15 January 2021
Men of Excellence: Hazrat Alira; Launch of MTA Ghana
After reciting Tashahud, Ta‘awuz and Surah al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa said:
The accounts from the life of Hazrat Alira were being mentioned and I will continue to narrate them today as well. All the research that I had compiled in relation to him will be completed today, insha-Allah [God-willing].
The Promised Messiahas states:
“Hazrat Imam Hussainra once asked” Hazrat Alira, “‘Do you love me?’ Hazrat Alira replied, ‘Yes.’ Hazrat Hussainra was greatly astonished at this as to how one’s heart could instil the love for two things at the same time. Following this, Hazrat Imam Hussainas said, ‘Who will you love if you had to choose between the two?’ Hazrat Alira replied, ‘Allah.’” (Malfuzat, Vol. 7, p. 57)
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra has also mentioned this incident and states:
“Hazrat Hassanra asked Hazrat Alira, ‘Do you love me?’ Hazrat Alira replied, ‘Yes, I do.’ Following this, Hazrat Hassanra asked, ‘Do you love God Almighty?’ Hazrat Alira replied, ‘Yes.’
“Upon this, Hazrat Hassanra said, ‘Then you are committing a form of shirk [associating partners with God] as shirk is defined as associating one’s love with the love for God Almighty.’ Hazrat Alira replied, ‘Hassan, I am not committing shirk. There is no doubt that I love you, but when your love comes up against my love for God Almighty, I will immediately cast my love for you aside!’” (Quroon-e-Ula ki Namwar Khawatin aur Sahabiyat ke Iman Afroz …, Anwar al-Ulum, Vol. 21)
In relation to an incident regarding Hazrat Alira, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra, states,
“Whenever Hazrat Alira was confronted with a huge trial, he would pray to Allah the Almighty in the following manner:
يَا كهٰيٰعص اِغْفِرْلِيْ
“That is, ‘O Kaf Ha Ya ‘Ain Sad! Forgive me!’” (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 5, p. 17)
According to a narration of Umm-e-Hani, the meaning of these abbreviated letters, as mentioned by the Holy Prophetsa, is as follows: Kaf stands for the attribute of Kafi (All-Sufficient), Ha stands for the attribute of Hadi (True Guide), ‘Ain stands for the attribute of ‘Aalim or ‘Alim (All-Knowing) and Sad stands for the attribute of Sadiq (Truthful).” (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 5, p. 17)
In other words, he was praying to Allah the Almighty in the following manner that “O Allah! You are the All-Sufficient, the True Guide, the All-Knowing and the Truthful! I implore You by all of Your attributes and ask You to forgive me!”
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:
“The commentators [of the Holy Quran] have mentioned an incident relating to Hazrat Alira, which is that He once called out to one of his servants, but he did not respond. Hazrat Alira called him several times, but he still did not reply. After a short while, this servant coincidentally appeared before Hazrat Alira, upon which Hazrat Alira asked him:
مَا لَكَ لَمْ تُجِبْنِي
“‘What happened to you? I called you numerous times, but you did not respond to me!’ He replied:
قَالَ لِثِقَتِيْ بِحِلْمِكَ وَاَمْنٍ مِنْ عُقُوْبَتِكَ فَاسْتَحْسَنَ جَوَابَهٗ وَاَعْتَقَهٗ
“‘The fact of the matter is that I was certain of your kindness and I considered myself protected from your punishment, therefore, I did not respond to you.’ Hazrat Alira was so pleased with this reply of his that he set him free.” (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 58 p. 255)
Now, if this had been a worldly person, he may have punished him for taking advantage of his kindness; however, Hazrat Alira rewarded him instead.
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states that there was an individual who used to teach Hazrat Ali’sra sons, Hassanra and Hussainra. Once, Hazrat Alira passed by his sons and heard their tutor teaching them to pronounceخَاتِمَ النبيين [Khatiman Nabiyyeen]. Hazrat Alira said, “Do not teach my sons to sayخَاتِمَ النبيين ; rather, teach them to say خَاتَمَ النبيين [Khataman Nabiyyeen]” in other words, with a fathah [a diacritical mark] above the latter ta as opposed to a kasrah [a diacritical mark] under it. “Despite the fact that both pronunciations are possible; however, I prefer for it to be pronounced as خَاتَمَ النبيين because it means the ‘Seal of the Prophets’ whereas خَاتِمَ النبيين would mean ‘the one who ends prophethood.’ Thus, teach my sons [to pronounce it] with a fathah above the letter تاء[ta].” (Farizah-e-Tabligh aur Ahmadi Khawatin, Anwar al-Ulum, Vol. 18, p. 404)
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra further states:
“It is proven regarding Hazrat Alira that he had committed the Holy Quran to memory (hafiz) and in fact, he had started the work of compiling the Holy Quran according to the order of its revelation immediately after the demise of the Holy Prophetsa.” (Dibachah Tafsir al-Quran, Anwar al-Ulum, Vol. 20, p. 429)
At another instance, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra says:
“Once, a companion invited the Holy Prophetsa for a meal. Some other companions had also been invited, among whom was Hazrat Alira. Hazrat Alira was younger in age as compared to the others and so, some companions decided to engage with him in a light-hearted manner.
“As they ate dates, they would place the date-stones in front of Hazrat Alira and the Holy Prophetsa was doing the same. Hazrat Alira was young and occupied himself in eating and so he did not notice. When he finally did realise, he found a pile of date-stones in front of him. The companions, in a light-hearted manner, said to Hazrat Alira, ‘You have eaten all the dates! Look at the pile of date-stones in front of you.’ Hazrat Alira also had a light-hearted disposition and would not become annoyed at such things. Had this been his nature, he would have argued with the companions and said that they were falsely accusing him or were thinking ill of him.
