In today’s Friday sermon Hudhur first explained a point from last Friday sermon and then gave a discourse on the life and times of Sahibzadi Amatul Naseer sahiba, daughter of Hadhrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) and a few other elders of the Community who passed away recently.
Hudhur presented a clarification of a Hadith he had narrated in his last Friday sermon which related combining five daily Prayers during battle. Naeem sahib of Arabic desk sent Hudhur a reference from the writings of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) which rejects the authority of this tradition. This leaves no room for discussion as the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) is the Imam of the age and had indeed said that at times he had direct corroboration of traditions from the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) in visions and dreams.
Hudhur said all books of Ahadith do not quite agree on one narration of the Hadith Hudhur had quoted. The citation is regarding four Prayers and not five and there is disagreement on this as well. The more authoritative Ahadith among them are only about delay in offering Asr Salat. A Hadith in Tirimdhi relates that the idolaters prevented the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) from offering four daily Prayers at the battle of Ditch. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) asked Hadhrat Bilal (may Allah be pleased with him) to say the Adhan after which the Iqamah was said. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) led Zohr Salat; following another Iqamah, he led Asr Salat, following another Iqamah, he led Maghrib Salat and another Iqamah was said after which he led Isha Prayer. Hudhur said this tradition is also recorded in book of Baihaqui and another book. Conversely, Sahih Muslim, Bukhari and Sunan Abi Dawood have recorded this Hadith with reference to Hadhrat Ali (may Allah be pleased with him). It relates that at the battle of Ditch the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said, ‘may God fill their homes and graves with fire that they prevented them from offering the middle Prayer so much so that the sun had set.’ Hudhur said the inference from this is that this was about Asr Salat.
Hudhur said what he wished to relate was that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be him) was so pained at missing to offer his Salat that he had cursed the enemy. What emerges now makes the matter even more significant because it tells us that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) could not even accept missing to offer one Salat on time.
Bukhari records the account as the sun having set during battle of Ditch and the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) expressing regret at having missed offering Asr Salat. He and his Companions did Wudhu and after the sun had set they offered their Asr Salat, followed by Maghrib Salat. It is recorded in another book that Ibn e Arabi had said that the Salat that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) was prevented from offering was only Asr. The Salat was subsequently offered either after the time for Maghrib had elapsed or at the time just before sun set.
Elucidating the matter in response to an objection raised by a Christian, the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) wrote that it was a satanic mischief to say that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) had missed offering four Salat in a day. He said that the foolish objector had not understood the term ‘qadha’ properly. It did not mean missing to offer Salat, rather it meant saying it late. Hudhur added that some people do continue to confuse the term ‘qadha’ with missing to offer Salat. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) further said regarding combining four Salat at battle of Ditch that Islam was not a religion of severity and enjoins to offer combined Salat at difficult and adverse times. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) added that Bukhari records that only Asr Salat was offered in constrained time and it were only weak Ahadith which referred to offering of four Salat late.
Hudhur said after this pronouncement the Hadith referring to four Salat should be considered inaccurate. However, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) was saddened by even offering one Salat late. Hudhur said the advantage of the wrong citation last week is that now we can correct it wherever it appears in our literature. In the book on the blessed life of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) by Hadhrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad sahib the reference is of the accurate Hadith and he has corrected the words of William Muir, explaining the matter in accordance with the words of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace).
On 23 May 1986 Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih IV (may Allah have mercy on him) also mentioned combing five Salat in one of his sermons. His sermons published by Tahir Foundation give a different reference which does not cite the tradition as related by him. Hudhur said usually he tries to read the original Hadith, however, as he had read the citation in the works of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih IV (may Allah have mercy on him) he did not cross check and an error was made. However, as mentioned before, the advantage of the error is that corrections will be made in all the citations in our literature. Secondly, Hudhur said he also realises that the references he takes need further research. Thirdly, when our organisations are publishing sermons or speeches, then the correct reference should be used and it should always be checked if the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) has said something on the matter. It is understood that no one will edit the words of Khalifa of the time, who should be personally consulted on the matter. If the citation of a Hadith reference etc. by earlier Khulafa is found that does not correspond with the writings of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) that too should be edited, but after the approval of the Khalifa of the time. Tahir Foundation should edit the citation of the five Salat in the sermon of 1986 in future editions. They should ask Hudhur in writing how to proceed with the editing and Hudhur will guide them. Hudhur said this will continue to be the principle in future; if future Khulafa find any discrepancy in the references given in the discourses of the earlier Khulafa, they will instruct its correction. Hudhur said full research should be carried out before publication of material. He said he considered making this explanation important. As said earlier, it has helped in bringing the facts and their literary form to light as well as providing guidance in administrative matters.
