Men of Excellence: Hazrat Ali r.a. (4 December 2020)


Friday Sermon

4 December 2020

Men of Excellence: Hazrat Alira


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

In the previous sermon I was narrating the accounts of Hazrat Alira and I will continue to do so today. 

With regard to the bond of brotherhood that was formed with Hazrat Alira, it is mentioned in the narrations that the Holy Prophetsa declared Hazrat Alira to be his brother on two occasions. On one occasion, the Holy Prophetsa formed bonds of brotherhood between the Muhajireen in Mecca and later the Holy Prophetsa formed bonds of brotherhood between the Muhajireen and Ansar after having migrated to Medina. On both occasions, the Holy Prophetsa said to Hazrat Alira

اَنْتَ‭ ‬اَخِيْ‭ ‬فِي‭ ‬الدُّنْيَا‭ ‬وَالْآخِرَة

“You are my brother, in this world as well as in the Hereafter!” (Ali Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghabah fi Ma‘rifat al-Sahabah, Vol. 4, Dhikr Ali bin Abi Talib [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2016], 88)

According to another narration, the Holy Prophetsa formed a bond of brotherhood between Hazrat Alira bin Abi Talib and Hazrat Sahlra bin Hunaif. (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, Dhikr Ali bin Abi Talib [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2017], 16)

According to the historical references, this bond was formed on two occasions. A commentator of Sahih Bukhari, Allama Qastallani, states that the bond of brotherhood was formed on two occasions. Firstly in Mecca, prior to the migration, where the Holy Prophetsa formed bonds of brotherhood between Hazrat Abu Bakrra and Hazrat Umarra and between Hazrat Uthmanra and Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra bin Auf and between Hazrat Zubairra and Hazrat Abdullahra bin Masud and between Hazrat Alira and himself. Following this, and after having migrated to Medina, the Holy Prophetsa formed bonds of brotherhood between the Muhajireen and the Ansar at the house of Hazrat Anasra bin Malik.

Ibn Saad relates that the Holy Prophetsa formed bonds of brotherhood between a hundred companions; that is, between 50 Muhajireen and 50 Ansar. (Irshad al-Sari Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 8, pp. 410-411, Hadith 3937, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 1996)

With the exception of the Battle of Tabuk, Hazrat Alira participated alongside the Holy Prophetsa in all battles, including the Battle of Badr. On the occasion of the Battle of Tabuk, the Holy Prophetsa had instructed him to take care of his family. (Ali Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghabah fi Ma‘rifat al-Sahabah, Vol. 4, Dhikr Ali bin Abi Talib [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Fikr, 2003], 92)

Hazrat Tha‘labahra bin Abi Malik relates that on every occasion, Hazrat Sadra bin Ubadah would hold the flag on behalf of the Holy Prophetsa. However, whenever the battle would commence, Hazrat Alira bin Abi Talib would take hold of it. (Ali Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghabah fi Ma‘rifat al-Sahabah, Vol. 4, Dhikr Ali bin Abi Talib [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Fikr, 2003], 93)

The Ghazwah of Ushairah took place in Jamadi-ul-Ula [fifth month of the Islamic calendar], in the second year after Hijra. Other than being referred to as the Battle of Ushairah, this battle has also been named as Ghazwah Dhul Ushairah, Zat-ul-Ushairah and Usairah in the books of history. Ushairah is the name of a fortress, situated in the Hijaz, between Yanb and Dhul Marwah. 

Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra has presented the details of this incident as follows: 

“After this, in Jamadi-ul-Ulain2 AH, upon receiving news of the Quraish of Mecca once again, the Holy Prophetsa set out from Medina with a company of the Muhajireen and appointed his foster brother, Abu Salamahra bin Abdil Asad as the Amir in his absence. In this Ghazwah, after making numerous rounds, the Holy Prophetsa finally reached Ushairah, which was situated close to the coast and the region of Yanbu. Although a battle with the Quraish did not take place, nevertheless the Holy Prophetsa settled a treaty with the Banu Mudlij on terms as were agreed upon with the Banu Damrah, and subsequently returned.” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, p. 329) (Lughat al-Hadith, Vol. 3, pp. 110-111) (Ali bin Burhan al-Din al-Halabi,  Al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah, Vol. 2, Bab Dhikr Maghaziyah [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2002], 175) (Dala‘il al-Nubuwwah, Vol. 5, p. 460, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1988)

Hazrat Alira took part in this expedition, regarding which it is narrated in Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal – Hazrat Ammar bin Yasirra stated: 

“Hazrat Alira and I were together in the journey during the expedition of Zatul Ushairah. When the Holy Prophetsa reached there and settled, we saw the people of Banu Mudlij who were working in one of the springs of their date-orchard. Hazrat Alira asked me, ‘O Abu Yaqzaan, what do you think, shall we go closer and see what they are doing?’ 

“Thus we went towards them and watched them work for some time. Then we began to feel tired, so Hazrat Alira and I left from there and rested on the ground between two date palms and fell asleep. By God, it was the Holy Prophetsa who woke us up. He prodded us with his foot to wake us up, as we were covered in dust [from the ground beneath]. On that day, upon seeing the dust on Hazrat Ali’sra body, the Holy Prophetsa said, ‘O Abu Turab [father of dust]!’ Then he said, ‘Shall I not tell you about two of the most wretched men?’” 

I spoke in the previous sermon about the title of “Abu Turab”, that once the Holy Prophetsa saw Hazrat Alira sleeping in the mosque and he was covered in dust, so he said, “O Abu Turab!” He called him Abu Turab and from then on he was also known by this title. It is possible that he was given this title during this particular incident or in a later incident; or he may have called him by this title on both occasions. But in any case, it seems that this particular incident [of the mosque] took place first. 

“[The Holy Prophetsa said,] ‘Shall I inform you regarding two of the most wretched men?’ We submitted, ‘Yes, O Messengersa of Allah.’ The Holy Prophetsa said, ‘The first was a man named Uhaimir from the people of Thamud who cut the legs of the camel of Prophet Salihas. The second person, O Ali, is he who shall strike your head as a result of which your beard will drip with blood.’” (Ahmadrh bin Hanbal, Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal, Vol. 6, Musnad Ammarra bin Yasir, Hadith 18511 [Beirut, Lebanon: Alam al-Kutub, 1998], 261)

The expedition of Safwan Badrat-ul-Ula, took place near the end of Jamadi-ul-Akhir in 2 AH. Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra has expounded upon this in the following words:

“10 days had not passed since the return of the Holy Prophetsa to Medina when a chieftain of Mecca named Kurz bin Jabir Fihrii very cunningly, along with a company of the Quraish, suddenly raided a pasture of Medina, which was situated only three miles from the city and fled with camels etc. belonging to the Muslims. As soon as the Holy Prophetsa received news of this, he appointed Zaidra bin Harithah as the amirin his absence and set out in his pursuit along with a group of the Muhajireen. The Holy Prophetsa pursued him until he reached Safwan which is an area close to Badr, but he managed to escape. This ghazwah is also known as GhazwahBadrat-ul-Ula.” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, p. 330)

During this expedition, the Holy Prophetsa gave Hazrat Alira a white flag. (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 2, Dhikr Maghazi Rasul-Allahsa wa Sarayahu [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Ihya al-Turah al-Arabi, 1996], 253)

The Battle of Badr took place in 2 AH, or March 623 CE. With regard to Hazrat Ali’sra participation in this battle, it is recorded in the traditions that the Holy Prophetsa sent Hazrat Alira, Hazrat Zubairra, Hazrat Saadra bin Abi Waqas and Hazrat Busbusra bin Amr to the spring of Badr to find out information regarding the idolaters. They saw the Quraish giving their animals water and they captured this group of idolaters and brought them to the Holy Prophetsa. (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 2, Ghazwat Badr [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Ihya al-Turath al-Arabi, 1996], 256) (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, p. 349)

During the Battle of Badr, when the two armies came face to face, the two sons of Rabi‘ah, Shebah and Utbah, along with Walid bin Utbah stepped forward and challenged the Muslims for a duel. Three Ansar companions from the Banu Harith tribe, Muaz, Muawwiz and Auf, who were the sons of Afra, stepped forward to battle with them. However the Holy Prophetsa did not like for the Ansar to be involved in the initial combat between the idolaters and Muslims. Instead, he desired that this glory should be exhibited by the progeny of his uncle and by his people [i.e. the Quraish]. Thus, he commanded the Ansar to return to their ranks and commended them for this act. Then, the idolaters said, “O Muhammad, send forth those individuals from our people who can compete with us.” Thus, the Holy Prophetsa said, “O Banu Hashim, go forth and fight for the truth – the truth with which Allah has sent your prophet, for these people have come with their falsehood in order to try and extinguish the light of Allah.” 

Thus, Hazrat Hamzahra bin Abdul Muttalib, Hazrat Alira bin Abi Talib and Hazrat Ubaidahra bin Harith went forth against them. Utbah told them to say something so that they may recognise them as they were wearing helmets due to which their faces were hidden. 

Hazrat Hamzahra said, “I am Hamzah bin Abdil Muttablib. I am the lion of Allah and His Messengersa.” Upon this, Utbah said that he was a worthy opponent and that he himself was the lion of the tribes. Then he enquired regarding the other two. Hazrat Hamzahra said that they were Alira bin Abi Talib and Ubaidahra bin Harith. Utbah said that they too were worthy opponents. 

Then, Utbah said to his son, “O Walid, go forth.” Hazrat Alira went up against to fight him; both began wielding their swords and Hazrat Alira killed him. Then Utbah went forth and Hazrat Hamzahra stood to fight him. Both wielded their swords and Hazrat Hamzahra killed him. Then Shebah stood and Hazrat Ubaidahra bin Harith went forth to fight him; on that day, Hazrat Ubaidahra was the eldest amongst all the companions of the Holy Prophetsa. Shebah struck Hazrat Ubaidah’sra leg with his sword and wounded his calf. Hazrat Hamzahra and Hazrat Alira attacked Shebah and killed him. (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 2, Ghazwat Badr [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Ihya al-Turath al-Arabi, 1996], 257) 

This same narration was mentioned two years ago, a part of which I will mention again. The aforementioned incident is recorded in this particular narration in which Hazrat Alira narrates that Utbah bin Rabi‘ah, along with his son and his brother, stepped forward and declared, “Who will come forth and challenge us?” Upon this, a few youngsters from the Ansar responded. Utbah asked who they were and they responded by saying that they were from among the Ansar. Utbah replied saying, “We have nothing to do with you, we only wish to fight the sons of our uncle.” The Holy Prophetsa then said, “O Hamzah, get up. O Ali, stand up. O Ubaidah bin Harith, go forth.” Hamzahra set off towards Utbah and Hazrat Alira says that he went towards Shebah, while Ubaidah clashed with Walid. Both severely injured one another, after which both Hazrat Hamzahra and Hazrat Alira went towards Walid and killed him and took Ubaidahra away from the battlefield. (Sunan Abi Dawud, Kitab al-Jihad, Bab fi al-Mubarazah, Hadith 2665)

