Men of Excellence

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Friday Sermon

14 February 2020

Men of Excellence

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

In the previous sermon, I narrated incidents about Hazrat Muhammadra bin Maslamah, but a few accounts were still remaining and, God willing, I shall narrate them today.

With regard to the killing of Kaab bin Ashraf, it was stated that the strategy used by Hazrat Muhammadra bin Maslamah to lure him out of his house and to kill him in a secure location did not amount to lying. It was also stated that in light of one particular hadith, certain scholars were of the opinion that one is permitted to tell a lie in three situations.

However, the truth of the matter is that this concept that one is permitted to lie or utter a false statement on three occasions is a completely false notion or it is based on a wrong interpretation of the hadith. Nevertheless, I clarified its meaning according to what has been stated in Seerat Khatam an-Nabiyyin.

The Promised Messiahas, however, has also made this point evidently clear in his book Nur-ul-Quran, while writing in response to an allegation raised by a Christian.

I will now present some parts of that reply, which clarifies beyond doubt that Islam categorically forbids lying.

While replying to a Christian’s allegation, the Promised Messiahas states:

“One objection raised is that the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa had given permission to lie on three occasions and that the Holy Quran gave clear instructions that one can conceal their faith. However, the Gospels have never permitted one to conceal their faith.” 

This was the objection [raised by the Christian]. The Promised Messiahas replied by saying:

“It should be made clear that the manner in which the Holy Quran has laid emphasis on truthfulness and its significance, I can say that the Gospel does not even mention one hundredth thereof.”

The Promised Messiahas then writes:

“The Holy Quran considers uttering falsehood akin to idolatry, as God Almighty says:

فَاجْتَنِبُوا الرِّجْسَ مِنَ الْاَوْثَانِ وَاجْتَنِبُوْا قَوْلَ الزُّوْرِ

“i.e. ‘Shun therefore the abomination of idols, and shun all words of untruth.’

“And as He states on another occasion:

يٰٓاَيُّهَا الَّذِيْنَ اٰمَنُوْا كُوْنُوْا قَوّٰمِيْنَ بِالْقِسْطِ شُهَدَٓاءَ لِلّٰهِ وَلَوْ عَلٰٓى اَنْفُسِكُمْ اَوِ الْوَالِدَيْنِ وَالْاَقْرَبِيْنَ

“i.e. ‘O ye who believe! be strict in observing justice, and be witnesses for Allah, even though it be against yourselves or against parents and kindred.’”

Whilst addressing the person who raised this allegation, the Promised Messiahas further states:

“O ye who has no fear of God! Open the Gospels and show me where the Gospels urge one to speak the truth with such vigour?” 

Then, addressing that Christian, whose name was Fath-e-Masih, the Promised Messiahas writes:

“You have written that the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa had permitted to utter falsehood on three occasions. However, you are mistaken on account of your ignorance, and in actuality, there is no hadith which permits one to lie. In fact, the words of the hadith are:

اِنْ قُتِلْتَ وَاُحْرِقْتَ

“i.e. ‘Do not deviate from truth even if you are murdered or you are set on fire for it.’ The Holy Quran directs that one should never abandon justice and one should always speak the truth even if one loses their life because of it, and in the Hadith we find that one is enjoined to speak the truth even if one is killed or set alight due to it. Then, supposing there is a Hadith which contradicts the Holy Quran and the authentic ahadith, it will not be deemed worthy of acceptance because we take only those ahadith to be accurate which are not contrary to the authentic ahadith and the Holy Quran.”

The Promised Messiahas states:

“Indeed, in some ahadith an indication towards the permission of tauriyah can be found; that is under certain circumstances using words or phrases that can have multiple meanings. Moreover, in order to discourage people, this practice has been described with the word kizb [falsehood].”

The opponents, out of their spite, have intentionally taken the use of words and phrases which could have multiple meanings as akin to actually lying.

The Promised Messiahas further states:

“When an ignorant and foolish person comes across such a word [i.e. kizb] in a hadith, which has merely been used in order to convey the meaning in a simplified manner, he may take the term kizb it in its literal sense. That is because he is unaware of the unequivocal commandment in Islam that falsehood is considered to be an act of impurity, unlawful and akin to shirk [associating partners with God]. According to some ahadith, tauriyah, which is not kizb in its literal sense – although it can be deemed so – is permissible under pressing circumstances. However, despite this, it is stated that to abstain from the use of tauriyah is of a greater moral excellence. In Islamic terminology, tauriyah refers to a statement made in the form of parables and allegories in order to hide a matter or secret due to fear or due to some other reason, which will though be understood by a wise person, but an ignorant one would be oblivious to the underlying intention of the one uttering this phrase and his attention would be diverted elsewhere. Upon reflection, the individual would realise that in actuality there was no utterance of falsehood whatsoever by the speaker, and was the absolute truth, nor was his heart inclined towards falsehood in any way.”

The Promised Messiahas further states:

“In some ahadith permission for tauriyah can be found when adopted to bring about reconciliation between two Muslims, safeguarding one’s wife from any discord or domestic dispute and keeping one’s affairs hidden from the enemy during war and diverting the enemy towards another direction. However, despite this, there are many other ahadith from which it becomes evident that tauriyah stands in contrast to a high standard of righteousness and that the clear truth is better, even if one is to be slain or burnt as a result of this.”

The Promised Messiahas further states:

“The Holy Prophetsa has instructed to refrain from this to the greatest extent of one’s capacity so that even the essence of a statement does not resemble falsehood.” The Promised Messiahas then states, “When I reflect upon the Holy Prophetsa during the Battle of Uhud, when he was alone, in front of unsheathed swords, was uttering the words ‘I am Muhammadsa, I am the Prophet of Allah, I am the son of Abdul Muttalib’…”

Here, I would like to clarify that when this book was published, it was written in a footnote of this very book that this part was a misprint and that this incident took place during the Battle of Hunain, and not during the Battle of Uhud. However, now, our Research Cell has extracted and sent me a reference from Seerat-ul-Halabiyyah in which it states that the Holy Prophetsa said these words during the Battle of Hunain as well as the Battle of Uhud. Therefore, the department of Ishaat [publications] should remove this footnote in future.

I have often observed that at times, out of haste and in order to clarify the meanings of the words of the Promised Messiahas or to create ease, footnotes are added stating that there is a misprint or that it was a mistake, however a lot of research needs to be carried out and attention needs to be paid in this regard.

Nevertheless, this reference has now been brought to my attention in which it is clearly stated that these words were said by the Holy Prophetsa on both occasions, i.e. the Battle of Hunain and Battle of Uhud.

In any case, this matter has now been clarified.

The Promised Messiahas further states:

“If, in any hadith, the word kizb [falsehood] has been used to describe Tauriyah in order to convey its meaning in a more simplified manner, it will be sheer ignorance for one to literally take its meaning as kizb. The Holy Quran and the authentic ahadith have emphatically declared kizb to be unlawful and an act of impurity. The most authentic ahadith have clearly elaborated on the subject of tauriyyah, therefore even if the word kizb has been used for tauriyyah in certain ahadith, it does not mean, God-forbid, that this should be taken to mean kizb in its literal sense. In fact, the person who had narrated this perhaps had such high level of righteousness that he considered tauriyyah as a form of kizb and thus used the term to explain this for the purpose of simplicity of the message. For us, it is imperative to adhere to the Holy Quran and the authentic ahadith and we can never accept a meaning which goes against these teachings.”

The Promised Messiahas further states:

“The Holy Quran has cursed those who speak falsehood. Moreover, it has stated that those who speak falsehood are the companions of Satan, faithless and influenced by satanic thoughts. Not only does it state that one should not speak falsehood, but also to abandon the company of such people and not to befriend them. It instructs to instil the fear of God and keep the company of the truthful. In another place it states that one should only speak the truth and not speak falsehood even in a light-hearted manner.” (Nur-ul-Quran Part II, Ruhani Khazain Vol. 9, pp. 402-408) (Seerat-ul-Halabiyyah, Vol. 2, p. 310, Dar-ul-Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, 2002)

This explanation was in regard to the subject-matter being discussed earlier. However, I shall now continue with the remaining accounts from Hazrat Muhammadra bin Maslamah’s life.

When the Banu Nazir attempted to deceive the Holy Prophetsa and sought to kill him by throwing a millstone on him, God Almighty informed the Holy Prophetsa of their plans through divine revelation. The Holy Prophetsa immediately stood up as if he had to see to an important matter of his and arrived in Medina. Soon after the Holy Prophetsa had left, the companionsra also arrived in Medina.

Upon arriving in Medina, they found out that the Holy Prophetsa had called for Hazrat Muhammadra bin Maslamahra. Hazrat Abu Bakrra submitted, “O Messengersa of Allah! You stood up and left, however we were completely unaware that you had departed.” The Holy Prophetsa replied, “The Jews sought to deceive me, but Allah the Almighty informed me and so I left. Allah the Almighty revealed the following verse [of the Holy Quran]:

  يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِيْنَ اٰمَنُوا اذْكُرُوْا نِعْمَةَ اللّٰهِ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذْ هَمَّ قَوْمٌ أَنْ يَّبْسُطُوْا إِلَيْكُمْ أَيْدِيَهُمْ فَكَفَّ أَيْدِيَهُمْ عَنْكُمْ وَاتَّقُوا اللّٰهَ وَعَلَى اللّٰهِ فَلْيَتَوَكَّلِ الْمُؤْمِنُوْنَ

“O ye who believe! Remember Allah’s favour upon you when a people intended to stretch out their hands against you, but He withheld their hands from you; and fear Allah. And on Allah should the believers rely.” (Surah al-Maidah, Ch.5: V.11)

In any case, the Holy Prophetsa sent Hazrat Muhammadra bin Maslamah to the Jews. The account of this incident has been narrated as follows that when Hazrat Muhammadra bin Maslamah presented himself before the Holy Prophetsa, the Holy Prophetsa stated, “Go to the Jews of the Banu Nazir and tell them that you have been sent by the Messengersa of Allah to order them to leave your town.” Their punishment to be banished from the city was because they had committed a conspiracy and thus had violated their covenant.  

Hazrat Muhammadra bin Maslamah went to the Jews and said, “I have been sent to you by the Holy Prophetsa with a message. However, I shall not share this with you until I have reminded you of something which you would often discuss in your gatherings.”

It was something they used to discuss amongst each other quite a long time ago.

“What is it?” the Jews enquired.

Hazrat Muhammadra bin Maslamah stated, “I swear by the Torah which Allah the Almighty revealed to Mosesas that I once came to you before the advent of Hazrat Muhammad Mustafasa and you were sat with the Torah open before you. During this gathering, you said to me, ‘O Ibn Maslamah! If you wish to eat something, then we shall present you with food and if you desire to become a Jew, then we can make you a Jew.’”

Hazrat Muhammadra bin Maslamah said:

“At the time, I replied to present me with food and that by God, I would never become a Jew. You then presented me with a tray of food and said to me, ‘You will never become a Jew because this is the faith of the Jewish people,’” meaning the Jews said to Hazrat Muhammadra bin Maslamah that he did not want to become a Jew because this was the faith of the Jewish people. “‘You desire the Hanifiyat which you have heard of. However, Abu Amir Rahib, is not the one whom this [prophecy] applies to.’” They had heard that a prophet would appear, but Abu Amir Rahib was not that individual. The Jews then continued. “‘A person shall come to you whose countenance will be cheerful, he will engage in battles and there will be redness in his eyes. They will appear from the direction of Yemen, mounted on camels, clad in cloaks and they will remain content with whatever little they have. Their swords will be resting upon their shoulders, they will speak with wisdom as if you have close relations with them. By God, your land shall now witness violence, killing and mutilation of the dead.’ Upon hearing this, the Jews acknowledged that this is exactly what they had said”, i.e. they acknowledged everything that was recounted to them by Hazrat Muhammadra bin Maslamah. “However, they claimed that he (i.e. the Holy Prophetsa) was not that Prophet.’”

