Men of Excellence

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Friday Sermon

29 March 2019

Delivered from Baitul Futuh Mosque

Men of Excellence

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

The first of the Badri Companionsra whom I shall mention today is Hazrat Tulaibra bin Umair. His title was Abu Adi. His mother’s name was Arwah, who was the daughter of Abdul Muttalib and hence was the paternal aunt of the Holy Prophetsa. As I mentioned, his title was Abu Adi and he was one of the earliest converts to Islam and accepted Islam while the Holy Prophetsa was at Dar-e-Arqam. (Usdul Ghaba, Vol. 3, p. 93, Tulaib bin Umair, Dar-ul-Kutb Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2003)

Abu Salama bin Abdur Rahman narrates that Hazrat Tulaibra bin Umair accepted Islam at Dar-e-Arqam. After this he went to his mother and informed her that he had become a follower of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa and believed in Allah, the Lord of all the worlds. His mother replied, “Your maternal cousins are indeed more deserving of your help and cooperation than anyone else”, i.e. referring to the Holy Prophetsa and praised her son for having accepted the Holy Prophetsa

She then said, “By God, had we women had the same strength as men, we would also have certainly followed, supported and defended him.” Hazrat Tulaibra replied to his mother saying, “If these are your sentiments, why do you then not accept Islam and follow the Holy Prophetsa? Your brother Hamza has already accepted Islam.” She replied, “Let me first assess the reaction of my sisters. Then, I will join him as well.” 

Hazrat Tulaibra narrates that, “I said to her, ‘I implore you in Allah’s name, please go to the Holy Prophetsa, greet him, accept him and give this testimony that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammadsa is the Messenger of Allah.’ Upon this she said, ‘I also testify that there is none worthy of worship expect Allah and Muhammadsa is the messenger of Allah.’”  After that she used to defend the Holy Prophetsa by way of her speech and also used to urge her son to help and show obedience to the Holy Prophetsa. (Al-Mustadrak Ala Al-Sahihain, Vol. 3, p. 266, Kitab-ul-Marifat Al-Sahaba, Tulaib bin Umair, Hadith no. 5047, Dar-ul-Kutb Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2002) 

It is narrated regarding Hazrat Tulaibra that he was the first person in Islam to have inflicted an injury on an idolater because he insulted the Holy Prophetsa. The details of this incident are as follows: 

Once, Auf bin Sabrah Sahmi was insulting the Holy Prophetsa, when Hazrat Tulaibra picked up a camel’s jawbone and injured him by hitting him with it. Someone complained to his mother, Arwah, saying, “Have you not seen what your son has done?” She replied:

اِنَّ طُلَيْبًا نَصَرَ ابْنَ خَالِهٖ

وَاسَاهُ فِي ذِي دَمِهٖ وَمَالِهٖ

Meaning, “Tulaib has simply come to the aid of his maternal cousin. He has shown sympathy to him with his blood and his property.” 

According to some sources, the name of the individual whom he hit was Abu Ihaab bin Aziz Darmi. According to other narrations, the person whom Hazrat Tulaibra injured was either Abu Lahab or Abu Jahl. According to one narration, when someone complained to his mother regarding his attack, she replied, “The best day in the life of Tulaib is one in which he defends his maternal cousin –  i.e. the Holy Prophetsa – who has come with the truth from God Almighty.” ((Al-Asaba Fi Tameez Al-Sahaba, Vol. 3, p. 439, Tulaib bin Umair, Dar-ul-Kutb Al-Ilimiyya, Beirut, 1995) (Al-Mustadrak Al’a Al-Sahihain, Vol. 4, p. 57, Kitab-ul-Marifat Al-Sahaba, Arwah bint Abdul Muttalib, Hadith no. 6868, Dar-ul-Kutb Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2002)

Hazrat Tulaibra was among those Muslims who migrated to Abyssinia. However, when the rumour reached Abyssinia that the Quraish had accepted Islam, some Muslims returned to Mecca and Hazrat Tulaibra was also among them. (Sirat ibn Hisham, p. 169, Dar ibn Hazam, Beirut, 2009)

As has been mentioned previously, according to Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra there are some historians, not all, who believe that it was not long after the Muslims had migrated to Abyssinia that a rumour spread that the entire Quraish had entered the fold of Islam and that Mecca had become absolutely peaceful for Muslims. Hence, some people immediately returned, without investigating the matter. Only upon returning did they realise that the news was false. I have already mentioned the details of this in the sermons a few weeks ago. Nevertheless, when they returned and realised the true reality, some sought the protection of the chiefs of Mecca and others returned when they came to know of the truth, as it was a complete fabrication. I have previously already mentioned the reason why this rumour was spread, therefore there is no need to mention it again on this occasion.

