Friday Sermon – Muhammad (sa): The great exemplar (2 June 2023)


Friday Sermon

2 June 2023

Muhammadsa: The great exemplar

Baitul Futuh
Photo courtesy of Suhaib Ahmad

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

I have mentioned various aspects of the lives of the companions, may Allah be pleased with them, who participated in the Battle of Badr and their sacrifices in a series of sermons. Many people expressed the desire and wrote to me that if the life of the Holy Prophetsa was not mentioned, it would remain incomplete, because the Holy Prophetsa was the real focal point around whom the companions gathered. Remaining attached to him, they attained unparalleled levels of offering sacrifices and learned new ways [of living]. Furthermore, they established such standards of spreading the unity of God and becoming personal embodiments of this, which bore testimony to the spiritual influence of the Holy Prophetsa and to his being dearly beloved by Allah the Almighty. Therefore, it is essential to also mention the life of the Holy Prophetsa.

Sermons on various aspects of the life of the Holy Prophetsa have already been delivered on various occasions over the previous years. Nevertheless, the life of the Holy Prophetsa is such that it cannot be confined [to one sermon]. Each aspect of his life is such that it cannot be covered even over several sermons. The life of the Holy Prophetsa will, God willing, be presented from time to time. As a matter of fact, one aspect or another is mentioned in some shape or form in every sermon or address. The reason for this is that this is the very central point of our lives and without it, our religion and our faith cannot be complete, and we cannot act in accordance with the Law that Allah the Almighty has revealed. In any case, I will now present some aspects of the life of the Holy Prophetsa and the historical accounts in relation to the Battle of Badr and this will continue over the next several sermons. It is the very example of the Holy Prophetsa that endowed the companions with a selfless spirit of sacrifice and by doing so, it entered them into the fold of those who fought in the way of Allah, martyrs, the beloved of Allah the Almighty and those with whom He was pleased. We have witnessed these examples in our lives. Thus, it is important to mention the example of the Holy Prophetsa in relation to this battle as well.

Prior to mentioning incidents related to the battle [of Badr], it is also important to mention its causes and why it was fought. Therefore, I will first mention a brief background. Even in this background, the life of the Holy Prophetsa and the beautiful teaching he brought come to light. Mentioning the causes of the Battle of Badr, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra has written in Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin [The Life and Character of the Seal of Prophetssa]:

“In the Meccan life of the Holy Prophetsa, the cruelties which were inflicted upon the Muslims by the Quraish and the schemes they employed in order to expunge Islam, were enough reason for war to break out between any two nations, in every era, and in all types of circumstances. History substantiates that in addition to extremely degrading mockery, and exceedingly offensive taunt and slander, the disbelievers of Mecca forcefully stopped the Muslims from worshipping the One God and announcing His Unity. They were very brutally beaten and battered mercilessly; their wealth was usurped unlawfully; they were boycotted in an attempt to kill and ruin them, while some were martyred ruthlessly and their women were dishonoured. This was to the extent that, disturbed by these cruelties, many Muslims left Mecca and migrated to Abyssinia. However, the Quraish did not rest at this either and sent a delegation to the Royal Court of the Negus in an attempt that these Muhajirun would somehow return to Mecca and the Quraish would become successful in reverting them from their faith, or eliminating them.

“Then, great pains were inflicted upon the Master and Leader of the Muslims, who was dearer to them than their own souls, and he was subjected to all kinds of suffering. Upon professing the name of God, the friends and comrades of the Quraish bombarded the Holy Prophetsa with stones in Ta’if, to the extent that his body became drenched in blood. Ultimately, with the agreement of all the representatives of the various tribes of the Quraish, it was decided in the National Parliament of Mecca that Muhammadsa, the Messenger of Allah, be assassinated so that all traces of Islam may be wiped out, and Divine Unity may be brought to an end. Then, in order to practically implement this bloody resolution, the youth of Mecca, who were from the various tribes of the Quraish, assembled a group and attacked the home of the Holy Prophetsa by night. However, God protected the Holy Prophetsa, and he departed from his home – leaving them in the dust – and he took refuge in the cave of Thaur.

