Men of Excellence : Hazrat Umar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb (ra)
After reciting Tashahhud, Ta‘awwuz and Surah al-Fatihah, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad(aba) said that he would continue highlighting the life of Hazrat Umar(ra) and the battles and expeditions which he took part in.
His Holiness(aba) said that Hazrat Umar(ra) took part in all the battles alongside the Holy Prophet(sa). At the time of the Battle of Badr, the Muslims had one camel for every three people. Hazrat Umar(ra) shared a camel with Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) and Hazrat Abdur Rahman bin Auf (ra).
Hazrat Umar’s(ra) Participation in the Battle of Badr
His Holiness(aba) said that upon setting out for Badr, the purpose was to intercept the caravan of Abu Sufyan coming back from Syria. At that time, the Muslims learned that the Quraish had sent an envoy to protect the caravan. The Holy Prophet(sa) consulted with the Companions(ra) who suggested that they should avoid clashing with that envoy and go towards the caravan. The Companions(ra) expressed to the Holy Prophet(sa) that they would remain with him at every step of the way.
A Misunderstanding Regarding Prisoners of War
His Holiness(aba) said that when there were prisoners taken at the Battle of Badr, the Holy Prophet(sa) consulted with Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) and Hazrat Umar(ra) as to what should be done with them. Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) suggested that they should be released only after having paid an expiation. Hazrat Umar(ra) suggested that the prisoners should be handed over to them so that they may kill them. The Holy Prophet(sa) preferred the suggestion given by Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra). The next day, a Companion(ra) found the Holy Prophet(sa) crying. Upon asking what the reason was, the Holy Prophet(sa) said that it had been revealed to him:
‘It does not behove a Prophet that he should have captives until he engages in regular fighting in the land. You desire the goods of the world, while Allah desires for you the Hereafter. And Allah is Mighty, Wise.’ (Ch:8 V:68)
His Holiness(aba) said that this narration has been presented in Sahih Muslim. Various historians have taken this to mean that God preferred the option given by Hazrat Umar(ra). However, this is not clear from the narration and from the corresponding verse. In fact, historians have misunderstood this verse. His Holiness(aba) said that the Second Caliph, Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad(ra) has given an explanatory note with this verse in which he refutes this misunderstanding. Muslim historians and commentators say that with the revelation of this verse, God expressed His displeasure with the decision of the Holy Prophet(sa) taking an amount as expiation and freeing the captives. The Second Caliph explains that this is completely untrue because; at that point there was no commandment which forbade the taking of expiation in exchange for the freedom of captives. Secondly, before this incident, the Holy Prophet(sa) had released two captives at Nakhlah after taking expiation from them. Thirdly, only two verses later, God commands the Holy Prophet(sa) to spend out of what he receives from the spoils of war.
Therefore, the true understanding of this verse is that a general principle has been given which is that prisoners can only be taken at a time of war. This same explanation is supported by the views of Imam Razi and Allamah Shibli Nu‘mani, who are two prominent commentators of the Holy Qur’an.
Marriage of Hazrat Hafsah(ra)
His Holiness(aba) said that the daughter of Hazrat Umar(ra), Hafsah(ra) was married to the Holy Prophet(sa). She had previously been married to a companion who was martyred in the Battle of Badr. Hazrat Umar(ra) had approached Hazrat Uthman(ra) regarding the marriage of his daughter, however he avoided the subject. Then Hazrat Umar(ra) went to Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) and presented the same proposal, however Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) remained silent. Later, the Holy Prophet(sa) sent a proposal of marriage for Hazrat Hafsah(ra) and thus they were married. Some time later, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) told Hazrat Umar(ra) that he had remained silent because he knew that the Holy Prophet(sa) was going to be sending a proposal, and he could not divulge this information at the time, and thus he had to remain silent.
Events During the Battle of Uhud
His Holiness(aba) said that during the Battle of Uhud when Khalid bin Walid attacked the Muslims, it became overwhelming for the Muslims. At that time, Mus‘ab bin Umair(ra), who was the flag-bearer of Islam was martyred. Upon his martyrdom, the Quraish thought that they had martyred the Holy Prophet(sa) and so they began announcing this. At that time, a wave of grave sorrow overcame the Muslims. There were three groups of people at the time; the first heard this news and were so overcome with grief that they left the battlefield. The second group did not leave the battlefield, but due to the great sorrow, they laid down their arms and moved to one side of the battlefield. Then the third group continued fighting passionately. Hazrat Umar(ra) was of the second group. Hazrat Anas(ra) passed by this group and asked them what had happened. They said that there seemed to be no point in fighting as the Holy Prophet(sa) was no longer with them. He replied that this was the time to fight, so they could meet the same fate as the Holy Prophet(sa).
His Holiness(aba) said that later, an attack was launched against the Holy Prophet(sa), and Hazrat Umar(ra) led a small group of Muslims in combating and defeating them. Then, when the Quraish were announcing that they had martyred the Holy Prophet(sa), Hazrat Umar(ra) proclaimed that in fact, the Holy Prophet(sa) was alive and well. Then, the Quraish began praising their idols, in response, the Holy Prophet(sa) instructed the Muslims to glorify Allah in response.
