18 March 2022
Men of Excellence: Hazrat Abu Bakrra
After reciting the tashahhud, ta‘awuz and Surah al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa said:
With regard to accounts from the life of Hazrat Abu Bakrra, his views and action against those who refused to pay the Zakat [alms] were being mentioned. Further details regarding this have been mentioned in Tarikh al-Tabari in the following manner. The tribes of Asad, Ghatfan and Tayy gathered at the hand of Tulaihah bin Khuwailid, who had made a false claim to prophethood. Except for a few individuals, the people belonging to the tribe of Asad gathered at a place called Samira. This place has been named after an individual from the tribe of Aad, situated on the way to Mecca. This area is surrounded by black mountains, which is the reason for this place to be named as such. The people of Fuzarah and Ghatfan gathered in the south of Tiwah alongside their allies. [The people of] Tayy gathered at the outskirts of their area. The supporters from [the tribes of] Tha‘labah bin Saad, Murrah and Abs gathered at a place called Abraq in Rabazah. Rabazah is also a valley of Medina, located at a distance of three days. Abraq al-Zabadah was one of the places that belonged to the tribe of Zubyan. Some individuals from Banu Kinanah also joined them. However, those areas could not accommodate them and as such, two groups were formed. One group remained in Abraq, whereas the other group went to Dhul-Qassah, which is located at a distance of 40 miles from Medina. Tulaihah sent Hibal to their aid. Hibal was the nephew of Tulaihah. Nevertheless, in this manner, Hibal became the leader of the people in Dhul-Qassah, which also included supporters from the tribes of Asad, Lays, Beel and Mudlij. Auf bin Fulan bin Sinan was appointed as the leader of the tribe of Murrah, which was staying in Abraq. Haris bin Fulan, who belonged to the tribe of Subayh, was appointed as the leader of the tribes of Tha‘labah and Abs. All of these tribes gathered together and each tribe sent its respective delegation to Medina. These people stayed with the elders of Medina. All of them, with the exception of Hazrat Abbasra, accommodated them as their guests and brought them to Abu Bakrra. The condition that had been stipulated, however, was that they would continue to offer their prayers, but not give the Zakat. Allah had firmly grounded Abu Bakrra on the truth and he said, “Even if they refuse to give so much as this rope [as Zakat], which they use to tie their camels, I will fight against them.” (Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 2, 11 AH [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2012], pp. 254-255) (Ibn Hisham, Al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2001], p. 434) (Yaqut Ibn Abd Allah al-Hamawi, Mu‘jam al-Buldan [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah], Vol. 3, 67, 290, Vol. 1, p. 89) (Sayyid Fadl al-Rahman, Farhang-e-Sirat [Karachi, Pakistan: Zawwar Academy Publications, 2003], p. 236)
In relation to what the condition was of those delegations who refused to pay the Zakat and were now returning from Medina after having seen Hazrat Abu Bakrra take this stand, one historian says:
“When these delegations saw Hazrat Abu Bakr’sra resolve, they left Medina and returned. However, as they were leaving Medina, they were contemplating two matters. Firstly, no discussion in relation to not paying the Zakat would be fruitful. The Islamic injunction in this regard was clear and it did not seem possible that the Khalifa would change his stance and resolve, especially as the Muslims agreed with his view and were ready to support him as the matter had become clear and evident to them. Secondly, in order to take advantage of the weakness and lack of numbers of Muslims they would launch such a severe attack on Medina, which would topple the Muslim government and put an end to this religion.” (Muhammad al-Salabi, Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddiqra shakhsiyyat aur Karname [Muzaffar Garh, Pakistan: Maktabat al-Furqan], p. 278)
This was the view they held. They believed that in this way, they would be able to finish their religion and conquer them.
In any case, these people returned to their tribes and said that there are very few people in Medina at this time and incited them to launch an attack. But on the other hand, Hazrat Abu Bakrra was not unaware of this. After these delegations returned from Medina, he appointed guards to continuously keep watch at every post of Medina. Hazrat Alira, Hazrat Zubairra, Hazrat Talhahra and Hazrat Abdullahra bin Mas‘ud were appointed for this task. In one narration, Hazrat Saadra bin Abi Waqas and Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra bin Auf are also mentioned to have been appointed to keep watch.
Aside from this, Hazrat Abu Bakrra instructed all the people of Medina to gather in the mosque. He then said to them, “All the people of the land have become disbelievers, and their delegations have left having seen your small numbers. You do not know if they will attack you during the day or the night. Their closest group among them is only one bareed away.” One bareed is equivalent to 12 miles. “Some among them desired for us to accept their terms and to accommodate them, but we refused this and rejected their terms. Therefore, you must prepare to fight.”
This analysis of Hazrat Abu Bakrra turned out to be completely correct and after only three nights, those who refused to pay the Zakat launched an attack on Medina at nightfall. They left one group of their confederates in Dhu Hissah, as reinforcements if required. Dhu Hissah is one of the waters of Banu Fuzarah, situated between Rabazah and Nakhl. The assailants reached the posts of Medina at night and the soldiers were already stationed there. They were then followed by others who were ascending to a higher terrain. The guards alerted the people of this attack by the enemies, and people rushed to inform Hazrat Abu Bakrra of this advance of the enemies. Hazrat Abu Bakrra sent word for everyone to remain firm in their positions and the whole army did so. Hazrat Abu Bakrra then took all the Muslims present in the mosque and after mounting their camels, they made their way to them and the enemy was defeated.
