Friday Sermon – Men of Excellence: Hazrat Umar r.a. ibn al-Khattab (18 June 2021)

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Last Updated on 27th July 2021

Friday Sermon

18 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:

Recently, I have been narrating accounts from the life of Hazrat Umarra

When the time of the demise of Hazrat Abu Bakrra drew near, he called for Hazrat Abdurra Rahman bin Auf and said, “Tell me about Umarra.” Hazrat Abdurra Rahman bin Auf replied, “O Khalifa of the Messengersa of Allah! By God, Hazrat Umarra is even better than the opinion you hold about him, except for the fact that he is strict in his disposition.” 

Upon this, Hazrat Abu Bakrra replied, “He is strict because he sees that I am compassionate in nature. However, if he was entrusted with the leadership, he will give up many of his habits because I have observed that when I treat someone in a strict manner, he tries to convince me to be happy with them and when he sees that I am overly lenient with someone, he tells me to be strict with them.” 

Thereafter, Hazrat Abu Bakrra called for Hazrat Uthmanra and asked about Hazrat Umarra. Hazrat Uthmanra said, “His hidden qualities are even better than those qualities which are apparent. There is no one like him amongst us.” 

Hazrat Abu Bakrra then said to both these companions, “Whatever I have said to you should not be disclosed to anyone else. And if I do not choose Umarra, then I will look no further than Uthmanra.” (In other words, according to Hazrat Abu Bakrra, both of these individuals were worthy of doing justice to the station of Khilafat.) 

“And they both will have the authority to govern your affairs in the most proper manner. It is my desire now to move away from governing your affairs and join those who have passed away from among you.” 

During the days of Hazrat Abu Bakr’sra illness, Hazrat Talhara bin Ubaidillah approached him and said, “You have made Hazrat Umarra the Khalifa of the people, even though you can see how he treats people in your presence. What will be the situation when he is alone and you will meet your Lord and He will question you about your subjects?”

Hazrat Abu Bakrra told him to sit up. Hence, they sat him up with some support and he said, “Are you making me fearful of Allah? When I will meet my Lord and He will question me, I will say, ‘I appointed the best among Your servants as their Khalifa.’” 

Following this, Hazrat Abu Bakrra called Hazrat Uthmanra to see him in private in order to write a will in relation to Hazrat Umarra. Hazrat Abu Bakrra then said, “Write: ‘In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful. This is the will of Abu Bakr bin Abi Quhafah for the Muslims.’” 

Having said this much, he became unconscious and Hazrat Uthmanra wrote [further] on his own accord, “I have chosen Umar bin Khattab as your Khalifa and I have not left any shortcomings in providing good for you.” 

Hazrat Abu Bakrra then regained consciousness and said, “Read to me what you have written.” Hazrat Uthmanra read it to him upon which he said, “Allahu Akbar [Allah is the Greatest]!” He went on to say, “I believe that you became anxious about not causing divisions among the people if I had passed away in this [state of] unconsciousness.” 

Hazrat Uthmanra replied in the affirmative and said that this was indeed the case. Hazrat Abu Bakrra said, “May Allah reward you on behalf of Islam and the Muslims.” (Al-Kamil Fi Al-Tarikh, Ibn Saad, Vol. 2, pp. 272-272, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut [2003])

In other words, the sentence Hazrat Uthmanra wrote of his own accord regarding Hazrat Umarra becoming the Khalifa was not objected to by Hazrat Abu Bakrra

In Tarikh al-Tabari it is written that Muhammad bin Ibrahim bin Harith relates, “Hazrat Abu Bakrra called Hazrat Uthmanra alone and said to write, ‘In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful. This is the will of Abu Bakr bin Abi Quhafah for the Muslims. Following this […]’” – the narrator says after saying this much, Hazrat Abu Bakrra became unconscious. 

Following this, the same took place as has been mentioned earlier. Hazrat Abu Bakrra regained consciousness, had the same conversation and asked Hazrat Uthmanra to read it out. After hearing what was written, as has been mentioned, Hazrat Abu Bakrra said “Allahu Akbar.” Hazrat Abu Bakrra further said, “May Allah reward you in the best manner on behalf of Islam and the Muslims for having written this sentence.” Hazrat Abu Bakrra kept the written statement intact and did not make any changes. (Tarikh Al-Tabari, Vol. 2, p. 353, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut [1987])

In one narration it is mentioned that Hazrat Abu Bakrra called for Hazrat Uthmanra and said, “Suggest to me a person to be chosen as the Khalifa. By Allah! In my eyes, you are worthy of giving me advice.” Upon this, he said, “Hazrat Umarra!” Hazrat Abu Bakrra then told him to write this down and he began to write. As he reached the name, Hazrat Abu Bakrra fell unconscious. When Hazrat Abu Bakrra regained consciousness, he said to write, “Umar.” 

