21 June 2019
Hazrat Zaynab bint Jahshra
After reciting the Tashahud, Ta‘awuz and Surah al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa stated:
In the previous sermon, I narrated some incidents with regard to Hazrat Zaidra bin Haritha. In this regard, I mentioned that the Holy Prophetsa later married Hazrat Zainabra bint Jahsh and that I will continue to relate a few more narrations regarding the marriage.
“At the time of her marriage, Hazrat Zainabra bint Jahsh was thirty-five years of age and in light of the circumstances of Arabia at the time, this was considered middle-aged or old. Hazrat Zainabra was a very righteous, pious and affluent lady. Despite the fact that from among all the wives of the Holy Prophetsa, Hazrat Aishara was contested and rivalled by Zainab alone, Hazrat Aishara still highly praised the inherent virtue and purity of Hazrat Zainabra, and would often say:
‘I have not seen a more pious lady than Zainabra. She was very righteous and truthful, she was very kind towards relatives, she would give a great amount of charity and alms, and worked tirelessly for goodness and to attain divine nearness. The only thing was that she was a bit heated in temper, but immediately thereafter, she would feel remorse herself.’
“The degree to which she would give charity and alms was such that Hazrat Aishara relates:
‘On one occasion, the Holy Prophetsa said to us,
اَسْرَعُکُنَّ لِحَاقًا بِیْ اَطْوَلُکُنَّ یَدًا۔
“The one from among you who has the longest hands, shall be the first to pass away after my demise and join me.”’
“Hazrat Aishara states, ‘We inferred this to mean physical hands, and would often measure our hands with one another. However, when the Holy Prophetsa passed away and Zainabra bint Jahsh was the first to leave this world, it was then that the secret revealed itself to us that the word “hand” referred to charity and alms, not a physical hand.’”
Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra further writes:
“As it was apprehended, upon the marriage of Hazrat Zainabra the hypocrites of Medina raised many allegations and openly taunted that ‘Muhammad[sa] had married the divorcee of his son and had made his own daughter-in-law permissible for himself.’ However, since the very purpose of this marriage was to erase this ignorant Arabian custom, these objections were also inevitable.
“At this instance, it is also necessary to mention that Ibn-e-Saad, Tabari etc. have recorded an absolutely false narration in relation to the marriage of Hazrat Zainabra. Since this narration furnishes an opportunity to raise an objection against the pristine character of the Holy Prophetsa, various Christian historians have adorned their books with this narration in a most unpleasant manner. The story goes that when the Holy Prophetsa married Zainabra bint Jahsh to Zaid, one day the Holy Prophetsa came to the home of Hazrat Zaidra in search of him. Incidentally, at the time Zaidra, was not at home. Standing outside at the front door, when the Holy Prophetsa called for Zaidra, Zainabra responded from inside saying that he was not at home, and recognising the voice of the Holy Prophetsa, she dashed out immediately and submitted, ‘O Messenger of Allah! May my mother and father be sacrificed for you, please come in.’ The Holy Prophetsa, however, refused and set back (and this narrator further states) but since Hazrat Zainabra had suddenly stood up flustered, she happened to stand up without a shawl on her body and the door of her home was open. As a result, the Holy Prophetsa happened to catch sight of her, and God-forbid, fell for her beauty and returned humming the words:
سُبْحَانَ اللّٰہِ الْعَظِیْمِ سُبْحَانَ اللّٰہِ مُصَرِّفِ الْقُلْوبِ
meaning, ‘Holy is Allah, Who is the Possessor of all Greatness, Holy is Allah, Who turns the hearts of people however He so wills.’
When Zaidra returned, Zainabra related the story of the visit made by the Holy Prophetsa. When Zaidra further enquired as to what the Holy Prophetsa had said, Zainabra repeated these words of the Holy Prophetsa and also said, ‘I submitted to the Holy Prophetsa that if he desired he should come in, but he refused and returned.’ Upon hearing this, Zaidra presented himself before the Holy Prophetsa and said, ‘O Messenger of Allah! Perhaps you desire Zainab for yourself. If it is your wish, I shall divorce her and you can marry her.’ The Holy Prophetsa responded, ‘O Zaid! Fear God and do not divorce Zainabra.’ However, the narrator further states that Zaidra ultimately divorced Zainabra.