Hazrat Muhammadra bin Maslamah then stated, “I am done with my message as I simply wanted to remind you of this.” He then conveyed the message of the Holy Prophetsa and stated, “I have been sent by the Holy Prophetsa and he has stated that you have broken the treaty which he had established with you as you sought to conspire against him.” Hazrat Muhammadra bin Maslamah then informed the Jews of their conspiracy against the Holy Prophetsa and how Amr bin Jahash stood on the roof to throw the stone on the Holy Prophetsa.

Hearing this, they fell silent and could not say another word. Then Hazrat Muhammadra bin Maslamah said to them, “The Holy Prophetsa has ordered you to leave this town. You will be given ten days respite. After this, whosoever is seen around here will be put to death.” The Jews replied, “O Ibn Maslamah, we could never have imagined that we would receive this message from a man belonging to the Aus tribe.” Hazrat Muhammadra bin Maslamahn replied, “The hearts [of the people] are inclined to change.” The Jews spent the next few days making their preparations and brought their mounts from Zu-Jadar, which was a grazing ground situated approximately six miles from Medina in the direction of Quba. Their animals would graze in Zu-Jadar and these animals were also the mounts they used for travel. Along with their own mounts, they also borrowed camels from the Banu Ashja‘ tribe and completed preparations for their migration. This reference is found in a book of history. (Subul-ul-Huda Wa Al-Rishad, Vol. 4, pp. 317-320, Kutub-ul-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1993) (Subul-ul-Huda Wa Al-Rishad [Translation], Vol. 4, p. 754, Zaaviyah Publisher, Lahore, 2013), (Mujam-ul-Buldan, Vol. 2, p. 132)

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra has written about the attitude and conduct of the Jews, including the treachery of the Banu Qurayza. Although this has been narrated previously with regard to Hazrat Ammar bin Yasirra, however owing to its historical importance, I will narrate it here as well.

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra writes:

“But they still had the Banu Qurayza to settle with. The Banu Qurayza had dishonoured their pact with the Muslims and this could not be passed over. The Holy Prophetsa collected his exhausted force” returning from the Battle of the Ditch “and told them that there was no rest for them yet. Before the sun went down, they must fall upon the Banu Qurayza in their fortifications. Then he sent Hazrat Alira to the Banu Qurayza to ask them why they had gone back on their solemn word. The Banu Qurayza showed no regret and no inclination to ask for forgiveness. Instead, they insulted Hazrat Alira and the other Muslim delegates and started hurling vile abuse at the Holy Prophetsa and the women of his family. They said they did not care for Muhammad[sa] and had never had any kind of pact with him. When Hazrat Alira returned to report the reply of the Jews, he found the Holy Prophetsa and the Companions advancing towards the Jewish fortifications. The Jews had been abusing the Prophetsa, his wives and daughters. Fearing lest this should pain the Holy Prophetsa, Hazrat Alira suggested there was no need for the Holy Prophetsa to take part as the Muslims themselves could deal with the Jews and that he ought to return. The Holy Prophetra understood what Hazrat Alira was referring to and said, ‘You want me not to hear their abuse, Ali?’ ‘Exactly,’ replied Hazrat Alira.

