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Monday, 18 May 2015

Jewish Converts to Islam at the time of the Prophet Muhammed

By no means is this a comprehensive list but gives some insight as to the Jews whom converted into Islam during and after the Prohet Muhammed.

Muhammed's Jewish roots, from Wikipedia, "Qusai ibn Kilab was the great-great-grandfather of Shaiba ibn Hashim (Abdul-Mutallib, who had a Jewish wife). Shaiba ibn Hashim was fifth in the line of descent to Muhammad, and attained supreme power at Mecca. Qusai ibn Kilab is among the ancestors of Sahaba and the progenitor of the Banu Quraish." The Quraish are a Jewish Arabian tribe.

Abdullah Ibn Salman

The following from, Former Rabbis, Second Wives and Charismatic Kabbalists: Jews Who Convert to Islam: (

“One of Mohammad’s main followers, Abdullah Ibn Salman, also known as Al-Husayn Ibn Salam, was a dedicated and popular rabbi before he converted to Islam. Born in 550 C.E. in Yathrib, he said he was a descendant of Joseph.

In the course of his Torah studies, he began to anticipate the arrival of the ultimate prophet whose vision would be the culmination the work of all the prophets who preceded him. On Muhammad’s journey from Mecca to Medina, Abdullah Ibn Salam stopped to meet him.

After questioning Muhammad, Abdullah concluded he was the prophet, but Salam wrote, “I concealed my conclusions from the Jews. I held my tongue.” Abdullah was the first Muslim who was said to inhabit Paradise while still alive. According to Islamic writings, Muhammad said to his followers, “Do you want to see a man walking on Earth and Paradise?” Muhammad pointed to Abdullah Ibn Salam.”

Related article:

Ka'b al-AḦbar and Wahb were associated with 'Abd Allah ibn Salam converted to Islam.

Yamin ibn 'Umair and Abu Sa'd ibn Wahbremained at Medina and became Mohammedans.

Tha'labah ibn Saya, 'Usaid ibn Saya, and Asad ibn 'Ubaid also converted though it is believed through compulsion.

Khaibar forcibly converted.

RaiḦanah Jewish woman whom Mohammed liked to marry converted.

Abu Ya'ḳub from Palmyra.

Ka‘ab al-Aḥbār, died 652/653 AD)

His name was Ka‘ab al-Aḥbār, a Rabbi from Yemen who became a convert to Islam.

From the Jewish Encyclopedia:

On account of his theological learning he was styled "Al-Ḥibr" or "Al-Aḥbar," which is an adaptation of the Hebrew "ḥaber." He lectured on the Koran and the career of Mohammed, not from the merely exegetical and biographical points of view, but in a homiletic and haggadic manner, just as Abdallah b. Salam had done. Both these men laid the foundation for the legends which glorify Mohammed's youth and prophetic call.

He was responsible for choosing a mosque to be built at the Dome of the Rock at Jerusalem.

Abdullah ibn Saba'- Founder of the Shia sect was a Jew from Yemen, attested by Tabari. (source:' )

Abu Huraira - Shia suggest he was a Jewish convert. Only a convert for 2-3 years before Abu Huraira, the narrator of 5374 narrations according to Hadith Literature: It’s Origin, Development, and Special Feature by Muhammad Zubayr Siddiqui.

Abd Allah b Salam - Jewish Rabbi (source: Ibn Isaac, from The Jews from Arab Lands, by Norman A Stillman, page 113).

Mukhayriq, a Jewish Rabbi (source: Ibn Hisham, from The Jews from Arab Lands, by Norman A Stillman, page 121).


These are transmitted stories of the people of Israel that found their way into hadith literature.

- Wahb ibn Manabí - Jewish convert.

Wahb ibn Munabbih' (Arabic, وهب بن منبه )was a Muslim traditionist of Dhimar (two days' journey from Sana'a) in Yemen; died at the age of ninety, in a year variously given by Arabic authorities as 725, 728, 732, and 737 C.E. He is counted among the Tabi‘in and narrated Isra'iliyat.

His full name was Abu 'Abd Allah al-Ṣana'ani al-Dhimari or Wahb ibn Munabbih ibn Kamil ibn Sirajud-Din Dhee Kibaar Abu-Abdullah al-Yamani al-San'an … His father, whose name was Munabbih ibn Kamil, had been converted to Islam in the lifetime of the Prophet, although a single authority, the "Al-Tibr al-Masluk" (ed. 1306 A.H., p. 41), states that Wahb himself had turned from Judaism to Islam. He also had a brother named Hammam ibn Munabbih, who is reported to have written 138 Hadiths in his Sahifa

Works: "Qiṣaṣ al-Anbiya'" ("Story of the Prophets") and "Kitab al-Isra'iliyat" ("Book of the Israelites," "Ḥajji Khalfa," iv. 518, v. 40).

