Men of Excellence : Hazrat Umar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb (ra)
After reciting Tashahhud, Ta`awwuz, and Surah al-Fatihah, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza MasroorAhmad(aba) said that he would continue highlighting incidents from the life of HazratUmar (ra).
Treatment Given to Ubaidullah bin Umar
His Holiness(aba) said that after the martyrdom of Hazrat Umar (ra), Ubaidullah bin Umar was prepared not to leave a single prisoner or slave alive and had taken it upon himself to kill those who had plotted against his father (i.e. Hormuzan and Jufaynah). Various senior companions tried speaking to him so that he would see reason, however, he did not change his stance. At this time, Hazrat Uthman (ra) had not yet been elected as the next Khalifa. It is recorded that Ubaidullah was taken prisoner. After Hazrat Uthman (ra) became the Khalifa, Ubaidullah was brought before him and HazratUthman(ra) sought counsel about what should be done with Ubaidullah. Some suggested that he should be given the death penalty. Others said that he should be let free. However, according to one narration, Hazrat Uthman(ra) determined an amount as blood money to be paid by Ubaidullah bin Umar.
His Holiness(aba) said that there is another narration in which it is stated that HazratUthman(ra) turned Ubaidullah bin Umar over to the son of Hormuzan and let him determine Ubaidullah’s fate. It is recorded that Hormuzan’sson asked the companions whether or not he had a right over Ubaidullah, and they replied in the affirmative. Thereafter, Hormuzan’s sons forgave him and let him go, and the companions rejoiced upon his decision. His Holiness(aba) quoted the Second Caliph(ra) who said that it becomes evident that through the example of the companions, it is clear that in such instances, action against the guilty party is to be determined only by the state, and no action should be taken at an individual level.
Humility of Hazrat Umar(ra)
His Holiness(aba) said with regards to the humility of Hazrat Umar(ra) that he had asked for his coffin to be kept simple and that he should not be praised excessively nor should any qualities be mentioned which he did not possess.
His Holiness(aba) said that once Hazrat Umar’s(ra) son told him that through him, Islam spread to many new lands. Hazrat Umar(ra) replied by saying that he did not wish to take pride in these achievements, rather he wished only to focus on the fear of God.
Level of Sacrifice of Hazrat Umar(ra)
His Holiness(aba) said that Hazrat Umar(ra) desired to reach great heights in his level of sacrifice. Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) was the highest standard of presenting sacrifice, and so HazratUmar(ra) intended to exceed or reach that same level. Once, when the Holy Prophet(sa) made an appeal for financial sacrifices to be presented, Hazrat Umar(ra) intended to do more than Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra), and so he presented half of what he possessed at home. However, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) would present all he had and leave nothing at home. However, Hazrat Umar’s(ra) intention and actions were to present the highest level of sacrifice he possibly could.
His Holiness(aba) said that prior to his demise, Hazrat Umar(ra) had an ardent desire to be buried near the Holy Prophet(sa). A person of as great stature as Hazrat Umar(ra), wished only to be buried in the proximity of his master, showing that Hazrat Umar(ra) wished only to attain the pleasure of his Lord and this was his motivation for whatever he did.
Funeral of Hazrat Umar(ra)
His Holiness(aba) said that at the funeral of Hazrat Umar(ra), Hazrat Ali(ra) prayed for him and said that he always thought that he would be buried near the Holy Prophet(sa). In fact, he often heard the Holy Prophet(sa) referring to himself, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) and Hazrat Umar(ra) in the same sentence.
His Holiness(aba) said that another companion expressed that Hazrat Umar(ra) was like a strong fortress for Islam, wherein people would enter but would not come out. Another companion expressed that with the demise of Hazrat Umar(ra), nine out of ten parts of knowledge had also departed from the world. It was also said that there was not a single home which was not affected by the demise of HazratUmar(ra), as he used to help so many people.
His Holiness(aba) said that over the course of his life, Hazrat Umar(ra) had ten wives at different times, from whom he had nine sons and four daughters.
Testimony of Renowned Writers Regarding the Qualities of Hazrat Umar(ra)
His Holiness(aba) quoted the writer Edward Gibbon who wrote about the excellent qualities of Hazrat Umar(ra). He wrote that Hazrat Umar(ra) cared for everyone, and established stipends in order to help others, whilst not caring for himself.
His Holiness(aba) said that whilst listing the 100 most influential people in the world, Micheal H. Hart listed the Holy Prophet(sa) as the most influential person in history, while he listed Hazrat Umar(ra) at number 52. He writes that initially Hazrat Umar(ra) had been one of the staunchest opponents of Islam, but then after accepting Islam, he became one of its staunchest supporters. He likened HazratUmar’s(ra) acceptance of Islam to St. Paul’s acceptance of Christianity. It was during his era that Islam cheived great victories and was able to spread far and wide to new lands. HazratUmar(ra) also created policies in order to govern these new lands which were coming under the banner of Islam. After the Holy Prophet(sa), he played a vital role in the spread of Islam. His victories and achievements were such that perhaps they are greater than the likes of Julius Caesar.
His Holiness(aba) said that he would continue highlighting the life of Hazrat Umar(ra) in future sermons.
HIs Holiness(aba) said that he would lead the funeral prayers of the following deceased members:
Sahibzadi Asifa Masood Begum Sahib, wife of Dr. Mirza Mubashar Ahmad Sahib, who was the son of Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahib. She was the granddaughter of the Promised Messiah(as) and was the youngest daughter of Hazrat Nawab Mubaraka Begum Sahiba. She is survived by a son and four daughters. She was always loyal to Khilafat and strove to serve the Community in any way she could. She always advised her children to remain attached to Khilafat. His Holiness(aba) said that she was the sister of his grandmother, and also his aunt, yet no matter her relation to him, she was always completely obedient and remained in service to Khilafat. She stressed the importance of prayer, no matter how small the matter may be. She advised to pray to become a fruitful branch of the Promised Messiah’s(as) tree, rather than a dry branch. She generously offered financial contributions and wished for these contributions to remain hidden from others. She lived a very simple life and instead spent more in financial contributions and sacrifices. She read many books, and during journeys she would always remain busy in offering various prayers. His Holiness(aba) prayed that may Allah treat her with forgiveness and mercy and enable her children to tread in her footsteps.
Kalara Appa Sahiba wife of the former Amir of Kazakhstan. She was from a well-known family of Kazakhstan. She and her husband RolanSahib had a great role to play in the further establishment of the Community in Kazakhstan. In fact, even the opponents of Ahmadiyyatwould refer to them and say that they played a crucial role in the establishment of Ahmadiyyatin Kazakhstan. She always strove to serve the Community as much as she could and remained loyal and in service to Khilafat. She would organise classes in the mission house for female members of the Community to come and ask any question they had. She was very proficient in translation and did a great deal of work in this regard. His Holiness(aba) prayed that may Allah treat her with forgiveness and mercy, and accept her efforts in the cause of Ahmadiyyat in Kazakhstan and fulfil her prayers in this regard.
Commander Abdur Rashid Sahib who passed away last month. He accepted Ahmadiyyathimself at the hand of the Second Caliph (ra). He had been married, but when he accepted Ahmadiyyat, his wife left him and took their two daughters with her. Then he re-married, from which he had a son. He served in the Air Force and was posted in various bases. Wherever he went, he always spread the message of Ahmadiyyat. Despite the fact his file explicitly stated that he was an Ahmadi and should not be posted, his superiors saw him to be the best and most trustworthy option and would post him anyways. He was regular in offering prayers, reciting the Holy Qur’an and offering financial sacrifices. He always instilled the love of Khilafat in his progeny. After retirement, he served the Community in various capacities. His Holiness(aba) prayed that may Allah treat him with forgiveness and mercy, and enable his progeny to adopt his virtuous qualities.
Zubaidah Begum Sahiba wife of Karim Ahmad Naeem Sahib from USA. She was devoted to Khilafat and possessed many virtuous qualities. She is survived by three sons and two daughters. One of her sons is the Chairman of Humanity First USA. She treated everyone with love and affection. She was kind to the poor and took care of family members. She was always mindful of her monetary contributions. His Holiness(aba) prayed that may Allah treat her with forgiveness and mercy and enable her progeny to adopt her virtuous qualities.
Hafeez Ahmad Ghumman Sahib who passed away recently. He loved to study the Holy Qur’an and its commentary. He also loved studying the books of the Promised Messiah(as). He was hospitable, simple, hardworking, and caring for others. He would take on hardships for himself in order to help others. One of his sons is serving in the Private Secretary’s Office in London. His Holiness(aba) prayed that may Allah treat him with forgiveness and mercy and enable his progeny to adopt his virtuous qualities.