Friday Sermon – Men of Excellence: Hazrat Umar r.a. ibn al-Khattab (21 May 2021)

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Friday Sermon

21 May 2021

Men of Excellence: Hazrat Umarra ibn al-Khattab

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

Previously, incidents in the life of Hazrat Umarra were being narrated. I will briefly mention the battles and expeditions he participated in. 

Hazrat Umarra bin Al-Khattab participated in all the battles alongside the Holy Prophetsa, including the battles of Badr, Uhud and Khandaq. Apart from this, he also participated in a number of expeditions in which the Holy Prophetsa was not present, and in some of them, he was appointed as the commander of the army. (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 1990], p. 206)

At the time of the departure for the Battle of Badr, the companions had 70 camels between them. As such, one camel had to be allotted to three individuals and each of them would take turns to ride upon it. Hazrat Abu Bakrra, Hazrat Umarra and Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra bin Auf shared one camel and took turns to ride it. (Ali bin Burhan al-Din al-Halabi,  Al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah, Bab Dhikr Maghaziyah, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2002], p. 204)

In relation to the departure of the Holy Prophetsa for the Battle of Badr, it is mentioned that the Holy Prophetsa left Medina in order to stop the caravan of Abu Sufyan, which was approaching from Syria. When the Muslims reached Dhafiran, which was situated on the outskirts of Medina near the Safra valley, the Holy Prophetsa was informed that the Quraish had set out in order to protect this trade caravan. The Holy Prophetsa consulted his companions and informed them that an army from Mecca was swiftly heading towards them and asked their opinion in this regard. He asked if, instead of fighting this army, they preferred to confront the trade caravan. They replied in the affirmative; that is, one group [of companions] said that with regard to facing the enemy, they preferred to confront the trade caravan. 

In one narration, it is mentioned that one group said, “Had you informed us about a battle, we would have prepared for it. However, we have set out for this trade caravan.” In another narration, it is mentioned that they said, “O Messengersa of Allah! You should leave the enemy and head towards the trade caravan.” Upon this, the expression of the blessed countenance of the Holy Prophetsa changed. Hazrat Abu Ayubra relates that this very incident was the cause of the following revelation: 

كَمَآ‭ ‬اَخْرَجَكَ‭ ‬رَبُّكَ‭ ‬مِنْۢ‭ ‬بَيْتِكَ‭ ‬بِالْحَقِّ‭ ‬وَ‭ ‬اِنَّ‭ ‬فَرِيْقًا‭ ‬مِّنَ‭ ‬الْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ‭ ‬لَكٰرِهُوْنَ

“As it was thy Lord Who rightfully brought thee forth from thy house, while a party of the believers were averse […]”. [Ch8: V.6] 

At the time, Hazrat Abu Bakrra stood up and very eloquently said a few words. Following this, Hazrat Umarra stood up and also spoke briefly in an articulate manner. Then, Miqdadra stood up and said, “O Messengersa of Allah! Let us head towards wherever Allah has commanded you to go. We are with you. By Allah! We will not say to you what the Children of Israel said to Mosesas

فَاذْهَبْ‭ ‬اَنْتَ‭ ‬وَ‭ ‬رَبُّكَ‭ ‬فَقَاتِلَآ‭ ‬اِنَّا‭ ‬هٰهُنَا‭ ‬قٰعِدُوْنَ

“‘Therefore, go thou and thy Lord and fight, and here we sit.’” [Ch.5: V.25]

Rather he said, “We will fight with you as long as there is life within us.” (Ali bin Burhan al-Din al-Halabi, Al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah, Bab Dhikr Maghaziyah, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2002], pp. 205-206) (Sayyid Fadl al-Rahman, Farhang-i-Sirat [Karachi, Pakistan: Zawwar Academy Publications, 2003], p. 125)

Hazrat Ibn Abbasra relates that when the Muslims captured the prisoners during the Battle of Badr, the Holy Prophetsa said to Hazrat Abu Bakrra and Hazrat Umarra, “What is your opinion in relation to these prisoners?” Hazrat Abu Bakrra replied, “O Messengersa of Allah! These are our paternal cousins and relatives. I think you ought to take some ransom instead as that will strengthen us against the disbelievers and it is possible that Allah the Almighty will guide them towards Islam.” 

The Holy Prophetsa said, “O Ibn Khattab! What is your opinion on this?” Hazrat Umarra replied, “No, O Messengersa of Allah! By God, I do not hold the same opinion as Abu Bakr. My opinion is that you should hand them over to us so that we may kill them; hand Aqil over to Ali so he can cut off his head, and hand (so and so, who was related to Hazrat Umarra) so that I may sever his head, because they are all disbelievers and among the leaders of the Quraish.” The Holy Prophetsa gave preference to the opinion of Hazrat Abu Bakrra

Hazrat Umarra narrates, “The Holy Prophetsa did not choose my opinion. The next day I came and saw that both the Holy Prophetsa and Abu Bakrra were sat weeping. I asked, ‘O Messengersa of Allah! What has caused you and your companion to cry? Tell me the reason, for I will weep if I am moved by it, or if not then at the least I will make my appearance to seem as if I am crying.’ The Holy Prophetsa replied, ‘I weep over the punishment that was shown to me regarding those companions who suggested that I ought to take ransom. It was shown to me closer than this tree’ (i.e. referring to a tree that was near to him). Subsequently, Allah the Almighty then revealed the following verse:

مَا‭ ‬كَانَ‭ ‬لِنَبِيٍّ‭ ‬اَنْ‭ ‬يَّكُوْنَ‭ ‬لَهٗ‭ ‬اَسْرٰى‭ ‬حَتّٰى‭ ‬يُثْخِنَ‭ ‬فِي‭ ‬الْاَرْضِ

“It does not behove a Prophet that he should have captives until he engages in regular fighting in the land” [Ch.8: V.68] (and it was revealed up to)

فَكُلُوْا‭ ‬مِمَّا‭ ‬غَنِمْتُمْ‭ ‬حَلٰلًا‭ ‬طَيِّبًا

“So eat, of that which you have won in war, as lawful and good” [Ch.8: V.70]. Thus, Allah made the spoils of war lawful for them.’” This is a narration of Sahih Muslim. (Sahih Muslim, Kitab al-Jihad wa al-Siyar, Bab al-Imdad bi al-Mala‘ikah, Hadith 4588)

In this narration, the words in the beginning, which state that the Holy Prophetsa and Hazrat Abu Bakrra were weeping and the subject matter of the subsequent verses that were revealed, render this entire narration ambiguous and the matter remains unclear. However, deeming this narration to be correct, the majority of historians, biographers and commentators of the Quran have written that Allah the Almighty expressed displeasure at the suggestion that the captives of Badr should be freed after taking ransom and instead, favoured the opinion of Hazrat Umarra

Those who have written about the life and character of Hazrat Umarra, usually pen a chapter about the Quranic injunctions that were revealed in line with the opinions of Hazrat Umarra; it is mentioned therein that with regard to the captives of Badr, Allah the Almighty favoured the opinion of Hazrat Umarra. But as mentioned, this matter is ambiguous. In fact, it seems that the biographers and commentators of the Quran have erred in their understanding of this narration. 

Nonetheless, there is a note among unpublished notes of Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra which rejects the biographers and commentators’ conclusions and the explanation given by Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra is the correct interpretation. It seems that biographers and commentators have created this narration to needlessly elevate the status of Hazrat Umarra or they have erred in their understanding of this narration. Nevertheless, expounding upon verse 68 of Surah al-Anfal, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:

“Prior to the advent of Islam, there was a custom in Arabia, which regrettably is still prevalent in some parts of the world today, that even if no war has taken place, people would be taken captive and enslaved. This verse abolishes this abhorrent custom and in plain words has commanded that a person can only be taken captive after the commencement of war against an opponent. If a war has not taken place, then it is unlawful to make someone a captive. This verse has been severely misinterpreted.” 

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra further states:

“After the Battle of Badr, when the Muslims had captured some of the Meccans, the Holy Prophetsa sought advice from his Companions about what to do with them. Hazrat Umarra was of the opinion that they ought to be killed, whereas Hazrat Abu Bakrra opined that they ought to be released for a ransom. The Holy Prophetsa preferred the advice of Hazrat Abu Bakrra.” 

This is verse 68 of Surah al-Anfal in which it is mentioned that it is not lawful for a prophet to take captives unless he is engaged in an all-out war.

Nonetheless, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra has explained this incident in which Hazrat Abu Bakr’sra opinion was different to Hazrat Umar’sra and the Holy Prophetsa favoured the opinion of Hazrat Abu Bakrra and thus, released the captives after taking ransom. However, the commentators have alleged that the revelation of this verse indicates that God Almighty was displeased with this deed of the Holy Prophetsa in that the captives should have been killed instead of taking ransom. This is the explanation of Tabari. 

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra writes:

“However, this interpretation is incorrect. Firstly, until that time, no command had been revealed which prohibited releasing prisoners by taking ransom for them. Therefore, no blame can be placed upon the Holy Prophetsa for taking ransom. Secondly, prior to this incident, the Holy Prophetsa released two captives in Nakhlah after taking ransom and Allah the Almighty did not disapprove of this act. Thirdly, two verses on from this, Allah the Almighty permits the Muslims to utilise what one obtains from the spoils of war, declaring it to be lawful and good. It is an extremely far-fetched notion to say that Allah the Almighty was displeased at the Holy Prophetsa accepting ransom and then declare the money obtained from it to be lawful and good. Therefore, this interpretation is wrong and the correct interpretation is that a general principle has been mentioned here in that no one can be made a captive unless an all-out war takes place with an enemy who is subdued after the battle.” (Durus Hazrat Musleh Maudra (unpublished), Surah al-Anfal, Register 36, pp. 968-969) 

From among the commentators of the Quran, Allamah Imam Razi and the famous biographer Allama Shibli Nomani also held the same opinion as Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra. (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Allamah Imam Razi, Vol. 8, Ch. 15, p. 158, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2004) (Sirat al-NabisaShibli Nomani, Vol. 1, p. 194, RZ Publications, Lahore, 1408 H)

Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra writes:

“When the Holy Prophetsa returned to Medina, he sought counsel as to what should be done with the prisoners. Generally, it was a practice in Arabia to execute prisoners or make them permanent slaves. However, the disposition of the Holy Prophetsa was averse to such harsh measures. Moreover, no divine injunctions in this respect had been revealed either. Hazrat Abu Bakrra submitted, ‘In my opinion, they should be released on ransom because after all, they are our brethren and kindred. Who knows, if tomorrow, devotees of Islam are born from among these very people.’ However, Hazrat Umarra opposed this view and said, ‘There should be no consideration of kinship in a matter of religion. These people have become deserving of execution due to their actions. My opinion is that all of them should be executed. As a matter of fact, the Muslims should execute their respective relatives by their own hands.’ Swayed by his innate nature of mercy, the Holy Prophetsa approved of the proposal made by Hazrat Abu Bakrra. He thus, issued an order against execution and directed that such idolaters who pay their ransom, would be released. Therefore, subsequently, a divine injunction was also revealed to this effect”. 

