Historical Evidences of Hadrat Abu Talib's Firm Faith in Holy Prophet (S.A.W.)
By: Abdullah al-Khunayzi
In that great highbred house and under the care of that merciful father, from whose high instructions and great school Abu Talib had graduated. He entered from the wide gate of life armed with the high principles of the great house and the glorious past of his fathers.
Since heredity had important effect in forming the personality of man, as the psychologists said, so Abu Talib had made infinite use of this heredity.
Abu Talib was a clear image of a bright past. He had qualities of his father Abdul Muttalib, his grandfather Hashem and his great grandfathers that made of him that bright wonderful image.
No one would deny that Abu Talib, as Allah willed, was the adopter of the Prophet of Islam, who was the perfect image of man and the ideal copy of humanity.
No one would deny that the Prophet had grown, been brought up and spent his youth, which was the greater and the more effective, critical, sensitive and affective stage of man's life, under the care of Abu Talib.
Hence many qualities gathered into the personality of Abu Talib; greatness, exaltedness and self-making. He was the adopter of the orphan Muhammad, the protector and supporter of Prophet Muhammad and the believer in Muhammad's mission. He was Sheikhul Bat~ha' and Baydhatul Balad.
It had been decided by the Heaven that Abu Talib would undertake this task and he carried out the task in the best way. He supported the mission of the Heaven as possible as he could.
No one would deny that Abu Talib had participated his father in the leadership when he was alive to be the first personality after his father Abdul Muttalib. He also participated in taking care of the Prophet (s) (1) and finally, after the death of his father, he was alone with the two tasks; the leadership (of Quraysh) and the taking care of the orphan Muhammad. So he became the only leader and the only guardian without any partner.
A splendid past and a bright present formed a virtuous life that produced ripe fruits and spread fragrance that perfumed the space for the friend and the enemy as the sun when sending its rays to the caves and to the tops of mountains. But the colded nose wouldn't smell the redolent fragrance and the sore-eye wouldn't see the rays of the sun!
Leadership and sovereignty wouldn't be gained without plenty of money but although Abu Talib was not so rich, he was the respected leader, the first master and the obeyed chief and this might be the characteristic of Abu Talib alone and no one else other than him.
Even though he was empty-handed but he had a great rich spirit. He was so great with his qualities and virtues and no one would ever replaced him.
He inherited his father's qualities. He forgave without being asked for and gave open-handedly without considering it as doing favor. He often gave people in burdened himself with debts lest he would leave a favor his father used to do before.
He began to water the pilgrims as his father had been
doing before after he had dug the well of Zamzam. He often added dates and raising to the water in order to make it taste sweet.
Once a difficult year came. Abu Talib became needy. He found himself unable to keep on his tradition. At the same time he wouldn't give up his father's noble deeds. He borrowed from his brother al-Abbas ten thousand dirhams to be paid back in the next year.
The next year came and he couldn't pay his debt back to his brother. He found himself in a bad situation that he might not be able to serve the pilgrims. He decided to borrow fourteen thousand dirhams from his brother again. But al-Abbas in this time wouldn't lend him the money except on a condition that if he couldn't pay the debt in the next year, he would have to give up watering the pilgrims and to let al-Abbas undertake it ... and it was so. (1)
The loss of watering the pilgrims didn't affect his high position nor harmed his leadership that he was the fount of goodness in Mecca and he, whose prayers were always responded to, was the point of connection between the Heaven and the earth.
He had so much high qualities that made him a leader surrounded by honor and glory and made him as a fortress that no defame might reach him nor he might be shaken before a wind.
His qualities imposed upon us to believe that he had followed the belief of Prophet Abraham (s). The pre-Islamic age with all its filths, evils and sins wouldn't affect him or make him deviate from the right way he had followed.
Neither the environment he lived in could adapt him nor was he affected by its evils. He still had had his exalted thinking, his high insight, his virtuous soul and all his inherited good qualities. All these made him so strong that he wouldn't be drifted by the sins of the milieu he lived in. Nevertheless he was so firm enough to educate that low society with high lessons of morals and principles.
It was so necessary for such a man to be existed in a period between two prophets or after the cease of the divine revelation lest Allah wouldn't be answerable before his people.
The existence of Abu Talib after Abdul Muttalib was an inevitable necessity. Such deportment had to be a sign for a divine mission, which would shine to drive the dark cloud prevailing over the existence away. But it might be surprising for those, who used to live under the darkness and that it might be too difficult for them to open their eyes before a bright lamp.
There must be a lamp sending a ray as a good omen of shining light later on and there must be a star to guide those, who walked under the darkness of the night lest they fell into an abyss of deviation ... so there must be one like Abu Talib to be as evidence of Allah before His people. And really he was. He was the educator of Muhammad (s) and one of the signs leading to the near appearing of the prophecy.
No one would deny that the personality of Abu Talib had all the qualities of the well-quallified leader, the virtuous aspects and the high excellences, which made him distinguished from all around him and surrounded him with a halo of respect and admiration.
He was the fount of goodness and the respective fortress, to which wronged and weak people resorted. He was the generous, from whose hand the destitute ladled. He was the one, whom people entreated when the Heaven held its rain.
He was so humane towards his relatives. He hurried to relieve the distressed. He was merciful, pious, generous, determined, eloquent, heartsome, certain, handsome, respected, honored and glorified. (1)
He knew much about divine laws. He was of comprehensive knowledge and science. He forbade himself from drinking wine, committing sins (2) and all of the dirt of polytheism and evils of the low milieu around him. His soul was high in a wide exalted horizon flying in a pure space.
He was the first one, who enacted the law of (qassama) (3) when Amr bin Alqama was killed. Later on the prophetic Sunna confirmed it. (4)
There was a spiritual phenomenon in Abu Talib's life happened during the war of al-Fijar between Hawazin and Kinana. (5) Whenever Abu Talib attended with Muhammad the victory became on the side of Hawazin but whenever he was absent Hawazin would lose much. So Hawazin asked Abu Talib not to be absent in order to obtain victory and he did. (1)
Ibn Assakir mentioned in his book that Jalhama bin Arfata had said: (2) "Once I came to Mecca where it was a year of rainlessness. Some said: Let's go to al-Lat and al-Ozza. Another said: Let's go to Manat. A prudent handsome old man said: Why do you turn away whereas the remainder of Abraham and the progeny of Ishmael is among you? They said: As if you mean Abu Talib! He said: Yes, I do.
They all, and I was with them, went to Abu Talib. We knocked at the door. A pretty-faced man wearing loincloth came out. They rushed to him and said: O Abu Talib, the valley became rainless and people became miserable. Would you please pray to Allah for rain?
Abu Talib went out with a little boy; it was Muhammad, who was as a sun appearing among dark clouds. Abu Talib took the boy and stuck his back to the Kaaba. The boy pointed to the Heaven with his finger suppliantly. There was no a bit of cloud in the sky. The clouds began to come from here and there. The valley was filled with water and the ground became green and fresh."
With these high qualities, virtues and excellences Abu Talib had had his high position and made the hearts submit to him lovingly, surround him with respect and glorification and let the leadership to be for him alone ... and who would be better than him for that? He was like his father; a carpet was put to him around the Kaaba and he sat on it alone. Muhammad came and sat with his uncle on the carpet. Abu Talib said: "My nephew feels blessedness or great glory."