The Muslims on their camels pursued them until they reached Dhu Hissah. The group of reinforcements of the enemies came forth to combat the Muslims with their leather water containers filled with air, tied together with ropes. They would kick these water containers with their feet so they would dangle in front of the camels. Seeing as camels were most frightened by such moving objects in front of them, all the camels of the Muslims became startled by these water skins and fled. The Muslims who were riding them were unable to control them until they reached Medina once more. In the end, no harm was inflicted upon the Muslims, nor did they manage to obtain anything.
From this supposed defeat of the Muslims, the enemies came under the impression that the Muslims were weak and unable to fight. With this assumption in mind, they informed their comrades stationed in Dhul Qassah of the events. Trusting in this news, they came forth to this group, but they were unaware that Allah the Almighty already had other plans for them, which He was indeed going to fulfil.
Hazrat Abu Bakrra was occupied all night in preparing the army. Then in the latter part of the night, having formed the army, they departed on foot. Nu‘man bin Muqarrin was appointed to overlook the right flank, Abdullah bin Muqarrin over the left flank, and Suwaid bin Muqarrin over the rear part of the army, and they had some cavalry too. The sun had not yet risen when the Muslims met those who refused to pay the Zakat on the battlefield. They had no clue or inkling of the Muslims coming and suddenly the Muslims attacked them with their swords. The fight ensued in the last part of the night, and the rays of the sun had not yet shone upon them from the horizon when the opponents were defeated and began to flee.
It is further recorded that the Muslims took all of their animals into their possession. During this incident, Hibal was killed. Hazrat Abu Bakrra pursued them until they reached Dhul Qassah and stopped there. This was the first victory granted to the Muslims by Allah the Almighty. Hazrat Abu Bakrra stationed Nu‘man bin Muqarrin and a few others there and returned to Medina himself.
This has been cited in Tarikh al-Tabari. (Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 2, 11 AH [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2012], pp. 255-256) (Ibn Kathir, Al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah, Vol. 3, Ch. 6 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2001] p. 308) (Al-Munjid, Under “Barada”) (Yaqut Ibn Abd Allah al-Hamawi, Mu‘jam al-Buldan, Vol. 2, al-Hisa, p. 297)
While comparing this battle to the Battle of Badr, an author writes:
“On this occasion, the faith and conviction, steadfastness and determination, and resolve and stability demonstrated by Hazrat Abu Bakrra reinvigorated the hearts of the Muslims with memories of the battles during the life of the Holy Prophetsa. This first battle during the time of Hazrat Abu Bakrra was quite similar to the Battle of Badr. On the day the Battle of Badr took place, the Muslims numbered a meagre 313 men, while the idolaters of Mecca exceeded 1,000. Even on this occasion (during the battle taking place between Hazrat Abu Bakrra and the enemies), the Muslim forces were very small in number, and on the opposing side, the tribes of Abs, Zubyan and Ghatfan faced the Muslims with a large army. At the time of Badr, Allah granted [the Muslims] victory over the idolaters, and on this occasion, Hazrat Abu Bakrra and his companions demonstrated their perfect faith and attained victory over their enemies. Just as the Battle of Badr brought about far-reaching results, similarly, this battle also had a great impact on the future of Islam.” (Muhammad Husain Haikal, Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiqra – Translated by Sheikh Muhammad Ahmad Pani Piti [Lahore: Islami Kutub Khana], pp. 150-151)
Out of their anger and rage from this defeat, the tribes of Banu Zubyan and Banu Abs suddenly attacked the Muslims living amongst them and subjected them to severe brutalities as they martyred them. In retribution, they martyred hundreds and thousands of Muslims living in their regions, and subsequently, other tribes followed their lead. After learning of these atrocities, Hazrat Abu Bakrra vowed to severely kill the idolaters and to go to each tribe and avenge the Muslims who had lost their lives by taking the lives of those who had martyred them. (Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2012], p. 256)
Under the leadership and guidance of Hazrat Abu Bakrra, after the onslaughts of those who refused to pay Zakat were brought to a halt, one after the other, the weaker and wavering tribes started to come to Medina to offer their Zakat. When the weaker tribes observed what had happened to the larger and more powerful tribes, then all those who were withholding their Zakat came to offer their Zakat in Medina. Some tribes began to arrive with their Zakat in the first part of the night, some came in the middle of the night, and others in the latter part of the night. When each of these caravans would arrive in Medina, the people would perceive them as bearers of a warning, or in other words, bearers of bad news. However, at every instance, Hazrat Abu Bakrra would say that these people were bearers of glad tidings and had come to offer help rather than causing harm. Thus, when it was realised that these caravans of people were coming to support Islam and bringing with them capital to be offered as Zakat, the people addressed Hazrat Abu Bakrra and said, “You are a very blessed man. You have always been accompanied by glad tidings.” (Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2012], p. 256)
At this occasion, Hazrat Abu Bakrra also said, “Bearers of bad news and ill intentions travel very swiftly, while on the contrary, parties of those who bear glad tidings travel calmly and with peace of mind. I can discern [the truth of the matter] by their speed.” (Munir Muhammad Ghadban, al-Masirah al-Islamiyyah [Dar al-Islam, 2015], p. 50)
After the victory against those who refused to pay Zakat, it is recorded in Tarikh al-Tabari with regard to the collection of Zakat that during that point in time, alms were being received by Medina to such a degree that exceeded the needs of the Muslims. (Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2012], p. 257)
