This portion of Al-Kitab takes its name from the person to whom it was originally written–Philemon. Philemon was well-known among the followers of ‘Isa al-Masihduring that time. He was a member of the local congregation of believers in the city of Colossae (in modern-day Turkey). He had a slave whose name was Onesimus. Onesimus ran away from Philemon and somehow met up with the apostle Paul (pbuh) in a Roman jail. Through Paul (pbuh), Onesimus heard the message of the Injiland came to believe in ‘Isa al-Masih. Then the two of them together decided that Onesimus should return to Philemon and make right his previous wrongs to Philemon. Onesimus also hand-carried this letter to Philemon from Paul (pbuh). The letter asks Philemon to be merciful to Onesimus, and to welcome him back, not just as a slave, but now as a fellow follower of ‘Isa al-Masih.


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