14 June 2019
Men of Excellence
After reciting the Tashahud, Ta‘awuz and Surah al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa stated:
In the previous sermon, I began narrating incidents from the life of Hazrat Zaidra and mentioned that Hazrat Zaidra accompanied the Holy Prophetsa during his journey to Taif. I will relate some more details with regard to the journey to Taif undertaken by the Holy Prophetsa, which Hazrat Sahibzada Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra has written in Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin:
“When the Holy Prophetsa came out from the Valley of Abu Talib, he travelled to Taif. When the ban was lifted, and the Holy Prophetsa found a sort of freedom in his movements, he decided to visit Taif and invite its people to Islam. Taif is a famous place situated forty miles to the south-east of Mecca. During this era, it was home to the Banu Thaqif. Putting aside the speciality of the Ka‘bah, Taif was recognised equal to Mecca and many eminent, influential and affluent people resided there. The people of Mecca themselves admitted to this importance of Taif . As such, it was Mecca itself that said:
لَوۡ لَا نُزِّلَ ہٰذَا الۡقُرۡاٰنُ عَلٰی رَجُلٍ مِّنَ الۡقَرۡیَتَیۡنِ عَظِیۡمٍ
“Meaning, ‘Why has not this Quran from God been sent to some great man of Makkah or Taif?’ [Surah al-Zukhruf, Ch.43: V.32]
“Therefore, in Shawwal of 10 Nabawi, the Holy Prophetsa took a journey to Taif by himself. On the authority of other narrations, Zaid bin Harithahra also accompanied him. Upon his arrival, the Holy Prophetsa remained there for ten days and one after another, he met with many chieftains, but like Mecca, it was not in the destiny of this city to accept Islam either. Therefore, all of them refused; as a matter of fact they mocked at the Holy Prophetsa. At last, the Holy Prophetsa approached the grand chieftain of Taif named Abdu Yalail and invited him to Islam, he also refused, rather, in a manner of mockery he said, ‘If you are truthful, then I have not the strength to speak to you, and if you are a liar, then to speak to you is useless.’ Then, concerned that the youngsters of the city may become influenced by the Holy Prophetsa, he said, ‘It is best that you leave this place, for there is nobody here who is willing to listen to you.’ After this, the evil man had the miscreants of the city start off behind the Holy Prophetsa. “When he left the city, this rabble chased the Holy Prophetsa and began to bombard him with rocks, due to which the entire body of the Holy Prophetsa became drenched in blood. (According to another narration, Zaid bin Haritha, who was with the Holy Prophetsa was also hit with rocks when he would try to stop them.) These people pursued the Holy Prophetsa for three miles, more or less, and cursed at him and threw stones at him continuously.
“At a distance of three miles from Ta’if, there was an orchard, which belonged to a chieftain of Mecca named ‘Utbah bin Rabi‘ah. The Holy Prophetsa took refuge in this orchard, and his ruthless enemies returned exhausted. Standing beneath a shadow, the Holy Prophetsa prayed before Allah in the following words:
اَللّٰھُمَّ اِلَیْکَ اَشْکُوْ ضُعْفَ قُوَّتِیْ وَ قِلَّۃَ حِیْلَتِیْ وَھَوَانِیْ عَلَی النَّاسِ۔ اَللّٰھُمَّ یَااَرْحَمَ الرَّاحِمِیْنَ اَنْتَ رَبُّ الْمُسْتَضْعَفِیْنَ وَاَنْتَ رَبِّی
“Meaning, ‘O My Lord, I complain to you of my helplessness and my inability and my helplessness before the people. O My God, You are the most merciful, for You are the guardian and protector of the feeble and helpless – You are my Lord. I seek refuge in the light of Your countenance. It is You Who dispels all darkness and it is You Who bestows the inheritance of favour in this world and in the next.’
