6 March 2020
Men of Excellence
After reciting the Tashahud, Ta‘awuz and Surah al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa stated:
In the previous sermon I spoke on Hazrat Mus‘abra bin Umair. Some of the accounts from his life still remained which I shall narrate today.
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra, while speaking about Hazrat Mus‘abra bin Umair being sent as a missionary to Medina and also in regard to the services he rendered, states:
“The Holy Prophetsa began to receive revelation which hinted the near possibility of migration from Mecca. Some idea of the place they were to migrate to was also given to him. It was a town of wells and date-groves. Initially, the Holy Prophetsa thought of Yamamah as the location of migration, but soon the thought was dismissed. The Holy Prophetsa then waited in the assurance that whatever place they were destined to go to would certainly become the cradle of Islam.
“During this time, the annual Hajj drew near and from all parts of Arabia, pilgrims began to arrive in Mecca. As was his practise, the Holy Prophetsa went wherever he found a group of people, expounded to them the teaching of the One God and told them to give up excesses of all kinds and prepare for the Kingdom of God. Some listened with interest and then left. Some wished to listen but were sent away by the Meccans. Some who had already made up their minds, stopped to ridicule. The Holy Prophetsa was in the valley of Mina when he saw a group of six or seven people, who were the citizens of Medina.
“He found that they belonged to the Khazraj tribe, one in alliance with the Jews. He asked them if they would listen to what he had to say. Since these people had heard of the Holy Prophetsa and were interested, they agreed and sat in his company. The Holy Prophetsa spent some time telling them that the Kingdom of God was at hand, that idols were going to disappear, that the idea of One God was due to triumph, and piety and purity were once again going to rule. Would they not, in Medina, welcome the Message? The group became much impressed. They accepted the Message and promised, on their return to Medina, to confer with others and report the following year whether Medina would be willing to receive Muslim refugees from Mecca. Subsequently, they returned and conferred with their friends and relations. There were, at the time, two Arab and three Jewish tribes at Medina. The Arab tribes were the Aus and the Khazraj and the Jewish tribes were the Banu Qurayzah, the Banu Nadir and the Banu Qaynuqah. The Aus and the Khazraj were at war. The Qurayzah and the Nadir were in alliance with the Aus and the Qaynuqah were with the Khazraj. Tired of unending warfare, they were inclined to peace. At last they agreed to acknowledge the Khazraj Chief, Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Salul, as King of Medina. Since they had alliances with the Jews, the Aus and the Khazraj had heard of prophecies in the Bible. When the Jews would speak of their troubles and affliction, they would also mention that they had heard of the advent of a Prophet ‘like unto Moses.’ This advent was near at hand, the Jews used to say and that it was to mark their return to power and the destruction of their enemies.
“When the people of Medina, who had travelled for the pilgrimage, heard of the Holy Prophet’ssa claim, the truth of the claim penetrated their hearts and realised that this was the very Prophet who they had heard about from the Jews. Many young men were impressed by the truthfulness of the Holy Prophet’ssa teaching and the prophecies which they had previously heard from the Jews helped them in believing in the Holy Prophetsa.
“At the next Hajj, twelve men from Medina came to Mecca with the intention to join the Holy Prophet’ssa faith. Ten of these belonged to the Khazraj and two to the Aus tribe. They met the Holy Prophetsa in the valley of Mina and, holding the Holy Prophet’ssa hand, solemnly declared their belief in the Oneness of God and their resolve to abstain from all common evils and immoralities, such as theft, killing their daughters, and from making false accusations against one another. They also resolved to obey the Prophetsa in all good things.
“When they returned to Medina, they started telling others of their new faith with even greater zeal. The idols from the houses of Medina were taken out of their homes and thrown on the streets. Those who used to bow before images began to hold their heads high. They resolved to bow to none except the One God. The Jews wondered. Centuries of friendship, exposition and debate had failed to produce the change which Islam had produced in a few days and the message of the One God penetrated into the hearts of the people of Medina.
“The people of Medina would go to the few Muslims in their midst and make enquiries about Islam and ask them to teach them their faith. But the few Muslims could not cope with the large numbers of enquiries, nor did they know enough about its teaching. They decided, therefore, to address a request to the Holy Prophetsa to send them someone to teach Islam. The Holy Prophetsa agreed to send Mus‘abra, one of the Muslims who had returned from the migration to Abyssinia. Thus, Mus‘abra was the first missionary of Islam to go out of Mecca.” (Deebacha Tafsir-ul-Quran, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 20, pp. 214-216)
At another occasion, whilst speaking on the same subject, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra has stated:
“When the people of Medina came to know about Islam, some of them met the Holy Prophetsa during the pilgrimage of Hajj and became convinced of his truthfulness. They returned to their people and said to them that the Messenger whose advent the Jews of Medina used to speak of had taken place in Mecca. Hence, their hearts became inclined towards the Holy Prophetsa and, at the following Hajj, they sent a delegation to the Holy Prophetsa. After a brief discussion, this delegation professed their belief and pledged their allegiance to the Holy Prophetsa.
