Islam in Africa: The Early Message of Islam in Africa (I)

Monday 14-Jun-2021, 1:08PM / 1019

In the Last Edition 

This era represented the first period among the three (3) eras of the activities of Islam in Africa, and it is the epoch of its (Islam) entry and its setting its foot on it. And it is clear from what has preceded that those who conveyed Islam to Africa during this era were the Companions of the Messenger of Allah —Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace, and be pleased with the companions—, they were people who comprehended Islam as it was revealed in its pristine form before anything else mixed with it, be it from foreign ideologies or corrupt rationales. They received it from the mouth of the Messenger —Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace— freshly new as it was revealed, then they propagated it as they understood it with complete trustworthiness and utmost sincerity with it, this was why their propagation enjoyed the impact we already knew on the heart of An-Najaashi and some of his followers for whom Allah had willed guidance and success, and indeed we have seen how they were moved by listening to the Qur’an, and we as well knew that An-Najaashi did not have to reaffirm his eemaan ceremoniously when the letter of the Messenger —Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace— was delivered to him, in which he invited him to believe in him and in what he has brought (Islam) because his (An-Najaashi) heart had already believed before the letter was delivered, after he was informed about what the Messenger of Allaah —Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace— was calling to, this is why we considered his believing or his proclamation (after receiving the letter) as just an official proclamation because in reality, he was a believer before that, as it is not obscured. 

Therefore An-Najaashi is counted as the first King to believe in the Messenger of Allaah, and his religion from amongst the world kings —that we know of—, just as his continent of Africa is counted as the first continent where the righteous feet of the companions of Allah’s Messenger —Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace—, were set down, and with them are some of his households and relations, moreover, some of his daughters, —Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace—, and it (the continent of Africa) were honoured with Islam. That was how Islam entered into the continent of Africa in reference to an important section of it and that is Al-Habasha [Ethiopia (Eritrea precisely)]. And generalisation while intending a part is not the newborn of my speech nor my innovation, rather it is a known methodology of the Arabs and a path that is treaded, no disagreement over it.

Those who accepted the Dawah of Islam during this epoch had the genuine understanding of it because the preachers were the distinguished elitist, since their teacher who tutored them Islam and from whom they took their religion was the messenger of Allah himself —Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace—.

And it is not obscure to anyone, the influence a teacher has in forms of good or bad traits over his student, therefore it is not delusional for them to by virtue of that, attain a level of excellence in their understanding of Islam and its conception, and for them to attain excellence by virtue of that, in their Dawah methodology with people so much that An-Najaashi became their brother (in faith) due to their call, for who they besought forgiveness and observed Salah on the day of his demise.

And it has been established in the Saheehayn (the two most authentic books of Ahadith of the duo of Imaam Bukhaari and Imaam Muslim), on the authority of Abu Hurayrah —Allah be pleased with him— who reported that the Messenger of Allah —Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace— announced the death of An-Najaashi on the day of his demise and went out to the prayer ground, then he made four (4) takbeeraat and said: “seek forgiveness on behalf of your brother” – [(Al-Bukhaari: in the book of Funeral: 4, 64), Muslim: in the book of Funeral: 63, 64.]

As-Suhail has also mentioned that : “The death of An-Najaashi occurred in the month of Rajab in the ninth year after hijrah” – [Ibn Haatim reported this hadith in At-Tafseer through Thaabit, Ad-Daraqutniy reported it in Al-Afraad, and Al-Bazzar from Hameed, both of them from Anas as mentioned by Al-Haafiz in Al-Fat'hu: 3/188]

And as he was praying upon him, his (An-Najaashi's) bedstead was raised to him from the land of Habasha till he saw it in Al-Madinah. And the hypocrites had said: “did you prayed upon an infidel who died all the way in the land of Habasha”. Allaah's Curse be on them, for their delusion away from the truth, the messenger of Allaah —Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace— did not pray on any infidel, indeed he prayed on someone dignified with Islam by Allaah so much that he became a noble from amongst the eminents among his companions —Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace—.