Friday Sermon – Men of Excellence: Hazrat Uthman r.a. ibn Affan (2 April 2021)

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Last Updated on 30th April 2021

Friday Sermon

2 April 2021

Men of Excellence: Hazrat Uthmanra ibn Affan

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

The accounts from the life of Hazrat Uthmanra were being narrated two sermons ago and I will continue to do so today as well. 

Hazrat Uthmanra possessed a great deal of modesty and chastity in his disposition. We find a narration in relation to this. Hazrat Anasra bin Malik relates that the Holy Prophetsa said, “From among my ummah, the most merciful towards his people is Abu Bakr; the most firm in the religion of Allah is Umar; the one who adheres to the highest standard of true modesty is Uthman; the best decision-maker among them is Ali bin Abi Talib; the most knowledgeable of the Quran, which is the Book of Allah the Almighty, is Ubayy bin Kaab; the person with the greatest understanding of what is lawful and unlawful is Muaz bin Jabal and the person with the greatest awareness of his obligations is Zaid bin Thabit. Hearken! Every nation has an ameen [custodian] and the ameen of my ummah is Abu Ubaidah bin al-Jarrah.” (Sunan Ibn Majah, Iftitah al-Kitab, Bab Fada‘il Zaid bin Thabit, Hadith 154)

Hazrat Anas bin Malikra relates that the Holy Prophetsa said, “Abu Bakrra is the most merciful towards my ummah. Umarra is most firm among them with regard to implementing the commandments of Allah and Uthmanra is the most modest among them.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Abwab al-Manaqib, Muaz bin Jabal, Hadith 3790)

Hazrat Uthmanra bin Affan relates, “I was never neglectful, nor did I ever desire for it.” (Sunan Ibn Majah, Kitab al-Taharah wa Sunaniha, Bab Karahat Mass al-Dhakar bi al-Yamin…, Hadith 311)

In other words, Hazrat Uthmanra never wished for the station of Khilafat or any other position, nor did he entertain any false desires. 

With regard to Hazrat Uthman’sra high level of modesty, Hazrat Aishara relates that the Holy Prophetsa was in her home and at the time, was lying down and had slightly removed the garment which was covering his thighs or calves. During this time, Hazrat Abu Bakrra sought permission to enter and the Holy Prophetsa permitted him to enter but remained in the same state. Following this, they engaged in a conversation and Hazrat Umarra sought permission to enter. The Holy Prophetsa also permitted him to enter, but again remained as he was. 

Thereafter, they continued the conversation. When Hazrat Uthmanra sought permission to enter, the Holy Prophetsa sat up and adjusted his clothes. The narrator of this tradition, Muhammad, says that he did not say that all of this took place in one day as it was possible that it took place on different occasions. 

In any case, when Hazrat Uthmanra came, they all spoke together and then left. Later, Hazrat Aishara enquired [from the Holy Prophetsa], “When Abu Bakr came, you remained as you were. Then Umar came, but you once again remained as you were. However, when Uthman entered, you sat up and started adjusting your clothes.” Upon this, the Holy Prophetsa said, “Should I not take into consideration [the high level of modesty] of that person for whom even the angels display their modesty?” 

In another place, this narration has been narrated as follows, when Hazrat Aishara enquired from the Holy Prophetsa as to why he made this particular effort for Hazrat Uthmanra, the Holy Prophetsa said, “Should I not show modesty to whom even the angels display their modesty? By that Being in Whose hands lies the life of Muhammadsa! The angels most certainly display the same modesty towards Uthmanra as they do before Allah and His Messengersa! If Uthmanra had entered and you were near me, he would not have raised his head until he had left.” In other words, he possessed such high level of modesty that he would neither have looked up, nor uttered a single word. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab Fada‘il al-Sahabahra, Bab Fada‘il Uthman bin Affan, Hadith 6209) (Majma‘ al-Zawa‘id wa Manba‘ al-Fawa‘id, Kitab al-Manaqib, Bab fi Haya‘ih, Hadith 14504, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2001) 

Whilst describing Allah the Almighty’s attribute of “Kareem” [the Honourable], Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra mentioned the following incident of Hazrat Uthmanra stating:

“There is an incident of the Holy Prophetsa from which we learn that one displays a great deal of modesty in the presence of a person who is highly honourable. It is stated in the ahadith that the Holy Prophetsa was once lying down in his home whilst a part of his legs were slightly showing. Thereupon, Hazrat Abu Bakrra came and sat down. Then, Hazrat Umarra came and took a seat, but the Holy Prophetsa remained as he was. A short while later Hazrat Uthmanra knocked on the door. The Holy Prophetsa immediately stood up and covered his legs with the cloth, stating, ‘There is a great deal of modesty in the disposition of Uthman and therefore I am reluctant to have some part of my leg showing in front of him.’ 

“Then, there is the hadith”, which has been mentioned already, “where Hazrat Aishara relates that the Holy Prophetsa was once sitting at home and had slightly removed his garment that was covering his calves. Hazrat Abu Bakrra sought permission to enter whilst the Holy Prophetsa was in this state. The Holy Prophetsa continued to lie down and gave him permission to enter and they continued to speak to one another. Then Hazrat Umarra arrived, seeking permission [to enter]. The Holy Prophetsa granted him permission and continued to lie down as he was”, perhaps lying down or sitting. “Then, a short while after Hazrat Uthmanra came and the Holy Prophetsa stood up immediately and adjusted his clothes and then permitted him to enter. When they had all left, Hazrat Aishara asked the Holy Prophetsa, ‘O Messengersa of Allah, when Hazrat Abu Bakrra and Hazrat Umarra came you did not do anything and remained laying as you were, but when Hazrat Uthmanra came why did you stand up immediately and arrange your clothes?’ The Holy Prophetsa replied, ‘O Aisha, should I not show modesty in front of the one before whom even the angels display their modesty?’ 

