Friday Sermon – Muhammad (sa): The Great Exemplar (29 December 2023)


Friday Sermon

29 December 2023

Muhammadsa: The Great Exemplar

Mubarak Mosque

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

Today, I will continue to present further details regarding the Battle of Uhud. As mentioned previously, because the mountain pass was vacated, the disbelievers launched an attack from behind and overturned the outcome of the war. The enemy’s attack was extremely dangerous. What was the state of the resolve, courage and valour of the Holy Prophetsa at that moment? The details of this have been recorded as follows; when the outcome of the battle flipped, the Companions were unable to regroup owing to a state of confusion, panic and dismay. But even during this state of panic and dismay and despite being surrounded by the enemy from all sides, the Holy Prophetsa remained steadfast and firmly stood his ground. Seeing the Companions scatter in all directions in a state of panic, the Holy Prophetsa would continuously say: “O such and such! Come towards me, O such and such, come towards me. I am the Messenger of Allah!” All the while he was being showered with arrows from every direction.

In one narration, it is related that the Holy Prophetsa proclaimed loudly:

اَنَا النَّبِيُّ لَا کَذِبِ

اَنَا ابْنُ عَبْدِ الْمُطَّلِب

اَنَا ابْنُ الْعَوَاتِکْ

“I am the Prophet this is not a lie. I am the son of ‘Abdul Muttalib. I am the son of ‘Awatik.” In books of traditions and biographies, it is generally stated that the Holy Prophetsa said these words during the Battle of Hunayn. However, it is possible that he uttered these same words during [the Battle of] Uhud as well as Hunayn. (Sirah al-Halabiyyah, Vol. 2, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, p. 310)

The word “Awatik” has been mentioned here. “Awatik” is the plural of “Atikah” and there was more than one woman by the name of ‘Atikah among the ancestors, that is the maternal and paternal grandmothers of the Holy Prophetsa. Firstly, there was Atikah bint Hilal, the mother of ‘Abd Manaf. Secondly, there was Atikah bint Murrah, the mother of Hashim bin ‘Abd Manaf. Thirdly, there was Atikah bint Auqis, the mother of Wahab, i.e., the mother of Hazrat Aminah’s father.

According to one narration, there were nine women; three of them were from Banu Sulaim and the others belonged to other tribes and all of them were from the ancestors of the Holy Prophetsa. (Lughat al-Hadith, Vol. 3, p. 97, Nu’mani Kutub Khana, Lahore)

Detailing this incident, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra has written in The Lifeand Character of the Seal of Prophetssa:

“When the Companions of ‘Abdullah bin Jubairra saw that victory had been secured, they said to their Amīr, Abdullah, ‘Now victory has been secured and the Muslims are collecting spoils of war. Permit us to join the army as well.’ Abdullahra restrained them and reminded them of the strict order of the Holy Prophetsa, but they were becoming heedless in the joy of victory and therefore did not abstain, and left their positions, saying, ‘All that the Holy Prophetsa inferred was that the mountain pass should not be left empty until security fully prevailed, and now that victory has been clinched, there is nothing wrong with proceeding forward.’

“Hence, except for ‘Abdullah bin Jubairra and five or seven Companions, there remained no one to secure the mountain pass. When the sharp eye of Khalid bin Walid caught sight of the mountain pass from afar, he found it to be an empty field, upon which he quickly gathered his riders and immediately proceeded towards it. Behind him, Ikramah bin Abu Jahl also followed suit with whatever was left of the detachment, and quickly reached there. Both of these detachments instantly martyred ‘Abdullah bin Jubairra and the few Companions who stood by his side and suddenly attacked the Muslim army from the rear. Assured of their victory, the Muslims, who were unmindful and dispersed, became flustered by this sudden misfortune. Yet, despite this, they managed to regain themselves and attempted to fend off this attack by the disbelievers. At this instance, a cunning enemy called out, ‘O Ye Muslims! The disbelievers have launched an attack from the opposing front as well!’ (That is, an attack has been launched from there as well). Taken aback, the Muslims turned upon their heels again, and in a state of confusion, without thinking, they began to swing their swords at their own men.

