The Holy Prophet's Envoy in Yamamah
By: Ayatullah Ja'far Subhani
The last envoy of the Prophet proceeded to Yamamah, a territory situated between Najd and Bahrain, and delivered his letter to the ruler of that place named Hawzah bin Ali Hanafi. The text of the Prophet's letter is as follows: "In the name of Allah. Peace be upon the followers of guidance. You should know that my religion will spread in the east and the west up to the remotest corners of the earth. Embrace Islam so that you may remain safe and your power and kingdom may continue to exist".
As the Ruler of Yamamah was a Christian the envoy, chosen for that place, was a man, who had resided in Ethiopia for a long time and was fully conversant with the logic and ceremonies of Christianity. This man was Salit bin 'Amr who had migrated to Ethiopia under the orders of the Prophet at the time when the Muslims were severely oppressed by the idolaters of Makkah. The sublime teachings of Islam and his contacts with different classes of people during his journeys had made him so brave and strong that he impressed the Ruler of Yamamah by his words and said to him: "Honoured is he, who is blessed with faith and piety. The people who under your leadership will never be unsuccessful. I invite you to the best thing and restrain you from the worst acts. I invite you to worship Allah and prevent you from obeying Satan and following temptations and lusts The result of worshipping Allah is Paradise and that of following Satan is fire (Hell). If you do against what I have said, you should wait till reality dawns upon you".
The face of the Ruler of Yamamah showed that the words of the envoy had made a good impression on him. He asked for time to ponder over the prophethood of the Prophet. By chance one of the Archbishops of Rome happened to arrive in Yamamah at that time and the Ruler of Yamamah placed the matter before him. The bishop said: "Why did you abstain from acknowledging him?" He replied: "I fear for my kingdom and my authority". The bishop said: "It is proper for you to follow him. He is the same Arabian Prophet whose appearance has been foretold by Jesus and it is written in the Evangel that Muhammad is the Prophet of Allah".
The advice tendered by the bishop encouraged the ruler. He called the envoy to deliver a letter from him to the Prophet. The letter reads as follows: "You have invited me to the best religion. I am the poet, orator and spokesman of my community and enjoy a position amongst the Arabs which is recognized by all. I am prepared to follow your religion, subject to the condition that you allow me to share some high religious status".
He did not content himself with this only. He sent a delegation to Madina headed by Muja'ah bin Murarah so that they might convey his message to the Prophet and tell him that if this religious distinction was to devolve upon him after the Prophet's death he was prepared to embrace Islam and to assist him, but otherwise he would wage war. Members of this delegation presented themselves before the Prophet and embraced Islam without any preconditions. As regards the Ruler of Yamamah the Prophet said in reply to his message: "If his faith is conditional he is not fit for rulership and succession and Allah will protect me from his mischief ".[ Tarikh-i Kamil, vol. II, page 83; Tabaqat-i Kubra, vol. I, page 262]
OTHER LETTERS OF THE PROPHET OF ISLAM
The letters written by the Prophet inviting the princes, kings, rulers and religious personalities (to Islam) are more in number than those mentioned above and even now the research scholars have reproduced in their books twenty nine letters of invitation sent by him. For brevity's sake, however, we content ourselves with those mentioned above.