Muhammad the Prophet of Mercy


  • bookcover

  • Muhammad the Prophet of Mercy




  • Writing to Kings

    With trustful hands scattering the good
    seeds on the land, the Prophet of Mercy r
    started to invite kings and emperors: Chosroes, Heraclius, Negus, and every
    king, to the King of all kings.

    In his letter to Negus,
    the
    Messenger of Allah
    r wrote1:

    In the Name of
    Allah, the Most Merciful, the Ever-Merciful. From Muhammad, the Messenger of
    Allah, to Negus the great of Abyssinia. Peace
    be upon him who follows guidance. Then after:

    I praise to you
    Allah,
    other
    than Whom there is no god, the King, the Holy, the One Free from all
    imperfection, the Giver of security, the Watcher over His creatures. I testify
    that ‘Isa (Jesus), the son of Maryam (Mary), is Allah’s (created) soul and His
    Word

    (“Be!” - and he was
    ( which He bestowed on Maryam, the virgin,
    the good, the chaste. So she conceived ‘Isa from the soul created and breathed
    by Him, as He created Adam with His Hand. I am inviting to Allah, Alone, Who
    has no partner, and to adherence to His obedience; that you follow me and
    believe in what has come to me, for I am the Messenger of Allah. I am inviting
    you and your soldiers to Allah, the Exalted and the Glorious. I have announced
    (the Message) and advised, so accept my advice. Peace be upon him who follows
    guidance.

    In his letter to Muqawqas,
    the Messenger r wrote2:

    In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the
    Ever-Merciful. From Muhammad, the Slave of Allah and
    His Messenger, to Muqawqas
    the great of the Copts. Peace be upon him who
    follows guidance. Then after:

    I am inviting you
    with the Call of Islam. Submit yourself (to Allah), you will be safe. Submit
    yourself (to Allah), Allah will give you your reward twice over. But if you turn
    away, upon you shall rest the sin of the Copts.
    (“O
    people of the Scripture, come to a word that is just between us and you, that
    we worship none but Allah, and that we associate no partners with Him, and that
    none of us shall take others as lords besides Allah. Then, if they turn away,
    say, ‘Bear witness that we are Muslims (i.e. we submit to Allah).’”
    )3

    In his letter to Chosroes,
    the Messenger of Allah r
    wrote4:

    In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the
    Ever-Merciful. From Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah,
    to Chosroes
    the great of Persia.
    Peace be upon him who follows guidance, believes in Allah and His Messenger,
    and testifies that there is no god but Allah Alone, with no partners or
    associates, and that Muhammad is His Servant and His Messenger. I am inviting
    you with the Call of Allah; for I am the Messenger of Allah to all mankind, to
    warn whoever is alive and justify the word against the disbelievers. Submit
    yourself (to Allah), you will be safe. But if you turn away, upon you shall
    rest the sin of the Magi.

    In his letter to Heraclius,
    the Messenger of Allah r wrote5:

    In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the
    Ever-Merciful. From Muhammad, the Slave of Allah and
    His Messenger, to
    Heraclius the great of Byzantium. Peace be upon him who follows
    guidance. Then after:

    I am inviting you
    with the Call of Islam. Submit yourself (to Allah), you will be safe. Submit
    yourself (to Allah), Allah will give you your reward twice over. But if you
    turn away, upon you shall rest the sin of the Arisiyin (all your subjects).
    (“O
    people of the Scripture, come to a word that is just between us and you, that
    we worship none but Allah, and that we associate no partners with Him, and that
    none of us shall take others as lords besides Allah. Then, if they turn away,
    say, ‘Bear witness that we are Muslims (i.e. we submit to Allah).’”
    )

    After reading the letter, Heraclius ordered to seek for him any
    of his people (Arabs of the Quraish tribe) present there, to ask them about the
    Messenger of Allah r.

