Men of Excellence

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Friday Sermon

23 August 2019

Men of Excellence

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

I will continue to narrate the accounts from the lives of the Badri Companions.

The name of the companion that I will mention today is Hazrat Asimra bin Adiyy. Hazrat Asim’s father’s name was Adiyy and he belonged to the tribe of Banu Ajlaan bin Harithah who were confederates of the tribe of Banu Zaid bin Maalik. Hazrat Asimra was the leader of the Banu Ajlaan and was the brother of Hazrat Ma‘anra bin Adiyy. The title of Hazrat Asimra is reported as Abu Bakr, while according to some other narrations, he was also known by the titles of Abu Abdullah, Abu Umar and Abu Amr. Hazrat Asimra was of average height and he used to apply henna to his hair. Hazrat Asim’sra son’s name was Abul Baddaah. (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Saad, Vol. 3, pp. 354-355, Asim bin Adiyy, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990) (Usdul Ghaba, Vol. 3, p. 111, Asim bin Adiyy, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2003)

Hazrat Asim’sra daughter’s name was Sahlaa, who was married to Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra bin Auf and they had four children; three sons, Ma‘an, Umar and Zaid and one daughter, Amatur Rahman Sughra. (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Saad, Vol. 3, p. 94, Asim bin Adiyy, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990)

When the Holy Prophetsa was about to depart for the Battle of Badr, he appointed Hazrat Asimra bin Adiyy as the Amir over Aliyah, which is situated on a terrain above Quba and Medina. According to one narration, the Holy Prophetsa sent Hazrat Asimra back from a place called Rauha, and appointed him as the Amir of Aliyah. The Holy Prophetsa sent Hazrat Asimra back but he counted him among the Companions of Badr and fixed a portion of the spoils of war for him. (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Saad, Vol. 3, p. 355, Asim bin Adiyy, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990) (Al-Isaba Fi Tamyeez Al-Sahaba, Vol. 3, p. 463, Asim bin Adiyy, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1995)

In Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin by Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra, the details of this incident are recorded as follows:

“Upon departing from Medina, the Holy Prophetsa appointed Abdullahra bin Ummi Maktum as the Amir of Medina in his absence. However, when the Holy Prophetsa reached close to Rauha, which is situated at a distance of 36 miles from Medina, perhaps in the consideration that Abdullahra was a blind man, and news of the imminent arrival of the army of the Quraish demanded that in his own absence the administration of Medina should remain strong, the Holy Prophetsa appointed Abu Lubabahra bin Mundhir as the Amir of Medina and sent him back. It was ordered that Abdullahra bin Ummi Maktum would only remain to be the Imamus-Salat, while Abu Lubabah would oversee matters of administration. Asim bin Adiyy was appointed as a separate Amir to oversee the additional population of Medina, i.e., Quba.” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, p. 354)

Hazrat Asimra participated in all of the battles alongside the Holy Prophetsa including the Battles of Badr, Uhud and Khandaq [the Ditch]. Hazrat Asimra passed away in 45 AH in Medina during the rule of Hazrat Muawiyahra. He was 115 years old at the time, whereas according to some he passed away at the age of 120. When the time of the demise of Hazrat Asimra drew closer, the members of his household started to cry. Upon this, he said, “Do not cry for me as I have lived a long life.” (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Saad, Vol. 3, p. 355, Asim bin Adiyy, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990) (Al-Isaba Fi Tamyeez Al-Sahaba, Vol. 3, p. 464, Asim bin Adiyy, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1995)

When the Holy Prophetsa ordered the Companions to prepare for the Battle of Tabuk, he also advised the affluent Companions to offer wealth and mounts in the way of Allah. Upon this, various people offered sacrifices according to their means.

On this occasion, Hazrat Abu Bakrra brought all of his wealth, which amounted to 4,000 Dirhams. The Holy Prophetsa asked Hazrat Abu Bakrra whether he had left anything for the members of his household, to which he replied that he had left Allah and his Messengersa for them. Hazrat Umarra brought half of the wealth of his home. The Holy Prophetsa enquired of Hazrat Umarra, “Did you leave anything behind for your family as well?” Upon this, he replied: “I left half of it behind.” On this occasion, Hazrat Abdur-Rahman bin Auf gave one hundred auqiyah. One auqiyah is equivalent to 40 Dirham. Following this, the Holy Prophetsa said that Uthmanra bin Affan and Abd-ur-Rahmanra bin Auf are from among the treasures of Allah the Almighty on earth, who spend for the sake of Allah’s pleasure. Women also presented their jewellery on this occasion. Hazrat Asim bin Adiyy, the companion whose account is currently being mentioned, presented seventy wasq of dates. One wasq consists of sixty saa and one saa is equivalent to two and a half seir or kilograms. Hence, according to this, the total weight of the dates was two hundred and sixty-two mann. One mann is approximately forty seir, which is a measuring unit in Pakistan, and is equivalent to thirty-eight or thirty-nine kilograms. (Al-Sirat al-Halabiyyah, Vol. 3, pp. 183-184, Ghazwah Tabuk, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2002) (Lughaat-ul-Hadith, Vol. 1, p. 82, Awqiyah, Vol. 4, p. 487, Wasq, Vol. 2, p. 648, Saa’, Nashir Nu’mani Kutub Khana, Lahore, 2002)

