Men of Excellence


Friday Sermon

3 May 2019

Delivered from Baitul Futuh Mosque

Men of Excellence


After reciting the Tashahud, Ta‘awuz, and Surah al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa stated:

The first Badri companion who I will mention today is Hazrat Ubaidra. His full name was Hazrat Ubaidra bin Abu Ubaid Ansari Ausi. According to Ibn Hisham, he belonged to the Banu Umayyah clan of the Aus tribe. Hazrat Ubaidra participated in the battles of Badr, Uhud and Khandaq alongside the Holy Prophetsa. (Usdul Ghaba, Vol. 3, pp. 538-539, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2008) (Al-Sirat al-Nabawiyyah li Ibn Hisham, p. 465, Al-Ansar wa man ma’ahum, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon, 2001) (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Sa‘d, Vol. 3, p. 243, Wa min Hulafa Bani Zafar, Ubaid bin Abi Ubaid, Dar-Ihyaa al-Turath al-Arabi, Beirut, Lebanon, 1993)

There are no further details available about him. 

The name of the next companion is Hazrat Abdullahra bin Numan bin Baldama. Hazrat Abdullah’s grandfather’s name is reported as Baldama or Balzama. Hazrat Abdullahra bin Numan belonged to the Banu Khunaas clan of the Khazraj tribe of the Ansar. (Al-Sirat al-Nabawiyyah li Ibn Hisham, p. 471, Al-Ansar wa man ma’ahum, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon, 2001) (Al-Isaba Fi Tamyeez Al-Sahaba, Vol. 4, p. 213, Abdullah bin Nu’man, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyya, Beirut, 2005)

Hazrat Abdullahra bin Numan was the paternal cousin of Hazrat Abu Qatadara. He had the honour of participating in the battles of Badr and Uhud. (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Sa‘d, Vol. 3, p. 293, Tabaqaatul Badariyyin min al-Ansar, Abdullah bin Numan, Dar-Ihyaa al-Turath al-Arabi, Beirut, Lebanon, 1996)

The next companion is Hazrat Abdullahra bin Umair. Hazrat Abdullahra bin Umair belonged the tribe of Banu Jidaarah and participated in the Battle of Badr. In one narration, his father’s name has also been reported as Ubaid instead of Umair. Similarly, some have reported his grandfather’s name as Adi and others have stated it as Harithah. Ibn Hisham has reported his tribe as Banu Jadaara, Ibn Ishaq on the other hand has reported it as Banu Harithah. Both, Ibn Hisham and Ibn Ishaq, were historians. (Al-Sirat al-Nabawiyyah li Ibn Hisham, p. 467, Al-Ansar wa man ma’ahum, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon, 2001) (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Sa‘d, Vol. 3, p. 277, Abdullah bin Umair, Dar-Ihyaa al-Turath al-Arabi, 1996) (Al-Isaba Fi Tamyeez Al-Sahaba, Vol. 4, p. 172, Abdullah bin Umair, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyya, Beirut, 2005)

The next companion is Hazrat Amrra bin Harith. Hazrat Amrra belonged to the tribe of Banu Harith. Some have reported his name as Amr and others recorded it as Aamir. His title was Abu Naafey. Hazrat Amrra accepted Islam in the early days in Mecca. He participated in the second migration to Abyssinia. He also had the honour of participating in the Battle of Badr. (Al-Sirat al-Nabawiyyah li Ibn Hisham, p. 463, Bab man hadara Badran minal Muslimeen, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2001) (Al-Isti’ab, Vol. 3, p. 255, Amr bin Harith, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2002) (Usdul Ghaba, Vol. 4, p. 197, Amr bin Harith, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2008)

The name of the next companion is Hazrat Abdullahra bin Kaab. Hazrat Abdullahra bin Kaab belonged to the Banu Mazin tribe. His father’s name was Kaab bin Amr and his mother’s name was Rubaab bint Abdullah. He was the brother of Hazrat Abu Lailara Mazani. The name of one of the sons of Hazrat Abdullahra bin Kaab was Harith, born from Zughaibah bint Aus. Hazrat Abdullahra bin Kaab participated in the Battle of Badr. The Holy Prophetsa appointed him to oversee the spoils of war at the occasion of the Battle of Badr. He had the honour of overseeing the spoils of war on various other occasions as well. Hazrat Abdullahra bin Kaab participated in all the battles alongside the Holy Prophetsa, including the battles of Uhud and Khandaq. Hazrat Abdullahra bin Kaab passed away in Medina during the caliphate of Hazrat Usmanra in 33 AH. His funeral prayer was led by Hazrat Usmanra. According to some reports, he also bore the title of Abu Yahya in addition to that of Abu Harith. (Al-Sirat al-Nabawiyyah li Ibn Hisham, p. 475, Al-Ansar wa man ma‘ahum, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2001) (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Sa‘d, Vol. 3, p. 268, Abdullah bin Ka’b bin Amr, Dar-Ihyaa al-Turath al-Arabi, Beirut, Lebanon, 1996) (Al-Isti’ab, Vol. 3, p. 105, Abdullah bin Ka’b al-Ma’zani, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2002) (Usdul Ghaba, Vol. 3, p. 370, Abdullah bin Ka’b bin Amr, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2008)

