Friday Sermon – Men of Excellence: Hazrat Uthman r.a. ibn Affan (5 March 2021)

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Friday Sermon

5 March 2021

Men of Excellence: Hazrat Uthmanra ibn Affan

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

I was narrating accounts about the discord and rebellion that arose in the time of Hazrat Uthmanra. I will mention what Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra has stated regarding this. Most of the references have been taken from Tabari and then Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra has presented his own viewpoint on the matter. 

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:

“Besides these three”, i.e. Muhammad bin Abi Bakr, Muhammad bin Huzayfah and Ammar bin Yasir, “who came under the influence of the rebels and sided with them, no one in Medina – be it a Companion or anyone else – held any sympathy for the rebels. Everyone would send curses upon the rebels and reproach them, but since they did not have any control over the affairs, therefore these rebels did not show any care. For up to 20 days the rebels tried to convince Hazrat Uthmanra to somehow step down from Khilafat through dialogue alone. However, Hazrat Uthmanra plainly refused and said, ‘Neither can I remove the cloak which God the Exalted, has clothed me with, nor can I leave the people of Muhammadsa unsheltered so that anyone who wishes may oppress another.’

Hazrat Uthmanra continued to admonish the rebels to refrain from creating conflict and went on to say, ‘Today, these people create disorder and detest my very existence. But when I shall be no more, they shall wish, “If only each and every day of the life of Uthman was transformed into one year each and would that he had not departed from us so soon.” For after me there shall be severe bloodshed, rights shall be violated and governance shall take a completely different turn.’” As such, in the Banu Umayyah period, Khilafat was replaced by secular rule and these rebels were given such harsh punishments that they forgot all their mischief.

“After 20 days had elapsed, the rebels thought that a quick decision was required, lest the armies from the surrounding provinces arrived and they were made to suffer the consequences of their actions.” They knew that they were in the wrong and that majority of the Muslims were with Hazrat Uthmanra

“For this reason, they stopped Hazrat Uthmanra from leaving his house and also forbade the transfer of food and drink into his house. They thought that perhaps in this manner, Hazrat Uthmanra would be compelled to accept their demands.” However, Hazrat Uthmanra had already told them he would not remove the cloak that Allah the Almighty bestowed to him.

“The administration of Medina was now in their hands. They collectively accepted Ghafiqi, the commander of the Egyptian armies, as their commander in chief. So, it was as if Ghafiqi was the ruler of Medina at the time; Ashtar commanded the army of Kufa and Hakim bin Jabalah” – the same robber who had been imprisoned in Basra, on the order of Hazrat Uthmanra, for robbing the wealth of non-Muslim subjects – “commanded the army of Basra, under the leadership of Ghafiqi.” Hakim bin Jabalah and Ashtar both worked under Ghafiqi. 

“Once again, this proves that the rebels of Egypt were the root cause of this conflict, where Abdullah bin Saba was at work. Ghafiqi would lead the prayers in Masjid-e-Nabawi while the companions of the Holy Prophetsa would either remain locked up in their homes or would be compelled to offer prayers behind him. The rebels did not cause people much hindrance until they decided to lay siege upon the house of Hazrat Uthmanra. However, as soon as they laid siege [upon his house], they began to oppress other people as well. Instead of being Dar-ul-Aman [the House of Peace], Medina had now become Dar-ul-Harb [the House of War]. The respect and honour of the people of Medina was in danger; no one would step out of his house unarmed and the rebels would kill anyone who confronted them.

“When the rebels had surrounded Hazrat Uthmanra and even went so far as to stop water from entering [his house], he sent a neighbour’s son to Hazrat Alira, Hazrat Talhara, Hazrat Zubairra and the noble wives of the Holy Prophetsa for assistance, saying, ‘The rebels have even cut our water supply. If you are able to do something, then please arrange for water to be conveyed to us.’

“From among the men, Hazrat Alira was the first to arrive. He admonished the rebels saying:

“‘What sort of a behaviour have you adopted? Your actions neither resemble those of the believers, nor the disbelievers. Do not prevent food and drink from entering the house of Hazrat Uthmanra. Even the Romans and Persians provide their prisoners with food and water. According to Islamic practice, your conduct is not acceptable in the least. Besides, what harm has Hazrat Uthmanra done to you that you deem it permissible to imprison him and kill him?’

“This admonition of Hazrat Alira had no influence on them whatsoever. They plainly said, ‘Whatever the case may be, we shall not allow food or water to reach him.’ This was the reply the rebels gave to the person who they deemed to be the wasi of the Holy Prophetsa and his true successor.” The rebels used to claim that Hazrat Alira was the rightful successor to the Holy Prophetsa and this is the reply they gave to him. 

“After this reply, does the need for any other testimony remain in order to prove that this party, who declared Hazrat Alira to be the wasi, had not left their homes in support of the truth or out of their love for the ahl-e-bait; rather, only to fulfil their base desires? 

