After reciting Tashahhud, Ta‘awwuz and Surah al-Fatihah, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad(aba) said that he would highlight incidents from the life of Hazrat Umar bin al-Khattab(ra).
His Holiness(aba) said that Hazrat Umar’s(ra) father was named Khattab bin Nufail and his mother’s name was Hantama bint Hashim. His Holiness(aba) presented various narrations regarding Hazrat Umar’s(ra) date of birth. Some are of the opinion that he was born either four years before or four years after the Battle of Fijar. There are other narrations which say that he was born in 583 A.D. There is another narration which states that he accepted Islam in 6 A.H. when he was 24 years of age, which would mean he was born in 590 A.D. The fourth opinion regarding his birth is that he was born when the Holy Prophet(sa) was around the age of 21 years.
His Holiness(aba) said that the Holy Prophet(sa) bestowed the title of ‘Farooq’ to Hazrat Umar(ra). Once, Hazrat Umar(ra) was asked how he received the title of Farooq. Hazrat Umar(ra) replied that Hazrat Hamzah(ra) accepted Islam three days before him, and proceeded to narrate the incident of Hazrat Hamzah’s(ra) acceptance. Hazrat Umar(ra) said that three days after this, he received word that his sister and brother-in-law had also accepted Islam. He went to their home and heard the Qur’an being recited inside. He knocked on the door and when it was opened, he began hitting his brother-in-law. According to another narration, when his sister stepped forward in front of her husband one of the blows accidentally landed on her. Upon seeing the blood, his temper subsided. He then asked to see the book which was being recited. His sister told him that he should first go and perform the ablution. Once he had done so, he was given the Qur’an, and he read verses 1-9 of Surah TaHa.
He then decided to accept Islam and proceeded to where the Holy Prophet(sa) was. When he arrived, Hazrat Hamzah(ra) who was present there said that the door should be opened; if he had come with good intentions they would welcome him, and if he had come with bad intentions then they would kill him. The Holy Prophet(sa) heard this and came outside. Upon this, Hazrat Umar(ra) pronounced the declaration of faith. Thereupon, all the Companions(ra) loudly exclaimed ‘Allah is the Greatest.’ Hazrat Umar(ra) then asked the Holy Prophet(sa), whether Islam is the true religion. The Holy Prophet(sa) replied saying of course it was. Then Hazrat Umar(ra) asked that if this was the case, why were the Muslims still in hiding. Upon this, the Muslims formed two rows and marched out in the open towards the Ka‘bah. When the Quraish saw Hazrat Hamzah(ra) and Hazrat Umar(ra) alongside the Muslims, they were shocked.
Hazrat Umar(ra) said that it was from that day that the Holy Prophet(sa) gave him the title of Farooq for upon his acceptance, Islam was granted strength and truth was distinguished from falsehood.
His Holiness(aba) said that Hazrat Umar(ra) was tall and strongly built. Before his acceptance of Islam, Hazrat Umar(ra) would often win the wrestling matches held at the famous Ukkaz festival. Hazrat Umar(ra) was also among those from the Quraish who learned how to read and write. At the time when the Holy Prophet(sa) was commissioned, there were only about seventeen such people who knew how to read and write.
His Holiness(aba) said that Hazrat Umar(ra), displayed some spiritual faculties even before his acceptance of Islam. When the Muslims migrated to Abysinnia, they prepared to leave before dawn so that they would not be bothered by the Quraish. It was common for the chieftains of Makkah to walk through the streets at night to ensure that no robberies took place. Hence, that night, as Hazrat Umar(ra) was walking through the streets, he saw a house which seemed to have packed everything in preparation for a long journey. He approached the house, and asked one of the Companions(ra) what the matter was? She was straightforward in her answer and replied saying that they were leaving Makkah, because he and his brothers did not allow the Muslims to live and worship freely (Hazrat Umar(ra) had not yet accepted Islam). Hazrat Umar(ra) turned the other way out of pain for what he had heard and said, ‘may God be your Protector’.
His Holiness(aba) said that the Holy Prophet(sa) also prayed for Hazrat Umar(ra) to accept Islam. The Holy Prophet(sa) prayed that may God help Islam with whomever was dearer to him; either Umar bin al-Khattab or Amr bin Hisham. When Hazrat Umar(ra) accepted Islam, the angel Gabriel came to the Holy Prophet(sa) and said that the heavens were pleased upon Hazrat Umar’s(ra) acceptance of Islam.
His Holiness(aba) related another incident which is narrated regarding Hazrat Umar’s(ra) acceptance of Islam. Once the Holy Prophet(sa) was offering prayers at the Ka‘bah. Hazrat Umar(ra) wished to hear what the Holy Prophet(sa) was saying. When he drew nearer, he heard the Holy Prophet(sa) reciting Surah ar-Rahman. This recitation of the Holy Qur’an melted Hazrat Umar’s(ra) heart. As the Holy Prophet(sa) left, Hazrat Umar(ra) followed him. When the Holy Prophet(sa) realised that Hazrat Umar(ra) was following him, and turned around, thinking that he had some bad intentions. Instead, Hazrat Umar(ra) declared his belief in One God and that Muhammad(sa) was His Messenger.
His Holiness(aba) said that there are various narrations regarding Hazrat Umar’s(ra) acceptance of Islam. The most prominent and oft-repeated is the incident of when Hazrat Umar(ra), set out with his sword to kill the Holy Prophet(sa), but along the way was informed that his sister had accepted Islam. He then visited her, where he heard the recitation of the Holy Qur’an, which melted his heart, and he then went to the Holy Prophet(sa) and accepted Islam. His Holiness(aba) said that we accept this incident to be the most accurate.
His Holiness(aba) said that he would continue highlighting incidents from the life of Hazrat Umar(ra) in the future.
His Holiness(aba) said that he would lead the funeral prayers in-absentia of the following deceased members:
Ahmad Muhammad Usman Shabooti Sahib who passed away in Egypt on April 9. He accepted Islam at the age of fourteen when he was living in Yemen. He was subsequently able to serve the Community in various capacities. He served as the President of the Community in Adan, Yemen. He had studied and served in the medical field for many years. He is survived by his wife, a son, and three daughters. He possessed many virtuous qualities. He was also honoured to perform Hajj (the pilgrimage). He would spend a great deal to help the poor and needy.
Qureshi Zakaullah Sahib who passed away on April 9. He was serving as an accountant in the office of Jalsa Salana (Annual Convention). He is survived by five daughters and a son. He served the Community for many years, and also had the opportunity of serving under Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahib(ra). He was regular in his prayers and would offer voluntary prayers regularly as well. He loved Khilafat a great deal.
Malik Khaliq Daad Sahib of Canada. He served as a local president in Karachi for many years. He was serving in the Finance office in Canada. He possessed many virtuous qualities and loved Khilafat a great deal. His Holiness(aba) commented that he himself has seen how he expressed his profound love for Khilafat. He is survived by his wife, four sons and three daughters.
Muhammad Saleem Sabir Sahib who passed away on March 27. He served the Community in various capacities and served for many years. He was regular in offering prayers and prayed very fervently. He was dedicated to his work and possessed many great qualities.
Naeema Latif Sahiba of the USA who was the wife of Sahibzada Mahdi Latif Sahib. She passed away on March 10. Her husband is the grandson of Sahibzada Abdul Latif Shaheed(ra). She studied and worked in the field of Botany. She served the Community in various capacities, including as the National Vice-President of the Women’s Auxiliary Organisation in the USA.
Safiyya Begum Sahiba of Canada who passed away on March 11. She served the Community in various capacities. She was regular in offering prayers and fasting, and possessed many virtuous qualities. She is survived by four daughters and a son.
His Holiness(aba) prayed that may Allah treat all the deceased with forgiveness and mercy and elevate their station in Paradise.
Summary prepared by The Review of Religions.
After reciting the Tashahud, Ta‘awuz and Surah al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V(aa) stated:
Today, I will speak about Hazrat Umar(ra) bin al-Khattab. Hazrat Umar(ra) belonged to the tribe of Banu Adi bin Kaab bin Lu‘ayy. His father’s name was Al-Khattab bin Nufail and according to one narration, the name of his mother was Hantama bint Hashim. As such, his mother would be the paternal cousin of Abu Jahl.
According to another narration, the name of his mother was Hantama bint Hisham. Based on this narration, she would be the sister of Abu Jahl. However, this narration which mentions her being the sister of Abu Jahl is not widely accepted. Abu Umar says that whoever says that she was the sister of Abu Jahl is mistaken. If this was correct, she would have been the sister of Abu Jahl as well as Harith. However, this is not the case. She was the daughter of their paternal uncle [and therefore] the name of her father was Hashim. (Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, Al-Isabah fi Tamyiz al-Sahabah, Vol. 4, Umar(ra) bin al-Khattab [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2005], 484.) (Ali Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghabah fi Ma‘rifat al-Sahabah, Vol. 4, Umar bin al-Khattab(ra) [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2003], p. 138)
Various narrations have been recorded with regard to Hazrat Umar’s(ra) date of birth and the year of his birth differs from one narration to another. One view is that Hazrat Umar(ra) was born four years prior to the great Battle of Fijar, whereas at another place, it is written that he was born four years after the great Battle of Fijar. It is called the Battle of Fijar as it was fought during a sacred month, which is a matter of grave immorality and sin. This battle was fought in four periods. Aside from calling the fourth battle al-Fijar al-A‘zam i.e. the greatest Battle of Fijar, it is also called al-Fijar al-A‘zam al-Akhir i.e. the last great Battle of Fijar. This battle was fought between the Quraish, Banu Kinanah and Hawazin tribes.
Another viewpoint is that Hazrat Umar(ra) was born in Mecca 13 years after the Year of the Elephant. (Tarikh Dimashq al-Kabir li Ibn Asakir, Vol. 47, p. 54, Umar(ra) bin al-Khattab, Dar Ihya al-Turah al-Arabi, Beirut, 2001) (Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, Al-Isabah fi Tamyiz al-Sahabah, Vol. 4, Umar(ra) bin al-Khattab [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2005], p. 484) (Atlas Sirat Nabawi(sa), p. 102, Dar al-Islam, Riyad, 1424 AH)
The Year of the Elephant was 570 CE and adding 13 years to this would make the year of Hazrat Umar’s(ra) birth 583 CE. A third opinion is that Hazrat Umar(ra) accepted Islam in the sixth year Nabawai and at the time he was 26 years old. (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, Islam Umar(ra) [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 1990], p. 204)
According to the Gregorian calendar, the sixth Nabawi year is 616 CE. If Hazrat Umar(ra) was 26 at the time, the year of his birth would be 590 CE. A fourth opinion is that Hazrat Umar(ra) was born when the Holy Prophet(sa) was 21 years of age. (Tarikh al-Khamis fi Ahwal Anfus Nafis, Vol. 1, p. 259, Wiladat Umar(ra), Mu‘assisat Sha‘ban, Beirut)
Nonetheless, there are various opinions in this regard; at the time he accepted Islam, he was somewhere between 21 and 26 years old.
The title of Hazrat Umar(ra) was Abu Hafs. (Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, Al-Isabah fi Tamyiz al-Sahabah, Vol. 4, Umar(ra) bin al-Khattab [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2005], p. 484)
Hazrat Ibn Abbas(ra) relates that on the day of the Battle of Badr, the Holy Prophet(sa) said to his companions:
“I have heard that some of the members of the Banu Hashim and a few others have been forced against their will to come along with the Quraish and they do not wish to fight against us. Therefore, whosoever amongst you comes up against anyone from the Banu Hashim, he should not kill him. And whoever sees Abu Al-Bakhtari, should not kill him. And whoever sees Abbas bin Abdil Muttalib” who was the paternal uncle of the Holy Prophet(sa), “should not kill him. This is because all of these people have been forced to come with the Quraish.”
Hazrat Ibn Abbas(ra) relates that Hazrat Abu Huzayfa(ra) bin Utbah stated, “Are we to kill our fathers, sons, brothers and other relatives and let Abbas live. By God, if I find him”, i.e. Abbas, “I will kill him with my sword.”
The narrator states that when news of this reached the Holy Prophet(sa), he addressed Hazrat Umar(ra) bin Al-Khattab by saying “O Abu Hafs!” Hazrat Umar(ra) states, “I swear by Allah, this was the first time that the Holy Prophet(sa) addressed me with the title of ‘Abu Hafs’.”
The Holy Prophet(sa) then stated, “Will a sword be struck against the face of the uncle of the Messenger(sa) of Allah?” Hazrat Umar(ra) submitted, “O Messenger(sa) of Allah! Grant me permission to sever the head of the individual who has uttered these words. By Allah, he” i.e. Abu Huzayfa, “has displayed hypocrisy.” Hazrat Abu Huzayfa(ra) would later say, “Ever since I uttered those words on that day, I had never felt at ease and was always anxious owing to what I had said, and only martyrdom could serve as an atonement for this.” Thus, Hazrat Abu Huzayfa(ra) attained martyrdom in the Battle of Yamamah. (Ibn Hisham, Sirat Ibn Hisham, Vol. 1, Bab Ghazwat Badr [Egypt: Mustafa al-Babi, 1955], p. 429)
Hazrat Aisha(ra) states that the Holy Prophet(sa) gave Hazrat Umar(ra) the title of Farooq. (Ali Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghabah fi Ma‘rifat al-Sahabah, Vol. 4, [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2003], p. 143)
We find a narration regarding the context of this in which Hazrat Ibn Abbas(ra) relates:
“I enquired of Hazrat Umar(ra) as to how he was given the title of Farooq. He replied, ‘Hazrat Hamzah(ra) accepted Islam three days before I did. Coincidentally I headed to the Holy Mosque and Abu Jahl approached the Holy Prophet(sa), hurling abuse at him. Following this, he informed Hazrat Hamzah(ra) of what he had done.
“When Hazrat Hamzah(ra) came to know of this, he took his bow and headed towards the Ka‘bah. He stood in front of the gathering of the Quraish in which Abu Jahl was seated, leaning on his bow and glaring at Abu Jahl. Sensing displeasure from Hazrat Hamzah’s(ra) face, Abu Jahl said, ‘O Abu Ammarah!’ This was the title of Hazrat Hamzah(ra). ‘What is the matter?’ Hearing this, Hazrat Hamzah(ra) struck his bow on Abu Jahl’s face with such force that his cheek was cut and it started bleeding. Fearing his rage, the Quraish immediately put an end to the quarrel.” The narrator states that he did not personally witness what Hazrat Umar(ra) narrated about that day.
