Friday Sermon – Men of Excellence: Hazrat Umar r.a. ibn al-Khattab (7 May 2021)

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Friday Sermon

7 May 2021

Men of Excellence: Hazrat Umarra ibn al-Khattab

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

The accounts Hazrat Umar’sra acceptance of Islam were previously being mentioned. With regard to Hazrat Umarra accepting Islam, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra narrates:

“Hazrat Umarra fiercely opposed Islam.” That is, until he accepted Islam, he continuously opposed the spread of Islam. “One day, the thought crossed his mind as to why not simply put an end to its founder. As soon as this thought crossed his mind, he took his sword and left his home in order to kill the Holy Prophetsa

“On the way, someone asked him, ‘Where are you going, Umar?’ Hazrat Umarra replied, ‘I am going to kill Muhammad[sa].’ The person laughed and said, ‘You should first see what is happening within your own house. Your sister and brother-in-law have already accepted him.’ Hazrat Umarra replied, ‘This is a lie.’ The individual responded by saying that he ought to go and investigate for himself. Hazrat Umarra went there and found the door to be locked. Inside, a companion was teaching the Holy Quran. Hazrat Umarra knocked. His brother-in-law asked from inside, ‘Who is it?’ Hazrat Umarra replied that it was Umar. 

“When they saw that it was Hazrat Umarra, they hid the companion who was teaching them the Holy Quran, as they knew that Hazrat Umarra was a fierce enemy of Islam. Similarly, they also hid the parchment of the Holy Quran in a corner and then opened the door. 

“As Hazrat Umarra had already heard that his brother-in-law and sister had accepted Islam, he immediately asked them why they took so long in opening the door. His brother-in-law replied that, at times, it can take a while to open the door. Hazrat Umarra said, ‘This is not the case’ and that ‘a particular issue must have hindered you from opening the door. I could also hear that you were listening to the words of a sabi man.’” The idolaters of Mecca used to call the Holy Prophetsa “Sabi” [i.e. one who had abandoned their old faith]. 

“His brother-in-law tried to brush off the matter, but Hazrat Umarra became infuriated and stepped forward in order to strike him. However, out of love for her husband, Hazrat Umar’sra sister jumped between them. As Hazrat Umarra had already raised his hand to strike and his sister suddenly jumped in between, he was unable to hold back. It struck the nose of his sister with full force and blood started to flow from it. Hazrat Umarra was a compassionate person. 

“Seeing that he had hit a woman, which was against the custom of Arabia, on top of that it was his own sister, he tried to change the topic and said, ‘Right, tell me about what you were reading.’ His sister understood that Hazrat Umarra had overcome with sentiments of kindness and said, ‘Go! I am not prepared to give something pure in the hands of a person like you.’ Hazrat Umarra asked what he should do? His sister replied, ‘There is some water. Bathe, as only then I will hand it to you.’ 

“Hazrat Umarra took a bath and returned. His sister then placed the parchments of the Holy Quran, which they were listening to, in his hands. Since he was already affected by the earlier incident, reciting the verses of the Holy Quran melted his heart. Once he had completed reciting the verses, he spontaneously said: 

اَشْهَدُ اَنْ لَّا اِلٰهَ اِلَّا اللّٰهُ وَاَشْهَدُ اَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا رَّسُوْلُ اللّٰهِ

“‘I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and I bear witness that Muhammadsa is His Messenger.’ Hearing this, the companion, who was hiding out of fear of Hazrat Umarra, also came out. 

“Subsequently, Hazrat Umarra enquired as to where the Holy Prophetsa was residing in those days. Due to the opposition, the Holy Prophetsa frequently changed homes during those days. He told him that these days, the Holy Prophetsa was staying in Dar al-Arqam. Hazrat Umarra immediately left, with his sword out of its sheath and headed towards this place. His sister became extremely anxious, thinking that he might be heading there with evil intentions. She stepped forward and said, ‘By God! I will not let you go until you reassure me that you are not going there to cause some mischief.’ Hazrat Umarra replied, ‘I give you a solemn promise that I will not cause any disorder.’ 

“Hazrat Umarra approached the place where the Holy Prophetsa was staying and knocked on the door. The Holy Prophetsa and his companions were sitting inside and discussing matters of religion. One of the companions asked who it was. Hazrat Umarra replied, ‘It is Umar.’ 

“The companions said: ‘O Messengersa of Allah! The door should not be opened, lest he causes some disorder.’ Hazrat Hamzahra had recently accepted Islam and had the disposition of a warrior. He said, ‘Open the door. I shall see to what he does!’ Hence, an individual opened the door and Hazrat Umarra entered. Upon this, the Holy Prophetsa said, ‘Umar! How long will you go on opposing me?’

“Hazrat Umarra said, ‘O Messengersa of Allah, I have not come in opposition; rather, I have come to become your follower.’ Umarra, who an hour earlier was a staunch enemy of Islam and had left his home to kill the Holy Prophetsa, became the highest calibre of a believer within a single moment. Hazrat Umarra was not among the chieftains of Mecca, but due to his courage, he had a great influence over the youth. When he became a Muslim, the Muslims raised slogans of ‘Allah is the Greatest’ [Allahu Akbar]. Then came the time for prayer and the Holy Prophetsa desired to offer his prayers, but that same Umarra, who two hours previously left his home to kill the Holy Prophetsa, once again took out his sword, saying, ‘O Messengersa of Allah! How can it be that God’s Messengersa and those who follow him pray in hiding whilst the idolaters of Mecca wander about freely? Let me see who will dare to stop us from offering our prayers in the vicinity of the Ka‘bah.’ The Holy Prophetsa stated, ‘This passion is commendable indeed, but for the moment, it is not suitable for us to go forth in such a state.’” (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 6, pp. 141-143)

Later on, they were able to pray at the Ka‘bah, as has been mentioned previously. 

