Heraclius' Investigation on Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him)

Narrated Abdullah bin Abbas

Abu Sufyan bin Harb informed me that Heraclius had sent a messenger to him while he had been accompanying a caravan from Quraish. They were merchants doing business in Sham (Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, and Jordan), at the time when Allah's Apostle had truce with Abu Sufyan and Quraish infidels. So Abu Sufyan and his companions went to Heraclius at Ilya (Jerusalem). Heraclius called them in the court and he had all the senior Roman dignitaries around him. He called for his translator who, translating Heraclius's question said to them, "Who amongst you is closely related to that man who claims to be a Prophet?" Abu Sufyan replied, "I am the nearest relative to him (amongst the group)."
Heraclius said, "Bring him (Abu Sufyan) close to me and make his companions stand behind him." Abu Sufyan added, Heraclius told his translator to tell my companions that he wanted to put some questions to me regarding that man (The Prophet) and that if I told a lie they (my companions) should contradict me." Abu Sufyan added, "By Allah! Had I not been afraid

of my companions labeling me a liar, I would not have spoken the truth about the Prophet.
The first question he asked me about him was:

'What is his family status amongst you?'

I replied, 'He belongs to a good (noble) family amongst us.'

Heraclius further asked, 'Has anybody amongst you ever claimed the same (i.e. to be a
Prophet) before him?'

I replied, 'No.'

He said, 'Was anybody amongst his ancestors a king?'

I replied, 'No.'

Heraclius asked, 'Do the nobles or the poor follow him?'

I replied, 'It is the poor who follow him.'

He said, 'Are his followers increasing decreasing (day by day)?'

I replied, 'They are increasing.'

He then asked, 'Does anybody amongst those who embrace his religion become displeased
and renounce the religion afterwards?'

I replied, 'No.'

Heraclius said, 'Have you ever accused him of telling lies before his claim (to be a Prophet)?'

I replied, 'No.'

Heraclius said, 'Does he break his promises?'

I replied, 'No. We are at truce with him but we do not know what he will do in it.' I could not
find opportunity to say anything against him except that.

Heraclius asked, 'Have you ever had a war with him?'

I replied, 'Yes.'

Then he said, 'What was the outcome of the battles?'

I replied, 'Sometimes he was victorious and sometimes we.'

Heraclius said, 'What does he order you to do?'

I said, 'He tells us to worship Allah and Allah alone and not to worship anything along with
Him, and to renounce all that our ancestors had said. He orders us to pray, to speak the
truth, to be chaste and to keep good relations with our kith and kin.'

Heraclius asked the translator to convey to me the following, I asked you about his family
and your reply was that he belonged to a very noble family. In fact all the Apostles come
from noble families amongst their respective peoples. I questioned you whether anybody
else amongst you claimed such a thing, your reply was in the negative. If the answer had
been in the affirmative, I would have thought that this man was following the previous
man's statement. Then I asked you whether anyone of his ancestors was a king. Your reply
was in the negative, and if it had been in the affirmative, I would have thought that this
man wanted to take back his ancestral kingdom.

I further asked whether he was ever accused of telling lies before he said what he said,
and your reply was in the negative. So I wondered how a person who does not tell a lie
about others could ever tell a lie about Allah. I, then asked you whether the rich people
followed him or the poor. You replied that it was the poor who followed him. And in fact all
the Apostle have been followed by this very class of people. Then I asked you whether his
followers were increasing or decreasing. You replied that they were increasing, and in fact
this is the way of true faith, till it is complete in all respects. I further asked you whether
there was anybody, who, after embracing his religion, became displeased and discarded his
religion. Your reply was in the negative, and in fact this is (the sign of) true faith, when its
delight enters the hearts and mixes with them completely. I asked you whether he had
ever betrayed. You replied in the negative and likewise the Apostles never betray. Then I
asked you what he ordered you to do. You replied that he ordered you to worship Allah
and Allah alone and not to worship any thing along with Him and forbade you to worship
idols and ordered you to pray, to speak the truth and to be chaste. If what you have said is
true, he will very soon occupy this place underneath my feet and I knew it (from the
scriptures) that he was going to appear but I did not know that he would be from you, and
if I could reach him definitely, I would go immediately to meet him and if I were with him, I
would certainly wash his feet.' Heraclius then asked for the letter addressed by Allah's
Apostle which was delivered by Dihya to the Governor of Busra, who forwarded it to
Heraclius to read. The contents of the letter were as follows: "In the name of Allah the
Beneficent, the Merciful (This letter is) from Muhammad the slave of Allah and His Apostle to
Heraclius the ruler of Byzantine. Peace be upon him, who follows the right path.
Furthermore I invite you to Islam, and if you become a Muslim you will be safe, and Allah will
double your reward, and if you reject this invitation of Islam you will be committing a sin by
misguiding your Arisiyin (peasants). (And I recite to you Allah's Statement:)

'O people of the scripture! Come to a word common to you and us that we worship none
but Allah and that we associate nothing in worship with Him, and that none of us shall take
others as Lords beside Allah. Then, if they turn away, say: Bear witness that we are
Muslims (those who have surrendered to Allah).' (3.64).

