After reciting the Tashahhud, Ta’awwuz, and Surah Al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (aba) stated:
There are a few more accounts of Hazrat Zaid (ra) bin Harithah which I shall relate today. In this month, Rabi-ul-Akhir 6 A.H., the Holy Prophet (sa) dispatched a few Muslims to the tribe Bani Sulaim under the command of his freed slave and previously adopted son, Zaid (ra) bin Harithah. This tribe resided in the region of Najd at a place called Jamum and had been at war against the Holy Prophet (sa) for some time now. As such, this tribe played a significant role against the Muslims in the Battle of the Ditch as well. When Zaid (ra) bin Harithah and his companions reached Jamum, which was located at a distance of approximately 50 miles from Medina, they found it to be empty. However, they were able to find the whereabouts of where a portion of the Bani Sulaim were. Acting on the intelligence, Zaid (ra) bin Harithah attacked where they were grazing their cattle. This sudden attack caused most of the people to flee and they dispersed here and there. However, the Muslims were able to capture a few prisoners and some cattle, which they took hold of and returned to Medina.
Not many days had passed since the return of Zaid (ra) bin Harithah, when the Holy Prophet (sa) sent him from Medina once again during the month of Jamadi’ul-Ula, commanding 170 companions to deal with a caravan of the Quraish which was arriving from Syria. It is important to understand the reason why these caravans were intercepted. These caravans of the Quraish were always armed and whilst travelling between Makkah and Syria they passed very closely by Medina, and so they were a constant threat. Also, people of these caravans would provoke the tribes of Arabia against the Muslims wherever they passed. Due to this, a dangerous fire of animosity had been ignited throughout the country against the Muslims. Zaid (ra) bin Harithah was able to successfully reach the place called Iṣ and intercepted the caravan, who fled in a hurry. Zaid (ra) captured a few prisoners and took hold of the caravan’s load, set off to Medina and presented himself before the Holy Prophet (sa).
It should be remembered that these were not unprovoked expeditions, they were only deployed based on the reliable intelligence of threat and conspiracy of an imminent attacks on Muslims in Medina.
Hazrat Zaid (ra) bin Harithah was sent on another expedition to Tarif, but before Zaid (ra) bin Harithah could reach there, the people of this tribe got alerted and dispersed. After a short wait of a few days, Zaid (ra) bin Harithah and his companions returned to Medina. Neither did any battle take place and nor did they go after and search for them.
Then there is another expedition of Hazrat Zaid (ra) bin Harithah towards the location of Hisma, which took place in Jamadi-ul-Akhir 6AH. During this expedition, some tribesmen were also killed who had signed a treaty of peace with Muslims and had accepted Islam. This happened because Zaid (ra) was not aware of this treaty. The Holy Prophet (sa) repeatedly expressed his grief for the people who were killed on this occasion and ordered that these prisoners should be released and the spoils of wars returned. Upon receiving this order, Zaid (ra) immediately carried out these orders. Thus, this was the noble example of the Holy Prophet (sa) in relation to honouring his covenant. It is possible that some of the tribes may have intentionally took part in the battle but since this was a misunderstanding on the part of the Muslims, therefore the Holy Prophet (sa) released them all and returned their wealth.
The Battle of Mu’tah took place in 8 AH. Mu’tah is a place near Balqa in Syria. Harith Bin ‘Umair, who was part of an envoy of Islam and was taking a letter to the king of Basra, was martyred at the site of Mu’tah. This incident was very distressing for the Holy Prophet (sa). When he called the people, who numbered 3000, they immediately gathered in Jurf. The Holy Prophet (sa) announced that Zaid (ra) Bin Harithah was the commander over all of them. He prepared a white flag to give to Hazrat Zaid (ra) and instructed him, “Go to the place where Harith Bin ‘Umair was martyred and convey the message of Islam to those people. If they accept, then well and good. Otherwise, beseech Allah’s help against them and fight against them.”
