Language:
كتاب الجهاد والسير
56
Fighting for the Cause of Allah (Jihaad)
(143)
Chapter: The superiority of the one through whom a man embraces Islam
(143)
باب فَضْلِ مَنْ أَسْلَمَ عَلَى يَدَيْهِ رَجُلٌ

Narrated Sahl:

On the day (of the battle) of Khaibar the Prophet (ﷺ) said, "Tomorrow I will give the flag to somebody who will be given victory (by Allah) and who loves Allah and His Apostle and is loved by Allah and His Apostle." So, the people wondered all that night as to who would receive the flag and in the morning everyone hoped that he would be that person. Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) asked, "Where is `Ali?" He was told that `Ali was suffering from eye-trouble, so he applied saliva to his eyes and invoked Allah to cure him. He at once got cured as if he had no ailment. The Prophet (ﷺ) gave him the flag. `Ali said, "Should I fight them till they become like us (i.e. Muslim)?" The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "Go to them patiently and calmly till you enter the land. Then, invite them to Islam, and inform them what is enjoined upon them, for, by Allah, if Allah gives guidance to somebody through you, it is better for you than possessing red camels."

حَدَّثَنَا قُتَيْبَةُ بْنُ سَعِيدٍ، حَدَّثَنَا يَعْقُوبُ بْنُ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنِ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عَبْدٍ الْقَارِيُّ، عَنْ أَبِي حَازِمٍ، قَالَ أَخْبَرَنِي سَهْلٌ ـ رضى الله عنه يَعْنِي ابْنَ سَعْدٍ ـ قَالَ قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَوْمَ خَيْبَرَ ‏"‏ لأُعْطِيَنَّ الرَّايَةَ غَدًا رَجُلاً يُفْتَحُ عَلَى يَدَيْهِ، يُحِبُّ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ، وَيُحِبُّهُ اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ ‏"‏‏.‏ فَبَاتَ النَّاسُ لَيْلَتَهُمْ أَيُّهُمْ يُعْطَى فَغَدَوْا كُلُّهُمْ يَرْجُوهُ فَقَالَ ‏"‏ أَيْنَ عَلِيٌّ ‏"‏‏.‏ فَقِيلَ يَشْتَكِي عَيْنَيْهِ، فَبَصَقَ فِي عَيْنَيْهِ وَدَعَا لَهُ، فَبَرَأَ كَأَنْ لَمْ يَكُنْ بِهِ وَجَعٌ، فَأَعْطَاهُ فَقَالَ أُقَاتِلُهُمْ حَتَّى يَكُونُوا مِثْلَنَا‏.‏ فَقَالَ ‏"‏ انْفُذْ عَلَى رِسْلِكَ حَتَّى تَنْزِلَ بِسَاحَتِهِمْ، ثُمَّ ادْعُهُمْ إِلَى الإِسْلاَمِ، وَأَخْبِرْهُمْ بِمَا يَجِبُ عَلَيْهِمْ، فَوَاللَّهِ لأَنْ يَهْدِيَ اللَّهُ بِكَ رَجُلاً خَيْرٌ لَكَ مِنْ أَنْ يَكُونَ لَكَ حُمْرُ النَّعَمِ ‏"‏‏.‏
Reference : Sahih al-Bukhari 3009
In-book reference : Book 56, Hadith 218
USC-MSA web (English) reference : Vol. 4, Book 52, Hadith 253
  (deprecated numbering scheme)