Men of Excellence

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Friday Sermon

13 December 2019

Men of Excellence

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

In the last Friday Sermon, I narrated incidents in the life of Hazrat Hilalra bin Umayyah and in relation to this, I also spoke about the Battle of Tabuk. Hazrat Hilalra bin Umayyah was among the three men who stayed behind and did not take part in this particular battle. When the Holy Prophetsa returned from the battle, he expressed his displeasure upon this and also reprimanded them.

Subsequently, the three companions were extremely anxious and submitted before Allah the Almighty, repenting and continuously seeking forgiveness. This continued until the lamenting of these three companions – which included Hazrat Hilalra – was eventually accepted and Allah the Almighty revealed a verse regarding their pardoning. Nonetheless, in relation to this battle, the extent of sacrifices presented by the Companionsra was also stated.

Furthermore, it was stated that certain other individuals, who harboured hypocrisy inside them, did not participate in this battle and made false excuses before the Holy Prophetsa. Some refused to go along right from the beginning and thus the Holy Prophetsa left the matter of such hypocrites to Allah the Almighty. In continuation, I will now present some further details with regard to this.  One individual who preferred not to go with the Holy Prophetsa was Jadd bin Qais.

The Holy Prophetsa asked him if he would join them in the battle against the Byzantine forces. He replied that this would place him in a trail on account of the women, therefore he ought not to be placed in such a difficulty.

Subsequently, the Holy Prophetsa let him be and permitted him to stay behind. In light of this incident, the following verse was revealed: 

وَ مِنۡہُمۡ مَّنۡ یَّقُوۡلُ ائۡذَنۡ لِّیۡ وَ لَا تَفۡتِنِّیۡ ؕ اَلَا فِی الۡفِتۡنَۃِ سَقَطُوۡا ؕ وَ اِنَّ جَہَنَّمَ لَمُحِیۡطَۃٌۢ بِالۡکٰفِرِیۡنَ 

“And among them is he who says, ‘Permit me to stay behind and put me not to trial.’ Surely, they have already fallen into trial. And surely, Hell shall encompass the disbelievers.” (Surah al-Taubah, Ch.9: V.49) 

A Jew from Medina, whose name was Suwailam resided in a part of Medina named Jasoom, also known as Bi‘r Jasim. This was a water well belonging to Abul Haitham bin Tayihaan and was situated towards Syria. Its water was excellent and the Holy Prophetsa enjoyed drinking from it. The house belonging to this Jew was the centre for the hypocrites.

The Holy Prophetsa was informed that this was where the hypocrites would gather and they were dissuading people from joining the Holy Prophetsa in the Battle of Tabuk. The Holy Prophetsa instructed Hazrat Ammar bin Yasirra to go to them and enquire about what they were saying to others. If they denied saying the aforementioned then he should let them know that he had been informed about what they had been spreading. When Hazrat Ammarra arrived there and said as he was instructed of him, consequently those individuals started coming to the Holy Prophetsa to present their excuses. (Al-Siratun Nabawiyyah Li Ibn Hisham, p. 597, Ghazwah Tabuk, Dar ibn Hazm, Beirut, 2009) (Al-Sirat al-Halabiyyah, Vol. 3, p. 186, Bab Dhikr al-Bi‘aar allati shariba minha Rasulullahsa, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990) (Farhang Sirat, p. 84, Zawwar Academy Publications, Karachi, 2003)

Allah the Almighty has described their condition in the following words: 

یَحۡذَرُ الۡمُنٰفِقُوۡنَ اَنۡ تُنَزَّلَ عَلَیۡہِمۡ سُوۡرَۃٌ تُنَبِّئُہُمۡ بِمَا فِیۡ قُلُوۡبِہِمۡ ؕ قُلِ اسۡتَہۡزِءُوۡا ۚ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ مُخۡرِجٌ مَّا تَحۡذَرُوۡنَ۔ وَ لَئِنۡ سَاَلۡتَہُمۡ لَیَقُوۡلُنَّ اِنَّمَا کُنَّا نَخُوۡضُ وَ نَلۡعَبُ ؕ قُلۡ اَ بِاللّٰہِ وَ اٰیٰتِہٖ وَ رَسُوۡلِہٖ کُنۡتُمۡ تَسۡتَہۡزِءُوۡنَ۔ لَا تَعۡتَذِرُوۡا قَدۡ کَفَرۡتُمۡ بَعۡدَ اِیۡمَانِکُمۡ ؕ اِنۡ نَّعۡفُ عَنۡ طَآئِفَۃٍ مِّنۡکُمۡ نُعَذِّبۡ طَآئِفَۃًۢ بِاَنَّہُمۡ کَانُوۡا مُجۡرِمِیۡنَ