    At that time Abu Sufyan bin Harb t was in Syria along with
    some men from the Quraish, who had come as merchants during the truce that had
    been concluded between the Messenger of Allah r and the infidels of
    Quraish.

    Heraclius’s messenger found them somewhere in Syria and set
    out with Abu Sufyan and his companions until they reached Iliya.

    They were admitted into Heraclius’s court to find him sitting
    in his royal council, wearing a crown and surrounded by the senior Roman
    dignitaries.

    Heraclius said to his translator, “Ask them who among them
    is the nearest relative to this man who claims to be a prophet
    .”

    Abu Sufyan said, “I am the nearest relative to him.”

    Heraclius asked, “How close is the relationship between you
    and him?

    I (Abu Sufyan) replied, “He is my cousin,” and on that
    day there was none of Banu ‘Abd Manaf in the caravan except myself.

    Heraclius said, “Let him approach.”

    He then gave orders, and my companions were made to stand
    behind my back, near my shoulder. He then said to his translator, “Tell his
    companions that I am going to ask this man (Abu Sufyan) about the man who
    claims to be a prophet. If he lies, they must contradict him
    .”

    By Allah, had it not been for the shame on that day that my
    companions would impute falsehood to me, I would have lied to him when he asked
    me about him. But I was ashamed lest lying should be imputed to me. So I told
    the truth about him.

    He then said to his translator, “Ask him what kind of
    lineage he has among you.

    I replied, “He is of noble lineage (family) among us.”

    He said, “Has anybody else among you ever claimed the same before
    him (i.e. prophethood)?

    I replied, “No.”

    He said, “Have you ever accused him of lying before he
    claimed what he claimed?

    I replied, “No.

    He said, “Were any of his forefathers a king?

    I replied, “No.

    He said, “Do the notables among people follow him or the
    weak?

    I replied, “Rather, the weak among them.”

    He said, “Are they increasing or decreasing?

    I replied, “They are increasing.”

    He said, “Does anyone renounce their religion (i.e. Islam)
    after embracing it, being displeased with it?

    I replied, “No.

    He said, “Does he (Muhammad) betray?

    I replied, “No, but we are now in a truce with him and we
    are afraid lest he should betray us
    .”

    I was not able to interpolate into my speech a word other than
    this with which to disparage him without being afraid of it being imputed to me
    (as a lie).

    Heraclius then asked, “Have you fought him or has he fought
    you?

    I replied, “Yes.

    He said, “What was the outcome of his battles and your
    battles?

    I replied, “Ups and downs (i.e. alternate victory and
    defeat); one time he defeats us and the other we defeat him
    .”

    He said, “What does he order you to do?

    I said, “He orders us to worship Allah Alone and associate
    nothing with Him, and forbid us from worshiping what (the idols) our
    forefathers used to worship. And he orders us to offer prayer, give charity, be
    chaste, keep our promises, and return trust.

    After I had said this to him, Heraclius asked his translator to
    tell me the following:

    I asked you about his lineage among you and you said that he is
    of noble lineage. Similarly, all the messengers are sent from the noblest
    lineage among their people.

    I asked you whether anybody else among you had claimed such a
    thing before him, and you said, “No.” If someone else among you had
    claimed such a thing before him, I would have thought that this was a man
    following a claim alleged before him.

    I asked you whether you have ever accused him of lying before
    saying what he said, and you said, “No.” Therefore, I learned that he
    could not abstain from lying
    to people and then lie to Allah.

    I asked you whether any of his forefathers had been a king and
    you said, “No.” Had any of his forefathers been a king, I would have
    thought that this man was seeking the kingship of his forefathers.

    I asked you whether the notables among people followed him or
    the weak, and you replied that it was the weak among them who followed him. These
    are the followers of the messengers.

    I asked you whether his followers were increasing or
    decreasing. You said that they were increasing. And so is faith until it is
    perfected.

    I asked you whether anyone renounced their religion (i.e.
    Islam) after embracing it, being displeased with it, and you said, “No.”
    Such is faith when its cheerfulness blends into the hearts; none can be displeased
    with it.