“Since the Holy Prophetsa was facing fierce opposition in Mecca at the time, this meeting took place in a valley away from the sight of the Meccans. As the Bai‘at also took place there, it is referred to as Bai‘at Aqabah.” “Aqabah” means a valley or a mountain that is difficult to manoeuvre through or a difficult mountainous path.
“The Holy Prophetsa gave this delegation the duty of organising the believers of Medina and advised them to propagate Islam. He sent one of his young companions, Mus‘abra bin Umair to assist them and to teach the faith to the Muslims … Before departing, the delegation also extended an invitation to the Holy Prophetsa saying, should he ever need to leave Mecca, he should come to Medina. When these people returned to Medina, Islam spread in Medina within a very short period of time. Hence, the Holy Prophetsa sent some more companions to them, including Hazrat Umarra … After that, upon receiving the command to migrate, he himself also went to Medina. Upon his arrival, all the idolaters of Medina accepted Islam within a very short period of time.” (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 1, pp. 171) (Farhang Sirat, p. 203, Aqabah, Zawwar Academy Publications, Karachi )
After the migration to Medina, the Holy Prophetsa established a bond of brotherhood between Hazrat Mus‘abra bin Umair and Hazrat Abu Ayyub Ansarira. (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Saad, Vol. 3, p. 88, Mus‘abra bin Umair, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990)
Hazrat Mus‘abra bin Umair participated in the Battles of Badr and Uhud. During the Battles of Badr and Uhud, the main flag of the Muhajireen was being carried by Hazrat Mus‘abra bin Umair. During the Battle of Badr, the main flag of the Muhajireen was given to him by the Holy Prophetsa. (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Saad, Vol. 3, p. 89, Mus’abra bin Umair, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut )
Then, there is another similar narration, which has been recorded in Seerat Khatam-un-Nabiyyin by Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahamd Sahibra in which it also states that during the Battle of Uhud, the flag of the Muhajireen was held by Hazrat Mus‘abra bin Umair. It further states:
“The Holy Prophetsa began to arrange the Muslim army and appointed separate commanders for the various sections of the army. On this occasion, the Holy Prophetsa received news that the flag of the army of the Quraish was in the hands of Talha. Talha was from that dynasty, who under the administration of Qusayy bin Kilab, the paramount ancestor of the Quraish, held the right of standard-bearing in representation of the Quraish during wars. Upon becoming aware of this, the Holy Prophetsa said, ‘We are more worthy of demonstrating national loyalty,’ and then, the Holy Prophetsa took the flag of the Muhajirin from Hazrat Alira and entrusted it to Mus‘abra bin Umair, who was also a member of the very same dynasty to which Talha belonged to.” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, p. 488)
Hazrat Mus‘abra bin Umair was martyred during the Battle of Uhud. On the day of Uhud, Hazrat Mus‘abra bin Umair was fighting in front of the Holy Prophetsa and was martyred during the battle. He was martyred by Ibn Qami‘ah. (Al-Sirat al-Nabawiyyah li Ibn Hisham, p. 383, Ghazwah Uhud, Maqtal Mus‘abra bin ‘Umair, Dar Ibn Hazm, Beirut )
In the books of history, it is mentioned that the flag-bearer during the Battle of Uhud, Hazrat Mus‘abra bin Umair, protected the flag [of Islam] in an excellent manner. Hazrat Mus‘abra was carrying the flag on the day of Uhud, when Ibn Qami‘ah, who was riding a horse, attacked with his sword and struck the right hand of Hazrat Mus‘abra, with which he was holding the flag, and severed it. Upon this, Hazrat Mus‘abra started reciting the following verse:
وَ مَا مُحَمَّدٌ اِلَّا رَسُوۡلٌ ۚ قَدۡ خَلَتۡ مِنۡ قَبۡلِہِ الرُّسُلُ
[And Muhammad is only a Messenger. Verily, all Messengers have passed away before him] and grasped the flag in his left hand. Ibn Qami‘ah struck the left hand and severed it as well, upon which Hazrat Mus‘abra embraced the flag of Islam with both of his arms and held it to his chest. Following this, Ibn Qami‘ah attacked Hazrat Mus‘abra with a spear for a third time which pierced his chest. The spear broke and Hazrat Mus‘abra fell to the ground. Upon this, two individuals from [the tribe of] Banu Abd-id-Dar, Suwaibitra bin Saad bin Harmala and Abu Rumra bin Umair, stepped forward. Abu Rum bin Umair grabbed the flag and it remained in his hands until the Muslims returned and entered Medina. (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Saad, Vol. 3, p. 89, Mus‘abra bin ‘Umair, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut )
Hazrat Mus‘abra was 40 years old, or just over 40 at the time of his martyrdom. (Usdul Ghabah, Vol. 5, p. 76, Mus‘abra bin ‘Umair, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut )
Mentioning this particular incident, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra states in Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin:
“The army of the Quraish had pretty much surrounded them from all four fronts and continued to crush the Muslims moment by moment through repeated attacks. Yet, even after all this, the Muslims probably would have regained themselves shortly thereafter, but the outrage was that a bold warrior from among the Quraish named Abdullah bin Qami‘ah attacked Mus‘abra bin Umair, the flag-bearer of the Muslims and severed his right hand with the blow of his sword. Mus‘abra immediately clutched the flag with his other hand and advanced to confront Ibni Qami‘ah, but in his second blow, the other hand was severed as well. Upon this, Mus‘abra joined both of his severed hands together in an endeavour to keep the Islamic flag from falling and held it to his chest, upon which Ibni Qami‘ah struck him a third time, and this time Mus‘abra was martyred and fell to the ground. As far as the flag was concerned, another Muslim immediately advanced and took hold of it, but since the size and figure of Mus‘abra resembled the Holy Prophetsa, Ibni Qami‘ah thought that he had slain the Holy Prophetsa. It is also probable that this scheme of his was merely guided by motives of mischief and deceit. In any case, when Mus‘abra was martyred and fell, Ibni Qami‘ah exclaimed that he had slain Muhammad[sa]. At this news, the Muslims lost whatever composure was left in them and their force was scattered completely.” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, p. 493)
This was also a major reason the Muslims lost their composure during the Battle of Uhud. Nevertheless, they regrouped later. When the Holy Prophetsa approached the body of Hazrat Mus‘abra, it was turned face down. The Holy Prophetsa stood beside it and recited the following verse:
مِنَ الۡمُؤۡمِنِیۡنَ رِجَالٌ صَدَقُوۡا مَا عَاہَدُوا اللّٰہَ عَلَیۡہِ ۚ فَمِنۡہُمۡ مَّنۡ قَضٰی نَحۡبَہٗ وَ مِنۡہُمۡ مَّنۡ یَّنۡتَظِرُ ۫ۖ وَ مَا بَدَّلُوۡا تَبۡدِیۡلًا
That is, “Among the believers are men who have been true to the covenant they made with Allah. There are some of them who have fulfilled their vow, and some who still wait, and they have not changed their condition in the least.” [Surah al-Ahzab, Ch.33: V.24]
Following this, the Holy Prophetsa said,
إِنَّ رَسُولَ اللّٰهِ يَشْهَدُ أَنَّكُمُ الشُّهَدَاءُ عِنْدَ اللّٰهِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ
That is, “the Messengersa of Allah bears witness that even on the Day of Judgment they will be counted as martyrs in the sight of Allah.”