“Three days after this incident I went out and on the way, I met a person from the Banu Makhzum. I asked, ‘Have you forsaken the religion of your forefathers and adopted the religion of Muhammad[(sa)]?’ He replied, ‘What would it matter if I have done so? They too have done so over whom you have more right than myself.’ Hazrat Umar(ra) then asked, ‘Who do you speak of?’ He answered, ‘Your sister and brother-in-law.’ Hazrat Umar(ra) states, ‘Having heard this, I went to my sister’s house and found the door locked. I could hear some whispers from inside. The door was then opened for me and I entered. I then asked them, “What did I just hear you saying?” They replied, “What did you hear?” During the conversation, the matter escalated and I grabbed my brother-in-law by his head and struck him, causing him to bleed. My sister got up and held me by the head saying, “This happened against your wishes, i.e. our acceptance of Islam.”’”
In any case, in another narration there is mention of his sister also being injured. Hazrat Umar(ra) says, “When I saw the blood of my brother-in-law”, or it could have been that of his sister “in that moment I felt ashamed so I sat down and said, ‘Show me this parchment.’ My sister replied, ‘Only the pure can touch it. If you speak the truth, go and wash yourself.’ So I washed myself and came and sat down. They brought the parchment to me on which it was written:
بِسْمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِیْمِ
“[In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Ever Merciful.] I said, ‘These names are very pure and virtuous.’ Then it was written:
طٰہٰ مَا اَنْزَلْنَا عَلَیْکَ الْقُرْاٰنَ لِتَشْقٰى
“[Ta Ha. We have not sent down the Quran to thee that thou shouldst be distressed] and he read up to:
لَہُ الْاَسْمَآءُ الْحُسْنٰىتک
“[(He is) Allah. There is no God but He. His are the most beautiful names.]” These were the verses 2-9 of Surah Ta Ha.
Hazrat Umar(ra) states:
“I developed a great degree of respect in my heart for these words. I then said, ‘The Quraish flee from this, but I have accepted Islam,’ and asked, ‘Where is the Holy Prophet(sa)?’ My sister answered, ‘He is in Dar al-Arqam.’ I reached there and knocked on the door. The companions gathered around. Hazrat Hamzah(ra) asked them, ‘What is the matter with you people?’ They replied, ‘Umar!’ Hazrat Hamzah(ra) then said, ‘Even if it is Umar, open the door for him if he is standing outside. If he has come with good intentions, we shall accept him. But if he has come with evil intentions we shall slay him.’”
The Holy Prophet(sa) also heard this. He went outside, then Hazrat Umar(ra) recited the declaration of faith, upon which all the companions present there exclaimed, “Allah is the Greatest” [Allahu Akbar], which was heard by all the people of Mecca. Hazrat Umar(ra) continues, “I then asked, ‘O Messenger(sa) of Allah, are we not on the truth?’ The Holy Prophet(sa) answered, ‘Indeed.’ I then asked, ‘Then why do we keep our religion hidden?’ Thereafter we formed two rows and set forth; I was in one of the rows and Hazrat Hamzah(ra) was in the other, until we reached Masjid Al-Haram and entered it. Thereupon, when the Quraish saw me and Hazrat Hamzah(ra) they were overcome with such grief and pain, the likes of which they had never felt before. Thus, on that day, the Holy Prophet(sa) gave me the name ‘Farooq’ because Islam was strengthened and truth and falsehood were distinguished from one another.” (Jalaluddin Abd al-Rahman bin Abi Bakr al-Suyuti, Tarikh al-Khulafa, pp. 91-92, Lebanon, 1999)
Ayyub bin Musa relates:
“The Holy Prophet(sa) stated, ‘Undoubtedly Allah the Almighty has placed the truth in the words and heart of Hazrat Umar(ra) and he is the Farooq, for Allah the Almighty has distinguished between truth and falsehood through him.’” (Ali Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghabah fi Ma‘rifat al-Sahabah, Vol. 4, [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2003], p. 143)
Hazrat Umar(ra) was tall and had a strong build. He had no hair on the front of his head. He was of a reddish complexion and his moustache was thick, the ends of which had a reddish tinge and his cheeks were slim. (Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, Al-Isabah fi Tamyiz al-Sahabah, Vol. 4, Umar bin al-Khattab(ra) [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2005], p. 484)
With regard to the pastime of Hazrat Umar(ra), during the era of ignorance, it is mentioned that horse-riding and wrestling were among his favourite hobbies. Hazrat Umar(ra) would win almost every year in the wrestling competition during the annual Ukkaz festival. During his youth, he would graze camels for his father, as was custom among the Arabs. (Sayyiduna Hazrat Umar Faruq A‘zam(ra), Muhammad Hussain Haikal [translated] pp. 51-52, Islami Kutub Khana, Lahore)
Prior to the advent of Islam, learning to read and write was not common practice among the Arabs. At the advent of the Holy Prophet(sa), only 17 people among the Quraish knew how to read and write. Hazrat Umar(ra) had also learnt to read and write in that era. (Sheikh Shah Moinuddin Ahmad Nadvi, Siyar al-Sahabah, Vol. 1 [Karachi, Pakistan: Dar al-Isha‘ah, 2004], p. 133)
Hazrat Umar(ra) was among the nobles of the Quraish. Prior to Islam, he was the designated envoy of the Quraish; it was the practice of the Quraish that whenever there would be feuds among them or with others, they would send Hazrat Umar(ra) as their representative. (Ali Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghabah fi Ma‘rifat al-Sahabah, Vol. 3, Umar(ra) bin al-Khattab [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2003], p. 642)
When some of the Muslims were migrating to Abyssinia, those acquainted with Hazrat Umar(ra) saw his extremely compassionate side as he witnessed them migrating, despite the fact that he had not yet accepted Islam and in spite of his strong nature. In relation to this, Hazrat Umm Abdillah(ra) bint Abi Hasmah relates:
“By Allah, when we were departing for Abyssinia and my husband Amir(ra) bin Rabi‘ah had gone due to some work of his, in that moment Hazrat Umar(ra) bin al-Khattab came and stood next to me. He was still an idolater at the time and we had suffered great affliction at his hands. He said to me, ‘O Umm Abdillah, it seems as though you are going somewhere.’ I replied, ‘Yes, by Allah we are indeed setting forth in the land of Allah’”; they were going in search of somewhere as the land of Allah is vast. “‘You people have caused us much grief and committed grave injustices against us, to the point where Allah the Almighty granted us a way to save ourselves.’”
