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 Hadith about Najran Christians praying in the masjid

Did prophet (saw) give permission for a group of Christians to do their prayer in the mosque. Is there a hadith narrating this? What is the authenticity of the hadith?

Answer:

The visit of Najran Christians is mentioned in the authentic hadith books

The event that a delegation of Christians from Najran (in Yemen) came to Madina to discuss a matter with Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and asked him about Prophet Isa is mentioned in the following hadiths that are authentic:

“Hudhaifa reported that the people of najran came to Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) and said: Allah's Messenger, send along with us a man of trust; whereupon he said: I would definitely send to you a man of trust, a man of trust in the true sense of the term. Thereupon his Companions looked up eagerly and he sent Abu Ubaida b. Jarrah.”  (Abu Dawood: 31: 5949; Muslim: 31: 5949)

“Narrated Hudhaifa: Al-'Aqib and Saiyid, the rulers of najran, came to Allah's Apostle with the intention of doing Lian one of them said to the other, "Do not do (this Lian) for, by Allah, if he is a Prophet and we do this Lian, neither we, nor our offspring after us will be successful." Then both of them said (to the Prophet ), "We will give what you should ask but you should send a trustworthy man with us, and do not send any person with us but an honest one." The Prophet said, "I will send an honest man who Is really trustworthy." Then every one of the companions of Allah's Apostle wished to be that one. Then the Prophet said, "Get up, O Abu 'Ubaida bin Al-Jarrah." When he got up, Allah's Apostle said, "This is the Trustworthy man of this (Muslim) nation."  (Bukhari: 59: 663)

 

Nevertheless, the event that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) allowed them worship in the masjid during this visit is not mentioned in the hadiths; however it is cited in various tafseer books such as al Jamiu li Ahkam al Quran (Imam Qurtubi), Tafser Ibn Kather, Tafseer al Munir (Wahba al Zuhayli); in the explanation section of Kutub al Sitta and many Islamic books as a quote from the famous book “Al Sirah Al Nabawiyyah” by Muhammad bin Ishaq as a narration from Muhammad bin Jafar bin az Zubayr.

 

The visit of the Najran is cited in the interpretation of the 1- 61 verses of Surah Al-I Imran in tafseer books. We would like to quote the interpretation of the 61th verse of Surah Al-I Imran in Ibn Kather Tafseer:

“The reason for the call to Mubahalah and the revelation of the Ayat from the beginning of this Surah (Surah al-I Imran) until here (61th verse), is that a delegation from the Christians of Najran (in Yemen) came to Al-Madinah to argue about `Isa, claiming that he was divine and the son of Allah. Allah sent down the beginning of this Surah until here, to refute their claims, as Imam Muhammad bin Ishaq bin Yasar and other scholars stated.

 

Muhammad bin Ishaq bin Yasar said in his famous Sirah, "The delegation of Christians from Najran came to the Messenger of Allah . The delegation consisted of sixty horsemen, including fourteen of their chiefs who make decisions. These men were Al-`Aqib, also known as `Abdul-Masih, As-Sayyid, also known as Al-Ayham, Abu Harithah bin `Alqamah, of ﴿the family of﴾ Bakr bin Wa`il and Uways bin Al-Harith. They also included, Zayd, Qays, Yazid, Nabih, Khuwaylid, `Amr, Khalid, `Abdullah and Yuhannas. Three of these men were chiefs of this delegation, Al-`Aqib, their leader and to whom they referred for advice and decision; As-Sayyid, their scholar and leader in journeys and social gatherings; and Abu Harithah bin `Alqamah, their patriarch, priest and religious leader. Abu Harithah was an Arab man from ﴿the family of﴾ Bakr bin Wa`il, but when he embraced Christianity, the Romans and their kings honored him and built churches for him (or in his honor). They also supported him financially and gave him servants, because they knew how firm his faith in their religion was.'' Abu Harithah knew the description of the Messenger of Allah from what he read in earlier divine Books. However, his otherwise ignorance led him to insist on remaining a Christian, because he was honored and had a high position with the Christians.

 Ibn Ishaq said, "Muhammad bin Ja`far bin Az-Zubayr said that, `The (Najran) delegation came to the Messenger of Allah in Al-Madinah, entered his Masjid wearing robes and garments, after the Prophet had prayed the `Asr prayer. They accompanied a caravan of camels led by Bani Al-Harith bin Ka`b. The Companions of the Messenger of Allah who saw them said that they never saw a delegation like them after that. When their worship time came, they stood up to perform their worship in the Prophet’s Masjid. Messenger of Allah said: “Let them (worship)” and they prayed towards east.

Then Abu Harithah bin `Alqamah and Al-`Aqib `Abdul-Masih or As-Sayyid Al-Ayham spoke to the Messenger of Allah , and they were Christians like the king (Roman King).  However, they disagreed about `Isa; some of them said, `He is Allah,' while some said, `He is the son of Allah,' and some others said, `He is one of a trinity.' Allah is far from what they attribute to Him.''….

 

… The Companions of the Messenger of Allah who saw them said that they never saw a delegation like them after that. When it was time for their prayers, they stood up and worshiped towards east. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “Do not touch them.” ….  (Al Jamiu li Ahkam al Quran, Imam Qurtubi)

… Meanwhile, since it was time for their prayers, they stood up to pray in Masjid al Saadah. Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: “let them pray.” They prayed heading east…

(Haq Dini Quran Dili, Elmalili Hamdi Yazir) Kaynak: https://askaquestionto.us - Hadith about Najran Christians praying in the masjid

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