The Christian Ruler accepts Islam!
Source: Posting by: Dar ul Muslimeen, Dodoma, Tanzania. December 29, 2002

The Migration to Abyssinia
When the trials became too severe for the Muslims at the beginning of the mission of Holy Prophet Muhammad salla-llahu-alayhi-wa-aalih, the Messenger of Allah gave permission for a group of them to migrate to Abyssinia saying: 'In that land there is a king who does not wrong the people. It is a land of sincerity, and you should go there until Allah brings about a relief from what you are suffering.'

Eighty-three men and eighteen women from the tribe of Quraysh, led by Ja'far ibn Abu Talib left Makkah. Ja'far, who was the cousin of the prophet Muhammad, was chosen by the prophet for his bravery and eloquence in dialogue, not to mention his knowledge of and adherence to the teachings of Islam.

When the leaders of Quraysh, who were the determined opponents and persecutors of the Muslims and the prophet Muhammad in Makkah, saw that the migrants were safe in their land of asylum, together with the Negus's good patronage of them, they gathered in the House of Assembly and said: 'We have a cause for revenge in those who are with the Negus. So let us gather some money and gift it to the Negus so that he might give them over to us, and let two men of your choice be assigned to the task.' So they sent 'Amr ibn al-'As and 'Ammarah ibn al-Walid with the gift, and they sailed to Abyssinia.

When they entered upon the Negus, they prostrated to him and greeted him and said: 'Our people give you sincere counsel. They have sent us to warn you of those who have come to you for they are the associates of a liar, of a man who has come out and claimed that he is the Messenger of Allah, and none has followed him but the foolish. So we blockaded them into an area in our land where no one enters and no-one leaves, and hunger and thirst killed them. When things became severe, he sent his nephew to corrupt your religion and kingdom. So beware of them and hand them over to us so we might relieve you of them. The proof of this is that when they enter upon you they do not prostrate to you and they do not greet you with the traditional greeting out of distaste for your religion.'

In the Court of Negus
When the Negus summoned them and they were present, Ja'far ibn Abi-Talib hailed at the door saying: 'The party of God ask your permission to enter.'

The Negus said: 'Let him say that again ...' Ja'far repeated his words and the Negus said: 'Indeed, then let them enter with the safety of God and His protection.' They entered but did not prostrate to him.

The Negus said: 'What prevented you from prostrating to me?'

They said: 'We prostrate only to Allah who created you and gave you your dominion. We practised prostration as a greeting when we were idolaters but Allah sent a true Prophet to us and ordered us to use the greeting, which He sees fit, which is 'Peace', the greeting of the people of Paradise'.

The Negus realised that this was the truth and that it was in the Torah and the Evangel, and he asked: 'Which of you called for permission to enter?' Ja'far said: 'It was I.' The Negus said: 'Then speak.'

Ja'far said: 'You are a king and long speeches are not fitting in front of you. I wish to speak on behalf of my companions so let one of those men speak and you will hear our conversation.' Amr ibn al-'As said: 'Then speak.'

Ja'far said to the Negus: 'Ask him whether we are slaves or free men, and if we are slaves who have escaped from our masters then return us to them.' 'Amr said: 'Nay, they are free and noble men.'

Ja'far said: 'Have we spilt blood unjustly to warrant retaliation against us?' Amr said: 'Not a drop.'

Ja'far said: 'Have we taken people's wealth unjustly which we must repay?' Amr said: 'Not a penny.'

The Negus said: 'Then what is it you want from them?' Amr said: 'Us and them were on one religion, the religion of our forefathers, but they have left that and followed another.'

The Negus said to Ja'far: 'What was the religion you followed and what do you follow now? Tell me the truth.'

Ja'far said: 'As for the religion we left, that was the religion of Satan; we used to deny Allah and worship stones. As for the religion which we have changed to, that is the religion of Allah, Islam, brought to us from Allah by a messenger, with a book like the book of the son of Mary and in concord with it.'