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra has also mentioned this, stating:

“In the early period of Islam, only two people were considered to be truly courageous – one was Hazrat Umarra and the other was Hazrat Hamzahra. When both of these individuals entered the fold of Islam, they expressed to the Holy Prophetsa that they were not happy to only worship Allah in their homes, when they also had a right over the Ka‘bah. Hence, there was no reason for them not to attain this right of theirs of worshipping Allah the Almighty in the open. Thus, the Holy Prophetsa – who would worship in his home to avoid being accused by the idolaters of spreading disorder – went to the Ka‘bah for worship. In that moment, to one side of him was Hazrat Umarra holding his sword, and to his other side was Hazrat Hamzahra. So in this way, the Holy Prophetsa offered his prayers at the Ka‘bah in plain sight.” (Khutbat-e-Mahmud, Vol. 23, p. 10) 

When news of Hazrat Umarra accepting Islam spread amongst the Quraish, they became extremely infuriated and with these sentiments, they surrounded the house of Hazrat Umarra

Hazrat Umarra came out to a large crowd that had surrounded him; certain overzealous individuals were prepared to attack him. However, Hazrat Umarra stood courageously and steadfastly in front of them. Eventually, as this was happening, the chieftain of Mecca, Aas bin Waa‘il arrived and having witnessed this crowd, asked in a commanding tone, “What is going on?” The people replied, “Umarra has become a sabi.” Whilst assessing the situation, the chieftain said, “Alright, but there is no need for this commotion, I grant my protection to Umarra.” 

As was the custom of the Arabs, the people had no choice but to remain silent when he spoke and they eventually dispersed. Thereafter, Hazrat Umarra remained in this protection for a few days, as no one dared go against the protection of Aas bin Waa‘il. However, the honour of Hazrat Umarra would not allow him to remain in this state for long. Hence, not long had passed that he went to say to Aas bin Waa‘il, ‘I remove myself from your protection.’ Hazrat Umarra states, ‘Thereafter I would find myself in confrontations and skirmishes in the streets (i.e. he would always be subjected to altercations).’ But Hazrat Umarra never backed down in front of anyone.” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, p. 159)

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra then states:

“Observe just how staunch the enemies of the Holy Prophetsa were and the change that took place within them. Not only were they reformed; in fact, they reached the heights of spiritual ranks that it would be impossible to recognise them” i.e. they were completely transformed to the point where they could not be recognised as the same people. 

“When Hazrat Umarra – who was ever-ready to oppose Islam and the Muslims – had the honour of accepting Islam, such a transformation took place in him that he was ready to put his life at risk for the benefit of the world and was occupied day and night in service to Islam.” (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 7, p. 45)

It should be “[…] for the benefit of religion he began to place his life in danger.”

The Promised Messiahas states with regard to Hazrat Umarra accepting Islam:

“Observe just how beneficial Hazrat Umarra proved to be. There was a time when he had not accepted Islam and remained in this state for four years. Allah the Almighty knows best the secret behind this. Abu Jahl was searching for someone who would kill the Holy Prophetsa

“At the time, Hazrat Umarra was well-known for his bravery and courage and he possessed great might. They discussed amongst themselves and he took up the task of killing the Holy Prophetsa. Hazrat Umarra and Abu Jahl signed a contract in which it was stated that if Hazrat Umarra killed the Holy Prophetsa, he would be rewarded with such and such amount. 

“It is the power of Allah the Almighty that the same Umarra who once went forth to slay the Holy Prophetsa later accepted Islam and was himself martyred. What an extraordinary era that was! 

“Hence, the contract was signed that he would be the one to kill him. After signing this, he would go about in search of the Holy Prophetsa and spend the nights doing the same”, i.e. Hazrat Umarra would spend his time searching for the Holy Prophetsa and go about the night as well hoping for an opportunity to kill him in secret. 

“He would enquire of the people as to when the Holy Prophetsa would be alone. They would say that after half the night had passed, he would go to the Ka‘bah to offer his prayers. Hazrat Umarra was delighted to hear this, so he went and hid in the Ka‘bah. After a short while, he could hear the sound of:

لَا اِلٰهَ‭ ‬اِلَّا اللّٰهُ

“‘There is no god except Allah’ emanating from the wilderness; it was the voice of the Holy Prophetsa. Having heard his voice and understanding that he was making his way there, Hazrat Umarra sat even more diligently and decided that he would strike him with his sword when he lay in prostration, severing his head from his shoulders. As soon as the Holy Prophetsa arrived, he began performing his prayers. Hazrat Umarra relates what happened thereafter.” 

The Promised Messiahas states:

“Hazrat Umarra himself relates what subsequently took place: ‘The Holy Prophetsa wept so much as he supplicated during his prostration that I was shaken to the core, to the point where the Holy Prophetsa even said:

 سَجَدَ‭ ‬لَكَ‭ ‬رُوْحِيْ‭ ‬وَجَنَانِيْ

“O my Lord, my soul and my heart prostrate before You.”’ 

