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Testimony before Heraclius

Guidance - II

Ibn Abbas relates that once Heraclius asked Abū Sufian, “What this man (Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be to him) asks of you?” Abū Sufian replied, “He tells us to worship God and not to assign any partner to Him in His Almightiness, to give up the creed of our forefathers and what they did. He also asks us to offer prayers, be truthful, take to the life of charity and meet the claims of our relatives.”

(Bukhari)

This is part of a long hadith known as the Tradition of Heraclius. The emperor of Rome, Heraclius was in Palestine at the time when he received the Prophet Muhammad’s epistle. He ordered that if some people fromHejazwere there they should be brought to him that he might learn the details about the message.

Abū Sufian and some of his companions were found and brought before Heraclius. The Roman emperor asked them many searching questions, one of which was about the important points of the Holy Messenger’s message. What Abū Sufian said in response to the question contains the very gist of Islamic teachings.

Abū Sufian said the Blessed Messenger stressed the Oneness of God and that people should believe in one God whose authority rules supreme on earth and in the heaven. No one by his influence and force can become His partner. Hence man should bow to Him alone and seek His help alone in all sorts of difficulties, love and obey Him alone, and the polytheistic order of worship established by his ancestors should be given up.



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