With regard to the Battle of Badr, Hazrat Alira states, “The disbelievers heavily outnumbered the Muslims. The Holy Prophetsa spent the entire night fervently praying to God. When the army of disbelievers came near and we formed our ranks, my gaze fell on a person who was riding a red camel which was walking through the ranks of the enemy. The Holy Prophetsa said, ‘O Ali, call Hamzah, who is stood close to the disbelievers and ask him who is riding the red camel and what he is saying.’ Then the Holy Prophetsa said, ‘If there is anyone from among the disbelievers who can give them good and beneficial advice, it is this person who is riding the red camel.’ Meanwhile, Hazrat Hamzahra came and informed that it was Utbah bin Rabi‘ah, who was advising the disbelievers against fighting. However, Abu Jahl responded to him and said that he was a coward and was afraid of fighting. This incited Utbah’s pride and he said, ‘Today we shall see who is a coward.’” (Ahmadrh bin Hanbal, Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal, Vol. 1, Musnad Alira bin Abi Talib, Hadith 948 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 1998], 338-339)

Hazrat Alira narrates that on the occasion of the Battle of Badr, the Holy Prophetsa said to both him and Hazrat Abu Bakrra, “On the right side of one of you is Gabriel and on the right side of the other is Mikael; and Israfil is a great angel who is present during times of war and stands among the ranks.” (Al-Mustadrak ala al-Sahihain, Vol. 3, p. 345, Kitab Marifat al-Sahabah, Dar al-Fikr, Beirut, 2002)

With regard to the Battle of Badr, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra writes:

“Hazrat Alira relates that during the course of battle, whenever the Holy Prophetsa would come to mind, he would run towards his tent, but whenever he went there, he found the Holy Prophetsa weeping in prostration. He also heard that the Holy Prophetsa would constantly repeat the words: 

يَا‭ ‬حَيُّ‭ ‬يَاقَيُّوْمُ۔‭ ‬يَاحَيُّ‭ ‬يَاقَيُّوْمُ

“‘O my Ever-Living, Life-Giving Master! O my Ever-Living, Life-Giving Master!’

“Hazrat Abu Bakrra was greatly anxious by this state of the Holy Prophetsa and at times, would spontaneously say, ‘O Messengersa of Allah! May my mother and father be sacrificed for you! Do not worry, Allah shall certainly fulfil His promises.’ However, the Holy Prophetsa remained constantly engaged in his supplications (out of fear that some promises of Allah the Almighty are conditional).” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, p. 361)

The marriage between Hazrat Alira and Hazrat Fatimahra took place in 2 AH. Hazrat Alira requested the Holy Prophetsa for her hand in marriage, to which he happily agreed. Hazrat Anasra narrates that both Hazrat Abu Bakrra and Hazrat Umarra had asked for Hazrat Fatimah’sra hand in marriage, but the Holy Prophetsa remained silent on the matter and did not give them an answer. 

Hazrat Alira narrates:

“I went to the Holy Prophetsa and requested if he would give Hazrat Fatimah’sra hand in marriage to me. The Holy Prophetsa asked, ‘Do you have anything to give for the mehr [dowry given by the husband to the wife]?’ I said, ‘I have a horse and chainmail’. The Holy Prophetsa said, ‘You will require your horse, but you can sell your chainmail.’ Thus I sold my chain mail for 480 dirhams to arrange for my mehr.”

People often think that they can set the haq mehr as they please and will worry about paying it later, whereas the Holy Prophetsa has ordered to make provisions for the haq mehr. This means that this is a right of the wife and should be given immediately. 

Some people write to me saying that their wife has made a demand asking for the haq mehr, even though they were living happily together. If they make this request, then this is their right and should be given immediately. Failing to do so can then lead to quarrels. Also, some people claim that this [i.e. haq mehr] is something that should be settled during divorce settlements, whereas this has no link with divorce. 

Nonetheless, there is a narration which states that Hazrat Alira sold his chainmail to Hazrat Uthmanra. Hazrat Uthmanra gave the money for the chainmail and then gave the chainmail back to him. Hazrat Alira states, “I took the amount to the Holy Prophetsa and presented it to him. The Holy Prophetsa took a handful of the money and gave it to Bilalra and said, ‘Buy some fragrance with it.’ He then instructed others to prepare the trousseau for Hazrat Fatimahra. Hence, they prepared a charpoy, a leather pillow which was filled with sheaths of the date palm.” All this was prepared for her wedding. 

In one narration, it is stated that when the marriage of Hazrat Fatimahra was settled with Hazrat Alira, the Holy Prophetsa said, “My Lord had already commanded me to do this [i.e. regarding the marriage]”. Once the marriage had taken place, the Holy Prophetsa said to Hazrat Alira, “When Fatimahra arrives, do not say anything to her until I arrive.” Hazrat Fatimahra came with Hazrat Umm-e-Aimanra and sat to one side of the house. Hazrat Alira says that he also sat to one side. After this, the Holy Prophetsa arrived and asked, “Where is my brother?” Hazrat Umm-e-Aimanra asked, “Your brother? And you gave your daughter in marriage to him?” The Holy Prophetsa replied, “Yes.” (This is a relation in which marriage is permissible because Hazrat Alira was not his actual brother.) The Holy Prophetsa then entered the house and requested Hazrat Fatimahra to bring him some water. She stood up and brought a bowl of water that was in the house. The Holy Prophetsa rinsed his mouth with the water and said to Hazrat Fatimahra to come forward. She moved forward; the Holy Prophetsa then sprinkled some water over her head and recited the following prayer: 

اَللّٰهُمَّ‭ ‬اِنِّي‭ ‬اُعِيْذُهَا‭ ‬بِكَ‭ ‬وَذُرِّيَّتَهَا‭ ‬مِنَ‭ ‬الشَّيْطَانِ‭ ‬الرَّجِيْمِ

Meaning, “O Allah! I seek Your refuge for her and her progeny from Satan the Accursed.” The Holy Prophetsa then asked her to turn around. When she turned around, the Holy Prophetsa sprinkled water between her shoulders and then did the same to Hazrat Alira. The Holy Prophetsa then said to Hazrat Alira, “Now go to your wife with the name of Allah and His blessings.”

