8 December 2023
Muhammadsa: The Great Exemplar
After reciting the tashahud, ta‘awuz and Surah al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa stated:
In the previous Friday sermon, the Battle of Uhud was being mentioned. I will present the brief details given by Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra in relation to this. Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:
“While fleeing from the battlefield (i.e., after the Battle of Badr), the army of the disbelievers announced that they would attack Medina again the following year and avenge their loss to the Muslims. Hence, a year later, they once again made full preparations to launch an attack on Medina. The state of rage of the Meccans was such that following the Battle of Badr, they announced that no one was allowed to mourn over their dead and that all the income generated by the trade caravans would be saved for the upcoming battle. As such, after much preparation, an army of more than 3,000 soldiers set off to attack Medina under the leadership of Abu Sufyan. The Holy Prophetsa consulted the companions about whether they should remain in the city and fight them, or go outside of the city. His personal opinion was to allow the enemy to launch the attack so that they would be held responsible for initiating the war and so that the Muslims could easily confront them while remaining in their city. However, the young Muslims, who did not have the opportunity to participate in the Battle of Badr, whose hearts yearned that they too be given the opportunity to be martyred in the cause of God, insisted that they should not be deprived of martyrdom. Subsequently, the Holy Prophetsa accepted their suggestion. While consulting them, the Holy Prophetsa also narrated a dream of his. The Holy Prophetsa said, ‘I saw some cows in a dream and I also saw that the tip of my sword broken and I also saw that these cows were being slaughtered. I then saw that I placed my hand in a strong and secure chainmail and I also saw that I am mounted upon a ram.’ The companions submitted, ‘O Messengersa of Allah! How have you interpreted these dreams?’ The Holy Prophetsa replied, ‘The interpretation of the cows being slaughtered is that some of my companions will be martyred. The breaking of the sword indicates that a prominent individual from my relatives will be martyred, or that I may suffer an affliction during this battle. I consider the interpretation of placing my hand in the chainmail to mean that staying in Medina is better for us. The interpretation of being mounted upon a ram seems to be that we will be victorious over the leader of the army of the disbelievers, (i.e., that he will be killed at the hands of the Muslims.)’ Though it was made clear to the Muslims in this dream that it is better for them to stay in Medina, however, since the interpretation of the Holy Prophetsa was based on his personal view and not based on divine revelation, he therefore accepted the view of the majority and decided to head out for battle.” (Dibacha Tafsir-ul-Quran, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 20, pp. 247-248)
In relation to this dream, it should be remembered that certain signs and inferences are made in dreams. Mentioning this, the Promised Messiahas elaborates upon the metaphors [in the dreams] of the Holy Prophetsa and states:
“The metaphors that are found in the visions and dreams of the Holy Prophetsa are not concealed or hidden to those who read the Ahadith. At one time the Holy Prophetsa was shown in a vision that he was wearing two gold bangles on his arms, and this was interpreted to mean two liars who made false claims to prophethood; and at another time the Holy Prophetsa was shown in his dream or vision that cows were being slaughtered, and this referred to the companions who were martyred in the Battle of Uhud […] Many such examples are found in the visions of other prophets, that although something was shown to them, but in reality, it referred to something different. Thus, metaphors and figurative meanings in the words of prophets are not a rare thing.” (Izala-e-Auham, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 3, p. 133 [footnote])
Nevertheless, when the decision was made to fight outside [the city], the Holy Prophetsa instructed the companions to prepare, and he himself also began to prepare for the battle. As it was stated, the details of this are as follows:
The Holy Prophetsa did not want to go outside the city to fight on the basis of his dream, but when people continuously persisted, the Holy Prophetsa agreed to their opinion. He led the Friday prayers and delivered a sermon, commanding them to fight with complete courage and bravery. The Holy Prophetsa gave them glad tidings, that if they acted with patience, then Allah the Almighty would bestow victory and success upon them. Then the Holy Prophetsa commanded the people to go and prepare for war. Upon hearing this commandment, people became elated. After this, he offered the Asr prayer with everyone. By this time, those who had arrived from nearby had also gathered with them. The Holy Prophetsa then went into his house alongside Hazrat Abu Bakrra and Hazrat Umarra. They both tied the turban of the Holy Prophetsa and helped him put on his armour. While waiting for him, the people were arranged in rows. At this time, Hazrat Sa’d bin Muadhra and Hazrat Usaid bin Hudhairra said to the people, “You have gone against the wishes of the Holy Prophetsa by compelling him to go outside [the city of Medina] and fight the enemy; therefore, you should still just leave the matter to him. Whatever command he gives and whatever opinion he holds, there will be betterment for us in it. Therefore, obey him.” When the Holy Prophetsa came outside, he was wearing his armour. He was wearing a double coat of armour, meaning one coat on top of another. The names of these pieces of armour were Zaat-ul Fuzool and Fizza. Zaat-ul Fuzool was the armour that Hazrat Sa’d bin Ubadahra sent to the Holy Prophetsa when he was going out for the Battle of Badr. This was the same armour that, when the Holy Prophetsa passed away, it was in the custody of a Jewish man at the time and was kept with him as a deposit. Hazrat Abu Bakrra obtained this armour, meaning he paid the sum and took the armour back.