“Were these cruelties and bloody resolutions not then equivalent to an announcement of war by the Quraish? Against the backdrop of these incidents, can any sensible individual assert that the Quraish of Mecca were not at war with Islam and the Muslims? Then could these cruelties of the Quraish not become sufficient grounds to warrant a defensive war by the Muslims? In such circumstances, could any honourable nation of the world, which has not resigned itself to suicide, stand back from the acceptance of such an ultimatum as was given to the Muslims by the Quraish? Most definitely, if there had been another nation in place of the Muslims, they would have entered the field of battle against the Quraish much earlier. The Muslims, however, were ordered to exhibit patience and forgiveness by their Master. As such, it is written that when the persecution of the Quraish intensified, ‘Abdur-Rahmanra bin ‘Auf, and other companions, presented themselves before the Holy Prophetsa, and sought permission to fight the Quraish, but the Holy Prophetsa responded:

إِنِّي أُمِرْتُ بِالْعَفْوِ فَلاَ تُقَاتِلُوا

“‘For now, I have been ordered to pardon. Thus, I cannot give you permission to fight.’

“As such, the Companions bore every pain and insult in the way of religion, but did not let go of the handle of patience. When the goblet of the persecution of the Quraish had been satiated and began to overflow; and the God of this universe found the divine message to have been conveyed incontrovertibly, it was only then that God ordered His servant to leave the city. For now, the matter had exceeded the limit of forgiveness, and the time had come when the perpetrators would reach their evil end. Hence, this migration of the Holy Prophetsa was a sign of the acceptance of the ultimatum of the Quraish. It was a subtle indication by God of the announcement of war; both the Muslims and the disbelievers understood this. As such, during the consultation at Darun-Nadwah (the place of consultation for the Quraish close to the Ka’bah), when an individual proposed that the Holy Prophetsa should be exiled from Mecca, the chieftains of the Quraish rejected this proposal on the basis that if Muhammad[sa] was to leave Mecca, the Muslims would definitely accept their ultimatum and enter the field of battle in opposition to them.

“Upon the occasion of the second bai‘at at ‘Aqabah, when the question of the migration of the Holy Prophetsa arose before the Ansar of Medina, they immediately said, ‘This entails that we should become prepared for war against the whole of Arabia.’ When the Holy Prophetsa left Mecca, he cast a sorrow-stricken glance upon the boundaries of Mecca and said, ‘O Mecca! You were more beloved to me than all other cities, but your people have not allowed me to live here.’ Upon this, Hazrat Abu Bakrra said, ‘They have exiled the Messengersa of God. Now they shall indeed be destroyed.’

“In summary, until the Holy Prophetsa resided in Mecca, he endured all kinds of torment, but did not take up the sword against the Quraish. The reason being that firstly, before any measures could be taken against the Quraish, according to the custom of Allah, the divine message needed to be conveyed incontrovertibly, and this called for respite. Secondly, it was also the desire of God that the Muslims exhibit a model of forgiveness and patience to that final limit whereafter remaining silent was equivalent to suicide, which cannot be deemed a commendable deed by any sensible individual. Thirdly, the Quraish headed a kind of democratic government in Mecca and the Holy Prophetsa was one of its citizens. Hence, good citizenship demanded that until the Holy Prophetsa remained in Mecca, he respect the authority, and not allow anything that would disturb the peace, and when the issue exceeds the limit of forgiveness, he migrate from there.

“Fourthly, it was also necessary that until his people had become deserving of punishment due to their actions in the estimation of God, and until the time to destroy them had not arrived, the Holy Prophetsa live among them, and when the time arrives, he migrate from there. The reason being that, according to the custom of Allah, until a Prophet of God remains within his people, they are not struck by a punishment as would destroy them.

“When a destructive punishment is impending, the Prophet is ordered to leave such a place. Due to these reasons, the migration of the Holy Prophetsa possessed distinct indications within it, but it is unfortunate that these wrong-doing people did not recognise them, and continued to grow in their tyranny and oppression. For if the Quraish had abstained even now, and had refrained from employing a course of compulsion in religion, and had permitted the Muslims to live a life of peace, then God is the Most Merciful of those who are Merciful, and His Messengersa was also rahmatullil-‘alamin. Indeed, even then they would have been forgiven (and the Arabs would not have had to witness the carnage and bloodshed). However, the writings of divine decree were to be fulfilled. The migration of the Holy Prophetsa served as fuel for the fire of the Quraish’s enmity and they stood up with even greater zeal and uproar than before, to obliterate Islam.

