In the ninth year of the Hijrah, an Arab king made the first positive move to Islam after years of feeling hatred for it. He drew closer to faith (iman) after opposing and combating it. And he finally pledged allegiance to the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) after his adamant refusal to do so.
He was Adiyy, son of the famous Hatim at-Taai who was known far and wide for his chivalry and fabulous generosity. Adiyy inherited the domain of his father and was confirmed in the position by the Tayy people. Part of his strength lay in the fact that a quarter of any amount they obtained as booty from raiding expeditions had to be given to him.
When the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) announced openly his call to guidance and truth and Arabs from one region after another accepted his teachings, Adiyy saw in his mission a threat to his position and leadership. Although he did not know the Prophet personally, and had never seen him, he developed a strong feeling of enmity towards him. He remained antagonistic to Islam for close upon twenty years until at last God opened his heart to the religion of truth and guidance.