23 June 2023
Muhammadsa: The great exemplar
After reciting the tashahud, ta‘awuz and Surah al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa stated:
As was mentioned in the previous Friday Sermon, the informants of the Holy Prophetsa returned and revealed the news of an approaching caravan or army.
When the Holy Prophetsa learnt of the news that the army of the Quraish was approaching in order to protect their trade caravan, he sought counsel from his companions and informed them of the situation regarding the Quraish. Upon this, Hazrat Abu Bakrra stood up and delivered an excellent speech, following which Hazrat Umarra also stood up and delivered an excellent speech. Thereupon, Hazrat Miqdad bin Amrra stood up and humbly submitted, “O Messengersa of Allah! March towards that which you have been commanded by Allah. We are with you. By Allah, we will not say to you what the Israelites said to Mosesas:
فَاذۡہَبۡ اَنۡتَ وَرَبُّکَ فَقَاتِلَاۤ اِنَّا ہٰہُنَا قٰعِدُوۡنَ
“That is, ‘Go thou and thy Lord and fight, and here we sit.’ (Surah al-Ma’idah, Ch.5: V.25)
“In fact, we will say, ‘You and Your Lord go ahead for battle and we too shall join with you in the battle. By Allah, Who has raised you as a Prophet with the truth, even if you lead us to Bark al-Ghimad, we will march with you.’”
In relation to Bark al-Ghimad, it is written that it is located in Yemen, at a distance of a five-day journey from Mecca. This was a metaphor used by the Arabs, signifying a long distance. Following this, he said: “We will continue fighting the enemy along your side until you reach your destination.” The Holy Prophetsa wished them well and prayed for them. (Ibn Hisham, Al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2001], pp. 420-421; Abu al-Kalam Azad, Ghazwat al-Nabisa, p. 30, City Book Point, 2014)
A historian has written that Bark al-Ghimad was located to the south of Mecca, at a distance of approximately 430 kilometres, away from the main route of travel in a far-off place. Due to the long distance and difficulty of travelling there, it was used as an idiom, just like Koh-e-Qaf [Mount Qaf] in Urdu signifies and connotes a long distance. This meant that regardless of how far the Holy Prophetsa would go, they would remain by his side. (Da’irah Ma‘arif Sirat Muhammadsa Rasul Allah, Vol. 6, p. 139, Bazam Iqbal, Lahore, April 2022)
We also find some elaboration in relation to this because some historians have raised the question in relation to this that the verse Hazrat Miqdadra recited was from Surah al-Ma’idah and this Surah was revealed much later. As such, it seems doubtful that this verse was recited on this occasion. Nevertheless, the scholars also present some possible explanations for this, for example, they may have heard this statement of the Israelites from the Jews [of Medina], or that one of the later narrators might have added this verse. In any case, this objection does not carry much importance, since this narration has been quoted frequently in the books of history. As such, in a commentary of Bukhari, Fath-ul-Bari by Ibn Hajjar, it is written that to say that the entire Surah al-Ma’idah was revealed on the occasion of Hajjat-ul-Wida [farewell pilgrimage of the Holy Prophetsa] is incorrect. Some of its verses had been revealed much earlier. Hazrat Miqdadra recited one of these verses on the occasion of the Battle of Badr. Nevertheless, for the Muslims to have heard this from the Jews could also be true.
It is further narrated that these three, i.e., Hazrat Abu Bakrra, Hazrat Umarra and Hazrat Miqdadra were among the Muhajirin, which is why the Holy Prophetsa desired to seek the opinion of the Ansar. (Maulana Safi al-Rahman Mubarakpuri, Al-Rahiq al-Makhtum, p. 285, Al-Maktabah al-Salafiyyah, Lahore; Fath al-Bari, Vol. 2, p. 201, with reference to (Da’irah Ma‘arif Sirat Muhammadsa Rasul Allah, Vol. 6, p. 139, Bazam Iqbal, Lahore, April 2022)
The Holy Prophetsa thus said, “O people, give me your counsel,” and in actuality sought the suggestion from the Ansar. Perhaps another reason for this is that during the Pledge of Aqabah, they [i.e., the Ansar] said, “O Messengersa of Allah, whilst you do not come to our city, we are not responsible for you, but when you do come to Medina, we will most certainly be responsible for you. We will protect you from everything, just as we protect our children and our women.” Therefore, the Holy Prophetsa was expressing his concern that the Ansar would only defend against the enemy who launch an attack on Medina, thinking that it was not incumbent upon them to face the enemy outside of their city. However, when the Holy Prophetsa stated this, Hazrat Sa’d bin Muazra said, “O Messengersa of Allah! Perhaps it is our counsel that you seek.” The Holy Prophetsa replied in the affirmative. Hazrat Sa’dra then said, “Indeed, we have believed in you, testified to your truthfulness, and borne witness that the religion you have brought is the truth. Moreover, we have made a promise to you and made a firm oath to follow your instructions. O Messengersa of Allah, go forth wherever you please, we are with you. We swear by that Being, Who has sent you with the truth, that if you take us to the sea and you go in yourself, we shall also dive into it with you, and not a single one of us shall hold back. We are not displeased if you take us tomorrow to face the enemy. We are steadfast in battle, we show loyalty when encountering the enemy, and we are hopeful that Allah the Almighty will show you that we can attain those feats, which shall be the delight of your eyes. So, with the blessings of Allah, take us with you.”