“From among the noble wives of the Holy Prophetsa, Hazrat Umm Habibahra was the first to come to the aid of Hazrat Uthmanra. Mounted on a mule, she brought a water-skin along with her. However, her real objective was to safeguard all the wills of the orphans and widows that belonged to the Banu Umayyah, which were in the possession of Hazrat Uthmanra. When she saw that the rebels had stopped the water supply of Hazrat Uthmanra, she became fearful that they might destroy these wills as well and thus desired to somehow safeguard these documents. After all, there were other means by which she could have delivered the water. When Hazrat Umm Habibahra reached the door of Hazrat Uthmanra, just as the rebels were about to stop her, the people exclaimed, ‘This is Umm-ul-Momineen, Umm Habibahra.’

“However, the rebels still persisted and started beating her mule. Umm-ul-Momineen, Umm Habibahra explained, ‘I fear lest the wills of the orphans and widows of the Banu Umayyah should be destroyed. For this reason, I wish to go inside in order to arrange for their safekeeping.’

“However, these wretched people replied to the blessed wife of the Holy Prophetsa, ‘You are lying.’ The rebels then attacked her mule and cut the straps of its packsaddle. The saddle fell to one side. Hazrat Umm Habibahra was on the verge of falling off and being martyred under the feet of the rebels, but a few people of Medina, who were close by, dashed to her aid and escorted her home.

“This was the treatment which they meted out to the blessed wife of the Holy Prophetsa. Hazrat Umm Habibahra possessed such profound loyalty and love for the Holy Prophetsa that after a separation of about 15 to 16 years, when her father, who was the chief of Arabia and held the position of a king in Mecca, came to Medina on a special political mission and came to meet her, she pulled away the bedding of the Holy Prophetsa from beneath him”; when her father was about to sit down on the sheet, she pulled it away from underneath him. “This was because she could not bear to see the pure cloth of the Messengersa of Allah touch the impure body of an idolater.” She did not even let her father sit on it. “It is surprising that in the absence of Muhammadsa, the Messenger of Allah, Hazrat Umm Habibahra safeguarded the sanctity of even his cloth, whereas these rebels did not even show veneration to the revered wife of Muhammadsa, the Messenger of Allah, in his absence. These foolish people said that the wife of the Holy Prophetsa was a liar, even though she was correct in her statement. Hazrat Uthmanra was the guardian of the orphans of Banu Umayyah. On seeing their growing enmity, her concern that the wealth of the orphans and widows may go to waste was correct. The true liars were those who took up the task of destroying the faith whilst claiming to love Muhammadsa, the Messenger of Allah; not Umm Habibahra, Umm-ul-Momineen.

“When news of the treatment meted out to Hazrat Umm Habibahra spread throughout Medina, the companions and residents of Medina were left shocked. They understood that now it was useless to hope of any good to come from the rebels. It was at this very time that Hazrat Aishara decided to go for Hajj and she began to make preparations for the journey.

“When people learned that she was about to leave Medina, some of them requested that if she remained behind, perhaps this would be conducive to bringing an end to the conflict and the rebels would take heed. However, she refused saying, ‘Do you want me to receive the same treatment as Umm Habibahra. By God! I cannot put my honour at risk” as she was [a symbol of] the honour of the Holy Prophetsa. “If I am targeted in any way, what will be the means of my protection? Only God knows the extent to which the rebels will grow in their mischief and what will be their outcome.’

“Just as Hazrat Aisha Siddiqahra was leaving she devised a strategy; had it succeeded, this conflict may have been suppressed to some extent. She sent a message to her brother, Muhammad bin Abi Bakr”, who owing to his naivety or being of weak faith had joined with the rebels, “that he should also accompany her to perform Hajj, but he refused. Upon this, Hazrat Aishara said, ‘What am I to do? I am helpless. If I had the strength, I would never allow these rebels to succeed in their designs.’

“Hazrat Aishara had gone for Hajj and some companions, who were able to leave Medina, also left. The remaining people, except for a few prominent companions, remained in their homes. Ultimately, even Hazrat Uthmanra felt that the rebels would not settle through leniency and he dispatched a letter to all the provincial governors, the summary of which is as follows:

“‘After Hazrat Abu Bakrra and Hazrat Umarra, without any desire or request of my own, I was included among those who were entrusted the duty of holding counsel regarding Khilafat.’” Hazrat Uthmanra stated this in the letter he wrote. “‘Then, I was elected to the office of Khilafat without any desire or request of my own. Without fail, I continued the works which the previous Khulafara undertook, and I did not introduce any innovations in the faith of my own accord. However, the seed of evil was planted into the hearts of certain people, mischief arose and then they began to plot against me; they expressed one thing before the people, while concealing another thing in their hearts. These people began to level such accusations against me as were levelled against the Khulafara before me as well. However, I remained silent despite knowing of this. Taking advantage of my mercy, these people grew even more in their mischief. Ultimately, they attacked Medina in the likeness of disbelievers. So, if there is anything you can do then please arrange for some help.’

