4 June 2021
Men of Excellence: Hazrat Umarra ibn al-Khattab
After reciting the Tashahud, Ta‘awuz and Surah al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa stated:
In the previous sermons, accounts from the life of Hazrat Umarra were being narrated, including the expeditions and battles he fought in. With regard to the Battle of Hamra al-Asad, it is reported that after the Battle of Uhud, the Holy Prophetsa returned to Medina. The disbelievers headed towards Mecca; however, the Holy Prophetsa received news that the Quraish were planning to attack [the Muslims] once again. Thus, the Holy Prophetsa set out with his companions to a place called Hamra al-Asad. Hamra al-Asad was situated eight miles from Medina. I will narrate a part of what Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra has written with regard to the expedition of Hamra al-Asad:
“Although the army of the Quraish had apparently taken to Mecca, it was apprehended that this move may be a plot to catch the Muslims off guard, and suddenly return to attack Medina. Hence, on this night, an arrangement was made for security in Medina and the Companions particularly stood guard all night long at the residence of the Holy Prophetsa. The next morning it was discovered that this apprehension was not mere speculation, because prior to Fajr Salat, the Holy Prophetsa received news that the army of the Quraish had stalled at a few miles from Medina and a heated debate was taking place amongst the chieftains of Mecca, that making use of this victory, why not attack Medina. Some of the Quraish were taunting one another saying, ‘You did not kill Muhammad[sa], nor did you take the Muslim women as slaves, nor did you seize their wealth and possessions; rather, when you gained dominance over them and received the opportunity to destroy them completely, you just left them and turned back, so that they may collect strength again. There is still time, let us return and attack Medina and uproot the Muslims once and for all.’
“In contrast to this, the others argued, ‘You have attained victory. Consider this to be good fortune enough and return to Mecca, lest we lose this repute as well, and this victory is turned to defeat…’
Ultimately, however, the opinion of the passionate ones prevailed and the Quraish prepared to set back to Medina. When the Holy Prophetsa was informed of these events, he immediately announced that the Muslims should prepare, but along with this he also ordered that except for those people who had participated at Uhud, no one else should set out with them.” (Yaqut Ibn Abd Allah al-Hamawi, Mu’jam al-Buldan, Vol. 2, Hamra al-Asad [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah], p. 346) (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, pp. 504-505)
It is also mentioned in narrations that when the Holy Prophetsa learned of this discussion between the Quraish, the Holy Prophetsa called Hazrat Abu Bakrra and Hazrat Umarra and informed them of the matter. Both of them advised that they ought to go after the enemy. (Al-Waqidi, Kitab al-Tarikh wa al-Maghazi [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2013], p. 278)
[Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra continues:]
“As such, the warriors of Uhud, most of whom were wounded, tied up their wounds and betook to the company of their Master. It is written that on this occasion, the Muslims set out with such joy and zeal, as if they were a triumphant army which sets out in pursuit of the enemy.
“After travelling a distance of eight miles, the Holy Prophetsa reached Hamra al-Asad […] Now that it was evening time, the Holy Prophetsa instructed that camp be set up at this very location. He further instructed that fires be lit at different places throughout the plain. As such, in no time, 500 fires were lit in the plain of Hamra al-Asad, which struck awe into the heart of any spectator from afar.
“Most probably, on this occasion, an idolatrous chief of the Khuza‘ah tribe named Ma‘bad presented himself before the Holy Prophetsa and offered his condolences for those who had fallen at Uhud, whereafter he continued on his way. On the following day, when he reached Rauha, lo and behold, he found the army of the Quraish encamped there and that preparations were underway to return to Medina. Ma‘bad went to Abu Sufyan at once and said:
“‘What are you about to do? By God, I have just left behind the army of Muhammad[sa] at Hamra al-Asad, and never before have I seen such an awe-inspiring army. They are so passionate due to their regret for the defeat at Uhud that they shall reduce you to ashes on sight.’
“Abu Sufyan and his followers were so awe-struck by these comments of Ma‘bad, that they abandoned the idea of returning to Medina and made haste to Mecca at once. When the Holy Prophetsa received news that the army of the Quraish had fled in this manner, he thanked God and said, ‘This is the awe of God, which He has struck into the hearts of the disbelievers.’ After this, the Holy Prophetsa remained in Hamra al-Asad for another two or three days.” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, pp. 504-505)
Ghazwah Bani Mustaliq took place in Sha‘ban, 5 AH. This battle was also known as Ghazwah Muraisi. Mentioning this, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra writes:
“The opposition of the Quraish began to take on a more dangerous form day by day and through their conspiracies, they had already incited many tribes against Islam and the Founder of Islam. However, now their animosity created a new threat, in that those tribes of Hijaz who had thus far held good relations with the Muslims, now began to stand up against them due to the seditious designs of the Quraish.
“In this respect, the Banu Mustaliq, a branch of the renowned Khuza‘ah tribe, took the lead and began to mobilise in order to launch an attack against Medina. Their chief, Harith bin Abi Darrar toured the other tribes of that region and brought various other tribes aboard as well.
“When the Holy Prophetsa received news of this, as an act of precaution, the Holy Prophetsa dispatched a Companion named Buraidahra bin Husaib towards the Banu Mustaliq in order to gather intelligence and urged him to return swiftly with insight into the state of affairs. When Buraidahra arrived, he found that in fact, a very large gathering was present and preparations were underway to attack Medina with great vehemence and uproar. He returned at once and relayed his findings to the Holy Prophetsa.
“According to his custom, as a pre-emptive measure, the Holy Prophetsa urged his companions to set out towards the dwellings of Banu Mustaliq. A large number of companions prepared to go forth. In fact, a large group of hypocrites who, prior to this, had never come along in such numbers also set out. The Holy Prophetsa left behind Abu Dharr Ghifarira or in light of various narrations, Zaidra bin Harithah as the amir of Medina, and set out in the name of Allah from Medina in Sha‘ban 5 AH.
“There were only 30 horses in the army; however, camels were available in a somewhat greater number. The Muslims travelled on these horses and camels in turns. During the course of this journey, the Muslims happened to find a spy of the disbelievers, who was taken captive and presented to the Holy Prophetsa.
“After questioning him, when the Holy Prophetsa was assured that he was actually a spy, the Holy Prophetsa attempted to probe him for information relevant to the disbelievers, but he refused. Furthermore, since his attitude was suspicious, according to the customary law of warfare, Hazrat Umarra executed him. After this, the Muslim army continued to advance.
“When the Banu Mustaliq found out about the imminent arrival of the Muslims, and received news that their spy had been killed, they became very fearful. Their actual intention was to somehow attack Medina unexpectedly, but owing to the alertness of the Holy Prophetsa, the tables had now turned. They became immensely awe-stricken and the other tribes who had come out to join them in support became so fearful due to the power of God, that they immediately left their side and returned to their homes. However, as for the Banu Mustaliq, the Quraish had so deeply intoxicated them with enmity towards the Muslims that they still did not hold back from war, and remained fully bent upon fighting the Muslim army with full force. When the Holy Prophetsa reached Muraisi‘, close to where the Banu Mustaliq were present, which is a place situated between Mecca and Medina near the coast of the sea, the Holy Prophetsa ordered the setup of camp. After arranging the ranks and the distribution of flags, etc. the Holy Prophetsa instructed Hazrat Umarra to move forward and announce to the Banu Mustaliq that even now, if they refrain from their enmity towards Islam and accept the rule of the Holy Prophetsa, they would be given peace, and the Muslims would return. However, they vehemently refused and prepared for war. It is even written that the first arrow was shot by a man from their tribe.
“When the Holy Prophetsa witnessed their hostility, he ordered the companions to fight as well”, as the enemy had already started to fight. “For some time both sides exchanged a shower of arrows, upon which the Holy Prophetsa ordered the companions to launch a sudden attack. As a result of this sudden assault, the disbelievers lost their footing. The Muslims surrounded them so skilfully that their entire tribe became surrounded and was forced to throw in their arms. With only ten casualties among the disbelievers and one from among the Muslims, this war, which could have taken on a dangerous form, came to an end.”
In Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin [The Life and Character of the Seal of the Prophets] Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra writes:
“It is also necessary to mention that there is a narration regarding this battle in Sahih Bukhari, where it is related that the Holy Prophetsa attacked the Banu Mustaliq at a time when they were unaware and giving water to their animals. However, if one contemplates, this narration is not in contradiction to the account related by historians; rather, both these narrations relate to two different times; that is to say, when the Muslim army arrived close to the Banu Mustaliq, at the time, since they were unaware that the Muslims had reached so close”, even though they were definitely aware that the Muslim army was about to arrive, “they were still at ease in an unorganised state. It is this very state to which Bukhari has made mention. However, when they received news that the Muslims had arrived according to their previous preparation, they immediately aligned in battle array and prepared to fight. The historians have alluded to this second state. ‘Allamah Ibn Hajar and other research scholars have reconciled these two varying narrations in this very manner, and it is this elucidation which seems to be correct.” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, pp. 557-559)
On the return from the expedition of Bani Mustaliq, an incident occurred which has been narrated in Sahih Muslim. Hazrat Jabirra bin Abdillah narrates:
“We were with the Holy Prophetsa during an expedition”, i.e. the expedition of Bani Mustaliq, “when someone from among the Muhajireen struck an individual from among the Ansar on his back. The man from the Ansar called out to the Ansar and the muhajir man called out to the Muhajireen”, i.e. both called out for help from their people. “This news reached the Holy Prophetsa and when he heard the commotion he said, ‘What is this cry of the Jahiliyya period?’ They said, ‘O Messengersa of Allah! A man from the Muhajireen struck a man from the Ansar on his back.’ The Holy Prophetsa said, ‘Leave that, for it is a senseless act’”, i.e. to quarrel over the smallest of matters is futile. “When Abdullah bin Ubayy, who was present there at the time, heard this, he said, ‘He may have done this, i.e. a muhajir may have hit a man from the Ansar, even if it was a slap, but by Allah, if we return to Medina, then certainly the most honourable (God-forbid) would throw out the most wretched.’ Hazrat Umarra submitted, ‘O Messengersa of Allah! Grant me permission to sever the head of this hypocrite.’ The Holy Prophetsa said, ‘Leave him. I do not wish for people to say that Muhammad kills his companions.’” (Sahih Muslim, Kitab al-Birr wa al-Silah, Bab Nasr al-Akh Zaliman aw Mazluma, Hadith 2583)
The details of this incident are mentioned in Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin [The Life and Character of the Seal of the Prophets] – I will leave this as it has already been mentioned previously.
