Friday Sermon delivered at Masjid Mubarak, Islamabad, Tilford, UK
After reciting Tashahhud, Ta‘awwuz and Surah al-Fatihah, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad(aba) said that he would continue highlighting incidents from the life of Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra).
His Holiness(aba) said that based on the incidents which have been presented already pertaining to how the Holy Prophet(sa) viewed Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra), it becomes clear that the Holy Prophet(sa) wished for Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) to be his successor. Hazrat A’ishah(ra) relates that in his final illness, the Holy Prophet(sa) summoned Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) so that he may write something down. He said he feared that someone else may consider themselves to have a greater right to being his successor, whereas the believers would certainly reject anyone else aside from Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) being his successor.
His Holiness(aba) said that according to Hazrat Abu Hurairah(ra), the Holy Prophet(sa) saw in a dream that he was sitting by a well and used a bucket to draw some water. Then he saw Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) drawing some water from the well, but had some difficulty in doing so, but God would cover his weakness. Then, the Holy Prophet(sa) saw the bucket turn into leather and saw Hazrat Umar(ra) drawing water from the well with great strength. This indicated that these two stalwarts would be successors to the Holy Prophet(sa).
His Holiness(aba) said that at the time of the incident of Ifk (the Great Calumny), Hazrat A’ishah’s(ra) parents (i.e. Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra)) exhibited great love and respect for the Holy Prophet(sa). Over the course of this incident, they followed the Holy Prophet’s (sa) lead in treatment and demeanour towards Hazrat A’ishah(ra). During this time when, with the permission of the Holy Prophet(sa), Hazrat A’ishah(ra) went to her parent’s home and explained to them that she had come to learn of the great allegations raised against her, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) began crying and advised her to return to the Holy Prophet’s (sa) home.
His Holiness(aba) quoted Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad(ra), who said that by raising this calumny, the opponents wished to cause harm to her husband, the Holy Prophet(sa) and her father, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) at the same time, otherwise there was no benefit for them in defaming Hazrat A’ishah(ra). It also cannot be said that the other wives of the Holy Prophet(sa) wished to join in defaming Hazrat A’ishah(ra) so that she fell out of favour with the Holy Prophet(sa); in the words of Hazrat A’ishah(ra) herself, she said that Hazrat Zainab(ra) was the fiercest in defending her and denouncing the calumny. Similarly, when asked about Hazrat A’ishah(ra), other wives of the Holy Prophet(sa) had only positive things to say about her. Hence, there was no one with any vendetta against Hazrat A’ishah(ra), and raising this calumny was only an attempt against the Holy Prophet(sa), or to hinder Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) from becoming his successor.
His Holiness(aba) said that whilst conversing amongst themselves, the Companions would discuss that if anyone held any rank after the Holy Prophet(sa), it was certainly Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra). Once, a Bedouin went to the Holy Prophet(sa) and asked him to fulfil a certain need of his. The Holy Prophet(sa) said that he should return later for the fulfilment of his need. Seeing as the Bedouin was not practised in manners and decorum, he asked the Holy Prophet(sa) what he should do if the Holy Prophet(sa) was no longer present when he returned. The Holy Prophet(sa) said that if he was no longer in this world, then he should go to Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) for the fulfilment of his need.
His Holiness(aba) further elaborated that by maliciously starting the Great Calumny, the chief of the hypocrites, Abdullah bin Ubay bin Sulul sought to hinder the growth of the Muslim empire, or to stand at the helm after the demise of the Holy Prophet(sa). He saw that Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) was the most virtuous follower of the Holy Prophet(sa) and was very dear to the Holy Prophet(sa). He saw that if the Muslims needed to resolve a matter or have a question answered and were unable to ask the Holy Prophet(sa) they would turn to Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra). It was clear that the successor after the Holy Prophet(sa) would be Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra). This however dampened Abdullah bin Ubay bin Sulul’s dreams of leadership. Thus, he attempted to have Hazrat Abu Bakr’s(ra) stature diminish in the sight of the Holy Prophet(sa) and subsequently the Muslim people. However, God addressed this in the Holy Qur’an when He states:
‘Verily, those who brought forth the lie are a party from among you. Think it not to be an evil for you; nay, it is good for you.’ (24:12)
His Holiness(aba) quoted Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad(ra) who explained that in this verse, God assured that this calumny would not harm the Muslims as some thought, rather it would prove beneficial. It is after this verse, in the same chapter, that God speaks about the establishment of Khilafat (Caliphate). People sought to hinder the Caliphate from being established by raising the calumny against Hazrat A’ishah(ra). However, God declares that the Caliphate is not merely a worldly leadership, rather, it is a divinely appointed station. Thus, despite the efforts of opponents, the Caliphate was established after the Holy Prophet(sa) and the first one to be bestowed this mantle was Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra).
His Holiness(aba) quoted the Promised Messiah(as) who said that Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) had a deep understanding of God, he was very kind, humble, very forgiving and forbearing and had a strong relationship with the Holy Prophet(sa). He remained under the shade of the Holy Qur’an and was distinct in his understanding of the Holy Qur’an. He was the pride of the Holy Prophet(sa) and was unique from all others in the love that he received from him. He abandoned everything he had and devoted himself for the sake of God to the degree that the light of God was evident from his every step, to the point that he was given the title of Siddiq (the Truthful). The Promised Messiah(as) said that God had directly informed him of all these esteemed qualities possessed by Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra).