“Similarly, a few days later, Hazrat Uthmanra wrote a letter to the people who had come to perform Hajj. The gist of [this letter] is:

“‘I draw your attention towards God the Exalted and remind you of His favours. At this time, certain people are creating mischief and are engaged in attempts to cause divide in Islam. However, these people have not even taken into consideration that God appoints the Khalifa, just as He says:

وَعَدَ‭ ‬اللّٰهُ‭ ‬الَّذِيْنَ‭ ‬اٰمَنُوْا‭ ‬مِنْكُمْ‭ ‬وَ‭ ‬عَمِلُوا‭ ‬الصّٰلِحٰتِ‭ ‬لَيَسْتَخْلِفَنَّهُمْ‭ ‬فِي‭ ‬الْاَرْضِ

“Meaning, ‘Allah has promised to those among you who believe and do good works that He will surely make them Successors in the earth.’ [Ch.24: V.56]

“‘Moreover, they did not value [the importance of] unity, even though God the Exalted has commanded:

وَاعْتَصِمُوْا‭ ‬بِحَبْلِ‭ ‬اللّٰهِ‭ ‬جَمِيْعًا

“Meaning, ‘And hold fast all together by the rope of Allah.’ [Ch.3: V.104] 

“‘Furthermore, they accepted the words of those who accused me and did not pay heed to this command of the Holy Quran:

يٰۤاَيُّهَا‭ ‬الَّذِيۡنَ‭ ‬اٰمَنُوۡۤا‭ ‬اِنۡ‭ ‬جَآءَكُمۡ‭ ‬فَاسِقٌۢ‭ ‬بِنَبَاٍ‭ ‬فَتَبَيَّنُوۡۤا

“Meaning, ‘O ye who believe! if an unrighteous person brings you any news, ascertain the correctness of the report fully.’ [Ch.49: V.7]

“‘They did not honour their bai‘at to me, even though Allah the Exalted says with relation to the Holy Prophetsa:

اِنَّ‭ ‬الَّذِيْنَ‭ ‬يُبَايِعُوْنَكَ‭ ‬اِنَّمَا‭ ‬يُبَايِعُوْنَ‭ ‬اللّٰهَ

“Meaning, ‘Verily, those who swear allegiance to thee indeed swear allegiance to Allah.’ [Ch.48: V.11] 

“‘And I am a successor of the Noble Messengersa’”, i.e. Hazrat Uthmanra was the successor to the Holy Prophetsa and therefore this applies to him also. “‘No nation can progress without a leader and if there is no imam, then the community is destined to be ruined and destroyed. These people desire to destroy and ruin the Muslim ummah’”; these rebels wished to destroy and annihilate Islam. 

Hazrat Uthmanra further wrote, “‘This is their only objective because I accepted their wish and promised to change [various] governors but despite this, they did not seize making mischief. Now, they demand one out of three things.’” The rebels had given three options to Hazrat Uthmanra. “‘Firstly, they demand that revenge should be sought from me for all those people who have received punishment in my reign. If I do not agree, then I should step down from Khilafat and they will appoint someone else in my place. If I do not agree to this either, then they threaten that they will send a message to all their supporters to no longer be obedient to me’”; if Hazrat Uthmanra did not agree to this they threatened to stop obeying him.

“‘The answer with respect to the first demand is that the Khulafara before me also committed judgmental errors but they were never punished.’” If there were any judgmental errors passed by the Khulafa previously, they were not punished for it. Hazrat Uthmanra also acted in the same manner. “‘Furthermore, what other motive besides killing me can there be in imposing so many punishments upon me.’” By making these demands of seeking revenge or punishment only means that the rebels wished to kill him.

“‘As for my deposition from Khilafat, my reply is that if these people tear my flesh into bits with pincers, I can accept this, but I cannot step down from Khilafat.’” Since Allah the Almighty had bestowed him this cloak, he would never take it off.

“‘Now remains the third point that they will send their men in all directions telling people not to obey me. For this, I am not held responsible by God if they wish to act in violation of the Shariah. Even before, when they pledged allegiance to me, I did not compel them. Neither I, nor God the Exalted is pleased with the action of anyone who wishes to break his covenant.’” Hazrat Uthmanra said that he did not compel them to pledge allegiance to him previously, nor would he do so now. But he would not be pleased with their actions as they were wrong, nor would Allah be pleased with their actions. “‘Of course, such a person may do as he wishes on his own accord.’

[Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra said:]

“Since the days of Hajj were fast approaching and people were converging upon Mecca Mukarramah from all corners, Hazrat Uthmanra appointed Hazrat Abdullahra bin Abbas and dispatched him as the Amir for Hajj lest the rebels created disorder there as well. This way Hazrat Abdullahra bin Abbas could also urge the Muslims gathering for Hajj to assist the people of Medina. Even Hazrat Abdullahra bin Abbas submitted, ‘I would prefer to do jihad against these people.’” He said that he was being appointed as amir for the Hajj, but he desired to perform jihad against the rebels. 

“However, Hazrat Uthmanra compelled him to go for Hajj and discharge his duties as the amir for Hajj, in order to prevent the rebels from spreading their mischief there and also to urge the pilgrims gathering there to help the people of Medina. The above-mentioned letter of Hazrat Uthmanra was sent along with him as well. When the rebels learned of these letters, they increased in their atrocities. They began to look for an excuse to fight so that they could martyr Hazrat Uthmanra. All their efforts, however, were in vain and Hazrat Uthmanra would not give them an opportunity to make mischief.

