I see sometimes his story is used as evidence. but as I know he is only mentioned in one book Tabari and the narrator of this story who Tabari said his name in his book is not known as a reliable source.

Can some one mention some authentic evidences he was a real human and existed in history?

also Tabari has said in his book Iwrote everything transmitted to

1 Answer 1


Abdullah Bin Saba' Al-Yahudi is not only mentioned in Sunni sources but also in popular Shi'ite references from Shi'a scholars:

Al-Maamqaani from his work Tanqih al-Maqaal Fi Ilm al-Rijaal (2/183-184):

عبد الله بن سبأ الذي رجع إلى الكفر وأظهر الغلو ... غال ملعون، حرقه أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام بالنار، وكان يزعم أن علياً إله، وأنه نبي

Abdullah bin Saba' who returned to kufr (disbelief) and manifested ghuluww (exaggeration)... Exaggerator, cursed one, Amir al-Mu'mineen burned him with the fire, and he used to claim that Alee is a deity and that he (Abdullah bin Saba') is a prophet.

From Sa'd bin Abdullah al-Ash'ari al-Qummi who was speaking of the Sab'iyyah (in al-Maqaalaat wal-Firaq p. 20):

السبئية أصحاب عبد الله بن سبأ، وهو عبد الله بن وهب الراسبي الهمداني، وساعده على ذلك عبد الله بن خرسي وابن اسود وهما من أجل أصحابه، وكان أول من أظهر الطعن على أبي بكر وعمر وعثمان والصحابة وتبرأ منهم

Al-Sab'iyyah are the associates of Abdullah bin Saba' and he is Abdullah bin Wahb al-Raasibee al-Hamdaanee, and he was supported in that by Abullah bin Khurasee and Ibn Aswad and they are the loftiest of his companions, and the first of what he manifested was revilement upon Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthmaan and the Companions and he freed himself from them.

From Ibn Abi al-Hadeed, another famous Shi'a scholar from his work Sharh Nahj al-Balaaghah (5/5):

أن عبد الله بن سبأ قام إلى علي وهو يخطب فقال له: أنت أنت، وجعل يكررها، فقال له - علي - ويلك من أنا، فقال: أنت الله، فأمر بأخذه وأخذ قوم كانوا معه على رأيه

Abdullah bin Saba' stood addressing Ali saying, "You, You" and he began repeating it, so Ali said to him, "Woe be to you, and who am I?" He said, "You are Allaah." So he ordered that he be captured and a group of people with him upon his view."

Ni'matullah al-Jazaa'iree, another of Shi'ite famous scholars from his book al-Anwaar al-Nu'maaniyyah (2/234):

قال عبد الله بن سبأ لعلي عليه السلام: أنت الإله حقاً، فنفاه علي عليه السلام إلى المدائن، وقيل أنه كان يهودياً فأسلم، وكان في اليهودية يقول في يوشع بن نون وفي موسى مثل ما قال في علي

Abdullah bin Saba' said to Ali (alayhis salaam), "You are the deity in truth." So Ali (alayhis salaam) banished him to al-Madaa'in, and it is said that he was a Jew who accepted Islam and whilst upon his Judaism he used to say about Joshua bin Noon and about Moses the likes of what he said about Ali.

The name of Abdullah bin Saba figures in the most reliable book of Shia on Isma ur-Rijal, entitled Rijal-i-Kashshi and it is related in it from Imam Jafar Sadiq (may Allah have mercy on him) that Ibn Saba believed in the divinity of Hadhrat Ali (may Allah be pleased with him), and, ultimately, he was burnt alive at his command. About Abdullah bin Saba, Rijal-e-Kashshi says,

“Many knowledgeable people have stated that Abdullah bin Saba was a Jew who had accepted Islam and showed great devotion for Hadhrat Ali (may Allah be pleased with him). As a Jew, he used to exaggerated the personality of Joshua, the son of Nun, and the Wasi of Moses. After becoming a Muslim he began to exalt the personality of Hadhrat Ali much beyond the due limit, and he was the first person to declare that it was obligatory to believe in the Imamate of Hadhrat Ali, and completely dissociated himself from his enemies and he openly opposed them and denounced them as infidels”.

[Rijal-i-Kashi, page.71].

Famous Shia scholar Nau Bakhti writes,

“It is known as the Sabai sect because Abdullah bin Saba was its ring leader. “

[Khandan-i-Nau-Bakhti, page 275]

Muhammad Ali al-Mual'lim, a present day Shi'ite also affirmed the existence of Abdullah bin Saba' in his book "Abdullah bin Saba: The Unknown reality" This book was a refutation of those who denied the existence of Abdullah bin Saba' giving the excuse of "false narrations".

Sunni source other than Tabari

Hafiz ibn Hajr (may Allah have mercy on him) has related on the authority of Tarikh Abi Asakir,

“He belonged to Yemen. He was a Jew, but he had donned the guise of Islam and roamed through the Muslim cities to lead the Muslims astray and dissuade them from the obedience of their Imams and to sow dissension among them. He also visited Damascus with this end in view”.

[Tarikh Damishq, 7:430]

Plus, there is several mention of his name in fataawa of contemporary sunni scholars as well.

You can read more references like these from below links:

Existence and Reality of Abdullah Bin Saba'

References of Al-Naubakhti and Al-Qummee

More Shi'ite sources

Is Abdullah ibn Saba' a Myth?

  • 2
    collecting the cases of his name in books without notice to authenticity of hadith or mention is not a proof for his existence. question is for proof and reasoning to prove if he existed or not. Sep 9, 2012 at 16:27
  • 6
    @Ahmadi I am not going to get into the authenticity wars with you because I could claim the same for your answer. Atleast I mentioned the name of the books where it is mentioned unlike you. You posted your answer. I posted mine. Just move on.
    – Abdullah
    Sep 9, 2012 at 17:40
  • @BattleofKarbala Mate, how can we argue in terms of authenticity with you? What we consider authentic is most of the times considered as inauthentic by you and vice versa.
    – user44632
    Feb 4, 2022 at 13:02

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