In any case, Hazrat Asimra also contributed dates in a large quantity. Hazrat Asimra bin Adiyy was among those Companions, who were commanded by the Holy Prophetsa to destroy Masjid Dhirar. The details of this have been mentioned in the following manner:

Hazrat Ibn Abbasra narrates that Banu Amr bin Auf built the Quba Mosque and sent a message to the Holy Prophetsa requesting him to come to the mosque and offer prayers. When some individuals from Banu Ghanam bin Auf saw this mosque, they said that they would also construct a mosque just like the Banu Amr. Abu Amr Fasiq, who was a bitter opponent and a mischievous person, said that they should also build a mosque and store therein as many weapons as possible. His intention was to make it a centre for spreading mischief. He said, “I am going to see the Caesar – the Byzantine King – and will return with an army and exile the Holy Prophet[sa] and his Companions from here.”

Once the mosque was completed, these individuals went to the Holy Prophetsa and said that they had constructed a mosque for the convenience of the elderly and the physically impaired as they were not able to travel far in order to offer their prayers. Along with this, they also requested the Holy Prophetsa to come and lead the prayers in this mosque. The Holy Prophetsa replied: “At present I am occupied in preparations to embark on a journey.” He was preparing to go on a journey. “Once we return, I will Insha-Allah [God willing] lead prayers there.” This was the journey for the Battle of Tabuk. After returning from the Battle of Tabuk, the Holy Prophetsa stayed in a place called Dhi Awan which was approximately an hour’s distance from Medina. There, he received a revelation about Masjid Dhirar, which is mentioned in Surah al-Taubah in the Holy Quran as follows:

وَالَّذِیۡنَ اتَّخَذُوۡا مَسۡجِدًا ضِرَارًا وَّ کُفۡرًا وَّ تَفۡرِیۡقًۢا بَیۡنَ الۡمُؤۡمِنِیۡنَ وَ اِرۡصَادًا لِّمَنۡ حَارَبَ اللّٰہَ وَ رَسُوۡلَہٗ مِنۡ قَبۡلُ ؕ وَ لَیَحۡلِفُنَّ اِنۡ اَرَدۡنَاۤ اِلَّا الۡحُسۡنٰی ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ یَشۡہَدُ اِنَّہُمۡ لَکٰذِبُوۡنَ

“And among the hypocrites are those who have built a mosque in order to injure Islam and help disbelief and cause a division among the believers, and prepare an ambush for him who warred against Allah and His Messenger before this. And they will surely swear: ‘We meant nothing but good;’ but Allah bears witness that they are certainly liars.” (Surah al-Taubah, Ch.9: V.107)

Following this, the Holy Prophetsa called Malikra bin Dukhsham and Ma‘anra bin Adi and ordered them to destroy Masjid Dhirar. In some narrations it is mentioned that the Holy Prophetsa also sent Hazrat Asimra bin Adiyy, Amr bin Sakan, Wahshi –  who martyred Hazrat Hamzara, and Suwayd bin Abbas for this purpose. In Sharah Zarqani it is written that it is possible that the Holy Prophetsa initially sent two individuals and then sent another four individuals in order to help them. The Holy Prophetsa told them to go to Masjid Dhirar and to destroy it by burning it to the ground.

He narrates further that all of them quickly reached the tribe of Banu Saalim, which was the tribe of Hazrat Malikra bin Dukhsham. Hazrat Malik said to Hazrat Ma‘anra to wait so that he could bring some fire from his house. Hence, he lit a dry date branch and brought it from his home. Following this, they reached Masjid Dhirar between Maghrib and Isha, set it on fire and it burnt to the ground. I have previously mentioned some of aspects of this incident in relation to Hazrat Malikra bin Dukhsham as well.

Nevertheless, those who had constructed the mosque were present at that time. However, after it had been set on fire, they ran away. When the Holy Prophetsa returned to Medina, he wished to give the plot of the mosque to Asimra bin Adiyy – the companion who is being mentioned – so that he may build his house there. However, Asimra bin Adiyy apologised and said that he would not take the plot as Allah the Exalted had already revealed His verdict regarding this place, that is, it had become a place for which Allah the Almighty had expressed His displeasure. Therefore, he did not wish to take it. Hence, the Holy Prophetsa gave it to Thabit bin Aqram, who did not have a home. In fact, Asimra bin Adiyy said that since he already had a home and was also reluctant, therefore, he apologised and said it would be better if it was given to Thabit bin Aqram and as he did not have a home and could build one there. Hence, the Holy Prophetsa gave the mosque, i.e. the plot of the Masjid Dhirar, to Thabit bin Aqram.

