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How Caesar defeated Chosroes (Kisra) Print E-mail

It was previously reported that `Ikrimah said: "Chosroes sent his deputy and his army against Caesar, and they fought.'' It is well-known that Chosroes himself fought in the army that invaded his land, and he defeated Caesar and overwhelmed him until he had nothing left except the city of Constantinople, where Chosroes besieged him for a long time, until things became very difficult for him. He was highly venerated among the Christians, and Chosroes was not able to conquer the city because it was well fortified, and half of it faced the land while the other half faced the sea, from where supplies were able to reach them. After this had gone on for a long time, Caesar thought of a clever trick. He asked Chosroes to let him leave his city in return for money given as a peace-offering, on whatever terms he (Chosroes) wanted. Chosroes agreed to that and asked for a huge amount of wealth -- gold, jewels, fabric, servant-women, servants, and much more -- such that no king on earth could ever pay. Caesar went along with that and gave him the impression that he had all that he had asked for, although he thought he was crazy for asking for such a thing, because even if the two of them were to combine all of their wealth, it would not amount to even one-tenth of that. He asked Chosroes to let him go out of the city to Ash-Sham and the other regions of his kingdom, so that he could gather that from his storehouses and places where his wealth was buried. Chosroes let him go, and when Caesar was about to leave Constantinople, he gathered his people together and told them: "I am going out on a mission I have decided to do so with some soldiers I have selected from my army; if I come back to you before one year passes, I will still be your king but if I do not come back after that, you will have the choice. Then, if you wish, you may remain loyal to me, or if you wish you may appoint someone instead of me. Signs of Tawhid Allah tells us that pondering His creation will show that He exists and that He is Unique in creating it, and that there is no god nor lord besides Him. So He says:

﴿أَوَلَمْ يَتَفَكَّرُواْ فِى أَنفُسِهِمْ﴾

(8. Do they not reflect upon themselves) Thinking and pondering how Allah created various things in the upper and lower realms and in the space between, realizing that this was not created in jest or in vain, but in truth, and that it will continue until an appointed time, the Day of Resurrection, as Allah says:

﴿وَإِنَّ كَثِيراً مِّنَ النَّاسِ بِلِقَآءِ رَبِّهِمْ لَكَـفِرُونَ﴾

(8. cont - And indeed many of mankind deny meeting with their Lord.) Then Allah tells us of the truth of the Message brought by the Messengers and how He supported them with miracles and clear signs, such as when He destroyed those who disbelieved in them and saved those who believed in them.

﴿أَوَلَمْ يَسيرُواْ فِى الاٌّرْضِ﴾

(9. Do they not travel in the land) means, `do they not understand and think and see and hear about the people of the past' Allah says:

﴿فَيَنظُرُواْ كَيْفَ كَانَ عَـقِبَةُ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ كَانُواْ أَشَدَّ مِنْهُمْ قُوَّةً﴾

(9. cont - and see what was the end of those before them They were superior to them in strength, ) meaning, `the nations of the past who came before you were stronger than you to whom Muhammad has been sent; they had more wealth and more sons. You have not been given one-tenth of what they were given. They stayed longer in this world than you will stay. They were more civilized than you and were more prosperous in the land than you.' Yet despite all that, when their Messengers came to them with clear signs, while they were enjoying their life of luxury, Allah punished them for their sins and they had no one who could protect them from Allah. Their wealth and sons could not protect them from the wrath of Allah in the slightest, and Allah was not at all unjust towards them when He sent His punishment upon them.

﴿وَلَـكِن كَانُواْ أَنفُسَهُمْ يَظْلِمُونَ﴾

(9. cont - but they used to wrong themselves.) They brought destruction upon themselves, when they rejected and mocked the signs of Allah. All of this only happened because of their previous sins and their rejection (of the Messengers). Allah says:

﴿ثُمَّ كَانَ عَـقِبَةَ الَّذِينَ أَسَاءُواْ السُّوءَى أَن كَذَّبُواْ بِـَايَـتِ اللَّهِ وَكَانُواْ بِهَا يَسْتَهْزِئُونَ ﴾

(10. Then evil was the end of those who did evil, because they denied the Ayat of Allah and made a mockery of them.) This is like the Ayat:

﴿وَنُقَلِّبُ أَفْئِدَتَهُمْ وَأَبْصَـرَهُمْ كَمَا لَمْ يُؤْمِنُواْ بِهِ أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ وَنَذَرُهُمْ فِى طُغْيَانِهِمْ يَعْمَهُونَ ﴾

(And We shall turn their hearts and their eyes away, as they refused to believe therein for the first time, and We shall leave them in their trespass to wander blindly.) (6:110),

﴿فَلَمَّا زَاغُواْ أَزَاغَ اللَّهُ قُلُوبَهُمْ﴾

(So when they turned away, Allah turned their hearts away.) (61:5),

﴿فَإِن تَوَلَّوْاْ فَاعْلَمْ أَنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ أَن يُصِيبَهُم بِبَعْضِ ذُنُوبِهِمْ﴾

(And if they turn away, then know that Allah's will is to punish them for some sins of theirs) (5:49). It was said that the meaning of the phrase

﴿ثُمَّ كَانَ عَـقِبَةَ الَّذِينَ أَسَاءُواْ السُّوءَى﴾

(Then evil was the end of those who did evil,) is that evil was their inevitable end, because they rejected the signs of Allah and made fun of them. This is the view of Ibn Jarir, which he recorded from Ibn `Abbas and Qatadah. Ibn Abi Hatim also recorded it from them and from Ad-Dahhak bin Muzahim. This is the apparent meaning -- and Allah knows best -- of the phrase:

﴿وَكَانُواْ بِهَا يَسْتَهْزِئُونَ﴾

(and made a mockery of them.)