“In addition to inflicting persecution and tyranny upon the poor and weak Muslims, who until now were still in Mecca, the first undertaking of the Quraish, as soon as they found out that the Holy Prophetsa had left Mecca, was that they set out to pursue him. They scanned every inch of the Valley of Mecca, in search of the Holy Prophetsa and even reached the mouth of the cave of Thaur. However, Allah the Exalted aided the Holy Prophetsa and placed such a veil upon the eyes of the Quraish, that after having reached the very place of destination, they returned frustrated and unsuccessful. When they became disappointed in this search, they made a public announcement that any individual who brought Muhammad[a] back – dead or alive – would receive a bounty of a hundred camels, which is equivalent to approximately 20,000 Rupees in today’s currency. (This was in 1931, when Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra wrote this. Nowadays, it would amount to tens of millions.) Many young men from the various tribes of the Quraish set out in all directions to search for the Holy Prophetsa, in greed of the bounty. As such, the pursuit of Suraqah bin Malik […] was also a result of this announcement of reward. However, the Quraish were made to confront failure in this scheme as well.

“If one contemplates, for war to break out between two nations, even this sole reason is enough, in that a bounty of this nature is set for the Master and Leader of the other. (The Life and Character of the Seal of Prophetssa [Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin], Vol. 2, pp. 54-57)

[He further writes:]

“The Quraish found out that the Holy Prophetsa had reached Medina safe and sound…the chieftains of the Quraish sent a terribly threatening letter to the head chieftain of Medina, ‘Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Sulul, and his companions:

“‘You have given protection to an individual of ours (i.e., Muhammadsa), and we swear in the name of Allah that you shall either leave him and declare war against him, or in the least, exile him from your city. If not, we shall most definitely gather our entire army and attack you; and we shall kill your men and take your women into our own possession, making them lawful unto ourselves.’”

When Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Sulul and his polytheist companions received this letter, they gathered to wage war against the Holy Prophetsa. When the Holy Prophetsa learnt of this, he went to him and said, “You may consider the threat given to you by the Quraish to be very significant, however, they cannot harm you more than you will harm yourself. You desire to fight your own sons and brothers?” When the Jews heard this – many of whom had become Muslims – from the Holy Prophetsa, they scattered and abandoned him. Likewise, the Quraish of Mecca began visiting the Arab tribes to incite them against the Muslims. In this regard, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra writes in Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin:

“When the Quraish noticed that the Aus and Khazraj refused to give up their protection of the Holy Prophetsa, and it was apprehended that Islam may take root in Medina, they toured the other tribes of Arabia and began to incite them against the Muslims. Since the Quraish enjoyed a distinct influence upon the other tribes of Arabia, due to their guardianship of the Ka‘bah, for this reason, upon the instigation of the Quraish, many tribes had become deadly enemies of the Muslims. The state of Medina was as if it had become surrounded by a raging fire.” (The Life and Character of the Seal of Prophetssa [Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin], Vol. 2, pp. 57-58)

[He further writes:]

“As such, the following narration has already been mentioned:

“‘Ubayy bin Ka‘bra who was from among the distinguished Companions, narrates, ‘When the Holy Prophetsa and his Companions migrated to Medina, and the Ansar gave protection to them, in turn all of Arabia, collectively stood up against the Muslims. In that era, the Muslims would not even put off their arms at night and during the day they would walk around armed in case of a sudden attack. They would say to each other, ‘Let us see if we live till such a time when we might be able to sleep in peace at night without any fear except the fear of God.’’ (Al-Mustadrak Al’a Al-Sahihain, Kitab-ul-Tafsir, Hadith no. 3512)

“The state of the Chief of Mankind himself was that (Hazrat A’ishara narrates):

“‘In the beginning, when the Holy Prophetsa arrived in Medina, he would often remain awake during the night in apprehension of an enemy attack.’ (Sunan Al-Kubra Li Al-Nisai, Kitab Al-Munaqib, Hadith no. 8617)

