Abu Mihjan al-Thaqafi Against the Persians [Hazrat Musleh Ma'ud's (ra) Narration]
Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra) has narrated the details of this incident in the following manner. In the previous narration, it was mentioned that the maidservant released him. However, Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra) writes:
“Hazrat Sa‘d bin Abi Waqas (ra) was among the very special companions of the Holy Prophet (sa). During the period of Hazrat Umar’s (ra) Khilafat, Hazrat Sa‘d (ra) was appointed as the commander of the Muslim army against the Persian army. Suddenly, he developed an abscess on his thigh, which is referred to as “gambhir” in our [Urdu] language. It persisted for a long time and he tried all kinds of treatments but to no avail. Eventually, he thought that if he remained bedbound and the army saw that their commander was absent, they would become downhearted. Hence, he had a tree deck constructed just like people in this country [the Indian subcontinent] do for the security of their orchards. He used to climb up to the deck with the help of his men so that the Muslim army may be able to see him and be assured that their commander was with them. During those days, he came to know that an Arab [Muslim] chief had consumed alcohol.”
Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra) further writes:
“Although alcohol was forbidden in Islam, but the Arabs were extremely addicted to it. And once someone is addicted to something, withdrawal can be very difficult. This particular chief had only accepted Islam two or three years before this incident.”
Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra) states that when one has a habit, it does not go away easily.
In any case Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra) states:
“Hazrat Sa‘d bin Abi Waqas (ra) was informed that this Muslim Arab chief had drunk alcohol and so he imprisoned him. In those days, there were no formal prisons. Whoever was to be imprisoned would be locked in a room and someone would be appointed to watch over them. Hence, this Muslim Arab chief was also locked in a room and someone was appointed to guard the door.”
Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra) further writes:
“The year in which this battle took place is known as the ‘Year of Trial’ in Islam in Islamic history. The reason for this is that the Muslims suffered great losses during this battle. At one point, the horses of the Muslim army fled from the elephants of the opponents. There was a river nearby and the horses plunged into it. Since the Arabs did not know how to swim, consequently hundreds of Muslims drowned and died. For this reason, that year is known as the ‘Year of Trial’. Nevertheless, this Muslim Arab chief was locked in a room. The Muslim soldiers would return from the battle, sit near his room and mention to one another that the Muslims suffered great losses during the battle. He would be greatly pained upon hearing this and express his grief over the fact that he was unable to partake in the battle on this occasion. He certainly had a weakness and as a result drank alcohol, but nevertheless he was a very courageous and passionate man. Hearing about the losses the Muslims suffered during the battle, he would start to pace up and down in the room just as a lion paces back and forth in the cage. Whilst pacing up and down, he would recite a couplet which means, ‘Today was the opportunity for you to defend Islam and display your courage; however, you remain behind imprisoned.’
“Hazrat Sa‘d’s (ra) wife was a very courageous woman. One day, she passed by his room and heard these couplets. She saw that no one was standing guard. And so, she approached the door and whilst addressing the prisoner, she said, ‘Do you know that Sa‘d (ra) has imprisoned you! If he finds out that I released you, he will certainly hold me accountable. However, I wish to set you free so that you may help Islam according to your desire.’ He replied, ‘You can release me whenever the battle commences and I promise that I will immediately return to this room after the end of each day.’ This lady was also passionate for Islam and had an ardent desire to protect it. Hence, she released him. And so, he partook in the battle and fought with such courage as a result of which the Muslim army advanced ahead instead of retreating. Sa‘d (ra) recognised him and later said, ‘The individual I imprisoned for drinking alcohol was present in the battle today. Even though he had covered his face, I recognised him by the manner in which he was fighting and his physical stature. I will search for the individual who released him and I will punish him severely.’ In other words, he was going to severely punish the individual who had unchained him. When Hazrat Sa‘d (ra) uttered these words, his wife became angry and said, ‘Do you not feel ashamed that you are sitting on the deck upon a tree and have imprisoned the individual, who fearlessly enters the rows of the opposing army and does not care for his life? I released this person! You may do as you please. I set him free and you may now do as you please.’”
Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra) mentioned the details of this incident in one of his addresses to the Lajna [auxiliary organisation of the women] and stated that women in Islam made extraordinary achievements. Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra) then reminded Ahmadi women that they should be mindful of these examples even today.
(Quroon-e-Ula ki Musalman Khawatin ka Namuna, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 25, pp. 428 -430)