Abdullah Salaam’s Islam

Translated by : A.J. Kassem

Abdullah, the son of Salaam was the foremost scholar and leader of the Jewish people in the Arabian Peninsula, as his father was.  His knowledge of the signs in the Torah of the prophet of the last days that would appear in the Arabian Peninsula confirmed his belief in the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, even though he knew what the reaction of the other Jews to his conversion would be.

One day, when he was harvesting his date palms, he heard a great commotion.  He asked the people around him, “what is happening”?  They said, “The Messenger of Allah has completed his migration from Mecca to Madinah, and he is now arriving”.  Abdullah jumped down from the tree that he had climbed and rushed out to join the people who were greeting him.[1] He said, “When I finally saw his face, I knew that it was not the face of a liar. The first thing I heard him say was, “Give the greeting of peace (salaam) to each other, feed the hungry, keep good family relations, pray at night while others are sleeping and you will enter paradise in peace”.[2]


When he returned home, his mother said to him, “By Allah, even if Moses, the son of ‘Imran was coming, you wouldn’t have jumped down from the top of the tree as you had today!”. Abdullah said, “By Allah, I am happier with the arrival of the Messenger of Allah than I would have been with Moses during his prophethood.[3] It was narrated by Ibn Ishaaq that Abdullah said to his Aunt, Khalidah, “I swear to Allah that he (Mohammad, peace be upon him) is Musa, the son of ‘Imraan’s brother, they practice the same religion, and they were sent with the same mission”.  She said, “My nephew, is he the same prophet that we were told would come in the last days?”.  He said, “Yes”.[4]

Eventually, Abdullah came to the Messenger of Allah and said, “I would like to ask you about three things that no one but a prophet would know about: What is the first sign of the coming of the last hour, and what is the first thing that the people of paradise will eat, and what causes a baby to resemble either his father or his mother?”. The Messenger of Allah said, “(The angel) Gabriel will inform me about the answers soon”.  Abdullah said, “Gabriel!  That is the enemy of the Jews from the angels”.  Then the Messenger read the following verses from the Quran:


{قُلْ مَن كَانَ عَدُوًّا لِّجِبْرِيلَ فَإِنَّهُ نَزَّلَهُ عَلَىٰ قَلْبِكَ بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ مُصَدِّقًا لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ وَهُدًى وَبُشْرَىٰ لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ   .مَن كَانَ عَدُوًّا لِّلَّهِ وَمَلَائِكَتِهِ وَرُسُلِهِ وَجِبْرِيلَ وَمِيكَالَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ عَدُوٌّ لِّلْكَافِرِين}.[5]


Say: Whoever is an enemy to Gabriel, he brings down the (revelation) to your heart by Allah's will, a confirmation of what went before, and guidance and glad tidings for those who believe.

Whoever is an enemy to Allah and His angels and messengers and Gabriel and Michael, Indeed, Allah is an enemy to those who reject Faith.


Then, The Messenger said, peace be upon him, said, “Regarding the first sign of the hour, it is a fire that pushes people from the east to the west. Regarding the first thing that the people of paradise will eat, it is the liver of a fish, and if a man’s discharge comes before a woman’s, the child will resemble him, and if a woman’s comes before a man’s then it will resemble her”.  Abdullah said, “I bear witness that there is no god worthy of worship except for Allah and I bear witness that you are His messenger!  Listen, the Jews are a stubborn people, and if they know that I have become a Muslim before you ask them about me, they will insult me. So, gather them and ask them about me before I make my announcement”.

Later, the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, gathered some of the prominent Jews of Madinah and asked them, “What is the status of Abdullah, the son of Salaam, among you?”.  They replied, “He is the best of us and the son of the best of us.  He is the most knowledgeable of us and the son of the most knowledgeable of us.  He is our leader and the son of our leader”.  He said, “What would you say if he became a Muslim?”.  They said, “God forbid”. Then, Abdullah emerged and said, “I bear witness that there is no god worthy of worship but Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah!”.  They said, “He is the worst of us and son of the worst of us!”.  Abdullah said to the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, “This is what I suspected that they would do”.  Then he addressed his people and said, “O Jewish people, fear Allah!  I swear by the only one worthy of worship, you all know that he is the Messenger of Allah, and he has come with the truth!”.[6]


[1] Mujama' Alzawayid, volume 8, page 453

[2] Musnid al Imam Ahmed, volume 5, page 451

[3] Narrated by AlTabrani, Mujama’ Alzawayid, volume 8, page 243.  The chain of narration is sound except for Hamza the son of Yusef, who did not live during the same time as his grandfather, Abdullah the son of Salaam.

[4] Seerah Ibn Hisham, volume 3, page 50

[5] The Quran (2:97-98)

[6] Sahih AlBukhari, Hadiths 3621, 3699, 4210

The article is available in the following languages