Islam of Abu Talib (Part 1 of 4)


It would be interesting if we analyze the verses that some Sunni

commentators have aleged to have revealed for the disbelief of Abu Talib

(RA). The first one is:


Surah VI - The Cattle (An'aam) - Verse 26



        And they prohibit ( others ) from it and go far away from it,

        and they only bring destruction upon their own souls while they

        do not perceive it.


        - Tabari relates from Sufiyan Soori who relates it from Habeeb ibn

          Abu Sabit who narrated it from somebody saying that Ibn Abbas


          said 'that this verse came down for Abu Talib, because he used to

          protect Muhammad from the Kufar but he never recited the Kalima.'


Sunni references


        - Tabaqat of Ibne Sa'ad, v 2 p 105

        - History of Tabari, v 7 p 100

        - Tafseer Ibn Katheer, v 2 p 127

        - Tafseer Kashaf, v 1 p 448

        - Tafseer Qurtubi, v 6 p 406

        -  ... and many many more


Now let us see for ourselves if the ideology behind the above


is correct or not, so that we would have no doubts in our minds. Further

scrutiny of the above interpretation would lead us to believe that it is

nothing but a futile effort to discredit Abu Talib:


        - The verse talks about living people, since the verse mentions

          that ' people who prevent others from doing it and neither do

          it '. Of course a dead person can't think of preventing others

          from a course of action, and they have to be living to do so.

          This convinces us to believe that this verse can't be for

          Abu Talib.


        - The chain of narrators terminates after Habeeb ibn Abu Sabit

          and Sufyan doesn't mention who narrated it from Habeeb ibn Abu

          Sabit, and all he says that he ( Habeeb ) narrated it from some

          one who heard it from Ibn Abbas.


          This criterion is not acceptable according to the standards of

          hadeeth, since the chain of narrators is incomplete, therefore

          this hadeeth is unacceptable.


But for argument sake if we still accept the chain of narrators, and the

fact that Habeeb ibn Abu Sabit is the only person who narrates it, the

books of Rijal testify to the fact that we can't accept this tradition, for

the following reasons


        - In the eyes if Ibn Habban, Habeeb is a 'deceiver', and Aqeeli Ibn

          Aun has 'avoided' Habeeb since Habeeb has copied hadeeths from

          Ata'a which are ' absolutely unacceptable '.

          Qita'an says that Habeeb's hadeeths other than Ata'a are also

          unacceptable and are not safe from being fake. Abu Dawood quotes

          from Ajri that the hadeeths narrated by Habeeb from Ibn Zamrah

          are not correct. Ibn Khazeema comments that Habeeb is a



Sunni reference


        - Tahzeeb al-Tahzeeb, by Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, v 2 p 179


Therefore the tradition narrated by Habeeb is his personal innovation, and

after reading the views of so many Rijal experts how can we accept his



But this shouldn't stop us from further investigating the issue, and if we

accept the fact that Habeeb can be trusted, let us look at Sufyan who is

the last narrator in the chain of the tradition against Abu Talib. We still

have to declare this hadeeth void, because, al-Dhahabi writes about him



                      "Sufyan narrations are lies"


Sunni reference


        - Mizan al-Itidal, by al-Dhahabi, v 1 p 396



I find it very difficult to believe that despite the fact the commentators

who have written down the traditions are respectable personalities, they

have copied it down from cheap people such as above, without any



Despite all these weak traditions that have been narrated by weak

narrators, we find hadeeths related by Ibn Abbas that are genuine and state

the opposite of what we find in the hadeeth mentioned above. Let see what

they have to offer


     - Tabari states that the above verse came down for all the mushrikeen

     who used to stay away from the Prophet and used to advise others to

     stay away from him ( the Prophet ).


Sunni reference


        - Tafseer Tabari, v 7 p 109

        - Tafseer Durre Manthoor, v 3 p 8


The fact is that Abu Talib never advised others to stay away from Prophet

(PBUH&HF). Even many of those who accused him for not uttering Shahadah,

confess that he helped the Holy Prophet (PBUH&HF) during those days of

tribulations of the young Islam with all his means.  Also he raised the

Prophet when he was child, and then accepted that Imam Ali (AS) to be

raised by Prophet. He, in fact, was Muslim from the begining, but was

ordered by Prophet to practice Taqiyya (to conceal his belief) so that he

could play as a mediator between Prophet and chiefs of unbelievers in Mecca

(like Abu Sufyan).


Also it is important to note that we do NOT believe that the parents of

Prophets and Imams were necessarily perfect (Infallible). However we

believe that their parents and all their forefathers were righteous and

believers and monotheist during their entire life.


                                                         End of Part 1 of 4



                     Islam of Abu Talib (Part 2 of 4)


A number of historians and hadith recorders reported that Abu Talib died

while he was a pagan. Some of them reported the verse ' It is not

permissible to the Prophet and the believers to ask God to forgive the

pagans even if they were akin to them, after it became clear to them that

those pagans are from the people of hell .'


Such false commentaries and statements were fabricated as a part of the

smear campaign which the Omayyads and their allies waged against Imam Ali

(AS). By fabricating such traditions they tried these to convince people

that Abu Sufyan, father of Muawiyyah was better than Abu Talib, father of

Imam Ali, claiming that Abu Sufyan died while he was a Muslim and Abu TAlib

died while he was a pagan.


