Friday Sermon – Muhammad (sa): The great exemplar (16 June 2023)


Friday Sermon

16 June 2023

Muhammadsa: The great exemplar

Mubarak Mosque

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

Some details were mentioned in regards to the preparations of the disbelievers of Mecca for battle. Further details in relation to this are as follows.

There was an individual by the name of Umayyah bin Khalaf, and another by the name of Abu Lahab. As the preparations commenced, these two individuals were reluctant to go forth to battle. In relation to this, it is written that for this battle, the chiefs of the Quraish required everyone to participate. However, Umayyah bin Khalaf was avoiding taking part in it. One of the chiefs of Mecca, Uqbah bin Abi Mu’ait, went to Umayyah, placed some fragrances and incenses next to him and said: “Take this fragrance made for women, since you are from among the women as well. What business do you have in battle?” (Mustafa ‘Abd al-Wahid, Subul al-Huda wa al-Rashad fi Sirat Khair al-‘Ibad, Vol. 4 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 1993], p. 22)

According to another narration, Abu Jahl came to Umayyah and said to him:

“You are one of the chiefs and revered individuals of Mecca. If people see you backing away from battle, they will refrain from participating as well. Therefore, you should most certainly set off with us, even if it is just for a day or two and then return.” In actual fact, Umayyah was afraid of participating in the battle, because the Holy Prophetsa had made a prophecy about him being killed and he was aware of it.  As such, Hazrat ‘Abdullahra bin Mas’ud relates in Bukhari that Hazrat Sa’dra bin Mu’adh set off with the intention of performing ‘umrah and he stayed with Umayyah bin Khalaf. He had been acquainted with Umayyah previously. Whenever Umayyah travelled towards Syria and passed through Medina, he would stay with Hazrat Sa’dra. Umayyah said to Hazrat Sa’dra, who intended to perform ‘umrah: “Wait for a bit and perform the tawaf [circling, or walking around the Ka’bah] at noon, when people will be unaware [of you doing so].” This step was taken as a precautionary measure due to the opposition against Muslims. When it was noon, he started doing the tawaf, and while he was doing so, he saw Abu Jahl, who said: “Who is this, circling the Ka’bah?” Hazrat Sa’dra replied: “It is I, Sa’d.” Abu Jahl said: “Will you circle the Ka’bah peacefully, even though you have given Muhammadsa and his followers protection?” Hazrat Sa’dra replied: “Yes.” Upon this, both of them started reproaching each other. In other words, Abu Jahl challenged him about how he could perform the tawaf, even though he was among those who had granted protection to the Holy Prophetsa. In any case, Hazrat Sa’dra replied, “This is indeed true. I have granted him protection and I will also perform the tawaf.” Upon this, they started reproaching one another. [Following this,] Umayyah said to Hazrat Sa’dra: “O Sa’d! Do not raise your voice to Abul-Hakam (this was Abu Jahl’s appellation), because he is the chief of the people of the valley.” Hazrat Sa’dra replied: “By God! If you prevent me from circling the House of God, I will create an even harsher hindrance. That is, I will close the route for your trade that passes through Medina (i.e., towards Syria).” Hazrat ‘Abdullah bin Mas’udra relates that Umayyah repeatedly stopped Hazrat Sa’dra from raising his voice. Hazrat Sa’dra became angry and said to Umayyah: “Let me be and do not support him (i.e., Abu Jahl)! I have heard the Holy Prophetsa say that you will be killed.”  That is, there was a prophecy for his death.”

In another narration, it is recorded that he said, “Those people (i.e., the companions of Muhammadsa) are going to kill you.” Umayyah replied, “Who, me?” Hazrat Sa’dra replied, “Yes, you.” Umayyah then asked, “In Mecca?” to which Hazrat Sa’dra replied, “That I do not know.” Upon hearing this, Umayyah said, “By God, when Muhammad[sa] speaks, he does not lie.” He then returned to his wife and said, “Do you know what my Yahtribi brother has said to me?” She asked, “What did he say?” Umayyah answered, “He says that he heard Muhammad[sa] saying that he is going to kill me.” His wife said, “By Allah, Muhammad[sa] does not utter lies.” This was the prophecy that Umayyah was afraid of, and it was the reason why he did not wish to go to battle against the Muslims.

Hazrat Abdullahra bin Mas’ud states that when he went forth towards Badr and someone came to seek assistance, Umayyah’s wife said to him, “Do you not remember what your Yathribi brother said to you?” and so he desired not to go forth. However, Abu Jahl said, “You are among the chieftains of this valley, so accompany us for a day or two.” Hence, he went with them for two days, and Allah had him killed. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Manaqib, Bab Alamat al-Nubuwwah fi al-Islam, Hadith 3632) (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Maghazi, Bab Dhikr al-Nabisa man Yuqtalu bi Badr, Hadith 3950) Some historians have also raised the point that the Holy Prophetsa stated that he would kill him, but he was not the one who did so. Other historians have clarified this matter, saying that it meant that he would be the means for him to be killed, otherwise, the Holy Prophetsa did not kill anyone aside from Umayyah bin Khalaf’s brother, Ubayy bin Khalaf. The Holy Prophetsa killed him during the Battle of Uhud. These people who have clarified this also state that Hazrat Sa’dra may have said to Umayyah that the companions of Muhammadsa would kill him because, as it has been mentioned in the previous narration, either Muhammadsa or his companions would kill him. (‘Ali bin Burhan al-Din al-Halabi,  Ghazwat al-Nabisa – Translated [Karachi, Pakistan: Dar al-Isha’ah, 2001], 70)

In any case, he was killed, and there is no need to debate who actually killed him, for this prophecy came to fulfilment.

