Friday Sermon – Men of Excellence: Hazrat Abu Bakr r.a. (25 February 2022)

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Friday Sermon

25 February 2022

Men of Excellence: Hazrat Abu Bakrra

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

Accounts relating to Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiqra were being narrated. One narration with regards to Hajjat-ul-Wada [farewell pilgrimage of the Holy Prophetsa] is recorded in the following manner. The Holy Prophetsa left for Hajjat-ul-Wada on a Thursday, when only six days were remaining to the month of Dhul-Qadah, in the 10th year after Hijrah. According to another narration, the Holy Prophetsa set off on a Saturday. (Ali bin Burhan al-Din al-Halabi, Al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah, Vol. 3, Bab Hajjatul Wada [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2002], p. 361)

Nevertheless, in one narration, Hazrat Asma bint Abi Bakrra relates, “When the Holy Prophetsa intended to set off for Hajjat-ul-Wada, Hazrat Abu Bakrra submitted, ‘O Messengersa of Allah! I have a camel and we can load our provisions upon it.’ The Holy Prophetsa agreed to this. Hence, the same camel was used for the provisions of the Holy Prophetsa and those of Hazrat Abu Bakrra. The Holy Prophetsa had provisions prepared from flour and barley and loaded them on Hazrat Abu Bakr’sra camel. Hazrat Abu Bakrra then handed the camel to his servant.”

Hazrat Asma bint Abi Bakrra further relates, “We set off for Hajj alongside the Holy Prophetsa. When we reached Arj, the Holy Prophetsa dismounted his camel and we did so as well. Following this, Hazrat Aishara sat down beside the Holy Prophetsa and I sat down beside my father. The provisions of the Holy Prophetsa and Hazrat Abu Bakrra were on the same camel, (as has been mentioned) and this was with a servant of Hazrat Abu Bakrra

Hazrat Abu Bakrra was waiting for him to arrive. The servant arrived, but the camel was not with him. Hazrat Abu Bakrra asked, ‘Where is your camel?’ He replied, ‘I lost it the previous night.’ Upon this, Hazrat Abu Bakrra said, ‘There was only one camel and you have lost that as well?’ Following this, Hazrat Abu Bakrra stood up in order to hit him. The Holy Prophetsa was smiling and said, ‘Look at this Muhrim [a pilgrim who is in the state of Ihram]! What is he doing?’” 

Ibn Abi Rizmah relates that the Holy Prophetsa only said, “Look at this Muhrim! What is he about to do?” The Holy Prophetsa then started smiling. (Mustafa ‘Abd al-Wahid, Subul al-Huda wa al-Rashad fi Sirat Khair al-‘Ibad, Vol. 7, Fi Husn Khulqih [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 1993], pp. 12-13), (Sunan Abi Dawud, Kitab al-Manasik, Bab al-Muhrim Yu’addibu Ghulamah, Hadith 1818)

Nevertheless, when some of the companions came to know the provisions of the Holy Prophetsa had been lost, they brought him some hees. This is a confection of very high quality made from dates, flour and butter. This was presented before the Holy Prophetsa. The Holy Prophetsa addressed Hazrat Abu Bakrra, who was reprimanding his servant, and said, “O Abu Bakr! Be lenient as this matter is neither in your control, nor ours. This servant must certainly have tried not to lose the camel, but it still got lost.” In any case, the Holy Prophetsa said, “Look, this is a pure form of nourishment, which has been brought to us from Allah the Almighty and it is a replacement of our provisions that were with this servant.” Following this, the Holy Prophetsa and Hazrat Abu Bakrra ate the food and those who used to eat with them also ate therefrom until all were satisfied with their fill. 

Thereafter, Hazrat Safwan bin Mu‘attalra arrived. His responsibility was to follow the entourage. The task that was entrusted to him was the same as mentioned in the incident of Ifk; to follow and see if anything had been left behind.

Hazrat Safwanra arrived and with him was the camel which was carrying the travel provisions. He brought the camel and sat it at the entrance of where the Holy Prophetsa had camped. The Holy Prophetsa then said to Hazrat Abu Bakrra, “Check to see if any of your belongings are missing.” Hazrat Abu Bakrra replied, “Aside from a bowl which we used to drink water from, nothing is missing.” Upon this, the servant said, “That bowl is with me.” (‘Ali bin Burhan al-Din al-Halabi, Al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah, Vol. 3, Bab Hajjatul Wada’ [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2002], p. 365), (Sayyid Fadl al-Rahman, Farhang-e-Sirat [Karachi, Pakistan: Zawwar Academy Publications, 2003], p. 110)

Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiqra relates that he departed alongside the Holy Prophetsa to perform the pilgrimage during the Hajjatul Wada. With him was his wife, Asma bint Umaisra. When they reached Dhul-Hulaifah, Hazrat Asma’ra gave birth to Muhammad bin Abi Bakr. Dhul-Hulaifah is situated 6-7 miles from Medina. Hazrat Abu Bakrra went to the Holy Prophetsa and informed him about the birth. The Holy Prophetsa said to him, “Tell Asma to bathe, then wear the Ihram for Hajj, and perform all the rites that others do – i.e. the other pilgrims – except for performing the circuits around the House of Allah.” (Sunan al-Nasa’‘i, Kitab al-Manasik al-Hajj, Bab al-Ghusl li al-Ihlal, Hadith 2664), (Yaqut Ibn ‘Abd Allah al-Hamawi, Mu’jam al-Buldan, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah], p. 339)

