Around 2440 years ago, a king called As’ad Tubban Humayri used to rule over Yemen. In the Yemeni language, the king was called Tubba’, that’s why this king became famous in the history with the name of Tubba’-ul-Awwal [i.e. the first king] and Tubba’ ‘Himyari.
Once, Tubba’ left for sightseeing along with his minister. Around one hundred and thirteen thousand people accompanied him on foot and one hundred and thirty thousand horse riders also accompanied him. Whichever city this great caravan would reach, people would treat them with extreme dignity and honour due to their awe and being extremely astonished at them. During this journey, Tubba’ was selecting ten scholars from every city and joining them into his caravan. Hence, after visiting various cities in this way, around four thousand scholars gathered in the caravan of Tubba’.
When this caravan reached the city of Makkah, the people of Makkah did not extend any kind of hospitality to this caravan. Seeing this, Tubba’ became extremely furious. He called his minister and inquired the reason for this. Upon this, he replied: ‘Your Highness! People over here are very strange. There is a building in this city which is called the Ka’bah. These people worship Satan and idols in that building.’ Listening to this, he made a decision in his heart that he will kill the people of Makkah and imprison their women and children. Moreover, he also intended to demolish the Ka’bah and then Ka’bah will be named as Khirbah [i.e. a deserted place].
As a matter of destiny, what happened was that as soon as this thought struck Tubba’, he had a severe headache and foul smelled water started flowing from his eyes, ears, nose and mouth. Due to this, such foul smell would emanate from him that it became extremely difficult to stand next to him even for a moment. The minister sought advice from the doctors but no one could cure him. The doctors said that there seems to be a supernatural element involved in this which is beyond our capacity to cure.
This ailment had ruined the sleep of Tubba’. In the same state, a scholar came to the minister during the night time and secretly said: If the king agrees to reply to my question truthfully, then I can treat him. The minister relayed this to Tubba’, who agreed to it without any hesitation. Therefore, when the scholar reached Tubba’ and there was no one else except these two, he asked: ‘King! Tell me truthfully! What have you got in your heart regarding Ka’bah?’ Tubba’ was already completely weary due to his illness. He straightaway started disclosing his evil intentions to the scholar. Listening to it, he said: ‘The same very evil intention is the reason for your ailment. Remember that the Owner of Ka’bah is even aware of the hidden facts. Therefore, remove evil thoughts from your heart, as your betterment lies in it.’ As Tubba’ did not have any other choice, he immediately repented of his evil intentions and before the scholar had even left, he was completely recovered. Witnessing the fact of the scholar turn into reality with his own eyes, Tubba’ embraced Iman [faith] upon Allah Almighty and embraced the religion of Sayyiduna Ibraheem عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلاَم. Then, in order to revere the Ka’bah, he also got seven covers prepared for it. Before this, no one had put a cover on the Ka’bah. Thereafter, Tubba’ commanded the people of Makkah to look after the Ka’bah and left for Yasrab [this is the old name of Madinah Shareef].
Back in those days, there was no population in Madinah Shareef. Apart from a spring of water, there were no signs of life there. The caravan of Tubba’ reached there and camped by the very same spring. During the stay there, around four thousand scholars held a consultative meeting. After this meeting, four hundred scholars among them decided that until they are alive, they will not leave this place [i.e. the plains of Madinah Tayyibah] at all even if Tubba’ burns them alive or kills them. When Tubba’ found out about this, he became extremely astonished. When he sent his minister to find out the reason for it, then the scholars said:
“A Nabi عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلاَم will come whose name will be Muhammad صَلَّى اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم. Ka’bah and Madinah will attain dignity due to him. He will be the Imam [leader] of Haq [truth]. His sword will be named Zul Fiqaar. He will ride on a she-camel. He will deliver sermon standing on a pulpit with a staff in his hand. His dignity will be elevated further by him being blessed with the Holy Quran and when the Day of Judgement will establish, he will be crowned with the crown of ‘Hamd’ on his blessed head and he will have the flag of ‘Hamd’ in his hand. He will invite people towards لَا اِلٰہَ اِلَّا اللہ. He will be born in the city of Makkah and will bless Madinah-e-Munawwarah with his migration. Undoubtedly, the one being in his era and believed in him will be fortunate. That’s why we want to live here until our last breath with the hope that either we will be blessed to present ourselves in the benevolent court of the Holy Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم or our offspring will be blessed with this privilege.”
After finding out about the whole situation through his minister, Tubba’ thought: Why shouldn’t I stay here as well with these four hundred scholars for one year. It is possible that I am blessed with beholding Muhammad Mustafa صَلَّى اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم in the meanwhile. With this very thought, Tubba’ also stayed there and got four hundred houses constructed for four hundred scholars. He got them married and gave them a lot of wealth and riches too.
After ardently waiting for one year, when Tubba’ intended to leave from there, he wrote a letter to be presented in the blessed court of the Holy Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم. The title and content of the letter were as follows:
From Tubba’ ul Awwal ‘Humayr Bin Ward’a, to the Beloved Rasool of the Rabb of both worlds and the final Nabi Muhammad Bin Abdullah صَلَّى اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم. (This letter is an entrustment to Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ. Whoever receives it shall make it reach to its owner).