“The hypocrites fear lest a Surah should be revealed against them, informing them of what is in their hearts. Say, ‘Mock ye! Surely, Allah will bring to light what you fear.’ And if thou question them, they will most surely say, ‘We were only talking idly and jesting.’ Say, ‘Was it Allah and His Signs and His Messenger that you mocked at? Offer no excuse. You have certainly disbelieved after your believing. If We forgive a party from among you, a party shall We punish, for they have been guilty.’” (Surah al-Taubah, Ch.9: V.64-66)

Nevertheless, these were the conditions at the time prior to the departure [for the battle] and such schemes of not going were being plotted. The hypocrites were a part of this conspiracy and the Jews were also inciting them in this regard. Some presented their excuses prior to going to the battle, whilst others offered excuses when the Holy Prophetsa returned from battle. Nonetheless, the Holy Prophetsa entrusted their matter to Allah the Almighty.

When the Holy Prophetsa returned from the Battle of Tabuk and reached a place near Medina, he stated, “There are some people in Medina [at present], who had accompanied us in every journey and in every valley.”

The Companionsra submitted, “O Messengersa of Allah! How could they have been with us if they are in Medina?”

The Holy Prophetsa replied, “Indeed they are in Medina. However, they were hindered due to certain reasons or ailments.” (Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal, Vol. 4, p. 263, Musnad Anas bin Malik, Hadith 12032, Alamul Kutub, Beirut, 1998) (Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal, Vol. 5, p. 132, Musnad Jabir bin Abdillah, Hadith 14731, Alamul Kutub, Beirut, 1998)

These people had genuine excuses not to go and they either fell ill or were hindered from going due to some other reason, even though they desired to go on this journey. This is why Allah the Almighty has counted them among those who participated in the battle.

During the journey whilst returning from Tabuk, the Holy Prophetsa said, “I am returning swiftly. Hence, whoever from among you wishes to travel with me may do so and whoever wishes to stay behind (i.e. to return at their own pace) may do so.”

The narrator says, “Following this, we departed until we were able to see Medina. Upon this, the Holy Prophetsa said, ‘This is Taa‘bah, which is pure and pleasant and this is Mount Uhud, which loves us and we love it.’ Following this, the Holy Prophetsa said, ‘The best household from among the Ansar is that of Banu Najjar, which is followed by the households of Banu Abdil Ashhal, Banu Abdil-Harith bin Khazraj and Banu Sa‘ida…’ and the Holy Prophetsa went on to declare all of the households of Medina to be good.”

The narrator relates that “Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah joined us upon which Abu Usaid said, ‘Are you aware of the fact that the Holy Prophetsa has mentioned the excellence of the households of the Ansar and has kept us at the end?’ Hazrat Saadra went to the Holy Prophetsa and submitted, ‘O Messengersa of Allah! You have mentioned the excellence of the households of the Ansar and have kept us at the end.’ Upon this, the Holy Prophetsa said, ‘Does it not suffice you that you are among the virtuous ones?’”

This is a narration from Sahih Muslim. (Sahih Muslim, Kitabul fada‘il, Bab Fi Mu‘jazat An-Nabisa, Hadith 1392)

When the Holy Prophetsa returned, the men, women and children of Medina had already gathered at Thaniyat-ul-Wada in order to welcome the Holy Prophetsa on the outskirts of Medina. Thaniyat-ul-Wada is a place near Medina and those travelling from Medina to Mecca were accompanied to this place and bade farewell, hence it was called Thaniyat-ul-Wada.

According to the historians of the life of the Holy Prophetsa, when the Holy Prophetsa migrated from Mecca and to Medina, he passed by Quba and Thaniyatul-Wada was also situated on this route. According to the narration of Hazrat Aishara, the children of Medina welcomed the Holy Prophetsa and the girls were reciting:

طلع البدر علینا من ثنیات الوداع

وجب الشکرعلینا ما دعا للہ داع

That is, “The full moon has risen over us from the valley of Wada. We owe our gratitude to Allah, for we have among us a caller unto Him.”

