Update: I had to edit the title of the post since there have been some narrations that claim an-Najashi was Muslim. Now my question is, if he became Muslim would that make him a Muslim ruler? A Muslim ruler who didn’t rule under the laws of Islam or because Medina wasn’t fully established that it was okay?
Final Update: Based on the evidences in the comments below and the my research it is safe to say that an-Najashi died a Muslim and we should respect and praise him for his honesty and desire for the truth. May Allah preserve him. Ameen!
I recently heard about the following hadith in this lecture and thought I’d post it up.
Narrated Abu Huraira, Allah’s Apostle informed (the people) about the death of An-Najashi on the very day he died. He went towards the Musalla (praying place) and the people stood behind him in rows. He said four Takbirs (i.e. offered the Funeral prayer). [Sahih al-Bukhari]
Narrated Jabir bin ‘Abdullah: Allah’s Apostle offered the funeral prayer for An-Najashi and I was in the second or third row.[Sahih al-Bukhari]
Narrated Jabir bin ‘Abdullah : The Prophet said, “Today a pious man from Ethiopia (i.e. An Najashi) has expired, come on to offer the funeral prayer.” (Jabir said): We lined up in rows and after that the Prophet led the prayer and we were in rows. Jabir added, I was in the second row.”
Where are the an-Najashi’s of today? Obama? Haha, jk.