“On the other side, when Amrah bint Alqamah, a brave woman from Mecca, witnessed this sight, she immediately moved forward, and took hold of the Quraish flag, which had until now been laying in the dust, and raised it into the air. Upon witnessing this, the dismembered army of the Quraish once again regrouped, and in this manner, the Muslims became completely surrounded by the enemy from all four sides. An awful state of panic erupted within the Muslim army.” This much has already been mentioned in the previous sermon; how they regrouped, how the attack was launched and who bore the flag. Nevertheless, he further states:

“The Holy Prophetsa who was witnessing this entire sight from an elevated location called out to the Muslims again and again, but his voice would drown in the noise and commotion. Historians write that all this transpired in such a short period of time, that most of the Muslims even began to attack each other, and no distinction remained between friend and foe. As such, certain Muslims were wounded at the hands of other Muslims, and (as was mentioned in the previous sermon) Yamanra, the father of Hudhaifahra, was even martyred accidentally by the Muslims. At the time, Hudhaifahra was present nearby. He continued to exclaim, ‘O Ye Muslims! This is my father,’ but at the time, who would pay heed? Afterwards, the Holy Prophetsa desired to pay the blood money for Yamanra on behalf of the Muslims, but Hudhaifahra refused to accept and said, ‘I forgive the Muslims for the blood of my father.’” (Life and Character of the Seal of Prophets, Vol. 2, pp. 332-334)

Whilst narrating this incident, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra states:

“It was a dark and dangerous moment when the Holy Prophetsa was injured, and such incidents transpired whereby the success of the Muslim army turned into a defeat. During this battle, there was a mountain pass where the Holy Prophetsa appointed and posted some of his Companions. He instructed them to not leave this mountain pass, no matter the outcome of the battle. When the army of the disbelievers scattered and fled, these Companions mistakenly judged that there was no more benefit in remaining there, and that they should also go and take part in the fighting. Their commander told them that the Holy Prophetsa strictly instructed them not to leave the mountain pass, however, they replied, ‘The Holy Prophetsa did not mean that we should remain there even when the battle is won. The meaning of his instruction was to remain here only as long as the battle was ongoing. But now that we are victorious and the enemy is fleeing, we should also try to attain some blessings of the fighting.’ Hence, the mountain pass was left unattended.

“Hazrat Khalid bin Walid, who at the time had not yet become a Muslim, was a young man with a very sharp eye. When he saw his army fleeing, he glanced back and found the mountain pass was empty. Seeing this, he turned back and attacked the Muslims from behind. As this attack was completely unexpected for the Muslims, they went into a state of complete shock, and as a result of being scattered, they were unable to successfully face the enemy.” (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 9, pp. 76-77)

Whilst mentioning this incident in the commentary of Surah an-Nur, verse 64, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra states:

“So let those who go against His command beware, lest a trial afflict them or a grievous punishment overtake them.” This is the translation of the verse. He then continues, “Therefore, observe how much harm was inflicted on the Muslim army because a command of the Holy Prophetsa was disobeyed during the Battle of Uhud, The Holy Prophetsa had appointed 50 people to guard a mountain pass. This mountain pass was so important that he called their commander Abdullah bin Jubair Ansari and said, ‘Whether we are killed or are victorious, you must not leave this mountain pass.’ However, when the disbelievers were defeated and the Muslims were pursuing them, the soldiers assigned to guard the mountain pass said to their commander, ‘We are now victorious. It is useless for us to remain here, so permit us to attain the blessings of taking part in the Jihad.’ Their commander explained to them, ‘Do not go against the command of the Holy Prophetsa. The Holy Prophetsa said that we are not to leave this mountain pass, whether we are victorious or defeated. I therefore cannot permit you to go.’ “They replied, ‘It was not the intention of the Holy Prophetsa that we should not move once the victory was attained. He only said this to emphasise the point. But now that the victory is at hand, we have no duty left here.’ They therefore gave precedence to their opinion over the command of the Messenger of Allahsa, and left the mountain pass. Only their commander and a few soldiers remained.

