Men of Excellence


Friday Sermon

31 January 2020

Men of Excellence


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

The name of the companion who I will mention today is Hazrat Abu Talhara. The actual name of Hazrat Abu Talha Ansarira was Zaid. He belonged to the Ansar tribe of Khazraj and was the chief of his tribe and he was more commonly known by his title of Abu Talha. The name of Hazrat Abu Talha’sra father was Sahl bin Aswad and the name of his mother was Ubada bint Malik. Hazrat Abu Talhara had the opportunity to pledge initiation at the hands of the Holy Prophetsa during the second pledge at Aqaba. He participated alongside the Holy Prophetsa in all the battles, including the Battle of Badr. When Hazrat Abu Ubaidara bin Al-Jarrah migrated to Medina, the Holy Prophetsa formed a bond of brotherhood between him and Hazrat Abu Talhara. Hazrat Abu Talhara was of a wheat colour complexion and of moderate height and he had never dyed his hair or beard; he kept his hair in its natural condition. (Usdul Ghabah, Vol. 5, pp- 183-184, Abu Talha Ansarira, Vol. 2, p. 150, Zaid bin Sahl, Dar-ul-Fikr, Beirut, 2003)

Hazrat Anasra was the stepson of Hazrat Abu Talhara and was the son of his wife’s former husband. Malik bin Nazar was the former husband of Hazrat Umm-e-Sulaimra and following his demise, Hazrat Umm-e-Sulaimra married Hazrat Abu Talhara, through whom Abdullah and Umair were born. (Al-Isti‘ab, Vol. 2, p. 124, Dar-ul Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2010) (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Sa‘d, Vol. 3, p. 383, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990) (Umdatul Qari, Vol. 4, p. 124, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2001)

Hazrat Anasra narrates that Hazrat Abu Talhara sent a marriage proposal to Umm-e-Sulaimra. She replied, “By God, I would not have any objection to marrying someone like yourself. However, you are an idolater and I am a Muslim.” This is a narration from Sunan al-Nasa‘i. She stated that she was a Muslim woman and it was not permissible for her to marry him. She said, “If you were to accept Islam, then I would consider this very act in itself to be my dowry and I would not ask of anything else.” Hazrat Abu Talhara accepted Islam and this was declared to be her dowry. Hazrat Thabitra used to say that “until this day, I have not heard of any woman’s dowry to be as honourable as that of Umm-e-Sulaimra.” (Sunan al-Nasa‘i, Kitab-un-Nikah, Bab At-Tazawwuj Alal-Islam, Hadith 3341)

Hazrat Abu Talhara participated alongside the Holy Prophetsa in the Battle of Badr. Hazrat Abu Talhara narrates that on the day of Badr, the Holy Prophetsa passed a verdict that twenty-four chiefs from among the Quraish to be thrown into one of the feculent wells situated in Badr. Whenever the Holy Prophetsa was victorious over a people, he would stay in the battleground for three nights. When the Holy Prophetsa stayed in Badr and the third day approached, he ordered for the saddle to be placed on his camel, which was subsequently prepared. The Holy Prophetsa then set off and the Companionsra also joined him. The Companionsra stated that they thought that perhaps the Holy Prophetsa set off for a particular reason.  The Holy Prophetsa then reached the well and stood over the well where the bodies of the 24 men had been thrown. This was a closed well. The Holy Prophetsa began to call their names as well as the names of their fathers that “O son of such and such person! Had you obeyed Allah and His Messenger, would you not have rejoiced now? Verily, we have received what our Lord had promised us but have you also received what your lord had promised you?” Hazrat Abu Talhara narrates that Hazrat Umarra submitted, “O Messengersa of Allah! What are you saying to these lifeless corpses?” The Holy Prophetsa stated, “I swear by Him in Whose hands lies the life of Muhammad! You are not hearing these words any more than they are hearing them.” That is, Allah the Almighty was now relaying these words to them to signify how terrible their end was. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitabul Maghazi, Bab Qatli Abi Jahl, Hadith 3976)

Hazrat Anasra relates that when the Battle of Uhud took place, people dispersed from Holy Prophetsa after being defeated. Hazrat Abu Talhara, however, remained in front of the Holy Prophetsa and stood resolutely behind his shield in front of the Holy Prophetsa. Hazrat Abu Talhara was an archer who would pull the string of his bow very forcefully. He had broken two or three bows that day. In other words, he would pull the bow so forcefully that the string of the bow would snap.

