Anas bin Malik RA reports:
"When Rasulullah SAW went to the toilet, he removed his ring."
COMMENTARYAs the name of Allah Ta'ala was engraved on it, he never went to the toilet with it. For this reason the Ulama have written that it is makruh to go to the toilet with anything that has a venerable name or sentence on it.
Anas bin Malik RA relates:"Rasulullah SAW made an intention to write letters to Kisra (Cosroes), Qaysur (Caesar) and Najaashi (Negus), inviting them to accept Islam. The people said: '(O Rasulullah) those people do not accept letters without a stamp on it'. For this reason Rasulullah SAW had a stamp made. The ring (loop) of which was silver, and had 'Muhammad Rasulullah' engraved on it."
Kisra is the title of the Persian kings. Qaysar (Ceasar) that of the Romans and Najashi that of the Abyssinian kings.
Rasulullah SAW sent a letter to Kisra through Abdullah bin Hudhaafah RA. Kisra tore the letter of Rasulullah SAW. When Rasulullah SAW heard this he said, "May Allah tear his kingdom to pieces", and so did it happen.
The letter to the king of the Romans was sent with Dihyah bin Khalifah Kalbi RA. Although accepting the prophethood of Rasulullah SAW, he did not accept Islam.
The letter to Najaashi, the king of Abyssinia was sent with Amr bin Urnayyah Damri RA, as is mentioned in 'Mawaahib Ladunniyyah' and other kitaabs. This is not the Najaashi for whom Rasulullah SAW had performed janazah Solah. This was another Najaashi. It is not known whether he had accepted Islam or not, as Mulla Ali Qaari RAH has written in his kitaab.
Rasulullah SAW sent letters which have been discussed in detail in the books of Hadith and history. Special books have been written on this subject. In the above Hadith, three letters are mentioned, of which a brief account seems appropriate here. One letter was written to Kisra, which is the title of the kings of Persia. The name of this Kisra was Aparvez, who was the grandson of Naw-sherwaan. The contents of the letter to him were as follows:
"In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent the Most Merciful From Muhammad, Allah's Messenger, to the great ruler of Persia. Peace be upon the one who follows (accepts) righteousness and reposes a faith (Imaan) in Allah and His Rasul, and bears witness that none is to be worshipped besides Allah, Who has no partners and that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger. I call you towards Allah, for I am Allah's true Messenger, who has been sent to the whole world to warn those whose hearts are alive (because they have a little understanding - as a man without sense is like a dead person), and complete the proof of Allah (Allah's existence) to non-believers (so that they may not say on the Day of Qiyaamah that we did not know). Accept Islam so that you may live in peace. If you reject then the sin of all the fire-worshippers will be upon you, for they will be led astray by following you."
Abdullah bin Hudhaafah RA was given this letter and instructed to give it to a governor of Kisra who was living in Bahrain. The letter was to be sent to Kisra through him. It was then delivered to Kisra with the governor's assistance. Kisra had this letter read out to him whereafter he tore it to pieces and threw it away. When Rasulullah SAW was informed of this he cursed Kisra. Later Kisra's own son - Sherwiyyah - killed him in a very brutal manner. This incident is written in the books of history.
The second letter mentioned in the hadith was sent to Qaysar (Ceasar), the king of the Romans. According to historians his name was Hiraql. This letter was sent through Dihyah Kalbi RA. Although the Qaysar did not accept Islam, he respected the letter and kept it safely. When Rasulullah SAW heard of this he said: 'Kisra tore his country to pieces, and Qaysar guarded his'.
