11 June 2021
Men of Excellence: Hazrat Umarra ibn al-Khattab
After reciting the Tashahud, Ta‘awuz and Surah al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa stated:
In the previous sermon, I mentioned the Treaty of Hudaibiyyah with reference to Hazrat Umarra.
In relation to this we also find that when Banu Bakr, who were allies of the Quraish, violated the Treaty of Hudaibiyyah and attacked Banu Khuza‘ah, who were allies of the Muslims, the Quraish also provided Banu Bakr with weapons and mounts and disregarded the conditions of the Treaty of Hudaibiyyah. At that time, Abu Sufyan entered Medina in order to renegotiate the Treaty of Hudaibiyyah.
He approached the Holy Prophetsa, but the Holy Prophetsa did not reply to anything he said. He then approached Hazrat Abu Bakrra and asked him to speak to the Holy Prophetsa. However, he too said that he would not do so. Abu Sufyan then approached Hazrat Umarra and spoke to him. In reply, Hazrat Umarra said, “Do you want me to present your case to the Holy Prophetsa? By God! Even if I merely had a straw, I would use it to fight against you!” (Sirat ibn Hisham, p. 735, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2001) (Al-Kamil Fi Al-Tarikh, Vol. 2, p. 115, Zikr Fatah Mecca, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2012)
Whilst mentioning the conquest of Mecca, Dr Ali Muhammad al-Sallabi has written that when the Holy Prophetsa reached Marr-uz-Zahran, Abu Sufyan began to worry about himself. Hazrat Abbasra, the paternal uncle of the Holy Prophetsa, suggested to him to seek the protection of the Holy Prophetsa.
Hazrat Abbasra relates:
“I said to Abu Sufyan, ‘You are extremely unfortunate because look the Holy Prophetsa is now present amongst the people. Abu Sufyan replied, ‘May my parents be sacrificed for your sake! What can I do now to be protected from this?’ I said, ‘By Allah! If they take hold of you, they will most certainly execute you. Ride behind me on the mule. I will take you to the Holy Prophetsa and then I will seek his protection for you.’”
Hazrat Abbasra says, “He rode behind me. Whenever I passed by a campfire of the Muslims, they would ask who this individual was.” It was night and fires were lit. “When they saw me riding upon the mule of the Holy Prophetsa, they would say that the paternal uncle of the Holy Prophetsa was riding his mule.
“This continued until I passed by the campfire of Umar bin Khattabra. He asked, ‘Who is this?’ and stood by my side. When he saw Abu Sufyan, he said, ‘Aby Sufyan, the enemy of Allah. All praise belongs to Allah, Who granted us an unconditional victory over you.’ Hazrat Abbasra then dragged him”, i.e. Abu Sufyan, “along with him and presented himself before the Holy Prophetsa. Hazrat Umarra also went to the Holy Prophetsa and said, ‘O Messengersa of Allah! Permit me to sever his head.’”
Hazrat Abbasra relates, “I said, ‘O Messengersa of Allah! I have granted him protection.’ When Hazrat Umarra insisted on his stance, I said, ‘O Umar, wait! By Allah, if he had belonged to [the tribe of] Banu Adi, you would not have said such things. However, you are aware of the fact that he belongs to the Banu Abd Manaf.’ Upon this, Hazrat Umarra said, ‘O Abbas, hold on! By Allah I was so overjoyed when you accepted Islam that I wouldn’t have felt this much happiness even if my father Khattab accepted Islam, and I knew that your acceptance of Islam was dearer to the Holy Prophetsa than that of Khattab if he had done so.’ Thereafter, the Holy Prophetsa stated, ‘O Abbas, take Abu Sufyan away and bring him in the morning.’” (Umar bin Al-Khattab, Ali Muhammad al-Sallabi, p. 51, Dar-ul-Ma‘rifah, Beirut 2007)
In any case, this conversation between Hazrat Umarra and Hazrat Abbasra continued and in the end, the Holy Prophetsa told Hazrat Abbasra to take him away, for he had granted him refuge and that nothing should be said to him.
Abu Bakr bin Abdir Rahman relates that in the month of Sha‘ban 7 AH, the Holy Prophetsa sent Hazrat Umarra bin Khattab on an expedition alongside 30 men to a branch of the Hawazin tribe in Turabah. Turabah is a valley situated at a two-day journey from Mecca, which was inhabited by the Banu Hawazin. (When there is mention of two-day journeys etc., by this I mean any narration that has reference to the journey in days, it is in relation to the modes of transport in the past such as horses and camels.)
Buraidah al-Aslami narrates that when the Holy Prophetsa reached the battlefield of Khaybar, he handed the flag to Hazrat Umar bin al-Khattabra. (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Saad, Vol. 3, p. 206, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2012) (Furhang-e-Sirat, p. 75, Zawar Academy, Karachi, 2003)
In the books of history, it is written that the very first mention of a large flag being used was during the Battle of Khaybar. Prior to that there was only use of smaller flags. Buraidah al-Aslami narrates that when the Holy Prophetsa reached the battlefield of Khaybar, he handed the flag to Hazrat Umarra bin al-Khattab.
There are further details of this in the books of history. It is recorded that the very first mention of a large flag being used was during the Battle of Khaybar. Prior to that there was only use of small flags. The flag of the Holy Prophetsa which was made from a cloth of Hazrat Aishahra, the Mother of the Believers, was black and it was named Uqab. The Holy Prophetsa also had a white flag, which he handed to Hazrat Alira.