Whilst attaining these victories and glad tidings, the army of Hazrat Usamahra also returned to Medina with victory and success. Upon his return, Hazrat Usamahra was appointed by Hazrat Abu Bakrra as his representative in Medina. It is also said that Hazrat Abu Bakrra appointed Sanan Zamri as his representative and told him and his army, “At present, you should rest and allow your mounts to rest as well.” Following this, Hazrat Abu Bakrra took to his mount along with the rest of the people and departed for Dhul Qassah himself. However, the Muslims humbly submitted to Hazrat Abu Bakrra and said, “O Khalifa of the Messengersa, we request you, for the sake of God, not to partake in this expedition, because if, God forbid, you are afflicted by any harm, then our whole order will collapse. We request you to appoint someone else in your stead for this task so that if anything were to happen to them, then you could appoint someone else in their place.” Hazrat Abu Bakrra replied, “By Allah, I will not do this. I will provide comfort and protection for you with my life.” (Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2012], p. 253, 256) (Muhammad al-Salabi, Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddiqra shakhsiyyat aur Karname [Muzaffar Garh, Pakistan: Maktabat al-Furqan], p. 282)
Then, with regard to the assault launched against the people of Rabazah, it is recorded:
“After making all the arrangements, Hazrat Abu Bakrra departed for Dhu Hissah and Dhul Qassah. Dhul Qassah is a place located at a distance of 40 miles from Medina. Nu‘manra, Abdullahra and Suwaidra were in their positions when Hazrat Abu Bakrra came upon the people of Rabazah at Abraq. A severe battle ensued. Ultimately, Allah caused Harith and Auf to be defeated, all of whom were the chieftains of the tribes of Murrah, Tha‘labah and Abs . And Hutaiyah was captured alive. For a few days, Hazrat Abu Bakrra remained in Abraq, and transformed that lush green land of Abraq into the grazing grounds for the horses of the Muslims. After facing defeat in this battle, the people of Banu Abs and Banu Zubyan convened with Tulaihah, who had travelled from Samira to Buzakhah where he took refuge. Buzakhah is the name of a spring of the people of Banu Asad. It is at this place that a great battle took place between Hazrat Abu Bakrra and Tulaihah Asadi.” (Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2012], p. 256) (Sayyid Fadl al-Rahman, Farhang-e-Sirat [Karachi, Pakistan: Zawwar Academy Publications, 2003], p. 236) (Yaqut Ibn Abd Allah al-Hamawi, Mu‘jam al-Buldan, Vol. 1, pp. 284-285)
Furthermore, with regard to the state of the defeated tribes, an author writes:
“Abs , Zubyan, Ghatfan, Bani Bakr and all other rebellious tribes in the near vicinity of Medina ought to have ceased in their treachery and stubbornness, and become absolutely obedient to Hazrat Abu Bakrra and agreed to fulfil the fundamental injunctions of Islam. As a result, they would have joined the Muslim ranks and fought against the apostates. It would have been very wise to do so, and the events that ensued also supported this. Because of Hazrat Abu Bakrra, [the opposition] had lost their footing. The victories accomplished at the borders of the Byzantine Empire also inspired awe for the people of Medina. The strength of the Muslims had greatly increased and they were no longer in that state of weakness which was prevalent during the days of the Battle of Badr and other early battles that took place. Now, Mecca was on their side, and so was Taif, and the supremacy of both cities had been established all across Arabia. Apart from this, large Muslim populations lived amongst those tribes whom the rebellious people could not incite to join along with them, and so their position became very fragile. Despite all of that, their enmity towards the Muslims had blinded them and they slowly started to lose sense of what was advantageous or disadvantageous for them. They had forsaken their homeland and joined forces with the false claimant of prophethood from the tribe of Bani Asad, Tulaihah bin Khuwailid. Even the Muslims who were amongst them could not stop them from their ill intentions. With their arrival, Tulaihah and Musailmah gained an increase in strength and the flames of rebellion began to erupt in Yemen.” (Abdullah Madani, Hazrat Abu Bakrra ke faisle [Lahore: Mushtaq Book], pp. 173-174)
In any case, one should always remember that those people rebelled and started a war. This war was not fought against them simply because someone had claimed [prophethood]. In fact, they were contending against a rebellion and were responding to the war that was waged against them. Whilst mentioning the victory against those who refused to pay the Zakat and Hazrat Abu Bakr’sra courage and determination, Abdullah bin Mas‘ud relates:
“After the demise of the Messengersa of Allah, we were faced with such a situation that had Allah not helped us through Abu Bakr Siddiqra, we were surely going to perish. All of the Muslims unanimously agreed that we would not fight against the enemy over the camels belonging to Zakat and instead would occupy ourselves in the worship of Allah until we attained complete victory. However, Abu Bakr Siddiqra had made a firm resolve to fight against those who refused to pay the Zakat. He put two options before those who refused [to pay the Zakat] and no third option was given to them. Either they were to accept humiliation and failure or they prepared to be exiled or fight. To accept humiliation and failure meant that they accept that those who had been slain from among them were hell-bound and those who had been killed from amongst us were destined for Paradise and also to pay the blood-money for those they had killed. Moreover, they were not to demand anything back from the spoils of war which we had acquired from them, but whatever they had taken from us would have to be returned. With regard to being exiled, it meant that after having been defeated they would have to leave their areas and dwell in far-off lands.” (Muhammad Husain Haikal, Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiqra – Translated [Lahore: Shirkat Printing Press], p. 118)
With regard to this, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:
“Following the demise of the Holy Prophetsa when certain tribes of Arabia refused to pay the Zakat, Hazrat Abu Bakrra was ready to fight against them. The situation at the time was so delicate that even the likes of Hazrat Umarra suggested to show leniency. However, (as has been mentioned once before as well), Hazrat Abu Bakrra responded, ‘What authority does the son of Abu Quhafah possess to abrogate a commandment which the Messengersa of Allah had given. By God, if in the time of the Messengersa of Allah these people gave in Zakat even a rope with which they tied the legs of their camels, I shall take that from them as well. And I shall not rest until they do not pay the Zakat.’ (He then said to his companions), ‘if you cannot support me in this matter then, by all means, don’t, but I will fight against them even on my own.’”