Nonetheless, in Sirat Ibn Hisham, it is mentioned that in his final days, whenever Abdullah bin Ubayy would say such things, his people would label him to be extremely indolent. When the Holy Prophetsa learnt of his condition, he said to Hazrat Umarra, “O Umar! The day you asked me permission to kill him, had I granted you permission, people would have scorned and curled their lips. But now, if I command these very people to kill, who would have previously shown contempt, they would readily do it now. However, due to our patience and now that his matter has come to light, those very people who supported him previously, have turned against him and can even go to the extent of killing him.” Hazrat Umarra said, “By Allah! I now know that the verdict of the Holy Prophetsa was far greater and more blessed than my suggestion.” (Ibn Hisham, Sirat Ibn Hisham [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2001], p. 672)
When the Holy Prophetsa was about to lead the funeral prayer of Abdullah bin Ubayy, chief of the hypocrites, Hazrat Umarra said, “Allah the Almighty has forbidden to lead the funeral prayers of hypocrites.” The Holy Prophetsa said, “I have been given the choice whether to seek forgiveness for them or not.” Thus, the Holy Prophetsa led his funeral prayer. When Allah the Almighty outright prohibited leading the funeral prayers of such people, the Holy Prophetsa never led the funeral prayer of any hypocrite thereafter. (Ibn Abd al-Barr, Al-Isti‘ab fi Ma‘rifat al-Ashab, Vol. 3, Abdullah bin Abdillah Ansari [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Jil, 1992], p. 941)
Abu Salama narrated from Hazrat Jabirra bin Abdillah, “On the day of the Battle of Khandaq, Hazrat Umarra came after the sun had set and was expressing his displeasure for the disbelievers of the Quraish. He said, ‘O Messengersa of Allah! I was not able to offer the Asr prayer and it is now after sunset.’ The Holy Prophetsa said, ‘By God! I too have not offered the prayers.’ Subsequently, we got up and went towards Buthan. Buthan was the name of one of the valleys in Medina. Over there, the Holy Prophetsa performed ablution and we also performed the ablution for prayers and then we offered the Asr prayer after sunset. After this, the Holy Prophetsa offered the Magrhib prayers. This is a narration from Bukhari. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab Mawaqit al-Salah, Bab Qada al-Salah al-Ula fa al-Ula, Hadith 598)
There are varying opinions about how many prayers the Holy Prophetsa and his companions were unable to offer during the Battle of the Ditch and there are various narrations in this regard. In one narration, Hazrat Jabirra states, “On the day of the Battle of the Ditch, Hazrat Umarra expressed his displeasure at the disbelievers and said, ‘I could not offer the Asr prayers until the sun had set.’” He then said that he went to Buthan and offered the Asr prayers after the sun had set, after which he offered the Maghrib prayers. This is also a narration of Bukhari, in the previous narration there was mention that he was with the Holy Prophetsa. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Maghazi, Bab Ghazwat al-Khandaq wa hiya al-Ahzab, Hadith 4111)
Hazrat Alira has narrated that on the day of the Battle of the Ditch, the Holy Prophetsa said, “May Allah fill the homes and the graves of those disbelievers with fire because they kept us occupied and prevented us from praying Salat al-Wusta (i.e. the middle prayer) until the sun had set.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Maghazi, Bab Ghazwat al-Khandaq wa hiya al-Ahzab, Hadith 4111)
This narration of Hazrat Alira is from Bukhari.
Then Abu Ubaidah bin Abdillah narrates on the authority of his father that on the day of the Battle of the Ditch, the idolaters prevented the Holy Prophetsa from offering four prayers, until a portion of the night had passed as much as Allah had willed. The narrator further says that the Holy Prophetsa instructed Hazrat Bilalra to call the Azan; he then instructed him to call the Iqamah and led the Zuhr prayers. He then instructed him to call the Iqamah and led the Asr prayers; he then instructed to call the Iqamah and led the Maghrib prayers; he then instructed to call the Iqamah and led the Isha prayers. This is a narration of Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal. (Ahmad bin Hanbal, Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal, Vol. 2, Musnad Abdillah bin Mas‘ud, Hadith 3555 [Beirut, Lebanon: A‘lam al-Kutub, 1998], pp. 6-7)
The Promised Messiahas has deemed all these narrations to be weak except for one in which it is mentioned that the Holy Prophetsa only offered the Asr prayer close to the expiration of its prescribed time.
Whilst refuting the allegation levelled by the Christian Priest, Fateh Masih, wherein he stated that the Holy Prophetsa offered four of the prayers after its prescribed time, the Promised Messiahas stated:
“This satanic ploy of yours in alleging that four prayers were combined at the time of digging the trench in fact reveals your level of knowledge, because the word that has been used [in the hadith] is ‘qadha’. O foolish one! The word ‘qadha’ is used with reference to offering the prayer” not that a prayer was completely abandoned. “The term ‘qadha’ never applies in an instance where a prayer is missed. If one completely misses their prayer, the word ‘faut’ is used” i.e. the prayer has passed. “It was for this reason that we have announced a 5,000 rupee [challenge] because there exist such ignorant people who raise allegations against Islam and yet they do not even know the proper meaning of ‘qadha’. An individual who cannot even employ the proper usage of words, how can such a foolish one then claim to possess the capabilities to critique such intricate matters?