According to Ibn-e-Ishaaq, the names of the hypocrites who constructed Masjid Dhirar are as follows: Khaizam bin Khalid, Muatib bin Qushair, Abu Habiba bin Az‘ar, Ibaad bin Hunaif, Jariya bin Aamir and both his sons, Mujamma bin Jariya and Zaid bin Jariya, Nufail bin Harth, Bakhzaj bin Usman Wadiyya. These were the people who were with Abu Aamir Rahab whom the Holy Prophetsa had labelled “Fasiq” [an evil transgressor]. (Subul-ul-Huda Wal Irshaad, Vol. 5, pp. 470-472, Ghazwah Tabuk, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1993) (Sharh Zurqani Alaa al-Mawahib al-Deeniyyah, Vol. 4, pp. 97-98, Thumma Ghazwah Tabuk, Darul Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1996)

Once, the Promised Messiahas was travelling, and when he saw the Jami‘ Masjid in Delhi, he stated that it was a beautiful mosque and further stated, “True beauty of mosques is not in their construction, rather it is with those people who offer prayers sincerely.” He also said, “Otherwise, all these mosques remain deserted.” At the time, many mosques had been abandoned. The Promised Messiahas states, “The Prophet’ssa mosque was very small. The roof was made of leaves of date palm trees. In the beginning, rainwater would pour in from the top during rainstorms. The true beauty of a mosque is connected with those who offer prayers within it. During the time of the Holy Prophetsa certain worldly people also constructed a mosque which was demolished as per God’s instructions. The name of this mosque was Masjid Dhirar, meaning a mosque that causes harm and was subsequently demolished.” He further states: “With regard to the construction of mosques, the commandment is that they should be constructed with righteousness in the hearts.” (Malfuzat, Vol. 8, p. 170)

Hence, this is the real essence of mosques. Nowadays, among the Muslims, there are some who are inclined towards the construction of more mosques and it is a strange occurrence that they became motivated towards this after the advent of the Promised Messiahas. Moreover, the opportunity for them to do this, or to have gathered the courage to do undertake this, or perhaps they became inclined towards worshipping God or even towards the outward aspects of worship, all of this took place after the Promised Messiah’sas claim. They build very beautiful mosques but despite this, nowadays, especially in countries like Pakistan etc. some of them, have called for paying more attention to populating mosques, however their mosques are devoid of righteousness. The verses of the Holy Quran that mention about God’s commandment to demolish Masjid Dhirar are followed with verses containing clear guidance that a true mosque is one where the foundations of it are based on righteousness. However, non-Ahmadi scholars have understood righteousness to be the act of speaking ill of the Promised Messiahas in their mosques or to use foul and vulgar language against him and verbally abuse the Jamaat.

It does not end here, in fact every so often there are incidents of people abusing each other verbally due to internal discords about who will lead prayers due to differences between sects.

Nowadays it common that such events in mosques about disturbance, chaos and abuse go viral. Hence, all these things point towards the fact that they lack in righteousness and they are not fulfilling the due rights of their mosques. As Ahmadis we should learn from their actions, and we should strive to ensure that our mosques are based on righteousness. We ought to enter our mosques to populate them while giving precedence to righteousness and this is in fact the true essence. If this is established and as long as this is kept in mind, we will continue to receive the bounties of Allah the Almighty, God Willing.

In relation to this, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira states:

لِمَنۡ حَارَبَ اللّٰہَ

He expounds on this further by stating, “This refers to Abu Aamir who was a Christian. One of his plans was to have the Holy Prophetsa offer prayers in that mosque and in this way some Muslims would also follow and thereby he planned to cause a rift between the Muslims. Abu Aamir had a dream which he related to others in which he said,

وَحِیْدًا طَرِیْدًا شَرِیْدًا 

‘I saw the Holy Prophetsa passed away in a state of having been rejected and all alone’ God forbid. When the Holy Prophetsa heard of this, he stated, ‘This is a true dream and he is right.’ Meaning that his dream was true in that he had seen his own state and that is exactly what transpired. The Holy Prophetsa did not mention his name.”

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira writes, “There was something deeply profound in not mentioning his name in that in the future if anyone repeated the same action, then they would face similar consequences.” (Haqa’iqul Furqan, Vol. 2, p. 310, Zair Ayat Walladhinattakhadhu Masjidan Diraran)

Thus, we are witnessing, even today, a similar fate of the opponents.

