Friday Sermon – Men of Excellence: Hazrat Umar r.a. ibn al-Khattab (12 November 2021)

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Friday Sermon

12 November 2021

Men of Excellence: Hazrat Umarra ibn al-Khattab

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

Accounts from the life of Hazrat Umarra were being narrated in the previous sermons and I will continue to do so today as well. 

Mentioning Hazrat Umar’sra detachment of worldly things and his piety, Hazrat Hafsah bint Umarra relates that she once said to her respected father, “O Leader of the Faithful”. In another narration, it is mentioned that she addressed him in the following manner, “O my father! Allah has increased your provisions, granted you victories and has also given you wealth in abundance. Why then do you not choose to eat food which is softer than the food you eat and why do you not wear garments made of a softer material than the ones you wear?” 

Hazrat Umarra replied, “I will ask you to make the decision in this regard. Do you not remember how many hardships the Holy Prophetsa had to endure during his life?”

The narrator says that he continuously reminded Hazrat Hafsahra of this so much that Hazrat Hafsahra began to cry. Following this, Hazrat Umarra stated, “By Allah! As long as I have the strength to do so, I will continue to partake of the hardships endured by the Holy Prophetsa and Hazrat Abu Bakrra, so that perhaps, through this I may be able to join them in their life of comfort [in the Hereafter].” 

In another narration, it is also mentioned that Hazrat Umarra said to Hazrat Hafsahra, “O Hafsah, daughter of Umar! You have sought the welfare of your nation, but have not sought the welfare of your father. You have advised me to do such and such as I would be able to serve my nation better by doing so. However, this does not concern my welfare.” Following this, Hazrat Umarra stated, “My family has a right only over my life and my wealth, but they do not have any right over my faith and what I have been entrusted with.” (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, Dhikr Hijrat Umarra bin al-Khattab [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 1996], p. 148)

In other words, they did not have the right to say anything to him in relation to what had been entrusted to him and how he would fulfil that responsibility and they did not have any right to say anything to him in this regard.

Hazrat Ikrimahra bin Khalid relates that Hazrat Hafsahra, Hazrat Abdullahra and some other individuals were speaking to Hazrat Umarra and said, “If you eat better food, you will be stronger whilst serving for the cause of the truth.” Hazrat Umarra replied, “Do all of you hold the same opinion?” They all replied in the affirmative. Upon this, Hazrat Umarra replied, “I have understood that you seek my welfare, but I left both of my friends, i.e. the Holy Prophetsa and Hazrat Abu Bakrra on this very path and if I do not adopt the same path as them, I will not be able to meet them at the final destination.” (Jalaluddin Abd al-Rahman bin Abi Bakr al-Suyuti, Tarikh al-Khulafa, p. 101, Umarra bin al-Khattab,Lebanon, 1999)

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra says:

“The era of the Holy Prophetsa was an era in which they faced fear and danger and we can learn lessons from the commandments he gave the Muslims at that time. It was his own practice and he had also advised others not to prepare more than one dish for food.” 

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra was mentioning this in one of his sermons in relation to Tahrik-e-Jadid. Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra further states:

“The guidance of the Holy Prophetsa was not to make more than one dish and he emphasised this to such a degree that some companions took a very strict course of action in this regard.

“On one occasion, vinegar and salt were placed before Hazrat Umarra and he enquired as to why two dishes had been presented since the Holy Prophetsa had instructed that there should be only one dish. The people mentioned to Hazrat Umarra that these were not two separate dishes; in fact, the salt and vinegar combined to form one dish; however, Hazrat Umarra did not accept this and stated that they were, in fact, two separate dishes. Though Hazrat Umarra was overly strict in this act of his owing to his love for the Holy Prophetsa, this perhaps was not what the Holy Prophetsa meant, but nevertheless, this incident shows how much emphasis he placed on this in view of the fact that the Muslims needed to adopt simplicity.”

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra further states:

“I do not make the same kind of demand from you as Hazrat Umarra did and I do not state that salt is to be counted as a separate dish from vinegar. However, I do ask of you that for the next three years from today – during the course of which I shall make a yearly announcement, so that if the situation of fear transforms then this instruction shall also change, [and the instruction is] – every Ahmadi who wishes to partake in this battle with us should pledge to only eat one dish. That is, roti and broth or rice and broth. These do not count as two separate dishes; rather, they both combine to form one dish. However, it is not permitted for one to prepare two broths to eat with their roti or rice.” (Khutbat-e-Mahmud, Vol. 15, p. 426)

This was during the time when the Tahrik-e-Jadid scheme was announced. At the time, the Jamaat was in need [of resources] and so it was announced that one ought to reduce their expenses and donate them towards their chanda. Now, by the grace of Allah the Almighty, the conditions have changed and therefore this restriction is no longer required, but even then one should not indulge in extravagances.

Whilst expounding upon the verse:

وَالَّذِينَ‭ ‬إِذَآ‭ ‬أَنفَقُواْ‭ ‬لَمۡ‭ ‬يُسۡرِفُواْ‭ ‬وَلَمۡ‭ ‬يَقۡتُرُواْ‭ ‬وَكَانَ‭ ‬بَيۡنَ‭ ‬ذٰلِكَ‭ ‬قَوَامًا

[“And those who, when they spend, are neither extravagant nor niggardly but adopt a moderate position in the middle.” (Ch.25: V.68)], Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:

“Allah the Almighty states that if one wants to become a servant of Allah, then it is necessary for them to consider two factors when spending their wealth. Firstly, one should not indulge in extravagances. Eating food is not for the sole purpose of luxury and delight; rather, it is to attain strength, power and enable the body to continue functioning. Likewise, when one wears clothes, it is not to show others; rather, it is to cover one’s body and in order to preserve one’s dignity which Allah the Almighty has granted to humankind. The example of the companions demonstrates that this is exactly what they practised. 

