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Friday Sermon: Men and Women of Excellence

Sermon Delivered by Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad(at) Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
  • Urdu


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:

In the previous sermon, I began narrating incidents from the life of Hazrat Zaid (ra) and mentioned that Hazrat Zaid (ra) accompanied the Holy Prophet (sa) during his journey to Ta’if. I will relate some more details with regards to this journey: When the Holy Prophet (sa) came out from the years of incarceration in Valley of Abu Talib, he travelled to Ta’if to invite its people to Islam. Ṭa’if is a famous place situated forty miles to the south-east of Makkah, with well to do and respected population.

Therefore, in Shawwal of 10 Nabawi, the Holy Prophet (sa) took a journey to Ṭa’if. Some narrations say the Holy Prophet (sa) was on his own and others say that Zaid bin Ḥarithah (ra) accompanied him. During the ten days stay in Ta’if, the Holy Prophet (sa) met many chieftains but the people of Ta’if refused to accept his message. At last, the Holy Prophet (sa) approached the grand chieftain of Ṭa’if named ‘Abdu Yalail and invited him to Islam, but he also refused and concerned that the youngsters of the city may become influenced by the Holy Prophet (sa), he said, “It is best that you leave this place, for there is nobody here who is willing to listen to you.” After that, this evil man had the reprobates of the city to pelt the Holy Prophet (sa) with stones. Due to which the entire body of the Holy Prophet (sa) became drenched in blood. According to another narration, Zaid bin Harithah (ra), who was with the Holy Prophet (sa) was also hit with rocks when he would try to stop them. At a distance of three miles from Ṭa’if, there was an orchard, which belonged to a Chieftain of Makkah named ‘Utbah bin Rabi‘ah. The Holy Prophet (sa) took refuge in this orchard, and his ruthless enemies returned exhausted. Standing beneath a shadow, the Holy Prophet (sa) prayed before Allah in the following words: “O My Lord, I complain to you of my helplessness, and my inability, and my helplessness before the people. O My God, You are the most merciful, for You are the guardian and protector of the feeble and helpless – You are my Lord. I seek refuge in the light of Your countenance. It is You who dispels all darkness and it is You who bestows the inheritance of favour in this world and in the next.” 

At this time, ‘Utbah and Shaibah were in their garden. When they saw the Holy Prophet (sa) in this state, they sent the Holy Prophet (sa) a tray of grapes in the hand of their Christian slave named ‘Addas. The Holy Prophet (sa) took them and addressed ‘Addas saying, “Where are you from, and a follower of which religion?” “I am from Nineveh,” responded ‘Addas, “and a Christian.” The Holy Prophet (sa) inquired, “The same Nineveh, which was home to the righteous servant of God, Jonah (as) son of Matthew?” “Yes,” responded ‘Addas, “but how are you aware of Jonah (as)?” “He was my brother,” said the Holy Prophet (sa), “for he was a prophet of Allah, and I am also a prophet of Allah.”  Then the Holy Prophet (sa) preached the message of Islam to him, which moved him greatly. In his passion of sincerity, he moved forward and kissed the hands of the Holy Prophet (sa). The Holy Prophet (sa) rested in this orchard for some time. He then departed from there and arrived at Nakhlah, which is situated at a distance of approximately one day’s journey from Makkah and remained there for a few days. After this, the Holy Prophet (sa) return to Makkah in the protection of Muṭ‘im bin ‘Adiyy. Later, Muṭ‘im died in a state of disbelief but was responsible for this noble deed.

When Hazrat Zaid (ra) arrived in Medina after the Migration, the Holy Prophet (sa) established a bond of brotherhood between him and Hazrat Usaid bin Hadeer (ra) and some narrations say that this bond of brotherhood was established with Hazrat Hamza i.e. Hazrat Hamza (ra) was declared to be his brother.

