Thursday, 7 June 2012

Christian Visit to Prophet

Here are the factual details about the Delegation of Najraan where the Christians visited the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) in his Mosque and he debated them and invited them to Islam from Christian Delegation to Najraan (it has the hadith etc references).

A summary of narrations about the Najrān delegation as found in books of ĥadīth, biographies and
1. A delegation of 60 Christians, 14 nobles among them came to Madīnah.

2. According to one narration, it was the time of Ásr prayer when they arrived.

3. They came to the Prophet’s Mosque, and it was time for their prayer as well; so they began to pray facing east. I could not find a narration which says that they asked for permission.

4. The Prophet did not stop them.

5. In some narrations, the companions wanted to stop them, but RasūlAllāh said: ‘Leave them’.

6. They came to RasūlAllāh and saluted him after this and he turned away from them and did not speak to them. This was because, the Najrān Christians were wearing religious and ostentatious clothing, gold rings and silk mantles.

7. Sayyidunā Úthmān told the Christians that RasūlAllāh dislikes their attire.37

8. The Najrān Christians went away and came back wearing clothes of monks.

9. There was a discussion and a debate. RasūlAllāh invited them to Islām.

10. In the course of the debate, RasūlAllāh rejected their claim of being believers and
termed them kāfir.

11. When the Christians asked whether RasūlAllāh expected them to worship him, like they worship Sayyidunā Isā, RasūlAllāh rejected it and refuted it saying that he would not ask anyone to worship anyone else other than Allāh táālā. This clearly refutes the claim that RasūlAllāh ‘permitted them.’

12. When they did not accept Islām, RasūlAllāh challenged them for an imprecation or mubāhalah.

13. Eighty verses of the Qur’ān [Sūrah Aāl Ímrān] were revealed refuting Christian beliefs.

14. The famous event in which RasūlAllāh took his blessed daughter and grandsons for the imprecation occurred at this time.

15. The people of Najrān declined imprecation and made a pact with RasūlAllāh .

16. The terms of the treaty included an annual tribute to Muslims; and in return Muslims would let them
be upon their religion.

17. Two of their chiefs – Sayyid and Áāqib became Muslims thereafter.

18. Praying towards east in Madīnah is not facing opposite side of Qiblah,38 because Makkah is to the
south of Madīnah.

RasūlAllāh did not invite Christians to pray “according to their own tradition.” Rather, he repudiated their beliefs and commanded them to forsake polytheism. When they refused, he challenged them for an imprecation. Some reasons for the Prophet not stopping the Christians in their prayer are obvious:

• They were travellers and had just arrived.
• The Prophet wished to educate them and invite them to Islām. It was because of his
immense wisdom that he did not wish to antagonise them before they had heard his
• The Prophet invited them to Islām thereafter and advised them to abandon their
heretical beliefs.

The Prophet did not hesitate to tell them the plain truth about their beliefs or that they were non-Muslims, as is evident from what happened afterward. It also shows that it was impermissible for disbelievers to pray in our mosque even in that age, because the companions tried to stop them. RasūlAllāh did not stop them, out of discreetness and consideration for those who are unaware – until they were made aware.

There are other such examples in ĥadīth, where the Prophet did not stop a deplorable action immediately, but explained the ruling afterward. For example, a bedouin began urinating in the masjid and the Prophet did not stop him. This ĥadīth is found in many books including Bukhārī, Muslim, Musnad Imām Aĥmed, Sunan Ibn Mājah, Sunan al-Kubrā of Nasāyī, Musnad Abū Yaálā, Sunan al-Kubrā of Bayhaqī and others.

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