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).
Victory in Madain
His Holiness(aba) said that Madain was conquered during the era of Hazrat Umar(ra), a victory which had been foretold by the Holy Prophet(sa). During the Battle of the Trench, as he was striking a rock which had come in the way whilst digging the trench, the Holy Prophet(sa) foretold the victory of Islam in Syria, Persia at the castles Madain and Yemen at the castles of Sana. Though at the time some people jested, saying how would the Muslims conquer such great empires? Yet these were prophecies, all of which would go on to be fulfilled.
His Holiness(aba) said that Madain is located south of Baghdad, and since various cities were populated here, the Arabs called it Madain, or many cities. This was also where Kisra resided in a white castle. Hazrat Sa‘d(ra) was leading an army towards there, and the Tigris River had to be crossed in order to reach there. The ships had already been seized, and so Hazrat Sa‘d(ra) was looking for a way to cross the river. One night, he saw a dream in which the Muslims were crossing the river on their horses. Hence, this was exactly how the Muslims crossed and subsequently seized Kisra’s castle, thus fulfilling the prophecy made by the Holy Prophet(sa).
The Battle of Jalulah
His Holiness(aba) said that the Persians then gathered in a place called Jalulah, a city in Iraq where they began preparations to combat the Muslims. Under instructions from Hazrat Umar(ra), Hazrat Sa‘d(ra) sent Hazrat Hashim bin Utbah(ra) with an army of 12,000. When the Muslims arrived, they surrounded Jalulah and remained there for a month, during which time battles would break out. The Muslims eventually became victorious, and also asked Hazrat Umar(ra) whether to further go after those people, to which Hazrat Umar(ra) replied that they should not, as it would put the lives of Muslims in further danger.
His Holiness(aba) said that upon seeing the many spoils of war, Hazrat Umar(ra) began crying. Someone asked why he was crying, as this was a time of great joy. Hazrat Umar(ra) replied saying that when people come across such wealth, the potential for greed and enmity increases, and this fear had made him cry. His Holiness(aba) said that in the Muslim nation today, we are seeing such greed and enmity over worldly wealth.
His Holiness(aba) said that Hazrat Sa‘d(ra) relayed to Hazrat Umar(ra) the information that a Persian army was gathering in a place called Masabzan to attack the Muslims. Hazrat Umar(ra) instructed that Zaarar bin Khattab should be sent with an army to combat them. The Muslims went there and were victorious, after which the locals fled. However Zarar bin Khattab invited them back to live in their city. It is also recorded that this place was conquered without any battle.
The Conquest of Khuzestan
His Holiness(aba) said that Khuzestan was also conquered during the era of Hazrat Umar(ra). Under Utbah bin Ghazwan, Hazrat Umar(ra) sent a small army to this place as he saw various tactical benefits there. The primary purpose seemed to be to stop further supplies reaching the Persian army which they would use to fight against the Muslims.
His Holiness(aba) said that in their victory of Ahwaz, the Muslim army led by Mughirah bin Sha‘bah and Abu Musa Ash‘ari. It is recorded that during this conquest, the Muslim army had captured many slaves as prisoners. However, Hazrat Umar(ra) instructed that all of them be freed, as there was to be no slavery or imprisonment.
His Holiness(aba) said that Romhormoz was also conquered by the Muslims. Yazdegard was inciting the Persians against the Muslims. Nu‘man bin Muqarrin was sent under the instruction of Hazrat Umar(ra) to lead the army. The Muslims defeated the Persians at this place, from where the Persians re-assembled in Dustar. The Muslims also became victorious there.
His Holiness(aba) said that one of their leaders, Hormuzan had said that he wished for his fate to be decided by Hazrat Umar(ra). When he was taken there and saw Hazrat Umar(ra), Hormuzan asked where Hazrat Umar’s(ra) bodyguards and servants were, to which he was told that he did not have such things. To this, Hormuzan said that he seemed like a prophet, and was told that he followed the examples set by prophets. Hazrat Umar(ra) said that he would only speak to Hormuzan only when he took off all of his jewelry and adornments that he was wearing. Then, Hazrat Umar(ra) informed him that his fate had been realised because of his dishonesty and treachery. Hormuzan admitted that the Muslims were victorious against them because they had a united front. Later, Hormuzan accepted Islam and took up residence in Madinah. He would later be consulted in subsequent battles against the Persians.
His Holiness(aba) said that he would continue highlighting incidents from the life of Hazrat Umar(ra) in future sermons.
His Holiness(aba) said that he would lead the funeral prayers in absentia of the following deceased members:
Prof. Syeda Naseem Syed Sahiba wife of Muhammad Syed Sahib. She passed away recently in Pakistan. Her father was Hazrat al-Haaj Hafiz Doctor Syed Shafee Sahib who was a great scholar and author. He had accepted the Promised Messiah(as) when he was twelve years old. Naseem Syed Sahiba is survived by four sons and two daughters. She served the Community in various ways and for many years. She was very knowledgeable, and has publications of her own. She was regular in offering prayers and had a personal connection with four of the Community’s Caliphs from the time of the Second Caliph(ra). His Holiness(aba) said that she would keep in communication with him through letters. She was regular in offering financial contributions and enjoined her children to do the same. His Holiness(aba) prayed that may Allah treat her with forgiveness and mercy and elevate her station.
Daud Sulaiman Butt Sahib from Germany who passed away due to cancer. He is survived by his wife, one daughter and two sons. He was always ready to serve the Community. He had truly given precedence to his faith over worldly affairs. He would regularly offer monetary contributions. Before starting anything, he would make sure to recite the Holy Qur’an. In Germany, he would be part of His Holiness(aba) security detail. His Holiness(aba) said that he always saw him performing his duty in an excellent manner. His Holiness(aba) prayed that may Allah enable his children to carry on his virtues.
Zahida Parveen Sahiba, wife of Ghulam Mustafa Awan Sahib. She passed away in Pakistan. She is survived by a son and four daughters. Three of her sons-in-law are serving as life-devotees. As such, two of her daughters were out of the country and were unable to be with her in the end. His Holiness(aba) prayed that may Allah treat her with forgiveness and mercy and enable her children to carry on her virtues.
Rana Abdul Waheed Sahib of London who passed away on 26 June due to a heart attack. He served the Community in various capacities. He worked with great zeal and happiness. His Holiness(aba) prayed that may Allah treat him with forgiveness and mercy and grant patience to his family.
Al-Haaj Mir Muhammad Ali Sahib, former National President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Bangladesh. He also served as the Local President of Dhaka. He possessed many virtuous qualities. He loved Khilafat a great deal. He is survived by a son and two daughters. His Holiness(aba) prayed that may Allah treat him with forgiveness and mercy and enable his children to carry on his virtues.
Summary prepared by The Review of Religions