Dear Brothers and Sisters in Islam,

Assalaamu Alaikkum Wa Rahmathullaahi Wa Barakaathahu !

A moving real event in Islamic history of how Allah Subhaanuwa Tha’aala protected the First Muslims when they were persecuted
in Makkath ul Mukarrama and Rasulullah Sallallaahu Alaihiwa Sallam sent them to the kingdom of Abyssinia to safe-guard their Imaan.
The Real Story of Al Najashi (Abyssinia/Ethiopian King)

The Great Speech of Jafar Ibn Abi Talib To Negus!
Hazrat Jafar RA is the son of Abu Talib, the uncle of Prophet Mohamed Salla Allahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam. He was the elder Brother of Maula Ali al Murtaza.

There was a great resemblance between Hazrat Jafar and prophet Mohamed Salla Allahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam both in his appearance and ethics. Prophet Mohamed Salla Allahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam called him The father of the poor because he used to help and support the poor with all he has of money. Hazrat Jafar and his Wife were among the very first persons to embrace Islam, and they were devoted followers of Islam. Quraysh restricted their movements and freedom until they could not bare it anymore. Hazrat Jafar went to prophet Mohamed Salla Allahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam and took his permission to immigrate to Abyssinia along with a small group of Sahabah.

There he made a famous speech in the court of the King of Abyssinia, Al Najashi. His speech that was moving and eloquent and which is still one of the most compelling descriptions of Islam:

“O King, we were a people in a state of ignorance and immorality, worshipping idols and eating the flesh of dead animals, committing all sorts of abomination and shameful deeds. breaking the ties of kinship, treating guests badly and the strong among us exploited the weak. “We remained in this state until Allah sent us a Prophet, one of our own people whose lineage, truthfulness, trustworthiness and integrity were well-known to us. “He called us to worship Allah alone and to renounce the stones and the idols which we and our ancestors used to worship besides Allah.

“He commanded us to speak the truth, to honor our promises, to be kind to our relations, to be helpful to our neighbors, to cease all forbidden acts, to abstain from bloodshed. to avoid obscenities and false witness, not to appropriate an orphan’s property nor slander chaste women.

“He ordered us to worship Allah alone and not to associate anything with him, to uphold Salaah, to give Zakaah and fast in the month of Ramadan.

“We believed in him and what he brought to us from Allah and we follow him in what he has asked us to do and we keep away from what he forbade us from doing.

“Thereupon, O King, our people attacked us, visited the severest punishment on us to make us renounce our religion and take us back to the old immorality and the worship of idols.

“They oppressed us, made life intolerable for us and obstructed us from observing our religion. So we left for your country, choosing you before anyone else, desiring your protection and hoping to live in Justice and in peace m your midst, because our Prophet told that in your country no one is wronged.

Al Najashi was impressed and was eager to hear more. He asked Jafar: “Do you have with you something of what your Prophet brought concerning God?” “Yes,” replied Jafar.

“Then read it to me,” requested the Al Najashi. Jafar, in his rich, melodious voice recited for him the first portion of Surah Maryam which deals with the story of Jesus alayhis ‘salam and his mother Mary.

On hearing the words of the Quran, Al Najashi was moved to tears. To the Muslims, he said: “The message of your Prophet and that of Jesus came from the same source…”

To Amr and his companion, he said:” Go. For, by God, I will never give them up to you even for a mountain of gold”

To Jafar Ibn Abi Talib, the king said ‘ You may live in peace in Abssyinia for as long as you wish and may God be with you on your return’.

In the battle of Mu’tah, Hazrat Jafar carried the Banner of Islam and was out-numbered by the enemies and was martyred. The two arms of one of Prophet’s bravest followers and his army’s standard-bearer, Jafar were cut off in the battle and he was martyred. When the news reached Muhammad Salla Allahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam he cried and prayed for Jafar’s soul and the angel Gabriel came down and consoled (Muhammad Salla Allahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam), saying “Jafar was a brave and loyal soldier. God has given him everlasting life, and in place of his arms which were cut off in the battle, the Lord has given him a pair of wings”.

Al Najjashi (Negus) – the king of Abyssinia (Ethiopia)) reverted to Islam during the life of the prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam).

Below, is an extract from Ar Raheequl Makhtum Pg. 221,222 (The sealed nectar-Biography of the noble prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam):

“Negus, king of Abyssinia (Ethiopia), his name was Ashama bin Al-Abjar, received the Prophet’s message, despatched by Amr bin Omaiyah Ad-Damari, which At-Tabari
referred to, either late in the sixth year or early in the seventh year A.H. Deep scrutiny into the letter shows that it was not the one sent after Al-Hudaibiyah event. Wording of the letter rather indicates that it was sent to that king when Ja‘far and his companions emigrated to Abyssinia (Ethiopia) during the Makkan period. One of its sentences read “I have despatched my cousin, Ja‘far with a group of Muslims, to you. Do be generous towards them and give up haughtiness.” Al-Baihaqi, on the authority of Ibn Ishaq, gave the following narration of the
Prophet’s letter sent to Negus:

“This letter is sent from Muhammad, the Prophet to Negus Al-Ashama, the king of Abyssinia (Ethiopia).

Peace be upon him who follows true guidance and believes in Allâh and His Messenger. I bear witness that there is no god but Allâh Alone with no associate, He has taken neither a wife nor a son, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger. I call you unto the fold of Islam; if you embrace Islam, you will find safety, “Say (O Muhammad [pbuh]): ‘O people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), come to a word that is just between us and you, that we worship none but Allâh, and that we associate no partners with Him, and that none of us shall take others as lords besides Allâh.’ Then, if they turn away, say: ‘Bear witness that we are Muslims.’ ” [Al-Qur’an 3:64]
Should you reject this invitation, then you will be held responsible for all the evils of the Christians of your people.”

Dr. Hameedullah (Paris), a reliable verifier, has adduced a version of the above letter
disclosed only a short time ago and identical to Ibn Al-Qaiyim’s narration. Dr. Hameedullah exerted painstaking effort and used all means of modern technology to verify the text of the letter, which reads as follows:

“In the Name of Allâh, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.
From Muhammad the Messenger of Allâh to Negus, king of Abyssinia (Ethiopia). Peace be upon him who follows true guidance. Salutations, I entertain Allâh’s praise, there is no god but He, the Sovereign, the Holy, the Source of peace, the Giver of peace, the Guardian of faith, the Preserver of safety. I bear witness that Jesus, the son of Mary, is the spirit of Allâh and His Word which He cast into Mary, the virgin, the good, the pure, so that she conceived Jesus. Allâh created him from His spirit and His breathing as He created Adam by His Hand. I call you to Allâh Alone with no associate and to His obedience and to follow me and to believe in that which came to me, for I am the Messenger of Allâh. I invite you and your men to Allâh, the Glorious, the All-Mighty. I hereby bear witness that I have communicated my message and advice. I invite you to listen and accept my advice. Peace be upon him
who follows true guidance.”[Za’d Al-Ma’ad 3/60]

The text of this letter is doubtlessly authentic, but to maintain that it was written after Al- Hudaibiyah event is still a question lacking in definite evidence. When ‘Amr bin Omaiyah Ad-Damari communicated the Apostolic letter to Negus, the latter took the parchment and placed it on his eye, descended to the floor, confessed his faith in Islam and wrote the following reply to the Prophet [pbuh]:

“In the Name of Allâh, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.
From Negus Ashama to Muhammad, the Messenger of Allâh. Peace be upon you, O Messenger of Allâh! and mercy and blessing from Allâh beside Whom there is no god. I have received your letter in which you have mentioned about Jesus and by the Lord of heaven and earth, Jesus is not more than what you say. We fully acknowledge that with which you have been sent to us and we have entertained your cousin and his companions. I bear witness that you are the Messenger of Allâh, true and confirming (those who have gone before you), I pledge to you through your cousin and surrender myself through him to the Lord of the worlds.”[Za’d Al-Ma’ad 3/61]

The Prophet [pbuh] had asked Negus to send Ja‘far and his companions, the emigrants to Abyssinia (Ethiopia), back home. They came back to see the Prophet [pbuh] in Khaibar. Negus later died in Rajab 9 A.H. shortly after Tabuk Ghazwa. The Prophet [pbuh] announced his death and observed prayer in absentia for him. Another king succeeded Negus to the throne and another letter was sent to him by the Prophet [pbuh] but whether or not he embraced Islam is still a question not answered yet. [Sahih Muslim 2/99]

Allah Subhaanuwa Tha’ala Knows Best.

Your brother in Islam
A Shabbir Ahmed

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