The Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa)

Friday Sermon Summary 14th July 2023: ‘Life of the Holy Prophet (sa) – Ill Fate of the Chieftains of Makkah & Treatment of the Prisoners of War’

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) in light of the Battle of Badr.

His Holiness Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad

His Holiness (aba) said that 70 Makkans were killed in the Battle of Badr, many of whom were chieftains. It is recorded that once, when the Holy Prophet (sa) was offering prayer by the Ka’bah and was in prostration, some Makkans mischievously placed the filth of animals on his back, which was so heavy that he could not get up. When Hazrat Fatimah (ra) heard about this, she rushed to the Holy Prophet (sa) to help him. When the Holy Prophet (sa) was finally able to get up, the Holy Prophet (sa) prayed to Allah to take these people to task. He then took the names of some of the very prominent Makkans, and those very people were later killed in the Battle of Badr.

Instructions of the Holy Prophet (sa) Regarding the Chieftains of Makkah

His Holiness (aba) said that before the battle even started, the Holy Prophet (sa) showed his Companions where the Makkans would be killed. He would take a chieftain’s name and then point to where they would be killed. The next day, during the Battle of Badr, those same people were killed exactly where the Holy Prophet (sa) indicated. 

His Holiness (aba) said that after the Battle of Badr, the Holy Prophet (sa) instructed for the bodies of the Makkans to be placed in a ditch. It was the practice of the Holy Prophet (sa) that after a victory in battle, he would remain at the place of victory for three days. Before leaving, the Holy Prophet (sa) went to where the Makkans were buried and saying the names of those buried with reference to their fathers, the Holy Prophet (sa) asked them whether now they wished they had believed, or whether they had found what their gods had promised them. Someone asked why the Holy Prophet (sa) was speaking to them if they couldn’t even hear him. The Holy Prophet (sa) said to him that they could hear him better than he could. 

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

‘Before returning, the Holy Prophet (sa) went to the pit where the chieftains of the Quraish had been buried, and calling the names of each one of them, he exclaimed:

“Have you found true the promise made to you by God through me? Verily, I have found true the promise made to me by God.”

Then, he added:

“O ye people of the pit! You proved to be most wretched relatives to your Prophet. You rejected me, while others testified to my truthfulness. You exiled me from my homeland, while others granted me protection. You waged war against me, while others supported me.”

Hazrat ‘Umar (ra) submitted, “O Messenger of Allah! They are dead, how can they hear you now.” The Holy Prophet (sa) said, “They hear me better than you hear me now.” In other words, they have reached a state where all truth becomes manifest and there remains no veil. These words of the Holy Prophet (sa), which have been written above, possessed mixed emotions of pain and agony. One may somewhat judge the state of heart which had overtaken the Holy Prophet (sa) at the time. It seems as if the past history of the opposition of the Quraish was before the eyes of the Holy Prophet (sa) at the time, and in a world of reminiscence, he would flip a page at a time, and his heart would become restless at the study of these pages. These words of the Holy Prophet (sa) are also categorical evidence that the responsibility of the initiation of this series of wars lay completely with the disbelievers of Makkah. As is evident from these words of the Holy Prophet (sa):

“O my people! You waged war against me, while others supported me.”In the least, these words definitely demonstrate that in his own opinion, the Holy Prophet (sa) believed that these wars were initiated by the disbelievers, and he was compelled to take up the sword merely in his own defence.’ (The Life & Character of the Seal of Prophets (sa), Vol. 2 pp. 155-156)

Various Miracles During the Battle of Badr

His Holiness (aba) said that various miracles took place during the Battle of Badr. For example, during the Battle of Badr, Ukashah bin Mihsan’s (ra) sword broke. He went to the Holy Prophet (sa), who handed him a piece of wood, and the Holy Prophet (sa) told him to use it to fight against the disbelievers. When Ukashah (ra) raised it in his hand, it became a sword. 

