In the sixth year after Hijrat the Holy Prophet PBUH decided to invite the rulers and kings of neighbouring countries to embrace Islam. Preparation for sending letters with special messengers were started in 6 A.H. The actual despatch of the messengers took place in 7 A.H.
Among those to whom the Holy Prophet PBUH sent his letters were:
1. Heraclius, the Roman Emperor:
He had the Holy Prophet’s PBUH letter read out to him and later sent for Abu Sufyan, who at the time was one of the Holy Prophet’s PBUH bitterest enemies. He was in the neighborhood as the leader of a trade caravan of the Quraish of Makkah. Heraclius put questions to Abu Sufyan about the Holy Prophet PBUH. He was greaty impressed by what Abu Sufyan told him. He remarked that from what Abu Sufyan had told him, the person who claimed to be a Prophet did possess the attributes of one. He sent a polite reply, but did not embrace Islam.
2. Chosroes, Emperor of Persia:
He insulted the Holy Prophet’s PBUH messenger and tore his letter to pieces. When the Prophet PBUH was informed of this, he said that Chosroes kingdom would Soon be broken up and this is exactly what happened. His son killed him and ascended the throne, but after sometime drank poison and died.
3. Negus, Emperor of Abyssinia:
He embraced Islam and sent some presents for the Holy Prophet PBUH.
4. Cyrus, Ruler of Egypt:
He treated the Holy Prophet PBUH messenger with great honour and sent a polite reply and Some presents for the Holy Prophet PBUH, These included Hazrat Maria whom the Holy Prophet PBUH later married and a horse named Duldul. He did not accept Islam.
5. The Rulers of Bahrain and Oman:
Both of them embraced Islam.