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Abu Talib ibn Abd al Muttalib

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Full Name

Abu ibn

Arab (Quraysh)

Resting place
Jannatul Mualla

c. 620 CE

Abu Talib ibn Abd al-Muttalib wwwjafariyanewscom2k11newsfeb27tnfjayyamul

c. 539CE
Mecca, Arabia

Known for
being the uncle of Muhammad

Az-Zubayr (brother)Abdullah (brother)

Ali, Ja'far ibn Abi Talib, Aqeel ibn Abi Talib

Abdul-Muttalib, Fatimah bint Amr

Abdullah ibn Abdul-Muttalib, Hamza ibn Abdul-Muttalib

Muhammad, Ya'la bin Hamza, Amer bin Hamza, Omara bin Hamza, Bakr bin Hamza

Similar People
Abdullah ibn Abdul‑Muttalib, Abu Lahab, Ja'far ibn Abi Talib, Hamza ibn Abdul‑Muttalib, Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr

History of islam pre revelation abu talib s protection of prophet muhammad part 8

Abū Ṭālib ibn ‘Abd al-Muṭṭalib (Arabic: ابو طالب بن عبد المطلب‎‎; c. 539 – c. 619), ‘Imrān Arabic: عِـمـران‎‎ or ‘Abd Manāf (Arabic: عَـبـد مَـنـاف‎‎), was the leader of Banu Hashim, a clan of the Qurayshi tribe of Mecca in the Hijaz, Arabian Peninsula. After the death of his father ‘Abd al-Muttalib, he inherited this position and the offices of Siqaya and Rifada. He was well respected in Mecca despite a declining fortune.


Abu Talib ibn Abd al-Muttalib 3bpblogspotcomrFQVRfKE2ES91ZXPmrXIAAAAAAA

Abu Talib was an uncle of the Islamic Nabi (Arabic: نَـبِي‎‎, Prophet) Muhammad, and father of the Rashid Caliph ‘Ali, who is also regarded as the first Shi'ite Imam. There is a great debate among Muslim scholars on whether he died a Muslim or a non-Muslim.

A visit to the shrine of sahabi harat jaffar tayyar ra by arshad wali mohammad

Early life

Abu Talib was the son of Abd al-Muttalib and Fatima.

Relationship with Muhammad

Abū Ṭālib was a brother of Muhammad's father, 'Abdullāh ibn Abdul-Muttalib, who had died before Muhammad's birth. After the death of Muhammad's mother Āminah bint Wahb, Muhammad as a child was taken into the care of his grandfather, ‘Abdul-Muttalib. When Muhammad reached eight years of age, 'Abdul-Muttalib died. One of Muhammad's uncles was to take him in. The oldest, Al-Harith was not wealthy enough to take him in. Abu Talib, despite his poverty, took in Muhammad because of his generosity. Although Abu Talib was responsible for Siqaya and Rifada (Food and Beverages) of Hajj pilgrims, he was poor.

Muhammad loved his uncle very much, and Abu Talib loved him in return. Abu Talib is remembered as a gifted poet, and many poetic verses in support of Muhammad are attributed to him.

Once, as Abu Talib was about to leave for a trading expedition, Muhammad wept and could not bear to be separated from him. To this Abu Talib responded, "By God I will take him with me, and we shall never part from each other."

Later in life, as an adult, Muhammad saw that Abu Talib was struggling financially after a severe drought. Muhammad decided to take charge of one of Abu Talib's Children and he convinced al-'Abbas to do the same. They discussed this matter with Abū Ṭālib, who asked that his favorite child 'Aqīl be left with him. Al-'Abbās chose Ja'far, and Muhammad chose 'Alī.

Protecting Muhammad

In tribal society, a tribal affiliation is important, otherwise a man can be killed with impunity. As leader of the Banu Hashim, Abu Talib acted as a protector to Muhammad. After Muhammad began preaching the message of Islam, members of the other Qurayshite clans increasingly came to feel threatened by Muḥammad. In attempts to quiet him, they pressured Abū Ṭālib to silence his nephew or control him. Despite these pressures, Abū Ṭālib maintained his support of Muḥammad, defending him from the other leaders of the Quraysh. Leaders of the Quraysh directly confronted Abu Talib several times. Abu Talib brushed them off and continued to support Muhammad even when it put a rift between him and the Quraysh. In one account, the Quraysh even threatened to fight the Banu Hashim over this conflict. In a particular narration of one such confrontation, Abu Talib summoned Muhammad to speak with the Quraysh. Muhammad asked the Quraysh leaders to say the shahada and they were astounded.

The Quraysh even tried to bribe Abu Talib. The Quraysh told Abu Talib that if he let them handle Muhammad he could adopt 'Umarah ibn al Walid ibn al Mughirah, the handsomest youth in Quraysh.

When this also failed, the Quraysh elicited the support of other tribes to boycott trading with or marrying members of the Banu Hashim lineage. This boycott started seven years after Muhammad first received revelation and lasted for three years. The goal was to put pressure on the Hashimites and even starve them into submission. For the sake of security many members of the Banu Hashim moved near to Abu Talib (Encyclopedia of Islam) and the place became like a ghetto. This didn't cause undue hardship because many had family members in other tribes that would smuggle goods to them. Abu Talib's brother, Abu Lahab, sided with the Quraysh on this issue; he moved to a house in the district of Abd Shams to demonstrate support for the Quraysh. He thought Muhammad was either mad or an impostor.

