Men of Excellence
In today’s Friday Sermon, His Holiness(aba) continued to narrate accounts from the life of Hazrat Sa`d bin Mu’adh. His Holiness(aba) stated that as mentioned in the previous Sermon, after the Battle of Ahzab, the Holy Prophet(sa) was given the Divine command to head towards the Banu Quraizah and deal with their treachery.
The Treachery of the Banu Quraizah
His Holiness(aba) quoted Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad(ra) in recounting the events pertaining to Banu Quraizah. The Holy Prophet(sa) sent Hazrat Ali(ra) to give them a warning and have them realize their treacherous ways. However, rather than realizing their mistakes and expressing remorse, they retorted with profanities and foul language directed towards the wives of the Holy Prophet(sa). Hazrat Ali(ra) returned and informed the Holy Prophet(sa), upon which he, along with the Muslims marched towards the castle of the Banu Quraizah and lay siege to it.
Finally when the Banu Quraizah realized there was no other way, they sent word that Abu Lubabah(ra) should be sent to negotiate their surrender. Abu Lubabah(ra) went and urged them to surrender and accept the Holy Prophet(sa), however they refused. Instead, they expressed that rather than the Holy Prophet(sa) deciding their fate, they wished for Hazrat Sa`d bin Mu’adh(ra) leader of the Aus tribe which had been an ally to them, to be the one to decide their fate. Though there were some amongst the Banu Quraizah who were of the opinion that a treaty should be agreed upon with the Muslims, the general population of the Banu Quraizah could not bear to accept the Holy Prophet(sa) to have any sort of power over them. Thus in the hopes of his leniency, they insisted that whatever their fate may be, it should be decided by Hazrat Sa`d bin Mu’adh(ra). Some from the Aus tribe tried convincing Hazrat Sa`d bin Mu’adh(ra) to render a lenient punishment as the Banu Quraizah had been their ally, however he did not give in to any influence and said that the decision should be left to whom it has been entrusted.
The verdict of Hazrat Sa`d bin Mu’adh(ra)
His Holiness(aba) further recounted that when Hazrat Sa`d(ra) arrived, first he ensured that all those present; the Aus, the Banu Quraiza and the Holy Prophet(sa), would accept his decision; to which they all agreed. Then he presented his decision according to the following Biblical teaching:
When you march up to attack a city, make its people an offer of peace. If they accept and open their gates, all the people in it shall be subject to forced labor and shall work for you. If they refuse to make peace and they engage you in battle, lay siege to that city. When the Lord your God delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the men in it. As for the women, the children, the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves. And you may use the plunder the Lord your God gives you from your enemies. This is how you are to treat all the cities that are at a distance from you and do not belong to the nations nearby. However, in the cities of the nations the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. Completely destroy them—the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—as the Lord your God has commanded you. Otherwise, they will teach you to follow all the detestable things they do in worshiping their gods, and you will sin against the Lord your God. (Deuteronomy 20:10-18)
Thus, seeing that the Banu Quraizah were not prepared to accept the decision of the Holy Prophet(sa) which would have been made according to Islamic teachings, which at the most would have resulted in their expulsion from Madinah, Hazrat Sa`d(ra) made his decision based on the decision Moses(as) had already made for such a scenario.
Furthermore, this decision was not made by the Holy Prophet(sa). Certain people allege that the Holy Prophet(sa) rendered an extremely harsh punishment. But as history bears testament, the decision was made by Hazrat Sa`d bin Mu’adh(ra); before making his decision he confirmed with all involved parties, including the Holy Prophet(sa), if they would accept his decision to which they all agreed. Technically, this was not even the decision of Hazrat Sa`d bin Mu’adh(ra), as he merely rendered that which had already been decided by Moses(as).
The Holy Prophet(sa) proclaimed that the fact that the Banu Quraiza insisted that Hazrat Sa`d bin Mu’adh(ra) be the one to decide their fate and the fact that Hazrat Sa`d bin Mu’adh(ra)confirmed with everyone that his decision would be accepted and the decision itself, indeed reflected the will of God in the matter.