The next companion who I shall mention is Hazrat Abdullahra bin Qais. Hazrat Abdullahra bin Qais belonged to the tribe of Banu Najjar. In most of the biographies of the Holy Prophetsa and books of history, his grandfather’s name is reported as Khalid. However, in Al-Tabaqaat Al-Kubra, his name is written as Khallada. Hazrat Abdullahra bin Qais’ son’s name was Abdur Rahman and his daughter’s name was Umairah.

The name of their mother was Suwad bint Qais. Apart from these two children, he had another daughter by the name of Umme Aun. Hazrat Abdullahra bin Qais participated in the battles of Badr and Uhud. According to Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Ummarah Ansari, he was martyred during the battle of Uhud, however, according to another tradition, he was not martyred during the battle of Uhud; and participated alongside the Holy Prophetsa in all battles and passed away during the caliphate of Hazrat Usmanra. (Al-Sirat al-Nabawiyyah li Ibn Hisham, p. 474, Al-Ansar wa man ma’ahum, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2001) (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Sa‘d, Vol. 3, p. 258, Abdullah bin Qais, Dar-Ihyaa al-Turath al-Arabi, Beirut, Lebanon, 1996)

Discrepancies can at times be found within the books of history and therefore I mention the different accounts as well.

The next companion is Hazrat Salamara bin Aslam. Hazrat Salamara bin Aslam belonged to the tribe of Banu Haritha bin Harith. The name of his father was Aslam. According to one narration, the name of his paternal grandfather was Hareesh, whereas, according to another tradition his name was Harees. He was known by the title of Abu Saad. (Al-Sirat al-Nabawiyyah li Ibn Hisham, p. 464, Al-Ansar wa man ma’ahum, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2001) (Al-Isti’ab, Vol. 2, p. 198, Salamah bin Aslam, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2002)

The name of Hazrat Salamara bin Aslam’s mother was Suwad bint Rafey. Hazrat Salamara bin Aslam participated alongside the Holy Prophetsa in all battles, including the battles of Badr, Uhud and Khandaq. He captured Saib bin Ubaid and Numan bin Amr during the Battle of Badr. Hazrat Salamara bin Aslam was martyred during the caliphate of Hazrat Umarra in the battle of Jisr, which was fought at the river bank of the Euphrates River. I have already mentioned the details of this battle in the previous sermons. It was a fierce battle fought between the Muslims and Persians. It is called Jisr, which means bridge, because a bridge was constructed over the river and the Muslims used it to cross into the opposing territory. In this battle, the Persians used elephants that were trained for war. Nevertheless, both sides suffered heavy losses during the battle, especially the Muslims. There are varying opinions with regard to his age at the time of demise, however it is stated that he was 38 years old at the time of his demise. (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Sa‘d, Vol. 3, p. 236, Salamah bin Aslam, Dar-Ihyaa al-Turath al-Arabi, Beirut, Lebanon, 1996) (Usdul Ghaba, Vol. 2, p. 516, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2008) (Al-Isaba Fi Tamyeez Al-Sahaba, Vol. 3, p. 120, Salamah bin Aslam, Dar-ul-Fikr, Beirut, 2001) (Tarikh Ibn Khuldoon, Vol. 3, part 1, p. 271, Dar-ul-Isha’at, Karachi, 2003)

In Seerat al-Halabiya, a well-known book by Allama Nur-ud-Din Halabi, some miracles of the Holy Prophetsa during the Battle of Badr are mentioned and it is stated that during this battle, the sword of Hazrat Salamara bin Aslam broke. Upon this, the Holy Prophetsa gave him a branch of dates and told him to fight using that. As soon as Hazrat Salama bin Aslam grabbed hold of the branch, it turned into an magnificent sword and this remained with him thereafter. (Al-Sirat al-Halabiyyah, Vol. 2, p. 245, Bab Dhikr Maghaziyah Ghazwah Badr al-Kubra, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2002)

