Friday, 11 May 2007

The Fall Of Rome - A Qur'anic Prophecy

The following are the beginning verses of Surah Ar-Rum:

"The Romans have been defeated in the near land (to Al-Hijaz) and after their defeat they will soon be victorious in a few years time."

To understand the prophecy, the Muslim scholar - Sheikh Ahmad Uthmani RA has given commentary as follows:

"It means within nine years, the Greeks shall overcome the Persians, because in the Arabic lexion and in Hadith the word mentioned in the aforementioned aayah, implies a period ranging from three to nine years. In this verse the Holy Qur'an has made a wonderous prophecy, which is the proof of its truthfulness. The fact is that the two great empires of the time – the Persian and Roman Empires – were in conflict for a long period of time. They remained fighting from 602 CE to 614 CE and onwards."

Our beloved Prophet Muhammad SAW was born in 571 CE and was bestowed with prophethood at the age of forty. News of the battle between both sides reached the people of Makkah and Hijaz now and then.

Meanwhile, the claim to prophethood by the Holy Prophet SAW and the establishment of the Islamic movement created a special interest for the Makkans in the news coming from the war-zone. The Persians - who were very much enthused with the use of fire in their worship rituals had a special relation with the Makkan idolators, whereas the Muslims were related (due do their belief in a single Supreme Being) to the Romans, who were followers of the Christian religion.

Whenever the news of the victory of the Persians came, the idolaters became glad and thereby took the prophecy of their own victory over the Muslims, leading them to cherish good hopes for the future. Muslims were naturally shocked that the Christians who were known as the People of the Book should be over-powered by those who had no link with divine revelation.

After the year 614 CE when forty-five Lunar years had passed by since the birth of the Prophet SAW, Chosroes II (the Persian Emperor) gave a crushing and decisive defeat to the Romans. The Middle East, Asia Minor etc. were by now in the hands of the Persians. Heraclius (the roman leader) was forced to take refuge in Constantinople and the Roman capital was also in danger. Priests were either slain or made prisoners. Caesars sovereignty no longer existed. Now it seemed that the Romans had no longer the power to free these lands from the Persian occupation.

By acknowledging these conditions, the Makkan idolaters were overjoyed and they teased the Muslims. They were ambitious and hopeful to such an extent that they remarked to Saiyidina Abu Bakr RA :

"Today our Persian brothers have blotted out your Roman friends, tomorrow we shall exterminate you like them."

This is when the Qur'an made a general proclamation against the external factors that, no doubt the Persians vanquished the Romans for a while, but within nine years they would again become triumphant.

On the basis of this prediction, Saiyidina Abu Bakr RA made a bet with some of the idolators (as betting was not prohibited by Shari'ah at that time) - that if the Romans did not get victory within nine years, he would give them one hundred camels. Otherwise they would give him a certain number of camels.

In the beginning Saiyidina Abu Bakr RA appointed "bidha sineen" ("a few more years") as read in the Qur'anic verse as referring to three years. This was Saiyidina Abu Bakr RA's personal opinion. But afterwards, at the bidding of the Prophet SAW, the covenant was made on the term of nine years, which is the real application of the word "bidha".

On the other side, the Caesar of the Roman Empire was determined to regain the power loss and vowed that if he defeated the Persians, he would go to Baitulmuqaddis by foot.

Behold the Power of Allah !

According to the Qur'anic prediction, right within nine years, after the passing of one year of Hijrah, on the very same day of the Battle of Badr, when the Muslims were rejoicing in the clear victory over the idolators, by the grace of Allah, they became happier with the news that Allah had made the Romans (the People of the Book) to prevail over the Persians. In this way the idolaters got a double blow of disgrace.

Observing this Divine Revelation issued by the Holy Qur'an, many people embraced Islam and Saiyidina Abu Bakr RA won one hundred camels from the idolators, about which the Prophet Muhammad SAW ordered that they should be given in alms.

Praise be to Allah for his external bounties and manifest signs.

Verily, the intelligent will only take heed.

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