Men of Excellence

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    Friday Sermon

    7 June 2019

    Men of Excellence

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

    From today, I will resume relating accounts of the lives of the Badri companions, i.e. those companions who took part in the Battle of Badr.

    The name of the first of the companions that I will mention today is Hazrat Abdullahra bin Tariq. According to Allamah Zuhri, Hazrat Abdullahra bin Tariq Zafari participated in the Battle of Badr. Urwah has reported his name as Abdullah bin Tariq Balawi, who was a confederate of the Ansar. According to some, Hazrat Abdullahra bin Tariq Balawi was a confederate of the Banu Zafar tribe of the Ansar. According to Ibn Hisham, he belonged to the tribe of Balee and was a confederate of the tribe of Banu Abd bin Rizaah. Hazrat Muattibra bin Ubaid was the stepbrother of Hazrat Abdullahra bin Tariq, born to the same mother. The mother of Hazrat Abdullahra bin Tariq belonged to the Banu Kahil branch of the tribe of Banu Uzra. Hazrat Abdullahra bin Tariq and Hazrat Muattibra bin Ubaid participated in the battles of Badr and Uhud.

    Both of the brothers were martyred during the incident at Raji. Hazrat Abdullahra bin Tariq was among the six companions (according to some narrations, which also includes a narration from Bukhari, it is reported as ten companions), whom the Holy Prophetsa sent to some of the people belonging to the tribes of Adal and Qarah towards the end of 3 AH so that they may introduce them to Islam and teach them about the Holy Quran and the Islamic Shariah. When these people arrived at the place called Raji, which is a fountain in Hijaz that was under the possession of the Huzail tribe, the people of the Huzail tribe transgressed, besieged these companions and waged war against them. The names of seven of those companions are as follows; Hazrat Asimra bin Thabit, Hazrat Marsadra bin Abu Marsad, Hazrat Khubaibra bin Adi, Hazrat Khalidra bin Bukair, Hazrat Zaidra bin Dathinah, Hazrat Abdullahra bin Tariq and Hazrat Muattibra bin Ubaid. From among these, Hazrat Marsadra, Hazrat Khalidra, Hazrat Asimra and Hazrat Muattibra bin Ubaid were martyred immediately. However, when Hazrat Khubaib, Hazrat Abdullah bin Tariq and Hazrat Zaid surrendered, the disbelievers captured them and started to walk them towards Mecca. When they arrived at Zahran, a valley located five miles from Mecca, Hazrat Abdullah bin Tariq managed to get his hand free from the rope and took out his sword. Upon seeing this, the mushrikeen [idolaters] stepped back from him and started to pelt him with stones until he was martyred. His grave is situated in Zahran. 

    The incident at Raji took place in the 36th month after the Hijrah, during the month of Safar. (Sirat ibn Hisham, p. 464, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2001) (Usdul Ghaba, Vol. 3, pp. 284-285, Abdullah bin Tariqra, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2003) (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Sa‘d, Vol. 3, p. 347, Abdullah bin Tariqra  wa Ikhwatul Ummah Muattib bin Ubaid, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990) (Sahih Bukhari, Kitabul Jihad, Hal yasta’siru al-Rajulu…, Hadith 3045) (Mu’jamul Buldan, Vol. 4, p. 247, Dar Ihyaa al-Turath al-Arabi, Beirut)

    Hazrat Hassaanra, while mentioning these companions in one of his poetic works, states:

    وَابْنُ الدَّثِنَةِ وَابْنُ طَارِقٍ مِنْهُمْ

     وَافَاهُ ثَمَّ حِمَامُهُ الْمَكْتُوْبُ

    The opening couplet of this poem is:

    صَلَّى الْإِلٰهُ عَلَى الَّذِيْنَ تَتَابَعُوْا

    يَوْمَ الرَّجِيْعِ فَأُكْرِمُوْا وَأُثِيْبُوْا

    The meaning of the first couplet that I quoted is, “Hazrat Ibn Dathinah and Hazrat Ibn Tariq were from among them – who died at the very location where death was destined for them.” The translation of the opening couplet of his poem is, “God blessed those who were martyred one after the other during the expedition of Raji. Thus, they were bestowed with honour and granted reward.” (Al-Istiab, Vol. 3, pp. 928-929, Abdullah bin Tariq, Dar-ul-Jeel, Beirut, 1992)

    I have previously already mentioned the incident of Raji in relation to other companions. I will mention it briefly again from the detailed account mentioned by Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra:

     “These were days of grave danger for the Muslims and the Holy Prophetsa was receiving horrific news from all four ends. However, the greatest danger posed to the Holy Prophetsa was from the Quraish of Mecca, who had grown very bold and daring due to the battle of Uhud.

    “Perceiving this threat, in the month of Safar4 AH, the Holy Prophetsa assembled a party of ten Companions, appointed Asim bin Thabitra as their Amirand ordered them to secretly go towards Mecca and obtain intelligence with regards to the Quraish, and then inform him about their plans and motives. However, this party had not yet departed, when a few people from the tribes of Adal and Qarah presented themselves before the Holy Prophetsa, and said that many people from among their tribes were inclined towards Islam and that the Holy Prophetsa should send a few men with them, who could convert them to Islam and educate them. The Holy Prophetsa was happy to hear their request and the same party which had been assembled for the reconnaissance mission was sent off with them instead. However, in actuality, as was later discovered, these people were liars and had come to Medina upon the incitement of the Banu Lahyan, who sought revenge for the execution of their chief, Sufyan bin Khalid, and had thus contrived the plan that when the Muslims come out of Medina on this pretence, they would attack them.

    “In lieu of this service, the Banu Lahyan promised the people of Adal and Qarah a hefty reward of many camels. When the treacherous people of Adal and Qarah reached between Asfan and Mecca, they secretly sent word to the Banu Lahyan that the Muslims were accompanying them and that they should come as well. Upon this, 200 young men from the Banu Lahyan, 100 of whom were archers, set forth in pursuit of the Muslims, and subdued them at a place known as Raji. But how could 10 men (whilst according to some narrations were only 7 companions) compete against 200 warriors, who were equipped with weapons? The Muslims, however, owing to the strength and passion of their faith by the grace of God Almighty, had not been taught to throw in their arms.

    “The Companions immediately ascended to a nearby hillock and prepared for battle. The disbelievers, who did not consider deception as being reprehensible, called out to them and said, ‘Come down from the mountain, we give you a firm promise that we shall not kill you.’ Asimra responded, ‘We have no confidence whatsoever in your treaties and agreements. We cannot descend on your guarantee.’ Then, he raised his head towards the heaven and said, ‘O God! You are witnessing our state. Do convey knowledge of our condition to Your Messenger.’ Hence, Asimra and his Companions stood and fought and were finally martyred in battle.  

    “When seven Companions had been put to death, and only Khubaib bin Adiyyra, Zaid bin Dathinahra, and one other Companion were left, the disbelievers whose actual desire was to capture these people alive, called out again and said, ‘There is still time. Come down and we promise not to cause you any harm.’ This time, these innocent Muslims fell into their trap and descended. However, as soon as they stepped down, the disbelievers tied them with the strings of their arrow bows.

    “Upon this, the Companion of Khubaibra and Zaidra, whose name has been recorded in history as being Abdullah bin Tariqra, could not restrain himself and called out, ‘This is your first breach of agreement and who knows what you shall do hereafter,’ and Abdullahra refused to continue along with them. For some distance, the disbelievers dragged Abdullahra along, beating and assaulting him, and then killed him and left him for dead.” Abdullah here is the companion, Abdullah bin Tariqra

    In this narration it stated that the disbelievers took them to Mecca. However, in another narration it states that Abdullah bin Tariq managed to free himself from the rope he was tied to and was ready to fight but was attacked with a stone and martyred. In any case, he was martyred and his body was left there.

