The man who made first public pronouncement declaring Islam and challenging the arrogance of the Quraish, which reached their ears.
Cheerfully and happily did he return toward Makkah. Indeed, the difficulty of his journey and the hard, burning desert sand made him suffer pain. However, the goal he was striving to reach made him forget his pain and filled his soul with joy and delight.
He entered Makkah disguised as one of those who came to circumambulate the great idols of the Sacred House of hte Ka’bah or as a passer-by who had lost his way or who had traveled far and sought provision and shelter.
If the inhabitants of Makkah knew that he had come to search for Muhammad(SAW) and to listen to him, they would cut him into pieces. He did not fear being cut up piece by piece, but not before meeting the person he had crossed the hot burning deserts to see and for whose sake afterwards he was willing to risk his life because he believed in him and was convinced of his honesty and the truth of his message.
He went about secretly gathering information and whenever he heard someone speaking about Muhammad(SAW), he carefully approached him until he was finally able to compile all the scattered pieces of information which he had heard here and there. Finally, he was guided to the place where he was able to see Muhammad(SAW).
One morning he went there and found the Prophet(SAW) sitting alone. He approached him and said, “O, my Arab brother, good morning.” Thereupon the Prophet replied, “Any may peace be upon you, my brother.” Abu Dhar then said, “Sing to me some of what you are saying, “The Prophet(SAW) answered, “It isn’t a poem to be sung, but a Holy Qur’an.” Abu Dhar said, “Then recite for me.”
The Prophet(SAW) recited to him while he listened. It was not long until Abu Dhar shouted, “I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is His Prophet (SAW) and Messenger.” The Prophet (SAW) asked him, “Where are you from, my Arab brother?” Abu Dhar answered, “From Ghifaar.” A broad smile appeared on the Prophet’s lips(SAW) and his face was filled with wonder and astonishment.
Narrating the story himself, Abu Dhar said: The Prophet(SAW) lifted his eyes out of astonishment, due to Ghifaar’s reputation. Then he said, “Allah guides whom He wills.” Indeed, Allah guides whom He wills.
Abu Dhar (May Allah be pleased with him) was one of those whom Allah wanted to be rightly guided and for whom He wanted the best. His insight was always directed towards truth.
Immediately, without hesitation, he embraced Islam. His order among the converts was fifth or sixth, which means that he converted during the first days, if not the first hours, of Islam. His conversion was indeed very early.
When he embraced Islam the Prophet (SAW) was till secretly whispering the call to Islam to himself and to the five who believed in him. Abu Dhar could not do anything except carry his faith within his heart, secretly leaving Makkah and returning to his people.
Immediately after embracing Islam, he turned to the Prophet (SAW) with the following question: “O’ Messenger of Allah, what is it that you order me?” The Prophet (SAW) replied, “Go back to your kin until my order reaches you.” Abu Dhar said, “In the name of the One, Who owns my soul between His hands, I am not going back until I cry out loudly declaring Islam within the mosque!”
Hereupon, he entered the Sacred House and cried out as loud as he could, “I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad(SAW) is his Messenger!”
As far as we know, it was the first public pronouncement declaring Islam and challenging the arrogance of the Quraish, which reached their ears. It was cried out by a stranger, who did not have any relatives, reputation, or protection in Makkah.
He acted out of his own dedication and courage even though he knew what was going to happen. He was surrounded by the polytheists, who hit him till he fell down.
Having tasted the sweetness of being hurt in the cause of Allah, Abu Dhar did not want to leave Makkah without being given more.
The Prophet(SAW) realized the nature of his new disciple and his amazing ability to encounter falsehood. However, the time for public declaration of the message had not yet come, so again he ordered Abu Dhar to go back to his kin and whenever he heard announcement of the new religion, he would play his role.
Abu Dhar returned to his kin and tribe, telling them about the Prophet (SAW) who called people to worship only Allah and who guided them to noble manners. His people embraced Islam one by one.
Time passed and the Propeht (SAW) emigrated to Al-Madiinah and there, together with Muslims, he settled down.
Abu Dhar, this magnificent propogator of Islam who was obstinate, unyielding and difficult to be defeated: was the Prophet (SAW) not going to salute him with a special greeting?
Generations and centuries will pass away, but the Prophet’s opinion about Abu Dhar will always stay alive in people’s memory: “The earth never carried above it, nor did the sky ever shade under it a more truthful tongue than Abu Dhar’s”.
Bold and daring truthfulness was the essence of Abu Dhar’s whole life. Truthfulness of his inner soul as well as his appearance.
Truthfulness of his faith as well as his tongue. All his life he was truthful. Neither deceiving himself or anyone else, nor allowing anyone to deceive him.
His truthfulness was not mute merit. According to Abu Dhar, truthfulness is never silent. Truthfulness is equivalent to openness and publicity, publicity of truth and challenge to falsehood, support of right and refutation of wrong. Truthfulness is a reasonable ally to truth and a courageous expression of it; both quicken their pace.
He was a man who was not interested in any worldly gain; thus he was blessed with insight by Allah. He realized again the tremendous danger involved in armed civil strife; therefore, he abstained from it. But he also realized the tremendous danger involved in silence; therefore, he abstained from it. That is why he raised his voice, not his sword, and raised the word of truth and sincerity.
He was not tempted by greedy desires nor hindered by wordly obstacles.
Abu Dhar kept himself busy with and devoted himself to sincere, honest opposition.
He spent his whole life focusing on the faults of power and the faults of money. Thus power and money possessed the temptation. Abu Dhar was afraid his brethren would fall into their traps – his same brethren who had carried the standard of Islam with the Prophet (SAW) and whom he wanted to remain the carriers of the Prophet’s (SAW) message.
Twenty years or more had passed since then. Abu Dhar died alone in the desert of Ar-Rabadhah, having walked on a path on one else had passed over so gloriously.
He is also remembered alone by history for his brave resistance and his great asceticism. Allah will also resurrect him alone, because the multitude of his various merits will not enable anyone else to find a place near him.