Omar died in 644 AD; Islamic expansion in Jihad and War was carried out under him from 636-644 AD.
The letter was written sometime after the Battle of Qadesiyyeh in 636 AD and before the battle of Nahavand, in 642 AD.
This is all in Farsi, the language of Iran ( also spoken in about half of Afghanistan and all of Tajikistan and parts of Uzbekistan).
I will give you a rough translation and synopsis of what she said here:
This Iranian lady is telling of how the trial of Saddam Hussein, a few years ago [ June of 2004- Dec. 2006 ], "the defeated Khalif of Iraq" (An Iranian friend told me she uses the word "khalif" in the sense of "cruel dictator", because Omar Ibn Khattab, the second Khalif of Sunni Muslims, especially was a cruel and ruthless dictator who attacked Persia in Islamic Jihad. Saddam was not really a "Khalif", but she uses it to show contempt for Omar, the second Khalif of Sunni Muslims.
"On the Monday morning when the trial of Saddam Hussein was widely publicized, Saddam Hussein, that defeated dictator ( "Khalif" ), in the storm and confusion of my own thoughts, I was reminded of when Mohammad Pahlavi, the Shah (King) of Iran, when he was a boy during a drought, asked his father, Reza Shah Pahlavi, about the dry land to the west of them, "What is that dry land in that corner?" Reza Shah answered, "that is Iraq".(the video fades out before her sentence is complete, and then she reads the actual letter of Omar to Yazdegird)
"O Justice! for us! [because Saddam is being tried ] When this dry land without water or grass, of Iraq attacked our borders and people and raped our women! - soon after the tragedy of the Islamic revolution in Iran. [1979 was the Islamic Revolution in Iran, and in 1980 Saddam attacked Iran and they had a 8 year war until 1988.] Yes, with the same praise to Allah and the Qur'an in his hand and swearing to Allah, Saddam testified to Islam at his trial, it reminded me of the ancient document in the British Museum of the letter of Omar, the second Khalif of Islam (for Sunnis) to the Shah of Persia, Yazdegird III.
It is interesting how in history that the name of Allah is again proclaimed and spread. This historical document of the letter of Omar, the second Khalif of the Muslims, to Yazdegird III, the Sassanian King of Persia, and then the letter of Yazdegird back to Omar, after the battle of Qadesiyeh and before the battle of Nahavand, that took place over a period of about four months.
We translate these two letters for you (Iranians), which the original manuscripts of them exist today in the London Museum, we hope that in the future day in our own homeland (Iran), the place that these historical documents are connected to, we now translate them for you. . . "
[ Background info:
Yazgird III and Omar Al Muslemin letters
Copy of communications between Sassanian Yazdgird III (632 AD - 651 AD) and Omar Ibn Al Khatab Khalifat Al Muslemin, after the battle of Ghadesiyeh. The original copy of this letter from Yazdgird III (632 AD - 651 AD) is kept in the British museum of London. The date in which this letter has been written is after the battle of Ghadesiyeh.
A natural disaster in the form of a massive sand storm was blown upon the front line of Iranian troops and so took away their battle vision thus causing the loss of this battle. Later on Muslim Khalif mentioned that Allah sent the massive Sand Storm in Iranian faces which was why they lost the battle. Allah was the protector of Muslim against Ajams.
The battle of Ghadesiyeh did not just cost Iran a great loss due to a natural disaster, yet it also cost the life of greatest Iranian hero the Commander in Chief of Iranian Army, "Rostam-e Farokhzad." Arabs killed Rostam in this battle. Rostam and his squad fought until the last drop of their blood and at the end even after he lost his sword, he fought the Arabs with bare hands and his shield.]
Then she reads the letter of Omar to Yazdegird, the Shah of Persia -
From: Omar Ibn Al Khatab Khalifat Al Muslemin
To: Yazdgird III Shahanshah of Persian Empire
Yazdgird, I see not a fruitful future for you and your nation unless
you accept my offer and commit Bei'at (Joining with Khalifat and bringing Islam). Once upon a time your land ruled half the known world but what has it come down to now? Your troops are defeated in all fronts and your nation is bound to collapse. I offer you a way to rescue yourself. Start praying to a mono God, a single union God, the only God who created everything in the universe.
We bring you and the world his message, he who is the true God. Stop your Fire Worship, command your nation to stop their Fire Worship which is false; join us by joining the truth. Worship Allah the only true God, The creator of universe. Worship to Allah and accept Islam as your salvation. End your Pagan ways and your false worships now and bring Islam so you can accept Allah as your savior. By doing so, you will find the only way to your survival and peace for Persians. If you know what is best for Ajam (Arabic term for Persians meaning Retarded & Weird), you will choose this path. Bei'at is the only way.
Allah O Akbar
sign, Khalifat Al Muslemin
Omar Ibn Al Khatab
See the historical background and English translation of the letters of Omar to Yazdegird and Yazdegird's response here.