The Holy Prophetsa instructed anyone who passed by with a quiver to give it to Abu Talhara. In other words, the Holy Prophetsa would instruct others that there were plenty of archers and that they should instead give their arrows to Abu Talhara, who at that particular moment was standing in front of the Holy Prophetsa. Hazrat Anasra relates that the Holy Prophetsa would raise his head and look at the people, upon which Hazrat Abu Talhara used to say:

بِأَبِيْ أَنْتَ وَأُمِّيْ يَا رَسُوْلَ اللّٰهِ، لَا يُصِيْبُكَ سَهْمٌ، نَحْرِيْ دُوْنَ نَحْرِكَ

“O Messengersa of Allah; may my parents be sacrificed for your sake! Please do not raise your head and look around, lest an arrow of the enemy strikes you. I stand with my chest guarding you.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitabul Maghazi, Bab Idh hammat Ta’ifatani minkum…, Hadith 4096) (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Saad, Vol. 3, pp. 383-384, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990)

Hazrat Anasra bin Malik relates that Hazrat Abu Talhara would shield the Holy Prophetsa with the very same shield [that he was using]. Hazrat Abu Talhara was an excellent archer. When he fired an arrow, the Holy Prophetsa would look at where it landed. This is a narration from Bukhari. The previous narration was also from Bukhari as well. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitabul Jihad, Bab al-Mubhin wa man Yatrusu bi tarsi Sahibah, Hadith 2902)

During the Battle of Uhud, it is mentioned that Hazrat Abu Talhara would recite the following couplet:

وَجْهِيْ لِوَجْهِكَ الْوِقَاءُ

وَنَفْسِيْ لِنَفْسِكَ الْفِدَاءُ

“My face is there to protect your blessed countenance and I am every ready to offer my life for your sake.” (Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal, Vol. 4, Musnad Anas bin Malik, Hadith 13781, Alamul Kutub, Beirut, 1998)

Hazrat Anasra bin Malik relates, “The Holy Prophetsa said to Hazrat Abu Talhara, ‘Search someone from among your young men, who may assist me so that I may embark on the journey to Khaybar.’ Hazrat Abu Talhara placed me (that is Hazrat Anasra), on the back of his mount and took me with him.” Hazrat Anasra relates, “I was a young boy at that time and had almost reached the age of adolescence. I would serve the Holy Prophetsa and when the Holy Prophetsa would dismount, I would often hear him recite the following prayer:

اَللّٰهُمَّ إِنِّيْ أَعُوْذُبِكَ مِنَ الْهَمِّ وَالْحَزَنِ وَالْعَجْزِ وَالْكَسَلِ وَالْبُخْلِ وَالْجُبْنِ وَضَلَعِ الدَّيْنِ وَغَلَبَةِ الرِّجَالِ

‘O Allah, I seek refuge with You from worry and grief, from incapacity and laziness, from miserliness and cowardice, from being burdened with debt and from being overpowered by others.’” (Sahih Bukhari, Kitabul Wasaya, Bab Istikhdamal Yateem fi As-Safar Wal-Hadar, Hadith 2768)

In another account of Hazrat Anasra, which is from Bukhari – as was the previous narration – he states, “When the Holy Prophetsa arrived in Medina, he had no servant. Hazrat Abu Talhara held my hand, brought me to the Holy Prophetsa and said, ‘O Messengersa of Allah, Anas is an intelligent child, he can be of service to you’”. Hazrat Anasra then says, “I served the Holy Prophetsa on journeys and also whilst he remained in his residence. The Holy Prophetsa never questioned me as to why I carried out a task the way I did, similarly, if there was a task I failed to undertake, he would never ask me why this was the case.” i.e., he would never admonish him. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitabul Jihad wa As-Siyar, Bab Man Ghazaa bi Sabyi lil-Khidmah, Hadith 2893)

Hazrat Anasra bin Malik narrates that he was with the Holy Prophetsa when he returned from Usfaan (a place situated between Mecca and Medina). At the time, the Holy Prophetsa was riding his camel and had seated Hazrat Safiyyahra bint Huyayy behind him. All of a sudden, the camel stumbled, causing them both to fall. Hazrat Abu Talhara immediately dismounted his camel, saying, “O Messengersa of Allah, may I be sacrificed for you!” The Holy Prophetsa replied, “First enquire about the lady”. Hazrat Talhara drew a cloth over his face as he went towards Hazrat Safiyyahra, and then placed that cloth over her (which shows how much regard he had for purdah). Thereafter, he readied the camel for them to mount once again and they all formed a ring around the Holy Prophetsa. When they reached near the outskirts of Medina, the Holy Prophetsa stated:

