Friday Sermon – Muhammad (sa): The Great Exemplar (17 November 2023)


Friday Sermon

17 November 2023

Muhammadsa: The Great Exemplar

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

Towards the end of the previous Friday sermon, whilst relating historical accounts from the life of the Holy Prophetsa there was mention of Furat bin Hayan accepting Islam. Further details with regards to him accepting Islam are that he was initially imprisoned and was taken as a captive, this was mentioned in the previous sermon. On the day of the Battle of Badr, he was wounded as well, but somehow managed to evade captivity. On this day, however, he was, imprisoned by the Muslims. As soon as Hazrat Abu Bakrra saw him, he said, “Will you not mend your ways even now?” Furat replied, “If I escape from Muhammad[sa] this time, I will not be captured again.” Upon this, Hazrat Abu Bakrra said, “Then accept Islam.” Meaning that if he wished to escape then there was only one way and that was for him to accept Islam. Nevertheless, hearing these words from Hazrat Abu Bakrra, Furat bin Hayan set off to meet the Holy Prophetsa. Passing by one of his Ansari friends, he said to him, “I am a Muslim”. The Ansari companion went to the Holy Prophetsa and informed him that he had accepted Islam. Entrusting his matter to Allah, the Holy Prophetsa said:

إِنَّ مِنْكُمْ رِجَالًا نَكِلُهُمْ إِلٰى إِيْمَانِهِمْ

“There are undoubtedly some men among you, whose faith we leave to them.”

That was to say that if he claims to have accepted Islam, then very well, but his matter is between him and Allah. Nonetheless, after this incident, the Holy Prophetsa released him. (Dairah Ma’arif Sirat Muhammad Rasool Allahsa, Vol. 6, p. 398, Dar-ul-Ma’arif Lahore; Al-Isabah, Vol. 5, p. 273, Dar-ul-Kutub Al-ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1995)

Among these details, it is also mentioned that an expedition of Hazrat Zaid bin Harithahra was sent towards Qaradah in Jumada al-Akhir, 3 AH In “The Lifeand Character of the Seal of Prophetssa”, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra has recorded this very incident in the following manner:

“After the Muslims had become somewhat free from the attacks of the Banu Sulaim and Banu Ghatafan, they were compelled to go forth from their homeland to put down another threat. Until now, for their trade ventures in the north, the Quraish would generally travel to Syria from the coastal route of Hijaz. However, they had now abandoned this route, because the tribes of this region had become allies of the Muslims; hence there was less prospect for the Quraish to spur mischief. As a matter of fact, in these circumstances, they began to consider this coastal route to be a threat to themselves.” The threat from the Muslims was not the only reason. Rather, they were no longer able to carry out the schemes they wanted against the Muslims and cause them harm since these tribes had entered into treaties with the Muslims. “In any case, they had now abandoned this route and begun to travel from the route of Najd, which led to Iraq. The tribes of Sulaim and Ghatafan, who were allies of the Quraish and were deadly enemies of the Muslims inhabited the close proximity of this region. Along the previous route were those whom Muslims had made treaties with and along the route which the Quraish had adopted were those with whom the Quraish had made treaties with. Similarly, [along this route] were tribes that were deadly enemies of the Muslims; the tribes of Sulaim and Banu Ghatafan. As such, in the month of Jamadi al-Akhir, the Holy Prophetsa received intelligence that a trade caravan of the Quraish of Mecca was to pass by this route of Najd. It is obvious that if the movement of caravans belonging to the Quraish to and from the coastal region was a cause of threat for the Muslims, their passing by the route of Najd was equally, rather, even more dangerous. The reason was that, unlike the coastal route, this new route was inhabited by allies of the Quraish, who like the Quraish, were thirsty for the blood of the Muslims. It was very easy for the Quraish to join forces with them and launch a sudden attack upon Medina at night, or perform any other act of mischief. Then, in order to weaken the Quraish and push them so that they may be inclined to seek reconciliation, it was necessary to intercept their caravans on this route as well. Hence, as soon as the Holy Prophetsa received word, he dispatched a detachment of his Companions under the leadership of his freed slave, Zaid bin Harithahra. Chieftains such as Abu Sufyan bin Harb and Safwan bin Umayyah also accompanied this trade caravan of the Quraish. Zaidra performed his duty with remarkable speed and intelligence, and subdued these enemies of Islam at a place known as Qiradah, situated in Najd. Flustered by this sudden attack, the people of the Quraish fled, leaving the goods and valuables of the caravan behind. Zaid bin Ḥarithahra and his companions returned to Medina with success and triumph, with a large value of spoils. Some historians have written that the guide of this caravan of the Quraish was a man named Furat, who was taken captive at the hands of the Muslims, and then set free upon his acceptance of Islam. However, it is ascertained from other narrations that he was an idolater commissioned to spy upon the Muslims. However, later on, after becoming a Muslim, he migrated to Medina.” (The Lifeand Character of the Seal of Prophetssa, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, Vol. 2, pp. 296-297)

