Comment by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times
One of the best Western movie about the life of Prophet Muhammad is the Message, which you can see below. The movie starts with a scene of three riders taking three of the letters of the prophet Muhammad, to three different kings.
Suggested Reading: Forty Hadiths or Sayings of the Prophet Muhammad about Compassionate Living
Source of our post: Page 199 to 215 of Life Of Muhammad by Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad
After settling down in Medina on return from Hudaibiya, the Prophet (saw) instituted another plan for the spread of his Message. When he mentioned this to the Companions, some of them who were acquainted with the customs and forms observed in the courts of kings told the Prophet (saw) that kings did not entertain letters which did not bear the seals of the senders. Accordingly the Prophet (saw) had a seal made on which were engraved the words, Muhammad Rasulullah (saw).
Out of reverence, Allah was put at the top, beneath it Rasul and lastly Muhammad (saw).
The invitation to Islam was an invitation to believe that God is One and that Muhammad (saw) is His Messenger. Where the letter says that if Heraclius becomes a Muslim, he will be rewarded twice over, the reference is to the fact that Islam teaches belief in both Jesus (as) and Muhammad (saw).
In Muharram 628, envoys went to different capitals, each with a letter from the Prophet (saw), inviting the rulers to accept Islam. Envoys went to Heraclius, the Roman Emperor, the Kings of Iran, Egypt (the King of Egypt was then a vassal of the Kaiser) and Abyssinia. They went to other kings and rulers also.
The letter addressed to the Kaiser was taken by Dihya Kalbira. The text of the letter which the Prophet (saw) wrote to the Kaiser is to be found in historical records. It runs as follows:
From Muhammad (saw), the Servant of God and His Messenger. To the Chief of Rome, Heraclius. Whoever treads the path of divine guidance, on him be peace. After this, O King, I invite you to Islam. Become a Muslim. God will protect you from all afflictions, and reward you twice over. But if you deny and refuse to accept this Message, then the sin not only of your own denial, but of the denial of your subjects, will be on your head. “Say, ‘O People of the Book! come to a word equal between us and you that we worship none but Allah, and that we associate no partner with Him, and that some of us take not others for lords beside Allah.’ But if they turn away, then say, ‘Bear witness that we have submitted to God’ ” (Zurqani ).
LETTER TO THE KING OF IRAN
The letter to the King of Iran was sent through ‘Abdullah bin Hudhafara. The text of this letter was as follows:
In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful. This letter is from Muhammad (saw), the Messenger of God, to Chosroes, the Chief of Iran. Whoever submits to a perfect guidance, and believes in Allah, and bears witness that Allah is One, and has no equal or partner, and that Muhammad (saw) is His Servant and Messenger, on him be peace. O King, under the command of God, I invite you to Islam. For I have been sent by God as His Messengersa to all mankind, so that I may warn all living men and complete my Message for all unbelievers. Accept Islam and protect yourself from all afflictions. If you reject this invitation, then the sin of the denial of all your people will rest on your head. (Zurqani and Khamis).
Worth a watch: The Life of Prophet Muhammad: A BBC Documentary (Click to watch)
THE LETTER TO THE NEGUS
The letter to the Negus, King of Abyssinia, was carried by ‘Amr bin Umayya Damrira. It ran as follows:
In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful, Muhammad (saw), the Messenger of God, writes to the Negus, King of Abyssinia. O King, peace of God be upon you. I praise before you the One and Only God. None else is worthy of worship. He is the King of kings, the source of all excellences, free from all defects, He provides peace to all His servants and protects His creatures. I bear witness that Jesus, son of Mary (as) was a Messenger of God, who came in fulfilment of promises made to Mary by God. Mary had consecrated her life to God. I invite you to join with me in attaching ourselves to the One and Only God and in obeying Him. I invite you also to follow me and believe in the God Who hath sent me. I am His Messenger. I invite you and your armies to join the Faith of the Almighty God. I discharge my duty hereby. I have delivered to you the Message of God, and made clear to you the meaning of this Message. I have done so in all sincerity and I trust you will value the sincerity which has prompted this message. He who obeys the guidance of God becomes heir to the blessings of God (Zurqani).
