Friday Sermon – Men of Excellence: Hazrat Umar r.a. ibn al-Khattab (25 June 2021)

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Friday Sermon

25 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:

The accounts from the life of Hazrat Umarra were being narrated and I will continue to narrate them today. 

Zaid bin Aslamra relates that his father once stated, “I accompanied Hazrat Umarra bin Al-Khattab to Harrah Waqim.” This was located between two “Harrahs”. A Harrah is an area which has a dark rocky terrain. Harrah Waqim is situated towards the east of Medina and is also known as Harrah Banu Qurayza. The other area is called Harrat-ul-Waburah, which is located towards the west of Medina, at a distance of three miles. 

Nevertheless, he narrates, “I went there [i.e. Harrah Waqim]. When we reached a place called Sarar, we saw that a campfire had been lit there.” Sarar is also situated at a distance of three miles from Medina. “Hazrat Umarra stated, ‘O Aslam! I believe that these are travellers, who have been held back due to the night and the cold weather. Come let us go to them!’ Hence, we quickly went towards them and saw a woman with her children. There was a pot placed on the fire and her children were profusely crying due to hunger. Hazrat Umarsa said, ‘O people of the light, may peace be upon you!’” He did not wish to say people of the fire and said people of the light instead. “The woman replied, ‘May peace be upon you as well.’ Hazrat Umarra asked permission to come closer and the woman replied, ‘You may do so with a good purpose, otherwise, you may turn back.’” In other words, if he wished to say something good, he could do so and if not, he should turn back. 

“Upon this, Hazrat Umarra came closer and asked what the matter was. The woman stated, ‘The night and the cold have kept us here.’ Hazrat Umarsa then asked, ‘What is the matter with the children and why are they crying like this?’ The lady replied that they were doing so out of hunger. Hazrat Umarra enquired what was in this pot and she replied, ‘It only contains water. I am comforting my children with it until they fall asleep. Allah will judge between us and Umarra.’ Hazrat Umarra said, ‘O lady! May Allah have mercy on you! How could Umar have known about your circumstances?’ She replied, ‘He is the guardian of our affairs and yet he is unaware of our conditions.’” 

Aslam, who was accompanying Hazrat Umarra, says, “Hazrat Umarra then came to me and said, ‘Come with me!’ We once again walked very quickly and reached Dar-ul-Daqiq.” Hazrat Umarra had constructed a building, by the name of Dar-ul-Daqiq, during his Khilafat, in which flour, parched and ground barley, dates, raisins and other necessary items were stored, which a traveller could need on a journey. Hazrat Umarra had also constructed several rest areas for people travelling between Mecca and Medina. Nevertheless, [it further narrates] “He took hold of a sack of grains and a can of clarified butter from there. He then asked me to help him lift it so that he could carry it.” 

Aslam further narrates, “I submitted, ‘Let me carry it for you’, but Hazrat Umarra repeatedly stated that he should help him so that he could carry it himself and each time I requested that I would carry it for him, Hazrat Umarra stated, ‘Will you carry my burden on the Day of Judgement?’ Upon this, I helped place the sack on him and Hazrat Umarra carried this sack on his back and walked very swiftly and I also quickly walked alongside him until we reached that woman. Hazrat Umarra placed the sack near her, took out some flour and said, ‘Slowly pour this into the pot while I stir it for you.’” 

In another narration, it is written that Hazrat Umarra said, “Slowly pour the flower and I will prepare for your Harira [native Arab dish made of milk and flour].” Hazrat Umarra then started blowing under the pot in order to kindle the fire. 

Aslam, i.e. the narrator, further states, “Hazrat Umarra had a long and thick beard and I saw that the smoke was appearing from his beard.” In other words, the smoke would rise and go on his face and also go into his beard. “When the food was ready, he removed the pot from the fire and asked for a utensil to be brought, upon which the lady brought a large plate. Hazrat Umarra poured the food into it and said, ‘Feed this to your children while I spread it out for you so that it may cool down.’ In other words, he would spread it and cool it in another utensil. Hazrat Umarra continued to do so until the children had eaten their fill and whatever remained of the food he left it with her.” 

Aslam then states, “Hazrat Umarra then stood up and I also stood up with him. Upon this, the lady said, ‘May Allah the Almighty reward you in the best manner. You are more deserving of this”, i.e. a reward, “than Amir-ul-Momineen [leader of the faithful].’ Upon this, Hazrat Umarra said, ‘You should speak that which is good. When you go to Amir-ul-Momineen, you will find me there, insha-Allah.’” 

Aslam further states, “Following this, Hazrat Umarra went to one side and sat down facing the woman. I said to Hazrat Umarra, ‘Is there anything else left to do?’ Hazrat Umarra did not say a word to me until we saw the children playing with each other and laughing and then all of them peacefully went to sleep. Upon this, Hazrat Umarra thanked God and then stood up and turned towards me and said, ‘O Aslam! These children were awake and crying due to hunger. I desired not to leave this place until I got to witness this peaceful state of theirs, which I have just witnessed.’” (Tarikh Al-Tabari, Vol. 2, pp. 567-568, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut [1987]) (Farhang-e-Sirat, p. 101, 102 & 172, Zawar Academy Publications Urdu Bazaar, Karachi [2003]) (Syedna Umar bin Khattab Shakhsiyat Aur Karnaame, p. 442, Al-Furqan Trust, Khan Garh, Muzaffar Garh, Pakistan [Lisan-ul-Arab, under the word “Harr”])

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra has also narrated this incident. He states”

“If one cannot have access to the essential provisions, it is then the duty of the Muslim government to provide them.” Here, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra is outlining the responsibilities of a Muslim government. “There is an incident of Hazrat Umarra in relation to this which is extremely moving and reveals the true reality. On one occasion, the Second Caliphra was observing whether any of the Muslims were facing any hardship. There was a village called Marar situated three miles from the capital of Medina.”

Our researchers say that it was not Marar but Sarar and it is possible that this was an error by the scribe, who mistakenly wrote Marar. In any case, it further states:

“He heard someone crying. He followed the sound and presently came upon an old woman who was tending a pot on the fire and three children near her who were weeping. The caliph enquired of the old woman what their trouble was. She replied that they had had nothing to eat for two days, and as she could procure no food, she had put an empty pot on the fire to make them think that food would soon be ready; and thus to cajole them into sleep. 

“The caliph thereupon returned to Medina. He procured flour, butter, meat and dates and put them in a bag. He then called a slave and asked him to lift the bundle onto his [the Caliph’s] back. The assistant with him protested that he would carry the bundle himself. ‘No doubt,’ replied Hazrat Umarra, ‘you can carry this bundle for me now, but who will carry my burden on the Day of Judgment?’, meaning that as he had neglected his duty to provide for the woman and her children, the only atonement he could make was to carry the bundle of provisions himself to her.”

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra writes that an allowance was assigned for every one of those in need, but from this incident, one should not think that this instilled indolence within people. Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra further writes:

“But while Islam enjoins helping the poor, it disapproves of idleness and sloth. The object of state allowances was not, therefore, the encouragement of idleness. They were made only in really deserving cases. People were encouraged to work for their living and were restrained from begging. Hazrat Umarra once noticed a person asking for alms who had a bagful of flour with him. The caliph took away the bag of flour from him, emptied it out before some camels, and turning to him said, ‘Now you may beg.’ It is on record that beggars were compelled by the state to earn their livelihood by labour.” (Ahmadiyyat or The True Islam, pp. 272-274, Islam International Publications, Ltd. [2007])

If they were able and healthy, then they had no reason to beg; rather, they ought to work hard and earn money and eat thereof. Through this, Hazrat Umarra taught that man a lesson that if he begged again then he would again take his food provisions away from him and place them before the animals. Many of those who beg from others present this example of Hazrat Umarra in order to support their stance in that how he would look after the people, but they fail to recognise the fact that Islam has very strictly prohibited begging from others. Moreover, the example of the Holy Prophetsa in relation to this is also there which Hazrat Umarra implemented. 

Then whilst narrating this incident on another occasion, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra stated:

“Look at the example of Hazrat Umarra! On the one hand, the great leaders of the world would tremble in fear owing to his awe and reputation. Even the governments of the Byzantines and Persians would fear him, but on the other hand, a person of such a lofty rank like Umarra became greatly anxious upon seeing a Bedouin woman and her children hungry in the night and he took a sack of flour and container of butter in his hand and went to them. And he did not return from there until he had cooked the food with his own hands and gave it to the children and then waited for them to sleep.” (Sair-e-Ruhani [Part 6], Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 22, p. 596)

Hazrat Umar’sra freed slave, Aslam, who was mentioned previously as well, states:

“A group of traders once arrived in Medina and they stayed in the area designated to perform the Eid prayer. Hazrat Umarra stated to Hazrat Abdurra Rahman bin Auf, ‘Would you like it that we stand guard in the night for them?’ Hazrat Abdurra Rahman bin Auf replied in the affirmative. Following this, both of them stood guard for them all night and spent the time in worship. During this time, Hazrat Umarra heard the cry of a child and he went towards the sound of the cry and said to the mother, ‘Fear Allah the Almighty and take proper care of your child.’ After saying this, he returned” – in other words, he returned to the place where they were guarding the provisions [of the traders] – “but again, Hazrat Umarra heard the cry of the child and went to the mother and said the same thing to her as he had stated earlier and then returned. 

