29 January 2021
Men of Excellence: Hazrat Uthmanra
After reciting Tashahud, Ta‘awuz and Surah al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa said:
I will mention various expeditions in which Hazrat Uthmanra took part. As mentioned previously, Hazrat Uthmanra was not able to take part in the Battle of Badr because his wife, Hazrat Ruqayyahra, daughter of the Holy Prophetsa, was extremely unwell. Owing to this, the Holy Prophetsa instructed Hazrat Uthmanra to remain behind in Medina in order to look after her but he considered Hazrat Uthmanra among those who participated in the battle. For this reason, he granted the same reward and the same number of provisions from the spoils of war as those who participated in the battle. (Sharh Zurqani ala al-Mawahib al-Laduniyyah, Vol. 2, p. 334, Ghazwah Badr, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1996)
The Battle of Ghatafan took place in Muharram or Safar 3 AH. Whilst setting off towards Najd in order to travel to Ghatafan, the Holy Prophetsa appointed Hazrat Uthmanra as the amir of Medina in his absence. Therefore, in this respect, he was not able to partake in this expedition either. (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, Uthman bin Affan [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 1990], p. 41)
With regard to the details of this expedition, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra states:
“Upon the proposal of a renowned warrior from among themselves named Dau‘thur bin Harith, the people of the Banu Tha‘labah and Banu Maharib, which were tribes of the Banu Ghatafan, began to assemble in a place called Dhi Amr, situated in Najd, with the intention of launching a sudden attack upon Medina. However, since the Holy Prophetsa would keep a constant watch on the movements of his enemies, he was able to receive timely intelligence as to the deadly motives of these tribes. Therefore, in the likeness of a vigilant general, as a pre-emptive measure, the Holy Prophetsa assembled a force of 450 Companions and set out from Medina towards the end of Muharram 3 AH, or in the beginning of Safar 4 AH.
“Advancing swiftly, the Holy Prophetsa reached close to Dhi Amr. As soon as the enemy was informed of the arrival of the Holy Prophetsa, they quickly climbed to the nearby mountains in order to secure themselves and when the Muslims reached Dhi Amr, the plain was empty. However, the companions managed to apprehend a Bedouin named Jabbar, who belonged to the Banu Tha‘labah. The Companions took him captive and presented him before the Holy Prophetsa.
“When the Holy Prophetsa enquired of him as to the facts, it was ascertained that all of the people from the Banu Tha‘labah and Banu Maharib had secured themselves in the mountains and they would not confront the Muslims in an open field. With no other alternative, the Holy Prophetsa was compelled to order a return. Nonetheless, the benefit which was indeed derived from this Ghazwah was that the threat posed by the Banu Ghatafan at the time was temporarily averted.” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, p. 463)
The Battle of Uhud took place in Shawwal 3 AH. Hazrat Uthmanra took part in the Battle of Uhud. He was not present in the previous two battles; however, he did take part in the Battle of Uhud. During the battle, there was a group of companions who, owing to the sudden attack [by the disbelievers] and upon learning about the news of the Holy Prophet’s [supposed] martyrdom, became scattered. There came a time when there were only a group of 12 companions around the Holy Prophetsa. Hazrat Uthmanra was among the former of these groups. (Sharh Zurqani ala al-Mawahib al-Laduniyyah, Vol. 2, pp. 418-419, GhazwahUhud, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1996)
When the Muslims saw that they had overpowered the army of the disbelievers, they began gathering the spoils of war. The Holy Prophetsa had appointed 50 archers and ordered them not to leave their positions, but upon seeing that they had overcome the enemy, they left their positions, even though the Holy Prophetsa had strictly ordered them not to leave their positions.