“Once, Hazrat Umarra travelled to Syria and the companions there were wearing silk clothes. By ‘silk clothes’ are meant garments which had some silk in them because to wear a garment made purely from silk is forbidden unless one is exempt due to an illness. Hazrat Umarra instructed his companions to throw sand at them, in other words he was extremely displeased. He then stated, ‘Have you become so accustomed to luxuries that you have started wearing silk clothes?’ Upon this, one of the companions took off his upper garment and showed that he was wearing another heavy garment beneath it which was made of thick wool. He then stated to Hazrat Umarra, ‘We have not worn these silk clothes because we like them; rather, it is a custom among the people of this country. Right from their childhood, these people are accustomed to seeing their leaders living in a very grandiose and spectacular manner. 

“Thus, in view of the political traditions of the country we have also worn such clothes, but we have not come under their influence in any way. Thus, the practice of the companions shows what is meant by overindulgence. It means that one should not spend their wealth on such things which they are not in need of and it’s merely done as a form of luxury and lavishness. 

“Hence, God Almighty states that the true servants of Allah are those who do not waste their wealth, nor spend it ostentatiously; rather, they spend it on that which is helpful and beneficial. 

“Secondly, one should not hold back from spending their wealth where it is deemed necessary to spend one’s wealth, in other words, where one can be of benefit if they spend their wealth. Thus, one should not spend their wealth in a manner which is contrary to the will of Allah the Almighty and secondly, one should not abstain from spending their wealth whereby they are not even fulfilling their rightful dues. 

“These are two conditions in relation to spending one’s wealth in order to become a true servant of Allah. However, there are many people who either spend excessively or then they are extremely miserly.” (Khutbat-e-Mahmud, Vol. 5, pp. 3, 4)

Hazrat Umarra was so against lavish and extravagant clothes that he did not even like it if an enemy who had been captured was brought before him in such clothing. This has been mentioned in detail in the incident relating to the Persian commander, Hormuzan. Though I have previously explained this incident, I shall mention some details from it in order to explain. 

When Tustar was conquered, Hormuzan, who was the commander-in-chief of the Persian forces, surrendered himself over to the Muslims. He was then sent to Hazrat Umarra in Medina. However, before entering Medina, the Muslims who were taking him put his silk garments on him so that Hazrat Umarra and the Muslims could see him in his true state. When Hormuzan appeared before Hazrat Umarra, he enquired whether this was Hormuzan. The people replied in the affirmative. Following this, Hazrat Umarra carefully observed him and his garments and then stated, “I seek refuge in Allah the Almighty from the fire and I seek help from Allah the Almighty.” 

The people who brought him mentioned that this was Hormuzan and that Hazrat Umarra should speak to him. However, Hazrat Umarra stated that he would certainly not speak to him until he removed his lavish and extravagant garments and his jewellery. When all of this was removed, then Hazrat Umarra spoke to him. (Sirat Amir-il-Mu‘minin Umarra bin al-Khattab, Al-Salabi, pp. 424-425, Dar al-Ma‘rifah, Beirut, Lebanon, 2007)

Hazrat Umar’sra level of humility and righteousness can be gauged from the following incident: 

Hazrat Urwahra bin Zubair narrates that he saw Umarra bin al-Khattab carrying a waterskin on his shoulder. Upon this, he submitted, “O Leader of the Faithful! This does not behove you.” Hazrat Umarra stated, “When the various delegations from different countries arrived whilst demonstrating their utmost obedience, a sense of self-importance developed in my heart. Thus, in order to remove this feeling from me, I decided to carry this waterskin.” (Sirat Umarra bin al-Khattab, Muhammad al-Salabi, p. 122, Dar al-Ma‘rifah, Beirut, Lebanon, 2007)

Hazrat Yahyara bin Abdi Al-Rahman bin Hatib relates from his father that they were once returning from Mecca in the company of Hazrat Umarra and upon reaching the valleys of Dhajnan, they stopped. Dhajnan is the name of a place which is situated about 25 miles from Mecca. He further narrates that Hazrat Umarra then stated, “Upon seeing this place I can still recall the time when I would tend to the camels of my father, Khattab. He was a man of a very stern disposition. I would take the camels laden with sticks and thereafter I would take them with grass placed upon them. However, today my condition is such that people travel far and wide in my land and there is no one above me.” 

In other words, I am a ruler of a vast and expansive land in which people travel a great distance and come and meet me and also there is no other ruler in this world who rules over me. He then recited the following couplet: 

لَا‭ ‬شَيْءَ‭ ‬فِيْمَا‭ ‬تَرَى‭ ‬إِلَّا‭ ‬بَشَاشَتَهُ

يَبْقَى‭ ‬الْإِلَهُ‭ ‬وَيُوْدِي‭ ‬الْمِالُ‭ ‬وَالْوَلَدُ

 “Whatever you can see has no reality to it apart from being a temporary source of joy. One’s wealth and progeny will come to an end and it is only God Who lives forever.” (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, Umarra bin al-Khattab [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 1990], p. 202) (Fath al-Bari, Vol. 2, p. 144, Qadimi Kutun Khana, Aram Bagh, Karachi)

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira states in relation to this that once, Hazrat Umarra was returning from Hajj and he stopped under a tree. Huzayfa, who had a very informal relationship with Hazrat Umarra took courage and enquired as to why Hazrat Umarra had stopped there. Upon this, Hazrat Umarra stated, “There was a time when I would tend to a camel of mine and once my father scolded me under this tree. Today, my condition is such that let alone camels, hundreds of thousands of people are ready to sacrifice their lives if I was to merely hint at them.” (Haqa‘iq-ul-Furqan, Vol. 3, p. 326)

In relation to this, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:

“Is it not an astonishing fact that a person who would once herd camels became a great king? Not only was he granted a worldly kingdom, but a spiritual one too. This indeed was Hazrat Umarra who would tend to the camels in his earlier years. On one occasion, he went to perform the Hajj and on the way, he stood at a particular place. The heat was extremely intense and people were greatly affected by it. However, no one had the courage to ask why he was standing there. Eventually, a companion, who was a close friend of Hazrat Umarra and who would often ask Hazrat Umarra about the outbreak of fitna [evil and disorder] was approached by the people to ask Hazrat Umarra as to why he was stood at that particular place. Subsequently, he submitted to Hazrat Umarra, ‘Proceed ahead, why have you stopped here?’ Upon this, Hazrat Umarra stated, ‘The reason why I have stopped here is because once I was herding the camels and took some rest under this tree owing to exhaustion. My father came and hit me, saying, ‘Did I send you so you could sit here and sleep?’ Thus, such was my condition, but after having accepted the Holy Prophetsa, God Almighty elevated me to such a rank that if today I were to command hundreds of thousands of people they would be willing to sacrifice their lives for me.’ This incident and various other incidents like this reveal the previous condition of the companions, but after following the Holy Prophetsa, their conditions completely transformed. They attained such a rank and level of knowledge which no one else possessed.”