Likewise, Abu Lahab was also afraid to go to battle. He sent someone in his stead and did not go himself to fight. His reason for not going to battle was the dream of Atikah bint Abdul Muttalib. He would say that the dream of Atikah is like something that is taken from one’s hand, i.e., a decided matter. (Mustafa ‘Abd al-Wahid, Subul al-Huda wa al-Rashad fi Sirat Khair al-‘Ibad, Vol. 4 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 1993], 21)

Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra has mentioned these details in the following manner:

“There were only two individuals who hesitated in participating, and they were Abu Lahab and Umayyah bin Khalaf. However, the reason for this hesitation was not due to any sympathy for the Muslims. Rather, Abu Lahab feared the dream of his sister Atikah bint Abdul Muttalib, which she saw only three days prior to the arrival of Damdam, indicating the destruction of the Quraish. Umayyah bin Khalaf feared the prophecy of the Holy Prophetsa about his being slain, which he had learned of from Sa’d bin Mu‘adhra, in Mecca. However, since there was a concern that if these two renowned chieftains had remained behind, this would have had a negative effect on the disbelieving masses, the other chieftains of the Quraish provoked their passion and sense of honour, and ultimately compelled them to agree. In other words, Umayyah prepared himself and Abu Lahab paid a hefty sum to someone else to stand in his place. In this manner, after a preparation of three days, an army of over 1,000 fearless warriors was prepared to go forth from Mecca.

This army was still in Mecca when a few chieftains from among the Quraish thought that since relations between the people of Mecca and the Banu Bakr, which was a branch of the Banu Kinanah, were not favourable, there was a risk that in their absence they might take advantage of the situation and attack Mecca. Due to this thought, various people from among the Quraish began to waver. However, a chieftain of the Banu Kinanah named Suraqah bin Malik bin Ja‘sham, who was in Mecca at the time, assured them, saying, ‘I guarantee that no attack will be waged upon Mecca.’ As a matter of fact, Suraqah was so vehement in his enmity towards Islam that, in support of the Quraish, he even accompanied them all the way to Badr himself. However, when he saw the Muslims there, he was so awe-stricken that before the war began, he left his companions and fled. […]

“Prior to going forth from Mecca, the Quraish went to the Ka’bah and prayed, ‘O God! Grant succour to that party from among these two parties, which is more noble and more superior in Your estimation; and disgrace and humiliate the other.’ After this, the army of the disbelievers departed from Mecca with great pomp and pride.” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, pp. 350-351)

They had prayed for their own defeat from the very outset. We find a reference that mentions that in the beginning, the Meccan army numbered 1,300. (Al-Rahiq al-Mahktum, p. 281, Maktabah al-Salafiyyah, Lahore, 2000)

However, the people of the Banu Zuhrah and Banu Adiyy tribes separated from the army during the journey. In this way, the number of the Quraish army was reduced to 950 and according to other narrations, it was 1,000. Furthermore, they had 100 horses, or according to other narrations, it was 200 horses, 700 camels, 600 coats of armour, and plenty of other military equipment such as spears, swords, bows and arrows etc. (Ibn Kathir, Al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah, [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2005], 248-249; Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, pp. 352)

There is mention of the dream of Juhaim bin Salat in relation to the destruction of the chieftains of the Quraish. The Quraish departed from Mecca and reached Juhfah. Juhfah is situated approximately 82 miles from Mecca towards Medina. Juhaim bin Salat said to the people, “I saw in a dream that a man riding a horse came with a camel beside him. The person was saying, ‘Utbah bin Rabi’ah has been killed, Shaibah bin Rabi’ah has been killed, Abul Hakam bin Hisham (i.e., Abu Jahl) has been killed, Umayyah bin Khalaf has been killed,’ and he mentioned all the names of the other chiefs of the Quraish who were later killed during the Battle of Badr. The person then struck a spear into the neck of his camel and left it with our army, that is to say, there was not a single tent of our army that had not had blood spilt on it from the camel that belonged to this person who came.” When Abu Jahl heard of this dream, he said in a mocking and furious manner, “Another prophet has appeared among the Banu Muttalib. If we fight tomorrow, we shall know for sure who is killed.” (Ibn Hisham, Al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah, Dhikr Ru’ya ‘Atikah bint ‘Abd al-Muttalib [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2001], pp. 422-423)

Nonetheless, as mentioned earlier, Abu Sufyan changed his route and escaped. He sent a message to Abu Jahl, saying that there was no need to fight, and that he should return. As was mentioned last week, as a precaution, Abu Sufyan went ahead of the caravan and stopped near a well. Over there, he enquired from a man whether he saw anyone pass by from there. He replied: “I did not see anything out of the ordinary. However, I saw two people on mounts, who sat their camels by that mound. After they filled their water skins, they departed.” Abu Sufyan went to the place where the camels rested and picked up the camel droppings. He broke them open and found date stones inside them. Upon seeing them, he said: “By God! This is the [animal] feed of the people of Yathrib.” He immediately raced towards his comrades, and by whipping his camels, he diverted the caravan towards the coast. They passed by Badr on their right side and sped off ahead. (Ibn Hisham, Al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah, Dhikr Ru’ya ‘Atikah bint ‘Abd al-Muttalib [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2001], p. 422)