There was mention previously of a black flag which was made from a cloth of Hazrat Aishahra and then there is mention of this white flag which was given to Hazrat Alira. The Holy Prophetsa handed one of the flags to Hazrat Hubbabra bin Munzir and the other to Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah. When the Holy Prophetsa reached Khaybar, he was suffering from a severe migraine and was unable to go out. On this occasion, he initially handed his flag to Hazrat Abu Bakrra, then he handed the same one to Hazrat Umarra. That day, a fierce battle ensued and the Muslims were unable to penetrate the fortress. The Holy Prophetsa said, “Tomorrow I shall grant my flag to the one through whom Allah the Almighty shall grant us victory.” The following day the Holy Prophetsa gave that flag to Hazrat Alira, and at his hands, God Almighty did indeed grant them victory. (Subul Al-Huda Wa Al-Rishad, Vol. 5, p. 120, 124, 125, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1993)
Ibn Ishaq says that he asked Ibn Shihab Zuhri that what were the conditions stipulated by Holy Prophetsa upon which he gave the date fields of Khaybar to the Jews. Zuhri replied that after the battle, the Holy Prophetsa gained victory over Khaybar and Khaybar itself was among the spoils of war which God Almighty granted to the Holy Prophetsa. A fifth of this belonged to the Holy Prophetsa, which he distributed amongst the Muslims.
The Jews who were prepared to be expelled from their lands after the battle came down from their fortresses. The Holy Prophetsa called them and said:
“If you so wish this wealth can be given to you, upon the condition that you work therein and distribute its fruits between us and yourselves. There will be a division of the produce and if you so wish to remain here then I shall grant you a place to stay where God Almighty wills for you to stay.”
So the Jews accepted this offer and continued working in these fields. The Holy Prophetsa would send Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawahah to distribute the fruits from these fields and he would equitably act when assessing how much share would be given to the Jews. It was not the case that he would keep the good fruit for the Muslims; rather, the division would be in accordance with justice. Then, when God Almighty decreed for the demise of the Holy Prophetsa, Hazrat Abu Bakrra continued the same treatment with the Jews that was afforded to them by the Holy Prophetsa.
In the beginning of his Khilafat, Hazrat Umarra also continued this treatment, but then he heard what the Holy Prophetsa said in his final illness before his demise that two religions would not coexist in the Arab lands.
Hazrat Umarra investigated this further and when this saying was proven true, he wrote to the Jews of Khaybar stating:
“God Almighty has decreed for you to be expelled. I received news that the Holy Prophetsa said that two religions would not coexist in the Arab lands. Hence, those Jews who had an agreement with the Holy Prophetsa should come to me so that I may honour it. But those who do not have an agreement shall prepare to be exiled.”
In other words, if anyone had an agreement with the Holy Prophetsa, they could remain and he would honour that agreement with them. But if anyone did not have such an agreement, they would have to leave their land. Therefore, Hazrat Umarra exiled those who had no agreement with the Holy Prophetsa.
Hazrat Abdullahra bin Umar says:
“I went with Hazrat Zubairra bin al-Awwam and Hazrat Miqdadra bin Aswad to see our property in Khaybar. When we reached, we spilt up in order to go and see our respective properties. At night, I was attacked whilst I was asleep. My joints at the elbows were dislocated. In the morning, two companions of mine came screaming as they approached me. They asked who did this to me. I told them that I did not know. They both then fixed my arms and brought me to Hazrat Umarra. Hazrat Umarra stated that this was the work of the Jews. Hazrat Umarra then stood to address the people, saying, ‘O people, the Holy Prophetsa stipulated a condition with the Jews that we would exile them whenever we pleased. Now the Jews have attacked Hazrat Abdullahra bin Umar and dislocated the joints of his elbows, as you will now have come to know. Prior to this, they had also attacked an Ansari and I have no doubt that these people are their accomplices. We have no enemy other than them so if anyone has any wealth there should safeguard it, for I am about to expel the Jews from there.” Subsequently, he expelled the Jews.
Abdullah bin Muqnaf relates that when Hazrat Umarra expelled the Jews from Khaybar, he himself rode with the Muhajireen and the Ansar. Hazrat Jabbarra bin Sakhr and Hazrat Yazidra bin Thabit also accompanied them as they went forth. Hazrat Jabbarra was the one who assessed the fruits for the people of Medina and was responsible for keeping their account for them. Both of them divided [the fruits] between the people of Khaybar according to the standard set from before. (Sirat ibn Hisham, p. 710, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2001)
Then, there is the incident of Hazrat Hatibra who secretly sent a woman with a letter to the idolaters of Mecca, which contained some plans of the Holy Prophetsa. The Holy Prophetsa received news of this from Allah the Almighty and so he sent Hazrat Alira [to retrieve it]. That lady was intercepted along the way.
Afterwards, when the Holy Prophetsa asked Hatib [why he had done this], Hatib presented his reason and said that his faith had not faltered at all, in fact he had firm faith. Hazrat Hatibra assured the Holy Prophetsa of this and the Holy Prophetsa accepted it; however, Hazrat Umarra submitted, “O Messengersa of Allah, allow me to sever the head of this hypocrite.” The Holy Prophetsa said, “He [Hatib] took part in the Battle of Badr and you may not be aware of the fact that Allah has looked upon those who took part in Badr and said, ‘You may do as you please, for I have covered your sins and overlooked them.’” (Sahih Bukhari, Kitab-ul-Maghazi, Baab Ghazwah Al-Fath, Hadith no. 4274)
Then, there is another incident which does not directly relate to Hazrat Umarra, but he is also mentioned in it, and so I will relate it.
Hazrat Abu Qatadahra stated:
“During the Battle of Hunain, I saw a person from among the Muslims who was fighting against an idolater and in the meantime, I saw another idolater quietly creeping up from behind him in an attempt to kill him. Upon seeing this, I quickly went towards that person who wished to kill the Muslim in this deceiving manner.
“He raised his hand to attack me and I struck a blow to his hand thus cutting it off. He then got hold of me and grabbed me so tightly that I was unable to do anything. He finally let go and stood unsteadily; I then pushed him away and killed him. Then it so happened that the Muslims retreated as they were losing, and I was also among those who retreated. I then saw Hazrat Umar bin Khattab with a group of people and I asked them why they had retreated, to which Hazrat Umarra replied that it was as Allah willed. Then people returned to the Holy Prophetsa, who said that whoever could prove that they had killed a certain individual, could keep that person’s belongings. I got up to look for proof about the person I had killed but could not find anyone who would give testimony, and so I gave up and sat down.