His Holiness (aba) said that another miracle during the Battle of Badr Hazrat Qatadah (ra) was struck in the eye to the extent that it was hanging out. He intended to discard it, however, the Holy Prophet (sa) instructed him not to do so. The Holy Prophet (sa) put his eye in the palm of his hand and then put it back in its place. Later, Hazrat Qatadah (ra) could not even tell that something had happened to this eye. 

His Holiness (aba) said that as the Makkans were losing, they became scattered as they ran back towards Makkah. When the first Makkan arrived back in Makkah and he was asked how the battle went, he started listing the names of the prominent Makkans who had been killed. People thought he had gone mad but he assured them that he had not and that he had seen these things unfold before his very eyes. The Makans were extremely shocked, to the extent that they forbade wailing over the deceased, otherwise, it would give satisfaction to the Muslims.

False Rumours in Madinah Quashed 

His Holiness (aba) said that when Hazrat Zaid (ra) returned to Madinah, he informed the people of all the Makkan chieftains and prominent people who had been killed in the battle. The hypocrites and the Jewish people had spread the false rumour that the Muslims suffered defeat and that, God forbid, the Holy Prophet (sa) had also passed away. Hazrat Zaid (ra) rode into Madinah on the Holy Prophet’s (sa) camel, and so they used this to also say that the Holy Prophet (sa) had passed away, which was why Hazrat Zaid (ra) was upon his camel. However, Hazrat Zaid (ra) assured them that this was not the case. Upon hearing that the Holy Prophet (sa) himself was returning, the Muslims rushed out to Rawhah to greet and welcome the Holy Prophet (sa). 

Distribution of the Spoils of War & Treatment of Prisoners of War

His Holiness (aba) said that the Muslims received 150 camels and ten horses in spoils, along with other things. The Holy Prophet (sa) ensured that his share was equal to that of the Companions. There was a sword which the Companions kept for the Holy Prophet (sa), and one of the camels of Abu Jahl was also kept aside for the Holy Prophet (sa). Some narrations say that the sword also belonged to Abu Jahl, and it was named Zulfiqar. It is recorded that the Holy Prophet (sa) used this same sword in subsequent battles. It is also recorded that the Holy Prophet (sa) took that same camel along at the time of the Treaty of Hudaibiyah as a sacrificial animal. 

His Holiness (aba) said that the Holy Prophet (sa) also gave spoils of war to the families of those who were martyred in the battle. He also gave a portion to those he had appointed over Madinah in his stead, and to some other Companions as well. 

His Holiness (aba) said that there are various narrations regarding an expiation being taken from the prisoners of war. However, many of the narrations have become muddled, thus creating doubt. What is clear, however, is that the Holy Prophet (sa) instructed for expiation to be taken in order to free the prisoners according to divine command. 

His Holiness (aba) said that the Holy Prophet (sa) consulted with Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) and Hazrat Umar (ra) regarding the prisoners. Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) suggested that the prisoners should be freed after they pay an expiation, because it could be that they soon accept Islam. Hazrat Umar (ra) had a different opinion, and said that they should be handed over to him so that he could take their lives. The Holy Prophet (sa) gave precedence to the opinion of Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra). The next day, Hazrat Umar (ra) found the Holy Prophet (sa) and Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) to be crying. He asked what the matter was. The Holy Prophet (sa) said that he had received the revelation:

It does not behove a Prophet that he should have captives until he engages in regular fighting.’ (The Holy Qur’an, 8:68)

And then:

So eat out of that which you have won in war as lawful and good.’ (The Holy Qur’an, 8:70)

His Holiness (aba) said the manner in which this has been narrated creates confusion. By first stating that the Holy Prophet (sa) was crying and then there being mention of these verses does not make the matter clear. It would almost make it seem as if God was displeased with the decision of taking expiation made by the Holy Prophet (sa) and gave preference to the opinion of Hazrat Umar (ra). However, this does not make any sense. It seems as if historians have erred in understanding this. However, there is an unpublished note of the Second Caliph (ra) which completely clarifies the matter.