The contents of the letter from Rasulullah SAW to the Qaysar were as follows:
"In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent the Most Merciful From Muhammad, Allah's servant and Messenger, to Hiraql, the great (ruler) of the Romans. Peace be upon the one that follows righteousness. After praise and salutations, I call you towards the Kalimah (Laa liaha illlallah Muhamamdur Rasulullah) of Islam. Accept Islam that you may live in peace. Allah will grant you a double reward, (because the Ahlul-Kitaab will receive double reward if they accept Islam, as is mentioned in the Qur'an at the end of Surah Al-Hadid), and if you reject then the sin of the tillers of the land (farmers) who are under you, will be upon you. Oh People of the Book, come towards the kalimah, that is the same between us and you, and that is Tauhid (the oneness of Allah), that we shall not worship anyone besides Allah and shall not make any partner unto Him, and that we shall not make anyone from among ourselves a god besides Allah (like the monks and priests are made gods) and if they reject (Oh you Muslims) then say to them that bear witness that we are Muslims (we openly proclaim our religion and now you are responsible for yourselves). (Bukhari, I'laamus Saa'ileen.)
The portion from, "Oh People of the Book, come towards... " to the end, is an Ayat of the Qur'an in Surah Al-Imraan. When Dihyah Kalbi RA delivered this letter and it was read before the Qaysar, his nephew who was present, became very angry, and began saying, give this letter to me. The uncle (Qaysar) asked: "What will you do with it?" He replied: "This letter is not worth reading, your name was not mentioned first in the letter, but that of his (i.e. Rasulullah SAW). Instead of emperor he addresses you as a ruler etc. etc."
The Qaysar replied:
"You are stupid. Do you want me to throw away such a letter from a person to whom the Great Jibril (AS) comes. If he is a prophet then he should write like this."
Dibyah RA was accommodated with great honour and respect. The Qaysar was on a tour there at that time.
When he was returning he called all the ministers of his kingdom, and said to them:
"I wish to bring vour, attention to such a thing that is full of goodness and prosperity. And is a means to keep your country for long. Verily this person ( i.e. Rasulullah SAW) is a Prophet, follow him and pay allegiance to him."
He delivered this long speech in a room where all the doors and windows were closed and locked. The ministers and others became so rash with anger that they caused a commotion and began jumping about violently, trying to run out. Since all the doors and windows were locked, this situation carried on for a while.
The Qaysar calmed all those present and delivered another speech, and said:
"A person who has claimed prophethood has appeared. I was testing your reaction that how firm are you on you religion, and now I have gauged it."
As was normal all began prostrating before him. Thereafter he praised them and let them leave. In some narrations it is stated that he kissed the letter and put it on his head. He then covered it with silk and put it safely away. He sent for the pope and discussed this matter with him.
The pope said:
"Verily this is the last of the Prophets, the good news of which has been mentioned in our Holy Books."
The Qaysar said:
"I also believe this, but there is one problem, if I become a Muslim these people will kill me, and I will lose my kingdom."
The Qaysar was on a pilgrimage to Baytul Muqaddis when this letter, reached him. A trading caravan from Makkah was also there at that time. To investigate this matter the Qaysar called the leader of the Makkan traders. Details of this event are mentioned in Bukhari. This incident took place at the time when Rasulullah SAW had signed a peace treaty for a few years with the Makaans at Hudaybiyah. An agreement was drawn up that there would be no war, between the Muslims and the Makkans (who were then still not Muslims).
Abu Sufyan, who had not yet accepted lslam, said:
"I once went to Shaam (Syria) during this period, of peace. At that time Hiraql received Rasulullah SAW's letter inviting him to accept Islam."
Upon receiving, this letter, which was delivered by Dihyah Kalbi RA, he asked the local people if there was anybody in the town who knew this person claiming prophethood.
"Yes, there are some people who have recently, arrived."
Thereupon we were asked to appear before the king. A few of my companions and myself from the Quraysh went to the king.
He made us all sit near him and then asked:
"Who of you is the nearest in relationship to the person that has claimed prophethood?"
I replied that I was the most closely related.
He asked me to come nearer to him motioning my companions to sit behind me, and said to them:
"I am to ask him some questions. If he gives false information, inform me."
Abu Sufyan had not yet accepted Islam and was a staunch enemy of Rasulullah SAW.
"I swear that if I had not been afraid that the people would later say that I was a liar, and disgrace me, then I would have surely given false information, but fear of disgrace made me speak the truth."
