Friday Sermon of
After reciting the Tashahhud, the Ta’uz and the first chapter Al Fatiha Imam Zafrullah Domun said:
In my past two sermons I spoke about justice as practiced by Hazrat Umarra. I said that Khilafat Ahmadiyya does not have a record of meting out Islamic justice as prescribed by the Holy Quran and as exemplified by the conduct of the righteous caliphs who succeeded the Holy Prophet Mohammadsaw. Last week I gave two examples from the life of caliph Umarra who strived to be an embodiment of Islamic Justice and who set a new standard of Justice for the world to follow. Today I will give you, as promised more examples from his life history. My aim in relating these events is to show that despite the fact that great attempts have been made to equate Khilafat Ahmadiyya with Khilafat Rachida the former pales into insignificance as far as the practice of justice is concerned when compared to the latter. Therefore since Khilafat Ahmadiyya, throughout its history has never been able to show an exemplary standard of justice as practiced by the caliphs of the Holy Prophetsaw, its claim to being the khilafat that was promised also does not stand on solid grounds.
Some time back you will recall I delivered a sermon in which I spoke about why a professor of History Michael H. Hart who wrote a book about the most influential personalities of the world chose the Holy Prophet Mohammadsaw as the most influential man in history. This book entitled “A ranking of the most influential persons in History” was first published in 1978 and since then has been reprinted many times and is well known in the world. In this ranking the professor gives the Holy Prophetsaw the first place and Hazrat Umarra is ranked 52nd. So imagine the rank of this companion of the Holy Prophet Mohammadsaw in the history of mankind. In his inaugural address as caliph he said "By God he that is weakest among you shall be in my eyes the strongest until I have vindicated for him his right. He that is strongest I will treat as the weakest until he complies with law." During his ten years of khilafat he set out to give to everyone his due. Even European scholars have said that “no political thinker or ruler since Umar has been able to come forward with a better concept of the purpose of the state than the concept enunciated by Umar.” Speaking about the relationship between the ruler and the ruled he said: "People generally hate their ruler and I seek protection of Allah lest my people should entertain similar feelings about me."
It is written in the books and one can easily find many articles on the internet that say that Hazrat Umar used to issue instructions (farmaan) about some particular topic from time to time. These instructions were circulated among his amirs in the Islamic empire in the making. In one of these instructions about justice he said:
"Praise to God.
Verily justice is an important obligation to God and man. You have been charged with this responsibility. Discharge the responsibility so that you may win the approbation of God and the goodwill of the people.
Treat the people equally in your presence, in your company, and in your decisions, so that the weak despair not of justice and the high-placed have no hope of your favor.
The onus of proof lies on the plaintiff. He who denies must do so on oath. Compromise is permissible, provided it does not turn the unlawful into lawful, and the lawful into unlawful. Let nothing prevent you from changing your previous decision if after consideration you feel that the previous decision was incorrect.
When you are in doubt on a question and find nothing about it in the Quran or in the Sunnah of the Prophet, think over the question over and over again. Ponder over the precedents and analogous cases, and then decide by analogy.
A term should be fixed for the person who wants to produce witnesses. If he proves his case, get him his right. Otherwise, the suit should be dismissed.
All Muslims are reliable, except those who have been punished with flogging, or who have borne false witness or are doubtful in integrity."
Such instructions we rarely find in the books published by Jamaat Ahmadiyya whereas they form part and parcel of Islamic justice. No decision is carved in stone. A caliph can change the decision taken by a previous caliph if he finds that mistakes have been done. Under no circumstance should we show obtuseness and narrow-mindedness. There should be a procedure put in place to revise decisions of the past or even opinions of the past. In Jamaat Ahmadiyya there are many opinions and decisions that need to be corrected in the light of new knowledge. But unfortunately we do not see any following of the instructions of the righteous caliphs in these matters.
To understand the scrupulousness with which Hazrat Umar carried his responsibilities as caliph I will tell you some very illustrative examples from his life history. “One day Umm Kulsum, wife of the Caliph, presented some bottles of scent to the Roman Empress. The Empress sent back the bottles filled with precious stones as counter present. The Caliph said to his wife, "You are to please make over the stones to the Public Treasury, as the messenger who carried the bottles was paid by the State.-' -The Early Heroes of Islam
Today some people may think that what he said was foolish. But we have to appreciate how scrupulous he was in dealing with matters of state. He did not use his office to enrich himself or members of his family.
On another occasion we may read that “On a certain occasion rich spoils of war arrived at Medina. Hazrat Hafsa, his daughter and widow of the Prophet, approached him saying, "I am your near relation and as such I have come to claim my share in the spoils."The Caliph answered, "My darling, these belong to the Public Treasury. Your share is in my property, not in the spoils of war; please do not try to dupe me." Flushed with shame at the gentle rebuke, the lady retired in silence.
In another incident we may get an idea about how he was conscious of his duties as caliph. It is reported that Amr bin ul-Aas, an intrepid Arab general, had laid siege to Alexandria, in Egypt. But the Romans collected the enormous resources of their mighty Empire and employed them in defending the city. So the Muslims failed to make 'any rapid headway and the siege lingered on. Caliph Umar was extremely anxious that this important citadel of the Roman Empire must be stormed and taken by the Muslim Army. So the protracted siege vexed him and in a mood of anger he wrote to Amr bin ul Aas “Has the fatal touch of the Roman luxury degenerated you so quickly? Else why the victory should be delayed so long?”