Another incident around the same time was the killing of Ka’b bin Ashraf. Ka’b bin Ashraf was among the chieftains of Medina and was included in the treaty made by the Holy Prophetsa. However, after agreeing to the treaty, he tried to spread disorder and the Holy Prophetsa ordered for him to be sentenced to death. The details of this incident have been mentioned in Sahih al-Bukhari as follows:

Hazrat Jabir bin Abdullahra narrates that the Holy Prophetsa said, “Who is willing to deal with Ka‘b bin Al-Ashraf who has hurt Allah and His Messenger?” Thereupon Muhammad bin Maslamah got up saying, “O Allah’s Messengersa! Would you like that I kill him?” The Holy Prophetsa said, “Yes.” Then Muhammad bin Maslamah went to Ka‘b and said, “That man (i.e., referring to the Holy Prophetsa) demands alms from us, and he has troubled us, and I have come to borrow something from you.” Upon this, Ka‘b said, “By Allah, you will get tired of him!” (I.e., they would grow weary of the Holy Prophetsa and would leave him.) Muhammad bin Maslamah said, “Now as we have followed him, we do not want to leave him unless and until we see how his end is going to be. Now we want you to lend us a camel load or two of food.” Ka‘b said, “Alright, but you should leave something with me as a guarantee.” Muhammad bin Maslamah and his companion said, “What do you want?” Ka‘b replied, “Leave your women to me.” They said, “How can we leave our women to you as a guarantee while you are the most handsome of the Arabs?” Ka‘b said, “Then leave your sons to me.” They said, “How can we leave our sons to you? Later they would be abused by the people saying that so-and-so has been left as a guarantee for a camel load of food. That would lead to us being disgraced, but we will leave our arms to you as a guarantee.” (Arms here also refer to various weapons for war.)

They promised that they would return to Ka’b, and so they went back at night accompanied by Ka‘b’s foster brother, Abu Na’ila. Ka‘b invited them to come into his fort, and then he went down to see them. His wife asked him, “Where are you going at this hour?” Ka‘b replied, “None but Muhammad bin Maslamah and my [foster] brother Abu Na’ila have come.” His wife said, “I hear a sound as if blood is dripping”. Ka‘b said, “An honourable man should respond to a call at night even if invited to be attacked.” Muhammad bin Maslamah went with two men and said, “When Ka‘b comes, I will take hold of his hair and smell it, and when you see that I have got hold of his head, then step forward and kill him.” Ka‘b came down to them wrapped in his cloak, which smelled of perfume. Muhammad bin Maslamah said. “I have never smelt a better scent than this.” (I.e., the scent was excellent.) Ka‘b replied, “I have got the best Arab women, who are the most fragrant and beautiful.” Muhammad bin Maslamah requested, “Will you allow me to smell your head?” Ka‘b said, “Yes.” He smelt it and made his companions smell it as well. Then he requested, “Will you permit me [to smell your head again]?” Ka‘b said, “Yes.” When Muhammad got a strong hold of him, he said to his companions, “Get him!” So they killed him and went to the Holy Prophetsa and informed him. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab-ul-Maghazi, Baab Qatal Ka’b bin Al-Ashraf, Hadith 4037)

Further details of Ka’b being wounded as mentioned in the commentary of Sahih al-Bukhari, Sharh Umdat Al-Qari are that when Muhammad bin Maslamahra and his comrades attacked Ka’b bin Ashraf and killed him, one of the comrades, Hazrat Harith bin Aufra was struck by the tip of the sword and was thus wounded. He was wounded by the tip of the sword of one of his comrades. His comrades lifted him and swiftly reached Medina, presenting themselves before the Holy Prophetsa. The Holy Prophetsa applied his saliva upon Hazrat Harith bin Auf’sra wound after which he did not experience any discomfort. (Umdatul Qari, Vol. 7, p. 192, Kitab-ul-Maghazi, Dar Ihya-ul-Turath, Beirut, 2003)

The killing of Ka’b in Ashraf has been mentioned in “The Life & Character of the Seal of the Prophets” as follows – I will mention it briefly here:

“The Battle of Badr brought forth the heart-felt enmity of the Jews of Medina, and even the exile of the Banu Qainuqa‘ was unable to sway the other Jews towards reconciliation, and they continued to grow in their mischief and disturbances. As such, the incident of the execution of Ka‘b bin Ashraf is also a link in this very chain.

