The Islamic Bulletin
The Islamic Bulletin
Abu Dharr spent the following day without getting to know the
Prophet. At evening he went to the Mosque to sleep and Ali again
passed by him and said: “Isn’t it time that a man knows his house?”
Abu Dharr accompanied him and stayed at his house a second
night. Again no one asked the other about anything.
On the third night, however, Ali asked him, “Aren’t you going to
tell me why you came to Makkah?” “Only if you will give me an
understanding that you will guide me to what I seek.” Ali agreed
and Abu Dharr said: “I came to Makkah from a distant place seek-
ing a meeting with the new Prophet and to listen to some of what
he has to say.”
Ali’s face lit up with happiness as he said, “By God, he is really the
Messenger of God,” and he went on telling Abu Dharr more about
the Prophet and his teaching. Finally, he said: “When we get up in
the morning, follow me wherever I go. If I see anything which I am
afraid of for your sake, I would stop as if to pass water. If I continue,
follow me until you enter where I enter.”
Abu Dharr did not sleep a wink the rest of that night because of
his intense longing to see the Prophet and listen to the words of
revelation. In the morning, he followed closely in Ali’s footsteps
until they were in the presence of the Prophet. “As-salaamu alayka
yaa Rasulullah, (Peace be on you, O messenger of God),” greeted
Abu Dharr. “Wa alayka salaamullahi wa rahmatuhu wa barakaatuhu
(And on you be the peace of God, His mercy and His blessings),”
replied the Prophet.
Abu Dharr was thus the first person to greet the Prophet with the
greeting of Islam. He recited some of the Qur’an for him. Before
long, Abu Dharr pronounced the Shahadah, thus entering the new
religion (without even leaving his place). He was among the first
persons to accept Islam. Now Abu Dharr continues with his story...
After that I stayed with the Prophet in Makkah and he taught me
Islam and taught me to recite the Qur’an. Then he said to me,
“Don’t tell anyone in Makkah about your acceptance of Islam. I fear
that they will kill you.” “By Him in whose hands is my soul, I shall
not leave Makkah until I go to the Sacred Mosque and proclaim
the call of Truth in the midst of the Quraysh,” vowed Abu Dharr.
The Prophet remained silent. I went to the Mosque. The Quraysh
were sitting and talking. I went in their midst and called out at the
top of my voice, “O people of Quraysh, I testify that there is no
God but Allah and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.” My
words had an immediate effect on them. They jumped up and said,
“Get this one who has left his religion.”
They pounced on me and began to beat me mercilessly. They
clearly meant to kill me. But Abbas ibn Abdulmuttalib, the uncle of
the Prophet, recognized me. He bent over and protected me from
them. He told them: “Woe to you! Would you kill a man from the
Ghiffar tribe and your caravans must pass through their territory?”
They then released me.
I went back to the Prophet (pbuh) and when he saw my condition,
he said, “Didn’t I tell you not to announce your acceptance of
Islam?” “O Messenger of God,” I said, “It was a need I felt in my
soul and I fulfilled it.”
“Go to your people,” he commanded, “and tell them what you
have seen and heard. Invite them to God. Maybe God will bring
them good through you and reward you through them. And when
you hear that I have come out in the open, then come to me.”
I left and went back to my people. My brother came up to me and
asked, “What have you done?” I told him that I had become a
Muslim and that I believed in the truth of Muhammad’s teachings.
“I am not averse to your religion. In fact, I am also now a Muslim
and a believer,” he said.
We both went to our mother then and invited her to Islam. “I do
not have any dislike for your religion. I accept Islam also,” she said.
From that day this family of believers went out tirelessly inviting the
Ghifar to God and did not flinch from their purpose. Eventually a
large number became Muslims and the congregational Prayer was
instituted among them.
Abu Dharr remained in his desert abode until after the Prophet
had gone to Madinah and the battles of Badr, Uhud and Khandaq
had been fought. At Madinah at last, he asked the Prophet to be in
his personal service. The Prophet agreed and was pleased with his
companionship and service. He sometimes showed preference to
Abu Dharr above others and whenever he met him he would pat
him and smile and show his happiness.
