Men of Excellence

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Friday Sermon

3 April 2020

Men of Excellence

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

In light of the present situation and in accordance with the rules the government has put in place, the Friday sermon cannot be delivered before a congregation, in which usually the worshippers are seated in front. Nevertheless, remaining within the laws that are in place, arrangements have been so that I can deliver the Friday Sermon from the mosque. Even if there is no congregation sat before me in the mosque, there are still thousands, if not hundreds of thousands who are listening to it at this moment all around the world. We must always strive to maintain this unity and continue praying in this regard. May Allah the Almighty improve the situation and remove this pandemic so that the beauty and liveliness of the mosque may return once more.

Now I shall turn to the topic of today’s sermon. I narrated the accounts in the life of Hazrat Talhara bin Ubaidullah two sermons ago, and his martyrdom, which took place during the Battle of the Camel [Jang-e-Jamal] and I mentioned that shall speak about this in future. Therefore, today I shall speak about this and to a certain degree, answer the questions that arise with regards to the Battle of the Camel.

Prior to his demise, Hazrat Umarra formed a committee for the election of Khilafat. With regard to this, there is a detailed account found in Sahih Bukhari:

“When the time of Hazrat Umar’sra demise was near, the people said to him, ‘O Leader of the Faithful! Appoint a successor after you as part of your will.’ Hazrat Umarra said, ‘I do not find anyone more suitable for the station of Khilafat than the following persons whom the Holy Prophetsa had been pleased with before he passed away’. Then Hazrat Umarra mentioned the names of Hazrat Alira, Hazrat Uthmanra, Hazrat Zubairra, Hazrat Talhara, Hazrat Saadra and Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra bin Auf and said, ‘Abdullah bin Umarra will be a witness to you, but he will not be entitled to the station of Khilafat. This was said in order to grant comfort to Abdullah bin Umarra. If Khilafat is granted to Saadra, then he will be Khalifa: otherwise whoever becomes the Khalifa should continue to seek assistance from Saad because I have not removed him from his position owing to any incompetence or dishonesty on his part.’

Hazrat Umarra added, ‘I recommend that my successor takes care of the early Muhajireen [those Muslims who migrated to Medina]; to know their rights and to protect their honour. I also urge to show kindness to the Ansar, for they allowed faith to enter their homes in Medina even before the arrival of the Muhajireen. I recommend that he should accept their good works, and I recommend that he should do good to all the people of the towns, as they are the protectors of Islam and the source of wealth and a means of frustrating the enemy. I also recommend that nothing be taken from them except from their surplus with their consent.

I also recommend that he do good to the Arab Bedouins, as they are the natives of Arabia and they make up the core following of Islam. He should take that from among their possessions which they are not in need of and distribute it amongst their needy. I also recommend him concerning those people who are under the protection of Allah and His Messengersa; to fulfil the covenants that have been established with them and to defend them and not to overburden them with what is beyond their ability.’ When Hazrat Umarra passed away, we walked out whilst carrying him. Abdullah bin Umarra greeted Hazrat Aishara and said, ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab seeks permission to enter.’ Hazrat Aishara said, ‘Bring him in.’ He was brought in and buried beside his two companions.

When he was buried, the individuals who were named by Hazrat Umarra gathered together. Abdur Rahmanra then said, ‘Select any three candidates among you for Khalifat.’ Hazrat Zubairra said, ‘I give up my right to vote to Abdur Rahmanra bin Auf.’ Abdur Rahman then said to Hazrat Uthmanra and Hazrt Alira, ‘‘Whichever of you withdraws their name, we will entrust him with the responsibility [in regards to who will be granted leadership] and Allah and Islam will be their guardian and Allah Almighty will choose the one Who He deems most worthy.’ Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra said, ‘Will you both leave this matter to me, and I take Allah as my Witness that I will not choose, but the better of you?’ Both of them agreed. So Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra took the hand of one of them and said, ‘You are related to Allah’s Messengersa and you hold a lofty status within Islam, which you are aware of. I ask you by Allah to promise that if I select you as our leader will you do justice? And if I select Uthmanra as our leader, will you listen to him and obey him?’ Then Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra took the other aside and said the same to him. When Hazrat Abdur Rahman secured this covenant from both of them, he then said, ‘O ‘Uthmanra! Extend your hand.’ Thus, Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra took the pledge of allegiance followed by Hazrat Alira and the members within the household also came and pledged their allegiance.” (Kitabul Fazail Ashabin Nabi, Hadith 3700)

