5 June 2020
Men of Excellence
After reciting the Tashahud, Ta‘awuz, and Surah al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa said:
Today, I will continue with the accounts of the Badri companions. The companion who I will speak about today is Hazrat Suhaibra bin Sinaan. The name of Hazrat Suhaib’sra father was Sinan bin Malik and his mother’s name was Salama bint Qaeed. Hazrat Suhaibra was from Mosul.
Hazrat Suhaib’s father, or his uncle, was the governor of Ubullah for the Chosroes. Ubullah is a city on the banks of the Tigris River, which later came to be known as Basra. The Romans attacked that region and took Hazrat Suhaibra as a prisoner when he was a child.
According to Abul Qasim al-Maghrabi, Hazrat Suhaib’sra actual name was Umairah, but the Romans named him “Suhaib”. (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Saad, Vol. 3, pp. 169-170, Suhaib bin Sinaan, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2017) (Al-Isabah Fi Tamyeez al-Sahabah, Vol. 4, pp. 33-34, Suhaib bin Sinaan, Dar-ul-Fikr, Beirut, 2001) (Mu‘jamul Buldan, Vol. 1, p. 99, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut)
Hazrat Suhaibra had a deep reddish complexion; he was neither tall, nor short and had thick hair. (Usdul Ghabah, Vol. 3, p. 41, Suhaib bin Sinaan, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2016)
He grew up among the Romans and had a speech impediment. A man named Kalb bought him from the Romans and took him to Mecca. Abdullah bin Jud‘an then bought him and set him free. Hazrat Suhaibra remained with Abdullah bin Jud‘an in Mecca until Abdullah’s death and it was around this time that the Holy Prophetsa was divinely commissioned by God Almighty.
According to one narration, the children of Hazrat Suhaibra have reported that when Hazrat Suhaibra reached the age of maturity, he fled the Roman Empire and came to Mecca where he became a confederate of Abdullah bin Jud‘an and remained with him until Abdullah’s death. (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Saad, Vol. 3, p. 170, Suhaib bin Sinaan, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2017)
Regarding Hazrat Suhaibra, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:
“One of the slaves was Suhaibra. He was captured and brought from the Roman Empire. He was a slave of Abdullah bin Jud‘an who later set him free. Suhaibra also believed in the Holy Prophetsa and endured various kinds of hardships as a result of this.” (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 6, p. 443)
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra has mentioned this whilst refuting the allegation of the disbelievers, which has been mentioned in the Holy Quran, in that they would allege that the Holy Prophetsa composed the Quran with the help of slaves or other people. One answer to this allegation is that these very slaves faced hardships and persecution due to their conversion to Islam. Thus, did these slaves help the Holy Prophetsa in order to be afflicted by hardships? Moreover, they not only helped him secretly, but they also helped him openly as well and then endured all the hardships and persecution with steadfastness.
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra has explained that this allegation was completely baseless. It was the faith of those believers in the Holy Prophetsa and God Almighty that kept them steadfast. They learnt Islam from the Holy Prophetsa and believed in the revelation from Allah the Almighty. Nonetheless, this was the background to the aforementioned extract. (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 6, pp. 441-443)
Hazrat Ammar bin Yasirra states, “I met Suhaibra at the door of Dar-e-Arqam. The Holy Prophetsa was also present there. I asked Suhaibra, ‘What is your intention?’ Suhaibra asked me, ‘What is your intention?’ I replied, ‘I want to go to Muhammadsa and listen to his words.’ Hazrat Suhaibra said, ‘This is also my intention.’” Hazrat ‘Ammarra states, “Both of us then went to the Holy Prophetsa and he preached the message of Islam to us. So, we both accepted Islam. We spent the entire day there until the evening. Then, we left in secret.”
Hazrat Ammarra and Hazrat Suhaibra accepted Islam after more than 30 people had accepted Islam. (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Saad, Vol. 3, p. 171, Suhaib bin Sinaan, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2017)
Hazrat Anasra narrates that the Holy Prophetsa stated:
“Four people have excelled others in accepting Islam. I [i.e. the Holy Prophetsa] am first to accept amongst the Arabs. Suhaibra is the first to accept amongst the Roman people. Salmanra is the first to accept from amongst the people of Persia. Bilal is the first to accept amongst the people of Abyssinia.” (Usdul Ghabah, Vol. 3, p. 39, Suhaib bin Sinaan, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2016)
Hazrat Abdullahra bin Masud relates:
“The first seven individuals who professed to be Muslims were: the Holy Prophetsa to whom the law was revealed, Abu Bakrra, Ammarra and his mother Sumayyahra, Suhaibra, Bilalra and Miqdadra. The Holy Prophetsa was protected through his paternal uncle, Abu Talib and Allah the Almighty protected Abu Bakrra through his tribe.”
