24 January 2020
Men of Excellence
After reciting the Tashahud, Ta‘awuz and Surah al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa stated:
The account of the companion whom I will mention today is Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha. The name of Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha’s father was Rawaha bin Tha‘labah. His mother’s name was Kabshah bint Waqid bin Amr, who belonged to the Banu Harith clan of the Khazraj tribe of the Ansar. Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha participated in the Bai‘at at Aqabah and was the leader of Bani Harith bin Khazraj. His title was Abu Muhammad. Some have also reported his title as Abu Rawaha and Abu Amr. (Usdul Ghaba, Vol. 3, p. 235, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2008)
It is narrated by an individual from the Ansar that the Messengersa of Allah established a bond of brotherhood between Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha and Hazrat Miqdadra. According to Ibn Saad, he was one of the scribes of the Holy Prophetsa. (Al-Isaba Fi Tamyeez Al-Sahaba, Vol. 4, p. 73, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon, 2005)
Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha participated in all the battles alongside the Holy Prophetsa, including the battles of Badr, Uhud, Khandaq, Treaty of Hudaibiyah, Khaybar and Umratul Qadaa. He was martyred during the Battle of Mautah and was one of the commanders during this battle. It is mentioned in one of the narrations that Hazrat Abdullah bin Rawaha came to the Holy Prophetsa, while he was delivering a sermon.
During the sermon, the Holy Prophetsa instructed the people [inside the mosque] to sit down. When Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha heard these words, he was still standing outside the mosque, but he sat down immediately. When the Holy Prophetsa finished his sermon and he came to know about this incident and said to him:
زَادَکَ اللّٰہُ حِرصًا عَلٰي طَوَاعِيَةِ اللّٰہِ وَ طَوَاعِيَةِ رَسُوْلِہٖ
“May Allah increase you further in your obedience to Allah and His Messengersa.”
A similar incident is also found in the books of hadith, regarding Hazrat Abdullahra bin Masud. I have already narrated that incident in the sermon that I delivered with regard to him. The narration regarding Hazrat Abdullahra bin Masud is similar in that he was also standing outside and as soon as he heard the command, he sat down just outside the door and then went inside the mosque whilst remaining in a seated position.
Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha used to be the first to depart from his home for any expedition and the last one to return. Hazrat Abu Dardara narrates:
“I seek refuge with Allah from a day in which I fail to remember Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha. When he used to walk towards me to meet me, he used to place his hand on my chest.” i.e. they would meet on a daily basis and he had a fond memory of each time they met and worth mentioning. Hazrat Abu Dardara then further narrates, “When he used to walk towards me to greet me, he used to place his hand on my chest and when he used to meet me before departing he used to place his hand between my shoulders and used to say to me:
يَا عُوَيْمِرْ، اِجْلِسْ فَلْنُؤْمِنْ سَاعَةً
‘O Uwaimir! Come, let us sit down for a while and rejuvenate our faith.’
Hence, we used to sit down and remember Allah the Almighty, for as long as Allah desired. Then, Abdullahra bin Rawaha would say, ‘O ‘Uwaimir! These are gatherings which revive our faith.’” (Usdul Ghaba Fi Marifat Al-Sahaba, Vol. 3, p. 235-236, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2008) (Al-Isti‘ab Fi Marifat Al-Sahab, Vol. 3, p. 34, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon, 2010) (Sunan abi Daud, Kitabul-Salat, Hadith no. 1091)
It is mentioned in Kitab al-Zuhd, a book by Hazrat Imam Ahmadrh that when Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha used to meet one of his companions, he used to say, “Come, let us sit down and rejuvenate our faith in our Lord.”
It is mentioned in the same book that the Holy Prophetsa said, “May Allah have mercy on Abdullahra bin Rawaha. He loves such gatherings, of which even the angels are pleased with.”
Hazrat Abu Hurairara relates that the Holy Prophetsa said:
نِعْمَ الرَّجُلُ عَبْدُ اللّٰہِ بْنُ رَوَاحَةَ
Meaning, “What an excellent man Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha is!”
Following the conquest of Khaybar, the Holy Prophetsa sent Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha in order to make an estimate of the fruit yield and land etc. Once, Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha fell so severely ill that he became unconscious. The Holy Prophetsa came to visit him and said, “O Allah! If his appointed time is nigh, then make it easy for him.”
In other words, if the time of his demise is near, then make it easy for him and if his appointed time has not yet approached, then grant him health. Following this prayer, Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha’s fever subsided. Sensing this improvement [in his health], he said, “O Prophetsa of Allah! During my illness, my mother would say regarding me, ‘O my rock and my support!’ I saw [in a vision] that an angel was standing before me holding an iron club and asked, ‘Are you truly like this?’ Upon this, I replied that I am. Subsequently, he hit me with the iron club.”
