"And unto him who disputeth with thee therein after the knowledge hath come unto thee, Say ! ( O' Our Apostle Muhammad ! ) ( Unto them ) come ye, let us summon our sons, and ( ye summon ) your sons, and ( we summon ) our women and ( ye ) your women, and ( we summon ) ourselves and then let us invoke the curse of God on the liars!" (3:61)
This verse refers to the famous event of ' al-Mubahalah ' which took place in the year 10 AH against the Christians of Najran. A deputation of 60 Christians of Najran headed by Abdul Masih their chief monkpriest came and discussed with the Holy Prophet (saw) the personality of Hazrat Isa (A). The Holy Prophet (saw) told them not to deify Jesus for he was only a mortal created by God, and not God Himself. Then they asked who the father of Jesus was. By this, they thought that since he was born without a father the Holy Prophet (saw) would helplessly accept Jesus' father being God himself. In reply to this question was revealed the verse:"Verily, similitude of Jesus with God is as the similitude of Adam; He created him out of dust then said He unto him BE, and he became."
When the Christians did not agree to this line of reasoning, then this verse was revealed enjoining upon the Prophet (saw) to call the Christians to Mubahalah. To this the Christians agreed and they wanted to return to their place and would have the Mubahalah the next day.
Early next morning the Holy Prophet (saw) sent Salman al Farsi to the open place, fixed outside the city for the historic event, to erect a small shelter for himself and those he intended to take along with him for the contest. On the opposite side appeared the Christian prists, while at the appointed hour the Christians witnessed the Holy Prophet (saw) entering the field with Imam Hussain (A) in his lap, Imam Hasan (A) holding his finger, and walking beside him, Lady Fatima (A) and followed by Imam Ali al Murtaza (A). The Prophet (A) on reaching the appointed spot stationed himself with his daughter, her two sons and her husband, raising his hands towards the heaven said :
Lord these are the People of my House
The Chief Monk on knowing that the baby in the lap of the Prophet (saw) was his young grandson, Imam Hussain (A), the child walking holding the Prophet's (saw) hand was his first grandson, Imam Hasan (A), the Lady behind him was daughter, his only surviving issue was Fatima (A) the mother of the two children and the one who followed the Lady was his son in law, the husband of Fatima (A), addressed the huge crowd of the people who had gathered on the spot, and addressed them saying
By God, I see the faces which, if they pray to God for mountains to move from their places, the mountains will immediately move !
O believers in the Jesus of Nazareth, I will tell you the truth that should ye fail to enter into some agreement with Muhammad and if these souls whom Muhammad has brought with him, curse you, ye will be wiped out of existence to the last day of the life of the earth !
The people readily agreed to the advice counseled by their Leader. They beseeched the Holy Prophet (saw) to give up the idea of the agreed Mubahalah and requested for themselves to be allowed to continue their faith, offering to pay ' Jizya '.
This historic event of a unique triumph of Islam is taken by the Shias as a religious thanksgiving festival of the triumph against falsehood. Some of the significance of this event are as follows :
* this event un-questionably establishes the truth about the spiritual purity of the Ahl al Bayt
* it proves beyond any doubt as to who are the members of the house of the Prophet (saw)
* the seriousness and the solemnity of the occasion demands absolute purity, spiritual as well as physical in the individuals to serve in the fateful occasion for the Holy Prophet to present them to God as the best one of His creation to be heard in the prayers of Truth!