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra further states:
“Such was his level of obedience to the Holy Prophetsa in that despite the extremely dangerous circumstances and despite the distinguished companions were suggesting to not fight against them, even then he was willing to take on every kind of danger in order to fulfil the instruction of the Holy Prophetsa.” (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 8, pp. 108-109)
On another occasion, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:
“During the era of Hazrat Abu Bakrra when the disorder of apostasy began to spread all over and prayers in congregation were only being offered in the villages and also the army had been sent to Syria, Hazrat Abu Bakrra sent an instruction to those who had to pay the Zakat in which he stated that if even someone only gave a rope in Zakat during the time of the Holy Prophetsa, he would take that from them by the force of the sword if he refused to give it. Even a brave and courageous man like Hazrat Umarra expressed his opinion that in view of the situation, they should not insist on the payment of Zakat. However, Hazrat Abu Bakrra did not agree with him at all. From this, one can ascertain how important Zakat is.” (Madarij-e-Taqwa, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 1, pp. 382-383)
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra mentioned this during his speech in which he spoke about the various stages of taqwa [righteousness] and how important the paying of Zakat was for those who tread the path of righteousness. Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra also stated that Ahmadis should be mindful of the importance of Zakat and should pay particular attention towards its payment.” (Madarij-e-Taqwa, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 1, p. 383)
On another occasion, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra stated:
“The concept of Zakat is extremely important; however, people have failed to understand it. After the observance of Salat, God Almighty has commanded us to pay the Zakat. Hazrat Abu Bakrra stated, ‘I will treat those who refuse to pay the Zakat in the same manner as the Holy Prophetsa would treat the disbelievers. I will take their men and women as slaves. Following the demise of the Holy Prophetsa, there emerged such a trial whereby people in the entire land of Arabia, except for Mecca, Medina and one other area, started to become apostates […] Hazrat Umarra suggested that they establish peace with those who were refusing to pay the Zakat and first fight against those who were apostatising and the others would gradually be reformed as a result. The first and foremost task was to eradicate the false claimants to prophethood because their dissension was far more severe. Upon this, Hazrat Abu Bakrra stated, ‘If people fail to pay even a young goat or the rope with which they tied the leg of a camel in Zakat which they previously paid in the time of the Holy Prophetsa, I shall fight against them. If you all leave me and even if the wild beasts of the jungle were to join and attack Medina, I will fight against them on my own.’” (Barakat-e-Khilafat, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 2, pp. 222-223)
This is also one of the blessings of Khilafat in that the Khalifa of the time makes every effort in order to uphold the Shariah.
On another occasion, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra stated:
“Another allegation which is raised by people has been answered by God Almighty 1300 years go. Those who raise the allegation claim that:
شَاوِرۡهُمۡ فِي الۡأَمۡرِ
“‘Consult them in matters of administration’ [Ch.3: V.160] was an instruction exclusive to the Holy Prophetsa, how does this apply to Khilafat. They claim that this instruction is not for Khilafat. However, such people should remember that this is a very similar allegation to the one people raised against Hazrat Abu Bakrra which was with regard to Zakat. Regarding:
خُذۡ مِنۡ أَمۡوَالِهِمۡ صَدَقَةً
“‘Take alms out of their wealth’, they claimed that this was an instruction for the Holy Prophetsa and since he had passed away, no one else had the right to take sadaqah [alms] from them. The one who had been instructed for this had passed away. Hazrat Abu Bakrra stated to them that now he was the addressee of this instruction. Though the Holy Prophetsa had passed away, the Shariah was still intact and thus the Khalifa of the time was being addressed.”
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra further stated in his speech:
“In the same way, I say to the one who has levelled this allegation against me that I am now the addressee [of this commandment]. If this reply that was given by Hazrat Abu Bakrra was true at that time, and indeed it was, then what I say today is also true in that I am now being addressed and this principle shall always apply to Khilafat.”
One should always be mindful of this.
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra then further states:
“If what you claim is true then many commandments of the Holy Quran would have to be taken out and this would be utter humiliation.”