“At this time, Utbah and Shaibah were in their garden. When they saw the Holy Prophetsa in this state, perhaps moved by emotions of near or far relations, or perhaps national responsibility, they sent the Holy Prophetsa a tray of grapes in the hand of their Christian slave named Addas. The Holy Prophetsa took them and addressed Addas saying, ‘Where are you from and which religion do you follow?’ ‘I am from Nineveh,’ responded Addas, ‘and a Christian.’ The Holy Prophetsa enquired, ‘The same Nineveh, which was home to the righteous servant of God, Jonahas son of Matthew?’ ‘Yes,’ responded Addas, ‘but how are you aware of Jonahas?’ ‘He was my brother,’ said the Holy Prophetsa, ‘for he was a prophet of Allah, and I am also a prophet of Allah.’ Then the Holy Prophetsa preached the message of Islam to him, which moved him greatly. In his passion of sincerity, he moved forward and kissed the hands of the Holy Prophetsa. Utbah and Shaibah observed this sight from afar; as such, when Addas returned to them, they said, ‘What happened to you that you began to kiss the hands of this man? This man shall ruin your faith, while your religion is better than his.’
“The Holy Prophetsa rested in this orchard for some time. He then departed from here and arrived at Nakhlah, which is situated at a distance of approximately one day’s journey from Mecca, and remained there for a few days. After this, the Holy Prophetsa departed and reached the mountain of Hira, and since the apparent failure at Taif entailed the possibility of the Meccans growing overly bold, the Holy Prophetsa sent word to Mut‘im bin Adiyy that I wish to enter Mecca, can you help me in this regard? Although Mut‘im was a firm disbeliever, his disposition possessed graciousness, and in times like these, it was against the nature of noble Arabs to refuse”, i.e. to refuse granting protection to the one who sought it. This was a characteristic of the Arabs even in the days prior to the advent of Islam. “For this reason, along with his sons and relatives, fully armed, they stood by the Ka‘bah, and sent word to the Holy Prophetsa that he may enter. The Holy Prophetsa entered and performed the Tawaf of the Ka‘bah, and along with Mut‘im and his children, escorted under the shadow of swords, the Holy Prophetsa entered his home. On the way, when Abu Jahl witnessed Mut‘im in this state, he was astonished and enquired, ‘Have you given Muhammad[sa] refuge, or have you become a follower?” Mut‘im responded, “I am only one to give refuge, not a follower.’ Upon this Abu Jahl said, ‘Alright, then there is no problem.’ Nonetheless, Mut‘im died in a state of disbelief. (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, pp. 181-183)
However, he was responsible for this noble deed.
When Hazrat Zaidra arrived in Medina after the Migration, he resided at the house of Hazrat Umme Kulthumra bin Hidam. According to some narrations, he stayed at the house of Hazrat Saadra bin Khaithamah. The Holy Prophetsa established a bond of brotherhood between him and Hazrat Usaidra bin Hudhair. Some have written that this bond of brotherhood was established with Hazrat Hamzara i.e. Hazrat Hamzara was declared to be his brother. This is why Hazrat Hamzara wrote a will in favour of Hazrat Zaidra on the occasion of the Battle of Uhud. (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra, Vol. 3, p. 32, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut) (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra, Vol. 3, p. 6, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut)
Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra further writes about this in his book Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin:
“Shortly after reaching Medina, the Holy Prophetsa sent Zaidra bin Harithah to Mecca with some money. In a few days, he returned safely to Medina with the family of the Holy Prophetsa, and his own. Along with him, Abdullah bin Abi Bakr also brought the family of Hazrat Abu Bakrra to Medina as well.” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, p. 269)
It is narrated by Hazrat Bara‘ara:
“When the Prophetsa intended to perform Umrah in the month of Dhul Qa‘dah, the people of Mecca did not allow him to enter Mecca. Eventually, he made an agreement with them under the condition that he would return to Mecca in the following year and stay there only for three days. When the agreement was being written, it stated: ‘These are the terms of the treaty as agreed by Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah.’ The Meccans said, ‘We do not agree with you on this, for if we knew that you were the Messenger of Allah, we would not have prevented you from anything.’ The Meccans further said: ‘To us, you are Muhammad, the son of Abdullah.’ The Holy Prophetsa replied, ‘I am the Messenger of Allah as well as Muhammad bin Abdullah.’ He then said to Hazrat Alira, ‘Erase the words “Messenger of Allah.”’ Hazrat Alira submitted, ‘No, by God, I will never erase your title (i.e. he cannot erase the title of ‘Messenger of Allah’ which God Almighty Himself granted to the Holy Prophet).’ The Holy Prophetsa took the treaty (even though he was not able to properly read or write) and wrote the following: ‘This is the peace treaty which Muhammad, the son of Abdullah, has agreed to:
“Muhammad[sa] will not bring arms into Mecca except sheathed swords and will not take with him any of the people of Mecca, even if the person in question wished to go with him. Also if any of his companions wished to stay in Mecca, he will not forbid them.