Khalidra bin Walid, who had not yet become a Muslim, saw all of this and immediately launched an attack on the Muslims from that same position. This attack was so sudden and unexpected and also so severe that the Muslims were forced to disperse. Hazrat Uthman’sra name is also mentioned among those companions who dispersed. Owing to the circumstances at the time and due to their level of faith and sincerity they had in their hearts, Allah the Almighty forgave these people. Thus, in this regard, Allah the Almighty says:
اِنَّ الَّذِيۡنَ تَوَلَّوۡا مِنۡكُمۡ يَوۡمَ الۡتَقَي الۡجَمۡعٰنِ ۙ اِنَّمَا اسۡتَزَلَّهُمُ الشَّيۡطٰنُ بِبَعۡضِ مَا كَسَبُوۡا ۚ وَ لَقَدۡ عَفَا اللّٰهُ عَنۡهُمۡ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰهَ غَفُوۡرٌ حَلِيۡمٌ
“Those of you who turned their backs on the day when the two hosts met, surely it was Satan who sought to make them slip because of certain doings of theirs. But certainly Allah has already pardoned them. Verily, Allah is Most Forgiving, Forbearing.” (Surah Al-e-Imran, Ch.3: V.156)
Mentioning the condition of the Muslims during this battle, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra says in Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin:
“The army of the Quraish had pretty much surrounded them from all four fronts and continued to crush the Muslims moment by moment through repeated attacks. Yet, even after all this, the Muslims would may well have regained themselves shortly thereafter, but the outrage was that a bold warrior from among the Quraish named Abdullah bin Qamiah attacked Mus‘abra bin Umair, the flag-bearer of the Muslims and severed his right hand with the blow of his sword. Mus‘abra immediately clutched the flag with his other hand and advanced to confront Ibn Qamiah, but in his second blow, the other hand was severed as well.
“Upon this, Mus‘abra joined both of his severed hands together in an endeavour to keep the Islamic flag from falling, and held it to his chest, upon which Ibn Qamiah struck him a third time and this time, Mus‘ab was martyred and fell to the ground. As far as the flag was concerned, another Muslim immediately advanced and took hold of it, but since the size and figure of Mus‘ab resembled the Holy Prophetsa, Ibn Qamiah thought that he had slain the Holy Prophetsa. It is also probable that this scheme of his was merely guided by motives of mischief and deceit. In any case, when Mus‘abra was martyred and fell, Ibn Qamiah exclaimed that he had slain Muhammadsa.
“At this news, the Muslims lost whatever composure was left in them and their force was scattered completely. Many Companions fled from the battlefield in a state of dismay. At the time, the Muslims were divided into three groups. One group was of those who had fled from the field of battle upon hearing the news that the Holy Prophetsa had been martyred, but this group was the smallest of all”, or rather it is said that they dispersed out of dismay, “and this included Hazrat Uthmanra bin Affan as well. However, as mentioned in the Holy Quran, taking into consideration the special circumstances of that time and the heartfelt faith and sincerity of these people, Allah the Exalted forgave them. From among these people, some had even reached Medina and in this manner, news of the so-called martyrdom of the Holy Prophetsa and defeat of the Muslim army managed to reach Medina as well.
“A state of lamentation broke out in Medina, and the Muslim men and women, both young and old, all came out of the city in a state of immense dismay, and set out towards Uhud. Some made haste to the field of battle and plunged into the enemy ranks in the name of Allah.
“The second group consisted of such people who had not fled, but upon hearing news of the martyrdom of the Holy Prophetsa, had either lost determination or felt that now it was useless to fight. Hence, they had moved to one side of the battlefield, and sat down with their heads hanging low.
“The third group was of those who continued to fight on without fail. Among them, some consisted of those people who were gathered around the Holy Prophetsa and were exhibiting unprecedented feats of valour, and most of them were fighting in the field of battle scattered apart from one another.
“As these people, and those from the second group, continued to discover that the Holy Prophetsa was alive, these people would continue to fight and close in around the Holy Prophetsa in the likeness of those possessed by madness. The state of war at the time was such that the army of the Quraish would push forward from all four fronts in the likeness of ferocious ocean waves. A rain of arrows and stones was falling upon them in the battlefield from all directions. Upon witnessing this state of danger, these devotees surrounded the perimeter of the Holy Prophetsa and shielded his blessed body with their own. However, despite this, whenever the force of the attack would surge forward, this handful of men would be jostled here and there, and in this state, at times, the Holy Prophetsa would almost be left standing alone.” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, pp. 493-494)
In any case it states that upon hearing the news of the Holy Prophet’ssa martyrdom, Hazrat Uthmanra left the battlefield, perhaps out of dismay and sorrow or for some other reason. And although he did not leave [the battlefield], Hazrat Umar’sra name is also mentioned amongst those who stopped fighting out of their dismay and sorrow. However, the details of that will be mentioned later [during the mention of his accounts].
Now, I will mention the details in relation Hazrat Uthman’sra role as an emissary during the occasion of the Treaty of Hudaibiyah and the incident of Bai‘at-e-Rizwan.