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra was mentioning this in a speech on the institution of Khilafat. (Mansab-e-Khilafat, Anwar al-Ulum, Vol. 2, pp. 59-60)
On another occasion, Hazrat Musleh Maudra stated:
“Upon the demise of the Holy Prophetsa, many ignorant Muslims became apostates. It is recorded in history that there were only three places remaining where prayers were being offered at the mosques in congregation. Similarly, many people in the land refused to pay the Zakat. They claimed that after the Holy Prophetsa, how could anyone have the right to take Zakat from them. When this uprising spread across the whole of Arabia and Hazrat Abu Bakrra decided to strictly deal with such people, Hazrat Umarra and various other companions came to Hazrat Abu Bakrra (and as has been mentioned earlier) they said, ‘This is a very sensitive time and even the slightest of negligence can result in a great loss. Therefore, we suggest that we should not contend with such a large enemy. And we should treat those who do not wish to pay the Zakat with leniency.’ Hazrat Abu Bakrra stated, ‘Whoever amongst you is fearful can go wherever they please. By God, even if not a single one of you stands with me in support, I will still go and fight against the enemy. Even if the enemy were to enter Medina and kill my relatives and friends and even if the dogs were to drag the corpses of women through the streets of Medina, I shall still fight against them. I will continue to fight against them to the point that they give in Zakat even the rope they tied the feet of their camels with which they previously used to give in Zakat.’ Thereafter, Hazrat Abu Bakrra bravely fought against the evil ploys of the enemy and was ultimately granted victory. This is because he believed that this was a task that only he could carry out. That is why when the companions presented their suggestions, he stated that whether they stood in support of him or not, he was ready to fight against the enemy even on his own and would not stop until his life was sacrificed in the way of God Almighty.”
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra further stated:
“Thus, a nation which instils such level of resolve in them, they always succeed and the enemy cannot stand against them.” (Qaumi Taraqqi ke Do Aham Usul, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 19, p. 75, 76)
This is the secret to the success of nations which one has to always be mindful of.
On another occasion, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra stated:
“After the demise of the Holy Prophetsa, when thousands of people in Arabia became apostates owing to their disagreement on the issue of Zakat and Musailimah was going to attack Medina, at that time Hazrat Abu Bakrra, who was the Khalifa, was informed that Musailimah, along with an army of a 100,000, was coming to launch an attack on Medina. At the time, some people suggested to Hazrat Abu Bakrra that since they were passing through a sensitive period and owing to a disagreement on the issue of Zakat people were becoming apostates and Musailimah had arrived with such a large force, therefore it would be wise that in light of the situation they should initially establish peace with those were refusing to pay the Zakat. Hazrat Abu Bakrra, however, did not worry even in the slightest about the dangers and said to those who were presenting these suggestions, ‘Are you trying to convince me to do something which goes directly against the commandment of Allah the Almighty and Messengersa of Allah? The commandment of Zakat is from God Almighty and His Messengersa, thus it is incumbent upon me to do everything I can to defend this commandment of God and His Messengersa.’ The companions once again suggested that in light of the situation, it would be better to establish peace with them. Hazrat Abu Bakrra stated, ‘If you do not wish to fight and cannot muster the strength to fight against the enemy then you may leave and sit in your homes. By God, I shall continue to fight the enemy on my own to the point that they give even the rope to tie the legs of the camel which they were supposed to give for Zakat. I will not establish peace with them until I am able to convince them to pay the Zakat.’”
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra further states:
“This is the hallmark of true faith.” (Hamare Zimma Tamam Dunya Fatah Karne ka Kam hai, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 18, p. p. 458)
And this indeed is faith. If we instil this within ourselves then we can spread the true message of Islam and will, insha-Allah, be successful.
On another occasion, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:
“After the demise of the Holy Prophetsa, the tribes of Arabia rebelled and also refused to pay the Zakat. The argument they presented was that no one aside from the Messengersa of Allah had the right to collect the Zakat. Allah the Almighty addresses the Holy Prophetsa and states:
“‘O Muhammad! Take Alms out of their wealth.’ They [i.e. the rebels] said that it is not written anywhere that Zakat was to be taken after the demise of the Holy Prophetsa. Although this verse directly addressed the Holy Prophetsa, nonetheless, the Muslims did not accept their argument. The biggest argument presented by those people who became apostates at that time was that nobody other than the Holy Prophetsa had the right to take the Zakat. The reason they fell into this error was that they did not consider those commandments related to administrative matters to be followed permanently; rather, they thought that those commandments were limited to the time of the Holy Prophetsa.”