“In the following year, when the Prophetsa entered Mecca and the agreed period of stay elapsed, the disbelievers came to Hazrat Ali and said, ‘Tell your companion (i.e. Muhammadsa) to leave as the agreed period of stay has finished.’ (There was a condition of staying for three days only and they had elapsed.) So the Prophetsa departed from Mecca and Ammarah, the daughter of Hazrat Hamzara – whose name in one narration is reported as Amamah and also as Amatullah in another narration – followed the Holy Prophetsa saying, ‘O Uncle, O Uncle!’ Hazrat Alira took her by the hand and said to Hazrat Fatimara, ‘Take the daughter of your uncle.’ And so, she placed her on her mount. Following this, there was a disagreement between Hazrat Alira, Hazrat Zaidra and Hazrat Jafarra with regard to who would be responsible for the care of Hazrat Hamza’s daughter. Hazrat Alira said, ‘I took her for she is the daughter of my uncle.’ Hazrat Jafarra said, ‘She is the daughter of my uncle and her aunt Asma bint Umais is my wife.’ Hazrat Zaidra said, ‘She is the daughter of my brother – as the Holy Prophetsa had established a bond of brotherhood between him and Hazrat Hamzara.
Following this, the Holy Prophetsa decided that she should stay with her maternal aunt, that is, with Hazrat Jafar’s wife. Thereafter, the Holy Prophetsa said that a maternal aunt has a similar status to a mother. He then said to Hazrat Alira, ‘You are from me and I am from you.’ To Hazrat Jafarra he said, ‘You resemble me both in physical appearance and in character’ and to Hazrat Zaidra he said, ‘You are my brother and friend.’ Hazrat Alira asked the Holy Prophetsa why he did not marry the daughter of Hazrat Hamzara? The Holy Prophetsa replied, ‘She is the daughter of my foster brother; we have been suckled by the same wet nurse and as such, I am the paternal uncle of this girl.’”
This narration is found in Bukhari as well as Sirat al-Halabiyya. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab-ul-Maghazi, Baab Umrahtil Qadha, Hadith no. 4251) (Sirat al-Halabiyya, Vol. 3, p. 95, Baab Zikr Maghazia, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2003)
Hazrat Zaidra bin Harithah married Hazrat Umme Aimanra. Hazrat Umme Aiman’s name was Barakah. She was known by the title of Umme Aiman due to her son, Aimanra. She was originally from Abyssinia. She was a servant of Hazrat Abdullah, the father of the Holy Prophetsa. Following the demise of Hazrat Abdullah, she stayed with Hazrat Amina. When the Holy Prophetsa was six years old, his mother took the Holy Prophetsa with her from Mecca to Medina. Hazrat Umme Aimanra accompanied them as a servant on that occasion. She would have been young at that time. On the return from Medina, when they reached Abwa, which is at a distance of five miles from Masjid Nabawi, Hazrat Amina passed away. Hazrat Umme Aimanra brought the Holy Prophetsa back to Mecca on the two camels they originally set out with. Prior to the Holy Prophet’ssa claim to prophethood, Hazrat Umme Aimanra married ‘Ubaid bin Zaid in Mecca, who was a slave of Abyssinian decent. A son was born to them by the name Aiman. Hazrat Aimanra attained the status of martyrdom during the battle of Hunain. The husband of Hazrat Umme Aimanra passed away and she was subsequently married to Hazrat Zaidra.