The Holy Prophetsa had hung his sword on his side and put his quiver on his back. It is stated in a narration that the Holy Prophetsa mounted his horse named Saqb, hung his bow and held a spear in his hand. Nevertheless, it is possible that both things happened and different people witnessed them. When the Holy Prophetsa came out of his house, he was wearing his armour and weapons. He was informed that Hazrat Malik bin Amr Najaarira had passed away, and his body had been placed where the funeral prayers were offered. The Holy Prophetsa led his funeral prayer before departing.
At this time, some people said to the Holy Prophetsa that “O Messengersa of Allah! Our intention was not to oppose your opinion or to compel you into something; therefore, act according to whatever you think is best.” It is also mentioned in another narration that [they said], “If you would not like to leave the city to fight, then we can stay here.” The Holy Prophetsa said, “It is not permissible for a prophet, after he has put on his armour, to removes it until Allah the Almighty decides between him and his enemies.” In a different narration, the words used are “not until he fights”. (Al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah, Vol. 2, Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, pp. 298-299; Subul al-Huda wa al-Rashad fi Sirat Khair al-‘Ibad, Vol. 4 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah], p. 186)
Regarding the preparation of the Holy Prophetsa and the companions’ realisation of their mistake, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra states:
“Thereafter, the Holy Prophetsa retired to his residence, where he tied his turban, put on his equipment, took his arms with the assistance of Hazrat Abu Bakrra and Hazrat Umarra, and came out in the name of Allah. However, during this time, due to the admonishment of some of the companions, the party of young men began to realise their mistake; in that they should not have insisted upon their own opinion in opposition to the view of God’s Messengersa, and most of them were now inclined towards remorse.
“When these people saw the Holy Prophetsa coming with his arms, clad in double the armour, and his helmet, etc., their regret grew even more. They almost unanimously submitted, ‘O Messengersa of Allah! We have committed a mistake in insisting upon our own view over your own. You should employ whatever strategy you deem most appropriate. God-willing, it shall be most blessed.’
“The Holy Prophetsa said:
“‘It does not befit a Prophet of God to put on his arms and then lay them down before God issues forth a verdict.’ So go forth now, in the name of Allah and if you are steadfast, then be certain that the succour of Allah the Exalted shall be with you.” (Sirat Khatam-un-Nabiyeen, pp. 485-486)
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra also states, in regard to this incident, that:
“When the Holy Prophetsa came outside, the young men felt regret in their hearts, and they said, ‘O messengersa of Allah! Whatever you advise is correct, and we should stay in Medina to fight against the enemy.’ The Holy Prophetsa responded, ‘When a Prophet of God puts on his armour, he does not remove it. Now, whatever happens, we will still go forth. If you act with patience, then the help of Allah will come to you.’” (Dibacha Tafsir-ul-Quran, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 20, p. 248)
Thus, preparations were made for the Muslim army to depart. The Holy Prophetsa departed from Medina with an army of 1,000. (As-Sirah Al-Nabawiyyah, Ibn Hisham, Vol. 3, p. 448)
At this time, the Holy Prophetsa asked for three spears and tied three flags to them. The flag of the Aus tribe was given to Usaid bin Hudhairra, the flag of the Khazraj tribe was given to Hubaab bin Mundhirra while others are of the opinion that it was given to Sa’d bin Ubadahra, and the flag of the Muhajirin was given to Hazrat Alira. Then the Holy Prophetsa appointed Hazrat Ibn Umme Maktumra to lead in prayer all those who stayed behind. Thereafter, the Holy Prophetsa mounted his horse Saqb, hung his bow over his neck, and held his spear in his hand. It is mentioned in a narration that on the day of the Battle of Uhud, the Muslims had two horses, one horse belonged to the Holy Prophetsa and was named Saqb, while the other horse belonged to Hazrat Abu Burdahra and was named Mulawaih. And the Muslims also donned their weapons, among whom 100 were wearing armour, and the two Sa’ds, meaning Hazrat Sa’d bin Muadhra and Hazrat Sa’d bin Ubadahra, began running in front of the Holy Prophetsa.
