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Abu Talib ibn Abd al-Muttalib

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Abu Talib ibn Abd al-Muttalib
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535 Common Era>CEMecca, Hejaz, Pre-Islamic Arabia>Arabian Peninsula {{smaller|(present-day Saudi Arabia)}}| death_date = {{Circa}} 619 CE (aged 83–84)(present-day Saudi Arabia)}}| resting_place = Jannat al-Mu'alla, Mecca| resting_place_coordinates = | monuments = | other_names = | known_for = being the uncle of Muhammad, father of 'Ali, and Custodian of the Kaaba| style = | movement = Protecting Muhammad| opponents = Pagans of Makkah| spouse = Fatimah bint AsadTalib ibn Abi Talib>Talib Aqeel ibn Abi Talib Ja'far ibn Abi Talib>Ja'far 'Ali Tulayq Fakhitah bint Abi Talib Jumanah bint Abi Talib>Jumanah Raytah| parents = 'Abd al-Muttalib Fatimah bint AmrAz-Zubayr ibn 'Abd al-Muttalib>Az-Zubayr (brother) Abd Allah ibn Abd al Muttalib (brother) Umm Hakim bint Abdul Muttalib>Umm Hakim (sister) Barrah bint Abdul Muttalib (sister) Arwa bint Abdul Muttalib>Arwa (sister) Atika bint Abdul Muttalib (sister) Umama bint Abdulmuttalib>Umamah/Umaymah (sister)| awards = | module = | module2 = | footnotes = | denomination = | 1blankname = | 1namedata = | box_width = | Religion = Islam}}{{Islam}}Abū Ṭālib ibn ʿAbd al-Muṭṭalib (; {{circa|535}}{{spaced ndash}}{{circa|619}}), né ʿImrān () or ʿAbd Manāf (),WEB,weblink Abu-Talib (a.s.) The Greatest Guardian of Islam, duas.org, 27 October 2013, was the leader of Banu Hashim, a clan of the Qurayshi tribe of Mecca in the Hejazi region of the Arabian Peninsula. He was an uncle of the Islamic Nabī (Prophet) Muhammad,Ibn Sa'd, Al-Tabaqat al-Kobra, Vol. 1, P. 93 and father of the Rashid Caliph Ali, who is also regarded as the first Shi'ite Imam. After the death of his father Abd al-Muttalib ibn Hashim ibn Abd Manaf, he inherited this position, and the offices of Siqaya and Rifada.{{EI3|last=Rubin|first=Uri|year=2013}} He was well-respected in Mecca despite a declining fortune.BOOK, Armstrong, Karen, Muhammad: A Biography of the Prophet, 1992, Harper Collins, San Francisco, 77,

Early life

Abu Talib was born at the Arabian city of Mecca in 535 CE. He was the son of the Hashimite chief, Abdul Muttalib. He was a brother of Muhammad's father, 'Abdullāh, 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.BOOK, Haykal, Muhammad Husayn, The Life of Muhammad, 1976, North American Trust Publications, 54, 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.BOOK, Rubin, Uri, The Eye of the Beholder, 1995, Darwin Press, Inc., Princeton, New Jersey, 93, Abu Talib is remembered as a gifted poet, and many poetic verses in support of Muhammad are attributed to him.BOOK, Lings, Martin, Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources, 2006, Inner Traditions, Rochester, Vermont, 33, 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."BOOK, The History of al-Tabari, 1988, State University of New York Press, Albany, 44, 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.Ibn Hisham, al-Sirah, Vol. I, p.162.Tārīkh Al-Tabarī (vol 2 p.63), Tārīkh ibn Al-Athīr (vol 2 p.24), Musnad of Aḥmed ibn Ḥanbal (vol 1 p.159), Al-Sīrat al-Nabawīyah by ibn Kathīr (vol 1 p.457-459).Sunan al-Tirmidhī (vol 2 p.301), Al-Ṭabaqāt Al-Kubrā - ibn Sa'd (vol 3 kklkp.12), Usd Al-Ghābah (vol 4 p.17), Kanz al-'Ummāl (vol 6 p.400), Tārīkh Al-Ṭabarī (vol 2 p.55), Tārīkh Baghdād (vol 2 p.18)BOOK, Armstrong, Karen, Muhammad: A Biography of the Prophet, 1993, Harper Collins, San Francisco, 81, BOOK, The History of al-Tabari, 1985, State University Press, Albany, 83, {{excessive citations inline|date=August 2017}}