Then, the Holy Prophetsa addressed the companions and said, “You should visit him and send your salutations upon him. By Him, in Whose hand lies my life, he will respond to the salutations of everyone who will send salutations upon him until the Day of Judgment.” Hazrat Mus‘abra’s brothers, Hazrat Abu Rumra bin Umair, Hazrat Suwaibitra bin Saad and Hazrat Amirra bin Rabi‘ah lowered him into the grave. (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Saad, Vol. 3, p. 89, Mus‘abra bin Umair, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut )
In Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra mentions this in the following manner:
“One honourable man from among the martyrs of Uhud was Mus‘abra bin Umair. He was the first Muhajir who was sent to Medina as a missionary of Islam. In the era of the Jahiliyyah, among the young men of Mecca, Mus‘abra was considered to be the most well-dressed and elegant, and lived in great comfort and luxury. After accepting Islam, his condition was transformed completely. In fact, there is a narration that on one occasion, the Holy Prophetsa saw him dressed in a cloth which was covered with numerous patches. At this, the Holy Prophetsa was reminded of his earlier life, and the eyes of the Holy Prophetsa began to glisten with tears. When Mus‘abra was martyred at Uhud, he did not even have enough cloth by which his body could be fully covered. If his feet were covered, his head would become exposed, and if his head was covered, his feet would become bare. As such, according to the instruction of the Holy Prophetsa, his head was covered with cloth and his feet were covered with grass.” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, p. 501)
There is a narration of Sahih al-Bukhari which states:
“Food was brought before Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra bin Auf to break the fast which he was observing at the time. Upon this he said, ‘Mus‘abra bin Umair was martyred and he was better than me, but only one sheet was available to shroud him [at the time of his burial]. It was so small that when his head was covered; his feet remained uncovered and if his feet were covered, his head remained uncovered.’ The narrator states that he believes Abdur Rahmanra bin Auf also said, ‘Hamzara was martyred and he was better than me.’ Thereafter he continued, ‘Then the bounties of this world were bestowed upon us generously’ or perhaps he said, ‘We were granted that which was destined for us and I am afraid that the reward of our good deeds may have been bestowed to us in this world.’ Thereupon, he began to cry and left the food untouched.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitabul Jana’iz, Bab idha lam yujad illa thaub wahid, Hadith 1375)
He became emotional owing to his fear of God Almighty and the treatment he would receive from God in the Hereafter, for if they had been granted bounties in this world, then he thought that perhaps they may not receive anything in the next life.
Hazrat Khubbabra bin Art narrates, “We migrated with the Messengersa of Allah seeking the pleasure of Allah and expecting our reward from Him. Some of us died without partaking anything from their reward. Among them was Hazrat Mus‘abra bin Umair, and there are those among us whose fruits of their deeds have ripened and they are enjoying its delight. Hazrat Mus‘abra bin Umair was martyred in the Battle of Uhud, and there was only one cloth available for us to cover him in. When we covered his head with it, his feet were exposed and when we covered his feet with it, his head was uncovered. So the Holy Prophetsa told us to cover his head and to put some idhkhir (i.e., lemon grass) over his feet.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitabul Jana‘iz, Bab idha lam yajid kaffuna illa ma yuwari ra‘sahu, Hadith 1376)
There is also a narration of Tirmidhi in which Hazrat Ali bin Abi Talibra narrates, “The Holy Prophetsa said, ‘Every prophet has been granted seven noble companions.’ The narrator states that perhaps the word used was ‘guardians’ instead of ‘companions’. However, the Holy Prophetsa stated, ‘I have been granted 14 such individuals’. So we asked who these individuals were and the Holy Prophetsa stated that it was me and my two sons, [Hasanra and Husainra], Jafarra, Hamzara, Abu Bakrra, Umarra, Mus‘abra bin Umair, Bilalra, Salmanra, Miqdadra, Abu Dharrra, Ammarra and Abdullah bin Masudra.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Abwab Manaqib, Hadith 3785)
Hazrat Amir bin Rabi‘ahra relates that his father would often mention, “From the time Hazrat Mus‘abra bin Umair accepted Islam to the Battle of Uhud, he remained my close friend and companion. He was alongside us in both migrations to Abyssinia. He was my companion during the migration. I have never seen someone as well-mannered as him, nor did he engage in dispute with anyone.” (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Saad, Vol. 3, p. 87, Mus‘abra bin Umair, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990)
When the Holy Prophetsa returned to Medina after the Battle of Uhud, he met Hazrat Hamnah bint Jahshra, the wife of Hazrat Mus‘abra bin Umair. The people had informed her that her brother Hazrat Abdullah bin Jahshra had been martyred. She replied by saying Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raji‘un [To Allah do we belong and to Him shall we return] and prayed for him to be granted forgiveness. Then they informed her of the martyrdom of her maternal uncle, Hazrat Hamzara, to which she again replied Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raji‘un, and prayed for his forgiveness. Thereafter, the people informed her that her husband, Hazrat Mus‘abra bin Umair, had also been martyred, upon which she began to weep and became anxious. The Holy Prophetsa then said, “A husband holds a special status in the eyes of his wife.” (Al-Sirat al-Nabawiyyah li Ibn Hisham, p. 396, Ghazwah Uhud, Dar Ibn Hazm, Beirut, 2009)