“‘But why?’ said the Holy Prophetsa. ‘Moses was of their kith and kin. Yet they inflicted more suffering on him than they have on me.’ The Holy Prophetsa continued to advance. The Jews put up their defences and started fighting. Their women also joined them. Some Muslims were sitting at the foot of a wall. A Jewish woman, seeing this, dropped a stone on them, killing one of the Muslims … The siege went on for some days. At the end of this period, the Jews felt they would not be able to hold out for long. Then their chiefs sent word to the Prophetsa requesting him to send Abu Lubabah, an Ansari chief of the Aus, a tribe friendly to the Jews. They wanted to consult him about a possible settlement. The Holy Prophetsa sent Abu Lubabah to the Jews, who asked him if they should lay down their arms and accept the conditions of the Holy Prophetsa. Abu Lubabah said they should. But at the same time, he passed a finger over his neck, making the sign of death. The Holy Prophetsa had said nothing on this subject to anybody. But Abu Lubabah, fearing that the crime of the Jews (i.e. breaking a covenant) merited nothing but death, and without giving any thought, made this sign, which proved fateful for the Jews. The latter declined Abu Lubabah’s advice and refused to accept the Holy Prophet’ssa decision. Had they accepted it, the utmost punishment they would have received was expulsion from Medina.” The Jews did not accept this and had they accepted, the most that they would have suffered was exile. “But as ill-luck would have it, they refused to accept the Holy Prophet’ssa verdict. Instead of the Holy Prophet’ssa, they said, they would accept the verdict of Saadra bin Muaz, chief of their allies, the Aus. They would agree to any punishment proposed by him. A dispute also arose among the Jews. Some of them began to say that their people had really gone back on their agreement with the Muslims. The behaviour of the Muslims, on the other hand, showed that they were true and honest and that their religion also was true. Those who thought in this way joined Islam. Amr bin Saadi, one of the Jewish chiefs, reproved his people and said, ‘You have committed a breach of faith and gone back on your plighted word. The only course now open to you is either to join Islam or give jizyah.’ They said, ‘We will neither join Islam nor give jizyah (the majority thought in this way), for dying is better.’ Amr replied that in that case, he stood absolved and saying this, he left the fort. He was sighted by Muhammadra bin Maslamah, commander of a Muslim column, who asked him who he was. On learning of his identity, he told him to depart in peace and himself prayed loudly:

اَللّٰھُمَّ لَا تَحْرِمْنِيْ اِقَالَةَ عَثْرَاتِ الْکِرَامِ

‘O Allah! Do not deprive me from the virtue of concealing the mistakes of the honourable.’

“What he meant was that this Jew had shown remorse and regret over the conduct of his people. It was the moral duty of Muslims, therefore, to forgive men like him. In letting him go, he had done a good thing and he prayed that God should give him the chance to do such good deeds again and again. When the Holy Prophetsa got to know of what Muhammadra bin Maslamah had done, he did not reprove him for letting go of this Jewish leader, rather he approved of what had been done.” (Introduction to the Study of the Holy Quran, pp. 162-164)

Thus, owing to the education and moral training the Muslims had received from the Holy Prophetsa , they  always administered justice. When the people of Khayber instigated their mischief, a Jew by the name of Abu Rafey was killed. Hazrat Muhammadra bin Maslamah was also part of the group of companions that were dispatched to kill Abu Rafey. Although he was killed by one person, however, Hazrat Muhammadra bin Maslamah was part of that delegation. Analysing this incident in depth from different historical sources, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra writes:

“The mischief-making and instigation of the Jewish Chieftains resulted in the dangerous conflict of the Battle of Ahzab against the Muslims in 5 AH. Among them, Huyaiy bin Akhtab had already met his end along with the Banu Qurayzah. However, Sallam bin Abil-Huqaiq, whose appellation was Abu Rafey, was still engaged freely in his mischief-making as before, in the region of Khaybar. Rather, the humiliating failure of Ahzab and the terrible end of the Banu Qurayzah had only further increased his animosity. Since the settlement of the tribes of Ghatafan were situated near Khaybar and the Jews of Khaybar were as if neighbours to the tribes of Najd, for this reason, Abu Rafey who was a very affluent and influential merchant, had made it a custom to incite the barbaric and warmongering tribes of Najd against the Muslims. In his animosity towards the Holy Prophetsa, he was the like of Kaab bin Ashraf. As such, during that era, which we are mentioning now, he had given the Ghatafani people very significant financial aid in order to launch an assault against the Holy Prophetsa. Furthermore, it is proven by history that the Jews of Khaybar, who were creating disorder in the watch of Abu Rafey, were also behind the threat which emerged against the Muslims by the Banu Saad in the month of Sha‘banfor the defence of which an army was sent from Medina under the leadership of Hazrat Alira.

