After reciting the Tashahhud, Ta’awwuz, and Surah Al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (aba) stated:
In the previous sermon, I narrated some incidents with regards to Hazrat Zaid bin Harithah (ra). I mentioned that the Holy Prophet (sa) later married Hazrat Zainab bint Jahsh (ra).
“At the time of her marriage, Hazrat Zainab bint Jahash (ra) was thirty-five years of age and in light of the circumstances of Arabia at the time, this was considered middle-aged or old. Hazrat Zainab (ra) was a very righteous, pious and affluent lady. Hazrat A’ishah (ra) highly praised the inherent virtue and purity of Hazrat Zainab (ra) and would often say: ‘I have not seen a more pious lady than Zainab. She was very righteous and truthful, she was very kind towards relatives, she was most generous and worked tirelessly for goodness and to attain divine nearness. The only thing was that she was a bit heated in temper, but immediately thereafter, she would feel remorse herself.’
Hazrat A’ishah (ra) relates: ‘On one occasion, the Holy Prophet (sa) said to us, i.e. the one from among you who has the longest hands, shall be the first to pass away after my demise and join me.’ Hazrat A’ishah (ra) states that, ‘We inferred this to mean physical hands, and would often measure our hands with one another. However, when the Holy Prophet (sa) passed away and Zainab bint Jahash (ra) was the first to leave this world, it was then that the secret revealed itself to us that the word ‘hand’ referred to charity and alms, not a physical hand.’
The hypocrites started a baseless campaign of false rumours after the marriage of Hazrat Zainab bint Jahash (ra) with the Holy prophet (sa). They spread the false rumours that the Holy Prophet (sa) was (God-forbid) entranced by the beauty of Hazrat Zainab bint Jahash (ra), who was married to his adopted son Hazrat Zaid Bin Harithah (ra). The hypocrites alleged that the Holy Prophet (sa) forced his adopted son to divorce his wife, so that the Holy Prophet (sa) could marry her.
Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahib writes that as the purpose of this marriage was to wipe out the ignorant customs, it was inevitable that such allegations were raised. Hypocrites distort and twist a simple tradition that once the Holy Prophet (sa) went to the home of Zaid Bin Harithah (ra) and called out for him. He was not at home, so Hazrat Zainab (ra) came to the front door and said, ‘O prophet of God, may my parents be sacrificed on you, please do come in.’ The Holy Prophet (sa) declined and returned back. Some lying and weak-minded narrators have related this incidence in a most unpleasant manner saying that as Hazrat Zainab bint Jahash (ra) rushed to the door, after recognising the voice of the Holy Prophet (sa), she did not have her scarf on, which revealed her beauty to the Holy Prophet (sa), who (God-forbid) got besotted by her beauty and asked Hazrat Zaid (ra) to divorce her. These are utterly false and baseless fabrications.
While truth of the matter is recorded in the most authenticated book of Hadith, the Bukhari; it states that Zaid (ra) presented himself before the Holy Prophet (sa) and complained about the hot temper and harsh behaviour of Zainab (ra), that was mentioned in the previous sermon. On hearing this, the Holy Prophet (sa) responded, “Fear God and do not divorce her.” This highly authenticated narration renders all other versions of these events false and unreliable.
Logic also does not support these allegations either, Zainab (ra) was the paternal-cousin of the Holy Prophet (sa), he clearly had seen her as a cousin because the divine commandment of Purdah was not revealed till after the marriage of Hazrat Zainab (ra) and the Holy Prophet (sa), rendering any allegation as a clear and blatant lie.
Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahib writes in his book, Seerat Khataman Nabiyyin: “In the context of this fabricated tale, it should especially be remembered that this time was an era in the Islamic history when the hypocrites of Madinah were at full force. A full-fledged conspiracy to defame Islam and the founder of Islam was being hatched under the leadership of ‘Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Sulul. It was their custom to concoct false and fabricated tales and propagate them in secret; or if the actual case was something else, they would twist it, add a hundred lies to it and begin to publicize it covertly. As such, in Surah Al-Ahzab of the Holy Qur’an, where the marriage of Hazrat Zainab (ra) has been alluded to, the hypocrites of Madinah have especially been mentioned in parallel as well. Referring to their acts of mischief, Allah the Exalted states: “If the hypocrites, and those in whose hearts is a disease, and those who propagate false seditious news in Madinah, desist not from their schemes, then O Messenger! We shall give you permission to take action against them, and then these people shall not continue to reside in Madinah, except for a little while.”
Soon after this incidence, the terrible incident of slandering Hazrat ‘A’ishah (ra) transpired. ‘Abdullah bin Ubayy Sulul and his wretched followers propagated this lie so widely and disseminated such a twisted and deceitful lie to create unrest amongst Muslims. They would spread rumours surreptitiously and this meant that the Holy Prophet (sa) and his respected companions would not have a chance to openly refute these.
Sir William Muir was a bitter critic of Islam. Despite being a historian, when he found a reference in the Muslims literature about this incidence, he availed this as a great opportunity to criticize the Holy Prophet (as). He did not critically analyse the incidence in its proper context. He also made the hurtful remark that “…with the Prophet’s (sa) advancing age, the carnal passions of the Holy Prophet (sa) grew as well”. – God forbid – Sir William Muir attributed the marriages of the Holy Prophet (sa) to carnal passions, God forbid.
Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahib rejected this ridiculous allegation by saying, “Undoubtedly, it is a historical fact that the Holy Prophet (sa) married more than once and history also establishes that with the exception of Hazrat Khadijah (ra), all of these marriages took place in an era, which may be described as one of old age. However, without any historical evidence, rather, in contradiction to clear historical fact, to assert that the marriages of the Holy Prophet (sa) were, God-forbid, owed to carnal passions, is far from the greatness of a historian, and even further still from the greatness of a noble man. Mr. Muir was not oblivious to the fact that at the age of twenty-five, the Holy Prophet (sa) married a forty year elderly widow (Hazrat Khadijah (ra)), and then fulfilled this relationship until the age of fifty, with such integrity and loyalty that it’s like can be found nowhere else. After this, until the age of fifty-five, the Holy Prophet (sa) practically had only one wife, and this wife (Hazrat Saudah (ra)) also happened to be a widow, who was a lady well advanced in age.
Sir William Muir was also not at all unaware of the historical fact that when the people of Makkah sent a delegation to the Holy Prophet (sa) led by ‘Utbah bin Rabi‘ah asking him to stop preaching about Islam. In addition to bribing him with wealth and power, they also begged that if he would be content upon marrying a worthy girl, and thus refrain from speaking ill of their religion and abstain from preaching this new faith, they were prepared to give him any girl he desired. At that time, the Holy Prophet (sa) was not very old, and physically strong, he rejected all these offers to continue to spread the message of Islam. This historical occurrence was also not hidden from the eyes of Mr. Muir that prior to his divine appointment – that is, until forty years – the people of Makkah considered the Holy Prophet (sa) to be a man of impeccable character. However, despite all these testimonies, Mr. Muir chose to write that after the age of fifty-five, the Holy Prophet (sa) became indulged in sensuality and lust, despite his declining physical strengths and increasing responsibilities.
Anyone is free to say as he wishes and others do not have the power to stop such a person’s tongue and pen, but an intelligent person should not make a statement which common sense rejects. Indeed, all these marriages of the Holy Prophet (sa) that took place in his old age proves that they were not motivated by carnal desires. An evil person searches for an evil motive in the actions of others, and due to his own immoral approach, is often at a loss to understand the pure intentions of others. This should be clear that in Islam the purpose of marriage is not so that a man and woman can come together in order to satisfy their carnal desires. Although the union of man and woman is a genuine purpose of marriage so that human life can continue, there are also many other wholesome purposes as well. ‘And Allah alone is the Helper against that which they allege.’
