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Imam Ali (as) and the first meeting with the Christians

There was a flourishing country between Arabia and Yemen named Najran where the Christians were living at that time. The Prophet of Islam sent a letter to them for preaching purposes like the letters that had been sent to the rulers of the adjoining countries formerly. The bishop of Najran named Abu Harithah put the matter for discussion before the great religionists. A man of mind and intelligence named Shurahbeel in reply to the bishop said: “We have heard our religious leaders saying that someday the Prophethood would be transferred from Isaac’s generation to the sons of Ishmael and we should not be surprised that Muhammad (s), who was one of descendants of Ishmael, might be the very Prophet, whom our fore great religionists had informed of. I propose that a mission of some wise men are to be sent to Medina to consider what Muhammad (s) claims. It seems to be reasonable.”

The mission arrived at Medina and went straight to the mosque. The Prophet, contrary to his custom that was accessible to every one, did not pay attention to them because they had dressed up in expensive cloths inlaid with gold. They had golden rings and chains on their fingers and necks. They were directed to Imam Ali (s) to answer their questions. Imam Ali (s) advised them to change their clothes and to take off the golden ornaments and then they might have the honor of meeting the Prophet.

On the next day the Prophet welcomed them warmly and then they began their negotiation. The argument was as the following:

The Prophet: I just summon you to monotheism and I want you to obey God and to put His commandments into practice.

The mission: If Islam invited people to godliness recently, it was a long time that we have worshipped God and His obedience was obligatory on us.

The Prophet: How do you obey the unique God whereas you pay homage to the cross and you pretend that God has begotten a son?

The mission: We worship Jesus as a God because he had restored dead persons to life and he had cured sick and paralytic people. He made some birds of mud and made them fly. He could do all these things.

The Prophet: No, it is not right. Jesus Christ was a sincere servant of God and he was put into the womb of Holy Mary. This miracle was done by the Divine will to make people believe in Him.

The mission: Since nobody had married his mother, hereon God would certainly be his father.

A Qur’anic verse was revealed at this moment; (Surely the likeness of Issa (Jesus) is with Allah as the likeness of Adam; He created him from dust, then He said to him: Be, and he was) 3:59.

The Prophet: The situation of Holy Christ is similar to Adam, whom Allah has created him without parents. If non-existence of the father is the reason of Godhead, so Adam must be obeyed as God since long ago.

Anyhow this disputation did not come to a conclusion and they resolved that both sides should pray God that curse be upon the obstinate side.

At the same time the Prophet was inspired by a verse: (But whoever disputes with you in this matter after what has come to you of knowledge, then say: Come let us call our sons and your sons and our women and your women and our near people and your near people, then let us be earnest in prayer, and pray for the curse of Allah on the liars) 3:61.

The two parties made ready to determine the matter of praying for the curse of Allah to be on each other next day to show which party was right.

The heads of the Christians said to each other: “Before we face the Prophet let us see that if he comes with his companions and chief commanders of his army, surely he is a liar but if he brought his dear relatives, he has confidence in God and he is really a truthful person in his claims because he is ready to take his nearest kinfolk towards mortality.”

The Prophet of Islam selected four persons from his own family, who were the elects among all the Muslims; Fatima his honorable daughter as his woman, and her two sons Hasan and Hussein as his own sons, and her dear husband Imam Ali (s) as the nearest man to him. Next day when the Christians saw the Prophet coming with his family, they were surprised at the full and were convinced that God would respond to his prayer.

At last the Christians did not agree to damn each other and it was decided that they were to pay a tribute to the Muslims in lieu of protecting their lives and wealth by the Islamic government from foreign aggressions.

Many of Islamic scholars mentioned the said tradition and concluded that God has created them both Muhammad (s) and Ali from one essence (nature).

Adopted from the book : "Imam Ali (a.s.); Sunshine of Civilized Islam" by : "Muhammad Huseyn Tahmasebi"

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