In today’s Friday Sermon, His Holiness(aba) continued to narrate accounts from the life of Hazrat Sa`d bin Mu’adh. His Holiness(aba) stated that as mentioned in the previous Sermon, after the Battle of Ahzab, the Holy Prophet(sa) was given the Divine command to head towards the Banu Quraizah and deal with their treachery.
His Holiness(aba) quoted Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad(ra) in recounting the events pertaining to Banu Quraizah. The Holy Prophet(sa) sent Hazrat Ali(ra) to give them a warning and have them realize their treacherous ways. However, rather than realizing their mistakes and expressing remorse, they retorted with profanities and foul language directed towards the wives of the Holy Prophet(sa). Hazrat Ali(ra) returned and informed the Holy Prophet(sa), upon which he, along with the Muslims marched towards the castle of the Banu Quraizah and lay siege to it.
Finally when the Banu Quraizah realized there was no other way, they sent word that Abu Lubabah(ra) should be sent to negotiate their surrender. Abu Lubabah(ra) went and urged them to surrender and accept the Holy Prophet(sa), however they refused. Instead, they expressed that rather than the Holy Prophet(sa) deciding their fate, they wished for Hazrat Sa`d bin Mu’adh(ra) leader of the Aus tribe which had been an ally to them, to be the one to decide their fate. Though there were some amongst the Banu Quraizah who were of the opinion that a treaty should be agreed upon with the Muslims, the general population of the Banu Quraizah could not bear to accept the Holy Prophet(sa) to have any sort of power over them. Thus in the hopes of his leniency, they insisted that whatever their fate may be, it should be decided by Hazrat Sa`d bin Mu’adh(ra). Some from the Aus tribe tried convincing Hazrat Sa`d bin Mu’adh(ra) to render a lenient punishment as the Banu Quraizah had been their ally, however he did not give in to any influence and said that the decision should be left to whom it has been entrusted.
His Holiness(aba) further recounted that when Hazrat Sa`d(ra) arrived, first he ensured that all those present; the Aus, the Banu Quraiza and the Holy Prophet(sa), would accept his decision; to which they all agreed. Then he presented his decision according to the following Biblical teaching:
When you march up to attack a city, make its people an offer of peace. If they accept and open their gates, all the people in it shall be subject to forced labor and shall work for you. If they refuse to make peace and they engage you in battle, lay siege to that city. When the Lord your God delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the men in it. As for the women, the children, the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves. And you may use the plunder the Lord your God gives you from your enemies. This is how you are to treat all the cities that are at a distance from you and do not belong to the nations nearby. However, in the cities of the nations the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. Completely destroy them—the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—as the Lord your God has commanded you. Otherwise, they will teach you to follow all the detestable things they do in worshiping their gods, and you will sin against the Lord your God. (Deuteronomy 20:10-18)
Thus, seeing that the Banu Quraizah were not prepared to accept the decision of the Holy Prophet(sa) which would have been made according to Islamic teachings, which at the most would have resulted in their expulsion from Madinah, Hazrat Sa`d(ra) made his decision based on the decision Moses(as) had already made for such a scenario.
Furthermore, this decision was not made by the Holy Prophet(sa). Certain people allege that the Holy Prophet(sa) rendered an extremely harsh punishment. But as history bears testament, the decision was made by Hazrat Sa`d bin Mu’adh(ra); before making his decision he confirmed with all involved parties, including the Holy Prophet(sa), if they would accept his decision to which they all agreed. Technically, this was not even the decision of Hazrat Sa`d bin Mu’adh(ra), as he merely rendered that which had already been decided by Moses(as).
The Holy Prophet(sa) proclaimed that the fact that the Banu Quraiza insisted that Hazrat Sa`d bin Mu’adh(ra) be the one to decide their fate and the fact that Hazrat Sa`d bin Mu’adh(ra)confirmed with everyone that his decision would be accepted and the decision itself, indeed reflected the will of God in the matter.
Upon returning, the Holy Prophet(sa) expressed his sorrow at the state of affairs, saying that even if ten or twelve men from the Banu Quraizah had accepted me, I would have had hope that the entire nation of Banu Quraiza would eventually accept me.
His Holiness(aba) further recounted that the Holy Prophet(sa) instructed that for the execution of those who fought from Banu Quraizah, each person should be brought separately, they should not be executed in front of one another. He was also present himself, so that if an appeal of mercy was made on behalf of anyone about to be executed, he may hear it and accept it.
His Holiness(aba) again clarified, in light of some allegations made regarding this incident, that this was not the decision of the Holy Prophet(sa) but was of Hazrat Sa`d bin Mu’adh(ra). This decision cannot be considered unjust in light of the events that had transpired. Then, Hazrat Sa`d bin Mu’adh(ra) had confirmed that the Holy Prophet(sa) would accept his decision, thus the Holy Prophet(sa) was bound and had no say in the matter. Furthermore, having themselves accepted whatever decision Hazrat Sa`d(ra) would make, the Jews of Banu Quraizah raised no objection to his decision. It must also be noted that whenever an appeal would be made to spare the life of an individual from Banu Quraizah about to be executed, the Holy Prophet(sa) would accept it; in fact he would also order for his family and his wealth to be returned to him as well.
His Holiness(aba) noted how even the orientalist Margoliouth, who in no way can be considered a supporter of Islam, had no choice but to declare that in light of the events that had transpired and the treachery of the Banu Quraizah, the decision made regarding their fate cannot be considered harsh. Thus, the decision made by Hazrat Sa`d(ra) was just, and due to his agreement to accept the decision of Hazrat Sa`d(ra) as demanded by the Banu Quraizah, the Holy Prophet(sa) had no say in the matter.
