How did they seek permission, or to put it more rightly, in what manner and form did the delegates of Quraish seek permission from a strange people and the oppressed who sought refuge in a far away land under the jurisdiction of that dreadful king?
No doubt that they sought permission like a miserable group entering with heads lowered to the king bowing on their knees or prostrating on their faces in front of that grandiose king who happened to become for them some person of kindness and generosity.
However what happened was totally different from that, indeed what happened was that the leader of the delegates of the emigrants, Ja’far Ibn Abee Taalib (Allaah be pleased with him) stood by the door and shouted saying, “The Party of Allaah is seeking your permission”, then An-Najaashi said: “Command that caller to repeat himself”, so he did.
Then An-Najaashi said: “Okay, enter into the protection of Allah and His safety”, so they entered upon him without prostrating as expected, then An-Najaashi asked, “what prevented you from prostrating to me?" Ja’far responded with complete humility and in a manner which had its impact, “we prostrate to Allaah Who created you and made you king”, then he continued his speech saying, “as for prostrating to other than Allah, that was certainly our greeting in those days when we used to worship idols. Then Allaah raised amongst us a truthful prophet and he commanded us with a greeting that we are contented with and that is the Salaam the greeting of the people of paradise.” An-Najaashi then realised they are the party of Allah in truth, confident in Him and not fearing the condemnation of the blamer upon their belief in Allah.
And that what they were speaking with is At-Tawra'ah and Al-Injeel. – [The story of the migration of the prophet’s companions to Al-Habashah: Musnad Ahmad: 1/201-202 (authentic)].
As for this disposition which emanated from Muhammad's delegates, it is a lesson for two sides at the same time, the side of the Quraish and the side of Africa, and it was a discourse directed to all of their hearts together if they could think, it was as if Ja’far was telling them: “If the delegates of Quraish are beguiled by the language fluency of Amr and his wordsmithship and enchanting eloquence, and with what they have offered in invaluable presents and for the penguins as the price for recapturing us, and if the penguins are to debase us and attempt to influence An-Najaashi their king to release us to Amr ibn Al-Aas, in spite of all that we are the party of Allah the most high all-able, relying on Him, confident in Him, then we are not bothered because He, the most glorified is our Master and He is the best of Masters and best of Supporters. Surely we are Hizbullah, know that certainly the party of Allah are the victorious”. This speech by Ja’far made its impact on An-Najaashi then he requested from them someone to represent them in making a parley with him and in debate so as to refute the claims of the Quraish delegates. Then Ja’far presented himself and An-Najaashi told him to speak, so Ja’far stood by his front speaking to him face to face, indicative of the sagacity of his intellect and he is one of those who knew how to put people in their places, then he said: “You are a King, it is not appropriate to speak much in your presence and it is not appropriate to be bias”, after this foreword, Ja’far requested from An-Najaashi a face-off with the Quraishi delegates with the following questions:
1) Are we slaves or Freeborns?
2) Did we kill someone and flee?
3) Did we steal people’s wealth and evaded?
To be continued inshaa Allaah.