Thus, like Ibn 'Abbas and Ka'b al-Aḥbar, he was an authority for many legends narrated by Al-Ṭabari, Mas'udi, and others. The "Kitab al-Isra'iliyat," or "Book of Jewish Matters," is lost, but was apparently a collection of Jewish stories, many of them incorporated by a Jewish compiler into the "Arabian Nights. He narrated hadith from: Anas ibn Malik / Jabir ibn Abd-Allah / `Abd Allah ibn `Abbas / Abd-Allah ibn Umar / Abu Hurairah /Abu-Sa'id al-Khudri / Tawoos ibn Kaysaan / Amr ibn Dinar / Amr ibn Shayb / Hammam ibn Munabbih (source: )

- Ka‘ab al-Aḥbār

Ka‘ab al-Aḥbār (Arabic: كعب الأحبار‎, full name Abū Iṣḥaq Ka‘b ibn Mati‘ al-Humyari al-Aḥbār) was a prominent rabbi from Yemen who was one of the earliest important Jewish converts to Islam. He is counted among the Tabi'in and narrated many Isra'iliyat. He was an influential figure in the reigns of the Khalifs Umar and Uthman. Associated with the development of the Sunni tradition, Ka'ab's influence is deprecated within the Shia tradition of Islam. Also known as Ka`b Ibn Mati` al-Himyari, Abu Ishaq, known as Ka`b al-Ahbar. (source: )

- Abd Allah ibn Abbas - from the Jewish Quraish tribe.

He is regarded as one of the greatest authorities on the Qur’an in general and especially the place of Isra’iliyyat traditions in its interpretation

Abd Allah ibn Abbas (Arabic: عبد الله ابن عباس‎) or ′Abd Allah ibn al-′Abbas otherwise called (Ibn Abbas; Al-Hibr; Al-Bahr; The Doctor; The Sea) was born c. 619 CE. He was one of Muhammad's companions and one of the early Qur'an scholars. He was the second son of a wealthy merchant, ‘Abbas ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib, thus he was called Ibn Abbas (the son of Abbas). His mother was Umm al-Fadl Lubaba, who prided herself in being the second woman who converted to Islam, on the same day as her close friend Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, Muhammad's wife.

The father of Ibn Abbas and the father of Muhammad were both sons of Shaiba ibn Hashim, better known as ‘Abdu’l-Muṭṭalib. Shaiba bin Hashim's father was Hashim ibn Abd Manaf, the progenitor of the Banu Hashim clan of the Quraish tribe in Mecca. In AH 10 (631/632), Muhammad fell into his last illness. During this period, the Hadith of the pen and paper was reported, with Ibn Abbas as the first level narrator, at that time was around twelve years old. Ibn 'Abbas was thirteen years old when Muhammad died. After Abu Bakr came to power, Ibn Abbas and his father were among those who unsuccessfully requested their part of Muhammad's inheritance, because Abu Bakr said that he heard Muhammad say that prophets do not leave inheritance. After Muhammad's era, he continued to collect and learn Muhammad's teaching from Muhammad's companions (Arabic: Sahaba‎), especially those who knew him the longest. He would consult multiple Sahaba to confirm narrations, and would go to as many as thirty Companions to verify a single matter.

Works: A book entitled Tanwir al-Miqbas min Tafsir Ibn Abbas is tafsir, all explanations of which may go back to Ibn Abbas. Of all narrations transmitted by Ibn Abbas, 1660 were considered authentic (Arabic: Sahih‎) by the authors of the two Sahihs. (source: )

- Muhammad ibn Ishaq

Muhammad ibn Ishaq (85-150) is known as a historian and was responsible for writing one of the earliest biographies of the Prophet Muhammad. The first section of his biography, which does not exist anymore but is still cited is an account of the prophets and other figures from Adam leading up to Muhammad. Muḥammad ibn Isḥāq ibn Yasār ibn Khiyār ( according to some sources, ibn Khabbār, or Kūmān, or Kūtān, Arabic: محمد بن إسحاق بن يسار بن خيار‎, or simply ibn Isḥaq, ابن إسحاق, meaning "the son of Isaac"; died 767 or 761) was an Arab Muslim historian and hagiographer. Ibn Ishaq collected oral traditions that formed the basis of an important biography of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. His father called Isaac and uncle called Moses, we can presume him to come from the Jewish faith. Christians generally do not use the names Isaac and Moses.

Works: Sīratu Rasūli l-Lāh ("Life of the Messenger of God"), earliest biography of the Prophet Muhammed. Original has been lost. Edited version preserved by ibn Hisham. Al-Bakka'i's work has perished which contained extracts of the biography. Ibn Isḥaq wrote several works. His major work is al-Mubtadaʾ wa al-Baʿth wa al-Maghāzī -- the Kitab al-Mubtada and Kitab al-Mab'ath both survive in part, particularly al-Mab'ath, in ibn Hisham and al-Mubtada otherwise in substantial fragments. He is also credited with the lost works Kitāb al-kh̲ulafāʾ, which al-Umawwī related to him (Fihrist, 92; Udabāʾ, VI, 401) and a book of Sunan (Ḥād̲j̲d̲j̲ī Ḵh̲alīfa, II, 1008). (source: )

9th Century

Ali ibn Rabban al-Tabari

Ali ibn Rabban al-Tabari, author of a work on medicine; as his name implies, the son of a rabbi, which fact, however, did not prevent him from conversion to Islam.

