Characteristics

Hazrat Abdullah Bin Mas’ud had an exceptional status with regards to his closeness to God Almighty and his relationship with Him. He was a special adviser along with Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) and Hazrat Umar (ra). And according to another narration, the Holy Prophet (sa) used to tell them to hold fast to the way/practise of Hazrat Abdullah Bin Mas’ud. The Holy Prophet (sa) had special trust in him and Hazrat Abdullah Bin Mas’ud also had exceptional love for the Holy Prophet (sa). Hazrat Abdullah Bin Mas’ud was a righteous, pious, and worshiping individual. He was so fond of worshipping and nawafil [voluntary prayers] that, in addition to the obligatory prayers and Tahajjud, he would also observe the prayer at the time of Chasht [period between morning and noon]. Likewise, he used to observe voluntary fasts every Monday and Thursday.

He was well recognised as a person of excellent morals, a kind teacher, and extremely God-fearing. Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas’ud fulfilled the rights of the bond of brotherhood, as established by the Holy Prophet (sa), with his brother in faith, Hazrat Zubair bin Al-Awam, in an excellent manner. Placing his entire trust in him, he bequeathed him to take care of all of his financial matters.

Saeed bin Musayyib narrates that a man was once speaking ill of Hazrat Ali (ra), Hazrat Talha (ra) and Hazrat Zubair (ra). Hazrat Sa‘d (ra) bin Malik, i.e., Hazrat Sa‘d bin Abi Waqas stopped him, saying, “Do not revile my brothers,” however, the man did not desist. Hazrat Sa‘d stood up and offered two rak‘ah [unit] of prayer and offered the following supplication, “O Allah! If these things that he is saying are a means of incurring Your wrath, then send down your chastisement upon him in front of me so that he can be a lesson to others.” Thus, as soon as this individual left the gathering, a camel was charging towards him. The camel caught him in a rocky terrain and throwing him underneath, crushed him, thereby killing him. The narrator states that the people went to Hazrat Sa‘d saying, “O Abu Ishaq! Rejoice for your prayer has been accepted.”

(Usdul Ghabah, Vol. 3, p. 88, Talha bin Ubaidillah Quraishi, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut)

With regard to the Holy Prophet (sa) calling Hazrat Umar (ra) a muhaddath, Hazrat Aisha (ra) relates,“The Holy Prophet (sa) said that there were most certainly muhaddatheen in the previous nations and if there is a muhaddath in my nation then it is Umar bin al-Khattab.”

(Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Kitab Fada‘il Ashab al-Nabi (sa), Bab Qad Kana Yakunu fi al-Umam Muhaddathun, Hadith 7693)

Hazrat Abu Hurairah (ra) relates that the Holy Prophet (sa) stated:

“The nations before you had people among them who were muhaddath and if there is anyone to attain this rank in my ummah, it is Umar.”

Muhaddath are those who are recipients of frequent divine discourse and visions. The Holy Prophet (sa) then stated:

“Among the Bani Israel who came before you, there were individuals with whom Allah spoke, even though they were not prophets. If there is someone like this among my ummah, it is Umar.”

(Sahih Muslim, Kitab Fada‘il Ashab al-Nabi (sa), Bab Manaqib Umar (ra) bin al-Khattab, Hadith 3689)

The Promised Messiah (as) states:

“God Almighty always uses metaphors and grants one the name of another based on the similarity they possess in their nature, attributes and faculties. Those in the sight of God Almighty who possess the heart of Abraham (as), will be deemed as Abraham in the sight of God Almighty. Those who possess the heart of Umar Farooq (ra) will be deemed as Umar Farooq (ra) in the sight of God Almighty.

“Do you not read the hadith that ‘if there is any muhaddath in this ummah with whom Allah the Almighty speaks, it is Umar’? Does this hadith mean that there will be no muhaddath after Hazrat Umar (ra)? Certainly not. In fact, this hadith means that when the need for a muhaddath arises, then one who possesses a similar spiritual condition to that of Umar (ra) will become the muhaddath.”

The Promised Messiah (as) states:

“This humble one once received a revelation: فِيْكَ‭ ‬مَادَّةٌ‭ ‬فَارُوْقِيَّةٌ

(Fath-e-Islam [The Victory of Islam], Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 3, p. 11, Footnote)

The full revelation is:

أَنْتَ‭ ‬مُحَدَّثُ‭ ‬اللّٰهِ، فِيْكَ‭ ‬مَادَّةٌ‭ ‬فَارُوْقِيَّةٌ ،‭ ‬ That is, ‘You are a muhaddath [recipient of divine discourse] of Allah.’ You have the quality of distinguishing between the truth and falsehood.”

(Tadhkirah, p. 82, Fourth Edition)

It is stated in one narration that once, Amir Muawiyyah asked Hazrat Sa‘d (ra), “What stops you from speaking ill of Abu Turab?” This was the title of Hazrat Ali (ra); Hazrat Sa‘d (ra) would never speak ill of him. Hazrat Sa‘d (ra) said, “There are three things which the Holy Prophet (sa) said regarding him – if even one of those things was said about me, it would be dearer to me than red camels. Due to these three things, I will never speak ill of him (i.e., Hazrat Ali (ra)).

“The first is that once, the Messenger (sa) of Allah left Hazrat Ali (ra) behind during an expedition. Upon this, Hazrat Ali (ra) submitted, ‘O Messenger (sa) of Allah! Will you leave me with the women and children?’ The Holy Prophet (sa) replied, ‘Are you not happy at the fact that your connection to me is the same as that of Aaron (as) with Moses (as), except with the difference that you will not be granted the status of prophethood after me.’ The second thing was on the occasion of the Battle of Khaybar, when the Holy Prophet (sa) said, ‘I will give the flag of Islam to such a person who loves Allah and His Messenger (sa) and Allah and His Messenger (sa) love him.’ At the time, we all desired that the flag be given to us for we all had love for the Holy Prophet (sa), however the Holy Prophet (sa) asked for Hazrat Ali (ra) to be brought forward. He did not give it to any of us, but instead said to call for Hazrat Ali (ra). Hazrat Ali (ra) came and he was experiencing an ailment in his eyes at the time. The Holy Prophet (sa) put his blessed saliva from upon his eyes and gave him the flag of Islam. On that day, Allah granted the Muslims victory.

“The third aspect he mentioned was that when this verse was revealed,

فَقُلْ تَعَالَوْا نَدْعُ أَبْنَاءَنَا وَأَبْنَاءَکُمْ وَنِسَاءَنَا وَنِسَاءَکُمْ

(The translation is as follows: “Say [to him], ‘Come, let us call our sons and your sons, and our women and your women.’” [Surah al-e-Imran, Ch.3: V.162])

“the Holy Prophet (sa) called Hazrat Ali (ra), Hazrat Fatima (ra), Hazrat Hassan and Hazrat Hussain (ra) and said, ‘O Allah! These are members of my family.’” This is a narration from Tirmidhi.

(Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Abwab-ul-Manaqib, Hadith no. 3724)

Hazrat Umar (ra) was so against lavish and extravagant clothes that he did not even like it if an enemy who had been captured was brought before him in such clothing. This has been mentioned in detail in the incident relating to the Persian commander, Hormuzan. Though I have previously explained this incident, I shall mention some details from it in order to explain.

When Tustar was conquered, Hormuzan, who was the commander-in-chief of the Persian forces, surrendered himself over to the Muslims. He was then sent to Hazrat Umar (ra) in Medina. However, before entering Medina, the Muslims who were taking him put his silk garments on him so that Hazrat Umar (ra) and the Muslims could see him in his true state. When Hormuzan appeared before Hazrat Umar (ra), he enquired whether this was Hormuzan. The people replied in the affirmative. Following this, Hazrat Umar (ra) carefully observed him and his garments and then stated, “I seek refuge in Allah the Almighty from the fire and I seek help from Allah the Almighty.”

The people who brought him mentioned that this was Hormuzan and that Hazrat Umar (ra) should speak to him. However, Hazrat Umar (ra) stated that he would certainly not speak to him until he removed his lavish and extravagant garments and his jewellery. When all of this was removed, then Hazrat Umar (ra) spoke to him.

(Sirat Amir-il-Mu‘minin Umar (ra) bin al-Khattab, Al-Salabi, pp. 424-425, Dar al-Ma‘rifah, Beirut, Lebanon, 2007)

The Promised Messiah (as) states:

“One can understand how high the rank of Hazrat Umar (ra) was among the companions, that at times, verses of the Holy Quran would be revealed which were in line with his view.

“There is a hadith in which it is mentioned that Satan would flee from the shadow of Hazrat Umar (ra). In another hadith, it is mentioned that ‘if there were to be a prophet after me, it would be Umar (ra).’ Thirdly, there is the hadith in which it is stated that ‘muhaddathin [those blessed with converse with God] have continued to appear in previous nations, and if there is a muhaddath in my nation, it is Umar (ra).’”

(Izalah-e-Auham, Part 1, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 3, p. 219)

At the time of his migration towards Medina, as the Holy Prophet (sa) was passing by the houses of Banu Sa‘idah, Hazrat Sa‘d (ra) bin Ubadah, Hazrat Munzir (ra) bin Amr and Hazrat Abu Dujana (ra) submitted to the Holy Prophet (sa), “O Messenger (sa) of Allah! Please come to us. We have honour, wealth, strength and power.”

Hazrat Sa‘d (ra) bin Ubadah also said, “O Messenger (sa) of Allah! There is nobody in my nation who would have more date orchards or more wells than me along with wealth, power and large numbers.”

Upon hearing this, the Holy Prophet (sa) replied, “O Abu Thabit! Make way for the camel. It has been ordered to follow a certain path. Thus, it will go where it pleases.”

(Subul al-Hudaa Wa al Rashaad, Vol. 3, Ch. 6, Fi Qudumuhi Batin al-Madinah…, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1993)

It is said that there was no house in the tribe of Aus and Khazraj where four consecutive generations of their men had displayed such high levels of generosity and open heartedness, except for Dulaim, then his son Ubadah, then his son Sa‘d, then his son Qais. There were many famous accounts about the generosity of Dulaim and his family.

(Usdul Ghabah, Vol. 2, p. 441, Sa‘d bin Ubadah (ra), Dar-ul-Kutub al Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2003)

When the Holy Prophet (sa) came to Medina, Sa‘d (ra) used to send a big bowl daily for the Holy Prophet (sa) of either meat or thareed. The thareed which would consist of pieces of bread cooked in meat. The thareed would also be made of milk or from vinegar and olives. Hazrat Sa‘d (ra) also used to send a bowl of fat/tallow, but most often the bowl would consist of meat. Hazrat Sa‘d(ra) would also send the bowl of food to the houses of the wives of the Holy Prophet (sa).

(Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Sa‘d, Vol. 3, p. 461, Sa‘d bin Ubadah, Darul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990)

According to some narrations, there were some days where there would be no food in the household of the Holy Prophet (sa).

(Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitabul Hibati wa Fadliha…, Bab Fadlul Hibati, Hadith 2567)

Thus, it may well be that Hazrat Sa‘d (ra) would send food majority of the time rather than on a daily basis, or that he used to send the food in the early days, or that perhaps, out of his generosity and concern for the poor, the Holy Prophet (sa) would distribute the food amongst the less-privileged or offer it to his guests, which is why no food would remain in his home. In any case, there is another narration in which Hazrat Zaid (ra) bin Thabit states:

“When the Holy Prophet (sa) stayed at the home of Hazrat Abu Ayyub Ansari (ra), he had nothing to offer. So the first thing I presented myself to the Holy Prophet (sa) was a bowl of thareed, consisting of wheat-bread, meat and milk. I presented it to the Holy Prophet (sa) and said, ‘O Messenger (sa) of Allah, my mother has sent this bowl for you’. The Holy Prophet (sa) replied, ‘May Allah grant His blessings upon it’. The Holy Prophet (sa) then called his companions (ra) and they also ate from it. I had only just reached the door when Hazrat Sa‘d (ra) bin Ubadah also came with a bowl, which was being carried upon the head of one of his servants, as if it was a large bowl. I stood at the door of Hazrat Aby Ayyub (ra) and I lifted the cloth from the bowl to see what was inside. I saw a bowl of thareed which also contained bones, which the servant then presented before the Holy Prophet (sa).”

Hazrat Zaid (ra) further narrates:

“We lived in the neighbourhood of Banu Malik bin Najjar and three or four of us would take turns to bring food every evening to the Holy Prophet (sa) during the seven months that the Holy Prophet(sa) resided in the house of Hazrat Abu Ayyub Ansari (ra). In that period, food would arrive to the Holy Prophet (sa) on a daily basis without fail from Hazrat Sa‘d (ra) bin Ubadah and from Hazrat Asad (ra) bin Zurarah.”

This particular narration has also clarified somewhat that food was brought to the Holy Prophet (sa) every day for the first seven months. It was no doubt also sent after that period, but perhaps without the same regularity. Hazrat Zaid (ra) then further states:

“Seeing as the Holy Prophet (sa) had stayed at the house of Umme Ayyub for seven months, when asked with regard to which of the food was the favourite of the Holy Prophet (sa), she answered, ‘I never witnessed the Holy Prophet (sa) ever requesting for something specific to be prepared for him. Similarly, I never saw the Holy Prophet (sa) criticise the food that was brought to him.’ Hazrat Ayyub (ra) told me that one night, Hazrat Sa‘d (ra) bin Ubadah sent a bowl for the Holy Prophet (sa) which contained tafaishal (a type of broth) which he drank to his fill. Apart from that occasion, I never once saw the Holy Prophet (sa) eating to his fill. Following this, we would also prepare the same dish for the Holy Prophet(sa).”

If food was ever brought to the Holy Prophet (sa), he would never request for anything, or ask for anything specific to be prepared or criticise the food in any way, nevertheless, he really liked this particular dish that was sent and enjoyed eating it. Thereafter, when the companions (ra) learnt that the Holy Prophet (sa) enjoyed this meal, they would prepare their food accordingly. Hazrat Zaid (ra) then states:

“We would also prepare harees, a well-known dish made from wheat and meat, which the Holy Prophet (sa) also enjoyed. For the evening meal, there would always be between five to sixteen companions (ra) with the Holy Prophet (sa), depending on the amount of food prepared.”

(Subul al Hudaa Wa al-Rashaad, Vol. 3, p. 275, Fi Qudumuhi Batin al-Madinah…, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1993) (Subul al-Hudaa Wa al-Rashaad, Vol. 3, p. 279, Fi Qudumuhi Batin al-Madinah…, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1993) (Lughaatul-Hadith, Vol. 1, p. 82, Awqiyah, Vol. 4, p. 572, Ali Asif Printers, Lahore, 2005)

Whilst mentioning the time the Holy Prophet (sa) resided at the home of Hazrat Abu Ayyub Ansari (ra), Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahib (ra) writes:

“The Holy Prophet (sa) stayed in this home for seven months, or according to Ibni Ishaq, he remained here until the month of Safar 2 AH. In other words, the Holy Prophet (sa) remained here until the construction of Masjid-e-Nabawi, and the adjacent living-quarters of the Holy Prophet (sa). Abu Ayyub (ra) would present food to the Holy Prophet (sa), and then, whatever would remain of it, he would eat himself. Due to his love and sincerity, he would eat from where the Holy Prophet (sa) had taken his food. Other companions (ra) would also present food to the Holy Prophet (sa). As such, among these people the name of Sa‘d (ra) bin Ubadah, chieftain of the Khazraj tribe, has been mentioned particularly in history.”

(Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad (ra), p. 268)

Hazrat Anas (ra) relates that Hazrat Sa‘d (ra) bin Ubadah said to the Holy Prophet (sa), “O Messenger (sa) of Allah, come and visit our home”.

So the Holy Prophet (sa) went with Hazrat Sa‘d (ra) to his house. Hazrat Sa‘d (ra) brought dates and sesame seeds for the Holy Prophet (sa), then a bowl of milk, which the Holy Prophet (sa) drank.”

(Subul al Hudaa Wa al-Rashaad, Vol. 7, p. 200, Ch. 4, Fi Aklihi At‘imah Mukhtalifah, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1993)

When the Holy Prophet (sa) returned to Medina after the Battle of Uhud, he met Hazrat Hamnah bint Jahsh (ra), the wife of Hazrat Mus‘ab (ra) bin Umair. The people had informed her that her brother Hazrat Abdullah bin Jahsh (ra) had been martyred. She replied by saying Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raji‘un [To Allah do we belong and to Him shall we return] and prayed for him to be granted forgiveness. Then they informed her of the martyrdom of her maternal uncle, Hazrat Hamza (ra), to which she again replied Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raji‘un, and prayed for his forgiveness. Thereafter, the people informed her that her husband, Hazrat Mus‘ab (ra) bin Umair, had also been martyred, upon which she began to weep and became anxious. The Holy Prophet (sa) then said, “A husband holds a special status in the eyes of his wife.”

(al-Sirat al-Nabawiyyah li Ibn Hisham, p. 396, Ghazwah Uhud, Dar Ibn Hazm, Beirut, 2009)

There is another tradition in which Hazrat Hamnah bint Jahsh (ra) is mentioned. It stated that when she was told that her brother was martyred she replied, “May Allah have mercy on him” and said Inna lillahi wa Inna ilaihi raji‘un. The people then said that her husband had also been martyred, to which she said, “Woe be unto me!”. The Holy Prophet (sa) then said, “A relationship between a wife and her husband is like no other.”

(Sunan Ibn Majah, Kitabul Jana’iz, Ma Ja’a fil Bukaa, Hadith 1590)

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IV (rh) has mentioned this incident of the martyrdom of Hazrat Mus‘ab (ra) bin Umair and the emotions of his wife, in his own words. He states:

“The male and female companions who had more than one close relative [martyred], would be told gradually to avoid being overwhelmed with the sudden news. When Hazrat Hamnah bint Jahsh (ra), sister of Hazrat Abdullah bin Jahsh (ra) came to the Holy Prophet (sa), he told her, ‘O Hamnah, be patient and seek the reward of God Almighty.’ She replied, ‘O Messenger (sa) of Allah, what should I seek the reward for?’ He said, ‘For your uncle Hamza.’ Hazrat Hamnah (ra) then replied, ‘Inna lillahi wa Inna ilaihi raji‘un’ (may Allah have mercy on him and grant him forgiveness through this martyrdom).’ Thereafter, the Holy Prophet (sa) repeated, ‘O Hamnah, be patient and seek the reward of God Almighty.’ She replied, ‘What should I seek the reward for?’ He said, ‘For your brother Abdullah.’ Hazrat Hamnah (ra) then replied, ‘Inna lillahi wa Inna ilaihi raji‘un (may Allah have mercy on him and grant him forgiveness by means of this martyrdom). The Holy Prophet (sa) once again repeated, ‘O Hamnah, be patient and seek the reward of God Almighty.’ She replied, ‘O Messenger (sa) of Allah, what should I seek the reward for?’ He said, ‘For Mus‘ab bin Umair’, to which she said, ‘Woe be unto me!’ After hearing this, the Holy Prophet (sa) said, ‘Indeed, the husband has a right over his wife that no one else possesses, however why did you utter such words?’ Hazrat Hamnah (ra) answered, ‘O Messenger (sa) of Allah! It occurred to me that his children have become orphans, which worried me, and it was in this state that I uttered these words.’ Having listened to this, the Holy Prophet (sa) prayed for the children of Hazrat Mus‘ab (ra) bin Umair, saying, ‘O Allah, be their Guardian and Protector, treat them with kindness and affection and take good care of them.’”

(Khutbaat-e-Tahir, Qabl az Khilafat, p. 363)

Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahib (ra) writes:

“During the Khilafat of Hazrat Umar (ra), Hazrat Suhail bin Amr (ra) along with Abu Sufyan and various other chieftains of Mecca who had accepted Islam at the victory of Mecca, went to meet Hazrat Umar (ra). Coincidentally, at the same time, Bilal (ra), Ammar (ra), Suhaib (ra) and others also came to meet Hazrat Umar (ra). These people were those who were previously slaves and were very poor, but they were among those who had accepted Islam in the early days.

“When Hazrat Umar (ra) was notified, he invited Hazrat Bilal (ra) and his party to come and see him first. Upon witnessing this sight, Abu Sufyan, who perhaps still possessed a tinge of ignorance, became furious and said, ‘Were we to witness such disgrace as well? Are we to wait, while these slaves are granted the honour of audience?’ ‘Then who is to blame for this?’ retorted Suhail. ‘Muhammad (sa) invited us all to God and they accepted him immediately while we held back. Then should they not possess superiority over us?’”

(Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad (ra), p. 369)

Whilst mentioning Hazrat Bilal’s (ra) status and rank, Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra) has related this incident in the following manner:

“During his Khilafat, Hazrat Umar (ra) once came to Mecca and all those former slaves who would be dragged by their hair, came one by one to meet with Hazrat Umar (ra). It was Eid day and before these former slaves arrived, all the sons of the prominent chiefs of Mecca came to greet Hazrat Umar (ra). They were still sitting when Hazrat Bilal (ra) came – the same Bilal (ra) who was previously a slave. People would beat him severely and drag his bare body across sharp rocks. Large heavy rocks would be placed on his chest and he would be forced to say that he would worship Lat and Uzza [idols]; however, he would only say:

أَشْہَدُ أَنْ لَّا اِلٰہَ إِلَّا اللّٰہُ

“[I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah.]

“When Hazrat Umar (ra) saw Hazrat Bilal (ra), he requested the chiefs if they could move back and allow for Hazrat Bilal (ra) to sit down. He had just sat down, when another companion, who was previously a slave, came and Hazrat Umar (ra) asked the chiefs again if they could move back and allow him to sit. After a short while, another companion, who was a former slave, came and again Hazrat Umar (ra) requested the chiefs to move back and to leave space for him to sit down. Because Allah wished to humiliate them, coincidentally eight or 10 [former] slaves came one after another and each time, Hazrat Umar (ra) would request the chiefs to move back and allow them to sit in front.

“In those days, there were no large halls; rather, there used to be small rooms in which only a small number of people could be accommodated. When the room was filled with the companions who were once slaves, and the chiefs were made to sit where the shoes were kept, they were unable to bear this humiliation. They immediately left and outside they began discussing how they had been disgraced in that those people that were once their slaves, now were made to sit ahead of them and they were forced to move back, also that they were forced to sit where the shoes were and that they were disgraced and humiliated in front of everyone.

“One of the young chiefs, who was wiser than the others, heard all of this and said, ‘Indeed, we were disgraced, but the question is, whose actions resulted in our disgrace? When our brothers and fathers would inflict cruelties on the Holy Prophet (sa) and his companions, these slaves would sacrifice their lives for his sake. Since the Holy Prophet (sa) was granted victory and governance, you can decide for yourselves who the followers of the Holy Prophet (sa) would grant honour to; you, who would beat them or those slaves who sacrificed their lives for the sake of Islam? If indeed they deserve honour and respect today, then why do you have any grievances. It is owing to the evil actions of your forefathers that you do not receive the same honour as these [former] slaves.’

“When the wise young man said this, they understood the matter. They said, ‘Indeed, our forefathers are responsible for this humiliation, but is there a way in which we can wash away this blemish?’ They all agreed that since they were unable to think of a solution, they would speak to Hazrat Umar(ra) and ask him if there was a way to atone for their mistakes. When they went to meet Hazrat Umar(ra), the gathering had come to a close and the companions had all left. They said to Hazrat Umar (ra), ‘We have come to speak to you about the anguish we felt today in the gathering.’ Hazrat Umar (ra) stated, ‘Do not feel aggrieved, for these people were the companions of the Holy Prophet (sa) and would always be seated at the front in his gatherings. Therefore, I was obliged to seat them in the front. I am aware you may have been pained by my action, but this was my duty.’ They replied, ‘We can understand this predicament of yours. We only wish to know is there any way in which we can atone for the reasons why we suffered this humiliation? Is there any water with which we can wash away these stains?’

“Hazrat Umar (ra) had seen the influence, power, awe and might their forefathers wielded. When Hazrat Umar (ra) heard them say these words, it brought tears to his eyes just thinking about how far they would go to atone for their mistakes. He was overcome with such an intense state of emotion that he was unable to speak. All he could do was to point towards Syria, where in those days, the Muslims were engaged in battle with the armies of the Byzantine emperor. What he meant was that the only way to atone for the reason why they suffered this humiliation was to sacrifice their lives and go fight. Thus, mounting their camels, they immediately departed for Syria. History tells us that not a single one of these young chiefs came back alive. Thus, through the sacrifice of their blood, they washed away the stain that was marked on their foreheads, as it were, owing to the actions of their forefathers.”

(Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 9, pp. 289-290)

Thus, one of the things we learn from this is that in order to attain a rank or honour, one must offer sacrifices. The beautiful teachings of Islam are such that those who offered sacrifices from the outset, their rank and station is undoubtedly greater, irrespective of whether they were slaves of African descent or belonged to any other ethnicity.

Islam has granted honour on the ground of merit and can be bestowed upon anyone, not just the rich or the poor. If they show loyalty and are willing to offer sacrifices, and if they are willing to sacrifice everything including their lives, then they will be given their due rank and honour.

“One morning, the Messenger (sa) of Allah called for Hazrat Bilal (ra) and asked, ‘O Bilal! What is the reason for you being in front of me in Paradise? I entered Paradise last night and I heard your footsteps before me.’ Hazrat Bilal(ra) replied, ‘Whenever I call the Azan, I offer two rak‘aat [units] of prayer and whenever my ablution [wuzu] breaks, I perform ablution again. And I consider this incumbent upon me from Allah to offer the two rak‘aat.’ Upon that, the Messenger of Allah (sa) said, ‘This is the reason.’”

(Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Abwab al-Manaqib, Hadith 3689)

In another narration, it is stated that Hazrat Abu Hurairah (ra) narrates:

“The Holy Prophet (sa) said to Hazrat Bilal (ra) at the morning prayer, ‘Bilal, tell me about the most hopeful act you have done since your acceptance of Islam [i.e., one for which you hope for the most reward from God] because I heard the sound of your footsteps in front of me in Paradise?’ Hazrat Bilal (ra) replied, ‘I do not consider any act more hopeful [for reward] other than whenever I have performed the ablution during the day or the night, I would immediately perform prayer with that wuzu for as long as was destined for me to perform it.’”

(Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Tahajud, Bab Fazl al-Tuhur bi al-Lail wa al-Nahar, Hadith 1149)

This does not mean that Hazrat Bilal (ra) surpassed the Holy Prophet (sa) in any way, rather it only means that Allah the Almighty granted him this status – due to his purity and cleanliness and due to his [voluntary] prayers in seclusion – thus he was with the Holy Prophet (sa) in paradise like he used to be in this world.

It was previously mentioned in one of the narrations that on the day of Eid, Hazrat Bilal (ra) would walk in front of the Holy Prophet (sa) while holding a spear and would then plant the spear into the ground to indicate the direction of the Ka‘bah and the Holy Prophet (sa) would lead the Eid prayer. Thus, Allah the Almighty continued to grant him that honour even in Paradise due to his purity and worship just as the Holy Prophet (sa) saw in one of his visions.

It is mentioned in another narration, “The Messenger (sa) of Allah said, ‘When I was being taken towards paradise at night, I heard the sound of someone’s footsteps. I asked, “O Gabriel, whose footsteps are those?” Gabriel replied, “It is Bilal (ra).”’ Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) said, ‘I wish I was born from the mother of Bilal (ra). I wish the father of Bilal (ra) was my father and I was like Bilal (ra).’”

(Majma‘ al-Zawa‘id wa Manba‘ al-Fawa‘id, Vol. 9, p. 363, Kitab al-Manaqib, Bab Fadl Bilal al-Mu’adhin, Hadith 15635)

What a lofty status is that of Bilal (ra), who once used to be considered worthless and dragged across rocks, and then came a time when Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) stated that he wished he had been Bilal (ra).