“With regards to the very same era, the Holy Quran states:

وَاذۡکُرُوۡۤا اِذۡ اَنۡتُمۡ قَلِيۡلٌ مُّسۡتَضۡعَفُوۡنَ فِي الۡاَرۡضِ تَخَافُوۡنَ اَنۡ يَّتَخَطَّفَکُمُ النَّاسُ فَاٰوٰکُمۡ وَاَيَّدَکُمۡ بِنَصۡرِہٖ وَرَزَقَکُمۡ مِّنَ الطَّيِّبٰتِ لَعَلَّکُمۡ تَشۡکُرُوۡنَ

“‘O ye Muslims! And remember the time when you were few and were considered to be weak in the land, and were in constant fear lest people should snatch you away and destroy you. But God sheltered you and granted you support with His Succour and opened the doors of pure provisions upon you. Therefore, you should now live as thankful servants.’ [Surah al-Anfal, Ch.8: V.27]

“These were the external threats as mentioned in the Holy Quran. Even the internal state of affairs in Medina was not very favourable, (just as Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra writes:)

“Even in Medina, the state was that until now, a substantial segment from among the Aus and Khazraj stood firm upon polytheism. Although they were apparently with their brethren and kindred, in such circumstances, how could a polytheist be trusted? Secondly, there were the hypocrites, who at the outset had accepted Islam, but in secret, they were enemies of Islam, and their presence in Medina posed threatening possibilities. Thirdly, there were the Jews, with whom although there was a treaty, to these Jews the value of this treaty was nothing. Hence, in this manner, there were such elements present even in Medina itself, which were no less than a store of hidden ammunition against the Muslims. A tiny spark by the Arabian tribes was enough to set this ammunition on fire, and destroy the Muslims of Medina with a single blast. At this vulnerable time, which was such that a more critical time had never dawned upon the Muslims before, divine revelation was sent to the Holy Prophetsa, that now he should also take up the sword in opposition to these disbelievers, who had entered the field of battle against him, sword in hand, purely by way of injustice and tyranny. In this manner, Jihad by the sword was announced. (The Life and Character of the Seal of Prophetssa [Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin], Vol. 2, pp. 59-60)

[He further writes:]

“[…] The very first Quranic verse regarding Jihad by the sword was revealed to the Holy Prophetsa on 12 Safar 2 AH, or 15 August 623 AD, when a period of approximately one year had elapsed since the arrival of the Holy Prophetsa to Medina.” (The Life and Character of the Seal of Prophetssa [Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin], Vol. 2, p. 61)

This date of this verse is in accordance with the research carried out by Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra, because it is recorded in relation to this verse that some portions of it were revealed in Mecca, whilst others in Medina. In any case, there are differing narrations with regard to the revelation of this verse. (Tafsir al-Qurtabi, p. 2110)

It is also recorded that this verse was revealed during the migration, as it was shortly after arriving in Medina that the Holy Prophetsa instructed to halt the caravans of the Quraish in the surrounding areas of Medina, and started sending armed parties for various defensive issues. As it were, whether this verse was revealed at the beginning of the migration, or perhaps a year later, it was the first time permission was granted to answer those who fought against religion, and it was only after the Holy Prophetsa had left from the government which he was previously subject to. As has been mentioned, no war could be waged whilst subject to the government, and his own government had already been established. This verse, or rather, two verses of Surah al-Hajj, in which Allah the Almighty granted permission are as follows:

 اُذِنَ لِلَّذِيۡنَ يُقٰتَلُوۡنَ بِاَنَّہُمۡ ظُلِمُوۡا ؕ وَاِنَّ اللّٰہَ عَلٰي نَصۡرِہِمۡ لَقَدِيۡرُ۔ ۣالَّذِيۡنَ اُخۡرِجُوۡا مِنۡ دِيَارِہِمۡ بِغَيۡرِ حَقٍّ اِلَّاۤ اَنۡ يَّقُوۡلُوۡا رَبُّنَا اللّٰہُ ؕ وَلَوۡلَا دَفۡعُ اللّٰہِ النَّاسَ بَعۡضَہُمۡ بِبَعۡضٍ لَّہُدِّمَتۡ صَوَامِعُ وَبِيَعٌ وَّصَلَوٰتٌ وَّمَسٰجِدُ يُذۡکَرُ فِيۡہَا اسۡمُ اللّٰہِ کَثِيۡرًاؕوَلَيَنۡصُرَنَّ اللّٰہُ مَنۡ يَّنۡصُرُہٗ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ لَقَوِيٌّ عَزِيۡزٌ 