When the Holy Prophetsa passed by the valley of Usfan he asked, “O Abu Bakrra, which valley is this?” Hazrat Abu Bakrra submitted, “This is the valley of Usfan.” The Holy Prophetsa then stated, “Hazrat Hudra and Hazrat Salihra passed by here to perform the pilgrimage of the Ancient House, on two red camels, the bridles of which were made from the bark of date palms. They were wearing a cloak, wrapped with a black and white patterned cloth on top, and they were reciting the Talbiyah [prayer invoked whilst performing the pilgrimage].” (Mustafa ‘Abd al-Wahid, Subul al-Huda wa al-Rashad fi Sirat Khair al-‘Ibad, Vol. 8, Fi Siyaq Hajjat al-Wada’ [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 1993], p. 461) 

Along the journey during the Farewell Pilgrimage, Hazrat Abu Bakrra was among those who had sacrificial animals with them. (‘Ali bin Burhan al-Din al-Halabi, Al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah, Vol. 3, Bab Hajjatul Wada’ [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2002], p. 369)

Hazrat Abu Bakrra relates:

“I saw during the Farewell Pilgrimage that Suhail bin Amr was stood at the place to make the sacrifices, and he was ushering the sacrificial animal of the Holy Prophetsa closer to him. The Holy Prophetsa slaughtered it with his own hands. He then called for a person to shave off the hair on his head.” Hazrat Abu Bakrra further says, “I saw Suhail was placing the blessed hair of the Holy Prophetsa on his own eyes. I then remembered that this was the same Suhail who was stopping the Holy Prophetsa from writing ‘Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim’ [in the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful] during the Treaty of Hudaibiyah. Upon this, I praised and glorified Allah, Who guided Suhail to Islam, and who then excelled immeasurably in his sincerity and devotion after being granted guidance.” (Mustafa ‘Abd al-Wahid, Subul al-Huda wa al-Rashad fi Sirat Khair al-‘Ibad, Vol. 5, Fi Ghazwat al-Hudaibiyah [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 1993], p. 64) 

In relation to Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiqra leading the prayers during the final illness of the Holy Prophetsa, Hazrat Aishara relates:

“During his illness, the Holy Prophetsa said, ‘Tell Abu Bakrra to lead the people during the prayers.’” Hazrat Aishara states, “I then said, ‘Hazrat Abu Bakrra will not be able to be heard by the people due to [his] weeping whilst standing in your place. Therefore, instruct Hazrat Umarra to lead the prayers.’” Hazrat Aishara then says, “I said to Hazrat Hafsahra, ‘Tell the Holy Prophetsa that if Hazrat Abu Bakrra stands in his place the people will be unable to hear him from all his weeping, so he should instruct Hazrat Umarra to lead the people in prayer.’ Hazrat Hafsahra did so, but the Holy Prophetsa expressed his displeasure and said, ‘Remain silent. You are behaving like the women in the time Josephas. Tell Abu Bakr that it is he who will lead the people in prayer.’” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Adhan, Bab Ahl al-‘Ilm wa al-Fadl Ahaqq bi al-Amanah, Hadith 679) 

Prior to the demise of the Holy Prophetsa, when Hazrat Abu Bakrra was not present, Hazrat Bilalra told Hazrat Umarra to lead the prayers. When the voice of Hazrat Umarra reached the Holy Prophetsa in his room, he asked, “Where is Abu Bakrra? Allah and the Muslims are not pleased that anyone other than Abu Bakr leads the prayers.” Hazrat Abu Bakrra was then called and he arrived when Hazrat Umarra had already completed the prayer. Hazrat Abu Bakrra then continued to lead the prayers during the illness of the Holy Prophetsa up until his demise. (Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr, Al-Isti‘ab fi Ma’rifat al-Ashab, Vol. 3, Harf al-‘Ain [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2002], pp. 96-97)

Hazrat Aishara narrates:

“During the course of his illness, the Holy Prophetsa instructed Hazrat Abu Bakrra to lead the people in prayer, and he did so accordingly.” Urwah reports, “When the Holy Prophetsa felt some relief from his illness, he came into the mosque. He saw that Hazrat Abu Bakrra was standing in the front, leading the people in prayer. When Hazrat Abu Bakrra saw the Holy Prophetsa, he stepped back. Seeing this, the Holy Prophetsa indicated to Hazrat Abu Bakrra to remain in his place and the Holy Prophetsa took a seat beside him. Hazrat Abu Bakrra followed the Holy Prophetsa in prayer, and the people followed the prayer of Hazrat Abu Bakrra.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Adhan, Bab man Qama ila Janb al-Imam, Hadith 683) 

This is a narration of Sahih al-Bukhari. There is another similar narration in Bukhari. Hazrat Anas bin Malik Ansarira narrates:

“Hazrat Abu Bakrra would lead the people in prayer during the illness of the Holy Prophetsa that led to his demise. It was on a Monday while people were praying in their rows when the Holy Prophetsa lifted the curtain to his chambers. The Holy Prophetsa was standing and looking toward us, and it was as though his blessed face was a page of the Holy Quran. He was happy and smiled, and we thought that we would happily take on any hardship upon seeing the Holy Prophetsa. Meanwhile, Hazrat Abu Bakrra stepped backward to join the rows as he thought the Holy Prophetsa had come out for prayer, however, the Holy Prophetsa conveyed through an indication that we should complete our prayer, and then he let down his curtain. The Holy Prophetsa passed away that very day.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Adhan, Bab Ahl al-‘Ilm wa al-Fadl Ahaqq bi al-Amanah, Hadith 680) 