His Holiness(aba) said that according to Hazrat Ali(ra), the Holy Prophet(sa) said that every prophet is given seven companions, however he was given 14. When asked who they were, the Holy Prophet(sa) said: Hazrat Ali(ra) and his two sons, Hazrat Ja’far(ra), Hazrat Hamzah(ra), Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra), Hazrat Umar(ra), Hazrat Mus’ab bin Umair(ra), Hazrat Bilal(ra), Hazrat Sulaiman(ra), Hazrat Ammar(ra), Hazrat Miqdad(ra), Hazrat Hudhaifah(ra) and Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas’ud(ra).
His Holiness(aba) said that Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) was appointed by the Holy Prophet(sa) as the leader of the caravan going for Hajj in 9 AH. Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) departed Madinah with 300 Companions. The Holy Prophet(sa) sent with them 20 sacrificial animals around whose necks he himself placed collars demarking them as animals for sacrifice.
His Holiness(aba) said that he would continue highlighting incidents from the life of Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) in the future.
His Holiness(aba) said that he would lead the funeral prayers of the following deceased members:
Muhammad Dawood Zafar, a missionary from the UK who was serving in the Raqeem Press, who passed away on 16 November. He served as a missionary in various places before coming to the UK where he was appointed to serve in the Raqeem Press. He served for some time as the President of the Community in Islamabad, UK. He is survived by his parents, his wife, three sons and a daughter. Whilst considering becoming a missionary, he was being dissuaded by some who said that he could make a better living by going into a different field of work. However he was never deterred and remained firm upon his devotion, and despite financial difficulties, he remained steadfast. He always advised his children to be a means of ease for others and never cause others any trouble. He always told his children that anything he ever achieved was only because of Khilafat and would tell them to pray that he would always be able to serve the Community in the best possible manner. He always advised his children to be virtuous and remain attached to Khilafat. His Holiness(aba) prayed that may his children follow his advice. His Holiness(aba) said that people have unanimously said that he was a joyful person and would win hearts. He was very proficient in his work and had technical skills. His Holiness(aba) prayed that may Allah grant him forgiveness and mercy, grant patience to his children and enable them to continue the legacy of his virtues, and also grant patience to his parents.
Ruqayya Shamim Bushra, wife of Karam Ilahi Zafar (late) who was a missionary in Spain. She served as the National President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Women’s Organisation in Spain. She is survived by three sons and three daughters. Her progeny are serving the Community in various capacities. Since the age of 12, she had a special inclination towards prayers. She was very mindful and exemplary in her observance of the veil. She endured many difficulties along with her husband during their initial days in Spain, owing to their efforts to propagate the message of Islam. However, just like her husband, she remained steadfast and kept her trust in God. She also assisted in the building of a mosque in Spain by acting as the accountant. She always gave precedence to her faith over worldly matters. She established an Islamic example in a country where, at one time, it was a crime to even utter the name of Islam. His Holiness(aba) prayed that may Allah grant her forgiveness and mercy and enable her progeny to carry on the legacy of her virtues.
Tahira Hanif, daughter of Hazrat Zainul Abideen Waliullah Shah and wife of Mirza Hanif Ahmad, son of the Second Caliph(ra). She was also His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad’s(aba) aunt (mumani). Her father was a great scholar and wrote a commentary on many volumes of Sahih al-Bukhari. She served the Ahmadiyya Muslim Women’s Organisation in Rabwah and then also spent some time in Sierra Leone with her husband who was a life-devotee. She was regular in offering her prayers as well as voluntary prayers. She cared for everyone and loved the Community and was sincere and loyal to Khilafat. His Holiness(aba) said that she would regularly write letters to him, particularly after his Friday Sermons. She tended to the poor and needy. His Holiness(aba) prayed that may Allah grant her forgiveness and mercy, grant her a station amongst the elders and enable her children to carry on the legacy of her virtues.
Summary prepared by The Review of Religions
After reciting the tashahud, ta‘awuz, and Surah al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V(aba) stated:
Accounts from the life of Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq(ra) were being mentioned. The status of Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) in the eyes of the Holy Prophet(sa) has already been mentioned along with further details. In light of these it becomes evident that the Holy Prophet(sa) wanted to appoint Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) as his successor. As a matter of fact, he indicated that Allah the Almighty would appoint Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) as his Khalifah and successor. As such, Hazrat Aisha(ra) relates that the Holy Prophet(sa) said to her during his days of illness, “Bring Abu Bakr and your brother to me so that I may have something written down. I fear that a person who is desirous of this [position] may lay claim to this, or that someone may say that they are more deserving. However, Allah and the believers will reject anyone besides Abu Bakr.” (Sahih Muslim, Kitab Fazail-ul-Sahaba, Hadith 6181)
In other words, if another person makes this claim then they will be rejected and Abu Bakr(ra) alone will become the successor.
