Abu Talib

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Abu Talib
Father of Imam Ali (a)
Hajun Cemetery-1.jpg
Al-Hajun Cemetery, Mecca, also known as Abu Talib Cemetery, where Abu Talib (a) is buried
Full Name Abd Manaf b. 'Abd al-Muttalib b. Hashim
Kunya Abu Talib
Religious Affiliation Islam
Lineage Banu Hashim
Well-known Relatives The Prophet (s), Imam Ali (a), Fatima bt. Asad
Birth 35 years before 'Am al-Fil/~535
Place of Birth Mecca
Place of Residence Mecca
Death/Martyrdom 10 after Bi'tha
Burial Place Al-Hajun Cemetery, Mecca
Era Early Islam
Known for Father of Imam Ali, Uncle of the Prophet (a), Head of Quraysh
Notable roles Head of Quraysh, Siqayat al-Haj

ʿAbd Manāf b. ʿAbd al-Muṭṭalib b. Ḥāshim (Arabic: عَبد مَناف بن عَبدالمُطَّلِب بن هاشِم) known as Abū Ṭālib (a) (Arabic: اَبوطالِب), the father of 'Ali b. Abi Talib (a) and the uncle of Muhammad b. 'Abd Allah (s), was among the noblemen of Mecca and the Tribe of Banu Hashim. In the poems of Abu Talib (a), there are many verses which show his belief in Islam. These verses have been proved to have similar interpretations since their common point is Abu Talib (a) mentioning his belief in the Prophethood of the Holy Prophet (s).

He had the position of Siqayat al-Haj. After 'Abd al-Muttalib (a), his father, passed away, he took the guardianship of Muhammad (s), his nephew, and greatly supported Muhammad (s) during his mission. It is quoted from the Prophet (s), "Quraysh feared me until Abu Talib (a) was alive." Al-Shaykh al-Mufid narrated that when Abu Talib (a) passed away, angel Gabriel came to the Prophet (s) and told him, "Leave Mecca since you have no support in this city."

On the day Abu Talib (a) passed away, the Prophet (s) asked Imam 'Ali (a) to do the ritual ablution for Abu Talib (a) and shroud him while he (s) was very sorrowful and cried and prayed to God for Abu Talib's (a) forgiveness. Upon arriving at the burial place of Abu Talib (a), the Prophet (s) said, "I ask God for your forgiveness in the manner that all Jinns and people wonder." He was buried in Mecca beside the grave of his father 'Abd al-Muttalib (a) in al-Hajun Cemetery (al-Ma'la cemetery).

Birth and Lineage

Abu Talib (a) was born 35 years before the Prophet (s) (around 536). His father 'Abd al-Muttalib (a) was the grandfather of the Prophet (s), he was regarded by all Arab tribes as a nobleman and the preacher of Prophet Ibrahim's (a) monotheism. Abu Talib's (a) mother was daughter of 'Amr b. 'A'idh al-Makhzumi. Abu Talib (a) was better known by his kunya although his actual name was 'Abd Manaf.

Family tree of the Prophet (s)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Qusay
400 CE
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
'Abd al-'Uzza
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
'Abd Manaf
430 CE
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
'Abd al-Dar
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Asad
 
 
 
Muttalib
 
 
Hashim
464 CE
 
 
 
Nawfal
 
'Abd Shams
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Khuwaylid
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
'Abd al-Muttalib
497 CE
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Al-'Awwam
 
Khadija (a)
 
Hamza
 
 
'Abd Allah
b. 545 CE
 
 
 
Abu Talib
 
Al-'Abbas
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Al-Zubayr
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Muhammad (s)
b. 571 CE
 
'Ali (a)
b. 599 CE
 
'Aqil
 
Ja'far
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fatima (a)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Muslim
 
'Abd Allah
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Al-Hasan (a)
b. 625 CE
 
 
 
 
 
 
Al-Husayn (a)
b. 626 CE
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Wife and Children

Abu Talib (a) had four sons. His sons in the order of age were Talib, 'Aqil, Ja'far and 'Ali (a) . It is mentioned that he also had two daughters: Umm Hani (Fakhita), Jamana. Some sources mention an additional daughter named Rabta. The mother of all of the children was Fatima bt. Asad. It is also reported that he had another child called Taliq whose mother was named 'Illa.

Social Position, Occupation, and Traits

Abu Talib (a) had two jobs which included serving hajj pilgrims and giving water to them in Mecca. His occupation was business related where he traded perfume and wheat.

According to a narration from Imam 'Ali (a) and the reports of historians, although Abu Talib (a) was a needy person, he was a nobleman of Quraysh and dear to them.[1] He was known for his sheer grandeur and wisdom. Regarding his generosity, it is said that, on the day he gave food to the needy, no one else in Quraysh gave food.[2] He was the first person who initiated the rule of swearing the guardians of the murdered in pre-Islam Jahiliyya era and later Islam confirmed this. Halabi said, "Following his father's conduct, he also had forbidden wine to himself."[3]

Guardianship of the Prophet (s)

Following the order of his father, Abu Talib (a) took the guardianship of his eight-year-old nephew. Accordingly, Ibn Shahr Ashub says, "On his deathbed, 'Abd al-Muttalib (a) called Abu Talib (a) and told him, "O my son! You know about my love for Muhammad (s) well; now, how will you observe my will about him?" Abu Talib (a) answered, "Do not advise me about Muhammad (s), since he is my nephew and my son!" When 'Abd al-Muttalib (a) passed away, Abu Talib (a) always gave priority to Muhammad (s) over himself and his own family."[4]

