Friday Sermon – Muhammad (sa): The Great Exemplar (31 May 2024)


Friday Sermon

31 May 2024

Muhammadsa: The Great Exemplar

Mubarak Mosque

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

The martyrdom of Hazrat Khubaibra was being mentioned while discussing the details of an expedition. Further details in relation to this have been recorded in the following manner. It is mentioned that he was the first Companion to have been martyred by being hung on a stake. That is, he was hung as if being crucified and martyred. ‘Allamah Ibn Athir Jazari writes that Hazrat Khubaibra was the first Companion to have been crucified for the sake of Allah the Almighty. (‘Ali ibn al-Athir, Usdul Ghabah Fi Ma’rifatis sahabah, Vol. 2, [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Al-Kotob Al-Ilmiyah, 2003], p. 156)

In a narration, it is stated that the Quraish said to Hazrat Khubaibra: “If you leave Islam, we will leave you be. However, if you do not leave [Islam], we will kill you.” Hazrat Khubaibra replied: “Me being killed for the cause of Allah is an ordinary matter.” He then said: “O Allah! There is no one here, who can convey my salaam [greeting of peace] to Your Messengersa. Therefore, O Allah, You Yourself convey my Salam to him and inform him of what is happening with us here.” (Ali bin Burhan al-Din al-Halabi,  Al Sirat al-Halabiyyah, Vol. 3, [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Al-Kotob Al-Ilmiyah, 2002), p. 235)

Hazrat Usama bin Zaidra relates that one day, the Holy Prophetsa was sitting with his Companions and the same condition overtook him as when he would receive revelation. We heard him say:

وَعَلَيْہِ السَّلَامُ ورَحْمَةُاللّٰہِ وَبَرَکَاتُہٗ

“And may the peace, mercy and blessings of Allah be upon him too!” When this state of revelation went away, the Holy Prophetsa said: “This was Gabriel, conveying to me the salaam of Khubaib. The Quraish have killed him.”

There is a narration that states that the Quraish called 40 men to witness the killing of Khubaibra, whose family members were killed during the Battle of Badr. Each of them was given a spear and told that this was the person who killed their fathers and elders. (Ali bin Burhan al-Din al-Halabi,  Al Sirat al-Halabiyyah, Vol. 3, [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Al-Kotob Al-Ilmiyah, 2002], p. 236)

Upon this, they began to lightly pierce Khubaibra with their spears and Hazrat Khubaibra started to feel the discomfort on the cross. He then turned around and looked in the direction of the Ka’bah. He said: “All praise belongs to Allah, Who has turned my face towards His Qibla [direction towards the Ka’bah], which He has chosen for Himself.” Following this, the idolaters killed Khubaibra. (Mustafa ‘Abd al-Wahid, Subul al-Huda wa al-Rashad fi Sirat Khair al-‘Ibad, Vol. 6 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Al-Kotob Al-Ilmiyah, 1993], p. 44)

From this, we learn that the idolaters first struck Hazrat Khubaibra with their spears, tortured him severely and then killed him.

From a narration in Bukhari, we learn that when Hazrat Khubaibra had finished reading his couplets, ‘Uqba bin Harith approached him and killed Hazrat Khubaibra. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-maghazi, Hadith 4086)

The filial appellation of ‘Uqba bin Harith was Abu Sirwah. In some narrations, it has been recorded that Abu Sirwah ‘Uqba bin Harith, was still young at that time. He was given a spear, but it was Abu Maysara ‘Abdari who struck [Hazrat Khubaibra]. In other words, the spear was given to a child, but it was an older man who actually pierced him with the spear. Some scholars have mentioned Abu Sirwah separately and have said that ‘Uqba bin Harith was his brother.