There is another similar narration, and it seems to be more accurate. He says that an angel was holding an iron club and asking him that is he truly as his mother describes him; i.e. as a mountain and her support? (The angels enquired because this was a form of Shirk [associating partners with God].)
Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha replied, “If I was to say that I indeed was like this, he would certainly have struck me with the iron club.” (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra, Vol. 2, p. 417, Dar-ul-Fikr, 2012)
Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha was also a poet and among those who would respond to the insults of the opponents in defence of the Holy Prophetsa.
Some of these verses are as follows:
إِنِّيْ تَفَرَّسْتُ فِيْكَ الْخَيْرَ اَعْرِفُهُ
وَ اللّٰہُ يَعْلَمُ أَنْ مَا خَانَنِيْ الْبَصَرُ
أَنْتَ النَّبِيُّ وَ مَنْ يُحْرَمْ شَفَاعَتَهُ
يَوْمَ الْحِسَابِ فَقَدْ أَزْرَى بِهِ الْقَدَرُ
فَثَبَّتَ اللّٰهُ مَا آتَاكَ مِنْ حَسَنٍ
تَثْبِيْتَ مُوْسٰى وَنَصْرًا كَالَّذِيْ نُصِرُوْا
That is, “I recognised the goodness in your blessed being (that is the Holy Prophetsa) and Allah knows that my eyes were not deceived. You indeed are the Prophet. Whoever will be deprived of your intercession on the Day of Judgement has certainly been decreed to be worthless. Thus, may Allah grant him [i.e. the Holy Prophetsa] steadfastness in the qualities He has endowed him with, just as He granted Mosesas steadfastness, and may God help him just as the prophets of the past were helped.”
Hearing these verses, the Holy Prophetsa said, “O son of Rawaha! May Allah grant you steadfastness.”
Hisham bin Urwah said that as a result of this prayer, Allah grated him great steadfastness, so much so that when he was martyred and the doors of heaven were opened for him, he entered therein. Ibn Saad relates that when the following verse was revealed:
وَ الشُّعَرَآءُ یَتَّبِعُہُمُ الۡغَاوٗنَ
“And as for the poets – it is the erring ones who follow them” (Surah al-Shu‘ara, Ch.26: V.225)
Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha said that Allah the Exalted is well aware if he is from among them. Upon this, the following verse was revealed:
اِلَّا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا وَ عَمِلُوا الصّٰلِحٰتِ
“Save those who believe and do good works.” (Surah al-Shu‘ara, Ch.26: V.228)
The author of Mu‘jam-ush-Shu‘ara writes that even during the era of ignorance [i.e. prior to advent of Islam], Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha was well respected and even in Islam, he holds a high and lofty status. Hazrat Abdullahra composed a couplet in praise of the Holy Prophetsa and can be said to be one of his greatest couplets. This couplet captures the state of his heart in which Hazrat Abdullahra addresses the Holy Prophetsa and says:
لَوْ لَمْ تَکُنْ فِيْہِ اٰيَاتٌ مُبَيِّنَةٌ
کَانَتْ بَدِيْھَتُہُ تُنْبِيْکَ بِالْخَبَرِ
This means, “O Muhammadsa! Even if you were without the countless signs that speak of your truthfulness and veracity, your countenance alone is enough to declare your truthfulness.” (Al-Isaba Fi Tamyeez Al-Sahaba Li ibn Hajar Asqalani, Vol. 4, pp 72-75, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2005) (Usdul Ghaba, Vol. 3, p. 236, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2008) (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Saad, Vol. 3, p. 401, Dar-ul-Kutub al Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990)
Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha was able to read and write in the era of ignorance, a time when the practice of writing was not common amongst the Arabs. After the Battle of Badr, the Holy Prophetsa sent Hazrat Zaidra bin Haritha from Badr to Medina and Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha to Awaali to announce news of the victory. Awaali is the name of the area situated 4-8 miles north of Medina in which the village of Quba and some tribes are located.
Hazrat Saeedra bin Jubair relates that the Holy Prophetsa entered Masjid al Haram on his camel and out of reverence for the Hajr-e-Aswad [black stone], he touched it with his staff. Alongside him was also Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha, who was holding the reins of the Holy Prophet’ssa camel whilst reciting the following couplets:
خَلُّوْا بَنِي الْكُفَّارِ عَن سَبِيْلِهْ
نَحْنُ ضَرَبْنَاكُمْ عَلٰى تَأْوِيْلِهْ
ضَرْبًا يُّزِيْلُ الْهَامَ عَنْ مَقِيْلِهْ
meaning, “O disbelievers, make way for the Holy Prophetsa, for after accepting him, we have dealt you such a blow that removes the head from its resting place.”
