by Zafar Bangash (Editorials, Crescent International Vol. 41, No. 2, Jumada' al-Ula', 1433)
It was the beginning of the seventh year of the Hijrah. Only a few weeks earlier, the noble Messenger (pbuh) had concluded the Treaty of Hudaybiyah with the chiefs of Makkah.
It was the beginning of the seventh year of the Hijrah. Only a few weeks earlier, the noble Messenger (pbuh) had concluded the Treaty of Hudaybiyah with the chiefs of Makkah. While most of his companions thought the treaty unfair to the Muslims, they had failed to grasp the strategic objective the noble Messenger (pbuh) had achieved: neutralizing one of the hostile parties — the Quraysh — so that he could have a free hand to deal with the troublesome Jewish tribes in Khaybar. The treaty’s success was confirmed from on high when Allah (swt) revealed to His beloved Messenger (pbuh),
“Verily, We have conducted you to a conspicuous breakthrough” (48:1).
Upon returning to Madinah, the noble Messenger (pbuh) dispatched a number of companions with letters to the emperors and rulers on the borders of the Arabian Peninsula. The letters invited each emperor/ruler to Islam. The text started as follows, “From Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah to…. [name or title of the recipient].” One of these letters, carried by Abdullah ibn Hudhayfah al-Sahmi (ra), was to be delivered to the Persian Emperor, Khusro Pervez (Chosroe). After travelling for several days on horseback, Abdullah ibn Hudhayfah (ra) arrived in the Persian capital, Madayin. When he explained the purpose of his visit, he was ushered into the emperor’s presence.
Zoroastrianism was the religion of the people at the time and the king considered himself god (nastaghfir-allah). It was customary for people to prostrate before him when they entered the court. Instead of bowing to the emperor, Abdullah ibn Hudhayfah (ra) walked straight up to his throne. The king was bedecked in gold embroidered silk clothes with courtiers standing obediently, heads bowed and hands folded, on both sides. A murmur went through the court; the courtiers feared the emperor might have the visitor executed for showing “disrespect”. Ibn Hudhayfah (ra) was not killed but the emperor’s anger was noticeably visible. When he saw the visitor’s ordinary dress — full of dust after several days of travel through the desert — it made him even more upset. People were expected to dress in their best attire when appearing before the emperor. This is still the case today. People put on their best dress when presenting themselves before powerful government officials or rulers.
Despite falling short of these requirements, the emperor still inquired about the visitor’s purpose. Abdullah ibn Hudhayfah (ra) pulled out the Prophet’s (pbuh) letter and started reading it aloud. Upon hearing the very first sentence, “From Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah,” which did not address the emperor first (as was customary), Chosroe flew into a rage. He considered this a great insult to his position. Drawing his sword, he slashed the letter and demanded the identity of the “subject” of his who had the temerity to address him is this manner. Unable to complete reading the message, Abdullah ibn Hudhayfah (ra) picked up the letter and left the court. Returning to Madinah, he explained what had transpired to the noble Messenger (pbuh), who upon hearing the exchange said, “May Allah tear apart his kingdom the way he ripped up my letter.” Within a short period of time this came true.
While most of his companions thought the treaty unfair to the Muslims, they had failed to grasp the strategic objective the noble Messenger (pbuh) had achieved: neutralizing one of the hostile parties — the Quraysh — so that he could have a free hand to deal with the troublesome Jewish tribes in Khaybar.
Fast forward to the present. The wheels of history have turned full circle. Today, Iran has become the land of Islam where Islamic principles and values are implemented. The enemies of Allah (swt) fear Iran and its growing power. Yet its leaders and public officials from the Rahbar, Imam Sayyid Ali Khamenei, on down, all dress very modestly and lead very simple lives. This is what endears them to the masses. The land of the Prophet (pbuh) — the Arabian Peninsula — is occupied today by bedouins from the desert who call themselves kings and majesties. They live in huge palaces decorated with expensive drapes and lined with expensive rugs, and where gluttony and sycophancy, much like in the court of the Persian Emperor of yesteryear, prevail. People bow to the king when they enter the court. Pre-Islamic jahiliyah is again fully operational in the land of the Prophet (pbuh).
Pre-Islamic jahiliyah is again fully operational in the land of the Prophet (pbuh).
The people of Iran, from their leaders down, have adopted the principles of Islam and the simple lifestyle of the noble Messenger of Allah (pbuh). This has brought them dignity and earned them respect. Through their sacrifices they are on the verge of changing the socio-political landscape of the entire world. Victory and glory beckon them. The Arabian rulers, on the other hand, have abandoned Islam and become slaves of the West. They fear everything and everyone except Allah (swt). People in the Muslim East (aka the Middle East) have risen up in revolt against their tyrannical rulers. How long can these tyrants cling to power and continue to oppress their people? True, they are involved in intrigues to prolong their miserable existence but the writing is on the wall. There are unmistakable signs of their imminent departure. As Allah (swt) says in His noble Book,
“All honour belongs to Allah, and [thus] to His Messenger and those truly committed to Him: but of this the dual-loyalists are unaware” (63:8).