Some commentators of the ahadith, such as Allama Ibn Hajar Asqalani, who has written a commentary on Sahih al-Bukhari, believe that it is quite possible that the poetic verses which have been mentioned in Hazrat Aisha’sra narration (which I have just read out), are in actuality connected to the return from the Battle of Tabuk, as adults and children welcomed the Holy Prophetsa at Thaniyat-ul-Wada.

The reason for this is that the people who were travelling from Syria were welcomed at this very place. When the people of Medina found out about the return of the Holy Prophetsa from the Battle of Tabuk, they rejoiced and gathered at this place outside of Medina in order to welcome the Holy Prophetsa. In light of this, Hazrat Saibra bin Yazid narrates, “I remember that along with the other children, I also went to Thaniyatul-Wada in order to welcome the Holy Prophetsa on his return from the Battle of Tabuk.”

Imam Bayhaqi has also stated that the children welcomed the Holy Prophetsa with these poetic verses when the Holy Prophetsa returned from the Battle of Tabuk. (Mu‘jamul Buldan, Vol. 2, p. 100, Thaniyat-ul-Wadaa, Dar Ihyaa al-Turath al-Arabi, Beirut) (Justuju-e-Medina, pp. 403-404, Oriental Publications, Lahore, 2007) (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin,  Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, p. 267)

Nevertheless, whatever may be the case, both views of historians and biographers can be found; according to some, these verses were recited on the occasion of the migration of the Holy Prophetsa to Medina, whereas others believe that they were recited on the return from the Battle of Tabuk. It was the practice of the Holy Prophetsa that whenever he returned to Medina after a journey, he would go to the mosque and offer two rak‘aat [units] of prayer.

Thus, the Holy Prophetsa returned from Tabuk and entered Medina in the morning. He preceded immediately to offer two rak‘aat of prayer in the mosque. (Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal, Vol. 5, p. 414, Musnad Kaab bin Malik, Hadith 15865, Alamul Kutub, Beirut, 1998)

After offering his prayers, he sat down in the mosque in order to meet with everyone. Those who intentionally stayed behind from travelling to Tabuk without any reason had also come to see the Holy Prophetsa. There were approximately 80 individuals who presented excuses for remaining behind. Despite the fact that the Holy Prophetsa knew the true reality of their false excuses, yet even then he accepted what they said and pardoned them. He would take their oath of allegiance and seek forgiveness for them. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitabul Maghazi, Bab Hadith Kaab bin Malik, Hadith 4418)

However, as it has been mentioned in detail already, Hazrat Hilalra bin Umaiyyah, Hazrat Murarahra bin Rabee‘ and Hazrat Kaabra bin Malik did not present any false excuses.

As a result of this, Holy Prophetsa was displeased with them for some time. They prostrated before God Almighty and lamented before Him and implored for His forgiveness. Later, Allah the Almighty accepted their repentance and also mentioned the acceptance of their repentance in the Holy Quran. 

The second companion who will be mentioned today is Hazrat Murarahra bin Rabee‘ Amri. Hazrat Murarah’sra father was Rabee‘ bin Adi. His father’s name is also recorded as Ribee‘yi and Rabee‘ah as well. Hazrat Murarahra bin Rabee‘ Amri belonged the of Amr bin Auf branch of the Aus tribe of the Ansar.

According to another narration, he was from the Quza‘ah tribe, a confederate of the Banu Amr bin Auf. Quza‘ah was a well-known tribe in Arabia, who lived at a distance of ten miles from Medina, past the Valley of Al-Qura. They lived to the west of Mada‘in Salih. (Usdul Ghabah, Vol. 5, p. 129, Murarah bin Rabee‘ra, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2003) (Al-Isabah Fi Tamyeez Al-Sahabah, Vol. 6, p. 52, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2003) (Farhang Sirat, p. 237, Zawwar Academy Publications, Karachi, 2003)

Hazrat Murarahra had the honour of participating in the Battle of Badr. According to Imam Bukharirh and other books about the Companionsra, it mentions that he took part in the Battle of Badr. Whereas, according to the list compiled by Ibn Hisham, he has not been mentioned in the list of Companionsra who participated in the Battle of Badr.

