Men of Excellence
After reciting the Tashahhud, Ta‘awwuz, and Surah Al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (aba) stated:
I will narrate the final accounts relating to the life of Hazrat Sa‘d bin Ubadah (ra) today.
After the demise of the Holy Prophet (sa), Ansars (the migrants) wished Hazrat Sa‘d bin Ubadah (ra) to become the Khalifah, as he was the leader of his community. When Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) was elected as the Khalifah, this made Hazrat Sa‘d bin Ubadah (ra) hesitant. After he was elected as the Khalifa, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) sent a message to Hazrat Sa‘d bin Ubadah (ra) inviting him to take Bai’at, which he declined. His community had taken the oath of allegiance, but Hazrat Sa‘d bin Ubadah (ra) refused to do so. After consultation with his advisors, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) decided to leave him alone. After the demise of Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra), Hazrat Umar was elected as the Khalifah and Hazrat Sa‘d bin Ubadah (ra) declined to take his Bai’at as well and migrated to Syria.
Hazrat Musleh Mau’ud (ra) has eloquently described why it is important to pledge allegiance to Khilafat, what is the status of Khilafat and what is the significance of this action of Hazrat Sa’d’s? Hazrat Musleh Mau’ud (ra) explained that perhaps Hazrat Sa‘d bin Ubadah (ra) considered that he was insulted by not being elected as the Khalifah, he did not appreciate the Muslims were to elect a Khalifah by consensus, and refused to take the oath of allegiance. Hazrat Umar (ra) stated about Hazrat Sa‘d bin Ubadah (ra): “Qatal [means to kill in Urdu] Sa’d”, which also refers to severing one’s ties. However, Hazrat Umar (ra) did not kill him, nor did anyone else. Thus, one interpretation of the phrase ‘Kill Sa’d’, is to sever ties with him and for everyone to disassociate with him. According to some narrations, Hazrat Sa’d remained alive even after the Caliphate of Hazrat Umar (ra) and no companion lifted a finger against him.
Hazrat Musleh Mau’ud (ra) says: “The status of Khilafat is such that disconnecting from Khilafat does not make one deserving of any honour.” Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra) explained that Hazrat Khalifatul Masih I (ra) has expounded that by pondering over the Quran, it becomes crystal clear that the first enemy was Iblis. Allah the Almighty made Adam the Khalifah (successor) and his enemy was Iblis. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih I (ra) then said: “I am also a Khalifah, and whoever is my enemy is (a manifestation of) Iblis.”
Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra) explained that the Khalifah could be a ‘Mamoor’, (literal meaning “the commanded one”) or not a ‘Mamoor’. Hazrat Adam was a ‘Mamoor’ and a Khalifah. Every Prophet is a ‘Mamoor’ as well as being a Khalifah (vicegerent) of God. The commandment to show obedience to Khalifa, Mamoor or Non-Mamoor, is the same. Indeed, there is a clear distinction in the reason why one should show obedience to both; one must show obedience to a prophet because he is the focal point of Divine revelation and purity and a Khalifah should be obeyed because he is appointed to implement and propagate the revelation brought by the prophet. This obedience is unconditional and cannot be forsaken for a personal mistake of the Khalifah. One can never turn away from the obedience that Allah the Almighty has ordained cardinal. The role of the Khalifah is to establish unity and thus his obedience is obligatory.
Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra) explained that God allows prophets to make human errors to show the difference between Divinity and Prophethood. It is the Divine Way that the Prophets do have natural human weaknesses, and God does not interfere with that. These human errors serve as source for moral training of the nation, for example, there is the Sajdah Sahav if one inadvertently makes a mistake during Salat. Thus, this is such a mistake which even prophets can make. All the actions of Prophets are safeguarded by Allah the Almighty. For the Khalifahs, all their deeds are under divine protection that are related to the progress of the community. Even if the Khalifah ever commits an error, Allah the Almighty has made it His own responsibility to rectify it. In short, the Khalifah is not responsible for his actions in relation to the Nizam (ongoing system), rather God Himself is responsible. Therefore, it is said that Allah the Almighty appoints the Khalifah Himself. However, this does not mean that the Khalifah cannot make a mistake. What this signifies is that Allah the Almighty rectifies any mistakes through the person of the Khalifah. Or, alternatively Allah the Almighty ensures that no negative effect results from any error made by the Khalifah.