The Holy Prophetsa saw a dream in which he and his companions were peacefully entering the House of Allah [Ka‘bah] with some having their heads shaven and others having their hair cut short. In light of this dream, in the month of Dhul-Qa‘dah 6 AH, the Holy Prophetsa left Medina along with 1,400 companions of his with the intention to perform the Umrah. The Holy Prophetsa camped at Hudaibiyah and the Quraish stopped the Holy Prophetsa from performing the Umrah. When communication between the two parties began through their emissaries and upon learning of the intense anger and rage of the Quraish, the Holy Prophetsa stated that a prominent individual should be sent to Mecca, who was also native of Mecca and was from a venerable tribe of the Quraish. (Sharh Zurqani ala al-Mawahib al-Laduniyyah, Vol. 3, pp. 169-170, 222, Amr al-Hudaibiyah, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1996)
And so, Hazrat Uthmanra was sent for this purpose. I shall relate some of the details Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra has written regarding this:
“… the Holy Prophetsa saw a dream that he was performing the tawaf of the Baitullah along with his companions. At that time, the month of Dhul-Qa‘dah was near, which even in the era of the jahiliyyah [era of ignorance before the advent of Islam] was considered to be amongst those four blessed months wherein all forms of war and conflict was prohibited. On the one hand, the Holy Prophetsa saw this dream and on the other, the time was also such that the course of war would come to a halt and peace and safety would prevail throughout the whole of Arabia. Although these were not the days of Hajj and until now, Hajj in Islam had not been officially ordained either, but tawaf could be performed around the Ka‘bah at any time. Therefore, upon seeing this dream, the Holy Prophetsa instructed his companions to prepare for Umrah.
“On this occasion, the Holy Prophetsa also announced to the companions that since this journey was free from any intentions of violent confrontation – rather, it was merely for the purpose of performing peaceful religious worship – the Muslims should not take their weapons along with them. However, as per the custom of Arabia, swords could be kept in their sheaths in the manner of a wayfarer.
“The Holy Prophetsa also encouraged the Bedouin people in the surrounding areas of Medina who were apparently with the Muslims, to participate in the performance of the worship of Umrah. Unfortunately, except for a nominal number of people, these so-called Bedouin Muslims of weak faith, who lived in the close proximity of Medina, held back from setting out with the Holy Prophetsa. It was their idea that although the Muslims had no other intentions than that of Umrah, the Quraish would stop the Muslims either way and so a state of confrontation would arise. Furthermore, they thought that since this confrontation would erupt close to Mecca and far from Medina, for this reason, no Muslim would be able to return alive.” That is why they became fearful and did not partake in this journey.
“In any case, the Holy Prophetsa departed from Medina on a Monday morning in the beginning of Dhul Qa‘dah 6 AH with just over 1,400 companions. During this journey, Hazrat Umm Salamara, the honourable wife of the Holy Prophetsa, rode alongside the Holy Prophetsa. Numailah bin Abdillah was appointed as the amir of Medina and Abdullah bin Ummi Maktum, who was a blind man, was appointed imam al-Salat.
“When the Holy Prophetsa reached Dhul-Hulaifah, which is situated approximately six miles from Medina en-route to Mecca, he ordered everyone to stop. After offering the Zuhr prayer, he instructed that the sacrificial camels, which equalled 70 in number, be marked and that the Companions assume the special attire of the pilgrims known as the ihram. The Holy Prophetsa also assumed the ihram himself as well. Then, in order to ensure that the Quraish were not up to mischief, the Holy Prophetsa sent ahead a messenger named Busr bin Sufyan from the Khuza‘ah tribe, who lived near Mecca and slowly proceeded towards Mecca.
“Moreover, as further caution, the Holy Prophetsa appointed a cavalry of 20 riders under the command of Abbad bin Bishr, to travel ahead of the larger body of Muslims. After a journey of a few days, when the Holy Prophetsa neared a place called Usfan, which is situated at approximately two manzils from Mecca” – it is said that one Manzil is approximately nine miles – the messenger of the Holy Prophetsa informed him that the Quraish were furious and firmly determined to stop him to the extent that in the expression of their rage and barbarity, they had put on cheetah skins and were fully bent on war, in order to stop the Muslims in all instances. It was also ascertained that the Quraish had sent forth a cavalry unit of a few daring riders under the command of Khalid bin Walid who had not yet become Muslim, and that this cavalry had reached near the Muslims and that Ikrimah bin Abi Jahl was also a part of it. When the Holy Prophetsa heard this news, he instructed the companions to divert from the known route to Mecca and proceed from the right in order to prevent conflict. So, the Muslims began to move forward from a very difficult and burdensome route near the coast.
“Following this new route, when the Holy Prophetsa neared Hudaibiyah, which is a one-day journey, i.e. only nine miles from Mecca” and the valley of Mecca starts from the pass of Hudaibiyah, “the camel of the Holy Prophetsa which was known by the name of Al-Quswa and had accompanied the Holy Prophetsa in many ghazwat [battles] suddenly stretched out her feet and sat down. Despite many attempts to stand her up, she would not move. The companions said, ‘Perhaps she is tired,’ but the Holy Prophetsa said, ‘Nay, nay, she has not tired, nor is it in her nature to tire and sit in this manner. The truth is that the same Supreme Being Who prevented the elephant of the Ashabul-Fil from proceeding to Mecca, has also stopped this camel as well. Therefore, I swear by God, that I shall accept whatever the Quraish of Mecca ask of me for the respect of the Haram.’
“After this, the Holy Prophetsa called out to his camel to stand and by the power of God, this time, it stood up immediately and prepared to move forward. Upon this, the Holy Prophetsa took her to the far corner of the valley of Hudaibiyah and settling her near a water well, he dismounted his camel. It is here that upon the instruction of the Holy Prophetsa, the companions set up camp”. Then there is the mention of how the conversation began in order to establish peace between the Muslims and the Quraish.
“When the Holy Prophetsa stopped in Hudaibiyah, het set up camp near the water well of Hudaibiyah and when the companions had also set up camp in Hudaibiyah, a renowned chieftain from the Khuza‘ah tribe named Budail bin Warqa, who resided in a nearby region, came to meet the Holy Prophetsa with some of his associates and said, ‘The leaders of Mecca are ready for war and they shall never let you enter Mecca.’ The Holy Prophetsa responded:
“‘We have not come with the intention of war; rather, we have only come to perform the Umrah. Alas, despite the fact that the fire of war has burnt them to dust, they still do not refrain from fighting. I am even prepared to settle a truce with them so that they may cease war against me, and leave me free for the others’” i.e. “I will not keep any relations with the people of Mecca and instead preach the message of Islam to others”.
“‘If, however, they reject this proposal of mine and insist on keeping the fire of war aflame, then I also swear by His name in Whose hand is my life, that I shall not retreat from this battle until I die in this cause, or God gives me victory. If I am faced with defeat in this battle, then so ends the story, but if God grants me victory and the religion that I have brought is given dominance, then the people of Mecca should not hesitate in believing in me.’
“Budail bin Warqa was greatly moved by this sincere and earnest address. He requested the Holy Prophetsa, ‘If you grant me some respite, I shall go to Mecca and convey your message, so as to seek reconciliation.’ The Holy Prophetsa permitted him to do so and Budail set out to Mecca with a few of his associates.
“When Budail bin Warqa reached Mecca, he gathered the Quraish and said, ‘I have come from that man’”, i.e. Muhammad, the Messenger of Allahsa, “‘and he has presented to me a proposal. If you permit me, shall I present it to you?’ Upon this, the vehement and irresponsible people among the Quraish began to say, ‘We shall not listen to anything he has to say.’ However, the influential and trusted people among the Quraish said, ‘Yes, inform us of the proposal.’ As such, Budail repeated the proposal of the Holy Prophetsa.
“Upon this, a man named Urwah bin Mas‘ud, who was a very influential chieftain of the tribe of Thaqif and was present in Mecca at the time stood up. In the ancient Arabian manner, he began to say, ‘O ye people! Am I not like a father unto you?’ They responded in the affirmative. He said, ‘Are all of you not as my sons?’ Again, they responded in the affirmative. Then Urwah said, ‘Do you doubt me in any way?’ The Quraish responded, ‘Not at all!’ He said, ‘Then it is my view that this man’”, i.e. Muhammadsa, “‘has presented an excellent proposal. You should accept this proposal and I request that you allow me to go to Muhammad[sa] in order to further discuss this proposal.’ The Quraish said, ‘Certainly. Go and discuss this proposal.’” When he arrived in the gathering of the Holy Prophetsa, he witnessed a truly inspiring scene.
“Urwah presented himself before the Holy Prophetsa and began to have a discussion with him. The Holy Prophetsa reiterated the same address which he had previously given to Budail bin Warqa. In principle, Urwah was at accord with the viewpoint of the Holy Prophetsa, but he wanted to fulfil his duty as an ambassador of the Quraish and in order to secure as many rights as possible in favour of the Quraish. Thus, concluding his discussions with the Holy Prophetsa, Urwah returned to the Quraish. As soon as he reached them, he said to the Quraish, ‘O ye people! I have travelled far and wide, I have been to the royal courts of many a king and have been presented before Caesar and Chosroes and the Negus as a representative, but by God, the manner in which I have seen the companions of Muhammad[sa] honour him, I have seen nowhere else.’ Then he related the entire experience which he had witnessed in the assembly of the Holy Prophetsa and at the end, said, ‘Once again, I suggest that the proposal of Muhammad[sa] is a just one. We should accept it.’
“Upon hearing this talk of Urwah, a chieftain of the Bani Kinanah named Hulais bin Alqamah, said to the Quraish, ‘If you please, I shall go to Muhammad[sa].’ They said, ‘Certainly, go.’ So, this man came to Hudaibiyah and when the Holy Prophetsa noticed him coming from afar, he said to the companions, ‘This man who comes towards us, belongs to such a tribe as are pleased with scenes of sacrifice. Quickly gather and bring forth your sacrificial animals, so that he may see why we have come.’ Therefore, the companions brought their animals of sacrifice and loudly chanting takbir, gathered them before him. When he saw this sight, he began to say, ‘Glory be to Allah! Glory be to Allah! These people are pilgrims! They cannot be barred from performing tawaf of the Baitullah!’ As such, he quickly returned to the Quraish and began to say, ‘I have seen that the Muslims have placed garlands of sacrifice around the necks of their animals and they have been marked for sacrifice. It is not at all appropriate to stop them from performing tawaf of the Ka‘bah.
“At that time, a severe state of dissent was erupting amongst the Quraish and there became two parties of the Quraish. One party was adamant in sending back the Muslims and was firmly bent upon fighting. The second party, however, considering this against their ancient religious customs, was afraid to oppose them and were desirous of an honourable agreement. For this reason, the decision was left pending. Upon this instance, another Arab chieftain named Mikraz bin Hafs, said to the Quraish, ‘Let me go, I shall conclude an agreement.’ Consequently, the Quraish said, ‘Alright, why don’t you also attempt and see.’ Hence, he went to the Holy Prophetsa. When the Holy Prophetsa saw him from afar, he said, ‘May God show His grace, for he is indeed a vicious man.’
“In any case, Mikraz came to the Holy Prophetsa and began to talk. However, he was still speaking when a renowned chieftain of the Quraish named Suhail bin Amr, came before the Holy Prophetsa. Perhaps in their anxiety, the Quraish had sent him without waiting for the return of Mikraz. Upon noticing the arrival of Suhail, the Holy Prophetsa said, ‘Here comes Suhail. If God wills, now the matter shall become easy for us.’” Nevertheless, the discussions continued. On this occasion, the following incident also took place:
“When the ambassadors from the Quraish began to come one after another, the Holy Prophetsa felt that a wise person on his behalf should also go to the Quraish, who would be able to present the viewpoint of the Muslims sympathetically and with wisdom. A man named Khirash bin Umaiyyah, who was from the Khuza‘ah tribe, i.e., the same tribe from which the first ambassador of the Quraish Budail bin Warqa came, was selected for this purpose. For this mission, the Holy Prophetsa granted Khirash his own camel for transport. Khirash went to the Quraish, but since this was still the early stages of negotiations and the young men from the Quraish were extremely enraged, a fanatical young man from among the Quraish, Ikrimah bin Abi Jahl, attacked and wounded the camel of Khirash. By Arab custom, this meant that they were forcefully stopping his movements. Additionally, this overzealous group from among the Quraish desired to attack Khirash as well, but the elders intervened and saved his life. He then returned to the Muslim camp.
“The Quraish of Mecca did not suffice at this; rather, in the blindness of their rage, they also intended that now as the Holy Prophetsa and his companions were so close to Mecca and so very far from Medina, an attack should be launched against him so that he may be harmed as much as possible. For this purpose, they dispatched a party of about 40 to 50 men towards Hudaibiyah and in the veil of negotiations, these people were instructed to circle the Muslim camp and whenever possible, continue injuring the Muslims. As a matter of fact, from some narrations, it is even ascertained that these people were 80 in number and on this occasion, they even conspired to assassinate the Holy Prophetsa. However, the Muslims remained vigilant in their place. As such, the secret of this conspiracy of the Quraish was discovered and all of those concerned were arrested.
“The Muslims were very displeased at this action of the people of Mecca, which they committed in the Sacred Months and in the sacred proximity of the Haram at that, but the Holy Prophetsa forgave them and did not allow for it to become an obstacle in the negotiations. The Holy Quran has also mentioned this action of the people of Mecca. It states:
وَ هُوَ الَّذِيۡ كَفَّ اَيۡدِيَهُمۡ عَنۡكُمۡ وَ اَيۡدِيَكُمۡ عَنۡهُمۡ بِبَطۡنِ مَكَّةَ مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِ اَنۡ اَظۡفَرَكُمۡ عَلَيۡهِمۡ ؕ وَ كَانَ اللّٰهُ بِمَا تَعۡمَلُوۡنَ بَصِيۡرًا
‘It was God, Who by His special grace, withheld the hands of the infidels from you in the valley of Mecca and protected you; And when you became dominant and subjugated them, withheld your hands from them.’ (Surah al-Fath, Ch.48: V.25)”
In any case, in light of the circumstances and the background to the event, when we observe the Holy Prophetsa continuously displaying utmost patience and steadfastness and his efforts to establish peace, indeed we find that his example of patience and seeking to establish peace is unparalleled. The Holy Prophetsa sought to establish peace continuously at every occasion.
[Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahib further writes:]
“The Holy Prophetsa saw this mischief of the Quraish and also heard of the state of anger and rage prevalent among the people of Mecca, from Khirash bin Umaiyyah. Therefore, in order to cool the Quraish and bring them aright, the Holy Prophetsa intended to send a prominent individual to Mecca who was from among themselves and was from a venerable tribe of the Quraish.” Despite all this, the Holy Prophetsa did not give up [his efforts for peace], he took the risk of sending another ambassador.
“Therefore, the Holy Prophetsa said to Hazrat Umarra bin Al-Khattab that, ‘It would be best that you go to Mecca and fulfil the responsibility of an ambassador on behalf of the Muslims.’ Hazrat Umarra said, ‘O Messengersa of Allah, you know that the people of Mecca are increasing in their enmity towards me and at this time, there is no prominent person from my tribe present in Mecca who possesses influence over the people of Mecca. For this reason, it is my view that in order to ease the road to success, Uthmanra bin Affan be chosen to offer this service, whose tribe, the Banu Umaiyyah, are presently very powerful. Furthermore, the people of Mecca cannot dare to act wickedly against Uthman and there are greater prospects of success.’
“The Holy Prophetsa was pleased by this proposal and instructed Hazrat Uthmanra to go to Mecca and inform the Quraish of the peaceful designs of the Muslims and their intent to perform Umrah. The Holy Prophetsa also gave Hazrat Uthmanra a personal letter which was addressed to the chieftains of the Quraish. In this letter, the Holy Prophetsa had expounded the purpose of his journey and assured the Quraish that their purpose was merely the observance of a worship and that they would peacefully perform the Umrah and return thereafter. The Holy Prophetsa also said to Hazrat Uthmanra, ‘Try to meet the weaker Muslims in Mecca as well and lift their spirits and tell them to show a little more patience, for God is soon to open the door of success upon us.’
“Hazrat Uthmanra went to Mecca with this message and after meeting Abu Sufyan, who was the Chieftain of Mecca at that time as well as a near relative, Hazrat Uthmanra was presented before a public gathering. In this meeting, Hazrat Uthmanra presented a letter sent by the Holy Prophetsa and this letter was also read individually by the chieftains of the Quraish. However, despite this, all the people stubbornly clung to the view that either way, the Muslims could not enter Mecca that year. Upon the insistence of Hazrat Uthmanra, they said, ‘If you are exceedingly desirous, then we can give you special permission to perform the tawaf of the Ka‘bah, but no more.’ Hazrat Uthmanra said, ‘How is this possible, that the Messenger of Allah is stopped outside of Mecca and I do the tawaf of the Ka‘bah?’ But the Quraish did not accept anything and eventually disheartened, Hazrat Uthmanra prepared to return.
“Upon this instance, the wicked people of Mecca, perhaps with the thought that in this manner they should be able to secure more beneficial conditions for themselves in negotiations, detained Hazrat Uthmanra and his companions in Mecca. Upon this, rumour spread amongst the Muslims that the people of Mecca had martyred Hazrat Uthmanra.”
When this news reached the Holy Prophetsa, he was extremely angry and upset and took the Bai‘at-e-Rizwan. Regarding this, it is stated:
“When this news reached Hudaibiyah, the Muslims were infuriated, because Hazrat Uthmanra was the son-in-law of the Holy Prophetsa and was among the most venerable of companions. He had gone to Mecca as an Islamic ambassador. Furthermore, those days were also of the sacred months and then Mecca itself was a sanctuary. The Holy Prophetsa immediately made an announcement and gathered his companions beneath an Acacia tree. When the companions had assembled, the Holy Prophetsa mentioned this news and said, ‘If this news is true, then by God, we shall not move from this place until we seek revenge for Uthman.’ Then the Holy Prophetsa said to the companions, ‘Come and place your hand on my hand’”, which is the Islamic way of bai‘at, “‘and take an oath that none of you shall show their backs and you will sacrifice your lives if need be, but shall not retreat from this place.’
