Men of Excellence: Hazrat Muaz r.a. ibn Jabal (23 October 2020)

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Friday Sermon

23 October 2020

Men of Excellence: Hazrat Muazra ibn Jabal

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

The companion whose accounts I shall narrate today is Hazrat Muazra bin Jabal. His name was Muaz and the name of his father was Jabal bin Amr and his mother was Hind bint Sahl, who belonged to the Banu Raba‘ah branch of the Juhaynah tribe.

Hazrat Muazra bin Jabal’s title was Abdur-Rahman and he belonged to the Uday bin Saad bin Ali branch of the Khazraj tribe. The author of Siyar-us-Sahabah [life of the companions] writes that Saad bin Ali had two sons, Salama and Uday. Banu Salama is the progeny of Salama. 

During the era of Islam, only two individuals from the progeny of Uday bin Saad survived; they were Hazrat Muazra and his son, ‘Abd-ur-Rahman. The houses of Banu ‘Uday were situated in the neighbourhood of Banu Salama. Hazrat Muazra bin Jabal was of extremely fair complexion, had a beautiful countenance, bright teeth and beautiful eyes. Amongst his people, he was the considered most handsome, youthful and generous person. 

Abu Nu‘aim relates that Hazrat Muazra bin Jabal was more compassionate, modest and generous than any other youth of the Ansar. Hazrat Muazra bin Jabal participated in the second pledge of initiation at Aqaba, along with 70 other Ansar and was 18 years old at the time of his acceptance of Islam. Hazrat Muazra bin Jabal participated alongside the Holy Prophetsa in all the battles, including the battles of Badr, Uhud and Khandaq. When he participated in the Battle of Badr, he was 20 or 21 years of age. His step-brother (who was born to the same mother but had a different father) was Hazrat Abdullahra bin Jadd and he also participated in the Battle of Badr. 

According to Usd-ul-Ghabah, the name of his step-brother was Sahl bin Muhammad bin Jadd. Sahl belonged to Banu Salama, therefore they also counted him among their tribe. When the Muhajireen of Mecca migrated to Medina, the Holy Prophetsa formed a bond of brotherhood between Hazrat Abdullahra bin Mas‘ud and Hazrat Muazra bin Jabal. This is the only reference that can be found in this regard from the various books of history. 

After accepting Islam, Hazrat Muazra bin Jabal, along with the youth of Banu Salama, broke the idols of their tribe. (Ali Ibn al-Athir, Usd-ul-Ghabah fi Ma‘rifat al-Sahabah, Vol. 5, Muazra bin Jabal [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2003] 187) (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, Muazra bin Jabal wa min Sa‘ir Bani Salamah [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 1990] 437-438) (Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, Al-Isabah fi Tamyiz al-Sahabah, Vol. 6 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 1995] 107-108) (Sheikh Shah Moinuddin Ahmad Nadvi, Siyar al-Sahabah, Vol. 3, Muazra bin Jabal [Karachi, Pakistan: Dar al-Isha‘ah, 2004] 497)

This incident of how he broke the idols of his family has previously been mentioned once whilst narrating the accounts of another companion and I will mention it here again. 

Hazrat Amrra bin Jamooh placed an idol made out of wood in his home. He named it Manaat and would show great respect to it and revere it. On the occasion of the second Bai‘at [pledge] at Aqaba, some youths from Banu Salama also pledged their allegiance. Among them was Hazrat Muazra bin Jabal and also Muazra, the son of Amr [bin Jamooh] who also pledged his allegiance. 

This incident that I am quoting has previously been mentioned in relation to Muazra bin Amr. Hazrat Amrra bin Jamooh’s son devised a plan to call his father towards Islam. He would take the idol of Hazrat Amrra, which he had placed in his home, and throw it into a pit or a pile of rubbish. Some of the youths would assist him in this, including Hazrat Muazra bin Jabal. Nevertheless, he threw the idol into the pit of rubbish one day. Amrra found it, brought it back home and said, “If I come to know who is doing this to my idol, I will punish him severely.” 

The following day, these young men did the same with the idol and it was once again lying face down in the pit. He once again picked it up and brought it back. The third day, he cleaned the idol again and placed it in his home, but this time, he hung his sword around the idol and said, “By God! I am not aware of who is doing this to you, but I am leaving a sword with you so that you may protect yourself. You now have a sword.” 

The following day, Hazrat Amrra noticed that the idol was once again not in its place and found it in that very pit nearby, tied to the neck of a dead dog. Seeing this, he was taken aback and became extremely concerned and was compelled to ponder over the fact that the idol he considered to be a god and had placed in his home did not even have the strength and power to protect itself even with a sword by its side; how then could it possibly protect him? Furthermore, it was lying around the neck of a dead dog. Thus, he deeply reflected that how could this possibly be a god. Nevertheless, this incident was the cause for his inclination towards Islam and later accepting Islam. (Ali Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghabah fi Ma‘rifat al-Sahabah, Vol. 4, Amr bin al-Jamuh [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2003] 195)

Hazrat Muazra bin Jabal’s love and devotion to the Holy Prophetsa can also be gauged by the fact that when the Holy Prophetsa returned to Medina following the Battle of Uhud, sounds of wailing and lamenting could be heard in the streets. The Holy Prophetsa asked what it was? They replied that these were the wives of the Ansar, who were weeping for their martyrs. Upon this, the Holy Prophetsa said, “Is there no one to weep for Hamzah?” The Holy Prophetsa then prayed for the forgiveness of Hazrat Hamzahra.