In accordance with the first narration, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states: 

“Hazrat Aishara narrates, ‘when the Holy Prophetsa was unwell due to the illness that led to his demise, he was unable to lead the prayers because of severe weakness. For this reason, he instructed Hazrat Abu Bakrra to lead the prayers. When Hazrat Abu Bakrra started the prayer, the Holy Prophetsa felt some relief and went out for prayer.’ Hazrat Aishara states, ‘After instructing Hazrat Abu Bakrra to lead the prayer and after the prayer had started, the Holy Prophetsa felt some alleviation from his illness. Thus, the Holy Prophetsa emerged while two men supported him up.’ She continues to state, ‘At that time, I saw before my eyes that the feet of the Holy Prophetsa were dragging against the ground due to severe pain. Upon seeing him, Hazrat Abu Bakrra intended on stepping back. The Holy Prophetsa became aware of this and indicated to Hazrat Abu Bakrra to remain in his place. Then, the Holy Prophetsa was brought there and he took a seat next to Hazrat Abu Bakrra. Following this, the Holy Prophetsa began to pray and Hazrat Abu Bakrra followed him in prayer, and the rest of the people followed Hazrat Abu Bakrra in prayer.’” (Sirat al-NabisaAnwar al-‘Ulum, Vol. 1, pp. 506-507)

In respect to the demise of the Holy Prophetsa, Urwah bin Zubair has reported another narration from the blessed wife of the Holy Prophetsa, Hazrat Aishara

“The Holy Prophetsa had passed away while Hazrat Abu Bakrra was in Sun‘a’ (in other words, he was in the village of Sun‘a’, located in the outskirts). Upon hearing the news, Hazrat Umarra stood up (when the Holy Prophetsa passed away, Hazrat Abu Bakrra was not present, however, Hazrat Umarra was present and he stood up) and said, ‘I swear by Allah, the Holy Prophetsa has not passed away.’” 

Hazrat Aishara states:

“Hazrat Umarra would say, ‘I swear by Allah, at the time, I felt that Allah will surely cause the Holy Prophetsa to awaken in order to cut the hands and feet of some of the people.’ Meanwhile, Hazrat Abu Bakrra arrived, removed the cloth from the face of the Holy Prophetsa, kissed [his forehead] and said, ‘May my parents be sacrificed for you. You are holy and pure at the time of your demise, just as you were during your life. I swear by Him in Whose hands is my life, Allah will never allow you to be subjected to two deaths.’ After saying this, Hazrat Abu Bakrra went outside and said, ‘O you who is swearing an oath, stop what you are doing (i.e. he told Hazrat Umarra to stop).’ When Hazrat Abu Bakrra began speaking, Hazrat Umarra sat down. Hazrat Abu Bakrra praised God and said, 

ألَا مَنْ كَانَ مِنْكُمْ يَعْبُدُ مُحَمَّدًا صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَإِنَّ مُحَمَّدًا قَدْ مَاتَ، وَمَنْ كَانَ يَعْبُدُ اللَّهَ فَإِنَّ اللّٰهَ حَىٌّ لاَ يَمُوتُ

“‘Whosoever worshipped Muhammadsa, then let it be known that Muhammad has surely passed away. And whosoever worships Allah, then they should know that Allah is Living and can never die.’ Then, Hazrat Abu Bakrra recited this verse: 

اِنَّكَ‭ ‬مَيِّتٌ‭ ‬وَّاِنَّهُمۡ‭ ‬مَّيِّتُوۡنَ

“That is, surely, thou wilt die, and surely they too will die. (Surah az-Zumar, Ch.39: V31). 

“He then recited the following verse: 

وَمَا مُحَمَّدٌ اِلَّا رَسُوۡلٌ ۚ قَدۡ خَلَتۡ مِنۡ قَبۡلِهِ الرُّسُلُ ؕ اَفَا۠ئِنۡ مَّاتَ اَوۡ قُتِلَ انۡقَلَبۡتُمۡ عَلٰۤي اَعۡقَابِكُمۡ ؕ وَمَنۡ يَّنۡقَلِبۡ عَلٰي عَقِبَيۡهِ فَلَنۡ يَّضُرَّ اللّٰهَ شَيۡئًا ؕ وَسَيَجۡزِي اللّٰهُ الشّٰكِرِيۡنَ 

“‘And Muhammad is only a Messenger. Verily, all Messengers have passed away before him. If then he die or be slain, will you turn back on your heels? And he who turns back on his heels shall not harm Allah at all. And Allah will certainly reward the grateful.’” (Surah aal-e-Imran, Ch.3: V.145)

The narrator says, “Upon hearing this, the people wept profusely.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab Fada’il Ashab a-Nabisa,Bab Qaul al-Nabisa lau Kunta Muttakhidhan Khalilan, Hadith 3667-3668) 

Hazrat Ibn Abbasra states:

“I swear by Allah, it seemed as though up until that moment when Hazrat Abu Bakrra had recited this verse, the people were unaware that Allah had even revealed this verse. It was as if the people learnt this verse from him, and following this, whomever I came across was reciting this very verse.” The narrator states, “Sa‘eed bin Musayyib told me that Hazrat Umarra stated, ‘I swear by Allah, as soon as I heard Hazrat Abu Bakrra recite this verse, I became so anxious that I fell to the ground because my feet could not hold me up out of awe. When I heard Hazrat Abu Bakrra recite this verse, I realised that the Holy Prophetsa had passed away.’” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Maghazi,Bab Marad al-Nabisa wa Wafatuh, Hadith 4454) 

