25 December 2020
Men of Excellence: Hazrat Alira
After reciting Tashahud, Ta‘awuz and Surah al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa stated:
In the previous Friday sermon, I spoke about the martyrdom of Hazrat Uthmanra, the rebels, as well as Hazrat Ali’sra efforts in this regard [i.e. against the rebels]. With regard to events mentioned relating to Hazrat Alira, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra has elaborated on an extremely important matter.
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:
“As you are similar to the Companions [of the Holy Prophetsa], it is my desire to present historical events, demonstrating how Muslims fell into disarray and what were the reasons that led to this division. Therefore, take heed from this and educate those who join you in the future.” That is, they should be given correct moral training and religious education.
“The disorder that emerged during the time of Hazrat Uthmanra was not instigated by the Companions. Those who say that this mischief was caused by the Companions are mistaken. There is no doubt that many Companions stood in opposition to Hazrat Alira and many stood in opposition to Mu‘awiyahra. However, I say that the Companions were not the cause of this disorder; rather, it was those who joined [Islam] later and were not fortunate enough to have received the companionship of the Holy Prophetsa and never sat in his company.
“Hence, I draw your attention towards this and inform you of the method to abstain and protect yourselves from this disorder and that is to frequently and repeatedly come to Qadian” – Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra was in Qadian at that time – “so that your faith is rejuvenated and so that you increase in your fear of Allah.” (Anwar al-Khilafat, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 3, p. 171)
In other words, it is so that you remain firmly attached with the Centre (Markaz) as well as with Khilafat. If this bond remains firm, then you will also receive the correct moral training. Nowadays, Allah the Almighty has blessed us with MTA. The sermons are listened to and broadcast across the entire world. There are also other programmes that are shown. Therefore, it is essential for your moral training that, apart from personally studying the books of the Promised Messiahas, you also watch MTA regularly. You should particularly listen to the Friday sermons on MTA so that your relationship with Khilafat remains firm and continues to increase and strengthen.
With regard to the Battle of the Camel, it is mentioned in narrations that this battle was fought between Hazrat Alira and Aishara in the 36th year after themigration from Mecca to Medina. Hazrat Talhara and Hazrat Zubairra were also on the side of Hazrat Aishara. Hazrat Aishara was riding a camel in the battlefield and as such, this battle is known as the “Battle of the Camel”.
Hazrat Aishara had travelled to Mecca in order to perform Hajj and she was staying there when she received the news of the martyrdom of Hazrat Uthmanra. After completing the Umrah, she headed towards Medina. On the way, at a place called Sarf, Ubaid bin Abi Salama informed her that Hazrat Uthmanra had been martyred and Hazrat Alira had been elected as the Caliph and disorder was rife in Medina. Hence, Hazrat Aishara turned back towards Mecca and gathered the people in order to avenge the killing of Hazrat Uthmanra and to put an end to the disorder.
Many people had gathered together under the leadership of Hazrat Talhara and Hazrat Zubairra bin Awwam and Hazrat Aishara; hence their convoy set off towards Basra.
Upon receiving news of this convoy, Hazrat Alira also set off towards Basra. Upon arrival in Basra, Hazrat Aishara invited the inhabitants to join forces with her and a large number did so. However, one party pledged to support Uthman bin Hunayf, Hazrat Ali’sra appointed governor of Basra. During this time, both parties clashed. Hazrat Ali’sra army arrived and they set up camp near the army of Hazrat Aishara. Both parties made proposals to reconcile and the negotiations were successful. However, during the night, a party that was involved in the murder of Hazrat Uthmanra and had joined Hazrat Ali’sra army, attacked the army of Hazrat Aishara and this triggered the start of the battle.
Hazrat Aishara was riding a camel. One after another, loyal followers of Hazrat Aishara grabbed hold of the reigns of her camel and were martyred. Hazrat Alira realised that as long as Hazrat Aishara was riding the camel, the war would not come to an end. Hence, he ordered his soldiers to somehow kill and bring down the camel as the end of the war was linked to that. Upon this, an individual stepped forward and pierced his sword into the foot of the camel. The camel gave out a cry and sat down and the army of Hazrat Alira surrounded the camel from all sides. Upon the fall of Hazrat Aisha’sra camel, the people of the Camel [i.e. those who fought on Hazrat Aisha’sra side] dispersed. Following this, Hazrat Alira announced that whoever surrendered or closed the door to their home would remain safe and protected. No one would be chased, nor would anyone’s possessions be seized or considered as spoils of war. The army of Hazrat Alira followed these orders. Hazrat Zubairra bin Awwam and Hazrat Talhara were martyred during this very battle. (Ibn al-Athir, Al-Kamil fi al-Tarikh, Vol. 3 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2003], 99-149)
This is a summary of this particular historical incident taken from the work of Ibn Athir.