Both of them were wearing armour, and the people were on both sides of the Holy Prophetsa. When they reached Thaniyyah, they saw a heavily armed force. Their weapons were clattering. The Holy Prophetsa asked, “What is that?” The Noble Companions replied, “These are the Jewish confederates of Abdullah bin Ubayy.” The Holy Prophetsa asked, “Have the Jews accepted Islam?” They replied in the negative. The Holy Prophetsa then said, “We will not take the help of disbelievers in our fight against the idolaters.” (Subul al-Huda wa al-Rashad fi Sirat Khair al-‘Ibad, Vol. 4 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah], p. 186; Ibn Sa’d, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 1 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah], p. 380)
In this regard, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra also writes:
“After this, the Holy Prophetsa instructed that three flags be prepared for the Muslim army. The flag of the Aus tribe was entrusted to Usaid bin Al-Hudairra, the flag of the Khazraj tribe was entrusted to Hubbab bin Mundhirra, and the flag of the Muhajirin was entrusted to Hazrat Alira. Later, this flag was granted to Hazrat Mus’ab bin ‘Umairra. Then, after appointing Abdullah bin Ummi Maktumra as the Imamus-Salat in Medina and observing ‘Asr Salat, the Holy Prophetsa set out from Medina with a large community of the Companions. The chieftains of the Aus and Khazraj tribes, Sa‘d bin Mu‘adhra and Sa‘d bin ‘Ubadahra proceeded along, running slowly, just ahead of the mount of the Holy Prophetsa, and the rest of the Companions moved forward, positioned to the right, left and behind the Holy Prophetsa.” (Sirat Khatam-ul-Nabiyeen, p. 486; Sharah Zurqani, Vol. 2, p. 398, Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah)
After his departure, the Holy Prophetsa set up his camp at a place called Shaikhain. This place referred to the two mountains of Medina. Upon arriving at this place, the Holy Prophetsa inspected his army and sent back those youth whom he thought were below the age of 15, or who were 14 years old.” (Al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah, Vol. 2, Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, p. 300; Subul al-Huda wa al-Rashad fi Sirat Khair al-‘Ibad, Vol. 4 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah], p. 175)
Imam Shafi’i writes that the Holy Prophetsa was presented with 17 youths who were 14 years of age, and he sent them back. He was also presented with youth who were 15 years old, and he granted them permission [to fight]. The youth who were sent back were passionate, and some of their names are found in the narration, namely Abdullah bin Umar, Zaid bin Thabit, Usamah bin Zaid, Zaid bin Arqam, Bara’ bin Adhib, ‘Usaid bin Zuhair, Araba bin Aus, Abu Sa’id Khudri, Aus bin Thabit, Sa’d bin Bahir, Ibn Muawiyah Bajali, Sa’id bin Habtah (Habtah was the name of his mother), Sa’d bin Uqaib, Zaid bin Jariyah, Jabir bin Abdullah (this Jabir bin Abdullah is not the one who narrated the Ahadith, he is someone else), Rafi’ bin Khadij, and Samurah bin Jundub.
The Holy Prophetsa was told that Rafi’ bin Khadij was an archer, and so he was granted permission. He was first instructed to return, however, upon learning that he was a proficient archer, he was granted permission to stay. Upon this, Samurah bin Jundub said, “The Holy Prophetsa granted permission to Rafi’ bin Khadij and has instructed me to return, even though I can defeat Rafi’ bin Khadij in a wrestle.” When the Holy Prophetsa learned of this, he instructed both of them to wrestle each other. Samurah defeated Rafi’ in the wrestle, and so the Holy Prophetsa granted him permission as well. Further into the narration, it is recorded that when the Holy Prophetsa finished inspecting the army and the sun had set, Hazrat Bilalra made the call for the Maghrib prayer and the Holy Prophetsa led the prayer. After this, the call for the Isha prayer was given, and the Holy Prophetsa led the Isha prayer. That night was spent at Shaikhain, and Muhammad bin Maslamahra was given the responsibility of keeping watch during the night. He circled the army with 50 men. The Holy Prophetsa said, “Who will stay awake to safeguard us (in other words, who would safeguard the army and the Holy Prophetsa)?” Dhakwan bin ‘Abd Qais stood up for the task. [It was said], “Who would stay closest to the Holy Prophetsa?” to ensure that the security arrangements were done properly. Dhakwan bin ‘Abd Qais stood up, wore his armour, took up his leather shield and stood as a guard for the Holy Prophetsa. He did not leave the Holy Prophet’ssa side for even a moment. The Holy Prophetsa rested until it was time for Sehri [dawn]. (Subul al-Huda wa al-Rashad fi Sirat Khair al-‘Ibad, Vol. 4 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah], p. 187)