Sind ibn 'Ali al-Yahudi, court astrologer of the calif Al-Ma'mun.

11th Century

Ibn Ḥazm, author of the "Kitab al-Milal wal-NiḦal," went over into Islam from Judaism.

12th Century

Maimonides - The Rambam

Moshe ben Maimon (Hebrew: משה בן-מימון‎), or Mūsā ibn Maymūn (Arabic: موسى بن ميمون‎), acronymed RaMBaM (Hebrew: רמב"ם‎ – for "Rabbeinu Moshe Ben Maimon", "Our Rabbi/Teacher Moses Son of Maimon"), and Latinized Moses Maimonides (/maɪˈmɒnɪdiːz/[5] my-MON-i-deez), was a preeminent medieval Sephardic Jewish philosopher, astronomer[6] and one of the most prolific and influential Torah scholars and physicians[7][8][9] of the Middle Ages. He was born in Córdoba (present-day Spain), Almoravid Empire on Passover Eve, 1135 or 1138,[10][11][12][13] and died in Egypt on December 12, 1204, whence his body was taken to the lower Galilee and buried in Tiberias.[14][15] He was a rabbi, physician, and philosopher in Morocco and Egypt. Debate ensues whether he was forcibly converted into Islam or not. (source:

Nathaniel Abu al-Barakat Hibat Allah ibn 'Ali

Nathaniel Abu al-Barakat Hibat Allah ibn 'Ali of Bagdad, physician, philosopher, and philologist. Among his many admirers was Isaac, the son of Abraham ibn Ezra, who dedicated to him, in 1143, a poem expressing the wish that he might live to see the Messianic redemption in the risen Jerusalem. Both Isaac ibn Ezra and Hibat Allah, his wealthy benefactor, became Moslems twenty years later.

14th Century

Samuel of Morocco

Abu Naṣr Samuel ibn Judah ibn Abbas (Samuel of Morocco), the rabbi and liturgical poet of Fez, author of the "IfḦam al-Yahud." Samuel makes the curious statement ("Monatsschrift," xlii. 260) that most of the Karaites had gone over to Islam because their system is free from all the absurdities of the Rabbinites, and their theology not so different from that of the Mohammedans.

Samuel ibn Abbas, denouncing their ancestral religion while pleading for the Islamic faith, are mentioned: 'Abdal-Ḥaḳḳ al-Islami, in Mauritania, in the fourteenth century, who published a work proving the validity of Mohammed's prophecy from passages of the Bible which he quotes in the Hebrew language (Steinschneider, "Polem. Lit." p. 125); Abu Zakkariyah YaḦya ibn Ibrahim b. Omar al-Rakili, who wrote, about 1405, "Tayit al-Millah," a work against the Jews, wherein passages from the Pentateuch, the Prophets, the Psalms, and the Koran are quoted (ib. pp. 34, 83).

17th Century

Shabbethai Ẓevi

Shabbethai Ẓevi; Nehemiah Cohen; Guidon, the sultan's physician; Daniel Israel Bonafoux, and finally Berakyah, son of Jacob Ẓebi Querido, regarded as successor of Shabbethai Ẓebi, who with his hundreds of followers founded a Jewish-Turkish sect still existing under the name of Donmeh.

Recent Times

Margaret Marcus

The following from, Former Rabbis, Second Wives and Charismatic Kabbalists: Jews Who Convert to Islam: (

A more modern case of a convert from Judaism to Islam was Maryam Jameelah, who passed away in 2012. She was born Margaret Marcus in New Rochelle, New York to a non-observant Jewish family. She decried that lack of dedication of her fellow Reform Jews to rituals, and described how a shouting match would ensue whenever her mother wanted to take her sister to Sunday School to learn about Judaism. She criticized the fact that other children brought comic books to a bar mitzvah and that the children seemed to be given a free reign.

Whenever Margaret was introduced to Judaism or Zionism, she immediately was drawn to other side. Any discussion of Jewish practice led her to want to explore the Islamic views on God. She equated Palestinian suffering with images of Jews murdered during the Holocaust. She joined a Zionist youth group, but found the ideology narrow and nationalistic. Margaret told her family of her desire to convert to Islam years before she did, but they discouraged her. Margaret suffered from nervous exhaustion and was institutionalized on several occasions.

She took a course at NYU taught by Rabbi Abraham Katsch on Judaism’s influence on Islam. As a result, she became more attracted to Islam than Judaism, which seemed contrary to the aim of the course. Margaret dropped out of college and had another mental breakdown. This time, she was confined to a hospital and diagnosed with schizophrenia. A few years later, in 1962, Margaret converted to Islam, took the name of Maryam Jameelah, became the second wife of Muslim leader Mawlana Madudi, and bore him four children. She moved to Pakistan and became a prolific writer and defender of right-wing Islam as well as a vocal critic of Western culture and values.

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