His Holiness(aba) also highlighted the fact that one of the conditions in the treaty which the Banu Quraizah broke, was that in the event the treaty is broken, the fate of the guilty party would be decided according to their own scripture. The decision made by Hazrat Sa`d bin Mu’adh(ra)was exactly in line with the teachings of the Torah for such an instance.
His Holiness(aba) said that any remaining incidents regarding Hazrat Sa`d bin Mu’adh(ra) would continue in the following Sermon.
His Holiness(aba) then mentioned some members of the community who have recently passed away.
Hajiyya Ruqayya Khalid Sahiba passed away on 30 June. She was the Sadr Lajna of Ghana. She recovered from uterine cancer and her health had significantly improved, but later her health began declining again which eventually led to her demise. She was a teacher by profession. She had a passion for teaching children, and would even teach some children free of charge. She was very pious and had a close relationship with Khilafat. His Holiness(aba) prayed that may her progeny keep her virtues alive.
Safiyya Beghum Sahiba who passed away on 27 June. She was the wife of late Sheikh Mubarak Ahmad sahib, a missionary of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. She was the daughter of Hazrat Qazi Abdus Salaam Bhatti Sahib, a companion of the Promised Messiah(as). She had an exemplary relationship with Khilafat which she also instilled in her progeny, many of whom are serving as life devotees in the community. She was extremely supportive of her husband’s work as a missionary, no matter where he went. His Holiness(aba) expressed that there are very few wives of missionaries who support their husband as she did. His Holiness(aba) also remarked that her relationship with Khilafat was so strong and so unique that he has seldom seen before.
Ali Ahmad sahib passed away on 18 June. His father Mian Allah Ditta Sahib(ra) was a companion of the Promised Messiah(as). He was a life devotee who served in various places. He was an exemplary missionary
Rafiq Bibi sahiba passed away on 22 May. She was very pious and regular in her prayers. She instilled the same habit of prayer in her progeny. She was very proud of the fact that her son, and her grandsons were missionaries. His Holiness(aba) said that her son is currently serving in Tanzania and was not able to return home for the funeral, and prayed that Allah may grant him patience.
His Holiness(aba) said that in today’s funeral prayer he would also be including in those who he has announced in previous sermons who passed away recently, but their funeral could not be offered due to the current pandemic.
Summary prepared by The Review of Religions
After reciting the Tashahud, Ta‘awuz, and Surah al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V(aa) stated:
As I mentioned in the previous Friday sermon, the Holy Prophet(sa) was given the divine commandment to punish the Banu Quraizah for their treachery after the Battle of Ahzab. Hence, a battle commenced against them. The Banu Quraizah then sought the verdict of Hazrat Saad(ra) to settle the matter, which he did accordingly.
While speaking about this battle, on one occasion Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra stated:
“After some 20 days, the Muslims were able to breathe again in peace” after the Battle of Ahzab, “but they still had the Banu Quraizah to settle with. The Banu Quraizah had dishonoured their pact with the Muslims and this could not be passed over. The Holy Prophet(sa) collected his exhausted force and told them that there was no rest for them yet. Before the sun went down, they must fall upon the Banu Quraizah in their fortifications. Then he sent Hazrat Ali(ra) to the Banu Quraizah to ask them why they had gone back on their solemn word.
“The Banu Quraizah showed no regret and no inclination to ask for forgiveness. Instead, they insulted Hazrat Ali(ra) and the other Muslim delegates and started hurling vile abuse at the Holy Prophet(sa) and the women of his family. They said they did not care for Muhammad[sa] and had never had any kind of pact with him. When Hazrat Ali(ra) returned to report the reply of the Jews, he found the Holy Prophet(sa) and the companions advancing towards the Jewish fortifications. The Jews had been abusing the Holy Prophet(sa), his wives and daughters. Fearing lest this should pain the Holy Prophet(sa), Hazrat Ali(ra) suggested there was no need for the Holy Prophet(sa) to take part as the Muslims themselves could deal with the Jews and that he ought to return. The Holy Prophet(sa) understood Hazrat Ali(ra) and said, ‘Do you want me not to hear their abuse, Ali?’
“Hazrat Ali(ra) said that was indeed the reason.
“The Holy Prophet(sa) then said, ‘But why? What difference does it make if they revile me? Moses(as) was of their kith and kin. Yet they inflicted more suffering on him than they have on me.’ The Holy Prophet(sa) continued to advance. The Jews put up their defences and started fighting. Their women also joined them. Some Muslims were sitting at the foot of a wall. A Jewish woman, seeing this, dropped a stone on them, killing one of the Muslims.
“The siege went on for some days. At the end of this period, the Jews felt they would not be able to hold out for long. Then their chiefs sent word to the Holy Prophet(sa) requesting him to send Abu Lubaba(ra), an Ansari chief of the Aus, a tribe friendly to the Jews. They wanted to consult him about a possible settlement. The Holy Prophet(sa) sent Abu Lubaba(ra) to the Jews, who asked him if they should lay down their arms and accept the verdict of the Holy Prophet(sa). Abu Lubaba(ra) said they should. But at the same time, he passed a finger over his neck, making the sign of death. The Holy Prophet(sa) had said nothing on this subject to anybody. But Abu Lubaba(ra), fearing that the crime of the Jews merited nothing but death, without carefully pondering over the matter, made this sign, which proved fateful for the Jews” i.e. for the Banu Quraizah tribe. “The latter declined Abu Lubaba’s(ra) advice and refused to accept the Holy Prophet’s(sa) verdict. Had they accepted it, the utmost punishment they would have had was expulsion from Medina. But as ill-luck would have it, they refused to accept the Holy Prophet’s(sa) decision. Instead of the Holy Prophet’s(sa), they said, they would accept the verdict of Saad(ra) bin Muaz, chief of their allies, the Aus. They would agree to any punishment proposed by him. A dispute also arose among the Jews. Some of them began to say that their people had really gone back on their agreement with the Muslims. The behaviour of the Muslims, on the other hand, showed that they were true and honest and that their religion also was true. Those who thought in this way joined Islam. Amr bin Su‘da one of the Jewish chiefs, reproved his people and said, ‘You have committed a breach of faith and gone back on your plighted word. The only course now open to you is either to join Islam or give jizya.’
“They said, ‘We will neither join Islam nor give jizya, for dying is better than giving jizya.’ Amr replied that in that case he stood absolved, and saying this left the fort. He was sighted by Muhammad(ra) bin Maslama, commander of a Muslim column, who asked him who he was. On learning of his identity he told him to depart in peace and himself prayed loudly:
اَللّٰھُمَّ لَا تَحْرِمْنِیْ اِقَالَۃَ عَثَرَاتِ الْکِرَامِ
“‘O Allah! Do not deprive me from the virtue of concealing the mistakes of the honourable.’
“What he meant was that this Jew had shown remorse and regret over the conduct of his people. It was the moral duty of Muslims, therefore, to forgive men like him. In letting him go, he had done a good thing, and he prayed that God should give him the chance to do such good deeds again and again.” He had no intention to commit any injustice.
“When the Holy Prophet(sa) learnt of what Muhammad(ra) bin Maslama had done, he did not reprove him for letting this Jewish leader go; rather, he approved of what had been done and praised him for his action.”
This was an isolated incident as there were a few individuals who disagreed with the decisions of their own tribe. They advised that they ought to enter into a treaty with the Muslims. However, the Banu Quraizah as a whole remained stubborn on their stance of not accepting the Holy Prophet(sa) as the arbiter.
“As a people, they remained adamant and refused to accept the verdict of the Holy Prophet(sa) and asked, instead, for the verdict of Saad(ra) bin Muaz.” They did not wish for the Holy Prophet(sa) to give a verdict, instead they were insistent that they would only obey the verdict of Saad(ra) bin Muaz. “The Holy Prophet(sa) accepted their demand and sent word to Saad(ra), who was lying wounded, to come and give his verdict on the Jewish breach of faith. As soon as the Holy Prophet’s(sa) decision was announced, the Aus, who had been allies of the Banu Quraizah for a long time, ran to Saad(ra) and began to press him to give his award in favour of the Banu Quraizah. The Khazraj, they said, had always tried to save Jews allied to them. It was up to Saad(ra) to save the Jews allied to his tribe. In his injured state, Saad(ra) went mounted to the Banu Quraizah. Men of his tribe ran with him on both sides, pressing him not to punish the Banu Quraizah. All that Saad(ra) said in reply was that the person who had to make a decision held a trust. He had to discharge the trust with integrity. ‘I will therefore give my verdict based on complete honesty,’ he said. When Saad(ra) reached the Jewish fortress, he saw the Banu Quraizah lined up against the wall of the fort, waiting for him. On the other side were Muslims. When Saad(ra) approached them he asked, ‘Will you accept my verdict?’ They replied, ‘Yes.’
“Turning to the Banu Quraizah he asked the same question and they also agreed. Then shyly, with his gaze down, he pointed to the side where the Holy Prophet(sa) was sitting and asked if the people on that side also agreed to abide by his verdict”, i.e. out of respect and reverence he did not look towards where the Holy Prophet(sa) was sitting. However, as he had been appointed as the arbitrator, it was incumbent upon him to present this question. Therefore, with his eyes lowered, he enquired from the Holy Prophet(sa). “On hearing this, the Holy Prophet(sa) replied, ‘Yes’.
“When all parties agreed to accept Saad’s(ra) verdict, he then announced his verdict in accordance with the following commandment of the Bible:
“‘When thou comest nigh unto a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace unto it. And it shall be, if it make thee answer of peace, and open unto thee, then it shall be, that all the people that is found therein shall be tributaries unto thee, and they shall serve thee. And if it will make no peace with thee, but will make war against thee, then thou shalt besiege it: And when the Lord thy God hath delivered it into thine hands, thou shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword: But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the Lord thy God hath given thee. Thus shalt thou do unto all the cities which the Lord thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth: But thou shalt utterly destroy them; namely, the Hittites, and the Amoiites, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee: That they teach you not to do after all their abominations, which they have done unto their gods; so should ye sin against the Lord your God.’” (Deuteronomy, 20: 10-18)
(These were the words of the Bible and Hazrat Saad(ra) gave his verdict accordingly.) “According to the teaching of the Bible, if the Jews had won and the Holy Prophet(sa) had lost, all Muslims – men, women and children – would have been put to death. We know from history that this was the very intention of the Jews”, i.e. to kill all the men, women and children. “The least the Jews would have done was to put to death the men, to enslave the women and children and make away with the belongings of the Muslims, this being the treatment laid down in Deuteronomy for enemy nations living in distant parts of the world. Saad(ra) was friendly to the Banu Quraizah and his tribe was in alliance with theirs. When he saw that the Jews had refused to accept the verdict of the Holy Prophet(sa) in line with the Islamic Shariah, which no doubt protected their lives, he gave the verdict of punishment according to the Jewish Law, which Prophet Moses(as) had stated in Deuteronomy. The responsibility for this verdict does not rest with the Holy Prophet(sa) or the Muslims, but lies with Moses(as) and his teaching and with the Jews who had treated other nations in the same manner for centuries. They refused to accept the decision of the Holy Prophet(sa) which would have based on mercy and compassion. But, instead of accepting this, they insisted on a verdict by Saad(ra). Saad(ra) decided to punish the Jews in accordance with the Law of Moses(as).”
