Muhammad (sa): The Great Exemplar
Friday Sermon delivered at Masjid Mubarak, Islamabad, Tilford, UK
‘Life of the Holy Prophet(sa) – Events Prior to the Battle of Badr’
After reciting Tashahhud, Ta’awwuz and Surah al-Fatihah, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad(aba) said that the he would continue mentioning the preparations that were undertaken in preparation for battle with the disbelievers of Makkah.
The Prophecy About Umayyah bin Khalaf
His Holiness(aba) said that Umayyah bin Khalaf was hesitant to accompany the Makkans to battle. It is recorded that Abu Jahl went to Umayyah and said that he was among the honourable cheiftains, and if he stayed back it would lead to others staying back as well. However, the reason why Umayyah was hesitant to go was because the Holy Prophet(sa) had foretold that Umayyah would be killed.
His Holiness(aba) said that according to one narration, Umayyah had given protection to Hazrat Sa’d bin Mu’adh(ra) enabling him to perform Umrah (the lesser pilgrimage). As Hazrat Sa’d(ra) was circling around the Ka’bah, Abu Jahl saw him and threatened his safety because he had accepted the Holy Prophet(sa). Umayyah tried to tell Hazrat Sa’d(ra) not to say anything to Abu Jahl as he was an honoured chieftain among the Makkans. However, Hazrat Sa’d(ra) said that if he was hindered from circling the Ka’bah then he would hinder the path from Syria which their trading caravans took. It was also at this time that Hazrat Sa’d(ra) told Umayyah that he had heard the Holy Prophet(sa) foretell that Umayyah would be killed. Upon this, Umayyah said that Muhammad(sa) never lies. Hence, it was due to this prophecy that Umayyah was hesitant to go for battle.
His Holiness(aba) said that Abu Jahl convinced Umayyah to at least travel with the caravan for two days which Umayyah finally agreed to. However, it was within these very two days that Umayyah ended up being killed, thus fulfilling the prophecy.
The Dream of Abu Lahab’s Sister
His Holiness(aba) said that Abu Lahab was also fearful and hesitant of going for battle, and decided to send someone else in his stead. In this regard, His Holiness(aba) quoted Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad(ra) who writes:
‘There were only two individuals who hesitated in participating, and they were Abū Lahab and Umayyah bin Khalf. However, the reason for this hesitation was not due to any sympathy for the Muslims. Rather, Abū Lahab feared the dream of his sister ‘Ātikata bintu ‘Abdil-Muṭṭalib, which she saw only three days prior to the arrival of Ḍamḍam, indicating the destruction of the Quraish. Umayyah bin Khalf feared the prophecy of the Holy Prophet(sa) about his being slain, which he had learned of from Sa‘d bin Mu‘ādh(ra), in Makkah. However, since there was a concern that if these two renowned chieftains had remained behind this would have a negative effect on the disbelieving masses, the other chieftains of the Quraish provoked their passion and jealousy, and ultimately compelled them to agree. In other words, Umayyah became prepared himself and Abū Lahab paid a hefty sum to someone else to stand in his place. In this manner, after a preparation of three days, an army of over 1,000 fearless warriors was prepared to go forth from Makkah.
This army was still in Makkah when a few chieftains from among the Quraish thought that since relations between the people of Makkah and the Banū Bakr, which was a branch of the Banū Kinānah, were not favourable, there was a risk that in their absence they might take advantage of the situation and attack Makkah. Due to this thought, various people from among the Quraish began to waver. However, a chieftain of the Banū Kinānah named Surāqah bin Mālik bin Ja‘sham, who was in Makkah at the time, assured them saying, “I guarantee that no attack will be waged upon Makkah.” As a matter of fact, Surāqah was so vehement in his enmity towards Islām that in support of the Quraish, he even accompanied them all the way to Badr himself. However, when he saw the Muslims there, he was so awe-stricken that before the war began, he left his companions and fled…
Prior to going forth from Makkah, the Quraish went to the Ka‘bah and prayed, “O God! Grant succour to that party from among these two parties, which is more noble and more superior in Your estimation; and disgrace and humiliate the other.” After this, the army of the disbelievers departed from Makkah with great pomp and pride.’ (Life & Character of the Seal of Prophets Vol. II pp. 133-134)
The Dream of Juhain bin Salt
His Holiness(aba) said that at the time of departing the Makkans numbered 1,300. However, along the way the people of Banu Zuhra and Banu Adi separated from the army, leaving the army of the Quraish to about 950 to 1,000 in number.
