Hadrat Abu Taleb (A.S.): Al-Momin
By: Ayatullah Abdullah al-Khunayzi
Eeman is the infinitive form of the verb (aamana) and it means believing or trusting. Later on the word eeman takes a religious sense to mean faithfulness and it has its special definition. Al-mo'min is the opposite of al-kafir (the unfaithful).
Eeman according to the religious definition is: faith in the heart (mind) and certification by the tongue of what has been revealed by Allah to the Prophet (s).
So al-mo'min (the faithful) is he, who has these two conditions with their requirements of performing the religious obligations.
As for the faith of the heart, it can't be known by people except by Allah the Creator, Who is the only aware of the hidden thinking and what is in the conscience of man.
As long as people are unable to know the hidden beliefs of each other, so they decide according to the outward of each other.
Whenever they see the signs of faithfulness in someone, then no one has the right to criticize that someone and whoever dares to do that will be a slanderer and has to be punished.
Allah says: (... and do not say to any who offers you peach: You are not a believer) 4:94.
Allah forbids from saying to anyone, who offers salaam, that he is not a faithful so how about that, who confesses faithfulness every moment and does his best to take care of the first seed of the mission!
If someone wants to know about the faithfulness of someone else, it will be not so easy unless that one shows one's faithfulness through one's sayings then it is decided that that one is faithful and it is decided that one will be among the people of Paradise if one's sayings and inner beliefs were identical.
Also it is decided that someone is faithful if the Prophet (s) or any other infallible one witnesses that that one is a faithful because the Prophet (S.A.W.) (doesn't speak out of desire. It is naught but revelation that is revealed Quran 53:3-4) as Allah says about him.
The infallible one informs of what he has heard from the Prophet (s), who receives revelation from his God, so there is no distortion, fabrication, guessing or estimation coming out of emotion or fancy.
Therefore we can decide the faithfulness of Abu Talib according to the two sides;
All the sayings of Abu Talib confirmed his faithfulness besides his great deeds, his jihad for the sake of the mission and the witnesses of the Prophet (S.A.W.) and the infallible imams of his progeny.
We already mentioned in the previous chapters of this book many of Abu Talib's sayings showing his true faith, bright pages of his glorious jihad and many witnesses that had come out of the holy mouth of the great Prophet and his pure progeny (s).
We thought that it would be better to quote here some of Abu Talib's sayings concerning the subject.
He recited: The Lord of people Who has no partner
The Liberal Giver, the Initiator,, the Resurrector.
Whoever is under the Heaven and whoever is above the Heaven are rightfully His servants.( Eeman Abu Talib p.20, Divan Abu Talib p.11, Al-Hujja p.80, Sheikhul Abtah p.85).
These verses were clear evidence showing that the sayer was a monotheist believing sincerely in the One and Only God without any bit of polytheism or apostasy.
When he talked about Allah he used the phrase "the Lord of people (or the King of people)" which was an Islamic expression mentioned in the Quran (The King (Lord) of people. Quran 114:2) and he denied polytheism when he said: "Who has no partner".
Then he talked about some of the attributes of Allah the Almighty. He described Him as the liberal Giver, the Initiator, Who had initiated the creation from nothing and the Resurrector, Who would resurrected His creatures after death. It was a clear confession of the great day; the Day of Resurrection when the scales of justice would be put to weigh the deeds where there would be no injustice or wrong.
Then he said in the other verses that all the creatures were servants of Allah; whether those, who were under the Heaven or those, who were above the Heaven.
Would monotheism be something other than this? Did Abu Talib, after this saying, let an outlet for any doubter or suspector?
Was our saying "There is no god but Allah" in its monotheistic meaning clearer than these verses of Abu Talib?
Abu Talib recited too: O you the witness of Allah
Witness that I am on the religion of Prophet Ahmed.( Ahmed was another name of Prophet Muhammad (s).
Let whoever deviates from the religion know that I am guided.( Sharh Nahjol Balagha, vol.3 p.315, Al-Hujja p.81, Sheikhul Abtah p.80. Al-Mubarrid mentioned these verses in his al-Kamil vol.3 p.919 thinking that they were Imam Ali's poetry because Imam Ali used to recite them. His ascribing these verses to Imam Ali was without evidence. It was just because that Imam Ali often recited them. It was something natural of Imam Ali; firstly to show the faithfulness of his father through reciting his poetry and secondly to refresh the memory of his kind father).
Here Abu Talib confessed that he was on the religion of his nephew and then he said that whoever didn't follow this religion would be deviant whereas he himself followed this religion and became guided.
By your God! Wasn't this saying greater in meaning than to say: I am a Muslim?
If someone said to you that he was a Muslim, wouldn't he be treated like the other Muslims concerning the rights and the obligations? Wouldn't his blood, property and honor be protected and no one had any right to violate any thing of that?