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud(ra) continues:
“Yet Christians to this day continue to defame the Holy Prophet(sa) of Islam and say that he was guilty of committing injustices. Do the Christian scholars not ponder as to why the Holy Prophet(sa) never showed cruelty on any other instance?
“There were many occasions on which the Holy Prophet’s(sa) enemies threw themselves at his mercy and never did they ask in vain for his forgiveness. Only on this instance, the enemy refused to accept the decision of the Holy Prophet(sa), but instead, wished to accept the decision of someone else. This individual had already taken the agreement from the Holy Prophet(sa) that he would abide by his verdict.” As is evident from history, the Holy Prophet(sa) also gave his word to abide by the verdict.
“After this, Hazrat Saad(ra) proceeded to announce his verdict, in fact, he reiterated the verdict of Moses(as), whom the Jews claimed to follow. If any cruelty was perpetrated, it was by the Jews on themselves by refusing to accept the Holy Prophet’s(sa) decision. If any cruelty was perpetrated it was by Moses(as), who laid down this penalty for a beleaguered enemy and laid this down in his book under the command of God.
“If this was an injustice, then the Christian writers ought to condemn Moses(as) who prescribed this cruel penalty, or rather, they ought to condemn the God of Moses(as), Who issued such a command in the Torah.
“After the Battle of Ahzab was over, the Holy Prophet(sa) declared that from that day onwards, the idolaters would not attack Muslims; instead, Islam would now respond to those perpetrators who had committed cruelties against the Muslims. The tide was going to turn.
“In the Battle of Ahzab, the Arab confederates had not suffered any considerable losses. They had lost only a few men. In less than a year’s time, they could have come and attacked Medina again and with even better preparations. Instead of any army of twenty thousand they could have raised for a new attack an army of forty, or even fifty thousand. An army numbering a hundred or a hundred and fifty thousand was not beyond their capacity. But now for 21 years, the enemies of Islam had done their utmost to eradicate Islam and Muslims. Continued failure of their plans had shaken their confidence. Deep within their hearts they now realised that God Almighty was with the Holy Prophet(sa) and that their idols and gods were false, that the Creator was the One God. Although, physically they were fine, their inner self had been shattered, i.e. even though they prostrated before their idols, their hearts, resounded the Islamic declaration of:
لَا اِلٰہَ اِلَّا اللّٰہُ
‘There is no God but Allah.’” (Introduction to the Study of the Holy Quran, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 20, pp. 162-165)
It is related by Hazrat Abu Said Khudri(ra) that a few individuals came out of the Jewish fortresses on the condition that they were ready to accept the verdict of Hazrat Saad(ra) bin Muaz. The Holy Prophet(sa) called for Hazrat Saad(ra) bin Muaz, who arrived mounted on a donkey. As he approached the mosque, the Holy Prophet(sa) said, “Stand for the one who is best among you” or he stated, “Stand to welcome your leader.” The Holy Prophet(sa) then stated, “O Saad! These people are insistent upon your verdict.” Hazrat Saad(ra) replied, “My verdict against those who have taken up arms is that they ought to be put to death and their women and families should be imprisoned.” The Holy Prophet(sa) stated, “You have issued your verdict in accordance with divine will” or stated, “You have given your verdict in the manner of a king”. This is a narration of Sahih Bukhari. (Sahih Bukhari, Kitab al-Manaqib Ansar, Hadith 3804)
Further details of this incident have been mentioned by Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahib(ra), some of which I will mention here. Regarding the Banu Quraizah, he writes:
“After a siege of more or less 30 days (according to some sources its twenty days), these ill-fated Jews agreed to descend from their fortresses to be judged by the verdict of such a man, who despite being their confederate, found no mercy in his heart due to their evil schemes; and despite being an epitome of justice and equity, he did not possess the same compassion and tenderness at heart as was present in the man who was a ‘mercy for all mankind.’ The details are that the Aus tribe were old allies of the Banu Quraizah, and at the time, Saad(ra) bin Muaz was the chieftain of this tribe. He had been wounded in the Battle of the Ditch and was now under medical treatment in the veranda of the Mosque in Medinah. Taking their ancient alliance into consideration, the Banu Quraizah said, ‘We take Saad bin Mu‘az to be our judge. We shall accept whatever verdict he passes concerning us.’
“However, there were some from among the Jews”, as was mentioned earlier, “who did not consider this national decision to be correct and considered their people as being criminals. In their hearts, they had been won over by the truth of Islam. A few people from among them – three according to historical accounts – happily accepted Islam and became servants of the Holy Prophet(sa). There was a fourth who did not become Muslim, but he was so ashamed at the treachery of his nation that when the Banu Quraizah decided to engage in war against the Holy Prophet(sa), he left the city of Medina saying, ‘My people have betrayed Muhammad[sa] immensely. I cannot partake in this treachery.’ However, the rest of the nation remained firm upon their obstinacy and insisted upon making Saad(ra) their arbitrator. The Holy Prophet(sa) accepted”, as was mentioned earlier, “after which he dispatched a few companions from among the Ansar to bring Saad(ra) . Saad(ra) arrived and on the way, a few people from the Aus tribe persistently pleaded, ‘We are allies of the Quraizah. Just as the Khazraj dealt with their ally tribe, the Banu Qainuqa with mercy, you also deal with the Quraizah leniently. Do not give them a harsh punishment.’ At first, Saad(ra) listened to their plea silently, but when they began to overly persist, he responded, ‘This is the time when Saad shall not care for the reproach of anyone who raises an objection owing the dictates of justice…’ Upon hearing this response, the people took to silence.
“When Saad(ra) drew near, the Holy Prophet(sa) instructed his Companions:
“‘Stand for your chieftain and assist him in dismounting.’ When Saad(ra) dismounted and moved towards the Holy Prophet(sa), he said, ‘Saad(ra)! The Banu Quraizah have accepted you as their arbitrator, and they have agreed to abide by whatever verdict you may deem fit.’ Upon this, Saad(ra) lifted his sights towards the people of his own tribe, the Aus, and said:
“‘Do you take God as your witness and make a firm promise that you shall be bound to act upon the verdict I issue with regard to the Banu Quraizah?’ ‘Yes, we promise,’ said the people.” This has previously been mentioned in reference to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II’s(ra) narration of the incident. “Then, he made a gesture in the direction where the Holy Prophet(sa) was seated and said:
“‘Does the honourable man who is seated here also promise that he shall be bound to act upon my verdict?’” This is how it has been written in this narration i.e. the honourable man. “The Holy Prophet(sa) responded, ‘Yes, I promise.’
“After this covenant and agreement had been affirmed, Saad(ra) announced his verdict: the combatant men of the Banu Quraizah would be executed, their women and children would be taken captive and their wealth would be distributed amongst the Muslims. When the Holy Prophet(sa) heard this verdict, he spontaneously said:
“‘Your verdict is a divine decree which cannot be averted.’
“The meaning of these words was that the verdict relevant to the Banu Quraizah took place in such circumstances, that divine power could be seen clearly working at the centre of affairs and for this reason, feelings of mercy held by the Holy Prophet(sa) could not prevent this outcome. This was true indeed, because the Banu Quraizah requested that Abu Lubabah(ra) be sent to them and then such words slipped his tongue that were completely without foundation. Consequently, the Banu Quraizah refused to accept the Holy Prophet(sa) as their judge and under the assumption that the Aus tribe would deal leniently with them as they were allies, appointed Saad(ra) bin Muaz, the chief of the Aus tribe as their arbitrator. Furthermore, Saad(ra) became so resolute in the matter of justice and equity that feelings of relation and alliance were wiped out of his heart completely. Moreover, before announcing his verdict, Saad(ra) took a firm promise from the Holy Prophet(sa) to affirm that this decision would be administered in full. All of these things could not have been a coincidence. Verily, at the base of these events was a divine decree and this verdict was that of God, not Saad(ra).”
Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahib(ra) further writes:
“It seems that due to the treachery, treason, rebellion, sedition, disorder, murder and bloodshed of the Banu Quraizah, the verdict had already been issued by the heavenly court of justice that their combatant members should be expunged from the face of the earth. The divine instruction initially given to the Holy Prophet(sa) regarding this ghazwah also establishes that this was a divine decree. However, God did not wish for this verdict to be issued by His Messenger(sa) and for this reason, kept the Holy Prophet(sa) completely separate through immensely intricate manifestations of His power and had this verdict announced by Saad(ra) bin Muaz. Moreover, this announcement was made in such a manner that the Holy Prophet(sa) could no longer influence this decision because he had already promised that he would abide by the verdict in full. In addition to this, since the influence of this decision was not limited to the person of the Holy Prophet(sa) alone, rather, it affected all of the Muslims collectively, the Holy Prophet(sa) did not consider it his right to change this verdict by his own opinion irrespective of how heavily it may have leaned towards mercy and forgiveness. It was this very divine power which moved the Holy Prophet(sa) to spontaneously utter the words:
قَدْحَکَمْتَ بِحُکْمِ اللّٰہِ
“‘O Saad! Your verdict seems to be a divine decree, which no one has the power to alter.’
“Upon saying these words, the Holy Prophet(sa) quietly stood up and returned to the city. At the time, his heart was aggrieved with the thought that a nation, which he greatly hoped would embrace Islam, was being deprived of faith and being sentenced to divine wrath and chastisement due to their evil deeds.
“It was perhaps on this occasion that the Holy Prophet(sa) uttered the following words with intense regret:
“‘If only 10 men”, i.e. 10 influential men, “had believed in me, I would have hoped to God that this entire nation would accept me and would have been saved from Divine punishment.’
“When the Holy Prophet(sa) was leaving, he instructed that the men be separated from the women and children of the Banu Quraizah. Hence, both these groups were brought into Madinah separately and were gathered at two separate locations. In line with the instruction of the Holy Prophet(sa), the Companions”, many of whom perhaps remained hungry themselves, “arranged for a large quantity of fruit to be brought to the Banu Quraizah for their consumption. It is written that the Jewish people spent the entire night eating fruit.
“The following day, in the morning, the verdict of Saad(ra) was to be put into effect. The Holy Prophet(sa) appointed a few able men to perform this task and stood close by, so that if guidance was required while the verdict was being administered, the Holy Prophet(sa) could provide immediate guidance.
“Another reason was so that he could instantly provide a decision if anyone appealed for mercy. Although the verdict of Saad(ra) could not be appealed against in general, but in his capacity as a king or chief executive of a democracy, the Holy Prophet(sa) definitely had the right to hear an appeal with respect to a specific person on individual grounds. As an act of compassion, the Holy Prophet(sa) also ordered that criminals should be executed separately from one another, i.e. when one was being executed, the other should not be present nearby. Thus, every criminal was brought separately and executed according to the verdict of Saad.