After the death of the Prophet, Abu Dharr could not bear to stay in
Madinah because of grief and the knowledge that there was to be
no more of his guiding company. So he left for the Syrian desert and
stayed there during the caliphate of Abu Bakr and Umar.
During the caliphate of Uthman, he stayed in Damascus and saw
the Muslims’ concern for the world and their consuming desire for
luxury. He was saddened and repelled by this. So Uthman asked
him to come to Madinah.
At Madinah he was also critical of the people’s pursuit of worldly
goods and pleasures and they were critical in turn of his reviling
them. Uthman therefore ordered that he should go to Rubdhah, a
small village near Madinah. There he stayed far away from people,
renouncing their preoccupation with worldly goods and holding on
to the legacy of the Prophet and his companions in seeking the ever-
lasting abode of the Hereafter in preference to this transitory world.
Once a man visited him and began looking at the contents of his
house but found it quite bare. He asked Abu Dharr: “Where are your
possessions?” “We have a house yonder (meaning the hereafter),”
said Abu Dharr, “to which we send the best of our possessions.”
The man understood what he meant and said: “But you must have
some possessions so long as you are in this abode.” “The owner of
this abode will not leave us in it,” replied Abu Dharr.
Abu Dharr persisted in his simple and frugal life to the end. Once
the amir of Syria sent three hundred dinars to Abu Dharr to meet
his needs. He returned the money saying, “Does not the amir of
Syria find a servant more deserving of it than I?” In the year 32 AH,
the self-denying Abu Dharr passed away. The Prophet (pbuh) had
said o him: “The earth does not carry nor the heavens cover a man
more true and faithful than Abu Dharr.”
Q: 1. What is the name of the angel of death?
Q: 2. Who nursed the Prophet (PBUH) when he was an infant?
Q: 3. What is the name of the Holy Prophet’s (SAW) tribe?
Q: 4. Which Salat (Prayer) is offered just after sunset?
A: Izra’il, Malakul Mawt (Malakul Mawt)
His recent trip to Israel had left himmore bitterly disillusioned than
ever. He was shocked by the irreligiousness he found in Israel and
he told us that nearly all the young sabras or native-born Israelis
are militant atheists.
When he saw large herds of swine on one of the kibbutzim (col-
lective farms) he visited, he could only exclaim in horror: “Pigs in
a Jewish state! I never thought that was possible until I came here!
Then when I witnessed the brutal treatment meted out to innocent
Arabs in Israel, I know then that there is no difference between the
Israelis and the Nazis. Never, never in the name of God, could I
justify such terrible crimes!”
Then he turned to Dr. Shoreibah and told him that he wanted to
become a Muslim but before he took the irrevocable steps to for-
mal conversion, he needed to have more knowledge about Islam.
He said that he had purchased from Orientalia Bookshop, some
books on Arabic grammar and was trying to teach himself Arabic.
He apologized to us for his broken English: Yiddish was his native
tongue and Hebrew, his second language. Among themselves, his
family and friends spoke only Yiddish. Since his reading knowledge
of English was extremely poor, he had no access to good Islamic
However, with the aid of an English dictionary, he painfully read
“Introduction to Islam” by Muhammad Hamidullah of Paris and
praised this as the best book he had ever read. In the presence of
Dr. Shoreibah, I spent another hour with Mr. Kostelwitz, comparing
the Bible stories of the patriarchs and prophets with their counter-
parts in the Holy Quran.
I pointed out the inconsistencies and interpolations of the Bible,
illustrating my point with Noah’s alleged drunkenness, accusing
David of adultery and Solomon of idolatry (Allah Forbid) and how
the Holy Quran raises all these patriarchs to the status of genuine
prophets of God and absolves them from all these crimes.
