Chapter 16: Report of Abul Moheeb, the Recluse
Abul Moheeb, the recluse knew the Prophet and his characteristics and was having information about his prophethood. He also knew that Amirul Momineen Ali Ibne Abi Talib (a.s.) is his successor.
Narrated to us Ahmad bin Hasan al-Qattan; and Ali bin Ahmad bin Muhammad and Muhammad bin Ahmad Shaibani - may Allah be pleased with them - they said: Narrated to us Ahmad bin Yahya bin Zakariya al-Qattan that he said: Narrated to us Muhammad bin Ismail from Abdullah bin Muhammad that he said: Narrated to me my father; and Qais Ibne Saad Duili from Abdullah bin Bahir al-Faqassi from Bakr bin Abdullah al-Ashjai from his ancestors that they said:
“The year the Holy Prophet (S) traveled to Damascus in a trade caravan carrying Lady Khadija’s merchandise, he was accompanied by Abde Manat bin Kinana and Naufal bin Muawiyah bin Urwah bin Sakhar bin Yamir bin Namama bin Adi in the same caravan. When they reached Damascus, Abul Moheeb, the recluse saw them and asked: Who are you people? They replied: We are the inhabitants of the Kaaba. We are some traders of Quraish. He asked if there was someone else from Quraish along with us.
They said: “There is a youth from Bani Hashim, named Muhammad.” Abul Moheeb said: “I want to meet him.” They said: “There is none in Quraish having lesser fame than him. He is called the orphan of Quraish. He has come to market the goods of Khadija, a lady of Quraish. And he is doing it on a remuneration. What do you want with him?” Abul Moheeb said: “Show him to me.” They said: “We left him in the bazaar of Busra.” They were having this conversation when the Prophet was seen approaching.
When the monk looked at the Prophet, before the people could identify him, he exclaimed: It is he! And he took the Prophet aside and spoke to him in private for a long time. Then he kissed the Prophet on his forehead. He took out something from his sleeve and wanted to give it to the Prophet and the Prophet declined to accept. Finally the monk came to the people and said: Accept my advice. Remain attached to him and obey him because by Allah, this young man is the last prophet and he will soon be appointed to the ministry. He will call the people to the saying of ‘There is no god, except God’ (monotheism).
When he declares his prophethood you must harken to him without any hesitation. Then the monk asked if the uncle of this youth, Abu Talib had a son named Ali. He said: Either he is born or will be born soon. He would be the first to bring faith in this prophet. I have read that he shall be his successor.
He would be the chief of the Arabs, the divine scholar of this Ummah and the Dhulqarnain of the last prophet. He shall display excellent swordsmanship in battles. In the high heavens his name is Ali. On the Judgment Day he will have the highest station after the Prophet. The angels call him by the titles of ‘the successful one’, ‘the illuminated’ and ‘the brave’. He shall conquer wherever he turns and among the companions of your Prophet he will be more famous than the sun of the sky.”