“Thus, observe how the Holy Prophetsa regarded the modesty of Hazrat Uthmanra whereby just as he would display his modesty in front of others, the Holy Prophetsa displayed modesty when Hazrat Uthmanra was in his presence”, meaning due to the fact that Hazrat Uthmanra would display modesty in front of the people, the Holy Prophetsa also did the same when Hazrat Uthmanra came before him. 

After mentioning this incident, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra stated, “Owing to God Almighty being Honourable [Kareem], mankind should strive to refrain from sin, act with modesty and obey His commandments. It should not be the case that they become fearless after committing a sin whilst assuming that just because God Almighty is very Honourable, He will grant them great favours in spite of all their sins.” Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra then states, “One should keep in mind that because God Almighty is Honourable, mankind should be modest and endeavour to abstain from sin.” (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 9, p. 259)

In relation to Hazrat Uthman’sra humility and simplicity, Abdullah Rumi relates that Hazrat Uthmanra would make his own arrangements for the ablution he was to perform in the night. He was told that he should instruct a house-worker to make the arrangements for him, upon which he replied, “No, the night is the time for them to rest”, meaning that the workers should be given time in the night to rest. (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, Uthman bin Affan [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Ihya al-Turath al ‘Arabi, 1996], p. 33)

Alqamah bin Waqas narrates that Hazrat Amrra bin al-Aas said to Hazrat Uthmanra whilst he was on the pulpit, “O Uthmanra, you have placed this ummah in a very difficult situation.” Hazrat Uthmanra had delivered a sermon in which mentioned some points and also admonished the people. “So you should repent and they too should repent with you.” In other words, Hazrat Uthmanra had greatly instilled the fear of God in them and thus, a companion submitted this request before him. The narrator states that Hazrat Uthmanra immediately turned his face towards the qiblah, raised both his hands and supplicated: 

اَللّٰهُمَّ إِنِّيْ أَسْتَغْفِرُكَ وَأَتُوْبُ إِلَيْكَ

“O Allah, I seek Your forgiveness and turn to You.” Those who were present at the time also raised their hands and offered this prayer. (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, Uthman bin Affan [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Ihya al-Turath al ‘Arabi, 1996], p. 39)

This was his level of fear [of God] and his humility that he at once raised his hands to supplicate and did not get into an argument with anyone. He instead prayed for himself and for his people. 

There are numerous narrations in relation to Hazrat Uthman’sra generosity and spending in the way of Allah the Almighty. Hazrat Uthmanra himself relates, “There are 10 things I keep hidden and only my Lord knows. I was the fourth person of all people to accept Islam; I have never listened to any vain songs and I have never uttered a lie; ever since I took the oath of allegiance at the hand of the Holy Prophetsa I have never touched my private area with my right hand; after accepting Islam, not a single Friday has gone by that I haven’t freed a slave, barring the Friday when I had no slave to free; in such a case, I would free a slave on a day other than the Friday; nor have I committed adultery in the era of Jahilyyah [era of ignorance prior to the advent of Islam] nor after having accepted Islam.” (Majma‘ al-Zawa‘id wa Manba‘ al-Fawa‘id, Vol. 9, p. 65, Kitab al-Manaqib, Bab fi ma Kana fih min al-Khair, Hadith 14524, Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2001) 

Hazrat Uthman’sra freed slave, Abu Saeed relates that whilst the house of Hazrat Uthmanra was besieged, he freed 20 slaves. (Ali Ibn al-Athir, Usdul-Ghabah fi Ma‘rifat al-Sahabah, Vol. 3, Uthmanra bin Affan [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Fikr, 2003], p. 489)

Hazrat Abdullahra bin Mas‘ud narrates:

“We were in a battle alongside the Holy Prophetsa when the people were suffering from hunger, to the extent that I witnessed worry on the faces of the Muslims, and joy on the faces of the hypocrites. When the Holy Prophetsa witnessed these scenes, he said, ‘By Allah, the sun will not set until He has brought you provisions.’ 

“When Hazrat Uthmanra learnt of this, he said, ‘Allah and His Messengersa have spoken the truth.’ So he purchased 14 camels along with the grains laden upon them and sent nine of them to the Holy Prophetsa. Upon seeing them, the Holy Prophetsa asked, ‘What is this?’ He was then informed that Hazrat Uthmanra had sent these gifts for him. Thereupon, the countenance of the Holy Prophetsa was filled with joy and happiness and the faces of the hypocrites were overcome with anxiety. Then I saw the Holy Prophetsa raise both his hands to the point where the whiteness beneath his arms became visible and he prayed for Hazrat Uthmanra. I had never heard the Holy Prophetsa pray in such a manner for anyone else before, or even after; and the prayer was:

اَللّٰهُمَّ أَعْطِ عُثْمَانَ، اَللّٰهُمَّ افْعَلْ بِعُثْمَانَ

“‘O Allah! Grant Uthman in abundance; O Allah shower Your blessings and bounties upon Uthman.’”