Whilst mentioning the early companions, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahib (ra) writes:

“Then was Bilal bin Rabah (ra) … the Abyssinian slave of Umayyah bin Khalf. After he migrated, the duty of calling the Azan in Medina was entrusted to him. However, after the demise of the Holy Prophet (sa) he stopped calling the Azan but in the Khilafat of Hazrat Umar (ra), when Syria was conquered, upon the persistence of Hazrat Umar (ra), he called the Azan. This reminded everyone of the Holy Prophet’s (sa) time, and Hazrat Umar (ra) himself, and the companions who were present at the time, wept profusely. Hazrat Umar (ra) loved Bilal (ra) to the extent that when he died, Hazrat Umar (ra) said, ‘This day a leader of the Muslims has passed away.’ These were the words of the king of that time for a poor Abyssinian [former] slave.”

(Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad (ra), pp. 124-125)

On one occasion, addressing Ahmadi women, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II (ra) quoted the following verse of the Holy Quran:

ٱلۡمَالُ وَٱلۡبَنُونَ زِينَةُ ٱلۡحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنۡيَاۖ وَٱلۡبَٰقِيَٰتُ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَٰتُ خَيرٌ عِندَ رَبِّكَ ثَوَابٗا وَخَيرٌ أَمَلٗا

“Wealth and children are an ornament of the life of this world. But enduring good works are better in the sight of thy Lord in respect of immediate reward, and better in respect of future hope.” (Surah al-Kahf, Ch.18: V.47)

Whilst expounding upon this verse and also mentioning Hazrat Bilal (ra), Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II(ra) stated that there is only one thing that shall remain and that is وَٱلۡبَٰقِيَٰتُ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَٰتُ [enduring good works]. Whatever deeds one carries out for the sake of God will remain. Following this, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II (ra) stated:

“Where is Abu Hurairah’s (ra) progeny and property today? We have no knowledge of any property he had or his children. We do not know whether he even had any children. However, despite not having seen his children, his house or property, when we mention his name we say ‘Hazrat Abu Hurairah (ra), may Allah be pleased with him.’”

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II (ra) further states:

“A few days ago, an Arab visited me and said that he was from the progeny of Bilal (ra). I am not certain whether he spoke the truth or not; however, at that time, I had a heartfelt desire to embrace him, as he was the offspring of that individual who called the Azan in the mosque of the Holy Prophet (sa). Where is the progeny of Bilal (ra) today? We do not know whether he even had any progeny. And even if he did, we do not know where they are, nor do we have any knowledge of his wealth or properties. However, the fact that he called the Azan in the mosque of the Holy Prophet (sa) remains and will continue to remain in the future as well.”

(Masturat sey Khitab, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 16, pp. 457-458)

Therefore, it is only the pious deeds that shall remain.

Hazrat Bilal (ra) narrated 44 ahadith [sayings of the Holy Prophet (sa)] and four narrations have been included in Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim.

(Siyar A‘lam al-Nubala li Imam al-Dhahabi, Vol. 1, p. 360, ‘Bilal bin Rabah’, Mu‘assisat al-Risalah, 2014)

In one narration, it is mentioned that the Holy Prophet (sa) said that heaven is eagerly awaiting three individuals; Ali (ra), Ammar (ra) and Bilal (ra).

(Siyar A‘lam al-Nubala li Imam al-Dhahabi, Vol. 1, p. 355, ‘Bilal bin Rabah’, Mu‘assisat al-Risalah, 2014)

Once, Hazrat Umar (ra) was narrating the excellences of Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra). Whilst doing so, he pointed towards Hazrat Bilal (ra) and said, “This is Bilal (ra), our leader.” He was mentioning the qualities of Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) and Hazrat Bilal (ra) was also seated [in the gathering]. Hazrat Umar (ra) pointed towards him and said, “This is Bilal (ra), our leader and he is an example of one of the pious deeds of Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra).” This is because he purchased Hazrat Bilal (ra) and freed him from captivity.

(Tarikh Dimashq al-Kabir li Ibn Asakir, Vol. 10, p. 363, Dhikr man Ismuh Bilal bin Rabah, Dar Ihya al-Turah al-Arabi, Beirut, 2001)

Aaiz bin Amr relates that Abu Sufyan once walked by Hazrat Salman (ra), Hazrat Suhaib (ra) and Hazrat Bilal (ra) in a gathering. Upon this, these individuals said, “By God! The swords of Allah did not strike the necks of the enemies of Allah on their appropriate places.” The narrator says that upon this Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) responded, “Do you say this about an honourable man of the Quraish and their chief?” Thereafter, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) went to the Holy Prophet (sa). In other words, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) disapproved of what they said regarding the chief of the Quraish, which is that they did not take appropriate revenge against him. Following this, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) went to the Holy Prophet (sa) and informed him of this incident.

The Holy Prophet (sa) stated, “O Abu Bakr! Perhaps you have upset them. If you have upset them, then you have displeased your Lord.” Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) went to them and said, “O my dear brothers, have I upset you?” Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) presented the incident before the Holy Prophet (sa) so that he may admonish them; however, instead, the Holy Prophet (sa) stated that perhaps they had been upset by his words.

However, how great was the character of Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) that he immediately returned to them and said, “My dear brothers! Did I upset you?” To this, they replied, “No, dear brother, may Allah grant you forgiveness. You did nothing of the sort; we are not upset with you.”

(Sahih Muslim, Kitab Faza‘il al-Sahabah, Bab min Faza‘il Salman wa Suhaib wa Bilal, Hadith 2504)

Hazrat Abu Musa (ra) narrates:

“I was with the Holy Prophet (sa) when he was passing through Jir‘anah (a place between Mecca and Medina). Hazrat Bilal (ra) was also with us. A Bedouin came to see the Holy Prophet (sa) and said, ‘O Muhammad (sa)! Will you not fulfil the promise you have made with me?’ The Holy Prophet (sa) replied, ‘I give you glad tidings.’ The Bedouin then said, ‘You have said أَبْشِرْ (i.e., I give you glad tidings), many times to me before.’ The Holy Prophet (sa) turned away from the Bedouin as if in a state of displeasure and looked towards Hazrat Abu Musa (ra) and Hazrat Bilal (ra), and did not look towards the Bedouin again.

“Turning towards them, the Holy Prophet (sa) said, ‘I was giving him glad tidings, but he has rejected it. You both can accept these glad tidings.’ They both replied, ‘O Messenger (sa) of Allah, we accept it.’ The Holy Prophet (sa) then requested for a bowl of water to be brought and using this, he washed his hands and his face and also rinsed out his mouth. He then said, ‘Both of you pour this over your face and chest, and be content.’ Thus, they both took the bowl and did as the Holy Prophet (sa) had ordered them. From behind the curtain, Hazrat Umme Salamah (ra) said, ‘Whatever is left in the bowl that you two have with you, save some for your mother,’ i.e., for Hazrat Umme Salamah (ra), the mother of the believers. Thus they left some in the bowl for her.”

(Sahih Muslim, Kitab Faza‘il al-Sahabah, Bab min Faza‘il Abi Musa wa Abi Aamir al-Ash‘ariyyin, Hadith 2497)

Hazrat Ali bin Abi Talib (ra) narrates that the Holy Prophet (sa) stated:

“Each prophet is granted seven leaders, but I have been granted 14,” i.e., double the number. They asked Hazrat Ali (ra) who were those 14 leaders. Hazrat Ali (ra) stated: “Me, both my sons, Jafar(ra), Hamza (ra), Abu Bakr (ra), Umar (ra), Mus‘ab bin Umair (ra), Bilal (ra), Salman (ra), Miqdad (ra), Abu Dhar (ra), Ammar (ra) and Abdullah bin Mas‘ud(ra).” (Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Abwab al-Manaqib, Hadith 3785)

Hazrat Zaid bin Arqam (ra) narrates that the Holy Prophet (sa) said, “How excellent is Bilal (ra), he is the chief of all the muazzins [those who call the Azan]. Only those who are muazzins will follow after him and on the Day of Resurrection, the people with the longest necks will be the muazzins.”

(al-Mustadrak ala al-Sahihain li al-Hakim, Dhikr Bilal bin Rabah, Vol. 3, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2002, p. 322)

Hazrat Zaid bin Arqam (ra) narrates that the Holy Prophet (sa) said, “How excellent is Bilal, he is the leader of the martyrs and the muazzins and on the Day of Resurrection, Hazrat Bilal (ra) will have the longest neck”, meaning that Hazrat Bilal (ra) will have a lofty and prominent rank.

(Majma al-Zawa‘id wa Manba‘ al-Fawa‘id, Vol. 9, p. 363, Kitab al-Manaqib, Bab Fadl Bilal al-Muazzin, Hadith 15636, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2002)

In one narration it is mentioned that the Holy Prophet (sa) stated, “Bilal will be granted one of the camels of paradise which he will be seated upon.”

(Siyar A‘lam al-Nubala li Imam al-Dhahabi, Vol. 1, p. 355, ‘Bilal bin Rabah’, Mu‘assisat al-Risalah, 2014)

The wife of Hazrat Bilal (ra) states, “Once the Holy Prophet (sa) came to our home and enquired if Bilal (ra) was at home. I said that he had not yet returned home. The Holy Prophet (sa) then said, ‘It seems that you are upset with Bilal?’ I replied that he loved me a lot. Every time he spoke, he would say he heard such and such from the Messenger (sa) of Allah.’ Upon this the Holy Prophet (sa) said to Hazrat Bilal’s (ra) wife, ‘Whatever Bilal relates to you from me, that is indeed the truth. Bilal would never lie to you. Thus, you should never remain upset with Bilal and none of your deeds will be accepted if Bilal is upset with you.’”

(Tarikh Dimashq al-Kabir li Ibn Asakir, Vol. 10, p. 356, Dhikr man Ismuh Bilal bin Rabah, Dar Ihya al-Turah al-Arabi, Beirut, 2001)

Hazrat Abu Hurairah (ra) narrates that the Holy Prophet (sa) stated, “The example of Bilal is like that of a honey bee who sucks the nectar from sweet fruit as well as bitter shrubs, but when honey is produced, all of it is sweet.”

(Majma al-Zawa‘id wa manba al-Fawa‘id, Vol. 9, p. 364, Kitab al-Manaqib, Bab Fadl Bilal al-Muazzin, Hadith 15639, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2002)

Hazrat Bilal’s (ra) wife narrates, “Before Hazrat Bilal (ra) would go to bed, he would recite the following prayer:

اللّٰهُمَّ تَجَاوَزْ عَنْ سَیِّئَاتِیْ وَاعْذُرْنِیْ بِعِلَّاتِیْ

‘O Allah! Overlook my mistakes and forgive me for my errors, deeming them to be a weakness on my part.’”

(al-Mu‘jam al-Kabir li al-Tabarani, Vol. 1, p. 337, Bab Bilal bin Rabah, Hadith 1009, Dar Ihya al-Turath al-‘Arabi, Beirut, 2002)

Hazrat Bilal (ra) narrates:

“The Holy Prophet (sa) said to me, ‘O Bilal! Ensure that you pass away in a state of poverty and not in a state of affluence!’ I submitted, ‘O Messenger (sa) of Allah! I did not understand this statement’”, i.e., to pass away in a state of poverty and not in a state of affluence. “‘How can this be?’ The Holy Prophet (sa) then stated, ‘Whatever provision is granted to you, do not hoard it and do not withhold that what is asked from you.’ I asked, ‘O Messenger (sa) of Allah! If I am unable to do this, then what will happen?’ The Holy Prophet (sa) stated, ‘This must be adhered to, otherwise hell will await such a person.’”

(al-Mu‘jam al-Kabir li al-Tabarani, Vol. 1, p. 341, Bab Bilal bin Rabah, Hadith 1021, Dar Ihya al-Turath al-Arabi, Beirut, 2002)

Thus, one should never allow someone who is in need to go away empty-handed and also it should not be the case that one simply hoards and accumulates wealth, rather it is important to spend the wealth as well.

Hazrat Umar’s (ra) level of humility and righteousness can be gauged from the following incident:

Hazrat Urwah (ra) bin Zubair narrates that he saw Umar (ra) bin al-Khattab carrying a waterskin on his shoulder. Upon this, he submitted, “O Leader of the Faithful! This does not behove you.” Hazrat Umar (ra) stated, “When the various delegations from different countries arrived whilst demonstrating their utmost obedience, a sense of self-importance developed in my heart. Thus, in order to remove this feeling from me, I decided to carry this waterskin.”

(Sirat Umar (ra) bin al-Khattab, Muhammad al-Salabi, p. 122, Dar al-Ma‘rifah, Beirut, Lebanon, 2007)

Hazrat Yahya (ra) bin Abdi Al-Rahman bin Hatib relates from his father that they were once returning from Mecca in the company of Hazrat Umar (ra) and upon reaching the valleys of Dhajnan, they stopped. Dhajnan is the name of a place which is situated about 25 miles from Mecca. He further narrates that Hazrat Umar (ra) then stated, “Upon seeing this place I can still recall the time when I would tend to the camels of my father, Khattab. He was a man of a very stern disposition. I would take the camels laden with sticks and thereafter I would take them with grass placed upon them. However, today my condition is such that people travel far and wide in my land and there is no one above me.”

In other words, I am a ruler of a vast and expansive land in which people travel a great distance and come and meet me and also there is no other ruler in this world who rules over me. He then recited the following couplet:

لَا‭ ‬شَيْءَ‭ ‬فِيْمَا‭ ‬تَرَى‭ ‬إِلَّا‭ ‬بَشَاشَتَهُ يَبْقَى‭ ‬الْإِلَهُ‭ ‬وَيُوْدِي‭ ‬الْمِالُ‭ ‬وَالْوَلَدُ

“Whatever you can see has no reality to it apart from being a temporary source of joy. One’s wealth and progeny will come to an end and it is only God Who lives forever.”

(Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, Umar (ra) bin al-Khattab [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 1990], p. 202) (Fath al-Bari, Vol. 2, p. 144, Qadimi Kutun Khana, Aram Bagh, Karachi)

He was counted among the outstanding companions. Hazrat Aisha (ra) has narrated that there were three individuals from among the Ansar, above whom no other Ansari Companion could be given precedence. All of them belonged to the tribe of Banu Abd-ul-Ash‘al; and they are, Hazrat Sa‘d bin Mu‘adh, Hazrat Usaid bin Uzair and Hazrat Abbad bin Bishr.

Hazrat Abbad Bin Bishr narrates that whilst addressing the Ansar, the Holy Prophet (sa) stated, “O Ansar, you are my Shiaar, (i.e. the inner garment that is in contact with the body), whilst the other people are Disaar (i.e. the garment that is draped around the outer part).” The Holy Prophet(sa) also stated, “I am satisfied that I will not incur any hardship from you.” Hazrat Abbad Bin Bishr was martyred during the Battle of Yamama at the age of 45.

Hazrat Aisha (ra) narrates, “The Holy Prophet (sa) performed the Tahajjud prayer in my house, and then he heard the voice of Abbad who was praying in the Mosque. The Holy Prophet (sa) asked, ‘O Aisha! Is this the voice of Abbad?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ The Holy Prophet (sa) said, ‘O Allah! Have mercy upon Abbad!’”

Similarly, Hazrat Anas (ra) narrates, “Two companions of the Holy Prophet (sa) left the house of the Holy Prophet (sa) in the extreme darkness of the night. One of them was Hazrat Abbad bin Bishr whilst I believe that the other companion was Ussaid Bin Uzair. They both had something which resembled a lantern and illuminated the path before them. When they separated, each of them had one lantern with them (which was illuminating their vision in the darkness). At last they arrived to their families.”

(Sahih Al-Bukhari, Kitaab-ul-Salat, Hadith no. 465), (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Kitaab-ul-Shahadat, Hadith no. 2655), (Usdul Ghaaba, Vol. 3, pp. 149-150, Abbad bin Bishr, Dar-ul-Kutub-ul-Ilmiyyah, Beirut)

Once, Hazrat Umar (ra) sent Hazrat Abu Ubaidah (ra) 4,000 dirhams and 400 dinar and told his emissary to take note of what Hazrat Abu Ubaidah (ra) did with that wealth. And so when this emissary took the wealth and gave it to Hazrat Abu Ubaidah (ra), he distributed it all amongst the people. The emissary narrated the entire event to Hazrat Umar (ra) and he stated, “We are thankful to Allah for He granted Islam people like Abu Ubaidah (ra).”

On one occasion, Hazrat Umar (ra) asked his companions to express their desire for something. One of them replied, “I wish this house be filled with gold, so I could spend it in the way of Allah as Sadaqah.” Another one stated, “I wish this house be filled with pearls and rubies, so I could spend it in the way of Allah as Sadaqah.” Hazrat Umar (ra) then asked them to further express what they desired. They submitted, “O Leader of the Faithful, we do not understand as to what it is that we should desire?” Hazrat Umar (ra) stated, “I wish that this house be filled with people like Hazrat Abu Ubaidah bin Jarrah(ra), Hazrat Mu‘az bin Jabal (ra), Salim (ra), freed slave of Abu Huzayfa (ra) and Hazrat Huzayfa bin Yaman (ra).”

(al-Mustadrak ala al-Sahihain, Vol. 3, p. 252, Kitab Marifat al-Sahabah, Dhikr Manaqib Salim Maula Abi Huzayfa, Dar-ul-Kutub Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2002)

Thus, how fortunate were these people, who attained the pleasure of Allah the Almighty in this world and in the Hereafter.

Zaid bin Aslam (ra) relates that his father once stated, “I accompanied Hazrat Umar (ra) bin Al-Khattab to Harrah Waqim.” This was located between two “Harrahs”. A Harrah is an area which has a dark rocky terrain. Harrah Waqim is situated towards the east of Medina and is also known as Harrah Banu Qurayza. The other area is called Harrat-ul-Waburah, which is located towards the west of Medina, at a distance of three miles.

Nevertheless, he narrates, “I went there [i.e. Harrah Waqim]. When we reached a place called Sarar, we saw that a campfire had been lit there.” Sarar is also situated at a distance of three miles from Medina. “Hazrat Umar (ra) stated, ‘O Aslam! I believe that these are travellers, who have been held back due to the night and the cold weather. Come let us go to them!’ Hence, we quickly went towards them and saw a woman with her children. There was a pot placed on the fire and her children were profusely crying due to hunger. Hazrat Umar (ra) said, ‘O people of the light, may peace be upon you!’” He did not wish to say people of the fire and said people of the light instead. “The woman replied, ‘May peace be upon you as well.’ Hazrat Umar (ra) asked permission to come closer and the woman replied, ‘You may do so with a good purpose, otherwise, you may turn back.’” In other words, if he wished to say something good, he could do so and if not, he should turn back.

“Upon this, Hazrat Umar (ra) came closer and asked what the matter was. The woman stated, ‘The night and the cold have kept us here.’ Hazrat Umar (ra) then asked, ‘What is the matter with the children and why are they crying like this?’ The lady replied that they were doing so out of hunger. Hazrat Umar (ra) enquired what was in this pot and she replied, ‘It only contains water. I am comforting my children with it until they fall asleep. Allah will judge between us and Umar (ra).’ Hazrat Umar (ra) said, ‘O lady! May Allah have mercy on you! How could Umar have known about your circumstances?’ She replied, ‘He is the guardian of our affairs and yet he is unaware of our conditions.’”

Aslam, who was accompanying Hazrat Umar (ra), says, “Hazrat Umar (ra) then came to me and said, ‘Come with me!’ We once again walked very quickly and reached Dar-ul-Daqiq.” Hazrat Umar (ra) had constructed a building, by the name of Dar-ul-Daqiq, during his Khilafat, in which flour, parched and ground barley, dates, raisins and other necessary items were stored, which a traveller could need on a journey. Hazrat Umar (ra) had also constructed several rest areas for people travelling between Mecca and Medina. Nevertheless, [it further narrates] “He took hold of a sack of grains and a can of clarified butter from there. He then asked me to help him lift it so that he could carry it.”

Aslam further narrates, “I submitted, ‘Let me carry it for you’, but Hazrat Umar (ra) repeatedly stated that he should help him so that he could carry it himself and each time I requested that I would carry it for him, Hazrat Umar (ra) stated, ‘Will you carry my burden on the Day of Judgement?’ Upon this, I helped place the sack on him and Hazrat Umar (ra) carried this sack on his back and walked very swiftly and I also quickly walked alongside him until we reached that woman. Hazrat Umar (ra) placed the sack near her, took out some flour and said, ‘Slowly pour this into the pot while I stir it for you.’”

In another narration, it is written that Hazrat Umar (ra) said, “Slowly pour the flower and I will prepare for your Harira [native Arab dish made of milk and flour].” Hazrat Umar (ra) then started blowing under the pot in order to kindle the fire.

Aslam, i.e. the narrator, further states, “Hazrat Umar (ra) had a long and thick beard and I saw that the smoke was appearing from his beard.” In other words, the smoke would rise and go on his face and also go into his beard. “When the food was ready, he removed the pot from the fire and asked for a utensil to be brought, upon which the lady brought a large plate. Hazrat Umar (ra) poured the food into it and said, ‘Feed this to your children while I spread it out for you so that it may cool down.’ In other words, he would spread it and cool it in another utensil. Hazrat Umar (ra) continued to do so until the children had eaten their fill and whatever remained of the food he left it with her.”

Aslam then states, “Hazrat Umar (ra) then stood up and I also stood up with him. Upon this, the lady said, ‘May Allah the Almighty reward you in the best manner. You are more deserving of this”, i.e. a reward, “than Amir-ul-Momineen [leader of the faithful].’ Upon this, Hazrat Umar (ra) said, ‘You should speak that which is good. When you go to Amir-ul-Momineen, you will find me there, insha-Allah.’”

Aslam further states, “Following this, Hazrat Umar (ra) went to one side and sat down facing the woman. I said to Hazrat Umar (ra), ‘Is there anything else left to do?’ Hazrat Umar (ra) did not say a word to me until we saw the children playing with each other and laughing and then all of them peacefully went to sleep. Upon this, Hazrat Umar (ra) thanked God and then stood up and turned towards me and said, ‘O Aslam! These children were awake and crying due to hunger. I desired not to leave this place until I got to witness this peaceful state of theirs, which I have just witnessed.’”

(Tarikh Al-Tabari, Vol. 2, pp. 567-568, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut [1987]) (Farhang-e-Sirat, p. 101, 102 & 172, Zawar Academy Publications Urdu Bazaar, Karachi [2003]) (Syedna Umar bin Khattab Shakhsiyat Aur Karnaame, p. 442, Al-Furqan Trust, Khan Garh, Muzaffar Garh, Pakistan [Lisan-ul-Arab, under the word “Harr”])

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) has also narrated this incident. He states:

“If one cannot have access to the essential provisions, it is then the duty of the Muslim government to provide them.” Here, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) is outlining the responsibilities of a Muslim government. “There is an incident of Hazrat Umar (ra) in relation to this which is extremely moving and reveals the true reality. On one occasion, the Second Caliph (ra) was observing whether any of the Muslims were facing any hardship. There was a village called Marar situated three miles from the capital of Medina.”

Our researchers say that it was not Marar but Sarar and it is possible that this was an error by the scribe, who mistakenly wrote Marar. In any case, it further states:

“He heard someone crying. He followed the sound and presently came upon an old woman who was tending a pot on the fire and three children near her who were weeping. The caliph enquired of the old woman what their trouble was. She replied that they had had nothing to eat for two days, and as she could procure no food, she had put an empty pot on the fire to make them think that food would soon be ready; and thus to cajole them into sleep.

“The caliph thereupon returned to Medina. He procured flour, butter, meat and dates and put them in a bag. He then called a slave and asked him to lift the bundle onto his [the Caliph’s] back. The assistant with him protested that he would carry the bundle himself. ‘No doubt,’ replied Hazrat Umar (ra), ‘you can carry this bundle for me now, but who will carry my burden on the Day of Judgment?’, meaning that as he had neglected his duty to provide for the woman and her children, the only atonement he could make was to carry the bundle of provisions himself to her.”

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) writes that an allowance was assigned for every one of those in need, but from this incident, one should not think that this instilled indolence within people. Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) further writes:

“But while Islam enjoins helping the poor, it disapproves of idleness and sloth. The object of state allowances was not, therefore, the encouragement of idleness. They were made only in really deserving cases. People were encouraged to work for their living and were restrained from begging. Hazrat Umar (ra) once noticed a person asking for alms who had a bagful of flour with him. The caliph took away the bag of flour from him, emptied it out before some camels, and turning to him said, ‘Now you may beg.’ It is on record that beggars were compelled by the state to earn their livelihood by labour.”

(Ahmadiyyat or The True Islam, pp. 272-274, Islam International Publications, Ltd. [2007])

If they were able and healthy, then they had no reason to beg; rather, they ought to work hard and earn money and eat thereof. Through this, Hazrat Umar (ra) taught that man a lesson that if he begged again then he would again take his food provisions away from him and place them before the animals. Many of those who beg from others present this example of Hazrat Umar (ra) in order to support their stance in that how he would look after the people, but they fail to recognise the fact that Islam has very strictly prohibited begging from others. Moreover, the example of the Holy Prophet (sa) in relation to this is also there which Hazrat Umar (ra) implemented.

Then whilst narrating this incident on another occasion, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) stated:

“Look at the example of Hazrat Umar (ra)! On the one hand, the great leaders of the world would tremble in fear owing to his awe and reputation. Even the governments of the Byzantines and Persians would fear him, but on the other hand, a person of such a lofty rank like Umar (ra) became greatly anxious upon seeing a Bedouin woman and her children hungry in the night and he took a sack of flour and container of butter in his hand and went to them. And he did not return from there until he had cooked the food with his own hands and gave it to the children and then waited for them to sleep.”

(Sair-e-Ruhani [Part 6], Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 22, p. 596)

Hazrat Umar’s (ra) freed slave, Aslam, who was mentioned previously as well, states:

“A group of traders once arrived in Medina and they stayed in the area designated to perform the Eid prayer. Hazrat Umar (ra) stated to Hazrat Abdur (ra) Rahman bin Auf, ‘Would you like it that we stand guard in the night for them?’ Hazrat Abdur (ra) Rahman bin Auf replied in the affirmative. Following this, both of them stood guard for them all night and spent the time in worship. During this time, Hazrat Umar (ra) heard the cry of a child and he went towards the sound of the cry and said to the mother, ‘Fear Allah the Almighty and take proper care of your child.’ After saying this, he returned” – in other words, he returned to the place where they were guarding the provisions [of the traders] – “but again, Hazrat Umar (ra) heard the cry of the child and went to the mother and said the same thing to her as he had stated earlier and then returned.

“When night entered its latter part, he heard the child’s cry again, he went to his mother and said, ‘You are extremely negligent! I have noticed that your child has been crying all night.’ Upon this, she replied, ‘O servant of Allah! I am trying to convince him to eat something else other than drink my milk, but he continues to refuse and only wants the milk.’ Hazrat Umar (ra) enquired as to why she did this and she stated, ‘Because Hazrat Umar (ra) only assigns an allowance for those children who have been weaned.’ Hazrat Umar (ra) then asked the child’s age and she told him his age. Hazrat Umar (ra) then stated, ‘Do not wean the child prematurely.’ Thereafter, Hazrat Umar (ra) led the Fajr prayer and owing to his emotions, his recitation could not even be heard properly by the congregants. Hazrat Umar (ra) then said to himself, ‘Woe be unto you O Umar! For you have taken the lives of so many Muslim children.’ Then, he issued an instruction to the person who made the announcements to declare that they should stop weaning the children prematurely. As of this point, in Islam, an allowance would be fixed for every child from the moment they were born. Hazrat Umar (ra) sent this instruction to all the Muslim lands.”

(Al-Bidaya Wa Al-Nihaya, Ibn Kathir, Vol. 10, pp. 185-186, Dar-e-Hijr, 1998)

This incident has also been narrated by Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) in his own unique manner. He states:

“Initially, Hazrat Umar (ra) did not fix any allowance for those children who were suckling, but later he established the right [for an allowance] of children who were still being suckled and issued an instruction that this allowance should be given to their mothers. Hazrat Umar (ra) thought that since a child who was still being nursed did not actively contribute to society, thus the responsibility for [providing the provisions to] the child was with the mother and not the public treasury.

“However, Hazrat Umar (ra) once went for a walk and a group of Bedouin traders had arrived just outside of the city. Hazrat Umar (ra) heard the cries of a child coming from a tent and the mother was trying to console the child by patting him so that he would fall asleep. When the child continuously cried despite her consoling him, she slapped the child and said, ‘Cry for Umar!’ Hazrat Umar (ra) was shocked because he had nothing to do with this. Hazrat Umar (ra) sought permission from the lady to enter the tent and then enquired the matter from her. Since she did not recognise Hazrat Umar (ra), she said, ‘Umar (ra) has fixed an allowance for everyone but he does not realise that this child is also in need of nourishment. I have weaned him as I wanted him to be assigned with an allowance but I do not have enough milk.’

“Hazrat Umar (ra) immediately returned and took out a bag of flour from the treasury and carried it with him. The attendant of the treasury came forward to help carry it but Hazrat Umar (ra) stated, ‘Leave it! I shall carry it myself. When I will be whipped on the Day of Judgment, will you stand in my place? I wonder how many children have died as a result of me.’ Thereafter, Hazrat Umar (ra) issued an instruction that even those children that were being suckled would be assigned an allowance.”

(Khutbat-e-Mahmud, Vol. 27, p. 353)

The Promised Messiah (as) states:

“In the hadith, it has been narrated by Ammar bin Khuzaima, ‘Hazrat Umar (ra) said to my father, “What has stopped you from planting trees on your land?” His father’”, who was no longer planting any new trees and nor increasing his orchard or perhaps was not replacing the withered plants with new ones, “‘replied, “I am old and will soon pass away. Therefore, what benefit will this be to me?” Hazrat Umar (ra) replied, “This is no reason for you to not to do this. It is incumbent for you to plant trees.” I then saw that Hazrat Umar (ra) would help my father plant the trees.’”

(Malfuzat, Vol. 2, p. 92)

The Promised Messiah (as) also narrated this account in relation to safeguarding oneself from indolence and laziness and stated that this person was eating the fruits of the previous generation i.e. the plants which had already been planted, but he ought to also leave something behind for the future generation.

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) states:

“Hazrat Umar (ra) would walk in the nights in order to observe the state of affairs. Once, he was walking in the city at night and he heard a woman reciting very romantic poetry [longing for her husband to return]. Hazrat Umar (ra) investigated the matter and learnt that her husband was in the army and would be away from her for a long period of time. Hazrat Umar (ra) then issued an instruction that a soldier must not be sent away for more than four months. And if he desired to stay for longer, then he must take his wife with him otherwise the commander of the army must send him back after four months.”

(Khutbat-e-Mahmud, Vol. 4, p. 63 [1914])

In relation to this incident, it is also mentioned that Hazrat Umar (ra) stated to the woman who was reciting these couplets, “Have you committed any ill deed?” To which she replied, “I seek refuge with Allah!” Upon this, Hazrat Umar (ra) stated, “Remain steadfast. I am sending a letter to your husband.” And so, Hazrat Umar (ra) sent a messenger so that he may return. Hazrat Umar (ra) then further investigated the matter and then, as mentioned earlier, he issued an instruction that a husband should not be sent away for more than a duration of four months, or his family should be sent with him.

(Tarikh-ul-Khulafa, Al-Suyuti, p.111, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1999)

Aslam, the freed slave of Hazrat Umar (ra) relates:

“One night, I went to the outskirts of Medina along with Hazrat Umar (ra). We saw a tent and decided to go towards it. As we got closer, we heard a woman experiencing labour pains and was crying. Hazrat Umar (ra) enquired about her condition and she stated that she was not from the area and was travelling and therefore did not have the necessary provisions. Upon this, Hazrat Umar (ra) became emotional and quickly returned home. He said to his wife, Hazrat Umm Kulthum bint Ali (ra), ‘Would you like to attain a reward which Allah the Almighty has brought to you?’ Hazrat Umar (ra) then related the entire incident, to which Hazrat Umm Kulthum (ra) said, ‘Yes, of course.’

“Hazrat Umar (ra) then carried some flour and butter on his back while Hazrat Umm Kulthum (ra) took the necessary provisions required for a delivery and they both arrived there. Hazrat Umm Kulthum (ra) then went to that woman and Hazrat Umar (ra) sat with her husband who was also there at the time but he did not recognise Hazrat Umar (ra). Hazrat Umar (ra) began talking to him.

“When his wife had given birth to a son, Hazrat Umm Kulthum (ra) came out and said to Hazrat Umar (ra), “O Leader of the Faithful! Give glad tidings to your friend, for he has been blessed with a son.” It was only when he heard Hazrat Umm Kulthum (ra) say this that he realised that he was sitting next to such an esteemed person and thus began to apologise. Hazrat Umar (ra) stated that there was no need to apologise and then gave them some money and other provisions and then returned.

(Al-Bidaya Wa Al-Nihaya, Ibn Kathir, Vol. 10, p. 186, Dar-e-Hijr [1998])

Nonetheless, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) was the closest associate of the Holy Prophet (sa). Even during the age of ignorance, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) was averse to idolatry and abstained from it. Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) never practised idolatry, nor did he prostrate before any idol even during the age of ignorance. It is recorded in Sirat al-Halabiyyah that most certainly, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) never prostrated to any idol. Allama Ibn Jawzi has included Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) amongst those individuals who refused to worship idols, even during the age of ignorance. That is to say, he never went near any idols.

(Ali bin Burhan al-Din al-Halabi, Al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah, Vol. 1, Bab Dhikr Awwal al-Nas Imanan [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2002], pp. 384-385)

According to the narrations of Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, the people of Najran – while according to another narration of Sahih Muslim, the people of Yemen – came to the Holy Prophet (sa) and said, “Please, send someone with us who may teach us the faith.” In one narration it is mentioned that they said, “Please, send a trustworthy person with us.” Upon this request, the Holy Prophet (sa) said, “I will certainly send such a trustworthy person with you who will do justice to his duty.” Then, the Holy Prophet (sa) held the hand of Hazrat Abu Ubaidah bin Jarrah (ra) and said, هَذَا أَمِیْنُ هَذِهِ الْاُمَّةِ (i.e., he is the custodian of this Ummah.)”

(Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab Fada‘il Ashab al-Nabi, Bab Manaqib Abi Ubaidah bin al-Jarrah, Hadith 3745) (Sahih Muslim, Kitab Fada‘il al-Sahabah, Bab Min Fadail Abi Ubaidah bin al-Jarrah, Hadith 2419-2420)

With regard to Hazrat Umar’s (ra) humility and humbleness, there is a narration from Jubair bin Nufair who states that a group of people said to Hazrat Umar (ra), “O Leader of the Faithful! By Allah, we have not seen anyone more just and truthful, and firm against the hypocrites than yourself. Indeed, after the Holy Prophet (sa), you are the best among us.” Auf bin Malik said to the person who said this, “By Allah, you have lied. Verily we have seen the best person among us after the Holy Prophet (sa)”, i.e. the one better than Hazrat Umar (ra).

Hazrat Umar (ra) asked, “O Auf! Who is that person?” to which he replied, “Abu Bakr (ra)”. Hazrat Umar (ra) then said that Auf has spoken the truth and about the person who said the earlier statement that he had lied. He then said, “By Allah! Abu Bakr (ra)was even purer than the scent of musk and I am even more lost than the camels belonging to my people.”

(Kanz al-Ummal, Vol. 6, Kitab Fada‘il al-Sahabah, Riwayah No. 5624, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut)

Saeed bin Musayyab and Abu Salama bin Abdir Rahman relate:

“By God, whatever Hazrat Umar (ra) said, he truly fulfilled it. When it was time to be strict, he showed strictness and when it was time to show leniency and compassion, he did so and became a father figure for the children. Those women whose husbands were away, he would personally visit their homes and offer his greetings of peace from the door and then ask them, ‘Are you in need of anything? Or do you require anything and I will go to the market and buy it for you because I would not like for someone to cheat you in matters of buying and selling.’ The women would then send their children along with him. Hazrat Umar (ra) would enter the marketplace and there would be so many children behind him that it would be difficult to count. Hazrat Umar (ra) would then purchase their items of need for each one, and for those women who did not have any children, he would personally buy it for them. Whenever a messenger arrived from the army, Hazrat Umar (ra) would personally take the letters from their husbands and deliver it to them and he would say, ‘Your husbands have left for the sake of Allah and you dwell in the city of the Holy Prophet (sa). If you have someone who can read the letter for you then that is fine, otherwise you can stand near the door and I will read out the letter for you.’ Hazrat Umar (ra) would then say, ‘Our messenger will leave from here on such and such day. You can write your letters and we will send them for you.’ Hazrat Umar (ra) would then deliver paper and pens to their houses. Those who could write themselves, he would take the letters and those who were not able to write, he would say, ‘Here is the paper and ink, come near the door and say what you would like me to write.’ Hazrat Umar (ra) would go to every single house and take their letters they had written for their husbands and he would then arrange for them to be sent.

(Izalatul Khulafa An Khilafat-ul-Khulafa, translated by Shah Walliullah Muhaddis Dehlvi, Vol. 3, pp. 228-229, Qadeemi Kutub Khana Karachi)

Hazrat Ali (ra) relates:

“I saw that Hazrat Umar (ra) was once holding the saddle of a camel and was quickly going towards Abtah.” Abtah is the name of a place situated near Mecca and Mina. “Upon seeing him, I said, ‘O Leader of the Faithful! Where are you going?’ Hazrat Umar (ra) replied, ‘One of the camels which had been donated for charity is missing and I am going to search for it.’ Upon this, I said to Hazrat Umar (ra), ‘You have set such examples for those Khulafa who shall come after you which will not be easy to follow.’ Hazrat Umar (ra) replied, ‘O Abul Hasan! Do not say anything against me for I swear by Him Who sent Muhammad (sa) as a prophet, even if a baby goat went missing near the Euphrates River, Umar will be asked about it on the Day of Judgment.’”

(Izalatul Khulafa An Khilafat-ul-Khulafa, translated by Shah Walliullah Muhaddis Dehlvi, Vol. 3, pp. 286-287, Qadeemi Kutub Khana Karachi) (Mu‘jamul Buldan, Vol. 1, p. 95)

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) states:

“During the time of Hazrat Umar’s (ra) Khilafat, a Muslim man was once walking with his head lowered. Hazrat Umar (ra) thought that perhaps he had received some sad news or was experiencing some difficulty and hence had lowered his head. Hazrat Umar (ra) lifted his face up with his fist and stated, ‘This is the era of Islam’s victories and yet you have lowered your head.’” In other words, this was an era wherein God Almighty had granted governance to Islam despite the efforts of the world [opposing it], and so even if he did experience a little difficulty, there was no need to lower his head like that. “Hazrat Umar (ra) stated, ‘At this moment in time, Allah the Almighty has granted governance to Islam and so regardless of what the world says, if you have absolute faith that Islam will be victorious then what need is there to cry’” i.e. over small issues.

(Qadian Se Humari Hijrat Eik Asmani Taqdeer Thi, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 1, p. 379)

In other words, if some of the Muslims in a particular place had to endure some loss, there was still no reason to cry or be worried.

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) mentioned this incident after migration from Qadian. Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) stated that even if a believer had suffered a loss, they should not look at what they have lost; rather, they ought to reflect as for whose sake had they lost it for. If something had been lost for the sake of God Almighty and for the progress of Islam, then Allah the Almighty would grant an even better reward than that. One should not become worried over temporary loss.

Similarly, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) cites a well-known incident of Hazrat Umar (ra) from which he concludes that though Hazrat Umar (ra) had to endure hardships, he did not mind doing so and he established such equality which Islam seeks to establish throughout the world. The incident is as follows:

“Jabalah bin Ayham used to be a prominent chief of a Christian tribe. When Muslims began conquering Syria, he along with his tribe accepted Islam, and then proceeded to go for Hajj. During Hajj, at one point, there was a large crowd; incidentally, another Muslim stepped on his foot.

“In some narrations, it is stated that the Muslim stepped on the hem of his robe. [Jabalah] considered himself to be a king seeing as there were 60 thousand people who followed him. In fact, according to some historical accounts, 60 thousand was just the number of his soldiers.

“In any case, when a partially clothed Muslim man stepped on his foot, he was enraged and slapped him, saying ‘You wish to dishonour me. Do you not know who I am? You should have moved back out of respect, yet you have impudently stepped on my foot.’ After having been slapped, the Muslim man remained silent; however, another Muslim spoke up saying, ‘Are you aware of the fact that the religion which you have entered is Islam, and Islam does not distinguish between ordinary and prominent people. Especially in this house”, i.e. the Holy Ka‘bah around which he was performing circuits, “there is considered to be no difference between the rich and the poor.’ Jabalah replied, ‘I do not care about this.’

“The Muslim said, ‘If a complaint against you is made to Umar (ra), then he will surely take retribution from you for this Muslim.’ When Jabalah bin Ayham heard this, he became furious and said, ‘Is there anyone who would slap the face of Jabalah ibn Ayham?’ The Muslim man said, ‘I do not know about anyone else, but this is how Umar (ra) would settle the matter.’

“Upon hearing this, [Jabalah] quickly completed circulating the Ka‘bah and then went straight to the gathering of Hazrat Umar (ra) and asked, ‘If a prominent person slaps an ordinary man, then what do you do?’ Hazrat Umar (ra) replied, ‘We will have the ordinary person slap the prominent person.’ Jabalah then said, ‘You have not understood what I mean to say. What I mean is that if there is an extremely prominent person who slaps [an ordinary person] then what do you do?’

“Hazrat Umar (ra) said, ‘In Islam, there is no discrimination between the prominent and the ordinary.’ Then Hazrat Umar (ra) said, ‘Jabalah, is it you who has committed this fault?’ Upon this, Jabalah lied and said that he had not slapped anyone and that he had simply asked a question. However, he left that gathering immediately and returned to his country with his people after which they became apostates and fought alongside the Byzantines in the battles against Muslims; however, Hazrat Umar (ra) did not show any concern for him.”

(Sair-e-Ruhani (Part 2), Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 16, pp. 43-43)

This was the level of equality which was established by the Muslim government and this is a lesson for the Muslim governments of today.

There is a narration regarding the high degree of Hazrat Umar’s (ra) forbearance. Once, Hazrat Umar (ra) was delivering a sermon and said, “O people, if anyone from among you finds any fault in me, he should rectify it.” A man stood up and said, “If we find any crookedness in you, we will rectify it with our swords.” Hazrat Umar (ra) said, “I am thankful to Allah that he has created such a man in this nation who would rectify Umar’s crookedness with his sword.”

(Sirat Umar bin al-Khattab, Ali Muhammad al-Sallabi, p. 106, Dar-ul-Ma‘rifah Beirut)

As he was delivering his sermon, Hazrat Umar (ra) said, “Enjoin me to do good and stop me from evil and help me by advising me.”

(Sirat Umar bin al-Khattab, Ali Muhammad Al-Sallabi, p. 107, Dar-ul-Ma‘rifah Beirut)

On another occasion, Hazrat Umar (ra) said, “The person I like most is he who points out my shortcomings.”

(Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra, Vol. 3, p. 222, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut)

There is a saying of Hazrat Umar (ra) which is, “I am afraid of committing a mistake, and not being shown the error of my way because people fear me.”

(Sirat Umar bin al-Khattab, Ali Muhammad al-Sallabi, p. 107, Dar-ul-Ma‘rifah Beirut)

One day, a person came to Hazrat Umar (ra) and began saying in front of a crowd, “O Umar, fear Allah.” Upon hearing this, some people became very angry and wished to silence him. Hazrat Umar (ra) said to him, “There is no good in you if you do not explain the fault you see, and there is no good in us if we do not listen to it.”

(Sirat Umar bin al-Khattab, Ali Muhammad al-Sallabi, p. 107, Dar-ul-Ma‘rifah Beirut)

Hazrat Umar (ra) explained to him that he should not make a general statement; rather, he should be specific.

One day, Hazrat Umar (ra) stood to deliver a sermon to the people. He had only said, “O people, listen and obey” when a man interjected and said, “O Umar, we will not listen, nor will we obey.” Hazrat Umar (ra) politely asked him, “O servant of Allah, why is this so?” He replied, “Because people were only able to make a shirt from the fabric that was distributed to everyone from the treasury, and were unable to make a full suit. You must also have received the same amount of fabric; how then do you have a full suit?” Hazrat Umar (ra) told the man to stay where he was and summoned his son Abdullah. Abdullah said that he had given his share of fabric to his father so that his suit may be complete. People were satisfied upon hearing this and that man said, “O Leader of the Faithful, now I will listen and obey.”

(Sirat Umar bin al-Khattab, Ali Muhammad al-Sallabi, p. 107, Dar-ul-Ma‘rifah Beirut)

There used to be ignorant people like this, but one would never hear such words uttered by the eminent companions who had been trained by the Holy Prophet (sa). People like this [aforementioned person] were those who became Muslim later on, or were impolite, uneducated and ignorant. The preeminent companions never acted in this way; rather, they always showed complete obedience.

Whenever Hazrat Hassan (ra) would mention Hazrat Umar (ra) he would say:

“By God, though he was not amongst the very first people to accept Islam and nor was he the most superior amongst those who spent in the way of Allah; however, he had no desire for worldly things and was most strict in implementing the instructions of Allah the Almighty amongst people and he never feared the reproach of any fault-finder.”

(Ibn Abi Shaibah, Al-Musannaf, Kitab al-Fada‘il, Vol. 11, p. 121, Hadith 32546, Maktabat al-Rushd Nashirun, al-Riyad, 2004)

Hazrat Saad (ra) bin Abi Waqas states:

“By God, although Hazrat Umar (ra) bin al-Khattab did not excel us in the acceptance of Islam, I do know what he did excel us in and that is piety and detachment from worldly things.”

(Ibn Abi Shaibah, Al-Musannaf, Kitab al-Fada‘il, Vol. 11, p. 121, Hadith 32548, Maktabat al-Rushd Nashirun, al-Riyad, 2004)

Hisham bin Urwah relates from his mother that when Hazrat Umar (ra) travelled to Syria, his upper garment was torn from the back. It was quite a thick and long garment which was reaching to the ground. This type of garment was commonly worn in Rome. Hazrat Umar (ra) sent this garment to the people of Azriyat or Aela, Aela is a town situated on the coast of the Red Sea, which is next to Syria. In any case, the narrator states that he washed this garment and patched it and also prepared a new garment of a thin white cloth made from cotton. He took both these garments and presented them to Hazrat Umar (ra). Hazrat Umar (ra) held the garment [made from cotton] and felt it and stated that it was too soft and returned it back to the individual and stated, “Return to me my original garment because among all the garments, that one absorbed sweat the most.”

(Ibn Abi Shaibah, Al-Musannaf, Kitab al-Bu‘uth wa al-Saraya, Vol. 11, pp. 580-581, Hadith 34427, Maktabat al-Rushd Nashirun, al-Riyad, 2004) (Taj al-Urus, Zair Madah Sunbul)

In other words, he preferred the ripped garment which he had patched.

Hazrat Anas (ra) bin Malik relates that he saw Hazrat Umar (ra) at a time when he was the Leader of the Faithful and his garment had three leather patches stitched on them between the shoulders.

In another narration, Hazrat Anasra states that there were four leather patches stitched on the garment of Hazrat Umar (ra) near the shoulder area.

(Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 1990], p. 249)

NARRATION 1

With regard to this, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) states:

“Following the demise of the Holy Prophet (sa) when certain tribes of Arabia refused to pay the Zakat, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) was ready to fight against them. The situation at the time was so delicate that even the likes of Hazrat Umarra suggested to show leniency. However, (as has been mentioned once before as well), Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) responded, ‘What authority does the son of Abu Quhafah possess to abrogate a commandment which the Messenger (sa) of Allah had given. By God, if in the time of the Messenger (sa) of Allah these people gave in Zakat even a rope with which they tied the legs of their camels, I shall take that from them as well. And I shall not rest until they do not pay the Zakat.’ (He then said to his companions), ‘if you cannot support me in this matter then, by all means, don’t, but I will fight against them even on my own.’”

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) further states:

“Such was his level of obedience to the Holy Prophet (sa) in that despite the extremely dangerous circumstances and despite the distinguished companions were suggesting to not fight against them, even then he was willing to take on every kind of danger in order to fulfil the instruction of the Holy Prophet (sa).”

(Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 8, pp. 108-109)

NARRATION 2

On another occasion, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) states:

“During the era of Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) when the disorder of apostasy began to spread all over and prayers in congregation were only being offered in the villages and also the army had been sent to Syria, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) sent an instruction to those who had to pay the Zakat in which he stated that if even someone only gave a rope in Zakat during the time of the Holy Prophet (sa), he would take that from them by the force of the sword if he refused to give it. Even a brave and courageous man like Hazrat Umarra expressed his opinion that in view of the situation, they should not insist on the payment of Zakat. However, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) did not agree with him at all. From this, one can ascertain how important Zakat is.”

(Madarij-e-Taqwa, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 1, pp. 382-383)

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) mentioned this during his speech in which he spoke about the various stages of taqwa [righteousness] and how important the paying of Zakat was for those who tread the path of righteousness. Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) also stated that Ahmadis should be mindful of the importance of Zakat and should pay particular attention towards its payment.”

(Madarij-e-Taqwa, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 1, p. 383)

NARRATION 3

On another occasion, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) stated:

“The concept of Zakat is extremely important; however, people have failed to understand it. After the observance of Salat, God Almighty has commanded us to pay the Zakat. Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) stated, ‘I will treat those who refuse to pay the Zakat in the same manner as the Holy Prophet (sa) would treat the disbelievers. I will take their men and women as slaves. Following the demise of the Holy Prophet (sa), there emerged such a trial whereby people in the entire land of Arabia, except for Mecca, Medina and one other area, started to become apostates […] Hazrat Umarra suggested that they establish peace with those who were refusing to pay the Zakat and first fight against those who were apostatising and the others would gradually be reformed as a result. The first and foremost task was to eradicate the false claimants to prophethood because their dissension was far more severe. Upon this, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) stated, ‘If people fail to pay even a young goat or the rope with which they tied the leg of a camel in Zakat which they previously paid in the time of the Holy Prophet (sa), I shall fight against them. If you all leave me and even if the wild beasts of the jungle were to join and attack Medina, I will fight against them on my own.’”

(Barakat-e-Khilafat, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 2, pp. 222-223)

This is also one of the blessings of Khilafat in that the Khalifa of the time makes every effort in order to uphold the Shariah.

NARRATION 4

On another occasion, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) stated:

“Another allegation which is raised by people has been answered by God Almighty 1300 years go. Those who raise the allegation claim that:

شَاوِرۡهُمۡ‭ ‬فِي‭ ‬الۡأَمۡرِ

“‘Consult them in matters of administration’ [Ch.3: V.160] was an instruction exclusive to the Holy Prophet (sa), how does this apply to Khilafat. They claim that this instruction is not for Khilafat. However, such people should remember that this is a very similar allegation to the one people raised against Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) which was with regard to Zakat. Regarding:

خُذۡ‮ ‬مِنۡ‭ ‬أَمۡوَالِهِمۡ‭ ‬صَدَقَةً

“‘Take alms out of their wealth’, they claimed that this was an instruction for the Holy Prophet (sa) and since he had passed away, no one else had the right to take sadaqah [alms] from them. The one who had been instructed for this had passed away. Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) stated to them that now he was the addressee of this instruction. Though the Holy Prophet (sa) had passed away, the Shariah was still intact and thus the Khalifa of the time was being addressed.”

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) further stated in his speech:

“In the same way, I say to the one who has levelled this allegation against me that I am now the addressee [of this commandment]. If this reply that was given by Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) was true at that time, and indeed it was, then what I say today is also true in that I am now being addressed and this principle shall always apply to Khilafat.”

One should always be mindful of this.

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) then further states:

“If what you claim is true then many commandments of the Holy Quran would have to be taken out and this would be utter humiliation.”

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) was mentioning this in a speech on the institution of Khilafat.

(Mansab-e-Khilafat, Anwar al-Ulum, Vol. 2, pp. 59-60)

NARRATION 5

On another occasion, Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra) stated:

“Upon the demise of the Holy Prophet (sa), many ignorant Muslims became apostates. It is recorded in history that there were only three places remaining where prayers were being offered at the mosques in congregation. Similarly, many people in the land refused to pay the Zakat. They claimed that after the Holy Prophet (sa), how could anyone have the right to take Zakat from them. When this uprising spread across the whole of Arabia and Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) decided to strictly deal with such people, Hazrat Umarra and various other companions came to Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) (and as has been mentioned earlier) they said, ‘This is a very sensitive time and even the slightest of negligence can result in a great loss. Therefore, we suggest that we should not contend with such a large enemy. And we should treat those who do not wish to pay the Zakat with leniency.’ Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) stated, ‘Whoever amongst you is fearful can go wherever they please. By God, even if not a single one of you stands with me in support, I will still go and fight against the enemy. Even if the enemy were to enter Medina and kill my relatives and friends and even if the dogs were to drag the corpses of women through the streets of Medina, I shall still fight against them. I will continue to fight against them to the point that they give in Zakat even the rope they tied the feet of their camels with which they previously used to give in Zakat.’ Thereafter, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) bravely fought against the evil ploys of the enemy and was ultimately granted victory. This is because he believed that this was a task that only he could carry out. That is why when the companions presented their suggestions, he stated that whether they stood in support of him or not, he was ready to fight against the enemy even on his own and would not stop until his life was sacrificed in the way of God Almighty.”

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) further stated:

“Thus, a nation which instils such level of resolve in them, they always succeed and the enemy cannot stand against them.”

(Qaumi Taraqqi ke Do Aham Usul, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 19, p. 75, 76)

This is the secret to the success of nations which one has to always be mindful of.

NARRATION 6

On another occasion, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) stated:

“After the demise of the Holy Prophet (sa), when thousands of people in Arabia became apostates owing to their disagreement on the issue of Zakat and Musailimah was going to attack Medina, at that time Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra), who was the Khalifa, was informed that Musailimah, along with an army of a 100,000, was coming to launch an attack on Medina. At the time, some people suggested to Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) that since they were passing through a sensitive period and owing to a disagreement on the issue of Zakat people were becoming apostates and Musailimah had arrived with such a large force, therefore it would be wise that in light of the situation they should initially establish peace with those were refusing to pay the Zakat. Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra), however, did not worry even in the slightest about the dangers and said to those who were presenting these suggestions, ‘Are you trying to convince me to do something which goes directly against the commandment of Allah the Almighty and Messenger (sa) of Allah? The commandment of Zakat is from God Almighty and His Messenger (sa), thus it is incumbent upon me to do everything I can to defend this commandment of God and His Messenger (sa).’ The companions once again suggested that in light of the situation, it would be better to establish peace with them. Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) stated, ‘If you do not wish to fight and cannot muster the strength to fight against the enemy then you may leave and sit in your homes. By God, I shall continue to fight the enemy on my own to the point that they give even the rope to tie the legs of the camel which they were supposed to give for Zakat. I will not establish peace with them until I am able to convince them to pay the Zakat.’”

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) further states:

“This is the hallmark of true faith.”

(Hamare Zimma Tamam Dunya Fatah Karne ka Kam hai, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 18, p. p. 458)

And this indeed is faith. If we instil this within ourselves then we can spread the true message of Islam and will, insha-Allah, be successful.

NARRATION 7

On another occasion, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) states:

“After the demise of the Holy Prophet (sa), the tribes of Arabia rebelled and also refused to pay the Zakat. The argument they presented was that no one aside from the Messenger (sa) of Allah had the right to collect the Zakat. Allah the Almighty addresses the Holy Prophet (sa) and states:

“‘O Muhammad! Take Alms out of their wealth.’ They [i.e. the rebels] said that it is not written anywhere that Zakat was to be taken after the demise of the Holy Prophet (sa). Although this verse directly addressed the Holy Prophet (sa), nonetheless, the Muslims did not accept their argument. The biggest argument presented by those people who became apostates at that time was that nobody other than the Holy Prophet (sa) had the right to take the Zakat. The reason they fell into this error was that they did not consider those commandments related to administrative matters to be followed permanently; rather, they thought that those commandments were limited to the time of the Holy Prophet (sa).”

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) further says:

“This notion is absolutely false; just as the commandments pertaining to offering prayers and fasting did not stop at the demise of the Holy Prophet (sa), likewise, those commandments which were related to administrative and social matters did not finish with the Holy Prophet (sa). Just like prayer in congregation, which is a collective worship, it is necessary that these commandments are also established amongst the Muslims through the representatives of the Holy Prophet (sa).”

(Khilafat-e-Rashidah, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 15, p. 30, 31)

NARRATION 8

On another occasion, Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra) says:

“When the Holy Prophet (sa) passed away and Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) was appointed as the Khalifa, at that time, all of Arabia became apostates. Aside from Mecca, Medina and a small town, everyone stopped paying the Zakat and said, ‘Allah commanded the Holy Prophet (sa):

خُذۡ‮ ‬مِنۡ‭ ‬أَمۡوَالِهِمۡ‭ ‬صَدَقَةً

“‘“Take alms out of their wealth.” And so no one else has the right to take Zakat from us.’ Thus, all of Arabia became apostates, and they began preparations for war.” They did not simply become apostates, they also made preparations for war. “In the time of the Holy Prophet (sa), even though Islam was weak, the Arab tribes would attack individually. At times, one tribe would attack and at times another. During the Battle of Ahzab [confederates], when the disbelievers gathered together to attack the Muslims, by that time Islam had gained some considerable strength, but it had not gathered enough strength that the Muslims would feel at ease from future attacks. Subsequently, when the Holy Prophet (sa) went to conquer Mecca, at that time, certain Arab tribes joined him to assist him. In this manner, God instilled a passion within the enemies gradually, lest they gain strength and take over the entire land. However, in the time of Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra), all of Arabia became apostates at once; aside from Mecca, Medina and a small town, in all other places, the people refused to pay the Zakat and they gathered an army for battle.” They not only refused to pay the Zakat, they also set out for war with an army. “In some areas, they even had an army of 100,000. However, the case of the Muslims was that they only had an army of 10,000 and that too was departing for Syria. This was the same army that the Holy Prophet (sa) had instructed to march upon Byzantine lands and appointed Usamah (ra) as the commander of the army. Aside from this, the only people left behind were the elderly, the weak or a handful of youths. Upon witnessing this situation, the companions thought that during the time of rebellion, if the army of Usamah (ra) departed, there would be no means of safeguarding Medina. Thus, a delegation consisting of the distinguished companions went to Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra).” This has been mentioned before as well – “they submitted that the sending of the army ought to be delayed for some time, and when the rebellion is quashed, then it could be sent. They said that sending the army in such circumstances was perilous. Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) said in a very angry tone, ‘Do you wish that the first command issued by the son of Abu Quhafah after the demise of the Holy Prophet (sa) is to stop the army that was commanded by the Holy Prophet (sa) himself?’ Nonetheless, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) said, ‘This army will be sent and I will certainly make sure of it that it departs as instructed by the Holy Prophet (sa). If you are afraid of the enemy forces, then leave my side. I will fight against the enemy on my own.’”

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) further says:

“This [statement] was grand proof of the verse:

يَعۡبُدُوْنَنِيْ‭ ‬لَا‭ ‬يُشۡرِكُوْنَ‭ ‬بِي‭ ‬شَيۡـًٔا

“‘Believers will worship Allah and not associate anything with Him.’”

This refers to those people who remain firmly attached to Khilafat. This is that system which has been established through Khilafat, and this shall continue to exist.

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) further says:

“The second issue was pertaining to Zakat. The companions said to Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra), ‘If you do not wish to stop the army from leaving, then do this much that you should form a temporary pact with them and tell them that Zakat will not be taken from them this year, then during this time, their frenzy will subside and there will be a way to put down this dissension.’ Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) said, ‘This will not happen at any cost’”; he did not accept this advice of theirs either. “The companions then said, ‘If the army of Usamah (ra) departs and you do not temporarily reconcile with them [i.e. those who rebelled against paying Zakat], then who will confront the enemy? Only the elderly and weak remain in Medina, and there are only a handful of youths here, how can they contend with an army of hundreds of thousands?’ Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) replied, ‘My dear friends! If you are helpless against them, then Abu Bakr will set out to fight them alone.’”

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) says:

“This is the claim of an individual who was not an expert in the art of war, and was the statement of the one who was generally considered to possess a weak heart. Then how did he develop such courage and bravery and from where did such conviction come? It stemmed from the fact that Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) understood that he had been appointed to the station of Khilafat by God Almighty and to fulfil this task was his responsibility. Thus, it was his duty to confront them and it was up to God Almighty whether or not He bestowed victory. If Allah willed to grant him victory, then He would surely grant them victory; and if He did not wish to grant victory to them, then even the entire army would not succeed.”

(Khilafat-e-Rashidah, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 15, pp. 543-545, Qadian, 2008)

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) states:

“The Holy Prophet (sa) once addressed one of his wives and said, ‘Prepare my provisions for a journey.’ She began to make preparations for his travels. He then told Hazrat Aisha (ra) to roast some seeds and grains for him. These were the kind of provisions that typically existed in those days. Thus, she began to sift out any dust or dirt from the seeds. Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra)came to visit his daughter at home and saw these preparations and asked Hazrat Aisha (ra), ‘What is happening? Is the Holy Prophet (sa) preparing for a journey?’ She replied, ‘It seems to be so, because the Holy Prophet (sa) told us to make preparations for travel.’ Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra)enquired if there were plans for a battle, but she replied, ‘I do not know. The Holy Prophet (sa) just told us to make preparations for travel and that is what we are doing.’ Two to three days later, the Holy Prophet (sa) called upon Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra)and Hazrat Umar (ra) and told them that some men from the Khuza‘ah tribe came and related the details of an incident that took place. The Holy Prophet (sa) said, ‘God has informed me of the incident beforehand, that they (i.e the people of Mecca) would commit treason and we have made a covenant with them. It would go against our faith to now become fearful and not prepare for combat after witnessing the bravery and strength of the Meccans. We will have to go there, so what is your opinion on the matter?’ Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra)submitted, ‘O Messenger (sa) of Allah, you have entered into a covenant with them and they are your own people.’” In other words, would he fight against his own people?

“The Holy Prophet (sa) said, ‘We will not fight our people, we will fight those who have violated the covenant.’ The Holy Prophet (sa) then asked Hazrat Umar (ra), who submitted, ‘In Allah’s name, I would pray every day that we might see this day when we could fight the disbelievers in defence of the Holy Prophet (sa).’

“The Holy Prophet (sa) said, ‘Abu Bakr is very soft-natured, but Umar is more frank in his speech.’ The Holy Prophet (sa) continued, ‘Make preparations.’ Then, the Holy Prophet (sa) had an announcement made in the surrounding tribes that everyone who believes in Allah and His Messenger (sa) should congregate in Madinah in the beginning days of Ramadan. Thus, they started to gather to the extent that an army enumerating many thousands of men was organised and they set out for war.”

(Sair-e-Ruhani, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 24, pp. 260-261)

Hazrat Malik bin Mighwal relates that Hazrat Umar (ra) stated, “Bring yourself to account before you are taken to account, for this is far easier.” Or he stated, “This is a far easier assessment to make.” He also stated, “Evaluate your inner self lest this is done for you and prepare yourselves for the great day of reckoning.

يَوۡمَئِذٍ‭ ‬تُعۡرَضُوْنَ‭ ‬لَا‭ ‬تَخۡفَى‭ ‬مِنْكُمۡ‭ ‬خَافِيَةٞ

‘On that day you will be presented before God; and none of your secrets will remain hidden.’”

(Ali Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghabah fi Ma‘rifat al-Sahabah, Vol. 4, [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2003], p. 161)

The Promised Messiah (as) states:

“The Holy Prophet (sa) told Hazrat Umar (ra) that if Satan crossed paths with him, then he diverted to a different path and feared him. This proves the fact that Satan fled from Hazrat Umar (ra) like one who is a coward and disgraced.”

(Nur al-Haqq, Chapter 1, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 8, p. 143)

During the Battle of Uhud, when the situation changed and the Muslims suffered great losses, at that time, Abu Sufyan called out three times – this incident is in relation to Hazrat Umar (ra)’s sense of honour – “Is Muhammad among you?” The Holy Prophet (sa) instructed the companions not to reply. Abu Sufyan then called out three times and asked, “Is the son of Abu Quhafah among you?” He then asked three times, “Is Ibn al-Khattab among you?” Thereafter, he returned to his men and stated, “All of these people have been slain.” Upon hearing this, Hazrat Umar (ra) was unable to restrain himself and stated, “O enemy of Allah! By God, you have spoken a lie! Those whom you have named are all alive and there is a great share of misfortune destined for you.” Abu Sufyan replied, “Consider this day to be a recompense for Badr. And battle is like a pail, at times, it rises and at times it falls.”

(Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab-ul-Jihad, Hadith 3039)

“In the early period of Islam, only two people were considered to be truly courageous – one was Hazrat Umar (ra) and the other was Hazrat Hamzah (ra). When both of these individuals entered the fold of Islam, they expressed to the Holy Prophet (sa) that they were not happy to only worship Allah in their homes, when they also had a right over the Ka‘bah. Hence, there was no reason for them not to attain this right of theirs of worshipping Allah the Almighty in the open. Thus, the Holy Prophet (sa) – who would worship in his home to avoid being accused by the idolaters of spreading disorder – went to the Ka‘bah for worship. In that moment, to one side of him was Hazrat Umar (ra) holding his sword, and to his other side was Hazrat Hamzah (ra). So in this way, the Holy Prophet (sa) offered his prayers at the Ka‘bah in plain sight.”

(Khutbat-e-Mahmud, Vol. 23, p. 10)

When news of Hazrat Umar (ra) accepting Islam spread amongst the Quraish, they became extremely infuriated and with these sentiments, they surrounded the house of Hazrat Umar (ra).

Hazrat Umar (ra) came out to a large crowd that had surrounded him; certain overzealous individuals were prepared to attack him. However, Hazrat Umar (ra) stood courageously and steadfastly in front of them. Eventually, as this was happening, the chieftain of Mecca, Aas bin Waa‘il arrived and having witnessed this crowd, asked in a commanding tone, “What is going on?” The people replied, “Umar (ra) has become a sabi.” Whilst assessing the situation, the chieftain said, “Alright, but there is no need for this commotion, I grant my protection to Umar (ra).”

As was the custom of the Arabs, the people had no choice but to remain silent when he spoke and they eventually dispersed. Thereafter, Hazrat Umar (ra) remained in this protection for a few days, as no one dared go against the protection of Aas bin Waa‘il. However, the honour of Hazrat Umar (ra) would not allow him to remain in this state for long. Hence, not long had passed that he went to say to Aas bin Waa‘il, ‘I remove myself from your protection.’ Hazrat Umar (ra) states, ‘Thereafter I would find myself in confrontations and skirmishes in the streets (i.e. he would always be subjected to altercations).’ But Hazrat Umar (ra) never backed down in front of anyone.”

(Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad (ra), p. 159)

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) then states:

“Observe just how staunch the enemies of the Holy Prophet (sa) were and the change that took place within them. Not only were they reformed; in fact, they reached the heights of spiritual ranks that it would be impossible to recognise them” i.e. they were completely transformed to the point where they could not be recognised as the same people.

“When Hazrat Umar (ra) – who was ever-ready to oppose Islam and the Muslims – had the honour of accepting Islam, such a transformation took place in him that he was ready to put his life at risk for the benefit of the world and was occupied day and night in service to Islam.”

(Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 7, p. 45)

It should be “[…] for the benefit of religion he began to place his life in danger.”

After explaining this in further detail, I shall now narrate a few more accounts from the life of Hazrat Umar (ra). Hazrat Umar’s (ra) humility and modesty at the time of his demise was such that his son narrates that he instructed him:

“Adopt moderation when shrouding my body for burial because if Allah has decreed prosperity for me, then He shall grant a better garment in its place and if that is not the case, then He shall seize this from me, and that too very swiftly.

“Moreover, adopt moderation with regard to my burial. If Allah wishes to grant me prosperity, then He shall expand it as far as the eye can see and if this is not the case, then He shall constrict it to the extent that it will crush my ribs.

“Also, do not allow any woman to accompany my funeral. Do not praise me for a quality which I did not possess for Allah has complete knowledge about me. When you carry me [for the burial] walk swiftly for if Allah has decreed prosperity for me then you will be carrying me towards that which is best for me and if that is not the case, then you will be able to quickly remove the evil which you are carrying.”

(Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 1990], p. 273)

Aside from this, it is also mentioned that Hazrat Umar (ra) instructed for them not to wash his body with musk.

(Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 1990] p. 279)

Hazrat Uthman (ra) bin Affan relates that he went to Hazrat Umar (ra) and at the time, he was resting his head on the thigh of his son, Hazrat Abdullah bin Umar (ra). Hazrat Umar (ra) told Hazrat Abdullah bin Umar (ra) to place his head onto the ground. Hazrat Abdullah bin Umar (ra) stated, “My thigh and the ground are almost at the same level.” (In other words, there was hardly any distance between the two.)

Hazrat Umar (ra) repeated this two or three times and then stated, “Please, place my head on the ground.” Hazrat Umar (ra) then placed his legs together and the narrator says that he heard Hazrat Umar (ra) say, “My mother and I will be ruined if Allah the Almighty does not grant us His forgiveness.” Thereafter, Hazrat Umar (ra) passed away.

(Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 1990], pp. 275-276)

Hazrat Simak Hanafi relates that he heard Ibn Abbas say that he once said to Hazrat Umar (ra), “Allah established new cities through you; many conquests took place through you and such and such achievements were attained through you.” Upon this, Hazrat Umar (ra) stated, “I desire to attain salvation whereby I neither attain any reward for this, nor carry the burden [of any wrong].”

In other words, he took no pride in these great achievements nor the conquests that took place, instead, the fear and awe of Allah the Almighty reigned supreme over him and he was only concerned about the hereafter.

Zaid bin Aslam relates from his father that when Hazrat Umar’s (ra) demise was near, he stated, “You entertain doubts regarding my leadership. By God, I desire to seek salvation in a manner that:

لَا‭ ‬عَلَيَّ‭ ‬وَلَا‭ ‬لِيْ

That is, neither should I receive any punishment nor any reward.

(Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, Dhikr Hijrat Umar (ra) bin al-Khattab [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 1990], p. 267)

In relation to this, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) says:

“Hazrat Umar (ra) was someone who spent his entire life worrying and caring for the religion of Islam. At every instance, he offered the most sublime sacrifices. With regard to his sacrifices, they were not of the same level as Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra); however, in regard to his intentions and motives, they were equal.

“At the time of Abu Bakr’sra demise, tears began to flow from the eyes of Hazrat Umar (ra) and he said, ‘May God Almighty bestow His blessings upon Abu Bakr (ra)for I tried on many occasions to excel him but I always failed. On one occasion, the Holy Prophet (sa) instructed people to present their wealth and I brought half of my wealth thinking that today I shall excel Abu Bakr (ra). However, Abu Bakr (ra)was already there before me and since he was related to the Holy Prophet (sa) and the Holy Prophet (sa) knew that he would not have left anything at home, he enquired, “Abu Bakr, what did you leave at home?” Upon this, he replied, “I have left the name of Allah and His Messenger (sa).”’ After saying this, Hazrat Umar (ra) cried and stated, ‘Even on that occasion, I could not excel him.’”

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) further says:

“Such was the level of Hazrat Abu Bakr’sra sacrifices. He would offer sacrifices before this as well, but when a particular occasion arose, he presented his entire wealth. On the one hand, we have such people, and on the other hand, there are those who do not even get the opportunity to present 1/10 of their wealth as a sacrifice and claim that should they do so, they would be ruined.

“Hazrat Umar (ra) was close to his demise; his eyes would well up and he would say, ‘O Allah! I am not worthy of any reward, but all I ask for is to be saved from the punishment.’”

  • (Khutbat-e-Mahmud, Vol. 10, p. 24)*

Hazrat Abu Ubaidah (ra) was considered among the honourable, civil and modest people of the Quraish.

(Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, al-Isabah fi Tamyiz al-Sahabah, Vol. 3 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2005) 477.)

Hisham bin Urwah relates from his father that when Hazrat Zubair (ra) was a child, he had a fight with an individual in Mecca – perhaps this individual treated Hazrat Zubair (ra) harshly. Hazrat Zubair (ra) was young, whereas the other individual was a grown man. Nevertheless, Hazrat Zubair (ra) broke this man’s hand during the fight and injured him severely. Subsequently, this individual was mounted on a horse and brought to Hazrat Safia (ra) in order to show the deeds of her son. Hazrat Safia (ra) asked what had happened to him? The people informed her that Hazrat Zubair (ra) had a fight with him, but did not mention who was at fault. Nevertheless, a fight took place. Upon this, Hazrat Safia (ra) recited some verses in relation to the bravery of her son and said:

كَيْفَ رَأَيْتَ زَبْرًا

أَ اَقِطًا حَسِبْتَهٗ اَمْ تَمْرًا

اَمْ مُشْمَعِلًّا صَقْرًا

Meaning, “How did you perceive Zubair? Did you consider him to be similar to cheese or a date that you would be able to devour him easily and do to him as you please? Nay, you must have experienced that he was indeed like a swift attacking eagle.”

(al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Sa‘d, Vol. 3, pp. 74-75, Zubair bin al-Awwam (ra), Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990)

With regard to how much Hazrat Umar (ra) feared Allah the Almighty, there is a narration in which Hazrat Umar (ra) stated, “Even if a goat perishes on the edge of the Euphrates River, I am fearful that Allah the Almighty will hold me accountable for it on the Day of Judgement.”

(Sirat Umar bin al-Khattab, Ibn al-Juzi, p. 140, al-Matba‘ah al-Misriyyah, al-Azhar)

In another narration, it is mentioned that Hazrat Umar (ra) said, “If a camel perishes on the edge of the Euphrates River, I am fearful that Allah the Almighty will question me about it on the Day of Judgement.”

(Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 1990], 232.)

Hazrat Anas (ra) bin Malik narrates:

“One day, I was outside with Hazrat Umar (ra) bin al-Khattab when he entered a garden. There was a wall between myself and Hazrat Umar (ra). He was inside the garden. At the time I heard Hazrat Umar (ra) say [to himself], ‘O son of Khattab, bravo! You have become the Leader of the Faithful! By Allah you ought to fear God; otherwise, He will most certainly punish you!’”

(Muwatta Imam Malik, Kitab al-Kalam wa al-Ainah wa al-Tuqa, p. 601, Riwayah number 1867, Maktabah Dar al-Fikr, Beirut)

The following was engraved on Hazrat Umar’s (ra) ring: كَفَى‭ ‬بِالْمَوْتِ‭ ‬وَاعِظًا‭ ‬يَا‭ ‬عُمَرُ

meaning, “O Umar! Death is enough to admonish a person.”

(Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr, Al-Isti‘ab fi Ma‘rifat al-Ashab, Vol. 3, Bab Harf al-Ain, Umar bin al-Khattab [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2002], p. 236)

That is, if a person always keeps death in mind, then that is enough as an admonishment and enough to reform oneself.

Abdullah bin Shaddad states, “I heard Hazrat Umar (ra) crying profusely while I was standing in the last row [for prayers] He was reciting the following verse:

إِنَّمَآ‭ ‬أَشۡكُوْا‭ ‬بَثِّيْ‭ ‬وَحُزۡنِيْ‭ ‬إِلَى‭ ‬اللّٰهِ

“‘I only complain of my sorrow and my grief to Allah.’ [Ch.12: V.87]”

(Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Adhan, Bab idha Baka al-Imam fi al-Salah)

Hazrat Talha (ra) participated in the Battle of Uhud and all other battles alongside the Holy Prophet (sa). He was also present during the treaty of Hudaybiyyah. He was among the ten people who the Holy Prophet (sa) had given the glad tidings of paradise in their lifetimes. He was also among the first eight people to accept Islam and among the five who accepted Islam through the preaching of Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra). He was among the six members of the Shura Committee established by Hazrat Umar (ra). He was among those blessed individuals whom the Holy Prophet (sa) was pleased with at the time of his demise.

(al-Isti‘ab, Vol. 2, p. 317, Talha bin Ubaidillah, Dar-ul- Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut) (al-Isabah Fi Tamyeez al-Sahabah, Vol. 3, p. 430, Talha bin Ubaidillah, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1995)

Hazrat Abdullah narrates, “Once Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas’ud was feeling ill and became terrified. We asked, ‘We have never seen you this troubled at times of illnesses before this.’ He responded, ‘I became sick suddenly and do not consider myself as well prepared to face the afterlife and this is worrying me.’”

By the Grace of God Almighty Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas’ud had become quite affluent that in the last years of his life, his financial worth was ninety-thousand dirham, he wrote in his will that at the time of burial, his shroud should consist of very simple cloths worth two hundred dirham. Hazrat Usman (ra) lead his funeral prayers and he was buried in Jannatul Baqee’ at nighttime.

With regard to Hazrat Umar’s (ra) virtues and attributes, the Promised Messiah (as) says:

“Some prophecies are such that are manifested only once and they exhibit their majesty gradually, or they are fulfilled in the person of someone else. Such is the case with the prophecy of our Holy Prophet (sa) in which he said that he was bestowed with the keys of the treasures belonging to the Caesar and Chosroes. But it is evident that the Holy Prophet (sa) passed away before this prophecy was fulfilled; he neither saw the treasures of Chosroes or Caeser, nor the keys to them. However, since it was decreed, those keys were granted to Hazrat Umar (ra) because Hazrat Umar (ra) in essence was a spiritual manifestation of the Holy Prophet (sa). That is why in the spiritual realm the hand of Umar (ra) has been declared to be the hand of the Holy Prophet (sa).”

(Ayam-us-Suluh, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 14, p. 265)

The Promised Messiah (as) further states:

“It is vital to believe that Siddiq-e-Akbar (ra) [Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq (ra)], Hazrat Farooq-e-Umar (ra) [Hazrat Umar Farooq (ra)], Hazrat Dhul-Nurainra”, i.e. Hazrat Uthman (ra), “and Hazrat Ali Murtaza (ra) were all the custodians of the faith. For Islam, Abu Bakr (ra) was the second coming of Adam; similarly, if Hazrat Umar Farooq (ra) and Hazrat Uthman (ra) did not show sincerity in the trust bestowed upon them, then it would be impossible for us to consider even one verse of the Quran to be from Allah the Almighty.”

(Maktubaat-e-Ahmad, Vol. 2, p. 151, Letter no. 2 addressed to Hazrat Khansahib Muhammad Ali Khan Sahib, Rabwah)

The Promised Messiah (as) then states:

“I have been granted in-depth knowledge from my Lord regarding Khilafat. And just like any scholar, I have also been able to delve into the depth of the matter and my Lord has revealed to me that Siddiq [Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra)], Farooq [Hazrat Umar (ra)] and Uthman (ra), may Allah be pleased with them all, were pious believers, who were among the chosen ones of Allah the Almighty and were favoured with the special bounties of the Gracious God. Furthermore, many of the wise have borne witness to their virtues. They left their lands for the pleasure of the Honourable and Glorious God, they entered the furnace of every battle, and they cared not for the scorching midday heat of every summer, nor the cold of the night of every winter; rather, they marched forward upon the paths of their faith like youthful men, inclining neither to their own people, nor to others and they bade farewell to everything, all for the sake of the Lord of all the Worlds. Their actions were imbued with a sweet fragrance and their deeds with an aroma.

“All of this points to the gardens of their rank and the orchards of their good deeds. Likewise, the aromatic breezes of their zephyr [soft, sweet-smelling wind] reveal their intricate qualities and their light becomes manifest to us with all its radiance. Thus, you ought to ascertain their illustrious rank from the aroma of their fragrance and do not show haste and follow those who think ill. And do not rely on just certain narrations because they are filled with poison and exaggerations and they cannot be trusted. Many of those narrations are like a powerful and destructive wind and like the lightning which deceives one into thinking there is going to be rain. Thus, fear Allah and do not follow such narrations.”

(Sirrul Khilafah, Urdu translation, pp. 25-26)

The Promised Messiah (as) then states:

“By God, Allah the Almighty enabled the Sheikhain i.e. Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra)and Hazrat Umar (ra) and also Dhul-Nurain [Hazrat Uthman (ra)] to be like the doors to Islam and they were at the forefront of every army of the Holy Prophet (sa) who was the best of the creation. Thus, one who denies their lofty honour and discredits the clear and irrefutable arguments in their favour and does not show respect to them; rather it dishonours them and vilifies and speaks ill of them, then I fear that he may meet a terrible end and will become completely devoid of faith. And those who caused them grief and cursed them and levelled allegations against them, consequently their hearts became hardened and they incurred the wrath of the Gracious God. I have countlessly observed and have openly expressed this as well that to hold malice and enmity against these noble men is one of the main factors that severs man’s bond with God, Who is the Bestower of blessings. Whoever bears enmity against them becomes completely deprived of mercy and benevolence and the doors of divine cognisance and wisdom are never opened for them and they are left to partake in the desires and pleasures of the world and they are thrown into the abyss of carnal desires and He casts them away from His divine threshold and they remain deprived. They”, i.e. the Rightly Guided Caliphs, “also faced hardships just like the prophets, and curses were hurled at them, just as they were hurled towards the Messengers. This shows that they were the heirs of the prophets and their reward on the Day of Judgement will be the same as the leaders of [past] nations and countries. This is because when a believer is unjustly cursed and labelled a disbeliever, and is unduly mocked and ridiculed, he becomes like the prophets and akin to the chosen people of Allah. Then such an individual is recompensed just as the prophets are recompensed, and they are rewarded just like the Messengers. These people attained a lofty status through their servitude to the Best of All Prophets (sa), and Allah the Mighty and Exalted praised them. He made them an esteemed group of people, and through His own spirit, Allah helped them just as He helps all of His chosen people. In reality, the light of their truth and the effects of their piety were brilliantly apparent, and it became clear that they were truthful and that Allah was pleased with them, and they were pleased with Him, and He granted them that which had never been granted to anyone in the heavens and earth.”

(Sirrul Khilafah, Urdu translation, pp. 28-30)

This mutual love can be witnessed through an incident related to Hazrat Abdur Rahman (ra) bin Auf. One evening, food was brought before Hazrat Abdur Rahman (ra) bin Auf. Different kinds of dishes were presented before him from which he took a morsel to eat. Just as he placed the morsel of food in his mouth, a state of great anguish and fervency came over him. He left the food saying, “Mus‘ab (ra) bin Umair was martyred in Uhud and he was better than I. He was buried in his own cloak” i.e. they did not have a cloth with which to bury him, “therefore they buried him using the cloak he was wearing. The condition of even that cloth was that if they would cover his legs, his head would become uncovered, and if his head would be covered, then his legs would become uncovered.” Hazrat Abdur Rahman bin Auf (ra) then stated, “Hamza (ra) was martyred and he was better than I. We have been bestowed wealth and affluence. I fear lest we have been bestowed the reward for our deeds in this life.” After this he began to weep and left his food. Such was the fear of God they had within themselves.

(Roshan Sitarey az Ghulam Bari Saif Sahib, Vol. 2, pp. 111-112)

Prior to the advent of Islam, learning to read and write was not common practise among the Arabs. At the advent of the Holy Prophet (sa), only 17 people among the Quraish knew how to read and write. Hazrat Umar (ra) had also learnt to read and write in that era.

(Sheikh Shah Moinuddin Ahmad Nadvi, Siyar al-Sahabah, Vol. 1 [Karachi, Pakistan: Dar al-Isha‘ah, 2004], p. 133)

Hazrat Umar (ra) was among the nobles of the Quraish. Prior to Islam, he was the designated envoy of the Quraish; it was the practise of the Quraish that whenever there would be feuds among them or with others, they would send Hazrat Umar (ra) as their representative.

