The Prophet (S), who was the highest example of loyalty, fealty and fairness, would never deny a favor of any one; therefore, the death of Abu Talib had left a deep effect upon him. He became so distressed and felt the great gap the absence of his uncle caused.
As soon as Imam Ali told him of the bad news of the disaster, his eyes began to flow with tears.
After he wiped off his tears, he ordered Ali in a sad voice saying: “Go to wash him, enshroud him, and bury him! May Allah forgive him and have mercy upon him.”1
This was evidence besides many other evidences proving the faith of Abu Talib.
The Prophet (S) ordered Ali, and no one at all would think that Ali was not a Muslim, to wash his father (to do the ghussl).2 Islam would not permit a Muslim to wash an unbeliever.
The Prophet (S) prayed Allah to forgive his uncle and prayed Allah to have mercy upon him. It was definitely that the Prophet (S) was so strict against the unbelievers and he was merciful and kind to the believers only.
After Ali had washed his dead father and the body of the supporter of Islam had been carried on the shoulders of the men, Ali came back to tell the Prophet (S). The Prophet (S) stood up in front of the body of his uncle to escort him with signs of praise and glorification and to be sincere to his favors he had done to Islam. The Prophet (S) said, “O uncle! Mercy may be upon you and you may be rewarded with good. You brought me up and adopted me when I was a child and you assisted and supported me when I became a man.”3
The Prophet (S) participated in the funeral until his uncle was buried then he said: “By Allah, I will pray Allah to forgive you and I will intercede for you that the mankind and the jinn will be surprised.”4
The Prophet (S) mentioned the virtues of his uncle, prayed Allah to forgive him and promised to intercede for him in the Day of Resurrection that would surprise the humankind and the jinn.
What would that intercession be?
Let us suppose that Abu Talib was unbeliever-although it was not so and would never be accepted by the rightness and the fair conscience-and did not support the Prophet (S) at all but the Prophet (S) would intercede for him to be in Paradise. This intercession would not surprise the two groups of humankind and jinn because the Prophet (S) would never intercede for an unbeliever.
But if Abu Talib would be rewarded with entering Paradise for his virtues and good deeds, hence the intercession of the Prophet (S) would be further than entering Paradise and this would surprise man and the jinn.
The Prophet (S), besides being loyal to his uncle’s favors, wanted by saying this to refute those who wrongly thought that Abu Talib hadn’t believed in the mission just because that he sometimes concealed his faith when the circumstances were not suitable for him to announce his faith openly in order to be able to carry out his tasks in the interest of the mission without obstacles.
Then the Prophet (S) added to his word this lament: “Ah father! Ah Abu Talib! O uncle, how bitter my sorrow is! How can I forget you! You brought me up when I was a child, responded to me when I was a man and I was for you as the pupil for the eye and as the soul for the body.”5
This was evidence by the Prophet (S) proving the faith of Abu Talib when saying: “… responded to me when I was a man…”
Let us ponder about this delicate expression of the Prophet (S): he said that his position in his uncle’s heart was like the eye and the soul. What an accurate imaging showing how much Abu Talib had loved the Prophet (S) and what a great position he had in his uncle’s heart.
Would such a man, who had all that love and that respect to the Prophet (S), not believe in the Prophet’s mission? Certainly not! It would be beyond impossibility!
But now as the fortress, which protected the Prophet (S) from the evils of Quraysh, was ruined when the defending lion was put in the grave, the beasts of Quraysh found the way empty and guardless. So they began to harm the Prophet (S) with all kinds of harm, torment, mockery and bitter insult; therefore the image of Abu Talib would have never left the mind of the Prophet (S) especially at this moment when he felt that he was in extreme need of him.
Once he came into his house and his hair was stained with dust that some of the impudents of Quraysh had poured upon his head. His daughter became sad and began to cry. She tried to remove the dust from her father’s head. He calmed her down saying: “Don’t cry my daughter! Allah protects your father.”
Then he added after remembering the past of his uncle Abu Talib when no one could dare to touch a hair of him: “Quraysh couldn’t hurt me until Abu Talib died!”6
On every occasion, such words came out of his mouth expressing his longing to his uncle and his need of him and of his glorious past: “O uncle! How sudden I felt your absence!”7
Allah willed to try his messenger. It was fated that he had to face two disasters each of them was bitterer that the other. Nearly in the same days he lost two supporters, who so often assisted and supported him in his distresses; Abu Talib, with his powerfulness and strength, who had prevented Quraysh from daring to do any harm to the Prophet (S) and Khadeeja,8 with her money, kindness, emotion, loyalty and devotedness, who so often assisted him against the distresses, eased his pains and nursed his wounds.
He lost both of them in a very critical time. The wide space would be narrow and the existence would be dark to him, unless he did not trust in Allah and depend upon Him besides the full mercy of Allah.
He lost them after those hard years they had spent in the Shi’b when his uncle was more than eighty years old. Those years were full of strife and struggle and therefore they gave good fruits and left a great glory, which became greater and greater later on.9
In one of the moments of his pain, an over-burdened sad word came out of his mouth but was full of trust in Allah, full of hope in His contentment, full of patience towards the fate… complaining to his God what harms, contempt and pains he got from people: “O Allah! To You I complain my weakness, my little supports, and my being disdained by people! O Allah, the Most Merciful! You are the Lord of the weak; You are my Lord; to whom You leave me? To an opponent frowning at me… or to an enemy overcoming me? If You are not angry with me, I will never mind… but Your blessing will be better to me… I resort to the light of Your face, with which the darkness becomes shiny and the affairs of the life and the afterlife become virtuous, so that not to let Your rage afflict me and Your wrath befall on me. I request Your forgiveness until You become pleased with me. There is no power, save in You…”10
After Abu Talib, no shelter remained for the Prophet (S) to resort to in Mecca. That defensive fortress, which protected him from the disasters, was demolished and the supporter, who sacrificed everything for him, was no longer alive.
In the midst of his distress and pain, the angel revealed to him this divine order: “Go out of it (Mecca)! Your supporter has died.”11
The situations of Abu Talib would never be away from the Prophet’s mind nor would his image leave his sight. He did not forget his uncle for a while. He still remembered him, praised him, and prayed to him for his eternal deeds and his glorious situations in order to be grateful to that man, who had done him many favors.
The Prophet (S) would never be indifferent to any favor done to him. So he often mentioned that to be grateful on one side and on the other side he wanted to encourage the others to follow the same way.
One day a nomad, with signs of sorrow and sadness appeared on his face, came to the Prophet (S) hoping to get something that might relieve some of his sorrow. He said to the Prophet (S), “O messenger of Allah! We have come to you and we have no any camel nor can any of our children find anything to eat.” Then he recited some verses of poetry:
We have come to you and our virgin’s breast disappeared,
And the mother ignored her baby.12
The hands of the child dangled and he fainted to the ground,
He could do nothing nor could he move.
Nothing to eat we have save colocynth,
Blood and hair of camels.
We do not have save you to resort to.
Do people resort but to the prophets?
The merciful Prophet (S) stood up deeply affected by this tragic scene dragging his feet towards the minbar. After praising Allah, he began to pray Him: “O Allah! Send us abundant rain pouring plentifully to produce the plants, to fill the udders and to give life to the earth after its death… and thus shall you be brought forth.”
As soon as the Prophet (S) finished his praying, the sky began to lighten and the ground began to receive the abundant rain.
A man came to the Prophet (S) crying: “O messenger of Allah! It is the flood! It is the flood!”
The Prophet’s hands, whose hopes would never be refused, stretched towards the Heaven and his lips, whose praying would never be disappointed by Allah, uttered: “Let it be around us and not upon us!”
The heavy clouds began to leave taking with them the terror out of the people’s hearts.
The Prophet (S) became delighted and his lips smiled but he remembered the near past and sighed: “What a man Abu Talib was! If he is alive, he will be delighted. Who will recite us his poetry?”
His cousin Imam Ali stood up and said, “O messenger of Allah! You may mean his saying:
And a white-faced, with whose face it is prayed,
So that the clouds bring goodness.
He is the shelter of the orphans and the guardian of the widows.
As the Prophet (S) said, “Yes” Ali kept on reciting other verses of his father’s poem and the Prophet (S) from above the minbar kept on praying Allah to forgive his sincere uncle.
Would we stop here with the Prophet when praying Allah to forgive his uncle after his death?
The Prophet (S) mentioned his uncle when every occasion passed by him because his mind was always busy with his good deeds and he always remembered his great situations. Quite often, the Prophet (S) praised his uncle with worthy words and it was definitely that the Prophet (S) would not praise any one, who did not deserve that. He kept on praying Allah to forgive his uncle when Ali was reciting his father’s poetry and it was definitely that the Prophet (S) would never pray Allah to forgive anyone, who was not faithful.
The Prophet (S) said, “Being loyal to a man (after his death) is by being loyal to his children.” And who would be worthier than the Prophet (S) to achieve his own sayings?
The Prophet (S) remained loyal to his uncle Abu Talib by being loyal to his son Ali.
Once he said to Imam Ali: “No one is worthier than you of my position; you are the first in being a Muslim, you are my cousin and my son-in-law. You have Fatima, the head lady of the believing women. Before that, your father was my guardian and supporter when the Quran was revealed and I am so careful to keep that for him by taking much care of his offspring after him.”13
Did you see what position Abu Talib had in the Prophet™s heart? The Prophet (S) considered the situation of Abu Talib during the revelation of the Quran as one of the virtues of Ali. He thought that it imposed upon him to consider that Ali was the worthier one of his position- the position of prophecy. He added this virtue to the other virtues of Ali like his preceding in being a Muslim, being his cousin and his son-in-law…
The Prophet (S) revealed to Ali that he would keep on being grateful to Abu Talib by taking much care of his sons.
So no one but Ali was to be the successor of the Prophet (S) for there was no one worthier than him of all these virtues!
What great love the Prophet (S) had for his uncle! He loved Aqeel for the kinship between them and the other love because he knew that Abu Talib had loved Aqeel too much. He thought that his uncle’s love for someone imposed upon him to love that one too.
It was true evidence showing us the great love the Prophet (S) had towards his uncle Abu Talib.
On the day of Badr17 while the battle was in its excitement, Abu Obayda bin al-Harth bin al-Muttalib approached to meet the polytheists defending his religion. When his leg was cut by Otba bin Rabee’a -or Shayba as it was mentioned- two drawn swords of the swords of Allah; Ali and Hamza rushed, stroke the enemy with their unavoidable swords and saved their companion and carried him to the arbor where the Prophet (S) was.
Obayda’s leg, which was cut and was bleeding, did not distract him from opening his eyes to say to the Prophet (S) in a quivering voice: “O messenger of Allah! If Abu Talib were alive, he would know that he had been truthful when he had said (addressing the polytheists):
I swear by the House of Allah that you have told lies!
We never give up Muhammad; we struggle and fight for him,
We support him until we are killed around him.
For him we ignore our wives and children.
