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Unformatted text preview: oks that he would surely take our lands. Why don't we just follow his religion? Or, give him our wealth and keep our lands?" When the priests heard this and realised that he was asking them to leave their religion, they became angry, raised their voices and removed their gowns. Meaning, their gowns dropped due to the severity of their anger and upheaval. They said, "Are you calling us to leave Christianity, or that we should be slaves to a Bedouin who has come to us from Hijaz?" Heraclius stood aghast. He realised that he had surely got himself in trouble by making this suggestion. The priests used to enjoy great authority and popular support amongst the people, thus, Heraclius feared that if they left him now in this state, they would turn the entire empire of Rome against him. He began to calm them down and said, "I only asked you this to test your
239 The other opinion 35 firmness on your religion." Heraclius knew that the Prophet was the Messenger that Jesus had foretold. But he still wanted to confirm his supposition. Heraclius called a person from the Arab tribe called Tajib. They were Christian Arabs. Heraclius said to him, "Call a person from amongst you, a fluent Arabic speaker who can memorise words. Send him to this man [Muhammad ] with my response to his letter." The man from Tajib went and brought a person from Banu Tanukh, who were also Christian Arabs. Heraclius gave the letter to the man from Tanukh to deliver it to the Messenger of Allah and said, "Deliver my letter to this man, and as you speak to him, look out for three things: 1)Does he mention the letter he wrote to me? 2)When he reads my reply, does he mention the night? 3)Notice his back, is there anything particularly noticeable or it? Al-Tanukhi then set off, leaving Syria until he reached Tabuk, to find the Messenger of Allah sitting on the ground with his Companions. Al-Tanukhi came to them and said, "Where is your companion?" Someone said, "There he is." Al-Tanukhi...
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- Spring '12