In the ninth year of the
Hijrah, an Arab king made the first
positive moves to Islam after years of
feeling hatred for it. He drew closer to
faith (iman) after opposing and
combating it. And he finally pledged
allegiance to the Prophet, peace be on
him, after his adamant refusal to do so.
He was Adiyy, son of
the famous Hatim at-Taai who was known
far and wide for his chivalry and
fabulous generosity. Adiyy inherited the
domain of his father and was confirmed
in the position by the Tayy people. Part
of his strength lay in the fact that a
quarter of any amount they obtained as
booty from raiding expeditions had to be
given to him.
When the Prophet
announced openly his call to guidance
and truth and Arabs from one region
after another accepted his teachings,
Adiyy saw in his mission a threat to his
position and leadership. Although he did
not know the Prophet personally, and had
never seen him, he developed strong
feelings of enmity towards him. He
remained antagonistic to Islam for close
upon twenty years until at last God
opened his heart to the religion of
truth and guidance.
The way in which Adiyy
became a Muslim is a remarkable story
and he is perhaps the best person to
relate it. He said:
"There was no man
among the Arabs who detested God's
Messenger, may God bless him and grant
him peace, more than I, when I heard
about him. I was then a man of status
and nobility. I was a Christian. From my
people I took a fourth of their booty as
was the practice of other Arab kings.
When I heard of the
Messenger of God, peace be on him, I
hated him. When his mission grew in
strength and when his power increased
and his armies and expeditionary forces
dominated east and west of the land of
Arabs, I said to a servant of mine who
looked after my camels:
'Get ready a fat camel
for me which is easy to ride and tether
it close to me. If you hear of an army
or an expeditionary force of Muhammad
coming towards this land, let me know.'
One evening, my servant came to me and
said: "Yaa Mawlaya! What you
intended to do on the approach of
Muhammad's cavalry to your land, do it
now." 'Why? May
your mother lose you!'
'I have seen scouts
searching close to the habitations. I
asked about them and was told that they
belonged to the army of Muhammad,' he
'Bring the camel which
I ordered you to get ready.' I said to
him. I got up then and there, summoned
my household (including) my children and
ordered them to evacuate the land we
loved. We headed in the direction of
Syria to join people of our own faith
among the Christians and settle among
We left in too much
haste for me to gather together our
entire household. When I took stock of
our situation, I discovered that part of
my family was missing. I had left my own
sister in our Najd homelands together
with the rest of the Tayy people. I did
not have any means to return to her. So
I went on with those who were with me
until I reached Syria and took up
residence there among people of my own
religion. As for my sister, what I
feared for her happened.
News reached me while
I was in Syria that the forces of
Muhammad entered our habitations and
took my sister together with a number of
other captives to Yathrib. There she was
placed with other captives in a compound
near the door of the Masjid.
The Prophet, peace be
upon him, passed by her. She stood up
before him and said: 'Yaa Rasulullah! My
father is dead and my guardian is not
here. Be gracious to me and God will be
gracious to you.! 'And who is your
guardian?' asked the Prophet. 'Adiyy ibn
Hatim.' she said. 'The one who fled from
God and His Prophet?' he asked. He then
left her and walked on.
On the following day,
the same thing happened. She spoke to
him just as she did the day before and
he replied in the same manner. The next
day, the same thing happened and she
despaired of getting any concession from
him for he did not say anything. Then a
man from behind him indicated that she
should stand up and talk to him. She
therefore stood up and said:
'O Messenger of God!
My father is dead and my guardian is
absent. Be gracious to me and God will
be gracious to you.' I have agreed he
said. Turning to those about him, he
instructed: likewise `Let her go for her
father loved noble ways, and God loves
them.' 'I want to join my family in
Syria,' she said.
"But don't leave
in a hurry," said the Prophet,
"until you find someone you can
trust from your people who
could accompany you to
Syria. If you find a trustworthy person,
let me know."
When the Prophet left,
she asked about the man who had
suggested that she speak to the Prophet
and was told that he was Ali ibn Abi
Talib, may God be pleased with him. She
stayed in Yathrib until a group arrived
among whom was someone she could trust.
So she went the Prophet and said:
'O Messenger of God! A
group of my people have come to me and
among them is one I can trust who could
take me to my family.'
The Prophet, peace be
on him, gave her fine clothes and an
adequate sum of money. He also gave her
a camel and she left with the group.
Thereafter we followed
her progress gradually and waited for
her return. We could hardly believe what
we heard about Muhammad's generosity
towards her in spite of my attitude to
him. By God, I am a leader of my people.
