(A speech delivered by Hazrat Maulana Abdur Rahim Nayyarra at Jalsa Salana Qadian on 26 December 1939)
[…] The map of the Islamic world in light of history and geography
I have been requested to show maps to you [during my speech]; however, as it is not possible to show a map on a piece of paper to such a large audience, through the mediums of history and geography, I will take your imagination through the locations and events that took place and show you the map of Islam before and after Khilafat.
The example of the magnificence and speed of Islam’s spread in the world is not found in the history of other religions. The enemies of Islam have been dumbfounded by Islam’s spread. As William Muir wrote – concerning the rise and decline of Islam – “Within a matter of years, Islam conquered Arabia, Syria, Iran and Egypt. And before a century had passed, Islam’s rule had spread from Jabal al-Tariq to the Amo River, from the Black Sea through to the Sindh River. The success that took Christianity centuries, Islam achieved in decades.”
If you go back in your mind’s eye to the demise of the Holy Prophetsa, you would see the rule of the Holy Quran had spread from the Bab-el-Mandeb [a strait between Yemen, Djibouti and Eritrea connecting the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden] to Oman and the Islamic boundary brushed shoulders with the boundaries of the kingdoms of Caesar and Khosrow. After hijra, within 10 years, a huge transformation occurred.
Later, after Khilafat-e-Rashida took care of Islam’s political, governmental and educational needs and dealt with internal dissension, according to prophecies of past scriptures (Daniel 31:2, 35), Muslim forces broke the Roman Empire into pieces and conquered the lands of Caesar. And according to Quranic prophecies, Islam spread from the Atlantic Ocean to the Ganges, from Spain to the Wall of China.
At that time, Muslim children, women, men, youth and the old were all sculpted in true belief, desirous of martyrdom, fearless of death, high in morals and justice, imbued in humanitarian attributes and compared to non-Muslim enemies, stronger, superior in the art of war and greater in spiritual and secular knowledge. Those Muslims, in the time of Khilafat, experienced a period where they not only governed the non-Muslim population physically, they ruled over their hearts too.
The second period was also such that by possessing superiority in power and morals, after conquering Andalusia [Spain] and passing the Pyrenees mountains, Muslims entered France and also sieged the centre of Europe; Vienna. However, the second era [for Muslims, after Khilafat-e-Rashida] did not have the same grandeur as the first. Khilafat’s spiritual impact began to fade. Muslims began to retreat. Instead of being victorious, they began to witness defeat. After ruling over Spain for 700 years and having predominant influence over Eastern Europe for approximately 350 years, they went from victorious to the defeated. They began facing humiliation instead of respect from pagan nations. Muslim political influence and governance almost vanished from the earth until Allah changed the focus of victory and defeat, wars and disputes and created a new heaven and earth and placed new foundations for [Islam’s] victory.
Two eras for early Islam
This map of early Islam first takes us to the era of the Companions of the Holy Prophetsa who had been blessed with his company – and that period is one part of the first era when believers (who were in the wrong) fought each other but then repented. However, the era afterwards was when the kingdom of the Holy Prophetsa split into two; Khilafat and imarat [state]. In my opinion, these two time periods can be named thus, 1. The era of Khilafat 2. The era after Khilafat.
The first era is then further divided into two. The first era is the time of Khilafat-e-Rashida – especially the era of Syeduna Umarra which was enviable in every way – and whose last chain was Syeduna Ali Murtazara. However, when the centre of the Islamic kingdom changed from the Prophet’s Medina to Kufa (during the era of the fourth Khalifa), the Islamic kingdom was weakened. The second part of the first era was of governance and Khilafat when the spiritual and physical kingdom of the Holy Prophetsa did not remain the same; rather, in Damascus, like temporal kingship, Khilafat was made hereditary.
The second era is when spiritual Khilafat morphed and was made part of the pious scholars, pure sufis and the poor preachers of Islam, and temporal [Islamic] governance was established in Baghdad, Delhi, Cordoba, Constantinople, Cairo, etc.
There is no doubt that spiritual victories for Islam continued both in the first era, during Khilafat, and also in the era after Khilafat and the spread of the true faith never completely stopped. However, the conditions worsened and according to prophecies, Gog and Magog manifested and Dajjal became victorious. Muslims began apostatising and spiritual darkness reached its zenith. […]
The time of Khilafat-e-Rashida
I will now give a few examples from the time of Khilafat-e-Rashida that show the beauties and qualities that Muslims possessed due to Islam, through which Muslims, once again, provided hearing to the deaf, life to the dead, belief to the disbelievers and direction to the lost. Islam’s map was now the route to success.