Then, there is a narration of Hazrat Hudhaifah(ra) bin Yaman. He has related that the Holy Prophet(sa) said, “I do not know how long I will remain amongst you. Therefore, obey me and those who will follow me.” At that moment, he pointed towards Abu Bakr(ra) and Umar(ra). (Sunan Ibn Majah, Kitab-ul-Sunnah, Hadith 97)
Hazrat Abu Hurairah(ra) related that he heard the Holy Prophet(sa) say, “Once, I was asleep and saw myself at a well in which there was a bucket. I drew as much water from this well as Allah desired. Ibn Abi Quhafah then took hold of this bucket and drew one or two buckets of water, but there was weakness in his pull. Allah will conceal this weakness of his and pardon him. Thereafter, this bucket turned into a large water-skin made of leather and Ibn al-Khattab took hold of it. I have never seen anyone with such great strength, who could extract the water in the same manner as Umar. He extracted such a large amount that everyone drunk to their fill and sat down in their dwellings.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab Fazial-ul-Sahaba, Hadith 3664)
In other words, he mentioned that both Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) and Hazrat Umar(ra) would be his successors.
The details of the conduct and moral excellences of Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) in relation to the incident of ‘Ifk’ [the Great Calumny] have already been stated while mentioning previous companions. At present, I would like to mention only a brief account, which makes it absolutely clear that although an allegation – one that could rend the mountains asunder – was levelled against Hazrat Aisha(ra), the love and honour her parents had for the Holy Prophet(sa) was far greater than their love for her. This reached the extent that during this entire period and for a long time, they left their daughter in the same state in which the Holy Prophet(sa) considered appropriate for her to remain in, so much so that when Hazrat Aisha(ra) came to the house of her parents on one occasion, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) immediately sent her back home.
As such, it is recorded in Sahih al-Bukhari that during the incident of ‘Ifk’, Hazrat Aisha(ra) received permission from the Holy Prophet(sa) and went to her father’s house along with a servant. Hazrat Aisha(ra) relates, “I entered the house and saw my mother, Umm-e-Rumman, at the rear end of the house and Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) on the upper floor. He was reciting the Qur’an. My mother said, ‘My dear daughter, what brings you here?’ I informed her of the entire incident.” Hazrat Aisha(ra) says, “What I saw was that she [her mother] was not as astounded upon hearing the incident as I was. I had thought that upon hearing the incident she would be shocked.” Her mother replied, “My dear daughter, do not think much of this matter, for by Allah, there is rarely a time when a beautiful women is married to a person, who loves her dearly and that her husband also has other wives and they do not get jealous of her or abstain from making things up about her.” Hazrat Aisha(ra) says, “I saw that my mother was not affected by this incident as much as I was.” Hazrat Aisha(ra) asked, “Does my father know about this incident?” She replied in the affirmative. Hazrat Aisha(ra) then asked her mother, “What about the Holy Prophet(sa)?” She replied, “Yes, the Holy Prophet(sa) also knows.” Hazrat Aisha(ra) says, “Upon hearing this tears began to flow and I started to cry. When Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) heard my cries, he came down from the upper floor where he was reciting the Quran and asked my mother, ‘What has happened to her?’ She replied, ‘She has heard the things that have been said about her.’ Upon this Abu Bakr(ra) also began to cry and said, ‘My beloved daughter, I say to you on oath, please return back to your home.’” Hazrat Aisha(ra) says that she then returned home. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab Tafsir-ul-Quran, Hadith 4757)
With regards to the heinous plot in the incident of ‘Ifk’ [the Great Calumny] and the virtues of Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra), Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud(ra) states:
“We should ponder over who were those people whom the hypocrites or their leaders would gain benefit from by their slander and who were those people against whom they wished to take out their enmity?” Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud(ra) states, “Even from a cursory glance, one will realise that their enmity was directed towards two people: one of whom was the Holy Prophet(sa) and the other being Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra); because she was the wife of one and the daughter of the other. Both these personalities were such that by defaming them, some people would benefit from it politically, economically or to fuel their enmity, or that the goals of certain people depended upon slandering them. Otherwise, to simply defame Hazrat Aisha(ra) alone was of no interest to anyone. At the most, the only parties interested in this could have been the other wives of the Holy Prophet(sa). It could have been that seizing the opportunity to degrade Hazrat Aisha(ra) and increase their own repute in the eyes of the Holy Prophet(sa), the other wives of the Holy Prophet(sa), could have taken part in this issue. However, history bears testimony to the fact that none of the other wives of the Holy Prophet(sa) took part in the calumny. On the contrary, in her own testimony, Hazrat Aisha(ra) says that among the wives of the Holy Prophet(sa), the only one who she considered a rival to her was Hazrat Zainab(ra). Aside from her, she did not consider any other wife to be a rival to her.
“However, Hazrat Aisha(ra) says, ‘I will never forget the beneficence of Zainab upon me. When this allegation was levelled against me, the one person who strongly refuted it was Hazrat Zainab(ra).’ Hence, if anyone could have any personal resentment against Hazrat Aisha(ra), then it could have only been the other wives of the Holy Prophet(sa) and if they wished, they could have partaken in the slander so that Hazrat Aisha(ra) would be degraded in the eyes of the Holy Prophet(sa) and by means of this they could have elevated their own standing.
However, history attests to the fact that the other wives did not involve themselves in the matter at all. If any of them were asked, they only commended Hazrat Aisha(ra). It is recorded regarding another wife that when the Holy Prophet(sa) mentioned the matter to her, she said, ‘I have found nothing but good in Aisha.’ If there could have been any potential for enmity against Hazrat Aisha(ra), it would have been from the other wives, however their involvement in the matter cannot be established. Furthermore, there is no reason for men to harbour enmity against women. Thus, this allegation against her was either because of enmity against the Holy Prophet(sa), or enmity against Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra).
“There was no way for the proponents of this allegation to snatch away the status granted to the Holy Prophet(sa), however what they feared was that even after the Holy Prophet(sa), they would be unable to fulfil their objectives. They saw that if anyone was capable of being a successor to the Holy Prophet(sa), it was Abu Bakr(ra). They saw this as a threat and thus created an allegation against Hazrat Aisha(ra) so that she would fall out of favour in the Holy Prophet’s(sa) sight as a result of which the stature of Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) among the Muslims would also diminish. The Muslims would begin thinking ill of Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) and would abandon the love that they had for him, thereby closing the door for Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) to become the Khalifah after the Holy Prophet(sa).”
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud(ra) continues, “Just as in the time of the First Caliph [of the Promised Messiah(as)], the Paighamis would create allegations against me in constant attempts to slander me. It is for this very reason that after mentioning the incident of the calumny against Hazrat Aisha(ra), God Almighty also mentions Khilafat. It is clearly stated in the Hadith that in their conversations with each other, the Companions would say that if anyone held a rank after the Holy Prophet(sa), it was Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra).
“Then, it is recorded in the Ahadith that once, a person came to the Holy Prophet(sa) and said, ‘O Messenger(sa) of Allah, fulfil such and such need of mine.’ He replied, ‘Not now, return later.’ He was a Bedouin and was unacquainted with the principles of civility and politeness, and bluntly said, ‘You are human after all. If you have passed away by the time I return then what should I do?’ The Holy Prophet(sa) said, ‘If I am no longer in this world, then go to Abu Bakr. He will fulfil your needs.’ Similarly, it is mentioned in the Ahadith that once, the Holy Prophet(sa) said to Hazrat Aisha(ra), ‘O Aisha, I wished to appoint Abu Bakr after me, however I know that Allah and the believers will not be content with anyone but him, which is why I do not say anything.’ Thus, the Companions naturally understood that if anyone from among them possessed any rank after the Holy Prophet(sa), it was Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) and he alone was worthy enough to become the Khalifa.
“Life in Mecca was such that the custodianship of government was not even plausible, but in Medina, after the arrival of the Holy Prophet(sa), his rule was established and naturally, this question arose among the hearts of the hypocrites because upon the Holy Prophet’s(sa) arrival, many of their hopes were foiled. When Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Sulul realised that any possibility of him coming into power was dwindling, he was infuriated and although he had apparently assimilated among the Muslims, he always tried to fracture Islam. Seeing as there was nothing else he could do, the only remaining desire he could have was to become the ruler of Madinah after the Holy Prophet’s(sa) demise. However, as soon as worldly leadership came about among the Muslims and they saw a new order, they began asking the Holy Prophet(sa) various questions regarding the manner of Islamic governance; i.e. what would be the state of Islam after him and what should the Muslims do? When Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Sulul saw this happening, he grew fearful because the Islamic rule would be established in such a way that he would have no part in it. He wished to stop this from happening, and when he pondered over it, he realised that if there was anyone who could establish an Islamic government based on Islamic principles, it was Abu Bakr, and after the Holy Prophet(sa), the Muslims look towards him (Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra)). They regard him in higher esteem than all others. Hence, he saw his own benefit in slandering him and defaming him in the sights of others, even in the sight of the Holy Prophet(sa).
“He found the opportunity to do this when Hazrat Aisha(ra) was left behind [whilst returning] from a war and that wretched person levelled an abhorrent allegation which has been hinted towards in the Holy Quran and it is mentioned with detail in the Ahadith. Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Sulul’s aim was the humiliation of Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) in the public eye and to sour his relationship with the Holy Prophet(sa), thereby hindering the establishment of an institution which he saw to be inevitable (he could see that it was bound to happen). Its establishment would completely ruin all his hopes. It was not only Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Sulul who dreamed of leadership after the Holy Prophet(sa), rather there were also others steeped in this illness. Hypocrites always perceive their own death to be far off, yet they estimate the demise of others; as such, Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Sulul considered his own death to be in the distant future. Little did he know that he would die a distressful death during the lifetime of the Holy Prophet(sa). He would conjecture that after the demise of the Holy Prophet(sa), he would become the king of Arabia. However, he realised that Muslims profess to Abu Bakr’s virtue, piety and esteem; if the Holy Prophet(sa) did not lead prayer, then Abu Bakr would lead the prayer in his stead. If one was unable to seek an edict from the Holy Prophet(sa), the Muslims would seek the edict from Abu Bakr(ra). Realising this, Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Sulul became extremely worried about his hopes for future leadership and so he sought to remove [this worry]. Hence, in order to remove it and to diminish the renown and esteem of Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) in the sight of Muslims, he created an allegation against Hazrat Aisha(ra), so that the Holy Prophet(sa) would develop an aversion to Hazrat Aisha(ra). As a result of developing an aversion for Hazrat Aisha(ra), he sought to diminish Hazrat Abu Bakr’s(ra) honour in the sight of the Holy Prophet(sa) and all Muslims, thereby halting any chance of him becoming the Khalifa.
“This same matter has been mentioned by Allah the Almighty in the Holy Qur’an, when He says,
إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ جَآءُو بِٱلۡإِفۡكِ عُصۡبَةٞ مِّنكُمۡ
‘Verily, those who brought forth the lie (against Hazrat Aisha(ra)) are a party (of so-called-Muslims) from among you.’ However, Allah the Almighty also states,
لَا تَحۡسَبُوهُ شَرّٗا لَّكُم ۖ بَلۡ هُوَ خَيۡرٞ لَّكُمۡ
‘Think it (this allegation) not to be an evil for you; nay, it is good for you (and a means of success).’”