“Then a thought came to mind, and I mentioned the incident regarding the person I had killed to the Holy Prophetsa. One of the people sitting with him said that he had the weapons of the person I had killed, and that the Holy Prophetsa should give me something else instead. Hazrat Abu Bakrra said that it could not be that the Holy Prophetsa grants spoils to an ordinary person from the Quraish and does not do the same for a lion of Allah who was fighting on behalf of Allah and His Messengersa.”
Hazrat Abu Qatadahra further states, “The Holy Prophetsa stood up and granted me those particular spoils of war. I used them to buy a small orchard of date trees and this was the first time since having accepted Islam that I acquired some wealth and turned it into an asset.” (Sahih Bukhari, Kitab-ul-Maghazi, Hadith no. 4322)
Hazrat Ibn Umarra relates:
“When we returned from the Battle of Hunain, Hazrat Umarra asked the Holy Prophetsa about a vow he had taken during the Era of Ignorance [Jahiliyyah] which was to undertake e‘tikaf [period of seclusion]. The Holy Prophetsa instructed that he should fulfil this promise.” (Sahih Bukhari, Kitab-ul-Maghazi, Hadith no. 4320)
In other words, even if it was made during the Era of Ignorance, he ought to fulfil it. But alongside this was the condition that it should be fulfilled whilst remaining within the teachings of Islam.
With regard to what is mentioned in relation to Hazrat Umar’sra role in the Battle of Tabuk; Hazrat Umarra narrates an incident of his from the time of this battle, when the Holy Prophetsa made a special appeal for financial contributions,
“One day, the Holy Prophetsa instructed us to offer Sadqah [alms]. I had some wealth at the time and I thought that if ever there was an opportunity to surpass Hazrat Abu Bakrra it was today. Hence, I presented half of my wealth. The Holy Prophetsa asked what I had left behind for my family. I said that I had left an equal amount to what I had presented. Then, Hazrat Abu Bakrra presented all [the wealth] that he had. I had only presented half while Hazrat Abu Bakrra brought all that he had. The Holy Prophetsa also asked him what he had left behind for his family to which he replied that he had left them Allah and His Messengersa.” Hazrat Umarra says, “I realised I would never be able to surpass Hazrat Abu Bakrra in anything.” (Sunan Abu Daud, Kitab-ul-Zakat, Hadith no. 1678)
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra has also mentioned this incident in the following manner:
“With regard to the occasion of one battle, Hazrat Umarra says, ‘I thought to myself that Hazrat Abu Bakrra always exceeded me; however, today, I would surpass him. With this in mind, I went home, took half of my wealth and presented it to the Holy Prophetsa. That era of Islam was one of great difficulties, yet Hazrat Abu Bakrra brought all of his wealth and presented it to the Holy Prophetsa. The Holy Prophetsa asked Abu Bakrra what he had left at home, to which he replied, “Allah and His Messengersa”’ Hazrat Umarra states, ‘Upon hearing this, I became extremely embarrassed and understood that even after trying my utmost to surpass Hazrat Abu Bakrra, he still exceeded me.’” (Fazail Al-Quran 3, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 11, p. 577)
The Promised Messiahas states:
“There was a time when people were ready to sacrifice their lives like sheep and goats, let alone their wealth, for the sake of the faith. On more than one occasion, Hazrat Abu Bakrra sacrificed his entire wealth.”
The Promised Messiahas says that this did not only happen once; rather, it happened more than once, “to the extent that he did not let so much as a needle remain in his home, and the same was done by Hazrat Umarra according to his capacity and means and Hazrat Uthmanra according to his ability and means. And in the same manner and according to their spiritual ranks, all the Companionsra were prepared to sacrifice their lives and wealth for the sake of this divine faith.”
The Promised Messiahas then mentions certain people of the Jamaat at that time and states, “Then there are those who pledge allegiance and also declare that they give precedence to the faith over the world but when the need for help arises, they seal their pockets. With such love for the world, is it possible for one to attain any spiritual objective? And can such people prove useful to the prophet? Absolutely not. Allah the Almighty states:
لَنْ تَنَالُوا الْبِرَّ حَتّٰى تُنْفِقُوْا مِمَّا تُحِبُّوْنَ
“‘Never shall you attain to righteousness until you spend out of that which you love. (3:93)].’” (Malfuzat, Vol. 6, p. 40, footnote)
With regard to Hazrat Umar’sra reaction when the Holy Prophetsa passed away, Hazrat Ibn Abbasra narrates that as the demise of the Holy Prophetsa was drawing near, there were some people gathered at his home, including Hazrat Umarra bin Khattab. The Holy Prophetsa said, “Come, let me write something down for you, after which you will never go astray.” This took place in the final days of the Holy Prophet’ssa illness. Upon this, Hazrat Umarra said to the people who were present at the time, “The Holy Prophetsa is extremely ill and you have the Quran; the Book of Allah is sufficient for you.”
The others present in the home did not agree with this and objected. They began to disagree with one another; some said that a paper and pen should be brought so that the Holy Prophetsa could write something down so that they would not go astray. Then there were others who agreed with what Hazrat Umarra had said, that the Holy Prophetsa should not be caused any difficulty. As this conversation continued and they continued to disagree with one another, the Holy Prophetsa instructed them to leave. (Sahih Muslim, Kitab-ul-Wasiyyat, Hadith no. 4234)
This narration is from [Sahih] Muslim, and there is also some detail of this in [Sahih] Bukhari as well.
Ubaidullah bin Abdillah narrates on account of Hazrat Ibn Abbasra who said:
“When the Holy Prophetsa was severely ill, he said that he should be given something to write with so that he may write something which would never be forgotten. Hazrat Umarra said to those present that “the Holy Prophetsa is very ill; we have the Book of Allah” meaning they had the Holy Quran which was sufficient and thus there was no need to trouble the Holy Prophetsa.