His Holiness(aba) said that when the Holy Prophet(sa) returned to Madinah after the Battle of Uhud, the hypocrites began taunting the Holy Prophet(sa). Hazrat Umar(ra) requested permission to kill them, however the Holy Prophet(sa) asked, do they not recite the kalimah [Islamic creed]? Hazrat Umar(ra) replied that they did but only for fear of the sword. Then the Holy Prophet(sa) said that he had been forbidden to kill anyone who declared this creed.
His Holiness(aba) said that he would continue highlighting the life of Hazrat Umar(ra) in the future.
Appeal for Prayers for Palestine & Ahmadis Around the World
His Holiness(aba) said that we should continue to pray for the Palestinians. Though the bloodshed has ceased, history tells us that after some time, in one way or another, the enemy commits cruelties against the Palestinians. His Holiness(aba) prayed that may Allah have mercy on them and grant the Palestinians true freedom. May He also grant the Palestinians such leaders who are wise and are firm in implementing what they say and taking their right.
His Holiness(aba) said that we should also pray for Ahmadis around the world who are facing injustice and cruelty.
His Holiness(aba) said that he would lead the funeral prayers in-absentia of the following:
Qureshi Muhammad Fazlullah Sahib who passed away on April 27. He was serving as the Naib Nazri Isha‘at in Qadian. He served as a professor in Jamia Ahmadiyya Qadian for over 23 years. He is survived by his wife, a son and three daughters. His students have written that he was a very kind teacher. Many missionaries in India were his students. He also served as the editor of al-Badr and Mishkat. He was very meticulous in his work and would proofread the writings of the Promised Messiah(as) which were being re-published. He also played a role in developing the software for the new font of the Holy Qur’an which has been published by the Community called Khatt-e-Manzoor. He was also working on the publication of the Holy Qur’an in this font along with the English translation. His Holiness(aba) prayed that may Allah treat the deceased with mercy and forgiveness.
Syed Bashiruddin Ahmad who was also a missionary from Qadian. He was very simple, humble and regular in his prayers. He is survived by 3 sons.
Basharat Ahmad Haider who is serving as a life-devotee in Qadian. He served the Community in various capacities. He was a person of high moral standards and lived a simple life. He is survived by his wife and three daughters.
Dr Muhammad Ali Khan who was the President of the Community in Peshawar. He accepted Ahmadiyyat himself whilst studying in FSc. After having accepted Ahmadiyyat, he was apprehended by some people in college who told him to renounce Ahmadiyyat or they would kill him. He was taken to a town outside of the college from where he walked home barefoot. Upon reaching home, his father said that he was dishonouring his family and he should renounce Ahmadiyyat. Later he said that the only way he would leave Ahmadiyyat was if they poisoned his food. When his father passed away, he went to attend the funeral but did not offer the funeral prayer. People said that he was very dishonourable, however he said that they cursed the Promised Messiah(as), and the honour of the Promised Messiah(as) was dearer to him. He was appointed by the Fourth Caliph(rh) as the President of the Community in Peshawar. He was also a member of the Board of Directors of Waqf-e-Jadid. He is survived by his wife, a son and three daughters. He loved Khilafat a great deal. He had a profound love for the Promised Messiah(as), the Holy Prophet(sa) and was firm in his belief in the unity of God.
Muhammad Rafi Khan of Rabwah who passed away on March 30. He was regular in worship and was very passionate about his faith. He was a very virtuous person. Even during his final illness, when he had trouble breathing, he would recite the Holy Qur’an aloud. He would quietly help those in financial need. He is survived by his wife, two sons and four daughters.
Ayyaz Yunus of Australia who passed away on March 24 as a result of drowning. He was always ready to serve in whatever capacity was required. He was young and had not even married yet.
Mian Tahir Ahmad who served the Community in various capacities. He regularly offered voluntary prayers. He is survived by his wife, two daughters and three sons.
Rafiq Aftab of UK who passed away in April. He possessed many virtuous qualities. He was very sincere and advised his children to remain attached to Khilafat.
Zarina Akhtar who passed away in April. She was very steadfast, even while living in Ghana. One of her sons is a life-devotee in MTA.
Hafiz Muhammad Akram who passed away this month. One of his grandsons is serving in the Private Secretary’s office. He served the Community a great deal. He offered the tahajjud prayers regularly.
Chaudhary Noor Ahmad Nasir who passed away a few days ago. Two of his sons are life-devotees in Africa. Both sons were unable to attend their father’s funeral.
Mahmood Ahmad Minhas who passed away last month. One of his sons is serving as a missionary. He possessed many virtuous qualities. His sons were unable to attend his funeral.
His Holiness(aba) prayed that may Allah grant patience to all the families, treat the deceased with mercy and forgiveness and elevate their station in Paradise.
Summary prepared by The Review of Religions.