Negus , King of Ethiopia: Protector of the Earliest Muslim Emigrants


In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.

From Muhammad (peace be upon him) Prophet of Allah to Negus King of Ethiopia.

I praise Allah, except Whom there is none to be worshipped,  who is the Ruler of the world. He is innocent and pure free from all blemishes, defects, flaws, or shortcomings). He gives refuge  and sustains all.

I do admit that Isa (Jesus) (peace be upon him) son of Mariam (Mary), was  the soul from Allah and His word (Order), he was infused to Mariam, who was clean and proof against evil. And Isa (peace be upon him) was born of Mariam. Allah created him from His soul and breath in the  same manner as He created Adam (peace be upon him) with His own hand. I invite you towards Allah the One who has no associate. Believe in  Him and join me in obedience to Him. Follow me and accept my prophethood because I am the Messenger of Allah. I have wished  - you well in conveying the message of Allah in all sincerity. It is up you to accept my sympathetic advice. Extend the same invitation to your subjects. I am sending my cousin Jaffer (R.A.A.) with the other Muslims. When they reach you, treat them hospitably, by setting aside the vanity and pride of a ruler.

Peace be on him, who followed the right path.

Note: As mentioned earlier, after the Holy Prophet began to preach Islam, the Quraish became the bitterest enemies of Islam. In the beginning they taunted, teased and maltreated the Muslims. But by and by their opposition took the shape of tyranny. Their treatment of the Muslims, particularly of the poorer ones was so brutal, that they felt extremely unsafe in Mecca and feared annihilation at the hands of the Quraish. At that stage, (6th year before Hijri i.e. 614 A.D.) the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) allowed the Muslims to temporarily migrate to Ethiopia, as he expected a good treatment by the King of Ethiopia. The Muslims began to migrate to the neighboring country of Ethiopia. This continued till the famous Migration of the Holy Prophet, after which the migrants began to return to Medina The last caravan returned from Ethiopia in 7th Hijra - about 629 A.D. when the second Caravan went to Ethiopia, the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) addressed a letter to the King of Ethiopia.

The Quraish could not tolerate that the Muslims should live in peace even in Ethiopia. They sent a delegation to Negus and pointed out to him that the Muslims had a strange faith which was altogether new and requested that the Muslims should be sent back. The King concluded from the Muslims about their beliefs. On that occasion Jaffar (R.A.) made a very impressive speech, saying.

"They were an extremely ignorant and pagan nation who worshipped self-made idols. Debauchery, cruelty and eating the dead was their way of life, but Allah sent a Prophet (peace be upon him) who changed their lives altogether. He admonished them to worship Allah only and to regard Him as their Master. He preached to them always to be truthful; and not to misappropriate a trust, treat neighbors kindly, avoid bloodshed and all that Allah has prohibited. Worship Allah, the One observe fasts and pay Zakat. This was the crime, for which their countrymen forced them to leave their hearths and homes and they had to take refuge in Ethiopia."

The King of Ethiopia was highly moved by the speech and clearly announced that he would not allow such pious people to be tyrannized.

The Muslims, thereafter, always had a deep regard for Ethiopia and never did they think of attacking that country. They conquered big countries like Iran, but never touched the neighboring Ethiopia.


Sahih Bukhari Volume 5, Book 58, Number 217:

Narrated Jabir:

When Negus died, the Prophet said, "Today a pious man has died. So get up and offer the funeral prayer for your brother Ashama

Sahih Bukhari Volume 5, Book 58, Number 218:

Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah Al-Ansari:

Allah's Apostle led the funeral prayer for the Negus and made us stand in rows behind him and I was in the second or third row.

Sahih Bukhari Volume 5, Book 58, Number 219:

Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah:

The Prophet offered the funeral prayer for Ashama, the Negus, with four Takbir.

Sahih Bukhari Volume 5, Book 58, Number 220:

Narrated Abu Huraira:

that Allah's Apostle informed them (i.e. his companions) of the death of Negus, the king of Ethiopia, on the very day on which the latter died, and said, "Ask Allah's Forgiveness for your brother" Abu Huraira further said, "Allah's Apostle made them (i.e. the Muslims) stand in rows at the Musalla (i.e. praying place) and led the funeral prayer for the Negus and said four Takbir."