Muhammad (sa): The Great Exemplar
Friday Sermon delivered at Baitul Futuh Mosque, Morden, London, UK
‘Life of the Holy Prophet(sa) & Guidance for Jalsa Workers: “Keep on Smiling”’
After reciting Tashahhud, Ta‘awwuz and Surah al-Fatihah, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad(aba) said that he had been mentioning incidents from the life of the Holy Prophet(sa) in relation to the Battle of Badr.
Kind Treatment of Prisoners of War
His Holiness(aba) said that after the battle, the prisoners of war included the Holy Prophet’s (sa) uncle, Abbas. When the prisoners were brought to the Holy Prophet(sa), he was unable to sleep at night. Someone asked the Holy Prophet(sa) why he was unable to sleep, to which he replied that it was due to the cries of Abbas. Hence, someone went and loosened the chains of Abbas. Then, the Holy Prophet(sa) asked what happened, as he no longer heard the cries of Abbas. When he was informed that his chains had been loosened, the Holy Prophet(sa) instructed for the same to be done for all the prisoners, so that there was no preferential treatment.
His Holiness(aba) quoted Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad(ra), who writes:
The Holy Prophet(sa) remained in the valley of Badr for three days. This time was spent shrouding and burying the martyrs and nursing the wounded. Similarly, it was during these days that the spoils were collected and sorted. The prisoners of the disbelievers, which equated to seventy, were secured and given into the custody of various Muslims. The Holy Prophet(sa) strictly directed the Muslims to treat the prisoners gently and kindly; and to ensure that their comforts were looked after. The companions, who possessed a passionate love of fulfilling their Master’s every desire, acted upon this admonition so wonderfully that the like of it cannot be found in the history of the world. Hence, from among these prisoners, one prisoner named Abu ‘Aziz bin ‘Umair relates that:
“Due to the exhortation of the Holy Prophet(sa), the Ansar would give me baked bread, but they themselves, would subsist on dates, etc. Many a time, it would so happen that even if they managed to procure a small piece of bread, they would give it to me, and would not eat it themselves. If I would ever return it to them in embarrassment, they would insist that I have it.”
Those prisoners who did not have sufficient clothing were given clothing. As such, ‘Abdullah bin Ubayy gave ‘Abbas his shirt.
Sir William Muir admits to the kind treatment of these prisoners in the following words:
“In pursuance of Mahomet’s commands, the citizens of Medina, and such of the Refugees as already had houses of their own, received the prisoners, and treat them with much consideration. ‘Blessings be on the men of Medina!’ said one of these prisoners in later days: ‘they made us ride, while they themselves walked: they gave us wheaten bread to eat when there was little of it, contenting themselves with dates.’ It is not surprising that when, some time afterwards, their friends came to ransom them, several of the prisoners who had been thus received, declared themselves adherents of Islam…Their kindly treatment was thus prolonged, and left a favourable impression on the minds even of those who did not at once go over to Islam.”’ (The Life & Character of the Seal of Prophets (sa), Vol. 2 pp. 156-157)
How the Victory at Badr Affected the Opponents of Islam
His Holiness(aba) said that when news of the Muslim’s victory reached Madinah, Ka’b bin Ashraf tried to refute it. In fact. Seeing this victory and how the Muslims had defeated the great chieftains of Makkah, the Jewish people became very jealous.
His Holiness(aba) quoted Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad(ra), who writes:
‘Until now, many people from the tribes of Aus and Khazraj still stood firm upon polytheism. The victory of Badr resulted in a movement among these people, and upon witnessing this magnificent and extraordinary victory, many people from among them became convinced of the truth of Islam. Thereafter, the element of idol worship began to diminish very rapidly in Madinah. However, there were also some in whose hearts this victory of Islam had sparked a fire of rancour and jealousy. Finding it unwise to oppose openly, apparently they accepted Islam, but from the inside they sought to uproot it and joined the party of the hypocrites. The most prominent among the latter class of people was ‘Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Sulul, who was a very renowned chieftain of the Khazraj tribe. Due to the arrival of the Holy Prophet(sa) to Madinah, he had already suffered the shock of having his leadership taken from him. After Badr, this individual became a Muslim at the outset, but his heart was satiated with malice and enmity towards Islam. He became the leader of hypocrisy and secretly began to hatch a series of conspiracies against Islam and the Holy Prophet(sa). As such, it shall become evident from events, which unfolded hereafter that on certain occasions, this individual became a means of creating very delicate situations for Islam.’ (The Life & Character of the Seal of Prophets (sa), Vol. 2 pp. 172-173)
His Holiness(aba) further quoted Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad(ra) who writes:
‘The battle of Badr had a deep and lasting effect on both the disbelievers and the Muslims. It is for this reason that this battle possesses a distinct significance in the history of Islam; to such an extent, that the Holy Qur’an has named this battle “Yaumul-Furqan,” i.e., the day upon which a manifest distinction was made between Islam and disbelief. There is no doubt that other wars also took place between the Quraish and the Muslims afterwards, and some of them were immensely fierce. At times, the Muslims were confronted with delicate situations, but in the battle of Badr, the spine of the Quraish had been broken, which no surgical operation could permanently repair thereafter. As far as the number of casualties was concerned, this was no great defeat. The death of seventy or seventy-two warriors for a people like the Quraish, can in no way be deemed a national devastation. In the battle of Uhud, this was the number of Muslim casualties. However, this loss did not even prove to be a temporary hindrance in the victorious pathway of the Muslims. Why then was the battle of Badr dubbed Yaumul-Furqan? In response to this question, the best answer is in the following words of the Holy Qur’an:
“Verily, on that day, the root of the disbelievers was cut off.” (The Holy Qur’an, 8:8)
In other words, the blow of the battle of Badr hit the root of the disbelievers, and it was shattered to pieces. If this very blow had struck the branches instead of the root, irrespective of how great a loss it would have inflicted, this loss would have been nothing compared to the one actually incurred. However, this blow to the root turned this lush green tree into a pile of coal, in a matter of moments. Only those branches survived which attached themselves to the other tree, before drying away. Therefore, in the field of Badr, the loss of the Quraish was not measured by the number of men who died, but rather, by the people who died. When we cast a glance upon the casualties of the Quraish from this perspective, there remains no room for even the slightest doubt or uncertainty, that at Badr, the root of the Quraish was truly cut off. ‘Utbah, Shaibah, Umayyah bin Khalaf, Abu Jahl, ‘Uqbah bin Abi Mu‘it and Nadr bin Harith, etc., were the moving spirit of the Quraish. This spirit flew off from the Quraish in the valley of Badr forever, and they were left like a lifeless body. It is for this reason that the battle of Badr has been given the name of Yaum-e-Furqan.’ (The Life & Character of the Seal of Prophets (sa), Vol. 2 pp. 165-166)
Rank of the Companions Who Partook in the Battle of Badr
His Holiness(aba) said that the angel Gabriel went to the Holy Prophet(sa) and asked him what rank he gave to the Muslims who partook in the Battle of Badr, the Holy Prophet(sa) said that they were the best of the Muslims. The angel Gabriel said that the same was the case for the angels who participated in the battle.
His Holiness(aba) said that after the Battle of Badr, the Holy Prophet(sa) sent Hazrat Ali(ra) with some others after a woman who was carrying a letter. When they intercepted her, they asked for the letter she was carrying, which they returned to the Holy Prophet(sa). They found that Hatib was informing the Quraish about certain plans of the Holy Prophet(sa). When the Holy Prophet(sa) asked Hatib about this, who replied that he had only done this to gain favour among the Quraish, otherwise his faith was still firm in Islam. Hazrat Umar(ra) wished to kill him. The Holy Prophet(sa) responded that Hatib had taken part in the Battle of Badr, and God promised that He would forgive the sins of those who partook in the Battle of Badr and that none of them would die in a state of disbelief.
His Holiness(aba) said that the Holy Prophet(sa) said that he trusted that none from those who partook in Badr and Hudaibiyah would enter the hellfire.
His Holiness(aba) said that when a stipend was established for companions during the time of Hazrat Umar(ra), a higher amount was set for those who participated in the Battle of Badr.
God Almighty’s Support for His Chosen Ones Against Their Oppressors
His Holiness(aba) quoted the Promised Messiah(as) who said that just as the Israelites had been persecuted, so too were the Muslims persecuted in Makkah. Eventually, just as the Israelites fled Egypt, so too did the Muslims leave Makkah. And just as the Pharaoh chased after the Israelites and met his end as a result, so too did the Makkans chase after the Muslims, but eventually meet their end. It was thus that upon finding the body of Abu Jahl on the battlefield after Badr, the Holy Prophet(sa) said that this was the Pharaoh of the Makkans.