There is another tradition in which Hazrat Hamnah bint Jahshra is mentioned. It stated that when she was told that her brother was martyred she replied, “May Allah have mercy on him” and said Inna lillahi wa Inna ilaihi raji‘un. The people then said that her husband had also been martyred, to which she said, “Woe be unto me!”. The Holy Prophetsa then said, “A relationship between a wife and her husband is like no other.” (Sunan Ibn Majah, Kitabul Jana’iz, Ma Ja’a fil Bukaa, Hadith 1590)
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh has mentioned this incident of the martyrdom of Hazrat Mus‘abra bin Umair and the emotions of his wife, in his own words. He states:
“The male and female companions who had more than one close relative [martyred], would be told gradually to avoid being overwhelmed with the sudden news. When Hazrat Hamnah bint Jahshra, sister of Hazrat Abdullah bin Jahshra came to the Holy Prophetsa, he told her, ‘O Hamnah, be patient and seek the reward of God Almighty.’ She replied, ‘O Messengersa of Allah, what should I seek the reward for?’ He said, ‘For your uncle Hamza.’ Hazrat Hamnahra then replied, ‘Inna lillahi wa Inna ilaihi raji‘un’ (may Allah have mercy on him and grant him forgiveness through this martyrdom).’ Thereafter, the Holy Prophetsa repeated, ‘O Hamnah, be patient and seek the reward of God Almighty.’ She replied, ‘What should I seek the reward for?’ He said, ‘For your brother Abdullah.’ Hazrat Hamnahra then replied, ‘Inna lillahi wa Inna ilaihi raji‘un (may Allah have mercy on him and grant him forgiveness by means of this martyrdom). The Holy Prophetsa once again repeated, ‘O Hamnah, be patient and seek the reward of God Almighty.’ She replied, ‘O Messengersa of Allah, what should I seek the reward for?’ He said, ‘For Mus‘ab bin Umair’, to which she said, ‘Woe be unto me!’ After hearing this, the Holy Prophetsa said, ‘Indeed, the husband has a right over his wife that no one else possesses, however why did you utter such words?’ Hazrat Hamnahra answered, ‘O Messengersa of Allah! It occurred to me that his children have become orphans, which worried me, and it was in this state that I uttered these words.’ Having listened to this, the Holy Prophetsa prayed for the children of Hazrat Mus‘abra bin Umair, saying, ‘O Allah, be their Guardian and Protector, treat them with kindness and affection and take good care of them.’” (Khutbaat-e-Tahir, Qabl az Khilafat, p. 363)
God Almighty did indeed take good care of them as the prayer of the Holy Prophetsa was accepted. This brings a close to the accounts from the life of Hazrat Mus‘abra bin Umair. Insha-Allah [God-willing] the next companion will be mentioned in the future sermon.
I would now like to draw the attention of the Jamaat on a few matters regarding the current outbreak of the coronavirus. We must all adhere to the precautionary measures that are set out by governments and the health departments. From the outset, after consultation with some homeopaths, I advised about the use of certain homeopathic remedies as a precautionary measure as well as for treatment. These medicines should be taken as this is one possible treatment.
It cannot be said for certain that this is the exact cure for it or that these homeopathic remedies are for this virus as little is known about this exact strain of the virus, but in any case, it is still the closest form of treatment in homeopathy for this type of outbreak.
May Allah the Almighty grant cure through them. Thus, we ought to use them and at the same time we must adhere to the precautionary measures that have been outlined.
In relation to this, it is advised that you should avoid large gatherings. People coming to the mosque should err on the side of caution and even if they have a slight fever and feel aches and pains in their body, or if they are sneezing and are suffering from the flu, they should not be come to the mosque. There are certain etiquettes of the mosque, among which is that if one is suffering from something such as a contagious illness – which can affect others – they should avoid coming to the mosque.
Then, in these days especially and generally as well, when sneezing, one ought to cover one’s face with their hands or use a handkerchief. Some worshippers complain that whilst standing in prayer, certain people neither place their hands over their face, nor do they use a handkerchief when they sneeze. Moreover, they sneeze with such force that some droplets also fall on them. Thus, people that are worshipping around you also have certain rights, therefore, everyone ought to be mindful of this. As mentioned earlier, everyone ought to be more careful about this in these days.
One preventative measure mentioned by doctors is that one’s hands and mouth should always be clean. If one’s hands are unclean, they should not touch their face, or ensure that they use hand sanitisers or they should wash their hands regularly. However, for a Muslim – as is in our case – who pray five times a day and also perform the ablution in the correct manner, which includes cleaning the nose with water etc., then this high standard of hygiene is such that it can compensate the shortage of sanitizers; as it is reported these days that owing to panic buying, entire shelves in supermarkets have been emptied of such products. Nonetheless, if the ablution is performed in the correct manner, this can not only help towards physical cleanliness, but one who performs the ablution would subsequently offer their prayers, which then in turn becomes a means for their spiritual cleanliness as well. Moreover, in these days we must pay particular attention towards our prayers.
