Friday Sermon – Men of Excellence: Hazrat Abu Bakr r.a. (15 July 2022)

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Last Updated on 12th August 2022

Friday Sermon

15 July 2022

Men of Excellence: Hazrat Abu Bakrra

Hazrat Abu Bakr

After reciting the tashahudta‘awuz and Surah al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa said:

The accounts of the military expeditions of the Muslims against the rebellious apostates are currently being mentioned. Further details regarding the expeditions of Hazrat Muhajirra and Hazrat Ikrimahra against the apostates in the regions of Kindah and Hadhramaut are that when Hazrat Muhajirra established their rule in Sana’, he wrote to Hazrat Abu Bakrra, informing him of everything he had done thus far. While he was waiting for a reply, Muazra bin Jabal and various other governors from Yemen, who had been serving in these positions since the time of the Holy Prophetsa, also wrote to Hazrat Abu Bakrra, seeking permission to return to Medina. In reply, Hazrat Abu Bakrra granted Muazra bin Jabal and the other governors the choice to stay in Yemen, or return to Medina with the condition of appointing someone else in their position. Having been given this choice, all of them returned to Medina and Hazrat Muhajirra was instructed to join Ikrimahra. Both of them were instructed to then go to Hadhramaut and help Ziadra bin Labid. Keeping them in their respective positions, he instructed them to permit those who had been fighting along their side between Mecca and Yemen to return. If they wished to return, they could do so, unless people willingly wanted to participate in the Jihad and gave it precedence. (Muhammad al-Salabi, Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddiqra Shakhsiyyat aur Karname [Khan Garh, Pakistan: Al-Furqan Trust], p. 305) 

Ikrimahra received a letter from Hazrat Abu Bakrra and therein he was instructed to meet Muhajirra bin Abi Umaiyyah, who was approaching from Sana’. Following this, both of them were told to head towards the tribe of Kindah. After receiving this letter, Ikrimahra left Mahrah and stayed in Abyan, waiting for Muhajir bin Abi Umaiyyahra. Abyan is the name of a township in Yemen. (Muhammad al-Salabi, Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddiqra Shakhsiyyat aur Karname  [Khan Garh, Pakistan: Al-Furqan Trust], p. 305) 

In Tarikh al-Tabari, the following is recorded in relation to the expeditions against the apostates of the tribe of Kindah. Prior to their apostasy, when the entire regions of Kindah and Hadhramaut had accepted Islam, the Holy Prophetsa said the following with regard to collecting Zakat [alms] from them, “Some of the Zakat collected from the people of Hadhramaut should be kept in Kindah, and some of the Zakat collected from the people of Kindah should be kept in Hadhramaut (that is, it should be sent to Hadhramaut and it should be spent on one another). Similarly, some of the Zakat collected from Hadhramaut should be kept in Sukoon and some of the Zakat from Sukoon should be kept in Hadhramaut.” Upon this, some individuals from Kindah said, “O Messengersa of Allah! We do not have any camels. If you deem it appropriate then these people can travel to us on their mounts and deliver the Zakat.” The Holy Prophetsa replied to them (i.e. to the people of Hadhramaut), “If you are able to do so then you may act accordingly.” They said, “We will consider it. If they do not have any animals [as mounts] then we will act accordingly.” When the Holy Prophetsa passed away and the time to collect the Zakat approached, Ziadra called the people to him. They gathered around him and Banu Wali‘ah, that is the people of Kindah said, “Deliver the Zakat to us as you had promised the Holy Prophetsa.” They replied, “You have animals that can bear your burden. Bring your animals and take the Zakat.” They refused to deliver the Zakat themselves and the people of Kindah remained firm in their demand.