In a narration of Sahih Muslim, these words have been ascribed to Hazrat Sa’d bin Ubadahra, however, according to the majority of the narrations, Hazrat Sa’d bin Ubadahra did not participate in the Battle of Badr, and therefore, the historians have tried to consolidate between the two narrations and suggested that perhaps the Holy Prophetsa took counsel on two occasions. The first took place in Medina when he received news of the caravan, and Hazrat [Sa’d bin] Ubadahra made this statement, and the second time the Holy Prophetsa took counsel was when he was en route and Hazrat Sa’d bin Mu’azra spoke these words. In any case, this is what the various commentators have written in their commentary, but in reality, it was Hazrat Sa’d bin Mu’azra who said this. Hearing this from Hazrat Sa’dra, the Holy Prophetsa was filled with joy and stated, “Go forth and rejoice in the glad tidings; Allah the Almighty has promised me victory over one of the two parties. I swear by God that at this very time, I am witnessing the places where the enemy men shall fall after being slain.” (Ibn Hisham, Al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2001], p. 421; Sharh al-Zurqani ‘ala al-Mawahib al-Laduniyyah, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 1996], p. 270)
Hearing these words, the companions became joyful, but at the same time they said in surprise:
هَلّا ذَكَرْتَ لَنَا الْقِتَالَ فَنَسْتَعِدّ
“O Messengersa of Allah! If you had known of the army of the Quraish from before, why then did you not mention to us the prospect of war whilst we were still in Medina, so that we may have prepared before setting out?”
However, despite this news and counsel, and despite this glad-tiding conveyed by the Holy Prophetsa from Allah, which indicated that the Muslims would definitely attain victory over one of these two parties, until now, the Muslims had not yet found out which party they would encounter. They realised the possibility of confronting one of these two groups, and naturally desired to encounter the weaker of the two, i.e., they desired to confront the caravan. (Sirat Khatam-un-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, p. 355, 1996 Edition)
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra writes in this regard:
“When, at the time of Badr, a battle was about to ensue outside of Medina, the Holy Prophetsa gathered all the Companions and said, ‘O people, I seek your counsel, for I have come to know that we will not fight against the caravan. Instead, we will face off against the army of Mecca. One after another, the Muhajirin Companions stood up and submitted, ‘O Messengersa of Allah, you may certainly go forth for battle. We are with you.’ However, every time a Companion would express their thoughts, the Holy Prophetsa would follow to say, ‘O people, I seek your counsel.’ The Holy Prophetsa thought that although the Muhajirin were giving their suggestions, it was the Ansar that were truly in question. The Ansar were silent because the aggressors were the people of Mecca. The Ansar thought that if they expressed their readiness to fight the Meccans, perhaps the Muhajirin may feel offended and they may dislike it if they expressed their eagerness to kill their kinsmen. However, after the Holy Prophetsa repeatedly sought counsel, a Companion from the Ansar stood up and said, ‘O Messengersa of Allah, you have been given counsel. One after another, a Muhajir stands and affirms their willingness to fight, yet you continue to ask the people for counsel. From this, it seems as though you are addressing the Ansar.’ The Holy Prophetsa replied in the affirmative. The Companion then said, ‘O Messengersa of Allah, we were silent for fear of causing anguish to our Muhajirin brothers. If we expressed our willingness to fight, the Muhajirin may think that we are proposing to kill their families and kinsmen.’ He further said, ‘O Messengersa of Allah, perhaps you are referring to the pledge we made at Aqabah, wherein we pledged to assist you should the enemy attack Medina and that we would not be liable for a battle taking place outside of Medina.’ The Holy Prophetsa said, ‘Yes, this is the matter indeed.’ The Companion replied, ‘O Messengersa of Allah, at the time we made that covenant, we did not fully understand your true status. O Messengersa of Allah, your truth has manifested itself to us and your status is clear to us. That covenant holds no importance. The sea is before us. If you so much as give the command, we are prepared to ride into it on our horses. If a battle takes place, by God, we will fight on your right and your left, and we will fight in front of you and behind you. The enemy will not be able to reach you unless they trample over our corpses.’” (Sair-e-Ruhani, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 24, pp. 532-533)
Following this counsel, the Holy Prophetsa departed from that place and, by taking various routes, arrived close to Badr.
