Last Updated on 27th January 2023
30 December 2022
Men of Excellence: Hazrat Hamzahra
After reciting the tashahud, ta‘awuz and Surah al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa said:
Upon concluding the accounts from the life of Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiqra, I mentioned that this concluded the series of accounts related to the Badri companions. However, various aspects and details of some of the companions I had mentioned previously came to light later on and I mentioned that either I would relate them at another time or they would be included once these [sermons] are published. Some people have been writing to me that they have greatly benefitted from listening to these historical accounts and that these additional details should also be mentioned in the Friday sermons. As such, I deemed it appropriate to mention these over a few sermons so that people can benefit from this and a greater number of people would be able to listen to them.
In any case, the first mention in this regard is the account related to Hazrat Hamzahra. He was the paternal uncle of the Holy Prophetsa and he was very dear to him, which is evident from the various sayings of the Holy Prophetsa as well as his reaction to the martyrdom of Hazrat Hamzahra. It is also possible that some details will be briefly mentioned again.
In one of the narrations, it is mentioned that the Holy Prophetsa liked the name ‘Hamzah’ very much. Hazrat Jabir bin Abdillahra relates, “Someone from among us had a son born in his house and he asked what to name the child. The Holy Prophetsa said, ‘Name him after Hamzah bin Abd-il-Muttalib, which is my favourite amongst all the names.’” (Hakim al-Nishapuri, Al-Mustadrak ‘ala al-Sahihain, Vol. 5, Kitab Ma’rifat al-Sahabah, Hadith 4888, [Riyad: Nazar Mustafa al-Baz, 2000], p. 1831)
With regards to the wives and children of Hazrat Hamzahra, it is written in Tabaqa al-Kubra that one of the marriages of Hazrat Hamzahra was to the daughter of Milla bin Malik, who belonged to the tribe of Aus. Through this marriage, Ya’la and Amir were born. Based on the name of his son, Ya’la, one of the titles of Hazrat Hamzahra was Abu Ya’la. Through his second marriage to Hazrat Khaula bint Qais Ansariara, Hazrat Ummarahra was born. Based on her name, Hazrat Hamzahra chose his title of Abu Ummarah. One of Hazrat Hamzah’sra marriages was with Hazrat Salma bint Umaysra who was the sister of Hazrat Asma’ bint Umaysra. Through her, a daughter by the name Hazrat Umamahra was born. This is the same Umamah over whom Hazrat Alira, Hazrat Ja’farra and Hazrat Zaid bin Harithahra, may Allah be pleased with them all, disputed [over her guardianship]. Each of them desired that Hazrat Umamahra would stay with them. However, the Holy Prophetsa decided in favour of Hazrat Ja’far bin Abi Talibra as the maternal aunt of Hazrat Umamahra, Hazrat Asma’ bint Umaysra, was married to Hazrat Ja’farra.
Ummarah, Fazl, Zubair, Aqeel and Muhammad were among the children of Hazrat Hamzah’sra son, Ya’la. However, all of them passed away. Thus, upon the demise of Hazrat Hamzahra’ children, he did not have any progeny that continued. (Ibn Sa’d, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 2, [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Fikr], p. 46)
The details of the dispute between Hazrat Alira, Hazrat Ja’farra and Hazrat Zaid bin Harithahra in relation to the [guardianship] of Hazrat Hamzah’sra daughter, which was just mentioned, have been recorded in [Sahih] Bukhari in the following manner.
Hazrat Bara’ bin Azibra relates that when the Holy Prophetsa intended to perform the Umrah in Dhu al-Qa’dah, the people of Mecca refused to allow him to enter Mecca. In the end, he made an agreement with them on the condition that they could come the following year to perform the Umrah and remain there for three days. When the pact was being written in the wording of “These are the conditions which Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah agrees to,” the Meccans said, “We do not accept this. If we accepted you as the Messenger of Allah, we would never have stopped you. Therefore, instead, write ‘Muhammad bin Abdillah’.” The Holy Prophetsa said, “I am the Messenger of Allah and I am also Muhammad bin Abdillah.” He then instructed Hazrat Alira to erase the words “Messenger of Allah”. Hazrat Alira responded, “I shall never erase it. By Allah, I shall never erase your title!” The Holy Prophetsa took the paper that was being written on, and despite not knowing how to write properly, he wrote, “These are the conditions that Muhammad bin Abdillah agrees to: No one shall bring a weapon to Mecca, except the swords that remain in their sheaths. They shall not take anyone back with them from among the Meccans, even if they wish to accompany them. No one from the companions shall be stopped if they wish to remain in Mecca.”
