The King of Yemen and the Last Prophet (s)

When he people of Medina heard that Prophet Muhammad (s) was coming to Medina from Makkah on his Hijra, they started making preparations to welcome him. The inhabitants decorated their houses and cleaned the streets. Each of them wanted Prophet (s) to be welcomed into and grace his house. The Prophet (s), to overcome this problem, came up with a proposal that he would let loose the reins of his camel. He would stay at the house outside which the camel would come to a halt and sit down.

The camel was let loose. It went down the streets and stopped outside the house which the King of Yemen had built for Prophet Muhammad (s). Prophet (s) and the people came to this house. Abū Laila was then asked to bring the letter which he had for safe-keeping. Abū Laila appeared before Prophet (s) with the letter which had been passed down from generation to generation over a thousand years from King Tab’a Awwal Hamirī.

Prophet Muhammad (s), seeing Abū Laila approaching him, asked him, “Are you Abū Laila?” Abū Laila was stunned, having his name mentioned by the Holy Prophet (s). He was surprised that the Holy Prophet (s) had just arrived from Makkah but knew his name. Prophet Muhammad (s) then said, “I am Muhammad Rasūl Allah (s). I will have the King of Yemen’s letter that you have for me.” Prophet Muhammad (s) then looked at the letter and said, “Congratulations to my pious servant Tab’a Awwal Hamirī.”

The letter from King Hamirī stated, “O Prophet of Allah, I pledge my faith in you and in the Book that will be revealed to you and I follow the path of your religion. If I am fortunate to see you, it will be with great pleasure. However, if this is not possible, I would request that you intercede for me and not to forget me on the Day of Judgment. I believe in your Prophethood. I seek your ba`yat (pledge of allegiance) in advance of your arrival. I swear that there is only one Allah and Muhammad (s) is his true Prophet.” (Mīzānul Adyān)


Note: The mention of  the Prophet Muhammad (s), dhikr and gatherings in a majlis have been held in the past and will continue in the future. The fortunate have been able to receive the blessings of such gatherings (fā’id). This article shows the Prophet (s) had knowledge of the past as well as of the future.

It is worth noting that the King had made Prophet (s) a wasīla and looked forward to intercession from the Prophet (s) on the Day of Judgment and the Prophet (s) congratulated him for his faith.

We also learn that to decorate houses and celebrate his birth is the Sunnah of the Sahabas and to have processions, decorate houses and streets as we do today is not a bid’a.


Peace and Blessings upon the Prophet, his Family, and his Companions

© 2012 As-Sunnah Foundation of America

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