I have mentioned this incident in last week’s sermon. Nonetheless, when Abu Sufyan was convinced that his caravan was safe, he sent a message to the Quraish saying: “You only set out to protect your men and your wealth. God has saved them. Therefore, return now.” However, upon hearing this message, Abu Jahl said: “By God! We will not return until we reach Badr.” Badr was one area where a festival took place for the Arabs and each year a bazaar would be set up. Abu Jahl said: “We will encamp there for three days, slaughter our camels, have a feast, drink alcohol and our servants will sing songs for us. All of Arabia shall hear about us, about our travel and about our mighty army. From then on they will always live in fear of us. Therefore, march on ahead.” (Ibn Hisham, Al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2001], p. 423)

He attempted to overawe them, which is why he was adamant that his army should march ahead and reach Badr. Among their army were the Banu Zuhrah, regarding whom it is written that they decided to head back. When Abu Sufyan received this message, Akhnas bin Shuraik, who was a confederate of the Banu Zuhrah, said:

“O Banu Zuhrah! Allah has saved your provisions as well as your comrade, Makhramah bin Naufal (he was present in the caravan of Abu Sufyan). You left your homes to save Makhramah and your provisions. Put any blame of cowardice on me […]” People would say that they were cowards as they were leaving the battlefield. Thus, he said, “Place all blame on me and return, because in the event that no harm has been done, you have no further business here. Do not fall for the words of Abu Jahl”. Thus, they all left and not a single person from the Banu Zuhrah tribe took part in the battle. Similarly, nobody from the Banu Ka’b bin Adyy went for the battle, and instead, they all returned.

The army of the Quraish marched ahead. Hazrat Abu Talib’s son, Talib, was also present in this army. He spoke with a few people from among the Quraish. Some of them said to him tauntingly: “O Banu Hashim! Even though you have come along with us, we know that deep down your sentiments are with Muhammad[sa].” Upon hearing this, Talib left with many of his friends and headed back towards Mecca.

In one narration, it is mentioned that Talib bin Abu Talib was forced to come with the army of the idolaters, however, he was not found amongst the prisoners, nor was he amongst those who were killed and neither did he return home. (Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari – Translated, Vol. 2 [Karachi, Pakistan: Nafis Academy], p. 137)

This is a reference of Tabari. Nonetheless, the remaining army was reduced from 1300 to approximately 1000 and continued the journey. They set up camp behind a mound near Badr. (Ibn Hisham, Al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2001], p. 423)

With regards to the Holy Prophet’ssa departure from Medina and the number of the Muslim army, it is written that the Holy Prophetsa left Medina on Saturday 12 Ramadan, 2 AH. There were a little more than 300 companions with him, among whom 74 were from the Muhajirin and the rest were from the Ansar. This was the first expedition on which the Ansar were also present.

The Holy Prophetsa ordered Hazrat Uthman bin Affanra to remain behind in Medina because his wife, Hazrat Ruqayyahra, daughter of the Holy Prophetsa was unwell. In one narration, it is mentioned that Hazrat Uthmanra was unwell himself, however, the more authentic narrations state that his wife was unwell. Most of the narrations put the number of Muslims at 313. Hazrat Bara bin Azibra narrates a Hadith in Sahih al-Bukhari that the companions of the Holy Prophetsa who took part in the Battle of Badr told him that they numbered the same as the companions of Talut who crossed the river with him, i.e., a little more than 310. Hazrat Barara would say: “By God! Only the believers crossed the river with Talut.” (Ibn Sa’d, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 1990], 8; Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Maghazi, Bab ‘Iddat Ashab Badr, Hadith 3957; ‘Ali bin Burhan al-Din al-Halabi,  Ghazwat al-Nabisa – Translated [Karachi, Pakistan: Dar al-Isha’ah, 2001], p. 72)

In one narration, it is mentioned that the Holy Prophetsa ordered the companions to count how many of them there were. After counting, they informed the Holy Prophetsa that they numbered 313. Hearing this, the Holy Prophetsa was overjoyed, and he said: “This is the same number as the companions of Talut.” (Mustafa ‘Abd al-Wahid, Subul al-Huda wa al-Rashad fi Sirat Khair al-‘Ibad, Vol. 4 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 1993], p. 25)

With regards to the numbers of Muslims in the Battle of Badr, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra says:

“We find that on the occasion of the Battle of Badr, 313 Companions left for battle. If, instead of 313, 600 or 700 companions had left and those companions had also joined them who had remained in Medina, then the battle would have become even easier. However, God Almighty had informed the Holy Prophetsa about the battle but did not permit him to inform the others about it. This is because Allah the Almighty wanted to fulfil some earlier prophecies. For example, there were 313 companions and there is a prophecy recorded in the Bible wherein it states that the same incident that took place with Gideon would also take place with Muhammadsa and his companions. When Prophet Gideon fought against his opponents, his army consisted of 313 people. Had the companions known that they were leaving from Medina for battle, all of them would have left and their numbers would have exceeded 313. This was the wisdom in Allah the Almighty not revealing this so that the companions did not exceed 313 because the prophecy would only have been fulfilled if 313 companions had left for battle. Hence, it was important not to reveal the news about the battle and the companions were only informed of the battle against the army of the Quraish upon reaching the battlefield.” (Eik Ayat ki Pur Ma’arif Tafsir, Anwar al-Ulum, Vol. 18, p. 619)

There was a woman, Umm-e-Waraqah bint Naufalra. With regard to her immense passion to partake in Jihad it is mentioned that when the Holy Prophetsa was about to leave for Badr, Hazrat Umm-e-Waraqahra requested, “O Messengersa of Allah! Allow me to partake in the Jihad and I shall tend to the wounded and it is possible that Allah may grant me the status of martyrdom.” The Holy Prophetsa replied, “You should remain at home and Allah the Almighty shall grant you martyrdom.” This woman had read the Holy Quran and the Holy Prophetsa would often visit her. The Holy Prophetsa had given her the name “Shahidah” and thus all the other Muslims also referred to her as “Shahidah”. Later, during the era of Hazrat Umarra, a male and female servant of Hazrat Umm-e-Wariqahra wrapped a piece of cloth around her causing her to lose consciousness and eventually die. Regarding these two servants, she had written as part of her will that upon her demise they would both be set free. The perpetrators of this killing were hanged upon the instruction of Hazrat Umarra. Hazrat Umarra stated, “The words of the Messengersa of Allah are indeed true. The Holy Prophetsa would often say, ‘Come with me and let us visit Shahidah.’” (‘Ali bin Burhan al-Din al-Halabi,  Al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2002], p. 197)

Whenever the Holy Prophetsa would visit her, he would take Hazrat Umarra and others with him.

With regards to the strength of the Muslim army, it is written that the Muslims had five horses. According to another opinion, there were only two horses; one belonged to Hazrat Miqdadra and the other belonged to Hazrat Zubairra. There is a narration of Hazrat Alira that on the day of Badr, apart from Hazrat Miqdadra, there was no one else mounted on a horse. In any case, in the various narrations, the maximum number of horses mentioned is 5. The Muslims had 60 chain mails and 70 or 80 camels and everyone would take turns to mount on them. The Holy Prophetsa, Hazrat Alira and Hazrat Marthad bin Abi Marthadra had one camel between them and would take turns to mount on it. When it was the Holy Prophet’ssa turn to walk, both companions of the Holy Prophetsa submitted, “O Messengersa of Allah! We will continue walking and you can remain mounted upon the camel.” Upon this, the Holy Prophetsa said, “You are not any stronger than me, and neither am I precluded from seeking the rewards and blessings of this battle. I also wish to attain the rewards and blessings of this battle.” (‘Ali bin Burhan al-Din al-Halabi,  Al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2002], pp. 204-205; Ibn Kathir, Al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah, [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2005], p. 249; ‘Ali bin Burhan al-Din al-Halabi,  Ghazwat al-Nabisa – Translated [Karachi, Pakistan: Dar al-Isha’ah, 2001], 76; Imam Al-Baihaqi, Dala’il al-Nubuwwah, Vol. 3 [Cairo, Egypt: Dar al-Rayyan li al-Turath , 1988], p. 32)

There is a prayer of the Holy Prophetsa for the noble companions. It is written that on the way, whilst leaving a particular place where they had stopped, the Holy Prophetsa offered the following prayer for his companions: “O Allah! They are bare feet, so grant them mounts. They do not have any clothes to cover their bodies, so grant them clothes to wear. They are hungry, so satiate their hunger. They are poor, so remove their state of dependency out of Your grace.”

This prayer was answered and upon their return from Badr, there was not a single companion who wanted to ride a mount and didn’t have one or two camels available to him to use. Similarly, those who did not have any clothes were granted clothes and they acquired so many provisions that no one remained in need of any food provisions. Also, they received so much in exchange for releasing those they had captured during the battle that every family became rich. (‘Ali bin Burhan al-Din al-Halabi,  Al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2002], p. 204)