Following this, a disagreement arose and the noise became loud. The Holy Prophetsa instructed them all to leave and that people should not quarrel around him. Upon this, Hazrat Ibn Abbasra left. He used to say that the greatest loss of it all was that the Holy Prophetsa was hindered from writing something. (Sahih Bukhari, Kitab-ul-Ilm, Hadith no. 114)
I will briefly mention what has been written in the commentary of this [hadith] by Hazrat Syed Zainul Abideen Walliullah Shah Sahibra:
“لَا تَضِلُّوْا بَعْدَهُ [after which you will not go astray]” – these are the words from the hadith – “clearly show that even in his final moments, the Holy Prophetsa was concerned about لَا تَضِلُّوْا بَعْدَهُ that is, he wished to write something down for them lest they forgot. ‘Dilal’ can also mean to forget and to go astray as a result of forgetfulness. And the words, غَلَبَهُ الْوَجَعُmeaning he was overcome by illness means that Hazrat Umarra did not wish for the Holy Prophet’ssa discomfort to increase. These were the words of Hazrat Umarra.”
Shah Sahibra further writes:
“Hazrat Umarra could not even fathom the demise Holy Prophetsa. When Hazrat Umarra said, عِنْدَنَا كِتَابُ اللّٰهِ حَسْبُنَا [we have the Book of Allah, that is sufficient for us], he said it because Allah Almighty states:
مَا فَرَّطْنَا فِي الْكِتٰبِ مِنْ شَيْءٍ
“[We have left out nothing in the Book’ (6:39)].” This is from Surah al-An‘am. “Then:
تِبْيَانًا لِّكُلِّ شَيْءٍ
“[to explain everything (16:90)], meaning this Book clearly explains everything and nothing has been left out.”
Shah Sahib then writes:
“لَا يَنْبَغِيْ عِنْدِيْ التَّنَازُعُ, meaning some who were extremely emotional at the time like Hazrat Umarra, said that at such a time, the Holy Prophetsa should not be caused any trouble, while others said that his command should be followed”; in other words, to bring a pen and ink.
“However, the Holy Prophetsa instructed them to leave”, when they began to disagree amongst each other “and he said, ‘Do not make noise around me.’ This shows that even in the condition of illness, the Holy Prophetsa had such a great deal of respect and honour for the Book of Allah, that after hearing Hazrat Umarra saying this, he no longer asked for a pen, ink and paper to be brought. As is evident from other narrations in Bukhari, the Holy Prophetsa remained alive after this incident for a few days and on that same day he also gave a few other instructions as well. However, he did not repeat this”, meaning he did not ask for this again. “This shows that whatever he had wished to write down was present in the Book of Allah.
“It seems that he wished to urge Muslims to remain attached to the Holy Quran and the Holy Prophetsa agreed with Hazrat Umarra and thus remained quiet. This is the level of respect which the so-called [Muslim] scholars have no concern for.”
It was the Holy Prophet’ssa respect for the Holy Quran that these so-called scholars show no regard for.
Shah Sahib further writes, “They express one opinion and deem it to be akin to divine revelation.”
He further writes, “We should never forget his pure and noble example” i.e. the pure example of the Holy Prophetsa. “In comparison to the Book of Allah, everything else is worthless.” (Sahih Bukhari, Kitab-ul-Ilm, Hadith no. 114, translated by Syed Zain-ul-Abideen Waliullah Shah, Vol. 1, p. 190, Nazarat Ishaat, Rabwah)
Urwah bin Zubair has narrated on the authority of Ummul Momineen, Hazrat Aishara, that when the Holy Prophetsa passed away, Hazrat Abu Bakrra was in Sunh. Sunh was a place situated two miles from Medina. Ismail said that Hazrat Abu Bakrra was in the outskirts. When Hazrat Umarra heard this news, he stood up.
At the time of the Holy Prophet’ssa demise, Hazrat Abu Bakrra had gone to the environs of Medina. When he heard the news of the demise of the Holy Prophetsa, Hazrat Umarra stood up and said, “By Allah! The Messengersa of Allah has not passed away.” Hazrat Aishara says, “Hazrat Umarra would often say: ‘By God! Deep down I thought’, i.e. Hazrat Umarra thought ‘that Allah the Almighty would certainly raise the Holy Prophetsa, so that some people’s hands and feet would be cut.’”
In the meantime, Hazrat Abu Bakrra came; Hazrat Umarra was not ready to accept that the Holy Prophetsa had passed away. He had said that the Holy Prophetsa would be given life again.
During this time Hazrat Abu Bakrra arrived. He removed the cloth from the face of the Holy Prophetsa and kissed it. He then said, “May my mother and father be sacrificed for you; you were pure in this life and when death has overtaken you. I swear by Him in Whose hands is my life! Allah will never allow two deaths to overcome you,” and upon saying this, he went outside to where the people were and said, “Wait a moment, O ye who is making vows in God’s name!” That is, he addressed Hazrat Umarra and said, “Wait a moment, O you who is making vows in God’s name.” When Hazrat Abu Bakrra began speaking, Hazrat Umarra sat down. Hazrat Abu Bakrra praised and glorified God Almighty and then said:
اَلَا مَنْ كَانَ يَعْبُدُ مُحَمَّدًا صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَإِنَّ مُحَمَّدًا صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَدْ مَاتَ، وَمَنْ كَانَ يَعْبُدُ اللّٰهَ فَاِنَّ اللّٰهَ حَيٌّ لَا يَمُوْتُ
“Whosoever worshipped Muhammadsa should know that Muhammadsa has indeed passed away, and whosoever worshipped Allah should remember that He is living and can never die.”
Hazrat Abu Bakrra then recited the verse:
اِنَّكَ مَيِّتٌ وَّ اِنَّهُمْ مَّيِّتُوْنَ
“Surely thou wilt die, and surely they [too] will die” (Ch.9: V.31). He then recited the following verse:
وَ مَا مُحَمَّدٌ اِلَّا رَسُوْلٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ مِنْ قَبْلِهِ الرُّسُلُ اَفَائِنْ مَّاتَ اَوْ قُتِلَ انْقَلَبْتُمْ عَلٰٓى اَعْقَابِكُمْ وَ مَنْ يَّنْقَلِبْ عَلٰى عَقِبَيْهِ فَلَنْ يَّضُرَّ اللّٰهَ شَيْـًٔا وَ سَيَجْزِي اللّٰهُ الشّٰكِرِيْنَ
“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.” (Ch.3: V.145)
Sulaiman states, “Upon hearing this, people began to weep so profusely that they began to have hiccups.” (Sahih Bukhari, Kitab Fazail Ashaab-ul-Nabi, Hadith no. 3667) (Furhang-e-Sirat, p. 157, Zawar Academy, Karachi, 2003)
Hazrat Ibn Abbasra states:
“By Allah! When Hazrat Abu Bakrra recited the [aforementioned] verse, it seemed as if the people were not even aware that such a verse had been revealed by Allah and it was as if everyone had learnt this verse from him. Thereafter, wherever I would go, I would hear this verse being recited.”
