Emulating the Righteous Examples of the Companions

Official transcript of the address by the Fifth Caliph and Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) on 21st May 2023 at the UK National Majlis-e-Shura held at the Baitul Futuh Mosque, UK.

*Please note that this transcript may not be reproduced without express permission, either on other websites or in print format.

After reciting Tashahhud, Ta’awwuz and Surah Al-Fatihah, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) stated:

‘With the grace of Allah, the UK Jama’at has been able to hold its national Majlis-e-Shura [consultative body]. I pray that your deliberations have been fruitful and conducted with purity of heart, sincerity, and humility, and that Allah the Almighty enables the best possible results to emerge. Furthermore, I pray that you are able to play your respective roles in ensuring whatever Shura recommendations are subsequently approved are fulfilled in the best possible way, Insha’Allah [God-willing]. 

As you will be aware, in my recent Friday Sermon of 12th May, I spoke in some detail about the institution of Majlis-e-Shura. I would like to reiterate what I said then, that your responsibilities do not cease once the Shura concludes. Rather, you should consider that your duties have only just begun. Once the formal proceedings end, all delegates and office bearers of the Jama’at must strive to ensure that whatever recommendations are approved by Khalifatul Masih [the Caliph] are enacted. 

With this in mind, I pray that Allah the Almighty enables you to serve with the spirit and diligence required. May you all prove to be the true Sultan-e-Nasir [true helpers] of the Khalifa-e-Waqt [Caliph of the time], and may all of you fulfil the objectives with which Allah the Almighty sent the Promised Messiah (as) in this era. Certainly, only if we strive earnestly to accomplish his mission can we say that we have fulfilled the true objectives of our lives and the purpose for which the Majlis-e-Shura is convened. Keeping this in mind, I wish to derive benefit from and summarise the first part of speech delivered by Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra) on the occasion of Majlis-e-Shura in 1944. Through his enlightened words, we gain great insight into our duties and responsibilities. During his address, Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra) quoted the following couplet of the Promised Messiah (as), that 

صحابہ سے ملا جب مجھ کو پایا

The first part of that couplet. That means, you shall join the companions when you join with me. These illuminating words convey the glad tiding that those who wholeheartedly accept the Promised Messiah (as) will, by the grace of Allah, join the rank of companions of the Holy Prophet (sa). Clarifying this point, Hazrat  Musleh Maud (ra) explains that it does not mean that a person from a different era will gain the capacity to physically see and meet the Holy Prophet (sa). Of course, that is impossible and against the laws of nature. Rather, it means that through one’s righteous acts and deeds, a person can attain the spiritual rank of companion. Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra) states that the deeds of many people who come after the blessed era of the Holy Prophet (sa) were of such noble standards that God Almighty enabled them to spiritually unite with the  Holy Prophet (sa) and join the ranks of his spiritual companions. In comparison, there were many ignorant people who, despite having the good fortune to live in the era of the Holy Prophet (sa), to meet him and to listen to his divinely inspired speech failed to accept him and remained distant from Allah the Almighty. Thus, they are not counted amongst his companions. Rather, they rank amongst the hypocrites or disbelievers. Consequently, the meaning of the word ‘companion’ is not limited to a person who meets a prophet or has the good fortune to sit in his company. Actually, concealed within this word is a much deeper meaning; a companion of a prophet is a person whose heart is spiritually cleansed and transformed through his association with Allah’s beloved. It is a person whose spiritual pulse beats obediently in perfect harmony with his master. It is a person whose faith and sincerity is pure and who is ready to make every possible sacrifice for the sake of his faith. Explaining further, Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra) gives the example of a royal court. He states that a courtier spends less time with the monarch compared to servants and domestic staff. Nonetheless, the latter are not considered close companions of the monarch, even though they come and go within the royal household and spend a great deal of time in close proximity to the monarch. Instead, those who spend less or even no time at all with the monarch but who serve and facilitate his works are considered to be his closest companions and trusted courtiers.

As a result, to be a companion does not require a physical proximity to one’s leader, rather, a spiritual and emotional connection, a light with unyielding loyalty is fundamental to companionship. It requires a person to sincerely and happily accept the authority of the person in whom they place their trust and belief. It requires a companion to strive to emulate and follow their leader’s footsteps and be fully obedient to them. Above all, it requires perfect harmony regarding their beliefs, conduct and moral values.

So, these three qualities are fundamental to being a faithful companion; A firm belief and conviction in the truth of the person, endeavouring to act like him and to live according to his moral values and teachings. History attests to the fact that many of the people who had the honour to be in the blessed company of the Holy Prophet (sa) attained the rank and status of a true companion. 