In this regard, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra states:
“A group from among those people who murdered Hazrat Uthmanra went to Hazrat Aishara and urged her to declare Jihad against those who killed Hazrat Uthmanra. Thus, Hazrat Aishara declared Jihad and asked the Companionsra to assist her in this. Hazrat Talhara and Hazrat Zubairra joined her. Subsequently, a battle ensued between the armies of Hazrat Alira and Hazrat Aishara, Hazrat Talhara and Hazrat Zubairra.”
Hazrat Talhara and Hazrat Zubairra were part of Hazrat Aisha’sra army. A battle took place between the main armies of Hazrat Aishara and Hazrat Alira.
“This battle is known as Jang-e-Jamal [the Battle of the Camel]. In the beginning of this battle, upon hearing the words of the Holy Prophet’ssa prophecy from Hazrat Alira, Hazrat Zubairra separated himself and vowed that he would not fight against Hazrat Alira. Hazrat Zubairra accepted that he had been mistaken in his interpretation of the matter. Similarly, Hazrat Talhara also pledged allegiance to Hazrat Alira prior to his demise”; I mentioned this in the previous sermon also “because it is mentioned in narrations that when Hazrat Talhara was lying injured and breathing his last, a man walked by him. Hazrat Talhara asked him, ‘Which party do you belong to?’ He replied that he was from Hazrat Ali’s men. Upon this, Hazrat Talhara held his hand and said, ‘Your hand is that of Ali’s and I pledge allegiance to Ali again at your hands.’ Thus, any dispute between the Companions was resolved after Jang-e-Jamal, but the dispute with Hazrat Mu‘awiyahra remained, as a result of which the Battle of Siffin took place.” (Khilafat-e-Rashidah, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 15, pp. 485-486)
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra further narrates:
“The killers of Hazrat Uthmanra spread out to various regions, but in order to save themselves from any culpability, they deflected the blame onto others. When they saw that Hazrat Alira had taken the bai‘at[pledge of allegiance] of the Muslims, they found an excellent opportunity to level allegations against Hazrat Alira, because those who were involved in the assassination of Hazrat Uthmanra had later joined Hazrat Alira. This gave them the perfect opportunity to level allegations against Hazrat Alira. Similarly, one group [from among those who were involved in the killing Hazrat Uthmanra] went to Mecca and encouraged Hazrat Aishara that she should declare Jihad in order to avenge the blood of Hazrat Uthmanra. Therefore, she made this declaration and asked the companions to help her in this regard.
“Hazrat Talhara and Hazrat Zubairra had pledged allegiance to Hazrat Alira on the condition that he would bring the killers of Hazrat Uthmanra to justice swiftly. Their interpretation of ‘swift’ was contrary to Hazrat Ali’sra viewpoint because according to Hazrat Alira, taking action ‘swiftly’ was not conducive to the situation at the time. He thought”, i.e. Hazrat Alira thought, “that firstly, all the Muslim lands should be united and then they should turn their attention to dealing with killers of Hazrat Uthmanra because safeguarding Islam took precedence. There would not be any harm in delaying taking action against them.
“Furthermore, there was a dispute in identifying who the killers were. The people who were the first to go to Hazrat Alira under the guise of despondency and expressing their concern for the threat of division within Islam, it was only natural that Hazrat Alira would not suspect them of being the architects of this mischief. Other people, however, suspected them.” Hazrat Alira did not suspect them, but certain other people had their doubts about them. “Owing to this suspicion, Talhara and Zubairra thought that Hazrat Alira went back on his word because they had pledged allegiance on a particular condition and according to them, Hazrat Alira did not fulfil this condition. Therefore, in accordance with the Shariah, they deemed themselves to be absolved from their bai‘at.
“When they heard about Hazrat Aisha’sra call [of Jihad] they joined her and they all went to Basra. The governor of Basra tried to prevent the residents from joining them. However, when they discovered that Talhara and Zubairra pledged allegiance under coercion and had stipulated a condition with their bai‘at, the majority of the residents [of Basra] joined them. When Hazrat Alira received news of this army, he too prepared his army and departed for Basra.