In accordance with the treaty, when they entered Mecca the following year, and the stipulated duration came to an end, the Quraish went to Hazrat Alira and said, “Tell your friend (i.e. the Holy Prophetsa) to depart [Mecca] as the agreed time has now passed.” The Holy Prophetsa then departed from there. Hazrat Hamzah’sra daughter, who was following him, said, “O uncle, O uncle.” Hazrat Alira went and took hold of her hand, and said to Fatimahra, “Take your uncle’s daughter.” She was then placed on the mount. Now Hazrat Alira, Hazrat Zaidra and Hazrat Ja’farra began to dispute over the matter of [the guardianship of] Hazrat Hamzah’sra daughter. Hazrat Alira said, “I have brought her and she is the daughter of my uncle.” Whereas Hazrat Ja’farra said, “She is the daughter of my uncle and her maternal aunt is my wife.” Hazrat Zaidra said, “She is the daughter of my brother.” The Holy Prophetsa made his decision in the matter that she will remain with her maternal aunt, saying, “A maternal aunt holds the station of a mother.” He said to Hazrat Alira, “You are mine and I am yours.” He then said to Hazrat Ja’farra, “You are similar to me in appearance and nature.” Then, to Hazrat Zaidra he said, “You are our brother and friend.” Hazrat Alira asked, “Will you not marry the daughter of Hazrat Hamzahra?” He replied, “She is the daughter of my foster brother and I am her uncle.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Maghazi, Bab Umrat al-Qada’, Hadith 4251)
These minor issues nowadays can be resolved through these incidents. At times, there are cases in the Qaza wherein it is questioned as to why custody is given to the maternal aunt or maternal grandmother. And so, through these accounts, such matters can be resolved.
In relation to Hazrat Hamzah’sra acceptance of Islam, it is also mentioned in Raud al-Unf that aside from Ibn Ishaq, others have added further details in relation to his acceptance of Islam. Hazrat Hamzahra relates, “When I was overtaken by anger (i.e. the entire incident as related by his bondwoman, as has been mentioned previously) I said, ‘I follow the religion of Muhammadsa.’ However, I later felt remorse that I had forsaken the religion of my forefathers and I spent the night doubting this great matter to the point where I could not sleep a wink. I then went to the Kabah and prayed fervently to Allah the Almighty that He may open my heart to the truth and dispel all my doubts. I had not even completed my prayers when the doubts had completely left me and my heart was filled with certainty. The following morning, I went to the Holy Prophetsa and related the entire incident. Upon this, the Holy Prophetsa prayed that Allah the Almighty grants me steadfastness.” (Ibn Hisham, Al-Raud al-Unf fi Tafsir al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah, Vol. 2. [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah], pp. 44-45)
Hazrat Ammar bin Abi Ammarra relates, “Hazrat Hamzahra bin Abdil Muttalib asked the Holy Prophetsa to show what Hazrat Gabrielas truly looked like. The Holy Prophetsa replied, ‘You do not have the capacity to see him.’ He asked, ‘Why not?’ The Holy Prophetsa stated, ‘Sit down where you are, if you so will.’” The narrator says, “Hazrat Gabrielas then appeared on the wooden part of the Kabah where the idolaters would place their clothes whilst performing the circuits. The Holy Prophetsa then said, ‘Now look up and see.’ When he looked up, he saw that the two feet of Hazrat Gabrielas were like green Zabarjad [precious stone]. He then fell unconscious.” Zabarjad is a precious stone that is similar to an emerald. (Ibn Sa’d, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 1990], p. 8) (Munjid, Zair Madah Zabar)
In Safar 2 AH, the Holy Prophetsa departed from Medina to Abwa’, along with a group of his companions and Hazrat Hamzahra also had the opportunity to be a part of this. Hazrat Hamzahra had the honour of carrying the white flag of the Holy Prophetsa. The Holy Prophetsa had appointed in his place Hazrat Abu Sa’dra as the governor of Medina, or according to another narration, he appointed Hazrat Sa’d bin Ubadahra. No battle ensued in this expedition and a peace treaty was agreed upon with Banu Damrah. This was the first expedition in which the Holy Prophetsa personally took part. Another name of this expedition is Waddan. (Mustafa ‘Abd al-Wahid, Subul al-Huda wa al-Rashad fi Sirat Khair al-‘Ibad, Vol. 4, Ch. 2, Ghazwat al-Abwa’ [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 1993], p. 14)
In relation to this, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra has written in Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin:
“Divine permission for Jihad by the sword was granted in the month of Safar, during the second year of migration. Since immediate action was required to protect the Muslims from the bloody intentions and threatening schemes of the Quraish, the Holy Prophetsa set out from Medina with a community of the Muhajirin, in the name of Allah the Exalted. Prior to his departure, the Holy Prophetsa appointed Sa‘d bin Ubadahra, Chief of the Khazraj, as the Amir of Medina in his absence, and set out towards the south-west of Medina on the road to Mecca until he finally reached Waddan. The people of the Banu Ḍamrah resided here. This tribe was a branch of the Banu Kinanah and in this manner, these people were the paternal cousins of the Quraish. Upon reaching here, the Holy Prophetsa engaged in discussions with the chieftain of the Banu Damrah, and settled a