Although Ka‘b was a Jew by religion, he was not actually Jewish by descent; rather, he was an Arab. His father, Ashraf, was a very clever and cunning man of the Banu Nibhan, who came to Medina and developed relations with the Banu Nadir and became their confederate. Ultimately, he managed to gain such power and influence that Abu Rafi‘ bin Abil-Haqiq, head-chief of the Banu Nadir, gave him his daughter in marriage. It was this very daughter who gave birth to Ka‘b, who grew to attain an even greater status than that of his father. This was to such extent that ultimately he took on such a capacity that all the Jews of Arabia began to accept him as their chief. In addition to being a well-built and attractive man, Ka‘b was also an eloquent poet and a very wealthy man. Through generous spending, he would always keep the scholars and other influential personalities of his nation under his own control.

However, from a moral perspective, he was a man of extremely ill morals, and was a master in the art of secret schemes and conspiracies. (There were no ill morals which he did not possess.) When the Holy Prophetsa migrated to Medina, Ka‘b bin Ashraf, along with the other Jews, also participated in the treaty which the Holy Prophetsa drafted between the Jews with regard to mutual friendship, peace and security, and collective defence. (He participated in this oath outwardly.) However, deep within, the fire of malice and enmity began to burn in the heart of Ka‘b and he began to oppose Islam and the Founder of Islam through secret schemes and conspiracies.

As such, it is recorded that every year Ka‘b would give a large sum of charity to Jewish scholars and religious leaders. However, after the migration of the Holy Prophetsa, when these people came to collect their yearly allowances, within the course of discussion, he began to mention the Holy Prophetsa and inquired of them as to their opinion of the Holy Prophetsa in light of religious scriptures. They responded that apparently, it seemed as if he was the very same Prophet who had been promised (in the Torah). Ka‘b was greatly displeased at this response and sent them away referring to them as immensely dull, and did not give them their usual charity. When the Jewish scholars lost their bread and butter, after some time, they came back to Ka‘b and said that they had misinterpreted the signs and that they had contemplated again to discover that in actuality, Muhammad[sa] was not the Prophet who had been promised to them. This response served the purpose of Ka‘b, and satisfied with their answer, he reinstated their yearly stipend. In any case, this was merely religious opposition, which although expressed in an unpleasant manner, could not at all be objectionable, and nor could Ka‘b be brought to task merely on this account. However, after this, the opposition of Ka‘b took on a more dangerous form, and ultimately, after the Battle of Badr, he began to employ such conduct, as was extremely mischievous and seditious, and created very dangerous circumstances for the Muslims in Medina.

In actuality, prior to the Battle of Badr, Ka‘b thought that this religious zeal was a temporary one, and gradually, all of these people would disperse on their own and revert to their ancestral religion. However, on the occasion of Badr, when the Muslims were granted an extraordinary victory, and most of the chieftains of the Quraish were slain, he understood that this new religion would not die out by itself. Hence, after Badr, he resolved to exert his best efforts to abolish and utterly destroy Islam. The first expression of his heartfelt rancour and jealousy was at the occasion when news of the victory of Badr reached Medina. Upon hearing this news, at the outset, Ka‘b said (whilst openly announcing) that this news seemed to be false, because it was impossible for Muhammad[sa] to triumph over such a large army of the Quraish, and for such renowned chieftains of Mecca to be mixed to dust; if this news was true, then death was better than such a life. When this news had been confirmed and Ka‘b was assured that the victory at Badr had granted Islam such strength as was beyond his wildest dreams, he was overcome with anger and rage. He immediately prepared for the journey and took to Mecca, and upon reaching there, by the power of his persuasive speech and poetic tongue, inflamed the fire that was kindling in the hearts of the Quraish. (He incited them even more) He created an unquenchable thirst in their hearts for Muslim blood, and filled their hearts with sentiments of revenge and enmity. Then, when their emotions had become immensely sparked as a result of his incitement, Ka‘b took them to the courtyard of the Ka‘bah, and handing them the drapes of the Ka‘ba, had them swear that they would not rest until Islam and the Founder of Islam had been wiped out from the face of the earth. After creating this fiery atmosphere in Mecca, this evil person turned to the other tribes of Arabia, and travelling from tribe to tribe, he incited people against the Muslims. Then, he returned to Medina and whilst composing tashbib, he alluded to the Muslim women in a very filthy and obscene manner in his provocative couplets.

In doing so, he did not even spare the women from the household of the Holy Prophetsa in his vulgar couplets, and had these couplets widely publicised throughout the country. Finally, he hatched a conspiracy to assassinate the Holy Prophetsa. Under the ploy of a feast, he invited the Holy Prophetsa to his residence, and with a few Jewish young men he schemed to have the Holy Prophetsa assassinated. However, by the grace of God, information was received in advance and this plan of his was unsuccessful.

Thus, when the state of affairs escalated to such an extent, and charges of infraction of treaty, rebellion, inciting war, sedition, use of foul language and conspiracy to assassinate the Holy Prophetsa were established, then in light of the treaty which had been settled between the inhabitants of Medina upon his arrival, the Holy Prophetsa was the chief executive and commander-in-chief of the democratic State of Medina, he issued the verdict that Ka‘b bin Ashraf was liable to be put to death due to his actions. The Holy Prophetsa, therefore, instructed some of his Companions to execute him.

However, due to the sedition of Ka‘b, since the atmosphere of Medina at the time was such that if a formal announcement had been made before his execution, there was a possibility that civil war may have erupted in Medina, and there was no telling how much massacre and carnage would have ensued as a result.

The Holy Prophetsa was willing to offer any possible and reasonable sacrifice in order to prevent international violence and bloodshed (so that the Muslims and Jews do not wage war, causing them to harm or kill one another).

Thus, he instructed that Ka‘b should not be executed publicly; rather, a few people should quietly find an opportunity and put an end to him. The Holy Prophetsa assigned this duty to a faithful Companion named Muhammad bin Maslamahra, and emphasised that whatever strategy was devised, should be executed with the counsel of Sa‘d bin Mu‘adhra, who was the chief of the Aus tribe. Muhammad bin Maslamahra submitted, ‘O Messengersa of Allah! In order to kill him silently, we shall be required to say something,’ which meant that some excuse, etc., would be required, by which Ka‘b could be lured out of his residence and executed in a secure location. Taking into account the grave consequences which could have arisen if a covert operation had been ruled out, the Holy Prophetsa said, ‘Alright then.’ As such, with the counsel of Sa‘d bin Mu‘adhra, Muhammad bin Maslamahra took Abu Na’ilahra and two or three other Companions along and reached the residence of Ka‘b. They called Ka‘b out from his living quarters and said, ‘Our Chief (i.e., Muhammadsa) demands charity of us, while we are of straitened circumstances. Would you be so kind as to give us a loan?’ Upon hearing this, Ka‘b jumped with joy and said, ‘By God! This is nothing – the day is not far when you shall become averse to him and abandon him.’ Muhammad bin Maslamahra responded, ‘In any case, we have already accepted Muhammadsa and are now waiting to see the final outcome of this dispensation, but you tell us whether or not you will give us a loan.’ ‘Of course!’ said Ka‘b, ‘But you will be required to deposit some collateral.’”

Initially, he asked for their women, then their children, as I just mentioned from the narration of Sahih al-Bukhari. Eventually, he was happy to settle with their weapons as collateral.

“Muhammad bin Maslamahra and his companions left with the promise to return at night. At nightfall, this party arrived at the residence of Ka‘b with their weapons. When they had led Ka‘b out of his home, they brought him to one side during the course of discussions. After some time, walking along they captured him [and]…the Companions, who were already prepared and armed, wielded their swords at once; finally, Ka‘b was killed and fell to the ground. Muhammad bin Maslamahra and his companions departed from there and quickly presented themselves to the Holy Prophetsa, and conveyed to him the news of his execution.