“Upon arrival in Basra, Hazrat Alira sent a man to Hazrat Aishara, Hazrat Talhara and Hazrat Zubairra. He first went to Hazrat Aishara and asked what the reason for her coming there was. She replied that she only wanted reconciliation. He then called Talhara and Zubairra and asked if they too had come for the same purpose (i.e. for reconciliation), to which they replied in the affirmative.
“This individual then said, ‘If you seek reconciliation, then this is not the way to achieve it. This will only cause disorder. The situation prevalent throughout the land is such that if you kill one person, a thousand more will rise up in support of that individual and challenge you; this will in turn incite even more people to rise up. This will set off a chain of events which will continue. Thus, at present, reconciliation entails to first unite everyone and then turn our attention to punishing the evil ones. Given the current unrest, punishing anyone now will only lead to more disorder and chaos. First, the authority [of Hazrat Alira] should be established and that will then enforce the punishment.’
“They responded by saying, ‘If this is Hazrat Ali’sra view point, then very well; we are prepared to meet him.’ This individual returned to Hazrat Alira and related the entire account to him. Hence representatives of both parties met with one another. They mutually agreed that fighting was not correct and it would be better to reconcile.
“When this news reached the Sabais”, i.e. the party of Abdullah bin Saba, “who were 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. During this meeting, 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”’” i.e. referring to Hazrat Zubairra.
“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” and it was only natural that the rebels would become worried, “therefore they devised a plan 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” i.e. they attacked Hazrat Ali’s armyra. The hypocrites had joined both sides of the armies – Hazrat Aisha’sra and Hazrat Ali’sra. “Subsequently, both sides of the hypocrites launched an attack”; they did not fight amongst themselves.
“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’sra camel. Hazrat Aishara began to loudly proclaim, ‘O people, cease fighting and recall Allah the Almighty and the Day of Reckoning.’ However, the rebels refused to pay heed and continued to shoot arrows at Hazrat Aisha’sra camel. The people of Basra were with the army of Hazrat Aishara and upon witnessing these scenes and the dishonour of Umm-ul-Momineen, Hazrat Aishara, they became extremely infuriated and drew out their swords and launched an attack against the opposing army. Subsequently, Hazrat Aisha’sra camel became the focal point of the battle. Many Companions and valiant men stood around the camel and one by one, they began to be slain, but would not let go 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 camel-litter in which Hazrat Aishara was sat, onto the ground. It was only then that the battle stopped.
“Upon witnessing this entire incident, Hazrat Ali’sra face became red with sorrow, but there was nothing else that could be done either. When Hazrat Alira saw 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 al-Khilafat, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 3, pp. 198-201)
Upon the conclusion of the Battle of the Camel, Hazrat Alira prepared all the provisions for Hazrat Aisha’sra journey and went along with Hazrat Aishara himself. He ensured that all those who wished to go with Hazrat Aishara also went with her. The day Hazrat Aishara was to depart, Hazrat Alira went to see Hazrat Aishara and stood in her presence. She came out in the presence of everyone and said, “O my sons! By harming one another and committing excesses, we have aggrieved one another. As of now, no one shall commit injustices against one another on account of the differences we had between us. By God, there was never any dispute between me and Hazrat Alira, except for the minor disagreements one can have with their in-laws”; in other words, very minor issues. “My pious deeds are dependent on my obedience to Hazrat Alira.”
Upon this, Hazrat Alira stated, “O people, this statement of Hazrat Aishara is indeed excellent and full of truth. These were the only issues we had between us [i.e. very minor]. Hazrat Aishara is the noble wife of your blessed Prophetsa in this world and in the Hereafter.” Hazrat Alira then walked for several miles with Hazrat Aishara to see her off and instructed his sons to go with her and return after one day. (Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 3, Tahjiz Alira Aisha min al-Basrah [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 1987], 60-61)
This reference which I just quoted is from al-Tabari.
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:
“Hazrat Talhara remained alive after the demise of the Holy Prophetsa. After the martyrdom of Hazrat Uthmanra, dissension began amongst the Muslims. Hazrat Talhara, Hazrat Zubairra and Hazrat Aishara were leaders of the party which was of the opinion that revenge should be immediately sought against those who killed Hazrat Uthmanra.
“On the 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 Uthman’sra martyrdom], but since Muslims had become divided, 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” by insisting to take revenge immediately. “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 Aishara mounted her camel and would encourage others to fight and Hazrat Talhara and Hazrat Zubairra were also part of this 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, “Talhara, 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’sra army, went from behind and stabbed Hazrat Talhara in the back resulting in his martyrdom.