The second companion who will be mentioned is Hazrat Amrra bin Auf. His name is also recorded as Umair. His father’s name was Auf and Hazrat Amrra bin Auf’s title was Abu Amr. He was born in Mecca, and according to Ibn Sa’d, he was from Yemen. (Al-Isaba Fi Tamyeez Al-Sahaba, Vol. 4, pp. 552-553, Amr bin Auf, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2005) (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Saad, Vol. 3, p. 254, Amr bin Auf, Dar-ul-Fikr, Beirut, 2012)

Historians, authors, and narrators of Ahadith have provided different viewpoints about his actual name and there is a lot of discrepancy in the narrations regarding this. Imam Bukhari, Ibn-e-Ishaaq, Ibn Saad, Alamah Ibn Abdil Bar, Alamah Ibn Aseer Jazri etc. all have mentioned his name as Amr, whereas, Ibn Hisham, Musa bin Uqba, Abu Ma‘shar Muhammad bin Umar Waqadi etc. mentioned his name as Umair. Alamah Badrruddin Aini and Alama Ibn Hajar Asqalaani – both of whom have written commentaries of Sahih Bukhari – state that Amr bin Auf and Umair bin Auf are both names of the same person. (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Saad, Vol. 3, p. 310, Vol. 4, p. 269, Umair bin Auf, Dar-ul-Kutub-al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990) (Al-Istiab, Vol. 3, p. 274, Amr bin Auf al-Ansari, Dar-ul-Jeel, Beirut, 2002) (Umdatul Qari, Vol. 15, p. 121, Dar Ihyaa al-Turath al-Arabi, Beirut, 2003) (Al-Isaba Fi Tamyeez Al-Sahaba, Vol. 4, pp. 552-553, Amr bin Auf, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2005) (Usdul Ghaba, Vol. 4, p. 246, Amr bin Auf, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2003)(Ibn Hisham, p. 463, Wa min Bani Aamir, Dar-ul-Kutub-al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2001)

According to Imam Bukhari, Hazrat Amrra bin Auf Ansari was a confederate of the Quraish tribe called Banu Amir bin Loi. Whereas, Ibn-e-Hisham and Ibn Saad have mentioned him to be from the family of Banu Amir bin Loi. In view of these two differing narrations, Alama Badruddin Aini, a commentator of Bukhari, has inferred, “In actuality, Hazrat Amrra bin Auf was from the Ansari tribe of Aus or Khazraj. He visited Mecca and stayed there as well and became an ally of some of the people living there. Hence in this regard he was an Ansari [Native of Medina] as well as a Muhajir [Those Muslims who migrated from Mecca].” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitabul Jizya, Bab Al-Jizyati wal Mawa‘adati Ma‘a Ahlil Harb, Hadith 3158) (Umdatul Qari, Vol. 15, p. 121, Dar Ihyaa al-Turath al-Arabi, Beirut, 2003) (Ibn Hisham, p. 463, Wa min Bani Aamir, Dar-ul-Kutub-al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2001) (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Saad, Vol. 3, p. 310, Umair bin Auf, Dar-ul-Kutub-al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990)

Hazrat Amrra bin Auf was one of the early converts to Islam. (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Saad, Vol. 3, p. 254, Amr bin Auf, Dar-ul-Fikr, Beirut, 2012)

Hazrat Amrra bin Auf stayed in the home of Hazrat Kulthumra bin Al-Hidam in Quba during the migration from Mecca to Medina. He participated in all the battles alongside the Holy Prophetsa, including the Battles of Badr, Uhud and Khandaq. (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Sad, Vol. 3, p. 217, Umair bin Auf, Dar Ihyaa al-Turath al-Arabi, Beirut, 1996) (Al-Isaba Fi Tamyeez Al-Sahaba, Vol. 4, p. 553, Sa’d bin Khaithama, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1995)

He passed away during the Khilafat of Hazrat Umarra, who led his funeral prayer. (Al-Isaba Fi Tamyeez Al-Sahaba, Vol. 4, p. 553, Amr bin Auf, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2005)

The next companion to be mentioned is Hazrat Ma‘anra bin Adi. Hazrat Ma‘anra was a confederate of the Banu Amr bin Auf tribe of the Ansar. (Ibn Hisham, p. 29, Man Shahida al-Aqabah, Dar Ibn Hazm, Beirut, 2009)

Hazrat Ma‘anra was the brother of Hazrat Asimra bin Adiyy. Hazrat Ma‘anra has previously been mentioned in reference to his brother. Hazrat Ma‘anra took part in the Bai‘at-e-Aqabah along with 70 Ansar. Hazrat Ma‘anra was able to write in Arabic prior to his acceptance of Islam – this was at a time when very few people could write in Arabic.  Hazrat Ma‘anra took part in all the battles alongside the Holy Prophetsa, including the battles of Badr, Uhud and Khandaq. When Hazrat Zaidra bin Khattab migrated from Mecca to Medina, the Holy Prophetsa established a bond of brotherhood between him and Hazrat Ma‘anra bin Adiyy. (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Saad, Vol. 3, pp. 244-245, Ma‘anra bin Adiyy, Dar Ihyaa al-Turath al-Arabi, Beirut, 1996)

Hazrat Umarra relates, “Upon the demise of the Holy Prophetsa, I went to Hazrat Abu Bakrra and asked him to come with me to meet our Ansar brothers. Thus, we both went and two pious individuals from among them met us, who had participated in the Battle of Badr. I related this to Urwah bin Zubair and he said that these two individuals were Hazrat Uwaimra bin Saidah and Hazrat Ma‘anra bin Adiyy.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitabul Maghazi, Bab Shuhoodul Mala’ikah Badran, Hadith 4021)

