Hazrat Abu Zar Ghafari (R.A) belonged to the Banu Ghafari, the Kinanah tribe. Some three years before the Prophetic call, Hazrat Abu Zar Ghafari (R.A) was in the habit of offering prayers to God, prostrating before him in the direction God desired him to. According to his own wisdom and reason, to satisfy his heart, he praised God in the best manners he could.
He heard the news that a person in Makkah had claimed himself as the Prophet of Allah (S.W.T). He sent his brother Unayy to Makkah to meet this man. After a few days Unayy came back to Hazrat Abu Zar (R.A), who enquired about his findings. Unayy replied, “I saw a person who enjoins virtues and forbids bad practices. He claims to guide people, stating God sent him as His Messenger, and he directs to observe and adopt the high ethics and morality.
Hazrat Abu Zar Ghafari (R.A) asked his brother to look after his family and the household for he desired to meet this person himself.
Hazrat Abu Zar (R.A) says, “I kept my food in a box and left for Makkah. I reached the city on foot and I knew nobody there. I went directly to Haram and I was not in recognition of the man who had announced his Prophethood and in whose fondness I had travelled. I waited till the night prevailed. Hazrat Ali (R.A) saw me and he recognised I was a stranger. He signalled me to follow him. He didn’t speak to me nor I spoke to him. I passed the night in his house and the following morning came to the Haram. Few days and nights passed in this way, each day Hazrat Ali (R.A) would take me home.
After few days Hazrat Ali (R.A) asked “What brought you here?” I asked him to first firmly promise with me that he would not open my secret to anybody. He promised and then I disclosed the purpose of my visit. After listening to me, he (R.A) said, “Above doubt, he is the truthful Prophet of Allah (S.W.T), I will lead you to him in the morning.” The following morning, he (R.A) requested me to follow him and we reached the house of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W).
I appeared before His illustrious Majesty and requested, “Ya Rasoolullah! (S.A.W) please illustrate Islam unto me.” Holy Prophet (S.A.W) informed me of the reality and truthfulness of Islam. His sweet sayings infused in my heart directly.”
The beloved Prophet (S.A.W) gave two special advices to his newly converted disciple: Firstly, in the way of Allah (S.W.T), he would be indifferent to the reproaches of the people. Secondly, he would always speak the truth, no matter how much bitter it would be.