Friday Sermon: Men of Excellence

February 1st, 2019

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

Hazrat Abu Huzaifah bin Utbah. His title was Abu Huzaifah. The names Hushaim, Haashim, Qais, Hissal, Issal and Miqsam are also attributed to him. His mother was known by title Umme Safwaan and her name was Fatimah bint Safwan. He had a tall stature and a beautiful countenance. He had accepted Islam before the Holy Prophet (sa) went to Darul Arqam. He was among those who were the first to accept the Holy Prophet (sa). Abu Huzaifah was martyred in the Battle of Yamamah, which was fought against Musailimah Kazzab during the caliphate of Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra).” Hazrat Abu Huzaifah participated in both the migrations to Abyssinia while his wife, Hazrat Sahlah bint Suhail also migrated with him.

As Muslims were bitterly persecuted by Makkans, they migrated to Abyssinia. Many Muslims, upon the instruction of the Holy Prophet (sa), began secret preparations to migrate as well. This chain of migration began in such a manner that ultimately the number of immigrants to Abyssinia reached one hundred, eighteen of which were women. Very few Muslims were left in Makkah with the Holy Prophet (sa). Some historians have called this migration ‘The Second Migration to Abyssinia’.” There was the first migration and then another group of people followed them. Likewise, when afterwards the permission was granted for the migration to Medina, Abu Huzaifah and Hazrat Saalim, who was his freed slave, both migrated to Medina. They first migrated to Abyssinia. They also returned during the same period. Their second migration was towards Medina, where both of them stayed at the house of Hazrat ‘Abbad bin Bishr. The Holy Prophet (sa) formed a bond of brotherhood between Hazrat Abu Huzaifah and Hazrat ‘Abbad bin Bishr. Hazrat Abu Huzaifah also participated in the expedition of Hazrat ‘Abdullah bin Jahsh.

I will present the details and background to the expedition of Abdullah bin Jahash as mentioned in Seerat Khataman Nabiyyin: “A chieftain of Makkah named Kurz bin Jabir bin Fihri very cunningly along with a company of the Quraish, suddenly raided a pasture of Madinah, which was situated only three miles from the city and fled with camels, etc., belonging to the Muslims. As soon as the Holy Prophet (sa) received news of this, he appointed Zaid bin Ḥarithah (ra) as the Amir in his absence and set out in his pursuit along with a group of the Companions. The Holy Prophet (sa) pursued him until he reached Safwan which is an area close to Badr, but he made good his escape. This Ghazwah [expedition] is also known as Ghazwah Badratul-Ula.” Naturally, the sudden attack of Kurz bin Jabir had terrified the Muslims greatly, and since there was a standing threat by the chieftains of Makkah that they would attack Madinah and utterly destroy the Muslims, the Muslims were severely apprehensive.

To gain intelligence on the anti-Muslim war preparations, the Holy Prophet (sa) formulated a party of eight men from the various tribes of the Quraish and appointed his paternal cousin, Abdullah bin Jaḥsh (ra) as the commander of this party. Upon their departure, the Holy Prophet (sa) handed him a sealed letter and said that, (explaining the direction of travel) “This letter contains necessary instructions for you. When you cover a distance of two days travel from Madinah, open the letter and act in accordance with the stipulated instructions.” As such, Abdullah (ra) and his companions set out by the command of their Master. When they had journeyed a distance of two days from Madinah, Abdullah (ra) opened the instructions of the Holy Prophet (sa), which were as follows: “Go forth to the Valley of Nakhlah between Makkah and Ṭa’if and obtain information on the Quraish and return with news therefrom.”

Moreover, since an intelligence mission so close to Makkah was a very delicate task, at the bottom of this letter, the Holy Prophet (sa) had written that after the objective of this mission became known, if anyone from among his companions was hesitant in accompanying this party and desired to return, then permission would be granted to do so. Abdullah (ra) read out this guidance to his companions who unanimously affirmed that, ‘We happily present ourselves for this service.’ Then, this party proceeded to Nakhlah. Sa‘d bin Abi Waqqaṣ (ra) and ‘Utbah bin Ghazwan (ra) lost their camels en-route and were separated from their companions. Despite their best efforts, they were unable to relocate their companions.

The party was now left with only six people. (These six proceeded with the task at hand). This small community reached Nakhlah and became engaged in their work. (i.e. to gain intelligence about the intentions of the disbelievers of Mecca and whether they had any plans to attack Medina). During this time, some members of Quraish travelling from Ṭa’if to Makkah, recognised these Muslims and decided to attack them. While Quraish were planning this attack, the party of six Muslims consulted one another as to what should be done. Based on the facts that they did not wish their intelligence mission to get jeopardised, Muslims believed that the sacred month (when fighting in Ka’aba is prohibited) will start in one day, these six Muslims eventually decided that the caravan should be attacked, and the people of the caravan should either be taken captive or killed.

Therefore, they launched an attack in the name of Allah, and as a result, one man, whose name was ‘Amr bin Al-Ḥaḍrami was killed, and two were taken captive. However, the fourth individual escaped, and the Muslims were unable to apprehend him. (Thus, their decision to capture them or kill them was not successful in its entirety) Thereafter, the Muslims seized the goods of the caravan. Since one man belonging to the Quraish had escaped and news of this conflict would inevitably reach Makkah quickly, Abdullah bin Jaḥsh (ra) and his companions swiftly returned to Medina with the spoils.”