The words of the caliph infused a new spirit into the Arab warriors. They made a determined attack and Alexandria was conquered. Amr immediately sent a messenger to Medina to inform the caliph of their glorious victory. The messenger reached Medina at midday and took rest in the mosque as he did not consider it proper to disturb the caliph in his midday siesta. The news of his arrival however spread out from the mosque and it reached the ears of the caliph. The caliph at once sent for the messenger and hearing the victory for which his eyes have forgotten their sleep, he reverently prostrated himself on the ground to Almighty Allah for the priceless gift. He then turned to the messenger and asked “Why did you not inform me at once?”
“Because I did not deem it proper to disturb your midday sleep.”
“Is this the idea you harbor about me? If I am addicted to sleep at day time who will bear the burden of the caliphate?
Hazrat Umar appeared to be harsh, But he had the fear of Allah in his heart. He did not just speak about it. Once while he stood up in the mosque, a man said to him “O Umar fear Allah!” The people were astonished and they turned towards the man. Some men even rushed towards the man in anger. The caliph stopped them and said “Let him say so; of what use are these people if they do not tell me such things.”
We can still see another aspect of his character in the following incident. It is written in the book “Anecdotes from Islam” that once Hazrat Umar was busy with some important affairs of the State, when a person came to him and, complaining about some petty grievance, asked for immediate redress.
Thus disturbed, Hazrat Umar felt very much annoyed. He took the lash and struck the man saying:
"When I sit for redressing the grievances of the common men you do not come, and when I am engaged in other important work you come with your grievances to disturb me."
The person walked away in a sullen mood. When the man went away, Umar felt struck with remorse for having treated the man shabbily.
Hazrat Umar ran after the man, and overtaking him handed him his lash and said:
"I have been hard on you and lashed you. You take this lash, and strike me so that the account may be squared."
The man was overwhelmed with the sense of justice of Hazrat Umar. He said:
"O Commander of the Faithful, how can I raise my hand against you. I seek no revenge. I forgive you. May Allah forgive you."
Hazrat Umar went home and offered a special prayer of repentance. He upbraided himself loudly:
"O Umar, you were low but Allah elevated you. You were wandering astray but Allah guided you. You were base but Allah ennobled you and gave you sovereignty over the people. Now one of them comes and asks you for requital for the harm done to him, and you beat him.
What answer would you give before Allah?"
Umar kept chiding himself long. Holding a straw in his hand he said:
"I wish I were a straw like this." Turning to himself he said, "I wish my mother had not given birth to me."(Anecdotes from Islam)
This incident in his life shows that when he made a mistake he knew how to apologize and to redress the situation. Recent Ahmadiyya Caliphs have acted and are still acting as if they never make any mistakes. One even went so far as to say that he thought that if the caliph took a wrong decision Allah will put aright that decision. With the lamentable record that we have in front of us we have to agree that recent Ahmadiyya caliphs did not and do not have that sense of duty and justice that prevailed amongst the Holy Prophet’s caliphs particularly Hazrat Umarra. People who cultivate the fear of Allah in their heart always try their best not to go against Allah’s laws. They are open minded and they correct their mistakes once they have been reminded of them. They do not persist in making the same mistakes. The fear of Allah guides them and they are kept on the right path. But those who only speak about the fear of Allah, they commit the same mistakes every now and then. Despite their glib talk they are not at all interested in self reform or reform of the community although they might make endless hours of speeches on such subjects. This is unfortunately the situation of the mainstream Ahmadiyya Jamaat these days!
Once some companions who were in the army came to Medina. The caliph Umar was struck by their ill health and enquired of the cause. They replied that the climate did not suit the Arabs. On this the caliph ordered search for a suitable place, healthy and congenial and open to the desert air. Kufa, on the bank of the western branch of the Euphrates, was selected. The Caliph confirmed the choice and permitted a city to be built there and observed in his letter, "The fleeting camp is the warrior's proper place. But if ye must have a permanent abode, be it so.”
So we learn from the noble caliphs of the past that khilafat and amarat is a duty. It does not confer privileges and rights on those who are entrusted with such onerous offices. Caliphs and amirs have to be very careful in the execution of their duties. Since the caliph has the overall responsibility he shoulders the mistakes committed by his amirs. Therefore competent caliphs should remove incompetent amirs as soon as possible so that the harm done by the latter may be limited and circumscribed. When incompetent amirs continue to shoulder responsibilities, they do so to the detriment of their Muslim subjects. The present caliph of the Ahmadiyya mainstream Jamaat should learn from the Holy Prophet's caliphs how to make a difference and not to follow his predecessors in all that they did wrongly. These days the passive members of Jamaat Ahmadiyya Mauritius are unwillingly but patiently swallowing the bitter pill that the caliph has administered to them: he has maintained their amir in place despite all the wrongs that he has committed. The leadership of Jamaat Ahmadiyya has proved once again that they do not care at all about Justice and they will continue to keep the members in Mauritius in mental slavery. So they practice injustice with impunity. But if the caliph is remiss we should not forget that Allah has repeatedly said that “He sees all that you do.” When He will catch you no one will be able to escape His Grasp. So beware all wrongdoers. Next week incha Allah we will give some more examples.