Abu Sufyan then added, "When Heraclius had finished his speech and had read the letter,
there was a great hue and cry in the Royal Court. So we were turned out of the court. I
told my companions that the question of Ibn-Abi-Kabsha) (the Prophet Muhammad) has
become so prominent that even the King of Bani Al-Asfar (Byzantine) is afraid of him. Then I
started to become sure that he (the Prophet) would be the conqueror in the near future till
I embraced Islam (i.e. Allah guided me to it)."

The sub narrator adds, "Ibn An-Natur was the Governor of Ilya' (Jerusalem) and Heraclius
was the head of the Christians of Sham. Ibn An-Natur narrates that once while Heraclius
was visiting Ilya' (Jerusalem), he got up in the morning with a sad mood. Some of his
priests asked him why he was in that mood? Heraclius was a foreteller and an astrologer.
He replied, 'At night when I looked at the stars, I saw that the leader of those who practice
circumcision had appeared (become the conqueror). Who are they who practice
circumcision?' The people replied, 'Except the Jews nobody practices circumcision, so you
should not be afraid of them (Jews).

'Just Issue orders to kill every Jew present in the country.'

While they were discussing it, a messenger sent by the king of Ghassan to convey the
news of Allah's Apostle to Heraclius was brought in. Having heard the news, he (Heraclius)
ordered the people to go and see whether the messenger of Ghassan was circumcised.
The people, after seeing him, told Heraclius that he was circumcised. Heraclius then asked
him about the Arabs. The messenger replied, 'Arabs also practice circumcision.'

(After hearing that) Heraclius remarked that sovereignty of the Arabs had appeared.
Heraclius then wrote a letter to his friend in Rome who was as good as Heraclius in
knowledge. Heraclius then left for Homs (a town in Syria) and stayed there till he received
the reply of his letter from his friend who agreed with him in his opinion about the
emergence of the Prophet and the fact that he was a Prophet. On that Heraclius invited all
the heads of the Byzantines to assemble in his palace at Homs. When they assembled, he
ordered that all the doors of his palace be closed. Then he came out and said, 'O
Byzantines! If success is your desire and if you seek right guidance and want your empire
to remain then give a pledge of allegiance to this Prophet (i.e. embrace Islam).'

(On hearing the views of Heraclius) the people ran towards the gates of the palace like
onagers but found the doors closed. Heraclius realized their hatred towards Islam and
when he lost the hope of their embracing Islam, he ordered that they should be brought
back in audience.

(When they returned) he said, 'What already said was just to test the strength of your
conviction and I have seen it.' The people prostrated before him and became pleased with
him, and this was the end of Heraclius's story (in connection with his faith).