In another narration, Hazrat Alira stated that the Holy Prophetsa performed ablution in a bowl and then sprinkled the water on Hazrat Fatimahra and Hazrat Alira. He then offered the following prayer: 

اَللّٰهُمَّ‭ ‬بَارِكْ‭ ‬فِيْهِمَا‭ ‬وَبَارِكْ‭ ‬لَهُمَا‭ ‬فِيْ‭ ‬شَمْلِهِمَا

“O Allah! Bestow blessings on both of them and bless this union.” 

Hazrat Aishara and Hazrat Umm-e-Salmahra narrate, “The Holy Prophetsa instructed us to prepare Hazrat Fatimahra for her wedding and also for us to take her to Hazrat Alira. Thus, we turned our attention to the arrangements of the house; we coated [the walls] with soft mud from the outskirts of Batha [name of a place near Mecca], then filled two pillows with date palm sheaths, carding it with our hands. We then placed dates and raisons to eat as well as sweet water to drink. We took a stick and fixed it on one side of the room so that clothes could be hung from it as well as water skins. We did not witness a better wedding than Hazrat Fatimah’s. The walima consisted of dates, barely, cheese and hais.” Hais is a dish prepared from dates, clarified butter and cheese etc.

Hazrat Asmara bint Umais narrates, “At that time, we did not witness a better wedding than this one.” (Sharh Zurqani ala al-Mawahib al-Laduniyyah, Vol. 2, pp. 357-267, Dhikr Tazwij Ali bi Fatimah, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1996) (Sunan Ibn Majah, Kitab al-Nikah, Bab al-Walimah, Hadith 1911) (Tarikh al-Khamis, Vol. 2, p. 77, al-Waqi‘ min Awwal Hijratihsa ila Wafatih, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2009) (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 8 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 1990], 19) (Lughat al-Hadith, Vol. 1, p. 172, Kitab al-Haa)

With regard to the marriage of Hazrat Fatimahra and Hazrat Alira, a detailed account has been mentioned in Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin as follows:

“Hazrat Fatimahra was the youngest child of the Holy Prophetsa, from among the children he was blessed with from Hazrat Khadijahra. The Holy Prophetsa held Hazrat Fatimahra most dear to himself and on account of her personal merit, she was undoubtedly most worthy of this distinct love. Now, her age had more or less reached 15 and she had begun to receive proposals of marriage. 

“It was Hazrat Abu Bakrra who was the very first to make a request for Hazrat Fatimahra but the Holy Prophetsa apologised. Then, Hazrat Umarra made a proposal, but his request was not accepted either. After this, upon judging that the intention of the Holy Prophetsa seemed to be with respect to Hazrat Alira, both these honourable men approached Hazrat Alira and encouraged him to make a proposal with regards to Hazrat Fatimahra

“Hazrat Alira who was perhaps already desirous, but was silent out of modesty, immediately presented himself before the Holy Prophetsa and submitted a proposal. The Holy Prophetsa had already received an indication by way of divine revelation that the marriage of Hazrat Fatimahra should take place with Hazrat Alira . Hence, when Hazrat Alira presented a request, the Holy Prophetsa said, ‘I have already received a divine indication in this respect.’ Then, the Holy Prophetsa sought the consent of Hazrat Fatimahra, who remained silent out of modesty. 

“In a way, this was also an expression of acceptance. Therefore, the Holy Prophetsa gathered a community of the Muhajireen and Ansar and formally announced the marriage of Hazrat Alira and Hazrat Fatimahra [i.e. the nikah]. This event took place in the beginning or middle of 2 AH. 

“Afterwards, when the Battle of Badr had taken place, it was proposed that the rukhsatanah [when the bride is sent off by her parents to her new home] be held in the month of Dhul-Hijjah 2 AH. The Holy Prophetsa called upon Hazrat Alira and enquired of him as to whether he had anything to pay the mehr. (The incident regarding the orchard which was mentioned earlier was before the marriage took place, therefore I was correct in saying that this incident took place before the marriage.) Hazrat Alira submitted, ‘O Messengersa of Allah! I have nothing.’ The Holy Prophetsa responded, ‘What about that chainmail I gave to you on that day (i.e., from the spoils of Badr)?’ Hazrat Alira responded, ‘That, I do have.’ The Holy Prophetsa said, ‘That shall suffice, bring it.’ Hence, this chainmail was sold for 480 dirhams and the Holy Prophetsa arranged for the expenses of the wedding from this very amount. 

“The trousseau which the Holy Prophetsa gave to Hazrat Fatimahra consisted of an embroidered shawl, a cushion made of hide which had been filled with dry date palm leaves and a water-skin. It is also related in one narration that the Holy Prophetsa also gave Hazrat Fatimahra a hand-mill as part of her trousseau. When these items had been arranged for, there was a need to obtain a home. 

