Men of Excellence : Ubaidah Ibn Jarrah (ra)
After reciting Tashahhud, Ta’awwuz, and Surah al-Fatihah, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad(aba) said that he would continue highlighting incidents from the life of Hazrat Abu Ubaidah bin Jarah(ra).
Role of Hazrat Abu Ubaidah bin Jarah(ra) in the Battle of Yarmuk
His Holiness(aba) narrated incidents from the Battle of Yarmuk, in which of the 30,000 Muslims, 100 were companions who took part in the Battle of Badr. During the course of this battle, a man by the name of George was sent by the Romans to negotiate a treaty with the Muslims. During these talks, George asked Hazrat Abu Ubaidah(ra) what his view was regarding Jesus(as). In response, Hazrat Abu Ubaidah(ra) recited the following verses of the Holy Qur’an:
‘O People of the Book, exceed not the limits in your religion, and say not of Allah anything but the truth. Verily, the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, was only a Messenger of Allah and a fulfilment of His word which He sent down to Mary, and a mercy from Him. So believe in Allah and His Messengers, and say not ‘They are three.’ Desist, it will be better for you. Verily, Allah is the only One God. Far is it from His Holiness that He should have a son. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth. And sufficient is Allah as a Guardian.’ [The Holy Qur’an, 4:172]
‘Surely, the Messiah will never disdain to be a servant of Allah, nor will the angels near unto God; and whoso disdains to worship Him and feels proud, He will gather them all to Himself.’ [The Holy Qur’an, 4:173]
Upon hearing these verses, George proclaimed that this was certainly true, and attested to the truth of the Holy Prophet(sa). After this, he did not wish to return to the Romans, however Hazrat Abu Ubaidah(ra) advised that he return so as not to raise any suspicion.
When talks for a treaty were unsuccessful, it became clear that there would be a battle.
The Romans numbered 250,000 and were fully clad in armour. They had planned to single out the companions of the Holy Prophet(sa) and target them with arrows. As a result, some companions were martyred whilst others lost their eyes. Seeing that they were being targeted, Ikrimah approached Hazrat Abu Ubaidah(ra) and said that they wished to attack at the very heart of the Roman army. Hazrat Abu Ubaidah(ra) remarked that this was a very dangerous undertaking, however Ikrimah insisted, and so, 4000 Muslim soldiers were commisioned to attack at the heart of the Roman army.
The Muslims proved victorious as a result of this attack, but not without the loss of many lives and others sustaining great injuries. The Muslims killed 100,000 Romans in the battlefield.
Preaching of Hazrat Abu Ubaidah bin Jarah(ra)
His Holiness(aba) related that there were many divisions within Syrian people, and Hazrat Abu Ubaidah(ra) played a great role in uniting the Syrian people, establishing justice and peace. He preached to them, that they were all the children of Adam and should all live in harmony. Thus he established religious freedom and encouraged all to live together. Seeing this esteemed example, many Syrian Christians accepted Islam. His Holiness(aba) highlighted the fact that this was a result of preaching, not force.
An Excellent Guardian
A few days before the victory of Yarmuk, Hazrat Abu Ubaidah(ra) received work of the demise of Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) and the election of Hazrat Umar(ra) as the Second Caliph in Islam. Since they were in the middle of a battle and Hazrat Abu Ubaidah(ra) did not wish to dishearten the troops, he did not disclose this information right away. After the battle, Khalid bin Walid(ra) asked why he had not told him, and Hazrat Abu Ubaidah(ra) replied by saying that he did not wish to dishearten anyone during the battle. As Khalid bin Walid’s(ra) army was setting out to return to Iraq, he said that they were very fortunate to have the Amin (trustee) of this nation as a guardian over them. Hazrat Abu Ubaidah(ra) said to them that he had heard the Holy Prophet(sa) say that Khalid bin Walid(ra) was one of the swords of Allah. His Holiness(aba) commented that these are the traits of a true believer. They did not care for their own titles or for their personal honour, rather they only cared to establish the sovereignty of God throughout the world. Thus, these are excellent examples for us to follow.
