Translated by: Jasim al-Alyawy
The BeginningAbu Talib, Shaikh al-Bat-ha, missed his nephew our Master Muhammad [s]. So, he went to look for him. He was not alone. His son Ja'far aged twenty was with him. Shaikh al-Bat-ha and his son went to the hills near Makkah. They found him there.
Our Master Muhammad [s] was praying humbly. Ali, the young man of Islam, was praying on his right. They were not afraid of anyone but Allah. They were praying for Allah, the Creator of the skies and the earth, the Creator of creatures.
While they were praying, their number was a pitiful sight. Abu Talib turned to his son and said: Join your cousin's wing
Namely, stand on his left hand, for Ali has stood on his right hand. The bird can't fly but with two wings. This means that Abu Talib, the Prophet's uncle, did not want our Master Muhammad [s] to stay with one wing. Since then, Ja'far's name has appeared in the bright history of Islam.
Ja'far bin Abu Talib was born about 25 years after the Year of the Elephant. He was 10 years older than his brother Ali. He was about 20 years younger than our Master Muhammad [s].
Ja'far bin Abu Talib looked like our Master Muhammad [s]. He lived with his cousin al-Abbas. Abu Talib had a big family. Our Master Muhammad [s] wanted to relieve his worries. So, he took Ali to his house. Al-Abbas took Ja'far to his house.
The light of Islam illuminated the sky of Makkah. Our Master Muhammad [s] invited the bewildered to the New Light. He invited the defeated and the oppressed to the religion of salvation and freedom. He invited the drowning in the darkness of ignorance to the light of Islam.
But the Quraishi tyrants did not listen to the voice of Islam and the Call of the Sky. So, they began fighting our Master Muhammad [s] and those who believed in him. They wreaked their wrath upon the weak Muslims. They whipped Bilal al-Habashy, Summayya, Yasir, and other Muslims. They whipped them for no sin but because they said: Our Lord is Allah.
The Immigration to HabashaOne night the Muslims met Allah's Apostle. He was sad to hear that the Muslims were suffering from torture So, he said to them: There's a just King in Habasha. Immigrate to his country. Stay there till Allah drives away your worries.
The idea of immigration shone in the believers' hearts as the sun shone to fill the earth with light and warmth.
At midnight, a small group crept into the land of Habasha (Ethiopia), via the Red Sea. The Muslim immigrants stayed there.
In the meantime, the Quraish increased their torture against the Muslims who stayed in Makkah. So, they were in a fix.
At that critical time, our Master Muhammad [s] ordered his cousin Ja'far to lead a bigger group of Muslims to Habasha.
The number of the new group was over 80 Muslims. Ja'far began leading the immigrating caravan towards the coasts of the sea.
The sea was calm. The wind was gentle. The immigrants reached the coasts of the sea. Allah, the Almighty, wanted a ship to pass by them. The ship was going from Jeddah to Habasha. Ja'far asked her Captain to take them there. The Captain accepted.
The ship set out plowing the sea. The Muslims thanked Allah, who turned their fear into safety to worship Him only.
Ja'far himself was visiting the immigrants, especially the children. His wife Asmaa bint Umayys was visiting the women.
Days and nights passed. The ship anchored at the coasts of Habasha. The Muslims reached the land where our Master Muhammad [s] had ordered them to immigrate.
The Muslims were always praying to Allah freely. No one prevented them from that. During their prayers, they were always asking Allah to grant our Master Muhammad [s] and his Muslim brothers victory over the unjust Quraishi tyrants.
But the news that reached them was sorrowful. Yasir and Summayyah became martyrs under torture, They were in pain to hear about the torture that was happening to their brothers. But they firmly increased their belief.
In MakkahAbu Jahal, who had a spite against our Master Muhammad [s], was always planning to destroy Allah's religion. He wanted to put out the candle of Islam so that people would live in darkness and ignorance.
But Allah's religion spread as the scent of roses did. It made happiness enter hearts as spring did.
One day, the Quraishi leaders held a meeting in Darul Nadwa. They were thinking about a way to extinguish the light of Islam. Umayyah said: I'll make Bilal a lesson for slaves so that they'll not think about entering Muhammad's religion.
Abu Jahal said: We'll go on banning Bani Hashim till they die of hunger or they give us Muhammad to kill him.