Nevertheless, the companions returned as the cruelties afflicted by the Quraish increased by the day. Furthermore, according to the instruction of the Holy Prophetsa, other Muslims were also migrating gradually and in secrecy. It is said that the number of people that migrated to Abyssinia reached 101, which included 18 women. Only a few Muslims remained with the Holy Prophetsa. The return to Abyssinia, as well as the migration of other Muslims during this period, is referred to by the historians as the second migration to Abyssinia. (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, p. 147, 149) 

When Hazrat Tulaibra migrated from Mecca to Medina, he stayed with Hazrat Abdullah bin Salama Ajlani. The Holy Prophetsa formed a bond of brotherhood between Hazrat Tulaibra and Hazrat Munzir bin Amrra. Hazrat Tulaibra participated in the battle of Badr and he is counted amongst the prominent companions of the Holy Prophetsa. He participated in the Battle of Ajnadain, which took place in 13 AH in the month of Jumadi-ul-Ula. He attained martyrdom during this very battle at the age of 35. 

Ajnadain is an area located in Syria, where Muslims and the Byzantines fought in 13 AH. However, according to some sources, he was martyred during the Battle of Yarmouk. (Al-Tabqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Sa‘d, Vol. 3, p. 91, Tulaib bin Umair, Dar-ul-Kutb al-Ilimiyya, Beirut, 1990) (Usdul Ghaba, Vol. 3, p. 94, Tulaib bin Umair, Dar-ul-Kutb Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2003) (Mujam-ul-Buldan, Vol. 1, p. 129, Ajnadain, Dar-ul-Kutb Ilmiyyah, Beirut). 

The next companion to be mentioned is Hazrat Salim Maula Abi Huzaifara. His title was Abu Abdullah and his father’s name was Ma‘qil. As I mentioned, the name of Hazrat Salim’s father was Ma‘qil. He lived in an area called Istakhr, which is situated in Iran. He is counted among the prominent companions of the Holy Prophetsa and he was also among the Muhajireen [Muslims who migrated from Mecca to Medina]. He migrated to Medina prior to the Holy Prophet’ssa migration. The Holy Prophetsa formed a bond of brotherhood between Hazrat Salim and Muaz bin Maidh. (Usdul Ghaba, Vol. 2, pp. 382-383, Salim Maula Abi Huzaifa, Dar-ul-Kutb Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2003).  

Hazrat Salimra was the slave of Thubaita bint Ya‘ar, the wife of Hazrat Abu Huzaifara. In those days, regarding the slaves, there was a general rule that if a slave was released and passed away, then his wealth would be inherited by the owner who freed the slave. However, a sa‘iba was a slave that was freed by their master for the sake of God Almighty and thus, the person who freed him no longer had any right over their wealth after he passed away. Hazrat Salimra was also freed as a sa‘iba. Thereafter, Hazrat Abu Huzaifara took Hazrat Salimra as his adopted son. Thus, he was also known as Salim bin Abi Huzaifa. Hazrat Abu Huzaifara wedded him to his niece, Fatima bint Waleed. (Al-Tabqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Sa‘d, Vol. 3, p. 63, Salim Maula Abu Huzaifa, Dar-ul-Kutb al-Ilimiyya, Beirut, 1990) (Al-Mustadrak Al’a Al-Sahihain [translation], Vol. 4, p. 434 footnote, Ishtiaq. A. Mushtaq Printers, Lahore, 2012) 

God Almighty revealed the following verse: 

اُدۡعُوۡهُمۡ لِاٰبَآئِهِمۡ هُوَ اَقۡسَطُ عِنۡدَ اللّٰهِۚ فَاِنۡ لَّمۡ تَعۡلَمُوۡۤا اٰبَآءَهُمۡ فَاِخۡوَانُكُمۡ فِي الدِّيۡنِ وَ مَوَالِيۡكُمۡ ؕ وَ لَيۡسَ عَلَيۡكُمۡ جُنَاحٌ فِيۡمَاۤ اَخۡطَاۡتُمۡ بِهٖ ۙ وَ لٰكِنۡ مَّا تَعَمّدَتۡ قُلُوۡبُكُمۡ ؕ وَ كَانَ اللّٰهُ غَفُوۡرًا رَّحِيۡمًا

The translation is as follows: 

“Call them by the names of their fathers. That is more equitable in the sight of Allah. But if you know not their fathers, then they are your brothers in faith and your friends. And there is no blame on you in any mistake you may unintentionally make in this matter, but what matters is that which your hearts intend. And Allah is Most Forgiving, Merciful.” (Surah al-Ahzab, Ch.33: V.6)

After the revelation of this verse, Hazrat Salimra became known as “Maula Abu Huzaifa” i.e. the freed slave of Abu Huzaifa. Initially, when he was set free, he was known as the son of Abu Huzaifa, but later, he was referred to as a freed slave or friend of Abu Huzaifara

