The event of Mubahila

“…then say: ‘Come! Let us call our sons and your sons, our women and your women, our souls and your souls, then let us pray earnestly and call down Allah’s curse upon the liars’” (Qur’an 3:61).

The above verse, known as “the verse of Mubahila” addresses the Prophet of Islam and refers to the story where the Christians of Najran and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) agreed on a challenge. Mubahila is done when both parties have presented their arguments and insist on their beliefs. Then in order for truth to be unveiled by Allah, they pray and seek calamity on the person(s) who’s not truthful.

Sunni and Shia Muslim scholars have narrated this event and both confirm that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) entered the field with Imam Hassan’s (as) hand in his hand and Imam Hussein in his arm, with Lady Fatimah (as) and Ali (as) following. The Prophet (PBUH) told his family that when I pray, you all say ‘Amen’. Sources confirm that these members were the only ones selected based on Divine order for the day of Mubahila (1).

Upon seeing that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) had selected his closest family members for this event, they reconsidered the situation. The great Asghaf of Najran said, “I am seeing faces that if they begin to pray, can move mountains.” They therefore decided to not follow through with the Mubahila and instead made peace with each other.

Furthermore, Fatimah (as) was the only lady who was selected as the representative of the Muslim women from among all others who were close the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), which shows her virtue and value over all other Muslim women. Hassan and Hussein (as) were selected as the sons of the Prophet, Fatimah (as) was selected as the women (from the verse), and Ali (as) was selected as the souls/selves from the verse. All these show the immense virtue of the Ahlul Bayt (as).


1. Sunni: Sahih Muslim, 7.21; Sunan Tirmidhi, 4.293; al-Mustadrak al-Sahihain, 3.150; al-Bidayah wa al-Nihaya, 5.65; al-Dur al-Manthur, 2.39; Seer ilam al-nabla, 3.286
Shia: Amali Sadi, 618; Irshad Mufid, 1.167; al-Tibyan, 2.484