The recorders of the hadiths and the historians took these hadiths without

paying attention to the evidence of their forgery. They did not try to

examine these hadiths, yet the date of the revelation of the above

mentioned verse testifies that it was not revealed about a matter

pertaining to Abu Talib ( May Allah be well pleased with him ).


Now coming to the hadith by itself, let see what the most authenticated

book in the eyes of the Sunnis has to say.


al-Bukhari in his Sahih writes


        Narrated Al Musaiyab : When Abu Talibs death approached, the

        Prophet ( saw ) went to him while Abu Jahl and Abdullah bin

        Abi Umaiya were present with him. The Prophet ( saw ) said : ' O

        Uncle, say : None has the right to be worshipped except Allah,

        so that I may argue for your case with it before Allah. ' On

        that Abu Jahl and Abdullah bin Abi Umaiya said : ' O Abu Talib !

        Do you want to renounce Abdul Muttalib's religion ? ' Then the

        Prophet ( saw ) said, ' I will keep on asking ( Allah for )

        forgiveness for you unless I am forbidden to do so. ' Then there

        was revealed


        It is not fitting for the Prophet and those who believe that

        they should pray for forgiveness for pagans even though they

        be of kin, after it has become clear to them that they are

        the companions of the fire. [ 9 : 113 ]



Sahih Bukhari Kitabul Tafseer

Arabic English

Volume 6

Page 158 Tradition no. 197


The above mentioned verse is a part of the Chapter of Baraat ( number 9 ).

A few points on this Chapter


        - this is a totally medinite Chapter, with the exception of the

          last two verses ( 128 and 129 )

        - the verse which is the subject of our discussion is Verse 113

        - the Chapter of Baarat was revealed during the ninth ( 9th ) year

          of Hijra. The chapter speaks of the events that took place during

          the campaign of Tabuk, which was during the month of Rajab in the

          ninth Year. The Prophet ( saw ) had ordered Abu Bakr to announce

          first part of it during the days of the pilgrimage of that year

          when he sent him as an ' Amir Al Hajj '. Then he sent Imam Ali

          to take that part from him and announce it, because God commanded

          him that no one should deliver the revelation other than himself

          or a man from the members of his House. The chapter speaks of the

          events that took place during the campaign of Tabouk, which was

          during the month of Rajab in the ninth Year.


Many Sunni traditionist reported that:


     The Messenger of Allah sendAbu Bakr to the people of Mecca with the

     Chapter of al-Bara'ah and when he proceeded, (the Prophet) sent for

     him and asked him to return the chapter and said: "No one takes it to

     them except one of my Ahlul-Bayt." and thus he sent Ali for this



Sunni references:

- Sahih al-Tirmidhi, v2, p183, v5, pp 275,283

- Musnad of Ahmed Hanbal, v1 pp 3,151, v3, pp 212,283

- Fadha'l al-Sahabah, by Ahmad Hanbal, v2, p562, Tradition #946

- Hakim in his Mustadrak, v 3 p 51

- Al Nisai in his Khasais al Awliyah, p 20

- Fadhail al Khamsah, v 2 p 343

- Siratun Nabi by Shibli Numani, v 2 p 239


Ahmad in his musnad added that Abu Bakr said : The Prophet ( saw ) had sent

me with the chapter of Baarat to the people of Mecca


     No pagan should make pilgrimage after this year. No naked shall

     circumnavigate around the Ancient House. No one shall enter paradise

     except a Muslim soul. Any pagan community that has been between them

     and the Messenger of God a peace accord, the accord will end by the

     end by the end of the specified period ( without extension ), and God

     and His Messenger are clear of pagans


Also Shibli Numani in his work on the Seera of the Prophet ( saw ) writes

as follows ( p 239 -- > p 240 )


     Now in the year 9th Hijri, the Kaaba was for the first time,

     consecrated as the central House of Worship for the followers of

     Abraham ...... On return from Tabuk the Holy Prophet ( saw ) sent out

     a caravan of three hundred muslims from Mecca to Medina to perfrom the

     Hajj at Mecca.


Now coming back to the verse of [ 9 : 113 ], the verse could not mean Abu

Talib, because he died in Mecca at least two years before the Hijrah !


I now quote Shibli Numani, in his most celebrated work on the Seera of the

Prophet, Siratun Nabi ( v 1, p 219 and 220 )


Death of Khadija and of Abu Talib

( 10th Year of Revelation )


     On return from the mountain, the Prophet had hardly passed a few days

     in peace when Abu Talib and Khadija both died. He paid his last visit

     to Abu Talib when he was dying. Abu Jahl and Abd Allah ibn Ummaya were

     already there. The Prophet asked Abu Talib to recite the credo of

     Islam, so that he might bear witness to his faith in the presence of

     Allah. Abu Jahl and Ibn Umayya expostulated with Abu Taleb and asked

     if he was going to turn away from the religion of Abd Al Muttalib. In

     the end Abu Talib said that he was dying with is belief in the

     religion of Abd Al Muttalib. Then he turned to the Prophet and said

     that he would have recited the creed but he feared lest the Quraish

     should accuse him of fear of death. The Prophet said that he would be

     praying to Allah for him till He forbade (Bukhari on the Chapter of

     Funeral. The last sentence has been taken from Muslim and not

     Bukhari). This is the version of Bukhari and Muslim. Ibn Ishaq says

     that while dying Abu Talib's lips were in motion. al-Abbas who was


     till then a nonbeliever, put his ear to his lips and then said to the


     Prophet that he was reciting the KALIMA the Prophet had wanted of him.