Hazarat Umm Abdillah(ra) then relates, “Hazrat Umar(ra) then said, ‘May Allah be with you.’ Never before had I witnessed the emotion that had overcome Hazrat Umar(ra). Thereafter, he left. I felt as though our departing had saddened him.” Hazrat Umm Abdillah(ra) then states, “When Amir(ra) bin Rabi‘ah returned from his work, I said to him, ‘O Abdullah, if only you had witnessed the state of Umar and his compassion and sadness for our sake. Amir(ra) bin Rabi‘ah replied, ‘Are you hopeful of his conversion to Islam?’” She must have been affected by this incident and thought he would accept Islam. “I answered in the affirmative. Thereupon, Amir(ra) bin Rabi‘ah said, ‘He will never accept Islam. No matter what you saw of him, Khattab’s donkey will accept Islam before he does.’” Hazrat Umm Abdillah(ra) says, “Amir bin Rabi‘ah(ra) had said this out of despair having witnessed Hazrat Umar’s(ra) ferocity and sternness towards Islam, and thought how can such a fierce opponent accept Islam?” (Ibn Hisham, Sirat Ibn Hisham, Vol. 1, Bab Dhikr Islam Umar bin al-Khattab(ra) [Dar Ibn Hazm, Beirut, 2009], p. 159)
Whilst mentioning this incident and in relation to Hazrat Umar’s(ra) fierce opposition to Islam, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud(ra) has narrated this incident in his own style:
“Despite Hazrat Umar’s(ra) intense hostility towards Islam, he also possessed a spiritual capacity, i.e. despite his severe temper and his afflictions upon the Holy Prophet(sa) and his companions, he still possessed kindness and compassion. When the first migration to Abyssinia was taking place, the Muslims had prepared to depart from Mecca before the Fajr prayer, lest the idolaters halted and harassed them. There was a custom in Mecca where some of the chieftains would go around the city at night to prevent any theft etc.”; they would patrol in the streets. “In accordance with this custom, Hazrat Umar(ra) was walking about at night when he saw some household luggage tied up in one place. He proceeded forward and there was a female companion standing by the luggage. The husband of this companion was perhaps a relative of Hazrat Umar(ra) which is why he addressed the female companion saying, ‘O lady! What is all this? It seems to me as though you are about to embark on a long journey.’ Her husband was not present at the time. Had he been there, after hearing this from Hazrat Umar(ra) and due to the persecutions of the idolaters of Mecca, he could have perhaps made an excuse”, i.e. an excuse as to whether they were going or not, or that it was perhaps a short journey, or that the place they were going to was nearby.
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud(ra) states:
“This woman did not think in this way”; this thought did not cross her mind, or if it did she chose to speak the truth. “This female companion said, ‘O Umar[(ra)], we are leaving Mecca.’ He replied, ‘You are leaving Mecca?’ She answered, ‘Yes, we are leaving Mecca.’ Hazrat Umar(ra) then asked, ‘Why are you leaving Mecca?’, to which she replied, ‘Umar[ra], we are leaving because you and your brethren do not wish us to stay here and we are not free to worship the One God here. For this reason, we are leaving our homeland and going to another land.’ Despite Hazrat Umar(ra) being a staunch enemy of Islam; despite the fact that he himself was ready to persecute Muslims, when he heard this answer of that female companion in the darkness of the night that they were leaving their homeland because he and his kinsmen disliked for them to remain there, and because they were unable to freely worship the One God; Hazrat Umar(ra) turned his face the other way, saying to the female companion, ‘Alright then, go. May God be your Protector.’ It is evident from this that Hazrat Umar(ra) was overcome with such emotion whereby he thought that if he had not turned his face the other way he would have begun to weep. The husband of the female companion then arrived. Knowing Umar(ra) to be a fierce opponent of Islam he thought that Umar(ra) might hinder them in their journey. Thus, he asked his wife as to why he had come there. She told him why Umar(ra) came and what he had asked. Her husband thought he may perhaps be causing some kind of mischief.”
The husband may have seen Hazrat Umar(ra) just as he was leaving or perhaps Hazrat Umar(ra) left after meeting the husband as well. In any case, the husband said he feared he might cause some mischief.
“The female companion said, ‘O son of my uncle’”, Arab women in those days would often call their husbands the son of their paternal uncle, “‘you say that he might cause some trouble, but I feel as though one day he will become a Muslim. This is because when I said, “O Umar[ra], we are leaving because you and your kinsmen do not allow us to freely worship the One God here,” he turned his face saying, “Alright go. May God be your Protector.” There was a trembling in his voice and I believe that his eyes were filled with tears. So because of this I believe that one day he will become a Muslim.’” (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 6, pp. 140-141)
The Holy Prophet(sa) had also prayed for Hazrat Umar(ra) to accept the message of Islam. In relation to this, there is a narration. Hazrat Ibn Umar(ra) relates that the Holy Prophet(sa) stated:
اَللّٰہُمَّ أَعِزَّ الْاِسْلَامَ بِأَحَبِّ ہٰذَیْنِ الرَّجُلَیْنِ إِلَیْکَ بِأَبِیْ جَہْلٍ أَوْ بِعُمَرَ بْنِ الْخَطَّابِ
“O Allah! Whoever is dearer to you between Abu Jahl and Umar bin Al-Khattab, grant honour to Islam through him.”
Ibn Umar(ra) relates further, “Among these two, Hazrat Umar(ra) was dearer to Allah.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Abwab al-Manaqib, Bab fi Manaqib Abi Hafs Umar bin al-Khattab(ra), Hadith 3681)
Hazrat Ibn Umar(ra) relates that the Holy Prophet(sa) stated:
اَللّٰہُمَّ أَیِّدِ الدِّیْنَ بِعُمَرَ بْنِ الْخَطَّابِ
“O Allah! Grant support to the faith through Umar bin Al-Khattab.”
Hazrat Aisha(ra) relates that the Holy Prophet(sa) stated:
اَللّٰہُمَّ أَعِزَّ الْإِسْلَامَ بِعُمَرَ بْنِ الْخَطَّابِ خَاصَّۃً
“O Allah! Grant honour to Islam especially through Umar bin Al-Khattab.” (Mustadrak lil Hakim ala al-Sahihain, Vol. 3, p. 89, Kitab Ma‘rifat al-Sahabah, bab min Manaqib Amir al-Mu‘minin Umar bin al-Khattab(ra), Hadith 4483-4485, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2002)
One day prior to Hazrat Umar(ra) accepting Islam, the Holy Prophet(sa) prayed:
اَللّٰہُمَّ أَیِّدِ الْإِسْلَامَ بِأَحَبِّ الرَّجُلَیْنِ إِلَیْکَ، عُمَرَ بْنِ الْخَطَّابِ أَوْ عَمْرِو بْنِ ہِشَامٍ
“O Allah! Whoever is dearer to you between these two men, that is, Umar bin Al-Khattab and Amr bin Al-Hisham, grant honour to Islam through him.”
When Hazrat Umar(ra) accepted Islam, Angel Gabriel(as) descended [from the heavens] and said, “O Muhammad(sa)! Even the heavens are pleased with Umar’s acceptance of Islam.” This is a narration from Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra. (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, Bab Islam Islam Umar(ra) [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Ihya al-Turath al-Arabi, 1996], p. 123)
Further details in relation to Hazrat Umar(ra)’s acceptance of Islam are as follows:
Hazrat Umar bin Al-Khattab(ra) accepted Islam in Dhul-Hijjah, 6 Nabawi. (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 1990], p. 204)
There are various accounts and narrations mentioned in the books of hadith and history in relation to the factors that led to his acceptance of Islam.
One of the narrations regarding his acceptance of Islam has been recorded in Al-Sirah Al-Halabiya in which it states that on one occasion, Abu Jahl said to the people:
“O people of Quraish! Muhammad[sa] speaks against your idols and considers you bereft of wisdom. Moreover, he states that your idols are the fuel for the hell-fire. Thus, I announce that whosoever among you kills Muhammad[sa], he will receive a reward of a hundred red camels and a 1,000 auqiyah of silver.”
