Friday Sermon: Faith of the Companions r.a. (16 March 2018)


Friday Sermon

16 March 2018

Faith of the Companionsra


After reciting the Tashahud, Ta’awuz, Tasmiyah and Surah Al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa stated: 

While mentioning the status of the Companionsra [of the Holy Prophetsa], the Promised Messiahas stated on one occasion: 

“The revered companions, may Allah be pleased with all of them, are a luminous proof of the blessed character of the Holy Prophetsa. Now, if someone was to disregard these proofs, then, in other words, he would be seeking to disregard the prophethood of the Holy Prophetsa. Thus, only that person can truly value the Holy Prophetsa, who values his revered companionsra. One who does not esteem the revered companionsra can never truly esteem the Holy Prophetsa. Such a person would be making a false claim if he was to say, ‘I love the Holy Prophetsa.’ It would be impossible for a person to love the Holy Prophetsa but to harbour enmity against his companions.” (Malfuzat, Vol. 6, p. 278, 1985 UK)

Huzooras states: 

“It was the holy community of the revered Companionsra, which never parted from their Holy Prophetsa and who would not hesitate from even sacrificing their lives for his sake, indeed they did not hesitate from it.” He says, “They were so immersed in their obedience to the Holy Prophetsa that they became ever-ready to bear every hardship and difficulty for this.” (Malfuzat, Vol. 6, p. 277, 1985 UK)

Thus, this is that status of the Companions, may Allah be pleased with all of them, which every Ahmadi should keep in view. When we study the lives of the Companionsra and garner knowledge about their practices, their lofty status is further highlighted before us. This status should draw our attention towards the fact that their lives, character, achievements, obedience and standards of worship are an example for us and that we must endeavour to inculcate these [traits] into our lives. Now, I will narrate accounts of some of the Companionsra

Abu Dujana Ansarira was a companion of the Prophetsa. He accepted Islam before the migration of the Holy Prophetsa to Medina. He was a resident of Medina. He also had the honour of participating in the Battle of Badr alongside the Holy Prophetsa where he exhibited his mettle in great bravery. Likewise, he also had the opportunity to participate in the Battle of Uhud. After the turning point during the battle – that is, at first the Muslims were winning but then the battle took a turn, because the disbelievers attacked again due to a designated place being abandoned, and thus the battle turned against the Muslims – among those Companions, who remained the closest to the Holy Prophetsa at that time was Hazrat Abu Dujanara. And he sustained many injuries, while defending the Holy Prophetsa. However, in spite of the injuries, he did not retreat. (Siyar Al-Sahaba, Vol. 3, p. 207, Hazrat Abu Dujana Ansarira, Darul-Isha‘at Karachi 2004) (Al-Isti‘ab, Vol. 4, p. 1644, Abu Dujanara, Darul Jil, Beirut 1992)

Another incident, which is found among the narrations about him is that when the Holy Prophetsa, at one occasion, raised his sword and asked, “Who will put this sword to its rightful use, today?” It was Hazrat Abu Dujana Ansarira, who came forward upon hearing this. He said “I promise to fulfil the right of this sword.” The Holy Prophetsa, seeing his passion, handed his sword over to him. Then, he gathered the courage once again and asked, “O Messengersa of Allah! How shall the right of this sword be fulfilled?” The Holy Prophetsa replied: 

“This sword shall not cause the bloodshed of any Muslim. Secondly, the enemy from among the disbelievers shall not escape from it.” (Sahih Muslim, Kitab Fazail Al-Sahaba, Bab Min Fadhl Abu Dujanara, Hadith 6353) (Kanzul ‘Ummal, Vol. 4, p. 339, Hadith 10792, Moaissisatur-Risalah, Beirut 1985)

It was only to be used against those enemies from among the disbelievers who sought to wage war against the Muslims. He then took this sword and marched onto the battlefield with great pride and honour. Upon this, the Holy Prophetsa said: 

“Usually, Allah the Exalted dislikes such an expression of arrogance. However, today, Allah the Exalted greatly liked the manner in which Abu Dujana marched onto the battlefield.” (Usdul Ghabah, Vol. 6, p. 93, Abu Dujana, Darul Kutub Al-‘Ilmiyah, Beirut 1996)

He was martyred whilst fighting Musaylimah, the Liar, during the battle of Yamama. He made a most courageous plan to open the door of the fort (which had been locked from inside as he [Musylimah] hid in there). He told his companions to throw him over the wall. It was a very high rampart. When he was thrown over in this manner, he broke his leg. Despite this, he fought with great courage and opened the door of the fort and Muslims entered [the fort]. He demonstrated astonishing courage and bravery. Nevertheless, he was martyred whilst fighting in this condition. (Usdul Ghabah, Vol. 2, p. 551, Samak bin Khurshara, Darul Kutub Al-‘Ilmiyah, Beirut 1996)