     ( Ibn Hisham, Cairo Edition, p 146).


     [ Please do bear in mind that all the references cited in the above

     para are * NOT * my adition, and * NEITHER * are the block letters my

     addition, they have been rendered by Shibli Numani himself ]


Then Shibli Numani further writes


     But from a traditionist's point of view this report of Al Bukhari is

     not worthy taking as reliable because the last narrator is Musaiyyab

     who embraced Islam after the fall of Mecca, and was not himself

     present at the time of Abu Talib's death. It is on this account that

     al Aini in his commentary has remarked that this tradition is MURSAL

     (Al Aini, Chapter Janaiz or Funeral, VOL IV, p 200 ).


Also he writes on page 221


     Abu Talib made great sacrifices for the Prophet none can deny that. He

     would even sacrifice his own children for his sake. For his sake he

     had exposed himself to the odium of the whole country, and for his

     sake he had passed years in state of siege, suffering starvation as an

     exile, unprovided with food or drink. Will all this love, sacrifice

     and devotion go unrewarded ?


- asking God to forgive a deceased usually takes place at the time of the

funeral prayer. The wording of the verse ' It is not permissible to the

Prophet and the believers to ask God to forgive the pagans ' , indicates

that the Prophet was with other believers ( in a congregational prayer )

when he asked forgiveness for the pagans.


- as a matter of fact, the funeral prayer was not instituted before the

Hijrah (migration to Medina). The first prayer offered by the Messenger for

a deceased was his prayer for Al Bura Ibn Maarour.


it is likely that this verse was revealed after the Prophet offered a

funeral prayer for one of the hypocrites who used to pretend Islam and

conceal paganism. It is very likely that the verse was revealed when the

Holy Prophet ( saw ) offered a funeral prayer for Abdullah bin Obai bin

Salool who died during the ninth year and who was well noted in his

hypocrisy, his hatred towards the Messenger of Allah and his adversary to

the faith of Islam. About him and his followers, the Chapter of Al

Munafiqoon ( the Hypoctites ) was revealed before that time. Had historians

and hadith recorders thought with some depth and logic, they would not have

commited this terrible historical error !


Here is another hadeeth from Sahih Bukhari that mentions the event similar

to the previous hadeeth


     Narrated Al Musaiyab : When Abu Talib was on his death bed, Allah's

     Apostle same to him and found Abi Umaiya bin Al Mughira. Allah's

     Apostle said : ' O uncle ! say : None has the right to be worshipped

     except Allah, a sentence with which I will defend you before Allah. '

     On that Abu Jahl and Abdullah bin Abi Umaiya said to Abu Talib : '

     Will now you leave the religion of Abdul Mutallaib ? ' Allah's apostle

     kept on inviting him to say that senetnce while the other two kept on

     repeating their sentence before him till Abu Talib said as a last

     thing then he said to them , ' I am on the religion of Abdul Muttalib

     ' and refused to say : None has the righ to be worshipped except

     Allah. On that Allah's Apostle said : ' By Allah I will keep on asking

     Allah's forgiveness for you unless I am forbidden ( by Allah ) to do

     so. So Allah revealed


          It is not fitting for the Prophet and those who believe that they

          should invoke ( Allah ) for forgiveness for pagans ( 9 : 113 )


     And then Allah revealed especially about Abu Talib :


          Verily ! You ( O, Muhammad ) guide not whom you like, but Allah

          guides whom He will (28:56)


Sahih Bukhari Kitabul Tafseer

Arabic English

Volume 6 page 278 -> 279

Tradition no. 295


Readers will be surprised to know that the two hadeeths cited above, prove

that the two verses descended one after the other. But this is contrary to

another hadeeth that Bukhari cites in his Sahih, and it proves that Surah

Baarat was among the last revealed chapters. Here is the hadith


        Narrated Al Bara : The last Sura that was revealed was Bara'a ...



Sahih Bukhari Kitabul Tafseer

Arabic English

Volume 6

Page 101 Tradition 129


Other Sunni references that affirm to the fact that Sura Baarat was among

the last revealed chapters and a Medanite Sura, please refer to


        - Tafseer Kashshaf, v 2 p 49

        - Tafseer Qurtubi, v 8 p 273

        - Tafseer Itqan, v 1 p 18

        - Tafseer Showkani, v 3 p 316


But where is the fault in the Hadeeths? The verse cited from Surah Qasas,

was revealed at least ten (10) years before Surah Baarat, and that it was

revealed in Mecca, where as Surah Baarat was revealed in Medina. Please

think about it, and you shall find out that in a futile effort to discredit

Abu Talib and declare him as an unbeliever, the order of the revelation of

the Quran was not taken into consideration. Just imagine the time gap in

between the revelation of the two chapters, and the matter will be very



Also history tells us that Al Musaiyab


        - disliked Imam Ali

        - refused to say the funeral prayers for the grandson of Imam Ali,

          and the son of Imam Hussain, Imam Zainul Abidin


Sunni Reference


        - Sharah of Ibn al Hadid, v 1 p 370


One could conclude that this fabrication was done to simply elevate Umayad

over Hashimites.