One auqiyah was equal to 40 dirhams at the time, which is approximately 126 grams; however, according to others, it was even more than this. In any case, it was a very large amount which was fixed as a reward. One auqiyah is equivalent to 126 grams, which is a very large amount that had been fixed as a reward. According to another narration, he stated that whoever would kill the Holy Prophet(sa) would receive “X” auqiyah of gold and silver and also such and such amount of musk, precious clothes as well as many other items. Upon this, Hazrat Umar(ra) stated that he would be the one who would attain this reward. The people present at the time all agreed that he would indeed be the one to attain this reward. Thereafter, Hazrat Umar(ra) settled a formal agreement with him. Hazrat Umar(ra) states that after this, he set out in search of the Holy Prophet(sa) with an unsheathed sword hanging from his shoulder. Along the way, he passed by a certain place where a calf was being slaughtered. From the stomach of the calf, he heard a voice, “O progeny of Dhareeh!” Dhareeh was the name of the calf that was being slaughtered. And the one who was saying this then stated in a clear voice, inviting him to the bear witness that “there is none worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad(sa) is His Messenger”. Hazrat Umar(ra) states that he felt as if this indication for him. (Ali bin Burhan al-Din al-Halabi, Al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah, Vol. 1, Bab al-Hijrah al-Ula ila Ard al-Habshah [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2002], p. 470) (Lughat al-Hadith, Vo. 4, p. 527)
That is, if this tradition from Al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah is correct, it is possible that this was a vision which Hazrat Umar(ra) experienced at the time whereby he also heard this voice.
The third narration in regard to Hazrat Umar’s(ra) acceptance of Islam is as follows:
Hazrat Umar(ra) relates, “One day I arrived at the Haram with the intention to perform tawaf [i.e. perform circuits of the Ka‘bah]. At the time, the Holy Prophet(sa) was standing there offering his prayers. Whenever he would offer his prayers, he would face in the direction of Syria, i.e. towards the rock in Baitul Maqdas. And he would stand in such a way that the qiblah would come between him and the direction of Syria. Thus, the Holy Prophet(sa) would be stood between the Hajr al-Aswad [Black Stone] and Rukn al-Yamani [The Yemeni Corner]. (The Rukn al-Yamani is the south-eastern corner of the Ka‘bah and is in the direction of Yemen) and without [standing there] one cannot not face Baitul Maqdas.
Hazrat Umar(ra) further states:
“When I saw the Holy Prophet(sa), I decided that I would listen to what he recited. Then I thought that if I went close to him in order to listen, he may become alerted [of my presence], therefore I came from the side of the Hajr al-Aswad and stood behind the drapes of the Ka‘bah and began to slowly walk across. The Holy Prophet(sa) remained occupied in his prayer and was reciting Surah al-Rahman. I eventually stood right before the Holy Prophet(sa) in the direction he was facing and there was nothing between me and him apart from the drapes of the Ka‘bah. When I heard the recitation of the Holy Quran, my heart began to melt and I began to cry and the message of Islam had penetrated inside me. I remained standing where I was until the Holy Prophet(sa) had completed his prayer and returned from there. I began to walk behind the Holy Prophet(sa). When the Holy Prophet(sa) heard the sound of my footsteps, he recognised me. The Holy Prophet(sa) thought that perhaps I was walking behind him in order to cause him harm. And so, the Holy Prophet(sa) admonished me, saying, ‘O Ibn Khattab! With what intention have you come here so late into the night?’ I submitted, ‘I have come to profess my belief in Allah, His Messenger(sa) and that which has been revealed to him by Allah.’”
The fourth narration that is found is as follows:
Hazrat Umar(ra) relates:
“One night, my sister began to feel labour pains and so I left my house and went to the Ka‘bah. Whilst holding onto the drapes of the Ka‘bah, I began to pray. At the same time, the Holy Prophet(sa) also arrived and offered his prayer near the Hajr al-Aswad as much as Allah had willed for him. At that moment, I had heard such words, which I had never heard before. And so, when the Holy Prophet(sa) left from there, I began to walk behind him.
“The Holy Prophet(sa) enquired, ‘Who is it?’ to which I replied, ‘Umar’. The Holy Prophet(sa) then stated, ‘O Umar, you do not leave me alone in the day nor in the night.’ Upon this, I became fearful lest the Holy Prophet(sa) prayed against me and immediately proclaimed:
اَشْھَدُ اَنْ لَّا اِلٰہَ اِلَّا اللّٰہُ وَاَنَّکَ رَسُوْلُ اللّٰہِ
“‘I bear witness that there is none of worthy of worship except Allah and indeed you are the Messenger(sa) of Allah.’
“Upon this, the Holy Prophet(sa) stated, ‘O Umar! Do you wish to keep your Islam hidden [from others]?’ I submitted, ‘No, I swear by Him Who has sent you with the true religion that I will declare my acceptance of Islam just as I would previously declare my belief in shirk.’ Upon this the Holy Prophet(sa) praised Allah the Almighty and said, ‘O Umar! May Allah keep you steadfast upon the truth.’ Thereafter, the Holy Prophet(sa) rubbed his hand over my chest and prayed for me to remain steadfast. After this, I left from there and the Holy Prophet(sa) returned to his home.” (Ali bin Burhan al-Din al-Halabi, Al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah, Vol. 1, Bab al-Hijrah al-Ula ila Ard al-Habshah [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2002] p. 469) (Farhang-e-Sirat, p. 135)
The fifth narration in regard to Hazrat Umar’s(ra) acceptance of Islam, which is a very famous one, and some of its details have been briefly mentioned previously as well is as follows:
Hazrat Anas(ra) bin Malik relates that one day, Hazrat Umar(ra) left his house with his sword drawn. Along the way he met someone from among the Banu Zuhra and asked, “O Umar! What are your intentions?” Hazrat Umar(ra) responded, “I am going to kill Muhammad[sa]” (God-forbid). To this, he replied, “By killing Muhammad[sa] will you remain safe from the Banu Hashim and Banu Zuhra?” Hazrat Umar(ra) replied, “I believe you have forsaken your religion.” This individual then said, “O Umar! Shall I not inform you of something even more astonishing than this? You say that I have abandoned my faith, but let me tell you a news even bigger than this and that is that your sister and brother-in-law have both left the religion which you follow.”
Upon hearing this, Hazrat Umar(ra) went to their house whilst cursing them. At the time, a companion from among the Muhajireen, Hazrat Khabbab(ra) was with them. (I related this account previously in relation to Hazrat Khabbab(ra).) When he heard Hazrat Umar’s(ra) voice, he hid inside the house. Hazrat Umar(ra) entered the house and asked, “What were you reading? What was this that I just heard coming from here?” At the time, they were reciting Surah Ta Ha. They replied that apart from one thing there was nothing else they were talking about. Hazrat Umar(ra) then asked, “I have heard that you both have abandoned your religion.” Hazrat Umar’s(ra) brother-in-law asked, “O Umar! Have you ever pondered that the truth may be found in a faith other than yours?” (If you are searching for the truth, have you considered that the truth may be found in another religion?) Upon this, Hazrat Umar(ra) took hold of his brother-in-law and began to hit him. Hazrat Umar’s(ra) sister tried to come in the way to save her husband and Hazrat Umar(ra) raised his hand against her as well as a result of which blood began to pour from her face. She became extremely angry and said, “O Umar! If the truth is to be found in a faith other than yours, then proclaim that ‘there is none worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad(sa) is His Messenger.’” When Hazrat Umar(ra) failed to come up with a response, he stated, “Give me the book which you have with you, so that I may read it.” (Hazrat Umar(ra) knew how to read.) Hazrat Umar’s(ra) sister stated, “You are not clean and no one can touch this in a state of impurity. Therefore, either take a bath or perform ablution first.”