“Permission to fight is granted to the Muslims against whom the disbelievers have taken up the sword because they (i.e., the Muslims) have been wronged – And Allah indeed has power to help them – Those who have been driven out of their homes unjustly, only because they said, ‘Our Lord is Allah’ – And if Allah the Exalted did not repel some men by means of others (by granting permission for defensive war), there would surely have been pulled down cloisters belonging to monks and Christian churches and Jewish synagogues and mosques, wherein the name of God is oft-commemorated. And Allah the Exalted will surely help one who helps Him. Undoubtedly, Allah the Exalted is Powerful, Mighty.” [Surah al-Hajj, Ch.22: V.40-41]

That is to say, all religions have been protected here, as the names of all the places of worship are mentioned. After Jihad was made incumbent, the Holy Prophetsa initially employed four strategies to safeguard the Muslims from the harm of the disbelievers. In this regard, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra has mentioned these four strategies, as he states:

“Firstly: The Holy Prophetsa began travelling to nearby tribes and establishing peace treaties with them, so that the surrounding region of Medina would become free of threat. In this respect, the Holy Prophetsa gave special consideration to those tribes that were situated close to the Syrian trade route of the Quraish. As every individual may gather, it was these tribes in particular, from whom the Quraish of Mecca could have derived the most benefit against the Muslims and whose enmity could have resulted in severe threats for the Muslims.

“Secondly: The Holy Prophetsa began to dispatch small companies in order to obtain intelligence in different directions from Medina, so that he was able to remain informed of the movements of the Quraish and their allies; and the Quraish also understood that the Muslims were not oblivious, so that in this manner, Medina could be safeguarded from the dangers of sudden attacks.

“Thirdly: Another wisdom in dispatching these parties was so that the weak and poor Muslims of Mecca and its surrounding areas could find an opportunity by these means, to join the Muslims of Medina. Until now, there were many people in the region of Mecca who were Muslims at heart, but were unable to publicly profess their belief in Islam due to the cruelties of the Quraish. Furthermore, due to their poverty and weakness, they were unable to migrate either, because the Quraish would forcefully hold back such people from migrating […]

“Fourthly: The fourth strategy employed by the Holy Prophetsa was that he began to intercept the trade caravans of the Quraish which travelled from Mecca to Syria, passing by Medina en route. The reason being that, firstly, these caravans would spark a fire of enmity against the Muslims wherever they travelled. It is obvious that for a seed of enmity to be sown in the environs of Medina, was extremely dangerous for the Muslims. Secondly, these caravans would always be armed and everyone can appreciate that for such caravans to pass by so close to Medina was not empty of danger. Thirdly, the livelihood of the Quraish primarily depended on trade. Therefore, in these circumstances, the most definitive and effective means by which the Quraish could be subdued, their cruelties could be put to an end and they could be pressed to reconciliation, was by obstructing their trade route. As such, history testifies to the fact that among the factors which ultimately compelled the Quraish to incline towards reconciliation, the interception of these trade caravans played an extremely pivotal role. Hence, this was an extremely sagacious strategy, which yielded fruits of success at the appropriate time. Fourthly, the revenue from these caravans of the Quraish was mostly spent on efforts to eliminate Islam. Rather, some caravans were even sent for the sole purpose that their entire profit may be utilised against the Muslims. (The trade that took place in opposition to Islam was for the sake of waging war against the Muslims.) In this case, every individual can understand that the interception of these caravans, was in its own right, an absolutely legitimate motive.” (The Life and Character of the Seal of Prophetssa [Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin], Vol. 2, pp. 89-92)

This series will continue in the future, God-willing. At this time, I wish to make mention of some deceased members whose funeral prayers will be offered. One of the funerals will be held in praesentia, which is of respected Khawaja Muniruddin Qamar Sahib, while the others will be held in absentia. Khawaja Muniruddin Qamar Sahib lived here in the UK. On 27 May [2023], by divine decree, he passed away at the age of 86.

