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Friday Sermon: Men of Excellence

Sermon Delivered by Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad(at) Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
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NOTE: Alislam Team takes full responsibility for any errors or miscommunication in this Synopsis of the Friday Sermon

After reciting the Tashahhud, Ta’awwuz, and Surah Al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (aba) stated:

Hazrat Khallad Bin ’Amr Bin Jamu’ Ansari was a sahabi, one of a companion of the Holy Prophet (as) who participated in the Battle of Badr. He joined the Battle of Badr along with his father Hazrat ’Amr Bin Jamu’ and his brothers Hazrat Mu‘az, Hazrat Abu Aiman and Hazrat Mu‘awwaz.

The mother of Hazrat Khallad, Hazrat Hind bint Amr; the name of her father as well as the name of her husband was Amr, rather that was the name of her father-in-law, and she was the paternal aunt of Hazrat Jabir bin Abdullah; on the occasion of the battle of Uhud, she carried her husband, her son and her brother on a camel after they were martyred. The details of this incident are mentioned as follows - it was the Will of God the Exalted that the martyrs of Uhud should be buried in Uhud. The details of this incident are as follows: “Hazrat Ayesha (ra)  left her home with some women of Medina in order to acquire information about the battle of Uhud. At that time, the commandments regarding the veil had not yet been revealed. When Hazrat Ayesha (ra) reached Harra, she encountered Hind bint Amr, who was the sister Hazrat Abdullah bin Amr. Hazrat Hind was ushering her camel forwards. The bodies of her husband, Hazrat Amr bin Jamuh, her son, Hazrat Khallad bin Amr and her brother, Hazrat Abdullah bin Amr were placed on this camel. Hazrat Ayesha (ra) inquired: ‘do you have any information of the circumstances in which you have left the people behind?’ When Hazrat Ayesha (ra) enquired about the circumstances of the battlefield, Hazrat Hind replied ‘the Holy Prophet (sa) was fine and after him, all difficulties are easy’ meaning that if the Holy Prophet (sa) is alive, nothing else matters. Following this, Hazrat Hind recited the following verse: [Arabic]. That is, ‘And Allah turned back the disbelievers in their rage; they gained no good. And Allah sufficed the believers in their fight. And Allah is Powerful, Mighty.

Hazrat Ayesha (ra) inquired who was on the camel. Upon this, Hazrat Hind replied it was my brother, my son, Khallad, and my husband, Amr bin Jamuh. I may have said father-in-law earlier, but in fact the name of Hazrat Hind’s husband was Amr. Hazrat Ayesha (ra) asked “where are you taking them?” She replied, “I am taking them in order to bury them in Medina.”  However. Camel would not go towards Medina but walk fast in the opposite direction toward Uhud. At this, Hazrat Hind went to the Holy Prophet (sa) and related this incident to him. The Holy Prophet (sa) said that the camel had been assigned [its task]. That is Allah the Exalted had appointed it for the very task of not returning to Medina and turning back to Uhud. The Holy Prophet (sa) said: “Did your husband say anything before he went to war.” She replied: “When Amr was about to set off for Uhud, he turned towards the Qibla [direction of prayer- towards the Kaba in Mecca] and said ‘O Allah! Do not bring me back to my family in a state of disgrace and grant me martyrdom.’” Upon this, the Holy Prophet (sa) said: “this was the very reason the camel was not moving.” The Holy Prophet (sa) then said “O group of the Ansar [Muslims living in Medina]! There are such pious individuals among you that if they take an oath in the name of God, He will most certainly fulfil that prayer and Amr bin Jamuh was also one among them. He said to Hind, wife of Amr bin Jumu: “O Hind! Since the time of your brother’s martyrdom, the angels have gathered around him waiting for instructions about his burial.” The Holy Prophet (sa) stayed there until the burial was finished. Then he stated: “O Hind! Amr bin Jumu, your son Khalad and your brother Abdullah have been gathered together in paradise.” Hind requested: “O Messenger of Allah! Please pray for me that may God Almighty also grant me their companionship.”