And so, Hazrat Umar(ra) performed ablution and then took hold of the book and began to read Surah Ta Ha. When he reached the verse:
اِنَّنِیْ اَنَا اللّٰہُ لَا اِلٰہَ اِلَّا اَنَا فَاعْبُدْنِیْ وَ اَقِمِ الصَّلٰوۃَ لِذِکْرِیْ
“Verily, I am Allah; there is no God beside Me. So serve Me, and observe Prayer for My remembrance” [Ch.20: V.15]
After reading this verse, Hazrat Umar(ra) said, “Tell me where Muhammad(sa) is.” Upon hearing this, Hazrat Khabbab(ra) came out of the house and said, “O Umar! Let there be glad-tidings for you. I wish that the prayer of the Holy Prophet(sa) which he offered on Thursday night may be accepted in your favour. The Holy Prophet(sa) had prayed:
اَللّٰہُمَّ أَعِزَّ الْاِسْلَامَ بِعُمَرَ بْنِ الْخَطَّابِ اَوْ بِعَمْرِو بْنِ ہِشَامٍ
“‘O Allah! Grant honour to Islam through Umar bin Al-Khattab or Amr bin Hisham.’”
At the time, the Holy Prophet(sa) was in a house that was situated in the valley of Safa. And so, Hazrat Umar(ra) left from there and reached the house. At the time, Hazrat Hamzah(ra), Hazrat Talha(ra) and various other companions of the Holy Prophet(sa) were at the door. Hazrat Hamzah(ra) noticed that they were scared of Hazrat Umar(ra) and he said, “Alright, so this is Umar. If Allah has bought him for his own good, then he shall accept Islam and follow the Holy Prophet(sa). However, if he has come with any other intention then it will be easy for us to kill him.”
At the time, the Holy Prophet(sa) was inside the house and was receiving divine revelation. The Holy Prophet(sa) came outside and went to Hazrat Umar(ra) and took hold of him from the chest and said, “O Umar! Will you not refrain from your actions until Allah causes your ruin and sends down a terrible punishment just as he did for Walid bin Mughira?” Thereafter, the Holy Prophet(sa) prayed to Allah the Almighty, “O Allah! This is Umar bin Al-Khattab. O Allah! Grant honour to the faith through Umar bin Al-Khattab.” After this, Hazrat Umar(ra) stated, “I testify that you are the Messenger(sa) of Allah.” Hazrat Umar(ra) then accepted Islam and stated, “O Messenger(sa) of Allah! Come out for the propagation of Islam.”
It is narrated from Ma‘mar and Zuhri that Hazrat Umar(ra) accepted Islam after the Holy Prophet(sa) was in Dar al-Arqam and he was the fortieth person to accept Islam, or he accepted Islam slightly after 40 men and women had entered Islam. Dar al-Arqam was the house or centre which belonged to a new convert Arqam bin Abi al-Arqam and was situated just outside of Mecca. The Muslims would gather here and this became a centre for Muslims to learn about their faith and worship etc. For this reason, it also became known as Dar al-Islam and this remained the centre for the Muslims in Mecca for three years; here, they would worship away from others and also the Holy Prophet(sa) would hold gatherings. Then when Hazrat Umar(ra) accepted Islam, the Muslims came out from there. In a narration it is stated that Hazrat Umar(ra) was the last person to accept Islam in this centre and after he accepted Islam, it gave courage to the Muslims and they came out from Dar al-Arqam and began preaching openly. (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Ihya al-Turath al-Arabi, 1996], pp. 142-143) (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad(ra), p. 129)
There is another narration with regard to Hazrat Umar(ra) accepting Islam with a slight variation. In the aforementioned incident, it was stated that [Hazrat Umar(ra) heard] the opening verses of Surah Ta Ha being recited in his sister’s house, whereas in another narration it is mentioned that it was the opening verses of Surah al-Hadid. (Ali Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghabah fi Ma‘rifat al-Sahabah, Vol. 4 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2003], p. 140)
There is a sixth narration as well regarding Hazrat Umar’s(ra) acceptance of Islam. Hazrat Umar(ra) states:
“One day, prior to accepting Islam, I set out in search for the Holy Prophet(sa), but noticed that he had reached the mosque [Al-Haram] before him. I stood behind him. He began to recite Surah al-Haqqah. Upon hearing the order and composition of the Holy Qur‘an I was left amazed and I said, ‘By God! He is a poet, just as the Quraish say he is.’”
Hazrat Umar(ra) further says, “When I thought of this, the Holy Prophet(sa) said:
اِنَّہٗ لَقَوْلُ رَسُوْلٍ کَرِیْمٍ۔ وَّ مَا ہُوَ بِقَوْلِ شَاعِرٍ۔ قَلِیْلًا مَّا تُؤْمِنُوْنَ
Meaning, “That it is surely the word brought by a noble Messenger; And it is not the word of a poet; little is it that you believe!”
Hazrat Umar(ra) then said, “He is a fortune-teller” i.e. a sorcerer. “Subsequently, the Holy Prophet(sa) recited the following:
وَلَا بِقَوْلِ کَاہِنٍ۔ قَلِیْلًا مَّا تَذَکَّرُوْنَ۔ تَنْزِیْلٌ مِّنْ رَّبِّ الْعَالَمِیْنَ۔ وَلَوْ تَقَوَّلَ عَلَیْنَا بَعْضَ الْأَقَاوِیْلِ۔ لَأَخَذْنَا مِنْہُ بِالْیَمِیْنِ۔ ثُمَّ لَقَطَعْنَا مِنْہُ الْوَتِیْنَ۔ فَمَا مِنْکُمْ مِّنْ أَحَدٍ عَنْہُ حَاجِزِیْنَ
And then he recited to the end of the chapter. The translation is as follows: “Nor is it the word of a soothsayer; little is it that you heed! It is a revelation from the Lord of the worlds. And if he had forged and attributed any sayings to Us; We would surely, have seized him by the right hand, and then surely, We would have severed his life-artery, And not one of you could have held Our punishment off from him.”
Hazrat Umar(ra) then says, “From that moment, Islam was etched on my heart.” (Ahmad bin Hanbal, Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal, Vol. 1, Musnad Umar(ra) bin al-Khattab, Hadith 23966 [Beirut, Lebanon: Alam al-Kutub, 1998], pp. 108-109)
There is a seventh narration [regarding Hazrat Umar(ra) accepting Islam], which is a narration of Bukhari. Hazrat Abdullah(ra) bin Umar narrates:
“Whenever I heard Hazrat Umar(ra) say, ‘I think that such and such will happen’, it would come true just as he had stated. Once, while Hazrat Umar(ra) was sitting, a handsome man passed by him. Hazrat Umar(ra) said, ‘If I am not mistaken, this person still follows the religion of the Jahiliyyah [era of ignorance before the advent of Islam] or he was their fortune-teller. Bring this man to me.’
“The man was brought to Hazrat Umar(ra) and informed of what was said [about him]. The man said, ‘I have never seen such a day on which a Muslim was faced with such an accusation.’” This man later accepted Islam.