I have already elaborated on this in my previous sermon that this is view of the person who has compiled this narration. Otherwise, the Holy Prophetsa and Hazrat Abu Bakrra were also made a target of these cruelties. Even though they remained somewhat protected in the beginning, they were later subjected to these same cruelties. The narrator further states, “The others were seized by the idolaters, shackled in iron chains and burnt in the heat of the sun. There was none among them, who did not succumb to the demands of their masters with the exception of Bilalra, whose circumstances were such that he had completely resigned himself to the Will of God and held no worth in the eyes of the society around him. They would seize him, hand him to the youths, who would then drag him around the valleys of Mecca. However, Bilalra would repeatedly say ‘Ahad, ahad’ [God is one, God is one].” (Sunan Ibn Majah, Kitab al-Sunnah, Bab Fadl Salman wa Abi Dharr wa Miqdad, Hadith 150)
Nevertheless, as I have mentioned, all of them endured cruelties, but each one of them displayed steadfastness in their faith. However, from this narration, we find that Hazrat Bilalra was subjected to severe persecution.
It is further narrated:
“Hazrat Suhaibra was among those believers, who were considered to be weak and was tortured in Mecca because of his belief. These believers also had to go through many hardships. According to one narration, Hazrat Ammar bin Yasirra would be tortured to such an extent that he would have no recollection of what was happening. The same was the case with Hazrat Suhaibra, Hazrat Abu Fa‘idra, Hazrat Aamirra bin Fuhaira and other companions. The following verse was revealed in relation to these companions:
ثُمَّ اِنَّ رَبَّکَ لِلَّذِیۡنَ ہَاجَرُوۡا مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِ مَا فُتِنُوۡا ثُمَّ جٰہَدُوۡا وَ صَبَرُوۡۤا ۙ اِنَّ رَبَّکَ مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِہَا لَغَفُوۡرٌ رَّحِیۡمٌ
‘Then, surely, thy Lord – to those who fled their homes after they had been persecuted and then struggled hard in the cause of Allah and remained steadfast – aye, surely, after that thy Lord is Most Forgiving, Merciful.’ [Surah al-Nahl, Ch.16: V.111]” (Al-Isabah Fi Tamyeez al-Sahabah, Vol. 3, p. 34, Suhaib bin Sinaan, Dar-ul-Fikr, Beirut, 2001)
According to one narration, the last individuals to migrate to Medina were Hazrat Alira and Hazrat Suhaibra bin Sinaan, who migrated in the middle of Rabi al-Awwal [third month in the Islamic calendar]. The Holy Prophetsa was staying in Quba and had not yet set off for Medina. (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Saad, Vol. 3, p. 172, Suhaib bin Sinaan, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2017)
In one narration, it is mentioned that when Hazrat Suhaibra set off to migrate towards Medina, a party of idolaters pursued him. He subsequently dismounted, emptied his quiver and said, “O party of the Quraish! You know that I am among your most skilful archers. By Allah! You will not be able to reach me until I fire all of my arrows at you. I will then fight you with my sword until I am left empty handed. Therefore, you may do as you please. If it is my wealth you desire, I will tell you where it is and you may then leave my path.” These people replied in the affirmative.
Hence, Hazrat Suhaibra told them [where his wealth was] and when he presented himself before the Holy Prophetsa, the Holy Prophetsa said that this deal had been profitable for Abu Yahya”, i.e. it had been beneficial for him.
The narrator says that upon this, the following verse was revealed:
وَ مِنَ النَّاسِ مَنۡ یَّشۡرِیۡ نَفۡسَہُ ابۡتِغَآءَ مَرۡضَاتِ اللّٰہِ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ رَءُوۡفٌۢ بِالۡعِبَادِ
“And of men there is he who would sell himself to seek the pleasure of Allah; and Allah is Compassionate to [His] servants.” (Surah al-Baqarah, Ch.2: V.208) (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Saad, Vol. 3, pp. 171-172, Suhaib bin Sinaan, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2017)
According to one narration, Hazrat Suhaibra went to the Holy Prophetsa after migrating from Mecca to Medina. At the time, the Holy Prophetsa was in Quba and Hazrat Abu Bakrra and Hazrat Umarra were with him. At the time they all had fresh dates in front of them, which were brought by Hazrat Kulthumra bin Hidam. On the way, Hazrat Suhaibra contracted an eye infection (he had an ailment of the eye), but was also suffering from starvation and tiredness due to the journey. When Hazrat Suhaibra rushed towards the dates, Hazrat Umarra said, “O Messengersa of Allah, look at Suhaibra; he has an eye infection and is eating the dates”. The Holy Prophetsa replied in a lighthearted manner saying, “You are eating the dates despite your eye infection?”, i.e. he had swollen eyes with tears running down. Hazrat Suhaibra submitted, “I am eating whilst using the side of my eye which is healthy”. Upon hearing this, the Holy Prophetsa smiled. Hazrat Suhaibra turned to Hazrat Abu Bakrra and said, “You promised me that you would take me with you in the migration, but you went without me.” He then turned to the Holy Prophetsa and said, “O Messengersa of Allah, you also promised to take me along with you on the migration, but you also left without me. The Quraish captured me and detained me, so I had to buy my freedom and that of my family by giving up my wealth.” The Holy Prophetsa replied, “This was a very beneficial deal indeed.”