Once, when he was ill, he said to his companion:

“Perhaps Allah the Exalted will accept two deeds of mine. Firstly, that I do not indulge in any vain discourse, nor speak behind anyone’s back. Secondly, I do not hold any grudge or malice in my heart against another Muslim.” (Al-Tabqat Al-Kubra Li-ibni Sa‘d, Vol. 3, p. 420, Bab Abu Dujanara, Darul Kutub Al-‘Ilmiyah, Beirut 1990)

Then, we find the mention of Hazrat Muhammadra bin Maslamah, who was from among the first Ansari Muslims [Muslim residents of Medina] and who was a very courageous and fearless person. Muhammadra bin Maslamah also took part in the battle of Uhud and remained by the side of the Holy Prophetsa with great resolve and steadfastness. One of his distinctions was that a prophecy of the Holy Prophetsa was fulfilled in his person. On one occasion, whilst handing him his sword, the Holy Prophetsa said:

“As long as you fight the idolaters, you should continue to fight them with this sword. However, when the time comes when Muslims begin to fight with one another, you should break this sword and stay at home until someone attacks you or death overcomes you.”

He acted in accordance with this guidance and he did so following the martyrdom of Hazrat Uthmanra. He physically destroyed the sword, made another sword from wood and would place it in his sheath. Someone asked him what use that sword was. He replied:

“The wisdom behind this is to maintain a degree of awe. Moreover, I have also complied with the instruction of the Holy Prophetsa not to keep a sword made from iron. Furthermore, a wooden sword cannot harm anyone.” 

Some Companions used to say that if there was a person who was not affected by the agitation, that is, the agitation that arose within Muslims after the martyrdom of Hazrat Uthman, it was Muhammadra bin Maslamah. In order to protect himself from the seditious agitation, he went to live in the wilderness and used to say, “Until the sedition is over, I intend to spend my life in the wilderness.” (Al-Tabqat Al-Kubra Li-ibni Sa‘d, Vol. 3, pp. 338-340, Bab Muhammad Bin Maslamahra, Darul Kutub Al-‘Ilmiyah, Beirut 1990)

Thus, these are the people who, if they fought, did so because [their] religion was being attacked. They did so because the Holy Prophetsa had said to fight those idolaters, who were attacking in order to exterminate religion. As long as Muslims remained firmly established on this, their power remained, through which they continued to be victorious. However, when they started to fight one another, they were swayed by the words of the hypocrites and began to kill one another, regardless of the fact that their governances remained intact and continued. As a result, they were no longer united and even their governance weakened slowly and gradually. 

Today, we observe that the internal disputes between Muslims have exceeded all bounds. Furthermore, another prophecy of the Holy Prophetsa has been fulfilled that following an era of darkness, when the time of light approaches, when the time of the Promised Messiah dawns, you should accept the Promised Messiah and attach yourself to [his] Jamaat, as all blessings lie in this. However, by not accepting this Promised One, we observe that Muslims are thirsty for each other’s blood in their very own countries and consequently today, the non-Muslim world is practically ruling over Muslims.

We also find many accounts in relation to Hazrat Muhammadsa bin Maslamah being extremely judicious and acquiescent. Due to this, the Khulafa [Successors of the Holy Prophetsa] trusted him greatly. Hazrat Umarra and Hazrat Uthmanra in particular had entrusted him with very important tasks and campaigns. When complaints were received against those who were appointed for various tasks in the administrative affairs, when complaints were received against them from other countries and places, Hazrat Umarra would send Muhammad bin Maslamah to investigate these complaints. (Al-Tabqat Al-Kubra Li-ibni Sa‘d, Vol. 3, p. 47, Bab Dhikr Al-Misriyin Wa Hasr Uthmanra, Darul Kutub Al-‘Ilmiyah, Beirut 1990) (Usdul Ghabah, Vol. 5, p. 107, Muhammad bin Maslamahra, Darul Kutub Al-‘Ilmiyah, Beirut 1996)

One of the early Companions was Hazrat Abu Ayub Ansarira. He was fortunate to have received the honour of being the host of the Holy Prophetsa during his early days in Medina after migration. Every person desired for the Holy Prophetsa to stay at their home and everyone expressed this desire, requesting the Holy Prophetsa [for this honour] at that time. The Holy Prophetsa said, “Let my camel loose. It will stop wherever Allah the Exalted desires.” Abu Ayub Ansarira was fortunate that the camel stopped in front of his home. However, people were not satisfied with this. They said, “Our homes are nearby as well, please stay with us.” Upon this, the Holy Prophetsa drew a lot and even then, the name of Hazrat Abu Ayub Ansarira came up. (Al-Tabqat Al-Kubra Li-ibni Sa‘d, Vol. 1, p. 183, Dhikr Khuruj Rasulullahsa, Darul Kutub Al-‘Ilmiyah, Beirut 1990)

