There is plenty of evidence to prove the belief of Abu Talib.
(1) The Holy Prophet says in a hadith (joining his two fingers):
"I and the supporter of the orphan are together in Paradise
like these two fingers."
Ibn Abi'l-Hadid also has reported this hadith in his Sharh-e-Nahju'l-Balagha,
vol.IV, p.312, where he says that it is obvious that the Holy
Prophets statement does not mean all supporters of orphans, since
most of the supporters of orphans are sinners. So the Holy Prophet
meant by it Abu Talib and his distinguished grandfather, Abdu'l-Muttalib,
who looked after the Holy Prophet. The Holy Prophet was known
in Mecca as the yatim (orphan) of Abu Talib because after the
passing away of Abdu'l-Muttalib, the Prophet, from the age of
eight, had been in the care of Abu Talib.
(2) There is a well known hadith which both the Shia and Sunni
sects have narrated in different ways. Some of them say that the
Holy Prophet said: "Gabriel came to me and gave me good news
in these words: 'Allah has definitely exempted from the fire the
loins through which you appeared, the womb which sustained you,
the breasts which suckled you, and the lap which supported you.'"
Mir Seyyed Ali Hamadani in his Mawaddatu'l-Qurba, Sheikh Sulayman
Balkhi Hanafi in Yanabiu'l-Mawadda, and Qazi Shukani in his Hadith-e-Qudsi
have reported that the Holy Prophet said: "Gabriel came to
me and said 'Allah sends greetings to you and says verily He has
exempted from the fire the loins which gave you shelter, the womb
which sustained your weight, and the lap which supported you.'"
These reports and hadith clearly prove the faith of the Prophet's
supporters, namely, Abdu'l-Muttalib, Abu Talib and his wife Fatima
Bint Asad, and also the Holy Prophet's father, Abdullah, and mother,
Amina Bint Wahhab, and his wet nurse, Halima.
(3) Your great scholar, Izzu'd-din Abdu'l-Hamid Ibn Abi'l-Hadid
Mu'tazali, composed the following couplets in praise of Abu Talib.
They are recorded in Sharh-e-Nahju'l-Balagha, vol.III, p.318:
"Without Abu Talib and his son (Ali Bin Abi Talib), Islam
would have no distinction or strength. Abu Talib protected the
Holy Prophet in Mecca and supported him and Ali in Medina. Abda'l-Manaf
(Abi Talib) by order of his father Abdu'l-Muttalib, continued
taking care of the Holy Prophet and Ali and perfected those efforts.
When Abu Talib died through Allah's will, it did not cause any
loss because he left his fragrance (Ali) as his memory. Abu Talib
initiated outstanding services in the way of Allah, and Ali perfected
them for the sake of Allah.
Abu Talib's eminence cannot be harmed by the foolish utterances
of people, or by the willful suppression of his virtues (by his
opponents), just as when a man calls the light of day darkness,
the light will not be affected."
(4) Similarly, the couplets Abu Talib himself composed in praise
of the Holy Prophet are a clear proof of his faith. Some of these
couplets have been recorded by Ibn Abi'l-Hadid in his Sharh-e-Nahju'l-Balagha,
vol.III, p.316. Moreover, your prominent ulema, like Sheikh Abu'l-Qasim
Balkhi and Abu Ja'far Askafi, have produced them as evidence for
Abu Talib's belief.
Abu Talib wrote: "I seek shelter in Allah from those who
rail at us or attribute profanity to us, from the sinner who speaks
ill of us, and from the person who associates things in religion
from which we are aloof.
I swear by the House of Allah that he lies who says that we shall
leave Muhammad, though we have not yet fought against his enemy
with the sword and lance.
We will indeed help him until we have crushed his enemy. We will
offer such sacrifice that we will forget our wife and children.
His light is such that through the brightness of his face we invoke
the shower of Allah's mercy.
He comes to the assistance of orphans; he is the refuge of widows.
The helpless people of the Bani Hashim go to him for help and
are blessed with all kinds of favors.
I swear by my life that I have a passionate love for Ahmad. I
love him like a pure friend.
I found my self fit for sacrifice to him, so I helped him as he
is an ornament for the people of the world, a curse for enemies,
and a grace for society.