(Ali Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghabah fi Ma‘rifat al-Sahabah, Vol. 3, Umar (ra) bin al-Khattab [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2003], p. 642)

Hazrat Maulvi Abdul Karim Sahib (ra) then writes in one place in relation to the state of the Promised Messiah’s (as) heart and his love and respect for the Holy Prophet (sa) and the two companions, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra)and Hazrat Umar (ra):

“On one occasion, a friend who was truly absorbed in love for the Promised Messiah (as), submitted to him, ‘Why should we not consider you to be greater in status than the Shaikhain’”, i.e. Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra)and Hazrat Umar (ra) “‘and closer in rank to the Noble Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him?’ Goodness gracious! On hearing this, His Holiness became pale and inexplicable anxiety and restlessness overtook him from head to toe. I swear in the name of God, who is most Honourable and Holy, that this particular instance increased my faith in the Promised Messiah (as) even more. The Promised Messiah (as) delivered an all-encompassing address continuously for six hours. When he began speaking, I looked at my watch, and when he finished, I looked at my watch again. He spoke for six hours. Not a minute less. To speak on a subject for so long, without rest, was an extraordinary occurrence. In his entire discourse, the Promised Messiah (as) spoke of the virtues and qualities of the Noble Messenger, may the choicest blessings and salutations be upon him, and about his own servitude and subservience to him. He also spoke of the excellences of the honourable Shakhain, may peace be on both of them. The Promised Messiah (as) said, ‘It is sufficient for me that I am an admirer of these men and the dust beneath their feet. The partial superiority which God Almighty has conferred upon them can never be attained by anyone until the Day of Resurrection. When will Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, ever be born again on earth so that one may receive the opportunity to render such service as the honourable Shakhain, peace be on both of them.”

(Malfuzat Vol. 1, p. 326)

Harith bin Suwaid narrates, “A person once spoke ill of Hazrat Ammar (ra) in front of Hazrat Umar (ra) and complained about him. When Hazrat Ammar (ra) heard of this, he raised his hands in prayer and said: ‘O Allah! If this person has fabricated a lie about me then grant him abundance in this world and hold him accountable in the hereafter.’”

(At-Tabaqat Al-Kubra, Vol. 3, p. 194, Ammar bin Yassir, Dar Ihya At-turath Al-Arabi, 1990, Beirut)

Abu Naufal bin Abi Aqrab states: “Hazrat Ammar bin Yassir (ra) was the quietest out of everyone and would talk very little. He would say: ‘I seek refuge with Allah from every mischief. I seek refuge with Allah from every mischief.’”

(At-Tabaqat Al-Kubra, Vol. 3, p. 194, Ammar bin Yassir, Dar Ihya At-turath Al-Arabi, 1990, Beirut)

Khaithamah bin Abi Subrah states, “I came to Medina and prayed to Allah the Almighty seeking company of a righteous person. Allah the Almighty granted me the companionship of Hazrat Abu Hurairah (ra). Hazrat Abu Hurairah (ra) enquired: ‘Which tribe do you belong to?’ I responded, ‘I am from the area of Qufa. I have come here to gain knowledge and goodness.’ Hazrat Abu Hurairah (ra) stated, ‘Do you not have people in your midst whose prayers are accepted, such as Hazrat Sa‘d ra bin Abi Waqas, who would carry the water and shoes of the Holy Prophet (sa), Hazrat Abdullah (ra) bin Masud, the Prophet’s confidant, Hazrat Huzaifah bin Yaman (ra) and Ammar bin Yasir (ra), about whom the Holy Prophet’s blessed words were: “Allah the Almighty has safeguarded him from Satan”, and also Hazrat Salman (ra), the one who had knowledge of the two books – The New Testament and the Holy Quran?’”

(Al-Mustadrak Ala Al-Sahihain, Vol. 3, p. 481, Hadith 5726, Dar-ul-Haramain Li Al-Taba’ati Wa Al-Nashre Wa Al-Tauzi, 1997)

He asked that if such people were present then why was it that they did not obtain benefit from their company?

Mentioning Hazrat Umar’s (ra) detachment of worldly things and his piety, Hazrat Hafsah bint Umar (ra) relates that she once said to her respected father, “O Leader of the Faithful”. In another narration, it is mentioned that she addressed him in the following manner, “O my father! Allah has increased your provisions, granted you victories and has also given you wealth in abundance. Why then do you not choose to eat food which is softer than the food you eat and why do you not wear garments made of a softer material than the ones you wear?”

Hazrat Umar (ra) replied, “I will ask you to make the decision in this regard. Do you not remember how many hardships the Holy Prophet (sa) had to endure during his life?”

The narrator says that he continuously reminded Hazrat Hafsah (ra) of this so much that Hazrat Hafsah (ra) began to cry. Following this, Hazrat Umar (ra) stated, “By Allah! As long as I have the strength to do so, I will continue to partake of the hardships endured by the Holy Prophet (sa) and Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra), so that perhaps, through this I may be able to join them in their life of comfort [in the Hereafter].”

In another narration, it is also mentioned that Hazrat Umar (ra) said to Hazrat Hafsah (ra), “O Hafsah, daughter of Umar! You have sought the welfare of your nation, but have not sought the welfare of your father. You have advised me to do such and such as I would be able to serve my nation better by doing so. However, this does not concern my welfare.” Following this, Hazrat Umar (ra) stated, “My family has a right only over my life and my wealth, but they do not have any right over my faith and what I have been entrusted with.”

(Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, Dhikr Hijrat Umar (ra) bin al-Khattab [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 1996], p. 148)

In other words, they did not have the right to say anything to him in relation to what had been entrusted to him and how he would fulfil that responsibility and they did not have any right to say anything to him in this regard.

Hazrat Ikrimah (ra) bin Khalid relates that Hazrat Hafsah (ra), Hazrat Abdullah (ra) and some other individuals were speaking to Hazrat Umar (ra) and said, “If you eat better food, you will be stronger whilst serving for the cause of the truth.” Hazrat Umar (ra) replied, “Do all of you hold the same opinion?” They all replied in the affirmative. Upon this, Hazrat Umar (ra) replied, “I have understood that you seek my welfare, but I left both of my friends, i.e. the Holy Prophet (sa) and Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra)on this very path and if I do not adopt the same path as them, I will not be able to meet them at the final destination.”

(Jalaluddin Abd al-Rahman bin Abi Bakr al-Suyuti, Tarikh al-Khulafa, p. 101, Umar (ra) bin al-Khattab,Lebanon, 1999)

Hazrat Aisha (ra) said regarding Hazrat Ammar (ra) that he was filled with faith from head to toe.

(Fazail-e-Sahaba, Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal, p. 520, Fazail Syedna Ammar bin Yassir, Book Corner Printers Publishers, 2016)

Hazrat Khabbab (ra) came to Hazrat Umar (ra). Hazrat Umar (ra) said to him, “Come closer! Nobody is more worthy of being in this gathering than you, except Ammar.” Then Hazrat Khabbab (ra) began showing the marks of the injuries on his back, which were inflicted by the idolaters.

(Sunan Ibn Maaja, Kitaab ul Sunnah, Fazl Khubbab, Hadith 153)

Hazrat Umar (ra) granted him this honour because he had endured many hardships in the early period of Islam and mentioned that Hazrat Ammar (ra) also endured many hardships.

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) has also narrated this account of Hazrat Ali (ra) fighting against this Jew in a similar manner. He writes:

“Hazrat Ali (ra) once took part in a battle and came up against a very fierce opponent who very few people could challenge. Hazrat Ali (ra) fought against this strong Jewish solider for many hours. After many hours of fighting, Hazrat Ali (ra) managed to take the opponent down and knelt on his chest and decided to cut his neck with his dagger, when suddenly, he spat at Hazrat Ali (ra). Hazrat Ali (ra) immediately let him go and stood to one side. The Jewish solider was astonished and said, ‘That is strange; we have been fighting one another for many hours and finally you took me down and now you have suddenly let me go. What a foolish act you have committed.’

“Hazrat Ali (ra) replied, ‘I have not acted in a foolish manner, in fact when I took you down and you spat on my face, my heart became filled with anger as to why you spat at me. But with this, I also thought that up till now, whatever I was doing was for the sake of God, but now if I continue to fight against you, then I shall be killing you due to my personal anger.’”

[In other words] Hazrat Ali (ra) stated, “This could be owing to my personal anger rather than for the sake of attaining the pleasure of God.”

“‘Therefore, I deemed it appropriate that I should let you go. When my anger subsides, I will continue to fight against you.’”

(Ahmadiyyat Dunya Mein Islami Talim or Tamadun Ka Sahih Namuna Pesh Karne Ke Liye Qaim Ki Gayi Hai, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 16, p. 132)

There are various incidents prior to the advent of Islam. Owing to his wealth and excellent morals, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) had a high standing among the Quraish. He was counted amongst the leaders of the Quraish. Everyone would seek his advice and he was counted amongst the most pious and virtuous people. He was a generous and noble leader and would always generously spend his wealth. He was very popular and dear to his people. He would always sit in respectable gatherings. He possessed the most knowledge about the interpretation of dreams.

A renowned scholar of the interpretation of dreams, Ibn Sirin states that after the Holy Prophet (sa), from among the Muslims, Abu Bakr (ra) was the greatest scholar on the interpretation of dreams and he possessed the most knowledge about the lineage and family tree of the Quraish.

The following narration is perhaps related to the gathering in which Hazrat Abu Hurairah (ra) has just referred to. On one occasion, Hazrat Aisha (ra) was asked, “If the Messenger (sa) of Allah had appointed a vicegerent after him, who would he have appointed?” Hazrat Aisha (ra) replied, “Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra)”. People asked her, “And after Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra)?” Hazrat Aisha (ra) said, “Hazrat Umar (ra)”. The people then asked, “And after Hazrat Umar (ra)?” Hazrat ‘Aisha (ra) said, “Hazrat Abu Ubaidah bin Jarrah (ra)”. This narration is from Sahih Muslim.

(Sahih Muslim, Kitab Fada‘il al-Sahabah, Bab Fadail Abi Bakr, Hadith 2385)

In another narration, it is stated that Abdullah bin Shaqeeq asked Hazrat Aisha (ra), “Who was the dearest to the Messenger (sa) of Allah from among his companions?” Hazrat Aisha (ra) replied, “Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra).” The man asked, “And after Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra)?” Hazrat Aisha (ra) replied, “Hazrat ‘Umar (ra).” He asked, “And following Hazrat Umar (ra)?” Hazrat Aisha (ra) said, “Hazrat Abu Ubaidah bin Jarrah (ra).” He then asked who was after him. However, the narrator says that Hazrat Aisha (ra) remained silent thereafter.

(Jami‘ al-Tirmidhi, Abwab al-Manaqib, Bab Manaqib Abi Bakr, Hadith 3657)

Hazrat Hamza (ra) always followed the instruction of the Holy Prophet (sa) that one should always preserve one’s dignity and self-respect. There is a tradition that after the migration to Medina, Hazrat Hamza (ra) had suffered a great financial loss like other Muslims. Hazrat Abdullah bin ‘Amr (ra) narrates that during those days, Hazrat Hamza (ra) once came to the Holy Prophet (sa) and asked if he could perform any service so that it could be a source of income for him. The Holy Prophet (sa) replied:

“O Hamza! Is it preferable to keep one’s self-respect or to completely lose it?” Hazrat Hamza (ra) said that he wished to keep his self-respect. The Holy Prophet (sa) then said, “You ought to safeguard your dignity”.

(Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal, Vol. 2, p. 624, Hadith No. 6639, A’alamul Kutub, 1998, Beirut)

The Holy Prophet (sa) then asked him to pray more fervently and taught him some particular words of prayers. Hazrat Hamza (ra) said that the Holy Prophet (sa) had told him that he should recite the following prayer, which he always benefited from:

اَللّٰهمَّ اِنِّيْ اَسْـَٔلُكَ بِاسْمِكَ الْاَعْظَمِ وَ رِضْوَانِكَ الْاَكْبَر

“O Allah I beseech Thee, with reference to Your Great Name and the Great Gatekeeper of Paradise”

These things tell us that Hazrat Hamza (ra) had deep faith in prayer, and why would he not as it was through these prayers that Allah the Exalted had given this impoverished emigrant all the household things and whatever else he needed.

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) says:

“The era of the Holy Prophet (sa) was an era in which they faced fear and danger and we can learn lessons from the commandments he gave the Muslims at that time. It was his own practice and he had also advised others not to prepare more than one dish for food.”

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) was mentioning this in one of his sermons in relation to Tahrik-e-Jadid. Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) further states:

“The guidance of the Holy Prophet (sa) was not to make more than one dish and he emphasised this to such a degree that some companions took a very strict course of action in this regard.

“On one occasion, vinegar and salt were placed before Hazrat Umar (ra) and he enquired as to why two dishes had been presented since the Holy Prophet (sa) had instructed that there should be only one dish. The people mentioned to Hazrat Umar (ra) that these were not two separate dishes; in fact, the salt and vinegar combined to form one dish; however, Hazrat Umar (ra) did not accept this and stated that they were, in fact, two separate dishes. Though Hazrat Umar (ra) was overly strict in this act of his owing to his love for the Holy Prophet (sa), this perhaps was not what the Holy Prophet (sa) meant, but nevertheless, this incident shows how much emphasis he placed on this in view of the fact that the Muslims needed to adopt simplicity.”

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) further states:

“I do not make the same kind of demand from you as Hazrat Umar (ra) did and I do not state that salt is to be counted as a separate dish from vinegar. However, I do ask of you that for the next three years from today – during the course of which I shall make a yearly announcement, so that if the situation of fear transforms then this instruction shall also change, [and the instruction is] – every Ahmadi who wishes to partake in this battle with us should pledge to only eat one dish. That is, roti and broth or rice and broth. These do not count as two separate dishes; rather, they both combine to form one dish. However, it is not permitted for one to prepare two broths to eat with their roti or rice.”

(Khutbat-e-Mahmud, Vol. 15, p. 426)

This was during the time when the Tahrik-e-Jadid scheme was announced. At the time, the Jamaat was in need [of resources] and so it was announced that one ought to reduce their expenses and donate them towards their chanda. Now, by the grace of Allah the Almighty, the conditions have changed and therefore this restriction is no longer required, but even then one should not indulge in extravagances.

Whilst expounding upon the verse:

وَالَّذِينَ‭ ‬إِذَآ‭ ‬أَنفَقُواْ‭ ‬لَمۡ‭ ‬يُسۡرِفُواْ‭ ‬وَلَمۡ‭ ‬يَقۡتُرُواْ‭ ‬وَكَانَ‭ ‬بَيۡنَ‭ ‬ذٰلِكَ‭ ‬قَوَامًا

[“And those who, when they spend, are neither extravagant nor niggardly but adopt a moderate position in the middle.” (Ch.25: V.68)], Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) states:

“Allah the Almighty states that if one wants to become a servant of Allah, then it is necessary for them to consider two factors when spending their wealth. Firstly, one should not indulge in extravagances. Eating food is not for the sole purpose of luxury and delight; rather, it is to attain strength, power and enable the body to continue functioning. Likewise, when one wears clothes, it is not to show others; rather, it is to cover one’s body and in order to preserve one’s dignity which Allah the Almighty has granted to humankind. The example of the companions demonstrates that this is exactly what they practised.

“Once, Hazrat Umar (ra) travelled to Syria and the companions there were wearing silk clothes. By ‘silk clothes’ are meant garments which had some silk in them because to wear a garment made purely from silk is forbidden unless one is exempt due to an illness. Hazrat Umar (ra) instructed his companions to throw sand at them, in other words he was extremely displeased. He then stated, ‘Have you become so accustomed to luxuries that you have started wearing silk clothes?’ Upon this, one of the companions took off his upper garment and showed that he was wearing another heavy garment beneath it which was made of thick wool. He then stated to Hazrat Umar (ra), ‘We have not worn these silk clothes because we like them; rather, it is a custom among the people of this country. Right from their childhood, these people are accustomed to seeing their leaders living in a very grandiose and spectacular manner.

“Thus, in view of the political traditions of the country we have also worn such clothes, but we have not come under their influence in any way. Thus, the practice of the companions shows what is meant by overindulgence. It means that one should not spend their wealth on such things which they are not in need of and it’s merely done as a form of luxury and lavishness.

“Hence, God Almighty states that the true servants of Allah are those who do not waste their wealth, nor spend it ostentatiously; rather, they spend it on that which is helpful and beneficial.

“Secondly, one should not hold back from spending their wealth where it is deemed necessary to spend one’s wealth, in other words, where one can be of benefit if they spend their wealth. Thus, one should not spend their wealth in a manner which is contrary to the will of Allah the Almighty and secondly, one should not abstain from spending their wealth whereby they are not even fulfilling their rightful dues.

“These are two conditions in relation to spending one’s wealth in order to become a true servant of Allah. However, there are many people who either spend excessively or then they are extremely miserly.”

(Khutbat-e-Mahmud, Vol. 5, pp. 3, 4)

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih I (ra) states in relation to this that once, Hazrat Umar (ra) was returning from Hajj and he stopped under a tree. Huzayfa, who had a very informal relationship with Hazrat Umar (ra) took courage and enquired as to why Hazrat Umar (ra) had stopped there. Upon this, Hazrat Umar (ra) stated, “There was a time when I would tend to a camel of mine and once my father scolded me under this tree. Today, my condition is such that let alone camels, hundreds of thousands of people are ready to sacrifice their lives if I was to merely hint at them.”

(Haqa‘iq-ul-Furqan, Vol. 3, p. 326)

Some esteemed personalities have written about Hazrat Umar (ra). Ash‘ath narrates, “I heard Imam Sha‘bi say, ‘When there is a difference of opinion amongst the people over a matter, check what Hazrat Umar (ra) decided about that matter, because Hazrat Umar (ra) never took a step without seeking counsel.’”

(Hulyatul Auliya, Vol. 4, pp. 304-305, Narration no. 5841, Maktabatul Iman, 2007)

Imam Sha‘bi says, “I heard Hazrat Qubaisah bin Jabir say, ‘I remained with Hazrat Umar (ra) bin al-Khattab. I have not seen a person who read the Book of Allah more than him, or who understood faith or one who taught and lectured better than him.’”

(Tarikh Dimashaq al-Kabir Li Ibn Asakir, Vol. 11, part. 21, p. 128, Dar-ul-Ihya al-Turath al-Arabi, 2001)

Hazrat Hasan Basrirh states, “When you wish to illuminate your gatherings, then remember [the life of] Hazrat Umar (ra) abundantly.”

(Sirat Umar bin al-Khattab, Ibn al-Jawzi, p. 217, Egypt, Al-Azhar)

Mujahid narrates, “We would say to one another that in the time of Hazrat Umar (ra), undoubtedly, Satans were bound in chains [as it were]. When he was martyred, Satans began roaming around the land freely.”

(Sirat Umar bin al-Khattab, Ibn al-Jawzi, p. 217, Egypt, Al-Azhar)

In relation to this, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) states:

“Is it not an astonishing fact that a person who would once herd camels became a great king? Not only was he granted a worldly kingdom, but a spiritual one too. This indeed was Hazrat Umar (ra) who would tend to the camels in his earlier years. On one occasion, he went to perform the Hajj and on the way, he stood at a particular place. The heat was extremely intense and people were greatly affected by it. However, no one had the courage to ask why he was standing there. Eventually, a companion, who was a close friend of Hazrat Umar (ra) and who would often ask Hazrat Umar (ra) about the outbreak of fitna [evil and disorder] was approached by the people to ask Hazrat Umar (ra) as to why he was stood at that particular place. Subsequently, he submitted to Hazrat Umar (ra), ‘Proceed ahead, why have you stopped here?’ Upon this, Hazrat Umar (ra) stated, ‘The reason why I have stopped here is because once I was herding the camels and took some rest under this tree owing to exhaustion. My father came and hit me, saying, ‘Did I send you so you could sit here and sleep?’ Thus, such was my condition, but after having accepted the Holy Prophet (sa), God Almighty elevated me to such a rank that if today I were to command hundreds of thousands of people they would be willing to sacrifice their lives for me.’ This incident and various other incidents like this reveal the previous condition of the companions, but after following the Holy Prophet (sa), their conditions completely transformed. They attained such a rank and level of knowledge which no one else possessed.”

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) further states:

“The reason I have narrated this account is that one ought to ponder how a person who used to herd camels was granted such spiritual and worldly knowledge that no one else could fathom. One should ponder that on the one hand, there was a time when Hazrat Umar (ra) would tend to camels and sheep which is something that is perceived to not even remotely be associated with knowledge, and then, on the other hand, came a time where the people of Europe, who have a deep understanding of the laws and principals of governance, show great admiration of the laws and legislation designed by Hazrat Umar (ra). What connection is there between one who tends to camels and a ruler? However, Hazrat Umar (ra) accomplished such feats that the world looks at him with great respect and praises his governance.

“Moreover, look at the example of Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra), who was an ordinary merchant; however, today, the world is astonished as to how he attained such wisdom, intellect and knowledge. However, I tell you that he attained everything from the Holy Quran. He pondered over the Holy Quran, thus he learned all that which the entire world was bereft of. This is because the Holy Quran is such a tool that if one cleanses their heart with it, their heart will be so purified that it begins to reflect every aspect of secular knowledge and a door is opened for such an individual that no one is then able to stop the knowledge that is revealed upon one’s heart. Thus, it is important for every individual to strive in reading and pondering over the Holy Quran.”

(Anwar-ul-Khilafah, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 3, pp. 130-131)

Hazrat Ammar bin Yasir (ra) relates that he heard the Holy Prophet (sa) say to Hazrat Ali (ra), “O Ali, Allah the Almighty has endowed you with a quality, which no other person has been granted the like of and that is aversion from material world. Allah the Almighty has made you in a way that you do not partake of anything from this world and the world does not take anything from you.”

In other words, he did not have any desire for material things and similarly those who are desirous of worldly material did not wish to keep any relationship with him.

“Moreover, Allah the Almighty has granted you love for the needy and they are well pleased by appointing you as their leader and you are pleased to be their leader. Thus, there are glad-tidings for one who shows love to you and speaks the truth about you and those who bear enmity against you, and those who utter lies about you shall perish. Those who show love to you and speak the truth about you will be your neighbours in Paradise and the companions of your palace. And those who bear enmity against you and fabricate lies against you, then Allah the Almighty has taken it upon Himself that on the Day of Judgment, He shall raise them amongst the most hardened liars.”

(Ali Ibn al-Athir, Usdul Ghabah fi Ma‘rifatis Sahabah, Vol. 4, [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2003], pp. 96-97)

With regard to Hazrat Abu Bakr’s (ra) occupation before the advent of Islam and his status among the Quraish, there is a narration in Tarikh al-Tabari which states, “Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) was loved and respected among his people. He possessed a soft nature. Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) had the most knowledge with respect to the lineage of the Quraish and knew all the positive and negative aspects of it. He was a trader by profession and possessed good morals and virtues. The Quraish would approach Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) for a number of reasons and loved him dearly”, i.e. due to his knowledge and experience and also his beneficial gatherings.

(Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 1, Tarikh ma Qabl al-Hijrah [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah], pp. 540-541)

Muhammad Husain Haikal writes:

“All of the Quraish were merchants and every person of the Quraish was involved in trade. Thus, when Abu Bakr (ra) grew up, he began trading in clothes, in which he achieved great success. Soon enough, he became known as one of the most successful merchants in Mecca. One big reason for his success in trading was his charismatic personality and exceptional morals.”

(Muhammad Husain Haikal, Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq Akbar (ra) – translated by Shaikh Ahmad Panipati, p. 41, Ilm-o-Irfan Publications, Lahore, 2004)

When the Holy Prophet (sa) made his claim to prophethood, Hazrat Abu Bakr’s (ra) total wealth amounted to 40,000 dirhams. Through his wealth, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) would free slaves and help the Muslims, to the extent that when Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) migrated to Medina, he only had 5,000 dirhams remaining.

(Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, Al-Isabah fi Tamyiz al-Sahabah, Vol. 4, Dhikr Abdillah bin Uthman [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2005], p. 148)

It is mentioned in one narration that Yazid bin Abi Sufyan (ra) said: “O Leader of the Faithful! We have many garments and riding animals, life is very good, goods are very cheap, and the state of the Muslims is such that would please you. If you wear these white clothes, ride these fine animals, and give the Muslims to eat out of the plentiful grain and wheat, it would be a means of increasing your reputation, a means of adorning your discharging of state responsibilities, and a way to increase your grandeur in the eyes of the non-Arabs.”

Upon this, Hazrat Umar (ra) replied:

“O Yazid! No! By Allah, I shall never forsake this appearance in which I left my two companions, i.e. I shall remain in the same state that I left the Holy Prophet (sa) and Hazrat Abu Bakrra, and I shall not adopt this adornment and embellishments for the sake of people, for I fear that in doing so it may leave me sinful in the eyes of my Lord, and I do not wish for my state to be of grandeur before the people but lowly before Allah Almighty.”

Hence, Hazrat Umar (ra) remained in this state in which the Holy Prophet (sa) and Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra)lived their lives, until he passed from this world.

(Al-Iktifa bima Tadmanuhu min Maghazi Rasul Allah wa al-Thalathah al-Khulafa, Vol. 2, Chapter 1, pp. 295, Alam al-Kutub, Beirut, 1997)

Hazrat Sa‘d (ra) bin Ubadah was one of the twelve leaders appointed on the occasion of the second Bai‘at at Aqabah.

(Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Sa‘d, Vol. 3, p. 461, Sa‘d bin Ubadah, Dar-ul-Kutub al Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990)

Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahib (ra) writes the following about him in Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin:

“He was from the Banu Sa‘idah dynasty of the Khazraj tribe and was the chieftain of the entire Khazraj tribe. In the blessed era of the Holy Prophet (sa), he was counted among the most eminent of the Ansar. So much so that after the demise of the Holy Prophet (sa), some of the Ansar held him worthy of caliphate (i.e., his name was proposed from among the Ansar) … He passed away during the caliphate of Hazrat Umar (ra).”

(Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad (ra), p. 230)

Hazrat Sa‘d (ra) bin Ubadah, Munzir (ra) bin Amr and Abu Dujana (ra) accepted Islam, all of them broke the idols of their tribe Banu Sa‘idah.

(Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Sa‘d, Vol. 3, p. 461, Sa‘d bin Ubadah, Darul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990)

In Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin [The Life and Character of the Seal of Prophets (sa)], Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahib (ra) states:

“The status and value of Hazrat Abu Ubaidah (ra) in the eyes of Hazrat Aisha (ra) was so great that she would say, ‘If Abu Ubaidah had been alive at the demise of Hazrat Umar (ra), he would have been the Caliph.’”

(Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad (ra), p. 123)

With regard to the justice of Hazrat Uthman (ra) and how he ordered for his brother to be punished after he was proven guilty, there is a narration by Ubaidullah bin Adi in which he relates, “Both Hazrat Miswarra bin Makhrama and Abdur Rahman (ra) bin Aswad bin Abd Yaguth said to me, ‘What is preventing you from speaking to Hazrat Uthman (ra) regarding his brother, Walid, as people have said many things about him based on some of his misdeeds.’ So I went to Hazrat Uthman (ra) and when he went out for prayer, I said, ‘I have a request, and this is something that is beneficial for you.’ Hazrat Uthman (ra) said, ‘O good man! Did Mu‘ammar say this to you? I believe that he has said this to you’”, i.e. that he has come to deliver their message.