Some of the people remained in Medina and there were also those who wished to fight but were too young and the Holy Prophetsa instructed them to return. In relation to this, it is mentioned that although a general instruction had been given to leave for Badr, however, they did not have much time to prepare. It is mentioned in one of the narrations that some of the people requested that they be permitted to get their animals, which were kept at some distance outside of Medina, however, they were instructed not to. And so, either these people were left behind in Medina or they came along on foot. Although it is mentioned that there was a general instruction for all, however, there were still some restrictions, and also the Holy Prophetsa did not give them much time to prepare lest a lot of people get prepared for battle. It is also mentioned that there were some companions, who, although sincere in their intentions, were granted permission to remain behind due to some reasons, just as it was mentioned previously with regards to Hazrat Uthmanra. Similarly, there was Hazrat Abu Umamah bin Tha’labahra whose mother was ill and though he intended to go forth for battle, however, the Holy Prophetsa instructed him to remain behind with his ill mother. When the Holy Prophetsa returned from Badr, Hazrat Abu Umamah bin Tha’labah’sra mother had passed away and the Holy Prophetsa went and prayed at her grave. Hazrat Sa’d bin Ubadahra, who was very passionately encouraging others to go forth and travel, was bitten by a snake and so he remained in Medina. Also, on the way, the Holy Prophetsa stopped at one place and sent back all those who were too young. Among them was Umair bin Abi Waqqas. When he heard the instruction that the children had to return, he began to cry and so the Holy Prophetsa permitted him to go with them for battle and so he took part in the battle and attained martyrdom. Among those children who had to return were Usamah bin Zaid, Rafi bin Khadij, Bara bin Azib, Husaid bin Zuhair, Zaid bin Arqam and Zaid bin Thabit. (‘Ali bin Burhan al-Din al-Halabi,  Al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2002], p. 202; Ibn Kathir, Al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah, Vol. 5 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Hijr, 1997] p. 227; Imam Al-Baihaqi, Dala’il al-Nubuwwah, Vol. 3 [Cairo, Egypt: Dar al-Rayyan li al-Turath , 1988], p. 68.)

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states: “A time has come now whereby people look for excuses from offering sacrifices for Islam and their faith. Whenever they are called upon, they claim that they have such and such a reason or excuse that prevents them from doing so. However, owing to the great spiritual influence of the Holy Prophetsa, the Muslims had such a spirit of sacrifice instilled in them that not just men and women, but even children were filled with this passion. On the occasion of the Battle of Badr, the Holy Prophetsa called his companions in order to select those companions who were able to take part in battle.  Regarding the case of a boy – narrated by himself and by other Companions – it is reported that when the people stood up with the passion to sacrifice their lives for Islam, the boy also stood up. However, due to his short height, he appeared smaller than the others and there was a risk that he may not be chosen for the task. For this reason, he stood on his toes and raised his heels higher so that he may appear taller. He also broadened his chest so that he may not appear weak. The Holy Prophetsa instructed that no male under the age of 15 should be chosen. Whilst walking and choosing people, the Holy Prophetsa approached the boy and said, ‘He is a child. Who has brought him here?’ If this incident were to take place today, such a child would rejoice at the fact that he has been saved. However, when this child was separated from the crowd, he cried so profusely that the Holy Prophetsa felt compassion for him and agreed to take him along.” (Khutbat-e-Mahmud, Vol. 17, p. 265)

During this journey, the Holy Prophetsa appointed someone in his stead to oversee Medina. In this regard, it is recorded that upon leaving Medina, the Holy Prophetsa appointed Abdullah bin Umm Maktum as his deputy in Medina. However, when the Holy Prophetsa was approaching Ruha – approximately 36 miles from Medina – he appointed Abu Lababah bin Munzar as his deputy instead and sent him back to fortify Medina because Abdullah was a blind man and there was a real chance the army of the Quraish could attack. The Holy Prophetsa instructed that Abdullah bin Umm Maktum would remain the imam for prayers, while Abu Lababah would oversee administrative work. For the residents of upper Medina, or in other words, Quba, the Holy Prophetsa appointed ‘Asim bin ‘Adi as a separate deputy. (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, p. 354)

Concerning the flag of the Muslim army, it is recorded that the Holy Prophetsa appointed Hazrat Mus‘ab bin ‘Umair as the flagbearer. This flag was white in colour, and there were two additional black flags beside it, one of which was called Aqab and was in the possession of Hazrat Alira. This flag was made from the shawl belonging to Hazrat Aishara, and the other flag was given to a companion among the Ansar.

According to one narration, the Muslim army had three flags. The flag of the Muhajirin was held by Hazrat Mus‘ab bin ‘Umair, the flag of the Khazraj tribe was held by Hazrat Habbab bin Munzar and the flag of the Aus tribe was held by Hazrat Sa’d bin Mu’adhra. (‘Ali bin Burhan al-Din al-Halabi, Al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2002], 203)

Hazrat Khawwat bin Jubair was also among the company for the war, however, along the way, a stone hit his leg, causing it to bleed and rendering him unable to walk. As a result, he was forced to return to Medina. The Holy Prophetsa reserved a portion of the spoils of war for him. According to some scholars, he did participate in the Battle of Badr; however, the aforementioned narration is correct, which states that he returned [to Medina]. (‘Ali bin Burhan al-Din al-Halabi,  Al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2002], p. 202)

There was an idolator whose assistance was denied. In this regard, it is recorded that there was an exceedingly strong and brave man in Medina by the name of Habib bin Yasaf. He belonged to the Khazraj tribe and had not accepted Islam by the time the Battle of Badr was taking place. Nonetheless, he set out with the people of Khazraj for battle and also expected to partake in the spoils of war in the case that they were victorious. The Muslims were delighted that he was accompanying them in battle, but the Holy Prophetsa proclaimed, “Only those will go to war alongside us who follow our faith.”