Muhammad bin Jafar narrates, “When Hazrat Abu Huzaifara and Hazrat Salim Maula Abi Huzaifara migrated from Mecca to Medina, they both stayed at the residence of Hazrat Abbad bin Bishrra.” (Al-Tabqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Sa‘d, Vol. 3, p. 62, Abu Huzaifa bin Utbah, Dar-ul-Kutb al-Ilimiyya, Beirut, 1990)

Hazrat ibn Umarra narrates that when the initial Muhajireen arrived from Mecca, they resided in a place called Usbah which is situated near Quba. Hazrat Salimra would lead them in prayers because he was the one who had the most knowledge of the Holy Quran out of all the others. (Al-Tabqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Sa‘d, Vol. 3, p. 64, Salim Maula Abu Huzaifa, Dar-ul-Kutb al-Ilimiyya, Beirut, 1990),

Masud bin Hunaidah narrates, “When we resided in Quba in the company of the Messenger of Allahsa, we saw a mosque there in which the companions would offer prayers while facing Baitul Maqdas and Hazrat Salim Maulah Abu Huzaifara would lead them in prayer. (Al-Tabqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Sa‘d, Vol. 4, p. 233, Dar-ul-Kutb al-Ilimiyya, Beirut, 1990)

Hazrat Salimra was a qari of the Holy Quran. He was amongst the four companions about whom the Holy Prophetsa had stated that one should learn the Quran from them. (Usdul Ghaba, Vol. 2, p. 382, Salim Maula bin Abi Huzaifah, Dar-ul-Kutb Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2003)

Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra writes, “Then, there were many freed slaves who attained a lofty rank in their knowledge and wisdom. As such, Salim bin Ma‘qil, the freed slave of Abu Huzaifara, was considered to be one of the most distinct scholars from among the companions. Moreover, Salim was also from among the four companions who were appointed by the Holy Prophetsa to teach the Holy Quran. (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, p. 399)

Further relating regarding him, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra writes, “Then, there was Salim bin Ma‘qil … who was an ordinary freed slave of Abu Huzaifara bin Utbah. However, he progressed in his knowledge and wisdom to the extent that he was among the four companions who were appointed among the Muslims by the Holy Prophetsa to teach the Holy Quran and were deemed worthy enough to be his representatives in this respect.” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, p. 403)

According to another narration, the Messenger of Allahsa stated that one should learn the Quran from four companions: Hazrat Abdullahra bin Masud, Hazrat Salim Maulah Abu Huzaifara, Hazrat Ubbayra bin Kaab and Hazrat Muaz bin Jabalra. (Sahih Bukhari, Kitab Fazail-ul-Sahaab-ulNabi, Munaaqib Salim Maula Abi Huzaifah, Hadith no. 3758)

In one of the traditions it states that once Hazrat Aishara arrived a little late to see the Holy Prophetsa. The Holy Prophetsa asked her why she was late, and she replied, “A qari was reciting the Holy Quran in the most beautiful manner. I began listening to his recitation of the Quran, and thus got late.” The Holy Prophetsa put on his cloak and went outside and saw that it was Hazrat Salimra who had been reciting the Holy Quran. Upon seeing this, the Prophetsa proclaimed, “I thank God Almighty, Who has granted my people such a beautiful qari as yourself.” (Usdul Ghaba, Vol. 2, p. 383, Salim Maula Abi Huzaifah, Dar-ul-Kutb Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2003)

On the occasion of Uhud, when the Holy Prophetsa was injured, it was Hazrat Salimra who had the honour of washing his wounds. Qatadah relates that on the day of the Battle of Uhud, the Holy Prophet’ssa blessed forehead and teeth (between his front and canine teeth) sustained injuries. Hazrat Salim Maula Abu Huzaifah was washing the Prophet’s wounds while the Prophetsa was saying, “How can a nation who has dealt so cruelly with its Prophet ever be successful?”

On this occasion, the following verse was revealed:  

لَيۡسَ لَكَ مِنَ الۡاَمۡرِ شَيۡءٌ اَوۡ يَتُوۡبَ عَلَيۡهِمۡ اَوۡ يُعَذِّبَهُمۡ فَاِنَّهُمۡ ظٰلِمُوۡنَ

Meaning, “Thou hast no concern in the matter: He may turn to them in mercy or punish them, for they are wrongdoers.” [Surah Al-e-Imran, Ch.3: V.129]

Hazrat Salimra relates that the Holy Prophetsa said, “On the Day of Judgement, a particular group of people shall be summoned” (this is something worth listening to very carefully), “who shall have virtues equal to mountains of Tihamah.” Tihamah is a mountain range in a region of uneven terrain off the coast of the Arab peninsula which begins from Sinai and extends to the south-western side of Arabia. There is a certain part of this mountain range which begins from the Gulf of the Red Sea. The Holy Prophetsa said, “The good works of these people shall be equal to the Tihamah mountain range. However, when these virtuous deeds are presented before God, He shall reject them and shall cast these people into the fire.” 

