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Thucydides1987
12-04-2010, 05:14 PM
Not long before the Arabs armies left their peninsula to conquer the Middle East, Muhammad had sent messengers to the empires of Byzantium and Persia, and in a letter asked the rulers of each realm to join Islam. I'm particularly interested in something he said in his letter to the Persian Shah, Khosrau II. This is the portion of the message that interests me most:

"He has sent me for the guidance of all people so that I may warn them all of His wrath and may present the unbelievers with an ultimatum. Embrace Islam so that you may remain safe. And if you refuse to accept Islam, you will be responsible for the sins of the Magi."

What is meant by the "sins of the Magi" here? Perhaps this is some reference to Persian/Zoroastrian religious history?

Any help would be appreciated, thanks :)
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Woodrow
12-04-2010, 06:23 PM
The name Magi comes from the Persian word Magus which is what the followers of Zoroastrianism are called. Until Islam came Persia was virtually 100% Zoroastrian.
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Thucydides1987
12-04-2010, 06:28 PM
I thought a Magus was a priest in the Zoroastrian religious order.
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Woodrow
12-04-2010, 06:46 PM
Originally Posted by Thucydides1987
I thought a Magus was a priest in the Zoroastrian religious order.
You may be correct there. Although outside of Persia Magus (Magi) was applied to meaning any follower of Zoroastrianism. But the Merriam Webster Dictionary does state it is a priest.
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Thucydides1987
12-04-2010, 07:21 PM
So basically, what Muhammad is saying there is that the Shah, by rejecting Islam, would bear the sins of all his subjects being Zoroastrian? It doesn't seem quite logical to me, lol.
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Woodrow
12-04-2010, 07:57 PM
Originally Posted by Thucydides1987
So basically, what Muhammad is saying there is that the Shah, by rejecting Islam, would bear the sins of all his subjects being Zoroastrian? It doesn't seem quite logical to me, lol.
That does not mean he would paying for the sins of others as each person is responsible for his own sins. It means the shah would carry the burden of having misled each of his followers. ie I talk a not very smart friend into robbing a bank. Although the friend will pay for the crime. I have also sinned for leading him into doing it. Now if I had done the same thing with 100 friends I would have committed a 100 sins.
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Thucydides1987
12-04-2010, 08:32 PM
Ohh, okay. Makes sense, thanks!

Although, of course, the Shah's subjects were Zoroastrian by tradition (Persia's been like that for centuries before), and not because he forced them to be thus. And surely you cannot place blame on one man who only rejected a never-before heard or known religion for the religious tradition that he had always upheld and been familiar with all through his life :p
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Woodrow
12-04-2010, 10:06 PM
Originally Posted by Thucydides1987
Ohh, okay. Makes sense, thanks!

Although, of course, the Shah's subjects were Zoroastrian by tradition (Persia's been like that for centuries before), and not because he forced them to be thus. And surely you cannot place blame on one man who only rejected a never-before heard or known religion for the religious tradition that he had always upheld and been familiar with all through his life :p
Fortunately Allaah(swt) is the one who makes the final decisions. We do believe he is all just and merciful. I am certain he will take all factors and mitigating circumstances into consideration when passing judgment. Which is something us humans are often not very good at doing. We are promised that all punishments will never be harsher than what the sin warrants and intent is a big part of how willful a sin is.

While each person will be held accountable for all of his actions and inactions it is up to Allaah(swt) to mete out any punishments and we can be assured His decision will be one of perfect fairness.
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Ramadhan
12-05-2010, 05:25 PM
I have not heard of the letter containing the threats you mentioned.

You also need to verify if the letter was indeed sent by prophet Muhammad SAW.
There were some fake letters attributed to the prophet SAW sent to some king/leader in ethiopia or egypt which were found to be forgeries.
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Zafran
12-06-2010, 06:09 AM
I second that where did you read this letter? I like to see it.
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Thucydides1987
12-06-2010, 06:38 AM
I've heard about him sending it the Ethiopian king too, yes, but I didn't know some were forgeries. The letter to the Shah Khosroe II (and one to the Roman Emperor Heraclius) was discussed in my university class on Middle Eastern history (the prof. was a Muslim woman, by the way, in case you may want to bash me with having an 'ignorant' instructor).

I don't have a picture of it -- that would be quite an unreasonable request. You can sort out and research its epigraphic authenticity yourselves.

I'm quite certain that I can find references to it in my Oxford Companion to Islam, which I shall list here later on (I am going off to sleep now). Other than that, you can google it online, and find many places sites citing it.

Since I'm only a limited member on this forum, I can't post links on threads yet, so I will send to you both one example of a site.
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Thucydides1987
12-06-2010, 06:43 AM
Okay, it looks like I can't even privately send you the link, so here is a portion from the site about the letter:

Khosrau II (Arabic كسري) is also remembered in Muslim tradition to be the Persian king to whom Muhammad had sent a messenger, Abdullah ibn Hudhafah as-Sahmi, together with a letter to preach the religion of Islam. In Tabari‚Äôs original Arabic manuscript the letter to Khosrau II reads:

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
من محمد رسول الله الى كسرى عظيم الفارس . سلام على من اتبع الهدى و آمن بالله و رسوله و شهد ان لااله الا الله وحده لاشريك له و ان محمد عبده و رسوله. ادعوك بدعاء الله، فانى رسول الله الى الناس كافة لانذر من كان حيا و يحق القول على الكافرين. فاسلم تسلم . فان ابيت فان اثم المجوس عليك .

English translation:

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Ever Merciful
From Muhammad, Messenger of Allah, to Chosroes, Ruler of Persia. Peace be on him who follows the guidance, believes in Allah and His Messenger and bears witness that there is no one worthy of worship save Allah, the One, without associate, and that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger. I invite you to the Call of Allah, as I am the Messenger of Allah to the whole of mankind, so that I may warn every living person and so that the truth may become clear and the judgment of God may overtake the infidels. I call upon you to accept Islam and thus make yourself secure. If you turn away, you will bear the sins of your Zoroastrian subjects.

Hope that helps.
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shere0901
01-31-2013, 08:06 PM
Ah! great information is shared by people. Thanks all.
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