“Hazrat Umarra states, ‘Having heard these prayers, my heart was torn apart. In the end my sword fell from my hand in awe of the truth. I realised from witnessing the Holy Prophetsa in such a state that he was truthful and would indeed be successful, yet the soul that incites to evil is indeed wicked and would incite over and over again. 

“‘When the Holy Prophetsa had completed his prayers and left, I pursued him. The Holy Prophetsa heard my footsteps. The night was dark. The Holy Prophetsa asked, “Who is it?” I replied, “Umar.” He then said, “Umar, neither do you leave us in the night nor in the day.” In that moment, I sensed the scent of the Holy Prophet’ssa soul and I felt as though he was about to curse me. I said, “Do not curse me.”’

“Hazrat Umarra states, ‘That time and that moment was for my acceptance of Islam, and God Almighty enabled me to become a Muslim.’” (Malfuzat, Vol. 2, pp. 180-181)

This is an extract of the Promised Messiahas and there is another quote of the Promised Messiahas which also sheds further light on this. It mentions more or less the same details but with a slightly different conclusion. 

The Promised Messiahas states:

“Prior to accepting Islam, Hazrat Umarra would often meet with Abu Jahl. In fact, it is mentioned that once, Abu Jahl conspired to kill the Holy Prophetsa and for this, he even fixed a reward. Hazrat Umarra was chosen to carry out this task and so he sharpened his sword and remained in search of the opportunity to carry this out. Hazrat Umarra came to learn that the Holy Prophetsa would go to the Ka‘bah in the middle of the night every day to offer his prayers. Subsequently, Hazrat Umarra went to the Ka‘bah and hid. He then began to hear the words:

 لَا‭ ‬اِلٰهَ‭ ‬اِلَّا‭ ‬اللّٰهُ

“‘There is none worthy of worship except Allah’ coming from the direction of the wilderness and the sound started coming closer and closer until the Holy Prophetsa entered inside the Ka‘bah and began to offer his prayers. 

“Hazrat Umarra stated, ‘The Holy Prophetsa supplicated so profusely that I no longer had the courage to strike my sword. When the Holy Prophetsa concluded his prayer, he left and I walked behind him. When the Holy Prophetsa heard my footsteps, he enquired as to who it was. I replied, “It is Umar!” Upon this, the Holy Prophetsa stated, “O Umar! You do not leave me alone in the day nor in the night.”’ Hazrat Umarra stated, ‘I felt as if the Holy Prophetsa was going to pray against me and so I stated, “As of today, I shall no longer cause you any hardship.”’ 

“Since the Arabs had great regard for their vows, therefore the Holy Prophetsa took his word, but the reality was that the time for Hazrat Umar’sra [good fortune] had been decreed.” This is slightly different from the previous quote. 

“At that moment, the Holy Prophetsa felt that God would not allow him to go to ruin and eventually Hazrat Umarra became a Muslim and immediately severed his ties of friendship and relations with Abu Jahl and the other opponents and a new bond of brotherhood was established in its stead with Hazrat Abu Bakrra and the other companions; not once did he ever think about those previous relations.” (Malfuzat, Vol. 3, p. 340)

Then, mentioning Hazrat Umar’sra acceptance of Islam in a similar manner – perhaps with a difference of just a few words – the Promised Messiahas states:

“You will have heard of the incident when Hazrat Umarra went forth to kill the Holy Prophetsa. Abu Jahl had circulated a form of announcement amongst the people that whoever killed the Holy Prophetsa would be granted great reward and honour. Prior to him embracing Islam, Hazrat Umarra settled an agreement with Abu Jahl to kill the Holy Prophetsa. Following this, he remained in search for the perfect opportunity. Upon enquiring, he was informed that the Holy Prophetsa would go the Ka‘bah in the middle of the night in order to offer his prayers. Deeming this to be the perfect opportunity, Hazrat Umarra went in the evening and hid in the Ka‘bah. In the middle of the night, the words:

 لَا‭ ‬اِلٰهَ‭ ‬اِلَّا‭ ‬اللّٰهُ

“‘There is none worthy of worship except Allah…’ began to emerge from the wilderness. Hazrat Umarra decided that as soon as the Holy Prophetsa would go into prostration, he would kill him. The Holy Prophetsa began to offer his prayers with such anguish and fervency and offered praise to Allah the Almighty in his prostrations in such a manner that Hazrat Umar’sra heart was moved. He lost all his courage and the hand with which he sought to carry out the act of killing became completely lax” – the softening of his heart has been described in this particular manner in this quote. 

“Upon completing his prayer, when the Holy Prophetsa left to go home, Hazrat Umarra followed him. The Holy Prophetsa heard footsteps and enquired who it was. Upon learning who it was, the Holy Prophetsa stated, ‘O Umar! Will you not leave me?’ Fearing lest the Holy Prophetsa would pray against him, Hazrat Umarra stated, ‘I have abandoned the plan to kill you; please do not pray against me!’ Hazrat Umarra would often say that this was the very first night in which the love for Islam entered his heart.”  (Malfuzat, Vol. 7, p. 61)

I have read out three different quotes; they are from January 1901, August 1902 and June 1904 or perhaps 1907. In all three quotes, the Promised Messiahas has mentioned Hazrat Umarra going to the Ka‘bah in order to attack [the Holy Prophetsa]. It is possible that perhaps, after this incident, having been overcome by “nafs-e-amarah” [the state that incites to evil], he may have left during the day as well and that is when the incident involving his sister took place, which is generally quoted [in reference to his acceptance of Islam]. 