Since I spoke about the etiquettes of the mosque, I would also like to say that especially in the winter and also at other times [of the year], those who wear socks to the mosque ought to wear a clean pair of socks each day and they ought to wash them. If there is a foul odour from one’s socks or feet, then this can be a source of discomfort for those around that person, or it will cause discomfort for those who are standing for prayer and would perform the sajdah [prostration] in the row behind him. We should be very mindful of this. The Holy Prophetsa has instructed that one should not eat anything that gives off a strong odour, such as garlic or [raw] onion and come to the mosque. (Sunan Abi Daud, Kitaul At’imah, Bab fi akl al-thum, Hadith 3823)
At times, one belches or if one has bad breath, it is unpleasant for other worshippers and also spoils the atmosphere of the mosque. In fact, it is advised to wear fragrance when coming to the mosque. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitabul Jumuah, Bab al-Duhn lil-Jumuah, Hadith 883)
The Holy Prophetsa was so careful in this matter that he stated that one should not pass through the mosque with raw meat, let alone someone sat inside the mosque with such odours. (Sunan Ibn Majah, Kitabul Masajid, Ma Yukrahu fil Masajid, Hadith 748)
Thus, it is vital for every worshipper to be mindful of their personal hygiene as well as the general cleanliness of the surroundings [of the mosque]. However, this does not mean that one ought to use this as an excuse to stop coming to the mosque. Everyone ought to assess their own conditions and make a decision based on their own judgement. Always remember that only God Almighty knows what is concealed in people’s hearts. If one feels ill, they ought to seek assurance by consulting a doctor in order to identify the cause of illness; in any case, it is better that one should avoid going to the mosque for one or two days.
Furthermore, it is being advised that one should refrain from shaking hands and this is also extremely important, as one does not know what the hands are contaminated with. Although shaking hands increases the bond with one another and instils mutual love, however, owing to the current outbreak these days, it is better to avoid this practice.
Even those people who previously raised an outcry that we do not shake hands with men or women of the opposite gender, have themselves been a target of amusement. A minister in the cabinet of the German chancellor refused to shake her hand and this has been depicted in a humorous manner. Even a member of parliament in the UK has commended the fact that they are abstaining from shaking hands owing to the coronavirus. He further said that shaking of hands was not even part of their traditions, in fact, the tradition was to salute or take off their hats out of respect. He further stated that in shaking hands or embracing women or trying to kiss them, they are not even aware if these gestures are even welcome by them and thus are compelling them to follow suit.
These people were not willing to adhere to the commandments of Allah the Almighty, but nonetheless, the spread of this outbreak has drawn their attention towards this injunction.
May Allah the Almighty also enable them to draw closer to Him. They greatly opposed this injunction of Allah the Almighty, which we would explain to them in a loving manner that it is not permissible for us to greet the opposite gender in this manner and shake their hands. But in their case, it is reported that in various organisations and other places, they have shunned this practice and at times, they have done so in a rude manner. We, however, explained to them courteously that this prohibition was owing to our teachings, but in their case out of their fear of coronavirus, they have abstained from this practice, at times even forsaking common courtesy. Thus, this epidemic has brought about their reformation to some degree in this regard and as stated earlier, may this reformation enable them to draw closer to Allah the Almighty.
Allah the Almighty knows best to what extent this epidemic will spread and what He has decreed. However, if this virus has emerged owing to the wrath of God, and just as we have seen in the present age, since the advent of the Promised Messiahas there has been a significant increase in the number of epidemics, diseases, earthquakes and storms, then one ought to turn towards God Almighty more than ever before to be safeguarded from the harmful impacts of what has been destined by God Almighty. Moreover, every Ahmadi ought to pay particular attention towards prayers and also to improve their spiritual condition. One also ought to pray for the world in general that may Allah the Almighty grant them guidance. Instead of immersing themselves in worldly endeavours and being neglectful of God, may Allah enable the world to recognise their True Creator.
After this I shall lead some funeral prayers in absentia. The first is of respected Tanzeel Ahmad Butt, son of Aqeel Ahmad Butt Sahib. He was a young 11-year-old child who passed away on 27 February 2020. In fact, in my opinion, he attained the station of martyrdom.
The background of this incident is that it took place in Shahidrah Colony of Delhi Gate, Lahore when the neighbour of Tanzeel Ahmad Butt Sahib brutally killed him on 27 February.
اِنَّا لِلّٰہِ وَاِنَّا اِلَيْہِ رَاجِعُوْنَ
[Verily to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.]