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra further states: 

“The reason I have narrated this account is that one ought to ponder how a person who used to herd camels was granted such spiritual and worldly knowledge that no one else could fathom. One should ponder that on the one hand, there was a time when Hazrat Umarra would tend to camels and sheep which is something that is perceived to not even remotely be associated with knowledge, and then, on the other hand, came a time where the people of Europe, who have a deep understanding of the laws and principals of governance, show great admiration of the laws and legislation designed by Hazrat Umarra. What connection is there between one who tends to camels and a ruler? However, Hazrat Umarra accomplished such feats that the world looks at him with great respect and praises his governance. 

“Moreover, look at the example of Hazrat Abu Bakrra, who was an ordinary merchant; however, today, the world is astonished as to how he attained such wisdom, intellect and knowledge. However, I tell you that he attained everything from the Holy Quran. He pondered over the Holy Quran, thus he learned all that which the entire world was bereft of. This is because the Holy Quran is such a tool that if one cleanses their heart with it, their heart will be so purified that it begins to reflect every aspect of secular knowledge and a door is opened for such an individual that no one is then able to stop the knowledge that is revealed upon one’s heart. Thus, it is important for every individual to strive in reading and pondering over the Holy Quran.” (Anwar-ul-Khilafah, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 3, pp. 130-131)

With regard to Hazrat Umar’sra humility and humbleness, there is a narration from Jubair bin Nufair who states that a group of people said to Hazrat Umarra, “O Leader of the Faithful! By Allah, we have not seen anyone more just and truthful, and firm against the hypocrites than yourself. Indeed, after the Holy Prophetsa, you are the best among us.” Auf bin Malik said to the person who said this, “By Allah, you have lied. Verily we have seen the best person among us after the Holy Prophetsa”, i.e. the one better than Hazrat Umarra

Hazrat Umarra asked, “O Auf! Who is that person?” to which he replied, “Abu Bakrra”. Hazrat Umarra then said that Auf has spoken the truth and about the person who said the earlier statement that he had lied. He then said, “By Allah! Abu Bakrra was even purer than the scent of musk and I am even more lost than the camels belonging to my people.” (Kanz al-Ummal, Vol. 6, Kitab Fada‘il al-Sahabah, Riwayah No. 5624, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut)

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:

“In the ahadith it is mentioned that on one occasion, Hazrat Umarra and Hazrat Abu Bakrra had a disagreement about something which intensified. Hazrat Umarra had a rather impassioned nature and for this reason, Hazrat Abu Bakrra thought it wise to leave the place, lest the matter worsened. When Hazrat Abu Bakrra tried to leave, Hazrat Umarra stepped forward and held on to his cloak, demanding an answer from him. When Hazrat Abu Bakrra managed to release himself, his cloak ripped. Hazrat Abu Bakrra left from there and went home. However, Hazrat Umarra suspected that perhaps Hazrat Abu Bakrra would complain about him to the Holy Prophetsa, and so he followed him, so that he could present his viewpoint. 

“Along the way, Hazrat Umarra lost sighting of Hazrat Abu Bakrra. Hazrat Umarra thought that Hazrat Abu Bakrra went to the Holy Prophetsa to complain about him and so he went straight to the Holy Prophetsa. But when Hazrat Umarra went to the Holy Prophetsa, Hazrat Abu Bakrra was not present. However, since Hazrat Umarra regretted what he had done, he submitted, ‘O Messengersa of Allah! I have committed an error and I treated Abu Bakrra harshly. Hazrat Abu Bakrra is not to blame, it is all my fault.’ 

“When Hazrat Umarra went to see the Holy Prophetsa, someone informed Hazrat Abu Bakrra that Hazrat Umarra went to complain to the Holy Prophetsa about him. Hazrat Abu Bakrra thought to himself that he should also go and clear the matter, lest only one side of the case was presented; therefore he decided to go and present his side of the story as well. 

“When Hazrat Abu Bakrra reached the gathering, Hazrat Umarra was saying, ‘O Messengersa of Allah! I have made a mistake, I quarrelled with Hazrat Abu Bakrra and ripped his cloak.’

“When the Holy Prophetsa heard this, anger could be seen in his expression and he said, ‘O people! What is the matter with you! When the entire world rejected me and opposed me, including all of you, at that time it was only Abu Bakr who accepted me and helped me in every way.’ He then said in a sorrowful tone, ‘Will you not let Abu Bakr and I be even now?’ The Holy Prophetsa was saying these words when Hazrat Abu Bakrra entered.” 

“This [i.e. what occurred thereafter] is the example of true love; instead of saying that it was not his fault and was all Umarra’s fault; when Abu Bakrra entered and saw that the Holy Prophetsa was displeased, as his true lover, he could not bear to see the Holy Prophetsa in pain because of him; for this reason, as soon as Abu Bakrra came, he sat down on his knees before the Holy Prophetsa and submitted, ‘O Messengersa of Allah! It is not Umar’s fault, but it is my fault.’” (Khutbat-e-Mahmud, Vol. 27, pp. 313-314)

Hazrat Umarra narrates that he once asked the people about the blood money in the case of an abortion. Mughira stated that the Holy Prophetsa had said one should free a male or female slave as blood money. Hazrat Umarra then said to bring someone who would corroborate this matter he had just mentioned. Muhammad bin Maslamah confirmed that he was in the presence of the Holy Prophetsa and that indeed is what had been said by the Holy Prophetsa. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Diyat, Bab Junain al-Mar‘ah, Riwayat No. 6905-6906) 

That is, if one is guilty of oppression or cruelty which leads to a miscarriage or if one forces a woman to have an abortion, then that person must give blood money. Whosoever has committed this injustice has to pay the blood money which is to free a male or female slave.