“Hazrat Alira understood that they were simply doing this in a humorous manner and so, he thought to himself that it was best for him to also reply in kind. Hence, he said, ‘You have even eaten the date-stones as well, whilst I have been keeping them to one side.”’ Meaning [Hazrat Alira said in a light-hearted manner] that unlike him, they were eating the dates including the date-stones and the proof was that he had a pile of date-stones in front of him. Thus, through this light-hearted response of his, the joke reverted back onto the companions. (Khutbat-e-Mahmud, Vol. 33, pp. 259-260)
At another instance, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states in relation to Hazrat Alira:
“It is mentioned in the hadith that once, while the Holy Prophetsa was reciting the Holy Quran [during prayer], Hazrat Alira reminded him of a certain portion. After the prayer had concluded, the Holy Prophetsa said to Hazrat Alira, ‘It was not your duty to do so; I have appointed certain people to remind me if I ever make a mistake.’” (Khutbat-e-Mahmud, Vol. 33, p. 299)
The Holy Prophetsa was reciting the Holy Quran during prayer when he missed a portion, upon which Hazrat Alira reminded him. The Holy Prophetsa told him that he had already appointed certain people for this task and so Hazrat Alira did not need to, despite the fact that Hazrat Alira was quite learned as well.
At another instance, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:
“There is a commandment in the Holy Quran that before consulting with the Holy Prophetsa on any matter, one should give sadaqa [alms]. It is mentioned that before this commandment, Hazrat Alira had never consulted with the Holy Prophetsa. However, after this commandment had been revealed, Hazrat Alira went to the Holy Prophetsa and after giving some amount as sadaqa [alms], he said that he wished to consult the Holy Prophetsa on a matter and so the Holy Prophetsa took Hazrat Alira to one side and spoke with him.
“Another companion later asked Hazrat Alira what it was that he had consulted the Holy Prophetsa about. Hazrat Alira replied, ‘I did not need to consult about anything specific; however, I wished to fulfil this commandment of the Holy Quran.’” (Khutbat-e-Mahmud, Vol. 33, p. 752)
Such was the example of the companions.
In another narration, with regard to this incident, it is mentioned that a companion would go from house to house in order to fulfil the Quranic injunction that if a member of a house turns them away, then they must return from there. He says, “I tried on several occasions, and in fact, at times I would go daily to people’s houses hoping that one would tell me to go back and that I may do so happily and thereby fulfil this commandment of the Holy Quran; yet this wish of mine was never fulfilled as no one from any of the houses would tell me to return.” (Al-Qurtubi, Tafsir al-Jami‘ li Ahkam al-Quran, Vol. 15, p. 199, Surah al-Nur, Ayah 29, Mu‘assisat al-Risalah, Beirut, 2006)
Nowadays, if it is said to anyone that they are busy and they should return or that they cannot meet, people get offended by it, but the level of righteousness of the companions was such that they would try to act upon each and every injunction of the Holy Quran.
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states that the Holy Prophetsa once asked the Companionsra for some chanda. Hazrat Alira went out, cut some grass and having sold it, gave the amount he had received from it in chanda. (Khutbat-e-Mahmud, Vol. 33, p. 357)
Whilst mentioning an incident, perhaps in one of his darses [lectures], Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh stated that Hazrat Allamah Ubaidullah Sahib Bismil was a very distinguished Shia scholar. He was so learned and possessed such deep knowledge that even after becoming an Ahmadi, some of his books were not only being taught in the time of the Promised Messiahas, but they were also being taught after the partition [of India] and continue to be taught in Shia schools today.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh says:
“I remember that a Shia gentleman came to speak to me when I was serving in the Waqf-e-Jadid department. After our discussion, he expressed his contentment and by the grace of Allah, he became an Ahmadi. After making this decision, he told me that he was a Shia scholar; however, he had not disclosed this to me previously. I do not remember exactly what position he held, but he was from a village in Sheikhupura or Faisalabad or from some area nearby. He told me that he held such and such position among the Shias and that he was a scholar.”
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh was saying that the person who pledged his allegiance was a Shia scholar, who lived in Shekhupura.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh continued by saying:
“He told me that he was a scholar and had held a high status among the Shias. He further said to me that even to this day, the books of Ubaidullah Sahib Bismil are still being taught in their schools.”
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh says:
“Such was the immense influence of his knowledge and yet, these Shias do not even tell us that they teach the books of Bismil Sahib. I only happened to find out through this scholar, but even whilst teaching these books, they do not mention who Bismil Sahib was and what happened to him later. He accepted the Promised Messiahas and relinquished all the honour he had attained from the time he spent whilst following the Shia faith.”
This is a reference from his book. Hence, the reference is not from any ordinary person.
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra gave a reference from this book after explaining its background and said that Al-Bazar had written in his Musnad that Hazrat Alira asked of his people, “Tell me who is the bravest person?” They replied, “You are the bravest.” Hazrat Alira then said, “I always fight one who is equal to me so how can I be the bravest?” He asked again, “Who is the bravest?” (Bismil Sahib has written this reference in one of his books.) The people answered, “We do not know. Please tell us.” Hazrat Alira then stated, “The bravest and most courageous person is Hazrat Abu Bakrra.”