When Hazrat Saadra bin Muaz, Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah, Hazrat Muazra bin Jabal and Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawahah heard this, they went to their respective neighbourhoods and gathered the women of Medina who were wailing and weeping. They then said, “No one shall now mourn over the martyrs of the Ansar until they have mourned over the uncle of the Holy Prophetsa, because he said there is no one in Medina to mourn over Hazrat Hamzara.” This was their love and devotion to the Holy Prophetsa upon seeing that he was in pain due to [the martyrdom of] Hazrat Hamzara. (Ibn Hisham, Al-Raud al-Anf fi Tafsir al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah, Vol. 3, Ghazwat Uhud [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 1986], 95-96)

Although howling and shrieking over a departed one is forbidden, but the Holy Prophetsa permitted it in this instance, or perhaps having witnessed the emotions of the people, he expressed his wish for them to also express their emotions for Hazrat Hamzara. But in any case, howling and shrieking over the dead is forbidden in Islam and the Holy Prophetsa himself forbade it. 

After the conquest of Mecca, the Holy Prophetsa went to Hunain. Hunain is a valley situated north-east of Mecca, near Ta‘if. The Holy Prophetsa kept Hazrat Muazra bin Jabal in Mecca, so that he could teach the people of Mecca about Islam and the Holy Quran. (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 2, Muazra bin Jabal, [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 1990] 265) (Sayyid Fadl al-Rahman, Farhang-i-Sirat [Karachi, Pakistan: Zawwar Academy Publications, 2003], 109)

Hazrat Muazra bin Jabal fully participated in the Battle of Tabuk. When the Holy Prophetsa enquired about Hazrat Kaabra bin Malik, who, at the time, had remained behind in Medina, a man from the Banu Salama tribe spoke ill of Hazrat Kaabra bin Malik. In response, Hazrat Muazra bin Jabal reproached that man and then submitted to the Holy Prophetsa, “O Messengersa of Allah, we only see good in him, we do not see anything bad.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Maghazi, Bab Hadith Kaabra bin Malik…, Hadith 4418) 

This was their standard of morals that they would not speak ill of someone behind their back. 

Qatadah relates that he heard Hazrat Anasra say, “In the time of the Holy Prophetsa, four people compiled the Holy Quran, who were all among the Ansar. They were: Hazrat Muazra bin Jabal, Hazrat Ubayyra bin Kaab, Hazrat Zaidra bin Thabit and Hazrat Abu Zaidra.” Hazrat Abu Zaidra was the paternal uncle of Hazrat Anasra. (Sahih Muslim, Kitab Faza‘il al-Sahabah, Bab min Faza‘il Ubayy bin Kaab…, Hadith 2465)

Hazrat Abdullah bin Umarra narrates that he heard the Holy Prophetsa say, “Learn the Quran from four people – Ibn Mas‘udra, Salimra the freed slave of Abu Huzayfara, Ubayyra bin Kaab and Muazra bin Jabal.” 

This narration I have just cited is from Sahih al-Bukhari. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab Manaqib al-Ansar, Bab Manaqib Muazra bin Jabal, Hadith 3806) 

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra has explained this Hadith which I previously mentioned in relation to Hazrat Kaabra. Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:

“The Holy Prophetsa appointed a group of teachers who taught the Holy Quran; they [learned and] memorised the entire Holy Quran from the Holy Prophetsa and taught it to others. These were four esteemed teachers who were responsible for learning the Holy Quran from the Holy Prophetsa and teaching it to others and there were many companions under them who would also teach the Holy Quran to others. The names of these four esteemed teachers are Abdullah bin Mas‘udra, Salimra, the freed salve of Abu Huzayfara, Muazra bin Jabal and Ubayyra bin Kaab. The first two were Muhajireen and the latter two were Ansar. With regard to their work, Abdullahra bin Mas‘ud was a labourer, Salimra was a freed slave, while Muazra bin Jabal and Ubayyra bin Kaab were chieftains of Medina. Thus, the Holy Prophetsa appointed qaris [reciters] keeping in view every member of society. 

“It is narrated in a hadith that the Holy Prophetsa used to say: 

خُذُوا الْقُرْاٰنَ مِنْ اَرْبَعَةٍ (مِنْ) عَبْدِ اللّٰهِ بْنِ مَسْعُوْدٍ وَ سَالِمٍ وَ مُعَاذِ بْنِ جَبَلٍ وَ اُبَيِّ بِنْ كَعْبٍ

“‘Anyone who desires to read the Quran should learn from the following four individuals; Abdullah bin Mas‘ud, Salim, Muazra bin Jabal and Ubayy bin Kaab.’ 

“These were the four people who either learned the entire Quran from the Holy Prophetsa or would recite it before him to ensure they did not make any mistakes. Aside from them, there were also many other companions who learned various portions of the Holy Quran directly from the Holy Prophetsa

“It is related in another narration that on one occasion, when Hazrat Abdullahra bin Mas‘ud [was reciting the Quran, he] pronounced a word differently. Hazrat Umarra stopped him and said that it should be pronounced in such and such manner. Hazrat Abdullahra bin Mas‘ud stated that the Holy Prophetsa taught him to pronounce it in that very manner. Hazrat Umarra took him to the Holy Prophetsa and complained that he did not recite the Quran correctly. The Holy Prophetsa asked Abdullahra bin Mas‘ud to recite. When he recited it, the Holy Prophetsa said he was reciting correctly. Thereupon Hazrat Umarra submitted, ‘O Messengersa of Allah, you taught me to pronounce the word differently.’ The Holy Prophetsa told him that that was also correct. 