Hazrat Abu Saeedra narrates, “Abu Musa Ash‘ari came to visit Hazrat Umarra and sought permission saying, ‘Peace be upon you! Do I have permission to enter?’ Hazrat Umarra thought to himself that he has only asked permission once. After remaining silent for a short while, Abu Musa again said, ‘Peace be upon you! Do I have permission to enter?’ Hazrat Umarra replied to his greeting in his heart and then thought to himself that he has only sought permission twice.

“After waiting for a little while again, Abu Musa Ash‘arira sought permission again saying, ‘Peace be upon you! Do I have permission to enter?’ After having sought permission three times from Hazrat Umarra, Abu Musa Ash‘arira then left.”

When he sought permission to enter three times and did not hear a reply from Hazrat Umarra, he decided to leave. 

“Hazrat Umarra asked the doorkeeper, ‘What did Abu Musa do?’ He replied that he had left. Hazrat Umarra said for Abu Musara to be brought before him. When he came before Hazrat Umarra, he asked him, ‘What did you do?’ He replied, ‘I have acted in accordance with the sunnah.’ Hazrat Umarra replied, ‘sunnah? By Allah, you will have to prove that this is an act of sunnah, otherwise I will deal with you severely.’”

Abu Saeed Khudrira further narrates, “Abu Musara then came to us. At the time, we were sat with a group of Ansar. Abu Musa Ash‘arira stated, ‘O Ansar! Is there anyone who would know the sayings of the Holy Prophetsa more than you! Did the Holy Prophetsa not say: 

الْإِسْتِئْذَانُ‭ ‬ثَلَاثٌ

i.e. one can seek permission [up to] three times. If one is granted permission they may enter the house, and if they are not given permission then they should return.’ Upon hearing this, the people mocked and laughed.” 

Abu Saeed Khudrira further narrates, “I raised my head towards Abu Musa Ash‘arira and said, ‘Whatever punishment you receive for this, I will have an equal share of it. I bear witness that you spoke the truth.’” 

The narrator says that Abu Saeedra then went to Hazrat Umarra and informed him of the saying of the Holy Prophetsa. Hazrat Umarra said, “Very well! I was unaware of this hadith, but now I have come to know of it.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Kitab al-Isti‘dhan, Bab ma Ja‘a fi al-Isti‘dhan Thalathah, Hadith 2690)

There is a narration of Sahih Muslim in which Hazrat Abu Hurairahra states:

“We were sitting in the company of the Holy Prophetsa along with Hazrat Abu Bakrra and Hazrat Umarra as well as others. The Holy Prophetsa got up and left, but there was a delay in him returning. We feared that he may be in danger, and owing to this we stood up and left. I was the first to fear this and so I left in search of the Holy Prophetsa. I arrived at a garden that belonged to the Banu Najjar. I circled the garden looking for the entrance, but was unable to find it. I then saw a stream flowing inside the garden from a well outside and so I crouched down like a fox and entered the garden through the stream and went to the Holy Prophetsa. The Holy Prophetsa enquired, ‘Is it Abu Hurairah?’ I replied in the affirmative. He asked what the matter was to which I replied, ‘You were among us, after which you stood up and left, but there was a delay in you returning. We feared you may be harmed. I was the first to worry and so I followed you up to this garden; I had to crouch like a fox to enter into the garden and the others are following behind me.’ The Holy Prophetsa addressed me saying, ‘O Abu Hurairah’ and gave me his sandals and said, ‘Take my sandals and inform whoever you meet outside this garden, that if they testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and truly have this belief in their hearts, then give them glad tidings of Paradise.’”

Hazrat Abu Hurairahra further narrates, “When I went back, the first person I met was Umarra. He asked, ‘O Abu Hurairahra! What are these sandals?’ I said that the sandals belonged to the Holy Prophetsa and he has sent me with these as a sign to give glad tidings of Paradise to the one who testifies that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and truly holds this belief in their hearts. Upon this, Hazrat Umarra struck my chest in anger with great force and I fell on my back. He said, ‘O Abu Hurairahra! Go back.’” Meaning, there was no need to say anything to anyone. 

“I returned to the Holy Prophetsa and was about to cry when Hazrat Umarra came behind me. The Holy Prophetsa asked, ‘O Abu Hurairah! What is the matter?’ I informed him that, ‘I met with Umarra and told him about the message you had sent me with, but Umarra struck me on my chest with such force that I fell backwards and Umarra told me to return.’ The Holy Prophetsa asked, ‘O Umar! Why did you do such a thing?’ Hazrat Umarra replied, ‘O Messengersa of Allah! May my mother and father be sacrificed for you! Did you send Abu Hurairah with your sandals and tell him to give glad tidings of Paradise to the one who testifies that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and has firm belief in this?’ The Holy Prophetsa replied in the affirmative. Upon this, Hazrat Umarra submitted, ‘Please do not do such a thing, for I fear that people will rely on this alone. Therefore, it would be best to let them carry on performing virtuous deeds and acting on the commandments so that they become true believers. Otherwise they will rely upon the declaration of “There is none worthy of worship except Allah” and consider it to be sufficient in order to enter Paradise. The Holy Prophetsa said, ‘Very well, leave it.’” (Sahih Muslim, Kitab al-Iman, Bab al-Dalil ala in Mata ala al-Tauhid Dakhala al-Jannah Qat‘an, Hadith 147)

Hazrat Umarra thus had a very cautious approach.