Hazrat Zaid bin Harithah (ra) married Hazrat Umme Aiman. Hazrat Umme Aiman’s name was Barakah. She was known by the title of Umme Aiman due to her son, Aiman. She was originally from Abyssinia. Once the Holy Prophet (sa) said that whoever wishes to rejoice by marrying a woman from among the inhabitants of paradise, he should marry Umme Aiman. Upon this, Hazrat Zaid bin Harithah (ra)  married her as a result of which, Hazrat Usama was born, who was known as Al-Hibb Ibn al-Hibb that is, ‘the dear son of the beloved’. According to another narration, the Holy Prophet (sa) would state, [Arabic] Meaning, “After my actual mother, Umme Aiman holds the status of being my mother.” The Holy Prophet (sa) would also visit her house to meet her.

In a narration it is stated that whilst migrating to Medina on foot, Hazrat Umme Aiman (ra) became extremely thirsty. She was a very pious lady and had a very strong bond with God Almighty. At the time, she did not have any water with her and it was extremely hot, however she heard a sound from above her head and saw a pail like vessel descend upon her from the heavens from which clear drops of water began to fall upon her. She drank from it until her thirst was quenched. She would often say that thereafter, she never felt thirst even when observing the fast.

Thus, whilst citing incidents of the Companions, the women who were related to these Badri Companions are also mentioned so that we may become aware of their lofty status, and this is why I also give mention to these women alongside the Badri Companions. Hazrat Umme Aiman (ra) had a slight stammer in her speech. Whenever she would meet someone, instead of saying Salamullahi Alaikum, as was the custom at the time, she would say Salamullah Alaikum due to her stammer. The Holy Prophet (sa) permitted her to say Salamun Alaikum or Assalamu Alaikum, which is now the custom.

Hazrat A’isha (ra) narrates that one day, whilst the Holy Prophet (sa) was drinking water, Hazrat Umme Aiman (ra) was also present and said, “O Messenger of Allah, give me water so I may drink also.” Hazrat Ai’sha (ra) states that she questioned her saying, “Is this the manner in which you ask the Messenger of Allah (sa) for something?” To this she replied, “Have I not served the Holy Prophet (sa) for a long time?” The Holy Prophet (sa) then said, “You speak the truth” and gave her water to drink.

Hazrat Anas (ra) relates that when the Holy Prophet (sa) passed away, Hazrat Umme Aiman (ra) was inconsolable saying that the word of God and the revelation of the Holy Qur’an which would descend upon the Holy Prophet (sa), had come to an end.

There was a visible difference between the complexion of Hazrat Usama and Hazrat Zaid, because the mother of Zaid was from Abyssinia and of African descent. Hence, there was a difference in the colour between father and son because Zaid was darker than his father. Due to this, people would raise objections about the lineage of Hazrat Usama saying that he was not the son of Hazrat Zaid and the hypocrites would raise these false heinous allegations.

Hazrat Zaid (ra) was the freed slave of the Prophet of Allah (sa) and his adopted son as well. The Prophet (sa) arranged Hazrat Zaid’s (ra) marriage with Hazrat Zainab bint Jahash. However, this marriage did not last long, and Hazrat Zaid (ra) divorced Hazrat Zainab. This marriage lasted a year or a little more than that after which the Prophet of Allah (sa) himself married Hazrat Zainab bint Jahash (ra).  “In 5 A.H., shortly before the Ghazwah of Bani Muṣṭaliq, which took place in Sha‘ban 5 A.H., the Holy Prophet (sa) married Zainab bint Jahash (ra).