Hazrat Aishara relates, “When the Holy Prophetsa came to me, he saw some meat and asked who had sent it. I answered that it was sent by Hazrat Uthmanra. Thereupon, I witnessed the Holy Prophetsa raise his hands and pray for Hazrat Uthmanra.” (Majma‘ al-Zawa‘id wa Manba‘ al-Fawa‘id, Vol. 9, p. 64, Kitab al-Manaqib, Bab I‘anatuh fi al-Jaish al-Usrah wa Ghairih, Hadith 14520/14523, Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2001) 

Muhammad bin Hilal narrates from his grandmother that she would go to Hazrat Uthmanra when his house was under siege. He says that his grandmother had a son who was named Hilal. One day, when Hazrat Uthmanra didn’t find her present he asked about her whereabouts and was informed that she had given birth to a son that night. He states that his grandmother said, “Thereupon, Hazrat Uthmanra sent me 50 dirhams and a part of a large cloth and said, ‘This is an allowance for your son and this cloth is for your son to wear. When your son turns one, we shall increase the allowance to 100 dirhams.’” (Ibn Kathir, Al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah, Vol. 4, Ch. 7, Sanah 35 Hijri, Fasl fi Dhikr Shai min Siratih [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2001] p. 206)

Ibn Saeed bin Yarbu narrates:

“I once left home in the afternoon when I was a child. I had a bird which I was making fly in the mosque when I saw a man lying there who had a beautiful countenance. Beneath his head was a brick or a piece of brick”; he placed the brick there as a pillow. “I stood there and stared in awe of his beauty. He opened his eyes and asked me, ‘O child, who are you?’ I told him who I was, then he spoke out to a child sleeping nearby, but the child did not give any response. Upon this he told me to go and bring him and I proceeded to do so. The wise man instructed the child to go and bring something and told me to sit down. Then the child went away and returned with a garment and 1,000 dirhams. He then asked me to take off the clothes I was wearing and gave me the garment to wear, in which he had placed one thousand dirhams. When I returned to my father and I told him everything that had just happened, he said, ‘O my child, do you know who it is that treated you in this way?’ I replied that I did not know except that he was a person who was sleeping in the mosque and I had never in my entire life seen a more handsome person. He said to me, ‘He was Hazrat Amirul Momineen [leader of the faithful] Hazrat Uthmanra bin Affan.’” (Ibn Kathir, Al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah, Vol. 4, Ch. 7, Sanah 35 Hijri [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2001] pp. 206-207)

Ibn Jarir relates that Hazrat Talhara met Hazrat Uthmanra whilst he was going towards the mosque. Hazrat Talhara stated to Hazrat Uthmanra, “I now have the 50,000 dirhams which I owed you, therefore you may send someone to me in order to collect the money.” Upon this, Hazrat Uthmanra stated, “Owing to your kindness, I gift this amount to you.” In other words, he did not need to repay him. 

Asmai states that Ibn Amir appointed Qatan bin Auf Halali as the governor of Kirman and so left with 4,000 Muslim soldiers. During the way, a valley had given way due to the rain and their path was obstructed as a result. Qatan feared that perhaps he would not be able to arrive at his destination on time and so he announced that whoever could cross the valley, he would be given 1,000 dirhams as a reward. Following this, people began to swim in order to go across the other side. Whenever any of the soldiers would cross the valley, Qatan would instruct that he be given his reward. Eventually, the entire army crossed the valley and thus four million dirhams were given. However, Ibn Amir, who was the governor, refused to give this money to Qatan and informed Hazrat Uthmanra about this matter in writing. Upon this, Hazrat Uthmanra stated, “Give this amount to Qatan for he has helped the Muslims in the cause of Allah.” Thus, ever since they had crossed the valley, the rewards which they were given were known as “Jawaiz” which is the plural of “Jaizah”. (Ibn Kathir, Al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah, Vol. 4, Ch. 7, Sanah 35 Hijri, Fasl fi Dhikr Shai min Siratih [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2001] p. 208)

On one occasion, Hazrat Uthmanra suffered from an illness and it was requested that he should appoint a Khalifa. Hisham has narrated this incident from his father. He narrates that Marwan bin Hakam told him that the year in which there was an outbreak of a disease which caused [severe] nosebleeds, Hazrat Uthmanra bin Affan also suffered from a severe nosebleed, to the extent that it prevented him from performing the Hajj and he even wrote down his will. In that moment, an individual from among the Quraish approached him and said, “Elect someone as the Khalifa” i.e. owing to his condition, he should appoint a Khalifa. Hazrat Uthmanra asked, “Have people made this request?” to which he replied in the affirmative. Hazrat Uthmanra asked who they wished to be appointed as the Khalifa, but to this, he remained silent. Then another person came, who the narrator says he believes was Harith and he also asked him to appoint a Khalifa. Hazrat Uthmanra asked, “Is this what the people are asking?” to which he replied, “Yes”. Hazrat Uthmanra asked, “Who should be the Khalifa?” to which the man remained silent. Hazrat Uthmanra then said, “Perhaps they desire to elect Zubair.” To which he replied, “Yes”. Hazrat Uthmanra then said, “By Him in Whose Hands is my life, as far as I know, he is the best among the people and he was the dearest to the Holy Prophetsa.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab Fada‘il Ashab al-Nabisa, Bab Manaqib Manaqib Zubair bin al-Awwam, Hadith 3717) 

Hazrat Uthmanra also had the opportunity to write down the verses which were revealed to the Holy Prophetsa. According to one of the narrations, Hazrat Uthmanra had the good fortune of writing down the verses revealed in Surah al-Muzammil. Umm Kulthum bin Samama relates that she asked Hazrat Aishara if she could relate something about Hazrat Uthmanra because people were asking about him quite a lot. Upon this Hazrat Aishara stated, “In a night which was extremely hot, I saw Hazrat Uthmanra in the company of the Holy Prophetsa inside the house in which Hazrat Gabrielas was bringing down divine revelation. Whenever divine revelation was brought down to the Holy Prophetsa, he would experience a great weight upon him. Allah the Almighty has stated:

اِنَّا سَنُلْقِيْ عَلَيْكَ قَوْلًا ثَقِيْلًا

“‘Verily, We are charging thee with a weighty Word.’ And Hazrat Uthmanra was sat before the Holy Prophetsa and was writing [the revelation] down and the Holy Prophetsa was stating, ‘O Uthman, write!’” 

