The Prophet’s Letters to Foreign Kings


The truce of Al-Hudaybiyyah between the Muslims and the Quraysh provided the Muslims with an excellent opportunity to focus on a new phase involving widening the sphere of the Islamic Da’wah (call) and conveying the teachings and principles of the religion to as many people as possible, particularly by correspondence with their kings and princes.

This phase started towards the end of the sixth Hijri year when envoys carried goodness and the light of guidance through messages sealed by the Seal of the prophets, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, to the leaders and kings, calling them to Islam to obtain the goodness of this worldly life and the Hereafter by embracing Islam, so that they would also find true happiness that cannot be obtained except thorough the sincere worship of Allaah The Almighty alone.

Messages were sent to An-Najaashi King of Abyssinia, Muqawqis, King of Egypt, Kisra, Emperor of Persia, Caesar, King of Rome, Al-Munthir ibn Saawa, Governor of Bahrain, Hawthah ibn ‘Ali, Governor of Yamaamah, Al-Haarith ibn Abi Shamir Al-Ghassaani, King of Damascus, and the King of ‘Oman Jayfir and his brother ‘Abd ibn Al-Jalandi Al-’Azdi.

The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, chose some of his best Companions for this mission, including ‘Abdullaah ibn Huthaafah As-Sahmi, ‘Amr ibn ’Umayyah Adh-Dhamri, Dihyah ibn Khaleefah Al-Kalbi, Shujaa‘ ibn Wahb and Haatib ibn Abi Balta‘ah all.

If we review the biographies of this group of kings and princes, we find that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, did not select those who were to be sent to them randomly. Rather, his choice was based on principles and qualities that he considered necessary for anyone to be assigned with this delicate matter. Firstly, they were first class callers to Islam who were well acquainted with knowledge of the Sharee‘ah, were eloquent, and had a good appearance, so as to leave a good impression on those who meet them, as was the case with Dihyah Al-Kalbi who was well mannered, wise, tactful and witty with enough skill to talk to politicians and leaders.

The messages were characterized by leniency, mercy, and love for doing good and guidance for those to whom they were sent, as the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, was as keen on their conversion to Islam as he was on conveying the Da’wah of Islam to them.

This is clear through the content of the messages:

– Heraclius, the King of the Byzantines, and Muqawqis, the King of the Copts, were followers of Christianity, which was subjected to distortion and exaggerated the status of ‘Eesa (Jesus) and attributed divinity to him. Thus, we see that the messages sent to them stated that all people in general and prophets in particular are slaves of Allaah The Almighty. That is why the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, mentioned the following verse in both messages: {Say: ‘O People of the Scripture, come to a word that is equitable between us and you – that we will not worship except Allaah and not associate anything with Him and not take one another as lords instead of Allaah .’ But if they turn away, then say: ‘Bear witness that we are Muslims [submitting to Him]} [Quran 3:64]

– On the other hand, Kisra and his people followed Mazdaism and worshiped the sun, so the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, was keen to correct this invalid concept by stressing the reality of Monotheism in his message.

After all, guidance remains a bounty from Allaah The Almighty that He gives to whom He wills and from which He deprives whom He wills. Hence, some of these kings, including Al-Munthir ibn Saawa, Governor of Bahrain, the King of ‘Oman Jayfar and his brother ‘Abd ibn Al-Julanda Al-’Azdi, embraced Islam and followed the guidance of Allaah The Almighty, saving themselves and their people from the darkness of disbelief. Other kings remained disbelievers, wandering in darkness either to preserve a transient high rank or worldly interests, or because of fear of their retinues and peoples. Allaah The Almighty says (what means): {Indeed, [O Muhammad], you do not guide whom you like, but Allaah guides whom He wills. And He is most knowing of the [rightly] guided} [Quran 28:56]

Through this step the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, conveyed his message to the kings of the world and acquainted them with the new religion that guarantees its followers happiness in this world and in the Hereafter.

This absolutely proves the universality and comprehensiveness of Islam at all times.

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