“At the time, Hazrat Alira was sat in his camp and the one who had committed the killing of Hazrat Talhara, thinking that he would receive a great reward, ran towards Hazrat Alira and said, ‘O Leader of the Faithful [Amirul Momineen]! I give you tidings that your enemy has been killed.’ Hazrat Alira asked who the enemy was. 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 Talhara! 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.”’ (Aindah Wohi Qaumein Izzat Paein gi jo Mali-o-Jani Qurbanion Mein Hissah Lein gi, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 21, pp. 149-150)
Then, there was the Battle of Siffin. Regarding its details, it is mentioned that it was a battle that took place between Hazrat Alira and Hazrat Amir Muawaiyahra in 37 AH.
Siffin is the name of an area located between Syria and Iraq.
Hazrat Alira left Kufa along with his army and when they reached Siffin, they saw that the Syrian army under the command of Amir Muawiyahra had already setup camp and one section of the army had taken over a valley near the Euphrates River. Hazrat Alira assured them that they had not come to fight but instead, had come to reconcile their differences; however, Amir Muawiyahra was not willing to reconcile. The Syrian army stopped the army of Hazrat Alira from accessing the water from the Euphrates River. Upon this, Hazrat Alira ordered his army to launch an attack and they succeeded in pushing the Syrian army to retreat and thus establishing their access to the river. Hazrat Alira, however, allowed the Syrian army to access the water from the Euphrates River. The Syrian army had prevented Hazrat Alira [and his army] from accessing water from the Euphrates River, but when Hazrat Alira took control of the river, he permitted them to access its water.
Amir Muawiyahra insisted that Hazrat Alira should hand over those who had carried out the killing of Hazrat Uthmanra. At one point there was a potential danger that a battle was going to break out; however, some of the peacekeepers prevented this from happening and established calm.
The battle took place in the month of Safar 37 AH, but prior to the actual battle commencing, small skirmishes broke out. Yet still, both parties abstained from engaging in a full battle considering its dangerous consequences. Both parties ensured to utilise all means possible in order to bring about reconciliation and thus both agreed that they should enter a temporary agreement of peace during the sacred months. However, this effort of theirs also proved unsuccessful. And so, at the beginning of the month of Safar, the actual battle was formally declared once again.
For quite some time, the fighting continued without any conclusive victory and Amir Muawiyah’sra resolve began to weaken. In such precarious circumstances, Hazrat Amrra bin Aas advised that they should tie the copies of the Quran on the tip of their spears and announce that they should settle the matter in accordance with the Quran. Thus, they did exactly that and as a result a disagreement arose between Hazrat Ali’sra men. A large party among them stated that their plea to adjudicate the matter by the Book of Allah should not be rejected. Subsequently, Hazrat Alira commanded the vanguard of the army to return and thus the battle stopped. The majority of the army of Hazrat Alira accepted the suggestion presented by Amir Muawiyahra which was that each party should appoint an arbitrator and they should both reach a verdict based on the Holy Quran. According to the books of history, this incident is known as “Tahkim” [arbitration]. In any case, the Syrians appointed Hazrat Amrra bin Aas as their representative and Hazrat Alira appointed Hazrat Abu Musa Asharira. After signing this declaration, both armies dispersed.
This is a reference from the historical accounts by Ibn Athir. (Ibn al-Athir, Al-Kamil fi al-Tarikh, Vol. 3 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2003], 161-201) (Lughat al-Hadith, Vol. 2, p. 608, Zair-e-Lafz Siffin)
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra has explained this incident in the following manner:
“During this battle, Hazrat Mu‘awiyah’sra men very cleverly placed the Quran on their spears and stated that they would accept the verdict of the Quran and for this they should each appoint an arbitrator. The rebels – who were behind the killing of Hazrat Uthmanra and after his martyrdom had immediately joined Hazrat Alira in order to save themselves – began to insist that this was the right decision and urged him to appoint an arbitrator. Hazrat Alira continuously disagreed to this suggestion but they, along with some other weak natured people who came under influence of their deception, compelled Hazrat Alira to appoint a representative. And so, Hazrat Amrra bin Aas was appointed from Mu‘awiyah’sra side and Hazrat Abu Musa Asharira was appointed from Hazrat Ali’sra side.
“This tahkim was essentially to settle the matter relating to how to avenge the killing of Hazrat Uthmanra and the condition they had stipulated was that they would seek the verdict of this matter from the Holy Quran. Therefore, these representatives had been appointed so that they could decide the matter based on the Holy Quran as to how they should punish those who were behind the killing of Hazrat Uthmanra. However, Amrra bin Aas and Abu Musa Asharira mutually consulted and decided that it would be better for Hazrat Alira and Hazrat Mu‘awiyahra to step down from their roles of leadership.
