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Abu Talib bin Abdul Muttalib

Abu Talib bin Abdul Muttalib


Kamal al-Syyed

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 great politeness.

For example, when the food was ready, the orphan boy reached it politely. He said:

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 blessed!"

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 importance!"

Abu Talib came back to Makkah. He adored Muhammad. He was very careful of his safety.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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