The Year of the Elephant
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 12 May 2009 10:02 )
In 570 AD, the Abyssinian armies under the leadership of Abraha attacked
Makkah to demolish the Ka'aba. Abdul Muttalib, our Master Muhammad's [s]
grandfather, the Master of Makkah, went round the Ka'aba praying to Allah,
the Almighty, to prevent the invaders from demolishing the House which
Ibrahim, al-Khalil, and his son Ismael built for people to worship Allah
only. Allah, the Almighty, accepted Abdul Muttalib's prayer. So, when the
elephants and the soldiers advanced to demolish the Ka'aba, Ababil birds
carrying stones in their beaks appeared in the horizon. They began dropping
the stones. So, the invaders around the Ka'aba were defeated.
Consequently, Allah's power and Abdul Muttalib's importance appeared! That
year was named the Year of the Elephant. Our Master Muhammad [s] was born in
that year. Abu-Talib was thirty years of age. Allah, the Almighty, has
mentioned this event in the Holy Qur'an: In The Name of Allah, The
Beneficent, The Merciful. Have you not considered how your Lord dealt with
the possessors of the elephant? Did He not cause their war to end in
confusion. And send down (to prey) upon them birds in flocks, casting them
against stones of baked clay. So, he rendered them like straw eaten up?
Abdul Muttalib, who dug Zam Zam well, had ten sons. Abdullah, the Prophet's
father, was one of them. Abu Talib, Prophet's uncle, was one of them, too.
Our Master Muhammad [s], was an orphan. His father, Abdullah, died a short
while before he was born. When his mother died, he was six years of age. So,
his grandfather Abdul Muttalib took care of him. He liked him very much. He
thought that Muhammad [s] would be a Prophet. Abdul Muttalib was righteous.
He followed Ibrahim's and Ismael's religion. He advised his sons to follow
good manners. On his death bed, Abdul Muttalib said to his sons: "A grandson
of mine will be a Prophet. So, he who will be present at his time must
believe in him." Then he turned to his son, Abu Talib, and whispered in his
ear: "Abu Talib, Muhammad will be of great importance. So support him with
your hand and tongue.
Our Master Muhammad [s] was 8 years of age when his grandfather Abdul
Muttalib died. So, his uncle, Abu Talib took care of him. Abu Talib's name
was Abdul Munaf. His mother's name was Fatima bint Amru. She belonged to the
Bani Makhzum tribe. Abu Talib was named Shaikh al-Bat-ha. Our Master
Muhammad [s] lived with his uncle. His uncle treated him kindly. Fatima bint
Asad, his uncle's wife, treated him kindly, too. She preferred him to all of
her sons. So, our Master Muhammad [s] grew with a good family. Abu Talib's
love for his nephew increased day by day because of his good manners and
For example, when the food was ready, the orphan boy reached it politely. He
In the Name of Allah!
When he finished, he said: Thank Allah!
One day, Abu Talib missed his nephew Muhammad. So, he raised his hand from
the food and said:"Till my son comes!"
When Muhammad came, Abu Talib gave him a cup of yogurt. Muhammad drank out
of the cup. Abu Talib's sons drank out of it one by one, too. They were all
full. The uncle admired that. So, he said to his nephew: "Muhammad you're
The Good News
Abu Talib had heard good news from the people of the Book (the Jews and the
Christians). The good news was that a Prophet would appear very soon. So, he
took care of his nephew very much. He thought that he would be a Prophet.
So, he didn't leave him alone. When Abu Talib wanted to go on a trade
journey to Sham (Syria), he took our Master Muhammad [s] with him. Muhammad
was nine years of age then. In Busra, a city situated on the road of the
trade caravans, there was an abbey. A monk lived in the abbey. The monk's
name was Buhaira. He was always looking forward to the appearance of a new
Prophet whose time approached. When the monk looked at Muhammad, he realized
that he would be the promised Prophet because he had the personality and
expression of a Prophet. The monk began looking at the Makkan boy's face
very carefully. Meanwhile, the good news from Jesus Christ sounded in his
mind. The monk asked Abu Talib about the boy's name. So, Abu-Talib said:"His name's Muhammad."
The monk became very humble at his holy name. So, he said to Abu Talib: "Go
back to Makkah. Protect your nephew from the Jews because he'll be of great
Abu Talib came back to Makkah. He adored Muhammad. He was very careful of
The Blessed Boy
The years passed. Makkah and its villages dried up because there was no
rain. The people came to Shaikh al-Bat-ha. They asked him to pray to Allah
for rain. They said: "Abu-Talib, the valley's become rainless. Our families
are without food. So come on and pray to Allah for rain."
Abu Talib went out. He had great confidence in Allah. He took his nephew,
Muhammad with him. Abu Talib and Muhammad stood beside the Ka'aba. The boy's
heart took a pity on the people. Abu Talib asked Ibrahim's and Ismael's Lord
to send down heavy rain. Muhammad looked at the sky. Only a little time
passed. The sky was full of clouds. Lightening flashed. Thunder sounded. The
rain came down heavily. The rain water flowed in the villages. The people
came back pleased thanking Allah for the blessing of the rain. Abu Talib
also came back. His love for his nephew increased very much. The years
passed. Muhammad became a young man. He was extremely polite. So, people
called him the Truthful, the Trustworthy One.
The Supporter of the Persecuted
Abu Talib disliked persecution very much. In the meantime, he liked the
persecuted a lot. So, our Master Muhammad [s] liked Abu Talib very much. One
day, a battle took place between the tribe of Kinana and the tribe of Qais.
The tribe of Qais was the aggressor. A man from the tribe of Kinana came to
Abu Talib and said: "Son of the bird feeder and pilgrim water-giver; don't
be absent from us. We get victory in your presence." Abu Talib answered: "I
will not be absent from you when you avoid persecution, enmity, rudeness and
falsehood." So, they promised him to do that. Our Master Muhammad [s] stood
by his uncle, against Kinana.
The Alliance of Fodhool
Some people from Makkah attacked the pilgrims of Allah's House.
A man and his daughter, belonged to the tribe of Khathaam, came to visit
Allah's House. A young man from Makkah took the young girl by force.
The Khathaamian man shouted: "Help! Help! Help!"
A passer-by said to him: "Go to The Alliance of Fodhool."
The man went to Abu Talib.
Abu Talib founded the Alliance of Fodhool. It was an agreement signed by the
Makkan leaders. According to the agreement they decided to help the
persecuted and to punish the unjust.
When the Khathaamian man got there and asked them for help, some men took
their swords and went to the young man's house. They threatened him and
brought back the girl to her father.
Our Master Muhammad [s] was a member of the Alliance of Fodhool.
The Happy Marriage
Abu Talib had a big family. He spent a lot of his money on the poor. In
time, he too became poor. Our Master Muhammad [s] felt that he had to help
his uncle. So, he decided to take Khadijah's goods to Sham. The task was
successful. Our Master Muhammad [s] gave the trusts to their owners. This
made Khadijah think of him. So, she asked him to marry her. Abu Talib was
very pleased with that suggestion. So, he, a group of Bani Hashim, and Hamza
bin Abdul Muttalib, our Master Muhammad's uncle, went to ask for Khadijah's
hand from her family. Abu-Talib said: "Praise be to Allah who has made us of
Ibrahim's and Ismael's sons, made a protected house and a safe sanctuary for
us, and made our country blessed." Then he added: "My nephew Muhammad bin
Abdullah is the best and greatest man of all the Quraish. Besides, he's
better than money because money's perishable. He likes Khadijah and she
likes him. By Allah, he'll be of great importance. Khadijah's dowry is of my
money." Muhammad [s] and Khadijah got married. The years passed. Allah gave
Abu Talib a new baby. The baby's name was Ali. Our Master Muhammad [s]
wanted to relieve his uncle's worries. So, he went to his uncle's house to
take Ali to his house.
The years passed. Abu Talib became seventy years of age. Our Master Muhammad
[s] was forty years of age. Muhammad went to Hira Cave every day. In that
year, Jibreel came down from the sky. Our Master Muhammad [s] heard him
saying: Read! Read! In the name of your Lord who created. He created man
from a clot. Read and your Lord is most Honorable, who taught (to write)
with the pen, taught man what he knew not. Then Jibreel said: Muhammad,
you're Allah's Messenger and I'm Jibreel. Muhammad came back from Hira Cave
holding the Mission of the Heavens. His wife, Khadijah, believed in him. His
cousin Ali bin Abu Talib believed in him, too. One day, while our Master
Muhammad [s] was praying and Ali was behind him, Abu Talib came and said
My nephew, what are you doing?