Details about Badr have already been mentioned previously, but I will present them once more. Badr is located 150 kilometres southwest of Medina. Its landscape is an oval-shaped and desert-like plain, measuring five and a half miles long and four miles wide. It is surrounded by tall mountains and had many wells and orchards where caravans would often set up camp. A short while after arriving close to Badr, the Holy Prophetsa and Hazrat Abu Bakrra set out on their mounts until they encountered an old Arab man. Without revealing their identities, they asked the old man about the Quraish and about Muhammadsa, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and his followers. The old man replied, “I will only tell you when you tell me what tribe you belong to.” The Holy Prophetsa replied, “After you tell us about what we asked, we too, shall tell you about ourselves.” “One thing in exchange for another?” the old man asked. The Holy Prophetsa replied in the affirmative. The old man said, “I have come to know that Muhammad[sa] and his followers departed [from Medina] on such and such a day. If my informant is true, then they must be at such and such a place at this time.” The old man mentioned the name of the place where the Holy Prophetsa had arrived. He further stated, “I have also come to know that the Quraish departed on such and such a day. If my informant is true, then they must have reached such and such a place.” He mentioned the name of the place where the Quraish were, in fact, positioned. Both of his statements were correct. After giving this information, the old man inquired, “What tribe do you belong to?” The Holy Prophetsa replied, “We are from the water.” Following this, the Holy Prophetsa turned away from him. The old man asked, “You are from the water? What does that mean? Are you referring to the water of Iraq?”
The Holy Prophet’ssa answer here seems to have more than one meaning. Historians have also discussed this at length. Our team tasked with extracting references has also extracted the viewpoints of historians regarding this. I will present a summary of this. Historians have raised the point that the Holy Prophetsa did not give the correct response that he promised. Other historians have refuted this by saying that the Holy Prophetsa did not give him a false answer. Indeed, the Holy Prophetsa responded ambiguously so as not to lie, nor reveal his exact origins, especially during circumstances of danger and war. The Holy Prophet’ssa statement about being from the water refers to the Quranic statement, “We made from water every living thing.” This has been mentioned by one of the historians by the name of Abu Bakr Jabir al-Jaza‘iri.
Another historian says that it was an Arab custom to refer to the names of a water source or water springs of the area to indicate the area in which one resides. This is what ‘Allama Burhan Halabi has stated in this regard. Another possible explanation could be that the Holy Prophetsa was referring to the same water spring that they had settled around in Badr, which was also mentioned by the old man, but indicated to it in a manner that caused the old man to mistake it for the direction of Iraq. In this case, the direction of the water spring and Iraq would be the same. Nonetheless, Allah knows better.
Thereafter, the Holy Prophetsa returned to the Companions. In the evening, the Holy Prophetsa sent Hazrat Alira, Hazrat Zubair bin al-Awwamra and Hazrat Sa’d bin Abi Waqqasra along with a few other companions, towards the water spring in Badr in order to gather further information. There, they encountered two slaves from the Quraish who were tasked with fetching water. The companions apprehended them and began to question them, at the time the Holy Prophetsa was standing and offering prayers. Both of them admitted that they were sent to fetch water for the Quraish. The Companions did not accept what they said and suspected that they were hired by Abu Sufyan. Thus, the Companions treated them in a rather harsh manner. Upon continuing with their strong approach, they said that they were hired by Abu Sufyan, upon which the Companions released them. Upon concluding his prayer, the Holy Prophetsa said, “When they told you the truth, you hit them, and when they lied to you, you released them. By God, they have spoken the truth. They are undoubtedly the slaves of the Quraish.” Then, addressing the two slaves, the Holy Prophetsa said, “Tell me about the Quraish.” They responded, “By God, their encampment is behind that hill on the other end of the valley.” The Holy Prophetsa then asked, “How many are they?” They responded, “They are many.” When they were asked as to their exact number, they said that they did not know. The Holy Prophetsa then asked, “How many camels do they slaughter each day for consumption?” They replied, “Some days, they slaughter 10 camels, while other days they slaughter nine.” Upon this, the Holy Prophetsa said, “They number between 900 and 1000.” The Holy Prophetsa made this estimation based on the number of camels they consumed. The Holy Prophetsa then asked them which chieftains of the Quraish were among them. They named a number of Quraishi chieftains, including Abu Jahl, ‘Utbah, Shaybah, Hakim bin Hizam, Umayyah bin Khalaf, and so on. The Holy Prophetsa then turned towards the people and said,
هَذَا مَكّةُ قَدْ أَلْقَتْ إِلَيْكُمْ أَفْلَاذَ كَبَدِهَا
“Observe, Mecca has thrown before you its heroes.”