Hazrat Qaisra bin Abi Hazim relates that the Holy Prophetsa told Hazrat Abdullah bin Rawahara to dismount and have our camels moving, i.e. recite such poetry that shall cause our camels to move swiftly just as was the tradition of the camel riders. He replied, “O Messengersa of Allah, I have abandoned such poetry. Hazrat Umarra then said, “Hear and obey”.
Consequently, Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha dismounted his camel and recited the following couplets:
يَا رَبِّ لَوْلَا أَنْتَ مَا اهْتَدَيْنَا
وَلَا تَصَدَّقْنَا وَلَا صَلَّيْنَا
فَأَنْزِلَنْ سَكِيْنَةً عَلَيْنَا
وَثَبِّتِ الْأَقْدَامَ إِنْ لَاقَيْنَا
إِنَّ الْكُفَّارَ قَدْ بَغَوْا عَلَيْنَا
That is, “O Lord, if it were not for You, we would not have attained guidance, given alms or offered prayers. Send down peace and tranquillity upon us and grant us steadfastness when we meet the enemy, for the disbelievers have attacked us.”
Waqee‘ has also narrated this, with the addition of:
وَإِنْ أَرَادُوْا فِتْنَةً أَبَيْنَا
“And if they desire to create disorder, we oppose it” i.e. they would put an end to this disorder and not allow it to spread. The narrator then states that the Holy Prophetsa said, “O Allah, have mercy on them”, to which Hazrat Umarra answered, “It has been ordained”.
In other words, through the prayers of the Holy Prophetsa, mercy had been decreed. Hazrat Ubadahra bin Samit relates that the Holy Prophetsa went to visit Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha whilst he was sick and was unable to get up from his bed. The Holy Prophetsa asked, “Do you know who the martyrs of my ummah [people] are?”
The people answered, “The martyrs are those Muslims who are slain.” The Holy Prophetsa said, “In that case, there would be very few martyrs in my ummah” and then said, “The Muslim who is slain is a martyr, the one who dies due to an ailment of the stomach is a martyr, the one who drowns is a martyr and the woman who dies during childbirth is a martyr – all these are various types of martyrdom.” (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra, Vol. 3, pp. 398-400, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon, 1990) (Mujam-ul-Buldan, Vol. 4, p. 187) (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra, Vol. 2, p. 13, Dar-ul-Kutub al Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990)
Hazrat Urwahra bin Zubair relates that the Holy Prophetsa appointed Hazrat Zaidra bin Harithah as the commander of the army on the occasion of the Battle of Mu‘tah and stated that if Hazrat Zaidra was martyred then Hazrat Jafar bin Abi Talibra would be the commander. If he too was martyred, then Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha would take control. If Abdullahra too was martyred, then the Muslims should appoint whoever they desired as their commander. When the army was ready and about to depart, the people were seeing off the appointed commanders of the Holy Prophetsa and praying for their safety. When they saw off the commanders of the Holy Prophetsa, Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha began to weep.
The people enquired as to why he was weeping, to which he replied, “By God, I have absolutely no love nor any desire for the world. However, I heard the Holy Prophetsa speaking with regard to the Quranic verse:
وَ اِنۡ مِّنۡکُمۡ اِلَّا وَارِدُہَا ۚ کَانَ عَلٰی رَبِّکَ حَتۡمًا مَّقۡضِیًّا
‘And there is not one of you but will come to it [referring to Hell]. This is a fixed decree with thy Lord.’ (Surah Maryam, Ch.19: V.72)
Hence, after having treaded this delicate path [i.e. the Day of Reckoning,] I do not know what my condition will be.”
In the preceding verses, God Almighty has mentioned Hell-Fire, which caused him concern, whereas in other verses, it is clearly stated that this is not the case of a believer and one who takes up Jihad in the way of Allah. Nevertheless, the people told him that God Almighty was with them and He would bring them back safely. It is written in a footnote of Tafsir-e-Saghir, and also in Tafsir-e-Kabir, that this would not be the fate of a believer but only for the disbelievers.