According to one narration, Hazrat Umme Aimanra treated the Holy Prophetsa with utmost kindness and took great care of him. As a result of this, the Holy Prophetsa said that whoever wishes to rejoice by marrying a woman from among the inhabitants of paradise, he should marry Umme Aimanra. Thereafter, Hazrat Zaidra bin Haritha married and were blessed with a son, Hazrat Usamahra. Hazrat Umme Aimanra migrated towards Abyssinia along with the other Muslims. Following this migration, she returned to Medina and participated in the Battle of Uhud. During the battle, she gave water to people and tended to the wounded. She also had the opportunity to participate in the Battle of Khaybar. She wept profusely when Hazrat Umarra was martyred in the twenty-third year after Hijra [migration of the Holy Prophetsa to Medina]. When the people enquired as to the reason why she was crying, she replied that owing to the martyrdom of Hazrat Umarra, Islam had become weakened. Hazrat Umme Aimanra passed away towards the beginning of the caliphate of Hazrat Uthmanra. (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra, Vol. 8, pp. 179-181, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990) (Sirat al-Halabiyya, Vol. 1, p. 77, Baab Wafaate Walidati Rasoolullahsa, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2002) (Usdul Ghaba, Vol. 7, p. 291, Umme Aiman,Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2008) (Mu’jam-ul-Buldan, Vol. 1, p. 102, Abwah, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut)
The gist presented by Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra in relation to the marriage of Hazrat Zaidra with Hazrat Umme Aimanra from historical sources, is as follows:
“This is the same Umme Aimanra who was given to Muhammadsa as a female slave through inheritance when his father passed away. When Muhammadsa matured, he freed her and would always treat her with much kindness. Umme Aimanra was later married to a freed slave of the Holy Prophetsa named Zaidra bin Harithah and from this relationship Usamah bin Zaid was born, who was known as Al-Hibb Ibn al-Hibb that is, ‘The dear son of the beloved.’ (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, p. 99) (Al-Istiab Fi Ma’rifat Al-Sahab, Vol. 1, p. 75, Usamah bin Zaid, Dar-ul-Jalil, Beirut, 1992)
When the Holy Prophetsa saw Hazrat Umme Aiman, he would say:
“O Umm!” – That is, “O my mother!” And would then say:
هٰذِهٖ بَقِيَّةُ اَهْلِ بَيْتِىْ
meaning, “This is what is left behind of my close family.”
According to another narration, the Holy Prophetsa would state:
أُمُّ أَيْمَنَ أُمِّيْ بَعْدَ أُمِّيْ
meaning, “After my own mother, Umme Aiman holds the status of being my mother.” The Holy Prophetsa would also visit her house to meet her. (al-Tabari, Vol. 13, p. 375, Dar-ul-Fikr, Beirut, 2002) (Usdul Ghaba, Vol. 7, p. 291, Umme Aiman,Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2008)
Hazrat Anasra bin Malik relates that when the Muhajireen arrived in Medina from Mecca, they had nothing in their possession whilst the Ansar were landowners and also owned property. The Ansar formed an agreement with the Muhajireen that they will offer them the fruits from their orchards and will also carry out all the farming work themselves. In other words, they will give them the produce from the land and will also carry out the labour duties of all its farming. Hazrat Anas’ mother, Hazrat Umme Sulaimra, who was also the mother of Hazrat Abdullah bin Abi Talhara, had presented some of her date palm trees to the Holy Prophetsa. The Holy Prophetsa granted these trees to Hazrat Umme Aimanra, who was the mother of Hazrat Usamah bin Zaidra. Ibn Shihaab states that Hazrat Anasra bin Malik told him that when the Holy Prophetsa returned to Medina after the battle against the people of Khaibar, the Muhajireen returned whatever had been granted to them by the Ansar, i.e. all the fruit trees which they had been given from their orchards. This is because they had now been able to acquire some wealth and land of their own. The Holy Prophetsa also returned the date trees to Hazrat Anas’ mother and in place of them granted Hazrat Umme Aimanra some date trees from his own orchard. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab-ul-Hibba, Baab Fazl-ul-Munaiha, Hadith no. 2630)
In another narration from Bukhari, it mentions further details in which Hazrat Anasra narrates, “One of the companions had presented some date trees to the Holy Prophetsa. When the Holy Prophetsa was granted victory against the tribes of Quraizah and Nadhir, he no longer required those trees. Upon this, some of the members of my family asked me to go to the Holy Prophetsa and request him to give back some of the trees that they had presented to him as he was no longer in need of them. Since those trees had been granted to Umme Aimanra, therefore upon hearing about this, she came and placed a cloth on my neck and said, ‘I will certainly not give these back. I swear by the One Who Alone is worthy of worship that you will never get these trees because the Holy Prophetsa has already given them to me’ – or she said something along these lines. The Holy Prophetsa said to Hazrat Umme Aimanra, ‘It is fine; return these trees and I will give you the same number of trees from somewhere else.’ However, she replied, ‘By God, I will certainly not give them back.’”
