Men of Excellence: Hazrat Ali (ra)
Rightly Guided Caliphs: Hazrat Ali(ra)
After reciting Tashahhud, Ta‘awwuz and Surah al-Fatihah, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad(aba) said that he would begin highlighting incidents from the lives of the Khulafa-e-Rashidin [Rightly Guided Caliphs], beginning with Hazrat Ali(ra) bin Abi Talib bin Abdil Muttalib.
His Holiness(aba) said that Hazrat Ali’s(ra) father’s name was Abd Manaf who was better known as Abu Talib, and his mother’s name was Fatimah bint Asad bint Hashim. Hazrat Ali(ra) was born ten years before the prophethood of Muhammad(sa).
His Holiness(aba) said that initially, Hazrat Ali(ra) had been named Asad by his mother, however his father Abu Talib later named him Ali. Hazrat Ali(ra) had three brothers and two sisters. Hazrat Ali(ra) was also known by the titles Abul Hassan, Abus Sibtain and Abu Turab. He was known as Abu Turab because once, the Holy Prophet(sa) saw him sleeping on the floor of the mosque and some dirt had come onto his body. The Holy Prophet(sa) went to him and said, ‘O Abu Turab, wake up.’
His Holiness(aba) said that during a state of famine in Makkah, the Holy Prophet(sa) approached his uncle Abbas and suggested that since his other uncle Abu Talib had many children and was not very well-off, and times were difficult due to the famine, the Holy Prophet(sa) suggested that they would adopt one child each in order to make it easier for Abu Talib. Thus, they both went to Abu Talib with this idea, to which he agreed. Thus, Hazrat Ali(ra) came into the care of the Holy Prophet(sa).
First Man to Accept the Religion of the Holy Prophet(sa)
His Holiness(aba) narrated the incident of Hazrat Ali’s(ra) acceptance of Islam. One day, Hazrat Ali(ra) saw the Holy Prophet(sa) and Hazrat Khadijah(ra) offering prayers. Hazrat Ali(ra) inquired as to what they were doing, upon which the Holy Prophet(sa) explained, and invited him to believe in the One, True God. Hazrat Ali(ra) wished to first consult his father Abu Talib, however the Holy Prophet(sa) did not wish for this news to spread before his formal claim to prophethood. Thus, he asked Hazrat Ali(ra) that even if he did not wish to accept this message, he should not make mention of it to anyone. Later on that night, God placed the truthfulness of Islam in Hazrat Ali’s(ra) heart, and the next day he decided to accept Islam and pledge allegiance to the Holy Prophet(sa).
His Holiness(aba) said that at the time of his acceptance, Hazrat Ali(ra) was thirteen years of age, whilst according to some other narrations, his age was 11 years. According to historians, Hazrat Ali(ra) was the first child to accept Islam.
His Holiness(aba) said that once Hazrat Ali(ra) was offering prayers alongside the Holy Prophet(sa). During this time, Abu Talib passed by and saw this. He asked the Holy Prophet(sa) what they were doing, to which the Holy Prophet(sa) relayed to him the message of Islam and invited him to accept it. Abu Talib said that he could not leave the practice of his forefathers, but then he looked at Hazrat Ali(ra) and said that he should remain with the Holy Prophet(sa) in his faith. Abu Talib also said that despite not formally accepting Islam, he would ensure that no harm reached the Holy Prophet(sa).
An Invitation to Family of the Holy Prophet(sa)
His Holiness(aba) said that once, according to the divine command that he should warn his family and invite them to Islam, the Holy Prophet(sa) instructed Hazrat Ali(ra) to invite the family of Abdul Muttalib for a meal. After the meal, the Holy Prophet(sa) wished to give a speech, inviting everyone to the religion of Islam. However, the treacherous Abu Lahab said something whereby everyone who was present dispersed. Then the Holy Prophet(sa) asked Hazrat Ali(ra) to invite his family again, and on that occasion, he encouraged his family to accept Islam and the One, True God. The Holy Prophet(sa) asked if they would support him in this mission. Everyone remained silent, except for the thirteen-year-old Hazrat Ali(ra), who spoke up and said that though he was the youngest and the weakest present, he would support the Holy Prophet(sa). His Holiness(aba) said that youngsters should especially take note of this incident.