The Promised Messiahas has explained this further in light of some ahadith. The summary of the footnote from Tafsir-e-Saghir is as follows:
“The Holy Quran mentions two types of Hell – one is in this very life and the other is in the Hereafter. Where it is stated, ‘All shall enter Hell,’ it does not mean to say that the believers shall also enter therein, rather it means that believers shall experience some aspect of Hell in this very life, i.e. the disbelievers inflict them with all sorts of suffering. Otherwise, from the Holy Quran, it is evident that the believers shall never enter the Hellfire, because according to the Holy Quran, regarding the believers it states:
لَا يَسْمَعُونَ حَسِيسَهَا
i.e. the believers shall remain so far from Hell that they will not hear the slightest sound thereof. Hence, the meaning behind believers entering the fire is that they shall suffer afflictions in this life. The Holy Prophetsa has even declared fever as a type of fire, where he states:
الْحُمّٰى حَظُّ كُلِّ مُؤْمِنٍ مِنَ النَّار
‘Fever is a portion of the Hellfire for every believer.’” (Tafsir-e-Saghir, Ch.19: V.72)
Nevertheless, this was a brief explanation. The believers saw off the army and prayed for them to be safeguarded from every evil of the enemy. Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha recited the following poetic verses:
لَكِنَّنِيْ اَسْأَلُ الرَّحْمَانَ مَغْفِرَةً
وَ ضَرْبَةً ذَاتَ فَرْغٍ يَقْذِفُ الزَّبَدَا
اَوْ طَعْنَةً بِيَدَيْ حَرَّانَ مُجْهِزَةً
بِحَرْبَةٍ تُنْفِذُ الْاَحْشَاءَ وَالْكَبِدَا
حَتّٰى يَقُوْلُوْا اِذَا مَرُّوْا عَلٰى جَدَثِيْ
يَا اَرْشَدَ اللّٰهُ مِنْ غَازٍ وَ قَدْ رَشَدَا
“I seek forgiveness from the Merciful God, and I seek the ability to be able to produce such a strike from my sword, which would inflict a great wound and thereby draw out fresh blood that spumes out. And the ability to launch an attack of the spear which is carried out by one who makes full preparation and is thirsty for blood; whose spear pierces through the liver and intestines. [May I continue to valiantly fight] until my death and when people pass by my grave, they will say, ‘O thou who took part in the battle, may Allah grant you good’ and indeed Allah will have done so.’”
Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha then presented himself before the Holy Prophetsa and the Holy Prophetsa then bade farewell to the army. The army continued to travel and stopped at a place called Ma‘aan, which is a town situated in Syria towards Hijaz, in the suburbs of Balqaa. It was there that they learnt that Heraclius, along with 100,000 Roman soldiers and 100,000 Arab soldiers, was at Ma‘aab. Ma‘aab is also a town situated in the suburbs of Balqaa, Syria. The Muslims remained in Ma‘aan for two days and discussions amongst themselves ensued that they should send someone to the Holy Prophetsa to inform him of the size of the enemy, i.e. that the enemy were in extremely large numbers.
They thought that either the Holy Prophetsa would send reinforcements or he would issue another commandment. However, Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha gave courage to the Muslims and reinvigorated their passion. Subsequently, the Muslims, despite being only 3,000 in number, marched ahead and met the roman army in Balqaa near a place called Mushaarif. There are quite a few areas that went by the name of Mushaarif; one was located near Horan, one was near Damascus and the other was near Balqaa. From this location, the Muslim army moved towards Mu‘tah. (Usdul Ghaba Fi Marifat Al-Sahaba, Vol. 3, p. 237, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2008) (Tafsir-e-Saghir, 19:72, p. 390) (Usdul Ghaba, Vol. 5, p. 247, Al-Mizan, Urdu Bazar, Lahore), (Mujam-ul-Buldan, Vol. 5, pp. 179, 37, 153-154)
Hazrat Anasra relates that the Holy Prophetsa announced to the people the news of the martyrdom of Hazrat Zaidra, Hazrat Ja‘farra and Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha and this was prior to any news directly reaching them about this incident. In other words, the Holy Prophetsa informed the people before any news had reached them. The Holy Prophetsa stated, “Zaidra was holding the flag and was martyred, then Jafarra took the flag and he was also martyred and then Abdullahra bin Rawaha took hold of the flag and he too was martyred.”
As the Holy Prophetsa was stating this, tears were flowing from his eyes. The Holy Prophetsa then stated, “The flag was then taken by one of the swords of Allah, and eventually Allah the Almighty granted them victory through him.” (Sahih Bukhari, Kitab-ul-Maghazi, Hadith no. 4262)
When the Holy Prophetsa learnt of the martyrdom of Hazrat Zaidra bin Haritha, Hazrat Jafarra and Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha, he stood up to pay tribute. The Holy Prophetsa started with Hazrat Zaidra and stated:
اَللّٰھُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِزَيْدٍ، اَللّٰھُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِزَيْدٍ، اَللّٰھُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِزَيْدٍ، اَللّٰھُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِجَعْفَرٍ وَ لِعَبْدِ اللّٰہِ ابْنِ رَوَاحَةَ
“O Allah, grant forgiveness to Zaidra! O Allah, grant forgiveness to Zaidra! O Allah, grant forgiveness to Zaidra! O Allah, grant forgiveness to Jafarra and Abdullah bin Rawahara.” (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra, Vol. 3, p. 34, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990)
Hazrat Aishara narrates that when Hazrat Zaidra bin Haritha, Hazrat Jafarra and Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha were martyred, the Holy Prophetsa went and sat in the mosque. Emotions of grief and sorrow were visible from the Holy Prophet’ssa blessed countenance. (Sunan Abi Daud, Kitab-ul-Janaiz, Hadith no. 3122)
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra has explained the account of the Battle of Mu‘tah in the following manner – this has already been mentioned once before in reference to Hazrat Zaidra, however I shall mention it briefly again. Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:
“The Holy Prophetsa had appointed Zaidra as the commander of the army. However, the Holy Prophetsa also stated, ‘I am appointing Zaidra as the commander of the army, but if Zaidra is martyred during the battle, then Jafarra will take command of the army. If he is also martyred, then Abdullahra bin Rawaha will take command. However, if he is also martyred then whoever the Muslims collectively agree upon should take the command of the army’. When the Holy Prophetsa stated this, a Jew was also sat in the company of the Holy Prophetsa and submitted, ‘Although I do not believe you to be a prophet, but if you are truthful, then none of these three individuals would return alive because anything uttered by a prophet is certainly fulfilled.’ The Jew then went to the Hazrat Zaidra and stated, ‘If your prophet is true, then you shall not come back alive.’ Hazrat Zaidra replied, ‘Regardless of whether I return from this battle alive or not, for Allah knows best, but it is an undeniable truth that our Messengersa is truthful.’”