“When the army of the disbelievers were fleeing, Khalid bin Walid happened to look back and found the mountain pass to be unguarded. He called out to Amr bin al-Aas – the two of them had not yet accepted Islam – and said, ‘Look, this is the perfect opportunity. Come, let us turn back and attack the Muslim army.’ Hence, the two generals gathered their fleeing army and cutting through a flank of the Muslim army they climbed the mountain. The few Muslims that were left were no match for them and the enemies tore them to pieces. They then attacked the Muslim army from the rear. This attack by the enemy was so sudden that the Muslims, who were dispersed and relishing their victory, could not re-organise themselves. Only a few companions gathered around the Holy Prophetsa, who did not number more than 20. But for how long could they hold off the enemy? Eventually, owing to a unit of the disbelievers, the Muslim fighters were pushed back and the Holy Prophetsa was left isolated on the battlefield. In these circumstances, a stone hit the Holy Prophet’ssa helmet, which caused its rings to become lodged in his head, resulting in him falling unconscious into a ditch. Some evil individuals had dug up a ditch and covered it to cause harm to the Muslims. After this, a few other companions were martyred and their bodies fell upon the blessed body of the Holy Prophetsa. It was spread amongst the people that the Holy Prophetsa was martyred. However, the Companions that were pushed back by the attack of the disbelievers, once again gathered around the Holy Prophetsa when the disbelievers moved back. They pulled the Holy Prophetsa out of the ditch. After a short while, the Holy Prophetsa regained consciousness. He sent men to all four sides of the battlefield in order to assemble the Muslim army. He then took his Companions and gathered at the foot of the mountain.

“After gaining the upper hand, the Muslim army suffered a temporary loss, because a few people disobeyed an order of the Holy Prophetsa. Instead of acting according to the guidance of the Holy Prophetsa, they relied on their own inferences. If only they followed the command of the Holy Prophetsa like a pulse follows a heartbeat. Had they thought that the result of following the command of the Holy Prophetsa meant that every person would have to sacrifice their lives, they would consider that to be of no significance; owing to their own interpretation, had they not abandoned the mountain pass that the Holy Prophetsa strictly commanded not to leave, irrespective of whether they were victorious or defeated, then the enemy would not have had the opportunity to attack again and the Holy Prophetsa and the Companions would not have had to endure difficulty.” (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 6, pp. 410-411)

Allah the Almighty said that they suffered the consequences of disobedience and this was the result of it.

Then, in another place, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra has mentioned an exceptional commentary of Surah al-Kauthar. It is quite a detailed commentary in which he makes reference to this incident. He writes:

“During the Battle of Uhud, God Almighty gave the Muslims victory, after which the disbelievers ran away. Khalid bin Walid and Amr bin al-Aas, two extraordinary generals of Islam, had not yet accepted Islam and fought on the side of the disbelievers. The Holy Prophetsa appointed some Companions at the mountain pass and ordered them strictly not to move from that place, irrespective of whether they were victorious or were defeated; whether they remained alive or were killed, they were not to move from that spot. The Muslims, in those times and even today, have a passion for Jihad. When the Muslims gained victory, the people who were assigned to guard the mountain pass said to their leader: ‘Please permit us to fight in whatever Jihad is left. Islam is victorious and now there is no danger left.’ He replied: ‘The Holy Prophetsa commanded us, whether we are victorious or defeated, whether they live or are killed, we must not move from here. Therefore we must remain here.’ They said: ‘The Holy Prophetsa did not mean that even after victory we must remain here and not leave. He appointed us here as a precaution. The enemy has now run away, and Islam is victorious. Now there is no harm in us leaving this place and taking part in the Jihad that remains.’ Their leader said (and he said with great wisdom): ‘When a leader issues a directive, the subordinate does not have the right to make inferences based on their own intellect. The Holy Prophetsa instructed us not to leave from here, whether they win or lose, whether they live or are killed. He emphasised that we must not leave from here. Therefore, in accordance with his command, we must remain here.’ However, they insisted on their erroneous view and did not accept what he said. They said to their leader: ‘You can stay here if you wish. We are going.’ Hence, most of them left, leaving behind the leader and a few people with him.

“The army of the disbelievers was running away. Khalid bin Walid was extremely intelligent and always vigilant. He achieved extraordinary feats after accepting Islam and even for the disbelievers, he was an exceptional general. While he was running away with his army, he glanced over at the mountain pass and saw that it was vacant. Amr bin al-Aas was with him and he said to Amr; ‘This is an excellent opportunity’. Amr also looked back and turned his contingent around. Khalid bin Walid went around from one side and attacked the mountain pass, whereas Amr bin al-Aas attacked from the other. Slaying the Muslims on the mountain pass, they attacked the Muslim army from the rear. The Muslims considered themselves protected from the side of the mountain pass. They had become scattered and were no longer arranged in their rows. They were pursuing the remnants of the enemy army when, all of a sudden, Khalid bin Walid and Amr bin al-Aas attacked from the rear, which led to individual Muslims confronting entire contingents. Some Muslims were martyred, some were injured and those that remained lost their footing. Especially when the enemy continued the attack and reached the Holy Prophetsa, only 12 Companions were with the Holy Prophetsa. Both these generals, i.e., Khalid bin Walid and Amr bin al-Aas, called out to their other commanders to launch an attack. Thus, an army of 3,000 attacked in the form of a mob. At the time, the enemies were hurling stones, shooting arrows and swords were clashing, all the while there was a state of panic and confusion among the Muslim army. Given the circumstances, the Companions offered unparalleled sacrifices, but they could not withstand an attack of a reinvigorated army of 3,000 men. In this attack, the Holy Prophetsa lost two of his teeth, a rock hit his helmet and a ring became lodged in his head as a result of which he fell unconscious into a pit. The bodies of the Companions near the Holy Prophetsa fell on top of him and his blessed body became hidden underneath. There was an uproar among the Muslims that the Holy Prophetsa had been martyred. The Muslims were already in a state of panic, but hearing this news they lost all their remaining composure. However, it was the wisdom of Allah the Almighty that, when it became known amongst the disbelievers that the Holy Prophetsa had been martyred, they did not attack further. Rather, they deemed it best to immediately set out for Mecca and inform them of the good news that the Holy Prophetsa had been killed – God forbid.” (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 10, pp. 340-341, Surah al-Kauthar, Verse 2)

With regard to the bravery and steadfastness of the Holy Prophetsa, there is a narration by Miqdad bin Amr regarding the Battle of Uhud. He states, “By Allah, the idolaters killed [the Muslims] and inflicted many wounds upon the Holy Prophetsa. Let it be known, I swear by Him, Who has sent the Holy Prophetsa with the truth, the Holy Prophetsa did not move an inch and stood steadfast against the enemy. A party of his Companions would come towards the Holy Prophetsa but due to the onslaught from the enemy, they would become separated from him. (In other words, when the disbelievers would attack, the Companions would become dispersed and then regroup). The Holy Prophetsa would stand and continue to fire arrows with his bow and throw stones, until the idolaters would be forced back and he remained steadfast along with a group of his Companions.”

According to another narration, it is mentioned that the Holy Prophetsa remained resolute in his position and did not retreat even a single step. In fact, he continued to fight against the enemy and fired arrows at them with his bow, to the point that the bowstring snapped and the piece he was holding was no bigger than his hand. (i.e., the bowstring with which the arrows are fired snapped). Ukasha bin Mihsanra took the bow from the Holy Prophetsa in order to fix the bowstring but was unable to do so and stated, “O Messengersa of Allah! The bowstring is not long enough.” The Holy Prophetsa instructed him to pull the bowstring and it would reach the end. Ukashara narrates, “I swear by Him Who has sent him with the truth, when I pulled the bowstring it reached the other end and I wrapped it around the arc of the bow two or three times.” It was not long enough to reach the end, however perhaps miraculously it became long enough. Thereafter, the Holy Prophetsa took hold of his bow and continued to fire arrows and Abu Talhahra stood over the Holy Prophetsa and shielded him. The Holy Prophet’ssa bow then broke into pieces and he also ran out of arrows. Qutadah bin Nu’man took the bow and it always remained in his possession. The Holy Prophetsa then began to throw stones instead.

Nafi bin Jubair relates that he heard one of the Muhajirin say, “I took part in [the battle of] Uhud, and I witnessed arrows were being fired from all directions and the Holy Prophetsa was right in the middle of them. All of the arrows would fall away from the Holy Prophetsa. On that day, I saw Abdullah bin Shihab Zuhri and he was saying, ‘Show me where Muhammad is, for if he survives then I shall not survive.’ The Holy Prophetsa was right beside him at the time and there was nobody with the Holy Prophetsa at the time. When he went on ahead, Safwan bin Umayyah rebuked him upon which he stated, ‘By Allah, I did not see him.’ (Allah the Almighty was protecting the Holy Prophetsa in this manner). By Allah, he was kept protected from us. By Allah, there were four of us who left Mecca and we had vowed with one another to kill him [the Holy Prophetsa]. However, we were unable to reach him.”

Ibn Sa’d states that Abu Nimar Kinani stated, “I participated in the Battle of Uhud along with the idolaters and I had set five targets and would fire my arrows at them. I saw that the Holy Prophetsa was surrounded by his Companions and the arrows were falling to his left and right and some of them would land before him or go over him. Later, Allah the Almighty guided me towards Islam.” He later became a Muslim. (Taken from Subul al-Huda wa al-Rashad, Vol. 4, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, pp. 196-197)

In relation to this the Promised Messiahas states:

“The life of the Holy Prophetsa in Mecca is an extraordinary example. (The Promised Messiahas was mentioning this with reference to the bravery of the Holy Prophetsa). In one aspect, he had to endure hardship all his life. During the Battle of Uhud, the Holy Prophetsa stood on his own. During the battle, for the Holy Prophetsa to proclaim that he was the Messenger of Allah at such a time demonstrated his magnificence, courage and steadfastness.” (Malfuzat [1984], Vol. 2, p. 309)

Even whilst standing amidst the enemy, the Holy Prophetsa did not conceal his identity, in fact, he announced it to let everyone know.

The Promised Messiahas further states:

“The hardships which the prophets and saints experience are not like the curses and humiliation that has befallen the Jews which is owing to the chastisement and displeasure of Allah the Almighty. In fact, the prophets demonstrate a great model of courage. God Almighty did not have any enmity for Islam but ponder how the Holy Prophetsa was left all alone in the Battle of Uhud. The hidden wisdom behind this was so that the bravery of the Holy Prophetsa could be witnessed. The Holy Prophetsa stood all alone amidst an army of 10,000 and announced that he was the Messenger of Allah. No other prophet had the opportunity to demonstrate such an example.” (Malfuzat [2022], Vol. 2, pp. 172-173)

In the Battle of Uhud, there was an army of 3,000, but because this has been written in a newspaper, it is possible the Promised Messiahas made combined reference to two battles. In the Battle of Ahzab [Confederates], the disbelievers totalled 10,000 and in other battles, the enemies were in great numbers. Nonetheless, the main aspect that the Promised Messiahas is highlighting is the bravery and example of the Holy Prophetsa that even in front of the disbelievers he stood there alone. No other prophet had the opportunity to demonstrate this example.

The Promised Messiahas further states: 

“God Almighty is All-Powerful and can bestow strength to anything He wills. Thus, the ability to witness Him is manifested through His speech. It is owing to this very Divine discourse that the Prophets laid their lives before Him. Can one whose love is superficial do such a thing? No Prophet who has entered this field owing to this Divine discourse, then retreated from it or showed disloyalty. (In other words, when they have made their claim, they have remained firm upon it). People have offered many interpretations with regard to the incident in the Battle of Uhud. However, the fact of the matter is that this was the manifestation of God’s greatness and glory and apart from the Holy Prophetsa no one else had the power to withstand this. The Holy Prophetsa remained resolute whilst the other companions lost their footing. Just as the Holy Prophetsa was matchless in his sincerity and loyalty towards God, likewise one cannot find such an example of Divine support as was granted to the Holy Prophetsa.” (Malfuzat [2022], Vol. 5, p. 268)

I will, insha-Allah, continue to narrate further details in the future.

I would like to recount the good qualities of a servant of the Jamaat, one of our long-serving missionaries, Dr. Jalal Shams. I led his funeral prayer yesterday, but I would also like to mention a few things about him in the Friday Sermon as well. He was a very capable, intelligent, simple and loyal life-devotee. 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 graduated from Jamia Ahmadiyya with a Shahid degree in 1969 with very good marks. He initially served in various places in Pakistan and then upon the instruction of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh, he was sent to Islamabad, Pakistan to learn the Turkish language. Then, in order to pursue further studies in the Turkish language, he was sent to Turkey in 1974, where he obtained a PhD in the Turkish language with very good marks. He later moved to the UK upon the instruction of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh. He had the opportunity to serve as a missionary here in the UK and Germany. Many people have written about him from Turkey, Germany and the UK. He had a very wide circle of acquaintances and many people knew him. He was later also appointed as the In-charge of the Turkish Desk here in the UK and he continued to serve in this post right till his last breath with the utmost sincerity and dedication. Allah the Almighty had bestowed him with a great level of intelligence, aptitude and acumen. When he obtained his degree in Turkish, the University in Istanbul offered him a job as a professor. It was a very good job and they also offered a substantial amount in salary as well. Upon this, he sought guidance from Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh and Huzoorrh did not instruct him whether he should or should not go ahead with it but told him to instead pray and after deliberating on the matter, he should make a decision and see what he wants to do. And so, he prayed to Allah the Almighty and gave precedence to his life devotion and subsequently rejected the job offer. In 2002, while on an official visit to Turkey, he was arrested along with two other members for carrying out tabligh there. He had the honour of being imprisoned in the way of Allah for four and a half months. 

