The First Muslims and the Christians
In the beginning of Islam, the Quraysh tribe of Mecca persecuted the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and his followers. The Prophet therefore allowed eighty of his followers, together with their small children, to emigrate to Abyssinia in 615 CE. The emigrants were well received in Abyssinia, and were allowed complete freedom of worship. The leaders of Quraysh, however, sent two emissaries to the Nagus, with rich presents for the Negus of Abyssinia and bribes for his generals. The two emissaries told the generals:
"Some foolish young men and women of our people have taken refuge in this kingdom. They have left their own religion, not for yours, but for one they have invented, one that is unknown to us and to yourselves. The nobles of their people have sent us to your king on their account, that he may send them home. So when we speak to him about them, counsel him to deliver them into our hands and have no words with them."
The generals all agreed, and the two men of Quraysh took their presents to the Negus, asking that the emigrants should be given into their hands and explaining the reason as they had done to the generals, and finally adding: "The nobles of their people, who are their fathers, their uncles and their’ kinsmen, beg thee to restore them unto them." The generals were present at the audience, and now with one voice they urged the Negus to comply with their request and give up the refugees, inasmuch as kinsmen are the best judges of the affairs of their kinsmen. But the Negus was displeased and said:
"Nay, by God, they shall not be betrayed - a people that have sought my protection and made my country their abode and chosen me above all others! Give them up I will not, until I have summoned them and questioned them concerning what these men say of them. If it be as they have said, then will I deliver them unto them, that they may restore them to their own people. But if not, then will I be their good protector so long as they seek my protection."
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Source/Submitted by: Darvish
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