Thereafter, these people returned to their homes. Their stance had changed, they would take one step forward and then another step back, as it were. Since Ziadra was waiting for Muhajirra, he refrained from taking action against them. In other words, he did not take any action against those who refused to offer Zakat until Hazrat Muhajirra had arrived. Hazrat Abu Bakrra wrote a letter to Muhajirra and Hazrat Ikrimahra instructing them both to set out for Hadhramaut and to keep Ziadra upon his post. [He told them] that those living in the area between Mecca and Yemen should be given permission to return except those who wished to take part in Jihad by their own choice, and Ubaidah bin Saad should be sent to help Ziadra. Hence, Hazrat Muhajirra implemented these instructions. He set out from Sana’ towards Hadhramaut and Ikrimahra set out from Abyan towards Hadhramaut; both met at a place called Ma‘arib. They both crossed the Suhaid dessert after which they reached Hadhramaut. When the people of Kindah became upset with Hazrat Ziadra and returned, Hazrat Ziadra took up the responsibility of collecting Zakat from the Banu Amr. A youngster from Kindah accidentally gave his brother’s camel to Hazrat Ziadra as Zakat. Hazrat Ziadra branded the camel with fire in order to indicate that it was part of the Zakat; he placed a seal on it to indicate that it was part of the treasury of Zakat. When the boy requested for the camel to be exchanged as it had been given mistakenly, Hazrat Ziadra thought that he was merely presenting excuses and so he did not agree. Upon this, the boy who gave the camel called out to his tribe and Abu Sumait for help. When Abu Sumait asked Hazrat Ziyadra for the camel to be exchanged, Hazrat Ziadra remained firm in his stance. This angered Abu Sumait and he forcibly freed the camel, upon which the people with Hazrat Ziadra imprisoned Abu Sumait and his people and also captured the camel. They called out to one another for help as a result of which Banu Muawiyah came to support Abu Sumait. The Banu Muawiyah belonged to Banu Harith bin Muawiyah and Banu Amr bin Muawiyah which were branches of the Kindah tribe. They requested Hazrat Ziadra for the release of their people; however, Hazrat Ziadra refused to do so until they dispersed. He said he would consider doing so once they had left. When they did not disperse, Hazrat Ziadra levelled an attack against them which resulted in many of their men being killed while others fled. Upon returning, Hazrat Ziadra released their prisoners; however, those people returned and began preparing for war. Hence, Banu Amr, Banu Harith, Ash‘as bin Qais and Simt bin Aswad returned to their fortresses, refused to offer Zakat and became apostates. As a result, Hazrat Ziadra gathered his army and attacked Banu Amr which led to many of their men being killed while those who were able to, fled. A large number were imprisoned by Hazrat Ziadra and he sent them to Medina. Along the way, Asha‘s and Banu Harith waged an attack on the Muslims whereby they freed their prisoners from them. After this incident, many of the surrounding tribes joined these people and also announced their apostasy. Upon this, Hazrat Ziadra wrote a letter to Hazrat Muhajirra seeking help. Hazrat Muhajirra appointed Hazrat Ikrimahra as his representative and then along with his men attacked Kindah. The people of Kindah fled to one of their fortresses called Nujair which was another fortress located in Yemen near Hadhramaut. There were three entrances to this fortress; Hazrat Ziadra lay siege to one while Hazrat Muhajirra encamped by the other. The third remained under the control of Kindah until Hazrat Ikrimahra arrived upon it and captured it. The armies of Hazrat Ziadra and Hazrat Muhajirra comprised of five hundred Muhajirin and Ansar companions along with other tribes. When those under siege in the Nujair fortress realised that the Muslims continued to receive reinforcements, they became extremely frightened, due to which their leader, Ash‘as immediately went to Hazrat Ikrimahra and wanted to establish peace. Hazrat Ikrimahra took Ash‘as to Hazrat Muhajirra. Ash‘as sought refuge for himself and nine others on the condition that he would open a door to the fortress for the Muslims. Hazrat Muhajirra accepted this condition. When Ash‘as wrote the names of those nine people, he forgot to write his own name out of haste and due to his state of great fear. He then took what he had written to Hazrat Muhajirra who endorsed it with his seal. When Ash‘as returned and opened the door to the fortress, the Muslims entered. When a battle ensued between the two armies, seven hundred people from the Kindah tribe were killed. The people in the fortress fought back, however, their men were killed and a thousand women were captured. Thereafter, Hazrat Muhajirra asked for the written agreement for the protection and pardoned the people whose names were written in it, however, the name of Ash‘as was not included. Upon this, Hazrat Muhajirra intended to kill him, but on the request of Hazrat Ikrimahra, he was sent along with the other prisoners to Hazrat Abu Bakrra so that he could make a decision regarding his case. When news of the Muslim’s victory along with the prisoners reached Hazrat Abu Bakrra, he sought out Ash‘as and said, “You were deceived by the Banu Wali‘ah and they are not such that you could deceive them, nor did they deem you capable of doing so. They were ruined and caused your ruin as well. Do you not fear that you are among those whom the Holy Prophetsa prayed against.” The Holy Prophetsa had cursed four leaders of the Kindah tribe who accepted Islam alongside Ash‘as but then later became apostates.