I also pointed out why it was Ismail and not Isaac who God
commanded Abraham to offer as sacrifice. In the Bible, God tells
Abraham: “Take thine son, thine only son whom thou lovest and
offer him up to Me as burnt offering.” Now Ismail was born 13
years before Isaac but the Jewish biblical commentators explain that
away be belittling Ismail’s mother, Hagar, as only a concubine and
not Abraham’s real wife so they say Isaac was the only legitimate
son. Islamic traditions, however, raise Hagar to the status of a full-
fledged wife equal in every respect to Sarah.
Mr. Kostelwitz expressed his deepest gratitude to me for spending
so much time, explaining those truths to him. To express this grati-
tude, he insisted on inviting Dr. Shoreibah and me to lunch at the
Kosher Jewish delicatessen where he always goes to eat his lunch.
Mr. Kostelwitz told us that he wished more than anything else to
embrace Islam but he feared he could not withstand the persecution
he would have to face from his family and friends.
I told him to pray to God for help and strength and he promised
that he would. When he left us, I felt privileged to have spoken
with such a gentle and kind person.
Q: What Impact did Islam have on your life?
A: In Islam, my quest for absolute values was satisfied. In Islam I
found all that was true, good and beautiful and that which gives
meaning and direction to human life (and death); while in other
religions, the Truth is deformed, distorted, restricted and fragmen-
tary. If any one chooses to ask me how I came to know this, I can
only reply my personal life experience was sufficient to convince
me. My adherence to the Islamic faith is thus a calm, cool but very
I have, I believe, always been a Muslim at heart by temperament,
even before I knew there was such a thing as Islam. My conversion
was mainly a formality, involving no radical change in my heart at
all but rather only making official what I had been thinking and
yearning for many years.
In the Waddan valley which connects Makkah with the outside
world, lived the tribe of Ghifar. The Ghifar existed on the meager
offerings of the trade caravans of the Quraysh which plied between
Syria and Makkah. It is likely that they also lived by raiding these
caravans when they were not given enough to satisfy their needs.
Jundub ibn Junadah, nicknamed Abu Dharr, was a member of this
tribe. He was known for his courage, his calmness and his far sight-
edness and also for the repugnance he felt against the idols which
his people worshiped. He rejected the silly religious beliefs and the
religious corruption in which the Arabs were engaged.
While he was in the Waddan desert, news reached Abu Dharr that
a new Prophet had appeared in Makkah. He really hoped that his
appearance would help to change the hearts and minds of people
and lead them away from the darkness of superstition.
Without wasting much time, he called his brother, Anis, and said to
him: “Go to Makkah and get whatever news you can of this man
who claims that he is a Prophet and that revelation comes to him
from the heavens. Listen to some of his sayings and come back and
recite them to me.”
Anis went to Makkah and met the Prophet (pbuh). He listened to
what he had to say and returned to the Waddan desert. Abu Dharr
met him anxiously and asked for news of the Prophet. “I have seen
a man,” reported Anis, “Who calls people to noble qualities and
there is no mere poetry in what he says.”
“What do people say about him?” asked Abu Dharr. “They say he
is a magician, a soothsayer and a poet.”
“My curiosity is not satisfied. I am not finished with this matter. Will
you look after my family while I go out and examine this prophet’s
mission myself?” “Yes. But beware of the Meccans.”
On his arrival at Mecca, Abu Dharr immediately felt very apprehen-
sive and he decided to exercise great caution. The Quraysh were
noticeably angry over the denunciation of their gods. Abu Dharr
heard of the terrible violence they were meeting out the followers
of the Prophet. He therefore refrained from asking anyone about
Muhammad not knowing whether that person might be a follower
or an enemy.
At nightfall, he lay down in the Sacred Mosque. Ali ibn abi Talib
passed by him and, realizing that he was a stranger, asked him to
come to his house. Abu Dharr spent the night with him and in the
morning took his water pouch and his bag containing provisions
and returned to the Mosque. He had asked no questions and no
questions were asked of him.