Dihyah Kalbi

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For the 13th-century Moorish Islamic scholar, see Ibn Dihya al-Kalby.
Traditional burial place of Dihyah Kalbi (Wahi al-Kalbi) in Ed Dahi, Israel

Dihyah (or Dahyah) Wahi al-Kalbi (Arabic: دحية الكلبى‎‎, Dihyat ul-Kalbi) was the envoy who delivered the Muslim prophet Muhammad's message to the Roman Emperor Heraclius.[1]

According to Muhammad's wife Aisha, he saw Jibril twice “in the form that he was created” and on other occasions as a man resembling Dihyah ibn Khalifah al-Kalbi, an extraordinarily handsome disciple of Muhammad.

Two similar narrations have been recorded through Abu Uthman in Sahih al-Bukhari that reports an incident witnessed by Muhammad's wife Um Salama:

A narration attributed to Abu 'Uthman reports:

I was informed that Gabriel came to the Prophet (S.A.W.) while Um Salama was with him. Gabriel started talking (to the Prophet). Then the Prophet asked Um Salama, "Who is this?" She replied, "He is Dihya (al-Kalbi)." When Gabriel had left, Um Salama said, "By Allah, I did not take him for anybody other than him (i.e. Dihya) till I heard the sermon of the Prophet wherein he informed about the news of Gabriel." The subnarrator asked Abu 'Uthman: From whom have you heard that? Abu 'Uthman said: From Usama bin Zaid [2]

A narration attributed to Abu 'Uthman reports:

I got the news that Gabriel came to the Prophet while Um Salama was present. Gabriel started talking to the Prophet and then left. The Prophet said to Um Salama, "(Do you know) who it was?" (or a similar question). She said, "It was Dihya (a handsome person amongst the companions of the Prophet )." Later on Um Salama said, "By Allah! I thought he was none but Dihya, till I heard the Prophet talking about Gabriel in his sermon." (The Sub-narrator asked Abu 'Uthman, "From where have you heard this narration?" He replied, "From Usama bin Zaid.") [3]

Kalbi was the paternal ancestor of Medieval Moorish scholar Ibn Dihya al-Kalby.

Becoming Muslim[edit]

Dihyat ul-Kalbi was the leader of a big clan. God accepted the prayer of the Prophet. They told him Dihya al-Kalbi was coming. The Prophet was happy. The companions were not that happy because he was a person who did a lot of evil in the past. But the Prophet did not want the companions to say something negative or act in an offensive manner when he came. The Prophet immediately welcomed him upon his arrival. He laid the sacred robe he was wearing and asked him to sit there. That holy one took the jubba off the ground, put it on his head, and kissed it. He said, “No, I cannot sit on it. If you like, you can cut my head off here, you can beat me, or you can curse at me. I deserve it.” The Prophet asked, “Why do you say this?” He replied, “When I was king, I killed 70 of my girls with my own hands. I did not want anybody to be my son-in-law due to my arrogance and killed my girls. Is this excusable?” So the Prophet looked and revelation came to him. In the revelation, Allah says: “I forgive these 60 years of unbelief, 60 years of tyranny, with one ‘La Ilaha Illallah Muhammadun Rasulullah’. I forgive these 70 too.”

Expedition of Zaid ibn Haritha (Hisma)[edit]

He was attacked during the Expedition of Zaid ibn Haritha (Hisma) Dihya approached the Banu Dubayb (a tribe which converted to Islam and had good relations with Muslims) for help. When the news reached Muhammad, he immediately dispatched Zayd ibn Haritha with 500 men to punish them. The Muslim army fought with Banu Judham, killed several of them (inflicting heavy casualties), including their chief, Al-Hunayd ibn Arid and his son, and captured 1000 camels, 5000 of their cattle and a 100 women and boys. The chief of the Banu Judham who had embraced Islam appealed to Muhammad to release his fellow tribesmean, and Muhammad released them.[4][5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Chapter 42: The Events of the Seventh Year of Migration
  2. ^ USC "Religious Texts", Sahih al-Bukhari, Retrieved on 2009-4-11.
  3. ^ USC "Religious Texts", Sahih al-Bukhari, Retrieved on 2009-4-11.
  4. ^ Mubarakpuri, Saifur Rahman Al (2005), The Sealed Nectar, Darussalam Publications, p. 226  (online)
  5. ^ Watt, W. Montgomery (1956). Muhammad at Medina. Oxford University Press. p. 108. ISBN 978-0-19-577307-1. Dihyah b. Khalifah al-Kalbi, who had gone to Syria on an errand for Muhammad, was returning to Medina with gifts, when he was robbed by a man of Judham called al-Hunayd. Another clan of Judham, however, or some men from anothertribe, forced al-Hunayd to give the things back. Meanwhile a leader of Judham, Rifa'ah b. Zayd, had been in Medina, had brought back to the tribe Muhammad's terms for an alliance, and the tribe had accepted. Muhammad had not been informed of this decision, however, and sent out Zayd b. Harithah to avenge the insult to his messenger. There was a skirmish in which the Muslims killed al-Hunayd and captured a number of women and animals.  (free online)