Question 070: Did Khosrow Parviz II tear up the paper Rasool’Allah (saws) sent? Is it true that the reason his empire collapsed was because he tore this paper? How true are the narrations that say because he was a just king, his punishment would be lessened? Above all, how do the Shia view him – one of the grandfathers of Imam al-Baqir عليه السلام?
Answer 070: The peace afforded by the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah gave an opportunity to Holy Prophet (PBUH) to dispatch several representatives to rulers and kings of Arabia and different parts of the world, each with a letter in which he invited them to become Muslims and submit to Allah’s (SWT) faith. All these letters had the same purport, that is, the invitation to monotheism and Islamic fraternity. Many of the letters were met with a favorable response whilst others were rejected.
He sent ambassadors with his letters to Heraclius, the Byzantine emperor, Khosrow Parviz II, the Kisra of Persia (the King of Iran), the kings of Egypt and Abyssinia, and to the chiefs of Yemen and Syria. These letters have been preserved and reproduced by Arab chroniclers.
The Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) letter has sent to Khosrow II Parviz son of Hormizd IV, the Sasanian Kisra of Persia, by ‘Abdullah ibn Hudhafah. It stated the following as recorded by the historian al-Ya’qubi:
The following are two different narrations regarding the Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) invitation letter:
- In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate. From Muhammad, Allah’s Messenger, to Khosrow, the King of Persia. May peace be upon him who follows guidance, to those obedient to Allah and His Prophet, to those who bear witness to Allah’s Oneness, who worship the One God, and who bear witness to the prophecy of Allah’s servant, Muhammad. Truly I call upon you to obey Allah’s command and convert to Islam. I am Allah’s Messenger to all the people so that living hearts will be awakened and illuminated and so that infidels will have no excuses. Submit to Islam so you will be safe and immune, and if you disobey me and turn down my invitation, you will be blamed for the sins of the magi.[i]
The Arabic version of this Letter:
بَعَثَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ص عَبْدَ اللَّهِ بْنَ حُذَافَةَ بْنِ قَيْسٍ إِلَى كِسْرَى بْنِ هُرْمُزَ مَلِكِ فَارِسَ وَ كَتَبَ بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ مِنْ مُحَمَّدٍ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ إِلَى كِسْرَى عَظِيمِ فَارِسَ سَلَامٌ عَلى مَنِ اتَّبَعَ الْهُدى وَ آمَنَ بِاللَّهِ وَ رَسُولِهِ وَ شَهِدَ أَنْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ وَ أَنَّ مُحَمَّداً عَبْدُهُ وَ رَسُولُهُ وَ أَدْعُوكَ بِدَاعِيَةِ اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ فَإِنِّي أَنَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ص إِلَى النَّاسِ كَافَّةً لِأُنْذِرَ مَنْ كانَ حَيًّا وَ يَحِقَّ الْقَوْلُ عَلَى الْكافِرِينَ فَأَسْلِمْ تَسْلَمْ فَإِنْ أَبَيْتَ فَإِنَّ إِثْمَ الْمَجُوسِ عَلَيْكَ.
- In the Name of Allah, the most Gracious, the most Merciful
From Muhammad the Messenger of Allah to Khosrow son of Hormizd. Accept Islam, so you will be safe (from Allah’s wrath); otherwise, be forewarned of a war from Allah and His Messenger, and peace be with whoever follows the right guidance. [ii]
The Arabic version of this Letter:
أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ كَتَبَ إِلَى كِسْرَى مِنْ مُحَمَّدٍ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ إِلَى كِسْرَى بْنِ هُرْمُزْدَ أَمَّا بَعْدُ فَأَسْلِمْ تَسْلَمْ وَ إِلَّا فَأْذَنْ بِحَرْبٍ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَ رَسُولِهِ وَ السَّلامُ عَلى مَنِ اتَّبَعَ الْهُدى فَلَمَّا وَصَلَ إِلَيْهِ الْكِتَابُ مَزَّقَهُ وَ اسْتَخَفَّ بِهِ وَ قَالَ مَنْ هَذَا الَّذِي يَدْعُونِي إِلَى دِينِهِ وَ يَبْدَأُ بِاسْمِهِ قَبْلَ اسْمِي وَ بَعَثَ إِلَيْهِ بِتُرَابٍ فَقَالَ ص مَزَّقَ اللَّهُ مُلْكَهُ كَمَا مَزَّقَ كِتَابِي أَمَا إِنَّهُ سَتُمَزِّقُونَ مُلْكَهُ وَ بَعَثَ إِلَيَّ بِتُرَابٍ أَمَا إِنَّكُمْ سَتَمْلِكُونَ أَرْضَهُ فَكَانَ كَمَا قَالَ
On receiving the letter, Khosrow Parviz ordered it to be translated. When it was translated, he noticed that the Prophet Mohammad (saws) had written his own name before the king’s and this proved too hard for him to digest. He tore the letter in fury, totally ignored Abdullah ibn Hudhafah and refrained from responding to the letter.
When the Holy Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) was informed of this act, he prayed: “O’ Lord! You too tear apart his kingdom.” [iii]
The Arabic version of this Hadith is as follows:
فَلَمَّا قَرَأَ كِتَابَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ ص شَقَّقَهُ وَ قَالَ يَكْتُبُ إِلَيَّ بِهَذَا الْكِتَابِ وَ هُوَ عَبْدِي فَبَلَغَنِي أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ص قَالَ مَزَّقَ اللَّهُ مُلْكَهُ حِينَ بَلَغَه.
Answer 2: When the Holy Prophet (PBUH) prayed: “O’ Lord! You too tear apart his kingdom.” Khosrwo Parviz was killed by His own son Shiroweih, on the Tuesday, night of tenth day of Dhil Hijjah, Year 7 A.H.
Therefore, the answer of your second question is yes, according to this following Hadith. “… the Holy Prophet (PBUH) received information through the angel Gabriel (Jabra’il) that Allah (SWT) had caused Khosrow Parviz to be killed by Shirweih, his own son, giving him the exact time of night and the date when Khosrow Parviz was killed in Persia.”[iv] The Arabic version of this Hadith is as follows:
… و أتى رسول الله ص الخبر من السماء أن الله عز و جل قد سلط على كسرى ابنه شيرويه فقتله في شهر كذا و كذا لكذا و كذا من الليل فلما أتيا رسول الله ص قال لهما إن ربي قد قتل ربكما ليلة كذا و كذا …
Answer 3: Regardless of those sins Khosrow Parviz had committed, after the event, Khosrow Parviz wrote to Badhan, who was the governor of Yemen, a Persian province: “It has reached my ears that a person has claimed prophethood in Hijaz. Arrange to send two brave and courageous persons to him so that they may bring him to me as a captive.” So, according to above mentioned history, He was deserved such punishment.[v]
Answer 4: Although, His grandfather was Khosrow whom the Holy Prophet (PBUH) prayed for “O’ Lord! You too tear apart his kingdom.”, but according to Holy Quran, when Allah (SWT) decides on a matter, He just says to it,” Be! and it is.
“He brings forth the living from the dead, and brings forth the dead from the living”. Like the son of Adam who was disbeliever but his father was Prophet (a.s), and on the other hand, some were born believer like the children of our Infallibles (pbuth), however some of their grandparents weren’t believer.[vi]
[i] . Biharul Anwar, Vol. 20, Pg. 389.
[ii] . Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 20, p. 382; Ibid, Vol. 18, Pg. 17.
[iii] . Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 20, p. 390.
[iv] . Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 20, p. 390.
[v] . Ibid.
[vi] . Surah Baqarah, verse 117; Surah Room, verse 19.