treaty by mutual agreement. The conditions of this treaty were that the Banu Damrah would maintain friendly relations with the Muslims and would not aid an enemy against the Muslims. Furthermore, when the Holy Prophetsa called upon them in support of the Muslims, they would come immediately. On the other hand, on behalf of the Muslims, the Holy Prophetsa agreed that the Muslims would maintain friendly relations with the Banu Damrah and would aid them whenever it was required. This treaty was formally written and signed by both parties. After an absence of fifteen days, the Holy Prophetsa returned. Another name for the Ghazwah of Waddan is also the Ghazwah of Abwa. This is because the village of Abwa is closely situated to Waddan and this was the same place where the noble mother of the Holy Prophetsa passed away. Historians write that in this Ghazwah, along with the Banu Damrah, the Holy Prophetsa was conscious of the Quraish as well. This means that in actuality, this campaign of the Holy Prophetsa was to put down the threatening schemes of the Quraish. Furthermore, its objective was to dispel that poisonous and threatening influence, which the caravans of the Quraish, etc., had created against the Muslims amongst the tribes of Arabia, and due to which the state of the Muslims was extremely vulnerable during these days.” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, pp. 327-328)
In this expedition, Hazrat Hamzahra was holding the flag of the Holy Prophetsa:
“After this, in Jamadiyul-Ula, upon receiving news of the Quraish of Mecca once again, the Holy Prophetsa set out from Medina with a company of the Companions which is said to comprise of 150 to 200 men and appointed his foster brother, Abu Salamah bin ‘Abdil Asadra as the Amir in his absence. In this Ghazwah as well, Hazrat Hamzahra was holding the white flag of the Holy Prophetsa. After making numerous rounds in this Ghazwah, the Holy Prophetsa finally reached ‘Ushairah, which was situated close to the coast and the region of Yanbu. Although a battle with the Quraish did not take place, nevertheless the Holy Prophetsa settled a treaty with the Banu Mudlij on terms as were agreed upon with the Banu Damrah, and subsequently returned.” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, p. 329) (Mustafa ‘Abd al-Wahid, Subul al-Huda wa al-Rashad fi Sirat Khair al-‘Ibad, Vol. 4, Ch. 6, Fi Ghazwat al-Ushairah [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah], p. 17)
The individual duels that took place during the Battle of Badr have already been mentioned in light of various Ahadith. Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra has also mentioned the details of this in the following manner:
“Now the armies had lined up before one another. However, at this time, a strange spectacle of Divine power manifested itself. The standing arrangement of both armies was such that the Muslim army appeared to be more than, or rather, double its actual number in the eyes of the Quraish. Due to this, the disbelievers were struck with awe. On the other hand, the army of the Quraish appeared smaller than its actual size in the eyes of the Muslims. Due to this, the Muslims were fortified with great confidence. The Quraish attempted to discern the correct figure of the Muslim army, so that they could console such hearts that had begun to sink. For this purpose, the chieftains of the Quraish dispatched ‘Umair bin Wahb to ride his horse around the Muslim army, so as to gather its actual number, and whether it was supported by any hidden reinforcements. Hence, ‘Umair mounted his horse and circled the Muslims, but he witnessed such awe, determination and fearlessness in the face of death on the countenances of these Muslims, that he returned immensely awe-stricken and addressed the Quraish, saying:
“‘I have not been able to spot any hidden reinforcements, but O company of the Quraish! I have witnessed that in the Muslim army, it is not men who ride upon the saddles of these she-camels, rather, death is seated upon them. Destruction is mounted upon the backs of the she-camels of Yathrib.’
“When the Quraish heard this news, a wave of anxiety rippled through their ranks. Suraqah, who had come as their guarantor, was so awe-stricken, that he fled upon his heels. When people attempted to restrain him, he said:
“‘I see that which you do not.’
“When Hakim bin Hizam heard the opinion of ‘Umair, he frantically came to ‘Utbah bin Rabi‘ah and said, ‘O ‘Utbah, after all, it is the retribution of ‘Amr Hadrami that you seek from Muhammad[sa], because he was your confederate. Would it not do if you were to pay the blood money to his heirs, and turn back along with the Quraish? You shall be forever known by a good name.’
“Utbah, who was frightened himself, could not ask for anything better, and he immediately said, ‘Of course! I agree; And after all Hakim! These Muslims are our relatives. Does it seem right for a brother to raise his sword against his brother, and father against his son? Go to Abul-Hakam (i.e., Abu Jahl) and present this idea to him.’
“Then, Utbah mounted his camel and began to convince people of his own accord that, ‘It is not correct to fight against relatives. We should turn back and leave Muhammad[sa] to his devices and let him settle his matter with the tribes of Arabia himself. We shall see what happens, and after all, it is not such an easy task to fight these Muslims, because even if you call me a coward, which I am not, I see a people who are eager to purchase death.’