Hazrat Alira stated, “The most brave and courageous was Hazrat Abu Bakrra. Hearken! During the Battle of Badr, we made a canopy for the Holy Prophetsa and began conferring amongst ourselves as to who would stay with the Holy Prophetsa under the canopy, lest an idolater attacks the Holy Prophetsa. By God! None from among us had stepped forward yet when Hazrat Abu Bakrra went with his sword drawn and stood beside the Holy Prophetsa. Subsequently, no idolater dared to launch an attack. Had they dared to attack, Hazrat Abu Bakrra would have struck them immediately. That is why he was the bravest of all” i.e. Hazrat Abu Bakrra. This incident was narrated by Hazrat Alira.
Hazrat Ali, may Allah bestow him with honour, states:
“On one occasion, the idolaters surrounded the Holy Prophetsa and were dragging him around saying that he was the one who says that God is one. By God! No one had the courage to stand up to the idolaters (Hazrat Alira is narrating this). By God! No one had the courage to stand up to the idolaters, but Hazrat Abu Bakrra fought them and pushing them aside, he made them disperse. Hazrat Abu Bakrra kept on repeating the words, ‘Woe be unto you! You harm a person who says that only Allah is his Lord.’”
Stating this, Hazrat Alira lifted his cloak over his face and wept so profusely that his beard became soaked and then said, “May Allah guide you! O people tell me, were the believers from the people of the Pharaoh [in the time of Mosesas] better or Hazrat Abu Bakrra? Those from among the people of the Pharaoh who accepted belief did not sacrifice themselves for their prophet as much as Hazrat Abu Bakrra did.”
When the people heard this, they remained silent, upon which Hazrat Alira said, “O people! Why do you not respond? I swear by God! One moment [in the life] of Hazrat Abu Bakrra is better and greater than a thousand moments of the believers from among of the people of Pharaoh. The reason for this is because the people in the time of the Pharaoh used to conceal their faith, whereas Hazrat Abu Bakrra professed his faith openly.” (Dars al-Quran Hazrat Khalifatul Masih al-Rabi‘rh, 16 February 1994)
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra writes:
“The Holy Prophetsa once advised Hazrat Alira saying, ‘O Ali! Even if one person accepts Islam due to your preaching, that would be better for you than if you had a large herd of sheep’s and goats that were passing between two mountains and seeing them would please you.” (Hamare Dhimma Tamam Dunya ko Fatah Karne ka Kam he, Anwar al-Ulum, Vol. 18, p. 464)
Hazrat Ummul Momineen, Hazrat Umm Salamahra states:
“I swear that I heard the Holy Prophetsa say, ‘Whosoever loves Ali, loves me and whosoever loves me, loves Allah. And whoever harbours malice against Ali, harbours malice against me and whosoever harbours malice against me harbours malice against Allah.’” (Majma‘ al-Zawa‘id wa Manba‘ al-Fawa‘id, Vol. 9, p. 126, Kitab al-Manaqib, Manaqib Ali bin Talib, Hadith 14757, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2001)
Hazrat Zirrra narrates that Hazrat Alira said, “I swear by the One Who causes the grain to sprout and created the soul! Verily the Holy Prophetsa, the Immaculate one, he gave me a promise that only a believer will have love for me and only a hypocrite will harbour malice against me.” (Sahih Muslim, Kitab al-Iman, Bab al-Dalil ala Hubb al-Ansar…, Hadith 240)
Hazrat Alira narrates that the Holy Prophetsa called him and said, “Your example is like Prophet Jesusas in that the Jews opposed him so much that they fabricated a grievous calumny against his mother. The Christians exceeded all bounds in their love for him (i.e. for Jesusas) to the extent that they gave him a rank and station that was not for him.”
Hazrat Alira then said:
“Take heed! Two types of people will perish owing to their beliefs about me; the first are they who exceed all limits in their love for me and grant me that rank that is not for me, while the second are they who harbour malice against me and forge calumnies against me.” (Ahmad bin Hanbal, Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal, Vol. 1, Musnad Ali bin Abi Talib, Hadith 1377 [Beirut, Lebanon: Alam al-Kutub, 1998], 439.)
With regard to the distribution of the spoils received known as “fay”, which are those spoils captured without a physical war taking place, Hazrat Alira adopted the practice of Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiqra. When these spoils would come to him, Hazrat Alira would distribute everything and would not save anything from it, except for that which he was unable to distribute that day. He would say, “O material world! Go and deceive someone else [on account of your lure].” Hazrat Alira would not accept anything from the spoils of “fay”, nor would he give any to his close friends or relatives. He would only assign honest and trustworthy people as governors or to other offices. If he would learn about any dishonesty committed by any of his governors, he would write the following verses to them:
قَدْ جَاءَتْكُمْ مَوْعِظَةٌ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ
“[O mankind!] There has indeed come to you an exhortation from your Lord” [Ch.10: V.58]
اَوْفُوا الْمِكْيَالَ وَالْمِيْزَانَ بِالْقِسْطِ وَلَا تَبْخَسُوا النَّاسَ اَشْيَاءَهُمْ وَلَا تَعْثَوْا فِي الْأَرْضِ مُفْسِدِيْنَ۔ بَقِيَّةُ اللّٰهِ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ اِنْ كُنْتُمْ مُؤْمِنِيْنَ وَمَا اَنَا عَلَيْكُمْ بِحَفِيْظٍ
“Give full measure and full weight with equity and defraud not people of their things and commit not iniquity in the earth, causing disorder. That which is left with you by Allah is better for you, if you are believers. And I am not a keeper over you.” [Ch.11: V.86-87]
He would further add, “From the time this letter reaches you, ensure that you safeguard the wealth that is entrusted with you until I send a person to you who can take those possessions from you.”