“The purpose of tahkim and appointing the arbitrators were to decide the matter in relation to how to avenge the killing of Hazrat Uthmanra. However, the arbitrators mutually decided that both of them [i.e. Hazrat Alira and Hazrat Mu‘awiyahra] should first step down and thereafter they would discuss the matter because they felt that it was owing to the differences between the two that the Muslims were having to endure so much affliction.
“This was the belief of the two arbitrators. They further decided that the Muslims should then independently appoint the Khalifa of their choice. However, neither of these arbitrators had been appointed for this purpose and this line of thinking by both arbitrators was completely incorrect. They had not been appointed to decide on this matter.
“But in any case, they arranged a gathering for everyone to attend so that they could formally announce their decision. Hazrat Amrra bin Aas asked Hazrat Abu Musa Asharira to make his announcement first and that he would do it after him. Hazrat Abu Musara made the announcement that he absolved Hazrat Alira from his Caliphate. Thereafter, Hazrat Amrra bin Aas stood up and announced, ‘Abu Musa has absolved Hazrat Alira from the office of Caliphate and I also agree with this decision of his and also remove him from this office. However, I will not remove Muawiyahra; in fact, I declare that he ought to continue in his role as the Amir.’”
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra further states:
“Hazrat Amrra bin Aas was a pious man … However, I will not delve into this debate as to why he made this decision. Despite his piety, he perhaps came under the influence of the people, but leaving this discussion aside, this decision of his was not correct.
“Upon the announcement of this decision, those who were on the side of Hazrat Mu‘awiyahra began to say that the arbitrators who had been appointed had passed their decision in favour of Mu‘awiyahra and this was the right decision. However, Hazrat Alira refused to accept this decision. He stated that the arbitrators were not appointed for this purpose, nor was their decision based on any Quranic injunction. The same hypocrites who had initially insisted that Hazrat Alira should appoint an arbitrator began to raise a hue and cry, asking why these arbitrators were appointed in the first place as there could not be an arbitrator in regard to religious matters.
“Hazrat Alira replied, ‘Firstly, it was stipulated in the initial agreement that their decision would be based on the Quran, which they did not fulfil as this decision was not in accordance to the Quran. Secondly, these arbitrators’”, or the arbitrator, “‘was appointed owing to your continuous persistence and now you are asking me why I appointed him?’ To this they”, i.e. the rebels and the hypocrites, “replied, ‘We had spoken foolishly and whatever we had said was a mistake but why did you accept what we said?” The rebels and hypocrites said “‘This means that we committed a sin and you also did the same. We erred and so did you. However, we seek repentance for our mistake and you ought to repent as well. Moreover you should admit that whatever you did was wrong.’
“Their intention behind this was that if Hazrat Alira had refused, they would have abandoned their pledge of allegiance to him saying that he acted contrary to the teachings of Islam and they would therefore no longer uphold their pledge. And if he acknowledged an error on his part saying he repents, his Caliphate would have been rendered false, for how can one who commits a grave sin be the Caliph? When Hazrat Alira heard all of this he said, ‘I have committed no error. As for the matter in which I appointed an arbitrator, this is permissible in light of the Shariah of Islam. Furthermore, when I was appointing the arbitrator, I made it clear that I shall accept any decision made in accordance with the Holy Quran and the sayings of the Holy Prophetsa, and if not, then I shall not accept it under any circumstance. As they did not pay any regard to this instruction, nor did they give their verdict in accordance with the purpose with which they were appointed, therefore their decision was not binding upon me.’
“However, they did not accept this explanation of Hazrat Alira and rescinded their pledge of allegiance to him. These people became known as the Khawarij and began propagating the ideology that a Khalifa need not be obeyed; instead, they would be ruled by accepting the verdict of the Muslim majority, for having to obey one person as the Caliph would go against the principle of:
لَاحُكْمَ اِلَّا لِله
“‘The decision rests with none but Allah.’” (Khilafat-e-Rashidah, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 15, pp. 485-486)
The Battle of Nahrawan took place in 38 AH. Nahrawan is situated between Baghdad and Wasit and here the battle ensued between Hazrat Alira and the Khawarij. (Yaqut Ibn Abdullah al-Hamawi, Mu‘jam al-Buldan, Vol. 5 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah], 375)
Ibn Athir has written about this battle stating that in order to reconcile [between the two armies] during the Battle of Siffin, Hazrat Abu Musa al-Ash‘arira was appointed from Hazrat Ali’sra side and Hazrat Amrra bin al-Aas was appointed from Amir Mu‘awiyah’sra side as the arbitrators. In history, this incident is referred to as Tahkim [arbitration].