Thereafter, God Almighty revealed the verse:
وَ مِنَ النَّاسِ مَنۡ یَّشۡرِیۡ نَفۡسَہُ ابۡتِغَآءَ مَرۡضَاتِ اللّٰہِ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ رَءُوۡفٌۢ بِالۡعِبَادِ
“And of men there is he who would sell himself to seek the pleasure of Allah; and Allah is Compassionate to [His] servants.” (Surah al-Baqarah, Ch.2: V.208)
Hazrat Suhaibra said, “O Messengersa of Allah, I took with me one mudd [approximately 0.5kg] of flour as provisions for my journey, which I had prepared at Abwah until I reached you.” (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Saad, Vol. 3, p. 172, Suhaib bin Sinaan, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2017)
This was all he had to eat in this journey.
In this regard, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra writes:
“Suhaibra was a prosperous merchant and in Mecca he was considered a reputable person, but despite the fact that he was wealthy and was no longer a slave, the Quraish continued to beat him even after his release to the extent that he would pass out. When the Holy Prophetsa left Mecca and migrated to Medina, Suhaibra also wanted to migrate, but the Meccans stopped him from doing so. They said that he was not permitted to take the wealth he had earned in Mecca with him. Suhaibra offered to surrender all his property and earnings and asked whether they would then let him go. The Meccans accepted the arrangement. Suhaibra handed everything over to them and reached Medina empty-handed and met the Holy Prophetsa. The Holy Prophetsa said to him, ‘Out of all the transactions you have ever made, this was the best.’ In other words, he previously used to earn money by trading goods, but this time he traded money in return for his faith.” (Deebacha Tafsir-ul-Quran, Anwarul Ulum, Vol. 20, pp. 194-195)
After Hazrat Suhaibra migrated from Mecca to Medina, the Holy Prophetsa established a bond of brotherhood between him and Hazrat Harithra bin Simmah. Hazrat Suhaibra participated in the battles of Badr, Uhud, Khandaq and all other battles alongside the Holy Prophetsa. (Usdul Ghabah, Vol. 3, p. 39, Suhaib bin Sinaan, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2016)
Hazrat Aaizra bin Amr narrates that Hazrat Salmanra, Hazrat Suhaibra and Hazrat Bilalra were sat amongst a group of people when Abu Sufyan bin Harb walked past. They said to him, “Allah the Almighty’s sword has not yet struck the necks of the His enemies”. Upon this, Hazrat Abu Bakrra said, “Is this how you speak about the leaders and chieftains of the Quraish?” The Holy Prophetsa was informed of this incident, to which the Holy Prophetsa said, “O Abu Bakrra! Perhaps you have angered them. If this is the case, then you have also angered God Almighty.” Therefore, Hazrat Abu Bakrra went back to those people and said, “O my brethren, perhaps you are aggrieved because of me”. To this they replied, “No, O Abu Bakrra, may Allah grant you forgiveness.” (Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal, Vol. 6, p. 885, Hadith A‘idh bin Amr, Alamul Kutub, Beirut, 1998)
Hazrat Suhaibra relates:
“Whatever battle the Holy Prophetsa was present in, I too participated. Whatever pledge of allegiance the Holy Prophetsa took, I too was there. Whatever expedition the Holy Prophetsa sent forth, I too was part of it. Whatever battle the Holy Prophetsa departed for, I was alongside him. I was to his right or to his left. Whenever the people perceived a threat from in front, I would go ahead and when they sensed danger from behind, I would go behind them. I never allowed the enemies to get through me and to reach the Holy Prophetsa, up until he departed from this world” i.e. until the Holy Prophetsa passed away. (Al-Isabah Fi Tamyeez al-Sahabah, Vol. 3, p. 35, Suhaib bin Sinaan, Dar-ul-Fikr, Beirut, 2001)
In his advanced years, Hazrat Suhaibra would gather people around him and mention interesting incidents of his achievements in battle. (Siyar as-Sahabah, Vol. 2, p. 268, Suhaib bin Sinaan, Darul Ishaat, Karachi)
Hazrat Suhaibra was not a native speaker, i.e. his language [Arabic] was not as eloquent as the Arabs.