Hazrat Alira would then look towards the sky and pray, “O Allah! Verily You know that I never commanded them to commit injustice against Your people, nor did I command them to forsake the rights owed to You.”
Abjar bin Jarmouz narrates that his father said to him, “I saw Hazrat Alira departing from Kufa. At the time, he was wearing two Qitri cloaks (Qitr is the name of a settlement in Bahrain, where red stripped cloth was made), one of which he was wearing as a lower garment that draped up to the middle of his calf and the other, he wore as a cloak. He held a whip in his hand and as he walked through the marketplace, he advised the people to fear Allah, to speak the truth, to buy and sell in good faith and to give full measure and accurate weight [of the goods].”
Mujama‘ Taimi narrates that once Hazrat Alira distributed all the wealth that was in the Treasury [Bait-ul-Mal] amongst the Muslims. He then ordered for it to be whitewashed with limestone. After this, he offered the Salat and hoped that this [room of the treasury] would be a witness for him on the Day of Judgement. (Ibn Abd al-Barr, Al-Isti‘ab fi Ma‘rifat al-Ashab, Vol. 3, Dhikr Ali bin Abi Talib [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Jil, 1992], 1111-1113) (Lughat al-Hadith, Vol. 3, p. 575, Nashir Nu‘mani Kutub Khana, Lahore, 2005)
Whilst speaking about Hazrat Alira, on one occasion Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra writes:
“The Promised Messiahas has stated, ‘I saw another dream on 7 December 1892 that I had become Hazrat Ali, may Allah bestow him with honour; meaning that in my dream, I felt as if I was Hazrat Alira. It is one of the wonders of a dream that sometimes a person feels that he is someone else and in that way, I felt at the time that I was Ali Murtaza and the situation was that a group of Khawarij was opposing my Khilafat, that is to say, they wished to obstruct my becoming Khalifaand were creating mischief for that purpose. Then I saw the Holy Prophet, on whom be the peace and blessings of Allah, close to me and he said with kindness and affection:
يَا عَلِيُّ! دَعْهُمْ وَ اَنْصَارَهُمْ وَزِرَاعَتَهُمْ
“That is, ‘O Ali! Stay away from them, their helpers, and their harvest. Leave them and turn away from them.’
“I found that the Holy Prophetsa advised me to be steadfast in the midst of that trial and to refrain from getting involved with those people. He told me that I was in the right, but that it would be better not to address them.’” (Barakat-e-Khilafat, Anwar al-‘Ulum, Vol. 2, p. 176)
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra further states, “Hazrat Alira’s army took over the spoils belonging to the Khwarij and distributed the weapons and the mounts used in the war amongst the people. But upon returning to Kufa, Hazrat Alira returned the possessions, slaves and concubines to their owners.” (Masalah-e-Nubuwwat ke Muta‘alliq Islami Nazariyyah, Anwar al-Ulum, Vol. 23, p. 363)
On another occasion, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:
“Hazrat Umar’sra Khilafat was further away from the era of the Holy Prophetsa as compared to the Khilafat of Hazrat Abu Bakrra. The same was the case with Hazrat Uthmanra and Hazrat Alira. Undoubtedly their rank was lesser than that of the Caliphs before them. However, the incidents that occurred in the time of Hazrat Uthmanra and Hazrat Alira were not as a result of them being lower in rank, but it was owing to the distance from the era of the Holy Prophetsa. The reason for this is that the majority of the people present during the eras of Hazrat Abu Bakrra and Hazrat Umarra were those who had spent time in the company of the Holy Prophetsa. However, later on, those who had not enjoyed the company of the Holy Prophetsa became more influential. Thus, a person once asked Hazrat Alira the reason why the conflict and discord witnessed in his time were not witnessed in the eras of Hazrat Abu Bakrra and Hazrat Umarra? To this, Hazrat Alira replied, ‘The fact of the matter is that the people serving under Hazrat Abu Bakrra and Hazrat Umarra were like me and the people serving under me in this era are like you.’” (Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya aur Hamari Zimmadarian, Anwar al-Ulum, Vol. 5, p. 95)
Narrating another incident on a different occasion, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra stated:
“During the time when the war between Hazrat Alira and Muawiyahra was ensuing, a person went to Hazrat Abdullah bin Umarra and said, ‘Why do you not participate in the wars alongside Hazrat Alira, when the Quran clearly states:
وَقٰتِلُوْهُمْ حَتّٰي لَا تَكُوْنَ فِتْنَةٌ
[And fight them until there is no persecution. (Ch.2: V.194)]
To this, Abdullah bin Umarra replied, ‘… We fulfilled this commandment in the time of the Holy Prophetsa when Islam was still spreading and one would be persecuted owing to their religion, i.e. one would either be killed or tortured for accepting Islam. Until a time when Islam spread and then no one would be put in trial due to their faith.” (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 2, pp. 427-428)
This means, the wars that were [previously] fought were because the [Muslims] were forced to change their faith and it was against those who wished to return them back to their original faith [idolatry]. He stated that now that faith had been established, there was no dispute over one’s religion anymore, but there was a difference in opinion on certain matters. That is why these wars were taking place and for this reason he do not take part in them. Nevertheless, this was his viewpoint.