The poetry of Abu Talib had evidence showing that he had known about the prophecy of Muhammad (s) before he was sent as prophet according to what the monk Buhayra had told him and according to many other signs. The knowing of Abu Talib about the prophecy of Muhammad (s) was mentioned by many historians besides that it was understood through his poetry.
Imam Abudl Wahid as-Safaqissi
As-Seera an-Nabawiyya, vol.1 p.88.
Abu Talib said: "My father read all of the books. He had said: From among my progeny there will be a prophet. I wish I live until that moment to believe in him. Whoever of my progeny attains him is to believe in him." (1)
Abu Talib was not in need of this saying to show new evidence about the prophecy because his belief was deep-rooted and his faith was firm. He had many evidences even that one of them was enough to prove his intent. These clear evidences confirmed the faith of Abu Talib, who had never been hesitant at any moment.
He had known definitely and without any bit of doubt that his nephew would be that expected prophet, about whom he and his father had read in the divine books and the divine missions had talked about since the first days of their revelation.
Besides that certain knowledge Abu Talib saw clear signs and bright evidences that no one would but to submit to. He saw some of those signs while his father Abdul Muttalib was still alive. Abdul Muttalib often saw some of those signs and informed Abu Talib of them. But today as he was the first guardian of his orphan nephew, he would see many many of those signs, which no day passed or no cloud traveled away unless he would see a sign of the prophecy through its folds.
He saw in his nephew things, aspects and qualities that would never be of an ordinary man, who would live and die as if nothing had happened ... certainly not! He saw in his nephew the most perfect image of the creation of Allah since the creation of Adam until the Day of Resurrection. He saw that his nephew was the ideal copy of the exaltedness of man with the highest values.
Among those many signs -rather than the spiritual and moral signs- there were many touchable signs that even the materialists, who didn't see but by their eyes and didn't touch but by their hands, would easily feel them so how about the prudent, the discerning and the faithful persons!
We don't want to wedge the signs and evidences available in the different books in this book for it needs a long time but we just want to show the reader some of them as examples.
The historians mentioned that among the signs that preceded the prophecy of the Prophet (s) was that one day Muhammad was with his uncle Abu Talib in Thul Majaz. (1) Abu Talib felt thirsty and there was no water with them at all. He told his nephew about his thirst. Muhammad (s) kicked a rock with his leg and water began to flow. Abu Talib drank and then Muhammad (s) kicked the rock again and it returned to its previous state. (1)
With the Diviner
A man of Lihb (2) was a diviner. Whenever he came to Mecca, the men of Quraysh came to him with their boys to predict about them. One of those men was Abu Talib, who had come with his nephew Muhammad (s). The diviner looked at Muhammad (s) and then he became busy with another thing. When he finished he said: "The boy! Bring me the boy!"
When Abu Talib saw that the diviner paid much attention to the boy, he became afraid and felt there was something. He thought that he had to hide his nephew so that the diviner's piercing eyes wouldn't glance at him. The diviner shouted: "O you! Bring me the boy, whom I just saw. By Allah, he will be of great importance!" (3)
This word of the diviner was not new for Abu Talib because he knew well that his nephew would be of great importance.
You are blessed
Abu Talib saw a clear thing showing a bright sign since Muhammad (s) had joined his family after the death of Abdul Muttalib. Abu Talib's family was numerous and he was not wealthy. This wouldn't let his family be satiated when having their meals. But whenever Muhammad (s) was among them at the meal, the all would be satiated and some food would remain yet. So Abu Talib often said to his family when it was the time of the meals and he didn't see his nephew among them: "Don't eat until my son comes!"
Anyone of his family would drink the entire cup of milk but Abu Talib took the cup to let Muhammad (s) drink first and then the all would drink from the very cup. Then Abu Talib said to his nephew: "You are blessed."
Abu Talib's care for Muhammad (s) reached an extent beyond description. Their two souls united that it was difficult for each of them to separate from the other. When Muhammad (s) saw that his uncle was preparing to travel, he became upset and uncomfortable that the travel might be long. He wouldn't tolerate this separation and it wouldn't be easy for him to resort to a fortress protecting him from the gales save this merciful old man. If he traveled, then who would pat upon his shoulder, who would join him to his warm chest, who would grant him pity and sympathy to make him forget his orphancy?
As soon as Muhammad (s) saw his uncle stepping towards his sumpter, his tears began to fall from his eyes towards his cheeks.
When this merciful old man saw the tears of the orphan falling down, his compassionate heart began to beat and couldn't tolerate his nephew's words: "O uncle, to whom will you leave me? Neither a father nor a mother I have."
Abu Talib couldn't but to say: "By Allah, I won't go without him. I won't part from him nor will be part from me at all."
He took him on the same sumpter to be near to each other always. The caravan went on through the desert until it reached Busra; a country in Sham. They stopped to rest after a long travel. (1) There was a monk called Buhayra living in his cell. But it was the first time for the caravan to see this monk. As much as they traveled through this land but they hadn't met or talked with this monk.
The monk came out of his cell and saw the caravan. There was something that drew his attention. There was a cloud moving to shadow one of those in the caravan. When the caravan stopped, the monk noticed another thing. He noticed that the tree, which they stopped near, bent it branches to shadow the same one, who had been shadowed by the cloud.
He was so astonished but when he remembered who was there between the lines of the holy Book he had, his astonishment left his prudent mind. He came down from his cell, ordered his companions to serve food and invited the caravan saying: "O people of Quraysh, I have served some food for you. I like that all of you; the little boys and the old men, the servants and the masters to come."
One from among the caravan said: "O Buhayra, by Allah you have something in your mind today. We passed by you times and times but you did never do such a thing for us. What is the matter today?"
They accepted his invitation and came with him except one, who was the very point of the monk's attention. It was Muhammad (s), who stayed under the tree with the baggage.
The monk's eyes roved hear and there but they didn't see what they looked for.
O Buhayra, all of them were here except a little boy. He stayed with the baggage.
But the questions of Buhayra wouldn't stop unless that little boy came. Some one went to bring the boy. The deep examining looks of the monk began to check some things of the boy's body to find the description he had read in the holy Book about this great boy.
When they finished eating their food, Buhayra began to ask Muhammad (s) some questions to be sure about what he had in his mind.
The Monk turned to Abu Talib asking: What relation is between you and this boy?"
Abu Talib said: "He is my son."
The monk said: "He is not your son. His father must not be alive."
Abu Talib said: "He died while his mother was pregnant with him."
The monk said: "You are true. Go back with your nephew to your country and be careful of the Jews. By Allah, if they see him and know what I know, they will do their best to do away with him. Your nephew will be of great importance. Hurry up with him to your country." (1 As-Seera al-Hishamiyya, vol.1 p.191-194, As-Seera an-Nabawiyya, vol.1 p.90-92, as-Seera al-Halabiyya, vol.1 p.139-142, at-Tabari's Tareekh, vol.2 p.22-24, al-Kamil by ibnul Atheer, vol.2 p.23-24, Qissas al-Arab, vol.1 p.99-100, Biharul Anwar, vol.6 p.59-61, 62, 129, 130, Abu Talib p.31).
Muhammad (s) came back with his uncle after seeing different sides of life and after roving through a new world rather than Mecca, in which he lived and grew.