“Until now, Hazrat Alira perhaps lived with the Holy Prophetsa in an apartment built next to the mosque. However, a separate abode was now required, where husband and wife could reside after marriage. Therefore, the Holy Prophetsa instructed Hazrat Alira to find a place where both of them could reside. Hazrat Alira temporarily arranged for a home and the rukhsatanah of Hazrat Fatimahra took place. On the very same day, after the rukhsatanah, the Holy Prophetsa visited their new home and called for some water to be brought to him, prayed on it and then sprinkled it on both Hazrat Fatimahra and Hazrat Alira, whilst repeating the following words:

اَللّٰهُمَّ‭ ‬بَارِكْ‭ ‬فِيْهِمَا‭ ‬وَبَارِكْ‭ ‬عَلَيْهِمَا‭ ‬وَبَارِكْ‭ ‬لَهُمَا‭ ‬نَسْلَهُمَا

“Meaning, ‘O my Allah! Bless their union, and bless those relations with others which are built from this union and bless their progeny.’ 

“After this, the Holy Prophetsa left the newly wedded couple alone and returned. Afterwards, one day, when the Holy Prophetsa came to visit Hazrat Fatimahra, she submitted to the Holy Prophetsa that Harithahra bin Nu‘man Ansari was in possession of a few homes, and asked if the Holy Prophetsa would request him to vacate one of them. The Holy Prophetsa said, ‘He has already vacated so many homes for our sake. Now I feel embarrassed in requesting more of him.’ 

“In some way or another, when Harithahra happened to find out about this, he came running to the Holy Prophetsa and submitted, ‘O Messengersa of Allah! Everything I own belongs to you my Master. By God, whatever you accept of me causes me greater joy than that which remains with me.’ Then, this faithful companion insisted and vacated one of his homes and presented it to the Holy Prophetsa. After this, Hazrat Alira and Hazrat Fatimahra moved to this home.” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, pp. 455-456)

Despite their impoverished and straitened circumstances, Hazrat Alira and Hazrat Fatimahra were examples of devotion and piety. In the ahadith, we find a narration in which Hazrat Alira states, “Hazrat Fatimahra complained of pain in her hands due to using the hand mill. During this time, a few prisoners were brought to the Holy Prophetsa. Hazrat Fatimahra went to visit the Holy Prophetsa, but she did not find him at home.  Hazrat Fatimahra met Hazrat Aishara and informed her of the reason why she came. When the Holy Prophetsa returned, Hazrat Aishara informed him why Hazrat Fatimahra had visited.” Hazrat Alira further narrates, “The Holy Prophetsa visited us when we had just retired to our beds. We were about to stand up for him, but the Holy Prophetsa stated, ‘Remain as you are.’ He then sat with us in a way that I felt the coolness from his feet near my chest. He then said, ‘Shall I not inform both of you about that which is better than what you came to ask for earlier? That is when you both lie down to sleep recite ‘Allahu Akbar’ [Allah is the Greatest] 34 times, ‘Subhanallah’ [Glory to Allah] 33 times and ‘Alhamdolillah’ [All praise is due to Allah] 33 times. This will be better for both of you than requesting for a worker for the house.’”

Hazrat Abu Hurairahra narrates, “Hazrat Fatimahra went to the Holy Prophetsa in order to request for a worker for the home and expressed difficulty in the housework. The Holy Prophetsa stated, ‘You will not find such a worker with me’”, meaning that she would not be given a worker, as the Holy Prophetsa did not wish to give her one. Even though Hazrat Alira was entitled one from the spoils of war. However, the Holy Prophetsa did not give him one. Instead, the Holy Prophetsa said to her, “Shall I not tell you about something which will be better for you than obtaining a worker? Before going to sleep, you should recite ‘Subhanallah’ 33 times, ‘Alhamdolillah’ 33 times and ‘Allahu Akbar’ 34 times.” This is a narration of Sahih Muslim. (Sahih Muslim, Kitab al-Dhikr wa al-Du’a wa al-Taubah, Bab al-Tasbih Awwal al-Nahar w inda al-Naum, Hadith 6915, 6918)

In his biography of the Holy Prophetsa, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra mentions this incident whilst quoting the reference mentioned in Sahih Bukhari:

“Hazrat Fatimahra complained to the Holy Prophetsa that using the hand mill caused her pain. During this time, some captives were brought to the Holy Prophetsa. Hazrat Fatimahra went to visit the Holy Prophetsa but did not find him at home. She then informed Hazrat Aishara as to the reason why she came and then returned home. When the Holy Prophetsa returned home, Hazrat Aishara informed him about the reasons for Hazrat Fatimahra visiting earlier. Hazrat Fatimahra states, ‘The Holy Prophetsa came to visit us when we had retired to bed. Upon seeing him, I attempted to get up, but the Holy Prophetsa stated for us to remain lying down. He sat down with us in a way that I felt the breeze from his footsteps near my chest. When he sat down, he said, ‘Shall I not inform you of something which is better than that which you enquired about? That is, before you go to sleep, recite ‘Allahu Akbar’ [Allah is the Greatest]] 34 times, ‘Subhanallah’ [Glory to Allah] 33 times and ‘Alhamdolillah’ [All praise is due to Allah] 33 times. This will be far greater for you than a worker.’”