“This shows that in addition to the four companions who learnt the Holy Quran from the Holy Prophetsa, there were others who used also to learn portions of the Holy Quran from him. Hazrat Umar’sra submission that he had been taught to pronounce a certain word in a particular way shows that he too used to learn the Quran from the Holy Prophetsa himself.” (Dibachah Tafsir al-Quran, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 20, pp. 427-428)

Hazrat Anas bin Malikra relates that the Holy Prophetsa said, “From among my Ummah, the most merciful to them is Abu Bakrra; the one who most strictly adheres to the religion of Allah is Umarra; the most modest is Uthmanra; the best decision-maker is Alira bin Abi Talib; the most knowledgeable of the Holy Quran is Ubayyra bin Kaab; the most knowledgeable of what is lawful and unlawful is Muazra bin Jabal and the person with the greatest awareness of his obligations is Zaidra bin Thabit. Hearken! Every nation has an ameen [custodian] and the ameen of my ummah is Abu Ubaidahra bin al-Jarrah.” This narration has previously been mentioned as well in a similar manner. (Sunan Ibn Majah, Kitab Iftitah al-Kitab fi al-Iman wa Faza‘il al-Sahabah wa al-Ilm, Bab Faza‘il Khubbab, Hadith 154)

Hazrat Abu Hurairahra relates that the Holy Prophetsa said, “What an excellent man is Abu Bakr; what an excellent man is Umar; what an excellent man is Abu Ubaidah bin al-Jarrah; what an excellent man is Usaid bin Hudair; what an excellent man is Thabit bin Qais bin Shammas; what an excellent man is Muaz bin Jabal and what an excellent man is Muaz bin Amr bin al-Jamooh.” This is a narration of Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal

(Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal, Vol. 7, p. 502, Hadith 9421, Alam al-Kutub, Beirut, 1998)

Hazrat Muazra bin Jabal relates that the Messengersa of Allah took hold of his hand one day and said, “O Muaz! By Allah, I love you”. Hazrat Muazra replied, “May my parents be sacrificed for you; I too love you.” The Holy Prophetsa then said, “O Muazra, I advise you to never forget to recite after every prayer: 

اللّٰهُمَّ‭ ‬أَعِنِّيْ‭ ‬عَلٰى‭ ‬ذِكْرِكَ‭ ‬وَشُكْرِكَ‭ ‬وَحُسْنِ‭ ‬عِبَادَتِكَ

‘O Allah, help me remember You, to be grateful to You and to worship You in an excellent manner.’” (Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal, Vol. 7, p. 380, Hadith 22470, Alam al-Kutub, Beirut, 1998)

Hazrat Muazra bin Jabal relates that the Holy Prophetsa said, “Shall I not tell you about one of the doors to paradise?” Hazrat Muazra bin Jabal submitted, “Of course.” The Holy Prophetsa said to recite:

لَا‭ ‬حَوْلَ‭ ‬وَلَا‭ ‬قُوَّةَ‭ ‬إِلَّا‭ ‬بِاللّٰهِ

‘There is no might or power except with Allah.’” (Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal, Vol. 7, p. 374, Hadith 22450, Alam al-Kutub, Beirut, 1998)

Hazrat Muazra bin Jabal narrates that he enquired from the Holy Prophetsa as to what the most excellent kind of faith was. The Holy Prophetsa replied, “The most excellent form of faith is to instil love for Allah and to only express your hatred for His sake, and to remain occupied in the remembrance of Allah.” Hazrat Muazra then asked, “O Messenger of Allah, what else?” The Holy Prophetsa answered, “Love for others what you love for yourself. You must like for others that which you like for yourself, and you must dislike for them that which you dislike for yourself.” (Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal, Vol. 7, p. 385, Hadith 22481, Alam al-Kutub, Beirut, 1998)

Hazrat Jabir bin Abdillahra narrates that Hazrat Muazra bin Jabal would pray with the Holy Prophetsa and then return to his tribe and lead them in prayer. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Adhan, Bab idha Salla thumma amma Qauman, Hadith 711) 

He would first come to Masjid al-Nabawi and offer prayers there, after which he would return to his home and lead his people in prayer. This is a narration from Sahih al-Bukhari.

Hazrat Jabirra narrates that Hazrat Muazra would offer prayers with the Holy Prophetsa and then would return to his people and lead them in prayers. One evening, he offered the Isha prayer behind the Holy Prophetsa. When he returned to his people, he led them in prayers and began reciting Surah al-Baqarah [chapter 2 of the Holy Quran]. Upon this, one person separated himself from the congregation, said ‘salam’ [to indicate the end of prayer] and began to pray on his own. When he saw that a lengthy chapter was being recited, he said ‘salam’ and began to offer the prayer on his own. Seeing him do this, the people called out his name and said, “Have you become a hypocrite?” They admonished him for leaving the congregational prayer and praying on his own and asked him whether he had become a hypocrite. Upon this he replied, “No, by God, I am not a hypocrite. I will certainly go to the Holy Prophetsa and inform him of what I have done. If I was a hypocrite, I would have secretly offered my prayers. I will certainly inform the Holy Prophetsa of all this.” 

Subsequently, he came to see the Holy Prophetsa and said, “O Messengersa of Allah! We transport water from one place to another on our camels and ensure people have water in their homes. Thus, we work all day long. Hazrat Muazra offered the Isha prayers with you and then came to his own neighbourhood and began reciting Surah al-Baqarah.” The Holy Prophetsa turned to Hazrat Muazra and said, “O Muaz! Do you wish to place the people in a trial? Why do you cause hardship for the people?” The Holy Prophetsa then advised what to recite and repeated it again. 

According to the narration of Hazrat Jabirra, the Holy Prophetsa said: “You ought to recite Surah al-Shams, Surah al-Duha, Surah al-Lail and Surah al-A‘la.” The Holy Prophetsa mentioned these four chapters as an example. This is a narration of Sahih Muslim. (Sahih Muslim, Kitab al-Salah, Bab al-Qira‘ah fi al-Isha, Hadith 465)

There is a narration in Sahih al-Bukhari as follows: Hazrat Jabirra bin Abdillah Ansari relates that one evening, a man was taking his camels, which would transport water and coincidentally, he saw that Hazrat Muazra was leading prayers in the mosque. Upon seeing him, he tied down his camels and began offering prayers behind Hazrat Muazra. Hazrat Muazra began reciting Surah al-Baqarah or Surah al-Nisa. This individual stopped his prayers and left, but later found out that Hazrat Muazra was displeased by this act of his. Hence he came to the Holy Prophetsa and complained about Hazrat Muazra. Upon hearing this, the Holy Prophetsa said to Hazrat Muazra three times, “O Muaz! You wish to put the people through a grave trial? Why do you put the people through difficulty by reciting long surahs [chapters of the Holy Quran]? Why did you not recite: Surah al-A‘la, Surah al-Shams, Surah al-Lail, because in the congregation behind you, there are elderly people, some of whom are weak and there are also those who have other needs.” As mentioned earlier, this is a narration of Sahih al-Bukhari. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Azan, Bab man shaka amamahu idha tawwala, Hadith 705) 