The Prophet (S) was affected by the mention of his uncle and began praying Allah to forgive him and Abu Obayda.18
When Quraysh was defeated and the battle stopped, the Prophet (S) had a pondering look at the dead bodies of the polytheists and remembered something. Abu Bakr was beside him. He said to Abu Bakr, “I wish Abu Talib was alive! He would know what our swords have done to the greats.”19 He referred to the verse of Abu Talib’s poem:
By the House of Allah! You have lied.
If what I foresee be serious, our swords will pierce the greats.
Once al-Abbas asked the Prophet (S): “O messenger of Allah! Do you pray for Abu Talib?”
The Prophet (S) answered him: “Every good I hope for him from my God.”20
The books of Hadith mentioned a true tradition that the Prophet (S) had said: “On the Day of Resurrection I intercede for my father, my mother, my uncle-Abu Talib- and a brother of mine, who lived in the pre-Islamic age.”
This tradition was mentioned in different ways but it had the same meaning.21
These traditions imposed upon us to acknowledge the faith of the Prophet’s supporter, whom the Prophet (S) did not mention unless he praised with the best of words.
He often prayed His God for him. Definitely, the Prophet (S) would never follow his passion but put every one in his suitable position whether good or bad.
If the Prophet (S) praised his uncle and prayed Allah to forgive him whereas his uncle had been not a Muslim -which was far away from the Prophet (S)- then the Prophet (S) would disobey Allah -Allah forbid!- according to many Quranic verses as:
1. You shall not find a people who believe in Allah and the latter day befriending those who act in opposition to Allah and His Messenger, even though they were their (own) fathers, or their sons, or their brothers, or their kinsfolk; these are they into whose hearts He has impressed faith. (The Holy Quran, Shakir 58:22)
The holy Quran denied that there were people, who believed in Allah and the Day of Resurrection, having a bit of love to those, who had enmity against Allah and His messenger even though there was close kinship between them.
Allah confirmed that it was impossible for believing in Him and loving the unbelievers to be in one heart. It would be better to quote the interpretation of az-Zamakhshari about this Quranic verse: “It appears that it is impossible to find believing people loving the polytheists. The purpose behind that is to make the believers avoid the enemies of Allah completely and beware of mixing with them at all. Allah has confirmed that by saying: (even though they were their (own) fathers) and: (these are they into whose hearts He has impressed faith), and by comparing His saying: (those are the Shaitan's party) with His saying: (these are Allah's party) you won’t find anything more loyal in faith than to love the lovers of Allah and to avoid the enemies of Allah. In fact this is the very sincerest faith.”22
After that, he mentioned the Prophet (S) had said a tradition: “O Allah! Do not make a dissolute or an unbeliever have a chance of getting my kindness! For I have among what has been revealed to me this verse:
(You shall not find a people who believe in Allah and the latter day befriending those who act in opposition to Allah and His Messenger, even though they were their (own) fathers, or their sons, or their brothers, or their kinsfolk; these are they into whose hearts He has impressed faith.)”23 (Shakir 58:22)
The author of Majma’ul Bayan said: “It means that loving the unbelievers and faith won’t be together in one’s heart.”24
2. O you who believe! Do not take My enemy and your enemy for friends: would you offer them love while they deny what has come to you of the truth. (The Holy Quran, Shakir 60:1)
In this verse, Allah had forbidden the believers from taking the unbelievers as friends, loving them, supporting them, or asking them for support.
3. O you who believe! do not take your fathers and your brothers for guardians if they love unbelief more than belief; and whoever of you takes them for a guardian, these it is that are the unjust Say: If your fathers and your sons and your brethren and your mates and your kinsfolk and property which you have acquired, and the slackness of trade which you fear and dwellings which you like, are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger and striving in His way, then wait till Allah brings about His command: and Allah does not guide the transgressing people. (The Holy Quran, Shakir 9:23-24)
In these verses, Allah had forbidden the believers from taking their fathers and brothers as guardians if they were unbelievers. Faith would be the cause of preventing the sentiment between the believer and the unbeliever even if the unbeliever was the believer’s father or brother, who were be the closest relatives of him. Then Allah said that loving the unbelievers or regarding them as guardians would bring the believer out of the sphere of faith and join him to the unjust people. Then Allah threatened the unbelievers of waiting for His punishment because they were not but transgressing people.
Az-Zamakhshari when interpreting these verses mentioned that the Prophet (S) had said: “No one of you becomes a faithful until he loves for the sake of Allah and hates for the sake of Allah; he loves the farthest one to him and hates the closest one to him for the sake of Allah.”25
“This is a very severe verse or it may be the severest one that blames people for their leniency in the firm affairs of religion and for their confusion in the strict way of faithfulness… let the most pious men try themselves, will they find that they are strict in obeying the obligations of Allah, will they prefer the religion of Allah to their fathers and children…?”26
The author of Majma’ul Bayan said, “The matter of religion is preferred to kinship even if it leads to cut the relationship of the parents because the faithful foreigner is better than the unfaithful relative. Al-Hassan said: He, who follows the polytheists, is a polytheist.”27
4. O you who believe! Whoever from among you turns back from his religion, then Allah will bring a people, He shall love them and they shall love Him, lowly before the believers, mighty against the unbelievers. (The Holy Quran, Shakir 5:54)
5. And had they believed in Allah and the prophet and what was revealed to him, they would not have taken them for friends but! most of them are transgressors. (The Holy Quran, Shakir 5:81)
Allah had made among the conditions of faithfulness the cordiality and the familiarity among the believers to be as one hand or as the compact structure; each part tightened the other.
The mightiness and severity against the unbelievers would restrain them from ravaging the tight structure of the believers and from separating their firm unity.
Ibn Abbas said: “You find that the believers are kind and lenient to each other as the child to his father and as the slave to his master and you found them severe and rough towards the unbelievers like the beast towards his prey.”28
In the second verse, Allah denied the faith of those, who took the unbelievers as friends and hence they deserved rage and wrath of Allah. They would remain in Hell forever.
“Supporting the unbelievers by some of the believers is sufficient evidence proving their hypocrisy and that their faith is not true but they still keep on their unbelief and hypocrisy.”29
6. Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and those with him are firm of heart against the unbelievers, compassionate among themselves. (The Holy Quran, Shakir 48:29)
The interpreters mentioned after this verse a saying of al-Hassan: ﬁThey-the believers-avoided the unbelievers and the polytheists to a degree that they tried to evade even their cloths not to touch their own cloths and their bodies not to touch their own bodies.”30
After some sayings mentioned by az-Zamakhshari he added, “The Muslims at every age have to pay much attention to this avoidance. They have to be strict towards those, who don’t believe in their own religion and beliefs, and have to avoid them.31 They have to be kind to their brethren in Islam, to treat them benevolently, to defend them against any harm, to help them, to be lenient to them and to be very polite and honest with them.”32
But unfortunately the Muslims did the opposite. As if the verse was reversed in their minds. They became kind to their opponents, strict, and severe among themselves. Some of them sacrificed their brothers in religion for the sake of their enemies. Some of them did evil to each other that even the enemy would not do. Unfortunately, they submitted to the enemies of their religion whether in the same country, they were or abroad; in the west or in the east and loved them more than their fellow people. They exceeded in committing crimes and treason to achieve their private interests, which were, in fact, the interests of the enemy of their religion. They sacrificed their citizens and presented their nation as delicious bite to the odious colonist.
Such people, at last, would never get save bad rewards for the sins they committed.
Hence, the ties of the umma split and the unity crumbled. The fire of disagreement crept into everything like the flame when breaking out in the dry firewood.
Let us go back to our subject of the verses mentioned above. Was it possible for the Prophet of Islam to be kind and merciful to a polytheist unbeliever just because that polytheist was his relative and to deny all those verses that were revealed to him by the Heaven?
Would he accept to be defended by a polytheist unbeliever whereas he himself had said: “O Allah! Don’t make a dissolute or an unbeliever have a chance of getting my kindness!” …?
The truth was that this man, who assisted, supported and did the Prophet (S) favors, and then the Prophet (S) had to be grateful to him and had to love him and to praise him often and often… this truth would contradict the meanings of these verses, which were full of threat, severity, warning and wrath.
This would not be justified unless we said-Allah forbid!-that the Prophet (S) didn’t pay any attention to the orders of his God that were revealed to him and that he indifferently contradicted the principles of the holy Quran! We would say so to justify the saying of the fabricators that Abu Talib was unbeliever after it had been proved that he had assisted and protected the Prophet (S) and his mission so firmly and bravely.
Since no one could dare to say this, so one would be obliged to confess that Abu Talib was a faithful after it was proved without any doubt that the Prophet (S) had often prayed for him, praised him and glorified him whenever mentioning him.
All that, away from the great deeds Abu Talib had done and the acknowledgment he had left on the page of the existence, made the light of Abu Talib’s faith shine with the rays of certainty.
When we move to the sayings of Imam Ali (as) about his father, we will find many evidences confirming the true faith of his father to confute all the fabricated lies about his unfaithfulness.
When his father closed his eyes and his soul went high to the better world, he came to tell the Prophet (S) of the sad news. The Prophet (S) instructed him of what to do. He washed his father’s body (did the ghusl), embalmed it and enshrouded it and then he escorted his father towards the tomb as the Prophet (S) had ordered him to do.
Would these things have been done for other than the Muslims? I do not know what to say…!
Then he saw the Prophet (S) standing in front of his father’s body; praising him with the best of words, his tears coming down from his eyes and the sighs of pain stumbling in his chest.
Days passed. The Prophet (S) became so distressed. Difficult conditions surrounded him from every side. He became in a critical situation. He began to sigh with complaint and pain for the great loss of his kind uncle.
The image of Abu Talib passed by Ali’s mind. He remembered his father’s brave situations towards the mission and how he had defended and protected the Prophet (S). His emotions began to boil and the thorn of his inner pain began to sting him. Tears came down of his eyes while uttering these verses of poetry:
O Abu Talib! The shelter of resorters!
The rain for barren lands!
The light in darkness!
Losing you undermined us.
Allah may have mercy upon you!
Allah may please you;
That you were a good uncle for al-Mustafa.33
The years passed and the Umayyads tried their best to fabricated false traditions, whose flames reached Imam Ali (as).
One day Imam Ali was in the yard of the mosque surrounded by the people, when a man of those, who had heard the fabricated traditions until he became confused between the truthfulness and the falseness, came to him and said: “O Ameerul Mo’mineen! You are in this high position, which Allah has put you in, while, your father has been tortured in Hell…?”
Imam Ali’s face reddened with anger about what lies the Umayyads had been fabricating. He answered the man: ﬁHush up! May Allah shut your mouth! By Allah, who had sent Muhammad as prophet, if my father would intercede for every guilty on the earth, Allah would respond to his intercession! Has my father been tortured in hell whereas his son is the divider between (the people of) Paradise and Hell? The light of Abu Talib, in the Day of Resurrection, will put out the lights of all the creatures except five lights…”34
Such a man like Imam Ali with his high position, qualities, virtues and excellences, who had been at the top of faithfulness and who had never been polluted with the dregs of polytheism, would be some how affected by his father if he was not faithful or he was polytheist for something of that would defect the pure page of the son, demean his virtue and hurt his high position.