Despite not professing belief in the Holy Prophetsa, the Jew knew that the words of the Holy Prophetsa were indeed going to be fulfilled, but this is the stubborn attitude of those who will not accept the truth whatever be the case. Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra further writes:
“Allah’s wisdom so ordained that this incident was fulfilled exactly as foretold. Hazrat Zaidra was martyred. Then, Hazart Jafarra took up the command and he too was martyred. Then, Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha took up the command of the army and was also martyred. It was possible that in this moment, the Muslim army could have dispersed but Hazrat Khalidra bin Waleed took the flag in his hand at the behest of the Muslims. Allah gave victory to the Muslims through him and he returned the army safely.” (Fariza-e-Tabligh Aur Ahmadi Khawatin, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 18, pp. 405-406)
The following account which I am going to relate has already been mentioned once before, however this incident reflects the sincerity and devotion of Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha, and also his love for the Holy Prophetsa and Islam. Therefore, I shall relate this once again.
Hazrat Urwahra relates that Hazrat Usama bin Zaidra told him that once the Holy Prophetsa was riding a donkey which had a saddle placed on it. Beneath the saddle was a blanket that was made in Fadak. The Holy Prophetsa placed Hazrat Usama bin Zaidra behind him and they made their way to the [compounds of] Banu Harith bin Khazraj to enquire about Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah, who was ill at the time. The incident being narrated took place prior to the Battle of Badr. Whilst travelling they went past a gathering in which some Muslims, idolaters and the Jews were all sat together.
Abdullah bin Ubayy and Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha were also sat in this gathering. Whilst the Holy Prophetsa was riding past, the dust from his mount fell on the gathering, Abdullah bin Ubayy covered his nose and said, “Do not cast dust upon us!”
The Holy Prophetsa offered greetings of Salaam [peace] and stopped and dismounted. The Holy Prophetsa then invited them towards Allah and recited the Holy Quran. Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Salool replied, “This is not right! If what you say is true, even then you should do not come to our gathering and disrupt it. Rather, you ought to go back to where you came from and inform those who come to you.”
Upon hearing this, Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha immediately submitted, “O Prophetsa of Allah! You should come to our gatherings and recite this to us as we greatly enjoy this.”
He did not show any fear of anyone and in fact an altercation ensued as well, but in any case, he demonstrated his character at this occasion. (Sahih Muslim, Kitab-ul-Jihad Wa Al-Sair, Hadith no. 1798)
Hazrat Ibn Abbasra relates that the Holy Prophetsa once sent some of his Companionsra on an expedition and Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha was also part of this delegation. It was a Friday and the rest of the companionsra who were part of the delegation had set off, however Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha said that he would remain behind and offer his Friday prayers behind the Holy Prophetsa and will then join the others. When the Holy Prophetsa saw Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha also offering his prayer alongside him, he stated, “What stopped you from going with your fellow companions?”
Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha replied, “It was my desire to offer the Friday Prayer behind you and then join the others.”
