The Quran

Material on the Authenticity of the Qur’an & Allah
A Thoughtful Inquiry

Furthermore the Prophet displayed numerous qualities which Heraculus, the Byzantine Roman Emperor, recognized as indicating that Muhammad was indeed the Prophet who they (the Christians) had been expecting as the following narration shows:

"Abdullah ibn Abbas reported that Abu Sufyan bin Harb informed me that Heraculus had sent a messenger to him while he had been accompanying a caravan from Quraish. They were merchants doing business in Sham (i.e. Syria, Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan), and at the time when Allah’s messenger had a truce with Abu Sufyan and the idolatrous Quraish. So Abu Sufyan and his companions went to Heraculus at Ilya (Jerusalem). Heraclius called them in the court and he had all his dignitaries around him. He called for his translator who, translating Heraculus’s question, said to them: "Who amongst you is closely related to that man who claims to be a Prophet?" Abu Sufyan replied, "I am the nearest relative to him." Heraclius said, "Bring him close to me and make his companions stand behind him." Heraclius told his translator to tell Abu Sufyan’s companions that he wanted to put some questions to me regarding that man and that if I told a lie they should contradict me. Abu Sufyan added, "By Allah, had I not been afraid of my companions labelling me a liar, I would not have spoken the truth about the Prophet.” The first question he asked me about him was: "What is his family status amongst you?" I replied, "He belongs to a noble family amongst us." Heraclius further asked, "Has anybody else amongst you ever claimed the same before him?" I replied, "No!" He said, "Was anybody amongst his ancestors a king?" I replied "No!" Heraclius asked, "Do the nobles or the poor follow him?" I replied, "It is the poor who follow him." He said, "Are his followers increasing or decreasing?" I replied, "They are increasing." He then asked, "Does anybody amongst those who embrace his religion become displeased and renounce the religion afterwards?" I replied, "No!" Heraclius said, "Have you ever accused him of telling lies before his claim?" I replied, "No!" Heraclius said, "Does he break his promises?" I replied, "No. We are at truce with him, but we do not know what he will do in it." I could not find opportunity to say anything against him except that Heraclius asked, "Have you ever had a war with him?" I replied, "Yes." Then he said, "What was the outcome of the battles?" I replied, "Sometimes he was victorious and sometimes we." Heraclius said, "What does he order you to do?" I said, "He tells us to worship Allah, and Allah alone, and not to worship anything along with Him, and to renounce all that our ancestors had said. He orders us to pray, to speak the truth, to be chaste and to keep good relations with our kith and kin." Heraclius asked the translator to convey to me the following, "I asked you about his family and your reply was that he belonged to a very noble family. In fact all the Prophets come from noble families amongst their respective peoples. I questioned you whether anybody else amongst you claimed such a thing, your reply was in the negative. If the answer had been in the affirmative, I would have suspected that this man was following the previous mans statement. Then I asked you whether anyone of his ancestors was a king. Your reply was in the negative, and if it had been in the affirmative, I would have thought that this man wanted to take back his kingdom. I further asked whether he was ever accused of telling lies before he said what he said, and your reply was in the negative. So I wondered how a person who does not tell a lie about others could ever tell a lie about Allah. I then asked you whether the rich people or the poor followed him. You replied that it was the poor who followed him. And in fact all the Prophets have been followed by this very class of people. Then I asked you whether his followers were increasing or decreasing. You replied that they were increasing, and in fact this is the way of true faith, until it is complete in all respects. I further asked you if there was anybody, who after embracing his religion, became displeased and discarded his religion. Your reply was in the negative, and in fact this is the sign of true faith, when its delight enters the hearts and mixes with them completely. I asked whether he had ever betrayed. You replied in the negative and likewise the Prophets never betray. Then I asked you what he ordered you to do. You replied that he ordered you to worship Allah and Allah alone and not to worship any thing along with Him and forbade you to worship idols and ordered you to pray, to speak the truth and not to commit illegal fornication. If what you said is true, he will very soon occupy this place underneath my feet and I knew it from the scriptures that he was going to appear, but I did not know that he would be from you, and if I could reach him definitely, I would go immediately to meet him and if I were with him, I would certainly wash his feet."
Heraclius then asked for the letter addressed by the Allah’s Messenger which was delivered by Dihya to the Governor of Bura, who forwarded it to Heraclius to read. The contents of the letter were as follows:

"In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. From Muhammad, the slave of Allah and his Messenger to Heraclius the ruler of Byzantines. Peace be upon him who follows the right path. Furthermore I invite you to Islam, and if you become a Muslim you will be safe, and Allah will double your reward, and if you reject this invitation you will be committing a sin by misguiding your peasants: "O People of the Scripture! Come to a word common to you and us that we worship none but Allah and that we associate nothing in worship with Him, and that none of us shall take others as Lords beside Allah. Then, if they turn away, say: Bear witness that we are Muslims (i.e. those who surrendered to will of Allah)."
Abu Sufyan then added, "When Heraclius had finished his speech and had read the letter there was a great hue and cry in the royal court. So we were turned out of the court. I told my companions that the issue of Ibn Abi-Kabsha (a derogatory nick name for the Prophet) has become so prominent that even the King of the Byzantines is afraid of him. then I started to become sure that he would be the conqueror in the near future until I embraced Islam.” The sub-narrator adds: "Ibn An-Natur was the governor of Jerusalem and Heraclius was visiting Jerusalem, he got up in the morning in a sad mood. Some of his priests asked him why he was in that mood? Heraclius was a foreteller and an astrologer . He replied, "At night when I looked at the stars, I saw that the leader of those who practice circumcision had appeared. Who are they who practice circumcision?" The people replied, "Except the Jews nobody practices circumcision, so you should not be afraid of them. Just issue orders to kill every Jew present in the country." While they were discussing it, a messenger sent by the king of Ghassan to convey the news of Allah’s Messenger to Heraclius was brought in. Having heard the news, he ordered the people to go and see whether the messenger of Ghassan was circumcised. The people, after seeing him, told Heraclius that he was circumcised. Heraclius then asked him about the Arabs. The messenger replied, "Arabs also practice circumcision." After hearing that Heraclius remarked that sovereignty of the Arabs had appeared. Heraclius then left for Homs and stayed there until he received the reply of his letter from his friend who agreed with him in his opinion about the emergence of the Prophet and the fact that he was a Prophet. On that Heraclius invited all the heads of the Byzantines to assemble in his palace at Homs. When they assembled, he ordered that all the doors of his palace be closed. Then he came out and said, "O Byzantines! If success is your desire and if you seek right guidance and want your Empire to remain then give a pledge of allegiance to this Prophet!" On hearing this the people ran towards the gates of the palace like onagers but found the doors closed. Heraclius realised their hatred towards Islam and when he lost hope of their embracing Islam, he ordered that they should be brought back in audience. He said: "What I just said was to test the strength of your conviction and I have seen it." The people prostrated before him and became pleased with him, and this was the end of Heraculus’s story (in connection with his faith).

Another Inquiring Mind
Heraclius was not the only ruler to recognize the Prophethood of Muhammad. Negus, the ruler of, Abyssinia, similarly recognised the message of Islam and the words of Qur’an as being of divine origin when he questioned the Muslims who had emigrated to escape the tortures and oppression of the pagan Quraish. The Prophet’s claim is given added weight by numerous Christian and Jewish scholars, both in Muhammad’s time, and afterwards who recognised him as the final messenger foretold in their scriptures. The case of Heraculus has already been mentioned. Bahira, the monk whom some Orientalists have vainly tried to suggest was the teacher of Muhammad, recognised the signs of Prophethood on him whilst Muhammad was a boy accompanying his uncle Abu Talib’s caravan to Syria, as did Waraqa, one of the few Christians in Mecca, who had translated some parts of the Christian scriptures into Arabic, who was the cousin of Muhammad’s wife Khadija. Indeed, after the Prophet had received the first revelation, he went to this same Waraqa, who said “Surely, by Him in whose hand is Waraqa’s soul, thou art the Prophet of these people. There has come unto you the greatest angel, who came unto Moses. You will be called a liar, and they will use you despitefully, and cast you out and fight against you.” Al Jurud ibn Ak Ala, a Christian scholar and ruler of his people came to visit the Prophet and said: “By Allah you have come with the truth, and have spoken truly, as a Prophet I have found your description in the Gospel, and the son of the Virgin has announced your coming.” Al Jurud then accepted Islam along with his people. Also Muqauqas, the King of the Copts, in his response to the letter sent to him by the Prophet inviting him to Islam wrote: “I have read your message and have understood what you have mentioned in it, and what you are calling to. I have known that a Prophet would be sent and thought that he would appear in Sham, and I have honoured your messenger.”