Jad participated in both the Battles of Badr and Uhud. (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra Li-ibn Sa‘d, Vol. 3, p. 430, Abdullah bin Al-Jadra, Dar-ul-Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990) (Usdul Ghaba Fi Marifati Al-Sahaba, Vol. 1, p. 589, Abdullah bin Al-Jadra, Dar-ul-Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2003) 

At the Battle of Tabuk, the Holy Prophetsa said to Abu Wahab, the father of Hazrat Abdullah bin Jad, “Abu Wahab, will you not join us for the battle on this occasion?” Abu Wahab replied, “Please excuse me, and do not put me through any trial.” He then stated a very peculiar justification to the Holy Prophetsa saying: “I am unable to go because my people know how much I adore women. If I see the women of Ban Asfar (in other words, the Byzantine women) I will not be able to restrain myself.” The Holy Prophetsa turned away and excused him. 

Since he was making excuses, it was best to simply let him be and accept his refusal. When Hazrat Abdullahra bin Jad became aware of the incident, he approached his father and said, “Why did you reject the request of the Holy Prophetsa? I swear by God that you are the wealthiest person among the Banu Salama, and today was the opportunity to take part in the battle. Neither do you go forth for battle yourself, nor do you provide support for others to go.” His father replied, citing another excuse to his son, which was in fact the truth: “O my son! How can I set forth towards the Banu Asfar in such a hot and difficult climate? I swear by God, even in Khurba (the home of the Banu Salama) I do not feel safe in my home and am afraid of them.” He was very afraid of the Byzantines and was a cowardly man. “So how can I proceed to challenge them and enter into battle? O my son! I swear by God that I am fully aware of the times of changing fortunes. I know that circumstances can transform from day to day.” Hearing this from his father, Hazrat Abdullahra became stern towards him and said, “I swear by God, there is hypocrisy in you. Certainly, Allah the Almighty will reveal His words to the Holy Prophetsa in the Holy Quran with reference to you, so everyone can read it.” In other words, Allah the Almighty would manifest his hypocrisy. Hearing this, Hazrat Abdullah’s father took off his shoe and threw it upon Hazrat Abdullah’s face. Hazrat Abdullah departed and did not speak to his father. (Kitabul Maghazi Li Al-Waaqidi, Vol. 2, p. 381, Ghazwah Tabuk, Dar-ul-Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2004) (Wafaa Al-Wafaa, Vol. 4, p. 67, Al-Maktabah Al-Haqqaniyyah, Pashawar) 

It is written in Usdul Ghaaba about Jad bin Qais, the father of Hazrat Abdullahra, that some count him among the hypocrites. Also, that during the treaty at Hudaibiyyah people joined in a pledge of allegiance with the Holy Prophetsa, however he refrained from taking part. It is said that later he repented, and he died in the Khilafat of Hazrat Usmanra. (Usdul Ghaba Fi Marifati Al-Sahaba, Vol. 1, p. 521, Jad bin Qaisra, Dar-ul-Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2003)  

The next companion is Hazrat Harisra bin Aus bin Muaz. He was the nephew of Hazrat Sa‘dra bin Muaz, who was the leader of the Banu Aus tribe. He took part in the battles of Badr and Uhud. It is said that he was martyred in the Battle of Uhud at the age of 28. However other narrations state that he was not martyred in the Battle of Uhud. Hazrat Aishara relates, “During the Battle of Khandaq, following some people I left to go out. I heard the sound of footsteps behind me and when I turned to look I saw Hazrat Saad bin Muaz along with his nephew Haris bin Aus, holding his shield.” This narration establishes the fact that he was still alive after Uhud. (Usdul Ghaba Fi Marifati Al-Sahaba, Vol. 1, p. 589, Harith bin Aus bin Muazra, Dar-ul-Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2003) (Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal, Vol. 8, p. 256, Hadith Aishara, Alam Al- Kutub, Beirut, 1998)