Moreover, Ibn Sa'd wrote, "Abu Talib (a) paid special attention to Muhammad (s) and showed more love to him than his own children, he provided him the best of food and laid him in a bed next to his and always tried to take him along with himself.[5] Whenever Abu Talib (a) wanted to give food to his children, he told them, "Wait for my son (Muhammad (s)) to come!"[6]

Supporting the Prophet (s)

Historical reports explain Abu Talib's (a) unreserved support for the Prophet (s) against the pressures and threats of Quraysh. Although, Abu Talib (a) was 75 years old at the beginning of the Prophet's (s) mission, he expressed his support for the Prophet (s) from the initial stage. During his meetings and talks with chiefs of Quraysh, he formally announced his support for the Prophet (s). He even criticized and threatened to kill the Quraysh for their offer of exchange for the Prophet (s) with Ammara b. Walid al-Makhzumi, who was a handsome, powerful young man. His support for the Prophet (s) was to the extent that he and his wife became like real parents of the Prophet (s). It is quoted from the Prophet (s), "Quraysh feared me until Abu Talib (a) was alive."[7] Al-Shaykh al-Mufid narrated that when Abu Talib (a) passed away, angel Gabriel came to the Prophet (s) and told him, "Leave Mecca since you have no support in this city."[8]

Poems

His poems exceed 1000 verses, known as Diwan Abu Talib. His poems confirm his support and acknowledgement of the prophethood of the Prophet Muhammad (s). His most famous poem is an ode called Qasidat al-Lamiyya.

Faith

There are many disputes between Shi'a and Sunnis over Abu Talib's (a) faith. The Shi'a school of thought believes that Abu Talib (a) was a Muslim according to hadiths narrated from the Ahl al-Bayt (a), while Sunni historians say that Abu Talib (a) did not formally accept Islam and died as a polytheist.

Demise

A view of al-Hajun Cemetery, Mecca, also known as Abu Talib Cemetery, where Abu Talib (a) was buried

There are different reports on the day and month Abu Talib (a) passed away, but according to Shi'a sources, he passed away on the Rajab 26, 10 years after the Prophet's (s) initialization of his mission (March 22, 619) and three days later Lady Khadija (a) passed away at the age of 85. Some have mentioned his demise happened on the 1st of Dhu l-Qa'da (June 23) or Shawwal (25th of May). The Prophet (s) called that year "'Am al-Huzn" (Year of Sadness). On the day Abu Talib (a) passed away, the Prophet (s) asked Imam 'Ali (a) to do the ritual ablution for Abu Talib (a) and shroud him while he (s) was very sorrowful and cried and prayed to God for Abu Talib's (a) forgiveness. When they arrived at the burial place of Abu Talib (a), the Prophet (s) said, "I ask God for your forgiveness in the manner that all Jinns and people wonder."[9] He was buried in Mecca beside the grave of his father 'Abd al-Muttalib (a) in al-Hajun cemetery.

See also

Notes

  1. al-Ya'qubi, Vol.2, P.14; Qumi, Vol.1, PP.108-9
  2. Al-Baladhuri, Vol.2, P.288
  3. Al-Halabi, Vol.1, P. 184
  4. Ibn Shahr Ashub, Vol.1, P.36
  5. Ibn Sa'd, Vol.1, P.119
  6. Ibn Shahr Ashub, Vol.1, P.37
  7. Ibn Kathir, Vol.3, P.164
  8. Al-Mufid, P.24
  9. Ibn Abi l-Hadid, Vol.7, P.176

References

  • The material for this article is mainly taken from ابوطالب in Farsi Wikishia.
  • Baladhuri, Ahmad b. Yahya al-. Ansab al-ashraf, Dar al-Fikr, Beirut, 1420 AH/2000;
  • Ibn Abi al-Hadid. Sharh nahj al-balagha, Ed. Muhammad Abu l-Fadl Ibrahim, Dar Ihya' al-Kutub al-'Srabiyya, 1378 AH/1959;
  • Ibn Kathir, Abu l-Fida' Ismail. Al-Bidaya wa al-nihaya, Dar Ihya' al-Turath al-'Arabi, Beirut, 1408 AH/1988;
  • Ibn Sa'd, Muhammad. Al-Tabaqat al-kubra, Dar Aadir, Beirut;
  • Ibn Shahrashub, Muhammad b. 'Ali, Manaqib al Abi Talib, 'Allama, Qum, 1379 AH/1960;
  • Qummi, Shaykh 'Abbas. Al-Kuna wa l-alghab, Maktabat al-Sadr, Tehran;
  • Mufid, Muhammad b. Nu'man al-. Iman Abu Talib, Dar al-Mufid, Beirut, 1414 AH/1994;
  • Ya'qubi, Ibn Wadih al-. Tarikh al-Ya'qubi, al-Maktabat al-Haydariyya, Najaf, 1384 AH/1965;
Family tree of the Prophet (s)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Qusay
400 CE
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
'Abd al-'Uzza
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
'Abd Manaf
430 CE
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
'Abd al-Dar
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Asad
 
 
 
Muttalib
 
 
Hashim
464 CE
 
 
 
Nawfal
 
'Abd Shams
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Khuwaylid
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
'Abd al-Muttalib
497 CE
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Al-'Awwam
 
Khadija (a)
 
Hamza
 
 
'Abd Allah
b. 545 CE
 
 
 
Abu Talib
 
Al-'Abbas
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Al-Zubayr
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Muhammad (s)
b. 571 CE
 
'Ali (a)
b. 599 CE
 
'Aqil
 
Ja'far
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fatima (a)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Muslim
 
'Abd Allah
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Al-Hasan (a)
b. 625 CE
 
 
 
 
 
 
Al-Husayn (a)
b. 626 CE