Muhammad (sa): The Great Exemplar
Friday Sermon delivered at Masjid Mubarak, Islamabad, Tilford, UK
‘Life of the Holy Prophet(sa) – Preparations for the Battle of Badr’
After reciting Tashahhud, Ta`awwuz and Surah al-Fatihah, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad(aba) said that previously, he had mentioned that the Holy Prophet(sa) had sent companions ahead to gather information and they came back to inform him that an army was making preparations.
The Holy Prophet(sa) Consults the Companions
His Holiness(aba) said that the Holy Prophet(sa) informed the companions regarding the Makkans’ preparations and consulted with them as to what to do. The companions gave their opinions, including Hazrat Miqdad bin Amr(ra) who said that they were all with the Holy Prophet(sa) and would accompany him in whatever he was commanded by Allah. He said that they would not respond to him as the Israelites responded to Moses(as):
‘Go thou and thy Lord and fight, here we will sit.’ (The Holy Qur’an 5:25)
Rather, the companions who say that the Holy Prophet(sa) should proceed to battle along with his Lord, and they would all accompany him.
His Holiness(aba) said that regarding the verse Hazrat Miqdad(ra) quoted, some historians note that the chapter in which this verse is found, Chapter 5 (Al-Ma’idah) was revealed well after the events of Badr. However, there are various explanations given for this. For example, it is possible that Hazrat Miqdad(ra) had heard of this incident from the Jewish people, or it could be that to support the words of Hazrat Miqdad(ra), this verse was added by the historians themselves.
His Holiness(aba) said that the Holy Prophet(sa) also wished to seek the opinion of the Ansar. Hence, Hazrat Sa’d bin Mu’adh(ra) expressed his surprise that the Ansar were also being asked their opinion. He then expressed that they had pledged their allegiance to the Holy Prophet(sa) and to obey him in whatever he did and thus would follow him wherever he went. He said that even if the Holy Prophet(sa) led them to the sea and walked into it, they would follow him into the sea. He said that they would remain loyal to him and fight alongside him in such a valiant manner that they would become the delight of his eyes.
His Holiness(aba) said that upon hearing this, the Holy Prophet(sa) was very happy and then said that they should all proceed for battle, as God had given him the glad tiding of victory over one of the two groups. The Holy Prophet(sa) said that he could see the place where the enemy would fall to their deaths.
Vigilance of the Holy Prophet(sa)
His Holiness(aba) said then the Muslims proceeded to Badr and encamped just outside its plains. Then, the Holy Prophet(sa) and Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) set out and came across an elderly Arab man and without telling them who they were, asked him for some information regarding what he had heard about Muhammad(sa) and the Quraish. He said that he would tell them after they identified which tribe they belonged to. The Holy Prophet(sa) said that he would tell him after he provided information. He told them what he had heard about the Holy Prophet’s (sa) movements and his information turned out to be correct. Similarly, he told them what he had heard about the Quraish and that information turned out to be correct as well. Then the elderly man again asked where they were from. The Holy Prophet(sa) replied that they were from the water.
His Holiness(aba) said that some may say that this answer given by the Holy Prophet(sa) was not the correct answer. However, this answer was not wrong at all, rather, bearing in mind the sensitive times of war, the Holy Prophet(sa) gave an answer that protected the Muslims but was still not false. Some historians say that the Holy Prophet(sa) was referring to the Qur’anic statement that all things have been created from water. Others have said that it was common for people to identify themselves by the name of a water well in their area. It could also have been that the Holy Prophet(sa) was referring to the spring of Badr by which the Muslims had encamped.
His Holiness(aba) said that upon returning to the Muslim camp, the Holy Prophet(sa) sent an envoy to the spring of Badr to gather more intelligence. The envoy came across some Makkans who were gathering water for the Quraish. The Muslim envoy seized them and asked them for information; however, they were not able to extract the information they needed. When taken to the Holy Prophet(sa), the Holy Prophet(sa) asked them about where the Quraish were, and they told him that they were behind the hill. Then the Holy Prophet(sa) asked them how many there were, to which they replied that they did not know. So instead, the Holy Prophet(sa) asked how many camels they slaughter each day to eat, and they replied that they would slaughter about 9 to 10 camels. From this, the Holy Prophet(sa) gleaned that there were 900-1,000 Makkans. The Holy Prophet(sa) also asked which chieftains of Quraish were with the army, and they informed him.
His Holiness(aba) said that whilst mentioning this incident and what the Holy Prophet(sa) said, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad(ra) writes:
‘“Here you are! Makkah has thrown before you its greatest heroes.”
These were immensely intelligent and wise words, which the Holy Prophet(sa) uttered spontaneously. The reason being, that instead of the weaker Muslims becoming disheartened upon hearing the names of so many renowned chieftains of the Quraish, these words, led their faculty of perception to believe as if God had sent these leaders of the Quraish, to serve as prey for the Muslims.’ (The Life & Character of the Seal of Prophets (sa) – Vol II, pp. 142-143).
Preparations for Battle & Setting Up Camp
His Holiness(aba) said that regarding the place where the Muslims had encamped, Hazrat Habbab(ra) asked the Holy Prophet(sa) whether they place he had selected was due to divine revelation. The Holy Prophet(sa) said that it was not due to divine revelation. Upon hearing this, Hazrat Habbab(ra) expressed his opinion, that he thought it would be wiser to move closer to the water. Upon hearing his reasoning, the Holy Prophet(sa) agreed, and the Muslim camp moved closer to the spring.