When news of the execution of Ka‘b became known, a tremor rippled through the city, and the Jewish people were deeply enraged. The following day, in the morning, a delegation of the Jews presented themselves before the Holy Prophetsa and complained that their leader Ka‘b bin Ashraf had been murdered in such and such way. The Holy Prophetsa listened to their comments and said, ‘Are you also aware of the crimes which Ka‘b is guilty of?’ Then, the Holy Prophetsa briefly reminded them of all the evil schemes which Ka‘b was guilty of, i.e., infraction of treaty, inciting war, sedition, use of foul language and conspiracy of assassination, etc. Upon this, the people became fearful and did not say a word. After this, the Holy Prophetsa said, ‘At least from here onwards, you would do well to live in peace and harmony, and do not sow the seed of enmity, violence and disorder.’ As such, with the agreement of the Jews, a new treaty was drafted, and the Jews promised once again to live with the Muslims in peace and harmony, and to abstain from a course of violence and disorder. This treaty was entrusted to Hazrat ‘Alira. Furthermore, nowhere in history is it recorded that after this, the Jews ever mentioned the execution of Ka‘b bin Ashraf and accused the Muslims, for in their hearts they knew that Ka‘b received the rightful punishment due to him.

Hence, Ka’b was punished according to the law and custom of that time and the silence of the Jews proves that they accepted this punishment and treatment. Some historians later raised allegations that the Holy Prophetsa ordered an unlawful killing and it was wrong. Let it be clear that this was not an unlawful killing.

It should be remembered that Ka‘b bin Ashraf had entered into a formal agreement of peace and security with the Holy Prophetsa. Scheming against the Muslims was out of the question, especially when he had agreed to support the Muslims against all foreign enemies and to maintain friendly relations with the Muslims.

By virtue of this treaty, he had also accepted that the Holy Prophetsa would be the chief executive of the democratic state which had been established in Medina, and that the verdict of the Holy Prophetsa would be legally binding in all disputes, etc.”

Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra further writes, “Therefore, historical evidence proves that under this very treaty, Jewish people would present their cases before the Holy Prophetsa and he would administer verdicts to them…In these circumstances, ignoring all of his treaties and agreements, Ka‘b committed treason against the Muslims, as a matter of fact, against the very government of the time.  (it was not a case that he betrayed the Muslims, but he rebelled against the government, because the Holy Prophetsa was the leader of Medina) He planted the seed of violence and disorder in Medina; he attempted to inflame a fire of war within the country and dangerously incited the tribes of Arabia against the Muslims…and conspired to assassinate the Holy Prophetsa. Furthermore, all of this was done in such a time, when the Muslims were already surrounded by difficulties from all four directions. (He created extremely difficult circumstances for them)…In these circumstances, did the crime of Ka‘b not warrant some form of punishment? Thus, such steps were taken…Even today, in countries which are known as ‘civilised’, when a criminal is guilty of the crimes of rebellion, infraction of treaty, inciting war, and attempted assassination, is such a person not administered the death penalty? Then how can this be objectionable? (In fact, what is happening nowadays in Palestine and Israel is on a much larger scale. And it is unjustified in many ways.)

“The second question relates to the method of the execution (and why he was secretly killed in the night). With regard to this issue, it should be remembered that there was no formal ruling power in Arabia at the time. Indeed a leader was elected, but it was not his verdict alone, every individual and every tribe was free and independent to make decisions. (If there were any collective decisions to be made, they would be made by the Holy Prophetsa, but if there were separate decisions to be made, the tribes could deal with them themselves.) In this state, which court of law existed where a case could be filed against Ka‘b and a formal judgment for his execution could be sought? Should a complaint have been lodged with the Jews, of whom he was a leader, and who had themselves committed treachery against the Muslims already, and would create disorder every other day? Therefore, it was out of the question that this matter should be lodged with the Jews.

“Should justice have been sought from the tribes of Sulaim and Ghatafan, who had planned to launch a sudden attack on Medina at night three or four times, in the last few months alone? (They were also his tribes, so it is clear that no justice could be sought from them.) Reflect on the state of Arabia at the time, and then contemplate that when a person was guilty of provocation, inciting war, mischievous behaviour and attempted assassination, and due to this, his remaining alive was felt to be a threat to their own security and the security of the country, what other alternative was available to the Muslims, except for executing such a person. It is far more beneficial for an evil and violent man to be executed, as opposed to the lives of many peace-abiding citizens being put in danger, and the peace of the country being ruined.