“With relation to the account of the Banu Quraizah, various non-Muslim historians have levelled allegations against the Holy Prophet(sa) in a very unpleasant manner. Due to the death penalty which was administered to more or less 400 Jews, they have presented the Holy Prophet(sa), God-forbid, as being a cruel and bloodthirsty ruler.”
One of our researchers has estimated that according to his research, the actual number [of those killed] numbered 16 or 17. In any case, there is potential for further research in this regard. There are various estimations as to the exact number; some have estimated 100, 400, 1000 or 900. In any case, there is no exact number and more research can be done in this regard.
“Even if we accept the number to be 400, this allegation is based purely on religious prejudice. In the least, as far as an allegation upon Islam and the Founder of Islam is concerned, even those historians who have been trained in light of Western thought have not been able to absolve themselves.”
Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahib(ra) continues:
“In response to this allegation, firstly, it should be remembered that the verdict regarding the Banu Quraizah, which is deemed to be a cruel verdict, was that of Saad(ra) bin Muaz, not the Holy Prophet(sa). When it is proven that the verdict was not issued by the Holy Prophet(sa) in the first place, no objection can be raised against him on this account. Secondly, this verdict was not faulty and barbaric at all … Thirdly, due to the covenant which Saad(ra) took prior to announcing his verdict, the Holy Prophet(sa) was in any case bound to act upon it. Fourthly, when this verdict was accepted by the criminals themselves and they did not object, considering this to be a divine decree, in such a case, it was not the task of the Holy Prophet(sa) to unnecessarily interfere.
“After the verdict of Saad(ra) had been announced, the only relation of the Holy Prophet(sa) in this respect was to put into effect this verdict in the best possible manner under the supervision of his administration. Thus, it has already been mentioned that the manner in which the Holy Prophet(sa) instituted this decision may be deemed the highest possible example of mercy and compassion. To be specific, whilst these people remained in captivity before the verdict was put into effect, the Holy Prophet(sa) arranged for their lodging and food in the best possible manner. When the verdict of Saad(ra) was to be implemented upon them, the Holy Prophet(sa) instituted the verdict in such a manner as would prove to be least painful for the criminals. Firstly, taking their emotions into consideration, the Holy Prophet(sa) ordered that when one criminal was to be executed, the next should not be made to witness it. As a matter of fact, history tells that when individuals would be brought to the place of execution, they would have no idea as to where they were being taken until they reached the actual spot. In addition to this, the Holy Prophet(sa) immediately accepted each and every appeal for mercy, which was lodged before him with respect to an individual. Not only did the Holy Prophet(sa) spare the lives of such people, rather, he even ordered the release of their wives and children and for their wealth etc. to be returned. What greater example of mercy and compassion towards a criminal can there be? Hence, not only is it true that absolutely no allegation can be levelled against the Holy Prophet(sa) due to the account of Banu Quraizah, rather, the fact of the matter is that this incident is an immensely clear proof of the high morals, remarkable administration and innate mercy and tenderness of the Holy Prophet(sa).”
“Although the verdict of Saad(ra) was a strict one in itself and one may be shocked to learn of it but the question remains was there any other option available?” Although the decision of Hazrat Saad(ra) about the Banu Quraizah was strict, it was the natural outcome of the circumstances that had arisen, and there were no other options available.
It is for this reason that even a historian like Margoliouth, who is not at all from among the friends of Islam, is compelled to admit on this occasion that the decision of Saad(ra) was based on compelling circumstances, without which there was no other option. Hence, Mr Margoliouth writes:
‘The great invasion, which Mohammed declared to have been miraculously frustrated, was due or believed to be due, to the propaganda of members of the Banu Nadir, whom the Prophet had been satisfied with banishing. Should he banish the Kuraizah, he would thereby be setting free a fresh set of propagandists. On the other hand, those who had taken part openly with the invaders of Medinah could not very well be permitted to remain there. To banish them was unsafe; to permit them to remain was yet more dangerous. Hence they must die.’”
The aforementioned was a quote of Margoliouth, [Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahib(ra) then further writes:]
“Thus, the decision of Saad(ra) was in complete accordance with the dictates of justice. Owing to his agreement to follow Saad’s decision, the Holy Prophet(sa) was unable to show mercy in this regard, with the exception of a few individuals. Whoever appealed for mercy, the Holy Prophet(sa) did his utmost to grant them mercy. However, he could not issue a general amnesty for all. It seems that since the Jews had refused to accept him as a judge they were hesitant in seeking his mercy, with the exception of a few individuals. Indeed, unless they appealed for mercy, the Holy Prophet(sa) was unable to show any mercy. The reason is that unless a criminal does not express remorse over their crimes, to leave them free would have harmful consequences for society.
“Another point to remember is that by virtue of the treaty, which had been settled between the Holy Prophet(sa) and the Jews, one condition stated that if any matter regarding the Jews required a verdict, a decision would be made according to their own Shariah”, i.e. the Jewish Law. “Therefore, history proves that in accordance with this treaty, the Holy Prophet(sa) would always issue a verdict to the Jews in accordance with the Mosaic law. Now, when we cast a glance upon the Torah, the exact same punishment for a crime as the Jews were guilty of committing has been prescribed therein, as Saad(ra) bin Muaz issued to the Banu Quraizah.” (Sirat Khatam-un-Nabiyeen, Vol. 2, pp. 479-505)
In any case, the mention here of Hazrat Saad(ra) bin Muaz, with regard to the matter of Banu Quraizah, is sufficient. There are further accounts regarding Hazrat Saad(ra) bin Muaz that I shall mention in the future, insha-Allah.