This narration is found in Bukhari. With regard to the election of Hazrat Uthmanra as Khalifa, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra has stated the following:

“When Hazrat Umarra was injured and realised that his demise was imminent, he nominated six persons and advised them to elect the Khalifa from among themselves. They included Hazrat Uthmanra, Hazrat Alira, Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra bin Auf, Hazrat Saadra bin Abi Waqas, Hazrat Zubairra and Hazrat Talhara. In addition to them, he included Hazrat Abdullah bin Umarra as an advisor, but did not declare him entitled to Khilafat. He also admonished that these people should give their verdict within three days, and Suhaibra should lead the prayer during that period of time.

“He appointed Miqdad bin Al-Aswadra to oversee the consultation and election process and directed him to gather the Electoral College at one place and to guard them. He issued more directions, the people should take the Bai‘atof the person who is elected by the majority of votes, and if any one declines to do so, then he should be killed. If there be three votes on each side, then Hazrat Abdullah bin Umarra would recommend who the Khalifa should be. If the members of Electoral College do not agree to the decision of Abdullah bin Umarra, then the person favoured by Abdur Rahmanra bin Auf should be appointed as Khalifa.

“These five companions discussed this matter”, as Talhara was not in Medina at that time, “but could not come to any conclusion. After a lengthy discussion, Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra bin Auf asked if anyone wanted to withdraw his name, but all of them remained quiet. On this, Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra bin Auf withdrew his name, then Hazrat Uthmanra withdrew his name and then two others did the same. Hazrat Alira remained quiet, however he then took a pledge from Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra bin Auf that he (i.e. Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra) would be completely impartial, and entrusted the responsibility of making the decision to him. Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra to act accordingly and for three days, Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra bin Auf visited every house in Medina to obtain the opinion of every man and women in regard to who they thought should be elected as Khalifah. All of them expressed their agreement to the Khilafat of Hazrat Uthmanra. Thus, he gave his verdict in favour of Hazrat Uthmanra and he became the Khalifa.” (Khilafat-e-Rashida, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 15, pp. 488-489)

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra has narrated this using various historical references.

It is stated in Fath-ul-Bari, the commentary of Sahih Bukhari that Hazrat Talhara was not present when Hazrat Umarra was giving his counsel. It is possible that he returned only when Hazrat Umarra had passed away. On the other hand, there are narrations which state that he arrived when the consultation has not come to its conclusion yet. According to another narration, which is regarded as more reliable, Hazrat Talhara returned after Hazrat Uthmanra had been elected as the Khalifa. (Fath-ul-Bari Sharah Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 7, p. 69, Hadith no. 3700, Dar-ul-Marifah, Beirut)

Whatever the case, Hazrat Uthmanra was elected as Khalifa and the matters returned to normal. When Hazrat Uthmanra was martyred, everyone rushed to Hazrat Alira, among whom were the companions and Tabi‘een[the generation of Muslims who saw the Companions]and said that Hazrat Alira is the new Leader of the Believers [Amir-ul-Momineen]. They all went to his home and expressing their wish to take the pledge of allegiance, they asked him to extend his hand as they regarded him to be the most deserving of this lofty station. In response, Hazrat Alira said, “You do not have the right to make this assumption. This is the responsibility of the Companionsra who participated in the Battle of Badr. The Khalifa can only be whoever they are pleased with”. Hence, all of the Badri Companionsra came to Hazrat Alira and said, “We see no one more worthy than you in this matter, so extend your hand so that we may pledge our allegiance.” Hazrat Alira said, “Where is Hazrat Talhara and Hazrat Zubairra” and thus Hazrat Talhara was the first to make the verbal pledge and Hazrat Saadra was the first to pledge his allegiance at the hand of Hazrat Alira. When Hazrat Alira saw this, he went to the mosque, climbed to the pulpit and the first person to come up to him to pledge his allegiance was Hazrat Talhara. Thereafter, Hazrat Zubairra and other Companions took the pledge of allegiance at the hand of Hazrat Alira. (Usdul-Ghaba Fi Marifat Al-Sahaba, Vol. 4, p. 107, Kutub-ul-Al-ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2003)

With regard to whether or not Hazrat Talhara, Hazrat Zubairra and Hazrat Aishara pledged their allegiance to Hazrat Alira, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra discusses this matter in one of his speeches in which he responds to the allegations of Khawaja Kamaluddin Sahib. This reference is of vital significance, which is why I will mention it here. Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra stated:

“Do not come under the impression that Hazrat Talhara, Hazrat Zubairra and Hazrat Aishara did not take the pledge of allegiance and hold this as an argument in your favour.” Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra is responding to Khawaja Kamaluddin Sahib. “They did not reject his [i.e. Hazrat Ali’s] Khilafat, rather their issue was with regard to the killers of Hazrat Uthmanra. I also say to you that whoever told you that these individuals did not pledge their allegiance to Hazrat Alira is mistaken. Hazrat Aishara went and sat in Medina as she confessed her error and Hazrat Talhara and Hazrat Zubairra did not pass away till they pledged their allegiance. In this regard, some historical references are presented below.”

It is mentioned in Khasa‘is Kubra, volume 2 – I shall read the translation of the Arabic portion:

“Hakim narrates that Thaur bin Majzaa narrated to me an incident, saying, ‘On the day of the Battle of the Camel I passed by Hazrat Talhara when he was in a state close to death.’ He asked me, ‘Which group are you from?’ I answered, ‘I am from the party of Hazrat Alira, the Leader of the Believers.’ He then said, ‘Then extend your hand that I may take the oath at your hand.’ So he pledged his allegiance at my hand and then passed away. I related the entire incident to Hazrat Alira. Having heard this, he said, ‘Allahu Akbar [Allah is the Greatest], the Messengersa of Allah has spoken the truth! God Almighty did not wish for Hazrat Talhara to enter paradise without first pledging his allegiance to me. He was among the ten people vouchsafed paradise.’

“… Once, the Battle of the Camel was mentioned in the presence of Hazrat Aishara. She said, ‘Do the people speak about the Battle of the Camel?’ One person replied, ‘Yes, that is what we are discussing’. Hazrat Aishara then said, ‘Alas, if only I remained sat like the people who remained behind that day. This would have pleased me more than if I had 10 children from the Holy Prophetsa, each of whom were like Hazrat Abdur Rahman bin Harith bin Hisham.’

“… Furthermore, Hazrat Talhara and Hazrat Zubairra are from among the Ashara Mubashara who were given the glad tidings of entering paradise by the Holy Prophetsa. Indeed, the Holy Prophet’s glad tiding is certain to be fulfilled. In addition to this they later repented for separating themselves.” (Al-Qaul-ul-Fasl, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 2, pp. 318-319)

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra has also mentioned this account.

Expounding on the martyrdom of Hazrat Usmanra, the oath of allegiance to Hazrat Alira and the Battle of the Camel, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra says:

“Various groups of the assassins dispersed to different areas. To shield themselves from being convicted of Hazrat Uthman’s murder, they began deflecting blame upon others. When they learnt that the Muslims had given the oath of allegiance to Hazrat Alira, it gave them a perfect opportunity to point fingers. It is true that from among those around Hazrat Alira were some who were involved in assassinating Hazrat Uthmanra. This gave the hypocrites an ideal chance to lay blame on someone else. The party that was heading towards Mecca convinced Hazrat Aishara to announce Jihad to avenge the murder of Hazrat Uthmanra. Therefore, Hazrat Aishara declared Jihad and searched for Companions to support her. Hazrat Talhara and Hazrat Zubairra pledged allegiance to Hazrat Alira on the condition that he would swiftly dispense punishment for the murderers of Hazrat Uthmanra. Their interpretation of ‘swift’ was contrary to Hazrat Ali’s view given the circumstances at the time. Hazrat Alira felt the priority was to first consolidate order in the regions and then turn attention towards punishing the assassins. He felt the primary objective had to be safeguarding Islam and that there was no harm in delaying punishment for the murderers.

“There were also differences of opinion about the identity of the murderers.  Hazrat Alira did not suspect those who had first approached him – who showed deep remorse and sorrow and expressed their concern of discord among the Muslims – to be the architects of this mischief. However, there were others who had doubts about these same people. As a result of these contrasting viewpoints, Hazrat Talhara and Hazrat Zubairra felt that Hazrat Alira had rescinded his promise to them. They had pledged allegiance to Hazrat Alira on one condition, and now they deemed that the condition had not been fulfilled. “Therefore, they made their own decisions considering themselves to be free from their oath of allegiance to Hazrat Alira.