When Abu Maysara struck [Hazrat Khubaibra], it did not prove to be fatal. Upon this, Abu Sirwah stepped forward and killed him. Later, ‘Uqba bin Harith, who accepted Islam at the Conquest of Mecca, stated: “I was still young when Abu Maysarah ‘Abdari handed me a spear but he killed Khubaibra by holding on to my hand.” (Dairah Ma’arif Sirat Muhammad Rasulullah, Vol. 7, pp. 148-149, Bazm Iqbal, Lahore, Pakistan)

In relation to this, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra writes:

“However, before the heartfelt enmity of the Quraish, emotions of mercy and justice were out of the question. As such, it had not been many days when the people of the Banu Al-Harith and other chieftains of the Quraish took Khubaibra to an open field in order to execute him and celebrate his death. When Khubaibra perceived the fragrance of martyrdom, he implored the Quraish to allow him an opportunity to offer two Rak’ah of Salat before his death. The Quraish, who perhaps desired to make the Islamic worship a part of this spectacle, granted him permission. Khubaibra offered two Rak’ah of Salat with great attention and concentration. After completing his Salat, he said to the Quraish, ‘I desired to prolong my Salat even more, but then I thought that you may assume that I am prolonging my Salat with the intention of deferring death.’ Then, reciting the following couplets, Khubaibra leaned forward:

وَمَا اَنْ اُبَالِيْ حِيْنَ اُقْتَلُ مُسْلِمًا عَلٰي اَيِّ شِقٍّ کَانَ لِلّٰہِ مَصْرَعِيْ

وَذَالِکَ فِيْ ذَاتِ الْاِلٰہِ وَاِنْ يَّشَاء يُبَارِکْ عَلٰي اَوْصَالِ شَلْوٍ مُمَزَّعِ

“‘When I am being martyred in the cause of Islam as a Muslim, I care not as to which flank I fall upon after being martyred, all of this is for the sake of God; And if my God so wills, He shall bless my every severed limb.’

“The last words of these couplets were perhaps still echoing from the tongue of Khubaibra when ‘Uqbah bin Harith stepped forward and this lover of the Holy Prophetsa was mixed to dust. In another narration it is related that the Quraish hung Khubaibra to the branch of a tree and then murdered him by repeatedly piercing him with lances.” (The Life & Character of the Seal of the Prophets, Vol. 2 [English Edition], pp. 365-366)

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states in this regard:

“When he was just about to be killed, Khubaibra asked for permission to offer two Rak’ah of prayer. The Quraish permitted him to do so, and thus, Khubaibra performed his final act of worship in this world in front of everyone. When he completed his prayer, he said, ‘I desired to prolong my Salat even more, but then I ended it lest you assume that I do so out of fear of death.’ He then lowered his head gently before the killers and recited the following couplets:

وَلَسْتُ اُبَالِيْ حِيْنَ اُقْتَلُ مُسْلِمًا عَلٰي اَيِّ جَنْبٍ کَانَ لِلّٰہِ مَصْرَعِيْ

وَذٰلِکَ فِيْ ذَاتِ الْاِلٰہِ وَاِنْ يَّشَأْ يُبَارِکُ عَلٰي اَوْصَالِ شِلْوٍ مُمَزَّعٖ

“‘When I am being martyred as a Muslim, I care not as to which flank I fall upon after being martyred, all of this is for the sake of God; And if my God so wills, He shall bless my every severed limb.’

“Khubaibra had not yet completed all the couplets when the sword of Jallad pierced through his neck, causing his head to fall to the ground.” (Dibacha Tafsir-ul-QuranAnwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 20, p. 262)

Hazrat Abu Hurairahra narrates that Hazrat Khubaibra was the first person to establish the practice of offering two voluntary raka‘at of prayer before being killed. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Maghazi, Hadith 4086)

What was Hazrat Khubaib’sra prayer about his enemies and what was the fate of these enemies as a result of this prayer? Regarding this, Allama Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani, the commentator of the Sahih al-Bukhari, writes under the expedition of Rajee’, whilst explaining one of the ahadith that Khubaibra at the time of his martyrdom offered the following supplication:

 اَللّٰهُمَّ أَحْصِهِمْ عَدَدًا

“O Allah, mark thou the number of these enemies so that You Yourself may seek revenge on my behalf,” and in another narration, the following additional words are:

 وَاقْتُلْهُمْ بَدَدًا وَلَا تُبْقِ مِنْھُمْ اَحَدًا

“And kill each of them one by one, leaving not a single one of them.”