“In the end, out of frustration, the scheme devised by the rebels was that they would stone the house of Hazrat Uthmanra at nightfall when everyone would fall asleep. In this manner, they would provoke the members of the household so that they too would throw stones in retaliation; so the rebels could say that they [the household of Hazrat Uthmanra] initiated the attack and they were compelled to respond. However, Hazrat Uthmanra had prohibited all the members of his household from retaliating. One day, upon finding an opportunity, he approached the wall and said:

“‘O people! In your view I am a sinner, but what wrong have the others committed?’” i.e. that they thought he was a sinner, but what did the other people do wrong? “‘When you throw stones there is also a risk of others being injured.’ The rebels plainly denied and said that they had not thrown any stones. Hazrat Uthmanra said, ‘If you do not throw them, then who does?’ The rebels replied, ‘God the Exalted probably throws them,’ God forbid.

“To this, Hazrat Uthmanra responded, ‘You utter lies! If God the Exalted had thrown stones at us, then not one of His stones would have missed; but the stones thrown by you miss their targets as well.’ After saying this, Hazrat Uthmanra left them to their work.

“Although the companions were no longer given a chance to gather in the company of Hazrat Uthmanra, even still, they were not negligent of their duty. They had divided their work into two parts as a wise measure at the time. Those men who were elderly and who, due to their morals, possessed a great influence on the public, spent their time admonishing the rebels; as for those people who possessed no such influence, or were young, would remain engaged in efforts to protect Hazrat Uthmanra.

“From among the former group, Hazrat Alira and Hazrat Saadra bin Waqas, the conqueror of Persia, strove the hardest to suppress the conflict. Hazrat Alira had especially devoted his time to this cause, leaving aside all his other work. As such, a person by the name of Abdur Rahman, who was an eyewitness of these events, says: 

“‘In the days of disorder, I saw that Hazrat Alira had abandoned all his work. Day and night, he would remain concerned about how he could calm the temper of the enemies of Hazrat Uthmanra and bring an end to his sufferings. On one occasion, when there was a delay in conveying water to Hazrat Uthmanra, he became very displeased with Hazrat Talhahra to whom this task was assigned. Hazrat Alira did not rest until water had reached the home of Hazrat Uthmanra.’

“In ones and twos, whenever they could find an opportunity, the second group began to gather in the house of Hazrat Uthmanra or in neighbouring houses. This party had firmly resolved that they would give their lives but not let Hazrat Uthmanra come in harm’s way. Besides the children of Hazrat Alira, Hazrat Talhahra and Hazrat Zubairra, even a party of the companions themselves was a part of this group. These men guarded the house of Hazrat Uthmanra, day and night, and would not allow any enemy to reach Hazrat Uthmanra.

“Although this small party could not stand up to such a large army, but since the rebels were after an excuse to kill Hazrat Uthmanra, they would not put up much of a resistance either. The events of that time shed such light upon the level of devotion Hazrat Uthmanra possessed for the welfare of Islam that one is left astonished. An army of 3,000 strong stood at his door and no strategy to save himself was devised. He even stopped those who endeavoured to save him, saying, ‘Leave! Do not put your lives in danger. These people only hold enmity for me; they have no objection against you.’

“His eye could foresee the time when Islam would be in grave danger at the hands of these rebels; not only apparent unity, but even the spiritual administration would reach the verge of falling apart. Hazrat Uthmanra knew that at that time each and every Companionra would be required for the protection and establishment of Islam. For this reason, he did not want the companions to lose their lives in a futile attempt to save his life and continued advising all of them not to withstand the rebels. He desired that insofar as possible, the community which had benefited from the company of the Messengersa of Allah, should be safeguarded, in order to dispel disorders which were to arise in the future. Despite his instructions, however, the companions, who would happen to find an opportunity to reach the house of Hazrat Uthmanra did not fail in fulfilling their obligation. They gave precedence to the danger at hand over such dangers that were yet to come. If the lives [of the companions] were secure at the time, then it was only because the rebels felt no need to hurry and were on the lookout for an excuse” to attack Hazrat Uthmanra

“Ultimately, however, the hour arrived when it became impossible to wait any longer, because the heart-rendering message of Hazrat Uthmanra, which he had sent to the Muslims who were gathering for Hajj, had now been read out before the crowd of pilgrims. The valley of Mecca echoed this voice from one end to another. The Muslim pilgrims had decided that after the Hajj, they would not remain deprived of gaining the spiritual reward of performing jihad as well; they would uproot the rebels of Egypt and their associates. Rebel spies had informed their people of this intention and now signs of agitation began to arise in their camp. This was to such extent that murmurings within the rebel camp began to take place suggesting that now there was no other option but to kill this man; if they did not kill him, there would be no uncertainty in their own massacre at the hands of the Muslims. This anxiety was further intensified by the news that the letters of Hazrat Uthmanra had now reached Syria, Kufa and Basra as well, and the people there, who were already waiting for the orders of Hazrat Uthmanra, had been further enraged upon the receipt of these letters. Not to mention that taking it upon themselves, the companions had drawn the attention of all the Muslims towards their obligations in mosques and gatherings, and they had issued the verdict of performing jihad against the rebels. The companions said, ‘A person, who does not perform jihad on this day, is as if he has done nothing.’ 

“If, in Kufa, Uqbahra bin Amr, Abdullahra bin Abi Aufa, Hanzalah bin Rabi Al-Tamimira and other noble companions had roused the people into supporting the people of Medina, then Imranra bin Husain, Anasra bin Malik, Hishamra bin Amir and other companions had done the same in Basra. If, in Syria, Ubadahra bin Samit, Abu Umamahra and other companions had motivated the people to answer to the call of Hazrat Uthmanra, then Kharijah and others had done the same in Egypt. Armies from every province were joining forces and marching towards Medina.