Abu Talib came back with his nephew more carefully, surrounding him with care and love. He strived with caution to protect him from that fatal group, the wicked Jews, who intended if they could to cut this bud before blooming.
These images wouldn't leave Abu Talib's imagination. They were engraved inside his mind. He wanted to record them in order to be engraved upon the forehead of the time to be read by all the generations so he documented them in his poetry:
The son of Aamina, (1) Prophet Muhammad to me
was much lovelier than my sons.
When he clung to the rain I pitied him
whereas the camels were about to set out
my eyes rained with tears like scattered pearls.
I considered his close relation and regarded the will of
I asked him to travel with generous, brave uncles,
who moved to the farthest known place,
until they reached Busra and saw a monk,
who told them a truthful talk about him,
who must be protected against the enviers;
the Jews, who strived to kill Muhammad when seeing the signs.
Abu Talib recorded this event with his verses and showed the situation of Buhayra the monk when he stood against the three Jewish rabbis, who plotted to kill Muhammad, the expected prophet:
They came deciding to kill Muhammmad
but he prevented them by showing what the Torah had.
He said to them: you intend the worst of aims;
do you want to kill Prophet Muhammad?
Then you be disgraced with your sins!
Your evil will never be.
There is a One to protect him against every intrigue!
That is one of his signs,
and the light of day is not like the darkness. (1)
After all that we don't doubt that Abu Talib was certain about the great future of his nephew after he had seen all those signs, which he paid his full attention and care for, because what happened wouldn't make anyone indifferent to because what happened were extraordinary things.
All those signs and evidences Abu Talib saw in his nephew, he wouldn't see in anyone else.
Why the diviner asked him to bring him back the boy whereas he had met many many others? Why did he say: "He will be of great importance?"
Then the care of the monk Buhayra towards the caravan whereas the caravan used to pass by the cell since a long time without attracting a bit of Buhayra's attention so why it was so that day?
And the conversation between Buhayra and Abu Talib, which had firm evidence ... Abu Talib said that he was his son but Buhayra answered with no any doubt that he was not Abu Talib's son and that his father would not be alive and then he warned him of the Jews because he would be of great importance! They were clear signs on doubt!
These evidences, besides what he had heard from his father Abdul Muttalib, the blessedness of this boy when he participated them in their meals, the flowing water from the rock, which this boy had kicked, the cloud that traveled with the caravan to shadow this boy and the branches of the tree when bending to shadow this blessed boy made Abu Talib believe definitely that his nephew would be greater than the others at all.
Abu Talib saw all that in his nephew besides the personal qualities and virtues such as his truthfulness, honesty, ideality of morals, kindness, gentleness, eloquence ... to the infinite chain of good aspects and high qualities he had. This made Abu Talib think a lot about this boy, whose qualities were not found in that low society with its bad traditions and low habits. Not only Abu Talib had noticed these nonesuch qualities in his nephew but also all the people of Mecca. They called him the truthful, the trustworthy. They all accepted him to judge between them. He talked and they believed and he ordered and they obeyed.
That successful trip made Abu Talib, who had a big family and whose income was not enough, ask his nephew to look for a job in order that he might help his somehow needy uncle in his big family's expenses. Moreover he thought that a great future awaiting his nephew and he didn't want him to be dependent or inactive.
He thought that it would be better for his nephew to work in trade for one of those wealthy people of Mecca. The position and the high qualities his nephew had would make everyone happy to employ him. In fact the merchants would complete to win him.
Khadeeja (1) heard of what conversation was between Abu Talib and his nephew. She sent for him and she would be very happy to employ such truthful and trustworthy man to undertake her trades.
Muhammad (s) came back with great profits. This made him have a good position in Khadeeja's good heart until she loved him and wished if he would be her spouse. She wouldn't find anyone better than him in his handsomeness, morals, honesty, truthfulness and pure deeds.
Khadeeja, since that moment when she listened to her servant Maysara, who accompanied Muhammad (s) in his travels, when telling her about every sign happened to Muhammad (s) on their way to Sham, began to think of him and ignored everything else. She found that he was the perfect man that she would never accept to be a wife of other than.
But how would she achieve her aim whereas many traditions and obstacles blocking her way towards her sweet expectation?
The traditions decided that the man, who had to propose to engage the woman and it was not possible for the woman to do so.
Would she submit to the traditions to lose her hope? Or would she overstep this dam before her heart broke and her life lost when Muhammad would be the share of other than her?
She thought of an idea that no one would feel that she had trespassed the traditions. She sent a woman called Nafeesa bint Munya to tell Muhammad (s) about the wish of Khadeeja. Khadeeja waited for her woman that she might bring her good news.
Nafeesa brought the good news and Muhammad hurried to his uncle full of delight.
The wedding took place. The leader of Quraysh and the master of the Arabs, at that time, Abu Talib stood up to do a speech. He said: "Praise be to Allah, Who has made us of the progeny of Abraham and the descent of Ishmael and the origin of Mi'add and the race of Mudhar. He has made us the guardians of His House and the guards of His Sanctum. He has made for us a House, to which people intend from everywhere, made for us a safe sanctum and had made us the rulers over the people.
My nephew Muhammad bin Abdullah isn't compared with a man unless he will be preferred to him in honor, nobility, virtue and reason. If he has a little money; money is a transient shadow, a changeable thing and a paid back debt.
Here is Muhammad. You know his lineage well .... He proposed to engage Khadeeja bint Khuwaylid and paid her dowry as so and so ....
By Allah, he will be of high position and great importance." (AS-Seera an-Nabawiyya, vol.1 p.106, as-Seera al-Halabiyya, vol. p.165, Fatima bint Muhammad p.44, Sharh Nahjol Balagha, vol.3 p.312, Abu Talib p.4, Al-Hujja p.36, Biharul Anwar, vol.6 p.135, Tathkiratul Khawass p.312 and al-Ghadeer, vol.7 p.274. Some of this speech was mentioned in I'jazul Quran by al-Baqillany p.234, A'yan ash-Shia, vol.39 p.137 and al-Kamil by al-Mubarrid, vol.3 p.1174-1175).
This speech of Abu Talib showed two things;
He began his speech with praising Allah for making them of the progeny of Abraham and the descents of Ishmael that the idolatry had never polluted them with its filths and that they -the Hashemites- were a continuous origin and a remainder ray connected with the first light of Abraham so they were an eternal symbol of the divine mission of Abraham (s).
This quality that distinguished them from the rest of people made them the guardians of the Holy House (the Kaaba), which had been built by their father Abraham on the order of Allah. Hence they alone were the guardians of the Kaaba; therefore they became the rulers over the people.
Then he went on showing the excellence of his nephew. He declared that his nephew was the most perfect man and he was preferable to the all in the scales of morals and values. No one would be comparable to him in his qualities and excellences at all.
After all that he would be -in the near future- greater and higher than what he was at that day. Abu Talib swore by Allah and definitely his swear had its meaning and value when he said: He will be of high position and great importance.
It was not but the divine mission, with which he had guided the human beings to end the page of prophecy with the brightest ray and the best shining light.
Abu Talib looked farther than his day and beyond the reality, in which he lived, to announce to the delightful party about that great importance (the Prophecy) so that they wouldn't be surprised with it.