Listen! What did the Muslims possess? If we want to understand someone, we analyse their heart, hands and mind, because a heart that has belief, a hand that holds power and a mind that is a fountain of wisdom and knowledge stand witness to the ability of their owner.
The heart of Muslims
Irving Washington writes:
1. “It is astonishing that in the mosque of Medina there are a few aged Arabs gathered, who, a few years prior had fled their homeland, Mecca and now they are deciding the fate of the kingdoms of Caesar and Khosrow.”
2. The same happened at the siege of Damascus when the Christian army delegate came to see the Muslim army and entered the tent of Hazrat Ubaidahra to have a conversation about peace. When he entered the tent and after seeing the simple clothes and tent of the great Muslim leader [Hazrat Ubaidahra] he said, “The clothes and tent of the general who has shaken the foundations of the kingdoms of Caesar and Khosrow is utterly simple.”
3. Yazdegerd, Emperor of Iran, was completely surprised when he saw that “the members of the Arab delegation sat before him on the floor and began speaking without any fear whatsoever.” And when that arrogant king threw at them – to belittle – bags of sand and done them away by saying “the graves of your officers will be made in the land of Qadsiya and sand mud gives new of that”, the believers took good news from those empty words and sand and became happy that “this sand gives the good news of the victory over the land of Iran.”
4. The Sword of Allah, Khalid[ra] single-handedly showed the qualities of bravery on the battlefield and faces the enemy. While killing every enemy with the sword, he picks up a famous Christian fighter while saying “Allahu Akbar” and brings him to the Muslim army and tires a little. At that time, a famous and brave Muslim soldier, Zarar bin Azwar cries out, “Khalid! Rest a little.” The brave Sword of Allah replies by saying, “Yes! Certainly! But rest will not be here! It will be in heaven.” Allahu Akbar!
5. The conqueror of North Africa, General Uqbah[ra] went into the Atlantic sea with his horse and its waters, reaching the saddle kissed the feet of this general of the Muslim army. This brave Muslim’s eyes turned towards the skies, his heart was full of belief […] and addressing Allah, he said:
“O God! If these waters were not an obstacle in my way, I would have continued to take the flag of your faith further forward this very moment.”
6. It was this very general of Islam, Uqbah[ra] who, when he decided to populate and lay the foundation of the city of Kairouan in Tunisia and found it to be a jungle rife with dangerous snakes and beasts, addressed the wild beasts and snakes by saying, “Listen! O snakes and beasts of the jungle, Muhammad, the Prophet of Allah’s companions want to set up camp here. Get out!” This voice had such awe, magic and influence that the beasts of the jungle – gripping their children in their mouths – speedily vacated the jungle. The Islamic camp then populated Kairouan.
7. Tariq[rh] erected the Islamic flag when he reached the land of Spain and burnt all the ships they arrived on. Most of the Muslim, youth while shouting “Heaven, Heaven!” showed their brave traits and entered the doors of death, meeting their God. With utmost belief, they cried “If we die, we will drink from the goblet of martyrdom and if we are victorious in war, we will wear the crown of victory.”
8. Apart from these men, women and girls also possessed this vibrant and passionate faith. Hazrat Khola[ra], a teenager, was the sister of Hazrat Zarar[ra] bin Azwar. Both siblings were adorned with a special kind of bravery and belief. Once, Muslim women were imprisoned by the enemy. Hazrat Khola[ra] had no weapon. The leader of the Christians, Peter, fell in love with Hazrat Khola[ra]. She stood up amongst the destitute prisoners and delivered a speech. “We are the women of the Mujahidin-e-Islam, the followers of Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah, so will we now become the concubines and lovers of these wild and idol-worshipping people! Death is better than this!” Another Muslim girl, Ufrah supported Khola. Taking the poles of the tents as weapons, all the imprisoned Muslim women stood shoulder to shoulder in a circle under the leadership of these two women and whoever [out of the enemy] approached them, they killed. Seeing this, Peter arrived and expressed his love [for Khola] and began blackmailing them by offering respect and high status [if they left Islam]. At this, Khola passionately replied:
“O disbelieving idol-worshipper! Do you express love for the women who have accepted Muhammadsa, the Messenger of Allah? Step forward, let me send you to Hell.” Khola was saying this when suddenly someone called out “Khalid Zarar” – and this voice was enough to cause the Christians to flee.
9. During the wars in Syria, Hazrat Khalidra, on one occasion, appointed these two brave Muslim women as commander officers over a platoon of female archers and instructed them to call the Muslims who fled the battlefield “sinful “ and “apostates” and to turn them back to the battlefield. And when the need arose, to defend themselves too. These brave women followed these instructions with such commitment that history bears witness to it.