The second companion who will be mentioned today is Hazrat Uqba bin Aamir. The name of his mother is Fuqaihah bint Sakan and his father was Aamir bin Naabi. His mother had accepted the Holy Prophet (sa) as well and had the honor of pledging allegiance to him. Hazrat Uqba bin Aamir was amongst the first six companions who accepted Islam in Mecca and took the pledge of allegiance during the first Bai’at that took place at Aqabah.  In the 11th year of prophethood, the Holy Prophet (sa) met with the people of Yathrab in Mecca. In an extremely loving tone, the Holy Prophet (sa) said to them, “Can you people listen to a few things I have to say?” They said, “Yes, what do you say?” The Holy Prophet (sa) took a seat and invited them to Islam, recited a few verses of the Holy Qur’an and informed them of his mission. These people looked at each other and said, “This is our opportunity, lest the Jews excel us,” and saying this, they all became Muslim. Hazrat Uqbah bin Aamir (ra) was one of those six people, who accepted Islam at this occasion.  After this, these people took leave of the Holy Prophet (sa) and upon their departure, said: “We have been greatly weakened by civil war, and there are many disagreements between us. We shall go to Yathrab and preach Islam to our brothers. How remarkable would it be that Allah the Exalted may gather us again through you. Then we shall be fit to assist you in every way.” Therefore, these people left, and due to them, Islam began to find popularity in Yathrab.

This year was spent in Makkah by the Holy Prophet (sa) in concern and anticipation for the people of Yathrab with regards to their physical means. The Holy Prophet (sa) would often think, ‘Let us see the outcome of these six converts, and if there are any signs of success in Yathrab or not?’ Therefore, when the occasion of Ḥajj came the Holy Prophet (sa) very avidly left his home and reached Aqabah, near Mina, and looked here and there. Suddenly, the Holy Prophet (sa) noticed a small group of the people of Yathrab, who immediately recognized the Holy Prophet (sa). They came forward and met the Holy Prophet (sa) with extreme love and sincerity. This time there were twelve people, among whom five were converts of the previous year and seven were new. They belonged to both the Aus and the Khazraj tribes. The Holy Prophet (sa) met these people separately in a valley. They informed him as to the state of affairs in Yathrab and this time they all took Bai‘at at his hand. This Bai‘at served as a foundation stone for Islam in Madinah. The wording of the Bai‘was, ‘We shall believe in one God, shall not associate partners with God, shall not steal, shall not commit adultery or fornication, shall abstain from murder, shall not defame anyone, and shall obey you [the Holy Prophet (sa)] in everything good.’ After Bai‘at, the Holy Prophet (sa) said: ‘If you remain true to this pledge in honesty and steadfastness then you shall receive paradise. But if you show weakness then your matter is with Allah the Exalted, for He shall do what He wills.’In history, this Bai‘at is renowned as ‘The First Bai‘at at Aqabah’, because the place where this Bai‘at was taken was called Aqabah, which is situated between Makkah and Mina. The literal meaning of Aqabah is an elevated mountainous pass. Whilst departing from Makkah, these twelve new Muslim converts requested, “Please send an Islamic tutor with us, who can teach us Islam and can preach Islam to our idolatrous brothers as well.” The Holy Prophet (sa) sent Muṣ‘ab bin Umair (ra), a very devout young man from the Abdud-Dar tribe along with them. Hazrat Uqba bin Aamir participated in all the battles alongside the Holy Prophet (sa) including the battles of Badr, Uhud and Khandaq. He was noticeable in his armour on the day of Badr because of his green clothes. He was martyred in 12 Hijri during the battle of Yamama which took place during the Caliphate of Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra).  Hazrat Uqba bin Aamir states: “I came before the Holy Prophet (sa) with my son who was very young [at the time]. I said to the Prophet of Allah (sa): ‘May my parents be sacrificed for your sake, please teach my son those prayers which he can recite before God and bless him.’” The Holy Prophet (sa) stated: “O child! Recite [arabic] which means ‘O Allah! I seek health from You in the state of being a believer and sincerely pray for compassion and pray for success after attaining virtue.”

May Allah Almighty continuously elevate the ranks of the Companions.

After this, I will now mention about a pioneering noble Ahmadi woman from America and will also lead her funeral prayers after the Friday prayers. Her name was Sister Aaliya Shaheed sahiba, wife of the late Ahmad Shaheed sahib. She passed away on 26 December. God Almighty had bestowed her with a long life and enabled her to serve [the Jamaat] and also protected her from any handicap. She was 105 years old. May Allah Almighty exalt her rank. To Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.

Amir Sahib USA has written about her that she pledged allegiance in 1936, and from 1963-66, served at Sadr Lajna [National President of the Ladies Auxiliary Organisation]. Similarly, her services spanned 50 years in which she had the opportunity to serve in various capacities, ranging from General Secretary to Secretary Talim and Secretary Finance, Sadr Lajna Muqami, and Secretary of Khidmat Khalq. She always maintained a strong connection with the Jama’at and Khilafat, and always remained vigilant and ready for every type of sacrifice. She was an extremely kind and loving woman. She had committed to memory the early accounts of the Jama’at Ahmadiyya USA, which she often used to narrate.