The Negus said: 'You have spoken of a momentous matter so be at ease.' Then the Negus ordered that the bell be rung and every priest and monk gathered in his presence. Then he said to them: 'I ask you by God who sent down the Evangel upon Jesus, do you find between Jesus and the Day of Rising another prophet sent?'

They said: 'Aye by God, Jesus gave us tidings of him and said: 'Whoever believes in him has believed in me but whoever denies him has denied me.'

The Negus said to Ja'far: 'What does this man say to you? And what does he order you to do and forbid you from?' Ja'far said: 'He recites to us the book of Allah and enjoins the good and forbids the evil. He orders us to honour our neighbour, our kin and the orphans, and he orders us to worship Allah alone no partner has He.'

The Negus said: 'Recite some of what he recites to you.'

Holy Quran - A powerful tool for Conversion
So he recited the chapter of the Spider:

In the Name of Allah the Compassionate the Beneficent. Alif Lam Mim. Do men think that they will be left alone in saying, "We believe," and that they will not be tested? We did test those before them, and Allah will certainly know those who are true from those who are false. Do those who practise evil think that they will get the better of Us? Evil is their judgment! For those whose hopes are in the meeting with Allah (in the Hereafter, let them strive); for the Term (appointed) by Allah is surely coming: and He hears and knows (all things).

And if any strive (with might and main), they do so for their own souls: for Allah is free of all needs from all creation. Those who believe and work righteous deeds, from them shall We blot out all evil (that may be) in them, and We shall reward them according to the best of their deeds. We have enjoined on man kindness to parents: but if they (either of them) strive (to force) thee to join with Me (in worship) anything of which thou hast no knowledge, obey them not. Ye have (all) to return to Me, and I will tell you (the truth) of all that ye did.

... ... The parable of those who take protectors other than Allah is that of the Spider, who builds (to itself) a house; but truly the flimsiest of houses is the Spider's house; if they but knew.

... ... and then he went on to recite the chapter of the Romans

In the Name of Allah the Compassionate the Beneficent. Alif Lam Mim. The Roman Empire has been defeated, In a land close by: but they, (even) after (this) defeat of theirs, will soon be victorious, Within a few years. With Allah is the Decision. In the Past and in the Future: on that Day shall the Believers rejoice, With the help of Allah. He helps whom He will, and He is Exalted in Might, Most Merciful. (It is) the promise of Allah. Never does Allah depart from His promise: but most men understand not. They know but the outer (things) in the life of this world: but of the End of things they are heedless.

Do they not reflect in their own minds? Not but for just ends and for a term appointed, did Allah create the heavens and the earth, and all between them: yet are there truly many among men who deny their meeting with their Lord (at the Resurrection)! Do they not travel through the earth, and see what was the End of those before them? They were superior to them in strength: they tilled the soil and populated it in greater numbers than these have done: there came to them their messengers with Clear (Signs). (Which they rejected, to their own destruction): it was not Allah who wronged them, but they wronged their own souls.

In the long run evil in the extreme will be the End of those who do evil; for that they rejected the Signs of Allah, and held them up to ridicule. It is Allah Who begins (the process of) creation; then repeats it; then shall ye be brought back to Him.

The eyes of the Negus and his companions had flooded with tears. The Negus said: 'Recite more of this excellent speech.' So Ja'far recited the chapter of the Cave:

In the Name of Allah the Compassionate the Beneficent. Praise be to Allah, Who hath sent to His Servant the Book, and hath allowed therein no Crookedness: (He hath made it) Straight (and Clear) in order that He may warn (the godless) of a terrible Punishment from Him, and that He may give Glad Tidings to the Believers who work righteous deeds, that they shall have a goodly Reward, Wherein they shall remain forever: Further, that He may warn those (also) who say, "Allah hath begotten a son":

No knowledge have they of such a thing, nor had their fathers. It is a grievous thing that issues from their mouths as a saying: What they say is nothing but falsehood! Thou wouldst perchance fret thyself to death with grief, sorrowing after them, if they believe not in this Message. That which is on earth We have made but as a glittering show for the earth, in order that We may test them, as to which of them are best in conduct. Verily what is on earth We shall make but as dust and dry soil (without growth or herbage).