In Sharah Zarqani and Dala’il-e-Nubuwwat, it is written that on the day of Badr, the sword of Hazrat Salamara bin Aslam broke and he was left without any weapon. The Holy Prophetsa gave him a branch and told him to fight with it. Upon this, it turned into a magnificent sword, which remained with him until he was martyred on the day of Jisr. (Sharh Zurqani Alaa al-Mawahib al-Deeniyyah, Vol. 2, p. 302, Darul Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1996) (Dala’il-ul-Nubuwwah lil-Baihaqi, Vol. 3, p.99, Bab Ma dhukira fi al-Maghazi min Du’aaihi…, Darul Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1988)

Ibn Saad writes that on the occasion of the battle of Khandaq, Hazrat Zaidra bin Haritha was the flag bearer of the Muhajireen and the flag of the Ansar was held by Hazrat Saadra bin Ubada. The Holy Prophetsa appointed Hazrat Salamara bin Aslam as the leader over 200 men, who formed part of the battalion that had gathered under these various flags. Hazrat Salamara was appointed as the leader over 200 men and Hazrat Zaidra bin Haritha was appointed as the leader over 300 men. They were assigned the duty of guarding Medina and continuously reciting the Takbeer outaloud. The reason for this was that the children were kept in the area of the Banu Qurayza for safety reasons and this place was susceptible to an attack. (Uyun-ul-Athar, Vol. 2, p. 88, Ghazwah al-Khandaq, Dar-ul-Qalam, Beirut, 1993)

An attempt was made to assassinate the Holy Prophetsa. In relation to this, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra writes:

“The recollection of their disgraceful failure in the Ghazwah of Ahzab, inflamed the Quraish of Mecca. Naturally, this heartfelt rage had come mostly to the lot of Abu Sufyan, who was the chief of Mecca and had been especially humiliated during the expedition of Ahzab. For some time, Abu Sufyan continued to burn in this fire of rage, but at last, the matter became unbearable and the hidden flames of this fire began to flare up. Naturally, their greatest enmity, rather their actual enmity, was towards the person of the Holy Prophetsa. For this reason, Abu Sufyan now thought that if no results had come about through outwardly strategies and schemes, then why not put an end to Muhammadsa by some hidden scheme? He knew that there was no official security around the Holy Prophetsa. Quite the contrary, at times, the Holy Prophetsa would come and go, and walk the streets and alleys of the city completely unprotected. He would come to the mosque at least five times daily for the Salat and remained free and accessible whilst travelling. What better opportunity could there possibly have been for an assassin? As soon as this thought came to him, Abu Sufyan began to secretly consolidate his plan to assassinate the Holy Prophetsa. When he was fully determined to carry out his plan, one day, capitalising on an opportunity, he addressed a few young men of the Quraish with similar interests, saying, ‘Is there no brave man among you who would secretly go to the streets of Medina and kill Muhammad[sa]?’ Do you know that Muhammad[sa] freely roams the streets and alleys of Medina?’ (This is how he incited them against the Holy Prophetsa.) These young men heard this news and quickly flew off. (This scheme had a great impact on them.) Not many days had passed when a young Bedouin man came to Abu Sufyan and began to say, ‘I have heard your proposition (one of the youths may have informed him) and I am willing to do this. I am a strong hearted and mature individual, whose grip is severe and whose strike is sudden. If you appoint me to this task and assist me, I am ready to set out in order to kill Muḥammad[sa]. I have a dagger, which shall remain like the hidden wings of a wild vulture. (I.e. he will keep it hidden.) I shall attack Muhammad[sa]and then run to join a caravan and the Muslims shall not be able to catch me. Furthermore, I am also very proficient in the streets of Medina.’

Abu Sufyan was overjoyed and said, ‘Enough, enough. You are the man we seek.’ Then, Abu Sufyan gave him a swift camel and bid him adieu with some provisions, emphatically reminding him not to disclose this secret to anyone. 

“After having departed from Mecca, this man moved towards Medina hiding by day and travelling by night. He reached Medina on the sixth night. Ascertaining the whereabouts of the Holy Prophetsa, he went straight to the mosque of the Bani Abdul-Ashhal, where the Holy Prophetsa was present. Those days, new people constantly visited Medina, so no Muslim became suspicious of his intentions. But as soon as he entered the mosque and the Holy Prophetsa noticed the man approaching him, he said, ‘This man has come with an evil intention.’ Upon hearing these words, he began to move towards the Holy Prophetsa even faster than before. However, Usaid bin Hudairra, a Chieftain among the Ansar, immediately sprung forward and clung to him and during this tussle his hand fell upon the man’s hidden dagger, whereupon the man screamed out in fear, ‘My death! My death!’ When he was subdued, the Holy Prophetsa enquired of him, ‘Tell me truthfully, who are you and with which intention have you come?’ He said, ‘If my life is spared, I will tell you.’ The Holy Prophetsa said, ‘Yes, relate the entire account truthfully and you shall be forgiven.’ Upon this he related the entire story to the Holy Prophetsa from beginning to end. He also told the Holy Prophetsa of the reward which had been promised to him by Abu Sufyan. Thereafter, this individual stayed in Medina for a few days and then out of his own will became a Muslim, and thus, entered into the service of the Holy Prophetsa.