(Ibn Hisham, Al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2001], pp. 421-422; Atlas Sirat Nabawisa, p. 216, Dar al-Islam, 1424 AH; Abu Bakr Jabir al-Jaza’iri, Habib Do Alam [translated], p. 185, Zia al-Quran Publications, Lahore, 2015; Allamah Burhan Halabi, Ghazwat al-Nabisa, p. 81, Dar al-Isha‘at, Karachi, 2001)
Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra has also written about this in the following words:
“The Holy Prophetsa addressed the Companions, saying:
هَذَا مَكّةُ قَدْ أَلْقَتْ إِلَيْكُمْ أَفْلَاذَ كَبَدِهَا
“‘Here you are! Mecca has thrown before you its greatest heroes.’ These were immensely intelligent and wise words, which the Holy Prophetsa uttered spontaneously. The reason being, that instead of the weaker Muslims becoming disheartened upon hearing the names of so many renowned chieftains of the Quraish, these words led their faculty of perception to believe as if God had sent these leaders of the Quraish to serve as prey for the Muslims.” (Sirat Khatam-un-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, p. 356, 1996 Edition)
Following this, the Holy Prophetsa ordered his army to march ahead so that they could reach the well of Badr before the arrival of the idolaters and so that the idolaters would not get the upper hand. Hence, the Holy Prophetsa reached the closest well to Badr at Isha time. (Maulana Safi al-Rahman Mubarakpuri, Al-Rahiq al-Makhtum, p. 288, Al-Maktabah al-Salafiyyah, Lahore)
On this occasion, Hazrat Hubbab bin al-Mundhirra made a suggestion. When the Holy Prophetsa reached the closest well to Badr, Hubbab bin al-Mundhirra said: “O Messengersa of Allah! Have you encamped here under divine command and that we should not move from this place, or is this merely your opinion and a war strategy?” The Holy Prophetsa replied: “This is based on conjecture and merely a war strategy.” Hearing this, Hubbab bin al-Mundhirra said: “This place is not ideal. It would be better to advance and take possession of the spring located closest to the Quraish. Furthermore, seal up all the other wells and prepare a reservoir for us. As a result, when we combat the enemy, we will have water and the enemy will not have any water.” The Holy Prophetsa said: “You are right,” and took the army to the closest well to the Quraish and set up camp. Under his orders, the remaining wells were sealed up and where the Muslims camped, a reservoir was made. This reference is from Sirat Ibn Hisham. (Ibn Hisham, Sirat Ibn Hisham [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2001], p. 424)
Having selected the place for setting up camp, the next stage was for preparing a place of rest for the Holy Prophetsa. Owing to the suggestion of Sa’d bin Mu’azra, leader of the Aus tribe, the companions prepared a canopy for the Holy Prophetsa on one side of the plain. Hazrat Sa’d bin Mu’azra said: “O Messengersa of Allah! Should we not prepare a canopy for you wherein you can rest?” (‘Ali bin Burhan al-Din al-Halabi, Al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2002], p. 213)
Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra has written a detailed account of this incident, which I have mentioned previously. However, it is necessary to mention it here as well.
“After a place to set up camp had been selected, upon the proposal of Sa‘d bin Mu‘azra, chieftain of the Aus, a sort of canopy was prepared for the Holy Prophetsa to one side of the field. Sa‘dra tied the mount of the Holy Prophetsa close to the tent and said:
“‘O Messengersa of Allah! Take a seat in this tent, and we shall fight the enemy in the name of Allah. If Allah grants us victory, then this is our very desire. But if, God-forbid, the matter takes a turn for the worse, then take your mount and reach Medina in any way possible. There you shall find our brethren and kindred, who are no less than us in love and sincerity. However, since they were unaware that they would be confronted by war in this campaign, they have not come along. Otherwise, they would never have remained behind. When they become aware of the state of affairs, they shall not desist in laying down their lives to protect you.’