“However, Abu Rafey did not suffice with this, and his enmity was thirsty for Muslim blood and the person of the Holy Prophetsa was a thorn in his eye. Therefore, ultimately the plan which he employed was that in the likeness of the Battle of Ahzab, he once again began to tour the tribes of Najd, including the Ghatafan and other tribes, and began to gather a grand army to destroy the Muslims.

“When the state of affairs reached this extent and the scenes of Ahzab once again began to appear before the eyes of the Muslims, a few Ansarfrom the Khazraj presented themselves before the Holy Prophetsa and said, ‘Now, the solution to this turmoil is nothing but to put an end to the mastermind of this unrest.’ Considering the fact that the elimination of a single mischief-maker and seditious person was more preferable than mass bloodshed throughout the land, the Holy Prophetsa granted permission to these companions. He sent four companions from the Khazraj under the leadership of Abdullahra bin Atik Ansari towards Abu Rafey. However, as he sent them, he emphasised, ‘Look here, do not at all kill any women or children.’ Therefore, in the month of Ramadan 6 AH, this party set off and returned after very skilfully completing its mission. In this manner, these clouds of calamity dispersed from the sky of Medina.

“The details of this account as mentioned in Bukhari and is one of the most accurate narrations in relation to this incident. It states:

Bara‘ bin Azib narrates that the Holy Prophetsa sent a party of his companions to kill Abu Rafey the Jew, and appointed Abdullahra bin Atik as their leader. The story of Abu Rafey is that he would inflict great grief on the Holy Prophetsa and would incite and help people against the Holy Prophetsa. When Abdullahra bin Atik and his companions reached near the fort of Abu Rafey and the sun had set, Abdullahra bin Atik left his companions behind and proceeded to the gate of the fort. He covered himself with his mantle and sat down as if answering the call of nature. When the gatekeeper approached the entrance of the fort, he called out to Abdullahra bin Atik and said, ‘O ye, enter if you wish, for I am about to close the gate.’ Still covered in his mantle, Abdullahra bin Atik quickly entered the gate and hid to one side of the castle. The gatekeeper closed the gate, hung the key on a nearby peg and left.

“After this, the narration of Abdullahra bin Atik himself begins. He says, ‘First and foremost, I got up and opened the lock in the gate, so that a swift and easy exit was possible if needed. At the time, Abu Rafey was in a room of his, and many people were seated around him in a night assembly talking to each other. When these people dispersed and it became silent, I climbed the stairs to the home of Abu Rafey. I was careful that whenever I came to a door, I would enter it and close it from behind. When I reached the room of Abu Rafey, he had put out the lantern and was preparing to sleep. The room was pitch dark. I called out the name of Abu Rafey to which he responded, ‘Who is there?’ So, I sprung towards the source of the voice and made a single and powerful strike of the sword. However, it was very dark, and due to my perplexity, I missed him. Abu Rafey cried out, upon which I left the room. After some time, I entered the room again and changing my voice, enquired, ‘O Abu Rafey what is this noise?’ He could not recognise my changed voice and said, ‘May your mother forsake you, someone has just attacked me with a sword.’ Upon hearing this voice, I sprung towards him again and struck him with the sword. This time, my strike was on point, but he was still not dead, upon which I attacked him a third time and killed him.

“After this, I quickly opened the doors one by one till I reached outside of the home. However, when I was descending the stairs, there were still a few steps left and I thought I had reached the ground due to which I fell down and broke my leg” and in another narration it is mentioned that the leg was dislocated. “However, I tied it with my turban and dragged myself out, but I said to myself that until I am fully satisfied that Abu Rafey is dead, I shall not leave. Therefore, I hid in a place near the fort. The next morning, I heard the voice of someone from inside the fort saying, Abu Rafey, the merchant of Hijaz, has died. Thereupon, I got up, and slowly but gradually met with my companions. Upon arriving in Medina, we informed the Holy Prophetsa of the death of Abu Rafey. Upon listening to the entire account, the Holy Prophetsa said, ‘Stretch out your broken leg.’ I stretched out my leg and the Holy Prophetsa rubbed his blessed hand upon it while praying, and I felt as if I had never had any ailment whatsoever.’

