24 July 2020
Men of Excellence
After reciting the Tashahud, Ta‘awuz, and Surah al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa said:
I was previously narrating accounts in the life of Hazrat Saadra bin Abi Waqas. Hazrat Saadra participated in all the battles alongside the Holy Prophetsa, including the Battles of Badr, Uhud, Khandaq, the Treaty of Hudaibiyah, the Battle of Khaybar and the Conquest of Mecca. He was one of the most skilled archers from among the companions of the Holy Prophetsa. (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra, Vol. 3, p. 105, Saadra bin Abi Waqas Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon, 1990)
Regarding Hazrat Saadra, it is mentioned in a narration that at one point during one of the battles in which the Messengersa of Allah was also present, nobody was left with the Messengersa of Allah except Hazrat Talhara and Hazrat Saadra. (Sahih Muslim, Kitab-ul-Fazail Al-Sahaba, Hadith no. 2415)
Whilst describing the circumstances of departing for military campaigns with the Holy Prophetsa, Hazrat Saadra states, “We would leave for a battle together with the Holy Prophetsa and our condition would be such that we would not have anything available to eat except leaves of trees. Our condition was such that our passing of stool resembled the droppings of a camel or goat.”
In other words, it was very dry and not soft at all. In another narration it is mentioned that he said, “Our food in those days used to be the branches of a Babul tree.” Babul is a type tree that has many thorny branches. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab-ul-Fazail Al-Sahaba Al-Nabi, Hadith no. 3728), (Jami’ Tirmidhi, Abwaab-ul-Zuhd, Hadith no. 2366)
Hazrat Saadra was the first person who shed blood in the way of Allah. He was also the first person to shoot an arrow in the cause of Allah. This incident is from the Battle of Hazrat ‘Ubaidah bin Haris. (Sunan Ibn Majah, Kitab-ul-Sunnah, Hadith no. 131), (Al-Isti‘ab, Vol. 2, p. 607, Dar-ul-Jeel, Beirut) (Usdul Ghaba, Vol. 2, p. 453, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon, 2003)
Its details are as follows:
An expedition took place during Rabi-ul-Awwal of 2 AH, which is called the Battle of Hazrat Ubaidah bin Haris. I have previously narrated parts of this incident or perhaps have narrated the entire account; however, I will present it again with reference to what Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra has written in Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin:
“In the beginning of the month of Rabi-ul-Awwal, the Holy Prophetsa dispatched a company of the Muhajireen, comprising of 60 men mounted on horses or camels, in the leadership of a close relative, Ubaidah bin Al-Harith Muttalibi. The objective of this campaign was to forestall the attacks of the Quraish of Mecca. As such, when Ubaidah bin Al-Harith and his companions covered some ground and arrived close to Thaniyyatul-Murrah (Thaniyyatul-Murrah is the name of a place situated between Mecca and Medina which the Holy Prophetsa passed through during his migration), they suddenly noticed that 200 armed young men had set up camp in the command of Ikramah bin Abi Jahl. The two parties encountered one another and a few arrows were exchanged in a confrontation. However, this group of idolaters then stood down from further conflict due to the fear that the Muslims probably had hidden reinforcements at their disposal and consequently, the Muslims did not pursue them. Although, two individuals from the army of the idolaters named Miqdad bin Amrra and Utbah bin Ghazwanra fled from the command of Ikramah bin Abi Jahl and joined the Muslims. It is written that they set out with the Quraish for this very purpose, so that they could find an opportunity to join the Muslims. The reason being, that they were Muslims at heart, but could not migrate out of fear of the Quraish due to their weakness.” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, p. 328), (Mu‘jamul Buldan, Vol. 2, pp. 99-100, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut)
In Jumadi-ul-Ula 2 AH, the Holy Prophetsa assembled a party of eight Muhajireen under the command of Hazrat Saadra bin Abi Waqas and sent them to Kharrar to obtain intelligence about the Quraish. Kharrar is an area in the Hijaz, located near Ju‘fah. They reached there but did not confront the enemy. (Mu‘jamul Buldan, Vol. 2, pp. 400, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut) (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, pp. 329-330)
Then there is mention of the Sariyyah Hazrat Abdullah bin Jahsh, which took place in the end of Jumadi-al-Akhir 2 AH. Hazrat Saadra also took part in this battle. I have mentioned this incident before, nevertheless, I shall narrate it briefly with reference to Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin:
“Upon observing these very threats, the Holy Prophetsa decided that the movements of the Quraish should be surveyed from a closer distance, so that all the necessary intelligence with respect to them may be available on time and Medina was safeguarded from all kinds of sudden attacks. Hence, for this purpose, the Holy Prophetsa assembled a party of eight Muhajireen. As an act of wisdom, the Holy Prophetsa selected such men for this party who were from the various tribes of the Quraish, so that it was easier to obtain intelligence with regard to the hidden conspiracies of the Quraish. The Holy Prophetsa appointed his paternal cousin, Abdullah bin Jahshra as the commander of this party … upon ordering this sariyyah, the Holy Prophetsa did not even inform the commander of this party as to where he was being sent and for what purpose. Rather, upon their departure, the Holy Prophetsa handed him a sealed letter and said, ‘This letter contains necessary instructions for you. When you cover a distance of two days travel from Medina, open the letter and act in accordance with the stipulated instructions.’
“When they had journeyed a distance of two days from Medina, Abdullahra opened the instructions of the Holy Prophetsa, which were as follows: ‘Go forth to the Valley of Nakhlah between Mecca and Ta‘if and obtain information on the Quraish and return with news therefrom.’
“At the bottom of this letter, the Holy Prophetsa had written that after the objective of this mission became known, if anyone from among his companions was hesitant in accompanying this party and desired to return, then permission would be granted to do so. Abdullahra read out this guidance to his companions who unanimously affirmed, ‘We happily present ourselves for this service, none of us shall return.’ Then, this party proceeded to Nakhlah. Saadra bin Abi Waqas and Utbahra bin Ghazwan lost their camels en-route and were separated from their companions. Despite their best efforts, they were unable to relocate their companions. The party of eight was now left with only six people.”
Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra has mentioned an orientalist, Mr Margoliouth who has stated this narration and attempted to create doubt by claiming that they intentionally let their camels loose and used this as an excuse to remain behind. Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra writes with regard to Hazrat Saadra bin Abi Waqas and his companion:
“Each and every life event of these devotees of Islam who were ready to sacrifice their lives is a testimony to their valour and devotion. One of them was martyred at the hands of the disbelievers in the campaign of B‘ir-e-Ma‘unah, while the other distinctly participated in many dangerous battles and ultimately became the victor of Iraq.
“Therefore, to doubt the sincerity of such people, especially when that doubt is founded on self-concocted notions, is the work of Mr Margoliouth alone. It is ironic that in his book, Mr Margoliouth claims that he has written this book being completely free from prejudice.
“In any case, this small community reached Nakhlah and became engaged in their work. With the thought of concealing their classified mission, some of them shaved their heads, so that travellers etc. would not be alarmed in any way and so that they would consider them as being such people who had come with the intention of Umrah. However, they had only just arrived there, when suddenly a small caravan of the Quraish also happened to arrive, which was travelling from Ta‘if to Mecca and both parties encountered each other.” The situation was such that despite their desire not to and even though it was against their own will and the instructions of the Holy Prophetsa”, the Muslims finally decided that the caravan should be attacked and the people of the caravan should either be taken captive or killed. Therefore, they launched an attack in the name of Allah and as a result, one man from the disbelievers was killed and two were taken captive. However, the fourth individual unfortunately escaped and the Muslims were unable to apprehend him”, and in this way, their decision proved unsuccessful. “Thereafter, the Muslims seized the goods of the caravan and swiftly returned to Medina with the captives and the spoils … However, when the Holy Prophetsa found out that the Companions had attacked the caravan, he was extremely displeased and said:
مَااَمَرْتُكُمْ بِقِتَالٍ فِي الشَّهْرِ الْحَرَامِ
“‘I have not given you permission to fight in the sacred month.’ The Holy Prophetsa refused to accept the spoils … On the other hand, the Quraish also raised a huge hue and cry that the Muslims had violated the sanctity of the Sacred Month, since the person who had been killed, Amar bin Al-Hadhrami, was a chieftain himself.” All the while, the disbelievers came to Medina to secure the release of their captives. “However, until now, Hazrat Saadra bin Abi Waqas and Hazrat Utbahra bin Ghazwan had not returned. On their account, the Holy Prophetsa greatly feared that if the Quraish happened to seize them, they would not release them alive. Hence, for this reason, the Holy Prophetsa refused to release the captives until they returned and said, ‘When my men safely reach Medina, I will release yours.’ Therefore, when they both reached Medina, the Holy Prophetsa released both captives … However, from among these two captives, one individual was so deeply impressed during his stay at Medina, that he became a Muslim and was later martyred at Bi‘r-e-Ma‘unah.” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, pp. 330-334)
Whilst describing the circumstances prior to the commencement of the conflict on the occasion of the Battle of Badr, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra writes in Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin:
“The Holy Prophetsa began to swiftly advance towards Badr and when he neared Badr, motivated by some feeling, which narrations have not disclosed, the Holy Prophetsa seated Hazrat Abu Bakrra behind himself and proceeded ahead of the Muslim army. At that time, the Holy Prophetsa encountered an old bedouin, from whom the Holy Prophetsa gathered during the course of conversation that the army of the Quraish had reached very close to Badr. Upon hearing this news, the Holy Prophetsa returned and dispatched Hazrat Alira, Zubair bin Al-Awwamra and Saadra bin Abi Waqas to gather information. When these people arrived at the Valley of Badr, suddenly they noticed that a few Meccans were collecting water from a spring. These Companions attacked this party, taking captive an Abyssinian slave and brought him to the Holy Prophetsa … Then, the Holy Prophetsa gently enquired himself, ‘At this time, where is the army positioned?’ He responded, ‘On the opposite side of the hillock before you.’ The Holy Prophetsa enquired, ‘How many men are there in the army?’ He responded, ‘A multitude, but I am unaware of the exact figure.’ The Holy Prophetsa said, ‘Alright, then tell me how many camels are slaughtered daily for consumption?’ ‘Ten’, he responded. The Holy Prophetsa turned to the Companions and said, ‘It seems as if they are a force of 1,000 men.’ This estimate actually turned out to be correct.” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, pp. 355-356)
I have mentioned this in detail previously. With regard to the bravery of Hazrat Saadra during the Battle of Badr, there is a narration that despite being on foot, Hazrat Saadra was fighting with the same valour as the cavaliers. (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Saad, Vol. 3, p. 104, Saadra bin Abi Waqas, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon 1990)
This is why Hazrat Saadra was given the title “Faris-ul-Islam”, i.e. the Cavalier of Islam. (Umdatul Qari Sharah Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 1, p. 305, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2001)
During the Battle of Uhud, Hazrat Saadra was among those few companions who remained steadfast alongside the Holy Prophetsa in the moment of confusion. (Khutbat-e-Tahir [Jalsa Salana speech prior to his Khilafat in 1979], p.337)
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh mentioned the following incident during the Battle of Uhud of Utbah bin Abi Waqas, the brother of Saadra bin Abi Waqas who was fighting on the side of the idolaters and who launched an assault on the Holy Prophetsa:
“Utbah was that wretched person who launched a fierce attack upon the Holy Prophetsa and broke two of his lower teeth and greatly wounded his blessed countenance. When ‘Utbah’s brother, Saadra bin Abi Waqas who was fighting for the Muslims heard of this malicious act of Utbah, he was filled with the desire to exact revenge. He said, ‘The eagerness I had to kill my brother was perhaps greater than any other desire I had in my life. Whilst breaking through ranks of the enemies, twice I went out in search of this evildoer to make him perish at my own hands and thus satisfy my heart’s desire. But every time he saw me, he would avoid me similar to the evasion of a fox. The third time I wished to advance through, the Holy Prophetsa very graciously said to me, “O servant of Allah, do you desire to lay down your life?” and thus I ended my pursuit in accordance with the wish of the Holy Prophetsa.’” (Khutbat-e-Tahir, [Jalsa Salana speech prior to his Khilafat in 1979] p. 346)
Whilst describing the moment when there only remained a few steadfast companions near the Holy Prophetsa on the occasion of the Battle of Uhud, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra has written:
“The Holy Prophetsa would hand arrows to Saadra himself and Saadra would continue to shower the enemy with arrow upon arrow. At one instance, the Holy Prophetsa addressed Saadra saying, ‘May my mother and father be sacrificed upon you – go on shooting arrows!’ Even to the very end of his life, Saadra would recall these words of the Holy Prophetsa with great pride.” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, p. 495)
In one of the narrations, it is mentioned that Hazrat Saadra bin Abi Waqas relates, “On the day of Uhud, the Holy Prophetsa took out arrows from his quiver, scattered them out for me and said, ‘Shoot the arrows! May my parents be sacrificed for you!’” (Sahih Bukhari, Kitab-ul-Maghazi, Hadith no. 4055)
Hazrat Alira relates, “I never heard the Holy Prophetsa offer this prayer of his parents being sacrificed for anyone but Hazrat Saadra bin Abi Waqas.”
