Nararted Abu Jamra: Ibn `Abbas radhiallahu `anhu said to us, “Shall I tell you the story of Abu Dharr’s conversion to Islam?”
We said, “Yes.”
He said, “Abu Dharr said: I was a man from the tribe of Ghifar. We heard that a man had appeared in Makkah claiming to be a Prophet. I said to my brother, ‘Go talk to that man and talk to him and bring me his news.’
He set out, met him and returned. I asked him, ‘What is the news with you?’
He said, ‘By Allah, I saw a man enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil.’
I said to him, ‘You have not satisfied me with this information.’ So, I took a a waterskin and a stick and proceeded towards Makkah. Neither did I know him (i.e. the Prophet ), nor did I like to ask anyone about him. I kept on drinking zam zam water and staying in the Mosque.
Then `Ali radhiallahu `anhu passed by me and said, ‘It seems you are a stranger?’
I said, ‘Yes.’
He proceeded to his house and I accompanied him. Neither did he ask me anything, nor did I tell him anything. The next morning, I went to the Mosque to ask about the Prophet but no-one told me anything about him.
`Ali passed by me again and asked, ‘Hasn’t the man recognized his dwelling place yet?’
I said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘Come along with me.’
He asked me, ‘What is your business? What has brought you to this town?’
I said to him, ‘If you keep my secret, I will tell you.’
He said, ‘I will do.’
I said to him, ‘We have heard that a person has appeared here, claiming to be a Prophet. I sent my brother to speak to him and when he returned, he did not bring a satisfactory report; so I thought of meeting him personally.’
`Ali said (to Abu Dharr), ‘You have reached your goal; I am going to him just now, so follow me, and wherever I enter, enter after me. If I should see someone who may cause you trouble, I will stand near a wall pretending to mend my shoes (as a warning), and you should go away then.’
`Ali proceeded and I accompanied him till he entered a place, and I entered with him to the Prophet sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam to whom I said, ‘Present (the principles of) Islam to me.’ When he did, I embraced Islam immediately.
He said to me, ‘O Abu Dharr! Keep your conversion as a secret and return to your town; and when you hear of our victory, return to us. ‘
I said, ‘By Him Who has sent you with the Truth, I will announce my conversion to Islam publicly amongst them (i.e. the infidels).’
Abu Dharr went to the Mosque, where some people from Quraish were present, and said, ‘O folk of Quraish! I testify that None has the right to be worshipped except Allah, and I (also) testify that Muhammad is Allah’s Slave and His Apostle.’
(Hearing that) the Quraishi men said, ‘Get at this Sabi (i.e. Muslim)!’ They got up and beat me nearly to death. Al-`Abbas saw me and threw himself over me to protect me. He then faced them and said, ‘Woe to you! You want to kill a man from the tribe of Ghifar, although your trade and your communications are through the territory of Ghifar?’ They therefore left me.
The next morning, I returned (to the Mosque) and said the same as I have said on the previous day. They again said, ‘Get at this Sabi!’ I was treated in the same way as on the previous day, and again Al-`Abbas found me and threw himself over me to protect me and told them the same as he had said the day before.’
So, that was the conversion of Abu Dharr radhiallahu `anhu to Islam.”