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II (ra) explains that God Almighty desired to demonstrate to the people that the Holy Prophet (sa) had no male offspring; be they blood-related or by law. When people adopt children, they are considered ones’ children by law. The Holy Prophet (sa) had no biological son, but according to the national constitution and the law of the land at the time, he had children, for example, Hazrat Zaid (ra). The people would call him by the name Ibn Muhammad [son of Muhammad]. Through the incident of the marriage to Hazrat Zainab (ra), God Almighty established that one’s children are only those according to the laws of nature, i.e. biological children. The divine wisdom behind this incidence was that when Zaid divorces his wife, she ought to come into the wedlock of the Holy Prophet (sa) so that it may be established that though one may have children according to the law of the land, they are not the same as biological children.”
With regards to how the Holy Prophet (sa) treated freed slaves, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahib writes that on many occasions, the Holy Prophet (sa) appointed his freed slave, Zaid bin Harithah (ra), and his son Usamah (ra) as the commander of many military campaigns establishing true equality. Hazrat Zaid (ra) participated in the battles of Badr, Uhud, Khandaq, Treaty of Hudaibiya and the Battle of Khaybar alongside the Holy Prophet (sa). He is considered one of the most expert archers of the Holy Prophet (sa). The Holy Prophet (sa) appointed Hazrat Zaid (ra) as the Leader of Mecca upon his departure for the expedition of Muraisi (another name for Banu Mustaliq). Hazrat A’ishah (ra) narrates: ‘Whenever the Messenger of Allah (sa) dispatched Hazrat Zaid (ra) with an army, he appointed him as it’s Leader.’
After the conclusion of the Battle of Badr, when the Holy Prophet (sa) was leaving, he dispatched Zaid bin Harithah (ra) towards Medina and instructed him to go in advance and inform the people of Medina about the good news of victory. Hence, Zaid arrived in Medina before the Holy Prophet (sa) and informed everyone about the victory. This made the Companions very jubilant because of the great success of Islam.
Hazrat Zaid bin Harithah (ra) was also sent on an expedition towards Qardah in 3 Hijri and on his successful return to Medina from this expedition, it is narrated that the Messenger of Allah (sa) greeted him warmly. During the month of Shaban in the fifth year after migration, when the Holy Prophet (sa) called for people to join the expedition towards the Banu Mustaliq, according to some narrations, the Prophet of Allah (sa) appointed Hazrat Zaid bin Harithah (ra) as the Amir in Medina. On the day of the expedition of Khandaq, the flag of the Emigrant companions was also in the hands of Zaid bin Harithah (ra).
The mention of Hazrat Zaid bin Harithah (ra) will continue in the future.
Next, there is some saddening news. Respected Maryam Salman Gul Sahiba, who was the daughter of Mubarak Ahmad Siddiqui Sahib, passed away on June 17, at the age of 25 years. To Allah we belong and to Him shall we return. Her illness was discovered only a few days ago. When she became quite sick, she was admitted to hospital, but Divine decree prevailed, and she was not able to regain her health.
All of those who knew her have said about the deceased that she was a very loving and courteous individual. She was very regular in her daily prayers; she was empathetic and helpful to others. She possessed a loving relationship with Khilafat. Aside from her parents and her husband, she has left behind her two daughters named Nayab and Zaryab – Nayab is five years old and Zaryab is one and a half.
May Allah have mercy on her and grant her forgiveness, and just like the hope that this girl had about her Lord, may Allah Almighty treat her with even greater love, and may He take her in the embrace of His love and continue to elevate her status in paradise.
May God Almighty always keep her daughters in His protection and refuge, and may He accept all those prayers which she has offered for her daughters. May He grant her parents true patience and fortitude; may they also be completely resigned from the depth of their hearts to the will of God, and may they bring up her daughters in an exemplary manner. May Allah enable her husband to give them the love of both a mother and a father, and may Allah continue to elevate her status in paradise.
After the Friday prayers, I will offer her funeral prayer – everyone ought to join me in this. I will go outside to lead her funeral prayer. Those of you who are inside, should remain here.