After reciting Tashahhud, Ta‘awwuz, and Surah al-Fatihah, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) said that he would continue highlighting incidents from the life of Hazrat Umar (ra).
The Battle of Rayy
His Holiness (aba) said that one battle during the caliphate of Hazrat Umar (ra) was the Battle of Rayy. Those living in Rayy are called Razis. This is where Maulana Fakhruddin Razi was also from.
The chief of Rayy called for help against the Muslims. Once the Iranian reinforcements had reached Rayy, there was no comparison between the numbers in each army. Having witnessed this, one of the Muslims planned to enter the city undetected while the rest of the Muslims attacked from their front, and in this way, it could be conquered. Hence, at night, Nu’aim bin Muqarrin sent his nephew Mundhir bin Amr with some cavalry to attack from the side. Both parties fought determinedly, but when the enemy heard the battle cries from the Muslims who had entered the city they were unable to defend on both fronts. Thus, the Muslims conquered Rayy. The Muslims offered peace to the residents of Rayy if they desisted from their mischief and paid the Jizyah [tax].
Victories over Qumis and Jurjan
His Holiness (aba) then said that after the victory of Rayy, there were the battles of Qumis and Jurjan that took place in 22AH. Hazrat Umar (ra) then wrote to Nu’aim bin Muqarrin to go with his brother Suwaid to Qumis. The people of Qumis did not resist and accepted the terms. They then turned their attention to the city of Jurjan. The people there also agreed to pay the Jizyah in return for peace.
Victory over Azerbaijan
His Holiness (aba) then mentioned the victory over Azerbaijan that also took place in 22AH. Hazrat Umar (ra) sent Utbah bin Farqad and Buqair bin Abdullah there, instructing them to attack from opposite sides. En route, Buqair and his army met Asfandyaz bin Farukhzad, brother of Rustam. Battle ensued and the enemy was defeated. After being captured, Asfandyaz asked Buqair if he preferred peace or war, to which he replied peace. He then suggested he remain in their captivity as the representative of the people of Azerbaijan, otherwise, they would only wish to fight.
As Utbah bin Farqad advanced from the other side, he was met with the brother of Asfandyaz, Baraam, but he fled after tasting defeat in battle. Having received news of this, Asfandyaz knew that there would no longer be any fighting. They made a peace treaty and the people of Azerbaijan accepted the terms.
Victory over Armenia
His Holiness (aba) said that after the victory over Azerbaijan, Buqair was sent to Armenia and Hazrat Umar (ra) sent another army to reinforce him. Suraqah was appointed as the governor of this mission. As one of the battalions had gone ahead of the army of Buqair, it was met with an Iranian who offered to provide military support, and in return he would not have to pay the jizyah. Suraqah agreed, and in this way, Armenia was conquered without any battle taking place. When news of this agreement reached Hazrat Umar (ra), he not only accepted it, he expressed his pleasure and joy over it. Suraqah then began sending armies to the surrounding mountainous areas. A noteworthy victory happened at the hands of Buqair as the people of Mokan agreed to the peace treaty.
His Holiness (aba) highlighted that in each and every one of these treaties, there was always the freedom of religion, no one was forced to become Muslims, which refutes the notion that Islam spread by the sword.
Victory over Khorasan
His Holiness (aba) then mentioned the victory over Khorasan that took place in 22AH. After the Iranians were defeated in Jalulah, Yazdegerd was forced to move to other cities. As he did so, he carried with him the sacred fire, as they were fire worshippers. Having settled near Khorasan, Yazdegerd began to incite Hormazan and others against the Muslims, and thus broke his treaty with the Muslims. Seeing this, other areas also mustered up the strength to rebel and break their oaths. Learning of this, Hazrat Umar (ra) permitted the Muslims to advance and extinguish the rebellion. Ahnaf bin Qais was sent towards Khorasan. He claimed victory over some areas on the way. As Ahnaf approached the lands of Khorasan, Yazdegerd moved to Maheruz, situated near a large river. Yazdegerd sought military help from all around, even from the emperor of China. When the Muslim army was making its way to Maheruz, Yazdegerd led once more, this time to Balkh. The Muslim army of Kufa made its way directly to Balkh, and when Yazdegerd was met with them, they fought in the battle, wherein the Iranians were defeated. Yazdegerd took the remaining army to the river and fled once again.
The people of Khorasan who had taken refuge in their fortresses agreed to the peace treaty. Ahnaf bin Qais remained in Maheruz. His Holiness (aba) then related Hazrat Ali’s (ra) narration that after Hazrat Umar (ra) received news of the victory over Khorasan, he expressed his desire for there to be peace between them. He then said that despite this being an occasion to celebrate, the people there will break their oaths thrice.
As Yazdegerd continued to seek military help, his call was answered by Khaqan of Turkey. The Muslims defeated the Turkish army and Khaqan returned. Having heard the news of the Muslim army, the emperor of China wrote back to Yazdegerd saying that even if the Muslims were to face the mountains, they would destroy them too, and if he attempted to support Yazdegerd, the Muslims would then take his throne as well. The emperor, therefore, urged Yazdegerd to make peace with the Muslims. However, he continued to flee from one place to the next, before finally being killed in the era of Hazrat Umar (ra).