“Following this, Hazrat Uthman (ra) said, ‘I seek refuge with Allah from you.’ Upon hearing this, he” – the person who came to Hazrat Uthman (ra) – “left and returned to those people. In the meantime, a messenger from Hazrat Uthman (ra) came [calling for me] and subsequently, I went with him to see Hazrat Uthman (ra). Hazrat Uthman (ra) enquired, ‘What was the advice that was beneficial for me?” as he had said this earlier. “I replied, ‘Allah the Almighty sent Muhammad (sa) with the truth and revealed the Book [Qur’an] to him. You are also amongst those, who accepted the call of Allah and His Messenger (sa) [to Islam]. You participated in two migrations, supported the Holy Prophet (sa) and witnessed his practices.’ Following this, I said, ‘People have raised many concerns about Walid’”, who was Hazrat Uthman’s (ra) brother. “Hazrat Uthman (ra) said, ‘Did you witness the time of the Holy Prophet (sa)?’ I replied, ‘I did not, but his knowledge reached me.” That is, he did not witness his time, but matters relating to the time of the Holy Prophet (sa) reached him, “and this would even reach an unmarried woman living in seclusion.’ Following this, Hazrat Uthman (ra) said, ‘Allah most certainly sent Muhammad (sa) with the truth and I am amongst those who accepted the invitation of Allah and His Messenger (sa). I believed in everything the Holy Prophet (sa) was sent with and participated in two migrations, as you have said. I enjoyed the company of Allah’s Messenger (sa) and pledged allegiance to him. By Allah! I never disobeyed him, nor did I ever cheat him, eventually Allah caused him to pass away. Then after him, in my view, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) is to be obeyed in the same manner and I obeyed him, just as it was compulsory to obey Hazrat Umar (ra) as well. Subsequently, I was made the Khalifa; thus, do I not possess the same right as the two previous Khulafa?’ I replied, ‘Indeed,’ to which Hazrat Uthman (ra) replied, ‘Then what are these matters that I am informed of? As for the matter you mentioned regarding Walid, insha-Allah, we will hand him the prescribed punishment (i.e. he would be punished according to the crime he had committed).’ After this, he called for Hazrat Ali (ra) and ordered for Walid to be whipped. Subsequently, Hazrat Ali (ra) ordered for him to be handed 80 lashes.”

(Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab Fada‘il Ashab al-Nabi (sa), Bab Manaqib Uthman (ra), Hadith 3696)

In the commentary of this hadith from Bukhari, Hazrat Syed Zain-ul-Abideen Waliullah Shah Sahib (ra) writes:

“The allegation against Walid bin Uqbah was for drinking [intoxicants] as a result of which he was punished. Witnesses confirmed that it was not a juice prepared from dates or munakka [beverage made from raisins] and was in fact an alcoholic beverage like those consumed in the days of the Jahiliyya period. Hazrat Uthman (ra) did not take into consideration his close relationship with him; in fact, owing to his close relationship with him, he ordered double the punishment; instead of handing him 40 lashes, he was given 80 lashes and this amount is proven from the example of Hazrat Umar (ra).”

(Urdu Tarjumah Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 7, p. 192, Nazarat-e-Ishaat Rabwah)

Hazrat Anas (ra) relates that the Holy Prophet (sa) said the sole voice of Abu Talha (ra) was louder and heard above all others in his battalion. The traditions also cite “100 soldiers” and “1,000 soldiers” rather than a battalion – in other words, Hazrat Abu Talha (ra) had a very powerful voice.

(Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal, Vol. 4, p. 286, Musnad Anas bin Malik, Hadith 12119, Alamul Kutub, Beirut, 1998) (al-Isti‘ab, Vol. 4, p. 261, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilimiyyah, Beirut, 1992) (al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Sa‘d, Vol. 3, p. 383, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990)

We find the following example of the hospitality of Hazrat Abu Talha (ra). Hazrat Abu Hurairah (ra) narrates that a man came to the Holy Prophet (sa), upon which the Holy Prophet (sa) asked someone to send word to his wives. They replied that they had nothing except water to offer. The Holy Prophet (sa) then asked who would help take care of this guest. Amongst the Ansar, one replied “I will”. Thus, the Ansar took this guest along with him and told his wife to extend the best hospitality possible as this was the guest of the Holy Prophet (sa). His wife replied that they had no food to give as all that was left was barely enough to feed their children. Her husband told her to prepare the remaining food for the guest, light up the oil lamp and when evening dinner time arrived, to put the children to bed. Thus, his wife prepared the food, lit up the oil lamp and tucked the children into bed. Then she got up and acted as if fixing the oil lamp and blew the candlelight off. Thus, the husband and wife made it appear as if they too had been eating, however they, in fact, spent the night on empty stomachs. In the morning, he went to the Holy Prophet (sa) who said, “Today Allah the Almighty smiled upon your act”, or he stated that “Allah the Almighty was extremely pleased with this act of theirs”. Then the following revelation was revealed:

وَیُؤْثِرُوْنَ عَلٰى أَنْفُسِہِمْ وَلَوْ کَانَ بِہِمْ خَصَاصَۃٌ وَمَنْ یُّوْقَ شُحَّ نَفْسِہٖ فَأُولٰئِکَ ہُمُ الْمُفْلِحُوْنَ

“…but prefer the Refugees to themselves, even though poverty be their own lot. And whoso is rid of the covetousness of his own soul — it is these who will be successful.”

(Surah al-Hashr, Ch.59: V.10) (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab Manaqib al-Ansar, Bab Qaul Allah Yu’thirun Ala Unfusihim, Hadith 3798) (Umdatul Qari, Vol. 16, p. 364, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2001)

Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) was also part of the Hilf al-Fudul. This was a special pact that was formed to help the poor and the oppressed. In ancient times, some noble-hearted individuals thought that an alliance should be formed in which they vow to ensure that each person is given their due rights and to assist them in attaining what is rightfully theirs; also that they would stop the cruelty of the oppressors. In Arabic, because one’s right is also known as “fadl”, and its plural is “fudul”, that is why this pact became known as “Hilf al-Fudul”. According to other narrations, it is also said that since many members of this alliance had the word fadl in their names, this agreement was named Hilf al-Fudul.

In any case, after the Battle of Fujar, Zubair bin Abdul-Muttalib, a paternal uncle of the Holy Prophet (sa), was most probably inspired by this war and proposed to revive this alliance once again. Therefore, upon this idea of his, the representatives from the different tribes of the Quraish gathered at the home of Abdullah bin Jud‘an where arrangements for a feast had been made from him. All the representatives unanimously took a mutual oath that they would forever restrain injustice and assist the oppressed. The ones who took part in this agreement include the Banu Hashim, Banu Muttalib, Banu Asad, Banu Zuhrah and Banu Taym. The Holy Prophet (sa) was also present at this occasion and joined in this agreement. Hence, on one occasion during the time of his prophethood, the Holy Prophet (sa) said, “In the house of Abdullah bin Jud‘an, I once partook in such an oath that even if I was called to it today, in the age of Islam, I would respond to it.”

(Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, 104-105)

With regard to Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) participating in the Hilf al-Fudul, an author states that the Holy Prophet (sa) was present in this alliance as well as Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq (ra).

(Sayeduna Siddiq Akbar (ra) ke Shab o Roz, Muhammad Hudhaifah Lahori, p. 19, Maktabah al-Haramain, Lahore)

Then, in a speech titled Benefactor of the World, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) said:

“It was Hazrat Umar (ra) regarding whom Christian historians also write that his governance was such that it is unmatched in the world” although the speech was about the Holy Prophet (sa). “They use foul language against the Holy Prophet (sa), yet commend Hazrat Umar (ra). A person who remained in his company at all times, longed during his final moments to be given a place in his nearness to the Holy Prophet (sa). If any action of the Holy Prophet (sa) showed that he strove for anything other than attaining the pleasure of God, then after having attained the level he did, would Hazrat Umar (ra) have desired to be given a place near him?”

(Dunya Ka Mohsin, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 10, p. 262)

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) is proving that it was servitude to the Holy Prophet (sa) and his moral training which enabled Hazrat Umar (ra) to be just and have this fear of God.

With regard to Hazrat Umar’s (ra) love for the Ahl-e-Bait [family of the Holy Prophet (sa)] Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) states:

“Hazrat Aisha (ra) remained alive for a long time after the Holy Prophet (sa). During the era of Hazrat Umar (ra), when Iran was conquered, flour mills were brought over, which ground very fine flour. When the very first mill was established in Medina, Hazrat Umar (ra) instructed that the first batch of fine flour should be presented to Hazrat Aisha (ra) as a gift. Hence, according to his instruction, that fine flour was sent to Hazrat Aisha (ra) and her maid used that flour to make thin bread. The women of Medina, who had never seen such fine flour before, converged and gathered at Hazrat Aisha’s (ra) home so that they may see this flour and how its bread was prepared. The entire courtyard was filled with women waiting to see the bread baked with this flour.”

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) was addressing women and said, “You must be thinking that it was some type of unique flour. It was not a unique type of flour; rather, that flour was of lesser quality which you eat on a daily basis; in fact, it was of even lesser quality than the flour which today is used by the poorest women. However, that flour was of a higher quality than that which was usually available in Medina. In any case, bread was prepared with that flour, which the women were astonished to see. In their astonishment, they began touching the bread and would immediately exclaim, ‘This bread is wonderful. Is there any flour in the world better than this?’ The bread had been baked, but this is where the love of Hazrat Aisha (ra) and her feelings for the Holy Prophet (sa) become manifest.

“Hazrat Aisha (ra) took a small piece of the bread and placed it in her mouth. All of the women who were standing there were looking at her to see how Hazrat Aisha’s (ra) expressions would change as she would savour eating the soft bread and were expecting her to express her happiness and delight. However, as soon as Hazrat Aisha (ra) placed that piece of bread in her mouth, it remained in her mouth as if her throat had become closed and her eyes began to fill with tears. The women said, ‘The flour is so good, and the bread is incredibly soft. Why are you unable to swallow it and have started to cry? Is there something wrong with the bread?’ Hazrat Aisha (ra) said ‘There is nothing wrong with the bread. I know that this bread is very soft and we have never seen something like this, but I am not crying because there is something wrong with the bread; rather, I remember the days when the Holy Prophet (sa) was passing through the final stage of his life; he had become weak and could not eat hard food. Yet even in those days, we used to grind wheat with stones and would make bread from it and present it to him.’ Then she said, ‘The person because of whom we are reaping these benefits left before he could enjoy these things, and we who are honoured only because of him and are benefitting from these bounties.’ When she said this, she took the piece of bread out of her mouth and said, ‘Take this bread away from me. Recalling the time of the Holy Prophet (sa), my throat is closing up and I cannot eat this bread.’”

(Ainda Wohi Qaumein Izzat Paien Gi Jo Maali O Jaani Qurbaaniyo Mein Hissa Lein Gi, Anwar-ul-Uloom, Vol. 21, pp. 155-156)

Hazrat Ibn Abbas (ra) narrates that during the era of Hazrat Umar (ra), the Companions (ra) of the Holy Prophet (sa) conquered Madain which was where Chosroes ruled from. He [Hazrat Umar (ra)] instructed that a leather mat should be placed on the floor of the mosque and instructed that the spoils should be emptied onto the leather mat.

Then, the Companions (ra) of the Holy Prophet (sa) gathered and the first one to take their share of the spoils was Hassan bin Ali (ra). He said, “O leader of the believers, grant me my share of the wealth which Allah the Almighty has bestowed upon the Muslims.” Hazrat Umar (ra) instructed with great happiness and honour that he should be given one thousand dirhams. Then, Hassan (ra) left and Hussain bin Ali (ra) came forward and said, “O leader of the believers, grant me my share of the wealth which Allah the Almighty has bestowed upon the Muslims.” Hazrat Umar (ra) instructed with great happiness and honour that he should be given one thousand dirhams. Then Hazrat Umar’s (ra) son, Abdullah bin Umar (ra) came forward and said, “O leader of the believers, grant me my share of the wealth which Allah Almighty has bestowed upon the Muslims.” Hazrat Umar (ra) instructed with great happiness and honour that he should be given five hundred dirhams. Upon this, Abdullah bin Umar said, “O leader of the believers, I am a strong man who used to stand in front of the Holy Prophet (sa), wielding my sword. At that time, Hassan (ra) and Hussain (ra) were children who used to wander the streets of Medina. You have given them one thousand dirhams each and have given me only five hundred.” Hazrat Umar (ra) replied, “This is true. Find me a father like their father, a mother like their mother, a maternal grandfather like their maternal grandfather, a maternal grandmother like their maternal grandmother, a paternal uncle like their paternal uncle, a maternal uncle like their maternal uncle and a maternal aunt like their maternal aunt. Surely, you will not be able to do so.”

(Izaalatul Khafa An Khilafat Al-Khulafa, translated by Shah Walliullah Muhaddith Dehlvi, Vol. 3, pp. 292-293, Qadeemi Kutub Kahana Karachi) (Furhang-e-Sirat, p. 264, Zawar Academy Karachi [2004])

Abu Ja‘far (ra) narrates that Hazrat Umar (ra) decided to assign stipends to people and his view was better than that of all others. People told him that he should begin with himself, but he did not agree. Instead, he began with the closest relatives of the Holy Prophet (sa); thus he began by determining a stipend for Hazrat Abbas (ra) and then Hazrat Ali (ra).

(Izaalatul Khafa An Khilafat Al-Khulafa, translated by Shah Walliullah Muhaddith Dehlvi, Vol. 3, p. 241, Qadeemi Kutub Kahana Karachi)

Hazrat Umar bin Khattab (ra) respected and honoured Hazrat Imam Hassan (ra) and Hazrat Imam Hussain (ra) and would tend to and provide for them just as he provided for their father. Once, some clothes arrived from Yemen and he distributed them among the sons of the Companions (ra), but did not give any to them two [i.e. Hazrat Imam Hassan (ra) and Hazrat Imam Hussain (ra)]. He said that there was nothing among those clothes which he deemed worthy enough for them. He then sent a message to the governor of Yemen who then had clothes made which were suitable for them.

(Al-Badaya Wa Al-Nahaya, Vol. 4, pt. 8, pp. 214-215, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990)

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IV (rh) once mentioned this narration in a sermon. He mentioned some more details of this incident in his own words as follows:

“Hazrat Abdullah bin Shaddad states, ‘Once Hazrat Umar (ra) was leading prayers and I was standing in the last row. However, I could hear Hazrat Umar’s (ra) fervent prayers and intense emotions and he was reciting the following verse:

إِنَّمَآ‭ ‬أَشۡكُوْا‭ ‬بَثِّيْ‭ ‬وَحُزۡنِيْ‭ ‬إِلَى‭ ‬اللّٰهِ

Meaning “I complain of all my sorrows and anguishes before Allah. I do not need to complain to anyone else.”’ Thus, those people who remain occupied in the remembrance of Allah, do not find anywhere to express their pain and anguish and to alleviate their worries other than God’s threshold. The narrator states that he was in the last row, but he heard Hazrat Umar’s (ra) fervent prayers and lamentations.”

(Khutbat-e-Tahir, Vol. 13, pp. 248-249)

There is a narration regarding the fact that truth and serenity emanated from the tongue and heart of Hazrat Umar (ra). It is narrated by Hazrat Abdullah bin Umar (ra) that the Holy Prophet (sa) once said, “Allah has caused the truth to flow from the tongue and heart of Umar.”

(Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Abwab al-Manaqib, Bab anna Allah Ja‘ala al-Haqq ala Lisani Umar Qalbih, Hadith 3682)

Hazrat Ibn Abbas (ra) relates from his brother, Fazl, who said, “I heard the Holy Prophet (sa) say, Umar bin al-Khattab accompanies me wherever I please, and I accompany him wherever he pleases. After me, wherever Umar bin Khattab will be, the truth will be with him.’”

(Sirat Umar (ra) bin al-Khattab, Ibn al-Juzi, p. 21, al-Matba‘ah al-Misriyyah, al-Azhar)

Hazrat Ali (ra) once said, “We used to speak amongst each other about how serenity flows from the tongue and heart of Hazrat Umar (ra).”

(Kanz al-Ummal, Vol. 6, Chapter 12, Kitab al-Fada‘il, Fada‘il ‘Umar, Riwayah No. 35870, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2004)

Hazrat Abdullah bin Jahsh (ra) was also renowned as an authority with sound opinions and advice. At the time of the Battle of Badr, Hazrat Abdullah bin Jahsh (ra) was among those Companions from whom the Holy Prophet (sa) took counsel.

(Al-Isti‘ab fi Ma’rifatil Ashaab, Vol. 3, p.16, Abdullah bin Jahsh, Darul Kutub-ul-Ilmiya, 2002, Beirut).

Hazrat Musa bin Talha (ra) and Hazrat Isa bin Talha (ra), narrate on the authority of their father, Hazrat Talha bin Ubaidullah (ra) that the Companions of the Holy Prophet (sa) would say that a Bedouin once came to the Holy Prophet (sa) and asked who were the people referred to in the verse of the Quran:

مَنْ قَضٰى نَحْبَہٗ

“There are some of them who have fulfilled their vow.”

Initially upon asking, the Holy Prophet (sa) did not answer. The Bedouin asked for the second time, but the Holy Prophet (sa) did not answer and again upon asking for the third time, the Holy Prophet (sa) remained silent.

Hazrat Talha (ra) stated, “I entered through the door of the mosque and at the time I was wearing a green attire. When the Holy Prophet (sa) saw me, he asked, ‘Where is the questioner who asked about the people referred to in the verse, مَنْ قَضٰى نَحْبَہٗ (i.e., there are some of them who have fulfilled their vow)?” The Bedouin replied, “It was I, O Messenger (sa) of Allah.” Hazrat Talha (ra) then said, “The Holy Prophet (sa) pointed towards me and said; he is one of the people regarding whom it is said, مَنْ قَضٰى نَحْبَہٗ.”

(Usdul Ghabah, Vol. 3, p. 86, Talha bin Ubaidillah Quraishi, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut)

“There is a narration in regard to Hazrat Umar (ra) which states that upon the instruction of the Holy Prophet (sa), when he expelled the Jews and Christians from Yemen, he purchased their land from them.”

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) further states:

“The land owned by the Christians and the Jews was ‘Kharaji’ [land owned by a non-Muslim] and when Hazrat Umar (ra) took their land and expelled them from the Arab lands, he did not just seize their land, but in fact purchased the land from them, even though it was ‘Kharaji’ and in principle belonged to the government. A hadith is mentioned in Fath-ul-Bari, a commentary of Bukhari, and states:

عَنْ يَحْيَى بْنِ سَعِيْدٍ أَنَّ عُمَرَ أَجْلٰى أَهْلَ نَجْرَانَ وَالْيَهُوْدَ وَالنَّصَارٰى وَاشْتَرٰى بَيَاضَ أَرْضِهِمْ وَكُرُوْمَهُمْ

“That is, ‘Yahya bin Saeed narrates that Hazrat Umar (ra) expelled the idolaters, Jews and the Christians of Najran and paid for their lands and orchards.’

“It is clear the land which belonged to the Jews was not ‘Ushari’ [land owned by a Muslim] because if it was ‘Ushari’ then it would have had a Muslim owner and there would be no reason to pay the Jews for it. Thus, this land was undoubtedly ‘Kharaji’ just like the land in India is also referred to as ‘Kharaji’. However, Hazrat Umar (ra) did not take possession of the land by considering it to be ‘Kharaji’ and thereby declaring it as the property of the government; in fact, he paid them for the land.

“It is possible that someone may claim that perhaps this land was neither ‘Kharaji’ nor ‘Ushari’ and was classified as something else, but such a notion would be utterly foolish and would reflect one’s lack of knowledge of the Islamic Shariah.

“In Islam, the land is either ‘Kharaji’ or ‘Ushari’ and there is no other form of land, unless it is completely derelict and abandoned with no one to lay claim to its ownership. Thus, the land belonging to the Jews, Christians and idolaters was either ‘Kharaji’ or ‘Ushari’, but in either case, Hazrat Umar (ra) recognised them as its owners and subsequently purchased the land from them.”

(Islam Aur Malkiyyat-e-Zameen, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 21, p. 444, 478-479)

Mentioning the prohibition of making slaves other than prisoners of war in Islam, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) states:

“Allah the Almighty states:

تُرِيْدُوْنَ‭ ‬عَرَضَ‭ ‬الدُّنْيَا‬‬

“[‘You desire the frail goods of this world’] meaning, ‘O Muslims, do you desire to behave like other nations and enslave their people to augment your power?’

وَاللّٰهُ‭ ‬يُرِيْدُ‭ ‬الْآخِرَةَ‬‬

“Nay, Allah does not want you to follow other nations. He wants to guide you to the course that is better for you in the end and entitles you to win Allah’s pleasure in the next life. And with respect to gaining the nearness of Allah and attaining a good end, God decrees that it is better for you that you do not take any prisoners except when war is imposed on you.” Thus, in Islam, one is not permitted to enslave anyone except as prisoners of war.

“This rule was strictly enforced in the early days of Islam. During the reign of Hazrat Umar (ra), a deputation from Yemen came and complained that before the advent of Islam, they had been made into slaves without any cause by a neighbouring Christian tribe. Otherwise prior to this time, they were free, therefore they ought to be relieved of this bondage. Hazrat Umar (ra) replied that though the event took place before the Muslims were in power, he would look into the case and have them set free if their complaint was borne out by facts.

“In contrast to this” – Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) is now comparing this conduct to the practice of Europe in that this was the Islamic stance taken by Hazrat Umar (ra) or which he reassured them with. In contrast to this, what do we see in Europe – “the Europeans continued to use slavery for advancing their trade and agriculture until the nineteenth century. There is no doubt that some instances of the un-Islamic custom of slavery can be found in Islamic history; but slavery was never practised to promote domestic industry or trade.”

(Islam Ka Iqtasadi Nizam, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 18, pp. 26-27)

There is no concept of this in Islam.

Hazrat Usman (ra) visited him during his time of illness and was in a state of unconsciousness. When he felt better, Hazrat Usman said, “What condition do you find yourself in?” He responded, “I consider my condition to be good apart from that one rope which was used to tie the knee of a camel. Some of the workers and I have lost it. We have not yet found deliverance from this matter.”

(Al-Tabkaat-ul-Qubra Li-ibn Sa‘d, Vol. 3, p. 238, Dar-e-Ihyaa, Al-Turath Al-Arabi, Beirut, 1996)

As I have stated that he would receive money and other items from the people in order to make a collection for Sadqa [charity]. His standard of responsibility and trustworthiness was to the extent that he felt restless on his deathbed with the concern of that one rope which was used to tie a camel and was mistakenly lost. He expressed his worry that this rope might become a source of a trial for them in the hereafter. Thus, these were the people who had such high standards of fear of God Almighty and of honesty.

Sa‘ib bin Yazid relates that he spent time with Hazrat Talha (ra) bin Ubaidullah, whilst travelling and also at home, and there was no one who was more generous than Talha (ra) in regard to granting money, clothes and food to others.

(al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Sa‘d, Vol. 3, p. 167, Talha bin Ubaidillah, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990)

During Hazrat Umar’s (ra) stay in Jerusalem, the officers of the Muslim army would invite him for meals. They would prepare the meals and would then request Hazrat Umar (ra) to come to their tent. Hazrat Umar (ra) would honour them by graciously accepting their request. Hazrat Abu Ubaidah (ra), however, did not invite Hazrat Umar (ra) for a meal and Hazrat Umar (ra) stated to him, “Among the officers of the army, everyone except you has invited me for a meal.” Upon this, Hazrat Abu Ubaidah (ra) submitted, “O Leader of the Faithful! I fear that if I were to invite you, you will not be able to possess control over your eyes.” In other words, he would be overcome with emotion.

Hazrat Umar (ra) afterwards went to his tent and saw that it was completely empty except for the saddle of his horse, which he used as a sleeping mat and he would use the soft layer that sits above the saddle as his pillow. The soft layer of the saddle would be used as a pillow and the saddle itself would be used as a sleeping mat. There was a piece of dried bread in one corner of the tent. Hazrat Abu Ubaidah (ra) took the bread and placed it on the ground in front of Hazrat Umar (ra). He then bought a clay pot which contained some water. Upon observing this, Hazrat Umar (ra) began to cry and then tightly embraced Hazrat Abu Ubaidah (ra) and stated, “You are my brother. Among my companions there is no one who has not partaken anything of this world, nor has the world partaken anything from him, except you.” To this, Abu Ubaidah (ra) submitted, “Did I not tell you before that you would not be able to control your eyes?”

Thereafter, Hazrat Umar (ra) came out and stood amongst the people and after offering praise to Allah the Almighty which He is worthy of and invoking salutations upon the Holy Prophet (sa), he stated:

“O followers of Islam! Verily, Allah has fulfilled His promise He made with you and He granted you support against the enemy. He has granted you these lands and has firmly established you in them. Thus, you ought to express gratitude to your Lord for these bounties. You should abstain from all those deeds which go against the commandments of God for this is ingratitude to God. There are many a people who were bestowed the bounties of God and in turn they became ungrateful, and failing to repent, their honour was taken away from them.”

In other words, if one fails to repent after having become ungrateful, then their honour is taken away from them. Their rewards are taken away from them and the enemy overcomes them. Since many of the army chiefs and officers had assembled in Ilya, therefore Hazrat Umar (ra) remained there for a few days and issued important instructions.

Hazrat Amr bin Sharhabeel narrates that the Holy Prophet (sa) said that faith was running through the veins of Ammar bin Yasir (ra). This means that he was completely immersed in faith.

(Sunan Al-Nisai, Kitab-ul-Imaan, Hadith 5010)

Hazrat Ammar bin Yasir (ra) is counted among those whom God Almighty had safeguarded against Satan.

Ibrahim relates from Alaqamah that he said, “I went to Syria and the people there said that Hazrat Abu Dardaa (ra) used to say, ‘Was that person from amongst you whom God Almighty had protected against Satan, as mentioned by the Holy Prophet (sa) himself?’” (He said this in reference to Hazrat Ammar (ra).)

(Sahih Al-Bukhari, Kitabu Badil Khalq, Hadith 3287)

At another instance, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) says:

“Once, a companion invited the Holy Prophet (sa) for a meal. Some other companions had also been invited, among whom was Hazrat Ali (ra). Hazrat Ali (ra) was younger in age as compared to the others and so, some companions decided to engage with him in a light-hearted manner.

“As they ate dates, they would place the date-stones in front of Hazrat Ali (ra) and the Holy Prophet (sa) was doing the same. Hazrat Ali (ra) was young and occupied himself in eating and so he did not notice. When he finally did realise, he found a pile of date-stones in front of him. The companions, in a light-hearted manner, said to Hazrat Ali (ra), ‘You have eaten all the dates! Look at the pile of date-stones in front of you.’ Hazrat Ali (ra) also had a light-hearted disposition and would not become annoyed at such things. Had this been his nature, he would have argued with the companions and said that they were falsely accusing him or were thinking ill of him.

“Hazrat Ali (ra) understood that they were simply doing this in a humorous manner and so, he thought to himself that it was best for him to also reply in kind. Hence, he said, ‘You have even eaten the date-stones as well, whilst I have been keeping them to one side.”’ Meaning [Hazrat Ali (ra) said in a light-hearted manner] that unlike him, they were eating the dates including the date-stones and the proof was that he had a pile of date-stones in front of him. Thus, through this light-hearted response of his, the joke reverted back onto the companions.

(Khutbat-e-Mahmud, Vol. 33, pp. 259-260)

He was also averse to drinking alcohol during the age of ignorance. Hazrat Aisha (ra) relates that Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) had deemed alcohol forbidden for himself in the age of ignorance. He did not consume alcohol in the pre-Islamic era, nor after the advent of Islam.

(Kanz al-Ummal, Vol. 12, p. 490, Bab Manaqib Abi Bakr (ra), Hadith 35609, Mu‘assisat al-Risalah, Beirut, 1985)

It is reported that once, in a gathering of companions of the Holy Prophet (sa), Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) was asked whether he ever consumed alcohol in the age of ignorance. In response, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) stated, “I seek refuge with Allah.” He was asked about the reason for this [i.e. why he did not consume alcohol]. He replied, “I value my honour and purity because the one who consumes alcohol destroys his honour and purity.” The narrator reports that when the Holy Prophet (sa) came to hear about this, he said:

صَدَقَ‭ ‬أَبُوْ‭ ‬بَكْرٍ‭ ‬صَدَقَ‭ ‬أَبُوْ‭ ‬بَكْرٍ‬‬‬‬‬

That is, “Abu Bakr has spoken the truth. Abu Bakr has spoken the truth.”

