Men of Excellence
After reciting the Tashahhud, Ta’awwuz, and Surah Al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (aba) stated:
In continuation of the accounts of the lives of the Badri companions, today I will mention Hazrat Miqdad (ra) bin Aswad, whose original name is Miqdad (ra) bin ‘Amr. He was the adopted son of Aswad and was referred to as Miqdad (ra) bin Aswad. However, when the verse was revealed meaning “Call them (the adopted children) by the names of their fathers.” [33:6], he then began to be called Miqdad (ra) bin Amr.
Hazrat Miqdad (ra)’s title was Abu Ma’bad and he married Hazrat Duba’ah (ra), who was the daughter of Hazrat Zubair (ra) and Hazrat Aatiqah (ra) bint Wahb. Hazrat Miqdad (ra) was among those first seven companions, who professed belief in Islam in Mecca. Hazrat Miqdad (ra) was among the Muslims, who migrated towards Abyssinia. However, a short while later, he returned to Mecca. When the Holy Prophet (sa) migrated towards Medina, Hazrat Miqdad (ra) was not able to join in the migration and joined him later. Initially, he stayed in the home of the Holy Prophet (sa). It was a time of great destitution and hardship. The Holy Prophet (sa) had three she-goats in his house and permitted Hazrat Miqdad (ra) and another companion to share the milk with him. The immigrants would drink their share of milk before going to sleep and leave the share of the Holy Prophet (sa) on the side. One-night Hazrat Miqdad (ra) was exhausted of hardship and ended up drinking the portion of milk meant for the Holy Prophet (sa). Hazrat Miqdad (ra) felt bad about this and worried that this will invite the wrath of a Prophet of God. He was so worried that he could not sleep and waited for the Holy Prophet (sa) to return. When the Holy Prophet (sa) returned and found no milk for himself, he raised his head towards the sky and said, i.e. ‘O Allah, feed the one who gives me food, and grant drink to one who provides me a drink.’ On hearing this, Hazrat Miqdad (ra) left straight away and looked for a she-goat. He found that the udders of all three goats were full of milk. He milked the goats and took the milk to the Holy Prophet (sa). At this, the Holy Prophet (sa) asked, ‘Did you drink your portion of milk tonight?’ Hazrat Miqdad (ra) replied, ‘Do not ask this question O Messenger (sa) of Allah and please take this milk.’ The Holy Prophet (sa) then drank some of the milk and this pleased Hazrat Miqdad (ra) that he has become the recipient of the prayers of the Holy Prophet (sa).
Hazrat Miqdad (ra) participated in the battles of Badr, Uhud, Khandaq and all other battles alongside the Holy Prophet (sa). During the battle of Badr, he said to the Holy Prophet (sa), ‘O Messenger (sa) of Allah, we shall not utter what the people of Moses (as) said to him, that is: “Go thou and thy Lord and fight. Certainly not! Rather, we shall fight on your right and on your left and in front of you and behind you.”’ This commitment and dedication really pleased the Holy Prophet (sa). Hazrat Miqdad (ra) was counselled by the Holy Prophet (sa) that during the war you must not kill him who appears to have uttered the Kalima to save his life, even if he has harmed you. This is the status of a person who recites the Kalima and this right has been established by the Holy Prophet (sa). [In contrast] ponder over the actions of the so-called scholars and Islamic Governments.
Hazrat Miqdad (ra) also participated in the Battle of Yarmuk and in this battle he was the Qari [reciter of the Quran]. After the Battle of Badr, the Holy Prophet (sa) established the practice that during the battle, Surah Al Anfal ought to be recited. During one expedition, the Holy Prophet (sa) appointed Hazrat Miqdad (ra) as the leader of the army for that expedition. When he returned, the Holy Prophet (sa) asked him about his experience of being the leadership? He replied: “O Messenger of Allah! When I departed, I began to feel as if everyone was a servant of mine.” The Holy Prophet (sa) explained that with leadership these evils may arise and one should pray that Allah the Almighty safeguards us from these evils. It is best to understand that one can become arrogant with a position of authority and thus, everyone from among us who is appointed in a position of authority, ought to be mindful of this. Firstly, one should never desire to be made a leader, but then when one is appointed in a position of authority, they ought to pray to God Almighty to safeguard them from the evils of their position, such as arrogance, and they should always seek the blessings of God.
Hazrat Miqdad (ra) narrated that he has heard the Holy Prophet (sa) say that fortunate is the one who is safeguarded from all discord. Thus, one should not pray for any hardship or to be put in a trial. However, if they experience any hardship then they ought to demonstrate patience and remain steadfast as opposed to showing cowardice.
Hazrat Miqdad (ra) was of a heavy stature but would still take part in jihad. Hazrat Miqdad (ra) passed away in Juruf, which is situated three miles from Medina and people carried his body on their shoulders and brought it back to Medina. Hazrat Uthman (ra) led his funeral prayer and he was then buried in Jannat-ul-Baqi. Hazrat Miqdad (ra) passed away at the age of approximately 70.
Hazrat Miqdad (ra) experienced being given wealth through miraculous sources and always counselled people to be grateful for being a Muslim and advised everyone to pray for their progeny and relatives. It was for this reason that God Almighty stated: ‘And those who say, ‘Our Lord, grant us of our wives and children the delight of our eyes…’ [25:75]. Thus, one should always offer this prayer so that the future progenies also remain firm on faith and be thankful to Allah the Almighty for the blessings He has granted them.
Hazrat Anas (ra) relates that the Holy Prophet (sa) once heard someone reciting the Holy Qur’an out aloud and stated, “This individual has the fear of Allah within him”. This individual was in fact Hazrat Miqdad (ra) bin Amr.
May God Almighty also grant us the true understanding of Islam and enable us to do true justice of being among the Ummah of the Holy Prophet (sa) and instil the fear of God Almighty within us.