There is a narration in which it is mentioned that even Satan runs away from Umarra. In Sahih Bukhari, it is narrated by Hazrat Saadra bin Abi Waqas that Hazrat Umarra bin al-Khattab sought permission from the Holy Prophetsa to enter. At the time some women from the Quraish were sitting in the Holy Prophet’ssa company and speaking to him. They were asking for more expenses and their voices were louder than the Holy Prophet’ssa voice. When Hazrat Umarra sought permission to enter, they quickly put on their veils. The Holy Prophetsa permitted Hazrat Umarra to enter. When Hazrat Umarra entered, the Holy Prophetsa was smiling.

Hazrat Umarra said, “O Messengersa of Allah, may Allah always keep you smiling.” The Holy Prophetsa replied, “I am astonished by the women that were just here. When they heard your voice, they quickly put on their veils.” Upon this, Hazrat Umarra submitted, “O Messengersa of Allah, you, however, are more worthy of being feared”. Then, while addressing those women in a loud voice, Hazrat Umarra stated, “O enemies of your own selves, are you intimidated by me and not the Holy Prophetsa?” The women replied, “Indeed, because you are harsher and sterner than the Messengersa of Allah.” Upon this, the Holy Prophetsa said, “Hear me, O son of al-Khattab; I swear by the One in Whose hands is my life, whenever Satan crosses paths with you, he most certainly diverts his path [in fear of you].” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab Fada‘il Ashab al-Nabisa, Bab Fada‘il Hazrat Umarra, Hadith 3683) 

Hazrat Aishara relates, “Once while the Holy Prophetsa was seated, we heard some commotion and the sounds of children. The Holy Prophetsa stood up and saw that there was an Abyssinian woman performing a traditional dance while the children had gathered around her. The Holy Prophetsa said, ‘O Aisha, come and see.’ I went and started to watch, placing my chin on the shoulder of the Holy Prophetsa. My chin was placed in-between the head and the shoulder of the Holy Prophetsa. He then asked me, ‘Have you seen enough?’ I said ‘not yet’ because I wanted to see how much he cared about me. When Hazrat Umarra arrived, everyone fled from around that woman.” 

Hazrat Aishara continues, “Upon this, the Holy Prophetsa said, ‘I see that the Satans from among the jinn and man have fled from Umar.’” Hazrat Aishara says that following this, she returned from there. (Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Abwab al-Manaqib, Bab Qauluh anna al-Shaitan la Yakhafu minka ya Umar, Hadith 3691)

Hazrat Buraydahra relates that once when the Holy Prophetsa returned from an expedition, a woman of dark complexion came and asked, “O Messengersa of Allah, I took a vow that if Allah the Almighty brought you back to us in safety, I would sing and beat the drum before you.” 

The Holy Prophetsa said, “If you had taken a vow, then you may do so, otherwise you cannot.” Thus, she began to beat the drum. Hazrat Abu Bakrra arrived and she continued to beat the drum. Hazrat Alira arrived and she continued to beat the drum. Then, Hazrat Uthmanra arrived and she still continued to beat the drum. When Hazrat Umarra arrived, however, she placed the drum beneath her and sat on top of it. The Holy Prophetsa said, “O Umar, even Satan fears you. I was present and seated, yet she was still beating the drum. Abu Bakr came, Ali came, Uthman came, yet she continued to beat the drum. However, O Umar, when you came, she put the drum away.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Abwab al-Manaqib, Bab Qauluh anna al-Shaitan la Yakhafu minka ya Umar, Hadith 3690)

The Promised Messiahas states:

“The Holy Prophetsa told Hazrat Umarra that if Satan crossed paths with him, then he diverted to a different path and feared him. This proves the fact that Satan fled from Hazrat Umarra like one who is a coward and disgraced.” (Nur al-Haqq, Chapter 1, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 8, p. 143)

There is a narration regarding the fact that truth and serenity emanated from the tongue and heart of Hazrat Umarra. It is narrated by Hazrat Abdullah bin Umarra that the Holy Prophetsa once said, “Allah has caused the truth to flow from the tongue and heart of Umar.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Abwab al-Manaqib, Bab anna Allah Ja‘ala al-Haqq ala Lisani Umar Qalbih, Hadith 3682)

Hazrat Ibn Abbasra relates from his brother, Fazl, who said, “I heard the Holy Prophetsa say, Umar bin al-Khattab accompanies me wherever I please, and I accompany him wherever he pleases. After me, wherever Umar bin Khattab will be, the truth will be with him.’” (Sirat Umarra bin al-Khattab, Ibn al-Juzi, p. 21, al-Matba‘ah al-Misriyyah, al-Azhar)

Hazrat Alira once said, “We used to speak amongst each other about how serenity flows from the tongue and heart of Hazrat Umarra.” (Kanz al-Ummal, Vol. 6, Chapter 12, Kitab al-Fada‘il, Fada‘il ‘Umar, Riwayah No. 35870, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2004)

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:

“The Holy Prophetsa once addressed one of his wives and said, ‘Prepare my provisions for a journey.’ She began to make preparations for his travels. He then told Hazrat Aishara to roast some seeds and grains for him. These were the kind of provisions that typically existed in those days. Thus, she began to sift out any dust or dirt from the seeds. Hazrat Abu Bakrra came to visit his daughter at home and saw these preparations and asked Hazrat Aishara, ‘What is happening? Is the Holy Prophetsa preparing for a journey?’ She replied, ‘It seems to be so, because the Holy Prophetsa told us to make preparations for travel.’ Hazrat Abu Bakrra enquired if there were plans for a battle, but she replied, ‘I do not know. The Holy Prophetsa just told us to make preparations for travel and that is what we are doing.’ Two to three days later, the Holy Prophetsa called upon Hazrat Abu Bakrra and Hazrat Umarra and told them that some men from the Khuza‘ah tribe came and related the details of an incident that took place. The Holy Prophetsa said, ‘God has informed me of the incident beforehand, that they (i.e the people of Mecca) would commit treason and we have made a covenant with them. It would go against our faith to now become fearful and not prepare for combat after witnessing the bravery and strength of the Meccans. We will have to go there, so what is your opinion on the matter?’ Hazrat Abu Bakrra submitted, ‘O Messengersa of Allah, you have entered into a covenant with them and they are your own people.’” In other words, would he fight against his own people? 