However, in any case, in all three instances, the Promised Messiahas stated this particular incident. Since the Promised Messiahas also mentioned the subject of nafs-e-amarah here, therefore it is possible that he was overcome by his emotions once again and left [to his sister’s house]. 

In any case, in both incidents, whether it be the one involving his sister and brother-in-law or going in the night to kill [the Holy Prophetsa], Hazrat Umarra decided to do this due to the incitement of Abu Jahl and him fixing a reward. 

The Promised Messiahas states: 

“Abu Jahl has been described as Pharaoh, but in my view, he was far worse than Pharaoh because after all, Pharaoh had proclaimed: 

اٰمَنۡتُ اَنَّهٗ لَاۤ اِلٰهَ اِلَّا الَّذِيۡۤ اٰمَنَتۡ بِهٖ بَنُوۡۤا اِسۡرَآءِيۡلَ

[‘… I believe that there is no god but He in Whom the children of Israel believe…’ (Ch.10: V.91)]

“However, he [i.e. Abu Jahl] did not accept at all. All of the disorder in Mecca was owing to him. He was extremely arrogant, selfish and pretentious. His real name was Amr. Both Umars belonged to Mecca and it was the divine decree that one of them was drawn towards [the truth] whilst the other remained unfortunate. Whilst his soul is burning in the hellfire, Hazrat Umarra, on the other hand, did not show stubbornness and eventually became a king.” (Malfuzat, Vol. 4, p. 247)

Hazrat Ibn Umarra relates that when Hazrat Umarra bin Al-Khattab accepted Islam, the Holy Prophetsa tapped his hand on his chest three times and recited the following prayer: 

اَللّٰهُمَّ اَخْرِجْ مَا فِيْ صَدْرِهٖ مِنْ غِلٍّ، وَ أَبْدِلْهُ اِيْمَانًا

“O Allah! Remove whatever malice is in his heart and replace it with faith.” The Holy Prophetsa offered this prayer three times.  (Ibn Abd al-Barr, Al-Isti‘ab fi Ma‘rifat al-Ashab, Vol. 3, Bab Umar bin al-Khattabra [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2002], p. 237)

It was mentioned earlier that prior to his acceptance of Islam, Hazrat Umarra extremely opposed the Muslims. However, upon accepting Islam, his acceptance proved to be a means of victory for the Muslims and alleviating them from their hardships. 

Hazrat Abdullahra bin Mas‘ud relates that they did not openly worship Allah until Hazrat Umarra accepted Islam. (Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, Al-Isabah fi Tamyiz al-Sahabah, Vol. 4, Dhikr Umar bin al-Khattabra [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2005], p. 484) 

Abdur Rahman bin Harith relates that Hazrat Umarra stated:

“The night in which I accepted Islam, I thought, ‘Who is the most severe in his enmity towards the Holy Prophetsa from among the Meccans, so that I may go to him and inform him that I have accepted Islam?’” 

Hazrat Umarra states further, “I thought it was none other than Abu Jahl. Thus, in the morning, I went to him and knocked on his door.” Hazrat Umarra states, “Abu Jahl came to me and said, ‘O my nephew! Welcome. What brings you here?’” Hazrat Umarra states, “I replied, ‘I have come to let you know that I have professed my belief in Allah and His Messengersa and testify to that which he has brought.’” 

Hazrat Umarra states, “Upon this, he closed the door on me and said, ‘May Allah cause you and what you have believed in to be ruined.’” (Ibn Hisham, Sirat Ibn Hisham, Islam Dhikr Umar bin al-Khattabra [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Ibn Hazm, 2009], p. 162)

These were the words of Abu Jahl. 

Hazrat Ibn Umarra relates:

“When my father (i.e. Hazrat Umarra) accepted Islam, he asked the people who among the Quraish had the habit of spreading news. They informed him that it was Jameel bin Ma‘mar Jumhi.” Hazrat Ibn Umarra states, “Hazrat Umarra went to him early in the morning and I also followed behind him in order to see what he did. Even though I was quite young; however, I could understand everything.” This is Ibn Umarra saying this. 

“When Hazrat Umarra reached him, he said, ‘O Jameel! Are you aware that I have accepted Islam and have entered the religion of Muhammadsa?’” 

Hazrat Ibn Umarra states, “By God, Hazrat Umarra did not have to repeat this statement of his that he [i.e. Jameel] left with his cloak dragging across the floor and Hazrat Umarra also followed after him.” 

Hazrat Ibn Umarra states:

“I followed after my father and saw that he, i.e. Jameel, stood at the door of the Ka‘bah and loudly exclaimed, ‘O people of the Quraish!’” This was an announcement he made whilst standing at the door of the Ka‘bah. 

“‘O People of the Quraish!’ At the time, people were sat in groups near the Ka‘bah and all turned their attention towards him. He then continued, ‘Let it be known that Umar bin Al-Khattab has become a sabi.’” 

The narrator of this tradition states that Hazrat Umarra said from behind him, “He is lying for I have accepted Islam and I am not a sabi. And I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammadsa is His servant and Messenger.” Upon this, the Quraish leapt towards Hazrat Umarra. They both began fighting with one another until the sun had completely risen. The narrator states that when Hazrat Umarra became tired and exhausted, he sat down. The people stood around him. Hazrat Umarra said to them, “You can do whatever you wish to do. But I swear by Allah that if we reach 300 in number, then either we will leave Mecca for you or you will leave it for us.” In other words, they would then be able to freely do whatever they wanted. 