Protecting Muhammad

In tribal society, a tribal affiliation is important, otherwise a man can be killed with impunity.BOOK, Armstrong, Karen, Islam: A Short History, 2000, Modern Library, New York, 13, 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, Abu Talib 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.BOOK, Rubin, Uri, The Eye of the Beholder, 1995, Darwin Press, Inc., Princeton, New Jersey, 150, 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.BOOK, The History of al-Tabari, 1985, State University Press, New York, 95, The Quraysh even tried to bribe Abu Talib. They told Abu Talib that if he let them get hold of Muhammad, then he could adopt 'Umarah ibn al Walid ibn al Mughirah, the most handsome youth in Quraysh.BOOK, The History of al-Tabari, 1985, State University Press, New York, 97, BOOK, Haykal, Muhammad Husayn, The Life of Muhammad, 1976, North American Trust Publications, 88, 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.BOOK, Armstrong, Karen, Muhammad: A Biography of the Prophet, 1993, Harper Collins, San Francisco, 129, 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 hardshipBOOK, The History of al-Tabari, 1985, State University Press, New York, xliv, 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.BOOK, Lings, Martin, Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources, 2006, Inner Traditions, Rochester, Vermont, 90, He thought Muhammad was either mad or an impostor.BOOK, Lings, Martin, Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources, 2006, Inner Traditions, Rochester, Vermont, 52, 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."BOOK, Haykal, Muhammad Husayn, The Life of Muhammad, 1976, North American Trust Publications, 89, 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."BOOK, The History of al-Tabari, 1985, State University Press, New York, 96,

Death

Abū Ṭālib 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.BOOK, Donner, Fred McGraw, Love and Death in the Ancient Near East, 1987, Four Quarters, Guilford, Connecticut, 245, John H. Marks, Robert M. Good, The Death of Abu Talib, 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-'Abbās, who was sitting next to Abu Talib as he died, saw Abu Talib moving his lips. Al-'Abbās claimed that Abu Talib had said the shahada but Muhammad replied that he had not heard it.BOOK, Lings, Martin, Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources, 2006, Inner Traditions, Rochester, Vermont, 99, BOOK, Rubin, Uri, The Eye of the Beholder, 1995, Darwin Press, Inc., Princeton, New Jersey, 152, 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."BOOK, Haykal, Muhammad Husayn, The Life of Muhammad, 1976, North American Trust Publications, 136, BOOK, Armstrong, Karen, Muhammad: A Biography of the Prophet, 1993, Harper Collins, San Francisco, 135, The early Muslims relocated to Abyssinia and then to Medina in order to escape persecution by the Quraysh.

Views

The memory of Abu Talib is influenced by political aims of the Sunnis and Shias.BOOK, Rubin, Uri, The Eye of the Beholder, 1995, Darwin Press, Inc., Princeton, New Jersey, 149, The character of Abu Talib was elemental in the Abbasid/Shi'ite power struggle.{{citation needed|date=August 2017}}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.BOOK, Donner, Fred McGraw, Love and Death in the Ancient Near East, 1987, Four Quarters, Guilford, Connecticut, 237, John H. Marks, Robert M. Good, The Death of Abu Talib, The Abbasids traced their ancestry to Al-Abbas ibn Abdul-Muttalib, while the Alids 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.