Also I came across a very ashtonishing commentary, by the most reverred

Sunni commentator, Fakr ar Din Al Razi in his Tafseer, with reference to

Surah Qasas (28:56). He has mentioned this verse about Abu Talib, * not *

because of his personal opinion; because of the opinion of some other

scholars '. Surprisingly, he admits, that this verse could not be

associated with Abu Talib's beliefs ...


Reference: Tafseer Kabir, v 25 p 3 ( Fakhr ar Din al Razi )


                                                         End of Part 2 of 4



                     Islam of Abu Talib (Part 3 of 4)


Quran and the unbelievers



        It is not ( fit ) for the Prophet and those who believe that

        they should ask forgiveness for the polytheists, even though

        they should be near relatives, after it has become clear  to

        them that they are inmates of the flaiming fire. [ 9 : 113 ]


Now since we have already proved that the above verse was not revealed for

Abu Talib, where the Prophet and the Muslims have been advised not to pray

for the polytheists, it would help us to look at those verses that asked

the Prophet and the Believers not to eshtablish relations for the

polytheists, let alone pray for them, out of love and respect !



Surah 58 - The Pleading One (Mujadilah) - Verse 22



        You shall not find a people who believe in Allah and the latter

        day befriending those who act in opposition to Allah and His

        Apostle, even though they were their own fathers, or their sons,

        or their brothers, or their kinsfolk; these are they into whose

        hearts He has impressed faith, and whom He has strengthened with

        an inspiration from Him: and He will cause them to enter gardens

        beneath  which rivers flow, abiding therein; Allah is well

        pleased with them and they are well pleased with Him; these are

        Allah's party: Surely the party of Allah are the successful ones.


This was revealed in the Battle of Badr and this event occured in the 2

year of the Hijra. However there are some commentators that relate its

revelation with The Battle of the Uhud, that occured in the 3 year of the

Hijra. How ever, the verse advises us not to make friends with the non

believers or even love them. This Chapter was revealed well before Surah

Baarat ( Chapter 9, for the verse cited in the beginning )


Sunni references


        - Tafseer Ibn Katheer, v 4 p 329

        - Tafseer Sho Kafi, v 5 p 189

        - Tafseer Aloosi, v 28 p 37



Surah IV - Women (Surah Al Nisa)- Verses 139 and 144



        Those who take the unbelievers for guardians rather than believers.

        Do they seek honor for them ? Then surely all honor is for Allah.


        O you who believe ! do not take the unbelievers as protectors

        instead of than believers; do you desire that you should give to

        Allah a manifest proof against yourselves ?



This is a Mecci Surah, where the above verses advise the believers not to

take unbelievers as helpers or protectors. How could the Prophet get help

from an unbeliever if we assume Abu Talib is unbeliever?!  Ofcourse, this

verse was revealed well before Chapter 9, that has been the focus our



Sunni reference :


        - Tafseer Qurtubi, v 5 p 1



Surah III - The Family Of Imran (Surah Ale Imran) - Verse 28



        Let not the believers take the unbelievers for friends rather

        than the believers; and whoever does this, he shall have

        nothing of ( the guardianship ) Allah, but you should guard

        yourselves against them, guarding carefully; and Allah makes you

        cautious of ( retribition  from ) Himself; and to Allah is the

        eventual journey.



According to reference ( 1 ) the first eighty ( 80 ) verses of this Chapter

were revealed during the beginning of the Hijra. The latter references

indicate that the above verse ( verse 28 ) was revealed during the Battle

of Ihzab ( 5 Hijra ). The last reference indicates that Surah Ale Imran and

Surah Baarat were revealed with a difference of four Surahs.


Sunni references


        - Seera of Ibn Hisham, v 2 p 207

        - Tafseer Qurtubi, v 4 p 58

        - Tafseer Khazan, v 1 p 235

        - Tafseer Itqan, v 1 p 17



Surah IX - Repentance - Verses 23 and 80 ( Surah Baarat )



        O you who believe ! do not take your fathers and your brothers

        for guardians if they love unbelief more than belief; and who

        ever of you takes them for a guardian, these it is that are the



        Ask forgiveness for them or do not ask forgiveness for them;

        even if you ask forgiveness for them seventy times, Allah will

        not forgive them; this is because they disbelieve in Allah and

        the Apostle, and Allah does not guide the transgressing people.


These two verses were revealed before Verse 9:113 (the verse used against

Abu Talib), and as I conclude this discussion, let me pose a question to

these accusers:


     - Is it possible that the Prophet ( saw ) would ask for forgiveness

     for Abu Talib ( May Allah bless his soul ), especially when these two

     verses declare that it is futile to do so, assuming that Abu Talib

     died as an unbeliever? If your answer is yes, then isn't it against

     the text of the Holy Book and the Will of Allah, the Almighty?!!