آئِبُوْنَ تَائِبُوْنَ عَابِدُوْنَ لِرَبِّنَا حَامِدُوْنَ

“We are those who return, who repent before our Lord, who worship Him and praise Him.” The Holy Prophetsa continued to recite these words until he entered Medina. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitabul Jihad wa As-Siyar, Bab Ma Yaqulu Idhaa raja’a min al-Ghazwi, Hadith 3085)

In regard to this incident, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:

“On one occasion, the Holy Prophetsa was returning from the Battle of Khaybar, and alongside him was his wife, Hazrat Safiyyahra, when the camel suddenly stumbled in its path, consequently causing both to fall off. The camel of Hazrat Abu Talha Ansarira was directly behind them, so he, at once, dismounted his camel and said, ‘O Messengersa of Allah! May I be sacrificed for you! Have you sustained any injury?’ When Hazrat Abu Talhara approached close to the Holy Prophetsa, the Holy Prophetsa said, ‘O Abu Talha! First go to my wife, go see to my wife.’”

The Holy Prophetsa said this twice. Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra explains, “Hazrat Abu Talhara had infinite love for the Holy Prophetsa and when the question ever arose about the life of the Holy Prophetsa, his attention would be on no other person, yet the Holy Prophetsa told him to go and check on his wife first.” (Uswa-e-Hasanah, Anwarul Ulum, Vol. 17, p. 126-127)

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra presented this account whilst discussing the rights of women.

Hazrat Anasra relates:

“The Holy Prophetsa launched an attack on Khaybar and we offered the morning prayer when we had approached near Khaybar, whilst it was still dark. The Holy Prophetsa then mounted his camel and as Hazrat Abu Talhara mounted his, I sat behind him on his camel. The Holy Prophetsa made his camel run fast in the valley of Khaybar and my knee was rubbing against the thigh of the Holy Prophetsa as they were so close to one another. Then, due to the heat, or perhaps for comfort, the Holy Prophetsa removed the cloth from his thigh” i.e. lifted it a little from his leg or his knee, “until I could see the whiteness of his thigh.” By “thigh”, it means the part just above the knee. “When the Holy Prophetsa entered the village, he stated:

اَللّٰهُ أَكْبَرُ خَرِبَتْ خَيْبَرُ إِنَّا إِذَا نَزَلْنَا بِسَاحَةِ قَوْمٍ فَسَاءَ صَبَاحُ المُنْذَرِيْنَ

‘Allah is great! Khaybar is destroyed. When we come to a people, it is an evil morning for those who have been warned of the impending wrath of God.’ The Holy Prophetsa repeated this phrase three times.”

Hazrat Anasra continues, “When people came out of their homes to attend to their work, they said, ‘[It is] Muhammadsa – Abdul Aziz used to say that some of our companions also used to add the word khamees (i.e. army) in addition to the name of the Holy Prophetsa.’”

Hazrat Anasra states, “We conquered it [Khaybar] in battle and the prisoners of war were gathered together. Hazrat Dihyah Kalbira came and said, ‘O Messengersa of Allah! Grant me a female-servant from among these prisoners.’ The Holy Prophetsa replied, ‘Go and choose a female-servant.’ He then chose Huyayy’s daughter, Safiyyah. Thereupon, someone approached the Holy Prophetsa and said, ‘O Prophetsa of Allah! You have handed the daughter of the chief of the Quraizah and Nadeer tribe, Safiyyah bint Huyayy, to Dihyah; whereas she is only suitable for you.’ The Holy Prophetsa then said, ‘Bring both of them here’. So he went and both Safiyyah and Dihyah came to the Holy Prophetsa. The Holy Prophetsa said to Dihyah, ‘Choose any other of the prisoners.’”

Hazrat Anasra relates further, “The Holy Prophetsa then freed Hazrat Safiyyahra and later married her.”

Thereafter, Hazrat Thabitra asked Hazrat Anasra, “What did Abu Hamza, i.e. the Holy Prophetsa give her in dowry?” to which he answered, “He freed her and then married her, so her freedom was the dowry.” And whilst they were still returning from the expedition, Hazrat Umm-e-Sulaimra prepared Hazrat Safiyyahra for the Holy Prophetsa and their wedding took place. The following day the Holy Prophetsa stated, “If anyone possesses something, let him bring it forward” and he lay out a leather cloth. Some people brought dates, whilst others brought clarified butter. 