On the occasion of the Battle of Uhud, the Holy Prophetsa said to Hazrat Saadra, “May my parents be sacrificed for you! Continue to fire arrows O mighty youth! Continue to fire arrows!” (Jami‘ al-Tirmidhi, Kitab-ul-Manaqib, Hadith no. 3753)
Here, it is also worth mentioning that a note has been added that in history, aside from Hazrat Saadra, the name of Hazrat Zubairra bin Al-Awam is also found regarding whom the Holy Prophetsa said:
فِدَاكَ اَبِيْ وَاُمِّيْ
“May my parents be sacrificed for you!” This is a narration from Bukhari. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab-ul-Fazail Al-Sahaba Al-Nabi, Hadith no. 3720)
Mentioning the incident of the Battle of Uhud, Hazrat Saadra relates that on the day of Uhud, the Holy Prophetsa made reference to both of his own parents, saying may they be sacrificed for Hazrat Saadra. Hazrat Saadra relates that there was a man from among the idolaters who had caused trouble for the Muslims. The Holy Prophetsa said to him, i.e. to Hazrat Saadra, “Shoot arrows! May my parents be sacrificed for you!” Hazrat Saadra says, “I shot one arrow that did not have an arrowhead, into his side [of the idolater], as a result of which he died and he was left exposed from his lower region. I saw that the Holy Prophetsa expressed happiness. (Sahih Muslim, Kitab-ul-Fazail Al-Sahaba, Hadith no. 2412)
In another narration, this incident has been recorded in the following manner that this idolater, whose name is mentioned as Hibban in the books of history, shot an arrow that struck Hazrat Umm-e-Ayman in the lower region of her body, whilst she was occupied in providing water for the wounded. Upon this, Hibban began to laugh. The Holy Prophetsa gave an arrow to Hazrat Saadra, which struck the throat of Hibban. He fell backwards leaving him exposed, as result of which the Holy Prophetsa smiled. (Al-Isaba, Vol. 3, p. 64, Saad bin Malik, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1995)
Regarding this hadith [saying of the Holy Prophetsa], which is from Sahih Muslim, the Noor Foundation has translated it and added an explanatory note, which is very adequate and appropriate. It states that this joy of the Holy Prophetsa was as a result of the favour of Allah in that He removed a dangerous enemy from the path with an arrow that did not even have an arrowhead. (Sahih Muslim, Vol. 13, p. 41, Noor Foundation)
In one narration, it is mentioned that on the day of the Battle of Uhud, Hazrat Saadra fired one thousand arrows. (Roshan Sitari, Ghulam Bari Saif, Vol. 2, p. 71)
Hazrat Saadra bin Abi Waqas was among those companions, who on the occasion of the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah also signed on the treaty. (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, p. 769)
On the occasion of the conquest of Mecca, Hazrat Saadra bin Abi Waqas held one of the three flags of the Muhajireen. (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra, Vol. 3, p. 105, Saadra bin Abi Waqas, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990)
Hazrat Saadra fell ill on the occasion of Hajjat-ul-Wada [the farewell pilgrimage]. Mentioning this, Hazrat Saadra relates:
“I fell ill in Mecca and was close to death. The Holy Prophetsa came to visit me. I said to him, ‘O Messengersa of Allah! I have a great abundance of wealth and only one daughter as the inheritor. Am I permitted to give two-thirds away as charity? The Holy Prophetsa replied in the negative. I asked may I give half as charity? The Holy Prophetsa answered in the negative. I asked if I may give one-third as charity? The Holy Prophetsa agreed to this, but said that even this was too much. Following this, the Holy Prophetsa said, ‘Leaving your offspring in an affluent state is better than leaving them in poverty and for them to have to beg from people. You will be rewarded for whatever you spend, so much so that you will be rewarded even for the morsel of food you give to your wife to eat.’ I said, ‘O Messengersa of Allah! Will I be left behind in my migration?’ The Holy Prophetsa said, ‘Even if you are left behind, your status and rank will be elevated by the deeds you will perform to seek the pleasure of Allah. I am certain that you will remain alive after my passing.’ He further said, ‘So much so that some nations will benefit from you and some people will suffer loss.’” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab-ul-Faraidh, Hadith no. 6733)
In another narration, it is mentioned that after this, the Holy Prophetsa prayed in the following words:
“O Allah! Enable my companions to fulfil the purpose of their migration and do not permit them to return unsuccessful.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab-ul-Janaiz, Hadith no. 1295)
There is a narration in which Hazrat Saadra relates, “When I fell ill, the Holy Prophetsa came to visit me and asked, ‘Have you left a will?’ I replied, ‘Yes’. The Holy Prophetsa asked, ‘How much [have you left]?’ I replied, ‘All my wealth has been left in the way of Allah.’ The Holy Prophetsa asked, ‘What have you left for your children?’ I replied, ‘They are in a state of affluence.’ The Holy Prophetsa said, ‘Then pledge one tenth as your will.’ Hazrat Saadra narrates that he continued saying this and the Holy Prophetsa continued replying in the same manner.”