This narration of Hazrat Umarra which I have just quoted has been explained in further detail in a narration in Bukhari. I will present a part of that narration here:

Hazrat Ibn Abbasra relates, “I used to teach the Holy Quran to some individuals from among the Muhajireen and one of them was Abdur Rahman bin Auf. Once I was at his house in Mina while he had gone to see Umarra bin Khattab.” This incident occurred on the occasion of the last Hajj performed by Hazrat Umarra. “When Abdur Rahman returned, he said to me that he wished that I was also present today to witness the individual, who came to Amir-ul-Momineen [Leader of the Faithful] and said, ‘O Amir-ul-Momineen! Have you heard what a certain individual has said, who claims that if Umarra passes away, he will do the Bai‘at of so and so?’” In other words, this person was making the claim during Hazrat Umar’sra Khilafat wherein he said that after him, he would do the Bai‘at of such and such individual. “‘He also said that he swears by Allah that the Bai‘at of Abu Bakrra was done in a hastily manner.’” Moreover, he stated that, God forbid, Hazrat Abu Bakr’sra Bai‘at was done in a hastily manner and in fact he was mistakenly granted the status of Khilafat.

“Upon hearing this, Hazrat Umarra became greatly aggrieved and said, ‘If Allah wills, I shall stand among the people today and will warn them of those who seek to forcefully take other’s affairs into their own hands.’ Abdur Rahmanra then stated, ‘O Amir-ul-Momineen! Please do not do this because many ignorant and mischievous people have also gathered here at the Hajj. And so, when you stand amongst the people, these people will also gather around you and I fear that they may completely distort what you say and propagate something that is untrue and people will neither be able to properly comprehend your message and nor properly adhere to it in accordance to the situation.’ Abdur Rahmanra then presented his suggestion to Hazrat Umarra that he should wait until he reached Medina – as it was the days of Hajj – and since Medina was the place where the Holy Prophetsa migrated to and established many of his Sunnah, therefore he w be able to take the learned and noble people separate and say whatever he desired to say to them. He further said that the learned and wise people would indeed listen to him and also act upon what he said according to the appropriate conditions and circumstances (and instead, they will not offer their own interpretations). Hazrat Umarra then stated, ‘Very well, by God! If Allah wills, I will mention this in my very first sermon that I will stand to deliver upon my return.’”

Hazrat ibn Abbasra further relates, “We arrived in Medina towards the end of Dhul Hijjah and on the Friday as soon as the Sun set a little from its zenith, we quickly proceeded to the mosque for the Friday Prayer. Upon arriving, I saw Saeedra bin Zaid sat near the pulpit and I went and sat next to him. My knee was touching his knee.” Hazrat ibn Abbasra is narrating this account in detail here. “After a short while, Hazrat Umarra bin Khattab came out and as I saw him coming, I said to Saeedra bin Zaid that today Hazrat Umarra would say something which he had never said before since he had become Khalifa. Saeedra bin Zaid – the companion who was sat next to him – deemed what I said him to be very strange and said that he did not expect Hazrat Umarra to say something which he had never said previously. Hazrat Umarra took his seat on the pulpit and when the person calling the Azan finished, he stood up and offered praise to Allah as is befitting to His Honour. Thereafter, he said, ‘I am about to say something which was ordained for me to say. I know not whether the time of my demise is near as I say this, therefore whosever among you is able to clearly comprehend what I say and is able to remember it well should convey this as far as one’s camel can take them in other words, one should accurately convey this as widely as possible to others). However, whosoever among you fears that he has perhaps not fully understood this, then I do not deem it permissible for such a person to utter falsehood in relation to me (i.e. they should not convey anything that is incorrect).’ Thereafter, Hazrat Umarra stated, ‘Allah the Almighty sent Muhammadsa with the truth and revealed to him the laws of the Shariah…’” Hazrat Umarra then mentioned some of commandments relating to the Shariah. This is a very lengthy hadith and I shall leave out some of the details.

“Hazrat Umarra then stated, ‘Listen carefully! The Holy Prophetsa also stated to not excessively praise him just as people have done so in the case of Jesus, son of Maryas. The Holy Prophetsa stated that regarding him they should say that he is a servant of Allah and His Messengersa.’ Hazrat Umarra then said, ‘I have been informed that there is someone from among you who states that Hazrat Abu Bakrra was granted the mantle of Khilafat by mere chance.’ Hazrat Umarra continued, ‘This individual also stated that by God, if Umar were to die, he would do the Bai‘at of such and such person.’” Hazrat Umarra then first addressed the statement made in regards to Hazrat Abu Bakrra. “He stated, ‘let me make it clear that no one should remain in any doubt that Hazrat Abu Bakrra was mistakenly elected to Khilafat in a hastily manner. Listen carefully, his Bai‘at was indeed carried out in similar conditions i.e. in a hastily manner, but God Almighty granted protection from any evil outcome of it.’” Perhaps the incident took place in a hastily manner, but God Almighty safeguarded them from any evil outcome. “Moreover, there is none among you the like of Abu Bakrra, for whom people would travel long distances on camels in order to meet him” i.e. there is no one who can match to his scholarly excellence, sincerity and righteousness. Then there are some further details in relation to this incident which have been mentioned in this narration.