When I beheld a woman in herhawdaj
coming towards us, I said: 'The daughter
of Hatim! It's she! It's she!'
When she stood before
us, she snapped sharply at me and said:
'The one who severs the tie of kinship
is a wrongdoer. You took your family and
your children and left the rest of your
relations and those whom you ought to
'Yes, my sister,' I
said, 'don't say anything but good.' I
tried to pacify her until she was
satisfied. She told me what had happened
to her and it was as I had heard. Then I
asked her, for she was an intelligent
and judicious person:
"What do you
think of the mission of this man
(meaning Muhammad peace be on
him)?" "I think, by God, that
you should join him quickly." she
said. "If he is a Prophet, file one
who hastens towards him would enjoy his
grace. And if he is a king, you would
not be disgraced in his sight while you
are as you are."
I immediately prepared
myself for travel and set off to meet
the Prophet in Madinah without any
security and without any letter. I had
heard that he had said: 'I certainly
wish that God will place the hand of
Adiyy in nay hand.'
I went up to him. He
was in the Masjid. I greeted him and he
said: 'Who is the man? 'Adiyy ibn Hatim,'
I said. He stood up for me, took me by
the hand and set off towards his home.
By God, as he was
walking with me towards his house, a
weak old woman met him. With her was a
young child. She stopped him and began
talking to him about a problem. I was
standing (all the while). I said to
myself: 'By God, this is no king.'
He then took me by the
hand and went with me until we reached
his home. There he got a leather cushion
filled with palm fibre,
gave it to me said: 'Sit on this!'
I felt embarrassed
before him and said: 'Rather, you sit on
it.' 'No, you,' he said.
I deferred and sat on
it. The Prophet, peace be on him, sat on
the floor because there was no other
cushion. I said to myself:
'By God, this is not
the manner of a king!' He then turned to
me and said: 'Yes, Adiyy ibn Hatim!
Haven't you been a "Rukusi"
professing a religion between
Christianity and Sabeanism?' 'Yes,' I
'Did you not operate
among your people on the principle of
exacting from them a fourth, taking from
them what your religion does not allow
'Yes,' I said, and I
knew from that he was a Prophet sent (by
God). Then he said to me: 'Perhaps, O
Adiyy, the only thing that prevents you
from entering this religion is what you
see of the destitution of the Muslims
and their poverty. By God, the time is
near when wealth would flow among them
until no one could be found to take it.
'Perhaps, O Adiyy, the
only thing that prevents you from
entering this religion is what you see
of the small number of Muslims and their
numerous foe. By God, the time is near
when you would hear of the woman setting
out from Qadisiyyah on her camel until
she reaches this house, not fearing
anyone except Allah.
'Perhaps what prevents
you from entering this religion is that
you only see that sovereignty and power
rest in the hands of those who are not
Muslims. By God, you will soon hear of
the white palaces of the land of Babylon
opening up for them and the treasures of
Chosroes the son of Hormuz fall to their
'The treasures of
Chosroes the son of Hormuz?' I asked
(incredulously). 'Yes, the treasures of
Chosroes the son of Hormuz,' he said.
Thereupon, I professed the testimony of
truth, and declared my acceptance of
One report says that
when Adiyy saw the simplicity of the
Prophet's life-style, he said to him:
"I testify that you do not seek
high office in this world nor
corruption," and he announced his
acceptance of Islam. Some people
observed the Prophet's treatment of
Adiyy and said to him:
"O Prophet of
God! We have seen you do something which
you have not done to any other."
"Yes," replied the Prophet.
"This is a man of stature among his
people. If such a person come to you,
treat him honorably."
Adiyy ibn Hatim, may
God be pleased with him, lived for a
long time. He later said: "Two of
the things (which the Prophet spoke of)
came to pass and there remained a third.
By God, it would certainly come to pass.
"I have seen the woman leaving
Qadisiyyah on her camel fearing nothing
until she arrived at this house (of the
Prophet in Madinah).
"I myself was in
the vanguard of the cavalry which
descended on the treasures of Chosroes
and took them. And I swear by God that
the third event will be realized."
Through the will of God, the third
statement of the Prophet, on him be
choicest blessings and peace, came to
pass during the time of the devout and
ascetic Khalifah, Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz.
Wealth flowed among the Muslims so much
so that when the town-criers called on
people throughout the Muslim domain to
come and collect Zakat, no one was found
in need to respond.
Syria like many other countries around the world
witnessed, during this period, the flood of refugees
from war troubled nations like Somalia, arrival of
people from Algeria during the brutal struggling between
the Mujahidun and the government, resettlement of the
Palestinians fleeing from sophisticated guns of the
Israelis as well as adventure of African migrants for