A commission of Christians from Najrân visited our master Rasûlullah. Najrân was a city between Hijâz and Yemen. They consisted of sixty cavalrymen, twenty-four of whom were their superiors. However, only three of them held the most superior ranks. Their chief was ’Abdulmasîh. Of them, Abulhâris bin Alqama was the most learned. He had read about the symptoms of the Last Prophet in the Injîl. But, because he was fond of his worldly rank and fame, he had not converted to Islam. Being wellknown for his knowledge, he used to be favoured by the kaisers and used to control many churches. It was during the late afternoon prayer when the Christian group arrived in Medina and, after the prayer, they entered the Masjîd-i sherîf. They were clad in ornamented priestly gorments. It being the time for them to pray, they stood up to pray in the Masjîd-i sherîf and Rasûlullah said, “Let them pray.”

They performed it turning towards the east. Their three superiors began to talk. In the course of their conversation, once they said, “Allah,” at another time they said, “the Son of Allah,” and at another time they said, “one of the three gods,” referring to Hadrat Îsâ. They said that they called him Allah because he used to enliven the dead, cure the sick, inform about the unknown, and because he used to make birds from mud, which flew when he blew into them. They said that they called him the Son of Allah because he did not have a certain father. And they said that he was one of the three, because Allah said, “We made, we created.” If He were one, He would have said, “I made, I created.” Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ invited them to Islam. He read some âyats. They did not believe him. They said, “We had îmân before you did.” Rasûlullah said, “You are lying! He who says that Allah has a son does not have îmân.” They asked, “If he is not the son of Allah, who is his father then?”

Rasûlullah: Don’t you know that Allâhu ta’âlâ never dies, and He is the only one who keeps everything in existence? As for Hadrat Îsâ he was non-existent, and he will cease to exist.
They: Yes, we know that.
Ra.: Do you know of any offspring which is not like its father?
They: Every child is like its father. [A young sheep is like a sheep.]
Ra.: Don’t you know that our Allah creates, grows and feeds everything? But Hadrat Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ did not use to do any of these.
They: No, he did not do so.
Ra.: Our Allah created Hadrat Îsâ as He wished, didn’t He?
They: Yes, He did.
Ra.: Our Allah does not eat, drink or change; do you know this, too?
They: Yes, we do.
Ra.: Hadrat Îsâ had a mother. He was born like any child. He used to eat, drink and excrete harmful substances. You know this too, don’t you?
They: Yes, we do.
Ra.: Then, how can Hadrat Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ be as you suppose him to be? They said nothing. They kept silent. After a while:

They said: “O Muhammad! Don’t you say that he is the word of Allah, and a soul from Him?”
“Yes,” said Rasûlullah. Then, “This is enough for us,” they said obstinately. Upon this, Allâhu ta’âlâ ordered him to invite them to mubâhala[1]. So Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ said to them, “Well, if you don’t believe me, let us do mubâhala. That is, let us say, ‘May Allâhu ta’âlâ curse the one among us who is unjust and is lying.’ ” This command of Allah’s is quoted in the sixty-first âyat of Sûrat-u Âl-i ’Imrân. Sherhabîl, whom they called sayyid, convened them and said, “Every behavior of his proves that he is the Prophet. If we do mubâhala with him, neither we nor our descendants will escape its consequences. We’ll certainly suffer ruination!” They avoided doing mubâhala and said, “O Muhammad! We love you. We will give you whatever you want. Send a trustworthy person from among your Ashâb with us; we will pay him our taxes!”

Our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ took an oath that he would send with them a very trustworthy person. The Ashâb-i kirâm ‘’alaihim-ur-ridwân’ were anxious to know who would be honoured with being trustworthy. Rasûlullah ordered: “Stand up! O Abâ ’Ubayda!” He added: “This is a trustworthy one from among my Ummat.” He sent him with them.
The article of peace was as follows: They would give two thousand sets of clothings yearly. A thousand of them would be delivered in the month of Rajab and the other one thousand in Safer. In addition to each set of clothings, forty dirhams (135 grams) of silver would be delivered. Later, ’Abdulmasîh, their chief, and Sherhabîl, their sayyid, embraced Islam, and thereby were honoured with being in the service of Rasûlullah ‘sall Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’.

[1] When two persons do not believe each other, they say, “May Allah curse the party who is lying.” The one who is unjust will not accede to doing so. This process is called mubâhala.