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Friday, December 8, 2023
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Muhammad (sa): The Great Exemplar

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Friday Sermon delivered by Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad(at)

Friday Sermon delivered at Masjid Mubarak, Islamabad, Tilford, UK

‘A Call for Justice During the Hamas-Israel War & Incidents from the Life of the Holy Prophet(sa)’

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After reciting Tashahhud, Ta’awwuz and Surah al-Fatihah, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad(aba) said that he had been mentioning the life of the Holy Prophet(sa).

Attention to Offering Voluntary Prayers

His Holiness(aba) said that there is a narration in which the Holy Prophet(sa) drew the attention of his daughter and his husband towards offering tahajjud (pre-dawn voluntary prayer). The Holy

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Prophet(sa) asked Hazrat Fatimah(ra) and Hazrat Ali(ra) whether they wake up for tahajjud. Hazrat Ali(ra) replied that their lives are in the hands of Allah, and if Allah wakes them up for it, then they get up and offer it. The Holy Prophet(sa) remained silent, however, as he was leaving, he could be heard saying that „man is most contentious?.

His Holiness(aba) quoted the Second Caliph, Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad(ra), who notes that this was the wise and amazing way in which the Holy Prophet(sa) indicated to Hazrat Ali(ra) that he should not have responded in this way. Other leaders would have spoken up right at that instance and impressed upon the other their stature and rank. Instead, the Holy Prophet(sa) only mentioned something when he had moved to the side, and expressed that people begin arguing over the smallest of matters. This left an indelible impression. This narration also indicates the degree to which the Holy Prophet(sa) cared for the people of his own home. Sometimes people advise others to do things, yet those very things are not done in their own home. However, the Holy Prophet(sa) was not such, and he was careful that the same things he enjoined to others were also being implemented in the homes of his own family.

His Holiness(aba) further quoted Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad(ra), who said that there are some who erroneously allege that the Holy Prophet(sa) did not actually receive revelation and made up the things that he said. However, this narration shows the firm belief and conviction that the Holy Prophet(sa) had in the teachings that had been sent to him, for him to go at night to his daughter?s home and ensure that they were adhering to the teachings that had been vouchsafed to him. Otherwise, a liar or fabricator would not advise his own children, when there was no one else around, to act upon his teachings. Thus, this evidently shows the verity of the teachings given to him and the Holy Prophet?s (sa) belief in them. Importance of Explaining with Wisdom

His Holiness(aba) continued quoting the Second Caliph(ra), who said that another aspect which is made evident through this narration is that the Holy Prophet(sa) employed the best and wisest way when it came to explaining a concept to someone. He did not become angry or speak harshly, rather, he would calmly and kindly explain things in an effective manner. Hence, the result of this was that Hazrat Ali(ra) went on to say that after this, he never missed offering tahajjud.

His Holiness(aba) said that, as such, we must all focus on offering tahajjud, especially life-devotees, missionaries and officeholders. The prayers offered at night are more prone to draw the blessings of Allah. Especially these days, in light of what is happening in the world, prayers are especially important.

The Ghazwah of Banu Qainuqa

His Holiness(aba) said that then the expedition towards Qainuqa took place in 2 AH. After the Holy Prophet?s (sa) migration to Madinah, the disbelievers had branched into three kinds; the first were those who entered into a treaty with the Muslims, vowing not to fight against the Muslims, or assist anyone else fighting the Muslims. These people included the three Jewish tribes in Madinah. The second group were the Arabs who actively fought against the Muslims, such as the Quraish. Then there were those who either abandoned the Holy Prophet(sa) such as the Banu Khuza?ah or those who apparently sided with the Holy Prophet(sa) but then helped the disbelievers.