Narrated Suhayb ibn Sinan, the Roman

Allah's Apostle (peace be upon him) said: There lived a king before you and he had a
(court) magician. As he (the magician) grew old, he said to the king: I have grown
old, send some young boy to me so that I may teach him magic. He (the king) sent to him
a young man so that he might train him (in magic). On his way (to the magician) he (the
young man) found a monk sitting there. He (the young man) listened to his (the monk's)
talk and was impressed by it. It became his habit that on his way to the magician he met
the monk set there so he was late in coming to the magician. He (the magician) beat
him because of the delay. He made a complaint about it to the monk and he said to him:
When you feel afraid of the magician, say: Members of my family detained me. And when
you feel afraid of your family you should say: The magician detained me. It so happened
that there came a huge beast (of prey) and it blocked the way of the people. He (the young
boy) said: I shall find out today whether the magician or the monk is superior. He picked
up a stone and said: O Allah, if the affairs of the monk are dearer to Thee than the affairs
of the magician, bring death to this animal so that the people will be able to move about
freely. He threw that stone towards it and killed it and the people began to move about (on
the path freely). He (the young man) then came to that monk and informed him. The monk
said: My son, today you are superior to me. Your affairs have reached a stage where I find
that you will be soon put to the test, and in case you are put to don't reveal my identity.
That young man began to treat the blind and those suffering from leprosy and he in fact
began to cure people of (all kinds) of illness. When a companion of the king, who had
become blind heard, about him, he came to him with numerous gifts and said: If you cure
me, all these things collected together here will be yours. He said: I myself do not cure
anyone; it is Allah Who cures. If you affirm faith in Allah, I shall also supplicate Allah to cure
you. He affirmed his faith in Allah and Allah cured him. He came to the king and sat by his
side as he used to sit before. The king said to him: Who restored your eyesight? He said:
My Lord. Thereupon he said: It means that your Lord is One besides me. He said: My Lord
and your Lord is Allah; so he (the king) took hold of him and tormented him until he
revealed the identity of boy. The young man was thus summoned and the king said to
him: O boy, it has been conveyed to me that you have become so proficient in your magic
that you cure the blind and those suffering from leprosy and you do such and such things.
Thereupon he said: I do not cure anyone; it is Allah Who cures. He (the king) took hold of
him and began to torment him. So he revealed the identity of the monk. The monk was thus
summoned and it was said to him: You should turn back from your religion. He, however,
refused to do so. He (ordered) a saw to be brought (and when it was done) he (the king)
placed it in the middle of his head and backed it until it fell apart. Then the courtier of the
king was brought and it was said to him: Turn back from your religion but he refused to do
so. Therefore the saw was placed in the middle of his head which was backed until it fell
apart. Then young boy was brought and it was said to him: Turn back from your religion. He
refused to do so and he was handed over to a group of his courtier. He said to them: Take
him to such and such mountain; make him climb that mountain and when you reach its top
(ask him to renounce his faith) but if he refuses to do so, then throw him (down the
mountain). So they took him and made him climb the mountain and he said: O Allah, save
me from them (in any way) Thou likest. The mountain began to quake and they all fell down
young man came walking back to the king. The king said to him: What has happened to
your companions? He said: Allah has saved me from them. He again handed him to some of
his courtiers and said: Take him and carry him away in a small boat and when you reach
the middle of the ocean (ask him to renounce) his religion, but if he does not renounce his
religion throw him (into the water). So they took him and he said: O Allah, save me from
them and what they want to do. It was not long before the boat overturned and they were
drowned but he came walking back to the king. The king said to him: What has
happened to your companions? He said: Allah has saved me from them. He also said to the
king: You cannot kill me until you do what I ask you to do. And he said: What is that? He
said: You should gather people on a plain and hang me by the trunk (of a tree). Then take
an arrow from the quiver and say: In the name of Allah, the Lord of the world; then shoot
an arrow and if you do that then you would be able to kill me. So he (the king) called the
people to an open plain and tied him (the boy) to the trunk of a tree. Then he took an
arrow from his quiver placed the arrow in the bow and then said: In the name of Allah, the
Lord of the young boy; he then shot an arrow and it hit his temple. He (the boy) placed his
hands upon the temple where the arrow had hit him and he. The people said: We affirm
our faith in the Lord of this young man, we affirm our faith in the Lord of this young man,
we affirm our faith in the Lord of this young man. The courtiers came to the king and it
was said to him: Do you see that their faith is in the Lord? He (the king) commanded
ditches to be dug at important points in the path. When these ditches were dug, and the
fire was lit in them it was said (to the people): He who not turn back from his (boy's)
religion will be thrown in the fire or they will be told to jump in it. (The people courted death
but did not renounce religion) till a woman came with her child and she felt hesitant about
jumping into the fire the child said to her: O mother, endure (this ordeal) for it is the Truth.

The most important lesson of this Hadith is that whatever difficulties one has to face on the path of Islam, he should endure it with patience and determination; and if the interest of Islam requires, one should sacrifice his life for it.


Narrated Abu Huraira
that he heard Allah's Apostle saying, "Allah willed to test three Israelis who were a leper,
a blind man and a bald-headed man. So, he sent them an angel who came to the leper
and said, 'What thing do you like most?' He replied, "Good color and good skin, for the
people have a strong aversion to me.' The angel touched him and his illness was cured,
and he was given a good color and beautiful skin. The angel asked him, 'What kind of
property do you like best?' He replied, 'Camels (or cows).' (The narrator is in doubt, for
either the leper or the bald-headed man demanded camels and the other demanded
cows.) So he (i.e. the leper) was given a pregnant she-camel, and the angel said (to him),
'May Allah bless you in it.'

The angel then went to the bald-headed man and said, 'What thing do you like most?' He
said, 'I like good hair and wish to be cured of this disease, for the people feel repulsion for
me.' The angel touched him and his illness was cured, and he was given good hair. The
angel asked (him), 'What kind of property do you like best?' He replied, 'Cows,' The angel
gave him a pregnant cow and said, 'May Allah bless you in it.' The angel went to the blind
man and asked, 'What thing do you like best?' He said, '(I like) that Allah may restore my
eye-sight to me so that I may see the people.' The angel touched his eyes and Allah gave
him back his eye-sight. The angel asked him, 'What kind of property do you like best?' He
replied, 'Sheep.' The angel gave him a pregnant sheep. Afterwards, all the three pregnant
animals gave birth to young ones, and multiplied and brought forth so much that one of the
(three) men had a herd of camels filling a valley, and one had a herd of cows filling a valley,
and one had a flock of sheep filling a valley. Then the angel, disguised in the shape and
appearance of a leper, went to the leper and said, I am a poor man, who has lost all
means of livelihood while on a journey. So none will satisfy my need except Allah and then
you. In the Name of Him Who has given you such nice color and beautiful skin, and so much
property, I ask you to give me a camel so that I may reach my destination. The man replied,
'I have many obligations (so I cannot give you).' The angel said, 'I think I know you; were
you not a leper to whom the people had a strong aversion? Weren't you a poor man, and
then Allah gave you (all this property).' He replied, '(This is all wrong), I got this property
through inheritance from my fore-fathers' The angel said, 'If you are telling a lie, then let
Allah make you as you were before.'

Then the angel, disguised in the shape and appearance of a bald man, went to the bald
man and said to him the same as he told the first one, and he too answered the same as
the first one did. The angel said, 'If you are telling a lie, then let Allah make you as you
were before.'

The angel, disguised in the shape of a blind man, went to the blind man and said, 'I am a
poor man and a traveler, whose means of livelihood have been exhausted while on a
journey. I have nobody to help me except Allah, and after Him, you yourself. I ask you in
the Name of Him Who has given you back your eye-sight to give me a sheep, so that with
its help, I may complete my journey.' The man said, 'No doubt, I was blind and Allah gave
me back my eye-sight; I was poor and Allah made me rich; so take anything you wish from
my property. By Allah, I will not stop you for taking anything (you need) of my property
which you may take for Allah's sake.' The angel replied, 'Keep your property with you. You
(i.e. 3 men) have been tested and Allah is pleased with you and is angry with your two


The Oneness of God

The Quran reminds us of the falsity of all alleged gods. To the worshippers of man-made objects, it asks:

"Do you worship what you have carved yourself?" (37:95)

"Or have you taken unto you others beside Him to be your protectors, even such as have no power either for good or for harm to themselves?" (13:16)

To the worshippers of heavenly bodies it cites the story of Abraham:

"When night outspread over him he saw a star and said, 'This is my Lord.' But when it set he said, 'I love not the setters.' When he saw the moon rising, he said, 'This is my Lord.' But when it set he said, 'If my Lord does not guide me I shall surely be of the people gone astray.' When he saw the sun rising, he said, 'This is my Lord; this is greater.' But when it set he said, 'O my people, surely I quit that which you associate, I have turned my face to Him Who originated the heavens and the earth; a man of pure faith, I am not of the idolaters.'" (6:76-79)


An Open Letter to Our Beloved Prophet Mohammad (s)

My Soul is Longing for You (The Holy Prophet)

You are the light of our eyes.
Without you we are like orphans,
somehow scared and heartbroken.
Now we seek condolence in roses;
we see you in their beauty
and feel your smell in
their sweet scent.

We are so honoured to
be a part of your nation.
We love you dearly.
We admire and envy those
who love you even more.
You know how one waits and
longs for meeting with the
beloved. That's how we are
longing for our meeting with
you in Paradise.
We get encouraged and hopeful
with your saying "you are with
those whom you love" and
eagerly wait for our
meeting by the River
of Kawthar.

Our Lord the Exalted who created
you and made you His Beloved and asked
the believers to love you and follow
your example has taught us the prayers
of invoking Allah's blessings on you to
help ease our pain of missing you until
the day we meet in Paradise.

"Allah and His Angels send blessings
on the Prophet. O you who believe!
Send your blessings on him, and salute
him with all respect" (33:56).

Every time we ask Allah to send His
Peace and Blessings on you we also feel
the blessings of Allah on us.
We almost visualize the pigeons
of prayers that we set free in
the destination of Madinah reaching
to your blessed garden of rest and
you holding and pitting them gently.

The World Has Defeated Us
The world is a place of travel
and we are the passers by.
In this foreign land we often
trip over and fall into traps.
Our Lord, the Exalted, Who sent
us to this world has made you our
guide. He told us to follow your
example. We constantly remember
your guidance not to make a wrong
step; striving to be like you we
contemplate on every issue and think
how you would have acted if you were
among us now; how you would have
remembered and worshipped Allah
or deal with people or eat and sleep.
We consider you as more important
than our own lives and love those
who love and follow you.

