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By: Maulana Habibur Rahman Uthmani ex-Rector Darul Uloom, Deoband

Spread of Islam Translated by: Hifzur Rahman Qasmi

Letters of dawah to the world rulers In the third year of Hijrah, the Prophet (saws) sent the letters of dawah to the rulers of the big and small kingdoms through his representatives. (Note: The Prophet (saws) did not send his representatives to the world rulers in the third year of Hijra as stated in the book. Rather it was after the peace treaty of Hudaibiya (in sixth year of Hijrah) and before the victory of Makkah (seventh year of Hijarah) as it is agreed upon by all historians. The statement of third year as written by the author is a mistake. (Tareekh Tabri Vol. 3, p. 85, Al-Bidaya Wan Nihaya, Vol. 4, P. 262)) This was the time when Islam had not taken root even in the Arab tribes. The internal and external enemies were always lurking to make mischief. The Quraish of Makkah were ever ready to fight. The Jews were by the side and the hypocrites were right in the house. Islam did not have the power to impress them. In such a miserable state, what kind of impression could Islam cast on the great world rulers? It would not be wise to think that the Prophet (saws) sent letters to them on account of power and glory or the Prophet (saws) had some material goods which could attract them. No! Rather he was commanded to reach out to everyone with the message of truth. He was only acting as he was commanded.


All the letters sent to them were almost with the same content. Though the contents of the letters were short and simple, there was a spiritual power running between the lines. Thus, they impressed the hearts with the ability to perceive the truth and falsehood and distinguish between the right and wrong. Therefore, the heads of the states, who bore the impact of this hidden power , totally surrendered themselves. Unlike them, those to whom the superficial power and glory was the standard to decide the truth and falsehood, stood in defiance and humiliated both, the letters and the representatives. The blessed letter to Caesar The letter to Caesar was sent through Dahiya Kalbi (ra). He held the letter in great esteem. Then he told a person having the knowledge of the previous scriptures about the letter and asked for the reality. “This Prophet is truthful. We all were waiting him; you must obey him” replied the person. Caesar called all the leaders and himself sat on the upper story. He told all of them about the letter and said that “he was the same prophet who had got mentioned in our scriptures. So, we should all obey him. It will purify us both in this world and hereafter”. Hearing this, they all ran wildly towards the door. It was closed. Caesar said, “I just

wanted to test you if you are firm on your faith. Now I am glad that you do not have any fault.” (Tareekh Tabri: Vol. 3, P. 87) Having said good bye to them, Caesar said to Dahiya Kalbi (ra), “He is not doubt a true Prophet, but I am scared of these people. If I did not have fear, I would have surely converted. You should go to Dhaghatir, the Archbishop of Rome and tell him about the messenger of Allah.” Dahiya Kalbi (ra) went to him and recounted the whole truth. Hearing this, he said, “By Allah, he is the prophet. We see his conditions and attributes written in our scriptures.” Taking his stick in hand, the archbishop went into the church and said to the people, “We have received a letter from Ahmad (saws) and he calls us to Islam. Let me recite the kalimah, “I attest that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his slave and messenger.” No sooner did the Christians hear this from the archbishop, they killed him. Dahiya (ra) told the whole story to Caesar. He said, “I too fear of the same treatment from them.” (Tareekh Tabri: Vol. 3, P. 87) The affair of Caesar and Abu Sufian After some time, Abu Sufian along with a caravan visited Rome for a business purpose. Caesar called him to his court. He along with some

HISTORY in TRANSLATION people from Quraish presented themselves before him. With honour and esteem, Caesar made him sit in the front and others behind and said, “I want to enquire some points from Abu Sufian. You all must deny him, if he tells a lie.” Telling a lie was considered a great evil among Arabs. Abu Sufian stated that if he did not fear of being famous for falsehood, he would have surely lied. But when Caesar asked about the conditions of the Prophet, I underestimated it greatly. But Caesar did not pay heed to it. (Al-Bidaya Wn Nihaya: Vol. 4, P. 266)

A man with the least degree of intellect can comprehend that there was no reason for Caesar to be afraid of the letter of the Prophet.

A summary of conversation between Caesar and Abu Sufian Caesar: How is the lineage of that person among you? Abu Sufian: He holds a great position in lineage. Caesar: Has there been any person in his family who claimed to be prophet? Abu Sufian: No one. Caesar: Has there been any state or kingdom in his family which you snatched? Abu Sufian: No. Caesar: Who follows him?


Abu Sufian: Weak, poor and adolescent persons follow him. Caesar: Do his followers love him, or hate him and leave him? Abu Sufian: Not even a single person left him after obeying. Caesar: Who wins the wars which occur between you and him? Abu Sufian: Sometimes he wins and other times we win. Caesar: Does he ever cheat or break his promise? Abu Sufian: He never cheated, but we have a peace treaty with him nowadays and we are not sure what he will do. Abu Sufian stated that he did not find any chance to speak the lie in answer to any question. Hearing his answers, Caesar said, “The answers to my questions clearly reflect that he is indeed a prophet. The prophets are always the descendents of great and noble lineage. If someone in his family had ever claimed prophethood, I would consider that he has followed his family trait. If a kingdom has been snatched from his family, I would consider that he has claimed to be a prophet to take back his power. The prophets are always followed by weaker and poorer sections of society. Those whose hearts once tastes the sweetness of faith, never deviates from it. Prophets never cheat or break their promises.” At last addressing Abu Sufian, Caesar said, “If you have told the truth, his power and faith will surely dominate even over this place where we are sitting right now. How great it would be if only I were along with him and wash his feet!” these words of admiration from the mouth of Caesar of Rome, the then most powerful ruler of the world and sovereign king

of Asia and Europe made Abu Sufian wonder-struck. In the state of utter surprise and depression, he struck one hand over another and got out saying, “O people, the mission of the son of Abu Kabsha (The Prophet) has got even stronger and firmer.” (Al-Bidaya Wan Nihaya: Vol. 4, P. 263) t(saws). His representative Dahiya (ra) had not come along with a great army. The Prophet (saws) did not rule over a well spread sovereign kingdom, and he did not he have a great army and material power which could overcome the world rulers. If he had, no ruler would surrender to him without fighting. There was not even a threat of an attack in the letter. Its words were so simple which even does give any clue of such kind. The wordings of the letter were as follows: From Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah to the great Hercule of Rome. Peace be upon those who follow the guidance. Embrace Islam and you will be safe. Allah will grant you a dual reward. If you deny, the sin of your people too will be upon you. (AlBidaya Wan Nihaya: Vol. 4, P. 263) What was the reason that the Caesar of Rome obeyed him by heart? The only reason for it was that Caesar had the knowledge of the previous scriptures and the signs of the last prophet written in them would completely apply to Muhammad (saws). The simple language also impressed him. And he could not help verifying the truth. But unfortunately, the greed of sultanate and fear for life kept him away from following Prophet Muhammad (saws) practically. To be continued...

13 history in translation