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'Abd Allah b. 'Abd al-Muttalib

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'Abd Allah b. 'Abd al-Muttalib
Father of the Prophet (s)
Teknonym Abu Qasham, Abu Muhammad, and Abu Ahmad
Epithet al-Dhabih (the sacrifice)
Religious Affiliation Monotheist
Lineage Banu Hashim
Well-known Relatives the Prophet (s), 'Abd al-Muttalib, Abu Talib, Amina
Place of Birth Mecca
Place of Residence Mecca
Death/Martyrdom Few months after the Prophet's birthday
Cause of
Burial Place Dar al-Nabigha
Era Before Islam
Known for chosen as the sacrifice of 'Abd al-Muttalib

ʿAbd Allāh b. ʿAbd al-Muṭṭalib (Arabic: عبداللّه بن عبدالمُطَّلِب), is the father of the Prophet Muhammad (s), as the historians had said, in the vow of 'Abd al-Muttalib to sacrifice one of his sons for Allah, his name was drawn, but at last 100 camels slaughtered in his place. He passed away, before –or according to some narrations, a little after- the birth of his son, the Prophet Muhammad (s). Unlike Sunni scholars, most of the Shi'a scholars believe that he was a monotheist.

Lineage, Title, and Teknonym

'Abd Allah b. 'Abd al-Muttalib b. Hashim was the last son of 'Abd al-Muttalib. 'Abd Allah, Abu Talib (the father of Imam 'Ali (a)), al-Zubayr and 5 of the daughters of 'Abd al-Muttalib were from one mother; their mother was Fatima bt. 'Amr b. 'A'idh al-Makhzumi; one of the 5 women named Fatima in the lineage of the Prophet (s).[1]

His teknonym is "Abu Qasham", "Abu Muhammad", and "Abu Ahmad"; and his title was "al-Dhabih" (the sacrificed).

Family tree of the Prophet (s)
400 CE
'Abd al-'Uzza
'Abd Manaf
430 CE
'Abd al-Dar
464 CE
'Abd Shams
'Abd al-Muttalib
497 CE
Khadija (a)
'Abd Allah
b. 545 CE
Abu Talib
Muhammad (s)
b. 571 CE
'Ali (a)
b. 599 CE
Fatima (a)
'Abd Allah
Al-Hasan (a)
b. 625 CE
Al-Husayn (a)
b. 626 CE


When 'Abd al-Muttalib was digging for the Zamzam well, he had only one son; after he discovered the Zamzam well, Quraysh opposed his ownership of the well, and stated that they must have a share of the well. When he saw that he had only one son in order to defend himself, made a vow that if Allah will give him 10 sons, he will sacrifice one of them in the way of Allah, by Ka'ba. When his son's count reached 10; he draw lot in order to choose one of his sons to be sacrificed and the name of 'Abd Allah became drawn. But people opposed the slaughter. So they decided to draw between 10 camels and 'Abd Allah, if the 10 camels became drawn, they will be slaughtered in place of him, if 'Abd Allah became drawn, 10 more camels are added, and the draw is repeated. At last, when the count of camels reached 100, the camels were drawn, 'Abd al-Muttalib repeated the lot three times and in all of them the camels were drawn; after 'Abd al-Muttalib became sure that Allah had accepted the camels in place of 'Abd Allah, 100 camels slaughtered in place of 'Abd Allah and given to the poor.[2]

The Prophet (s) mentioned the story in a hadith: "I am the son of the two sacrifices". Imam al-Rida (a) says about the hadith: "the two sacrifices are Isma'il (a) and 'Abd Allah".[3]


In the day of sacrifice, after the sacrifice of the camels, 'Abd al-Muttalib went straight to Wahb b. 'Abd Manaf, who was the head of the Banu Zuhra tribe, and married his daughter, Amina bt. Wahb, to 'Abd Allah. She was one of the greatest women of Quraysh.[4]

According to some, the marriage took place after a year from the sacrifice.[5]


Some of Sunni scholars recognized him as a pagan, but most of the Shi'a scholars believe that he, and all of the ancestors of the Prophet (s) to Adam (a), were believers in God and were monotheists.[6]