“Hazrat Umar(ra) then said, ‘I am adamant that you should tell me the truth.’ He said, ‘I was a fortune-teller in the pre-Islamic period of ignorance.’ Then Hazrat Umar said, ‘Tell me the most astonishing thing your female jinn has told you of.’” They were fortune-tellers and magicians and so he asked what peculiar thing the Jinn had told him about. “He replied, ‘One day while I was in the market, she came to me and was petrified. She said, “Have you not seen the jinn and their state of despair and anxiousness they have been left in? [For now, all they do is] follow the camels and their saddles.”’
“Hazrat Umar(ra) said, ‘He is right,’ and added, ‘One day, while I was sleeping near their idols, a man came with a calf and slaughtered it [as an offering to the idols]. Someone let out a shriek, the likes of which I had never heard before. He was exclaiming, “O transgressing enemy! A matter of success [approaches]! An eloquent man proclaims: ‘No one has the right to be worshipped except Allah.’” Upon hearing this the people fled, but I [i.e. Hazrat Umar(ra)] said, “I shall not flee till I know who is behind this.” Then the cry came again: “O transgressing enemy! A matter of success [approaches]! An eloquent man proclaims: ‘None has the right to be worshipped except Allah.’”I then went away and a few days later it was said, “A prophet has appeared.”’” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab Manaqib al-Ansar, Bab Islam Umar bin al-Khattab(ra), Hadith 3866)
In some versions of Bukhari, instead of “there is none worthy of worship except Allah”, the wording is “there is none worthy of worship except Thee”. This is a narration of Bukhari.
With regard to Hazrat Umar’s(ra) acceptance of Islam, there are various accounts mentioned in the books of history and biographies. Among them the most well-known, i.e. the one that is commonly cited is the one in which Hazrat Umar(ra) went with his sword in order to kill the Holy Prophet(sa), God-forbid, but someone along the way, informed him to first see to his sister and brother-in-law and then he went to their house. This is the narration that is widely accepted and is mentioned in most of these places. Although there are various other narrations as have been mentioned earlier, however historians and biographers have greatly debated the authenticity of these narrations according to their own understanding. Nonetheless, we accept the narration in which there is mention of the events that took place in Hazrat Umar’s(ra) sister and brother-in-law’s house and that Hazrat Umar(ra) went to Dar al-Arqam from there.
It can be said that there is a possibility that all the aforementioned narrations about Hazrat Umar’s(ra) acceptance of Islam are correct in their own right which would indicate that at different times, Hazrat Umar’s(ra) viewpoint began to slowly change. At times, one undergoes changes at various stages but is unable to take the final step. Perhaps the final step was when Hazrat Umar(ra) heard the Quran in the house of his sister and brother-in-law and then he presented himself before the Holy Prophet(sa) in order to accept Islam. In any case, Allah the Almighty knows best.
At the time of his acceptance of Islam, he was 33 years old and he was the chief of the Banu Adi tribe. [Prior to] pledging allegiance, he had the responsibility of being an envoy for the Quraish. Furthermore, he was extremely influential, brave and courageous. After he accepted Islam, it strengthened the Muslims and they came out from Dar al-Arqam and offered prayers openly in Masjid al-Haram. Hazrat Umar(ra) was the last companion who accepted Islam in Dar al-Arqam and this took place in the last month of the sixth year after the advent of the Holy Prophet. At the time, the total number of Muslim men in Mecca was 40. (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad(ra), p. 159)
I will narrate the remaining accounts in the future, insha-Allah.
At present, I will speak about some members who have passed away and also lead their funeral prayers [in absentia]. The first is of Ahmad Muhammad Uthman Shabooti Sahib, who was the son of Muhammad Uthman Shabooti Sahib of Yemen. He passed away on 9 April 2021 in Egypt, at the age of 87.
اِنَّا لِلّٰہِ وَاِنَّا اِلَیْہِ رَاجِعُوْنَ
[Verily to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.]
Ahmad Muhammad Uthman Shabooti Sahib was born in the city of Aden in Yemen. When respected Ghulam Ahmad Sahib, who was a missionary, was sent to Aden, at that time, Shabooti Sahib pledged allegiance at the age of 14. Subsequently he had the opportunity to work in different capacities for the Ahmadiyya Jamaat in Yemen, including serving as the President of the Jamaat in Yemen for a long time and he served in this capacity until his demise.
He was married to respected Waseema Muhammad Sahiba, daughter of Dr Muhammad Ahmad Adani Sahib. Waseema Sahiba was the granddaughter of Hazrat Haji Muhammad Din Sahib Dehlvi(ra) and Hazrat Haseena Bibi Sahiba(ra), both of whom were companions of the Promised Messiah(as). Shabooti Sahib’s nikah took place in Rabwah, but he was not present there at the time. Through this, he established a link with the markaz and had the opportunity to travel to Rabwah. He had the honour of meeting with Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud(ra), various elders [of the Jamaat] and the companions of the Promised Messiah(as).
Shabooti Sahib studied at several universities in England, studying nursing and health management. He obtained a masters in health administration from the University of Liverpool. He served in the health sector in various capacities for approximately 29 years, including as Dean of the Central Health Institute in Yemen. Aside from countries in the Middle East, he served as temporary advisor to the World Health Organisation for various other countries.
He had been unwell recently and was moved to Egypt for treatment with the intention of coming to the UK. He was undergoing treatment there but his health deteriorated and after spending a few days in hospital, he passed away on 9 April and met with his creator.
The deceased was a musi [part of the institution of Al-Wasiyyat]; aside from his wife, he is survived by his son, Muhammad Shabooti, who is a doctor in USA, three daughters and many grandsons and granddaughters. His eldest daughter is in Yemen, one daughter is in Germany and Marwa Shabooti Sahiba lives here in the UK and is serving in MTA Al-Arabiyyah.
His daughter, Marwa Shabooti, writes:
“It is correct that ‘paradise lies under the feet of mothers’; however, my father showed us affection just like that of a mother; or it can be said that there was no difference between the love we received from our mother and father.”
She further writes:
“My father was a righteous and pious person who possessed many qualities; he was extremely humble and meek, patient and truthful; he would look after the poor and loved all people and humanity at large” and many people that knew him have mentioned these qualities of his. “He would complete his work meticulously, he was punctual and would fulfil his promises. He would remain occupied in worship and voluntary prayers and would especially be mindful of the obligatory prayers.” She also says that both her parents had the opportunity to perform the Hajj in 2002.
The interim president of the Jamaat in Yemen, Khalid Ali al-Sabri Sahib says:
“Even in his advanced age, the deceased was an awe-inspiring personality. He had a pure heart and always had a smile on his face. He was generous and hospitable. He cared for every Ahmadi like a compassionate father. Whenever there was any need of the Jamaat, he would spend out of his own pocket and would buy things himself which were of use to the Jamaat such as a printer or fax machine. He was very benevolent and kind towards the poor and needy. He would spend abundantly on every Ahmadi in need. He would also take care of Ahmadi orphans and widows. He was paying rent from his own pocket for the home of a family which had been affected by the war. Despite his old age, in 2018, he undertook the 20-hour long and arduous journey from Aden to Sana‘a, even at a time when the route was quite dangerous due to Saudi attacks, and there would be checkpoints at various locations. Even though it was difficult for him to walk due to his old age, yet he undertook this journey only so that he could offer the Eid prayer along with the Jamaat in Sana‘a, give Eid gifts to the poor members of the Jamaat and to join them in their happiness. Upon his arrival, all the members of the Jamaat were overjoyed.”