In another narration it is mentioned that Hazrat Aishara relates:

“Hazrat Uthmanra was writing the will of Hazrat Abu Bakrra. Hazrat Abu Bakrra became unconscious and Hazrat Uthmanra wrote the name of Hazrat Umarra. When Hazrat Abu Bakrra regained consciousness, he enquired what he had written. He replied, ‘I have written Umar.’ Hazrat Abu Bakrra said, ‘You have written what I had intended to say to you. Even if you had written your own name, you would have been entitled to it.’” (Sirat Umar bin Al-Khattabra, Ibn Juzi, pp. 44-45, Al-Azhar, Egypt)

In another narration it is mentioned that when Hazrat Abu Bakrra fell ill, he sent a message to Hazrat Alira, Hazrat Uthmanra and to some individuals from among the Muhajireen and the Ansar, saying, “You can see that the time has come and there is no one in position to give you orders. If you wish, you may choose an individual from among yourselves and if you so desire, I will do so on your behalf.” 

They replied, “You may do so for us.” Hazrat Abu Bakrra told Hazrat Uthmanra to write, “This is the will of Abu Bakr bin Abi Quhafah, which he made as his final will prior to departing from this world and as his first will entering the Hereafter, where a sinner will repent, a disbeliever will believe and a liar will testify to the truth. The will is as follows: ‘I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammadsa is His servant and Messenger, and I appoint as the Khalifa […]’” Having said this, he fell unconscious and Hazrat Uthmanra wrote Umar bin Khattab of his own accord. When Hazrat Abu Bakrra regained consciousness, he asked, “Have you written anything?” In reply, he said, “Yes, I wrote Umar bin Khattab.” Upon this, Hazrat Abu Bakrra said, “May Allah have mercy on you. Even if you had written your own name, you were entitled to it. Nevertheless, write that I have chosen Umar bin Khattab as your Khalifa after me and I am content with him for all the Muslims.” (Sahih Tarikh Al-Tabari, Vol. 3, p. 126, Dar Ibn Kathir, Damascus [2007])

Once the will had been written, Hazrat Abu Bakrra said, “It should be read out to the people.” As such, Hazrat Uthmanra gathered the people and sent his freed slave with a letter. At that time, Hazrat Umarra was with him as well. Hazrat Umarra would tell the people to remain silent and listen to the words of the Khalifa of the Holy Prophetsa, as he had not left any shortcomings in providing good for them. Subsequently, the people sat down quietly and the will was read out to them. They listened to it and obeyed. 

At that time, Hazrat Abu Bakrra turned towards the people and said, “Are you satisfied with whom I have appointed as Khalifa, as I have not chosen a relative? I have most certainly appointed Umar as your Khalifa! Hence, you should listen to him and obey him. By Allah, I have not been negligent in reflecting and pondering over this.” Upon this, the people replied, “We have heard and obeyed.” 

Following this, Hazrat Abu Bakrra called Hazrat Umarra and said to him, “I have appointed you as the Khalifa of the Companions of the Holy Prophetsa and have advised you”, i.e. Hazrat Umarra, “to be fearful of Allah.” 

He further said, “O Umarra! There are most certainly some rights due to Allah, which are fulfilled during the night and which He does not accept during the day, and there are some rights to be discharged during the day, which He does not accept during the night. Moreover, He most certainly does not accept voluntary deeds unless and until the obligations are fulfilled. 

“O Umarra! Do you not see that the scales of those very individuals are heavier [in the balance of good], whose scales will also be heavier on the Day of Judgement as a result of following the truth?” That is, those who follow the truth, their scales will be heavier on the Day of Judgement. He further said, “And in the times to come, something heavier will be placed upon these scales. 

“O Umarra! Do you not see that the scale of those very individuals will be lighter, whose scales will also be lighter on the Day of Judgement as a result of following falsehood?” In other words, they were not following the truth and performing virtuous deeds. As such, those who do not follow their scales will be lighter on the Day of Judgement. 

“Moreover, it is certain that whenever falsehood is placed in the scale, it will be lighter. O Umarra! Do you not see that the verses pertaining to glad-tidings were revealed alongside the verses relating to punishment, and likewise, the verses relating to punishment were revealed alongside the verses granting glad-tidings? And this was so that the believers remain in a state of hope as well as fear”. On the one hand, they aspire to perform virtuous deeds, and on the other, they instil the fear of Allah the Almighty within them, “and so they do not harbour any desire which has no connection with God and nor to fear from anything which Allah has established Himself. 

“O Umarra! Do you not see that Allah the Almighty has mentioned the inmates of the Hellfire owing to their ill deeds? Thus, when you mention them, then you should say, ‘I hope that I am not from among them.’ And Allah has mentioned the dwellers of Paradise owing to their virtuous deeds and Allah overlooked their ills. Thus, when you mention them, you should say, ‘Are my deeds the same as their deeds?’” (Al-Kamil Fi Al-Tarikh, Ibn Saad, Vol. 2, pp. 273-274, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut [2003])

In other words, one ought to seek the answer from their heart.

