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Remove Him from this Land

by Muhammad Alshareef

In the book, Muslim Judges of Andalus, Abu Al-Hasan Ibn Abdullaah Al-Maaliqee recounts a story about a great scholar of our Ummah: Muhammad ibn At-Tayyib Abu Bakr Al-Baaqillaanee (d. 1013). Let’s spend a moment in his sandals, so that we may feel the power that Islam had in the hearts of those Muslims.

Here is a passage from when the Khalifah of the Muslims sent Abu Bakr Al-Baaqillaanee to the Roman King. 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 decorations. At that moment, the King beckoned Al-Baaqillaanee 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 incense, 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 its own right.

After the moment had passed and the crowd had focused on the stage in that castle banquet hall, the King turned to Al-Baaqillaanee and said with a sniff, “O Faqeeh! The Batrik is the chief of our religion, and the guardian of the flock.”

Al-Baaqillaanee turned to the Batrik with the warmest smile and the gentlest of words. He asked the sweetest and most loving questions, then Al-Baaqillaanee said something to the effect of, “So Batrik…how are the kids and wife?”

Remember, the popes would practice celibacy. At this question, 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 Al-Baaqillaanee 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; 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!)”

These words 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. Al-Baaqillaanee was sent back to Iraq, back to the Khalifah, with gifts and the release of many Muslim prisoners.

This is a true story that took place in the year 1002 CE. May Allah handsomely reward those that preserved it for us.