In other words, Hazrat Saadra wished to give a greater amount in charity, while the Holy Prophetsa was advising to give less, to the extent that he permitted him to give one-third and even that was a substantial amount. (Sunan al-Nisai, Kitab-ul-Wasaiyyah, Hadith no. 3661)
In any case, those who have knowledge of this and those in the field of jurisprudence [fiqh] have deduced from this narration that no more than a third of one’s wealth can be given away as part of one’s will. (Jami‘ al-Tirmidhi, Abwaab-ul-Wasaiyyah, Hadith no. 2116)
Regarding this matter, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:
“Ahadith also support that after one has taken out their expenses, giving away the remaining wealth in its entirety is not an Islamic injunction. Thus, the Holy Prophetsa said:
يَجِيْءُ اَحَدُكُمْ بِمَالِهٖ كُلِّهٖ يَتَصَدَّقُ بِهٖ وَيَجْلِسُ يَتَكَفَّفُ النَّاسَ اِنَّمَا الصَّدَ قَةُ عَنْ ظَهْرِ غِنًي
“‘Some of you bring all their wealth and donate it for charity [sadaqah], but then go around begging from others. Charity ought to be given on surplus wealth.’
“Similarly, the Holy Prophetsa said:
إِنْ تَذَرْ وَرَثَتَكَ أَغْنِيَاءَ خَيْرٌ مِنْ أَنْ تَذَرَهُمْ عَالَةً يَتَكَفَّفُوْنَ النَّاسَ
“‘It is better for you to leave your heirs in an affluent state rather than leaving them destitute so they are not left having to seek wealth from others.’
“Similarly, it is narrated in the hadith that Hazrat Saadra bin Abi Waqas sought permission to distribute two-thirds of his wealth but the Holy Prophetsa forbade him. He sought to distribute half but the Holy Prophetsa stopped him from that as well. Then he sought permission to distribute a third of his wealth upon which the Holy Prophetsa granted permission, saying, ‘You can give a third, though even a third is a large amount:
اَلثُّلُثُ وَالثُّلُثُ كَثِيْرٌ
“Thus, the notion that Islam commands any wealth which exceeds one’s needs ought to be distributed [as part of their will], is completely against Islam and is contrary to the practice of the Companionsra. This is because according to the practice of the Companionsra, there were some who, at the time of their demise, bequeathed a wealth amounting to hundreds of thousands to their heirs as part of their inheritance.” (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 2, p. 494)
It is stated in one narration that Hazrat Saadra bin Abi Waqas relates, “When I fell ill in Mecca, the Holy Prophetsa came to visit me. When he placed his hand on my chest, I felt the coolness of his hand upon my heart. Placing his hand, he said, ‘You have an ailment of the heart. Go to Harith bin Kaladah, brother of Banu Thaqif; he is a physician. Tell him to take seven Ajwa dates from Medina and crush them along with their pits and give it to you to drink as a medicine.” (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra, Vol. 3, p. 108, Saadra bin Abi Waqas, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990)
It is stated in one narration that the Holy Prophetsa appointed a specific person in Mecca to tend to Hazrat Saadra and stressed the fact that if Hazrat Saadra passed away in Mecca, he should not be buried there, but instead he should be brought to Medina to be buried. (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra, Vol. 3, p. 108, Saad bin Abi Waqas, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990)
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra relates an incident of Hazrat Saadra regarding hunting:
“The Holy Prophetsa would not hunt himself, rather it is proven through a hadith that he would have others hunt for him. Thus, during one expedition, he called Hazrat Saadra bin Abi Waqas and said, ‘Look, there is a deer, shoot it with an arrow.’ When he was about to shoot the arrow, the Holy Prophetsa lovingly placed his chin on Hazrat Saad’sra shoulder and said ‘O Allah! Make him attain his target successfully.’” (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 5, p. 124)
Allah the Almighty enabled Hazrat Saadra bin Abi Waqas the honour of conquering Iraq.
Once, during the Battle of Khandaq, the Companionsra went to the Holy Prophetsa and said that there was a boulder in the ditch which would not break. The Holy Prophetsa went and struck the boulder thrice with a pickaxe and with every blow, the boulder crumbled slightly; the Holy Prophetsa proclaimed “Allahu Akbar” [Allah is the greatest] in a loud voice and the Companionsra also followed in raising the slogan. During this incident, while striking one of the blows, the Holy Prophetsa said, “I have been shown the white palaces of Midian falling.” What he saw was fulfilled at the hands of Hazrat Saadra. (Roshan Sitarey, Ghulam Bari Saif, Vol. 2, p. 79)
There were two great powers in the surroundings of Arabia; the Persian and the Byzantine empires. Much of Iraq was under the control of the Chosroes and his royal palaces were situated in Midian. The famous battles of Midian, Qadisiyyah, Nahawand, and Jalula were fought under the leadership of Hazrat Saadra bin Abi Waqas.
The background to Midian is that it is located by the Tigris River, a little south of Baghdad in Iraq. Since many cities were established here one after the other, the Arabs gave it the name of Midian, meaning a cluster of cities. Qadisiyyah was also a city in Iraq where a famous battle was fought between the Muslims and the Persians, known as the Battle of Qadisiyyah. Present day Qadisiyyah is located 15 farsakh [approximately 50 miles] from Kufa. Nahawand is a city located in present day Iran and is seventy kilometres south of Hamadan, the capital of the region. Jalula is a city in present day Iraq which is located near the eastern corner of the Tigris River. A battle between the Muslims and the Persians was fought here. It was named Jalula because the city became filled with the corpses of Iranians.
