Mubahalah between the Prophet (s.a.w.) & the Christians of Najran

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The Prophet (s.a.w.) had sent letters to the heads of different communities inviting them to Islam.  One such letter was addressed to the Christians of Najran.  When they received the letter, they decided to meet the Prophet (s.a.w.) in person.

The Christians of Najran were concerned about the rapid spread of Islam in the lands of Arabia.  They wished to discuss this matter with Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) and have them addressed.  Their delegation arrived in Madina in 630 CE.  This was the 22nd Dzu al-Hijjah, 9 AH.  Their most learned scholars had a continuous dialogue with Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) for three days.  It began on a Saturday, and when Sunday arrived, the Christians asked for permission to leave the city to pray.  Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) bade them to stay and gave them permission to pray inside the mosque, which they did.

The Prophet (s.a.w.) received them warmly.  Before they entered into a discussion, they requested for permission to say their prayers and this was granted.  When the discussion began, the people of Najran would not listen to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.).  They believed Jeuss (a.s.) was the son of God because he had no father.  At this time, Jibra’il (a.s.) brought the following verse of the Holy Qur’an down.

This similitude of Jesus before Allah is as that of Adam: He created him from dust, then said to him: "Be" and he was. (Surah Ali ‘Imran:59)

This was a Divine Rebuke, if going by their logic, meant that if Jesus (a.s.) could be called the son of God because he was born without a father, then Adam (a.s.) deserved this title more because he was born without a father or a mother.  The Christians had no reply to this but they continued to argue out of obstinacy.  Then the following verse of the Holy Qur'an was Revealed:

If anyone disputes in this matter with thee now after (full) knowledge hath come to thee, say, “Come! let us gather together ― our sons, and your sons our women and your women, ourselves and yourselves: then let us earnestly pray, and invoke the Curse of Allah on those who lie!” (Surah Ali ‘Imran:61)

The Prophet (s.a.w.) produced this verse before the Christians and declared the challenge of nubahila, which means to curse one another.  The Christians accepted the challenge.  The next morning, Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) emerged from his house with his closest family.  This was Monday, 24th Dzu al-Hijjah, 9 AH.  He held the hand of Hasan (a.s.).  Husayn (a.s.), who was still a baby, in his arms.  He was followed by his daughter, Fathimah (a.s.) and finally by his son-in-law, ‘Ali (k.w.).  

The Prophet (s.a.w.) said to them, “When I pray, you should say, ‘Amin.’”

The chief of the Christian delegations was their bishop Abu al-Harris.  When he saw this small family of the Prophet (s.a.w.), he turned towards his fellow Christians and told them, “Do not indulge in mubahalah with this family, for I observe such pious faces that if they would order the mountain to come to them, the mountain will move towards them. It is therefore prudent to make treaty with them rather than confrontation of this spiritual imminence.”

They asked Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) for peace and it was accepted.  Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) extended the hand of friendship towards them, a treaty was signed and both parties left on friendly terms.


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