Al-Ala'a Al-Hadrami

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'Abu Al-Ala'a Al-Hadrami (Arabic: ابو العلاء الحضرمي‎, "Abu Al-ʿAlāʾ al-Haḍrami) was a Hadrami envoy sent by the Muslim prophet Muhammad in the 7th century AD, to spread the message of Islam to the region that is now Bahrain and Qatar.[1] He was from Hadhramaut in Yemen.

Biography[edit]

Facsimile of a letter sent by Muhammad to Munzir ibn-Sawa al-Tamimi, governor of Bahrain in 628 AD

Prior to Islam, the inhabitants of Qatar and Bahrain were mostly pagans who worshipped idol gods like Awal, and there were also some Magians and Jews. Islam swept the Arabian peninsula in the 7th century, overturning the idol worshippers. Prophet Muhammad sent his first envoy Abu Al-Ala'a Al-Hadrami to Munzir ibn Sawa Al Tamimi, the ruler of Bahrain, which in those days, extended the coast from Kuwait to the south of Qatar including Al Hasa and Bahrain Islands, in the year 628 AD, inviting him and the Abdul Qays tribe to Islam.[1] Munzir, responding to Muhammad's call announced his conversion to Islam and all the Arab inhabitants of Bahrain and Qatar including some Persians living in Qatar also became Muslim, heralding the beginning of the Islamic era in Bahrain and Qatar. Consequently, Abu Al Ala Al-Hadrami was appointed by prophet Muhammad as his representative in Bahrain to collect the Jizya (religious tax).

After the death of Muhammed in 632 AD, large numbers of Arab tribes revolted against the Islamic empire, including a large portion of Bahrain's population who returned to paganism. As a result, the new Caliph Abu Bakr sent Al-Hadrami back to Bahrain with a sizeable army where he successfully defeated the rebels. He governed Bahrain until 634 AD when the new Caliph Umar replaced him with Uthman bin Abi al-A'las Thaqafi.[1] Al Hadrami later died in 635 AD.

Legacy[edit]

There are multiple streets and a school named after Al-Hadrami in Bahrain. The letter from Muhammad to Munzir ibn Sawa Al Tamimi is preserved and can be seen at Beit Al Qur'an museum in Hoora, Bahrain, with the seal of Muhammad still intact.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Whelan, John (1983). Bahrain: A MEED Practical Guide. Taylor & Francis. p. 22. ISBN 9780950521176.