Once again, Imam Ali said, “By Allah! Neither my father nor my grandfathers Abdul Muttalib, Hashem, or Abd Manaf had worshiped an idol at all. They offered prayers towards the House (the Kaaba) according to the religion of Prophet Abraham (as), to whose beliefs they had kept.”35
Abut-Tufayl Aamir bin Wa’ila narrated a tradition that Imam Ali had said: “When my father was dying, the Prophet (S) was with him. Then the Prophet (S) told me of something about my father that was better to me than this worldly life and all what it has.”36
Another time he said showing why his father Abu Talib hadn’t announced his faith openly: “By Allah, Abu Talib (Abd Manaf bin Abdul Muttalib) was a faithful Muslim, but he kept his faith secret fearing for the Hashemites that Quraysh may harm them.”37
Once again, he said, “Abu Talib didn’t die until he made the Prophet (S) pleased with him.”38
These were the sayings of Imam Ali about his father. They were sufficient evidences confirming his father’s faith. Imam Ali announced his sayings intendedly after he had heard the lies accusing his father of unbelieving.
Did Imam Ali say so just out of the sentiment of fatherhood or the enthusiasm of kinship without concerning the reality and the truth?
I don’t think that any one, who believes in Islam sincerely, will dare to say so because he will violate the excellent position of the imam of the Muslims and the true guardian of Islam besides that he will contradict the traditions had been said by the Prophet (S) talking about the virtues of Imam Ali.
Ali would never deviate from the rightness whatever happened. The Prophet (S) said, “Ali is with the rightness and the rightness is with Ali. It turns with him wherever he turns.”
We do not need to mention every tradition said by the Prophet (S) about his loyal guardian Ali for these traditions were as clear as the light of the sun.
If there were someone justifying Imam Ali’s sayings as they were out of kinship, he would certainly criticize the Prophet (S) for the Prophet (S) had praised a man, whose sentiment overcame his faith, and who preferred his relatives to his religion and consequently he would follow the falseness and change the rightness! The sacred duty of Imam Ali was to disavow his father if he was polytheist when died. His father would be considered as enemy of Allah and then Imam Ali did never have to praise him because the right of the father would never be above the right of Allah. He had to follow the conduct of his father Prophet Abraham (as) as the holy Quran said:
… But when it became clear to him that he was an enemy of Allah, he declared himself to be clear of him. (The Holy Quran, Shakir 9:114)
He would not have to follow an enemy of Allah if he was a true faithful but he had to follow his God’s orders if he wanted to be near to Him.
No one among the Muslims, overall, would be equal to Ali in his faith and in obeying Allah and His Apostle.
The Islamic history showed us excellent examples of sincere faithfulness among the Muslims, who trod upon their emotions towards their close relatives, whether their fathers or brothers, if the kinship would contradict their belief. Nothing would stand against the powerfulness of the true faithfulness whatever it was.
The history mentioned the situation of Abdullah bin Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Salool39 towards his father, who uttered some words of hypocrisy during the battle against the tribe of al-Mustalaq and caused a kind of separation among the Muslims.
When Abdullah heard of that, he went to the Prophet (S) and said, “O messenger of Allah! I heard that you want to kill my father. If it is true, you order me to do that. I myself will kill him and bring you his head. I fear, if you order someone else to kill him, that my self won’t let me look at my father’s killer walking among the people and then I may kill him and so I will kill a believer for the sake of an unbeliever and hence I go to Hell.”40
He begged the Prophet (S) that no one would kill his father other than him! He feared, if the task would be carried out by other than him, that he might revenge on the killer, and so he would commit what would bring him the wrath of Allah! But if he himself killed his father, his sincerity towards Allah wouldn’t be affected by any rage against his father’s killer, although he would suffer too much when killing his father with his own hands. The merciful Prophet relieved Abdullah from the two when he forgave this hypocrite and set him free just for the sake of his faithful son.41
This is another event showing the dominance of the religious enthusiasm over the sentiment of the kinship.
After the battle of Siffeen, Adiy bin Hatim with his son Zayd passed by the killed soldiers. Among the killed soldiers of the army of Mo’awiya there was Zayd’s uncle (his mother’s brother). Zayd went looking for his uncle’s killer. When he found the killer, he killed him with his spear. Then Adiy became so angry with his son Zayd and he scolded him, blamed him, and abused him and his mother severely. He said to his son, “O son of obscene woman! I am not on the religion of Muhammad, unless I hand you over to them to kill you.”
But Zayd fled from his father and joined Mo’awiya, who received him well and safeguarded him. Then Adiy raised his hands towards the Heaven cursing his son. He said, “O Allah! Zayd has parted with the Muslims and has joined the unbelievers. O Allah hit him with an arrow of Yours that never misses him! By Allah, I will never talk with him a single word at all and I will never live with him under one roof at all.”42
However great the sentiment of fatherhood towards the son was but you found that Adiy wanted to kill his son because he had committed a sin by killing an innocent faithful Muslim, but he had not but to pray Allah against him when he fled from him towards the unjust band of Mo’awiya.
This was not the only event of this kind in the battle of Siffeen. There was another one mentioned by the historians:
A warrior from among the oppressive army of Mo’awiya came out challenging to duel with one of the army of Imam Ali. They fought for a while of time until the soldier of Imam Ali could throw his enemy to the ground and sit on his chest. Before he tried to kill him, he uncovered his face and it appeared that he was his brother but he heard many voices of his army asking to kill him. He waited a while and said to them, “He is my brother.” They answered him: “Leave him alone.” But he wouldn’t do that without being satisfied with a true justification for he wouldn’t prefer brotherhood to his religious duty. He answered, “Never! Until ameerul mo’mineen permits me to leave him alone!” when Imam Ali was told of that, he said to him: “Let him go!”43
Unless he did not receive the order of his leader Imam Ali, he would definitely kill his brother for the sake of his faith and belief.
These men would not be, at all, more faithful or sincerer than Imam Ali, on whose shoulders Islam was erected and by whose sword, which overthrew the great heads of the polytheists, Islam became so strong.
Imam Ali definitely would never let his father alone if he knew that he was unbeliever nor would, he praised him falsely at all. It was he, who was the highest example, after the Prophet (S), of faithfulness and devotedness in the pure way of Allah and His Apostle.
If Ali were not certain about his father’s faith, he would never deny the lies fabricated against him nor would he praise him with the best of words. He was worthier than anyone else to say the truth even though it was against his father. His great faith and devotedness would never let him deviate from the clear way of rightness.
He was the worthiest, after the Prophet (S), in keeping to the orders of the holy Quran and refraining from its prohibitions.
We saw that the Quranic verses mentioned above were full of terrible meanings of threat against those, who would follow the unbelievers… and certainly, Ali, who was the ideal example of rightfulness, would never contradict a single word of the holy Quran!
It would be better to mention for the reader this passage of one of Imam Ali’s speeches said in front of the all in one of the days of the battle of Siffeen:
“When we had been with the Prophet (S), we killed our fathers, sons, brothers, and uncles and that strengthened our faith and our submission to the orders of Islam. We tolerated the bitterest of sufferings for the sake of the jihad and dueling the heroes of the enemy…”44
What a wonderful image it was! It showed us the powerfulness and the firmness of the Muslims in realizing the rightness and defeating the falseness even if the victims were their fathers and sons as the holy Quran described them.
The Sayings of Ahlul Bayt45
If we studied the biographies of Ahlul Bayt, we would find that each of them had confuted the accusations had been ascribed to Abu Talib. They declared the reasons behind those accusations, which distorted the faith of Abu Talib and made him one of the unbelievers.
Whenever the lies and the fabrications increased, a word of rightness came out to scatter all that confusion, a ray of truthfulness shone to clarify the darkness of that unfairness, and evil wills.
1. One of those, who had heard of the lies fabricated about the faith of Abu Talib, asked Imam Sajjad-Ali bin al-Husayn (as)46 about those accusations. Imam Sajjad said, “Yes!”
The asker repeated his question to be certain about the source of those accusations and to know whether they were true or not: “There are some people here pretending that Abu Talib was unbeliever!”
Imam Sajjad sighed painfully and cried loudly, “How wonder! Did they accuse Abu Talib (of being unbeliever) or they accused the Prophet (S), who had been ordered by Allah not to let a believing woman keep on living with an unbelieving man as his wife in many Quranic verses? No one doubted that Fatima bint Assad47 was one of the first faithful women. She had been still Abu Talib’s wife until he died.”48
The saying of Imam Sajjad showed that whoever thought that Abu Talib was unbeliever, accused the Prophet (S) of contradicting the orders of the holy Quran or being indifferent to apply them to his uncle.
No one at all could deny the true faithfulness of Fatima bint Assad, Abu Talib’s wife and Ali’s mother, and no one could say that the Prophet (S) had annulled the marriage of Abu Talib and his wife Fatima. If Abu Talib was unfaithful, then the Prophet (S) had to separate between him and his faithful wife.
As long as Fatima bint Assad had been still as Abu Talib’s wife until he died, so whoever said that Abu Talib was unfaithful, definitely would accuse the Prophet (S) of disobeying his God. Hence whoever accused Abu Talib of being unfaithful would impudently accuse the heart of Islam; the great Prophet (S).
2. Imam Baqir49 was asked about the false tradition fabricated against Abu Talib saying that Abu Talib would be in Hell. He answered: “If the faith of Abu Talib is put in a scale of a balance and the faith of the peoples is put in the other scale, the faith of Abu Talib will outweigh.”
Then he said: “Don’t you know that ameerul mo’mineen Ali (as) ordered to offer the hajj for the sake of Abdullah, Aamina50 and Abu Talib during his lifetime (Ali’s lifetime) and then he ordered in his will to offer the hajj for them.”51
The faithfulness of Abu Talib was of a prudent man not of an imitator. It was faithfulness of a struggling supporter. Abu Talib was the leader of the greatest tribe among all the Arabs. In fact, it was the essence of the Arabs. He was the chief of the town that all the Arabs used to visit for its sacredness and holiness. Such an obeyed leader and a highly respected chief turned to be a follower of an orphan, who was brought up by Abu Talib himself. He left his leadership and high position and followed his nephew; the Prophet, who was chosen by the Heaven to be the means between the Creator and His creatures. Wasn’t it a true faithfulness that made this great man as same as any of the slaves, who followed the Prophet (S)?
Then Imam Baqir proved the faithfulness of Abu Talib when saying that Imam Ali had ordered to offer the hajj for the sake of Abu Talib not only during his lifetime (Ali’s lifetime) but also after his death when recording that in his will. Hajj was one of the basic pillars of Islam and hence Ali would not have ordered to be offered for an unfaithful man!
3. As for Imam Sadiq52 (as) he had plentiful sayings about his great grandfather Abu Talib, in which he confuted all the accusations ascribed to his grandfather. The age of Imam Sadiq was after the end of the state of the Umayyads, which poured upon the people flows of disasters and distresses, and the beginning of the state of the Abbasids, who ruled under the pretense of getting back the rights of the Alawites.53 They, pretended that they would get back the rights to their actual possessors. It was just a pretense, which they made as the cornerstone of their new state.
It was a short time when the swords were put aside from the necks of the Alawites and the muzzles were removed from the mouths of people but everything would be changed as soon as the bases of the state became firm and strong.