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud(ra) continues, “Allah the Almighty stated that he would now expound upon a principle related to Khilafat and states that that the hypocrites can try their utmost, they will fail and He will certainly establish Khilafat, because Khilafat is connected to prophethood and is a means of safeguarding the divine light.” (Khutbat-e-Mahmud, Vol. 18, pp. 451-455)
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud(ra) states:
“Observe how, from the beginning of Surah al-Nur till the end, the same subject matter is being mentioned. First, the calumny against Hazrat Aisha(ra) is mentioned, and seeing as the actual reason for this calumny against her was to humiliate Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) and to ruin his relationship with the Holy Prophet(sa) and subsequently diminish his honour in the sight of Muslims so that he would not become the Khalifa after the Holy Prophet’s(sa) demise – because Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Sulul had realised that if the Muslims looked towards anyone after the Holy Prophet(sa), it was Abu Bakr(ra) and if Khilafat was established through Abu Bakr(ra), then Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Sulul’s dreams of leadership would never be fulfilled. Therefore, right after mentioning this allegation, Allah the Almighty mentions Khilafat and says that Khilafat is not a monarchy. Rather, it is a means of maintaining the divine light which is why its establishment rests in the hands of Allah the Almighty. For it to falter would mean the ruin of the light of prophethood and the divine light. Hence, He will certainly establish this light, and after prophethood, He will never allow the establishment of a monarchy and will appoint whoever He chooses as the Khalifa. In fact, He promises that he will not just make one, but will grant the mantle of Khilafat to many from among the Muslims and will thus extend the era of this spiritual light. This matter is just as Hazrat Khalifatul Masih I(ra) used to describe; that Khilafat is not like soda water [beverage] from Kaisari’s [local] shop which anyone can drink. Similarly, Allah states that if you wish to create allegations then go ahead; you cannot erase Khilafat, nor can you hinder Abu Bakr from becoming the Khalifah, because Khilafat is a light. This light is one of the manifestations of Allah and no human efforts can erase it.
“Then, He says that the light of Khilafat can be found in other homes as well and no human can stop its manifestation through their own efforts or ploys.” (Khutbat-e-Mahmud, Vol. 18, p. 457)
In any case, he covered the topic of Khilafat in the sermon which he delivered. This shows the status of Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) in the eyes of the Holy Prophet(sa) and furthermore the practical testimony given by Allah the Almighty proved that after prophethood, the institution of Khilafat would remain, as prophesied by the Holy Prophet(sa), and so it did. Thereafter, if there was monarchy it was something that happened later. Then, in accordance with the promise of Allah the Almighty, the institution was re-established through the Promised Messiah(as).
With regards to Hazrat Abu Bakr’s(ra) humility and meekness, Hazrat Sa’eed bin Musayyib(ra) narrates that once, the Holy Prophet(sa) was sitting in a gathering with some of his Companions, when someone began disputing with Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) and caused him distress. Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) remained silent. That person again caused him distress, upon which Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) remained silent.
After being discourteous towards Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) a third time, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) retaliated. When Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) retaliated, the Holy Prophet(sa) stood up. Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) humbly submitted, “O Prophet(sa) of Allah, are you angry with me?” The Holy Prophet(sa) replied, “There was an angel that descended from the heavens who was refuting all that the other man said against you. When you retaliated, Satan appeared, and I do not remain seated in a gathering intruded by Satan.” (Sunan Abi Daud, Kitab-ul-Adab, Hadith 4896)
Furthermore, the Holy Prophet(sa) stated, “O Abu Bakr, there are three things that are true for everyone: [Firstly,] a person who is wronged by means of something and shows forgiveness is honoured by Allah through His help. [Secondly], a person who gives gifts in an effort to better and improve relationships, Allah increases their wealth for them thereby. Thirdly, one who adopts begging as a means to amass wealth, Allah decreases their wealth and causes a shortage thereby.” (Majmu Al-Zawaid, Vol. 8, p. 247, Kitab-ul-Birr Wa Al-Sillah, Hadith 13698, Dar-ul-Kutb Al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2011)
Whilst mentioning the qualities of Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra), the Promised Messiah(as) states:
“He possessed complete understanding, he was enlightened about Allah, he was forbearing, he had an exceptionally benevolent nature, and he spent his life with humility and simplicity. He was exceedingly forgiving and an embodiment of kindness and mercy. He was known and recognised for the light visible on his face. He had a deep connection with the Holy Prophet Muhammad(sa), and his soul was bound to the soul of The Best of All(sa). The light which enveloped his Leader and Master and beloved of God [i.e., the Holy Prophet(sa)] also enveloped him. He was shaded beneath the wondrous shadow of the light of the Holy Prophet(sa) and his grand blessings. He was distinguished amongst all for his understanding of the Quran and his love for the Leader of All Prophets and the Pride of Humankind [i.e., the Holy Prophet(sa)]. When heavenly wonders and divine secrets were unfolded before him, he severed all worldly ties, threw aside his physical relationships and took on the character of his beloved. He discarded all his desires for the sake of the Singular Divine Being and was purified of all physical impurities, taking on the colour of the One True God. He became absorbed in the majesty of the Lord of All the Worlds. And when true divine love began to flow in his every vein and established itself in the depths of his heart and in every particle of his being, and when his every word and action – his reason to sit or stand – began to manifest light, then he was bestowed the title off al-Siddiq. Thus, among the abundance of novel and deep knowledge he was bestowed, the best of what he received was from the court of God. Honesty was a quality deeply engrained in him and a distinctive trait of his nature. It was this very honesty and light that emanated from his every word, action, movement, pause, sense, and breath. He was included amongst those upon whom blessings were bestowed by the Lord of the Heavens and the Earth. He was a beautiful piece from the book of prophethood and was the imam of distinguished saints and the courageous youth. He was amongst a select few who possessed a nature the likes of prophets.”