His Holiness(aba) said that in part of the treaty signed with the Jewish tribes of Madinah, it was made clear that they would not help the enemy fight against the Muslims. However, the first to break this agreement was the Banu Qainuqa. His Holiness(aba) quoted Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad(ra) who writes:

„When the Holy Prophet(sa) migrated from Makkah and arrived in Madinah, there were three tribes among the Jews, which inhabited Madinah at the time. Their names were the Banu Qainuqa„, Banu Nadir and Banu Quraizah. As soon as the Holy Prophet(sa) came to Madinah, he settled treaties of peace and security with these tribes, and lay the foundation for peaceful and harmonious cohabitation. By virtue of agreement, all parties were responsible for maintaining peace and security in Madinah, and if a foreign enemy was to attack Madinah, everyone was collectively responsible for its defence. In the beginning, the Jews conformed to the treaty, and at least openly, did not create conflict with the Muslims. However, when they began to notice that the Muslims were continuing to gain strength in Madinah, they began to change their attitude and firmly resolved to bring an end to this growing power of the Muslims. To this end, they began to employ all sorts of lawful and unlawful schemes, so much so that they did not even hold back from an attempt to create rift among the Muslims and thus instigate a civil war. As such, there is a narration that on one occasion, a large group of people from the tribes of Aus and Khazraj were sitting together and conversing with love and harmony, when a mischievous Jew reached this gathering and began to mention the Battle of Bu„ath. This was the horrific war which took place between these two tribes a few years prior to the migration, and in which many people from among the Aus and Khazraj were slain at the hands of one another. As soon as this war was mentioned, memories of the past were refreshed, and scenes of ancient enmity began to run before the eyes of various emotional people. The result was that from satirical remarks, taunt and slander, the matter escalated to such an extent that both parties found themselves at daggers drawn in the very same gathering. Thank God, however, that the Holy Prophet(sa) was notified in due time and he immediately arrived at the scene with a community of the Muhajirin and calmed both parties down; and rebuked them as well saying, “Do you follow a way of ignorance while I am amongst you? You do not value the favour of God that through Islam He has made you brothers.” The Ansar were so deeply moved by this admonition that their eyes began to flow with tears, and they began to embrace one another whilst repenting for their action.

When the Battle of Badr had taken place and Allah the Exalted, in His Grace, granted a convincing victory to the Muslims, despite their being few and without means over a very fierce army of the Quraish, and the prominent leaders of Makkah were mixed to dust, the Jews of Madinah went up in flames of jealousy. They began to openly hurl stinging comments at the Muslims and publicly asserted in gatherings that, “So what if you have defeated the army of the Quraish. Let Muhammad [sa] fight us and we shall demonstrate how wars are fought.” This escalated to such an extent that in one gathering, they even uttered such words in the very presence of the Holy Prophet(sa). As such, there is a narration that after the Battle of Badr, when the Holy Prophet(sa) returned to Madinah, one day, he gathered the Jews and admonished them and whilst presenting his claim, invited them to Islam. The chieftains among the Jews responded to this peaceful and sympathetic address of the Holy Prophet(sa) in the following words, “O Muhammad [sa], it seems that you have perhaps become arrogant after killing a few Quraish. Those people were inexperienced in the art of war. If you were to fight us, you would come to know the real likes of warriors.” The Jews did not rest upon a mere threat, rather, it seems as if they even began to hatch conspiracies to assassinate the Holy Prophet(sa). There is a narration that in those days when a faithful Companion by the name of Talhah bin Bara?(ra) was about to pass away, he bequeathed that “If I die at night, the Holy Prophet(sa) should not be notified about my funeral prayer, lest a misfortune befalls the

Holy Prophet(sa) at the hands of the Jews on my account.” Therefore, after the Battle of Badr, the Jews openly began to fuel mischief, and among the Jews of Madinah, since the Banu Qainuqa„ were the most powerful and bold, it was they who first began to breach the treaty. As such, historians write:

“Among the Jews of Madinah, the Banu Qainuqa„ were the first to break the treaty which had been settled between them and the Holy Prophet(sa). After Badr, they began to rebel fiercely and openly expressed their rancour and malice and broke their treaty and agreement.”

