Men of Excellence
After reciting Tashahhud, Ta’awwuz and Surah al-Fatihah, Huzur (aba) stated:
The name of the companion who I will mention today is Hazrat Abu Talha (ra). The actual name of Hazrat Abu Talha Ansari (ra) was Zaid. He belonged to the Ansar tribe of Khazraj and was the chief of his tribe. Hazrat Abu Talha (ra) had the opportunity to pledge initiation at the hands of the Holy Prophet (sa) during the second pledge at ‘Aqaba. He participated alongside the Holy Prophet (sa) in all the battles, including the Battle of Badr. When Hazrat Abu Ubaida (ra) bin Al-Jarrah migrated to Medina, the Holy Prophet (sa) formed a bond of brotherhood between him and Hazrat Abu Talha (ra). Hazrat Anas (ra) was the stepson of Hazrat Abu Talha (ra) and was the son of his wife’s first husband Malik bin Nazar. Following his demise, Hazrat Abu Talha (ra) sent a marriage proposal to Umme Sulaim (ra). She replied that she was a Muslim woman and it was not permissible for her to marry him. She stated, “If you were to accept Islam then I would consider this very act in itself to be my dowry and I would not ask of anything else.” Hazrat Abu Talha (ra) accepted Islam and this was declared to be her dowry.
Hazrat Abu Talha (ra) narrates that after the conquest of Badr, the Holy Prophet (sa) went to the well where bodies of his twenty-four worst enemies were placed and addressed them by name saying that now you are experiencing the outcome of rejecting the prophet of God. Hazrat Abu Talha (ra) narrates that Hazrat Umar (ra) submitted, “O Messenger (sa) of Allah! What are you saying to these lifeless bodies?” The Holy Prophet (sa) replied that Allah the Exalted has relayed these words to them in terms of how terrible their end was. During the Battle of Uhud, at one-point people dispersed and Holy Prophet (sa) had no cover, Hazrat Abu Talha (ra) however stood resolutely behind his shield in front of the Holy Prophet (sa). Hazrat Abu Talha (ra) was an extremely skilled archer and used this skill to the maximum during the battle of Uhud.
Hazrat Abu Talha (ra) recommended the name of Hazrat Anas (ra) to assist the Holy Prophet (sa) during his journey to Khaybar. Hazrat Anas (ra) relates that during this time of service, the Holy Prophet (sa) would never admonish him. After the battle of Khaybar, the Holy Prophet (sa) married the war prisoner Hazrat Safiyyah (ra) bint Huyayy with due respect and kindness and held a Walima party afterwards. While returning, the Holy Prophet (sa) was riding his camel and his wife Hazrat Safiyyah (ra) bint Huyayy was seated behind him. All of a sudden, the camel stumbled, causing them both to fall. Hazrat Abu Talha (ra) immediately dismounted his camel and rushed to assist. The Holy Prophet (sa) replied, “First enquire about the lady”. Hazrat Talha (ra) while observing due dignity and respect for Purdah, helped Hazrat Safiyyah (ra) to mount the camel once again. This is how the Holy Prophet (sa) safeguarded the rights of women.
Hazrat Anas bin Malik (ra) was a valiant warrior and killed 20 disbelievers in one day during the Battle of Hunayn. Hazrat Abu Talha (ra) had a very powerful voice. In 34 Hijri, Hazrat Abu Talha (ra) passed away at the age of 70 in Medina. Hazrat Anas (ra) relates that during the lifetime of the Holy Prophet (sa), Hazrat Abu Talha (ra) would refrain from voluntary fasting as he wanted to preserve his strength when engaging in Jihad.
We find the following example of the hospitality of Hazrat Abu Talha (ra). Once Hazrat Abu Talha (ra) took a guest of the Holy Prophet (sa) to his home to take care of this guest. He took this guest along with him and told his wife to extend the best hospitality possible as this was the guest of the Holy Prophet (sa). His wife replied that they had barely enough to feed their children but was very keen to serve the guest. She put the children to bed hungry and served all the food to the guest, she turned the oil lamp off and acted as if fixing the oil lamp. She and her husband just pretended as if they were eating and served every bit of food they had to their guest. The whole family went to bed hungry to serve the guest. In the morning he went to the Holy Prophet (sa) who said that “today Allah the Almighty smiled upon your act”, or he stated that “Allah the Almighty was extremely pleased with this act of theirs”. Then the following revelation was received: “…but prefer the Refugees to themselves, even though poverty be their own lot. And whoso is rid of the covetousness of his own soul — it is these who will be successful.” (59.10)
Hazrat Anas (ra) bin Malik relates an incidence that when the Holy Prophet (sa) visited the house of Hazrat Abu Talha (ra) with his companions, who were all very hungry. The family only had a small amount of barley bread at home. The Holy Prophet (sa) said to his wife: ‘O Umme Sulaim, bring whatever you have to eat.’ She brought bread, which the Holy Prophet (sa) instructed to break into pieces, which she did so. Hazrat Umme Sulaim (ra) poured Ghee [clarified butter] and presented it as a dish. The Holy Prophet (sa) then prayed on the bread in the manner God Almighty desired from him. The Holy Prophet (sa) then said to call ten people to eat, they were called inside, and they ate until they were content and then they left. Then more companions were invited to eat and approximately seventy or eighty people were fed to contentment from this small amount of bread. This shows the blessings of the prayers of the Holy Prophet (sa).