Upon hearing this, Hazrat Salimra said, “O Messengersa of Allah, may my parents be sacrificed for you! Please specify the characteristics of such people so that we may recognise them! I swear by that God Who has raised you as a Prophet that I fear becoming among these people.”

Upon this, the Holy Prophetsa said, “There will be such people who” (it is vitally important to take note of this), “shall be such that they will keep fasts, offer the daily prayers, and sleep very little at night to offer voluntary supplications. However, whenever unlawful things shall be presented before them, they shall readily partake of them. Sometimes, despite all these acts of virtue, these people will fall prey to worldly greed, and will not care about what is permissible and what is forbidden. And so, God shall reject their good works.” (Urdu Daira Ma’arif Islamiyyah, Vol. 6, p. 851, Tihamah, Danish Gah, Punjab, Lahore, 2005) (Marifat Al-Sahaba La Abi Naeem, Vol. 2, p. 483, Salim Maula Abi Huzaifa, Hadith no. 3456, Dar-ul-Kutb Al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon, 2002)

Hazrat Thoban relates that the Holy Prophetsa said, “I have knowledge about certain individuals among my people who shall come with shining good deeds which shall be as high as the Tihamah mountains, but God Almighty shall deem them worthless and scatter them into the wind.” 

This is yet another version of the same narration. Hazrat Thoban implored, “O Messenger of Allah, inform us of some of their distinguishing characteristics; tell us about them in some more detail, lest we unknowingly become like them.” 

The Holy Prophetsa replied, “They are your own brothers, who resemble your complexion (i.e. they are from their own people and share their skin colour). They also spend their nights in worship just like you, however they are such people that when they approach that which God Almighty has forbidden and deemed unlawful, they completely disregard this injunction and partake of it.” (Sunan Ibn Majah, Kitab Al-Zuhd, Baab Zikr Al-Zanuub, Hadith no. 4245)

The things which God has forbidden, they have no regard for what is permissible and what is not, and then the materialistic world dominates them. Hence, it is a moment for constant reflection and continuous fear for a believer and may God always enable everyone to keep evaluating themselves. 

The names of Hazrat Abdullah bin Umar’sra sons were Salim, Waaqid and Abdullah. He had named them after various prominent companions of the Holy Prophetsa. One of the sons was Salim, who was named after the companion, Salim Maula Abu Huzaifahra

Saeed bin Al Musayyab relates that Hazrat Abdullah bin Umarra once asked him “Do you know why I have kept my son’s name Salim?” Saeed replied that he did not know. He said, “I have named my son after Hazrat Salim Maula Abu Huzaifahra.” He then asked, “Do you know why I have kept my son’s name Waaqid?” Replying in the negative, Saeed again said he did not know. He said, “I have named him after Hazrat Waaqid bin Abdullah Yarbu’ira.” He then asked, “Do you know why I have kept my son’s name Abdullah?” When he expressed that he did not know, he replied, “I have named him Abdullah after Hazrat Abdullah bin Rawahara”. (Al-Tabqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Sa‘d, Vol. 4, p. 119, Dar-ul-Kutb al-Ilimiyya, Beirut, 1990)

Thus, the companionsra held the senior and prominent companionsra of the Holy Prophetsa with great esteem and would purposefully name their children after them. Hazrat Abdullah bin Umarra narrates, “Once while on a military expedition with the Holy Prophetsa, some of the people became a little anxious.” Abdullah bin Umarra states, “I set out with my weapon and while proceeding ahead, my glance fell upon Hazrat Salim Maula Abi Huzaifahra who likewise had set out fully armed. His dignified face was replete with serenity as he walked ahead of me without the slightest sign of distress.” Abdullah states, “I decided to walk right behind this pious man. I continued to walk behind him until we arrived in the presence of the Holy Prophetsa and sat right beside him. The Holy Prophetsa was in a state of displeasure and came forth and said:

‘O People! What is this fear and distress that you are displaying? Have you become incapable of displaying the steadfastness and courage these two believers have shown?’” (Al-Tarikh Al-Kabir, Vol. 6, p. 127, Baab-ul-Ain, Hadith no. 8538, Dar-ul-Kutb al-Ilimiyya, Beirut, 2001)

Meaning, all must show such resilience and be free of any anxiousness just as Hazrat Salimra and Hazrat Abdullah bin Umarra had pledged to remain firm even at the most difficult of times. 

Ibn Ishaaq mentions that after the conquest of Mecca, the Holy Prophetsa sent various delegations to the outskirts of the city for inviting the scattered tribes towards Islam. These groups were not commanded to fight but only to spread the message of Islam. The Holy Prophetsa had instructed them not to engage in any war. The Holy Prophetsa had sent Hazrat Khalidra bin Waleed towards the Banu Jazimah tribe for the purpose of propagating Islam. However, upon seeing Hazrat Khalidra, the people of that tribe took up their arms against him. When Hazrat Khalidra saw their reaction, he replied: 

“The people of Mecca have accepted Islam, there remains no need to raise arms anymore.” 