This was an active reason that made the voice of Ja’far bin Muhammad as-Sadiq announce the truth loudly and spread much of his lights among people. Although the time was short for him, he could spread the pure principles of the Hashemites. Abu Talib, the assistant of the Prophet (S), had his enough share of Imam Sadiq’s active traditions.
Once someone asked Imam Sadiq, “People pretend that Abu Talib is in Hell!”
Imam Sadiq said, “They tell but lies! Gabriel had never revealed such a thing.”
Then he added, “The example of Abu Talib was like the example of the Fellows of the Cave; they concealed their faith and announced polytheism and so Allah rewarded them doubly. Abu Talib also concealed his faith and announced polytheism so Allah rewarded him doubly… He did not leave this worldly life until he was told that he would be in Paradise… How do they describe him so? Gabriel had come down in the night when Abu Talib died and said, “O Muhammad! Go out of Mecca! You have no supporter in it after Abu Talib.”54
Imam Sadiq said that Allah would reward Abu Talib twice that he could keep his faith secret when he found that it was better; therefore he would be rewarded for his faith and he would be rewarded for keeping his faith secret. Not everyone could conceal what one believed in even if it was in the interest of the mission.
Imam Sadiq compared Abu Talib with the Fellows of the Cave mentioned in the Quran and he said that Allah had brought him good news (via the revelation to the Prophet (S)) that he would be in Paradise. This was not an unbelievable thing after the historians had mentioned that the Prophet (S) had told some people that they would be in Paradise. There might be some ones among them, who would not be equal to Abu Talib in his defending and supporting Islam!
Then Imam Sadiq mentioned great evidence confirming the faithfulness of Abu Talib when saying that Gabriel had ordered the Prophet (S) to leave Mecca after the death of Abu Talib because by the death of Abu Talib, the Prophet (S) had lost the support and protection in Mecca. Would such a man like Abu Talib be unbeliever or would Hell be his reward? If it were so then there would be no difference between the believer and the unbeliever and between the Muslim and the polytheist.
Once there was a conversation between Imam Sadiq and Yonus bin Nabata. Imam Sadiq asked
Yonus: “O Yonus! What do people say about Abu Talib?”
Yonus said, “They say that he is in Hell, in which his head boils.”
Imam Sadiq said: “Have told lies the enemies of Allah! Abu Talib is one of the companions of (the prophets, the truthful, the martyrs and the good, and a goodly company are they!)55
Once again, Imam Sadiq answered a man asking him that people pretended that Abu Talib was unbeliever: “They tell but lies! How is that and he has said:
Don’t you know that we have found Muhammad a Prophet.
As Moses! It had been recorded in the first Books!56
Once again, he said, “How was Abu Talib unbeliever whereas he had said:
They knew well that our son had never been a liar,
Nor had he cared for absurdities.
And a white-faced, with whose face it is prayed,
So that the clouds bring goodness.
He is the shelter of the orphans and the guardian of the
Imam Sadiq said, “Ameerul mo’mineen (Imam Ali) was pleased with the poetry of Abu Talib to be recited and recorded. He said, Learn it (the poetry) and teach it to your children for it complies with the religion of Allah and it has much knowledge.”58
Besides that, this tradition had a clear witness by Ali about the faithfulness of his father. It showed us the value and the high position of Abu Talib. Imam Ali became so pleased when he heard his father’s poetry; therefore he ordered that it should be learned and taught because it complied with the mission of Allah and it had much divine knowledge about the previous religions of Allah.
4. Imam Musa al-Kadhim59 (as) was asked by Durst bin Abu Mansoor about Abu Talib. The asker didn’t ask about the faithfulness of Abu Talib because this was certain for him but he asked about something above the faithfulness.
He asked: “Was the Prophet (S) submissive to Abu Talib?”60
Imam Kadhim said, “No! But he (Abu Talib) was the depositee of the precepts and then he delivered them to him (to the Prophet (S)).
The man asked: “Did he deliver the precepts to the Prophet (S) as if the Prophet (S) was submissive to him?”
Imam Kadhim said: “If the Prophet (S) was submissive to him, he wouldn’t deliver the precepts to him!”
The man asked: “Then what about Abu Talib?”
Imam Kadhim said: “He believed in the Prophet (S) and in his mission and so he delivered the precepts to him.”61
This tradition confirmed what we have said about the personality of Abu Talib in this book.
A man like Abu Talib was necessary to be available in order to connect the ray of the mission of Abraham (as) to the shining flame of the Mission of Muhammad (S).
The tradition showed us that the asker was certain about the faithfulness of Abu Talib and he thought that Abu Talib was the depositee of the precepts, which he had to deliver them to Prophet Muhammad (S). Definitely no polytheist would have been deposited with this divine heritage.
The asker thought, as he had already known the high position of Abu Talib that Prophet Muhammad (S), before the advent of the mission, was submissive to Abu Talib as guardian but Imam Kadhim removed this illusion from the asker’s mind when answering him so clearly.
After the clouds of illusion had left the asker’s mind, he asked about the situation of Abu Talib and Imam Kadhim answered him that Abu Talib had confessed the prophecy of Muhammad and believed in Allah otherwise he would not have delivered the precepts to the Prophet (S).
5. Abban bin Mahmood wrote to Imam Ridha’62 (as) when his faith was about to be shaken by the fabricated lies: “May Allah make me die for you! I am in doubt about the faith of Abu Talib!”
Imam Ridha’ (as) wrote to him: “(And whoever acts hostilely to the Messenger after that guidance has become manifest to him, and follows other than the way of the believers, We will turn him to that to which he has (himself) turned and make him enter Hell; and it is an evil resort)63 Then: if you don’t confess the faithfulness of Abu Talib, your fate will be to Hell.”64
The answer of Imam Ridha’ showed that doubting about the faithfulness of Abu Talib contradicted believing in the Prophet (S). He, who doubted about the faithfulness of Abu Talib, would act hostilely to the Prophet (S) and deviate from the way of guidance after knowing it and whoever deviated from the right way of guidance would be out of the sphere of faith and then his way would lead him to Hell. It would be considered as harming the Prophet (S) and harming the Prophet (S) was a guilt leading to Hell.
Allah said in the holy Quran:
Surely (as for) those who speak evil things of Allah and His Messenger, Allah has cursed them in this world and the here after, and He has prepared for them a chastisement bringing disgrace. (The Holy Quran, Shakir 33:57)
And (as for) those who molest the Messenger of Allah, they shall have a painful punishment. (The Holy Quran, Shakir 9:61)
The Prophet (S) said in one of his traditions: “He, who harms a hair of mine, harms me and whoever harms me, harms Allah.”65
6. Imam Askari66 (al-Hasan bin Ali) said in a long tradition narrated by his grandfathers: ﬁAllah the Almighty had revealed to his messenger (Muhammad): (I have assisted you with two groups of assistants; a group supports you secretly and the other supports you openly. As for the group that supports you secretly, their master and the best of them is your uncle Abu Talib but as for the group that support you openly, their master and the best of them is his son Ali bin Abu Talib.”
Then he added: “Abu Talib is like the believer of the Pharaoh's people; he keeps his faithfulness secret.”67
One of the two groups had to carry out its task secretly as long as carrying it out openly was not possible for it… like the support of the angels as mentioned by the Quran:
(… and sent down hosts which you did not see) (Shakir 9:26)
(… and strengthened him with hosts which you did not see) (Shakir 9:40)
(… that your Lord should assist you with three thousand of the angels sent down) (Shakir 3:124)
(Your Lord will assist you with five thousand of the havoc-making angels) (Shakir 3:125)
(I will assist you with a thousand of the angels following one another) (Shakir 8:9)
There are many other verses talking about this subject.
Abu Talib would not be able to support the Prophet (S) unless he kept his faith secret. He was, as the believer of the Pharaoh’s people, whose story had been, mentioned by the Quran.68 If the believer of the Pharaoh’s people had not concealed his faithfulness, the Pharaoh would have killed Prophet Moses (S). His situation was so active among his people, who didn’t know that he was a believer but they thought that he was like them. So was the situation of Abu Talib towards the mission of the Prophet (S). To this meaning, Imam Askari referred when he mentioned this tradition narrated by his fathers, who had ascribed it to the Prophet (S).
No one could suspect the sayings of the Prophet’s progeny and think that their sayings might be untrue after the Quran had confirmed their infallibility by saying:
(Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House! and to purify you a (thorough) purifying) (Shakir 33:33)
This Quranic verse declares the infallibility of the pure Prophet’s progeny in spite of the disgraceful attempts of some deviate interpreters to distort its meaning.
Ahlul Bayt was equal to the holy Quran. They were as a rope extended between the Heaven and the earth; whoever kept to it would get to the top of eternality and whoever turned aside from it, would remain at the foot surrounded with dangers of destruction.
The Prophet (S) said, “I have left among you two weighty things, which if you keep to, you will never go astray at all; the Book of Allah and my family. They will never separate until they come to me at the river in Paradise.”
This true tradition, which had been agreed upon by the consensus of the Muslims, was evidence showing the infallibility of the Prophet’s progeny. Whoever suspected them, would suspect the Quran, whose equal they were, and whoever let them down, would be perished.
There are many other Quranic verses and prophetic traditions confirming the infallibility and purity of the Prophet’s progeny. We do not want to mention them for they are not of our subject.
They, who were equal to the Quran, definitely would not say save truthfulness. They were worthier than anyone else not to contradict the Quran and they were the first to obey its orders and to refrain from its prohibitions.
After that, would they praise a man, even if he was their father, falsely and ascribe to him what he did not have? Would they acquit him from a real guilt without any evidence just because of kinship? Certainly not!
Whoever said that would violate their high position, which was the very position of the Prophet (S) himself, and would violate the sacredness of the Prophet (S) and the sacredness of his mission.
We found among the Prophet’s companions that there were many, whose eyes hadn’t been blinded by the evil fancies nor had they deviated from the right way because of the personal interests, confessing the faithfulness of Abu Talib and mentioning his good deeds.
We do not want to quote all what was said by the companions about Abu Talib in order not to prolong the research, but we want to quote some of their sayings to be as evidence to show the truth.
1. The caliph Abu Bakr said: “Abu Talib didn’t die until he had said: There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.”69
The same was said by al-Abbas.70
2. Abdullah bin Abbas was asked by a man: “O cousin of the messenger of Allah! Would you tell me about Abu Talib? Was he a Muslim or not?”
Abdullah bin Abbas answered him: “How was he not a Muslim?
Whereas he said:
“They knew well that our son had never been a liar,
Nor had he cared for absurdities.”
Abu Talib was like the Fellows of the Cave; they kept their faithfulness secret and showed polytheism so Allah rewarded them doubly.”71
3. The great companion Abu Tharr, whose eyes hadn’t been blinded by the shine of gold neither had he been frightened by the violence of Mo’awiya, said: “By Allah, Whom there is no god other than! Abu Talib (may Allah be pleased with him) didn’t die until he became a Muslim…”72
4. Hassaan bin Thabit, the poet recited:
“If you mourn a dead,
Please, mourn the loyal man; the brother of the loyal.”