Abu Sufyan said: But what shall we do for those who escape from Makkah and go to Habasha?
Abu Jahal said: We'll bring them back.
We'll send our friend al-Najashy lots of gifts. So, he'll accept our request.
Who will go?
We'll send a clever man to negotiate with al-Najashy.
After several weeks, they decided to send a delegation to bring back the runaway persons.
In al-Najashy's PresenceIn the morning, Amru bin al-Ass and Amarah bin al-Waleed headed for the sea holding gifts to al-Najashy, the King of Habasha.
The delegates crossed the sea with a ship. They reached the land of Habasha. They came to the King's palace.
Amru bin al-Ass said to the guards of the palace: We're the Quraishi delegates holding gifts to the King.
Al-Najashy greeted the delegates and accepted the gifts of the Quraish. The priests received their gifts, too. The King asked them about the purpose of their visit.
The delegates said: Some foolish persons have taken refuge in the land of Habasha. They've abandoned their fathers' and grandfathers' religion. They haven't accepted the King's religion. Rather; they've brought a new religion. Neither you nor we have known it. We, the Quraishi noblemen, have come to bring them back and to educate them.
The King of Habasha was just and wise man. So, he said: How can I hand you the people who have chosen my country and asked me for help? But I'll ask them some questions. If their thoughts are corrupt; if they are deviated, I'd hand them to you. Otherwise, I'd leave them to live in my country.
Al-Najashy sent for the immigrants. They came. Ja'far bin Abu Talib was in advance. They came into the palace and stood in front of the King.
The Habashian people bowed when they met the King. So the Habashian and the delegates bowed to the King. The Muslims did not bow; their heads remained high raised.
Al-Najashy asked the Muslims: Why don't you bow to me?
Ja'far answered: We don't bow to anyone but Allah.
The King said: What do you mean?
Ja'far answered: Your Majesty; the King, Allah has sent us an Apostle. The Apostle has ordered us not to bow to anyone but Allah. He has also ordered us to pray and to pay zakat.
Amru bin al-Ass said evilly: They're breaking the King's religion!
Al-Najashy asked him to keep silent; and asked Ja'far to go on. Ja'far politely said:
Your Majesty, the King, we were ignorant people. We worshipped the idols. We ate dead animals. We did bad actions and abandoned our relatives. We mistreated our neighbors. The strong oppressed the weak. So Allah has sent us an Apostle. We know his ancestors and his truthfulness. We know that he is pure and trustworthy So, he has invited us to worship the Only Allah. He has ordered us to avoid what we and our fathers had worshipped. He has ordered us to be truthful and to give the trusts to their owners. He has ordered us to visit our relatives, to be good neighbors, to stop bad actions and shedding blood. He has prevented us from atrocities, falsehood taking the orphan's money and speaking evil of the married women. He has ordered us to worship Allah only and not to be polytheists. He has ordered us to pray, to give alms, and to fast.
Your majesty; the king, we've believed him and followed what he has brought from Allah. So, we've worshipped Allah only- we're not polytheists.
But our people have aggressed against us. They've tortured us. They've prevented us from our religion to worship the idols again.
After they had persecuted us, we came to your country. We've preferred you to others. We want to live in your country. Thus, your majesty, the king, we ask you to treat us justly.
Al-Najashy said politely: Have you anything of what your Prophet has brought?
Ja'far politely said: Yes.
Al-Najashy said: Read me something.
Ja'far began reading some verses of the Chapter of Maryam:
And mention Maryam in the Book when she drew aside from her family to an eastern place. So, she took a veil (to screen herself) from them; then We sent to her Our Spirit, and there appeared to her a well-made man. She said: Surely I fly for refuge from you to the Beneficent God, if you are one guarding (against evil). He said: I am only a messenger of your Lord: That I will give you a pure boy. She said: When shall I have a boy and no mortal has yet touched me, nor have I been unchaste? He said: Even so; your lord says: It is easy to me: and that We may make him a sign to men and a mercy from us; and it is a matter which has been decreed. So, she conceived him; then withdrew herself with a remote place and the throes (of childbirth) compelled her to take herself to the trunk of a palm tree. She said: Oh, would that I had died before this, and had been a thing quite forgotten! Then (the child called out to her from beneath her): Grieve not, surely your lord has made a stream to flow beneath you. And shake towards you the trunk of the palm tree, it will drop on you fresh ripe dates. So, eat and drink and refresh the eye. Then if you see any mortal, say: Surely I have vowed a fast to the Beneficent God, so I shall not speak to any man today and she came to her people with him, carrying him (with her). They said: 0 Maryam! Surely you have done a strange thing. O Sister of Haroon! Your father was not a bad man, nor was your mother an unchaste woman.