His Holiness(aba) quoted the Promised Messiah(as) who said that the verse:
“And Allah had already helped you at Badr when you were weak.” (The Holy Qur’an, 3:124)
Also contains a prophecy that just like at the time of Badr, when the same circumstances start arising in the 14th century, God’s help would manifest. It was thus that the Promised Messiah(as) was commissioned.
Guidance for Workers for the Upcoming Jalsa Salana (Annual Convention) UK
His Holiness(aba) said that next Friday, the Jalsa Salana UK will be commencing. After a gap of three or four years, international guests will be attending the Jalsa in large numbers. In fact, these guests have already started arriving in the UK.
His Holiness(aba) prayed that may all those travelling have a safe journey and reach safely. His Holiness(aba) prayed that may everyone attending reap the blessings of Jalsa, even those who live in the UK. Everyone’s sole purpose of attending the Jalsa should be to attain spiritual nourishment.
His Holiness(aba) said that all the volunteers should serve the attendees with this in mind that they are the guests of the Promised Messiah(as). His Holiness(aba) said that this year a greater number of attendees is expected. As such, it could be possible that certain shortcomings arise from an organisational perspective. Albeit, His Holiness(aba) said that the workers of Jalsa have now become so experienced that they will already have addressed any issues, and if any issues were to still arise he trusts that they will be able to handle it in the best manner. His Holiness(aba) prayed that such issues do not arise in the first place that would cause the guests any difficulty.
His Holiness(aba) said that Islam impresses the importance of hospitality. Then, especially those who are journeying solely due to the call of the Promised Messiah(as) and are thus his guests must be dealt with great respect by the workers. The volunteers should serve them seeking only the pleasure of Allah the Almighty.
Virtue of Always Smiling
His Holiness(aba) said that the Holy Prophet(sa) instructed that one who believes in God and His Messenger (sa) should honour their guests. During the days of Jalsa, people from all over the world and with difference temperments come to attend. Sometimes, it becomes difficult to discern how to care for them according to their temperments. Sometimes, certain guests say something which the workers do not like. However, we have been instructed by God to honour guests no matter the circumstances. In fact this is one of the ways in which a person’s faith is tested. Hence, all the duty holders should bear this in mind, exhibit the best morals, and always keep on smiling.
His Holiness(aba) said that the standards of good morals expected of us have been explained by the Holy Prophet(sa), who said that smiling is a charity. To enjoin good and forbid evil is charity. To guide someone who is lost or blind is charity. To remove hindrances from the path is charity. To take something of yours and give it to your brother is charity. These are teh standards which every Ahmadi must achieve.
His Holiness(aba) said that smiling is a very important trait, especially for the workers of Jalsa. Certainly, the volunteers will be fatigues and deprived of sleep, but no matter the circumstances, they should always remain smiling.
His Holiness(aba) said that the tarbiyyat (moral training) department, and all other departments in general should take care that if they see anything that is against our teachings and traditions, then they should explain to those individuals with care and kindness.
His Holiness(aba) said that there are teams dedicated to keeping the paths clear and clean. Similarly, boards and put up at different places around the site with various guidance and directions. Despite this, if someone asks a volunteer directions for where to go, they should help them. In fact not just duty holders, rather anyone who is present should render help, and if they are not aware then they can direct them to the pertinent department.
His Holiness(aba) said that everyone knows that if there is a person who is disabled or blind then they must be helped. This is common knowledge and not much needs to be elaborated on the matter.
His Holiness(aba) said that if volunteers, indeed any person attending the Jalsa sees any litter around the site, they should pick it up and dispose of it. The administration should ensure that bins are available throughout the premises, and they should also ensure that nothing that shouldn’t be thrown in them that shouldn’t be there.
His Holiness(aba) said that those serving food should also take great care of the guests. If ever there is any shortage in food, they should kindly explain to the guests that they should share so that everyone is able to eat. Generally, the chances of this happening are very low. However, in the event that something like this does happen, the workers should deal with it in the appropriate manner.
His Holiness(aba) said that there is also the department of traffic control, where there can be the possibility of issues arising, especially if the weather takes a turn for the worse. Here, His Holiness(aba) said that the guests should also cooperate with the workers, and the workers should always display good morals.
His Holiness(aba) said that there are many other departments in Jalsa, and all should heed the guidance of the Holy Prophet(sa) to keep on smiling.
His Holiness(aba) prayed that may all the workers of Jalsa be able to carry out their duties in the best manner and may the Jalsa be blessed in every way. Every Ahmadi should continue praying for the success of this Jalsa. May Allah enable everyone to do so.
Summary prepared by The Review of Religions