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 incidents from the life of Hazrat Umar(ra).
The Battle of Hamra al-Asad
His Holiness(aba) said that Hazrat Umar(ra) also took part in the Battle of Hamra al-Asad which was after the Battle of Uhud. There was a threat of the Quraish attacking Madinah. They felt that by doing so, they could eliminate Islam altogether. Hence, when the Muslims heard that there was the possibility of an attack, they stayed up guarding Madinah. The next morning, they learned that the Quraish were indeed nearby plotting an attack. The Holy Prophet(sa) declared that all those who had participated in the Battle of Uhud should once again prepare for battle. Then, the Holy Prophet(sa) summoned Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) and Hazrat Umar(ra) to inform them of the situation. They both suggested that in order to neutralise the threat to Madinah, they should go out towards the Quraish. Hence, the Muslims set out and stopped at a place called Hamra al-Asad. Since it was evening, the Muslims spent the night there, and it was decided to light fires. When one saw all the fires that had been lit, it seemed as if there was a large army present. Thus, when one of the Quraish saw these fires and reported back, the Quraish decided to retreat back to Makkah.
The Battle of Banu Mustaliq
His Holiness(aba) said that Hazrat Umar(ra) also took part in the Battle of Banu Mustaliq. This took place at a time when the tribes of Hijaz who were initially sympathetic to the cause of the Muslims began falling prey to the incitements of the Quraish. Foremost among them was the tribe of Banu Mustaliq who was planning to attack Madinah. When the Holy Prophet(sa) learned of this plan and that a large army was being prepared. Hence, the Holy Prophet(sa) set out with an army of Muslims towards the tribe of Banu Mustaliq. When Banu Mustaliq learned of the Muslim army’s arrival, Banu Mustaliq became fearful, because their plan had been a surprise attack on Madinah. Hence the other tribes which had been supporting Banu Mustaliq fled upon hearing this news. However Banu Mustaliq remained determined to fight. The Holy Prophet(sa) stopped at a place near Banu Mustaliq called Muraisi. The Holy Prophet(sa) then instructed Hazrat Umar(ra) to inform the Banu Mustaliq that if they desisted in their opposition to Islam, then there would be peace and the Muslims would return to Madinah. However, the Banu Mustaliq denied this peace-offering, and they began shooting arrows. Thus, the two sides shot arrows back and forth for some time, and then the Holy Prophet(sa) ordered an immediate attack, which incapacitated Banu Mustaliq.
His Holiness(aba) said that on the way back from the Battle of Banu Mustaliq, there was a dispute between two men, one from the Muhajireen (migrants to Madinah) and Ansar (natives to Madinah) and both called upon their people to assist them. When the Holy Prophet(sa) told them that they should not quarrel over such petty matters. Abdullah bin Ubayy (chief of the hypocrites) was also present, and said that upon returning to Madinah, the honourable would take out the dishonourable. Hazrat Umar(ra) requested the Holy Prophet(sa) to kill this hypocrite, but the Holy Prophet(sa) said that he would not give permission, lest people say that he killed his own people. Later, the hypocrites themselves became tired of Abdullah bin Ubayy and started turning against him. The Holy Prophet(sa) told Hazrat Umar(ra) that he had stopped his request that time, for he knew that the very people who supported Abdullah bin Ubayy would turn on him upon seeing the reality and would kill him themselves.
A Clarification Regarding the Prayers During the Battle of Uhud
His Holiness(aba) said that during the Battle of the Ditch, Hazrat Umar(ra) went to the Holy Prophet(sa) after the sun had set, and said that he had not been able to offer the Asr prayer (late afternoon prayer). The Holy Prophet(sa) said that he too had not been able to offer the Asr prayer, and so they offered it, and then offered the Maghrib prayer (prayer after sunset). His Holiness(aba) said that there are different opinions and accounts as to how many prayers they had been unable to read that day. There are some narrations and accounts which say that the Holy Prophet(sa) offered four prayers together at the same time. However, the Promised Messiah(as) has rendered all such accounts to be weak, and stated that it was in fact only the Asr prayer which was offered close to the expiration of its appointed time.
Hazrat Umar’s(ra) Participation in the Treaty of Hudaibiyah
His Holiness(aba) said that Hazrat Umar(ra) was also part of the Treaty of Hudaibiyah. The Holy Prophet(sa) summoned Hazrat Umar(ra) so that he may go to Makkah and inform the Quraish regarding the intentions of the Muslims. Hazrat Umar(ra) said that he feared for his life, because the Quraish knew how much he opposed them. Hazrat Umar(ra) said that if the Holy Prophet(sa) wished, he would still go to Makkah despite this, however the Holy Prophet(sa) remained silent. Then Hazrat Umar(ra) suggested that Hazrat Uthman(ra) be sent, as he was well respected by the Quraish.
His Holiness(aba) said that as the treaty was being written, Abu Jundal, the son of Suhail bin Amr, the representative of the Quraish, decided to flee towards the Holy Prophet(sa), as he had accepted Islam, however he was tortured for this by the Quraish. Abu Jundal arrived in Hudaibiyah just as the condition was being written in the treaty that any Makkan who fled to the Muslims would be returned. Hence, Suhail bin Amr demanded that Abu Jundal be returned. Abu Jundal pleaded not to be returned, however, the Holy Prophet(sa) told him with great pain that because they had just agreed to the terms of the agreement, they could not stop him from being returned.
