After reciting the Tashahhud, Ta’wwuz, and Surah Al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (aba) stated: While mentioning the sacrifices of the companions of the Holy Prophet (sa), their status and the favours which Allah the Exalted bestowed upon them, the Promised Messiah (as), said on one occasion: “Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) sacrificed all of his belongings in the way of God the Exalted … what did Allah the Exalted grant him in exchange? He made him the king of the whole of Arabia… However, once they abandon all their selfish desires and aims, and come to the threshold of God the Exalted, empty-handed and with pure hearts, then Allah grants them and supports them. .., To sum up, those who abandon everything for the sake of God the Exalted are bestowed everything.”
The Promised Messiah (as)states, “Such people do not die until they have received their reward from God Almighty manifold as compared to what they sacrificed in His way. God the Exalted does not remain indebted to anyone.” Hazrat ‘Abbad bin Bashar was a companion from among the Ansar [Muslims local to Medina]. He was martyred in the prime of his youth at the age of approximately thirty five. He (ra) used to recite the Holy Quran in the early hours of the morning, seeking the pleasure of God. Due to one of his dreams, Hazrat ‘Abbad was certain that he would attaint the status of martyrdom. Hazrat Abu Sa’eed Khudri relates: “Hazrat ‘Abbad once said to me ‘I saw in a dream that the sky has been rent asunder and that I entered it, after which it closed again and returned to its original form.’ Due to this dream he used to say that he is certain Allah the Exalted will grant him the status of martyrdom. This dream of his was fulfilled during the battle of Yamama. He was martyred whilst fighting with great courage. Hazrat Abu Sa’eed says that following the battle, his face was unrecognisable due to the sword wounds to his face. His body was only recognised due to a certain mark on his body.
Haram bin Milhan (ra) was most dedicated to teaching the Holy Qur’an to the youth and serving the Ashab-e-Suffa [impoverished companions, who dwelt in Suffa]. He was sent as a head of 70 strong delegation to teach the teachings of Islam to Bani ‘Amir after they requested the Holy Prophet (sa) to send them some people in order to preach to them [the message of Islam]. When Haram bin Milhan and his companion approached these people, the leader of Bani ‘Amir indicated to a person, who attacked Haram bin Milhan from behind with a spear. A fountain of blood gushed forth from his neck. He rubbed this blood on his hands and said, ‘By the Lord of the Ka’ba, I have succeeded. By the Lord of the Ka’ba, I have succeeded.’ After this, the other companion was also martyred following which they attacked the remaining seventy people and martyred all of them except one or two, who remained safe. When these people were being brutally killed, they prayed that ‘O Allah! Accept these sacrifices of ours and inform the Holy Prophet (sa) of this state of ours, as there are no means of doing so here.’ Hence, Hazrat Gabriel conveyed to the Holy Prophet (sa) the Salam [salutation of peace] of these companions and informed him of their situation and the martyrdoms. The Holy Prophet (sa) informed his companions that all of them have been martyred. The Holy Prophet (sa) was greatly grieved by their martyrdoms. He prayed against these tribes for thirty days saying, ‘May Allah personally seize and punish those who are guilty of this brutality.’
The Promised Messiah (as) states, ‘Observe the state of the esteemed companions, may Allah be pleased with them. What atrocities were meted out to them in Mecca? Some of them were captured and were tortured and punished in various forms. .. However, what enabled them to remain firmly established upon the truth even during the storm of difficulties and hardships? It was that very delight and the fountain of happiness, which gushed forth from their chests due [their] love for the truth.’ The Promised Messiah (as) says, ‘The most excruciating afflictions are made easy for a believer to experience. The truth is that it is a sign of a true believer that they are ever ready to be slain. ..Just think about this, if there was no delight in experiencing such trials then how did the prophets (on whom be peace) go through such hardships for such a long time?”