One group from the army of Hazrat Alira disputed the tahkim. They rebelled and separated themselves and were subsequently known as the Khawarij. These Khawarij deemed the tahkim a sin and demanded Hazrat Alira to repent and abdicate the Caliphate, but Hazrat Alira refused outright to do such a thing.
It has already been explained earlier why he refused. Hazrat Alira was already occupied in preparation to advance towards Syria against Amir Mua‘wiyahra when the Khawarij began their mischievous ploys. They appointed Abdullah bin Wahab as their leader and departed from Kufa towards Nahrawan. The army of the Khawarij in Basra also gathered together and joined the army of Abdullah bin Wahab in Nahrawan.
Hazrat Abdullahra bin Khabbab, a companion of the Holy Prophetsa, was killed for siding with Hazrat Alira. His pregnant wife was mercilessly killed by cutting open her abdomen. They also killed three other women of the Tayy tribe.
When news of this situation reached Hazrat Alira, he sent Harith bin Murrah to investigate. He went to them as an emissary, but the Khawarijkilled him as well. Owing to these circumstances, Hazrat Alira abandoned the thought of advancing to Syria and instead, the army of approximately 65,000 which was prepared for Syria, was now advancing to combat the Khawarij.
When Hazrat Alira reached Nahrawan, the Khawarij were called towards reconciliation. Hazrat Abu Ayyub Ansari was handed the flag and it was announced that whoever stood beneath it would be granted refuge and they will not fight him. Having heard this announcement, 100 members of the Khawarij – who numbered a total of 4,000 – joined Hazrat Alira and a large number of those remaining, returned to Kufa. Only 1,800 people advanced forward under the command of Abdullah bin Wahab Khariji and the battle between them and the 65,000-strong army of Hazrat Alira ensued, in which all the Khawarijwere killed.
According to one narration, a small amount of the Khawarij, numbering less than 10 survived.
Seven people among the army of Hazrat Alira were martyred. (Ibn al-Athir, Al-Kamil fi al-Tarikh, Vol. 3 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2003], 212-223) (Tarikh al-Mas‘udi, Chapter 2, p. 342, Nafees Academy Astrachan Road, Karachi, November 1985)
Hazrat Amrahra bint Abdir-Rahman relates that before Hazrat Alira departed for Basra, he visited Hazrat Umm Salamahra, the noble wife of the Holy Prophetsa. She said to Hazrat Alira, “Go forth with the protection of Allah the Almighty. By God, you are in the right and the truth is with you. The Holy Prophetsa instructed us to remain in our homes. Were it not for my fear of disobeying Allah and His Messengersa, I would have accompanied you. But by Allah, I send my son, Umar, with you who is most beloved and dearer to me than my own self.” (Al-Mustadrak ala al-Sahihain, Vol. 3, p. 574, Kitab Marifat al-Sahabah, Dhikr Islam Amir al-Momineen Ali, Hadith No. 3611, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2002)
There are accounts remaining and will be narrated in the coming sermon.
I again request prayers for the Ahmadis in Algeria and Pakistan. There is some good news in regard to Algeria that in recent days, two courts have acquitted many Ahmadis who had been charged with false accusations.
May Allah the Almighty reward those judges, who have acted with justice. May Allah the Almighty also enable their administration and judicial system, who are levelling false charges against Ahmadis, to act with justice.
May Allah the Almighty also enable the officials in Pakistan, who are moving away from justice and misusing their powers, to cleanse their hearts from harbouring rancour and enmity whilst dealing with these matters [concerning Ahmadis]. Those for whom it is destined that they will not reform themselves, then may Allah seize them swiftly and create means of ease and peace for the Ahmadis in Pakistan.
The Ahmadis living in Pakistan in particular should focus on offering nawafil prayers and supplications. Among these prayers, you should particularly recite the following prayer:
رَبِّ كُلُّ شَىْءٍ خَادِمُكَ رَبِّ فَاحْفَظْنِىْ وَانْصُرْنِىْ وَارْحَمْنِىْ
[O my Lord, everything is Your servant; O my Lord, protect me and help me and have mercy on me.]
You should also recite:
اَللّٰهُمَّ اِنَّا نَجْعَلُكَ فِىْ نُحُوْرِهِمْ وَنَعُوْذُ بِكَ مِنْ شُرُوْرِهِمْ
[O Allah, we make You a shield against enemies and take refuge in You from their evils.]