The narrator further states that the Quraish were still in their current state when an elderly man came forward, who was wearing an embroidered upper garment made from a Yemeni cloth. He came close to them and enquired what the matter was. They told him that Hazrat Umarra had become a sabi. To this, he said, “So what if he has? If a person has chosen something for himself, then what concern is that of yours?  Do you think that the Banu Adi bin Kaab will hand their people over to you? Leave this person alone.” The narrator states that by God, they all immediately left him. 

Hazrat Ibn Umarra – Hazrat Umar’sra son – states, “Long after my father had migrated to Medina, I asked him, ‘O father! On the day you accepted Islam, who was the person in Mecca who admonished the people who were fighting against you and he sent them away?’ Hazrat Umarra stated, ‘My dear son! It was Aas bin Waa‘il Sahmi.’” (Ibn Hisham, Sirat Ibn Hisham, Dhikr Islam Umar bin al-Khattabra [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Ibn Hazm, 2009], pp. 161-162)

There is a narration mentioned in Bukhari in which Hazrat Ibn Umarra relates: 

“One day, Hazrat Umarra was sat at home in a state of fear. In that instance, Abu Amr Aas bin Waa‘il Sahmi came and was wearing an embroidered cloak and an upper garment made of silk with designs on its hems. He belonged to the Banu Sahm tribe with whom we had an allegiance during the era of Jahiliyyah [era of ignorance prior to the advent of Islam]. Aas bin Waa‘il said to Hazrat Umarra, ‘What is this condition of yours?’ Hazrat Umarra replied, ‘Your people think that since I have become a Muslim, they will now kill me.’ 

“Aas bin Waa‘il stated, ‘No one will be able to get to you.’ Hazrat Umarra states that he felt assured after he said this. Aas bin Waa‘il then left and met the people. The valley of Mecca at the time was full of people; Aas bin Waa‘il asked them where they were heading to. They replied, they were going to the son of Khattab who had forsaken his religion. Upon this, Aas bin Waa‘il stated that they were not to go to him and subsequently the people returned.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab Manaqib al-Ansar, Bab Islam Umar bin al-Khattabra, Hadith 3864) 

This mention of Hazrat Umarra being fearful does not seem to be correct; this would be against the disposition of Hazrat Umarra. Perhaps seeing Hazrat Umarra worried, the narrator thought that he was fearful, as it was mentioned in an earlier narration that Hazrat Umarra renounced his protection, and this will be mentioned again later on as well. 

Explaining the incident of Hazrat Umar’sra acceptance of Islam, Hazrat Zain-ul-Abideen Waliullah Shah Sahib makes reference to Aas bin Waa‘il Sahmi, stating:

“There is mention regarding the persecution of the few people who accepted Islam prior to Hazrat Umarra. Hazrat Umarra would also have suffered persecution had Aas bin Waa‘il Sahmi not announced his protection. Aas bin Waa‘il was considered among the esteemed leaders of the Quraish and belonged to the Banu Sahm tribe. His ancestry is as follows: Aas bin Waa‘il bin Hashim bin Saeed bin Sahm. He died as a disbeliever prior to the migration. Hazrat Umarra belonged to the Banu Adi tribe who were allies of the Banu Sahm tribe. Owing to this pledge of friendship and support, Aas bin Waa‘il thought it his moral responsibility to assist Hazrat Umarra.” (Sahih al-Bukhari [translated], Kitab Manaqib al-Ansar, Bab Islam Umar bin al-Khattabra, Vol. 7, pp. 346-347) 

However, as I mentioned earlier, Hazrat Umarra renounced his protection soon after. Regarding this, Hazrat Umarra himself states:

“I did not wish to see a Muslim persecuted but remain safe from it myself. (Hazrat Umarra states) I thought to myself that this is not right. I should also suffer what the other Muslims are made to suffer. (Hazrat Umarra further says) I waited until they were all gathered near the Ka‘bah. I then went to my uncle, Aas bin Waa‘il and said, ‘Listen to what I have to say’ to which he replied, ‘What is the matter?’ I said, ‘I renounce your protection.’” Hazrat Umarra states, “Aas bin Waa‘il said, ‘O my nephew! Do not do this.’ I replied, ‘This is how it will be,’ to which he replied, ‘As you wish.’” Hazrat Umarra then states, “From this time onwards, either I would be beaten up or I would retaliate and fight, until a time came when Allah the Almighty established the honour of Islam.” (Ali Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghabah fi Ma‘rifat al-Sahabah, Vol. 4, Umar bin al-Khattabra [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2003], p. 141)

Muhammad bin Ubaid narrates, “I remember that we were never able to offer prayers inside the House of Allah until Hazrat Umarra accepted Islam. When Hazrat Umarra accepted Islam, he fought against the disbelievers to the extent that they eventually left us alone and we began to offer prayers.” (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, Islam Umar bin al-Khattabra [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Ihya al-Turath al-Arabi, 1996], p. 143)

Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘udra says, “From the time Hazrat Umarra became a Muslim, we were granted honour.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab Fada‘il Ashab al-Nabisa, Bab Hazrat Umar bin al-Khattabra, Hadith 3684) 

There were difficult times later as well, but they would not consider those difficulties to be as severe as the ones they suffered previously, even though from history we know that even Hazrat Umarra suffered persecution.