“This was the passionate sincerity of Sa‘dra, which is worthy of praise in any case; but can it be fathomed that the Messengersa of Allah would ever flee from the field of battle? As such, in the field of Hunain, an army of 12,000 turned their backs, but this centre of Divine Unity (i.e., the Holy Prophetsa) did not shake an inch. In any case, the tent was prepared, and Sa‘dra, along with a few other Ansar, surrounded it and stood guard. The Holy Prophetsa retired to this tent along with Hazrat Abu Bakrra and they spent the night there. According to another narration, it is mentioned that Hazrat Abu Bakrra stood guard next to the Holy Prophetsa all night with an unsheathed sword. All night long, weeping and wailing, the Holy Prophetsa supplicated before Allah. It is written that in the entire army, it was only the Holy Prophetsa who remained awake all night. The rest were able to take some rest in turns.” (Sirat Khatam-un-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, p. 357, 1996 Edition; Mustafa ‘Abd al-Wahid, Subul al-Huda wa al-Rashad fi Sirat Khair al-‘Ibad, Vol. 11 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 1993], p. 398)
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra writes:
“When they reached the plains of Badr, the companions made an elevated area and asked the Holy Prophetsa to sit there. They then conferred amongst themselves to find out who had the fastest camel. Thus, they brought the fastest camel and tied it near the Holy Prophetsa. When the Holy Prophetsa saw this, he asked: ‘What is all this?’ They said: ‘O Messengersa of Allah! We are few in number and the enemy outnumbers us. We fear lest we all be martyred here. We do not worry for our own lives, O Messengersa of Allah, we are worried lest you suffer any pain. If all of us die, it will not affect Islam one bit, however, the future of Islam is dependent upon you. Therefore, it is vital for us to ensure the means for your protection. O Messengersa of Allah! We have appointed Abu Bakrra for your protection and tied a fast camel near to you. If, God forbid, a time comes where we are killed, one by one, then, O Messengersa of Allah, this camel is here, use this to reach Medina. Some of our brethren are present there, they did not know that a battle would take place. Had they known, they would have set out with us. You should go to them, they will protect you and you will be safeguarded from the enemy.” (Bani-e-Silsilah Ahmdiyya Koi Naya Deen Nahin Laye, Anwar al-‘Ulum, Vol. 15, pp. 244-245)
Nonetheless, the Holy Prophetsa would not have accepted this, nor would he be prepared to do it. But this was the love and passion of the companions.
Regarding this, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra has written:
“Hazrat Alira once said: ‘The most brave and courageous amongst the companions was Hazrat Abu Bakrra.’ He then said that during the Battle of Badr, when a separate canopy was made for the Holy Prophetsa, a question arose as to who would be assigned to guard the Holy Prophetsa. Upon this, Hazrat Abu Bakrra immediately stood up with his sword unsheathed. During this extremely delicate time, Hazrat Abu Bakrra stepped forward with the utmost bravery and courage to guard the Holy Prophetsa.” (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 7, pp. 364-265)
Nonetheless, the following morning, the Quraish advanced from their camps. When the Holy Prophetsa saw them, he prayed: “O Allah! The Quraish are here in all their pride and arrogance in order to fight against You and have declared Your Messengersa to be a liar! Fulfil the promise of Your succour that you have vouchsafed to me and destroy them this day.” Amongst the idolaters, the Holy Prophetsa saw that Utbah bin Rabi’ah was mounted on a red camel. The Holy Prophetsa said: “If any good can be expected from any of them, then it is the one riding the red camel. If they accept what he says, they will be guided to the right path.”
