Friday Sermon – Muhammad (sa): The great exemplar (30 June 2023)


Friday Sermon

30 June 2023

Muhammadsa: The great exemplar

Mubarak Mosque

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

The incident of Sawad bin Ghaziyah’sra unique expression of love for the Holy Prophetsa was mentioned in the previous sermon. Further details about this are as follows:

Sawad bin Ghaziyahra returned victorious from this battle and imprisoned an individual from the idolaters named Khalid bin Hisham. Later on, the Holy Prophetsa appointed him to collect the spoils of war from the Battle of Khaibar. According to some narrations, the aforementioned incident is attributed to Sawad bin ‘Amrra and not Hazrat Sawad bin Ghaziyahra. However, it appears that the incident attributed to Sawad bin ‘Amr is different and in most books of history and biographies of the Holy Prophetsa, this incident has mostly been attributed to Sawad bin Ghaziyahra. (Usd al-Ghabah, Vol. 2, p. 590, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut)

Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra has mentioned details of this incident in The Life and Character of the Seal of Prophets as follows:

“It was Friday, 17 Ramadan, 2 A.H. or 14 March, 623 A.D., according to the Christian calendar system. In the morning, Salat was first offered and then these worshippers of Divine Unity fell into prostration before the One God, in an open field. After this, the Holy Prophetsa delivered an address on Jihad. When light began to appear, the Holy Prophetsa began to arrange the Muslim ranks with the indication of an arrow. A Companion by the name of Sawad was standing somewhat ahead of his row. The Holy Prophetsa used his arrow to indicate that he should move back in line. It so happened however, that the wooden part of the arrow belonging to the Holy Prophetsa touched his chest, whereupon he boldly protested, ‘O Messengersa of Allah! God has sent you with the truth and justice, but you have unjustly poked me with your arrow. By God, I insist upon retribution.’ The Companions were shocked, as to what had come over Sawad. However, the Holy Prophetsa stated with extreme affection, ‘Alright Sawad, you may poke me with an arrow as well,’ and the Holy Prophetsa lifted the cloth upon his chest. In his immense love, Sawad stepped forward and kissed the chest of the Holy Prophetsa. The Holy Prophetsa smiled and enquired, ‘Sawad, why did you devise this plan?’ He responded with a trembling voice, ‘O Messengersa of Allah! The enemy is before us. There is no telling whether I shall live to return or not. It was my desire, therefore, to touch your blessed body before my martyrdom.” (The Life & Character of the Seal of Prophets, Vol. 2, pp. 143-144)

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra has mentioned a similar incident near the time of the demise of the Holy Prophetsa. The incident he mentioned, which is similar to this, referred to the time close to the demise of the Holy Prophetsa and did not take place during the Battle of Badr. Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:

“When the time of the demise of the Holy Prophetsa drew near, he gathered his Companions and said, ‘I am human just like you. It may well be that some shortcomings remain in discharging your rights and I may have caused you harm. Instead of going before God Almighty in a state of you holding a claim against me, I say to you that if I have caused any one of you any harm, he may avenge himself in this very world.’

“Given how much the Companions loved the Holy Prophetsa, one can imagine how hearing these words of the Holy Prophetsa would have pierced their hearts and the emotional state that would have overcome them. This is indeed what happened. The Companions were overcome with emotion. Tears flowed from their eyes and it became difficult for them to speak. However, one Companion stood and said, ‘O Messengersa of Allah, since you have asked whether you caused any harm to anyone, and if so, they can seek retribution, I wish to seek a retribution from you.’