We may put the letter of Yazdegird to Omar up in a later post. This video stops here. You can see her facial expression at the end of reading this letter. Iranians do not like Omar, because he attacked Persia in unjust and aggressive warfare, only because the Persians were Zoroastrians and did not accept the message of Islam at first. The Arabs thought the Zoroastrians worshipped fire, but actually they believed fire was a symbol of God, whom they called "Ahura Mazda". ( By the way, Hebrews 12:29 is a good verse to use in witnessing to Iranians.) The Arabs attacked the Persians in Jihad warfare, and, according to some of my Iranian friends, it actually took about 3 centuries to fully subjugate the Iranians and integrate them into Islam.
Omar Ibn Al Khatab, learned this Da'wa (invitation to Islam) from his mentor and the founder of Islam, Muhammad.
Sahih Al Bukhari - the most respected Hadith collection of Sunnis.
Volume 4, Book 52, Number 190:
:Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Abbas:
Allah's Apostle sent his letter to Khusrau and ordered his messenger to hand it over to the Governor of Bahrain who was to hand it over to Khusrau. So, when Khusrau read the letter he tore it. Said bin Al-Musaiyab said, "The Prophet then invoked Allah to disperse them with full dispersion, (destroy them (i.e. Khusrau and his followers) severely)"."
Khusrau or Khosrow was the Shah of Persia at the time of Muhammad's letter in 630 AD.
Muhammad also sent letters to other political leaders around the same time, one of them was the Emperor of the Byzantine Empire, Hericlius. Because both the Byzantine emperor and the Persian Shah rejected Mohammad's "da'wa" (invitaition); the Muslims attacked both the Byzantine Empire and the Persian Empire in holy war, which is what the ultimate application of Jihad (striving, exertion, effort) is in Islam. One cannot separate the Quran from the Hadith, as the Hadith shows us the historical context of most of the verses in the Quran.
The Historical Context of "A Common Word" - the verse in the Qur'an that 138 Muslim scholars used in October of 2007 to send to many Christian and Jewish leaders and asked them to "come together and agree with us that is no god but Allah, and call no one else Lord".
The verse in the Qur'an of 3:64, "come together in agreement with us", which is what the "Common Word" initiative is based on, does not mean only “agree with simple Monotheism”; it includes the rejection of Jesus the Messiah as “the Lord”. “take no other lords”. We have no right to re-interpret verses in the Qur'an out of their context and according to our understanding. We don't like this when Muslim debaters like Ahmad Deedat did this to the Bible (eisegesis) and we should not be doing that to the Qur'an.
See the Hadith, Al Bukhari, the letter and context of Muhammad's invitation to Byzantine and Persia to embrace Islam:
Volume 4, Book 52, Number 191:
Narrated Abdullah bin Abbas:
Allah's Apostle wrote to Caesar and invited him to Islam . . .
"In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful (This letter is) from Muhammad, the slave of Allah, and His Apostle, to Heraclius, the Ruler of the Byzantine. Peace be upon the followers of guidance. Now then, I invite you to Islam (i.e. surrender to Allah), embrace Islam and you will be safe; embrace Islam and Allah will bestow on you a double reward. But if you reject this invitation of Islam, you shall be responsible for misguiding the peasants (i.e. your nation). O people of the Scriptures! Come to a word common to you and us and you, that we worship. None but Allah, and that we associate nothing in worship with Him; and that none of us shall take others as Lords besides Allah. Then if they turn away, say: Bear witness that we are (they who have surrendered (unto Him)..(Qur'an 3.64)
Evangelicals were very naive and seemingly ignorant of the historical context of Qur'an 3:64, when the Evangelicals then responded with the Yale Reconciliation initiative, "Loving God and Neighbor: An Evangelical Response", which had no gospel proclamation or explanation or apologetic answer to the Muslims.
John Piper gave an excellent response to the Yale Reconciliation Evangelical letter:
Muhammad's invitation (Da'wa) was "embrace Islam or we will fight" to pagans - it was "convert or die" ( Qur'an 9:5) and to Christians and Jews it was "submit by paying the Jiziye and become Dhimmis and you cannot evangelize or build new churches anymore" (Surah 9:29) - and they carried that out. Omar learned from him.
A summary of some of the most explicit verses on Jihad and violence in Islam:
Surah 8:39 – fight them until there is no more rebellion and religion is all for Allah. "Fitneh" does not mean "persecution", rather, "rebellion", "tumult", 'confusion", "mutiny" ( like protests in the streets and chaos).
Surah 9:5 The verse of the sword - slay the unbelievers where ever you find them.
Surah 9:29 “Fight against the people of the book, . . . Until they pay the tribute readily, being brought low.”
Hadith: Sahih Al Bukhari :
• Law of apostacy: If anyone turns from Islam, kill him. (9:84:57)
• "War is deceit" – repeated often. (4:52:267, 268, 269)
• “If you embrace Islam, you will be safe.” (4:53:392)
• Muhammed wrote letters to Khosrow, king of Iran and Hericlius, Byzantine Emperor, “If you become a Muslim, you will be safe.” (1:1:6) (also, 4:52:190-191)