15.5 The Meeting of the Three Religions
At the time when religious discussion and arguments had reached a peak between the Messenger and the Jews, a delegation of sixty horsemen came from Najran. They were Christian priests and nobles, who had come to join in the discussions, and among them were priests honored and revered by the Roman Emperor.
The three revealed religions at last met in one place. The Jews denied the prophets who came after them and denied that Jesus was the son of God as the Christians maintained, claiming that Uzayr (Ezra) was the son of God.
The Messenger pointed out that the decrees of Allah were eternal and unalterable. What was communicated to him was the same as had been communicated to all the prophets before him, Noah, Abraham, Job, Moses and Jesus, son of Mary. It is that Allah is One, He has no son and no mate and He is the Creator of the whole universe. The difference found between the Christians and the Jews was due to human invention. The Messenger challenged them to bring the Torah and to recite it, for in it is written that Allah is One.
When he saw that they would riot admit the truth of his words, even though they realized that he spoke the truth, he asked them to do what the holy verses had bid him ask them:
To those who argue with you about him (Jesus) after
the knowledge that has come to you, say
"Come, let us call our children and your children,
our women and your women, ourselves and yourselves,
then call upon Allah to let His curse fall upon the liars." (3:61)
The Christians of Najran were aware that he spoke the truth, and so they refused to pray with him for the curse of Allah to fall upon those who had not told the truth. They saw how upright and fair he was in dealing with them, and they asked him to send back with them one of his Companions to be the arbiter between them and their people in certain matters on which they differed. The Messenger chose Abu Ubayda ibn al-Jarrah to go with them, a man of profound faith and upright judgment, whom the Messenger used to call “the Trustee of this nation.”
Although they were convinced of the truth of the Messenger's words, the Christians of Najran would not announce their belief in him. When they were asked why they did not, Abu Harith, one of the most learned among them, summed up the situation in the following words,
“What prevents me is what these people (the Romans) have done to us. They have honored us, made us rich, and given us influence. If I were to disagree with them, all this would be taken away.”