When Hazrat Khubaibra stood on the plank at the time of his martyrdom, he offered this supplication. When an idolater heard this prayer, (of Hazrat Khubaibra, saying):

اَللّٰهُمَّ أَحْصِهِمْ عَدَدًا وَاقْتُلْهُمْ بَدَدًا

“O Allah, mark thou the number of these enemies and kill them all one by one,” he lied down out of fear. They say that not a year had passed that – save the one person who lied down – every single one of those involved in the killing of Khubaibra were killed. (Fath al-Bari Sharh Imam al-Bukhari, Ibn Hajr AsqalaniVol. 7, Dar al-Rayyan Li al-Turath, Cairo, Egypt, 1986, p. 443)

Anyhow, this point is not actually proven from any source that everyone except the person who lied down was in fact killed. Indeed, it can be said that a majority of them were killed. Either they were killed or, by the time the conquest of Mecca took place, most of them accepted Islam. Hence, Hazrat Khubaib’sra prayer was accepted in a glorious manner in that some earned hell for themselves while the rest were guided to Islam.

Regarding this, one historian writes that the disbelievers were frightened when they heard this prayer of Khubaibra. They were convinced that Khubaib’sra prayer would not go in vain. Harith bin Barsah was there, who had not yet become a Muslim. He relates, “As soon as I heard Khubaib’s prayer, I became convinced that now this supplication against them would not leave any one of them alive.”

This is why, after hearing this supplication, the disbelievers present at that time put their fingers in their ears and ran away. Some started hiding behind one another in order to save themselves from the effects of the supplication – as per their custom at that time – and some of them began hiding amongst the trees, while others lay down on the ground. They believed that they would remain secure from his prayer in this way. According to their custom, it was well known that if someone prays against another and the one being prayed against lies down on his side, it negates the effect of the supplication. Hazrat Mu‘awiyyah bin Abi Sufyanra narrates an incident from before he and his father accepted Islam, saying, “Like others, I too went to that place with my father. I saw that my father became so scared by the supplication of Khubaibra that he pulled me with great force towards the ground and I fell on my back. I was so badly injured from falling that for a long time, I continued to suffer due to its pain.”

Hawaytib bin Abdil Uzzah, who became a Muslim in the year of the victory of Mecca, says that “As soon as I heard Hazrat Khubaib’sra supplication, I immediately put my fingers in my ears and ran away. I feared lest his voice might enter my ears.”

Hakeem bin Hizam narrates that, out of fear of Hazrat Khubaib’sra prayer, I began hiding behind trees. Jubair bin Mut’im says, “I did not have the strength to hear the prayer of Hazrat Khubaibra. I became fearful and began hiding behind other people.” Nofal bin Mu’awiyyah Dili became a Muslim on the occasion of the victory of Mecca. He says “I was present on the day Khubaibra made this supplication. I was wholeheartedly convinced that due to his prayer, no one who was present would remain alive. I was standing but became terrified owing to his prayer, and fell towards the ground. There was an uproar amongst the people of the Quraish regarding this prayer of his. The fear of Khubaib’sra prayer lingered in their gatherings for a month or even longer, and they commented various things regarding it.” (Sirat Encyclopaedia, Vol. 6, Darussalam, Riyadh, 1434 Hijri, pp. 470-471)

There is another narration that states “an individual by the name of Sa‘id bin ‘Amir was also among the crowd. Afterwards, he become Muslim and even until the Khilafat of Hazrat ‘Umarra, whenever he would remember the incident of Khubaibra, he would be overtaken by a state of swoon.” (The Life & Character of the Seal of the Prophets, Vol. 2 [English Edition], p. 366)

Regarding Sa’id bin Amir, who has just been mentioned, it is said that during Hazrat Umar’sra Khilafat, he appointed him as a governor in an area of Syria, but on some occasions, he [Sa’id bin Amirra] would suddenly lose consciousness while amongst people. Some people complained to Hazrat Umarra that this person whom he had appointed over them was ill. Once, when he came to meet Hazrat Umarra, he asked him, “O Sa’id, are you ill?” Upon this, Sa’id said “O Leader of the Believers! I have no illness whatsoever. It is only that when Hazrat Khubaibra was being killed, I was amongst those who were present there. And now, whenever I remember that prayer of Hazrat Khubaibra, I lose consciousness out of fear.” (Ibn Hisham, Sirat Ibn Hisham, Vol. 2, Dhikr Yaum al-Raji’ [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Maarifah, 2000], p. 150)