“The Holy Prophetsa said, ‘We will not fight our people, we will fight those who have violated the covenant.’ The Holy Prophetsa then asked Hazrat Umarra, who submitted, ‘In Allah’s name, I would pray every day that we might see this day when we could fight the disbelievers in defence of the Holy Prophetsa.’ 

“The Holy Prophetsa said, ‘Abu Bakr is very soft-natured, but Umar is more frank in his speech.’ The Holy Prophetsa continued, ‘Make preparations.’ Then, the Holy Prophetsa had an announcement made in the surrounding tribes that everyone who believes in Allah and His Messengersa should congregate in Madinah in the beginning days of Ramadan. Thus, they started to gather to the extent that an army enumerating many thousands of men was organised and they set out for war.” (Sair-e-Ruhani, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 24, pp. 260-261)

Regarding the excellence of Hazrat Abu Bakrra and Hazrat Umarra, Hazrat Abu Saeed Khudrira narrates that the Holy Prophetsa said, “From among the ‘illiyyin’ [the loftiest people], one will gaze at the dwellers of Paradise, and due to his countenance, the whole of Paradise will glow and radiate as though it were a shining star, and Abu Bakr and Umar are among those people – both are such excellent people.” (Sunan Abi Dawud, Kitab al-Huruf wa al-Qira‘at, Hadith 3987)

Abu Uthman narrates that the Holy Prophetsa appointed Hazrat Amrra bin al-Aas as the commander of the army for the battle of Zat al-Salasil. This is a place approximately a days-journey away from Medina. This is according to the mode of travel at that time. It is the name of a well in the region of the tribe of Judham, further out from the valley of al-Qura. Hazrat Amrra states, “When I returned to the Holy Prophetsa, I asked him who is most beloved to him. The Holy Prophetsa replied, ‘Aisha.’ I then asked who is the most beloved to him amongst the men. The Holy Prophetsa replied, ‘The father of Aisha.’ I then asked who was after him. The Holy Prophetsa replied, ‘Umar.’ He then proceeded to name other men.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Maghazi, Bab Ghazwat al-Salasil, Hadith 4358) (Sayyid Fadl al-Rahman, Farhang-e-Sirat [Karachi, Pakistan: Zawwar Academy Publications, 2003], 152) 

Hazrat Anasra relates that the Holy Prophetsa would come out and sit with his companions from among the Muhajirin and the Ansar. Among them were Hazrat Abu Bakrra and Hazrat Umarra, but none of them would raise their glance to look at the Holy Prophetsa except Hazrat Abu Bakrra and Hazrat Umarra. Both of them would look at the Holy Prophetsa and smile, and in turn, he would look at the two of them and smile. (Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Kitab al-Manaqib, Bab fi ma li Abi Bakrra wa Umarra inda al-Nabisa, Hadith 3668)

Hazrat Ibn Umarra relates that the Holy Prophetsa once came out and entered the mosque with Hazrat Abu Bakrra and Hazrat Umarra. One was to his right side, and the other to his left and he had hold of their hand. He stated, “This is how we shall be raised on the Day of Judgement.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Kitab al-Manaqib, Bab Qaulih li Abi Bakrra wa Umarra: Hakadha Nub’athu Yaum al-Qiyamah, Hadith 3669)

Abdullah bin Hantab relates that the Holy Prophetsa once saw Hazrat Abu Bakrra and Hazrat Umarra and said, “They are both eyes and ears.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Kitab al-Manaqib, Bab Qaulih fihima hadhani al-Sam wa al-Basar, Hadith 3671)

Hazrat Jabir bin Abdillah relates that Hazrat Umarra said to Hazrat Abu Bakrra, “O ye who is the best man after the Messengersa of Allah!” Thereupon, Hazrat Abu Bakrra replied, “If this is what you say, I tell you that I heard the Holy Prophetsa state, ‘The sun has not set upon anyone greater than Umar.’” (Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Kitab al-Manaqib, Bab Qaulih li Abi Bakrra wa Umarra: Ya Khair al-Nas Ba‘d Rasulsa Allah, Hadith 3684)

Hazrat Ibn Umar narrates that the Holy Prophetsa said, “I am the first person for whom the earth shall be rent asunder, followed by Abu Bakr, then Umar. Then I shall go to the dwellers of Baqi‘ and they shall be raised with me. Then I shall wait for the people of Mecca until I shall be raised between the two holy cities.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Kitab al-Manaqib, Bab Ana Awwal man Tuhshaqu anhu al-Ard…, Hadith 3692)

Hazrat Abdullahra bin Mas‘ud relates that the Holy Prophetsa stated, “One of the dwellers of Paradise is coming to you.” Hazrat Abu Bakrra then came. The Holy Prophetsa once more said “One of the dwellers of Paradise is coming to you,” after which Hazrat Umarra came. (Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Kitab al-Manaqib, Bab Akhbarih ‘an Itla’Rajul min Ahl al-Jannah…, Hadith 3694)

Hazrat Anasra narrates that the Holy Prophetsa said with regard to Hazrat Abu Bakrra and Hazrat Umarra, “These two are the chiefs of all the elders of paradise, from among its first and its last people, except for the prophets and messengers.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Kitab al-Manaqib, Bab Iqtadu bi alladhina min ba’di, Hadith 3664)

Hazrat Huzayfara relates that the Holy Prophetsa said, “After me, follow both Abu Bakr and Umar.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Kitab al-Manaqib, Bab Iqtadu bi alladhina min ba‘di, Hadith 3662)

Hazrat Abu Saeed Khudrira narrates that the Holy Prophetsa stated, “Every prophet has two viziers in Heaven and two viziers on the earth. My two viziers in Heaven are Gabriel and Michael, and my two viziers on the earth are Abu Bakr and Umar.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Kitab al-Manaqib, Bab fa amma Wazirai fi al-Ard, Hadith 3680)