In Iraq, during the Caliphate of Hazrat Abu Bakrra, Hazrat Musannara bin Haritha sought permission to attack, as the Persians constantly caused trouble on the border. Hazrat Abu Bakrra granted permission and sent a large army with Hazrat Khalidra bin Walid to assist. When Hazrat Abu Ubaidara submitted to Hazrat Abu Bakrra for reinforcements in Syria, Hazrat Abu Bakrra sent Hazrat Khalidra to help him and Hazrat Khalidra bin Walid appointed Hazrat Musannara to deputise in Iraq. However as soon as Hazrat Khalidra left Iraq the campaign lost momentum. When Hazrat Umarra became the Caliph, he returned attention towards the campaign in Iraq. Hazrat Musannara had consecutively rendered defeat to enemies in Buwaib and other battles and taken hold of a large expanse of land in Iraq. At that time, Iraq was under the control of the Chosroes. When the Persians saw the strength of Muslims in battle and their consecutive victories, it opened their eyes. They replaced their queen, Buran Dukht, with Yazdegerd, the true heir of Chosroes. Upon ascending the throne, he immediately united all the powers of the Iranian empire and kindled a fire of fury and revenge in the entire nation against Muslims. Under these circumstances, Hazrat Musannara was forced to retreat from the Arabian border. When Hazrat Umarra came to know of these incidents, he sent emissaries throughout Arabia, who delivered passionate addresses calling on the Muslims to take a stand against Chosroes. The result was that it stirred emotions in Arabia and resulted in people hearkening from all directions, ready to present themselves for the sake of Islam with their lives in the palms of their hands, [as it were]; flocking to the royal court of the Caliphate.
Hazrat Umarra sought counsel as to who should be appointed to lead this expedition. Upon the suggestions of the people, Hazrat Umarra prepared to lead it himself, however Hazrat Alira and other prominent companions were against this. Subsequently, Hazrat Saeed bin Zaid’s name was proposed but in that very instance, Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra bin Auf stood up and said, “O Leader of the Faithful! I know just the individual for this expedition.” Hazrat Umarra enquired who it was and Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra bin Auf proposed the name of Hazrat Saadra bin Abi Waqas. Upon this, everyone agreed with the proposal of Hazrat Saadra. Regarding Hazrat Saadra, Hazrat Umarra stated:
اِنَّهٗ رَجُلٌ شُجَاعٌ رَامٍ
“He is a brave and fearless man; and an excellent archer.”
Hazrat Musannara was waiting for Hazrat Saadra along with 8,000 brave soldiers at Zi Qar, which is a place situated between Kufa and Wasit, but during this, he passed away. [Prior to his demise] he had appointed his brother Hazrat Muanara as the commander of the army. According to the instructions he had received, Hazrat Muanara met Hazrat Saadra and conveyed to him the message of Hazrat Musannara. Hazrat Saadra took an assessment of the strength of his army which consisted of approximately 30,000 soldiers. Hazrat Saadra organised the army by dividing them under each flank and also appointed an officer for both. They then proceeded ahead and besieged Qadisiyyah. The Battle of Qadisiyyah took place towards the end of 16 AH. The disbelievers numbered approximately 280,000 and also had 30 elephants and the Iranian army was under the command of Rustam. Hazrat Saadra invited the disbelievers to Islam and for this he sent Hazrat Mughirahra bin Shu‘ba. In response, Rustam stated that the Muslims were enduring hardship and they were only doing this in order to alleviate their condition. Therefore, he said he would grant them provisions in such abundance that it will be plentiful for them. Hazrat Mughirahra replied that they had answered the call of God’s Messengersa and were inviting them to profess belief in the One God and His Prophetsa. If they were to accept this invitation, then it would be better for them, otherwise the matter between them would settled by the sword, i.e. a battle. It was they [Iranians] who instigated the battle; the Muslims on the other hand did not want to fight and in fact called them towards Islam, but since they insisted on fighting, hence the Muslims said in that case the matter would be settled by the sword.
Upon hearing this, Rustam became enraged and since he was an idolater, he said, “I swear by the sun and the moon, before the light of day, we shall begin the battle and will destroy all of you.”
Hazrat Mughriahra replied:
لَاحَوْلَ وَلَا قُوَّةَ اِلَّا بِاللّٰهِ
“Allah alone is the source of all power.”
After saying this, he mounted on his horse. Hazrat Saadra had received instructions from Hazrat Umarra that they were to first invite them to Islam. Therefore, Hazrat Saadra sent a delegation which included the famous poet and cavalier, Hazrat Amrra bin Ma‘di Karib and Hazrat Asha‘thra bin Qais Kindi. When they saw Rustam, he enquired where they were going, to which they replied that they were going to meet with his King [Wali]. Thereafter, this detailed conversation took place between the two. The members of this delegation stated that the Holy Prophetsa had promised them that they would be granted control of his land. In reply, Rustam asked for a basket full of dirt and said, “Here you go, you can place our land on top of your head.”