Hazrat Abu Bakrra said, “How do you think I will treat you?” Ash‘as replied, “I do not know what you intend to do.” Hazrat Abu Bakrra replied, “I believe that you should be killed.” Ash‘as replied, “I am responsible for making a settlement that saved the lives of 10 people from my tribe. How am I deserving of death?” Thereupon, Hazrat Abu Bakrra said, “Did the Muslims entrust you with this matter?” He replied in the affirmative. Hazrat Abu Bakrra then said, “When they entrusted this matter to you and you came to them, did they give you a seal of approval?” He replied affirmatively. Hazrat Abu Bakrra said, “The resolution detailed in the documents becomes mandatory once it bears the seal of approval. Before that, you were merely trying to negotiate.” When Ash‘as became fearful for his life, he humbly submitted, “If you perceive even a speck of goodness in me, please free these prisoners, pardon my mistakes, accept me into the fold of Islam, treat me as you would any other person in my situation, and return my wife to me.” It is recorded that before this incident took place, once, Ash‘as came to the Holy Prophetsa. He came bearing a marriage proposal for the sister of Hazrat Abu Bakrra, Umm Farwa bint Abi Quhafah. Hazrat Abu Quhafahra married his daughter to him and decided that he would send his daughter off with Ash‘as upon his next visit. According to one author, Umm Farwa was the daughter of Hazrat Abu Bakrra. Nonetheless, after the Holy Prophetsa passed away and Ash‘as became an apostate, he became fearful that his wife would not be returned to him. Ash‘as submitted to Hazrat Abu Bakrra, “You will find me among the best of people in your vicinity in service of the religion of Allah.” Upon this, Hazrat Abu Bakrra spared his life, accepted him into the fold of Islam, and returned his family to him. Following this, Hazrat Abu Bakrra said, “Go forth. From now on, I should only hear of good things about you.” In this way, Hazrat Abu Bakrra also freed all the prisoners who then returned to their respective regions. (Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2012], pp. 300-304) (Muhammad Husain Haikal, Hazrat Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddiqra [Jhelum: Book Corner Showroom], pp. 240-241) (Jamharat Ansab al-Arab [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2007], p. 425) (Muhammad Husain Haikal, Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddiqra [Jhelum: Book Corner Showroom], pp. 537-538) (Yaqut Ibn Abd Allah al-Hamawi, Mu‘jam al-Buldan, Vol. 1, p. 109.) (Yaqut Ibn Abd Allah al-Hamawi, Mu‘jam al-Buldan, Vol. 5, p. 315) (Ahmad bin Hanbal, Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal, Musnad Amr bin Abasah, Vol. 6, Hadith 19675 [Beirut, Lebanon: Alam al-Kutub, 1998], pp. 575-576) (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 5 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 1990], pp. 8-9)

According to one narration, because Ash‘as was guilty of breaching a pledge made to his tribe, he dared not return to them. After being freed, he remained in Medina with Umm Farwa. In the time of Hazrat Umarra when the battles in Iraq and Syria were taking place, Ash‘as was also among the Muslim armies that set forth to fight against the Iranians and Byzantines. He contributed exceptionally in these battles and thus regained the respect of the people and restored his diminished reputation. All in all, until peace and security were not established and the Islamic government was not firmly re-established, Hazrat Muhajirra and Hazrat Ikrimahra remained in Kindah and Hadhramaut. These were the last battles fought against the rebellious apostates. Following the completion of these expeditions, the rebellion was completely eradicated and all the tribes came under the rule of Islam. To maintain peace and security in that region and to utterly subdue any and all means that would give rise to rebellion, Hazrat Muhajirra employed the same strict measures he had demonstrated in Yemen. (Muhammad Husain Haikal, Hazrat Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddiqra [Jhelum: Book Corner Showroom], p. 241)

Hazrat Abu Bakrra wrote to Hazrat Muhajirra, instructing him to oversee either Yemen or Hadhramaut, from which he chose Yemen. Due to this, there were two leaders appointed over Yemen. Whilst addressing those governors who made efforts against the rebels and apostates, Hazrat Abu Bakrra wrote, “In my view, it is preferable that you only assign governmental roles to those who have remained pure of any blemish of apostasy and rebellion.” 