There is an incident of the disbelievers drinking from the reservoir made by the Muslims. Despite the fact that the Muslims had control over the water, when the Quraish descended upon the plains of Badr, the disbelievers began drinking from the reservoir of the Muslims. Among the disbelievers was Hakim bin Hizam as well. The Holy Prophetsa permitted them to drink water from it. On that day, every single person who drank from the reservoir was killed except for Hakim bin Hizam, who later accepted Islam. And whenever he would swear an oath, he would say: “I swear by the One Who saved me on the Day of Badr.” (Ibn Hisham, Sirat Ibn Hisham [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2001], p. 424)
With regards to arranging the rows for battle, it is mentioned that the Holy Prophetsa arranged the companions in rows for battle in the morning before the Quraish arrived. The Holy Prophetsa was arranging the rows using an arrow, and with it he would gesture to move forward or to step backwards so they became straight. The Holy Prophetsa handed the banner to Hazrat Mus’ab bin Umairra, who placed it where he was ordered to. When the Holy Prophetsa was arranging rows he was facing towards the West. (Mustafa ‘Abd al-Wahid, Subul al-Huda wa al-Rashad fi Sirat Khair al-‘Ibad, Dhikr Ghazwat Badr, Vol. 4 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 1993], p. 33)
During this time, while he was arranging the rows, an extraordinary incident related to Hazrat Suwad bin Ghaziyyahra took place, which demonstrated his love and affection for the Holy Prophetsa. It is written that during the Battle of Badr, when the Holy Prophetsa was arranging rows, he passed by Suwad bin Ghaziyyahra, who was outside of his row. The Holy Prophetsa pressed the arrow against his stomach and said: “O Suwad! Step in line.” Hazrat Suwadra said: “O Messengersa of Allah! You have caused me pain. Allah the Almighty has appointed you for the sake of upholding justice and equity. I wish to exact retribution, you hit me on my stomach with an arrow.” The Holy Prophetsa lifted the cloth from his stomach and said, “Take your revenge.” Hazrat Suwadra embraced the Holy Prophetsa and began kissing his body. The Holy Prophetsa said: “O Suwad! Why have you done this?” Hazrat Suwadra submitted: “O Messengersa of Allah! You can see what hour this is (i.e., it is time for war). I do not know if I will survive or not. I wished for my last moments to be spent wherein my body touches your blessed body.” (‘Ali bin Burhan al-Din al-Halabi, Al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah, Vol. 2, Bab Dhikr Maghaziyah [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2002], 220-221)
The Holy Prophetsa subsequently prayed for him. These were incidents of absolute love and devotion. The remaining incidents will be narrated in the future, insha-Allah.
Now I wish to mention some deceased members, the first of whom is respected Qari Muhammad Ashiq Sahib, who was a lecturer at Jamia Ahmadiyya and also oversaw Madrassatul Hifz as its Principal. He recently passed away at the age of 85.
اِنَّا لِلّٰہِ وَاِنَّاۤ اِلَيۡہِ رٰجِعُوۡنَ
[Surely, to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.]
By the grace of Allah the Almighty, he was a musi. After committing the Holy Quran to memory and learning its correct recitation, he taught at different madrassas of the Ahl-e-Hadith in various places in Pakistan before he accepted Ahmadiyyat. He accepted Ahmadiyyat of his own accord. Before pledging allegiance, Qari Ashiq Sahib belonged to the Ahl-e-Hadith sect. Qari Sahib had a book written about his own life in which he states: “In 1957, when I used to live in Karachi, I had some scholarly friends with whom I used to interact and would often go to them. There, I would read the newspaper and sit with some of the scholars as well. One day, as I was sitting there and reading the newspaper, someone who was studying a book of the Promised Messiahas said, ‘This is amazing.’ I asked, what was so great about it? He said, ‘Our scholars believe that certain Quranic verses can be abrogated, whereas Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani Sahib says that not even a single iota of the Holy Quran has been abrogated.’” Qari Sahib says, “This made me curious, so I decided to do some research to find out whether he was truthful or false.” Then, in the autobiography he had written, he says, “One day, in order to learn more about Ahmadiyyat, I went to the Ahmadiyya Hall in Karachi after prayers, where I met an Ahmadi. I told him that I wished to seek more information about certain matters in which we had differences of belief and requested that he help guide me. There was someone sitting there who took me from the Ahmadiyya Hall to his home. He gave me some books to read, and so I studied them and even showed a book to one of my scholarly friends, saying that this was exactly in accordance with Islam. The cleric said, ‘You have a very simple disposition; you are not aware, so I will inform you that the things that Mirza Sahib has written in his smaller books accord with Islam and these are the books that he wrote earlier on. However, in the lengthier books that Mirza Sahib wrote later on, he has written false thoughts and beliefs.” However, Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya was written right at the outset and exactly according to Islam, as were the other books. In any case, Qari Sahib returned to his contact and asked for a lengthier book, however, he presented some excuse and did not give a lengthier book, despite the fact that there is no discrepancy among the books of the Promised Messiahas, whether they are books from the beginning or those that were written later on. Allah the Almighty knows best what that Ahmadi’s reason was for not providing the books. In any case, Qari Sahib lost contact with him. Then, according to Qari Sahib’s autobiography, God’s special decree created a certain passion within his heart and Qari Sahib visited Rabwah on various occasions and kept in touch with the local Ahmadis. He also continued to pray and it was in this prayerful state that he saw many dreams. One of these dreams was:
إِسْمَعُوْا صَوْتَ السَّمَاءِ جَاءَ الْمَسِيْحُ
“Hearken to the call of the heavens; the Messiah has come!”
