Jamaat Ahmadiyya al Mouslemeen
Friday Sermon of Hazrat Amirul Momeneen Zafrullah Domun
01 APRIL 2011
After reciting the Tashahhud, the Ta’uz and the first chapter of Al Fatiha Imam Zafrullah Domun read verse nine of chapter Al Maida(5) of the Holy Quran.
O ye who believe! be steadfast in the cause of Allah, bearing witness in equity; and let not a people’s enmity incite you to act otherwise than with justice. Be always just, that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah. Surely, Allah is aware of what you do. [5:9]
As I said last week there are many verses that speak about Justice in the Holy Quran. Today I have quoted another one. In Jamaat Ahmadiyya mainstream great emphasis has been placed on absolute justice whenever there has been a wish to decry others for being unjust. In addition you might have seen that the caliph wants the people to believe that Khilafat Ahmadiyya resembles Khilafat Rachida which followed the death of the Holy Prophet Mohammadsaw. But unfortunately this declaration or expectation has not been made to be seen in practice. Since very often reference is made to that golden era of the noble caliphs of the Holy Prophet, I have chosen a few incidents from the life of these noble men to relate to you. Particularly I will speak about incidents from the life of Hazrat Umarra and Hazrat Alira. Through these anecdotes one may appreciate the mettle of these men and what Justice meant to them.
It is reported that “it was noon of a Friday. The Jamiah Mosque of Medina was crowded with more than a thousand worshippers. And all were on the tiptoe of expectation for the appearance of the great Caliph Umarra, for he would lead the congregational prayer. The caliph arrived on time and exchanged greetings with those assembled in the mosque. He said his preliminary prayers and proceeded to deliver his sermon to the congregation. He began by singing the glory of God and recounting the endless blessings that He has showered on mankind. His inimitable voice rang and re-rang in the mosque and the spell-bound audience listened with supreme veneration. He next addressed those present saying, "Now listen, my friends •... "
He could hardly complete his sentence when a young man cried out. "We won't listen to you; we won't obey you until you give the explanation you owe to us."
The entire assembly startled at this audacious interference and looked in amazement to the Caliph and to the rebellious speaker. The Caliph paused for a moment and then said in a gentle voice, "Explanation, friend? What explanation?"
The man said, "The other day all of us obtained a piece of cloth each from the Baitul Mal and the Caliph himself obtained nothing more than what we did. But today I find two pieces of that cloth on the person of Caliph. Now we want to know what right the Caliph has for appropriating more than what falls to his share.
The congregation again looked at the Caliph in silent amazement. The Caliph was going to answer when his son Abdullah rose and said, "Friend, you are wrong in your conclusion. My father is not guilty of misappropriation. As you know, I too obtained a piece of cloth along with you the other day and I have given that for my father's use. You see he is so tall and one share does not suffice him."
On hearing this, the man looked at Umarra and said, "All right, now you may go on and we shall listen to your address." But the Caliph did not resume his address immediately; instead, he looked at the audience and said, "What will you do, my friends, in case one day I actually and knowingly deviate from truth?" The Caliph could hardly finish when one among the audience sprang to his feet, drew out his scimitar from the scabbard and brandishing it aloft replied, "Then I will sever your head with this,"
The audience was almost stupefied at this bolt from the blue. For, this ruthless challenge was hurled into the face of that man whose integrity was beyond the faintest shadow of doubt and whose dauntless prowess had humbled the pride of the mightiest empires of the age. A deep silence prevailed in the mosque; the very beatings of their hearts appeared to have been stopped; only the bright scimitar glistened in the air.
The redoubtable Caliph thundered out, "Man, do you know with whom you are talking?"
