As the persecutions upon the Muslims became severe to bear, the Prophet-Peace be upon him- ordered Muslims to migrate to Abyssinia was a just Christian ruler.
History relates a beautiful incident, an extraordinary dialogue between the Muslims’ spokesman Jafar -May Allah be pleased with him-and Najashi which highlights the similarity between the two divine religions.
When the Quraish heard about the Muslims being protected under the ruler of Abyssinia– Najashi- they sent some of their men with expensive gifts ,who had ties with Najashi from before, to bribe him into giving back the Muslims to them by drawing their false image.
Najashi refused and turned down their request stating he couldn’t do so since he had granted the Muslims his protection and wouldn’t take any action against them before hearing their side of the story. The Muslims were called in his court and Jafar bin Abi Talib – may Allah be pleased with him-was their spokesman.
The Negus asked them what was the religion for which they had forsaken their people to which Jafar-may Allah be pleased with him-told him how they were in ignorance before Islam came; worshipping idols, indulged in adultery and indecencies, oppressing the weak and cutting family ties.
He further added how they were living this way until Allah sent down his Messenger-Peace be upon him- with Islam, which set down guidelines for mankind in every age and time, how it shunned down those evil practices they were stuck on and he was known as the trustworthy and honest in his people, he never lied nor made up anything from himself, brought clear proofs and message from Allah.
The people of Quraiysh clearly could not deny all of what he said!
He continued, the Messenger -Peace be upon him- called us to worship Allah alone and leave what we and our forefathers worshiped made out of stones and clay, connect ties with our family, be just and honest, be truthful in our speech, stop bloodshed, stop oppressing women and orphans, stay away from indecencies and asked to worship Allah alone, pray and give zakat (charity).
So we believed in him, gave up the idols, we do what he commands us to and stopped what he prohibited us from. But then these Quraiysh, our own people, started persecuting us and killing us, we had to leave and we fled to your country for refuge.
Najashi asked if they he something with what the Messenger-Peace be upon him- brought from Allah to them. To which he replied assertively. Najeshi asked him to read soemthing from the Quran, Jafar-May Allah be pleased be upon him-read out verses from Surah Maryam , the surah which talks about Maryam (Mary) – May Allah be pleased with her and Essa ( Jesus) -May Allah be pleased with him.
Here, the Negus exclaimed: “It seems as if these words and those which were revealed to Jesus are the rays of the light which have radiated from the same source.”
Upon hearing the Word of Allah, Najashi and his fellow Christian bishops present could not control themselves and started to weep until Najashi’s entire beard was wet. Nothing, not even the gifts of the Quraiysh came between him and the Word of Allah thus he said that this (Quran) and what came to Musa and Essa came from the same source. He believed the message of Islam and what Jafar -May Allah be pleased with him-and the Muslims had to say, he entirely refused to give the Muslims back to the Quraiysh.
Our fellow non-Muslims readers, if anyone of you would like to read Surah Maryam, here is a link to it and it’s translation: http://quran.com/19 🙂