Hence, the Holy Prophetsa stayed at his home. His house had two floors. Abu Ayub Ansarira stayed in the upper floor and the lower floor was offered to the Holy Prophetsa. He [Abu Ayub Ansarira] was on the upper floor one night, when a vessel or pot of water broke. They used to have pots of clay, in which they stored water. Even today, water is stored in such pots in third-world and impoverished countries, such as Pakistan and in Africa. Anyhow, the pot broke. Abu Ayub Ansarira and his wife spent the entire night drying [the spillage] with their quilt. The following day, he related the incident that had transpired the previous night to the Holy Prophetsa and requested the Holy Prophetsa to stay on the upper floor. The Holy Prophetsa accepted his request and stayed with him for approximately six or seven months. He tried to fulfil his dues of hospitality most excellently.  His own meal would be the leftovers of the Holy Prophetsa. In a narration it is mentioned that wherever the marks of the Holy Prophet’s fingers could be seen, he would eat the leftovers of the Holy Prophetsa from there. One day, he observed that there were no finger marks of the Holy Prophetsa on the food and the food seemed not to have been eaten. He went to the Holy Prophetsa and asked, “Huzoor, you did not eat today?” Upon this the Holy Prophetsa replied, “I was about to eat, when I noticed that it was prepared with onions and garlic. As I do not like these, I did not eat.” Hazrat Abu Ayyub Ansarira said, “I dislike whatever the Holy Prophetsa dislikes and I will never eat these items in future.” How astonishing are these stories of love and devotion. (Musnad Ahmad Bin Hanbal, Vol. 7, p. 781, Hadith 23966, Musnad Abu Ayub Ansarira, ‘Alam Al-Kutub, Beirut) (Sahih Muslim, Al-Ashriba, Bab Abahatu Aklith-Thaum, Hadith 5356) (Al-Tabqat Al-Kubra Li-ibni Sa‘d, Vol. 1, p. 183, Dhikr Khuruj Rasulullahsa, Darul Kutub Al-‘Ilmiyah, Beirut 1990)

Hazrat Abu Ayub Ansarira participated in all the battles [where the Holy Prophetsa was present]. (Al-Tabqat Al-Kubra Li-Ibni Sa‘d, Vol. 3, p. 369, Bab Abu Ayub Ansarira, Darul Kutub Al-‘Ilmiyah, Beirut 1990)

During the Battle of Khaybar, the Jewish leader was killed. When his daughter, Hazrat Safiyya was married to Holy Prophetsa, the following morning, the Holy Prophetsa came outside to lead the prayers and saw Abu Ayub Ansarira stood, watching guard. The Holy Prophetsa enquired as to why he was doing so. He replied, “Close relatives of Hazrat Safiyya have been hurt at our hands and some of them were even killed. For this reason, the thought came to my mind that I should come and keep guard lest anyone causes mischief or tries to take revenge.” The Holy Prophetsa then prayed for him in the following manner, “O Lord! Keep Abu Ayub always under Your protection, just as he readily stayed the whole night protecting me!”

Hazrat Abu Ayub Ansarira also participated in the Battle of Rome in spite of his old age. He only participated in order to witness [the fulfilment of] the prophecy of the Holy Prophetsa regarding Constantinople. However, he also fell ill in that duration. When he was asked as to what his final wishes were, his reply was to convey his greetings to every Muslim and for his grave to be as close as possible to the land of the enemy. Henceforth, after his demise during the night, his coffin was taken to the furthest possible point in the land of the enemy where he was buried. Even today his grave is found in Turkey and it is said and there are also narrations, people have crafted narrations pertaining harmful innovations that people supplicate him. Certainly, it is not he who is supplicated but whatever one prays for at his grave, that prayer is accepted. (Al-Sirat Al-Hilbiyah, Vol. 3, p. 65, Ghazwa Khaybar, Darul Kutub Al-‘Ilmiyah, Beirut 2002) (Usdul Ghabah, Vol. 2, p. 123, Khalid bin Zaid bin Kalibra, Darul Kutub Al-‘Ilmiyah, Beirut 1996)

Anyhow, with the passage of time, such stories are concocted. The result of the prayer of the Holy Prophetsa of protection and security of Abu Ayubra was that he participated in many battles and every time came forth as a ghazi [Muslim soldier who has triumphed battle] and he attained a very long life. 