Promptly came the fearless reply, "Yes, I know, I am talking with Umar, the Commander of the Faithful"
A great agony and fear fell upon the audience. They shuddered to think what might follow next. They timidly looked up at the Caliph, but only to find his broad face lit up with a gentle smile of deep contentment and gratification. He raised his hands towards the heaven and said in a voice almost choked with gratitude, 'Great Allah, I offer you my deep thanks that there is no dearth of men among us who can lift the sword even upon the head of Umar for protecting the dignity of Truth!" - Tarikh-j· Khulafa
This was the response of a dignified caliph of the Holy Prophet Mohammadsaw. A Muslim has had the impudence of questioning him in an assembly on a Friday, in the biggest Mosque of that time. Yet he did not angrily silenced that man nor did any of his security people (he had none) moved promptly to whisk that man away. He allowed him to talk. He even conversed with him. Instead of showing his anger he lifted his hands and thanked Allah that there were such brave Muslims who were even ready to cut the head of the caliph so that truth might prevail. It is the teachings that these people received by the Holy Prophet that made them such brave men and they could talk fearlessly to the caliph the way they did. If the Ahmadiyya Khilafat wished that we should have revered it like the previous caliphs it also should have shown its love for Justice and truth as the previous caliphs did. But unfortunately within Jamaat Ahmadiyya Truth has often been murdered on the mimbar itself. Here I am not talking about petty, mean and selfish amirs and their misdeeds but rather I recall what the fourth caliph said in his Friday Sermon when he said that someone from Rawalpindi had sent him a letter saying that the figures for bai’ats were not true. I am also recalling how the fifth caliph has dared to tell the world that Allah said something to Hazrat Masih Maoodas which He never said. Of course I am thinking about how Abdul Mannan Omer, son of the first caliph Hazrat Molvi Nuruddinra was forced to leave Rabwah in 1956. I am thinking about how Mian Rafi has been treated within the Jamaat by his own brothers. I am thinking about how we and those who claim that they have received revelations from Allah to bring reforms in the Jamaat have been treated. I am also thinking about what is being done to overlook the misdeeds of the amir of the Mauritius Jamaat amidst his financial scandals and of which the caliph is well aware. Do we see anyone within the Jamaat of Hazrat Masih Maoodas who is ready, not to kill the caliph for truth to prevail, but at least to let the world know what have been the misdeeds of the amir so that enough pressure might be created for this person to be put aside?
Prior to the arrival of Islam the king of Persia was known for his sense of Justice throughout the world. But the implementation of Justice through caliph Umar set a new standard. I will tell you of another incident so that you might have an idea what justice meant to Hazrat Umarra and the companions of the Holy Prophet Mohammadsaw. This story is quite long but I have tried to shorten it. It is as follows:
“During the caliphate of Umarra, Amr bin Al-Aas ra who was a friend of his was appointed the Governor (amir) of Egypt. One of Amr’s first projects was to expand the main mosque of Cairo, which was at the time surrounded by the dwellings of ordinary Egyptians. Amr’s workers proceeded to buy the houses of the Egyptians so that they could be demolished to pave the way for the expansion. All the people agreed to sell their houses except one Coptic Christian man. He refused to give up his home as it was of sentimental value to him. The matter reached all the way to Amr, so he asked to see the Copt. Amr offered the Copt double, triple and even four times the value of his house but the Copt refused to sell it whatever the price. After much persuasion the Copt refused to budge so Amr became angry and ordered the Copt’s house to be destroyed by force and for him to be offered to take or leave its price.
The Copt was distraught and felt that he had been wronged by this new Muslim Governor of Egypt. Unsure who to seek help from he was eventually advised: “Go to Madinah and speak to the Caliph, Umar bin Al Khattab, for no man is wronged in his lands.” So the Copt decided to travel to Madinah to complain to the Caliph about how he had been unjustly treated by one of his governors. When he arrived in Madinah and asked to see the Caliph he was told, “Go to the Sacred Mosque of the Prophet (salallahu ‘alayhe wasalam) and there you will find a man sweeping the floor. Speak to him.” The Copt thus went to the Sacred Mosque hoping that its sweeper would be able to direct him to the Caliph.
When the Copt entered the Sacred Mosque, he found this man sweeping its floor so the Copt asked him if he could help him get to the Caliph. The Sweeper asked him, “And what business do you have to speak to the Caliph about?” The Copt replied, “I have been wronged by one of his governors so the people asked me to complain to the Caliph as he is a just man and no one is wronged in his lands,” and he related to the Sweeper the story of what had happened to his house in Cairo.
Having listened attentively to the Copt’s story, the Sweeper picked up a stone and with another stone he scratched two lines on it, one crossing the other at right angles. He gave the stone containing the lines to the Copt and told him to give it to the Governor of Egypt with the words, “This stone is from the Sweeper of the Sacred Mosque of Allah’s Messenger.” The Copt thought that the Sweeper was mocking him but the Sweeper reassured him to do as he said and his problem would be resolved. The Sweeper made no mention of the Caliph. The Copt thus returned to Egypt with the stone given to him by the Sweeper of the Sacred Mosque of Allah’s Messenger.