Qari Sahib says, “At the time, these words did not draw my attention towards Ahmadiyyat, however, after becoming an Ahmadi, I realised that those dreams were fulfilled.” This was also one of the many dreams that he saw. Qari Sahib writes, “When I look back at my life, I realise that it was nothing but the grace of Allah the Almighty that my attention was constantly drawn towards Ahmadiyyat and I was bestowed guidance.”
He then writes, “I met Sheikh Abdul Qadir Saudagarmal Sahib, a missionary serving in Lahore at the time, at an Ijtema [gathering] of Majlis Ansarullah.” He says, “On the first day of the Ijtema (at the time he had not yet pledged allegiance) I attended all of the programmes. Either on the second or third day of the Ijtema, I expressed my desire to pledge allegiance. Hence, we went to the office of Islah-o-Irshad Markaziyyah, where I completed the bai’at form and was thus enlightened with the light of Ahmadiyyat.” (Meri Dastan Martabah Hafiz Masroor Ahmad wa Muhammad Maqsood Ahmad, pp. 11-22, Zia al-Islam Press, , January 2013)
After accepting Ahmadiyyat, he had to face many trials, further compounded by the pressure from his non-Ahmadi students and teachers, who were trying to lure him back by even presenting him with various enticements and also inflicting hardships. Qari Sahib says, “After accepting Ahmadiyyat, I faced many difficulties along the way, however, Allah the Almighty kept me steadfast, and I continued to tread upon the path which He had taught. Allah the Almighty’s guidance was there, which is why no worldly enticement could lure me away from the true path. Many attempts were made to distance me from the Ahmadiyya Jamaat and to lure me back to the Ahl-e-Hadith, however, by the grace of Allah, despite their great attempts, they failed in their attempts to lure me back because of the degree of faith which I had attained.” (Ibid., p. 27)
He married a widow who already had three children. He also had one daughter with her. With regards to his services to the Jamaat he writes, “I met Sufi Khuda Bakhsh Zirvi Sahib at the mosque one day and he told me that Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmadrh, who was the Waqf-e-Jadid in-charge at the time, sent a message for him to take me to Rabwah.” He had pledged allegiance by this time. He says, “When I went to him, he first listened to my recitation of the Holy Quran and then assigned me the duty of teaching the mu’allimin of Waqf-e-Jadid the recitation of the Holy Quran with the proper rules and also arranged my accommodation in Waqf-e-Jadid. This was in 1964.” (Ibid., pp. 27-28)
He says that he was officially appointed as a mu’allim under Waqf-e-Jadid in January 1965. During this time, the final-year students of Jamia Ahmadiyya used to come to him at the Waqf-e-Jadid office to study the Holy Quran. Later, upon the request of respected Mir Daud Ahmad Sahib, who was the Principal of Jamia Ahmadiyya at the time, Qari Sahib started teaching at Jamia Ahmadiyya. Along with Jamia, he also taught at the Nusrat Girls College, which was a college of the Jamaat, while observing the requirements of purdah [the veil]. (Ibid., pp. 35-36)
In January 1969, Hafiz Shafiq Sahib, who was the person in-charge of the Hafiz Class passed away, and so the Jamia Principal Mir Daud Ahmad Sahib asked Hafiz Sahib to teach the class. In those days, this class used to be taught in Masjid Mubarak. I also remember that the boys would be sitting in the mosque committing the Holy Quran to memory. Then, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh also appointed Qari Sahib to the Hafiz Class. He granted approval and also wrote that he would continue teaching in Waqf-e-Jadid while also teaching the Hafiz Class. Hence, on 11 June 1969 he was officially appointed to the Hafiz Class. (Ibid., pp. 40-41)
He retired in 1998. (Ibid., p. 52)
However, he continued teaching at Madrassatul Hifz and Madrassatuz Zafar until 2019. On the blessed occasion of Jalsa Salana 1964, he had the opportunity to recite the Holy Quran for the first time [at Jalsa Salana].
Qari Sahib writes that in February 1965, he had the honour of meeting Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra. In relation to this historic meeting, he would say, “I had the opportunity to shake his hand and this was a life-changing moment for me. The Private Secretary introduced me to Huzoor and said, ‘This is Qari Muhammad Ashiq Sahib, who has recently converted to Ahmadiyyat.’ Whilst he was introducing me, Huzoor was looking upon me in a very loving manner and at the same time I was also looking at him whilst holding his blessed hand.” (Ibid., pp. 28-30)
For a period of 15 years, Qari Sahib was assigned the duty of leading the Taravih prayer in the Mubarak Mosque during the blessed months of Ramadan. Maulana Abdul Malik Khan Sahib, Nazir Islah-o-Irshad Markaziyyah, once said to him that the reason why he was always assigned the duty of leading the Tahajjud and Taravih prayers was that Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh liked his recitation of the Holy Quran. (Ibid., pp. 35-37)
He has many students who are now living in various parts of the world. They have also sent me their letters about him and how they benefitted from his qualities and knowledge. May Allah the Almighty elevate the rank of the deceased and enable his progeny to also instil the habit of prayer and sincerity, just as he desired.
