Lessons from calling kings and rulers to Allah - I


1-    The Arians 

The word "Areesiyyeen" – or "Yareesiyyeen" according to other narrations – was reported to have only been mentioned in the letter that was sent to Hiraql. Scholars of Hadeeth and linguists have provided different views regarding the meaning of this word. According to the preponderant view, it is a plural form whose single means the peasant, the servant and the hired person.
The prominent scholar, Shaykh Abu Al-Hasan An-Nadwi, may Allah have mercy upon him, however, was of the view that it refers to the followers of Arius, the Egyptian. He was the founder of a Christian sect, which played a significant role in the history of Christian beliefs and religious reform. It represented a source of concern for the Byzantine Empire as well as the Christian Church for a long time. Arius called for monotheism and for distinguishing between the Creator and the created subjects as well as the Father and the Son – according to the Christians' expression – for several centuries.
Arius's belief and call entered into an ongoing conflict with the official call, which declared Al-Maseeh (the Messiah), may Allah exalt his mention, as a god and made him an equal to God, The One and the Eternal Refuge.
Victory and defeat in that war came by turns, and a large number of Christians in the eastern states of the Byzantine Empire adopted this belief. This lasted until Theodore finally held a Christian Council in Constantinople, where he approved the divine nature of Al-Maseeh, may Allah exalt his mention, and the ‘fact’ that he was the son of God. This declaration wiped out the belief to which Aruis called, and it disappeared. Nevertheless, later on it was revived, and a Christian sect adopted this belief, and they were known as the Arians. It is logical and possible that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, meant this sect in particular when he said: “If you reject this call you will be committing a sin by misguiding the Arians”, because this sect adopted relative monotheism in the Christian world, which was led by the great Byzantine Empire that was led by Hiraql.
Imaam Abu Ja‘far At-Tahaawi, may Allah have mercy upon him, talked about this sect and said,
Some scholars who are knowledgeable about these meanings mentioned that there was a sect among Hiraql's people known as the “Aroosiyyah” that testified to the monotheism of Allah The Almighty and acknowledged that the Maseeh, may Allah exalt his mention, was the slave of Allah. They did not claim, like most Christians, that he had a divine nature. Rather, they believed in the prophethood of ‘Eesa, may Allah exalt his mention, adhered to his religion, believed in his Gospel and denied other invalid Christian beliefs. Given this, the followers of this sect could be called "Areesiyyeen", as expressed by the scholars of Hadeeth.
2-    Wise Approaches Specific to Kings
The letters of the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, implied slight differences among them based on his wisdom in giving Da‘wah (call). He considered the differences among the kings in terms of their beliefs as well as their various backgrounds. Hiraql and Al-Muqawqis believed, whether totally or partially, that ‘Eesa, may Allah exalt his mention, had a divine nature and that he was the son of Allah The Almighty; hence, the letters sent to them included the expression of "the slave of Allah" after the name of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. After mentioning "In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Ever Merciful", the two letters started with: "From Muhammad, the Slave of Allah and His Messenger, to Hiraql, the Roman Emperor" and "From Muhammad, the Slave of Allah and His Messenger, to Al-Muqawqis, the King of the Copts".
This is contrary to what was included in the letter of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, to Chosroes Parvez, as he only wrote: "From Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah, to Chosroes, the Persian Emperor."
Moreover, the verse in which Allah The Exalted Says (what means): {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] was included in the letters to the first two kings, even though it was not included in the letter sent to Chosroes Parvez because the verse addresses the People of the Book, who believe that ‘Eesa, may Allah exalt his mention, has a divine nature, and who took as lords beside Allah their rabbis and their monks and Al-Maseeh the son of Maryam, may Allah exalt his mention.
Hiraql, the Byzantine Emperor, and Al-Muqawqis, the ruler of Egypt, were two great political and religious leaders in the Christian world with a slight difference among them in terms of their belief in Al-Maseeh. They differed over whether he has a consubstantial or coeternal nature.
Chosroes Parvez and his people worshipped the sun and fire and believed in the existence of two gods; one god that represented good, Ahura Mazda, and the other represented evil, Ahriman. They were far from the concept of prophethood as well as the sound perception of heavenly messages. Hence, the letter sent to the Persian emperor included the sentence: "And that I am His Messenger to all people to warn whoever is living."
The kings reacted differently to these letters. Hiraql, An-Najaashi and Al-Muqawqis were polite and kind in their response. An-Najaashi and Al-Muqawqis honored the delegates of the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and Al-Muqawqis sent him gifts including two female slaves, one of them was Maariyah who became the mother of Ibraaheem, son of the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Chosroes Parvez, however, tore up the letter and said, “He writes such a thing to me while he is my slave?” When this reached the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, he supplicated against him saying: “May Allah tear up his kingdom!”
Chosroes commanded Bathaan, his ruler in Yemen, to bring the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, to him. Thereupon, Bathaan sent him an envoy who said to the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, “The king of Kings commanded King Bathaan to send to you someone who would bring you to him. He sent me to bring you.” However, the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, informed him that Allah The Almighty had given Siroes, Chosroes's son, power over his father by means of him murdering him.
The prophecy of the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, was accurately fulfilled, as Chosroes's son, Siroes usurped power from his father and he was killed, humiliated and disdained in 628 CE. His kingdom was dispersed after his death and it became like a toy in the hands of the sons of the dynasty. Siroes lived only six months thereafter. Ten kings then ascended the throne in four years. The kingdom was in turmoil until the people finally agreed to appoint Yazdagird, who was the last Sassanid king. He confronted the Islamic march that totally eradicated the Sassanid Dynasty which had lasted and prospered for more than four centuries. This took place in 637 CE. As such, the prophecy of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, was fulfilled within eight years.

Lessons from calling kings and rulers to Allah - II

Tuesday 4-5-2010