The Battle of Mu’tah was fought in 8 AH, during the month of Jamadiul Awwal. It is narrated by Hazrat ‘Abdullah Bin ‘Umar that, “Allah’s Messenger (sa) appointed Zaid (ra) bin Harithah as the commander of the army during the Battle of Mu’tah and said, ‘If Zaid is martyred, Ja’far should take over his position, and if Ja’far is martyred, ‘Abdullah bin Rawaha should take over his position.’” This army is also called “Jaishul Umaraa” [Army of Leaders]. As he said these words, a Jew was also sitting in his company. He said, ‘Although I do not believe you to be a prophet, but if you are truthful then none of these three individuals would return alive because anything uttered by a prophet is certainly fulfilled. Allah’s wisdom so ordained that this incident was fulfilled exactly in that way. Hazrat Zaid (ra) was martyred. Then, Hazart Ja’afar (ra) took up the command. He was also martyred. Then, Hazrat ‘Abdullah bin Rawaha (ra) took up the command of the army and was also martyred. It was well-nigh that chaos may spread among the army but Hazrat Khalid bin Waleed (ra) took the flag in his hand on the behest of the Muslims. Allah gave victory to the Muslims through him and he returned the army safely.” At the time of his martyrdom, Hazrat Zaid (ra) was fifty-five years old. The Holy Prophet (sa) led the funeral prayer of Hazrat Zaid (ra) and said that “O people! Seek forgiveness for Zaid, he swiftly entered the abode of paradise.”
Hazrat Jabala relates that until the Holy Prophet (sa) set out for a battle, he would not give his weapons to anyone but Hazrat ‘Ali (ra) and Hazrat Zaid (ra). Hazrat Jabala mentions another narration that the Holy Prophet (sa) was given two camel saddles as a gift. He kept one himself and gave the other one to Hazrat Zaid (ra). Then, Hazrat Jabala narrates again that the Holy Prophet (sa) was gifted two cloaks. He kept one for himself and gave the other one to Hazrat Zaid (ra).
The gist of what history books have recorded about the Battle of Mu’tah is that in order to respond to the Battle of Mu’tah, the Holy Prophet (sa) prepared a huge army in the month of Safar during the 11th year following the migration, and in this month of the 11th year after migration, the Holy Prophet (sa) instructed the people to prepare for battle against Rome. On the day after this army was prepared, the Holy Prophet (sa) called over Hazrat Usama bin Zaid (ra), and, handing over the command of this expedition to Hazrat Usama (ra), said, “Go toward the place where your father was martyred,” and, regarding their departure toward the nation of Syria, the Holy Prophet (sa) said, “When you depart, travel swiftly and reach the enemy before news of your approach reaches them. Then, first thing in the morning, attack the people of Balqa (Ahl-e-Ubna).” The Holy Prophet (sa) instructed the army, “raze these places to the ground with your horses, to avenge Hazrat Zaid.”
The Holy Prophet (sa) further said to Usama, “Take guides who can show you the way as well, and also take such people as can perform the duty of reconnaissance – people who can properly inform you of the prevailing situation and circumstances there. May God Almighty grant you success and return quickly.” At the time of this battle, the age of Hazrat Usama was between 17 and 20 years old. The Holy Prophet (sa) tied a flag with his own hands and said to Usama, “With the name of Allah, strive in His path, and battle him who denies God.” Some individuals did object that a young boy had been made the Ameer at such a young age over the companions who migrated with the Holy Prophet (sa) in the very early period of Islam. At this, the Prophet of Allah became very upset. He stood at the pulpit and announced, “O ye people, what is this thing that has reached me which you say about Usama’s (being made) commander over you? If you have objected to my making Usama the Ameer over you, then know that you have also objected to my making his father your Ameer before this. I swear to God, he also possessed the qualities of leadership, (referring to Hazrat Zaid bin Harithah) and after him, his son also possesses within himself the qualities of leadership. He was among those people who were dearest to me, and both of these (meaning father and son) deserve all the good in the world.”
Sadly, the Holy Prophet (sa) became very ill after that and passed away on Monday 12 Rabi-al-Awwal, after sunset. After the demise of the Holy Prophet (sa), the sedition and apostasy had spread across the whole of Arabia. The Muslims were in a very dire situation. Prominent companions suggested to Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) that due to the severity of the situation, he should delay sending off the army of Hazrat Usama (ra) and that they should be sent some time later. Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) refused, stating that even if beasts dragged his body around, he would still send this army, in accordance with the instructions of the Holy Prophet (sa) and he will implement the instructions given by the Holy Prophet (sa). Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) duly upheld the decision of the Holy Prophet (sa) and sent the expedition as directed by the Holy Prophet (sa).
Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) required the assistance of Hazrat Umar (ra) in Medina for several matters. However, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) did not keep Hazrat Umar (ra) behind on his own accord. Instead he sought permission from Hazrat Usama (ra) that if he thought appropriate to grant Hazrat Umar (ra) permission to remain behind. Hazrat Usama (ra) responded to the call of the Khalifa and permitted Hazrat Umar (ra) to remain behind.
In the end, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) gave the following words of advice to the army: “Do not show disloyalty nor break your covenant; do not commit theft, do not mutilate any corpses of the enemies; do not kill young children, women and the elderly; do not cut date palm trees nor burn them; do not injure any sheep, cow or camel except for those you slaughter for consumption.” He then further says: “You will pass by a people who have withdrawn to the Church for worship, leave them be. Similarly, there will be people who bring you food in dishes to eat. If you wish to eat therefrom, you ought to recite Bismillah [In the name of Allah] before eating. Then you will certainly meet a people who would have shaved their heads from the middle, but will have locks of hair on the sides. For them you ought to strike them slightly with your swords and then defend yourselves. May God Almighty protect you from all slander and safeguard you from the epidemic of the plague.” Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) then turned to Hazrat Usama (ra) and said: “Carry out all the tasks assigned to you by the Holy Prophet (sa).”
Through this conversation, whilst on the one hand Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) taught Hazrat Usama the Islamic etiquettes of war – in which one cannot commit injustice against anyone else – on the other hand it is also evident that Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) was convinced that this army would be victorious. That is why he said: “You will be granted victories.” Later, this army expedition was a resounding success, no Muslim fighter was killed, and Muslims gained a large amount of spoils from the war, from which one fifth was taken out and the rest distributed amongst the army. The portion for the one riding a mount was twice as much as those on foot. After the battle, the army camped in this very place for one day and then set off for Medina on the following day. It was the firm resolve and tremendous courage of the Khalifa that he sent this army, despite several internal and external dangers as well as certain allegations. Then through the triumph and success, God Almighty taught the Muslims their first lesson that after the demise of the Holy Prophet (sa), all blessings lie in the obedience to Khilafat.
After the Friday prayers, I will lead two funeral prayers in absentia. The first funeral prayer is of Mr Siddique Adam Dambia Sahib, who was a missionary serving in the Ivory Coast. He had been unwell for quite some time and recently his health deteriorated and was subsequently taken to the Military Hospital, where he passed away on 14th June, to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return. Siddique Adam sahib was born in Lausangeh, a village in the Ivory Coast, in 1950. He accepted Ahmadiyyat a short while before 1977. Aside from his wife, he is survived by 7 daughters and 2 sons. Having dedicated his life for the services of the Community in 1981, he travelled to Pakistan on foot with two other friends. They travelled for approximately 1 year and enduring the hardships of the journey, they eventually arrived in Rabwah in 1982 and began studying in Jamia Ahmadiyya. He completed his studies in 1985/86 and then returned to the Ivory Coast. Until his demise, he had the opportunity to serve as a missionary in various countries of West Africa for a period of over 30 years. Siddique Adam Sahib’s style of speech was extremely attractive for the locals who spoke the local language, Jula. He would also present programmes on the radio. These programmes were of a very high standard and were very popular. May God Almighty grant him His forgiveness and mercy and elevate his station. May He also grant his children patience and steadfastness and enable them to continue his good deeds.
The second funeral prayer is of Mia Ghulam Mustafa Sahib Mirak from the district of Okara. He passed away on 24th June at the age of 83 – To Allah we belong and to Him shall we return. The deceased was Ahmadi by birth and had great passion for worship. He was very regular in the congregational prayers and also in offering the Tahajjud prayer and would call the Fajr Adhan at his local mosque. He would always wake up his family members for Fajr and God Almighty had granted him the ability to keep the fasts of Ramadhan right till his demise. He had a great desire for Tabligh and would always some way or another convey the message of Ahmadiyyat to everyone he met. He was a very sociable, pious and sincere individual. He had a great bond of love with Khilafat and would regularly listen to the Friday Sermons and would also make his children listen as well. May God Almighty grant him His mercy and forgiveness and elevate his station. Ghulam Murtaza Sahib, who is a missionary, is busy conveying the message of God away from his homeland and as I said he could not go back for the funeral. May God Almighty grant him patience and steadfastness to bear this loss. After the Friday prayers inshAllah, I will lead their funeral prayers in absentia.
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 Muhammad(sa) this congregational prayer is twenty-five times more blessed than worship performed alone. (Bukhari)
“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
“… (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)