SABEANS. Arabic Sabi’ صابيء pl. Sabi’un
Probably from the Hebrew “a host.” Gen. ii. 1 i.e. “Those who worship the hosts of heaven. According to some Arabic writers, the Sabi’un were a certain sect of unbelievers who worshipped the stars secretly, and openly professed to be Christians. According to others, they are of the religion of Sabi’, the son of Seth, the son of Adam; whilst others say their religion resembled that of the Christians, except that their qiblah was towards the south, from whence the wind blows. In the Qamus it is said they were of the religion of Noah. The word sabi’ also means one who has departed from one religion to another religion, and the Arabs used to call the Prophet as-Sabi’ because he departed from the religion of the Quraish to al-Islam. (See Lane’s Dict. in loco.) Al-Baizawi says some assert they were worshippers of angels, others that they were the worshippers of the stars.
They are mentioned three times in the Qur’an, and from the following verses it would appear that. Muhammad regarded them as believers in the true God.
Surah ii. 50: “They who believe and they who are Jews, and the Christians, and the Sabeans—whoever believeth in God and the Last Day, and doeth that which is right, shall have their reward with their Lord.”
Surah v. 73: ‘ They who believe, and the Jews and the Sabeans, and the Christians—whoever of them believeth in God. and in the Last Day; and doeth what is right, on them shall no fear come; neither shall they be put to grief.”
Surah vi 73: “They who believe, and’ the Jews, and the Sabeans, and the (‘hri~-dana, and the Magians, ‘and those who em other gods with God. verily God shall decide between them on the Day of Resurrection.”
Based on Hughes, Dictionary of Islam