The examples about the Companions (ra) that have been mentioned here show that the Spiritual Power of the Prophet (sa) had infused such a spirit in them that even on the brink of death they would readily profess: ‘we swear by the Lord of the Ka’abah that we have succeeded. We have attained God.’ Hazrat Abdullah bin Amr, who was a companion from amongst the Ansar, it has been mentioned about him that when he was leaving for the Battle of Uhud he said: “I will be the first one to achieve martyrdom”. He said to his son “Take care of your sisters after my demiseHe also said “And I have taken a loan from a Jewish man. Pay him back from my date gardens when you receive the earnings.” This was the level of their love for Allah, righteousness, chastity and the standard of offering due rights [of others]. He had no fear about his young daughters in that he has to fulfill their rights, instead he had faith in Allah and after putting his trust in Him, he advised his son that ‘you will now become the head of this household and fulfill these obligations and also care for your sisters.’ He was also concerned about paying off his debt that he had taken from a Jewish person. [He said] I do not expect that you should pay this off from your own pocket. Rather, it will be paid off from the profit gained from our date gardens. I am not putting any financial burden on you. I am simply informing you about this obligation. I am informing you about an integral Islamic commandment, which is to pay off this debt. You will inherit my property only after paying off this debt.
Similarly, regarding the passion to offer sacrifice and martyrdom of Hazrat Amr bin Jamuh it is stated that he would walk with a limp due to a leg injury. He was in a lot of discomfort. His sons did not let him partake in the Battle of Badr due to this handicap. When the disbelievers marched to fight in the Battle of Uhud he said to his sons: “You can do whatever you like but I will not listen to you and I will most definitely take part in this battle.” Therefore, he met the Holy Prophet (sa) and requested: “My sons keep me from partaking in the battle due to an issue in my leg. However, I would like to join you in doing this Jihad. And he stated: “By God, I wish that Allah Almighty fulfills what my heartfelt desires and grants me martyrdom. I will enter heaven due to my injured leg.” The Holy Prophet (sa) said: Jihad is not obligatory for you due to this handicap. However, if this is your wish, then you may join.” His desire was surely fulfilled, and he was martyred in the battlefield of Uhud.
Hence, these people had advanced in faith and conviction. Take the example of any companion (ra). They were every ready to offer their lives with sincerity and loyalty. Hazrat Abu Talha (ra) was a companion (ra) from amongst the Ansar and was famed for his archery. He displayed great skill of archery during the Battle of Badr. The Holy Prophet (sa) would say that “place arrows in front of Abu Talha” as he would use arrows quickly and would also hit the intended targets. He also had the opportunity to shield the Holy Prophet (sa) during the Battle of Uhud. Hazrat Talha (ra) kept his hand in front of the Holy Prophet (sa)’s face. When one is full of conviction then initially he first wishes to spend his wealth and when this desire grows then such a person is even ready to offer his life. This conviction was ever-increasing in them due to the power of purification of the Holy Prophet (sa).
Hazrat Ubay bin Kaab also had a special relationship with God Almighty. It is written in Bukhari that on one occasion the Holy Prophet (sa) said to him: “God Almighty has ordered me to recite the Qur’an to you.” The Holy Prophet (sa) is saying to his companion that God Almighty has instructed him to recite the Qur’an to him [i.e. to Ubay bin Kaab]. Hazrat Ubay bin Kaab was astonished by this and asked: “Has the Lord and Master of the Universe mentioned me by name and asked to recite to Qur’an to me?” The Holy Prophet (sa) replied: “Yes, he has mentioned you by name.” Sometime later when someone asked Ubay bin Kaab “on hearing this, you would have felt overjoyed”, he replied: “If God Almighty has stated for one to be delighted with His blessings and mercy, then why would I not have been overjoyed.”
Hazrat Ubay bin Kaab was well versed in the Holy Qur’an. On one occasion the Holy Prophet (sa) asked him – and I have narrated this incident in a previous sermon, two or three weeks ago – [he asked] which verse of the Qur’an should be declared to be the greatest verse? He said “Ayatul Kursi is one that can be declared to be one of the greatest verses.” The Holy Prophet (sa) was pleased to hear this and said: “O Ubay! May Allah bless your level of knowledge. With the permission of Hazrat Umar (ra), he would teach people the knowledge of the Qur’an as well as its exegesis.
These were the [accounts of] companions of the Holy Prophet (sa) who progressed to such an extent that they reached the highest rank. With regards to the companions of the Holy Prophet (sa), on one occasion the Promised Messiah (as) said: “If one ponders about the [lives of the] companions of the Holy Prophet (sa), one would discover that they were simple people. Just like a vessel becomes clean after polishing, their hearts were the same in that they were filled with divine light and free from the filth of carnal passions. In essence, they were the true embodiment of the statement: [Arabic] He indeed truly prospers who purifies it.” May Allah the Almighty enable us to truly understand the status of the companions and whilst acting on their example, may Allah enable us to increase in our loyalty and sincerity.