According to the narration, in the morning, the Holy Prophetsa said that he saw in a dream that the angels were bathing Hazrat Hamzara. (Al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah, Vol. 2, Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, p. 300)
Regarding this, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra has written in The Life and Character of the Seal of Prophets:
“The mountain of Uhud was approximately three miles north of Medina. Halfway there, upon reaching a place called Shaikhain, the Holy Prophetsa stopped and instructed that the Muslim army should be inspected. The youth who were passionate about Jihad and had come along were sent back. Abdullah bin Umar, Usamah bin Zaid, Abu Saeed Khudri and others went back. Rafi’ bin Khadij was the same age as those youth; however, he was an expert archer. Owing to this skill, his father recommended to the Holy Prophetsa that he be given permission to partake in Jihad. The Holy Prophetsa looked at Rafi’ and saw that he was standing tall like the other soldiers in order to appear stronger and larger. His strategy worked as the Holy Prophetsa graciously allowed him to come along. Upon this, another youth by the name of Samurah bin Jundub – as was just mentioned – who was commanded to return went to his father and said, ‘If Rafi’ was taken then I should also be permitted because I am stronger than Rafi’ and can overcome him in a wrestle.’ His father was very pleased by his sincerity, and so he took his son before the Holy Prophetsa and expressed his son’s desire. Whilst smiling, the Holy Prophetsa said, ‘Rafi’ and Samurah should wrestle so that we can ascertain who is stronger.” They began to wrestle and Samurah actually defeated Rafi’ within moments. Upon this, the Holy Prophetsa also graciously allowed Samurah to accompany them. The heart of this innocent youth filled with joy. Now that it was evening, Bilalra made the call for prayer and all the Companions prayed behind the Holy Prophetsa. The Muslims set up their encampment for the night at this very place, and the Holy Prophetsa appointed Muhammad bin Maslamah to make arrangements for security and surveillance during the night. He circled the Muslim army all night with a party of 50 Companions.” (Sirat Khatam-un-Nabiyeen, pp. 486-487)
Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Sulul initially accompanied them, but returned during the journey. The details of this are that at the time of Sehri [dawn], the Holy Prophetsa set out from Shaikhan to a place between Medina and Uhud known as Shaut. Upon arriving there, it was time for prayer, and so the Holy Prophetsa offered the Fajr prayer. Shaut is a place between the Valley of Qanat and Medina. From this very place, Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Sulul and his hypocrite accomplices deserted the Holy Prophetsa and returned. His accomplices numbered 300, all of whom were hypocrites. Whilst returning, Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Sulul remarked, “He (i.e., the Holy Prophetsa) did not listen to me. In fact, he listened to the youth, who are not worthy of an opinion. We do not know on what basis we should give our lives. (These are the words of Abdullah.) Thus, O people, go back.” Upon this instruction from the leader of the hypocrites, the rest of the hypocrites deserted the Muslims and went back. Upon seeing them going back, Hazrat Jabir’sra father, Hazrat Abdullah bin Amrra went after them. Like Abdullah bin Ubayi, he too was a prominent chief of the Khazraj tribe. He addressed those who were going back and said, “By God, I ask you, are you content with betraying your Prophetsa and people at a time when their enemy is standing before them with their full power and strength?” They replied, “If we had known that you were going to fight in a battle, we would not have accompanied you in the first place. We thought that a battle would not take place.” In this manner, they unequivocally announced that they were going back, despite the fact that they had prepared well for battle. Upon this, Hazrat Abdullah bin Amrra said, “O enemies of God! May Allah ruin and destroy you. Allah will soon free His Prophetsa from you.”