Zaid bin Aslam relates from his father, “I went with Hazrat Umarra until he entered the garden of Hazrat Suhaibra in Aliya. When Hazrat Suhaibra saw Hazrat Umarra he said ‘Yannaas, Yannaas’. Hazrat Umarra thought he was saying ‘al-nas’ [people] so he said what has happened to him that he is calling people.” The narrator then says, “I replied by saying that he was calling his servant whose name was Yuhannas and he called him in this way due to the impediment in his speech.” After that, they discussed certain matters and Hazrat Umarra said, “O Suhaibra, I see only three short-comings in you. If they were not present in you, I would not give any person superiority over you. I see that you associate yourself with the Arabs, whereas your language is foreign, you say that your appellation is Abu Yahya, which is the name of a prophet and you excessively spend out of your wealth.” Hazrat Suhaibra replied, “As for what you said about me wasting money, the truth is that I spend only where it is required and not unnecessarily. Regarding my appellation, it was the Holy Prophetsa who gave me the title of Abu Yahya, therefore I shall never renounce it. As for my affiliation with the Arabs, the Romans had enslaved me when I was young, so that is why I learnt their language, but I belong to the tribe of Namir bin Qasit.”
Hazrat Umarra had great love for Hazrat Suhaibra and thought very highly of him. When Hazrat Umarra sustained an injury, he mentioned in his will that Hazrat Suhaibra would lead his funeral prayer and he would also lead the Muslims in prayer for three days until members of the electoral committee chose the Khalifa.
Hazrat Suhaibra passed away in the month of Shawwal 38 AH, but according to some, he passed away in 39 AH. At the time of his demise, Hazrat Suhaibra was 73 years of age, whilst according to other narrations, he was 70 years old and was buried in Medina. (Usdul Ghabah, Vol. 3, p. 41, Suhaib bin Sinaan, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2016)
The next companion whose accounts will be mentioned is Hazrat Saadra bin Rabi. Hazrat Saadra bin Rabi belonged to the Banu Harith clan of the Khazraj tribe of the Ansar. His father’s name was Rabi bin Amr and mother’s name was Huzaila bint Inabah. Hazrat Saadra had two wives – Umrah bint Hazam and Habiba bint Zaid. Hazrat Saadra bin Rabi had two daughters; one of the daughters name was Umm-e-Saad – which has also been reported as Umm-e-Saeed – however, her real name was Jameelah. (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Saad, Vol. 3, p. 395, Vol. 8, p. 303, Umm-e-Ammarah, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2017) (Umdatul Qari, Vol. 20, p. 216, Dar Ihyaa al-Turath al-Arabi, Beirut, 2003)
Hazrat Saadra bin Rabi was able to read and write even during the Jahaliyyah period [era of ignorance prior to the advent of Islam], when not many could do so. Hazrat Saadra was one of the chieftains of the Banu Harith and Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawahah was also one of the chieftains of this tribe along with him. Hazrat Saadra was present during the occasions of the first and second Pledge at Aqabah. (Usdul Ghabah, Vol. 2, p. 214, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2016)
After the migration to Medina, the Holy Prophetsa established a bond of brotherhood between Hazrat Saadra and Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra bin Auf.
In a narration of Sahih Bukhari, Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra bin Auf relates that when he arrived in Medina, the Holy Prophetsa established a bond of brotherhood between him and Saadra bin Rabi. Upon this, Saadra bin Rabi stated, “I am the wealthiest amongst the Ansar, therefore I shall give you half of my wealth and whichever of my two wives you like, I will separate from her for you. Once her iddat [a fixed period of time before a woman can remarry] has passed, you can marry her.” Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra bin Auf replied to Hazrat Saadra bin Rabi that he did not require anything and all he needed to know from him was whether there was a marketplace where people could trade. Hazrat Saadra informed him that there was a marketplace of the Banu Qaynuqah.