Also, pay particular focus towards reciting istighfar [seeking forgiveness] and the durood [invoking salutations on the Holy Prophetsa].
There is a lot of need to focus on prayers these days and also to offer the nawafil prayers. As I mentioned, may Allah the Almighty enable them [to act justly] and improve the conditions of the Ahmadis there.
Today, I shall also lead some funeral prayers after the Friday prayer. The first is of respected Humda Abbas Sahiba, wife of Abbas bin Abdul Qadir Sahib Shaheed of Khairpur. She passed away on 29 December at the age of 91.
اِنَّا لِلهِ وَاِنَّآ اِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُوْنَ
[Verily to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return].
Her father, Dr Muhammad Ibrahim Sahib, studied in King Edward Medical College and owing to the positive influence of an Ahmadi class-fellow during his studies, he pledged allegiance at the hands of Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra and accepted Ahmadiyyat in 1926 along with his wife.
Humda Sahiba married Prof Abbas bin Abdul Qadir in Lahore in May 1951, who was the grandson of Hazrat Maulana Abdul Majid Sahibra, a companion of the Promised Messiahas and son of Professor Abdul Qadir Sahib, the elder brother of Hazrat Syeda Saara Begum Sahiba, wife of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra.
In 1974, her husband, Professor Abbas bin Abdul Qadir Sahib was martyred in Khairpur, but she displayed outstanding steadfastness. She never showed any impatience and she was content with the will of God. Upon the martyrdom of her husband, her non-Ahmadi cousin wrote a letter of condolence to her, stating, “Abbas was a very good man. If only he had passed away whilst in a state of guidance.”
In response to this, Humda Sahiba wrote, “I am proud to say that the path on which he laid down his life was the path of guidance.”
Humda Sahiba had a very dear friend from her school days named Shafiqa Sahiba, who later became the wife of General Zia-ul-Haq Sahib, [former President] of Pakistan. After her husband had become the President, Zia-ul-Haq Sahib’s wife said that everyone came to meet her except for Humda. When Humda Sahiba came to know of this, she said that she had no desire to meet with the wife of a person who holds such enmity towards her beloved Imam, the Promised Messiahas and his Community; and thus she never went to meet her.
She possessed a number of virtuous qualities; she had a meticulous nature, courteous, virtuous and sincere. She always took care to offer her prayers and observe fasts and she instilled the same qualities in her children. She would always be swift in offering monetary contributions and was always ready to offer charity. During the month of Ramadan, she would arrange for many people to open the fast at her home on a daily basis. She had a deep bond of love and connection with Khilafat. She regularly wrote letters to me by hand. Until her final days, she studied books of the Promised Messiahas along with other literature of the Community, including Al Fazl.
In 2006, her youngest daughter, Dr Amira, along with her two children, passed away in a traffic accident. The deceased endured this tragedy with great forbearance and displayed an exemplary standard of patience. All of her family, friends and acquaintances as well as her non-Ahmadi relatives had great love for her due to all of her virtuous qualities.
She is survived by three daughters and two sons, who live in USA, Canada and Norway. May Allah the Almighty enable her children and progeny to continue on her virtuous deeds and may Allah elevate her status in paradise.
The next funeral is of Rizwan Syed Naeemi Sahib who was from Iraq. He passed away on 13 November at the age of 70:
اِنَّا لِلهِ وَاِنَّآ اِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُوْنَ
[Verily to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.]
His son, Mustafa Naeemi Sahib, writes:
“My father saw a dream in which he was with Hazrat Syed Abdul Qadir Jilani, who gave my father one of his shoes. My father was hesitant to take it, saying he was of no rank to be wearing the shoe of Syed Abdul Qadir Jilani. However, Syed Abdul Qadir Jilani insisted, upon which my father took the shoe and wore it. Then Syed Abdul Qadir Jilani pointed towards a person and his community and advised my father to join them.”
Afterwards, Rizwan Naeemi Sahib also saw the Holy Prophetsa in a dream. A few years later, Rizwan Sahib came to know about the Ahmadiyya Jamaat through MTA and he said that the dream in which he had seen the Holy Prophetsa was actually referring to the advent of his true servant, the Promised Messiahas; and the other dream he had seen in which Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani pointed towards a person and his community and advised him to join was referring to the Caliph of the Messiah and his Community. Hence, he accepted Ahmadiyyat in 2012. He was very virtuous and pious and would help his relatives as well as the poor. He had a passion for spreading the message of Islam Ahmadiyyat; despite his ill health along with the opposition of others, he continued to propagate the message of Ahmadiyyat in his area. He always used to advise his family to accept Ahmadiyyat and join the Community. Now, his son, wife and brother-in-law have all accepted Ahmadiyyat. May Allah the Almighty grant them steadfastness and enable them to continue the virtues of the deceased and may Allah the Almighty elevate the station of the deceased.