Although many had reverted [to Islam], he told them to be wary of those who had previously become apostates or engaged in rebellion. He then stated, “All of you should comply with this regulation and act accordingly. Those among your army who wish to return should be given permission to do so, and under no circumstances should you seek the help of any rebel or apostate in your Jihad against the enemy.” (Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2012], p. 305) 

Whilst highlighting these battles under the leadership of Hazrat Abu Bakrra, most authors, especially contemporary historians, usually assert that this jihad was waged against the false claimants of prophethood and they were rooted out by the force of the sword, and that this was their punishment in light of the Islamic Shariah. However, one who has studied history could never support such assertions. As was mentioned before, in light of the Holy Quran, the blessed practice of the Holy Prophetsa, and the Hadith, the Holy Prophetsa never acted against an individual because they claimed prophethood, nor did Hazrat Abu Bakrra undertake these expeditions for the purpose of silencing false prophets. On the contrary, the real cause for taking such measures was their rebellious behaviour. Whilst elaborating on the reason why the companions [of the Holy Prophetsa] waged war against claimants of prophethood, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:

“Maulana Maududi Sahib has written that the companions fought against all those who claimed prophethood after the Holy Prophetsa; however, this goes against the narrations of the companions. Maulana Maududi Sahib ought to remember (this was written whilst he was still alive) that those who claimed prophethood after the Holy Prophetsa and against whom the companions fought, all of them had rebelled against the Islamic government and had openly declared war against it.” 

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra further states: 

“The Maulana makes a tall claim of having read the Islamic literature. But, before expressing his opinion on this matter if only he had studied the history of Islam and he would have learnt that Musaylima Kazzab, Aswad Ansi, Sajjah bint Harith and Tulaihah bin Khuwailid Asadi had all refused to comply with the government in Medina and they all claimed to have established their own rule in their respective areas.” 

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra writes:

“If he had carefully read Tarikh Ibn Khaldun, it would have been evidently clear that his, i.e. Maulana Sahib’s view was wrong. It is written [in Tarikh Ibn Khaldun]:

“‘News of the apostasy of all the Arabs, whether it was the general population or the prominent people, began to reach Medina. It was only the Quraish and the Thaqif tribes that did not fall prey to apostasy. The issue of Musaylima escalated greatly and the Tayy and Asad tribe pledged their obedience to Tulaihah bin Khuwailid. The Ghatfan tribe also apostatised and the Hawazin tribe stopped paying the Zakat. The chiefs of Bani Sulaim also became apostates. The various leaders who had been appointed by the Holy Prophetsa in Yemen, Yamamah, Bani Asad and similarly in various other towns and cities returned and stated that all of the Arabs had refused to show obedience. Hazrat Abu Bakrra waited for Usamahra to return and then he would fight against them but the tribes of Abas and Dhubyan quickly went and encamped in Abraq, which was close to Medina. Other people encamped in Dhul Qassah and some of the people from the Bani Asad and Bani Kananah also joined them. They all sent a delegation to Hazrat Abu Bakrra and set out their demand that they were willing to only accept his commandments pertaining to prayer. (All of these people gathered around Medina and stated that they were willing to comply with the commandment of prayer) but, they would not pay the Zakat. However, Hazrat Abu Bakrra refused this demand of theirs.’” 