The next funeral is of respected Qureshi Zakaullah Sahib who worked as an accountant in the office of Jalsa Salana. He also passed away on 9 April at the age of 87:
اِنَّا لِلّٰہِ وَاِنَّا اِلَیْہِ رَاجِعُوْنَ
Ahmadiyyat was introduced to Qureshi Sahib’s family through his maternal grandfather and his wife’s paternal grandfather Hazrat Khurshid Ali Sahib(ra). When the Promised Messiah(as) went to Sialkot, Hazrat Khurshid Ali Sahib(ra) was 16 years old and had the honour of pledging allegiance to the Promised Messiah(as) at that time. Qureshi Sahib’s wife has already passed away; [they had] five daughters and a son who is a ‘Hafiz-e-Quran’ [one who has committed the Holy Quran to memory] and lives here in the UK. The husband of one of his daughters is currently serving in the private secretary’s office in Rabwah. Another daughter is in Manchester and one daughter has passed away.
Qureshi Sahib began his service to the Jamaat in 1954 as a relieving clerk and worked under Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahib(ra) and the Sadr Anjuman Board. He worked in Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya for over 58 years. His son, Hafiz Shamsuz Zuha says:
“He had the opportunity of working with Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahib(ra) and would even go to his home. On the very first day when he went to his house, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahib(ra) asked him to take a seat, to which he said that he could not sit at the same level as the progeny of the Promised Messiah(as). Upon this, Hazrat Mian Bashir Ahmad Sahib(ra) said:
اَلْاَمْرُ فَوْقَ الْاَدَبِ
Meaning, ‘An order takes precedence over respect and honour,’ and so he sat down; he had a great deal of respect for him.” He says, “My father had a quiet disposition and not only was he regular in offering the five daily prayers in congregation, but he was also regular in offering Tahajud prayer [pre-dawn voluntary prayers]. He would offer financial contributions on behalf of the deceased. He would keep elders of the family in our home and would serve them, some of them even passed away in our home. He had great love and loyalty for Khilafat and ensured that the same was instilled in his children.”
He continues to say, “When I was young, he [i.e. Qureshi Sahib] would take me along to offer prayers and often, along the way, he would say that if ever a Khalifa called upon him for some task, he should always remain prepared. He was taking care of the expenses of several poor families.”
His daughter, Amatul Islam says:
“My father presented one kanal [unit of measurement equivalent to 5,400 square feet] of his own property in Muhalla Naseerabad Sultan in Rabwah as a gift to the Sadr Anjuman so that a mosque could be built there. On average, he would complete a reading of the Holy Quran twice every month.” He had five daughters and one son. He also ensured that his children were well educated and ensured their moral training.
The next funeral is of respected Malik Khaliq Daad Sahib of Canada who passed away at the age of 85:
[Verily to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return]
His maternal grandfather Hazrat Sheikh Nooruddin Sahib Tajir(ra) of Qadian was a companion of the Promised Messiah(as). His paternal grandfather, respected Maula Daad Sahib had the honour of pledging allegiance at the hand of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih I(ra) and entered the fold of Ahmadiyyat.
He served for a long period of time as the local president [of the Community] in Karachi. He was serving in Canada under the finance department. He was regular in offering prayers and fasting; he was kind, looked after the poor, and was a virtuous, sincere and noble person. He was always at the forefront of presenting financial contribution and participating in various financial initiatives.
He had a profound bond of love with Khilafat, which I myself have observed. He had an extraordinary connection with Khilafat. By the grace of Allah, the deceased was one of the early musis [part of the Al-Wasiyyat Scheme]. He is survived by his wife, four sons and three daughters. One of his sons is serving in the national amila of Canada.
The next funeral is of Muhammad Saleem Sabir Sahib who was a worker in nazarat umur-e-ama. He passed away on 27 March  at the age of 77:
Ahmadiyyat was introduced to Saleem Sahib’s family through his father, Hazrat Mian Noor Muhammad Sahib(ra), who was a companion of the Promised Messiah(as). His father was from a village near India called Wanjwan and went to Qadian himself in 1903 in order to pledge allegiance at the hands of the Promised Messiah(as).
The deceased was appointed in Sadr Anjuman on 19 May 1962; then in 1968 he was transferred from [the office of] diwan to the private secretary’s office, as Hazrat Khalifatul Masih III(rh) had specially chosen him to work in his office. Then he worked as a muhtasib [administrator] in umur-e-ama from 1987 to 2006. The time of his service spans about 59 years. He was a musi.
His nephew and son-in-law says:
“He was regular in offering Tahajud [pre-dawn voluntary prayers]. He would supplicate with such anguish in his prayers, especially the Tahajud prayers that the heart of anyone sitting nearby would melt. He consistently taught the new generation about obedience to the Khalifa; he would work at the office even outside of the office hours; he would consider the pain of any Ahmadi to be akin to his own pain; he would consider the hardships of others to be his own hardships; and he would help people solve their problems keeping the obedience to the Khalifa and the Jamaat in mind. He constantly recited Durood Sharif [sending salutations upon the Holy Prophet(sa)]. He would discreetly help the poor and possessed many great qualities.
The next funeral is of respected Naeema Latif Sahiba, wife of Sahibzada Mahdi Latif Sahib of USA. She passed away on 10 March :
Her husband, Sahibzada Mahdi Latif Sahib is the grandson of Hazrat Sahibzada Abdul Latif Sahib Shaheed(ra). The deceased obtained her master’s degree in botany in 1969 from the University of Peshawar. Then she began research work in the botany department at the Research Institute of Peshawar and remained there until 1972. In 1970, upon an initiative launched by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih III(rh), she devoted herself under the Nusrat Jehan scheme. She, along with her younger brother, Saeed Malik Sahib, went to Nigeria and remained there until 1975. During this time, she served as the principal of the Women’s Arabic College Gusau. In 1975 she went to the USA where she worked in research at the botany department for the University of Nebraska. From there, she moved to Maryland where she was able to continuously serve under Lajna [women’s auxiliary organisation]; she was also able to serve as the vice-president of the women’s auxiliary organization, USA. She also served as the local president of a Jamaat in Washington. She was very loving and empathetic of other’s pains and hardships. She was a musia. She is survived by her husband, four brothers and two sisters; she did not have any children. One of her brothers is serving as the national vice-president of the Jamaat in USA and another brother works in Dar al-Qaza in USA.
The next funeral is of Safiyya Begum Sahiba, wife of Muhammad Sharif Sahib of Canada who passed away on 11 March  at the age of 80:
She was the elder daughter of respected Maulvi Charagh Din Sahib, the former missionary of Peshawar. She served as the president of the women’s auxiliary organisation in Wah Cantt for quite some time. Her husband passed away in 1993 due to an accident. After the demise of her husband, she ensured for the moral training of her children in an excellent manner. She was regular in offering prayers and fasting; she would offer Tahajud prayers and was very patient and grateful. She was very sociable; she was virtuous and empathetic. She had pledged Wasiyyat at the rate of 1/3. She is survived by four daughters and one son. All of her children are serving the Jama’at in one way or another.
May Allah the Almighty bestow His forgiveness and mercy on all the deceased members and elevate their ranks.
Original Urdu transcript published in Al Fazl International, 15 May 2021, pp. 5-10. Translated by The Review of Religions.