Friday Sermon – Men of Excellence: Hazrat Abu Bakr r.a. (17 December 2021)

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Friday Sermon

17 December 2021

Men of Excellence: Hazrat Abu Bakrra

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

The accounts in relation to Hazrat Abu Bakrra freeing slaves were being narrated. There are some further accounts with regard to this. Hazrat Abu Bakrra freed Nahdiyah and her daughter, both of whom were slaves of a woman from the Banu Abd al-Dar. Hazrat Abu Bakrra passed by both of them. At the time, their master had sent them to grind the flour and she was saying, “By God (or whoever she was swearing by) I shall never free you!” Hazrat Abu Bakrra said, “O mother of so and so! Break your oath.” She replied, “Leave here, you are the one who is ruining them. If you care so much, why don’t you free them?” Hazrat Abu Bakrra then said, “Tell me how much I need to pay in order to free them.” She then stated an amount for each of them. Hazrat Abu Bakrra said, “I have taken both of them, and freed them.” He then said, “Return the flour to this woman”, i.e. he said to the two of them who were enslaved to return the flour which she was taking in order to grind it. The two of them said, “O Abu Bakr, shall we complete this task and return the flour?” In other words, to fulfil the duty that they were given of grinding the flour and then return it to her. Hazrat Abu Bakrra answered, “Do so only if you wish to.”

Hazrat Abu Bakrra once passed by a salve of the Banu Mu‘ammal. Banu Mu‘ammal was a branch of the Banu Adiyy bin Kaab tribe. This slave was a Muslim. Umar bin al-Khattab was punishing her in order to force her to abandon Islam. In those days, Hazrat Umarra was still a polytheist and had not yet accepted Islam. He would strike her until he would tire, and would say, “I only let you go due to being tired.” Thereupon she would reply, “Allah shall treat you the same.” Hazrat Abu Bakrra also purchased her and granted her freedom.

It is recorded in one narration that Abu Quhafah, the father of Hazrat Abu Bakrra, said to him, “O my son, I see that you are freeing the weak. If you wish to carry on doing so, then you should free the stronger men that they may protect you and so that they may stand by your side.” The narrator says that Hazrat Abu Bakrra replied, “O my beloved father, I only desire the pleasure of Allah the Almighty.” (Ibn Hisham, Al-Raud al-Unf fi Tafsir al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah, Dhikr Udwan al-Mushrikin ala al-Mustad‘afin [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2001], p. 236)

Some commentators, such as Allama Qurtubi and Allama Alusi etc. say that the following verses were revealed due to this action of Hazrat Abu Bakrra:

فَأَمَّا‭ ‬مَنۡ‭ ‬أَعۡطَىٰ‭ ‬وَاتَّقَىٰ‭ ‬۔‭ ‬وَصَدَّقَ‭ ‬بِالۡحُسۡنَىٰ‭ ‬۔‭ ‬فَسَنُيَسِّرُهُ‭ ‬لِلۡيُسۡرَىٰ‭ ‬۔‭ ‬وَأَمَّا‭ ‬مَنۢ‭ ‬بَخِلَ‭ ‬وَاسۡتَغۡنَىٰ‭ ‬۔‭ ‬وَكَذَّبَ‭ ‬بِالۡحُسۡنَىٰ‭ ‬۔‭ ‬فَسَنُيَسِّرُهُ‭ ‬لِلۡعُسۡرَىٰ‭ ‬۔‭ ‬وَمَا‭ ‬يُغۡنِيْ‭ ‬عَنۡهُ‭ ‬مَالُهُٓ‭ ‬إِذَا‭ ‬تَرَدَّىٰٓ‭ ‬۔‭ ‬إِنَّ‭ ‬عَلَيۡنَا‭ ‬لَلۡهُدَىٰ‭ ‬۔‭ ‬وَإِنَّ‭ ‬لَنَا‭ ‬لَلۡأٓخِرَةَ‭ ‬وَالۡأُوْلَىٰ‭ ‬۔‭ ‬فَأَنذَرۡتُكُمۡ‭ ‬نَارًا‭ ‬تَلَظَّىٰ‭ ‬۔‭ ‬لَا‭ ‬يَصۡلَٰهَآ‭ ‬إِلَّا‭ ‬الۡأَشۡقَى‭ ‬۔‭ ‬الَّذِيْ‭ ‬كَذَّبَ‭ ‬وَتَوَلَّىٰ‭ ‬۔‭ ‬وَسَيُجَنَّبُهَا‭ ‬الۡأَتۡقَى‭ ‬۔‭ ‬الَّذِيْ‭ ‬يُؤۡتِي‭ ‬مَالَهُ‭ ‬يَتَزَكَّىٰ‭ ‬۔‭ ‬وَمَا‭ ‬لِأَحَدٍ‭ ‬عِندَهُ‭ ‬مِنْ‭ ‬نِّعۡمَةٍ‭ ‬تُجۡزَىٰٓ‭ ‬۔‭ ‬إِلَّا‭ ‬ابۡتِغَآءَ‭ ‬وَجۡهِ‭ ‬رَبِّهِ‭ ‬الۡأَعۡلَىٰ‭ ‬۔‭ ‬وَلَسَوۡفَ‭ ‬يَرۡضَىٰ‭ ‬۔

“Then as for him who gives and is righteous, And testifies to [the truth of]what is right, We will facilitate for him [every] facility. But as for him who is niggardly and is [disdainfully]indifferent, And rejects what is right, We will make easy for him the path to distress. And his wealth shall not avail him when he perishes. Surely it is for Us to guide; And to Us belongs the Hereafter as well as the present world. So I warn you of a flaming Fire. None shall enter it but the most wicked one, Who rejects [the truth]and turns[his]back. But the righteous [one]shall be kept away from it, Who gives his wealth to become purified. And he owes no favour to anyone, which is to be repaid, except [that he gives his wealth] to seek the pleasure of his Lord, the Most High. Surely, will He be well-pleased with him.” (Ch.92: V.6-22) (Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddiqra, Shakhsiyyat aur Karname, Urdu Tarjumah, p. 74) (Imam al-Qurtubi, Al-Jami‘ li-Ahkam al-Quran, Vol. 3, Surah al-Layl [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Hazm, 2004] p. 333)

Among the slaves who were freed by Hazrat Abu Bakrra was Hazrat Khabbabra bin al-Aratt. Whilst mentioning Hazrat Khabbabra bin al-Aratt, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:

“Another companion who was previously a slave, once took off his upper garment to bathe. Another person who was stood nearby saw that the skin on his back was so hardened and rough that it was like the hide of a buffalo. He was astonished to see this and asked, ‘How long have you had this illness? The skin on your back is so hard that it is like the hide of animals’ Hearing this, Hazrat Khabbabra laughed and replied, ‘This is no illness. When we accepted Islam, our master decided to punish us. So he laid us down in the scorching heat and began beating us, telling us to renounce our belief in Muhammadsa. In reply, we would recite the Kalimah [Muslim creed] and he would hit us even more. Even after this, when his anger would not subside, he would drag us on the rocks.’”

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra further writes:

“In Arabia, in order to protect the houses from water which were made from mud, they would place a type of rock near the area which is called ‘khingar’ in Punjabi. This is an extremely rough and sharp rock which people place on the walls of their homes to protect them from any harm from the pouring of water, i.e. so that the walls are not damaged. So this companion said, ‘When we refused to reject Islam, and the people would become tired from beating us, they would then tie our legs with a rope and continue to drag us on these rough rocks. So whatever you see on my back is as a result of that beating and dragging.’ Hence, such injustice was inflicted upon them year after year. Eventually, Hazrat Abu Bakrra could no longer tolerate this, so he sold a large portion of his property in order to free them.” (Khutbat-e-Mahmud, Vol. 22, pp. 546-547, Khutbah Farmudah 31 October 1941)

Then, whilst mentioning how Hazrat Abu Bakrra would free slaves, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra states in one instance:

“Those slaves who believed in the Holy Prophetsa came from different nations; there were Abyssinians, like Bilalra and Romans, like Suhaibra; there were also Christians among them, like Jubairra and Suhaibra; there were idolaters, like Bilalra and Ammarra. The master of Bilalra would force him to lay on scorching sand and either place stones on him or have young boys jump on top of him […] When Hazrat Abu Bakrra saw this cruelty against them, he freed them by paying their master their price.” (Dibacha Tafsir al-Quran, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 20, pp. 193-194)

Once, Hazrat Abu Bakrra also intended to migrate to Abyssinia. In this regard, it is mentioned that when the Muslim population had grown and the religion of Islam became manifest, the disbelievers amongst the Quraish began to torment and inflict pain to those who had accepted Islam from among their tribes. Their objective was to cause them to deviate from their faith. Upon this, the Holy Prophetsa instructed the believers, “You all should spread across the land. Surely, Allah will bring you back together.” The companions submitted, “Where shall we go?” The Holy Prophetsa stated, “This way” and pointed toward the land of Abyssinia. This took place in 5 Nabawi, in the month of Rajab. In accordance with the Holy Prophet’ssa instruction, 11 men and four women migrated toward Abyssinia. (Sharh al-Zurqani ala al-Mawahib al-Laduniyyah, Vol. 1, al-Hijrah al-Ula ila al-Habashah [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 1996], pp. 53-54)

After the Muslims had migrated to Abyssinia, Hazrat Abu Bakrra was also persecuted, due to which he, too, intended to migrate to Abyssinia. In this regard, there is a narration of Bukhari. Hazrat Aishara relates:

“When the Muslims were afflicted with hardships, Hazrat Abu Bakrra set out to migrate to Abyssinia. When he reached a place called Bark al-Ghimad – a city in Yemen, situated near the coast and is a five-nights’ journey from Mecca – he met Ibn Daghna, who was the chief of the tribe of Qarah. He asked, ‘O Abu Bakr, where are you travelling to?’ Hazrat Abu Bakrra answered, ‘My people have exiled me. Thus, I wish to travel the land and worship my Lord.’ Ibn Daghna replied, ‘A man like you does not leave his land on his own accord, nor should he be forced to leave. You embody such virtues that have been long lost; you honour your family ties, carry the burden of the tired and weary, host guests and help those in difficulties.’” 

In another place, this is translated as follows: “You earn and provide for the poor, treat your close relatives kindly, care for the vulnerable, host guests and help those afflicted because they speak the truth.” 

[Hazrat Aishara says:]

“Ibn Daghna then said, ‘I will grant you protection under my authority. Return to your land and continue to worship your Lord there.’ Ibn Daghna accompanied Hazrat Abu Bakrra back to Mecca and met the chieftains of the Quraish. He said to them, ‘Abu Bakr is such an individual who should neither leave his homeland, nor should he be exiled. Are you people exiling such an individual who embodies virtues that have been forgotten? He honours his family ties, carries the burden of the tired and weary, hosts guests excellently and helps those facing difficulties.’ Upon this, the Quraish honoured the protection granted by Ibn Daghna and allowed Hazrat Abu Bakrra to live in peace. They then told Ibn Daghna, ‘Tell Abu Bakr to worship his Lord within the confines of his home. He should offer his prayers there and anything else that he desires, but he should not cause any hindrance to us through his prayers and his recitation of the Quran. He should not recite aloud because we fear that he will lead our children and women astray.’ 

“Ibn Daghna conveyed this to Hazrat Abu Bakrra, and consequently, Hazrat Abu Bakrra started worshipping his Lord only in his home and ceased to pray or recite the Quran openly other than within his home. After some time, a thought occurred to Hazrat Abu Bakrra, due to which he made a mosque – or a place of prayer – in an open area in his courtyard. There, he would offer his prayers and recite the Holy Quran, while the women and children of the idolaters would crowd around him. They would be astonished”, i.e. they were astonished to see Hazrat Abu Bakrra while he worshipped. 

