Muhammad (sa): The Great Exemplar
Friday Sermon delivered at Masjid Mubarak, Islamabad, Tilford, UK
‘Guidance on Palestine-Israel & Accounts from the Life of the Holy Prophet(sa)’
After reciting Tashahhud, Ta‘awwuz and Surah al-Fatihah, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad(aba) said that he had been narrating incidents from the life of the Holy Prophet(sa) relating to the Battle of Badr or events that took place thereafter.
Marriage to Hazrat A’ishah(ra)
His Holiness(aba) said these incidents also include the Holy Prophet’s (sa) marriage to Hazrat A’ishah(ra). After the demise of Hazrat Khadijah(ra), Hazrat Khaulah(ra) asked the Holy Prophet(sa) whether he wished to get married again. The Holy Prophet(sa) asked to whom? He was told that if he wished to get married to someone who had never been married before, he could get married to A’ishah, and if he wished to marry a widow, he could marry Saudah. The Holy Prophet(sa) granted permission for Hazrat Khaulah(ra) to approach both families to see if they were interested. When Hazrat Khaulah(ra) went to Hazrat A’ishah’s(ra) home, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) was not home, but her mother Umm-e-Rumman was, who advised to wait for Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) to come home to speak on the matter. When he arrived home, Hazrat Khaulah(ra) relayed the proposal to Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra), to which he wondered whether, being brothers with the Holy Prophet(sa), if this marriage could take place. When Hazrat Khaulah(ra) asked the Holy Prophet(sa) about this, the Holy Prophet(sa) replied, saying that they were brothers only in faith, thus there was no hindrance if the proposal were to be accepted. After deliberation, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) agreed and asked Hazrat Khaulah(ra) to convey the acceptance of the proposal to the Holy Prophet(sa).
His Holiness(aba) said that after getting married, the Holy Prophet(sa) told Hazrat A’ishah(ra) that he had seen two dreams about her before they were married. In one dream, the Holy Prophet(sa) saw that an angel was carrying her in silk cloth. In another narration, the angel said that this was the Holy Prophet’s(sa) wife. The Holy Prophet(sa) thought that if this were to happen, then Allah would make it so.
His Holiness(aba) said that there is a narration that once, after the marriage had been settled, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) asked the Holy Prophet(sa) why he did not do the Rukhsati, or take Hazrat A’ishah(ra) home with him. The Holy Prophet(sa) replied that it was due to the dowry. Thereafter, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) gave the Holy Prophet(sa) the required amount, which he then gave as the dowry.
Age of Hazrat A’ishah(ra) at the Time of Marriage
His Holiness(aba) said that there are many varying opinions about the age of Hazrat A’ishah(ra) at the time of her marriage. Many raise allegations about this as well. As a matter of principle, there was nothing out of the ordinary that took place, otherwise, the opponents at the time would certainly have raised objections. However, no such objection is found in historical accounts. As for instances where Hazrat A’ishah’s(ra) age has been recorded as being younger, the Judge and Just Arbiter of this age, the Promised Messiah(as) has stated that these unfounded claims. The Promised Messiah(as) stated that neither the Qur’an nor the Hadith substantiate the age of Hazrat A’ishah(ra) being nine years old at the time of her marriage.
