Friday Sermon: Men of Excellence

December 7th, 2018

After reciting the Tashahhud, Ta’awwuz, and Surah Al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (aba) stated:

The first of the Companions [of the Holy Prophet (sa)] whom I shall mention today is Hazrat ‘Ubaid Bin Zaid Ansari. He belonged to the Banu ‘Ajlaan tribe. He participated in the Battles of Badr and Uhad.

Hazrat Zahir bin Hiraam al-Ashja’ee was a Companion, who also participated in the Battle of Badr. He belonged to the Ashja’a tribe. He accompanied the Holy Prophet (sa) in the Battle of Badr.

Hazrat Anas bin Malik narrates, “Among those who lived in the villages was a man by the name of Zahir. He used to bring presents from his village for the Holy Prophet (sa). Whenever he intended to return, the Holy Prophet (sa) also used to present him with abundant provisions before seeing him off. The Holy Prophet (sa) used to say ‘inna zahira zahiran badiatuna wa nahnu haziru’ i.e. ‘Zahir is our friend from the wilderness and we are his friends from the city.’” The Holy Prophet (sa) had great love for him. Hazrat Zahir was a man of average looks and was conscious about his looks. The Holy Prophet (sa) told him that you should not be concerned about this as you are extremely precious in the sight of God.” The Holy Prophet (sa) stated on one occasion: That is, every person living in the city has a relationship with someone from the village and the person from the village, with whom the family of the Holy Prophet (sa) has a relationship with is Zahir bin Haram.

Hazrat Zaid bin Khattab. He was the elder brother of Hazrat Umar and he had accepted Islam before Hazrat Umar. He was also among the first people to migrate. He participated alongside the Holy Prophet (sa) in the battles of Badr, Uhud, Khandaq [trench], and was also present at Hudaybiyyah and the Bai’at-e-Ridhwan. The Holy Prophet (sa) formed a bond of brotherhood between him and Hazrat Ma’an bin ‘Adi. Both of these companions were martyred during the battle of Yamama. Hazrat Zaid bin Khattab narrates that on the occasion of Hajjat-ul-Wada’ [last pilgrimage of the Holy Prophet (sa)], the Holy Prophet (sa) said, “You should take care of your slaves, feed them of what you eat yourself and dress them with the clothes you dress yourself with. Furthermore, if they commit an error which you are unable to forgive them, then O servants of God, then you should sell them and not punish them.” When the Muslims were somewhat scattered and weakened during the battle of Yamama, Hazrat Zaid recited this prayer out aloud that “O Allah! I apologise for my companions to have fled and I hold myself free and independent from what Musaylimah Kazzab and Muhakam bin Tufail have done.” He then firmly took hold of the flag, entered the rows of the enemy and marched forward, demonstrating his excellent swordsmanship until he was martyred. When Hazrat Zaid was martyred, Hazrat ‘Umar said, “May Allah have mercy on Zaid. He surpassed me in two virtues, that is he accepted Islam before me and was also martyred before me.” One of the associates of Musaylimah Kazzab, Rajjal bin ‘Unfuwah, was killed by Hazrat Zaid bin Khattab. This was the person, who initially accepted Islam, and took part in the migration and was also a Qari [who recites the Qur'an according to the proper rules of recitation] but in the end joined Musaylimah – Therefore, we should always pray for our end to be good.

Hazrat Ubada bin Khashkhaash was from the Balee Tribe. He was the paternal and maternal cousin of Hazrat Mujazir bin Ziyaad. He was allied to Banu Saalim. Hazrat Ubada bin Khashkhaash took part in the Battle of Badr where he captured Qais bin Saaib. Hazrat Ubada bin Khashkhaash was martyred on the day of the battle of Uhud. He was buried alongside Hazrat Nauman bin Maalik and Hazrat Mujzir bin Ziyaad in the same grave.

Hazrat Abdullah bin Jad. His father’s name was Jad bin Qais whose title was Abu Wahab and he was from the Banu Salama, a tribe of the Ansaar. His maternal cousin was Hazrat Muaz bin Jabal. Hazrat Abdullah bin Jad participated in both the Battles of Badr and Uhud.

Hazrat Haris bin Aus bin Muaz  was the nephew of Hazrat Saad bin Muaz who was the leader of the Banu Aus Tribe. He took part in the Battles of Badr and Uhud. It is reported that when Muhammad bin Muslamah, along with his companions, attacked Ka’b bin Ashraf and killed him, the tip of their sword struck Hazrat Haris bin Aus and wounded him. His companions lifted him and rushed him to Madinah and came before the Holy Prophet (sa). The Holy Prophet (sa) placed his saliva on Hazrat Haris bin Aus’ wound after which he no longer felt any pain.

Ka’b bin Ashraf was a trouble-making person of Medinah, who was a Jew by religion, and an Arab be desecent. His father, Ashraf, was a very clever and cunning man of the Banu Nibhan. Ka’b bin Ashraf was accepted as the leader of Jews in Arabia. In addition to being a well-built and attractive man, Ka‘b was also (well-spoken) an eloquent poet and a very wealthy man. Through generous spending, he greatly influenced the scholars and other powerfl personalities of his nation. However, from a moral perspective, he was a man of extremely ill morals, and was a master in the art of secret schemes and conspiracies.