In one narration, Allamah ibn Jawzirh writes: “When the tribes of Banu Salamah and Banu Hartiha saw the treachery of Abdullah bin Ubayy, they also planned to return. Both of these tribes were on either flank of the [Muslim] army. But then, Allah the Almighty saved both of these tribes from sin and both of these tribes abandoned the thought of returning. Upon this, Allah the Almighty revealed the verse:
اِذۡ ہَمَّتۡ طَّآئِفَتٰنِ مِنۡکُمۡ اَنۡ تَفۡشَلَا ۙ وَاللّٰہُ وَلِيُّہُمَا ؕ وَعَلَي اللّٰہِ فَلۡيَتَوَکَّلِ الۡمُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ
“‘When two of your groups meditated cowardice, although Allah was their friend. And upon Allah should the believers rely.’ (Ch.3, V.123)
“Owing to the treachery of Abdullah bin Ubayy and 300 of his men, only 700 companions were left with the Holy Prophetsa. When Abdullah bin Ubayy left, the Ansar said to the Holy Prophetsa, “O Messengersa of Allah! Should we not seek the assistance of the Jews of Medina, who are our confederates?” They were referring to the Jews of Medina and from among them, perhaps they were referring to the Banu Quraizah, who were the confederates of Hazrat Sa’d bin Mu’adhra. According to some scholars, among the Ansar, the status of Hazrat Sa’dra was akin to a position held by Hazrat Abu Bakrra among the Muhajirin. Nonetheless, upon this question the Holy Prophetsa simply replied: “We do not require their assistance.” (Al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah, Vol. 2, Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, p. 301; Farhang-e-Sirat, p. 167, Zawar Academy, Karachi)
In reference to this, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra has written:
“The following day, on the 15th of Shawwal3 AH or the 31st of March 624 A.D. on Saturday, before dawn, the Muslim army marched forward and offering their salat enroute, reached the foot of Mount Uhud at the start of the morning. It was on this occasion that the evil ‘Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Sulul, chief of the hypocrites, betrayed the Muslims, and separating himself along with 300 followers, returned to Medina, saying, ‘Muhammadsa did not pay heed to my advice, and being swayed by inexperienced youngsters, he has come out of Medina. Hence, I cannot remain with him and fight.’
“Some people admonished him of their own accord, saying that such betrayal was uncalled for, but he would not have it, and continued to retort, ‘If this was a battle, I too would have taken part, but this is not battle; it is suicide.’ Now all that remained of the Muslim army was 700 souls, which was even less than a quarter of the 3,000 warriors of the Quraish. Furthermore, with respect to mounts and equipment of war as well, the Muslim army was very weak and insignificant in comparison to the army of the Quraish. The Muslim army only had a hundred men clad in armour, and a meagre two horses. By comparison, the disbelieving army boasted 700 men clad in armour, 200 horses, and 3,000 camels. In this state of weakness, which was strongly felt by the Muslims, the treachery of “‘Abdullah bin Ubayy’s 300 men, had created a state of restlessness and anxiety in the hearts of various weak-hearted Muslims, some of whom began to lose courage. Hence, as mentioned in the Holy Quran, in this very state of distress and anxiety, two tribes from among the Muslims, the Banu Harithah and Banu Salamah, had even planned to return to Medina, but since their hearts still possessed the light of faith, they managed to compose themselves. As far as apparent means were concerned, even as death stared them in the eye, they did not leave the side of their master.” (Sirat Khatam-un-Nabiyeen, p. 487)
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:
“The Holy Prophetsa left Medina with an army of 1,000. Having travelled a short distance, they stopped and set up camp for the night. It was the custom of the Holy Prophetsa that when he would reach near the enemy camp, he would let his army rest, so they could make the necessary preparations. When the Holy Prophetsa came out for the morning prayer, he saw that some Jews had come along with the tribes they were allies with. Since the Holy Prophetsa was aware of the mischievous ploys of the Jews, he ordered for them to be sent back. Upon this, Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Sulul – who was the chief of the hypocrites – took 300 of his comrades and left, saying: ‘This is no longer a war! It is suicide!’ (Another reason for Abdullah bin Ubayy leaving was that he questioned why the Jews were not being permitted to fight alongside them and that stopping assistance was inviting one’s own destruction.) Consequently, the Muslims were left with only 700 men, which, compared to the disbeliever’s army was not even one-fourth in size, but even more inferior in terms of provisions. Among the ranks of the disbelievers, there were 700 men clad in armour, whereas among the Muslims, there were only 100. The disbelievers had a cavalry unit of 200 men, whereas the Muslims only had 2 horses.” (Dibacha Tafsir-ul-Quran, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 20, pp. 248-249)
When the Holy Prophetsa reached the area of the Banu Harithah, a horse of one of the companions waved its tail and hit his sword. Sensing danger, he immediately drew his sword. The narrator states that the Holy Prophetsa was always optimistic and never worried about ill omens. The Holy Prophetsa said to the companion whose sword it was: “Put your sword back into the sheath, because I sense that swords will surely be drawn today.” (As-Sirah Al-Nabawiyyah, Ibn Hisham, Vol. 3, pp. 447-449)
This is what the Holy Prophetsa understood from this incident. He then turned to the companions and said: “Who will lead us close to the enemy?” i.e., to take them using a route that is not normally used. Upon this, Hazrat Abu Khaithamahra said: “O Messengersa of Allah! I will lead the way.” Ibn Sa’d and others have mentioned his name as Abu Hatamah.