An Example in Humility
His Holiness(aba) then highlighted various incidents from the Conquest of Jerusalem, which Hazrat Abu Ubaidah(ra) was also a part of. When Hazrat Umar(ra) set out and reached a place near Damascus where the Muslim army was residing. Hazrat Umar(ra) asked where his brother was. When asked who he was referring to, he said Hazrat Abu Ubaidah(ra). Then, Hazrat Umar(ra) accompanied Hazrat Abu Ubaidah(ra) to his home. Upon reaching there, Hazrat Umar(ra) said that Hazrat Abu Ubaidah(ra) had nothing except his sword, shield and a couple of other possessions. Hazrat Umar(ra) remarked that Hazrat Abu Ubaidah(ra) should have furnished his home with other things as well. Hazrat Abu Ubaidah(ra) said that he had not done so, for it would only have inclined him towards ease.
Demise of Hazrat Abu Ubaidah bin Jarah(ra)
When Hazrat Ubaidah(ra) was in the final moments of his life, he advised those around him to always offer their prayers, pay the Zakat, fast in Ramadan, give alms, perform Hajj and Umrah, enjoin one another to good, be honest and not deceitful, etc. Hazrat Abu Ubaidah(ra) passed away in 18 Hijri (Islamic Calendar).
His Holiness(aba) said that how fortunate were these people who attained the pleasure of God in this world, and continue to attain it in the hereafter.
In the end, His Holiness(aba) said that he would lead the funeral prayers in absentia of the following members of the Community:
Prof. Naeemuddin Khattak who was martyred on 5 October. He was returning from the College he taught at, when two people riding a motorcycle drove by and fired at him as a result of which he was martyred. He was a great academic who was a member of the interview board for PhD candidates and would also be called upon to deliver lectures at various Universities in Pakistan. His family had been facing opposition for quite some time. His father-in-law was kidnapped some years ago and his whereabouts remain unknown. He always served the Community in whatever capacity was required. Though he was a learned and well-educated person, he would do security duty at the mosque whenever required. He is survived by his wife, three daughters and two sons. His Holiness(aba) prayed for the forgiveness of the deceased and that his family may be able to endure this loss with patience.
Usama Sadiq who passed away a few days ago at the age of 20 as a result of drowning. He was studying in Jamia Ahmadiyya Germany. He was the youngest of six siblings. His family also endured various hardships at the hands of opponents in Pakistan, before moving to Germany. He had just completed his third year in Jamia Ahmadiyya Germany. He displayed excellent qualities in the short span of his life. He was very obedient to his parents, and had an interest in learning various languages. He was always ready when called upon for leaflet distribution. He would be the first to enter the mosque and the last to leave. His Holiness(aba) prayed for the forgiveness and elevated station of the deceased and that his family may be able to bear this loss with patience.
Saleem Ahmad Malik who passed away on 24 September. After retirement, he also served as a professor in Jamia Ahmadiyya UK. His Holiness(aba) related an incident of Saleem Ahmad Malik’s father, who fell very ill when he was young. Upon learning of this, the Promised Messiah(as) visited him and prayed for him, and though there had not been much hope for his survival, he lived a long life as a result of the Promised Messiah’s(as) prayers. He was a professor at a university in the UK. He also served the Community in many different capacities. He played a role in the establishment of Jamia Ahmadiyya UK. He served as the Chief Administrator of Jamia and also taught English and History. He was a very virtuous person who loved Khilafat a great deal. He is survived by his wife, three daughters and many grandchildren. Once, one of his relatives needed financial help, and so he sold his house in order to help them. His Holiness(aba) commented that when he first met him, he did not know much about him except that he was able to teach English. However he later learned that he was extremely virtuous and sincere. He was a walking encyclopedia. His Holiness(aba) also commented that Saleem Ahmad Malik Sahib played a vital role in His Holiness’(aba) first visit to Parliament. He would often invite students to his home, and then take them to his library. He would say that his gift to them would be that they can take any book which they liked from his library. His Holiness(aba) prayed for the forgiveness of the deceased, and prayed that his progeny may be able to follow the example of his virtues.
Summary prepared by The Review of Religions