Hazrat Amrra bin Ma‘di Karib quickly stood up and placed the basket of dirt in his sack and stated that this was to serve as a sign to indicate that they would indeed take control of their land. Thereafter, they went to the royal court of the King of Iran and conveyed to him the message of Islam. The king became enraged and ordered them to leave his royal court and also stated that had they not come as emissaries, he would have had them killed. He then ordered Rustam to teach them a lesson they would never forget. It was a Thursday, after the Asr prayer when the battle commenced. Hazrat Saadra raised the slogan of “Allahu Akbar” [Allah is the greatest] three times and upon reciting this for the fourth time, the battle began. Hazrat Saadra was unwell at the time and sat on an elevated secure post in the fortress of Udhaib, directing his forces. (Roshan Sitarey, Ghulam Bari Saif, Vol. 2, pp. 79-82) (Atlas Fatuhat-e-Islamiyyah, p. 81, p. 100, p. 188, p. 126) (Mu‘jam-ul-Buldan, Vol. 4, p. 333, Dar-ul-Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut)
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra has also narrated this incident as follows:
“During the time of Hazrat Umarra, Yazdegerd, the grandson of Khosrow Parviz ascended to the throne and began to make extensive preparations to fight against the Muslims. In response to this, Hazrat Umarra sent an army under the command of Hazrat Saadra bin Abi Waqas. Hazrat Saadra chose Qadisiyyah as the location for battle and also sent a map of the area to Hazrat Umarra. Hazrat Umarra expressed his approval of the location but along with this instructed that it was his duty to first send a delegation to the King of Iran and invite him to accept Islam. And so, upon receiving this instruction, he sent a delegation to meet Yazdegerd. When this delegation arrived at the royal court of the King of Iran, he asked his translator to enquire why they had come. When he asked them this question, Hazrat Numanra bin Muqarrin, who was the leader of the delegation, stood up and after mentioning about the advent of the Holy Prophetsa, said, ‘The Holy Prophetsa has commanded us to spread the message of Islam and invite the entire world to the true faith. In accordance to this commandment, we are here before you and invite you to Islam.’ Yazdegerd became infuriated at this reply of his and said, ‘You are a nation that are like wild beasts and who eat carrion. If it is owing to hunger and scarcity of provisions that has compelled you to fight then I am willing to grant all of you with enough provisions of food and drink that you will be able to comfortably live for the rest of your lives.’ Even though he was the one to instigate the fighting, but yet was levelling the accusation against the Muslims. In any case, he further stated, ‘I shall also provide you with clothes and you can take all of these provisions and return to your country. Furthermore, withdraw your men who are protecting your borders and allow me to continue expanding my territory as I please. Why would you want to endanger your lives by engaging in a battle with us?’
“When he finished saying what he had to say, Hazrat Mughirahra bin Zurrarah stood up on behalf of the Muslim delegation and said, ‘Whatever you have said about us is absolutely true. Indeed, we were a nation like wild beasts and would eat carrion. We would even eat snakes, scorpions, locusts and lizards. However, Allah the Almighty bestowed His blessings upon us and sent His Messengersa to guide us. We accepted him and acted in accordance to what he said and as a result, a revolutionary change has taken place within us. Thus, those ills which you have spoken of no longer remain in us and we are not going to be tempted by anything you offer. The battle between you and us has now commenced and the matter will be settled in the battlefield. The temptation of offering worldly wealth and material cannot deter us from our objective.’
“When Yazdegerd heard this, he became extremely angry and told one of his servants to go and bring a sack of soil. When the sack of soil arrived, he called the leader of the Muslim delegation to step forward and said that since they had rejected his offer, therefore they would receive nothing except for a sack of soil. The companion earnestly stepped forward and lowered his head and had the sack of soil placed on his back. He then sharply stood up and they all swiftly made their way out from the royal court. Whilst departing from there, he loudly said to the fellow members of the delegation, ‘Today, the king of Iran has handed us the soil of his land with his own hands.’ They then mounted their horses and raced off. When the king heard this, he was shocked and ordered the servants of his royal court to go after them and bring back the sack of soil because by giving them the soil of his land with his own hands was a bad omen. However, by then they had travelled far off into the distance.
“In the end, it turned out exactly as they had said and within a few years, Iran came under Muslim rule. How did this extraordinary change come about within the Muslims? This is because the Quranic teachings brought about a revolutionary change in their morals and conduct. It brought an end to their lowly way of life and instead, elevated them to possess the most excellent morals and character. As a result of this they were able to spread the message of Islam to the world and by following the teachings of Islam, they were able to convert others as well to become true Muslims. They were never overawed by any kind of fear, danger or power.” (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 6, pp. 204-205)
There are some accounts from the life of Hazrat Saadra bin Abi Waqas, which I will insha-Allah narrate in the future sermon.
I will lead some funeral prayers in absentia today as well.
The first funeral is of respected Bushra Akram Sahiba, wife of Muhammad Akram Bajwah Sahib, who is serving as the Nazir Talim-ul-Quran and Waqf-e-Arzi in Pakistan. She passed away on 25 March 2020 at the age of 66:
اِنَّا لِلّٰهِ وَاِنَّا اِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُوْنَ
“Surely to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.”
Due to the current circumstances, I was not able to lead the funeral prayer at the time. The deceased was a musia [part of the scheme of Al-Wasiyyat]. She leaves behind two sons and one daughter.
Bushra Akram Sahiba spent 15 years in Liberia with her husband, respected Muhammad Akram Bajwah Sahib. During this time, she had the opportunity to serve as the Sadr Lajna Imaillah Liberia. During the civil war in Liberia, she stayed with her husband and children for 15 days in the army barracks whilst under detention.
Muhammad Akram Bajwah Sahib writes:
“Bushra Sahiba spent 37 years with a life-devotee”, i.e. Akram Sahib, “whilst demonstrating utmost sincerity, patience and loyalty. Particularly, when I was appointed in Liberia as a missionary and was serving as the Amir [National President]. For a period of 23 years of our stay there, she assisted me in works of tabligh and tarbiyat. She would also help serve the guests and also assist me in other Jamaat matters as well and also had the opportunity to serve as the Sadr Lajna Imaillah of Liberia. During the 15 years she spent Liberia, she suffered from malaria and typhoid on numerous occasions, but despite this, she exhibited utmost patience and proved to be a faithful companion. She provided her children with excellent moral training based on the principles of faith.”
By the grace of Allah, her children are very loyally attached to the Jamaat.
Mansoor Nasir Sahib, who is a life-devotee and is perhaps serving as the principal of high school writes:
“Continuously, for three years, while I was serving in Liberia on my own, I was accommodated in their own home and afforded with great hospitality and she took care of me like one of her own children or a younger brother.”
May Allah the Almighty enable her children to become the recipient of her prayers and also enable them to continue her good deeds. May He grant her His forgiveness and mercy.
The second funeral is of Iqbal Ahmad Nasir Sahib Pirkoti of Karaundi, district Khairpur. He passed away on 14 July 2020 at the age of 82:
اِنَّا لِلّٰهِ وَاِنَّا اِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُوْنَ
“Surely to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.”