“(Allah Almighty also states that disorder is worse than killing. In any case, in light of this treaty that took place between the Jews and Muslims after they migrated) the Holy Prophetsa did not possess the capacity of an ordinary citizen. On the contrary, he had now become the chief executive of the democratic state which had been established in Medina. The Holy Prophetsa had been given the authority to issue whatever verdict he deemed appropriate with respect to all disputes and political affairs. Hence, in the interest of domestic peace, if the Holy Prophetsa declared Ka‘b as being worthy of death due to his mischievous behaviour, what right does anyone possess to object to this verdict of the Holy Prophetsa and raise an allegation against Islam after 1300 years (like the orientalists do so) because even the Jews took to silence without raising a single objection.” (The Lifeand Character of the Seal of Prophetssa, Vol. 2, pp. 207-305)

During this period, the second marriage of Hazrat Hafsah bint Umarra also took place. Hazrat Hafsahra was the daughter of Hazrat Umarra. The details of her marriage to the Holy Prophetsa are as follows; Hazrat Hafsah’sra husband fought in the Battle of Badr, and whilst on his way back from the battle, he fell sick and passed away. Thereafter, the Holy Prophetsa married Hazrat Hafsahra. The details surrounding this event are recorded in Sahih al-Bukhari in the following manner:

Hazrat Abdullah bin Umarra narrates, “Hazrat Hafsah bint Umarra was widowed by Hunais bin Hudhafah Al-Sahmira, a companion of the Holy Prophetsa who fought in the Battle of Badr. When he passed away in Medina, Hazrat Umarra said (according to the narration), ‘I met with Hazrat Uthmanra and mentioned that if he wished, I will marry Hafsah bint Umarra to you.’ Hazrat Uthmanra replied, ‘I will think about it.’ Hazrat Umarra reported, ‘I waited for many days.’ After some days, Hazrat Uthmanra said, ‘I do not feel that it is appropriate for me to marry at this time.’ Hazrat Umarra reports, ‘I then met with Hazrat Abu Bakrra and said that if he wished, I would marry Hafsah bint Umarra to him. Hazrat Abu Bakrra fell silent and did not give me a reply.’ Hazrat Umarra says that he felt even more strongly about this rejection than he felt about Hazrat Uthman’sra rejection. Hazrat Umar says, ‘I waited a few more days. Then, the Holy Prophetsa sent a proposal to marry Hazrat Hafsahra, and I gave her hand in marriage to him.’” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab-ul-Maghazi, Hadith no. 2005)

This incident has been recorded in The Life and Character of the Seal of Prophets in the following manner:

“Hazrat Umarra had a daughter by the name of Hafsahra, who was married to a faithful Companion, Khunais bin Hudhafah, who had taken part in the Battle of Badr. After Badr, upon returning to Medina, Khunais fell ill and was unable to recover from his illness. Sometime after his demise, Hazrat Umarra began to feel a sense of concern for her second marriage. At the time, Hafsahra was over twenty years of age. Due to his simplicity in nature, Hazrat Umarra met ‘Uthman bin Affanra himself and mentioned that his daughter Hafsahra was now a widow, and that if he was interested, he could marry her. However, Hazrat Uthmanra avoided the subject. After this, Hazrat Umarra mentioned it to Hazrat Abu Bakrra, but he too remained silent and did not respond. At this Hazrat Umarra was deeply saddened, and in this very state of dismay, he presented himself before the Holy Prophetsa and submitted the entire account. The Holy Prophetsa responded, “O ‘Umar! Do not worry at all, if Allah so wills, Hafsah shall find a better husband than Uthman and Abu Bakr; and Uthman shall receive a better wife than Hafsah.

“The Holy Prophetsa said this because he had already intended to marry Hafsahra and to give his own daughter Umm Kulthumra to Hazrat Uthmanra in marriage. Both Hazrat Uthmanra and Hazrat Abu Bakrra were aware of this and this is why they turned down the proposal of Hazrat Umarra. Sometime thereafter, the Holy Prophetsa married his daughter Umm Kulthumra to Hazrat Uthmanra…following this, the Holy Prophetsa sent a proposal himself to Hazrat Umarra for Hafsahra. What more could Hazrat Umarra have asked for? He very happily accepted this proposal. In Sha‘ban 3 AH, Hazrat Hafsahra was married to the Holy Prophetsa and became a part of his household.

“When this marriage had taken place, Hazrat Abu Bakrra said to Hazrat Umarra ‘Perhaps your heart has been saddened on my account. The fact is, that I was already aware of the intention of the Holy Prophetsa, but I could not reveal his secret without permission. Of course, if the Holy Prophetsa had not intended so, I would have most gladly married Hafsah.’