Since a divine injunction has been revealed to take fidya just as Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra has also written, therefore it seems rather strange to use that hadith as a basis to explain the reason why the Holy Prophetsa and Hazrat Abu Bakrra were crying. 

In any case, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra further writes:

“As such, a ransom of 1,000 dirhams to 4,000 dirhams was set for each individual according to his means. In this manner, all of the prisoners continued to be released.” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, pp. 367-368)

With regard to Hazrat Umar’sra daughter, Hazrat Hafsa’sra marriage to the Holy Prophetsa, it is stated that Hazrat Hafsa’sra husband participated in the Battle of Badr and on the way back from the battle, he became unwell and passed away. After this, the Holy Prophetsa married Hazrat Hafsara. The details of this are mentioned in Bukhari as follows: 

Hazrat Abdullah bin Umarra narrates that Hafsa bint Umarra became a widow after the death of [her husband], Khunaisra bin Hudhafah Sahmi, who was a companion of the Holy Prophetsa and had participated in the Battle of Badr”; he passed away in Medina. 

“Hazrat Umarra stated, ‘I met with Uthman bin Affan and mentioned to him the proposal of Hafsa stating, “If you wish, I will give Hafsa bint Umar in marriage to you.” Hazrat Uthmanra stated, “I will think over this matter”. (Hazrat Umarra says) I waited for a few days, after which Hazrat Uthmanra said, “It seems that it is not possible for me to marry at present.”’” 

Hazrat Umarra states, “I went to Hazrat Abu Bakrra and asked him if he wished, I would give Hafsa in marriage to him. Hazrat Abu Bakrra remained quiet and did not give me an answer. I felt more aggrieved by Hazrat Abu Bakrra than Uthman”, i.e. that he refused the proposal. “I then waited for a few days, during which time the Holy Prophetsa asked for her hand in marriage and I gave her in marriage to him. 

“When the nikah took place, Hazrat Abu Bakrra met me and said, ‘Perhaps you were angry with me when you presented Hafsa’sra hand in marriage and I did not give you a reply?’ I said, ‘Yes, I felt aggrieved,’ to which he said, ‘Nothing stopped me from giving you a reply except that I knew that Allah’s Messengersa had mentioned Hazrat Hafsara, and I did not wish to reveal a confidential matter of Allah’s Messengersa.’” i.e. Hazrat Abu Bakrra was aware that the Holy Prophetsa wished to send a proposal of marriage to Hazrat Hafsara.

Hazrat Abu Bakrra said, “I could not reveal a confidential matter of the Holy Prophetsa and if he decided against marrying her, I would certainly have accepted your proposal.” This was the response of Hazrat Abu Bakrra. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Maghazi, Hadith 4005) 

Some details of this incident have been mentioned in Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin by Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra, who writes:

“Hazrat Umarra had a daughter by the name of Hafsara, who was married to a faithful Companion, Khunais bin Hudhafah, who had taken part in the Battle of Badr. After Badr, upon returning to Medina, Khunais fell ill and was unable to recover from his illness. Sometime after his demise, Hazrat Umarra began to feel a sense of concern for her second marriage. At the time, Hafsara was over 20 years of age. Due to his simplicity in nature, Hazrat Umarra met Uthmanra bin Affan himself and mentioned that his daughter Hafsara was now a widow, and that if he was interested, he could marry her. However, Hazrat Uthmanra avoided the subject. 

“After this, Hazrat Umarra mentioned it to Hazrat Abu Bakrra, but he too remained silent and did not respond. At this Hazrat Umarra was deeply saddened, and in this very state of dismay, he presented himself before the Holy Prophetsa and submitted the entire account. 

“The Holy Prophetsa responded, ‘O Umar! Do not worry at all; if Allah so wills, Hafsa shall find a better husband than Uthman and Abu Bakr; and Uthman shall receive a better wife than Hafsa.’ 

“The Holy Prophetsa said this because he had already intended to marry Hafsara and to give his own daughter, Umm Kulthumra, to Hazrat Uthmanra in marriage. Both Hazrat Uthmanra and Hazrat Abu Bakrra were aware of this and this is why they turned down the proposal of Hazrat Umarra

“Sometime thereafter, the Holy Prophetsa married his daughter Umm Kulthumra to Hazrat Uthmanra […] Following this, the Holy Prophetsa sent a proposal himself to Hazrat Umarra for Hafsara. What more could Hazrat Umarra have asked for? He very happily accepted this proposal. In Sha‘ban 3 AH, Hazrat Hafsara was married to the Holy Prophetsa and became a part of his household. When this marriage had taken place, Hazrat Abu Bakrra said to Hazrat Umarra, ‘Perhaps your heart has been saddened on my account. The fact is, that I was already aware of the intention of the Holy Prophetsa, but I could not reveal a confidential matter without permission. Of course, if the Holy Prophetsa had not intended so, I would have most gladly married Hafsa.’

“One special wisdom in marrying Hafsara was that she was the daughter of Hazrat Umarra, who one could say was considered to be the most eminent Companion after Hazrat Abu Bakrra, and he was from among the most intimate friends of the Holy Prophetsa. Hence, in order to further strengthen mutual relations and to compensate the grief of Hazrat Umarra and Hafsara, which they had sustained by the untimely demise of Khunais bin Hudhafahra, the Holy Prophetsa deemed it appropriate to marry Hafsara himself. 