As mentioned previously, he was among the three companions who were unable to participate in the Battle of Tabuk and regarding whom God Almighty revealed the following verse of the Holy Quran:

وَّ عَلَی الثَّلٰثَۃِ الَّذِیۡنَ خُلِّفُوۡا ؕ حَتّٰۤی اِذَا ضَاقَتۡ عَلَیۡہِمُ الۡاَرۡضُ بِمَا رَحُبَتۡ وَ ضَاقَتۡ عَلَیۡہِمۡ اَنۡفُسُہُمۡ وَ ظَنُّوۡۤا اَنۡ لَّا مَلۡجَاَ مِنَ اللّٰہِ اِلَّاۤ اِلَیۡہِ ؕ ثُمَّ تَابَ عَلَیۡہِمۡ لِیَتُوۡبُوۡا ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ ہُوَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِیۡمُ 

“And [He has turned with mercy] to the three whose [case] was deferred, until the earth became too strait for them with  [all] its vastness, and their souls were [also] straitened for them, and they became convinced that there was no refuge from Allah save unto Himself. Then He turned to them with mercy that they might turn  [to Him]. Surely, it is Allah Who is Oft-Returning  [with compassion and is] Merciful.” (Surah al-Taubah, Ch.9: V.118) 

As it has been mentioned previously, all three of these companions – Hazrat Hilalra bin Umaiyyah, Hazrat Murarahra bin Rabee‘ and Hazrat Kaabra bin Malik – were from among the Ansar. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitabul Maghazi, Bab Hadith Kaab bin Malik, Hadith 4418) (Usdul Ghabah, Vol. 5, p. 129, Murarah bin Rabee’ra, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2003)

In reference to this incident, there is no separate account by Hazrat Murarahra. The only detailed account is by Hazrat Kaab bin Malikra, which was mentioned in the previous sermon in relation to Hazrat Hilalra bin Umaiyyah, therefore there is no need to mention it again here.  The next companion who will be mentioned is Hazrat Utbahra bin Ghazwan. His title were Abu Abdillah and Abu Ghazwan. Hazrat Utbahra was a confederate of the Banu Naufal bin Abd Manaf. His father’s name was Ghazwan bin Jabir.

Aside from Abu Abdillah, Hazrat Utbah’sra other title was Abu Ghazwan – as mentioned earlier. Hazrat Utbahra was married to Ardah bint Harith. Hazrat Utbahra narrates, “I was the seventh person who accepted the Holy Prophetsa and joined him.”

According to Ibn Aseer, Hazrat Utbahra was 40 years old when he migrated to Abyssinia [Ethiopia]. On the other hand, according to Ibn-e-Saad, Hazrat Utbahra was 40 years old at the time of migration towards Medina. In any case, when he returned to Mecca from Abyssinia, the Holy Prophetsa was still residing in Mecca and he stayed with the Holy Prophetsa. He migrated to Medina along with Hazrat Miqdadra bin Aswad. Both of these companions were from among the early converts to Islam. (Usdul Ghabah, Vol. 5, p. 129, Murarah bin Rabee‘ra, pp. 558-559, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2003) (Al-Tabaqaatul-Kubra li ibn Saad, Vol. 3, p. 72, Min Hulafa-e-Bani Naufal bin Abd Manaf, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990) (Imta‘ul Isma‘, Vol. 6, p.331, Fasl Fi Dhikr Mawali Rasulillahsa, Beirut, 1999)

The incident of their migration to Medina is as follows: Hazrat Utbahra bin Ghazwan and Hazrat Miqdadra bin Aswad departed with the army of the Quraish, and they intended to join the Muslims. The Messengersa of Allah dispatched a Muslim army under the command of Hazrat Ubaidahra bin Harith towards Thaniyat-ul-Marah, which is situated almost 55 kilometers northeast from the city of Raabigh and approximately 200 kilometers from Medina.