A certain individual named Jadham from amongst them loudly declared:

“I will never put down my arms. I have no trust in Khalid. By God, after we put down our arms, we will be taken as captives; and after captivity, we will be beheaded.”

A few of his own people seized him and said:

“O Jadham! Do you desire that our blood be spilled? Indeed, they have thrown down their weapons and the fighting has ceased.” 

They then disarmed him and threw down any weapons they had. When they gave up their weapons, Hazrat Khalidra had some of them killed and imprisoned the rest of them; each one of the members of the delegation was assigned a prisoner. The following morning, they were ordered to kill the prisoner in their custody.

Hazrat Salim Maula Abu Huzaifahra said: “By God! I will not kill any of my prisoners, nor will any of my men.” 

Ibn Hisham says, “One man from among them slipped out and went to the Holy Prophetsa and explained the entire incident to him. The Holy Prophetsa asked, ‘Did anyone show aversion to Khalid’s actions?’ (The Holy Prophetsa was displeased by what had transpired and asked if anyone had opposed it.) He replied, ‘Yes, one individual who had a fair complexion and was of medium build, expressed his disapproval. When Khalid rebuked him, he fell silent. Another individual, who was fairly tall, also expressed his discontentment. However, Khalidra also argued with him as well and they exchanged heated words.’ Upon this, Hazrat Umarra said, ‘O Messengersa of Allah! I know who these two men are. One is my son, Abdullah, and the other is Salim Maula Abu Huzaifahra.’”

Ibn Ishaq states, “The Holy Prophetsa called for Hazrat Alira and said to him, ‘Go to them and enquire about the matter; what took place and what was the reason behind it? Put an end to this matter which resembles actions that were committed in the Jahiliyyah [period before the advent of Islam].’” 

The Holy Prophetsa said that since the actions were done out of sheer negligence, therefore it ought to be put to an end. “Thus, Hazrat Alira took the provisions given to him by the Holy Prophetsa. The Holy Prophetsa not only sent Hazrat Alira, but sent money and other provisions as blood-money for the loss of personnel and wealth. (The reason the Holy Prophetsa sent wealth was as blood money for the loss they had sustained owing to this unlawful act.) 

Having handed over the provisions to them, Hazrat Alira was still left with some wealth. He enquired from those people if there was anyone who was yet to receive blood-money? They answered in the negative. As the matter had been dealt with justice, there was nothing left to hand out. Hazrat Alira then said: “Owing to the conscientious instructions issued by the Holy Prophetsa, I will hand over the remaining wealth to you as well, for he knows what you know not.” Thus, Hazrat Alira handed over the wealth to them and reported back to the Holy Prophetsa about what had taken place. The Holy Prophetsa stated, “You have most certainly discharged your duty in the correct manner.” The Holy Prophetsa then turned towards the Qiblah, raised both his hands and recited the following prayer three times:

اَللّٰهُمَّ اِنِّيْ اَبْرَأُ اِلَيْكَ مِمَّا صَنَعَ خَالِدُ ابْنُ الْوَلِيْد

‘O my Lord! I am absolved from the actions committed by Khalid.’” (Sirat ibn Hisham, pp. 557-558, Dar ibn Hazam, Beirut, 2009), (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Kitab-ul-Maghazi, Hadith no. 4339)

A grave injustice was committed. Even though this injustice or error was committed by one of his own people, the Holy Prophetsa not only prayed to be absolved from this matter, but in order to console the innocent party, he offered blood-money as well as other provisions and tried his utmost to offer them support. Despite the fact that they were enemies and had taken arms, the Holy Prophetsa did not approve of this act. This was the standard of justice of the Holy Prophetsa.

Ibrahim bin Hanzalah narrates on the authority of his father that on the day of the Battle of Yamama, Hazrat Salim Maula Abu Huzaifahra was told that he would be the flag-bearer of the army. However, some others said that they feared for his life, therefore would hand over the flag to someone else. Hazrat Salimra said, “In such a case, my knowledge of the Quran would be to no avail.” Meaning that despite having a deep understanding of the Holy Quran, it would be of no benefit if he did not act upon those teachings, or that despite his knowledge of the Quran, if he feared for his life and failed to act on the important commandments of the Quran, then that knowledge would be futile. Nevertheless, during the battle, when Hazrat Salim’s right hand was severed, he held the flag in his left hand. When his left hand was severed, he held the flag between his neck and recited the following:

وَمَا مُحَمَّدٌ اِلَّا رَسُوْلٌ ۔۔۔ وَ كَاَيِّنۡ مِّنۡ نَّبِيٍّ قٰتَلَ ۙ مَعَهٗ رِبِّيُّوۡنَ كَثِيۡرٌ