     - The fact is that the verse 9:113 is just a command to Prophets in

     general, and not apprehension for what Prophet Muhammad did not! This

     will become clear when one looks at the next verse that (i.e., 9:114)

     which shows this is the command of Allah to Prophet Abraham who prayed

     for his uncle Azar (not to be confused with his father whose name was

     Tarokh. This needs a separate discussion) before it was known to him

     that he is the enemy of Allah. Quran states:


     .. But when it became clear to him that he (Azar) was an enemy to

     Allah he dissociated himself from him; for Abraham was most tender-

     hearted forbearing. [9:114]


                                                         End of Part 3 of 4



                     Islam of Abu Talib (Part 4 of 4)


Certainly what has been said about this topic in the last parts, must have


left some questions unanswered, and this article would focus on the

attitude adopted by Abu Talib ( May Allah bless his soul ) towards his

nephew, the Prophet Muhammad ( Peace be upon him and his cleansed progeny

), and his contribution towards spreading Islam, and the declaration of his

faith in several occasions reported by the Sunnis.


The readers of Islamic History know how the Quraish clans delivered to Abu

Talib an ultimatum, to stop his nephew from defaming their fathers and

belittling their gods and ridiculing their minds; otherwise, they would

confront him and the Prophet (PBUH&HF) on a battlefield untill one of the

two parties perished. Abu Talib had no doubt that his acceptance of the

Quraishite challenge meant his death and total annihilation of his clan;

yet he did not pressure his nephew to stop his campaign. He only informed

him of the Qurashite ultimatum, and he told him kindly


     Save me and yourself, my nephew, and burden me not with what I cannot



When the messenger rejected the ultimatum, declaring to his uncle that he

would not exchange his message with the possesion of the whole universe,

Abu Talib immediately reversed his attitude and decided to go along with

the Messenger to the end. This is evident from the statement he made to the

prophet (PBUH&HF)


        Come back, my nephew, go on, say what ever you like. I shall never


        let you down at any time.



Sunni references


        - Ibn Husham, Biography of the Prophet, v 1 p 266

        - Tabaqat of Ibn Sa'ad, v 1 p 186

        - History of Tabari, v 2 p 218

        - Deewan e Abu Talib, p 24

        - Sharah of Ibn al Hadid, v 3 p 306

        - History of Ibn Katheer, v 2 p 258

        - History of Abul Fida, v 1 p 117

        - Al Seerah al Halabiyyah, v 1 p 306



Abu Talib fulfilled this huge promise with distinction. When a Meccan threw

some dirt on the Messenger while he was prostrating, Abu Talib went on

brandishing his sword and holding the hand of his nephew untill he came to

the sacred mosque. A group of the enemies were sitting there, and when some

of them tried to stand for Abu Talib, he said to them


        By the One in whom Muhammad (PBUH&HF) believes, if any one from you



        stands up I will hit him with my sword.


See few lines later below for the Sunni references.


When a person wants to swear, he swears by something that has sanctity for

him, and not something that he does not believe in it. The above

diplomatic/political statement proves for those who have intelligience that

he believed in the God of Muhammad (PBUH&HF), The One, The Great.


Then Abu Talib asked the Prophet (PBUH&HF) who was the person responsible

for the shameful act, and upon his ( Prophet's ) answer, Hamza as

instructed by Abu Talib smeared the dust on the individuals who showed

animosity towards the Prophet (PBUH&HF). It was on this occasion that Abu

Talib said :


        I believe that Mohammed's faith is the best of all the religions


        of the Universe.



Sunni references

        - Khazanatal Adaab by Khateeb Baghdadi, v 1 p 261

        - Tareekh of Ibn Katheer, v 3 p 42

        - Sharh of Ibn al Hadid, v 3 p 306

        - History of Abul Fida, v 1 p 120

        - Fath al Bari ( Sharah of Sahih Bukhari ), v 7 p 153

        - Al Isaba, v 4 p 116

        - Al Seerah Al Halebiyyah, v 1 p 305

        - Talba tul Talib, p 5



The above highlighted part is another obvious statement which proves his



The Quraish could see that despite their obstructive efforts the progress

of Islam had continued. They now decided to put an end to the Prophet and

his family in a state of siege and excommunication till they were all done

away with. With this end in view a pact was drawn, to which each tribe was

a party and it was to the effect that none should have marital ties with

Banu Hashim or do any buying or selling with them; and none was to

associate with them or allow any provision to them. This was to continue

till the Prophet's family handed him over for execution. This pact was then

hung on the door of the Kaaba. Thus forced Abu Talib with the whole family

moved to a mountain cave known as ' Shi'b Abi Talib '. Now the Hashmites

were entirely alienated from the rest of the town dewelers. The fortress

was also beleagured at times by the Quraish to enforce the ban in all its

rigour, and to prevent the possibility of supplies. They found themselves

sometimes reduced to starvation for want of supplies. Under constant

surveillance by the Quraish, Abu Talib even feared night attacks and for

this reason he was on guard for the safety of Muhammad (PBUH&HF), and often

chaged room as a precaution aganist sudden violence.


At the close of the third year of the Interdict, Mohammad (PBUH&HF) told

his uncle Abu Talib, that Allah had shown His disapproval of the convention

against him, and had sent out worms to eat every word of the document

placed in the Kaaba, except His own name written thereon.


Abu Talib believing his nephew (PBUH&HF) as the receiver of the revelations

from heavens, unhesitantly went to the Quraish and told them what Muhammad

(PBUH&HF) had spoken. The discussion is recorded as follows


     Muhammad has informed us and I ask you to confirm it for yourselves.