“Another general wisdom under consideration was that if the Holy Prophetsa had a greater number of wives, the tasks of preaching and propagation, as well as education and training, could be performed on a much wider scale with greater ease, and in a more excellent manner among the women – who constitute half, if not more than half, of the world’s population in some respects.” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, pp. 477-478)

In relation to Hazrat Umar’sra participation in the Battle of Uhud, it is written that during the battle, Khalid bin Walid attacked the Muslims and owing to the sudden nature of the attack, the Muslims were unable to regroup themselves. Regarding its details, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra has written the following:

“The army of the Quraish had pretty much surrounded them from all four fronts and continued to crush the Muslims moment by moment through repeated attacks. Yet, even after all this, the Muslims would have may well regained themselves shortly thereafter, but the outrage was that a bold warrior from among the Quraish named Abdullah bin Qami‘ah attacked Mus‘abra bin Umair, the flag-bearer of the Muslims and severed his right hand with the blow of his sword. Mus‘abra immediately clutched the flag with his other hand and advanced to confront Ibn Qami‘ah, but in his second blow, the other hand was severed as well. Upon this, Mus‘abra joined both of his severed hands together in an endeavour to keep the Islamic flag from falling and held it to his chest, upon which Ibn Qami’ah struck him a third time, and this time Mus‘ab was martyred and fell to the ground. 

“As far as the flag was concerned, another Muslim immediately advanced and took hold of it, but since the size and figure of Mus‘abra resembled the Holy Prophetsa, Ibn Qami‘ah thought that he had slain the Holy Prophetsa. It is also probable that this scheme of his was merely guided by motives of mischief and deceit. In any case, when Mus‘abra was martyred and fell, Ibn Qami‘ah exclaimed that he had slain Muhammad[sa]. At this news, the Muslims lost whatever composure was left in them and their force was scattered completely. Many Companions fled from the field of battle in a state of dismay.

“At the time, the Muslims were divided into three groups. One group was of those who had fled from the field of battle upon hearing news that the Holy Prophetsa had been martyred, but this group was the smallest of all. However, as mentioned in the Holy Quran, taking into consideration the special circumstances of that time, and the heartfelt faith and sincerity of these people, Allah the Almighty forgave them […] 

“The second group consisted of such people who had not fled, but upon hearing news of the martyrdom of the Holy Prophetsa, had either lost determination or felt that now it was useless to fight. Hence, they had moved to one side of the battlefield, and sat down with their heads hanging low. The third group was of those who continued to fight on without fail. Among them, some consisted of those people who were gathered around the Holy Prophetsa and were exhibiting unprecedented feats of valour, and most of them were fighting in the field of battle scattered apart from one another. As these people, and those from the second group continued to discover that the Holy Prophetsa was alive, these people would continue to fight and close in around the Holy Prophetsa in the likeness of those possessed by madness. […] 

“At the time, a very dangerous war ensued, and this was a time of great trial and tribulation for the Muslims. As mentioned, upon hearing news of the martyrdom of the Holy Prophetsa, many Companions lost their spirit and had thrown in their arms and moved to one side of the battlefield. Hazrat Umarra was also among these people. These people were sitting to one side of the battlefield, when a Companion named Anasra bin Nadr Ansari happened to arrive, and upon seeing them, began to say, ‘What are you doing here?’ They responded, ‘The Holy Prophetsa has been martyred. What, now, is there to gain from battle?’ ‘This is the very time for battle,’ replied Anasra, ‘so that we may also attain the death, which has been acquired by the Holy Prophetsa; and then what pleasure is there in life after the demise of the Holy Prophetsa anyway?’ 

“Then Saad bin Muazra came before him and Anasra said, ‘Saad, I can smell the fragrance of paradise from this mountain.’ After this, Anasra penetrated the enemy ranks and was martyred in battle. After the war, his body was found to have sustained more than eighty wounds, and no one could recognise his dead body. Finally, his sister identified him by a mark on his finger.” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, pp. 493-495)

The Holy Prophetsa, along with a few of his Companions, arrived at the foot of the valley when a group of the disbelievers launched a sudden attack and among them was also Khalid bin Walid. At the time, the Holy Prophetsa prayed: 

اَللّٰهُمَّ‭ ‬إنَّهٗ‭ ‬لَا‭ ‬يَنْبَغِيْ‭ ‬لَهُمْ‭ ‬أَنْ‭ ‬يَّعْلُوْنَا

“‘O Allah! do not let these people reach us.’

“After this, Hazrat Umarra, along with a few Muhajireen, fought against the idolaters and eventually caused them to flee.” (Ibn Hisham, Sirat Ibn Hisham [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2001], p. 537)

Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra writes:

“Abu Sufyan took a few of his followers and proceeded to the mountain pass, where the Muslims had gathered and standing next to it, called out, ‘O Muslims! Is Muhammad[sa] among you?’ The Holy Prophetsa forbade anyone from responding, and thus, the Companionsra remained silent. Then, he enquired about Abu Bakrra and Umarra, but even at this, in accordance with the instruction of the Holy Prophetsa, no one responded. 

“Upon this, in a most arrogant tone, he called out in a loud voice, ‘All of these people have been slain, for if they had been alive, they would have responded.’ At this, Hazrat Umarra was unable to restrain himself, and uncontrollably said, ‘O enemy of Allah! You lie! We are all alive and Allah shall disgrace you at our hands.’ 