Then we have the companion of the Holy Prophetsa, Abdullahra bin Rawaha who was a renowned poet of Arabia and was also known by his title of “Poet of the Messengersa”. (Sirat Al-Sahab, Vol. 3, p. 409, Darul-Isha‘at, Karachi 2004)

After the Battle of Badr had ended, he was the one who delivered the message of victory to the people of Medina. (Al-Tabqat Al-Kubra Li-ibni Sa‘d, Vol. 3, p. 398, Bab Abdullahra bin Rawaha, Darul Kutub Al-‘Ilmiyah, Beirut 1990)

There are incidents where Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha expressed his devotion, love and sense of honour for the Holy Prophetsa, one of which is as follows: Urwah related that Usama bin Zaid informed him that the Holy Prophetsa was mounted on a donkey which had a saddle, beneath which was a cloth from the region of Fadak. He had Usama sitting behind him. He had travelled to the tribe of Banu Harith bin Khazraj to enquire of the health of Hazrat Sa‘d bin Abadah. This incident took place before the Battle of Badr. The Holy Prophetsa passed by a group of people, which comprised of Muslims, idolaters and Jews who all sat together. Among them was Abdullah bin Ubayy and also in this assembly was Abdullahra bin Rawaha. When the Holy Prophetsa drew closer to the group, his mount caused a little dust to swirl up in the air. Abdullah bin Ubayy covered his nose with his cloth and said, “Don’t spread dust on us.” The Holy Prophetsa said to them “Peace be upon you.” Then he stopped and dismounted. He began calling them to Allah the Exalted and reciting the Holy Quran to them. Abdullah bin Ubayy said to the Holy Prophetsa “O you, this is not good. Even if what you say is true, do not come to our gathering and trouble us. So return to where you came from and relate only to those who come to you.” Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha, who was also seated there said, “O Messenger of Allah! You may come to our gatherings we very much like this.” (Sahih Muslim, Kitab Al-Jihad Wa Al-Siyar, Bab Fi Du’a Al-Nabisa Wa Sabarihi, Hadith 4659)

He did not give heed as to what his leader was saying. This was the sense of honour and love which Abdullahra bin Rawaha overwhelmingly expressed for the Holy Prophetsa and did not care one bit for the chiefs and worldly people. 

Hazrat Ibn Abbasra relates that the Holy Prophetsa sent forth some companions on an expedition, among whom was Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha. It was a Friday and the other companions in this expedition had already left in the morning. He said “I shall offer my Jumu’ah Prayer with the Holy Prophetsa and then join them.” When the Holy Prophetsa saw him present in the mosque, after completing the Friday Prayers, he asked, “What is it that hindered you from leaving with your companions?” He answered “O Messenger of Allah! It was my earnest desire and wish to be present during the Friday Prayers with the Holy Prophetsa and listen to your sermon. Thereafter I will take another route and meet up with the group.” The Holy Prophetsa stated, “Even if you spent all that was in the earth, you would still not attain the reward of those who, in accordance with the instructions, departed in the morning for the expedition.” (Sunan Al-Tirmidhi, Abwab Al-Jumu’ah, Bab Ma Ja-a Fi Safar Yaum Al-Jumu’ah, Hadith 527)

So here, the emphasis is on obedience being obligatory.  It has been narrated that after this, whenever he went on an expedition or participated in a battle, Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha was always the first to join the group and the last to return to Medina. (Usdul Ghabah, Vol. 3, p. 236, Abdullahra bin Rawaha, Darul Kutub Al-‘Ilmiyah, Beirut 1996)

There is one account in which Urwah bin Zubair narrates that the Holy Prophetsa appointed Zaidra bin Haritha as the army commander in the Battle of Mu’tah and stated that if Hazrat Zaidra was martyred then Hazrat Ja’farra bin Abi Talib would be the commander. If he too was martyred, then Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha would assume leadership. If Abdullahra too was martyred, then Muslims were to appoint whoever they desired as commander. When the time came to see off the army, Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha began weeping. People asked Abdullah “Why are you weeping?” He said: 

“By God I have absolutely no love nor any desire for the world. However, I heard the Holy Prophetsa say, with regards to the Quranic verse: 

وَ اِنْ مِّنْكُمْ اِلَّا وَارِدُهَا كَانَ عَليٰ رَبِّكَ حَتْمًا مَّقْضِيًّا

‘And there is not one of you but will come to it. This is a fixed decree with thy Lord,’ (Surah Maryam, Ch.19: V.72)

That everyone must face the Fire once. Hence, I do not know what my state will be once I have crossed the Bridge of Siraat [on the Day of Reckoning].” (Usdul Ghabah, Vol. 3, p. 237, Bab Abdullahra bin Rawaha, Darul Kutub Al-‘Ilmiyah, Beirut 1996)

However, it is narrated that the Holy Prophetsa has given such God-fearing people the glad tidings of the best possible end. During the Battle of Mu’tah the Holy Prophetsa said regarding the army commanders, “I have seen them in Paradise seated on thrones of gold.” 