     For if it is true then I ask you to rethink, instead of troubling

     Muhammad or putting our patience to the test. Believe us, we would

     prefer to lay down our lives; rather hand over Muhammad to you. And if

     Muhammad proves to be wrong in his words, then we would hand over

     Muhammad to you unconditionally. Then you have the liberty of treating

     him any way you like; kill him or keep him alive.


To these proposals of Abu Talib, the Quraish agreed upon to inspect the

document, and to their ashtonishment they found it worm eaten; only the

name of Allah was still there and no more, and they said that it was an

enchantment of Muhammad (PBUH&HF). Abu Talib enraged upon the Quraish and

demanded that the document be declared void and the ban be removed. Then he

clutched to one end of the cloth of the Kaaba, as he raised the second hand

in the air and prayed


        O Lord ! Help us against those, who have subjugated us to


        torture ...



Sunni references :


        - Tabaqat of Ibne Sa'ad, v 1 p 183

        - Seerah of Ibn Hisham, v 1 p 399 and p 404

        - Aiwanul Ikbar by Qutaiybah, v 2 p 151

        - Tareekhe Yaqoobi, v 2 p 22

        - Al Istiab, v 2 p 57

        - Khazantul Ihbab by Khateeb Baghdadi, v 1 p 252

        - History of Ibn Katheer, v 3 p 84

        - Al Khasais al Kubra, v 1 p 151

        - Al Seerah Al Halebiyyah, v 1 p 286



Once during the childhood of the Prophet (PBUH&HF) on the occasion of a

scarcity of rains Abu Talib took him (PBUH&HF) to the Holy Kaaba and

standing with his back touching the wall of the sanctuary lifted up the

Prophet (PBUH&HF) in his lap and sought medium in his prayers to the

Almighty for the rains. The Prophet (PBUH&HF) also joined him in his

prayers with his face upturned. The prayers were not finished when the

clouds began to appear and the rain fell in torrents. This incident is

alluded in the following verses composed by Abu Talib:



        Don't you see that we have found Mohammed a prophet like Moses;


        he is already predicted in the previous Scriptures.



        He is the illumined face which is the medium for the rains; he is

        the spring for the orphan and a protector for the widow.



Sunni references


        - Sharah of Bukhari by Qastalani, v 2 p 227

        - Al Seerah Al Halebeyah, v 1 p 125



Another verse that testify's to the belief of Abu Talib is as follows



        To exalt him He derived his name from His own; the One on


        High is called Mahmud while He named him Mohammed



        There is no doubt that Allah appointed Muhammed as a prophet,


        therefore Ahmed is the most exalted personality in the entire






Sunni references


        - Dalail al-Nubuwwah, by Abu Nu'aym, v 1 p 6

        - History of Ibn Asakeer, v 1 p 275

        - Sharah of Ibn al Hadid, v 3 p 315

        - History of Ibn Katheer, v 1 p 266

        - Tareekhe Khamees, v 1 p 254



Abu Talib was a man of great faith and had strong belief in the

truthfulness of Mohammed (PBUH&HF). He lived with that mission for about

eleven years, and the difficulties for Muhammad and him increased in size

by the passage of time. This was especially noticeable after his death,

since the Quraish subjected him to more sufferings; sufferings that were

not imaginable during the life time of Abu Talib. Ibn Abbas narrates a

tradition that when a person from the Quraish put dirt on his head, he went

home. It was on this occasion that the Prophet (PBUH&HF) remarked :


     ... The Quraish never met me with such treatment during the life time

     of Abu Talib, since they were cowards ...



Sunni references


        - History of Tabari, v 2 p 229

        - History of Ibn Asakeer, v 1 p 284

        - Mustadrak of Al Hakim, v 2 p 622

        - History of Ibn Katheer, v 3 p 122

        - Al Faiq by Al Zamakshari, v 2 p 213

        - Tareekhe Khamees, v 1 p 253

        - Al Serah Al Halebiyyah, v 1 p 375

        - Fathul Bari, v 7 p 153 and p 154

        - Seerah of Ibn Husham, v 2 p 58



              The Marriage Ceremony of the Prophet (PBUH&HF)



Abu Talib addresses the men of Quraysh, who were present at the marriage

ceremony as follows:


     Praise be to Allah Who made us from the seed of Abraham and progeny of

     Ishmael. He granted as a Sacred house and a place of pilgrimage. He

     made us to dwell in a secure sanctuary (haram), to which the fruits of

     everything are brought. He made us, moreover, arbiters in men's

     affairs, and blessed for us this land in which we dwell.


Then he said:


     Were Muhammad (PBUH&HF), the son of my brother 'Abdullah son of Abdul

     Muttalib ', to be weighed any man among the Arabs, he would excel him.

     Nor would any man be comparable to him. He is peerless among men, even

     though he is a man of little welath. Yet riches are only transient

     possesions, and an epheramel security. He has expressed a desire for

     Khadijah, and she likewise has shown interest in him. As for any bride

     gift (mahr) you demand, both the part to be presented now and the one

     presented at a later date - it will be of my own wealth.


Sunni reference:

- Seerah al-Halabiyyah, vol 1 p 139



            Abu Talib's (May Allah bless his soul) last breath



In spite of his concealing his faith, Abu Talib, on more than one occasion

made his belief in Islam clearly known (as already mentioned above) long

before his death. But it would be interesting to quote his saying at his



While on his death bed, Abu Talib said to the Hashimites :


        I command you to be good to Mohammed. He is the most trustworty

        of the Quraish and the ever truthful of the Arabs. He brought a


        message which is accepted by the heart and denied by the tongue


        for fear of hostility. By God whoever walks in the way of


        Mohammed shall be on the right road and whoever follows his

        guidance shall have the happy future.