THE DAWN OF THE MISSION
The First Dawn
The orphan, who had spent those years of his life under the wings of his uncle, became a muscular man today. He became a master of a family and a father of children. Although he was not of so much money, his family lived happily and safely to the full.
Did the task of Abu Talib end now? Did he carry out the will of his father Abdul Muttalib concerning his orphan grandson? Did he fulfill his duty towards his nephew to turn towards his own family and children, who hadn't got their sufficient share of their father since he had been busy with his nephew with all of his heart and mind?
Certainly the answer would be NO!
The answer might be YES if the orphan was not the son of Abdullah bin Abdul Muttalib. THe answer might be YES if the orphan was anyone else, not this one, who would change the line of history and who would spread the light all over this dark universe.
As the orphan was the son of Abdullah so the task of Abu Talib wouldn't end even now when the orphan became the husband of Khadeeja and the father of smiling flowers.
In fact the task would begin since now; since this day when Muhammad (s) had passed the forty years of honored life!
It was the expected day where Abdul Muttalib wished from his deep heart to be alive to see its shining sun and to follow its guiding rays but when he saw that he was about to leave for the other world, he recommended his lovely son Abu Talib to save the man of this great day and asked his other sons, whoever of them would remain until this day, to believe in him; the man, who would be chosen by the Heaven for the great mission.
Since the death of Abdul Muttalib, Abu Talib had been waiting for the dawn of this day impatiently for he didn't know whether his life would reach this day or his page would be folded. He was afraid that the death might attack him as his father without attending the dawn of this day and he would miss the honor of believing in its rightness, glory and greatness.
Yes, that day came with its smiling face and Abu Talib's face shone, his heart delighted and his soul countered to see with his eyes the dawn of that expected day.
And now Muhammad the Prophet (s) went to his uncle al-Abbas, Abu Talib's brother, and said to him: "Allah has ordered me to announce my mission." He asked his uncle to support him, but al-Abbas found that he was not able to undertake this heavy task so he apologized to his nephew saying: "... but you ask your uncle Abu Talib because he is the eldest of your uncles and if he doesn't support you, certainly he won't disappoint you or betray you."
When Abu Talib saw them both, he thought that there was something important. He asked: "What is the matter? What made you come at this time?
He listened to his brother al-Abbas telling him of what matter their nephew had brought. As soon as Abu Talib heard that, his eyes shone delightfully and said his saying, which would fill the heart of Muhammad (s) with happiness, courage and power to go on carrying out the order of his God stably, courageously and faithfully because he got a good assistant and a strong fortress, to which he would resort if any storm faced him. Abu Talib said: "O my nephew, set about! You are exalted, defended by a great party and honored of a great father. By Allah, no one confutes you, unless he will be confuted with sharp tongues and sharp swords. By Allah, the Arabs will submit to you. My father had read all the books and he often said: "There will be a prophet from my progeny. I wish I would live till that day to believe in him. Whoever of my children lives till that day has to believe in him." (1)
Abu Talib encouraged Muhammad (s) to go on his mission and promised to defend him, to support him and to sacrifice for the sake of the mission. Then he remembered what his father had said to him and to his brothers in his will. The expected day came and Muhammad (s) became the Apostle of Allah so Abu Talib had to believe in him and to support him to achieve the will of his father so that the soul of Abdul Muttalib would content and his eye would delight.
This was the first evidence of Abu Talib's faith in Muhammad's mission, otherwise he would be the first to deny it and refute what Muhammad (s) pretended. He could do that whereas Muhammad was his foster-son besides that his mission was not yet active or accepted by anyone. It was still a seed without a stem yet. It was easy for him to perish it without any difficulty or at least he could let his nephew alone without promising to support him or to encourage him so enthusiastically.
But we found that Abu Talib was waiting for that expected event to occur in a moment or another and when he saw the first sign of the prophecy he didn't become surprised; therefore as soon as al-Abbas ended his talk with his nephew, Abu Talib encouraged Muhammad (s) to announce his mission without any hesitation.
If Abu Talib hadn't believed in his nephew's pretense, he wouldn't have encouraged him to spread it and he would have taken a different situation. But his faith and certainly about the mission led him to assist his nephew so enthusiastically for the task he would undertake was so heavy that he had to assist and defend as possible as he could because he knew well that it was the very divine mission, which the holy books had talked about as Abdul Muttalib had read.
The Day of the Warning
Another day came. It was not less important than that day of the revelation of the mission.
When the Quranic verse of the Warning (And warn your nearest relations ... Quran, 26:214) was reveled to the Prophet believed in the mission, to invite the close relatives of Quraysh and to tell them about the purpose of this invitation but the crowed separated without any use.
The Prophet (s) tried again to gather them. And as soon as he finished his speech, his uncle Abu Talib said to him: "How much we like to assist you, to accept your relatives gathering and I am one of them but I am the first of them to do what you like. Follow what you are ordered of. By Allah, I will still be your guard and protector but my self doesn't obey me to give up the religion of Abdul Muttalib." (1)
Abu Lahab (2) objected to Abu Talib by saying: "By Allah, this is the evil! Prevent him (Muhammad) before he will spoil the others."
Abu Talib answered him: "By Allah, we will defend him as long as we are alive." (Al-Kamil by ibnul Atheer, vol.2 p.41, as-Seera al-Halabiyya, vol.1 p.321).
Then he turned to his nephew and said: "O my master! Get up and say whatever you like. Inform of your God's mission. You are the most truthful, the most honest." (1)
What a faith that overcame Abu Talib to make him rush from among more than forty persons, who were seized by ignorance and whose eyes were covered by a haze that they couldn't see the light shining from the mission of this new prophet.
It was Abu Talib, who offered his support, who accepted the advice and who believed what his nephew had said. Wouldn't this refer to the deep faith, the true submission and the reasonable obedience of him, who could distinguish between the truth and the falsehood?
If Abu Talib hadn't believe in the Prophet's mission, he would have adopted another situation like that of Abu Lahab and he wouldn't confute Abu Lahab so severely until he said to him: "Be silent, O you to say so ... !? (2)
Weren't Abu Talib and Abu Lahab two brothers and both of them were uncles of the Prophet (s)? So why did each of them have a different situation?
This defended, assisted, encouraged the Prophet (s) and strived against the arrogants of Quraysh with a sharp tongue and that defamed the Prophet, prevented people from believing him, distributed his speech and mocked his mission.
Wasn't the faith-alone-that imposed upon Abu Talib his situation, which he had never deviated from? And wasn't the polytheism-alone-that imposed upon Abu Lahab his situation, which he had never given up?
After Abu Talib showed the arrogants of Quraysh that he had submitted to the mission of Muhammad (s), he saw some eyes looking askance at him and trying to devour him grudgingly. He thought that he had to mystify his real situation to be free in working for the sake of the mission without being restrained by any one of those arrogants. This explained his saying: "... but my self doesn't obey me to give up the religion of Abdul Muttalib."
But what was the religion of Abdul Muttalib? It was the very religion of Abraham (s) was but a continuation of that religion and a completion of all those previous divine religions.