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra further writes:

“From this reference it is clear that the people who the companions fought against were those who rebelled against the government. They refused to pay the tax and attacked Medina. They all gathered around Medina and threatened to attack if their demands were not met. During the lifetime of the Holy Prophetsa, Musaylima wrote to the Holy Prophetsa in which he stated that he had been commanded that half of the Arab land was his and half for the Quraish. And after the demise of the Holy Prophetsa, he expelled Thumamah bin Uthal, who had been appointed as the governor of Hajr and Yamamah, and instead became the governor of that area himself and attacked the Muslims. He also captured two companions who had come from Medina, Habeebra bin Zaid and Abdullahra bin Wahb and forced them to accept his prophethood. (This has been mentioned before as well.) Out of fear, Abdullahra bin Wahb complied with what he said; however, Habeebra bin Zaid refused to accept. Upon this, Musaylima cut him limb by limb and burnt him.

Those who had been officially appointed by the Holy Prophetsa in Yemen he imprisoned some of them and also handed out strict punishments to some of the others. Similarly, Al-Tabari has written that Aswad Ansi also rebelled and began to give trouble to those who had been officially appointed as governors by the Holy Prophetsa and commanded that the wealth from the Zakat be taken from them. He also attacked Shahr bin Badhan in Sana’, who had been appointed as the governor of the city by the Holy Prophetsa. He killed many Muslims, ransacked the area, killed its governor and then married his Muslim wife against her will. The Banu Najran also rebelled and they joined Aswad Ansi and they expelled two companions from their area; Amrra bin Hazm and Khalidra bin Saeed.

From these incidents it is evident that they did not fight against these people because they claimed prophethood from among the ummah of the Holy Prophetsa and claimed to spread his faith; in fact, the companions fought against them because they were trying to abrogate the Islamic laws and establish their own laws instead. They claimed to be the rulers of their respective areas, and not just that, they also killed the companions. They attacked the Muslim lands, rebelled against the existing government and announced to be completely free and independent.” 

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra writes:

“Thus, in light of these events, for Maulana Maududi Sahib to say that all of the companions fought against those who made claim to prophethood is completely untrue. If someone claimed that the noble companions considered the killing of humans lawful would this view be justified simply because Musaylima Kazzab and Aswad Ansi were also humans?” 

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra further writes:

“Those who misrepresent Islamic history are not rendering any service to Islam. If their objective is to truly serve Islam then the truth should be given the utmost importance and they ought to completely refrain from falsehood and from misrepresenting the [historical] incidents.” (Maulana Maududi ke Risala “Qadiani Masalah” ka Jawab, Anwar al-Ulum, Vol. 24, pp. 11-14)

In any case, by putting an end to these people, the rebellion was completely uprooted in the entire Arab land. A historian has written:

“Now, all the rebellions had been put to an end and all the apostates had been crushed. The meticulous planning and the swift manner in which Hazrat Abu Bakrra completely quelled this disorder which had spread across the entire land reflects his outstanding abilities. It is evidently clear that he was granted divine support and succour at every step. To subdue the disorder from the apostates and rebels and to re-establish the authority of Islam in the Arab land in just less than a year was indeed a remarkable feat. Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiqra was extremely happy at the victory of Islam, but there was not a single trace of any pride or arrogance in this happiness. This is because he knew that everything happened owing to the blessings of Allah and through His benevolence. He knew that he did not possess the power to be able to defeat the powerful armies of the apostates across the entire Arab land with just a handful of Muslims and thereby raise aloft the flag of Islam once again with all its glory and grandeur. Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiqra was now faced with the task of what measures to take in order to strengthen the unity of the Muslim ummah and ensure that Islam reaches its lofty heights. The sole objective of Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq’sra political endeavours was to establish the authority of Islam and this desire would remain in his heart and mind in every moment of his life.” (Muhammad Husain Haikal, Hazrat Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddiqra – Translated by Anjum Sultan Shahbaz [Jhelum: Book Corner Showroom], pp. 243-244)

After putting an end to the rebel apostates, everyone was now convinced that no mischief-maker could now stand against the Khalifa of the Messengersa. But unlike the general public, Hazrat Abu Bakrra was not under any false hope. He knew that the external powers could revive those who sought to instigate apostasy and rebellion and thereby cause disorder. In other words, the disorder may have just stopped temporarily and that the external powers, in the form of powerful governments who opposed Islam could create disorder once again at the borders of the Arab land. Hence, Hazrat Abu Bakrra was not under any kind of false hope. Therefore, in order to safeguard themselves from the uprising of the Arabs, he felt it appropriate to turn their attention towards Iran and Syria, so that they could not get the chance to create disorder against the government and in this way the Muslims would feel at peace and they would be able to freely practise the injunctions of their faith. (Hakim Ghulam Nabi MA, Sayyiduna Siddiq Akbarra p. 178)

And so, in order to protect the borders of the Arab land and to safeguard themselves from the strong enemy, it was necessary to convey the message of Islam to these powerful nations, so that by accepting or understanding the universal message of Islam they would not only live in peace themselves but others would also be protected from them and live in peace and harmony and have the freedom to practice their religious beliefs.