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states in another place:
“When a Byzantine king learnt of the war between Hazrat Alira and Hazrat Muawiyahra, he wished to launch an attack against the Islamic states. Hazrat Muawiyahra wrote to him and said, ‘Beware! Do not be deceived by our internal dispute. If you launch an attack, I will be the first general to march against you and fight under the army of Hazrat Alira.’” (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 4, p. 430)
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra has mentioned this in more detail in another place,
“There was a time when seeing the conflict between Hazrat Alira and Hazrat Amir Muawiyahra, a Byzantine king wished to send an army to attack the Muslims. At the time, the Byzantine Empire wielded the same power that USA holds today. Upon learning of his intentions to launch an attack, a Christian priest, who was very intelligent, said, ‘Your Majesty, take my advice and refrain from launching an attack. Even though they have disagreements amongst themselves; however, they will all unite against you, leaving aside all their differences.’”
He then gave an example; either he did it in a contemptuous manner or perhaps he felt that this was a better example to give; in any case, he said:
“‘If you bring some dogs and starve them for a while and then place some meat before them, they will begin to fight one another. However, if you were to set a lion against the same dogs, they both will set aside their differences and launch a joint attack on the lion.’ Through this example, he conveyed [to the king] that he wanted to take advantage of the disagreement between Hazrat Alira and Muawiyahra; however, he should know that if ever there was a question of an external attack, they both would cast their differences aside and will unite against the enemy. And this is precisely what happened.
When Hazrat Muawiyahra learnt of the Byzantine King’s intentions, he sent him a message, stating, ‘You seek to take advantage of the disagreements between us and attack the Muslims; however, let it be known that even though there is discord between me and Hazrat Alira, but if your army launches an attack, then I will be the first general to set out against your army from Hazrat Ali’sra side.’” (Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya Markaziyyah ke Jalsa Salana Ijtima 1956 mein Khitabat, Anwar al-Ulum, Vol. 25, p. 416-417)
Hazrat Ibn Abbasra relates that Hazrat Umarra used to say, “The most excellent reciter of the Holy Quran amongst us is Ubayra bin Kaab and the one who is best in giving verdicts is Alira.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Tafsir, Surah al-Baqarah, Bab Qauluh Ma Nansakhu… Hadith 4481)
Hazrat Umm Atiyyara relates that the Holy Prophetsa sent an army [for an expedition] and Hazrat Alira was also a part of it. She states that she heard the Holy Prophetsa recite the following prayer: “O Allah, do not cause me to die until You show me Ali.” (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], 100)
The Holy Prophetsa sent Hazrat Alira on a military expedition and when he returned, the Holy Prophetsa stated to him, “Allah, His Messengersa and Gabriel are pleased with you.” (Kanz al-Ummal, Vol. 13, p. 107, Hadith 36349, Mu’assisat al-Risalah, Beirut, 1985)
There is another incident in which Amir Muawiyahra asked Dirar Saudai to recount the qualities of Hazrat Alira to him. He replied, “O Leader of the Faithful, excuse me from this.”
Amir Muawiyahra insisted that he must inform him. Upon this, Dirar stated:
“If that is the case, then listen. By God, Hazrat Alira was a man of great courage and possessed strong faculties. He spoke decisively and issued verdicts based on justice. He was a fountain of knowledge and insight and his every word was filled with deep wisdom. He expressed aversion for worldly material and its attractions and loved the solitude of [the worship in the] night. He would weep profusely and carefully deliberate and ponder over matters. He dressed modestly and ate simple food. He lived among us just like an ordinary person. If ever we would ask him a question, he would give us the answer and if we enquired about an incident, he would inform us about it.
“By God, despite the fact that we had a bond of great mutual love and closeness, but owing to the awe of his grandeur, we would speak very little before him. He would show great respect to those who were devout and pious and held the poor close. Even the strongest of people could not influence him with their falsehood and even the weakest would never be disappointed by his high level of justice.
“By God, on certain occasions, I saw that when the night entered its latter stages and the stars began to dim, he would take hold of his beard and would tremble like one who has been bitten by a snake and would profusely weep like one who is overcome with extreme sorrow and he would say, ‘O world, leave me and go and deceive someone else. Why do you come to me with all your allure and attractions? What you desire of me shall never come to pass, shall never come to pass. I have announced my intentions to divorce you thrice, after which there is no possibility of reunion. This is because your life is short and you hold no significance.’” He was speaking symbolically to the world. “‘Your life is short and you hold no significance. There are very little provisions yet the journey is long and perilous.’”
When he mentioned all of these qualities, Amir Muawiyahra began to cry upon hearing them and said, “May Allah bestow His mercy upon Abul Hasanra. By God, he was certainly like this. O Dirar, how sorrowful were you upon Ali’sra demise?” Dirar replied, “The same level of grief that would be experienced by a mother whose child is slaughtered whilst in her lap.” (Ibn Abd al-Barr, Al-Isti‘ab fi Ma‘rifat al-Ashab, Vol. 3, Dhikr Ali bin Abi Talib [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Jil, 1992], 1107-1108.)
Hazrat Ali’sra jurisprudential verdicts are well-known and I will relate some of those which Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra has mentioned. Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:
“Tabari has written about an incident from the era of Hazrat Alira which illustrates the great caution they took right from the inception of Islam. The incident is as follows; Adl bin Uthman relates…”
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra has also included the entire Arabic text of this narration; however, I will leave the Arabic text out for now, but insha-Allah when the sermon is officially published, it will be included in that.