“As far as the allegation is concerned that four prayers were combined at the time of digging the trench, the answer to this foolish notion is that Allah the Almighty states that there is no harm”, i.e. it is not strictly forbidden, “to combine the prayers or offer them after its prescribed time in certain extenuating circumstances and in times of danger. However, there is no authentic hadith which states that four prayers were all combined together. In fact, in Fath-ul-Bari, a commentary of Sahih Bukhari, it states that only one prayer, the Asr prayer, was offered close to the expiration of its prescribed time. If at the time you were present before us”, the Promised Messiahas is addressing the opponent here, “we would have seated you down and asked you to present the authentic narration which states that four prayers were all combined. In light of the Shariah, there are four prayers which can be combined; in other words, Zuhr and Asr prayers can be combined together and Maghrib and Isha prayers can be combined together. Indeed, there is one weak narration, which states that the Zuhr, Asr, Maghrib and Isha prayers were all combined. However, all the other authentic narrations reject this particular narration. All that is proven is that only the Asr prayer was offered close to the expiration of its prescribed time.” (Nur-ul-Quran, number 2: Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 9, pp. 389-390)
In regard to the role of Hazrat Umarra on the occasion of the Treaty of Hudaibiyah it is written that the Holy Prophetsa called for Hazrat Umarra in order to send him to the elders of Quraish and inform them as to why the Holy Prophetsa was travelling to Mecca. Upon this, Hazrat Umarra submitted, “O Messengersa of Allah! I fear for my life because of what the Quriash may do for they are well aware of my opposition towards them and how strictly I deal with them. Moreover, there is no one from among my tribe, the Banu Adiyy who is present in Mecca, who can grant me protection.”
Hence, Hazrat Umarra expressed slight hesitance. And according to another narration, Hazrat Umarra submitted, “O Messengersa of Allah! If you wish, I will go to them.” However, the Holy Prophetsa did not say anything. Hazrat Umarra then again submitted, “I shall inform you of an individual, who is held in greater esteem than me in the eyes of the Quraish that is Hazrat Uthman bin Affanra.” Upon this the Holy Prophetsa called for Hazrat Uthmanra and sent him to Abu Sufyan and other elders of the Quraish, so that he could inform them that the Holy Prophetsa was not coming with the intention to fight. Rather, he was simply coming for the purpose of performing the pilgrimage of the Ka‘bah and to honour its sanctity. (Ibn Hisham, Sirat Ibn Hisham [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2001], p. 685) (Mustafa Abd al-Wahid, Subul al-Huda wa al-Rashad fi Sirat Khair al-Ibad, Vol. 5, Fi Ghazwat al-Hudaibiyah [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 1993], p. 46)
The details of this incident have been mentioned with reference to Hazrat Uthmanra.
Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra has written:
“While the conditions of the treaty were being drawn up, Abu Jandal, the son of Suhail bin Amr, who was the ambassador of the Quraish, found a way to this assembly suddenly, stumbling in fetters and handcuffs. This young man had been imprisoned by the people of Mecca on his becoming a Muslim and had subjected him to severe torment.
“When he came to know that the Holy Prophetsa had come so close to Mecca, somehow, he escaped the imprisonment of the Quraish and still tied in his fetters, he managed to stagger to Hudaibiyah. Incidentally, he reached there at a time when his father was stipulating the condition: ‘Every man who comes to the Muslims from the people of Mecca, even if he be a Muslim, shall be returned.’ Abu Jandal threw himself before the Muslims and very painfully cried, ‘O ye Muslims! I am being subjected to this torment, merely on account of my having accepted Islam! Save me for the sake of God!’ Upon the sight of this, the Muslims began to toss in agony, but Suhail also remained obstinate and said to the Holy Prophetsa, ‘As per this treaty, this is the first demand I make to you, that you return Abu Jandal to me.’ The Holy Prophetsa said, ‘The treaty has yet to be finalised’” for the negotiations are ongoing and nothing has been finalised.
“Upon this, Suhail said, ‘If you do not return him to me, consider this treaty dissolved.’ In order to settle the matter, the Holy Prophetsa said, ‘Let it go and grant Abu Jandal to us as an act of favour and kindness.’ Suhail said, ‘No, never.’ The Holy Prophetsa said, ‘Suhail! Do not be obstinate! Listen to me on this.’ Suhail said, ‘I cannot accept this in any case.’ Upon this, Abu Jandal cried out once again, ‘O ye Muslims! Shall your Muslim brother be sent back to the idolaters after having suffered such severe torment?’ It is strange to note that at the time, Abu Jandal did not appeal to the Holy Prophetsa, rather, he appealed to the common Muslims. Perhaps this was because he knew that irrespective of how much pain the Holy Prophetsa held in his heart, he would never allow for the treaty to be detrimentally affected. However, he expected that the rest of the Muslims, perhaps in their indignation at the time, would find a way to justify his freedom, as the clauses of the treaty were still being transcribed. Despite this and irrespective of how emotional the Muslims were, it was impossible for them to take a stance against the wish of the Holy Prophetsa. The Holy Prophetsa remained silent for some time, and then painfully said, ‘O Abu Jandal! Be patient. Look towards God, for it is He who shall indeed arrange for your deliverance and for your weak Muslim brothers. At this time, we are bound by our circumstances because we have already settled an agreement with the people of Mecca and we cannot act in violation of this treaty.’