Zuhri states, “Saeed bin Musayyib told me that Hazrat Umarra said, ‘By Allah! When I heard Hazrat Abu Bakrra recite this verse, I became so nervous out of fear that my legs would not support my weight and I fell to the ground. When I heard Hazrat Abu Bakrra recite this verse, I knew that the Holy Prophetsa has passed away.’” (Sahih Bukhari, Kitab-ul-Maghazi, Hadith no. 4454)
On one occasion, the Promised Messiahas stated this and quoted the Arabic wording of the hadith; at present, I will read the translation, when the sermon is published, the words of the ahadith can be published then as well; the Promised Messiahas states:
“Sahih Bukhari, which is referred to as the most authentic book [of traditions], has the following narration:
عَنْ عَبْدِ اللّٰهِ بْنِ عَبَّاسٍ اَنَّ اَبَا بَكْرٍ خَرَجَ وَ عُمَرُ يُكَلِّمُ النَّاسَ فَقَالَ اِجْلِسْ يَا عُمَرُ فَاَبٰى عُمَرُ اَنْ يَجْلِسَ فَاَقْبَلَ النَّاسُ اِلَيْهِ وَتَرَكُوْا عُمَرَ فَقَالَ اَبُو بَكْرٍ اَمَّا بَعْدُ مَنْ مِنْكُمْ يَعْبُدُ مُحَمَّدًا فَاِنَّ مُحَمَّدًا قَدْ مَاتَ وَمَنْ كَانَ مِنْكُمْ يَعْبُدُ اللّٰهَ فَاِنَّ اللّٰهَ حَيٌّ لَا يَمُوْتُ۔ قَالَ اللّٰهُ وَمَا مُحَمَّدٌ اِلَّا رَسُوْلٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ مِنْ قَبْلِهِ الرُّسُلُ۔ اِلَى الشَّاكِرِينَ۔ وَقَالَ وَاللّٰهِ كَاَنَّ النَّاسَ لَمْ يَعْلَمُوْا اَنَّ اللّٰهَ اَنْزَلَ هَذِهِ الآيَةَ حَتّٰى تَلَاهَا اَبُوْ بَكْرٍ فَتَلَقَّاهَا مِنْهُ النَّاسُ كُلُّهُمْ فَمَا اَسْمَعُ بَشَرًا مِنَ النَّاسِ اِلَّا يَتْلُوهَا اَنَّ عُمَرًا قَالَ وَاللّٰهِ مَا هُوَ اِلَّا اَنْ سَمِعْتُ اَبَا بَكْرٍ تَلَاهَا فَعَقِرْتُ حَتَّى مَا يُقِلُّنِي رِجْلَايَ وَحَتَّى اَهْوَيْتُ اِلَى الْاَرْضِ حَتَّي سَمِعْتُهُ تَلَاهَا اَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّي اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَدْ مَاتَ
“‘Ibn Abbasra narrates that’”, on the day of the Holy Prophet’ssa demise, “‘Hazrat Abu Bakrra went outside, Hazrat Umarra was speaking to some people’”, i.e. saying that the Holy Prophetsa had not passed away and was in fact alive. “‘Upon this, Hazrat Abu Bakrra said, “O Umar! Sit down,” but Umarra refused to sit down. Thus, people turned their attention to Abu Bakrra and moved away from Umarra. Abu Bakrra praised and glorified Allah and then said, “Whosoever worshipped Muhammadsa, should know that Muhammadsa has indeed passed away and whosoever worshipped Allah should know that He is living and can never die. And proof of the Holy Prophet’ssa demise is that God has stated, ‘Muhammad was but a messenger, all messengers before him have passed away (i.e. have died)’”, and then he recited the verse up to اَلشَّاكِرِيْن.’”
The Promised Messiahas further writes:
“The narrator states, ‘By God, before this time, it was as if the people were unaware that God had even revealed such a verse and it seemed to them as if they heard it for the first time when Abu Bakrra recited it to them.’ Thus, all the Companions learnt [the meaning of] this verse from Abu Bakrra and there was no companion or other person who did not recite this verse. Umarra said, ‘By God! I heard this verse for the first time from Abu Bakrra. When I heard him recite this verse, I was moved and pained to such an extent that my legs were unable to carry my own weight, and I fell to the ground as soon as I heard this verse recited and heard the words that the Holy Prophetsa had passed away.’”
The Promised Messiahas further states:
“In Qastallani’s commentary of Sahih Bukhari, it is written:
وَعُمَرُ بْنُ الْخَطَّابِ يُكَلِّمُ النَّاسَ يَقُوْلُ لَهُمْ مَا مَاتَ رَسُوْلُ اللّٰهِ وَلَا يَمُوْتُ حَتّٰى يَقْتُلَ الْمُنَافِقِيْنَ
“i.e. Hazrat Umarra would tell the people that the Holy Prophetsa had not passed away, and that he could not pass away until he had killed the hypocrites.”