Among his notable achievements was translating the Holy Quran into Turkish alongside his colleagues. Apart from this, he translated dozens of the Promised Messiah’sas books and authored and translated many pamphlets, tracts and books into Turkish used for moral training and propagation. He was an academic and a scholar who was passionate about reading. He studied the books of the Promised Messiahas and the Caliphs in great depth. He would take notes on the books. Aside from the books of the Jamaat, he enjoyed reading books on other disciplines. He was perceptive and sagacious, and during his academic conversations with his friends and colleagues, he spoke very profoundly.

When he was faced with a difficulty or did not understand something, he did not allow arrogance to overcome him and even consulted with junior missionaries for assistance. He had the  God-given gift and skill of learning languages. Besides his native languages of Urdu and Punjabi, he acquired a PhD in Turkish and gained extraordinary expertise in the language. He was also able to speak English, Arabic, German, and Persian. In fact, on some occasions, when there was no one else available who was acquainted with the language, he would translate the proceedings of gatherings with Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh into Arabic. He could also speak Saraiki.

Early on, he would also do the live translation of the Friday sermon; rather, it was not a live translation, but instead he would translate the sermon immediately after it was delivered. Those who know Turkish well praised his standard and level of vocabulary. He was also very skilled in public speaking and writing. Nonetheless, he possessed many excellent qualities. He fulfilled the rights of Allah alongside the rights of mankind to a high standard. Whether one was related to him or not, he treated everyone with love and many people have written to me in this regard. He was sympathetic and sociable. His meetings with others would leave lasting impressions on them. He had full faith and trust in Allah. He discretely helped the poor and those in need. He had a profound love for Khilafat. He saw true dreams and visions. He remained occupied in the remembrance of God. May Allah the Almighty elevate his station. May He grant his wife and children patience and fortitude, and enable them to carry on his virtues.

There are three other deceased members whose funeral prayers in absentia I will lead. The first among them is Muhammad Ibrahim Bhambri Sahib. He passed away a few days ago at the age of 106 years.

اِنَّا لِلّٰہِ وَاِنَّاۤ اِلَيۡہِ رٰجِعُوۡنَ

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

According to some records, his age was 106, while others put his age at 109. Nonetheless, he was at least 106 years old. By the grace of Allah the Almighty, he was a musi. Ahmadiyyat entered his family through his father, Chaudhry Abdul Karim Sahib, who pledged allegiance in 1918 or 1919.

Whilst mentioning his father’s pledge of allegiance, Ibrahim Bhambri sahib writes, “By the grace of Allah the Almighty, my family entered the fold of Ahmadiyyat through my father. Prior to that, my father belonged to the Ahl-e-Hadith sect. In 1918, his vision became very weak as he developed cataract. For his treatment, he went to the Noor Hospital in Qadian. Because my father was well-known, people quickly heard that Chaudhry Abdul Karim was admitted to the hospital and many people came to visit him. Master Abdur Rahman, Mehar Singh, and other respectable figures also came to visit from time to time out of respect for Chaudhry Sahib. Those respectable visitors also began to preach to him.”

He further writes, “It became clear to my father that Jesusas has passed away. His heart had accepted that Jesusas is not alive and has, in fact, passed away. Thus, his heart accepted that the Promised Messiahas was truthful because Jesusas had passed away, and the advent of the Promised Messiah is the need of the time. This is the era for the advent of the Promised Messiah, if he did not come, then when would he appear? He pledged allegiance in Qadian whilst he was still unwell. When he returned to his village, Bhambri, the people learned that he had accepted Ahmadiyyat and came to meet him to express their regret. The people said, ‘O Mian Abdul Karim, if we had known you would become a “Mirzai” [Ahmadi] after travelling to Qadian, we would have allowed you to go blind as long as it prevented you from going to Qadian.’” His father would reply by saying, “My sense of sight has sharpened along with my spiritual eyesight.” He would also say, “Spiritual eyesight is more important that physical sight. I cannot thank Allah the Almighty enough for guiding me to the right path. I can openly testify that the Promised Messiahas is true.”

Nonetheless, there was a lot of malice in the hearts of the villagers towards the Promised Messiahas. The clerics had poisoned their minds to such a degree that they would say, “If you claim to be the Mahdi, we will accept you, but we will not accept Mirza Ghulam Ahmad.” Upon this, his father would say, “Observe, then, that the fact that I have accepted him – and rightfully so – is a sign of his truthfulness. Thus, you should also accept him.”

In 1926, Bhambri Sahib’s father enrolled Bhambri Sahib and his brother in Madrasa-e-Ahmadiyya in Qadian. They would travel five miles every day to come to study at school. His father passed away in 1931 and his brothers tried to convince his mother not to send the two brothers, Ibrahim Bahambri Sahib and his younger brother, to Qadian saying that they had to travel very far and they would instead enrol them into a school that was closer. However, their mother said, “I cannot do that. Their father enrolled them in Madrassah Ahmadiyya and now they will remain in Madrassah Ahmadiyya.” And so he said that they continued going to Qadian.

Then after completing his studies at the Madrasah in Qadian, he joined Jamia Ahmadiyya, as at that time it was possible to enrol in Jamia after the seventh grade. Then, in 1941, he privately completed his matriculation examination. In 1939, he passed the Maulvi Fazil exam. He had memorised the entire qaseedah by the Promised Messiahas; he had memorised many poems from Kalam-e-Mahmud and Durr-e-Thamin. He had also memorised many quotations and he was able to cite references instantly.

In 1939, after passing the Maulvi Fazil exam from Punjab University he dedicated his life. When he went to see the Second Caliphra he said, “Learn office work.” On 1 January 1944, he was appointed as a religious studies and Arabic teacher at Madrassah Ahmadiyya. From 1941 to 1947, he served the Community. For three years, from 1941 to 1944, he worked as Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad’sra personal secretary. He then also served in the Nazarat Baitul Maal, as Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra had advised him to learn office work.

Then, in 1947, he was appointed as a professor at Talimul Islam High School in Qadian and then, after the partition, he was able to serve in Talimul Islam High School Rabwah where he served until 1974. Then, in 1974, he retired from the school and from 1975 to 1994, he served in the Waqf-e-Jadid department as Inspector Waqf-e-Jadid Nazim Irshad. He also worked with Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh – Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmadrh and upon his instruction, he would visit various places in order to settle various matters. He undertook the responsibility of teaching mu’allimeen [local teachers]. He served as the local president of the Dar-un-Nasr neighbourhood for over fifty years. He was the Imamus Salat and he would also lead the Taraweeh prayers. He had memorised a large part of the Holy Quran.

One of his daughters says, “His treatment of relatives was exemplary. The children of any of our relatives who lived outside of Rabwah would stay at our home in order to obtain an education. The secret to his long, blessed and active life was waking up early in the morning for Fajr, being occupied in the remembrance of Allah, walking, riding his bicycle to and from school and his work. He had a very simple diet and he always remained content and patient. He had immense and true love for the Caliphs.”

She says, “All of us children were abroad. When we would tell him that he should also move abroad, he would say that he needed to visit and pray daily at the grave of Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra and so he could not move abroad. He had a special love and attachment with Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra. Whenever someone came to him requesting for prayers he would first say that they should write a letter to the Caliph of the time and then he would raise his hands pray. Then he would raise his hands and pray for that person. Before sleeping, he would recite all the couplets of the qasidah “Ya Aina Faidillahi wa al-Irfani” by the Promised Messiahas. He would recite it in its entirety before sleeping.”

Then she writes, “My father often recalled a dream which his father (meaning his daughter’s grandfather) had seen; [the grandfather related] ‘Ibrahim was climbing on top of a date tree and I was worried that he might fall, but as I watch on, he reached the top of the tree’ and so my father interpreted that dream to mean his long life and increasing of knowledge.”