In another narration, the Holy Prophetsa stated, “You should turn back. We do not wish to seek help from an idolator.” Habib bin Yasaf approached the Holy Prophetsa once more, however, he was turned away a second time. When he returned for the third time, the Holy Prophetsa said, “Do you believe in Allah and His Messengersa?” He replied in the affirmative, after which he became a Muslim and fought bravely in war. (‘Ali bin Burhan al-Din al-Halabi,  Al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2002], p. 204)

In the course of this journey, it has also been recorded that Hazrat Sa’dra hunted a deer. Upon reaching a certain place during the journey, the Holy Prophetsa addressed Hazrat Sa’dra bin Abi Waqqas and said, “O Sa’d, look at that deer and shoot it with an arrow.” On the way, they spotted a deer, upon which the Holy Prophetsa stopped. The Holy Prophetsa placed his blessed chin between Hazrat Sa’d’sra shoulders and ears and said, “Shoot the arrow. O Allah, make his aim accurate.” He shot the arrow, and his aim did not deviate from the deer. Upon this, the Holy Prophetsa smiled and Hazrat Sa’dra ran to the deer. He took hold of it and noticed that it was still alive. Thus, he slaughtered it and took it with him. According to the Holy Prophet’ssa instructions, [the meat] was distributed amongst the companions. (Mustafa ‘Abd al-Wahid, Subul al-Huda wa al-Rashad fi Sirat Khair al-‘Ibad, Vol. 4 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 1993], p. 25)

The Holy Prophetsa resumed the journey until they reached Safra’, a lush green valley laden with dates which was just a day’s journey away from Badr. The Holy Prophetsa sent two men for reconnaissance towards Badr to gain insight about Abu Sufyan. The Holy Prophetsa also continued to advance forward alongside the army until they reached the Valley of Zafran – located near the Valley of Safra’ – at which place they set up their encampment. (Ibn Hisham, Al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2001], 422-420) (Yaqut Ibn ‘Abd Allah al-Hamawi, Mu’jam al-Buldan, Vol. 3 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah], p. 468)

Both men whom the Holy Prophetsa had sent for reconnaissance towards Abu Sufyan walked until they reached Badr. They seated their camels by a hill adjacent to a water source and filled their waterskins. They heard the voices of two girls who were holding onto each other as they approached the water. One girl said to the other, “The caravan will arrive either tomorrow or the day after. I will earn wages by working for them and repay your debt.” Apart from the girls, there was also a man present there who said, “You are telling the truth.” The men sent by the Holy Prophetsa overheard this conversation. They mounted their camels, returned to the Holy Prophetsa and informed him of what they had learned. (Ibn Hisham, Al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2001], pp. 422-422)

They reported that the army was approaching. Upon learning this, the Holy Prophetsa also became more cautious. I will speak on the remaining details in the future. At this time, I wish to mention a few deceased members. The first funeral prayer is of respected Sheikh Ghulam Rahmani Sahib of the UK. He passed away a few days ago at the age of 92.

اِنَّا لِلّٰہِ وَاِنَّاۤ اِلَيۡہِ رٰجِعُوۡنَ

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

He was the son of Hazrat Sheikh Ghulam Jilanira of Amritsar, a companion of the Promised Messiahas. He was also the son-in-law of respected Sheikh Rahmatullah Sahib, who served as the Amir Jamaat in Karachi for a long time. Respected Sheikh Ghulam Rahmani Sahib’s father travelled to Qadian in 1902 and was privileged to meet the Promised Messiahas. He accepted the Promised Messiahas immediately, saying that a countenance such as the Promised Messiah’sas could not belong to a liar. Ghulam Rahmani Sahib migrated to England in 1958, where he acquired a degree in electrical engineering. Thereafter, he worked for an extended period of time in a medical research council in a hospital here. For many years, he served as the National General Secretary, and for 10 years, he had the opportunity to serve as the local president of the Southall Jamaat. For the Southall mission, he tried a great deal to acquire approval from the local council, and Allah the Almighty caused his efforts to come to fruition. When the mission house was established in a house, a neighbour filed a complaint with the local council. The local council assessed the situation and decided to close the mission house, however, with great effort and exertion, Rahmani Sahib presented his stance to the council. By the grace of Allah the Almighty, he was granted success and a decision was made in favour of the Community. Year after year, Rahmani Sahib held Sunday classes at the Southall mission house, through which he imparted the teachings of Islam Ahmadiyyat to new generations. In 1996, he was appointed as the National Secretary Wasaya, and in 2005, when I laid emphasis on the scheme of Wasiyyat and said that 50 per cent of chanda payers should be musis, he rendered immense efforts to fulfil this and continued to encourage members. He also computerised and organised the department of Wasiyyat. He was regular in offering prayers, fasting and reciting the Quran. He spoke kindly, had a mellow demeanour, was a man of few words and greeted others with love. He was a pious, compassionate and sincere man who was passionately devoted to Khilafat. He also had the opportunity to perform the Hajj pilgrimage. He was a musi and is survived by his wife, Jamilah Rahmani Sahiba, his son Khalid Rahmani Sahib and his daughter Aishah Sahiba. He is the brother-in-law of Dr Nasim Rahmatullah Sahib, the chairman of the Alislam website.

Laiq Tahir Sahib, a missionary of the Community writes, “He would come to the Fazl Mosque every month, offer a large sum as alms and take his receipt. During that time, I was only able to learn this much about him, however, his virtues had an impact on his nature. I became better acquainted with him when I was posted to Southall in 1990 as a missionary.” He further states, “In those days, he was the local president of the Southall Jamaat. He looked after the mission house as if it were his own home. He spent most of his time at the mission house and would clean it up and keep it organised. The mission house was also expanded during his tenure. He was a man of etiquette; he treated both the young and the old with love and had a very noble demeanour. He safeguarded the funds of the Community and he was exceedingly selfless.”