Sibt bin aj-Jawzi when explaining this verse said, “He means Hamza and Abu Talib.”73
5. These confessions were not limited to a certain age rather than the others or to a certain class of people… everyone, who was honest, fair, impartial and not affected by the different fancies, had a ray of light emitted in the darkness to light the straight way.
It was a word of rightness emitted of the mouth of the Abbasid King Abdullah al-Ma’moon, although he was not such an honest man, but it was a fair word that slipped away of his mouth willingly or unwillingly. He said, “By Allah, Abu Talib became a Muslim when he said,
I supported the Prophet; the Prophet of the Lord,
With swords shining like the lightning.
I defended and protected the Prophet of the Lord,
As kind guardian.
I creep to his enemies like a young camel with much heed,
But I roar at them proudly,
As a lion roaring in its lair.74
6. Abu Ja’far al-Iskafi, in his thesis (Naqdh al-Othmaniyya) when trying to refute the thesis of aj-Jahidh (al-Othmaniyya), mentioned Abu Talib. He could not but praise him. He said, “Abu Talib was his father (the Prophet’s father), his guardian, his supporter and defender and without him, the Prophet (S) wouldn’t succeed. But in spite of that, he (Abu Talib) didn’t become a Muslim according to most of the traditions.”75
We found it odd; in fact, we did not think that Abu Ja’far had said the last statement, which contradicted the beginning of his saying, besides that Abu Ja’far was one of those, who had said that Abu Talib was a Muslim, as we will mention it in the last chapter.
What made us doubt more about it was that our source was not the thesis itself but the summary of the thesis, which was collected by Hasan as-Sandoobi, whom we talked about in the beginning of the book (At the threshold).
If it was proved that the last statement was said by Abu Ja’far, he didn’t showed his own opinion about the subject but he just said that some of the traditions had mentioned that Abu Talib was not a Muslim.
In another place, when Abu Ja’far talked about those, who had become Muslims because of the good praying of Abu Talib and his keeping to the Prophet (S), he said: “…and because of him (Abu Talib) the Hashemites kept on defending the Prophet (S) in Mecca against the tribes of Makhzoom, Sahm and Jumah… and because of him the Hashemites tolerated the blockade in the Shi’b… and because of his praying and his keeping to Muhammad (S), his wife Fatima bint Assad became a Muslim. He was better in kindness and good nature than Abu Bakr and others… what prevented him from being a Muslim-if it was proved that he hadn’t been a Muslim-was but the Taqiya76.”77
This last statement did not mean that he thought Abu Talib had not been a Muslim as his disciple ibn Abul Hadeed declared.
This saying-if it was his- might have been said by him before he became certain about the faithfulness of Abu Talib after researching for the truth then he declared what he had become certain about. This word denied the announcement of Abu Talib’s faithfulness and not the faithfulness itself because taqiya would impose upon one to conceal the true beliefs.
7. Aj-Jahidh, in spite of his disgraceful and ignorant situation in his thesis (al-Othmaniyya) when mentioning Abu Talib to disvalue the antecedence of Ali in being a Muslim, couldn’t but to say: “Don’t you know that Quraysh and all the people of Mecca couldn’t harm the Prophet (S) as long as Abu Talib was alive?”78
8. The author of Tathkiratul Khawass, after talking about Abu Talib through the talking about Imam Ali (as) and mentioning some of the good deeds of Abu Talib, the sayings of the Prophet (S) about Abu Talib and his praying Allah to have mercy upon him, said: “I say: the saying that Abu Talib is among the fellows of Paradise doesn’t need pondering on it. There are many evidences proving that; his caring for protecting the Prophet (S), supporting him, defending him against the harm of the polytheists and the unbelievers, the sorrow of the Prophet (S) when Abu Talib died, naming that year as the year of sorrow by the Prophet (S) because of the death of Abu Talib and Khadeeja, the praying of the Prophet (S) that Allah might have mercy upon Abu Talib and might forgive him and the response of Allah to the praying of Abu Talib especially when he insisted upon it.”79
Then the author tried to prove the faithfulness of Abu Talib by mentioning the sayings of the infallible imams about him and his own sayings about the Prophet (S) and about his religion.
It would be better to quote this passage: “… and also that no one of his enemies mentioned that his (Abu Talib’s) sons were angry that their father was unbeliever.
Mo’awiya, the bitter enemy and opponent of him (Ali), Amr bin al-Aass, Abdullah bin az-Zubayr, Marwan and others, in spite of criticizing him, defaming him and ascribing to him what he was free from, did never accused him of that his father was unbeliever… whereas he (S) often criticized them for the unbelief of their fathers and mothers and the meanness of their lineage but they didn’t reciprocate…!
This was the best evidence showing his (Abu Talib’s) faithfulness and showing the bad fanaticism of those of the public (the Sunnis), who ascribed unbelief to him.
O you, the just! Think about the evil will of the batlike people in their enmity against the sun of Islam and its light…!”80
It was clear evidence and a reasonable conclusion taken from the actual reality! If those, who were the bitter enemies of Imam Ali, weren’t certain that Abu Talib was faithful, they would definitely defame Imam Ali with this thing, whereas they tried their best to ascribe to him much many fabricated defects, which he was certainly free from. There was no faith, no honesty and no conscience would prevent them from that, but they had no way to it.
9. We had, in this chapter, to quote this clear saying, which came out of a Christian mouth that knew the rightness, supported it, saw the light, and led to it.
We quoted it without any comment for the facts in these lines did not need any comment or explanation.
The historian writer Abdul Masseeh al-Antaki said: “The historians disagreed upon the faithfulness of Abu Talib. Some said he was a Muslim and some said he was a polytheist. Each group had evidences and prophetic traditions they depended upon.
One like me is not to determine such a serious matter.
But the evidences taken from the actual reality confirmed the thought of those, who said that Abu Talib was a faithful because man, however exceeded in loving his kin; his son, his nephew or his son-in-law, could never be indifferent to his beloved if he saw him violating his religion or belief and trying to demolish its pillars to replace it with another religion… could never be indifferent unless he himself believed in the new religion for, as you know well, that people stuck to their religions and exaggerated in sanctifying them to a degree that a believer was ready to kill his son or his father if he saw him scorning his religion or making little of his god.
If this was applied to the ordinary people, it would be worthier to be applied to the upper class of them like Abu Talib, who had a high position among Quraysh so he was obliged by himself and by his position to defend his religion, which he and his people had already believed in, in order that his position would still be respected, he wouldn’t be mean before his people and he wouldn’t expose himself to the wrath of his gods and then to lose his afterlife.
Hence, Abu Talib must believe in the mission of his nephew (S) in his heart but he did not announce that for a certain purpose required by wisdom and political affairs.
If he had announced his faithfulness at the beginning of the mission, Quraysh would have been against him and so he would have lost his glory and respect… then he would be unable to defend his nephew, who was still powerless, against the harm of Quraysh. This made him conceal his faithfulness.
His deeds, poems, and speeches showed his faithfulness clearly, especially when defending and praising al-Mustafa81 (S) in his poems and speeches until the last moment of his life, which he ended with his clear will. He could do all that depending upon his powerfulness and high position among Quraysh.
According to that, Abu Talib was one the best companions and supporters undoubtedly.
How nice it would be if Islam would have some men, nowadays, who could defend it and could restore its glory as Abu Talib had done at the dawn of the mission, then Islam would remain glorious.
This was Abu Talib; the guardian of al-Mustafa (S), his uncle, his beloved, his supporter and the father of our master; ameerul mo’mineen, the emir of the religion and the victor lion of Allah, Ali bin Abu Talib…! Yes, he was this great man, who had brought up these two luminous suns that lighted the sky of life and religion!”82
We do not think that this clear saying needs any comment.
On the pages of history there were many examples confirming the saying that the religious sentiment was stronger and more determined than the sentiment of kinship. If both of them met in the field of struggle, victory would definitely be for the first and defeat would be for the second.
10. Dr. Taha Hussayn said: “Abu Talib’s kindness to the Prophet (S) was well-known and his strife to defend him and his religion against Quraysh was so famous.”83
11. The fair professor Abdul Aziz Sayyidul Ahl wrote a book about Abu Talib. Some of the readers noticed that he had not declared the faithfulness of Abu Talib.
I am on the contrary to that. I think that the professor have confessed in the clearest way that Abu Talib was one of the first believers and the antecedent Muslims and that he had done Islam many favors.
If the book had nothing but the few shiny lines in its preface, it would be the best evidence proving what the author thought about the sheikh of the Hashemites.
It would be better to quote some lines of those shiny pages. The author said: “It was not fair for people towards the man, who had brought up the Prophet (S) and protected him more than forty years, that his news were abridged, scattered and distorted and that the narrators of his news were so few and confused…
Then all his favors were forgotten and history, at the moment of his death, took an odd and weak situation towards him. History talked about this man, who had protected the prophecy and defended it strongly, sacrificingly and faithfully, in a way as if it talked, with a tongue created by fancy, about an adventitious thing or a new coming foreigner…!
The man had spent all his life in supporting the Prophet (S), forced his family to follow him, spent his power, love and monies for him, quarreled with his enemies, stroke them and defeated them and made himself ready to hasten sincerely to his nephew in the way of distresses.
The existence of Abu Talib was one of the necessities of the creation and a support that must be available to make the mission survive and spread as ibn Khaldoon had said in his theory84…
It was the will of Allah; no man, no belief and no religion would win unless there was a sufficient support defending him or it against the terrible fanaticism then he or it would prevail by the followers and the assistants, but that support must be the first because without it there wouldn™t be followers and assistants.”85
“… and Abu Talib didn’t miss the duty, which he was to do, and he wasn’t overburdened with the heavy task that he was to carry out. He supported the Prophet (S) and assisted him, quarreled with all the people for the sake of him and pride didn’t carried him off to sin as it carried the others of the greats, who misled the people.
Abu Talib was the master of all of Quraysh with no equal.”86
“The Prophet (S) cried when his uncle died; and who would cry tenderheartedly, mercifully and faithfully if Muhammad, whose God had brought him up well, wouldn’t? He mourned his uncle, who had brought him up, protected him, supported him, and tolerated many sufferings for him. Abu Talib was his father when he lost the father, was his right hand when he needed a supporter and was his party when he needed a strong rightness to defeat the falsehood and to perish the tyranny!”87
We tried not to quote many sayings spread in the book but in spite of our trying, we were forced to quote the above words.
Then we want to ask the reader “Was it possible to say that we didn’t find that the author had declared that Abu Talib was a Muslim after all what he had said in his book? We quoted these sayings just to be as an example to show his clear confession, which was definitely the truthful witness!
12. We found the professor George Jirdaq in his wonderful book (Imam Ali; the Voice of the Human Justice) praising Abu Talib with wonderful statements of esteem and glorification.
We thought that we had to quote something of this marvelous mention.
The professor said, “When his grandfather-Abdul Muttalib; the Prophet’s grandfather- died, his Uncle Abu Talib-Ali’s father- adopted him. The boy kept on living in the sphere of sympathy, meekness, and well education, which the late father had left to the resident son.”88
After mentioning that Abdul Muttalib had recommended Abu Talib to look after his grandson, he said, “… and he wouldn’t choose Abu Talib unless he was certain about the actual feeling and thinking of him. Although all the sons of Abdul Muttalib were kind and sympathetic, their kindness and sympathy were not so firm and deep like Abu Talib’s.
