When Adaan was called in Caesar’s court

Abu Muhammad bin Qutaiba narrated, quoting Abu Ibraheem:

“Ameer Mua’wiyah suffered from insomnia as he grew older. When the church bells rang at night, he would wake up and, no matter how hard he tried, could not fall asleep again. One morning he asked his people,

‘”O Arabs, can anyone of you do what i bid him to do? I will give him equivalent to three times the blood-money before he performs this task and twice the blood-money when he comes back.'”

“A young man from Ghassan stood up and said, ‘I will do it, O Commander of the Faithful.”

“Ameer Mua’wiyah said,

‘Carry my letter to the king of Rome and when you reach his court, say the call to prayer (Adaan).’” “The Ghassanid youth inquired, ‘What do I do next?”’

“Ameer Mua’wiyah said, ‘That’s all.'”

The Ghassanid youth said,

‘You entrusted to me a small task and gave (in exchange) a lot.’

The youth set out for Rome. When he arrived there, he saw the Roman court in its full splendor. The ministers and advisers gathered around the king, a detachment of soldiers stood guard, a carpet was rolled out, and there was a glitter of gems and jewels. An interesting topic was under discussion when the young man of Ghassan arrived. He entered the court without hesitation, crossed the rows of guardsmen lined up, and announced the Adaan(prayer-call). His voice was heard by the courtiers and the king:

‘Allah is Great, Allah is Great, Allah is Great, Allah is Great; I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of being worshipped except Allah, I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of being worshipped except Allah.’

Ameer Mua’wiyah’s messenger announced the call to prayer in full and filled the hearts of the courtiers with awe. The soldiers and the guards unsheathed their swords and advanced to slay this Muslim who, by his actions, had insulted their king.”

“But suddenly the king said, ‘Stop! Stay where you are. Sheath your swords.’ The king went to the Muslim messenger, bent down and sat down in front of him. Then the king addressed the courtiers,

‘Do you know the rights of Jesus on you and you on him’?’ (Perhaps the king wanted to calm his courtiers and tell them that the actions of the envoy were not against the teachings of Jesus).

“When they had calmed down. the king went to his throne, stood up, and said. ‘Mua’avivah has grown old. When a person grows old, he suffers from insomnia. The church bells trouble him. So he wanted this man to be killed and then, in retaliation, he would kill those who ring bells in his country. By God, his messenger will return to him, contrary to what he has planned. ‘ ”

“So the king of Rome gave him a gift of garments and other presents, transport, and sent him away with honor.’

When the young man returned, Ameer Mua’wiyah inquired,

‘Have you come back to me, safe and sound?’

“The young man said, Not by your grace.”

“It is said that in those times the Muslim caliphs were matched in intelligence and statesmanship by their Roman counterparts.”

“During the reign of ‘Umar bin al-Khattab (May Allah be pleased with him), the king of Rome was a very clever statesman. He built a diwan for the public and subdued those who conspired against him. Similarly, the king of Rome during the reign of Ameer Muawiyah was as smart as his counterpart.”

(See Akhbaar-ul-Azkiya by Ibn al-Jawzi p. 147)


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