Now I shall speak about some deceased members [of the Jamaat], who passed away recently and after the Friday prayers, I will, insha-Allah, lead their funeral prayer in absentia.
The first funeral is of Respected Hajia Ruqayyah Khalid Sahiba, who was serving as Sadr Lajna Imaillah, Ghana. She passed away by divine decree on 30 June, at the age of 65.
إِنَّا لِلّٰهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُوْنَ
[Verily, to Allah do we belong and to Him shall we return.] She developed uterine cancer, which she later recovered from and God Almighty granted her health. However, in May of this year, her condition began to worsen and she suffered another bout. After remaining in hospital for a brief period, she passed away on 30 June.
Hajia Ruqayyah Khalid Sahiba was born in April 1955, into an Ahmadi family in Wa, situated in north Ghana. Her late father, Al-Haj Khalid Sahib was an Imam in a village close to Wa, where the majority of people worshipped idols. He preached to them and established Ahmadiyyat there.
Hajia Ruqayyah Khalid Sahiba spent her childhood in Wa. She was well-mannered, sophisticated and a woman of principals. As a profession, she was a teacher and set an example within her professional circle as well as within the Jamaat. After her retirement, she served as the headmistress of the Ahmadiyya International School in Bustan-e-Ahmad. She had a keen passion for the education and upbringing of children; she would pay the school fees of many children and she would teach many children in her own home free of charge.
In 2017, she was appointed as Sadr Lajna Imaillah and for the few years she was sadr, she discharged her duties in an excellent manner, in spite of her illness. She continued to serve as Sadr Lajna Imaillah Ghana until her demise. She also organised a number of programs. With the restrictions in place nowadays due to Covid-19, she still continued her tarbiyat programmes and duties for Lajna via the internet.
She was regular in offering her prayers and very passionate about carrying out good deeds. She was regular in offering the Tahajud prayers and gave alms regularly. She was also a musia [part of the institution of Al-Wasiyyat]. She had a strong bond with Khilafat. She leaves behind two sons, one daughter and four grandchildren. May Allah the Almighty grant her forgiveness and mercy and elevate her in status. May He enable her progeny to continue her good works.
The second funeral is that of Respected Safiyya Begum Sahiba, wife of the late Respected Shiekh Mubarak Ahmad Sahib, who was a missionary and served in Africa, the UK and the USA. She passed away by divine decree on 27 June at the age of 93.
[Verily, to Allah do we belong and to Him shall we return.]
She was born to Hazrat Qazi Abdus Salam Sahib and Mubaraka Begum Sahiba in October 1926. She was the paternal granddaughter of Hazrat Qazi Abdur-Rahim Sahib(ra), who was a companion of the Promised Messiah(as) and she was the great paternal granddaughter of Hazrat Qazi Ziauddin Sahib(ra). She possessed many wonderful qualities and was very devout. She had incredible love for Khilafat, the depth of which is seldom seen. This was something she inculcated in not only her children, but also in her grandchildren. Thus, in this manner she was able to preserve this bond.
The deceased was a musi. Her marriage to Sheikh Mubarak Ahmad Sahib was her second marriage, from which she had one daughter; she also had children from her first marriage. Her first husband was Naseer Ahmad Bhatti Sahib. Nonetheless, during the time, Sheikh Sahib served in various countries and she spent her time with great devotion. She is survived by her two daughters and three sons and also a daughter from Sheikh Sahib’s first wife. One of her sons, Faheem Ahmad Bhatti Sahib is here serving as a volunteer in the private secretary’s office. One of her grandsons, Saboor Bhatti is a missionary working in Wakalat-e-Tabshir, UK. Another grandson, Fawad Bhatti is a life-devotee serving as a teacher in the Ahmadiyya College in Kano. Another grandson, Khaleeq Bhatti completed his education and devoted his life and is now serving The Review of Religions. One of her grandsons is Nabeel Bhatti, who, two years ago, fell critically ill. She prayed for him a great deal and Allah the Almighty even informed her of him being cured and subsequently, he was cured by Allah the Almighty. However, even now, Nabeel Bhatti Sahib still experiences some complications due to that illness. May Allah the Almighty completely cure him and accept Safiyya Begum Sahiba’s prayers for him. He is also a life-devotee. May Allah the Almighty also make him a beneficial member of the Jamaat and make him and his progeny servants of the faith.
Safiyya Sahiba’s daughter, Farida Sheikh Sahiba, relates:
“Our mother had great love for the Promised Messiah(as). She would always point to his picture and say that whatever we have is because of him and these blessings are due to him. She also had a special connection with African-American sisters and would take great care of them. Many would come and go almost on a daily basis. They would visit her frequently, sit together in the kitchen and converse freely, as if they were members of the same family.”
Similarly, her elder daughter, Naeema Shabir Sahiba, says:
“She was very caring and loving. She was extremely patient, and one who would bring hardships upon herself in order to help others. She instilled the love of Khilafat in our hearts. She would tell us to regularly write letters [to the Khalifa]. She often recited the Promised Messiah’s(as) prayers for her children. She took great care of the poor and the orphans. She was regular in paying chanda and giving alms. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih III(rh) graciously conducted her nikah with Sheikh Mubarak Ahmad Sahib. He was a missionary and his first wife had passed away and her husband had passed away also. At the time of settling this union, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih III(rh) said to Sheikh Sahib out of delight for some work he had carried out for the Jamaat that he was giving him a reward. Sheikh Sahib was always mindful of this reward and this reward was his marriage to Safiyya Begum Sahiba. Sheikh Sahib was very mindful of this and took great care of her children from her first husband, who had died while the children were still young.