Sheikh Mubarak Ahmad, who is the Nazir Diwan, Pakistan, writes, “I was also his student, and I also taught alongside him at a school for five years, as a teacher. In boarding school, Bhambri Sahib worked as a tutor, and he worked there for a long time. Whether they were Ahmadi or non-Ahmadi, he would treat all the students of the boarding school with love and compassion. He would adopt a specific style of training in accordance with every student’s attitude and personality. The students would also get attached to him very quickly and would treat him with the same respect and dignity as they would their father. He would spend the majority of his time in the boarding school. He would lead the prayers. He would especially focus on the prayers of every student, and he was very loving and compassionate.” I was also his student and he was strict with me as well. In fact, when I became Nazir-e-A’la, I would remind him of his strictness, and he would laugh. But alongside [the discipline] he was also sympathetic and his intention was always to achieve reformation.

He honourably performed the responsibilities of being the local president, and he would often remark, “I know of all of the houses in which there is no male figure, or the women live alone. When the men of the house are travelling, I reach out to all those houses on my way to the market, so that if they have any task in the city, they can tell me.” He had a bag, a pen and a piece of paper; they would write down the things that they needed me to bring. Then he would also drop things off and deliver the groceries to each house. If there was someone who wrote a letter, he would post the letter at the post office. If letters arrived, then he would bring them from the post office, and deliver them to the relevant house. If someone asked him to read the letter out loud, because they could not read, he would also read the letter out loud for them. He was extremely trustworthy; he would not talk about the private matters of anyone with others. Since he was the local president of the area, some wives would present certain cases to him, and would mention the weaknesses of their husbands. So, without telling the husbands, he would search for a good moment, give advice [to the men], and explain the issue to them.

Thus, the people in the neighbourhood, whether they were men, women or children, would find him to be like a gracious father. This is the true manner in which office bearers should amicably live with others and should try to reform them. He would also advise missionaries that they should memorise poems as well, and that they should read the poetry of the Promised Messiahas as it contains advice. He himself would say “I read the qasidah every night, and then go to sleep.” Thus, this also serves as advice for missionaries.

In his life, one of his daughters was martyred as she came to Rabwah from a village, and he endured this grief with great patience and tranquillity. Then another daughter of his passed away in London, and at the time he was unwell. Her body was brought to Rabwah. At that time, he again endured this grief with a lot of patience, rather, he would himself instruct others to be patient.

Nonetheless, he lived a successful life in every way, and lived a long life, and would often say that the next abode is much better than this life. May Allah the Almighty elevate his status in heaven and enable his progeny to carry on his virtues.

The next funeral prayer that I will lead, is of Yusuf Jaray from Ghana. He passed away a few days ago.

اِنَّا لِلّٰہِ وَاِنَّاۤ اِلَيۡہِ رٰجِعُوۡنَ

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

The Amir and missionary-in-charge of Ghana writes that the deceased was a Musi and was a pious Ahmadi. He held different offices and was blessed with countless opportunities to serve the Jamaat. At the time of his passing, he was also serving as the chairman of two Ahmadi senior high school boards. He worked with the Talim Department. Prior to his retirement, he also served as headmaster of the Ahmadiyya senior high schools in Potsin and Kumasi.

Yusuf Sahib was also blessed to serve as the Sadr Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya Ghana and was also serving in this role during Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IV’srh tour of Ghana in 1988. He rendered great services in the Department of Security. The deceased had strong ties with the Talim Department and always strove to improve the education of the Ahmadi youth. One of his grandchildren is a missionary and is currently serving the Jamaat. May Allah the Almighty bestow Him with mercy and forgiveness.

The next mention is of Al-Hajj Uthman bin Adam of Ghana. He also passed away recently at the age of 81 years.

اِنَّا لِلّٰہِ وَاِنَّاۤ اِلَيۡہِ رٰجِعُوۡنَ

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

Regarding him, the Amir and missionary-in-charge writes: “He was a member of the institution of Wasiyyat and was a very pious Ahmadi. He was regular in his daily prayers, and in offering his financial contributions. He would go above and beyond in participating in Jamaat work, was truly devoted to Khilafat, and strived to inculcate this very same passion in his children. He would heavily focus on the religious and secular knowledge of his children. He also played a big role in the translation of the Holy Quran into the Fanti language.” He translated the Holy Quran into the Fanti language and played a big part in this.

His wife says that the deceased had a very patient disposition and was very loving. In 2012, by the grace of Allah, he had the opportunity to perform the Hajj. He taught many members of the Jamaat how to read the Holy Quran. May Allah the Almighty bestow His forgiveness and mercy upon him and enable his progeny to carry on his good deeds.

(Official Urdu published in the Daily Al Fazl International, 19 January 2024, pp. 2-7. Translated by The Review of Religions.)

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