“They would observe that Hazrat Abu Bakrra would weep a lot. He could not hold back his tears whilst reciting the Holy Quran. This state of Hazrat Abu Bakrra was of great concern to the chieftains of the Quraish. They sent for Ibn Daghna, and when he arrived, they said to him, ‘We offered Abu Bakr protection on the condition that he would worship his Lord in the confines of his home; however, he did not respect this condition and has established a mosque in his courtyard where he prays and recites the Quran aloud. We fear that he will place our sons and our women in a trial. Go to him and tell him that if he wishes, he can worship while remaining inside his home. On the contrary, if he is insistent on offering his worship openly, then inform him that he should renounce the protection he was given under your authority because we would not like to breach your authority. However, we will never permit Abu Bakr to worship openly.’” 

Hazrat Aishara continues, “Ibn Daghna came to Hazrat Abu Bakrra and said, ‘You are aware of the condition upon which I made this covenant with you. Accordingly, you must either abide by these conditions or renounce the protection you have under my authority because I would not like that the Arab people come to know that I have been disloyal to the covenant I made with someone.’ Hazrat Abu Bakrra replied, ‘I renounce the protection I have under your authority, and I am content under the protection of Allah.’” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Kafalah, Bab Jiwar Abi Bakrra fi Ahd al-Nabisa wa Aqdih, Hadith 2297) (Sahih al-Bukhari mutarjam, Vol. 4, p. 276, Nazarat Ishaat Rabwah) (Farhang-e-Sirat, p. 57)

There are some details mentioned in Umdat al-Qari, which is a commentary of Sahih Bukhari, about the mosque which was established in the courtyard of Hazrat Abu Bakrra. It is mentioned that this mosque was spread to the walls of his house and this was the first-ever mosque established in Islam. (Umdat al-Qari, Kitab al-Kafalah, Bab Jiwar Abi Bakrra fiAhd al-Nabisa, Vol. 12, p. 185, Hadith 2297)

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:

“Abu Bakrra was such a person to whom all of Mecca was indebted. Whatever he earned was spent in freeing slaves. He was once leaving Mecca when a chieftain encountered him on his way. He asked, ‘O Abu Bakr, where are you going?’ Hazrat Abu Bakrra replied, ‘There is no peace for me in this city. I am moving elsewhere.’ That chieftain said, ‘If a man as pious as you leaves this city, then it will surely lead to its ruin. I will offer you protection under my authority, so do not leave this city.’ He returned under the protection of this chieftain. In the morning, when Hazrat Abu Bakrra would wake up and recite the Quran, women and children would put their ears to his walls just to hear the words of the Quran. This is because his voice was impassioned with fervency and emotion and because the Holy Quran was in the Arabic language, every woman, man and child could understand it and every listener would be inspired by it. When word spread of this, there was an uproar in Mecca for fear that everyone would lose their faith.” 

In other words, the people would leave their old beliefs upon hearing the recitation of the Holy Quran and the fervency of Hazrat Abu Bakr’sra voice. This is exactly what is happening to Ahmadis in some countries, particularly to those living in Pakistan. [They claim] that they, too, will become faithless if they see an Ahmadi recite the Quran or pray. For this reason, there are severe punishments for Ahmadis who are caught praying or reciting the Quran.

Nonetheless, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra further writes:

“The people went to that chieftain and questioned him, saying, ‘Why have you provided him with protection?’ This chieftain then went to Hazrat Abu Bakrra and said, ‘Please desist in reciting the Quran in this manner because the people of Mecca are angered by it.’ Hazrat Abu Bakrra replied, ‘Withdraw the protection you have offered to me because I cannot abandon this practice.’ Thus, the chieftain withdrew his protection.” (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 10, 327)

Hazrat Abu Bakrra also accompanied the Holy Prophetsa in Shi‘b Abi Talib. After meeting with failure in every possible effort to curb the spread of the message of the unity of God, the Quraish decided to boycott Banu Hashim and Banu Muttalib as a practical measure. Regarding this, in his book, The Life and Character of the Seal of the Prophetssa, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra writes:

“Therefore, as a practical endeavour, through mutual deliberation they decided that all relationships with the Holy Prophetsa, and all the members of the Banu Hashim and Banu Muttalib be severed, and if they refused to relinquish their protection of the Holy Prophetsa, they should be besieged in one place and destroyed. Therefore, in Muharram of 7 Nabawi, a proper agreement was drafted that no individual would marry any member of the Banu Hashim or Banu Muttalib dynasty. No one would sell anything to them or purchase anything from them, nor would they let any food or drink reach them. They shall not keep any relations with them”.

These days, certain Ahmadis in some places are also treated in this manner. In any case it further states:

“They would not keep any relations with them until they separated themselves from Muhammad[sa] and handed him over to them. This agreement in which the Banu Kinanah were also included, along with the Quraish, was formally written and signed by the main chieftains of the Quraish and hung to the wall of the Ka‘bah in the form of a significant national testament. Hence, the Holy Prophetsa and all of the Banu Hashim and Banu Muttalib, whether Muslim or disbeliever”, except Abu Lahab the paternal uncle of the Holy Prophetsa, who, in the infatuation of his animosity, sided with the Quraish, “were besieged in a mountainous valley called the Valley of Abu Talib. In this way, two large tribes of the Quraish were completely cut off from the social life of Makkah and were imprisoned under close watch, in the Valley of Abu Talib, which was a valley belonging to the Banu Hashim. The very few other Muslims who still resided in Mecca were also with the Holy Prophetsa.” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, p. 166)

Even in these extremely difficult circumstances, Hazrat Abu Bakrra did not leave the Holy Prophetsa

Hazrat Shah Walliullahrh states:

“When the Quraish unanimously agreed upon afflicting harm to the Holy Prophetsa and they wrote a formal document, Hazrat [Abu Bakr] Siddiqra remained with the Holy Prophetsa. In relation to this incident, Abu Talib uttered the following couplet: 

هُمْ‭ ‬رَجَعُوْا‭ ‬سَهْلَ‭ ‬ابْنَ‭ ‬بَيْضَاءَ‭ ‬رَاضِيًا

فَسُرَّ‭ ‬أَبُوْ‭ ‬بَكْرٍ‭ ‬بِهَا‭ ‬وَمُحَمَّدُ

“‘When they happily sent back Sahl bin Baida, Abu Bakrra and Muhammadsa expressed their delight.’” (Shah Waliullah, Izalat al-Ikhfa – Urdu Translation, Ishtiaq Ahmad Deobandi, Vol. 3, pp. 39-40, Qadimi Kutub Khana Aram Bagh, Karachi) (Sayyiduna Siddiq Akbarra ke Shabb aw Roz, p. 30)

In other words, when the Quraish of Mecca ended this boycott, Abu Talib recited some couplets, one of which was the aforementioned couplet in that the Holy Prophetsa and Abu Bakrra expressed their happiness when the boycott came to an end.

