I learned about Ja’far Bin Abi Talib by reading the book “Child Companions around the Prophet (Peace be Upon Him)”; this book is prepared by Darussalam Research Division. I have gained two very important lessons from his example. Here is a summary of the relevant content of Chapter 5, “Abdullah Bin Ja’far’s (May Allah be Pleased with Them Both)”.
Ja’far Bin Abi Talib was Prophet Mohammad’s cousin. He chose to migrate to Abyssinia to help Muslims of Mecca escape harsh conditions. He eventually made friends with the Christian King of Abyssinia, King Negus. His wife Asma suckled and weaned both their son and King Negus’s son. Also, both of the sons were named Abdullah. This is a great example of friendship and Pluralism.
Ja’far Bin Abi Talib was known as “Father of the Needy”. And, his son Abdullah followed his footsteps until people started calling him “Sea of Generosity”. He used to give away his wealth without fearing anything. Once one of his servants told him that he saw his three hundred dinar silk coat, which was embroidered with gold, when he slept after Abdullah asked him where it was. After hearing this, Abdullah did not punish him for taking his coat; instead he gave this expensive item to his servant. Which current leader does that? Nowadays, leaders and people are kept far away from each other by security, gatekeepers, and laws. I know that such examples of generosity are very hard to find.
Overall, I have understood that Islam has really taught us how important it is to know each other well so that one may react well when the other is in need—this is the basis of Pluralism. Not to forget that Islam has also shown how generosity is the backbone of every society; this is something we have forgotten given how wide the rich poor gap really is and how most folks are selfish or have been forced to act selfish. If we really want our current societies to flourish, we should learn from such examples that are taught in Islam.
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