Men of Excellence
After reciting the Tashahhud, Ta’awwuz, and Surah Al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (aba) stated:
The name of the Badri companion who I will mention today is Hazrat Hilal (ra). His full name was Hazrat Hilal (ra) bin Umayyah Waqifi. Hazrat Hilal (ra) belonged to the Bani Waqif clan of the Aus tribe of the Ansar. His father’s name was Umayyah bin Amir and his mother’s name was Unaisahh bint Hidam. Hazrat Hilal (ra) bin Umayyah had two wives; both of these wives had the honour of accepting Islam at the hands of the Holy Prophet (sa). Hazrat Hilal (ra) bin Umayyah was among the earliest converts to Islam. He destroyed the idols of the tribe of Banu Waqif and was the flag bearer of his people on the day of the victory of Mecca. Hazrat Hilal (ra) had the honour of participating in the Battles of Badr, Uhud and other later battles along with the Holy Prophet (sa). However, he was unable to participate in the Battle of Tabuk. Hazrat Hilal (ra) bin Umayyah passed away during the rule of Amir Muawiyah (ra).
Hazrat Hilal (ra) bin Umayyah was among the three Ansari companions who failed to participate in the Battle of Tabuk without any valid reason. The other two companions were Ka’b (ra) bin Malik and Murarah bin Rabi’. The following verse of the Holy Qur’an was revealed in relation to them: “And He has turned with mercy to the three whose case was deferred, until the earth became too strait for them with all its vastness, and their souls were also straitened for them, and they became convinced that there was no refuge from Allah save unto Himself. Then He turned to them with mercy that they might turn to Him. Surely, it is Allah Who is Oft-Returning with compassion and is Merciful.” [9:118]
The Battle of Tabuk took place in 9AH. Hazrat Hilal (ra) bin Umayyah, Ka’b (ra) bin Malik and Murarah bin Rabi’ (ra) did not take part in this expedition partly because of procrastination. They felt unhappy that they have stayed behind as mainly hypocrites did not join the expedition. When the Holy Prophet (sa) returned from the expedition, he went to the mosque to offer two nawafil (voluntary prayer). When the Holy Prophet (sa) finished his prayers, he took a seat in the Mosque. Those who could not join him for the expedition came before the Holy Prophet (sa) and gave their reasons for this. The Holy Prophet (sa) accepted their excuses and prayed for their forgiveness and left the matter in the hands of God. Hazrat Hilal (ra) bin Umayyah, Ka’b (ra) bin Malik and Murarah bin Rabi’ (ra), all told the truth that they had no valid reason to not join the expedition. Upon hearing this, the Holy Prophet (sa) advised them to wait until Allah issues a decision regarding them.
Shortly afterwards, the Holy Prophet (sa) prohibited all the Muslims from speaking to these three companions (ra). This was a difficult time for the three of them. They stayed at home and wept with remorse for their actions. One of these companions, Hazrat Ka’b (ra) bin Malik received a letter from the king of Ghassan inviting him to join the King as he has been treated harshly in Medina. Hazrat Ka’b (ra) bin Malik says that when I read it, I said to myself, ‘This is also a form of trial.’ I then took hold of this letter and placed it into the fire.
