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Zayd ibn Hārithah, The Youth Who Never Disobeyed the Noble Prophet (S)

Zayd ibn Hārithah ibn Sharhabīl Kalbī was one of the noble Prophet’s (S) honorable companions [sahābah] and the second man to convert to Islam after ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib (‘a). Hakīm ibn Hizām, Khadījah’s nephew, had bought him along with the others to Mecca as slaves when he returned from a trip to Syria.

Zayd was a young child at that time. Khadījah, the Noble Prophet’s (S) wife, went to visit Hakīm at his house one day. Hakīm said to her, “Beloved aunt, you are free to take any one of these boys to serve you.” Khadījah got Zayd and brought him home.

When Allah’s Prophet (S) saw Zayd, he requested Khadījah to give Zayd to him as a gift. Khadījah gave Zayd to the Noble Prophet (S) who set him free for the sake and good pleasure of Allah. This event took place long before the prophetic mission began.

Hārithah, Zayd’s father, used to cry with grief on being separated from his son. He even complained through the verses he composed and recited publicly. When he heard that his son was in Mecca living with the Noble Prophet (S), he went to see Allah’s Prophet (S). When he met the Noble Prophet (S), he requested him to return his beloved son to him.

Allah’s Prophet (S) said to Zayd, “You can do as you wish; you are welcome to stay with us as long as you like or you can return to your father.” Zayd said, “I will remain here and stay with you.” Zayd stayed with the Noble Prophet (S) until 6 AH when he attained martyrdom during the Battle of Mu’tah. Actually, he was one of the commanders of the Islamic army during this battle.1

  • 1. Al-Isābah, vol. 1, p. 563; Sifat al-Safwah, vol. 1, p. 147; Tārīkh-e Baghdād, vol. 1, p. 363; Al-Rawd al-Unuf, vol. 1, p. 164; Zarkulī, Al-A‘lām, vol. 3, p. 57; Ibn Hishām, Al-Sīrah al-Nabawiyyah, vol. 1, p. 247; Nahāyat al-Arb, vol. 16, p. 164; ‘Uyūn al-Athar, vol. 1, p. 94; Tārīkh al-Islām, vol. 1, p. 138.