When the time of Hazrat Abu Bakr’sra demise drew close, he stated, “Whatever wealth of the Muslims was entrusted to me should be returned to them for I do not wish to take anything from that. And my land in such and such place is to be used to return the wealth of the Muslims which I took from the treasury [bait-ul-mal] to be used for my personal expenses.” 

Hazrat Abu Bakr’sra land, camel, assistant and a cloak which was worth five dirhams were all given to Hazrat Umarra. When Hazrat Umarra saw all of this, he stated, “He”, i.e. Hazrat Abu Bakrra, “has placed the one who will come after him in great difficulty.” (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra, Ibn Saad, Vol. 3, p. 143, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut [1990])

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira states, “Someone once stated that Hazrat Umarra no longer possessed a stern disposition as he did in the era of Jahiliyyah [era of ignorance prior to the advent of Islam]. Upon this, Hazrat Umarra replied, “I still have that sternness in my disposition, but it is now used against the disbelievers.” (Haqaiq-ul-Furqan, Vol. 1, p. 206)

Hazrat Musleh Maudra states:

“People said to Hazrat Abu Bakrra, ‘You have appointed Umarra as your successor and this would cause a lot of unrest for he has a very sharp temper.’ Hazrat Abu Bakrra replied, ‘His temper will only be fiery whilst I am present, and once I depart [from this world], his temperament will soften.’” (Anwar-e-Khilafat, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 3, p. 151)

The Promised Messiahas states:

“It is reported with relation to Hazrat Umar, Allah be pleased with him, that someone asked him about his anger and remarked that he was a man of fiery disposition prior to his acceptance of Islam. Hazrat Umar responded by saying that the anger was just as before, albeit, in the past it would manifest itself inappropriately, but now it is exercised at the appropriate occasion.” (The Advent of the Promised Messiahas, p. 45, Islam International Publications Ltd, UK [2016])

Jami‘ bin Shidad relates from one of his close relatives that he heard Hazrat Umarra bin Khattab state: 

“O Allah! I am weak, grant me strength and I am stern in my disposition, thus soften my temperament, and I am miserly, grant me the ability to spend with an open heart.” 

There are varying narrations regarding the first address delivered by Hazrat Umarra after becoming Khalifa. According to one narration, Humaid bin Bilal who was present at the time of Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq’sra demise narrates, “When Hazrat Umarra returned from the burial of Hazrat Abu Bakrra, he cleaned the soil of the grave from his hands and then stood at his place and said, ‘Surely, Allah Almighty has tried you through me, and has tried me through you, and after my two friends, he has now placed this trust upon me. I swear by Allah, whenever your matters are brought to me, no one other than me will tend to them. If it is a matter which is distant from me, then I will appoint able and trustworthy people; they will be appointed to oversee your matters. If people treat me well, I will treat them well and if they misbehave, then I will punish them.” 

Hasanra says, “In our view of the first address delivered by Hazrat Umarra, he glorified Allah the Almighty and then said, ‘After this, I have been tried through you people and you have been tried through me. After the departure of my two friends, He has now placed this trust upon me. And so, any matter that is brought to me, I will tend to it myself, and any matter that is distant from me, I will appoint able and trustworthy people. Whoever does good, I will increase them in good and whoever does evil, I will punish them. May Allah forgive me and you.’”

Jami‘ bin Shidad relates on account of his father that when Hazrat Umarra stood at the pulpit, the first thing he said was:

اَللّٰهُمَّ اِنِّيْ شَدِيْدٌ فَلَيِّنِيْ وَ اِنِّيْ ضَعِيْفٌ فَقَوِّنِيْ وَ اِنِّيْ بَخِيْلٌ فَسَخِّنِيْ

“O Allah, I am strict, so make me kind. I am weak, so make me strong. I am miserly, so make me generous.” (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra, Ibn Saad, Vol. 3, p. 208, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut [1990])

Jami‘ bin Shidad relates on account of his father that when Hazrat Umarra was chosen [as the Khalifa], he stood at the pulpit and said, “I am going to say a few things to which you should say, ‘Amin’.” These were the first words that Hazrat Umarra said after becoming the Khalifa.

Hussain Murri states that Hazrat Umarra said, “Arabs are like a reined camel which walks behind its leader, and it is the leader’s job to be mindful of where he is leading the camel. As far as I am concerned, by the Lord of the Ka‘bah, I will surely guide them on the straight path.” (Tarikh Al-Tabari, Vol. 2, p. 355, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut [1987])

In the previous narration it was said that they should say “Amin” to what he said, but there are no further details mentioned. Or perhaps this narration about the reins is the explanation [of the earlier narration]. In any case, on the third day after becoming the Khalifa, Hazrat Umarra delivered a detailed address, which was that when Hazrat Umarra learned that people were afraid of him, he had an announcement made in a loud voice, saying, “The prayer is about to commence”. Upon this, people gathered and he sat at the pulpit, in the same place where Hazrat Abu Bakrra used to put his feet. 