With regard to the prophecy about the Romans being defeated, there is an incident about Hazrat Abu Bakrra placing a bet. There is a narration of Hazrat Ibn Abbasra regarding what Allah the Almighty states in the verse: 

الٓمٓ‭ ‬۔‭ ‬غُلِبَتِ‭ ‬الرُّوْمُ‭ ‬۔‭ ‬فِيٓ‭ ‬أَدۡنَى‭ ‬الۡأَرۡضِ‭ ‬

Hazrat Ibn Abbasra stated, “They have been defeated” and “They will overcome”. He said that it pleased the polytheists that the Persians defeat the Romans, because both were idolaters, whereas the Muslims desired for the Romans to defeat the Persians because they were the People of the Book. He mentioned this [prophecy] to Hazrat Abu Bakrra, who in turn asked the Holy Prophetsa. The Holy Prophetsa said, “Most certainly they [the Romans] will be victorious.” Hazrat Abu Bakrra mentioned it to them (the polytheists), to which they said, “Set a timeframe for it. If we win, we will get such and such thing, and if you win, you will get such and such.” That is, they placed a bet and set a time period of five years. However, they [the Romans] did not gain victory in this time. Hazrat Abu Bakrra mentioned this to the Holy Prophetsa, upon which he said, “Why did you not set a time limit more than this?” The narrator states that he thought the timeframe suggested by the Holy Prophetsa was 10 years. This was a narration of Tirmidhi from Kitab al-Tafsir. (Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Abwab al-Tafsir, Bab wa min Surah al-Rum, Hadith 3193)

There is a narration of Sahih al-Bukhari, which mentions four prophecies of the Holy Prophetsa which were fulfilled with great grandeur and glory. Out of these four prophecies, one of them was the prophecy about the Romans. 

Masruq narrates, “We were with Hazrat Abdullahra bin Mas‘ud. He said, ‘When the Holy Prophetsa saw that people had refused to accept his message, he prayed, “O Allah! Just as You sent down a famine for seven years in the time of Josephas, send a famine on them in the same way.” And so, a famine spread which destroyed everything. It was so severe that people started eating hides, carcasses and rotten dead animals. Whenever one of them looked towards the sky, he would [imagine himself to] see smoke because of hunger.’” This is one of the four prophecies. 

“‘So Abu Sufyan went to the Holy Prophetsa and said, “O Muhammad[sa]! You order people to obey Allah and to keep good relations with kith and kin. No doubt the people of your tribe are dying, so please pray to Allah for them.” So Allah the Almighty revealed: 

“‘“But watch thou for the day when the sky will bring forth a visible smoke […] but you will certainly revert to disbelief. On the day when We shall seize you with the great seizure.” Thus, this “great seizure” happened in the Battle of Badr, and undoubtedly the punishment of the “smoke”, “great seizure” “prophecy of Lizam” and prophecy about “the Romans” have all been fulfilled.’” 

This is a narration of Sahih al-Bukhari. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Istisqa, Bab Du‘a al-Nabisa: Ij‘alha alaihim Sinin, Hadith 1007) 

In the commentary of this hadith, Allama Badruddin Aini writes regarding the prophecy about the Romans:

“When the Persians and the Romans fought against one another, the Muslims wanted the Romans to gain victory over the Persians, because the Romans were People of the Book. On the other hand, the disbelievers of the Quraish wanted the Persians to win the battle because they were fire-worshippers and the disbelievers of the Quraish also worshipped idols. Thus, upon this, a bet took place between Hazrat Abu Bakrra and Abu Jahl, i.e. they fixed a time period between themselves of a few years. The Holy Prophetsa said, ‘The word “bid‘un” [in a few years] refer to nine or seven years, therefore increase the time period.’ Thus, Hazrat Abu Bakrra did just that and the Romans gained victory. Allah the Almighty stated:

الٓمٓ‭ ‬۔‭ ‬غُلِبَتِ‭ ‬الرُّوْمُ‭ ‬۔‭ ‬فِيٓ‭ ‬أَدۡنَى‭ ‬الۡأَرۡضِ‭ ‬وَهُمْ‭ ‬مِّنۢ‭ ‬بَعۡدِ‭ ‬غَلَبِهِمۡ‭ ‬سَيَغۡلِبُوْنَ‭ ‬۔‭ ‬فِيْ‭ ‬بِضۡعِ‭ ‬سِنِيْنَۗ‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‭ ‬الۡأَمۡرُ‭ ‬مِنْ‭ ‬قَبۡلُ‭ ‬وَمِنۢ‭ ‬بَعۡدُۚ‭ ‬وَيَوۡمَئِذٍ‭ ‬يَفۡرَحُ‭ ‬الۡمُؤۡمِنُوْنَ‭ ‬۔‭ ‬بِنَصۡرِ‭ ‬اللّٰهِۚ‭ ‬يَنْصُرُ‭ ‬مَن‭ ‬يَشَآءُۖ‭ ‬وَهُوَ‭ ‬الۡعَزِيزُ‭ ‬الرَّحِيمُ‭ ‬۔

“Meaning, ‘I am Allah, the All-Knowing, the Romans have been defeated, In the land nearby, and they, after their defeat, will be victorious between three to nine years. Allah’s is the command before and after that and on that day the believers will rejoice. In Allah’s help.’