Hazrat Anasra further relates, “Thereafter, the Holy Prophetsa offered to give Hazrat Umme Aimanra ten times as many trees – or perhaps something to this effect – upon which she returned the trees.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab-ul-Maghazi, Hadith no. 4120)
In another narration it states that whilst migrating to Medina on foot, Hazrat Umme Aimanra became extremely thirsty. She was a very pious lady and had a very strong bond with God Almighty. At the time, she did not have any water with her and it was extremely hot, however she heard a sound from above her head and saw a pail-like vessel descend upon her from the heavens from which clear drops of water began to fall upon her. She drank from it until her thirst was quenched. She would often say that thereafter, she never felt thirst or the desire [to drink]. Subsequently, she would not feel the pangs of thirst, and if she ever felt dehydration whilst observing the fast, she would go on without feeling thirsty. Thus, whilst citing incidents of the Companions, the women who were related to these Badri Companions are also mentioned so that we may become aware of their lofty status, and this is why I also relate the accounts of these female companions alongside the Badri Companions. Hazrat Umme Aimanra had a slight stammer in her speech. Whenever she would meet someone, instead of saying Salamullahi Alaikum, as was the custom at the time, she would say Salamun la Alaikum due to her stammer. The Holy Prophetsa permitted her to say Salamun Alaikum or Assalamu Alaikum, which is now the custom.
Hazrat Aishara narrates that one day, whilst the Holy Prophetsa was drinking water, Hazrat Umme Aimanra was also present and said, “O Messengersa of Allah, give me water so I may drink also.” Hazrat Aishara states that she questioned her saying, “Is this the manner in which you ask the Messengersa of Allah for something?” To this she replied, “Have I not served the Holy Prophetsa for a long time?” The Holy Prophetsa then said, “You speak the truth” and gave her water to drink. (Sirat al-Halabiyya, Vol. 1, pp. 77-78, Baab Wafaat Walidati Rasoolullahsa Maghazia, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2002)
Hazrat Anasra relates that when the Holy Prophetsa passed away, Hazrat Umme Aimanra would not stop crying. When she was asked why she wept so much for the Holy Prophetsa, she answered, “I knew of course that the Holy Prophetsa would one day pass away, yet I weep because the revelations have been taken away from us”; in other words, besides her pain over the demise of the Holy Prophetsa, she also wept over the fact that the word of God and the revelation of the Holy Quran which would descend upon them, had come to an end. (Usdul Ghaba, Vol. 7, p. 291, Umme Aiman,Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2008)
Hazrat Anasra bin Malik narrates, “On one occasion, after the demise of the Messengersa of Allah, Hazrat Abu Bakrra said to Hazrat Umarra, ‘Accompany me to visit Hazrat Umme Aiman and let us meet her just as the Prophetsa would.’ When we arrived there, she began weeping. They enquired, ‘Why are you crying? For whatever is with Allah is better for His Messengersa.’ She was a very pious person, as mentioned before and replied, ‘I am aware that indeed whatever Allah possesses is better for His Messengersa, however I cry because the door of revelation has now closed.’ This moved both of them to tears also.” (Sahih Muslim, Kitab-ul-Fazail Al-Sahaba, Hadith no. 2454)
There was a visible difference between the complexion of Hazrat Usamara and Hazrat Zaidra, because the mother of Zaid was from Abyssinia and of African descent. Hence, there was a difference in appearance between father and son because Zaidra resembled his mother more in appearance. Due to this, people would raise objections about the lineage of Hazrat Usamara saying that he was not the son of Hazrat Zaidra and the hypocrites would do the same.
