Islamic Studies Mcqs Paper 2

Q.  Who Represented Quraish delegation at the Negus court the ruler of Abbissinia ?

a. Abu Sufyan
b. Amr ibn al-‘As and Abdullah bin Rabiah
c. Al Mugharia
d. Muawiyia


ANSWER: See Answer
 
The Migration to Abyssinia also known as the First Hegira, was an episode in the early history of Islam, where Prophet Muhammad’s first followers (the Sahabah) fled from the persecution of the ruling Quraysh tribe of Mecca. They sought refuge in the Christian Kingdom of Aksum, present-day Ethiopia and Eritrea (formerly referred to as Abyssinia, an ancient name whose origin is debated), in 9 BH (613 CE) or 7 BH (615 CE). The Aksumite monarch who received them is known in Islamic sources as the Negus (Arabic: نجاشي‎ najāšī) Ashama ibn Abjar. Modern historians have alternatively identified him with King Armah and Ella Tsaham. Some of the exiles returned to Mecca and made the hijra to Medina with Muhammad, while others remained in Abyssinia until they came to Medina in 628.

When the Quraysh learned that Muhammad’s companions could safely practice their religion in Abyssinia, they decided to send an embassy to the Negus to demand return of the fugitives. They selected two envoys, ‘Amr ibn al-‘As and Abdullah bin Rabiah, and gave them gifts for the king and his generals. The gifts were made up of leather prepared by fine skin, Abyssinians were fond of leather goods so it was a bribe for them. The Meccans appealed to the generals, arguing that the emigrants were “foolish youths” who invented a new religion the likes of which neither the Meccans nor the Abyssinians had heard of and that their relatives were asking for their return. The king granted them audience, but he refused to hand over people who had sought his protection until he heard their side of the story.

The Muslims were brought in front of the Negus (or “al-Najashi” in Arabic) and his bishops. Ja‘far ibn Abī Tālib, who acted as the leader of the exiles, spoke in their defense. He described to the king how they lived before Islam, Muhammad’s prophetic mission, and what he had taught them. He also spoke of the persecution they had faced at the hands of the Quraysh. The king asked if they had with them anything which had come from God. When Ja‘far confirmed, the king commanded him to read it. Ja‘far then recited a passage from Surah Maryam (Chapter of Mary). When the king heard it, he wept and exclaimed: “verily, this and what Jesus brought (Gospel) has come from the same source of light (miškāt)”. He then affirmed that he would never give up the Muslims.

However, one of the envoys, ‘Amr ibn al-‘As, thought of another tactic. On the following day he returned to the king and told him that the Muslims had said a dreadful thing about Jesus. When the Muslims heard that the king summoned them again to question them about their view of Jesus, they tried to find a diplomatic answer, but finally decided to speak according to the revelation they had received. When the king addressed Ja‘far, he replied that they held Jesus to be “God’s servant, His prophet, His spirit, and His word which He cast upon the virgin Mary”. Muslim account states that upon hearing these words, the Negus declared that Jesus was indeed no more than what he had said. He turned to the Muslims and told them: “go, for you are safe in my country.” He then returned the gifts to the envoys and dismissed them. Based on the timeframe of the hijra, it is presumed that the Negus was King Armah.
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