The Prophet [s] said: We're praying to Allah according to the religion of
Abu Talib said happily: There's no harm in what you're doing.
Then he said to his son Ali: Ali, support your cousin. He does nothing but
In the Prophet's House
After a while, Jibreel came down holding Allah's Order: And warn your
nearest relations, and be kind to him who follows you of the believers.
Allah's Messenger ordered Ali aged ten to invite his tribe, namely Bani
Hashim. Abu Talib, Abu Lahab and others came to the Prophet's house. When
they all had the food, our Master Muhammad [s] said: No Arab young man had
brought his people like what I've brought you. I've brought you the good of
here and of the hereafter. Then, he asked them to believe in Islam. Abu
Lahab stood up and said with spite: Muhammad's put a spell on you. Abu Talib
said angrily: Shut up! It's none of your business! Abu Talib turned to our
Master Muhammad [s] and said: Get up and say whatever you like. Spread Your
Lord's Mission, for you're the Truthful, the Trusted one. So, our Master
Muhammad [s] got up and said: My Lord has ordered me to ask you to believe
in Him. So, who will support me in this matter? Who wants to be my brother;
my regent, and my successor after me? They kept silent. So, Ali said
eagerly: Allah's Apostle, I. The Prophet rejoiced and embraced his young
cousin while he was weeping. Bani Hashim stood up. Abu Lahab was laughing
and saying sarcastically to Abu Talib: Muhammad's ordered you to hear and
obey your son. But Abu Talib did not pay attention to him. Rather, he looked
angrily at him. Abu Talib kindly said to his nephew: Go on what Allah's
ordered you. By Allah, I'll support and protect you. Our Master Muhammad [s]
looked at his uncle respectfully. He felt strong as long as the Master of
Makkah was with him.
Although Abu Talib was an old man, he strongly stood by Muhammad's Mission.
He was always protecting him from the Quraishi polytheists. A big number of
the Makkans believed in Allah's religion paying no attention to the worship
of the idols and to the threats of the Quraishi tyrants. One day, the
Quraishi leaders came to Abu Talib though he was confined to bed. They said
angrily: Abu Talib! Keep your nephew from us because he's weakened our
thoughts and insulted our gods. Abu Talib became sad because his people did
not want to listen to the sound of truth. So, he said to them: Give me time
to speak to him. Abu Talib told our Master Muhammad [s] the words of the
Quraishi leaders. The Prophet [s] said respectfully: Uncle! I can't disobey
my Lord's Order. Abu Jahal, the most spiteful man, said: We'll give him
whatever he wants of our money. Rather, we'll make him king over us if he
The Prophet [s] said: I want nothing but one word.
Abu Jahal said: What's the word? We'll give you as ten times as it!
Our Master Muhammad [s] said: Say there's no god but Allah.
So, Abu Jahal was filled with anger: Ask another word instead!
Allah's Apostle [s] said: If you brought me the sun and put it in my hand,
I'd not ask a word instead.
There was tension. The polytheists stood up. They were threatening our
Master Muhammad [s].
Abu Talib said to our Master Muhammad: Save your soul and don't overburden
me. The Prophets' eyes shed tears when he answered: Uncle, by Allah, if they
put the sun in my right hand and the moon in my left hand to leave this
matter, I'd not leave it till Allah supports it or I perish for it.
The Prophet [s] stood up rubbing his tears. So, Abu Talib called him kindly
and said: Nephew draw near.
Our Master Muhammad [s] drew near. His uncle kissed him and said: Nephew, go
and say whatever you like. By Allah, I'll never leave you alone.
Then, he began chanting to confront the Quraishi might: By Allah, they all
won't reach you.
Till a pillow of dust will be put under my head.
And till I'll be buried.
The Light of Islam
Our Master Muhammad [s] went on preaching the new religion to bring out
people from darkness into light. Again the Quraishi tyrants came to Abu
Talib. They used another style: Abu Talib, this is Amarah bin al-Waleed (Khalid
bin al-Waleed's brother). He's the strongest and the most handsome young man
of all the Quraish. So, take him and give us Muhammad to kill. Abu Talib was
sorry to hear that idea. He answered them angrily: Do you give me your son
to feed him for you, while I give you my son to kill him? Have you ever seen
a she-camel take pity on other than its young? The polytheists harm became
intense. They began torturing them. Abu Talib thought that their harm would
include our Master Muhammad [s]. So, he sent for Bani Hashim. He asked them
to protect and save the Prophet [s]. They accepted but Abu Lahab. Abu Talib
heard that Abu Jahal and other polytheists tried to kill our Master Muhammad
[s]. So, he and his son Ja'far went to the hills of Makkah to look for him.
They looked for him here and there. Finally, they found him praying to
Allah. In the meantime, Ali was praying on his right-hand side. They were
sad to see that there was no one with our Master Muhammad [s] but Ali. Thus
Abu Talib wanted to encourage his nephew. He turned to his son Ja'far and
Complete your cousin's wing.
Namely, pray on his left hand to feel determination, strength, and
confidence. Ja'far stood with our Master Muhammad [s] and his brother Ali to
pray to Allah, the Creator of the skies and the earth, the Lord of the
Worlds. Again, Abu Talib missed our Master Muhammad [s]. He waited for his
return. But he did not come back. So, he went to look for him. He went to
the place where our Master Muhammad [s] went frequently. But he did not find
him. So, Abu Talib came back, gathered Bani Hashim together and said to
them: Each one of you must take a strong iron bar. Now follow me. When I
enter the mosque, each one of you must sit beside a Quraishi leader. He must
kill him if we knew that Muhammad had been killed. The young men of Bani
Hashim obeyed Abu Talib. Each one of them sat beside a polytheist. Abu Talib
sat waiting for our Master Muhammad [s]. Meanwhile Zaid bin Harith came and
told him that the Prophet [s] was safe. Then, Abu Talib announced his plan
to punish those who tried to hurt the Prophet [s].
The polytheists were abase. Abu Jahal kept silent. His face became yellow
Some of the polytheists urged their boys and slaves to hurt our Master
One day, the Prophet [s] was praying. A young man came and threw the wastes
at him. The polytheists began laughing loudly. Our Master Muhammad [s] was
very unhappy. So, he went to his uncle and told him about the young man's
Abu Talib became very angry. He took out his sword and came to the
polytheists. He ordered his boy to throw the wastes at their faces.
They said: Abu Talib, that's enough!
When the polytheists knew that Abu Talib would not leave our Master Muhammad
[s] alone and that he was ready to die for him, they decided to announce an
economic and social ban on Bani Hashim. At the same time, they cut off all
relations with them. In the month of Muharram, the seventh year after the
Prophetic Mission, forty Quraishi leaders signed the ban and fixed it to the
wall in the Ka'aba. The Quraish expected Abu Talib to surrender. But Shaikh
al-Bat-ha had another plan. Abu Talib took his tribe to a valley between two
mountains to protect our Master Muhammad [s] from assassination. He was
always visiting the valley to close the openings where the enemies might
pass through to kill our Master Muhammad [s] at night. Abu Talib, though old
man, his brother Hamza, and some men of Bani Hashim were always guarding the
Prophet [s] one by one at night. Abu Talib was always moving the Prophet's
bed from one place to another to keep it a secret. Days and months passed.
The besieged were in perfect isolation. They suffered from the pains of
hunger and deprivation. When the time of pilgrimage came, they got out to
buy some food and clothes. The richest Quraishi tyrants in Makkah were
always buying all kinds of food to prevent the besieged from buying it.
During that bitter period of time, Abu Talib was as solid as the mountain.
He was always standing by our Master Muhammad [s]. He was a fearless,
resolute believer. Abu Talib loved our Master Muhammad [s] more than his
sons. He was sometimes looking at him, weeping and saying: When I look at
him, I remember my brother Abdullah. One night, Abu Talib came and woke our
Master Muhammad [s]. He said to his son Ali aged eighteen: My son, sleep in
To know his father's loyalty to Muhammad, Ali said: But, I'll be killed.
His father said: Be patient!
Eagerly Ali said: I'm not afraid of death. But I want you to know my
support. Abu Talib patted Ali's back. He took our Master Muhammad [s] to a
safe place to sleep in.