The effect of kindness and sympathy in the good adopting and educating would be clearer than the effect of monies; therefore, Abdul Muttalib chose Abu Talib to look after Muhammad (S).
In addition to that, Abu Talib had great sympathy towards his nephew that would force him strongly to take much care of him even if his father had not recommended him to! So how would it be if both of them; his sympathy and his father’s recommendation were together?
No doubt, that Abu Talib was a nice and beloved person; a nice person, who had the wisdom of a kind old man, who was loyal and experienced and who put all what he had of kindness, loyalty, and experience in practice in any case.”89
Let us listen to this wonderful word: “As if it was that when Allah had chosen the Prophet from among the family of Abdul Muttalib, He had chosen this generous uncle to bring him up! As if the power of the existence paved the way for Abu Talib to know about the matter of his nephew what any one else didn’t know.”90
Another wonderful word said by this man talking clearly about the personality of Abu Talib with all the good meanings it had: “… the good meanings of Abu Talib’s nature moved to be inside the soul of Muhammad. They became a part of his self while growing under the care of the loving uncle.”91
“Abu Talib was the first in Islam, who recited poetry full of love towards Muhammad and calling for supporting him. He became so angry whenever there was a doing or a saying having some harm to his nephew.”92
“Abu Talib didn’t forget for a moment throughout his life that Muhammad was the continuity of the high morals, which he himself, his brother Abdullah and their father Abdul Muttalib had spontaneously.”93
“When Abu Talib died the Prophet (S) felt that he lost the greatest pillar, to which he used to resort and which defended him against the harm of Quraysh. This feeling showed the connection of the means of goodness between Muhammad and his uncle: the chief of the house, in which Muhammad grew and acquired his high morals!
By losing Abu Talib, Muhammad felt that he lost the supporter, who was ready to sacrifice himself for him and to defend him against any harm, who was his fortified shelter against Quraysh and its oppressors until he said, “I didn’t get any harm from my people until my uncle died.”
How would we justify the deep sorrow that had filled Muhammad’s heart after his uncle’s death?
What was the cause of this grief whereas Muhammad was so patient, determined, and confident that his mission would succeed however, his enemies were many, or however his assistants were few and whatever the situations of the good or the evil people were?
Yes! What was the cause of this grief? It was the disaster that afflicted Muhammad (S) when he lost his uncle; the dearest man, who had been so kind to him and who had protected him against the evils of the enemies.
The abundant tears Muhammad shed were clear evidence showing that he had lost something of his self, his present and his past!”94
Then, in another chapter, he talked about the relation that united the sympathy between Muhammad and Ali as it was between Abu Talib and Muhammad and how that unity had given its good fruits.
He said: “The connections of sympathy and brotherhood continued between Muhammad and Ali and the cooperation between them to make the mission succeed continued too since Muhammad had known Abu Talib and since Ali had known Muhammad and since the three had gathered in one house, which had been based on the meanings of magnanimity.
The qualities of the house of Abu Talib were but an incentive that made Abu Talib and Ali understands the genius of Muhammad in a way that appeared in the first as sympathy and sacrifice and in the second as great intellect, deep feelings and sacrifice like the miracles!”95
A reader might say that there was nothing of what the writer had praised Abu Talib with showing that he said that Abu Talib was a Muslim because he didn’t do save showing Abu Talib’s high qualities, his devotedness in loving and protecting the Prophet (S) and his propagandizing for the mission and for supporting the Prophet (S).
We are satisfied with this. We do not need from a great thinker like George Jirdaq to say about the light: I see it… when he describes the light, shows its aspects, and leads to it. This is enough to make us feel that he walks in the way of the light that he praises.
Hence, we do not need to lead the reader with his hand to show him what meanings these words have because they are too clear and they are full of frank confession of the faithfulness of Abu Talib.
We want to refer to his sayings: “As if the power of the existence paved the way for Abu Talib to know about the matter of his nephew what any one else didn’t know” and: “Muhammad was the continuity of the high morals, which Abu Talib, his brother Abdullah and their father Abdul Muttalib had spontaneously.” How would Muhammad be the continuity of these men, if they were polytheists? God forbid!
Then what was that great soul of Abu Talib, which melted inside the soul of Muhammad and the two souls mixed to be two parts of one thing? Then how Abu Talib, Muhammad and Ali became one thing that couldn’t be divided?
The qualities of the house of Abu Talib was the strong incident that led the father and the son to understand the genius of the Prophet (S) in a way that appeared in them as great sympathy and sacrifice, which were held together just to make the mission succeed with all what that successfulness required of deep sympathy, great intellect and sacrifice, which was like the miracles.
That high sympathy united between the Prophet (S), his uncle, and his cousin since he had known his uncle and since his cousin had known him to make a firm unity that could not be, separated since the three had gathered in one house built upon the bases of magnanimity and virtues.
Then what was that goodness, whose means connected between Muhammad, his uncle and Ali?
Did Muhammad acquire means of goodness from a polytheist one?
Was it hopeful to acquire goodness from a stubborn polytheist?
Could that stubborn polytheist be a partner with the messenger, who would spread the mission of monotheism?
It was naturally for the Prophet (S), when he lost his uncle, to feel that he lost the greatest pillar, on which he leant, and by which he was protected and his mission was defended. His uncle was the chief of the house, in which he had been brought up with the highest of morals.
It was naturally for Muhammad (S) to be sad and sorrowful in spite of that he was so patient and firm and in spite of his confidence in his God, Who would definitely make his mission succeed, even if the apparent means of success were so little that the enemies were much more than the assistants and that the evil ones were more than the good ones.
But it was the sorrow that remained when one was afflicted by the loss of the dearest one, who used to protect and defend… it was the loss that made one feel as if one lost a part of one’s self extended from one’s present to the past!
These quotations are enough and we do not need to quote more. They have enough evidences and confessions clarified by many personalities leading to the same point although there are differences controlled by the different fancies and aims. This point is supporting the wronged right, uncovering the hidden facts, and announcing the truth loudly, in the milieu that is full of noisy lies, odious barking, and hideous hissing of adders scattering their poisons here and there.
But it is the bright rightness and the shiny truth…!
Allah definitely prepares the sincere supporters and the loyal assistants of the rightness lest the virtue and the vice be equal or lest the evil defeat the good!
A Stop with Ibn Abul Hadeed96
We do not want to examine every word said about the subject for it will take us too far. It is enough for us to be satisfied with the truthful witnesses of those, whom no true Muslim can suspect, the Prophet (S) and his pure progeny and the witnesses of the persons, who have seen the light and have known the truth.
But we have to quote some sayings of ibn Abul Hadeed in his book Sharh Nahjol Balagha and to argue with him about a certain saying we found in his book.
He said when talking about the umma, to which Muhammad had been sent as prophet, and dividing it into some groups: “the mo’attilah97 and non-mo’attilah; among the mo’attilah were those, who denied the Creator and the day of Resurrection, those who believed in transmigration (of souls) and those, who worshipped the idols… etc.” … until he said: “As for those, who were not mo’attillah among the Arabs, they were few. They were God-fearing. They were pious and they refrained from committing vices, like Abdullah, Abdul Muttalib and Abu Talib.”98
You see that ibn Abul Hadeed said here that Abu Talib was one of those, who were God-fearing, who believed in monotheism and who believed in the Creator of the existence after he talked about those, who denied the Creator and the Day of Resurrection and after he talked about the idolaters and others. He said that Abu Talib was one of those, who were pious and who refrained from committing vices.
There was no vice for Abu Talib worse than to see the guidance of the Prophet (S) without following it!
He also said when talking about the virtues and the qualities of Imam Ali (as): “What do I say about a man, whose father was Abu Talib; the master of Arabia, the sheikh of Quraysh and the chief of Mecca?” until he said: “… and Abu Talib adopted the Prophet (S) when he was a child and protected him when he became a man. He defended him against the polytheists of Quraysh. He met for the sake of him great distresses, faced hard sufferings and tolerated much in supporting and assisting him… It was said: When Abu Talib died, it was revealed to the Prophet (S): (Get out of it (Mecca). Your supporter died).”99
Ibn Abul Hadeed considered the kinship of Abu Talib as honor and that it was one of Imam Ali’s good qualities. He said that Imam Ali had a great honor by being the son of Abu Talib. Then he mentioned the virtues of Abu Talib such as adopting, protecting, and defending the Prophet (S) against the harms of Quraysh until he suffered great distresses but he achieved his duties in spite of all the difficulties he faced.
He said that the Prophet (S) had been ordered by the Heaven to leave Mecca after the death of his uncle Abu Talib, who was his defensive fortress!
He referred to this point, the revelation to the Prophet (S) to leave Mecca, another time when he said: “When Abu Talib died in Mecca, Quraysh became alone with Muhammad and harmed him so much whereas it couldn’t do that when Abu Talib was alive. He left Mecca fearing for himself and emigrated to his God.”100
He talked about this point again when he said: “Know that Ali (as) often pretended that he was the best of the all, the most preferable to the all and had the honor above the all by being proud of his cousin Muhammad (S), himself and his father Abu Talib (S)… He, who read the history, would know that Islam wouldn’t succeed without Abu Talib!
No one is to say, how is it said, so about a religion that Allah has promised to spread and to make it succeed whether Abu Talib was available or not? Because we say: If it is so then the Prophet (S) isn’t to be praised nor is it to be said that he guided people from deviation, saved them from ignorance, did them great favors and without him Allah would never be worshipped on the earth…” until he said: “If you say: These people are envied and praised because Allah has achieved these things by means of them and made them succeed in carrying them out. In fact, the actual doer is Allah and these people are just tools and means used for doing these things so praising them is to be, considered for that. The same thing is to be said about Abu Talib…!”101
It would be better to refer here to the saying of ibn Abul Hadeed when he explained the speech of Imam Ali (as) after leaving Siffeen: “No one of the umma is to be compared with the family of Prophet Muhammad (S). They are the basis of the religion and the pillar of certainty. To them returns every expensive thing and after them come the others. The right of authority is theirs and among them guardianship and succession are.”
Can we stop a little at this saying of ibn Abul Hadeed? Can we concentrate on the point when he said that Ali (as) pretended to have antecedence, honor, and virtue over the all by being proud of the master of the creatures Prophet Muhammad (S), his father Abu Talib and himself?
We want but to attract the reader’s attention to think about this statement and the meaning it has. It refers to the unity that gathers these three men in antecedence, honor, and virtue above the all!
Then we want to refer to the statement of ibn Abul Hadeed “peace upon him” after mentioning the name of Abu Talib… this statement shows the thought of the sayer about the person, whom the sayer refers to, and his high position. This statement is not said except to those, who have the position of prophecy, imamate, guardianship, or something like that. It is not said to many many of the Prophet’s companions!
