The story of mutual curse indicates one of the other merits of Imam ‘Ali, his children and his dignified wife, for the Messenger of Allah sought their help so that his prayer be answered by their saying Amen.
Following the conquest of Mecca when Islam and its rule spread in Hijaz, delegations from every direction came to the Holy Prophet (S) either to embrace Islam or to seek life security.
One of these delegations was the Christians of Najran consisting of thirty people headed by Abu-Harithah who was their bishop (chief priest).
Some of the members of this delegation were: Al-Aqib, al-Sayyid, and Abd al-Masih who came to Medina in fine silk robes while wearing a cross on their necks.
The Holy Prophet too was performing his afternoon prayer. At this time, a group of the Jews of Medina met the Christians, started discussing their differences with one group rejecting the other.
At any rate, Najran delegation came to the presence of the Holy Prophet (S), saying: O Muhammad! What is your opinion about Jesus, the son of Mary? The Messenger of Allah said: Jesus is the servant of Allah who appointed him as a prophet.
The chief priest said: Do you know any father for him?
The Holy Prophet said: No, because his creation was not through marriage so that he would have a father.
The bishop said: Was he not created?
The Holy Prophet said: Yes, he was created! They said: How can a person be created with no father?
At this time, God Almighty revealed the following verse: “surely the likeness of Jesus is with Allah as the likeness of Adam, …, then let us be earnest in prayer, and pray for the curse of Allah on the liars” (3:59-61).
Reciting these verses, the Messenger of Allah added: If you do not accept what I say, prepare yourself for mutual cursing and know that punishment will come down on those who are unjust!
The chief priest and his companions started exchanging views and decided to be given a deadline till the next morning so that they would announce the result of their decision.
The Holy Prophet (S) agreed.
Returning home, the chief priest said to his aides: If tomorrow Muhammad and his household come for mutual cursing, we will never give in to it but if he comes with his companions, we will take part in it and know that he is not right.
Turning to Christians, an outstanding person said: O Christian community, you certainly know that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, for he spoke truthfully about Jesus Christ.
By God, if a group carry out mutual cursing with a prophet, life will become bitter to the elderly people and they will perish soon and no children will be found among them.
If you go for mutual cursing, you will all perish! If you are fond of your religion and adhere to it, the only solution will be to compromise with this man, to put an end to hostility and to return to your land.
The following day when Christians came to see the Holy Prophet (S), they found the Messenger of Allah taking the hand of ‘Ali in his hand, Hasan and Husayn being in front of him and Fatimah behind him.
The chief priest asked people about them.
They said: This man whose hand is in the hand of the Messenger of Allah is his cousin, son-in-law and the most beloved man to him, that is ‘Ali ibn Abi-Talib, these two children are his grandchildren and the most beloved to him, and that woman too is his daughter, the dearest and most honorable and the closest to his heart, whom he calls his own spirit!
Looking at Aqib, Sayyid and Abd al-Masih who enjoyed high positions with him, the chief priest said: Think well about your affair, for those who accompany him are his endeared ones like whom there is no one on the earth. He has brought them for mutual cursing, a sign that he is sure about what he says!
By God, if he were not right, he would not expose his endeared ones to mutual cursing.
By God, if the position of Caesar of Rome who follows us was not involved, we would certainly embrace Islam.
But this great obstacle on our way, there is no option other than compromise or accepting what he wants.
Now, try to get out of this dangerous situation and save your future with cleverness.
O Christian people, I can see illuminated faces to whom everyone resorts for the removing of mountains, God will remove that mountain from one place to another.
If you are ready for mutual cursing with them, you will certainly perish and there will be no Christian on the earth till the Day of Judgment!
Hearing the words of their chief priest, the delegation of Najran Christians came to the conclusion that they should end the matter peacefully.
Hence, they said: O Abu-al-Qasim!
We have decided not to have mutual cursing with you.
So you shall have your religion and we shall have our religion.
The Messenger of Allah said: You have to embrace Islam so that you will share profit and loss with Muslims.
The Holy Prophet (S) said: Therefore, be prepared for fighting.
They said: We are not able to fight Arabs.
Nevertheless, we will compromise with you in a way that you will not attack us, nor will you stop us from practicing our religion.
In return, we will promise to pay two thousand garments, each garment being equal to forty Dirhams, each year and if it is less than it a year, we will make it up the following year, that is, one thousand garments in the month of Safar and one thousand in the month of Rajab.
In addition to this, we will offer you thirty armors each year.
The Messenger of Allah accepted their request, saying: By God in whose Hand my life is, if the Christians of Najran embarked on mutual cursing, they would certainly perish; they would be transformed into pigs and monkeys; a blazing fire would engulf them so much so that it would burn the birds on branches and in the sky; all the Christians of Najran would perish and all the Christians on the earth would be annihilated.
The reason the aforementioned verse was recited is that God Almighty has considered Muhammad’s life as ‘Ali’s life and ‘Ali’s life as Muhammad’s life.