(Jalaluddin Abd al-Rahman bin Abi Bakr al-Suyuti, Tarikh al-Khulafa, p. 30, Chapter: kana Abu Bakr A’Af al-Nas fi al-Jahiliyyah, Dar al-Kitab al-Arabi, Beirut, 1999)

The Holy Prophet (sa) repeated this twice.

Michael H Hart has written a book on the 100 most influential persons in history and ranked the Holy Prophet (sa) as number one and placed Hazrat Umar (ra) at number 52. He writes:

“Umar ibn al-Khattab was the second, and probably the greatest, of the Moslem caliphs. He was a younger contemporary of Muhammad, and like the Prophet, was born in Mecca. The year of his birth is unknown, but was perhaps about 586. Umar (ra) was originally one of the most bitter opponents of Muhammad and his new religion. Rather suddenly, however, Umar (ra) became converted to Islam, and thereafter was one of its strongest supporters. The parallel with the conversion of St Paul to Christianity is striking. Umar (ra) became one of the closest advisors of the prophet Muhammad, and remained so throughout Muhammad’s life.

“In 632 CE, Muhammad died without having named a successor. Umar (ra) promptly supported the candidacy of Abu Bakr, a close associate and father-in-law of the Prophet. This avoided a power struggle”.

He is writing from his own perspective. He is not prepared to believe that the people gathered and elected a Khalifa. Nonetheless, from a worldly perspective, he writes:

“[…] he pledged allegiance to the father-in-law of the Prophet. This avoided a power struggle and enabled Abu Bakr to be generally recognised as the first caliph – i.e., as the ‘successor’ of Muhammad. Abu Bakr was a successful leader, but he died after serving as caliph for only two years. He had, however, specifically named Umar (ra) – who was also a father-in-law of the Prophet to succeed him, so once again a power struggle was avoided.”

Again, he wishes to give his own worldly perspective on the matter. He is, however, praising Hazrat Umar. [He continues:]

“Umar (ra) became caliph in 634, and retained power until 644”, i.e. remained the Khalifa, “when he was assassinated in Medina by a Persian slave. On his deathbed, Umar (ra) named a committee of six persons to choose his successor, thereby again averting an armed struggle for power. The committee chose Othman, the third caliph, who ruled from 644 to 656.”

He further writes:

“It was during the ten years of Umar’s caliphate that the most important conquests of the Arabs occurred. Not long after Umar’s accession, Arab armies invaded Syria and Palestine, which at that time were part of the Byzantine Empire. At the Battle of the Yarmuk (636), the Arabs won a crushing victory over the Byzantine forces. Damascus fell the same year, and Jerusalem surrendered two years later. By 641, the Arabs had conquered all of Palestine and Syria, and were advancing into present-day Turkey. In 639, Arab armies invaded Egypt, which had also been under Byzantine rule. Within three years, the Arab conquest of Egypt was complete.

“Arab attacks upon Iraq, at that time part of the Sassanid Empire of the Persians, had commenced even before Umar (ra) took office. The key Arab victory, at the battle of Qadisiya (637) occurred during Umar’s reign. By 641 CE all of Iraq was under Arab control. Nor was that all: Arab armies invaded Persia itself, and at the battle of Nehavend (642) they decisively defeated the forces of the last Sassanid emperor. By the time Umar (ra) died, in 644, most of western Iran had been overrun. Nor had the Arab armies run out of momentum when Umar (ra) died. In the East, they fairly soon completed the conquest of Persia, while in the West they continued their push across North Africa.”

He [Michael Hart] further writes:

“Just as important as the extent of Umar’s conquests is their permanence. Iran, though its population became converted to Islam, eventually regained its independence from Arab rule. But Syria, Iraq, and Egypt never did. Those countries became thoroughly Arabised and remain so to this day.”

He then writes:

“Umar, of course, had to devise policies for the rule of the great empire that his armies had conquered. He decided that the Arabs were to be a privileged military caste in the regions they had conquered, and that they should live in garrison cities, apart from the natives. The subject peoples were to pay tribute to their Moslem – largely Arab – conquerors, but were otherwise to be left in peace. In particular, they were not to be forcibly converted to Islam. From the above, it is clear that the Arab conquest was more a nationalist war of conquest than a holy war, although the religious aspect was certainly not lacking.

“Umar’s achievements are impressive indeed. After Muhammad himself, he was the principal figure in the spread of Islam. Without his rapid conquests, it is doubtful that Islam would be nearly as widespread today as it actually is. Furthermore, most of the territory conquered during his reign has remained Arab ever since. Obviously, of course, Muhammad, who was the prime mover, should receive the bulk of the credit for those developments. But it would be a grave mistake to ignore Umar’s contribution. The conquests he made were not an automatic consequence of the inspiration provided by Muhammad. Some expansion was probably bound to occur, but not to the enormous extent that it did under Umar’s brilliant leadership.”

He then adds:

“It may occasion some surprise that Umar – a figure virtually unknown in the West – has been ranked higher than such famous men as Charlemagne and Julius Caesar. However, the conquests made by the Arabs under Umar, taking into account both their size and their duration, are substantially more important than those of either Caesar or Charlemagne.”

(The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History, Michael H Hart, pp. 271-275, Golden Book Centre Sdn. Bhd., 2008)

There is a narration in which it is mentioned that even Satan runs away from Umar (ra). In Sahih Bukhari, it is narrated by Hazrat Saad (ra) bin Abi Waqas that Hazrat Umar (ra) bin al-Khattab sought permission from the Holy Prophet (sa) to enter. At the time some women from the Quraish were sitting in the Holy Prophet’s (sa) company and speaking to him. They were asking for more expenses and their voices were louder than the Holy Prophet’s (sa) voice. When Hazrat Umar (ra) sought permission to enter, they quickly put on their veils. The Holy Prophet (sa) permitted Hazrat Umar (ra) to enter. When Hazrat Umar (ra) entered, the Holy Prophet (sa) was smiling.

Hazrat Umar (ra) said, “O Messenger (sa) of Allah, may Allah always keep you smiling.” The Holy Prophet (sa) replied, “I am astonished by the women that were just here. When they heard your voice, they quickly put on their veils.” Upon this, Hazrat Umar (ra) submitted, “O Messenger (sa) of Allah, you, however, are more worthy of being feared”. Then, while addressing those women in a loud voice, Hazrat Umar (ra) stated, “O enemies of your own selves, are you intimidated by me and not the Holy Prophet (sa)?” The women replied, “Indeed, because you are harsher and sterner than the Messenger (sa) of Allah.” Upon this, the Holy Prophet (sa) said, “Hear me, O son of al-Khattab; I swear by the One in Whose hands is my life, whenever Satan crosses paths with you, he most certainly diverts his path [in fear of you].”

(Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab Fada‘il Ashab al-Nabi (sa), Bab Fada‘il Hazrat Umar (ra), Hadith 3683)

Hazrat Aisha (ra) relates, “Once while the Holy Prophet (sa) was seated, we heard some commotion and the sounds of children. The Holy Prophet (sa) stood up and saw that there was an Abyssinian woman performing a traditional dance while the children had gathered around her. The Holy Prophet (sa) said, ‘O Aisha, come and see.’ I went and started to watch, placing my chin on the shoulder of the Holy Prophet (sa). My chin was placed in-between the head and the shoulder of the Holy Prophet (sa). He then asked me, ‘Have you seen enough?’ I said ‘not yet’ because I wanted to see how much he cared about me. When Hazrat Umar (ra) arrived, everyone fled from around that woman.”

Hazrat Aisha (ra) continues, “Upon this, the Holy Prophet (sa) said, ‘I see that the Satans from among the jinn and man have fled from Umar.’” Hazrat Aisha (ra) says that following this, she returned from there.

(Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Abwab al-Manaqib, Bab Qauluh anna al-Shaitan la Yakhafu minka ya Umar, Hadith 3691)

Hazrat Buraydahra relates that once when the Holy Prophet (sa) returned from an expedition, a woman of dark complexion came and asked, “O Messenger (sa) of Allah, I took a vow that if Allah the Almighty brought you back to us in safety, I would sing and beat the drum before you.”

The Holy Prophet (sa) said, “If you had taken a vow, then you may do so, otherwise you cannot.” Thus, she began to beat the drum. Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra)arrived and she continued to beat the drum. Hazrat Ali (ra) arrived and she continued to beat the drum. Then, Hazrat Uthman (ra) arrived and she still continued to beat the drum. When Hazrat Umar (ra) arrived, however, she placed the drum beneath her and sat on top of it. The Holy Prophet (sa) said, “O Umar, even Satan fears you. I was present and seated, yet she was still beating the drum. Abu Bakr came, Ali came, Uthman came, yet she continued to beat the drum. However, O Umar, when you came, she put the drum away.”

(Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Abwab al-Manaqib, Bab Qauluh anna al-Shaitan la Yakhafu minka ya Umar, Hadith 3690)

Hazrat Abu Saeed (ra) narrates, “Abu Musa Ash‘ari came to visit Hazrat Umar (ra) and sought permission saying, ‘Peace be upon you! Do I have permission to enter?’ Hazrat Umar (ra) thought to himself that he has only asked permission once. After remaining silent for a short while, Abu Musa again said, ‘Peace be upon you! Do I have permission to enter?’ Hazrat Umar (ra) replied to his greeting in his heart and then thought to himself that he has only sought permission twice.

“After waiting for a little while again, Abu Musa Ash‘ari (ra) sought permission again saying, ‘Peace be upon you! Do I have permission to enter?’ After having sought permission three times from Hazrat Umar (ra), Abu Musa Ash‘ari (ra) then left.”

When he sought permission to enter three times and did not hear a reply from Hazrat Umar (ra), he decided to leave.

“Hazrat Umar (ra) asked the doorkeeper, ‘What did Abu Musa do?’ He replied that he had left. Hazrat Umar (ra) said for Abu Musa (ra) to be brought before him. When he came before Hazrat Umar (ra), he asked him, ‘What did you do?’ He replied, ‘I have acted in accordance with the sunnah.’ Hazrat Umar (ra) replied, ‘sunnah? By Allah, you will have to prove that this is an act of sunnah, otherwise I will deal with you severely.’”

Abu Saeed Khudri (ra) further narrates, “Abu Musa (ra) then came to us. At the time, we were sat with a group of Ansar. Abu Musa Ash‘ari (ra) stated, ‘O Ansar! Is there anyone who would know the sayings of the Holy Prophet (sa) more than you! Did the Holy Prophet (sa) not say:

الْإِسْتِئْذَانُ‭ ‬ثَلَاثٌ

i.e. one can seek permission [up to] three times. If one is granted permission they may enter the house, and if they are not given permission then they should return.’ Upon hearing this, the people mocked and laughed.”

Abu Saeed Khudri (ra) further narrates, “I raised my head towards Abu Musa Ash‘ari (ra) and said, ‘Whatever punishment you receive for this, I will have an equal share of it. I bear witness that you spoke the truth.’”

The narrator says that Abu Saeed (ra) then went to Hazrat Umar (ra) and informed him of the saying of the Holy Prophet (sa). Hazrat Umar (ra) said, “Very well! I was unaware of this hadith, but now I have come to know of it.”

(Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Kitab al-Isti‘dhan, Bab ma Ja‘a fi al-Isti‘dhan Thalathah, Hadith 2690)

Hazrat Suhaib (ra) was not a native speaker, i.e. his language [Arabic] was not as eloquent as the Arabs.

Zaid bin Aslam relates from his father, “I went with Hazrat Umar (ra) until he entered the garden of Hazrat Suhaib (ra) in Aliya. When Hazrat Suhaib (ra) saw Hazrat Umar (ra) he said ‘Yannaas, Yannaas’. Hazrat Umar (ra) thought he was saying ‘al-nas’ [people] so he said what has happened to him that he is calling people.” The narrator then says, “I replied by saying that he was calling his servant whose name was Yuhannas and he called him in this way due to the impediment in his speech.” After that, they discussed certain matters and Hazrat Umar (ra) said, “O Suhaib (ra), I see only three short-comings in you. If they were not present in you, I would not give any person superiority over you. I see that you associate yourself with the Arabs, whereas your language is foreign, you say that your appellation is Abu Yahya, which is the name of a prophet and you excessively spend out of your wealth.” Hazrat Suhaib (ra) replied, “As for what you said about me wasting money, the truth is that I spend only where it is required and not unnecessarily. Regarding my appellation, it was the Holy Prophet (sa) who gave me the title of Abu Yahya, therefore I shall never renounce it. As for my affiliation with the Arabs, the Romans had enslaved me when I was young, so that is why I learnt their language, but I belong to the tribe of Namir bin Qasit.”

Hazrat Umar (ra) had great love for Hazrat Suhaib (ra) and thought very highly of him. When Hazrat Umar (ra) sustained an injury, he mentioned in his will that Hazrat Suhaib (ra) would lead his funeral prayer and he would also lead the Muslims in prayer for three days until members of the electoral committee chose the Khalifa.

Then Professor Philip K. Hitti writes in his book, History of the Arabs:

“Simple and frugal in manner the energetic and talented successor to the Prophet, Umar (634-644) who was of towering height, strong physique and bald-headed, continued at least for some time after becoming the Caliph to support himself by trade and lived throughout his life in a style as unostentatious as that of a Bedouin Sheikh. In fact, Umar, whose name according to Muslim tradition is the greatest in early Islam after that of Mohammad, has been idolised by Muslim writers for his piety, justice and patriarchal simplicity and treated as the personification of all the virtues a Caliph ought to possess.”

He further writes:

“His irreproachable character became an exemplar for all conscientious successors to follow. He owned, we are told, one shirt and one mantle only, both conspicuous for their patchwork, slept on a bed of palm leaves, and had no concern other than the maintenance of the purity of the faith, the upholding of justice and the ascendancy and security of Islam and the Arabians.”

(History of the Arabs, K. Hitti, 10th Edition, p. 175, London, 1989)

There is also a narration of Tirmidhi in which Hazrat Ali bin Abi Talib (ra) narrates, “The Holy Prophet (sa) said, ‘Every prophet has been granted seven noble companions.’ The narrator states that perhaps the word used was ‘guardians’ instead of ‘companions’. However, the Holy Prophet (sa) stated, ‘I have been granted 14 such individuals’. So we asked who these individuals were and the Holy Prophet (sa) stated that it was me and my two sons, [Hassan (ra) and Hussain (ra)], Jafar (ra), Hamza (ra), Abu Bakr (ra), Umar (ra), Mus‘ab (ra) bin Umair, Bilal (ra), Salman (ra), Miqdad (ra), Abu Dhar (ra), Ammar (ra) and Abdullah bin Mas‘ud (ra).”

(Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Abwab Manaqib, Hadith 3785)

Hazrat Aamir bin Rabi‘ah (ra) relates that his father would often mention, “From the time Hazrat Mus‘ab (ra) bin Umair accepted Islam to the Battle of Uhud, he remained my close friend and companion. He was alongside us in both migrations to Abyssinia. He was my companion during the migration. I have never seen someone as well-mannered as him, nor did he engage in a dispute with anyone.”

(al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Sa‘d, Vol. 3, p. 87, Mus‘ab (ra) bin Umair, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990)

According to the historical accounts, “love of God and His Prophet (sa) had made the companions oblivious to all material desires. Their only wish was to sacrifice their lives in God’s cause. Their desire was indeed fulfilled and they became distinguished as ‘Al-Mujjadu Fillah’ (the one who lost his ear in God’s cause).

(Usdul Ghaaba, Vol. 3, p.90, Abdullah bin Jahsh, Darul-Fikr, 2003, Beirut).

In relation to more details about his character, there is a well-known account of how Abdullah(ra) bin Jahsh’s prayers were accepted before he was martyred. Ishaq bin Sa’d(ra) bin Abi Waqas narrates with reference to his father:

“On the day the Battle of Uhud, his father i.e. Sa’d requested Abdullah bin Jahsh to come to one side in order to pray together. They retreated to one side and Sa’d prayed first that ‘O Allah! When I meet the enemy tomorrow, let me face someone who is the most fearsome in battle and commands great aura. Let me fight him and let me kill him for Your sake. Let me seize his weapons.’ Upon this Hazrat Abdullah (ra) bin Jahsh said Ameen. After this Hazrat Abdullah(ra) bin Jahsh prayed: ‘O Allah! When I meet the enemy tomorrow, let me face someone who is most fearsome in battle and commands great aura. Let me kill him, and let him overcome me and kill me and take hold of me and cut off my ears and nose. When I come before You, that You ask me, “O Abdullah! Why have your nose and ears been cut off?” and I should answer: “O Allah, they were severed in Your way and in the way of Your Prophet (sa)”, and you reply, “You indeed speak the truth.”’” Hazrat Sa’d says, “Abdullah bin Jahsh’s prayer was better than mine, because towards the end of the day I saw that his nose and ears were hanging on a thread, meaning that a thread had been through them.”

(Usdul Ghaaba, Vol. 3, p.90, Abdullah bin Jahsh, Darul-Fikr, 2003, Beirut).

This was a cruel practice used by the disbelievers. Even today, some extremist Muslims are indulging in this practice in Islam’s name. Hazrat Muttalib bin Abdullah bin Hantab narrates:

“On the way to Uhad, the Holy Prophet (sa) stayed in a place near Medina called Shaikhain. Hazrat Umme Salma (ra) presented roasted shoulder meat which the Holy Prophet (sa) ate. Then she brought Nabiz, the Holy Prophet (sa) drank from it (I believe it is something similar to a milk-based drink). Someone then took the cup of Nabiz and drank from it and then Abdullah bin Jahsh took the cup and finished it. Another person then said, ‘give me some to drink also, for you know where you are going tomorrow.’ Abdullah (ra) bin Jahsh replied, ‘Yes, I would like to meet my Lord in a quenched state rather than that of thirst.’”

(At-Tabaqat Al-Kubra Li Ibn Sa‘d, Vol. 3, p.50, Dar Ihya At-Turath Al-Arabi, 1996, Beirut).

What wonderful ways the companions had of demonstrating their love for God Almighty and what wonderful preparation they undertook to meet Him.

There is a narration of Sahih Muslim in which Hazrat Abu Hurairah (ra) states:

“We were sitting in the company of the Holy Prophet (sa) along with Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra)and Hazrat Umar (ra) as well as others. The Holy Prophet (sa) got up and left, but there was a delay in him returning. We feared that he may be in danger, and owing to this we stood up and left. I was the first to fear this and so I left in search of the Holy Prophet (sa). I arrived at a garden that belonged to the Banu Najjar. I circled the garden looking for the entrance, but was unable to find it. I then saw a stream flowing inside the garden from a well outside and so I crouched down like a fox and entered the garden through the stream and went to the Holy Prophet (sa). The Holy Prophet (sa) enquired, ‘Is it Abu Hurairah?’ I replied in the affirmative. He asked what the matter was to which I replied, ‘You were among us, after which you stood up and left, but there was a delay in you returning. We feared you may be harmed. I was the first to worry and so I followed you up to this garden; I had to crouch like a fox to enter into the garden and the others are following behind me.’ The Holy Prophet (sa) addressed me saying, ‘O Abu Hurairah’ and gave me his sandals and said, ‘Take my sandals and inform whoever you meet outside this garden, that if they testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and truly have this belief in their hearts, then give them glad tidings of Paradise.’”

Hazrat Abu Hurairah (ra) further narrates, “When I went back, the first person I met was Umar (ra). He asked, ‘O Abu Hurairah (ra)! What are these sandals?’ I said that the sandals belonged to the Holy Prophet (sa) and he has sent me with these as a sign to give glad tidings of Paradise to the one who testifies that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and truly holds this belief in their hearts. Upon this, Hazrat Umar (ra) struck my chest in anger with great force and I fell on my back. He said, ‘O Abu Hurairah (ra)! Go back.’” Meaning, there was no need to say anything to anyone.

“I returned to the Holy Prophet (sa) and was about to cry when Hazrat Umar (ra) came behind me. The Holy Prophet (sa) asked, ‘O Abu Hurairah! What is the matter?’ I informed him that, ‘I met with Umar (ra) and told him about the message you had sent me with, but Umar (ra) struck me on my chest with such force that I fell backwards and Umar (ra) told me to return.’ The Holy Prophet (sa) asked, ‘O Umar! Why did you do such a thing?’ Hazrat Umar (ra) replied, ‘O Messenger (sa) of Allah! May my mother and father be sacrificed for you! Did you send Abu Hurairah with your sandals and tell him to give glad tidings of Paradise to the one who testifies that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and has firm belief in this?’ The Holy Prophet (sa) replied in the affirmative. Upon this, Hazrat Umar (ra) submitted, ‘Please do not do such a thing, for I fear that people will rely on this alone. Therefore, it would be best to let them carry on performing virtuous deeds and acting on the commandments so that they become true believers. Otherwise they will rely upon the declaration of “There is none worthy of worship except Allah” and consider it to be sufficient in order to enter Paradise. The Holy Prophet (sa) said, ‘Very well, leave it.’”

(Sahih Muslim, Kitab al-Iman, Bab al-Dalil ala in Mata ala al-Tauhid Dakhala al-Jannah Qat‘an, Hadith 147)

Hazrat Umar (ra) thus had a very cautious approach.

In any case, one should always remember that those people rebelled and started a war. This war was not fought against them simply because someone had claimed [prophethood]. In fact, they were contending against a rebellion and were responding to the war that was waged against them. Whilst mentioning the victory against those who refused to pay the Zakat and Hazrat Abu Bakr’s (ra) courage and determination, Abdullah bin Mas‘ud relates:

“After the demise of the Messenger (sa) of Allah, we were faced with such a situation that had Allah not helped us through Abu Bakr Siddiq (ra), we were surely going to perish. All of the Muslims unanimously agreed that we would not fight against the enemy over the camels belonging to Zakat and instead would occupy ourselves in the worship of Allah until we attained complete victory. However, Abu Bakr Siddiq (ra) had made a firm resolve to fight against those who refused to pay the Zakat. He put two options before those who refused [to pay the Zakat] and no third option was given to them. Either they were to accept humiliation and failure or they prepared to be exiled or fight. To accept humiliation and failure meant that they accept that those who had been slain from among them were hell-bound and those who had been killed from amongst us were destined for Paradise and also to pay the blood-money for those they had killed. Moreover, they were not to demand anything back from the spoils of war which we had acquired from them, but whatever they had taken from us would have to be returned. With regard to being exiled, it meant that after having been defeated they would have to leave their areas and dwell in far-off lands.”

(Muhammad Husain Haikal, Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq (ra) – Translated [Lahore: Shirkat Printing Press], p. 118)

When Hazrat Uthman (ra) became the Khalifa, he made Hazrat Sa‘d (ra) the governor of Kufa once again. He worked in this capacity for three years, after which, due to some reason, he had a disagreement with Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘ud (ra), who at the time was in-charge of the bait-ul-mal [treasury], as a result of which Hazrat Uthman (ra) discharged him from his duties. After being discharged he adopted a life of solitude in Medina. When disorder and dissension against Hazrat Uthman (ra) began, he remained in solitude.

(Sair-ul-Sahaba, Vol. 2, p. 120)

It is related in one narration that during the time of discord, Hazrat Sa‘d’s (ra) son asked Hazrat Sa‘d (ra) as to what had kept him from going for Jihad. Upon this, Hazrat Sa‘d (ra) replied, “I will not fight until you bring me a sword which can distinguish between a believer and a disbeliever,” because Muslims were now fighting amongst each other. It is also related in another narration that Hazrat Sa‘d (ra) said, “Bring me a sword that has eyes, lips and a tongue and can tell me that so and so is a believer and so and so is a disbeliever; until now, I have only fought against disbelievers.”

(Al-Tabqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, p. 106, Sa‘d bin Abi Waqas, Dar-ul-Kutb al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut 1990)

There is a narration in Sunan al-Tirmidhi which relates that Hazrat Sa‘d (ra) said regarding the discord that began during the time of Hazrat Uthman (ra), “I bear witness that the Holy Prophet (sa) said that surely a time would come when there would be disorder, during which one who remains sitting would be better than the one who stands and one who stands would be better than the one who walks and the one who walks would be better than the one who runs,” meaning one was not to take part in the dissension but to try and stay away from it. Someone asked what they should do if the discord entered their homes. He replied, “Become like the ibn Adam [sons of Adam].”

(Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Abwaab-ul-Fitn, Hadith no. 2194)

With reference to ibn Adam, the Holy Quran states that one should defend themselves, but they should not fight one another with the intent to kill. This incident is mentioned in the Holy Quran and it seems that this is the same example that Hazrat Sa‘d (ra) gave.

While mentioning the great efforts of the Companions (ra) to end the discord that started during the Khilafat of Hazrat Uthman (ra), Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra) states:

“Though the Companions (ra) would not be given the opportunity to gather with Hazrat Uthman (ra), they were not heedless to their duties. According to what was pertinent at the time, they had distributed their work into two parts: those who were in their advanced years and elderly and who had moral influence on the masses would spend their time advising others and those who did not have such influence or were younger, they worked for the protection of Hazrat Uthman (ra).” He continues to write, “Amongst them, at the forefront in working to eliminate the discord were Hazrat Ali (ra) and Hazrat Sa‘d bin Abi Waqas (ra), the victor of Persia.”

(Islam Mein Ikhtilafat ka Aghaz, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 4, p. 321)

After Hazrat Uthman (ra), during the Khilafat of Hazrat Ali (ra), Hazrat Sa‘d (ra) remained in solitude. According to one narration, when the dispute between Hazrat Ali(ra) and Amir Muawiyyah (ra) increased, Amir Muawiyyah (ra) wrote letters to three companions to seek their help against Hazrat Ali (ra): Hazrat Abdullah bin Umar (ra), Hazrat Sa‘d bin Abi Waqas (ra), and Hazrat Muhammad bin Maslamah (ra). Upon this, all three refused. Hazrat Sa‘d (ra) sent the following couplets to Amir Muawiyyah (ra) [in response]:

مُعَاوِیَ دَاؤُکَ الدَّاءُ الْعَیَاءُ

وَ لَیْسَ لِمَا تَجِیْءُ بِہٖ دَوَاءُ

اَیَدْعُوْنِیْ اَبُوْ حَسَنٍ عَلِیٌّ

فَلَمْ اَرْدُدْ عَلَیْہِ مَا یَشَاءُ

وَ قُلْتُ لَہٗ اَعْطِنِیْ سَیْفًا بَصِیْرًا

تَمِیْزُ بِہِ الْعَدَاوَۃُ وَالْوَلَاءُ

اَتَطْمَعُ فِی الَّذِیْ اَعْیَا عَلِیًّا

عَلٰی مَا قَدْ طَمِعْتَ بِہِ الْعَفَاءُ

لَیَوْمٌ مِنْہُ خَیْرٌ مِّنْکَ حَیًّا

وَ مَیْتًا اَنْتَ لِلْمَرْءِ الْفِدَاءُ

The translation is, “O Muawiyyah! You have a severe disease. There is no cure for your illness. Can you not understand even this much, that Abu Hassan (i.e., Hazrat Ali (ra)) asked me to fight, but I did not listen even to him, and I asked him to give me a sword which can see and can distinguish for me the difference between friend and foe. O Muawiyyah! Do you hope that the one who did not listen to Hazrat Ali’s (ra) request to fight will listen to you? Even though a single day from the life of Hazrat Ali (ra) is better than your entire life and death, yet you call unto me against such a person.” This incident is related in a narration from Usdul Ghabah.

(Usdul Ghaba fI Ma‘rifat al-Sahaba, Vol. 2, p. 455, Sa‘d bin Malik, Dar-ul-Kutb al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut Lebanon)

Hazrat Bilal (ra) passed away in 20 AH in Damascus, during the Khilafat of Hazrat Umar (ra). According to some narrations, he passed away in Aleppo. At the time, Hazrat Bilal (ra) was over 60 years old. According to some narrations, Hazrat Bilal (ra) passed away in 18 AH. He was buried in a graveyard in Damascus near Bab as-Saghir.