“When night entered its latter part, he heard the child’s cry again, he went to his mother and said, ‘You are extremely negligent! I have noticed that your child has been crying all night.’ Upon this, she replied, ‘O servant of Allah! I am trying to convince him to eat something else other than drink my milk, but he continues to refuse and only wants the milk.’ Hazrat Umarra enquired as to why she did this and she stated, ‘Because Hazrat Umarra only assigns an allowance for those children who have been weaned.’ Hazrat Umarra then asked the child’s age and she told him his age. Hazrat Umarra then stated, ‘Do not wean the child prematurely.’ Thereafter, Hazrat Umarra led the Fajr prayer and owing to his emotions, his recitation could not even be heard properly by the congregants. Hazrat Umarra then said to himself, ‘Woe be unto you O Umar! For you have taken the lives of so many Muslim children.’ Then, he issued an instruction to the person who made the announcements to declare that they should stop weaning the children prematurely. As of this point, in Islam, an allowance would be fixed for every child from the moment they were born. Hazrat Umarra sent this instruction to all the Muslim lands.” (Al-Bidaya Wa Al-Nihaya, Ibn Kathir, Vol. 10, pp. 185-186, Dar-e-Hijr, 1998)

This incident has also been narrated by Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra in his own unique manner. He states:

“Initially, Hazrat Umarra did not fix any allowance for those children who were suckling, but later he established the right [for an allowance] of children who were still being suckled and issued an instruction that this allowance should be given to their mothers. Hazrat Umarra thought that since a child who was still being nursed did not actively contribute to society, thus the responsibility for [providing the provisions to] the child was with the mother and not the public treasury. 

“However, Hazrat Umarra once went for a walk and a group of Bedouin traders had arrived just outside of the city. Hazrat Umarra heard the cries of a child coming from a tent and the mother was trying to console the child by patting him so that he would fall asleep. When the child continuously cried despite her consoling him, she slapped the child and said, ‘Cry for Umar!’ Hazrat Umarra was shocked because he had nothing to do with this. Hazrat Umarra sought permission from the lady to enter the tent and then enquired the matter from her. Since she did not recognise Hazrat Umarra, she said, ‘Umarra has fixed an allowance for everyone but he does not realise that this child is also in need of nourishment. I have weaned him as I wanted him to be assigned with an allowance but I do not have enough milk.’ 

“Hazrat Umarra immediately returned and took out a bag of flour from the treasury and carried it with him. The attendant of the treasury came forward to help carry it but Hazrat Umarra stated, ‘Leave it! I shall carry it myself. When I will be whipped on the Day of Judgment, will you stand in my place? I wonder how many children have died as a result of me.’ Thereafter, Hazrat Umarra issued an instruction that even those children that were being suckled would be assigned an allowance.” (Khutbat-e-Mahmud, Vol. 27, p. 353)

The Promised Messiahas states:

“In the hadith, it has been narrated by Ammar bin Khuzaima, ‘Hazrat Umarra said to my father, “What has stopped you from planting trees on your land?” His father’”, who was no longer planting any new trees and nor increasing his orchard or perhaps was not replacing the withered plants with new ones, “‘replied, “I am old and will soon pass away. Therefore, what benefit will this be to me?” Hazrat Umarra replied, “This is no reason for you to not to do this. It is incumbent for you to plant trees.” I then saw that Hazrat Umarra would help my father plant the trees.’” (Malfuzat, Vol. 2, p. 92)

The Promised Messiahas also narrated this account in relation to safeguarding oneself from indolence and laziness and stated that this person was eating the fruits of the previous generation i.e. the plants which had already been planted, but he ought to also leave something behind for the future generation.  

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:

“Hazrat Umarra would walk in the nights in order to observe the state of affairs. Once, he was walking in the city at night and he heard a woman reciting very romantic poetry [longing for her husband to return]. Hazrat Umarra investigated the matter and learnt that her husband was in the army and would be away from her for a long period of time. Hazrat Umarra then issued an instruction that a soldier must not be sent away for more than four months. And if he desired to stay for longer, then he must take his wife with him otherwise the commander of the army must send him back after four months.” (Khutbat-e-Mahmud, Vol. 4, p. 63 [1914])

In relation to this incident, it is also mentioned that Hazrat Umarra stated to the woman who was reciting these couplets, “Have you committed any ill deed?” To which she replied, “I seek refuge with Allah!” Upon this, Hazrat Umarra stated, “Remain steadfast. I am sending a letter to your husband.” And so, Hazrat Umarra sent a messenger so that he may return. Hazrat Umarra then further investigated the matter and then, as mentioned earlier, he issued an instruction that a husband should not be sent away for more than a duration of four months, or his family should be sent with him.  (Tarikh-ul-Khulafa, Al-Suyuti, p.111, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1999)

Aslam, the freed slave of Hazrat Umarra relates:

“One night, I went to the outskirts of Medina along with Hazrat Umarra. We saw a tent and decided to go towards it. As we got closer, we heard a woman experiencing labour pains and was crying. Hazrat Umarra enquired about her condition and she stated that she was not from the area and was travelling and therefore did not have the necessary provisions. Upon this, Hazrat Umarra became emotional and quickly returned home. He said to his wife, Hazrat Umm Kulthum bint Alira, ‘Would you like to attain a reward which Allah the Almighty has brought to you?’ Hazrat Umarra then related the entire incident, to which Hazrat Umm Kulthumra said, ‘Yes, of course.’ 

“Hazrat Umarra then carried some flour and butter on his back while Hazrat Umm Kulthumra took the necessary provisions required for a delivery and they both arrived there. Hazrat Umm Kulthumra then went to that woman and Hazrat Umarra sat with her husband who was also there at the time but he did not recognise Hazrat Umarra. Hazrat Umarra began talking to him. 

