In producing the narration below, several books have been cited since each one seems to contain a small detail or two not found in the other books:
“Verily, when Allah Ta’ala willed for the guidance of Zayd ibn Sa’nah, he said: “There was not a sign of Prophethood but that I had recognised it in the face of Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) when I looked at him, except two which I had not (yet) experienced from him: His forbearance overcomes his anger (lit: an act of ignorance), and a severe act of ignorance (against him), does not increase him except in forbearance. (Al-Aahaad wa l-Mathaani of Ibn Abi Aasim)
ﺇﻥ اﻟﻠﻪ ﺗﺒﺎﺭﻙ ﻭﺗﻌﺎﻟﻰ ﻟﻤﺎ ﺃﺭاﺩ ﻫﺪاﻳﺔ ﺯﻳﺪ ﺑﻦ ﺳﻌﻨﺔ ﻗﺎﻝ: ” ﻣﺎ ﻣﻦ ﻋﻼﻣﺎﺕ اﻟﻨﺒﻮﺓ ﺷﻲء ﺇﻻ ﻭﻗﺪ ﻋﺮﻓﺘﻬﺎ ﻓﻲ ﻭﺟﻪ ﻣﺤﻤﺪ ﺻﻠﻰ اﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻠﻴﻪ ﻭﺳﻠﻢ ﺣﻴﻦ ﻧﻈﺮﺕ ﺇﻟﻴﻪ ﺇﻻ اﺛﻨﺘﻴﻦ ﻟﻢ ﺃﺧﺒﺮﻫﻤﺎ ﻣﻨﻪ، ﻳﺴﺒﻖ ﺣﻠﻤﻪ ﺟﻬﻠﻪ ﻭﻻ ﻳﺰﺩﻩ ﺷﺪﺓ اﻟﺠﻬﻞ ﺇﻻ ﺣﻠﻤﺎ…
Ibn Sa’d narrates that Zayd said:
“No description of Muhammad in the Torah remained but that I had seen it (in him), except forbearance…” (Tabaqat Ibn Sa’d)
قال ما كان بقي شئ من نعت محمد في التوراة إلا رأيته إلا الحلم فذكر القصة زيد
Zayd ibn Sa’nah (radhiyallahu anhu) then relates how he ended up lending Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) an amount to be paid back on a particular date. He continues:
“When it was just a day or two or three before the time (of repayment of my due), Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) came out for a Janazah at al-Baqee’, and with him was Abu Bakr and Umar, in a group from the Sahabah (radhiyallahu anhum). After he (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) prayed the Janazah, and approached a wall, I wrenched at his outer garment so violently such that it dropped from his shoulder. Then I drew near him with a vicious scowling face, saying: “Will you not repay me, O Muhammad? By Allah! I did not know you, the children of Abdul Muttalib, to be ones to procrastinate (in repaying dues). However, by my interaction with you, I know (now)!” (Akhlaaq un-Nabi of Abu Shaykh al-Asbahaani)