Thus, these were the people who fulfilled their noble objectives. Their desire for martyrdom is evident in the following poetic couplet, the translation of which is as follows: “May I be struck with such arrows and spears that pass through my intestines to my liver and my martyrdom be accepted before God, so that those who pass by my grave may say, ‘O God, be good to him, what a great warrior he was!’” 

Some details of the Battle of Mu’tah, in which he was martyred are that when they reached Mu’tah, they became aware that the Ghassani tribe had requested help against the Muslims from Heraclius, Caesar of Rome and that he had sent an army of 200,000 to combat the Muslims. 

At the time, the leaders of the Muslim army consulted each other and it was decided to send a message to the Holy Prophetsa with a request for reinforcements due to this increase in number of the enemy or to take any other action that the Holy Prophetsa advised. At this juncture, Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha boosted the morale of the Muslims and his war poetry also came to good use. The Muslim army consisting of 3,000 men advanced towards the opposing army of 200,000. (Usdul Ghabah, Vol. 3, p. 237, Bab Abdullahra bin Rawaha, Darul Kutub Al-‘Ilmiyah, Beirut 1996)

Zaidra bin Arqam narrates Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha’s desire for martyrdom. He states: 

“Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha took me with him for the Battle of Mu’tah, riding together on his camel.” Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha had raised Hazrat Zaidra bin Arqam as an orphan child and had trained him. He says, “One night I heard Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha reciting a poetic couplet in reminiscence of his family, saying that he would never return home again. He was humming this couplet joyously in which he would address his wife and say ‘Thursday night, when you packed my saddle for this journey in jihad, you were close to me one last time, how wonderful and blessed was your state. There are no imperfections and flaws in you. However, I am here now in the battlefield and I shall never return to you.’” 

This was his way of bidding farewell to his family in their absence. When the young Zaidra heard this, he became sad and began weeping. Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha admonished him and said:

“O naïve child, what do you have to lose if Allah the Exalted grants me martyrdom? If that happens, you will in fact sit on my ride comfortably, all by yourself, and return home.” (Usdul Ghabah, Vol. 3, pp. 236-237, Bab Abdullahra bin Rawaha, Darul Kutub Al-‘Ilmiyah)

Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha demonstrated great mettle in the battlefield. Hazrat Nu‘man bin Bashir would later on narrate, “When Hazrat Ja‘farra was martyred, Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha’s name was called, who, at the time was to the side of the army. He came forward while addressing himself in the following couplet from his war poetry” the translation of which is: “O my soul! Will you not battle in such a manner that you give up your life? You have already entered the pool of death and the time for the fulfillment of your desire to attain martyrdom is nigh. If you were to offer your life as a tribute right now, then perhaps you will obtain a good ending.”

Mus‘abra bin Shiba narrates:

“After the martyrdom of Hazrat Zaidra and Hazrat Ja‘farra, Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha came to the front lines. A spear struck him and a stream of blood gushed forth. He raised his hands, caught this blood and rubbed it on his face after which he fell down in the middle of the army lines of the enemy and the Muslims. However, he continued to encourage the Muslims as their Army General until his last breath. While motivating the Muslims in a most effective and passionate manner, he sought their help and said, ‘Look, O Muslims! Your brother’s body is lying in front of the enemy. Come forward and push the enemy away from this path and drive them out.’” Hence, at that moment the Muslims fiercely and successively attacked the enemies so much so that Hazrat ‘Abdullah also attained martyrdom. (Usdul Ghabah, Vol. 3, pp. 237-238, Bab Abdullahra bin Rawaha, Darul Kutub Al-‘Ilmiyah, Beirut 1996)

His widow related one of his great attributes. She got married after his martyrdom and her husband enquired, “Tell me something about Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawahah’s pure character.” The lady gave a most beautiful testament in this regard. She replied:

“Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha would never leave the house without offering two rak’at [units] of supererogatory prayers. Similarly, the very first thing he would do after entering the house was, after performing ablution he would offer two rak’at of supererogatory prayers.” (Al-Asabah Fi Tamiz Al-Sahaba, Vol. 4, p. 74, Abdullahra bin Rawaha, Darul Kutub Al-‘Ilmiyah)

These were the people who would remember Allah the Almighty in every condition and at every moment. 

There is a narration about his standard of obedience. Hazrat Abu Lailara narrates:

“Once the Holy Prophetsa was delivering a sermon during which he said, ‘O People be seated.’ Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha was outside the mosque on his way to listen to the sermon but he sat right then and there. The Holy Prophetsa addressed him and stated: 

زَادَكَ اللہُ حِرْصًا عَلَي طَوَاعِيَةِ اللہِ وَ طَوَاعِيَةِ رَسُوْلِهِ

‘(O Abdullah bin Rawaha.) May Allah the Exalted increase your passion of obeying Allah and His Messenger.’”