Ibn Abul Hadeed didn’t say this statement to Abu Talib, unless he knew well that Abu Talib had a great role in establishing the bases of Islam, which would be nothing without Abu Talib as he himself said!102
Then ibn Abul Hadeed imagined that perhaps there was someone, who might deny his saying. He replied that if Abu Talib had no virtue in supporting the Prophet (S), the Prophet (S) also wouldn’t have any virtue in spreading the divine mission according to the thought that it was Allah, Who would have done every thing!
I didn’t quote these sayings of ibn Abul Hadeed, unless I wanted to discuss his confusion and contradiction at the end of his long speech about Abu Talib,103 in which he mentioned some fabricated lies about the (adopter and protector) of the Prophet (S) as he himself had said.104
These fabrications were not more than eleven lines105 of his long pages, which were full of irrefutable evidences and clear proofs that confirmed the faithfulness and the right belief of Abu Talib. But he liked to end his speech with this weak fabrication.
We would like to discuss his speech passage by passage to argue with him about his collapsed points.
He said after that long speech, in which he had declared the evidences proving Abu Talib’s faithfulness: “I said: As for me, the condition is confused to me and the news is contradicted. Allah is more aware of his (Abu Talib’s) reality, how it was!
The letter of Muhammad an-Nafs az-Zakiyya106 to al-Mansoor107 disturbs me; especially his saying: “I am the son of the best of people and I am the son of the worst of people. I am the son of the master of people of Paradise and I am the son of the master of people of Hell.
This was a confession that Abu Talib was unbeliever. This was his son and he wouldn’t be accused of fabricating lies against Abu Talib besides that his time was near to the time of the Prophet (S). It was not so long time between them to say that the news might be fabricated.”108
He said that the condition was confused to him because the news was contradicted! He meant that the news, which he himself mentioned as certain evidences proving the faithfulness of Abu Talib and which couldn’t be suspected for their sources were the Prophet (S), his pure progeny and the sayings and doings of Abu Talib himself, were contradicted by the fabricated news that Mo’awiya had bought with his monies and were narrated by al-Mugheera and his likes of that filthy series. We will confute them in a particular chapter inshallah!
The contradiction between two traditions would not be unless there was equivalence between them that the narrators of the two traditions would be trusty. No one of the two series of the narrators should be, accused of anything and no tradition should be preferred to the other for any reason otherwise the preferable one must be, depended upon while the other must be left aside.
This thing would not be, applied to our subject in any case!
Would a tradition narrated by the infallible progeny from the Prophet (S) be equal to a tradition narrated by al-Mugheera and his likes?
So as there was no equivalence, there would be no contradiction!
Then he went on sticking to the letter of an-Nafs az-Zakiyya to al-Mansoor.
We referred to this letter in the books of history and we found, among what ibn Abul Hadeed had mentioned, this passage: “Allah chose fathers and mothers for me in the pre-Islamic age and in the Islamic age until He chose for me one of them, who would be in (Hell). I will be in the highest position among people of Paradise and will get the least punishment among the people of Hell. I am the son of the best of the good people and the son of the best of the evil people. I am the son of the best among people of Paradise and the son of the best among people of Hell…”109
We researched on the narrators of this letter in ibnul Atheer’s Kamil but we didn’t find any mention about them.
The author of Sheikhul Abtah mentioned that the narrator of this letter was Sa’eed bin Sa’d al-Madani and said: “This Sa’eed is one of the unknown narrators.”110
At-Tabari mentioned incomplete series of narrators of this letter. He said, ﬁMuhammad bin Yahya said to me: I copied these letters from Muhammad bin Basheer when he was correcting them. Abu Abdur Rahman, who was one of the Iraqis writers, and al-Hakam bin Sadaqa bin Nizar told me about these letters. I heard ibn Abu Harb correcting them.”111
This series of narrators, as you see, is incomplete and one cannot depend upon it:
1. Muhammad bin Yahya: we do not know his grandfather’s name! But when we referred to Mizanul I’tidal to look for those, who had this name, we found that they were seventeen men having the same name with different surnames.
Each of them was either a narrator of neglected, weak, denied, or obscure traditions that couldn’t be depended upon, or a liar fabricating traditions112 or of a single narrated tradition or no one knew from whom he had narrated the tradition or who narrated refuted or fabricated traditions, who was not trusty, who narrated from the untrusted narrators, who was not agreed upon, who narrated what he hadn’t heard or who fabricated traditions.113
2. Muhammad bin Basheer: we found two men having this name;
a. Muhammad bin Basheer bin Marwan al-Kindi al-Wa’idh. He was not trusted. Ad-Darqutni said about him that he was not reliable in his traditions.
b. Muhammad bin Basheer bin Abdullah al-Qass. Ibn Mo’een said about him that he was not reliable.114
3. We did not know Abu Abdur Rahman or ibn Abu Harb who they were!
4. We did not find any mention of al-Hakam bin Sadaqa in Mizanul I’tidal.
We leave the weak series of the untrusted narrators aside in order not waste the time and come back to the very letter of an-Nafs az-Zakiyya that have disturbed ibn Abul Hadeed’s mind.
Also we don’t want to stop at the differences between the wordings of the letter mentioned by ibn Abul Hadeed and each of at-Tabari, ibnul Atheer and al-Khudhari.115
We became astonished at this proudness! Would anyone be proud of being the son of the worst of the evil people or the best of the evil people? Would be there any good in the evil or among the evil people? Would be there a master or any goodness among the people of Hell?
If he were the son of the master of people of Hell-if there would be a master in Hell-so, no one would be the master there unless he was the worst of the evil people, who definitely would get the severest punishment. This contradicted the fabricated tradition ascribed to the Prophet (S) that Abu Talib would be the least tortured one among the people of Hell.
According to their thought, this was the utmost intercession the Prophet (S) could do for his uncle!
What an intercession it was! Even the stingiest and the meanest of people would be ashamed towards this intercession, so how about the great Prophet, who was chosen by Allah to complete the nobilities?
Did such proudness come out except of an insane man? It was but a confession of the mean position, which would never agree with the situation of Muhammad an-Nafs az-Zakiyya, who claimed to be the caliph and resisted the king sitting on the throne? If it was so, then he objected himself in this letter!
Therefore, we found among what was, mentioned as the answer of al-Mansoor to the letter this saying: “You pretend that you are the son of the least punished one among the people of Hell and you are the son of the best of the evil… there is no littleness in unbelieving in Allah nor lightness in His torment. There is no good one among the evil people. The believer, who believes in Allah, has not to be proud of Hell. You will know that:
… and they who act unjustly shall know to what final place of turning they shall turn back. (The Holy Quran, Shakir 26:227)”116
This answer was suitable to that passage ascribed to an-Nafs az-Zakiyya. It would be the definite irrefutable answer if those, to whom, they were ascribed or fabricated and ascribed to them, said the letter and the answer!
As for the saying of an-Nafs az-Zakiyya: “I am the son of the worst of the evil people” mentioned by ibn Abul Hadeed, which made us argue with him, it would never be applied to Abu Talib at all because the meaning of this statement would be that there was no one more evil than Abu Talib among his people and at his time at least! Otherwise, the statement meant continuity; that he was the son of the worst evil one at all!
Even if we said that he was the son of the worst evil one among his people and at his time, would that refer to Abu Talib?
We did not find that any of the liars and fabricators had reached this degree of meanness! No one of them had said that Abu Talib was one of the evil people rather than to say that he was the worst of them. Could one of them dare to say that, whereas Abu Talib’s virtues and favors were the causes of goodness and blessings among all of his people?
Would he, who was the pillar of the structure of Islam and without who Islam would be nothing according to the saying of ibn Abul Hadeed himself, be the worst of the evil people?
Would the worst evil man be so greatly respected by the Prophet (S) whereas the Prophet (S) had said: “O Allah? Don’t make a dissolute or an unbeliever have a chance of getting my kindness!”
Would Abu Talib be more evil than Abu Lahab and Abu Jahl,117 who had filled the existence with their evil and corruption and harmed the Prophet (S) with all kinds of harms and distresses? Perhaps supporting the Prophet (S) was considered as evil as or eviler than harming and fighting him according to the opinion of those, who had lost their minds!
Then how would it be possible for an-Nafs az-Zakiyya to be proud of such defect and disgrace where he was in so critical situation?
Let’s suppose that this letter was said by an-Nafs az-Zakiyya, then what was the evidence that made ibn Abul Hadeed refers especially to Abu Talib as the worst evil of people?
Wasn’t that but suppose and guess… if we did not want to declare the truth? Otherwise, it would show that there was a certain purpose behind that!
Why wouldn’t it concern Talha bin Obeidillah; the father of Umm Iss~haq, who was an-Nafs az-Zakiyya’s grandmother, or Abdul Ozza, who was his mother’s grandfather? An-Nafs az-Zakiyya’s mother was Hind bint Abu Obeida bin Abdullah bin Zam’a bin al-Asswad bin al-Muttalib bin Assad bin Abdul Ozza.118 This Abdul Ozza was a chief among the unbelievers of Quraysh!
We don’t say that one of these two was meant by the saying of an-Nafs az-Zakiyya because it was not but suppose and guess that made ibn Abul Hadeed refer to Abu Talib alone!
Let’s give up and say that an-Nafs az-Zakiyya didn’t mean by his saying “the worst of the evil” save Abu Talib, then why did this saying especially, although it contradicted the truth, stop in ibn Abul Hadeed’s chest and nothing of the sayings of Imam Sadiq, who lived in the same period of an-Nafs az-Zakiyya and ibn Abul Hadeed mentioned many of his sayings, stopped in his chest?
There was no any way of comparison between Imam Sadiq and an-Nafs az-Zakiyya whether in science and knowledge, fidelity, truthfulness, keeping to the rightness and announcing it. Ibn Abul Hadeed himself knew this very well, but in spite of all that, this letter only that stopped in his chest!
A hair of a camel stopped in his mouth whereas he swallowed camels with their hooves whenever he liked!
Then why didn’t the witnesses of Abu Talib’s actual son Imam Ali (as) and his sons of the infallible imams after him, who had much many virtues and qualities that an-Nafs az-Zakiyya didn’t have any of, stop in ibn Abul Hadeed’s chest?
If an-Nafs az-Zakiyya was the son (grandson) of Abu Talib ﬁand he wouldn’t be suspected” as ibn Abul Hadeed said, then would the witnesses of Imam Ali (as) and his infallible sons be suspected and would they be accused of adding Abu Talib to the Muslims whereas he was in the list of the unbelievers?
Was an-Nafs az-Zakiyya more pious and more truthful than Imam Ali (as) and the other infallible Imams that an-Nafs az-Zakiyya said what wouldn’t be suspected and these imams said what would be far away from the truth?
I myself did not think that an-Nafs az-Zakiyya had said this word after showing the evidences that prevented even the insane and the mad from saying such a thing.119
If an-Nafs az-Zakiyya had said it, so what did he mean by saying, “Abu Talib was the adopter and the protector of the Prophet (S)”?
And if he meant what he had said, we wouldn’t depend upon it and leave aside the certain sayings of the infallible imams, who would never be suspected at all whether in their doings or sayings.
Ibn Abul Hadeed said, “His time was near to the time of the Prophet (S) and there was not so long period between them and it was not possible that the news might be fabricated.”