“Hence, this news intensified the anxiety of the rebels. Finally, they attacked the house of Hazrat Uthmanra and sought to forcefully enter. The companions confronted them and a fierce battle ensued. Although the companions were few in number, but their honour for their faith was covering for this disadvantage. Since the area where this battle took place, i.e., in front of the house of Hazrat Uthmanra was narrow, due to this reason as well, the rebels were unable to exploit their advantage in number. When Hazrat Uthmanra learned of this battle he forbade the companions from fighting. However, at that time, they viewed abandoning Hazrat Uthmanra to be against honesty and contrary to the teaching of obedience. Hence, they refused to return despite Hazrat Uthmanra appealing to them in the name of God. In the end, Hazrat Uthmanra took a shield in his hand, came out and led the companions inside his house. He then had the doors closed and enjoined the companions and their helpers: 

“‘God the Exalted has not given you the world so that you may incline towards it. In fact, he has granted you the world so that by this means, you may gather provisions for the hereafter. This world will come to an end, and only the hereafter will remain. So, let not that which is to perish make you unmindful. Give precedence to that which shall remain over that which is to perish. Be mindful of your meeting with God the Exalted and do not allow your community to disperse. Do not forget the Divine favour that you were on the brink of a pit of destruction and God the Exalted saved you out of His bounty and made you as brothers.’

“Having said this, he dismissed them and said:

“‘May God the Exalted be your Guardian and Helper. All of you leave the house now and call for those companions who have been barred from reaching me, especially Hazrat Alira, Hazrat Talhara and Hazrat Zubairra.’ These people stepped out and the other companions were also called. At the time, such a mood was developing and such a degree of sorrow was overshadowing the atmosphere that even the rebels could not remain unaffected.” 

At the time, such an atmosphere was created that when Hazrat Uthmanra told them to leave, the rebels did not attack them. Nonetheless, they left and the prominent companions were gathered. 

“Why would this not be the case? Everyone was observing that a candle lit by Muhammadsa, the Messenger of Allah, upon completing its life in the world was now about to disappear from the eyes of the people. Therefore, the rebels did not cause much hindrance and all the companions gathered.

“When everyone had come together, Hazrat Uthmanra climbed the wall of his house and said, ‘Come close to me.’ When they had all come close to him, Hazrat Uthmanra said, ‘O people! Sit down.’ At this, the companions sat down and inspired by the awe of the gathering, so did the rebels. When they had all sat down Hazrat Uthmanra said:

‘People of Medina! I entrust you to God the Exalted and pray to Him that after me, He may arrange for a better successor than me. After today, until God the Exalted issues a decree in my regard, I shall not step out of my house and I shall not pass on authority to anyone by which he may rule over you in terms of religion or worldly rule. I leave it to God the Exalted to choose whoever He desires for His work.’

“After this he appealed in the name of Allah to the companions and the other people of Medina, not to put their own lives in grave danger by protecting him and to go to their homes. This instruction of Hazrat Uthmanra created a serious disagreement among the companions, a disagreement the likes of which cannot be found prior to this. The companions knew nothing but to obey every command, but today, in obeying this instruction, some perceived the stench of treachery, as opposed to obedience.” Some companions felt that if they obeyed this instruction it would be akin to treachery. 

“Some companions gave precedence to the aspect of obedience and unwillingly did away with their intention of fighting the rebels from then on. Perhaps they thought that their duty was only to be obedient and it was not their task to reflect upon the results that would come about by obeying this command. However, some companions refused to obey this order because although they knew that it was an obligation to obey the Khalifa, but if the Khalifa commands people to abandon him, this effectively means that they should sever their ties with Khilafat; hence, this kind of obedience actually results in treachery. Furthermore, they also knew that Hazrat Uthmanra was sending them home in order to protect their lives”, i.e. to protect the lives of the companions. “How then, could they leave such a loving person in danger and go to their homes?” Out of love for them, Hazrat Uthmanra wished to save their lives, so how could they leave Hazrat Uthmanra?

“All the prominent companions were among the latter group. As such, despite this command, the sons of Hazrat Alira, Hazrat Talhahra and Hazrat Zubairra, under the order of their respective fathers, constantly stood guard at the porch of Hazrat Uthmanra and did not put their swords into their sheaths. 

“The anxiety and ebullition of the rebels knew no bounds when the odd one or two people – who were returning after having completed Hajj – began to enter Medina; they were certain that now the time for their judgement had drawn very close. After performing Hajj, Mughirah bin Al-Akhnas was the first person who entered Medina in order to gain the spiritual reward of jihad. As soon as he arrived, the rebels received news that the army of Basra, which was coming to help the Muslims, had reached Sirar, which was only at a journey of one day from Medina. Overwhelmed by this news, the rebels decided that it was now vital that they fulfil their objective at all costs. Those companions and their friends who had refused to relinquish their protection of Hazrat Uthmanra despite his prohibition and those who had plainly said, ‘How will we face God the Exalted if we desert you, despite having the strength in our arms to fight?’ were now standing guard from inside the house due to their small number. Hence, it was not difficult for the rebels to reach the door. The rebels collected piles of wood outside the door and set light to them, so that the door would burn down and they could find an entrance into [the house]. Upon observing this, the companions deemed it inappropriate to remain inside and they desired to step out swords in hand. However, Hazrat Uthmanra stopped them from doing so and said:

“‘What more can there be than setting the house on fire? Whatever was to happen, has now happened. Do not put your lives in danger and return to your homes. These people only harbour enmity against myself, but soon, they shall be remorseful for their doing. I absolve every person of his duty who is obliged to obey me and give up my right upon him.’