Hazrat Aishara stated that Allah the Almighty only grants a highly honourable person such nearness to the Holy Prophetsa.  (Kanz al-Ummal, Vol. 13, p. 23, Kitab al-Fada‘il, Fada‘il al-Sahabah, Hadith 36217, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah,Beirut, 2004)

During the time of Hazrat Abu Bakrra, the various manuscripts of the Holy Quran were gathered together, which he kept with himself. Then they were kept with Hazrat Umarra and after him, they were in the possession of Hazrat Hafsa bint Umarra. During the era of Hazrat Uthman’sra Khilafat, the following narration is found in regard to him acquiring these manuscripts. 

Hazrat Huzayfara bin Yaman relates that he was fighting along with the people of Iraq against the Syrians for the lands in Armenia and Azerbaijan. Upon returning from there, he presented himself before Hazrat Uthmanra.  Hazrat Huzayfara was concerned owing to the difference in their reading [Qiraat] of the Holy Quran in those lands. He submitted before Hazrat Uthmanra, “O leader of the faithful, take care of the ummah lest they begin to dispute with one another over the book of Allah just like the Jews and Christians did.” 

Following this, Hazrat Uthmanra sent a message to Hazrat Hafsara and asked her to give the various manuscripts of the Holy Quran so that he could produce various copies of the Holy Quran from it and then those manuscripts would be returned to her. And so, Hazrat Hafsara sent those manuscripts to Hazrat Uthmanra. Hazrat Uthmanra then instructed Hazrat Zaidra bin Thabit, Hazrat Abdullahra bin Zubair, Hazrat Saeedra bin Aas and Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra bin Harith bin Hisham to produce copies from those manuscripts. Hazrat Uthmanra then told the latter three of the aforementioned companions, who were from among the Quraish, that if there was a difference [in the qiraat] in their copy of the Quran and the Quran written by Zaid, then they should write it according to the language of the Quraish for the Quran was revealed in the language of the Quraish [i.e. their dialect of Arabic]. Thus, these companions worked on this task. When the copies of the Holy Quran were completed, Hazrat Uthmanra returned the original manuscripts of the Holy Quran to Hazrat Hafsara and sent the various newly produced copies of the Holy Quran to various countries and instructed that if there was any other copy of the Holy Quran besides this, it should be burnt. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab Fada‘il al-Quran, Bab Jam‘ al-Quran Hadith 4986, 4987) 

Allama ibn Al-Tin states that the difference between Hazrat Abu Bakrra and Hazrat Uthmanra compiling the Quran was that Hazrat Abu Bakrra compiled the Holy Quran fearing that if the huffaz-e-Quran [i.e. those who had committed the entire Quran to memory] passed away, then some parts of the Holy Quran may be lost because until then, the Holy Quran had not been compiled in one single form. Thus, Hazrat Abu Bakrra compiled the Holy Quran by placing the verses in the same order as the Holy Prophetsa had taught the companions to memorise it. On the other hand, Hazrat Uthmanra compiled the Holy Quran owing to the increasing difference in the dialects of the language. People began to recite the Holy Quran according to their own dialect and style of pronunciation and would deem the reading style [qirat] of others to be incorrect. Hazrat Uthmanra was concerned that perhaps this would lead to a more serious situation. And so, Hazrat Uthmanra compiled the various manuscripts, which Hazrat Abu Bakrra had initially collected, into a single copy according to the sequence of its chapters. Moreover, Hazrat Uthmanra kept it in the language of the Quraish and the reason he gave for doing this was that the Quran was revealed in the language of the Quraish. Although initially it was also permitted that one could recite the Quran in other dialects as well for the purpose of ease; however, when Hazrat Uthmanra observed that there was no longer any need to do it in this manner, he instructed for it to be recited in only one style of reading [qirat]. 

Allamah Qurtabi states that if the question is posed that why did Hazrat Uthmanra feel the need to compile the Quran and standardise it to one single reading for the people even though before him Hazrat Abu Bakrra had already compiled it, then the answer to this is that Hazrat Uthmanra did not do this in order to compile the manuscripts. This [was already done] because Hazrat Uthmanra had sent a message to Umm-ul-Momineen, Hazrat Hafsara requesting for those very manuscripts of the Holy Quran so that he could produce various copies from it and thereafter he would return to her the original manuscripts. Thus, the reason why Hazrat Uthmanra did this was that people had started to disagree with one another over the different styles of reading [qiraat] of the Quran because the companions had travelled and settled in various cities. This was leading to a very serious situation and the differences between the people of Syria and Iraq had taken the form as described by Hazrat Huzayfara. (Ali Muhammad al-Salabi, Sirat Amirul Momineen Uthmanra bin Affan Shakhsiyyatuhu wa Asruh, Ch. 1 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Ma‘rifah, 2006]) pp. 232-231)

Whilst explaining the following verse of Sura Al-A‘la: 