His son, Akbar Ahmad Tahir Sahib, is currently serving as a missionary in Burkina Faso. He writes, “Iqbal Ahmad Nasir Sahib was the son of respected Mia Noor Muhammad Rafiqra, who was a companion of the Promised Messiahas. He was the paternal grandson of Mian Imam Din Sahib, who was also a companion of the Promised Messiahas and he was the nephew of Mian Pir Muhammad Sahib and Hafiz Muhammad Ishaq Sahib, who were also companions of the Promised Messiahas. He would always actively take part in all Jamaat activities and for a long time served as the finance secretary. He also had the opportunity to serve as the zaim for Ansarullah, imam-ul-Salat [leading prayers], murabbi-e-Atfal [moral training of children], etc.”
He further writes, “Right from my childhood, I observed that he would put some money aside in a box. When he was asked about this, he said that he puts his Chanda money aside separately so that he can present his Chanda on time. He would carry out tabligh with great passion and enthusiasm and he became the means of many blessed souls joining the Jamaat. He was devoted to prayers, regular in his Salat and fasting and in offering the Tahajud prayer. Upon me continuously insisting him, he came to Burkina Faso in 2016 and during his time here, he attended all the various Jalsas and gatherings of the Jamaat. He would passionately raise slogans in order to motivate the attendees and also to seek the contentment of his heart because for a long time there have been no Jalsas of the Jamaat in Pakistan, thus this was a desire that always remained in his heart.”
He leaves behind his wife, Bashira Beghum Sahiba, three daughters and three sons.
The amir and missionary in-charge of Burkina Faso writes:
“Although in the beginning when he came here, he had difficulty with the language” as French is spoken in Burkina Faso; “however, people were able to understand him owing to the love he showed everyone. He would greet people with so much love that whoever met him would hold him in high regard. Even the local people here spoke very highly of him at his demise.”
He further writes:
“After the deceased passed away, Bapina Sahib, our national secretary ishaat [publications] shared his picture and wrote that he met him during his stay in Burkina Faso and found him to be a truly amazing Ahmadi.”
May Allah the Almighty shower His forgiveness and mercy on him and enable his children to become the recipients of his prayers. His son who is a missionary serving there was unable to attend the funeral.
The third funeral is of Ghulam Fatima Fahmida Sahiba, who was the wife of Muhammad Ibrahim Sahib, of Dollian Jattan in the district of Kotli, Azad Kashmir. She passed away at the age of 72 on 18 July 2020 after a lengthy illness.
اِنَّا لِلّٰهِ وَاِنَّا اِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُوْنَ
“Verily to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.”
In 1944, her father performed the Bai‘at. His name was Naik Muhammad, but was commonly known as Kaleh Khan. Prior to performing the Bai‘at, he saw in a dream that he was going to meet a saintly gentleman. When he saw the saintly man, he ran to him and embraced him. The saintly man said to him, “Kaleh Khan! When are you coming over to us?” Kaleh Khan sahib replied, “I am already here.” When later he saw the picture of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra, he recognised him and said that he was the man he had seen in his dream. Subsequently, he wrote a letter in order to perform the Bai‘at. After performing the Bai‘at, his wife said that she also wished to perform the Bai‘at and thereafter, she too performed the Bai‘at. Both husband and wife were very sincere and the character of the late Fahmida Fatima Sahiba had a deep impact on the moral training of their children as well. She was regular in her five daily prayers, offering the Tahajud prayers and reciting the Holy Quran. Her children often saw her awake in the nights, offering fervent supplications before God Almighty. When women were permitted [owing to the circumstances] to attend the Friday prayers, she would go to the mosque one hour before the Friday prayers in order to offer her voluntary prayers and offer supplications.
She was very courageous and patient. Her husband was imprisoned on two occasions in 1965 and 1971 war [between Pakistan and India].
On the first instance, for a long time, there was no news whether her husband was alive. It was thought that he had been martyred and his funeral prayer in absentia was also offered. Despite this, she was convinced that he was alive and that he would certainly return. Subsequently, Allah the Almighty bestowed His grace and her husband returned after being freed. Aside from her husband, respected Muhammad Ibrahim sahib, the deceased, is survived by four sons and two daughters. Three sons are life devotees [Waqf-e-Zindagi]. Muhammad Javed Sahib is serving as a missionary in Zambia and was unable to go to Pakistan on his mother’s demise. May Allah the Almighty grant her His forgiveness and mercy and may He enable her children to continue her virtuous deeds.
The next funeral is of respected Muhammad Ahmad Anwar Sahib Hyderabadi, who passed away on 22 May  at the age of 94:
اِنَّا لِلّٰهِ وَاِنَّا اِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُوْنَ
“Verily to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.”
Ahmadiyyat entered his family through his grandfather, Sheikh Daud Ahmad Sahib. In their early years, Muhammad Ahmad Anwar Sahib’s father sent him and his brother, Majeed Ahmad Sahib, for studies to Qadian. He also had the good fortune of giving the Azan from the Minaratul Masih in Qadian.
From the outset, Muhammad Ahmad Sahib remained in the company of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra. After the partition [of India], he came to Rabwah with Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra. He also served as the driver for Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh. He later completed his education, first attaining a diploma in physical education and then an MA in Urdu and Islamiat [Islamic studies]. After completing his graduation, he served in Talim-ul-Islam College for a long time. From 1973 to 1976, he dedicated himself and went to The Gambia. From 1978 to 1986, he taught Islamic studies in a girls college in Nigeria. In 1988, he migrated from Pakistan to Germany and in 2009, he moved to the UK and settled here. The deceased has four sons and two daughters, all of whom are married. He served as the Naib Sadr of the qaza board in Germany and also served as naib auditor for Germany Jamaat.
His daughter, Amatul Majeed Sahiba says, “My father was highly devoted to his prayers. He considered Salat, Quran, fasting and serving Khilafat as the sole purpose of his life and would advise us of the same.”