Nonetheless, he took them to the neighbourhood of the Banu Harithah using the route that passed by their pastures and land. Taking the Muslim army along this route, they reached the mountain pass of Mount Uhud and set up camp. They encamped in such a way that Mount Uhud was behind them and Medina was in front of them. (Al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah, Vol. 2, Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, pp. 301-302)
The Holy Prophetsa then addressed the Muslims. The Muslims were arranged in rows at the base of Mount Uhud.
On Saturday, the time for the Fajr [morning] prayer approached; the Muslims could see the idolaters in front of them. Hazrat Bilalra called the Adhan and recited the Iqamah [to signal the start of the prayer]. The Holy Prophetsa then led the companions in the morning prayer. Muhammad bin Umar al-Aslami narrates that the Holy Prophetsa stood up before the Muslims and said:
“O people! I advise you about those things that were given to me in the Book [Quran]; to abide by those injunctions [in the book] and to abstain from those things that have been forbidden. Today is a day in which you can gain reward and blessings. Whosoever keeps this in mind, is the one who is patient, has firm conviction, and is content. (One must be patient if they wish to attain this.) Today you have gathered to fight against the enemy, which will be a vigorous task. There will be few people who can truly be steadfast, except for those whom Allah the Almighty guides, because Allah helps those people who are obedient to Him, whereas Satan assists those who are disobedient to Allah. Thus, begin your actions by showing patience in your Jihad and search for the favours that Allah has promised to you by means of it. It is incumbent upon you to follow the directives I have imparted to you, because I desire for you to be guided. Undoubtedly, discord and quarrelling is a sign of helplessness and weakness and Allah is displeased by this. (There should be no discord; otherwise they will not be helped nor will they succeed.) O People! It has been placed in my heart that whosoever carries out unlawful deeds, Allah the Almighty distances Himself from that person. (Allah is not pleased by this.) Whosoever abstains from unlawful actions, Allah the Almighty forgives their sins. Whosoever sends salutations upon me once, Allah the Almighty and His angels will send down mercy upon him 10 times. Whoever does a good deed, whether it be to a believer or a disbeliever, then his reward will be ordained by Allah the Almighty. He will be rewarded instantly in this life and after an interval, he will also receive a reward for it in the Hereafter. Offering the Friday prayers is incumbent upon every person who believes in Allah and the Day of Resurrection, except for children, women, the sick and the slaves in captivity. Whoever shows indifference towards this, Allah the Almighty will show indifference to him.”
In essence, the Holy Prophetsa set out a complete set of guidelines, perhaps owing to the dream he had seen. It was a complete set of guidelines on how Muslims should conduct themselves. The Holy Prophetsa then said: “Allah the Almighty is Self-Sufficient, Praiseworthy. I have commanded you to follow all those deeds that I know will grant you nearness to Allah and I have warned you about all those deeds that will push you closer to Hellfire. The Faithful Spirit [Gabriel] has revealed to me and placed in my heart that no soul shall taste death until they have gained their rightful provisions. Their provisions will not diminish, even if there is a delay in receiving those provisions. (That is, Allah the Almighty will grant reward for one’s deeds. This refers to all types of provisions.) Therefore, fear your Lord, and act with moderation in your pursuit of your provisions, so that you may receive them with blessings, lest you be driven to hardship in pursuit of them. (Carry out virtuous deeds, attain the loftiest of morals and always strive to gain provisions that are lawful and pure), because what Allah has in store for man can only be attained through obedience to Him. Allah the Almighty has clearly defined for you what is lawful and what is unlawful, but in between these two there are many things which are doubtful. Many people are unaware of them except for those whom Allah the Almighty has protected. Those of you who abstain from them will uphold their honour and their faith. And those who indulge in them (i.e., unlawful deeds), their example is like that shepherd who is close to his [forbidden] grazing pasture. It is nigh that he may enter that pasture. Every king has a pasture that is a forbidden pasture. Hearken, undoubtedly the forbidden pasture of Allah the Almighty are those things He has declared unlawful. (Abstain from all those things that Allah has made clearly unlawful.) A believer compared to the entire population of the believers is like the example of the head compared to the body. When a person suffers from a headache, the entire body experiences pain.” (Subul al-Huda wa al-Rashad fi Sirat Khair al-‘Ibad, Vol. 4 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah], pp. 189-190)
If the Muslims remain mindful of these things today, then the enemy would not have the courage to even set their sights upon them. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira states:
“On the Day of Uhud, the enemy walked from Mecca to Medina. The very weapons that Abu Sufyan brought from Syria and for which the Holy Prophetsa travelled towards Badr in order to intercept [his trade caravan] and thereby the might of the disbelievers was completely shattered, the very same weapons were now gathered to be used against the Muslims. The following verse of the Quran alludes to this and those who spent in this cause:
اِنَّ الَّذِيۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا يُنۡفِقُوۡنَ اَمۡوَالَہُمۡ لِيَصُدُّوۡا عَنۡ سَبِيۡلِ اللّٰہِ ؕ فَسَيُنۡفِقُوۡنَہَا ثُمَّ تَکُوۡنُ عَلَيۡہِمۡ حَسۡرَةً ثُمَّ يُغۡلَبُوۡنَ ۬ؕ وَالَّذِيۡنَ کَفَرُوۡۤا اِلٰي جَہَنَّمَ يُحۡشَرُوۡنَ
“[Surely, those who disbelieve spend their wealth to turn men away from the way of Allah. They will surely continue to spend it; but then shall it become a source of regret for them. (Surah al-Anfal, Ch.8: V.37)]
“In this battle, Bani Tahama and Bani Kinanah also took part and the enemy numbers had reached almost 3,000. They were all clad in armour and 700 of them were on mounts. Each and every one of them was eager to quickly exact revenge against the Muslims. This zealous army of men which comprised of many small tribes was under the command of Abu Sufyan and had firmly established their base in the northwest of Medina. The valley of Uhud was all that remained between them and the city of Medina. Having established their base, the disbelievers began to destroy the fields and orchards of the people of Medina. The companions became extremely angry and the Muslims prepared for revenge. They earnestly requested the Holy Prophetsa to be granted permission to defend themselves and so the Holy Prophetsa took 1,000 men and left Medina in order to fight against them. One of the chieftains, Abdullah bin Ubayy, who resided in Medina and outwardly showed himself to be with the Muslims, right at the crucial moments before the battle, separated himself from the Muslims along with 300 of his men. The Muslim army was now reduced from 1000 to just 700. This small army had only two horses, but despite this, they bravely marched forth. Passing through the date orchard, they arrived at the Mount of Uhud. The Muslim army camped the entire night in the valley of the mount and after offering the Fajr prayer, they gathered on the battlefield.” (Fasl-ul-Khitab, Pt. 1, pp. 124-125)
In other words, the battle commenced at this time. The details of this shall be narrated in the future sermon.
I have been continually reminding members to pray for the Palestinians. So do continue to pray for them. In recent days, after the pause in fighting ended, exactly what was expected is taking place now. The Israeli government is bombarding and attacking every part of Gaza with even greater force than before. More innocent children and civilians are being martyred. Now, even a representative of Congress in the United States, who perhaps belongs to the Jewish faith, has said that this is enough and that the United States must play its part in bringing this to an end. The President of the United States is also now hinting that this firing and the bombardment must end which is taking place in the North and the South simultaneously. Before it used to be said that nothing would be done in the South yet there are now attacks there too. However, we should not make the mistake of thinking that the words of the American President are a result of any sort of compassion for humanity, rather these words are for his own benefit, seeing as elections are coming up in the United States, and the younger population is calling for a ceasefire, as are Muslim Americans. Hence all this is being done to win votes, otherwise, there is no compassion for Palestinians or Muslims.
The voices of the Muslim countries are beginning to gain some strength, however until they unite and call for a ceasefire, there will be no benefit. May Allah the Almighty establish unity among Muslims.
The non-Muslim world knows that there is no unity in the Muslim world, rather Muslims are killing each other. Take the example of Yemen and similarly other [Muslim] countries; thousands of children and innocent people are being killed at the hands of Muslims, in fact, hundreds of thousands are being killed in some places. Consequently, this emboldens non-Muslims, who think that it is fine to inflict cruelties against Muslims, as they see that Muslims inflict cruelties on themselves as well. When Muslims do not care for the lives of other Muslims, then why would the enemy have any care? Allah the Almighty has strictly warned in the Quran against the taking of life of other Muslims, and has rendered a Muslim who does so to be hell-bound. May Allah the Almighty enable the Muslims to unite and become a means of ending injustice in the world, rather than fighting amongst each other.
The UN has tried raising its voice, but who listens to them? They claim that they will do such and such, but they cannot do anything because there is no one who listens to them. The major powers exert their rights. May Allah the Almighty have mercy upon the Muslims.
In order to end these cruelties, we must pray and alongside this — as I have already informed the members through their jamaats — they should contact their local officials and politicians so that they raise their voices to end these injustices. Similarly, we must convey the same message among our contacts that we must strive to end these injustices. May Allah the Almighty save the innocent from injustices.