Hazrat Abdullahra bin Hisham states:

“We were with the Holy Prophetsa, who was holding on to Hazrat Umar’sra hand. Hazrat Umarra said to the Holy Prophetsa, ‘O Messengersa of Allah! You are dearer to me than everything except for my own self.’ The Holy Prophetsa said, ‘No, by God in Whose hands is my life, your faith can never be complete unless I become dearer to you than your own self.’” This is a very important aspect. Hazrat Umarra said to the Holy Prophetsa, ‘By God! You are now dearer to me than myself.’ The Holy Prophetsa said, ‘Indeed [that is correct] now Umar.’” Meaning that this was now the true state of faith. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Iman wa al-Nudhur, Bab kaif Kanat Yamin al-Nabisa…, Hadith 6632) 

With regard to Hazrat Umar’sra migration to Medina, Hazrat Abdullahra bin Abbas narrates that Alira bin Abi Talib said to him:

“From among the Muhajireen, I do not know anyone who did not migrate discreetly, except for Hazrat Umar bin Khattabra. When he decided to migrate, he took his sword, hung his bow across his shoulder, held arrows in his hand and went towards the Ka‘bah. 

“The leaders of the Quraish were present in the vicinity of the Ka‘bah. Hazrat Umarra calmly performed seven circuits of the Ka‘bah, and then went to Maqam-e-Ibrahim and offered his prayers with ease. He then went to each tribe individually and said to them, ‘May the faces become disfigured and their noses be rubbed in the dust! Whoever wishes for their mother to be separated from him, for their children to become orphaned and for their wives to become widowed, should meet me beyond this valley.’” 

Hazrat Alira then stated, “Aside from a few weak and helpless Muslims, nobody went after Hazrat Umarra. Hazrat Umarra imparted information to them and having guided them, he set off on his journey.” (Ali Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghabah fi Ma‘rifat al-Sahabah, Vol. 3, Umar bin al-Khattabra Hijratuh [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Fikr, 2003], pp. 648-649)

Hazrat Umarra openly declaring that he was about to migrate has only been mentioned in this narration by Hazrat Alira, whereas the majority of biographers hold a different view to this. 

Muhammad Husayn Haykal has written a book about the life and character of Hazrat Umarra. In his book, he has argued that with regard to the migration, the Holy Prophetsa had instructed to migrate from Mecca quietly and discreetly, lest the opponents became aware of it and tried to stop them or hinder them. Therefore, in light of this clear instruction, how could it be that Hazrat Umarra would disobey this instruction, especially given that in Al-Tabaqat by Ibn Saad and Ibn Hisham, it is written that Hazrat Umarra migrated secretly along with the rest of the Muslims?

Nonetheless, if one deems the narration of Hazrat Alira to be correct, then it could be the case that Hazrat Umarra made this announcement, but did not migrate at that time; i.e. he announced before the leaders of the Quraish in the vicinity of the Ka‘bah that he would migrate and so whoever wished to stop him could try, but then he did not migrate at the time. 

Then later, when it was time to migrate, he migrated quietly. Nevertheless, what Haykal has mentioned is also significant and as mentioned earlier, Ibn Saad in Al-Tabaqat and Ibn Hisham have also stated this. It seems that in accordance with the command of the Holy Prophetsa, Hazrat Umarra also migrated quietly along with the other Muslims, because given the situation of Mecca at the time, it was not possible to migrate by announcing their intentions. In fact, we find that until the Conquest of Mecca, anyone who migrated had to do so in secret.

Nonetheless, if the narration of Hazrat Alira is to be deemed correct, then it could be an action from his own part, but the apparent evidence suggests that this [narration] is not correct. (Muhammad Husain Haikal, Al-Faruq Umar, Vol. 1, Bab fi Suhbat al-Nabisa, [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2007], pp. 53-54)

Hazrat Bara bin Aazibra narrates:

“The first from among the Muhajireen to reach us was Hazrat Mus‘abra bin Umair, who belonged to the Banu Abd al-Dar tribe, followed by Hazrat Ibn Umm Maktum, who was blind and belonged to the Banu Fihr tribe. After them, it was Hazrat Umarra bin Khattab, along with 20 people on horseback. We enquired from them about the Holy Prophetsa, to which they said that he was behind them”, i.e. that he would come after a while. “Then after some time, the Holy Prophetsa came and Hazrat Abu Bakrra was with him.” (Ali Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghabah fi Ma‘rifat al-Sahabah, Vol. 4 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2003], p. 145)

If this narration is correct, then it is very possible that Hazrat Umarra would have mentioned his migration before a gathering and vehemently announced that if anyone wished, they could try to stop him, but then he migrated quietly because in this narration, it is stated that 20 people migrated with him. Nevertheless, Allah knows best. Upon arrival in Medina, Hazrat Umarra stayed in Quba with Rifa‘a bin Abdil Munzir. (Sheikh Shah Moinuddin Ahmad Nadvi, Siyar al-Sahabah, Vol. 1 [Karachi, Pakistan: Dar al-Isha‘ah, 2004], p. 93)

Quba is an elevated area situated three miles from Medina and at the time, some families of the Ansar had settled there. The most eminent from among those families was that of Amr bin Auf. The leader of this family was Kulthum bin Hidam, with whom the Holy Prophetsa stayed when he arrived in Quba. (Sayyid Fadl al-Rahman, Farhang-i-Sirat [Karachi, Pakistan: Zawwar Academy Publications, 2003], p. 230)