When our Master Muhammad [s] went to bed, Abu Talib went to bed, too.
Months after months passed. The patience and hunger of the besieged
increased. They ate the leaves of the trees. The Prophet [s] took pity on
the hungry children.
The Good News
One day, our Master Muhammad [s] came to his uncle. He was filled with
happiness. He said to him: Uncle, my Lord ordered the white ant to eat the
Ban Page. So, it's eaten it all but Allah's Name.
Abu Talib said happily: Has your Lord told you about that?
Muhammad [s] answered: Yes, Uncle.
Abu Talib's heart was filled with belief. So, Abu Talib stood up and went to
Darul-Nadwa, at the Kaaba, where the Quraishi leaders sat.
Abu-Talib addressed the sitting persons: Quraish!
They got up for the respectful, old man. They listened to his words. They
expected his surrender and defeat because of the ban.
But Shaikh al-Bat-ha said: Quraish, my nephew Muhammad has told me that
Allah ordered the white ant to eat your Ban Page. So it has eaten it all but
His Name. if he is right, the end the ban.
Abu-Jahal said: And, if he was a liar?
Abu Talib answered with confidence and belief: I'll hand you my nephew.
The Quraishi leaders said: Okay.
They opened the door of the Ka'aba. They found that the white ant had eaten
every thing but Allah's Name.
The besieged got out of Abu Talib valley. Our Master Muhammad [s] and his
companions began preaching Islam to the pilgrims of Allah's Holy House.
Abu Talib was over eighty years of age. He became very invalid. So, he was
confined to the bed. He thought about nothing but our Master Muhammad [s].
He knew that if he died, the Quraish would fear no one and they would kill
his nephew. The Quraishi leaders came to visit Shaikh al-Bat-ha. They said:
Abu Talib, you're our Shaikh and Master. You're about to die. So, put an end
to the enmity between your nephew and us. Tell him to stop hurting us. We'll
stop hurting him. Tell him to leave us with our religion. We'll leave him
with his religion. Abu Talib looked at Abu Jahal, Abu Sufyan, and other
Quraishi leaders. He said to them faintly: If you hear Muhammad's words and
obey his orders, you'll be happy. So, obey him and get happiness here and in
the hereafter. The atheists stood up. Abu Jahal said with spite: Do you want
us to make the gods one god? Abu Talib was sad at the Quraishi stand. He was
very anxious about our Master Muhammad's safety. So, he invited Bani Hashim
and asked them to support our Master Muhammad [s] at any cost They all
obeyed him. Then Abu Talib closed his eyes to die soundly. Shaikh al-Bat-ha
kept silent. He became a motionless body. His son Ali wept bitter tears. Sad
cries spread all over Makkah. The atheists rejoiced at his death. Abu Jahal
angrily said: It's time to get my revenge on Muhammad. Our Master Muhammad
[s] came to say farewell. He kissed Abu Talib's bright forehead and murmured
sadly: Uncle, may Allah have mercy on you. You educated me when I was small,
looked after me when I became an orphan, and supported me when I became a
grown-up. So, may Allah reward you a lot. Then he burst into tears. He began
recalling the days of his childhood with his kind uncle. He embraced his
cousin Ali. They began weeping together.
The Year of Sadness
Only a few weeks passed. Khadijah, Muhammad's wife died, too. So, our Master
Muhammad [s] named that year the Year of Sadness. The Quraish increased
their harm against Muhammad and those who believed in him. One day, a
foolish person threw some dust at him. His head was covered with dust. So,
he went home. While Fatima, Muhammad's daughter, was washing his head, she
began weeping. So, he patted her head and said: Daughter, don't weep. Allah
will save your father. He'll protect your father from the enemies of His
religion and Mission. Jibreel came down from the sky holding Allah's Order.
He said: Muhammad, go out of Makkah. Your supporter has died. When the
Quraish plotted to kill our Master Muhammad [s], Ali, Abu Talib's young son,
came to sleep in his bed. He was ready to die for him. Our Master Muhammad
[s] went towards Yathrib (al-Madina al-Munawarah). From there the light of
Islam started to illuminate the world. When the Muslims go to visit Allah's
Holy House every year, they remember the life of Shaikh al-Bat-ha when he
was always defending Allah's religion. Muhammad is Allah's Apostle, and
those with him are firm of heart against the unbelievers, compassionate,
among each other.
Stories of the Pious: Hazrat Abu Talib
If Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.) and his son (Ali (a.s.)) had not been there, Islam
would not have been established and would never have gained so much popularity
and acceptance among the people. Without doubt, Abu Talib (a.s.) was the refuge
of Islam. He supported it and his son (Ali (a.s.)) fought in the wars of Medina,
endangering his own life to rescue Islam and the Muslims from certain
destruction.(Tahzeebul Mateen vol. 1 pg. 13)
Before he passed away, Hazrat Abdul Mutalib (a.s.) handed over the
responsibilities of building of Mecca, safekeeping of the Holy Kaaba, all family
affairs, lineage responsibilities, along with the scared task of the upbringing
the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) to his son Abu Talib (a.s.), who was elder to Hazrat
Abdullah (a.s.). He had a unique remarkable honor which none of his other II
brothers could have. It was because of Abu Talib's (a.s.) good fortune, that
apart from his ancestral services and prestige, he also inherited from sons of
(a.s.) high status and courage. This great service (of raising the Prophet (s.a.w.s.))
was not less critical than taking care of the pilgrims. Supervising the Kaaba
was also added to his responsibilities. Another fact that highlights Abu Talib's
(a.s.) superiority is that he and Hazrat Abdullah (a.s.) were born to the same
mother Janabe Fatema b. Umru b. Aaez b. Imran b. Makhzum (s.a.).
Abu Talib (a.s.) was very fond of his younger brother Hazrat Abduallah (a.s.).
At the time when the draw was taken for sacrificing Hazrat Abdullah (a.s.) and
Hazrat Abdul Mutalib (a.s.) was obliged to fulfill his pledge to Allah, it was
Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.) who along with his brothers went to Hazrat Abdul
Muttalib (a.s.) and pleaded with him to release Hazrat Abdullah (a.s.). Lots
were drawn thrice and the name of Hazrat Abdullah (a.s.) appeared on all three
occasions and Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.) pleaded for Hazrat Abdullah's (a.s.) life
and rescued him from the knife every time.(Tarikh-e-Tabari vol. 4 pg. 303)
According to some historians, Hazrat Abu Talib's (a.s.) name was Abdul Manaf,
while some others have recorded it as - Imran. But it is a custom among the
Arabs to refer a person by his agnomen, rather than his real name. In Seeratul
Nabuwwah by Allamah Sayyed Ahmed he relates-
'Abu Talib (a.s.) was amongst those who regarded wine as prohibited even in
the period of ignorance just like his father Abdul Muttalib (a.s.).'
Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.) was born in (approximately) 526 A. D. - 35 years
prior to Aamul Feel (Year of Elephant). At the age of 43 years, he gained his
ancestral power and status. In Arabia he was remembered with the esteemed title
- Bayzatul Balad (Light of City), Shaikh-ul- Qoreish and Raeesul Makkah (Chief
of Mecca). Raising the divine trust (i.e. Prophet (s.a.w.s.)) under his
guardianship was undoubtedly a thing of prestige and joy for Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.).
However discharging this responsibility was a very critical task, which required
ethics, beliefs and faith of the highest order. A normal person could never
fulfill this responsibility. Hazrat Abu Talib(a.s.) undertook this
responsibility of safeguarding the Prophet(s.a.w.s.) He not only brought into
service his honesty, affection and forbearance to fulfill the responsibility,
but apart from these qualities he also put his precious life in danger.
Ibn Hajar in his book writes 'When Abdul Muttalib (a.s.) expired he wrote in
his last will to Abu Talib (a.s.) to raise the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.). Hence
Abu Talib (a.s.) nurtured him (s.a.w.s.) with a lot of love and affection, not
even raising his own son Ali (a.s.) in the same manner. Thus Abu Talib (a.s.)
fulfilled the will of his father by upbringing the Prophet (s.a.w.s.). He took
the Prophet (s.a.w.s.) in his journey to Syria. By this time the Prophet (s.a.w.s.)
had matured into a youth. When he (s.a.w.s.) proclaimed prophethood, Hazrat Abu
Talib (a.s.) stood up to help and support him. And the infidels who turned
against the Prophet (s.a.w.s.) also turned against him. He praised the Prophet (s.a.w.s.)
excessively. Among these odes is his complete poetry, which he recited when
there was a famine and raindrops fell by the blessings of the Prophet (s.a.w.s.).
"Prophet Mustafa (s.a.w.s.) is extremely beautiful has an enlighten face.
Because of you (Muhammad (s.a.w.s.)) it rains and you are the one who reaches to
the places of orphans and are a supporter for widows."
He used to protect this orphan to such an extent that wherever he would stay,
he would keep Prophet (s.a.w.s.) also, wherever he used to eat, he offered the
same to Prophet (s.a.w.s.), wherever he slept he made him (Prophet (s.a.w.s.))
also sleep there. Wherever he went, he took the Prophet (s.a.w.s.) along.
Ali b. Burhanuddeen Shafei in his book 'Insanul Oyoon' has described the
benevolence of Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.) towards the Prophet(s.a.w.s.) in this
'Every night Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.) would ask the Prophet (s.a.w.s.) to go
off to bed, and when everybody was asleep, Hazrat Abu Talib(a.s.) would make any
one of his sons or brothers or cousins to sleep on his (s.a.w.s.) bed so that
people who intended to attack the Prophet (s.a.w.s.) could not do so.'
It was during this period that the unbelievers of Mecca tried to trouble the
Prophet (s.a.w.s.) in various ways. All sorts of difficulties and tortures were
inflicted upon him. The infidels hatched plots to prevent propagation and spread
of Islam. Thinking Abu Talib (a.s.) to be old, they threatened him with their
plots, but this could neither stop his endeavors nor did it affect his
We have mentioned two incidents to highlight this fact:
It is indeed an indication of ignorance and thoughtlessness to search for a
motive behind the love and affection of Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.) for the orphan
of Hazrat Abdullah (a.s.). Hazrat Abdullah (a.s.) had expired, Janabe Aamena (s.a.)
had also passed away and Hazrat Abdul Muttalib (a.s.) was also no more. Who else
were there with the Prophet (s.a.w.s.)? Indeed his father was Abu Talib (a.s.),
mother Janabe Fatema binte Asad (a.s.) - mother of Ali (a.s.). In addition to
his relation with the Prophet (s.a.w.s.), Abu Talib (a.s.) was even more
determined to protect him (s.a.w.s.) after the numerous prophecies about his (s.a.w.s.)
advent. When the Quraish were sure that Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.) would continue
to support the Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and would never give up, they brought a young
poet, who was very wealthy and beautiful and presented him to Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.).
They told him to take the poet as his son as he would be a good support for him
in his old age. In exchange they wanted Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.) to surrender the
Prophet (s.a.w.s.), for he had created discord among the Quraish and had
rendered their intellectuals as unworthy and foolish.
Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.) replied, 'has it occurred to you that anybody would
surrender his dear one so that he may be killed and take up the young one of
another'? (Tabari vol. 4 pg. 584)
Once the Prophet (s.a.w.s.) was in the presence of Abu Talib (a.s.) preaching
to his followers. The apostates of Quraish who determined to destroy the divine
message of Islam approached Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.) and started teasing him.
When they could not disturb his determination, they demanded from him,
'Surrender Muhammed (s.a.w.s.) to us right now!' Abu Talib (a.s.) gave a reply
that touched even the stone-hearted Quraish. He said, 'If a she-camel could
surrender its young one to somebody else, then I also will hand over
Muhammed(s.a.w.s.) to you.' (Minhajun Nabuwwah Muhaddise Dehalvi vol. 2 pg. 77)
Abu Talib's (a.s.) steadfastness and dedication in the upbringing of the
Prophet (s.a.w.s.) is indeed matchless. The Quraish were hostile towards the
Prophet (s.a.w.s.), and Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.) was the leader of the Quraish.
His own tribe (i.e. Quraish) had turned against him and had framed such rules
and regulations that did not even allow him access to buy basic necessities like
bread. In such a situation if Abu Talib (a.s.) had revealed his intentions, the
corrupt Quraish wouldn't have allowed him to move out of Mecca.
The Meccans of that period had not only forsaken Hazrat Abu Talib(a.s.) but
had also forsaken Allah completely and worshipped idols.
The God of Bani Kulaib was Dudd, whereas Bani Huzail worshipped Sawaa, Bani
Mazhaj worshipped Yaghoos, Zul Kala worshipped Nasr and Hamdaan worshipped
Ya'ooq. Every tribe had its independent deity. These gods were worshipped in all
the houses. Among these tribes, Bani Hashim stood out as it did not worship any
man-made deity. Ironically the destroyer of all these false gods was the one
being raised by Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.). Then how could they live in harmony
with Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.)? For this reason they threatened Abu Talib (a.s.)
and tried to disturb his determination and dedication.
Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.) was threatened with swords and pelted with stones but
he kept Allah's trust close to himself and did not part with it. Indeed we
should give Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.) his rightful due by acknowledging his
untiring effort, resolve, devotion and selflessness in protecting the Prophet (s.a.w.s.).
Indeed his effort is not lesser than any other helper of Islam. He was dealing
with the Quraish for whom taking a life was very easy. At that time, what was
the obstacle that prevented the Quraish from assassinating the Prophet (s.a.w.s.)?
There were neither any Mohajir nor Ansar to protect the Prophet (s.a.w.s.).
There was only Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.) and a few members of Bani Hashim. Even
amongst the Bani Hashim there was Abu Lahab who was dead against the Prophet (s.a.w.s.)
till his final breath. There was Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.) who used to console the
Prophet (s.a.w.s.) in his loneliness and caressed him with his affectionate
hand. It was only his invaluable existence, steadfastness and forbearance that
prevented the infidels of Mecca from succeeding in their evil intentions.
Whenever he faced any affliction he was found to be the pinnacle of patience and
reposed his hope only in Allah and awaited His blessings only. Indeed without
him the Prophet's(s.a.w.s.) safety and security was impossible.
Once the Quraish came up to Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.) and started complaining
about the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.). However, Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.) did not
respond to their criticism and after they departed, he narrated everything to
the Prophet (s.a.w.s.). The Prophet (s.a.w.s.) thought that his uncle Hazrat Abu
Talib (a.s.) was fearful of the Quraish and wants to stop him (the Prophet) from
guiding them. Looking at the grief of his nephew (s.a.w.s.), Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.)
himself became sorrowful. He held the hand of his beloved nephew (s.a.w.s.) for
a while and finally said, 'I do not wish to stop you from continuing your
mission of guidance. You can continue propagation and complete what you have
been delegated by Allah to complete and until such a time that I am alive, no
enemy can dare touch you or scare you with his threats.' Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.)
recited a couplet, the translation of which is given below. 'I swear by the
Almighty, your enemy cannot even glance at you until I am buried beneath the
soil. You reveal your message and don't fear, may your eyes be soothed with your
works.' (Tabari, Vol. 4, p. 301)
On the same lines an incident has been narrated by Allamah Qartabi in his
book 'Aa'laam' describing the devotion and dedication of Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.).
He states, 'One day the Prophet (s.a.w.s.) proceeded towards the Kaaba and began
praying there. Abu Jahl (l.a.) exclaimed, 'Is there anyone who can render his (s.a.w.s.)
namaz useless?' At this invitation Abdullah b. Zabari rose and applied horse
dung and blood on the Prophet's (s.a.w.s.) blessed face. The Prophet (s.a.w.s.)
abandoned his prayers, went to Abu Talib (a.s.) and said, 'O uncle, don't you
see what treatment is being meted out to me?' Abu Talib(a.s.) asked, 'Who was
the one who has insulted you in this manner?'
The Prophet (s.a.w.s.) replied, 'Abdullah b. Zabari' Abu Talib (a.s.) stood
up enraged, slung his sword across his shoulder and went to the Quraysh. When
they saw him they all got up to run away. Abu Talib(a.s.) said, 'By Allah, if
anybody dares to get up, I will kill him with my sword.' Then he turned to the
Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and asked him, 'O my son who has insulted you?' He (s.a.w.s.)
pointed towards Abdullah b. Zabari. Abu Talib (a.s.) applied horse dung and
blood on his face, beard and clothes.
The Quraish finally realised they could not halt the Prophet's(s.a.w.s.)
progress regardless of their efforts and they could not end Hazrat Abu Talib's (a.s.)
affection and devotion towards the Prophet (s.a.w.s.), as Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.)
did not care for their threats.
So they planned a new strategy. They gathered the chieftains and well-
wishers of Quraish and began devising new ways of tormenting both Hazrat Abu
Talib (a.s.) and Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.). Finally they arrived at these
1. Bani Hashim should be made to leave Mecca.
2. All relations and connections (social and financial) should be severed
from them. Nothing should be sold to them neither should any commodity be
purchased from them.
3. They should not be allowed to meet anybody neither should anyone go to
4. Nobody should give a marriage proposal to Bani Hashim, nor should they
accept any proposal from them.
5. Nobody should talk to any member of Bani Hashim.
A charter incorporating the above measures was prepared and it was signed by
all the renowned and prominent personalities of Mecca. It was hung on the wall
of Kaaba so that it would not escape the sight of the people and even travellers
passing through would read it and refrain from maintaining any contacts with
Bani Hashim. The firm determination of Abu Talib (a.s.) and his steadfastness in
protecting and nurturing the Prophet (s.a.w.s.) made him bear even the toughest
and most difficult afflictions with contentment and satisfaction.
Finally Abu Talib (a.s.) decided that the Quraishi persecution was too much
and decided to leave Mecca. He collected all members of Bani Hashim excepting
Abu Lahab. They decided to dwell in a new place away from Mecca, which happened
to be a valley. Later this place became famous as Sheb-e-Abi Talib (a.s.), which
is present to this day outside Mecca. This place of exile was a very constricted
place with a narrow exit from where only one person could pass at a time. The
place resembled a prison where only a small window exists for sunlight and air.
In such a miserable condition, Abu Talib (a.s.) and his dear ones lived in
loneliness for 3 years, wherein Abu Talib (a.s.) couldn't go to anybody nor
could anybody meet him. He did not have anything to eat or drink nor did he have
anyone to comfort him in his distress. The only encouragement that the residents
of the valley had was divine motivation and support, which helped them withstand
the most difficult of circumstances. The merciless Quraish not only banished Abu
Talib(a.s.) but his entire family from their surroundings. This stone- hearted
tribe, which previously considered Abu Talib (a.s.) to be their leader and
chieftain turned against him just because he assisted the prophet (s.a.w.s.) in
his (s.a.w.s.) mission. In the light of these tortures, if the Quraysh were like
Firaun, then Bani Hashim were like Bani Israel or if the Quraish are considered
to be like Bakhtun Nasr then Bani Hashim are like the inhabitants of Baitul
Muqaddas.(Tabari, Vol. 4, p. 382)
By these incidents we wish to highlight the point that despite such
unbearable afflictions and persecution, Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.) did not turn his
face away from protecting Islam and the Prophet(s.a.w.s.) and never flinched
from assisting them. There was no decrease in his mercy and affection. The
attacks of the Quraish on the Prophet (s.a.w.s.) were also targeted at Hazrat
Abu Talib (a.s.). The harassment that the Prophet of Islam (s.a.w.s.) had to
undergo, were also heaped on Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.). But this did not affect
his forbearance nor did it make any dent in his determination. Undoubtedly Abu
Talib (a.s.) through his beneficial services fulfilled the will of Abdul
Muttalib (a.s.) in the best possible manner. He ensured that his sons looked
after the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and helped him in his mission. In those trying
times, the task of protecting the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) was considered
impossible for anybody except Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.) as nobody had the
willpower and determination like that of Abu Talib (a.s.).
The means adopted by Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.) for the protection and safety of
Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) were very successful. We can attribute this achievement
to the blessings of the Prophet of Allah (s.a.w.s.). Of course, Abu Talib's (a.s.)
leadership qualities also helped in spreading Islam. Right from the very
beginning, Islam was under the care and supervision of a sympathiser who
nourished it and raised it without any feeling of fear and greed. His devotion
was not tainted by selfish motives or personal benefits. Hazrat Abu Talib(a.s.)
devoted his entire life in protecting and serving the Prophet of Islam (s.a.w.s.).
The words of Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.) - 'Till the time I breath from my nostrils,
nobody can dare to harm you' was justified from all aspects. Speaking evil of
the Prophet (God Forbid) was a common practice in Mecca. Vulgar poems were
recited openly in markets and common gatherings in Mecca. The oppressed
Prophet(s.a.w.s.) did not have anyone on his side to punish these offenders.
Abu Talib (a.s.) undertook this responsibility all by himself and composed
couplets and poetries in praise of the Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and gave a fitting
reply to the Quraish. From these gems of poetic verses, we have mentioned below
'You are so prominent and preferred that Allah, the Almighty, has derived
your blessed name from His own name. He is praised in the heavens, whereas you
are the praiseworthy one on this earth.'
During the Islamic era when this couplet reached Hassan b. Thabit, he was
excited by its reflective thinking and elegant content. He then added his own
verses to the existing couplet: 'Have you not seen that the Glorified Almighty
has raised his creature (s.a.w.s.) for making him (s.a.w.s.) high and exalted
and gave him (s.a.w.s.) this sign. He derived his (s.a.w.s.) name from His own
name. He was praised in the sky and he (s.a.w.s.) was praiseworthy on the
Another renowned poetry of Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.) recorded by Muhammad b.
Ishaaq (author of Seeratun Nabuwwat) is more than 80 couplets long. This was
composed when Mecca was under a severe famine.
The traders were hopeless of their businesses and farmers were also hopeless
of their agricultural output. So the Meccans came to Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.) for
invoking rain. Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.) brought the Prophet (s.a.w.s.) along with
him to the Kaaba. The Prophet(s.a.w.s.) invoked Allah and with his (s.a.w.s.)
invocation it rained heavily. Parched fields turned green with vegetation. We
have given below an excerpt from the poetry highlighting this incident:
'There is none for the remembrance of Allah and circumbulation of Kaaba
except Bani Hashim and they were in all circumstances benefiting from this
greatness. By Allah! We will neither abandon Muhammad(s.a.w.s.) nor will we hand
him over to anybody. We will not leave our children and women and spears have
not clashed and nor have arrows rained down and we are not covered in dust.'
'O Muhammad! Looking at your luminous face, raindrops fall. Your merciful
existence is a refuge for the helpless orphan and a protection for the modesty
and chastity of widows.'
Apart from this, there is another poetry of Abu Talib (a.s.) praising the
Prophet (s.a.w.s.), describing the virtues and excellence of Islam and
proclaiming it to be the best religion. The following are the excerpts of this
'O Muhammad! You invited me towards Islam and I came to know that you are
honest in your claim and whatever you said was the truth and I was the trust for
that and I also came to know that the religion of Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) was better
than all religious of the world.'
Efforts of Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.) in the propagation of Islam and its
establishment were not silent and discreet. Rather it was evident to all. He
wished from the depth of his heart that everybody should follow Islam and accept
it sincerely. Once Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.) saw the Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and Hazrat
Ali (a.s.) praying in the confinement of the valley. At that time Islam had not
become so popular that the Prophet (s.a.w.s.) could openly announce the
commencement of namaz. Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.) was observing them.
When they had finished he called his son - Ali-e-Murtuza (a.s.) and told him
(a.s.), 'Be even more active and vigorous in protecting your brother (Muhammad (s.a.w.s.)).
He is your well-wisher and does not wish you harm. Go, may Allah protect both of
Similarly once Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.) went to meet the Prophet(s.a.w.s.)
along with his son - Jafar (a.s.). They witnessed both the Prophet (s.a.w.s.)
and Ali (a.s.) engaged in namaz. Hazrat Abu Talib(a.s.) turned towards Jafar (a.s.)
and said, 'Why don't you join the Prophet (s.a.w.s.) also and protect him (s.a.w.s.)
from the other side just like Ali (a.s.)?'(Kamil - Ibne Asir, pg. 43)
In this way Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.) tried his best to strengthen the arms of
the Prophet (s.a.w.s.) in every possible manner and did not compromise on this
aspect. In this manner he fulfilled the will of his father Hazrat Abdul Muttalib
(a.s.). He attached himself to the Wilayat of the Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and lived
up to his claim - Till there is breath in my nostrils no one can harm you. In
fact in his effort to safeguard the Prophet of Allah (s.a.w.s.) he gave up his
life. In his life, we only witness the service of Islam and nothing else.
Initially he was involved in trading. But later with the oppression of the
Quraish, he did not want to leave the Prophet(s.a.w.s.) at their mercy and he
stopped visiting Syria for trading.