When everyone had gathered, he stood up and glorified Allah in a befitting manner and then sent salutations upon the Holy Prophetsa. Then he said, “I have been informed that people are afraid of my stern temperament and they say, ‘Umar was strict with us even when the Holy Prophetsa was present among us, and continued to be strict with us when Abu Bakrra ruled over us. What will happen, now that all the matters are in his hands.’ Whoever has said this is correct. No doubt I was with the Holy Prophetsa and was his slave and servant and he was such that no one could match his kindness and kind-heartedness. Allah the Almighty had bestowed these qualities upon him and had given him two titles from among His attributes; the compassionate and the merciful. I was a wielded sword; if the Holy Prophetsa chose, he could put me in a sheath or he could let me loose and I would go forth smiting. Then the Holy Prophetsa passed away in a state of being pleased with me and I am grateful to God that I was honoured in this way. Then Abu Bakrra became the leader, and he was from among such people whose benevolence, grace and kindness cannot be denied, and I was his servant and helper. 

“I would combine my strictness with his tenderness. I became the unsheathed sword at his disposal; if he so willed, he could place me back in the sheath and if he so willed, he could unleash me to go forth smiting. Hence, I remained with him in this manner until God Almighty brought about his demise whilst he was pleased with me. All praise belongs to Allah that I remained so blessed in this regard! 

“Then, O people, I have now been appointed as a guardian over your affairs. Know well that my anger has subsided, but it shall be manifested to those who wrong and oppress the Muslims. It has subsided for you, but shall be evident against the enemies. As for the pious-natured, devout and virtuous people, I shall be more tender towards them than what they show to one another. If I ever find a person who acts unjustly and oppresses, I shall place his cheek on the ground and my foot on his other cheek, until he fully understands what the truth is”, that is to say, he will be very stern. “And O people, you have many rights over me which I mention. You may call me to account over them. One right you have over me is that I hide not whatever wealth is to be spent for your sake, nor of the spoils which God Almighty has sent for you, unless it is that which I hold for the works of God Almighty. Another right of yours over me is that the wealth be spent at its appropriate occasion. Your right over me is that I continue to grant you your allowances. A right of yours over me is also that I do not place you into ruin and when you leave your homes to join the army, I shall be like a father to your children until you return. I say this and seek Allah the Almighty’s forgiveness for you.” (Izaalatul Khafa An Khilafat Al-Khulafa, translated by Shah Walliullah Muhaddith Dehlvi, Vol. 3, pp. 226-228, Qadeemi Kutub Kahana Karachi)

Whilst mentioning the era of Hazrat Umarra, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:

“Muslims always kept in their minds the following verse: 

تُؤَدُّوا‭ ‬الْاَمٰنٰتِ‭ ‬اِلٰٓى‭ ‬اَهْلِهَا

“That is, ‘Only those individuals should be given this trust who are worthy of it and have the capability to deal with administrative issues.’ The people who were given this trust always remained mindful of the Quranic injunction that they must rule with integrity and justice. They knew that if they were unmindful of justice and were not entirely honest, or betrayed their trust, they would be answerable to God and would be punished for their sin. The above-mentioned Quranic injunctions were so deeply instilled in the personality of Hazrat Umarra that one will find it astounding. He was the second Khalifa of Islam, who made tremendous sacrifices for the progress of Islam and Muslims. 

“Even those European writers who routinely criticise the Holy Prophetsa – accusing him, God forbid, of dishonesty in his dealings – cannot but admit that the way Hazrat Abu Bakrra and Hazrat Umarra worked tirelessly and selflessly in the service of mankind is unparalleled in history. These authors are especially complimentary to Hazrat Umarra. According to them, he was a man who worked with total dedication day and night to spread the message of Islam and to advance the Muslim cause. However, despite his tireless effort, countless sacrifices and the pain and suffering he endured for the sake of Muslims, what was his assessment about himself? He remained mindful of the following:

اِنَّ‭ ‬اللّٰهَ‭ ‬يَاْمُرُكُمْ‭ ‬اَنْ‭ ‬تُؤَدُّوا‭ ‬الْاَمٰنٰتِ‭ ‬اِلٰٓى‭ ‬اَهْلِهَا

“And:

وَاِذَا‭ ‬حَكَمْتُمْ‭ ‬بَيْنَ‭ ‬النَّاسِ‭ ‬اَنْ‭ ‬تَحْكُمُوْا‭ ‬بِالْعَدْلِ

“That is, ‘When you are appointed to an office of trust by the decree of God, and your countrymen and brethren appoint you to the responsibility of governance, it is incumbent upon you to rule with justice and spend all your efforts and faculties for the welfare of mankind.’ 

“How painful is the following episode of his life! When a person – out of foolishness and ignorance that Hazrat Umarra had been unjust – fatally stabbed him, Hazrat Umarra lay in anguish on his deathbed with the following words on his lips: 

اَللّٰهُمَّ‭ ‬لَا‭ ‬عَلَيَّ‭ ‬وَلَالِيْ۔‭ ‬اَللّٰهُمَّ‭ ‬لَا‭ ‬عَلَيَّ‭ ‬وَلَا‭ ‬لِيْ

“His only thought was, ‘O Lord! You gave me this authority and trust. I do not know if I truly fulfilled my duty. Now the time of my death is near and I am about to leave this world and return to You. O my Lord! I do not ask for any compensation for my services and I do not seek any reward. Instead, I only seek your mercy. If I have done any wrong in discharging the responsibilities that were assigned to me, I seek your forgiveness.’ 