At the same time, Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra) states, that it is also true that amongst the Ummah [nation] of the Holy Prophet (sa), there are countless people who, despite never being in the physical company of the Holy Prophet (sa), attained the status of a companion. Their piety and sincerity enabled them to overcome the distance of time and geography and to be counted amongst the truthful companions.

They achieved this honour because they were utterly immersed in the love of the Holy Prophet (sa) and strived with boundless passion to attain the nearness of Allah the Almighty. Furthermore, Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra) explains that in the era of the Holy Prophet (sa), it was not just the likes of Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra), Hazrat Umar (ra), Hazrat Uthman (ra) and Hazrat Ali (ra) who attained the rank of companions. Rather, every person in the time of the Holy Prophet (sa) who inculcated even basic sentiments of loyalty, love and sincerity for him is classed as his companion. 

For instance, it is narrated that a lady took her infant child to meet the Holy Prophet (sa) and the Holy Prophet (sa) lovingly took some water in his mouth and splashed it in the mouth of the child. History has recorded that fortunate boy as a companion of the Holy Prophet (sa). 

At the other end of the scale, amongst the companions were those who fought with incredible bravery and courage for the sake of their faith during defensive wars and battles. Many companions succumbed to the wounds inflicted by the opponents of Islam and attained martyrdom. Accordingly, one child gained companionship merely by being touched by the sweet and fragrant water blessed by the Holy Prophet (sa) whilst others gained it by sacrificing their lives at the hands of the bloodthirsty opponents of Islam.

Hence, Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra) has said that gaining the status of companion was relatively straightforward in the time of the Holy Prophet (sa). Conversely, for those born after the era of the Holy Prophet (sa), achieving the status of companion requires far greater effort and sacrifices. It requires the highest possible standards of fidelity and obedience to the Holy Prophet (sa).  

Alhamdolillah [all praise belongs to Allah], with the grace of Allah, through the course of history, many sincere Muslims have attained such a spiritual rank. Though they could not physically see the Holy Prophet (sa), the spiritual eyes embedded deep within their pious hearts enabled them to perceive him and forge an unbreakable bond with him. 

Hazrat Musleh Maud states that in this way, Allah the Almighty, out of His beneficence and grace has eternally opened a divine, spiritual door leading to companionship for all those righteous souls whose hearts ache with an ardent desire to be amongst the companions of the Holy Prophet (sa). And in this era, having entered the fold of the Promised Messiah (as) and taken his Bai’at [pledge of allegiance], those who serve his mission faithfully can also attain the status of being his companion. So, I urge all of you to reflect upon the words of the Promised Messiah (as) that:

صحابہ سے ملا جب مجھ کو پایا

You shall join the companions when you join with me.”