Abdul Aziz says, “I believe that he also mentioned sattu [parched grain of barely] as well.” He then said that this was then all mixed together and knead. This was the walima [marriage] proceedings of the Holy Prophetsa. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitabus Salat, Bab Yudhkaru fil Fakhdhi, Hadith 371)

In another narration, it is mentioned that after the conquest of Khaybar, Hazrat Safiyyahra fell in the lot of Hazrat Dihyahra. Many companions – it was not just one companion, rather many of the companions – came to the Holy Prophetsa and spoke words of praise for Hazrat Safiyyahra and also that with respect to her status and rank, it would be befitting if the Holy Prophetsa chose her for himself, i.e. to take her in marriage. Thus, the Holy Prophetsa sent a message to Hazrat Dihiyahra and took Hazrat Safiyyahra in exchange for seven prisoners. He then instructed Hazrat Umm-e-Sulaimra to look after her. Then, as was mentioned earlier, the Holy Prophetsa married Hazrat Safiyyahra. (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Sa‘d, Vol. 8, pp. 97-98, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990)

Hazrat Anas bin Malikra narrates that the Holy Prophetsa stated, “On this day (i.e. on the day of the Battle of Hunayn) whosoever kills a disbeliever, he will be granted the wealth and possessions of the one he kills [as their spoil from the battle].” On that day, Hazrat Abu Talhara killed 20 disbelievers and took their wealth [as spoils from the battle]. Hazrat Abu Talhara saw Hazrat Umm-e-Sulaimra with a dagger in her hand and asked, “O Umm-e-Sulaimra, what is the purpose of this?” She replied, “I swear by God! It is my intention that if a disbeliever passes within range, I would strike this dagger and pierce his abdomen.” Hazrat Abu Talhara informed the Holy Prophetsa about this incident. This narration is found in Sunan Abi Daud. (Sunan Abi Daud, Kitab al-Jihad, As-Sulbi Yu’ti al-Qatil, Hadith 2718)

Hazrat Anasra relates that the Holy Prophetsa said the sole voice of Abu Talhara was louder and heard above all others in his battalion. The traditions also cite “100 soldiers” and “1,000 soldiers” rather than a battalion – in others words, Hazrat Abu Talhara had a very powerful voice. (Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal, Vol. 4, p. 286, Musnad Anas bin Malik, Hadith 12119, Alamul Kutub, Beirut, 1998) (Al-Isti‘ab, Vol. 4, p. 261, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilimiyyah, Beirut, 1992) (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Sa‘d, Vol. 3, p. 383, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990)

In 34 Hijri, Hazrat Abu Talhara passed away at the age of 70 in Medina and his funeral was led by Hazrat Usmanra. However, according to the people of Basra,he passed way during a journey on sea and was buried on an island. (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Saad, Vol. 3, p. 385, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990)

Hazrat Anasra relates that during the lifetime of the Holy Prophetsa, Hazrat Abu Talhara would refrain from voluntary fasting as he wanted to preserve his strength when engaging in Jihad. Hazrat Anasra further relates that after the Holy Prophetsa passed away, he observed that Hazrat Abu Talhara kept fasts every single day except on Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha. In other words, he started regularly observing fast after this. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitabul Jihad wa as-Siyar, Bab Man Ihktara al-Ghazwa alaa as-Saum, Hadith 2828)

We find the following example of the hospitality of Hazrat Abu Talhara. Hazrat Abu Hurairara narrates that a man came to the Holy Prophetsa, upon which the Holy Prophetsa asked someone to send word to his wives. They replied that they had nothing except water to offer. The Holy Prophetsa then asked who would help take care of this guest. Amongst the Ansar, one replied “I will”. Thus, the Ansar took this guest along with him and told his wife to extend the best hospitality possible as this was the guest of the Holy Prophetsa. His wife replied that they had no food to give as all that was left was barely enough to feed their children. Her husband told her to prepare that remaining food for the guest, light up the oil lamp and when evening dinner time arrived, to put the children to bed. Thus, his wife prepared the food, lit up the oil lamp and tucked the children into bed. Then she got up and acted as if fixing the oil lamp and blew the candlelight off. Thus, the husband and wife made it appear as if they too had been eating, however they, in fact, spent the night on empty stomachs. In the morning, he went to the Holy Prophetsa who said, “Today Allah the Almighty smiled upon your act”, or he stated that “Allah the Almighty was extremely pleased with this act of theirs”. Then the following revelation was revealed:

وَيُؤْثِرُوْنَ عَلٰى أَنْفُسِهِمْ وَلَوْ كَانَ بِهِمْ خَصَاصَةٌ وَمَنْ يُّوْقَ شُحَّ نَفْسِهٖ فَأُولٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُوْنَ

 “…but prefer the Refugees to themselves, even though poverty be their own lot. And whoso is rid of the covetousness of his own soul — it is these who will be successful.” (Surah al-Hashr, Ch.59: V.10) (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab Manaqib al-Ansar, Bab Qaul Allah Yu’thirun Ala Unfusihim, Hadith 3798) (Umdatul Qari, Vol. 16, p. 364, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2001)

Hazrat Anasra relates that when on one occasion the Holy Prophetsa cut his hair, Hazrat Abu Talhara was the first to receive some of it. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Wudu, Bab al-Maa alladhi Yaghsilu bihi al-Insan, Hadith 171)

Hazrat Anasra bin Malik relates, “Once Hazrat Abu Talhara asked Umm-e-Sulaimra whether she had any food, as he had noticed the Holy Prophet’ssa voice was faint and therefore assumed that he may be hungry. She replied, ‘Yes’ and then took out some bread made of barley. She placed the bread in the corner of a loose shawl, wrapped it and handed it to me. She also tied a part of the loose shawl around my waist and sent me to the Holy Prophetsa.” Hazrat Anasra further relates, “I took it with me and found the Holy Prophetsa in the mosque where there were some others as well. I stood beside the Holy Prophetsa who said, ‘Has Abu Talha sent you?’ ‘Yes indeed’ I replied. ‘Has he sent you with food?’ asked the Holy Prophetsa to which I replied, ‘Yes’. The Holy Prophetsa instructed the companions who were with him to accompany him.” Instead of eating the food, the Holy Prophetsa asked his companions to go with him and also took the food along with him. Hazrat Anasra states, “I was walking ahead of them when I came across Hazrat Abu Talhara and informed him that the Holy Prophetsa was coming here. Hazrat Abu Talhara said, ‘O Umm-e-Sulaimra, the Holy Prophetsa is coming here along with some other people but we do not have enough food to feed them.’” (The Holy Prophetsa was to bring back the few pieces of bread that were sent. “She replied, ‘Allah and His Messengersa know best.’ Hazrat Abu Talhara quickly left from his home in order to meet the Holy Prophetsa as Hazrat Anasra had reached home before them. Hazrat Abu Talhara arrived with the Holy Prophetsa. The Holy Prophetsa said, ‘O Umm-e-Sulaimra, bring whatever you have to eat.’ She brought bread, which the Holy Prophetsa instructed to break into pieces, which she did so. Hazrat Umm-e-Sulaimra poured clarified butter and presented it as a dish. The Holy Prophetsa then prayed on the bread in the manner God Almighty desired from him. The Holy Prophetsa then said to call ten people inside to eat, they were called inside and they ate until they were content and then they left. The Holy Prophetsa then said to let the next ten people inside and they ate until they were content and then they left. The Holy Prophetsa then said to let the next ten people inside and they ate until they were content and then they left. The Holy Prophetsa then said to let the next ten people inside and they ate until they were content and then they left. Thus, all of them ate to their fill and they totalled approximately 70 or 80 people.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Manaqib, Bab Alaamaat an-Nubuwwah fi al-Islam, Hadith 3578)

This is one of the narrations that shows the blessings of the prayers of the Holy Prophetsa.

Hazrat Anas bin Malikra narrates that Hazrat Abu Talhara owned the most date orchards among all the Ansar in Medina. Among them his most prized orchard was called Berha, which was situated in front of the Mosque and the Holy Prophetsa would also visit this orchard and drink from its clean water. Hazrat Anasra narrates that when the following verse was revealed:

لَنْ تَنَالُوا الْبِرَّ حَتّٰى تُنْفِقُوْا مِمَّا تُحِبُّوْنَ

“Never shall you attain to righteousness unless you spend out of that which you love; [Surah Aal-e-Imran, Ch.3: V.93]”

Hazrat Abu Talhara stood up and said, “O Messengersa of Allah! God Almighty states:

لَنْ تَنَالُوا الْبِرَّ حَتّٰى تُنْفِقُوْا مِمَّا تُحِبُّوْنَ

‘Never shall you attain to righteousness unless you spend out of that which you love. [Surah Aal-e-Imran, Ch.3: V.93]’ From my property, my most beloved possession is the Berha orchard, I offer that as charity in the way of Allah. I am hopeful that God Almighty will accept this virtue and will be beneficial. Thus, you may spend it wherever you wish to do so.” The Holy Prophetsa replied, “Well done, this sacrifice is very beneficial” (or perhaps he said) “This sacrifice will be everlasting.” The Holy Prophetsa stated, “I have heard your request, I consider it best if you distribute this amongst your close relatives.” Hazrat Abu Talhara replied, “O Messengersa of Allah! I shall do exactly as you have commanded.” And so, Hazrat Abu Talhara distributed this orchard amongst his relatives and the sons of his uncle. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitabul Wasaya, Bab idha Waqaqfa Ardan Lam Yubayyam al-Hudud Fa Huwa Ja‘iz…, Hadith 2769)