“This bloody conspiracy of Abu Sufyan made it even more incumbent than before to remain informed of the plots and intentions of the people of Mecca (in order to know what they were scheming). As such, the Holy Prophetsa sent two of his companions, Amr bin Umaiyyah Damrira and Salmah bin Aslam (the companion whose account is being related), towards Mecca. Considering the assassination attempt of Abu Sufyan and his past bloodthirsty schemes, the Holy Prophetsa permitted his companions to put an end to this war enemy of Islam, if the opportunity were to arise. However, when Umaiyyahra and his companion reached Mecca, the Quraish were alerted, whereupon these two companions set back to Medina fending for their lives. On their way back, they found two spies of the Quraish, whom the chieftains of the Quraish had sent to ascertain intelligence on the movements of the Muslims and to acquire information on the Holy Prophetsa. It would not be surprising if this scheme was also a grounds for some other bloodthirsty conspiracy of the Quraish. (Perhaps they sent these two individuals to try and kill the Holy Prophetsa, heaven forbid, through some sort of scheme.) However, it was by the grace of God that Umaiyyahra and Salmara learned of their espionage, upon which they desired to attack and imprison them, but they fought back. Consequently, in this battle, one spy was killed while the other was taken prisoner and brought back to Medina.

“There is a disagreement amongst historians with regard to the date of this expedition. Ibn-e-Hisham and Tabari have recorded it in 4 AH but Ibn Saad has written it to be in 6 AH. Allama Qustalani and Zurqani have given precedence to the narration of Ibn Saad.”

Analysing all of these narrations, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra concludes,

“Therefore, I have also mentioned it among the accounts of 6 AH. Indeed, Allah knows best. Baihaqi has also supported the details of the account mentioned by Ibn Saad but from this account one cannot establish the period in which it took place.” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, pp. 741-743)

The following account is in relation to Hazrat Salama bin Aslamra on the occasion of the Treaty of Hudabiyyah:

Hazrat Umme Ammarahra relates, “On the day of the Treaty of Hudabiyyah, I was watching the Holy Prophetsa while he was seated and Hazrat Abaadra bin Bishr and Hazrat Salamara bin Aslam were standing guard of the Holy Prophetsa and both were wearing steel helmets. When Suhail bin Amr, who came as an emissary from the Quraish, raised his voice, both of these companions told him to lower his voice before the Holy Prophetsa.” (Kitabul Maghazi Lil Waqidi, Vol. 2, p. 93, Bab Ghazwah al-Hudaibiyyah, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2004)

This is a notable service of his which has been recorded in relation to this event.  

The next companion to be mentioned is Hazrat Uqbahra bin Usman. His mother’s name was Umme Jameel bint Qutba (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Saad, Vol. 3, p. 300, Dar-Ihyaa al-Turath al-Arabi, Beirut, Lebanon, 1996) and Hazrat Uqbahra bin Usman belonged to the Banu Zuraiq tribe from among the Ansar. Hazrat Uqbahra and his brother, Hazrat Saadra bin Usman had the honour of taking part in the battles of Badr and Uhud. It has been reported in various books of history that when the battle of Uhud intensified, both Hazrat Uqbahra bin Usman and Hazrat Saadra bin Usman fled temporarily from the battlefield and took refuge for three days on a mount called Jalab opposite Ahwas. Ahwas was an area situated a few miles from Medina. When they both returned and presented themselves before the Holy Prophetsa and informed him about this, the Holy Prophetsa said:

لَقَدْ ذَھَبْتُمْ فِیْھَا عَرِیْضَۃً

“You both ran towards an open plain.” (Usdul Ghaba, Vol. 4, pp. 54-55, Uqbah bin Uthman, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2008) (Jami’ul Bayan fi ta’weel al-Qur’an, Ma’ruf Tafsir Tabari, Vol. 4, pp. 183-184, Surah Aal-e-Imran, Dar-Ihyaa al-Turath al-Arabi, Beirut, 2001) (Mu’jamul Buldan, Vo. 1, p. 180)

In any case, the Holy Prophetsa forgave them and overlooked their error and did not investigate this matter any further.

