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Muhammad (sa): The Great Exemplar

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

Incidents From the Life of the Holy Prophet(sa) – Treachery of the Banu Nadir Tribe

After reciting Tashahhud, Ta„awwuz and Surah al-Fatihah, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad(aba) said that he would mention details regarding the Expedition of Banu Nadir.

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His Holiness(aba) said that the Banu Nadir was a Jewish family or tribe in Madinah. When the Holy Prophet(sa) arrived in Madinah, the chief of the Banu Nadir was Huyayy bin Akhtab, who was the sixth generation of Nadir bin Naham after whom the tribe was named. Hazrat Safiyyah(ra), the blessed wife of the Holy Prophet(sa) was the daughter of Huyayy bin Akhtab. It is recorded that Huyayy?s lineage linked back to Aaron(as), brother of Moses(as). The Banu Nadir tribe was located half a mile from Quba, just before the city of Madinah.

His Holiness(aba) said that the Expedition of Banu Nadir took place in Rabi? al-Awwal 4 AH. There are narrations saying that this took place before the Battle of Uhud, but Imam Bukhari has also recorded narrations that this took place after the Battle of Uhud and the Expedition of Bir-e-Ma?unah.

Incidents Leading to the Expedition of Banu Nadir

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His Holiness(aba) said that the incidents leading to the Expedition of Banu Nadir were that before the Battle of Uhud, the Quraish of Makkah wrote to Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Sulul and other idol worshippers of the Aus and Khazraj saying that they had given refuge to their enemy. They urged them to either fight against the Muslims or expel them, otherwise the Quraish themselves would attack the people of Madinah. Upon receiving these letters, the recipients planned to fight against the Muslims. Upon receiving word of this, the Holy Prophet(sa), along with some companions met with the leaders of Madinah and explained to them that they should see reason rather than give in to the threats of the Quraish. They ultimately agreed.

His Holiness(aba) said that after the Battle of Badr, the Quraish wrote a letter to the Jews of Madinah, telling them that they had weapons and fortresses and that they should fight against the Holy Prophet(sa), otherwise the Quraish would attack them and seize their women. Upon this, the Banu Nadir intended to deceive the Holy Prophet(sa), because they had already been looking for an excuse to bring down the Muslims. Hence, they sent a message to the Holy Prophet(sa) saying that he along with 30 companions should meet with 30 of their scholars at a neutral place where they could exchange ideologies. When both parties reached the agreed-upon open plain, the Jews realised that with 30 companions around him who were ready to sacrifice themselves for him, it would be difficult to attack the Holy Prophet(sa). Hence, they sent another message saying that it would be difficult for 60 people to converse, and so three from each side should come forward for a conversation. This was agreed upon, and the three Jews who were selected to go forth each had daggers with them which they intended to use to attack the Holy Prophet(sa). The Holy Prophet(sa) was ready to go ahead and was on the way when a well-wishing woman from the Banu Nadir informed a Muslim about the plan of the Jews which was relayed to the Holy Prophet(sa) before he reached there and upon this, the Holy Prophet(sa) returned to Madinah.

His Holiness(aba) said that another reason for this expedition was that the Banu Nadir wrote to the Quraish, inciting them to fight against the Muslims. In fact, they even informed them of certain weaknesses in the Muslim defences.

His Holiness(aba) said that another reason was that whilst returning from Bir-e-Ma?unah, Hazrat Amr bin Umayyah Damri(ra) reached Qanat which is between Madinah and Uhud where he met two people from Banu Amir. The Holy Prophet(sa) had a peace treaty with them, and they joined Hazrat Amr(ra), however when they were asleep he killed them both. When the Holy Prophet(sa) was informed, he was displeased and said that they were in a peace treaty with them. Hazrat Amr(ra) said that he was unaware of this. Hazrat Amr(ra) was instructed to return their belongings to their family and to offer the blood money. A few days later, the Holy Prophet(sa) went to the Banu Nadir along with some Companions and approached them about helping in the offering of the blood money, as part of the treaty between the Muslims and the Banu Nadir was that both would help each other in the offering of blood money.

His Holiness(aba) quoted Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad(ra) who writes:

„Describing the causes leading up to this Ghazwah, experts of Hadith and Sirat have presented varying factors. Due to these varying views, a difference of opinion has also arisen with respect to the era of this Ghazwah. Ibni Ishaq and Ibni Sa„d, who I have followed here without any specific investigation, have placed the Ghazwah of Banu Nadir after the battle of Uhud and the incident of Bi?r-e-Ma„unah.