﴿اللَّهُ يَبْدَأُ الْخَلْقَ ثُمَّ يُعِيدُهُ ثُمَّ إِلَيْهِ تُرْجَعُونَ - وَيَوْمَ تَقُومُ السَّاعَةُ يُبْلِسُ الْمُجْرِمُونَ - وَلَمْ يَكُن لَّهُمْ مِّن شُرَكَآئِهِمْ شُفَعَاءُ وَكَانُواْ بِشُرَكَآئِهِمْ كَـفِرِينَ - وَيَوْمَ تَقُومُ السَّاعَةُ يَوْمَئِذٍ يَتَفَرَّقُونَ - فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّـلِحَـتِ فَهُمْ فِى رَوْضَةٍ يُحْبَرُونَ - وَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ وَكَذَّبُواْ بِـَايَـتِنَا وَلِقَآءِ الاَّخِرَةِ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ فِى الْعَذَابِ مُحْضَرُونَ ﴾

(11. Allah originates the creation, then He will repeat it, then to Him you will be returned.) (12. And on the Day when the Hour will be established, the criminals will be plunged into destruction with despair.) (13. No intercessors will they have from those whom they made equal with Allah, and they will reject and deny their partners.) (14. And on the Day when the Hour will be established -- that Day shall they be separated.) (15. Then as for those who believed and did righteous good deeds, such shall be honored and made to enjoy a luxurious life in a Garden of Delight.) (16. And as for those who disbelieved and denied Our Ayat, and the meeting of the Hereafter, such shall be brought forth to the torment.) Allah said:

﴿اللَّهُ يَبْدَأُ الْخَلْقَ ثُمَّ يُعِيدُهُ﴾

(Allah originates the creation, then He will repeat it,) Just as He was able to create it in the first place, so He is also able to repeat it.

﴿ثُمَّ إِلَيْهِ تُرْجَعُونَ﴾

(then to Him you will be returned.) on the Day of Resurrection, when each will be requited according to his deeds. Then Allah says:

﴿وَيَوْمَ تَقُومُ السَّاعَةُ يُبْلِسُ الْمُجْرِمُونَ ﴾

(And on the Day when the Hour will be established, the criminals will be plunged into destruction with despair.) Ibn `Abbas said, "The sinners will be filled with despair.'' Mujahid said, "The sinners will be exposed;'' according to another report he said, "The sinners will grieve.''

﴿وَلَمْ يَكُن لَّهُمْ مِّن شُرَكَآئِهِمْ شُفَعَاءُ﴾

(No intercessors will they have from those whom they made equal with Allah,) means, the gods whom they used to worship instead of Allah will not intercede for them; they will reject them and betray them despite their desperate need of them. Then Allah says:

﴿وَيَوْمَ تَقُومُ السَّاعَةُ يَوْمَئِذٍ يَتَفَرَّقُونَ ﴾

(And on the Day when the Hour will be established -- that Day shall (all men) be separated.) Qatadah said: "By Allah, this refers to the separation after which there will be no reunion.'' In other words, if one person is taken up to the highest heights and another is sent down to the lowest depths of Hell, that is the last they will ever see of one another. Allah says:

﴿فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّـلِحَـتِ فَهُمْ فِى رَوْضَةٍ يُحْبَرُونَ ﴾

(Then as for those who believed and did righteous good deeds, such shall be honored and made to enjoy a luxurious life in a Garden of Delight.) Mujahid and Qatadah said, "This means, they will enjoy a life of luxury.''

﴿فَسُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ حِينَ تُمْسُونَ وَحِينَ تُصْبِحُونَ - وَلَهُ الْحَمْدُ فِى السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ وَعَشِيّاً وَحِينَ تُظْهِرُونَ - يُخْرِجُ الْحَىَّ مِنَ الْمَيِّتِ وَيُخْرِجُ الْمَيِّتَ مِنَ الْحَىِّ وَيُحْىِ الاٌّرْضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَا وَكَذَلِكَ تُخْرَجُونَ ﴾

(17. So glorify Allah, when you enter the evening, and when you enter the morning.) (18. And His is all the praise in the heavens and the earth; and in `Ashiyya and when Tuzhirun.) (19. He brings out the living from the dead, and brings out the dead from the living. And He revives the earth after its death. And thus shall you be brought out.)

 
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