On a couple of occasions he did take the Prophet (s.a.w.s.) with him, but
stopped even that later. On one of these trips he encountered the priest Bahira
who saw the Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and gave glad tidings of his prophethood. After
this, Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.) was even more determined to protect the Prophet (s.a.w.s.)
and considered him(s.a.w.s.) to be his most important trust. He stopped visiting
Syria after that and remained busy in safeguarding the Prophet's (s.a.w.s.)
Three years before Hijrat, in the 49th year of Aamul Feel (Year of Elephant),
Islam's sun of loyalty and faithfulness - Hazrat Abu Talib(a.s.) had reached its
twilight. Gradually signs of death became evident for him. By this time, the
Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) was nearly 50 years old. The Quraish no longer posed a
threat, as in the early days of Islam. A group of Muslims were secretly
fulfilling their religious duties and obligations. Bait-e-Aqabah (final
allegiance) was made. The days of Islam's progress had dawned and the Holy
(s.a.w.s.) himself began feeling a little satisfaction about it. The affairs
of Islam were slowly moving towards progress and perfection.
Although the state of affairs were heartening, yet Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.),
who was on his deathbed, was very concerned about his duty towards helping Islam
and protecting the Prophet's (s.a.w.s.) life. He was not concerned about his
family or their economic well-being, rather he was only concerned about the
well-being of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.). He feared that after him the Quraish
would once again plan to harm the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) just as they had
before in Sheb-e- Abi Talib. This fear was not baseless, rather it stemmed from
prevailing hostile conditions of the society, the opposition and differences
towards the Prophet (s.a.w.s.), hostility of the Quraish in acceptance of Islam
and other sensitive issues. Hazrat Abu Talib(a.s.) was trying to fulfill his
duties till his last breath. While on his deathbed the first thing he did was
that he collected all the people of his tribe and made a will to them.
Hazrat Abu Talib's (a.s.) will
It is narrated from Maqatil that Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.) made a will to Bani
Hashim at the time of his death - 'O Bani Hashim, if you all obey the Prophet (s.a.w.s.)
and if you all believe in his truthfulness you will be guided.'
In Midarajan Nabuwwah (of Mohaddisse Dehalvi) and in Rauzatus Safa vol. 2 the
following sermon of Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.) addressing the people, which also
served as his will, has been recorded.
'O Quraish! You are the most pious servants of Allah. I recommend Muhammad (s.a.w.s.)
to you in matters of righteousness and virtue. He is the trusted one of Quraish
and the truthful one of Arabia and he possesses all the virtues for which I am
making a will to you. He(s.a.w.s.) has brought such good news, which has been
accepted by your hearts, but your tongue has chosen to deny it on account of
fear of taunts. On the contrary, I see that the weak and the defenseless have
accepted his (s.a.w.s.) invitation and have testified in his Shariat and revere
him. Thus they have become the leaders and your chiefs have been humiliated. The
proud ones have been humbled and the humble ones have become self-sufficient.
Those who distanced themselves from him(s.a.w.s.) are the unfortunate ones. I
can see that the people of Arabia are attached to him (s.a.w.s.) and have
expanded their hearts for his love and have very dutifully and diligently
prepared themselves to follow him and serve him. O Quraish! Befriend
Muhammad(s.a.w.s.) and supporters of his group. I swear by Allah those people
who do not tread the path shown by him (s.a.w.s.) will not find guidance, and
only they will accept and adhere to his ways and qualities who are virtuous. If
death could have been delayed and there would have been some more time left in
my life, I would be helping him and as far as possible I would have repelled all
dangers from his path.'
Alas! Hazrat Abu Talib's (a.s.) last wish was not fulfilled and death did not
spare him for a moment. The Quraish rejected the friendly advice given to them
by Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.) and left (a.s.) and walked out angrily. After some
time this great helper of Islam answered the call of His Lord and returned to
Him. Now Islam was devoid of the shelter of this generous helper who for 50
years had undertaken the responsibility of protecting and safeguarding the
Prophet of Islam (s.a.w.s.). He had taken all the blows on himself, which the
polytheists and opponents of Islam had tried to inflict by their taunts and
actions. Even in his old age he was enthusiastic in contributing for the
progress and propagation of Islam.
Hazrat Abu Talib(a.s.)
Hazrat Abu Talib(a.s.) was the
uncle of our beloved Prophet Mohammad(sawaw) who took the responsibility of
bringing up and nurturing the holy Prophet(sawaw). Right from the beginning,
he protected the Prophet with all his energy. He was also the father of Imam
In Sura waz-Zuha, Allah(swt)
says: "Alam yajidka yateeman fa aawa"
– "Did he not find
you orphan and give you shelter?" (93,6). In major tafaseer of both Shia and
Sunni ulemas, it is stated that this ayat refers to the protection and
shelter provided by Hazrat Abu Talib(a.s.) when the Prophet became an
orphan. Thus, this act of Hazrat Abu Talib(a.s.) was called by Allah(swt)
His(swt) own act.
After the famous incident when
Prophet Mohammad(sawaw) refused the offers of money, marriage and status
from the Mushrikeen-e-Makkah, Hazrat Abu Talib(a.s.) gave his full support
to the Prophet(sawaw) and provided him protection in that delicate era of
During the most troublesome days
of Shaib Abi Talib, Hazart Abu Talib(a.s.) led the Quraish into isolation
upon social boycott by the Mushrakeen-e-Makkah. During those three years, he
used to place his sons in sleeping place of Prophet Mohammad(sawaw) during
the night so that if there was an attack then his sons would be killed but
the Prophet of Islam would be saved.
Hazrat Abu Talib(a.s.)
Some people object that Hazrat
Abu Talib(a.s.) never accepted Islam and never recited Kalma. Their comments
are amazing ,since they themselves never recited Kalma to become
Muslims. Those born in Muslim families do not need to recite Kalma to become
Muslims. There are no traditions in my knowledge that Imam Ali(a.s.) ever
recited Kalma to become a Muslim. The one who has been a non-Muslim before
really needs to recite Kalma to become a Muslim.
Now consider the following:-
- Hazrat Abu Talib(a.s.) was the
one who hosted the first dawah of Islam in his house
– Dawat Zul Asheera.
All the Dawahs hosted by any muslim now a days are in fact Sunnat of Hazrat
- He was the one who arranged the
marriage of Prophet Mohammad(sawaw) with Hazrat Khadija(a.s.).
- He was the one who recited the
Nikah of the Holy Prophet(sawaw) and that Nikah started with Hamd of
Allah(swt) and praise for His Prophet(sawaw). It also referred to the
Prophet-hood of Hazrat Ibrahim(a.s.), the Holy books sent by Allah(swt) and
all praise to Allah(swt) to have ordained Hazrat Abu Talib(a.s.) in the
progeny of Hazrat Ibrahim(a.s.).
Just a word of thought for the
if Hazrat Abu Talib(a.s.) was not a muslim then how did Prophet
Mohammad(sawaw) accept a Mushrik (Naozo billah) to recite his Nikah and even
if it were so, why don’t the objectionists follow this Sunnat of the Holy
- He was the one who paid the
Mehr of Hazrat Khadija on behalf of Prophet Mohammad(sawaw).
- According to Quranic
instruction, a Muslim women cannot remain in the Nikah of a non-Muslim after
accepting Islam neither can live with a non-Muslim. Hazrat Bibi Fatima bint-e-Asad
remained in the Nikah of Hazrat Abu Talib(a.s.) until his death.
Another word of thought for the
objectionist: It is accepted by all sects that Hazrat Bibi Fatima bint-e-Asad
had accepted Islam so how did the Prophet(bpuh&hf) allow her to stay with
Hazrat Abu Talib(a.s.)?
- As stated above,
Allah(swt) calls the protection of Hazrat Abu Talib(a.s.) as His(swt) own
protection. In the entire Quran there is not one mention of any act of a
Mushrik that Allah(swt) has called His own act.
- Finally, Prophet Mohammad(sawaw)
has stated in a hadith that on the day of judgment the one who raises an
orphan will be together with me in the heaven as these two fingers are
(pointing to his two fingers). Now where would be the one who raised the
orphan who became the Prophet of Islam?
Aam-ul-Huzn Hazrat Khadija(a.s.) and Hazrat
Abu Talib(a.s.) died in the same year and the Prophet Mohammad(sawaw) was so
saddened by their demise that he declared the year as Aam-ul-Huzn - the year
Imam Zayn al-Abidin (a.s), is reported to have said, "I WONDER WHY
PEOPLE DOUBT THE FAITH OF ABU TALIB, WHEN A WOMAN CANNOT CONTINUE HER
MATRIMONIAL ALLIANCE WITH A NON-MUSLIM HUSBAND AFTER SHE HAS EMBRACED
ISLAM, AND FATIMA BINT ASAD WAS AMONGST THOSE WOMEN WHO EMBRACED ISLAM
AT A VERY EARLY STAGE AND STILL REMAINED HIS WIFE TILL HE BREATHED HIS
Abu Talib is one of the most victimized Mo’mins in the conspiracy
against Ahlul Bayt (a.s.). He was the main person who supported and
defended the Prophet Mohammad (s.a.w.a.) against the enemies of Islam in
Mecca. That was not because of blood relation being the uncle of the
Prophet, as the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) had many uncles amongst them was Abu
Lahab who was along with his wife with the staunch enemies of the
Prophet.(Sura Masad attacks them openly). Abu Talib supported the
Prophet because he had great faith in His message being the last and
final message from Allah (s.w.t.). The faith of Abu Talib was expressed
through his sayings which came in the form of poetry as he used to say
(I verily know that the religion of Mohammad)
( Is the best among all religions)(Tareekh Ibn Katheer 3:42, Fat-h al-Baari
Fi Shar-h Saheeh al-Bukhari 7:153, Al-Isaabah 4:116 and many other
Abu Talib used to say (Verily Allah has honored His Prophet Mohammad The most honored among Allah’s creatures is Ahmad Allah has derived a name for Him from His name
So Allah is Mahmood and He is Mohammad) (Dala’il al-Nobowwah by Abu Na’eem 1:6, Tareekh Ibn Asaakir 1:275,
Tareekh I Ibn Katheer 1:266, Al-Isaabah by Ibn Hajar 4:115, Al-Mawaahib
Alladunniah by Al-Qastalaani 1:518 narrating from Tareekh al-Bukhaari.
Enemies of Ahlul Bayt who were the Umayyad and Abbasid governments and
their people fabricated stories and false Hadeeths against Abu Talib
claiming that he was a Kafir. This allegation was not acceptable by
Muslim public during the time of Mu’awiyah otherwise he could have
mentioned it in his war against Imam Ali (a.s.). It was supported
afterward by fabricated narrations
and publicized by Umayyad and Abbasid governments to harm the status of
Imam Ali (a.s.) in the eyes of ignorant public.
Examining the narrations against Abu Talib:
If you take the so called Hadeeths narrated against Abu Talib and
examine the narrators, you will not find them but liars and non-trusted
people such as:-
1- Sa’eed Bin al-Musayyab who was an open enemy of Imam Ali (Sharh al-Nahj
by Ibn Abil Hadeed 1:370). This man refused to pray Salat al-Janazah on
Imam Ali Zainul Aabideen al-Sajjad (a.s.)(Shaikh al-Abtah 66)(Al-Waaqidi
as in Al-Ghdeer 8:9).
2- Sufyan al-Thawri was a narrators against Abu Talib. This Sufyan al-Thawri
is not only an enemy of Imam Ali (a.s.) but also known even among Sunni
scholars to be narrating from liars as the Al-Thahabi admitted in Meezan
3- al-Zohri who was an open enemy of Imam Ali (a.s.) and a big liar up
to the extreme extend that he claimed a Hadeeth that ( Verily Ali and
Al-Abbas are fro the people of hellfire and they will not die as
Musalims). This Zohri is mentioned in Sunni books as a fabricator of
Hadeeths ( Meezan al-E’tidal by al-Thahabi 3:126).
4- Abdul Malik bin Omair al-Lakhmi who lost his memory as the famous
Sunni scholar Abu Hatim said about him(al-Ghadeer 8:23). Ahmad bin
Hanbal used to say about him that his narrations are very weak (Meezan
al-E’tidal by al-Thahabi 2:151).
5- Abdul Azeez al-Dara wardi about whom Ahmab bin Hanbal said (
Arabic:Laisa howa bishaie, means : he has no value at all) (Meezan al-E’tidal
by al-Thahabi 2:128). Ahmad bin Hanbal said also about him that he
narrates falsehood. (Meezan al-E’tidal 2:128).
These liars tried to twist the meaning of some Quranic verses by
fabricating Hadeeths against Abu Talib.
Prophet’s and Ahlul Bayt’s Sayings on Abu Talib:
The great status of Abu Talib in Islam is reflected in many sayings and
actions of the Prophet Mohammad (s.a.w.a) and Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) who do
not do not speak but what Allah (s.w.t.) wants.
The Prophet Mohammad (s.a.w.a.) who (Never speaks out of a desire, but
only from the revelation revealed on Him) (Sura An-Najm: 3) used to
praise Abu Talib even after his death. When Al-Abbas the uncle of the
Prophet asked the Prophet: What do hope for Abu Talib? The Prophet
All the good, I hope it from my Lord (for Abu Talib) (Tathkirat
al_khawaas 10) (Al-Ghadeer 7:374).
The Prophet (s.a.w.a.) used to repeatedly praise Abu Talib. Some of
those occasions are narrated by Sunni scholars such as Ibn Hishaam in
Seerat Ibn Hishaam 1:300.
The reason of the allegation against Abu Talib is clarified by the
Prophet (s.a.w.a.) when He told Imam .Ali: O Ali, you have an example
from my brother Easa (a.s.) ; as the Jews hated him, they accused his
mother. (Kanz al-Ummal by al-Muttaqi al-Hindi) . The enemies of Ali (a.s.)
also accused His father with false allegation as the Joes accused Easa’s
Imam Ali (a.s.) said: By Allah, Abu Talib was a faithful Muslim (Mo’min),
keeping his faith secretly, not to cause to Bani Hashim a harm from
Quraish boycott. (Al-Hujjah 24, Al-Ghadeer 7:389, Mo’jam al-Qoboor
Imam Ali (a.s.) also said: By Him who sent Muhammad as a prophet, If my
father’s intercession is given to forgive all the sinners on earth,
Allah will forgive all of them. (Tathkirat al-Khawaas 11).
Imam Al- Sajjad (a.s.) was asked by a person about people who claim that
Abu Talib was a Kafir, He replied: It is really very strange, are they
attacking Abu Talib or the Messenger of Allah who was ordered by Allah
in many verses not to leave a Mo’mina (Believer lady) with a Kafir
husband, and no one doubts that Fatima Bint Asad was from the best
believing ladies and she was Abu Talibs’s wife till he died? ( Ibn Abil
Hadeed in Sharh Nahjul Balagha 3:312, Shaukh al-Abtah 76).
Imam Mohammad Al-Baqir (a.s.) said: If the faith (Imaan) of Abu Talib is
put in a scale against the faith of all people, the faith of Abu Talib
will be more weighty. Don’t you know that Ameerul Mu’mineen Ali (a.s.)
used to send people to perform Hajj on behalf of Abullah and Aaminah
(Prophet’s parents) and Abu Talib as long as Imam Ali was alive , then
He made a will to continue that after His death).(Shaikh al-Abtah 32,
Al-Ghadeer 7:381, Abu Talib Mo’min Quraish by Al-Khunaizi 257). It is
obvious that Hajj can only performed on behalf of Muslims.
Imam Jafar Al-Sadiq (a.s.) when a person told him: People are claiming
that Abu Talib is in a shallow in the fire, said: They are lying, not in
this Gabriel was sent. Surely, Abu Talib is like the people of the cave
who kept their faith secret and showed polytheism, so Allah doubled
their reward twice. (Al-Hujjah 17 and 115, Mo’jam al-Qoboor 1:191).
Imam Jafar Al-Sadiq (a.s.) asked Younus Bin Nabatah: O Younus, what do
people say about Abu Talib? Younus replied: People say that he is in a
shallow in the fire from which his brain is boiling. Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.)
said: The enemies of Allah are lying. Abu Talib( in the paradise) is
with the prophets, truthful, martyrs and pious people, who are the best
to be with. (Shaikh al-Abtah 32, al-Hujjah 17, al-Ghadeer 7:394 from
Imam Musa al-Kazim (a.s.) was asked by Dorost Bin Abi Mansour : What was
the state of Abu Talib? Imam al-Kazim (a.s.) replied: He believed in the
Prophet and in all the message that He brought from Allah, and handed
The Wills to Him. (Al-Abbas 18, Al-Ghadeer 7:395, Abu Talib by Al-Khunaizi
262). This is a very important statement from an infallible Imam that
Abu Talib had The Wills which are kept with the most pious person in
every age, so they were kept with Abu Talib before the prophet hood of Mohammad (s.a.w.a.) and were handed
over by Abu Talib to the Prophet Mohammad (s.a.w.a.). This great status
of Abu Talib is much above and higher than the status of other
believers. That is the reason of infallible Imam Mohammad al-Baqir (a.s.)
saying that the Imaan (faith) of Abu Talib is more weighty than the
Imaan of all the creatures.( Shaikh al-Abtah 32).