Imam al-Sadiq (a) says: "Jibra'il (Gabriel) came to Muhammad and said: O Muhammad, God sends his regards to you and says: "I have withheld the fire of hell from the loin begot you and the womb bore you and the skirt raised you; the loin is the loin of 'Abd Allah b. 'Abd al-Muttalib and the womb bore you is Amina bt. Wahb and the skirt raised you is the skirt of Abu Talib -and according to Ibn Faddal- and Fatima bt. Asad".[7]


A little after his marriage, 'Abd Allah went to Syria with the trade caravan of Quraysh, in the way back he became ill and stayed in the Banu 'Adi b. al-Najjar tribe in Yathrib, when the caravan of Quraysh reached Mecca and 'Abd al-Muttalib asked them about 'Abd Allah, sent his eldest son, al-Harith, to Yathrib, but when he reached Yathrib, 'Abd Allah had passed away.[8]

'Abd Allah demised in his 25, between the uncles of his father, in the tribe of Banu l-Najjar, in a house named "Dar al-Nabigha".[9]

Most of the historians believe that he demised before the birth of the Prophet (s);[10] but al-Ya'qubi referring to a hadith from Imam al-Sadiq (a), considered his demise 2 months after the birth of the Prophet (s),[11] also Al-Kulayni chose this opinion,[12]

Heritage of 'Abd Allah was a maid named Umm Ayman, 5 camels, a herd of sheep, a sword, and some money.[13]

An old photo of the place of burial of Abd Allah


According to historical sources, the burial place of 'Abd Allah and a number of other graves were located in a place in Medina known as "Dar al-Nabigha" which is today part of al-Masjid al-Nabawi after its westward expansion. Photos of this location have survived. Today, it is located inside al-Masjid al-Nabawi.[citation needed] Na'ib al-Sadr al-Shirazi visited the place in 1305/1887 and cited Turkish poems that were inscribed on it.[citation needed] According to these poems, the grave had a dome and a building which were constructed in 1245/1829.[14] According to ancient sources the burial place of 'Abd Allah turned into a mosque.[citation needed] The Egyptian Ibrahim Pasha Raf'at said in his book that the grave had a darih.[15]

In addition to Na'ib al-Sadr al-Shirazi, Persian authors, Farhad Mirza and Sayyid Isma'il Marandi[16] and a number of travel writers, introduced the mausoleum of 'Abd Allah as one of the ziyara places of Medina. Although Wahhabis destroyed all mausoleums inside and outside al-Baqi' after they took over Medina, the building of the mausoleum of 'Abd Allah survived until 1976.[citation needed]

Visiting the grave of 'Abd Allah b. 'Abd al-Muttalib is considered as a recommended action.[17]


  1. Ibn Athīr, al-Kāmil, vol. 2, p. 33
  2. Ibn Hishām, al-Sīra, vol. 1, p. 103
  3. Majlisī, Biḥār, vol. 12, p. 122
  4. Ibn Hishām, al-Sīra, vol. 1, p. 156
  5. Āyatī, Tārīkh-i payāmbar, p. 42
  6. ʿĀmilī, al-Ṣaḥīḥ, vol. 2, p. 75
  7. Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, vol. 1, p. 446.
  8. Majlisī, Biḥār, vol. 12, p. 122. Ibn Athīr, Usd al-ghāba, vol. 1, p. 14.
  9. Ibn Athīr, al-Kāmil, vol. 2, p. 10
  10. Dhahabī, Sīyar aʿlām al-nubalāʾ, vol. 1, p. 165.
  11. Yaʿqūbī, Tārīkh al-Yaʿqūbī, vol. 2, p. 10.
  12. Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, vol. 1, p. 439
  13. Majlisī, Biḥār, vol. 15, p. 125. Ibn Athīr, Usd al-ghāba, vol. 1, p. 14.
  14. Jaʿfarīyān, Āthār-i Islāmī-yi Makka wa Madina, p. 352
  15. Ṣabrī Pāshā, Mirʾāt al-Ḥaramayn, vol. 4, p. 708.
  16. Marandī, "Guzārish-i az Madīna wa Baqīʿ dar sāl-i 1255", p. 117
  17. Kāshif al-Ghiṭāʾ, Qalāʾid al-durar fī manāsik man ḥajj wa iʿtamar, p. 114.


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