The next companion to be mentioned is Hazrat Abdullahra bin Sahl. Hazrat Abdullahra bin Sahl belonged to the Bani Zaorah tribe who were confederates of the Bani Abdil Ashal tribe. It is also reported that he was Ghassani [i.e. belonged to the Ghassan tribe]. According to some narrations, Hazrat Abdullah’s grandfather’s name has also been reported as Zaid and Rafi. Hazrat Abdullah’s mother was Thaba bint Tayyihan, who was the sister of Hazrat Abu Al-Haithamra bin Tayyihan. Hazrat Abdullahra was the brother of Hazrat Rafeyra bin Sahl and took part in the Battle of Badr. His brother, Hazrat Rafeyra, also took part along with him in the Battle of Uhud and Khandaq. Hazrat Abdullahra was martyred during the Battle of Khandaq when an individual from the Banu Awaif tribe caught him with an arrow. (Al-Sirat al-Nabawiyyah li Ibn Hisham, p. 464, Al-Ansar wa man ma’ahum, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2001) (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Sa‘d, Vol. 3, p. 236, Abdullah bin Sahl, Dar-Ihyaa al-Turath al-Arabi, Beirut, Lebanon, 1996) (Usdul Ghaba, Vol. 3, p. 269, Abdullah bin Sahl, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2008)

Mughaira bin Hakeem relates that he asked Hazrat Abdullahra whether he participated in the Battle of Badr. Hazrat Abdullahra replied, “Yes and I was also part of the pledge that took place at Aqabah.” (Majmua al-Zawa’id wa manba’ul Fawa’id li Ali bin Abi Bakr, Vol. 6, p. 108, Kitabul Maghazi wa al-Siyar, Bab Qad Hadara Badran Jama’ah, Hadith 10044, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2001)

The following account is recorded in Subul-ul-Huda, a book on the life of the Holy Prophetsa, in relation to Hazrat Abdullah’s participation in the Battle of Hamraa-ul-Asad, which is situated around eight miles from Medina (Mu’jamul Buldan, Vo. 2, p. 181):

“Hazrat Abdullahra bin Sahl and Hazrat Rafeyra bin Sahl were two brothers from the Banu Abdil Ashal tribe. Upon returning from the Battle of Uhud, they were both severely injured, however Hazrat Abdullahra had sustained more injuries out of the two. When they heard about the Holy Prophet’ssa instruction to go for the Battle of Hamraa-ul-Asad, one of them said to the other, ‘By God! We shall be greatly deprived if we are not able to take part in this battle alongside the Holy Prophetsa.’ (They both were injured but despite this they had an intense passion and strength of faith.) They then said, ‘By God! We do not even possess any means of transport and nor do we even know how we can secure any means of transport.’ Hazrat Abdullahra then said, ‘Come with me and let us go on foot.’ Hazrat Rafeyra responded, ‘By God, I do not even have the strength to walk owing to my injuries.’ Hazrat Abdullahra then said to his brother, ‘Come along, we shall walk slowly and head in the direction of the Holy Prophetsa.’ Thus, they both set off, staggering along the way. When Hazrat Rafeyra would feel extremely weak, Hazrat Abdullahra would carry him on his back and then after a short while they would again start walking. Thus, despite having sustained more injuries, Hazrat Abdullahra would carry his brother on his back and they would continue heading towards the Holy Prophetsa. (He would become so severely weak that he would at times not even be able to move any part of his body.) They continued to walk in this way until they reached the Holy Prophetsa in the evening. At the time, the companionsra had camped for the night and were lighting a fire. They both came before the Holy Prophetsa and that night Hazrat Abaadra bin Bishr was standing guard of the Holy Prophetsa. The Holy Prophetsa enquired as to what had prevented them from coming and they both then informed the Holy Prophetsa of their situation. Upon this the Holy Prophetsa prayed for them both and said, ‘If you are given a long life, you people shall witness for yourselves that horses, donkeys and camels shall be granted to you as means of transport. Today, you have walked here with such struggle, but if you live long, you shall see that all those means of transport will be granted to you.’ However, along with this, the Holy Prophetsa also stated, ‘But you walking here whilst undergoing such pain and struggle will be far better than these means of transport that you will be granted. The reward and blessings of this will be far greater.’” (Subulul Hudaa wa al-Irshad fi Sirat Khair al-Ibad li Muhammad bin Yusuf, Vol. 4, p. 310, Vol. 14, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1993)

What was the Batte of Hamraa-ul-Asad in which these companions followed after the Holy Prophetsa? Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra has written some details regarding the battle of Hamraa-ul-Asad, which was an expedition that took place whilst the Muslims were returning from the Battle of Uhud:

“This night was a night of great fear in Medina, because although the army of the Quraish had apparently taken to Mecca, it was apprehended that this move may be a plot to catch the Muslims off guard, (although they had been victorious at Uhud and it seemed as though they were heading to Mecca, however the Muslims feared that this maybe the strategy of the Quraish) and suddenly return to attack Medina. Hence, on this night an arrangement was made for security in Medina (for safety concerns owing to this apprehension) and the Companions particularly stood guard all night long at the residence of the Holy Prophetsa. The next morning it was discovered that this apprehension was not mere speculation, because prior to Fajr Salat, the Holy Prophetsa received news that the army of the Quraish had stalled at a few miles from Medina and a heated debate was taking place amongst the chieftains of Mecca, that making use of this victory, why not attack Medina. Some of the Quraish were taunting one another saying:

‘You did not kill Muhammad[sa], nor did you take the Muslim women as slaves, nor did you seize their wealth and possessions; rather, when you gained dominance over them and received the opportunity to destroy them completely, you just left them and turned back, so that they may collect strength again. There is still time, let us return and attack Medina and uproot the Muslims once and for all.’

“In contrast to this, the others argued:

‘You have attained victory. Consider this to be good fortune enough and return to Mecca, lest we lose this repute as well, and this victory is turned to defeat. Now if you return and attack Medina, the Muslims shall indeed fight with all their strength, and those who did not participate at Uhud shall come forth in the field of battle as well.’

“Ultimately, however, the opinion of the passionate ones prevailed and the Quraish prepared to set back to Medina. When the Holy Prophetsa was informed of these events, he immediately announced that the Muslims should prepare, but along with this he also ordered that except for those people who had participated at Uhud, no one else should set out with them. As such, the warriors of Uhud, most of whom were wounded, tied up their wounds and betook to the company of their Master. It is written that on this occasion, the Muslims set out with such joy and zeal, as if they were a triumphant army which sets out in pursuit of the enemy. After travelling a distance of eight miles, the Holy Prophetsa reached Hamraa-ul-Asad, where the dead bodies of two Muslims were found laying on the plain. Upon further investigation, it was discovered that these were the two spies whom the Holy Prophetsa had sent in the footsteps of the Quraish. Upon finding an opportunity, the Quraish had executed them. The Holy Prophetsa instructed that a single grave be dug, and both of the martyrs were buried together. Now that it was evening time, the Holy Prophetsa instructed that camp be set up at this very location. He further instructed that fires be lit at different places throughout the plain. As such, in no time, 500 fires were lit in the plain of Hamraa-ul-Asad, which struck awe into the heart of any spectator from afar (so that people going past would assume that it was a vast army which had set up camps at different places). Most probably, on this occasion, an idolatrous chief of the Khuza‘ah tribe named Ma‘bad presented himself before the Holy Prophetsa and offered his condolences for those who had fallen at Uhud, where after he continued on his way. On the following day when he reached Rauha’, (this is a place which is situated approximately 40 miles from Medina) lo and behold, he found the army of the Quraish encamped there and that preparations were underway to return to Medina. Ma‘bad went to Abu Sufyan at once and said:

‘What are you about to do? By God, I have just left behind the army of Muhammad[sa] at Hamraa-ul-Asad, and never before have I seen such an awe-inspiring army. They are so passionate due to their regret for the defeat at Uhud that they shall reduce you to ashes on sight.’

“Abu Sufyan and his followers were so awe-struck by these comments of Ma‘bad that they abandoned the idea of returning to Medina and made haste to Mecca at once. When the Holy Prophetsa received news that the army of the Quraish had fled in this manner, he thanked God and said, ‘This is the awe of God, which He has struck into the hearts of the disbelievers.’

“After this, the Holy Prophetsa remained in Hamraa-ul-Asad for another two or three days, and after an absence of five days, he returned to Medina.” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, pp. 504-505) (Lughat-ul-Hadith, Vol. 2, p. 149)

The next companion to be mentioned is Hazrat Utbahra bin Rabeeah. There are varying opinions by the historians in relation to which tribe Hazrat Utbahra belonged to. According to Ibn Ishaq, Hazrat Utbahra bin Rabeeah was a confederate of the Banu Lozan tribe and belonged to the Bahra tribe. However, according to some other historians, he was a confederate of the Aus tribe. In any case, he had the honour of participating in the battles of Badr and Uhud.  Allama ibn Hajar al-Asqalani states that the name Utbah bin Rabeeah is found among the names of those amirs [leaders], who gathered for the Battle of Yarmouk. He states that according to him, Utbah bin Rabeeah referred to this very companion. (Al-Sirat al-Nabawiyyah li Ibn Hisham, p. 469, Al-Ansar wa man ma’ahum, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2001) (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Sa‘d, Vol. 3, p. 284, Utbah bin Rabee’ah bin Khalid, Dar-Ihyaa al-Turath al-Arabi, Beirut, Lebanon, 1996) (Al-Isaba Fi Tamyeez Al-Sahaba, Vol. 4, p. 360, Utbah bin Rabee’ah bin Khalid, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2005)