The Muslims were witnessing this scene and in religious indignation, their eyes became gorged with rage, but out of respect, they remained silent before the Holy Prophetsa. Finally, Hazrat Umarra could bear it no more. He came to the Holy Prophetsa and enquired in a trembling voice, ‘Are you not the truthful Messenger of Allah?’ The Holy Prophetsa said, ‘Yes, indeed I am.’ Umarra responded, ‘Are we not upon the truth and our enemy upon falsehood?’ The Holy Prophetsa responded, ‘Yes, indeed it is so.’ Umarra said, ‘Why then should we bear this humiliation in the matter of our true religion?’
“Upon seeing this state of Hazrat Umarra, the Holy Prophetsa concisely said, ‘Look hither Umar! I am the Messenger of God. I understand the will of God and I cannot act against it and it is He Who shall be my Helper.’ But the indignation in the mood of Hazrat Umarra was growing, moment by moment. He began to say, ‘Did you not say that we would perform tawaf around the Ka‘bah?’ The Holy Prophetsa said, ‘Yes, indeed, I did, but did I also say that this tawaf would definitely be this year?’ Umarra said, ‘No, you did not.’ The Holy Prophetsa responded, ‘Then be patient. God-willing, you shall indeed enter Mecca and perform tawaf of the Ka‘bah.’ However, in this state of emotion, Hazrat Umarra was not satisfied. Nonetheless, due to the extraordinary awe of the Holy Prophetsa, Hazrat Umarra left and came to Hazrat Abu Bakrra. In his emotion, he asked the same question again, and Hazrat Abu Bakrra also responded in the same way as the Holy Prophetsa. However, Hazrat Abu Bakrra also advised him, ‘O Umarra, look hither! Control yourself. Do not allow for your grip to loosen from the rope of Allah’s Messengersa. By God, this man, in whose hand we have given our own is without a doubt, truthful.’ Hazrat Umarra said that at the time because of his emotion he said such things, but later he felt exceedingly repentant. Moreover, in order to wash away the effects of this weakness as a form of repentance, he performed many voluntary acts as an expiation. In other words, he gave charity, fasted, offered voluntary Salat and even freed numerous slaves, so that this blemish of weakness could be cleansed.’” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, pp. 766-768)
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh would deliver speeches on the occasion of Jalsa [Salana] prior to his Khilafat as well. I shall present a part [of the speech] in relation to this. He states:
“There is no doubt that the anguish which emanated from the heart of Hazrat Umarra in the form of a question was also felt in the hearts of many others. The emotions which were expressed by his tongue were not only the sentiments of Umarra, but undoubtedly they were felt by many others as well. The courage demonstrated by Hazrat Umarra to express this feeling was an oversight on his part that thereafter Hazrat Umarra always regretted this. He kept many fasts, offered many prayers, gave charity in abundance and drenched the prayer mats in anguish constantly reciting istighfar, but still the fire of regret was not extinguished.
“The anguish felt at the time of the Treaty of Hudaibiyah was temporary and very quickly this was transformed into contentment through the mercy bestowed from the Heavens. However, the feeling of regret which was left in the heart of Umarra owing to this question he had asked in haste, continued to remain within him and this feeling never left him. He would always wish that he had never asked such a question to the Holy Prophetsa.”
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh further states:
“I often ponder that when Hazrat Umarra was breathing his last, close to his demise and was praying:
لَا لِيْ وَلَا عَلَيَّ
‘O Allah! I do not seek the reward for my good deeds, rather I seek forgiveness for my sins’, among all these mistakes, the one that may have caused him the greatest anguish was the one he had committed in the plains of Hudaibiyah. At the time of when the conditions of the Treaty of Hudaibiyah were being stipulated, upon seeing the restlessness and pain of the companions, only his beloved God Who was his Most Excellent Friend knew the condition of the Holy Prophet’ssa heart. But through these three simple sentences which he uttered from his blessed tongue to Hazrat Umarra, the Holy Prophetsa left a great message for those who reflect.” (Khutbat-e-Tahir [Taqarir Jalsa Salana Qabl az Khilafat], p. 428)
At the time of the Treaty of Hudaibiyah, the parchment that contained the conditions of the treaty between the Muslims and Quraish of Mecca was signed by Hazrat Umarra as well.