10. Aban was a young soldier and Thomas was the General of the Christian army in Damascus. Thomas wounded Aban with a poison laden arrow due to which Aban was martyred. Aban and his wife were newlyweds. The newlywed bride ran from one end of the battlefield to the other to see her husband but before she got there, her beloved had met with God. At this, the wife sat beside the dead body of Aban and addressing it said:
“My beloved! God brought me and you together to ultimately separate us. I will come to meet you. Now, after you, no one will ever touch my body. This body is now for God.” After this, she took the bow and arrow of her husband and first went and killed the flag bearer of the enemy’s army. She then shot an arrow at Thomas’ eye which injured him to the extent that he could no longer fight and ultimately died. After this retribution, she fought until she achieved martyrdom and went to meet her groom.
This was the example of the Muslims who had been influenced by the blessings of Khilafat.
The hands of Muslims
God Almighty raised the hand of Muslims high. He took them out of poverty and made them rich and inheritors of the treasures of the earth. Their riches were to the extent that Hazrat Umarra established and populated thousands of towns and coins had لا الٰه الا الله engraved on them and the Bait-ul-Maal’s official foundation was laid. At the Victory of Iran, 900 camels laden with provisions from the booty of war reached Medina and out of the 60,000 soldiers who conquered Qadsiya, every one of them was given 1,200 dirhams. Apart from other wealth, the piece of Caesar’s special rug Syeduna Alira received was sold, from which he received 8,000 dirhams. […]
And listen! In the era of the second Khilafat, Hazrat Abbasra would receive 200,000 dirhams as a stipend annually. The Companions of Badr received 5,000 dirhams and Hazrat Husainra and Hasanra received the same amount too. All of the Mothers of the Believers [wives of the Holy Prophetsa] would get 10,000 dirhams and Hazrat Aishara received 12,000 dirhams annually.
Despite having so much wealth, these people were humble of heart and strict in observing their faith.
The heart of Muslims
Apart from the intellectual prowess of Muslims that is embedded as proof in the [original] Arabic word of “algebra”, the grand buildings of Delhi and Granada and the Arabic text on the palaces of England (for example Crystal Palace, etc.), Muslim soldiers were distinct in the art of war despite their humble disposition. We see that at times, fearless soldiers would hide inside chests and when the enemy, thinking the chests were their booty of war, took them inside their fortresses, the brave Muslim soldiers would come out and while saying “Allahu Akbar” opened the doors of the fortress. At other times they would disguise themselves as Christians and fight with great wisdom. They would fight with great care, caution and wisdom. […]
It is recorded that Zarar and some other respected Muslims were held as prisoners in Antakya. Heraclius, Emperor of Rome, asked the Muslim prisoners some questions. Some of those questions and the answers given are as follow:
Heraclius: What kind of flooring does your king sit on?
The Muslim representative from the prisoners: He sits on the foundations of justice and equality.
Heraclius: What is his throne like?
The Muslim prisoner: It is made of truthfulness and piety.
Heraclius: What is the treasure of your Khalifa (Hazrat Umarra)?
The Muslim prisoner: Trusting in Allah.
Heraclius: Who protects the treasure?
The Muslim prisoner: Those who perfectly believe in the unity of Allah.
This was the bright mind of the Muslims and outside of the battlefield, this influence of the Muslims created the religious and intellectual reforms in Europe.
Conclusion and prayers
This was a picture of the era of Khilafat and the time following it. The present condition of the believers demands that we revive that spirit, the absence of which has shown humiliation after honour. The believers rich in faith thought their gems to be mere shards and threw them away and the destitute disbelievers actually threw their worthless shards away and cunningly picked up the precious gems of the believers. In other words, the believers left their faith and faced disgrace whereas disbelievers continued in their disbelief, but by acting on faith, they also gained respect.
O Allah, we desire from You that You make the believers true believers once again and during the new Khilafat, make them believers in Khilafat and give the disbelievers the faith that was in the era of the previous Khilafat about which an enemy historian of Islam says:
“It is with great surprise that no matter who accepted Islam – even if they accepted under the sword, which was a special ploy of Islam – they developed such faith that they offered every sacrifice for their [new] religion and never left it.”
Allah has promised us that Islam will prevail over all religions. Khilafat exists amongst us once again. The period of history is returning again that was unparalleled in victories for Islam. It is essential that by enriching ourselves with the reward of faith and with sacrifice and discipline, every man, woman and youth of the era of Khilafat should become an example for others. […]
(Translated by Al Hakam from the original Urdu published in Al Fazl, 24 May 2012)