Event of Mubahala
Summary of the Event
Najran is a province in Hejaz region (today: Saudi Arabia) located in Yemen’s border. At the early days of Islam, most inhabitants of in Najran were Christians.
In the 10thyear of Islamic Hijri calendar, the Holy Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him and his Infallible Household) invited the people of that area to Islam through his envoy. A large number of Najran’s people converted to Islam whereas some remained Christians.
Prophet Muhammad wrote a letter to the Grand Bishop of Najran. The letter read: “In the Name of God, the One, The God of Ibrahim, Isaac and Jacob. This is a letter from Mohammad,the Prophet and Messenger of Almighty God, to the great cleric of Najran’s Christians. I invite you to worship God and abandon worshipping His servants. Either convert to Islam willingly or - if you don’t accept Islam – you should pay tax to the Islamic government;otherwise, I declare war against you.”
Upon delivery ofProphet Muhammad’s letter, they were panicked. After making consultations, at last they decided to travel to the city of Medina in form of a delegation headed by three priests named: Ahtem ,Aqib, and Seyed.
The delegation entered Medina and went directly to visit Prophet Muhammad in the mosque. When they felt their worshipping time had arrived, they sounded their gong to proclaim the time for saying prayers.The followers of the Holy Prophet became furious and said: “O’Prophet! How do you allow Christian’s bell toll in your mosque?”Prophet replied: “Leave them alone and let them pray in their own way! After their prayers is over, invite them to come to me.”
After their ritual acts finished, they went to see the Holy Prophet. They began to ask: “What are your beliefs?” The Holy Prophet replied: “I invite people to the monotheistic religion and ask them to testify that there is no god but Allah, the Unique; and to testify that I am theMessengerof Allah. In my religion’s perspective, Jesus, son of Mary, is the servant of God, the Lord of the whole Universe; and that Jesus is created by Allah. Jesus is a human being who eats food, drinks water and talks to people.”
Christians asked: “If he is a servant and created byGod, then tell us who his father was”.
At this moment, divine revelation descended unto the Holy Prophet: “Ask them what they say about Adam? Wasn’t he a servant of God who, like other human beings, used to eat, drink, and talk?”The Holy Prophet asked the question. Priests answered: “Yes, he surely was a human being who did all that you said.”
The Holy Prophet continued: “Who wasAdam’s father?”At this point, Christians were surprised and failed to answer the question. Theywonderingly looked at each other.
Then Almighty God revealed this verse:“Indeed, the case of Jesus with Allah is like the case of Adam: Allah created him from clay; then said to him: ‘Be,’ and Adam came into existence.”
Based on this verse, the birth of Jesus without a father can’t be the reason for his deity; otherwise we have to consider Adam more qualified for being God since he had neither a mother nor a father.
When the priests failed to answer the question, once again the Holy Prophet invited them to Islam and monotheism. They replied: “If, believing in Islam means believing in the God of the worlds, we believe in Him.” The Prophet (PBUH) said: “Believing in Islam has some certain signs. Your ritual performance proves the opposite; as you worship the cross, eat pork and drink wine.”
When Christian dignitaries refused to accept the truthful religion of Islam, the verse of Mubahala(invoking the curse of God upon the liars) in the Holy Quran was revealed: “Then whoever argues with you about this issue after its knowledge has come to you, say: Come, let us call our sons and your sons, our women and your women, ourselves and yourselves; then supplicate earnestly [together] and invoke the curse of Allah upon the liars.”
After hearing the verse, they said: “OK!This is fair.”Then a specific day was fixed for Mubahala.
Grand bishops arranged a meeting to get ready for the event. One of them said: “If Muhammad challenges us with his companions and disciples, we shall accept the challenge because we will perceive that he is not a prophet; but, if he brings dear members of his own family to sacrifice, we must not challenge him; since that will be a sign that he is truthful and a divine prophet."
D-day came. Christians were present at the appointed place and waited for Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to come. They were all surprised to witness the Holy Prophet who appeared whilecarrying a child on his arms, holding the hand of another child, followed by a woman and a man. Seeing the exceptional glory and spiritual magnificence of those five personalities,Christians were shocked.
Prophet Muhammad advised his family members to say Amen as he started cursing.
The clerics of Najran asked the people of Medina who were present in the arena: “Who are these people accompanying Muhammad?” They replied: “They are his son-in-law ALI,his daughter FATIMA, and his two grandsons HASAN and HUSSEIN.”
Learning this, Christian priests lost their hopesand got desperately worried; so their leader said: “I strongly feel that thedivine punishment is too close to us. It is evident that Muhammad has firm belief in his creed; otherwise he wouldn’t take his close kin with himself to expose them to divine chastisement. I see faces that, if pray to God to remove mountains from the earth, God, the Almighty, will surely do that!Beware of participating in this contest that will demolish all of us; no Christian shall remain alive on the earth until the Day of Resurrection and the name of church will disappear from the memory of history!”
So, the grand priests hopelessly demanded: “O’ Muhammad! We are not going to participate in Mubahala. You have your own religion and let us have our own religion as well!”
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “If you are not going to do Mubahala, then you should convert to Islam!” They refused and said: “No!We don’t convert to Islam and we will not fight you; but we prefer to pay tax to the Islamic government.”
The holy Prophet accepted and compromised.
The Importance of This Historical Issue:
Among various events inIslamic history, the magnificent event of "Mubahala" undoubtedly has got its own unique features since it was a manifestation of the truthfulness and legitimacy of Islam as well as the glory and superiority of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Mubahala was the arena to prove the infallibility and grandeur of Prophet Muhammad’s household (known as Ahlulbayt). Mubahala was a great event when the golden crosses collapsedon the one hand, and the knowledge and culture triumphed over sword and war on the other.
We live in an era when the enemies of Islam including arrogant powers and their puppet vampires like ISIS terrorists are attacking true Islam in cultural and military fields. In such an environment, recollecting a much prestigious event like Mubahala shall undoubtedly soothe the hearts of Shiabelievers and the followers of Ahlulbayt those who seek shelter under the banner of Islam. Mubahala can introduce the beautiful and compassionate countenance of Islam to the world.
By promoting and propagating the story of Mubahala, everyone can defend the Holy Prophet and prove the virtues of Imam Ali for those who oppose Shia.
Mubahala is an effective tool to strengthen the religious identity of the youth.
Mubahala has got too many blessings; but unfortunatelyit has been neglected in Muslim societies.
What should we do to promote this issue?
We should spare no effort to turn the issue of Mubahala among the cultural elites and Muslim missionaries as a "concern" so that itturns into a "public discourse" in religious societies and the ground for its promotion will be automatically prepared.
Suggestions for Promoting the Event of Mubahala:
1. To hold academic annual conferences in the anniversary of Mubahala in order to discuss on different aspects of the issue;
2. To convene gatherings and friendly meetings attended by influential Muslim missionaries, preachers, and religious groups, and encouraging them to try their best to revive the remembrance of Mubahala;
3. To persuade our friends and religious assemblies to hold ceremonies for commemoration of Mubahala anniversary.
The Last Word
We express hope, with the help and guidance of Almighty Godand under the auspices of Imam Mahdi (PBUH), we will be able to promulgate the virtues of Imam Ali and the Ahlulbayt through remembrance of Mubahala, which can strengthen the faith of true Shia believers.