In support of this view, they write that on his way back to Madinah, „Amr bin Umayyah Damri(ra), who was taken captive and then released by the disbelievers in the incident of Bi?r-e-Ma„unah, encountered two men from the tribe of Banu „Amir, who had entered into a treaty with the Holy Prophet(sa). Since „Amr was unaware of this treaty and agreement, upon finding an opportunity, he killed these two men in retribution for the martyrs of Bi?r-e-Ma„unah, whose deaths were owed to a chieftain of the Banu „Amir, named „Amir bin Tufail, even though, as mentioned earlier, the people of Banu „Amir had themselves refrained from this murder and bloodshed. When „Amr bin Umayyah(ra) arrived to Madinah, he submitted the entire account to the Holy Prophet(sa), and told him about the killing of those two men as well. When the Holy Prophet(sa) was informed of the killing of these two men, he was very displeased by this action of „Amr bin Umayyah(ra), and said, “They were our confederates.” The Holy Prophet(sa) immediately sent the blood-money of both these men to the respective families. However, since the people of the Banu „Amir were allies of the Banu Nadir, and the Banu Nadir were allies of the Muslims, by virtue of treaty, the Banu Nadir were also liable to bear an equal share of the blood-money. As such, along with a few of his companions, the Holy Prophet(sa) went to the settlement of the Banu Nadir and explaining the entire incident, he asked for their share of the blood-money…Most historians have adopted the above-mentioned narration, to the extent that this very narration has become generally renowned and prominent in history. However, in contrast to this, an authentic narration has been transmitted by Imam Zuhri. This narration states that after the Battle of Badr (the exact year and month are not known), the chieftains of the Quraish wrote a letter to the Banu Nadir saying, “Declare war against Muhammad [sa] and the Muslims, or we shall wage war against you.” Upon this, the Banu Nadir mutually consulted and decided that they should tactfully assassinate the Holy Prophet(sa). To this end, they schemed to invite the Holy Prophet(sa) by some excuse, and then find an opportunity to murder him. As such, they sent word to the Holy Prophet(sa) that they would like to arrange a religious dialogue between the Holy Prophet(sa) and their own scholars.

They claimed that if the truth of the Holy Prophet(sa) became evident to them, they would accept him; therefore, the Holy Prophet(sa) should come along with thirty companions so that an exchange of religious views could take place with thirty Jewish scholars. On the one hand, they conveyed this message to the Holy Prophet(sa), while on the other, they consolidated their scheme and fully prepared accordingly. They conspired that after the Holy Prophet(sa) had arrived, these very same “scholars,” secretly possessing hidden daggers, would find an opportunity and assassinate the Holy Prophet(sa). However, a lady from the tribe of the Banu Nadir, transmitted timely information with respect to the evil motives of her people to a man from the Ansar, who was her brother. The Holy Prophet(sa) had only just left his residence, when he received this news and returned. The Holy Prophet(sa) immediately commanded mobilisation, and set out towards the fortresses of the Banu Nadir. As soon as he reached there, the Holy Prophet(sa) besieged them and sent a message to their chieftains that under the circumstances which had come to light, they could not be permitted to remain in Madinah, until they were to settle a new treaty with the Holy Prophet(sa) and assure him that they would not violate their treaty and commit treachery again. The Jews, however, plainly refused to settle another treaty, and in this manner, war commenced. The Banu Nadir very arrogantly took to their fortresses. On the following day, the Holy Prophet(sa) received news, or perhaps gathered from circumstances that the other tribe of the Jews, known as the Banu Quraizah was also displaying signs of rebellion. The Holy Prophet(sa) took along a detachment and marched towards the fortresses of the Banu Quraizah and besieged them as well. When the Banu Quraizah saw that their secret had been leaked, they became fearful and seeking forgiveness, settled a new treaty of peace and security, and a mutual alliance with the Holy Prophet(sa). Upon this, the Holy Prophet(sa) lifted the siege and returned to the fortresses of the Banu Nadir. However, the Banu Nadir persisted in their obstinacy and hostility, and a proper state of war commenced.