The edicts of the clerics in Pakistan have ensured that it is easy to kill an Ahmadi owing to any reason. This killing is also as a result of this and for this reason, I count the dearly departed among the martyrs. Whatever the reason for this killing may be, there is always an underlying hatred against Ahmadiyyat, and Tanzeel Ahmad Butt was an innocent child who was not at fault for anything according to the reports received thus far.
The details of this incident is that on 27 February, the mother of Tanzeel Ahmad Butt Sahib sent him to the neighbour’s house to bring his younger sister’s [toy] doll, which she had left there. This shows that they [i.e. the two families] had mutual relations. Only God knows what the reason was for this [killing]. The younger sister had left the [toy] doll at the neighbour’s house the day before and Tanzeel Ahmad Butt was sent to collect it.
When the child did not return after some time, the mother went to the neighbour’s house herself. Initially, the neighbours did not open the door. After some time, when they eventually opened the door, upon enquiry, the neighbour said that he took the doll and had left. The mother of the deceased informed her husband, Aqeel Sahib, who immediately began searching for their son with the help of the local Jama’at, and also reported it to the Police. When they checked the CCTV cameras of their street, the child was seen entering the house, but not seen leaving from there. Upon this, with the help of the police, the neighbour’s house was searched, in which they found the body of the child in a trunk. The police then mentioned that the suspect’s husband had already informed them that his wife had killed the child and hid him in the trunk.
The woman, along with the son of the owner of the house, killed the young child and has now even admitted to the crime.
Tanzeel Ahmad Butt was born on 20 November 2009 in Lahore and was part of the Waqf-e-Nau scheme. He was a very active member of the Atfal-ul-Ahmadiyya organisation and would regularly take part in all the Jamaat programmes. He was counted amongst the intelligent students in his class and was studying in the fourth year.
After his demise, his results came and he stood first in his class after attaining 729 marks out of 750. The deceased’s mother states, “Tanzeel was the most obedient out of all my children. If he ever wanted to do something, he would always seek permission from me first. If any of the neighbours or an office-bearer asked him to do something, he would immediately do it and never refuse. In fact, at times even the neighbour who killed him would get her work done from him. He would always show obedience to her and fulfil any work she gave him. His school teachers and Jamaat office-bearers were all very happy with him and would always praise him. He would regularly watch programmes on MTA, especially programmes for children and the sermons. He would regularly attend the mosque for prayers. If ever his father would return from the factory very tired and would be reluctant to go to the mosque, he would persist and take him to the mosque.”
The young child leaves behind his father, Aqeel Ahmad Butt, mother, Naila Aqeel, and four siblings, which include two brothers and two sisters.
May Allah the Almighty grant him His nearness and grant the murders a punishment they truly deserve. May God Almighty also grant patience and comfort to the parents.
The second funeral is of Brigadier Bashir Ahmad Sahib, who was the former Amir of Rawalpindi district. He was the son of Dr Muhammad Abdullah Sahib and passed away on 16 February at the age of 87 in Rawalpindi:
اِنَّا لِلّٰہِ وَاِنَّا اِلَيْہِ رَاجِعُوْنَ
“Surely to Allah we belong and to him shall we return”
The deceased was a Musi and is survived by his wife, two sons and three daughters. Brigadier Bashir Ahmad Sahib was born in 1931 to an extremely devout Ahmadi family in the district of Gujrat. His father, Dr Muhammad Abdullah Sahib did the Bai‘at and entered the fold of Ahmadiyyat. The deceased acquired his early education from Qadian and passed his matriculation exams in 1947.
In 1952, he received commission in the Pakistan Military Academy as part of the 6th Long Course. In 1982, he retired from the army as a brigadier. Thereafter, he served the country by working as the head of a policy institute in Islamabad. Thus, he had the opportunity to serve his country for 66 years.
In regard to his Jamaat services, I appointed him as the Amir of the Rawalpindi Jamaat in 2012 and he continued to serve as the Amir of the Rawalpindi district and city until 9 February 2020. His transfer to Rawalpindi took place in 1979 and for 16 years, he had the opportunity to serve as naib amir and secretary talim for the Rawalpindi Jamaat and district. He was one of the directors for the Fazl-e-Umar Foundation and part of many committees of Majlis-e-Shura.