 “And Muhammad is only a Messenger [Ch.3: V.145] … And many a Prophet there has been beside whom fought numerous companies of their followers” [Ch.3: V.147]. When Hazrat Salimra fell down, he asked those near to him about the fate of Hazrat Huzaifahra. They informed him that he had been martyred. He then enquired about another individual and was informed that he too had been martyred. Hazrat Salimra then requested to be placed between both of them. When Hazrat Salimra passed away, Hazrat Umarra gave Hazrat Salim’s inheritance to Thubaita bint Yaar, who had freed Hazrat Salim. However, she refused to accept the inheritance and said that she had freed him as Saiba, i.e. for the sake of God Almighty. Subsequently, Hazrat Umarra gave the inheritance to Baitul Mal [National Treasury]. (Usdul Ghaba, Vol. 2, p. 384, Salim Maula Abu Huzaifah, Dar-ul-Kutb Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2003)

Muhammad bin Thabit narrates that during the battle of Yamama, when the Muslim army became dispersed, Hazrat Salimra stated, “This is not something we would do to the Holy Prophetsa”, i.e. that they would not run away. He dug himself a trench and stood inside it. On that day, he was carrying the flag of the Muhajireen [those who migrated from Mecca] and he fought valiantly, until he was martyred. Hazrat Salim was martyred in 12 AH, during the Battle of Yamama. This battle took place during the caliphate of Hazrat Abu Bakrra. This reference was from Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra. (Al-Tabqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Sa‘d, Vol. 3, Salim Maula Abi Huzaifah, pp. 64-65, Dar-ul-Kutb al-Ilimiyya, Beirut, 1990)

Hazrat Zaid bin Thabitra stated that when Hazrat Salimra was martyred, people would say that they lost one fourth of the Quran. (Al-Mustadrak Al’a Al-Sahihain, Vol. 3, pp. 251-252, Kitab-ul-Marifat Al-Sahaba, Zikr Munaaqib Salim Maula Abi Huzaifah, Hadith no. 5004, Dar-ul-Kutb Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2002)

This meant that out of the four scholars from whom the Holy Prophetsa instructed to learn the Quran, one had departed. 

The next companion is Hazrat Itbaanra bin Malik. He belonged to the Banu Salim bin Auf branch of the Khazraj tribe. The Holy Prophetsa established a bond of brotherhood between him and Hazrat Umarra. Hazrat Itbaanra bin Malik participated in the battles of Badr, Uhud and Khandaq. He began to lose his eyesight during the lifetime of the Holy Prophetsa and passed away during the reign of Hazrat Muawiyahra.  (Al-Tabqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Sa‘d, Vol. 3, pp. 415-416, Dar-ul-Kutb al-Ilimiyya, Beirut, 1990)

When the Holy Prophetsa migrated to Medina, Hazrat Itbaanra bin Malik, along with a few friends, went to see the Holy Prophetsa and requested him to reside with him at his home. However, the Holy Prophetsa said for his camel to be set free as it had been ordained, meaning that it would stop wherever God Almighty commanded for it to stop. (Sirat ibn Hisham, pp. 228-229, Dar ibn Hazam, Beirut, 2009) (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, pp. 267-268)

Hazrat Umarra narrates, “A friend from among the Ansar and I took up residence in Banu Umayyah bin Zaid (this was the name of a village) near Medina and was situated at a height. We would take turns to visit the Holy Prophetsa. One day he would go, and I would go the following day. When I would return, I would inform him of any new revelation granted to the Holy Prophetsa or of any other news, and similarly he would do the same when it was his turn.”

Hazrat Umarra further narrates, “One day, my Ansari friend went on his turn to meet the Holy Prophetsa. When he returned, he knocked on my door loudly and began to enquire about me. Worryingly, I went outside. He said: ‘Something dreadful has taken place.’” Hazrat Umarra states: “Upon hearing this, I went to Hafsara and saw that she was crying. I asked her if the Holy Prophetsa had divorced her? She said that she did not know. I then went to the Holy Prophetsa and enquired whether he had divorced his wives. The Holy Prophetsa replied in the negative. Upon this, I exclaimed ‘Allahu Akbar’ [God is the greatest].” (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Kitab-ul-Ilm, Baab Al-Tanawub fi Al-Ilm, Hadith no. 89)

In some narrations there are more details regarding this incident, which is a lengthy account. For one month, the Holy Prophetsa distanced himself not only from his wives, but also his companions. Owing to this, it was thought that perhaps he had divorced his wives. The Holy Prophetsa had become displeased for some reason. Whatever the reasons may be, this was not one of them.