“This is the narration as it is related by Ibn-e-Saad, Tabari and others on this occasion. Although this narration can be elaborated in a manner which no longer leaves room for any objection, the truth is that this tale is absolutely fictitious and false from start to finish. It is proven to be fabricated both in terms of riwayat [chain of narrators] and dirayat [meaning]. As far as riwayat is concerned, it is enough to state that this narration is primarily related by Waqidi and Abdullah bin Aamir Aslami, both of whom are looked upon by scholars as being absolutely weak and unreliable. In fact, Waqidi is so notorious for his falsehood and lies that from among all the Muslim narrators, he is perhaps second to none in this respect.”
In contrast, however, the narration which Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra has recorded, “The one we have adopted, wherein Zaidra presented himself before the Holy Prophetsa and complained about the harsh treatment of Zainabra”, that was mentioned in the previous sermon, “to which the Holy Prophetsa had responded, ‘Fear God and do not divorce her.’ This narration is from Bukhari, which, in the estimation of both friend and foe is accepted as the most authentic record of Islamic history after the Holy Quran, to which no critic has ever had the courage to raise a finger.
“Therefore, in light of principles of riwayat, the value and worth of both these narrations is evident. Similarly, if one contemplates in terms of rationality, there seems to be no doubt in the narration of Ibn-e-Saad, etc. as being false. It is accepted that Zainabra was the paternal-cousin of the Holy Prophetsa, to the extent that it was he who acted as her guardian and married her to Zaidra bin Haritha. Similarly, no one can deny that until this time, the Muslim women did not observe purdah [the veil], rather, the initial injunctions relevant to purdah were revealed after the marriage of Hazrat Zainabra and the Holy Prophetsa. In this case, to presume that prior to this the Holy Prophetsa had not seen Zainabra and it was only then that he coincidentally happened to catch sight of her, and then fell for her, possesses no more value than a clear and blatant lie.
“Indeed, prior to that time, the Holy Prophetsa probably would have seen Zainabra thousands of times and the beauty and flaws of her body were apparent to him. Although there is no difference in seeing her with or without a shawl, when their relation was so close, the tradition of purdah was not prevalent and there was constant interaction, it is most probable that the Holy Prophetsa would have had the opportunity to see her many times without a shawl. Furthermore, the fact that Zainabra invited the Holy Prophetsa inside proves that she was at least wearing enough clothing to be able to present herself before the Holy Prophetsa. Hence, irrespective of the angle from which this tale is analysed, it proves to be absolutely false and forged, which possesses no truth whatsoever. Along with these arguments, if the impeccably pure and holy life of the Holy Prophetsa is taken into consideration, which was evident from his every movement, nothing at all remains of this absurd and ridiculous tale. It is for this very reason that research scholars have categorically declared this tale to be fabricated and false.
“For example, Allama Ibn Hajar in his Fathul-Bari, Allama Ibn Kathir in his commentary, and Allama Zarqani in his Sharh Mawahib have explicitly stated that this narration is absolutely false, and have considered it to be a disgrace of the truth to even allude to it. So too is the case with other research scholars as well.”
Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra has further written:
“This is not limited to research scholars alone, rather, every such individual who has not been blinded by prejudice, would give precedence to the viewpoint we have presented before our readers on the foundation of the Holy Quran and authentic Ahadith, in comparison to this meaningless and loathsome tale, which has been forged and related by certain hypocrites. The Muslim historians, whose only task was to gather all kinds of narrations, included this tale in their works without any investigation, and then blinded by religious prejudice, non-Muslim historians have made this tale the highlight of their books.”
Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra further writes in his book, Seerat Khatamun Nabiyyin:
“In the context of this fabricated tale, it should especially be remembered that this time was an era in the Islamic history when the hypocrites of Medina were at full force. A full-fledged conspiracy to defame Islam and the founder of Islam was being hatched under the leadership of Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Sulul. It was their custom to concoct false and fabricated tales and propagate them in secret; or if the actual case was something else, they would twist it, add a hundred lies to it and begin to publicise it covertly. As such, in Surah al-Ahzab of the Holy Quran, where the marriage of Hazrat Zainabra has been alluded to, the hypocrites of Medina have especially been mentioned in parallel as well. Referring to their acts of mischief, Allah the Exalted states:
لَئِنۡ لَّمۡ یَنۡتَہِ الۡمُنٰفِقُوۡنَ وَالَّذِیۡنَ فِیۡ قُلُوۡبِہِمۡ مَّرَضٌ وَّ الۡمُرۡجِفُوۡنَ فِی الۡمَدِیۡنَۃِ لَنُغۡرِیَنَّکَ بِہِمۡ ثُمَّ لَا یُجَاوِرُوۡنَکَ فِیۡہَاۤ اِلَّا قَلِیۡلًا
“Meaning, ‘If the hypocrites, and those in whose hearts is a disease, and those who propagate false seditious news in Medina, desist not from their schemes, then O Messenger! We shall give you permission to take action against them, and then these people shall not continue to reside in Medina, except for a little while.’ [Surah al-Ahzab, Ch.33: V.61]
“In this verse, the false nature of this tale has clearly been mentioned in principle. Then, as it shall be mentioned ahead, it was around this time when the terrible incident of slandering Hazrat Aishara transpired. Abdullah bin Ubayy and his wretched followers propagated this lie so widely, and disseminated such a twisted version of it that the Muslims began to lose their peace of mind. Certain Muslims, who were of weaker dispositions and unmindful, became victims of this propaganda as well. Hence, this era was especially a time of full force for the hypocrites, and their most desirable weapon was to spread false and filthy propaganda in order to slander the Holy Prophetsa and his relatives. These rumours were spread so cunningly that on certain occasions, due to not having in-depth knowledge of affairs, the Holy Prophetsa and his most prominent Companions could not even find the opportunity to rebut these allegations, and their poison would continue to spread. In these instances, latter Muslims who were not in the habit of thorough investigation and deep thought would consider this misinformation to be true and begin relating these accounts. It is in this manner that these narrations have found way into the collections of such Muslims who are the Waqidi-type, etc. As mentioned above, these narrations are absolutely nowhere to be found among the authentic Ahadith, nor have research scholars accepted them.
“Whilst alluding to the tale of Zainabra bint Jahsh, Sir William Muir, from whom a better mentality was expected, has not only accepted the fictitious and forged narration of Waqidi, but has made a hurtful remark.” He was a critic of Islam and this was exactly the mentality that could expected from him – and then when they find a reference from the Muslims themselves, they have an even more potent opportunity to criticise. “He said as a taunt, ‘along with his advancing age, the carnal passions of the Holy Prophetsa grew as well – God forbid’ and Muir has attributed the expansion of his household to this very sentiment.”
He has attributed this to carnal passions, God forbid.
Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra has written, “I also present this entire ordeal from the perspective of a historian; I do not wish to enter into a religious debate, but upon witnessing the false portrayal of historical account, I cannot remain without raising a voice against such an unpleasant and unjust assertion either.
“Hence, religious passion and the sanctity of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa aside, for which a true Muslim and believer is willing to sacrifice even his life, the historical and rational facts also negate and reject this ridiculous contention.”
Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra further writes:
“Undoubtedly, it is a historical fact that the Holy Prophetsa married more than once and history also establishes that with the exception of Hazrat Khadijara, all of these marriages took place in an era, which may be described as one of old age. However, without any historical evidence, rather, in contradiction to clear historical fact, to assert that the marriages of the Holy Prophetsa were, God-forbid, owed to carnal passions, is far from the greatness of a historian, and even further still from the greatness of a noble man. Mr Muir was not oblivious to the fact that at the age of twenty-five, the Holy Prophetsa married a forty-year elderly widow (Hazrat Khadijara), and then fulfilled this relationship until the age of fifty with such integrity and loyalty that it’s like cannot be found nowhere else. After this, until the age of fifty-five, the Holy Prophetsa practically kept only one wife, and coincidentally this wife (Hazrat Saudara) also happened to be a widow, who was a lady well advanced in age.
“During this entire period, which is especially a period of carnal urge, the Holy Prophetsa never thought of additional marriages. Mr Muir was also not at all unaware of the historical occurrence that when the people of Mecca could no longer bear the preaching efforts of the Holy Prophetsa and considered it to be destructive to their national religion, they sent a delegation to the Holy Prophetsa leaded by Utbah bin Rabi‘ah. The delegation fervently pleaded to the Holy Prophetsa so that he would desist from his efforts. In addition to bribing him with wealth and power, they also begged that if he would be content upon marrying a worthy girl, and thus refrain from speaking ill of their religion and abstain from preaching this new faith, they were prepared to give him any girl he desired. At that time, the Holy Prophetsa was not very old, and his physical strength was also better than in his later life. However, the response that the Holy Prophetsa gave to the representative sent by the chieftains of Mecca is an open page of history, which does not need to be repeated here.
“This historical occurrence was also not hidden from the eyes of Mr Muir that prior to his divine appointment – that is, until forty years – the people of Mecca considered the Holy Prophetsa to be a man of impeccable character. However, despite all these testimonies, for Mr Muir to write that after the age of fifty-five, the Holy Prophetsa became indulged in sensuality and lust, despite the fact that his physical strengths naturally became weaker, and his engagements and responsibilities grew to such an extent that the busiest of people are put to shame, cannot be considered as being anything other than a prejudiced remark!
“Anyone is free to say as he wishes and others do not have the power to stop such a person’s tongue and pen, but an intelligent person should not make a statement which common sense rejects. If Mr Muir and others like him had removed the veil of prejudice from their eyes, they would have come to know that the mere fact that all these marriages of the Holy Prophetsa took place in his old age proves that they were not motivated by carnal desires. Obviously, there were other motives hidden beneath the surface, especially when it is a historical fact that the Holy Prophetsa spent the days of his youth in such a state, that his own and others, all referred to him by the title of ‘Amin’ [Trustworthy].”
Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra further writes:
“Every reader (of these facts) and every person who comes to know of this, derives a spiritual pleasure in studying the fact that the era in which these marriages of the Holy Prophetsa took place, was a time when the greatest burden of the responsibilities of prophethood was being shouldered by him and the Holy Prophetsa was becoming fully engrossed in the fulfilment of his countless and heavy responsibilities. And for every just and noble person – this very fact alone establishes that these marriages of the Holy Prophetsa were a part of his responsibilities of prophethood, for which he destroyed his own domestic peace in order to support the objectives of preaching and training. An evil person searches for an evil motive in the actions of others, and due to his own filthy state, is often at a loss to understand the pure intentions of others. However, a noble person knows and understands that often the same action is performed by a sinister man with evil intent, while a pious man can and does perform the same action with a good and pure intention.
“In Islam – and this should be clear, that in Islam – the purpose of marriage is not so that a man and woman can come together in order to satisfy their carnal desires. Although the union of man and woman is a genuine purpose of marriage so that human life can continue, there are also many other wholesome purposes as well. Hence, in identifying the motives behind the marriages of such a person whose every movement in life was a testimony to his selflessness and purity and twisting them towards ill-intent in the manner of wicked people cannot harm the person with regard to whom this opinion is voiced, but instead the inner state of the critic can well be understood.”
Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra says, “I shall say no more in response to this allegation.
وَاللّٰہُ الْمُسْتَعَانُ عَلٰی مَا تَصِفُوْنَ
Meaning, ‘And Allah alone is the Helper against that which they allege.’” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, pp. 549-555)
Whilst delivering a Nikah sermon, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra mentioned a point regarding wedlock and Nikah, which I too will mention. He stated:
“The Holy Prophetsa arranged for his paternal cousin to marry Zaid. We cannot say that the Holy Prophetsa did not perform the istikhara [prayer in which one seeks help regarding a particular matter], make supplications or place his trust in God Almighty. By all means the Holy Prophetsa carried all these out – he performed the istikhara prayer and made supplications – but despite all this, God Almighty did not decree for his efforts to bear fruit.”