Subsequently, early next morning, Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra went there and purchased cheese and clarified butter. Similarly, he went to the marketplace every morning. Not long had passed that once, Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra came before the Holy Prophetsa and had a mark of saffron on him. (In those days, they would mark saffron to serve as a sign that one had just got married.) In any case, the Holy Prophetsa asked if he had married and he replied in the affirmative. The Holy Prophetsa enquired who he got married to and he replied that it was with a women belonging to the Ansar. The Holy Prophetsa then asked how much dowry he had given and he stated that he gave gold the size of a nugget or he said a nugget of gold. Upon this, the Holy Prophetsa stated that he should hold a walima [a ceremony after the consummation of marriage], even if it be by sacrificing a single sheep. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitabul Buyu‘, Bab Ma Ja‘a fi Qaulillah Azza wa Jall Fa idha Qadayta al-Salata …, Hadith 2048)
In other words, he was told to arrange for a walima according to his means.
Hazrat Saadra bin Rabi participated in the battles of Badr and Uhud and was martyred during the Battle of Uhud. On the day of Uhud, the Holy Prophetsa stated, “Who will bring me news of Saadra bin Rabi?” “I will”, someone submitted. And so, this individual went forth and began searching for him among those who had been slain.
Upon seeing this individual, Hazrat Saadra asked him how he was and he replied, “I have been sent by the Messengersa of Allah so I can inform him about your condition.” Hazrat Saadra stated, “Convey my salaam [i.e. greeting of peace] to the Holy Prophetsa and inform the Holy Prophetsa that I have received 12 spear wounds and those who engaged in battle with me have been condemned to the hellfire”, in other words, whoever came up against him was killed. “And tell my people that if the Holy Prophetsa is martyred while a single one of them is still alive, then remember that they shall have no excuse to offer before God Almighty.”
It is stated that it was Hazrat Ubayyra bin Kaab who went to enquire about the condition of Hazrat Saadra. According to another narration, it states that Hazrat Saadra told Hazrat Ubayyra bin Kaab, “Let my people know that Saad bin Rabi says that they ought to fear Allah the Almighty and the pledge they took at the hands of the Messengersa of Allah on the night of Aqabah. By God, they shall have no excuse before God if the eyes of even one of them still flickers (i.e. if any one of them was still alive) and the enemy was to reach the Holy Prophetsa.”
Hazrat Ubayyra bin Kaab narrates that he was still by the side of Hazrat Saadra when he passed away. His body was covered in wounds and when he returned and presented himself before the Holy Prophetsa and informed him of the conversation he had and the condition he was in, the Holy Prophetsa stated, “May Allah the Almighty have mercy upon him. In his lifetime and even after his demise, he continued to serve Allah and His Messengersa.”
Hazrat Saadra bin Rabi and Hazrat Kharjahra bin Zaid were buried in one grave. (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Saad, Vol. 3, p. 396, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2017) (Al-Isti‘ab, Vol. 4, pp. 432-433, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2016)
Hazrat Sahibzada Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra mentions the account of Hazrat Saad’sra martyrdom in the following manner:
“Now the Holy Prophetsa had also descended into the battlefield and the work of tending to the bodies of the martyrs was underway. At the time, the sight that was before the Muslims was one to bring forth tears of blood” i.e. after the battle had finished, despite his own injuries, the Holy Prophetsa went around the battlefield and advised on how to take care of the bodies of the martyrs and organise the burials. Nonetheless, the scene before the Muslims was one of horror, so much so that it can be said it would bring forth tears of blood. “70 Muslims were laying in the field of battle smothered in dust and blood and they displayed a horrific scene of the barbaric Arab tradition known as muthlah.”
Not only had they been martyred, but their limbs had been cut and their bodies had been disfigured [by the disbelievers].
Hazrat Sahibzada Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra further writes:
“Among the casualties, there were only six Muhajireen and the rest were all from the Ansar. The number of men slain from among the Quraish was 23. When the Holy Prophetsa came to the body of his paternal uncle and foster brother, Hamzara bin Abdil Muttalib, he was stunned because Hind, the barbaric wife of Abu Sufyan, had severely spoiled his dead body. For some time, the Holy Prophetsa stood there silently and signs of grief and anger were evident upon his countenance. For a moment’s time, the Holy Prophetsa even thought to himself that until these bloodthirsty beasts of Mecca were not given a taste of their own medicine, perhaps they would never come to their senses, but then the Holy Prophetsa refrained from this idea and exhibited patience. As a matter of fact, after this, the Holy Prophetsa prohibited the custom of muthlah”, to disfigure corpses “in Islam forever and said that the enemy may do as it pleases, but the Muslims should in any case refrain from such a barbaric practice and follow a course of virtue and benevolence.
