After reciting Tashahhud, Ta`awwuz and Surah al-Fatihah, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) said that he would continue mentioning incidents from the life of Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra), particularly regarding advancements towards Syria.
His Holiness (aba) said that once the forces of rebellion had been extinguished and Islamic rule was established, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) thought that he should now turn his attention towards international forces that sought to create difficulties for Islam. He decided that he would first focus on Syria, however, he did not initially inform anyone about this.
Dream of Hazrat Shurahbil (ra)
His Holiness (aba) said that Hazrat Shurahbil (ra) once went to Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) and asked whether he was intending to advance towards Syria. Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) confirmed this, however he wondered as to how he knew, for he had not yet told anyone. Hazrat Shurahbil (ra) narrated a dream to Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) in which he saw Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) climb atop a high mountain, after which he went to a land full of greenery, streams and fortresses. Then he saw Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) encourage the Muslims to fight, with the assurance of victory. Hazrat Shurahbil (ra) saw that he was given a flag of the Muslim army and he fought, until the people sought peace and security from him which he granted. Then he saw Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) become victorious and sit on a throne in one of the fortresses. In the dream, there was also a man who came to Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) and recited Surah Al-Nasr to Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra).
His Holiness (aba) said that when Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) heard this dream, he was pleased and said it was a good dream. He said that the part of the dream in which he was walking through a rocky terrain to the top of the mountain meant that they would have to face difficulties. Then, the green land with streams meant that there would be ease. He said that based on the dream, Hazrat Shurahbil (ra) would be among the leaders who would lead the Mulsims to victory. Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) said that this dream was also a foretelling of his demise, for the same chapter of the Holy Qur’an that was recited in the dream was also shown in a dream to the Holy Prophet (sa) from which he knew his demise was drawing near.
Companions Pledge to Support Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) in the Campaign in Syria
His Holiness (aba) said that Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) gathered the senior Companions and informed them of his intention to send the Muslims army towards Syria and consulted with them regarding the matter. Hazrat Umar (ra) said that he had been intending to discuss this very matter with Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) and agreed with the idea. Subsequently, the other senior Companions from both the Muhajireen and the Ansar all agreed with Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) and pledged to follow and obey him wholeheartedly.
His Holiness (aba) said that Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) asked Hazrat Bilal (ra) to call out and tell the Muslims to set out towards Syria, under the leadership of Hazrat Khalid bin Sa’eed (ra), who was the first to be sent to Syria. According to some narrations, when Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) deployed the 11 battalions to combat the rebellions that had arisen, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) also sent Hazrat Khalid bin Sa’eed (ra) to Syria. Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) also sent a letter to the Muslims of Yemen encouraging them to come forward and fight for the sake of Allah. Hazrat Anas (ra) was sent with this letter, and returned to Madinah with the good news of their imminent arrival.
Hazrat Abu Bakr’s (ra) Instructions to Hazrat Khalid bin Sa’eed (ra)
His Holiness (aba) said that when Hazrat Khalid bin Sa’eed (ra) reached Taima, the Syrians learned of the large Muslim army that was forming, and thus began making their won preparations as well. He wrote about this to Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra), who replied saying that he should remain steadfast and continue forwards, whilst seeking help from Allah. Thus, Hazrat Khalid bin Sa’eed (ra) advanced, but when the Syrians saw him they scattered and those closeby accepted Islam. He informed Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra), who replied saying that he should continue advancing, but not so much that he could easily be attacked from behind.
His Holiness (aba) said that as Hazrat Khalid bin Sa’eed (ra) advanced, he wrote to Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) for further reinforcements, upon which Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) formed another army of those from Yemen and from between Makkah and Madinah and sent them to join Hazrat Khalid bin Sa’eed (ra). Upon hearing this, Hazrat Khalid bin Sa’eed (ra) was overjoyed, and in this joy he sought to attack a large Syrian army, and in doing so, forgot the advice of Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) not to advance to the degree that he could easily be attacked from behind. Bahan and the Syrian army encircled Hazrat Khalid bin Sa’eed (ra), however he did not realise. At this time, a battalion comprising Hazrat Khalid bin Sa’eed’s (ra) son who had gone out to find water was attacked and martyred by the Bahan from the Syrian army. When Hazrat Khalid (ra) learned this, he left the area, causing many others to disperse as well.
His Holiness (aba) said that Hazrat Ikrimah (ra) who had arrived stayed firm and ensured that the Syrians did not follow behind Hazrat Khalid bin Sa’eed (ra). When Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) learned of this, he was very displeased. Later, Hazrat Khalid bin Sa’eed (ra) sought forgiveness from Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra).
Clear Instructions on Who the Muslims Should Target in Battle
Despite this, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) was not deterred and began preparing more armies to go to Syria. As such, four large armies were prepared, the first of which was under the leadership of Yazid bin Abi Sufyan. Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) encouraged the Muslim army to remain strong and steadfast. He said that upon victory, the Muslims should not mutilate bodies. He advised that children and women must not be attacked, animals should not be slaughtered except for eating, and priests should not be attacked. He said that they should fight against such people who would be missing hair from the top of their heads. According to various narrations, these were certain Christian people who incited and fought in wars against Muslims. Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) further advised Yazid to remain careful in his manoeuvres. He advised him to be kind to his army, and to set his own example which the rest of the army would follow. He instructed him to ensure the offering of prayers with great fervour. He said that his advisors should be kept aware of all matters so that they could give appropriate and informed advice. Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) advised on various other matters which served as a complete guide for any leader. As such, thereafter, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) specifically prayed for the success of this army.
Army Sent under Leadership of Hazrat Shurahbil bin Hasanah (ra)
His Holiness (aba) said that the second of the four armies was led by Hazrat Shurahbil bin Hasanah (ra), who was among the foremost Muslims. He was deployed by Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) three days after the departure of Hazrat Yazid. Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) said that he should remember the same advice which he had given to Hazrat Yazid, and additionally gave further guidance, such as ensuring to offer prayers on time and to offer funeral prayers, among other things. Hazrat Shurahbil (ra) was sent to ultimately reach Busra in Syria.
Army Sent under Leadership of Hazrat Abu Ubaidah bin Jarrah (ra)
His Holiness (aba) said that the third of the four armies was sent under Hazrat Abu Ubaidah bin Jarrah (ra), who was among the ten Companions who had been given the glad tidings of Paradise by the Holy Prophet (sa). Hazrat Abu Ubaidah (ra) was sent towards Hims, which was near Damascus in Syria. Along the way, he passed by a tent city in Balqa, with whom he reached a treaty of peace.
His Holiness (aba) said that he would continue mention of these incidents in future sermons.
His Holiness (aba) said that he wished to mention a recent martyr, by the name of Naseer Ahmad, son of Abdul Ghany. He resided in Rabwah and was martyred on 12 August after being stabbed by an opponent of Ahmadiyyat. He was standing at a bus stop, when he was approached by a religious fanatic who asked whether he was Ahmadi. When he confirmed that he was, the fanatic told him to renounce his faith. When he refused to do so, he pulled out a knife and stabbed him, martyring him in seconds. The killer expressed no remorse, and said that he would do the same again if given the chance. This all took place within a minute.
His Holiness (aba) said Ahmadiyyat was established in Naseer Ahmad’s family during the time of the Second Caliph (ra) by way of his grandfather. He possessed many great qualities. He was always prepared to help the poor and needy, and would also serve in cleaning the mosque. He would always be read to offer duty when called upon. He was regular in offering prayer, and loved Khilafat a great deal. He had expressed before his martyrdom that he felt his passing was near. He is survived by his wife and three daughters. His Holiness (aba) prayed that may Allah grant them all patience. He would always be ready to donate blood, thus helping to save many lives. His Holiness (aba) prayed that may Allah grant him forgiveness and mercy and elevate his station in Paradise.
Summary prepared by The Review of Religions