Al-Najashy wept. His tears flowed on his cheeks. The priests and the monks wept humbly, too. Ja'far's voice was flowing humbly:
But she pointed to him. They said: How should we speak to one who was a child in the cradle? He said: Surely I am Allah's servant; he has given me the Book and made me a prophet, and has made me blessed wherever I may be, and he has enjoined on me prayer and poor-rate so long as I live and dutiful to my mother; and he has not made me insolent, unblessed and peace be on me on the day I was born, and on the day I die, and on the day I am raised to life .
Al-Najashy stood up for Allah's Words and said humbly: Certainly this and what 'Isa had brought come out of one niche.
He turned to the Quraishi delegates and said angrily: I won't hand them to you and I'll defend them.
Then he ordered his soldiers to dismiss the delegation and to return the gifts to them. He said: They are bribes. I don't want to be bribed.
He turned to Ja'far and his Muslim group and said: You're welcome; Your Prophet is welcome. I admit that he is the Apostle whom 'Isa bin Maryam had given good news about. Live wherever you like in my country.
Al-Najashy wanted to know something about the manners of Islam. He asked Ja'far: How do you greet each other?
Our greeting is to say Assalamu Alaikum.
Another PlotOn the following day Amru bin al-Ass and Amarah decided to go to the King's Palace. On their way, Amru bin al-Ass said to Amarah: This time, I,ll get my revenge on Ja'far. I'll tell the kings that the Muslims have another idea about 'Isa.
Again the delegates came to al-Najashy and said: Your majesty; the king, the Muslims say that 'Isa is a slave.
Al-Najashy kept silent for a while then he said to the guard:Go to Ja'far to hear his point of view
Ja'far came and greeted the King and said: Assalamu Alaikum.
The King asked him: What's your point of view about 'Isa?
Ja'far answered calmly: We say as Allah and His Apostle have said about him.
The King asked him: What's your Prophet said?
Ja'far answered calmly: He's Allah's slave, His Apostle, His Spirit, His Word that He has given to the chaste, virgin Maryam.
Al-Najashy kept silent for a while, then he drew a line on the ground with his stick. So, he said: Go to your friends. You're safe in my country.
Again the delegates' plot came to nothing. The delegates hopelessly came back to Makkah. Since that meeting, the Muslims had been happy in the land of the just King.
Our Master Muhammad [s] and the Muslims rejoiced at Ja'far's victory and his stay in Habasha.
The Good StayDays, months, and years passed.
Ja'far and the Muslims heard news. When they heard good news, they became happy. When they heard bad news, they became sad.
They became happy when the ban the Quraish imposed on Banu Hashim was over.
They became sad when they heard about the death of Abu Talib, the protector of the Prophet [s] and Khadijah's death, our Master Muhammad's wife, who stood by him and spent her wealth for Islam.
The Muslims in Habasha heard about our Master Muhammad's migration to Madina and the establishment of the first Islamic State, where the flag of monotheism was hoisted. They were filled with happiness.
The news of the decisive Battle of Badr, and the victory of Islam over polytheism and idols arrived to them. They heard about the news of the Battle of Uhud. They were sad to hear about the Prophet's wounds in the battle.
They were happy to hear the news of the Muslims' victories over the polytheists and the Jews. Their happiness was great when they heard about the Prophet's letters to the Kings all over the world.
The Prophet [s] sent letters to Hercules, the Emperor of Rome, Kossra, the King of Iran, and al-Mokawkas, the Pharaoh of Egypt.
A letter to al-NajashyAmru bin Umayyah al-Dhimry our Master Muhammad's delegate, arrived in Habasha carrying the letter of the Prophet of Islam.
The letter read:
From Muhammad, Allah's Apostle
To al-Najashy the King of Habasha
You are safe.