Hudhur said the subject he wished to speak on next was the passing away of some Community elders, among whom the first mention was to be of one of the daughters of Hadhrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him), Sahibzadi Amatul Naseer Begum sahiba, who was also Hudhur’s aunt. She was 82 years old and was active till the end. She had suffered from heart problem three or four days before. She was treated by Dr. Noori and had felt better. But she suffered a sudden heart attack that proved fatal and she met her Maker.
Sahibzadi Amatul Naseer Begum sahiba was a very cheerful, caring person who helped people emotionally as well as financially. Those who knew her are writing to Hudhur that few people are as selfless and deeply caring about others as she was. May God elevate her station and admit her among His dear people. She was born to the third wife of Hadhrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him), Sara Begum sahiba. Sahibzadi Amatul Naseer Begum sahiba was only three and a half years old when her mother passed away. Her father recorded her childhood emotions in a moving article. Hudhur said he has great control over his emotions but when he read the article in privacy, he found it difficult to control his emotions. The deeply emotional subject as described by Hadhrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) creates a moving situation.
Hudhur said his mother used to say that after the death of her mother, Hadhrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with her) entrusted Sahibzadi Amatul Naseer sahiba to the care of Hadhrat Umme Nasir, his first wife and had asked Hudhur’s mother, who was 19 years senior, to look after her. Hudhur said hers was a maternal relation with Sahibzadi Amataul Naseer. When Hudhur’s mother got married, Sahibzadi Amatul Naseer was eight or nine years old and at the time of the bride leaving, insisted that she wanted to go with her. Her father counselled her which calmed her. Later, she became sad and went to stay with Hadhrat Amman Jan (may Allah be pleased with her).
Hudhur said his parents’ home and his Khala’s (aunt) home shared a wall and both families saw a lot of each other. Hudhur always found his Khala cheerful and happy. She was most hospitable; regardless of the social status or age of the guest, she was welcoming and warm. Most of the family of her husband was non-Ahmadi but Hudhur’s Khala maintained good relations with them. One of the nieces has written that her deportment with the non-Ahmadi relatives was of great respect. Hudhur prayed that may her prayers make those relatives comes close to the Community. She had a great loving relationship with her nieces and nephews and they shared their confidential matters with her and listened to her advice. When advising, she would always narrate incidents of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) Hadhrat Amman Jan and Hadhrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with them both), incorporating the incidnets in her advice.
One of her nieces has told Hudhur that once the niece and another cousin made an inadvertent mistake which had an element of humour in it. They were anxious to share it with an adult but wherever they looked, they feared being told off. Eventually they both related the incident to Hudhur’s Khala. She listened with patience, laughed at the humorous element in it but also told them off in a loving way, and explained to them the Islamic teaching corresponding to the matter. Hudhur said she used to counsel the young ladies of the family of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) that they had a certain dignity to uphold and should act within it.
Hudhur said his Khala was most welcoming to him when he visited her and after Hudhur’s Khilafat her warmth increased. She came to the UK twice during Hudhur’s Khilafat and her respect and esteem was so extreme that it embarrassed Hudhur. She would say to Hudhur that she wanted to come every year but did not due to her senior years. Hudhur said she remembered many accounts of Hadhrat Amman Jan (may Allah be pleased with her), some of which Lajna UK had recorded by arrangement of sadr sahiba UK Lajna. Hudhur said if the accounts of Hadhrat Amman Jan (may Allah be pleased with her) as narrated by Sahibzadi Amatul Naseer are not published, Lajna should have them printed. When Hadhrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) asked two of his wives to care for Hadhrat Amman Jan, she said the ‘young girl’ was sufficient for her. Indeed, Amman Jan (may Allah be pleased with her) had great affection for her and used to miss her a lot once she was married.
As regards her love for Khilafat, Hudhur wanted to say that she did not let any close relation come in the way, and, at times she endured distress for this, but she was like a shield for Khilafat. A young man named Mumtaz, who was raised in her family home, has written to Hudhur that she was a most pious, God-fearing person who always advised to stay connected to Khilafat and would always be looking for ways to obey the Khalifa of the time. Often she would send him to collect the subscriptions for the Lajna magazine Misbah and if someone was late with their subscriptions, she would pay it for them. At times he would spend a little out of his pocket when doing grocery shopping for Sahibzadi Amatul Naseer and she would say to him to be prompt in asking for what he had spent. If she received a lot of invitations for wedding receptions, she would ask him to make a list of all the names so that he could remind her nearer to time to attend. She was most particular about attending weddings of girls from deprived backgrounds as well as of families of her former employees.
Sahibzadi Amatul Naseer Begum sahiba’s son-in-law has written to Hudhur that she had inculcated love and obedience of Khalifa of the time in the hearts and minds of Lajna to a great extent. This fervour came naturally to her. On the day of passing away she kept saying that request for prayers should be made to Hudhur. It appears she was aware that she was going to pass away because she told her granddaughter that a deceased sister-in-law had visited. She called her daughters, expressed her love to them and asked them to forgive her. Hudhur said Sahibzadi Amatul Naseer Begum sahiba took great care of her husband and was perfectly obedient to him and always advised her daughters to practice the same. She would advise the girls in the family that they should not be the cause for anyone to stumble. Hudhur said may God make this advice be beneficial to those to whom she gave it as well as other girls of the family. Hudhur said he relates accounts of elders so that married couples can reflect over them. It is the foremost responsibility of girls and women to take care of their homes. Sahibzadi Amatul Naseer Begum sahiba had a lot of love for girls from the families of her household staff and she would arrange for the dowries of those who grew up around her. She would say, ‘if you want to advise your daughter-in-law, counsel your son and if you wish to advise your son-in-law, counsel your daughter.’ She was extraordinarily regular in her worship of God and in paying financial dues.
In 1944 when Hadhrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) appealed to devote property, she gave all her jewellery. She served Lajna and Nasirat through the years but never wished to be an office-holder. She was most competent in academic and organisational matters. She used to go around in a locality in Lahore by night with others and provide blankets to those who did not have any. In 1949 she had the occasion to travel with Hadhrat Amman Jan and Hadhrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with them both) in their vehicle to Rabwah. She used to say that it was a memorable incident of her life. In the early days of Rabwah, she was enabled to serve Lajna in the mud dwellings. Later, she served as sadr of a chapter in Rabwah for a long time. She also served as naib-sadr of Lajna Rabwah when Hudhur’s mother was the sadr.
One of her daughters has written to Hudhur that it upset her when during her illness if a visitor returned without seeing her. She would say that the entrance of Hadhrat Musleh Maud’s (may Allah be pleased with her) house was always open for all, how could she decline to meet people? Another daughter has written that her mother greatly loved all her brothers and sisters and could not abide when people referred to, even jokingly, that so and so was a step-brother or step-sister. Hudhur explained that Hadhrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) had many wives and had children from each wife, but there was no notion of real or step siblings. Her daughter writes that she would say that once her father entrusted her to ‘Baji Jan’ (Hudhur’s mother) she looked after her well and fulfilled the trust finely. Once Hadhrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) related a dream in which his late wife Sara Begum sahiba came and asked if he was upset with her. He replied in the dream, ‘how can I be upset with you, you have given me a daughter like Cheero.’ Hudhur explained that Cheero was Sahibazadi Amatul Naseer sahiba’s nickname. She was always very aware of being the daughter of Hadhrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with her) lest there was a failing in upholding his name.
She related that once she had to go to her brother’s house across the road and she quickly covered her head and face with the lower part of her burqa. As she was crossing the road she saw Hadhrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) coming. She returned home and felt he had not seen her but next day at breakfast, he told her, ‘if you take one step, people will take ten.’ Thus was his manner of Tarbiyyat. Hudhur prayed that may awareness of Purdah remain in her daughters, other young women of the family and women of the Community.
Next Hudhur read extracts from the article that Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) wrote which Hudhur alluded to in the beginning of his sermon. He wrote, ‘three and a half year old Amatul Naseer …who was very close to her mother …has become very silent since her brother has talked to her, and looks as if astonished. She was unaware of death…wonder what her brother advised her that she did not cry, or scream. She just wandered around silently. When ladies of the Jama’at started weeping around Sara Begum’s body, she said, ‘why do they cry, my mother is asleep. When my mother will awaken I will tell her that when you slept ladies sat by your bed and wept.’
At the time of the passing away of her mother, Hadhrat Musleh Maud (on whom be peace) was on travels and the burial took place while he was still away. He wrote that on his return when he expressed love to little Amatul Naseer, she had tears in her eyes but she did not weep. He hugged her but she still did not weep. So much so that he was convinced that she did not understand death. He wrote that this was not so. The little girl was giving him another lesson. Sara Begum sahiba had passed away in another house and when the family returned to their own home, Hadhrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) noticed that little Amatul Naseer did not have any shoes on. Someone was asked to fetch some shoes. When this was done, Hadhrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with her) asked her to choose a pair of shoes. She gave an astonished look first to her father and then her other mother (Umme Nasir) as if saying, you are asking me to choose a pair of shoes that I like, but my mother has passed away, who would get me shoes? Hadhrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) writes that he felt that if he stayed around, tears would fall from his eyes. So, he promptly turned his face and said, ‘take the shoes to your ‘Ummi Jan’. He explained that all his children called their mothers ‘Ummi’ (mother) and Umme Nasir, his first wife, ‘Ummi Jan’. He wrote that he looked as he left and little Amatul Naseer had her emotions in check and was walking towards her ‘Ummi Jan’ with the shoes in her hand. Incidents later on made it clear that in spite of her young age she understood the passing away of her mother very well.
Hadhrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) writes praying for her: ‘May Allah the Exalted keep this tiny little flower safe from withering and may He satiate this tiny heart with the water of His grace where good thoughts and good views and good emotions are nurtured bearing fruits that grant life to the world and be a source of blessing for the world. O’ Most Merciful God, You know the state of hearts and know how patiently the little girl is suppressing her emotions. She may or may not have knowledge of Your attributes, but she is practising Your commandment with greater courage than us. I plead You to keep her heart safe from the adverse effects of mishaps. Grant her inner steadfastness just as she has been openly steadfast. Just as she has demonstrated tremendous strength, grant her real strength. My Lord, in Your judgment, she has been deprived of her mother’s love at this time when she was learning to love. O’ Fountainhead of love, take her in the lap of Your love and implant Your love in her heart. Devote her for Yourself, choose her for Your service. May she only seek Your love and be a beggar of Your threshold. Grant her the blessing of the world as well, so that she is not disgraced in the sight of people. In spite of every kind of respect may her connection with the world be like a person rushing from one room to another when it rains.’
Hudhur said with the grace of God, through the entire life of Sahibzadi Amatul Naseer sahiba, this prayer was fulfilled gloriously. May her children and people of the entire family and the whole Community be the recipients of this prayer.
In another prayer, Hadhrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with her) wrote:
‘O my Lord, I entrust my other children to You as well. May they not be dogs of the world, may they be birds of Your Paradise, pillars of religion and defenders of the House of God, stars in the sky that guide those lost in gloom, brilliant sun that tears apart darkness and opens up way for hard work and progress. You awaken those who slumber and You unite those apart. May they be trees of love, the fruits of which are completely devoid of the bitterness of malice and jealousy. May they be a water-well by the wayside, covered by shady trees where every tired traveller, every acquaintance and every stranger stops for rest and the cold water of which quenches the thirst of every thirsty person and the vast shades of which take every helpless person in its refuge. May they stop the oppressors from oppression, may they be friends of the persecuted, be those who accept death for themselves to give life to the world and those who endure difficulty but give comfort to others. May they have great courage and noble morals. May their food table be open for all, may they vie with each other in doing good, may they neither be niggardly nor wasteful. O my Guide, may they be preachers of religion, propagators of Islam, and those who revive morals and relight the faded paths of Taqwa, be champions of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) verifiers of ‘Lamma yalhaqu’ (62:4) who will uphold the practices of sons/people of Persia. May they have a sense of honour for You, be ready to fight for Your religion, devotees of Your Prophets, true sons of the Holy Prophet, chief of all Prophets (peace and blessings of Allah be on him), true and ardent devotees the fervour of whose love never fades. O’ my Master, may they be Your slaves, only Your slaves. May they not bow to the worldly kings but may they be most humble in Your presence. May they leave behind pure progeny and guide the world on the paths of spiritual knowledge and sow seed of everlasting piety, may they take the righteous further and reform the bad, may they be averse to indolence and be living models of spiritual life. O’ my Living, Self-Subsisting and All-Sustaining God, may they, their children and the children of their children be Your trust in this world which Satan cannot breach, may they be Your property that none can steal. May they be the cornerstone for the building of Your religion which no builder/architect can reject. May they be a sword among Your drawn swords that uproots every evil. May they be a hand of Your pardon that is extended to forgive sinners, may they be a branch of olive that gives the glad-tiding of end of storm. O’ Living, Self-Subsisting and All-Sustaining God, may they be Your bugle which You sound to gather Your people. In summary, may they be Yours and You be theirs so much so that each one of them cries out at this oneness:
I have become You, and You me,
I am the body, You the Soul;
So that no one can say hereafter,
That You are someone, and me someone else.’
Hudhur said this is the prayer that may fulfil for each person of the Community. May God elevate the station of the deceased and enable her children to practice her advices.
Hudhur also paid tributes to the following recently passed away elders:
Abdullah Wahab Ahmad sahib Shahid
Abdul Qadeer Fayaz sahib
Munir Ahmad Khan of Karachi.