Dihyah al-Kalbi

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Dihyah bin Khalifah al-Kalbi (Arabic: دِحْيَة ٱبْن خَلِيفَة ٱلْكَلْبِيّ‎, Diḥyah al-Kalbīy), sometimes spelled Dahyah, 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 Umm Salama:

A hadith attributed to Abu 'Uthman reports:[2]

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

A hadith attributed to Abu 'Uthman reports:[3]

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.")

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

Expedition of Zaid ibn Harithah (Hisma)[edit]

He was attacked during the Expedition of Zayd ibn Harithah (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 Harithah 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" Archived 2011-08-23 at the Wayback Machine, Sahih al-Bukhari, Retrieved on 2009-4-11.
  3. ^ USC "Religious Texts" Archived 2008-12-05 at the Wayback Machine, 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)