“When his wife had given birth to a son, Hazrat Umm Kulthumra came out and said to Hazrat Umarra, “O Leader of the Faithful! Give glad tidings to your friend, for he has been blessed with a son.” It was only when he heard Hazrat Umm Kulthumra say this that he realised that he was sitting next to such an esteemed person and thus began to apologise. Hazrat Umarra stated that there was no need to apologise and then gave them some money and other provisions and then returned. (Al-Bidaya Wa Al-Nihaya, Ibn Kathir, Vol. 10, p. 186, Dar-e-Hijr [1998])

Saeed bin Musayyab and Abu Salama bin Abdir Rahman relate:

“By God, whatever Hazrat Umarra said, he truly fulfilled it. When it was time to be strict, he showed strictness and when it was time to show leniency and compassion, he did so and became a father figure for the children. Those women whose husbands were away, he would personally visit their homes and offer his greetings of peace from the door and then ask them, ‘Are you in need of anything? Or do you require anything and I will go to the market and buy it for you because I would not like for someone to cheat you in matters of buying and selling.’ The women would then send their children along with him. Hazrat Umarra would enter the marketplace and there would be so many children behind him that it would be difficult to count. Hazrat Umarra would then purchase their items of need for each one, and for those women who did not have any children, he would personally buy it for them. Whenever a messenger arrived from the army, Hazrat Umarra would personally take the letters from their husbands and deliver it to them and he would say, ‘Your husbands have left for the sake of Allah and you dwell in the city of the Holy Prophetsa. If you have someone who can read the letter for you then that is fine, otherwise you can stand near the door and I will read out the letter for you.’ Hazrat Umarra would then say, ‘Our messenger will leave from here on such and such day. You can write your letters and we will send them for you.’ Hazrat Umarra would then deliver paper and pens to their houses. Those who could write themselves, he would take the letters and those who were not able to write, he would say, ‘Here is the paper and ink, come near the door and say what you would like me to write.’ Hazrat Umarra would go to every single house and take their letters they had written for their husbands and he would then arrange for them to be sent. (Izalatul Khulafa An Khilafat-ul-Khulafa, translated by Shah Walliullah Muhaddis Dehlvi, Vol. 3, pp. 228-229, Qadeemi Kutub Khana Karachi)

Hazrat Alira relates:

“I saw that Hazrat Umarra was once holding the saddle of a camel and was quickly going towards Abtah.” Abtah is the name of a place situated near Mecca and Mina. “Upon seeing him, I said, ‘O Leader of the Faithful! Where are you going?’ Hazrat Umarra replied, ‘One of the camels which had been donated for charity is missing and I am going to search for it.’ Upon this, I said to Hazrat Umarra, ‘You have set such examples for those Khulafa who shall come after you which will not be easy to follow.’ Hazrat Umarra replied, ‘O Abul Hasan! Do not say anything against me for I swear by Him Who sent Muhammadsa as a prophet, even if a baby goat went missing near the Euphrates River, Umar will be asked about it on the Day of Judgment.’” (Izalatul Khulafa An Khilafat-ul-Khulafa, translated by Shah Walliullah Muhaddis Dehlvi, Vol. 3, pp. 286-287, Qadeemi Kutub Khana Karachi) (Mu‘jamul Buldan, Vol. 1, p. 95)

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:

“During the time of Hazrat Umar’sra Khilafat, a Muslim man was once walking with his head lowered. Hazrat Umarra thought that perhaps he had received some sad news or was experiencing some difficulty and hence had lowered his head. Hazrat Umarra lifted his face up with his fist and stated, ‘This is the era of Islam’s victories and yet you have lowered your head.’” In other words, this was an era wherein God Almighty had granted governance to Islam despite the efforts of the world [opposing it], and so even if he did experience a little difficulty, there was no need to lower his head like that. “Hazrat Umarra stated, ‘At this moment in time, Allah the Almighty has granted governance to Islam and so regardless of what the world says, if you have absolute faith that Islam will be victorious then what need is there to cry’” i.e. over small issues. (Qadian Se Humari Hijrat Eik Asmani Taqdeer Thi, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 1, p. 379)

In other words, if some of the Muslims in a particular place had to endure some loss, there was still no reason to cry or be worried.

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra mentioned this incident after migration from Qadian. Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra stated that even if a believer had suffered a loss, they should not look at what they have lost; rather, they ought to reflect as for whose sake had they lost it for. If something had been lost for the sake of God Almighty and for the progress of Islam, then Allah the Almighty would grant an even better reward than that. One should not become worried over temporary loss. 

Similarly, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra cites a well-known incident of Hazrat Umarra from which he concludes that though Hazrat Umarra had to endure hardships, he did not mind doing so and he established such equality which Islam seeks to establish throughout the world. The incident is as follows:

“Jabalah bin Ayham used to be a prominent chief of a Christian tribe. When Muslims began conquering Syria, he along with his tribe accepted Islam, and then proceeded to go for Hajj. During Hajj, at one point, there was a large crowd; incidentally, another Muslim stepped on his foot. 

