Negash is Africa’s oldest Islamic settlement, established by Prophet Muhammad’s initial followers, the Sahaba whom upon persecution in Mecca in 615-616, were ordered by Prophet Muhammad to seek asylum in Ethiopia with the Christian king, al-Najashi. The tombs of 15 of the original settlers are protected in a new mosque.

The Ethiopian Christian king’s generosity, his refusal to betray the first small community of Muslims to their Meccan persecutors, his befriending of and correspondence with the Prophet, and his contribution to the latter’s victory, left a special message of gratitude for Islam and presented Ethiopia as a model of universal humanity and grace.