Is the Hadith of the Indian King Who Saw the Moon Split and Travelled to Madina to Accept Islam?

Answered by Mawlana Ilyas Patel


I read a hadith narrated via Abu Sa’id Al Khudri (Allah be pleased with him) that an Indian king presented a jar containing ginger to the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). Is it authentic? Many say this is the Kerala king who saw the moon split in his palace in India and traveled to Madina to accept Islam.


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

Hadith of Abu Sa’id al-Khudri (Allah be pleased with him)

It has been narrated by Abu Sa’id al-Khudri (Allah be pleased with him), who mentions, “A king from India presented the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) with a jar which had ginger in it. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) distributed it among his companions piece by piece. I also received a piece to eat.” [Hakim, al-Mustadrak ‘ala al-Sahihayn]

Seeing the Split of the Moon from the Palace

As for the story of seeing the split moon, it may have been proven. It has been recorded in a manuscript on the History of India, which is in the library of the India Department London Office with reference number: Arabic 2807, 152 to 173, and was quoted by Professor Hamidullah in his book Muhammad Rasulullah: A Concise Survey of the Life and Work of the Founder of Islam (1979)

Traveling to Madina to Accept Islam

As for the hadith about the King traveling to Madina and accepting Islam and gifting ginger, this is a disclaimed report (munkar) hadith, as mentioned by Razi and Abu Zur’a, as the same chain of this hadith narrated by Tabarani mentions it was the King of Rome who gifted a jar of ginger, not the King of India. Thus, this hadith has been classified as a disclaimed report (munkar). A disclaimed report (munkar) is a report that comes only from an individual who is neither skillful nor well-known for memorization. [Zandani, Proofs of the Prophets and His Miracles]

Despite being a disclaimed report, we believe what is mentioned in the above hadith. As for seeing the splitting of the moon from his palace and traveling to Madina, there is a possibility of it.

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I pray this helps with your question.

[Mawlana] Ilyas Patel
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Mawlana Ilyas Patel is a traditionally-trained scholar who has studied within UK, India, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan and Turkey.

He started his early education in UK. He went onto complete hifz of Qur’an in India, then enrolled into an Islamic seminary in UK where he studied the secular and Alimiyyah sciences. He then travelled to Karachi, Pakistan.

He has been an Imam in Rep of Ireland for a number of years. He has taught hifz of the Qur’an, Tajwid, Fiqh and many other Islamic sciences to both children and adults onsite and online extensively in UK and Ireland. He was teaching at a local Islamic seminary for 12 years in the UK where he was a librarian and a teacher of Islamic sciences.

He currently resides in UK with his wife. His personal interest is love of books and gardening.