Hazrat Abdullah bin Umarra narrates:

“Hazrat Abu Bakrra passed by Hazrat Umarra while he was saying that the Holy Prophetsa had not passed away and would not pass away until Allah the Almighty eradicates the hypocrites.” Hazrat Abdullah bin Umarra continues, “Upon hearing this, they (the companions) rejoiced and raised their heads, while Hazrat Abu Bakrra said, ‘Let it be known that the Holy Prophetsa has indeed passed away (he was addressing Hazrat Umarra and said that the Holy Prophetsa had indeed passed away). Have you not heard that Allah the Almighty has stated: 

اِنَّكَ‭ ‬مَيِّتٌ‭ ‬وَّاِنَّهُمۡ‭ ‬مَّيِّتُوۡنَ

“Surely, thou wilt die, and surely they too will die.” 

“And, [Allah the Almighty has also stated]: 

وَمَا جَعَلۡنَا لِبَشَرٍ مِّن قَبۡلِكَ الۡخُلۡدَ

“We granted not everlasting life to any human being before thee.”’ 

Following this, Hazrat Abu Bakrra stood at the pulpit and addressed the people.” 

In any case, Abu Abdillah Qurtabi states in the commentary of this hadith, “This incident is a great testament to the bravery of Hazrat Abu Bakrra, because the pinnacle of bravery is to remain resolute and steadfast during adversity, and there could have been no greater trial for the Muslims at that time than the demise of the Holy Prophetsa.

Thus, at that moment, the extent of his knowledge and bravery both became apparent.” (Al-Mawahib al-Laduniyyah, Vol. 4, p. 457, Al-Maktab al-Islami, 2004)

His bravery was demonstrated by his ability to endure the tragedy, and his knowledge was demonstrated through his explanation of the verses of the Holy Quran. 

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:

 “It is recorded in books of traditions and history that the demise of the Holy Prophetsa had such a profound impact upon the Companions that they were utterly shocked, rendering some unable to speak, some unable to walk, some unable to maintain control over their senses and thoughts; in fact, some were so deeply impacted by this shock that within the span of a few days, they passed away one after the other. 

“Hazrat Umarra was so severely impacted by this shock, that he denied the news of the Holy Prophet’ssa demise altogether and stood with his sword in his hand declaring, ‘If anyone says that the Holy Prophetsa has passed away I will kill them. He has merely been summoned just as Mosesas had been. Just as he returned after 40 days, so too will the Holy Prophetsa return after some time. Those who raise allegations against him and are hypocrites will be killed and crucified.’ He made this declaration with such passion that none of the Companions felt the strength to refute him. In fact, seeing this passion from Hazrat Umarra convinced some of them that indeed, the truth is that the Holy Prophetsa has not passed away and this joy was apparent from their expressions. 

“Thus, people felt either dejected or elated. Upon seeing this state of affairs, some of the more prudent Companions immediately sent a Companion to bring back Hazrat Abu Bakrra, who had travelled to a village near Medina with the permission of the Holy Prophetsa once his health had slightly improved. The Companion had only just set out when he met Hazrat Abu Bakrra who was on his way back. Upon seeing him, tears began flowing from the eyes of the Companion who had set out to deliver the news and wept uncontrollably. Hazrat Abu Bakrra understood what had happened and asked the Companion whether the Holy Prophetsa had passed away. He explained that Hazrat Umarra was declaring that whoever said the Holy Prophetsa had passed away, he would behead them with his sword. 

“Upon this, Hazrat Abu Bakrra proceeded to the Holy Prophet’ssa home. He removed the sheet that was covering the blessed body of the Holy Prophetsa in order to confirm that he had indeed passed away. The grief of losing his beloved drew Hazrat Abu Bakrra to tears, as he bent down and kissed the Holy Prophet’ssa forehead and said, ‘By God, Allah the Almighty will not cause you to die twice. The world has suffered by your loss, such suffering which has never been endured upon the demise of any other prophet. Your being is beyond description and your grandeur is such that no amount of mourning will lessen our grief. Had we possessed the power to hinder your demise then all of us would have sacrificed our lives in exchange for saving yours from death.’ 

“After saying this, he covered the Holy Prophetsa with the sheet and then proceeded towards the area where Hazrat Umarra was sitting with a group of Companions and he was telling them that the Holy Prophetsa had not passed away and was still alive. When he reached there, Hazrat Abu Bakrra asked Hazrat Umarra to be silent, however, he did not listen and continued speaking. Thus, Hazrat Abu Bakrra moved to one side and began informing people that the Holy Prophetsa had passed away. The Companions moved away from Hazrat Umarra and began gathering around Hazrat Abu Bakrra; eventually, Hazrat Umarra had no choice but to listen to him. (As has been mentioned earlier), Hazrat Abu Bakrra then said:

وَمَا مُحَمَّدٌ اِلَّا رَسُوۡلٌ ۚ قَدۡ خَلَتۡ مِنۡ قَبۡلِهِ الرُّسُلُ ؕ اَفَا۠ئِنۡ مَّاتَ اَوۡ قُتِلَ انۡقَلَبۡتُمۡ عَلٰۤي اَعۡقَابِكُمۡ ؕ وَمَنۡ يَّنۡقَلِبۡ عَلٰي عَقِبَيۡهِ فَلَنۡ يَّضُرَّ اللّٰهَ شَيۡئًا ؕ وَسَيَجۡزِي اللّٰهُ الشّٰكِرِيۡنَ،  يَـٰٓأَيُّهَاالنَّاسُ مَنْ كَانَ مِنْكُمْ يَعْبُدُ مُحَمَّدًا فَإِنَّ مُحَمَّدًا قَدْ مَاتَ، وَمَنْ كَانَ يَعْبُدُ اللَّهَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ حَىٌّ لاَ يَمُوتُ

“Meaning, ‘And Muhammad is only a Messenger. Verily all Messengers have passed away before him. If then he die or be slain, will you turn back on your heels? Surely you will die, and surely they too will die. O people! Let whoever worshipped Muhammadsa hear that Muhammadsa has passed away. Whoever worshipped Allah should remember that He is Living and cannot die.’ 

“When Hazrat Abu Bakrra quoted both of the verses just mentioned and informed people that the Holy Prophetsa had passed away, the Companions realised the reality and immediately began weeping. Hazrat Umarra himself states, ‘When Hazrat Abu Bakrra proved the Holy Prophet’ssa demise through verses of the Holy Quran, it felt to me as if those two verses had been revealed on that very day, and my knees became weak, almost unable to bear the weight of my body. I began stumbling and the immense shock caused me to fall to the ground.’” (Dawat al-Amir, Anwar al-‘Ulum, Vol. 7, pp. 345-347)

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states regarding the first consensus among the Muslims on this occasion:

“All prophets prior to the Holy Prophetsa passed away, including Jesusas. When the Holy Prophetsa passed away, the Muslims were in a state of anguish and the grief became unbearable. This same anguish led Hazrat Umarra to draw out his sword while saying, ‘if anyone says that the Holy Prophetsa has passed away, I will behead them. The Holy Prophetsa has not passed away, rather, just like Mosesas, he has gone to meet God and will return to eliminate the hypocrites, and then pass away.’ Hazrat Umarra believed that until the hypocrites were eliminated, the Holy Prophetsa could not pass away. Since there were still hypocrites present at the time of his demise, he thought that the Holy Prophetsa had not yet passed away. Hazrat Abu Bakrra arrived from a village he had been visiting near Medina. He went to the Holy Prophet’ssa home, saw his body and confirmed that he had indeed passed away, after which he left. He emerged whilst saying, ‘Allah the Almighty will not allow the Holy Prophetsa to die twice’, meaning one being the physical demise, whilst the other referring to the spiritual death of Muslims upon his demise. He then went straight to the congregation of the Companions and said that he wished to say something to the people. Hazrat Umarra was standing with his sword in hand with the intention that if anyone announced the Holy Prophet’ssa demise, he would kill them. Hazrat Abu Bakrra stood and made this very announcement to the people, saying:

مَنْ كَانَ مِنْكُمْ يَعْبُدُ مُحَمَّدًا فَإِنَّ مُحَمَّدًا قَدْ مَاتَ، وَمَنْ كَانَ يَعْبُدُ اللَّهَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ حَىٌّ لاَ يَمُوتُ

“Meaning, ‘Let whoever worshipped Muhammad hear that Muhammadsa has passed away. Let whoever worshipped Allah rejoice, for He is Living and can never die.’

“Then, (as mentioned earlier), he recited the following verse from the Holy Quran:

وَمَا مُحَمَّدٌ إِلَّا رَسُولٞ قَدۡ خَلَتۡ مِن قَبۡلِهِ الرُّسُلُ ۚ أَفَإِيْن مَّاتَ أَوۡ قُتِلَ انقَلَبۡتُمۡ عَلَىٰٓ أَعۡقَٰبِكُمۡ ۚ

“‘And Muhammad is only a Messenger. Verily all Messengers have passed away before him. (How then would he not pass away as well?). If then he die or be slain, will you turn back on your heels (and leave Islam)?’

Hazrat Umarra states, ‘When Hazrat Abu Bakrra recited this verse of the Holy Quran, it opened my eyes and it felt as if this verse had only just been revealed. It became clear to me that the Holy Prophetsa had passed away. My feet began to tremble and I fell to the ground.’” 

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra continues:

“This is the only Ijma‘ [consensus] of the companions because, at the time, all the companions were present. In reality, the Muslims never experienced a time like this because, after that, they never gathered together in the same manner. In this consensus, Hazrat Abu Bakrra recited the following verse: 

“‘Muhammad was but a messenger, verily all messengers before him have passed away. Therefore, it is not an objectionable matter if he too passes away.’ And all of the companions agreed with him.” (Mas‘alah-e-Wahi-o-Nubuwwat ke Muta‘allaq Islami Nazariyyah, Anwar al-‘Ulum, Vol. 23, pp. 327-328) 

Whilst explaining this in relation to Hazrat Abu Bakrra, the Promised Messiahas says: 

“Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiqra has done such a great favour to this Ummah that it cannot be adequately thanked. Had he not gathered all the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, in the Prophet’ssa Mosque and recited this verse to them that all the previous Prophets had died, the Ummah would have perished. For, in that case, today’s mischievous ulema would have contended that the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, too believed that Hazrat ‘Isa is alive. But now, due to Siddique the Great presenting this aforementioned verse, an ijma‘ has formed among all the Companions that all past Prophets had died—even couplets were composed reflecting this consensus. May God shower thousands of blessings upon Abu Bakr’s soul. He saved all souls from perdition. All the Companions were included in this ijma‘, not even a single one of them was out of it. It was the first ijma‘ of the Companions and was an act deserving of the utmost gratitude. There is a mutual similarity between Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, and the Promised Messiah, namely, the promise of God, in the Holy Qur’an, regarding both of them was that they would appear at a time when a state of fear will prevail upon Islam and a chain of apostasy will start. So, that is exactly what happened in the time of Hazrat Abu Bakr, and in the time of the Promised Messiah. That is, in the time of Hazrat Abu Bakr hundreds of ignorant Arabs had turned apostate after the demise of the Holy Prophet, may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and there remained only two mosques where prayers were held. Hazrat Abu Bakr re-established them on Islam. Similarly, in the time of the Promised Messiah hundreds of thousands of people renounced Islam and became Christians. Both these circumstances are mentioned in the Holy Qur’an, that is, they are mentioned by way of a prophecy.” (Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya, Part 5, pp. 379-380 footnote, [English edition])

