A word on Tubba’
Fatwa No: 322642

Question

Asalaamu alaykum Shaykh. I want to know about a person whose name I read on your website named Tubba’? However, I did not get much info about him! Please do not refer me to other fatwas. Who was Tubba’? Was his name is mentioned in the Quran or the Sunnah? Was he a prophet or pious man? What time did hel live in? What nation was he sent to? Is there any narration about him?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger. 

Tubba’ is not the name of a certain individual; it is the royal title of the kings of Himyar in Yemen. Ibn Katheer  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said, “The people of Himyar, who are also known as Saba' (Sheba), used to call their king Tubba’...

He was mentioned in in the Quran in Soorah Ad-Dukhaan (chapter 44): Allaah, The Exalted, says (what means): {Are they better or the people of Tubba’ and those before them? We destroyed them, (for) indeed, they were criminals.} [Quran 44:37]

He was also mentioned in Soorah Qaaf (chapter 50): Allaah, The Exalted, says (what means): {The people of Nooh (Noah) denied before them, and the companions of the well and Thamood, and ʻAad and Pharaoh and the brothers of Loot, and the companions of the thicket and the people of Tubbaʻ. All denied the messengers, so My threat was justly fulfilled.} [Quran 50:12-14]

Al-Haafith Ibn Katheer  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him concluded that Tubba’ here referred to Tubba’ Al-Awsat (Middle Tubba’), whose name was Asʻad Abu Kurayb. This King ruled for 326 years (before the advent of the Prophet of Allaah, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam). Among the Himyarite Kings, he ruled the longest. During his rule, he went on a conquest campaign, invading many regions and annexing them to his domain ... During his conquests, he passed by Madeenah and fought its people and then made peace with them and left with them a scroll containing a poem saying that he believes in the Prophet who would come and migrate to Madeenah. The scroll was inherited by the inhabitants of Madeenah until it reached Abu Ayyoob Al-Ansaari  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him in whose house the Prophet, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, stayed when he migrated to Madeenah. This Tubba’ was the first to put a cover over the Kaʻbah. When he returned to his people, he invited them to believe in Allaah and adhere to the true faith, and so they did. However, after his death, they went astray and reverted to idolatry and fire-worship. This brought down the Divine wrath on them, the details of which are available in Soorah Saba' (Chapter 34).

Please, refer to fatwa 85279, in which we have underlined that it cannot be verified and established that Tubba’ was a prophet because Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, did not state that he was a prophet. He, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, said, “I do not know whether Tubba’ was a Prophet of Allaah...

Allaah knows best.

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