Invitation to Islam Prior to Jihad
This article or section is being renovated.
The practice of inviting non-Muslim nations to join Islam or pay the Jizyah prior to engaging in offensive Jihad ultimately derives from Quran 9:29, and traditionally was first initiated by the Prophet Muhammad. His example was then followed by the Rightly-Guided Caliphs and the leaders of Islamic empires, codified within the Islamic Shari'ah and is today implemented by various Islamist leaders and terrorist organizations. A number of letters of this nature are purported to have been authored by Muhammad to the leaders of various nations before they succumbed to Islamic conquest. They are recorded in various literary sources. Professor Sean Anthony suggests that the Heraclius letter served as a model that expanded the prophetic letter topos to include other rulers. The purported letter to Heraclius itself is narrated by al-Zuhri and includes a word distinctive of Christian Palestinian Aramaic. Anthony suggests that al-Zuhri's source text did not include the orginal letter, if it ever existed. A source external to the Islamic tradition, the Armenian historian Pseudo-Sebeos in the 660s CE mentions a letter sent from "the Ismaelites" to Heraclius. Manuscripts purported to be the original letters sent by Muhammad are known to be forgeries.
The Ishmaelites to Heraclius
Drawing from what he says is a Palestinian source, an Armenian historian known as Pseudo-Sebeos writing in the 660s CE mentions a letter sent from the Ishmaelites to Heraclius. The text of the letter as he records it is given below.
Letter to Heraclius (هرقل), the Eastern Roman Emperor in Constantinople
O people of the Scriptures! Come to a word common to you and us and you, 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 besides Allah. Then if they turn away, say: Bear witness that we are (they who have surrendered (unto Him)..(3.64)
Letter to the Christians of Aylah (أيلة)
After hearing rumors that the Romans had gathered at the border of the Byzantine Empire and northern Arabia, Muhammad led his army to engage them in battle. However, upon reaching Tabuk the rumors proved themselves to be false. With nothing remaining to do, he sent a detachment to the Christians and Jews east of Tabuk with a letter.
Letter to Negus, King of Abyssinia
"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 Allâh, and that we associate no partners with Him, and that none of us shall take others as lords besides Allâh.’ Then, if they turn away, say: ‘Bear witness that we are Muslims.’ " [The Noble Qur'an 3:64]Should you reject this invitation, then you will be held responsible for all the evils of the Christians of your people.
Letter to Muqawqas (المقوقس), the Vicegerent of Egypt
From Muhammad slave of Allâh 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 (أسلم تسلم,aslim taslam). If you accept Islam, Allâh, 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 Allâh, and that we associate no partners with Him, and that none of us shall take others as lords besides Allâh.’ Then, if they turn away, say: ‘Bear witness that we are Muslims.’ " [Al-Qur'an 3:64]
Letter to Chosroes (كسرى), Emperor of Persia
From Muhammad, the Messenger of Allâh to Chosroes, king of Persia.Peace be upon him who follows true guidance, believes in Allâh and His Messenger and testifies that there is no god but Allâh Alone with no associate, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger. I invite you to accept the religion of Allâh. I am the Messenger of Allâh sent to all people in order that I may infuse fear of Allâh in every living person, and that the charge may be proved against those who reject the Truth. Accept Islam as your religion so that you may live in security (فأسلم تسلم, fa aslim taslam), otherwise, you will be responsible for all the sins of the Magians.
Letter to Haudha bin ‘Ali, Governor of Yamama
From Muhammad, Messenger of Allâh to Haudha bin ‘Ali.Peace be upon him who follows true guidance. Be informed that my religion shall prevail everywhere. You should accept Islam, and whatever under your command shall remain yours.
Letter to to Harith bin Abi Shamir Al-Ghassani, King of Damascus
From Muhammad, Messenger of Allâh to Al-Harith bin Abi Shamir.Peace be upon him who follows true guidance, believes in it and regards it as true. I invite you to believe in Allâh Alone with no associate, thenceafter your kingdom will remain yours.
Letter to the King of ‘Oman, Jaifer, and his brother ‘Abd Al-Jalandi
From Muhammad bin ‘Abdullah to Jaifer and ‘Abd Al-Jalandi.Peace be upon him who follows true guidance; thereafter I invite both of you to the Call of Islam. Embrace Islam. Allâh has sent me as a Prophet to all His creatures in order that I may instil fear of Allâh in the hearts of His disobedient creatures so that there may be left no excuse for those who deny Allâh. If you two accept Islam, you will remain in command of your country; but if you refuse my Call, you’ve got to remember that all your possessions are perishable. My horsemen will appropriate your land, and my Prophethood will assume preponderance over your kingship.
