An Abyssinian Story in Honour of the Prophet Pbuh
I, Asma’, wife of Ja’far Ibn Abu Talib, have found refuge in a land that is friendly to those of us who are Muslim, the ones who willingly surrender to the One God. Our Prophet, the Trustworthy, whose calling Khadija first recognized, has sent us here for our protection. My husband, harassed so unjustly by his family, has been appointed by Muhammad, peace and blessings upon him, to lead this small contingent of the most severely persecuted of our brothers and sisters. These are the people who have no recourse to powerful clan affiliations that would be embarrassed by the torture of one of their own members. So the unbelievers, more interested in the concerns of trade and the economic position of Makkah, target the least influential amongst us in the attempt to usurp the Prophet’s calling and refute the revelations that come upon him.
My husband is the cousin of Muhammad, the Trustworthy, and the brother of Ali Ibn Abu Talib. This is the second hijrah to Abyssinia and we are grateful for the kindness and wisdom of our host, the Negus. He is a Christian ruler but he is in great sympathy with our account of what has been revealed through our Prophet and he respects the revealed message concerning Maryam and her son, Isa.
In this land I feel safe from the dangers of falling into the hands of the Makkan elite, the worshippers of idols for personal gain. They argue that they simply follow the traditions of their parents before them and that we should do the same. They cannot envision change, nor do they desire to improve their ways if it inhibits their greed and their status. I cry for them, they are too blind to see what is before their eyes. An honest, trustworthy man, who brims over with kindness and generosity, stands before them, and they laugh at him and deride his words. More than this, they question the revelation that comes so powerfully through his lips from the One God, Allah ta’ala.
How I long to still be in the presence of the Prophet and to hear the revelations as they come! Maybe I am ungrateful. It is good for those of us who are here in Abyssinia for we are protected and it is important that the emerging ummah grow and not be crushed by its enemies. Nearly every day, Ja’far and I speak of Muhammad and recall our dearest memories of him and at night, in our dreams, we hear his voice telling us to abide and be patient for the mercy of God is always with us. So I go about my daily chores happy to be amongst people who have befriended us and I offer my prayers that my own people may one day enjoy the light that has come into our lives.
Copyright Katherine Randall, Granada 2006