The next mention is of Noor-ul-Din Al-Husni Sahib, who was a long-standing member of the Ahmadiyya Community in Syria and was currently residing in Saudi Arabia. For many years, he was imprisoned in Saudi Arabia owing to his being an Ahmadi. Despite his illnesses and the hardships he had to endure, he remained steadfast upon his faith and he passed away whilst still in prison on 25th May at the age of 82.
اِنَّا لِلّٰہِ وَاِنَّاۤ اِلَيۡہِ رٰجِعُوۡنَ
[Surely, to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.]
The deceased’s father, Al-Hajj Abdul Rauf Al-Husni Sahib, did the bai‘at in 1938. The late respected Munir Al-Husni Sahib, former Amir of Jamaat in Syria, was the elder brother of Noor-ul-Din Al-Husni Sahib’s father. Right from his childhood, the deceased grew up in an environment filled with Islamic morals and traditions and a love for Khilafat. The deceased was 13 or 14 years of age when his father passed away. He spent a lot of time in the company of respected Munir Al-Husni Sahib and learnt a great deal about the Jamaat from him. In 1955, when Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra visited Damascus, he stayed at the house of the deceased’s uncle, Badr-ul-Din Al-Husni Sahib. During these days, the deceased also had the opportunity to recite the Holy Quran before Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra. He regularly kept fasts, particularly on Monday and Thursday. He had a great passion for the recitation of the Holy Quran. He never missed a single Tahajjud prayer. Even up until his final moments in prison, he remained steadfast upon his faith and attached to the Jamaat. He had complete faith that the help of Allah the Almighty would soon arrive. He would mention this to everyone who would meet him in prison. He is survived by his wife, who is not an Ahmadi, however, she remained loyal to her husband and offered a lot of sacrifices during the duration of his imprisonment. He has three sons, Abdul Rauf Al-Husni Sahib, Muhammad Maaz Al-Husni and Fawaz Al-Husni as well as a daughter, Zainab Al-Husni. He leaves behind many grandchildren and by the grace of Allah the Almighty, they are all sincere Ahmadis.
The deceased’s son, Maaz Al-Husni Sahib, says, “My father wanted all of us siblings to become fully satisfied and then enter the Jamaat and all praise is due to Allah; we have done the bai‘at with complete faith. When he was in Saudi Arabia, he searched for the Jamaat and he eventually met the late Hashim Sahib, (who lived in the UK and was working in Saudi Arabia). He remained in contact with him and, until his last breath, remained engaged in Jamaat work. He was very kind and openhearted and he would like to always help others.”
He further says, “In 2019, he was summoned and then imprisoned. After a great deal of effort and struggle, we eventually learnt that our father had been imprisoned for being an Ahmadi and for doing tabligh on social media. For two years, we made every effort to try and get him released from prison and sought the help of many lawyers. They also passed a verdict for his release and he came out of prison as well, but just a few hours later, the police called him and told him to come to the police station, where they arrested him once again. This time, they made him endure even greater hardships than before. He was not allowed to meet anyone and was not even allowed to speak to anyone on the phone. Due to his old age, his health was very frail and he would often go to the hospital, but even then he was not able to meet his family members.”
His eldest son, Abdul Rauf Al-Husni, who lives in Canada, says that he had a bond of great sincerity and loyalty with the Jamaat. He was very firm on his beliefs and he also made particular mention of his worship and sincerity. He has mentioned some further details and writes that in 2016, when he was imprisoned, he was fasting at the time, and even then, he did not break open his fast despite knowing that he would have to endure a lot of hardship in prison. When the prison officer offered him water, he told him that he was fasting. He then sought permission so he could offer his Asr prayer and the officer granted him permission. He then offered his prayer in front of him, upon which the prison officer remarked that he prayed just like they did. In any case, this had such an impact on him that he released him at the time. Later, in December 2019, the police arrested him again without telling him the reason and he passed away whilst in prison. May Allah the Almighty grant him His forgiveness and mercy and elevate his rank. May Allah the Almighty also enable his progeny to adopt his good deeds and qualities. After the Friday prayers, I shall lead their funeral prayers [in absentia].
(The official Urdu transcript published in The Daily Al Fazl International, 14 July 2023, pp. 2-7. Translated by The Review of Religions.)