Protecting Muhammad put considerable pressure on Abu Talib and the Banu Hashim. In one instance Abu Talib exclaimed to Muhammad, "Save me and yourself, and do not put a greater burden on me than I cannot bear". Muhammad responded, "Oh uncle! By God Almighty I swear, even if they should put the sun in my right hand and the moon in my left that I abjure this cause, I shall not do so until God has vindicated it or caused me to perish in the process." Seeing his nephew's emotion, Abu Talib responded, "Go, nephew, and say what you like. By God, I will never hand you over for any reason."


Abū Ṭālib's died circa 619, at more than 80 years of age, about 10 years after the start of Muhammad's mission. This year is known as the Year of Sorrow for Muhammad, because not only did his uncle Abu Talib die, but also his wife Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, within a month of Abu Talib.

Before Abu Talib died, Muhammad asked him to pronounce the Shahadah. In another tradition Abu Talib was dissuaded from saying the Shahadah by the Quraysh, false statement. According to the historiographer Fred McGraw Donner, both of these traditions have very old isnads but the first variation has two different isnads which might suggest that the second variation is a modification of the older, first variation.

In yet another variation of Abu Talib's death, al-'Abbas, who was sitting next to Abu Talib as he died, saw Abu Talib moving his lips. Al-'Abbas claimed that Abu Talib had said the shahada but Muhammad replied that he had not heard it. Some Muslims see this as proof that Abu Talib died a Muslim. However, the majority of sources state that Abu Talib died a pagan.

After Abu Talib's death, Muhammad was left unprotected. Abu Talib's brother and successor as the Chief of the family, that is Abu Lahab, did not protect him, as he was an enemy of Muhammad, so Muhammad and his followers faced incredible persecution. Muhammad is quoted as exclaiming, "By God, Quraysh never harmed me so much as after the death of Abu Talib." The early Muslims relocated to Medina in order to escape persecution by the Quraysh.


The memory of Abu Talib is influenced by political aims of the Sunnis and Shias. The character of Abu Talib was elemental in the Abbasid/Shia power struggle.

The Abbasids, who originally claimed to be Shi‘ites, worked with Ajamis to overthrow the Umayyad dynasty, and both tried to legitimize their claim to power through ancestral relationship to Muhammad. The Abbasids traced their ancestry to al-Abbas, while the Shias traced their ancestry to 'Ali, son of Abu Talib. Therefore, in order to assert their credibility, the Abbasids (who embraced Sunni Islam) tried to discredit Abu Talib by emphasizing that he died a pagan. All historical error can say History is always having different angles.


It is reported in the Sunni Hadith collections of Sahih Muslim and Bukhari that the Quranic verse 28:56 ("O Prophet! Verily, you guide not whom you like, but Allah guides whom He will") was revealed concerning Abu Talib's rejection of Islam at the hands of his nephew.

In one account by the historian al-Mada'ini, and widely circulated by the Abbasids, one of two men states, "I wish that Abu Talib had embraced Islam, for the Apostle of God would have been delighted at that. But he was an unbeliever."

Along the same lines, there is a similar account where 'Ali informs Muhammad of Abu Talib's death by saying, "Your uncle, the erring old man, has died."


Shi‘ites believe that the father of the first imam, 'Ali, must be nearly as great as the imam himself. Shias elevate Abu Talib and see him as a heroic defender of Muhammad. Many sources from this perspective claim that Abu Talib was indeed Muslim, he just kept his faith a secret so that he could better protect Muhammad.

In one account, when Abu Talib was ill, Muhammad fed grapes to him that God forbade unbelievers to eat. This implies that Abu Talib had accepted Islam despite his outward actions.

Some Shi‘ites go so far as to insist that even the ancestors of Abu Talib were Muslim. Abu Talib was a descendant of Isma‘il ibn Ibrahim, and Shi‘ites believe that the "divine transmigration of the spirit" is applied to ancestors as well as descendants. However, according to the Qur’an, Ibrahim's father Azar was an Idolator and Disbeliever.. Shia nonetheless believe Azar was Abraham's uncle, and the term for father was also used among Arabs for uncles.

Others claimed that even if Abu Talib did not accept Islam, he did a great service to Islam by protecting Muhammad from the Quraysh, sentence itself is confirm that only Muslim can do what Abu Talib manage. They put the blame of Abu Talib's failure to convert on the Quarysh, no need to blame as this is a close chapter Abu Talib was not to blame.

Shia quote several Sunni sources, such as Arjah-ul-Matalib by Maulana Ubaydullah Bismil which reportedly contains 300 Sunni references on Abu Talib being a Muslim.


Abu Talib was married to Fatimah bint Asad. They had four sons:

  • Ṭālib ibn Abī Ṭālib
  • 'Aqīl ibn Abī Ṭālib
  • Ja'far ibn Abī Ṭālib
  • 'Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib
  • and three daughters:

  • Fākhitah bint Abī Ṭālib (Umm Hānī)
  • Jumānah bint Abī Ṭālib
  • Rayta bint Abī Ṭālib (Asma or Umm Talib)
  • By another wife, Illa, he had a fifth son:

  • Tulayq ibn Abī Ṭālib
  • References

    Abu Talib ibn Abd al-Muttalib Wikipedia

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