Caliph Abu Bakr As-Siddiq to Khosru, the Persian Commander
636 AD, at the Battle of Qadisiyya, the commander of the Muslim forces, Khalid ibn Al-Walid, sent an emissary with a message from Caliph Abu Bakr to the Persian commander, Khosru.
Caliph Umar Ibn Al-Khatab's letter to Yazdgird III, the King of Persia
Copy of communications between Sassanian Yazdgird III (632 AD - 651 AD) and Umar Ibn Al Khatab Khalifat Al Muslemin, after the battle of Ghadesiyeh. The original copy of this letter from Yazdgird III is kept in the British museum of London. The date in which this letter has been written is after the battle of Ghadesiyeh.
From: Umar Ibn Al Khatab Khalifat Al Muslemin
To: Yazdgird III Shahanshah of Persian Empire
We bring you and the world his message, he who is the true God. Stop your Fire Worship, command your nation to stop their Fire Worship which is false; join us by joining the truth. Worship Allah the only true God, The creator of universe. Worship to Allah and accept Islam as your salvation. End your Pagan ways and your false worships now and bring Islam so you can accept Allah as your savior. By doing so, you will find the only way to your survival and peace for Persians. If you know what is best for Ajam (Arabic term for Persians meaning Retarded & Weird), you will choose this path. Bei'at is the only way.
Allah O Akbar
Sign, Khalifat Al Muslemin
Omar Ibn Al Khatab
From: Shahanshah of Persian Empire, Yazdgird III Sassanid
To: Umar Ibn Al Khatab, Khalifat of Tazi (Persian term for Arabs)
But we are not the same as you; we are not in the same level as you. We help other human being, we spread love among humanity, we spread Good throughout the Earth, we have been spreading our culture but in respect for other cultures throughout the whole world for thousands of years, yet you in the name of Allah invade other men's land! You mass murder the people, create famine, fear and poverty for others, you create Evil in the name of Allah. Who is responsible for this entire catastrophe? Is it Allah who commands you to murder, pillage and to destroy? Is it you the followers of Allah who do this in his name? Or is it both? You have risen from heat of the deserts and burnt out infertile lands with no resources, you want to teach people the love of God by your military campaigns and the power of your Swords! You are Desert Savages, yet you want to teach Urban people like us who lived in the cities for thousands of years, the love of God! We have thousands of years of culture behind us, a powerful tool indeed!
Tell us? With all your military campaigns, barbarianism, murder and pillage in the name of Allah, what have you taught to this Muslim Army? What knowledge have you taught the Muslim that you also insist on teaching it to non Muslim? What culture have you learned from our Allah, now that you want to force-teach it to others? Alas, ...... that today our Persian Armies of Ahura have been defeated from your recently Allah Worshiping Armies; Now, our people have to worship the same God, the same Five times a day, but forced by the sword to call him Allah and pray to him in Arabic because your Allah only understands Arabic I suggest, you and your gang of bandits pack up and move back to your deserts where they are used to live. Take them back where they used to the burning heat of the sun, tribal life, eating Lizards and drinking Camel Milk. I forbid you to let your band of thieves loose in our fertile lands, civilized cities and our glorious nation. Don't turn these "beasts with hearts of stone" loose, to mass murder our people, kidnap our women and children, rape our wives and send our daughters to Mecca as slaves! Don't let them do these crimes in the name of Allah put a stop to your criminal behavior. Aryans are forgiving, warm, hospitable, and decent people and everywhere they went, they have spread seeds of friendship, love, knowledge and truth; therefore, they shall not punish you and your people for your pirate ways and criminal acts. I beg you to remain with your Allah in your deserts and do not move close to our civilized cities, for your believers are "Much Fearful" and your behavior is "Most Barbaric."
Yazdgird III Sassanid
Caliph Umar Ibn Al-Khatab during the conquest of Al-Basrah
Letter of the Zaporozhian Cossacks of Ukraine replying to the Sultan of Turkey
A Letter written in the 1660s in response to a letter from Sultan Mohammed IV of the Turkish Empire demanding the Cossacks of Ukraine to voluntarily accept Turkish rule.
Brother and companion to the accursed Devil, and Secretary to Lucifer himself, Greetings!
What the hell kind of noble knight art thou? Satan voids and thy army devours. Never wilt thou be fit to have the sons of Christ under thee. Thy army we fear not, and by land and by sea in our chaikas we will do battle against thee.
Thou scullion of Babylon, thou beer-brewer of Jerusalem, thou goat-thief of Alexandria, thou swineherd of Egypt (both the Greater and the Lesser), thou Armenian pig and Tartar goat. Thou hangman of Kamyanets, thou evildoer of Podolia, thou great silly oaf of all the world and of the netherworld and, before our God, a blockhead, a swine's snout, a mare's ass, and clown of Hades. May the devil take thee!