ﻓﻠﻤﺎ ﻛﺎﻥ ﻗﺒﻞ اﻟﻤﺤﻞ ﺑﻴﻮﻡ ﺃﻭ ﻳﻮﻣﻴﻦ ﺃﻭ ﺛﻼﺛﺔ، ﻓﺨﺮﺝ ﺭﺳﻮﻝ اﻟﻠﻪ ﺻﻠﻰ اﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻠﻴﻪ ﻭﺳﻠﻢ ﺇﻟﻰ ﺟﻨﺎﺯﺓ ﺑﺎﻟﺒﻘﻴﻊ، ﻭﻣﻌﻪ ﺃﺑﻮ ﺑﻜﺮ ﻭﻋﻤﺮ ﻓﻲ ﻧﻔﺮ ﻣﻦ ﺃﺻﺤﺎﺑﻪ، ﻓﻠﻤﺎ ﺻﻠﻰ ﻋﻠﻰ اﻟﺠﻨﺎﺯﺓ ﻭﺩﻧﺎ ﻣﻦ اﻟﺠﺪاﺭ ﺟﺬﺑﺖ ﺑﺮﺩﻳﻪ ﺟﺒﺬﺓ ﺷﺪﻳﺪﺓ ﺣﺘﻰ ﺳﻘﻂ ﻋﻦ ﻋﺎﺗﻘﻪ، ﺛﻢ ﺃﻗﺒﻠﺖ ﺑﻮﺟﻪ ﺟﻬﻢ ﻏﻠﻴﻆ ﻓﻘﻠﺖ: ﺃﻻ ﺗﻘﻀﻴﻨﻲ ﻳﺎ ﻣﺤﻤﺪ، ﻓﻮاﻟﻠﻪ ﻣﺎ ﻋﻠﻤﺘﻜﻢ ﺑﻨﻲ ﻋﺒﺪ اﻟﻤﻄﻠﺐ ﻟﻤﻄﻞ، ﻭﻗﺪ ﻛﺎﻥ ﻟﻲ ﺑﻤﺨﺎﻟﻄﺘﻜﻢ ﻋﻠﻢ
“I looked towards Umar, and his eyes were bulging in his face like a round ball. He then shot me (a stare) with his eyes, saying: “O Enemy of Allah! Did you just say to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) what I just heard, and treat him the way I saw? Keep your hands off Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). For, by the One who sent him (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) with the Haqq, were it not for what I am cautious over losing (e.g. Jannah), I would have struck your head with my sword!” (Dalaa-il un-Nubuwwah of Imam Bayhaqi)
ﻓﻨﻈﺮﺕ ﺇﻟﻰ ﻋﻤﺮ، ﻭﺇﺫا ﻋﻴﻨﺎﻩ ﺗﺪﻭﺭاﻥ ﻓﻲ ﻭﺟﻪ ﻛﺎﻟﻔﻠﻚ اﻟﻤﺴﺘﺪﻳﺮ، ﺛﻢ ﺭﻣﺎﻧﻲ ﺑﺒﺼﺮﻩ ﻓﻘﺎﻝ: ﻳﺎ ﻋﺪﻭ اﻟﻠﻪ، ﺃﺗﻘﻮﻝ ﻟﺮﺳﻮﻝ اﻟﻠﻪ ﺻﻠﻰ اﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻠﻴﻪ ﻭﺳﻠﻢ ﻣﺎ ﺃﺳﻤﻊ، ﻭﺗﺼﻨﻊ ﻣﺎ ﺃﺭﻯ – ﺯاﺩ اﻟﺤﺴﻦ: اﻛﻔﻒ ﻳﺪﻙ ﻋﻦ ﺭﺳﻮﻝ اﻟﻠﻪ ﺻﻠﻰ اﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻠﻴﻪ ﻭﺳﻠﻢ. ﻭﻟﻢ ﻳﺬﻛﺮ ﺧﺸﻨﺎﻡ ﺫﻟﻚ ﻭﻗﺎﻻ: ﻓﻮاﻟﺬﻱ ﺑﻌﺜﻪ ﺑﺎﻟﺤﻖ ﻟﻮﻻ ﻣﺎ ﺃﺣﺎﺫﺭ ﻓﻮﺗﻪ ﻟﻀﺮﺑﺖ ﺑﺴﻴﻔﻲ ﺭﺃﺳﻚ
“(All the while) Rasulullaah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was looking at Umar, completely calm and unruffled. He (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) smiled and then said: “O Umar, I and him are more in need of other than this – you instruct me to repay (my debt) well, and you instruct him to follow up (his due) in a good way. Go with him, O Umar, and give him his due, and (instructing Umar privately) increase it by twenty Saa’a (a specific measure) of dates in lieu of you scaring him.” So Umar went with me, gave me my due, and increased it with twenty Saa’a of dates. I asked: “What is this extra, O Umar?” He replied, “Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) commanded me to give you an increase in lieu of my scaring you.” (Tabaraani’s Al-Mu’jam ul-Kabeer)