رَاَيْتُ عَلِيًّا عَمَّ خَارِجًا مِنْ هَمْدَانَ فَرَاَي فِئَتَيْنِ تَقْتُلَانِ فَفَرَّقَ بَيْنَهُمَا ثُمَّ مَضٰي فَسَمِعَ صَوْتًا يَاغَوْثًا بِاللّٰهِ فَخَرَجَ يَحُضُّ نَحْوَهٗ حَتّٰي سَمِعْتُ خَفْقَ نَعْلِهٖ وَهُوَ يَقُوْلُ اَتَاكَ الْغَوْثُ فَاِذَا رَجُلٌ يُلَازِمُ رَجُلًا فَقَالَ يَا اَمِيْرَ الْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ بِعْتُ مِنْ هٰذَا ثَوْ بًا بِتِسْعَةِ دَرَاهِمَ وَشَرَطْتُ عَلَيْهِ اَنْ لَّا يُعْطِيَنِيْ مَغْمُوْرًا وَلَا مَقْطُوْعًا وَكَانَ شَرْطُهُمْ يَوْمَئِذٍ فَاَتَيْتُهٗ بِهٰذِهِ الدَّرَاهِمِ لِيُبَدِّلَهَا لِيْ فَاَبٰي فَلَزِمْتُهٗ فَلَطَمَنِيْ فَقَالَ اَبْدِلْهُ فَقَالَ بَيِّنَتُكَ عَلَي اللَّطْمَةِ فَاَتَاهُ بِالْبَيِّنَةِ فَاَقْعَدَهٗ ثُمَّ قَالَ دُوْنَكَ فَاقْتَصَّ فَقَالَ اِنِّيْ قَدْ عَفَوْتُ يَا اَمِيْرَ الْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ قَالَ اِنَّمَا اَرَدْتُ اَنْ اَحْتَاطَهُ فِيْ حَقِّكَ ثُمَ ضَرَبَ الرَّجُلَ تِسْعَ دُراتٍ وَقَالَ هٰذَا حَقُّ السُّلْطَانِ
The translation is:
“[Adl bin Uthman relates] that Hazrat Alira was staying outside of Hamdan when he saw two groups fighting against each other. Hazrat Alira reconciled the two groups and made peace between them; however, he had not gone too far, when he heard someone calling for help. Hazrat Alira ran so quickly towards him that his footsteps could be heard and he kept repeating, ‘Help is here, help is here’. As he approached closer, he saw that one of the men had grabbed hold of another man.
“Upon seeing Hazrat Alira, he said, ‘O Leader of the Faithful, I sold him a piece of cloth for nine dirhams. However, the condition also was that none of the dirhams should be faulty or defective, which he, i.e. the buyer had agreed to. However, he gave me some defective dirhams and when I came to exchange these defective dirhams, he refused to do so. When I insisted, he slapped me.’ Hazrat Alira instructed the buyer to exchange the coins. He then asked the other individual to provide proof that he slapped him. When he presented the proof, Hazrat Alira told the one who slapped him to sit down and told the other individual to seek retribution. Upon this, he said, ‘O Leader of the Faithful, I forgive him.’ Hazrat Alira replied, ‘You may have forgiven him, but I wish to act with caution in relation to your rights.’”
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra further writes, “It seems that this individual was of a very simple disposition and was not fully aware of his loss and gains. And so, the one who had perpetrated the act of slapping him was whipped nine times as punishment. Hazrat Alira stated, ‘He may have forgiven you, but this punishment has been handed to you by the government.’” (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 2, pp. 362-363)
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra has mentioned another incident:
“We find an excellent example of Hazrat Ali’sra conduct from the following incident: Once, Hazrat Alira saw that someone had physically attacked another individual. Hazrat Alira stopped him and told the victim that he should now hit him back in retribution. However, he replied that he had forgiven him. Hazrat Alira realised that this individual was only refusing to do so out of fear of the other individual as the perpetrator of the act was very oppressive. Therefore, Hazrat Alira stated, ‘You have exercised your personal right and forgiven him; however, I will exercise my official right [as a leader].’ Hazrat Alira then handed him a punishment equal to that which he had committed against the weaker individual.” (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 4, p. 331)
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:
“Once, a legal matter involving Hazrat Alira was presented before a Muslim magistrate, who showed some leniency towards Hazrat Alira. Upon this, Hazrat Alira stated, ‘This is the first act of injustice on your part by showing leniency to me. At this moment, me and the other party are equal.’” (Khutbat-e-Mahmud, Vol. 16 p. 516)
Whilst mentioning the qualities of Hazrat Alira, the Promised Messiahas states:
“Was he not the most eloquent among the people, the most articulate in speech and the one who could breathe life through his words? Thus, he could have gathered people around him within an hour or even less due to the strength of his speech and oration, which would have affected the listeners and attracted them.” (Sirr al-Khilafah, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 8, p. 350, Urdu Tarjumah of Sirr al-Khilafah, pp. 89-90, Nazarat Ishaat)
The Promised Messiahas further states:
“I know for certain that no one can be deemed a true believer nor a Muslim until they instil within themselves the qualities of Hazrat Abu Bakrra, Hazrat Umarra, Hazrat Uthmanra and Hazrat Alira, may Allah be pleased with them all. Their hearts were pure from the love of this world; instead they devoted their lives in the way of God Almighty.” (Lecture Ludhiana, Ruhani Khaza‘in, Vol. 20, p. 294)
The Promised Messiahas then further states:
“The Khawarij proclaim that Hazrat Alira was rebellious and accuse him of committing many unrighteous acts. In fact, they consider him to be completely devoid of any faith. Thus, a natural question that arises here is that if righteousness, truthfulness and honesty is an essential requirement for one to become a Siddiq [the truthful one], then why is it that God Almighty made certain matters appear unclear or doubtful for the people relating to these pious men, who were prophets, messengers and saints?” Why were people not able to understand the true reality of the matters in relation to them? Why were their circumstances and their true character hidden from these people “and why did they fail to understand their words and actions to such an extent that they completely expelled them from the fold of righteousness, truthfulness and honesty and considered them to be from among the oppressors, who usurped the wealth of others, unlawfully shed the blood of others, committed deception and treachery and were subservient to their inner desires and committed vice?