The Holy Prophetsa stated, “Even if you spend the entire wealth on this earth, you cannot attain the same blessings as those who have already departed.” (Sunan Al-Tirmadhi, Abwaab-ul-Jumuah, Hadith no. 527)
The Holy Prophetsa further stated that the delegation he sent for this expedition was more important at the time than the Friday prayers and they could have performed their Friday prayers whilst travelling. Hazrat Abu Dardara relates that once Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha left with the Holy Prophetsa on an extremely hot day in the month Ramadan. He states that the heat was so intense that they were all covering their heads from the sun with their hands. He states that none of them were fasting at the time apart from the Holy Prophetsa and Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha. (Sahih Muslim, Kitab-ul-Siyam, Hadith no. 1122)
Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra writes:
“Upon arriving in Medina, the first task was the construction of Masjid-e-Nabawi. The place where the camel of the Holy Prophetsa chose to rest, was the property of two children from Medina named Sahl and Suhail, who lived in the guardianship of Hazrat As‘ad bin Zurarahra. This was a vacant land, on which a few date palms had been planted in one area. In another area, there were ruins, etc. The Holy Prophetsa selected this plot to construct the Masjid-e-Nabawi, and his own livings quarters. This plot of land was purchased for 10 Dinar, or approximately 90 Rupees. The surface was levelled and cleared of trees, after which the construction of Masjid-e-Nabawi began. The Holy Prophetsa supplicated to Allah and laid the foundation stone himself. Just as in the construction of the mosque at Quba, the Companions worked as builders and labourers. The Holy Prophetsa would also participate at times. Occasionally, while lifting bricks, the Companions would recite the following couplet of Abdullah bin Rawaha Ansarira:
ھٰذَا الْحِمَالُ لَا حِمَالَ خَيْبَرَ
ھٰذَا اَبَرُّ رَبَّنَا وَاَطْھَرٗ
‘This burden is not the burden of Khaybar’s commercial goods, which arrive loaded on the backs of animals; Rather, O our Lord! This is the burden of virtue and purity, which we bear for Your pleasure.’ At times, the Companions would recite the following couplet of Abdullah bin Rawahara:
اَللّٰھُمَّ اِنَّ الْاَجْرَ اَجْرُ الْاٰخِرَۃ
فَارْحَمِ الْاَنْصَارَ وَالْمُھَاجِرَۃ
‘O Our Allah! True reward is merely that of the hereafter. By Your Grace, send down Mercy upon the Ansar and Muhajirin.’ When the Companions would recite this couplet, at times, the Holy Prophetsa would also join in. In this manner, after a long period of hard work, the mosque was completed.” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, pp. 269-270)
These were accounts in the life of Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha, and I would like to mention about a deceased member and lead his funeral prayer, therefore I have only mentioned one companion [of the Holy Prophetsa].
Now, as I have just stated, I will mention some details of a deceased member, respected Dr Latif Ahmad Qureshi Sahib, son of Manzoor Ahmad Qureshi Sahib. He passed away on 19 January 2020 at around 1pm in the afternoon at the age of approximately 80.
اِنَّا لِلّٰہِ وَاِنَّا اِلَيْہِ رَاجِعُوْنَ
“To Allah we belong and to Him shall we return”.
By the grace of Allah the Almighty, the deceased was a Musi. He was born in Ajmer Sharif, India. His father, Manzoor Qureshi Sahib, did the Bai‘at at the hands of Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra in 1937. His mother, who is still alive, respected Mansoora Bushra Sahiba, is the maternal granddaughter of Hazrat Munshi Fiaz Ali Sahib Kapurthalvira, who was a companion of the Promised Messiahas. She is also the paternal granddaughter of Hazrat Sheikh Abdul Rashid Mirthira.
Respected Dr Qureshi Sahib’s parents migrated to Lahore after the independence of Pakistan. He passed his matriculation exams from Lahore and attained first position. He then enrolled in the King Edward Medical College. He was amongst the youngest students to have passed his MBBS exams and this was particularly mentioned by the principal of the college. To pursue further education, he travelled to the UK in 1961. He initially did a diploma in child healthcare and then attained a degree in MRCP. He then worked as consultant in a hospital in Yeovil, Somerset and specialised cardiology.
In 1968, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh asked Dr Sahib when he was planning to come back to Pakistan and Dr Sahib replied that he would return whenever Huzoorrh would direct him. And so, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh asked him to come back and he left the UK and retuned to Pakistan. Dr Sahib was appointed to serve in the Fazl-e-Umar Hospital in Rabwah and continued to work there for a long period of time.
On 11 July 1983, he was appointed as the Chief Medical Officer at the Fazle-Umar Hospital and continued to serve at this post till 1987. He continued to work till the age of 60 at the Fazl-e-Umar Hospital and on 20 August 1998, he took retirement. However, on 6 September 1998, he re-joined the Fazl-e-Umar Hospital and continued to serve by the grace of God Almighty until 10 September 2000.
Thus, his total service was approximately 30 years. Aside from serving as a Waqf-e-Zindagi [life devotee] doctor, Dr Latif Qureshi sahib also had the opportunity to serve in various offices in the central departments of Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya and Ansarullah. Currently, he was serving as the Naib Sadr Ansarullah and was also a member of Majlis Iftaa for the last two years.