She was always in search of knowledge. She spent her time in the upkeep of the Mosque, cooking, offering daily prayers. It was not the case that she only tried to gain knowledge, but she humbly used to perform Waqar-e-Amal, and serve the Jama’at with her own hands. Cleaning the Mosque and cooking were her roles.

She strived to her utmost in promoting unity and sisterhood of the members of Lajna, for which she wrote numerous individual letters to members of Lajna in her final days.” Sadr Lajna writes that there was one verse of the Holy Qur’an which she used to often repeat which I’ve heard from her as well, [Arabic] She reports that she would always repeat this. That is, Verily, Allah loves those who fight in His cause arrayed in solid ranks, as though they were a strong structure cemented with molten lead.

The Sadr Lajna has written “Sister Aaliyah would tell us that –during her time- as 98% of Lajna members had only recently joined the Jama'at by way of pledging allegiance, in the beginning, they would only enjoin them to offer the five daily prayers and keep fasts in the month of Ramazan. Likewise, instead of making them wear the Hijab from day one, we would start by bringing their attention to wearing appropriate clothing, telling them to first make their clothing suitable. Then the next step would be to wear the Hijab.” Unlike a trend that has commenced nowadays that those even wearing the Hijab have began taking it off. She -on the other hand- would guide them from one step to the next striving to provide spiritual training.

Then, Sister Aaliyah put great effort in teaching basic recitation of the Qur’an by preparing daily teaching programs. Like this, those Lajna members who would finish learning the basic recitation of the Holy Qur’an, she would bring their attention daily towards covering some commentary of the Holy Qur’an.  ‘On 23rd March 2008 she spoke to the members of Lajna stating that all the followers of the Promised Messiah(as) around the world gathered in the mosques and mission houses on 1st January to offer the tahajjud prayers as an act of thanksgiving, so why can we not do this once again this year, as it marks one hundred years since the Khilafat of our beloved Promised Messiah(as) was established?’ She further writes, ‘O my Allah! Remove all hurdles in the progress of Ahmadiyyat and grant us that victory which You have promised us. Our Promised Messiah(as) has laid the foundations for this Jama’at and united us all as one body. It is due of him that we Ahmadis feel the pain of one another, help each other in times of difficulty, pray for one another, partake of the happiness of another and are aggrieved by the suffering of another. By the grace and mercy of God Almighty we are one.’

She then wrote in her message to the new converts in Lajna Ima’illah there, ‘It is God Almighty’s special favour and I am extremely fortunate to have witnessed the progress of the Jama’at with my own eyes. God Almighty has graced us by choosing our Jama’at for the propagation and service of Islam. Every week we have the opportunity to listen to the Khilafa of the time and advance in our worldly affairs and progress in our faith by acting upon his is instructions.’ In the end she wrote, ‘I pray O my Master! Remove all hurdles in the progress of Ahmadiyyat. Make us the true portrayal of our faith and grant us countless helpers.’ Thus, she played a special role, with the circumstances there, in keeping the African-American new converts together.

Another Ahmadi, Dr Rashida Ahmad, who is also originally from America, states: “She herself would strictly adhere to the teachings of Islam but would advise others in a very loving manner. The love of God Almighty was reflected from her every action and deed.”

Another Lajna member, Khulat Sahiba, writes: “I became acquainted with Aliyah Sahiba when I first came to USA in 1949. I was eight years old at the time when I first met her. She was extremely loving and friendly and had a personality that would leave a positive impression on others. She had an extremely long-held and firm bond with Khilafat. She would mention about her correspondence in letters with Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra). Her services for Lajna Imaillah USA will always be remembered. She had an astounding spiritual persona and despite being a hundred years old, she would attend the Jalsas [annual conventions] which serves as a model for us.”

May God Almighty elevate her status. And, the spirit and passion she had to serve the Jama’at – which her son also mentioned – may God Almighty instil that in her progeny as well.

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About Friday Sermon

The Jumu'ah (Friday) prayer is one form of congregational worship in Islam. It takes place every Friday. Regular attendance at the Jumu'ah prayer is enjoined on the believer. According to a Saying of Muhammadsa this congregational prayer is twenty-five times more blessed than worship performed alone. (Bukhari)

Friday Sermons in the Quran

“O ye who believe! When the call is made for Prayer on Friday, hasten to the remembrance of Allah, and leave off all business. That is best for you, if you only knew.” more

Friday Sermons in the Hadith

“… (He who) offers the Prayers and listens quitely when the Imam stands up for sermon, will have his sins forgiven between that Friday and the next”(Bukhari)