His Holiness(aba) then quoted Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad(ra) regarding the Muslim’s preparations for battle and a tent being prepared for the Holy Prophet(sa):
‘Upon the proposal of Sa‘d bin Mu‘adh(ra), chieftain of the Aus, a sort of tent was prepared for the Holy Prophet(sa) to one side of the field. Sa‘d(ra) tied the mount of the Holy Prophet(sa) close to the tent and said:
“O Messenger of Allah! Take a seat in this tent, and we shall fight the enemy in the name of Allah. If Allāh grants us victory, then this is our very desire. But if God-forbid, the matter takes a turn for the worse, then take your mount and reach Madīnah in any way possible. There you shall find our brethren and kindred, who are no less than us in love and sincerity. However, since they were unaware that they would be confronted by war in this campaign, they have not come along. Otherwise, they would never have remained behind. When they become aware of the state of affairs, they shall not desist in laying down their lives to protect you.”
This was the passionate sincerity of Sa‘d(ra), which is worthy of praise in any case; but can it be fathomed that the Messenger of Allah would ever flee from the field of battle? As such, in the field of Hunain, an army of 12,000 turned their backs, but this centre of Divine Unity did not shake an inch. In any case, the tent was prepared, and Sa‘d(ra) along with a few other Ansar, surrounded it and stood guard. The Holy Prophet(sa) retired to this tent along with Hadrat Abu Bakr(ra). All night long, weeping and wailing, the Holy Prophet(sa) supplicated before Allah. It is written that in the entire army, it was only the Holy Prophet(sa) who remained awake all night.’ (The Life & Character of the Seal of Prophets (sa) – Vol II, pp. 143-144)
His Holiness(aba) said that the next morning, the Quraish advanced. Upon seeing this, the Holy Prophet(sa) prayed that God should fulfil His promise of victory that very day. Before the Quraish arrived, the Holy Prophet(sa) arranged the ranks of his army. He would use an arrow to point to the Muslims and direct them as to where to go. The Muslim flag was granted to Hazrat Mus’ab bin Umair(ra) who placed it exactly where the Holy Prophet(sa) instructed.
His Holiness(aba) said that while the Holy Prophet(sa) was arranging the rows, Hazrat Sawad(ra) was slightly out of rank, and so the Holy Prophet(sa) prodded in the stomach with his arrow so as to direct him back. Hazrat Sawad(ra) said that the poke of the arrow caused him pain, and seeing as the Holy Prophet(sa) had been sent to establish justice, he sought retribution. The Holy Prophet(sa) raised his shirt from his stomach and said that he could take retribution. Instead, Hazrat Sawad(ra) hugged the Holy Prophet(sa). When the Holy Prophet(sa) asked him why he had done this, he replied that he did not know whether he would remain alive after the battle, and so if these were his last moments, he wanted them to be such that he was hugging the Holy Prophet(sa).
His Holiness(aba) said that he would continue narrating these incidents in future sermons.
His Holiness(aba) said that he would lead the funeral prayers of the following deceased members:
Qari Muhammad Ashiq
Qari Muhammad Ashiq who was a professor of Jamia Ahmadiyya and the Principal of Madrasatul Hifz. After completing the memorisation of the Holy Qur’an, before accepting Ahmadiyyat, he taught in various madrasas of the Ahl-e-Hadith sect. He had heard various non-Muslim scholars say that certain verses of the Holy Qur’an could be abrogated, whereas the Promised Messiah(as) was of the belief that not even an iota of the Holy Qur’an could be altered or abrogated in any way. He conducted further research into the matter and met with some Ahmadis who gave him books of the Promised Messiah(as). However, after some time he lost contact with those Ahmadis. However, according to God’s decree, he would receive various dreams including one in which he heard ‘Hearken to the call of the heavens. The Messiah has come! The Messiah has come!’ Hence in one way or another, his attention was constantly drawn back towards Ahmadiyyat and eventually, he pledged allegiance and entered the fold of Ahmadiyyat. He endured great hardship after pledging allegiance and non-Ahmadi Muslims even tried luring him away with various worldly enticements, however, God Almighty kept him steadfast. He married a widow who already had three children and then had one daughter of his own. At the time, Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad(rh) was the In-Charge of Waqf-e-Jadid, and asked for Qari Muhammad Ashiq to be brought to him for a meeting. Hence, after a meeting and listening to his recitation, Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad(rh) appointed him to work under Waqf-e-Jadid. Hence, students in the final year of Jamia Ahmadiyya would come and learn from him. He would also go on to teach the students of the Madrassatul Hifz and Jamia Ahmadiyya. Even after retirement, he would continue serving. His Holiness(aba) mentioned that he too remembered him teachings students in the mosque. He led the tarawih prayers for 15 years in Masjid Mubarak in Rabwah. It was said that he was appointed to this duty because the Third Caliph(rh) greatly enjoyed his recitation. His Holiness(aba) said that his students from around the world have written letters to him about the great qualities of Qari Muhammad Ashiq. His Holiness(aba) prayed that may Allah elevate his station and may Allah grant sincerity and loyalty to his progeny.
Nooruddin Al-Husni of Syria. He had currently been residing in Saudi Arabia, where he was jailed for his beliefs. It was while in jail that he recently passed away. When the Second Caliph(ra) visited Damascus he stayed at Nooruddin Al-Husni’s uncle’s home where he, as a child, had the opportunity of reciting a portion of the Holy Qur’an in the presence of the Second Caliph(ra). He was regular in keeping voluntary fasts, he loved reciting the Holy Qur’an and was regular in offering tahajjud (pre-dawn voluntary prayers). He remained steadfast in his belief, even while in jail. He would tell everyone in jail that the help of God is near. He is survived by his wife who made many sacrifices while her husband was in jail, three sons and a daughter. He was charged due to propagating the message of Ahmadiyyat on social media. He endured great hardships in jail, where he would not be allowed to even meet his family or speak to them on the phone. He would often fall ill due to his old age, yet he was still not allowed to meet his family. 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.
Summary prepared by The Review of Religions