The Prophet, [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him], has the noblest lineage on earth. His enemies attested to this fact; Abu Sufyan [RA], who was the arch-enemy of Islam before he became Muslim, attested to this fact in front of Heraclius, the Ruler of Rome. Abdullah b. Abbas [RA], reported that the Messenger of Allaah [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him], wrote to Caesar and invited him to Islam and sent him a letter with Dihya AI-Kalbi, who handed it to the Governor of Busra who then forwarded it to Caesar. Caesar as a sign of gratitude to Allaah, had walked from Him to lIya (i.e. Jerusalem) when Allaah had granted Him victory over the Persian forces.
So, when the letter of the Messenger of Allaah [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] reached Caesar, he said after reading it, "Seek for me anyone of his people, (Arabs of Quraish tribe) if present here, in order to ask him about the Messenger of Allaah!" At that time Abu Sufyan bin Harb was in Sham with some men from Quraish who had come (to Sham) as merchants during the truce that had been concluded between the Messenger of Allaah; and the infidels of Quraish. Abu Sufyan said, Caesars messenger found us somewhere in Sham so he took me and my companions to lIya and we were admitted into Caesars presence to find him sitting in his royal court wearing a crown and surrounded by the senior Byzantine dignitaries. He said to his translator. "Ask them who amongst them is a close relation to the man who claims to be a prophet. Abu Sufyan added, I replied: "I am the nearest relative to him." He asked, "What degree of relationship do you have with him?" I replied, "He is my cousin," and there was none of Bani Abd Manaf in the caravan except myself. Caesar said, "Let him come nearer." He then ordered that my companions stand behind me near my shoulder and said to his translator, "Tell his companions that I am going to ask this man about the man who claims to be a prophet. If he tells a lie, they should contradict him immediately."
Abu Sufyan added, By Allaah! Had it not been for shame that my companions brand me a liar, I would not have spoken the truth about him when he asked me. But I considered it shameful to be called a liar by my companions, so I told the truth. He then said to his translator, "Ask him what kind of family he belongs to." I replied, "He belongs to a noble family amongst us." He said, "Has anybody else amongst you ever claimed the same before him?" I replied, "No." He said, "Have you ever blamed him for telling lies before he claimed what he claimed?" I replied, "No." He said, "Was anybody amongst his ancestors a king?" I replied, "No." He said, "Do the noble or the poor follow him?" I replied, It is the poor who follow him." He said, "Are they increasing or decreasing (daily)?" I replied, "They are increasing." He said, "Does anybody amongst those who embrace his Deen become displeased and then discard his Dean?" I replied, "No." He said, Does he break his promises?" I replied, "No, but we are now at truce with him and we are afraid that he may betray us." Abu Sufyan added, Other than the last sentence, I could not say anything against him. Caesar then asked, "Have you ever had a war with him?" I replied, "Yes." He said, "What was the outcome of your battles with him?" I replied, "Sometimes he was victorious and sometimes we." He said, "What does he order you to do?" I said, "He tells us to worship Allaah alone, and not to worship others along with Him, and to leave all that our forefathers used to worship. He orders us to pray, give in charity, be chaste, keep promises and return what is entrusted to us. "
This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited