The mosque in Negash, by tradition burial site of several followers of Mohammed of the 116 (including his daughter and two of his wives-to-be) who, during his lifetime, fled to the Ethiopian kingdom.
To escape persecution in Mecca. They were received and sheltered by Negus Asihima of Ethiopia, who was friendly with Mohammed during his lifetime. This hospitality is the basis for the Hadith exempting Ethiopia from Jihad, ‘so long as [the Ethiopians] leave [Moslems] alone.’ The mosque is also known as the ‘Tomb of Said Ahmed al Negash, after the king, who allegedly
Converted to Islam and was buried there. Ethiopian Moslems consider Negash the most important site of worship after Mecca.
Though it seems to be little-regarded by those outside the country. The current mosque may be a medieval construction, built on the site of a 7th-century original, but the head of the local
Heritage Preservation department has expressed doubts regarding the authenticity of the 7th-century construction, since it is unlikely that Christian Ethiopia would allow a mosque to be built over their (Christian) king’s grave and in light of the miniscule presence of
Moslems in the area. The name of the village, Negash, is from the Arabic form, Nejashi.
Accounts of the name vary. A report of a saying of the Prophet, the second level of Islamic tradition informing law, after the Qur’an.
Jihad is the only form of warfare permissible under Islamic law; when the conditions are met, there is a religious obligation to carry out that war. Ethiopia, though part of the ‘Land of War
(Non-Moslem lands which are obliged to be converted, preferably by peaceful means, but, failing that, by conquest–as opposed to the ‘Land of Islam,’ where Islamic governments and established Islamic religion hold sway) is an (intermittent) exception. The king was a Christian monarch and likely buried in Wukro, 10km away. Only later Moslem accounts claim that the Negus converted to Islam and was deposed for it. While certainly false, such reports have formed the basis for declaration of jihad against the Ethiopians, since religious persecution (of Moslems-others do not count) is always cause for the waging of jihad. Acts of past (Ethiopian
Orthodox) and current (allied with the same) governments could similarly be seen as persecution by those looking form justification for war, as Somalia’s Islamic Courts Union found (incidentally, the U.S.
Dept. Of State agrees-regarding persecution, not the war).Negash is noted for being the first Muslim settlement and a mosque in the 7th century A.D. It is the burial place King Asihama Al Negash and early Muslims of the world who Were denied a home to be buried because of their belief. Negash is considered by many as The second most sacred place of Islamic worship and rightly dubbed by Ethiopian Muslims as “the second Makah: Negash is a village in the Tigrai Region (or kilil) of Ethiopia, which straddles the Adigrat-Mekele road 10 kilometers north of Wukro. It has a longitude and latitude of 13°53′N 39°36′E / 13.883°N 39.6°E. The Central Statistical Agency has not published an estimate for Its 2005 population.
Negash is known as the earliest Muslim settlement in Africa; a seventh century cemetery has Been excavated inside the village boundaries. The Futuh al-Habasha records Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al Ghazi visited the tomb of Ashama ibn Abjar in Negash during his invasion of the province of Tigrai (around 1537). Negash is also known for the Negash Amedin Mesgid mosque.