سَنُقْرِئُكَ‭ ‬فَلَا‭ ‬تَنْسٰى

“We shall teach thee [the Quran], and thou shalt forget [it]not.” [Ch.87: V.7]

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:

“The meaning of this verse is ‘We shall teach you the Quran, which you shall not forget till the Day of Judgment and this will continue to remain in the same form as it is today.’ This claim is testified by even the staunchest opponents of Islam who openly accept that the Holy Quran has remained preserved in the exact same form as it was first presented by the Holy Prophetsa

“[Theodore] Nöldeke, Sprenger and William Muir have all acknowledged in their books that apart from the Holy Quran they cannot categorically and definitely say this about any other scripture that it exists in the same form today as the founder of its religion had originally presented it. It is only the Holy Quran regarding which it can be conclusively said that it exists in the exact same form today as it was first presented by the Holy Prophetsa to his companions. Since they do not believe that the Holy Quran is a book revealed by God Almighty as they claim that it was written by the Holy Prophetsa himself, therefore they do not say that it remains preserved in the exact same form as it was revealed, but nonetheless, they do say that this book remains in the exact form as it was first presented by Muhammadsa. For example, Sir William Muir writes in his book, The Koran, that all the various proofs grant assurance to one’s heart that the Quran which we read today is exactly the same, word-for-word, which the Prophetsa would recite to the people. 

Sir William Muir then further writes in his book, Life of Mahomet [sic]:

“‘What we have, though possibly created and modified by himself, is still his own’. 

“Similarly, he further writes:

“‘We may upon the strongest presumption affirm that every verse in the Quran is genuine and unaltered.’ 

“Then, Nöldeke, who is a German orientalist, writes:

“‘Slight clerical errors there may have been, but the Koran [sic] of Othman [sic] contains none but genuine elements, though sometimes in a very strange order. Efforts of European scholars to prove the existence of later interpolations in the Koran [sic] have failed.’

“In short, even the European writers have acknowledged that there is absolutely no doubt with regard to the physical preservation of the Holy Quran. In fact, it is word for word and letter for letter, the exact same book as Muhammadsa recited before the people.” (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 9, pp. 421-422)

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira states, “People attribute Hazrat Uthmanra to be Jami‘ al-Quran [i.e. the collator of the Holy Quran] whereas this is incorrect. They have assumed this simply because of the rhyming pattern with the name Uthman [and Jami‘ al-Quran]. Indeed, if one were to say he was responsible for the published version of the Quran [we have today], then that would be correct to an extent. During his Khilafat, Islam spread far and wide. For this reason, Hazrat Uthmanra ordered a few copies of the manuscript of the Quran to be made and sent them to Mecca, Medina, Syria, Basra, Kufa as well as to other lands. He adopted the order of the Quran as was desired by Allah the Almighty and instructed by the Holy Prophetsa, and then ensured that the same copy reached us. Indeed, to read it and safeguard it is our responsibility.” (Haqaiq-ul-Furqan, Vol. 4, p. 272)

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:

“During the time of Hazrat Uthmanra, instead of the people of Mecca living only in Mecca, the people of Medina only residing in Medina, the people of Taif only remaining confined to Taif, the people of Najd remaining in Najd, the people of Yemen living in Yemen alone and being unaware of each other’s language and idioms, Medina had become the capital and all tribes had become one. Since the governance was in the hands of the people of Medina, a large portion of whom were the Muhajireen of Mecca, even the residents of Medina had learnt the Hijaz dialect of Arabic owing to their association and interaction with the Meccans. Thus, since they were responsible for enforcing the law and they were responsible for the wealth (i.e. those who were in authority) and the eyes of everyone were fixed upon them, the people of Taif, Najd, Mecca, Yemen and also the majority of the people residing in other areas would regularly travel to Medina. They would meet the Muhajireen and Ansar of Medina and learn about Islam from them. Thus, over time the official language of academia through which the teachings were imparted became one. Then, some of them even came and settled in Medina and so they fully adopted the Hijazi dialect. When these people would return to their hometowns, since they were scholars and teachers, most certainly them travelling there would have had an effect on the people. 

“Aside from this, owing to the wars that were taking place, people of various tribes had the chance to stay together. Given that the officers [of the army] were the eminent companions, staying in their company would instil within them a natural desire to emulate their example and this would include learning their language as well. Although in the beginning, people may have had some difficulties understanding the Quran; however, after Medina became the capital and all the tribes of Arabia began regularly converging upon Medina as the centre of Arabia, this difficulty [in understanding the Quran] would have been removed. The reason for this is that by that time, all those who possessed a scholarly disposition became fully acquainted with the language and meanings of the Quran. 

“Thus, when the people understood this fully, Hazrat Uthmanra ordered that from then on, only the Hijazi qirat [reading] of the Quran would be used and no one was permitted to use the other readings. The intention behind this command was that people had become acquainted with the Hijazi dialect, therefore there was no longer any reason for people to be permitted to substitute words for Hijazi Arabic [dialect]. 

“Owing to this command issued by Hazrat Uthmanra, the Shias – who are opposed to the Sunnis – say that the current manuscript of the Quran is the version created by Uthmanra. However, this allegation is completely false; up until the era of Hazrat Uthmanra, owing to their social interactions and intermingling, the various Arab tribes had become familiar with the differences in the dialects of their language. By this time, there was no need for the permission to recite the various qiraat to remain. 