“After learning about Hazrat Aisha’sra declaration they too joined forces with her and all of them set out for Basra. The governor of Basra tried to prevent people from joining with them. However, when the residents came to know that Hazrat Talhara and Hazrat Zubairra had pledged allegiance to Hazrat Alira on a particular condition, therefore the majority joined them. When Hazrat Alira was notified of this, he also prepared an army and advanced towards Basra. Arriving in Basra, Hazrat Alira sent a person to Hazrat Aishara, Hazrat Talhara and Hazrat Zubairra. The individual first spoke to Hazrat Aishara and asked what her intentions were. Hazrat Aishara replied that she only sought reconciliation and nothing else. The individual then asked Hazrat Talhara and Hazrat Zubairra if they had also set out for battle for the same reason, to which they replied in the affirmative. The individual explained, ‘If this is your intention, then your recourse to action is mistaken and this would only lead to discord. The current circumstances in the land would mean should you kill one person, a thousand more would rise up in defence. Thus, reconciliation can be achieved by first uniting the people on one hand. Then after that, mete out punishment to the mischievous party. Dispensing punishment in the current climate would be akin to wreaking further havoc and disorder. Let law and order first establish itself and then carry out retribution. Hearing this, they said they were ready to meet Hazrat Alira based on this notion.’ This individual informed Hazrat Alira of the outcome. Both parties finally met and resolved that war was the wrong path to adopt and instead reconciliation should be met.

“When this news reached Abdullah bin Saba’s men, who had perpetrated the killing of Hazrat Uthmanra, they became extremely anxious and a party among them gathered in secrecy for consultation. After consultation, they concluded that if the Muslims were to reconcile with one another, it would prove extremely unfavourable for them because they knew that they would only evade punishment for the killing of Hazrat Uthmanra, as long as the Muslims continued to fight against one another. They knew that if there was peace and harmony amongst the Muslims, they would have no escape, therefore, no matter what, they could not allow this to happen. In the meantime, Hazrat Alira also arrived and on the second day after his arrival, he and Hazrat Zubairra met. Hazrat Alira stated to Hazrat Zubairra, ‘You have indeed prepared an army to fight against me, but have you also prepared a justification for this which you shall present before your Lord? Why are you all adamant to destroy Islam with your very hands which you once served by endangering your own lives? Am I not your brother? Why is it that spilling the blood of one another was deemed unlawful before and yet now it has become permissible? It would be understandable if a new injunction had been revealed, but when that is not the case, why then do you stand in opposition?’

“Hazrat Talhara was also with Hazrat Zubairra at the time and replied, ‘You incited those who killed Hazrat Uthmanra.’

“‘I curse all those who were involved in the killing of Hazrat Uthmanra!’ said Hazrat Alira. Addressing Hazrat Zubairra, Hazrat Alira then stated, ‘Do you not recall that the Holy Prophetsa once stated, “By God, you will fight against Ali and you will be amongst the transgressors.”’

“Upon hearing this, Hazrat Zubairra returned to his army and vowed that he would not fight against Hazrat Alira and admitted that he had erred in his interpretation of the affairs. When this news spread amongst his army, they were content that battle would no longer take place between them and in fact, the two parties would reconcile. However, the rebels who sought to spread mischief became anxious, therefore in order to prevent them from reconciling, when night fell, those who had infiltrated in Hazrat Ali’sra army, launched an attack against the army of Hazrat Aishara, Hazrat Talhara and Hazrat Zubairra, whilst those who had infiltrated in their camp, did vice versa. Consequently, this led to chaos and both armies assumed that the other had deceived them, but in actuality, this was a ploy of Abdullah bin Saba’s men. Once the battle had commenced, Hazrat Alira called for someone to inform Hazrat Aishara as perhaps God Almighty may quell the disorder through her. Subsequently, Hazrat Aisha’sra camel was brought forward but this led to an even more perilous situation because the rebels, fearing that their ploy was going to fail once again, began to shoot their arrows in the direction of Hazrat Aisha’s camel. Hazrat Aishara began to loudly proclaim, ‘O people, cease fighting and recall Allah the Almighty and the Day of Reckoning.’ However, the rebels failed to pay heed and continued to shoot arrows at Hazrat Aisha’s camel. The people of Basra were with the army of Hazrat Aishara and upon witnessing these scenes and dishonour towards Ummul Momineen – Hazrat Aishara – they became extremely infuriated and drew out their swords and launched an attack against the opposing army. Subsequently, Hazrat Aisha’s camel became the focal point of the battle. Many Companionsra and valiant men stood around the camel, and one by one they began to be slain, but they remained in control of the camel’s reins.

