Story No. 160 – Story of Islam: Moslems Migration to Ethiopia (Abyssinia/Habasha), Immigration to Habasha
The number of the converts to Islam was increasing year after year. None of the tortures, harm, or any other means of fear was not stopping them from seeing the light of Islam and being converted, or even change them back to their previous belief. Nothing was an obstacle in the way of Islam, the flow of men and women were going toward Islam.
The increase in the number of converts to Islam was making people of Quraish mad, angrier and more upset. Moslems hold to Islam was increasing, nothing was weakening their will of going back to idol worship, and hence the tortures of the Moslems were being increased day by day.
One night the Moslems met Prophet of Allah, Muhammad (saw). He was sad to hear that the Moslems were suffering from torture. So, he said to them:
There’s a just King in Habasha (Ethiopia). Immigrate to his country. Stay there till Allah drives away your worries.
The idea of immigration shone in the believers’ hearts as the sun shone to fill the earth with light and warmth.
At midnight, a small group crept into the land of Habasha, via the Red Sea. The Moslem immigrants stayed there.
In the meantime, the Quraish increased their torture against the Moslems who stayed in Makkah. So, they were in a fix.
At that critical time, our Master Prophet of Allah, Muhammad (saw) ordered his cousin Ja’far to lead a bigger group of Moslems to Habasha.
The number of the new group was over 80 Moslems. Ja’far began leading the immigrating caravan towards the coasts of the sea.
The sea was calm. The wind was gentle. The immigrants reached the coasts of the sea. Allah, the Almighty, wanted a ship to pass by them. The ship was going from Jeddah to Habasha. Ja’far asked her Captain to take them there. The Captain accepted.
The ship set out plowing the sea. The Moslems thanked Allah, who turned their fear into safety to worship Him only.
Ja’far himself was visiting the immigrants, especially the children. His wife Asmaa bint Umayys was visiting the women.
Days and nights passed. The ship anchored at the coasts of Habasha. The Moslems reached the land where our Master Prophet of Allah, Muhammad (saw) had ordered them to immigrate.
The Moslems were always praying to Allah freely. No one prevented them from that. During their prayers, they were always asking Allah to grant our Master Prophet of Allah, Muhammad (saw) and his Moslem brother’s victory over the unjust Quraishi tyrants.
But the news that reached them was sorrowful. Yasir and Summayyah became martyrs under torture; they were in pain to hear about the torture that was happening to their brothers. But they firmly increased their belief.
In Makkah, Abu Jahal, who had spite against our Master Prophet of Allah, Muhammad (saw), was always planning to destroy Allah’s religion. He wanted to put out the candle of Islam so that people would live in darkness and ignorance.
But Allah’s religion spread as the scent of roses did. It made happiness enter hearts as spring did.
One day, the Quraishi leaders held a meeting in Darul Nadwa. They were thinking about a way to extinguish the light of Islam. Umayyah said:
I’ll make Bilal a lesson for slaves so that they’ll not think about entering Muhammad’s religion.
Abu Jahal said:
We’ll go on banning Bani Hashim till they die of hunger or they give us Muhammad to kill him.
Abu Sufyan said:
But what shall we do for those who escape from Makkah and go to Habasha?
Abu Jahal said:
We’ll bring them back.
We’ll send our friend al-Najashy lots of gifts. So, he’ll accept our request.
Who will go?
We’ll send a clever man to negotiate with al-Najashy.
After several weeks, they decided to send a delegation to bring back the runaway persons.
In al-Najashy’s Presence:
In the morning, Amru bin al-Ass and Amarah bin al-Waleed headed for the sea holding gifts to al-Najashy, the King of Habasha.
The delegates crossed the sea with a ship. They reached the land of Habasha. They came to the King’s palace.
Amru bin al-Ass said to the guards of the palace:
We’re the Quraishi delegates holding gifts to the King.
Al-Najashy greeted the delegates and accepted the gifts of the Quraish. The priests received their gifts, too. The King asked them about the purpose of their visit.