What were the standards of these people concerning organizing religious gatherings, engaging in purposeful conversations, fulfilling the due rights of each other? In this regard Hazrat Abu Darda’ra narrates:

“I seek refuge from Allah the Exalted that I may face a day when I do not remember Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha. I think of him every single day and this is due to one of his good qualities. Whenever we met, if he would arrive from behind me he would put his hand on my shoulders; if he would arrive from the front he would place his hand on my chest and say, ‘O Abu Darda’! Let go and let’s sit down together to reinvigorate our faith. Let’s talk about faith.’ We would sit together for as long as possible and remember Allah the Almighty. Then he would say: ‘O Abu Darda’! These are spiritual gatherings.’” (Usdul Ghabah, Vol. 3, p. 236, Bab Abdullahra bin Rawaha, Darul Kutub Al-‘Ilmiyah, Beirut 1996) 

Hence, those who organized such spiritual gatherings also established models for us to follow and emulate. 

How did the Holy Prophetsa certify such gatherings and their discussions? Hazrat Anasra narrates:

“It was Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha’s practice that when he would meet his fellow companions, he would urge them:

تَعَالَ نُؤْمِنْ بِرَبِّنَا سَاعَةً

‘Come, let’s believe in our Lord for a while.’

One day, he said the same thing to a man but the man got angry at this. He went to the Holy Prophetsa and complained: ‘O Messengersa of Allah! Look at Abdullah bin Rawaha. He is turning people away from believing in you and is inviting them to believe for a short while.’ The Holy Prophetsa said:

يَرْحَمُ اللّٰهُ ابْنَ رَوَاحَة

‘May Allah have mercy on Abdullah bin Rawaha. He is fond of such gatherings which the Angels also take pride in.’” (Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal, Vol. 4, p. 676, Hadith 13832, Musnad Anas bin Malikra, Alam Al-Kutub Al-‘Ilmiyah, Beirut 1998)

He was an illustrious poet. Amongst the Companions of the Holy Prophetsa, aside from Hazrat Ka‘b bin Malik and Hazrat Hassan bin Thabit, he was among the three illustrious poets. His poetry was in the Razmiya [epic tales] style. 

The author of Mu‘jam Al-Shu‘ara wrote:

“Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha was also a renowned poet in the Jahiliyya [pre-Islam era] period, and even after the dawn of Islam he held a prominent status. Hazrat Abdullahra composed such a couplet in praise of the Holy Prophetsa that can be termed as his best couplet. This couplet beautifully captures the state of his heart in which Hazrat Abdullah addresses the Holy Prophetsa:

لَوْ لَمْ تَكُنْ فِيْهِ آيَاتٌ مُّبَيِّنَةٌ

كَانَتْ بَدِيْهَتُهُ تُنْبِيْكَ بِالْخَبَرِ

‘O Muhammad! Even if you were without the countless luminous signs that radiate your truthfulness and veracity, your countenance alone was enough to declare your truthfulness.’” (Al-Asabah Fi Tamiz Al-Sahaba, Vol. 4 p. 75, Abdullahra bin Rawaha, Darul Kutub Al-‘Ilmiyah, Beirut 2005)

These people were true ardent devotees of the Holy Prophetsa, who recognised the truth by merely seeing the countenance of the Holy Prophetsa

Furthermore, we find an account in history of two young brothers who were remarkably brave and courageous; Hazrat Mu‘az bin Harith bin Rifa‘ah and Hazrat Mu‘awiz bin Harith bin Rifa‘ah. They were present during the Battle of Badr and played a role in killing Abu Jahl. In the Battle of Badr, the fighting was intense. The Muslims were faced with an army that outnumbered them by three to one and that was fully equipped with all forms of apparatus of warfare. They entered the battlefield with the intent to wipe out the name of Islam. The feeble Muslims were very few in number. Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad sahibra has mentioned the entire incident in his book Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin

The Muslims were impoverished and in a state of exile. With respect to their apparent means, they should not have survived more than a few minutes against the Meccans. However, they were immersed in the task at hand, and the love of the Oneness of God and for their Prophet had made them delve in a passion that nothing in this world was stronger than it at the time and that this was faith. It was their living faith that had infused them with extraordinary strength. In that battlefield they set an example of service to faith which is unmatched. Every single person was more anxious than the other to lay down his life in the way of Allah the Exalted. 

Such was the level of sincerity and passion of the Ansar about which Abdur Rahman bin Aufra relates:

“When the fighting began, I looked to my left and right and saw two youths from among the Ansar stand by my side. When I saw them, my heart sank as it is normal practice in such battles to rely on fellow-fighters to one’s left and right. Only if one’s sides are protected can a person engage properly in battle.” 