“Sha‘bi states that at that time it was not unlawful to make bets.” (Umdat al-Qari Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Istisqa, Vol. 7, p. 46, Hadith 1007, Dar Ihya al-Turath al-Arabi, 2003)

Regarding this, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra writes:

“Prior to the advent of Islam and in the early era of Islam, the two most powerful and largest empires among the civilised world were the Persian and Roman empires. Both of these empires were situated near Arabia. The empire of Persia was located in the northeast of Arabia and the Roman empire in the northwest. Since the borders of both these empires met, at times there would be war and conflict. Even in the era we are alluding to now”, i.e. when this prophecy was made, “both these empires were at war. Persia had gained dominance over Rome and had seized many of its valuable regions. As such, Persia would continue dominating Rome. Since the Quraish were idol worshippers and the religion of Persia was also quite similar, for this reason, the Quraish were very pleased with Persia’s victories. However, the Muslim sentiments were with Rome, which was Christian. On account of their being Christian, they were also Ahl-e-Kitab [People of The Book] and due to their relation to the Messiah, were closer to the Muslims than the idolatrous and fire-worshipping nations. In such circumstances, after receiving knowledge from Allah the Exalted, the Holy Prophetsa prophesied that although currently, Rome was being dominated by Persia, in a few years’ time, it would defeat Persia, and on that day the believers would rejoice. Upon hearing this prophecy, the Muslims, among whom the name of Hazrat Abu Bakrra has been recorded in particular, began to openly announce in Mecca that their God had told them that Rome would soon defeat Persia. The Quraish responded that if this was true, then they should come and place a bet on it. Until that time, placing a bet had not yet been prohibited in Islam, so Hazrat Abu Bakrra accepted. Terms were set between Hazrat Abu Bakrra and the chieftains of the Quraish on a few camels and an appointed time of six years. However, when the Holy Prophetsa received news of this, he said, ‘To appoint a time of six years is wrong. Allah the Exalted has used the words‭ ‬بِضۡعِ‭ ‬سِنِينۗ regarding the appointed time, which, in the spirit of Arabic idiom, is used to denote a time period of three to nine years.’ 

“This instance is during the era in which the Holy Prophetsa still resided in Mecca and had not yet migrated. After this, within the appointed timeframe, the war took a turn, and within a short timeframe, Rome defeated Persia and reacquired the entirety of its land. This took place after the migration.” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, pp. 216-217)

After the migration, the Roman were victorious. 

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra writes regarding this:

“While the Holy Prophetsa was still in Mecca, news arrived that the Persians had vanquished the Romans in battle. This occasioned great rejoicing among the Meccans, for the Persians were idolaters just as they were. The Meccans took the victory of the Persians as a good omen indicating their own ultimate triumph over Muslims. On this occasion, the Holy Prophetsa received the revelation:

غُلِبَتِ‭ ‬الرُّومُ‭ ‬۔‭ ‬فِيٓ‭ ‬أَدۡنَى‭ ‬الۡأَرۡضِ‭ ‬وَهُم‭ ‬مِّنۢ‭ ‬بَعۡدِ‭ ‬غَلَبِهِمۡ‭ ‬سَيَغۡلِبُونَ‭ ‬۔‭ ‬فِي‭ ‬بِضۡعِ‭ ‬سِنِينَۗ

that ‘the Romans had been vanquished in a neighbouring land of Syria but do not consider this to be the final outcome, within nine years of their defeat the Romans would again be victorious’; When this revelation was announced among the Meccans, they laughed and jeered at the Muslims. Some of them made a wager of a hundred camels with Hazrat Abu Bakrra that the prophecy would not be fulfilled. Events indicated that there was very little chance of the Romans defeating the Persians as their defeat in Syria was followed by further victories of the Persians and the Roman army was pushed back by stages to the shores of the Sea of Marmora. Constantinople was cut off from its Eastern dominions and the Roman Empire was reduced to the size of a small State. The Word of God was, however, bound to be fulfilled and was fulfilled. In their state of utter despondency, the Roman emperor himself set out from Constantinople along with his troops and met on the shores of Asia for a decisive battle. The Romans, though smaller in number and not so well equipped as the Persians, won a complete victory – as prophesied by the words of the Holy Quran – and the Persians were put to flight. They were forced to retreat into Persia not finding any respite anywhere and the Romans re-occupied their Asiatic and African possessions.” (Dibacha Tafsir-ul-Quran, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 20, p. 445)

The Promised Messiahas states:

“When Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiqra placed a bet with Abu Jahl about the prophecy of the Holy Quran: 

الٓمٓ‭ ‬۔‭ ‬غُلِبَتِ‭ ‬الرُّومُ‭ ‬۔‭ ‬فِيٓ‭ ‬أَدۡنَى‭ ‬الۡأَرۡضِ‭ ‬وَهُمْ‭ ‬مِّنۢ‭ ‬بَعۡدِ‭ ‬غَلَبِهِمۡ‭ ‬سَيَغۡلِبُونَ‭ ‬۔‭ ‬فِيْ‭ ‬بِضۡعِ‭ ‬سِنِينَۗ

“A period of three years was stipulated. When the Holy Prophetsa came to know of this, upon pondering over the prophecy and owing to his foresight, he asked Abu Bakr Siddiqra to make an amendment to the details of the bet, stating that the word:

بِضۡعِ‭ ‬سِنِينَ

“Had a broader meaning and often meant up to nine years.” (Izalah-e-Auham, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 3, pp. 310-311)

Then, there are narrations about how the Holy Prophetsa presented his claim before his tribe and how Hazrat Abu Bakrra was always by his side. Allah the Almighty had decreed to grant dominance to His faith and bestow honour upon the Holy Prophetsa and fulfil His promise. Thus, during the days of Hajj, the Holy Prophetsa went outside and met with the Aus and Khazraj tribes of the Ansar. The Holy Prophetsa presented his claim before the people, as he would do so each year during the days of Hajj. In one narration, Hazrat Alira bin Abi Talib states, “When Allah the Almighty commanded the Holy Prophetsa to preach to the tribes of Arabia, Abu Bakrra and I were with him when he set out towards Mina. We reached a gathering of the Arabs. Hazrat Abu Bakrra moved ahead, and he was an expert in genealogy. He asked, ‘Which tribe do you belong to?’ They replied that they belonged to the Rabi‘ah tribe. Hazrat Abu Bakrra asked, ‘Which branch of the Rabi‘ah tribe?’ They replied that they belonged to the Zuhl tribe.” Hazrat Alira further says, “We went to the gathering of the Aus and Khazraj and it was these people who were given the name of ‘Ansar’ by the Holy Prophetsa, because they granted refuge to the Holy Prophetsa and said they would support him.” Hazrat Alira further says, “We left from that place once everyone had pledged allegiance to the Holy Prophetsa.” (Sharh al-Zurqani ala al-Mawahib al-Laduniyyah, Vol. 2, Dhikr ‘Ardh al-Mustafa’ Nafsah ala al-Qaba‘il [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 1996], pp. 72-74)

In another narration, Hazrat Alira says:

“When Allah the Almighty commanded His Prophetsa to present his claim before the tribes of Arabia, the Holy Prophetsa set out for this task. Abu Bakr and I were with him at the time. We went to a gathering which was civilised and dignified. They were honourable and noble people. Hazrat Abu Bakrra asked, ‘Which tribe do you people belong to?’ To this, they replied that they belonged to Banu Shayban bin Tha‘labah. Hazrat Abu Bakrra turned to the Holy Prophetsa and said, ‘May my mother and father be sacrificed for you! By Allah, there is not a nobler people among them.’ Among them was Mafruq bin Amr, Muthanna bin Harithah, Hani bin Qabisah and Nu‘man bin Shareek. The Holy Prophetsa recited the following verse to them: 

قُلۡ‭ ‬تَعَالَوۡاْ‭ ‬أَتۡلُ‭ ‬مَا‭ ‬حَرَّمَ‭ ‬رَبُّكُمۡ‭ ‬عَلَيۡكُمۡۖ‭ ‬أَلَّا‭ ‬تُشۡرِكُواْ‭ ‬بِهِۦ‭ ‬شَيۡـٔٗاۖ‭ ‬وَبِالۡوالِدَيۡنِ‭ ‬إِحۡسَٰنًاۖ‭ ‬وَلَا‭ ‬تَقۡتُلُوٓاْ‭ ‬أَوۡلَادَكُمْ‭ ‬مِّنۡ‭ ‬إِمۡلَاقٍ‭ ‬نَّحۡنُ‭ ‬نَرۡزُقُكُمۡ‭ ‬وَإِيَّاهُمۡۖ‭ ‬وَلَا‭ ‬تَقۡرَبُواْ‭ ‬الۡفَوَاحِشَ‭ ‬مَا‭ ‬ظَهَرَ‭ ‬مِنۡهَا‭ ‬وَمَا‭ ‬بَطَنَۖ‭ ‬وَلَا‭ ‬تَقۡتُلُواْ‭ ‬النَّفۡسَ‭ ‬الَّتِي‭ ‬حَرَّمَ‭ ‬اللّٰهُ‭ ‬إِلَّا‭ ‬بِالۡحَقِّۚ‭ ‬ذَالِكُمۡ‭ ‬وَصّٰكُم‭ ‬بِهِۦ‭ ‬لَعَلَّكُمۡ‭ ‬تَعۡقِلُوْنَ‭ ‬

The translation of this is: “Say, ‘Come, I will rehearse to you what your Lord has forbidden: that you associate not anything as partner with Him and that you do good to parents, and that you kill not your children for fear of poverty – it is We Who provide for you and for them – and that you approach not foul deeds, whether open or secret; and that you kill not the life which Allah has made sacred, save by right. That is what He has enjoined upon you, that you may understand.’” (Ch.6: V.152)

“Upon this Mafruq said, ‘These words are not of any human, if they were, we would certainly have known it.’ The Holy Prophetsa then recited the following verses:

إِنَّ‭ ‬اللّٰهَ‭ ‬يَأۡمُرُ‭ ‬بِالۡعَدۡلِ‭ ‬وَالۡإِحۡسَانِ‭ ‬وَإِيتَآيِٕ‭ ‬ذِي‭ ‬الۡقُرۡبَىٰ‭ ‬وَيَنۡهَىٰ‭ ‬عَنِ‭ ‬الۡفَحۡشَآءِ‭ ‬وَالۡمُنكَرِ‭ ‬وَالۡبَغۡيِۚ‭ ‬يَعِظُكُمۡ‭ ‬لَعَلَّكُمۡ‭ ‬تَذَكَّرُونَ

“That is, ‘Verily, Allah enjoins justice, and the doing of good to others; and giving like kindred; and forbids indecency and manifest evil and transgression. He admonishes you that you may take heed.’ [Ch.16: V.91]

“Upon hearing this, Mafruq stated, ‘O my Quraish brother! By Allah, you have invited us towards the highest morals and good deeds. The nation which rejects you and helps one another to oppose you are indeed liars.’ 

“Muthanna stated, ‘O my Quraish brother! We heard what you have said and you have discoursed in an excellent manner. What you have said has greatly inspired me. However, we have an agreement with Chosroes that neither will we initiate something from our own selves nor grant refuge to anyone else who initiates something new. What you are inviting us towards is perhaps something that the kings will be displeased with. If you wish that we help you and protect you against the people dwelling in and around Arabia, then we can do this for you.’

“The Holy Prophetsa stated, ‘There is nothing wrong in what you have said for you have openly spoken the truth. Only those people can protect the religion of Allah, whom Allah Himself has surrounded [by His grace].’ Thereafter, the Holy Prophetsa took hold of Hazrat Abu Bakr’sra hand and departed from there.” (Ibn Naeem, Ma‘rifat al-Sahabah, Vol. 4, Riwayat number 6382 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2002], pp. 309-310)

In another narration, it is mentioned that the Holy Prophetsa stated, “What do you say if, in just a short span of time, Allah the Almighty shall grant you the land of Chosroes and their women shall come under your authority, will you then praise and glorify Allah the Almighty?” Upon hearing this, he stated, “By God, we are ready!” 

