Ja’far on Islam: Companions meet the Christian King of Abyssinia

Umm Salamah reported: When Ja’far ibn Abu Talib, may Allah be pleased with him, was in Abyssinia, he addressed the Negus saying, “O king! We were plunged in the depth of ignorance and barbarism. We adored idols, we lived in immorality, we ate dead bodies, and we spoke abominations. We disregarded every feeling of humanity and the duties of hospitality and neighborliness were neglected. We knew no law but that of the strong, but Allah raised among us a man of whose birth, truthfulness, honesty, and purity we were aware, and he called to the oneness of Allah and taught us not to associate anything with Allah. He forbade us from the worship of idols and he enjoined us to speak the truth, to be faithful to our trusts, to be merciful, and to regard the rights of the neighbors and family members. He forbade us from speaking evil of women or consuming the wealth of orphans. He ordered us to avoid vices, to refrain from evil, to offer prayers, to give charity, and to observe fasting. We have faith in him and we have accepted his teachings and his command to worship Allah and not to associate anything with Him. We have allowed what he has allowed and prohibited what he has prohibited. For this reason, our people have risen against us. They have persecuted us in order to make us abandon the worship of Allah and return to the worship of idols and other abominations. They have tortured and harmed us until we found no safety among them, so we have come to your country and we hope you will protect us from oppression.”

The Negus said to them, “Do you have anything with you from Allah?” Ja’far said yes. The Negus said, “Then recite it to us.” Ja’far recited from memory the verses of Surat Maryam. The Negus, along with the bishops in his realm, were moved to tears due to what was recited to them until their beards became wet. The Negus said, “Verily, this what has come from Moses have emerged from the same lamp. You are released. By Allah, I will never surrender them to the Quraysh.”

Source: Musnad Aḥmad 21992

Grade: Sahih (authentic) according to Ahmad Shakir

عَنْ أُمِّ سَلَمَةَ قال جَعْفَرُ بْنُ أَبِي طَالِبٍ رضي الله عنه عند النجاشي أَيُّهَا الْمَلِكُ كُنَّا قَوْمًا أَهْلَ جَاهِلِيَّةٍ نَعْبُدُ الْأَصْنَامَ وَنَأْكُلُ الْمَيْتَةَ وَنَأْتِي الْفَوَاحِشَ وَنَقْطَعُ الْأَرْحَامَ وَنُسِيئُ الْجِوَارَ يَأْكُلُ الْقَوِيُّ مِنَّا الضَّعِيفَ فَكُنَّا عَلَى ذَلِكَ حَتَّى بَعَثَ اللَّهُ إِلَيْنَا رَسُولًا مِنَّا نَعْرِفُ نَسَبَهُ وَصِدْقَهُ وَأَمَانَتَهُ وَعَفَافَهُ فَدَعَانَا إِلَى اللَّهِ تَعَالَى لِنُوَحِّدَهُ وَنَعْبُدَهُ وَنَخْلَعَ مَا كُنَّا نَعْبُدُ نَحْنُ وَآبَاؤُنَا مِنْ دُونِهِ مِنْ الْحِجَارَةِ وَالْأَوْثَانِ وَأَمَرَ بِصِدْقِ الْحَدِيثِ وَأَدَاءِ الْأَمَانَةِ وَصِلَةِ الرَّحِمِ وَحُسْنِ الْجِوَارِ وَالْكَفِّ عَنْ الْمَحَارِمِ وَالدِّمَاءِ وَنَهَانَا عَنْ الْفَوَاحِشِ وَقَوْلِ الزُّورِ وَأَكْلِ مَالِ الْيَتِيمِ وَقَذْفِ الْمُحْصَنَةِ وَأَمَرَنَا أَنْ نَعْبُدَ اللَّهَ وَحْدَهُ لَا نُشْرِكُ بِهِ شَيْئًا وَأَمَرَنَا بِالصَّلَاةِ وَالزَّكَاةِ وَالصِّيَامِ قَالَ فَعَدَّدَ عَلَيْهِ أُمُورَ الْإِسْلَامِ فَصَدَّقْنَاهُ وَآمَنَّا بِهِ وَاتَّبَعْنَاهُ عَلَى مَا جَاءَ بِهِ فَعَبَدْنَا اللَّهَ وَحْدَهُ فَلَمْ نُشْرِكْ بِهِ شَيْئًا وَحَرَّمْنَا مَا حَرَّمَ عَلَيْنَا وَأَحْلَلْنَا مَا أَحَلَّ لَنَا فَعَدَا عَلَيْنَا قَوْمُنَا فَعَذَّبُونَا فَفَتَنُونَا عَنْ دِينِنَا لِيَرُدُّونَا إِلَى عِبَادَةِ الْأَوْثَانِ مِنْ عِبَادَةِ اللَّهِ وَأَنْ نَسْتَحِلَّ مَا كُنَّا نَسْتَحِلُّ مِنْ الْخَبَائِثِ وَلَمَّا قَهَرُونَا وَظَلَمُونَا وَشَقُّوا عَلَيْنَا وَحَالُوا بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَ دِينِنَا خَرَجْنَا إِلَى بَلَدِكَ وَاخْتَرْنَاكَ عَلَى مَنْ سِوَاكَ وَرَغِبْنَا فِي جِوَارِكَ وَرَجَوْنَا أَنْ لَا نُظْلَمَ عِنْدَكَ أَيُّهَا الْمَلِكُ

فَقَالَ لَهُ النَّجَاشِيُّ هَلْ مَعَكَ مِمَّا جَاءَ بِهِ عَنْ اللَّهِ مِنْ شَيْءٍ قَالَتْ فَقَالَ لَهُ جَعْفَرٌ نَعَمْ فَقَالَ لَهُ النَّجَاشِيُّ فَاقْرَأْهُ عَلَيَّ فَقَرَأَ عَلَيْهِ صَدْرًا مِنْ كهيعص قَالَتْ فَبَكَى وَاللَّهِ النَّجَاشِيُّ حَتَّى أَخْضَلَ لِحْيَتَهُ وَبَكَتْ أَسَاقِفَتُهُ حَتَّى أَخْضَلُوا مَصَاحِفَهُمْ حِينَ سَمِعُوا مَا تَلَا عَلَيْهِمْ ثُمَّ قَالَ النَّجَاشِيُّ إِنَّ هَذَا وَالَّذِي جَاءَ بِهِ مُوسَى لَيَخْرُجُ مِنْ مِشْكَاةٍ وَاحِدَةٍ انْطَلِقَا فَوَاللَّهِ لَا أُسْلِمُهُمْ إِلَيْكُمْ أَبَدًا

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