The next funeral is of Malik Ali Muhammad Sahib who was from Hajka in the district of Sargodha. He was the father of Muhammad Afzal Zafar Sahib, a missionary serving in Kenya. He passed away on 20 August at the age of 90:
اِنَّا لِلهِ وَاِنَّآ اِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُوْنَ
[Verily to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.]
He had the honour of being a prisoner in the way of Allah in 1974. He held a great deal of respect for the workers, life-devotees, missionaries and muallimeen of the Community. He was regular in offering Tahajud [pre-dawn voluntary prayer] as well as Salat and observing fasts. He was very hospitable and took care of the poor; he was patient and grateful and always treated his relatives with kindness. He was a virtuous and sincere individual. He was regular in reciting the Holy Quran and he was also able to teach many children the Holy Quran. He is survived by three sons and eleven grandchildren.
As I mentioned, his son, respected Muhammad Afzal Zafar Sahib is serving as a missionary in Kenya and due to his responsibilities in the field there, he was unable to attend the funeral or burial of his father. May Allah Almighty grant him patience and forbearance. May He grant the deceased His mercy and forgiveness and elevate his station.
The next funeral is of Ehsan Ahmad Sahib from Lahore, son of Shafqat Mahmud Sahib. He passed away on 27 July at the age of 35 years due to complications from the Coronavirus.
اِنَّا لِلهِ وَاِنَّآ اِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُوْنَ
[Verily to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.]
He was the paternal grandson of Hazrat Maulvi Nooruddin Ajmal Sahibra from Goleki in the district of Gujrat, who was a companion of the Promised Messiahas. He was also the maternal grandson of Irshad Ahmad Sahib of Gujranwala. For the past two years, he was serving as the Local President of the Rachna Town Jamaat in Lahore. Apart from this, he also served as the Secretary for New Converts under the Delhi Gate Amarat. He had a particular passion for propagating the message of Islam Ahmadiyyat and by the grace of Allah, he had the honour that through him, eight individuals accepted Ahmadiyyat.
He is survived by his wife, two sons, Hanan Ahmad Masroor who is six years old and Mubeen Ahmad Tahir who is three years old, along with one daughter, Saira Ahmad who is five years old, as well as his parents, three brothers and two sisters.
May Allah the Almighty grant them all patience and forbearance and be the Protector of these children and enable them to continue the virtuous deeds of their father. May He elevate the station of the deceased.
The next funeral is of respected Riaz-ud-Din Shams Sahib, who was the youngest son of Maulana Jalaluddin Shams Sahib. He passed away on 27 May:
اِنَّا لِلهِ وَاِنَّآ اِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُوْنَ
[Verily to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.]
His family background is that he was the paternal great grandson of Hazrat Mian Muhammad Siddiq Sahibra, a companion of the Promised Messiahas; he was the paternal grandson of Hazrat Mian Imamuddin Sahib Sekhwanira, the maternal grandson of Hazrat Khawaja Ubaidullah Sahibra and the son of Hazrat Maulana Jalaluddin Sahib Shamsra, all of whom were companions of the Promised Messiahas. The deceased was a musi and is survived by two daughters and one son and his wife had already passed away before him. May Allah Almighty grant his children patience and forbearance.
May Allah grant the deceased His forgiveness and mercy and elevate his station.
His brother, Munir-ud-din Shams Sahib, says:
“The deceased possessed many virtuous qualities; he was regular in offering prayers and always advised his children to do the same. He had a great bond of love for Khilafat and would always have conversations at home about remaining attached to Khilafat.”
Two years ago when he was ill, he came here to meet me and despite his illness, he displayed great patience and resolve and was in high spirits. If he was worried, it was only regarding his daughters, but not about himself. Everyone had the same impression of him, which was that no matter the circumstances, he would always be seen smiling and he was known to meet everyone with great affection and would be very supportive in both times of ease and hardship.
May Allah Almighty grant the deceased His forgiveness and mercy and elevate his station.
(Original Urdu transcript published in Al Fazl International, 15 January 2021, pp. 5-10. Translated by The Review of Religions.)