The Promised Messiahas further states:
“In Malil wa Nahal by Shahrastani, the following extract is mentioned regarding this incident:
قَالَ عُمَرُ بْنُ الْخَطَّابِ مَنْ قَالَ اَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا مَاتَ فَقَتَلْتُهٗ بِسَيْفِيْ هٰذَا۔ وَاِنَّمَا رُفِعَ اِلَي السَّمَآءِ كَمَارُفِعَ عِيْسَي ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ عَلَيْهِ السَّلَامَ وَقَالَ اَبُوْبَكْرٍ بْنُ قُحَافَةَ مَنْ كَانَ يَعْبُدُ مُحَمَّدًا فَاِنَّ مُحَمَّدًا قَدْ مَاتَ وَمَنْ كَانَ يَعْبُدُ اِلٰهَ مُحَمَّدٍ فَاِنَّهٗ حَيٌّ لَا يَمُوْتُ وَقَرَءَ هَذِهِ الْاٰيَةَ وَمَا مُحَمَّدٌ اِلَّا رَسُوْلٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ مِنْ قَبْلِهِ الرُّسُلُ اَفَائِنْ مَّاتَ اَوْ قُتِلَ انْقَلَبْتُمْ عَلٰٓى اَعْقَابِكُمْ (آل عمران 145) فَرَجَعَ الْقَوْمُ اِلٰي قَوْلِهٖ
“‘Umarra bin Al-Khattab used to say, “Whoever says that the Holy Prophetsa has passed away, I will kill him with this sword of mine. In fact, the Holy Prophetsa has been raised to the Heavens, just like Jesus son of Maryas.” Abu Bakrra said, “Whosoever worshipped Muhammadsa should know that Muhammadsa has indeed passed away, and whosoever worshipped the God of Muhammadsa should know that He is living and can never die.” That is, to live forever and remain is an attribute of God alone. No human or animal before this ever lived forever that one would assume that the Holy Prophetsa will survive for eternity.’” It could not be assumed that they would be eternal because they will all pass away. “‘Hazrat Abu Bakrra then recited the following verse’”, the translation of which is:
“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?” (Ch.3: V.145).
“‘And it was only after hearing this verse did the people abandon this concept.’ Now ponder that if from this verse of the Quran, Hazrat Abu Bakrra did not believe that all prophets had passed away – furthermore, if this proof was not absolutely conclusive – then why is it that 100,000 companions who were present at the time according to you” (the Promised Messiahas is answering the questioner) “accepted something [as an argument] that was doubtful and inconclusive? Why was this argument not put forth [to Hazrat Abu Bakrra]. The proof you have given is inconclusive and that you do not possess any absolute or clear verse of the Quran.
“In fact, the verse رَافِعُكَ اِلَيَّ states that Prophet Jesusas was raised to the Heavens with his physical body? Also have you not heard of the verse بَلْ رَفَعَهُ اللّٰهُ اِلَيْهِ. Then why is it a far-fetched notion that the Holy Prophetsa could be raised physically to the heavens? On the contrary, the Companions, who possessed knowledge of the expressions of the Holy Quran, upon hearing this verse and the words خَلَتْ and the explanation of the words اَفَاِنْ مَّاتَ اَوْ قُتِلَ, immediately abandoned their initial beliefs [of the Holy Prophetsa being alive]. Indeed, their hearts grieved deeply at the demise of the Holy Prophetsa and they were immensely saddened and pained. Hazrat Umarra said, ‘After hearing this verse, my state was such that I could not move a muscle and I fell to the ground.’
“Glory be to Allah! How fortunate were these individuals who obeyed the Quran to the letter! When they pondered over the verse and understood that all prophets before had passed away, then aside from crying and weeping over their grief, they did nothing else.” (Tohfa Ghaznaviyyah, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 15, pp. 579-583)
Then, on another occasion, the Promised Messiahas said:
“From the following words of Hazrat Umarra, ‘Whosoever says that the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa has passed away, I shall kill them with this sword of mine’, it is evident that Hazrat Umarra had a mistaken view regarding the life of the Holy Prophetsa [in that he would not die] and he claimed that if anyone said that the Holy Prophetsa had passed away, then they had exhibited disbelief and become an apostate.
“May Allah bestow countless blessings on Hazrat Abu Bakrra as he was able to swiftly quell this strife and by presenting a clear and unambiguous verse of the Quran which declared that all the previous prophets had passed away. In fact, through this elucidation and consensus of the Companionsra, he put an end to many false claimants during the Faej A‘waj [Era of darkness and misguidance]. And just as he [i.e. Hazrat Abu Bakrra] had Musailmah Kazzab and Aswad Ansi etc. killed, through this consensus of all the Companions, he finished off the false claimants during the Faej A‘waj.” Just as he killed a false claimant, he also finished off this false belief. “Thus, he did not kill four false claimants; he killed five, as it were.”
The Promised Messiahas then says:
“O Allah! Shower countless blessings upon him. If the meaning of ‘khalat’ meant that some prophets were raised physically to the Heavens, then in such an instance, Hazrat Umarra would have been correct and instead of proving him wrong, this verse would have supported his viewpoint. However, the next part of the verse explains its meaning, i.e. اَفَائِنْ مَّاتَ اَوْ قُتِلَ which Hazrat Abu Bakrra recognised and through this, he explained that to believe this verse to mean that all prophets passed before, either through death or whilst alive, was a deceptive notion and a transposition and a great calumny against that which was intended by God; and only those people could intentionally fabricate this who had no fear of the Day of Reckoning and actively changed the meanings intended by God Almighty; they would undoubtedly be eternally cursed.
“But until this time, Hazrat Umarra was unaware of this verse and some other companions were also under a similar misconception and this error on their part was due to the decreed frailties of man. They believed that some prophets were alive and would return to the world; therefore, why then would the Holy Prophetsa not be included amongst them. But by reading the remainder of the verse [اَفَائِنْ مَّاتَ اَوْ قُتِلَ], Hazrat Abu Bakrra ensured that they understood that the word ‘khalat’ was exhibited through two aspects, i.e. natural death, or through being killed. It was then that those of an opposing view accepted their mistakes and all of the Companions unanimously accepted that all previous prophets had passed away, and the words اَفَائِنْ مَّاتَ اَوْ قُتِلَ affected them greatly and everyone abandoned their beliefs contrary to this. All praise is due to Allah for this!” (Tohfa Ghaznaviyyah, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 15, pp. 581-582, footnote)
The Promised Messiahas mentioned this in Tohfa Ghaznaviyyah.
In another place, the Promised Messiahas states:
“On the occasion of the demise of the Holy Prophetsa, all of the Companions testified that all prophets had passed away. In regard to the Holy Prophetsa, Hazrat Umarra stated that he had not passed away and stood up with his sword drawn out. Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiqra then stood up and stated:
مَا مُحَمَّدٌ اِلَّا رَسُوْلٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ مِنْ قَبْلِهِ الرُّسُلُ
“[And Muhammad is only a Messenger. Verily, (all) Messengers have passed away before him.]