Victory over Istakhr
His Holiness (aba) then mentioned the victory over Istakhr, a major city of Persia. The Muslims were met with the Iranian army in Jur, en route to Istakhr. After attaining victory there, the Muslims then went on to conquer Istakhr. Many lives were lost in the battle, and many fled. Hormuz, the governor of Istakhr eventually agreed to the peace treaty and to pay the Jizyah. One fifth of the spoils of war were sent back to Hazrat Umar (ra). If there was any wealth that was taken unrightfully, the Muslims were instructed to return it right away, as this was against the principles taught within Islam.
His Holiness (aba) said that the Muslim countries nowadays are going against this principle nowadays. They are devoid of righteousness and continue to be dishonest in their dealings.
Victory over Fasa and Darabgerd
His Holiness (aba) said that Hazrat Umar (ra) then sent Sariyah bin Zunaim to Fasa and Darabgerd in 23AH. The Muslims were able to attain victory and among the spoils of war was a treasure chest. The Muslims agreed to send it as a gift to Hazrat Umar (ra). When the messenger returned to Madinah, Hazrat Umar (ra) was then feeding some people. As he approached to speak to Hazrat Umar (ra), he was told to sit and eat. As Hazrat Umar (ra) was leaving, the messenger stood up and followed. Hazrat Umar (ra) assumed he desired to eat more, so he called him into his home to eat again. Then he was given the good news from Sariyah bin Zunaim. Hazrat Umar (ra) refused to keep the chest, telling him to return it to the people there.
Victory over Kerman
Then, His Holiness (aba) mentioned the victory over Kerman in 23AH. This victory took place at the hands of Suhail bin Adiyy. The people of Kerman fought the Muslims but were defeated. Their chieftains were killed and Suhail sent armies to capture those who fled from battle.
The Victory over Sajistan
His Holiness (aba) then mentioned the victory over Sajistan in 23AH. Sajistan was a very vast and powerful place in ancient times. Asim bin Amr made his way to Sajistan along with Abdullah bin Numair. They fought near Sajistan and the people of Sajistan fled. They were pursued and the Muslims continued to claim victory over all the neighbouring places. In the end, the people of Sajistan agreed to remain in a peace treaty with the Muslims.
Victory over Mokran
His Holiness (aba) thereafter mentioned the victory over Mokran in 23AH. Victory was claimed at the hands of Hakam bin Amr with the support of other armies. When Hazrat Umar (ra) received news of this, he asked about the land of Mokran, to which he learnt that the land was not fertile, and the losses outweighed the benefits.
His Holiness (aba) said that he shall continue to mention further battles in future sermons.
Launch of Turkish Internet Radio Channel
His Holiness (aba) mentioned a new radio channel for the Turkish speaking people, which will run 24/7 and can be accessed all around the world. It will broadcast varying programmes of a 4-hour package six times a day. Some of the segments are the recitation of the Holy Qur’an with Turkish translation, sayings of the Holy Prophet (sa), words of the Promised Messiah (as), the Turkish translation of the Friday Sermons, and a Q&A session. His Holiness (aba) said that over 20 countries will be able to derive benefit from this radio channel, such as Azerbaijan, Georgia, some former Soviet Union countries, and wherever there are Turkish people present around the world. The Tabligh department in Germany had the honour of preparing this channel, and prayed for the success of this radio channel, stating that he would launch it after the Friday prayers.
His Holiness (aba) said that he would lead funeral prayers in absentia after the Friday prayers. He also said that the body of our dear and beloved Taalay has not yet reached the UK. Once it does arrive in the coming days, he would also lead his funeral prayer.
Muhammad al-Mukhar Qattah Sahib
His Holiness (aba) then mentioned Muhammad al-Mukhar Qattah, of Morocco who passed away at the age of 73. To Allah we belong and to Him shall we return. He pledged his allegiance in 2009 and was a very sincere Ahmadi. He was an expert in a number of languages and enjoyed reading the books of the Promised Messiah (as). He was at the forefront of making financial sacrifices. He had complete obedience to Khilafat and was regular in offering his prayers. He had so much love for the Holy Qur’an that he would be reading it all the time. He was also a Musi.
Mahmood Ahmad Sahib
Mahmood Ahmad Sahib, who passed away recently at the age of 74 in Qadian. He served at Masjid Aqsa and Masjid Mubarak in Qadian for a very long time. He is survived by his wife, two sons, and a daughter.
Sauda Sahiba, wife of Abdur Rahman Sahib of Kerala. She passed away at the age of 74 on 22 July 2021. She was the mother of Shamsuddin Sahib, the Missionary In-Charge of Kababir. She was regular in offering prayers and in fasting. She had a habit of helping those around her. She is survived by her husband, four sons, and two daughters. His Holiness (aba) prayed that Allah Almighty elevate her in her rank.
Syeda Majeed Sahiba
Syeda Majeed Sahiba, wife of Sheikh Abdul Majeed Sahib of Faisalabad. She passed away recently at the age of 86. To Allah we belong and to Him shall we return. Both her paternal grandparents were companions of the Promised Messiah (as). She served the Community for a very long time in various capacities. She presented all her jewellery prior to her demise to the Community. She had boundless love for Khilafat and inculcated this in her children. She was a Musia. She is survived by her husband, eight sons, and many grandchildren and great grandchildren.
His Holiness (aba) prayed that Allah Almighty grant all the deceased forgiveness and mercy and said that he would lead their funeral prayers after the Friday prayer.
Summary prepared by The Review of Religions.