With regards to the Khilafat of Hazrat Abu Bakrra, it is mentioned that when the noble companions learnt of the Holy Prophet’ssa demise, they gathered in the Saqifah [courtyard] of the Banu Sa‘idah. In this gathering, they were discussing the issue of Khilafat. The Ansar gathered in favour of Sa‘d bin Ubadahra, the leader of the Khazraj. (Muhammad al-Salabi, Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddiqra aur Karname [Pakistan: Maktabat al-Furqan], p. 174) 

At the time, Hazrat Sa‘d bin Ubadahra was unwell. After mentioning his considerable sacrifices and services for Islam, the Ansar declared him to be worthy of Khilafat. Nonetheless, after declaring him to be worthy of Khilafat, the Ansar had not yet pledged allegiance to him when a person from among the Ansar posed the question that what would happen if the Muhajirin did not accept their Khilafat. Upon this, a person suggested that there ought to be one Khalifa from among the Ansar and one Khalifa from among the Muhajirin. However, Hazrat Sa‘d bin Ubadahra brushed this aside declaring it to be a weakness on part of the Aus tribe. 

The Ansar were still debating the issue of Khilafat in the courtyard of the Banu Sa‘idah when Hazrat Umar bin al-Khattabra, Hazrat Abu Ubaidah bin al-Jarrahra and other prominent companions were gathered in Masjid Nabawi, coming to terms with the tragic loss of the Holy Prophetsa. Hazrat Abu Bakrra, Hazrat Alira and other members of the Holy Prophet’ssa family were occupied with making the funeral preparations. No one had even thought about the matter of Khilafat and were unaware that the Ansar had gathered together to deliberate on the matter and wished to elect a leader from among them. (Siddiq Akbar, Muhammad Husain Haikal, translated by Anjum Sultan Shahbaz, pp. 85, 86, Shirkat Printing Press Lahore)

In al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, it is written that Hazrat Umarra came to Hazrat Abu Ubaidah bin Al-Jarrahra and said, “Extend your hand so that I can pledge allegiance. For you have been declared the ‘Custodian of the Faith’ by the Holy Prophetsa himself.” Hazrat Abu Ubaidahra said to Hazrat Umarra: “Ever since you have accepted Islam, I have never seen an oversight on your part like this. Will you pledge allegiance to me, whilst we have ‘Siddiq’ and ‘One of the two’ (i.e. Hazrat Abu Bakrra) present among us?” (Ibn Sa‘d, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, Dhikr Bai’at Abi Bakrra [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 1990], p. 135)

During this conversation, they learnt about the gathering of the Ansar. Upon this, Hazrat Umarra sent a message to Hazrat Abu Bakrra informing him that there was an important matter to resolve. Hazrat Abu Bakrra refused to come outside since he was preoccupied with ensuring the funeral arrangements. Upon this, Hazrat Umarra sent another message inside saying, “There is an urgent matter for which your presence is vital.” Upon this Hazrat Abu Bakrra came outside and asked Hazrat Umarra what could be more important than the burial arrangements of the Holy Prophetsa for which he was calling him. Hazrat Umarra said, “Do you know the Ansar have gathered in the courtyard of the Banu Sa‘idah, and have decided to elect Hazrat Sa‘d bin Ubadahra as the Khalifa. A person from among them said that there ought to be one leader from among them and one leader from among the Quraish.” Upon hearing this, Hazrat Abu Bakrra, Hazrat Umarra and Hazrat Abu Ubaidahra reached the courtyard of the Banu Sa‘idah, where they were in the midst of the debate. Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiqra, Hazrat Umarra and Hazrat Abu Ubaidahra went and sat among them. (Muhammad Husain Haikal, Hazrat Sayyiduna Abu Bakrra [Lahore, Pakistan: Shirkat Printing Press, 2007], pp. 86-87), (Al-Hajj Hakeem Ghulam Nabi, Sayyiduna Siddiq Akbarra [Lahore, Pakistan: Adabiyyat], p. 72-73) 

 In one narration, Hazrat Umarra stated:

“We went to the Ansar. When we reached near to them, we met with two righteous people, Uwaim bin Sa‘idah and Ma‘an bin Adi. They both informed us of the intentions of the Ansar. They then asked, ‘Where are you headed to?’ to which we said, ‘We are going to see our Ansar brothers.’ They said, ‘You do not need to go to them, you can solve the matter amongst yourselves.’ We said to them, ‘By God, we will certainly go to them.’” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Hudud, Bab Rajam al-Hubla min al-Zina…, Hadith 6830), (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Maghazi, Hadith 4021) 

Nonetheless, they went to them. Hazrat Umarra further says:

“We reached the Ansar. In my mind, I thought of a speech that I would deliver before the Ansar. Thus, when we reached there and I was about to say what I had thought, Hazrat Abu Bakrra said to me, ‘Wait until I have spoken. After that, say whatever you wish to say.’ Then Hazrat Abu Bakrra began speaking and said everything that I had wanted to say, in fact, he said even more.” (Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 1987], p. 242)

With regards to what Hazrat Abu Bakrra said in his speech, it is recorded briefly in the following narration; Abdullah bin Abdir Rahman states: 

“After praising Allah and glorifying Him, Hazrat Abu Bakrra said: ‘Verily Allah sent Muhammadsa as a messenger and a guardian towards His creation so that they can worship Allah and affirm His Oneness. Prior to this, they would worship various gods, and would say that these gods would intercede on their behalf and bestow benefit on them, even though they were carved from wood and stone.’ Then Hazrat Abu Bakrra recited the following verse:

وَيَعۡبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ اللّٰهِ مَا لَا يَضُرُّهُمۡ وَلَا يَنفَعُهُمۡ وَيَقُولُونَ هَـٰٓؤُلَآءِ شُفَعَـٰٓؤُنَا عِندَ اللّٰهِ ۚ

“‘And they worship, instead of Allah, that which neither harms them nor profits them; and they say, ‘These are our intercessors with Allah.’

مَا نَعۡبُدُهُمۡ إِلَّا لِيُقَرِّبُونَآ إِلَى اللّٰهِ زُلۡفَىٰٓ

“‘We serve them only that they may bring us near to Allah in station.’” 

“He then stated, ‘Arabs would dislike it if someone abandoned the faith of their forefathers. Thus, from among the Holy Prophet’ssa tribe, Allah the Almighty primarily bestowed the opportunity upon the Muhajirin to attest to the truthfulness of Holy Prophetsa and accept his message and support him in time of need. They remained steadfast with the Holy Prophetsa throughout the terrible persecution and rejection by his own people.’

“Hazrat Abu Bakrra further said: 

“‘Despite the fact that everyone opposed them and persecuted them. Yet, in spite of them being fewer in numbers, they never feared the oppression and the united front of their own people. They [i.e. the Muhajirin] were the first people on the face of the Earth to worship Allah [in Islam] and profess belief in Allah and His Messengersa. They are the friends and relatives of the Holy Prophetsa and after him, they are the worthiest of being granted this station. Except for a transgressor, no one would quarrel with them in this matter. O people of the Ansar! Your eminence and your acceptance of Islam first [collectively] cannot be denied. Your assistance of Allah’s faith and His Messengersa is the reason why Allah was pleased with you. Furthermore, it was ordained for the migration of Allah’s Messengersa to take place towards you. The majority of his wives and companions live here. After the initial Muhajirin, there is no equal to you in rank and status. The leader is from among us and you are the viziers. You will be consulted in every important matter and we will not make any important decision without consulting you first.’” (Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 1987], p. 242)

The speech delivered by Hazrat Abu Bakrra in the courtyard of Banu Sa‘idah has been mentioned in Sirat al-Halabiyyah as follows: 

Hazrat Abu Bakrra stated:

“As far as the matter of Khilafat is concerned, the Arabs will not accept anyone other than from among the Quraish. The Quraish, in terms of their lineage and tribe and in their land, which is Mecca, have always occupied a lofty and high status. Through our lineage we are connected with all the Arabs because there is not a single tribe which does not have a close relation in some way or another with the Quraish. We, the Muhajirin, were the first to accept Islam and belong to the same clan and family of the Holy Prophetsa and have close ties with him. We are from the family of the Prophetsa and thus have a greater right to Khilafat.” (Ali bin Burhan al-Din al-Halabi, Al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah, Vol. 3, Bab ma yudhkaru fi Muddat Maradih… [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2002], pp. 504-505)

Whilst mentioning these same incidents, Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal writes in his Musnad about the role played by Hazrat Abu Bakrra. After mentioning about Hazrat Abu Bakrra arriving on the occasion of the Holy Prophet’ssa demise and delivering a speech to the Muslims and announcing the demise of the Holy Prophetsa, it narrates as follows: 

“After delivering his speech and announcing the demise of the Holy Prophetsa, Hazrat Abu Bakrra and Hazrat Umarra quickly left for the courtyard of the Banu Sa‘idah. Upon reaching there, Hazrat Abu Bakrra initiated the conversation and recited whatever had been revealed in the Holy Quran regarding the Ansar and did not leave anything out. He also mentioned all the excellences the Holy Prophetsa had said about the Ansar. 

“Thereafter, Hazrat Abu Bakrra stated, ‘You all recall that the Messengersa of Allah stated that if all the people walked through a valley and the Ansar walked through another valley, he would walk through the valley of the Ansar.’ Hazrat Abu Bakrra then turned towards Hazrat Sa‘dra and stated, ‘O Sa‘d! Do you recall the time when you were also sat there and the Holy Prophetsa stated that the Quraish have a greater right to Khilafat and that the pious people will be led by the pious people of the Quraish and the rebellious ones will be under the rule of the rebellious people of the Quraish?’ Upon this, Hazrat Sa‘dra replied, ‘Yes, you indeed have spoken the truth. We are the viziers and you are the leaders.’” (Ahmad bin Hanbal, Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal, Vol. 1, Musnad Abi Bakrra, Hadith 18 [Cairo, Egypt: Dar al-Hadith, 1994], p. 185, 189)

These accounts will insha’Allah continue in the future. 