With regards to the reason for this, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra states:
“The reason behind this is that God Almighty desired to demonstrate to the people that the Holy Prophetsa had no male offspring; be they blood-related or by law. (When people adopt children, they are considered one’s children by law.) The Holy Prophetsa had no biological son, but according to the national constitution and the law of the land at the time, he had children, for example, Hazrat Zaidra. The people would call him by the name Ibn Muhammad [son of Muhammad]. Through the incident of the marriage to Hazrat Zainabra, God Almighty established that one’s children are only those according to the laws of nature, i.e. biological children. Children by law are not truly one’s offspring. (Children who are adopted are ultimately not one’s true children.) Moreover, the Islamic law pertaining to one’s offspring do not apply to those children who have been adopted. Therefore, the only method of establishing this was for the Holy Prophetsa to marry the divorced wife of Hazrat Zaidra. God Almighty did not allow for the differences between Zaid and his wife to go away, but if He so willed, God Almighty could of course have removed them, yet He chose not to, even though the Holy Prophetsa performed the istikhara prayer, made supplications, placed his trust in God Almighty and made every effort [to make it work]. The divine wisdom behind this was that when Zaid divorces his wife, she ought to come into the wedlock of the Holy Prophetsa so that it may be established that though one may have children according to the law of the land, they are not the same as biological children.”
This was a point which Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra mentioned highlighting the wisdom behind this marriage. (Khutabate-e-Mahmud, Vol. 3, pp. 390-391)
With regard to how the Holy Prophetsa treated freed slaves, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra writes in Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin:
“It was a practice of the Holy Prophetsa that for the purpose of reforming the ancient views of people, he would be even more mindful of the dignity and honour of slaves and freed slaves than others. Therefore, on many occasions, the Holy Prophetsa appointed his freed slave, Zaidra bin Haritha, and his son Usamara as the commander of many military campaigns. Many highly respected and prominent Companions were appointed under them and when ignorant people objected to this action of the Holy Prophetsa, due to their ancient views, he responded, ‘You have objected to the appointment of Usama as a commander and prior to this you have also objected to the leadership of his father Zaid. By God! Just as Zaid was worthy and capable of leadership and was among my most beloved, so too, Usama is worthy of leadership and among my most beloved people.’
“At hearing this statement of the Holy Prophetsa, which was laden with the true equality taught by Islam, the necks of the Prophet’s Companions bowed down in acceptance, and they came to understand that in Islam, to be a slave or the child of a slave, or to hail from an apparently lesser faction of society, cannot be an obstruction in the way of a person’s progress and advancement in any way, and that the true standard (of success) was based on righteousness personal acumen and ability.” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad, p. 638)
“Then, above all this, what could be greater than the fact that the Holy Prophetsa wed the daughter of his biological paternal aunt, Zainabra bint to Zaidra bin Haritha, and it is a strange miracle that in the entire Holy Quran, if any Companion has been mentioned by name, it is this very Zaidra bin Haritha.” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad, pp. 398-399)
Regarding the Islamic teaching of freeing slaves, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahamd Sahibra further writes:
“A very large number from among those people who were freed according to the Islamic method were found to be of such people who reached the very highest level of success in all fields, and assumed the status of being Muslim leaders in various areas. For example, as mentioned above, Zaidra bin Haritha was a freed slave, but he developed such ability that the Holy Prophetsa appointed him as the commander in many Islamic campaigns (i.e. the commander of the Islamic army). Highly eminent Companions and even accomplished generals the like of Khalidra bin Walid, were positioned under him.” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad, p. 403)
Hazrat Zaidra participated in the battles of Badr, Uhud, Khandaq, Treaty of Hudaibiya and the Battle of Khaybar alongside the Holy Prophetsa. He is considered one of the most expert archers of the Holy Prophetsa. The Holy Prophetsa appointed Hazrat Zaidra as the leader of Mecca upon his departure for the expedition of Muraisi (another name for Banu Mustaliq). This took place in Sha‘ban 5 Hijri according to Seerat Al-Halabiyah. Hazrat Salmara bin Akwah states:
“I participated in seven expeditions alongside the Holy Prophetsa and I took part in nine expeditions in which the Prophetsa of Allah did not participate, and during those expeditions, he appointed Hazrat Zaidra bin Haritha as the leader of the Muslim army.”