Regarding this, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra writes:
“Two copies of this agreement were transcribed and as witnesses, many prominent members from both sides put down their signatures. From the Muslims were Hazrat Abu Bakrra, Hazrat Umarra, Hazrat Uthmanra, Abdur-Rahmanra bin Auf, Saadra bin Abi Waqas and Abu Ubaidahra. After the agreement had been concluded, Suhail bin Amr took one copy of the agreement and returned to Mecca, while the other copy remained with the Holy Prophetsa.” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, p. 769)
Regarding the return journey from Hudaibiyah, it is written in Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin:
“After making his sacrifice, the Holy Prophetsa ordered the return to Medina. At the time, it had been a little under 20 days since the Holy Prophetsa had arrived in Hudaibiyah. During his return journey, when the Holy Prophetsa reached Qura al-Ghamim near Usfan”; Usfan is situated 103 kilometres from Mecca and Qura al-Ghamim is a valley situated eight miles from Usfan; “and it was night, the Holy Prophetsa made an announcement and gathered all the companions. He said:
“‘This night, a chapter has been revealed to me, and it is dearer to me than all the things of this world. It is as follows:
اِنَّا فَتَحْنَا لَكَ فَتْحًا مُبِيْنًا لِّيَغْفِرَ لَكَ اللّٰهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِكَ وَمَا تَأَخَّرَ وَيُتِمَّ نِعْمَتَهٗ عَلَيْكَ وَيَهْدِيَكَ صِرَاطًا مُّسْتَقِيْمًا وَّيَنْصُرَكَ اللّٰهُ نَصْرًا عَزِيْزًا
“These are verses 2-4 of Surah al-Fath, and it continues; the 28th verse is as follows:
لَقَدْ صَدَقَ اللّٰهُ رَسُوْلَهُ الرُّؤْيَا بِالْحَقِّ لَتَدْخُلُنَّ الْمَسْجِدَ الْحَرَامَ إِنْ شَآءَاللّٰهُ اٰمِنِيْنَ مُحَلِّقِيْنَ رُءُوْسَكُمْ وَمُقَصِّرِيْنَ لَا تَخَافُوْنَ
“‘O Messenger, we have indeed given thee a magnificent victory, so that we may begin for you an era, wherein the veil of forgiveness shall cover up thy shortcomings, past and future, and that He may complete His favour upon thee and may guide thee on the straight path of success. And indeed, Allah shall help thee with a mighty help […] The truth is that God indeed fulfilled the vision for His Messenger. For now, God willing, you shall enter the sacred house in a state of security, some of you having their heads shaven and others having their hair cut short, and you shall have no fear.’
“In other words, ‘If you were to have entered Mecca this year, it would not have been an entry of security; it would have been an entry of war and bloodshed. However, in the vision, God had shown an entry of security and it is for this reason that as a result of the agreement this year, a state of security has been devised. Now, in accordance with the vision shown by God, you shall soon enter the Sacred Mosque in a state of security.’ Indeed, it so happened.
“When the Holy Prophetsa recited these verses to the companions, since the hearts of a few companions still felt the bitterness of the Treaty of Hudaibiyah, they became surprised thinking that although they were returning in failure, but yet God was giving them good wishes on their victory. Some hasty companions even said, ‘Is it a victory that we are returning whilst being deprived of performing tawaf around the Baitullah?’ When these words reached the Holy Prophetsa, he expressed great displeasure. In a brief but powerful speech he said:
‘This is an absurd objection because if you reflect it shall become evident that the Treaty of Hudaibiyah is truly a momentous victory. The Quraish who were bent on war, have themselves forsaken war and settled a peace treaty with us, and have promised to open the doors of Mecca to us the following year. Safeguarded from the mischief of the Quraish, we are now returning in peace and security, whilst receiving the fragrance of our future victory. Therefore, indeed, this is a grand victory. Have you all forgotten how this very tribe, the Quraish, launched onslaughts of war against you in Uhud and Ahzab? This earth, with all its vastness, became straitened for you and your eyes were petrified, and you trembled in fear. Today, however, this very Quraish is settling a treaty of peace and security with you.’
“The companions responded, ‘O Messengersa of Allah! We have understood, we have understood. We cannot reach your farsightedness, but now we have understood that this treaty truly is a momentous victory for us.’
“Prior to this address of the Holy Prophetsa, Hazrat Umarra was also in a state of extreme apprehension. Therefore, he himself related that on the return from Hudaibiyah, when the Holy Prophetsa was journeying at night, he presented himself before him, and whilst addressing the Holy Prophetsa, desired to say something to him. The Holy Prophetsa, however, remained silent. He addressed him a second and third time, but the Holy Prophetsa remained silent as before. He was greatly hurt by this silence of the Holy Prophetsa. Hence, he moved ahead of the entire body of the Muslims telling himself that, ‘O Umar, you have been ruined! You addressed the Holy Prophetsa three times, but the Messengersa of Allah did not respond.’ He began to feel deeply apprehensive about what the matter was? He began to feel afraid that a Quranic verse may have been revealed in his connection. It had hardly been a moment, when a man called out his name and said, ‘The Messengersa of Allah has summoned Umar bin Al-Khattab!’ He said to himself, ‘I am sure that a Quranic verse has been revealed about me.’ Therefore, perturbed, he hurriedly presented himself before the Holy Prophetsa and upon greeting him with salutations of peace, he came to his side. The Holy Prophetsa said, ‘At this time, such a surah has been revealed to me, which is more dear to me than all the things of this world.’ Then the Holy Prophetsa recited the verses of Surah al-Fath. Hazrat Umarra asked, ‘O Messengersa of Allah! Is this treaty really a victory for Islam?’ The Holy Prophetsa said, ‘Yes, verily this is our victory.’ Upon this, Hazrat Umarra found satisfaction and remained silent and the Holy Prophetsa returned to Medina.” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, pp. 770-772) (Farhang-e-Sirat, p. 200, 243)
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:
“On the occasion of the Treaty of Hudaibiyah, the Holy Prophetsa entered into a peace treaty with the idolaters which caused the companions to feel great anguish that even a person of the calibre of Hazrat Umarra presented himself before the Holy Prophetsa and submitted, ‘O Messengersa of Allah! Has Allah the Almighty not vouchsafed His promise to you that we shall perform the tawaf of the Ka‘bah or is victory not destined for Islam?’ The Holy Prophetsa replied, ‘Indeed!’ Hazrat Umarra then submitted, ‘Then why have we entered a peace treaty whilst being subdued?’ The Holy Prophetsa replied, ‘No doubt, Allah the Almighty has granted His promise that we shall perform circuits of the Ka‘bah; however, He did not declare that it will certainly be this year.’” (Khutbat-e-Mahmud, Vol. 30, p. 220)
Accounts in the life of Hazrat Umarra will continue in the future, insha-Allah. At present, I shall mention some deceased and lead their funeral prayers.