Shi'ite

Shi'ites believe that the father of the first Imam, Ali, must be nearly as great as the Imam himself. Shia Muslims 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.(150 Rubin){{reliable source|date=August 2017}}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.Shias also believe that the ancestors of Abu Talib were Muslims. Abu Talib was a descendant of Isma'il ibn Ibrahim,BOOK, Donner, Fred McGraw, Love and Death in the Ancient Near East, 1987, Four Quarters, Guilford, Connecticut, 240, John H. Marks, Robert M. Good, The Death of Abu Talib, and Shi'ites believe that the "divine transmigration of the spirit" is applied to ancestors as well as descendants.BOOK, Armstrong, Karen, Muhammad: A Biography of the Prophet, 1992, Harper Collins, San Francisco, 108, However, according to the 6th,QURAN, 6, 74, 90, ns, 9th,QURAN, 9, 113, 114, ns, and 19thQURAN, 19, 41, 50, ns, Surahs of the Quran, Ibrahim's ab (, usually 'father'), that is Azar, was a polytheist and disbeliever. Since term ab was also used among Arabs for uncles, certain Shi'ites{{efn|Unlike Mohammad Taqi al-Modarresi, who considered Terah as the uncle of Abraham.BOOK, Mohammad Taqi al-Modarresi, The Laws of Islam, 26 March 2016, Enlight Press, 978-0994240989,weblink 29 January 2018, Modarresi, English, {{rp|15}}}} assert that Azar was not Abraham's biological father, but his uncle, thus implying that his biological father was the Biblical figure Terah,WEB, Ahlul Bayt Digital Islamic Library Project, Was Azar the Father of Prophet Abraham?,weblink Al-Islam.org, 12 August 2017, en, who himself was described as a polytheist.Book of Joshua, {{Bibleref2|Joshua|24:2|NIV|24:2}}Stories of the Prophets, Ibn Kathir, Abraham and his fatherIn addition, when Muhammad married Khadija, Abu Talib recited the sermon of the marriage. This fact has also been used to prove Abu Talib's monotheism.BOOK, Razwy, Sayed Ali Asgher, A Restatement of the History of Islam & Muslims, 40, Shi'ites quote several Sunni sources{{which|date=August 2017}}, such as Arjah-ul-Matalib by Maulana Ubaydullah BismilBOOK, Maulana Ubaidullah Bismil, Arjah Ul Matalib Sawaneh Umri Hazrat Ali Ibn Abi Talib,weblink 12 August 2017, {{secondary source needed|date=August 2017}} which reportedly contains 300 Sunni references on Abu Talib being a Muslim.{{Citation needed|date=August 2017}}

Sunni

It is reported in Sunni Islam 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.BOOK, Diane Morgan, Essential Islam: A Comprehensive Guide to Belief and Practice, 2010, ABC-CLIO, 9780313360251, 114, BOOK, Muhammad Saed Abdul-Rahman, The Meaning and Explanation of the Glorious Qur'an (Vol 7), 2009, MSA Publication Limited, 9781861796615, 202, 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."BOOK, Donner, Fred McGraw, Love and Death in the Ancient Near East, 1987, Four Quarters, Guilford, Connecticut, 238, John H. Marks, Robert M. Good, The Death of Abu Talib, 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."BOOK, Donner, Fred McGraw, Love and Death in the Ancient Near East, 1987, Four Quarters, Guilford, Connecticut, 239, John H. Marks, Robert M. Good, The Death of Abu Talib,

Family

Abu Talib was married to Fatimah bint Asad. They had four sons: and three daughters: By another wife, Illa, he had a fifth son:
  • Tulayq ibn AbÄ« ṬālibMuhammad ibn Saad. Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Tabir. Translated by Haq, S. M. (1967). Ibn Sa'd's Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir, Vol. I Parts I & II, pp. 135-136. Delhi: Kitab Bhavan.Muhammad ibn Saad. Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Tabir, vol. 8. Translated by Bewley, A. (1995). The Women of Madina, p. 35. London: Ta-Ha Publishers.

Education to his children

See also

Notes

{{Notelist}}

References

{{Reflist|30em}}{{Authority control}}{{Use dmy dates|date=June 2019}}

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