I thank Allah. There is no god but Him, the King, the Holy, the Peace, the Believer; the Almighty.
I bear witness that 'Isa is Allah's Spirit, and His word He has given to Maryam, the Virgin, the good, and the chaste. Allah created him with His power as He created Adam before.
I am inviting you to worship Allah only, to obey Him, to follow me, and to believe in what has come to me. I am Allah's Apostle. I am inviting you and your soldiers to worship Allah, the Almighty. I have told and advised you. So, accept my advice.
And peace upon him who follows guidance.
Ja'far accompanied our Master Muhammad's delegate on his going to al-Najashy's palace. First they greeted the King of Habasha. Then he received the Prophet's letter respectfully.
Al-Najashy read the letter. He came down the throne and sat on the ground to show his humbleness and respect for Allah's Apostle, our Master Muhammad [s].
Al-Najashy put the letter on his eye to show his great respect. Then he ordered his guards to get him an ivory box to put the letter in. He said:
Habasha will be prosperous as long as its people keeps this letter.
The Prophet's delegate gave the King another letter. The letter asked the King to allow the immigrants headed by Ja'far bin Abu Talib to come back to their country.
The Muslims were very happy to hear about their repatriation to their homeland. In the meantime, they thanked al-Najashy for his good hospitality.
Al-Najashy ordered his guards to prepare some ships to bring back the immigrants to the land of al-Hejaz. He sent his representative with them.
The representative was carrying gifts and a letter of greetings to our Master Muhammad [s].
The sails of the ships were raised to start journey, the Muslims set off. They rejoiced at Allah's victory.
The Conquest of KhaibarIn al-Madina al-Munawwara, the army of Islam was getting ready to advance towards the strongholds of the Jewish Khaibar.
The Jews of Khaibar were always plotting to put out the light of Islam. They were always encouraging the Arab tribes to invade Madina to destroy the new Muslim State.
So, our Master Muhammad [s] decided to uproot the danger of the Jews so that people would live in peace. The Muslim forces reached the road that joined the tribes of Ghatfan and the strongholds of Khaibar to surprise the enemy there.
The number of the Muslim Army amounted to one thousand and four-hundred fighters. Two hundred horse riders were with them. The Muslim women took part in the battle, too.
The Muslims advanced towards the strongholds. At dawn, they surprised the Jews and besieged them completely.
Some Companions launched strong attacks against the Jews. But they were in vain because the Jews faced them with a lot of arrows. The Jews were sneering at our Master Muhammad [s] and his soldiers.
So, the Prophet [s] said: Tomorrow; I'll give the banner to a man. The man loves Allah and his Apostle; Allah and His Apostle love him.
In the morning, some companions wished that the banner would be for them. But our Master Muhammad [s] asked Ali, Ja'far's brother.
Ali shook the banner strongly and advanced towards the strongholds of the Jews. When Ali killed Marhab, the hero of the Jews, they felt fear. Quickly, the Muslims occupied the strongholds of Khaibar, one by one.
Our Master Muhammad [s] and the Muslims were filled with happiness. So, they thanked Allah for the victory over their enemies.
In the meantime, the immigrants of Habasha headed by Ja'far bin Abu Talib arrived. Our Master Muhammad's happiness doubled. So, he said with a bright smile on his face:
I don't know which event is more cheerful - Ja'far's coming or the Conquest of Khaibar!
Our Master Muhammad [s] embraced his cousin Ja'far and kissed his forehead and said:
Certainly Ja'far and his friends have two immigrations - an immigration to Habasha and an immigration to al-Madina al-Munawwara.
The Battle of MautahOur Master Muhammad [s] had sent a messenger to the ruler of Busra, a town in Sham. But the messenger was captured and executed in the land of Mautah. This action was against the humanitarian morals.
The Prophet [s] felt sadness. So, he ordered the Muslims to get ready to make an attack to punish the killers.
In the month of Jamadil-Ula, the second year after the blessed immigration, three thousand fighters went to take part in the battle. The Prophet's advice was lightening their way:
I advise you to fear Allah. Invade in the Name of Allah. So, fight Allah's enemy and your enemy. You'll find lonely men in the cells. So, don't fight them. Don't kill a woman or a child. Don't cut down a tree. Don't demolish a building.