May the Creator of the World support him with His help and reveal
His religion, which is the way to Allah, and in which there is
not a particle of wrong."
There are some special couplets of Abu Talib which Ibn Abi'l-Hadid
in his Sharh-e-Nahju'l-Balagha, vol.III, p.312, and others have
quoted in proof of his belief. In his panegyric, he says:
"These people expect us to fight against Islam with sword
and lance; they think that we will kill Muhammad. But our faces
have not yet been colored with blood in his help. I swear by the
House of Allah that you have told me a lie; you may fall into
disaster. Hatim and Zamzam may fill to the brim with severed heads.
Injustice is being done to the Prophet, who has been sent by Allah
to guide the people. He has been given the book, which has been
revealed by the Lord of the Sky."
Apart from these clear evidences, which prove the faith of Abu
Talib, Ibn Abi'l-Hadid in his Sharh-e-Nahju'l-Balagha, v.III,
p.315, quotes the following couplets:
"You bear witness to the existence of Allah! Bear witness
that verily I follow the religion of the Prophet of Allah, namely,
Ahmad. Others may be misled in their religion, but I am one of
these who are guided."
Gentlemen ! Be fair and tell us if the writer of such couplets
can be called an infidel.
Sheikh: These couplets are not
acceptable for two reasons. First, there is no continuity of narration
about them. Second, it was nowhere seen that Abu Talib acknowledged
Islam. Reporting some of his couplets does not conclusively prove
that he was a Muslim.
Well-Wisher: Your objection
about lack of continuity of narration is strange. Whenever you
wish, you accept a lone report to be reliable and when you do
not wish, you use the weapon of lack of continuity.
If you reflect for a moment that if these couplets have not been
continuously reported by individuals, even so, taken as a whole,
they prove that Abu Talib believed in the Prophethood of the Holy
Prophet. There are many such things whose continuity of narration
is determined in the same way. For instance, the battles of the
Commander of the Faithful and the examples of his bravery also
depend upon lone reports. But taken as a whole these reports create
the sense of continuity, which gives us the necessary knowledge
of his valor. Hatim's generosity and Nushirwan's justice are known
in the same way.
Since you are so fond of continuity, please let us know how you
would prove that the Hadith of Zuhza has been successively transmitted.
As for your second objection, my reply is quite simple. It is
necessary to express one's acknowledgement of the unity of Allah,
prophethood, the Day of Resurrection, etc. in prose. But if one
composes couplets in which he expresses his belief, it is quite
sufficient. When Abu Talib said: "You who believe in Allah!
Bear witness that verily I follow the religion of the Prophet
of Allah, Ahmad," it had the same effect as if he had said
it in prose.
Besides this, he acknowledged his belief at the time of his death
in prose as well. Seyyed Muhammad Rasuli Bazranji, Hafiz Abu Nu'aim,
and Baihaqi have reported that a party of the chiefs of the Quraish,
including Abu Jahl and Abdullah Ibn Abi Umayya, came to Abu Talib
when he was dying. At that time the Holy Prophet said to his uncle
Abu Talib: "Say that 'there is no god but Allah,' so that
I may bear witness to it before Allah." Instantly Abu Jahl
and Abi Umayya said, "Abu Talib! Will you turn away from
the creed of Abdu'l-Muttalib?" They repeated these words
time and again until he said, "You should know that Abu Talib
follows the creed of Abdu'l-Muttalib." The result was that
those people went away well pleased. When the signs of death appeared
on Abu Talib, his brother Abbas, who was sitting on the edge of
his bed, saw that his lips were moving. When he listened to what
he said, he heard him saying: "There is no god but Allah."
Abbas said to the Holy Prophet: "Nephew! I swear by Allah
that my brother (Abu Talib) has said what you ordered him to say."
Since Abbas had not himself embraced Islam at that time, he did
not utter those words.
We have proved earlier that the ancestors of the Holy Prophet
were all believers in the unity of Allah. You should know that
it was expedient for Abu Talib to say that he followed the creed
of Abdu'l-Muttalib. He satisfied those people, and in reality
he acknowledged his faith in the unity of Allah because Abdu'l-Muttalib
followed the creed of the Prophet Abraham. Moreover, he did utter
the words "There is no god but Allah." If you study
the historical facts about Abu Talib, you will certainly acknowledge
that he was a believer.
