Abdullah ibn Salam

Abdullah ibn Salam

Abdullah ibn Salam ibn al-Harith or Abdullah ibn Salaam ( _ar. عبدالله بن سلام) (AH|43|663|+ ru icon [http://archive.muslimuzbekistan.com/eng/islam/2002/07/q18072002.html ::: 'ULUM AL-QUR'AN #3 - THE HISTORY OF TAFSIR ::: ] ] ) was a sahabi said to have been a rabbi of aristocratic stock before converting to Islam E12, I. 52 (Joseph Horovitz, "Muhammeds Himmelfahrt", Der Islam 9 (1919); Ibn Hajar Asqalani, "Isaba fi Tamyiizi al-Sahaba", II. 312-3] .

He is credited with a large corpus of Judaic traditions istr|Isra'iliyat , many of which are to be found in al-Tabari's (d.923) commentary on the Qur'an. He participated in the conquest of Syria and Palestine, but died in Medina .


Abdullah ibn Salam was a Jewish rabbi in Yathrib who was widely respected and honoured by the people of the city even by those who were not Jewish. For a fixed period each day, he would worship, teach and preach in the temple. Thereafter he would devote himself to the study of the Torah. In this study he became particularly struck by some verses of the Torah which dealt with the coming of a Prophet who would complete the message of previous Prophets. Al-Husayn therefore took an immediate and keen interest when he heard reports of the appearance of a Prophet in Mecca. He said:

:"When I heard of the appearance of the Messenger of God I began to make enquiries about his name, his genealogy, his characteristics, his time and place and I began to compare this information with what is contained in our books. From these enquiries, I became convinced about the authenticity of his prophethood and I affirmed the truth of his mission. However, I concealed my conclusions from the Jews."

Dialogue With the Yathribians

In 622 Muhammad left Mecca for Yathrib. When he reached Yathrib and stopped at Quba, a man came rushing into the city, calling out to people and announcing the arrival of Muhammed. At that moment, I was at the top of a palm tree doing some work. My aunt, Khalidah bint al-Harith, was sitting under the tree. On hearing the news, I shouted:

:'Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar!' When my aunt heard my takbir, she remonstrated with me: 'May God frustrate you...By God, if you had heard that Moses was coming you would not have been more enthusiastic.'

:'Auntie, he is really, by God, the brother of Moses and follows his religion. He was sent with the same mission as Moses.' She was silent for a while and then said: 'Is he the Prophet about whom you spoke to us who would be sent to confirm the truth preached by previous (Prophets) and complete the message of his Lord?' 'Yes,' I replied.

Without any delay or hesitation, I went out to meet the Prophet. I saw crowds of people at his door. I moved about in the crowds until I reached close to him. The first words I heard him say were:

:'O people! Spread peace...Share food...Pray during the night while people sleep... and you will enter Paradise in peace...'

I looked at him closely. I scrutinized him and was convinced that his face was not that of an imposter. I went closer to him and made the declaration of faith that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.

The Prophet turned to me and asked: 'What is your name?' 'Al-Husayn ibn Sailam,' I replied.

:'Instead, it is (now) Abdullah ibn Sallam,' he said (giving me a new name). 'Yes,' I agreed. 'Abdullah ibn Sailam (it shall be). By Him who has sent you with the Truth, I do not wish to have another name after this day.'

I returned home and introduced Islam to my wife, my children and the rest of my household. They all accepted Islam including my aunt KhaIidah who was then an old lady. However, I advised them then to conceal our acceptance of Islam from the Jews until I gave them permission. They agreed.

:Subsequently, I went back to Muhammed and said: 'O Messenger of God! The Jews are a people (inclined to) slander and falsehood. I want you to invite their most prominent men to meet you. (During the meeting however), you should keep me concealed from them in one of your rooms. Ask them then about my status among them before they find out of my acceptance of Islam. Then invite them to Islam. If they were to know that I have become a Muslim, they would denounce me and accuse me of everything base and slander me.'

Muhammed kept him in one of his rooms and invited the prominent Jewish personalities to visit him. He introduced Islam to them and urged them to have faith in God...They began to dispute and argue with him about the Truth. When he realized that they were not inclined to accept Islam, he put the question to them:

:'What is the status of Al-Husayn ibn Sailam among you?'

:'He is our "sayyid" (leader) and the son of our "sayyid". He is our rabbi and our "alim" (scholar), the son of our rabbi and "alim".'

:'If you come to know that he has accepted Islam, would you accept Islam also?' asked Muhammed.

:'God forbid! He would not accept Islam. May God protect him from accepting Islam,' they said (horrified).

At this point I came out in full view of them and announced: :'O assembly of Jews! Be conscious of God and accept what Muhammad has brought. By God, you certainly know that he is the Messenger of God and you can find prophecies about him and mention of his name and characteristics in your Torah. I for my part declare that he is the Messenger of God. I have faith in him and believe that he is true. I know him.'

:'You are a liar,' they shouted. 'By God, you are evil and ignorant, the son of an evil and ignorant person.' And they continued to heap every conceivable abuse on me..."


a Man walking on Earth and is walking in Heaven

Abdullah ibn Salam was the first Muslim that was promised Paradise while he was still alive.In a Hadith it was reported that The Prophet one day while he was sitting with the best of Sahaba (Friends of Prophets) He said" Do you want to see a man walking on Earth and I see him walking in Paradise?". Each one of the Sahaba looked in silence towards the Prophet hoping the Prophet to mention his name. The Prophet said " it is that man there". Sahaba looked and saw Abdullah ibn Salam walking in the distance.

It was relayed in another Hadith, that The Prophet asked ibn Salam what was the reason he converted to Islam and his tribe did not?". ibn Salam replied " Oh, Prophet of Allah, I was a scholar able to read the Bible in its mother language, and when I heard the Quran, I felt it of the same taste of the Bible".Abdullah ibn Salam was a quiet person to himself. He participated in major battles during and after the life of Muhammad. He was consulted by prominent muslims including Khalifs up to the end of his life.Abdullah ibn Sailam was passionately devoted to the Quran and spent much time reciting and studying its verses. He was deeply attached to Muhammad and was constantly in his company. Much of his time he spent in the "masjid", engaged in worship, in learning and in teaching. He was known for his sweet, moving and effective way of teaching study circles of "Sahabah" who assembled regularly in the Prophet's mosque.

His name was "Mu'ammar ibn Sulaim" but the prophet gave him a new name "Abdullah ibn Salam" meaning "The servant of God, son of Peace"


He is credited with a large corpus of Judaic traditions istr|Isra'iliyat

Non Muslim view

Although some Muslim sources claim that he converted immediately after Muhammad’s arrival to Medina, Non-Muslim scholars give more credence to the other Muslim sources, which indicate that 8 years later, 630, as the year of ibn Salam’s conversion cite encyclopedia | author = Weinsinck, R.J. and Paret, R. | editor = P.J. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel and W.P. Heinrichs | encyclopedia =Encyclopaedia of Islam Online Edition | title = Kaynuka, Banu | publisher = Brill Academic Publishers] .

ee also



External links

* [http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/history/biographies/sahaabah/bio.ABDULLAH_IBN_SAILM.html biography] from USC-MSA Compendium of Muslim Texts.

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