The Graduates of Muhammad School, (1) Jaafar
Jaafar was Muhammad’s cousin
Jaafar was the son of Abu Talib (the uncle of the prophet Muhammad).
Abu Talib was a poor man and had to support a big family; that is why Jaafar was raised by his uncle, Abbas.
When he became a young man, Jaafar left his uncle Abbas and got married to Asmaa.
Jaafar and Asmaa were among the very first persons to embrace Islam, and as a result they both suffered greatly at the hands of the Quraish.
Quraish was the tribe to which the prophet Muhammad belonged. Quraish was the dominant tribe of Mecca upon the appearance of Islam; however, it was the tribe that led the initial antagonism to the spread of Islam among the Arabs.
The Quraish restricted the Muslims’ movements and freedom. Day by day, the pressure that Quraish put on the Muslims has worsened until they could not bear it anymore.
That is why Jaafar went to the Prophet Muhammad and took his permission to immigrate to Ethiopia along with a small group of Muslims.
This was one of the Religious asylums in Islamic History
At this time, the Negus, the Emperor of Ethiopia, was a very just Christian King. The Ethiopian people used to love and respect him very much. The custom of the people to show their respect to the Negus was to prostrate themselves to him.
Jaafar and Asmaa settled down in this new land under the protection of the Negus, and for the first time since they had become Muslims they knew the meaning of freedom and could worship Allah without any hindrances.
However, Quraish would not let them enjoy freedom and peace for long; soon they sent some pagan Arabs in order to negotiate with Negus and get all the immigrated Muslims back to Mecca.
The pagan Quraish took a lot of presents to the Negus, which pleased him very much, and they prostrated themselves to the Negus and then they told him that there is a group of evil wicked men moving about freely in his country and asked him to capture them before they cause any harm to his kingship as they did in Quraish.
But the Negus refused to do that until he calls them and questions them regarding the pleas of Quraish.
So the Negus asked the group of Muslims, to come and meet him.
The Muslims came on and chose Jaafar to be their spokesman.
The Muslims stood in front of the Negus and they did not prostrate themselves unto him.
The Quraish said: O Negus, they do not prostrate themselves unto you.
The bishops around the Negus ordered the Muslims to prostrate!
Jaafar said: we do not prostrate ourselves to anyone but to Allah.
The Negus, who was impressed by this brave Jaafar, asked: your people say that you are evil and made trouble in your tribe Quraish.
Jaafar replied: this is not the case; they came on here to take us back because we changed our religion and embraced a new one.
The Negus asked: “what is this religion that has cut you off from your people, and made you in no need of our forefather’s religion”..?
Jaafar summarized the teachings of Muhammad to explain their situation; he said:
“O King! We were living in ignorance, idolatry and immorality.
We honored no relative and assisted no neighbor.
The strong among us exploited the weak.
Then God sent us a prophet, one of our own people whose descent, conduct and good faith and morality we are all well acquainted.
He called us to the unity of God, and taught us not to associate any other being with him. He forbade us the worship of idols which we and our fathers used to worship.
He commanded us always to speak the truth, to remain true to our trust, to love the relatives and to be good neighbors.
He commanded us to honor our promises, to be kind to our relations, to cease all forbidden acts, to abstain from bloodshed and to avoid obstinacies and false witness.
He forbade us to slander the virtuous women or consume the property of the orphans.
He ordered us to fly from vices and to abstain from the evil, to offer prayers, to give alms and to keep the fast in the month of Ramadan.
We believed in him; we followed him.
Our people, however, persecuted us and sought to bring us back to idolatry and their other abominations.
As they made life intolerable for us in Mecca, we chose your country and came here to live under your protection in peace.”
The Negus was eager to know more about what Jaafar said, and so he asked Jaafar to read him a part from what Muhammad brought concerning Allah.
Jaafar recited for him the first portion of Surah of Maryam (Saint Mary- Chapter 19 of the Quran) which narrates the story of Jesus and his mother Mary.
Upon hearing that Surah, the Negus was moved and the bishops around him began to weep.
The Negus said that he will never harm them and will not give them to Quraish.
However, two of Quraish emissaries did not stop at that, they went again to the Negus, who was Christian, and told him that the Muslims say that Jesus is a slave, and asked him to call them and ask them what they think of Jesus.
The Negus called the Muslims and asked them, what do you say about Jesus?
Jaafar answered him saying, “Our Prophet Muhammad says that Jesus is Allah’s prophet.”
The Negus gave back the gifts to Quraish and refused to deliver up the refugees so the pagan Arabs left oppressed and frustrated and the Quraish returned to Mecca discomforted.
Jaafar and Asmaa spent about ten years in Ethiopia, which became a second home for them. There, Asmaa gave birth to three children.
Finally, Jaafar and his family together with a group of Muslims left Ethiopia and went to Al-Madina.
On their arrival, the Prophet Muhammad was very happy to see them.
Muslims in general and especially the poor among them were as happy with the return of Jaafar as the Prophet Muhammad was. And quickly Jaafar became a well known as a person who was much concerned with the welfare of the poor.
It is said that there was a great resemblance between Jaafar and the Prophet Muhammad, both in his appearance and ethics. Muhammad called him, “The father of the poor”, because he used to help and support the poor with all he has of money.
Co-Chief Editor, October Weekly magazine, Cairo, Egypt.
Member of the Egyptian Society of Save Children.
Member of the Egyptian Society of Tourism
Article from articlesbase.com
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