Hazrat Aishara narrates, “Whenever the Messengersa of Allah dispatched Hazrat Zaidra with an army, he appointed him as it’s leader.” She continues to narrate, “The Holy Prophetsa would have appointed Hazrat Zaidra as the leader if he was alive afterwards as well.” (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra, Vol. 3, p. 33, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990) (As-Sirat-ul-Halabiyyah, vol. 2, pp. 377-378, Baab Ghazwah Bani Mustaliq, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2002)
In his book, Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra writes regarding Ghazwah Saffwan, which is also known as Ghazwah Badrat-ul-Ula and took place in Jamadi Al Aakhar of 2 AH:
“After Ghazwah Ushairah, ten days had not passed since the return of the Holy Prophetsa to Medina when a chieftain of Mecca named Kurz bin Jabir Fihri very cunningly, along with a company of the Quraish, suddenly raided a pasture of Medina, which was situated only three miles from the city and fled with camels etc. belonging to the Muslims. As soon as the Holy Prophetsa received news of this, he appointed Zaidra bin Haritha as the amir in his absence, and set out in his pursuit along with a group of the Companions. The Holy Prophetsa pursued him until he reached Safwan which is an area close to Badr, but he made good his escape. This Ghazwah is also known as Ghazwah Badratul-Ula.” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, p. 330)
I will mention further details in relation to this:
“When the Holy Prophetsa was informed about the evil plans of the Quraish, he departed from Medina and arrived at a coastal area called Ushairah. Although there were no encounters with the Quraish, a treaty with the Banu Mudlij tribe was signed. After this, the Holy Prophetsa returned to Medina. When he received the news that the disbelievers were gathering their forces, he travelled to the coastal area called Ushairah. The Holy Prophetsa considered to face them outside of Medina, however, this battle never took place. One benefit of this journey was that a peace treaty with one of the tribes was signed.” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad, p. 329)
I would like to elaborate about the difference between a ghazwah and a sariyyah as some people may not know. A ghazwah is an expedition in which the Holy Prophetsa took part in and a sariyyah or ba‘ath is an expedition in which he was not present. Furthermore, it is not necessary to set out to perform Jihad of the sword for an expedition to be declared as a ghazwah or sariyyah. In fact, every journey that the Holy Prophetsa undertook in the state of battle is considered a ghazwah, whether its purpose was to fight or not, even if later, they were compelled to fight. The same is the case of a sariyyah. Hence, every ghazwah and sariyyah is not a military expedition. As mentioned before, no battle took place during the Ghazwah of Ushairah. (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad, p. 327)
“After the conclusion of the Battle of Badr, when the Holy Prophetsa was leaving, he dispatched Zaidra bin Haritha towards Medina and instructed him to go in advance and inform the people of Medina about the good news of victory. Hence, Zaidra arrived in Medina before the Holy Prophetsa and informed everyone about the victory. This made the Companions very jubilant because of the great success of Islam. However, they were somewhat regretful at the same time for being deprived of the blessings of partaking in such a magnificent Jihad. The good news of victory also lessened the sorrow which the Muslims of Medina faced generally, and Hazrat Usmanra experienced specifically due to the demise of Ruqayyara, daughter of the Holy Prophetsa. She passed away just a few moments before Hazrat Zaid’s arrival. She was sick, and the Holy Prophetsa had to leave her behind as he departed for the Battle of Badr. Hazrat Usmanra was not able to participate in this expedition for this very reason. (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad, p. 367)
In relation to sending Hazrat Zaidra bin Haritha towards Qardah in 3 AH of Jamadi Al-Akhar, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra writes:
“After the Muslims had become somewhat free from the attacks of Banu Sulaim and Banu Ghatafan, they were compelled to go forth from their homeland to put down another threat. Until now, for their trade ventures in the north, the Quraish would generally travel to Syria from the coastal route of Hijaz. However, they had now abandoned this route, because the tribes of this region had become allies of the Muslims; hence there was a smaller chance for the Quraish to spur mischief.