On the day of his bi'that (announcement of Prophethood) the Holy
Prophet, along with his uncle, Abbas, went to Abu Talib and said
to him: "Verily, Allah has ordered me to announce His command;
verily, He has made me His Prophet; so how will you treat me?"
Abu Talib was the chief of the Quraish, the Head of the Bani Hashim,
and the most veracious man in the eyes of the people of Mecca.
He had reared the Holy Prophet. Had he been an infidel, he would
have at once opposed him. And if that had not proven sufficient,
since the Holy Prophet had come to him to seek help to propagate
his prophethood, Abu Talib seeing that it was against his religion,
would have confined the Holy Prophet or at least would have turned
him out of his place. Such a rejection would have hindered the
Holy Prophet from his great resolve. Abu Talib's religion (supposing
it to be polytheism) would have been saved, and he would have
earned the gratitude of his associates. Abu Talib could have rebuked
the Holy Prophet as Azar had done to his nephew the Prophet Abraham.
In the Holy Qur'an, Allah Almighty tells of the raising up of
Abraham Khalilu'r-Rahman as Prophet of Allah. He said to his uncle,
Azar, "O my father! Truly knowledge has come to me which
has not come to you; therefore follow me, I will guide you on
a right path." (19:43) "He said: Do you dislike my gods,
O Abraham? If you do not desist, I will certainly revile you;
leave me for a long time." (19:46)
But, on the contrary, when the Holy Prophet sought his help, Abu
Talib said: "O my nephew! Proceed with your mission. Verily,
you are high in rank, strong in your clan and the most exalted
in family lineage. I swear by Allah that the tongue which speaks
ill of you will be answered by me with sharp swords. By Allah,
the whole Arab world will kneel down before you, as an animal
humbles itself before its master."
Moreover, he composed the following verses, referring to the Prophet's
mission. These have been recorded by Ibn Abi'l-Hadid in his Sharh-e-Nahju'l-Balagha,
vol.III, p. 306, and Sibt Ibn Jauzi in his Tadhkira, p. 5:
"I swear by Allah that those people with their partisans
will never reach you, till I consign them to their graves.
So you should go on performing your duty. I give you the good
news of your success. Make your eyes cool with it.
You have called me to your religion. I believe that you have guided
me to the right path; you are surely the truthful one and have
ever been trustworthy.
You have brought us a religion which I know is the best of all
If I had no fear of taunt and reproach, you would have found me
openly supporting you."
These couplets show that Abu Talib recognized Muhammad to be a
messenger of Allah. There are however many other similar couplets
which Ibn Abi'l-Hadid in his Sharh-e-Nahju'l-Balagha, and many
other ulema, have recorded in their books.
Is a man who recites such couplets an infidel or a true believer?
Most of your prominent ulema have recorded this fact. You might
consult Sheikh Sulayman Balkhi Hanafi's Yanabiu'l-Mawadda, ch.52,
in which it is reported from Abu Uthman Amr Bin Bahr Jahiz that,
writing about Abu Talib, he said, "Abu Talib was a supporter
of the prophethood and messengership of the Holy Prophet. He wrote
many couplets in praise of the Holy Prophet. He was the leader
of the Quraish."
This clear evidence proves the sincerity of Abu Talib's faith.
Of course the Bani Umayya encouraged people to curse the chief
of the monotheists, the Commander of the Faithful, and the grandsons
of the Holy Prophet, Hasan and Husain. They also fabricated hadith
condemning the holy imam and forged reports that his father (Abu
Talib), died an infidel. The reporter was the accursed Mughira
Bin Sha'ba, an enemy of Ali and friend of Mu'awiya. The Kharijis
and Nasibis propagated the view that Abu Talib was an infidel.
The simple people were led to believe that it was a correct view.
It is strange that they consider Abu Sufyan, Mu'awiya, and Yazid
(May Allah's curse be upon them) believers and Muslims, even though
there are countless indications to the contrary. And yet they
attribute infidelity to Abu Talib in spite of clear proofs which
show that he was a firm believer.
