Men of Excellence : Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra)
After reciting Tashahhud, Ta‘awwuz and Surah al-Fatihah, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad(aba) continued highlighting incidents from the life of Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra).
Freeing of Slaves
His Holines(aba) said that he had been mentioning how Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) freed slaves. His Holiness(aba) said that once Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) passed by a slave of Banu Mo’mal. She would be beaten, and was constantly told to renounce Islam. Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) paid for her freedom. In another narration, it is stated that Hazrat Abu Bakr’s(ra) father said to him, that instead of freeing the weak, he should free the powerful so that they may protect him. Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) replied by saying that he only wished to achieve the pleasure of Allah. It is recorded that the following verses of the Holy Qur’an were revealed in light of Hazrat Abu Bakr’s(ra) actions:
“Then as for him who gives for the cause of Allah and is righteous, and testifies to the truth of what is right, we will provide for him every facility. But as for him who is niggardly and is disdainfully indifferent, and rejects what is right, we will make easy for him the path to distress. And his wealth shall not avail him when he perishes. Surely, it is for Us to guide; and to Us belongs the Hereafter as well as the present world. So I warn you of a flaming Fire. None shall enter it but the most wicked one, who rejects the truth and turns his back. But the righteous one shall be kept away from it, who gives his wealth that he may be purified. And he owes no favour to anyone, which is to be repaid, except that he gives his wealth to seek the pleasure of his Lord, the Most High. And soon will He be well pleased with him.” (92:6-22)
His Holiness(aba) said that one of the slaves freed by Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) was Hazrat Khubaab bin Arad(ra). Once, someone saw the skin of Hazrat Khubaab’s back and found it to be hard and rough, and inquired how long he had this skin condition? Hazrat Khubaab(ra) laughed and said that this was not a condition, rather his slave-master used to beat him because he had accepted Islam. He would tell him to renounce Islam, but in response, he would simply recite the Islamic creed. This would anger his master and so he would beat him even more and would also drag him across stones. Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) could not bear to see this any longer, and paid a large amount for his freedom.
Hazrat Abu Bakr’s(ra) Migration to Abyssinia
His Holiness(aba) said that there was a time when Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) intended to migrate to Abyssinia. Once Islam had become apparent, the Makkans caused the Muslims great harm in order to force them to leave Islam. The Holy Prophet(sa) advised some of the early Muslims to migrate to Abyssinia. Thus, 11 men and four women migrated to Abyssinia. Afterwards, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) was also made to face great hardships, and so, he set off for Abyssinia. Along the way, he met someone who said that Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) would never leave his homeland on his own, nor could he ever be forced to leave, and then he enumerated the many great qualities of Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra). Then he said that he himself would render protection for Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra), and they both returned to Makkah. Upon learning of this, the Makkans said that Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) should pray in his own home, so that others would not be influenced by him. Therefore, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) would only pray in his home. Later, he made a small mosque in his courtyard where he would pray and recite the Holy Qur’an. Seeing this, and hearing him recite the Holy Qur’an aloud had a profound effect on those around him. The Makkans again said to the person who vowed to protect Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra), that his actions were influencing others and he should tell Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) to cease. As a result, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) said that he no longer needed protection, as Allah Himself was enough as his Protector.
His Holiness(aba) said when attempts to stifle Islam were proving unsuccessful, the disbelieving Makkans boycotted the Banu Hashim and Banu Muttalib. It was decided that no one would buy or sell anything to them, nor would they render them any sort of aid. They were also confined to Shi’b Abi Talib (Valley of Abu Talib), where they faced extremely difficult circumstances. But no matter how difficult the circumstances became, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) never left the Holy Prophet’s (sa) side.
‘The Romans Have Been Defeated’
His Holiness(aba) said that there is a prophecy in the Holy Qur’an that states, ‘The Romans have been defeated, in the land nearby, and they, after their defeat, will be victorious. In a few years – Allah’s is the command before and after that – and on that day the believers will rejoice’ (30:3-5). The disbelievers wished for the Persians to defeat the Romans as the Persians were an idol worshiping people. However, the Muslims wished for the Romans to defeat the Persians, as the Romans were People of the Book. At the time, the Persians were defeating the Romans, but according to knowledge received from God, the Holy Prophet(sa) foretold that eventually, the Romans would defeat the Persians. Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) began openly announcing this prophecy, and the disbelievers told Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) that if he believed this was true, a period of time should be set, and conditions would be stipulated for whoever was victorious first. Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) set a period of five years, but the Holy Prophet(sa) instructed him to set a period of three to nine years in accordance with what was mentioned in the Holy Qur’an. Accordingly, Rome was victorious in that period of time.
