How did the Prophet (pbuh) lead the janazah prayer of the Abyssinian king, the Negus Ashama?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

It was one day in the month of Rajab in the 9th year of the Migration.

The Messenger of Allah was together with many Companions.

Meanwhile he said, “Today, one of your righteous brothers died. Stand up and perform his janazah prayer.”1

The Companions got ready immediately and performed the janazah prayer of “their righteous brother” behind the Messenger of Allah.

After the prayers, the Messenger of Allah said, “We asked mercy of Allah from Allah for your brother Ashama, the Negus.”2

Thereupon, the Companions learned that “their righteous brother” was Ashama, the Negus of Abyssinia.

The news that reached Madinah about a week later informed them that the Negus of Abyssinia had died on the day that the Prophet had said.

Ashama, the Negus of Abyssinia, was invited to Islam by the Messenger of Allah in the 7th year of the Migration by a letter. Ashama embraced Islam at once. He said to the Muslim envoy,

“Instead of this sultanate, I wish I were the servant of Muhammad (pbuh). Being a servant of him is superior to being a Sultan.”3

Footnotes:

1. Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Musnad, Vol. 3, p. 400.
2. Muslim, Sahih, Vol. 2, p. 657.
3. Ibn Kathir, Sirah, Vol. 2, p. 30.

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