That is what the Cossacks have to say to thee, thou basest born of runts! Unfit art thou to lord it over true Christians!
The date we know not, for no calender have we got. The moon (month) is in the sky, the year is in a book, and the day is the same with us here as with ye over there - and thou can kiss us thou knowest where!
and all the Zaparozhian Cossack Brotherhood
Koshoviy Otaman Ivan Sirko
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's letter to the President of the United States
On May 9, 2006, the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sent an 18 page letter to George W. Bush, the President of the United States, via the Swiss embassy in Tehran.
Do you not think that if all of us come to believe in and abide by these principles, that is, monotheism, worship of God, justice, respect for the dignity of man, belief in the Last Day, we can overcome the present problems of the world -- that are the result of disobedience to the Almighty and the teachings of prophets – and improve our performance? Do you not think that belief in these principles promotes and guarantees peace, friendship and justice?
Do you not think that the aforementioned written or unwritten principles are universally respected?
Will you not accept this invitation? That is, a genuine return to the teachings of prophets, to monotheism and justice, to preserve human dignity and obedience to the Almighty and His prophets?
History tells us that repressive and cruel governments do not survive. God has entrusted the fate of men to them. The Almighty has not left the universe and humanity to their own devices.
. . .
The people of many countries are angry about the attacks on their cultural foundations and the disintegration of families. They are equally dismayed with the fading of care and compassion. The people of the world have no faith in international organizations, because their rights are not advocated by these organizations.
Liberalism and Western style democracy have not been able to help realize the ideals of humanity. Today these two concepts have failed. Those with insight can already hear the sounds of the shattering and fall of the ideology and thoughts of the Liberal democratic systems.
We increasingly see that people around the world are flocking towards a main focal point -- that is the Almighty God. Undoubtedly through faith in God and the teachings of the prophets, the people will conquer their problems. My question for you is: “Do you not want to join them?”
Mr. President, Whether we like it or not, the world is gravitating towards faith in the Almighty and justice and the will of God will prevail over all things.Vasalam Ala Man Ataba’al hoda
President of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Adam Yahiye Gadahn shortly before the fifth anniversary of 9/11
Adam Yahiye Gadahn, a senior operative, cultural interpreter, spokesman and media advisor for Al-Qaeda, released a video titled "Invitation to Islam" on September 2, 2006, shortly before the 5th anniversary of September 11.
. . .
To Americans and the rest of Christendom we say, either repent (your) misguided ways and enter into the light of truth or keep your poison to yourself and suffer the consequences in this world and the next
. . .
Osama Bin Laden's "letter to America"
The letter to America is a 4,000-word document written by Osama bin Laden in 2002. It first appeared on the internet in Arabic on a Saudi Arabian website, and has since been translated and posted on Islamic websites run from the United Kingdom.
1) The first thing that we are calling you to is Islam.
a) The religion of the Unification of God; of freedom from associating partners with Him, and rejection of this; of complete love of Him, the Exalted; of complete submission to His Laws; and of the discarding of all the opinions, orders, theories and religions which contradict with the religion He sent down to His Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Islam is the religion of all the prophets, and makes no distinction between them - peace be upon them all. It is to this religion that we call you; the seal of all the previous religions. It is the religion of Unification of God, sincerity, the best of manners, righteousness, mercy, honour, purity, and piety. It is the religion of showing kindness to others, establishing justice between them, granting them their rights, and defending the oppressed and the persecuted. It is the religion of enjoining the good and forbidding the evil with the hand, tongue and heart. It is the religion of Jihad in the way of Allah so that Allah's Word and religion reign Supreme. And it is the religion of unity and agreement on the obedience to Allah, and total equality between all people, without regarding their colour, sex, or language.
b) It is the religion whose book - the Quran - will remained preserved and unchanged, after the other Divine books and messages have been changed. The Quran is the miracle until the Day of Judgement. Allah has challenged anyone to bring a book like the Quran or even ten verses like it.
2) The second thing we call you to, is to stop your oppression, lies, immorality and debauchery that has spread among you.
a) We call you to be a people of manners, principles, honour, and purity; to reject the immoral acts of fornication, homosexuality, intoxicants, gamblings, and trading with interest. We call you to all of this that you may be freed from that which you have become caught up in; that you may be freed from the deceptive lies that you are a great nation, that your leaders spread amongst you to conceal from you the despicable state to which you have reached.
b) It is saddening to tell you that you are the worst civilization witnessed by the history of mankind:
i) You are the nation who, rather than ruling by the Shariah of Allah in its Constitution and Laws, choose to invent your own laws as you will and desire. You separate religion from your policies, contradicting the pure nature which affirms Absolute Authority to the Lord and your Creator. You flee from the embarrassing question posed to you: How is it possible for Allah the Almighty to create His creation, grant them power over all the creatures and land, grant them all the amenities of life, and then deny them that which they are most in need of: knowledge of the laws which govern their lives?