His Holiness (aba) quoted the Second Caliph (ra), who stated that before Islam, rulers would take captives even if there had been no battle. This verse that was revealed put an end to that practice. However, that same verse is erroneously misinterpreted as expressing a preference for Hazrat Umar’s (ra) opinion whilst expressing displeasure with the Holy Prophet’s (sa) opinion. Historians have done so simply to glorify the rank of Hazrat Umar (ra). However, the Second Caliph (ra) said that such thinking is wrong. He said that Allah had not revealed any commandment to say that expiation should not be taken; hence there can be no allegation against the Holy Prophet (sa) in this regard. Furthermore, before this incident, the Holy Prophet (sa) had taken expiation from two prisoners at Nakhlah, and God did not express any displeasure on that occasion. Then, two verses later, God makes it lawful to take the spoils of war. How could it be that God declared wealth to be lawful as spoils but then deem taking expiation as being unlawful? Hence, it is clear that this verse had nothing to do with the opinion expressed by Hazrat Umar (ra), rather, it is simply to establish the principle that prisoners should only be taken after a battle.

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

‘When the Holy Prophet (sa) returned to Madinah, he sought counsel as to what should be done with the prisoners. Generally, it was a practice in Arabia to execute prisoners or make them permanent slaves. However, the disposition of the Holy Prophet (sa) was averse to such harsh measures. Moreover, no divine injunctions in this respect had been revealed either. Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) submitted, “In my opinion, they should be released on ransom, because after all, they are our brethren and kindred. Who knows, if tomorrow, devotees of Islam are born from among these very people.” However, Hazrat ‘Umar (ra) opposed this view and said:

“There should be no consideration of kinship in a matter of religion. These people have become deserving of execution due to their actions. My opinion is that all of them should be executed. As a matter of fact, the Muslims should execute their respective relatives by their own hands.”

Swayed by his innate nature of mercy, the Holy Prophet (sa) approved of the proposal made by Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra). He thus, issued an order against execution and directed that such idolaters who pay their ransom, would be released. Therefore, subsequently a divine injunction was also revealed to this effect. As such, a ransom of 1,000 dirhams to 4,0003 dirhams was set for each individual according to his means’ (The Life & Character of the Seal of Prophets (sa), Vol. 2 pp. 160-161)

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

Mubarak Mosque

Funeral Prayers

His Holiness (aba) said that he would offer the funeral prayers of the following deceased members:

Abdul Hameed Khan

Abdul Hameed Khan who was a missionary and Naib Nazim Maal in Pakistan. He served as a missionary in various places in Pakistan and in Uganda as well. He served the Community for 40 years. He had a daughter and a son. His son is serving as the President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association in Denmark. While in Uganda, he served with great passion and sincerity. He faced great difficulty during the civil war in Uganda, however, God kept him safe under all circumstances. He had a great love for the Caliphate. He was always ready to implement whatever the Caliph said. He was always helpful to others and always tried to help others become better. He always gave precedence to his life-devotion over any worldly comfort. He was very kind, hospitable and had complete trust in God. He was very simple and always said that he had devoted his entire life and wished to remain in service until the very end of his life. Allah enabled him to do just that. He always enjoined to remain sincere and loyal to the Caliphate and to never resort to falsehood. His Holiness (aba) prayed that may Allah grant him forgiveness and mercy, elevate his station and enable his progeny to carry on the legacy of his virtues.

Nusrat Jahan Ahmad

Nusrat Jahan Ahmad wife of Mubashar Ahmad, a missionary in the USA. She remained alongside her husband and supported him especially when he dedicated his life and began serving as a missionary. She was regular in giving alms, had profound love for the Caliphate and served the Community in various capacities. She very passionately took part in programmes for the propagation of Islam, Ahmadiyyat. She is survived by two sons and two daughters. His Holiness (aba) prayed that may Allah grant her forgiveness and mercy and make her children he heirs of her prayers.

Summary prepared by The Review of Religions