Men of Excellence: Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) & Prayers for the New Year 2022
After reciting Tashahhud, Ta‘awwuz and Surah al-Fatihah, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad(aba) recited:
“If you help him not, then know that Allah helped him even when the disbelievers drove him forth while he was one of the two when they were both in the cave, when he said to his companion, ‘Grieve not, for Allah is with us.’ Then Allah sent down His peace on him, and strengthened him with hosts which you did not see, and humbled the word of those who disbelieved, and it is the word of Allah alone which is supreme. And Allah is Mighty, Wise.” (9:40)
His Holiness(aba) said that he would continue relating incidents regarding Hazrat Abu Bakr’s(ra) journey to the Cave of Thaur. The above verses were revealed by God Almighty in relation to this very incident.
Grieve Not, For Allah is With Us
His Holiness(aba) said that as the disbelievers stood by the cave, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) grew worried that they would find the Holy Prophet(sa). When the Holy Prophet(sa) saw his worry, he reassured him “Grieve not, for Allah is with us”. The tracker said that the Holy Prophet(sa) could not have gone past that point, and that they should look in the cave. However, Umayyah bin Khalaf said that the web and tree that were at the mouth of the cave seemed to have been there since before the time of the Holy Prophet(sa), so how could he be inside? Thus, they decided not to look inside the cave, and left.
His Holiness(aba) said that according to another narration, when Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) expressed his worry to the Holy Prophet(sa), he replied saying, ‘We are not alone, for the third among us is God?’. His Holiness(aba) quoted Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad(ra), who said that even in a situation where the enemy was right outside, and if they glanced inside they would have found them, the Holy Prophet(sa) was resolute in trusting God. In fact his trust in God was so firm that it removed Hazrat Abu Bakr’s(ra) state of worry as well.
Hazrat Abu Bakr’s(ra) Unerring Loyalty
His Holiness(aba) quoted the Promised Messiah(as) who said that it was during this trying time that Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) truly exhibited his loyalty and trust. The disbelievers were bent on killing the Holy Prophet(sa), yet without any regard for what may come, he remained steadfast at the side of the Holy Prophet(sa). Furthermore, from among the companions at that time, the Holy Prophet(sa) chose Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) to accompany him during this trying time. This was done through divine knowledge bestowed upon the Holy Prophet(sa) by God Almighty, informing him that Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) was the best person to accompany him.
His Holiness(aba) further quoted the Promised Messiah(as) who said that while the disbelievers were conversing outside the cave, the Holy Prophet(sa) was reassuring Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra). However, he did not do so simply through indications and gestures, so that those outside did not hear him, rather his trust in God was so resolute, that the two inside the cave were conversing, knowing that God would protect them.
His Holiness(aba) said that according to the plan, Hazrat Abu Bakr’s(ra) son would visit the Cave of Thaur and deliver news from Makkah. Then he would secretly return to Makkah, and his tracks would be covered by Amir bin Fuhairah and his flock of sheep. The Holy Prophet(sa) and Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) remained in the cave for three days.
Bounty Set Against the Holy Prophet(sa)
His Holiness(aba) said that the Makkans were unsuccessful in their search for the Holy Prophet(sa), and so they announced a bounty of a hundred camels for the Holy Prophet(sa) to be brought to them, dead or alive.
His Holiness(aba) said that after three days, as planned, Abdullah bin Uraiqit brought three camels to the cave, and they set out towards Madinah at night. His Holiness(aba) narrated various opinions of scholars regarding the date on which they set out from the cave towards Madinah.
Continuing the Journey to Madinah
His Holiness(aba) said that the Holy Prophet(sa) rode on a camel named al-Qaswa. As they left, the Holy Prophet(sa) looked in the direction of Makkah and said, ‘O Makkah, you are most dear to me, but your people do not allow me to stay here’. Then Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) said, ‘These people will surely perish for having driven out their prophet.’
His Holiness(aba) said that when they reached a place called Juhfa, God revealed the following verse:
“Most surely, He Who has made the teaching of the Quran binding on thee will bring thee back to thy place of return. Say, ‘My Lord knows best who has brought the guidance, and who is in manifest error.’” (28:86)
His Holiness(aba) said that they travelled throughout the night, and the next day, in the afternoon, they stopped under some shade, where Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) requested the Holy Prophet(sa) to rest, and so he lay down. Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) then went and was able to get some milk for the Holy Prophet(sa).