“Upon recognising the voice of Hazrat Umarra, Abu Sufyan said, ‘Tell the truth Umar! Is Muhammad[sa] alive?’ ‘Indeed! Indeed!’ said Hazrat Umarra, ‘By the Grace of God, he lives and is listening to your every word.’ In a relatively low voice, Abu Sufyan said, ‘Then, Ibn Qami‘ah has lied because I consider you to be more truthful than he.’ After this, Abu Sufyan, exclaimed:

اُعْلُ‭ ‬هُبَلْ

“i.e., ‘O Hubl! Exalted by thy name!’ Upon the instruction of the Holy Prophetsa, the Companions remained silent, but the Holy Prophetsa who ordered silence for his own name, became restless upon hearing the name of an idol in parallel with the name of God the Exalted. ‘Why do you not respond?’ said the Holy Prophetsa. The Companions submitted, ‘O Messengersa of Allah! How shall we respond?’ The Holy Prophetsa said, ‘Proclaim:

اَللّٰهُ‭ ‬اَعْلٰي‭ ‬وَ‭ ‬اَجَلُّ

“i.e., ‘Greatness and grandeur belongs to Allah the Almighty alone.’ Abu Sufyan responded:

لَنَا‭ ‬الْعُزّٰي‭ ‬وَلَا‭ ‬عُزّٰي‭ ‬لَكُمْ

“i.e., ‘We have Uzza, but you have no Uzza!’ The Holy Prophetsa instructed the Companions to say:

اَللّٰهُ‭ ‬مَوْلٰنَا‭ ‬وَلَا‭ ‬مَوْلٰي‭ ‬لَكُمْ

“i.e.”, what significance does Uzza have? “‘We have Allah, Who is our Helper, but you have no Helper.’ 

“After this, Abu Sufyan said, ‘Battle is like a pail, at times, it rises and at times it falls. Consider this day to be a recompense for Badr. You shall find such bodies in the field of battle that have been mutilated. I did not order this, but when I found out about it, I did not find this action of my men displeasing either. Next year, we shall meet again at Badr in the same days.’ 

“As per the instruction of the Holy Prophetsa, a companion responded, ‘Very well then, we shall meet again.’ After saying this Abu Sufyan descended with his followers and quickly thereafter, the army of the Quraish took the road to Mecca.” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, pp. 498-499)

After the Battle of Uhud, when the Holy Prophetsa arrived in Medina, the hypocrites and the Jews began to rejoice and taunted the Muslims. They claimed, “Muhammad[sa] is desirous of becoming a king and yet no other prophet till this day has incurred such a loss as much as he has. He sustained injuries as well as his companions.” They would also say that if those who had been slain [during the Battle] remained behind with them, they would not have been killed. Upon this, Hazrat Umarra sought permission from the Holy Prophetsa to kill the hypocrites who were uttering such words. The Holy Prophetsa replied, “Do they not bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that I am the Messenger of Allah?” i.e. they recite the Kalimah. Upon this, Hazrat Umarra submitted, “Indeed, they do, but alongside this they also speak in a hypocritical manner. They only recite [the Kalimah] owing to the fear of the sword. Thus, their matter has become evident and what was concealed in their hearts has been revealed and Allah the Almighty has exposed the malice they harbour in their hearts. Hence, we ought to punish them.” 

The Holy Prophetsa replied, “I have been forbidden to kill anyone who recites the Kalimah [declaration of faith].” (Ali bin Burhan al-Din al-Halabi, Al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah, Bab Dhikr Maghaziyah, Ghazwat Uhud, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2002], p. 348)

That is, the Holy Prophetsa said that he had been forbidden to kill anyone who recited the Kalimah.

The accounts of Hazrat Umarra will continue in the future, insha-Allah, but I will now mention some details regarding certain deceased members and therefore will conclude narrating the accounts here. 

However, before this, I would like to draw your attention towards prayers and as I mentioned last week as well to pray for the Palestinians who are being persecuted. 

Although there is a ceasefire now, history tells us that after some time, in one way or another and through some excuse, the enemy continues to make the Palestinians a target of their injustices. 

May Allah the Almighty bestow His mercy and grant the Palestinians true freedom. May Allah the Almighty also grant them such leaders who possess wisdom and foresight and who are also steadfast, so that they can speak up and attain their rights. 

Similarly, pray for the Ahmadis against whom cruelties are being perpetrated, particularly in Pakistan. May Allah the Almighty keep them in His protection. 

Among the funerals, the first mention is of Qureshi Muhammad Fazlullah Sahib, who was serving as naib nazir isha‘at, Qadian. He passed away on 27 April [2021]: 

اِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‭ ‬وَاِنَّا‭ ‬اِلَيْهِ‭ ‬رَاجِعُوْنَ

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

His mother’s paternal grandfather and the maternal grandfather of his father was Hazrat Munshi Mehr Din Sahibra, a companion of the Promised Messiahas. It was through him that Ahmadiyyat entered their family and his name is included amongst those who donated towards the construction of Minarat-ul-Masih. 

After graduating from Jamia, Qureshi Sahib served as a teacher in Jamia for 23 years and five months and taught various subjects, including the Holy Quran, Urdu, Kalam, Arabic grammar and literature. The total period of his service spans 37 years and seven months. By the grace of Allah the Almighty the deceased was a musi and is survived by his wife, a son and two daughters. 