“Hazrat Umarra then stated, ‘Anyone who takes the Bai‘at without having done mutual consultation with the Muslims, such an individual’s Bai‘at should not be taken.’” In other words, the Bai‘at of Hazrat Abu Bakrra was done after much consultation. “‘Also, not only should one not do the Bai‘at of such a person but also of the person who pledges his Bai‘at at such a person’s hand for one will ultimately perish in the case of both instances.’ Hazrat Umarra then narrated the actual account and said, ‘When Allah the Almighty caused the Holy Prophetsa to pass away, the Ansar began to oppose us. We all gathered at Thaqifa Banu Saidah, including the Muhajireen, Alira, Zubairra and also those who were against us. We all went to Hazrat Abu Bakrra and I said to him to let us go to our Ansar brothers. We were discussing about them whilst on our way to them and when we reached nearby, we met two pious men from among them.’” In the earlier narration that I mentioned it stated that Hazrat Ma‘anra bin Adiyy was one of the two pious men. In any case, Hazrat Umarra continues to further relate the incident. “These two individuals we met informed us of the decision regarding which all the Ansar had unanimously agreed upon. They said, ‘O Muhajireen! Where do you wish to go?’ We told them that we wished to see our Ansar brothers, however these two individuals – one of whom was Hazrat Ma‘anra bin Adiyy – said, ‘Do not go there! It would be better for you to not meet them and whatever it was that you wished to discuss with them, just consult it amongst yourselves.’ Hazrat Umarra states, ‘I said that by Allah! We will certainly go to them and having said this, we continued on and went straight into one of the large canopies of the Banu Saidah.’” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitabul Hudood, Bab Rajmil Hubla min al-Zinaa Idhaa Ahsanat, Hadith 6830)

Hazrat Abu Bakrra and Hazrat Umarra then had a lengthy discussion with the Ansar on the subject of the election of Khilafat. Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra has mentioned this incident in some detail, which I will quote. With regard to the Ansar who were sat at Thaqifa Banu Saidah, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:

“Upon the demise of the Holy Prophetsa, three groups formed among the Companionsra. One of the groups was of the opinion that after the Holy Prophetsa, there should be someone to establish the Islamic system. However, who could understand this better than the members from the family of the Holy Prophetsa, therefore someone should be appointed from among them. They believed that someone from among the progeny of the Holy Prophetsa should be appointed and not from any other family. In their view, they thought that if someone was appointed who was not from the family of the Holy Prophetsa, then perhaps the people would not obey him and in this way, it would cause disorder within the system.”

“Progeny” also meant anyone close from his relatives as well, such as his sons-in-law, etc. Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra continues:

“Since people were already accustomed to demonstrating obedience to the family of the Holy Prophetsa, therefore they believed that if someone was appointed from the Holy Prophet’ssa family, they would happily obey him as well. Just like people obey the king, but when he passes away and his son ascends to the throne, they also happily show obedience to him.

“However, the second group was of the opinion that it was not necessary for this person to be appointed from the family of the Holy Prophetsa. What was essential was that there should be someone who was appointed as a representative of the Holy Prophetsa. Therefore, whosoever was most worthy of this should be appointed. This particular group was then divided into a further two groups. Although both groups agreed on the fact that there should be a representative of the Holy Prophetsa, however they disagreed as to which group of people this representative be appointed from. One party believed that it should be someone from among those who remained in the company of the Holy Prophetsa the longest and benefitted from his teachings i.e. the Muhajireen and even among them it should be the Quraish as the whole of Arabia would be willing to listen to them. On the other hand, the other party believed that since the Holy Prophetsa passed away in Medina and the Ansar had a much stronger influence in Medina, therefore they would be able to discharge this duty more effectively. Nonetheless, there was a disagreement between the Ansar and the Muhajireen. The Ansar thought that since the Holy Prophetsa spent most of his life in an administrative capacity among them in Medina – since there was no administrative structure in place in Mecca – as a result the Ansar thought they better understood how to run a government and therefore they had the rights to Khilafat over everyone else.

“The second argument presented by the Ansar was that since the area belonged to them, therefore naturally they would have an influence over the people, whereas the Muhajireen would not be able to have the same effect over the people. That is why they thought that a successor of the Holy Prophetsa ought to be from among the Ansar as opposed to being among the Muhajireen. On the contrary, the Muhajireen thought that they had spent the longest time in the company of the Holy Prophetsa, whereas the Ansar had not spent as much time with the Holy Prophetsa. Therefore, their level of understanding of the faith was more than the Ansar.”

