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Qualities of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) in the Old Testament (Tawrah)

Hayat Al-Qulub Vol. 1,
By: Allamah Muhammad Baqir Al-Majlisi

The narrator says that the attention of the assembly was now turned to the books of Musa and in the second book of the Torah was found written this declaration of the Lord of the universe: I will send, of the children of Ismail, a Prophet, to whom I will communicate my own book. I will raise him up with a true righteous dispensation for all My creatures and will bestow My wisdom on him and assist him with My angels and hosts.
His offspring shall be from his blessed daughter whom I will give him in blessing. From that daughter, I will cause two sons to spring like two branches, Ismail and Ishaq, I will multiply exceedingly in two great branches, from which I will establish twelve imams for the preservation of that which I will complete by the instrumentally of Muhammad, who is the seal of the Prophet, and in the period of whose nation I will set the Judgment.
Haritha now exclaimed, The morning of truth appears for all who have eyes to see, and the way of truth is obvious to one that prove the religion of truth. Is there still in your hearts any disease of doubt of which you want to be healed? Sayyid and Aqib made no reply. Abu Haritha rejoined, Take the last crowning evidence from the words of your Sayyid, His Eminence, Isa (a.s.)!
Attention was now directed to the books of the New Testament (Injeel) which Prophet Isa (a.s.) had brought. In the fourth book of these divine communication was written: O Isa (a.s.), son of a pure woman without husband, hear My word, and strive in the executions of My commands. Verily, I created you without father, and made you a sign to the universe.
Then serve and trust me. Take this book, and strive with all your might in its performance, and in expounding it to the people of Syria. That I am Lord, besides whom there is no Lord: I am the living, and the life of all is derived from me; and I am without change or variation. Believe in me and in My Prophet whom hereafter I will send, who shall come in the end of time and be a mercy to the worlds.
He will be raised up for mercy and religious war, and shall bring My servants into the way of the truth by the sword. He is the first and the last; that is, he is the first of all in respect to creation of his sprit, and the last in his manifestation as a Prophet, and is raised up for all creatures, and in his period, the judgment will occur. Announce the glad tidings of his advent to the children of Yaqub.
Prophet Isa (a.s.) replied, O Master of all periods, and knower of all secrets, who is that righteous servant whom I love before seeing him? The divine response was, He is My chosen Prophet, who shall fight with his own hand, and whose word and acts accord with each other, and what he manifests is like what he conceals.
I will send him a new light, that is, the Quran, by which I will enlighten blind eyes, and cause deaf ears to hear, and make foolish hearts understand. I have reposed him the sources of knowledge and understanding. Blessed is he, and Blessed is his nation. Prophet Isa (a.s.) asked: What is his name and what is the sign of his nation? And what will the tenure of his rule? Would he have descendants?
The reply was: O Isa, His name is Ahmad, and he is the chosen one of the offspring of Ibrahim and Ismail. His soul is like the moon, and his forehead luminous. He will ride camels. His eyes will sleep, but not his sprit. I will raise him up among an untaught people who have no share in knowledge, and his kingdom will endure till the judgment takes place.
His birth will be in the city of his grandfather Ismail, in Mecca. His wives will be many, but his children few, and his posterity will descend from an immaculate daughter, who will have two illustrious sons, both of whom will be martyred, and from whom the Prophets descendants will spring. Tooba is for these two sons, and those that love them, take refuge in their protection, and aid them. Isa (a.s.) inquired, O Lord, what is Tooba?
He responded, Tooba is a tree in Paradise whose trunk and branches are gold, and its leaves beautiful garments. Its fruit resembles breasts of virgins, and is sweeter than honey, and softer than butter. The tree is watered by the fountain of Tasnim, and were a wild crow to fly from the time it is first fledged to old age, it would not reach the top of the tree. So immense is Tooba, that it shades, by some of its branches, every abode in Paradise.