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra further says:
“This notion is absolutely false; just as the commandments pertaining to offering prayers and fasting did not stop at the demise of the Holy Prophetsa, likewise, those commandments which were related to administrative and social matters did not finish with the Holy Prophetsa. Just like prayer in congregation, which is a collective worship, it is necessary that these commandments are also established amongst the Muslims through the representatives of the Holy Prophetsa.” (Khilafat-e-Rashidah, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 15, p. 30, 31)
On another occasion, Hazrat Musleh Maudra says:
“When the Holy Prophetsa passed away and Hazrat Abu Bakrra was appointed as the Khalifa, at that time, all of Arabia became apostates. Aside from Mecca, Medina and a small town, everyone stopped paying the Zakat and said, ‘Allah commanded the Holy Prophetsa:
خُذۡ مِنۡ أَمۡوَالِهِمۡ صَدَقَةً
“‘“Take alms out of their wealth.” And so no one else has the right to take Zakat from us.’ Thus, all of Arabia became apostates, and they began preparations for war.” They did not simply become apostates, they also made preparations for war. “In the time of the Holy Prophetsa, even though Islam was weak, the Arab tribes would attack individually. At times, one tribe would attack and at times another. During the Battle of Ahzab [confederates], when the disbelievers gathered together to attack the Muslims, by that time Islam had gained some considerable strength, but it had not gathered enough strength that the Muslims would feel at ease from future attacks. Subsequently, when the Holy Prophetsa went to conquer Mecca, at that time, certain Arab tribes joined him to assist him. In this manner, God instilled a passion within the enemies gradually, lest they gain strength and take over the entire land. However, in the time of Hazrat Abu Bakrra, all of Arabia became apostates at once; aside from Mecca, Medina and a small town, in all other places, the people refused to pay the Zakat and they gathered an army for battle.” They not only refused to pay the Zakat, they also set out for war with an army. “In some areas, they even had an army of 100,000. However, the case of the Muslims was that they only had an army of 10,000 and that too was departing for Syria. This was the same army that the Holy Prophetsa had instructed to march upon Byzantine lands and appointed Usamahra as the commander of the army. Aside from this, the only people left behind were the elderly, the weak or a handful of youths. Upon witnessing this situation, the companions thought that during the time of rebellion, if the army of Usamahra departed, there would be no means of safeguarding Medina. Thus, a delegation consisting of the distinguished companions went to Hazrat Abu Bakrra.” This has been mentioned before as well – “they submitted that the sending of the army ought to be delayed for some time, and when the rebellion is quashed, then it could be sent. They said that sending the army in such circumstances was perilous. Hazrat Abu Bakrra said in a very angry tone, ‘Do you wish that the first command issued by the son of Abu Quhafah after the demise of the Holy Prophetsa is to stop the army that was commanded by the Holy Prophetsa himself?’ Nonetheless, Hazrat Abu Bakrra said, ‘This army will be sent and I will certainly make sure of it that it departs as instructed by the Holy Prophetsa. If you are afraid of the enemy forces, then leave my side. I will fight against the enemy on my own.’”
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra further says:
“This [statement] was grand proof of the verse:
يَعۡبُدُوْنَنِيْ لَا يُشۡرِكُوْنَ بِي شَيۡـًٔا
“‘Believers will worship Allah and not associate anything with Him.’”
This refers to those people who remain firmly attached to Khilafat. This is that system which has been established through Khilafat, and this shall continue to exist.
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra further says:
“The second issue was pertaining to Zakat. The companions said to Hazrat Abu Bakrra, ‘If you do not wish to stop the army from leaving, then do this much that you should form a temporary pact with them and tell them that Zakat will not be taken from them this year, then during this time, their frenzy will subside and there will be a way to put down this dissension.’ Hazrat Abu Bakrra said, ‘This will not happen at any cost’”; he did not accept this advice of theirs either. “The companions then said, ‘If the army of Usamahra departs and you do not temporarily reconcile with them [i.e. those who rebelled against paying Zakat], then who will confront the enemy? Only the elderly and weak remain in Medina, and there are only a handful of youths here, how can they contend with an army of hundreds of thousands?’ Hazrat Abu Bakrra replied, ‘My dear friends! If you are helpless against them, then Abu Bakr will set out to fight them alone.’”
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra says:
“This is the claim of an individual who was not an expert in the art of war, and was the statement of the one who was generally considered to possess a weak heart. Then how did he develop such courage and bravery and from where did such conviction come? It stemmed from the fact that Hazrat Abu Bakrra understood that he had been appointed to the station of Khilafat by God Almighty and to fulfil this task was his responsibility. Thus, it was his duty to confront them and it was up to God Almighty whether or not He bestowed victory. If Allah willed to grant him victory, then He would surely grant them victory; and if He did not wish to grant victory to them, then even the entire army would not succeed.” (Khilafat-e-Rashidah, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 15, pp. 543-545, Qadian, 2008)
The decision of Hazrat Abu Bakrra produced extraordinary results. Whilst mentioning this, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:
“Despite the contrary view held by the companions, Hazrat Abu Bakrra sent Hazrat Usamah bin Zaidra along with his army to Mu‘tah. Subsequently, this army fulfilled its mission and after 40 days, returned to Medina victorious. Everyone witnessed the succour of God and victory with their own eyes. After this, Hazrat Abu Bakrra turned his attention to the matter of the false claimants of prophets, and dealt with them in such a manner that he completely crushed this dissension and not a trace remained. Later, the same was the outcome for those who had become apostates. Even the opinions of the pre-eminent companions were contrary to that of Abu Bakr’sra; they said that how could he raise the sword against the people who professed the oneness of God and accepted the prophethood of the Holy Prophetsa, but only refused to pay the Zakat. However, showing the utmost bravery and courage, Hazrat Abu Bakrra said, ‘If, today, permission is granted to abstain from paying the Zakat, then slowly, people will abandon the prayer and fasting and only the mere name of Islam would remain.’ Thus, under such circumstances, Hazrat Abu Bakrra waged war against those who refused to pay the Zakat. The result was the same, in that God Almighty granted Hazrat Abu Bakrra victory and succour. All those who had strayed off the right path returned.” (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 10, p. 478)
These accounts will continue in the future, insha-Allah.
These days, as I have been continuously reminding in relation to the current situation of the world, continue to pray and do not show any deficiency in your prayers. Especially pray that the people of the world may recognise their True Creator. This is the only solution to save the world from destruction. May Allah the Almighty bestow His mercy and accept our prayers.
