Talha heard about the advent of the Holy Prophet (Pbuh) from a monk in the bazaar of Basrah and rushed to Makkah to find out the truth.
Talha bin Ubaidullah Taimi was a vivacious youth of the Banu Hashim, the clan to which the Prophet, (peace be upon him) belonged. The clansmen had pinned great hopes on him and expected him to take the command of the clan when he grew up. He was extremely intelligent and had a razor sharp memory. His business skills were extraordinary and everyone expected him to do well in trade.
Once Talha was part of the Quraish’s trade caravan to Basrah (now in Iraq). He was engaged in making deals when he noticed a monk asking people if there was anybody from Makkah among the traders. Talha who was sitting close to him, acknowledged that he had come from Makkah. The monk asked him if there has appeared a person called Ahmed, son of Abdullah bin Abdul Muttalib in Makkah who is to be last among the Prophets. ‘He would be born in Makkah and would migrate to Madinah’, he informed.
Talha became curious and immediately set out for Makkah. His inquiries whether anything unusual had happened after he left with the trade caravan, revealed that Muhammad bin Abdullah had declared about his being the Prophet of Allah and Abu Bakr, son of Abu Qahafah, has accepted his claim and turned over to the new faith.
Talha knew Abu Bakr very well and liked him for his deep insight into the history of Quraish and the Arabs. He got in touch with Abu Bakr and related to him the accounts he had from the monk in the bazaar of Basrah. Abu Bakr was wonderstruck at the monk’s prediction. They both came to the Prophet who presented the message of Islam to Talha. Talha took no time in deciding and entered the fold of Islam. He was the fourth Muslim to enter the new faith through the good offices of Abu Bakr.
The news of Talha bin Ubaidullah Taimi entering Islam came as a bolt from the blue for his mother Soaba bin Hazra, who wanted his son to become the chieftain of the clan.
Masood bin Kharash narrates that he once witnessed a youth whose hands were tied to his neck, being kicked from behind and tossed between a group of vandals and an old woman. Inquiry revealed that the victim was none but Talha bin Ubaidullah Taimi and the old woman was Talha’s mother. Masood who was engaged in sa’ee (running between the hills of Safa and Marwah) says he then saw Noufil bin Khuweilad, a member of the Quraish nobility, rising from his seat in the Harem and tying Abu Bakr and Talha together and handing them over to the group of vandals in order that they could drag them into the streets of Makkah.
As days passed, Talha grew steadfast in his faith and also became a rich man with his business growing by leaps and bounds. His generosity was as legendary as was his wealth. Similarly, he earned a name in valour. During the battle of Uhud, the holy Prophet (Pbuh) was under fierce attack from the infidels. A group of 11 Ansar and one Muhajir (the ones who migrated from Makkah) had thrown a protective shield around him. The lone Muhajir was Talha bin Ubaidullah Taimi. The Prophet (Pbuh) announced that anyone who repulsed attack from the infidels would be his companion in the heaven. Talha was the first to offer himself. But the Prophet refused him to take the position and was successively shielded by an Ansar who felt martyr one by one. Talha alone survived. He would launch an assault against the enemy forces and would return to lend support to the Prophet in order that he could find shelter under some rocky niche. Finally he was successful in beating back the infidel’s challenge. The holy Prophet was severely wounded and was profusely bleeding all over his body. He had lost two of his teeth.
When Abu Bakr found the Prophet (Pbuh) and began to nurse his wounds, the Prophet asked him to first find out Talha and take care of him. Abu Bakr found Talha lying unconscious in a ditch. He had lost one arm and had nearly 30 deep cuts from daggers on his body. This matchless show of gallantry from Talha earned him the sobriquet of ‘Living Martyr’ from the holy Prophet (Pbuh).
Talha’s generosity was also greatly talked about. Once Talha received a sum of seven lakh dirhams from Hadharmauth in Yemen towards business proceeds. He spent the night restlessly. When his wife, Umme Kulsum, the daughter of Abu Bakr, wanted to know the reason for his restlessness, Talha said he was shivering from the sense of accountability before Allah before whom he would be answerable. Next morning, he distributed the entire amount among the poor and the needy on the advice of Umme Kulsum.
It is also said about him that an indigent person approached him for help with reference to his munificence. Talha told him that it was for the first time that someone had approached him with reference to his munificence and offered him a plot of land which Hazrat Usman bin Affan had allotted him. He told him he was free to take either the plot or three lakh dirham as its.