O the best of all the Prophets

O the master of all messengers
Even though we consider it the
highest honour to sacrifice our
lives in the cause of Islam, we
have a difficulty in breaking
the idol of our own ego. You
reminded us that the World with
its sweetness and attractions
may deceive us.

You warned us of the danger of
attaching our hearts to the World.
You told us that the world and all
that is in it is of no real value.
You warned us against collecting
worldly properties.
You told us that we will be tested
with material gains and that the
real life we should strive for is
the Hereafter. You advised us to
be like a traveller passing by.
You did exactly what you told us
to do. There were time you did not
find a few pieces of date to eat.
From the time you honoured Madinah
until the day you passed away you
did not find to eat wheat bread
consecutively for three days.

O Rasoolullah,

O Habibullah,
the world has defeated us.
The world has become a giant
and we became like the dwarfs.

The Abolishment of Oppression

O Rasoolullah,
Our main goal is to strive
against our ego, to revive
ourselves with the guidance
your brought, to live like
a Muslim and to stay as a Muslim.
The World is playing tricks on us
coming up in different costumes,
telling us how to live our lives
and what to do and how to dress.
They do not give us the right to
live like a Muslim and like a
dignified human being. You have
abolished oppression with the
religion you brought and saved
the victims fragile necks from
the bloody hands of oppressors.
The way you saved humanity
fourteen thousand years ago
from oppression and injustice.

The victims, all their rights
were to be oppressed, revived.
The oppressors, never thought of
failure, died. Through the religion
you brought, the oppression has
collapsed. You were the answer for
the hopeless. You have brought the
value that the human being deserves.
Now the oppression awakened and wit
the strength it gained, it is pressing
down on our throats. Every time we
are faced with oppression we find
the condolence in you. We think of
the oppression you had gone through,
and can not help but think as if you
came to this world to endure hardship.
Remembering that you were an orphan
and all the other hardships you were
tested with is like an ointment on
our own injuries. We think of the
times that you were seeking guidance
in the mountain of Nur, tired of the
disorder in the World. We know that
the bats who were scared of the light
that you brought from the mountains
were disturbing you. Yet, you were
steadfast and patient despite all
this hardship. Just as we are about
to sink in the swamp of irrational
oppression, we reach out to the Rope
of Allah that you brought for us.
Once again we realize why Allah Had
Made you our guide and example. With
the pleasure of realizing that you
are a mercy to the World we shed tears.

From Humiliation to Exaltation

O Rasulallah,

O Habibullah,
We learned how to be a dignified human
being from you. With the religion you
brought, Allah Exalted us from humiliation
to sovereignty, from a hole to the citadel.
When we embraced Islam Allah Made us the
best of nations. We became the superpower
that others bent down on their
knees and opened their hands seeking help.
In those magnificent times that we ruled,
we followed your example in forbidding
evil and oppression and giving the
rights of the victims.
Unfortunately, as we shifted away from
the beauty of Islam we dried up, we got
oppressed, we bent down on our knees and
open our hands begging. Since then no one
takes us seriously nor treat us with a
worthy treatment. We want to wake up and
revive and come back to our senses and
raise from humiliation to sovereignty
and live as Muslims.

O beloved of the World!
We want our children to live like
Muslims, to follow your footsteps,
and to be saved from the Hellfire,
whose fuel will be people and stones.
We want those who try to prevent
us from our way to have mercy on us,
and to recognise us and to know that
we want nothing but the pleasure of
Allah. We ask Allah to Give them
guidance and to grant us patience
and success in our struggle.

O Rasulallah,
We truly want to be better
servants of Allah and better
believers again. We want to become
a nation you deserve and be proud
of. We want to be those successful
believers who humble themselves in
their prayers; who avoid vain talk;
who are active in giving Zakat; who
guard their modesty; who faithfully
observe their trust and their
covenants; and who guard their
prayers (23:1-11). These days,
one of the sayings that give us
hope and keep us going is that
you gave the glad tidings to those
servants of Allah who are oppressed
and are patient in enduring it will
be exalted by Allah. We have been
oppressed and humiliated and look
down on. However, we believed the
sovereignty belongs to Allah and
His Prophet and the believers (63:8).
We pray to Allah to be among those
who are patient and thus will
receive sovereignty and honor
that they deserve. We also pray
to be among those who will be
subjected to your intercession

on the day of judgement.


View of a Village's Mosque in Pak Kashmir


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