May Allah the Almighty grant him His mercy and forgiveness.
The last funeral is of respected Saleem Hasan Al-Jabi Sahib of Syria. He passed away on 30 June  at the age of 92.
اِنَّا لِلّٰهِ وَاِنَّا اِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُوْنَ
“Verily to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.”
His daughter, Lubna Al-Jabi and granddaughter, Hiba Al-Jabi, who is the wife of Dr Bilal Tahir Sahib, both reside here in the UK.
She writes, “Saleem Al-Jabi Sahib was born in the suburbs of Damascus in 1928. Saleem Al-Jabi sahib was introduced to Ahmadiyyat at the age of 18 through respected Abu Dhahab Sahib, a modest Ahmadi farmer. Upon this, Al-Jabi Sahib performed the Istikhara prayer and in a dream, he saw that he was performing the Bai‘at of the Promised Messiahas. Subsequently Abu Dhahab Sahib gave him the Arabic translation of The Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam. Seeing the picture of the Promised Messiahas, he went to the amir [national president] of Syria Jamaat at the time, Munir Al-Husni Sahib and performed Bai‘at. He faced severe opposition from his father and relatives, yet Al-Jabi Sahib remained steadfast. He then had the opportunity to go to Pakistan during the Khilafat of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra. He spent six years in Rabwah in the company of Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra. He gained religious knowledge and also learned the Urdu language. Upon the instructions of Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra, he married in Pakistan and Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra led his Nikah. His wife was Pakistani.
His granddaughter, Hiba Al-Jabi Sahiba writes, “Our grandfather would always advise us and take time out for our education and moral upbringing. He would emphasise the importance of spiritual advancement and remaining attached to Khilafat.”
His wife passed away a few years ago. He has six children; one of the children, Dr Naeem Al-Jabi Sahib was kidnapped a few years ago and until now, there is no information of his whereabouts. Waseem Al-Jabi, the father of Hiba Al-Jabi, is a member of the Jamaat and lives in Poland. Similarly, two daughters and two sons are in Syria. Hiba Al-Jabi Sahiba also serves the Jamaat here [in the UK] and particularly gives good advice in relation to the translation of books. She also helps her husband, Bilal Tahir in his translation work. May Allah the Almighty increase her in her sincerity and loyalty and also increase her knowledge.
The daughter of the deceased, Lubna Abdul Khabir Al-Jabi writes, “[Our father] would stop us from following wrongful customs and innovations. He would advise us to forge a connection with Allah the Almighty and to perform tabligh [propagating the message of Islam]. He would spend generously on the poor. Many families in Lebanon and Syria performed the Bai‘at owing to Al-Jabi sahib, including some Christians as well.”
She further writes, “The last advice he gave to us was to always remain firmly attached to Khilafat and always act on the advice imparted by the Khalifa of the time. [He advised] not to show negligence in matters of tabligh, offer supplications for everything and never worry about any injustice received in the way of the truth.”
Umar Alaam Sahib, National President of Lebanon Jamaat, writes:
“Prior to accepting Ahmadiyyat, we would read the books of Saleem Al-Jabi Sahib which contained signs of the advent of the Imam of the Age [i.e. the Promised Messiahas] and his blessed Jamaat. When we had read these books, he would then further explain to us in detail about the Promised Messiahas and about his Jamaat. He would then instruct us that we must perform the Bai‘at.”
This was his own unique style; it is not necessary that this would be applicable in every situation. Nonetheless, he performed tabligh in this manner and owing to his preaching endeavours, many people accepted Ahmadiyyat. He would then advise us to leave his books and instead, read the books of the Promised Messiahas, Khulafa and books of the Jamaat.”
He further writes:
“As the first Ahmadis in Lebanon, we performed the Bai‘at due to Al-Jabi Sahib. We acknowledge this favour upon us and are thankful to him and offer prayers for him.”
Mu‘taz Al-Qazaq Sahib, who is Syrian but is currently residing in Canada writes:
“When I was the local president of a Jamaat in Syria, I had the opportunity to meet Al-Jabi Sahib on many occasions. Whenever Khilafat was being discussed, he would always say that he would like to depart this world in the company of Khilafat.”
Mir Anjum Parvez Sahib, who is a missionary and serving here in the Arabic desk, writes:
“Whenever he would receive a directive from the Khalifa, he would demonstrate complete obedience. He would openly say that he would obey every command issued by the Nizam-e-Jamaat.”
In 2011, he came to the UK from Syria to attend Jalsa Salana. He would say that there was no greater honour for him than to depart this world in the company of Khilafat. Many people accepted Ahmadiyyat due to Al-Jabi Sahib and the majority of them were loyal to the Jamaat and Khilafat.
Many people have written letters to me stating that they learned a lot from Al-Jabi Sahib and accepted Ahmadiyyat because of him. Al-Jabi sahib would say, “Hazrat Maulana Ghulam Rasool Rajeiki Sahibra said to me that I ought to translate his book, Hayat-e-Qudsi so that the Arab people would become acquainted about the lives of the Companions of the Promised Messiahas.”
Thus, he translated Hayat-e-Qudsi in Arabic. Arabic was his mother tongue, but aside from this, he spoke Urdu to a good level and also Persian. He could also speak English to a basic level. In 2005, when I went to Qadian, he met me in a mulaqat, which was very brief, but he met me with great humility. He then met me at the UK Jalsa Salana and said with great humility, “I have complete conviction in the truthfulness of Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyyat. I am fully obedient to Khilafat and have the utmost regard for it. Please pray for me that I always remain firmly attached to the Nizam-e-Jamaat.”
May Allah the Almighty enable his children and his progeny to remain ever loyal to Khilafat and remain attached to it. May Allah grant him His mercy and forgiveness.
After the Friday prayers, as mentioned before (or perhaps I did not mention it earlier), I will lead the funeral prayer in absentia of all the deceased members.
(Original Urdu transcript published in Al Fazl International, 14 August 2020, pp. 5-10. Translated by The Review of Religions)