“Safiyyah bint Abdil Muttalibra, the paternal aunt of the Holy Prophetsa, loved her brother Hamzara very dearly. Upon hearing news of the defeat of the Muslims, she had also come out of Medina. The Holy Prophetsa instructed her son, Zubair bin al-Awwamra not to show his mother the body of his maternal uncle; but how could a sister’s love allow her to sit at rest?” Her son told her not to see the body of Hazrat Hamzara as it had been severely disfigured. “‘Let me see the body of Hamzahra,’ she insisted. ‘I promise to demonstrate patience and shall not utter a word of complaint or lament.’ Hence, she went and upon seeing the body of her brother said:
اِنَّا للہ وَاِنَّا اِلَیْہِ رَاجِعُوْن
[To Allah do we belong and to Him shall we return].
After this, she did not say a word.”
Hazrat Sahibzada Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra further writes:
“The Quraish had more or less meted out the same barbaric treatment to the bodies of other Companions as well. Hence, the body of Abdullah bin Jahashra, the paternal cousin of the Holy Prophetsa had also been severely disfigured. As the Holy Prophetsa would move from one body to the other, signs of pain and anguish would become more and more evident upon his countenance. It was perhaps at this occasion when the Holy Prophetsa said, ‘Someone go and enquire about the state of Saadra bin Rabi, chief of the Ansar. Is he alive or has he been martyred? During battle I saw that he was perilously surrounded by the lances of the enemy.’ Upon the instruction of the Holy Prophetsa, Ubayy bin Kaabra, a Companion from among the Ansar began to search for Saadra here and there on the battlefield, but to no avail. Finally, he began to exclaim in a loud voice and called out the name of Saadra again and again, but no sign of him could be found. Losing hope, he was about to return when he suddenly thought that he should call out with the name of the Holy Prophetsa and perhaps in this manner, a clue may be found.” Initially, he only called him out by name, but then thought that perhaps he could call out saying that the Holy Prophetsa had sent him.
“As such, he began to call out, ‘Where is Saadra bin Rabi? The Messengersa of Allah has sent me to him.’ At the sound of this, an electric current surged through the half-dead body of Saadra; suddenly becoming alert, but in a very soft voice, he responded, ‘Who is it? I am here.’ When Ubayy bin Kaabra peered into the distance, amongst a pile of dead bodies, he caught sight of Saadra, who at the time was in his final breaths, giving up his life. Ubayy bin Kaabra said, ‘The Holy Prophetsa has sent me so that I may inform him of your condition.’ Saadra responded, ‘Submit my greetings of peace to the Messengersa of Allah, and tell him, “May Allah grant you the spiritual reward, which is given to all the Prophets of God due to the sacrifice and sincerity of their followers to a greater extent than all the other Prophets and grant you the delight of your eyes.” Convey my greetings of peace to my Muslim brethren as well and tell my people that if the slightest injury is inflicted upon the Holy Prophetsa while even a breath of life remains within them, then remember that they shall have no excuse before God.’ After these words, Saadra gave his life.” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, pp. 500-501)
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra has also mentioned this account in his own words and states:
“There is an incident that took place on the occasion of the Battle of Uhud. After the battle, the Holy Prophetsa sent Hazrat Ubayyra bin Kaab to go and enquire about the state of those who had been wounded. Whilst searching for the wounded, Hazrat Ubayyra bin Kaab reached Hazrat Saadra bin Rabi, who had been severely injured and was almost breathing his last. Hazrat Ubayra bin Kaab asked him if he had any message he would like him to convey to his relatives and dear ones. Hazrat Saadra smiled and said, ‘I was waiting for a Muslim to come, who I could deliver my message to. Place your hand in mine and promise me that you will certainly convey my message.’ The message he then gave was as follows, ‘Convey my salaam to my Muslim brothers and tell my people and my relatives that the Messengersa of Allah is the greatest trust bestowed upon us by God Almighty and we ought to protect this trust with our very lives. I must now depart from this world and hand over this trust to you. Let it not be that you show weakness in this regard.’”
After narrating this account, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra stated:
“Ponder, at such a time when one feels as if they are about to die, one entertains all kinds of thoughts in their heart. He thinks about the circumstances his wife would have to face or who will tend to the needs of his children etc. However, this companion did not convey any such message of this kind and simply said that he is departing this world whilst he was striving to protect the Holy Prophetsa and they ought to do the same and follow after him. To protect the Holy Prophetsa was the greatest task.”
