Letter of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) to Negus (Najashi) inviting him to Islam

“In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

From Muhammad (SAW), the Messenger of Allah, to Negus, king of Abyssinia (Ethiopia).

Peace be upon him who follows true guidance. Salutations:

I entertain Allah’s (swt) praise; there is no god but He, the Sovereign, the Holy, the Source of peace, the Giver of peace, the Guardian of faith, the Preserver of safety. I bear witness that Jesus (as), the son of Mary, is the spirit of Allah (swt) and His Word which He cast into Mary, the virgin, the good, the pure, so that she conceived Jesus (as). Allah (swt) created him from His spirit and His breathing as He created Adam (as) by His Hand. I call you to Allah (swt) Alone with no associate and to His obedience and to follow me and to believe in that which came to me, for I am the Messenger of Allah (SAW). I invite you and your men to Allah (swt), the Glorious, the All-Mighty. I hereby bear witness that I have communicated my message and advice. I invite you to listen and accept my advice.

Peace be upon him who follows true guidance.”

After reading this letter, Negus confessed his faith in Islam and wrote the following reply to the Prophet (SAW):

“In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

From Negus Ashama to Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah (SAW).

Peace be upon you, O Messenger of Allah (SAW)! And mercy and blessing from Allah (swt) beside Whom there is no god. I have received your letter in which you have mentioned about Jesus (as) and by the Lord of heaven and earth, Jesus (as) is not more than what you say. We fully acknowledge that with which you have been sent to us and we have entertained your cousin and his companions. I bear witness that you are the Messenger of Allah (SAW), true and confirming (those who have gone before you). I pledge to you through your cousin and surrender myself through him to the Lord of the worlds (swt).”

Letter sent by Prophet Muhammad to Cyrus Al-Muqawqas (Coptic Vicegerent in Egypt) inviting him to Islam

“In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

From Muhammad (SAW), slave of Allah (swt), and His Messenger to Muqawqas, vicegerent of Egypt.

Peace be upon him who follows true guidance.

Thereafter, I invite you to accept Islam. Therefore, if you want security, accept Islam. If you accept Islam, Allah (swt), the Sublime, shall reward you doubly. But if you refuse to do so, you will bear the burden of the transgression of all the Copts.

“Say (O Muhammad): ‘O people of the scripture (Jews and Christians), come to a word that is just between us and you, that we worship none but Allah, and that we associate no partners with Him, and that none of us shall take others as lords besides Allah.’ Then, if they turn away, say: ‘Bear witness that we are Muslims.’ ” (Ale-Imran 3:64)

His reply

“In the Name of Allah (swt), the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

From Muqawqas to Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdullah (SAW).

Peace be upon you. I have read your letter and understood its contents, and what you are calling for. I already know that the coming of a Prophet is still due, but I used to believe he would be born in Syria. I am sending you as presents two maids, who come from noble Coptic families, clothing and a steed for riding on. Peace be upon you.”

It is noteworthy that Muqawqas did not avail himself of this priceless opportunity and he did not embrace Islam.

Note the tone of the Prophet (SAW) and the way he took an initiative to settle differences with those of other religions. It is absolutely imperative for us to take a leaf out of the Prophet’s book when we set out to do the same, rather than adopt a derogatory and superior tone and only push others away from us.