Ja’far ibn Abi Talib (ra), Part 2

Sahaba (ra) Series

One of the most defining and important moments in Islamic History was first Hijrah (pilgrimage) of the early Muslims to Abyssinia. The Muslims had been persecuted, tortured and mistreated by their people simply for saying that they believed in only Allah (swt). Many were sent by the Prophet (saws) to Abyssinia because it was ruled by a righteous and just ruler, Al-Najashi.
 
However, the Quraysh pursued them and sought to convince the King to send them back, claiming that they were evil and wicked people, who had forsaken their ancestors and were troublemakers. They used their status as the “respected leaders” of their tribe as the proof and evidence for their claim and they knew these people the best. They tried to use the king’s own Christian beliefs as further reason to exile the Muslims. Since Al-Najashi was a just ruler he would not surrender them without first speaking to them and hearing their arguments.
 
When the time came for the audience, the Muslims decided that Ja’far ibn Abi Talib (ra) would be the only one to speak on their behalf. Ja’far (ra) was someone who knew where his people had come from, he understood the truth that Islam brought and was sincere and unafraid In his faith. With his knowledge, understanding and intelligence he delivered one of the most powerful, accurate and eloquent descriptions of Islam.
 

“O King, we were a people in a state of ignorance and immorality, worshipping idols and eating the flesh of dead animals, committing all sorts of abomination and shameful deeds, breaking the ties of kinship, treating guests badly, and the strong among us exploited the weak. We remained in this state until Allah sent us a Prophet, one of our own people whose lineage, truthfulness, trustworthiness, and integrity were well-known to us. He called us to worship Allah alone and to renounce the stones and the idols which we and our ancestors used to worship besides Allah.

He commanded us to speak the truth, to honor our promises, to be kind to our relations, to be helpful to our neighbors; to cease all forbidden acts, to abstain from bloodshed, to avoid obscenities and false witness; to not appropriate an orphan’s property nor slander chaste women. He ordered us to worship Allah alone and not to associate anything with Him, to uphold Salat, to give Zakat and to fast in the month of Ramadan. We believed in him and what he brought to us from Allah and we follow him in what he has asked us to do and we keep away from what he forbade us from doing.

Thereupon, O King, our people attacked us, visited the severest punishment on us to make us renounce our religion and take us back to the old immorality and the worship of idols. They oppressed us, made life intolerable for us and obstructed us from observing our religion. So we left for your country, choosing you before anyone else, desiring your protection and hoping to live in Justice and peace in your midst.”

Al-Najashi was impressed by these words and asked for revelation of the Prophet (saws) and Ja’far (ra) responded by reciting the beginning of Surah Maryam and the story of Jesus (as) and his mother Mary. This recitation brought the King and many of his court to tears and he firmly refused to send the Muslims back with the Quraysh.
 
Ja’far (ra) is a true role model for us, and one whose example is so relevant to our Ummah today. It was through his knowledge, confidence and belief that he secured a place of peace for Islam. He was a Sahabi who did not hesitate to speak the truth, stand up for justice and use all the talents and means at his disposal for the sake of the Ummah. May Allah (swt) be pleased with him.
 
To refresh your memory on last week’s Sahaba Series post, use the following blog link:
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