In another narration, it is mentioned that when Abdullahra bin Atik attacked Abu Rafey, his wife began to scream loudly, upon which he became worried that others might be alerted by her noise and clamour. Upon this, he raised his sword to kill her, but then he remembered that the Holy Prophetsa had prohibited the killing of women and therefore he refrained from doing this.”

It is further written in Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin:

“At this point, we need not enter a discussion on the justification of the killing of Abu Rafey. The bloodthirsty undertakings of Abu Rafey are an open page of history. Furthermore, an elaborate exposition has been written on a similar instance with relevance to Kaab bin Ashraf … During that era, the Muslims were in a very weak state, surrounded by adversity from all directions … It was as if the entire land was uniting to annihilate the Muslims. In these delicate times, Abu Rafey … was inciting the various tribes of Arabia against Islam.” I am mentioning a summary of why the killing was permissible and not relating the entire account. “Also, in the likeness of the Ghazwah [Battle] of Ahzab, he was preparing to unite the barbaric tribes of Arabia to again launch an assault against Medina.

“During that era, there was no government in Arabia whereby justice could be administered. Instead, every tribe was free and independent. Therefore, there was no other option other than to employ a strategy for self-protection.” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, Vol. 3, pp. 79-82)

In the previous sermon the details regarding this were mentioned in that there was no government in place but in fact, the Holy Prophetsa was the leader. In these circumstances, whatever the companions did was absolutely correct and prudent. Moreover, in a state of war, when a nation is passing through life or death, strategies of this kind are completely permissible.

During the Khilafat of Hazrat Umarra, Hazrat Muhammad bin Maslamahra was appointed to collect the Zakat from the Juhainah tribe. Whenever a complaint was received by the Khalifa against a collector, Hazrat Muhammadra bin Maslamah would be sent to investigate the matter. Hazrat Umarra trusted Hazrat Muhammadra bin Maslamah greatly and thus would send him for official collections. Hazrat Umarra would also send him to various areas to resolve complex and difficult matters. When Hazrat Saadra bin Abi Waqas built a fort in Kufa, Hazrat Umarra sent Hazrat Muhammadra bin Maslamah as his representative to investigate. With regard to this incident, the narration is as follows; Hazrat Umarra learnt that Hazrat Saadra bin Abi Waqas had a fort, and constructed a door, which did not allow sound to reach inside. Hence, Hazrat Umarra sent Hazrat Muhammadra bin Maslamah [to investigate]. It was the practice of Hazrat Umarra that whenever he desired to send someone for official work, he would send Hazrat Muhammadra bin Maslamah. Hazrat Umarra instructed Hazrat Muhammadra bin Maslamah that when he reaches Saad’s fort, he ought to burn the door. When he reached Kufa, he went to the door and using flint to light it, he set fire to the door. Hazrat Saadra learnt of this and came outside. Hazrat Muhammadra bin Maslamah then explained to him the reason why he set fire to the door. (Al-Isaba fi Tamyeez Al-Sahaba, Vol. 6, p. 28, Muhammadra bin Maslamah)

After the martyrdom of Hazrat Usmanra, it is said that Hazrat Muhammadra bin Maslamah lived in seclusion and made a sword out of wood. Hazrat Muhammadra bin Maslamah said that this was the instruction of the Holy Prophetsa to do so. He also stated that the Holy Prophetsa gave him a sword as a gift and told him to use it to fight the idolaters whilst they continue to fight against them. The Holy Prophetsa also stated, “When you see that the Muslims begin to kill one another, then climb onto a hill and strike the sword with it” i.e. so that the sword breaks. “Then remain in your home until one of those wrongdoers attacks you as well or until death overtakes you.” Thus, Hazrat Muhammadra bin Maslamah acted according to these instructions and did not take part in the Battle of Jamal nor in the Battle of Siffin. (Usdul-Ghaba, Vol. 4, p. 319)