“Hazrat Zubairra did not take part in the battle and had distanced himself to one side, however a wretched individual went from behind whilst he was in a state of prayer and martyred him. Hazrat Talhara was martyred in the battlefield and was killed at the hands of the rebels. When the battle intensified, some of the men realised that the only way to stop the battle was by removing Hazrat Aishara from the battlefield. Therefore, they cut the legs of the camel and placed the saddle in which Hazrat Aishara was sat, onto the ground. It was only then that the battle stopped. Upon witnessing this entire incident, Hazrat Ali’s face became red with sorrow but there was nothing else that could be done either. When Hazrat Alira witnessed the body of Hazrat Talhara amongst those who were martyred during the battle, he expressed deep sorrow.

“From these events, it is evidently clear that the Companionsra were at no fault in this battle and this was all owing to the evil ploy of those rebels who had killed Hazrat Uthmanra. Moreover, Hazrat Talhara and Hazrat Zubairra passed away whilst in the Bai‘at [oath of allegiance] of Hazrat Alira because they had turned back from their original intentions and had resolved to support Hazrat Alira, however they were killed at the hands of the rebels. Hazrat Alira cursed those who killed them.” (Anwar-e-Khilafat, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 3, pp. 198-201)

Whilst mentioning the Battle of the Camel [Jang-e-Jamal] and Hazrat Talha’s martyrdom in another place, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:

“When prophets appear in the world, those who accept them in the very early days of their claim are in fact considered amongst the most eminent. Every Muslim knows that after the Holy Prophetsa, it was Hazrat Abu Bakrra, Hazrat Umarra, Hazrat Usmanra, Hazrat Alira, Hazrat Talhara, Hazrat Zubairra, Hazrat Abdur Rehmanra bin Auf, Hazrat Saadra and Hazrat Saeedra who were considered amongst the eminent companions. However, being considered as most eminent did not mean that they enjoyed the most comfort, rather it was owing to the fact that they endured greater hardship than anyone else for the sake of their faith. Hazrat Talhara remained alive after the demise of the Holy Prophetsa and witnessed the era when dissention began amongst the Muslims after the martyrdom of Hazrat Uthmanra. Hazrat Talhara, Hazrat Zubairra and Hazrat Aishara were leaders of the party which was of the opinion that revenge should be sought against those who killed Hazrat Uthmanra. On other hand, the other party was led by Hazrat Alira and were of the opinion that man was indeed a mortal being [with reference to Hazrat Uthmanra martyrdom], but since Muslims had become divided, therefore the foremost need was to unite the Muslims in order to re-establish the glory and grandeur of Islam and revenge could be taken later. This disagreement escalated to such an extent that Hazrat Talhara, Hazrat Zubairra and Hazrat Aishara alleged that Hazrat Alira wanted to grant refuge to those who had martyred Hazrat Uthmanra. Hazrat Alira, on the other hand, alleged that they were giving preference to their personal interests and were not thinking of what was beneficial to Islam. This disagreement went to the most extreme level and resulted in a battle between them. A battle in which Hazrat Aishara took command of one of the armies.

“Hazrat Talhara and Hazrat Zubairra were also part of this battle. As mentioned earlier that they initially were amongst those who opposed Hazrat Alira, however Hazrat Zubairra heard what Hazrat Alira had to say and thus decided to leave, and Hazrat Talhara also wanted to reconcile but the rebels hatched an evil ploy. Nevertheless, there were two groups which took part in the battle. Whilst the battle was taking place, a companion approached Hazrat Talhara and said, ‘O Talhara! Do you remember on such and such occasion, you were sat in the company of the Holy Prophetsa and he stated, “Talha, there will come a time when you will be part of an army and Ali will be part of a different army, however Alira will be on the side of the truth and you will be the one in error.”’ Hazrat Talhara heard this and immediately realised and said, ‘Yes, I recall this.’ He then left the army at once and as he was walking away from the battle so that he could fulfil the words of the Holy Prophetsa, a wretched individual who was fighting from Hazrat Ali’s army, went from behind and stabbed Hazrat Talhara in the back resulting in his martyrdom.