Hazrat Abu Talhara has the honour and privilege of being the one who buried one of the daughters of the Holy Prophetsa after her demise. On the instructions of the Holy Prophetsa, Hazrat Abu Talhara descended into the grave and placed her blessed body into the grave. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitabul Jana‘iz, Bab Qaul an-Nabi Yu‘adhabul Mayyitu bi Ba‘d…, Hadith 1285)

Hazrat Anas bin Malikra states that on one occasion, a sudden panic spread in Medina. The Holy Prophetsa took the horse of Hazrat Abu Talhara which was not swift, or perhaps it moved slowly. When the Holy Prophetsa returned, he said to Hazrat Abu Talhara that he found his horse to have moved like a flowing river, i.e. that it moved at great speed. After this incident, no other horse could keep up in pace with the horse of Hazrat Abu Talhara. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitabul Jihad wa As-Siyar, Bab al-Farasu al-Qutuf, Hadith 2867)

Hazrat Anas bin Malikra states, “The Holy Prophetsa would often sit with us. He would say to my younger brother in a lighthearted manner: ‘O Abu Umair! What did Nuwair do?’ Abu Umair had a pet bird which was called Nuwair. When it died – or perhaps it flew away – Abu Umair was distraught. Hence the Holy Prophetsa would say this to him in a light-hearted manner. On many occasions, the Holy Prophetsa would be in our home when it would be the time for prayer. Thus, the Holy Prophetsa would order the cloth to be laid down which he would usually sit on. Hence, we would clean the cloth and place it for prayers, the Holy Prophetsa would stand up to lead the prayers and we would stand in congregation behind him.” (Sunan Ibn Majah, Kitabul Adab, Babul Mazah, Hadith 3720) (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitabul Adab, Bab al-Kunyah li as-Sabiyy…, Hadith 6203)

Hazrat Anas bin Malikra narrates, “When Abdullah bin Abi Talhara Ansari was born (this was the son of Abu Talhara and stepbrother of Hazrat Anasra from his mother’s side) I took him to the Holy Prophetsa, when, at the time, he was wearing his cloak and was smearing coal tar on his camel. He asked me if I had any dates with me, to which I replied in the affirmative. I gave him a few dates which he placed in his mouth and chewed it well. He then opened the child’s mouth and placed them inside for the baby to suckle on. The baby began to suck on it and the Holy Prophetsa then stated, ‘Love for the dates of the Ansar’ i.e. the child also liked them and then the Holy Prophetsa named him Abdullah.” (Sahih Muslim, Kitabul Adab, Bab al-Istihbaab Tuhannik al-Maulud…, Hadith 2144)

Hazrat Anas bin Malikra states that a child of Hazrat Abu Talhara was ill and when he left the house, the child passed away. When he returned home, he enquired about the health of the child from his wife, Hazrat Umm-e-Sulaimra. She replied, “He is now in more comfort then before.” She then gave him dinner and after spending the night together she informed him of the passing of their child and that he ought to go and bury him. Thus, in the morning, Hazrat Abu Talhara mentioned the entire incident to the Holy Prophetsa, who then prayed for his offspring. Hence after this incident he was blessed with a son. (Sahih Muslim, Kitabul Adab, Bab al-Istihbaab Tuhannik al-Maulud…, Hadith 2144)

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra explains this incident in the following manner: “It is not difficult for a believer to sacrifice his life [for the sake of God]”. He then said, “With regard to [Asadullah] Ghalib, there are varying opinions about whether or not he used to drink alcohol.” Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra then says, “He was related to us and I have heard from my grandmothers and [paternal] aunts that he used to drink alcohol. Even a person who was addicted to alcohol could compose the following verses:

جان دی دی ہوئی اسی کی تھی

حق تو يہ ہے کہ حق ادا نہ ہوا

[Though I gave my life for Him, ‘twas His in any case; To speak the truth, I could not repay my dues to Him.]

In other words, if one were to offer their life in the way of Allah the Almighty, it is not an extraordinary feat, for even this life itself was, after all, granted by Him. Hence, to sacrifice one’s life in accordance to the commandment of God Almighty is not considered as a huge sacrifice, because after all, his very life belonged to God and thus to return something which one has been entrusted with temporarily does not constitute as a sacrifice.”