(Tarikh Dimashq al-Kabir li Ibn Asakir, Vol. 10, p. 363, Dhikr man Ismuh Bilal bin Rabah, Dar Ihya al-Turah al-Arabi, Beirut, 2001) (Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra Li ibn Sa‘d, Vol. 3, p. 180)

With regard to Hazrat Bilal’s rank and status, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II (ra) states:

“Hazrat Bilal (ra) was an Abyssinian and was not fluent in Arabic. Whilst speaking Arabic, he would make a number of mistakes [in pronunciation]. For example, the natives of Abyssinia would pronounce the Arabic letter ‘sheen’ as ‘seen’. Thus during the Azan, instead of ‘Ash-hadu’, Hazrat Bilal (ra) would say ‘As-hadu’ and the Arabs would laugh at this because they still felt that their own race was superior, even though the Arabs themselves are unable to correctly pronounce certain words of other languages. For example, they are unable to correctly pronounce the word ‘roti’ [flat bread in Urdu] as they would be unable to pronounce the letter ‘ta’ [a letter of the Urdu alphabet which has a strong ‘T’ sound, similar to that in the word ‘tent’]. Similarly, they would be unable to pronounce the ‘ch’ in ‘churi’ [form of bread] and instead would pronounce it as ‘juri’.”

Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra) states:

“Just as certain non-Arab people are unable to correctly pronounce letters of the Arabic language, similarly, the Arabs themselves are unable to correctly pronounce certain letters of other languages. Yet they were so consumed within themselves by the sense of Arab supremacy that they failed to understand that they themselves were unable to pronounce certain letters of other languages. Seeing the Arabs laugh at Hazrat Bilal(ra) for pronouncing ‘Ash-hadu’ as ‘As-hadu’ [in the Azan], the Holy Prophet (sa) said, ‘You mock the Azan of Bilal, whereas Allah the Almighty, on His Throne, is pleased with him when he calls the Azan. God Almighty is more delighted by his “As-hadu” than your “Ash-hadu”.’

“Bilal (ra) was an Abyssinian and in those times, Abyssinians were taken as slaves.” In fact, they [natives of Africa] were made slaves in the recent past as well and are even made slaves today. “However, the Holy Prophet (sa) was not from among those people who would subdue or humiliate another nation. According to the Holy Prophet (sa), every nation was equally the creation of God. He loved the Greeks and Abyssinians just as much as he loved the Arabs and would not make any distinction.” He loved Arabs just as he loved Africans and Greeks. “It was this very love shown by him that instilled a deep love for the Holy Prophet (sa) in the hearts of foreign nations; a love that many Arabs were unable to comprehend. These nations developed a deep love for the Holy Prophet (sa), yet those who were unable to comprehend this love and were devoid of wisdom and insight and any sense of loyalty, were unable to fathom what was happening around them.

“The Holy Prophet (sa) was born in Mecca to an Arab tribe and belonged to the tribe of Quraish for that matter – which was considered as the best of all the Arab tribes, and the people of the Quraish would look down upon other Arab tribes and consider them inferior. What relation could there possibly be between the Holy Prophet (sa) and the Abyssinians? If there was a tribe or people that ought to have love for the Holy Prophet (sa), it was the Banu Hashim. If someone ought to have love for him, it ought to be the Quraish or the Arab people as they were his kith and kin. How was it ever possible that a deep love for the Holy Prophet (sa) was ingrained amongst non-Arabs, those nations who suffered defeat at the hands of the Holy Prophet’s (sa) army, or were overthrown by the Islamic Empire?”

There were wars against other nations who were subsequently defeated and their reign was destroyed, but despite this, how did they manage to develop love for the Holy Prophet (sa)?

“They ought to have developed enmity against him. Before we delve into this, let us analyse the love Prophet Jesus’ (as) people had for him. When Prophet Jesus(as) was arrested, the soldiers enquired from Peter – a close disciple of Jesus (as) and whom Jesus (as) appointed as his successor after him – as to why he was following after Jesus (as) and that it seemed as if he was a follower of Jesus (as).” The soldiers became suspicious as he was following them and suspected that he was a follower of Jesus (as), “to which Peter immediately responded out of fear, ‘I am not one of his followers’ and said, ‘I curse him.’

“Not only did he deny knowing him but he also cursed him. There is no doubt that the disciples of Jesus(as) loved him also. Later on, Peter was hanged on the cross in Rome and on this occasion, courageously embraced death and did not hide his love or his obedience to Prophet Jesus (as). However, when Jesus (as) was hanged on the cross, Peter’s faith had not yet strengthened at the time. At that time, he became afraid of facing a small beating, but later he bravely faced being hung on the cross.

“Nevertheless, this was a glimpse of how much love Jesus’ (as) followers had for him. In comparison, we now turn to those slaves who professed belief in the Holy Prophet (sa) and then sacrificed everything for his sake.

“Bilal (ra) was an Abyssinian [former] slave and his love for the Holy Prophet (sa) was such that it had a profound impact upon him. Some people have great love for their beloved but it is only superficial and confined within certain parameters. Thus, we have to see whether the Holy Prophet’s (sa) love for Bilal – who was not only loathed by the Quriash, but in fact, by all the Arabs owing to him being an Abyssinian slave – was simply to make him feel better or did it demonstrate true love?” Was the Holy Prophet’s (sa) expression of love merely as pretence or was it true love? “This can only be determined by Bilal (ra) himself. We cannot make this assessment, rather we have to seek the answer from Bilal (ra) himself because he alone could have truly ascertained this. This incident took place over 1,300 years ago; how could we possibly determine this ourselves? Thus, if we want to seek the answer to this we would have to ascertain this from Bilal (ra) himself whether he perceived this to be a demonstration of true love from the Holy Prophet (sa).

“It is not a question of how I perceive this, or how it was perceived by those who lived a century ago before us, or by those who lived a hundred years before them, nor is it a question of how the companions themselves perceived it.” It is not for others to decide this; not even those who lived in the era of the Holy Prophet (sa), i.e. the companions. “Rather, we have to see how Bilal (ra) himself perceived this and this is reflected by a very concise statement of the Holy Prophet (sa)”, which has previously been mentioned as well, “when he addressed the people and said, ‘You laugh at him saying “As-hadu”, but God Almighty expresses His pleasure upon this in the heavens. His saying “As-hadu” is dearer to Him than your “Ash-hadu”.’ Were these words of the Holy Prophet (sa) – that his ‘As-hadu’ was dearer to Allah than ‘Ash-hadu’ – uttered merely to make him happy and for that occasion alone in order to diffuse the situation or owing to his deep love for him? What we want to know, however, is how did Bilal (ra) perceive this statement? The conclusion that Bilal (ra) drew from this statement was that despite him being a non-Arab and belonging to a people who were perceived inferior to humans and would enslave them, the Holy Prophet (sa) had a bond of deep love and affection for him. If we look a little further on in history, the one who proclaimed:

مَمَاتِیْ لِلّٰہِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِیْن

‘My death is for Allah, the Lord of all the worlds’ [Surah al-An‘am, Ch.6: V.163] eventually passes away [i.e. the Holy Prophet (sa)] (Allah the Almighty revealed this verse in relation to the Holy Prophet (sa)). After the passing of the Holy Prophet (sa), new governments were established, many new people entered the fold of Islam and many new changes came about. As time passed on, new governments were formed and many other changes occurred and some of the companions migrated hundreds of miles away from the Arab land. All of these changes came about after the demise of the Holy Prophet (sa). Among these companions who migrated was also Bilal (ra), who had migrated to Syria after the Holy Prophet’s (sa) demise and settled in Damascus.

“One day, some people were gathered in Damascus where Hazrat Bilal (ra) resided and stated that during the time of the Holy Prophet (sa), Bilal (ra) would call the Azan and they also desired for Bilal (ra) to call the Azan once again. They asked Hazrat Bilal (ra); however, he refused to call the Azan. Bilal(ra) stated that he would not call the Azan after the Holy Prophet’s (sa) demise because as soon as he would think of calling the Azan, he would be reminded of the blessed era of the Holy Prophet (sa) and he would become extremely emotional and could not contain himself, therefore he would not call the Azan.

Hazrat Umar (ra) was on an official tour and happened to be in Damascus at the time. The people requested Hazrat Umar (ra) if he could ask Bilal (ra) to call the Azan. They stated that among them were those who had seen the Holy Prophet (sa) and their ears were longing to hear the Azan of Bilal (ra) once again and thereby be able to experience the era of the Holy Prophet (sa).” Whenever they would reminisce about the era of the Holy Prophet (sa), they would also recall the Azan of Hazrat Bilal (ra), thus they wished to hear the actual Azan once again so that they could relive those memories again. “They also stated that there were others among them who had not witnessed the era of the Holy Prophet (sa) and had only heard about it, therefore their hearts also desired to hear the Azan of the individual whose Azan was also heard by the Holy Prophet (sa) and he pleased him greatly.

“Hazrat Umar (ra) called for Bilal (ra) and stated, ‘The people desire to hear your Azan.’ Hazrat Bilal (ra) replied, ‘You are the Khalifa of the time; if this is your wish, then I shall call the Azan, but let me tell you that my heart will not be able to withstand the emotions.’ Hazrat Bilal (ra) then stood up and in a loud voice began to call the Azan in exactly the same manner as he would call the Azan during the time of the Holy Prophet (sa). Whilst recalling the era of the Holy Prophet (sa), tears began to flow from the eyes of the companions who were the Arab natives and some even let out a loud cry. Hazrat Bilal (ra) would continue reciting the Azan and people would remember the era of the Holy Prophet (sa) and would be overcome with a state of deep emotion. However, Hazrat Bilal (ra), who was an Abyssinian, who the Arabs used for their own services, and who did not have any blood relation with them nor any brotherly ties with them, what impact did the calling of the Azan have upon his heart?”

The impact it had on the Arabs was that those who had witnessed the era of the Holy Prophet (sa) were once again able to relive those memories, while those Arabs who did not witness that era also became extremely emotional upon recalling the accounts they had heard of that era, or they were deeply moved due to observing the state of the emotions of others at the time. However, what impact did this Azan have upon Hazrat Bilal (ra), who was not an Arab and was a [former] slave?

“It is said that upon concluding the Azan, Hazrat Bilal (ra) fainted – such was the impact it had on him – and after just a few minutes, he passed away. This was the testimony given by those non-Arabs themselves to the claim of the Holy Prophet (sa) that he held no distinction between an Arab and a non-Arab. This indeed was the greatest testimony by the non-Arabs themselves of the immense love and affection they had for the Holy Prophet (sa). The demonstration of this deep love was a true and practical testimony of the Holy Prophet (sa) saying that an Arab and a non-Arab were of an equal status. This was the testimony given by the non-Arabs who heard the loving call of the Holy Prophet (sa) and the profound impact of what they had witnessed had convinced them that even their own people could not give them as much love as the Holy Prophet (sa) had for them.”

(Khutbat-e-Mahmud, Vol. 30, pp. 263-267, Friday Sermon, 26 August 1949)

This was our leader Bilal (ra) who established such lofty standards of one’s love and loyalty for the Holy Prophet (sa) and instilling the oneness of Allah the Almighty in the heart and its practical demonstration that these have become a pure and holy model for us to emulate. Likewise, the accounts of the Holy Prophet’s (sa) love and affection for this devotee of his are such that not a single example of it can be found anywhere in the world. It is this very example that can establish a spirit of love, harmony and brotherhood in our society and break the shackles of slavery.

Even today, our salvation can only be found by establishing the oneness of God and by demonstrating those examples of love for the Holy Prophet (sa). May Allah the Almighty enable us to do so.

Whilst mentioning the previous condition of the Companions and the revolutionary transformation that took place in them after accepting Islam, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) has mentioned Hazrat Umar (ra) as one example thereof. I have mentioned this previously, but I shall mention it once more in relation to this. Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) writes:

“Observe how they became the Companions of the Holy Prophet (sa) and attained such lofty ranks. They achieved this by striving to their utmost; otherwise, they were the same people who previously were sworn enemies of the Holy Prophet (sa) and would hurl abuse at him. Hazrat Umar (ra), who became the second caliph after the Holy Prophet (sa), was such a staunch opponent of the Holy Prophet (sa) in the early days that he even left his home in order to kill him. He met someone on the way who asked where he was heading, to which he responded, ‘I am going to kill Muhammad [sa].’ The man then said, ‘First go and kill your sister and brother-in-law who have become Muslims, then kill Muhammad[sa].’

“After hearing this, he became enraged and made his way towards his sister’s home. As he approached he saw the door closed. Someone was reciting the Holy Quran and his sister and brother-in-law were listening to it. At the time, the commandment regarding the veil had not yet been revealed”, which is why the companion was sat inside. “Hazrat Umar (ra) knocked on the door and demanded for it be opened. Having heard his voice, those inside the house became frightened that he may kill them. They, therefore, did not open the door. Hazrat Umar (ra) then said, ‘If you do not open the door I will break it down.’ They then hid the Muslim who was reciting the Holy Quran and the brother-in-law also hid, leaving only his sister to go and open the door.

“Hazrat Umar (ra) asked, ‘What were you doing? Who is the person who was reciting something?’ In fear of him, she tried to change the subject. Hazrat Umar (ra) said, ‘Whoever was reciting should recite to me also.’ His sister answered, ‘You will dishonour it, so we shall not recite it to you even if you kill us.’ Hazrat Umar (ra) replied, ‘I swear that I shall not dishonour it’”, i.e. he would not disrespect the Holy Quran.

“Thereupon, the Holy Quran was recited to him and upon hearing it, Hazrat Umar (ra) began to weep and ran to the Holy Prophet (sa) with the sword in hand. Seeing him, the Holy Prophet (sa) said, ‘Umar, what is the matter? How long will this go on?’ Hearing this Hazrat Umar (ra) wept and said, ‘I set out in order to kill you, but I myself have been stricken.’”

This was the summary of the lengthy incident which has previously been mentioned.

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) further states:

“This was the previous state of the Companions after which they completely transformed. There were companions who would drink wine and fight amongst themselves”, i.e. referring to some of the other companions, “and they possessed all kinds of weaknesses. Yet when they accepted the Holy Prophet (sa), and strove their utmost for their faith, they not only reached a lofty status, they also became the means through which others were able to attain a high rank. They were not born as companions, for they were like everybody else, yet it was their actions and the determination which transformed them into becoming the Companions of the Holy Prophet (sa). If we do the same today, we can also become like the companions.”

(Auraton ka Deen se Waqif hona Zururi hai, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 4, pp. 38-39)

Muti bin Aswad relates, “I heard Hazrat Umar (ra) say that Hazrat Zubair (ra) is amongst those individuals who are regarded as the pillars of the faith.”

(Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, al-Isabah fi Tamyiz al-Sahabah, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 1995] 460)

Edward Gibbon, a famous orientalist, writes in praise of Hazrat Umar (ra):

“The abstinence and humility of Umar were not inferior to the virtues of Abu Bakr: his food consisted of barley bread or dates; his drink was water; he preached in a gown that was torn or tattered in 12 places, and a Persian satrap [Governor of a province in the Persian Empire], who paid his homage as to the conqueror, found him asleep among the beggars on the steps of the mosque of Muslims. Economy is the source of liberality, and the increases of the revenue enabled Umar (ra) to establish a just and perpetual reward for the past and present services of the faithful. Careless of his own emolument, he assigned to Abbas, the uncle of the Prophet, the first and most ample allowance of 25 thousand dirhams of pieces of silver. Five thousand were allotted to each of the aged warriors, the relics of the field of Badr, and the last and the meanest of the companions of Mohammad was distinguished by the annual reward of three thousand pieces [of silver].”

(The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Edward Gibbon, Vol. 3, Chapter LI. Page 178, London)

With regard to Hazrat Umar’s (ra) debt, I have mentioned about it previously as well. But further details regarding this are that Hazrat Umar (ra) enquired about his debt from his son and stated, “Abdullah bin Umar, go and see how much debt I owe.” When he checked, the total amounted to 86,000 dirhams. Hazrat Umar (ra) said, “O Abdullah! If the wealth of Umar’s family is enough to pay for this, then pay my debt from there. If this is insufficient, then ask from the Banu Adi bin Kaab. If they are also not able to pay it off, then ask from the Quraish, but do not ask anyone else.”

(Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 1990], p. 257)

The companions knew that their leader, who lived a modest and simple life, never accumulated this enormous debt owing to spending on himself. They knew full well that this money was spent on the poor and needy and that was why he ended up in debt. For this reason, Abdur Rahman (ra) bin Auf said to Hazrat Umar (ra), “Why do you not take this amount from the treasury and pay off your debt?” Hazrat Umar (ra) replied, “Heaven forbid! Do you wish that after I am gone, you and your companions say that you left your own portion for the sake of Umar? You will be able to console me now, but after me, there will be such a situation that I will not be able to escape from.”

Hazrat Umar (ra) then said to his son, Abdullah bin Umar (ra), “Take on the responsibility of paying my debt.” Thus, he accepted this responsibility. Hazrat Umar (ra) had not yet been buried when his son called some members of the shura [consultative body] and a few Christians as witnesses regarding his responsibility for paying the debt. After the burial of Hazrat Umar (ra), Friday had not passed when Abdullah bin Umar (ra) took the amount owed and went to Hazrat Uthman (ra). He fulfilled this responsibility in the presence of a few witnesses.

(Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 1990], p. 273)

With regard to repaying of Hazrat Umar’s (ra) debt, there is another narration mentioned in Wafa al-Wafa. Hazrat Ibn Umar (ra) narrates that when Hazrat Umar’s (ra) demise was imminent, he owed some debt. Hazrat Umar (ra) called Hazrat Abdullah and Hazrat Hafsah and said, “I owe some money from the wealth given to me by Allah, and I wish to meet Allah the Almighty in a state whereby I will be free from debt. Thus, in order to pay off this debt, sell this house”, i.e. the house in which he resided. “If there is still something left to pay, then ask Banu Adi. Even then if there is an outstanding amount, ask the Quraish, but do not ask anyone else.”

After the demise of Hazrat Umar (ra), Hazrat Abdullah (ra) went to Hazrat Mu‘awiyah (ra), who purchased the house, which was known as Dar al-Qada. Hazrat Abdullah (ra) sold the house and paid off Hazrat Umar’s (ra) debt. For this reason, this house became known as:

دَارُ‭ ‬قَضَاءِ‭ ‬دَيْنِ‭ ‬عُمَر

“The house with which Hazrat Umar’s (ra) debt was paid off.”

(Allamah Nuruddin, Wafa al-Wafa bi Akhbar Dar al-Mustafa, Vol. 1, Ch. 2 [Peshawar, Pakistan: Maktabah al-Haqqaniyyah, Mahallah Jangi], p. 222)

We often find that people have very high standards when it comes to settling the marriages of their children. However, what were the standards that Hazrat Umar (ra) took into consideration. In relation to this, there is a narration reported by Hazrat Aslam (ra) who was a freed slave of Hazrat Umar (ra). He states, “One night I was walking in the company of Hazrat Umar (ra) near the outskirts of Medina. In order to rest for a short while, Hazrat Umar (ra) sat beside a wall of a house. The elderly lady inside the house could be heard saying to her daughter, ‘Wake up and add water to the milk.’

“Upon this, she replied, ‘Have you not heard the announcement that was issued by the Leader of the Faithful that one should not mix water into milk?’ The mother replied, ‘Neither is the Leader of the Faithful present here, nor the person who made the announcement for him.’ The girl replied, ‘By God, it does not behove us that we show obedience when we are present before him and show disobedience in his absence.’

“Hazrat Umar (ra) was extremely happy upon hearing this and stated” to his companion, “‘O Aslam! Leave a mark on their door.’ The next day, Hazrat Umar (ra) sent someone and sought the girl’s hand in marriage to be settled with his son, Asim.” Upon witnessing the truthfulness and piety of this girl, Hazrat Umar (ra) settled the marriage of his son, Asim with that girl. Later, Asim had a daughter with her and Hazrat Umar bin Abdul Aziz was from the progeny of that girl.

(Izalat al-Khafa ‘an Khilafat al-Khulafa [Translated], Vol. 3, pp. 281-282, Manaqib Faruq A‘zam, Qadimi Kutub Khana, Karachi)

I wish to say something in reference to the last Friday Sermon and further elaborate on a particular incident. It was mentioned in regard to Hazrat Ammar (ra) that Hazrat Amar bin Al-Aas expressed great sorrow and concern at his demise because he had heard the Holy Prophet (sa) state that Ammar (ra) would be martyred by a rebellious group. Hazrat Amar bin Al-Aas showed great concern because at the time he was on the side of Amir Muawiyah and it was the army of Hazrat Amir Muawiyah which martyred Hazat Ammar.

(Al-Mustadrak Ala Al-Sahihain, Vol. 3, p. 474, Hadith 5726, Dar-ul-Haramain Li Al-Taba’ati Wa Al-Nashre Wa Al-Tauzi, 1997)

Nevertheless, people ask the question that if he was from among those who rebelled, then why was so much respect given to his name. Also, Hazrat Amir Muawiyah has been given a significant status in the literature of the Jamaat.

Firstly, in regard to the status of the Companions (ra), it is not for us to determine their fate and that certain companions will be forgiven and other will not. Due to whatever misunderstanding and error those unfortunate circumstances arose, that matter should be left with God Almighty alone, and the Muslims in fact have faced the consequences of that too. These questions also arose in the minds of those at the time, and indeed, they would have also prayed in order to alleviate this concern surrounding this incident as there were Companions on both sides fighting one another. They indeed must have prayed for guidance as well, and God Almighty surely would have granted them guidance too. Thus, according to a narration, Abu Zoha relates that Amar bin Shurahbeel Abu Maisarah, who was from amongst the best students of Hazrat Abdullah bin Masud, saw in a dream that there was a beautiful garden full of greenery in which there were a few tents. One belonged to Hazrat Ammar bin Yasir(ra) and there were a few other tens in which Dhul Qalaal was also there. Abu Maisarah enquired as to how this was possible for they had fought against one another. He then heard a voice saying, “They found their Lord to be Most-Forgiving, and hence they are now together.”

(Al-Sunan Al-Kubra Lil behqi, Vol. 8, p. 302, Kitab-ul-Salat Al-Istisqa, Baab Al-Istisqa, Hadith 6530, Maktaba Al-Rushd, Beirut, 2004)

Thus, these matters are now in the hands of God Almighty. It is not for us to ponder over these issues and it is because of these wars and the fact that Muslims continued to dwell over these issues that it has caused great divide amongst. We are witnessing the impact of this even today. These incidents should be a lesson for us and instead of dwelling over them we should be seeking ways to establish unity.

I once mentioned an account related by Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra) which was in reference to Amir Muwaiya. Upon this someone from one of the Arab countries wrote to me and said that he was the leader of a murderous and rebellious group, why do I say his name with such respect. Therefore, this narration in which the dream was mentioned is a sufficient enough response in that God Almighty is Most-Forgiving and Ever Merciful. We should focus on reforming our conditions and affairs instead of commenting about them. The Promised Messiahas also in certain places has praised Hazrat Amir Muawiyah. Therefore, we too, rather than commenting on the errors of these noble men should instead take lessons from it. In regards to Hazrat Amir Muawiyah it is also mentioned that once when a battle was taking place between him and Hazrat Ali and the discord was increasing, a Christian king sought to launch an attack on the Muslims considering their condition to be weak. When Hazrat Amir Muawiyah learnt of this news, he said [to that king], “If this is what you are planning, then remember that if you launch an attack, I will be the first general fighting under the flag of Hazrat Ali. I will fight with him against you.” (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol 4, pg 430). Therefore, ponder over your actions. Thus, such is the status of these people.

May God Almighty enable us to remain as one and united, and also excel in our good deeds.

Hazrat Talha (ra) bin Ubaidullah would earn 400,000 to 500,000 dinars from his different farms in Iraq. He would earn crops from the lands in different areas of Saraat, which was a mountainous region similar to an Island, to the west of the Arab peninsula and spanned from north to south. It was also known as Jabal as-Saraat. He would earn at least 10,000 dinar from the grain of this area and also from other lands he owned. There was not a single poor person from among the Banu Taim whose family did not benefit from the wealth of Hazrat Talha (ra) and whose widows were not married from that wealth and whose needy were not granted assistance, i.e., he would help the poor and would pay the debts of those who were unable to pay them. Moreover, each year when he would earn from his produce, he would send 10,000 dirham to Hazrat Aisha (ra).

(al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Sa‘d, Vol. 3, p. 166, Talha bin Ubaidillah, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990) (Farhang Sirat, p. 147, Zawwar Academy Publications, Karachi, 2003)

Hazrat Muwaiyyah (ra) asked Musa (ra) bin Talha, “How much wealth did Abu Muhammad (i.e., Hazrat Talha (ra) bin Ubaidullah) leave behind?” He replied, “2.2 million dirham and 200,000 dinar.” All of his wealth was earned from the various lands he owned.

(al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Sa‘d, Vol. 3, p. 166, Talha bin Ubaidillah, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990)

When Hazrat Zubair’s (ra) father Awwam passed away, Naufal bin Khuwailid used to look after Hazrat Zubair (ra). When Hazrat Zubair (ra) was a child, Hazrat Safia (ra) – Hazrat Zubair (ra)’s mother – would hit him or scold him. Upon this, Naufal, i.e., his uncle, would say to Hazrat Safia(ra), “Why do you hit and scold your children as if you are angry with them.” Upon this, Hazrat Safia (ra) read the following couplets:

مَنْ قَالَ إِنِّي أُبْغِضُهٗ فَقَدْ كَذَبْ

وَ إِنَّمَا أَضْرِبُهٗ لِكَيْ يَلَبْ

وَ يَهْزِمَ الْجَيْشَ وَ يَأتِيَ بِالسَّلَبْ

وَ لَا يَكُنْ لِمَالِهٖ خَبْاٌ مُخَبْ

يَأْكُلُ فِي الْبَيْتِ مِنْ تَمْرٍ وَّ حَبْ

Meaning, “Whoever says I am angry with him, he is a liar – For I beat him so that he may become courageous and defeat armies and return with the spoils of the dead; I do this lest he takes his wealth and retreats into seclusion, eating dates and bread.”

(al-Isabah Fi Tamyeez al-Sahabah, Vol. 2, p. 458, Zubair (ra) bin al-Awwam, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1995)

Nevertheless, this was her mindset and she brought up her child accordingly, so that he becomes courageous.

It is not necessary for us to commend this and say that this was a good method. Nowadays, we see that generally this decreases the self-esteem of the children. Nonetheless, Allah the Almighty protected him from any ill effects of this beating and strictness. A mother’s maternal affection is a natural phenomenon, undoubtedly she loved him as well and it was not the case that she only beat him. Furthermore, events that occurred later demonstrate that bravery and courage were indeed a part of Hazrat Zubair’s (ra) character.

Allah knows best as to the cause of this. Nevertheless, there was no negative impact due to this treatment in his childhood. If anyone tries this here today, the social services will show up immediately and take the children away. Therefore, mothers should not try to emulate this practice.

One can gauge the level of Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘ud’s knowledge and stature from the following incident that took place towards the end of Hazrat Mu‘az bin Jabal’s life when people asked him to give them some advice. He replied by saying, “Knowledge and faith both hold separate ranks. Knowledge has a certain rank and so does faith. Whoever strives to attain them both will be successful. He then mentioned the names of four individuals who led by example and Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘ud was among those four people.

(Masnad Ahmad bin Hanbal, Vol. 7, p. 375, Hadith no. 22455, Alim-ul-Kutb, Beirut, 1998)

On one occasion, whilst mentioning the qualities of various companions, the Holy Prophet (sa) stated, “Among my ummah, the strongest in the religion of Allah is Umar.”

(Sunan Ibn Majah, Kitab al-Sunnah, Bab Khabbab, Hadith 154)

Hazrat Jabir (ra) bin Abdullah narrates that the Holy Prophet (sa) once said, “Whosoever wishes to see a martyr in person, they ought to see Talha bin Ubaidullah.”