Sheikh: Is it proper for you
to call the Khalu'l-Mu'minin (uncle of the believers), Mu'awiya
Bin Abu Sufyan "infidel" and always curse him. Will
you let us know what evidence you have that Mu'awiya Bin Abu Sufyan
and Yazid were infidels and fit to be cursed. These two distinguished
men were among the caliphs. In fact Mu'awiya was both Khalu'l-Mu'minin
(uncle of the believers) and also Katib-e-Wahi (scribe of revelations).
Well-Wisher: Would you please
tell me how Mu'awiya merits the title Khalu'l-Mu'minin (uncles
of the believers)?
Sheikh: Since Mu'awiya's sister,
Umme Habiba, was the wife of the Holy Prophet and Ummu'l-Mu'minin
(mother of believers), her brother Mu'awiya was Khalu'l-Mu'minin.
Well-Wisher: In your opinion
was the rank of Ummu'l-Mu'minin A'yesha greater or that of Umme
Habiba, sister of Mu'awiya?
Sheikh: Although both were Ummu'l-Mu'minin,
A'yesha was definitely superior to Umme Habiba.
Well-Wisher: According to your
criteria, all brothers of the wives of the Holy Prophet are Khalu'l-Mu'minin.
Then why don't you call Muhammad Bin Abi Bakr Khalu'l-Mu'minin?
According to you his father was superior to Mu'awiya, and his
sister was also superior to Mu'awiya's sister. No, Mu'awiya's
being Khalu'l-Mu'minin has no reality.
Abu'l-Faraj Ispahani in his Maqatilu't-Talibin, Ibn Abdu'l-Bar
in his Isti'ab, Mas'udi in his Isbatu'l-Wasiyya, and many other
ulema have reported that Asma Ju'da, by order and promise of Mu'awiya,
gave poison to Abu Muhammad Hasan Ibn Ali. Ibn Abdu'l-Bar and
Muhammad Bin Jarir Tabari have also reported that when Mu'awiya
was informed of the demise of the holy imam, he shouted the takbir
("Allah is Great"). Of course, such a damned person
should be called Khalu'l-Mu'minin according to you!
But look at Muhammad Ibn Abi Bakr, who was brought up by the Commander
of the Faithful and was one of the staunchest friends of the holy
Addressing this illustrious family he says: "O descendants
of Fatima! You are a place of safety for me and my guardian. It
is through you that on the Day of Judgement, the significance
of my good actions will be greater. Since my love for you is sincere,
I do not mind if somebody barks near me."
Although he was the son of the first caliph, Abu Bakr, and the
brother of Ummu'l-Mu'minin A'yesha, he was not call Khalu'l-Mu'minin.
He was abused and deprived of his father's legacy!
When Amr Bin As and Mu'awiya Bin Khadij conquered Egypt, the supply
of water was cut off to Muhammad Bin Abu Bakr. When he had nearly
died of thirst, he was killed. He was then enclosed in the skin
of an ass and the bundle was thrown into a fire. When Mu'awiya
learned of this, he was very pleased.
Hearing these facts, you do not question why these damned people
treated Abu Bakr's son, Khalu'l-Mu'minin Muhammad Bin Abu Bakr,
so cruelly. But when Mu'awiya is cursed, you immediately become
angry. So you see the opposition to the progeny of the Holy Prophet,
and it continues today.
Since Muhammad Bin Abi Bakr was one of the friends of the descendants
of the Holy Prophet, you neither call him Khalu'l-Mu'minin nor
regret his murder. Since Mu'awiya was the bitterest enemy of the
Ahle Bait of the Holy Prophet, you call him Khalu'l-Mu'minin.
Allah save us from such fanatical perversity!
Second, Mu'awiya was not the writer of Wahi. He embraced Islam
in the tenth year of the Hijra when revelation was complete. In
fact he was the scribe who wrote letters. He caused immense trouble
for the Holy Prophet. In the eighth year of the Hijra when Mecca
was conquered and Abu Sufyan embraced Islam, Mu'awiya wrote many
letters to his father railing at him because he had accepted Islam.
When, however, the whole Arabian peninsula and beyond came under
the influence of Islam, Mu'awiya was himself forced to embrace
Islam. In doing so he lost all his prestige. Abbas then asked
the Holy Prophet to assign Mu'awiya some position so that he might
no longer feel humiliated. In view of the recommendation of his
uncle, the Holy Prophet appointed him as scribe for the writing