“This permission was only temporary and the reason it was granted was that they were the early days and there were different tribes; within these tribes a difference in dialect changed the meanings of certain words. Owing to this difference, for a brief time, those tribes were permitted to substitute the words of the actual revelation with other words revealed by God Almighty that were prevalent within those tribes. The reason for this was so that the commandments of the Holy Quran could be understood and there would be no obstacle preventing people from understanding it; also so that each tribe could read the Quran using the idioms of their language and in their own dialect.

“When 20 years had elapsed since this permission was granted, the situation had changed completely and the tribes had progressed. Those Arabs that were once several tribes had become one mighty tribe; in fact, they had become a formidable government. They were responsible for upholding the law and providing an education. They had the power to distribute various offices and began implementing penal laws. Subsequently, there were no longer any impediments in people understanding the primary dialect in which the Quran was revealed. 

“When this situation became prevalent, Hazrat Uthmanra annulled the permission that was only meant to be temporary and this indeed was the will of God. However, the Shias allege this to be Hazrat Uthman’sra biggest mistake in that he stopped all other qiraat [readings] and only adopted one reading. However, if they had pondered over the matter, they would have realised that Allah the Almighty permitted the reading of the different qiraat in the second era of Islam, not in the early era. This proves the fact that although Holy Quran was revealed in the Hijazi dialect, the different qiraat came about as various tribes accepted Islam. The language between the different tribes varied and they either could not pronounce certain words correctly or specific words have different connotations amongst the different tribes. For this reason, in such cases where this difference would have arisen, under the directive of God Almighty, the Holy Prophetsa granted permission to use a word from a different dialect or to use a different word in its place. However, this difference had no bearing on the meaning or understanding of the verses; in fact, if this permission was not given, then this difference [in meaning and understanding] would certainly have arisen. 

“We find proof of this from the fact that the Holy Prophetsa taught one qirat [reading or recitation] of a particular chapter to Hazrat Abdullahra bin Mas‘ud and a different qirat of the same chapter to Hazrat Umarra. The reason for this was that Hazrat Umarra was born and brought up in a city and Hazrat Abdullahra bin Mas‘ud was a shepherd and comparatively interacted more with Bedouins. Thus, both languages were very different. 

One day, Hazrat Abdullahra bin Mas‘ud was reciting that same chapter of the Holy Quran and when Hazrat Umarra walked past he heard Abdullahra bin Mas‘ud reciting the chapter with certain differences. Hazrat Umarra was astonished as to how this could be because the wording he knew was different and Abdullahra bin Mas‘ud was reading it in another way. Hazrat Umarra took hold of him by the neck and said, ‘I will present your matter before the Holy Prophetsa. Some words of the chapter are different to the way you are reading them.’ Thus, Hazrat Umarra brought him to the Holy Prophetsa and said, ‘O Messengersa of Allah! You have taught me this chapter in one way and Abdullahra bin Mas‘ud is reciting it in another.’ The Holy Prophetsa asked Abdullahra bin Mas‘ud how he was reading the chapter. He became worried and began trembling thinking that he had made a mistake, but the Holy Prophetsa said to him not to worry and to recite it. When Abdullahra bin Mas‘ud recited the chapter, the Holy Prophetsa said, ‘This is absolutely correct.’ Hazrat Umarra responded, ‘O Messengersa of Allah! You taught me in another way.’ The Holy Prophetsa said, ‘That way is also correct.’ The Holy Prophetsa then added, ‘The Holy Quran has been revealed in seven qiraat [readings]. Do not quarrel amongst yourselves about these minor differences.’ The reason behind this difference was that the Holy Prophetsa thought since Abdullahra bin Mas‘ud was a shepherd, his dialect was different and so he taught him the reading that was closest to his dialect. 

Regarding Hazrat Umarra, the Holy Prophetsa considered that since he belonged to the city, therefore he should be taught the Meccan dialect in which the Quran was primarily revealed. Thus, the Holy Prophetsa permitted Hazrat Abdullahra bin Mas‘ud to recite the chapter in his own dialect and Hazrat Umarra to recite the chapter in the dialect known in the city. These minor differences have arisen due to the various qiraat [readings]. However, there was no difference in the actual meaning of the text and everyone knew that this was a natural consequence of the various civilisations, education and differences in the dialects.”

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra further states:

“[…] The [Muslim] civilisation and government transformed individual tribes into one nation and one language and everyone became familiar with Hijazi Arabic. Therefore, Hazrat Uthmanra thought that to keep the use of different Qiraat would be the means of creating division [among the tribes] and he was absolutely correct. For this reason, he stopped the common use of different qiraat, but the qiraat themselves would remain preserved in the books of qiraat. Thus, keeping this virtuous intention in mind, he forbade the common use of any other qiraat other than the Hijazi script, which was the original dialect. Subsequently, in order to unify both Arabs and non-Arabs alike for the recitation of the Quran, he permitted the Hijazi script which was the initial qirat [reading].” (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 9, pp. 49-51)

There are a few accounts remaining, which I will narrate in the future, insha-Allah. I will again request to pray for the Ahmadis in Pakistan and Algeria and also all those Ahmadis around the world who are facing great difficulties. Pray that Allah the Almighty may remove their hardships. Especially in Pakistan, owing to the constitution, at times, difficulties are created for Ahmadis and they do not have any sort of freedom there. 

Similarly, in Algeria certain government officials are creating difficulties. May Allah safeguard Ahmadis from every kind of difficulty. 

After the Friday prayers, I will launch a website for the Chinese Desk. This website has been created with the assistance of the Central [Markazi] IT Team, through which people will be able to acquire detailed information regarding Islam and Ahmadiyyat in the Chinese language. The website can be accessed through “alislam”, which is the main website of the Jamaat and accessed separately as well. 