His Holiness(aba) quoted Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad(ra) who writes on the matter:
‘After the demise of Hazrat Khadijah(ra), the Holy Prophet(sa) was tied in a bond of matrimony to A’ishah Siddiqah(ra). This was in 10 Nabawi during the month of Shawwal. At the time, Hazrat A’ishah(ra) was seven years of age. However, even at the time, it seems that her growth and development had matured remarkably well; otherwise, there was no reason for Khaulah bint Hakim(ra), who had suggested this marriage, to consider her as being a suitable match for the Holy Prophet(sa). In any case, she had not fully matured until then, and for this reason, although the Nikah had taken place, the Rukhsatanah was yet to take place and thus, according to local custom, she continued to reside with her parents. However, now, in the second year of Hijrah, after five years had elapsed since the announcement of her marriage, she had fully matured at the age of twelve. As such, it was Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) himself who approached the Holy Prophet(sa) and requested for the Rukhsatanah to take place. Upon this, the Holy Prophet(sa) arranged for the dowry to be paid (in that era it was customary for the dowry to be paid in cash) and in the month of Shawwal 2 A.H., Hazrat A’ishah(ra) bid the home of her parents farewell and entered the household of the Holy Prophet(sa)’ (The Life & Character of the Seal of Prophets (sa), Vol. 2, pp. 237-238)
Virtues of Hazrat A’ishah(ra)
His Holiness(aba) further quoted Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad(ra):
‘Despite her young age, the intelligence and memory of Hazrat A’ishah(ra) was absolutely remarkable, and under the education and training of the Holy Prophet(sa) she developed astonishingly at a most extraordinary pace. In actuality, this was the very purpose of the Holy Prophet(sa) in bringing her to his home at such a young age; so that he could train her from a tender age according to his wishes, and she could receive the longest possible opportunity to remain in his company; so that she could be made fit for the sensitive and magnificent work which fell upon the wife of a law-giving Prophet. As such, the Holy Prophet(sa) succeeded in this purpose and Hazrat A’ishah(ra) rendered such service in the reformation, education and training of the Muslim women, as is unparalleled in the history of the world. A very large and significant portion of the Ahadith of the Holy Prophet(sa) is based on the narrations of Hazrat A’ishah(ra). As a matter of fact, the number of her narrations alone reach a grand total of 2,210. The level of her knowledge, wisdom and deep understanding of religion was such that the most eminent companions accepted her as an authority and would benefit from her grace. It is even related in narrations that after the Holy Prophet(sa), the companions were not confronted with a single scholarly issue, for which Hazrat A’ishah(ra) did not have an answer. There is a statement of ‘Urwah bin Zubair(ra) on record that:
“In knowledge of the Holy Qur’an, in knowledge of the law of inheritance, in knowledge of lawful and unlawful things, in the science of jurisprudence, in poetry, in medicine, in knowledge of the narrations of Arabia, and in the science of genealogy, I have not seen a greater scholar than A’ishah(ra).”
In virtue and contentment, she possessed such a great status that on one occasion, she happened to receive a sum of 100,000 dirhams from somewhere, and before sunset, she had distributed the entirety of it in charity, even though she did not have anything to eat for that evening in her own home. It was due to these very praiseworthy attributes, which had begun to show their splendour even in the era of the Holy Prophet(sa), that she was held especially dear by the Holy Prophet(sa). At times, he would say, “From among all the people, A’ishah(ra) is most beloved to me.” At another instance, the Holy Prophet(sa) said, “There have been many excellent models among men, but very few among the women.” Then the Holy Prophet(sa) named Asiyah, the wife of Pharaoh and Mary, the daughter of ‘Imrān, then he continued by saying, “‘A’ishah(ra) possesses such superiority over the women, as Tharid, which is among the best foods of Arabia, possesses over other foods.” On one occasion, some of the other Azwaj-e- Mutahharat complained to the Holy Prophet(sa) about Hazrat A’ishah(ra), but he remained silent. However, when his wives persisted, the Holy Prophet(sa) said, “What shall I do with these complaints? All that I am aware of is that I do not receive revelation from my God in the quilt of any other wife, but I often receive this revelation in the quilt of A’ishah(ra)”. Goodness gracious! How holy was the wife who was endowed with this distinction, and how holy was the husband whose criteria for domestic love was nothing other than sanctity and purity!!’ (The Life & Character of the Seal of Prophets (sa), Vol. 2, pp. 247-249)
His Holiness(aba) said that Hazrat A’ishah(ra) lived for 48 years after the demise of the Holy Prophet(sa).
