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The life of the Prophet Muhammad - Ibn Kathir - volume 2 of 4

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12 THE LIFE OF THE

12 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD "The Abyssinian leaders then said, 'By God, if the Abyssinians heard this they would depose you!' "'By God,' he responded, 'I will never say anything about Jesus different from this; God did not acquiesce to the people about me when He restored my kingdom to me. Shall I then obey the people concerning God's religion? God forbid such a thing! '" Yiinus stated, from Thn Iqhaq, L'And so the Negus sent for them and assembled them, nothing being more distasteful to 'Amr b. al-'A$ and 'Abd Allah b. Abn Rabi'a than that he should hear their words. "When the Negus's messenger came to them, the exiles assembled and asked one another what to say. "'What can we say?' they asked, and decided, 'By God, we will tell what we know and all about the religion we follow, what it was our Prophet (SAAS) brought to us, come what may! ' "When they went in to him their spokesman was Ja'far b. Aba Tzlib, God be pleased with him. The Negus asked him, 'What is this religion you follow? Have you left the faith of your people without entering either Judaism or Christianity?' "Ja'far replied, '0 king, we were a people of polytheism. We worshipped idols, ate the meat of animals that had died, offended rules of hospitality and permitted things forbidden, as in the shedding of one another's blood and so on. We completely ignored matters of right and wrong. And so God sent to us a prophet, from among ourselves, whose honesty and trustworthiness we knew well. He summoned us to pray to God alone and without associate, told us to respect rights of kinship, to honour rights of hospitality, to pray to God the Almighty and Glorious, to fast for Him and to worship none other than Him."' Ziyad stated, from Ibn Ishaq, "And so he called us to God, to affirm His oneness, to worship Him, and to tear down all the other stones and idols we and our forefathers had worshipped apart from Him. He ordered us to be truthful in our speech, to keep to our trust, to respect kinship ties and hospitality rights and to abandon things forbidden and the shedding of blood. He forbad us to do anything immoral, to tell lies, to misuse the funds of orphans, or to make false accusations against women of virtue. He ordered us to worship God and to associate no other god with Him. He told us to pray, to give alms and to fast." Hc stated, "And he ennumerated for him all aspects of Islam. "And so we believed in him and trusted him, following him in the instructions he brought from God. We worshipped God alone, without partner and associating no one with Him. We forbad what he had forbidden and considered permissible what he allowed us. "But our people aggressed against us and harmed us, seeking to draw us out of our faith, to return us to the worship of idols instead of God, and to have us again consider permissible the abominations we had previously allowed.

IMAM ABO AL-FIDA' ISMAciL IBN KATH~R 13 "When they treated us with violence and persecution, besieged us and prevented us from performing our religion, we left for your country and chose you above all others. We desired your hospitality and hoped we would not be harmed in your domain, 0 king." She (Umm Salama) went on to state, "The Negus replied, 'Did you bring anything with you from what he brought?' "Jacfar then recited to him a passage from KHY'S (swat Muyam: XIX) and, I swear, the Negus wept so hard his beard was soaked! And all his bishops cried so hard they wet their bibles! "He then said, 'These words certainly come from the niche that Moses brought with him! Pass on, rightly guided! No, by God, I will not return them to you and I will not give you satisfaction.' "So we did leave his presence. The more sensible of the two envoys, in our view, was 'Abd Allah b. Rabi'a, for 'Amr b. al-'AS said, 'By God, I will go to him tomorrow and tell him something that will turn them all upside down: I will tell him that they claim that the god he worships, Jesus, son of Mary, is a servant (of God)!' But 'Abd Allah b. Rabi'a told him, 'No, don't do that; even if they have opposed us, they are related to us and have a certain right.' "But he insisted, 'By God, I will do it!' "The next day he went in to the king and said, '0 king, they say terrible things about Jesus. Send for them and question them about him.' "He did indeed do so, and nothing like this had happened to us before. We asked one another what we should say about Jesus if he were to ask about him. A11 agreed that we should definitely say about him what God had said and our Prophet had told us to say. "The exiles then went in to the king who had his generals with him. He asked, 'What is it you say about Jesus, son of Mary?' "Ja'far replied, 'We say he is God's servant, His messenger, His spirit and His word that He cast into Mary, the chaste Virgin.' "The Negus stretched his hand down to the ground and picked up a stick between two fingers, saying, 'Jesus, son of Mary is not more than the size of this little stick different from what you say.' "His generals grumbled at this and he responded, 'Grumble away, by God! You people may leave now and you are shuyGm in my land! (The word shuyam means in their language: those who are secure, i.e. those whose life is safe.) Whoever reviles you will be fined! (He repeated this phrase three times.) I'd rather not have dabr than that I harmed one man among you! (Dubr in their language means: gold.)"' Ziyad stated, on the authority of Ibn Ishaq, that what he said was, "I'd rather not have a dabr of gold." Ibn Hishzm stated that others say the word zabr was used, meaning a mountain in their language.

  • Page 2 and 3: The Center for Muslim Contribution
  • Page 4 and 5: CONTENTS Foreword About this Series
  • Page 6 and 7: CONTENTS vii Chapter: On the birth
  • Page 8 and 9: In the Name of God, the Beneficent,
  • Page 10 and 11: ABOUT THIS SERIES THIS series of Ar
  • Page 12 and 13: CENTER FOR MUSLIM CONTRIBUTION TO C
  • Page 14 and 15: INTRODUCTION HE work at hand in its
  • Page 16 and 17: INTRODUCTION xvii rather rudimentar
  • Page 18 and 19: INTRODUCTION nix scholars of Islami
  • Page 20 and 21: INTRODUCTION xxi in pertinent ways.
  • Page 22 and 23: INTRODUCTION xxiii Finally, the tru
  • Page 24 and 25: TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE xxv ave been i
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