Authenticity Of Hadith Regarding Heraclius
Is the following hadith from Sahih Bukhari authentic?
“On that Heraclius invited all the heads of the Byzantines to assemble in his palace at Homs. When they assembled, he ordered that all the doors of his palace be closed. Then he came out and said, ‘O Byzantines! If success is your desire and if you seek right guidance and want your empire to remain then give a pledge of allegiance to this Prophet (i.e. embrace Islam).’
(On hearing the views of Heraclius) the people ran towards the gates of the palace like onagers but found the doors closed. Heraclius realized their hatred towards Islam and when he lost the hope of their embracing Islam, he ordered that they should be brought back in audience.”
Reference : Sahih al-Bukhari 7
In-book reference : Book 1, Hadith 7
I came across following information from Wikipedia:
According to the Muslim sources reported by El-Cheikh, he tried to convert the ruling class of the Empire, but they resisted so strongly that he reversed his course and claimed that he was just testing their faith in Christianity. El-Cheikh notes that these accounts of Heraclius add “little to our historical knowledge” of the emperor; rather, they are an important part of “Islamic kerygma,” attempting to legitimize Muhammad’s status as a prophet.
Most scholarly historians view such traditions as “profoundly kerygmatic” and that “enormous difficulties” exist in using these sources for actual history. Furthermore, they argue that any messengers sent by Muhammad to Heraclius would not have received an imperial audience or recognition. According to Kaegi, there is no evidence outside of Islamic sources to suggest Heraclius ever heard of Islam, and it is possible that he and his advisors actually viewed the Muslims as some special sect of Jews.
I find these claims quite nonacademic, they’re mostly based on conjecture. Muslims fought Romans at Mautah. Can anyone, in their right mind, claim that an Emperor was not aware of the ones he was fighting?
Additionally, I want to ask how credible is the above claim of historians that Roman sources don’t mention any letter Heraclius received from Prophet(pbuh)?
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