I have also witnessed these qualities of his that have been mentioned. He was exceptionally humble and sincerely devoted to Khilafat; he was truly outstanding in this regard. There are very few people like this. May Allah the Almighty grant him His forgiveness and mercy, elevate his station and enable his children to adopt his virtues and carry them forward.

The second funeral is in absentia. Rahmani Sahib’s will be offered here in person after the Friday prayer, God-willing, and along with it there are some funeral prayers in absentia. The first of the funeral prayers in absentia is of Tahir AG Muhammad Sahib from Mahdi Abad, Dori, Burkina Faso. He recently passed away at the age of 44.

اِنَّا لِلّٰہِ وَاِنَّاۤ اِلَيۡہِ رٰجِعُوۡنَ

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

The missionary in-charge writes that his father pledged allegiance in 1999, but he did not pledge allegiance himself. Then, at the age of 19, he suffered from a foot ailment and so he went to Ouagadougou for treatment. During his illness, he prayed a great deal for Allah the Almighty to guide him to the right path and to guide him as to whether Ahmadiyyat was true. This was his passion during his youth to learn about faith and he prayed to Allah the Almighty for it. During his treatment, he saw various dreams that gave him contentment and upon returning, he pledged allegiance. He then learned sewing from the Community’s sewing centre and made this his profession. This past Eid, on Eid-ul-Fitr, clothes had to be sewn for the families of the martyrs of Burkina Faso, however, there was no seamstress willing to take the job. When the missionary there, Rana Farooq Sahib, approached him about this, he agreed and he along with his wife worked day and night and sewed and sent the clothes before Eid for 70 people. Muhammad Sahib had a passion for tabligh [propagation of Islam] and he was very eloquent in his speech. Despite having little to no formal education, he was very fluent in the French language. Due to cancer, his leg was amputated below the knee. A few days ago, all of a sudden, he experienced some pain again in the area where the leg had been amputated and it became swollen. Because the country’s conditions are not very good and all the roads are blocked, he was unable to reach the major hospital in Ouagadougou, so he stayed at the local hospital. He remained there for a few days, after which he passed away. Ever since he became an Ahmadi, he had a passion for tabligh and he would always find a way to do so. He bought a smartphone and told the Imam al-Haj Ibrahim Bardaga Sahib to record tabligh messages on it and send them to people. Hence, he did tabligh in this way and bore the cost of it himself. He is survived by two wives and five children. May Allah the Almighty grant them patience and forbearance and enable them to carry on the legacy of his virtues. May He elevate the deceased’s station.

The next mention is of Khwaja Daud Ahmad Sahib, who passed away on 25 May at the age of 80

اِنَّا لِلّٰہِ وَاِنَّاۤ اِلَيۡہِ رٰجِعُوۡنَ

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

One of his sons, Khwaja Fahad Ahmad Sahib is a missionary in Kiribati. He says, “Ahmadiyyat was established in our family through my paternal grandfather, Khwaja Abdul Latif Sahib, son of Khwaja Ahmad Din Sahib. My grandfather was raised in the home of his maternal grandfather, Khwaja Ghulam Muhammad Sahib, who was an Ahmadi by the grace of Allah and he was raised there.” He says, “It was under his care that, in 1917, at the approximate age of 11 years, my paternal grandfather accepted Ahmadiyyat and thus became the only Ahmadi among his siblings.” He had the opportunity to serve the Community for a long time in Canada. Before that, in Pakistan, he had the opportunity to serve the Community in Islamabad. In 1974, when he was serving as Qaid Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya Islamabad, he had the honour of serving Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh when he arrived to attend the Pakistani National Assembly. In this regard, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh even expressed his happiness with him. He was an Engineer by profession. He had a profound love for and connection with Khilafat. He always strove to serve the Community in the best possible manner. At the time of his demise, he was at the local centre attending a meeting of the local executive committee. Just a short while before departing for home, he started experiencing some pain in his chest and in a matter of minutes, he returned to his Lord.

اِنَّا لِلّٰہِ وَاِنَّاۤ اِلَيۡہِ رٰجِعُوۡنَ

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

The deceased was a musi. He is survived by his wife, four sons and a daughter. As I mentioned, one of his sons is a life devotee, a missionary serving in Kiribati. Due to the preparations for Jalsa [the Annual Convention] there and other duties in serving the Community, he was unable to travel to Canada and attend his father’s funeral. May Allah the Almighty grant him patience and forbearance. May He elevate the deceased’s station.

The next mention is of respected Syed Tanvir Shah Sahib who was from Saskatoon, Canada. He recently

passed away while in Paraguay, where he had gone for a temporary period of devotion [Waqf-e-Arzi].

