The King and The Most Noble Prophet صلي الله عليه واله وسلم
About 2500 years ago, the king of Yemen, Tab’a Awwal Hamiri, went on a tour of his country and those surrounding it. He was a very rich king indeed. In his entourage he had 12,000 Alims (scholars), physicians and learned men in addition to his army of 113,000 soldiers. Wherever they went, the procession of these men and soldiers, which marched with much pomp and ceremony, people gathered and lined the roadsides to watch and welcome them.
When the entourage reached the outskirts of Makkah, no one came to see them or welcome them to the town. This came as a great surprise to the king. He asked his chief Minister, “Wherever we’ve gone the people gathered in such droves to see and welcome us, but not here, why? What is the reason?”
The Minister replied “your highness, there is a house in this town called BAITULLAH. The people of this town and its Khadim (servant) have great respect for it; our entourage has no comparison to it; people in large numbers from places far and near come for pilgrimage to this House. In this town no one will heed you or give you any importance. They respect the Holy House more than Kings”.
Upon hearing this the king was furious. In anger he swore and declared, “I will raze this House to the ground and have the people of this town killed!” No sooner had the king uttered these words that blood started pouring from his mouth, nose and eyes. The blood smelt so foul that his companions moved away from him and no one would come near him. He called upon his physicians and doctors for treatment but nobody could help or treat him. His condition worsened. He could not sleep at night and kept tossing and turning with restlessness. He wanted to get treated by means and at any cost.
Amongst his entourage was a physician who was also a God fearing alim as well. He came to the king, inspected him, took his pulse and said, “O king, your illness is spiritual. Medicines will not work on you. Did you intend to do something bad or evil, your highness? If you did, He will pardon you and relieve you of your misery and illness if He wishes, you should repent.”
Taking the Physicians advice, the King immediately changed his evil plan to destroy the Kaa’ba and to kill the people of Makkah. No sooner had he repented the foul smelling blood stopped spurting from his eyes, mouth and nose. He became completely cured. He was very happy at his recovery. He ordered a silk covering for the Kaa’ba and a gift of seven gold sovereigns and seven pieces of silk clothing for each resident of Makkah.
Having recovered, he continued his tour. The entourage next reached Yathrib (now known as Madinah Munawara). The alims in this group had studied the divine books that had been revealed to the Prophets who had come before them. They took the soil of Madinah Munawarra, smelt it and looked around at the features of this Holy Land. The signs of the place, where the last Messenger of Allah (Salla Allahu ta’ala alayhi wa Sallam) would make his Hijra to, as indicated in these Books were all present here. These Alims were overjoyed and made a commitment to stay put in this town. They wished to live live in Madinah Munawarra and stated that if they were fortunate, one day they would meet the Beloved Prophet (Salla Allahu ta’ala alayhi wa Sallam), but if they were not, then that the dust of the sandals of the Beloved Prophet (Salla Allahu ta’ala alayhi wa Sallam) would land on their graves. This they thought, would bring them blessings and salvation.
The King, having heard the alims and counselors, agreed to build 400 homes for them as well as a big house for the Beloved Prophet (Salla Allahu ta’ala alayhi wa Sallam). He left instructions that when the Beloved Prophet (Salla Allahu ta’ala alayhi wa Sallam) came to Madinah, he should stay in the comfort of that house. The king then dictated a letter to his chief alim and he requested him to present it to the Beloved Prophet (Salla Allahu ta’ala alayhi wa Sallam) when he comes to Madinah. He further requested that should he die before that meeting, the letter should be treasured and passed onto his children and their descendants and presented to the Beloved Prophet (Salla Allahu ta’ala alayhi wa Sallam) whenever he came to this town. He also left enough money to provide for the needs of the 400 alims who were staying behind.
The letter was passed down from generation after generation from the chief alim to his descendants. After more than a thousand years, the number of children from the 400 alims had greatly increased and comprised a large percentage of the inhabitants of the population of Madinah Munawarra. The letter after this time came to be in the possession of one descendant named Hadrat Abu
Ayub Ansari (radi Allahu anhu) who had given it to his servant Abu Laila for safe keeping.
When the people heard that Rasulullah (Salla Allahu ta’ala alaihi wa Sallam) was coming to Madinah from Makkah on his Hijra, they started making preparations for his arrival. The inhabitants decorated their houses and cleaned the streets. Each of them wanted the Beloved Prophet (Salla Allahu ta’ala alayhi wa Sallam) to be welcomed into his house, but to overcome the problem he came up with a proposal; he would let his camel reins free and stay at the house where the camel stopped.
The camel was let loose. It went down the streets and stopped outside the house the king of Yemen had built for him. The Beloved Prophet (Salla Allahu ta’ala alayhi wa Sallam) and the people came to this house and Abu Laila was asked to bring the letter, which he had been given for safekeeping. He appeared before the Beloved Prophet (Salla Allahu ta’ala alayhi wa Sallam) with this letter that had been passed down from generation to generation for over a thousand years from King Tab’a Awwal Hamiri.
The Beloved Prophet (Salla Allahu ta’ala alayhi wa Sallam) seeing the approaching servant asked him “Are you Abu Laila?” Abu Laila was surprised, having his name mentioned by the Beloved Prophet (Salla Allahu ta’ala alayhi wa Sallam) who had just come from Makkah but knew his name. The Beloved Prophet (Salla Allahu ta’ala alayhi wa Sallam) said I am Muhammad-ur-Rasulullah. “I will have the king of Yemen’s letter that you have for me”.
The Beloved Prophet Sayyidina Muhammad Salla Allahu ta’ala ‘alayhi wa Sallam was presented the letter he read it and said, “Congratulations to my pious servant Tab’a Awwal Hamiri.”
The letter from King Hamiri stated:
“O Rasulullah, Salla Allahu ta’ala ‘alayhi wa Sallam I pledge my faith in you and in the Book that will be revealed to you and I follow the path of your religion. If I am fortunate enough to see you, it will be with great pleasure. However, if this is not possible, I would request you to intercede for me and not to forget me on the Day of Judgment. I believe in your Risallah (Prophethood). I seek your Bay’t in advance of your arrival. I swear that there is only one Allah and that Muhammad is his true Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam.” (Mizanul Adyan)
The incident is narrated in detail in ‘Al Mustazarf’, ‘Hajatullah alal Alamin’, ‘Tareekhe Damashq by Shaykh ibne Asakir’, Shaykh Ibn Ishaq in “Al Mubteda”, Iltejan by Shaykh Ibne Hasham, Rooh-ul Bayaan, Diya’a-un-Nabi SalAllahu Alaihe Wasallam