    “Moreover, now that their revenge had been sought, in order to please the Quraish, and also in the greed of money, they took Khubaibra and Zaidra and made way to Mecca; upon reaching there, they sold both of them to the Quraish. As such, Khubaibra was purchased by the sons of Harith bin Amir bin Naufal, because Khubaibra had slain Harith in the Battle of Badr and Zaidra was purchased by Safwan bin Umayyah.”

    It is regarding Hazrat Khubaibra that it is stated that while he was held captive, one of the children of the disbelievers, whose house he was held in, ran towards him whilst playing. Hazrat Khubaibra placed him on his lap upon which the child’s mother became extremely anxious as Hazrat Khubaibra had a razor blade in his hand at the time. However, Hazrat Khubaibra told her not worry and that he would not harm the child. Thus, this was the account of how Hazrat Abdullahra bin Tariq was martyred during the incident of Raji in that he refused to go along with the disbelievers and fought against them. (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, pp. 513-515)

    The second companion to be mentioned is Hazrat Aqilra bin Bukair. Hazrat Aqilra bin Bukair belonged to the tribe of Banu Saad bin Laith. (Sirat ibn Hisham, pp. 462-463, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2001)

    Hazrat Aqilra was previously named Ghafil. However, when he accepted Islam, the Holy Prophetsa changed it to Aqil. The name of his father has predominantly been mentioned as Bukair in most books of history. However, it has also been mentioned as Abu Bukair. During the era of ignorance [i.e. prior to the advent of Islam], his father, Bukair, was a confederate of Nufail bin Abd-il-Uzza, who was one of the elders of Hazrat Umarra. Similarly, Bukair and all of his sons were confederates of Banu Nufail. Hazrat Aqilra, Hazrat Amirra, Hazrat Ayyasra and Hazrat Khalidra, all four brothers were the sons of Bukair, all of them accepted Islam in Dar-e-Arqam together and all of them were the first ones to have accepted Islam in Dar-e-Arqam. When Hazrat Aqilra, Hazrat Khalidra, Hazrat Amirra and Hazrat Ayyasra migrated from Mecca to Medina, they gathered all of their men and women and migrated together. In this manner, no one from their households remained behind in Mecca, and their houses were completely sealed. In Medina, all of them stayed with Hazrat Rafa‘ahra bin Abd-il-Munzir. The Holy Prophetsa formed a bond of brotherhood between Hazrat Aqilra and Hazrat Mubashirra bin Abd-il-Munzir and made them as brothers. Both of them were martyred during the Battle of Badr.

    According to one tradition, the Holy Prophetsa formed a bond of brotherhood between Hazrat Aqilra and Hazrat Mujazzirra bin Ziad. Hazrat Aqilra was martyred on the day of the Battle of Badr at the age of 34 and was martyred by Malik bin Zuhair Joshami. (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Saad, Vol. 3, p. 208, Aqil bin Abi al-Bukairra, Dar Ihyaa al-Turath al-Arabi, 1996) (Usdul Ghaba, Vol. 3, p. 113, Aqil bin al-Bukairra, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2008) (Al-Isaba Fi Tamyeez Al-Sahaba, Vol. 4, p. 466, Aqil bin al-Bukairra Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2005)

    Ibn Ishaq says that apart from these four brothers, i.e. Hazrat Ayyasra, Hazrat Aqilra, Hazrat Khalidra and Hazrat Amirra, all of whom who participated in the Battle of Badr, it is not known whether there is any other example of where four brothers participated in the Battle of Badr. (Al-Isaba Fi Tamyeez Al-Sahaba, Vol. 1, p. 310, Ayyas bin al-Bukairra Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2005)