“When the Holy Prophetsa noticed Utbah from afar, he said, ‘If there is anyone from among the army of the Quraish who possesses some nobility, then it is certainly in the rider of that red camel. If these people listened to his advice, it would do them good.’ However, when Hakim bin Hizam approached Abu Jahl, and presented this proposal to him, could it be expected that this Pharaoh of the people would be talked into such a thing? He instantly retorted, ‘Well, well, now ‘Utbah has begun to see his relatives before him!’ Then he called upon ‘Amir Hadrami, the brother of ‘Amr Hadrami, and said, ‘Have you heard what your ally, Utbah says? Especially, when the retribution of your brother is in our grips!’ The eyes of Amir began to gorge with blood in rage and according to the Arab custom, he tore off his clothes, becoming naked, and began to shout:
“‘Woe to ‘Amr! My brother is not being avenged! Woe to ‘Amr! My brother is not being avenged!’
“This desert cry, enflamed a fire of enmity in the hearts of the Quraish and the furnace of war began to burn in full force. The taunt given by Abu Jahl infuriated ‘Utbah. Consumed by this rage, he took his brother Shaibah and son Walid and proceeded ahead of the disbelieving army. According to ancient Arab custom, he called for individual combat. A few Ansar were about to advance, when the Holy Prophetsa restrained them and said, ‘Hamzah, stand up! ‘Ali, stand up! ‘Ubaidah, stand up!’ All three of them were very close relatives of the Holy Prophetsa, and it was his desire that his own kith and kin should be the first to advance in the face of danger. On the other hand, upon seeing the Ansar, ‘Utbah and his comrades cried out, ‘What do we know of you? Bring before us our equals.’ Hence, Hamzahra, ‘Alira and ‘Ubaidahra stepped forward. According to Arab custom, each side identified itself, after which, ‘Ubaidah bin Muttalib confronted Walid, Hamzahra confronted ‘Utbah and ‘Alira confronted Shaibah. Hamzahra and Alira put their adversaries to dust in merely two strikes. However, two or four strong blows were exchanged between ‘Ubaidahra and Walid. Eventually, both fell to the ground, having sustained heavy wounds at the hands of the other. At this, Hamzahra and Alira quickly advanced and brought an end to Walid, and carried ‘Ubaidahra back to their camp. ‘Ubaidahra, however, was unable to recover from his injuries, and passed away on the journey back from Badr.” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, pp. 358-360)
During the Battle of Badr, Hazrat Hamzahra also killed Tu’aimah bin Adi, a chieftain of the Quraish. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Maghazi, Bab Qissat Ghazwat Badr)
There is a narration regarding an incident from the time of Badr regarding Hazrat Hamzahra killing Hazrat Ali’sra camels while he was intoxicated. This took place prior to the prohibition of alcohol. This incident has been detailed in [Sahih] Bukhari as follows.
Hazrat Ali bin Hussain (there are various narrators) relates from his father, Hazrat Hussain bin Alira that Hazrat Ali bin Abi Talibra said, “Whilst alongside the Holy Prophetsa on the occasion of the Battle of Badr, I received a young camel as the spoils of war and another camel was granted to me by the Holy Prophetsa. One day, I took them to the home of an Ansari Companion and tied them with the intention of placing some Azkhar upon their backs and then selling it. (Azkhar is a type of grass that is used by people such as goldsmiths and the grass itself is fragrant). A goldsmith from the Banu Qainuqah was also accompanying me. My intention was to use the income [from the camel] for the walima ceremony after my marriage which was going to take place with Fatimahra. Hamzahra bin Abdil Muttalib was drinking alcohol in that same Ansari Companion’s house. There was also a singer with them, and when she sang: ‘O Hamzah, get up and go towards the fat young camels,’ Hazrat Hamzahra was overcome with passion and took his sword and sliced the humps of both camels, gutted their stomachs, and took out their livers.”
Ibn Juraij states, “I asked Ibn Shahab whether he also cut their humps, to which he replied, ‘He cut both of their humps and took them with him.’” Ibn Shahab relates that Hazrat Alira said, “It pained me a great deal to see this. I then went to the Holy Prophetsa; at the time, Zaid bin Harithahra was also with him. I informed the Holy Prophetsa of this incident upon which he went [to Hazrat Hamzahra] accompanied by Zaidra and myself. When the Holy Prophetsa reached Hamzahra and expressed his displeasure, Hazrat Hamzahra looked up, and in his state of intoxication he said to the Holy Prophetsa, ‘You are all servants of my forefathers.’ The Holy Prophetsa turned around and left (this incident took place before the prohibition of alcohol). (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Masaqat, Bab Bai’ al-Hatab wa al-Kala, Hadith 3375)
The Holy Prophetsa said that while in this state it was best to not speak with him. Later, however, it is seen that when alcohol was prohibited, these people did not go anywhere near it. This was the standard to which the Companions adhered to the commandments of Allah the Almighty. They immediately broke their drinking vessels. (Sahih Muslim, Kitab al-Ashribah, Bab Tahrim al-Khamr…, Hadith 5138)
They did not say that they would wean away from it slowly, as is said by people today. First, they become addicted to such substances, which are already wrong and prohibited in Islam, and then they say that they will slowly rid themselves of this habit and say that they should be given time. In any case, this was an incident that took place; afterwards, his standards of sacrifice continued to elevate. Certainly, Hazrat Hamzahra would have been greatly embarrassed by what he said.