Abdur Rahmanra further says: “I was engulfed in the thought of how these two [youths] could protect me, when one of the youths whispered to me in a manner as to conceal from the other [youth] ‘Uncle! Where is Abu Jahl; the one who used to cause pain to the Holy Prophetsa in Mecca?’ The youth then said, ‘I have made a pledge with Allah the Exalted that I will kill him’ or he said, ‘I will die trying to kill him.’” 

Abdur Rahmanra says: “I had not yet answered when the other youth quietly asked me the same question. The level of their bravery took me aback since Abu Jahl was essentially the General of the Army and was surrounded by experienced fighters who were seasoned soldiers. I pointed out Abu Jahl to them with the gesture of my hand.” Abdur Rahmanra further says: “As soon as I pointed towards him, the two youths darted like eagles, cutting up the enemy lines, until they reached that very spot and attacked Abu Jahl with such velocity that his other commanders were left stunned and Abu Jahl fell to the ground.” 

Ikramah bin Abi Jahl was with his father, however he was unable to save him. He attacked Mu‘az with such ferocity from behind that it cut his right arm and it was left dangling. Mu‘az ran after Ikramah, however he managed to escape. Since the partially severed arm was becoming a hindrance in the battle, Mu‘az forcefully pulled his arm off from his body and continued fighting. (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, p. 362)

Thus, these young boys had a sense of honour for their faith. It was the deep love for the Holy Prophetsa that had made them fearless in that they wished to finish off that enemy of Islam with their own hands, who had caused pain to the Holy Prophetsa for several years. They were not like the so-called [modern-day] jihadists who radicalise young men and children, bidding them to fight for Islam. Rather, they had a purpose; since the enemy did not permit them to live in peace even after they had migrated, in that instance they were prepared to offer every sacrifice so that peace could be established, rather than disorder created. 

These days, in order to seize governance of countries, youths are kidnapped and then radicalised. Recently there was a news report in which a fourteen-year-old Syrian boy who had escaped from there said that he was kidnapped on the way to school and forcefully trained to fight. [He said] “At first I resisted and I was treated harshly. Eventually they sent me out to fight. With great difficulty, I managed to escape them.” Thus, these are the sorts of actions being carried out by Muslims in the name of Islam, which are completely opposed to the teachings of Islam. If there were wars in Islam and people readily sacrificed their lives, then it was only done to safeguard religion and to establish peace in the world. Therefore, there is a stark difference between those who carried out jihad and the jihadists of today. 

The Promised Messiahas states:

“This is the example of the Companionsra that I wish to see amongst the members of my community in that they give precedence to Allah the Exalted and nothing impedes them in this path. They should consider their lives and their wealth insignificant. I have observed some people send in cards [in the form of letters] in which they express loss in their business or employment or having suffered any other misfortune, they instantly fall in doubts.”

They begin to have doubt if they have made a mistake in accepting the Promised Messiahas and harbour such doubts about religion, the existence of God and the Promised Messiahas

The Promised Messiahas continues:

“From this, anyone can gauge how far these individuals are from their true goal and aim. Ponder over the difference between such people and the Companionsra? The Companionsra [of the Holy Prophetsa] wished to please Allah the Exalted, irrespective of the trials and difficulties they endured in the process. If one of them did not suffer difficulty or hardships or there was a delay in this regard, they would cry out and weep.” That is, the Companionsra considered enduring hardships as a means of gaining nearness to Allah the Exalted; they had comprehended this. The Promised Messiahas says: “They had understood well that enduring these trials, one could become like a moth to a flame in the way of seeking the pleasure of God and also seek the treasures of Divine pleasure.”

The Promised Messiahas presented a Persian Couplet: 

هر بلا كيں قوم راحق داده است

زير آں گنج كرم بنهاده است

That is, “Whatever trial befalls them from Allah, there lies beneath it a treasure of the Divine grace.” 

The Promised Messiahas further states: 

“The Holy Quran is filled with their praise, open it and see! The lives of the Companionsra demonstrate the truthfulness of the Holy Prophetsa. The noble status of the Companionsra has been described by the Holy Quran in the following words: 

مِنْهُمْ مَّنْ قَضيٰ نَحْبَهُ وَ مِنْهُمْ مَّنْ يَّنْتَظِرُ

‘…There are some of them who have fulfilled their vow, and some who still wait…’ (Surah Al-Ahzab, Ch.33: V.24)

“In other words, some of them have attained martyrdom and have achieved their true objective. While others are waiting with the desire to attain martyrdom. The Companionsra did not incline towards the worldly life in seeking to live long lives and accumulate wealth and means by which they could lead a carefree and luxurious life.”