I would like to draw attention towards prayers in light of the current situation of the world. The situation has become extremely perilous and continues in severity. It is not just one country, in fact many countries will become embroiled in this conflict if it continues and its horrifying consequences will last for generations to come.

May God enable the people to recognise God Almighty and not to play with human lives for the sake of fulfilling their worldly desires. 

In any case, we can only pray and admonish them, and we have been continually doing so for a long time now. But especially during these days, Ahmadis should pray extensively that may Allah the Almighty safeguard humanity from the horrifying conditions of war and the unimaginable destruction that could take place. 

After the Friday prayers, I shall lead a funeral prayer in absentia of respected Khushi Muhammad Shakir Sahib, who was a missionary of the Community. He passed away a few days ago at the age of 69: 

إِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‭ ‬وَإِنَّآ‭ ‬إِلَيۡهِ‭ ‬رٰجِعُونَ

 [Verily, to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return] 

By the grace of Allah the Almighty he was a Musi. Ahmadiyyat entered their family through their paternal grandfather, Hazrat Maulvi Kareem Bakhsh Sahibra, who was a companion of the Promised Messiahas. He accepted Ahmadiyyat upon witnessing the sign of the plague. The brother of Hazrat Maulvi Kareem Bakhsh Sahib’sra wife, Hazrat Haji Muhammad Abdullah Sahibra also had the good fortune of doing the Bai‘at at the hand of the Promised Messiahas. In the list of companions of the Promised Messiahas published in Tarikh-e-Ahmadiyyat, Vol. 8, Hazrat Haji Muhammad Abdullah Sahib’sra name is 23rd on the list. (Zameemah Tarikh Ahmadiyyat, Vol. 8, p. 11)

With regards to the details of Khushi Muhammad Shakir Sahib; he passed his matriculation exam in 1969 and then devoted his life for waqf and entered Jamia Ahmadiyya. He obtained his Shahid degree from Jamia in 1977 and passed his Arabi Fazal exam in 1978. He then served the Jamaat and in 1987 he obtained a master’s in Islamiyat. 

Aside from serving in various cities in Pakistan, he also had the opportunity to serve as a missionary in Guinea Conakry where he also obtained a diploma in the French language. Allah the Almighty blessed him with six sons and one of his sons, Nasir Islam Sahib is also a missionary of the community and is currently serving in Rabwah. 

Khushi Muhammad Sahib had the opportunity to serve in various regions of Pakistan from 1977 to 1991. From 1991 to 2007, he served in Sierra Leone and Guinea Conakry. After returning from there, he had the opportunity to serve in various offices in the Anjuman from 2008. He also had the opportunity to serve in Additional Nizarat Islah-o-Irshad Muqami and in Nizarat Umur-e-Aama. 

Whilst serving in Africa many pious souls accepted Ahmadiyyat through him and many Jamaats were established. He was a very selfless and hardworking missionary. Various people have related many faith-inspiring accounts of his in the field of tabligh as to how Allah the Almighty helped him. He also had the opportunity to serve as an Aseer Rah-e-Maula [prisoner in the way of Allah] in July 1986 in a case related to the Kalimah Tayyibah. 

His wife writes:

“I can testify that throughout my whole life he never missed his prayer nor the tahajjud prayer. Whenever he would return from an official Jamaat trip, despite the fatigue and tiredness, he would ensure to offer his prayers and he would try to offer it in congregation. Even when his illness had greatly intensified and it was very difficult for him to walk, he would go to offer the prayers in congregation. 

“He possessed countless qualities. He would always remain occupied in fulfilling the rights of Allah and the rights of His creation. He would be mindful of even the minutest aspects of taqwa and had great love for Khilafat. He was very obedient, humble and modest. He had great respect for the missionaries and office-bearers and showed great love and affection to children. He would generously spend on his relatives and looked after the poor. He had a great passion for tabligh. In the final days of his illness, when his health deteriorated quite a lot, he was taken to the emergency department for three nights and three days and when he would return home, even then he would not miss his tahajjud prayer. One day he came from the hospital and offered his Fajr prayer and then got ready and went to the office. When he was advised not to go, he would say that this was the duty of a waqf and therefore he should not be stopped from his work.” 

His son, Nasir Islam, who is a missionary of the community states:

“Ever since we can recall, we have observed our father offering the tahajjud prayer and demonstrating an exemplary level of obedience. Whether it be a senior office-bearer or junior, he would always show obedience. He would give sadaqah [charity] daily. He would always complete the tasks that were set for the day. He was extremely sociable and had a great passion for tabligh.” 

He further states:

“I have observed my father that whilst in Africa, whether he was going to the mosque or returning, going for a walk, sitting in a hotel eating, or if he was sitting in a waiting room or if he met a police or military officer, he would never let an opportunity for tabligh go. If we saw someone coming, we would often say that now that our father has seen him that person cannot escape now and our father will certainly do tabligh to him.” 

Another son of his states:

“Our father told us that once in Africa he was facing a lot of challenges in the field of tabligh. He offered a lot of prayers and offered the tahajjud prayer. He then heard a voice whilst in prostration, ‘failure is not in my nature.’ Subsequently, the next day the challenge he was facing in his tabligh work was removed.” 

In any case, many people have written accounts about him and all of them have said that he was very sociable, humble, devoted to worship and had a firm bond with Khilafat and perfect trust in Allah the Almighty. May Allah the Almighty grant him His forgiveness and mercy. May He elevate his status and enable his children to continue his good deeds. 

(Official Urdu transcript published in Al Fazl International 18-24 March 2022, pp. 5-10. Translated by The Review of Religions.)

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