Allah is the Arabic word for the Creator
Islam is the Arabic word for submission to Allah
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Grand Shaykh, Professor Hasan Qaribullah
Dean of Umm Durman Islamic University and Sammania Grand Shaykh
Grand Muhaddith Master Abdullah Ben Sadek
Shaykha Anne Khadijah Darwish
Shaykh Ahmad Darwish
Shaykh Qaribulla USA Personal Secretary
The Founder of the Mosque of the Internet
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YOU, THE READER AND HERACLIUS, EMPEROR OF ROME HAVE SOMETHING IN COMMON
The authors were unable to find a more eloquent preface to this millennium biography than a letter sent by the Prophet to his contemporary the Emperor Heraclius. In reply, Heraclius commenced an imperial investigative effort to cross examine the current Prophethood. In the year 610 CE, Heraclius, succeeded Phocas as Emperor of Rome. His empire flourished and extended as far west as the Danube in Europe, and included all the countries on the Mediterranean coast. It also included the Balkans of which Turkey with its famed city Constantinople, named after the Emperor Constantine was a jewel in the crown of the Roman empire, and many of the Arab countries surrounding Arabia. As part of his prophetic duty Prophet Muhammad (sa) invited Heraclius to Islam and in response Heraclius decided to examine Prophet Muhammad. By exploring this book you are, by default, examining Prophet Muhammad (sa) and this what is meant by referring to the reader as having something in common with Heraclius. Prophet Muhammad (sa) sent his messenger, Dihyah Al Kalbi to the governor of Bostra with a letter for Heraclius inviting him to Islam saying:
PROPHET MUHAMMAD’S LETTER TO HERACLIUS
In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Most Merciful. From: The Prophet of Allah To: Heraclius, the greatest of Romans Peace be upon those who follow Divine Guidance. I therefore invite you to embrace Islam. Surrender to Allah and live in peace. Allah will doubly reward you, but if you turn away, the sin of the Arians will rest upon you." Then he quoted the Koran:
'Say: People of the Book! (Jews, Nazarenes and Christians) let us come to a common word between us and you, that we will worship none except Allah, that we will associate none with Him, and that none of us take others for lords beside Allah.’ If they turn away, say: ‘Bear witness that we are Muslims’ Koran 3:64
IMPERIAL, INVESTIGATIVE CROSS EXAMINATION OF THE PROPHETHOOD
A peace treaty was in effect between the Prophet (sa) and the hostile tribe of Koraysh. Abu Sufyan, its chieftain, one of the most bitter enemies of Islam knew that on account of the peace treaty he could rely upon the safe passage of his caravan to trade in far away Syria (Ash-Sham). Heraclius had many questions he wanted answered. When he learned that a Koraysh caravan from Mecca was now in the vicinity, he sent a rider with a message to the caravaners saying he wished them to accompany his rider back to Jerusalem so that he may speak with them. As Abu Sufyan and his caravan journeyed to Jerusalem, he wondered why the Emperor of Rome had sent for him but he didn't have to wait long.
As soon as they reached Jerusalem, Abu Sufyan and his companions were presented to Heraclius and his court whereupon Heraclius called for an interpreter and inquired about Prophet Muhammad (sa). He asked Abu Sufyan and his companions who amongst them was closest to the Prophet (sa) in kinship. Abu Sufyan replied that it was he and told him that the Prophet (sa) hailed from a noble lineage. Then, Heraclius turned to his companions and said, "If he says something you know to be contradictory, you must speak." Heraclius' questions were direct, he asked Abu Sufyan if any of his tribe had ever before claimed to be a prophet whereupon Abu Sufyan replied that none had. Then he asked if any of his ancestors had been a king and Abu Sufyan replied that they had not. Heraclius was interested to know what kind of people followed the Prophet (sa) and if their numbers were increasing or decreasing. Abu Sufyan told him that they were poor people and that their numbers were increasing. Then, Heraclius asked if he knew of anyone of his followers had reverted to their old religion, and Abu Sufyan replied that he knew of none.
Referring to the Prophet's character Heraclius asked Abu Sufyan if he had ever known the Prophet (sa) to lie, or if he had ever betrayed or broken his word, whereupon Abu Sufyan replied no to all counts, then, referring to the latter Abu Sufyan commented in a tone of resentment, "We have a treaty with him, but we do not know what he will do." Heraclius asked next if they had ever fought against the Prophet (sa) and if so to tell him about the outcome. Abu Sufyan replied that they had fought; sometimes they had been victorious and upon other occasions victory belonged to the Prophet (sa). Then, Heraclius inquired about his teachings whereupon Abu Sufyan told him that the Prophet (sa) ordered his followers to worship Allah alone and not to associate anything with Him, and to renounce the idols their forefathers had worshipped. Abu Sufyan continued to tell him that the Prophet (sa) also ordered them to pray, not to lie, to be chaste and to foster kindred relationship.
THE WITNESSING TO THE AUTHENTICITY OF PROPHET MUHAMMAD (SA)
From these answers Heraclius derived his opinion of the Prophet (sa) saying, "All the prophets came from noble families, I asked you if anyone before him from your tribe claimed to be a prophet and your reply was no. If your reply had affirmed it then I would have deduced he was mimicking that man. I asked if any of your ancestors had been a king, you replied they had not. If your answer had been otherwise I would have assumed that he wanted to reclaim his ancestral kingdom. When I asked if he lied, you replied that he did not, so I wondered how a person who does not lie could ever tell a lie about Allah. I also asked you about his followers, whether they were rich or poor and you replied they were poor -- the followers of all the prophets were poor. When I asked if his followers were increasing or decreasing, you replied increasing; this is the course of true belief. Then, I asked if there was anyone, who, after embracing Islam recanted and you replied that you knew of none; this is another sign of belief as it enters the heart. When I asked you if he had ever been known to betray, you replied that he had not; this is the way of all prophets. Then I asked you what he ordered his followers to do, and you told me that he orders that Allah alone is to be worshipped, and forbade the worship of idols. Then you told me that he orders you to pray, speak the truth, and be chaste. If what you say is true, he will, in the near future occupy this seat." Then Heraclius told Abu Sufyan: "I knew he was about to appear, but did not know he would be from you. If I could meet him I would wash his feet with water."
Then Heraclius called for the letter the Prophet (sa) had sent him while before and read it aloud whereupon there was a sudden outcry from the court and Abu Sufyan and his companions were thrown out onto the street. As soon as they were able to pull themselves together Abu Sufyan told his companions, "He has become so prominent that even the King of the light-skinned Byzantine people is afraid of him!" and knew in his heart that it would not be long until the Prophet (sa) conquered. Abu Sufyan was a proud man and his reputation mattered greatly to him and was heard to say in the years to come, "By Allah, if it were not for the fact that I would have been ashamed that my companions would label me as a liar, I would not have told the truth."