“In fact, there are many people in the world who neither claim to be a messenger, nor a prophet, saint, imam or khalifa of the Muslims, and yet no one levels a single allegation against their way of life or their character. The answer to this question is that God Almighty did this so that the true reality of those who are His chosen and beloved servants remains hidden from those evil ones, who are quick to pass judgment and in whose nature it is to think ill of others just as God Almighty has concealed Himself from others.” (Tiryaq al-Qulub, Ruhani Khaza‘in, Vol. 15, p. 422)
In other words, just as people think ill of Allah the Almighty, Who is hidden, in the same way these evil people think ill of His beloved servants as well and are quick to level allegations against them. These very people are ones who are devoid of righteousness and yet level accusations against those who are righteous.
The Promised Messiahas further states:
“There is no doubt that Hazrat Alira was a hope for the seekers of the truth and an unparalleled model of generosity. He was divine proof for the people and the best example of his time. He was the light of Allah that was to illuminate the world. However, the era of his Khilafat was not a time of peace and safety, but a time of intense conflict and discord. People differed between his Khilafat and the Khilafat of Ibn Abi Sufyan and would look to them in a state of utter perplexity. Some people considered them to be like two bright furqad [two bright stars of Ursa Minor] stars and considered them equal in stature.
“The fact of the matter is that the truth was on the side of [Ali] Al-Murtaza. Those who fought against him were rebellious and transgressors. However, his Khilafat was not the recipient of the glad-tidings given by the Gracious God regarding the establishment of peace and security. In fact, Hazrat Ali al-Murtazara was given a lot of pain from his opponents and his Khilafat was tarnished through various kinds of evils. Allah had greatly blessed him, but he remained full of sorrow and grief his entire life. He was not able to propagate the message of Islam and eradicate the Satanic forces [in the land] like the Khulafa before him; in fact, he was not even spared from being reviled by his own people. His every plan and desire was denied by his people and they failed to unite around him; rather, they were bent on continuously carrying out injustices against him and causing him pain. They hindered him and placed obstacles in every path of his. However, he was extremely patient and amongst the righteous, but still we cannot say that his Khilafat was a fulfilment of the glad-tidings mentioned in Ayat-e-Istikhlaf because his Khilafat was during an era of disorder, rebellion and turmoil.” (Sirr al-Khilafah, Ruhani Khaza‘in, Vol. 8, pp. 352-353, Urdu Tarjumah of Sirr al-Khilafah, pp. 95-96, Nazarat Ishaat)
The Promised Messiahas states:
“It is vital to believe that Siddiq-e-Akbarra [Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiqra], Hazrat Farooq-e-Umarra [Hazrat Umar Farooqra], Hazrat Dhun-Nurainra [Hazrat Uthmanra] and Hazrat Ali Murtazara were all the custodians of the faith.” (Maktubat-e-Ahmad, Vol. 2, p. 151, Maktub Number 2, Maktub ba Nam Hazrat Sahib Muhammad Ali Khan Sahib)
The Promised Messiahas further states regarding the status of Hazrat Alira:
“Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, was righteous and pious. He was a beloved of Allah, the Gracious God. He was the elect of Allah and the chief of his era. He was the victorious lion of Allah, the Benevolent, a pure-hearted and generous youth who belonged to God. He was peerless and his bravery was such that he would remain resolute in the battlefield, even if an army from among the enemy stood in front of him.
“He lived his life with great humility, reaching the highest peak of piety that a mortal can attain. He would sacrifice his money and wealth and was the foremost in consoling and helping the destitute, orphans and his neighbours. On the battlefield, he demonstrated extraordinary feats of bravery and displayed a miraculous skill in handling the sword and spear.
“At the same time, he was soft-spoken and an eloquent orator. His words would penetrate the hearts of the listeners and remove the corrosion of their minds. His countenance shone bright with the light of truth. He was an outstanding orator; whosoever competed with him in this field would themselves step down, overpowered and defeated [by his eloquence]. His every attribute was outstanding and he was flawless in his speech and eloquence. He who denies his perfection adopts the way of the shameless.
“He would encourage others to remove the difficulties of the helpless. He would command to feed the poor and needy. He was among those who were honoured with the nearness of God and the foremost people who drank from the fountain of the Quran’s wisdom and was gifted with a deep understanding and insight of the intricacies of the Quran.
“I have seen him (i.e. Hazrat Alira), but not in a dream, rather in a state of wakefulness. I met him in a vision [kashf] and whilst in this state, Hazrat Alira bestowed upon me the commentary of the Book of Allah, the Knower of the Unseen, and said:
“‘This is my commentary, and now it is bestowed upon you; rejoice over that which has been bestowed upon you.’” In other words, Hazrat Alira gave this commentary to the Promised Messiahas.
“He stated, ‘May this be a blessing for you.’ Thus, I stretched forth my hand and took the commentary and thanked Allah, the Mighty and Bestower of All Things. I found Hazrat Alira to be of proportionate build, possessing moral excellence, humble, strong, and had a radiant countenance.