        And you Hashimites, respond to Muhammaed's invitation and believe

        him. You will succeed and be well guided; certainly he is the

        guide to the right path.


Sunni references


        - Al Muhabil Dunya, v 1 p 72

        - Tareekhe Khamees, v 1 p 339

        - Balughul Adaab, v 1 p 327

        - Al Seerah Al Halebeyah, v 1 p 375

        - Sunni al Mutalib, p 5

        - Uruzul Anaf, v 1 p 259

        - Tabaqat of Ibn Sa'ad, v 1 p 123



It is reported in the book of al-Bayhaqi (Dalail al-Nubuwwah) that when Abu

Talib was at the point of death, he was seen moving his lips. al Abbas (the

Prophet's uncle) bent down to listen to what he was saying. he then lifted

his head and said:


        By Allah, he has uttered the word which you requested,


        O Messenger of Allah!.


Sunni references:

- Dalail al-Nubuwwah by al-Bayhaqi, vol 2 p 101

- Ibn Hisham, Cairo Edition, p146 as quoted in Siratun Nabi, by Shibli

  Numani, v1, pp 219-220


Also in the same book, it is related that the Prophet (saw) stood at the

funeral of Abu Talib and said:


        You have indeed acted kindly to your next of kin;

        may you be well rewarded, O uncle.


Sunni references:

- Dalail al-Nubuwwah by al-Bayhaqi, vol 2 p 101

- Ibid, vol 2 p 103

- History of Khateeb Baghdadi, vol 13 p 196

- History of Ibn Katheer, vol 3 p 125

- al Isaba, vol 4 p 116

- Tadhkirat Sibt, p 2

- History of Yaquubi, vol 2 p26



                  Some Shi'ite references on Abu Talib



Abu Abdillah, Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq (AS) said:


        The case of Abu Talib was like that of the people

        of the Cave [Quran 18:9-26]; they concealed their

        faith and disclosed shirk. Yet Allah bestowed upon

        them double reward.


Shia Reference:


        - al Kulayni in al Kafi, vol 1 p 448

        - al Amini, al Ghadir, vol 7 p 330



In another tradition, Imam Jafer al-Sadiq (AS) said:


        While Imam Ali (AS) was sitting with Ruhbah in Kufa, surrounded

        by a group, a man stood up and said : ' Commander of the Believers,

        you are in this great position at which God has placed you while

        your father is suffering in hell. ' The Imam replied, saying : Be

        silent. May God disfigure your mouth. By the One Who sent

        Mohammed (PBUH&HF) with the truth, if my father intercedes for

        every sinner on the face of the earth, God would accept his



Shia reference: al-Ihtijaj, by al-Tabarsi, v1, p341




Now, I would like to end this discussion with the following thoughtful



        - Why is it that we accuse Abu Talib of paganism, when he

          chose to believe in the Prophet's (PBUH&HF) message and declared

          it by political statements and sometimes by frank declarations?

        - What benefit does it have for us to daclare him Kafir when

          there are strong proofs to the contrary? Do we get any other

          benefit except to make ourselves Kafir by pronouncing one of the

          early Muslim as Kafir?

        - Why do we accuse him of paganism when he defended the

          Prophet (PBUH&HF) by all of what he had of men and

          means? Why do we attribute paganism to such a personality

          who was so benevolent to all the Muslims by guarding the

          life of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HF) for 11 years ?

        - Why do we attribute paganism to the man who read the Nikah

          for the Prophet (PBUH&HF) ? How can your mind comprehend

          the notion of a pagan/disbeliever carrying out the ceremony

          of the marriage for a Prophet?

        - Isn't this ungratefulness in the worst form ?

        - Isn't this the worst insult in reward of the great favor that

          he did for the Prophet (PBUH&HF) ?



Indeed his presence in relation to the continuity of Islam was NOT

incidental and we Muslims all owe him! May Allah grant us his intersession.


                                                         End of Part 4 of 4



Some Side Comments on Abu Talib


I brother mentioned


     I had a carefull examination of what you wrote but one thing is not

     clear wheather Abu Talib did ever uttered 'my god'. So far you

     informed there is that Abu Talib several times uttered ' Mohammed's

     god' and seemed he had faith in that god but he could never say 'my

     god'. That obviously reveals that he never explicitly uttered Islamic

     belief although it seems that he believed it.



Here I present two references that testify to the fact that

Abu Talib uttered the credo of Islam before his death. I am

sure that I cited this reference in Part # 2 of my article ( s ),

perhaps you missed it ...



     Ibn Ishaq says that while dying Abu Talib's lips were in motion. Abbas

     who was an unbeliever till then put his ear to the lips and then said

     to the Prophet that he was reciting the KALIMA the Prophet had wanted

     of him.


- Ibn Hisham, Cairo Edition, p 146 ( as quoted by Shibli Numani )


A similar tradition is as follows ...



        Abu Talib moved his lips as he was about to die. Abbas then

        heard what he uttered, and he said to the Prophet that Abu Talib

        had uttered the KALIMA that was required by you.