Makkans Thwarted in Their Efforts to Capture the Holy Prophet(sa)
His Holiness(aba) said that in light of the bounty upon the Holy Prophet(sa), many Makkans were out looking for him. One of these people was Suraqah bin Malik. He swiftly rode towards the Holy Prophet(sa), but along the way, his horse fell. He drew a lot which came out against this journey. But he did not care, and continued riding. He was able to get so close to the Holy Prophet(sa), that he was able to hear something that the Holy Prophet(sa) was reciting. However, as he drew near, his horse’s legs sank into the sand and it could not get out. He drew a lot again, and the result was against this mission of his. Thus, he called out to the Holy Prophet(sa) and said that he would not cause them any harm. Although he had set out to capture the Holy Prophet(sa), he gave up, taking what had happened as a sign. He explained that he had only come after them because of the bounty. The Holy Prophet(sa) simply said that he should not tell anyone about their whereabouts.
His Holiness(aba) said that he would continue highlighting incidents from the life of Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) in future sermons.
Prayers for the New Year
His Holiness(aba) said that the new year is beginning tomorrow. He prayed that may Allah make this new year blessed for the Community and its members. May the Community be kept safe from all evils, and may all the plots against this Community be foiled. May we be among those who witness the fulfillment of the promise made by God to the Promised Messiah(as). His Holiness(aba) said that we should enter into the new year with prayers. Tahajjud [pre-dawn voluntary prayers] should be offered, and many mosques are arranging for this. Those who have not yet made plans should do so. If it is not possible in congregation, then people should offer Tahajjud individually in their homes.
His Holiness(aba) said that along with Durood Sharif [salutations upon the Holy Prophet(sa)] and Istighfar [seeking forgiveness], the following prayers should be recited:
“Our Lord, let not our hearts become perverse after Thou hast guided us; and bestow on us mercy from Thyself; surely, Thou alone art the Bestower.” (3:9)
“Our Lord, forgive us our errors and our excesses in our conduct, and make firm our steps and help us against the disbelieving people.” (3:148)
His Holiness(aba) said that he would lead the funeral prayers in absentia of the following deceased members:
Malik Farooq Ahmad Khokhar of Multan, who passed away on 18 December. He was the son of Malik Umar Ali Khokhar Sahib, and his mother was Syeda Nusrat Jahan Begum Sahiba, the daughter of Mir Muhammad Ishaaq Sahib. He served the Community in Multan in various capacities. He is survived by his wife, a son, and five daughters. He was very loving and caring. He was regular in offering Tahajjud. If ever anyone was in need, he would always be ready to help them right away. He was very hospitable and loving. He was respected and loved by his entire family. His father passed away when he was young, after which he took great care of his entire family. He was part of the envoy during the time of the Fourth Caliph’s(rh) migration from Pakistan to London. He rendered financial aid to family members, even if they weren’t Ahmadi. He loved Khilafat a great deal. His Holiness(aba) prayed that may Allah treat him with forgiveness and mercy, and may He grant his children patience, and enable them to increase in virtue.
Rahmatullah Sahib of Indonesia. From the time of his conversion to his demise he rendered great services. He is survived by his wife, three children and six grandchildren. He once saw the Promised Messiah(as) in a dream, which led him to accept Ahmadiyyat. Despite receiving threats from opponents, he bravely defended Ahmadiyyat. He was very generous, he loved Khilafat a great deal and was very obedient. His Holiness(aba) prayed that may Allah treat him with forgiveness and mercy and enable his children to carry on his virtues.
Al-Haaj Abdul Hameed Taak of Kashmir, who passed away on 24 December. He was a Musi. He was very pious, kind, and loved by all. He served the Community in various capacities. He played a vital role in the establishment of schools and mosques. His Holiness(aba) prayed that may Allah treat him with forgiveness and mercy and establish virtue in his progeny.
Summary prepared by The Review of Religions