His Holiness(aba) said that Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) would accompany the Holy Prophet(sa) when he preached Islam to various tribes. Every year during the days of Hajj, the Holy Prophet(sa) would meet the different tribes that had converged and preach the religion of Islam to them, and Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) would be alongside the Holy Prophet(sa) in this endeavour. Once, the tribe Bakr bin Wa’il had come for Hajj, and the Holy Prophet(sa) instructed Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) to introduce him to the tribe.
An Appeal for Prayers for Ahmadis in Afghanistan
His Holiness(aba) made an appeal for prayers for the Ahmadis residing in Afghanistan. They are going through a great deal of hardships, and some have even been arrested. Women and children at home are extremely worried, and the men who have not yet been arrested are living in fear that they will soon, or be evicted from their homes. His Holiness(aba) prayed that may Allah grant them ease and alleviate their hardships.
His Holiness(aba) also made an appeal for prayers for Ahmadis residing in Pakistan. They too are facing difficult conditions and new incidents continue to come about.
His Holiness(aba) urged to pray for the entire world, and that they may be able to recognise and accept the Promised Messiah(as). May Allah remove all evil, and may the world recognise its Creator.
His Holiness(aba) said that he would offer the funeral prayers in absentia of the following members:
Al-Haaj Abdur Rahman Anin who was the former Secretary Umur-e-Amma and Afsar Jalsa Salana in Ghana. He obtained his higher education from Egypt, after which he worked as a manager for various companies in Ghana. He later also started his own company and was the managing director. He was very pious and sincere. He was exemplary in his service to the Community, and gave the Community precedence over his personal gain. He was always present and ready to serve in whatever capacity was required. At the time of his demise he was serving as the National Trustee. He was very generous, not only to his family but also all those in need. He was sincere and loyal to the Community and Khilafat. He was regular in offering Tahajjud [pre-dawn voluntary prayers]. He is survived by his wife, five sons and five daughters.
Azyaab Muhammad Ali Al-Jibali from Jordan, who passed away recently. He accepted Ahmadiyyat in 2010 and was the only Ahmadi along with his wife in the area. Despite facing opposition after accepting Ahmadiyyat, he remained steadfast. He staunchly defended Ahmadiyyat and Khilafat. He had a passion for learning and propagating the message. During his illness, some of his relatives would tell him that this illness was because of accepting Ahmadiyyat, and that he should leave Ahmadiyyat. He would pray that God caused him to die as an Ahmadi.
Deen Muhammad Sahib, a retired missionary who was currently residing in Canada. When he was 11, he was taken to Qadian where he studied under Mir Muhammad Ishaq Sahib(ra). He later joined Jamia Ahmadiyya, after which he served in various areas of Pakistan, and then in Fiji. He also served as the Press Secretary in Rabwah. He has a passion for propagating the message. He is survived by his wife, two sons and three daughters.
Mian Rafiq Ahmad, who was a worker in the office of Jalsa Salana. He obtained his BSc in Mechanical Engineering. He worked in various institutions, after which he spent ten years in Tanzania, where he served as the Secretary Finance. He later started volunteering in the office of Jalsa Salana and later became a life-devotee, and undertook the responsibilities of the technical aspects of Jalsa Salana. He is survived by three sons and a daughter. Some people told him that the residence provided to him was quite small, but he replied saying he would be content even if he had to live in a tent. He was regular in his prayers, loved the Holy Qur’an, was kind and possessed many great qualities. He loved Khilafat a great deal. His Holiness(aba) said that he had also observed him to be very kind, humble and loyal to his oath of allegiance. He also strove to maximise the funds of the Community and spend them in an optimal manner.
Qanita Zafar, wife of Ahsanullah Zafar Sahib, former Amir of the USA Jama’at. She passed away in a car accident. She possessed many great qualities. She was very loyal to Khilafat, and had a great deal of love for the Holy Prophet(sa) and the Promised Messiah(as). She is survived by her husband and two daughters. Despite being a PhD, she was extremely humble. She always ensured that the mosque remained clean.
His Holiness(aba) prayed that may Allah treat all the deceased with forgiveness and mercy, and enable their progeny to follow in their footsteps.
Summary prepared by The Review of Religions