Furthermore, the Promised Messiah(as) states:
“Do not take these words as an exaggeration or a form of warm treatment or reverence, nor consider them as words flowing out from the fountain of love. In reality, this is a truth revealed to me from the court of the Lord of Honour.”
In respect to the status of Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) and the many aforementioned virtues, the Promised Messiah(as) says that Allah the Almighty revealed these qualities and traits to him directly.
The Promised Messiah(as) states:
“Hazrat Abu Bakr’s(ra) drink was the water of ‘faith in God’ and he would rely less on any other means. As far as morals are concerned, he was a reflection of our Prophet and Master(sa) and he held an eternal affinity to the Best of Creation(sa). It was owing to this that in just a brief moment, he attained from the blessings of the Holy Prophet(sa) what others could not attain in lengthy periods and in far off lands.” (Sirrul Khilafah [Urdu translation], pp. 101-103)
In regards to Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) being amongst the 14 companions of the Holy Prophet(sa), there is a narration of Hazrat Ali(ra). He narrates, “The Holy Prophet(sa) once said, ‘Surely, every prophet has been given seven noble companions (or he simply said companions), however, I have been given 14.” We asked him who they were. He replied, “You and your two sons (i.e., Hazrat Ali(ra) and his two sons), Hazrat Ja’far(ra), Hazrat Hamzah(ra), Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra), Hazrat Umar(ra), Hazrat Mus’ab bin Umair(ra), Hazrat Bilal(ra), Hazrat Salman(ra), Hazrat Ammar(ra), Hazrat Miqdad(ra), Hazrat Hudhaifah(ra), and Hazrat Abdullah(ra) bin Mas’ud.” (Jami at-Tirmadhi, Kitab-ul-Manaqib, Hadith 3785)
Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) was also once given leadership of the Hajj (pilgrimage) delegation by the Holy Prophet(sa). In this regard, it is recorded that in the year 9 Hijri, the Holy Prophet(sa) appointed Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) as the Amirul Hajj (Leader of Hajj) and sent him towards Makkah. When the Holy Prophet(sa) returned from the Battle of Tabuk, he desired to perform Hajj. He was told that the polytheists also perform the pilgrimage amongst everyone else, chant polytheistic chants, and circumambulate the Ka’bah naked. Upon this, the Holy Prophet(sa) abandoned his desire to perform Hajj that year and sent Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) as the leader of Hajj. (Al-Rauz-ul-Unf, Vol. 4, p. 318, Dar-ul-Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut), (Umdatul Qari, Sharah Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 9, p. 384, hadith 1622, Dar Ihya Al-Turath, 2003)
Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) departed from Madinah with a party of three hundred companions. The Holy Prophet(sa) also sent 20 sacrificial animals with them and adorned them with a neckpiece to mark them for sacrifice. Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) himself took five animals for sacrifice. (Ali bin Burhan al-Din al-Halabi, Al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah, Vol. 3, [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah], p. 295)
According to the narration, Hazrat Ali(ra) announced the opening verses of Surah at-Taubah during this Hajj. The details of this were presented in a sermon about Hazrat Ali(ra) and in the initial mention about Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra). Nonetheless, I will briefly mention it here. When Surah Bara’ah (Surah al-Taubah) was revealed to the Holy Prophet(sa), he had already sent off Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) as the leader of Hajj. It was humbly submitted to the Holy Prophet(sa), “O Prophet(sa) of Allah, perhaps you should send this chapter to Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) so that they may recite it there.” The Holy Prophet(sa) replied, “No one can fulfil this obligation except for a member of my household.” Thereupon, the Holy Prophet(sa) summoned Hazrat Ali(ra) and said, “Take the beginning of Surah al-Taubah, and on the day of sacrifice when the people have gathered at Mina, announce that no disbeliever shall enter paradise and no polytheist will be permitted to perform Hajj in the future, nor will anyone be permitted to circumambulate the Ka’bah unclothed. Moreover, any covenant made by the Holy Prophet(sa) to anyone will be duly fulfilled.”
Hazrat Ali(ra) departed with this instruction. En route, he encountered Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra). When Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) saw or encountered Hazrat Ali(ra), he asked, “Have you been appointed the leader or will you follow my lead (Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) asked Hazrat Ali(ra))?’ Hazrat Ali(ra) replied, “I will follow your leadership.” Thus, the two continued on their journey. [Hazrat Ali(ra) said,] “I am under your leadership, but I will be the one to recite these verses.” Nevertheless, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) oversaw the people performing Hajj, and that year, the Arabs set up their camp in the same place that they would during the period of ignorance. When the day of sacrifice arrived, Hazrat Ali(ra) stood up and made the announcement he was instructed to make by the Holy Prophet(sa). As I have mentioned, the details of this incident have already been mentioned. (Ibn Hisham, Al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2001], p. 836)
This mention of Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) will continue in due course, God willing. At this time, I would like to speak about a few deceased members.