Our Master Muhammad [s] appointed Zaid bin Haritha leader to the Muslim Army. The Prophet said:
If Zaid was martyred, the leader would be Ja'far bin Abu Talib. If Ja'far was martyred, the leader would be Abdulah bin Rawaha.
The news of the Muslims' attack reached the Romans. So, they established an army. The army was composed of the Romans and the allied Arab tribes. The number of their forces was two hundred thousand soldiers. The armies gathered at the land of al-Balqaa.
The first clash took place between the two armies at the Village of Masharif near al-Balqaa. The mastery of the Romans appeared in the battle because they had a big army. Hercules, the Emperor of Rome, gave the general leadership to his brother Tyodor.
The Muslim Army, though few in number, chose the land of Mautah to be the theater for the war operations because the elevations of the land were suitable for the Muslims to protect themselves against the Roman Colossal Army.
Zaid bin Haritha got ready for the start of the battle. He strongly shook the banner of the Muslim Army and rushed towards the core of the enemy. His rushing made the Muslim forces start the battle with enthusiasm.
Strong fights took place. Spears tore Zaid's body. So, he fell on to the ground dyeing it red. Before the banner dropped from Zaid's hand, Ja'far bin Abu Talib had rushed and caught it strongly. He began fighting severely. His voice became loud in the middle of the noise of the fights. He announced the good news about victory or martyrdom which each believer hoped.
Ja'far bin Abu Talib jumped off his horse to show his insistence on fighting. He was the first to do that in the history of Islam. He was like the mountain. He was facing the enemies hits. His firmness astonished them.
So, the enemies intensified their attacks against him. A sword hit his right hand. So, it flew in the wind.
Ja'far took the banner of Islam with his left hand and began fighting. Another sword hit his hand and cut it off. Ja'far pressed the banner to his bosom with his upper arm so that the fight would go on.
During those terrible moments, Ja'far was hit again. He fell over the ground and became a martyr.
Abdullah bin Rawaha, the third leader, rushed towards the banner to wave again in the sky of the battle.
The new leader fought bravely to stop the attacks of the Romans who were moving like waves.
Abdullah fell over the ground and became a martyr. So, Thabit bin al-Arqam took the banner and asked the Muslims to elect a new leader.
The Muslims elected Khalid bin al-Waleed.
Very quickly, the new leader decided to withdraw his forces. So, he did some tactic operations to cheat the enemy.
When it got dark, the Muslim Army withdrew with peace and disappeared in the core of the desert.
In the morning, the Romans were surprised to hear about the Muslims' withdrawal. They were afraid to go further into the desert.
At the same time, the brave Muslims, though few in number, dismayed them.
So, the Romans preferred coming back to stay.
In MadinaJibreel came down from the sky to tell our Master Muhammad [s] about the news of the battle. So, Allah's Apostle went up the pulpit and addressed the Muslims:
Zaid took the banner. He fought till he was killed and became a martyr. Then Ja'far took it and fought till he was killed and became a martyr. Then Abdullah took it and fought till he was killed and became a martyr.
Finally, our Master Muhammad [s] began condoling Asmaa, the great Martyr's wife.
The Holy Prophet [s] came into Ja'far's house. He found his children sitting. His wife had just finished doing her hair.
The Prophet [s] kissed Ja'far's children and held them on his lap. He shed tears. Asmaa felt that something had happened to her husband. So, she asked the Prophet [s]:
Allah's Apostle, have you heard anything about Ja'far and his companions?
Yes, they've been martyred!
The Prophet [s] left the house. He asked his daughter Fatima al-Zahra to fix some food for them, for a disaster had befallen them.
The Owner of the two wingsWhen the soldiers of Islam came back to their homeland, they began telling their families about Ja'far's heroic actions and those who were martyred.
One of them said: We've seen 90 wounds in Ja'far's body.
Another said: I've seen him when his right hand had been cut off.
The third said: I've seen him when his left hand had been cut off. He had fallen over the ground and his wounds bled.
Our Master Muhammad [s] said: Jibreel has told me that Allah has granted Ja'far two wings to fly with in the Paradise.
That night, Ja'far's children lay on their beds. They were looking at the sky full of stars. In the meantime, they imagined that their father was flying with his wings like angels.