Sayyid and Aqib confess to what is written in Jamia
These convincing accounts respecting Muhammad, drawn from the Jamia, abashed Sayyid and Aqib, and gave the palm of victory to Haritha. The two could make alterations in the Jamia and thus they decided to give up the debate. They thought that they had left the straight path and deviated. So both returned to their respective Churches to think up some plan.
But the Christians of Najran now gathered around then humbled champions, and asked them what they intended to do, and what was to become of their religion. They declared that they had not abandoned their faith, and exhorted the people to continue firm in the same, until the religion of Muhammad should be better known, and it is known to what he is inviting. The narrator says that when Sayyid and Aqib decided to proceed to Medina to the Holy Prophet (S).
On this journey Sayyid and Aqib were accompanied by fourteen hundred Christians of Najran, eminent for knowledge and rank, and seventy of the principle men of the Bani Harith bin Kaab. The narrator says that Qays bin Husain and Yazid bin Abidaan, who were scholars of Hadhramaut, and were then at Najran, started with the party for Medina.
So they mounted their horses and led their empty camels and headed for Medina. Since there was delay in news of the companions of the Prophet who had gone to Najran, the Holy Prophet (S) sent Khalid bin Walid with an army to them in order to see what had retained them. On the way, he met the Najran delegation. The Christians said that they had come to make inquiries about religion.
On approaching Medina, Sayyid and Aqib, who wished to make a display of their grandeur, caused their companions to halt, wash and refit themselves in costly silk garments of Yemen, and perfumed themselves with musk. They then mounted their horses and carried their spears upright, and being more portly in person than the other Arabs, they attracted great admiration on entering Medina.
They found the Prophet in the Masjid, where they were introduced to him. When the hour for their prayers came, they turned their faces towards the east, and performed their devotion, which some companions of Prophet wished to prohibit, but the Holy Prophet (S) ordered that they should be left to their own way for three days, during which time they might gain some knowledge of him and his faith.
After three days, the Prophet summoned his visitors to embrace Islam. They replied, O Abul Qasim, we have found in you every characteristic of the Prophet who should arise after Prophet Isa (a.s.), all which are described in the divine and glorious books, with one exception which outweighs all the rest. What is that important characteristic? inquired Muhammad.
They replied, We have read in Injeel that the Prophet will come after Masih, bearing witness to his truth, and having faith in him; but you call Him worthless and false and consider Him a servant. The narrator here observes that their dispute with Muhammad was not in respect to anything except Isa (a.s.).
Muhammad replied, It is not as you say, but I declare His truth and have faith in Him and testify that he is a Prophet of the Most High. Yet, I say He is the servant of the Lord of the universe, and not the master of his own advantage or harm nor of his own life or death. They asked, Can a servant do what He did?
Has any Prophet by his own power wrought such miracles as He manifested? Did he not raise the dead, give sight to those born blind, and heal the leprous? Did he not tell what is in the heart of men and what they had stored in their housed? Can any but the Most High do these things, or one who is truly the son of God? They said much to this effect, ascribing divinity to Isa (a.s.) from which the Almighty Allah is uncontaminated by such words, in his holy and glorious exaltation.

Debate with the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.)
The Holy Prophet (S) replied, What you asserted that my brother Isa (a.s.) raised the dead and healed the blind and leprous and told people what was in their hearts and houses is true; but He did all these things by the power and permission of the Most high, whose servant Isa (a.s.) is not ashamed to be, nor is he aspiring.
Verily, Isa (a.s.) had flesh blood, and He ate and drank, which all are characteristics of a creature; and His lord is the sole Lord, and in truth there is no similitude of Him and no likeness to Him. They rejoined, Show us one who like Prophet Isa (a.s.) had no father. Muhammad replied, In respect to his creation, Adam is more wonderful than Isa for he was born without father or mother. But no one mode of creation is more difficult than another with the Most High whose power is such that whatever He wishes to create, He says to it, Be and it is. The Prophet then recited this verse:

ٰ ۖ

Surely the likeness of Isa is with Allah as the likeness of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him, Be, and he was.[474]
They said, Our belief respecting Isa remains unshaken and we will neither forsake it nor acknowledge that what you say concerning Him is true. Now therefore let us make an appeal to God and let His curse be on either us that lies and let the truth be speedily manifested. And very soon the truth becomes manifest. At that time, the following verse of imprecation was revealed:

Then say: Come let us call our sons and your sons and our women and your women and our near people and your near people, then let us be earnest in prayer, and pray for the curse of Allah on the liars.[475]
The Holy Prophet (S) communicated this verse to them and told them that the Almighty Allah has commanded me to accept your suggestion about imprecation ceremony and if you agree you must do as you say. They said we shall gather tomorrow and invoke divine curse on the liars.
Sayyid Aqib and their companions now retired to their quarters out of the town where they had halted on a hill and said to one another, Muhammad has decided such a course of action that it will decide our dispute with him. Let us see if Muhammad appears tomorrow with multitude, or with a chosen few who are the chosen ones from the pious, because this is always a small group.
If he comes with many men of worldly rank and riches, we shall be victorious; but if he comes in the manner of the prophets, then take warning by it and avoid the trial. Because it would be a sign for you. So you must see what he does. In this way Sayyid and Aqib showed that they feared the consequences of the imprecation ceremony.

The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) brings his family members
Muhammad ordered a place between two trees to be swept, and a black cloak to be spread on the trees where at the appointed hour he took his position. Aqib and Sayyid made their appearance with their two sons, Al-Mohsin and Abdul Munim and from their wives, Sarah and Maryam. They were attended by the Christians that came with them from Najran and the riders of Bani Harith bin Kaab, all in splendid array. All the people of Medina came out with banners and making their best display to see the issue of the ordeal.
The Prophet remained in his house till the morning was considerably advanced when he proceeded to the place of divine appeal attended by Ali and Fatima, and their two sons, the young Imams, Hasan and Husain. These five illustrious persons placed themselves under the cloak which had been spread upon the trees. Then sent a man to Sayyid and Aqib to call them for the ordeal. Sayyid and Aqib appeared and demanded of the Prophet if he would make the appeal with only that young man and woman and those two boys, and not with the principal men of his nation.
He replied that he was so ordered by the Lord. At this declaration the color of Sayyid and Aqib turned pale and they went back to their companions, who inquired of them what had happened to which they made no reply. A young scholar of their party now exclaimed. Woe be to you! You must never engage in the ordeal with them; call to mind what you read in the Jamia respecting Muhammad. Verily, you know he is true. It wont be long for you to be transformed into apes and pigs, therefore fear God. As they knew the young man wished them well, they were silent
The narrator says that Manzar bin Al-Qama was a brother of Abu Harith, and himself a scholar and an accomplished man. Although the Christians respected him a great extent he was not present in the assembly of Najran and he reached when they were setting out for Medina. So he also accompanied them and because he found them differing.
Now he took Sayyid and Aqib aside, and after assuring them of his sincere friendship, which they professed not to doubt, warned them that all who had ever engaged in an ordeal with a Prophet had been destroyed; reminding them at the same time all who had any knowledge of the divine books knew that Muhammad was that Prophet whom all the others had announced, with description of him and his family. And even now, open your eyes to the alarming portends of nature.
The sun is changed in appearance, the trees bow down, the birds lay their heads and spread their wings on the ground; also see the mountains shivering; through divine fear, notwithstanding they are sinless, and this is only because they see signs of impending wrath. Observe, besides, the trembling of the mountains, and smoke covering the earth, and although it is the clear season of summer, see fragments of black clouds beginning to appear.
Look, Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) have raised their hands in prayer, and are waiting for you to accept the trial by imprecation. Be assured, then if one word of imprecation proceeds from them, we shall never return to our families and possessions again, but all be destroyed. Sayyid and Aqib now trembled and were almost bereft of reason and they knew that if they went ahead with the imprecation, they would be chastised.
Manzar bin Al-Qama saw that they were fearful, so he continued: If you become Muslims you will be safe in this world and the next; but if you want only the world and cannot forsake the rank you enjoy among your people. I have nothing to say to you. But it is not nice that you are challenging Muhammad to a divine appeal. It was due to your foolishness. Muhammad accepted your challenge and when prophets decided something, they dont stop till they have fulfilled it.
If you intend to retreat from the appeal, do it speedily, and make peace with Muhammad for your situation is like that of the people to whom Yunus was sent who repented when the signs of divine wrath appeared.

Sayyid and Aqib send Manzar with an offer of peace
Sayyid and Aqib now commissioned Manzar to negotiate for them with Muhammad. The deputy accordingly waited on him and addressed him. Peace be on you. I testify that besides the Lord of the universe there is no Lord, and you and Isa (a.s.) are both servants of God, and sent by Him to mankind. Thus Manzar became a Muslim, and then laid the object of his mission before Muhammad, who on his part empowered Ali to conclude peace with the Christians of Najran.
Amirul Momineen (a.s.) said: May my parents be sacrificed on you, on which conditions should I make peace? The Messenger of Allah (S) said: O Abul Hasan, that which is best according to you as what you say or do is same as what I would say or do. It was stipulated that they should pay an annual tribute of two thousand good robes, and one thousand mithqal[476] of gold, one half to be delivered in the month of Mohurrum, and the other half in the month of Rajab.
Ali (a.s.) now introduced Aqib and Sayyid, who were greatly abashed, to the Prophet in whose presence they ratified the treaty to their own humiliation. Muhammad, in declaring his acceptance of the treaty, said that if his opponents had joined issue with him and those under the cloak, in the appeal by imprecation, the whole valley would have been filled with fire and the whole Christian party would have been instantly destroyed.
The Prophet and his sacred family now returned to the Masjid, where presently Jibraeel met them, saying. The most High send you salutation, and declares that His servant, Musa, with Harun and his children, made a divine appeal against Qarun who with all his party and property, were swallowed up by the earth. And if you, O Ahmad, with your family, had met in ordeal all other creatures, verily the heavens had been rent in pieces, the mountains pulverized and the earth had sunk.
But it was against My will. The Prophet immediately fell in adoration, and then raised his hands in such way that the whiteness of his armpits became apparent, and rendered thanks to God saying: Thanks be to the giver of bounty, thrice. People asked him the reason for happiness that was seen on his face. His Eminence replied: I have thanked the Almighty for the bounty that the Almighty Allah has mentioned about my Ahlul Bayt (a.s.). Then he mentioned the message that Jibraeel had brought.
The author says: Accounts of this Mubahila, transmitted down from hand to hand by Shia and Sunni without much difference, in many respects prove the prophethood of Muhammad, the Imamate of Ali and the exalted rank of those under the cloak. First, if the prophet had not full confidence in his own truth, he would not have been so bold in making a divine appeal, nor would he have exposed those dearest to him to imminent danger.
Second, he forewarned his opponents that if they joined issue with him in the ordeal, the wrath of God would descend upon them, and to bring on the appeal, which, if he had not been perfectly confident of success, would have only exposed his own falsehood, a result which no sensible man would have risked.
Third, the Christians backed out from Mubahila, and if they had no certainty in the veracity of the Prophet, they should not have cared for the curse of few people and they should have taken up the challenge like they used to be prepared to fight and sacrifice their blood and their families for their faith, since retreat was injurious to their own rank among their people and besides, they submitted to the humiliating terms of tribute. Fourth, all accounts declare that the Christians restrained one another from participating in the ordeal, by saying: The truth of Muhammad is manifest, and it is evident that he is the promised prophet.
Fifth, it was proved that His Eminence, Amirul Momineen (a.s.) and Fatima, and Hasan, and Husain, next to the Prophet, were the most exalted of mankind, and dearest of all to Muhammad, as indeed is admitted by our opponents, the Sunni; for instance, by Zamakhshari, Baidhawi, Fakhruddin Razi and others.
Zamakhshari, who is the most bigoted of them all, in the book entitled Kashaf, says, Since the Prophet challenged his enemies to a divine appeal, in order to make evident which party was true and which false, of what use it was then to bring to that trial women and children? I answer: His doing so proves more perfectly his own confidence and faith in his religion, than if he had made the appeal by himself alone.