“As a matter of fact, in these circumstances, they began to consider this coastal route to be a threat for themselves. In any case, they had now abandoned this route and began to travel from the route of Najd, which led to Iraq. The tribes of Sulaim and Ghatafan, who were allies of the Quraish and were deadly enemies of the Muslims, inhabited the close proximity of this region.
“As such, in the month of Jamadi Al-Akhirah, the Holy Prophetsa received intelligence that a trade caravan of the Quraish of Mecca was to pass by this route of Najd. It is obvious that if the movement of caravans belonging to the Quraish to and from the coastal region was a cause of threat for the Muslims, there passing by the route of Najd was equally – rather – even more dangerous. The reason was that unlike the coastal route, this new route was inhabited by allies of the Quraish, who like the Quraish, were thirsty for the blood of the Muslims. It was very easy for the Quraish to join forces with them and launch a sudden attack upon Medina at night, or perform any other act of mischief. Then, in order to weaken the Quraish and push them so that they may be inclined to seek reconciliation, it was necessary to intercept their caravans on this route as well. Hence, as soon as the Holy Prophetsa received word, he dispatched a detachment of his Companions under the leadership of his freed slave, Zaidra bin Haritha.
“Chieftains such as Abu Sufyan bin Harb and Safwan bin Umayyah also accompanied this trade caravan of the Quraish. Zaidra performed his duty with remarkable speed and intelligence and subdued these enemies of Islam at a place known as Qaradah, situated in Najd. Flustered by this sudden attack, the people of the Quraish fled, leaving the goods and valuables of the caravan behind. Zaidra bin Haritha and his companions returned to Medina with success and triumph, with a large value of spoils. Some historians have written that the guide of this caravan of the Quraish was a man named Furat, who was taken captive at the hands of the Muslims, and then set free upon his acceptance of Islam. However, it is ascertained from other narrations that he was an idolater commissioned to spy upon the Muslims. However, later on, after becoming a Muslim, he migrated to Medina.” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, pp. 465-466)
Hazrat Aishara relates, “When Zaidra bin Haritha returned to Medina from an expedition, the Messengersa of Allah was in my house. Hazrat Zaidra came and knocked on the door of the house. The Holy Prophetsa welcomed and embraced Zaidra and Zaidra kissed the Prophet’s hand.” (Sunan Al-Tirmadhi, Abwaab-ul-Istizaan, Hadith no. 2732)
During the month of Shaban in the fifth year after migration when the Holy Prophetsa called for people to join the expedition towards the Banu Mustaliq, according to some narrations, the Prophetsa of Allah appointed Hazrat Zaidra bin Haritha as the Amir in Medina. (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, p. 558)
On the day of the expedition of Khandaq, the flag of the Muhajireen was also in the hands of Zaidra bin Haritha. (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra, Vol. 2, p. 52, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990)
The mention of Hazrat Zaidra bin Haritha will further continue.
Next, there is some tragic news. (Has the funeral arrived?) Respected Maryam Salman Gul Sahiba, who was the daughter of Mubarak Ahmad Siddiqi Sahib, passed away on 17 June, at the age of 25 years – ÇðæñîÇ äðäñٰçð èîÇðæñîÇ Çðäîêòçð ÑîÇÌðÙïèòæî “To Allah we belong and to Him shall we return”. Her illness was discovered only a few days ago. When she became quite sick, she was admitted to hospital, but Divine decree prevailed and she was not able to regain her health.
All of those who knew her have said about the deceased that she was a very loving and courteous individual. She was very regular in her daily prayers; she was compassionate and helpful to others. She possessed a loving relationship with Khilafat. Aside from her parents and her husband, she has left behind her two daughters named Nayab and Zaryab – Nayab is five years old and Zaryab is one and a half.
Maryam Salman Sahiba’s mother, Gul Mubarak Sahiba, says that they had to bear three tragedies in the last six weeks. First, Gul Mubarak Sahiba’s brother passed away, then her sister passed away last month in May, and now her daughter has also passed away. May God Almighty grant them patience and fortitude.
Maryam Salman Sahiba was the secretary of new converts in her local Jamaat of Epsom. She had a positive, cheerful spirit characterised by high morals, and regularly assisted those who required help.