He wrote two books which were especially for those living in Pakistan; Principles of Preserving one’s Health and Healthy Living. His wife, who was the daughter of Maulana Abdul Malik Khan Sahib, passed away a few days ago. I mentioned her last Friday and led her funeral prayer [in absentia] as well. He passed away two days after I led her funeral prayer and approximately fifteen days after the passing of his wife.
As I mentioned in regard to his wife, Dr Lateef Quraishi Sahib is survived by three sons and two daughters. His son, Dr Ataul Malik writes:
“From as early as I can remember, I have never seen my father miss the Tahajud [pre-dawn voluntary] prayers. Our mother would tell us that from the first day of their marriage, he offered the Tahajud prayers regularly and continued this practice for more than 50 years. During the last days of my mother’s illness, my father took great care of my mother; he would take her to the hospital and spend hours waiting for her dialysis to finish and would endure a lot of discomfort, but despite all this, he never missed the Tahajud prayers. He had great sympathy for his patients and would look after the destitute. Poor people would travel great distances to obtain medicines and receive treatment. He would not take fees from many of his patients and would sometimes give money from his own pocket. He would always advise us that it is only God Almighty that has the power to cure.”
He would especially advise his three children who are doctors that they should always pray for their patients. His son writes, “Many times, when I would ask my father to pray for a patient of mine, he would phone the following day and enquire about the patient and would mention that he had prayed for them.”
In 1969, he was working as a consultant in England, but he left all worldly luxuries and wealth, and placing his trust in Allah, he moved to Rabwah. He had complete conviction that God Almighty would provide for all his worldly and spiritual endeavours and that his children would receive good education. Thus, God Almighty showered His blessings upon him and Dr Quraishi Sahib never suffered any financial difficulty and his children also received a good education. Most of his children are settled in the USA, three of whom are doctors.
Dr Quraishi Sahib looked after his parents and even until his last days, he would prepare food for his mother and took good care of her. As I mentioned earlier, the mother of Dr Quraishi sahib is alive and was living with him. Dr Quraishi Sahib’s son writes:
“My father assisted me greatly in preparation for [entry] examinations for USA and would encourage us children in all matters. He was averse to any form of pretentiousness and lived a simple life. Prior to doing anything in his life, whether it was something small or significant, he would always write to the Khalifa and seek guidance.”
His other son, Dr Muhammad Ahmad Mahmood Quraishi writes:
“Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh said about him that he was not simply a doctor, rather he practiced his profession with the help of prayers. He would pray for every single patient. Before writing any prescription, he would always write:
بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
[In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful] and underneath he would write:
[God is the restorer of health].
He would advise other doctors to pray for their patients because only God Almighty has the power to cure.”
He further writes, “During the days in which my mother passed away, a patient came to see him from Shorkot. At the time, he was sitting in the car and was preparing to go somewhere. He stopped and attended to the patient and gave him a prescription. Often he would purchase medicines for his patients himself.”
His daughter writes, “A lady informed me that her father had suffered a heart attack and was alone at home (i.e. the father of the woman). He [i.e. Dr Quraishi Sahib] went to tend to him and informed the person’s children. He sat with him and remained there until the children came home.”
He would attend Jalsa Salana [Annual Convention] in Qadian and the UK each year. He had a habit of working hard and always worked with great diligence. His daughter writes, “After the demise of our mother, he asked me to help in all the arrangements. After I completed everything, he expressed his gratitude to such an extent that I felt embarrassed. During all this, one thing he would repeatedly say to me was to complete everything at first instance, as he did not have much time left. At the time, I did not pay much attention to this, nor did I enquire about it, as he usually never openly shared his dreams. Later on, however, my brother informed me that he had seen a dream about himself and said that he did not have much time left. One hour prior to his demise, he sat in the clinic adjacent to the house from 9am to 1pm. He came home at 1pm, performed his ablution and stated his intention to offer prayers in Masjid Mubarak. As he sat on his bed, he took off his shoes when he suffered a major heart attack, and thus, departed to meet with his Creator.”
He had a loving relationship with his neighbours and they also took great care of him. He had a passion for poetry and literature; he would recite poems from Durr-e-Sameen, Kalam-e-Mahmud and Durr-e-Adan in a melodious tune. He recorded many cassettes consisting of different verses, and had a scholarly disposition.
Syed Hussain Ahmad, who is a missionary and also married to Dr Quraishi Sahib’s sister-in-law, writes:
“Dr Sahib told me that when he arrived at Lahore from London (when he moved to Pakistan to serve in the Jamaat hospital) he went straight to the Private Secretary’s office. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh called him inside and remarked ‘You have arrived.’ Dr Sahib replied in the affirmative and said that he had come to render his services. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh then said that he had the house of Dr Sahib painted and that he ought to get the keys from the nazir-e-ala and live there. Dr Sahib then said that when he went to the house, he found two charpoys [a wooden bed frame strung together with interlaced cords]. He went to the market and purchased two more, as well as other items for the house and began living there. He did not make any demands, nor did he show any pretentiousness that he had come from England. In the first Jalsa, he received a lot of guests. He would sleep on the floor himself and offered his house for the guests. He took great care of his father-in-law, Maulana Abdul Malik Khan Sahib and his mother-in-law.”