    I asked you whether he was a betrayer, and you said, “No.”
    Similarly, messengers never betray.

    I asked you whether you fought him and he fought you. You
    replied that he did, and that the battles between you and him were alternate
    victory and defeat; one time he defeated you and the other you defeated him.
    Indeed, such are the messengers. They were afflicted with trials and the
    ultimate victory was always theirs.

    Then I asked you what he ordered you to do. You said that he
    ordered you to worship Allah Alone and associate nothing with Him, and forbade
    you from worshiping what your forefathers used to worship. He ordered you to
    offer prayer, speak the truth, be chaste, keep your promises, and return trust.
    These are really the attributes of a prophet.

    I knew (from the Scriptures) that he was going to appear, but I
    never thought that he would be from among you (Arabs). If what you have said is
    true, he will very soon own the place under my feet (i.e. his dominion would
    extend to this place that is under my feet). Had I any hope that I would reach
    him, I would go through troubles to meet him. And were I with him, I would
    certainly wash his feet.6

    Heraclius wrote a letter to his friend in Rome who was his peer
    in knowledge, and then left for Homs.
    It was not long before he received an answer to his letter from his friend who
    concurred with him regarding the emergence of the (awaited) Prophet r, and the fact that he was a
    Prophet.

    Heraclius notified all the chiefs of the Romans that they
    should assemble in his palace at Homs.
    He ordered that all the doors of his palace be closed. Then he came out and
    said, “O Romans! If you wish success, right guidance, and permanence of your
    empire, swear allegiance to this prophet.”

    On hearing the words of Heraclius, they rushed towards the
    doors of the palace like onagers, but found them closed. When Heraclius saw
    their aversion (to Islam) and despaired of their faith (in Islam), he commanded
    that they should be brought back.

    (When they returned) he said, “What I have said earlier was
    just to test the strength of your adherence to your religion, and I have seen it.”
    They prostrated before him and
    became pleased with him.7

    The Emperor of the Roman Empire
    asked precise questions about Prophet Muhammad r
    and through the answers he realized his truthfulness, but his retinue shunned
    Islam. They said, “Are you calling us to leave Christianity and become
    slaves to a Bedouin coming from Hejaz!”
    8

    Thus, bigotry and love of sovereignty
    prevailed over pursuance of truth, and religion was bartered away for worldly
    life.


    1 Safi-ur-Rahman
    Mubarakpuri, Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtum
    , Writing to Kings and Emirs; a similar narration
    is also reported by Ibn Al-Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah
    , Zad Al-Ma‘ad, Writing to
    Kings and Other Sovereigns, vol. 2.

    2 Ibn Al-Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah, Zad Al-Ma‘ad, Writing to Muqawqas the King of Egypt, vol. 2.

    3
    Translated meanings of Al-‘Imran 3: 64.

    4 Al-Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah, Zad Al-Ma‘ad, Writing to
    Kings and Other Sovereigns, vol. 2.

    5 Narrated by ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abbas: Sahih
    Al-Bukhary, Book of Al-Jihad wa Al-Siyar, Hadith no. 2723; similar
    versions of the Hadith are also reported by Al-Bukhary (6, 4188, 5790), Muslim
    (3322), At-Tirmidhy (2641), Abu Dawud (4470), and Ahmad (2252).

    6 Narrated by ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abbas: Sahih Al-Bukhary, Book of Al-Jihad
    wa Al-Siyar
    , Hadith no. 2723; similar versions of the Hadith are also
    reported by Al-Bukhary (6, 4188), Muslim (3322), and Ahmad (2252).

    7 Sahih Al-Bukhary, Book of Bid’ Al-Wahy, Hadith no. 6; a similar version of the Hadith is also reported by
    Al-Bukhary (4188).

    8 Transmitted by At-Tunukhy: Musnad Ahmad, Book of Makkans,
    Hadith no. 15100.

     

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