The deceased was extremely sincere and rendered his services with utmost devotion. He was a very sociable person and would greatly serve others and generously help those in need. In regard to his Jamaat services, he was very principled and punctual. He worked with great efficiency and would also advise the same to his fellow workers, and he would never tolerate inefficiency, be it matters of faith or any other work. Any task he would assign to the members of his executive committee, he would always follow-up nearer to the time. He was extremely devout in his supplications and prayers and had great love for Khilafat. Even until his advanced age, his memory remained sharp. He had great love for the Holy Prophetsa and the Promised Messiahas and would always express his gratitude to Allah the Almighty for enabling him to be an Ahmadi. He would always have the Holy Quran, Ahadith of the Holy Prophetsa and books of the Promised Messiahas by his bedside and had studied many books. He would financially help the poor and needy with great generosity and in a discrete manner. He would especially show great concern for fulfilling the needs of widows and was always ever ready to help them.
Many individuals and entire families were benefiting from his continuous financial help. He would help to such an extent that someone mentioned that his shop had burnt down and had suffered quite a big loss, however the deceased discretely gave him some money and told him to not to tell anyone about it. When this individual went home and looked at the money, it was 200,000 rupees. When his business restarted, he tried to return the money, however he told him that he did not give this money with the intention of taking it back.
The missionary of Rawalpindi, Tahir Mahmood Sahib writes:
“Amir Sahib had a very composed disposition; he was compassionate, spoke very little and extremely devout in his prayers. On Friday, he would come very early to Aiwan-e-Tawhid for the Friday prayers and would offer his nawafil prayers with great humility and fervency. Those who would hastily finish their prayers, he would narrate to them accounts of the companions and other elders of Qadian where he grew up. He would express his pleasure at those who would take time in observing their prayers. He himself would also pray and spend a long time in his prayers and would advise others towards observing prayers as well. He would always help the needy and his friends (this is a trait which everyone has mentioned) and if anyone would thank him for this act of his, he would stop them from doing so. He had great love for the books of the Promised Messiahas and would share its insights in the meetings.”
He was also one of the directors for the Fazl-e-Umar Foundation. The secretary for the Fazl-e-Umar Foundation, Nasir Shams Sahib writes:
“He served as a director for the Fazl-e-Umar Foundation from the early part of 2011 till the end of 2019. Despite his old-age and weakness in health, he would regularly attend the board of director’s meetings. We greatly benefited from his prayers and advice for a long time. The deceased was an extremely devout and righteous individual and a great loyal servant of Khilafat. One particular quality which I personally was witness to was that he had a strong link with God Almighty and observed his prayers with utmost humility and sincerity”
May Allah the Almighty grant the deceased His forgiveness and mercy. May He elevate his station and enable his progeny to continue on his good deeds.
The third funeral is of Dr Hameed-ul-Din Sahib who lived in 121 Geem Be Gakhowal Faisalabad. He passed away on 29 February 2020:
اِنَّا لِلّٰہِ وَاِنَّا اِلَيْہِ رَاجِعُوْنَ
[Surely to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.]
Ahmadiyyat entered the family of the deceased through his father, respected Muhammad-ul-Din Sahib and paternal grandfather, respected Fateh-ul-Din Sahib, who belonged to Harissia, Gurdaspur. Both did the Bai‘at together during the time of Hazrat Khalifatul Maish IIra. The deceased was born in Qadian and his mother’s paternal uncle, Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Ibrahim Sahib Qadianira was a companion of the Promised Messiahas. He was a great scholar in Christianity and served as a teacher in Madrasa Ahmadiyya Qadian for a very long time. After the partition of India, the deceased’s family migrated and settled in Faisalabad. The deceased was a dispenser by profession and in this way he had the opportunity to serve the people of his entire area. He would treat the needy for free. He led an extremely simple life, was very righteous, regularly observed his prayers and fasting from his childhood and was very respectful of Islamic customs and traditions. He had great love for Khilafat, was extremely compassionate, and had great trust in Allah the Almighty and was an extremely honest and truthful individual. He would never refuse help to anyone and would always look out for others and seek to help them. The deceased had the opportunity to serve the Jamaat in various roles. One of his sons is Karimuddin Shams Sahib, who is a missionary and currently serving in Tanzania and was not able to attend the funeral of his father owing to his Jamaat commitments. One of his son-in-laws is also a missionary and another son-in-law is a muallim of the Jamaat. Also, one of his grandsons is currently studying in Jamia Ahmadiyya Rabwah and is in his final year. Similarly, he has many other grandsons and granddaughters who are part of the blessed Waqfe-Nau Scheme.
May Allah the Almighty grant the deceased His forgiveness and mercy and elevate his station. May He also enable his progeny to continue to fulfil the due rights of their Bai‘at with utmost loyalty.
As I mentioned earlier that after the Friday prayers, I shall lead their funeral prayers in absentia.
(Original Urdu published in Al Fazl International on 17 March 2020, pp. 13-17. Translated by The Review of Religions)