“Hazrat Alira was in his camp and thinking that he would receive a great reward, the killer of Hazrat Talhara ran towards Hazrat Alira and said, ‘O Leader of the Faithful [Amir-ul-Momineen]! I give you tidings that your enemy has been killed.’ Hazrat Alira asked who was the enemy? He replied, ‘O Leader of the Faithful, I have killed Talhara.’ Hazrat Alira replied to him, ‘I also give you tidings from the Messengersa of Allah that you will be thrown into the Hellfire, because the Holy Prophetsa once said in a gathering in which Talhara and I both were present, “O Talha! For the sake of the truth and establishing justice, you will have to endure indignity and you will be killed by an individual who God Almighty will cast into Hell.”’

“During this battle, when the armies of Hazrat Alira and Hazrat Talhara and Hazrat Zubairra were facing one another, Hazrat Talhara began to present arguments in his favour of his stance – this is prior to the time when a companionra reminded him about a saying of the Holy Prophetsa, as a result of which he left the battlefield. Hazrat Talhara began presenting reasons in his favour, when all of a sudden, someone from the army of Hazrat Alira said, ‘O paralysed one, remain silent!’ One of his hands had become completely withered and did not function at all. When he tauntingly referred to him as disabled and told him to remain silent, Hazrat Talhara said, ‘You may have told me to remain silent and referred to my paralysed hand, but do you even know how this came to be in such a condition? During the Battle of Uhud, when the Muslims became dispersed, there were only 12 companions around the Holy Prophetsa. An enemy, three thousand strong, had surrounded us from all four corners and fired a burst of arrows in the attempt to kill the Holy Prophetsa, thinking that if this was achieved it would bring an end to the matter. At the time, each enemy archer had their bow pointing towards the Holy Prophetsa and they would fire the arrows towards his face. It was during this time when I placed my hand in front of the face of the Holy Prophetsa. All the arrows from the enemy struck my hand, to the extent that it became incapacitated and paralysed, but I never moved my hand away from the Holy Prophet’s face.’”  (Ainda wohy qaume izzat payen ge jo maali aur jaani qurabinio main hissa lein gi, Anwar-ul-Ulum Vol. 21, pp. 149-151)

Regarding this incident of Hazrat Talhara during the Battle of the Camel [Jang-e-Jamal], on one occasion, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra stated:

“Someone cried out that the paralysed one had been killed! One companionra who heard this said: ‘O wretched one, do you even know how his hand came to be paralysed? During the Battle of Uhud, when owing to a misunderstanding, the Companions dispersed from the battlefield, the enemies learnt that the Holy Prophetsa was still in the battlefield with only a few companions around him. All of a sudden, an army of 3,000 disbelievers attacked the Holy Prophetsa. Hundreds of archers took up their positions and targeted their arrows in the direction of the Holy Prophet’ssa face in order to attack him. On that occasion, the one who safeguarded the blessed countenance of the Holy Prophetsa was Talhara. He placed his hand in front, and thus every arrow that would have struck the Holy Prophet’s face landed on Talha’s hand. Arrows would continue to fall and the wound would only deepen, resulting in permanent damage to the tendons and blood vessels of Hazrat Talha’s hand, which became paralysed as a result. Thus, the one whom you look upon with contempt owing to his paralysis, we consider it to be a blessing that each one of us yearns to attain it.’” (Khutabat-e-Mahmud, Vol. 26, p. 386, Friday Sermon, 28 September 1945)

Rib‘ee bin Hiraash narrates:

“I was sat next to Hazrat Alira when Imran bin Talha came to see him. He greeted Hazrat Alira with the Islamic greeting, to which Hazrat Alira replied: ‘Marhaba, Imran bin Talha, Marhaba’. Imran bin Talha said: ‘O Leader of the Faithful! You greet me with the words ‘Marhaba’ [Welcome] however you killed my father and took my wealth.’ Hazrat Alira replied, ‘Your [share of that] wealth has been allocated for you and is in Bait-ul-Maal [treasury]. Kindly take it in the morning.’”

