Letters of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) to the Rulers of Syria and Yamamah
By: Ayatullah Ja'far Subhani
It is possible that the extension of universal invitation by the Prophet of Islam to the various rulers might have appeared to some of the politicians of that age to be something beyond moderateness. However, the passage of time proved that the Prophet had no other alternative.
Firstly deputation of six envoys to different parts of the world and that too with firm and convincing letters closed the path of doubt for the opponents in the future. After the performance of this great act by the Prophet none can entertain any doubt today about the universal nature of his invitation. Moreover, besides the verses revealed on the subject, sending of envoys is in itself the greatest proof of the universality of Islam.
Secondly, the rulers of the time, excepting Khusro Perviz, who was a proud and despotic person, were generally impressed by the invitation and the letters. They showed great respect to the representatives of the Prophet and the appearance of the Arabian Prophet became the subject of discussion in religious circles. These letters awakened those who were asleep, gave a severe jolt to the heedless persons and stirred the sense of the civilized nations so that they might once again undertake discussion and investigation about the Promised Prophet of the Taurat and the Evangel, and the religious personalities of the time might come in contact with the new religion in different ways. For this reason most of the leaders of different religions of those days came to Madina, during the last days of the life of the Prophet and even after his death and studied his religion from near.
In the foregoing chapters we have mentioned in detail the impression which the letters of the Prophet made on the Rulers of Rome, Iran and Egypt. Now we should see what was the result of his letter to the Negus.
After delivering presents to the representative of the Prophet of Islam, the Negus, in order to acquaint the religious organization of Ethiopia with the truthfulness of Islam, sent thirty proficient priests to Madina, so that they might study the simple and pious life of the Prophet of Islam from near, and might not think that he too possessed an organization like the monarchs of the time.
The persons deputed by the King of Ethiopia were received in audience by the Prophet and they enquired from him about his belief with regard to Prophet 'Isa. The Prophet informed them of his belief about 'Isa by reciting this verse: When Allah said, "Jesus, son of Mary, recall My favours to you and your mother. Recall how I supported you by the Holy spirit, made you speak to people from your cradle and when you grew up, taught you the Book, gave you wisdom, the Torah and the Gospel. Recall when, by My will, you made a sculpture of a bird out of clay, blew into it and it turned into a real bird. Recall how, by My will, you healed the deaf, the lepers and raised the dead. Recall when you came to the Israelites in the house with clear miracles and I saved you from their mischief, even though the disbelievers among them said, "This is obviously magic". (Surah al-Ma'ida, 5:110)
The contents of the above verse moved them so much that tears began to flow down involuntarily from their eyes.
Those deputed by the Negus returned to Ethiopia after a minute study of the invitation of the Prophet and narrated their experiences to the king. His eyes were also filled with tears like those of the priests."[ A'alamul Wara, page 31]
Ibn Athir has narrated the story of the priests sent by the Negus in a different manner. He says: "All of them were drowned in the sea and the Prophet sent a letter of condolences to the king". However, the text of the letter to which he has referred does not at all show that the Negus had faced any such calamity".[ Usudul Ghaba, vol. II, page 62]