However, despite such events, under the guidance of their Master, the Muslims demonstrated patience in every way and did not allow themselves to take the lead in any respect. It is narrated in a Hadith that after the treaty which had been settled with the Jews, the Holy Prophet(sa) would even take special care to protect their sentiments. On one occasion, an argument broke out between a Muslim and a Jew. The Jew asserted the superiority of Moses(as) above all the other prophets. The Companion was angered by this and he dealt somewhat harshly with that person replying that the Holy Prophet(sa) was the most superior of all the Messengers. When the Holy Prophet(sa) was informed of this, he was displeased and rebuked the Companion saying, “It is not your task to go about speaking of the superiority of God?s Messengers in comparison to one another.” Then, the Holy Prophet(sa) mentioned a partial superiority of Moses(as) and consoled the Jew. However, despite this loving conduct of the Holy Prophet(sa), the Jews continued to escalate in their mischief. Eventually, it was the Jews who created a cause for war and their heart-felt animosity could not be tamed. What happened to occur was that a Muslim lady went to the shop of a Jew in the market in order to purchase some goods. A few evil Jews, who were then sitting at the shop began to harass her in a most mischievous manner and even the shopkeeper himself committed the evil deed that while the lady was unaware, he attached the lower corner of her skirt to the mantle on her back with a thorn or something of that sort. As a result, when the lady stood up to leave due to their rude behaviour, the lower part of her body became exposed, at which the Jewish shopkeeper and his accomplices burst out in laughter. Outraged, the Muslim lady screamed and appealed for help. It so happened that a Muslim was present nearby. He dashed to the scene, and in a mutual altercation, the Jewish shopkeeper was killed. Upon this, the Muslim was showered with swords from all directions and this remarkably indignant Muslim was put to death. When the Muslims were informed of this event in national indignation, their eyes gorged with blood in rage. On the other hand, the Jews who desired to make this incident an excuse to fight congregated in the form of a crowd and a state of riot broke out. When the Holy Prophet(sa) was informed of this, he gathered the chieftains of the Banu Qainuqa„ and explained that such behaviour was not appropriate and that they should refrain from such mischief and fear God. Instead of expressing disappointment and remorse, they responded with very refractory answers and repeated their earlier threat that, “Do not become arrogant over your victory at Badr. When you are to fight us you shall come to know the real likes of warriors.” Left with no other choice, the Holy Prophet(sa) set out towards the fortresses of the Banu Qainuqa„ with a force of Companions. Now this was the last opportunity for them to express remorse over their actions, but instead, they stood ready for war. Therefore, war was declared, and the forces of Isl?m and Judaism came forth to battle one another. According to the custom of that era, a method of warfare was that one party would secure themselves within their fortresses and wait. The opposing force would besiege the fortress and whenever an opportunity presented itself, now and then, attacks would be launched against one another. This would continue until the surrounding army would either lose hope in capturing the fortress and lift the siege, and this would be considered a victory to the ones besieged; or being unable to muster the strength to fend off the onslaught, the besieged force would open the gates of their fortress and hand themselves over to the victors. On this occasion, the Banu Qainuqa„ employed the same tactic, and closed themselves within their own fortresses. The Holy Prophet(sa) besieged them and this siege continued for fifteen days without fail. Finally, when all the strength and arrogance of the Banu Qainuqa„ had been shattered, they opened the gates of their fortresses on the condition that though their wealth would belong to the Muslims, their lives and families would be spared. The Holy Prophet(sa) accepted this condition, even though according to Mosaic law, all of these people were liable to be put to death, and according to the initial agreement, the judgement of the Mosaic law should have been administered to them.

However, since this was the first crime committed by this nation, as a first course of action, the merciful and forgiving disposition of the Holy Prophet(sa) could never be inclined towards an extreme punishment, which should only imposed as a final remedy. However, on the other hand, allowing such a treacherous and rebellious tribe to remain in Madinah was no less than nurturing a snake in the grass, especially when a group of hypocrites from among the Aus and Khazraj were already present within Madinah, and from the exterior as well, the opposition of the whole of Arabia had greatly distressed the Muslims.