After the Battle of Badr, during the expedition towards the Banu Qainuqah, Hazrat Hamzahra was also at the forefront of this. Hazrat Hamzahra held the white flag of the Holy Prophetsa in this expedition as well. (Mustafa ‘Abd al-Wahid, Subul al-Huda wa al-Rashad fi Sirat Khair al-‘Ibad, Vol. 4, Ch. 12, Fi Ghazwat Bani Qainuqa’ [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah], p. 180)
This has been explained in detail by Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra who writes:
“When the Holy Prophetsa migrated from Mecca and arrived in Medina, there were three tribes among the Jews, which inhabited Medina at the time. Their names were Banu Qainuqa, Banu Nadir and Banu Quraizah. As soon as the Holy Prophetsa came to Medina, he settled treaties of peace and security with these tribes, and laid the foundation for peaceful and harmonious cohabitation. By virtue of the agreement, all parties were responsible for maintaining peace and security in Medina, and if a foreign enemy was to attack Medina, everyone was collectively responsible for its defence. In the beginning, the Jews conformed to the treaty, and at least openly, did not create conflict with the Muslims. However, when they began to notice that the Muslims were continuing to gain strength in Medina, they began to change their attitude and firmly resolved to bring an end to this growing power of the Muslims. To this end, they began to employ all sorts of lawful and unlawful schemes, so much so that they did not even hold back from an attempt to create a rift among the Muslims and thus instigate a civil war. As such, there is a narration that on one occasion, a large group of people from the tribes of Aus and Khazraj were sitting together and conversing with love and harmony, when a mischievous Jew reached this gathering and began to mention the Battle of Bu‘ath. This was the horrific war that took place between these two tribes a few years prior to the migration, and in which many people from among the Aus and Khazraj were slain at the hands of one another. As soon as this war was mentioned, memories of the past were refreshed and scenes of ancient enmity began to run before the eyes of various emotional people. The result was that, through satirical remarks, taunt and slander, the matter escalated to such an extent that both parties found themselves at daggers drawn in the very same gathering. Thank God, however, that the Holy Prophetsa was notified in due time and he immediately arrived at the scene with a community of the Muhajirin and calmed both parties down; and rebuked them as well saying, ‘Do you follow a way of ignorance while I am amongst you? You do not value the favour of God that through Islam He has made you brothers.’ The Ansar were so deeply moved by this admonition that their eyes began to flow with tears, and they began to embrace one another while repenting for their action.
“When the Battle of Badr had taken place and Allah the Exalted, in His Grace, granted a convincing victory to the Muslims, despite their being few and without means over a very fierce army of the Quraish, and the prominent leaders of Mecca were mixed to dust, the Jews of Medina went up in flames of jealousy. They began to openly hurl stinging comments at the Muslims and publicly asserted in gatherings that, ‘So what if you have defeated the army of the Quraish? Let Muhammad[sa] fight us and we shall demonstrate how wars are fought.’ This escalated to such an extent that in one gathering they even uttered such words in the very presence of the Holy Prophetsa. As such, there is a narration that after the Battle of Badr, when the Holy Prophetsa returned to Medina, one day, he gathered the Jews and admonished them and whilst presenting his claim, invited them to Islam. The chieftains among the Jews responded to this peaceful and sympathetic address of the Holy Prophetsa in the following words, ‘O Muhammad [sa], it seems that you have perhaps become arrogant after killing a few Quraish. Those people were inexperienced in the art of war. If you were to fight us, you would come to know the real likes of warriors.’ The Jews did not rest upon a mere threat, rather, it seems as if they even began to hatch conspiracies to assassinate the Holy Prophetsa. There is a narration that in those days, when a faithful Companion by the name of Talhah bin Bara’ra was about to pass away, he bequeathed that ‘If I die at night, the Holy Prophetsa should not be notified about my funeral prayer, lest a misfortune befalls the Holy Prophetsa at the hands of the Jews on my account.’ Therefore, after the Battle of Badr, the Jews openly began to fuel mischief, and among the Jews of Medina, since the Banu Qainuqa were the most powerful and bold, it was they who first began to breach the treaty. As such, historians write:
“‘Among the Jews of Medina, the Banu Qainuqa were the first to break the treaty which had been settled between them and the Holy Prophetsa. After Badr, they began to rebel fiercely and openly expressed their rancour and malice and broke their treaty and agreement.’
“However, despite such events, under the guidance of their master, the Muslims demonstrated patience in every way and did not allow themselves to take the lead in any respect. It is narrated in a hadith that after the treaty that had been settled with the Jews, the Holy Prophetsa would even take special care to protect their sentiments. On one occasion an argument broke out between a Muslim and Jew. The Jew asserted the superiority of Mosesas above all the other Prophets. The Companion was angered by this and he dealt somewhat harshly with that person replying that the Holy Prophetsa was the most superior of all the Messengers. When the Holy Prophetsa was informed of this, he was displeased and rebuked the Companion saying, ‘It is not your task to go about speaking of the superiority of God’s Messengers in comparison to one another.’ Then, the Holy Prophetsa mentioned a partial superiority of Mosesas and consoled the Jew. However, despite this loving conduct of the Holy Prophetsa, the Jews continued to escalate in their mischief. Eventually, it was the Jews who created a cause for war and their heartfelt animosity could not be tamed. What happened was that a Muslim lady went to the shop of a Jew in the market in order to purchase some goods. A few evil Jews, who were then sitting at the shop began to harass her in a most mischievous manner and even the shopkeeper himself committed the evil deed that while the lady was unaware, he attached the lower corner of her dress to the mantle on her back with a thorn or something of that sort. As a result, when the lady stood up to leave due to their rude behaviour, the lower part of her body became exposed, at which the Jewish shopkeeper and his accomplices burst out in laughter. Outraged, the Muslim lady screamed and appealed for help. It so happened that a Muslim was present nearby. He dashed to the scene and in a mutual altercation, the Jewish shopkeeper was killed. Upon this, the Muslim was showered with swords from all directions and this remarkably indignant Muslim was put to death. When the Muslims were informed of this event in national indignation, their eyes gorged with blood in rage. On the other hand, the Jews, who desired to make this incident an excuse to fight, congregated in the form of a crowd and a state of riot broke out. When the Holy Prophetsa was informed of this, he gathered the chieftains of the Banu Qainuqa and explained that such behaviour was not appropriate and that they should refrain from such mischief and fear God. Instead of expressing disappointment and remorse, they responded with very refractory answers and repeated their earlier threat that, ‘Do not become arrogant over your victory at Badr. When you are to fight us you shall come to know the real likes of warriors. Left with no other choice, the Holy Prophetsa set out towards the fortresses of the Banu Qainuqa with a force of Companions. Now, this was the last opportunity for them to express remorse over their actions, but instead, they stood ready for war. Therefore, war was declared and the forces of Islam and Judaism came forth to battle one another. According to the custom of that era, a method of warfare was that one party would secure themselves within their fortresses and wait. The opposing force would besiege the fortress and whenever an opportunity presented itself, now and then, attacks would be launched against one another. This would continue until the surrounding army would either lose hope in capturing the fortress and lift the siege, and this would be considered a victory to the ones besieged; or being unable to muster the strength to fend off the onslaught, the besieged force would open the gates of their fortress and hand themselves over to the victors. On this occasion, the Banu Qainuqa employed the same tactic, and closed themselves within their own fortresses. The Holy Prophetsa besieged them and this siege continued for fifteen days without fail. Finally, when all the strength and arrogance of the Banu Qainuqa had been shattered, they opened the gates of their fortresses on the condition that though their wealth would belong to the Muslims, their lives and families would be spared. The Holy Prophetsa accepted this condition, even though according to Mosaic Law, all of these people were liable to be put to death, and according to the initial agreement, the judgement of the Mosaic Law should have been administered to them. However, since this was the first crime committed by this nation, as a first course of action, the merciful and forgiving disposition of the Holy Prophetsa could never be inclined towards an extreme punishment, which should only be imposed as a final remedy. However, on the other hand, allowing such a treacherous and rebellious tribe to remain in Medina was no less than nurturing a snake in the grass, especially when a group of hypocrites from among the Aus and Khazraj were already present within Medina, and from the exterior as well, the opposition of the whole of Arabia had greatly distressed the Muslims. In such circumstances, the only judgement that the Holy Prophetsa could pass was for the Banu Qainuqa to leave Medina. In comparison to their crime and taking into account the circumstances of that era, this was a very mild punishment. Furthermore, the purpose of this punishment was the security of Medina. Nonetheless, for the nomadic tribes of Arabia, it was nothing out of the ordinary to move from one place to another, especially when a tribe did not own any properties in the form of land and orchards – and the Banu Qainuqa had none. The entire tribe was given the opportunity to leave one place and settle somewhere else, with great peace and security. As such, the Banu Qainuqa very peacefully left Medina and settled towards Syria. The Holy Prophetsa assigned the task of overseeing the necessary arrangements, etc. associated with their departure to a Companion named ‘Ubadah bin Samitra who was from among their confederates. ‘Ubadah bin Samitra escorted the Banu Qainuqa for a few manazil and after safely sending them off, he returned. The spoils which were attained by the Muslims consisted only of weaponry and instruments of their profession, which was that of a goldsmith.