Regarding the method and wisdom Hazrat Abu Bakrra employed for this, it is written in a book of history: 

“After the wars and expeditions against the rebellious apostates had come to an end, Hazrat Abu Bakrra began to ponder over the next course of action in order to provide long-term protection to the Arab land and Islam from Persian and Byzantines empires, who were age-old enemies. Even during the blessed life of the Holy Prophetsa, both of these powers wanted to make the Arabs subordinate to them. And upon the demise of the Holy Prophetsa when the flames of apostasy and rebellion in many areas and tribes impacted the government in Medina, both these powers had a hand in instigating this in many of those areas. Taking advantage of this situation the forces of the Byzantine emperor began to gather in Syria and the Iranian forces gathered in Iraq. It was not possible that Hazrat Abu Bakrra, whose first action in obedience to the Holy Prophet’ssa blessed instruction was to send Hazrat Usama’sra army against the Byzantines, would remain without any fear or concern from these cruel and oppressive powers. However, before he could even present his plan of action before the people, he received news that Hazrat Muthannara bin Harithah, who had helped to subdue the rebellious apostates in Bahrain, he along with his men was heading north towards Iraq along the coast of the Persian Gulf. 

“Eventually they reached those Arab tribes who had settled on the delta areas of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers. Hazrat Muthannara bin Harithah belonged to a tribe of Bahrain called the Bakr bin Wail tribe.

“Bahrain was situated between the Persian Gulf and Yamamah. Present-day Qatar and Emirates were part of the area of Bahrain, and its capital was Darin. Nonetheless, Hazrat Muthannara bin Harithah had fought against the rebels along with Hazrat Alara bin Hadrami. Hazrat Muthannara was the chief of those people in Bahrain and its surrounding area who remained established upon Islam and over those who joined ranks with the Islamic armies to fight against the rebels. Hazrat Abu Bakrra had not yet decided about the next steps when Hazrat Muthannara reached Medina. He informed Hazrat Abu Bakrra about the situation of the tribes that had settled around the delta of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers. They were being subjected to harsh treatment by the locals of that area. The Arabs were mainly farmers [in that area] and when the crops would be ready for harvest, the locals would loot them. Hazrat Muthannara bin Harithah suggested sending a Muslim army in order to save the Muslims from this trial. Hazrat Abu Bakrra sought advice from the companions that were in Medina and presented Hazrat Muthannara bin Harithah’s advice before them. Since the people of Medina were unacquainted with the situation in Iraq, for this reason they suggested calling Hazrat Khalidra bin Walid and informing him of the entire matter and taking his suggestion. In those days, Hazrat Khalidra bin Walid was present in Yamamah and so Hazrat Abu Bakrra summoned him to Medina. Upon arriving in Medina, Hazrat Abu Bakrra told him about the suggestion of Hazrat Muthannara with regard to sending an army to Iraq. With regard to the expedition which had been started by Hazrat Muthannara on the frontiers of Iraq, Hazrat Khalidra bin Walid was of the opinion that if, God forbid, they faced defeat and the army of Hazrat Muthannara retreated towards Arabia, then the Iranian leaders would become even bolder. Then they would not only suffice with removing Hazrat Muthanna’sra army from the borders of Iraq, but would establish their control over the regions of Bahrain and the neighbouring areas. They would then try to establish their authority and in such a case it would prove to be harmful for the Islamic government. Therefore, in order to be saved from this danger he should be sent reinforcements; i.e. Hazrat Muthannara should be given reinforcements and instead of allowing the Iranians to establish their rule, they should be subdued, so that Arabia never faces any danger from them. Hazrat Khalidra bin Walid presented his opinion, upon hearing this, the other companions also agreed with the suggestion of Hazrat Muthannara. Hazrat Abu Bakrra appointed Hazrat Muthannara as the commander of the army which he had taken towards Iraq. He was given instructions that the other Arab tribes should join with him and he should invite them to join the fold of Islam. He was also informed that very soon a contingent would be sent from Medina as reinforcements, with which he could make further advancements.  

