Letter to the King of Bahrain
Munzir bin Saawi, the king of Bahrain, enjoyed the political patronage of the ruler of Persia for paying him the state tax (Kharaaj). ‘Ala bin Al-Hazrami was sent to him as messenger. Munzir accepted Islam and a large number of the residents of Bahrain also accepted Islam. He wrote back to the Prophet (PBUH) that some of his subjects had expressed great appreciation for Islam, some others had shown dislike, while some had opposed. He further wrote that in his country there lived the Jews and the Magain (Majoosis) in a large number and that he would like to be advised what to do about them. The Prophet (PBUH) wrote him,
“Those who accept the invitation (to Islam) do so for themselves, while the others who decide to continue in the Jewish or the Magain (Majoosi) faith should give Jizya.” (Zadul Ma’ad, 3: 693, ‘Uyunul Athar, 2: 266.)
Letter to the King of Oman
The Prophet (PBUH) sent a letter of invitation to Islam to Jayfar and ‘Abd, sons of Julandi, the rulers of Oman by ‘Amr bin Al-’Aas. ‘Amr related that when he reached Amman, he first met ‘Abd who was a chief and was more courteous and pleasant in comparison to his brother. ‘Amr told him that he was a messenger of the Prophet (PBUH) sent to him and his brother. ‘Abd replied, “My brother is older than me and is the ruler of the country. I will take you to him, but tell me what you invite to.” ‘Amr said, “To Allah who has no partner, with this attestation that Muhammad (PBUH) is His bondman and prophet.” ‘Abd asked, “‘Amr! You are son of a chief. Tell me what your father did about it so that we follow his example.” ‘Amr replied, “He died. He had not professed faith in the Prophet (PBUH). I wish he had accepted Islam and affirmed the truth of the message of the Prophet (PBUH). I also followed my father until Allah guided me to Islam.”
- ‘Abd: Since when have you become a follower of Muhammad (pbuh)? ‘Amr: Recently.
- ‘Abd: Where?
- ‘Amr: In the court of Najjaashi. He has also entered into Islam.
- ‘Abd: How did the general public react to Najjaashi’s conversion?
- ‘Amr: They let him continue as ruler. They also accepted Islam.
- ‘Abd: (in surprise) Even the Christian Bishops?
- ‘Amr: Yes.
- ‘Abd: ‘Amr, watch your words. There is nothing more disgraceful for a person than telling a lie.
- ‘Amr: I did not tell a lie. Besides, it is not permissible in Islam to tell a lie.
- ‘Abd: What did Heraclius (the ruler of Persia) do? Does he know about Najjaashi’s acceptance of Islam?
- ‘Amr: Yes.
- ‘Abd: How can you say that?
- ‘Amr: Najjaashi used to pay subjugation tax (Kharaaj) to
- Heraclius. After accepting Islam he told him that he would not pay him even a dirham in future. His brother complained to him that Najjaashi, an ordinary tax-paying ruler of a state, had refused to pay tax to him and also renounced his religion. Heraclius retorted, “So what? He liked for himself a religion and accepted it. What should I do? By God! If my kingship were not at stake, I would also have done what Najjaashi did.
- ‘Abd: ‘Amr, what are you saying?
- ‘Amr: By God, I am telling you the truth.
- ‘Abd: Tell me what he (the Prophet, (pbuh)) commands to do and what he forbids from.
- ‘Amr: He commands people to obey Allah and forbids from disobedience to Him. He forbids people from adultery, drinking, worshipping stones, idols, and the cross.
- ‘Abd: How good these commandments are! I wish my brother takes my advice and we both accept Islam by presenting ourselves to Muhammad (pbuh). I think that if my brother rejects this message and pursues worldly gains only, he will do harm to his country as well.
- ‘Amr: If he accepts Islam, the Prophet (pbuh) will let him rule this country. All that the Prophet (pbuh) will do is that he will collect Sadaqa from the rich here and will distribute it in this very country among the poor.
- ‘Abd: It is a good thing, but what is Sadaqa?
- ‘Amr bin Al-’Aas explained to him the details of Zakah. When he mentioned that Zakah has to be paid for camels as well, ‘Abd asked, “Is there Zakah on our animals, too? They live on the leaves of the trees and find water themselves to drink.” When ‘Amr confirmed that it was so, ‘Abd commented, “I am not sure if my tribesmen who are large in number and are scattered far and wide will accept this tenet of Islam.”
Amr stayed there for a few days. ‘Abd used to report daily to his brother about his talk with ‘Amr. One day the king called ‘Amr. The guards disarmed him and presented him to the king by holding him by his arms. The king ordered his men to leave him free. He tried to take a seat, whereupon the guards cautioned him again. The king asked him about the purpose of his visit. ‘Amr bin ‘Aas presented the Prophet’s letter to him which was properly sealed. The king read the letter, and then gave it to his brother who also read it. ‘Amr noticed that the brother of the king was more kind-hearted. The king asked ‘Amr, “How are the people of the Quraysh?” ‘Amr replied, “All have surrendered to the Prophet (pbuh), willingly or unwillingly.” The king inquired, “Who are the people who have joined him?” ‘Amr replied, “They are those who have willingly accepted Islam, have joined him by sacrificing everything, and have accepted his message with full understanding and judiciousness and in the light of experience.” The king dismissed him by saying: “See me tomorrow.” ‘Amr saw the king’s brother the next day. He told ‘Amr, “If his kingship is not at stake, the king will accept Islam.”
Amr bin Al-’Aas met the king again. The King said, “I thought about the matter. If I submit to a person whose army has not yet reached my country, I will be considered a coward. But if, however, his army enters this country, I will fight against him with such ferocity that you may never have experienced before.” ‘Amr replied to the king, “As you wish. I will then return tomorrow.” Nevertheless, the king asked him to stay till the next day. The following day the king sent for ‘Amr and both the king and his brother accepted Islam. Most of his subjects also became Muslims. (Zadul Ma’ad, 3: 693-96, ‘Uyunul Athar, 2: 267-69.)
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