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra further writes:

“This incident demonstrates just how particular the Holy Prophetsa was in regard to the distribution of wealth. Despite the fact that Hazrat Fatimahra was in need of a worker owing to pain in her hands from grinding stones, the Holy Prophetsa did not give her one and instead, drew her attention towards God Almighty by urging her to pray. If the Holy Prophetsa wished, he could have given a worker to Hazrat Fatimahra because the wealth that would come to the Holy Prophetsa was for the distribution amongst the companions. And Hazrat Alira had a right from that share, as did Hazrat Fatimahra. However, the Holy Prophetsa acted with caution and did not wish to bestow anything from that to any of his close relations. The reason for this was that perhaps the people that came later would have drawn their own conclusions from this incident and kings would deem that they had a right over the wealth that belonged to the people. Therefore, remaining cautious of this, the Holy Prophetsa did not bestow Hazrat Fatimahra anyone from among the captives that were brought to him. 

It should be remembered here that God Almighty had already stipulated a portion from the wealth for the Holy Prophetsa and his relatives. He would spend from among this and also grant to his family members. However, until his portion was not granted to him, he would never spend from it, nor would he give it to his relatives. Can the world present the example of any king who was so cautious and careful with spending from the treasury? If such an example exists, then it is only from among the servants of this pure individual, otherwise no other religion can present such an example.” (Sirat al-Nabi, Anwar al-Ulum, Vol. 1, 544-545)

Hazrat Alira bin Abi Talib relates that the Holy Prophetsa visited him and his daughter, Hazrat Fatimahra, one night and enquired, “Do you both not pray?” Hazrat Alira submitted, “O Messengersa of Allah, our lives are in the hands of God, thus He causes us to awaken from our sleep whenever He wills.” The Holy Prophetsa did not say anything in reply and returned.

In other words, the Holy Prophetsa enquired whether or not they offered the Tahajud prayer [predawn voluntary prayer]. Upon this, Hazrat Alira replied that if they did not wake up at the time of Tahajud then that was owing to the will of Allah. And whenever Allah willed for them to wake up at that time, then they would offer the Tahajud prayer. Upon this, the Holy Prophetsa remained silent and returned home. Hazrat Alira relates that when the Holy Prophetsa was returning from there, he heard him say whilst tapping his hand upon his thigh: 

وَكَانَ‭ ‬الْاِنْسَانُ‭ ‬اَكْثَرَ‭ ‬شَيْءٍ‭ ‬جَدَلًا

That is, “But of all things, man is most contentious.” (Surah al-Kahf, Ch.16: V.55) (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Tahajud, Bab Tahrid al-Nabisa ala Qiyam al-Lail wa al-Nawafil, Hadith 1127) 

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra, whilst narrating this incident, states:  

“One night, the Holy Prophetsa visited the house of his son-in-law, Hazrat Alira, and his daughter, Hazrat Fatimahra, and enquired, ‘Do you offer the Tahajud prayer?’ In other words, the prayer which is offered after waking up in the middle of the night. Hazrat Alira submitted, ‘O Messengersa of Allah, we try to offer it, but at times, owing to the will of Allah, we remain asleep and miss the Tahajud prayer. The Holy Prophetsa stated, ‘You should offer the Tahajud prayer’ and then left to return home and whilst walking back, he kept repeating: 

وَكَانَ‭ ‬الْاِنْسَانُ‭ ‬اَكْثَرَ‭ ‬شَيْءٍ‭ ‬جَدَلًا

This is a verse of the Holy Quran, which means that most often, one is reluctant to admit and acknowledge his error and offers all kinds of justifications in order to conceal his faults. In other words, Hazrat Alira and Hazrat Fatimahra should have said that sometimes they commit the mistake [and oversleep], instead of saying that it is owing to the will of God Almighty that they remain asleep. Why did they attribute their error to Allah the Almighty.” (Dibachah Tafsir al-Quran, Anwar al-Ulum, Vol. 20, pp. 389-390)

Further explaining this incident, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states: 

“Hazrat Alira narrates an incident when on one occasion he responded to the Holy Prophetsa in a manner which had a slight tone of contentiousness, but instead of expressing any displeasure, the Holy Prophetsa gave such a beautiful response which perhaps Hazrat Alira continued to enjoy its sweet delight for the rest of his life and indeed the pleasure he derived from this was his right alone. But even now, when one carefully ponders over this expression of displeasure of the Holy Prophetsa, they are left astounded. 

“There is a tradition from Bukhari, in which Hazrat Alira narrates, ‘One night, the Holy Prophetsa visited me and Fatimah al-Zahrara, the daughter of the Holy Prophetsa, and enquired whether we offered the Tahajud prayer. I replied, “O Messengersa of Allah, our lives are in the hands of Allah and whenever He wills, He causes us to wake up.” Upon hearing this, the Messengersa of Allah returned home and did not say anything to me. However, when he stood up and his back was towards me, I heard him say whilst he was tapping his hand on this thigh, “But of all things, man is most contentious.”’ 

“By Allah, look how beautifully the Holy Prophetsa explained to Hazrat Alira that he should not have responded in the manner he did. Had it been anyone else, firstly they would have responded back by saying that considering his position and rank, he had no right to give a response like that. Or, at the very least, he would have argued that what he had said was incorrect in that a person has no choice and that all of one’s actions are controlled by Allah the Almighty; He does so as He wills, including whether one offers their prayers or not. He would have argued that such a concept of compulsion was against the Holy Quran. However, the Holy Prophetsa did not respond in either manner, nor did he become angry or argue with Hazrat Alira in order to highlight his error. In fact, he turned to one side and expressed his astonishment at the fact that how one is always able to find a justification and becomes contentious. The reality of the matter is that this one statement of the Holy Prophetsa was filled with countless lessons and had it been anyone else, they would not have been able to convey a fraction of it even if they had argued a hundred times.  From this hadith, we can derive many lessons which shed light on the various aspects of the Holy Prophet’ssa morals and it will be appropriate to mention them here.” 