Imam Ali Al-Reza (a.s.) received a letter from Abaan Bin Mahmood writing
that he has a doubt about Abu Talib whether he was a Muslim or not. Imam
Reza (a.s.) wrote to him this Quranic verse:( And whoever contradicts
and opposes the messenger and takes a way different from the way of the
believers, we will leave him with whom he is following and cast him hell
and it is the worst destination) (4:115) then Imam wrote to him: If you
do not believe that Abu Talib was a believer, your destination will be
in the fire. (Sharh Nahjul Balaghah by Ibn Abil Hadeed 3:311, Al-Hujjah
16, Mo’jam al-Quboor 1:189, Abu Talib by Al-Khunaizi 264).
Claiming that Abu Talib was a non believer (Kafir) is no doubt
contradicting and opposing the Prophet who knew Abu Talib’s great status
and hence praised him all along. It amounts to hurting the Prophet (s.a.w.a.)
by insulting his noble uncle, guardian and protector of Islam who was
attached to him till the end of his life. Hurting the Prophet is a major
Sin as the Prophet said in a Hadeeth says: Whoever hurts a hair from me
has hurt me, and whoever hurts me has hurt Allah. (Al-Sawaa’eq Al-Muhriqa
by Ibn Hajar 111). Allah says in Quran : (And those who hurt the Messenger of Allah will be in a painful
punishment) (Al-Tawba: 61) (Surely, those who hurt Allah and His Messenger are cursed by Allah and
His Messenger in this life and hereafter) Sura Al-Ahzaab: 57. This shows
the dangerous results of the baseless claim against Abu Talib, not only
because accusing a Muslim to be a non-Muslim is itself a major Sin, but
also it hurts the Prophet and contradicts his sayings and actions. It
also goes against Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) who are the most pious in the Umma
of Mohammad (s.a.w.a.), whom Allah has purified from any error according
to Quran (33:33).
Imam Hasan al-Askari (a.s.) narrated a Hadeeth that Allah has revealed
on His Messenger that I have supported you two types of followers;
followers who support you secretly and followers who support you openly.
The best and master of your secret supporters is Abu Talib, while the
best and master of your open supporters is his son Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.),
them Imam Askari (a.s.) said: Surely, Abu Talib was like the Mo’min of
Aal Fir’awn who was keeping his Imaan secretly) (Al-Hujja 115, Abu Talib
Famous Sahaba’s witnesses:-
Abu Bakr said that Abu Talib did not die but after he said: I bear
witness that there is no god but Allah, and Mohammad is His messenger. (Sharh
al-Nahj by Ibn Abil Hadeed 3:312)(Shaikh al-Abtah 71),(Al-Bidayah
wal-Nihayah 3:123),(al-Isaabah 4:116),(Dala’il al-Nobowwah by al-Bayhaqi
1:120 and(Kash al-Ghummah by al-Sha’rani 2:144)
Abdullah Bin Abbas was asked by a person: O Messenger’s cousin, tell me
about Abu Talib, was he a Muslim? He answered: How can Abu Talib be a
non-Muslim when he was saying (About the Prophet): (Did not they know
that we believe that our son (nephew) never lies) (And He does not care for wrong sayings).
Ibn Abbas added: Abu Talib was like the people of the cave, who kept
their Imaan as secret and showed polytheism, so Allah granted them a
doubled reward. ( Al-Hujjah 94).
Abu Zar al-Gifari said: By Allah who is the only God, Abu Talib did not
die but as Muslim. (Al-Ghadeer 7:398).
Hassaan Bin Thabit the poet of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) said about Hamza
and Abu Talib (If you mourn a dead, then weep on the faithful the
brother of the faithful) Tathkirat al-Khawaas by Sibt Ibn al-Jawzi 31.
Abul Jahm Bin Huthafa used to say: I bear witness that Abu Talib was a
Mo’min.( Al-Ghadeer 7:399, al-Hujjah 268).
Famous Sunni scholars witnesses:-
Soyooti wrote a whole book proving that Abu talib was a Mo’min. The book
is (Bughyat al-Talib Li-Imaan Abi talib) ( al-Zaree’a by al-Tahrani
Sibt Ibnil-Jawzi in his famous book Tathkirat al-Khawaas: The fact the
Abu Talib is from the people of paradise does not need a research as its
evidences are more than to be mentioned. His efforts in sponsoring the
Prophet and supporting Him, his efforts to protect Him from the harm of
wrongdoers and non-believers, the deep grief of the Prophet on his
demise, naming the year of his death and Khadija’s death as the year of
sadness, seeking forgiveness for him for long time and nobody doubts in
the acceptance of the Du’a of the Prophet specially with His insisting
on the Du’a) (Tathkirat alkawaas P 10 and 11).
Al-Mubarrad the author of Al-Kaamil mentioned Abu Talib’s faith as
narrated by Ibn Ma’ad in al-Hujjah 263.
Abu Jafar al-Iskaafi (Rasa’el al-Jaahith 32).
Zaini Dahlan said that big number of narrations about Abu Talib and the
Prophet are clear that Abu Talib’s heart was full of Imaan. (Asna al-Mataalib
page 6 and 7).
Ibn Wahshi al-Hanafi issued a fatwa (verdict) that hating Abu Talib is
Kufr (disbelieving in Islam). Same fatwa came from the Maliki scholar
Ali al-Ajhowari (Abu Talib by al-Urfi 144).
Allama al-Ameeni in his encyclopedia called (al-Ghadeer) mentioned names
of some Sunni scholars who admitted that Abu Talib was a Mo’min such as
Abul-Qasim al-Balkhi, al-Talmasaani in his book Hashiyat al-Shifaa’, al-Sha’raani,
Sibt Ibni al-Jawzi, al-Qurtobi, al-Sabki, Abi Tahir, al-Soyooti and
It is worth mentioning that many prominent Sunni and Shia scholars wrote
books in this subject. The names of many of these books are mentioned in
al-Ghdeer (7:401,402,403) and in Abu Talib by Haidar al-Urfi
It is also worth mentioning that Allama Ameeni collected forty authentic
Hadeeths on the Imaan and great status of Abu Talib in his books Al-Ghadeer
Summary about Abu Talib:-
1- The statements of Abu Talib confirm his faith in Islam. Such
statements are narrated in Sunni references as well as Shia references.
2- The full support and great sufferings of Abu Talib defending Islam
reflect his great faith in Islam and the Prophet Mohammad (s.a.w.a.).
3- Qura’nic verses praising those who gave shelter to the believers and
supported them and stating that (They are the believers
really).(al-Anfal:74).Abu Talib was the best of them as he was the
guardian and supporter of the Prophet Himself (s.a.w.a.).
4- The praise of the Prophet to Abu Talib and His prayers for him all
along is evidence that Abu Talib was a great Mo’min.
5- The sayings of infallibles from Ahlul-Bayt (a.s.) about the great
status of Abu Talib. Their statements are endorsed by Quran
6- The witnesses of famous Sahaba and Sunni scholars admitting the fact
of the Imaan of Abu Talib.
7- Allah has ordered the Prophet not to allow any Muslim woman to
continue with a non Muslim husband. Fatima Bint Asad was a great Mo’min
lady and called by the Prophet as like His mother. She remained with Abu
Talib till his death which means that Abu talib was a Mo’min.
8- Imam Ali (a.s.) used to send people every year for Hajj on behalf of
Abdullah and Aamina (Prophet’s parents) as well as on behalf of Abu
Talib. Hajj any Islamic worship can only performed on behalf of Muslim.
9- All narrations against Abu Talib are politically motivated and
initiated by governments against Ahlul-Bayt (a.s.). Imam Ali (a.s.) was
cursed from their pulpits for decades and His father was a great victim
of that enmity.
10- All the narrators against Abu Talib were liars or enemies of Imam
Ali or connected directly or indirectly with the enemies of Ahlul-Bayt
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