When the Holy Prophet(sa) migrated to Madinah, along with the other Jews, Ka‘b bin Ashraf also participated in the treaty which the Holy Prophet(sa) to promote mutual friendship, peace and security, and collective defence. However, deep within, the fire of malice and enmity raged in the heart of Ka‘b. He opposed Islam and the Founder of Islam through secret schemes and conspiracies. As such, it is recorded that every year Ka‘b would give a large sum of charity to Jewish scholars and religious leaders. However, he refused to give them any money, when these Jewish scholars expressed an opinion that expressed the opinion that Holy prophet (sa) appears to be the very same Prophet who had been promised to them. Ka‘b (who harboured enmity and malice) was greatly displeased at this response.   When the Jewish scholars lost their bread and butter, after some time, they came back to Ka‘b retracted their initial opinion and said that Muhammad (sa) was not the Prophet who had been promised to them. This response served the purpose of Ka‘b, and satisfied with their answer, he reinstated their yearly stipend. However, after this, the opposition of Ka‘b took on a more dangerous form, and ultimately, after the Battle of Badr, he began to employ such conduct, as was extremely mischievous and seditious. He created very dangerous circumstances for the Muslims. The first expression of his heart-felt rancour and jealousy was at the occasion when news of the victory of Badr reached Madinah. Upon hearing this news, at the outset, Ka‘b said that this news seemed to be false, because it was impossible for Muhammad(sa) to triumph over such a large army of the Quraish; if this news was true, then death was better than such a life. When this news had been confirmed and Ka‘b was assured that the victory at Badr had granted Islam such strength as was beyond his wildest dreams, he was overcome with anger and rage. When the Muslims returned after the victory at Badr, he immediately prepared for journey and took to Makkah, and upon reaching there, by the power of his persuasive speech and poetic tongue, inflamed the fire that was kindling in the hearts of the Quraish. He created an unquenchable thirst in their hearts for Muslim blood and filled their hearts with sentiments of revenge and enmity. Then, when their emotions had become immensely sparked as a result of his incitement, Ka‘b took them to the courtyard of the Ka‘bah, and handing them the drapes of the Ka‘bah, had them swear that they would not rest until Islam and the Founder of Islam had been wiped out from the face of the earth.’ After creating this fiery atmosphere in Makkah, this evil person turned to the other tribes of Arabia, and travelling from tribe to tribe, he incited people against the Muslims. Then, he returned to Madinah and whilst composing Tashbib – i.e. he alluded to the Muslim women in a very filthy and obscene manner in his provocative couplets. In doing so, he did not even spare the women from the household of the Holy Prophet (sa) in his amorous couplets, and had these couplets widely publicized throughout the country. Finally, he hatched a conspiracy to assassinate the Holy Prophet (sa). Under the ploy of a feast, he invited the Holy Prophet (sa) to his residence, and with a few Jewish young men he schemed to have the Holy Prophet (sa) assassinated. However, by the Grace of God, information was received in advance and this plan of his was unsuccessful.

In light of the treaty which had been settled between the inhabitants of Madinah upon his arrival, the Holy Prophet (sa) was the chief executive and commander in chief of the democratic State of Madinah. Thus, when the state of affairs escalated to such an extent, and charges of infraction of treaty, rebellion, inciting war, sedition, use of foul language and conspiracy to assassinate the Holy Prophet(sa) had been established, he issued the verdict that Ka‘b bin Ashraf was liable to be put to death due to his actions. The Holy Prophet (sa), therefore, instructed some of his Companions to execute him. However, due to the sedition of Ka‘b, since the atmosphere of Madinah at the time was such that if a formal announcement had been made before his execution, there was a possibility that civil war may have erupted in Madinah, and there was no telling how much massacre and carnage would have ensued as a result. To avoid bloodshed and violence against innocent civilians, the Holy Prophet (sa) instructed that Ka‘b should not be executed publicly; rather, a few people should quietly find an opportunity and put an end to him. After Kab had been killed, Muḥammad bin Maslamah (ra) and his companions departed from there and quickly presented themselves to the Holy Prophet (sa) and conveyed to him the news of his execution.

When news of the execution of Ka‘b became known, a tremor rippled through the city, and the Jewish people were deeply enraged. The following day, in the morning, a delegation of the Jews presented themselves before the Holy Prophet (sa) and complained that their leader Kab bin Ashraf had been murdered in such and such way. The Holy Prophet (sa) listened to their comments.” He did not deny it, nor did he say that he has no knowledge of the incident, but said, “Are you also aware of the crimes which Ka‘b is guilty of?” Then, the Holy Prophet (sa) briefly reminded them of all the evil schemes which Ka‘b was guilty of, i.e., infraction of treaty, inciting war, sedition, use of foul language and conspiracy of assassination, etc. Upon this, the people became fearful and did not say a word.” It was only after this that their anger subsided and understood the reality of the matter that this was the appropriate punishment. In such circumstances, the crime committed by Kab, or more appropriately, the stack of crimes committed by Ka’b warranted punitive measure and hence, this action was taken against him. God Almighty also states that spreading evil and disorder is worse than killing.

Indeed, all allegations levelled against the Holy Prophet (sa) or against Islam being a religion of oppression are all baseless. In fact, Ka’b was liable to for punishment and the Holy Prophet (sa) in the capacity of a leader of the state issued this punishment.

I shall finish today’s sermon with these accounts.

May God Almighty always protect Islam from such evils ploys. The current state of the Muslims today is that instead of drawing lessons from their past history, they instead are immersed in such evils and in fact they have become the very cause of these which evils which exist in Muslim and other governments.

May God Almighty protect Islam from these evils and enable them to accept the one who has been sent by God Almighty as a guide for this age and for the revival of Islam.