“The situation at the time was akin to the end of times as the Holy Prophetsa had departed from this world and all the Companions were gathered together; even the army of Usamara did not leave.
“Upon these words of Hazrat Umarra, Hazrat Abu Bakrra loudly proclaimed, ‘Muhammadsa has passed away’ and the argument he presented was:
مَا مُحَمَّدٌ اِلَّا رَسُوْلٌ
“[And Muhammad is only a Messenger]. Now, if even the slightest notion of Jesusas being alive in the Heavens was entertained by the Companions, they would have certainly spoken up. However, they all remained silent and then they went into the marketplaces and announced this verse as if it had just been revealed that very day. God-forbid, the Companions were not such that they would become overawed by Hazrat Abu Bakrra and would not refute what he said – that was certainly not the case; rather, what Hazrat Abu Bakrra stated was indeed the truth, hence everyone lowered their heads. This was the ijma [unanimous consensus] of the Companions.
“Hazrat Umarra also claimed [at the time] that the Holy Prophetsa was going to return. Thus, if this argument [put forward by Hazrat Abu Bakrra] was not a perfect one”, and this could only be perfect if there was no exception, because had Jesusas ascended into the Heavens alive, then he would have had to return – in such a case, this would not have been an argument, but rather a mockery and “Hazrat Umarra himself would have refuted this.” (Malfuzat, Vol. 1, pp. 440-441)
The Promised Messiahas has repeatedly mentioned this incident in various instances. The reason why I have narrated these various accounts is so that those who entertain the belief that Jesusas is alive in the Heavens, can remove such a thought from their minds because no mortal being has ever ascended to the Heavens alive, nor can they ever go. By virtue of this argument, Jesusas has also passed away.
Hazrat Ibn Abbasra narrates:
“Once, during the era of Hazrat Umar’sra Khilafat, I was walking along with him whilst he was going to tend to some work of his. There was no else with him at the time besides me and he was holding a whip in his hand. Hazrat Umarra would be saying something to himself and would repeatedly strike the back of his feet with the whip. Hazrat Umarra then turned towards me and stated, ‘O Ibn Abbas! Upon the demise of the Holy Prophetsa, do you know why I said that?’”, i.e. that the Holy Prophetsa had not passed away and that whoever stated that he had passed away, he would kill him with his sword.
Hazrat Ibn Abbasra narrates, “I said, ‘O Leader of the Faithful! I do not know. Only you are aware as to why you said that.’ Hazrat Umarra stated, ‘By Allah! The reason why I said that was because I would read the verse:
وَ كَذٰلِكَ جَعَلْنٰكُمْ اُمَّةً وَّسَطًا لِّتَكُوْنُوْا شُهَدَآءَ عَلَى النَّاسِ وَ يَكُوْنَ الرَّسُوْلُ عَلَيْكُمْ شَهِيْدًا
“And thus have We made you an exalted nation, that you may be guardians over men and the Messenger of God may be a guardian over you.” (Ch.2: V.144)
By Allah, I believed that the Holy Prophetsa would remain alive among his ummah as a guardian over their deeds. Thus, it was for this reason that I said this on that day.’” (Sirat Ibn Hisham, p. 901, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2001)
In relation to Hazrat Abu Bakr’sra Khilafat, there is a narration mentioned in Bukhari, which has been narrated previously as well, but I shall mention it again.
The Ansar came to the house of the Bani Saidah and gathered around Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah. They claimed that one leader should be appointed from among [the Ansar] and one from among [the Muhajireen]. Hazrat Abu Bakrra, Hazrat Umarra bin Al-Khattab and Hazrat Abu Ubaidahra bin Jarrah went to see them. Just as Hazrat Umarra was about to say something, Hazrat Abu Bakrra told him to remain silent. Hazrat Umarra used to say, “By Allah, I had prepared such a speech to read out that day, which I was greatly pleased with, and I feared that perhaps Hazrat Abu Bakrra would not be able to express it as effectively, i.e. he would not be able to say it in the same manner.”
Thereafter, Hazrat Abu Bakrra delivered his speech and spoke in such a manner that no one could have expressed themselves in a more eloquent manner.
During his speech, he stated, “We are the amirs [leaders] and you are the viziers” i.e. he said that the Ansar were viziers. Upon hearing this, Hubab bin Munzir stated, “Certainly not! By God, we will never allow for this to happen. There shall be one leader from among you and one from among us.” Hazrat Abu Bakrra replied, “No, we are the amirs and you are the viziers, for the Quraish”, according to their lineage and tribe, “have always occupied a higher status amongst the Arabs and it has been this way since ancient times; therefore you must take the bai‘at of either Umar or Abu Ubaidah.”
Hazrat Umarra responded, “No, we will only take your bai‘at (i.e. referring to Hazrat Abu Bakrra) because you are our leader. You are the best among us and the most beloved of the Holy Prophetsa out of us all.” After saying this, Hazrat Umarra held the hand of Hazrat Abu Bakrra and performed the bai‘at. Thereafter, everyone else also followed and performed the bai‘at at the hands of Hazrat Abu Bakrra. (Sahih Bukhari, Kitab Fazial Ashaab-ul-Nabi, Hadith no. 3668)
When Hazrat Umarra held the hand of Hazrat Abu Bakrra and asked to him take their bai‘at, Hazrat Umarra also performed the bai‘at at his hands and stated, “O Abu Bakr! The Holy Prophetsa had instructed you to lead the prayers; therefore you are the Khalifa of Allah. We perform the bai‘at at your hands and amongst all of us, you were the most beloved to the Holy Prophetsa.”
