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Shi'b Abi Talib

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Significant Events of
Prophet Muhammad's (s) Lifetime
in Mecca
Before Islam
569-70 Birth; Demise of 'Abd Allah (Father)
576 Demise of Amina bt. Wahb (Mother)
578 Demise of 'Abd al-Muttalib (Grandfather)
583 Business Trip to Damascus
595 Marriage to Khadija bt. Khuwaylid
Islam
610 Bi'tha and the beginning of Prophethood
613 Yawm al-Dar and Overt Invitation
614 Harassment of Muslims by Quraysh
615 Birth of Lady Fatima (a)
615 Emigration of a Group of Muslims
to Abyssinia
616 Blockade of Banu Hashim
in Shi'b Abi Talib
619 End of Blockade of Banu Hashim
in Shi'b Abi Talib
619 The year of sorrow, Demise of Abu Talib
and Khadija bt. Khuwaylid
620 Mi'raj
621 The First Pledge of al-'Aqaba
622 The Second Pledge of al-'Aqaba
622 Emigration of Muslims to Medina
This article is about the location of the valley of Abu Talib. For the boycott of Muslims in that place, see Boycott of Banu Hashim.

Shi'b Abi Talib (Arabic: شِعب أبي طالب, Valley of Abu Talib) is a valley between the Mount Abu Qubays and the Mount Khandama in Mecca. Seven years after Bi'tha, polytheists of Mecca declared an economic and social boycott on the Prophet Muhammad (s), Banu Hashim and Muslims. So they lived in Shi'b Abi Talib for three years under blockade.

The valley was owned by 'Abd al-Muttalib and the house of Lady Khadija (a) where she lived with Prophet Muhammad (s), and their children were born in, was located there. The valley is in the east of Ka'ba, next to the place where Sa'y is performed. Because the valley is located close to Ka'ba, it was regarded as the best place in Mecca. As Prophet Muhammad (s) was also born in that region, it is also called as Shi'b al-Mawlid (Arabic: شِعب المولد, the birthplace valley); Lady Fatima (a) was born in this region as well. Today, only a small part of this region, called Suq al-Layl, is left and the other parts were added to al-Masjid al-Haram in different expansions of the mosque.

Concept and Names

A valley,[1] a route on the mountain,[2] and a way between two mountains are called shi'b.[3]

This valley belonged to Banu Hashim and it was called differently in different times including Shi'b Banu Hashim, Shi'b Abi Talib, Shi'b Abi Yusuf,[4] and Shi'b 'Ali b. Abi Talib (a).[5]

Geographical Location

This Shi'b is located near al-Masjid al-Haram and behind Safa and Marwa mountains. It was between Mount Abu Qubays and Mount Khandama.[6] When a person exits al-Masjid al-Haram from Bab al-'Abbas gate, 'Ali gate, or al-Salam gate and passes Mas'a (the place sa'y is performed) an open space can be seen which is located below the Mount Abu Qubays which is the exact location of Shi'b Abi Talib. Today, only a small part of it remains which is called Suq al-Layl located on the mountain opposite from Mas'a. Most of the historical houses and places of Shi'b Abi Talib are currently added to al-Masjid al-Haram in different expansions.[7]

Some have regarded that al-Hajun Cemetery (Al-Ma'lat Cemetery) where Abu Talib is buried as part of Shi'b Abi Talib by mistake, while he was buried in the cemetery of Mecca which was located out the city.[8]

Living Place of Banu Hashim

When Qusayy b. Kilab came to power in Mecca, he settled every tribe of Quraysh in a region in Mecca. He chose Wajh al-Ka'ba which was in front of the door of Ka'ba to his family and his children 'Abd Manaf and 'Abd al-Dar; it included Shi'b Abi Talib toward al-Ma'lat. As this valley was the closest place to Ka'ba, it was regarded as the best region in Mecca. The valley was owned by 'Abd al-Muttalib and he gave it to his children in the last years of his life; 'Abd Allah, Prophet Muhammad's (s) father was also given a part of that land.[9]

The birthplace of the Prophet (s) is the only historical place remaining in the Shi'b Abi Talib.[10] The building is now used as a library.

In addition, because Prophet Muhammad (s) was born in that Shi'b, then it was also called as Shi'b al-Mawlid (the birthplace valley).[11] The house of Khadija (s) where she and Prophet Muhammad (s) were living was also located in this valley. Also Lady Fatima (s) was born in that house[12] and 'Abd Allah b. al-'Abbas was born and lived there as well.[13]

Boycott of Banu Hashim

The boycott of Banu Hashim was the most important report on the Shi'b Abi Talib. On Muharram 1, 7 BH/September 30, 615[14] a number of clans of Quraysh declared economic and social boycott against Prophet Muhammad (s), Banu Hashim and Banu 'Abd al-Muttalib except for Abu Lahab and his children[15] and they were forced to live with massive difficulties for three years.[16] Finally in the 10th year after Bi'tha when Meccan polytheists went to see the treaty in Ka'ba, they noticed that it was miraculously eaten by termites except for the phrase "Bismik Allahumma" (In your name O Allah) and the boycott ended.[17]

Notes

  1. Ibn Manẓūr, Lisān al-ʿArab, vol. 1, p. 449.
  2. Ṭurayḥī, Majma' l-baḥrayn, vol. 2, p. 90.
  3. Jaʿfarīyān, Āthār-i Islāmī-yi Makka wa Madina, p. 149.
  4. Ḥamawī, Muʿjam al-buldān, vol. 3, p. 347.
  5. Jaʿfarīyān, Āthār-i Islāmī-yi Makka wa Madina, p. 149; Qāʾidān, Tārīkh wa āthār-i Islāmī-yi Makka wa Madina, p. 114.
  6. Ibn Hishām, al-Sīra al-nabawiyya, vol. 1, p. 352.
  7. Jaʿfarīyān, Āthār-i Islāmī-yi Makka wa Madina, p. 151.
  8. Qāʾidān, Tārīkh wa āthār-i Islāmī-yi Makka wa Madina, p. 114.
  9. Ḥamawī, Muʿjam al-buldān, vol. 3, p. 347.
  10. Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, vol. 1, p. 439.
  11. Qāʾidān, Tārīkh wa āthār-i Islāmī-yi Makka wa Madina, p. 114.
  12. Qāʾidān, Tārīkh wa āthār-i Islāmī-yi Makka wa Madina, p. 114.
  13. See: Akhbār al-dawla al-ʿAbbāsīyya, p. 25.
  14. Miqrizī, Imtāʿ al-asmāʿ, vol. 1, p. 44.
  15. Miqrizī, Imtāʿ al-asmāʿ, vol. 1, p. 44.
  16. Ibn Saʿd, al-Ṭabaqāt al-kubrā, vol. 1, p. 163.
  17. Shahīdī, Tārīkh-i taḥlīlī-yi Islām, p. 53.

References

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  • Ibn Hishām, ʿAbd al-Malik. Al-Sīra al-Nabawiyya. Edited by Muṣṭafā l-Saqā & Ibrāhīm al-Aybārī & ʿAbd al-Ḥafīẓ al-Shalabī. Beirut: Dār al-Maʿrifa, n.d.
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