Where is this narration, and what is its authenticity?
Hiraql asked the Roman army who got defeated: How is it that they defeated you, whereas they also human like you, and your number is double theirs, how is this possible? One old person replied: Because they perform Salah at night, fast during the day, command good, forbid evil and fulfil their pledges. On the other hand, we fornicate, eat pork, drink wine, break our pledges, oppress, and cause corruption on land. He said: “You spoke the truth to me.”
This narration is recorded in Al Mujalasah wa Jawihirul ‘ilm and Tarikh Dimashq. The narration is suitable to quote.
When the defeated Roman army came to Hiraql, he said: “Woe unto you! Inform me about these people you fought. Aren’t they humans like you?” They replied, “Yes.” He asked, “Who was more in number? You or them?” They replied, “We were more than them multifold in every aspect.” He asked, “Then what is the matter? Why are you defeated whenever you meet them in combat?” A senior old person responded, “This is due to them standing up in Salah at night, fasting during the day, fulfilling their pledges, enjoining good, forbidding evil and they are just. On the contrary, we drink wine, fornicate, commit forbidden acts, break our pledges, usurp, oppress, command people to carry out deeds that angers Allah, we prohibit them from carrying out deeds that please Allah ‘Azza wa Jalla and we spread corruption on earth.” Hiraql replied, “You have spoken the truth.”
(Al Mujalasah wa Jawihirul ‘ilm: 1259, Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 2 pg. 97. Also see: Al Bidayah wan Nihayah, vol. 7 pg. 218-219 and ‘Uyunul Akhbar of Ibn Qutaybah, vol. 1 pg. 208-209 ‘ilmiyyah edition)
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.
Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala
Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar