Men of Excellence
After reciting the Tashahhud, Ta’awwuz, and Surah Al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (aba) stated:
I shall continue to give an account of the lives of the Badri companions [i.e. those companions who took part in the Battle of Badr].
The first companion to be mentioned is Hazrat Qatadah (ra) bin Nu’man Ansari. Hazrat Qatadah (ra) belonged to the Banu Zafar clan of the Khazraj tribe of the Ansar. Hazrat Qatadah (ra) had the opportunity to participate in the Bait-e-Aqabah along with 70 Ansari companions. Hazrat Qatadah (ra) was one of the archers appointed by the Holy Prophet (sa). He participated in the battles of Badr, Uhud, Khandaq and other later battles along with the Holy Prophet (sa).
Hazrat Qatadah’s (ra) eye was struck by an arrow on the occasion of the Battle of Uhud due to which his eye fell out of its socket. He came to the Holy Prophet (sa) and said, “O Messenger (sa) of Allah! My eye has come out.” The Holy Prophet (sa) placed the eye back in the socket with his hand and it was set in its place again and he regained his sight in that eye. This eye was sharper and stronger than his other eye even during old age. According to another narration, the Holy Prophet (sa) had put his saliva on that eye as a result of which it became even better than the other eye and for this very reason, Hazrat Qatadah (ra) later became known by the title of Zul-‘Ain that is, the possessor of the eye.
Hazrat Qatadah (ra) participated alongside the Holy Prophet (sa) in all the battles, including the Battle of Khandaq [trench]. On the occasion of the Conquest of Mecca, the flag of the tribe of Banu Zafar was in the hands of Hazrat Qatadah (ra). He passed away at the age of sixty-five, in 23 AH. Hazrat Umar (ra) led his funeral prayer in Medina.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (aba) narrated a long incidence where some hypocrites tried to falsely implicate a respectable Muslim of theft. Hazrat Qatadah (ra) was the investigating officer and hypocrites accused him of improperly attributing the theft to them. This greatly upset Hazrat Qatadah (ra). He shared his predicament with his uncle, who said, “Allah is our Helper.” Only a short while had passed since this conversation took place that the following verses of the Holy Qur’an were revealed:
Meaning, “We have surely sent down to thee the Book comprising the truth, that thou mayest judge between men by that which Allah has taught thee. And be not thou a disputer for the faithless;” (4:106)
And plead not on behalf of those who are dishonest to themselves. Surely, Allah loves not one who is perfidious and a great sinner. They seek to hide from men, but they cannot hide from Allah; and He is with them when they spend the night plotting about matters of which He does not approve. And Allah encompasses what they do. Behold! you are they who pleaded for them in the present life. But who will plead with Allah for them on the Day of Resurrection, or who will be a guardian over them? And whoso does evil or wrongs his soul, and then asks forgiveness of Allah, will surely find Allah Most Forgiving, Merciful.”
God Almighty then states:
“And whoso commits a sin commits it only against his own soul. And Allah is All-Knowing, Wise. And whoso commits a fault or a sin, then imputes it to an innocent person, certainly bears the burden of a calumny and a manifest sin.”
“And but for the grace of Allah upon thee and His mercy, a party of them had resolved to bring about thy ruin. And they ruin none but themselves and they cannot harm thee at all. Allah has sent down to thee the Book and Wisdom and has taught thee what thou knowest not, and great is Allah’s grace on thee. There is no good in many of their conferences except the conferences of such as enjoin charity, or goodness, or the making of peace among men. And whoso does that, seeking the pleasure of Allah, We shall soon bestow on him a great reward.”
The outcome of this was that the people of Banu Ubairak admitted to their theft. They brought the weapons back to the Holy Prophet (sa), who then returned it to Rifaha’, who was the rightful owner. When these verses of the Quran were revealed, Bushair, one of the brothers about whom there was doubt that he was a hypocrite, he went to join the idolaters and stayed with Sulafah bint Sa’ad. At that time, God Almighty revealed the following verses:
“And as to him who opposes the Messenger after guidance has become clear to him, and follows a way other than that of the believers, We shall let him pursue the way he is pursuing and shall cast him into Hell; and an evil destination it is. Allah will not forgive that anything be associated with Him as partner, but He will forgive what is short of that to whomsoever He pleases. And whoso associates anything as partner with Allah has indeed strayed far away.”
When Bushair left Islam and went to go stay with Sulafah, who was an idolater, who later threw him out of her place and thus, this was the end result of a hypocrite or idolater.
Hazrat Abu Saeed Khudri relates that once Abu Qatadah spent the entire night reciting Surah Al Ikhlas. When the Holy Prophet (sa) was informed about this, the Holy Prophet (sa) said: “I swear by Him in Whose hands is my life, Surah Al Ikhlas is equal to a half or one third of the Quran.” i.e. it refers to the Unity of God, which in reality is the teachings that are found in the Quran.
Abu Salamah says that Hazrat Abu Hurairah (ra) would narrate a hadith from the Holy Prophet (sa) that once he said: “On Friday there comes a time, whereby if a Muslim is engaged in prayer and seeks the favours of God Almighty, then God will grant all that to him.” Hazrat Abu Hurairah then signalled with his hands indicating that the aforementioned time is very short. Expounding upon this, Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra) states in his Tafsir[exegesis of the Holy Qur’an]: “… And while this is a great bounty, however it is not easily achieved. The duration of Friday Prayer starts approximately a short while before the second Adhan [call to prayer] and ends with the Salaam [i.e. the completion] of prayer. Even in the instance where the sermon is short, the total duration of the Friday prayer is almost 30 minutes and if the sermon is a little longer, the total duration can be around 1 -1.5 hrs. During this 1-1.5 hour, there comes a particular moment in which whatever one supplicates for is answered. However, one cannot determine whether the acceptance of prayer is in the very first, second or third minute of the sermon. In fact, one cannot even determine a single minute from the entire 90 minutes of sermon as to which of them was the one for the acceptance of prayer.
Thus, one will have to search for the entire 90 minutes, in other words, one will have to continuously pray for the entire 90 minutes of the sermon in order to succeed in achieving this moment in which all of one’s supplications are answered. However, to continuously pray for 90 minutes and remain focused is a very arduous task indeed.”
Therefore, if there is mention of a particular moment [for the acceptance of prayer], however it requires a continuous and concerted effort. One must greatly strive in order to achieve this. It is not that simple that one prays and within that very minute it is instantly accepted. In fact, one has no knowledge of this moment. Therefore, it is necessary for one to continuously remain engaged in prayer during this time, without diverting their attention. Just as Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra) has mentioned that this is no easy task. In order to attain the blessings of the Friday Prayer, one needs to make great effort.
The next companion to be mentioned is Abdullah (ra) bin Mazoon. Abdullah (ra) bin Mazoon belonged to the Banu Jumaa tribe of the Quraish. His mother was Sukhaila bint Anbas. Yazid bin Roman narrates that Hazrat Abdullah (ra) bin Mazoon and Hazrat Qudamah (ra) bin Mazoon accepted Islam prior to the Holy Prophet (sa) going to Dar-e-Arqam and preaching the message of Islam from there. Hazrat Abdullah (ra) bin Mazoon and all three of his brothers were part of the delegation which migrated to Abyssinia. When they learnt of the news that the Quraish had accepted Islam, they all returned. I have already spoken about the migration towards Abyssinia. It was mentioned that when the persecution against the Muslims exceeded all limits, the Holy Prophet (sa) instructed the Muslims to migrate to Abyssinia and stated that its king was a just and fair man, and no one is treated unjustly under his rule. In those days, there was a very strong Christian government in Abyssinia and Najashi [Negus] was the king. In any case, in Rajab 5 Nabwi, upon the instruction of the Holy Prophet (sa), 11 men and 4 women migrated towards Abyssinia. It was their great fortune that as they left Mecca and headed south, they arrived at Shuai’ba, which was a huge port of Arabia at the time and God Almighty blessed them in such a manner that there was a trade ship ready to depart for Abyssinia. Subsequently, they peacefully boarded the ship and it departed from there. After arriving in Abyssinia, the Muslims enjoyed a life of peace and security and were given respite from the torment at the hands of the Quraish. However, shortly afterwards a rumour was propagated which also reached them stating that all of the Quraish have accepted Islam and there is complete peace for Muslims in Mecca. Subsequently, many of those who migrated to Abyssinia immediately returned. When they were close to Mecca, they learnt that this news was false and was in fact a ploy hatched by the disbelievers in order to bring back the Muslims from Abyssinia. They now faced a very difficult situation; some of them returned to Abyssinia and others sought protection from some of the influential men of Mecca. However, this protection did not last long and the persecution of the Quraish relentlessly continued and there was no place of peace or security for the Muslims in Mecca. The Holy Prophet (sa) once again instructed his companions to migrate and discreetly they began preparing and migrated from Mecca. Eventually, the total number of Muslims who had migrated to Abyssinia was 100 in which 18 were women and the rest were men. Thus, this was the way the second migration took place.
In any case, it is stated that Hazrat Abdullah (ra) bin Mazoon returned after the very first migration but it is not known whether he took part in the second migration to Abyssinia, but nonetheless he migrated to Medina. Upon his migration to Medina, the Holy Prophet (sa) established a bond of brotherhood between Hazrat Abdullah (ra) bin Mazoon and Hazrat Sahl (ra) bin Ubaidullah Ansari. Along with all three of his brothers, Hazrat Uthman (ra) bin Mazoon, Hazrat Qudama (ra) bin Mazoon and Hazrat Saib (ra) bin Mazoon, Hazrat Abdullah (ra) bin Mazoon took part in the Battle of Badr alongside the Holy Prophet (sa). Hazrat Abdullah (ra) bin Mazoon took part in all the Battles of the Holy Prophet (sa), including the Battle of Badr, Uhad and Khandaq. Hazrat Abdullah (ra) bin Mazoon passed away during in 30AH during the Khilafat of Hazrat Uthman (ra) at the age of 60.
May God Almighty continue to elevate the station of the Companions (ra).