There are various narrations with regards to Hazrat Umar’sra bond of brotherhood; according to one narration, the Holy Prophetsa established a bond of brotherhood between Hazrat Umarra and Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiqra. The bonds of brotherhood were formed twice – once in Mecca and once in Medina after the migration. In Mecca, the Holy Prophetsa established a bond of brotherhood between himself and Hazrat Alira and between Hazrat Umarra and Hazrat Abu Bakrra. Nonetheless, these bonds of brotherhood are two separate incidents. In Medina, the Holy Prophetsa established bonds of brotherhood between the Muhajireen and the Ansar. According to one narration, after the migration to Medina, the Holy Prophetsa established a bond of brotherhood between Hazrat Umarra and Hazrat Uwaim bin Saeedah. According to another narration, the bond of brotherhood was established between Hazrat Umar bin Al-Khattabra and Hazrat Itban bin Malik. According to yet another narration, the bond of brotherhood was established between Hazrat Umarra and Hazrat Muaz bin Afra. (Mustafa Abd al-Wahid, Subul al-Huda wa al-Rashad fi Sirat Khair al-Ibad, Vol. 3, Fi Mawakhatih baina Ashabihra [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 1993], p. 363) (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, Islam Umar bin al-Khattabra [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Ihya al-Turath al-‘Arabi, 2012], p. 206)

Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra has written that the bond of brotherhood was established between Hazrat Umarra and Hazrat Itban bin Malik. (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, p. 277)

With regard to the commencement of the Azan [call to prayer] there is a narration in which Muhammad bin Abdillah bin Zaid stated on the authority of his father, “We went to the Holy Prophetsa in the morning and narrated a dream to him”. This was mentioned in relation to Hazrat Abdullahra. But as there is mention of Hazrat Umarra here as well, I will narrate it briefly again, or mention it in light of other narrations. 

“The Holy Prophetsa stated, ‘Indeed this is a true dream. Go with Bilal, as he has a more powerful voice, and teach him what you have been taught. He should go and call [the Adhan].’” 

He (Hazrat Abdullah bin Zaid) narrates:

“When Hazrat Umar bin Al-Khattabra heard the voice of Hazrat Bilalra calling for the prayer, he went to the Holy Prophetsa in a manner whereby his cloak was dragging behind him and said, ‘O Messengersa of Allah! I swear by Him Who has sent you with the truth! I also saw [in a dream] exactly as he has just recited.’” The narrator states that the Holy Prophetsa said, “All praise belongs to Allah! The matter is now confirmed.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Kitab al-Salah, Bab ma Ja‘a fi Bad al-Azan, Hadith 189)

Whilst mentioning this incident, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:

“In the time of the Holy Prophetsa, there was a companion by the name Hazrat Abdullahra bin Zaid. Allah the Almighty taught him the words of the prayer through a vision and accepting this vision to be true, the Holy Prophetsa established the practice of calling the Azan for the Muslims. Later on, the revelation of the Quran affirmed this fact. 

“Hazrat Umarra states, ‘Allah the Almighty also taught me the Adhan, but I remained silent on the matter for 20 days, thinking that perhaps someone had already mentioned it to the Holy Prophetsa,’ because he thought that someone had already said something regarding this and thought it was not necessary to mention it again. The following hadith of the Holy Prophetsa refers to this very matter: 

اَلْمُؤْمِنُ‭ ‬يَرٰي‭ ‬اَوْ‭ ‬يُرٰي‭ ‬لَهٗ

meaning ‘A believer is taught something directly and at times they are taught through means of another.’” (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 9, pp. 624-625)

I will narrate the remaining accounts in the future, insha-Allah

At present, I would like to briefly draw your attention towards the fact that today is the last Friday of Ramadan. It should not be regarded merely as the last Friday of Ramadan; rather, this Friday should be a source of opening new avenues for us in the future. We should strive in all those matters which we have been reminded of during the month of Ramadan and all the virtuous deeds which we were able to carry out during the month, and continue them even after Ramadan. In fact, we ought to try and excel in them. Otherwise, if we do not maintain these virtuous deeds and pious changes and do not excel in them, then there is no benefit in us simply passing through the month of Ramadan. 

Last Friday, I drew your attention towards reciting durood [sending salutations upon the Holy Prophetsa] and istighfar [seeking forgiveness from God]; this should not be limited to Ramadan alone and it should not be the case that after Ramadan is over, we become immersed in the world to such an extent that we abandon prayers and seeking forgiveness (istighfar). I especially drew your attention to the fact that we must always bear this point in mind. 

We are passing through a time where the Dajjal [Antichrist] is using new ploys and the lure and attraction of this world has taken hold over most people, and at times, even our children and youth become influenced by these things. When this is the case, it is vital for us to pray a great deal ourselves; may Allah Almighty save us from these satanic attacks and from those of the Dajjal. 

We must stay closely attached to our children and after forming a special bond with them, we must teach them about the existence of God Almighty and the beautiful teachings of Islam. Then, by establishing complete certainty within the hearts of our children, we must attach them to God Almighty in such a manner that no action or deed of theirs, nor any thought contradicts the pleasure and teachings of God Almighty. 