Hazrat Aishara states, “One day, the Messenger of Allahsa visited me and was extremely happy. He said, ‘O Aishara! Mujaziz Mudlaji visited me just now and he saw Usama bin Zaidra and Zaid bin Harithahra in a manner whereby they were covering themselves with the same cloth’”, perhaps to shield themselves from the heat or rain, they were both covering themselves with the same cloth. “‘Their faces were covered by it, but their feet were visible.’ Mujaziz said, ‘Both pairs of feet are one and the same.’” meaning that both pairs of feet had a strong resemblance. The Prophet of Allahsa was pleased that the objection raised against the lineage of Hazrat Usamara had been refuted, to the extent that even a person of worldly disposition and a physiognomist bore witness to it. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab-ul-Faraidh, Hadith no. 6771), (Fathul Bari, Sharah Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab-ul-Faraidh, Hadith no. 6771, Vol. 12, p. 58, Dar-ul-Rayyaan Li Al-Turath, Cairo, 1987)
Although it may not seem to have more to it, but in those days the Arabs considered it as definitive proof and this silenced those who were of a worldly nature and also the hypocrites.
Hazrat Zaidra was the freed slave of the Holy Prophetsa and his adopted son as well. The Holy Prophetsa arranged Hazrat Zaid’sra marriage with Hazrat Zainabra bint Jahash. However, this marriage did not last long and Hazrat Zaidra divorced Hazrat Zainabra. This marriage lasted a year or a little more than that, after which the Prophet of Allahsa himself married Hazrat Zainabra bint Jahash. (Al-Sirat-ul-Nabawaiyyah, pp. 628-629, Dar-ul-Ma’rifa, Beirut, 2007)
The details collected from various sources by Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra in his book Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin are as follows:
“In 5 AH, shortly before the ghazwa of Bani Mustaliq, which took place in Sha‘ban 5 AH, the Holy Prophetsa married Zainabra bint Jahash. Hazrat Zainabra was the daughter of the paternal aunt of the Holy Prophetsa, whose name was Amimah bint Abdil-Muttalib. Although she was extremely righteous and pious, she was somewhat conscious of her family status at heart. In contrast, the disposition of the Holy Prophetsa was absolutely pure of such thoughts, and although he was considerate of family circumstances from a social perspective, the Holy Prophetsa considered innate merit and individual virtue and purity as being the true criteria for nobility.
“To this affect, the Holy Quran states:
اِنَّ اَکۡرَمَکُمۡ عِنۡدَ اللّٰہِ اَتۡقٰکُمۡ
“‘O Ye People! The most honourable among you is the one who is most righteous.’[Surah al-Hujaraat, Ch.49: V.14]
“Hence, the Holy Prophetsa proposed the marriage of this dear one, i.e. Zainabra bint Jahash, to his freed slave and foster-son Zaidra bin Harithah without any hesitation. At first, Zainabra did not accept this match considering her family status to be greater, but ultimately, upon noticing the strong desire of the Holy Prophetsa, she agreed. In any case, according to the proposal and desire of the Holy Prophetsa, the marriage of Zainabra and Zaidra took place. Although Zainabra fulfilled her vows with goodness, in his own heart, Zaidra felt that Zainabra still harboured hidden feelings that she was from a noble family and a close relative of the Holy Prophetsa, while Zaidra was merely a freed slave and not her equal. Even in his own heart, Zaidra felt that his position was lesser than that of Zainabra. This feeling slowly and gradually became stronger making their marital life unpleasant, causing husband and wife indisposed to one another. When this upsetting situation grew out of hand, Zaidra bin Harithah presented himself before the Holy Prophetsa of his own accord, and complaining about the treatment of Zainabra, sought permission to divorce her. In another narration it is related that he complained, ‘Zainab uses harsh tongue, and therefore, I wish to divorce her.’ Naturally, the Holy Prophetsa was grieved upon hearing the state of affairs, and he restrained Zaidra from giving a divorce. Perhaps feeling that Zaidra could do more to fulfil his end, the Holy Prophetsa exhorted him saying, ‘Fear God and settle your differences however you may.’ These words of the Holy Prophetsa have been recorded by the Holy Quran as well in the following words:
اَمۡسِکۡ عَلَیۡکَ زَوۡجَکَ وَ اتَّقِ اللّٰہَ
“‘Do not divorce your wife, and fear God.’[Surah al-Ahzab, Ch.33: V.38]
“The reason for this advice of the Holy Prophetsa was that firstly, in principle, the Holy Prophetsa disliked divorce. On one occasion, the Holy Prophetsa stated:
اَبْغَضُ الْحَلَالِ اِلَی اللّٰہِ الطَّلَاقُ
“‘Of all lawful things, divorce is most undesirable in the sight of God.’