When forty out of the fifty nights elapsed, the messenger of the Holy Prophet (sa) came and advised these three companions to stay away from their wives; but the wife of Hilal (ra) bin Umayyah requested to stay with him as he was an old man and could not manage on his own. After further ten nights, the Holy Prophet (sa) announced after the Fajr prayer that God Almighty, out of His benevolence, has forgiven these three companions. Allah then revealed to the Holy Prophet (sa) the following revelation:
Allah has certainly turned with mercy to the Prophet and to the Emigrants and the Helpers who followed him in the hour of distress after the hearts of a party of them had well-nigh swerved. He again turned to them with mercy. Surely, He is to them Compassionate, Merciful.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (aba) stated that I have spoken about the Battle of Tabuk once before, but I will mention it briefly again. Tabuk is situated along the trade route from Medina to Syria and it is situated approximately 375 miles from Medina. The Battle of Tabuk is known by several other names: Ghazwatul Usrah or Gaishul Usrah, i.e. the Difficult Battle or The Army that faced difficulty. It is also known as Ghazwatul Fadihah, i.e. the battle that would humiliate and dishonour the hypocrites. After the treaty of Hudaibiya, the first letter the Holy Prophet (sa) wrote to invite towards Islam was to the Caesar of Rome. The governor of Busra was Harith bin Abu Shimar Ghassani, a Christian, who became hostile as he received the letter of the Holy Prophet (sa) and threatened to invade Medina. This resulted in the people of Medina remaining fearful of an attack by Romans and other neighbours. The reason why preparations were made for this expedition to Tabuk was that the Holy Prophet (sa) received news from the Syrian tribe of Nibti, that Caesar of Rome had gathered with his army in Syria. Although this news did not have any truth behind it, however, it led to this expedition. When the Holy Prophet (sa) received news of this army, he made the announcement to depart and informed companions about the destination, so that they could prepare.
In order to prepare for this expedition there was an immediate response throughout Medina, companions gathered their wealth and strived to present before their Master, the Holy Prophet (sa). In fact, some companions did not even have any shoes to go on the expedition. Nevertheless, every person was ready to sacrifice their lives. Hazrat Umar (ra) thought that since he had a lot of provisions at home he presented half of his wealth to the Holy Prophet (sa). Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) brought everything he owned and presented it to the Holy Prophet (sa), the amount of sacrifice presented by Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) on the occasion of the Battle of Tabuk totalled 4,000 dirhams. Hazrat Uthman (ra) sacrificed camels, horses and presented money. Hazrat Abu Aqeel (ra) raised funds by spending his nights watering a field in exchange for 2 saa’ (4-5 kilos) of dates. He gave half to his wife and children and took the remaining half and presented himself before the Holy Prophet (sa) in order to present it as a sacrifice in the way of God. On this occasion, Hazrat Abdur Rahman (ra) bin Auf offered half his wealth to the Holy Prophet (sa), which was worth 4,400 dirhams. When Hazrat Asim (ra) bin Adiyy offered 100 wasq of dates, (14,000kg or 14 tonnes) the hypocrites complained that this is merely showing off and pretence. At this, God Almighty revealed the following verse of Surah At-taubah: ‘Those who find fault with such of the believers as give alms of their own free will and with such as find nothing to give save the earnings of their toil. They thus deride them. Allah shall requite them for their derision, and for them is a grievous punishment.’
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (aba) then stated that I shall now announce on behalf of the Waqf-e-Nau department that they have developed a website by the name – waqfenauintl.org, which shall be officially launched today, insha’Allah. All the correspondence regarding the Waqf-e-Nau can be found on this website along with the guidance and instructions I have given in terms of the education and upbringing of Waqifeen-e-Nau children. Moreover, one can access the sermons and addresses of the Khulafa, the Waqf-e-Nau syllabus and editions of the ‘Ismail’ magazine for boys and ‘Maryam’ magazine for girls on the website. Additionally, Waqifeen-e-Nau children can find information and help with regards to career planning. There is also the section to renew one’s dedication, to get in touch with the Waqf-e-Nau department and to keep up to date. Waqifeen-e-Nau children can also find information about the requirements of the Jama’at and what sort of education they should undertake to best serve the Jama’at. Guidance for Waqf-e-Nau secretaries and the administration and report forms will also be available on the website. Furthermore, there are video clips of the various questions and answers in the classes with me etc. on different occasions. There is also the introduction to the Waqf-e-Nau scheme and information on how to remain in constant contact with the department. Also, there are reports, pictures and glimpses of the Waqf-e-Nau programs happening around the world. Hence, this website shall be launched today, inshaAllah which Waqifeen-e-Nau children and parents of Waqifeen-e-Nau should benefit from.