ﻭﺭﺳﻮﻝ اﻟﻠﻪ ﺻﻠﻰ اﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻠﻴﻪ ﻭﺳﻠﻢ ﻳﻨﻈﺮ ﺇﻟﻰ ﻋﻤﺮ ﺑﺴﻜﻮﻥ ﻭﺗﺆﺩﺓ، ﻭﺗﺒﺴﻢ، ﺛﻢ ﻗﺎﻝ: «ﻳﺎ ﻋﻤﺮ، ﺃﻧﺎ ﻭﻫﻮ ﻛﻨﺎ ﺃﺣﻮﺝ ﺇﻟﻰ ﻏﻴﺮ ﻫﺬا؛ ﺃﻥ ﺗﺄﻣﺮﻧﻲ ﺑﺤﺴﻦ اﻷﺩاء، ﻭﺗﺄﻣﺮﻩ ﺑﺤﺴﻦ اﺗﺒﺎﻋﻪ، اﺫﻫﺐ ﺑﻪ ﻳﺎ ﻋﻤﺮ ﻓﺄﻋﻄﻪ ﺣﻘﻪ، ﻭﺯﺩﻩ ﻋﺸﺮﻳﻦ ﺻﺎﻋﺎ ﻣﻦ ﺗﻤﺮ ﻣﻜﺎﻥ ﻣﺎ ﺭﻋﺘﻪ» .ﻗﺎﻝ ﺯﻳﺪ: ﻓﺬﻫﺐ ﺑﻲ ﻋﻤﺮ ﻓﺄﻋﻄﺎﻧﻲ ﺣﻘﻲ ﻭﺯاﺩﻧﻲ ﻋﺸﺮﻳﻦ ﺻﺎﻋﺎ ﻣﻦ ﺗﻤﺮ، ﻓﻘﻠﺖ: ﻣﺎ ﻫﺬﻩ اﻟﺰﻳﺎﺩﺓ ﻳﺎ ﻋﻤﺮ؟ ﻗﺎﻝ: ﺃﻣﺮﻧﻲ ﺭﺳﻮﻝ اﻟﻠﻪ ﺻﻠﻰ اﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻠﻴﻪ ﻭﺳﻠﻢ ﺃﻥ -ﺃﺯﻳﺪﻙ ﻣﻜﺎﻥ ﻣﺎ ﺭﻋﺘﻚ
“I asked, “Do you recognise me, O Umar?” He replied, “No, who are you?” I replied, “I’m Zayd ibn Sa’nah.” He said, “The Rabbi?” I replied, “The Rabbi.” Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) asked, “Then what caused you to behave with Rasulullaah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) in the way you behaved, and to say to him what you said?” I replied, “O Umar, there was no sign from the signs of Prophethood but that I recognised it in the face of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) when I looked at him, except two: his forbearance (always) overcomes his anger, and an act of extreme ignorance (against him) does not increase him except in forbearance. Now I have experienced these two, I make you witness, O Umar, I am pleased with Allah as my Lord, with Islam as my religion, and with Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) as the Prophet. I make you witness that half of my wealth – and I am the wealthiest from amongst them – is Sadaqah (charity) for the Ummah of Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).”
Then Umar and Zayd (radhiyallahu anhuma) returned to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and Zayd said, “I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and I testify that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger.” So he believed in him, attested to him, followed him, and witnessed with him many expeditions. Then he passed away in the battle of Tabuk, while advancing forward (at the enemy) without retreating. May Allah have mercy on Zayd.” (Dalaa-il un-Nubuwwah)
ﻓﻘﻠﺖ: ﺃﺗﻌﺮﻓﻨﻲ ﻳﺎ ﻋﻤﺮ؟ ﻗﺎﻝ: ﻻ، ﻓﻤﻦ ﺃﻧﺖ؟ ﻗﻠﺖ: ﺃﻧﺎ ﺯﻳﺪ ﺑﻦ ﺳﻌﻨﺔ، ﻗﺎﻝ: اﻟﺤﺒﺮ؟ ﻗﻠﺖ: اﻟﺤﺒﺮ، ﻗﺎﻝ: ﻓﻤﺎ ﺩﻋﺎﻙ ﺇﻟﻰ ﺃﻥ ﻓﻌﻠﺖ ﺑﺮﺳﻮﻝ اﻟﻠﻪ ﺻﻠﻰ اﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻠﻴﻪ ﻭﺳﻠﻢ ﻣﺎ – ﻓﻌﻠﺖ ﻭﻗﻠﺖ ﻟﻪ ﻣﺎ ﻗﻠﺖ؟ ﻗﻠﺖ: ﻳﺎ ﻋﻤﺮ، ﺇﻧﻪ ﻟﻢ ﻳﻜﻦ ﻣﻦ ﻋﻼﻣﺎﺕ اﻟﻨﺒﻮﺓ ﺷﻲء ﺇﻻ ﻭﻗﺪ ﻋﺮﻓﺘﻪ ﻓﻲ ﻭﺟﻪ ﺭﺳﻮﻝ اﻟﻠﻪ ﺻﻠﻰ اﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻠﻴﻪ ﻭﺳﻠﻢ ﺣﻴﻦ ﻧﻈﺮﺕ ﺇﻟﻴﻪ ﺇﻻ اﺛﻨﺘﻴﻦ ﻟﻢ ﺃﺧﺒﺮﻫﻤﺎ ﻣﻨﻪ: ﻳﺴﺒﻖ ﺣﻠﻤﻪ ﺟﻬﻠﻪ، ﻭﻻ ﺗﺰﻳﺪﻩ ﺷﺪﺓ اﻟﺠﻬﻞ ﻋﻠﻴﻪ ﺇﻻ ﺣﻠﻤﺎ، ﻓﻘﺪ ﺧﺒﺮﺗﻬﻤﺎ، ﻓﺄﺷﻬﺪﻙ ﻳﺎ ﻋﻤﺮ ﺃﻧﻲ ﻗﺪ ﺭﺿﻴﺖ ﺑﺎﻟﻠﻪ ﺭﺑﺎ ﻭﺑﺎﻹﺳﻼﻡ ﺩﻳﻨﺎ ﻭﺑﻤﺤﻤﺪ ﺻﻠﻰ اﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻠﻴﻪ ﻭﺳﻠﻢ ﻧﺒﻴﺎ، ﻭﺃﺷﻬﺪﻙ ﺃﻥ ﺷﻄﺮ ﻣﺎﻟﻲ – ﻓﺈﻧﻲ ﺃﻛﺜﺮﻫﻢ ﻣﺎﻻ – ﺻﺪﻗﺔ ﻋﻠﻰ ﺃﻣﺔ ﻣﺤﻤﺪ ﺻﻠﻰ اﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻠﻴﻪ ﻭﺳﻠﻢ، ﻓﻘﺎﻝ ﻟﻲ: ﻋﻤﺮ ﺃﻭ ﻋﻠﻰ ﺑﻌﻀﻬﻢ، ﻓﺮﺟﻊ ﻋﻤﺮ ﻭﺯﻳﺪ ﺇﻟﻰ ﺭﺳﻮﻝ اﻟﻠﻪ ﺻﻠﻰ اﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻠﻴﻪ ﻭﺳﻠﻢ، ﻓﻘﺎﻝ ﺯﻳﺪ: ﺃﺷﻬﺪ ﺃﻥ ﻻ ﺇﻟﻪ ﺇﻻ اﻟﻠﻪ، ﻭﺃﺷﻬﺪ ﺃﻥ ﻣﺤﻤﺪا ﻋﺒﺪﻩ ﻭﺭﺳﻮﻟﻪ، ﻭﺁﻣﻦ ﺑﻪ ﻭﺻﺪﻗﻪ ﻭﺗﺎﺑﻌﻪ ﻭﺷﻬﺪ ﻣﻌﻪ ﻣﺸﺎﻫﺪ ﻛﺜﻴﺮﺓ. ﺗﻮﻓﻲ ﻓﻲ ﻏﺰﻭﺓ ﺗﺒﻮﻙ ﻣﻘﺒﻼ ﻏﻴﺮ ﻣﺪﺑﺮ ﺭﺣﻢ اﻟﻠﻪ ﺯﻳﺪا
In addition to the references cited above, Ibn Hibbaan has recorded the narration in his Saheeh, and Haakim has recorded it in his Mustadrak classifying it as Saheeh. Hafiz Mizzi also related it in his Tahzeeb saying, “This Hadith is Hasan and famous as evidence for the (truth of) Prophethood.”
Imam Bayhaqi, after citing this narration, brings another narration which seems to be referring to the same Rabbi. In this version, after returning to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) to accept Islam at his hands, the Rabbi confessed:
“By Allah! I did not behave in the way I behaved with you except to observe your description in the Torah: Muhammad, the son of Abdullah, Makkah, the place of his birth, Madinah, the place of his emigration, his kingdom (stretching to) Shaam. He is never crude nor harsh، nor does he raise a clamour in the markets, nor does he adorn himself with immodesty, nor with any obscene statement. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that you are the Messenger of Allah.” (Dalaa-il un-Nubuwwah)
ﺃﻣﺎ ﻭاﻟﻠﻪ ﻣﺎﻓﻌﻠﺖ اﻟﺬﻱ ﻓﻌﻠﺖ ﺑﻚ ﺇﻻ ﻷﻧﻈﺮ ﺇﻟﻰ ﻧﻌﺘﻚ ﻓﻲ اﻟﺘﻮﺭاﺓ. ﻣﺤﻤﺪ ﺑﻦ ﻋﺒﺪ اﻟﻠﻪ ﻣﻮﻟﺪﻩ ﺑﻤﻜﺔ ﻭﻣﻬﺎﺟﺮﻩ ﺑﻄﻴﺒﺔ، ﻭﻣﻠﻜﻪ ﺑﺎﻟﺸﺎﻡ ﻟﻴﺲ ﺑﻔﻆ ﻭﻻ ﻏﻠﻴﻆ، ﻭﻻ ﺳﺨﺎﺏ ﻓﻲ اﻷﺳﻮاﻕ، ﻭﻻ ﻣﺘﺰﻳﻦ ﺑﺎﻟﻔﺤﺶ، ﻭﻻ ﻗﻮﻝ اﻟﺨﻨﺎ. ﺃﺷﻬﺪ ﺃﻥ ﻻ ﺇﻟﻪ ﺇﻻ اﻟﻠﻪ ﻭﺃﻧﻚ ﺭﺳﻮﻝ اﻟﻠﻪ.
Grateful to you for this knowledge. May Allah reward you immensely. May you stay strong in the service of Islam benefiting us, the laymen. Aameen
Alhamdulillah, such authentic & timely narrations enlightens and enlivens the soul at a time when the Ummah has lost its connections to the pious and Allah Ta’ala.
Allah Ta’ala reward the publishers.