How did the Prophet (pbuh) invite kings to Islam? Which Companions did he send as envoys?

Details of the Question

Who were the first envoys of Islam?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

The religion and call of our prophet, Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH), is general; he addresses the whole mankind; it is not restricted to one tribe, clan, nation or region like other prophets. 

Allah Almighty stated this issue in many verses:

“Say: "O men! I am sent unto you all, as the Messenger of Allah!”1

Therefore, the call of the Prophet could not have been limited to some Arab tribes, certain people and certain regions. The whole mankind had to be informed about the call to belief and Islam. The most appropriate time for this call was the time period after the Treaty of Hudaybiyah; there would be no wars for ten years according to the treaty.

It was the 7th year of the month of Muharram. Once, the Prophet summoned the Companions and said to them,

“Allah sent me as mercy to the whole mankind. Help me spread Islam. Do not oppose me like the apostles of Christ who opposed him.”

The Companions asked, “O Messenger of Allah! How did apostles oppose Jesus (pbuh)?”

The Messenger of Allah explained it as follows:

“He asked his apostles to help him spread his religions just as I asked you. However, the ones that he sent to the places nearby went there; the ones that he sent to distant places avoided going there. Jesus (pbuh) explained the situation to Allah and complained about them."

"Those who avoided going to the places where they were sent turned out to be speaking the language of the nations they would go to overnight. Jesus (pbuh) said to them, ‘This is something that Allah has made it definite for you and gives great importance. Now go!’ Then, they went.”2

Thereupon, the Companions said, “O Messenger of Allah! We will help you in every issue; Send us wherever you want!”3

Who was Sent Where and to Whom?

Thereupon, the Messenger of Allah sent

1) Dihyatu’l-Kalbi to Heraklius, the Byzantine Kaiser*
2) Amr b. Umayya ad-Damri to Asha­ma, the Abyssinian Negus,
3) Abdullah b. Huzafa to Husraw Parviz, the Chosroes of Iran,
4) Hatib b. Abi Baltaa to Muqawqis, the Pharaoh of Egypt,
5) Salit b. Amr to Hawza b. Ali, the governor of Yamama,
6) Shuja b. Wahb to Mundhir b. Harith b. Abi Sha­mir, the King of Ghassan with the intention of inviting them to Islam.
4

All of the envoys sent to those countries could speak the languages of the countries they were sent to. The Prophet gave the envoys letters to be given to those kings mentioned above.

When the Prophet dictated the letters, the Companions told him that kings did not read the letters that did not contain seals. Thereupon, the Messenger of Allah had a silver ring containing the following words made:

“Allah
"Messenger
"Muhammad”
5

The Messenger of Allah wore that ring until he died. After his death, Hazrat Abu Bakr, Hazrat Umar and Hazrat Uthman wore it respectively. It was lost when Hazrat Uthman dropped it into Arish Well by mistake. Although all of the water of the well was removed, the ring could not be found.6

Footnotes:

1. A’raf, 158. For the other verses regarding the issue, see an-Nisa, 79, 170, 174; at-Tawba, 33; Saba, 28; al-Hajj, 67; al-Ahzab, 40.
2. Ibn Hisham, Sirah, Vol. 4, p. 254.
3. Ibn Kathir, Sirah, Vol. 3, p. 507.
* At that period, the king of Byzantine was called Kaiser, the shah of Iran Chosroes, the king of Egypt Pharaoh, the king of Yemen Tubba and the king of Abyssinia Negus.
4. Sirah, 4:254; Tabaqat, 1:258; Ansab, 1:531; Tabari, 3:84; Ibn Kathir, Sirah, 3:343.
5. Tabaqat, 1:258.
6. Bukhari, 7:54; Muslim, 3:1658.

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