“The Holy Prophetsa said, ‘Yes, tell me quickly, what harm have I caused you?’ The Companion said, ‘O Messengersa of Allah, during a certain battle, you were arranging the ranks and in order to move forward you had to move past one of the rows. As you passed the row to move forward, your elbow hit my back. Today I wish to seek retribution for this.’ The Companions state, ‘We had begun to draw our swords out of anger, and our eyes were bloodshot with anger. Had the Holy Prophetsa not been in our midst at that time, we would have surely cut him to pieces.’ However, the Holy Prophetsa turned his back towards him and said, ‘Here, take your retribution and strike me with your elbow in the same way.’ That man said, ‘O Messengersa of Allah, not yet. When your elbow struck me, my back was bare, whereas your back is covered by your shirt.’ The Holy Prophetsa said, ‘Lift my shirt from my back so that this person may take his retribution.’ When the Companions lifted the Holy Prophet’ssa shirt from his back, with trembling lips and flowing tears, that Companion moved forward and in a display of affection, kissed the Holy Prophet’ssa bare back and said, ‘O Messengersa of Allah, how could such an insignificant servant take retribution? As soon as I learned from you that perhaps the perilous hour is drawing near, thinking about which causes the hairs on the backs of our necks to stand, I desired for my lips to touch that blessed body which God has made the culmination of all His blessings, and so I used the touching of the elbow as an excuse to be able to kiss you one last time. O Messengersa of Allah, what is the matter with being struck by an elbow; everything we have is sacrificed for you. I merely used this as an excuse so that I may have an opportunity to kiss you.’ The Companions who, at one point, were ready to kill this man and had become infuriated with what he had said; upon seeing all of this unfold and realising that there was something completely different in his heart, said, ‘All of us became angry with ourselves, wondering why did we not come up with this in order to kiss our beloved.’”

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states, “This was our guide, our leader (the Holy Prophetsa), who established an example for us in every facet of life, the like of which cannot be found in any other prophet.” (Uswah-e-HasanahAnwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 17, pp. 128-130)

Regarding the Companions’ slogans during the Battle of Badr, it is recorded by Hazrat Urwahra bin Zubair who states: “On the day of the battle, the slogan of the Muhajirin was ‘O Banu Abdur Rahman’. The slogan of the Khazraj tribe was ‘O Banu Abdullah’ while the slogan of the Aus was, ‘O Banu Ubaidullah’. The Holy Prophetsa gave his cavalry the name, ‘Khailullah’. There is also a narration which states that on that day, everyone’s slogan was:

يَا مَنْصُوْرُ اَمِتْ

‘O Mansoor! Kill them.’” (Subul al-Huda wa al-Rashad, Bab Ghazwah Badr al-Kubra, Vol. 4, p. 44, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah Beirut, 1993)

According to one narration, during the Battle of Badr, the slogan of the Ansar of Medina, or as I mentioned the identifying call, was “Ahad, Ahad” [One]. This was chosen so that in the darkness of the night or during fierce battle, they could be identified as Ansar by this slogan. Similarly, the slogan or battle cry of the Muhajirin was ‘O Banu Abdur Rahman.’” (Al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah, Vol. 2, p. 242, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut 2002)

Further details regarding the Holy Prophet’ssa guidance in relation to the war has been mentioned as follows: when the Holy Prophetsa had arranged the ranks, he told his Companions, “Do not attack until I give the order, and if the enemy draws close to you, move them back by shooting arrows at them, because arrows shot from a distance usually prove to be useless and the arrows go to waste. Similarly, do not swing your swords until the enemy is very close.”

There is mention of a sermon delivered by the Holy Prophetsa. The Holy Prophetsa delivered a sermon to the Companions in which he drew attention towards Jihad and enjoined patience. He then said, “By remaining patient in times of hardship, Allah the Almighty removes worries and grants salvation from sorrow.” (Al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah, Bab Zikr al-Maghaziyahsa Vol. 2 p. 221, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah 2002; Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 2 p. 32, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah Beirut)

At another instance, the details of this sermon delivered by the Holy Prophetsa have been recorded as follows:

The Holy Prophetsa praised and glorified Allah the Almighty and then said, “I incite you towards that which Allah the Almighty incites you and I forbid you from that which He has forbidden you. Allah the Almighty, Who is Most Supreme and Superior to all gives you the message of truth. He prefers truthfulness and grants lofty stations in His nearness to those who are virtuous. Along with this, they are remembered and they vie with one other in excelling each other. Today, you have reached a rank of the many ranks of truth, and Allah the Almighty only accepts that which is done for the sake of His pleasure. Showing patience in times of hardship is something by which Allah removes sorrow and saves one from pain. You will find salvation in the hereafter with it, you will find salvation by means of it (i.e. by showing patience). The Prophetsa of Allah is present among you, who warns you and commands you to fear Allah, lest He comes to know something about you which becomes the reason for His displeasure. Allah the Almighty states:

لَمَقۡتُ اللّٰہِ اَکۡبَرُ مِنۡ مَّقۡتِکُمۡ اَنۡفُسَکُمۡ

‘The abhorrence of Allah was greater than your own abhorrence of yourselves.’ (40:11)

Look towards that which He has commanded you in the Book; He showed you His signs and granted you honour after humiliation. Hold firmly to Allah so that He may be pleased with you. Fulfil the trial of your Lord in this place. You will become worthy of His mercy and forgiveness which He has promised you. Whatever He promises is true, His word is the truth, His punishment is severe. You and I are with Allah Who is Living and Self-Subsisting. We pray to Him for our victory, we hold fast to his threshold and place our complete trust in Him. To Him shall we all return. May Allah the Almighty grant forgiveness to all of us, and to all Muslims.” (Subul al-Huda wa al-Rashad, Bab Ghazwatu Badr al-Kubra, Vol. 4 p. 34, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut 1993) This was the detailed version.

During the battle, the Holy Prophetsa prohibited the killing of certain people. In this regard, Hazrat Ibn Abbas relates, “On the day of the Battle of Badr, the Holy Prophetsa addressed his Companions and said, ‘I have come to know that the Banu Hashim and a few others have been coerced to accompany the Quraish. They have not come of their own volition and do not wish to fight against us. Those of you who encounter any man from the Banu Hashim should not kill him, and whoever encounters Abu al-Bakhtari should not kill him, and whoever encounters Abbas bin Abdul Muttalib (the Holy Prophet’ssa paternal uncle) should not kill him; these people have been forced to accompany the Quraish.’” Hazrat Ibn Abbas further relates, “Hazrat Abu Huzaifah bin Utbah remarked, ‘Shall we kill our fathers, sons, brothers and other relatives and spare Abbas? By Allah, if I encounter Abbas I will surely end his life with my sword.’” The narrator reports that when the Holy Prophetsa was informed about this, he addressed Hazrat Umar bin Khattabra and said, “O Abu Hafs!” Hazrat Umarra says, “This was the first day that the Holy Prophetsa addressed me with this title.” The Holy Prophetsa said, “Will the uncle of the Prophet of Allah be struck down by a sword?” Hazrat Umarra submitted, “O Messengersa of Allah! Allow me to sever his head. (i.e. referring to Abu Huzaifah who had shown hypocrisy) By Allah, he (i.e. Abu Huzaifah) has shown signs of hypocrisy,” Afterwards, Abu Huzaifah used to say, “I was constantly troubled on account of the words I uttered that day. I was always anxious about it except that I hoped my martyrdom would serve as expiation.” It so happened that Abu Huzaifah was martyred in the battle of Yamamah. (Sirat Ibn Hisham, p. 429, Bab Ghazwah Badr, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut 2001)

Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra writes:

“The Holy Prophetsa addressed the Companions and said:

“‘There are some people among the army of the Quraish who have not come to participate in this campaign with pleasure; rather, they have only come along under the pressure of the chieftains of the Quraish. They are not our enemy. Similarly, there are also such people in this army, who in our time of hardship, dealt with us generously when we were in Makkah. It is our obligation to repay their benevolence they conferred upon us while we were in Makkah. As such, if a Muslim subdues any such individual, he should not cause him any harm.’

“Among the first category of people, the Holy Prophetsa specifically mentioned the name of Abbas bin Abdul-Muttalib and in the second category of people, he mentioned the name of Abu al-Bakhtari, and forbade their killing. (this is because they used to help the Muslims and grant them ease) However, the course of events took such an unavoidable turn that Abu al-Bakhtari could not be spared from death. Nonetheless, prior to his death he found out that the Holy Prophetsa had forbidden his killing.”  (The Life & Character of the Seal of Prophets, Vol. 2, pp. 149-150)

Historical records show that following this, the Holy Prophetsa returned to his tent and engaged in prayer once again. This was a place prepared especially for him. Hazrat Abu Bakrra was also present, and the tent was being protected by a group of Ansar under the leadership of Hazrat Sa’dra bin Mu’az. (Al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah, Zikr Maghaziyyah, Vol. 2, p. 221, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut 2002)

Hazrat Ibn Abbasra reports, “On the day of Badr, while he was in a large tent, the Holy Prophetsa said,

اللّٰھُمَّ اِنِّيْ أَنْشُدُکَ عَھْدَکَ وَوَعْدَکَ، اللّٰھُمَّ اِنْ شِئْتَ لَمْ تُعْبَدْ بَعْدَ الْيَوْمِ

That is, ‘O my Allah, I swear by Your word and promise that You vouchsafed to me. O my Lord, if the destruction of all Muslims is Your desire, then after today, there will be no one left who will worship You.’ At that moment, Hazrat Abu Bakrra grasped the Holy Prophet’ssa hand. He then submitted, ‘O Prophetsa of Allah, this is enough, you have gone to great lengths in supplicating to your Lord,’ and the Holy Prophetsa at the time was clad in armour. He exited the tent whilst reciting:

سَيُہۡزَمُ الۡجَمۡعُ وَيُوَلُّوۡنَ الدُّبُرَ بَلِ السَّاعَةُ مَوۡعِدُہُمۡ وَالسَّاعَةُاَدۡہٰي وَاَمَرُّ

(Surah al-Qamar, Ch.54: V.46-47)

That is, ‘All of them will soon face defeat and turn away. This is the very hour they were warned about, an hour that is terribly severe and bitter.’” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Jihad wa al-Sair Bab Ma Qeela fi Dar’I Nabiyysa wa al-Qamees fi al Harb Hadith 2915)

Hazrat Abdullah bin Abbasra continues, “Hazrat Umar bin Khattabra related to me that on the day that the Battle of Badr took place, the Holy Prophetsa looked to the idolaters. They were 1000 in number, while his Companions were 319. The Prophetsa of Allah turned toward the Qibla, spread his arms out and proclaimed in a loud voice to his Lord,

اللّٰھُمَّ اَنْجِزْ لِيْ مَا وَعَدْتَّنِيْ۔ اللّٰھُمَّ اِنْ تُھْلِکْ ھٰذِہِ الْعِصَابَةَ مِنْ اَھْلِ الْاِسْلَامِ لَا تُعْبَدْ فِي الْاَرْضِ

‘O Allah, fulfill the promise You vouchsafed to me. O Allah, fulfill the promise You vouchsafed to me. O Allah, if you allow this party of Muslims to be destroyed, you will no longer be worshipped on this earth.’ Whilst facing the Qiblah [direction of prayer, i.e. the Ka’bah in Mecca] with his arms spread out, the Holy Prophetsa continued to call out to his Lord until his mantle fell from his shoulders. Hazrat Abu Bakr came to the Holy Prophetsa, lifted his mantle and placed it back on his shoulders. Then, Hazrat Abu Bakrra embraced the Holy Prophetsa from behind him and submitted, ‘O Messengersa of Allah, your prayers of anguish before your Lord are sufficient for you. He will surely fulfil the promises made to you.’ Upon this, Allah the Almighty revealed the following verse:

اِذۡ تَسۡتَغِيۡثُوۡنَ رَبَّکُمۡ فَاسۡتَجَابَ لَکُمۡ اَنِّيۡ مُمِدُّکُمۡ بِاَلۡفٍ مِّنَ الۡمَلٰٓئِکَةِ مُرۡدِفِيۡنَ

‘When you implored the assistance of your Lord, and He answered you with a promise, saying, “I will assist you with a thousand of the angels, following one another.”’ Thus, Allah assisted the Holy Prophetsa with angels.” This narration is from Sahih Muslim. (Sahih Muslim, Kitab al-Jihad wa al-Sair Bab al-Imdad bi al-Mala’ikah fi Ghazwah Badr wa Abaha al-Ghana’im, Hadith 4588)

Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra has written about this incident in his book in the following words:

“After this, the Holy Prophetsa retired to his tent, and became engaged in supplications once again. Hazrat Abu Bakrra also accompanied him, and a party of the Ansar under the command of Sa‘dra bin Mu‘adh were stationed around the tent to stand guard. After a short time, there was an uproar in the field of battle, which indicated that the Quraish had launched a full attack. At that time, the Holy Prophetsa was weeping profusely and supplicating before God with his hands extended. He would say with extreme anguish:

اللّٰھُمَّ اِنِّيْ أَنْشُدُکَ عَھْدَکَ وَوَعْدَکَ، اللّٰھُمَّ اِنْ تُھْلِکْ ھٰذِہِ الْعِصَابَةَ مِنْ اَھْلِ الْاِسْلَامِ لَا تُعْبَدْ فِي الْاَرْضِ

“O my God! Fulfil Your promises. O my Master! If today, this party of Muslims is destroyed in the field of battle, there shall remain none who would worship You on the face of this earth.”

At this time, the Holy Prophetsa was in a state of such agony, that sometimes he would fall into prostration, and at times he would stand up to call upon God. The mantle of the Holy Prophetsa would repeatedly fall from his back, and Hazrat Abu Bakrra would pick it up and place it on the Holy Prophetsa again and again. Hazrat Alira relates that during the course of battle, whenever the Holy Prophetsa would come to mind, he would run towards his tent, but whenever he went there, he found the Holy Prophetsa weeping in prostration. He also heard that the Holy Prophetsa would constantly repeat the words:

يَا حَيُّ يَاقَيُّوْمُ، يَا حَيُّ يَاقَيُّوْمُ

“O my Ever-Living God! O my Life-Giving Master!”

Hazrat Abu Bakrra was greatly disturbed by this state of the Holy Prophetsa, and at times would spontaneously say, ‘O Messenger of Allah! May my mother and father be sacrificed for thee! Do not worry, Allah shall definitely fulfil His promises.’ However, the Holy Prophetsa remained constantly engaged in his supplications, weeping and wailing, according to the following Persian proverb:

کہ ہر کہ عارف تراست ترساں تر

‘The wiser a saint, the greater his fear.’

The Holy Prophetsa remained occupied in prayer and weeping.” (The Life & Character of the Seal of Prophetsa, Vol. 2, pp. 150-151)

What is “tawakkul” [complete trust in Allah]? Whilst explaining this Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:

“The Holy Prophetsa arranged the Companions in ranks during the Battle of Badr. He organised them in the right places and instructed them how to fight. Thereafter, he sat on the raised platform and began to pray. He did not leave the Companions whilst in Madinah to remain alone there and be occupied in prayer. In fact, he first brought the Companions to the battlefield, arranged them, gave them various instructions, and only after that did he sit at the deck to begin supplicating. This is the trust of God which one should adopt.” (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 6, p. 541)

In other words, to utilise the means and make whatever effort one can, and to then be occupied in prayer is what is known as “tawakkul” [complete trust in God].

The Promised Messiahas states:

“In the Holy Quran, the Holy Prophetsa was repeatedly given the promise of the victory over the disbelievers, but when the Battle of Badr—which was the first battle of Islam—started, the Holy Prophet, may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, began supplicating and praying, and these are the words that issued from his tongue:

اللّٰھُمَّ اِنْ اَھْلَکْتَ ھٰذہِ الْعِصَابَةَ فَلَنْ تُعْبَدَ فِي الْاَرْضِ أَبَدًا

Meaning: ‘O my Lord! If you destroy these people (they were just 313 men), none will worship You till Doomsday.’

When Hazrat Abu Bakrra heard these words from the mouth of the Holy Prophetsa, he submitted, ‘O Messenger of Allah, why are you so perturbed? God has given you the firm promise that He would give victory.’ He said, ‘This is true, but I am keeping my eyes on the fact that He is in need of no one.’ That is to say, God is not obligated to fulfil any promise.” (Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya [English], Part 5 Appendix, p. 343)

Allah the Almighty is Self-Sufficient, and so one should remain fearful and mindful of this fact at all times. During the time when the Holy Prophetsa was supplicating in his tent, he was overcome by slumber but awoke all of a sudden and said, “O Abu Bakrra, rejoice! The help of your Lord has arrived. Look, Gabriel has come on horseback, holding the reins of his horse firmly, whose feet are covered with dust.” (Sirat Ibn Hisham, p. 428 Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut 2001) This was a narration from Sirat Ibn Hisham.