The first is respected Muhammad Dawood Zafar Sahib, who was a missionary serving in the Raqeem Press and was the son of Chaudhary Muhammad Yusuf Sahib. He passed away on 16 November at the age of 48.
إِنَّا لِلَّہِ وَإِنَّآ إِلَیۡہِ رَٰجِعُونَ
[“Surely, to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.”]
His funeral prayer will be offered, God willing. I will lead his funeral prayer following the Friday prayers. In 1998, he completed the Shahid course from Jamia Ahmadiyya Rabwah. Thereafter, he served as a missionary in various places. In 2001, he came here to England and was posted to the Raqeem Press in Islamabad. He very passionately rendered his services. He held a deep bond of love with Khilafat. Whilst living in Islamabad, he also had the opportunity of serving as Sadr (president) jamaat Islamabad. He also had the honour of performing the Umrah. He was a musi. He is survived by his parents, wife, three sons and a daughter.
His father, Chaudhary Yusuf Sahib says, “When I encouraged Dawood to become a missionary, he fully obeyed this desire of mine. Some people told him that if he was to strive just as much in seeking secular knowledge, then he would be able find much better employment and improve the financial circumstances in his home. However, Dawood Sahib disregarded such suggestions straight away. From becoming a Shahid missionary up until his demise, he upheld his waqf (life-devotion) with loyalty. He was a very obedient son.” His father further states, “He would obey everything I say and never denied me. He always desired to give me peace of mind. Despite facing financial problems, he never once thought of abandoning his waqf.” He further says, “During his education in Jamia, he would not even have enough money to repair a punctured tire on his bicycle due to financial constraints. He would inflate his tire at home and manage to reach Jamia and would do the same upon his return. He never once complained or expressed any discontent. He was a missionary who was obedient to the Khalifah of the time and understood his desire.”
His wife, Mubarka Sahiba, says, “Our relationship lasted 22 years. He was very tender-hearted, hardworking, had complete and utter trust in God and selflessly helped and served others. There were many instances during our life when some things seemed apparently impossible and I would question what could be done. He would say to trust Allah and that everything would be alright, and by the grace of Allah, this would transpire. He would always advise the children to become good humans and that they should never be a cause of pain to others.” She continues, “He would seat the children and tell them that whatever he has achieved has only been possible because of his connection with Khilafat and because of the Community. It was always his aspiration that Allah enables him to duly fulfil his waqf [dedication].”
His daughter Darmana Sahiba says, “He only desired one thing from us, that we become good Ahmadi Muslims, to look after those around us, and to never be a source of pain for anyone.”
His eldest son Rauhaan says, “My father was always concerned for our spiritual upbringing. Whenever we asked a question, as a missionary he would always try to answer it in light of the teachings of the Holy Quran and in religious terms.”
His youngest son Fouad Dawood who is 15 years old, says, “In the final days of his illness, when he was suffering from cancer, it became very intense, and in those final days he told me, I wanted to see you live a beautiful life, however my Allah desires something else for me and I am content with His will.’”
In any case, he would always advise his children to do good, and to develop a bond with the Community and with Khilafat. May Allah the Almighty enable them to act upon his advice and may He accept his supplications for them. Be they life-devotees, workers, or missionaries, everyone has generally written that Dawood Sahib was a very cheerful, sociable, friendly and amiable individual, and that he was very skilled in his profession in computer and art work. He was a missionary, but his mind was also very sharp in technical tasks and in editing etc. He carried out great work in the Raqeem Press and he had the wonderful opportunity to utilise his skills. He always saw services to the Community a means of honour for himself.
A relative has written that he would help others in secret. He would quietly help those in need and his relatives financially. May Allah the Almighty grant him forgiveness and mercy. May He grant his children patience and forbearance, enable them to continue to carry out his good deeds and grant his parents patience and forbearance.
The second funeral prayer – there are two in absentia – the first of which is of Ruqayya Shamim Bushra Sahiba, wife of the late missionary in Spain Karam Ilahi Zafar Sahib, who had served as a missionary in Spain. She also passed away a few days ago.
She was born in Qadian in 1932. By the grace of Allah the Almighty she was a musia. She had the honour of serving as the Sadr Lajna in Spain for a number of years. She has three sons and three daughters. One of her grandsons, Ataul Mun’im Tariq, is a life-devotee who is serving as the in-charge of the central Spanish desk. One of her granddaughters is also married to a missionary. Two of her sons are active in their services to faith, by the grace of Allah the Almighty and her elder son is serving as the Naib Ameer.
Ruqayya Sahiba’s paternal grandfather was Maulvi Fakhruddin Sahib(ra) and her grandmother was Bibi Sahiba(ra), who were originally from Bhera. In the time of the Promised Messiah(as) they migrated to Qadian after pledging their allegiance. Her maternal grandfather was Bhai Abdur Rahim Sahib(ra) who was from Ajmer. He was originally a Sikh, but then he had the honour of pledging allegiance at the hand of the Promised Messiah(as). He too migrated to Qadian to study after pledging his allegiance. In this way, her grandparents on both sides were companions of the Promised Messiah(as).
