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Calling Kings and Rulers to Allah

Tuesday 04/05/2010

The Al-Hudaybiyah Peace Treaty Was the Beginning of the Islamic Expansion

 
The Islamic expansion not only reached the far ends of the Arabian Peninsula, but it also extended beyond the borders of Arabia. From the time of concluding the Al-Hudaybiyah Peace Treaty with the Quraysh and the consequent events of subjugating the Jews from the northern part of Hijaz in Khaybar, Waadi Al-Qura, Taymaa’ and Fadak under the Islamic sovereignty, the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) exerted his utmost to spread Islam outside the borders of Hijaaz and the Arabian Peninsula. The Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) expressed this methodology verbally and practically through dispatching a number of messengers and delegates to the rulers of the Arabian Peninsula as well as the kings of the contemporary external world beyond the borders of Arabia.
 
This step is considered a crucial turning point in both Arab and Muslim history, as the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) not only united the Arabs of Arabia under the banner of Islam, but also the Arabs, after embracing Islam and following the heavenly message, became responsible for giving the Islamic Da‘wah (call) to all mankind.
 
The prophetic methodology in calling rulers and kings to Allah The Almighty refers to the means that should be adopted in giving Da‘wah. Besides calling rulers and peoples, the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) chose a new style for giving Da‘wah, which was sending letters to kings and tribal chiefs. There was a manifest benefit in this style as some of the kings and rulers embraced Islam while others at least showed affection for the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ). Such letters also revealed the attitudes of some kings and rulers towards the Islamic Da‘wah and its state in Madeenah. As such, they achieved many results and the Muslim state, through the different reactions to these letters, managed to adopt a clear and distinguished political and military methodology. The most important of these letters are the following:
 
1-    There is an authentic narration reported in Saheeh Muslim including the text of the letter of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) to Hiraql (Heraclius), the Roman Emperor. The letter was sent with Dihyah Al-Kalbi, may Allah be pleased with him, during the term of the Al-Hudaybiyah Peace Treaty. It read
 
In the Name of Allah, The Most Merciful, The Ever Merciful. From Muhammad, the Slave of Allah and His Messenger, to Hiraql, the Roman Emperor.  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) who follows guidance. I call you to embrace Islam. Embrace Islam and you will be safe and Allah will double your reward, while if you reject this call you will be committing a sin by misguiding the followers of Arius. {Say, “O People of the Scripture, come to a word that is equitable between us and you - that we will not worship except Allah and not associate anything with Him and not take one another as lords instead of Allah.” But if they turn away, then say, “Bear witness that we are Muslims [submitting to Him].”} [Quran 3: 64] [Muslim]
 
In the long and famous Hadeeth that was narrated by Al-Bukhari and Muslim  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them including the dialogue which took place between Abu Sufyaan, may Allah be pleased with him, and Hiraql, the latter received the letter, reflected on the matter meticulously, asked about the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) and then said to Abu Sufyaan, may Allah be pleased with him, “If what you have said about him is true, then he is certainly a prophet. I knew that he was going to appear, but I did not think that he would be from among you [Arabs]. If I knew that I would be able to reach him, I would love to meet him, and if I was with him, I would wash his feet [out of reverence].” [Muslim]
 
2-    The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) sent a letter to Kisra (Khosrau), the Persian Emperor. The letter was sent with ‘Abdullaah bin Huthaafah As-Sahmi, may Allah be pleased with him. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) commanded ‘Abdullaah, may Allah be pleased with him, to deliver the letter to the King of Bahrain, and then he (the King of Bahrain) forwarded it to Kisra. Having read it, Kisra tore up the letter. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) therefore supplicated to Allah The Almighty to tear up his kingdom in a similar fashion.
 
According to the narration of At-Tabari  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him the letter read:
 
In the Name of Allah, The Most Merciful, The Ever Merciful . From Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah, to Kisra, the Persian Emperor.  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) who follows guidance, believes in Allah The Almighty and His Messenger, and testifies that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that I am His Messenger to all people to warn whoever is alive. Embrace Islam and you will be safe, but if you turn away, then upon you will be the sin of all the Magians.
 