In another narration, it is stated that Hazrat Alira said, “I took that wealth under my control lest other people usurp it. As for your statement that I killed your father, then I am certain that your father and I would be counted amongst those people regarding whom God Almighty stated:

وَ نَزَعۡنَا مَا فِیۡ صُدُوۡرِہِمۡ مِّنۡ غِلٍّ اِخۡوَانًا عَلٰی سُرُرٍ مُّتَقٰبِلِیۡنَ

‘And We shall remove whatever of rancour may be in their hearts so that they will become as brothers seated on thrones, facing one another. (Surah al-Hijr, Ch.15: V.48)’” (Al-Tabqat Al-Kubra Li Ibn Saad, Vol. 3, p. 169, Dar-ul-Kutub Al-Illmiyyah, Beirut, 1990)

Muhammad Ansari narrates on the authority of his father that on the day of the Battle of the Camel [Jang-e-Jamal], an individual came to Hazrat Alira and asked if the one who had killed Talha had permission to enter [to see him]? The narrator states, “I heard Hazrat Alira say: ‘Inform him (i.e. the killer) that he shall be cast into hell.’” (Al-Tabqat Al-Kubra Li Ibn Saad, Vol. 3, p. 169, Dar-ul-Kutub Al-Illmiyyah, Beirut, 1990)

When Hazrat Talhara was martyred and Hazrat Alira saw his body, he began to wipe away dust off Hazrat Talha’s face and said, “O Abu Muhammad! It pains me greatly to see you lying here in the dust, beneath the starlit sky.” He then said, “I entrust my anguish and shortcomings before God Almighty”. He then prayed for Hazrat Talhara and said, “If only I had departed from this world twenty years earlier.” Hazrat Alira and those with him cried profusely. On one occasion, Hazrat Alira heard someone recite the following couplet Hazrat Talhara:

فَتًی کَانَ یُدْنِیْہِ الْغِنٰی مِنْ صَدِیْقِہِ

اِذَا مَا ھُوَ اسْتَغْنٰی وَ یُبْعِدُہُ الفَقْرُ

“He was a youth that would enjoy spending time with his friends when he was wealthy and affluent. But during straitened times, when he was in need, he would avoid their company.”

Upon hearing this couplet, Hazrat Alira said, “This couplet can only be regarding Abu Muhammad – Talhara bin Ubaidillah. May Allah have mercy on him.” (Usdul-Ghaba Fi Marifat Al-Sahaba, Vol. 3, p. 87, Talhara bin Ubaidillah, Kutub-ul-Al-ilmiyyah, Beirut)

This concludes the accounts relating to Hazrat Talhara.

With regard to the present situation, I will read an extract of the Promised Messiahas.

On one occasion, the Promised Messiahas said to Mufti Sahibra:

“Allow light to enter the home”; this was referring to the time when there was an outbreak of the plague, “and ensure they are kept clean. One should also ensure their clothes are clean.”

The Promised Messiahas then further said:

“These are difficult times and the air is contaminated. Cleanliness is also a Sunnah [practice of the Holy Prophetsa]. Similarly it is stated in the Holy Quran:

وَثِيَابَكَ فَطَهِّرْ۔ وَالرُّجْزَ فَاهْجُرْ

[And thy clothes (i.e. your close friends) do thou purify, and uncleanliness do thou shun].” (Malfuzat, Vol. 4, pp. 272-274)

On another occasion, the Promised Messiahas said:

“Where the plague has spread to a certain town or village, those residents should not leave their towns and travel elsewhere. Keep your homes clean and also keep the houses warm. Adopt all the possible preventative measures. Above all, repent in earnest and by bringing about a pious transformation within yourselves, reconcile with God Almighty. Awaken in the night to perform the Tahajud [pre-dawn voluntary] prayer and offer supplications.”

The Promised Messiahas then said:

“… Only by bringing about a true transformation within oneself can one be safeguarded against this Divine Punishment.

وَنِعْمَ مَا قِیْلَ

(Malfuzat, Vol. 3, p. 234)

During these days, may Allah the Almighty enable every Ahmadi to focus their attention towards prayers. Everyone ought to follow the guidelines issued by the government; keep the homes clean and incense should also be burnt. Also continue to use Dettol [disinfectant] sprays, etc. which are available. May Allah the Almighty bless everyone and shower His mercy. In these days, pay special attention towards supplications, may Allah Almighty enable everyone to do so.

(Original Urdu published in Al Fazl International, 24 April 2020, pp. 5-8. Translated by The Review of Religions)

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