The Prophet had non-Arab Companions which converted to Islam. As they were non-Arab, their first religion wouldn't have been Arabian paganism, but something like Judaism or Christianity with the exception of Salman the Persian who was a Zoroastrian.

There were also Arab Jews and Christians in Madinah which became Muslim. Some of these people became part of the Sahaba so which Sahaba were Jews and Christians before they became Muslim?

  • Salman was AFAIK seeking the right faith, and was even a christian maybe right before he reverted to Islam!
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Jun 7, 2017 at 16:38
  • Maria(wife of prophet Muhammad), Necashi, Addas Commented Jun 7, 2017 at 16:57
  • Are you looking for names, or a full list? The later would be difficult, as there's no consent about some of them. Among the former Jews, you may find Ka'ab al-Ahbar....
    – Sassir
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 1:24
  • A full list of those that were full known to be a Jew or Christian before they converted to Islam? Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 1:28
  • You know that "list-question" are rather off-topic -> too broad, as I could come with 10 names, somebody else with 4 etc. We don't know all the sahaba to clearly say which one was a former jew or Christian!
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Jun 21, 2017 at 8:13

1 Answer 1


Among those sahaba i could find so far with the help of the list of sahaba provided by the Arabic wikipedia:

Former Jews

There are from the former Jews of bani Quraidhah/Qurayzah:

From the Jews of bani Qaynuqa'

  • ثعلبة بن سلام بن الحارث (the brother of Abullah ibn Salam).
  • Abdullah ibn Salam عبد الله بن سلام

Scholars of Tafsir say that among the first Jews of medina whom accepted Islam you 'll find: Tha'alaba ibn Qais ثعلبة بن قيس , Sallam the son of the sister of Abdullah ibn Salam سلام بن أخت عبد الله بن سلام and Salamh the son of his brother سلمة بن أخيه and Yameen ibn Yameen يامين بن يامين

From Khaybar:

  • Aslam the black sheperd أسلم الراعي الأسود (he died before even praying one single prayer, as he imediatly joined the jihad against the Jews of Khaybar after his conversion) he was an Abessinian so it is unclear whether he really was a Jew, maybe he was Christian ...???

Other former Jews:

  • Jabal ibn Jawwal a-Tha'alabi جبل بن جوال الثعلبي
  • Zaid ibn Sa'ana (?) زيد بن سعنة (A former rabi)

Also note that Umm al-Mu'mimneen Safiyah was a former Jew from Khaybar

Former Christains

Among the Christians I found:

  • Simawayh al-Balqaawi (?) سيمويه البلقاوي
  • 'Adi ibn Hatim at-Taa'iy عدي بن حاتم الطائي

Note that

  1. Salman al-Farisi سلمان الفارسي has checked different faiths before he started searching for Mohammad ()!
  2. Similarly it is disputed about the nature of faith Waraqah ibn Nawfal even if it is widely believed that he was Christian its also mentioned that he was among the first hanafis to believe in Muhammad.

Also note that the Prophet's concubine (at least this is the majority view) Maria al-Qibitya was a former Christian.

NOTE THIS LIST IS INCOMPLETE (also because we have differences in opinion on who's a sahabi or not about some names, but certainly because I've not even checked all names on the Wikipedia list)

  • 2
    Christian: waraqah bin nufail
    – user22565
    Commented Jul 1, 2017 at 14:01
  • @UmH so far I couldn't find any source saying that Zayd al-Khayr was Christian.. can you provide one?
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Dec 6, 2023 at 10:55

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