“However, the companions as well as others did not accept this and stepped out swords in hand. As they were coming out, Hazrat Abu Hurairahra arrived as well and joined them even though he was not the kind of person to engage in battle. Abu Hurairahra said, ‘What battle can be superior to the battle of this day?’ Then he looked towards the rebels and said:

يٰقَوۡمِ‭ ‬مَا‭ ‬لِيۡۤ‭ ‬اَدۡعُوۡكُمۡ‭ ‬اِلَي‭ ‬النَّجٰوةِ‭ ‬وَ‭ ‬تَدۡعُوۡنَنِيۡۤ‭ ‬اِلَي‭ ‬النَّارِ

“‘O my people, how strange it is that I call you to salvation, and you call me to the Fire.’ [Ch.40: V.42] 

“This battle was an exceptional one. A handful of companions who were able to gather at the time fought desperately against this grand army. On that day, even Hazrat Imam Hasanra, who was extremely peace loving – in fact, was a prince of peace – attacked the enemy and would recite rajaz. The couplets recited by Hazrat Imam Hasan and Muhammad bin Talhah on that day are especially worthy of mention because they provide a deep understanding of their heartfelt feelings at the time.

“Hazrat Imam Hasanra would recite the following couplet and attack the rebels:

لَا‭ ‬دِيْنُهُمْ‭ ‬دِيْنِيْ‭ ‬وَلَا‭ ‬اَنَا‭ ‬مِنْهُمُ

حَتّٰي‭ ‬اَسِيْرَ‭ ‬اِلٰي‭ ‬طَمَارِ‭ ‬شَمَامٖ

“‘Their faith is not my faith, nor do I have any relation with them; I shall fight them until I reach the summit of mount Shamam.’

“Shamam is a mountain in Arabia which serves as a similitude for conquering heights and the achievement of one’s goal. Hazrat Imam Hasanra meant to say that he would continue to fight the rebels until he attained his objective and would not make peace with them, because the disagreement between both parties was not a trivial one, whereby [the believers] could develop a relationship with them, without having conquered them. These were the thoughts that were billowing in the heart of this prince of peace. Let us now take the rajaz of the son of Talhahra, who says:

اَنَا‭ ‬ابْنُ‭ ‬مَنْ‭ ‬حَامٰي‭ ‬عَلَيْهِ‭ ‬بِاُحُدٍ

وَرَدَّ‭ ‬اَحْزَابًا‭ ‬عَلٰي‭ ‬رَغْمِ‭ ‬مَعَدٍّ

“‘I am the son of he who protected the Holy Prophetsa on the day of Uhud and defeated the Arabs despite their full efforts.’

“In other words, this day was also similar to the day of Uhud; just as his father had offered his hand to be pierced with arrows but did not let any harm come to the Holy Prophetsa, he would do the same.

“Hazrat Abdullahra bin Zubair also participated in this battle and was badly injured. Marwan also sustained serious injuries and barely escaped the clutches of death. Mughirah bin Al-Akhnas was killed. When the person who had attacked Mughirah saw that not only had he been wounded but that he had been killed, he exclaimed: 

اِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‭ ‬وَاِنَّآ‭ ‬اِلَيْهِ‭ ‬رَاجِعُوْنَ

“[meaning, ‘Verily, to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return’]

“The chief of the army reprimanded him saying, ‘You express regret on an occasion of happiness!’ He replied, ‘Last night, I saw in a dream that a person said, “Give news of hell to the killer of Mughirah.” So upon learning that I am his killer I was bound to be shocked by this.’ Besides the above-mentioned people, others were also injured and killed; the party protecting Hazrat Uthmanra became even smaller. If, on the one hand, the rebels persisted in their obstinacy despite a heavenly warning and continued to fight against the beloved party of God the Exalted, then on the other hand, the devotees also did not slacken in setting an excellent example of faith. Despite the fact that most guards had been killed or injured, a small party continued to guard the door without fail.” (Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud AhmadraThe Outset of Dissension in Islam [2013 edition], pp. 114-138)  

Nonetheless, this account will continue and insha-Allah, I will relate it in the coming sermon. 

I would like to make an appeal for prayers for the Ahmadis in Pakistan and as well as for Algeria, as the cases [against Ahmadis] are reopening there again. May Allah the Almighty create ease for everyone there and may Allah remove the difficulties caused by the enemies and create ease. 

After the Friday prayers, I will lead some funeral prayers in absentia and also mention some details about them. 