This was the way that Abu Talib decided to follow in order to confuse the arrogants of Quraysh about the truth of his real belief. He said to his nephew: "Get up o my master!" This word (my master) was a certain evidence that Abu Talib had believed in the mission of his nephew. My master was a word that Abu Talib addressed his nephew; the orphan, whom Abu Talib himself had brought up, whereas it was Muhammad (s), who had to say it to his uncle with his many years of old, but it was the prophecy that made Abu Talib say it! But Allah gave Muhammad (s) many excellences when He had chosen him for the mission that were above uncleship, oldness, bringing up and guarding.
All that Abu Talib had perceived when he said to his nephew: "Get up my master!" He was his master as long as he was the Prophet. He had to believe in his mission, to obey him and to submit to his orders. Then he added after saying: "... my master ... Say whatever you like and announce your mission. You are the most truthful and the most trustworthy."
As long as Abu Talib thought that Muhammad (s) was the most truthful one, so how would he deny his mission? But he noticed some eyes winking and some tongues backbiting with sarcasm and mockery until he heard someone saying: "He ordered you to obey your son." (1) They meant Ali when the Prophet (s) had appointed him as his guardian.
But Abu Talib didn't pay any attention to what they said. In fact he answered them with a word that disappointed them and supplied his son Ali with a great power of encouragement: "Let him (Ali) alone. He would never fail to assist his cousin (Muhammad) .... (2)
This was not the first word that Ali had heard from his father showing his contentment with his supporting his cousin; the master of the humanity. Abu Talib had seen Ali offering the prayer behind the Prophet (s) in the first moment of the mission in a secret place for fear of the polytheists. Then Ali answered his father: "O father! I have believed in Allah and His Apostle. I have believed in all what the Prophet has said. I have offered the prayer with him and followed him."
Abu Talib said to his son: "As long as he invites you for goodness, you are to keep to him." (3)
What a fine word it was that showed a deep faith rooted in the heart of its sayer. The Prophet (s) would invite but to goodness and so every reasonable one had to keep to him. This was also another evidence showing the faith of Abu Talib otherwise he wouldn't encourage his son to keep to the Prophet (s) with his mission. If it was not so, he would prevent his son from following Muhammad and to deny his mission and to direct his son to the right way according to his own thought. Abu Talib was certain that his nephew was inspired by the Heaven; therefore he encouraged his son to keep to him.
This was not the only line in the shining page of Abu Talib's history but there were many other bright lines.
It was mentioned that Imam Ali (s) had said: "My father said to me: O my son! Keep to your cousin for you will be safe from any immediate or later evil. Then he recited:
Ali and Ja'far are my trusts
whenever the time brings distresses and disasters.
O you both! Support your cousin and don't fail him.
He is my blood-brother's son.
By Allah I won't fail the Prophet
Neither will any of my sons. (1)
It was a clear confession of Abu Talib when saying: "By Allah, I won't fail the Prophet." It was a great swear that Abu Talib had really been loyal to and had done his best to carry out. Neither he nor any of his sons tried to fail the Prophet (s) a moment throughout their lifetime. They supported him until the last moment of their lives.
Once again Abu Talib invited his brother Hamza (Abu Ya'la) (2) to spread the religion of Allah and encouraged him to tolerate the distresses he would face in the way of this great task and asked him to assist his nephew, whom Allah had entrusted with this mission, with all power he had. He recited:
O Abu Ya'la! Be patient with the distresses you face
in revealing the mission of Ahmad. (3)
Strive to firm this religion!
Surely you will succeed with your hard attempt.
Follow him, who has been sent by Allah, sincerely and
O Hamza, don't be unbeliever!
I as so happy when you say: I am a believer,
so be a supporter of the Prophet for the sake of Allah
Talk to Quraysh about what you believe in,
and say loudly to them: Ahmad has never been a
Abu Talib was an Islamic propagandist, who seized any opportunity to express what there was there was in his heart. He would be very happy when Hamza would say: I am a believer. Declaring this, he had to support the Prophet (s) for the sake of Allah and not for the kinship because faith and religion would be above anything else according to Abu Talib's thought!
It would be better to end this chapter with a word by al-Barazanji. He said: "It was mentioned so recurrently by many of the historians that Abu Talib loved the Prophet (s), guarded him, supported him, assisted him in revealing the mission, believed in all what he had said and ordered his sons like Ali and Ja'far to follow him and support him." Then he added: "These facts showed clearly that Abu Talib's heart was full of faith in the Prophet (s)."
The mission of the Prophet (s) became so active and spread its rays here and there for the Prophet (s) had a strong fortress saving him from the storms. His uncle Abu Talib had promised Allah to support His religion, which his nephew had been entrusted with by his God. Abu Talib tried his best to save and support his nephew even if he would be to sacrifice his sons or himself for the sake of the Prophet's mission.
The Prophet (s) began to announce his mission openly after being surrounded by this guard and support. He set out courageously and bravely without fearing anything as long as he had a fortress he could resort to.
Now a new bright page of Abu Talib's history opened. After the page of believing, the page of jihad and firm defense began its shining lines in the way of the real sacrifice for the true belief. He defended the Prophet (s) against the arrogants of Quraysh and made the way free for him to spread his mission. Abu Talib not only defended the Prophet (s) but he also defended anyone who had believed in the Prophet (s), against the tormenting of the oppressive polytheists of Quraysh.
It was a page full of sacrifice, true jihad and steadfast defending. Would life have a meaning without a firm belief, deep-rooted faith, steadfast jihad and a truthful brave tongue? If the tongue couldn't carry out the task alone, there would be sharp swords, muscular hands and great wills.
Hence the Prophet (s) became so active in his mission and his voice became so loud. Quraysh began to fear this new mission, which invited the people to profess in the unity of the One and Only God and to discard those idols, which were made of wood and stone by their own hands and which didn't hear or see and didn't benefit or harm. People stood up before those idols tied up like subservient slaves losing power, option and reason in front of dead substances. It didn't show save the ossification of minds, the death of senses and the stupidity of traditions.
The new mission spread widely and the believers increased. The Prophet (s) began to announce his mission openly. He mocked the idols, around which there were flocks of beastly people ready to sacrifice themselves for. The Prophet (s) began to make them think about their dark and bitter reality they lived in and invited them to come out of their sphere. But alas! The blind wouldn't know what light was as the bat, which wouldn't fly during the brightness of the day!
The people of Quraysh became so angry when Muhammad (s) defamed their idols. They didn't find save Abu Talib to make reparation to them. A group of notable men of Quraysh went to Abu Talib complaining against his nephew. They said: "O Abu Talib! Your nephew abused our gods, faulted our beliefs, stultified our traditions and considered our forefathers as deviants. So either you prevent him from doing that or you leave him alone to us. And as you are in disagreement with him as we are, so we will relieve you of him."
Abu Talib answered them leniently and gently until they left but the Prophet (s) kept on spreading his mission.
But when they didn't find any result for their complaint, they decided to go to Abu Talib complaining again: "O Abu Talib! You are so old and you have honor and high position among us. We asked you to prevent your nephew from keeping on his doing but you didn't. By Allah, we won't tolerate abusing our forefathers, faulting our traditions and defaming our gods. So either you make him refrain from his doings or we will fight him and you until one of the parties will be defeated."
Abu Talib stopped between two difficult situations; each of them was so serious. He was afraid if he declared the war against his people that it would do away with the young and the old and at the same time he could never fail the divine mission where he had promised to support hid nephew, the Apostle of Allah; moreover he had been recommended by his father Abdul Muttalib to support Muhammad (s) and to believe in him when he would be chosen by the Heaven.