God manifested His will in such a manner that these words of the Holy Prophetsa were fulfilled to the letter. The same Muthanna, who at the time was greatly overawed by the might of Chosroes and was hesitant to accept Islam lest he displeased him, soon became the commander-in-chief of the Muslim army during the era of Hazrat Abu Bakrra to fight against Chosroes, that is Muthanna bin Harithah. He was the one who broke the power of the Chosroes and became the recipient of the Holy Prophet’ssa glad tidings. (Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddiqra, Shakhsiyyat aur Karname, Urdu Tarjumah, p. 82, 84) 

There is another narration from the occasion of Hajj wherein it states that when the tribe, Bakr bin Wail came for Hajj, the Holy Prophetsa stated to Hazrat Abu Bakrra, “Go to these people and present my message before them.” 

That is, to preach to them the message of Islam and present the claims of the Holy Prophetsa to them. 

Hazrat Abu Bakrra went to those people and presented the message of the Holy Prophetsa before them and then the Holy Prophetsa gave them the message of Islam. (Ali bin Burhan al-Din al-Halabi, Al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah, Vol. 2, Bab Dhikr ‘Ard al-Mustafa’ Nafsah ala al-Qaba‘il [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2002], p. 7)

The rest of the accounts will, insha-Allah, continue in the future. 

Today, I would also like to say to pray for the Ahmadis in Afghanistan. They are passing through a lot of hardship. Some of them have also been arrested and the women and children are extremely worried in their homes. Those men who have not been arrested have had to leave their homes as there is the danger of being arrested. May Allah the Almighty create ease for them and remove this difficulty from them.

Pray also for the Ahmadis in Pakistan. The conditions for them are generally dire and every now and then some incident occurs of people causing harm to the Ahmadis.

Pray generally as well for the entire world that Allah the Almighty may enable them to accept the Promised Messiahas and He may remove every evil. And may the world understand the true reality of accepting their Creator.

Now I shall mention details of some deceased members and will also lead their funeral prayer in absentia. 

The first mention is of Al-Hajj Abdul Rahman Ennin Sahib. He was Ghanaian and formerly served as the umur-e-ama secretary and officer of Jalsa Salana. He passed away at the age 81.

إِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‮ ‬وَإِنَّآ‭ ‬إِلَيۡهِ‮ ‬رَاجِعُونَ

[Surely, to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.]

Both his parents were Ahmadis and had accepted Ahmadiyyat themselves. He attained his higher education from Egypt and thereafter began working in the practical field and worked as a manager of various companies in Ghana. He also worked for some time in Nigeria. He then started his own company and worked as the managing director. He was a very pious and sincere individual. He had the opportunity to render an excellent service to the Jamaat. 

Throughout his life, he always gave precedence to that which benefited the Jamaat over himself. He had the opportunity to serve in various capacities and roles. He would always consider it his good fortune to show obedience to the amir and adhere to his every instruction. Often, he would go in the morning to the mission house and meet Amir Sahib and if there was any Jamaat work, he would do that first and then begin his other work. 

He also had the opportunity to serve as the president of the Greater Accra Region for quite a long time. From 1989 to 1998, he served as the sadr for Majlis Ansarullah and then for a long time served as the umur-e-ama secretary. He then had the opportunity to serve as the officer of Jalsa Salana and prior to his demise, he was serving as the national trustee. 

He was very generous and was always ready and willing to help others. His compassion was not just limited to his own family members – besides generously spending on his friends and family, he would also spend on the members of the Jamaat and also other people of the area regardless of their faith. He was a very loyal servant of the Jamaat and was ready to devote his life to Khilafat. He would always give precedence to what benefited the Jamaat over everything else and was never concerned about the opposition. 

He was regular in his Tahajud prayers and would ensure to offer his Tahajud even if he was travelling. He was a musi [part of the Wasiyyat scheme] and regularly paid his financial contributions [chanda]. He leaves behind his wife, five sons and five daughters. 

Hafiz Mubasher Ahmad, a missionary in Ghana, writes:

“He was extremely wise and would speak with great wisdom and to the point. He would very quickly get to the core of the matter. Once, during a board meeting, a matter was being prolonged as everyone was presenting their opinions. He kept listening quietly and when it was his turn, he stated that an instruction had already been received from the Khalifa of the time on that particular matter, therefore there was no need to debate it. He stated that if the Khalifa of the time had given a decision then there was no need for anyone else to present any suggestions of their own, instead one should adhere to it to the letter.” 

Allah the Almighty has granted such sincere members who are dwelling even in far off lands. 

The next mention is of Azyab Ali Muhammad Al-Jabali Sahib, who recently passed away: 

إِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‮ ‬وَإِنَّآ‭ ‬إِلَيۡهِ‮ ‬رَاجِعُونَ

[Surely, to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.]

He was a member of the Jamaat in Jordan. The president of the Jordan Jamaat writes that the deceased did the bai‘at in 2010. He was the only Ahmadi in his area. Owing to the traditions and customs of the area, the wife adopts the same faith as her husband, therefore she also became Ahmadi. He states that the deceased’s level of belief in the Promised Messiahas, Ahmadiyyat and Khilafat was as strong as the mountains. The deceased showed a true example of patience despite the opposition from his family members and other opponents. He had a great sense of honour for Ahmadiyyat and Khilafat and would very courageously defend it. The deceased had a great passion to learn knowledge and carry out tabligh. At times, he would call late in the night to enquire about a certain religious matter. Many tabligh gatherings were held in his house with those who opposed the Jamaat and also with his family members. The deceased was diabetic and had to endure a lot of difficulties as a result of this, and it was this very illness that led to his demise. Some of his relatives would say that this condition of his was due to Ahmadiyyat. They would say that if he would have left Ahmadiyyat, then they would testify in his favour on the Day of Judgment. Upon this, he would passionately pray, “O Allah, cause me to die in a state whereby I am an Ahmadi Muslim.” 