For, in bringing them to the ordeal, he exposed those dearest to him - parts of his own liver - and those of all mankind he loved best, to divine curse and destruction, which he never would have done had he not been sure that his enemies were liars, and he wished them and those most dear them to be destroyed if they joined issues with him in the trial, because they are dearest of all and closer to the heart more than any others, and often it happens that a man will expose himself to death in order to protect them, for which reason they have been sometimes taken with an army to prevent flight and therefore verse communicated respecting the ordeal required their presence.
To the above Zamakhshari adds, This is the most weighty proof possible of the exaltation of the people of the cloak, or those who were privileged to sit under it with the prophet. So far if is evident that they were the dearest of mankind to the prophet, every man of sense must see they were the best of creatures, and in that time, next to him in excellence, for it is obvious that his love was not due to their relationship, but that those dearest to God were most beloved by himself. Now if they are better than others, it is not proper that others should take precedence over them.
Sixth, this account proves that the Imams Hasan and Husain were the children of the Prophet, for in the verse Allah, the Most High says, Our sons and your sons, and Muhammad introduced none but these in the ordeal. Fakhruddin Razi observes that the Shia from this verse maintain that Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) is superior to all the prophets except Muhammad, and more exalted than all companions of Muhammad, for Allah the Most High has declared in this text, Let us call ourselves and yourselves; the reference here not being to Muhammad, for he makes the challenge with respect to others, since a man does not call himself.
This term must therefore mean another than the Prophet, and it is agreed on all hands that no one but a woman and children was there present except, Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.), who therefore must here be denoted by the term soul or self. And as no two souls can be one and the same, the Prophet must here speak metaphorically, and a meaning which lies near the literal implication of a word is preferable to a sense which is remote.
In the case under consideration, the comparison holds in every point, except that Ali does not share with Muhammad in prophethood. And since Muhammad is superior to all other prophets. Fakhrruddin Razi states this as being held by the Shia, and answers it in the following manner: It is conceded that Muhammad is superior to Ali, and in the same way it may be proved that all the prophets are superior to all those who did not enjoy the gift of prophecy.
But he gives no answer to show that Ali is not superior to the other companions of the prophet, for the plain reason that he had none to give. And what he says respecting the superiority of the other prophets over Ali is obviously futile, for the Shia do not agree that superiority rests solely on the ground of Sunni consensus, so what is their consensus worth?
If they say that all Ummah had consensus it is not acceptable, because most Shia scholars believe that Amirul Momineen (a.s.) and the other Imams are superior to all the other prophets, with which view the authority of the Imams themselves concurs. Eighth, most Shia and Sunni traditionists concur that the party the Holy Prophet (S) brought to the ordeal were next to himself, the dearest of creatures.
More will be said on this subject in the book relating to the eminence of Ali, although what has here been stated is sufficient for one who sincerely seeks the truth. Verily God is the guide to the right path.
Notes:
[469] Surah Aale Imran 3:59
[470] Surah Aale Imran 3:61
[471] Surah Ahzab 33:33
[472] Surah Aale Imran 3:59-61
[473] Surah Aale Imran 3:64
[474] Surah Aale Imran 3:59
[475] Surah Aale Imran 3:61
[476] 1.234 grammes

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