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:

“There is an account recorded in the Ahadith [traditions of the Holy Prophetsa] regarding a female companion of the Holy Prophetsa, Umm-e-Sulaimra. The Holy Prophetsa had tasked her husband, Abu Talhara, with some religious duties for which he had to travel outside of the city. At the time, their child was unwell and, naturally, he was very concerned about the condition of the child. When the companion returned, the child had passed away in his absence. The mother placed a sheet of cloth over the child’s body and readied herself by taking a bath and put on some perfume. Then, whilst displaying great courage, she welcomed her husband home. Upon arriving, the companion immediately enquired about the child’s health and she replied that the child was completely at rest. The companion then contently ate his meal, took some rest and also spent the night with his wife.

“It was only after this that the wife then stated, ‘I would like to ask something from you.’ ‘What is it you wish to ask?’ said the husband. His wife then stated, ‘If someone entrusts you with something and then after a while wishes to take it back, should that be returned to him or not?’ Her husband replied, ‘Which foolish person will not return that which was only kept with him as a trust.’ But after all, one may be a little saddened since they have to return it’, said his wife. The husband replied, ‘Why should one be saddened; it was not his to begin with, therefore there is no question of expressing any sadness over it.’ The wife stated, ‘Well, if that is the case then God Almighty, Who only granted this child to us as a trust, has now taken it back.’ Such was the courage and steadfastness that was displayed by the women in that time. Thus, to offer one’s life is not something significant, particularly for a Momin [a believer].” (Taqrir Jalsa Salana Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Lahore 1984, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 21, pp. 53-54)

According to the aforementioned Hadith it states that the Holy Prophetsa prayed for them and as a result, they were blessed with many children. They were granted a son very soon after this incident and were granted with so many blessings that according to an Ansari companion’s narration, he saw nine sons of Hazrat Abu Talhara and all of them were Qaris [reciters of the Holy Quran]. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitabul Jana‘iz, Bab man lam Yudhhir Huzunahu indal Musibah, Hadith 1301)

Asim Ahwal relates that he saw the Holy Prophet’ssa bowl in the possession of Hazrat Anasra. A crack had appeared in the bowl and Hazrat Anasra had it repaired using silver. It was a large and beautiful bowl made from a very high-quality wood. Hazrat Anasra related that on many occasions he had the opportunity to present water to the Holy Prophetsa from this bowl. Ibn Sireen relates that this bowl was joined together with a metal thread and Hazrat Anasra wished to join it together with a thread made of gold or silver. However, Hazrat Abu Talhara told him that he should not make any changes to what the Holy Prophetsa had made himself, thus he abandoned this idea of his. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitabul Athar Bihi, Bab Ash-Shurb min Qadhi an-Nabi wa Aaniyatihi, Hadith 5638)

Hazrat Anasra bin Malik relates that he was presenting alcohol made from dates to Hazrat Abu Talha Ansarira, Hazrat Abu Ubaidahra bin Al-Jarrah and Hazrat Ubbayra bin Ka’b, when someone arrived and informed them that alcohol had been declared forbidden. Upon hearing this, Hazrat Abu Talhara stated, “O Anas! Break these pots!” Hazrat Anasra states that he hit the bottom of the pots with a stone and smashed them all. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab Akhbar al-Ihaad, Bab Ma Jaa’a fi Ijaazati Khabr al-Wahid al-Sudooq fil Adhan, Hadith 7253)

Hazrat Anasra bin Malik relates that when the Holy Prophetsa passed away, there was an individual in Medina who would prepare the lahad, [i.e. a grave which has have hollow cavity within the actual grave where the body would be placed], and there was another individual who would prepare a simple grave. The Companionsra decided that they would offer the Istikhara prayer before their Lord and then send word to both individuals. Whichever of the two came last, they would not use his services. In other words, they would use the services of the one who would come first. Thus, the message was sent to both individuals and the one who prepared the lahad came first and the Companionsra appointed him to prepare the grave of the Holy Prophetsa. In the commentary of this narration, Allama Busiri states that Hazrat Abu Talhara was the one who would prepare the lahad and Hazrat Abu Ubaidahra bin al-Jarrah was the one who would prepare the simple grave. This concluded the accounts relating to his life. (Sunan Ibn Majah, Kitabul Jana‘iz, Bab Maa Jaa‘a fi Al-Shiqq, Hadith 1557) (Sharh Sunan Ibn Majah, Vol. 1, Kitabul Jana‘iz, Bab Maa Jaa‘a fi Al-Shiqq, p. 617, Baitul Afkar al-Dawliyyah, Jordan, 2007)

Now, I shall mention some brief details of a deceased member and will also lead his funeral prayer in absentia after the Friday prayers. The funeral prayer is of respected Babu Muhammad Latif Sahib Amritsari, son of Hazrat Mian Nur Muhammad Sahibra, who was a companion of the Promised Messiahas. He passed away on 26 January 2020 in Rabwah at the age of 90:

اِنَّا لِلّٰہِ وَاِنَّا اِلَيْہِ رَاجِعُوْن

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

By the grace of Allah the Almighty, the deceased was a Musi. He was the younger brother of a very prominent and well-known missionary of the community, respected Maulana Muhammad Siddique Amritsari Sahib.