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra continues:
“It was this very strength of faith that enabled them [i.e. the Muslims] to bring about a revolution in the world and topple the rule of the Romans and Persians. The Roman emperor was astonished as to who these people were. Likewise, Chosroes wrote to one of his generals and told him that if he could not even defeat the Arabs, then he should return and instead, sit at home wearing his bangles. He also stated to his general that the Arabs were such people that would eat ordure and yet he could not even stop them. In other words, he considered them to be extremely lowly people who would have nothing to eat and would instead eat ordure. In reply, the general stated that they did not appear as mere mortals, but rather were like a force that would come galloping over the swords and spears such was their passion and vigour and therefore, how could they defeat them?” (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 7, p. 338)
On one occasion, Umm-e-Saad, the daughter of Hazrat Saadra bin Rabi came to see Hazrat Abu Bakrra, who laid down one of his own cloths for her [to sit]. Hazrat Umarra asked Hazrat Abu Bakrra who she was. Hazrat Abu Bakrra replied, “She is the daughter of the one who was better than you and I.” Hazrat Umarra enquired, “O Khalifatur Rasul [Caliph of the Messengersa]! Who was that person?” Hazrat Abu Bakrra replied, “He is the one who passed away in the lifetime of the Holy Prophetsa and received his place in paradise, whereas you and I are still here today.” (Al-Isabah Fi Tamyeez al-Sahabah, Vol. 2, p. 315, Saad bin al-Rabi‘, Dar-ul-Fikr, Beirut, 2001)
Hazrat Jabirra bin Abdullah relates that the wife of Hazrat Saadra bin Rabi, along with her two daughters, came to see the Holy Prophetsa and said, “O Messengersa of Allah! These two are the daughters of Saadra bin Rabi, who fought alongside you in the Battle of Uhud and was martyred. Their paternal uncle has taken all their inheritance”; their uncle had taken all the wealth that was left by Hazrat Saadra bin Rabi, leaving them with nothing. “Furthermore, their Nikah [Islamic marriage] cannot take place until they have some money.” The Holy Prophetsa replied, “Allah the Almighty will reveal His verdict regarding this matter.”
Subsequently the verses regarding inheritance [of a deceased person] were revealed. The Holy Prophetsa then called their uncle and instructed him to give one third of the wealth of Saadra to his daughters and to give one eighth to their mother and the remainder will be his share. (Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Kitabul Fara’id, Bab Maa Ja’a fi Mirath al-Banaat, Hadith 2092)
Whilst making reference to this incident, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra has shed light on this in Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin:
“Saadra was an affluent man and possessed a distinct status within his tribe. He did not have any male offspring, only two daughters and a wife. Until now, no new injunctions regarding the division of inheritance had been revealed to the Holy Prophetsa. As such, inheritance was divided among the Companions according to ancient custom, whereby if the deceased did not have any male offspring, his paternal relatives would take possession of the inheritance and the widow and daughters would be left empty-handed. Therefore, upon the martyrdom of Saadra bin Rabi, his brother took possession of all the inheritance and his widow and daughters were left completely without support. Troubled by this distress, the widow of Saadra presented herself before the Holy Prophetsa along with her two daughters and expressed her grief whilst relating the entire account. This painful account hurt the pure disposition of the Holy Prophetsa, but since no injunctions had been revealed to the Holy Prophetsa from God in this respect, the Holy Prophetsa said, ‘Wait for some time and a verdict shall be given according to the injunctions which are revealed by God.’
“As such, the Holy Prophetsa supplicated to God and it was not long before a few of the verses regarding inheritance were revealed to the Holy Prophetsa, which have also been vouchsafed in Surah al-Nisa of the Holy Quran.
“At this, the Holy Prophetsa called the brother of Saadra and instructed him to give two-thirds of the inheritance to the daughters of Saadra, one-eighth to his sister-in-law and to keep whatever remained thereafter. From then on, new laws on the division of inheritance were instituted, whereby a wife is entitled to one-eighth of her husband’s inheritance if he has children and one-fourth if he does not have any children and a daughter is entitled to a portion equivalent to half of her brother’s from the inheritance of her father and if she has no brothers, then two-thirds or half (depending on the circumstances); and a mother is entitled to a sixth portion of the inheritance of her son if he has children and a third if her son does not have any children. Similarly, the portions of other heirs were also fixed and, in this way, the natural right of a woman, which had been snatched from her, was returned.”
Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra has written a note saying:
“At this occasion, it would not be irrelevant to note that from among the salient features of the teachings of the Holy Prophetsa, one distinction is that he fully safeguarded all the rightful and legitimate rights of women. As a matter of fact, the truth is that before and after the Holy Prophetsa, there has been no individual in the history of the world who safeguarded the rights of women as he did. In matters of inheritance, marriage, spousal relations, divorce, in the right of owning personal estate, in the right of using one’s personal estate, in the rights of education, in the rights of child custody and upbringing, in the right of participating in national and domestic affairs, in the matter of individual freedom, in religious rights and obligations; in every religious and worldly field where a woman can possibly tread, the Holy Prophetsa has accepted all her legitimate rights and has proclaimed that the protection of her rights is a sacred trust and duty vouchsafed to his community. It is for this very reason that the women of Arabia considered the advent of the Holy Prophetsa to be a message of salvation.”
