He was deeply loved by his Companions, as evidenced by this historical episode: A group from the Adal and al-Qarah tribes, who were apparently from the same ancestral stock as the Quraysh and who lived near Makka, came to the Prophet during the third year of the Islamic era and said: "Some of us have chosen Islam, so send a group of Muslims to instruct us what Islam means, teach us the Qur'an, and inform us of Islam's principles and laws."
The Messenger selected six Companions to go with them. Upon reaching the Hudhayl tribe's land, the group halted and the Companions settled down to rest. Suddenly, a group of Hudhayli tribesmen fell upon them like a thunderbolt with their swords drawn. Clearly, the mission either had been a ruse from the beginning or its members had changed their minds en route. At any rate, they sided with the attackers and sought to seize the six Muslims. As soon as the Companions were aware of what was happening, they grabbed their arms and got ready to defend themselves. Three were martyred, and the rest were tied up and taken to Makka, where they were to be delivered to the Quraysh.
Near Makka, 'Abdullah ibn Tariq managed to free his hand and reach for his sword. However, his captors saw what he was doing and stoned him to death. Zayd and Hubayb were carried to Makka, where they were exchanged for two Hudhayli captives. Safwan Ibn Umayya al-Qurayshi bought Zayd from the person to whom he had been sold so that he could avenge the blood of his father, who had been killed during the Battle of Badr. He took him outside Makka to kill him, and the Quraysh assembled to see what would happen.
Zayd came forward with a courageous gait and did not even tremble. Abu Sufyan, a spectator who wanted to use this chance to extract a statement of contrition and remorse or an avowal of hatred of the Prophet, stepped forward and said: "I adjure you by God, Zayd, don't you wish that Muhammad was with us now in your place so that we might cut off his head, and that you were with your family?" "By God," said Zayd, "let alone wishing that, I do not wish that even a thorn should hurt his foot." Abu Sufyan, astonished, turned to those present and said: "By God, I swear I have never seen a man so loved by his followers as Muhammad."
After a while, Hubayb ibn Adiy was taken outside Makka for execution. Requesting the assembled people to let him perform two rak'a of prayer, to which they agreed, he did so in all humility, respect, and absorption. Then he spoke to them: "I swear by God that if I did not think that you might think that I was trying to delay my death out of fear, I would have prolonged my prayer."
After condemning Hubayb to crucifixion, his sweet voice was heard, with a perfect spirituality that held everyone in its spell, entreating God with these words: "O God! We have delivered the message of Your Messenger, so inform him of what has been done to us, and tell him my wish of peace and blessings upon him." Meanwhile, God's Messenger was returning his peace, saying: "Upon you be God's peace and blessings, O Hubayb!"