He was Abu Dharr Jundub ibn Junadah al-Ghifaaree. He was one of the early converts to Islam. He was probably the fifth Muslim from among the freeborn men.
During his early life, he achieved fame as a daring raider. The Ghifaar tribe to which he belonged lived in the Waddan Valley. The Makkan caravans, laden with their many goods and riches, had to pass through this valley, and Abu Dharr used to lead the youths of his tribe in raids on the trade caravans. The tribe members lived by what these caravans gave in return for protection. If they refused to pay the price, Abu Dharr with his company of youths would attack them and cause great damage to the trading caravan.
Abu Dharr, the Seeker of the Truth
With all this, Abu Dharr appears to have been a seeker of the truth from his early youth. He may well be classed together with those righteous men who prayed to the one God and were known before Islam as al-hunaffaa (plural of haneef).
When he heard about the description of the Prophet (pbuh) and his excellent character, he was greatly attracted by him. So he said to his brother, “Ride to this valley [of Makkah] and try to find out the truth of the person who claims he is a prophet who receives the news of heaven; listen to what he says and come back to me”
So his brother set off to Makkah, went to the Prophet (pbuh) and listened to what he said. Upon his return, he said, “I have seen him enjoining good conduct and saying something that is certainly not poetry.”
Abu Dharr was not satisfied, so he decided to go and see him in person. When he got there, he went straight to the Ka’bah, the House of Allah, which provided a shelter for those coming from faraway places for pilgrimage. He did not speak to anyone, nor did he pay attention to those around him.
Eventually, a young boy in his teens came by. He was Ali ibn Abee Talib who took him to his house. After three days, when he realized that he was looking for the Prophet (pbuh), Ali took him to where the Prophet (pbuh) was staying.
After the Prophet (pbuh) had explained to him the message of Islam and recited some of the verses of the Quran, Abu Dharr embraced Islam on the spot. Then he said to him, “Go back to your people and tell them about litl until you receive my order.” Abu Dharr said, “By Him in whose Hand my soul is, indeed I will proclaim my conversion among [the idolaters] loudly”
Abu Dharr then went to the Mosque and called out at the top of his voice, “I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah”
The people of Makkah fell upon him and beat him very hard. When Al-Abbas, the Prophets uncle, saw him in that state he rescued him and said to them, “Woe to you! Don’t you know that he belongs to the tribe of Ghifaar, and that your merchants’ road to Syria passes through their country?”
The next day Abu Dharr did the same thing, and they fell upon him and beat him, and again Al-Abbas came to his rescue.
Abu Dharr then went back home and, within a short time, converted all the other members of the tribe of Ghifaar to Isam. Later, after the Prophet’s hijrah to Madinah, Abu Dharr also migrated there. He reached Madinah after the Battle of the Trench. He died in Rabadhah, near Madinah in 32 A.H.