He made up his mind. He called for his nephew and told him of what the delegation of Quraysh had said to him. He wanted to be sure about the determination of his nephew in carrying out the mission. Then he said to him: "Save yourself and save me and don't burden me with what I can't bear." He didn't notice of his nephew but determination, strictness, firmness and seriousness. His nephew said: " O uncle! If they put the sun in my right hand and the moon in my left hand to give up this matter, I will never do until Allah makes it overcome or I die for it."
He had a look at his nephew as he got up to leave and a deep pain was inside his heart thinking that -as some historians mentioned- his uncle would betray him or would leave him alone without any support so some tears fell down from the Prophet's eyes ....
Abu Talib noticed that and became uncomfortable ... a moment passed and he became more determined and firm. He determined to support the Prophet (s) and his mission even if he would confront all of Quraysh or even the Arabs all in all.
He had to strive as long as the divine will had chosen him to be the guardian of the Prophet (s) since the first day and since the first dawn of the mission.
"O my nephew! Come one!"
With this word Abu Talib broke the silence and the long pondering of his nephew. He added: "O my nephew, go ahead! Say whatever you like! By Allah, I will never betray you whatever happens." (1)
Then he recited:
By Allah they won't reach you whatever numerous they were
until I am buried under the ground.
Announce your mission and never mind anything,
and let your eyes be delighted.
You invited me and I knew that you were sincere to me.
You are the most truthful, the most honest.
I have known that the religion of Muhammad
is the best of religions among all of the people.
We don't have to pass by these verses without attention to them. These verses showed clearly the faith of Abu Talib in wonderful images and certain concepts that couldn't be distorted or misworded.
After the conversation occurred between Abu Talib and the delegation of Quraysh, Abu Talib wanted to relieve his nephew and to reassure his heart so he recited these verses to show his nephew that his uncle was still the supporter, the assistant and the defender as ever as he had been and as ever as he would be until he would meet his God after contenting his conscience, achieving his promise and carrying out his father's will.
He would never fail his nephew or leave him alone. He assured him that he would never mind for the deviate flocks of Quraysh for no one of them would harm him until Abu Talib would be buried under the ground. The last verse confirmed Abu Talib's faith in Muhammad's mission after he had encouraged his nephew to announce his mission openly in the previous verses.
These verses showed the true faith of Abu Talib besides his full knowing about the other religions when saying that the religion of Muhammad (s) was the best of religions at all.
But the evil fancies and the bad intentions didn't want to let the brightness of these verses spread easily so they tried to throw some ashes upon it. They added another verse to distort the pure image that expressed the faith of Abu Talib. They fabricated the following verse:
Lest I will be blamed or it will be shameful to me,
I may declare believing!
You can see clearly the great difference between this verse and the verses you have just read above.
Ahmad Zayni Dahlan said about this further verse: "It was said that this verse was fabricated and added to the poetry of Abu Talib. It was not of his actual saying."
And if we agreed with those, who ascribed the verse to Abu Talib, who hadn't said it; nevertheless it wouldn't serve their aim and wouldn't satisfy their purpose. The meaning of the verse would be thus: if he didn't fear to be blamed or abused, he would be able to declare his faith in the mission of Muhammad (s) openly in front of the people of Quraysh and wouldn't keep it secret. It didn't mean that if he didn't fear to be blamed, he would be a believer. If it had this meaning so it would definitely contradict the meaning of the previous verses, in which he had confirmed his believing in his nephew when he had invited him to his mission.
Till now everyone, even those who tried to distort the real image of Abu Talib, said that Abu Talib was acute, prudent, quick-witted, eloquent and sharply discerning. Would it be acceptable for him to contradict himself within a few lines of poetry?
Quraysh knew the real situation of Abu Talib towards the new mission and towards the Prophet (s). They became so angry that he had this firm situation and that all their attempts failed. They asked him to prevent his nephew from abusing their gods but he didn't. They asked him to leave Muhammad (s) alone to them but they found that he encouraged Muhammad (s) to spread hid mission and that he promised to support and to defend him.
After all of that the polytheists of Quraysh found a new way to conclude a deal with Abu Talib. They came to Abu Talib bringing with them Imare bin al-Waleed. They said to him: "O Abu Talib! This is Imara bin al-Waleed. They said to him: "O Abu Talib! This is Imara bin al-Waleed. He is the best young man and the most handsome of Quraysh. Take him as your son and give us your nephew, who denied your religion and your forefathers' religion, separated the unity of your people and mocked their traditions. We kill him and it will be a man for a man."
If Abu Talib didn't know how to behave in the serious situations, he would send a loud laugh scornfully and slightingly towards this silly word but he said prudently and bravely: "By Allah! What a bad deal it is! Do you give me your son to feed him for you and I give you my son to be killed? By Allah, this will never be at all!"
What silliness it was indeed. It showed the devaluation, the irrationality and the unintellectuality of those people.
Then al-Mut'im bin Adiy bin Nawfal bin Abd Manaf, who was the an ally of Abu Talib, said: "O Abu Talib! By Allah, your people have been fair to you. They try to rid you form what you hate ... but I don't see that you want to accept their attempt ...!"
Abu Talib answered him:" By Allah, they haven't been fair to me. But you failed me and supported them against me. Do whatever you like!" (1)
Then Abu Talib recited a poem criticizing al-Mut'im bin Adiy about his betraying and then he criticized everyone betraying him of the family of Abd Manaf (2) and everyone of Quraysh bearing enmity against him.
Abu Talib thought, after declaring his situation towards Quraysh, that he had to armor himself and to be ready for the emergencies he might face from Quraysh after they knew his situation. He didn't find save the Hashemites to depend upon in his struggle against Quraysh.
He invited them to be with him to defend the new religion and to protect the Prophet (s) against the evil doers of Quraysh if they would try to do any harm to the Prophet (s). All the Hashemites compiled with his invitation except that deviate brother Abu Lahab, the cursed.
Abu Talib became so delighted when he saw the great situation of the Hashemites that he would not worry much about the Prophet (s). He thanked his kin and praised them for their support and assistance. He poetized this gratitude and praise in a poem to be eternal throughout the generations. He had to mention Muhammad (s), who had the great honor and glory that no one else than him had. He recited:
If one day Quraysh gathers to pride,
Abd Manaf will be their best and purest essence.
And if Abd Manaf gets the honor,
Hashem will be the most honorable among them,
And if the Hashemites pride one day,
Muhammad will be their most glorified essence.
Quraysh, all in all, rushed against us,
but they failed and lost their reason.
We have never accepted any unfairness,
and if they show haughtiness, we are always humble to people.
We defend our sanctuary whenever there is a danger,
and strike whoever try to harm a rock of it.
With us the withered plant become fresh.
and under our shadow it grows and lasts.
The Prophet (s) and his mission became so strong and the disagreement increased between the Hashemites and Quraysh. Abu Talib began to fear for the Prophet (s) from Quraysh more than before. He began to care much for him and tried not to let him alone so that he might be hurt by anyone of Quraysh.