The next mention is of respected Deen Muhammad Shahid Sahib, a retired missionary who was currently residing in Canada. He recently passed away at the age of 92 years,

إِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‮ ‬وَإِنَّآ‭ ‬إِلَيۡهِ‮ ‬رَاجِعُونَ

[Surely, to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.]

Ahmadiyyat was introduced to his family through his father, who accepted Ahmadiyyat in 1938. In 1940, his father took him to attend Jalsa Qadian. There, his father was very impressed with the intellectual and spiritual atmosphere of Qadian, and the deceased himself also had a passion for studies, thus his father left him in Qadian at the age of 11 under the supervision of Hazrat Mir Muhammad Ishaq Sahibra, and that was where he obtained his education. 

He obtained his Shahid degree from Jamia Ahmadiyya in 1953. He served as a missionary in various cities of Pakistan. He also served for three or four years in Fiji as the missionary in-charge. He served for an extended period as the press secretary in Rabwah. Along with writing four books, he wrote numerous scholarly articles as well. He was very passionate about propagating the message of Islam and he would find new and innovative ways of doing so. By the grace of Allah the Almighty, he was a musi. He is survived by his wife, two sons and three daughters. 

The next mention is of respected Mian Rafiq Ahmad Sahib, who was a worker in the office of Jalsa Salana. He recently passed away at the age of 87.

إِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‮ ‬وَإِنَّآ‭ ‬إِلَيۡهِ‮ ‬رَاجِعُونَ

[Surely, to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.]

His father’s name was Mian Bashir Ahmad Sahib. His father migrated from Qadian to Quetta before the establishment of Pakistan and served as the amir of the jamaat of Quetta. Ahmadiyyat was introduced in Mian Rafiq Ahmad Sahib’s family through his paternal grandfather, Hazrat Dr Abdullah Sahibra, a companion of the Promised Messiahas. Mian Rafiq Ahmad Sahib graduated from the Engineering College of Lahore with a BSc in Mechanical Engineering in 1960, after which he worked in various organisations. Then he went to Tanzania for about 10 years, where, aside from working for a company, he would also teach. He also served as the finance secretary in Tanzania. In 1986, he undertook a period of temporary devotion during which he worked in the offices of Jalsa Salana. Then, in 1987, he officially became a worker in the offices of Jalsa Salana. In 1989, he devoted his life and became the nazim for technical affairs at the offices of Jalsa Salana Rabwah, a position he served in until his demise. 

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh arranged his marriage and Hazrat Maulana Abul Ata Sahib announced his nikah. Allah the Almighty granted him three sons and a daughter. His son says that if ever people said anything wrong about the Jamaat, he would immediately stop them. He had immense love for Khilafat. Once, someone at home or a guest mentioned that the home provided to him by the Jamaat was quite small. If he was to make a request, he could receive a bigger home. He replied, “Even if the Jamaat gave me a tent to live in, I would be prepared to live in it, but I will not make any requests.” 

Then, his son writes, “After the demise of our father, we learned that he had been discretely helping certain less-fortunate people.” His younger son says that “he was regular in offering Tahajud prayers, he loved the Holy Quran, he was kind-hearted, softspoken, trustworthy, truthful and possessed many great qualities. He was obedient to the Khalifa and was loyal to Khilafat and was very passionate about fulfilling his life-devotion.” 

I have also witnessed this. He was extremely kind, humble, and fulfilled his oath of allegiance with great loyalty. He also strove to save Jamaat money, and did his best to spend the resources in the most efficient manner. He also worked very hard to design some “roti” machines in Rabwah. 

His son further writes, “Even during times of hardship and worry, I always saw him remain patient and forbearing. Often, during times of worry and hardship, I observed him reciting the Holy Quran. During his illness and before his demise, he did not express any discomfort.” As mentioned before, “He did everything with honesty and passion.” 

The next mention is of respected Qanita Zafar Sahiba, who was the wife of respected Ihsanullah Zafar Sahib, former Amir of the USA Jamaat. She passed away recently in a car accident. 

إِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‮ ‬وَإِنَّآ‭ ‬إِلَيۡهِ‮ ‬رَاجِعُونَ

[Surely, to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.]

She was born in 1941. Her father was Chaudhary Azam Ali Sahib, retired session judge. Her maternal grandfather was Chaudhary Faqeer Muhammad Sahib who served as nazir umur-e-ama right after the partition [of the subcontinent]. She possessed many great qualities and was a cheerful person. She was always loyal to Khilafat and would openly express this as well. She had profound love for the Holy Quran. She had a strong bond of love with the Holy Prophetsa and the Promised Messiahas. This was the same love and bond which she strove to inculcate within her children. By the grace of Allah the Almighty, she was a musia. She is survived by her husband and two daughters. She had a young son who passed away in an accident a few years ago, and she bore this tragedy with great patience. 

Inaamul Haq Kausar Sahib, who is a missionary in Australia, writes about when he was in America:

“We used to hold Holy Quran classes and she would regularly attend, despite having to come from a long distance. Even though she was a PhD, she was a very simple person. She did not show any pride or arrogance in any way. She took great care of the poor and the needy. She treated missionaries like a loving mother and had great respect and honour for them, and she did everything with humility. She would often advise Lajna to place their shoes in the appropriate place, and if they hadn’t, she herself would pick up their shoes and put them in the appropriate place. She would very humbly tend to the cleanliness of the mosque.” 

He says, “She was not at all arrogant or ostentatious. Her attire was very simple, and she would deal with everyone in an excellent manner. She did not have enmity towards anyone, and she treated everyone in an excellent manner. She hearkened to every call made by Khilafat.”

May Allah the Almighty bestow His forgiveness and mercy upon the deceased members and elevate their station, and may He enable their progenies to follow in their footsteps. 

(Original Urdu transcript published in Al Fazl International, 7 January 2022, pp. 5-10.Translated by The Review of Religions.) 

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