Mohammad, Radiant Sun of Guidance (24)
Welcome to this week’s episode of the series Mohammad, Radiant Sun of Guidance. One of the main approaches of the Prophet of Islam in promotion of the divine religion of Islam was to write several letters and to send envoys to ancient Rome, Persia, Egypt, Abyssinia, Bahrain, and Oman and to invite them to the divine religion of Islam.
Upon a glance at the prophets’ movements mentioned in Holy Quran, we realize that the territory of prophet hood of the majority of divine prophets was limited to a particular tribe, and a geographical location. Although the prophet hood of the Prophet of Islam was initially limited to the Arabian Peninsula; after the development of the Islamic Ummah and government in Mecca and Medina, and upon the establishment and reinforcement of the Prophet’s rule; the prophet hood of the Prophet took on new dimensions and the leaders of Arab tribes converted to the divine religion of Islam in groups. At this point in time, the Prophet of Islam seized the opportunity and began his global prophecy. The Prophet wrote several letters, and sent a number of envoys to ancient Rome, Persia, Egypt, Abyssinia, Bahrain, and Oman, inviting them to convert to Islam. This measure was a highly important step that the Prophet took after years of struggle with the leading figure of Qoraish. Undoubtedly, if it wasn’t because of the enmities and hostilities of the power-thirsty and ignorant leaders of Mecca; the Prophet would have invited the leaders and people of the world to Islam, sooner. However, the conspiracies and the acts of sabotage of the leaders of Qoraish and deceived people led the Prophet to spend a significant period of his leadership and prophecy to defend Islam and its survival.
The important letters of the Prophet in that era, on one hand, shows the inseparability of religion and the original and pure Islamic policy, and, shows the intelligent and prudent diplomatic approach of the Prophet of Islam, on the other hand. Overall 185 letters have been registered and recorded by hadith scholars and historians. However, only some of these letters have remained to this day. The study of the content of letters and accords of the Prophet of God show that the Prophet’s approach in invitation to Islam and promotion of Islam has been in accordance to science and logic. These letters are full of advices, and guidelines of the Prophet of Islam.
The global nature of the prophet hood of Prophet Mohammad has been emphasized by some of the ayahs of Holy Quran.
The 158th ayah of Surat al-A’raf notes: “Say, ‘O mankind! I am the Apostle of Allah to you all.”
The 28th ayah of Surat Saba notes: “We did not send you except as a bearer of good news and warner to all mankind.”
Holy Quran, in order to show the certainty of the global prophet hood of the Prophet of Islam, introduces the main proof of this fact as the divine appointment of the Prophet of Islam.
The 79th ayah of Surat al-Nisa notes: “We sent you as an apostle to mankind, and Allah suffices as a witness.”
Based on accredited sources, one day the Prophet of Islam recalled his followers and said: “Get prepared in the morning, so that I discuss something important with you. The next day, after the observance of the morning prayers, the Prophet told his disciples: Advice the servitudes of God, because whoever took care of people’s affairs, but failed to guide them; was prohibited entry to Heaven by God. Stand up and be the messengers of prophet hood in faraway regions, and convey the voice of monotheism to the international community.”
Then, the Prophet sent six intelligent and experienced envoys to different parts of the world, carrying letters which conveyed the global prophecy of the Prophet of Islam.
The study of the contents of Prophet’s letters to the leaders of that era maintains significant features which can set an appropriate role model in the contemporary era for the religious and political leaders, who intend to promote the sacred religion of Islam.
The most important feature of Prophet’s letters is that they start with the name of God and an invitation to worship God, which shows the Prophet had no intention other than promotion of monotheism and never intended to maintain and protect his status and/or the status of his associates. The Prophet of Islam expected no reward other than guidance of others; their prosperity in the material world and Hereafter, and their ethical and spiritual growth and development.
The other feature of Prophet’s letters was that they avoided any of the deceptive titles of ambitious politicians, with the Prophet only introducing himself as the messenger of God. Then, the Prophet invited them to convert to Islam, hailing those who converted to Islam, and providing for their health and security.
One of the evident features of Prophet’s letters was that he used the simplest and most attractive phrases and sentences, while this trait was also evident in his remarks.
The other feature of the Prophet’s letters was their fluency, such that they were in line with the perception of the addressees and their level of awareness. This is the eloquence in declaration of prophecy.
The 54th ayah of Surat al-Nur notes: “And the Apostle’s duty is only to communicate in clear terms.”
In order to become more familiar with Prophet’s diplomacy and his letters’ writing style, we cite two of his letters. The first letter is addressed to the Roman emperor.
It states: “From Mohammad, the servitude of God and his messenger to Roman Leader, Heraclius.
Hail to the one, who is divinely guided. I invite you to convert to Islam to live in health and security. Submit before righteousness so that you would be rewarded by God. If you turn your back on this invitation and do not accept it, you would shoulder the sins of the people of your country. People of the Book, turn toward the ideas which we all share. Let’s worship no one other than God and not ascribe any partner to Him.”
In this letter, Prophet has presented one of the most important responsibilities of the community’s rulers. This is because the leaders of any community play a fateful role in the formation of the characteristic traits, thoughts, and personal and social inclinations of human beings in all domains and aspects. Hence, the leaders of the international community shoulder a major responsibility and should feel responsible toward the views and inclinations of the members of their community, knowing that they are held accountable before God in regard to the role model which they present.
The Prophet of Islam also wrote a letter to Persian King, Khosrow II.
The letter states: “From Mohammad, the messenger of God, to Khosrow II. Praise to the ones who are guided by God, have faith in God, and attest that God is the one and only creator of God, and Mohammad is the servitude and messenger of God. I invite you to worship God, and I am undoubtedly the Prophet of God for the people of the world in order to caution the aware and to inform disbelievers of the punishment that awaits them.”
The letters sent by the Prophet of Islam to the rulers of that era shows that true Islam is inseparable from politics. It also shows that Islam is a global religion which finds no boundaries for conveyance of its divine message, and can guarantee the community’s security, peace, and calm.