The details of the Battle of Yarmouk are that upon returning to Medina from Hajj in 12 AH, Hazrat Abu Bakrra sent the Muslim armies towards Syria in the early part of 13 AH. Hazrat Amrra bin Aas was sent towards Palestine and similarly, he instructed Yazid bin Abu Sufyan, Hazrat Ubaidahra bin Al-Jarah and Hazrat Sharabeelra bin Hasana to go to Tabukia via Balqah, the northern area of Syria. Initially, Hazrat Abu Bakrra appointed Khalid bin Saad as an amir but later replaced him with Yazid bin Sufyan. They left for Syria with an army of 7,000 men and the various amirs took their armies towards Syria. Heraclius himself marched to Homs and prepared a large army from the Byzantine forces. He appointed a leader for each of the Muslim leaders. Some of the Muslims who were not so strong in their faith, saw the size of the opposition and were overcome with fear because the Muslim army was only 27,000 strong. In light of these circumstances, Hazrat Amrra bin Aas instructed for everyone to gather at one place because despite being few in number, it would be harder for the enemy to overcome them. Since, they were comparatively small in number, therefore by staying together it would make it difficult for the enemy to gain victory over them. He stated that if they remained in separate armies under each of the appointed amirs [leader] then none of them would be of any use to the others because huge armies had been assigned against each of the smaller units of the Muslim army. Thus, it was decided that all of the Muslim armies would gather at Yarmouk. This in fact was the same suggestion that was sent to the Muslims by Hazrat Abu Bakrra as well in that they should become one army and fight the opposition. He also told them, “Become the helpers of God, for God Almighty grants help to such a one who seeks to help Him, and destroys one who rejects Him. The enemy will never be able to overcome you just because you are few in number.” 

Hazrat Abu Bakrra sent a message saying, “Even though you are fewer in number; you will never be defeated if you remain faithful and united because you are fighting in the cause of God Almighty.” He further stated: “If ten thousand – or even more – supporters of evil rise against you, they will certainly be overpowered. Do not worry about your inferior numbers because if you are ten thousand or even more than this, and your opponents instigate evil and are wrongdoers, they will surely be defeated. Therefore, safeguard yourselves from sins, purify yourselves, become united and fight together in Yarmouk. Every single commander from among you should offer prayers with their battalion.”

The Muslims encircled the Byzantine army from Safar 13 Hijri until Rabi‘ul Thani, but they were not successful. Hazrat Abu Bakrra then ordered Hazrat Khalidra bin Walid to travel to Yarmouk from Iraq as reinforcement. Hazrat Khalidra bin Walid was the Governor of Iraq at the time. Before his arrival, all the Commanders were fighting on separate fronts alongside their respective battalions. Upon his arrival, Hazrat Khalidra advised the Muslims to elect one amir [leader] to lead them. Subsequently everyone chose Hazrat Khalidra bin Walid. It is stated that the total number of soldiers for the Byzantine army was between 200,000 and 240,000 as opposed to the Muslim army which was between 37,000 and 46,000. In comparison, the size of the Muslim army was almost one fifth of the opposing army. The condition of the Byzantine army was such that the feet of 80,000 of their soldiers were shackled and 40,000 were chained together. This was done so that they had no way of turning back and had no choice but to fight or die fighting.

A total of 120,000 men were chained so that they would not be able to do anything but fight and die on the battlefield. 40,000 men had tied each other with their turbans. On top of that, there were 80,000 riders and 80,000 soldiers on foot. A number of priests had travelled with the army to incite them to fight. It was during this battle that Hazrat Abu Bakrra fell ill in Jamadi Al-Ulaa and passed away in Jamadi Al-Ukhra. ‘To Allah we belong and to Him shall we return’. Hazrat Khalidra divided the Muslim army into groups of 36 to 40 men, but everyone was fighting under one Commander. Hazrat Utbahra bin Rabeeh was the leader of one of these groups.