“O Muhammad صَلَّى اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم! I embrace faith upon you and the Holy Quran. I adopt your religion and Sunnah. I embrace faith upon your and everything’s Lord عَزَّوَجَلَّ and also accept the Shari’ah that you will bring. If I succeed in attaining the privilege of your blessed company, then it will be a reward of the Allah Almighty upon me; and if I am unable to attain this privilege, then do not forget me on the Day of Judgement. Intercede for me in the merciful court of Allah Almighty. I am your obedient ummati and your follower even before your advent. I am on your and your father Ibraheem‘s عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلاَم religion.”
After writing this letter, Tubba’ stamped it with his golden stamp which had the following statement engraved on it: لِلہِ الْاَمْرُ مِنۡ قَبْلُ وَ مِنۡۢ بَعْدُ ؕوَ یَوْمَئِذٍ یَّفْرَحُ الْمُؤْمِنُوۡنَ بِنَصْرِاللہِ [i.e. the command before and after is of Allah only. And the believers will become happy with the help of Allah Almighty on that day.]
Then Tubba’ handed this letter over to the scholar who reformed him and passed on the will that if you get to meet the Holy Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم, then pass this letter onto him. And if you don’t get to meet him, then your children or the children of your children should carefully make this letter reach the blessed court of the Holy Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم. After this, Tubba’ left Madinah Munawwarah and went to Ghalsaan, a city in Hind [India] and passed away there.
Holy Rasool صَلَّى
اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم was born approximately one thousand years after the
demise of Tubba’. After blessing Makkah Mukarramah for fifty-three years, he صَلَّى
اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم intended
to migrate to Madinah Munawwarah. The Muslims of Madinah who helped Muslims in
this migration are called the “Ansaar”. The Ansaar were from the lineage of the
same four hundred scholars and were guarding the letter from generation to
generation since one thousand years. When the Ansaar came to know about the Holy
اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم intention
of coming to Madinah Munawwarah, then they became overjoyed with ecstasy. They
carried a consultation amongst themselves in order to present Tubba’s letter in
the blessed court of Holy Rasool
صَلَّى اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ
وَسَلَّم. In this consultative cabinet was
also present the companion of Holy Rasool
صَلَّى اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم, Sayyiduna ‘Abdur Rahman Bin ‘Auf رَضِىَ اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ, who had reached Madinah by migrating from Makkah. He gave the advice that some trustworthy person should be handed over this letter who takes it safely to the blessed court of Holy Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم. Therefore, that letter was handed over to Abu Laila Ansari who then embraced Islam at a later stage.
Thereafter, Abu Laila Ansari took the letter and left for the way leading towards Makkah Mukkaramah. During the journey, when he reached the tribe of Banu Sulaym, the Holy Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم was present there. Abu Laila Ansari did not recognise Holy Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم. As soon as Holy Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم saw Abu Laila Ansari, he صَلَّى اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said: ”اَنْتَ اَبُوْ لَیْلٰی؟” i.e. ‘are you Abu Laila?’ He replied: “Yes”. Listening to this, he صَلَّى اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said while giving the news of ghayb (unseen):’وَمَعَکَ کِتَابُ تُبَّعِ الْاَوَّل‘ i.e. ‘You are the one who has the letter of Tubba’ ul Awwal.’ Listening to this, Abu Laila Ansari was taken by surprise and was stunned as to who is this personality who even knows my name and is also aware of my purpose of arrival here. He humbly asked: ‘Who are you?’ He صَلَّى اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم replied: “I am Muhammad صَلَّى اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم. Bring the letter.” Listening to it, Abu Laila Ansari opened his bag and presented almost one thousand years old stamped letter of the king Tubba’ in the court of the Holy Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم. Holy Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم commanded Sayyiduna Siddeeq-e-Akbar to read out the letter. When the letter had been read out, then Holy Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said three times: ’’مَرْحَبًا بِالْاَخِ الصَّالِح‘‘ i.e. Welcome, the pious brother. Welcome, the pious brother. Welcome, the pious brother. After this, Holy Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم commanded Abu Laila Ansari to return to Madinah Munawwarah.
Madinah Munawwarah, Abu Laila Ansari relayed the whole account of him
presenting the letter in the blessed court of Holy Rasool صَلَّى
اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم. Listening to it, people blessed him with rewards according to
their capability. Thereafter, when the Holy Rasool صَلَّى
اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم blessed the plains of Madinah by setting [his blessed]
foot on its soil under the slogans of ’’طَلَعَ الْبَدْرُعَلَیْنَا‘‘ and made it into ‘Madinah-e-Tayyibah’ forever, then every tribe
wanted the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰى
عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم
to stay with them; but he
صَلَّى اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said: ‘Leave my she-camel. It will stop where the command of Allah Almighty will be.’ Therefore, the she-camel stopped in front of the companion of the Holy Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم, Sayyiduna Abu Ayyub Ansari’s رَضِىَ اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ house. He رَضِىَ اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ was from the blessed descendants of the same reverend scholar who reformed Tubba’, and his house was the same house which Tubba’ had specially built for the Holy Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم. (Makhuz Az: Tareekh-e-Dimashq, vol. 11, pp. 3 – 10 – 11 – 12 – 13 - 14)
Ker kay hijrat yahan aa gaey Mustafa
Roshini aaj ghar ghar Madinay mayn hay
(Wasail-e-Bakhshish, pp. 489)