    Zaid bin Aslam narrates that the sons of Abu Bukair presented themselves before the Holy Prophetsa and said, “O Prophetsa of Allah! Please marry our sister to such and such person.” The Holy Prophetsa replied, “What is your opinion about Bilal?” In other words, either all four brothers or perhaps some of them presented themselves before the Holy Prophetsa with regard to the marriage of their sister. The Holy Prophetsa then asked about their opinion regarding Hazrat Bilalra. Since they were not content with this, they left and presented themselves before the Holy Prophetsa a second time and said, “O Prophetsa of Allah! Please marry our sister to such and such person.” The Holy Prophetsa once again asked them, “What is your opinion about Bilal?” Hearing this, they left again. They presented themselves before the Holy Prophetsa a third time and said, “Please marry our sister to such and such person”. The Holy Prophetsa asked, “What is your opinion about Bilal?” The Holy Prophetsa further stated, “What is your opinion about a person, who is among the dwellers of paradise?” Upon this, they agreed to marry their sister to Hazrat Bilalra. (Al-Tabaqat-ul-Kubra li ibn Saad, Vol. 3, p. 126, Bilal bin Rabahra, Dar Ihyaa al-Turath al-Arabi, 1996)

    The name of the next companion to be mentioned is Hazrat Zaidra bin Haritha. Hazrat Zaid’sra father’s name has been mentioned as Haritha bin Sharaheel as well as Haritha bin Shurahbeel. The name of his mother was Sauda bint Tha‘laba. Hazrat Zaidra belonged to the tribe of Banu Quza‘ah, which was a most respected tribe in Yemen. Hazrat Zaidra was young when his mother took him to her village. There, some riders from the tribe of Banu Qain were passing by. They set up their camp during the journey and picked up Zaid, who at the time was still a child, from their camp. They made him their slave and sold him in the market of Ukaaz to Hakim bin Hizam for 400 dirhams. Subsequently, Hakim bin Hizam presented Hazrat Zaidra to his maternal aunt, Hazrat Khadijahra bint Khuwailid. Following this, Hazrat Khadijahra gave Hazrat Zaidra to the Holy Prophetsa along with all of her other slaves. (Al-Sirat al-Nabawiyyah li Ibn Hisham, p. 188, Dhikrul Islam Zaid Thaniyan, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2001) (Siyar al-Sahabah, Vol. 2, p. 165, Hazrat Zaid bin Harithah, Dar Ishaat, Karachi)

    According to one narration, when Hazrat Zaidra was purchased and brought to Mecca, he was only eight years old. (Umdatul Qari Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitabul Jana’iz, Bab man Jalsa indal musibah yu’rafu fil Huzn, Vol. 8, p. 94, Darul Fikr, Beirut)

    The father of Hazrat Zaidra, Haritha, was extremely upset over losing him. A short while later, some men from the Banu Kalb tribe came to Mecca in order to perform Hajj. There, they recognised Hazrat Zaidra. Hazrat Zaidra asked them to tell his family that he was living with a respected family of Banu Muad near the Holy Ka‘bah. Therefore, they did not need to worry. The people of Banu Kalb went to his father and informed him about this. He responded by saying, “I swear by the Lord of the Ka‘bah! Was that my son?” When people shared the details of his appearance with Harithah (Hazrat Zaid’sra father), he left for Mecca with Hazrat Zaid’sra paternal Uncle. In Mecca, they arrived before the Holy Prophetsa and offered Fidya (expiation) in order to acquire the freedom of Hazrat Zaidra. The Holy Prophetsa called for Hazrat Zaidra and sought his opinion regarding this matter. Hazrat Zaidra refused to return home with his father and paternal uncle. (Sair al-Sahabah, Vol. 2, pp. 165-168, Hazrat Zaid bin Harithah, Dar Isha’at, Karachi)

    Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra has detailed this incident in the following manner:

    “When Hazrat Khadijahra married the Holy Prophetsa, she realised in the future when the Holy Prophetsa might need something, he will have to ask her for it as she was very well off and he was not. She thought that perhaps the Holy Prophetsa will be reluctant in asking. Hazrat Khadijahra was an extremely wise woman and knew that it would make things very difficult. Since she was a very intelligent and wise woman, she decided that if she offered her entire wealth to the Holy Prophetsa, this will resolve the issue and the Holy Prophetsa would be able to spend from it as he wished. Hence, only a few days had passed after their marriage that Hazrat Khadijahra said to the Holy Prophetsa, ‘I would like to humbly submit a proposal before you with your permission.’ The Holy Prophetsa stated, ‘What is your proposal?’ Hazrat Khadijahra responded, ‘I have decided to present you with all my wealth and slaves so that everything becomes yours. I would be delighted and fortunate if you would accept this.’ Upon hearing this, the Holy Prophetsa stated, ‘Khadijah, have you carefully reflected upon this idea before making this decision? If you give me all your wealth, then it will become mine and will no longer be in your possession.’ Hazrat Khadijahra stated, ‘I have given this idea much thought before presenting it to you and I have decided that this is the best manner to live a peaceful life.’ The Holy Prophetsa stated, ‘Think about this once more.’ Hazrat Khadijahra responded, ‘Indeed! I have given this much thought.’ The Holy Prophetsa stated, ‘If this is your final decision and you have presented me with all your wealth and slaves, then know that I do not take pleasure in calling another human being like myself, my slave. Firstly, I would like to free all the slaves.’ Hazrat Khadijahra stated, ‘All this wealth is now yours. You may spend it as you wish.’ The Holy Prophetsa was delighted to hear this. He went outside towards the Ka‘bah and announced, ‘Khadijah has presented me with all her wealth and her slaves. I now free all her slaves.’”

    Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra further writes that nowadays, if someone receives wealth, they might consider purchasing a car, constructing a large house, or travelling across Europe.

    In fact, these days I have noticed that in certain cases even if the wife decides to give all her wealth to her husband then not only does he spend it on fulfilling his personal desires, in fact, he also refuses to fulfil the due rights of his wife. Women in such cases feel helpless and the men think that now that they have acquired her wealth, they can treat her like a slave. However, the status and lofty vision of the Holy Prophetsa was such that the wealth ought to be spent in the way of God Almighty and for the propagation of faith and that the slavery of human beings should be completely abolished. In any case, his desire to free slaves was embedded in the question that why should those human beings like him who possess intellect and sense just like him should live their lives in bondage? This notion of the Holy Prophetsa at the time was not only considered strange in Arabia but the entire world. However, the Holy Prophetsa openly announced this and displayed incredible generosity upon receiving the wealth.

    When the Holy Prophetsa made the announcement that he had freed all the slaves and they all went their ways, it was only Zaid bin Harithara – who was later known as his son – who approached him and said, “You have freed me, but I do not wish to be freed. My only desire is to remain with you.” The Holy Prophetsa insisted that he return to his homeland and meet his relatives as he was now free. However, Hazrat Zaidra replied to the Holy Prophetsa, “You are dearest to me due to the love and sincerity I have witnessed in you.” Zaidra belonged to a wealthy family but was abducted at a young age and sold off. In this way, he was taken from place to place until he eventually ended up at the house of Hazrat Khadijahra. His father and uncle were very worried for him and went out in search of him.

    When they discovered that he was in Rome, they travelled there. When they reached there, they found out that he was now in Arabia. When they reached Arabia, they learnt that he was in Mecca. When they came to Mecca, they found out that he was with the Holy Prophetsa.

    They went to the Holy Prophetsa and said, “We have come to you having heard of your nobility and generosity. Our son is a slave of yours and we are ready to meet whatever price you ask in order to free him. His mother is elderly and has lost her sight as a result of the constant weeping caused by this affliction. It will be much appreciated if you accept the asked price and free him.” The Holy Prophetsa said, “Your son is no longer my slave, I have already freed him.” He then called Zaidra telling him that his father and uncle had come to take him, that his mother was old and had become blind from all the crying and that since he had already freed him, he was now no longer his slave and could go.

    Hazrat Zaidra answered, “You may have freed me, but I do not want to be freed and consider myself your slave.” The Holy Prophetsa again said that his mother was suffering and his father and uncle have journeyed so far and been through many tribulations to retrieve him, therefore he must go with them. Zaid’s father and uncle also tried their best to convince him, yet Hazrat Zaidra refused to leave with them, saying, “You may be my father and uncle and you may hold me dear to you, however the relationship I have developed with the Holy Prophetsa cannot now be broken. It pains me to hear that my mother is in great agony, but I cannot live away from him (i.e. the Holy Prophetsa).”