In such circumstances, the only judgement which the Holy Prophet(sa) could pass was for the Banu Qainuqa„ to leave Madinah. In comparison to their crime and taking into account the circumstances of that era, this was a very mild punishment. Furthermore, the purpose of this punishment was the security of Madinah. Nonetheless, for the nomadic tribes of Arabia it was nothing out of the ordinary to move from one place to another, especially when a tribe did not own any properties in the form of land and orchards – and the Banu Qainuqa„ had none. The entire tribe was given the opportunity to leave one place and settle somewhere else, with great peace and security. As such, the Banu Qainuqa„ very peacefully left Mad?nah and settled towards Syria. The Holy Prophet(sa) assigned the task of overseeing the necessary arrangements, etc. associated with their departure to a Companion named „Ubadah bin Samit(ra) who was from among their confederates. „Ubadah bin Samit(ra) escorted the Banu Qainuqa„ for a few Manzils and after safely sending them off, he returned. The spoils which were attained by the Muslims consisted only of weaponry and instruments of their profession, which was that of goldsmith.

It has been related in various narrations with respect to the Banu Qainuqa„ that when they opened the gates of their fortresses and handed themselves to the Holy Prophet(sa), due to their treachery, rebellion and mischief, it was the intention of the Holy Prophet(sa) to execute their combatant men, but on the intercession of „Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Sulul, chief of the hypocrites, the Holy Prophet(sa) abandoned this intention. However, research scholars have not accepted these narrations as being authentic. The reason being that when other narrations explicitly mention that the Banu Qainuqa„ opened their gates on the condition that their lives and the lives of their families would be spared, it is absolutely impossible to accept that after having accepted this condition, the Holy Prophet(sa) would follow any other course of action. As a matter of fact, even the condition presented by the Banu Qainuqa„ that their lives would be spared demonstrates the fact that they themselves knew that their rightful punishment was death. However, they appealed to the mercy of the Holy Prophet(sa) and they were willing to open the gate of their fortress after receiving the assurance that they would not incur the death penalty. However, although the Holy Prophet(sa) forgave them due to his merciful disposition, it seems as if in the estimation of God the Exalted, these people were no longer worthy of being left alive on the face of the earth, on account of their evil deeds and crimes. As such, there is a narration that less than one year had passed since the relocation of these people to their place of exile, that an epidemic broke out among them whereby the entire tribe fell victim to it and was mixed to dust.

There is a slight difference of opinion with regards to the date of the Ghazwah of Banu Qainuqa„. Waqidi and Ibni Sa„d have stated that it took place in Shawwal 2 A.H., and the contemporaries have primarily followed suit. However, Ibni Ishaq and Ibni Hisham have placed it after the Ghazwah of Sawiq, which is confirmed to have taken place in the month of Dhul-Hijjah 2 A.H. An indication is also found in one narration of Hadith, which establishes that the Ghazwah of Banu Qainuqa„ took place after the Rukhsatanah of Hazrat Fatimah(ra). In this narration, it is mentioned that in order to arrange for the expenses of the Walimah, Hazrat „Ali(ra) proposed to take along a Jewish goldsmith from the Banu Qainuqa„ and go to the forest so that he might procure some grass known as „Idhkhir? and then sell it to the goldsmiths of Madinah. This proves that until the Rukhsatanah of Hazrat Fatimah(ra), which according to all historians, took place near Dhul- Hijjah 2 A.H., the Banu Qainuqa„ were still present in Madinah. It is on the basis of these reasons that I have placed the Ghazwah of Banu Qainuqa„ in late 2 A.H., after the Ghazwah of Sawiq and the Rukhsatanah of Hazrat Fatimah(ra). And Allah knows best.