Today, I wish to speak about a deceased member and after the Friday prayers and I will lead his funeral prayer as well. It is of Respected Maulana Mubarak Nazir Ahmad Sahib, who served as the Principal of Jamia Ahmadiyya Canada as well as Missionary-in-Charge Canada. He passed away on 8 March at the age of 87.
إِنَّا لِلّٰهِ وَإِنَّآ إِلَيۡهِ رَاجِعُونَ
[“Surely, to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.”]
By the grace of Allah, he was a musi. He was extremely selfless, had complete trust in Allah, devoted to prayer and was content within his means. He possessed all the attributes of a dervish. Whenever I saw him, it seemed as though a truly saintly person was present before me.
With regard to the introduction to his family, I would like to mention that he was the second son of Maulana Nazir Ahmad Ali Sahib, an exceptional missionary of the Jamaat, and respected Amina Begum Sahiba. Ahmadiyyat was introduced in his family through his paternal grandfather, Hazrat Babu Faqeer Ali Sahibra, who pledged allegiance at the hands of the Promised Messiahas. Subsequently, Hazrat Babu Faqeer Ali Sahibra worked as the first station master of Qadian. The deceased’s grandfather [i.e. Hazrat Babu Faqeer Ali Sahibra] owned a home in Qadian, which was known as “Faqeer Manzil”.
On the instructions of Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra, Maulana Mubarak Nazir Sahib’s father, Hazrat Maulana Nazir Ahmad Ali Sahib had the opportunity to first serve in Ghana in 1929 and later he was posted to Sierra Leone.
In 1943, his father, Hazrat Maulana Nazir Ahmad Ali Sahib was returning to Sierra Leone and during this journey, Mubarak Nazir Sahib and his mother were also present. During the course of the journey, a faith-inspiring incident took place – Maulana Mubarak Nazir Sahib has narrated this incident. It was a three-month journey by ship. At the time, Mubarak Nazir Sahib was 11 years old. During the journey, he fell ill and his health deteriorated to such an extent that it did not seem as though he would survive. As mentioned already, the journey was by ship. Hence, when they were about to embark or perhaps they changed ships, this incident is before they boarded the ship. Nonetheless, prior to boarding the ship, Mubarak Nazir Sahib fell ill. Upon witnessing his condition, the administration of the ship said to his father; “Your son is at death’s door and is close to his demise. If he passes away during the journey, we do not have any mortuary on board the ship or any means to keep the body. Therefore, we cannot permit you to board the ship because of your son.”
Maulana Sahib insisted that he had received orders from Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra and he had to board that ship. The ship’s crew allowed him to board the ship on the condition that he affirm in writing that if his son died during the journey, they would have permission to throw his body into the ocean. When the ship’s captain stipulated this condition, Mubarak Nazir Sahib’s mother started crying out of shock and said to Maulana Nazir Ali Sahib that he was their son and that they should go on another ship. Maulana Nazir Ali Sahib consoled his wife by saying that he was a missionary who had been assigned a mission by Hazrat Sahib. There was no telling when he would be able to find another ship. He told his wife to stay strong; nothing would happen to Mubarak. After this, he confidently said to the Captain, “Where do I sign? Bring the paper.” He then told the Captain, “If he dies, you can throw him into the ocean, but I assure you that nothing will happen to him.” This was the level of trust which his father had in God Almighty because he was a life-devotee and he had set out to propagate His faith and so God Almighty would surely protect him and his family.
Thus, by the grace of God Almighty, not only did that 11-year-old boy remain alive, he lived to the age of 87 and was able to serve Islam and Ahmadiyyat. Following the footsteps of his forefathers, he had the honour of dedicating his life and established his own lofty examples of trusting God while in the field of service.
After completing his graduation, he was able to obtain a good job in a government institution where he worked for a few years. Then, he read an announcement in Al Fazl that Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra had made an appeal for people to present themselves for life devotion, or even for a temporary period. Thus, he resigned from his job and presented himself to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra for temporary devotion. According to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II’sra instructions, he was sent on his first assignment for temporary devotion to Sierra Leone in 1963, the same place where his father Hazrat Maulana Nazir Ali Sahib had served for a long time and Maulvi Nazir Ali Sahib was also buried there. As soon as he reached Sierra Leone, he immediately went to his father’s grave. At that time, he recalled his father’s words from a captivating speech which he delivered on 26 November 1945. He said:
“Today, we are embarking to perform jihad for God Almighty and to spread Islam in West Africa. Man is destined to die. If any one of us dies, let it be known that there is a far-off place in the world where even the slightest plot of land belongs to Ahmadiyyat, it is the duty of Ahmadi youth to reach there and fulfil the purpose for which we have occupied this earth in the form of graves.”
(He meant that there was a small plot of land belonging to Ahmadiyyat, occupied by the grave of an Ahmadi missionary and it is due to this grave that the land is occupied). “Thus, our graves demand that we train our children in a manner that they fulfil the purpose for which our lives were spent.” Thus, in fulfilment of his father’s will, Maulana Mubarak Nazir Sahib went to his father’s grave and said, “Labbaik – I am here to answer your call.”