Regarding Hazrat Harisra it is said that he was among those who went to kill Ka‘b bin Ashraf. During the attack, his foot was wounded and began to bleed. The companions lifted him up and took him to the Holy Prophetsa. (Sahih Bukhari, Kitab Al-Tafsir, Kitabul Maghazi, Bab Qatlu Ka‘b bin Ashraf, Hadith 4037) (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra Li-ibn Sa‘d, Vol. 3, p. 334, Wa ibn Akhihimaa Al-Harith bin Ausra, Dar-ul-Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990)

Ka‘b bin Ashraf was one of the people who was from among the leaders of Medina and having entered into a treaty with the Holy Prophetsa, he tried to spread disorder and chaos. As a result of this, the Holy Prophetsa ordered for him to be killed. Nevertheless, further details are found in Sharah Umdatul Qaari regarding the companion who was wounded. It is reported that when Muhammad bin Muslamah, along with his companions, attacked Ka‘b bin Ashraf and killed him, the tip of their sword struck Hazrat Harisra bin Aus and wounded him. His companions lifted him and rushed him to Medina and appeared before the Holy Prophetsa. The Holy Prophetsa put his saliva on the wound of Hazrat Harisra bin Aus, after which he no longer felt any pain. (Umdatul Qari, Vol. 17, p. 179, Kitabul Maghazi, Bab Qatlu Ka‘b bin Ashraf, Darul Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2001)

Previously, I spoke briefly about the incident of why Ka‘b bin Ashraf was killed. Now I shall present further details which Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra has written, even though some of it may be repeated:

“Although Ka‘b was a Jew by religion, he was not actually Jewish by descent; rather, he was an Arab. His father, Ashraf, was a very clever and cunning man of the Banu Nabhan, who came to Medina and developed relations with the Banu Nazir and became their confederate. Ultimately, he managed to gain such power and influence that Abu Rafi‘ bin Abil-Huqaiq, head-chief of the Banu Nazir, gave him his daughter in marriage. It was this very daughter who gave birth to Ka‘b, who grew to attain an even greater status than that of his father. This was to such extent that ultimately, he took on such a capacity that all the Jews of Arabia began to accept him as their chief. In addition to being a well-built and attractive man, Ka‘b was also (well-spoken) an eloquent poet and a very wealthy man. Through generous spending, he would always keep the scholars and other influential personalities of his nation under his own control. However, from a moral perspective, he was a man of extremely ill morals, and was a master in the art of secret schemes and conspiracies.

“When the Holy Prophetsa migrated to Medina, along with the other Jews, Ka‘b bin Ashraf also participated in the treaty,” He has given a lengthy description, so I shall only briefly mention some portions of it, “which the Holy Prophetsa drafted between the Jews with regards to mutual friendship, peace and security, and collective defence. However, deep within, the fire of malice and enmity began to burn in the heart of Ka‘b.” He participated in the treaty but in his heart remained the hypocrisy, enmity and malice, so this is why the fire was burning in his heart. “…and he began to oppose Islam and the Founder of Islam through secret schemes and conspiracies. 

“As such, it is recorded that every year Ka‘b would give a large sum of charity to Jewish scholars and religious leaders. However, after the migration of the Holy Prophetsa, when these people came to collect their yearly allowances, within the course of discussion, he began to mention the Holy Prophetsa and enquired of them as to their opinion of the Holy Prophetsa in light of religious scriptures. They responded that apparently it seemed as if he was the very same Prophet who had been promised to them. 

“Ka‘b (who harboured enmity and malice) was greatly displeased at this response and sent them away referring to them as immensely dull, and did not give them their usual charity. When the Jewish scholars lost their bread and butter, after some time, they came back to Ka‘b and said that they had misinterpreted the signs and that they had contemplated again to discover that in actuality, Muhammadsa was not the Prophet who had been promised to them. This response served the purpose of Ka‘b, and satisfied with their answer, he reinstated their yearly stipend. 