“Upon this announcement, the Companionsra lunged forward in such a manner as if toppling over one another. Every single person from among these 1,400 to 1,500 people”, who were the entire lot of the Muslims at the time, “sold themselves once again in loyalty at the hand of their beloved master. When the bai‘at was taking place, the Holy Prophetsa placed his left hand upon his right and said, ‘This is the hand of Uthman, for if he were here, he would not have been left behind in this holy covenant. But at this time, he is engaged in the work of Allah and His Messenger.’ As such, this radiant scene came to its conclusion.
“In Islamic history, this bai‘at is known as Bai‘at-e-Rizwan, i.e. that bai‘at wherein the Muslims acquired the reward of God’s complete pleasure. The Holy Quran has also especially mentioned this bai‘at. It states:
لَقَدۡ رَضِيَ اللّٰهُ عَنِ الۡمُؤۡمِنِيۡنَ اِذۡ يُبَايِعُوۡنَكَ تَحۡتَ الشَّجَرَةِ فَعَلِمَ مَا فِيۡ قُلُوۡبِهِمۡ فَاَنۡزَلَ السَّكِيۡنَةَ عَلَيۡهِمۡ وَ اَثَابَهُمۡ فَتۡحًا قَرِيۡبًا
“‘O Messenger, Allah the Exalted was well-pleased with the Muslims when they were taking bai‘at under the tree. For through this bai‘at, the sincerity that was hidden in their hearts was brought to the discernible knowledge of God. So God bestowed tranquillity upon their hearts, and rewarded them with a near victory at hand.’ (Surah al-Fath, Ch.48: V.19)
“The companions would also refer to this bai‘at with great pride and love and many of them would often tell those who came later, ‘You consider the Conquest of Mecca to be the victory, but we consider the Bai‘at-e-Rizwan to be the actual victory.’
“There is no doubt that along with its details, this bai‘at was a magnificent and great victory, not only because it opened the door to future victories but also because the spirit of sacrifice in Islam, which was the central point of the religion of Muhammadsa, was manifested in a most magnificent manner. Furthermore, these devotees of Islam showed by their actions that they were prepared to bargain with life and death in every field for the sake of their Messengersa and the truth he had brought. This is why, whilst referring to the Bai‘at-e-Rizwan, the noble Companionsra would say, ‘This bai‘at was an oath to death. In other words, it was a bai‘at of the oath that every Muslim would sacrifice his life for the sake of Islam and its glory, but would not retreat.’ Moreover, another salient feature of this bai‘at was that this oath and agreement was not merely a verbal declaration in a state of temporary emotion. Quite conversely, it was the voice from the depths of hearts, behind which the full power of the Muslims was united upon a single focus.
“When the Quraish received news of this bai‘at, they became fearful and not only did they release Hazrat Uthmanra and his companions, but also informed their messengers to settle an agreement with the Muslims, however possible. However, one condition was to be secured, that instead of this year, the Muslims should perform Umrah the following year. Either way, they should be made to return home immediately. On the other hand, the Holy Prophetsa had already pledged that he would not do anything to disgrace the honour of the Sacred Mosque and the House of Allah. Moreover, since Allah had already given him the glad tidings that the negotiations to take place with the Quraish at this time were about to become the basis of future success, for this reason with respect to the two parties, this environment was most befitting for negotiations.”
It was in this very environment that Suhail bin Amr reached the Holy Prophetsa and upon seeing Suhail, he said, “Now it appears the matter shall become easier.” The negotiations then began. When Suhail bin Amr came before the Holy Prophetsa, upon seeing him the Holy Prophetsa immediately said, “Suhail is coming. If God wills, the matter shall be made easy.” As was mentioned earlier.
“In any case, Suhail came and upon arriving he said, ‘Come, forget this lengthy dispute, we are prepared to make an agreement.’ The Holy Prophetsa said, ‘So are we.’ Upon this, the Holy Prophetsa summoned his secretary, Hazrat Alira.”
The conditions of the treaty were as follows:
This year, the Holy Prophetsa and his companions should return. And the following year, they could come to Mecca and perform the Umrah; however, except for carrying their swords in their sheaths, they will not be allowed to bring any other weapons. And that they could not stay in Mecca for more than three days.
If anyone from among the Meccans was to go Medina, the Holy Prophetsa was not to grant him refuge, even if he was a Muslim and he should be returned. However, if a Muslim were to leave Medina and go to Mecca, he would not be returned. According to another narration, it stated that if someone from among the Meccans were to go to Medina without the permission from his guardian, then he should be returned.