When the Copt arrived back in Egypt he went to Amr straight away and gave him the stone saying that it was from the Sweeper of the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah. No sooner had Amr seen the lines on the stone that his face went pale in fright. Amr began to apologize profusely to the Copt and immediately ordered that the part of the mosque built over the Copt’s house must be rebuilt exactly as and where it was. Puzzled by this sudden change of heart in the Governor, the Copt asked Amr what the significance was of a simple stone with two lines on it. Amr thus related to him the story behind The Stone of Justice.
During their early adulthood in Makkah before the advent of the Prophet, Umar bin Al Khattab and Amr bin Al-Aas were the best of friends. They were also business partners, trading in fine Arabian horses. Once they received an order for a significant quantity of horses from King Numan, the Arab King of the Al-Mundhir Governate which, being under the rule of the Persian Empire was a buffer region between Arabia and Persia (represented today by parts of modern-day Iraq). King Numan made a down payment to Umar and Amr, who promptly set about finding and training horses to meet the King’s requirements. When the horses were ready, the two friends set off to Al-Mundhir to deliver them to their buyer, King Numan.
Whilst they were travelling through the desert in Al-Mundhir, they came across a royal entourage. It turned out to belong to a Persian prince, a son of the Emperor Kisra, who had come on a hunting expedition to Al-Mundhir. The Prince, upon sighting the fine Arabian horses, asked to see their owners. He offered to buy the horses from the two friends but was told by them that they had already been sold to a buyer, but that he could place a fresh order with them if he wanted to. The Prince doubled and trebled his offer but Umar and Amr refused to go back on their contract with King Numan, so they politely declined the Prince’s offers. After much haggling the pompous Prince grew impatient and ordered his guards to seize (without payment) the horses from the two men and to send them away.
Distraught, Umar and Amr were unsure of what to do. Local tribesmen advised them to travel to the capital of the Persian Empire itself and speak to the Emperor, Kisra, as he was a just man and no one was wronged in his empire. The two friends thus journeyed into Persia and, weary and dishevelled, eventually reached Kisra’s court. They complained to him that their horses had been stolen by a man who claimed to be a son of the Emperor. Kisra listened to them intently and then asked the two men to return to him the following day whilst he looked into the matter. He ordered his palace courtiers to arrange hospitality for the two men, as guests of the Emperor.
The following day Umar and Amr went to Kisra and he came down to them from his throne, asking the two to accompany him. He led them to a courtyard where, lo and behold, they saw their stolen horses. Kisra asked them to confirm if these were their horses that the Prince had seized from them and if so, that they should check that they were okay. Umar and Amr carefully checked each horse and informed Kisra that everything was just fine. Kisra then profusely apologized to the two for what had happened and he asked them if he could be of any further assistance to them. They told him that they were satisfied now and would like to continue on their journey. Kisra ordered his staff to give the men some provisions and he guaranteed them safe passage until they left the precincts of his territory. Just before they left, Kisra asked the two to leave the palace grounds from their two different gates: the Eastern Gate and the Western Gate.
Umar bin Al Khattab left via the Eastern Gate and, to his astonishment, he saw hanging there half of the body of the Persian Prince, son of Kisra, as if he had been sawn in two. When he rejoined Amr, Amr told him that he had seen the other half of the Prince’s corpse hanging from the Western Gate. Kisra was not prepared to let a spoilt son of his damage his widespread reputation as the beacon of justice in the East. He not only wanted justice to be done, but he wanted that justice must be seen to be done.
Having related this story to the Copt, Amr bin Al Aas , by now Governor of Egypt, told the Copt that the man sweeping the Sacred Mosque of the Prophet was none other than the Caliph himself: Umar bin Al Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him. And what Amr understood from the two lines scratched on the stone was that if he did not return the house to the Copt then Umar would cut him not in two halves like the Persian prince was, but into four quarters. Since Amr knew that whenever Umar said something he meant it, he took no chances and ordered the Copt’s house to be rebuilt, albeit at the expense of destroying part of the newly built mosque. No sooner had the Copt seen with his own eyes the concept of justice amongst the Muslims that he accepted Islam immediately and gave his consent for the mosque grounds to remain on the same spot where his house used to be. (Adapted from http://istighfar.wordpress.com/2007/07/08/the-stone-of-justice/)
Incha Allah I will give some more examples of how the caliphs meted out Justice in those days. Now just imagine what would have been the lot of the amir in Mauritius had a caliph of the mettle of Hazrat Umar been reigning or had the Khilafat Ahmadiyya been following the footsteps of the Kholafaa’e Rachedeen More incha Allah next week.