“In any case,” Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra has quite rightly written, “this was merely religious opposition, which although was expressed in an unpleasant manner, could not at all be objectionable, and nor could Ka‘b be brought to task merely on this account. However, after this, the opposition of Ka‘b took on a more dangerous form, and ultimately, after the Battle of Badr, he began to employ such conduct, as was extremely mischievous and seditious, and created very dangerous circumstances for the Muslims. In actuality, prior to the Battle of Badr, Ka‘b thought that this religious zeal was a temporary one, and gradually, all of these people would disperse on their own and revert to their ancestral religion. However, on the occasion of Badr, when the Muslims were granted an extraordinary victory, and most of the chieftains of the Quraish were slain, he understood that this new religion would not die out by itself. Hence, after Badr, he resolved to exert his best efforts to abolish and utterly destroy Islam. 

“The first expression of his heart-felt rancour and jealousy was at the occasion when news of the victory of Badr reached Medina. Upon hearing this news, at the outset, Ka‘b said that this news seemed to be false, because it was impossible for Muhammadsa to triumph over such a large army of the Quraish, and for such renowned chieftains of Mecca to be mixed to dust; if this news was true, then death was better than such a life. When this news had been confirmed and Ka‘b was assured that the victory at Badr had granted Islam such strength as was beyond his wildest dreams, he was overcome with anger and rage. 

“When the Muslims returned after the victory at Badr, he immediately prepared for journey and took to Mecca, and upon reaching there, by the power of his persuasive speech and poetic tongue, inflamed the fire that was kindling in the hearts of the Quraish. He created an unquenchable thirst in their hearts for Muslim blood, and filled their hearts with sentiments of revenge and enmity. Then, when their emotions had become immensely sparked as a result of his incitement, Ka‘b took them to the courtyard of the Ka‘bah, and handing them the drapes of the Ka‘bah, had them swear that they would not rest until Islam and the Founder of Islam had been wiped out from the face of the earth.’ He further writes ‘After creating this fiery atmosphere in Mecca, this evil person turned to the other tribes of Arabia, and travelling from tribe to tribe, he incited people against the Muslims. Then, he returned to Medina and whilst composing Tashbib – i.e. he alluded to Muslim women in a very filthy and obscene manner in his provocative couplets. In doing so, he did not even spare the women from the household of the Holy Prophetsa in his amorous couplets, and had these couplets widely publicised throughout the country. Finally, he hatched a conspiracy to assassinate the Holy Prophetsa. Under the ploy of a feast, he invited the Holy Prophetsa to his residence, and with a few Jewish young men he schemed to have the Holy Prophetsa assassinated. However, by the Grace of God, information was received in advance and this plan of his was unsuccessful.

“In light of the treaty which had been settled between the inhabitants of Medina upon his arrival, the Holy Prophetsa was the chief executive and commander in chief of the democratic state of Medina. Thus, when the state of affairs escalated to such an extent, and charges of infraction of treaty, rebellion, inciting war, sedition, use of foul language and conspiracy to assassinate the Holy Prophetsa had been established, he issued the verdict that Ka‘b bin Ashraf was liable to be put to death due to his actions. The Holy Prophetsa, therefore, instructed some of his companions to execute him. However, due to the sedition of Ka‘b, since the atmosphere of Medina at the time was such that if a formal announcement had been made before his execution, there was a possibility that civil war may have erupted in Medina, and there was no telling how much massacre and carnage would have ensued as a result. The Holy Prophetsa was willing to offer any possible and reasonable sacrifice in order to prevent international violence and bloodshed. Thus, he instructed that Ka‘b should not be executed publicly; rather, a few people should quietly find an opportunity and put an end to him. The Holy Prophetsa assigned this duty to a faithful companion named Muhammad bin Maslamahra, and emphasised that whatever strategy was devised, should be executed with the counsel of Sa‘d bin Muazra, who was the chief of the Aus tribe. Muhammad bin Maslamahra submitted, ‘O Messenger of Allah! In order to kill him silently, we shall be required to say something,’ which meant that some excuse, etc., would be required, by which Ka‘b could be lured out of his residence and executed in a secure location. Taking into account the grave consequences which could have arisen if a covert operation had been ruled out, (the Holy Prophetsa remained silent) then he said, ‘Alright then.’ As such, with the counsel of Sa‘d bin Muazra, Muhammad bin Maslamahra took Abu Na’ilahra and two or three other companions along and reached the residence of Ka‘b. They called Ka‘b out from his living quarters and said, ‘Our Chief (i.e. Muhammadsa) demands charity of us, while we are of straitened circumstances. Would you be so kind as to give us a loan?’ Upon hearing this, Ka‘b jumped with joy and said, ‘By God! This is nothing – the day is not far when you shall become averse to him and abandon him.’ Muhammad bin Maslamahra responded, ‘In any case, we have already accepted Muhammadsa and are now waiting to see the final outcome of this dispensation, but you tell us whether or not you will give us a loan?’ ‘Of course!’ said Ka‘b, ‘But you will be required to deposit some collateral.’ Muhammad bin Maslamahra inquired, ‘What do you require?’ This wretched person responded, ‘Leave your women as collateral.’

