Abi Tufayl Aamir bin Wathila narrates:
“We witnessed the funeral prayer of Abu Bakr after that we gathered around Umar bin Khattab and paid allegiance to him and visited him in the masjid for some days, till we addressed him by the title of chief of believers. One day we were seated with him when a Jew, who claimed to be a descendant of Prophet Harun (a.s.), brother of Prophet Musa (a.s.) came and stood before Umar and said: O chief of believers,
who among you is most knowledgeable regarding the Sunnah of your Prophet and the Book of your Lord so that I can ask questions? The narrator says: Umar pointed out towards Ali Ibne Abi Talib (a.s.). The Jew said: O Ali, are you such? He replied: Yes, ask me whatever you want.
The Jew said: I have three, three and one question. Imam Ali (a.s.) said: Why don’t you say that you have seven questions? He replied: If you answer the first three questions correctly, I will ask the next three and if you reply to them also correctly, I will ask the remaining one. But if you answer the first three questions incorrectly, I will not ask any more questions. Imam Ali (a.s.) asked: How would you know whether the replies I have given are right or wrong?
The narrator says: The Jew put his hand inside his garment and took out an old book and said: I have inherited this book from my ancestors. It was dictated by Musa (a.s.) and written down by Harun (a.s.). It contains replies to all the questions. I am going to ask you.
Imam Ali (a.s.) said: If I reply to all your questions correctly, will you accept Islam? “Yes,” he said, by Allah, if you reply to my questions, I will immediately embrace Islam at your hands. Imam Ali (a.s.) said: You may ask. He said: Which was the first stone to come down to the earth? Which was the first spring of water that gushed out on the earth? And which was the first tree that grew on the earth?
Imam Ali (a.s.) said: O Jew, you people say that the first stone is that of Baitul Muqqadas. It is a lie. The first stone is the Black Stone which came with Prophet Adam (a.s.) from Paradise. Which he placed at the Rukn of the House of Allah. People touch and kiss it and through it renew their covenant with Allah.
The Jew said: By Allah, you are right. Imam Ali (a.s.) said: Jews say that the first tree that grew on the earth is olive. It is a lie. The first tree is that of Ajwa dates that came down with Adam (a.s.) and his wife. The Jew said: By Allah, you are right. Imam Ali (a.s.) said: You people say that the first spring that gushed forth is the spring of Baitul Muqqadas. You lie. The first spring is that in which the companion of Musa (a.s.) forgot the salted fish and when the water of the spring of life reached it, it became alive and swam away and Musa and his companion followed it and met Khizr.
The Jew said: By Allah, you are right. Imam Ali (a.s.) asked: Ask the next three questions? He said: How many just Imams are there after the Prophet in this nation? What is the place of Muhammad (s.a.w.a.) in Paradise? And who all will stay with him in his house in Paradise?
Imam Ali (a.s.) replied: O Jew, there are twelve Imams in this nation and their enemies cannot do them any harm. The Jew said: By Allah, you are right. Imam Ali (a.s.) said: The house of Muhammad (s.a.w.a.) in Paradise is in the Jannat of Adn. It is at the center of Paradise and nearest place to the throne of the Beneficent.
The Jews said: By Allah, you are right. Imam Ali (a.s.) said: And those who will stay with him in his house are the twelve Imams. The Jew said: By Allah, you are right. Imam Ali (a.s.) said: You may ask the remaining question also. He asked: For how many years will the successor of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.a.) live?
Would he have a natural death or will be murdered? Imam Ali (a.s.) replied: O Jew, he would live for thirty years after the Prophet. This will be dyed with this. Saying this he pointed towards his beard and his blessed head. The narrator says: At that moment the Jew got up from his place and said: I bear witness that there is God except Allah; Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah and you are the successor of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.).”