The delegates said:
Some foolish persons have taken refuge in the land of Habasha. They’ve abandoned their fathers’ and grandfathers’ religion. They haven’t accepted the King’s religion. Rather; they’ve brought a new religion. Neither you nor we have known it. We, the Quraishi noblemen, have come to bring them back and to educate them.
The King of Habasha was just and wise man. So, he said:
How can I hand you the people who have chosen my country and asked me for help? But I’ll ask them some questions. If their thoughts are corrupt; if they are deviated, I’d hand them to you. Otherwise, I’d leave them to live in my country.
Al-Najashy sent for the immigrants. They came. Ja’far bin Abu Talib was in advance. They came into the palace and stood in front of the King.
The Habashian people bowed when they met the King. So the Habashian and the delegates bowed to the King. The Moslems did not bow; their heads remained high raised.
Al-Najashy asked the Moslems:
Why don’t you bow to me?
We don’t bow to anyone but Allah.
The King said:
What do you mean?
Your Majesty; the King, Allah has sent us an Apostle. The Apostle has ordered us not to bow to anyone but Allah. He has also ordered us to pray and to pay zakat.
Amru bin al-Ass said evilly:
They’re breaking the King’s religion!
Al-Najashy asked him to keep silent; and asked Ja’far to go on. Ja’far politely said:
Your Majesty, the King, we were ignorant people. We worshipped the idols. We ate dead animals. We did bad actions and abandoned our relatives. We mistreated our neighbors. The strong oppressed the weak. So Allah has sent us an Apostle. We know his ancestors and his truthfulness. We know that he is pure and trustworthy So, he has invited us to worship the Only Allah. He has ordered us to avoid what we and our fathers had worshipped. He has ordered us to be truthful and to give the trusts to their owners. He has ordered us to visit our relatives, to be good neighbors, to stop bad actions and shedding blood. He has prevented us from atrocities, falsehood taking the orphan’s money and speaking evil of the married women. He has ordered us to worship Allah only and not to be polytheists. He has ordered us to pray, to give alms, and to fast.
Your majesty; the king, we’ve believed him and followed what he has brought from Allah. So, we’ve worshipped Allah only – we’re not polytheists.
But our people have aggressed against us. They’ve tortured us. They’ve prevented us from our religion to worship the idols again.
After they had persecuted us, we came to your country. We’ve preferred you to others. We want to live in your country. Thus, your majesty, the king, we ask you to treat us justly.
Al-Najashy said politely:
Have you anything of what your Prophet has brought?
Ja’far politely said:
Read me something.
Ja’far began reading some verses of the Chapter of Mary (Maryam) from Holy Qur’an (16-23:19), that speak of Maryam, Jesus, Yahiah and Zacharia (peace be upon them):
And mention Maryam in the Book when she drew aside from her family to an eastern place. So, she took a veil (to screen herself) from them; then We sent to her Our Spirit, and there appeared to her a well-made man. She said: Surely I fly for refuge from you to the Beneficent God, if you are one guarding (against evil). He said: I am only a messenger of your Lord: That I will give you a pure boy. She said: When shall I have a boy and no mortal has yet touched me, nor have I been unchaste? He said: Even so; your lord says: It is easy to me: and that We may make him a sign to men and a mercy from us; and it is a matter which has been decreed. So, she conceived him; then withdrew herself with a remote place and the throes (of childbirth) compelled her to take herself to the trunk of a palm tree. She said: Oh, would that I had died before this, and had been a thing quite forgotten! Then (the child called out to her from beneath her): Grieve not, surely your lord has made a stream to flow beneath you. And shake towards you the trunk of the palm tree, it will drop on you fresh ripe dates. So, eat and drink and refresh the eye. Then if you see any mortal, say: Surely I have vowed a fast to the Beneficent God, so I shall not speak to any man today and she came to her people with him, carrying him (with her). They said: O Maryam! Surely you have done a strange thing. O Sister of Haroon! Your father was not a bad man, nor was your mother an unchaste woman.