In regard to the disorder created by the apostates, it is written in Sirat ibn Hisham that when the Holy Prophetsa passed away, the troubles greatly increased. He states that he came across a narration in which Hazrat Aishara stated, “When the Holy Prophetsa passed away, some of the Arabs became apostates and the Jews and Christians began to rise up and their hypocrisy became evident.” (Sirat Ibn Hisham, p. 903, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2001)
Hazrat Abu Hurairahra relates that after the demise of the Holy Prophetsa, Hazrat Abu Bakrra became the Khalifa and amongst the Arabs, some began to reject the religion of Islam. Upon this, Hazrat Umarra stated to Hazrat Abu Bakrra, “How will you fight against these people because the Holy Prophetsa had stated, ‘I have been commanded to fight against them until they proclaim, “There is none worthy of worship except Allah.”’” In other words, one cannot fight against those who proclaim that “there is none worthy of worship except Allah” and whosoever recites this, his life and wealth shall be protected, unless there is a lawful reason not to protect it. And the matter of such people will rest with Allah.
Hazrat Abu Bakrra replied, “By Allah, whoever distinguishes between the Salat and the Zakat [i.e. abandons the Zakat], I shall fight against him because the paying of Zakat on one’s wealth is an obligation. By Allah, if they refuse to give me even the rope that they tie the legs of their animals with, which they previously used to give to the Holy Prophetsa, I shall fight against them if they refuse to give it.”
Hazrat Umarra bin Al-Khattab stated, “By Allah, I had seen that it was Allah the Almighty Who had granted him the courage to fight and I understood that this indeed was the truth.” (Sahih Bukhari, Kitab-ul-I‘tisam bil Kutub Wa Al-Sunnah, Hadith no. 7284 – 7285)
Upon the departure of Hazrat Usama bin Zaid’sra army, Hazrat Abu Bakrra called for Hazrat Usamara and gave him some instructions. Hazrat Usamara was mounted on his animal while Hazrat Abu Bakrra was walking along with him. Hazrat Usamara requested Hazrat Abu Bakrra to ride on the animal, otherwise he would come off; however, Hazrat Abu Bakrra stated, “Do not get off your ride. By Allah, I will not mount the animal.” He further stated, “What has happened to me that I cannot allow dust to cover my feet in the way of Allah the Almighty because every step taken by one who steps out for battle is equal to the reward of 700 deeds and his rank is elevated 700 times and 700 sins of his are forgiven.”
After imparting his instructions to him, Hazrat Abu Bakrra stated to Hazrat Usamara, “If you deem it appropriate, help me through Umar.” In other words, Hazrat Abu Bakrra requested Hazrat Usamara to leave Hazrat Umarra behind with him because the Holy Prophetsa had originally included Hazrat Umarra in the army. Hazrat Usamara accepted this request. (Tarikh Al-Tabari, Vol. 2, p. 246, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1987)
During the era of Hazrat Abu Bakr’sra Khilafat, 70 Huffaz-e-Quran [those who had committed the entire Quran to memory] were martyred during the Battle of Yamamah. In regard to this, Hazrat Zaidra bin Thabit Ansari relates that upon the martyrdom of the Muslims at Yamamah, Hazrat Abu Bakrra called for him. At the time, Hazrat Umarra was with Hazrat Abu Bakrra. Hazrat Abu Bakrra stated, “Umar has come to me and informed me that many people have been martyred in the Battle of Yamamah. He has expressed his concern lest more qaris [reciters of the Holy Quran] pass away owing to the battles and in this way, a large part of the Holy Quran will be lost, unless we collate all the manuscripts of the Quran in one place. He suggests that I should gather these various manuscripts in one place.”
Hazrat Abu Bakrra then stated, “I told Umar that how can I do something which the Holy Prophetsa did not do himself. However, Umarra has stated, ‘By Allah, this action of yours is a very noble deed.’ Umar continuously said this to me until Allah the Almighty granted my heart contentment to carry out this work and now I deem what Umar said to be the most appropriate course of action.” At the time, Hazrat Umarra was sat next to him and was completely silent. Hazrat Abu Bakrra then said to Hazrat Zaidra bin Thabit, “You are a very young and wise man. We do not find any ill in you. You used to write down the revelations that the Holy Prophetsa would receive, therefore wherever you find the manuscripts of the Holy Quran, you should gather them in one place.”
Hazrat Zaidra bin Thabit stated, “By Allah, if he had asked me to move a mountain from one place to another, I would have found that easier than this task which he had commanded me to carry out, in other words, to collate the various manuscripts of the Holy Qur’an. I then said to them, ‘How can you two carry out such a task which the Holy Prophetsa did not do himself?’ Hazrat Abu Bakrra replied, ‘By Allah, this is a noble deed.’”
Hazrat Zaidra bin Thabit stated, “I kept asking them this question until Allah the Almighty granted my heart contentment to carry out this task as he had granted to Hazrat Abu Bakrra and Hazrat Umarra. I then stood up to go and search for the various manuscripts of the Holy Quran. I then began to gather these which were inscribed on parchments made from animal skin, the shoulder bones of the animals and the branches of the date palm trees as well as that which was memorised by the people. There were two verses of Surah al-Taubah which I only found with Hazrat Huzaimah Ansarira and no one else had these verses with them. These verses are as follows:
لَقَدْ جَاءَكُمْ رَسُوْلٌ مِّنْ اَنْفُسِكُمْ عَزِيْزٌ عَلَيْهِ مَا عَنِتُّمْ حَرِيْصٌ عَلَيْكُمْ بِالْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ رَءُوْفٌ رَّحِيْمٌ
“Surely, a Messenger has come unto you from among yourselves; grievous to him is that you should fall into trouble; he is ardently desirous of your welfare and to the believers he is compassionate and merciful.” (Ch.9: V.128)
In this narration, only this verse has been written; however, the hadith mentions that there were two verses, perhaps the other verse was the one that follows after this verse.
It is mentioned that these manuscripts of the entire Quran remained in the possession of Hazrat Abu Bakrra until his demise and then they were in the possession of Hazrat Umarra until his demise, they were then in the possession of Hazrat Hafsahra bint Umar and then given to Hazrat Usmanra as mentioned once before. (Sahih Bukhari, Kitab Al-Tafsir, Hadith no. 4679)
These accounts will, insha-Allah, continue to be narrated in the future.
(Original Urdu transcript published in Al Fazl International, 2 July 2021, pp. 5-10. Translated by The Review of Religions)