There is mention of the Holy Prophetsa sending a party to remove the body of Hazrat Khubaibra from the cross. It states in the narration that the Quraish stationed 40 men for the protection of the crucifixion, so that the body stays crucified and decays there, or perhaps so that they keep taking revenge. Nonetheless, the Holy Prophetsa sent Hazrat Miqdadra and Hazrat Zubair bin Al-Awwamra towards Mecca to remove the body of Hazrat Khubaibra from the cross. The Holy Prophetsa was given knowledge of this. Perhaps Allah the Almighty had placed this knowledge in his heart. Nonetheless, according to one narration, the Holy Prophetsa said, “who among you will go and remove Khubaib from the cross? For him, there is paradise.” Hazrat Zubair bin Al-Awwamra said, “O Messengersa of Allah! Me and my companion, Miqdad bin Aswad, will do this.” When both of them reached the place where his body was hanging, they found 40 men there, but all of them were in deep sleep. They both removed Hazrat Khubaibra, and this incident took place 40 days after the martyrdom of Hazrat Khubaibra. Hazrat Zubairra placed the body of Hazrat Khubaibra on his horse, and they both departed. When the disbelievers found out and saw that Hazrat Khubaibra was missing, they relayed this information to the Quraish, after which 70 horse-riders set out. And they added more people in order to pursue after them. Then, when the members of the Quraish approached these Companions, Hazrat Zubairra placed the body of Hazrat Khubaibra on the ground, after which, Hazrat Zubairra opened the turban on his head and said, “I am Zubair bin Al-Awwam, and this is my companion Miqdad bin Aswad. Both of us are courageous lions who have left our children behind.

“If you so desire, we will welcome you with our arrows, or if you desire, we will attack you, or if you desire you can return from here.” Upon hearing this, the idolaters turned back and left. Subsequently, Hazrat Zubairra looked for the body of Hazrat Khubaibra, but he could not see it anywhere as if it had been consumed by the earth. Owing to this he was given the title:

بَلِيْعُ الْاَرْض

Meaning the one who is consumed by the earth. The narrations that mention the body disappearing in this manner seem rather strange. However, there is one narration that I will mention later on regarding how the body disappeared, which seems to be correct. Nonetheless, with regards to the angels feeling proud of Hazrat Zubairra and Hazrat Miqdadra, it is written that after this [incident], when Hazrat Zubairra and Hazrat Miqdadra reached Medina and went to the Holy Prophetsa, at that time, Gabrielas was with the Holy Prophetsa. Gabrielas said to the Holy Prophetsa, “O Muhammadsa! Even the angels are proud of these two Companions of yours.” (Ali bin Burhan al-Din al-Halabi,  Al Sirat al-Halabiyyah, Vol. 3, [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Al-Kotob Al-Ilmiyah, 2002], p. 236; Tarikh al-Khamis, Vol. 2, Dar Al-Kotob Al-Ilmiyah, 2009, p. 254)

In the books of history, there is mention of another group being dispatched to retrieve the body of Hazrat Khubaibra. According to this narration, the Holy Prophetsa sent Hazrat Amr bin Umayyahra on a reconnaissance mission towards the Quraish. He narrates: “I reached the area where Hazrat Khubaibra was crucified. I was hesitant due to other spies. I climbed on the cross and loosened the body of Hazrat Khubaibra as a result of which it fell to the ground. For a short while I remained hidden. I heard a noise behind me; when I looked around I could not see Hazrat Khubaib’sra body anywhere. It was as if the earth swallowed it up. Until today there is no trace of it.” (Subul al-Huda wa al-Rashad fi Sirat Khair al-‘Ibad, Vol. 6 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Al-Kotob Al-Ilmiyah, 1993], p. 45)

Even in this account, there seems to be some exaggeration. Nonetheless, there are narrations like this mentioned in books of history. According to another narration, Hazrat Jabbar bin Sakhr Ansarira was sent along with Hazrat Amr bin Umayyah al-Damrira. When the people of the Quraish who were appointed to guard the body chased after these two, Hazrat Jabbarra threw the body in a river. In this way, Allah the Almighty protected the body of Hazrat Khubaibra from the hands of the disbelievers. (Ibn Hisham, Sirat Ibn Hisham, Vol. 2, Dhikr Yaum al-Raji’ [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Maarifah, 2001], p. 885)

Nonetheless, as I mentioned, there are differing narrations regarding this incident and this is the narration, that seems more accurate. When they were being chased, Hazrat Jabbarra threw the body into a river and the flow of the river swept the body away. And this does occur, the fast flow of the river can sweep a body away. Nonetheless, there are different narrations in this regard. However, his body was not able to remain in the hands of the enemy and it is said that the earth swallowed his body and owing to this he then became known as:

بَلِيْعُ الْاَرْض

The one whose body vanished into the ground.