- Tarike Abul Fida, V 1 p 120


Thus his Shahadah before his death is established by the Sunni historians.

However my argument was that he UTTERED shahadah from the very begining of

Islam, but NOT in public. So it is natural that no explicit proof for that

could be found in the history, for history is written based on the public

news (and not private ones!). However, there are implicit proofs in the

history which could lead even Sunnis to believe that he was a Muslim long

before his death. One could be what you refered to. He said to the

unbelievers that "I swear by the God of Muhammad!". Does history have

another example where an unbeliever swears by the name of God who does not

believe? When one wants to seawr, he/she swears by something that is

eminent for him/her. Otherwise he/she does not make his statement any more

credible for others. Let me give you an example. If a man goes to court

here in USA, if he is Christian he will have to swear by Bible. But if he

declares to be non-Christian, then he will have to swear by his holy book

(or any imortant thing otherwise) and not the bible because his swear by

bible does not make the court convinced because he performed the oath.


Please think about it. Quraish have had many important Gods at that time

(like Hubal and Uzza). Why should Abu Talib leave all of them beside and

swears by the God that he does not believe in?!


The Sunni brother further commented:


     Is it possible for some one to be a Muslim without explicitly

     pronouncing this belief ? True, he was a monothiest and not a Mushrik.

     But All monotheists are not Muslim. Your kind opinion please ....


Islam is the state of submission in ones heart. A Hypocite, though declares

that he is Muslim, is indeed non-Muslim. For this very reason, it is

difficult to judge if one is Muslim or not. However you are right. One has

to utter Shahadah to become Muslim, but he does NOT have to do it in public

if he fears of prosecution or if he finds out that by concealing his belief

he can serve better to his nobel thoughts. This is called Taqiyyah. So one

can Utter his Shahadah privately (for instance when he is alone or when he

is with the Prophet (PBUH&HF) alone) and he will be Muslim.


In fact Taqiyyah and hypocracy are two opposite extremes. I have a file on

that which I will send you shortly Insha Allah, which proves it from Quran

and the Hadith prespective as well as Logic.



                  Was Azar the Father of Prophet Abraham?



Surah Al Anaam - Chapter VI - Verse 74


       And when Ibrahim said to his sire, Azar : Do you take idle for

       gods ? Surely I see you and your people in manifest error.



and Surah Al Tauba - Chapter IX - Verse 114


       And Ibrahim asking forgiveness for his sire was only owing to

       a promise that he made to him; but when it became clear to him

       that he was an enemy of Allah, he declared himself to be clear

       of him; most surely Ibrahim was very tenderhearted and forbearing.



In the above verses, the word ' Ab ' has been used for Azar. However, 'Ab'

has different meanings and does not necessarily mean 'Walid' (biological



The Holy Prophet (PBUH&HF) has said that the essence of his existence had

been transmitted and ultimately conveyed to his immediate parents through a

pure, a holy and sanctified progeny.


Now the word ' Ab ' in Arabic language may mean father as well as ancestor

or even uncle as Ishmael ( Ismail ) the uncle of Jacob ( Yaqoub ) has been

addressed as ' Ab ' in the following Quranic verse ...



       Nay ! were you witnesses when death visited Yaqoub, when he said

       to his sons : What will you serve after me ? They said : Well

       will serve your God and the God of your fathers, Ibrahim and Ismail

       and Ishaq, one God only, and to Him do we submit.       [ 2 : 113 ]


Since Ishmael was not the father of Jacob, and yet Quran uses the word 'Ab'

for him as uncle, then the usage of this word for other than biological

father is established...


Besides Prophet Abraham prays for his biological father (Walid) along with

the other believers, which clearly indicates that his biological father was

not a polytheist. This is evident from the following Quranic verse ...


       O our Lord ! grant me protection and my parents (Walidayn) and the

       believers on the day when the reckoning shall come to pass. [14:41]




But what is surprising, that knowing for fact Ibrahim's ( as ) father was

'Tarakh' and not 'Azar' as stipulated by some Sunni historians, which

is in total conformity with the opinion of Shia. Ibn Katheer in his work

on history writes:


       Ibrahim ( as ) was the son of Tarakh. When Tarakh was 75 years of

       age, Ibrahim ( as ) was born to him.


Sunni reference: al-Bidaya wan Nahaya, by Ibn Katheer, v 1 p 139



This is also confirmed by Tabari, as he gives the lineage of Ibrahim's (AS)

family in his history collection, but then also in his Commentary of the

Quran he states that 'Azar' was NOT the father of Ibrahim (AS).



Sunni references :


       - History of al-Tabari, v 1 p 119

       - Tafsir Tabari, by Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, v 7 p 158



 "WHOEVER I AM HIS MASTER, ALI IS HIS MASTER. O God! Love those who love him. Be hostile to those who are hostile to him. Hate those who hate him. Help those who help him. And keep the truth with him wherever he turns." (repeating this paragraph three times). 


وَنَجَّيْنَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَكَانُوا يَتَّقُونَ {41:18}

But We delivered those who believed and practised righteousness


 Faith Misunderstanding clarified
 Iman of Abu Talib (as)

Copyright 2011
All rights reserved

وَنَجَّيْنَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَكَانُوا يَتَّقُونَ     اللهم صلى على محد و ال محد.... و عجل فرجهم