The army of the Quraish was under the command of Ikrimah bin Abi Jahal. They did not engage in any battle except for one arrow which was fired by Saadra bin Abi Waqas and this was the first arrow shot in the way of Allah. On that day, Utbahra bin Ghazwan and Hazrat Miqdadra fled and joined the Muslims. (Atlas Siratun Nabawi, Siryah Ubaidah bin Harith, p. 196, Maktabah Darul Islam) (Al-Isti‘ab, Vol. 4, pp. 1480-1481, Miqdad bin Aswad, Dar-ul-Jeel, Beirut)

This incident has already been mentioned in reference to Hazrat Miqdadra, where it was stated that although they came with the disbelievers, they fled from them and joined the Muslims. In light of the various historical sources, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra has mentioned in his book, The Life & Character of the Seal of Prophetssa about the commencement of Jihad of the sword, and other details regarding the defensive actions that the Holy Prophetsa took:

“It has already been mentioned that the first Quranic verse which allowed Jihad by the sword was revealed on 12 Safar 2 AH. In other words, the divine indication which was made of defensive war in the migration, was officially announced in Safar 2 AH, when the Holy Prophetsa had become discharged of his initial undertakings relevant to his stay at Medina, and in this manner, Jihad began. It is discovered through history that the Holy Prophetsa initially employed four strategies in order to protect the Muslims from the evil of the disbelievers. This is conclusive evidence of the expert political aptitude and military insight of the Holy Prophetsa. These strategies are as follows:

Firstly, the Holy Prophetsa began traveling to nearby tribes and establishing peace treaties with them, so that the surrounding region of Medina would become free of threat. In this respect, the Holy Prophetsa gave special consideration to those tribes who were situated close to the Syrian trade route of the Quraish. As every individual may gather, it was these tribes in particular, from whom the Quraish of Mecca could have derived most benefit against the Muslims and whose enmity could have resulted in severe threats for the Muslims.

Secondly, the Holy Prophetsa began to dispatch small companies in order to obtain intelligence in different directions from Medina, so that he was able to remain informed of the movements of the Quraish and their allies; and the Quraish also understood that the Muslims were not oblivious, so that in this manner, Medina could be safeguarded from the dangers of sudden attacks.

Thirdly, another wisdom in dispatching these parties was so that the weak and poor Muslims of Mecca and its surrounding areas could find an opportunity by these means, to join the Muslims of Medina. Until now, there were many people in the region of Medina who were Muslims at heart, but were unable to publicly profess their belief in Islam due to the cruelties of the Quraish.

Furthermore, due to their poverty and weakness, they were unable to migrate either because the Quraish would forcefully hold back such people from migrating. As such, Allah states in the Holy Quran:

وَ مَا لَکُمۡ لَا تُقَاتِلُوۡنَ فِیۡ سَبِیۡلِ اللّٰہِ وَ الۡمُسۡتَضۡعَفِیۡنَ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ وَ النِّسَآءِ وَ الۡوِلۡدَانِ الَّذِیۡنَ یَقُوۡلُوۡنَ رَبَّنَاۤ اَخۡرِجۡنَا مِنۡ ہٰذِہِ الۡقَرۡیَۃِ الظَّالِمِ اَہۡلُہَا ۚ وَ اجۡعَلۡ لَّنَا مِنۡ لَّدُنۡکَ وَلِیًّا ۚۙ وَّ اجۡعَلۡ لَّنَا مِنۡ لَّدُنۡکَ نَصِیۡرًا 

“O ye believers! There is no reason that you fight not for the protection of religion, and for those men, women and children who are in a state of weakness, who supplicate saying, ‘O our Lord! Take us out of this town, whose people are oppressors, and make for us, who are weak, a friend and helper from Thyself.’”

Hence, one wisdom in dispatching these parties was so that such people could receive the opportunity to be delivered from a wrongdoing people. In other words, such people could reach close to Medina along with the caravans of the Quraish, and then escape to join the Muslim forces.”

Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra further writes:

“Therefore, it is evident through history that when the Holy Prophetsa dispatched the very first company in the leadership of Ubaidah bin Al-Harithra, who happened to encounter a group led by Ikramah bin Abi Jahl, two weak Muslims who had come along with the Quraish, managed to escape from the Quraish and join the Muslims. As such, it is narrated:

“‘In this campaign, when the Muslim party encountered the army of the Quraish, two people, namely Miqdad bin Amrra and Utbah bin Ghazwanra, who were allies of the Banu Zuhrah and Banu Naufal, fled from the idolaters and joined the Muslims. They were Muslims and had only set out to join the Muslims under the cover of the Quraish.’”

Therefore, one of the purposes of the Holy Prophetsa in dispatching these parties was also to give such people an opportunity to be delivered from the Quraish and join the Muslims.