Hazrat Musleh Mau’ud (ra) explains that in any case it is necessary in all circumstances to obey the Khalifah because this is necessary for the smooth running of the system ‘Siyasat [i.e. politics] of the Jamaat. Some people will immediately be startled when hearing the words ‘politics of the Jamaat’ and would be curious as to what this infers. In general terminology, we refer to ‘politics’ in a negative connotation. In truth the lexicons describe the word ‘politics’ to mean properly operating a system, to employ reason when carrying out something, to ensure a system is in place to prevent evil, to use reason and wisdom to carry out something, and to have the ability to solve international matters in the correct manner. Hazrat Musleh Mau’ud (ra) uses the word ‘politics’ for its positive connotations here. It signifies the wisdom, understanding, intelligence, acumen and capabilities required to properly operate a system.
Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra) further says: “… one of the foremost attributes of the Khulafa is that they uphold and implement the administration. That is why, it is obligatory to take their Bai’at. Hazrat Sa‘d bin Ubadah (ra) did not take Bai’at to the Khalifah, therefore the Companions (ra) no longer held him with same esteem and honour as they previously did and they were not happy with him. Therefore, to claim that one can maintain their rank and status without performing the Bai’at of the Khalifa and adhering to the Nizam of Islam is completely contrary to the history and the teachings of Islam.
Hazrat Sa’d (ra) bin Ubadah passed away in Syria, Sa’d (ra) was sat answering the call of nature when he was killed and died straight away. Hazrat Sa’d (ra)’s grave is located in a village called Munaiha which is situated in the southern area close to Damascus.
I shall now mention some details about two deceased members and will also lead their funeral prayer [in absentia].
The first is of Respected Syed Muhammad Sarwar Shah Sahib, who was a member of the Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya Qadian. He passed away on 8th January at the age of 85 – verily to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return. He was suffering from cancer but endured this illness with great strength, patience and steadfastness and right till his demise, he continued to fulfil his duties in an excellent manner. In 1995, after taking retirement from employment, he dedicated his life to serve the Jama’at. In 1996, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IV (rh) entrusted various responsibilities to him and also made him in-charge. The deceased also had the opportunity to perform Umrah. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IV (rh) also appointed him as the auditor and also as a one-man commission. He served as the auditor right until his demise. The deceased also had the opportunity to serve as the president of the Qadha Board for nine years. Similarly, he also had the opportunity to serve as the president and as a member for many committees. He also had the opportunity to be a member of the Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya till his demise. He had great administrative skills. He was very regular in offering his Tahajjud prayers. He would always be punctual in offering his prayers and would offer them in the Mubarak Mosque. When his hands and feet became extremely weak, he would take support of others and go to the mosque. He would always go on time for the Friday prayer and sit in the first row. He would remain in the mosque after the Maghrib prayer until the Isha prayer and would spend the time in offering Nawafil, supplication and remembrance of Allah the Almighty.”
The second funeral is of Respected Shaukat Gohar Sahiba who was the wife of Dr Latif Quraishi Sahib of Rabwah and daughter of Maulana Abdul Malik Khan Sahib. She passed away in Rabwah on 5th January at the age of 77 – verily to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return. By the grace of Allah, she too was a Moosiah. Her father was a great scholar and she had a passion for serving the Jama’at from a young age. She served in many capacities for more than 50 years in an exemplary manner. By the grace of Allah Almighty, she was a very pious woman and was selfless in her services to the Community. One daughter who lives in the US, writes, that when in Medical college, other girls boycotted me as I was an Ahmadi Muslim. I called my mother and began to cry on the phone, however, she gave me wonderful advice, stating that there is no reason to cry, as this was the case with all prophets and that I had an opportunity to follow in their practice. She also said to note her advice that if I ever suffered pain in the way of Ahmadiyyat, then God Almighty would never let me go to waste.”
May Allah Almighty elevate the rank of the deceased and enable her children to follow in her footsteps. May they be pious, righteous, servants to their faith and may they always have a firm and loyal bond with Khilafat.