Pivotal Role of Hazrat Ali(ra) During the Migration
Whilst mentioning the sacrifices made by Hazrat Ali(ra), His Holiness(aba) said that amidst the increasing opposition of the Makkans, the Holy Prophet(sa) was informed by God regarding the Makkans plans to assassinate him. He was then divinely commanded to migrate from Makkah to Madinah. Thus, the Holy Prophet(sa) left his home at night, even as it was surrounded by Makkans. He left Hazrat Ali(ra) in his home, ensuring him that by the grace of God, nothing would happen to him. The Holy Prophet(sa) instructed Hazrat Ali(ra) to lay in his bed, so that when the Makkans would look inside, they would not suspect that he had left. When the Makkans closed in, instead of the Holy Prophet(sa) they found Hazrat Ali(ra). He was captured, beaten and held prisoner and would be released some time later.
His Holiness(aba) said that he would continue highlighting the life of Hazrat Ali(ra) in the future.
His Holiness(aba) said that he would offer the funeral prayer (in-absentia) of the following deceased members:
Dr. Tahir Mahmood who was martyred by opponents of Ahmadiyyat on November 20, 2020. He along with other members of his family had gathered at his uncle’s home to offer the Friday prayers. As he was leaving, a 16-year old brandishing a gun fired it at him, thus martyring him. Dr. Tahir Mahmood was 31 years of age at the time. His father was also struck in the head by a bullet and is still in hospital. His Holiness(aba) said that the opponents of Ahmadiyyat are employing new tactics; now they get children to perpetrate such heinous acts so that even if they are caught, the argument can be made in court that he was just a child, and thus request lenient treatment. His Holiness(aba) prayed that these opponents may come to their senses and cease in their ways. His Holiness(aba) said that Dr. Tahir Mahmood possessed many great qualities; he loved Khilafat a great deal, and had a great deal of respect for office bearers and elders. He served as the Qaid (local youth leader) of his area. He was very hospitable and would always be ready to fulfill any duty required of him. There were many occasions when he would take people who required medical attention to the hospital in his own vehicle. This family is no stranger to opposition from the enemies of Ahmadiyyat. His grandfather’s shop was burned down by opponents. Just a few weeks earlier as his father was passing through the market, someone approached him and spat at him. He studied for some time in Russia, where he was known as one of the brighter students. There were other Pakistanis there as well, however he openly declared that he was an Ahmadi and would take any opportunity to propagate the true message of Islam. He is survived by his father, mother, brother, sister, and his wife. His Holiness(aba) prayed that Allah may elevate his station in heaven, grant swift recovery to his family members who were injured in this attack, and grant his family the ability to remain patient and steadfast.
Jamaluddin Mahmood who passed away on November 3, 2020. He was serving as the General Secretary of the Community in Sierra Leone for the past sixteen years. He worked with great passion and dedication. There were 2000 people at his funeral, which included various government and military officials. He would respect those he worked with even if they were younger than him. He was regular in offering his prayers and offering the pre-dawn supererogatory prayers. He saw to the care and education of many children. He would always enjoin others to hold fast to Khilafat. He had a very loving relationship with everyone he met. He is survived by his wife and two sons and two daughters. His Holiness(aba) prayed that Allah may grant the deceased an elevated station in heaven and enable his progeny to carry on the legacy of his virtuous deeds.
Amatus Salam who passed away on October 19, 2020. She was the wife of Chaudhary Salahuddin Sahib of Rabwah. She was very particular about offering the five daily prayers and instilled this habit in her children. She would host many family members in the home who would stay there for the purpose of studies. She would ensure that all family members offered the daily prayers. She ensured that everyone learned to recite the Holy Qur’an. She was extremely hospitable and would ensure that guests were taken care of in the best possible manner. During the days of Jalsa Salan (Annual Convention) at times her guests would number eighty to ninety. She was a very patient and steadfast person. She always took care of the poor and needy. She loved Khilafat a great deal. His Holiness(aba) prayed that Allah may treat her with mercy and forgiveness, elevate her station in heaven, and enable her progeny to continue the legacy of her virtuous deeds.
Mansoora Bushra who passed away on November 6, 2020. She was the mother of Dr. Latif Qureshi, who recently passed away. She was the granddaughter of companions of the Promised Messiah(as). She was regular in her prayers, never missed listening to the Friday Sermon. She loved Khilafat a great deal. His Holiness(aba) prayed that Allah may treat her with mercy and forgiveness and elevate her station in heaven.
Summary prepared by The Review of Religions.