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra further states:

“Firstly, it reveals just how much concern the Holy Prophetsa had for the adherence to religion and faith that he would personally visit the homes of his close relatives in the night and look after their needs in this regard. There are many people, who, although are virtuous themselves and also counsel others to do the same, but the condition of their own home is not in order. They do not have the potential to even reform the people within their own household and the famous proverbial expression, ‘Just below the lantern lies the darkness’ applies to these very people. 

“In other words, their example can be likened to a lantern which grants light to its surroundings, but right beneath it remains darkness. Such people counsel others, but have no concern for their own home as to whether the people of their own household are deriving any benefit from their light. However, the Holy Prophetsa wished the members of his household to also partake of this spiritual light which he wanted to illumine the world with. For this, the Holy Prophetsa would constantly counsel them and regularly enquire from them and assess their condition. The moral training of one’s own household members is such a moral excellence that if the Holy Prophetsa did not possesses this, then this invaluable trait would have been devoid from his moral qualities. The second aspect which is evident [from this hadith] is the absolute conviction the Holy Prophetsa had in this teaching which he presented before the world. Not even for a single moment did the Holy Prophetsa ever entertain a doubt regarding this teaching. People level the allegation that, God-forbid, the Holy Prophetsa did not receive any divine revelation and only did all of this in order to mislead the people and thereby establish his own rule. However, this was certainly not the case. 

“The Holy Prophetsa had such conviction in his prophetood and having been commissioned by God that one cannot find any such example in the world. It is possible that one can put on an act before people in order to prove their truthfulness; however, it is not possible that one would go in the late of hours of the night to the house of their own daughter and son-in-law and enquire whether they offered the prayer which one offers by waking up in the middle of the night and which is not even obligatory, but rather has been left for the believers to decide for themselves based on their circumstances. 

“Thus, for the Holy Prophetsa to visit the house of his daughter and son-in-law at such a time and to encourage them to offer the Tahajud prayer proves the absolute conviction he had in this teaching which he wanted others to adhere to as well. Otherwise, in the case of a liar, he knows that someone may or may not follow his teaching, but he would never discreetly visit the home of his children and advise them to adhere to this teaching. In other words, whether one follows such a teaching is a different matter, but he would never advise his own children at such a time when no else is around to see. 

“This could only be possible when a person’s heart is filled with conviction that without following this teaching, one cannot attain any excellence. (In other words, whether one follows a teaching or not is a different matter. However, to advise someone about this in the night and away from the sight of others can only happen if one has complete conviction that without this teaching one cannot attain the excellences of that faith or its teaching.) 

The third aspect which is evident [from this hadith] is the very reason why I narrated this incident in that it shows how the Holy Prophetsa would show great patience whilst explaining matters to others and instead of quarrelling, he would make them realise their mistake with love and affection. In this particular incident, Hazrat Alira responded to the Holy Prophet’ssa question by saying that once they had fallen asleep, they had no control over themselves in order to wake up. (A person who is asleep has no control over himself.) Therefore, once he had fallen asleep, he no longer had any knowledge that a certain time had come and he must now do such and such thing. If Allah caused them to wake up, then they would offer the prayer because they had no other choice. (There were no alarm clocks at the time.) 

“Undoubtedly, the Holy Prophetsa was surprised to hear this response because the level of faith that was instilled in the heart of the Holy Prophetsa was such that it would never allow such a thing to happen whereby the time for Tahajud would pass by and the Holy Prophetsa remained unaware of it. Therefore, the Holy Prophetsa simply turned the other way and said that man never acknowledges his mistake but becomes contentious. In other words, in future, they should not offer an excuse but instead make an effort so that they do not miss the time [for the Tahajud prayer]. Thus, Hazrat Alira states that from that day on, he never missed his Tahajud prayer.” (Sirat al-Nabi, Anwar al-Ulum, Vol. 1, 588-590)

The accounts from the life of Hazrat Alira will continue to be narrated in the future, insha-Allah

The situation in Pakistan nowadays is worsening by the day. Whilst following the maulvis [religious clerics] and conspiring with them, some government officials are making efforts to cause us as much harm as possible. Therefore, pray especially in this regard. 

May Allah the Almighty protect the Ahmadis there, who are living in Rabwah and in the other cities and protect them from the evil of these people. May He safeguard them from their extremely perilous schemes and seize them swiftly. 

Now, after the Friday Prayer, I shall lead some funeral prayers in absentia and briefly speak about them. The first is of Commander Chaudhary Muhammad Aslam Sahib, who passed away on 2 November 2020:

اِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‭ ‬وَاِنَّا‭ ‬اِلَيْهِ‭ ‬رَاجِعُوْنَ

[Verily to Allah we belong and to Him do we return]. 

Commander Sahib was born in Gujranwala in 1929. There he passed his matriculation exams and attained the first position. He then completed his FSC from Talimul Islam College and FC Government College. At Government College Lahore, he completed his BSC. He then had the honour of completing his MSC at the Punjab University under the tutelage of Dr Abdus Salam. In 1948, he enlisted in the Furqan Force and was appointed in Azad Kashmir, where he was awarded with the Mujahid-e-Kashmir Certificate and the Azadi-e-Kashmir Medal. 

In 1955, the deceased enlisted in the Pakistan Navy, where he served in key positions such as Director of Studies in the Pakistan Naval Academy, Deputy President of Inter-service Selection Board in Kohat and Deputy Director of Naval Educational Services at the Naval Headquarters in Islamabad and held many other key positions. The deceased also played a key and fundamental role in the Educational Sector by planning of opening new navy schools and colleges and also in establishing the Bahria University.