With regard to this, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra writes:

“The other people were still pondering over this disagreement and had not yet reached any conclusion, when the final group of the Ansar gathered in the courtyard of the Banu Sa‘ida and began discussing the matter. They concluded that Saadra bin Ubadah, who was from among the leaders of the Khazraj tribe, should be made the Khalifa. Thus, the Ansar conferred among themselves saying, ‘Since the land as well as all the properties belongs to us, therefore it would be best for Islam if the Khalifa is chosen from among us.’ Hence, they decided that there was no one more worthy for this task than Saadra bin Ubadah.

“Whilst they were still discussing the matter, some people from among them asked that if the Muhajireen rejected this proposal, then what would happen in such a case? One person from among them said, ‘Then we will tell them:

مِنَّا اَمِیْرٌ وَمِنْکُمْ اَمِیْرٌ 

i.e. one leader should be elected from among us and one leader should be elected from among you.’ Saadra, who was a very wise man, said ‘This would be the first sign of weakness on our part.’” The person they wished to appoint as the Khalifa from among the Ansar said that this would be the first sign of weakness and that the Khalifa should either be from among the Ansar or the Muhajireen. “‘To say that there will be a leader elected from each group demonstrates that one has not understood the concept of Khilafat. This is equivalent to causing a division within Islam.’ Subsequently, when the Muhajireen became aware of this discussion taking place, they went there swiftly. Hazrat Umarra stated – and this has been mentioned previously – that he along with Hazrat Abu Bakrra and a few Muhajireen went there. They believed that if the Khalifa was not from among the Muhajireen, then the Arabs would not obey him. This would not be the case of only Medina, but in fact the whole of Arabia. Undoubtedly, the Ansar were dominant in Medina, however, all of Arabia honoured the nobility and the greatness of the Meccans. Thus, the Muhajireen knew that in such a time, if the elected Khalifa was from among the Ansar, then it would pose a major issue for all the Arabs and it could be that most of them are unable to succeed in this trial.

“Therefore, all of the Muhajireen gathered there and among them were Hazrat Abu Bakrra, Hazrat Umarra and Hazrat Abu Ubaidahra. Hazrat Umarra says, ‘I had prepared an eloquent speech and it was my intention to deliver this speech. Subsequently the Ansar would understand my arguments and would be compelled to elect a Khalifa from among the Muhajireen as opposed to the Ansar. However, when we reached there, Hazrat Abu Bakrra stood up to address them. I thought to myself as to how he would manage to speak about anything. By God! Hazrat Abu Bakrra mentioned everything that I had thought of saying. In fact, he even presented further arguments [in favour of the Muhajireen]. It was at that point I realised that I could never compare myself to Abu Bakrra.’

“Thus, the Muhajireen stated that given the situation it was vital for the Khalifa to be from among the Muhajireen and also presented the Hadith of the Holy Prophetsa:

اَلْاَئِمَّۃُ مِنْ قُرَیْشٍ 

that ‘Your leaders ought to be from among the Quraish.’  He also mentioned the fact that the Muhajireen accepted Islam first and mentioned many of the sacrifices they undertook for the faith. Hubbab bin Munzir Khazraji opposed this and said, ‘We do not accept that the Khalifa should be from among Muhajireen. But if you do not agree to this and insist upon it then there is no option but to elect one leader from us and for you to elect one leader from among yourselves. One Khalifa would be from among us and one Khalifa would be from among you and in this way, we can resolve the issue.’ Hazrat Umarra said, ‘Ponder again over what you are saying! Are you not aware that the Holy Prophetsa said that it is not permissible to have two leaders appointed at one time?’”

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra further writes, “From the Ahadith, it seems that the Holy Prophetsa had made interpretations that indicated the institution of Khilafat. However, during the lifetime of the Holy Prophetsa, it never occurred to the Companions.”

The reason for this is the Divine wisdom that Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra mentioned in the earlier part of the narration. Nonetheless, Hazrat Umarra said that the demand for there to be one leader elected from among the Ansar and one to be elected among the Muhajireen was irrational as well as unlawful from the perspective of the Islamic Shariah.

How then was Hazrat Abu Bakrra elected?

“After a brief discussion, Hazrat Ubaidahra stood up and reminded the Ansar that they were the first people to accept Islam outside of Mecca, and now after the demise of the Holy Prophetsa, they should not be the first people to make changes within the faith. This is said to have had such a profound impact on the people that Bashir bin Saad Khazraji stood up and addressed his tribe by saying, ‘They are speaking the truth. When we pledged to support and assist the Holy Prophetsa, it was not for any material gain, nor did we follow him so we could attain sovereignty after him. On the contrary, we followed him for the sake of God Almighty. Therefore, it is not a question of whose right it is to be leader or a Khalifa, rather it is a question of what Islam requires. The Khalifa should therefore be from among the Muhajireen because they have spent a long time in the company of the Holy Prophetsa.’ There was further discussion on this for a short while and after approximately 30 to 45 minutes, the opinion of the people slowly changed, and they accepted that the Khalifa ought to be from among the Muhajireen.