These are the two varying narrations which have been related with respect to the cause of the Ghazwah of Banu Nadir. From a historical perspective, the latter narration is more correct and authentic, and other narrations also support this in principle. However, the first narration has been more widely accepted by historians and various authentic Ahadith have also alluded to its authenticity. As such, although Imam Bukhari has given precedence to the narration of Zuhri, he has still mentioned the blood-money of the two people who were killed from the „Amir tribe. Therefore, in our opinion, if both narrations are deemed to be correct and taken together, there is no harm in this. Albeit, as far as the era of this Ghazwah is concerned, one narration must be given preference from among the two, because in this respect, both narrations cannot be correct. It appears as if on various occasions, different causes for war were created by the Banu Nadir, and the Holy Prophet(sa) continued to grant them respite and dealt with them in a forgiving manner. However, when the final cause arose after the incident of Bi?r-e-Ma„unah, the Holy

Prophet(sa) reminded them of all their previous designs and finally took military action against them. In other words, all the causes which have been mentioned are correct in their own right, but the final motivating factor was the one that took place when the blood-money was demanded for the two men killed from the Banu „Amir. And Allah knows the truth best.?

(The Life and Character of the Seal of Prophets (sa), Vol. 2, pp. 377381)

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

His Holiness(aba) again urged prayers for Ahmadis in Pakistan, who once again are facing difficulties. His Holiness(aba) prayed that may Allah swiftly save them from the clutches of these cruel people and may their circumstances improve. They are caused trouble on the slightest of matters.

Funeral Prayers

His Holiness(aba) said that he would lead the funeral prayers in absentia of the following:

Ghulam Sarwar and Rahat Ahmad Bajwa

They were both from Sadullapur and were martyred on 8 June. An enemy of Ahmadiyyat opened fire on them and martyred them one after the other. Ghulam Sarwar was leaving the mosque for his home after the prayers when he was approached by the enemy of Ahmadiyyat who opened fire resulting in Ghulam Sarwar being struck in the head by bullets resulting in his martyrdom. Then the assailant went to another part of the village and opened fire on Rahat Ahmad Bajwa. Later he was apprehended and admitted to the crime and said that he had done so in order to attain paradise and if had seen any other Ahmadis then he would not have hesitated to kill them as well.

These are the things which clerics are teaching people. His Holiness(aba) prayed that may Allah swiftly bring them to task.

Ghulam Sarwar

His Holiness(aba) said that Ghulam Sarwar Shaheed was regular in offering his five daily prayers as well as voluntary prayers and fasting.

He also had a passion for reciting the Holy Qur?an and studying the community?s literature. He would offer alms every day and would help the needy in secret. He served the local community in different capacities and he also had a passion for calling people unto God. Various people were able to accept Ahmadiyyat as a result of his efforts. He was also imprisoned for a few days on account of his faith. He had a desire to render such service whereby his name would be recorded in history. This desire of his has been fulfilled. He is survived by his wife, two sons and four daughters. He displayed exemplary obedience to those who were in authority over him in matters pertaining to the Community, never letting any personal grievances get in the way. He loved Khilafat and had a passion for reading the books of the Promised Messiah(as). His Holiness(aba) prayed that may Allah elevate his station and allow virtue to continue on in his progeny.

Rahat Ahmad Bajwa

Rahat Ahmad Bajwa was standing at the bus station when the assailant opened fire on him and he was martyred after being struck in the head by bullets. Whenever an Ahmadi was martyred he would express how fortunate they were. He had a special love for Khilafat. He was very jovial and even if someone approached him in a negative manner he would respond positively. He would always be present when called upon for any service. He desired to dedicate his life in the service of the guests of the Promised Messiah(as). He always advised against disloyalty to the Community. He is survived by his parents, wife and two young daughters.

His Holiness(aba) prayed that may Allah grant these martyrs a lofty station in Paradise, grant them forgiveness and mercy and grant their loved ones patience and fortitude and keep them in His protection.

Malik Muzaffar Khan Joiya

Malik Muzaffar Khan Joiya was the father of Matiullah Joiya who is serving as a missionary in Hawaii who did not have his travel documents and thus was unable to attend his father?s funeral. Malik Muzaffar Khan Joiya possessed many virtuous qualities. He himself accepted Ahmadiyyat during his youth which brought about a revolutionary change within him after which he had a strong bond with God and led an exemplary life. He served the Community in various capacities. He never complained about Community officials and in fact, taught to treat them with the utmost respect. He would advise all of his children to offer their financial contributions before being reminded about them. His Holiness(aba) prayed that may Allah grant him forgiveness and mercy, elevate his station and enable his children to carry on the legacy of his virtues.

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