Who Was Abu Talib? 8 Facts to Know About Abu Talib

Who was Abu Talib? Abu Talib may Allah be pleased with him was the leader of Banu Hashim.  Banu Hashim was a clan of the Quraysh tribe on Makkah. Abu Talib’s name was Abdu-Munaf and the father of Talib. He was the paternal uncle of Prophet Muhammad PBUH. Abu Talib, being the guardian of Prophet Muhammad PBUH loved and respected him since childhood. He was also the father of one of the renowned Caliphs of Islam, Ali RAA.

Abu Talib though not a wealthy person raised Prophet Muhammad PBUH as his own son. He was also a poet and it’s been said that he said poems for the Prophet PBUH too. Here we will discuss in detail this prominent personality from Prophet Muhammad PBUH’s early life. 

Who Was Abu Talib? 8 Facts to Know About Abu Talib

Facts About Abu Talib’s Life

What was Abu Talib’s Relationship with Prophet Muhammad?

Prophet Muhammad’s PBUH father Abdullah ibn Abdul-Muttalib passed away before Prophet’s birth due to severe illness. Prophet Muhammad’s PBUH grandfather Abdul Muttalib took responsibility to raise his grandson. Other responsibilities passed on to Abu Talib were building Mecca, safekeeping of the Holy Kaaba, watching over all family affairs, and other lineage responsibilities.

Abu Talib was 30 years old when Prophet Muhammad PBUH was born in the year of the elephant, the battle where Abu Muttalib played a vital role to protect Kaaba. Abu Talib was kind enough to immediately take responsibility to raise his nephew after Abu Muttalib’s death. Abu Talib took care of the needs of Prophet Muhammad PBUH and also groomed him to learn the business. The Prophet PBUH often accompanied his uncle on business journeys.

It was the trading journey with Abu Talib when Prophet Muhammad PBUH was recognized by the Christian monk whose name was Buhaira. Buhaira immediately recognized him as the promised Prophet in the previous books. From that moment onwards, Abu Talib took care of Prophet Muhammad PBUH in a meticulous manner. 

1 – Abu Talib early life and family tree

Abu Talib’s Name

Abu Talib was born in Mecca (Saudi Arabia) in the region of Hijaz in 535 CE.  His full name is Abu Talib ibn Abd al-Muttalib. His parents were Abdul Muttalib and Fatimah bint Amr.  His brothers were Asad ibn Hashim , Abu Saifi ibn Hashim Nadla ibn Hashim. Abu Talib’s sisters were Ash-Shifa bint Hashim, Khalida bint Hashim, Da’ifa bint Hashim, Ruqayyah bint Hashim, and Jannah bint Hashim.

Prophet Muhammad’s PBUH father, Abdullah ibn Abdul-Muttalib, had only a brother from the same mother, who was Abu Talib.

Abu Talib’s Wife and Children

Abu Talib was married to Fatimah bint Asad and had 7 children, namely Talib, Aqeel, Ja’far, Ali, Fakhitah, Jumanah, and Raytah.

2 – What was Abu Talib’s Religion?

Abu Talib was a believer in Abrahamic monotheism. He was amongst the custodians of Kaaba. However, there is a difference of opinion if he was a Muslim or not.  According to Seerat al-Nabi volume :1, page 157, The muhadditheen (commentators of hadith) are of two opinions. The majority of muhadditheen have the opinion that he did not accept Islam. However, other muhadditheen say that at the time of Abu Talib’s death he was found to be murmuring something which couldn’t be heard properly(as Prophet Muhammad PBUH was encouraging him to say Shahadah). As Allah is well aware of everyone’s intention it’s best not to judge and leave the matter neutral.  Only Allah knows best. He is the best of the planners.

Who Was Abu Talib? 8 Facts to Know About Abu Talib

The descendants of Abraham that are mentioned in the Holy Quran include Prophet Muhammad PBUH and His family. Abu Talib had the honor of taking care of Siqaya and Rifada (food and beverages) for Hajj pilgrims.

When Prophet Muhammad PBUH started his mission to preach Islam, he was confronted by leaders of Quraysh. Abu Talib was always a shield for the Prophet Muhammad PBUH and did not succumb to any pressure of the Quraysh. 

3 – The year Abu Talib passed away was the year of sorrow:

The year of sorrow for Prophet Muhammad PBUH was when his wife Khadijah Bint Khuwalid and his beloved uncle Abu Talib died. Abu Talib died when he was more than 80 years old. This was around 10 years after Prophet Muhammad PBUH preaching started. The Prophet PBUH prayed to Allah for his beloved uncle’s forgiveness and to have mercy upon him. Forgiveness is the key to Paradise for everyone so make sure that you practice this virtue on daily basis.

4 – Mutual love between uncle and nephew:

Abu Talib would always protect Prophet Muhammad PBUH from the Quraishi polytheists despite their repeated threats. Similarly, the Prophet PBUH too would always show true love and respect towards his uncle.

5 – Abu Talib took pride in Prophet PBUH’s achievements:

When Abu Talib got to know Prophet Muhammad PBUH’s title of ‘Amin’ (meaning the “faithful, trustworthy,”) and “al-Sadiq,” (meaning “truthful”) he was happy to the extent that the tears of joy began to flow down from his eyes.

6 – Confidant of Prophet Muhammad PBUH:

Abu Talib was the true confidant of the Prophet PBUH. When Khadijah proposed to marry Prophet Muhammad PBUH, he took the advice of Abu Talib in such an important decision of his life. 

7 – Appointment of Abu Talib’s son Jafar as chief of migrants:

When Muslims faced challenging circumstances created by the Quraysh when they were to migrate to Ethiopia, Prophet Muhammad PBUH made Abu Talib’s son Jafar the chief of migrants.

8 – Abu Talib’s son Ali (RAA)’s contribution to Islam:

Prophet Muhammad PBUH took the responsibility of Abu Talib’s son Ali ibn Abu Talib. They both shared a loving and respectful relationship. Later Ali (RAA) was amongst the first few to enter the fold of Islam and became the son-in-law of Prophet Muhammad PBUH as he was married to Fatimah. He was also amongst the four caliphs of Islam. Hazrat Ali RAA  sayings about Islam can be read and practiced.

Concluding Remarks:

Prophet Muhammad PBUH undoubtedly led a comfortable life with Abu Talib as a guardian. He immensely benefited from Abu Talib’s love, manners, and morals which are vital parts of character building. Abu Talib was well respected in Makkah even though he did not have much fortune. In spite of many responsibilities, he raised Prophet Muhammad PBUH as his own child and was always compassionate towards him.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many sons did Abu Talib has?

Abu Talib had five sons. One of them was Hazrat Ali RA.

Who was the wife of Abu Talib?

Fatima binte Asad was the wife of the Prophet’s uncle, Abu Talib.

Where is the grave of Abu Talib?

Jannat al-Mu’alla, a cemetery in Saudia Arabia where Prophet’s ancestors are buried.

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