Know Prophet Mohammad Mustafa (May Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon Him) who is referred to as Nabi-e-Kareem (Chief of Prophets), Khatamun Nabiyyeen (The Seal of Prophets), Khatamul Ambiya (Leader of the elect), Khatamul Mursileen, (Pride of the Prophets), the Siraj-ul-Muneer, the Rahmatul-Lil-Alameen (Mercy for all Mankind)…
The holy prophet (saw) has been called “The Paraclete” & “Comforter”, “Spirit of Truth”, see John, 12:13, 14:16, 17, 15:26, 16:7 in the Holy Bible. Also at ISA 9:6 he is refered as the “Counselor”, “The Holy Spirit”…
Coming of Mohammad was foretold in clear and precise terms by Abraham, Jesus, Moses, Solomon, Isaiah, and many other great past prophets, including the prophets of Hinduism, Buddhism, etc. too; proofs are available in their books which proves the status of His superiority over all the other Prophets, as perceived by them @ http://www.alislam.org/holyprophet/
Click to Read: The Prophet Muhammad in the Vedas
LETTER TO THE RULER OF EGYPT
The letter to Muqauqis was carried by Hatib ibn Abi Balta‘ara. The text of this letter was exactly the same as that to the Roman Emperor. The letter to the Roman Emperor said that the sin of the denial of the Roman subjects would be on his head. The letter to the Muqauqis said that the sin of the denial of the Copts would be on the head of the ruler. It ran as follows:
In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful. This letter is from Muhammad (saw), the Messenger of Allah, to Muqauqis, the Chief of the Copts. Peace be upon him who follows the path of rectitude. I invite you to accept the Message of Islam. Believe and you will be saved and your reward will be twofold. If you disbelieved, the sin of the denial of the Copts will also be on your head. Say, “O People of the Book! come to a word equal between us and you that we worship none but Allah, and that we associate no partner with Him, and that some of us take not others for lords beside Allah. But if they turn away, then say, ‘Bear witness that we have submitted to God.'” (Halbiyya, Vol. 3, p. 275).
Click to read: Muhammad: The Story of A Prophet and Reformer
LETTER TO CHIEF OF BAHRAIN
The Prophet (saw) also sent a letter to Mundhir Taimi, Chief of Bahrain. This letter was carried by ‘Ala’ ibn Hadramira. The text of this letter has been lost. When it reached this Chief, he believed, and wrote back to the Prophet (saw) saying that he and many of his friends and followers had decided to join Islam. Some, however, had decided to stay outside. He also said that there were some Jews and Magians living under him. What was he to do about them?
The Prophet (saw) wrote again to this Chief thus:
I am glad at your acceptance of Islam. Your duty is to obey the delegates and messengers whom I should send to you. Whoever obeys them, obeys me. The messenger who took my letter to you praised you to me, and assured me of the sincerity of your belief. I have prayed to God for your people. Try, therefore, to teach them the ways and practices of Islam. Protect their property. Do not let anyone have more than four wives. The sins of the past are forgiven. As long as you are good and virtuous you will continue to rule over your people. As for Jews and Magians, they have only to pay a tax. Do not, therefore, make any other demands on them. As for the general population, those who do not have land enough to maintain them should have four dirhams each, and some cloth to wear. (Zurqani and Khamis).
Click to read: The Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and Leo Tolstoy
Uman, the Chief of Yamama, the King of Ghassan, the Chief of Bani Nahd, a tribe of Yemen, the Chief of Hamdan, another tribe of Yemen, the Chief of Bani ‘Alim and the Chief of the Hadrami tribe. Most of them became Muslims.
These letters show how perfect was the Prophet’ssa faith in God. They also show that from the very beginning the Prophet (saw) believed that he had been sent by God not to any one people or territory, but to all the peoples of the world. It is true that these letters were received by their addressees in different ways. Some of them accepted Islam at once. Others treated the letters with consideration, but did not accept Islam. Still others treated them with ordinary courtesy. Still others showed contempt and pride. But it is true also—and history is witness to the fact—that the recipients of these letters or their peoples met with a fate in accordance with their treatment of these letters.