He then began asking me through his interpreter the following questions:
"The person who has claimed prophethood, how is he regarded amongst you according to his family lineage?"
"He hails from a great family and is of a noble lineage amongst us."
"Was anyone amongst his ancestors a king?"
"There was none."
"Before claiming prophethood, was he ever accused of falsehood?"
"Those who follow him, are they from the elite, or are they from the ordinary people?"
"From the ordinary people."
"Are his followers increasing or decreasing?"
"They are increasing."
"Those who adopt his religion, does anyone among them become frustrated and turn away?"
"Did you go to war with him?"
"What were the results of the war?"
"Sometimes they were victorious, at other times we were victorious."
"Does he ever break his promises?"
"No. These days we have an agreement between us. We do not know if he will fulfil it or not."
Abu Sufyaan said:
"I did not have a chance to say anything from my own side besides this sentence."
"Did anyone claim prophethood before him?"
In some narrations it stated that Hiraql asked Abu Sufyaan:
"Why do you fear that he will dishonour the treaty?"
Abu Sufyaan replied:
"My people have helped our allies against their allies."
"You have been dishonest."
Thereafter Hiraql continued the conversation and said:
"I asked you about his lineage. You replied that he was of noble lineage. The prophets are from the noble families of their people. I asked if any of his ancestors were kings? You said: 'No'. I thought that he wanted to regain the control of kingship. I asked if his followers were from the high class or common and weak people. All those who followed the earlier prophets, were from among such people (The high class felt it a shame to follow others). Iasked if he was ever accused of falsehood before he claimed prophethood. You denied it. I thought that by lying to people he would begin to lie about Allah (Na'udh billah). (The person who does not lie to people, how can he lie about Allah). I asked if anyone accepted his message and thereafter became disillusioned and turned away from it (became a murtad-apostate ). You replied in the negative. This is a peculiarity of Imaan, that the love and happiness of it enters the heart. I enquired if their number increased or decreased? You replied that they were increasing. The peculiarity of good imaan is this till its completion. I asked about war against him? You said sometimes he gained victory, sometimes you. This was the case with all the prophets, but the best results were always in favour of them. I queried about his breaking promises? You said no. This is the quality of a prophet, for, he does not break promises. I asked did anyone claim, prophethood before him? You denied it. I thought if someone had claimed prophethood before, then he might be trying to imitate them."
Hiraql thereafter asked these people:
"What are his teachings?"
The people replied:
"To perform Solah, give Zakah and to uphold relationship with one's relatives. To keep one's chastity and modesty."
"If all that you have said is true, then verily he is a nabi (prophet). I was certain that he was to be born shortly, but not certain that he would be amongst you. If I were sure that I could go to him, I would surely have gone to meet him. (But cannot go because of the fear that I will lose my kingdom and my life). If I were in his presence I would have washed his feet. There is no doubt that his rule will reach till where I am."
There are many other incidents about Hiraql related in the books of hadith. He was well versed in their holy books and was also an expert in astronomy. He therefore thought on these lines, and did some research on it too. In some narrations it is related that he kept the letter of Rasulullah SAW very carefully with respect in a golden case. This was kept safely by his children and then their offspring for many generations. The third letter which is mentioned in the above hadith was sent to Najaashi. It has already been stated that the Abyssinian kings were called Najaashi.
In the lifetime of Rasulullah SAW there were two kings of Abyssinia. The name of the first was As-hamah who accepted Islam. The Muslims had migrated to Abyssinia under his rule. At that time he had not yet accepted Islaam.
Rasulullah SAW sent a letter to the second Najaashi with 'Amr bin Umayyah Damri RA.