“Hazrat Umarra was a man of such high calibre that it is hard to find other examples in history that come close to his sense of equity and justice, yet he died under the weight of the Quranic injunction:

وَاِذَا حَكَمْتُمْ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ اَنْ تَحْكُمُوْا بِالْعَدْلِ

“Even at his death he was restless and troubled. He was not satisfied with all the services that he had rendered for the betterment of his people and for advancing the cause of Islam. He had given such tremendous service for his people that not only his own people, but others also recognised them. His services were appreciated during his own time but also thirteen hundred years later and by people who were otherwise inclined to attacking his master. Yet, all of these services were nothing in Umar’sra own eyes and he restlessly pleaded to God:

اَللّٰهُمَّ لَا عَلَيَّ وَلَالِيْ

‘I was given a trust but I do not know if I fulfilled that trust as it was meant to be fulfilled. Therefore, I beseech You to forgive my faults and save me from punishment.’” (The Economic System of Islam, pp. 12-15, Islam International Publications Ltd. UK [2013])

Then, in a speech titled Benefactor of the World, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra said:

“It was Hazrat Umarra regarding whom Christian historians also write that his governance was such that it is unmatched in the world” although the speech was about the Holy Prophetsa. “They use foul language against the Holy Prophetsa, yet commend Hazrat Umarra. A person who remained in his company at all times, longed during his final moments to be given a place in his nearness to the Holy Prophetsa. If any action of the Holy Prophetsa showed that he strove for anything other than attaining the pleasure of God, then after having attained the level he did, would Hazrat Umarra have desired to be given a place near him?” (Dunya Ka Mohsin, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 10, p. 262)

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra is proving that it was servitude to the Holy Prophetsa and his moral training which enabled Hazrat Umarra to be just and have this fear of God. 

With regard to Hazrat Umar’sra love for the Ahl-e-Bait [family of the Holy Prophetsa] Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:

“Hazrat Aishara remained alive for a long time after the Holy Prophetsa. During the era of Hazrat Umarra, when Iran was conquered, flour mills were brought over, which ground very fine flour. When the very first mill was established in Medina, Hazrat Umarra instructed that the first batch of fine flour should be presented to Hazrat Aishara as a gift. Hence, according to his instruction, that fine flour was sent to Hazrat Aishara and her maid used that flour to make thin bread. The women of Medina, who had never seen such fine flour before, converged and gathered at Hazrat Aisha’sra home so that they may see this flour and how its bread was prepared. The entire courtyard was filled with women waiting to see the bread baked with this flour.” 

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra was addressing women and said, “You must be thinking that it was some type of unique flour. It was not a unique type of flour; rather, that flour was of lesser quality which you eat on a daily basis; in fact, it was of even lesser quality than the flour which today is used by the poorest women. However, that flour was of a higher quality than that which was usually available in Medina. In any case, bread was prepared with that flour, which the women were astonished to see. In their astonishment, they began touching the bread and would immediately exclaim, ‘This bread is wonderful. Is there any flour in the world better than this?’ The bread had been baked, but this is where the love of Hazrat Aishara and her feelings for the Holy Prophetsa become manifest. 

“Hazrat Aishara took a small piece of the bread and placed it in her mouth. All of the women who were standing there were looking at her to see how Hazrat Aisha’sra expressions would change as she would savour eating the soft bread and were expecting her to express her happiness and delight. However, as soon as Hazrat Aishara placed that piece of bread in her mouth, it remained in her mouth as if her throat had become closed and her eyes began to fill with tears. The women said, ‘The flour is so good, and the bread is incredibly soft. Why are you unable to swallow it and have started to cry? Is there something wrong with the bread?’ Hazrat Aishara said ‘There is nothing wrong with the bread. I know that this bread is very soft and we have never seen something like this, but I am not crying because there is something wrong with the bread; rather, I remember the days when the Holy Prophetsa was passing through the final stage of his life; he had become weak and could not eat hard food. Yet even in those days, we used to grind wheat with stones and would make bread from it and present it to him.’ Then she said, ‘The person because of whom we are reaping these benefits left before he could enjoy these things, and we who are honoured only because of him and are benefitting from these bounties.’ When she said this, she took the piece of bread out of her mouth and said, ‘Take this bread away from me. Recalling the time of the Holy Prophetsa, my throat is closing up and I cannot eat this bread.’” (Ainda Wohi Qaumein Izzat Paien Gi Jo Maali O Jaani Qurbaaniyo Mein Hissa Lein Gi, Anwar-ul-Uloom, Vol. 21, pp. 155-156)

Hazrat Ibn Abbasra narrates that during the era of Hazrat Umarra, the Companionsra of the Holy Prophetsa conquered Madain which was where Chosroes ruled from. He [Hazrat Umarra] instructed that a leather mat should be placed on the floor of the mosque and instructed that the spoils should be emptied onto the leather mat. 