“One special wisdom in marrying Hafsahra was that she was the daughter of Hazrat Umarra, who one could say was considered to be the most eminent Companion after Hazrat Abu Bakrra, and he was from among the most intimate friends of the Holy Prophetsa. Hence, in order to further strengthen mutual relations and to compensate for the grief of Hazrat Umarra and Hafsahra, which they had sustained by the untimely demise of Khunais bin Hudhafahra, the Holy Prophetsa deemed it appropriate to marry Hafsahra himself. Another general wisdom under consideration was that if the Holy Prophetsa had a greater number of wives, the tasks of preaching and propagation, as well as education and training, could be performed on a much wider scale with greater ease, and in a more excellent manner among the women – who constitute half, if not, more than half of the world’s population in some respects.” (The Lifeand Character of the Seal of Prophetssa, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, Vol. 2, pp. 311-312)

Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra says: “At the time of her marriage, Hazrat Hafsahra was approximately twenty-one years of age. After Hazrat Aishara, since she was the daughter of an individual who was the most eminent from among the Companions, she held a special rank among the noble wives of the Holy Prophet. She also possessed a close relationship with Hazrat Aishara, and except for the odd disagreement, which is nothing out of the ordinary in such relationships, both of them lived together very lovingly. Hazrat Hafsahra knew how to read and write. As such, there is a narration in the Ahadith that she learned to write from a lady Companion named Shifa’ bint ‘Abdullahra. She passed away in 45 AH, when she was more or less, sixty-three years of age.” (The Lifeand Character of the Seal of Prophetssa, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, Vol. 2, p. 315)

Also during this period, Hazrat Imam Hasanra was born. Hazrat Imam Hasan bin Ali bin Abu Talibra was born in 3 AH in the middle of Ramadan. Some claim that he was born in Sha’ban 3 AH, some say that he was born one year following the Battle of Uhud, while others say he was born two years after [the Battle of Uhud]. Allama Ibn Hajar ‘Asqalani, who wrote a commentary on Sahih al-Bukhari, says that the former view is more correct and reliable. Hazrat Alira named him Harb, however, the Holy Prophetsa changed his name to Hasan. Seven days after his birth, the Holy Prophetsa held his aqiqah [a ritual on the 7th day after birth], shaved his head, and instructed that silver equivalent to the weight of his hair should be given as alms.

Umm Fadl once submitted, “O Messengersa of Allah! I saw in a dream as though one of your limbs is present in my home (or my room).” The Holy Prophetsa said, “You have seen a good dream. Fatimah will give birth to a child. You will care for him and feed him alongside Qutham.” Umm Fadlra was the wife of Hazrat Abbasra, the Holy Prophet’ssa paternal uncle, and Qutham was their son. Thus, Hazrat Imam Hasanra was born, and Umm Fadlra nursed him along with Qutham. Hazrat Hasan bin Alira was once asked to share any memories he had of the Holy Prophetsa. He said, “I remember one thing about the Holy Prophetsa; I once took a date from those that were collected for alms and put it in my mouth. The Holy Prophetsa removed it from my mouth despite it being covered in my saliva and put it back with the dates being distributed as alms. Someone said, ‘O Messengersa of Allah, what difference would one date make?’ The Holy Prophetsa replied, ‘Alms and charity is unlawful for us (i.e., the family of the Holy Prophetsa).’”

Hazrat Anasra bin Malik narrates, “No one looked more similar to the Holy Prophetsa than Hazrat Hasanra.” Hazrat Ibn Abbasra narrates, “Once, the Hazrat Hasanra was sitting on the Holy Prophet’ssa shoulders. Upon this, someone said, ‘O young one! You are riding a most excellent mount.’ The Holy Prophetsa remarked, ‘Even the rider is excellent.’” The Holy Prophetsa loved his grandson dearly.

Hazrat Bara’ra narrates, “I saw the Holy Prophetsa whilst Hasan bin Alira was sitting on his shoulders. The Holy Prophetsa was continuously saying, ‘O Allah, this is my friend, so You should also befriend him.’” In some narrations, it is also reported Imam Hasanra died as a result of being poisoned. (Al-Isabah, Vol. 1, p. 492, Dar-ul-Fikr, Beirut, 2001; Usdul Ghaba, Vol. 2, pp. 13-16, Dar-ul-Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut)

Nevertheless, whilst mentioning the birth of Hazrat Imam Hasanra, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra writes:

“In the events of 2 AH, the marriage of Hazrat Alira and Hazrat Fatimahra was mentioned. In Ramadan 3 AH, i.e., approximately ten months after their marriage, they were blessed with a child. The Holy Prophetsa named him Hasanra. This is the very same Hasanra, who received the appellation of ‘Imam Hasan (May the Mercy of God be upon him)’ among the Muslims. In his physical appearance, Hasanra greatly resembled the Holy Prophetsa. Just as the Holy Prophetsa dearly loved his child Hazrat Fatimahra, in the same manner, he had special love for her children as well. On many occasions, the Holy Prophetsa would say, ‘O God! I love these children. You also love them and love those who love them.’ Many a time, it would so happen that the Holy Prophetsa would be occupied in Salat and Hasanra would cling to the Holy Prophetsa. When the Holy Prophetsa would be in Ruku’, Hasanra would make way and slip through his legs. At times, when the Companions would stop him from doing so, the Holy Prophetsa would hold back the Companions saying, ‘Let him be.’ In actuality, since his clinging to the Holy Prophetsa failed to divert his attention, the Holy Prophetsa did not wish to become a hindrance in the childish expression of his innocent love. On one occasion, with regards to Imam Hasanra, the Holy Prophetsa said, ‘This child of mine is a Sayyid (i.e., a Chief) and a time shall come when through him, God shall reconcile two parties among the Muslims.’ As such, at its appropriate time, this prophecy was fulfilled.” (The Lifeand Character of the Seal of Prophetssa, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, Vol. 2, pp. 315-316)

The Promised Messiahas states:

“In my view, Hazrat Hasanra did an admirable deed by parting from the Caliphate; thousands of lives had already been lost, and he did not desire for more blood to be spilt. Thus, he allowed Mu’awiyah to take over. (In other words, he made a covenant with him.) Because this action of Hazrat Hasanra impacts the Shias, they are not completely pleased with him. We, however, praise them both (i.e., Hasan and Hussein). The truth is, every individual exhibits unique strengths. Hazrat Imam Hasanra did not desire for there to be further bloodshed amongst the Muslims owing to the civil war. He kept the establishment of peace in view, while Hazrat Imam Husseinra was against pledging allegiance to someone who was a sinner and transgressor, as this would allow for corruption to enter the faith. Both of them [Hasanra and Husseinra] had pure intentions.

اِنَّمَا الْاَعْمَالُ بِالنِّيَّاتِ

“[Deeds are judged by their intentions].”  (Malfuzat [1984], Vol. 8, pp. 278-279)

This was the account of these [noble] children.

I have been reminding everyone to pray for the people of Palestine, and I wish to do the same again today. Everyone should continue praying. Now, the cruelties are exceeding all bounds. In the name of fighting against Hamas, innocent children, women, the elderly and the sick are being killed. This so-called civilised world has abandoned all the rules and principles of war. May Allah the Almighty grant wisdom to the Muslim countries.

Approximately 72 or 73 years ago, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra admonished that Muslims must become united. They should decide whether they wish to die off one by one and individually (if they fail to unite), or whether they want to maintain their existence as a single entity. If only these people would understand this today and become united.

Now, the situation is such that someone told me that people who are going to perform umrah [pilgrimage] are being told that once they have arrived there they cannot mention anything regarding the conflict of Israel and Palestine. These are the instructions given by the government when issuing visas. If this is indeed true, then it is an expression of great cowardice on the part of the Muslim government. In any case, one should fulfil the due rights of performing umrah. Whilst performing the umrah, one cannot engage in such talks, however, one should certainly pray for Palestinians who are being oppressed. May all those who are travelling [for umrah] remember to pray for them.

Nowadays, the Muslim nations do raise a voice, but it is a very feeble one. Though some have raised their voices, however, stronger voices have been raised by non-Muslims and their politicians and governments. May Allah the Almighty develop courage and wisdom amongst the Muslims.

The Secretary General of the UN has spoken very well, and has done so particularly during these current circumstances, but it seems as if his voice is given no importance. It seems that when this war finishes, or if it escalates and turns into a world war, then even the UN will not remain. May Allah grant wisdom to the world.

It seems the world is ushering in its destruction. May Allah the Almighty grant wisdom to those who remain after this destruction and enable them to turn towards God. In any case, we must pray a great deal in this regard.

Pray that may Allah the Almighty have mercy on the world.

(Official Urdu transcript published in the Daily Al Fazl International, 8 December 2023, pp. 2-7. Translated by The Review of Religions.)

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