It was the tenth year after Hijrat. Islam had emerged as one of the biggest powers in the Arabian Peninsula. After having fought many battles, now Rasool Allah (s) focussed on sending letters and invitations to leaders of the world inviting them towards Islam.
A similar letter was sent to the Christians of Najran, who at that time were the care takers of Kaaba-tul-Najran. This church was so famous that it was called the second Kaaba, after the Kaaba in Mecca.
It was mentioned in the letter of the Messenger of Allah (S) that all of them should accept Islam and if they accept, they would be considered as brothers in Faith and if they refuse and express arrogance, and do not accept Islam, they must in all humility pay the Jizya voluntarily. And if they refuse this also, and show enmity, they must be prepared for a great battle.
Soon after receiving the letter from Rasool Allah (s), the Christians gathered in the grand church to discuss their reply. The meeting was held, it was decided to attack Madina in response of this letter. But Abu Hamid Husain bin Al-Qama, who was their greatest scholar and a teacher of theirs, advised not to wage a war when the matter can be resolved with peace.
The matter was then discussed by the three leaders of the Christians, Sayyib, Aqib and Abu Haritha. These three, through all force, declared that the Prophet in Madina is not the true Prophet about whom Prophet Isa gave news. This was the time when they were interrupted by a young man called Abu Haritha who questioned them with evidence. The debate between this man and the three leaders lasted for three days. Abu Haritha gave remarkable evidence to prove that Muhammad is the true messenger of Allah, and that Isa gave news about the same prophet. He proved this through ancient scriptures of previous prophets and a through logical reasoning.
During the course of discussion, the miracles of the Prophet of Madina and the false Prophet of Yemen (Muslimah Kazzab) were analysed. The discussion spread so wide that it even went to the Imam of our time, Imam Mehdi. The Ancient scriptures of the christians suggested that the last prophet will have a son who shall be raised by the Almighty Allah from the progeny of the Prophet to save the mankind. Angels in the skies are invoking blessings upon him.
All that is in the earth, like the human beings, birds and animals, would all be elated due to his reappearance. The earth would reveal its treasures and blessings. So much so that it would again become as it was during the period of Adam (a.s.). During the tenure of this person, poverty, calamities and diseases would disappear that used to befall the previous nations.
And peace will be established in all towns. The venom of every poisonous creature and claws of beasts will all become harmless. So much so that little girls will play with baby snakes without being caused any harm. And the lions will be like the shepherds for the sheep and goats. Wolves would act like helpers of sheep.
The Almighty Allah would make that person dominate all the religions of the world. He will rule on all the countries till the limits of satisfaction till not a single person remains but that he would be on the religion of truth. The religion liked by Allah, on which He has prophets from Adam to the Last Prophet.
After having discussed these things, the core interest of these priests had become to investigate if the Prophet Muhammad (s) fulfilled this sign of the Last Prophet.
They formulated a group of priests headed by Abu Haritha to go to Madina and investigate the matter with Rasool Allah (s). This group reached Madina and got involved in a series of long discussions with Rasool Allah (s). It was soon understood that these people were not open to rationality and were bent upon disagreement.
Thereafter, Allah revealed the verse,
Glorious Quran Chapter 3 Verse 61:
"And unto him who disputeth with thee therein after the knowledge hath come unto thee, Say ! ( O` Our Apostle Muhammad ! ) ( Unto them ) come ye, let us summon our sons, and ( ye summon ) your sons, and ( we summon ) our women and ( ye ) your women, and ( we summon ) ourselves and then let us invoke the curse of God on the liars !"
To this the Christians agreed and they wanted to return to their place and would have the Mubahalah the next day.
On the next day, the Messenger of Allah (S) came to the residence of Amirul Momineen (a.s.), took the hand of Imam Hasan (a.s.), picked up Imam Husain (a.s.) in his arms and Amirul Momineen (a.s.) walked before His Eminence and Lady Fatima Zahra (s.a.) followed the Messenger of Allah (S). In this way, these divine personalities came out in Medina.
When they reached the Christians, Abu Haritha asked, "Who are these people with him?"
He was told, "The one walking in front is the cousin of Muhammad and the husband of his daughter and his most favorite person in the world’ and the two boys are the sons of this man; and the one walking behind, is his daughter, Fatima, the most beloved person for him in the world." Thus His Eminence came forward and sat down to participate in the Mubahila ceremony.
On the other hand Sayyid and Aqib took their boys and wanted to proceed for the ceremony.
Abu Haritha said, "Muhammad, is sitting in the style of prophets when they sit down for debates." So they turned back from there and did not dare to take part in the Mubahila ceremony, Sayyid asked, "Where are you going?"
Abu Haritha said, "If they had not been on truth he would not have dared us for this Mubahila ceremony. If they have Mubahila with us, the year will not pass that there will not remain and single Christian on the face of the earth."
"I am seeing such faces, that if they pray to the Almighty Allah to move the mountain from its place, Allah will indeed do so. Therefore, do not participate in this Mubahila as you will be destroyed and not a single Christian will remain on the earth."
After that Abu Haritha came to the Holy Prophet (S) and said, "O Abal Qasim, refrain from Mubahila and sign a treaty with us with conditions that we can fulfill."
So they made peace with the Prophet with the condition that every year they will pay the Messenger of Allah (S) 2000 robes, each worth 40 dirhams and if there is a battle, they will give 30 coats of mail, 30 spears and lend 30 horses.
After that His Eminence put the treaty in writing for them and returned from there.
The Holy Prophet (S) said, "By the One in Whose hands is my life, destruction come upon them, if they had gone ahead in Mubahila, all of them would have been transmogrified into monkeys and pigs. And indeed this whole valley would have been filled with fire and all of them would have been reduced to ashes."
The Almighty Allah would have destroyed the Christians of Najran so thoroughly that not even a bird would have survived on their trees and before the end of the year, all the Christians would have become extinct.
Thus Sayyid and Aqib returned from there and back to the Messenger of Allah (S) after a few days and embraced Islam.This historic event of a unique triumph of Islam is taken as a religious thanksgiving festival of the triumph against falsehood. Some of the significance of this event are as follows:
- this event un-questionably establishes the truth about the spiritual purity of the Ahl al Bayt
- it proves beyond any doubt as to who are the members of the house of the Prophet ( pbuh )
- the seriousness and the solemnity of the occasion demands absolute purity, spiritual as well as physical in the individuals to serve in the fateful occasion for the Holy Prophet to present them to God as the best one of His creation to be heard in the prayers of Truth!