In relation to Ruqayya Sahiba, her son writes, “She had a special connection with Da’wat-ul-Amir and had read it a number of times. She would say that after reading this book many of the questions and doubts in her mind would be answered. She had a deep affection for prayer from the age of 12. She would supplicate to Allah the Almighty to keep her on the paths of faith, and on the right path. She would pay great attention in observing the purdah. She was an example for the women of the Community. She had compassion for the sick and the needy and was ever-ready to help them in every way possible.
In the early days after arriving in Spain with Maulana Sahib, she had to face great difficulties in Spain. Due to his preaching efforts, the police would often detain him or raid his home. The police would search for evidence of his outreach activities, but by the grace of Allah, she remained firm in her conviction – just like her husband – that in the end Allah the Almighty would certainly come to their aid and remove all their difficulties.
When Hazrat Khalifatul Masih III(rh) instructed Maulana Sahib to find a suitable land in Cordoba to construct a mosque, she also assisted in this to the best of her abilities.” Her son then writes, “When the construction of Masjid Basharat commenced she would travel almost every day with her husband by bus etc. from Cordoba to Pedro Abad to inspect the construction work and its progress. She had the records of all the expenditures and she served as an accountant for the construction of the mosque.”
Her son Fazl Ilahi Qamar says, “My mother always bore in mind the instructions of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II(ra). He instructed her, ‘Always keep your duties in mind and counsel your husband. You are going to a country where you must not allow your husband to become slack in his outreach efforts, rather, you should make him even more active therein. You shall have plenty of time together after passing away, therefore, based upon this you must strive to make these days of your life in your work as beneficial as possible.’” As it were, she continued to act upon these instructions, and no matter the circumstances she always acted with patience and forbearance with the pleasure of Allah the Almighty in mind. The initial days were extremely difficult, yet she endured them with great fortitude, and she always gave precedence to her faith over the world.”
Whilst acting upon the instructions of Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud(ra), she set an example in such a European country where it was a crime to even utter the name of Islam. She played a distinct role in the propagation of Ahmadiyyat in Spain. May Allah the Almighty grant her forgiveness and mercy and elevate her rank. May He enable her children to continue her good deeds.
The third mention is of respected Tahirah Hanif Sahiba, who was the daughter of Syed Zain-ul-Abideen Walliullah Shah Sahib(ra) and the wife of the late Mirza Hanif Ahmad Sahib, who was the son of Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud(ra). She also passed away recently.
By the grace of Allah the Almighty she was a musia. As I mentioned, she was the daughter-in-law of Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud(ra) and she was my maternal aunt. She was born in 1936 in Qadian. As I mentioned, her father was Syed Zain-ul-Abideen Walliullah Shah Sahib(ra), who wrote the commentary of [Sahih] Bukhari which comprises many volumes. He was a great scholar and spent time in the Arab countries. Tahira Begum Sahiba’s mother’s name was Syedah Sayyarah Sahiba. She was originally from Damascus and was an Arab. Ahmadiyyat entered the family of the deceased through her paternal grandfather, Dr Syed Abdul Sattar Shah Sahib(ra), who pledged allegiance at the hands of the Promised Messiah(as) in 1901. Allah the Almighty guided the entire family, the children and the elders as well, through dreams and thus strengthened their faith. Hazrat Dr Syed Abdul Sattar Shah Sahib(ra) was the maternal grandfather of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IV(rh) and so she was his cousin. Respected Tahira Sahiba served as the Secretary Islah-o-Irshad for Lajna Imaillah Rabwah from 1972 to 1990. She also spent some years in Sierra Leone along with her husband who was a waqif-e-zindagi. Allah the Almighty bestowed them with three daughters and a son.
Her eldest daughter, Amatul Momin says, “Aside from the five daily prayers, we observed that our mother was very regular in offering the Tahajjud prayer, observing the fasts and reciting the Holy Quran. In fact, she would also offer the Ishraq prayer as well [a voluntary prayer offered after the sun has risen]. She would always keep to her routine. She would carry out all her work in a loving and diligent manner and this was also the case with her worship.”
She further says, “I would be amazed as to how she was able to fulfil all her other tasks in addition to this, for example, fulfilling the rights of her in-laws and the rights of the neighbours, looking after our father, preparing the food for the children and passionately serving the guests. She had great love for the Community and had a sincere bond with every Khalifah in her lifetime. She was extremely loyal to Khilafat. She would be particularly mindful of paying her Wasiyyat. She would always advise others to write to His Holiness and she would say that after writing to the Khalifah of the time one feels a sense of contentment. (She would also write to me regularly. In fact, after every sermon, I would receive letters from her and she would express her thoughts about its various aspects and would mention those points which she particularly liked). She never expressed any words of complaint and if ever something was said like this in which we were present, she would tell us that there was no need to engage in such talk as she always found that such people always incurred their own loss as a result of it and gained no benefit from it.”
As I mentioned that she had an extraordinary bond with Khilafat. She greatly looked after the poor. Akhtar Sahib wrote to me that their father left their mother and them, and so the deceased gave them a place in her house and looked after them like her own children and took care of all their needs, including food and drink, clothes, studies and did not let them feel [affected by their circumstances].
May Allah the Almighty always grant her His forgiveness and mercy. May He grant her station in the company of her elders and enable her children to continue her good deeds.