Men of Excellence
After reciting the Tashahhud, Ta‘awwuz, and Surah Al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (aba) stated:
The name of the Badri (who participated in the battle of Badr) companion whose accounts I will narrate today is Hazrat Talha (ra) bin Ubaidullah. Hazrat Talha (ra) belonged to the Taym bin Murrah tribe. Hazrat Talha (ra)’s title was Abu Muhammad. The Holy Prophet (sa) had appointed him as the governor of Bahrain and he served as the governor until his demise. He passed away in the fourteenth year after Hijra [migration of the Holy Prophet (sa) from Mecca to Medina], during the caliphate of Hazrat ‘Umar. Hazrat Talha (ra)’s ancestry connects with the Holy Prophet (sa) from the seventh generation through Murrah bin Ka’b.
His father, ‘Ubaidullah, did not witness the era of Islam, however, his mother lived a long life. She had the opportunity to accept the Holy Prophet (sa) and was granted the honour of being a female companion. She had accepted Islam prior to the migration from Mecca to Medina. Hazrat Talha (ra) bin ‘Ubaidullah did not physically participate in the battle of Badr as he was on a reconnaissance mission at the time at the direction of the Holy Prophet (sa) and was not aware that the Muslims were departing for the battle of Badr. However, the Holy Prophet (sa) gave him a share from the spoils of war. Hazrat Talha (ra) participated in the battle of Uhud and all other battles alongside the Holy Prophet (sa). He was also present during the treaty of Hudaibiyyah. He was among the 10 people who the Holy Prophet (sa) had given the glad tidings of paradise in their lifetimes. He was also among the first 8 people to accept Islam and he is among the 5 who accepted Islam through the preaching of Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra). He was among the 6 members of the Shura Committee established by Hazrat Umar (ra). He was among those blessed individuals whom the Holy Prophet (sa) was pleased with at the time of his demise.
About his acceptance of Islam, Hazrat Talha bin Ubaidullah (ra) relates, “I was in Busra (an ancient town of Syria), when a monk was proclaiming from his Sawmaah (i.e. a synagogue) that this is the month in which the promised Ahmed is to appear and he will be the final Prophet, his advent will be in Mecca and his migration will be to a place with date-fields, where the land would be rocky, barren and saline. Do not forsake him.’” Hazrat Talha (ra) was deeply moved by this assertion. He set off for Mecca straight away and went to see Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) and asked him about the advent of the prophet. When Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) confirmed that he has accepted the Prophet, Hazrat Talha (ra) then accepted Islam and informed the Holy Prophet (sa) all of what the monk had said. The Holy Prophet (sa) was pleased to hear this. Hazrat Talha bin Ubaidullah (ra) was treated harshly by his family after this and was forced to walk in Mecca with his hands tied to his neck. When Hazrat Talha (ra) and Hazrat Zubair (ra) accepted Islam in Mecca, the Holy Prophet (sa) established a bond of brotherhood between them prior to the migration. After the Muslims migrated to Medina, the Holy Prophet (sa) established a bond of brotherhood between Hazrat Talha (ra) and other companions from Medina.
Hazrat Talha bin Ubaidullah (ra) was a most generous person and the Holy Prophet (sa) had conferred him with the title of ‘Fayyaz’ (the generous one) after he bought a well of water and dedicated for the use by the public. He was most generous to share all his belongings.
The services of Hazrat Talha bin Ubaidullah (ra) during the battle of Uhud were exemplary and unique. He helped the Holy Prophet (sa) to climb a dune by crouching on the floor, so that the Holy Prophet could step on him. During the battle of Uhud, Muslims abandoned an important post at the pass, thinking that they had won. Meccan army saw an opportunity to attack Muslims from the pass. This unexpected attack dispersed Muslims and the Holy Prophet (sa) was left with a handful of companions to protect him. Hazrat Talha bin Ubaidullah (ra) saw that the enemy was targeting the face of the Holy Prophet (sa) with their arrows, so he placed his hands in front of the Holy Prophet (sa) shielding him from the arrows of the enemy. During this, his hand was severely injured and he lost the function of his hand because of these injuries. Long after the Battle of Uhud someone asked Talha, “Did not your hand hurt under the arrow shots and the pain make you cry in anguish?” Talha replied, “Indeed it hurt me, and it almost made me cry in anguish, but I resisted both because I knew that if my hand shook even slightly, it would expose the Prophet’s face to the volley of enemy arrows.”
Talha bin Ubaidullah (ra) was a valiant soldier and was always ready to fight, even when severely injured. He was a pious person and was granted the glad tidings of the Paradise, in this very world. The Holy Prophet (sa) once said: “Whosoever wishes to see a martyr in person, they ought to see Talha bin Ubaidullah.”. Talha bin Ubaidullah (ra) was singled out by the Holy Prophet (sa) as being a model Muslim, who has fulfilled his covenant.
Hazrat Talha (ra) was martyred in Jang-e-Jamal (Battle of the Camel) on 10 Jumad al-Thani, 36 AH, during Jang-e-Jamal. At the time of his martyrdom, Hazrat Talha was 64 years old, whilst according to another narration he was 62 years old.
Hazrat Talha (ra) bin Ubaidullah was most generous and looked after orphans and widows. He was a very wealthy man and left 2.2 million dirham and 200,000 dinar after him. As mentioned, he was martyred in Jang-e-Jamal, the details of which, God Willing, I will narrate in the future, because these require more detailed description.
Now, as mentioned in the previous sermon, everyone ought to continue adhering to the precautionary measures against the current Coronavirus pandemic. One should also take caution whilst attending the mosque. If one is suffering from a slight fever or is suffering from aches and pains, one ought to refrain from public places. They should protect themselves as well as others. We ought to pay particular attention towards prayers, may Allah the Almighty safeguard the world from this affliction.