When the Holy Prophet (sa) found out that the Companions had attacked the caravan, he was extremely displeased and said: ‘I have not given you permission to fight in the Sacred Month. It is then stated that he refused to accept the spoils of war saying: “I will not accept anything from this.” Upon this, Abdullah (ra) and his companions felt extreme remorse and shame. Then it is written that: ‘They thought that due to their incurring the displeasure of God and His Messenger, they had been ruined.’ (they became extremely worried). Even the other Companions reproached them and said: ‘You did that which you had not been ordered, and you fought in the Sacred Month, although you had not been ordered at all to fight in this campaign.’

During this time, two men from the Quraish arrived in Madinah in order to have their two captives released. (These were the two people who were captured by the Muslims) However, until now, Sa‘d bin Abi Waqqaṣ (ra) and ‘Utbah (ra) had not returned. (their camels had become lost and there was no trace of them.) When the Quraish came to free their captives, the Holy Prophet (sa) refused to return them until both of them [i.e. Sa’d bin Abi Waqqas and Utbah] returned, He said: “‘When my men safely reach Madinah, I will release yours.’ Therefore, when they both reached Madinah, the Holy Prophet (sa) released both captives for a ransom. However, from among these two captives, one individual was so deeply impressed by the high moral qualities of the Holy Prophet (sa) and the truth of the Islamic teaching during his stay at Madinah, that even after his release, he refused to return, and joined the servants of the Holy Prophet (sa). He was eventually martyred at Bi‘r-e-Ma‘unah. His name was Ḥakam bin Kisan (ra).”

Regarding Abu Huzaifa (ra), his father, cousin and nephew were all killed while fighting with non-believers during the Battle of Badr. However, Hazrat Huzaifa (ra) demonstrated great patience and whilst remaining content with the will of God Almighty, he expressed his gratitude to Him for the help He had granted in favour of the Holy Prophet (sa), that is the victory in the Battle of Badr. Hazrat Abu Huzaifah (ra) was able to participate in all the battles alongside the Holy Prophet (sa), and he was martyred at the age of fifty-three or fifty-four in the battle of Yamama during the Caliphate of Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq (ra).

Now I will mention about a long-standing servant and noble member of the Jama’at who passed away a few days ago. His name is Professor Sau’d Ahmad Khan sahib Dehlvi. He passed away on 21st January, as per the will of God. Surely, to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return. His father, Hazrat Muhammad Hassan Ahsaan Dehlvi was a companion of the Promised Messiah (as). Similarly, his paternal grandfather, Hazrat Mahmood Hassan Khan Sahib, a teacher in Patiala, was also a companion of the Promised Messiah (as). The Promised Messiah (as) listed his name amongst the names of his 313 companions at number 301. In his exquisite book, Siraaj-e-Muneer, the Promised Messiah (as) listed his name in the list of those who offered Chanda for the hospitality and food for guests. Professor Saud Khan sahib devoted his life for the Ahmadiyya Community in 1945. He obtained B.A. honours in Persian from Aligarh. Between June 1946 and October 1949 Sau’d Khan Sahib taught in Talimul Islam High School in Qadian. From October 1949 he spent a few months teaching English in Jamia Ahmadiyya. In 1950 Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II (ra) sent him to Ghana in West Africa to render services to his faith. He served as the first vice principal of the Ahmadiyya Secondary School in Ghana. Hence, on 30 April 1950, he departed from Karachi and reached Kumasi on 30 June. That is to say that it took two months, the months of May and June to complete his journey. He faced extreme physical and financial hardship during this journey. Nowadays we can arrive in five or six hours. On 1 July he began teaching in the Ahmadiyya Secondary School.

His name is at the top of the list in Tarikh-e-Ahmadiyyat among the eight missionaries sent to East Africa, West Africa and Holland in 1950. The first thing written is ‘Sau’d Khan Sahib departed Lahore on 25 Awan 1329AH to Ghana.’ He returned to Pakistan in 1958 as per instructions of Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra) and completed his M.A. in history in the Punjab University. He completed his MA in history afterwards. His father, Muhammad Hasan Ahsaan Dehlvi Sahib passed away in August 1955 whilst Sau’d Sahib was in Ghana. In 1961 he was re-appointed to serve in Ghana where he was again enabled to render great services to his faith.

On the occasion of the Jalsa Salana, arrangements were made for translation of the speeches and Sau’d Sahib had the honour of translating the address of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih III (rh) into English and he was blessed with this opportunity until the last Jalsa held in Rabwah. Huzoor (aba) read out many extracts of the letters written by people who knew Prof Saud well, explaining his excellent qualities of humility, hard work, commitment, dedication, righteousness and extreme tolerance. May God Almighty elevate the station of the deceased, his qualities and attributes were in actuality far greater than what has been mentioned. He had an extraordinary love for Khilafat and showed great obedience. May God Almighty also enable his children and future progeny to always remain attached with Khilafat and the Jama’at. May He continue to elevate his status. After the Friday Prayers, I shall lead his funeral prayer in absentia.