اِنَّا لِلّٰہِ وَاِنَّاۤ اِلَيۡہِ رٰجِعُوۡنَ

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

He was the maternal grandson of Hazrat Mian Khairuddin Sekhwani Sahibra, a Companion of the Promised Messiahas. The Promised Messiahas also saw his father, Maulana Qamaruddin Sahib, when he was very young, as an infant. Maulvi Qamaruddin Sahib, the father of the deceased, was the first central President of Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya. When the partition of India and Pakistan happened, his family moved to Pakistan. Khawaja Muniruddin Sahib lived in Tanzania, Africa, for some time. He also had the opportunity to serve the Community in various capacities in Rabwah. Then, in 1966, he and his family moved to the UK, where they lived close to the Fazl Mosque. They’ve been here for a very long time, so everyone is acquainted with them. During the time of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh, he had the opportunity for a long time to call the Adhan [call to prayer] at the Fazl Mosque for Friday prayers. He also had the opportunity to serve as the Local President of Fazl Mosque and Putney. After retiring in 1995, he dedicated his life and he had been voluntarily serving, first in Wakalat-e-Tabshir and then in the Office of the Private Secretary here in the UK. Even the day before his demise, he was working in the office until the Zuhr prayer after which he returned home. He was regular in offering the five daily prayers, quiet in nature, compassionate, sociable, virtuous, sincere, and loyal. He was a musi. He is survived by his wife, two sons and two daughters, along with many grandchildren. He was also the maternal uncle of Amir Sahib UK. May Allah the Almighty grant him forgiveness and mercy and elevate his station. This funeral will be offered here in praesentia, God-willing.

The others will be funeral prayers in absentia. The first among them is that of Dr Mirza Mubashar Ahmad Sahib, who was the paternal grandson of Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra and the son of Mirza Munawwar Ahmad Sahib and Mahmooda Begum Sahiba. He was the maternal grandson of Hazrat Nawab Mubaraka Begum Sahibara. He recently passed away at the age of 79.

اِنَّا لِلّٰہِ وَاِنَّاۤ اِلَيۡہِ رٰجِعُوۡنَ

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

He was a musi by the grace of Allah the Almighty. His primary education took place in Lahore. He then attended King Edward Medical College in Lahore, where he obtained his MBBS. He then worked for some time at a hospital in Rabwah. Then he came here to the UK for studies and did his postgraduate and FRCS in 1970 at the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh. Since he had dedicated his life, he returned [to Rabwah] and served in the Fazl-e-Umar Hospital, where he was able to serve for about 50 years. Of the doctors who are life devotees and have worked there under the Nusrat Jehan scheme, he served the longest, or it is possible that Dr Mirza Munawwar Ahmad Sahib served longer. In any case, he had the opportunity to serve for 50 years. In 1983, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh appointed him as a member of the Waqf-e-Jadid Board, and he remained a member of this board until his demise.

His wife writes, “He honoured his relations and took care of his relatives, whether parents, siblings, relatives, my parents and relatives, indeed everyone. I cannot recall any occasion of happiness or sadness on which he did not take responsibility upon himself. He never slackened in honouring his relations. He also had the opportunity to treat the elders in the family. He would visit the homes of the ill to enquire about their well-being.

Similarly, he would help those in need in any way that he could and he never turned away someone who was in need. He facilitated the education of many girls and would even take the entire financial burden of their weddings upon himself.”

Some girls have written to me about this. Some of them even lived in his home and he raised them like his own daughters and then had them married. Many people have written to me saying that he would even waive the fees of some patients, in fact, he would give them medicines and even some money. He had a deep connection with the Khulafa. He was connected to them in that he was related to all the Khulafa during his time, but he also had a profound connection of respect and honour for them. Not only did he instil this in his children, but he also exhibited his own example in doing so.