In light of the advice of the Holy Prophetsa to Hazrat Muazra bin Jabal about reciting shorter surahs in [congregational] prayers, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra writes: 

“It was the preference of the Holy Prophetsa to recite Surah al-A‘la, Surah al-Ghashiyah, Surah al-Fajr and other similar surahs [in terms of length] in obligatory prayers. Al-Nisai has related from Hazrat Jabirra that once, Hazrat Muazra bin Jabal was leading the prayers. A person came and joined in the [congregational] prayers behind him. Hazrat Muazra prolonged the prayers; according to some narrations, he began to recite Surah Al-e-Imran or Surah al-Nisa. 

“When the prayer became prolonged, he stopped his prayers and moving to one side, began to pray on his own. When he concluded his prayer, he left. After the prayer finished, someone informed Hazrat Muazra of what happened in that one person came and joined the prayer, but when the prayer became prolonged, he stopped the prayer and moving to one side, he began to pray on his own. After he finished, his prayer he then left. Hazrat Muazra said that perhaps he was a hypocrite and then related the entire incident to the Holy Prophetsa. (In this narration, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra has stated that Hazrat Muazra went to the Holy Prophetsa himself.) He said, ‘O Messenger of Allah! I was leading the prayer when such and such person joined the prayer. But when the prayer became prolonged, he left the prayer and began to pray on his own and left once he finished.’ 

“When the person against whom the complaint was raised found out that the incident had been mentioned to the Holy Prophetsa, he also came to see the Holy Prophetsa and submitted, ‘O Messengersa of Allah! I came to offer the prayers and joined in when he [i.e. Hazrat Muazra] was leading the prayers. However, he prolonged the prayers. We work all day long and my camel was also tied up without any food. Therefore, I stopped praying in congregation and prayed on my own to one side of the mosque. I then returned home and fed my camel.’ Upon hearing this, the Holy Prophetsa was displeased with Hazrat Muazra and said to him, ‘O Muaz! You will place the people in great difficulty. Why do you not recite Surah al-A‘la, Surah al-Shams, Surah al-Fajr or Surah al-Lail? Why did you not recite these chapters and why did you choose to recite the longer chapters?’ 

“From this incident we can conclude that the Holy Prophetsa has deemed these [aforementioned] chapters of average length. Indeed, under special conditions, one may recite the longer chapters, or when one is unwell, they may recite even shorter chapters. However, these chapters are of average length which ought to be recited during the prayers in which the Imam recites a portion of the Holy Quran out aloud.” (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 8, pp. 497, Tafsir Surah al-Fajr)

It should also be remembered that this does not mean that only these chapters can be recited. The Holy Prophetsa has given a general instruction that one should not recite long chapters in congregational prayers. However, one can recite the chapters according to their own circumstances or according to what they have learnt. Some people have memorised shorter chapters and because there is nobody else to lead the congregation, they have to lead the prayers. Therefore, it is permissible for them to recite shorter chapters as well. However, the general instructions of the Holy Prophetsa is that longer chapters are not to be recited in the congregational prayers because there are various people in the congregation, some of whom are elderly, some are unwell or labourers.

Hazrat Muazra bin Jabal relates: 

“I was riding behind the Holy Prophetsa and there was nothing between him and me but the rear part of the saddle, when he said, ‘O Muaz bin Jabal!’ to which I replied, ‘I am present O Messenger of Allah and at your service!’ The Holy Prophetsa travelled for a short while, when again, he said, ‘O Muazra bin Jabal!’ to which I replied, ‘I am present, O Messengersa of Allah and I am at your service.’ He then again travelled for a short while and said, ‘O Muaz bin Jabal!’ to which I replied, ‘I am present, O Messengersa of Allah, and I am at your service!’ The Holy Prophetsa then said, ‘Do you know what right Allah has upon His servants?’ I submitted, ‘Allah and His Messengersa know best.’ The Holy Prophetsa said, ‘Verily the right of Allah over His servants is that they should worship Him and not associate anything with Him.’ The Holy Prophetsa then rode a short distance and then said, ‘O Muaz bin Jabal!’ to which I replied, ‘I am present O Messenger of Allah and I am at your service!’ The Holy Prophetsa said, ‘Do you know what rights the servants have upon Allah?’” Firstly, people must fulfil the rights they owe to Allah the Almighty. When they fulfil these rights and act accordingly, then people have rights over God Almighty.) “I replied, ‘Allah and His Messengersa know best.’ The Holy Prophetsa said, ‘It is that Allah will not punish them.’”

When people obey Allah the Almighty’s commandments, then they are granted the right that Allah will not punish them. This is a narration of Sahih Muslim. (Sahih Muslim, Kitab al-Iman, Bab al-Dalil ala man mata ala al-Tauhid, Hadith 30)

Hazrat Muazra bin Jabal narrates:

“I was once travelling in the company of the Holy Prophetsa. Whilst we were on the journey, I moved closer and enquired, ‘O Messengersa of Allah, tell me of a deed that will take me to Paradise and will keep me away from the Hellfire.’ The Holy Prophetsa said, ‘You have asked me about a great matter indeed! Yet it is attainable for whom Allah makes it easy for.’ He further said, ‘Worship Allah and do not associate any partners with Him; observe prayer; pay the Zakat; fast in the month of Ramadan and perform the pilgrimage to the House of Allah.’

“The Holy Prophetsa then said, ‘Shall I not inform you about the doors to attain goodness?’ The Holy Prophetsa then explained, ‘I shall inform you about the doors to attain goodness. Fasting is a shield and charity washes away sins just as water extinguishes a fire; and for one to offer prayers in the middle of the night (i.e. to offer Tahajud prayers).’ 

