Aṣḥamah [i.e. Al-Najāshī] was the king of Abyssinia when some of the Muslims made the first migration, fleeing from the persecution in Makkah. Our mother, Umm Salmah, may Allāh be pleased with her, described their stay in this just king’s land in the following way: “When we alighted in the land of Abyssinia we lived there near the best neighbor: al-Najāshī. We were made safe with respect to our dīn. We worshipped Allāh without being harmed, and we did not hear anything that we disliked.”
When Jacfar ibn Abi Tālib, May Allāh be pleased with him, recited the beginning of ṣūrah Maryam before Aṣḥamah, the latter began to cry so much that his beard became wet and he proclaimed, “By Allāh, this and that which Mūsa brought come from the same lamp.”
Aṣḥamah accepted Islām but did not get the opportunity to meet the Prophet ﷺ. He tried to send a delegation to the Prophet ﷺ consisting of sixty people, amongst whom was his son, but they drowned en route.
Our mother, Umm Habībah, may Allāh be pleased with her, was married to the Prophet ﷺ with the help of Aṣḥamah who was the wakīl of the Prophet ﷺ, and who also gave her four hundred dinār as dowery on the Prophet’s ﷺ behalf.
Tabrānī’s Mucjam al-Kabīr reports that the Prophet ﷺ mentioned al-Najāshī, Luqmān and Bilāl as being amongst the leaders of the people of Jannah.
Aṣḥamah died in Rajab of the ninth year after the Prophetic migration. The Prophet ﷺ performed the janāẓah prayer for Aṣḥamah though his body was not present, and it is not established that he ﷺ did this for anyone besides him.
Jābir, may Allāh be pleased with him, reports that when Najāshī died the Prophet ﷺ said, “Today, a righteous man has died. Stand and perform ṣālah over your brother, Aṣḥamah.” In anther narration, he stated, “Seek forgiveness for your brother.”
Ibn Ḥajr writes that when the Prophet ﷺ mentioned this a hypocrite objected to praying for, what he called, “a disbeliever from the Abyssinians,” at which point Allāh revealed the following āyah of ṣūrah Āli cImrān: “Indeed amongst the People of The Book are those who believe in Allāh and that which was revealed to you all…”
In the Sunan of Abu Dawud our mother, cĀisha, may Allāh be pleased with her, relates, “When al-Najāshī died we used to say that a light continued to be seen on his grave.”