Babu Latif Sahib’s father, respected Mian Nur Muhammad Sahibra, was a companion of the Promised Messiahas. Babu Latif Sahib’s father took the deceased to meet Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra and presented him for waqf [life devotion] in his youth. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra stated that he had two sons, and one of his sons was already a Waqf and was serving as a missionary and that this son shall also serve all his life like a life-devotee.

Indeed, he served like a life-devotee. After working as an office clerk in the railway department for four years, Latif Sahib presented his services to work for the Jamaat in October 1952 and was granted the opportunity to serve the Jamaat. His initial posting was in Nazarat Baitul Maal in 1952 and in 1954, he was transferred to the office of the daily Al Fazl.

In 1961 he was appointed to serve in the private secretary’s office. He served in the private secretary’s office for the last three years of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II’sra Khilafat. He continued to serve in this office during the Khilafat of Hazrat Khalifatul Maish IIIrh. After the migration of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh, the private secretary’s office also continued to operate there as well, and is still in operation today, where he served till 2014.

In 1985, he was appointed as the assistant private secretary and he fulfilled his duties in a most excellent manner. The total years of his service spanned 62 years, out of which he served for 53 years in the private secretary’s office in various roles. He had great skill and talent for his work and worked extremely diligently. Alongside his work, he also had a keen interest for religious knowledge and had extensively studied the literature of the Jamaat. He particularly had the opportunity to serve in the organisational matters of Shura during the Khilafat of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh and also after as well. Whilst serving in the private secretary’s office, he was tasked with various responsibilities, among which he would purchase items on behalf of the office and he would do so by spending the Jamaat money with great care and attention. 

After the independence of Pakistan, he also had the opportunity to serve in the security of the Markaz [headquarters] in Qadian for some period of time. He had one son and five daughters and a few days before his demise, one of his daughters also passed away, who was the wife of Zarif Ahmad Qamar Sahib and their son is serving as a missionary. Three daughters of the deceased and his son, Atiq Ahmad, who is also serving here [in the Jamaat], reside in London.

One of the workers at the private secretary’s office, Rana Mubarak Sahib states that he had the opportunity to work along with him for 32 years and for many years he rendered his services for the administrative matters of the Shura on his own. The deceased would advise that whenever one is faced with a worldly problem or concern, then alongside prayers, they should work even more diligently in their Jamaat work, then Allah the Almighty alleviates their concerns. If ever a fellow worker made a mistake, he would advise them in a very loving manner.

Many other office workers have written the same that he worked extremely diligently and would guide the fellow office workers. He had great knowledge of the rules and regulations of the Anjuman. He was also very proficient in writing and would always select the most suitable words. Whenever he would buy a new pen, he would write Bismillah [in the name of Allah] with it and then continue his work with it. He was very punctual in coming to the office but would not leave simply when it was the end of the office hours, in fact he would remain seated in office until his work was complete. At times, he would spend the entire night working in the office and would go home the next morning.

When I was in Rabwah, I also observed this. He would come to the office and I would notice that even at Maghrib, he would be coming to the mosque from his office and sometimes at Ishaa or even at Fajr, he would come straight from the office. He would put great effort in his work and would never be concerned about going home or that the office hours had finished. His main objective was to fulfil his Jamaat work.

Another great quality of his was that he would never discuss any matter with anyone. Whatever document he was dealing with would always remain discrete and confidential. Similarly, Nasir Saeed Sahib has written that in 1974, when Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh would go to the National Assembly in Islamabad, Latif Sahib was also part of the private secretary’s staff that would go with Huzoorrh. Apart from fulfilling his office duties, he would also assist others as well in their work, such as help wash the dishes. In other words, he was an extremely selfless person.

May Allah the Almighty grant him His forgiveness and mercy and elevate his status. May He also enable his children and progeny to continue his good deeds.

(Original Urdu published in Al Fazl International on 18 February 2020, pp. 5-9. Translated by The Review of Religions) 

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