In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
An Opportunity for Reflection
In the name of the gracious and merciful God
From: Muhammad, the Messenger of God
To: Najashi al-As’ham, the Emperor of Habashah (Ethiopia)
You are in peace with us! Now, I will glorify the Lord for you: The owner and powerful Lord, Who is pure from any deficiencies or faults; the Lord Who saves everyone from dangers with His favor; the One Who rules all the creatures and overpowers them.
I testify that Jesus, son of Mary, is the Lord’s spirit and word, whom He placed in the womb of the purified Mary, and she conceived him.
Now, I call you to the only Lord, to His obedience, to obey me as His messenger, and to believe in what has revealed to me…
(A portion of the letter of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) to Najashi, the Emperor of Habashah (1))
Perhaps one of the major characteristics of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP), which disclosed the spiritual light of his personality in the dark period of the ignorance era, was devotion to call people to Islam through dialogue and cultural interactions in a calm and friendly environment, while basing it on logic and reasoning. In fact, this might prove that he was on a divine mission, as numerous people have accepted the call to Islam by this means throughout the history.
The tradition of the Prophet (PBUH&HP) depicts a clear overview of this issue. In his debate with the Jews, when the Jews were defeated and asked for an extension to reflect, he responded by saying, ”I will give you an opportunity; but you have to reduce your prejudice and expand your justice, so that Allah may guide you (2)”.
Moreover, in the letters he sent to the Jews and the Christians, while referring to Moses, son of Imram, and Jesus, son of Mary, as Allah’s messengers, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) introduced himself as a messenger of Allah whose name had been mentioned in the Torah and the Gospel; and called them to Islam by reciting the 64th verse of the third Chapter of the Holy Quran, ”Come to common terms as between us and you: That we worship none but Allah; that we associate no partners with Him…”
The tradition of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) is filled with evidences of his constructive and compassionate character in dealing with the people.
As an example when the Muslims took over Mecca without any battles, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) issued an unexpected general pardoning for the masters of polytheists and pagans of Mecca; however, he excepted a couple of them due to their severe acts. Safwan ibn Umayyah was among the unpardoned ones. Since he had initiated several wars against the Muslims, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) ordered his arrest.
When Safwan was informed of this order, he escaped to Jeddah. Umair ibn Wahab, a cousin of Safwan, interceded for him and asked Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) to pardon him, and eventually the Prophet (PBUH&HP) did so.
When the news reached Safwan, he did not believe in it, and asked for a sign from the Prophet (PBUH&HP) to become certain. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) sent him his turban or shirt as a sign, so that he would be assured about his forgiveness.
When Safwan went back to the Prophet (PBUH&HP) and met with him, he said, ”Give me two months so that I would do a research about Islam”.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) replied to him, ”I will give you four months to investigate Islam and to become a Muslim!”
Later, Safwan used to say, ”A person with such a good morale and magnanimity cannot be anything but a Prophet. I testify that there is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is His messenger”, and he became a Muslim (3).
Indeed, with such a great behavior, the great Prophet of Islam has announced to all the people for ever that “My mission is not to rule over the people or to destroy them; rather I am appointed to rule over their hearts, educate them, and elevate their rank”.(4)
(The above is a selection taken from “Muhammad (PBUH&HP), the Mystery of Creation”, by Sayyid Jawad Hashimi (with some changes))
Roshd Website congratulates all Muslims upon 17th of Rabi al-Awwal, the birthday anniversary of the caller to faith and the seal of the Prophets, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP), and his purified grandson, Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (PBUH).
Roshd Islamic Shia Website
1. Tarikh Tabari, p. 1569; Al-Sirah al-Halabyiah, vol. 3, p. 344- the text is narrated with some differences in the following references: Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 18, p. 418 and vol. 20, p. 391; Qasas al-Anbyia by Rawandi, p. 324
2. Ihtijaj, vol. 1, p. 23; (In this debate, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) challenged groups of Arab Jews, Christians, Existentialists, Polytheists, and Pagans, and responded to the questions of all five groups)
3. Al-Maghaazi, vol. 2, p. 853; Sirah Ibn Hisham, vol. 4, p. 60- This incident is also narrated in Man La Yahduruhu al-Faqih, by Shaykh Saduq, translated by Ali AKbar Ghaffari, vol. 4, p. 414
4. Normally the fine reasoning of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) in his moderate debates and cultural interactions with the non-Muslims has been useful in cases which the other side keeps within the boundaries of such kinds of dialogues. Nevertheless the history witnesses that Islam has defended its dignity and existence in standing against the attackers.