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Jundub ibn Junadah ibn Sakan (Arabic جُندب بن جَنادة), better known as Abu Dharr, Abu Dharr al-Ghafari, or Abu Tharr Al-Ghefari (Arabic أبو ذر الغفاري) was an early convert to Islam. When he reverted, Muhammad (PBHU) gave him a new name, Abdullah. He belonged to the Banu Ghifari, the Ghifar tribe. No date of birth is known. He died in 652 CE, at al-Rabadha, in the desert near Medina.

Abu Dharr is remembered for his strict piety and also his opposition to the caliph Uthman Ibn Affan. He is venerated by Shi'a Muslims as one of The Four Companions, early Muslims who were followers (Shi'a) of Ali (Ali ibn Abi Talib).

He was one of the Muhajirun. Abu Dharr was apparently typical of the early converts to Islam, described by Ibn Shihab al-Zuhri as "young men and weak people".

Popular accounts of Abu Dharr say that his tribe lived by pillaging caravans, but that he preferred to live a poor but honest life as a shepherd. Having heard the supposition that a new prophet had arisen in Mecca, Abu Dharr and his brother travelled to Mecca to find the claimed prophet. The young seeker converted instantly and rushed out to declare his new faith in front of the Kaaba, which at that time was a pagan temple. He was beaten for his presumption. After this he returned to his tribe, where he made other converts for Islam, and then joined Muhammad after the Hijra, or migration to Medina in 622 CE.

This seems to be a simplified account of stories reported in these hadiths, , and .

According to the early Islamic historian Tabari, Abu Dharr claimed to have been the fourth or fifth convert to Islam. However, several other early Muslims made the same claim. While the exact order of conversion may never be established, no one doubts that he was an early convert.

Sunni view

Many hadith, oral traditions, are traced to Abu Dharr. He is respected as an early and observant Muslim, and a man who was honest and direct to a fault. He was, according to the Sunni tradition, a rough, unlettered Beduin who held no high office, but who served the Muslim community, the Ummah, with everything he had to give.

After the death of Muhammad, he left for the Syrian desert and stayed there during the caliphate of Abu Bakr and Umar.

During the caliphate of Uthman, he stayed in Damascus and witnessed Muslims deviating from Islam, going after worldly pleasures and desires.

He was saddened and repelled by this. So Uthman invited him to come to Madinah. where he was also hurt by people's pursuit of worldly goods and pleasures.


Uthman therefore ordered that he should go to Al-Rabathah, a small village near Madinah. Abu Dharr stayed there away from people, holding on to the traditions (sunnah) of Muhammad and his companions.

A man visited him once and when he found his house almost bare, he asked Abu Dharr: "Where are your possessions?"

Abu Dharr said: "We have a house yonder (meaning the Hereafter), to which we send the best of our possessions."

The man understood what Abu Dharr meant and said: "But you must have some possessions so long as you are in this abode."

"The owner of this abode will not leave us in it," replied Abu Dharr.

Also, when the Prince (Amir) of Syria sent Abu Dharr three hundred diners to meet his needs, he returned the money saying, "Does not the Amir find a servant more deserving of it than I?"

Abu Dharr continued in his simple life, and dedicated himself to Allah only until he died, in 32 A.H.

Shi'a view

Aba Dharr is considered one of the greatest and most loyal sahaba, along with Salman Al-farisi, Miqdad and Ammar bin Yasser. In time of Hijra to Madina, he was in Syria and followed later. Mohammad during this time he used to stand on the doors of the Madina waiting for him. Until he saw a shadow from far ,he said to the shadow" Be Aba Dharr". After the Prophet's death, and division of the sahaba; those who agreed on Abu Bakr and those who didn't accept anyone but Ali, working by the Prophet's will in Ghadir saying"For whom I was his mawla (leader)Ali is now his mawla". Aba Dhar was one of the strongest, most knowledgeable companions of Imam and was fighting by the word this new goverment, since Imam Ali didn't want to fight by the sword so that there won't be any division in the nation. Abu Dharr was exiled first to Syria, so that he would be under the eyes of Muawiya. In Sham(Lebanon and Syria), Abu Dharr started spreading the Shiaa belief, where it's still found till now mainly in South Lebanon where he had residency there. And he was fighting Muwaiya. Muwaiya sent to Uthman that we are not able to take him anymore, we'll send him back to you. Uthman ordered that he would b returned to Madina on a horse whith no saddle to sit on. Later in Madina, Uthman faced the same problem like that of Muwayia's, so he exiled him to Rabada where he died from famine. The Muslims were afraid of the Caliph's power. So, only a few companions saw him off. They were Ali bin Abu Talib, his brother Aqeel, al-Hasan and al-Husain (Muhammad's grandsons), and the great companion Ammar bin Yasir.

Imam Ali advanced to see him off. He said:

Abu Dhar, you've become very angry for Allah. The people are worried about their religion, and you are worried about your religion. So, leave what they are worried about in your hands and escape from them with what you're worried about. They're in need of what you've prevented them from. And you're in no need of what they've prevented you from. Tomorrow you'll know who will be the winner. Abu Dhar, nothing amuses you but the truth and nothing annoys you but the untruth.

Aqeel advanced and said: You know we like you, and you like us. Fear Allah because the fear of Allah is salvation. And be patient because patience is generosity. The Prophet's grandson, al-Hasan bin Ali advanced and said: Uncle, be patient till you meet your Prophet [s]. He will be pleased with you. Al-Husain advanced and said: Uncle, ask Allah to grant you patience and victory. While Ammar bin Yasir was in tears, he advanced and said: May not Allah amuse those who annoy you. And He may not make safe those who have dismayed you. By Allah! If you want their world, they'll make you safe. And if you're pleased with their actions, they'll love you. Abu Dhar wept and said: People of the House of Mercy, may Allah have mercy upon you all. When I see you, I remember Allah's Apostle. Abu Dhar, his wife and his daughter went to al-Rabathah Desert. He was recalling our Master Muhammad's words: Abu Dhar, may Allah have mercy upon you. You'll live alone, die alone, rise from the dead alone and enter Paradise alone. Prophet Mohammad said about him " Aba Dhar is like Issa (AS) of my nation in his "zohod" and "waraa"


Abu Dharr's grandson Yahya and great grandson Aqeel died in the battle of Karbala. Aqeel's descendants migrated to Iran where descendants still carry the last name Ghaffari. The Ghaffari clan of Kashan claims descent from Abu Dharr and has spawned numerous politicians and intellectuals such as the governor under Karim Khan of Kashan, Natanz, and Qom Moezzedin; the painter Kamal-ol-molk; and the amabassador to France Farrokh Khan Amin Ed-Doleh.

Modern day descendants of Abu Dharr can be found also under family names of Abuzir/Abuzer, which are names derived from Abu Dharr, changed due to geographical relocations throughout time.

See also

  • Sahaba
  • Abu Zar Ghaffari
  • Sulaym ibn Qays
  • Ghaffari


  • Madelung, Wilferd -- Succession to Muhammad, Cambridge University Press, 1997
  • Watt, Montgomery -- Muhammad at Mecca, Oxford University Press, 1953
  • Watt, Montgomery -- Muhammad at Medina, Oxford University Press, 1956


External links

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