Fourthly, the fourth strategy employed by the Holy Prophetsa was that he began to intercept the trade caravans of the Quraish which travelled from Mecca to Syria passing by Medina en route.

The reason being that firstly, these caravans would spark a fire of enmity against the Muslims wherever they travelled. It is obvious that for a seed of enmity to be sown in the environs of Medina was extremely dangerous for the Muslims. Secondly, these caravans would always be armed and everyone can appreciate that for such caravans to pass by so close to Medina was not empty of danger.Thirdly, the livelihood of the Quraish primarily depended on trade. Therefore, in these circumstances, the most definitive and effective means by which the Quraish could be subdued, their cruelties could be put to an end and they could be pressed to reconciliation, was by obstructing their trade route. As such, history testifies to the fact that among the factors which ultimately compelled the Quraish to incline towards reconciliation, the interception of these trade caravans played an extremely pivotal role. Hence, this was an extremely sagacious strategy, which yielded fruits of success at the appropriate time. Fourthly, the revenue from these caravans of the Quraish was mostly spent in efforts to eliminate Islam, rather some caravans were even sent for the sole purpose that their entire profit may be utilised against the Muslims. In this case, every individual can understand that the interception of these caravans, was in its own right, an absolutely legitimate motive.” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin,  Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, pp. 323-324)

In the Sariyyah of Ubaidah bin Harithra, Hazrat Utbahra fled from the Quraish and joined the Muslims. I have narrated some parts of this account in a previous sermon, however I shall briefly relate the account again.

“In the month of Rabi‘ al-Awwal, the Holy Prophetsa dispatched a company of the Muhajirin, comprising of seventy men mounted on camels, in the leadership of a close relative, Ubaidah bin Al-Harith Muttalibira. The objective of this campaign was also to prevent the attacks of the Quraish of Mecca, (this reference is also from Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin). As such, when Ubaidah bin Al-Harithra and his companions covered some ground and arrived close to Thaniyyatul-Marah, 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. Albeit, 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.”

Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra, offering his commentary on this, states:

“Moreover, it is possible that this very occurrence caused them to lose heart and they decided to step back considering this to be an evil omen. History has not recorded whether this army of the Quraish, which was definitely not a trade caravan and regarding which Ibn Ishaq has used the words Jammun Azeem (a grand army), set out in this direction with a specific objective. However, it is definite that their intentions were not favourable. It was due to the grace of God that upon finding the Muslims vigilant and upon witnessing some of their own men joining the Muslims, they lost courage and retreated. Moreover, a practical benefit, which the Companions derived from this campaign was that two Muslim souls were delivered from the tyranny of the Quraish.” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, pp. 328-329)

There is a tradition in Al-Tabaqaatul-Kubra stating that when Hazrat Utbahra bin Ghazwan and his freed slave, Khabbab, migrated towards Medina, they stopped at Quba and stayed in the house of Hazrat Abdullah bin Salama Ajlani. When Hazrat Utbahra arrived in Medina, they stayed at Abbaad bin Bishr’s house. The Holy Prophetsa established a bond of brotherhood between Hazrat Utbahra bin Ghazwan and Hazrat Abu Dujanara. (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Saad, Vol. 3, p. 73, Min Hulafa-e-Bani Naufal bin Abd Manaf, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990) (Al-Siratun Nabawiyyah Li ibn Hisham, p. 220, Manazilul Muhajireen Bil Madinah, Dar ibn Hazm, Beirut, 2009)

There are more details in regards to Hazrat Utbahra bin Ghazwan, which I will relate in the coming sermons.

Now, I would like to make an announcement in regards the launch of the Daily Al Fazl website. I will also mention some details regarding two deceased members. On the completion of 106 years of Al Fazl, the online edition of Al Fazl will be launched from London. 106 years ago, on 18 June 1913, with the permission and prayers of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra started the Al Fazl newspaper.

After the establishment of Pakistan, the Al Fazl newspaper was printed from Lahore for a short while and then under the leadership of Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra it began to be published from Rabwah.

The online edition of this historic daily newspaper in Urdu shall, God willing, be launched today on 13 December 2019, and will be easily accessible to everyone across the world through the internet.