In his commentary of Bukhari, Hazrat Sayyid Zainul Aabideen Waliullah Shah Sahibra has mentioned this account in which Hazrat Umarra stated that one day he would go to see the Holy Prophetsa and the following day his friend would go. Regarding this, he writes, “If someone cannot make himself available all the time to obtain knowledge, then one can take turns with another, just as Hazrat Umarra took turns with Hazrat Itbaanra bin Malik. One can gauge the passion of the companions from this incident in that they would abandon their work and travel three or four miles and spend the entire day with the Holy Prophetsa.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Kitab-ul-Ilm, Baab Al-Tanawub fi Al-Ilm, Hadith no. 89, Vol. 1, p. 165, Nizarat Ishaat, Rabwah)

However according to Allama Aini in his commentary of Bukhari, Umdatul Qari, he has written, “Although it is stated that the neighbour of Hazrat Umarra was Itbaanra in Malik, however, the fact of the matter is that Hazrat Umar’s neighbour was Aus bin Khawali.” (Umdatul Qari, Vol. 20, p. 256, Kitab-ul-Nikah, Hadith no. 5191, Dar-ul-Kutb al-Ilimiyya, Beirut, 2001)

Nonetheless, Hazrat Umarra stated the name of Hazrat Itbaanra bin Malik in his account.

According to one narration, when Hazrat Itbaan bin Malikra lost his eyesight, he sought permission from the Holy Prophetsa to be excused from attending the mosque for congregational prayer. The Holy Prophetsa asked him whether he could hear the Azan [call to prayer], to which he replied in the affirmative. The Holy Prophetsa therefore did not grant him permission to be excused. 

This is a very well-known Hadith and is often quoted, however there are some more details related to this account. According to a narration from Sahih Bukhari, the Holy Prophetsa later granted permission to Hazrat Itbaanra to offer his prayers at home. Initially, the Holy Prophetsa did not grant permission, but later permitted him to do so. The narration of Bukhari states that Hazrat Itbaanra bin Malik would lead the prayers for the people of his tribe and was blind. He submitted to the Holy Prophetsa: “O Messengersa of Allah! When the rain falls, it causes the valley to flood and it also gets very dark, I am a blind man and therefore ask you to kindly come to my house and so I may designate that area as a place of worship.” He said it was difficult for him to go to the mosque, therefore he had designated an area in his house and requested the Holy Prophetsa to pray there. The Holy Prophetsa visited his house and asked him where he would like him to pray. Hazrat Itbaanra pointed to a particular direction in his house and the Holy Prophetsa performed his prayer there. (Al-Tabqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Sa‘d, Vol. 3, p. 415, Itbaan bin Malik, Dar-ul-Kutb al-Ilimiyya, Beirut, 1990) (Sahih Bukhari, Kitab-ul-Adhan, Hadith no. 667)

Thus, as is proved from various other narrations as well, although he was given permission to offer his prayers in his home, but he still led the prayers in congregation because everyone now gathered at his house. Owing to the extreme weather conditions and consequently the difficulties faced in reaching there, people could not go to the mosque. Thus, if permission was given, it was on the condition that the prayer should be offered in congregation and there was no excuse for this. 

Further expounding on this, Hazrat Syed Waliullah Shah Sahib, in the book of Kitab-ul-Azan of Sahih Bukhari, regarding the chapter on permission to pray in one’s own home due to rain or any other circumstance, explains in its commentary:

“Imam Bukhari is mentioning the circumstances in which one can be exempted from offering the prayer in congregation. Even though the Holy Prophetsa, to whatever extent possible, would seek to create ease and comfort in the religious injunctions, but despite this he still did not grant Hazrat Itbaanra the permission to offer the prayer on his own in his house. Even when the Holy Prophetsa did give permission, it was on the condition that he would still have to read it in congregation.”

He further writes: 

“Hazrat Itbaanra was blind and a stream flowed close to the path that led to the mosque, and according to the narrations, he sought permission from the Holy Prophetsa to offer his prayer at home. The Holy Prophetsa granted him permission but on the condition that he would offer it in congregation.” 

He further writes: 

“If the obligatory prayer could be offered on its own, the Holy Prophetsa would have certainly allowed Hazrat Itbaanra to do so, considering his disability.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol. 2, p. 66, Kitab-ul-Adhan, Hadith no. 667, Nizarat Ishaat, Rabwah)

Thus, this should always be borne in mind. Here in these countries, if the mosque is at a distance and there is also no means of transportation, then I as I have said on many occasions, the Ahmadis should offer their homes as Salat centres where the local neighbouring Ahmadis can gather and offer their prayers in congregation. May God Almighty enable everyone to adhere to these injunctions. 

I shall now lead some funeral prayers in absentia and briefly mention about the deceased. The first is respected Ghulam Mustafa Awan Sahib, who passed away in Rabwah on 16 March at the age of 78 – Inna lillahi wa Inna Ilaihi Rajioon

By the grace of God Almighty, he was a born Ahmadi and Ahmadiyyat entered his family through his paternal grandfather, Diwan Bakhsh Sahib. The deceased was regular in his five daily prayers and in offering the Tahajud prayer. He was a very righteous, compassionate, caring, courteous and social person, who led his life with simplicity. He was a person who was deeply reliant on supplications and prayers. He was very hospitable, cared for the needy and poor and would often help reconcile and heal relations of the others. He would always give precedence to his faith over all worldly things and was an extremely devout individual. He had a deep bond of love with Nizam-e-Jama’at and the institution of Khilafat. 