Once Abu Talib missed his nephew. He looked for him but he didn't find him. He became so worried and upset. He determined to revenge after hearing that Quraysh intended to assassinate the Prophet (s) to do away with the new mission.
He called for the young men of the Hashemites and ordered each of them to hide a weapon under his cloths. He ordered each one of them to stay beside a chief of Quraysh and agreed with them upon a certain sign that if he failed to find Muhammad (s), they would revenge Muhammad's blood upon those men of Quraysh at the same moment.
The young men took their places as they were ordered by the old man. He went to look for his nephew. When he found him safe, he took him by the hand and stood before the people of Quraysh shouting: "O people of Quraysh! Do you know what I have intended to do? ..." He told them about his plan and his young men's intention and asked his young men to show their weapons. He challenged them by showing them his powerfulness. The defeat appeared upon the faces of Quraysh especially the arrogant Abu Jahl.
Abu Talib said to them: "By Allah! If you kill him, I will never let any of you alive. It will be the war until we or you are perished." (1)
Then Abu Talib recited some verses praising his nephew after criticizing the bad situation of Quraysh. He declared for Quraysh that he was the guardian of Muhammad (s) and his family:
Inform Quraysh wherever they are,
even though that everything of them is but haughtiness, that I am, with swearing by the reciters,
the books and the scientists,
a sincere guardian of Muhammad's family.
My heart and conscience love them.
I won't give up my kin and sons,
even if the war brings its disasters.
Do they order their people to kill Muhammad so unfairly?
I swear that Quraysh will gain nothing,
where their reason is lost.
My nephew is my heart-root.
Will the young men drink pure water,
while Ahmad will be in the grave?
O you, the son of the master of Qussay! (1)
As if your face is like the full moon.
There was another event, in which Abu Talib had proved his powerfulness and sovereignty over Quraysh.
One day while the Prophet (s) was offering the prayer, Quraysh wanted to mock at him and to disturb his prayer. They asked Abdullah bin az-Ziba'ra to undertake this mean task. He took some feces and blood of an animal and stained the Prophet (s) while he was prostrating in his prayer.
The Prophet (s) hadn't save Abu Talib to resort to. He went to his uncle heartbrokenly and his eyes were full of tears. It was a great insult.
His uncle became very angry about what happened to his nephew. He had to revenge him on them and to repay them the insult.
He, holding his sword, rushed towards them with his nephew. His face was overcome with rage and the signs of revenge were talking loudly until he reached the meeting of the people. They were afraid of his angry look. They tried to run away before him but he nailed them in their places with a sudden word: "By Allah, if any of you moves from his place, I will cut him with my sword."
They stuck to the ground as if they lost their will. He approached to them and asked hid nephew: "My son! Who is the doer?"
The Prophet (s) pointed to Abdullah bin az-Ziba'ra. Abu Talib approached to him and hit him on his nose. Then he stained the people's faces, beards and cloths with feces and blood. He scolded and insulted them severely. Then he turned to his nephew saying victoriously: "O my nephew! Are you satisfied now? Do you know who you are? You are Muhammad bin Abdullah (he detailed his lineage). By Allah, you have the most honored ancestry and the highest rank among the all. O people of Quraysh! Whoever of you wants to move, let him do. You know well who I am!" (1)
Then Abu Talib recited:
You are Muhammad the Prophet,
a generous master and a son of generous masters.
They are the highborn and so are you.
The best of the origin was the root; Amr (2)
who crumbled bread in the bowels,
when the life of Mecca was miserable!
How are you wronged while I am still alive?
I am the brave, the powerful!
And your men, as if they are lions!
I have known that you are truthful;
You haven't said but the truth since you have been a child! (3)
Abu Talib began his poem with a clear confession that would let no way for anyone to argue or to object ... so what was the difference between saying the shahada (... and I witness that Muhammad is His Apostle) and Abu Talib's confession (You are Muhammad the Prophet)? There was no difference, for both showed confessing the prophecy of Muhammad (s). But the black hearts and the filthy consciences had their own purposes when distorting the truth and changing the reality.
After he praised his ancestors and mentioned the deeds of Amr (Hashem, their grandfather) who enacted feeding the pilgrims when Mecca was afflicted with some years of bannerness. He satiated the hungry stomachs and relieved the distressed hearts.
After that Abu Talib showed his sympathy towards his nephew and assured that his nephew wouldn't be defeated as long as he was surrounded by lions that would tread upon whoever thought of doing any evil against him. Then he ended his poem with two verses, in which he certified the truthfulness of his nephew and that he had never heard him saying but truth and rightness since his earliest childhood and he had never found him deviate from the right way at all.
This was but a clear confession of the Prophet's mission by Abu Talib as a divine mission. It showed the definite faith of Abu Talib.
It would be better to quote these verses too to show the reader the real thinking of Abu Talib towards Muhammad (s) and his encouraging him to keep on carrying out his task determinedly.
Before these verses ibn Abul Hadeed said in his Sharh Nahjol Balagha: "... and from among his (Abu Talib's) famous poetry are these verses, in which he addresses Muhammad, clams his heart and orders him to announce his mission."
Never let those sinuous hands and cawing voices
prevent you from the rightful task you carry out.
My hand is yours whenever you face your opponent,
and my soul is sacrificed for yours in the disasters.
If we investigate all the poetry of Abu Talib about this subject, our way will be so long and ramified but let's go back to our main subject.
Abu Talib wouldn't support Muhammad, as he had done since his childhood until he was chosen by the Heaven for the divine mission, as a kin but he supported the very mission, in which he believed, and he supported everyone, who believed in it. He wouldn't be tranquil if any one of Muhammad's follower was harmed because of the mission.
He had many shining pages of such support that we wouldn't pass by without referring to some of them.
The polytheists of Quraysh tortured Othman bin Madh'oon aj-Jumahi when he became a Muslim. they wanted to deviate him from the right way he had chosen. When Abu Talib heard of that, he revenged Othman on Quraysh. Then he recited:
Is it because you remember untrustworthy time,
you are sad and you cry with agony?
Or you remember impudent people,
wronging whoever invites to faith?
Didn't you see, o Quraysh -Allah may degrade you all-,
that we revenged for torturing Othman bin Madh'oon?
We fight injustice and face whoever wants to harm us
with every sharp weapon in our hands.
Sharp swords, as if they are mixed with salt,
relieve our avengement on the mad's heads,
until the men of no reason submit,
and become lenient after haughtiness,
or until they believe in a wonderful divine book revealed
to a prophet like Moses o Jonah. (1)
What did he mean in his last verse by a wonderful book revealed to a prophet like Moses or Jonah? Would it be but believing in the holy Quran? It was a divine book revealed to a prophet among the prophets, whom Allah had chosen.
After all these things, could any one deny the faith of Abu Talib unless that one was a deviate enemy?
Besides the evidence this poetry had that proved the faith of Abu Talib, it certified what we have said before that Abu Talib had known much about the previous religions that preceded the mission of Muhammad (s), which confirmed the continuity of the religion of Abraham otherwise Abu Talib wouldn't mention these religions.
Then he wasn't satisfied with that until he invited the polytheists to follow this new religion. He made them choose either to be stricken by the sharp swords or to believe in this wonderful book.
Describing the Quran as (wonderful book) had its similar thing mentioned in the holy Quran itself: (Surely we have heard a wonderful Quran, guiding to the right way, so we believe in it) 72:1-2.