The sadr Lajna of her locality writes, “She was carrying out her duties excellently as secretary of new converts in an exemplary manner. She maintained a relationship of such endearment and love with the new converts that these new Ahmadi ladies would naturally fall in love with the system of the Jamaat.”
A recent lady-convert to Ahmadiyyat, Fareeda Nelson Sahiba, says, “I remember the first time I went to a [Jamaat] meeting; I was a little anxious that I would feel left out. However, as soon as Maryam saw me, her face lit up with a big smile. She walked right up to me, held me in an embrace, and then proceeded to sit with me for the entire time. Then, after this as well, she came to my house with a box of chocolates as a gift, and proceeded to tell me all about the blessings of the Jamaat and Khilafat.”
Similarly, there is another lady who has converted to Ahmadiyyat named Andaleeb Sahiba who says, “In my estimation, every secretary of new female converts should be like Maryam because I remember the first time I met her; she embraced me with so much love that I felt as though I have found a loving sister in her. She used to bring small gifts for me and my children to my home. She always kept in touch with me by way of phone and by regularly visiting me. Among her circle of friends, she would often discuss the blessings of Khilafat and the system of the Jamaat. She would become the best of friends with the new female converts and would help them, which fostered a passion in them to participate in Jamaat programmes.”
She further writes, “Through the deceased’s moral and spiritual training, I have become the general secretary of my local Jamaat.” She then writes, “The deceased used to spend out of her modest personal spending money to help others.”
Mubarak Siddiqi Sahib, the father of Maryam Sahiba writes, “She listened to the Friday Sermons with great regularity and gave precedence to faith over worldly matter in all her affairs. The Majlis-e-Shura took place two days prior to her passing away and during this time, Maryam was in the ICU. I said to her that I would get written permission to not attend the Shura, but Maryam responded by saying, ‘No, do not worry about me. Do not leave any Jamaat event because of me, because that is the pledge that we have made to the Promised Messiahas, that we shall give precedence to our faith over all worldly matters.’”
She also used to write English poems, and the summary of one such poem is that whenever anyone starts to undertake any good work, many trials and difficulties may befall them, and people will doubt one’s sincerity. Let people do what they do – we ought to simply continue with our virtuous works. Similarly, she also wrote a poem on Khilafat in Urdu.
In St George’s Hospital – where she was admitted – a nurse, who was a German lady, said that whenever she would speak to Maryam, she felt as though she was speaking to an angel.
In the summer, when the temperature would rise, she would keep bottles of water in her fridge. Then, on her day off, she would sit with her daughters and write on top of the bottles that this water is free of charge. Many English people would come and stop at the stall and benefit from it.
One day, an Englishwoman asked her, “What gave you this idea to put water and chocolates on a table outside your home giving them out for free?” Maryam responded, “Children are off from school for a week and to facilitate their vacation, I will put up this stall all week.”
The Englishwoman responded, “I spend thousands of pounds to take my children on vacations and to relax in faraway places, but I do not feel contentment. I did not realise that true peace can be achieved by helping others from one’s own home.”
She was always the first in meeting people and greeting them. If she did not end up meeting anyone from her acquaintances or from among her neighbours for a few days, she would message them and enquire about their well-being. Another great quality of hers was that she would always look for the good qualities of others and would appreciate them for those good qualities. She always had a smile on her face. She was someone who greatly trusted Allah Almighty and was very grateful of God’s favours.
May Allah have mercy on her and grant her forgiveness, and just like the hope that this girl had about her Lord, may Allah Almighty treat her with even greater love, and may He take her in the embrace of His love and continue to elevate her status in paradise.
May God Almighty always keep her daughters in His protection and refuge, and may He accept all those prayers which she has offered for her daughters. May He grant her parents true patience and fortitude; may they also be completely resigned from the depth of their hearts to the will of God, and may they bring up her daughters in an exemplary manner. May Allah enable her husband to give them the love of both a mother and a father; may Allah continue to elevate her status in paradise.
After the Friday prayers, I will offer her funeral prayer – everyone should join me in this. I will go outside to lead her funeral prayer. Those of you who are inside, should remain here.
Translated by The Review of Religions
Originally published in Al-Fazl International 12th June, pp. 5-9