He was quite older than me, by about six or seven years, but after I became Khalifa, he treated me with great respect and honour. In fact, even before this, when I was Nazir-e-A’la, he showed me great respect and honour at that time as well. His wife writes that during the final illness of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IV’srh wife, Huzoorrh called and asked for Dr Mubashar to come immediately. Hence, they say that upon receiving this message, he left that very night and remained there until her demise. Upon the demise of respected Hazrat Asifa Begum Sahiba, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh said, “Mubashar came near the lift to get me and as soon as I saw him, I understood that my wife had passed away because I knew that if she was unwell, Mubashar would have never left her side.” During Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IV’srh own illness, he would often travel to the UK for his treatment. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh also mentioned his services during his illness in one instance.

His wife writes, “Once, a false complaint was made against him, and a committee was formed in order to investigate it. At that time as well, he respected the Khalifah of the time and administration and never said or did anything unbecoming. The committee conducted its investigation and determined that he was free from any fault.”

His son writes that some opponents from Chiniot and some surrounding areas would come to his home for treatment. In fact, he had many non-Ahmadi patients; I am aware of this as well. He treated countless people in the area, due to which many people became acquainted with Rabwah and the hospital in the area.

During his final illness, the Promised Messiahas used a certain spoon to take his medicines; it was a small spoon that Hazrat Amma Janra gave to Hazrat Umm-e-Nasir, saying that it should be given to whichever one of her sons became a doctor. The spoon was given to his father, Mirza Munawwar Ahmad Sahib, after which the spoon was given to him. Sometimes, for the sake of blessings, Dr Mubashar Sahib would use that spoon to give medicine to his patients.

People from all walks of life came to offer their condolences, however, a vast majority were of the less fortunate, who constantly expressed that they were indebted to Mian Sahib. Some of them were those whom he had treated, and others he had looked after in a different way. There were many landowners who brought their wives or sisters to him for treatment, and those landowners came and expressed how he had taken care of them. Everyone, even non-Ahmadis came and cried, saying that they had lost a father.

Many of the staff members of our hospital have written to me saying that their hospital is now orphaned and expressed their deep regret. Nonetheless, he upheld his relationship with everyone and looked after the poor. The Holy Prophetsa once stated that if a person is praised upon his funeral procession, paradise is made certain for him. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab-ul-janaiz, Hadith 137)

May Allah the Almighty fulfil these words in his favour as well.

Dr Mirza Sultan Ahmad Sahib says, “According to my knowledge, in the entire Community, he has the honour of being the doctor who has rendered the longest service.” Just as I mentioned earlier. He further writes, “There were no assistants or helpers during the era in which he began working. He had to close up, open up, call in his patients and perform other tasks all on his own. He also had to solely manage the operating theatre. There was no anaesthetist, and so he also had to look after that task himself. Then, he gradually trained his staff, after which the hospital became popular.” He also writes, “The ratio for infections was also lower than other private hospitals. Most patients were discharged from the hospital after being treated successfully.” Nevertheless, he has also observed his kind treatment towards patients, even if they be non-Ahmadis. I am also personally aware that he was a very respectful person.

Dr Munir Mubashir Sahib works at a government hospital. He writes, “I have witnessed the long and vast course of service offered by the respected doctor, not just for those residing in Rabwah but also in all the surrounding areas.” He further states, “I have worked entirely on the outskirts of Rabwah. (He has been posted in various small hospitals in Rabwah.) Many people from approximately all the surrounding villages were among his patients.” Owing to this, as I have stated, many non-Ahmadi people came to convey their condolences upon his demise.

Dr Noori Sahib writes, “An elderly man living alone in Rabwah had hung a picture of Dr Mubashar Sahib in his room. (Dr Noori Sahib went to visit this elderly man.) The patient spoke with great praise and admiration for Dr Mubashar Sahib, saying that he would often visit him to enquire about his health and well-being and offered prayers for his well-being.”

This incident took place while he was alive. There are so many letters mentioning his qualities, services and the sentiments of his patients that it is impossible for me to mention them all. As I mentioned earlier, he also had an extraordinary bond of loyalty with Khilafat. May Allah the Almighty show him unending mercy and forgiveness and grant him a station amongst his loved ones.

