Men of Excellence: Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra)
After reciting Tashahhud, Ta‘awwuz and Surah al-Fatihah, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad(aba) said he would continue the mention of how Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) dealt with those who opposed Zakat.
Reaction of Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) to Those Who Refused to Give Zakat
His Holiness(aba) said that various tribes who opposed Zakat had gathered, and then sent envoys to Madinah. They were taken to Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) on the condition that they would continue offering prayer, but they said they would not offer Zakat. Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) said that he would not tolerate the withholding of even a rope which was due in Zakat. When these envoys saw Hazrat Abu Bakr’s(ra) conviction, they left Madinah realising that Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) would not change his stance on Zakat. They also considered attacking Madinah because they thought that they could cause the fall of Islam. Thus, when they returned to their tribes, they said that there were fewer people in Madinah and thus they should attack. However when these envoys had left Madinah, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) ordered for there to be guards stationed at every part of Madinah and also advised Muslms to be prepared to defend themselves.
Failed Attempt to Attack Madinah
His Holiness(aba) said that Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) was correct in his anticipation and only three nights after the envoys had left, they attacked Madinah. Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) prepared the Muslim army and set out and before dawn, the Muslims and opposers of Zakat came face to face. By the time the sun had come up, the opposers of Zakat had been defeated and fled. This was the first battle during the time of Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra). His Holiness(aba) said that this battle has been likened to the first battle in Islam, the Battle of Badr.
His Holiness(aba) said that upon seeing the defeat of those tribes which were considered to be strong, the weaker tribes who opposed Zakat began returning to Madinah and offered their due Zakat. It was also during this time that Hazrat Usama’s(ra) army victoriously returned to Madinah.
Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) Upholds Islamic Teachings In Relation to the Opposers of Zakat
His Holiness(aba) said that the defeated tribes had realised the strength of Islam. These tribes had also accepted false claimants to prophethood, which is why it was necessary to combat them on account of their rebellion. Hazrat Umar(ra) had even suggested to show leniency, however Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) said that he must follow the commandments of the Holy Prophet(sa), and even if these people did not give a rope that they used to give in Zakat during the time of the Holy Prophet(sa), he would combat them until they began offering Zakat. Even if no one else stood by him, he would combat them on his own. His Holiness(aba) said that thus, one of the duties of a Caliphate is to uphold the Shari’ah(Islamic law).
His Holiness(aba) said that Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) displayed true faith. If we also adopt the same faith, then we will become successful in all facets of life.
His Holiness(aba) said that those who opposed Zakat were of the opinion that this commandment was limited to the time of the Holy Prophet(sa) and that Zakat was only to be given to him. However, just as prayers and fasting were continuous commandments meant to continue even after the demise of the Holy Prophet(sa), so too was the commandment of Zakat, and these commandments were to be upheld by the Holy Prophet’s (sa) successors.
Opposers of Zakat Return to Islam
His Holiness(aba) said that Hazrat Abu Bakr’s(ra) conviction proved fruitful. The Companions had advised him against sending the army of Hazrat Usama(ra), however Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) still sent that army as it had been commanded by the Holy Prophet(sa) to be sent. After 40 days, the army returned victorious. Similarly, the companions had advised against fighting the false claimants of prophethood and those who opposed Zakat. However Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) said that he must uphold the Islamic teachings, and as a result, the Muslims were victorious and those who had rebelled returned to Islam.
His Holiness(aba) said that he would continue narrating these incidents in future sermons.
Prayers for the World to Recognise its Creator
His Holiness(aba) urged members to not decrease their prayers in light of the current situation of the world. We should especially pray that the world recognises its Creator as this is the one true way for the world to be saved from destruction. May God have mercy and accept our prayers.
His Holiness(aba) said that he would offer a funeral prayer in absentia of the following member:
Maulana Mubarak Ahmad Nazir who was the former Principal of Jamia Ahmadiyya Canada and the former Missionary In-charge Canada. He was extremely selfless, prayerful and had a great deal of trust in God. His Holiness(aba) said that whenever he saw him, he perceived him to be a true elder. He was the son of a prominent Missionary of the Community Maulana Nazir Ahmad Ali Sahib. Once while travelling with his father to Sierra Leone by ship which was a three month journey, he fell extremely ill, to the point that it did not seem he would be able to survive. When boarding the ship, his father was told that his son’s health was very bad and if he passed away on the ship, they would not have the facilities to store the body. The ship’s captain allowed them on the ship on the condition that if the boy passed away, they would be allowed to throw the body overboard. Mubarak Nazir Sahib’s mother became extremely worried and did not wish to board the ship, however Maulana Nazir Ali Sahib said that he had been sent by the Caliph and could not delay the journey. He assured his wife that he was a Missionary and God would protect them. Thus they boarded the ship, and miraculously Mubarak Nazir Sahib survived the journey.
His Holiness(aba) said that Mubarak Nazir Sahib later dedicated himself for the service of the Community, and served in Sierra Leone where his father served and was also buried. Later, he dedicated himself full-time and was then sent as a Missionary to Canada. The Fourth Caliph(rh) had approved for Jamia Ahmadiyya to be opened in Canada and had appointed Mubarak Nazir Sahib as its principal. However, Jamia could not open during the time of the Fourth Caliph(rh), and was opened during the time of the Fifth Caliph(aba), who honoured the Fourth Caliph’s(rh) instructions and appointed him as the institution’s first principal. He had an awe-inspiring manner of delivering speeches which would captivate the hearts of listeners. He translated certain books of the Promised Messiah(as) into English, as well as the Gulf Crisis by the Fourth Caliph(rh). He is survived by his wife, three sons and two daughters. He was an exemplary life-devotee. He set an example especially for Missionaries, and he was an embodiment of giving precedence to the faith over the world. He had a special aptitude for oration both in Urdu and English. Not only was he an exemplary Missionary, but also an exemplary husband and father. He was always concerned with serving the Community. Whenever he had to make an appeal for financial contributions, he would make his own contribution first, and then urge others in a way that they would wholeheartedly contribute. Once in Sierra Leone while a mosque was being built, the workers came to him for payment, however he did not have the money to pay them. He told them to wait and that he was praying. Then a person came to him saying that someone heard that a mosque was being built and gave a donation for it. Before he could ask who it was, the person left, and Mubarak Nazir Sahib was convinced that this had been sent by God.
His Holiness(aba) prayed that may Allah elevate his station, enable his progeny to follow in his footsteps and reap the blessings of his prayers. May Allah continue to bless the Community with such people. The students of Jamia Canada have written many incidents of how Mubarak Nazir Sahib taught them and guided them. His Holiness(aba) said that they should not merely recount these incidents, but should strive to practically embody the lessons they have learned.
Summary prepared by The Review of Religions.