Tub'a Abu Kariba As'ad
Tub'a Abu Kariba As'ad (Abu Kariba) was the Himyarite king of Yemen. He ruled Yemen from 390–420 CE. Abu Kariba is commonly cited as the first of several kings of Arabia to convert to Judaism. Fifth century Arabia was located between the two competing empires of Christian Byzantium and Zoroastrian Persia. Prized Indian spices were delivered over Arabia’s trade routes. Some historians believe that conversion to Judaism was a means by which the inhabitants of Arabia at the time could remain neutral vis-a-vis the neighboring powers, in order to grow their prosperity. Some others others say that the simplicity and philosophy of Judaism was attractive to the pagans of Arabia. While most sources agree that Abu Kariba was the first of the Himyarite kings to convert to Judaism, the circumstances of his conversion are immersed in myth and legend. According to the traditional account, Abu Kariba undertook a military expedition to eliminate the growing influence of Byzantium in his northern provinces. His forces reached Medina, which was then was known as "Yathrib". Not meeting any resistance, they passed through the town, leaving one of the king’s sons behind as governor of the town.