Hazrat Zainab (ra) was the daughter of the paternal aunt of the Holy Prophet (sa), whose name was Amimah bint ‘Abdil-Muṭṭalib. Although she was extremely righteous and pious, she was somewhat conscious of her family status at heart. The Holy Prophet (sa) proposed the marriage of this dear one, i.e., Zainab bint Jahash (ra) to his freed slave and foster-son Zaid bin Harithah (ra) without any hesitation. At first, Zainab (ra) did not accept this match considering her family status to be greater, but ultimately, according to the proposal and desire of the Holy Prophet (sa), the marriage of Zainab (ra) and Zaid (ra) took place. Although Zainab (ra) fulfilled her vows with goodness, in his own heart, Zaid (ra) felt that Zainab (ra) still harboured hidden feelings that she was from a noble family and a close relative of the Holy Prophet (sa), while Zaid (ra) was merely a freed slave and not her equal. Even in his own heart, Zaid (ra) felt that his position was lesser than that of Zainab (ra). This feeling slowly and gradually became stronger making their marital life unpleasant, leading to marital difficulties. When this upsetting situation grew out of hand, Zaid bin Harithah (ra) presented himself before the Holy Prophet (sa) of his own accord and complaining about the treatment of Zainab (ra), sought permission to divorce her. In another narration it is related that he complained that, “Zainab speaks harshly, and therefore, I wish to divorce her.” Naturally, the Holy Prophet (sa) was grieved upon hearing the state of affairs, and he counselled Hazrat Zaid (ra) against divorce and advised him by saying, “Fear God, and settle your differences however you may.” These words of the Holy Prophet (sa) have been recorded by the Holy Qur’an as well in the following words: “Do not divorce your wife, and fear God.”

The reason for this advice of the Holy Prophet (sa) was that firstly, in principle, the Holy Prophet (sa) disliked divorce. On one occasion, the Holy Prophet (sa) stated:

 “Of all lawful things, divorce is most undesirable in the sight of God.”

For this reason, it has only been permitted as a last resort. The Holy Prophet (sa) emphatically exhorted Zaid (ra) not to divorce his wife, fear God, and settle the differences between husband and wife in any way possible.  In light of this exhortation, Zaid (ra) bowed his head in submission and silently returned. However, it was difficult for these very different personalities to come together, and after some time, Zaid (ra) gave a divorce.

After the ‘Iddat of Zainab (ra), the Holy Prophet (sa) received revelation to marry Zainab bint Jahash (ra). In this divine command, the wisdom was so that Zainab (ra) could be comforted and so that it could be demonstrated that there was no disgrace in Muslim men marrying a divorced woman. Moreover, another wisdom was that since Zaid (ra) was the foster-son of the Holy Prophet (sa) and was generally known as his son. However, by marrying his divorcee, the Holy Prophet (sa) confirmed to Muslims that a foster-son is not a real son. As a result, this ignorant Arabian custom could be completely expunged from among the Muslims. In this regard, the Holy Qur’an, which is the most authentic of all historical records states: “When Zaid dissolved his relationship with Zainab, We married her to you, so that there may be no hindrance for the believers with regard to the wives of their adopted sons, after their adopted sons dissolve their relationship with their wives. This is how it was decreed that the Will of God would come to pass.”

Therefore, after this divine revelation, the Holy Prophet (sa) decided to marry Zainab (ra). The Holy Prophet (sa) sent his proposal to Zainab (ra) through Zaid (ra) himself. Upon the consent of Zainab (ra), her brother Abū Ahmad bin Jahash (ra) served as her guardian and married her off to the Holy Prophet (sa) and the dowry was set at 400 dirhams. In this manner, the ancient tradition which was firmly rooted in the plains of Arabia, was uprooted at the very source and stem, and discarded by Islam through the personal example of the Holy Prophet (sa).

A Nikah ceremony took place for marriage. Ḥazrat Zainab (ra) would express in a manner of pride to the other Ummatul-Mu’minin that their marriages were announced through their guardians on the earth, while her marriage was announced in the heavens. In the accounts relating to the life of Hazrat Zaid (ra), I have mentioned some details regarding the marriage of the Holy Prophet (sa) and Hazrat Zainab (ra). The reason for this is that people raise allegations against this marriage even today and therefore we ought to know about this in detail. There are some further details with regards to this incident that I will explain in the future, but for now the account of Hazrat Zaid (ra) will continue.

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    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)

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