Quraysh tortured many Muslims in order to make them give up Islam. Among those, who had been tortured, was Abu Salama bin Abdul Assad al-Makhzoomi, who didn't find save Abu Talib to resort to in order to be saved from the torture of Quraysh.
When the tribe of Makhzoomi knew that Abu Talib had protected their man, they sent a delegation to him. They said to Abu Talib: "O Abu Talib! You have protected your nephew Muhammad from us then why do you protect our man from us?"
He answered them: "He resorted to me and he was my nephew (sister's son; because Abu Talib's mother was from the tribe of Makhzoomi) (1) and if I didn't protect my (sister's son) I wouldn't protect my (brother's son)."
Much ado and argument happened. The delegation feared a sedition to take place that might bring bad consequences so they turned empty-handed.
The jihad of Abu Talib was not limited to defend the Prophet (s), to resist his enemies, to safeguard him against the plots of Quraysh or to protect the tortured Muslims, who used to resort to him. These things were not the only things he had done, although they were the first to attract his attention. There was another side having its virtuous moral value although it was a silent jihad.
Abu Talib was an Islamic propagandist. He revealed every sign or virtue of the Prophet (s) one time, glorified and praised the religion another time, invited people to believe in the Prophet (s) a third time and warned Quraysh of the bad end if they persisted in their deviation and indifference and many other doings he did and poetized them in his poetry to be passed from mouth to mouth as a means of media at that time.
When the Muslims met so much torment and discrimination from Quraysh, they decided to emigrate for Abyssinia. Among the emigrants there was Ja'far, the son of Abu Talib.
The cause that made Ja'far emigrate was not the same cause of the other Muslims, who left their mother country. Ja'far was mighty and respectable and it was enough for him to be the son of Abu Talib that Quraysh wouldn't dare to harm him. But his emigration was of another kind. It had a high purpose. He wanted to be the incentive to the emigration, the guardian of the emigrants and the mediator between the emigrants and their religion's source, from which they were forced to be far by the unjust power of Quraysh.
But the meanness and the lowness of Quraysh wouldn't end to a limit. They delegated Amr bin al-Aass and Imara bin al-Waleed after the Muslims to Abyssinia in order to plot and to fabricate every lie against the Muslims as possible as they could to make the king of Ayssinia drive them away from his country, but the prudence, the deep insight and the firm faith of Ja'far uncovered the plots of the delegated persons and made them return empty-handed.
We didn't want to mention this event but the pen wanted to record its first lines. Whoever wants to read the details let him refer to its sources in the books of history. We wanted to say that when Abu Talib heard about this plot of Quraysh, he sent some verses of poetry to the Negus of Abyssinia asking him to treat Ja'far well and not to listen to the fabrication of the lying sinner Amr bin al-Aass.
Abu Talib said in his verses:
I wish I knew what affairs of Ja'far among people there,
and of Amr and the kin enemies of the Prophet!
Did the goodness of Negus reach Ja'far and his companions,
or it was prevented by a seditious offender?
You know o Negus, glory be to you, that you are so generous,
that whoever resorts to you won't be disappointed.
You know that Allah has given you great authority,
and every means of goodness,
that still keep to your high qualities. (1)
As long as the verses reached the Negus, he became delighted. He thought that he had to be grateful to the praise of Abu Talib by being kind to those, who had left their country and resorted to him to live under his protection. He approached them to him and treated them kindly.
When Abu Talib knew about the kindness of the Negus to the Muslims, he sent him other verses of poetry, in which he invited him to believe in Islam, which the great Prophet (s) had been sent with for the peoples all over the world:
You know o king of Abyssinia!
Muhammad is a prophet like Moses and Jesus, the son
of Blessed Marry.
He came with guidance as they both had come with.
Each -according to the order of Allah- guides and educates.
You recite in your Book as a true speech not a divination.
So don't make a partner with Allah and let you come to Islam,
the way of the rightness is not dark.
Whatever group of ours comes to you,
it will be back with honor and glory. (2)
These verses were a clear evidence confirming the faith of Abu Talib and they were a talking proof showing that he was an Islamic propagandist trying his best to spread Islam as a divine belief and inviting people to believe in Muhammad (s) as a chosen Apostle by the Heaven. It was also another evidence showing his knowledge of the divine books and the previous missions and apostles of Allah as we mentioned before. It was a certification of all what was revealed from Allah and acknowledgement of the prophecy of all His apostles; Muhammad, Jesus Christ and Moses (s). The guidance that had been received from Allah was the same that had been received by Jesus Christ and Moses. It was but the guidance of Allah.
He proved his saying with evidence that as the Negus was christian so he argued with him by the Bible, in which it had been mentioned that there would be a prophet after Jesus Christ called Ahmad. Here we noticed that Abu Talib had known much about the religion of Jesus Christ (s). After that he invited him to believe in the monotheism and to submit to Islam.
It would be impudence if we said after all that that Abu Talib hadn't become a Muslim whereas he spent his years inviting people to believe in Islam and that he was certain about the straight way of the rightness, which would save people from deviation and lead them to the light of guidance.
I pray Allah for forgiveness! No one would say that save the light-haeded, the impudent and the deviant, who didn't refrain from fabricating lies and committing sins.
Abu Talib, besides his firm faith, believed in the miracles with no doubt and miracles wouldn't happen save for the prophets or the infallible persons.
One day Abu Jahl came to the Prophet (s) during his prostration when offering the prayer. But his power dispersed and his fingers remained stuck to the stone without being able to do anything. He returned frightenedly and was unable to imagine what happened to him. He was filled with fright that perished his determination.
Abu Talib predicted a bad future for Abu Jahl and his people if they would keep on their reluctance and if they closed their ears and hearts not to hear the divine call of the Prophet (s). Their end would be like that of the people of Prophet Salih (s) when they killed the she-camel of Allah and then Allah crushed them and sent His torture to befall unto them.
Abu Talib recited:
O our cousins! Be watchful and give up your deviation!
Otherwise I fear disasters and distresses may occur to you.
By Allah they will be hard lessons for you,
as Thamud and Aad had been tortured before you,
when they were surprised with a bad gale when they killed
the she-camel of the Almighty,
as it was about to drink from the well.
So the wrath of Allah overcame them in a sudden hit of Him.
But more surprising than that was of your affair,
when the stone stuck in the hand of him,
who wanted to hit the patient, the truthful, the pious,
but Allah fixed it in the hand of that foolish treacherous sinner. (1)
I felt in this poem, besides the truthful accent, which was available in all of his poetry, a pitiful accent showing Abu Talib's sincere pity and emotion towards those, who would keep on their deviation and reluctance and then they would be liable to the wrath of Allah.
It was a high humane look of Abu Talib towards his people. He tried to affect their hearts when he reminded them of the bad end of the people of Prophet Salih when they insisted on their reluctance and didn't listen to the advice of their prophet. And thus the same end would wait for these people if they insisted on their situation towards their prophet Muhammad (s). Its first signs appeared. It was the stone, which Allah had fixed in the hand of this treacherous Abu Jahl.
Abu Talib described the Prophet (s) as patient, truthful and pious out of his firm faith in him; moreover he found that the miracle of the stone as a warning for the people ... and what dreadful the warning of Allah would be!