Hazrat Huzayfara relates, “We were sat with the Holy Prophetsa when he said, ‘I do not know for how long I shall remain among you, therefore you must follow these two after me.’ He then indicated towards Hazrat Abu Bakrra and Hazrat Umarra.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Kitab al-Manaqib, Bab fi Manaqib Abi Bakr wa Umar kilaihima, Hadith 3663)

Hazrat Abu Bakrra relates that one day the Holy Prophetsa asked, “Who among you has seen a dream?” One person replied, “I saw that a scale had descended from the sky. It weighed both yourself and Hazrat Abu Bakrra and you were heavier on the scales than him. Then Hazrat Abu Bakrra and Hazrat Umarra were weighed, and Hazrat Abu Bakrra was heavier in the scales. Then Hazrat Umarra and Hazrat Uthmanra were weighed, and Hazrat Umarra was heavier in the scales. The scale was then taken away.’” The narrator then says, “We then saw signs of displeasure on the Holy Prophet’ssa countenance.” 

In another narration, it is mentioned that after hearing the dream, the Holy Prophetsa said, “This is the Khilafat after prophethood, and thereafter Allah shall grant monarchical rule to whoever He pleases.”

(Sunan Abi Dawud, Kitab al-Sunnah, Bab fi al-Khulafa, Hadith 2634-2635) (Aun al-Ma‘bud Sharh Sunan Abi Dawud, Vol. 12, pp. 387, 388, Kitab al-Sunnah, Bab fi al-Khulafa, al-Maktabah al-Salafiyyah, 1969)

Abd Khair relates that Hazrat Alira was standing at the pulpit and said, “O people, shall I not tell you of the best person in this Ummah after the Holy Prophetsa?” the people replied in the affirmative. Hazrat Alira then said, “Abu Bakrra.” He then remained silent for a short while before saying, “O people, shall I not tell you of the best person in this ummah after Hazrat Abu Bakrra? It is Umarra?” (Hulyat al-Auliya, Imam Isfahani, Vol. 7, p. 205, Hadith 10323, Maktabah Iman Mansurah, 2007)

Abu Juhaifah says that he heard Hazrat Alira say, “The best among this ummah after the Holy Prophetsa is Abu Bakrra then Umarra.” (Hulyat al-Auliya, Imam Isfahani, Vol. 7, p. 205, Hadith 10325, Maktabah Iman Mansurah, 2007)

These accounts shall continue in the future, insha-Allah. The accounts from the life of Hazrat Umarra will continue. Now, I shall mention some deceased members, whose funeral prayer I shall lead after the [Friday] prayer.

The first mention is of respected Kamran Ahmad Sahib Shaheed, son of Naseer Ahmad Sahib of Peshawar. On 9 November [2021], opponents opened fire on him in his office and martyred him. 

إِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‮ ‬وَإِنَّآ‭ ‬إِلَيۡهِ‮ ‬رَاجِعُوْنَ

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

He was 44 years of age at the time of his martyrdom. He was working as an accountant in a factory owned by an Ahmadi, respected Shafiqur Rahman Sahib. An armed person entered his office and opened fire, as a result of which he was struck by four bullets and was martyred on the scene. 

إِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‮ ‬وَإِنَّآ‭ ‬إِلَيۡهِ‮ ‬رَاجِعُوْنَ

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

The assailant fled after the incident. 

Ahmadiyyat was established in the family of the deceased martyr through his father, respected Naseer Ahmad Sahib’s maternal grandfather, Hazrat Nabi Bakhsh Sahibra, son of Fateh Din Sahib of Bhaini Bangar, which is near Qadian. Hazrat Nabi Bakhsh Sahibra did bai‘at at the blessed hand of the Promised Messiahas in 1902 and entered into the fold of Ahmadiyyat. 

A short while ago, the deceased martyr bought a store with his brother and made it into an office. The landlord of the store evicted them on a single day’s notice, only because they were Ahmadi. Thereafter, he renamed the crossing [near it] as “Khatme Nabuwwat Chowk” Then after they purchased another store nearby, opponents rioted and evicted them from that store as well. In October, a large demonstration was held near their house and inflammatory speeches against the Jamaat were made. They say that they had never seen such a large demonstration before that in that area and severe hatred [against the Jama’at] was spread. For several years, the deceased martyr was the accountant for a private company, but due to opposition, he asked to leave that position. Upon this, the company told him that his standard and integrity were so high that they did not wish to let him go, and that he should continue working for them, even if it was just for a few minutes. When they learned of his martyrdom, they were deeply affected by it. 

The deceased martyr possessed many great qualities. His father says:

“Once, he arrived home late, and I asked him why he had returned home so late. He said that there was a lady from the family of an opponent of the Jamaat who needed blood, and so he gave his own blood. He did so because that family was not financially well-off, and had no other options. He stated that they were responsible for their actions we are responsible for ours.” 

He would always be at the forefront of serving others. He would be the first one present when it came to rendering any service or duty for the Jamaat, and would take it upon himself to stand guard in the areas where there was a greater threat of danger. Whenever someone would suggest to him that he should migrate, he would say, “If we leave from here, then Ahmadis who have fewer means will be made to face even more hardships”. 

He was exemplary in offering chanda and would pay his financial contributions at the earliest possible time. Once, when he was 12 or 13 years of age, he was apprehended and taken into custody by the police for distributing pamphlets about a prayer duel and was released the next day. He [his father] says that he saw a dream two days before his martyrdom, in which an elderly lady was cleaning his house and said that Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh was coming. A little while later, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh arrived and took hold of the deceased martyr’s hand and lovingly said, “We will remain together and you will remain by my side.” 

By the grace of Allah the Almighty, he was part of the Wasiyyat scheme. He was tender-hearted and loved by everyone in his area. He was very virtuous, sympathetic to the poor and had a deep love for Khilafat. He is survived by his parents; his father Naseer Ahmad Sahib and his mother, his wife, and three children, aged 13, 11 and eight. 

May Allah the Almighty be the Protector and Helper of these children and grant everyone forbearance and patience. May He also grant the deceased with His forgiveness and mercy and elevate his station. Pray for his mother as well, who is suffering from cancer; may Allah the Almighty bestow His blessings. 