Zubaiya bin Hussain Tha‘labi relates, “We were sat with Hazrat Huzaifahra when he told us, ‘I know a person who is not affected at all by any mischief’. We asked, ‘Who is this person?’ Hazrat Huzaifahra then said, ‘He is Hazrat Muhammadra bin Maslamah Ansarira’. Then, when Hazrat Huzaifahra passed away and the discord became rampant, I departed along with those who were leaving Medina and I reached a place where there was water.” There was water available in that particular place. “Therein I saw a broken tent which was tilting to one side and was swaying owing to the gusts of wind. I asked, ‘Whose tent is this?’ The people told me, ‘This is the tent of Hazrat Muhammadra bin Maslamah’. I went to him and found that he was advanced in age. I said to him, ‘May Allah have mercy on you, in my opinion you are among the best of the Muslims. You have left your town, your home, your family and your neighbours.’ He replied, ‘I have left all of this behind due to my aversion to evil.’” (Al-Tabqaat-ul-Kubra, Vol. 3, p. 339, Dar-ul-Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, 1990)

There are differing views with regard to the time of the demise of Hazrat Muhammadra bin Maslamah.  According to the varying accounts, he passed away in Medina in 43, 46 or 47 AH and at the time of his demise, he was 77 years old. Marwanra bin Hakam led his funeral prayer who was the amir of Medina at the time. It is also mentioned in some accounts that he was martyred. (Usdul-Ghaba Fi Marifat Al-Sahaba, Vol. 5, p. 107, Muhammadra bin Maslamah, Dar-ul-Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2003) (Al-Istiab, Vol. 3, p. 433, Muhammadra bin Maslamah, Dar-ul-Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2010)

This concludes the accounts relating to Hazrat Muhammadra bin Maslamah.

After the Friday prayer, I shall lead the funeral prayer of Respected Taj Din Sahib, son of Sadr Din Sahib. He passed away on 10 February at the age of 84:

اِنَّا لِلّٰہِ وَاِنَّا اِلَيْہِ رَاجِعُوْنَ

[Verily to Allah we belong, and to Him shall we return.]

By the grace of Allah Almighty, he was a musi [part of the system of Al-Wasiyyat].

Taj Din Sahib was born in Uganda and moved to the UK in 1967. When Islamabad was bought in 1984, he offered his services to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh for Islamabad. Thereafter, he continued to serve with utmost sincerity and selflessness in Islamabad for 22 years. He worked tirelessly ever since the first Jalsa Salana [Annual Convention] in Islamabad was held, until the very last one held there and made every possible effort to provide comfort and ease for the guests of the Promised Messiahas.

He possessed the ability to do all sorts of technical work, which is why he spent day and night working on all kinds of tasks, including electrical work, plumbing, sanitation, woodwork etc. He was very regular in observing fasts and offering his prayers, he was very devout, extremely well-mannered, obedient and had a composed personality. He had a deep bond of sincerity and loyalty with Khilafat.

His grandson, Mudabbir Din Sahib, who is a missionary and graduate of Jamia Ahmadiyya UK and is currently working in MTA, writes:

“Many of the people who lived in Islamabad would say that he was extremely hard-working. My grandfather would say that he was alone when he first came to Islamabad. At the beginning, there was neither electricity nor heating and it was a very difficult time, but even then, he was pleased to have had the opportunity to make sacrifices for the Jamaat and the Khalifa. Some of his notable characteristics were offering prayers on time, working self-sufficiently and his hospitality of guests and his patience.” Those who have written to me have mentioned many of his qualities.

Majeed Sialkoti Sahib has written:

“He built his own workshop here in Islamabad and was an expert in machines. He had good relations with different companies and worked on the barracks one by one to make them suitable to live in. He had the art of forming a team. He remained busy working throughout the year, owing to the fact that the [buildings] were very old, it was an arduous task to refurbish it all and he did so with great diligence. He was always courteous and cheerful and would always request for prayers. He lived in Islamabad the entire time in a small room and worked tirelessly. Despite his wife and children living in London, he continued to work selflessly. He would occasionally go to visit them.”

May Allah the Almighty grant him forgiveness and mercy, and enable his progeny to excel in sincerity and loyalty as he did, and may God Almighty grant them patience and steadfastness.

(Original Urdu published in Al Fazl International on 6 March 2020, pp. 5-9. Translated by The Review of Religions.)

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