The disbelievers were not able to carry out their plans and in this way, Allah the Almighty saved the body from being desecrated. Allah the Almighty protects His loved ones in this way as well and there are many other incidents in which He protected the bodies of others. I narrated one incident last time in which a body was protected through hornets and honey bees and the body was not dishonoured. (Ibn Sa’d, At-Tabaqat-ul-Kubra, Vol. 3, [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Al-Kotob Al-Ilmiyah, 1990], p. 353)

Nevertheless, these were people who loved Allah the Almighty and sacrificed for His sake. Allah the Almighty, in turn, granted them great honour and then protected their bodies after their demise. The accounts pertaining to this expedition come to an end here.

I have been continuously reminding for prayers. Particularly pray for the Palestinians as the situation has crossed all bounds. The USA previously said that going into Rafah was their red line, but they now say this is not the case, and no one knows what criteria they have for their red line. How many more people are going to be killed for them to take any action? May Allah the Almighty protect the world from these oppressors and also protect the innocent Palestinians from them.

Similarly, pray for the people of Sudan where they are killing their own people and Muslims are killing Muslims. May Allah the Almighty grant them understanding and enable them to be saved from being seized by Allah the Almighty and as Muslims may they truly act upon the commandments of Allah the Almighty.

Pray for those [Ahmadis] imprisoned in Yemen that may Allah the Almighty procure the means for their release. Pray also for the Ahmadis in Pakistan, as the situation there is always unstable. Now, as Eid is approaching, the clerics begin to intensify their efforts against the Jamaat. May Allah the Almighty protect all Ahmadis from every kind of mischief and grant the means for the swift release of the Ahmadis who have been imprisoned.

After the Friday prayer, I will lead a funeral prayer in absentia. The first is for our missionary, Chaudhry Munir Ahmad Sahib, who was serving as the Director of MTA International Teleport USA. He passed away recently, at the age of 73.

 اِنَّا لِلّٰہِ وَاِنَّا اِلَيْہِ رَاجِعُوْنَ

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

Ahmadiyyat entered his family through his great maternal grandfather, Hazrat Maulvi Fazl Dinra, whose name appears second in the list of 313 Companions of the Promised Messiahas. Chaudhry Munir Sahib graduated from Jamia Ahmadiyya [Rabwah] in 1978 after passing his Shahid exam. Thereafter, he served as a missionary in various places in Pakistan. He then served as the Motamid in the Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya Markaziyyah. He was then sent to the USA in 1981 and served there till 1990 and then returned [to Pakistan]. He was then sent again to the USA in 1994 and continued to serve the Jamaat there until his demise. He played an extraordinary role in establishing the MTA Teleport in the USA. Initially, it was just a small studio for transmission and was then further expanded and became a separate department covering North and South America and I appointed him as a director for it in MTA. He served with great effort and diligence. He did not have any formal secular degree in this field but through his own passion for this work, he himself acquired the technical skills for this and operated this teleport in an excellent manner, and, from a technical aspect, took it to new heights.

He is survived by his wife, son and two daughters. His children have mentioned that he always placed His trust in God Almighty and would draw attention to prayers during times of difficulty. He would always say that one should utilise the means available to them and then leave the matter with God Almighty. Hospitality was an outstanding quality of his. His home would always be open for guests. He would always advise his children to remain strongly attached to Khilafat. He utilised all his faculties whilst serving for MTA. In fact, his children have mentioned that when he was ill for a prolonged period of time and would be admitted to hospital on numerous occasions, yet he would continue his MTA work from there as well. He was an exemplary model of a life devotee. Mirza Maghfoor Ahmad Sahib, Amir Jamaat USA writes, “He did not only work with great effort and attention to improve his own department, but he was always ready to give his time and share his knowledge for other projects of the Jamaat as well. In certain Jamaat projects, he very gladly helped me and with great attention. If he ever came across any information which was beneficial for the Jamaat, he would contact the administration of the Jamaat and draw attention to it. Absolute cooperation with the Nizam-e-Jamaat and its importance was clearly evidenced through his words and deeds. He was extremely devoted and obedient to the institution of Khilafat and was always ready to understand and act upon the instructions of the Khalifa of the time.” He further says, “I always saw him striving his utmost to fulfil the desire and expectations of Khalifatul Masih.”

The Amir Jamaat of Burkina Faso, who is also his relative, says, “There is a well-known incident from his childhood. He was only a few months old and became extremely ill and seemed as if he were in his final moments. At the time, Maulana Ghulam Rasool Rajeki Sahibra was also residing in the same area. In his state of illness, his mother anxiously took him to Maulvi Sahibra and whilst crying placed him in the lap of Maulvi Sahibra and said, ‘Maulvi Sahib! He is about to pass away.’ Maulvi Sahibra lifted the child and said, “He will get better, and you should devote his life [to the service of Islam].’ In this way, he was devoted to the service of faith from a young age. His mother vowed at the moment to devote his life. He would also say himself that Mir Sahib would advise him to recite Surah al-Fatihah during the assembly as he was not very good in his studies and so he would always recite this.”

Almost everyone who has written has mentioned the same qualities he possessed. Shamshad Nasir Sahib, a missionary, writes, “He was completely obedient to every instruction given by the Khalifa. Despite being ill for a long time, he never told everyone about his illness, nor did he make it apparent that he was in any discomfort. He focused solely on his work and dedicated himself to it with great fervour. He possessed a wide range of expertise. He studied everything in great detail, and he would also guide other missionaries. He was an exceptional organiser, and he would treat his co-workers with immense kindness. He was an excellent host. (It was not only his children, but others observed these qualities as well.) He was known to greet everyone with a smile. He had a very relaxed and calm disposition; however, he was also very hardworking. Allah the Almighty had bestowed him with an extraordinarily gifted mind. He was a missionary, however, when Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh appointed him to the [MTA] Earth Station, he thoroughly researched everything and then took it to new heights of success.”

When we started the initiative to install a new satellite dish in order to transmit the programs in all of America, we had to obtain permission from the relevant department. An inspector came for an evaluation and did not give permission, refusing to sign the form. He [Chaudhry Munir Sahib] then wrote to me about it. I told him to keep trying and that Allah the Almighty would help. After some time, another inspector visited, who was originally from Ghana. When he heard our Jamaat’s name, he said that he had studied in a school that belonged to the Ahmadiyya Jamaat. He signed the form then and there and gave the approval. This was an instance of Allah the Almighty’s exceptional support. Through his efforts and prayers, Allah the Almighty made this task easier.

Laiq Mushtaq Sahib, a missionary in Surinam, writes, “He toured various countries in South America and acquired information about MTA. He stayed in Suriname for three days and said, ‘I have been sent here by the Khalifa of the time for a particular purpose. I will only carry out this task, and for this reason, I will not partake in any recreational excursions.’ Thus, he spent all his time testing the MTA broadcast, visiting homes, encouraging members to benefit from MTA and resolving issues the youth encountered whilst receiving the MTA broadcast. He told me that once, a missionary was complaining to him. (Some missionaries express such complaints, even now.) [He complained, saying,] ‘We are made to study in Jamia for seven years, and now we are made to work in an office.’ Chaudhry Munir Sahib said that he replied, saying, ‘The Khalifa of the time knows better as to what service is best suited to each individual.. I am also a missionary, however, under the instruction of the Khalifa of the time, I have been working in the Teleport for the past 15 years. I have a hammer and tools in my hands and I am involved in technical work as well. If I am told by the Khalifa of the time to sweep the streets, then I would wholeheartedly do so and consider myself a sweeper.’”

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra once said that a time would come when missionaries would have to be appointed to offices instead of other clerical staff. Thus, every missionary should abstain from thinking about the nature of the work being asked of them. They can be asked to do any sort of work. It is a good thing that they have studied in Jamia and have attained religious knowledge. They should continue to put that religious knowledge to use.

Ghaalib Khan, serving as the head of MTA Studios in the USA, writes, “He would strive to complete every task himself. He kept records of everything, including the timings of the staff, he overlooked the site and maintained its cleanliness himself. He was always focused on how he could continuously improve the management. He would also treat his co-workers with kindness. He was an excellent manager, and he had firm determination and conviction.”