The next mention is of Dr Mirza Nubair Ahmad and his wife Aisha Amber Syed, both of whom passed away due to an accident in Milwaukee, USA. 

Dr Mirza Nubair Ahmad was 35 years of age.

إِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‮ ‬وَإِنَّآ‭ ‬إِلَيۡهِ‮ ‬رَاجِعُوْنَ

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

His great-paternal grandfather was Hazrat Deputy Mian Muhammad Sharif Sahibra, who was a companion of the Promised Messiahas. His grandmother was the daughter of Master Abdur Rahman Sahibra. His great-maternal grandfather was also a companion [of the Promised Messiahas]. There were many companions [of the Promised Messiahas] in his family. He moved to America in 2012; he joined the Wasiyyat scheme at the age of 17. He was serving as a qaid for Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya. 

Among the members of the local jamaat, it is said that he was one of the people who offered the most amount towards purchasing a new building for the Milwaukee mosque. He is survived by his father Mirza Naseer Ahmad Sahib who is currently the secretary umur-e-ama in Islamabad [Pakistan], his mother who is the regional sadr of Lajna in Islamabad [Pakistan], his sister Nadia and two brothers. 

His wife Aisha Amber was also with him and passed away. She was the daughter of Syed Sajjad Shah Sahib of Japan, and the sister of our missionary, Syed Ibrahim who is currently serving in Japan. Ahmadiyyat was established in their family through Syed Abdur Rahim Shah Sahib of Phugla when he did bai‘at at the hand of Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra in 1930. 

As I mentioned, Aisha Amber was in an accident along with her husband, and she passed away two days later. She was an active team member of MTA International. She would do the live Japanese translation of my sermons and then would also do the subtitling in Japanese. 

She is survived by her father Syed Sajjad Ahmad, her mother Syeda Durre Sameen Syed, three brothers and a sister. 

Her brother, Ibrahem Sahib, who is a missionary in Japan says:

“She helped me in many of my Jamaat duties. She helped me in translating Lecture Lahore and Our God into Japanese. Although she had studied pharmacy, I would be astonished at how high her standard of translation was.” 

Her elder sister Fatima says:

“I happened to come across her diary, and each page was divided into two topics; one would be titled ‘My Worldly Life’ and the other would be titled ‘My Spiritual Life’. The worldly page was dedicated to her day-to-day activities and worldly endeavours, while the spirituality page was dedicated to matters of spirituality, notes regarding the Jamaat and religious knowledge. She had beautifully written on each page and with great care. She pondered over every world of the Khalifa of the time and acted upon them, and would advise her sister and brothers to do the same in her special way. She also shared the teachings of Islam with her Japanese friends.” 

May Allah the Almighty grant both the deceased with His forgiveness and mercy and elevate their stations. 

The next mention is of Chaudhary Naseer Ahmad Sahib, who was serving as the finance secretary in the Karachi Clifton Jamaat. He was the son of Chaudhary Nazeer Ahmad Sahib of Rabwah. He passed away at the age of 69.

إِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‮ ‬وَإِنَّآ‭ ‬إِلَيۡهِ‮ ‬رَاجِعُوْنَ

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

At the time of his demise, he was leading his wife and brother-in-law in the Fajr prayer, and it was during the prostration in the second rak‘at of the prayer that his heart stopped and he returned to Allah the Almighty. By the grace of Allah the Almighty, he was a musi. The Promised Messiahas has said that passing away whilst praying is an honourable demise. (Izalah-e-Auham, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 3, p. 524)

The deceased’s father, Chaudhary Nazeer Ahmad Sahib was also able to serve the Jamaat for 25 years after his retirement, serving as the naib nazir zara‘at and wakil-e-zara‘at. His younger brother, Chaudhary Naeem Ahmad Sahib is the current afsar khazana of the Anjuman. The deceased is survived by his wife Nusrat Naseer Sahiba, and they did not have any children. 

He moved to Karachi in 1972 where he worked. He was able to serve the Jamaat in various capacities there and he rendered extraordinary services. May Allah the Almighty grant him His forgiveness and mercy. 

The next mention is of Sardaran Bibi Sahiba, wife of Chaudhary Nabi Bakhsh Sahib, of Dar al-Rahmat Gharbi Rabwah. She passed away recently.

إِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‮ ‬وَإِنَّآ‭ ‬إِلَيۡهِ‮ ‬رَاجِعُوْنَ

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

They were originally from Pathankot District Gurdaspur, and then migrated to Pakistan; first to Sialkot and then to Sindh. Her parents and the entire family are Shia. When she converted to Ahmadiyyat along with her family in 1949, her parents said that her husband had become a disbeliever and that she should return [home to them]. (She did not accept Ahmadiyyat with her family rather it was with her husband, the rest of her family did not accept Ahmadiyyat).

They said to her that her husband had become a disbeliever and so she should leave him. Upon this, she replied to her family by saying, “It is now that I have become a true Muslim. With you, I used to offer only the Fajr prayer, whereas now, not only do I offer all five daily prayers, but I also regularly offer Tahajud prayers. Therefore, I will not come back to you.” 

Even when she met her parents after 14 years and they were still cold towards her, despite this, their hearts never softened and they never went to meet her. She truly loved the Jamaat and she was devoted to Khilafat. She tended to the poor, was virtuous and sincere. She was a musia

She is survived by three sons and four daughters. Her eldest son Dr Abdur Rahim Sahib was able to serve in Sierra Leone for five years under the Nusrat Jahan Scheme. Her youngest son Abdul Khaliq Nayyar Sahib is a missionary currently serving in Cameroon. He is the missionary-in-charge there as well as the amir. Due to his service in the field, he was unable to attend his mother’s funeral. 

May Allah the Almighty grant everyone patience and forbearance, and may He elevate the status of the deceased.

(Original Urdu transcript published in Al Fazl International, 3 December 2021, pp. 5-10. Translated by The Review of Religions.)

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