    On the one hand was the pain his mother was feeling, but this pain would be far beyond that. When Zaid had said all this to the Holy Prophetsa, the Holy Prophetsa went to the Ka’bah and announced, “Due to the love and affection Zaid has expressed, from today Zaid shall be [known as] my son”. Having heard this, Zaid’s father and uncle were overjoyed and left jubilantly as they had seen him living his life in great ease and comfort. Thus, proof of Muhammad’ssa perfect morals is that when Zaidra expressed his loyalty [to him], the Holy Prophetsa demonstrated extraordinary kindness. (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 10, pp. 334-335)

    The details of this particular incident are mentioned in Sirat Khatamun Nabiyyin. It states that when Zaid’s father and uncle came to take him, the Holy Prophetsa said to him:

    “‘If you wish to leave with them, I gladly give you permission to do so.’ ‘I shall not leave you on any account,’ answered Zaid; ‘To me, you are far dearer than my own uncle or father.’ Zaid’s father responded with great anger and grief, ‘What? Do you give preference to a life of slavery over that of freedom?’ ‘Yes,’ responded Zaid, ‘For I have witnessed such virtues in him as now, I can give preference to none above him.’

    When the Holy Prophetsa heard this response he immediately stood up and took Zaid to the Ka‘bah and announced in a loud voice, ‘O People! Remain witness that as of this day I free Zaid and make him my son. He shall be my heir and I shall be his.’When Zaid’s uncle and father observed this sight, they were astounded. They happily left Zaid with Muhammadsa. Since then, Zaid bin Harithah became known as Zaid bin Muhammad. However, after the Hijrah, God revealed a commandment that it is unlawful to take an adopted child as an actual son. Upon this, Zaid was once again given his original name, Zaid bin Harithah. Nonetheless, the loving conduct of the ever-loyal Muhammadsa remained unaltered with this ever-sincere servant, rather, it increased day after day. After the demise of Zaid, the Holy Prophetsa extended the same graciousness and love to his son Usama bin Zaidra who was born of Ummi Aimanra, a servant of the Prophetsa. In addition to the honourable distinctions of Zaidra, one is that among all the companions of the Prophetsa, only his name is specifically mentioned in the Holy Quran.” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, pp. 110-111)

    In another narration, Hazrat Jablahra – the elder brother of Hazrat Zaidra – is reported to have said, “I went to the Holy Prophetsa and requested him to send Zaid with me.” Perhaps this incident took place afterwards or is a repetition of the previous incident. “The Holy Prophetsa replied, ‘Your brother stands before you, if he wishes to leave I will not stop him from doing so.’ At this Zaidra said, ‘O Messengersa of Allah! I will never give anyone preference over you.’ Hazrat Jablahra stated that in hindsight, Hazrat Zaid’s judgment was more accurate than his own.” (Kanzul Ummal, Vol. 13, p. 397, Bab Fada’il al-Sahabah, Zaid bin Harithah, Hadith 37065, Muassisah al-Risalah, Beirut, 1985)

    With regard to Hazrat Jablahra there is another narration. Hazrat Jablahra – who was older than Zaid – was once asked who from among the two brothers was older. Hazrat Jablahra replied, “Zaid is older than me, but I was born before him.” He meant that since Hazrat Zaidra had accepted Islam before him, therefore he held a greater rank. (Al-Raud al-Anf Fi Sharh al-Sirat al-Nabawiyyah Li ibn Hisham, Vol. 3, p. 19, Islam Zaid, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Hadithah)

    Hazrat Abdullah bin Umarra narrates, “We would call Zaid bin Harithah, the freed slave of the Holy Prophetsa, ‘Zaid bin Muhammad’, until the following verse was revealed:

    اُدۡعُوۡہُمۡ لِاٰبَآئِہِمۡ ہُوَ اَقۡسَطُ عِنۡدَ اللّٰہِ

    “Call them by the names of their fathers. That is more equitable in the sight of Allah” (Surah al-Ahzab, Ch.33: V.6) (Sahih Bukhari, Kitab al-Tafsir, Bab Ud’uhum lu abaa’ihim huwa aqsatu ‘indAllah, Hadith 4782)

    Hazrat Barara narrates that the Holy Prophetsa said to Zaid:

    اَنْتَ اَخُوْنَا وَ مَوْلَانَا

    Meaning, “You are our brother and friend.” (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 7, Kitab Fadail Ashab al-Nabi, Bab Manaqib Zaid bin Harithah Maula al-Nabi, Nazarat Ishaat)

    In another narration, the Holy Prophetsa is reported to have said the following words:

    یَا زَیْدُ اَنْتَ مَوْلَایَ وَمِنِّیْ وَاِلَیَّ وَاَحَبُّ النَّاسِ اِلَیَّ

    “O Zaid! My friend, you and I are like one of the same persons. You are dearer to me than all other people.” (Al-Isaba Fi Tamyeez Al-Sahaba, Vol. 2, p. 497, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1995)

    Hazrat Ibn-e-Umarra narrates:

    “Hazrat Umarra set an allowance for Hazrat Usamara bin Zaid which was more than what I received.”  Hazrat Umar’s son is narrating this incident that Usama, who was the son of Zaid was given an allowance which was more than his own. “I asked the reason for why his allowance was more. Hazrat Umarra replied, ‘Usama, the son of Zaid, was dearer to the Holy Prophetsa than you and your father.’” In other words, Hazrat Umarra is referring to himself that Hazrat Zaidra was dearer to the Holy Prophetsa than himself. (Al-Isaba Fi Tamyeez Al-Sahaba, Vol. 2, p. 497, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1995)

    Hazrat Alira narrates,

    “Hazrat Zaidra bin Harithah, who was the freed slave of the Holy Prophetsa, was the first from among the men to accept the Holy Prophetsa and offered prayers.” (Kanzul Ummal, Vol. 13, p. 397, Bab Fada’il al-Sahabah, Zaid bin Harithah, Hadith 37063, Mu’assisah al-Risalah, Beirut, 1985)

    Elaborating on this, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra says:

    “The Holy Prophetsa was granted followers from all backgrounds. Usman, Talha and Zubair were from the elite families of Mecca. If someone was to raise the allegation that only lowly and people from modest backgrounds had accepted the Holy Prophetsa, then Usman, Talha and Zubair were ready to answer such an allegation as they belonged to noble families. In contrast, if one was to raise the allegation that the Holy Prophetsa had gathered a few noble men around him and not many had accepted him from among the poor – who numbered more than the upper class – then Zaid and Bilal etc. would arise in response to this. If then one was to claim that only youths had accepted him and they are naïve, people could respond by saying that Hazrat Abu Bakrra was not a youth nor was he naïve or inexperienced; how did he manage to accept the Holy Prophetsa? In short, they would raise every sort of allegation against the Holy Prophetsa, however, each one of his companions was a living proof to reply to those allegations. This was a great blessing from God Almighty that was granted to the Holy Prophetsa. Whilst mentioning this God Almighty states:

    وَوَضَعْنَا عَنْکَ وِزْرَکَ الَّذِیْ اَنْقَضَ ظَھْرَکَ

    meaning, ‘O Muhammad! Can the world not see that the provisions that the world relies upon to succeed have been granted to you. If the world succeeds through the sacrifice offered by youths, then you have been granted youths with the same temperament. If the world succeeds due to the intellect of mature individuals, then they have also been granted to you. If it is affluent and those belonging to influential families that are needed to defeat the world, then they are already with you. If success is achieved in the world through sacrifice and devotion of the ordinary people then these servants of yours devotedly follow you everywhere. Thus, how can it be possible then for you to fail and the Meccans triumph over you.’

    Therefore,

    وَوَضَعْنَا عَنْکَ وِزْرَکَ الَّذِیْ اَنْقَضَ ظَھْرَکَ

    Means, “And we removed from thee thy burden. Which had well-nigh broken thy back.”