. . .
If you fail to respond to all these conditions, then prepare for fight with the Islamic Nation. The Nation of Monotheism, that puts complete trust on Allah and fears none other than Him. The Nation which is addressed by its Quran with the words: Do you fear them? Allah has more right that you should fear Him if you are believers. Fight against them so that Allah will punish them by your hands and disgrace them and give you victory over them and heal the breasts of believing people. And remove the anger of their hearts. Allah accepts the repentance of whom He wills. Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise. Quran 9:13-1
. . .
If the Americans refuse to listen to our advice and the goodness, guidance and righteousness that we call them to, then be aware that you will lose this Crusade Bush began, just like the other previous Crusades in which you were humiliated by the hands of the Mujahideen, fleeing to your home in great silence and disgrace. If the Americans do not respond, then their fate will be that of the Soviets who fled from Afghanistan to deal with their military defeat, political breakup, ideological downfall, and economic bankruptcy.
Abubakar Shekau's address to the President of Nigeria
Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the terrorist organization Boko Haram, released a video in August 2012 urging Goodluck Jonathan, Nigeria’s Christian president, to convert to Islam.
- Ahmad Ibn Lulu Ibn Al-Naqib, translated by Noah Ha Mim Keller - Reliance of the Traveller: The Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law Umdat Al-Salik (o9.0-8) - Published by Amana Corporation; Revised edition (July 1, 1997), ISBN-13: 978-0915957729
- Sean Anthony, Muhammad and the Empires of Faith: The making of the Prophet of Islam, Oakland CA: University of California, 2020, pp. 194-6
- See this Twitter thread by Dr Marijn van Putten. Twitter.com 8 April 2019 (archive)
- Khan, Dr. Majid Ali (1998). Muhammad The Final Messenger. Islamic Book Service, New Delhi, 110002 (India). ISBN 81-85738-25-4
- Translation by R. W. Thomas cited in Sean Anthony, Muhammad and the Empires of Faith p. 196
- M. Muhsin Khan (Translator) - Sahih Bukhari Volume 4, Book 52, Fighting for the Cause of Allah (Jihaad), Number 191 - USC-MSA, Compendium of Muslim Texts
- Muir, Sir William. (1878). The life of Mahomet. (p. 456). London: Smith, Elder & Co
- Mubarakpuri, Saifur Rahman Al, The sealed nectar: biography of the Noble Prophet, Darussalam Publications, ISBN 9960899551, 2005, http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=r_80rJHIaOMC&pg=PA412&dq=The+letters+of+the+Prophet+Muhammad+to+the+kings+beyond+arabia&hl=en&ei=CsrTTuLOH9Co8AOOsoHiDw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CDkQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=The%20letters%20of%20the%20Prophet%20Muhammad%20to%20the%20kings%20beyond%20arabia&f=false , pp. 412-426
- Tabari and History of the World, Volume IV Book XII. The Mohammedan Ascendency, page 463, by John Clark Ridpath, LL.D. 1910.
- Yazgird III and Omar Al Muslemin letters - Iran Heritage, accessed October 29, 2011
- Al-Tabari, The History of al-Tabari (Ta'rikh al rusul wa'l-muluk), vol. 12: The Battle of Qadissiyah and the Conquest of Syria and Palestine, trans. Yohanan Friedman (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1992), p. 167.
- Andrew Gregorovich - The Cossack Letter "The Most Defiant Letter!" - InfoUkes Inc, accessed October 29, 2011
- Text of Iranian President Ahmadinejad's letter to President George W. Bush - IRNA, May 9, 2006
- Links to the full video appear to be dead, however, a partial transcript has been recorded in a blog post made by Michelle Malkin, named "Convert or die" (dated September 2, 2006).
- Jason Burke, "Osama issues new call to arms", The Observer, November 24, 2002 (archived), http://www.theguardian.com/world/2002/nov/24/alqaida.terrorism.
- "Full text: bin Laden's 'letter to America'", Observer Worldview Extra, November 24, 2002 (archived), http://www.theguardian.com/world/2002/nov/24/theobserver?li=1.
- Aminu Abubakar - Nigerian leader slams sect leader's call on him to resign - AFP, August 6, 2012