اِنَّا لِلّٰہِ وَاِنَّاۤ اِلَيۡہِ رٰجِعُوۡنَ

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

He only has one son, Syed Raza Shah Sahib, who is a missionary. His son writes, “My paternal grandfather Bashir Shah Sahib was the maternal grandson of Hazrat Syed Abdus Sattar Shahra, a Companion of the Promised Messiahas. Tanvir Shah Sahib’s mother, Farrukh Khanum Sahiba, travelled from Turkistan to Qadian along with her brother, Haji Junoodullah Sahib, and with her mother in order to pledge allegiance.” His son writes, “My paternal grandfather, Bashir Shah Sahib, was the maternal grandson of Syed Abdul Sattar Shah Sahibra. In this way, he was also related to Hazrat Umm-e-Tahirra.” The deceased was a loyal member of the Community. Tanvir Shah Sahib was always ready to serve the Community. His son writes, “He always took us to events of the Community. Every Friday, he would have us take leave from school and take us to the Friday Prayer. He gave great importance to financial sacrifice and would always set aside a portion of his income for this purpose. He would also enjoin those in his home and others in the Community to do the same. He had a passion for tabligh. He would often analyse how we could propagate the Community’s message in the best way. He was very overjoyed to inform that two people accepted Ahmadiyyat while he was in Paraguay. He was very content. He never sought after wealth, nor did he have any greed for it. In fact, whatever Allah gave him, he would always remain thankful for. In other words, he had complete faith and trust in Allah the Almighty and knew that He would provide whatever he needed. Whenever faced with some difficulty, he would say, ‘Pray, Allah will take care of it.’ Indeed, Allah the Almighty would take care of the matter.” His son says, “He would constantly tell me that as a missionary, I must understand my responsibilities and work with sincerity.” His wife says, “We were together for 39 years and I never saw any shortcoming in him. He had a great deal of love and loyalty for the Khalifah of the time, and he enjoined the same to his children. Not only did he tread upon the right path himself, but he took his children along the same path as well.” She says, “In our entire lifetime, he never spoke ill of others, and he also cared for his in-laws.” She says, “Whenever my mother needed me, he would happily send me to her.” The missionary in Paraguay, Abdul Nur Baten Sahib, says, “In Canada, he had the opportunity to serve in various capacities. Yet, he had no aspect of pride in him or neither did he express any superiority. He had a passion for serving the Community. Wherever he went, he did his work, considering it to be a duty and did it with great love.” He says, “His personality has left a deep impact upon the youth of Paraguay. He taught them patience, kindness, and hospitality.” The Local President of the Community in Regina, Habibur Rahman Sahib, says, “He was a sincere servant of the Community. He was always smiling; I never saw him become angry. He was very tender-hearted and would delegate work to volunteers very lovingly. He never expressed any fatigue due to service. It seems as if he was always occupied with finding ways to please his Lord. He had a high degree of love for Khilafat.” A new convert from Paraguay, Ilyas Oliver Sahib, says, “I only knew him for a short while, but in this short span of time he has left a great treasure for my friends and me; those who are new to the path of Islam. From him, we learned patience, and we learned to always be helpful, kind and good.” He says, “He taught us that in order to teach something to someone, it is not necessary to speak; rather, people learn from practical acts of service and this also serves as a means for tabligh.” May Allah the Almighty grant forgiveness and mercy to the deceased, grant patience and forbearance to his children and enable them to carry on the legacy of his virtues. The next mention is of Rana Muhammad Zafarullah Khan Sahib, who was a missionary. He recently passed away. He was the son of Rana Ataullah Khan Sahib. He passed away at the end of April.

اِنَّا لِلّٰہِ وَاِنَّاۤ اِلَيۡہِ رٰجِعُوۡنَ

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

Ahmadiyyat was established in his family through his paternal grandfather, Rana Allahdin Sahib, who accepted Ahmadiyyat in 1931 at the hand of Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra. After pledging allegiance, he faced severe opposition, as a result of which some other family members of his renounced the Jamaat. However, he remained steadfast upon Ahmadiyyat and continued to propagate his faith. Rana Zafarullah Sahib graduated from Jamia in 1987, after which he was able to serve for a consecutive 36 years. Most of his period of service was spent in the field in various areas as a missionary. Syed Naimatullah Sahib, who is an Afghan missionary and is currently serving in Ghana, says, “He was living in Achini Payan, Peshawar, which is where we had migrated to, from Afghanistan in 1999 or 2000. He was very simple in nature, humble and possessed the qualities of a dervish. He worked very hard, was very loving and sincere. He has done many favours upon the Community in Afghanistan.” He says, “Allah enabled three of us Afghans to become missionaries because of him.”

He was very kind to the poor, and he would help them in secret. His wife says, “Upon hearing the news of his demise, there were many men and women who came to our home to offer their condolences whom none of us recognised. They were also worried because they said that the missionary had established a stipend for them, for which he would take donations from his relatives and other charitable people and use them to help the poor. They were also worried about what would become of them after the missionary’s demise.” His son-in-law, who is a missionary, says, “I have met very few people who are as selfless as Rana Muhammad Zafarullah Khan Sahib.” He says, “I never saw any sort of ego or arrogance in him. He was quick to forgive; even if the other person was in the wrong, he would be the first to seek forgiveness. He was very loving and always helpful to others.” He is survived by his mother, wife, and three daughters. May Allah the Almighty elevate the deceased’s station and grant him forgiveness and mercy. May he enable his children to carry on the legacy of his virtues.

(Official Urdu transcript published in the Daily Al Fazl International, 7 July 2023, pp. 2-7. Translated by The Review of Religions)

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