His Holiness(aba) said that the people of the Quraish were on their way and stopped on the way in Juhfa. There, a man named Juhain bin Salt related a dream of his, in which he saw that a man arrived riding a horse and he also had a camel, announcing the names of various Makkan chieftains, saying that they had been killed. He then struck his camel with a spear and there was not a single tent of the Makkans that the camel’s bood did not stain. Upon hearing this, Abu Jahl merely mocked him, however the names he mentioned were those who were indeed martyred in the Battle of Badr.
His Holiness(aba) said that as mentioned in the previous sermon, Abu Sufyan had adopted a different route trying to avoid the Muslims who were trying to intercept his trade caravan. Having been successful in avoiding them, Abu Sufyan sent a message to the Makkan army that since the trade caravan was safe and so there was no need to go for battle. However upon hearing this, Abu Jahl said that they would not return until they reached Badr and impressed their awe upon the Muslims.
His Holiness(aba) said that the son of Abu Talib, Talib bin Abu Talib had also set out with the Makkan army. Along the way, people taunted him saying that though he had set out with them, they knew that his sympathies rested with Muhammad(sa). Upon this, he and a few others returned to Makkah.
His Holiness(aba) said that the Holy Prophet(sa) set out from Madinah on 12 Ramadan AH with a little over 300 people from both the Ansar and Muhajireen. The Holy Prophet(sa) had instructed Hazrat Uthman bin Affan(ra) to remain behind because his wife Ruqayyah was ill. According to most accounts, it is recorded that the Muslims numbered 313. There is a narration that states the Holy Prophet(sa) instructed for the Muslims to be counted. The Holy Prophet(sa) was informed that there were 313. This greatly pleased that Holy Prophet(sa), who said that this was the same number as the companions of Talut.
The Martyrdom Umm Waraqah bin Naufal(ra)
His Holiness(aba) said that there was a woman named Umm Waraqah bin Naufal(ra) who went to the Holy Prophet(sa) requesting to go along with the army so she could tend to the injured. The Holy Prophet(sa) instructed that she should remain behind, however God would grant her the station of martyrdom. Later, the Holy Prophet(sa) gave her the title Shaheedah and she became commonly known by this name.
The Strength of Muslim Army and the Prayer of the Holy Prophet(sa)
His Holiness(aba) said that regarding the strength of the Muslim army, it is recorded in some narrations that the Muslims only had five horses while in other narrations it is recorded that they only had two. The Muslims only had 60 sets of armour, and only had 70 or 80 camels, upon which everyone would take turns riding. When it came turn for the Holy Prophet(sa) to walk, the Companions requested that he remain riding while they walked, however the Holy Prophet(sa) said that they were not any stronger than him, and he was not precluded from seeking the blessings of war.
His Holiness(aba) said that during this journey, the Holy Prophet(sa) prayed for his Companions, ‘O Allah, they are barefoot, grant them riding animals; they are unclothed, grant them clothes; they are hungry, satiate them; they are in straitened circumstances, grant them wealth by Your grace.’ This prayer was certainly answered, because on the way back from the Battle of Badr, there was no one who wanted a riding animal and didn’t get one or even more. Similarly, those without clothes found clothes, there was no shortage of food and every household came into wealth.
Companions Who Could not Join the Army
His Holiness(aba) said that in preparation for the battle, some people submitted that there were some who said their riding camels were outside of the city and requested permission to get them, however they were not permitted to do so, and so they either stayed behind or set out on foot. Similarly, there were some others who were given permission to remain behind due to some legitimate excuse. For example, Hazrat Abu Umamah bin Tha’lbah(ra) had every intention of setting out for Badr despite his mother’s ill health, however the Holy Prophet(sa) instructed him to stay back and tend to her. By the time the Holy Prophet(sa) returned, she had passed away and he prayed at her grave. Similarly, along the way, the Holy Prophet(sa) instructed all those who were young in age to return to Madinah.
The Flag of Islam
His Holiness(aba) said that it is recorded that the flag of Islam was given to Hazrat Mus’ab bin Umair(ra) and it was white in colour. There were two other black flags, one of which was given to Hazrat Ali(ra), and the other was given to another Companion from among the Ansar.
The Holy Prophet(sa) Permitted Habib to Join Muslim Army
His Holiness(aba) said that there was a man named Habib in Madinah from the Khazraj tribe who was very brave and proficient in battle who had also set out along with his tribesmen, however he was not a Muslim at the time. The Muslims were very happy that he was part of their army, however the Holy Prophet(sa) said that only those would accompany them who were of their faith. Habib requested the Holy Prophet(sa) two times but the Holy Prophet(sa) did not agree. It was not until the third time when he professed his faith that the Holy Prophet(sa) allowed him to accompany the Muslim army.