“I affirm, on oath, that Hazrat Alira met me with great love and affection. It was conveyed to me that he knew me and was aware of my beliefs and he was also aware that my views and beliefs were opposed to the beliefs held by the Shias. But he never expressed any sort of displeasure or disapproval at this, nor did he turn away from me. Instead, he met like one’s beloved and showed me great affection just like a true and sincere friend would do so.
“He was accompanied by both Hasanra and Husainra and by the Chief of the Messengers, the Seal of the Prophetssa. Also in their company was a very beautiful, righteous young woman of high status; she was blessed, pure, dignified and worthy of honour: her inner and outer qualities were infused with spiritual light. I found her to be in a state of grief, which she was trying to suppress. It was conveyed to me that she was Fatimah al-Zahra.
I was lying down as she approached me and sat down next to me. She placed my head upon her thigh and was most kind to me. I noticed that she was sorrowful and anxious on account of my troubles, as mothers are anxious on account of the tribulations of their children.”
Certain non-Ahmadis raise allegations on this stating that how wrong it is to say such a thing in that he placed his head on her thigh. However, the Promised Messiahas has given the example of a mother. If one reads the entire extract from the beginning and the qualities he has mentioned in relation to her and then reads this particular sentence, in which it states that she showed kindness to him like that of a mother, then it leaves no room for any allegation. However, since their minds are polluted, therefore they raise such allegations. In any case, the Promised Messiahas states:
“It was then conveyed to me that my relationship with her” i.e. with Hazrat Fatimahra “was like that of a spiritual son. It passed through my mind that her sorrow was an indication of the persecution that I was to undergo at the hands of my people, countrymen and enemies. Then Hasanra and Husainra approached me and expressed their affection towards me like that of brothers and met me like kind well-wishers. This vision was one of those that I experienced while I was awake and this took place many years ago. I have a unique relationship with Hazrat Alira and Hazrat Husainra, of which only God, the Lord of East and West, knows its true reality. In fact, I have deep love for Hazrat Alira and his sons. I am an enemy of the one who is an enemy of them. However, I am not unjust, nor am I from among the oppressors. It is not possible for me to turn away from what Allah the Almighty has revealed to me and I am not of the transgressors. However, if you fail to accept this, then for you are your deeds and for me, my deeds and Allah will judge between us for He is the best of judges.” (Sirr al-Khilafah, Ruhani Khaza‘in, Vol. 8, pp. 358-359, Urdu Tarjumah of Sirr al-Khilafah, pp. 108-112, Nazarat Ishaat)
This completes the accounts from the life of Hazrat Alira and the next series of accounts will now begin insha-Allah.
At this time, I would like to announce that, God-willing, after offering prayers, I will launch a new television channel, which will broadcast 24-hours. It is called “MTA Ghana”.
The Wahab Adam Studio in Ghana was established in 2017 and named in honour of the late amir and missionary-in-charge. The studio produces over 60 percent of the current programmes for MTA Africa channels. The studio has 17 full-time staff members and over 60 volunteers who are trained in the various departments. The Wahab Adam Studios is one of the most advanced studios in Ghana and has some of the best facilities. Various media organisations and broadcasters send their staff to the studio for training purposes and work experience. The studio has produced many live programmes including the first Quran Competition in Africa, Ramadan programmes and many others.
A new channel is now being launched under the name of MTA Ghana. MTA Ghana will be a new 24-hour national television channel broadcasting on the digital platform in Ghana. MTA Ghana will be available to view without the need of a satellite dish and can be accessed through a normal aerial. This means that the people of Ghana can easily access it even with a normal antenna. The channel can be found in the same place as the other major television channels in Ghana and will be accessible to hundreds of thousands of homes within the country and will cover all regions from the South to the North, insha-Allah.
Programmes will be produced from the Wahab Adam studios in various languages of Ghana including English, Twi, Ga, Hausa and others. The transmission and scheduling of the channel will be run locally from the Wahab Adam studios through Lajna volunteers and other teams. Many programmes will be produced to provide moral training and other educational programmes and, in this way, the true and beautiful teachings of Islam will be conveyed to the people through this channel. MTA Ghana will be the only dedicated Islamic channel on the digital platform in Ghana, insha-Allah.
On the one hand, the opponents of the Jamaat seek to hinder our path, but at the same time, Allah the Almighty opens many other new avenues for us. These are the blessings of Allah the Almighty upon the Jamaat. Insha-Allah, those paths of ours, which they have hindered, will also open at its appropriate time. However, at the same time, Allah the Almighty has granted us the means of our happiness and joy. Thus, this channel will insha-Allah cover the entire country and maybe even certain areas in the neighbouring countries as well.
Insha-Allah, as I have just mentioned, after the Friday prayers, I will inaugurate the channel.
Furthermore, I have been drawing attention towards these days to pray especially for those who have been [falsely] imprisoned in Pakistan and Algeria – may Allah Almighty create the means for them to be freed.
Pray for the general state of affairs in Pakistan as well; may Allah Almighty enable Ahmadis there to live in peace. May He bring the opponents of Ahmadiyyat to their senses; if not, then may Allah Almighty deal with them as He so wills and enable Ahmadis to be freed of them.
The Ahmadis of Pakistan should also particularly focus on offering voluntary supplications, praying and giving sadaqaat. May Allah Almighty keep them in His protection and security.
(Original Urdu transcript published in Al Fazl International on 5 February 2021, pp. 5-10. Translated by The Review of Religions)