Makhdoom Sahib, who is serving as nazir isha‘at, writes about him that he was a very kind and compassionate teacher in Jamia and had a very loving and friendly relation with all the students. He always worked with the utmost integrity and with the true spirit of waqf. He would ensure that the students instilled the quality of punctuality within them. 

Many of the missionaries in India were his students and benefited from him. He was extremely simple by nature and spoke very little but would always speak in an intellectual and comprehensive manner. He also had the opportunity to serve as naib sadr Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya of India. He also had the opportunity to serve as the deputy editor of the Badr newspaper for a period of 34 years. He was also the editor of Mishkat. He was also a member of the Tarikh-e-Ahmadiyyat Committee in India. 

When the computerised edition of the Ruhani Khazain was published, he had the opportunity to proofread it and highlighted various typos which were later revised. He would always look at things very carefully and minutely whilst proofreading. He also had the opportunity to do a full proofread of various books of the Promised Messiahas which were published individually, such as Barahin-e-AhmadiyyaArya DharamSat Bachan etc. Also, as regards the various references which had been cited by the Promised Messiahas, he consulted the original sources and he would also very carefully check each and every word [of the quotes from the] Granth and Vedas scriptures and would highlight any discrepancies in the translation or pronunciation of the words. 

To always exhaust his research in every task was a notable quality of his and he worked extremely diligently in finding the original references cited in Arya Dharam and Sat Bachan and also in its checking. He would always say that these two books of the Promised Messiahas had been presented to the Hindus and Sikhs as a commanding authority and these two books were extremely significant in relation to these two religions; hence, he stated that they should be checked very thoroughly and it should be ensured there were no typos in the references. 

The copy of the Holy Quran, which has recently been published by us in Khat-e-Manzoor [script], he rendered great service towards the preparation of its software. The Holy Quran was prepared by a company in Bombay and he also had a lot of contribution in this regard as well. He worked day and night in preparing [the file] and ensuring there were no typos. The plain Quran in Khat-e-Manzoor [script] has been published and he was currently working in preparing the Holy Quran [in Khat-e-Manzoor] with the English translation of Hazrat Maulvi Sher Ali Sahibra. This is also almost ready and will be published very soon and the deceased had the opportunity to work in this particular project as well. 

Similarly, he had also worked on some of the chapters of Holy Quran to be published with the translation of Hazrat Mir Ishaq Sahibra. He worked very diligently in the projects related to the Holy Quran, particularly in publishing them in the Khat-e-Manzoor.

The nazir of the isha‘at department writes, “He was my teacher and also my wife’s uncle, but despite this, as a deputy, he always spoke to me obediently and with humility.” 

He never expressed that he was his teacher or more senior in relation to him. His students have also written that he once told them in a class that as a student in Jamia, he never took leave and nor in the whole time he was teaching there. 

May Allah the Almighty grant the deceased His forgiveness and mercy. 

The second funeral is of Syed Bashiruddin Ahmad Sahib, who was a missionary of the Jamaat. He is also from Qadian and passed away at the age of 83: 

اِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‭ ‬وَاِنَّا‭ ‬اِلَيْهِ‭ ‬رَاجِعُوْنَ

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

He was the paternal grandson of Syed Saeed-ul-Din Sahibra, who was a companion of the Promised Messiahas. The deceased was extremely devoted to his worship, regular in the Tahajud prayer and possessed a very simple nature. He was a musi and is survived by three sons, who are all serving in the offices of the Anjuman. 

The next mention is of Basharat Ahmad Sahib Haidar, who was a life-devotee and the son of Faiz Ahmad Sahib Shahana. He passed away at the age of 71: 

اِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‭ ‬وَاِنَّا‭ ‬اِلَيْهِ‭ ‬رَاجِعُوْنَ

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

The deceased was the paternal grandson of Hazrat Abdul Karim Sahibra, with whom the incident of being bitten by a rabid dog had occurred. The deceased dedicated his life for the service of Islam and moved to Qadian from Karnataka. After completing his studies at Madrasa Ahmadiyya, he served in various offices and was then appointed as in-charge of the rishta nata department. He had the opportunity to serve the community for 46 years. 

Despite his meagre means, he lived in a very dignified and simple manner. He possessed very high morals and was very kind. The deceased was a musi and is survived by his wife and three daughters, whom he provided with a good education and then settled their marriages with life-devotees. 

The next mention is of respected Dr Muhammad Ali Khan Sahib, who was serving as the amir of the Jamaat in the Peshawar district. He passed away one month ago at the age of 67: 

اِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‭ ‬وَاِنَّا‭ ‬اِلَيْهِ‭ ‬رَاجِعُوْنَ

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

He did the bai‘at himself whilst studying at FSC [Intermediate] level. He stated that he was once sat in his uncle’s shop and a person came, who was very respectable. When he left, he was told that the individual was a Qadiani and that they are very good people. He stated that this was his very first introduction with the Jamaat. 

Then later he had a class fellow in his medical college who was an Ahmadi. The Ahmadi class fellow once asked him his view regarding Jesusas and whether he believed him to be alive or that he had passed away. Dr Muhammad Ali Sahib replied that he believed he had passed away. Upon hearing this, the Ahmadi student decided that he ought to preach to him. And so, he invited him to the mission house and he was introduced to Jamaat by Basharat Bashir Sindhi Sahib, who was the missionary there at the time. At the time the missionary was wearing a shirt and trousers and the deceased was very impressed by this that on the one hand, he was a maulvi and yet very modern in his appearance. 

