The story of H. a-t.ib’s letter is the quintessential story of betrayal, divine intervention, and, ultimately, forgiveness. H. a-t.ib betrays Muh. ammad with his letter to the Quraysh, God warns His prophet about the letter, and Muh.ammad, despite advice and a divine revelation to the contrary, forgives his errant companion. This act will give Muh. ammad a reputation for forgiveness that will carry over into his conquest of Mecca and beyond. Like many of the stories in the sı-ra, this one is driven by its characters. Muh. ammad fulfills the archetype of the knowing prophet, ʿAlı-reveals that he is the ever-faithful follower, and ʿUmar’s insistence on killing H. a-t.ib makes him a foil for Muh.ammad’s final decision in favor of forgiveness. Despite H. a-t.ib’s identification as a muha-jiru-n and a veteran of Badr, he appears only twice in the sı-ra accounts of al-T.abarı-and Ibn Kathı-r – once as the deliverer of a letter from the Prophet to the ruler of Alexandria, inviting him to convert to Islam, and once as the sender of a letter of warning to the Quraysh. Thus, his character is intimately connected to the deliverance of invitations and warnings, which are complementary themes in this story and communicate its unique literary quality. The woman that H. a-t.ib sends with his letter also plays an important role, as it is she who confirms the divine origin of Muh. ammad’s knowledge by relinquishing the letter, thus placing the element of the supernatural at the story’s core. In the end, the story contains several important moral lessons: faith in God is more important than a desire to protect one’s family; faith in the Prophet is more important than societal norms; and, forgiveness is not only more important than vengeance, but is sometimes more important than obeying God.