The first mention is of Respected Maulvi Muhammad Najeeb Khan Sahib, Naib Nazir Da‘wat ila-Allah for South India, [from] Qadian, who was the son of the late Master VM Muhammad from Kakkanad, Ernakulam district, Kerala. He passed away on 14 February [2021] due to a heart attack: 

اِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‭ ‬وَاِنَّآ‭ ‬اِلَيْهِ‭ ‬رَاجِعُوْنَ

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

By the grace of Allah, he was a musi [part of the institution of Al-Wasiyyat]. Aside from his wife, he leaves behind three sons and all three of them are part of the blessed Waqf-e-Nau scheme. One son is studying in Jamia Ahmadiyya. 

The deceased was not an Ahmadi by birth, but when he was 17 years old, he was introduced to Ahmadiyyat by his father, after which he began to study the literature of the Jamaat including the book, The Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam. One day, the deceased asked his father at what age one could make decisions for themselves, to which his father replied that at the age of 17 or 18, one could make a decision on their own. Subsequently, the deceased pledged allegiance through Maulana Muhammad Alvi Sahib and entered the fold of the Jamaat. 

With regard to his pledge of allegiance, Maulana Alvi Sahib narrates a dream of his; he states, “I saw in a dream that many stars were heading towards him, among which was a small star which is racing ahead.” 

Alvi Sahib would infer that the small star represented the late Maulvi Muhammad Najeeb Khan Sahib. Nonetheless, Najeeb Sahib was the first person to pledge allegiance in his family. His father knew about the Jamaat, but he was not an Ahmadi. Later on, after Najeeb Sahib’s efforts, Najeeb Sahib’s father, mother and brother pledged allegiance. After pledging allegiance, Najeeb Sahib saw a dream and owing to this dream, he joined Jamia Ahmadiyya and decided to serve the Jamaat as a life devotee. After graduating from Jamia, he was appointed to serve in India. He initially served in Chandigarh and after this, he served in various places as a missionary. I then appointed him as naib nazir da‘wat ila-Allah. Similarly, he worked as naib in-charge of Noor-ul-Islam tabligh department and this [department] is working very effectively there. 

He was regular in his prayers and fasting and was regular in offering the Tahajjud [pre-dawn voluntary] prayers; he had a true connection with Khilafat which was one of love and reverence. He would complete every task with sincerity and determination, he would ensure it was completed with great proficiency and on time. It was part of his nature to complete everything to an excellent standard and to do so on time. He paid particular attention towards worship and would encourage his family members to do the same. He would particularly pay attention to fulfilling the rights of God’s creation.

Sheraz Sahib, in charge of Noor-ul-Islam Department, says: “He would regularly come to Bait-ud-Dua to offer prayers. He was very pious and had immense passion to serve the faith. He would remain occupied in fulfilling the tablighi and tarbiyati targets set by the Khalifa of the time. He also had the opportunity to translate the books of the Jamaat into Malayalam, as well as the revision and checking of books.”

With regard to Najeeb Sahib’s services in this regard, Nazir Nashr-o-Ishaat Qadian writes that the deceased had the opportunity to translate Al-WasiyyatTajalliyaat-e-IlahiyahIrfan-e-IlahiQa‘idah Yassarnal-Quran and my [Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V’saa] sermons regarding Waqf-e-Nau into Malayalam. Furthermore, when Tafsir-e-Saghir was re-printed in Malayalam, he had the opportunity to check it. One of his books, Nisab-e-Talim, was published in three parts in Malayalam. From 2013-2016, he had the opportunity to serve as the sadr of the review committee for Kerala. 

Abu Bakr Sahib, Amir of Ernakulam district in Kerala province says:

“He had a passion to translate the books of the Promised Messiahas and spread the message to the people. He tried his utmost to assist those of weaker faith and ensuring they become steadfast and resolute.” 

May Allah the Almighty elevate the status of the deceased.

The second funeral is of Nazeer Ahmad Khadim Sahib, who was the son of Chaudhry Ahmad Din Sahib Chattha and elder brother of Munir Bismil Sahib, Additional Nazir Ishaat. He passed away on 6 February [2021].

اِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‭ ‬وَاِنَّآ‭ ‬اِلَيْهِ‭ ‬رَاجِعُوْنَ

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

Ahmadiyyat entered their family through his paternal grandfather, Chaudhry Shah Din Sahib. Nazeer Khadim Sahib began his services to the faith from his time in college. Allah the Almighty had given him a special ability of writing and delivering speeches. From his youth until the very end of his life, he propagated the faith by advising and guiding through his written work and speeches. In Rabwah, he served as muavin sadr in Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya and then also as mo‘tamid. He served as naib amir of Bahawalnagar district, as naib qaid umumi in Ansarullah and served as qazi in the dar al-qaza in Rabwah. 

May Allah the Almighty bestow His mercy and forgiveness on the deceased and enable his progeny and those he leaves behind to continue his virtuous deeds.

The next funeral is of respected Al-Hajj Dr Nana Mustafa Oti Boateng Sahib, who was more commonly known in Ghana as Al-Hajj Chocho. He passed away on 17 January [2021] at the age of 70: 

اِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‭ ‬وَاِنَّآ‭ ‬اِلَيْهِ‭ ‬رَاجِعُوْنَ

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

He was born in a Christian household and accepted Ahmadiyyat in 1979. He initially started working as a driver and also had the opportunity to serve the Jamaat for a long time as the driver of the late amir, Abdul Wahab Adam Sahib. He also had the opportunity to work in the Jamaat’s press in the UK and Ghana. He also lived for some time in Japan, where he was appointed as the president of his local Jamaat. When I was serving in Ghana, I also saw that he was always very cheerful and would always occupy himself in the service of the Jamaat. Despite not holding any official office, he would always be striving to offer his services for any kind of work. Later, he started his own business and became so successful that he was regarded amongst the most well-known businessmen in Ghana. He also owned a factory which was known as Chocho Industry. He would always attribute the success of his business to the blessings of God Almighty, the prayers of the Khalifa of the time and his passion to offer sacrifices. He also made a lot of financial sacrifices. He had the opportunity to serve as the national secretary jaidad of Ghana for 11 years and also had the opportunity to serve as the regional president. By the grace of Allah the Almighty, the deceased was a part of the institution of Al-Wasiyyat. He is survived by three wives and three daughters. He also had a son, who passed away a few years ago. 

Mubarak Adil Sahib, who is serving as a missionary in Koforidua, writes that to sacrifice his time and wealth for the service of faith and humanity and also his humility were amongst his most notable qualities. He would pay particular attention towards the Tahajjud prayer and the five obligatory prayers. He would regularly and punctually pay his chanda. He financed the building of an entire mosque on his own and contributed more than 50% of the total cost of the construction of so many other mosques as well. Similarly, he contributed towards the construction of various mission houses and their refurbishment. Whenever there was a legal dispute regarding the land owned by the Jamaat, he would arrange for a lawyer himself and attend all the legal proceedings and he would pay for all the legal fees himself and not take anything from the Jama’at. He had a particular passion and desire in his heart for spreading the message of Ahmadiyyat. His parents also accepted Ahmadiyyat through his preaching efforts. For over a decade, he conducted a 30-minute tabligh programme on a radio station from his own expenditure, which reaches out to almost half the population of Ghana and this continues even till today. He also owned a television channel and would broadcast a tabligh programme once a week as well as a video programme at his own expenditure. Through this programme, hundreds of thousands of people received the message of Ahmadiyyat and many people accepted Ahmadiyyat as a result. He also had a car which was dedicated for the sole purpose of Tabligh activities. He also purchased motorcycles and cars for certain missionaries and muallimeen in order to assist them in their tabligh and tarbiyat duties and so that they could carry out their work more efficiently. He would also discreetly provide them with financial help as well. He would always advise the members of the Jamaat that they ought to serve and protect the Jamaat just like one loves and cherishes a personal and valuable property of theirs. He would also encourage them to offer every kind of sacrifice for the purpose of tabligh and in turn, Allah the Almighty would bestow countless blessings and favours upon them – and he himself was a practical example of this. 

Whatever advice he would give to others, he would always practically demonstrate it through his own example as well. The [Jamaat’s] hospital in Koforidua Region is the biggest hospital in the entire region; however, the roads leading into it had deteriorated and become broken causing the patients great difficulty. The deceased had the roads rebuilt through his own expense and at the occasion of its inauguration, which was attended by the regional minister, politicians, doctors, media, etc. almost all of whom were either non-Ahmadis or Christians, he expressed, “I am an Ahmadi Muslim and believe in Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadianias as the second coming of the Messiah. It is the Promised Messiahas and his Khulafa who have taught me that in order to fulfil the rights of God, one has to also serve mankind. It is for this reason that as an Ahmadi Muslim, I consider it my duty to show compassion to mankind and to strive to alleviate its difficulties. This was the reason why I rebuilt these roads which lead to the hospital.” 

At the age of 48, he once again read the Holy Quran with the muallim, Jamal-ul-Din Sahib and also learnt the Yassarnal-Quran again, so that he could correct his pronunciation. Thereafter, he regularly recited the Holy Quran with its translation and would carefully ponder over its meanings. He had adopted many children and had provided them with rooms for accommodation in his own house and he would also tend to their secular and religious education. In short, he possessed countless virtues. May Allah the Almighty grant him His forgiveness and mercy and elevate his status. May He also enable his loved ones to continue his virtuous deeds. 

The next funeral is of respected Ghulam Nabi Sahib, son of Fazl Din Sahib of Rabwah. He was the father of Zia-ul-Rahman Tayyab Sahib, who is serving as a missionary in Gabon. He passed away on 2 February [2021]: 

اِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‭ ‬وَاِنَّآ‭ ‬اِلَيْهِ‭ ‬رَاجِعُوْنَ

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

He was a born Ahmadi. He worked in a bank and after his retirement, he moved to Daska. There, he had the opportunity to serve as the finance secretary, vice president, general secretary, zaim Ansarullah and imam-ul-Salat. He was very regular in his Tahajjud prayers and would always try to offer his prayers at the mosque. He was very regular in reciting the Holy Quran and would recite it aloud. He was a very kind, compassionate, benevolent person, who always showed patience and contentment. 

As I mentioned that he was the father of Zia-ul-Rahman Tayyab Sahib, who is currently serving as a missionary in Gabon and owing to the current circumstances, was unable to attend the funeral and burial of his father. May Allah the Almighty also grant him patience and steadfastness and elevate the status of the deceased.  

(Original Urdu transcript published in Al Fazl International, 19 March 2021, pp. 11-16. Translated by The Review of Religions.)

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