Basharat Bashir Sahib gave him the book, Da‘watul Amir to read; he says that he read it and the day that he completed it, he was certain of the truthfulness of Ahmadiyyat. 

He accepted Ahmadiyyat in 1973 and Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh accepted his bai‘at [pledge of allegiance] in 1974. It was in that same year when he accepted Ahmadiyyat that the disorders began [against Ahmadis in Pakistan]. Upon learning that he was an Ahmadi, some students from his college gathered together and grabbing hold of him they said him to renounce Ahmadiyyat, otherwise they would kill him. The college administration was unable to do anything; the college’s chancellor at the time was Ali Khan, the son of Bacha Khan. He came and freed him [from the students] and took him in his vehicle and dropped him outside of the town. He says that from there, he walked back to his village barefoot, where his father said to him that he was causing himself trouble and was also dishonouring his family and asked why he would not leave Ahmadiyyat. He replied by saying that he could not leave Ahmadiyyat; he further says that his father continued arguing with him and due to the unstable circumstances, he was unable to continue his studies. 

Although the circumstances were extremely dire, he remained steadfast upon Ahmadiyyat. One day, his father said that he should end this dispute and leave Ahmadiyyat. He replied, “I only have one solution to ending all of this, that when you have food sent for me, you should mix some poison into it so that I die and your problem is solved.” He said to his father, “because I cannot abandon the Promised Messiahas and his Community”. After this, his father never asked him to leave Ahmadiyyat. 

When his father passed away, he went to the funeral but did not offer the funeral prayer. People said that this was against the tribal customs and expressed their anger, saying what kind of son does not offer his father’s funeral prayer. In response, he said, “The Promised Messiahas is more important to me; everyone else is secondary to him.” 

Similarly, his mother treated him very harshly and told him that he was no longer her son and cut him out of everything, including the inheritance. Therefore, after this, he did not return to his village but continued to help his mother and would go to his uncle’s home from where he would take care of her and help her financially. When she passed away, he did not offer her funeral prayer either. 

By this time, his younger brother also converted to Ahmadiyyat through him and he also did not offer his mother’s funeral prayer. Upon this, people criticised them saying what kind of sons are they. However, they gave the same answer, saying that when it comes to the honour of the Jamaat, since these people continuously cursed the Promised Messiahas, they would not offer their funeral prayers. They displayed extraordinary honour. 

He served in the army for 27 years as a doctor and retired as a lieutenant colonel. Upon his retirement, he received the Tamgha-e-Imtiaz [Award of Excellence for services to the armed forces]. After this, he worked as an assistant professor at the Naseer Teaching Hospital in Peshawar and also served as the head of the department of psychology. 

When he was 32 years old, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh appointed him as the president of the community in Sarhad and the district of Peshawar. 

In 1985, he was appointed to the Board of Directors of Waqf-e-Jadid and served in this capacity until his demise. Similarly, he was also a member of the Fazl-e-Umar Foundation, Tahir Foundation and the standing Shura [consultative body]. His younger brother is Col Ayyub Sahib, who, as I mentioned earlier, also accepted Ahmadiyyat and was married to the daughter of Shamsuddin Khan Sahib, Amir of the Sarhad District. 

He is survived by his wife, one son and three daughters. His son is a waqif-e-nau and is serving in Tanzania under Humanity First. He writes:

“Dr Muhammad Ali Khan Sahib was unique in his level of truthfulness, honesty, selflessness and straightforwardness. He never mentioned anything about finances, expenditures, worldly wealth or anything like this.” 

All of his children have written this and said that he lived a content and happy life. No matter the circumstances, even in the harsh conditions of Peshawar, he always served the community in Peshawar with complete trust in the help of God Almighty. The people of Peshawar are deeply grieved by his passing. He had a profound connection with Khilafat and was exemplary in obedience. He had a great deal of love for the Promised Messiahas and the Holy Prophetsa and was ready to present any sacrifice for the sake of the Unity of Allah the Almighty, and possessed many virtuous qualities. 

The next funeral is of respected Muhammad Rafi Khan Shahzadah Sahib of Rabwah, who passed away on 30 March [2021]:

اِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‭ ‬وَاِنَّا‭ ‬اِلَيْهِ‭ ‬رَاجِعُوْنَ

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

He was 82 years of age. He was the grandson of Hazrat Ghulam Rasul Sahib Afghanra and Aisha Pathani Sahibara and the great-grandson of the renowned personality Hazrat Abdul Sattar Khan Sahibra, all of whom were companions of the Promised Messiahas

He was regular in worship and had a habit of offering the Tahajud prayer [pre-dawn voluntary prayer] since his youth. He took a great deal of pride in his faith and was very passionate about it. He was a very pious person. While in the hospital during his final illness, despite having difficulty breathing he would recite the Holy Quran aloud. He moved to Abu Dhabi a short while after being enlisted in the air force there. In the air force assembly, a religious cleric said that “Qadianis” deserve to be killed. Upon this, he bravely stood up and said, “I am an Ahmadi; kill me.” 

Later, he resigned from there and returned to Pakistan where he opened a medical store. During this time, he served as the local president of Dar-ul-Rahmat Sharqi (Rajeki). He also appeared in approximately 50 episodes of the MTA programme called “Pushto Muzakarah”. He had a very loving and fatherly relationship with everyone in his locality. He would silently provide financial support to others. He was a musi. He is survived by his wife, two sons and four daughters. 

The next funeral is of Ayyaz Yunus Sahib of Australia. He passed away on 24 March in the Australian state of New South Wales, having drowned in a flood. 

اِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‭ ‬وَاِنَّا‭ ‬اِلَيْهِ‭ ‬رَاجِعُوْنَ

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

He was a very active Khadim and he would say to Sadr Sahib that if he needed help with any task, he should be told and he would be ready to serve. He was always prepared to render his services and would say to everyone that the doors to his house were always open, so if they needed any help, they could go to him. 

He would always be at the forefront in helping others. He was young and unmarried. After his demise, the government approved the visa for his parents to come from Pakistan and he was buried in the presence of government representatives. 

The next funeral is of Mian Tahir Ahmad Sahib, son of Mian Qurban Husain Sahib, a former worker in wakalat-e-mal III, Rabwah, who was also the father of Idris Ahmad Sahib, an engineer working in the Islamabad project here. He passed away at the age of 67. 

اِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‭ ‬وَاِنَّا‭ ‬اِلَيْهِ‭ ‬رَاجِعُوْنَ

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

He served as the tarbiyat secretary in his local jamaat. He also served as the naib sadr and zaeem of Ansarullah. He was regular in offering his Tahajud prayers and voluntary prayers. He was regular in reciting the Holy Quran and he was a musi. He is survived by his wife, two daughters and three sons. 

The next funeral is of Rafeeq Aftab Sahib of the UK, who was the father of Farooq Aftab Sahib. He passed away in April [2021] at the age of 63. 

اِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‭ ‬وَاِنَّا‭ ‬اِلَيْهِ‭ ‬رَاجِعُوْنَ

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

Farooq Sahib writes:

“My father possessed many good qualities. He was humble, noble, friendly with everyone, joyful and a respectful person. He was always happy, he treated others with respect, hospitable and many people phoned us to say the same and have mentioned his wonderful qualities.” 

He was very sincere and devoted. He would always remind his children to remain close to Khilafat and it is due to this that his children continue to serve the Jamaat. 

The next funeral is of Respected Zareena Akhtar Sahiba, wife of Mirza Naseer Ahmad Sahib Chitti Masih, a teacher at Jamia Ahmadiyya UK, who passed away last month. 

اِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‭ ‬وَاِنَّا‭ ‬اِلَيْهِ‭ ‬رَاجِعُوْنَ

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

She was also among the children of the companions [of the Promised Messiahas]. She was very patient and grateful, and she served her parents as well as her in-laws in an excellent manner. 

She lived her life alongside her life-devotee husband with great loyalty and contentment. She lived in Ghana as well, but in spite of the meagre living circumstances, she was grateful and she and her children lived contently. She never uttered a word of complaint. She was a musia and one of her sons, Mirza Tawqeer Ahmad is a life-devotee working in MTA.

The next funeral is of Hafiz Muhammad Akram Sahib, who passed away this month at the age of 80 in the Tahir Heart [Hospital] 

اِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‭ ‬وَاِنَّا‭ ‬اِلَيْهِ‭ ‬رَاجِعُوْنَ

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

Ahmadiyyat entered his family through Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira. Thereafter, his paternal grandfather pledged allegiance in the time of the Promised Messiahas through a letter. He was not able to pledge allegiance at the Promised Messiah’sas hand, but he did so in writing. 

One of his grandsons, Abdul Khabir Rizwan, is serving here in the UK in the PS office. The deceased too presented himself for the service of the Community. When he went to see Muhammad Ahmad Sahib Mazhar, the former amir of the Faisalabad district to attest [to his letter for waqf], he told him that if he wished to serve the faith, he should remain there with him and do so. 

Thereafter, he spent his entire life serving as a worker in the Faisalabad Jamaat and he always deemed it essential to give precedence to his faith over the world. 

He was a musi and paid the Hissa Jaidad within his lifetime. He offered the Tahajud prayers very regularly. He taught many children in Faisalabad to read and memorise the Holy Quran. He also ensured his younger son memorised the Holy Quran.

The next funeral is of Respected Chaudhary Noor Ahmad Nasir Sahib, who passed away recently at the age of 82. He was the eldest son of Chaudhary Muhammad Abdullah Sahib, Darwesh of Qadian. By the grace of Allah, two of his sons are life-devotees. One of them, Mansoor Ahmad Nasir Sahib is serving as the principal in a school of ours in Liberia; and Masroor Ahmad Muzaffar is serving as a missionary in Ghana. Due to both sons working in the field, they were unable to attend the funeral of their father. The deceased was also a musi.

The next funeral is of Respected Mahmood Ahmad Minhas Sahib, son of Hakeem Ubaidullah Minhas Sahib. He passed away last month at the age of 75

اِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‭ ‬وَاِنَّا‭ ‬اِلَيْهِ‭ ‬رَاجِعُوْنَ

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

One of his sons, Rashid Mahmood Minhas who is serving as a missionary says:

“He was very humble in nature and possessed many good qualities. He regularly offered the Tahajud prayers and was very devoted to Khilafat. He was always prepared to help the poor and destitute.” 

His son was unable to attend the funeral as he is serving in Ghana. Likewise, another of his sons was unable to attend due to being in Malaysia.

May Allah the Almighty grant patience and forbearance to all the children of the deceased and all those they leave behind. May Allah elevate them in their rank and grant them forgiveness and mercy. After the Friday prayers, insha-Allah, I shall lead their funeral prayers [in absentia]. 

(Original Urdu transcript published in Al Fazl International, 11 June 2021, pp. 5-10. Translated by The Review of Religions.)

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