 “On hearing this, he became enraged that they should leave their women with a man like him. ‘He [i.e. Ka’b] responded, ‘Alright, then your sons shall do.’ Muhammad bin Maslamahra responded, ‘This is not possible either, we cannot bear the reproach of the whole of Arabia. However, if you are generous enough, we are willing to leave our arms with you as collateral.’ Ka‘b agreed, and Muhammad bin Maslamahra and his companions left with the promise to return at night. At nightfall, this party arrived at the residence of Ka‘b with their weapons as now they were able to openly take their arms along. When they had led Ka‘b out of his home, they restrained him and killed him.” During the struggle, Zaid who has been mentioned above was injured by a sword from his fellow companions. “After Ka‘b had been killed, Muhammad bin Maslamahra and his companions departed from there and quickly presented themselves to the Holy Prophetsa, and conveyed to him the news of his execution.

“When news of the execution of Ka‘b became known the following morning, a tremor rippled through the city, and the Jewish people were deeply enraged. The following day, in the morning, a delegation of the Jews presented themselves before the Holy Prophetsa and complained that their leader Ka‘b bin Ashraf had been murdered in such and such way. The Holy Prophetsa listened to their comments.” He did not deny it, nor did he say that he has no knowledge of the incident, but said, “Are you also aware of the crimes which Ka‘b is guilty of?” Then, the Holy Prophetsa briefly reminded them of all the evil schemes which Ka‘b was guilty of, i.e., infraction of treaty, inciting war, sedition, use of foul language and conspiracy of assassination, etc. Upon this, the people became fearful and did not say a word.” It was only after this that their anger subsided and understood the reality of the matter that this was the appropriate punishment. After this, the Holy Prophetsa said, “At least from here onwards, you would do well to live in peace and harmony, and do not sow the seed of enmity, violence and disorder.” As such, with the agreement of the Jews, a new treaty was drafted, and the Jews promised once again to live with the Muslims in peace and harmony, and to abstain from a course of violence and disorder. This treaty was entrusted to Hazrat Alira. Furthermore, nowhere in history is it recorded that after this, the Jews ever mentioned the execution of Ka‘b bin Ashraf and accused the Muslims, for in their hearts they knew that Ka‘b received the rightful punishment due to him.”

Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra writes that Western historians raise the allegation that the Holy Prophetsa wrongfully ordered the execution of Ka‘b bin Ashraf. Negating this allegation, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra Sahib writes that it was not an erroneous decision “since Ka‘b bin Ashraf had entered into a formal agreement of peace and security with the Holy Prophetsa. Scheming against the Muslims was out of the question, especially when he had agreed to support the Muslims against all foreign enemies and to maintain friendly relations with the Muslims. By virtue of this treaty, he had also accepted that the Holy Prophetsa would be the chief executive of the democratic state which had been established in Medina, and that the verdict of the Holy Prophetsa would be legally binding in all disputes.”

Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra further writes: “Therefore, historical evidence proves that under this very treaty, Jewish people would present their cases before the Holy Prophetsa and he would administer verdicts to them… In these circumstances, ignoring all of his treaties and agreements, Ka‘b committed treason against the Muslims, as a matter of fact, against the very government of the time. He planted the seed of violence and disorder in Medina; he attempted to inflame a fire of war within the country and dangerously incited the tribes of Arabia against the Muslims; he composed provocative couplets against the Muslim women, whilst composing Tashbib; and conspired to assassinate the Holy Prophetsa. Furthermore, all of this was done in such a time, when the Muslims were already surrounded by difficulties from all four directions.”

In such circumstances, the crime committed by Ka‘b, or more appropriately, the stack of crimes committed by Ka‘b warranted punitive measure and hence, this action was taken against him. 

Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra writes: “Even today, in countries which are known as ‘civilised’, when a criminal is guilty of the crimes of rebellion, infraction of treaty, inciting war, and attempted assassination, is such a person not administered the death penalty?” So how can one then raise this as an allegation?

The second question relates to the method of the execution as to why he was killed discreetly in the night. Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra writes about this: 

“With regard to this issue, it should be remembered that there was no formal ruling power in Arabia at the time (even though they had elected a leader). Rather, every individual and every tribe was free and independent.” They would come to the Holy Prophetsa for decisions that were needed to be made as a whole for everyone, but they were also free to make their own decisions amongst their own tribes as well. 

“In this state, which court of law existed where a case could be filed against Ka‘b and a formal judgement for his execution could be sought? Should a complaint have been lodged with the Jews, of whom he was a leader, and who had themselves committed treachery against the Muslims already, and would create disorder every other day?” 

Thus, it was impossible to go to the Jews for a decision. 

“Should justice have been sought from the tribes of Sulaim and Ghatafan, who had planned to launch a sudden attack on Medina at night three or four times, in the last few months alone?” These were also their own tribes, therefore it was not possible to get any justice from them. 

Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra further writes:

“Reflect on the state of Arabia at the time, and then contemplate that when a person was guilty of provocation, inciting war, mischievous behaviour and attempted assassination, and due to this, his remaining alive was felt to be a threat to their own security and the security of the country, what other alternative was available to the Muslims, except for executing such a person when the opportunity presented itself, in the consideration of self-defence. It is far more beneficial for an evil and violent man to be executed, as opposed to the lives of many peace-abiding citizens being put to danger, and the peace of the country being ruined.” 

God Almighty also states that spreading evil and disorder is worse than killing. 

Then, in light of the treaty which took place between the Muslims and Jews after the migration, the Holy Prophetsa did not possess the capacity of an ordinary citizen. On the contrary, he had now become the chief executive of the democratic state which had been established in Medina. The Holy Prophetsa had been given the authority to issue whatever verdict he deemed appropriate with respect to all disputes and political affairs. Hence, in the interest of domestic peace, if the Holy Prophetsa declared Ka‘b as being worthy of death due to his mischievous behaviour, it is therefore completely futile to raise an allegation against this after 1,300 years have elapsed because the Jews themselves found this punishment of Ka‘b as being reasonable in light of his crimes, and took to silence without raising a single objection. (Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, Sirat Khatam-un-Nabiyyin, pp. 467-473)

This was the state of Ka‘b and it was in reference to this that Hazrat Harisra bin Aus bin Muaz was mentioned as he was a part of this group who were sent to kill him. Also, all those allegations levelled against the Holy Prophetsa or against Islam being a religion of oppression are all baseless. In fact, Ka‘b was liable to punishment and in the capacity of a leader of the state, the Holy Prophetsa issued this punishment. 

I shall finish today’s sermon with these accounts. 

May God Almighty always protect Islam from such evil ploys. The current state of the Muslims today is that instead of drawing lessons from their past history, they instead are immersed in such evils and in fact they have become the very cause of these evils which exist in Muslim and other governments.  

May God Almighty protect Islam from these evils and enable them to accept the one who has been sent by God Almighty as a guide for this age and for the revival of Islam. 

(Translated by the Review of Religions)

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