It is stated in another narration that the Holy Prophetsa said, “O Abu Bakr, rejoice! This is Gabriel wearing a yellow turban. He is holding the reins to his horses between the heaven and the earth. When he reached the earth he disappeared before me for a short while, and then appeared once more. The feet of his horses were covered in dust, and he was saying, ‘After you supplicated, Allah the Almighty’s support has now arrived.’” (Subul al-Huda wa al-Rashad, Vol. 4 p, 37, Zikr Ghazwah al-Badr al-Kubra, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut)

In relation to the Holy Prophet’ssa participation in the Battle of Badr and his personal involvement on the battlefield, it is written that during the Battle of Badr the Holy Prophetsa had appointed Zubairra bin al-Awwam to the right flank, Miqdadra bin Amr to the left flank, and Qais bin Abi Sa’sa’ to the Saqah, orthe infantry. The overall leadership of the army was in the hands of the Holy Prophetsa himself. The Holy Prophetsa was in the front lines, and he gave instructions to all of the Companions. The Holy Prophetsa stated, “None of you should advance until I step in front of them.”

Similarly, whilst advising on how to use their weapons effectively, the Holy Prophetsa said: “When the enemy come within your reach, fire your arrows, but save your arrows as much as possible.” The incident of when the Holy Prophetsa was sitting [in his tent] and praying is before the battle started. The incident has been written in a way which may seem like the Holy Prophetsa did not take part in the battle. He took part in the battle, but the incident of the prayers was before the start of the battle, as a result of which Allah the Almighty sent His succour through the angels. Nonetheless, with regards to the Holy Prophetsa participating in the Battle of Badr, Hazrat Alira says: “On the day of Badr, the Holy Prophetsa was our shelter and he was the closest to the enemy. On that day, he fought the fiercest of all the fighters.” (Da’irah Ma’arif Sirat Muhammad Rasulullahsa, Vol. 6 p. 174 & 201, Bazm Iqbal Lahore, April 2022)

With regards to the Quraish arriving in the battlefield and the mutual clash, it is written that when the Quraish reached the plains of Badr, they sent Umair bin Wahb to see how many people the Holy Prophetsa had in his army. So Umair mounted his horse and circled the Muslim army. He then returned to the Quraish of Makkah and said: “In my estimation they are slightly more or less than 300.” He then went back to the Muslim army and checked again in case there was a contingent waiting in ambush. Umair bin Wahb went on his horse and rode for quite some distance. He returned and said: “It does not seem like they have any reinforcements, but O Quraish! I see an evil calamity befalling you. I have seen such camels that carry death upon their backs. The camels of Yathrib are sure to bring about death! They do not carry any means of defence and they have no shelter except their swords. They will not be killed until they take one of us with them. If they take out as many men as they are in number, then what good will there be left afterwards? Now do as you see appropriate.” After assessing the situation, he presented his own opinion. After hearing all this, Hakim bin Hizam went to Utbah bin Rabi’ah and said: “You are a respected leader amongst the Quraish, therefore take everyone back and give the blood money for Amr bin al-Hadrami.” Utbah said: “I agree. So go and tell Ibn Hanzalah (i.e. Abu Jahl- Abu Jahl’s father’s name was Hanzalah).” Thus, Hakim bin Hizam went to Abu Jahl to persuade him and said: “Utbah sent me to you and said that he would pay the blood money, you should take the Quraish back.” Abu Jahl said: “From the time Utbah has seen Muhammad he has become frightened and is showing cowardice. This cannot be! By God we shall not return until Allah settles the matter between us and Muhammad!” Abu Jahl then said: “Utbah is also saying this because he knows that the Muslims are like one morsel for our camels (i.e. they will kill them easily) and among the Muslims is his son, (Utbah’s son was a Muslim) Perhaps he does not wish to fight because of his son is in the opposing camp.” Utbah’s son was Abu Huzaifah who was present in the Muslim army during the Battle of Badr.

