How were the kings of Bahrayn, where fireworshippers and Jews lived, invited to Islam?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

8th year of the Migration, the end of the month of Dhulqada.

The Prophet sent Ala’ b. Had­ra­mi to Mundhir b. Sawa, the king of Bahrayn. Abu Hurayra also went to Bahrayn with Ala’ b. Had­ra­mi.1

Bahrayn is the name given to the countries on the coast of India, Basra and Umman. The people of Bahrayn consisted of fireworshippers, Jews and Christians.  

Ala’ b. Hadrami went to Mundhir b. Sawa and gave him the letter of the Prophet. The following was written in the letter:

“Bismillahirrahmanirrahim! Peace be upon those who follow guidance! I invite you to Islam! Be a Muslim so that you will attain salvation. Allah will let you be the king of your land."

"Know it very well that my religion will rule and go as far as camels and horses can go.”2

After a short conversation with Ala’ b. Hadrami, Mundhir b. Sawa became a Muslim together with Sibuht, the religious leader of the fireworshippers.3 Thus, Mundhir had the belief that would bring him the sultanate of the hereafter along with the sultanate in the world.  

Many people became Muslims together with the king and the religious leader.

Mundhir, the king, sent a letter to the Prophet. After stating that he became a Muslim and that he approved the prophethood of the Messenger of Allah, he asked how he should treat the fireworshippers and Jews in his country.     

The Messenger of Allah replied the letter of Mundhir as follows:

“Bismillahirrahmanirrahim! From Muhammad, Messenger of Allah to Mundhir bin Sawa."

"Peace be on you! I praise Allah, who has no associates, for giving you the bounty of guidance. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger. I received your letter, had it read and listened to what you wrote."

"I remind you to act in accordance with the orders and prohibitions of Allah. A person who advises others definitely advises himself, too; and he will gain rewards. A person who follows my messengers and acts in accordance with their orders, in fact, is regarded to have obeyed me."

"My messengers have highly praised your behavior and told me good things about you. I accept your intercession and recommendation regarding your people. Give the new Muslims full chance to practice their religion.

"Pardon the previous offences of the offenders; do not hold them responsible for what they did in the past. Know it very well that as long as you do good things, you shall continue in your present office; you will be our deputy there. As for the people who want to go on in their Jewish or fireworshipping faith, they have to pay you jizyah."

"Peace and mercy of Allah be upon you!"4

We should state that the Prophet sent several letters to Mundhir b. Sawa on different dates and that Mundhir answered them.5

Ala’ b. Had­rami stayed there as the Messenger of Allah had ordered him and continued to collect tithe from Muslims and jizyah from non-Muslims.

During the 8th year of the Migration, many delegates from the tribes around came to Madinah and expressed that they became Muslims in the presence of the Messenger of Allah.6

Footontes:

1. Ibn Hisham, Sirah, Vol. 4, p. 254; Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, Vol. 1, p. 263.
2. Prof. Dr. M. Hamidullah, İslam Peygamberi, Vol. 1, p. 272.
3. Suhayli, Rawdu’l-Unf, Vol. 7, p. 520; Halabi, Insanu’l-Uyun, Vol. 3, p. 301.
4. Ibn Qayyim, Zadu’l-Maad, Vol. 3, p. 73; Qastalani, Mawahibu’l-Ladunniya, Vol. 1, p. 294; Halabi, ibid, Vol. 2, p. 267-300; Tabari, Tarikh, Vol. 3, p. 102.
5. see Ibn Sa’d, ibid, Vol. 1, p. 263-276; Tabari, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 102-103; Ibn Hajar, al-Isaba, Vol. 3, p. 460.
6. see Ibn Sa’d, ibid, Vol. 1, p.298, 325-327; Ibn Qayyim, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 60; Ibn Hajar, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 423.

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