Al-Najashy wept. His tears flowed on his cheeks. The priests and the monks wept humbly, too. Ja’far’s voice was flowing humbly:
But she pointed to him. They said: How should we speak to one who was a child in the cradle? He said: Surely I am Allah’s servant; he has given me the Book and made me a prophet, and has made me blessed wherever I may be, and he has enjoined on me prayer and poor-rate so long as I live and dutiful to my mother; and he has not made me insolent, unblessed and peace be on me on the day I was born, and on the day I die, and on the day I am raised to life.
Al-Najashy stood up for Allah’s Words and said humbly:
Certainly this and what Jesus (Isa) had brought come out of one niche.
He turned to the Quraishi delegates and said angrily:
I won’t hand them to you and I’ll defend them.
Then he ordered his soldiers to dismiss the delegation and to return the gifts to them. He said:
They are bribes. I don’t want to be bribed.
He turned to Ja’far and his Moslem group and said:
You’re welcome; Your Prophet is welcome. I admit that he is the Apostle whom Isa bin Maryam had given good news about. Live wherever you like in my country.
Al-Najashy wanted to know something about the manners of Islam. He asked Ja’far:
How do you greet each other?
Our greeting is to say Assalamu Alaikum.
On the following day Amru bin al-Ass and Amarah decided to go to the King’s Palace.
On their way, Amru bin al-Ass said to Amarah:
This time, I,ll get my revenge on Ja’far. I’ll tell the kings that the Moslems have another idea about Isa.
Again the delegates came to al-Najashy and said:
Your majesty; the king, the Moslems say that Isa is a slave.
Al-Najashy kept silent for a while then he said to the guard:
Assalamu AlaikumGo to Ja’far to hear his point of view.
Ja’far came and greeted the King and said:
The King asked him:
What’s your point of view about Isa?
Ja’far answered calmly:
We say as Allah and His Apostle have said about him.
The King asked him:
What’s your Prophet said?
Ja’far answered calmly:
He’s Allah’s slave, His Apostle, His Spirit, His Word that He has given to the chaste, virgin Maryam.
Al-Najashy kept silent for a while, and then he drew a line on the ground with his stick. So, he said:
Go to your friends. You’re safe in my country.
Again the delegates’ plot came to nothing. The delegates hopelessly came back to Makkah. Since that meeting, the Moslems had been happy in the land of the just King.
Our Master Prophet of Allah, Muhammad (saw) and the Moslems rejoiced at Ja’far’s victory and his stay in Habasha.
A letter to al-Najashy:
Amru bin Umayyah al-Dhimry our Master Muhammad’s delegate, arrived in Habasha carrying the letter of the Prophet of Islam.
The letter read:
From Muhammad, Allah’s Apostle
To al-Najashy the King of Habasha
You are safe.
I thank Allah. There is no god but Him, the King, the Holy, the Peace, the Believer; the Almighty.
I bear witness that Isa is Allah’s Spirit, and His word He has given to Maryam, the Virgin, the good, and the chaste. Allah created him with His power as He created Adam before.
I am inviting you to worship Allah only, to obey Him, to follow me, and to believe in what has come to me. I am Allah’s Apostle. I am inviting you and your soldiers to worship Allah, the Almighty. I have told and advised you. So, accept my advice.
And peace upon him who follows guidance.
Ja’far accompanied our Master Muhammad’s delegate on his going to al-Najashy’s palace. First they greeted the King of Habasha. Then he received the Prophet’s letter respectfully.
Al-Najashy read the letter. He came down the throne and sat on the ground to show his humbleness and respect for Allah’s Apostle, our Master Muhammad (saw).
Al-Najashy put the letter on his eye to show his great respect. Then he ordered his guards to get him an ivory box to put the letter in. He said:
Habasha will be prosperous as long as its people keep this letter.
The Prophet’s delegate gave the King another letter. The letter asked the King to allow the immigrants headed by Ja’far bin Abu Talib to come back to their country.
The Moslems were very happy to hear about their repatriation to their homeland. In the meantime, they thanked al-Najashy for his good hospitality.
Al-Najashy ordered his guards to prepare some ships to bring back the immigrants to the land of al-Hejaz. He sent his representative with them.
The representative was carrying gifts and a letter of greetings to our Master Muhammad (saw).
The sails of the ships were raised to start journey, the Moslems set off. They rejoiced at Allah’s victory.