Mirza Muhammad Afzal Sahib writes, “I knew him for 56 years. We came to the USA together. He was utterly devoted to Khilafat. In 1974, he was also imprisoned [for his faith]. He was filled with sincerity and devotion. He rendered service with love and passion. He was very organised in his work. He could never refuse to partake in work of any nature. I always found him to be a true helper and servant of Khilafat.”

Zafar Sarwar Sahib also says that when the transmission began from the teleport in the USA, he [the late Chaudhry Munir Sahib] requested Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh for an engineer to be appointed for the technical work. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh said that he should try to become an engineer himself. Hence, he learned how to do the work himself and gained expertise and he carried out all of the work with a great deal of confidence. He served in MTA for 29 years, despite having a heart condition throughout this time. It was owing to his efforts that one can watch MTA programmes with ease across North and South America.

Dr Hameed-ul-Rehman Sahib from Los Angeles, USA, writes that in 1993 he was posted in Los Angeles and he helped them in purchasing land in Chino and then immediately tried to build a mosque. The deceased was a very brave and courageous individual and would place his trust in Allah. He went to the Chino mayor’s office in order to introduce the Jamaat. After giving an introduction, he spoke about building a mosque in Chino. The mayor immediately said that a mosque would not be built there and very angrily said, “Over my dead body.” Upon hearing this, Chaudhary Sahib stood up with extraordinary zeal and said, “Mr Mayor, this mosque is a place to worship Allah the Almighty; it will most certainly be built.” Hence, all praise belongs to Allah for a mosque was built there and the same mayor came and apologised. After that, he visited the mosque on several occasions. [Chaudhary Munir Sahib] was a very brave individual.

Hammad Sahib is a missionary and was also related to Munir Sahib. He says, “When I initially went into the field [of service] I started facing some challenges. He would listen very lovingly to what I had to say and then would explain things to me in a very wise manner. In this way, whatever matters or difficulties I had resolved themselves. I sought his advice on many matters.”

Munir Shams Sahib, Director of MTA, says, “He set up the teleport in an excellent manner. One of Chaudhary Munir Sahib’s good qualities was that he always strove to seek consultation in every matter and always tried to save the funds of the Jamaat. He would only buy those machines, which were absolutely necessary. An extraordinary bond of sincerity and loyalty with Khilafat was evident through everything he did and said. He would always strive to obey every single word of the Khalifa of the time, down to the letter. Even though he was the director for MTA Teleport, he did not have any pretentiousness or desire any fame for himself, that such and such tasks were achieved because of him.”

He worked with complete humility and in fact, he would give others the credit. I have seen that he fulfilled his waqf [life devotion] with the utmost sincerity and selflessly strived to ensure MTA reaches the continent of America. He gave excellent advice based on whatever he sincerely thought was accurate. He would write to me as well. He never desired to step into the limelight. He had a deep yearning to complete the task assigned to him by the Khalifa of the time in the best manner possible. May Allah the Almighty bestow His forgiveness and mercy and elevate his station.

The second mention is of respected Abdulrehman Kutty Sahib of Alanallur Kerala who also recently passed away.

 اِنَّا لِلّٰہِ وَاِنَّا اِلَيْہِ رَاجِعُوْنَ

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

By the grace of Allah the Almighty he was a musi. He accepted Ahmadiyyat at the age of 16 through his maternal uncle Maulana Muhammad Alwi Sahib. He was regular in keeping fasts and offering prayers and had a very sincere connection with the Jamaat. He was a simple, humble and virtuous person. He always tried to incorporate a religious aspect into everything he did. His son writes, “He kept religion at the forefront of our training, as such early in the morning before we went to school he would arrange for a religious tutor and he would ensure that we regularly recited the Holy Quran at night before going to sleep.” His wife passed away three years ago; he is survived by two daughters and four sons. One of his sons, Shamsuddin Malabari Sahib, is serving as the Missionary-in-Charge of Kababir and was unable to attend the funeral. May Allah the Almighty grant him patience and forbearance. May He elevate the station of the deceased and grant him forgiveness and mercy.

(Official Urdu transcript published in the Daily Al Fazl International, 21 June 2024, pp. 2-6. Translated by The Review of Religions.)

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