The first is of Malik Muhammad Yusuf Saleem Sahib who was in charge of the Zud Nawisi department. He passed away at the age of 86.
اِنَّا لِلّٰهِ وَاِنَّا اِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُوْن
[Verily, to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.]
He was the only Ahmadi in his family and he accepted Ahmadiyyat in 1952. His older brother found him employment in the railway. At the time, the chief engineer [at the workplace] there was an Ahmadi named Mir Hameedullah Sahib. He used to receive the Al Fazl newspaper and Mir Hameedullah Sahib would preach to him regularly. Saleem Sahib became Ahmadi after reading Al Fazl.
When his family found out, they began threatening him that they would kill him if he did not leave Ahmadiyyat. Nevertheless, he left his home, but did not forsake Ahmadiyyat. Eventually, when the situation worsened, the way he had to leave his home was that one night, without letting her other sons know, his mother said to him, “Leave here and never come back, otherwise your life will be at risk.”
He completed his MA in Islamic studies at Punjab University, then in 1958, he joined Jamia Ahmadiyya. In 1963, he graduated from Jamia Ahmadiyya and was appointed in the ifta office with Malik Saif-ur-Rahman Sahib, the mufti of the Jamaat [at the time]. In 1967, he was then transferred to the Zud Nawisi department. When Maulana Muhammad Yaqub Tahir Sahib – in-charge of the Zud Nawisi department – passed away, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh appointed Malik Muhammad Yusuf Saleem Sahib in his place, where he continued to serve as the in-charge until 1985. In the Zud Nawisi office, he was assigned the task of preparing reports from Hazrat Khalifatul Masih’s speeches, sermons, programmes and tours, etc.
In 1978, the Deliverance from the Cross Conference took place in London, which was attended by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh. Malik Muhammad Yusuf Saleem Sahib also attended alongside him and prepared the report thereof. He also assisted Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh a great deal to prepare Sawanih Fazl-e-Umar and Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh praised him in an excellent manner. In 1983, when Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh toured Australia, Fiji and Singapore, Malik Yusuf Saleem Sahib was present as well.
After the migration [from Rabwah to London], he had the task of preparing audio cassette copies which he fulfilled in an excellent manner. Due to the diligence required, he would go to a place in Faisalabad himself to prepare these audio cassettes in a house and bring them with him on the way back. He also served as a missionary in the field for some years.
He had the opportunity of working on Khutbat-e-Tahir in the Tahir Foundation. He had the opportunity to write down the proceedings of the Shura. After his retirement, he continued to serve the Jamaat, but took leave in 2013 due to his illness. He married twice. He had a daughter from his first marriage, after which his wife later passed away. He remarried and from this, he has two sons and three daughters.
His daughter, Qudsiyah Mahmood Sardar, says, “Our father ensured that we have a firm bond with Allah and constantly reminded us in this regard. He would be very particular about us offering prayers and would be upset when we would offer the prayers late. He would pray fervently in his Tahajud prayers. He would recite one part of the Holy Quran every day and even during his illness, he would always ask whether it was time for prayers or not; he was very mindful about his prayers. He instilled within us love and obedience for Khilafat. He himself had a great deal of love for Khilafat. He used to say that all blessings could be found in obedience to Khilafat. He endured great hardships for the sake of Ahmadiyyat.”
The Assistant Private Secretary, Rashid Tayyab Sahib says:
“During the time of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh, Malik Muhammad Yusuf Saleem Sahib joined the Zud Nawisi department. He was able to serve in this department for an extended period of time and would write out speeches etc. He would prepare reports for the Jamaat newspaper, Al Fazl. He carried out his work with great responsibility, proficiency and in an excellent manner.” He also possessed a high literary standard; and as I mentioned, he also had the opportunity of accompanying Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh and Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh on foreign visits to Africa and Europe. He was mindful of the finest details in his work; he would write every word with great concentration and caution and while writing, he would pray so that he would not stray from the true meaning. Even after retiring in 2013, if there was ever any difficulty faced in compiling the report for Shura, whenever he was called to the private secretary’s office, he would show up immediately and would always express that he considered it an honour. I also recall him to have been a gentle person who remained immersed in his work and he fulfilled his duty of being a life-devotee. He quietly completed all his work, never made any demands and led a simple life. May Allah the Almighty bestow His forgiveness and mercy and enable his progeny to carry on his virtuous deeds.
The next funeral is of respected Shoaib Ahmad Sahib, a life-devotee, who was the son of Bashir Ahmad Kalafghana, Darwesh from Qadian. He passed away at the age of 56.
اِنَّا لِلّٰهِ وَاِنَّا اِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُوْن
[Verily, to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.]
He began serving the Jamaat in 1987. He worked in various departments of Sadr Anjuman as a worker, afsar and nazir; he was able to serve as in-charge of daftar ulya and auditor of Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya, nazir baitul mal kharch, nazim Waqf-e-Jadid Mal, afsar Jalsa Salana and sadr of Khuddamul Ahmadiyya India.