Hussain Sahib further writes, “Dr Sahib would often say that his colleague doctors, who were serving in various high ranking positions, would ask him what he received in return for working in a small settlement such as Rabwah? Dr Sahib would reply by saying, ‘Those people have no idea and can never truly understand what I receive in return for my service in Rabwah. The prayers [that one can offer here] are priceless.’”
He had the opportunity to treat Companionsra of the Promised Messiahas, Hazrat Nawab Mubaraka Begum Sahibara and Hazrat Syeda Amatul Hafeez Begum Sahibara. Dr Quraishi Sahib stayed with Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh in Islamabad in the days leading up to his demise. He also had the opportunity to tend to other elders of the Jamaat as well. Dr Abdul Khaliq Sahib writes:
“It would not be an exaggeration to write that Dr Quraishi Sahib, who is no longer with us, was a doctor who especially cared for the poor. For more than half a century, he served the poor and destitute of this area irrespective of the patient’s religion or background. When the deceased was serving as the chief medical officer of the [Fazl-e-Umar] Hospital, he would personally go to Lahore and check rates for various equipment on the market. He would then purchase the appropriate items and sometimes, this process would take an entire day. One of his characteristics was that he was always mindful of the correct use of Jamaat’s money and resources.
He initiated the ultrasound and endoscopy departments in the hospital. Initially he would walk or travel by bicycle to visit renowned personalities and also companions of the Promised Messiahas in their homes and would advise them accordingly. With regard to the Fazl-e-Umar Hospital, he would say, ‘The prayers of the Khulafa [Caliphs] of Ahmadiyyat are with this hospital and with respect to the healing and treatment of patients, by the grace of Allah, I have witnessed countless miracles here.’”
Dr Sultan Mubashar Sahib writes:
“During his service in the Fazl-e-Umar Hospital, which spanned over approximately 30 years, he had to endure various trials, however, his humble disposition was such that he patiently endured every trial, and as he faced them, he maintained his honour and dignity and offered supplications before God Almighty.”
Sultan Mubashar Sahib is correct in what he writes, as I am aware of certain matters in which Dr Sahib always maintained his dignity and without a word of complaint, he endured the difficulties he faced. As a result, Allah the Almighty bestowed him with blessings. He never complained against any office bearer, nor did he ever share any grievances or personal injustices of fellow colleagues with anyone.
Dr Sultan Mubashar Sahib states that he was not just a doctor for the rich or noble, rather he treated everyone, and as mentioned earlier, this was one of his attributes.
Dr Sultan Mubashar Sahib writes an incident:
“One day, the wife of Rahmat Ali Sahib’s driver was brought to the emergency department. I requested Dr Quraishi Sahib to come to the hospital. He came to the hospital within a few minutes from his home in Darul Uloom Sharqi.”
His house was not near the hospital, in fact, his house was situated on the other side of Rabwah, yet he immediately went to the hospital.
“He was very loyal to the Jamaat. On occasions, when us junior doctors would be despondent with the strict disciplinary measures of our superiors, Dr Quraishi sahib would sit us down and explain to us that we must obey the Nizaam at all costs and bear everything patiently. When his wife, Shaukat Sahiba passed away, the following day, the Walima [marriage] ceremony of two of his nephews was to take place. On the same of her demise, Dr Quraishi Sahib went to the groom’s house and informed them about the passing of his wife but advised them to continue with the marriage preparations and not to postpone them.”
As mentioned, his wife was the maternal aunt of the two grooms, i.e. the ceremony was of the two sons of Hussain Sahib. However, Dr Sahib advised them to continue with the proceedings and not to cancel them.
His son, Dr Mahmood said that he would not attend the marriage ceremony and would instead remain home, but Dr Quraishi Sahib advised him to be content with the Will of God, then further said that it was in these circumstances whereby people are tested and their level of patience and contentment with the Will of God are gauged. He then took his son along with him and participated in the marriage ceremony and out of reverence for the occasion, he ensured that nobody from his area should come to know of the demise until the marriage ceremony was concluded.
May Allah the Almighty shower His mercy and forgiveness upon him. Both parents of the children have passed away within a short space of time; may Allah grant his children patience and steadfastness.
May Allah enable the children to continue the virtues of both parents. As mentioned, the mother of Dr Quraishi Sahib is alive but is unwell, may Allah have mercy on her and grant His blessings.
(Original Urdu published in Al Fazl International, 14 February 2020, pp. 5-9. Translated by The Review of Religions.)