The website, alfazlonline.org is now ready and the first edition is also available online and our central IT team has worked hard in this regard. There is a lot of material available in regard to highlighting the importance of Al Fazl and its benefits. Under the heading of Divine Commandments, they will publish verses of the Holy Quran and under the section “Sayings of the Holy Prophetsa”, there will be ahadith and in addition to this, there will also be extracts from the writings of the Promised Messiahas.

There will also be some articles from Ahmadi authors as well as information on other important topics. They will also publish the works of Ahmadi poets. Apart from the website, it is also available on Twitter and an Android app has also been prepared.

Through various social media platforms, this has now been launched as a daily publication, therefore Urdu readers should derive benefit from this. Also, authors and poets should assist in this regard through their writing, so they can publish well prepared and well researched articles.

The daily edition will also be available on the website in a PDF image file which can be read online and can also be downloaded, so that those who wish to read it in its printed form can do so. In any case, God willing, this will be officially launched today and every Monday, the entire transcript of the Friday Sermon will also be published and the summary of the most recent sermon will be made available. God willing, this will be officially launched after the Friday Sermon.

There are two deceased members whose details I will mention and God willing, I will also lead their funeral prayers [in absentia]. The first is Respected Sayyeda Tanvir-ul-Islam Sahiba, who was the wife of the late respected Mirza Hafeez Ahmad Sahib. She passed away on 7 December 2019, at the age of 91.

“Surely to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.”

By the grace of Allah the Almighty, she was a musiya [part of Nizam-e-Wasiyyat]. Her father was Mir Abdus Salam and the deceased was the great granddaughter of Hazrat Mir Hissamuddin Sahibra, who was among the very early and devoted companions of the Promised Messiahas. She was the granddaughter of Hazrat Syed Mir Hamid Shah Sahibra and the daughter-in-law of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra. Hazrat Mir Hissamuddin Sahibra, who was a prominent companion, born in Sialkot in 1839 and a well-renowned physician in Sialkot.

When the Promised Messiahas stayed in Sialkot for some time, Hakim Sahib practised as a physician and prescribed medicines. During this period, the Promised Messiahas stayed in one part of Hakim Sahib’sra house. In 1877, when the Promised Messiahas travelled to Sialkot, Hakim Sahibra also invited him to his house. When the Promised Messiahas announced his claim, the pious natured and fortunate individuals, who were enlightened with wisdom, accepted the Promised Messiahas since they had witnessed his level of piety in his youth and his excellent example. Among those who accepted the Promised Messiahas in Sialkot with utmost sincerity and devotion, this family was among the foremost. (Ahmadas Sirat-o-Sawanih, Syed Mubasher Ahmad Ayyaz Sahib, Vol. 2, p. 468)

Syed Mir Hamid Shah Sahibra performed the Bai‘at [pledge of allegiance] of the Promised Messiah on 29 December 1890 and according to the Register of Bai‘ats, his number is 213. His wife, Fairozah Begum Sahiba performed the Bai‘at on 7 February 1892 and she is number 246 [in this register].

The Promised Messiahas has mentioned Mir Hissamuddin Sahibra many times in the following books: Izala-e-Auham, Aasmani Faisla, Aina Kamaalat-e-Islam, Tohfa-e-Qaisariyyah, Siraj-e-Munir, Kitab-ul-Bariyyah, Haqiqatul Wahi and also Malfuzat, volume 5 in reference to the attendees of Jalsa Salana, contributors towards Chanda, Jalsa Diamond Jubilee and a peaceful Jamaat. (Teen So Tera Ashab-e-Sidq-o-Wafa, Nasrullah Khan Nasir, Asim Jamali, pp. 42-43)

Respected Sayyedah Tanvir-ul-Islam Sahiba is from the progeny of Mir Hissamuddin Sahibra and she was born in 1928 in Sialkot. In January 1948, her marriage took place with Mirza Hafeez Ahmad Sahib and thus, she became the daughter-in-law of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra. During various periods between 1956 and 2008, for approximately 48 years, she had the opportunity to serve as the Secretary for Exhibitions in the central Lajna department. Similarly, she has rendered many other services.

She had a very loving bond with Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra. Respected Sayyedah Tanvir-ul-Islam Sahiba was very regular in observing her Tahajud [pre-dawn voluntary] prayers. In fact, one of her assistants at home states that the night she passed away, she woke up at 3am to offer her Tahajud prayer.

