The National Archives introduces a phase from the history of the Emirates and the Gulf Region in its New Publication: The Letters of the Prophet

The National Archives introduces a phase from the history of the Emirates and the Gulf Region in its New Publication: The Letters of the Prophet

In the framework of the National Archives’ interest to document the memory of the Nation, and as it focuses on the history of the UAE in particular and the Arabian Peninsula in general; the National Archives publishes a new book: Ras’el Al Rasoul: wa Mawfadouh ela Mulouk Al-Khaleej wa shibh Aljazeera Al-Arabiya: Bahrain wa Al- Yamamah wa Oman (The Letters of the Prophet, His Emissaries to the Kings of the Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula: Bahrain, Al Yamamah and Oman). The publication of the book, which depicts the region before and after the emergence of Islam, coincides with Muslims’ celebration of the miracle of Isra wal Mi’raj with which Allah honored Prophet Mohamed (pbuh).

These letters reveal the importance of the Gulf in the past as well as in the modern time; this study sheds light on the prevailing historic, social, political and religious conditions in the Arabian Gulf states. The book divides these letters according to the regions to which Prophet Mohamed (pbuh) sent his emissaries and his letters denoting that all sources agreed that the first emissaries were: Dihyah ibn Khalifa Alkalbi who was appointed as emissary to Heraclius, Abd Allah ibn Hudafa Al Salmi to Chosroes, Hatib Ibn Abi Balta’a to Muqawqis, the governor of Alexandria, Shuja’ ibn Wahb Alasadi to al-Harith ibn Abi Shimr, the Ghassanid King, Amr Ibn al-As to Oman, Al-alla’ Ibn Al-Hadrami to Bahrain and Salit ibn Amr Alameri to the chief of Al- Yamamah, in addition to other emissaries to other regions.

The first chapter of the book focuses on the historic significance of the Arabian Gulf indicating that the importance of the Gulf states is derived from the economic and commercial importance of the Arabian Gulf in the first place. It has been a means of communication between the East and the West where the civilizations interacted. It makes the other sea passage together with the Red Sea, which is similarly important economically and strategically; both run as a link between Europe and the East.

The second chapter deals with the Arabian Gulf in the eyes of the old geographers and chroniclers who gave the Gulf coast two names: Al-Khatt and Bahrain. “Mu’jam Al-Buldan” shows that the villages of Al-Khatt are Al Qatif, Oqair and Qatar to which hollowed spears were brought from India then sold to the Arabs after being straightened. The book shows some of the countries cited by geographers in their books and maps, such as: Al-Ahsa, Baynounah, Julfar, Dibba, and Sohar, which is known as the capital of Oman during the blessed prophetic mission, Arab geographers frequently mentioned Al-Yamamah, Oman and its most prominent cities.

The third chapter examined the pre-Islamic religions in the Gulf. The letters that the prophet exchanged with the Gulf kings and rulers of that period reveal that paganism in addition to Zoroastrianism, Christianity and Judaism were practiced in the Gulf states and the Arabian Peninsula.

The fourth chapter deals with the Prophet’s letters. It started with Bahrain and the first letter that the Prophet addressed to Al-Mundhir ibn Sawa, who turned to Islam then. The book displays the text of the letter as cited by other resources. The second letter of the Prophet was addressed to Al-Akbar ibn Abd Al-Qais, who is thought to be Al-Mundhir ibn Sawa himself, in order to confirm the Prophet’s appointing of Al-Ala’ ibn Al-Hadrami as ruler of Bahrain.

The third letter of the Prophet is directed to Al-ala’ Al-Hadrami to collect tribute and charity. The fourth letter of the prophet is addressed to Al-Mundhir ibn Sawa regarding the characteristics of a Muslim. The fifth correspondence was directed to the Zoroastrians of Hajr inviting them to turn to Islam and the sixth one is also to people of Hajr. The seventh letter is to Al-Mundhir ibn Sawa after the vague incidents, which led to Al-ala’ Al-Hadrami’s dismissal. The ninth letter is sent to Bahrain’s Al-Hilal, a leader who is not mentioned in Arab history books. The tenth letter is sent to Hajr’s Aseebkht ibn Abd Allah in reply to his earlier letter to the Prophet, which was delivered by Al-Akra’a. In this letter, the Prophet assigned Al-Akra’a in charge of charity in the region. The eleventh letter is an announcement to the people of Bahrain declaring that they would retain their possessions if they prayed, paid charity and did not raise their children as Zoroastrians. The twelfth letter is to Abd Al-Qais and his entourage in Bahrain urging them to obey Allah and His Prophet.

On the other hand, the book deals with the Prophet’s letter to Al-Yamamah, which is considered part of Najd and is called “Jada”. The Prophet assigned Salit ibn Amr ibn Abd Shams Al-Amri as his emissary and ambassador to and he delivered the prophet’s first letter to Hawdha ibn Ali in Al-Yamamah. The book depicts the exchange between Salit and King Hawdha. The Prophet’s second letter was to Musailma Kazzab while his third was to Muja’a ibn Marara ibn Salma who was one of Al-Yamamah’s outstanding leaders and the Prophet allocated him some lands, which are Al-Ghoura and Gharabat Al-Jabal.

The book shifts to the Prophet’s letters to Oman as the Prophet (pbuh) addressed his letters to Jifer and Abd ibn Al-Jalandi urging them to turn to Islam. He also sent letter to Al-Asbizheen, kings of Jordan who followed Islam later, and to Bani Ghamad, Chiefs of Al-Azd, the Bareq tribe and to Sahar, which was the capital at that time.

The conclusion of the book tackles the period that followed the Prophet’s death and the most prominent events that took place during the reign of Caliphs: Abu Bakr and Umar.

The book derives its information from a large number of references including, but not limited to, the following: Al Kamil Fi Al-Tarikh, Al Tabaqat Al-Kubra, Al Sira Al-Nabawiya, Tarikh Al-Rusul wa Al-Muluk, Futuh Al-Buldan, Oman fi Fajr Al-Islam, Muqaddimah Fi Tarikh Al-Hadarat, Tohfat Al-Aayan besirat Ahl Oman, Nasha’at Al-Dawla Al-Islamiyya Al-Haditha, Kitab Al-Ansab, Makateeb Al-Rasool, Ahsan Al-Takasim fi Ma’erfat Al-Akalim, Islam Al-Saelin, Al-Ala’a ibn Al-Hadhrami, Kitab Al-Kharaj, Majmou’at Al-Wathek Al-Syasya Lil Ahd Al-Nabawi wa Al-Calipha Al-Rashida, Mu’jam Al-Buldan, and Al-Musfassal fi Tarikh Al-Arab Qabl Al-Islam.