Chosroes is Invited to Islam

Apr 14, 2012

(7th Year of the Migration, the month of Muharram /AD 628)

The Messenger of God, who decided to invite the kings to Islam, sent Abdullah b. Huzafa, one of the Companions, to Parwiz b. Hurmuz, the Chosroes of Persia as an envoy. 

Abdullah b. Hu­zafa, who arrived in Iran and was accepted into the palace, gave the letter of invitation to Islam to the Chosroes Parwiz in person. The Chosroes made his scribe read the letter:

“Bismillahirrahmanirrahim!

“From Muhammad, the Messenger of God to the Chosroes, the leader of Persians!”

This addressing infuriated the Chosroes. He did not allow the rest of the letter to be read; without learning the content of the letter, he said, “Look! My slave dares to write a letter to me!” and tore the holy letter of the Messenger of God to pieces arrogantly.[1]Then, he said to Abdullah b. Hu­za­fa, the envoy of the Prophet, “The land and the sovereignty belong to me! I have no worry or fear whatsoever about being defeated or encountering someone who wants to share them. The Pharaoh ruled the Sons of Israel. You are not stronger than them. What can prevent me from ruling you? I am stronger than the Pharaoh!’ Then, he ordered his men to dismiss Abdullah.[2]

Abdullah b. Huzafa Returns to Madinah

Hz. Abdullah b. Huzafe fulfilled his duty by giving the letter of the invitation of the Prophet to the Chosroes. Therefore, when he was sent out of the palace he set off for Madinah.

Meanwhile, the fury of the Chosroes probably soothed a bit and he ordered his men to find and fetch Abdullah. However, he had already left. 

When Abdullah arrived in Madinah, he went to the presence of the Messenger of God. He told the Prophet what had happened. The Messenger of God damned the Chosroes by saying, “O Lord! Tear his sovereignty to pieces just as he tore my letter to pieces.”[3]

Due to this damning, Shirawayh, the son of the Chosroes Parwiz, stabbed his father with a dagger. Later, Sa’d Ibn Abi Waqqas destroyed his sovereignty in Iran. The Sasanid rule had no strength.[4]

The Letter Sent by the Prophet

The content of the letter of invitation to Islam by the Messenger of God sent to Parwiz, the Khosroes of Persia was as follows: 

“Bismillahirrahmanirrahim!

“From Muhammad, the Messenger of God to the Chosroes, the leader of Persians!

“Peace be upon those who follow the right path, who believe in God and His Prophet, who witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger!

I invite you to the religion of God because I was sent as a prophet   ‘to give admonition to any (who are) alive, and that the charge may be proved against those who reject (Truth)’ (Yasin, 70).

“Be a Muslim so that you will be saved. If you reject my invitation, may you be responsible for the sins of your fireworshipping nation!”[5]

The Order that the Chosroes Gives to the Governor of Yemen

The fury of the Chosroes did not soothe when he tore the holy letter of the Prophet. He sent this message to Bazan, the governor of Yemen: “I hear that a person in the Quraysh claims to be a prophet. Send two of your strong men so that they will tie him and bring him to me.”[6]

Bazan fulfilled this order at once. He sent two of his men to the Prophet; he also gave them a letter telling the Prophet to go and surrender to the Chosroes.

Those two men called Babawayh and Hurra Husra came to Madinah and went to the presence of the Messenger of God. Babawayh said to the Prophet, “The Chosroes wrote a letter to Bazan, the governor, and ordered him to send two men to take you to the Chosroes. Bazan sent me to you. If you come with me, Bazan, the governor of Yemen, will write a letter in favor of you and make him forgive you; if you refuse to come with me, the Chosroes will eliminate you and your nation and destroy your country.” Then, Babawayh gave the letter of Bazan to the Prophet.[7]

After the Messenger of God listened to what Babawayh said and learnt the content of the letter, he smiled; then, he invited them to Islam.

The envoys were shivering in the presence of the Prophet due to his spiritual grandeur but they tried to speak bravely so as to hide their fear. 

The Prophet said, “I will tell you what I will do tomorrow.” Then, he sent them.[8]

The next day, the Messenger of God gave them the following news, which he received through revelation:

“God inflicted Sirawayh, the son of the Chosroes, upon him; Shirawayh killed him in such and such a month, such and such a night and such and such an hour.”[9]

The envoys were surprised by that news.

The Prophet also said to them, “Say to Bazan that my religion and sovereignty will reach the places where the land and sovereignty of the Chosroes reach. Tell him that if he becomes a Muslim, I will give the places that he rules now to him and I will make him the king of the nation that consists of Abnas (Persians that settled in the south of Arabia).”[10]

Thereupon, Bazan’s men returned to Yemen; they told him what had happened.

Bazan, the governor said, “By God, they are not words of king; I think this person is a prophet as he says.”[11]Then, he asked his men, “How did you find him?”

They said, “We have never seen a king more majestic than , more fearless than him; he walked around without any guards. He walked among people modestly; he was on foot not riding.”

Bazan found it appropriate to wait for a while. He said, “Let us wait for the outcome of the words he uttered about the Chosroes. If it turns out to be true, he is really a prophet sent by God to people; if it does not turn out to be, we will do whatever is necessary.”[12]

After a while, Bazan received the following letter from Shirawayh, the son of the Chosroes:

“I killed the Chosroes. When you receive this letter, accept the allegiance of the people on behalf of me. As for the person about whom the Chosroes wrote to you, do not do anything about him until you receive my new order about him.”[13]

They calculated it and found out that Parwiz was killed at exactly the same hour, and on the same night as the Messenger of God had said.[14]

The inner world of Bazan was enlightened by this obvious miracle.  He became a Muslim saying, “Muhammad (pbuh) is definitely a prophet sent by God to people.”[15]

After that, Abans living in Yemen embraced Islam, too.[16]

Later, Bazan informed the Messenger of God that they had become Muslims. Thereupon, the Prophet appointed him as the governor of Sana. He was the first governor that the Prophet appointed and the first Persian governor that became a Muslim.[17]

The Original Letter that the Prophet Sent to the Chosroes

The original letter that the Messenger of God sent to the Chosroes was found when Mr. Henri Pharaon, who had been the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Lebanon, applied to Dr. Salahaddin al-Munajjid in November 1962 to read a letter. Henri Pharaon’s father had bought that letter for one hundred and fifty gold coins in Damascus at the end of the World War I; he kept it as a secret because he did not know its content or because he did not want it to be revealed.    

According to the description of Dr. Salahaddin al-Munajjid, this letter was written on parchment. However, in the course of time, its color changed and it was stuck on a piece of green fabric, whose texture was worn out. The case was protected by a glass framework; so the parchment remained stuck to it.

The parchment is old and soft; it is dark brown. Therefore, the margins of the page blackened.

The letter is 28 cm long and 21,5 cm wide.

The letter is thin and long but the top part is wider than the bottom.

There are 15 lines in the letter and their length change between 21,2 cm and 21,5 cm.

Under the lines that had been drawn, there is a trace of a seal which resembles a circle; its diameter is 3 cm.

There are traces of water that had flown from the top to the bottom on the letter. They erased some letters or words in some places and made them vague in some places. The letters of the word (RASUL) in the middle of the seal were all erased except the letter (R).

It is understood that the letter was torn. As a matter of fact, the tear starts from the third horizontal line to the end of that line; then, it goes vertically down to the tenth line; thus, the trace of the tear has a reverse (L) shape.

Then, this tear was sewn by a fine thread made of leather belonging to a later date, which could be discerned on the parchment.

The style of the letters is like the oldest style of the words written on the graphite rock on Mount Sel during the Battle of Khandaq.[18]

 


[1]Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, Vol. 1, p. 260; Suhayli, Rawdu’l-Unf, Vol. 6, p. 590; Tabari, Tarikh, Vol. 3, p. 90; Halabi, Insanu’l-Uyun, Vol. 3, p. 291.

[2]Suhayli, Rawdu’l-Unf, Vol. 6, p. 590.

[3]Ibn Qayyim, Zadu’l-Maad, Vol. 3, p. 71.

[4]Shirawayh, who killed his father and replaced him, lived only for six months. He also killed his brother due to the ambition of being sovereign. Since he had no sons to inherit the throne, people made Buran, his daughter, their ruler. When the Prophet heard this, he said, “A nation that gives its rule to a woman will not improve.” The Messenger of God imposed an important rule of public law with this statement. According to this rule, the ruler, president of a state can only be a man. This position, which represents the authority of a nation, cannot be held by a woman because the nature of the woman is not suitable to fulfill this heavy duty. Therefore, a woman cannot be chosen as the head of the state in Islam although she has the rights to do business, to witness, to set up a company, to be a guardian of a child, to inherit, to act as a deputy, to give her property away and to do all kinds of civil contracts and transactions, which are much better compared to law of the other nations. (Tajrid Translation, Vol. 10. p. 450).

[5]Ibn Kathir, Sirah, Vol. 3, p. 508; Ibn Qayyim, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 71; Halabi, Insanu’l-Uyun, Vol. 3, p. 291.

[6]Tabari, Tarikh, Vol. 3, p. 90.

[7]Tabari, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 90-91.

[8]Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, Vol. 1, p. 260.

[9]Ibn Sa’d, ibid, Vol. 1, p. 260; Tabari, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 91; Halabi, Insanu’l-Uyun, Vol. 3, p. 292.

[10]Tabari, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 91.

[11]Tabari, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 91.

[12]Tabari, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 91.

[13]Tabari, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 91.

[14]Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, Vol. 1, p. 260.

[15]Tabari, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 91.

[16]Tabari, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 91.

[17]A. Cevdet Paşa, Kısas-ı Enbiya ve Tevarih-i Hülefa, Vol. 1, p. 182.

[18]Prof. M. Hamidullah, İslam Peygamberi, Vol. 1, p. 260-261.