He was able to serve at various places in Sierra Leone. Afterwards, according to the instructions of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh, he returned to Pakistan in 1985. When he returned from Africa in 1985, he requested Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh to accept his permanent life-devotion rather than a temporary period of devotion, and this request was accepted. Then, in 1988, he was sent to Canada as a missionary where he served in various places. In 2003, it was decided to open Jamia Canada, which had been approved by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh and he had appointed him as the principal; however, it did not open during Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IV’srh time and it was opened later during my time. I also confirmed the appointment made by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh and he remained the principal. He was the first principal of Jamia Ahmadiyya Canada. He served as principal of Jamia until 2009. Then, in 2010, I appointed him as the missionary-in-charge Canada and he had the opportunity to serve in an excellent manner until 2018. His total term of service spanned 59 years. Even his temporary period of service was essentially full-time devotion. Similarly, Maulana Sahib was appointed as a markaz representative for many jalsas and programmes which he was able to attend. His speeches would be greatly appreciated by Jamaat members as well as others. His speeches were very moving and would captivate the listener. In 2016, he represented me for laying the foundation of the Noor Hospital in Guatemala. He would propagate the message through articles which would be published in newspapers such as National News Canada, Toronto Star and Ottawa Citizen. Maulana Mubarak Nazir Sahib was able to translate two books of the Promised Messiahas; Tajalliyat-e-Ilahiyya and Fath-e-Islam into English. He also translated The Gulf Crisis by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh.
He is survived by his wife, Amatul Hafeez Nazir Sahiba, three sons and two daughters. As I stated earlier, he possessed many great qualities and was an exemplary life-devotee and was especially exemplary for missionaries. His life was an embodiment of giving precedence to the faith over the world. He always served the Jamaat and remaining obedient to the Khalifa was his true objective. As I already stated, he possessed a special talent in delivering speeches, with proficiency in both Urdu and English. His speeches would have a profound impact.
His wife, Amatul Hafeez Sahiba writes:
“He lived his entire life with piety and righteousness. He was mindful about being careful with every penny of the Jamaat and led a life of simplicity. After leaving Sierra Leone, he continued to quietly help many poor people.” She says, “I am witness to the fact that he was an excellent life-devotee, an excellent husband and a kind father. He was always mindful of the fact that the Jamaat spends so much on him and was always worried about how he could be of most benefit to it. He would often say that he could never bear the displeasure of the Khalifa of the time under any circumstance.”
His children have also shared their experiences; all have mostly written that their father had firm faith in Allah the Almighty and in the Hereafter. He had firm conviction in Khilafat and the Nizam of the Jamaat. He had a great deal of trust in Allah the Almighty. He often said that Allah the Almighty would never forsake him and would always come to his aid, and this truly was the manner in which Allah the Almighty treated him. Whenever he went to make appeals for financial sacrifices, whether as the missionary-in-charge, or upon being sent by Amir Sahib, or even after he retired when he became ill, and the Jamaat would continue to benefit from his service, he would always make appeals for financial contributions and would have a great impact on people. This was because he would first contribute himself and then advise the rest of the Jamaat to do so.
His eldest daughter says:
“He always advised us to have a strong bond with Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyyat and always strove to instil within us love and respect for the Jama’at. It was his desire for us to act upon every guidance of Khalifatul-Masih.” She says, “There was rarely a gathering in which he did not advise these things. Whenever his grandchildren gathered, they all knew that he would sit them down and advise them, and this advice would include the fact that they should not become engrossed in worldly affairs, rather they should make certain of their connection with Allah the Almighty and Khilafat.” She further says, “He would tell us that the work of this Jamaat would always be completed and there was no doubt in this. If we did not serve the Jamaat, then Allah the Almighty would bring others to render great service.”
His younger daughter writes about an incident:
“Once in Sierra Leone, while a mosque was being built and the workers sought their wages, my father did not have the sufficient funds to pay them. Hence, Maulana Mubarak Nazir Sahib told them that they should return the next day and he would give them their wages. The next morning when Mubarak Nazir Sahib came out of his home, he found the workers standing there waiting while the money had not yet been arranged. He told the workers that he still did not have the money, but he was praying and they should wait a little while longer and insha-Allah, Allah the Almighty would swiftly provide the means. Meanwhile, a car came racing towards him and he was given an envelope with money in it. He was told that a person had heard that he was building a mosque and so he sent some money for him. Before my father could ask who had sent the money, the car quickly raced away after giving the envelope. He was convinced that Allah the Almighty had heard his prayer and he used the money to pay the workers.”
This was the standard of his trust in Allah and the manner in which Allah the Almighty treated him. Many people, including missionaries, have written countless incidents similar to this, showing his trust in Allah the Almighty and his relationship with Allah. As I said earlier, he certainly was a scholar who practised what he preached, which was why his speeches were so impactful, yet he was extremely humble before Khilafat.
May Allah the Almighty elevate his station, enable his progeny to follow in his footsteps, accept his prayers in their favour, and may Allah the Almighty continue to bestow the Jamaat with such people who render selfless service.
Those missionaries who have graduated from Jamia Canada have especially written many incidents of how he trained them, taught them how to do tabligh, taught them morals and taught them the faith. These missionaries were able to benefit a great deal from him. They should bear in mind that these incidents are not simply for the sake of remembering or recalling them; rather, these missionaries should practically implement these examples. May Allah the Almighty enable them to do so.
(Official Urdu transcript published in Al Fazl International, 8 April 2022, pp. 5-10. Translated by The Review of Religions.)