Zaid bin Su’na RA – The Jews Rabbi.converted to Islam
Incidents about the Character and Actions of Rasulullah SAW Inspired People to Accept Islam.
The Conversion to Islam of Zaid bin Su’na RA who had been a Jewish Rabbi. Abdullah bin Salaam RA narrates that when Allah SWT decreed that Zaid bin Su’na RA should accept Islam, Zaid bin Su’na RA himself said, “When I looked at Rasulullah SAW, I recognized all the signs of Nabuwaat except for two signs that I had not tested:
(1) That his self-control should outstrip his anger and
(2) His tolerance will control the display of any extreme foolishness.”
Zaid bin Su’na RA narrates further that Rasulullah SAW had just emerged from his rooms one day with Saidina Ali bin Abi Talib RA when a rider who appeared to be a Bedouin came to him. He said, “0 Rasulullah! A few people from a certain tribe have accepted Islam because I told them that they will receive a n abundance in sustenance if they accepted Islam. However, no rain has fallen and they are afflicted by a drought. 0 Rasulullah! I fear that they may leave the fold of Islam out of greed just as they had entered out of greed. If you agree, we could perhaps send them something to assist them.”
Zaid bin Su’na RA – says, “Rasulullah looked at the person beside him whom I assume was Saidina Ali RA. He said, ‘0 Rasulullah, I don’t think that anything is left of that wealth.’ Zaid bin Su’na RA approached Rasulullah SAW and said, ‘0 Muhammad! Do you wish to sell to me a fixed amount of dates from the orchard of a specific tribe (to be paid) before a specified term?’ Rasulullah SAW replied, ‘Alright, but do not specify whose orchard it shall be.”‘ Zaid bin Su’na agreed and the deal was done. Zaid bin Su’na opened his purse and paid eighty Taal of gold for the specified amount of dates on a specified date.
Rasulullah SAW handed over the money to the person and said to him, “Take this to assist them.”
Zaid bin Su’na RA narrates further that there were only two or three days left for the expiry of the term, when Rasulullah SAW left his home to perform a funeral prayer. With him were Saidina Abu Bakr RA, Saidina Umar Al Khattab RA Umar, Saidina Uthman ibn Affan RA and several other Sahabah.
When they approached a wall to sit by it, Zaid bin Su’na came to Rasulullah SAW and grabbed hold of Rasulullah’s collar. Staring angrily into the face of Rasulullah SAW, he said. “0! Muhammad! When are you going to pay my dues? By Allah! All that the children of Abdul Muttalib have learnt is how to procrastinate! By mixing with you people, I now have first-hand knowledge of this! “Zaid bin Su’na says that as he was doing this, his gaze’ fell on Saidina Umar Al Khattab RA. He noticed that Saidina Umar Al Khattab eyes were starting to roll with anger and he stared with fury. He said, “0 enemy of Allah! Do you speak to Rasulullah like that and treat him in this manner.
Had it not been for respect of being in the company of Rasulullah SAW, I would have cut off your neck! Zaid bin Su’na – says that all the while, Rasulullah SAW looked at him in a most calm and unruffled manner. Rasulullah SAW then said to Saidina Umar Al Khattab RA, “0 Umar! All that the two of us need is for you to tell me to pay him quickly and to tell him to place his demands in a better manner. 0 Umar! Go with him and give him his dues. Also give him twenty Saa of dates extra in lieu of the threat you gave him.’
I, Zaid bin Su’na says that Saidina Umar Al Khattab RA took him along, paid him what was due and added another twenty Saa to it. When Zaid bin Su’na’ asked Saidina Umar Al Khattab RA what the twenty Saa extra were for, Saidina Umar Al Khattab RA said that it was the command of Rasulullah SAW because of the threat he had made. Zaid bin Su’na then asked, “0 Umar!
Do you recognize me?” “No,” replied Saidina Umar Al Khattab RA. Zaid bin Su’na said, “I am Zaid bin Su’na.” “The Rabbi?” asked Saidina Umar Al Khattab RA. “Yes, the Rabbi,” was the reply. Saidina Umar Al Khattab RA then asked, “But why did you behave as you did? Why did you speak as you did?”
Zaid bin Su’na replied, “0 Umar! When I looked at Muhammad, recognized all the signs of Nabuwaat except for two signs that ‘I had not tested; (1) that his self, control should outstrip his anger and (2) that his tolerance should conquer a display of extreme foolishness. I have now tested both these attributes. 0 Umar! I make you witness to the fact, that I am content with Allah as Rabb, with Islam as the true religion and with Muhammad SAW as the Nabi. I also make you witness to the fact that I give half of my wealth – and I am one of the wealthiest people – as charity to the entire Ummah of Rasulullah SAW.” Saidina Umar Al Khattab RA said, “Say that it is for a part of the Ummah because you will be unable to give all of them.” “Alright,” said Zaid bin Su’na RA, “then for a-part of the Ummah.”
Saidina Umar Al Khattab RA and Zaid bin Su’na RA then returned to Rasulullah SAW and Zaid bin Su’na exclaimed, “I testify that there is none worthy of worship but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah’s servant and Rasul.” He therefore accepted Iman and pledged his allegiance to Rasulullah SAW. Zaid bin Su’na participated in many expeditions with Rasulullah SAW and was eventually martyred during ‘the expedition to Tabuk as he was advancing and not retreating. May Allah SWT shower His mercy on Zaid bin Su’na RA,(3)
(1) Tabraani. Haytharni (Vo1.5 Pg.310) has commented on the chain of narrators. Umawi has alsonarrated the Hadith in his Maghaazias reported in Isaaba (Vo1.3 Pg.441).
(2) Approximately 400 grams.
(3) Tabraani. Haythami (Vo1.8 Pg.240) has commented on the chain of narrators. Ibn Hibbaan, Haakim, Abu Shaykh and othes have hlso reported the Hadith. This is mentioned in lsaaba (Vol. l Pg.566) together with commentary on the chain of narrators and an addition which states that aJew said, “I have seen every description of Muhammad @$ as mentioned in the Torah except for.
The story has been transmitted by Tabarani (al-Mu`jam al-Kabeer), to which al-Haithami says that all of the narrators of the Tradition are sound. Also transmitted by Ibn Majah, Ibn Hibban, and Hakim, among others The Arabic version of this story has been taken from Muhammad Yusuf Kandhlawi’s Hayaat al-Sahaaba (The Lives of the Companions).