His period of service spans more than 33 years. He paid a great deal of attention towards his worship and regularly offered his Tahajud prayer and nawafil. He also exhibited a high degree of obedience to Khilafat. He always used to say that whatever instructions were received should be implemented right away. He possessed deep knowledge of the Holy Quran. He also studied the books of the Promised Messiahas and the Khulafa. He had a wide range of religious knowledge and was able to deliver a speech on any topic. He possessed good morals and was sociable. He would show love and compassion to everyone. He took great care of those in need. Everyone in Qadian has spoken highly of him; he was very patient and grateful.
The deceased was a musi. He is survived by his wife and two sons. He was the son-in-law of Jalaluddin Nayyar Sahib, Sadr Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya Qadian.
Rafiq Baig Sahib, Nazir Baitul Mal Amad Qadian, writes:
“I had the opportunity of working with him for 18 years in Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya India and the office of Jalsa Salana Qadian. He would lead all those serving with his own practical example. During the days of Jalsa Salana, he would remain in his office until three or four in the morning and would also inspect the accommodation. If he saw any deficiency, he would rectify it immediately. He would always advise every volunteer to do justice in caring for the guests of the Promised Messiahas. If a volunteer acted unjustly, he would apologise to the guests himself.”
His brother-in-law has also written, “He used to say that he never held any grudge against a single person in the world.”
An inspector from Wakalat-e-Mal Tahrik-e-Jadid writes:
“He had a tour of his provinces [assigned to him] in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, which lasted 75 days. During this time, I became ill and he took care of me just like any parent would do.”
May Allah the Almighty bestow His forgiveness and mercy upon the deceased and grant his children and wife patience and forbearance, and enable them to continue his virtuous deeds.
The next funeral is of respected Maqsood Ahmad Bhatti Sahib, a missionary from Qadian who passed away on 18 May at the age of 52.
اِنَّا لِلّٰهِ وَاِنَّا اِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُوْن
[Verily, to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.]
He was from the jamaat in Charkor District Rajouri Province of Jammu Kashmir. His time of service spanned 30 years; he was able to serve as amir zone Lucknow and as missionary-in-charge Sri Nagar for about one year. From 2017 until his demise, he was able to serve full-time as a central [markazi] qazi. He actively served in the qaza [department of arbitration] with great sincerity. He settled dozens of cases. He would always remain concerned with the responsibilities assigned to him.
In fact, in recent days, when he was ill in hospital as he had contracted the coronavirus, he was still concerned about his work. He was very sociable, good-natured, brave, intelligent and an active life-devotee.
The deceased was a musi. He is survived by his mother, three brothers, his wife and three daughters. May Allah the Almighty treat the deceased with forgiveness and mercy and keep his daughters in His protection and enable them to continue his virtuous deeds.
The next funeral is of Javaid Iqbal Sahib of Faisalabad who passed away at the age of 66.
اِنَّا لِلّٰهِ وَاِنَّا اِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُوْن
[Verily, to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.]
His son Talha Javaid writes:
“Ahmadiyyat was introduced into his family through his great paternal grandfather, Baba Chakirah, who was famous for making millstones and repairing them. He would carry out his work by calling out in the streets and at the same time, he would sing couplets of the Promised Messiahas in a loud voice as well to open avenues of propagating the message.”
By the grace of Allah the Almighty, aside from the regular prayers, he regularly offered Tahajud prayers and would advise everyone at home to offer prayers in congregation and in fact, congregational prayers would regularly be offered in the home. He regularly recited the Holy Quran along with its translation. He especially made sure to listen to the Friday Sermon and would have everyone at home sit with him to watch the sermon on MTA.
He had a great passion for serving the faith. After the conditions of 1984 when the audio sermon of the Khalifa would be relayed via cassette, he would put the cassettes in a bag and would go from village to village on his bicycle to deliver them. Then, when MTA was launched, he had a [satellite] dish installed at his home and would invite people to his home so that they could listen to the sermon.
He is survived by his mother, wife Amatul Basit, two sons and a daughter. May Allah the Almighty grant him His forgiveness and mercy.
The next funeral is of respected Madiha Nawaz, wife of Nawaz Ahmad Sahib, a missionary from Ghana. She passed away on 16 April at the age of 36.
اِنَّا لِلّٰهِ وَاِنَّا اِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُوْن
[Verily, to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.]
She was residing in Ghana which is where she passed away. Her husband, who is a missionary, writes:
“Over 16 years, I found that she possessed many great qualities. She was extremely forbearing and patient, kind and empathetic. She was an excellent mother and a faithful wife.
“In Ghana, whenever she found the opportunity, she would conduct classes for the local children. She taught her own children the Quran. She treated her in-laws in an excellent manner. She never responded to harsh words and would advise me to do the same. She would always advise others to pray. She was particular about the smallest details when it came to the moral upbringing of her children. She would often speak of the blessings of Khilafat to her children in order to attach them to Khilafat. She tended to the poor and was a virtuous person.”
She is survived by her husband and three children – Furad Safih aged 13, Faizia aged eight and Zara who is one year old. All three children are part of the Waqf-e-Nau scheme, masha-Allah. May Allah the Almighty accept her prayers in favour of her children, elevate her station in Paradise and bestow her with forgiveness and mercy.
(Original Urdu transcript published in Al Fazl International, 25 June 2021, pp. 5-10. Translated by The Review of Religions)