The Prophet wrote to Juraij bin Matta [Rahmat-al-lil’alameen 1/178; Dr. Hamidullah said that his name was Binyamin], called Muqawqas, vicegerent of Egypt and Alexandria saying:
“In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful. From Muhammad, slave of Allah and His Messenger to Muqawqas, vicegerent of Egypt. Peace be upon him who follows true guidance. Thereafter, I invite you to accept Islam. Therefore, if you want security, accept Islam. If you accept Islam, Allah, the Sublime, shall reward you doubly. But if you refuse to do so, you will bear the burden of the transgression of all the Copts.
“Say (O Muhammad: ‘O people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), come to a word that is just between us and you, that we worship none but Allah, and that we associate no partners 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 Muslims.’” [Al-Qur’an 3:64]
Muqawqas meditated over the contents of the letter deeply and said: “I have come to the conviction that this Prophet bids nothing abominable; he is neither a straying magician nor a lying soothsayer. He bears the true manifest seeds of Prophethood, and so I will consider the affair deeply.”
He took the parchment and ordered that it be kept in an ivory casket. He called a scribe to write the following reply in Arabic:
“In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful. From Muqawqas to Muhammad bin ‘Abdullah. Peace be upon you. I have read your letter and understood its contents, and what you are calling for. I already know that the coming of a Prophet is still due, but I used to believe he would be born in Syria. I am sending you as presents two maids, who come from noble Coptic families; clothing and a steed for riding on. Peace be upon you.”
It is noteworthy that Muqawqas did not avail himself of this priceless opportunity and he did not embrace Islam.