They should have an answer to every worldly thought and strife. It should not be that they are unable to answer certain things and thus become influenced by others; rather, they should always have an answer whereby they can safeguard themselves from any sort of trial. This alone is the way to guarantee the progress and survival of our future generations and this alone is the right way of saving them from falling into trial. However, this cannot happen until we ourselves adopt high standards of belief and certainty and until we reach a degree which behoves a believer. This will only be possible when we have a strong connection with God Almighty; when our prayers and worship become exemplary and when we realise why we accepted the Promised Messiahas and the responsibility thereof. It is a great responsibility upon us, in that we must strengthen our faith and constantly watch over our actions so that we become the means of saving our progenies. 

The level of immorality and indecency that is prevalent today has hardly been witnessed before. These things have now reached every home through the television and the Internet. Before, the danger was outside of the homes, whereas now the threat is in the homes as well. 

Children can secretly watch certain things without anyone realising what they are watching. Hence, there is a great need to be vigilant in this regard. 

The children of the elders of the Community, or of pioneer Ahmadis, or of those people who performed the bai‘at [the oath of allegiance] themselves, joined the Community and accepted the Imam of the Age and who were prepared and made sacrifices in order to safeguard their faith, should always remember that they can only safeguard themselves if they watch over themselves and by giving precedence to their faith over worldly pursuits; only then can we save ourselves and our progenies. 

No matter which elder a family may be associated with or which elder they are the descendants of, merely belonging to the family of a pious person does not grant assurance that Allah the Almighty will continue to bestow His favours upon them or that will be pleased with them. Everyone is responsible for their own deeds in order to attain the pleasure of Allah the Almighty. Only our own actions can save us; simply being related to someone or belonging to a certain family cannot save us. 

Hence, we must always pray a great deal for this and should be mindful of our spiritual weaknesses. We must pray for the spiritual progress of our children and progenies more than praying for their worldly progress. We [already] pray a great deal for their worldly success, but we should pray even more for their spiritual success. Similarly, those who have accepted Ahmadiyyat on their own must also align their thoughts and actions in this manner. It is only then that we and our progenies can survive. 

Thus, in the remaining days of Ramadan, pray that Allah the Almighty safeguards our faith and the faith of our progenies; may we increase in spirituality; may the standards of our worship remain at the highest levels even after Ramadan; may we establish a strong bond with Allah Almighty; may we remain protected from the schemes and ploys of the Dajjal [Antichrist]. Attaining worldly luxuries and comforts should not be our only goal; in fact, [pray that] may Allah Almighty bestow upon us those religious and worldly blessings which will make us grateful and incline towards Him; and enable us to become a true worshiper.

Similarly, with regard to the coronavirus pandemic, which has engulfed the entire world, I would like to draw your attention to pray especially in order to remain protected from it and also to beseech the mercy of Allah the Almighty. Furthermore, pray especially for Ahmadis residing in such countries which continue to oppose Ahmadiyyat and have made life difficult [for Ahmadis], may Allah the Almighty create ease for those Ahmadis. 

Ahmadis living in Pakistan should always pay special attention towards giving alms, carrying out good deeds and their prayers; during these days and even after. Insha-Allah, these prayers and efforts to attain the pleasure of Allah the Almighty will frustrate and foil all plans and ploys of our opponents. These prayers should be recited often:

رَبِّ‭ ‬كُلُّ‭ ‬شَيْءٍ‭ ‬خَادِمُكَ‭ ‬رَبِّ‭ ‬فَاحْفَظْنِيْ‭ ‬وَانْصُرْنِيْ‭ ‬وَارْحَمْنِيْ

[“O my Lord! Everything is dedicated to Your service! My Lord, protect me, help me, and have mercy on me.”]

اَللّٰهُمَّ‭ ‬اِنَّا‭ ‬نَجْعَلُكَ‭ ‬فِيْ‭ ‬نُحُوْرِهِمْ‭ ‬وَنَعُوْذُبِكَ‭ ‬مِنْ‭ ‬شُرُوْرِهِمْ

[“O Allah! We make You a shield against enemies and we take refuge in Thee from their evil.”]

However, it should also be remembered that merely repeating prayers is of no benefit. People write letters [to me] asking which prayers they should recite. To simply utter prayers will be of no avail until we offer Salat will full concentration and attention and do justice to it. We should continue offering prayers after Ramadan with the same care and attention as we did during this month. Only then will we become true recipients of Allah the Almighty’s mercy and help. 

Similarly, we should pray especially to be saved from every kind of trial. May Allah the Almighty grant us the ability to successfully pass through the remaining four or five days of Ramadan and to be those who continue these virtues after Ramadan as well. Also remember that the more we widen the scope of our prayers, the more blessings of Allah the Almighty we will receive. Thus, every Ahmadi should especially pray continuously for all sorts of hardships to be removed from all Ahmadis. In this way, without even realising, a spirit of mutual love, brotherhood and togetherness will be created. Not only will we receive the blessings of Allah the Almighty, but there will also be the practical benefit of increased love and affection. 

Pray for the Muslim Ummah in general; they are ruining themselves in this life and in the Hereafter by rejecting the Imam of the Age and are heading towards a detrimental path, may Allah the Almighty protect them. 

Pray for humanity at large – may Allah the Almighty guide them to the right path and may they be saved from incurring the displeasure of Allah the Almighty. 

In any case, our duty is to pray, and continue to pray; during Ramadan and afterwards as well. May Allah the Almighty grant everyone the ability to do so. 

(Original Urdu transcript published in Al Fazl International, 21 to 31 May 2021, pp. 10-15. Translated by The Review of Religions)

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