“In some narrations, it is stated that the Muslim stepped on the hem of his robe. [Jabalah] considered himself to be a king seeing as there were 60 thousand people who followed him. In fact, according to some historical accounts, 60 thousand was just the number of his soldiers. 

“In any case, when a partially clothed Muslim man stepped on his foot, he was enraged and slapped him, saying ‘You wish to dishonour me. Do you not know who I am? You should have moved back out of respect, yet you have impudently stepped on my foot.’ After having been slapped, the Muslim man remained silent; however, another Muslim spoke up saying, ‘Are you aware of the fact that the religion which you have entered is Islam, and Islam does not distinguish between ordinary and prominent people. Especially in this house”, i.e. the Holy Ka‘bah around which he was performing circuits, “there is considered to be no difference between the rich and the poor.’ Jabalah replied, ‘I do not care about this.’ 

“The Muslim said, ‘If a complaint against you is made to Umarra, then he will surely take retribution from you for this Muslim.’ When Jabalah bin Ayham heard this, he became furious and said, ‘Is there anyone who would slap the face of Jabalah ibn Ayham?’ The Muslim man said, ‘I do not know about anyone else, but this is how Umarra would settle the matter.’ 

“Upon hearing this, [Jabalah] quickly completed circulating the Ka‘bah and then went straight to the gathering of Hazrat Umarra and asked, ‘If a prominent person slaps an ordinary man, then what do you do?’ Hazrat Umarra replied, ‘We will have the ordinary person slap the prominent person.’ Jabalah then said, ‘You have not understood what I mean to say. What I mean is that if there is an extremely prominent person who slaps [an ordinary person] then what do you do?’ 

“Hazrat Umarra said, ‘In Islam, there is no discrimination between the prominent and the ordinary.’ Then Hazrat Umarra said, ‘Jabalah, is it you who has committed this fault?’ Upon this, Jabalah lied and said that he had not slapped anyone and that he had simply asked a question. However, he left that gathering immediately and returned to his country with his people after which they became apostates and fought alongside the Byzantines in the battles against Muslims; however, Hazrat Umarra did not show any concern for him.” (Sair-e-Ruhani (Part 2), Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 16, pp. 43-43)

This was the level of equality which was established by the Muslim government and this is a lesson for the Muslim governments of today.

Insha-Allah, these narrations will continue in the future sermons. 

At this time, I will speak about some deceased members.

First is Abdul Waheed Warraich Sahib, who was the local president [sadr] of the Jamaat in Waldshut, Germany and was formerly the national president of Khuddam–ul-Ahmadiyya and also the former national secretary for tarbiyat in Switzerland. He passed away on 12 May at the age of 41 upon falling ill during his descent after successfully climbing Mount Everest and raising the flag of Ahmadiyyat at its peak. 

اِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‭ ‬وَاِنَّا‭ ‬اِلَيْهِ‭ ‬رَاجِعُوْنَ

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

He is survived by his wife, three sons, two daughters, his parents, one brother and two sisters. 

National President [Amir] of the Jamaat in Switzerland, Tariq Tarnutzer Sahib writes:

“From the very outset till his demise, Abdul Waheed Warraich Sahib remained an active member of the Community. Both as a member of the Community and as an office-bearer, he was an exemplary and loyal Ahmadi. Abdul Waheed Warraich Sahib would always carry out his responsibilities pertaining to the Community with great humility; there was no sign of arrogance in him. He would not only urge people to help others, but he established his own example in this regard. He went to Africa for various IAAAE [International Association for Ahmadi Architects and Engineers] projects where he served the people, and many youngsters went to Africa after seeing his example. 

“When he was appointed as the national president of Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya, he searched for new ways to carry out the education and moral training of the youth and to save them from the materialistic mentality and allures of Europe. His financial sacrifice was also exemplary.”

One of his sons, Talha Warraich, is studying in Jamia Ahmadiyya Germany, and Amir Sahib writes:

“He raised his children well”, as a result of which his son is studying in Jamia. “In short, the late Abdul Waheed Warraich Sahib was an exemplary Ahmadi who fulfilled the rights owed to God and the rights owed to His creation.” 

Non-Ahmadis have also expressed their sorrow upon his passing. Mr Stefen Lorch writes, “I worked with Waheed Wararich Sahib for many years in a company called Swisscom, Switzerland’s largest telecommunications company. I worked with him in his team for about a year. My respect for him was not only because of his aptitude in his field of work, but especially because of the way in which he carried himself. Waheed Warraich Sahib always exhibited excellent morals, helped others, and was an honest and trustworthy individual. I also enjoyed speaking to him about things not related to work.”

The missionary writes:

“The deceased possessed many great qualities. He loved Khilafat. He regularly offered the Friday prayers at the mosque and strove to offer the other prayers at the mosque as well. He also regularly offered the Tahajud prayers.” 

National Secretary Finance, Rizwan Sahib writes:

“The deceased used to work at the Microsoft branch in Switzerland as a software engineer. Once, he told me that the Microsoft branch in Switzerland was being shut down and was moving to Silicon Valley and they offered him to go along. They would provide everything, his salary would increase and they would help him move everything from Switzerland. However, he said that he refused because he could not leave his responsibilities to the Community. He could not abandon them and leave [for Silicon Valley]. 