    In other words, when the Holy Prophetsa looked at the task ahead, he was anxious as to how it would be possible to fulfil the task. However, in just a matter of a single day, God Almighty granted him five helpers. He granted him Abu Bakrra, Khadijahra, Alira, Zaidra and Waraqa bin Naufal to serve as a strong pillar to support the religion of Islam. Thus, they all helped to shoulder the burden which was on the Holy Prophetsa. (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 9, p. 140)

    Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:

    “Four people who had a strong relation with the Holy Prophetsa accepted him, i.e. his wife, Khadijahra, his paternal cousin, Alira, his freed slave, Zaidra and his friend, Abu Bakrra. At the time, the only proof they had for their faith was that all those close to him affirmed that Holy Prophetsa always spoke the truth.” (Daura-e-Europe, Anwarul Ulum, Vol. 8, p. 543)

    In relation to Hazrat Zaid’s acceptance of Islam, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra writes:

    “When the Holy Prophetsa began the propagation of his mission, the first to believe was Hazrat Khadijahra, who did not hesitate, even for a moment. There is a discord among historians in reference to who the first convert among the men was after Hazrat Khadijahra. Some name Hazrat Abu Bakr Abdullah bin Abi Qahafahra while others say Hazrat Alira, whose age, at that time, was only ten years. Others assert that the freed slave of the Holy Prophetsa, Hazrat Zaid bin Harithahra was the first one to embrace Islam. However, to us, this argument is useless. Hazrat Alira and Zaid bin Harithahra were among the house-folk of the Holy Prophetsa and lived with him as his own children. They were to follow whatever was said by the Holy Prophetsa, as a matter of fact, no verbal declaration was necessary. Thus, their names need not be included. Among the rest, Hazrat Abu Bakrra is unanimously accepted as the first and foremost in his acceptance of Islam.” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, p. 121)

    In other words, he was the first to accept Islam amongst those who were of a mature age. In fact, the standard of considering one intellectual and wise which is generally perceived today, even the children of those days were of this level, Masha-Allah. However, Hazrat Abu Bakrra was the first to accept Islam amongst those of a more experienced and mature age. Thus, these were the four individuals, three men and one woman, who accepted the Holy Prophetsa and hold a lofty rank. In this regard, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:

    “Hazrat Zaidra accompanied the Holy Prophetsa during the journey to Ta‘if. Ta‘if is a city situated approximately 36 miles south east of Mecca. It is an area extremely rich and lush in its vegetation and raisins of a very high-quality grow in that area and the people of the Thaqif tribe lived there.” (Mu’jamul Buldan, Vol. 3, p. 241, Lughaat al-Hadith, Vol. 3, p. 46, Kitab Faa)

    After the demise of Hazrat Abu Talib, the Quraish once again began to perpetrate cruelties against the Holy Prophetsa. The Holy Prophetsa travelled to the area of Ta‘if and was accompanied by Hazrat Zaidra bin Harithahra. This took place in 10 Nabawi towards the end of the month of Shawal. The Holy Prophetsa stayed in Ta‘if for up to ten days and during this time, he met all the leaders of Ta‘if, but no one accepted his message. However, when the elders feared that perhaps the youth and the general public may accept the Holy Prophet’s message, they said, ‘O Muhammad[sa]! Leave our town and live in the area where your message has been accepted.’ Thereafter, they incited some of the mischievous youth of the area to go after and attack the Holy Prophetsa, who began to pelt stones at the Holy Prophet and both his feet began to bleed profusely. Hazrat Zaidra bin Harithah would try and put himself in front of the stones that were aimed at the Holy Prophetsa and sustained several wounds to his head.” (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Sa‘d, Vol. 1, p. 165, Dhikr Sabab Khuruj Rasulillahsa ilaa Ta’if,Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990)

    Further details from the life account of Hazrat Zaidra shall continue to be narrated in the next sermon, Insha-Allah.

    (Translated by The Review of Religions.Originally published in Al Fazl International 28 June 2019, pp. 5-8)

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