Then, the Companionsra of the Holy Prophetsa gathered and the first one to take their share of the spoils was Hassan bin Alira. He said, “O leader of the believers, grant me my share of the wealth which Allah the Almighty has bestowed upon the Muslims.” Hazrat Umarra instructed with great happiness and honour that he should be given one thousand dirhams. Then, Hassanra left and Hussain bin Alira came forward and said, “O leader of the believers, grant me my share of the wealth which Allah the Almighty has bestowed upon the Muslims.” Hazrat Umarra instructed with great happiness and honour that he should be given one thousand dirhams. Then Hazrat Umar’sra son, Abdullah bin Umarra came forward and said, “O leader of the believers, grant me my share of the wealth which Allah Almighty has bestowed upon the Muslims.” Hazrat Umarra instructed with great happiness and honour that he should be given five hundred dirhams. Upon this, Abdullah bin Umar said, “O leader of the believers, I am a strong man who used to stand in front of the Holy Prophetsa, wielding my sword. At that time, Hassanra and Hussainra were children who used to wander the streets of Medina. You have given them one thousand dirhams each and have given me only five hundred.” Hazrat Umarra replied, “This is true. Find me a father like their father, a mother like their mother, a maternal grandfather like their maternal grandfather, a maternal grandmother like their maternal grandmother, a paternal uncle like their paternal uncle, a maternal uncle like their maternal uncle and a maternal aunt like their maternal aunt. Surely, you will not be able to do so.” (Izaalatul Khafa An Khilafat Al-Khulafa, translated by Shah Walliullah Muhaddith Dehlvi, Vol. 3, pp. 292-293, Qadeemi Kutub Kahana Karachi) (Furhang-e-Sirat, p. 264, Zawar Academy Karachi [2004]) 

Abu Ja‘farra narrates that Hazrat Umarra decided to assign stipends to people and his view was better than that of all others. People told him that he should begin with himself, but he did not agree. Instead, he began with the closest relatives of the Holy Prophetsa; thus he began by determining a stipend for Hazrat Abbasra and then Hazrat Alira. (Izaalatul Khafa An Khilafat Al-Khulafa, translated by Shah Walliullah Muhaddith Dehlvi, Vol. 3, p. 241, Qadeemi Kutub Kahana Karachi)

Hazrat Umar bin Khattabra respected and honoured Hazrat Imam Hassanra and Hazrat Imam Hussainra and would tend to and provide for them just as he provided for their father. Once, some clothes arrived from Yemen and he distributed them among the sons of the Companionsra, but did not give any to them two [i.e. Hazrat Imam Hassanra and Hazrat Imam Hussainra]. He said that there was nothing among those clothes which he deemed worthy enough for them. He then sent a message to the governor of Yemen who then had clothes made which were suitable for them. (Al-Badaya Wa Al-Nahaya, Vol. 4, pt. 8, pp. 214-215, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990)

I will continue narrating accounts in the future, insha-Allah.

At present, I will mention details of some members who have passed away, and later lead their funeral prayers [in absentia]. 

The first is of Suhaila Mehboob Sahiba, wife of the late Faiz Ahmad Sahib Darwesh of Gujrat who was nazir bait-u-mal. Suhaila Sahiba passed away at the age of 90.

اِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‭ ‬وَاِنَّا‭ ‬اِلَيْهِ‭ ‬رَاجِعُوْن

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

By the grace of Allah the Almighty, she was a musia [part of the scheme of Al-Wasiyyat]. 

She belonged to an educated family from Bihar. Her father was not an Ahmadi; however, her mother did her own research after her father did bai‘at and then she too joined the Jamaat. She then endured great hardships for three to four years since her husband had not accepted [Ahmadiyyat]; however, she remained steadfast upon Ahmadiyyat. 

Although her husband never accepted Ahmadiyyat, he eventually stopped his opposition and their daughters were even married into Ahmadi households. Similarly, Suhaila Sahiba was also married into an Ahmadi household as well. 

In 1958, the deceased’s mother travelled to Qadian for the first time along with her daughter, Suhaila Mehboob. Suhaila Mehboob said that she developed a great love for Qadian and she prayed a great deal that somehow she may be able to settle there. She decided to devote her life. 

At the time, the  nazir khidmat-e-Darweshan was Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra. In response to her letter for life-devotion he said:

“I have been informed that you are devoting your life. This step you have taken is praiseworthy. Being a life-devotee, your foremost responsibility is to learn about the faith and model your actions according to the teachings of Islam and Ahmadiyyat so that you can establish an excellent example.” Hence, she dedicated her life. 

In 1964, she got married to Chaudhry Abdullah Sahib Darwesh with whom she had a daughter; however, they separated after some time. Then her second marriage took place with Chaudhry Faiz Ahmad Sahib Darwesh of Gujrat, with whom she had a son; however, he passed away in his childhood. Up until her retirement, the deceased served for almost 30 years as the headmistress of the Nusrat Girls High School in Qadian. 