Some historians are of the opinion that Hazrat Muthannara never went to Medina to ask for reinforcements nor did he meet with Hazrat Abu Bakrra. In fact, he took his army to the delta area and advanced far ahead. He came across the army of Hormuz, the Iranian commander-in-chief. At the time, Hormuz commanded the army on the borders. Hormuz was given the highest rank possible to any citizen by the Chosroes. A battle between the armies of Hazrat Muthannara and Hormuz was underway when Hazrat Abu Bakrra received news of the events. At the time, Hazrat Abu Bakrra was unaware of who Hazrat Muthannara was. When Hazrat Abu Bakrra received news of these events, he made an enquiry and discovered that Hazrat Muthannara rendered many remarkable services against the rebel apostates in Bahrain. Hazrat Abu Bakrra ordered Hazrat Khalidra bin Walid to take a contingent and help Hazrat Muthannara in Iraq against Hormuz, and then after succeeding from there, they ought to head towards Hirah. Hirah was a city approximately three miles from Kufa. Alongside this, he ordered Hazrat Iyad bin Ghanamra to go to Dumat al-Jandal. Dumat al-Jandal was a fort and settlement situated between Medina and Syria and according to the mode of transport in those days, it was at a distance of approximately 15 to 16 days’ travel. Having crushed the apostate rebels there, Hazrat Iyadra was also ordered to go to Hirah.    

Hazrat Iyadra bin Ghanam was a companion of the Holy Prophetsa; he accepted Islam prior to the Treaty of Hudaibiyah and was also part of it. When Hazrat Abu Ubaidahra was close to his demise, he appointed Hazrat Iyadra as the governor of Syria after him. Hazrat Umarra kept him on this position and said, “I will not change the governor who was appointed by Hazrat Abu Ubaidahra.”

Nonetheless, Hazrat Abu Bakrra stated that out of Hazrat Khalid bin Walid and Hazrat Iyadra bin Ghanam, whoever reached Hirah first, they would be the military commander of the operations in that area. (Muhammad Husain Haikal, Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq Akbarra – Translated, 2004, pp. 261-266) (Atlas Sirat al-Nabisa, p. 68) (Yaqut Ibn Abd Allah al-Hamawi, Mu‘jam al-Buldan, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah], p. 376) (Sayyid Fadl al-Rahman, Farhang-e-Sirat [Karachi, Pakistan: Zawwar Academy Publications, 2003], p. 123) (Ali Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghabah fi Ma‘rifat al-Sahabah, Vol. 4 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2003], p. 315)

According to one narration, when Hazrat Khalidra bin Walid finished from Yamamah, Hazrat Abu Bakrra instructed him to start from Farj Al-Hind, i.e. Ubullah and make his way towards northern Iraq, and to gather people along the way; invite them to Islam, if they accept then that is well, otherwise to take jizya from them. If they refused to pay the Jizya then they were to fight against them. He also ordered him not to force anyone to fight alongside them, and not to take help from anyone who had apostatised from Islam, even if they accepted Islam again; and to include any Muslim along the way in their army. Then Hazrat Abu Bakrra became occupied in arranging reinforcements for Hazrat Khalidra bin Walid. (Ibn Kathir, Al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah, Vol. 3, Ch. 6, Ba‘th Khalid bin Walid ila al-Iraq, [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2001], p. 338)

Whilst departing from Yamamah towards Iraq, Hazrat Khalidra bin Walid divided his army into three parts; he did not dispatch them along the same route, rather, he dispatched Hazrat Muthannara two days prior to his own departure. He then dispatched Adi bin Hatim and Asim bin Amr a day apart and he himself departed at the end. They all vowed to gather at Hafir so that they could attack the enemy at once. Hafir was situated at the first Manzil from Basra to Mecca. 