The contents of the letter reads as follows:
"In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent the Most Merciful. From Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah to Najaashi, the king of Abyssinia. You love peace. I convey to you the praises of that Allah, besides whom there is none worthy of worship. He is the King, and is free from all faults. He is free from all shortcomings (or the creation is safe from His oppression). He grants peace; He guards (He saves the creation from all calamities); And I bear witness that Isa Alayhis Salam is one of Allah's Ruhs, and was the Kalimah of Allah which was sent to the pure, clean and virgin Maryam, thus she conceived. Allah Ta'aala created Isa Alayhis Salam from one of his special ruh's, and put life into him, as he had created Adam Alayhis Salaam with His hands (without a father or a mother). I call you towards the worship of the One Who is alone and has no partner and call you to assist in obeying His commands. I invite you to accept Imaan (faith), and follow the Shari'ah with which I am sent. Without doubt I am the Messenger of Allah. I invite you and your army towards Allah. I have conveyed the truth to you and have advised you. Accept my advice. Peace be on the one who follows the right path."
A group among the Muhadditheen have ascertained that this Najaashi had already accepted Islam. After receiving this letter of Rasulullah SAW he publicly declared that he was a Muslim. Some are of the opinion that he accepted Islam after receiving the letter.
He (Najaashi) replied to the letter confirming that he had accepted Islam, and that whatever was written of Isa Alayhis Salaam was word for word, true. He sent the reply with his son, accompanied by a group of seventy people, to Rasulullah SAW, but unfortunately the boat that they were travelling in sank in the sea and none among them reached Rasulullah SAW.
Najaashi passed away during the life-time of Rasulullah SAW. Rasulullah SAW performed janazah Solah for him.
After the death of this Najaashi, another Najaashi was crowned as a ruler.
Another letter was written to him which read as follows:
"This letter is from Allah's Nabi SAW to the, Najaashi, great (ruler) of Abyssinia. Peace be on the one that follows the straight path, and reposes his faith in Allah and His Rasul, and bears witness that none is worthy of worship save Allah; He is One; He has no partners nor any wife, nor any child; And also bears witness that Muhammad SAW is His servant and Messenger. I invite you to the Kalimah (Laa ilaha illahah, Muhammadur Rasulullah) of Allah. Accept Islam and you shall remain in peace. Oh People of the Book, come to the word that is common between us and you, that we shall not worship anyone besides Allah, and we shall not make anyone from amongst ourselves a god besides Allah. And if they reject (Oh Muslims) then say to them, bear witness that we are Muslims (openly announce their imaan). If you do not accept my invitation (to Islam) and reject it, the sin of the Christians (as they are your followers) shall fall on you."
At the beginning of the letter, as is customary, Bismillah must have been written. But Bismillah was not written in the copy from where this letter was taken. It has not been confirmed whether this Najaashi had accepted lslaam or not, or what his name was. The opinion of the majority of the Muhadditheen is that the third letter in this hadith, which is to Najaashi, is the same Najaashi. In some narrations with the name Najaashi, it is also stated that this was not the Najaashi for whom Rasulullah SAW had performed Janazah Solah. This is a more correct explanation. A few Muhadditheen have only mentioned the letter to the first Najaashi, and a few have only mentioned the second letter.
Abdullah ibn Umar RA says:
"Rasulullah SAW kept his ring in his Mubaarak hands (possession). Then it was kept by Abu Bakr RA, then by Umar RA. Thereafter by Uthman RA. In his (Uthman RA's) time it fell in the Well of 'Arees. The inscription on this ring was 'Muhammadur Rasulullah'."
Bir Arees is a well near Masjid Quba. During the caliphate of Saiyidina Uthman RA, the ring remained with him for six years, then accidently it fell into the well. Saiyidina Uthman RA ordered a thorough search of the well. For two days water of the well was pulled out, but it could not be found. The Ulama write that from the time the ring fell in the well, mischief and revolt began, and increased in the later years of Saiyidina Uthman RA's caliphate.
In this hadith, Abdullah ibn Umar RA says that Rasulullah SAW kept the ring in his mubaarak hands, and in another hadith in this chapter he denies that Rasulullah SAW wore a ring. A special answer to the apparent contradictions in this hadith is that the meaning of Rasulullah SAW kept the ring in his hands is, he kept it in his possession. It does not necessarily mean that he wore it. It is stated in the following chapter that the ring was kept by Mu'ayqeeb RA.