3-    The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) sent a letter to An-Najaashi (Negus), the King of Abyssinia, with ‘Amr bin Umayyah Adh-Dhamri, may Allah be pleased with him. The letter read,
 
In the Name of Allah, The Most Merciful, The Ever Merciful. From Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah to An-Najaashi, the King of Abyssinia. Embrace Islam. I praise Allah, other than whom there is no deity, the Sovereign, the Pure, the Perfect, the Bestower of Faith and the Overseer. I testify that ‘Eesa [Jesus], the son of Maryam [Mary], is the Spirit of Allah and His Word that He Delivered to Maryam, the virgin, the good and the pure [woman], and then she became pregnant with him [‘Eesa] and He [Allah] created him from His Spirit and breath, just as He created Aadam [Adam] with His Hands. I call you to believe in Allah alone, with no partners beside Him, and to give your allegiance to obey Him, follow me and believe in what was revealed to me, as I am the Messenger of Allah. I call you, as well as your soldiers, to believe in Allah The Exalted. I have indeed delivered the message and offered advice and I hope that you will accept this advice. Peace be on those who follow guidance.
 
4-    The letter of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) to Al-Muqawqis, the Ruler of Egypt, and his reply to the letter was not established through authentic narrations. However, this does not mean that he did not send him a letter. This also does not mean we can dispute the historical authenticity of texts. They might be authentic in form and content but at the same time not used as an evidence in Sharee'ah policy. In At-Tabaqaat, Muhammad bin Sa‘d  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him reported that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) sent a letter to Al-Muqawqis (George bin Mina) the ruler of Alexandria and the Emperor of the Copts, with Haatib bin Abu Balta‘ah Al-Lakhmi, may Allah be pleased with him, and that he received the matter kindly. However, he did not embrace Islam and instead sent some gifts to the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) including Maariyah the Coptic, may Allah be pleased with her. Having received his reply, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) remarked: “The wicked [man] fears for his kingdom, which would not last [anyway].”
 
5-    On returning from Al-Hudaybiyah along with the Muslims, the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) sent a letter with Shujaa‘ bin Wahb, may Allah be pleased with him, who belonged to Banu Asad bin Khuzaymah, to Al-Munthir bin Al-Haarith bin Abu Shamir Al-Ghassaani, the Ruler of Damascus. The text of the letter read, “Peace be on he who follows guidance and believes in it. I call you to believe in Allah alone, with no partners beside Him, and He will preserve your kingdom for you.”
6-    Having returned from Al-Hudaybiyah, the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) sent a letter to Hawthah bin ‘Ali Al-Hanafi – the King of Al-Yamaamah who died shortly after the conquest of Makkah – with Saleet bin ‘Amr Al-‘Aamiri, may Allah be pleased with him. Having read the letter, Hawthah Al-Hanafi stipulated that he should share sovereignty with the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ). However, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) rejected this idea.
7-    Having left Al-Hudaybiyah, the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) sent a letter to Al-Munthir bin Saawa Al-‘Abdi, the Ruler of Bahrain, with Al-‘Alaa’ bin Al-Hadhrami, may Allah be pleased with him. Historical references transmitted that Al-Munthir responded to the letter of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) and embraced Islam. All the Arabs of Bahrain embraced Islam with him. The Jewish, Christian and Magi residents made an agreement with Al-‘Alaa’ and Al-Munthir to pay the Jizyah (poll tax) as a dinar for each mature person. Abu ‘Ubayd Al-Qaasim bin Salaam  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him transmitted the text of the letter of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) to Al-Munthir bin Saawa, according to the narration of ‘Urwah bin Az-Zubayr  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him
 
“Peace be on you. I praise Allah, with whom there is no other deity. The one who performs our prayer, faces our Qiblah [prayer direction], and eats from our slaughtered animals is a Muslim, and for him is the protection of Allah and His Messenger; and the one who accepts this from the Magians is safe; and the one who rejects it will be required to pay the Jizyah.”
 
8-    In Thul-Qa‘dah, the 8th year after Hijrah (emigration), the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) sent a letter to Jayfar and ‘Abd, the two sons of Al-Julanda, from the Azd in Oman with ‘Amr bin Al-‘Aas, may Allah be pleased with him. The text of the letter read,
 
From Muhammad, the Prophet and the Messenger of Allah, to the slaves of Allah Al-Asbathiyyeen [a description derived from a name of a valley in Hajar called “Asbath”], the Kings and those who belong to the Azd of Oman, as well as those who are in Bahrain among them. If they believe, perform the prayer, give the Zakah [obligatory charity], obey Allah and His Messenger, give the due right of the Prophet and eat from the slaughtered animals of the Muslims, they will be safe as well as get to keep all the things they had at the time they embraced Islam. However, the wealth of the temple of fire [the place where they worshipped fire] will be for Allah The Almighty and His Messenger. One tenth of the revenue of the palm-dates will be given in charity as well as a twentieth of the revenue of crops. They are required to offer the Muslims both support and advice and the Muslims are required to do the same thing, and also the Muslims are permitted to eat their food.
 
Sources report a huge number of narrations about other letters although they are not authentically proved in the books of Hadeeth.

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