“In relation to the tribe of Banu Qainuqa, some narrations state that after they opened their gates and surrendered themselves to the Holy Prophetsa, he intended to kill the men who took part in the battle because of their treachery and rebellion. And it was Abdullah bin Ubaiy bin Sulul, the Chief of the hypocrites, who persuaded the Holy Prophetsa to forgo his intention. However, there is no evidence to prove such assertions. The historians do not consider such narrations reliable. Furthermore, in other narrations, it is clearly recorded that Banu Qainuqa opened their gates on the very condition that they and their families would be spared. It is therefore impossible that the Holy Prophetsa would take a different approach and try to kill them after having accepted this condition. Thus, such assertions are utterly false. Nonetheless, the fact that the people of Banu Qainuqa themselves pleaded to be spared proves that they understood they were deserving of the punishment of death. However, they sought mercy from the Holy Prophetsa, and after being promised forgiveness, they opened their doors so that their lives would be spared. Although the Holy Prophetsa, as an embodiment of mercy, forgave them, in the sight of God Almighty, they were not worthy of being left to live in this world due to their crimes and misconduct. Thus, according to narrations, within a year of settling into their new home after being exiled, they were ravaged by an epidemic that killed every member of their tribe. The Battle of Banu Qainuqa took place in Dhul Hijjah in the 2 AH.” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, pp. 457-461)
Hazrat Hamzahra was a flag bearer during this battle. (Ibid, p. 461)
Hazrat Hamzahra was martyred during the battle of Uhud. This has been previously mentioned as well. News of this incident had already been given to the Holy Prophetsa by Allah the Almighty through Divine revelation. Hazrat Anas bin Malikra narrates that the Holy Prophetsa stated, “I saw in a dream that I was pursuing a ram and the tip of my sword was broken. I interpreted that I would kill the ram of the people, in other words, their commander and with regards to the tip of the sword, I interpreted this to be someone from my family.” Subsequently, Hazrat Hamzahra was martyred and the Holy Prophetsa killed Talha who was the flag-bearer of the idolaters. (Hakim al-Nishapuri, al-Mustadrak ‘ala al-Sahihain, Vol. 5, Kitab Ma’rifat al-Sahabah, Hadith 4896, [Riyad: Nazar Mustafa al-Baz, 2000], p. 1831)
Hazrat Hamaza’sra face was mutilated and his nose and ears were cut off and his stomach was cut open. The Holy Prophetsa was extremely pained upon witnessing his condition and stated, “If Allah grants me victory over the Quraish, then I shall mutilate thirty of their men.” And according to another narration he stated, “I shall mutilate 70 of their men.” Upon this, the following verse was revealed:
وَاِنۡ عَاقَبۡتُمۡ فَعَاقِبُوۡا بِمِثۡلِ مَا عُوۡقِبۡتُمۡ بِہٖ ؕ وَلَئِنۡ صَبَرۡتُمۡ لَہُوَ خَيۡرٌ لِّلصّٰبِرِيۡنَ
“And if you desire to punish the oppressors, then punish them to the extent to which you have been wronged; but if you show patience, then, surely, that is best for those who are patient.” (Surah an-Nahl, Ch.16: V.127)
Upon this, the Holy Prophetsa stated that they shall remain patient and he gave an offering instead to atone for the oath he had taken.
(Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr, Al-Isti‘ab fi Ma’rifat al-Ashab, Vol. 1 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah], p. 426)
Hazrat Ibn Abbasra relates that the Holy Prophetsa stated, “Last night when I entered paradise (he was shown this in a vision), I saw that Jafar was ascending with the angles and Hamzah was resting against a throne.” (Hakim al-Nishapuri, Al-Mustadrak ‘ala al-Sahihain, Vol. 5, Kitab Ma’rifat al-Sahabah, Hadith 4887, [Riyad: Nazar Mustafa al-Baz, 2000], p. 1831)
Hazrat Anasra narrates that on the day of Uhud, the Holy Prophetsa walked past Hazrat Hamzahra and his nose and ears had been cut off. Upon this, the Holy Prophetsa stated, “If I were not to take into account the grief and sorrow of Safiyyah, I would have left him in this state to the point that Allah would have lifted his body through the stomachs of the birds and vultures.” Thereafter, his body was wrapped in a sheet. (Hakim al-Nishapuri, Al-Mustadrak ‘ala al-Sahihain, Vol. 5, Kitab Ma’rifat al-Sahabah, Hadith 4890, [Riyad: Nazar Mustafa al-Baz, 2000], p. 1832)
Upon the martyrdom of Hazrat Hamzahra and witnessing his body, the Holy Prophetsa was extremely emotional but showed great patience. He also advised Hazrat Hamzah’sra sister, who was his paternal aunt, to demonstrate patience and this has been previously mentioned as well. Then, there is the incident of stopping the women of the Ansar from wailing and lamenting and this was mentioned by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh in one of his speeches at Jalsa Salana prior to his Khilafat, which illustrates the lofty morals of the Holy Prophetsa. Although this incident has been briefly mentioned previously in light of various ahadith, however, it would be appropriate to mention this particular reference as well.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh says:
“The Holy Prophet’ssa love for Hazrat Hamzahra can be ascertained through the words which the Holy Prophetsa spoke in the evening of the day of Uhud whilst standing beside the body of Hazrat Hamzahra. The Holy Prophetsa stated, ‘O Hamzah! May Allah never allow me to experience the anger and pain that I felt upon standing where you have been martyred.’ At that time, the Holy Prophet’ssa paternal aunt, i.e. Hazrat Hamzah’sra sister, Hazrat Safiyyahra had also learnt of this news and reached there. Fearing that she perhaps would not be able to control her emotions, the Holy Prophetsa did not allow her to see Hazrat Hamzah’sra body. However, when she promised that she would show patience, the Holy Prophetsa permitted her. In any case, she stood at the spot where Hazrat Hamzahra had been martyred and saw that her beloved brother, who was like a courageous lion of God and the lion of His Messengersa was lying in a state whereby the wicked people had ripped open his chest and taken his liver out and they had also severely mutilated his face. Though she was overcome with extreme grief and sorrow, however, Safiyyahra kept to her promise and continued to demonstrate patience. She did not even utter a single word of impatience, but tears rolled down her cheeks. She recited inna lillah […] [To Allah we belong (…)] and whilst crying she sat down at that very spot. Her tears continued to stream down and yet she did not utter a word. The narrator states that the Holy Prophetsa also came and sat down and tears began to flow from his eyes. When Hazrat Safiyyah’sra tears would stop, so too would the Holy Prophet’ssa and just as Hazrat Safiyyah’sra eyes would begin to shed tears again, so too would the Holy Prophet’ssa. They remained in this state for several minutes and apart from silently shedding their tears, there was no other expression of grief or sorrow by the Holy Prophetsa and his family. Indeed, this was the blessed example of the Holy Prophetsa. When the Holy Prophetsa entered Medina, the whole of Medina was echoing with sounds of wailing and lamenting upon the grief of their loved ones who had been martyred in Uhud. When the Holy Prophetsa heard this, he said in a very heartfelt manner, ‘There is no one to cry for Hamzahra.’ After all, how could there be anyone to cry for Hamzahra for the family of the Holy Prophetsa were reminded day and night to always exhibit patience. When some of the Ansar heard these heartfelt words of the Holy Prophetsa, they immediately stood up and ran towards their homes and instructed their women to abandon their mourning and only mourn for Hamzahra alone. Within moments, the howling and shrieking for Hamzah’sra death could be heard and every house was in mourning for Hamzahra. Further intensifying their lamentations and weeping, the women of the Ansar gathered around the house of the Holy Prophetsa. Upon hearing the noise, the Holy Prophetsa looked outside and saw a crowd of women from among the Ansar. The Holy Prophetsa prayed for them and thanked them for their sympathies, however, stated that it was not permissible to shriek and wail in that manner over the dead. Hence, from that day on, the practice of wailing and howling over the dead was abandoned. May we sacrifice our lives at the feet of the Holy Prophetsa. How great of a teacher he was in imparting moral excellences, who descended from the spiritual heavens to teach us faith. He possessed such wisdom and insight and was able to delve deep into human nature. If the Holy Prophetsa had immediately prohibited the women from shrieking and wailing over their loved ones who had been martyred, this instruction may have been hard for them to bear. However, the Holy Prophetsa did this in such a wise manner by first directing their lamentation for his uncle Hamzahra and then prohibiting them from such a practice by stopping them from doing it over his own uncle. Allah has full knowledge of who he is going to select and he chose such an excellent guide for His creation, who was well aware of the subtleties and finite details of human nature and would take into consideration the sentiments of his followers to such an extent. When one reflects upon these characteristics of the Holy Prophetsa, one’s heart is filled with passion and love for him and naturally proclaims from the core of their heart that ‘our lives, wealth and progeny are ready to be sacrificed at your feet. O Messengersa of Allah! Countless salutations of blessings and peace be upon you. O ye whose beauty and kindness is like a never-ending ocean. O Messengersa of Allah! Countless salutations of blessings and peace be upon you. I swear by the God, Who is one and to Whom belong the entire heavens and the earth that there is no one like you amongst His creation in the entire heavens and the earth.’” (Khutbat-e-Tahir, Address at Annual Convention Prior to Khilafat by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh, pp. 364-366, Tahir Foundation, 2006)
In this account of Hazrat Hamzahra, the noble character of the Holy Prophetsa was also mentioned. The accounts [of Hazrat Hamzahra] end here and I will mention some accounts of some other companions in the future.
The New Year is starting the day after tomorrow, insha-Allah. Pray that Allah the Almighty bestows upon us all the blessings of the New Year. May this new year be a means of blessings for the Jamaat in every respect. May Allah the Almighty cause the ploys of the enemy to be completely ruined. May Allah the Almighty enable the jamaats all over the world to fulfil the purpose of their creation even more than before.
Also, pray for the world in general that may Allah the Almighty save them from conflict and warfare. The situation of the world is becoming increasingly perilous and is on the verge of utter destruction. Everyone is only concerned about their own interests. May Allah the Almighty have mercy.
Also, pray for your brothers who are facing oppression. May Allah the Almighty protect the Jamaat in the coming year from every kind of injustice and cruelty.
(Official Urdu transcript published in Al Fazl International, 20 January 2023, pp. 5-10. Translated by The Review of Religions.)