Content has been uploaded on the website under various topics and the new edition of the Chinese translation of the Holy Quran is also available on it; 23 books and pamphlets have also been put on the website. It also has information in the form of questions and answers. Under the section of The Promised Messiahas, there is an introduction to the Promised Messiahas and the Khulafa.

On the homepage, it also provides links to six different websites of the Jamaat and also has the phone, fax and email details for people to get in contact. 

May Allah the Almighty enable this website to become a means of guidance for the Chinese people and may their hearts become receptive to the message of Islam and Ahmadiyyat. 

In addition to this, I will lead some funeral prayers [in absentia]. The first funeral and mention is of Respected Muhammad Yunus Khalid Sahib, who was a missionary and passed away on 15 March [2021] at the age of 67 owing to heart failure. 

اِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‭ ‬وَاِنَّا‭ ‬اِلَيْهِ‭ ‬رَاجِعُوْنَ

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

Muhammad Yunus Sahib’s paternal grandfather and his brother, Hazrat Mian Murad Baksh Sahibra and Hazrat Haji Ahmad Sahibra [respectively] were among the companions of the Promised Messiahas. A delegation of six people set off from Prem Kot, district of Hafizabad and travelled to Qadian on foot. Hazrat Haji Ahmad Sahib was present in this delegation. He pledged allegiance to the Promised Messiahas and also requested water from him for tabarruk [blessings]. 

Respected Yunus Khalid Sahib completed his matriculation exams from Rabwah after which he gained admission to Jamia Ahmadiyya. During Jamia, he also completed his Arabic Fazil [course]. By the grace of Allah, he was a musi [part of the Al-Wasiyyat Scheme]. In 1980, he graduated with a Shahid degree and then had the opportunity to serve for 40 years in various places inside Pakistan and abroad, in countries throughout Africa. 

Among those he leaves behind are his wife, Mariam Siddiqa Sahiba, and one son, Ateeq Ahmad Mubashar who is a missionary. 

Ateeq Ahmad Mubashar states, “My father was a scholar who practised what he preached. He would often say to me that Allah the Almighty treated him similar to the manner of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira in that whenever he desired something, Allah the Almighty would fulfil that need of his, and I am personally a witness to this fact.”

Then his son writes with reference to Rana Mubarak Ahmad Sahib, who used to be the local president in Lahore who said that whenever there was some work related to the Jamaat that needed to be done, Murabbi Sahib [this missionary] would take it up right away and would not even stop to consider whether or not he was wearing shoes. He would go out swiftly in order to complete the task. He was at the forefront of presenting financial sacrifices. 

The president of the Jamaat in Haripur Hazara said that Murabbi Sahib was an excellent example for the Community in Tarbela with regard to financial contributions. He would also regularly make financial contributions on behalf of his deceased elders. His brother-in-law says that he was very conscious of his financial contributions and would pay special attention to his contributions towards his Wasiyyat chanda

He was extremely devoted to his prayers and was extremely devout. He would find the less fortunate and silently provide them with financial aid. He would even help the daughters of family members who were less-fortunate by arranging for their dowry [i.e. the gifts given by the bride]. His relatives say that they have now been deprived of a sincere person who provided financial aid; a loving and kind person. May Allah the Almighty grant the deceased His forgiveness and mercy.

The next funeral is of respected Dr Nizamuddin Budan Sahib from Ivory Coast. He passed away on 15 March [2021]:

اِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‭ ‬وَاِنَّا‭ ‬اِلَيْهِ‭ ‬رَاجِعُوْنَ

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

He was 73 years of age. He obtained his primary education from Mauritius. In 1968, he received a scholarship from Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh, upon which he enrolled in a medical college in Pakistan. He first completed his FSc from Talim-ul-Islam College and then he enrolled in medical college. He completed his MBBS from the Dow Medical College. 

Then in 1978, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh appointed him as the in-charge of the Ahmadiyya Clinic in Nigeria and he had the opportunity to serve there until 1984 in this capacity. When Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh visited Ghana in 1980, a group from Ivory Coast travelled to Ghana and was honoured to have an audience with the Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh. The group requested Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh that they desired for there to be a hospital in Ivory Coast just as the Ahmadiyya Jamaat in Ghana had hospitals. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh accepted this request and thus the process began. 

On 18 March 1983, Doctor Sahib travelled from Lagos to Ivory Coast and met with officials from the ministry of health. Since he spoke French and a French-speaking doctor was required there, he was transferred there from Nigeria, and he subsequently received permission to open an Ahmadiyya dispensary there [in Ivory Coast]. 

He was able to serve in Ivory Coast from 1984 until his demise. By the grace of Allah, he was a musi. His wife has passed away; he has a son named Bashiruddin Mahmud Budan and a daughter Nashmia Aisha Mubaraka. 

May Allah the Almighty keep these children attached to Khilafat and the Jamaat.   

Abdul Quyoom Pasha Sahib, Missionary-in-Charge of Ivory Coast says “He [Doctor Sahib] served as the medical officer at the Ahmadiyya Clinic in Abidjan, Ivory Coast for about 36 years. He was a very good doctor, a good person, and a senior member of the Community in Ivory Coast.” 

He says:

“I worked with Doctor Sahib for about 18 years. I found him to be a good person in every aspect. He helped everyone, provided guidance in matters related to the Jamaat, was hospitable, possessed good qualities, spoke eloquently and was an honourable person. He held various offices in the Community as well. He was extremely generous and would treat children with great kindness and affection. He often kept items which he could give to children as gifts at the clinic; whenever a child patient came to the clinic, he would give them a gift such as toys or sweets. He would render great help to students staying at the mission [house] as well as poor Ahmadi families.” 

One of the missionaries from there writes that if he did not have any patients to see, then he would be occupied in assisting the youth or the elders in their moral training. If he did not have any patients to see he would not remain idle; rather, he would occupy himself with some sort of work related to the Jamaat. In this way, at times he would be translating either Malfuzat, or the Friday Sermon into the French language and then would distribute copies to members of the Jamaat. He was always prepared to serve humanity. He would personally purchase medicine for poor patients and he would also provide household necessities such as rice and oil. May Allah the Almighty grant the deceased His forgiveness and mercy. 

The next funeral is of Salma Begum Sahiba, wife of Dr Raja Nazir Ahmad Zafar Sahib, who passed away on 24 January [2021] at the age of 85. 

اِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‭ ‬وَاِنَّا‭ ‬اِلَيْهِ‭ ‬رَاجِعُوْنَ

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

By the grace of Allah, her father Raja Fazal Daad Khan Sahib was the first Ahmadi in his family. Those who have written about her, including her children, have said that the length of her prayers was often recounted amongst their family as an example. She possessed many great qualities, had a joyful personality, was devoted to serving others, righteous, loyal and brave. She possessed great qualities, was wise, very steadfast and honourable. She was devoted to her prayers, was patient and grateful, content and would place her trust in Allah. 

By the grace of Allah the Almighty, she was a musia. She is survived by two sons and three daughters. 

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

The next funeral is of respected Kishwar Tanweer Arshad Sahiba, wife of Abdul Baqi Arshad Sahib, Chairman of Al-Shirkatul Islamiyyah UK. She passed away on 27 February [2021] at the age of 87:

اِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‭ ‬وَاِنَّا‭ ‬اِلَيْهِ‭ ‬رَاجِعُوْنَ

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

The deceased endured her illness and various aliments in her final years with great steadfastness. By the grace of Allah, she met her Lord in a state of contentment with His will. She is survived by two sons, two daughters and grandchildren. 

One of her sons-in-law is Naseer Dean Sahib, who is currently serving as the national vice-president of the Jamaat in the UK. 

Her son Nabil Arshad has also been blessed to serve during the time of the Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh and also whenever I called upon him to serve, he would come right away and continues to do so. She provided good moral training to her children. 

She possessed many great qualities and was especially particular about cleanliness. She was very well-organised, devoutly sincere and virtuous. She was mindful of offering prayers and keeping fasts and would be at the forefront in presenting financial contributions; she would be very generous in giving alms. 

Arshad Baqi Sahib writes:

“She resided in London for a long period of time. During this time, after the migration of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh in 1984, she supported me a great deal in the work related to the Jamaat and always gave precedence to this work. She kept her home a place of peace and a reflection of heaven at all times. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh used to say that in terms of peace and tranquillity, her home was his favourite.”

Her daughter says:

“She would express gratitude to God in all circumstances; whether in ease or hardship she would happily accept the Divine decree and never complained.” She also resided in Saudi Arabia for some time where she had the opportunity to serve Ahmadis who travelled for Hajj or Umrah. May Allah the Almighty grant the deceased His forgiveness and mercy. 

The next funeral is of Abdur Rahman Hussain Muhammad Khair Sahib of Sudan, who passed away on 24 December [2020] at the age of 56:

اِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‭ ‬وَاِنَّا‭ ‬اِلَيْهِ‭ ‬رَاجِعُوْنَ

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

Before being introduced to the Jamaat, he did not associate with any Islamic sect; in fact, he had some doubts about certain concepts such as abrogation [of the verses of the Quran] and jinn. 

His older brother, Uthman Hussain Sahib used to work in Saudi Arabia, where he was introduced to the Ahmadiyya Community and he mentioned this to Abdur Rahman Sahib – this took place in 2007. Upon hearing about Ahmadiyyat from his brother, Abdur Rahman Sahib was keen to watch MTA. At the time, it was difficult to watch MTA in his area, and in his attempts [to watch MTA] he changed the dish antenna many times and spent a lot of money. Eventually, he was able to watch MTA. Then it became his habit that upon returning from work, he would often spend his time watching MTA. 

Eventually, when his heart had become content, he accepted Ahmadiyyat in 2010. After accepting Ahmadiyyat, he preached to all of his relatives and friends. Among the deceased’s virtuous qualities were humility and meekness, hospitality, caring for the poor and good dealings. 

In 2013, he had the opportunity of rendering notable services in the establishment of the Jamaat in Sudan, for which he presented great financial sacrifices. He also provided financial aid to many of the poorer members of the Jamaat. When Ahmadis belonging to a poor tribe of an area in Sudan began facing injustices from the people of that area, the deceased provided great financial aid, tended to their needs and took care of the people. Every Friday, he would bring people from various places to the prayer centre, and then after the Friday prayer, he would take them back home as well. Even non-Ahmadis attest to his virtuous qualities. 

He was regular and generous in paying his financial contributions. He was a member of the first administrative body [of the Jamaat] in Sudan and undertook this responsibility until his demise. He is survived by his wife, two sons and two daughters. 

May Allah the Almighty keep strengthen their connection to the Jamaat and Khilafat and grant the deceased His forgiveness and mercy. 

As I mentioned, I will offer these funeral prayers [in absentia] after the Friday prayer.

(Original Urdu transcript published in Al Fazl International, 23 April 2021, pp. 5-10. Translated by The Review of Religions.)

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