'Amr then wanted to anger the Negus and said: 'They insult Jesus and his mother.'

Ja'far then read to them the chapter of Mary:

... . . Relate in the Book (the story of) Mary, when she withdrew from her family to a place in the East. She placed a screen (to screen herself) from them; then We sent to her Our angel, and he appeared before her as a man in all respects.

She said: "I seek refuge from thee to (Allah) the Most Gracious: (come not near) if thou dost fear Allah." He said: "Nay, I am only a messenger from thy Lord, (to announce) to thee the gift of a holy son." She said: "How shall I have a son, seeing that no man has touched me, and I am not unchaste?" He said: "So (it will be): thy Lord saith, 'That is easy for Me: and (We wish) to appoint him as a Sign unto men and a Mercy from Us': it is matter (so) decreed." So she conceived him, and she retired with him to a remote place. And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a palm tree: she cried (in her anguish) "Ah! would that I had died before this! would that I had been a thing forgotten and out of sight!"

But (a voice) cried to her from beneath the (palm-tree): "Grieve not! for thy Lord hath provided a rivulet beneath thee; "And shake towards thyself the trunk of the palm-tree; it will let fall fresh ripe dates upon thee. "So eat and drink and cool (thine) eye. And if thou dost see any man, say, 'I have vowed a fast to (Allah) Most Gracious, and this day will I enter into no talk with any human being'" At length she brought the (baby) to her people, carrying him (in her arms). They said: "O Mary! truly an amazing thing hast thou brought! "O sister of Aaron! thy father was not a man of evil, nor thy mother a woman unchaste!" But she pointed to the baby. They said: "How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle?"

He said: "I am indeed a servant of Allah: He hath given me revelation and made me a prophet; "And He hath made me blessed wheresoever I be, and hath enjoined on me Prayer and Charity as long as I live: "(He) hath made me kind to my mother, and not overbearing or miserable; "So Peace is on me the day I was born, the day that I die, and the day that I shall be raised up to life (again)!" Such (was) Jesus the son of Mary: (it is) a statement of Truth, about which they (vainly) dispute. It is not befitting to (the majesty of) Allah that He should beget a son. Glory be to Him! when He determines a matter, He only says to it, "Be," and it is. Verily Allah is my Lord and your Lord: Him therefore serve ye: this is a way that is straight... .

and when he had finished, the Negus said: 'By God, the Messiah did not say an iota more than what these people are saying.'

Then he turned to Ja'far and the Muslims and said to them: 'Go as you please, for you are safe in my land. Whoever insults you will be fined. Even if I were given a mountain of gold in exchange for hurting a single one of you, I would not do so.' Then he said: 'Return their gifts to them for I have no need of them. By God, He did not take a bribe from me when he returned my kingdom to me, so I would take bribe in this kingdom'. So the two Qurayshites left in disgrace and with the returned gifts they had come with.

According to certain exegeses, the following Qur'anic verse was revealed about the Negus and his companions: {And if they hear what was sent down to the Messenger you will see their eyes flooding with tears}

The Negus Embraces Islam
The Negus accepted Islam and believed in the Prophet secretly. He said: 'If I was able to visit the Prophet I would do so.' The Prophet wrote to him suggesting to him to marry Umm Habibah the daughter of Abu Sufyan. She had made the migration to Abyssinia with her husband 'Ubeidullah ibn Jahsh who had died there. The Prophet married the Negus to Umm Habibah and set the dower at four hundred dinars. Khalid ibn Sa'id ibn al-'As took care of the marriage. The Prophet also wrote to the Negus asking him to send him the remainder of his companions and to transport them which the Negus did. He transported them in two ships with 'Amr ibn Ummayah and they reached the Messenger of Allah when he had liberated Khaybar.

When the Negus died, in the 9th year after Hijra - around 630 CE, the Prophet announced it on the same day and went to the Mosque and made five takbirs. Then he turned to his companions and said: 'Seek the forgiveness of Allah for your brother', and the Holy Prophet performed the prayers-for-the-deceased for him.