His Holiness(aba) said that when the Holy Prophet(sa) reached Safra, a lush green valley, the Holy Prophet(sa) sent some Companions ahead to gather information about Abu Sufyan. Upon arriving in Badr, those Companions heard two girls speaking about the arrival of the Makkan army in two days, and so they returned to the Holy Prophet(sa) in order to inform him that the arrival of an army was imminent.
His Holiness(aba) said that he would continue speaking on this topic in future sermons.
His Holiness(aba) said that he would lead the funeral prayers of the following deceased members:
Sheikh Ghulam Rahmani of the UK who recently passed away. He was the son of a Companion of the Promised Messiah(as). His father traveled to Qadian in 1902 which is when he saw the Promised Messiah(as) and knew that he could not be false. Sheikh Ghulam Rahmani served as the National General Secretary for the UK and also as the Local President of the Community in Southall. He would conduct classes in the mission house every week. He also served as the National Secretary Wasaya. He was regular in offering prayers, keeping fasts, reciting the Qur’an, and was a loving and compassionate person. He loved Khilafat a great deal. He also had the honour of performing Hajj. He is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter. His Holiness(aba) prayed that may Allah grant him forgiveness and mercy, elevate his station and enable his children to carry on the legacy of his virtues.
Tahir Aag Muhammad of Mahdi Abad, Dori, Burkina Faso who recently passed away. His father accepted Ahmadiyyat in 1999 however he himself did not accept Ahmadiyyat. Later, as a youngster upon falling ill, he prayed for guidance about the truth of Ahmadiyyat and upon being guided he accepted Ahmadiyyat. He learned the skill of sewing and for the past Eid al-Fitr, he sewed clothes for the families of the martyrs of Burkina Faso. He had cancer due to which his leg had been amputated. It was ultimately this illness that led to his demise. He is survived by two wives and five children. His Holiness(aba) prayed that may Allah grant them patience, enable them to carry on the legacy of his virtues, and may Allah grant forgiveness and mercy to the deceased and elevate his station.
Khwaja Daud Ahmad who passed away on 25 May. His son Khwaja Fahad Ahmad is a missionary in Kiribati. He lived in Canada where he was able to serve the Community in various capacities. Before coming to Canada he served in Pakistan and at one instance the Third Caliph(rh) even appreciated his efforts. He loved Khilafat a great deal. He was attending a meeting at the local prayer center when he experienced pain in his chest. After suffering a heart attack he passed away a few moments later. He is survived by his wife, four sons and a daughter. His son who is a missionary was unable to attend his father’s funeral due to being in the field of duty. His Holiness(aba) prayed that may Allah grant him patience, and may Allah grant forgiveness and mercy to the deceased and elevate his station.
Syed Tanvir Shah of Canada who recently passed away while in Paraguay where he was serving a temporary period of devotion. He has one son Syed Raza Shah who is a missionary. He hailed from the family of a Companion of the Promised Messiah(as) and the family of Hazrat Umme Tahir. He had a passion for propagating the message of Islam. In fact during his trip to Paraguay two people entered the fold of Islam Ahmadiyyat. He was very content with his means and trusted in Allah to tend to all of his needs. He enjoined his son to understand his duties and perform them in the best manner. He loved the Khalifa a great deal and instilled the same love in his children. He never spoke ill of anyone and also cared for his in-laws. Despite having held various offices, he always remained humble. His personality left a deep imprint upon the youth of Paraguay. He was always smiling and he was never seen to be angry. Instead he was very tenderhearted and kind. He always seemed to be searching for ways to please Allah. He showed that words are not always necessary to teach others, rather actions can leave a deep impact. His Holiness(aba) prayed that may Allah grant forgiveness and mercy to the deceased and elevate his station.
Rana Zafarullah Khan who was a missionary and passed away in April. He served for a very long time as a missionary in various places. He was very humble and simple. He was hard working and left a deep imprint upon the Community in Afghanistan. Many offered condolences upon his demise and expressed that he had in fact stipulated a stipend for them. He is survived by his mother, wife and three daughters. His Holiness(aba) prayed that may Allah grant forgiveness and mercy to the deceased and enable his children to carry on the legacy of his virtues.
Summary prepared by The Review of Religions