He further writes, “I am compelled to digress from my subject matter (as women’s rights was not the subject under discussion), otherwise, I would have elaborated that the teaching of the Holy Prophetsa with respect to women truly stands upon such a lofty pedestal that no religion and no civilisation has been able to reach it. Most definitely, this beautiful statement of the Holy Prophetsa is based on such a deep truth that:
حُبِّبَ اِلَيَّ مِنْ دُنْيَاکُمُ النِّسَاءُ وَالطِّيْبُ وَجُعِلَتْ قُرَّةُ عَيْنِيْ فِي الصَّلٰوةِ
‘Among the things of this world, the things for which my disposition has been leavened with love are women and fragrance, but the delight of my eye is in Salat, i.e., the worship of Allah.’” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, pp. 507-509)
Today, there are people who raise their voices in defence of women’s rights and focus their attention on merely superficial matters, which have nothing to do with actual freedom at all. Moreover, some raise allegations against the Islamic teachings in which there are certain restrictions, but these are only in place to uphold the honour of women, for the sake of peace at home and for the moral training of the next generation. In actuality, the teachings of Islam are such that it grants women freedom and safeguards their rights.
May Allah the Almighty enable the world to understand this reality and be safeguarded from all evil and immorality, and may our women also understand the true reality of these teachings, as at times they can be influenced by society and perceive their proposed model of freedom to be correct. May they understand the true essence of the Islamic teachings and also the rank and honour bestowed to women by Islam because no other religion has granted such honour, nor has any so-called women’s rights organisations or movements.
May Allah the Almighty enable men to also safeguard the rights of women in accordance with the teachings of Islam, so that a peaceful society can be established.
After this I would like to briefly speak about the present situation and also urge everyone to pray. Everyone should pray to Allah the Almighty to remove the Coronavirus pandemic from the world, but also for people to be granted wisdom and foresight so they can realise that the only chance of future prosperity is for them is to submit to the One God and to fulfil the rights of others. It is through sacrifices that one can truly eradicate the evils and disorder.
May Allah the Almighty grant wisdom to the governments so they can run the affairs of their country based on justice.
These days there is unrest and disorder in the USA; may every Ahmadi be saved from its ill effects and may the people present their demands and attain their rights through the correct means.
If African Americans are causing damage and disorder in their homeland, then they will only be causing harm to themselves. Many African leaders have also said the same, that they should not cause damage and destruction to their own country. Indeed, they can protest, but so long as they do so within the parameters of the law. Causing damage to their own properties will be of no benefit, instead it is detrimental to their own cause. Therefore, those carrying out the protests should ponder over this. The government should also understand the situation that simply using force to respond to this is not the answer, nor is using force the solution to solving problems. In fact, governments can only function when all citizens are given their due rights. It is only through this that peace and prosperity can prevail and not without this. Irrespective of how powerful a government may be, if there is unrest amongst the people, the government cannot remain established. Nevertheless, may Allah remove all the unrest and disorder throughout the world; may governments fulfil the rights of its citizens and may the citizens obtain their rights by pursuing their demands whilst remaining within the parameters of the law.
Similarly, the government of Pakistan should also reflect upon this and not increase persecution and injustices against Ahmadis simply due to fear of the Mullahs [clerics], rather they ought to run their government by upholding justice and learn the lessons from the past. By using the issue of Ahmadiyyat and perpetrating cruelties against Ahmadis, neither have previous governments remained established, nor can they do so in the future. Therefore, they ought to abandon the thought that through this issue, they can extend their time in government. Indeed, owing to this persecution, Ahmadiyyat has spread and progressed throughout the world and God-Willing, it will continue to do so in the future. This is the will of God Almighty and no one has the power to stop it.
Nonetheless, it is our prayer that may Allah remove all injustices, unrest and disorder and due to the current pandemic that is widespread, may people pay heed to it and bring about a transformation within themselves.
May we, as Ahmadis, be granted the opportunity to fulfil the rights of our worship and also the rights owed to mankind even more than before, so that we may become the recipients of the love of Allah and be able to witness success and progress.
(Original Urdu published in Al Fazl International on 26 June 2020, pp. 5-9. Translated by The Review of Religions.)