At this occasion, it would also be appropriate to mention that whilst describing the cause leading up to the Ghazwah of Banu Qainuqa„, Mr. Margoliouth has concocted a most strange and unusual theory of his own accord, which is not even remotely alluded to in a single narration. There is a narration in Bukhari that in a state of intoxication (until then, drinking had not yet been forbidden), Hazrat Hamzah(ra) killed two camels belonging to Hazrat „Ali(ra), which he had received from the spoils of Badr. Attaching this separate incident to the Ghazwah of Banu Qainuqa„, without any historical evidence whatsoever, Mr. Margoliouth writes that the Holy Prophet(sa) invaded the tribe of Banu Qainuqa„ so that the spoils would compensate for the loss sustained by Hazrat „Ali(ra). Such audacity in historical writing is perhaps a feat which speaks for itself. Then, the irony is that Mr. Margoliouth himself accepts the fact that he has written this on the basis of his own speculation.?

(The Life and Character of the Seal of Prophets (sa), Vol. 2, pp. 284291)

His Holiness(aba) said that he would continue narrating these incidents incidents in the future.

Appeal for Prayer in Light of the Injustices Committed in the Hamas-Israel War

His Holiness(aba) said that in light of the current conditions of the world, he wishes to draw attention towards prayers once again. As a result of the war between Hamas and Israel, the number of innocent Palestinian women and children losing their lives is increasing. The manner in which this war is progressing and the policies which Israel and other big powers are enacting make a world war an imminent reality. Now, even the leaders of some Muslim nations, Russia, China, and other commentators have started openly saying that this war is only getting worse. If a wise policy is not implemented immediately, then the world will be destroyed. Everything is being relayed on the news and the reality is before everyone. As such, Ahmadis must especially focus on prayers. They should not become relaxed. At least one prostration a day should be dedicated to praying for this situation.

His Holiness(aba) said that the leaders of the Western nations do not wish to act with justice regarding this situation, nor do they have the courage to speak up. Ahmadis should not get caught up in debates about which countries have good leaders and which do not, what they should say or not say. These are all futile conversations. Until someone does not stand up with courage to try and bring an end to this war then they are responsible for leading the world towards destruction.

His Holiness(aba) said that along with prayers, everyone should try and create an atmosphere of spreading the message that injustices must be brought to an end. Ahmadis should try to relay this message to anyone they have connections with. This is true courage, and this is the standard of acting according to the commands of Allah.

His Holiness(aba) said that Israel says that they will retaliate after Hamas attacked their people. However now, this retaliation has crossed all limits. Four to five times more Palestinian lives have been lost as compared to the number of Israeli lives lost. If they wish to end Hamas, as they claim, then they should fight with them. Why are they making women and children their target? They have also hindered these people from obtaining food and water. This is where the claims of governments of fulfilling the rights of people and following the rules of war falter.

His Holiness(aba) said that there are some who draw attention to these things. Recently, a former American official said that if there is to be a war, then it should be in accordance with the rules of war, not taking the lives of the innocent. The Secretary-General of the UN also spoke up, to the displeasure of the Israeli government. Those who claim themselves in the world to be champions of peace have not supported the statement of the Secretary-General, and in fact have spoken against them.

His Holiness(aba) said that these are dangerous times, and they are only becoming more dangerous. The Western media sensationalises the reports of one side and fleetingly mentions the other side. For example, recently there was a female hostage who was freed and said that she was treated very well. However, another statement saying that imprisonment by Hamas was like hell was made the headline. Justice would dictate that the entire situation be presented and the world be left to decide for itself what is just, what is cruel and whether this war is justified or not.

His Holiness(aba) said that we must pray a great deal and try to spread the message of justice around us. We should pray for the oppressed Muslims, and that Allah enables the Muslim world to take a united stance. We should have a distinct pain for the difficulties of Muslims to be alleviated. We have accepted the Promised Messiah(as) and despite difficulties being inflicted upon us by other Muslims, we always express our sentiments in their favour as such.

‘O my heart, be mindful of them, for after all, they claim love for my Messenger(sa)?

His Holiness(aba) said that love for the Holy Prophet(sa) demands that we pray a great deal for Muslims. His Holiness(aba) prayed that may Allah enable us to do so, and may He grant understanding to the Muslim world, and the world at large.  

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