Hazrat Anas bin Malik (ra) narrates that Hazrat Abu Talha (ra) owned the biggest date orchard among all the Ansar in Medina. Among them his most prized orchard was called Berha. Hazrat Anas (ra) narrates that when the following verse was revealed: “Never shall you attain to righteousness unless you spend out of that which you love;” Hazrat Abu Talha (ra) stood up and said, “O messenger (sa) of Allah! God Almighty states: From my property, my most beloved possession is the Berha orchard, I offer that as charity in the way of Allah. I am hopeful that God Almighty will accept this virtue and will be beneficial. Thus, you may spend it wherever you wish to do so.” The Holy Prophet (sa) replied, “I hear your request, I consider it best if you distribute this amongst your close relatives.” Hazrat Abu Talha (ra) replied, “O Messenger (sa) of Allah! I shall do exactly as you have commanded.” And so, Hazrat Abu Talha (ra) distributed this orchard amongst his relatives and the sons of his uncle.
Hazrat Anas bin Malik (ra) states that a child of Hazrat Abu Talha (ra) was ill and when he left the house, the child passed away. When he returned home, he enquired about the health of the child from his wife, Hazrat Umme Sulaim (ra). She replied, “he is now in more comfort then before.” She then gave him dinner and after spending the night together, she informed him of the passing of their child. Thus, in the morning, Hazrat Abu Talha (ra) mentioned the entire incident to the Holy Prophet (sa), who then prayed for his offspring. Hence after this incident he was blessed with a son. Such was the courage and steadfastness that was displayed by the women in that time. According to an Ansari companion’s narration, he saw nine sons of Hazrat Abu Talha (ra) and all of them were Qaris [reciters of the Holy Quran], that is, he was granted nine pious sons.
Hazrat Anas (ra) bin Malik relates that he was presenting alcohol made from dates to Hazrat Abu Talha Ansari (ra), Hazrat Abu Ubaidah (ra) bin Al-Jarrah and Hazrat Ubbay (ra) bin Kab, when someone arrived and informed them that alcohol had been declared forbidden. Upon hearing this, Hazrat Abu Talha (ra) stated, “O Anas! Break these pots!” Hazrat Anas (ra) states that he hit the bottom of the pots with a stone and smashed them all.
Now, I shall mention of respected Babu Muhammad Latif Sahib Amritsari, son of Hazrat Mia Noor Muhammad Sahib, who was a companion of the Promised Messiah (as). He passed away on 26th January 2020 in Rabwah at the age of 90: “Surely to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.” I will also lead their funeral prayer in absentia after the Friday prayers. By the grace of Allah the Almighty, the deceased was a Musi. After working as an office clerk in the railway department for four years, Latif Sahib presented his services to work for the Jama’at in October 1952 and held a long and exemplary record of excellent service to the community. He had great skill and talent for his work and worked extremely diligently. Alongside his work, he also had a keen interest for religious knowledge and had extensively studied the literature of the Jama’at. He has one son and 5 daughters and a few days before his demise, one of his daughters also passed away, who was the wife of Zarif Ahmad Qamar Sahib and their son is a missionary. Three of his daughters are in London and also his son, Atiq Ahmad, who is also serving here [in the Jama’at]. His philosophy was that whenever one is faced with a worldly problem, then alongside prayers, work even more diligently for the Jama’at, then Allah the Almighty alleviates any problem. If ever a fellow worker made a mistake, he would advise them in a very loving manner. He was also very proficient in writing and would always select the most suitable words. Whenever he would buy a new pen, he would write Bismillah [in the name of Allah] with it and then continue his work with it. He was very punctual, and his main objective was to fulfil his Jama’at work. Another great quality of his was that he would never discuss any matter with anyone. Whatever document he was dealing with would always remain discrete and confidential. In other words, he was an extremely selfless person. May Allah the Almighty grant him His forgiveness and mercy and elevate His status. May He also enable his children and progeny to continue his good deeds.