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Once Su'dah bintu Tha'labah went to visit her family, Bani Ma'in, and she was accompanied by her son Zaid bin Haritha Al-Ka'bi. On her way to her ancestral home, their caravan was raided by horsemen of the Qayn tribe. They looted the travelers and took the children as prisoners. Zaid too was among those taken as prisoners. Zaid was then a young boy who was about eight years old. They brought him to the market of Okaz - a market that the Arabs used to patronize during the sacred months for  selling and buying, and they presented him for sale. Then, a rich chief of Quraysh, Hakeem bin Hizam bin Khuwaylid bought him for 400 Dirhams. Hakeem’s aunt Khadijah bin Khuwaylid came to visit him and was offered a slave as a gift. When he knew his aunt, Khadija Bint Khuwaylid knew of his returning, she visited him to welcome him. He said to her: O aunt, I have come from the market of Okaz with a group of boys, choose whichever one you want, he is a gift for you. So, Khadijah looked at the boys, and chosed Zayd bin Harithah, due to the signs of his intelligence, and brightness that she perceived, and she went away with him.

After a short period, Khadijah got married to prophet Muhammad ibn Abdullah(peace be upon him), and she wanted to offer him a gift, but she did not find anything better than her young boy, Zayd bin Harithah, and she offered him Zayd as a gift. While this lucky boy lives in the care of prophet Mohammed(peace be upon him) and enjoys the beautiful characters and qualities of the Prophet(peace be upon him), his mother was stricken with a great grief and his father was restless in searching for him.

During the season of pilgrimage, a group of Zayd's people came to the sacred House(Ka’abah), and suddenly while they were performing circumambulation round the sacred House,  they saw Zayd. When they returned home, they reported the matter to his parents. Harithah and his brother Ka’ab immediately set out for Makkah and arrived at the house of the holy Prophet(peace be upon him). But by then, Zaid had become so attached to the Prophet that he wouldn't want separation at any cost. And they said to the prophet(peace be upon him), "O son of Abd al-Muttalib, you are the neighbors of Allah. We came to you because of our son who is with you, and we have taken along for you plenty money to replace him. So, release him to us.

The Prophet(peace be upon him) told the guests to ask Zaid by themselves to go with them. If he agreed to go, he is for them. But if he wants to stay with him (the Prophet), he would not force him to go. At this, the Prophet(peace be upon him) called Zaid and asked him to identify his father and uncle, and he(Zayd) recognized them. Then, the prophet(peace be upon him) said to him, if you want to go with them, you are free to go. Zayd replied I am here to stay with you.  At this moment, Harithah said: Zaid, you prefer slavery over freedom. How painful is your decision, and Zayd replied to his father, you don’t know Muhammad(peace be upon him). I have found in him a man whose like cannot be found. His love, affection and character are simply matchless.

When Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) found Zaid to be expressing his love for him in these words, he took him to the Haram and declared before the Quraish chiefs: [O, the people of Quraish, be witness, Zaid is now my son. He will succeed me.]

Harithah and his uncle, Ka’ab were extremely pleased at the happy turn of events, and they left Zayd with the prophet(peace be upon him), and returned to their people. Since that day onwards, Zaid bin Harithah became Zaid bin Mohammed, until Islam abolished the adoption of children and ordered the sons to be attributed to their biological fathers rather than adoptive ones. The Almighty says:

{ادْعُوهُمْ لِآبَائِهِمْ}.

{Call them by (the names of) their Fathers} (Qur'an33:5).

Zaid did not know whose company he had been blessed with. He realized this only after prophet Muhammad(peace be upon him) became the Prophet. Zaid was the first to join the fold of Islam among the men.

Just as Zayd liked the Prophet(peace be upon him) and gave precedence to him over his mother and father, the Holy Prophet(peace be upon him) also loved him. He(peace be upon him) used to yearn for him when he  was not around and  rejoice for his coming back to him that nobody else received the like from the prophet(peace be upon him). 

Aishah, the prophet's wife said: "Zaid bin Haritha reahed Madinah, and the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was in my house, he knocked the door, and the Apostle(peace be upon him)  went to him half naked, except what covered that which is  between his  navel and his knee. He(peace be upon him) went to the door dragging his cloth,  he hugged him and kissed him. I(Aishah) did not see the prophet(peace be upon him) naked before and after this event". (See Jaami'u Al-Usool: 10/25).

The love of the prophet(peace be upon him) for Zayd became known among the Muslims(companions), and they started to call him Zayd al-Hubb(the loved Zayd), and titled him with "Hibb" which means the beloved, and then named his son, Usamah after him by "the beloved of prophet", and the son of his beloved(peace be upon him).

In the 8th Hijri year, the Prophet(peace be upon him) dispatched Zayd bin Haritha on a military mission to Mu'tah, following the killing of Harith bin Umayr who was taking a personal letter from the holy Prophet(peace be upon him) to the king of Busrah. The Prophet(peace be upon him) appointed Zayd bin Harithah as the commander of the Islamic forces. He(peace be upon him) told the contingent to appoint Ja'far bin Abi Talib if Zayd was martyred. And if Ja'far became a martyr, Abdullah bin Rawahah was to be appointed in his place. And if Abdullah too fell to sword in the battleground, the contingent should then choose anyone among them.

The two forces gathered at a place called ‘Maan’. When the encounter began, Muslims fought valiantly. The three persons were martyred one after the other. Following this, Khalid bin Waleed was appointed the commander. When the Prophet(peace be upon him) knew about the war of Mu'tah and heard about the three commanders, he was very much in grief. He personally went to Zayd bin Haritha’s house and sympathized with them for his death. 

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