During his employment, he also spent some time in Saudi Arabia and during his tenure there, he had the opportunity to perform the Hajj 9 times and many Umras. He also had the opportunity to work in the construction work of the Ka‘bah and Masjid al-Nabawi. 

By the grace of God Almighty, he was a Musi. One day, when his health suddenly worsened, his first and foremost thought was that he still had to pay his contribution [towards Wasiyyat] on his property. Thus, upon being granted cure from God Almighty, he immediately sold some of his property and paid his contribution that he owed on his property. He leaves behind his wife, his son, Ahmad Murtaza, who currently resides in Germany and four daughters. Two of his sons-in-law are missionaries, Muhammad Javed Sahib, who is currently serving as a life-devotee in Zambia and Jamil Ahmad Tabassum Sahib, who is currently serving in Russia. The daughters of the deceased who are married to the missionaries, are with their life-devotee husbands in foreign lands and could not go back on the occasion of their father’s demise. They have had to endure this loss whilst away from their homeland, thus may God Almighty grant them patience and strength to bear this loss and may He elevate the station of the deceased.  

The second funeral is of respected Amatul Haye Sahiba, who is the wife of Muhammad Nawaz Sahib of Kathgarhi. She passed away on 15 March – Inna Lillah Wa Inna Illahi Rajiioon

She belonged to a neighbouring village of Qadian called Bagul. She was only two years of age when her father passed away and her father’s elder brother, Muhammad Ibrahim, brought her up. The deceased was a born Ahmadi and Ahmadiyyat entered their family in 1903. After the independence of Pakistan, she migrated there with her uncle’s family and took residence in Jaranwala. Later, in 1981, she migrated to Rabwah for the education of her children and remained in Rabwah till her demise. By the grace of God Almighty, she was a Musia and God Almighty granted her six sons and five daughters. One of her daughters passed away at a young age. 

She encouraged her children to dedicate their lives for the Jamaat and this spirit has continued down in her progeny. Her eldest son, Rana Farooq Ahmad Sahib, is currently serving as a missionary in Nizarat Dawat illa Allah in Rabwah. Her younger son, Hafiz Mahmood Ahmad Tahir, is currently serving as a teacher in Jamia Ahmadiyya Tanzania and he could not go back to Pakistan for his mother’s funeral. Similarly, two of her grandsons are missionaries and one of them is serving in Ghana. Two of her grandchildren are Hafiz-e-Quran [committed the entire Quran to memory]. 

Many of her granddaughters have been married to missionaries and life-devotees. The deceased’s son, Hafiz Mahmood states, “Our parents gave precedence to faith all their life and were always ready to make every sacrifice in order to keep us attached with the Nizam-e-Jamaat and the institution of Khilafat-a-Ahmadiyya and also in offering the five daily prayers. She also had great passion for tabligh. All of her mother’s siblings were non-Ahmadis and she would always try her utmost in doing tabligh to them. It was as a result of her efforts in tabligh that one of the brothers of her mother, Abdul Majeed Sahib, accepted Ahmadiyyat and by the grace of God Almighty, his progeny is also serving the Jamaat. While she was living in Shorkot, the situation against Ahmadis was very hostile in 1953 and 1974. However, she endured this period with great courage and bravery, she did not show any kind of fear.” 

He further writes, “It was during the disturbances of 1974, that the wife of a the head of the village came to our house and delivered a message from her husband which stated that a group of protestors were heading in the direction of the village in order attack the homes of the Ahmadis, therefore the men should leave their homes and hide in the fields and the all the women should go to his house. Our mother replied, ‘We shall remain inside our house, even if our lives are taken.’ In those days, a group of protestors came to our house. At the time, all of the men were out and only my sisters and mother were at home.  She took hold of an axe and began walking in the courtyard of the house. Suddenly someone from outside shouted to launch an attack on their house and she replied from inside, ‘If anyone jumps over the wall and comes inside, I will sever their head from their body just as Hazrat Safiara once picked up someone’s head and threw it out of her home.’ Observing her great strength and courage, the enemy left from there. In 1971, one of her sons, who was either serving in the Army or as a civil servant at the time, was captured as a prisoner of war. he spent three years as a prisoner of war and she spent this time with great patience. Upon his release, our father straight away took him and presented him before Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh.” 

He further states: 

“Our mother had great love for the Holy Prophetsa and she would always ask us to relate accounts from the life of the Holy Prophetsa in the home. Even in her final days, she would speak about the Holy Prophetsa and the Promised Messiahas that they were coming to meet her.” 

May God Almighty elevate her status and grant her His forgiveness. May He also enable her children and progeny to continue her good deeds. 

(Translated by The Review of Religions)

(Originally published in Al Fazl International, 19 April 2019, pp. 5-9)

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