“After a few days, he said that by the grace of Allah, that branch was bought by a large Swiss company called Swisscom. He said that they were trying to take him away, but Allah the Almighty made arrangements here; and not only that, Allah also bestowed His grace in such a manner that his salary here increased to even more than that of his boss.”

The National Secretary for Umur-e-Kharijah [Foreign Affairs], Zahid Sahib says:

“I knew him for 26 years. I had the opportunity of serving with him in Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya. He was a very respectable and dignified individual, regular in offering prayers and fasting, devoted to worship, very hardworking, loyal and obedient to Khilafat. He was a kind friend and a sociable person. From his youth, he had a different disposition as compared to other youth. I never saw him angry, nor did I see any traces of anger on his face or in the tone of his voice. I never saw him raise his voice or speak in a harsh tone. Even if mistakes were made, he would take us aside and explain in a kind manner. 

“He met everyone – young and old – in a polite manner and with a smile. He always had a slight smile on his face. He was a living example of being ready to sacrifice one’s life, wealth, time and honour. Not only did he guide many youths in Switzerland regarding their education and future, but there are dozens who he helped in securing work. 

“Under Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya, he established the Ahmadiyya Hiking Club and introduced many youths to hiking. He possessed an extraordinary determination.” 

He further says, “Once, I asked him whether he felt afraid while hiking. He said that he did, and his family did not like it, but the solution he came up with was that he met with the Khalifa.” He came and met me. “And he presented the suggestion that if permission was granted”, that is, if I granted him permission, “then he intended to climb the highest peaks in each of the seven continents and raise the flag of Ahmadiyyat on each one.” 

He said that he expressed his anxiousness lest I did not give him permission to do this, but I told him that he should raise the flags if he was able to do so. 

Zahid Sahib says:

“[He said] as a result, insha-Allah, this was exactly what he would do. Thus, this young man never looked back and tirelessly worked to attain this great objective. He climbed one peak after the other. He was able to raise the flag of Ahmadiyyat at the highest peak of the world, Mount Everest.” 

[Zahid Sahib] further states:

“I do not know whether his demise can be considered a martyrdom or not; however, from what I have personally witnessed, I can say that he had such passion for his faith which is only found amongst those virtuous people who seek to attain the station of martyrdom.” 

In my view, he indeed had a noble objective and with great zeal, he tried to convey the message of Islam and Ahmadiyyat and the unity of God Almighty and proved successful in this endeavour. He returned to his Lord in his endeavour to fulfil this noble objective and thus, he most surely must have attained the rank of a martyr. 

We also pray to Allah the Almighty that may He grant him the station of martyrdom and count him amongst the martyrs.

His father, Khadim Hussain Warraich Sahib says:

“We saw that our son was continuing to excel and was climbing one mountain after the other and he never looked back. My friends would ask me why I wouldn’t stop him, as this is a very dangerous hobby to have. I would respond by saying that even if I were to try, he wouldn’t stop because he has a passion foir raising the flag of the Jamaat on every high peak of the world and to spread the message of the Unity of God.”

A friend writes, “Once, I asked Sadr Sahib [Abdul Waheed Warraich Sahib] what he would listen to on his phone whilst climbing mountains in order to motivate himself. Sadr Sahib told me that he had downloaded the books of the Promised Messiahas and he would listen to those while on his journeys.” 

Similarly, he says, “Once, I asked Sadr Sahib how he would offer his worship at such high altitudes and in such extreme cold. He said, ‘Murabbi Sahib, I thoroughly enjoy worshipping [Allah] on mountains. The thought crosses my mind that the prophets of Allah the Almighty used to seclude themselves on mountains, away from the hustle and bustle of this world in order to worship.’” He further says, “Abdul Waheed Warraich Sahib once told me about one of his journeys that while climbing the Denali Mountain, which is located in North Alaska and is the coldest mountain in the world, his index finger froze. When he showed the wound to a doctor” as a wound had formed, “the doctor said that it was completely frozen and was no longer functioning with the body, and so he said that they would have to cut it off immediately. Sadr Sahib replied that this was the finger for shahadah [declaring the unity of God] which he used during prayers to bear witness to the Oneness of God, and under no circumstances could he have this finger cut off. Afterwards, Allah the Almighty bestowed His grace and through prayers, that finger was completely healed.” 

May Allah the Almighty also enable his children to continue his virtuous deeds. His good qualities were greater than just what others have mentioned and which I personally have seen in him as well. He would demonstrate utmost obedience to every instruction of the Khalifa. He did not merely claim this verbally, in fact, he was extremely loyal and sincere and would strive to continue progressing in this. He was among such individuals who leave behind a void. In any case, as I said, that his objective was to raise the flag of Allah the Almighty’s religion and His Unity in all the peaks, which he was able to successfully achieve. 

May Allah the Almighty grant him His forgiveness and mercy and elevate his station. 

The next funeral is of respected Amatul Noor Sahiba, wife of Dr Abdul Malik Shamim Sahib, and daughter of Amatul Rasheed Begum Sahiba and Mian Abdur Rahman Sahib. She passed away on 15 June [2021] in Washington. 

اِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‭ ‬وَاِنَّا‭ ‬اِلَيْهِ‭ ‬رَاجِعُوْنَ

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

By the grace of Allah the Almighty, she was a musia. She was the great-granddaughter of the Promised Messiahas and on her mother’s side, she was the great-granddaughter of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira. She was the maternal granddaughter of Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra and Hazrat Syeda Amatul Haye Sahibara, and the paternal granddaughter of the companion of the Promised Messiahas, Hazrat Prof Ali Ahmad of Bihar. As I mentioned, she married Dr Abdul Malik Shamim Sahib, son of Maulvi Abdul Baqi Sahib. Allah the Almighty granted them two daughters. 

Her nikah was announced by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh. After reciting the Quranic verses that are recited during the nikah ceremony, he stated:

“In the verses recited on the occasion of a nikah, it is also mentioned that in order for one to reform their deeds, it is necessary for them to always speak the truth. The majority of troubles and worries are brought about as a result of ill actions, and when it comes to mutual relationships, the absence of speaking the truth is what leads to bad deeds being committed. If one were to speak truthfully as behoves a true believer, there would be no room for misunderstandings, nor any risk of disorder or worry. 

“May Allah the Almighty enable us all to carry out good deeds, may He bring about the means for us all to reform our deeds, and may we develop the habit of speaking the truth to the extent that it becomes our hallmark.” 

Then, another five or six nikahs were announced on this occasion. With regard to these nikahs, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh stated:

“One Nikah is of a relative of mine whom I hold very dear to me and is like my daughter. Amatul Noor is the daughter of Mian Abdur Rahim Sahib and of my younger sister Amatur Rasheed Begum. She is being married to Dr Abdul Malik Shamim, son of Maulvi Abdul Baqi Sahib.” Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh then said, “I pray to Allah the Almighty that through His mercy, He makes them and those being joined in the other five matrimonies the recipients of eternal joy.” Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh then said to each couple and to all Ahmadis, “The real intention should be for the betterment of Islam. After a long period of struggle, Ahmadiyyat is destined to have the final and complete success in the path of the triumph of Islam. Therefore, it is necessary for one generation after the other to attain a proper moral training and to develop the right mentality. If the mercy of God Almighty is not present, then all of one’s efforts would prove futile, useless and fruitless. So our prayer is that with the grace of Allah, these ties of matrimony, the ones which have already been formed within the Community, and the ones to happen in the future, bring about the means for the strengthening and establishment of Islam.” (Khutbat-e-Nasir, Vol. 10, pp. 478-479)

Sahibzadi Amatul Noor Sahiba had the honour of rendering her services to the Jamaat. She served as the national tarbiyat secretary of USA, the national naib sadr of USA, local sadr Lajna Washington and was a member of numerous committees. 

Her eldest daughter, Amatul Mujeeb says:

“She always gave precedence to her faith over the world. She was extremely compassionate to others. If she was ever able to help others, she would do so in an extraordinary manner. She was always very mindful of her worship. Apart from the five daily prayers, if I ever woke up in the night, I would see her offering the Tahajud prayers.” Amatul Noor Sahiba’s husband passed away in an accident a long time ago and her daughter states, “After our father passed away, our mother spent 20 years as a widow, but even in this state, she had complete trust in Allah the Almighty. Her gratitude was always very evident and she would always say that Allah the Almighty has showered us with so many blessings and favours. I would always hear her saying, ‘God Almighty has promised that if we are grateful, He will grant us more, so we should always remain grateful.’ Her qualities of having an open heart, hospitality, true compassion for others and reconciling between people, were very prominent. 

“On many occasions, I heard my mother say the words of the Promised Messiahas that true kindness to one’s relations is not only when others show kindness to you. True kindness is when it is demonstrated even when they sever ties with you. I witnessed this quality in her that she would look for the good characteristics in everyone she had a bond with. She took care of her relatives, members of the Jamaat and her neighbours. If a guest would come to attend the mosque, she would look for them to sit and speak with them and welcome them.” 

Countless people have said that she was a very loving person. Her other daughter writes, “She showed great affection to members of the Jamaat, especially to new converts, and people would show a lot of love back to her. She always desired to help everyone. She would always be worried lest she met someone who was in need and she was unable to fulfil their need.” 

Amatul Noor Sahiba’s eldest sister, Amatul Baseer Sahiba, writes:

“There was an African-American sister by the name of Sister Shakura. When she went to perform Hajj, she saw in a dream that the house of Noshi was in Mecca” – at home, Amatul Noor Sahiba was known as Noshi. 

“When sister Shakura went to live with her, Amatul Noor Sahiba said, ‘This was meaning [of the dream] in that you have come to me and I am now serving you.’” Her sister, Amatul Baseer Sahiba continues writing, “The African-American sister, Shakura, stayed at Noshi’s house for 18 years, eight of which were spent in bed, as her eyesight was lost completely. Noshi took great care of her. She would also help her in her prayers as she would forget.” 

I also witnessed her taking great care of sister Shakura. When I visited USA, she would sit her in a wheelchair and bring her to meet me and sister Shakura was very grateful to her for her help. 

Amatul Noor Sahiba had a passion for preaching. She would try to take every opportunity to speak about the Jamaat. If ever asked where she was from in Pakistan, she would always reply by saying Rabwah, and from there she would continue her discussion. 

There was a Jewish family which had the honour of accepting Ahmadiyyat. In this family is a woman named Ruqaiya Asad who has been a part of USA’s National Amila. She says, “Amatul Noor Sahiba had a very lovely character and many people derived benefit from her. Whoever had the opportunity to spend time in her presence would praise her qualities. She spent her life practically in accordance with Islam Ahmadiyyat, and as a result, people were positively affected by this. She was an example for everyone. Through narrating various accounts and in light of the writings of the Promised Messiahas, she had dedicated her life to the moral training of the Lajna members. She participated in all the programmes and always volunteered to offer her services. She faced all her difficulties and troubles with patience, forbearance and determination. In this regard, she was an example for others. She preached with love and sincerity and she was at the forefront in looking after guests. She was an example for young and elderly women alike.” 

She further writes, “As I grow older, my respect for her continues to increase.” She then writes, “We must serve humankind and take care of the poor and needy, just as Auntie Noshi used all of her time for many years serving even those who weren’t her relatives (that is to say, she had devoted all her time to serve others).”

Likewise, other women, especially African-American women have written that she had a very loving relationship with them and that she taught them so much about the teachings of Ahmadiyyat. 

May Allah the Almighty enable her children to also continue her good deeds and remain firmly attached to Khilafat. She always maintained a bond of loyalty with Khilafat. I personally witnessed this as she demonstrated her example of complete obedience and humility. May Allah the Almighty grant her His forgiveness and mercy. 

The next funeral is of Bismillah Begum Sahiba, wife of Nasir Ahmad Khan Sahib Bahadur Sher, former Afsar of Hifazat-e-Khas. She passed away in Germany on 14 June at the age of 84. Ahmadiyyat was introduced to her family through her father, Hazrat Chaudhary Mazhar-ul-Haqq Khan Sahib Kathgarira. He had the honour of working in the boarding school in Qadian and the Promised Messiahas gifted him a kurta [loose clothing worn in the sub-continent] as tabarruk [blessing]. She has five daughters and two sons. One son, Mahmood Ahmad Sahib, is a missionary and is serving as the missionary-in-charge of Fiji as well as the amir.  

Our missionary, Mahmood Ahmad Sahib writes: 

“After the demise of my father, whatever income would be generated from our land, my mother would first pay the chanda. She would save the money from my father’s pension and not spend it. With this amount she built a mosque in the south of Tahirabad. She always advised us to hold firm to Khilafat.” 

He then writes, “After my father passed away, she gave us the love of both a mother and a father and never made us feel we were missing a father. At the time, I was in my first year of Jamia Ahmadiyya and she would often tell me, ‘You are a soldier of the faith. You have dedicated yourself to your faith. You must stand wherever the Khalifa appoints you’, and she would repeat these words right till the end. 

“In the beginning, it was only my father who moved from our village to Rabwah. Due to this, all our friends and family would regularly visit Rabwah and my mother would make food and accommodation arrangements for them in a very cheerful manner. And she would host guests beyond her capacity, despite limited means. She knew full well how to fulfil the rights of neighbours. She always treated my class fellows as her own children. She would often say to me to bring home the students who are from other countries and staying in the hostels, so that they remain attached to Jamia. Students of Jamia would often receive her affection, and many students bear witness to this. Her affection was not limited to only those in Pakistan, it in fact extended to the students from Indonesia and African countries. Whatever money she had, she would distribute it or give it in charity, and no one dared to tell her to keep it for herself.” 

This missionary was unable to attend the funeral due to his work in the field. As I mentioned, he is the missionary-in-charge and amir of Fiji and thus he could not attend. 

May Allah the Almighty grant him and her other children forbearance and patience, and enable them to continue her good deeds. May Allah the Almighty grant her His forgiveness and mercy.

The next funeral is of Col Javed Rushdi Sahib, son of Chaudhary Abdul Ghani Rushdi Sahib of Rawalpindi. He passed away quite some time ago

اِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‭ ‬وَاِنَّا‭ ‬اِلَيْهِ‭ ‬رَاجِعُوْنَ

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

By the grace of Allah, he was a musi. After his retirement from the army, he immediately occupied himself in service to the Jamaat. Aside from serving as the talim [education] secretary, Waqf-e-Jadid Secretary and rishta nata secretary, he also served as the local Wasiyyat secretary. He served three terms as the sadr of Satellite Town, Rawalpindi. He was very regular in his prayers and would financially assist people in a discrete manner. He was compassionate in nature and would always help and guide his relatives, neighbours and others who were facing hardships. He was a good organiser and had a sound understanding of matters. May Allah the Almighty grant him His forgiveness and mercy. 

After the Friday prayer, I shall lead their funeral prayer, insha-Allah.

(Original Urdu transcript published in Al-Fazl International 16 July 2021, pp. 5-10. Translated by The Review of Religions

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