When Utbah learnt that Abu Jahl had mocked him calling him a coward, Utbah said: “That coward (referring to Abu Jahl) will soon come to know who is a coward and frightened.” (Sirat Ibn Hisham, pp. 244-246 Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, First Edition 2001)

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

“Now the armies had lined up before one another […]” Before this point, the contingents were gathering for the battle, and the disbelievers had a vast army. During this time the Holy Prophetsa remained engaged in prayers. But when the armies lined up in rows facing each other, at that time the Holy Prophetsa was present on the battlefield.

He writes:

“Now the armies had lined up before one another. However, at this time, a strange spectacle of Divine power manifested itself. The standing arrangement of both armies was such that the Muslim army appeared to be more than, rather, double its actual number in the eyes of the Quraish. Due to this, the disbelievers were struck with awe. On the other hand, the army of the Quraish appeared lesser than their actual number in the eyes of the Muslims. Due to this, the Muslims were fortified with great confidence. The Quraish attempted to discern the correct figure of the Muslim army, so that they could console such hearts which had begun to sink (to console those people who were frightened). For this purpose, the chieftains of the Quraish dispatched ‘Umair bin Wahb to ride his horse around the Muslim army, so as to gather its actual number, and whether it was supported by any hidden reinforcements. Hence, ‘Umair mounted his horse and circled the Muslims, but he witnessed such awe, determination and fearlessness in the face of death on the countenances of these Muslims, that he returned immensely awe-stricken and addressed the Quraish saying:

“‘I have not been able to spot any hidden reinforcements, but O company of the Quraish! I have witnessed that in the Muslim army, it is not men who ride upon the saddles of these she-camels, rather, death is seated upon them. Destruction is mounted upon the backs of the she-camels of Yathrib.’

“When the Quraish heard this news, a wave of anxiety rippled through their ranks. Suraqah, who had come as their guarantor, was so awe-stricken, that he fled upon his heals. When people attempted to restrain him, he said:

‘I see that which you do not.’

“When Hakim bin Hizam heard the opinion of ‘Umair, he frantically came to ‘Utbah bin Rabi‘ah and said:

“‘O ‘Utbah, after all, it is the retribution of ‘Amr Hadrami that you seek from Muhammadsa, because he was your confederate. Would it not do if you were to pay the blood money to his heirs, and turn back along with the Quraish? You shall be forever known by a good name.’

“‘Utbah, who was frightened himself could not ask for anything better, and he immediately said:

“‘Of course! I agree; And after all Hakim! These Muslims and we are relatives. Does it seem right for a brother to raise his sword against his brother, and father against his son? Go to Abul-Hakam (i.e., Abu Jahl) and present this idea to him Then, ‘Utbah mounted his camel and began to convince people of his own accord that:

“‘It is not correct to fight against relatives. We should turn back and leave Muhammad to his devices and let him settle his matter with the tribes of Arabia himself. We shall see what happens, and after all it is not such an easy task to fight these Muslims, because even if you call me a coward, although I am not … I see a people who are eager to purchase death.’

“When the Holy Prophetsa noticed ‘Utbah from afar, he said, ‘If there is anyone from among the army of the Quraish who possesses some nobility, then it is certainly in the rider of that red camel. If these people listen to his advice, it would do them good.’

“However, when Hakim bin Hizam approached Abu Jahl, and presented this proposal to him, could it be expected that this Pharaoh of the people would be talked into such a thing? He instantly retorted, “Well, well, now ‘Utbah has begun to see his relatives before him!” Then he called upon ‘Amir Hadrami, the brother of ‘Amr Hadrami, and said, ‘Have you heard what your ally, ‘Utbah says? Especially, when the retribution of your brother is in our grips!’ The eyes of ‘Amir began to gorge with blood in rage and according to the Arab custom, he tore off his clothes becoming naked and began to shout:

وَا عَمْرَاہُ! وَا عَمْرَاہُ!

“‘Woe to ‘Amr! My brother is not being avenged! Woe to ‘Amr! My brother is not

being avenged!’

“This desert cry, enflamed a fire of enmity in the hearts of the Quraish and the furnace of war began to burn in full force.” (The Life & Character of the Seal of Prophets, Vol. 2, pp. 146-148)

After this, a full-scale battle ensued. The remaining accounts will be mentioned in the future, God-Willing.

(Official Urdu published in the Daily Al Fazl International, 21 July 2023 pp. 2-6. Translated by The Review of Religions.)

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