His Holiness(aba) said that seeing this pained Hazrat Umar(ra) a great deal. He asked the Holy Prophet(sa) as to whether he was indeed truthful. Then why were the Muslims having to bear such disgrace? The Holy Prophet(sa) replied to him that of course he was the truthful Messenger sent by God, and as such, he had been made aware of God’s will for the Muslims. Then Hazrat Umar(ra) asked if the Holy Prophet(sa) had not said that they would perform pilgrimage at the Holy Ka‘bah. The Holy Prophet(sa) said that indeed he had, however he had not specified that it would be that very year. He then informed him that surely, the Muslims would enter Makkah and perform the pilgrimage. Later, Hazrat Umar(ra) said that he regretted this weakness which came about due to great emotion and repented a great deal.
His Holiness(aba) said that Hazrat Umar(ra) also signed the Treaty of Hudaibiyah as a witness. There were two copies of the treaty made, one which Suhail bin Amr took back to Makkah with him, and the other returned with the Holy Prophet(sa) to Madinah.
His Holiness(aba) said that on the way back from Hudaibiyah, the Holy Prophet(sa) informed the Muslims the following verses:
‘Verily, We have granted thee a clear victory, that Allah may cover up for thee thy shortcomings, past and future, and that He may complete His favour upon thee, and may guide thee on a right path; and that Allah may help thee with a mighty help (The Holy Quran Ch: 48, V:2-4)
‘Surely has Allah in truth fulfilled for His Messenger the Vision. You will certainly enter the Sacred Mosque, if Allah will, in security, some having their heads shaven, and others having their hair cut short; and you will have no fear. But He knew what you knew not. He has in fact ordained for you, besides that, a victory near at hand.’ (The Holy Qur’an Ch: 48, V:28)
His Holiness(aba) said that these verses showed that had the Muslims entered Makkah that year, it would not have been in peace. Now however, due to the establishment of a peace treaty, the Muslims would be able to enter Makkah and perform pilgrimage in peace. After the Treaty of Hudaibiyah, there were some Companions(ra) who were uneasy and questioned how this could be considered a victory for them, however upon hearing these verses, the matter was made abundantly clear and they became certain that this surely was a great victory.
His Holiness(aba) said that after these verses were revealed, the Holy Prophet(sa) summoned Hazrat Umar(ra) and recited the revealed verses to him, upon which Hazrat Umar(ra) was also convinced that this treaty which he had initially thought to be a source of disgrace for Muslims, was in fact a grand victory.
His Holiness(aba) said that he would continue highlighting incidents from the life of Hazrat Umar(ra) in the future.
His Holiness(aba) said that he would offer the funeral prayers in-absentia of the following:
Malik Muhammad Yusuf Saleem, who was the only Ahmadi in his family. He was threatened and even incited by his family to leave Ahmadiyyat, however he remained steadfast and never left Ahmadiyyat. He attended Jamia Ahmadiyya from where he graduated. He served the Third and Fourth Caliphs(rh) in the department of Zood Nawisi which involved preparing reports and writing out cassette tapes and whatever else was required by the Caliph. He was regular in prayers and reciting the Holy Qur’an. He loved Khilafat a great deal and taught his children the same. He worked with great diligence and care. His Holiness(aba) said that he also remembered him to always have been immersed with his work and someone who fulfilled the pledge of devotion and someone who never made any demands. His Holiness(aba) prayed that may Allah treat the deceased with mercy and forgiveness.
Shuaib Ahmad, a life-devotee from Qadian. He served the Community in many different capacities. He was regular in his prayers, reciting the Holy Qur’an and loved Khilafat a great deal. He was very kind and would help the poor. He is survived by his wife and two sons. His Holiness(aba) prayed that may Allah treat the deceased with mercy and forgiveness and enable his children to keep his virtues alive.
Maqsood Ahmad Bhatti, a missionary from Qadian. He served in various capacities. He was always concerned with his work and was very diligent. Even when in the hospital he was concerned about his work. He is survived by his mother, three brothers, his wife and three daughters. His Holiness(aba) prayed that may Allah treat the deceased with mercy and forgiveness and keep his children under His protection.
Javaid Iqbal of Faisalabad. He was regular in offering his prayers and reciting the Holy Qur’an. He was particular about listening to the Friday Sermon and would ensure everyone in the home listened to it as well. When the Friday Sermon used to be circulated through cassette tapes, he would go from village to village on his bicycle ensuring that everyone received it. He is survived by his mother, wife, two sons and a daughter. His Holiness(aba) prayed that may Allah treat the deceased with mercy and forgiveness.
Madiha Nawaz, wife of Nawaz Ahmad, a missionary in Ghana. She possessed many great qualities and was a great mother and wife. She was very patient, even in the face of hardships. She taught her children to love Khilafat. She is survived by her husband and three children. His Holiness(aba) prayed that may Allah accept her prayers for her children, elevate her station in Paradise, and may He treat her with mercy and forgiveness.
Summary prepared by The Review of Religions.