Incident of Hazrat Zainab(ra)
His Holiness(aba) said that another incident which took place soon after the Battle of Badr was related to the Holy Prophet’s (sa) daughter Hazrat Zainab(ra). Her husband, Abu al-Aas bin Rabi’ was captured by the Muslims on the occasion of the Battle of Badr. Hazrat Zainab(ra) sent a necklace which had been given to her by Hazrat Khadijah(ra). Upon seeing the necklace, the Holy Prophet(sa) had tears in his eyes. He said to the Companions that if they agreed, they should free Abu al-Aas and also return the necklace, which they did. However, he was freed on the condition that he would allow her wife to migrate to Madinah. When the Quraish learned that Hazrat Zainab(ra) was leaving, they set out after her and found her in Dhi Tuwa. One of them approached her and scared her camel and frightened it, causing Hazrat Zainab(ra) to fall, and being pregnant at the time, she lost the child. There are also narrations stating that her camel was struck by a spear, causing Hazrat Zainab(ra) to fall on a rock, and thus she lost her child. It is recorded that thereafter, Hazrat Zainab(ra) remained in Makkah for a few days, after which Hazrat Zaid(ra), who was sent by the Holy Prophet(sa) to Makkah, helped Hazrat Zainab(ra) leave Makkah at night.
Injustices Perpetrated Against Palestinian & Israeli Civilians
His Holiness(aba) said:
‘At this time, I would like to make an appeal for prayers, relating to the conditions of the world today. Over the past few days, the war between Hamas and Israel has been ongoing, due to which citizens on both sides, including women, children and the elderly, are being killed without distinction, or have already been killed.
Even in times of war, Islam does not permit the killing of women, children, or anyone not participating in the war in any way. This is something which the Holy Prophet(sa) gave guidance on in very strong terms.
The world is saying, and certain evidence also shows, that Hamas initiated this war and is guilty of killing Israeli citizens indiscriminately. Despite the fact that the Israeli army has killed many innocent Palestinians. Muslims, in any case, must act according to the teachings of Islam. Israel is responsible for whatever its army has done, and there are many different ways of reaching a resolution. If a war is warranted, then it can be fought between armies, not with women, children and the innocent.
In this way, the actions of Hamas were wrong. They had more negative consequences than positive ones. Whatever took place and its consequences should have remained limited to Hamas; this would have been true bravery and valour.
However, now the actions being taken by the Israeli government are also very dangerous. It seems as if there is no end to this situation. The innumerable amount of innocent lives of women and children that will be lost is unfathomable. The Israeli government claimed that they would completely eliminate Gaza, to which end they dropped many bombs. They have reduced the city to ashes.
The latest circumstances are that they have said more than a million people should leave Gaza, and some have indeed started leaving. Thankfully, as feeble as it may be, the UN has raised its voice to some degree, saying that this would be a violation of human rights and it would be wrong, leading to many difficulties. As such, Israel should reconsider this order. Rather than firmly saying that this is wrong, [the UN] is merely making a request.
In any case, the innocent who are not partaking in the war are not at fault at all. If the world considers Israeli women, children and ordinary citizens to be innocent, then the Palestinians are also just as innocent.
The teachings of these People of the Book also say that such killings are impossible. If it is alleged that the Muslims were wrong, then these people should also look to themselves.
In any case, we must pray a great deal.
The Palestinian Ambassador [to the UK] gave a television interview here to the BBC, and in response to a question, said that Hamas is a militant group, not a government, and it has no connection to the Palestinian government. At the same time, he raised the question, and rightfully so, that if true justice were to be established, then such things would not transpire; if major powers did not have double standards, then such restlessness and warfare in the world could never happen. Hence, if these double standards were eliminated, then such warfare would be eliminated.
These are the very things which I have been stating in light of Islam’s teachings for quite some time. In the moment people agree, however, they are not prepared to act accordingly.
Now, all the major powers, or Western powers, have put justice aside and are uniting to inflict cruelty upon Palestinians and there is talk of armies being sent from all directions. Images of the oppressed are shown to depict the injustices being perpetrated and false reports are shown in the media. One day, there will be news about the condition of Israeli women and children and their dire circumstances. The next day, it turns out that they were not Israelis but, in fact, Palestinians. Yet the media does not take any accountability for this, and there is sympathy expressed for them. These people simply follow whoever has power. They will bend before anyone who has worldly means.
Upon analysis, it would seem that the major powers are bent on fanning the flames of war, rather than putting them out; they do not wish to end warfare. After the First World War, the major powers created the League of Nations in order to bring an end to wars. However, due to not fulfilling the demands of justice, and in striving to maintain its own dominance, it failed. Then, the Second World War took place, and it is said that more than 70 million lives were lost. The same is happening now with the UN. It was created to establish justice in the world, support the oppressed and to try and bring an end to wars. However, these are all far from being reality. Everyone is simply concerned with their own interests.
The average person cannot even fathom the harmful consequences of the war that will result from these injustices; however, all the major powers are well aware of the grave consequences. Yet, despite this, there is no attention given towards establishing justice. No one is even prepared to pay attention to this.
In such circumstances, Muslim nations, at the very least, should come to their senses. They should eliminate their differences and establish unity. If Allah the Almighty has commanded Muslims to better their relationships with the People of the Book by saying:
تَعَالَوۡاْ إِلَىٰ کَلِمَۃٖ سَوَآءِۭ بَیۡنَنَا وَبَیۡنَکُمۡ
“Come to a word equal between us and you” (The Holy Qur’an, 3:65)
referring to God, then why is it that Muslims – who all have the same creed – cannot put aside their differences and unite? They must ponder, and establish unity. This can become the means of eradicating disorder from the world. They should unite and raise a resounding voice for the fulfilment of the requirements of justice and fulfilling the rights of the oppressed, wherever they may be. If they unite as one, then there will also be power behind their voice. Otherwise, these Muslim governments will be responsible for the loss of innocent Muslim lives. These powers should always remember the guidance of the Holy Prophet(sa), that both the oppressors and the oppressed must be helped. This important point must be understood.
May Allah the Almighty grant Muslim governments reason and understanding and enable them to unite and establish justice. May He grant reason and understanding to the world’s powers so that rather than leading the world to destruction, they try to save the world from destruction. May their purpose not be to satisfy their egos. They should always remember that when destruction comes, their own powers will not be safe.
In any case, all we have is the weapon of prayer, which every Ahmadi should use now, more than ever before.
Some Ahmadi households in Gaza were destroyed, may Allah the Almighty keep them safe. May He keep all the innocent and oppressed safe, wherever they may be.
May Allah the Almighty grant understanding to Hamas, so they do not become responsible for the cruelties inflicted on their own people, nor should they commit injustices against anyone. If they are compelled to fight, then they must do so according to the commandments of Islam. Enmity for another nation should not lead us away from acting with justice; this is the command of Allah the Almighty.
May Allah the Almighty enable the major powers to establish justice on both sides and thereby establish peace. It should not be that they lean towards one side and thus usurp the rights of the other side. May they not commit injustices and cruelties.
May Allah the Almighty grant us the opportunity to witness peace and security in the world.’
His Holiness(aba) said that he would lead the funeral prayers of the following deceased members:
Dr Bashir Ahmad Khan
Dr Bashir Ahmad Khan of the UK recently passed away. He was the grandson of Mir Ahmad(ra) a companion of the Promised Messiah(as). He was regular in offering his prayers and keeping fasts. He was very pious and sincere. He served for some time at the Ahmadiyya hospital in Ghana. After moving to the UK, he would translate and summarize the sermons of the Fourth Caliph(rh). He loved the Holy Qur’an. He also taught his children the translation of the Holy Qur’an. He had memorised various poems and excerpts from the writings of the Promised Messiah(as). He is survived by his wife, son and six daughters. He was regular in offering prayers, was virtuous and love the Community and Khilafat. He had a passion for propagating the message of Islam. His Holiness(aba) prayed that may Allah grant him forgiveness and mercy and enable his children to carry on the legacy of his virtues.
Wasima Begum wife of Dr Shafiq Saikal who had also served as Naib Wakilul Tasnif. She is survived by her husband and three sons. She had profound love for Khilafat. She was always ready to make sacrifices. Her husband was a life-devotee, and would say that according to the words of the Caliph, the wife of a life-devotee is also a life-devotee. She took care of the poor and loved everyone. She was always a beneficial person for others. She also bore the responsibility of ensuring the marriage of many girls. His Holiness(aba) prayed that may Allah grant her forgiveness and mercy and enable her children to carry on the legacy of her virtues.
Summary prepared by The Review of Religions