Hazrat Khalidra realised that the Muslim army was fewer in number, however, owing to this tactic, to the enemy it would appear that the Muslim army was greater. The eminence of this Muslim Army can be gauged from the fact that among the ranks; 1,000 men had physically seen the blessed countenance of the Holy Prophetsa, 100 of the companions were such that they had participated in the Battle of Badr alongside the Holy Prophetsa. A brutal and fierce battle ensued between the two armies. During this time, an emissary from Medina came with certain news. The cavaliers stopped him to which he said that all was well. However, in reality he brought the news of the demise of Hazrat Abu Bakrra. The emissary reached Hazrat Khalidra and quietly notified him of the passing of Hazrat Abu Bakrra and also informed him that he had not told any of the soldiers outside of this news. Hazrat Khalid bin Walid took the letter from him and placed it in his quiver, for he feared that if the news spread to the army, it was certain to cause disorder and the Muslims may not engage in battle. Nonetheless, the Muslims remained steadfast and fought valiantly until the evening, at which point the Byzantine army began to flee.

In this battle, over 100,000 Byzantine soldiers died compared with a total of 3,000 Muslim casualties. Among those martyred was Hazrat Ikramahra bin Abu Jahl. At the time, the Byzantine Emperor was staying in Homs. As soon as he became aware of the defeat, he immediately fled from there. After the victory at Yarmouk, the Muslim army quickly spread throughout Syria, capturing Canisarein, Antakya, Juma, Sarmin, Tezein, Korus, Tal A‘zaz, Zaluk and Raban, among other places. (Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 4, pp. 53-63, Dar-ul-Fikr, Beirut, 2002) (Khulafa-e-Rashideen, Shah Ma‘een al-Deen Ahmad Nadwi, p. 126, Maktabah Rahmaniyyah, Lahore) (Al-kamal fi al-Tarikh, Vol. 2, p. 326, Sunnah 15, Dar-ul-Kitab al-Arabi, Beirut, 2012)

The mention of the Companionsra comes to close for today and perhaps they will resume now after Ramadan, God-willing, as Ramadan will begin from next week.

After the prayers, I will lead a funeral prayer of Respected Sahibzadi Sabeeha Begum Sahiba, who was the maternal granddaughter of Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra. She was the eldest daughter of Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahib’s eldest daughter. Sahibzadi Sabeeha Begum Sahiba’s father’s name was Hazrat Mirza Rasheed Ahmad Sahib. Sahibzadi Sabeeha Begum Sahiba was the wife of Sahibzada Mirza Anwar Ahmad Sahib, who was the paternal grandson of the Promised Messiahas born to Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra and Hazrat Umme Nasirra. She passed away on 30 April at the age of 90 whilst at the Tahir Heart Institute. To Allah we belong and to Him shall we return. In relation to me she was my maternal aunt. Hazrat Mirza Rasheed Ahmad Sahib was the son of Hazrat Mirza Sultan Ahmad Sahib and as mentioned earlier, Sahibzadi Sabeeha Begum Sahiba was the daughter of Amatul Salam Begum Sahiba, the eldest daughter of Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra. Sabeeha Sahiba’s wedding – which took place in Rabwah – was the last wedding within the family of the Promised Messiahas that Hazrat Amma Janra attended. Sabeeha Sahiba was the elder sister of Hazrat Sayyidah Asifa Begum Sahiba, wife of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh. Aside from her, there is another sister and three brothers.

Sabeeha Sahiba’s sister, Aneesa Fauzia Sahiba writes, “Since she was the eldest sibling, our parents would give importance to her opinions in all matters. Owing to her insight and intelligence, our parents trusted her and in turn, she always repaid that trust. She looked after her younger siblings and she tried her best to ensure they had a good upbringing.”

She further writes, “When a marriage proposal came for me for one of the sons of Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud himself stated, ‘This is a good family. Both of my daughters-in-law belong to this family.’” One of the daughters-in-law was the deceased who I am speaking about and the other was the wife of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh. Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra stated, “Two of the sisters are my daughter-in-laws. They are very loving and ensure that the family remains closely attached to one another.”

Sabeeha Sahiba’s son writes, “My mother was a very simple person who would always look after the poor and was always ready to help everyone. She would always care for those in need and would show compassion to the poor. She was a friend to destitute and upon hearing the issues faced by those in need, she would be moved to tears. She would help them to the best of her ability.”

There is no exaggeration in this and indeed these were her qualities.

She would show kindness to all those that worked for her. One of Sabeeha Sahiba’s daughters has written how she treated her workers just like her own children. When one of her workers was about to get married, she requested her to prepare her jaheiz[bridal dowry] in the manner she had prepared for her own daughters. She then prepared her jaheiz accordingly.

She is survived by three daughters and one son. By the grace of God Almighty, she was also a musia [part of the institution of Al-Wasiyyat] and after her funeral yesterday, she was buried in Bahishti Maqbarah. May God Almighty enable her children to continue her pious deeds and may they live happily with one another. May they always remain attached to the Jamaat and Khilafat.

(Translated by The Review of Religions)

(Originally published in Al Fazl International, 24 May 2019, pp. 5-9)

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