Next is Raja Khurshid Ahmad Munir Sahib, a missionary who had been serving in Australia which is where he passed away.

اِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‭ ‬وَاِنَّا‭ ‬اِلَيْهِ‭ ‬رَاجِعُوْن

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

He was a musi. He served as a missionary for quite some time in various regions of Pakistan and Azad Kashmir. He was a fearless missionary of the Jamaat. Whilst serving in Azad Kashmir, he had to face a great deal of opposition. During the disturbances of 1974 he endured opposition with great bravery. 

Once, in a meeting, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh said regarding him, “We have a very brave missionary there.” Hence, he gave him the title of “brave missionary”. Raja Khurshid Ahmad Munir Sahib had a house in Rawalpindi which he had donated as a gift to the Jamaat and Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh accepted this gift. 

After the partition of India, Raja Sahib moved to Ahmad Nagar, and then upon its establishment, he studied in Jamia Ahmadiyya. In order to make ends meet, he opened a store in a small room. 

Then, in 1948, he was part of the Furqan Battalion. In 1949, he passed the maulvi fazil exam and passed the first Shahid exams of Jamia [Rabwah], after which he served as a missionary at various places in Pakistan and Kashmir. 

In 1974, his house was attacked but he faced this with great bravery. He was injured as a result of the mob pelting stones but everyone in the home remained safe. He always advised to be steadfast and would say that divine communities are made to face such trials and tests. Even under these conditions, he would bravely visit jamaats [local chapters of the Ahmadiyya Community]. He would visit people’s homes, and sometimes during his visits to homes of members of the Jamaat, he would be apprehended and beaten, yet he never complained. 

He is survived by four sons and four daughters. These days, he was in Australia which is where he passed away. 

Next is Zameer Ahmad Nadeem Sahib, who passed away at the age of 56.

اِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‭ ‬وَاِنَّا‭ ‬اِلَيْهِ‭ ‬رَاجِعُوْن

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

He had been suffering from cancer. It was through his paternal great-grandfather, Rahim Bakhsh Sahibra, who was a companion of the Promised Messiahas, that Ahmadiyyat was introduced into his family in 1897. When his great paternal grandfather heard that the Imam Mahdi had appeared, he went from his village Shikarpur Machiyan which was in the District of Gurdaspur to attend Jalsa Qadian, which was where he accepted Ahmadiyyat. 

He had informed one of his relatives, Mehr Deen Sahib [about the Imam Mahdi] and so he also went and accepted Ahmadiyyat. Then, as a result of his preaching, almost the entire village became Ahmadi. After completing Jamia, Zameer Sahib served in the field for some time under islah-o-irshad Muqami and then he was appointed to the daftar mansuba bandi committee after which he served under nazarat islah-o-irshad markaziyya. From 2005 until his demise, he served as muawin [assistant] nazir Wasiyyat shu‘ba istiqbaliyya. Allah the Almighty bestowed upon him a son and a daughter. His son is also a missionary. 

He knew how to build connections; he was also a good basketball player which helped in building connections. He would then use these connections for the benefit of the Jamaat. He was regular in offering tahajjud [pre-dawn voluntary prayers] and he had a high degree of trust in Allah the Almighty. It was his habit that whenever faced with some difficulty, he would immediately offer voluntary prayers and write a letter to the Khalifa. By the grace of Allah the Almighty, his prayers and voluntary prayers would be granted acceptance.

The following funeral is of Issa Mwakitalima Sahib of Tanzania, who passed away a few days ago. 

اِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‭ ‬وَاِنَّا‭ ‬اِلَيْهِ‭ ‬رَاجِعُوْن

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

He was born in a Christian household. At the age of 19, he began showing an interest in religious dialogue due to the influences around him. Then, he had the honour of accepting Islam. A few years later, he became acquainted with the teachings of the Ahmadiyya Community, and after carrying out his research, he entered the fold of the Community in 1992. 

He underwent a pious change after taking the oath of allegiance. This was clearly felt by his family and having witnessed this transformation, his wife also pledged her allegiance. After taking this oath of allegiance, he made great efforts to increase his religious knowledge and he would not let any opportunity slip from his hands to preach the message of Islam Ahmadiyyat, even whilst he was at work. He was always at the forefront of giving alms. On many occasions, he would say that giving in the way of Allah attracts blessings in one’s business and wealth. He had a business.

He was very a friendly, well-mannered and humble person. He showed great respect to life-devotees, office-bearers and workers of the Jamaat. He was a musi and is survived by two wives and ten children. 

The missionary in-charge in Tanzania writes:

“He was appointed as the regional president of Darus Salam. Humility and simplicity were always evident in him, which would attract others towards him. He was a pious man who quietly rendered his services. He was then appointed as the naib amir of Tanzania and served in this capacity in an excellent manner. 

“He possessed very sound opinion in matters and always kept in mind the respect and honour of the system of the Jamaat. He always admonished Ahmadis to live with one another in harmony and to remain firmly attached to Khilafat. He also gave consideration to the needs of the workers of the Community. He always strived to cooperate where possible, and in fact, he would take his car and drive the workers to the office in the morning whilst on his way to work, so that they would not lose time in travelling by bus. He kept a room in his home as a prayer centre, where prayers would be offered. When he was encouraged to give his Hissa Jaidad [contribution payable according to the income of a Moosi], he immediately picked out his two most valuable properties and presented it.”

The next funeral is of Sheikh Mubashar Ahmad Sahib, supervisor of the constructions department in Qadian. He was the son of Sheikh Asrar Sahib of Kirang Batesha, India. He also passed away in the last few days due to the coronavirus at the age of 33. 

اِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‭ ‬وَاِنَّا‭ ‬اِلَيْهِ‭ ‬رَاجِعُوْن

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

He was Ahmadi by birth and belonged to a family which has been Ahmadi for a long time. He was an extremely well-mannered servant of the Jamaat who was regular in prayer, and always ready to render his services to his faith. He had a bond with the mosque since childhood. For the last eight years, he continued rendering his services to the construction department of Qadian, in a wonderful manner. He was very earnest in his work and would pay great attention to detail. He is survived by his wife, parents, two brothers and a sister.

The next funeral is of Saif Ali Shahid Sahib who passed away in Sydney. 

اِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‭ ‬وَاِنَّا‭ ‬اِلَيْهِ‭ ‬رَاجِعُوْن

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

By the grace of Allah, he was a musi. On his maternal side, he was the great-grandson of Chaudhary Muhammad Ali Sahib, a companion of the Promised Messiahas, and the grandson of Chaudhary Gamay Khan Sahib. His brother is Haider Ali Zafar Sahib, a missionary in Germany and also the naib amir. He says:

“In 1961, he completed his matriculation exam and began working in Hyderabad. He then continued to cover the education costs and other expenses of my brother and I, and he served our parents in a very selfless manner. He was extremely sociable, soft-spoken and humble. He had great love and affection for children and the youth. He possessed a bond of utmost love and obedience for the Community and Khilafat. He always taught his children to also have love and obedience for Khilafat. He showed great respect to office-bearers and never tolerated even hearing an ill word against them. He was very regular in offering his prayers. He would offer his Tahajud and would perform the prayers in an excellent manner.” 

Whilst he was in Pakistan he had the honour of serving as the finance secretary and secretary Waqf-e-Jadid. Then, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh appointed him as the sadr of Jamaat Mirpur Khas, and he remained there as the sadr until it became an imarat

After the martyrdom of Dr Abdul Mannan Siddiqi Sahib, he had the honour of serving as the local amir and amir of the district. He remained as the amir of the Mirpur Khas district right up until he departed for Australia. He also served in various roles within the auxiliary organisations. Likewise, he served as a member of the qaza board in Australia, as the naib sadr awwal for Ansarullah and also, he was serving as the rishta nata secretary of the jamaat there since 2016. Two of his sons passed away during his lifetime, but he bore the losses with great forbearance. He is survived by his wife and four sons. 

The next funeral is of Masood Ahmad Hayat Sahib, son of Rasheed Ahmad Hayat Sahib. He passed away at the age of 80. 

اِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‭ ‬وَاِنَّا‭ ‬اِلَيْهِ‭ ‬رَاجِعُوْن

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

Ahmadiyyat was introduced to his family through his paternal grandfather Hazrat Babu Umar Hayat Sahibra, son of Chaudhary Pir Bakhsh Sahib. In 1898, Hazrat Umar Hayat Sahibra took the oath of allegiance at the age of 14 and entered the fold of Ahmadiyyat. Initially, he worked in the army then moved to Kenya. Masood Hayat Sahib travelled to the UK in 1967 and remained there permanently after moving from Kenya. He was very pious natured, regular in fasting and offering prayers and he was a well-mannered, friendly, hospitable and kind person. He had the honour of performing Hajj on two occasions. 

He had the honour of driving and working in security during the tours of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh to various countries. 

When the Baitul Ahad Mosque in Walthamstow was purchased in 1983, the largest donation was from him and his wife, the late Tahira Hayat Sahiba. Allah the Almighty had showered His special grace upon him in his wealth, and he would regularly give a large portion of that in the way of Allah. 

When the Redbridge East London Jamaat was divided, that jamaat did not have its own mosque. When he became aware of this he devoted a part of his house to the Community, and this remained the jamaat centre for three years, where various activities of the Community were held. 

He leaves behind two sons and his second wife. His first wife passed away.

May Allah the Almighty have mercy on all the deceased and enable their progenies to remain attached to Ahmadiyyat. May their prayers for their future progenies, and that of their forefathers be accepted. 

After the prayer, I shall lead their funeral prayers.  

(Original Urdu transcript published in Al Fazl International, 9 July 2021, pp. 5-9. Translated by The Review of Religions

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