Strive to avail the eternal gift bestowed to mankind by Allah the Almighty of gaining spiritual companionship of the Holy Prophet (sa) and Promised Messiah (as). This requires that having accepted the Promised Messiah (as), we strive evermore to act upon the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (sa), absorb his teachings and establish a living relationship with Allah the Almighty. It requires us to be ready for all possible sacrifices and to hold a deep and resolute determination to spread the message of Islam. Though not physical companions, the elevated status of people who climb to such towering spiritual heights will be such that Allah the Almighty will grant them His nearness and love as He granted the companions of the Holy Prophet (sa) and the Promised Messiah (as). If we are successful in attaining their spiritual companionship, we will fulfil the purpose of the advent of the Holy Prophet (sa) and the Promised Messiah(as), which was to bring people closer to Allah the Almighty. Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra) goes on to further explain the philosophy of spiritual companionship. He states that according to the decree of Allah the Almighty, in this era, Islamic teachings are to be conveyed through rational evidence and logical proof. As a result, it cannot be expected that the entire world will accept Ahmadiyyat overnight. Rather, the Jama’at of the Promised Messiah (as) will spread and grow over a period of time. Given this, due to his unparalleled grace and mercy, Allah the Almighty has extended the honoured status of the companionship of the prophets so that humanity may continue to derive and attain its blessings in perpetuity. Hazrat Musleh Maud stated that during his period of khilafat, hundreds of thousands of people within the Jama’at attained the status of spiritual companionship and were continually engaged in seeking to spread the teachings of Islam Ahmadiyyat. Now, in this era, it is the foremost duty of all Ahmadis to strive to be spiritual companions of the Holy Prophet (sa) and the Promised Messiah (as). This requires us to be ready to withstand whatever challenge comes our way with patience and unwavering trust in Allah. In this regard, Hazrat Musleh Maud states that trials and tribulations are a prerequisite for the advancement and progress of one’s faith. Indeed, it is a way of Allah the Almighty that sometimes, it is through adversity and hardship that He offers a path to spiritual salvation and true freedom for His people. Once free from worldly shackles and materialism, a person can focus all their energies on living up to their faiths and ideals and playing a key role in its propagation. It is also the case that on occasion, through trials, Allah the Almighty demonstrates His glory and majesty. He desires to show mankind that He alone will ensure that the community of the Promised Messiah (as) continually flourishes and that He is not reliant upon the support or assistance of any individual or group. Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra) continues by referring to what was unquestionably the ultimate trial in the history of mankind which befell the companion of the Holy Prophet (sa) upon his departure from this world. It was such a monumental trial that the companions could not even tolerate the thought that the news of the Holy Prophet’s (sa) demise might be true. A state of utter distress and panic overcame them,  the fear of what would come of them and how Islam would survive. Their anguish and agony was such that even such a brave and revered person as Hazrat Umar (ra) reacted furiously and brandished his sword proclaiming that he would sever the neck of anyone who dared to say that the Holy Prophet (sa)  had passed away. At that moment, when the companions were shaken to their core and overwhelmed by grief, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) stood, and with exceptional patience and fortitude, stated, “O people, hearken. Whosoever worshipped the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa) should know that the Holy Prophet (sa) has died. Whosoever worshipped Allah the Almighty should know that Allah is alive and shall never die.” After narrating this incident, Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra) reiterated that sometimes, Allah the Almighty requires his sincerest believers to pass through trials and difficulties for His sake. He desires for their faith to be tested so that their love for Him is manifest before the entire world. In return for their patience, Allah the Almighty causes His most choice and everlasting blessings to rain down upon His people. 

With the grace of Allah, today, millions of Ahmadi Muslims remain sincerely devoted to the Holy Prophet (sa) and according to his command, have accepted the Promised Messiah (as). In this era, it is the members of our Jama’at who strive to live their lives according to the noble and righteous examples of companions and stand ready to make every possible sacrifice for the sake of their faith. 

Whatever suffering or problems we may endure – none of which can ever match the distress felt by companions of the Holy Prophet (sa) upon his demise – Ahmadi Muslims will, Insha’Allah, always remain steadfast and resolute in our faith. Not only do we verbally claim to be ready for every possible sacrifice, but in practice, Ahmadis worldwide have manifested immense sacrifices to fulfil their objective of furthering the mission of the Promised Messiah (as). 

Therefore, before concluding, I wish to reiterate that as delegates of the Majlis-e-Shura, you must at all times, act with the fear of Allah the Almighty ingrained in your heart and recognise the trust placed in you. Never forget that we are the people who have pledged to give precedence to our faith over all worldly matters and have sworn that we will strive to fulfil the mission of the Promised Messiah (as) until our dying breath and endure every form of sacrifice and suffering required to achieve this. 

For the sake of the prosperity of our Jama’at and to fulfil our religious objectives, we must exhibit the same conviction and trust in Allah the Almighty as was displayed by Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra), who, when faced with the ultimate crisis, remained patient and steadfast. Only if we strive to live our lives in this way we can fulfil our duties as servants of the Holy Prophet (sa). Only then can we fulfil the purpose of the advent of the Promised Messiah (as). 

Always pay heed to the trust placed within you by the members of the Jama’at who have elected you to represent them at the Shura and through which you have gained the opportunity to serve your faith. Always remember that you must not be representatives and delegates of your respective Jama’at in name only. Rather, in reality, you must set aside all personal and worldly desires and make every effort to fulfil your true purpose which is to serve your faith and religion until your dying breath. 

Consider every opportunity to serve your faith as an immense blessing of Allah the Almighty. If you serve with this spirit and understanding, then with the grace of Allah, you will gain such a status that will enable you to attain the love of Allah the Almighty. It will be a means to attain the pleasure of the Holy Prophet (sa) and you will be amongst the inheritors of the vast treasure-trove of prayers he made for his followers and for those who on his command accepted the Promised Messiah (as). 

May Allah the Almighty enable us to forever be recipients and beneficiaries of His blessed prayers, and may we always be counted among his spiritual companions. Moreover, may we be those who fulfil our objectives and who whilst considering service to faith as a great blessing of Allah continually march forward in the service of Islam with humility, devotion and unconditional loyalty. Ameen. Now, join me in silent prayer.’