After the prayers, I shall lead two funeral prayers in absentia. The first is of respected Masuda Begum Akmal Sahiba of Holland. She was the wife of the late respected Abdul Hakim Akmal Sahib, who was a missionary of the Jamaat. She passed away recently:
اِنَّا لِلّٰہِ وَاِنَّاۤ اِلَيۡہِ رٰجِعُوۡنَ
[Surely, to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.]
Her maternal grandfather, Mia Abdus Samad Sahibra and great maternal grandfather, Hazrat Mia Fateh Din Sahib Sekhwanra were from Qadian and both were companions of the Promised Messiahas. The deceased remained engaged in the service of faith for a long time in Holland along with her husband. Upon the instruction of Hazrat Musleh Maudra in 1957, Akmal Sahib came to Holland for the first time and his wife was not with him. She joined him in 1969 and later returned and then went again in 1986. During the course of her married life, she spent approximately 15 years on her own due to her husband serving in foreign lands.
Among her notable services during her time in Holland was the establishment of Lajna Imaillah Holland. She also had the honour of being the first President of Lajna Imaillah Holland. She had a relationship of profound sincerity and loyalty to Khilafat. She was righteous, pious, and regular in offering prayers and keeping fasts. She was a musia. She is survived by three sons and a daughter, all of whom are sincerely serving the Jamaat in one way or another. One of her sons used to be the President of Ansarullah [in Holland] and the other has perhaps been elected this year as the President of Ansarullah [Holland]. They are also rendering services aside from this as well. May Allah the Almighty grant forgiveness and mercy to the deceased and enable her children to carry on the legacy of her virtues.
The next mention is of Master Abdul Majeed Sahib, a life-devotee, who was a teacher at the Talimul Islam High School in Rabwah. He also passed away recently. He had moved to Canada after his retirement which is where he passed away.
اِنَّا لِلّٰہِ وَاِنَّاۤ اِلَيۡہِ رٰجِعُوۡنَ
[Surely, to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.]
He is survived by his wife, three sons and two daughters. His son Mazhar Majeed says, “My father possessed many great qualities. He was very humble, and lived a very simple life. My mother tells me that from their marriage until his demise, she found him to be an extremely virtuous person. A few years after getting married, one day, he was weeping as he prayed aloud. After he completed his prayer she asked him what he was praying for. He responded, ‘It is my desire to dedicate my life and to serve as a professor at the Talimul Islam High School in Rabwah. (He was previously elsewhere in his own area.) So, I have been praying that Allah the Almighty fulfils my desire and also makes my wife agreeable to this and grants her heart contentment.’” In any case, his wife said, “You should immediately write to Khalifatul Masih requesting to become a life-devotee.” By the grace of Allah the Almighty he wrote the request to become a devotee – this was during the time of the Khalifatul Masih IIra and he approved the request upon which he moved to Rabwah.
He says, “Every month, when my father received his pay, first and foremost he would visit the finance secretary in order to offer his financial contributions. After that, he would take whatever was left and hand it to my mother. After moving to Rabwah he lived under very difficult circumstances yet he never complained. He never expressed a desire for worldly or material things. He always advised us siblings to offer the prayers on time and to remain attached to the Jamaat and Khilafat.” At that time, the Jamaat’s financial circumstances were not very good and there would be great difficulty, despite which he lived with great patience. He was teaching at the time when I was in school, and I observed him myself; these things are not just something his son is saying in order to praise his father. He certainly possessed these virtuous qualities. Non-Ahmadis were also impressed by him. In 1985 when the government promoted him, or in 1973 or perhaps after 1974 when the school was nationalised he chose to remain at the school. He spent some time at the high school and then in 1985 when he was promoted and sent as the headmaster of the Islamiyyah High School Bhera. The Deputy Headmaster there was also the Imam of the Jami mosque and it seemed he would oppose him on account of him being an Ahmadi, however due to his good character, he respected him a great deal and was very courteous to him.
Someone relates, “One day, I heard him saying to the other teachers that despite him being a Qadiani, he is a very virtuous person.” This is how he did silent tabligh such that he even impacted those who opposed him. His students would often come to visit him and would say, “We used to be your students.” However, he used to be most proud of those students and mentioned those who went on to dedicate their lives for the sake of God. He would very happily say that such and such life-devotee used to be his student. He had a great deal of honour and respect for life-devotees. May Allah the Almighty grant the deceased His forgiveness and mercy, elevate his station, and enable his children to carry on the legacy of his virtues.
(Official Urdu transcript published in the Daily Al Fazl International, 29 December 2023, pp. 3-7. Translated by The Review of Religions.)