The Promised Messiahas further states: 

“When I observe the example of the Companionsra, I impulsively acknowledge the power of holiness and supreme beneficence of the Holy Prophetsa, in that he brought about a complete transformation in them and made them completely inclined to God.” 

اَللّٰهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَي مُحَمَّدٍ وَ عَلَي آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ وَّ بَارِكْ وَسَلِّمْ

[O Allah, bless Muhammadsa and the people of Muhammadsa with countless blessings and prosperity.]

The Promised Messiahas states: 

“In essence, it is our duty to remain in search of attaining pleasure of Allah the Exalted and consider this to be our ultimate objective. All our efforts and struggles should be streamlined to seek the pleasure of Allah the Exalted, even if it be by experiencing difficulties and hardships. The pleasure of Allah the Exalted is better and far superior than the world and all its desires.” (Malfuzat, Vol. 8, pp. 82-83, UK 1985)

May Allah the Exalted enable us to achieve this! 

After the Friday Prayers, I will lead a funeral Prayer in absentia of respected Al-Haj Ismail BK Addo sahib. He was a Ghanaian Ahmadi and passed away on 8 March at the age of 84. Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Ilaihi Raji‘un. [Surely to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.]

He was a born Ahmadi and his father’s name was Ismail Kwabena Addo and his mother’s name was Jannat Addo. His father was a Christian and took the Bai‘at in 1928 and joined the Jamaat. Ismail Addo sahib’s mother passed away when he was very young. He completed his secondary school education from T.I. Ahmadiyya School in Kumasi and in 1964 he completed his Bachelor’s Degree in English. After this he completed his professional qualifications from the Teacher Training College Ghana. He was then appointed as a teacher in various places and until 1980 he worked as an assistant head teacher. He was then transferred to Saltpond in Central Region [Ghana] and taught English. 

He would arrange to provide facilities to the Muslim students in whichever school he worked and he also built a mosque for the Muslim students. He was appointed as an English teacher in Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. He had the opportunity to teach in various colleges. He also wrote a book on learning English which became very popular in Ghana and Nigeria and was used as teaching material. He was then awarded a scholarship from the University of Bangor in Wales and came to the UK and gained a diploma in the English language. He also served in various roles as part of his service towards the Jamaat in Ghana. 

In 1980, the government of Ghana appointed him as the ambassador to Ethiopia. He was serving on this post when the UN appointed him as the chairman of the OAU Liberation Committee and he played a notable role towards the freedom of Mozambique and Angola. For a short time he was also appointed as the ambassador to Libya. One of his qualities was that he always gave precedence to his faith over worldly things and continued to maintain this as a hallmark of his character. After Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IV’srh migration to the UK, he finished his political career and came here, so he and his children could remain close to Khilafat. He worked as a teacher here while in the UK. 

He had a deep love for Khilafat and demonstrated great love, affection and obedience to every Khalifa. A committee was once formed by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh to compile a book in order to respond to Salman Rushdie and he was also appointed as a member of this committee. He also played an outstanding role in the field of tabligh [preaching]. He would organise tabligh stalls at various locations and he would also appear on radio programmes for tabligh. He would also organise many question & answer sessions. 

In 1986, when Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh established the Pan-African Association, he was appointed as its first President. He was also elected as the first President of the Peckham Jamaat. In 1994, after the inauguration of MTA, he was one of the prominent students of the Urdu Class programme. He tried his utmost in learning Urdu and was famously known as “Bara Bacha”. People will know him [because of this]. He was Ghanaian; he had two wives. 

Upon the demise of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh, he was also part of the Electoral Committee for Khilafat. When Jamia Ahmadiyya UK was inaugurated, he was appointed as an English teacher for a short while. 

He was very righteous, devoted to worship, steadfast, grateful, warm-hearted and an extremely loving person. He had great passion for the worship of Allah. The members of his family have mentioned that he was regular in offering the Tahajjud [predawn supererogatory] prayer and he would not miss it, even if he was ill. He would recite the Holy Quran in a very melodious tone and with great passion. He had memorised many verses of the Holy Quran and would also try to understand its translation and commentary, so that it could benefit him in his preaching efforts or for the moral training for others. In fact, some of the Ghanaian members have said that they found certain copies of the Holy Quran in his house which had notes written on them in his writing. 

In 2005 he had the opportunity to perform Hajj with both of his wives. He was a very joyful and simple person. May Allah the Exalted elevate his status and grant him His forgiveness and mercy. He has ten children and 23 grandchildren. May Allah the Exalted enable his progeny to also remain firm on piety and righteousness and attached with the Jamaat. As I mentioned, after the Prayers I shall lead his Funeral Prayer in absentia.

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