After retiring from the Pakistan Navy, he moved to Canada and performed Waqf-e-Arzi for a year at the Toronto Mission House. Thereafter, in 1993, he requested to dedicate himself as a life-devotee after retirement, which was approved by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh and so his services to the Jamaat spanned over 28 years. In that period, he served as secretary jaidad, secretary rishta nata, additional secretary mission house and also assisted at the homeopathy clinic etc. 

The deceased was very humble and soft-spoken. He was kind and loving to everyone. He was regular in offering his prayers and had a bond of love and devotion with Khilafat. After dedicating his life, he strived to spend every moment in service to the Jamaat. For some time, he was very unwell, but whenever his health would improve somewhat, he would immediately go to the mission house and he remained keen and diligent in serving his faith right until his last breath. 

He is survived by his wife and three sons. May Allah the Almighty grant the deceased His forgiveness and mercy and enable his children to continue his good deeds. His daughter-in-law, Nusrat Jahan Sahiba, says that he was an extremely kind, compassionate and pious person. He fulfilled his waqf [devotion] with utmost sincerity. He was the ideal husband and father. Prior to his demise, he would continue advising his children that it is very important to maintain a relationship with the Jamaat and with God and to remain regular in offering their prayers. He himself was regular all his life in offering prayers and the Tahajud [pre-dawn voluntary] prayer. 

The second funeral is of Shahina Qamar Sahiba, wife of Qamar Ahmad Shafeeq Sahib, who is a driver for Nazarat-e-Ulya. Shahina Qamar Sahiba and her son Sammar Ahmad Qamar passed away on 12 November 2020 at 1:30 in the afternoon due to a road accident. 

اِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‭ ‬وَاِنَّا‭ ‬اِلَيْهِ‭ ‬رَاجِعُوْنَ

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

She was 38 years old at the time of her demise and Sammar Ahmad Qamar was 17 years old. Shahina Qamar Sahiba leaves behind her husband, two daughters, a son and three brothers. 

Shahina Qamar Sahiba’s daughter, says:

“My mother was a very pious woman and would always encourage me in doing good. She would always be the first in doing good deeds. She was a very good friend to me and would share everything with me.” 

Another quality of hers was that by the grace of Allah she had great passion for Jamaat work and was ever-ready to serve the Jamaat. Her husband also wrote that despite her minimal level of education, she managed the house and raised her children in an excellent manner. 

The next mention is of Sammar Ahmad Qamar Sahib, son of Qamar Ahmad Shafeeq Sahib. He was with his mother and passed away with her in the accident. He was a student in the first year of Talimul Islam College and was doing well in his studies by the grace of Allah. He would serve in Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya duties with great zeal and passion. He was very proactive in his Jamaat work.

Whenever a request was made by his superior, he would leave whatever work he was doing immediately. His father writes, “At times, I would be on travel for 3 to 4 days at a time, but he would always say, ‘Father, don’t worry, I will take care of the matters at home. You can go ahead and fulfil your duties’; indeed, this is how it was in reality. He was a very responsible young man.” 

Sammar Ahmad Qamar’s elder sister, Samreen says, “By the grace of Allah, my brother was very good. He would never get angry. If I ever told him off, he would never get angry or sad. In fact, he was very loving to children and to his siblings.” 

His other brothers and sisters have written the same thing. May Allah the Almighty grant forgiveness and mercy to the deceased and grant patience and forbearance to all his family; the young children and their father, who has lost his son and his wife. 

The next funeral is of Saeeda Afzal Khokhar Sahiba, wife of Shaheed Muhammad Afzal Khokhar Sahib and mother of Shaheed Ashraf Mahmood Khokhar Sahib. Her husband and her son were both martyred. She passed away on 12 September 2020 in Canada: 

اِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‭ ‬وَاِنَّا‭ ‬اِلَيْهِ‭ ‬رَاجِعُوْنَ

[Verilyto Allah we belong, and to Him do we return]. 

After the martyrdom of her husband and son, she had to face very difficult circumstances, but she endured every difficulty with utmost patience and forbearance. She lived her life with great dignity and she never uttered a word in complaint. She fulfilled her responsibility of getting her three daughters married. 

A few years ago, she had to bear the sudden demise of another son of hers, Asif Mahmood Khokhar. She displayed great patience and fortitude on that occasion as well. She was very loving towards her friends and relatives, hospitable and took care of the less fortunate. She had a bond of devotion, respect and love with Khilafat. She fully participated in Jamaat activities. Her entire life, she continued to give alms on behalf of her parents, her martyred husband and son, and other pious people. Her parents were Mirza Afzal Kareem Sahib and Sughra Begum Sahiba who were greatly devoted to Islam Ahmadiyyat. She was the eldest sister of Mirza Mujeeb Ahmad Sahib and Mirza Fazlur Rahman Sahib of East London. She was the elder sister-in-law of Mubarak Khokhar Sahib of Lahore. She was the elder maternal aunt of Mubarak Siddique Sahib. By the grace of Allah, she was a musia. She is survived by her son, Bilal Ahmad Khokhar Sahib, and three daughters – Tayyiba Qureshi, Tahira Majid and Sameena Khokhar. 

May Allah the Almighty elevate her station, grant her forgiveness and mercy and enable the children to continue the good deeds of their mother. 

(Original Urdu published in Al Fazl International, 25 December 2020, pp. 5-10. Translated by The Review of Religions.)

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