Hadith of Mubahala

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Al-Mubahalah means to curse each other and the Hadith of Mubahela is a tradition about a debate (Arabic: mubahela‎) in which Islamic prophet Muhammad in one side and the Christians of Najran were in other side, and the call was extended to the sons and women. [1] Najranis came to Medina claiming that Isa is divine and son of Allah.[2]

The event is recorded in several hadith collections and is referred to in the Qur'anic Sura Al Imran.

In such debates, each side would bring the most informed men, hence Najranis surprised when they saw "ALi, Fatima, Hassan and Hossein" accompanying Muhammad.[3]

It is seen as one of the merits of Ahl al-Bayt and is widely used in Shia-Sunni arguments, and also used by the Shia to prove that Muhammad, Ali ibn Abu Talib, Fatimah, Hasan, Husain are Panjetan-e-Pak and most prominent among his Ahl al-Bayt.


According to Islamic tradition, the Christians of Najran were unhappy about the rapid spread of Islam in the lands of Arabia. They wished to discuss this matter with Muhammad and arrived in Medina in 630 CE. Learned scholars were selected by the Christians who had a continuous dialogue with Muhammad for three days. It started on Saturday, when Sunday arrived, the Christians asked to leave the city to pray. Muhammad told them to stay and pray inside the mosque, which they did.

Muhammad and the Christians were unable to arrive on any mutual understanding. At this point, Muhammad received a revelation from God.


(recorded in Sura Al Imran):

But whoever disputes with you in this matter after what has come to you of knowledge, then say: Come let us call our sons and your sons and our women and your women and our near people and your near people, then let us be earnest in prayer, and pray for the curse of God on the liars. [Quran 3:61]

According to Al-Mizan by Allamah Tabatabaei, the shia scholar, The first "us" in this verse has a different import from the plural pronouns used in "our sons", "our women" and "our near people." The former refers to the both Islam and Christianity sides, while the other three "Our"s refer to the side of Islam only. This way, a meaningful short sentence, implies a longer sentence equal in meaning.[1]

Hence it was decided that they would bring their families and Muhammad would bring his family and each will curse on the liar.The next morning, Muhammad emerged from his house with his hand held the hand of Hasan walking beside him, held Husain in his arms, followed by his daughter Fatimah and finally by his son-in-law Ali ibn Abu Talib. He came and stood with this family in front of the Christian bishops who also came forward to perform the Mubahela.

The chief of the Christians was bishop Abul Harris. When he saw this small family of the Muhammad, he turned towards his fellow Christians and told them,

do not indulge in Mubahela with this family, for I am observing such pious faces that if they would order the mountain to come to them the mountain shall move towards them. It is therefore prudent to make treaty with them rather than confrontation of this spiritual imminence.

They asked Muhammad for peace and it was accepted. Muhammad extended the hand of friendship towards them, a treaty was signed and both parties left on friendly terms.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Tabatabaei, Muhammad Husayn. Tafsir al-Mizan. 
  2. ^ Muhammad Saed Abdul-Rahman (29 October 2009). Tafsir Ibn Kathir Juz' 3 (Part 3): Al-Baqarah 253 to Al-I-'Imran 92 2nd Edition. MSA Publication Limited. pp. 126–. ISBN 978-1-86179-679-0. 
  3. ^ Linda S. Walbridge Adjunct Professor of Anthropology Indiana University (6 August 2001). The Most Learned of the Shi`a : The Institution of the Marja` Taqlid: The Institution of the Marja` Taqlid. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-534393-9. 
  4. ^ Sahih Muslim, 031:5915

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