“The Holy Prophetsa then recited the following verse: 

تَتَجَافٰى‭ ‬جُنُوْبُهُمْ‭ ‬عَنِ‭ ‬الْمَضَاجِعِ‭ ‬يَدْعُوْنَ‭ ‬رَبَّهُمْ‭ ‬خَوْفًا‭ ‬وَّ‭ ‬طَمَعًا‭ ‬وَّ‭ ‬مِمَّا‭ ‬رَزَقْنٰهُمْ‭ ‬يُنْفِقُوْنَ۔‭ ‬فَلَا‭ ‬تَعْلَمُ‭ ‬نَفْسٌ‭ ‬مَّا‭ ‬اُخْفِيَ‭ ‬لَهُمْ‭ ‬مِّنْ‭ ‬قُرَّةِ‭ ‬اَعْيُنٍ‭ ‬جَزَآءًۢ‭ ‬بِمَا‭ ‬كَانُوْا‭ ‬يَعْمَلُوْنَ

“‘Their sides keep away from their beds; and they call on their Lord in fear and hope and spend out of what We have bestowed on them. And no soul knows what joy of the eyes is kept hidden for them, as a reward for their good works.’ [Ch.32: V.17-18]

“The Holy Prophetsa further said, ‘Shall I not inform you of the best deed, its pillar and its peak?’ The Holy Prophetsa then stated, ‘It is to perform Jihad.’ He then said, ‘Shall I not tell you the foundation of all this (i.e. it is a fundamental matter upon which everything rests)?’ I said, ‘Yes, O Messengersa of Allah.’ And so, the Holy Prophetsa took hold of his tongue and said, ‘To restrain this.’

“I submitted, ‘O Prophetsa of Allah, will we be held accountable for what we say with it?’ The Holy Prophetsa said, ‘May Allah bless you, O Muaz! There is nothing that throws people into the Hellfire upon their faces except what you reap from your tongues?’” (Sunan Ibn Majah, Kitab al-Fitan, Bab Kaff al-Lisan fi al-Fitnah, Hadith 3973)

This means to pass harsh and hurtful remarks or injuring one’s sentiments through one’s speech is something that can lead to discord. Furthermore, it can lead to many other evils. Whether one’s words are the cause of evil or become a means of spreading evil and sin, then according to the Holy Prophetsa it will cause them to be thrown in the Hellfire on their faces. Therefore, one ought to be mindful of what they say and use their tongue [and words] to spread virtuous deeds. 

Hazrat Kaabra bin Malik narrates that Hazrat Muazra bin Jabal would pass edicts [fatwas] during the lifetime of the Holy Prophetsa and also during the caliphate of Hazrat Abu Bakrra in Medina. (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 2, Muazra bin Jabal [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 1990], 265)

Muhammad bin Sahl bin Abi Khaithamah narrates on the authority of his father that during the Holy Prophet’ssa life, three men from the Ansar and three men from the Muhajireen would pass edicts. They were Hazrat Umarra, Hazrat Uthmanra, Hazrat Alira, Hazrat Ubayyra bin Kaab, Hazrat Muazra bin Jabal and Hazrat Zaid bin Thabitra. (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 2, Bab Ahl al-Ilm wa al-Fatawa min Ashab Rasul Allah [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 1990], 267)

Abdur Rahman bin Qasim narrates from his father that whenever Hazrat Abu Bakrra would be faced with a matter in which he needed to consult with those who possessed good judgment and knowledge of jurisprudence, he would call individuals from among the Muhajireen and the Ansar and these included Hazrat Umarra, Hazrat Uthmanra, Hazrat Alira, Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra bin Auf, Hazrat Muazra bin Jabl, Hazrat Ubayyra bin Kaab and Hazrat Zaidra bin Thabit. All of these individuals would issue the fatwas [edicts] during the era of Hazrat Abu Bakrra. (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 2, Bab Ahl al-Ilm wa al-Fatawa min Ashab Rasul Allah [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 1990], 267)

In other words, they formed the jurisprudential committee and were permitted to issue edicts based on their knowledge they had attained from the Holy Prophetsa

During the era of Hazrat Abu Bakrra, Hazrat Muazra bin Jabl migrated to Syria and settled there. Upon this, Hazrat Umarra stated that Hazrat Muazra bin Jabl’s departure had a left a void in Medina and amongst the people of Medina in the field of jurisprudence and in those matters regarding which he would issue edicts. Hazrat Umarra requested Hazrat Abu Bakrra that he should stop him from leaving as people greatly needed him. However, Hazrat Abu Bakrra refused saying that he could not stop anyone who had made a decision and desired to embrace martyrdom. Hazrat Umarra stated, “By God, one can attain martyrdom even whilst laying on their bed.” (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 2, Muazra bin Jabal [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 1990], 265)

Thaur bin Yazid relates that when Hazrat Muazra bin Jabl would offer the Tahajud prayer in the night, he would recite the following prayer: 

“O Allah! My eyes are asleep whilst the stars are shining brightly. You are the Living, the Self-Subsisting and All-Sustaining. O Allah! My desire to attain paradise is lacking and I am weak and lack the strength to escape from the hellfire. O Allah! Enable me to become among the guided, and save this for it to be granted to me on the Day of Judgment – surely You do not go against Your promise” (Ali Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghabah fi Ma‘rifat al-Sahabah, Vol. 5, Muazra bin Jabal [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2003], 188). Such was the level of fear of God he had. 

Hazrat Anasra bin Malik relates that the Holy Prophetsa stated to Hazrat Muazra bin Jabal whilst he was sat behind the Holy Prophetsa on the saddle, “O Muaz bin Jabl!” 

“O Messengersa of Allah, I am here at your service”, responded Hazrat Muazra bin Jabal. The Holy Prophetsa stated, “O Muaz!” Again, he answered, “O Messengersa of Allah, I am here at your service.” The Holy Prophetsa again called his name and he submitted, “O Messengersa of Allah, I am here at your service.”