So what about this man; Abu Talib, who announced his faithfulness so loudly and who asked the witness of Allah to witness that he was guided by the religion of his nephew, that people denied his being a Muslim?
It was but deviation that covered the eyes thickly and prevented them from seeing the brightness of the truth!
Here is something else of Abu Talib's poetry: Allah had honored Prophet Muhammad,
who became the most honored among all the peoples of Him, Allah had derived a name for him from His own name to glorify him; the Lord was Mahmood and His apostle was Muhammmad,( Sharh Nahjol Balagha, vol.3 p.315, Al-Hujja p.75, Mo'jamul Qoboor, vol.1 p.197, al-Ghadeer, vol.7 p.335, Divan Abu Talib p.12, A'yan ash-Shia, vol.39 p.147).
These verses had many things of monotheism and confession of the prophecy of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.).
As for what concerned his confession of the prophecy of his nephew, there were much many things, some of which was mentioned in the previous chapters of this book.
Here we quoted some individual verses chosen from Abu Talib's poems. Some of them might be mentioned in the previous chapters:
You are the Prophet; the Prophet of Allah that we know well, to you the books of the Almighty have been revealed.
Don't you know that we have found Muhammad a prophet like Moses, this is true in the Books!
You are the son of Aamina, you are the Prophet Muhammad ... A prophet, to whom the revelation of his Lord has come ... You are the Prophet Muhammad ... Ahmed has come to them with truthfulness, he hasn't come to them with falseness.
or they believe in a wonderful Book revealed to a prophet like Moses or Jonah.
They have already known that our son is believed by us, and we never care for the sayings of the falsifiers.
Among the obsurdities was the saying of al-Qarafi when commenting on this verse. He said to uncover the ill-will of him: "... declaring by the tongue and believing in the heart but he didn't submit." (As-Seera an-Nabawiyya, vol.1 p.85).
Did this biased one have another definition of faithfulness or his inner feelings led him to deviate from the straight way?
This was some of Abu Talib's poetry and there was much more full of his clear confession of the mission of Muhammad (S.A.W.) and full of advocation showing his submission to his nephew. That was the clearest evidence proving his believing in the mission of his nephew, otherwise what would lead him to submit to his nephew; the orphan, who had been brought up by him and grown under his kindness and care, whereas he was the obeyed leader, the sheikh of Mecca and the chief of Quraysh?
Muhammad (S.A.W.) was a son or a grandson of Abu Talib and therefore it was Muhammad (S.A.W.), who had to submit to Abu Talib, but what made Abu Talib submit to Muhammad (S.A.W.), call him "my master" and address him with the best expression of praising, glorifying and sanctifying?
Was there anything else than believing in the mission of Muhammad (S.A.W.) leading Abu Talib to do so? Was it because of the uncleship or any other kind of kinship? Would the sentiment of kinship stand against the religious enthusiasm, which defeated all the other sentiments and which nothing would resist whatever it was strong and firm?
We noticed how the religious enthusiasm had defeated the sentiment of fatherhood and sonhood like the situation of Abdullah bin Abdullah bin Obeyy towards his father and the situation of Adiy bin Hatim towards his son.
So the religious enthusiasm especially of this leader and Sheikh Abu Talib wouldn't vanish when supporting his nephew, who was calling for a new religion other than the religion of Abu Talib -as it was pretended- just because of kinship! This wouldn't be believed even by those of a bit of reason.
Was the sentiment of kinship the only reason that led Abu Talib to drive such signs of praise and glory to his nephew and all that sayings that invited people to follow and support him? Certainly not! Abu Talib recited:
I seek protection of the Lord of the House, from every defamer intending evil for us, from a dissolute backbiting us, from a falsifier ascribing to the religion what we are free from.
I swear by the House of Allah that you have told lies!
We never give up Muhammad; we struggle and fight for him, We support him until we are killed around him.
For him we ignore our wives and children.
Men with iron rush to you swiftly; By the House of Allah! When it is serious, our swords will pierce the heroes!
And a white-faced, with whose face it is prayed, so that the clouds bring goodness.
He is the shelter of the orphans and the guardian of the widows.
You know well that our son had never been a liar, nor we care for absurdities.
I swear I love Ahmed as a passionate lover; I sacrifice my soul for him, I defend him with all I have.
He is still the beauty for this world and its people, pang for his enemies, blessing for his fellows.
The hope of people; He has no like if the prudent compare!
Patient, wise and fair, devoted to his God, not ignorant of Him a bit!
So the Lord of the people assisted him, spread the right religion with no vanity.
We don't want to stay long at this wonderful poem so that not to violate its wonderfulness when trying to discuss or detail it. We let the reader take from it whatever he can because it will affect his heart so deeply.
Abu Talib was not of that kind of people, who just said without carrying out the sayings! He carried out whatever he had said. He protected the Prophet (S.A.W.) and supported him. He supported Islam and defended it that even his enemies, who had fabricated against him tens of lies, couldn't deny his favors and virtues.