Then, when she fell back to sleep, she passed away in this state. Her daughter says that she would often tell her that after her marriage, when she became the daughter-in-law of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra, she received so much love, respect and care from Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra and Hazrat Umm-e-Nasir, that she completely forgot about her previous home. She further states that she had a very strong memory and would recall many accounts of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra.

May God Almighty grant her His forgiveness and mercy and elevate her status.

The second funeral is of Sister Haajah Shakoora Nooria Sahiba from the USA, who passed away on 1 December 2019.

“Surely to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.”

She was born in 1927 and spent the early years of her life in Washington DC. She taught history in a high school in the 1960s and later obtained an MA in world history. After retirement, she wished to become a protestant missionary, but later, when she came to know that prophet Jesusas was not the son of God, she changed her mind and then completely left the church in 1968.

After travelling in USA, Mexico and Canada, she also studied in various universities of Africa. She then took a year’s leave from this and travelled to Europe. She would always remain in search of seeking the answers to various religious questions and issues that would arise in her mind. Upon her return to Washington DC, she was introduced to Islam through one of her friend’s son, whom she coincidently met at the airport. He had accepted Ahmadiyyat only a short while previous to this.

At the time, Respected Mir Muhammad Ahmad Nasir Sahib was serving in USA and along with Respected Mubasher Ahmad Sahib, they were waiting to receive this gentleman and it was during this meeting that they introduced her to Islam. Their interaction continued and gradually she became inclined towards Islam and found in Islam the teachings she was in search of. In 1979, she saw a dream in which she saw a copy of the Holy Quran and the Kalimah Shahadah [Islamic declaration of faith] and was thus convinced that Islam and Ahmadiyyat is indeed the true faith and subsequently, performed the Bai‘at.

After her Bai‘at, she served the Jamaat in various capacities. She would not only attend the various programmes organised by Lajna Imaillah USA but would play an active role in them. In 1986, she was appointed as the local president [of Lajna] in Washington DC and served in this role for five years. Alongside this she also served as the deputy national president as well.

Aside from this, she also served in various other departments. In 1995, she had the opportunity to perform the Hajj. She was also part of the team which prepared the 118-page index of the 5-volume commentary of the Holy Quran under the guidance and supervision of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh and played a very significant role in this regard. She wrote many articles on a vast array of topics for the magazines of the Jamaat and Lajna Imaillah.

In 1997 and 1998, she started classes every Sunday for Atfal. She also served as a councillor for the Ahmadi summer camp for Nasirat. For many years, she served in the Ahmadiyya National Human Rights Committee and during this period, she worked diligently in producing very comprehensive documents which detailed reports in regard to the unjust treatment of the Pakistani government towards Ahmadis.

Shamshad Nasir Sahib, a missionary in the USA, writes:

“She would say that above all these works, her greatest passion was tabligh. She would always give precedence to tabligh work. For many years, she served as the national tabligh secretary for Lajna. She would also do tabligh on radio and television programmes. She played an active role in setting tabligh programmes in university campuses and churches. She devised a comprehensive plan to distribute leaflets of the Jamaat to various ethnic communities.”

In fact, this was not the report of Shamshad Sahib, rather this was in reference to another report. Shamshad Sahib has written the following about her:

“Sister Shakoora Nooria Sahiba was very strict in her observance of purdah. She would always wear the Pakistani style burka and her burka would never be a hindrance in any of her activities. Due to her Jamaat responsibilities, she would have to meet senators and congressmen on an official level and even then she would wear her burka and would fulfil all her responsibilities in an excellent manner. She would greatly assist the missionaries in the field of Tabligh.”

He further states:

“When I first arrived here in the USA, she sat with me and told me about the history of USA and would greatly assist me in my work. She had great respect and a strong attachment to Khilafat.”

Recently, when I travelled to the USA in 2018, despite her illness and having to endure great pain, she came to meet me in a wheelchair.

“She would regularly listen to the sermons and in the beginning, when there was no MTA, the sermons would be received in the form of cassettes; she would assist in translating the sermon into English. She was regular in her congregational prayers.”

He further says, “Whenever I saw her, it was always in the mosque and she would regularly come to attend the prayers in congregation.”

May God Almighty grant her His forgiveness and mercy and elevate her status. May God Almighty continue to grant such individuals to the Jamaat, who are filled with the passion to serve and who display the utmost sincerity and devotion.

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