Al-Tawḥīd > The Tradition of Subakht, the Jewish Man
Hadith #1

1 - أبي رحمه الله، قال: حدثنا سعد بن عبد الله، قال: حدثنا أحمد بن محمد بن عيسى وإبراهيم بن هاشم، عن الحسن بن علي، عن داود بن علي اليعقوبي، عن بعض أصحابنا، عن عبد الأعلى مولى آل سام، عن أبي عبد الله عليه السلام، قال: أتى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله يهودي يقال له: سبخت فقال له: يا محمد جئت أسألك عن ربك فإن أجبتني عما أسألك عنه اتبعتك وإلا رجعت، فقال له: سل عما شئت، فقال: أين ربك؟ فقال: هو في كل مكان وليس هو في شئ من المكان بمحدود، قال: فكيف هو؟ فقال: وكيف أصف ربي بالكيف والكيف مخلوق الله، والله لا يوصف بخلقه، قال: فمن يعلم أنك نبي؟ قال: فما بقي حوله حجر ولا مدر ولا غير ذلك إلا تكلم بلسان عربي مبين: يا شيخ إنه رسول الله، فقال سبخت: تالله ما رأيت كاليوم أبين ثم قال: أشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وأنك رسول الله.

1. My father (may Allah have mercy on him) said: Sa`d ibn `Abd Allah said: Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn `Isa and Ibrahim ibn Hashim both said, on the authority of al-Hasan ibn `Ali, on the authority of Dawud ibn `Ali al-Ya`qubi, on the authority of some of our scholars, on the authority of `Abd al-A`la freed slave of Al Sam, On the authority of Abu `Abd Allah (AS) that A Jewish man called Subakht came to the Messenger of Allah (SA) and said: “O Muhammad, I have come to ask about your Lord, So, if you answer me about what I ask you of Him, I will follow you. Otherwise, I will leave.” The Messenger of Allah (AS) said to him, “Ask what you wish.” Hence, he asked, “Where is your Lord?” The Prophet (SA) replied, “He is in very place, but He is not confined in any place.” He enquired, “How is He?” The Prophet answered, “How can I describe my Lord in terms of quality when quality was created by Allah, and Allah cannot be compared with His Creation.” He asked, “Then who knows that you are a Prophet (SA)?” The reported says: “Everything which surrounded him, including the stones, pebbles and other things, spoke in clear Arabic That `O Shaykh! Verily, He is the Messenger of Allah.’” So Subakht said: “By Allah I have not seen things so clearly as I have seen them today.” Then he said: “I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and that you are the Messenger of Allah.”

Hadith #2

2 - حدثنا أبو الحسين محمد بن إبراهيم بن إسحاق الفارسي، قال: حدثنا أبو سعيد أحمد بن محمد بن رميح النسوي، قال: حدثني أحمد بن جعفر العقيلي بقهستان، قال: حدثني أحمد بن علي البلخي، قال: حدثنا أبو جعفر محمد بن علي الخزاعي، قال: حدثنا عبد الله بن جعفر الأزهري، عن أبيه، عن جعفر بن محمد عن أبيه محمد بن علي، عن أبيه علي بن الحسين، عن أبيه الحسين عليهم السلام، قال: قال أمير المؤمنين علي بن أبي طالب عليه السلام في بعض خطبه: من الذي حضر سبخت الفارسي وهو يكلم رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله؟ فقال القوم: ما حضره منا أحد، فقال علي عليه السلام: لكني كنت معه عليه السلام وقد جاءه سبخت وكان رجلا من ملوك فارس وكان ذربا، فقال: يا محمد إلى ما تدعوه؟ قال: أدعو إلى شهادة أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له وأن محمدا عبده ورسوله، فقال سبخت: وأين الله يا محمد؟ قال: هو في كل مكان موجود بآياته، قال: فكيف هو؟ فقال: لا كيف له ولا أين لأنه عز وجل كيف الكيف وأين الأين، قال: فمن أين جاء؟ قال: لا يقال له: جاء، وإنما يقال: جاء للزائل من مكان إلى مكان، وربنا لا يوصف بمكان ولا بزوال، بل لم يزل بلا مكان ولا يزال، فقال: يا محمد إنك لتصف ربا عظيما بلا كيف، فكيف لي أن أعلم أنه أرسلك؟ فلم يبق بحضرتنا ذلك اليوم حجر ولا مدر ولا جبل ولا شجر ولا حيوان إلا قال مكانه: أشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وأن محمدا عبده ورسوله، وقلت أنا أيضا: أشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وأن محمد عبده ورسوله، فقال: يا محمد من هذا؟ فقال: هو خير أهلي وأقرب الخلق مني، لحمه من لحمي، ودمه من دمي، وروحه من روحي، وهو الوزير مني في حياتي والخليفة بعد وفاتي، كما كان هارون من موسى إلا أنه لا نبي بعدي، فاسمع له وأطع فإنه على الحق، ثم سماه عبد الله. باب معنى (سبحان الله)

2. Abu al-Husayn Muhammad ibn Ibrahim ibn Ishaq al-Farisi said: Abu Sa`id Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Rumayh al-Nisawi said: Ahmad ibn Ja`far al-`Aqili related to me in Quhistan that Ahmad ibn `Ali al-Balkhi related to me that Abu Ja`far Muhammad ibn `Ali al-Khuzai`I said: `Abd Allah ibn Ja`far al-Azhari said, on the authority of his father, on the authority of Ja`far ibn Muhammad, on the authority of his father Muhammad ibn `Ali, on the authority of his father `Ali ibn al-Husayn, on the authority of his father Al-Husayn (AS) that The Commander of the Faithful `Ali ibn Abu Talib (AS) said in some of his sermons: “Who was present when Subakht the Persian had a word with the Messenger of Allah (SA)?” The people said: “None of us were present.” So `Ali (AS) said: “However, I was with him (AS) when Subakht came to him. He belonged to Persian royalty, and was very sharp of mind. He asked: `O Muhammad! To what do you call the people?’ The Prophet (SA) replied, “I call people to witness that there is no god but Allah, the One, the Only, without partners, and that Muhammad is His Servant, and His Messenger.” So Subakht asked, “Where is Allah, O Muhammad?” He (SA) answered, “He is present in every place by means of His Signs.” He asked, “How is He?” The Prophet (SA) replied, “He is not subject to quality nor space, because He, the Mighty and High, created both quality and space.” Subakht asked, “Then where did He come from?” He (SA) replied, “It cannot be said of Him that `He came’ since it refers to something that moves form one place to another. Our Lord, however, is not subject to space or to movement. In fact, He has always been without place and He never declines.” Then he said: “O Muhammad! Verily, you are describing your Great Lord without quality. Then how do I know that He has sent you?” There was nothing that surrounded us that day, of stone, pebble, mountain, tree or animal, but that it professed: `I bear witness that here is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is His Servant, and His Messenger.’ Thus, I myself professed that `I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is His Servant, and His Messenger.’ So Subakht asked, “O Muhammad! Who is this?” The Prophet (SA) replied, This (`Ali ibn Abu Talib) is the best of my family, and the closest person to me in all of creation. His flesh is my flesh. His blood is my blood. His spirit is my spirit. He is my successor in my lifetime and the Caliph after my death. He is to me as Harun was to Musa, except that there will be no prophet after me. Listen to him, and obey him, for verily he embodies the truth. Then the Prophet (SA) named the Jewish man ”Abd Allah.”