After calling his name out three times, the Holy Prophetsa said, “Whoever, with sincerity of heart, testifies that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammadsa is the Messenger of Allah, then Allah will surely safeguard him from the Hellfire.” Upon this, Hazrat Muazra submitted, “O Messengersa of Allah, shall I not convey this to the others as it will be a source of joy for them?” The Holy Prophetsa replied, “Then they will only rely on this one thing and abandon all other virtues, therefore do not tell this to others.” Hazrat Muazra only revealed this saying of the Holy Prophetsa at the time of his demise, and even then, only did so lest he committed a sin for not having conveyed the words of the Holy Prophetsa. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Ilm, Bab man Khassa bi al-‘Ilm Qauman, Hadith 128) 

Hazrat Muazra felt that he ought to convey this saying to the scholars of the time but did not do this while he was alive and in good health.  

Hazrat Waliullah Shah Sahibra has written about this in the commentary of Bukhari. There were certain hadith in relation to a subject and whilst mentioning those, he also included this particular hadith and stated: 

“This particular intellectual statement is only addressed to certain people because others could suffer greatly on account of failing to understand its proper meaning. It is not enough to simply proclaim that ‘there is none worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammadsa is the Messenger of Allah’ and then assume that there this no need to carry out any other deed.” 

In reality, this has become the condition of the Muslims, who are Muslim in name only. They recite the Kalimah [declaration of faith] and fail to carry out any other deed. Hazrat Shah Sahibra further writes:

“This hadith has explained that there is a particular context to such statements.”

He was mentioning various ahadith and this particular hadith was also included in that. He then further writes: 

“Hazrat Ibn Mas‘udra has recorded a hadith with the correct sanad [chain of narrators] in Sahih Muslim, which is as follows: 

مَا‭ ‬اَنْتَ‭ ‬بِمُحَدِّثٍ‭ ‬قَوْمًا‭ ‬حَدِيْثًا‭ ‬لَا‭ ‬يَبْلُغُهٗ‭ ‬عُقُوْلُهُمْ‭ ‬اِلَّا‭ ‬كَانَ‭ ‬لِبَعْضِهِمْ‭ ‬فِتْنَةٌ

“The gist of the aforementioned saying of the Holy Prophetsa is that one should address people in accordance to their intellect and level of understanding because certain statements can lead to fitnah.” 

In any case, he further writes: 

“We see that how some people claim to be believers have made the mere verbal declaration of ‘there is none worthy of worship except Allah …’ as a way of freeing mankind from enduring the hardships of the Shariah by granting them a ‘certificate’ for their faith and whilst showing a complete disregard to all other religious obligations.” 

Every maulvi [Muslim cleric] who delivers sermons from his pulpit claims that whoever offers their prayers behind him and recites the Kalimah he would be granted the certificate of faith and there is no need to do anything else. 

He further writes:

“It was in the presence of these very believers who had verbally testified their complete belief to whom the Holy Prophetsa stated that in the Latter Days, faith would neither be in the hearts, nor uttered from tongues of the people of that time; rather, it would ascend into the Pleiades. This was in reference to the Latter Days. Thus, it was in this context that the Holy Prophetsa mentioned this hadith regarding the Kalimah

Then Hazrat Waliullah Shah Sahibra mentions the following narration: 

مَنْ‭ ‬لَقِيَ‭ ‬اللّٰهَ‭ ‬لَا‭ ‬يُشْرِكُ‭ ‬بِهٖ‭ ‬شَيْئًا

“One who abstains from every kind of shirk [idolatry] right till his death, will enter paradise.” 

He further writes: 

“The wisdom behind the Holy Prophetsa repeatedly calling Hazrat Muaz’s name and then remaining silent upon his response was in order to arouse his interest and passion to listen to the words of the Holy Prophetsa. Thus, the Holy Prophetsa only told him this once he was fully attentive and eager to listen.” 

Shah Sahibra further writes: 

“This was so that he would be able to truly understand what the Holy Prophetsa was going to say and so it would leave an impression on him. Thus, the Holy Prophetsa repeated his name three times in order to draw his attention on this matter. On the other hand, Hazrat Muazra greatly honoured what the Holy Prophetsa stated and did not disclose this to anyone, except towards the end of his life and even then it was only in fear of being held accountable by Allah the Almighty for not having conveyed something of knowledge to at least the scholars of the time.” (Translation of Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 1, pp. 211-212, Nazarat Ishaat Rabwah) 

Today, Muslims profess to be believers and although they recite the Kalimah and believe that they are free from shirk; however, their hearts are filled with all kinds of shirk. They place their trust in material things and if the true state were to be revealed of the prominent religious speakers, their condition is the same. 

In regard to the aforementioned hadith – in which it states that Allah the Almighty would safeguard those from the Hellfire who recite the Kalimah – it also proves that the reward of this lies with Allah alone. It is not the duty of man to issue an edict regarding one who recites the Kalimah whether they are a Muslim or not. Such self-issued edicts are also against the Quranic teachings as well. 

Nowadays, during the [Islamic] month of Rabi al-Awal it is common for Muslims to be commemorating Milad-ul-Nabi; however, the actual thing is to adopt the teachings and the blessed example of the Holy Prophetsa. One should not simply consider themselves to be the only Muslims in their own view, rather they ought to leave matter of others who recite the Kalimah with Allah the Almighty to judge. Such acts will grant happiness to the soul of the Holy Prophetsa and such deeds of his ummah will become a source of joy for him. 

Alongside invoking salutations upon the Holy Prophetsa, we should express our gratitude to Allah the Almighty that He has not abandoned the religion of the Holy Prophetsa; in fact, in accordance with His divine promise and as prophesied, He has sent the Promised Messiahas for the revival of faith, who has taught us the true essence of adhering to the Kalimah and the commandments of the Shariah, so that we truly become amongst those who will be safeguarded from the hellfire. 

May Allah the Almighty also grant wisdom to those who reject the Promised Messiahas to understand. May Allah the Almighty also enable us to fully understand the true teachings of Islam and the real spirit of the Kalimah and act accordingly. 

Hazrat Muazra bin Jabal narrates: 

“In the year when the Battle of Tabuk took place, we also left with the Holy Prophetsa and the Holy Prophetsa would join the Zuhr and Asr prayers and also the Maghrib and Isha prayers. One day, the Holy Prophetsa read the prayers slightly later. He came out and led the Zuhr and Asr prayers and then returned to his residence. He then came out again and led the Maghrib and Isha prayers. The Holy Prophetsa then stated, ‘Tomorrow, you will, insh-Allah, reach the springs of Tabuk.’” 

To clarify, it does not mean that the Holy Prophetsa led all four prayers together; rather, he joined the Zuhr prayer with the Asr and read it at the very last moments of when Asr can be offered and similarly offered the Maghrib and Isha prayer at the earliest time when Maghrib can be offered. In any case the Holy Prophetsa stated: 

“Tomorrow when the sun has fully risen, you will reach the spring of Tabuk. (The Holy Prophetsa estimated that they would roughly reach during the day.) Whoever among you reaches it should not touch its water or drink from it until I arrive.” 

The narrator states, “Upon arriving, two individuals had already reached before us and there was a very small stream of water coming from it, almost as thin as the lace of a shoe. The Holy Prophetsa asked both these individuals if they had touched the water and they both replied that they had taken water from it and also drank from it.” 

The Holy Prophetsa admonished them both, asking why they had taken some water despite the fact that he had forbidden them from doing so; and he continued to say to them that which Allah willed. The narrator says that little by little, people began taking water out of the spring until some water had accumulated in a bowl – there was only a small stream of water. The narrator says that the Holy Prophetsa washed both hands in the bowel and washed his face as well. Then he took the water and poured it back into the spring, meaning he washed his face whilst standing by the stream and the excess water fell back into the spring. Upon this, the spring began flowing rapidly; when the Holy Prophetsa washed his face and hands in the spring and the excess water fell back into the spring, what was once a light stream began to quickly flow and people were able to drink to their fill. Then the Holy Prophetsa said, “O Muaz! If you live long enough, you will see this place become filled with gardens.” (Sahih Muslim, Kitab al-Faza‘il, Bab fi Mu‘jazat al-Nabi, Hadith 706)

According to the books of ahadith, we learn that this miracle occurred when the Holy Prophetsa had just arrived in Tabuk. According to Sirat Ibn Hisham this event took place on the way back from Tabuk, in a valley named Mushaqaq. (Ibn Hisham, Al-Raud al-Anf fi Tafsir al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah, Ghazwat Tabuk fi Rajab Sanah Tis‘ [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2001], 821-822)

Imam Malikrh has also mentioned this incident in his book, Muwatta. Whilst explaining this hadith, Muhammad bin Abdul Baqi Zarqani writes that Abu Waleed Waji states that this was a prophecy which had already been fulfilled and the Holy Prophetsa specifically mentioned Hazrat Muazra because he had moved to Syria and that was where he passed away. The Holy Prophetsa was informed through revelation that Hazrat Muazra would see this place and through the blessings of the Holy Prophetsa, that valley would become a place full of trees and gardens. 

Allamah ibn Abdul Barr relates that Ibn Waddaha states that he visited the entire area surrounding that spring. He found the lushness and greenery of its trees to the extent that perhaps it would remain so until the end of time, which was exactly as the Holy Prophetsa had prophesied. (Sharh Zurqani ala al-Muwatta, Vol. 1, p. 436, Kitab Qasr al-Salah fi al-Safar, Bab al-Jam‘ baina al-Salatain, Dar Ihya al-Turath al-Arabi, Beirut, 1997)

It is written in Atlas Seeratun Nabawi that“one of the government officials in Tabuk said, ‘Until two years ago, this spring was continuously flowing for 1,375 years. Then tube wells were dug in areas at a lower altitude, and thus the water from this spring moved towards the tube wells. After being distributed among 25 tube wells, this spring has only just dried up.’ Afterwards, he took us to a tube well where we saw a four-inch pipe was installed and water was flowing from it with great force, without the use of any machine. We were told that the other tube wells were similar to this one. It is due only to the blessings from the miracle of the Holy Prophetsa that there is such an abundance of water in Tabuk, that apart from Medina and Khaibar, we have not seen as much water anywhere else. In fact the reality is that the amount of water in Tabuk is even more than these two places. Due to this water, gardens are being planted everywhere in Tabuk, and according to the prophecy of the Holy Prophetsa, Tabuk is filled with gardens, which continue to increase by the day.” (Atlas Sirat Nabawi, p. 431, Dar al-Islam, 1424 AH)

The remaining accounts from the life of Hazrat Muazra bin Jabal will be mentioned in the future sermon, insha-Allah

I will lead some funeral prayers [in-absentia] after the Friday prayer and will also mention some details regarding them. 

The first is of Maulvi Farzand Khan Sahib, who was the Missionary-in-Charge of the Khurdah Dunya Garh District in Odisha. He was diabetic and on 10 September, he suddenly developed typhoid and severe pneumonia due to which he was admitted to hospital and it was there that he passed away according to Divine decree:

اِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‭ ‬وَ‭ ‬اِنَّاۤ‭ ‬اِلَيۡهِ‭ ‬رٰجِعُوۡنَ

[Surely to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.] 

He was a musi. He is survived by his wife, Sakina Begum, his daughter, Fariha, and his son, Rehan. 

He was always at the forefront of his service to the Jamaat. He was very virtuous. He took care of the missionaries and muallimeen working under him. He was kind-hearted, humble, had high moral standards and was extremely pious and sincere. 

He enrolled in Jamia Ahmadiyya Qadian in 1980 and graduated in 1988 and then entered the practical field of work. He served for 32 years with great effort, sincerity and exhibiting the true spirit of devotion. During this time, he was able to help many people convert to Ahmadiyyat in various places and also established many chapters of the community. 