It is stated that out of all the frontiers of the Persian Empire, Hafir was considered the most illustrious and magnificent frontier [area] with regards to its strength and it was governed by Hormuz. This commander in chief of this area not only contended with the Arabs on land but also faced danger from the people of the sub-continent by way of sea. (Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2012], p. 309) (Yaqut Ibn Abd Allah al-Hamawi, Mu‘jam al-Buldan, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah], p. 319) (Ibn Athir, Al-Kamil fi al-Tarikh, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2003], p. 239)

Nonetheless, the numbers in Hazrat Khalid’sra army were small, the reason for this is that firstly, majority of the army had already participated in the Battle of Yamamah, and secondly Hazrat Abu Bakrra had commanded him that if anyone did not wish to partake in the campaigns in Iraq, they were not to be forced. Alongside this, he issued a very important instruction which was that they were not to include any person who had apostatised from Islam, even if they had returned to Islam, until he obtained special permission from the Khalifah.

Hazrat Khalidra bin Walid wrote to Hazrat Abu Bakrra for further reinforcements, but he only sent one man to assist them, Hazrat Ka‘ka bin Amrra. The people were perplexed and asked, “You are sending only one man to assist him, whereas a large part of Hazrat Khalid’sra army has become separated from him.” Hazrat Abu Bakrra replied, “the army which comprises of a person like Ka‘ka, that army cannot be defeated.” Despite this, Hazrat Abu Bakrra sent a letter to Khalidra with Ka‘kara which said to encourage those people to join his army who remained firm upon Islam after the demise of the Holy Prophetsa and who took part in the battles against the apostates. Upon receiving the letter, Hazrat Khalidra began preparing his army. (Muhammad Husain Haikal, Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq Akbarra – Translated, 2004, p. 268) 

With reference to the instructions of Hazrat Abu Bakrra about the farmers of Iraq and the wisdom behind it, it is written that the Arabs would work as farmers in Iraq. But when the crops would be ready, the Arabs would receive very little of the produce. Majority of the produce would go to the Iranian land owners. These landowners would inflict severe cruelty upon the poorer Arab farmers and would treat them worse than slaves. Hazrat Abu Bakrra ordered his commanders in Iraq not to harm the Arab farmers in battle, nor should they be killed nor taken captive. In short, they should not be mistreated in any way because they were also Arabs like them, and had been subjected to torture and persecution by the Iranians. They should be made to feel that with the establishment of the Arab government, their days of suffering persecution were coming to an end, and now that their fellow brethren had established governance, they would be able to live under true justice, impartiality, and complete equality. This wise governance of Hazrat Abu Bakrra benefitted the Muslims greatly and created ease along the way to victory. This was because they were no longer afraid of an attack from the rear during their advancements, which would block their pathway. (Muhammad Husain Haikal, Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq Akbarra – Translated, 2004, pp. 267-268) 

When Hazrat Khalidra bin Walid set up camp in Nibaj, Hazrat Muthannara was present with his army in Khaffan. Nibaj was a place between Yamamah and Basra, and Khaffan was a place near Kufa. Hazrat Khalidra wrote a letter to Hazrat Muthannara for him to come to him, and also sent him the letter in which Hazrat Abu Bakrra instructed Hazrat Muthanna bin Harithahra to obey Hazrat Khalidra. (Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2012], p. 308) (Sayyid Fadl al-Rahman, Farhang-e-Sirat [Karachi, Pakistan: Zawwar Academy Publications, 2003], p. 296) (Yaqut Ibn Abd Allah al-Hamawi, Mu‘jam al-Buldan, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah], p. 434)

This entire narration was from Tarikh al-Tabari. In this second narration, it was mentioned that Hazrat Abu Bakrra sent Hazrat Khalidra himself.

Nonetheless, there were battles which then ensued after this; which wars were fought, what were their names and the details about the victories will be mentioned in the future, insha-Allah. The wars during the era of Hazrat Abu Bakr’sra Khilafat, in which Allah the Almighty enabled the Muslims to fight against the Persians in the area of Iraq and accounts about their victories will be mentioned in the future, insha-Allah.

(Official Urdu transcript published in Al Fazl International, 26 July to 8 August 2022, pp. 11-15. Translated by The Review of Religions.)

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