“Hazrat Abu Bakrra then suggested the names of Hazrat Umarra and Hazrat Abu Ubaidahra for Khalifa.” Hazrat Abu Bakrra himself suggested the two names that they ought to perform the Bai‘at at the hands of either Hazrat Umarra or Hazrat Abu Ubaidahra. “However, both of them refused and said that they would perform the Bai‘at of the one whom the Holy Prophetsa appointed as Imam during his days of illness and the one who is the best among all of the Muhajireen. With regard to Hazrat Abu Bakrra presenting the names of Hazrat Umarra and Hazrat Abu Ubaidahra for the position of Khalifa, Hazrat Umarra himself narrates that there was an excellent sequence to the speech delivered by Hazrat Abu Bakrra. He states that everything in the speech was commanding and he did not disagree with anything except that Hazrat Abu Bakrra presented his name and the name of Hazrat Abu Ubaidahra to become Khalifa. Hazrat Umarra says, “I swear by God that when Hazrat Abu Bakrra presented my name, it would have pleased me more to have my neck severed and die in this manner, than to be a leader of a group of people in which Hazrat Abu Bakrra was present among them.”

Meaning that the status of Hazrat Abu Bakrra was such that it was not possible for him to be appointed as the Khalifa whilst Hazrat Abu Bakrra was present, but aside from this, the rest of the speech was articulate.

Nonetheless, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra says:

“Hazrat Umarra then said that they would pledge allegiance to the best among the Muhajireen. This meant that there was no person worthier than Hazrat Abu Bakrra for the position of Khalifa. Thus, after this everyone began to pledge allegiance to Hazrat Abu Bakrra; the first person to pledge allegiance was Hazrat Umarra, then Hazrat Abu Ubaidahra, then Bashirra bin Saad Khazraji, followed by the tribes of Aus and Khazraj. The people were so enthusiastic, that in their eagerness, they nearly trampled Saadra, who was ill at the time and unable to get up. Soon after, with the exception of Saad and Hazrat Alira, everyone had pledged allegiance; even Saad’s own son had pledged allegiance. Hazrat Alira pledged allegiance after a few days; according to some narrations, he pledged allegiance after three days, whereas according to other narrations it is written that he pledged allegiance after six months. In the narrations where it is mentioned that Hazrat Alira pledged allegiance after six months, it is also written that he was unable to do so due to looking after Hazrat Fatimahra who was ill at the time. When Hazrat Alira came to pledge allegiance, he offered an apology that due to Hazrat Fatimah’sra illness, he was unable to pledge allegiance earlier. Thus, at the time, everyone pledged allegiance to Hazrat Abu Bakrra.” (Khilafat-e-Rashida, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 15, pp. 39-42)

Hazrat Urwah bin Zubairra narrates that at the time of the demise of the Holy Prophetsa, people were in an emotional state and would say that if only they had passed away before the Holy Prophetsa and that they feared of a dissent after his demise. Hazrat Ma‘anra – the companion who is being mentioned – said, “By God! I never wished for this.” The people in general desired that they ought to have passed away before the Holy Prophetsa, but Hazrat Ma‘anra said that he did not wish for this and said, “I did not wish to die before the Holy Prophetsa, because I wished to profess belief in the Holy Prophetsa after his demise in the same manner as I did so during his lifetime.” (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Saad, Vol. 3, pp. 244-245, Ma’an bin Adiyy, Dar Ihyaa al-Turath al-Arabi, Beirut, 1996)

“Just as I accepted the Holy Prophetsa as a prophet, I wished to profess belief for that system that was prophesied by him that would come into existence after his demise, i.e to protect Khilafat-e-Rashidah that has come into existence and safeguard myself from falling into the trap laid out by the hypocrites and the apostates.”

Thus, this is the level of faith which every Ahmadi should strive to inculcate within themselves. According to one narration, Hazrat Ma‘anra was with Hazrat Khalidra bin Walid in the army that was sent to supress the rebellion of those that had left Islam after the demise of the Holy Prophetsa. Hazrat Khalidra bin Walid sent Hazrat Ma‘anra to Yamama ahead of the army alongside 200 soldiers on horseback. (Al-Isaba Fi Tamyeez Al-Sahaba, Vol. 6, p. 151, Ma’an bin Adiyy, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2005)

The Holy Prophetsa had established a bond of brotherhood between Hazrat Ma‘anra and Hazrat Zaidra bin Khattab. Both of these Companions were martyred in the Battle of Yamama in 12 AH, during the Khilafat of Hazrat Abu Bakrra. (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Saad, Vol. 3, p. 244, Ma’an bin Adiyy, Dar Ihyaa al-Turath al-Arabi, Beirut, 1996)

May God Almighty enable every Ahmadi to understand the rank and honour of prophethood and enable them to demonstrate loyalty and sincerity in their relationship with Khilafat.

(Translated by The Review of Religions.Originally published in Al Fazl International, pp. 5-9, 13 September 2019)

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