His wife, Sakina Begum Sahiba, says that Maulvi Sahib used to relate that his first posting was in Haryana, where there was no official building of the Jamaat, nor were there any Ahmadis there. He would go to various places, propagating the message [of Islam Ahmadiyyat] and establishing centres. 

Whilst doing this, once he ended up in a village of the Haryana province and propagated the message of Ahmadiyyat to them. A local man there said that one of their cows was unable to produce milk. If his community was truthful, then he should blow on something and give it to him, so that his cow could drink it and produce milk. The local man said that if he was truthful and this miracle occurred, then his entire family would accept Ahmadiyyat. 

Maulvi Sahib said that he recited Surah al-Fatihah, Durood Sharif and said some prayers after which he blew on some water and gave it to the man, who took the water and left. Maulvi Sahib says that he spent the entire night in that village sitting under a tree, praying for Allah Almighty to manifest this miracle as a sign for the truthfulness of the Promised Messiahas

Maulvi Sahib says that at the break of dawn, he saw someone coming towards him, carrying a bucket. When he looked inside the bucket he saw that it was milk and the person said, “Maulvi Sahib, our cow has produced milk, and in our happiness, my entire family and I have realised that the Ahmadiyya Community is true and we now join this Community.” 

His son Rehan says, “He was extremely humble, very kind-hearted and met everyone with great love and affection. He lived his life for the sake of the pleasure of Allah the Almighty and for the service to the Community. He fully adhered to every instruction and guidance of the Khalifah and advised us to do the same. He always treated us with kindness and love. Along with his service to the Community, he would help my mother in carrying out work around the house. He safeguarded his prayers throughout his life and ensured that we did so as well. He always advised us to tread upon the right path.” 

All the missionaries and muallimeen who worked with him have all written that he was an exemplary missionary; he was extremely kind and they never saw him express any anger. 

The second funeral is of Abdullah Mulsiku Sahib who was a local missionary in Malaysia. On 7 October, he fell unconscious and was taken to the hospital, but he could not be revived and passed away that same night. 

اِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‭ ‬وَ‭ ‬اِنَّاۤ‭ ‬اِلَيۡهِ‭ ‬رٰجِعُوۡنَ

[Surely to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.] 

He was 68 years of age. He was a musi. He is survived by his wife and eight children. He was the father-in-law of two missionaries in Malaysia, Salahuddin Sahib and Masroor Ahmad Sahib. 

Abdullah Mulsiku Sahib was born in the Philippines and after graduating from university, he joined the Muslim organization called Moro National Liberal Front. This organisation fought against the government and its purpose was to establish an Islamic rule in the Philippines. In 1973 his parents migrated from the Philippines to Malaysia and settled in Sandakan Sabah. In any case, Allah the Almighty had granted him a pure heart; the Promised Messiahas appeared in his dreams many times as well and the Second Khalifara and the Third Khalifarh

It was according to Divine will that he was able to attend the Annual Convention of Takinabalu in 1973. Seeing the Convention and experiencing it proved to be faith-inspiring and thus, he accepted Ahmadiyyat. The area in Sandakan where he lived did not have a missionary. His soul had a thirst for knowledge, hence, he satiated this thirst by extensively studying the Community’s literature. He had a passion for propagating the message of Islam Ahmadiyyat. He practically implemented this passion by propagating the message of Ahmadiyyat to his friends, family and throughout his area. 

As a result of his efforts, many people joined the fold of Islam Ahmadiyyat. It was due to this very passion for propagation that he dedicated his life and was then posted as a missionary. He also had the opportunity of serving in the Philippines alongside Khairuddin Baros Sahib for some time. 

As a result of his virtuous disposition, zeal for knowledge, humility, and fear of Allah Almighty, he was able to render great service there as well. He would also debate with Christians. He brought many people into the fold of Islam. 

He could not speak Urdu but had a great desire to learn. He had memorised many quotes and poems [in Urdu]. He was extremely hospitable; he would particularly tend to the hospitality of those who came for the Friday prayer. He was a man of discipline and desired for everyone to be disciplined as well and thus, he undertook the tarbiyat [moral and spiritual training] of others accordingly. He had difficulty in walking for the past few years, but he never allowed this to pose any hindrance to his work. 

The third funeral is of Abdul Wahid Sahib, who was a muallim in Qadian. He passed away on 12 September at the age of 56. 

اِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‭ ‬وَ‭ ‬اِنَّاۤ‭ ‬اِلَيۡهِ‭ ‬رٰجِعُوۡنَ

[Surely to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.]

He was originally from a Christian household. His older brother, a retired teacher, was the first from his family to have the honour of accepting Ahmadiyyat. His entire family later accepted Ahmadiyyat. After accepting Ahmadiyyat, Abdul Wahid Sahib did a three-year course in Jamiatul Mubashireen. Upon graduating, he went to various regions to propagate the message of Islam Ahmadiyyat. He was also entrusted with the duty of talim and tarbiyat in various areas of Qadian. He was very obedient and worked with great zeal. He was very skilled in the work of tabligh and it was as a result of his propagation that three Christian families and three other non-Ahmadi families in Qadian entered into the fold of Ahmadiyyat. 

By the grace of Allah the Almighty, two people from among these families are also musi, meaning not only did they accept Ahmadiyyat, but they have also excelled in virtue. He is survived by his wife, a son and two daughters. His son graduated from Jamia Ahmadiyya this year as a missionary. 

May Allah the Almighty elevate the station of all these deceased and grant them all His forgiveness and mercy. May their progenies continue in their good deeds and may Allah the Almighty fulfil the desires which they had for the upbringing of their children. Among those are some who are life devotees; may Allah enable them to become the true helpers of Khilafat. May Allah the Almighty grant them His forgiveness and mercy. 

As I said, after leading the Friday prayer, I will lead the funeral prayer [in absentia] insha-Allah

(Original Urdu published in Al Fazl International, 13 November 2020, pp. 5-10. Translated by The Review of Religions.)

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