“For this reason, it has only been permitted as a last resort. Secondly, as related by Imam Zainul-Abidin Ali bin Husainra, the son of Imam Husainra (and Imam Zuhri has declared this narration as being authentic), since the Holy Prophetsa knew by way of divine revelation that Zaidra bin Harithah would ultimately divorce Zainabra, and then she would subsequently come into a matrimonial bond with the Holy Prophetsa, feeling that he had a personal connection in the matter, the Holy Prophetsa wished to remain absolutely unrelated and neutral. Moreover, from his own perspective, it was the utmost desire of the Holy Prophetsa that he should have no part in the dissolution of the marriage of Zaidra and Zainabra, and that they should continue living together for as long as possible. It was under this consideration that the Holy Prophetsa emphatically exhorted Zaidra not to give a divorce, fear God, and settle the differences between husband and wife in any way possible.
“Furthermore, the Holy Prophetsa also apprehended that if Zainabra was to marry the Holy Prophetsa after having separated from Zaidra, people would raise the allegation that the Holy Prophetsa had married the divorcee of his foster-son, and people would be put to trial. As such, Allah the Exalted states in the Holy Quran:
وَ تُخۡفِیۡ فِیۡ نَفۡسِکَ مَا اللّٰہُ مُبۡدِیۡہِ وَ تَخۡشَی النَّاسَ ۚ وَ اللّٰہُ اَحَقُّ اَنۡ تَخۡشٰہُ
“‘O Prophet! You had concealed in your heart what God was going to bring to light, and you were afraid on account of the people, whereas God has far greater right to be feared.’[Surah al-Ahzab, Ch.33: V.38]
“In any case, the Holy Prophetsa admonished Zaidra to fear Allah and held him back from giving a divorce. In light of this exhortation, Zaidra bowed his head in submission and silently returned. However, it was difficult for these distant personalities to come together, and what was not meant to be remained as such. After some time, Zaidra gave a divorce.
“When the iddat of Zainabra had elapsed, the Holy Prophetsa received revelation again with respect to her marriage, which instructed that the Holy Prophetsa should take her into a bond of matrimony himself. In this divine command, the wisdom was so that Zainabra could be comforted and so that it could be demonstrated that there was no disgrace in Muslim men marrying a divorced woman.