Every tribe of Arabia had the choice to form an alliance with either the Muslims or the Meccans.
The treaty was to last for a period of 10 years and there would be no fighting between the Quraish and the Muslims during this period.
“Two copies were made of this treaty and various prominent individuals from amongst both sides signed the treaty. Those who signed the treaty from amongst the Muslims were Hazrat Abu Bakrra, Hazrat Umarra, Hazrat Uthmanra – who had arrived back from Mecca by then i.e. the disbelievers had let him go and therefore he also signed on the treaty, Abdur Rahmanra bin Auf, Saadra bin Abi Waqas and Abu Ubaidahra. After the completion of the treaty, Suhail bin Amr took a copy of the treaty and returned to Mecca and the other copy remained with the Holy Prophetsa.” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, pp. 749-769)
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra has related this incident in his own words in the following manner:
“Some of the local tribes of Mecca urged upon the Meccan leaders to let the Muslims perform the tawaf and that they should not be stopped from this. But the Meccans remained adamant. Thereupon the tribal leaders of the local tribes said that from this, it seemed that the Meccans did not want peace and wanted to cause mischief, therefore they threatened to disassociate themselves from them.”
Here Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra has included an additional detail in that the Quraish were also pressured by the local tribes.
“Out of fear, the Meccans were persuaded to try to reach a settlement with the Muslims. As soon as the Holy Prophetsa got to know of this, he sent Hazrat Uthmanra, who later became the Third Khalifa of Islam, to the Meccans. Hazrat Uthmanra had many relatives in Mecca. They came out and surrounded him and offered to let him perform the tawaf, but declared that they would not let the Holy Prophetsa do so until the following year.
“‘But,’ said Hazrat Uthmanra, ‘I will not perform the tawaf unless it is in the company of my Master.’ Hazrat Uthman’sra talks with the chiefs of Mecca became prolonged. A rumour was mischievously spread that he had been murdered and this news also reached the Holy Prophetsa. Upon this, the Holy Prophetsa assembled the Companionsra and said, ‘The life of an envoy is held sacred among all nations. I have heard that the Meccans have murdered Uthman. If this is true, we have to enter Mecca, whatever the consequences.’ The Holy Prophet’ssa earlier intention to enter Mecca peacefully had to be changed, under the changed circumstances.
“The Holy Prophetsa further stated, ‘Those who promise solemnly that if they have to go further, they will either return as victors or be martyred one after the other in the battlefield, should come forward and take the oath on my hand.’ The Holy Prophetsa had hardly finished speaking, when all the 1,500 Companionsra stood up and instantly became soldiers and leapt over one another to hold the Holy Prophet’ssa hand and take the oath. This oath possesses a special importance in the history of Islam. It is called the ‘Pledge of the Tree’. This is because when the oath was taken, the Holy Prophetsa was sitting under a tree. Every one of those who took the oath remained proud of it to the end of his days.
“Of the 1,500 present on the occasion, not one held back. They all promised that if the Muslim envoy had been murdered, they would not go back. Either they would take Mecca before dusk, or they would all die fighting. The taking of the oath was not over when Hazrat Uthmanra returned. He reported that the Meccans did not agree to let the Muslims perform the tawaf until the following year. They had appointed their delegates to sign a settlement with the Muslims. Soon after, Suhail, a chief of Mecca, came to the Holy Prophetsa. A settlement was reached and recorded.” (Dibachah Tafsir al-Quran, Anwar al-Ulum, Vol. 20, pp. 307-308)
The accounts from the life of Hazrat Uthmanra will continue to be related, insha-Allah.
I would like to draw attention towards prayers once again, especially for the conditions in Pakistan. The Ahmadis are not even safe within the four walls of their own homes and in their own places. The police arrive wherever the maulvis [clerics] tell them to go. There are certain good-natured policemen who say that their sympathies are with the Ahmadis, but there is nothing they can do because they are pressured in acting in such a manner as they have been instructed by their superiors.
May Allah the Almighty grant us respite, as well as the country in general, from these evil-natured officials. May He enable every Ahmadi to live freely and safely in their own homeland. Pay special focus towards prayers for if we continue to pray, then very soon, insha-Allah, we will come to witness the extremely woeful end of the opponents.
May Allah the Almighty grant us the ability to continue to pray and grant acceptance to our supplications.
(Original Urdu published in Al Fazl International, 19 February 2021, pp. 5-11. Translated by The Review of Religions.)