Upon returning, the Holy Prophet(sa) expressed his sorrow at the state of affairs, saying that even if ten or twelve men from the Banu Quraizah had accepted me, I would have had hope that the entire nation of Banu Quraiza would eventually accept me.
No Blame on the Holy Prophet(sa)
His Holiness(aba) further recounted that the Holy Prophet(sa) instructed that for the execution of those who fought from Banu Quraizah, each person should be brought separately, they should not be executed in front of one another. He was also present himself, so that if an appeal of mercy was made on behalf of anyone about to be executed, he may hear it and accept it.
His Holiness(aba) again clarified, in light of some allegations made regarding this incident, that this was not the decision of the Holy Prophet(sa) but was of Hazrat Sa`d bin Mu’adh(ra). This decision cannot be considered unjust in light of the events that had transpired. Then, Hazrat Sa`d bin Mu’adh(ra) had confirmed that the Holy Prophet(sa) would accept his decision, thus the Holy Prophet(sa) was bound and had no say in the matter. Furthermore, having themselves accepted whatever decision Hazrat Sa`d(ra) would make, the Jews of Banu Quraizah raised no objection to his decision. It must also be noted that whenever an appeal would be made to spare the life of an individual from Banu Quraizah about to be executed, the Holy Prophet(sa) would accept it; in fact he would also order for his family and his wealth to be returned to him as well.
His Holiness(aba) noted how even the orientalist Margoliouth, who in no way can be considered a supporter of Islam, had no choice but to declare that in light of the events that had transpired and the treachery of the Banu Quraizah, the decision made regarding their fate cannot be considered harsh. Thus, the decision made by Hazrat Sa`d(ra) was just, and due to his agreement to accept the decision of Hazrat Sa`d(ra) as demanded by the Banu Quraizah, the Holy Prophet(sa) had no say in the matter.
His Holiness(aba) also highlighted the fact that one of the conditions in the treaty which the Banu Quraizah broke, was that in the event the treaty is broken, the fate of the guilty party would be decided according to their own scripture. The decision made by Hazrat Sa`d bin Mu’adh(ra)was exactly in line with the teachings of the Torah for such an instance.
His Holiness(aba) said that any remaining incidents regarding Hazrat Sa`d bin Mu’adh(ra) would continue in the following Sermon.
His Holiness(aba) then mentioned some members of the community who have recently passed away.
Hajiyya Ruqayya Khalid Sahiba passed away on 30 June. She was the Sadr Lajna of Ghana. She recovered from uterine cancer and her health had significantly improved, but later her health began declining again which eventually led to her demise. She was a teacher by profession. She had a passion for teaching children, and would even teach some children free of charge. She was very pious and had a close relationship with Khilafat. His Holiness(aba) prayed that may her progeny keep her virtues alive.
Safiyya Beghum Sahiba who passed away on 27 June. She was the wife of late Sheikh Mubarak Ahmad sahib, a missionary of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. She was the daughter of Hazrat Qazi Abdus Salaam Bhatti Sahib, a companion of the Promised Messiah(as). She had an exemplary relationship with Khilafat which she also instilled in her progeny, many of whom are serving as life devotees in the community. She was extremely supportive of her husband’s work as a missionary, no matter where he went. His Holiness(aba) expressed that there are very few wives of missionaries who support their husband as she did. His Holiness(aba) also remarked that her relationship with Khilafat was so strong and so unique that he has seldom seen before.
Ali Ahmad sahib passed away on 18 June. His father Mian Allah Ditta Sahib(ra) was a companion of the Promised Messiah(as). He was a life devotee who served in various places. He was an exemplary missionary
Rafiq Bibi sahiba passed away on 22 May. She was very pious and regular in her prayers. She instilled the same habit of prayer in her progeny. She was very proud of the fact that her son, and her grandsons were missionaries. His Holiness(aba) said that her son is currently serving in Tanzania and was not able to return home for the funeral, and prayed that Allah may grant him patience.
His Holiness(aba) said that in today’s funeral prayer he would also be including in those who he has announced in previous sermons who passed away recently, but their funeral could not be offered due to the current pandemic.
Summary prepared by The Review of Religions