Prepared by Muhammad Alshareef
In the book, Muslim Judges of Andalus, by Abu al-Hasan ibn Abdullaah al-Maaliqee, he recounts a story about the great scholar of our Ummah: Muhammad ibn At-Tayyib Abu Bakr al-Baaqillaanee (d. 1013). Let's spend a moment in his sandals, perhaps we may feel the power that Islam had in the hearts of those Muslims.
This event took place when the Khalifah of the Muslims sent him to the Roman King. Quote:
Ibn Hayyaan says: The transgressor - the King of the Romans - invited Abu Bakr al-Baaqillaanee to a Christian banquet and on the appointed day, Abu Bakr Al-Baaqillaanee arrived. The hall was lush with Christian noblemen, the walls and tables dazzled in the decorations. At that moment, the King beckoned AlBaaqillaanee near, sitting him a step down from his throne and complimenting him with flattering questions. All around the King sat noblemen and those most nearest to his counsel.
Then the Batrik (the High priest) entered the banquet hall with his entire splendor, the final guest, the chief of their religion. Swarming him was an assembly of lower priests, each reciting the Injeel (Bible) and carrying lanterns of insense, all of them dressed in their most finely hemmed garments.
When the Batrik found himself in the center of the hall, the King stood glorifying the Batrik. He bowed his head and rubbed both hands on the Batrik's shoulders. Then to his immediate right, the King sat the Batrik down on a throne marvelous in it's own right.
After the moment had passed and the crowd had focused on the stage in that castle banquet hall, the King turned to AlBaaqillaanee and said with a sniff, "O Faqeeh! The Batrik is the chief of our religion, and the guardian of the flock."
AlBaaqillaanee turned to the Batrik with the warmest smile and the gentlest of words. He asked the sweetest and most loving questions, then AlBaaqillaanee said:
"Soo Batrik . How are the kids and wife!?!"
(Remember, the popes would practice celibacy).
The hall fell silent. Blasphemy! The King was shocked. The Batrik was outraged. Brows cringed, decorations dimmed, disgusted faces shaped on all. Then Abu Bakr AlBaaqillaanee said, "O people, listen to me. You dislike that this mere mortal could have a wife and children ascribed to him. And you deny any allegation to the contrary. Yet when it comes to your Lord, Glorious and most High, you do not feel the same disgust. And you attribute to Allah both the wife and child that you would never allow your Batrik to be associated with.
"Suddatan lihaadha ar-Ra'y - Perished be your claim! How clearly wrong it is!"
It fell in the Christians hands and they had no answer. Fear and nervousness shook their hearts.
Quickly the King turned to the Batrik and whispered in his ear, "What shall we do?"
He replied, "Treat this man honorably, complete the dinner, then expel this Iraqi trouble maker from your land; today if you can. Otherwise, you shall not be safe from his mischief."
The King did as he was advised. AlBaaqillaanee was returned to Iraq - back to the Khalifah - with gifts and many Muslim prisoners finally released.
This is a true story that happened in the year 1002 CE. May Allah reward handsomely those that preserved it for us.