Her eldest son, Shamim Bhatti Sahib also studied with me in school and college. I have seen that Sheikh Sahib took great care of these children and fulfilled his duty. Similarly, Safiyya Begum Sahiba also supported Sheikh Sahib during his service and fulfilled her responsibility of being the wife of a life-devotee. There are very few wives of missionaries who fulfil their duties in the manner she did. She selflessly served her guests and never complained about anything. She also used to pray profusely for members of the Jamaat. She would treat the families of missionaries under Sheikh Sahib very well. I became acquainted with her after Khilafat. I came to know her and saw that she had immense love for Khilafat; her passion and devotion were such that is rarely seen. May Allah the Almighty elevate her status and keep her progeny devoted to the Jamaat and Khilafat.
The next mention is of respected Ali Ahmad Sahib, who prior to his retirement, served as a muallim of Waqf-e-Jadid. He passed away on 18 June at the age of 86:
His father, Hazrat Mia Allah Ditta Sahib(ra) was a companion of the Promised Messiah(as). In 1903, when the Promised Messiah(as) travelled to Jehlum, Hazrat Mia Allah Ditta Sahib(ra) travelled 10-12 miles by foot from his village in order to take the Bai‘at at the hands of the Promised Messiah(as).
The deceased did his waqf [pledge to devote his life for the service of faith] in 1965 and from 1967 to 2008, for approximately 41 years; he served in various Jamaats of Sindh and Punjab. He taught the Holy Quran to hundreds of people, including men, women and children. Owing to his preaching efforts, many people were blessed with the good fortune of entering into the fold of Ahmadiyyat. The deceased was a musi and leaves behind his wife, two daughters and three sons.
One of his sons, Abdul Hadi Tariq Sahib is a missionary of the community and for the last seven years has been serving as a teacher in the International Jamia Ahmadiyya in Ghana. Owing to the current situation, he was unable to travel and attend the funeral and burial of his father. Two nephews of the deceased are also missionaries of the community and three grandsons are Hafiz-e-Quran.
Maghfoor Ahmad Muneeb Sahib, who is a life-devotee and currently serving as a missionary in the markaz [headquarters] writes:
“Without a doubt, respected Maulvi Sahib was a model for all life-devotees, murabbiyan and muallimeen. He would speak very little, always kept his gaze lowered from other women and did not interfere in the affairs of other people. He was also very devoted to prayers, humble, met others with great love and wholly devoted to the institution of Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyyat. Even when he got angry, the pain to make one understand their error would always be evident. He would always remain content with whatever he had. The children who were once students of Maulvi Sahib have now grown up, but their memories of Maulvi Sahib’s kindness and love remains in their hearts.”
May Allah the Almighty elevate the station of the deceased and enable his progeny to continue his good deeds.
The next funeral is of respected Rafiqa Bibi Sahiba, wife of Bashir Ahmad Dogar Sahib of Edhi Pur, district Naruwal, [Pakistan]. She passed away by divine decree on 22 May:
Ahmadiyyat entered her family through her grandfather, Hazrat Malik Sardar Khan Dogar Sahib Numbardar, who was a companion of the Promised Messiah(as).
Her son, Riaz Ahmad Doggar Sahib says, “Since as early as I can remember, I witnessed that she was very devoted and pious. She observed her obligatory prayers and would be regular in her fasts. She had memorised many chapters of the Holy Quran and in the mornings, when she would process milk [to extract butter] she would often recite Surah al-Taghabun. She would offer the five daily prayers with punctuality. Before offering each prayer, she would ensure one of her maternal or paternal grandchildren would stand with her for prayer so that in this way, the children would develop a passion for offering prayers. After the prayers, she would sit for a long time on the prayer mat and offer her tasbih [praising God Almighty]. Similarly, she would recite the Holy Quran aloud in a manner whereby her recitation could be heard throughout the house. She had memorised many chapters by heart.
She had a deep bond of love and devotion for Khilafat and had full conviction in the acceptance of prayers of the Khalifa. She would say with great pride that her son was a missionary, one paternal grandson was studying in Jamia to become a missionary and one maternal grandson was also a missionary. Despite the fact that she would often remember her children, she would say that it was a great blessing of God Almighty upon her that her progeny was spread all over the world.
Among those she left behind are six sons, one daughter and many maternal and paternal grandchildren. One of her sons, Riyaz Ahmad Dogar Sahib, is currently serving in Tanzania. Due to the current situation and also owing to his duties serving in the field, he was unable to attend the funeral and take part in the burial. May Allah the Almighty grant him patience and steadfastness. One of her maternal grandsons, Adeel Ahmad Dogar, is serving as a missionary in Pakistan. One paternal grandson, Ayyaz Ahmad Dogar, is studying in the 6th year student of Jamia Ahmadiyya International Ghana.
May Allah the Almighty shower His forgiveness and mercy upon the deceased and elevate her status. May her progeny be enabled to continue her virtuous endeavours. Similarly, I shall also lead the funeral prayers [in absentia] of those members who I mentioned in the previous sermons, but owing to the current situation, it was not possible to offer their funeral prayers; namely Nasir Saeed Sahib, Ghulam Mustafa Sahib, Dr Naqiyyuddin Sahib of Islamabad and Zulfikar Sahib, the missionary from Indonesia. May Allah the Almighty grant them all His mercy and forgiveness.
Original Urdu transcript published in Al Fazl International; 31 July 2020, pp. 5-9. Translated by The Review of Religions.