“Moreover, another wisdom was that since Zaidra was the foster-son of the Holy Prophetsa and was generally known as his son, by marrying his divorcee, a practical example could be demonstrated by the Holy Prophetsa before the Muslims that a foster-son is not a real son, nor do such injunctions apply to them, as are enforced upon biological sons. As a result, this ignorant Arabian custom could be completely expunged from among the Muslims. In this regard, the Holy Quran, which is the most authentic of all historical records states:
فَلَمَّا قَضٰی زَیۡدٌ مِّنۡہَا وَطَرًا زَوَّجۡنٰکَہَا لِکَیۡ لَا یَکُوۡنَ عَلَی الۡمُؤۡمِنِیۡنَ حَرَجٌ فِیۡۤ اَزۡوَاجِ اَدۡعِیَآئِہِمۡ اِذَا قَضَوۡا مِنۡہُنَّ وَطَرًا ؕ وَ کَانَ اَمۡرُ اللّٰہِ مَفۡعُوۡلًا
“‘When Zaid dissolved his relationship with Zainab, We married her to you, so that there may be no hindrance for the believers with regard to the wives of their adopted sons, after their adopted sons dissolve their relationship with their wives. This is how it was decreed that the Will of God would come to pass.’[al-Ahzab: 38]
“Therefore, after this divine revelation was sent down, which was absolutely free from the personal desire or thought of the Holy Prophetsa, he decided to marry Zainabra. The Holy Prophetsa sent his proposal to Zainabra through Zaidra himself. Upon the consent of Zainabra, her brother Abu Ahmadra bin Jahash served as her guardian and married her off to the Holy Prophetsa and the dowry was set at 400 dirhams. In this manner, the ancient tradition which was firmly rooted in the plains of Arabia, was uprooted at the very source and stem, and discarded by Islam through the personal example of the Holy Prophetsa.
“At this instance, it is also necessary to mention that historians and muhaddithin generally believe that since divine revelation had been sent down with respect to the marriage of Hazrat Zainabra and as this marriage took place due to special divine command, an actual ceremony of Nikahdid not take place. However, this notion is incorrect. Undoubtedly, this marriage took place in accordance with the command of God, and it can be said that this marriage was settled in the heavens, as it were. However, this cannot relieve a person from the practical application of the Shariah, which is also instituted by God Himself. Hence, the reference of Ibni Hisham, which has been alluded to above, has explicitly stated that the actual ceremony of Nikahdid in fact take place and in this respect, the matter is clear and leaves no room for uncertainty or doubt.
“Moreover, as for the Hadithwhich states that Hazrat Zainabra would express in a manner of pride to the other Ummahatul-Momineenthat their marriages were announced through their guardians on the earth, while her marriage was announced in the heavens, it is also false to deduce from this that the physical ceremony of her marriage did not take place. The reason being, that even in the case of an apparent ceremony, she maintains the distinction that her marriage was settled in the heavens under the special order of God, while the marriages of the other Ummahatul-Momineentook place under normal circumstances, merely with an apparent ceremony having taken place. In another narration it is related that the Holy Prophetsa went to Zainabra without permission, and it is deduced from this as well that a physical ceremony did not take place. However, if one reflects, this fact does not have any relation whatsoever with a physical ceremony being held or not. If it is inferred from this that the Holy Prophetsa went to the home of Hazrat Zainabra without permission, then this is incorrect and contrary to the facts, because an explicit narration in Bukhari states that after their marriage, Zainabra was bid farewell from her home, and came to the home of the Holy Prophetsa, not vice versa. If however, this narration is inferred to suggest that after her rukhsatana took place and she entered the home of the Holy Prophetsa, he went to her without any specific permission, this is nothing out of the ordinary and not at odds with general practice. After coming to the home of the Holy Prophetsa as his wife, it was obvious that the Holy Prophetsa would go to her, and no permission was required in this respect. Hence, the narration regarding the Holy Prophetsa not seeking permission has no relation whatsoever with the question as to whether a formal ceremony of Nikahtook place or not. The fact of the matter is that as Ibni Hisham has clearly related, despite divine command, a formal ceremony of Nikahtook place. Rationality also dictates that it occurred as such, because firstly, there was no reason for an exception to the general rule. Secondly, when the very objective of this marriage was to break a custom and remove its influence, it was required to an even greater degree that this marriage in particular take place with great proclamation and publicity. So the world would know that this custom has now been abolished.” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, pp. 543-546)
In the accounts relating to the life of Hazrat Zaidra, I have mentioned some details regarding the marriage of the Holy Prophetsa and Hazrat Zainabra. The reason for this is that people raise allegations against this marriage even today and therefore we ought to know about this in detail. There are some further details with regard to this incident and other incidents about Hazrat Zaid. I will explain further details regarding this subject matter as required in the future, but for now the general life account of Hazrat Zaidra will continue.
(Translated by The Review of Religions)
(Originally published in Al Fazl International on 5th July 2019, pp. 5-9)