The third funeral prayer – and the second in absentia – is of respected Syedah Amatul Basit Sahib, wife of Syed Mahmud Ahmad Sahib of Islamabad. She passed away a few days prior.

اِنَّا لِلّٰہِ وَاِنَّاۤ اِلَيۡہِ رٰجِعُوۡنَ

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

She was the granddaughter of Dr Syed Abdul Sattar Shah Sahib, and the daughter of respected Syed Abdul Razzaq Shah Sahib. She was also the niece of Hazrat Umm-e-Tahirra. Her father, Abdul Razzaq Shah Sahib, married the first Irish Ahmadi woman in 1945, Hanifah Shah Sahiba, whose name used to be Catherine O’Brien. This marriage took place in Nairobi, Kenya. Her mother then came to Pakistan while her father, Shah Sahib was posted in Sindh. There, she offered great sacrifices, despite being from Ireland. She lived in a small village while offering great sacrifices. Her children also offered great sacrifices, amongst whom is Amatul Basit Sahiba.

Her husband, Syed Mahmud Shah Sahib, states, “She was regular in offering her prayers, especially the Tahajjud [pre-dawn voluntary prayer] prayers. Since her childhood, she offered the Tahajjud prayers alongside her father. She revered and observed religious practices. She always helped the poor and those in need. She adhered very strictly to the veil [purdah]. She was a musiah. She is survived by her husband, daughter and two sons. One of her sons, Syed Bashir Ahmad, resides here [in the UK], and her other son is Syed Shahid Ahmad. Her daughter, Majidah Malik, lives in America. Her daughter, who is the wife of Dr Amir Malik Sahib of America states, “My mother was well-liked by others and possessed an outstanding personality. Everyone who met her was captivated by her. She loved Khilafat with all her heart, she had a refined personality, was well-mannered and possessed good morals. She never openly expressed her pain. She actively partook in helping the poor and almsgiving. She helped girls get married, gave rations to shelter homes for the poor, covered expenses for the education of orphans and fed the poor – ultimately, she spent her time helping the people of Allah the Almighty, whether it was through prayers or charity. She preferred to speak more about God and divine succour and befriended those who loved God as well. Allah the Almighty also manifested to her in a special manner; Allah the Almighty would accept her prayers. And Allah the Almighty would inform her about the acceptance of her prayers in many matters. She did not miss her prayers, even during severe sickness, and she was always watchful of the time lest she miss a prayer. May Allah the Almighty grant her forgiveness and mercy and elevate her station. May He enable her children to carry forward her virtues.

The third funeral prayer in absentia is of respected Sharif Ahmad Bandesha Sahib. He was the Sadr Jamaat of Chak 261 RB Udhowali, Faisalabad, Pakistan. He also passed away a few days ago.

اِنَّا لِلّٰہِ وَاِنَّاۤ اِلَيۡہِ رٰجِعُوۡنَ

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

His son, Rahmatullah Bandesha Sahib, who is serving as a missionary, writes, “My grandfather was only two to three months old when his parents and close relatives passed away during the plague in the time of the Promised Messiahas. At that time, in his early days, my grandfather was raised by a family of distant relatives who were Ahmadis. After the decision of a judge in Batala, he was put in the care of another Ahmadi family, who were closer relatives to him. In this way, he was raised from the very start in an Ahmadi environment and remained a part of the Ahmadi Community. The deceased was Sadr in his village for nearly 25 years. He possessed many qualities and had a dervish character. His worship was of a lofty standard; he helped those in need, especially his family and friends; he had boundless love for the Jamaat and the institution of Khilafat.. He is survived by his five sons and three daughters. As I mentioned, one of his sons, Rahmatullah Bandesha Sahib, is a missionary and is currently serving as a teacher in Jamia Ahmadiyya Germany. Due to the opposition and dire circumstances in his village, he was not able to attend his father’s funeral and burial on time. May Allah the Almighty show forgiveness and mercy to the deceased and elevate his station. May He also enable his children to carry his virtues forward.

(Official Urdu transcript published in the Daily Al Fazl International, 23 June 2023, pp. 2-6. Translated by The Review of Religions.)

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