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Narrated Sahl bin Sad:

On the day of Khaibar, Allah's Apostle ﷺ said, "Tomorrow I will give this flag to a man through whose hands Allah will give us victory. He loves Allah and His Apostle, and he is loved by Allah and His Apostle." The people remained that night, wondering as to who would be given it. In the morning the people went to Allah's Apostle and everyone of them was hopeful to receive it (i.e. the flag). The Prophet ﷺ said, "Where is Ali bin Abi Talib?" It was said, "He is suffering from eye trouble O Allah's Apostle." He said, "Send for him." 'Ali was brought and Allah's Apostle spat in his eye and invoked good upon him. So 'Ali was cured as if he never had any trouble. Then the Prophet gave him the flag. 'Ali said "O Allah's Apostle! I will fight with them till they become like us." Allah's Apostle ﷺ said, "Proceed and do not hurry. When you enter their territory, call them to embrace Islam and inform them of Allah's Rights which they should observe, for by Allah, even if a single man is led on the right path (of Islam) by Allah through you, then that will be better for you than the nice red camels.
حَدَّثَنَا قُتَيْبَةُ بْنُ سَعِيدٍ، حَدَّثَنَا يَعْقُوبُ بْنُ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ، عَنْ أَبِي حَازِمٍ، قَالَ أَخْبَرَنِي سَهْلُ بْنُ سَعْدٍ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ يَوْمَ خَيْبَرَ ‏"‏ لأُعْطِيَنَّ هَذِهِ الرَّايَةَ غَدًا رَجُلاً، يَفْتَحُ اللَّهُ عَلَى يَدَيْهِ، يُحِبُّ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ، وَيُحِبُّهُ اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ ‏"‏‏.‏ قَالَ فَبَاتَ النَّاسُ يَدُوكُونَ لَيْلَتَهُمْ أَيُّهُمْ يُعْطَاهَا فَلَمَّا أَصْبَحَ النَّاسُ غَدَوْا عَلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم، كُلُّهُمْ يَرْجُو أَنْ يُعْطَاهَا فَقَالَ ‏"‏ أَيْنَ عَلِيُّ بْنُ أَبِي طَالِبٍ ‏"‏‏.‏ فَقِيلَ هُوَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ يَشْتَكِي عَيْنَيْهِ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏"‏ فَأَرْسِلُوا إِلَيْهِ ‏"‏‏.‏ فَأُتِيَ بِهِ فَبَصَقَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فِي عَيْنَيْهِ، وَدَعَا لَهُ، فَبَرَأَ حَتَّى كَأَنْ لَمْ يَكُنْ بِهِ وَجَعٌ، فَأَعْطَاهُ الرَّايَةَ، فَقَالَ عَلِيٌّ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ أُقَاتِلُهُمْ حَتَّى يَكُونُوا مِثْلَنَا، فَقَالَ ‏"‏ انْفُذْ عَلَى رِسْلِكَ حَتَّى تَنْزِلَ بِسَاحَتِهِمْ، ثُمَّ ادْعُهُمْ إِلَى الإِسْلاَمِ، وَأَخْبِرْهُمْ بِمَا يَجِبُ عَلَيْهِمْ مِنْ حَقِّ اللَّهِ فِيهِ، فَوَاللَّهِ لأَنْ يَهْدِيَ اللَّهُ بِكَ رَجُلاً وَاحِدًا خَيْرٌ لَكَ مِنْ أَنْ يَكُونَ لَكَ حُمْرُ النَّعَمِ ‏"‏‏.‏

Classification

Sahih (Authentic)

References

Sahih al-Bukhari, 4210
Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 5, Book of Military Expeditions led by the Prophet ﷺ (Maghaazi), Hadith 521
Sahih al-Bukhari, Book of Military Expeditions led by the Prophet ﷺ (Maghaazi), Hadith 521