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Mohammed lived in Saudia Arabia, mainly in Mecca and (later) Medina. He lived from 570-632CE.

According to this wikipedia article there were Jews in Saudia Arabia at that time:

The first mention of Jews in the areas of modern-day Saudi Arabia dates back, by some accounts, to the time of the First Temple. Immigration to the Arabian Peninsula began in earnest in the 2nd century CE, and by the 6th and 7th centuries there was a considerable Jewish population in Hejaz, mostly in and around Medina... This would be placed around the times of the Savoraim or early Geonim.

Is there mention in Islamic literature of any actual encounters between famous Jewish leaders/scholars and Mohammed?

  • I have read accounts of his contact with Jewish scholars when he was a teenager. The accounts say that some Jewish scholars had recognized the signs of End Time Prophet in him, but once they learned that, as in the case of Jesus, his message was universal (not in line with the Jewish Pharisaic "chosenness" monopoly), most of them turned against him, and even provoked and united with pagans against the Prophet. I will hopefully write an answer with quoting the references when I get a free time. – infatuated Oct 29 '14 at 13:44
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As far as I know, there is one hadith which talks about your question, but I guess the name of the Jewish Scholar is not mentioned though.

It was an incident when Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had to judge between a couple who were the culprits of adultery, then Prophet (pbuh) called upon a scholar from the Jews to confirm what he is saying about the Torah is right or wrong.

Hadith # 4214 in this page of "The Book Pertaining to Punishments Prescribed by Islam (Kitab Al-Hudud)"

Al-Bara' b. 'Azib reported: There happened to pass by Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) a Jew blackened and lashed. Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) called them (the Jews) and said: Is this the punishment that you find in your Book (Torah) as a prescribed punishment for adultery? They said: Yes. He (the Holy Prophet) called one of the scholars amongst them and said: I ask you in the name of Allah Who sent down the Torah on Moses if that is the prescribed punishment for adultery that you find in your Book. He said: No. Had you not asked me in the name of Allah, I would not have given you this information. We find stoning to death (as punishment prescribed in the Torah). But this (crime) became quite common amongst our aristocratic class. So when we caught hold of any rich person (indulging in this offence) we spared him, but when we caught hold of a helpless person we imposed the prescribed punishment upon him. We then said: Let us argree (on a punishment) which we can inflict both upon the rich and the poor. So We decided to blacken the face.............

May the creator guide us all.

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