Ibn Abul Hadeed depended upon a saying said by a man after nearly a century and a half since the death of whom it was said about and did not depend upon the sayings of the infallible imam, who always and ever kept to the rightness and who lived with the man, he witnessed to, in one house.
Ibn Abul Hadeed didn’t think that the news was fabricated because there was no so long period as he said whereas he himself showed the lies and the false traditions fabricated during the time of Mo’awiya, who was born in the time of the Prophet (S).
If the reason were the length or the shortness of time, we would not find all that fabrications happened during the age of Mo’awiya.
I don’t know how to justify this saying of ibn Abul Hadeed or what was the reason that made him adopt this thought and what made this saying stop in his chest rather than the others?
But we don’t mistrust him as long as (mistrusting the Muslim is haram) and (the sanctity of the Muslim is greater than the sanctity of the Kaaba) as al-Ghazali says among what we have quoted in our chapter (At the Threshold) of this book.
After faltering with weak steps in a zigzag way, ibn Abul Hadeed returned to contradict himself by saying: “One of the Talibites120 wrote a book about the faithfulness of Abu Talib.121 He sent it to me and asked me to write a preface for it whether in poetry or prose to witness that the evidences mentioned in the book were true. I hesitated to give a final decision about that because I had some doubt about it…
But I couldn’t refrain from glorifying Abu Talib because I knew that without him Islam would never stand and I knew that he had done favors that every Muslim must be grateful to him in this life until the Day of Resurrection, so I wrote on the back of the book these verses:
Without Abu Talib and his son,
The religion would not be so firm to stand.
That in Mecca; sheltered and defended,
And this in Medina ready to die.
Abd Manaf122 undertook the task and died,
Then came Ali to complete it.
Praise a mountain that passed,
After achieving what he had and leaving but glory!
How great! This began the guidance,
And that concluded with nobilities!
No nonsense of an ignorant would harm the glory of Abu Talib,
Nor would any of eyesight feigning to be blind.
As no one seeing the light of day as darkness,
Would harm the signs of morning.
So I gave him his due of glory and honor in full and at the same time I didn’t determine a matter that I was not certain about.”123
We found the contradiction clearly in his passage before his verses when he said that he hesitated to decide about the faithfulness of Abu Talib because he was in doubt about it but he couldn’t refrain from glorifying the man, who was the basis of the great edifice of Islam, without whom Islam wouldn’t stand and whose favors made every Muslim grateful to him in this life until the Day of Resurrection!
These were two contradictories that couldn’t meet together; Abu Talib was unbeliever! But without him Islam wouldn’t stand nor would be there a basis for Islam to be erected upon, therefore the Muslims had to be grateful to him!
What an unbeliever he was after all that!
Wherefrom did he get that right to be thanked and respected by the Muslims until the Day of Resurrection?
Was that because of his unbelief? And how was he the basis and the pillar of the great structure of Islam? Could an unbeliever be such?
After all that, ibn Abul Hadeed wrote on the book his verses, in which the rightness was so clear. He showed the great deeds of Abu Talib and his son Imam Ali (as), which were the two pillars of Islam and without whom Islam would not succeed or stand.
The father began the struggle and established the base of the structure and then the son completed the structure.
The father protected and defended the Prophet (S) and then the son often faced death in the way of supporting the Prophet (S).
The great task that the father had undertook but died before it reached the aim; the great son came and completed the efforts of the father.
The father was the beginner of guidance and the son was the completer of the nobilities.
What about this saying “How great! This (Abu Talib) began the guidance,” said by ibn Abul Hadeed?
What did guidance mean? Didn’t it mean the guidance of Islam?
Would the beginner of the guidance of Islam be unbeliever? I beg Allah’s forgiveness!
But after ibn Abul Hadeed had given Abu Talib his due of glory and honor in full, he couldn’t decide his believing in Islam. It stopped in his mouth. Perhaps he choked with water or might his mouth be filled with it that he couldn’t speak!
Let’s stop at his saying:
No nonsense of an ignorant would harm the glory of Abu Talib,
Nor would any of eyesight feigning to be blind.
As no one seeing the light of day as darkness,
Would harm the signs of morning.
So what harm would be against the high glory of Abu Talib, his firm faithfulness and his certain believing in Islam if ibn Abul Hadeed, who knew every thing, ignored the truth?
Perhaps it was imposed upon ibn Abul Hadeed to walk in this crooked way and to avoid the bright straight one!
- 1. Refer to As-Seera an-Nabawiyya, vol. 1 p.84, al-Ghadeer, vol. 3 p.99, vol.7 p.373, Sheikhul Abtah p. 44, Al-Hujja p.67, Mo’jamul Quboor, vol.1 p.204, Tathkiratul Khawass p.10, Eeman Abu Talib p.10 and A’yan ash-Shia, vol. 39 p.161.
- 2. Ghussl means washing the dead in a certain way according to the laws of the Islamic Sharia.
- 3. Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol. 3 p.314, Biharul Anwar, vol. 6 p.445,523,529, Sheikhul Abtah p. 43, al-Ghadeer, vol. 7 p.374,387, Al-Hujja p.67, Abu Talib p.89, Mo’jamul Quboor, vol. 1 p.191,204, Tafseer Ali bin Ibraheem p.355, Tathkiratul Khawass p. 10, Eeman Abu Talib p.10, A’yan ash-Shia, vol. 39 p.139, 161.
- 4. Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol. 3 p.314, Biharul Anwar, vol. 6 p.445,523,529, Sheikhul Abtah p. 43, al-Ghadeer, vol. 7 p.374,387, Al- Hujja p.67, Mo’jamul Quboor, vol. 1 p.204, Eeman Abu Talib p.10, A’yan ash-Shia, vol. 39 p.161.
- 5. Sheikhul Abtah p. 44 quoted from al-Majlisi, al-Mufeed and ibn Hajar in his Issaba, vol.7 p.112.
- 6. As-Seera an-Nabawiyya, vol. 1 p.88,281, as-Seera al-Halabiyya, vol. 1 p.291, as-Seera al-Hishamiyya, vol. 2 p.58, at-Tabari’s Tareekh, vol.2 80, ibnul-Atheer’s Tareekh, vol.2 p.63, al-Manaqib, vol.1 38, Biharul Anwar, vol. 6 p.430,528, Sheikhul Abtah p. 51, Abu Talib p.91, al- Ghadeer, vol. 7 p.377, Imam Ali, the Voice of Justice p.36 (vol.1 .p.60), A’yan ash-Shia, vol. 39 p..127.
- 7. As-Seera an-Nabawiyya, vol. 1 p.88,281, as-Seera al-Halabiyya, vol. 1 p.291, as-Seera al-Hishamiyya, vol. 2 p.58, at-Tabari’s Tareekh, vol.2 80, ibnul-Atheer’s Tareekh, vol.2 p.63, al-Manaqib, vol.1 38, Biharul Anwar, vol. 6 p.430,528, Sheikhul Abtah p. 51, Abu Talib p.91, al- Ghadeer, vol. 7 p.377, Imam Ali, the Voice of Justice p.36 (vol.1 .p.60), A’yan ash-Shia, vol. 39 p..127.
- 8. She was the Prophet’s wife.
- 9. There were different news about the death of Abu Talib and Khadeeja (S). Some historians said that Abu Talib died in Rajab, Ramadan, Shawwal or Thul-Qi’da and whether in the tenth or eleventh year after the mission. The historians were different about who had died before the other and how many days were between their deaths.
- 10. At-Tabari's Tareekh, vol. 2 p.81, ibnul Atheer's Tareekh, vol. 4 p.64, Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol. 3 p.322, as-Seera al-Halabiyya, vol. 1 p.353, As-Seera an-Nabawiyya, vol. 1 p.286, as-Seera al-Hishamiyya, vol. 2 p.61-62, al-Manaqib, vol.38 p.1, Biharul Anwar, vol. 6 p.529, Sheikhul Abtah p. 52, Ala Hamish as-Seera, vol.3 p.149-150, Muhammad, the Arab Prophet p.65-66.
- 11. Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol. 1 p.10, Al-Hujja p.17,64,103, Biharul Anwar, vol. 6 p.543, Sheikhul Abtah p. 51, Mo’jamul Quboor, vol. 1 p.197, A’yan ash-Shia, vol. 3 p.7, vol.39 p.127.
- 12. He described the famine they were suffering.
- 13. Refer to Yanabee’ul Mawadda p.263 (vol.2 p.141), Ghayatul Maram p.497 and al-Ghadeer, vol. 7 p.378, 388.
- 14. He was the elder brother of Ali.
- 15. Abu Yazeed was Aqeel’s surname.
- 16. Al-Istee’ab, vol.3 p.157, Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol. 3 p.312, Al-Hujja p.34, Tathkiratul Khawass p. 15, Mo’jamul Quboor, vol. 1 p.202, al-Ghadeer, vol. 7 p.377,387.
- 17. Badr was the first battle between the Muslims and the polytheists of Quraysh.
- 18. Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol. 3 p.316,334, vol.1 p.305-306, Al-Hujja p.84, Sheikhul Abtah p. 47-48, A’yan ash-Shia, vol. 39 p.151. It was mentioned in Biharul Anwar, vol. 6 p.595 in a way different from this.
- 19. Refer to al-Aghani by Abul Faraj al-Isfahani, vol.17 p.28, al-Ghadeer, vol. 1 p.378, vol.2 p.4, Tilbat at-Talib p.48 and Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol. 3 p.309.
- 20. Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol. 3 p.311, Al-Hujja p.15, Tathkiratul Khawass p. 10, Mo’jamul Quboor, vol. 1 p.189, al-Ghadeer, vol. 7 p.374,387, A’yan ash-Shia, vol. 39 p.136.
- 21. Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol. 3 p.311, Tafseer of Ali bin Ibraheem p.355, 490, Al-Hujja p.3-5, al-Ghadeer, vol. 7 p.379, 386.
- 22. Al-Kashshaf by az-Zamakhshari, vol.2 p.444 (vol.4 p.396, Tafseer of ibn Katheer, vol.4 p.330.
- 23. Al-Kashshaf by az-Zamakhshari, vol.2 p.444 (vol.4 p.396, Tafseer of ibn Katheer, vol.4 p.330.
- 24. Vol.28 p.19.
- 25. Al-Kashshaf p.548 (vol.2 p.201-202).
- 26. Ibid
- 27. Vol.10 p.34.
- 28. Majma’ul Bayan, vol.6 p.122.
- 29. Al-Kashshaf by az-Zamakhshari, vol.1 p.430 (vol.1 p.520).
- 30. Majma’ul Bayan, vol. 26 p.80, al-Kashshaf, vol.3 p.115 (vol.4 p.375).
- 31. Islam doesn’t accept such strictness and inflexibility that one may think that Islam calls for boycott and fighting anyone, who is not a Muslim. Islam has given (ahlul-thimmah) the Jews and the Christians, who live in the state of the Muslims, same rights like the rights of the Muslims; such as keeping their properties, their lives and their honors.
Islam has legislated ideal laws to control the relation between the peoples of different religions and beliefs but this strictness is to be towards those, who don’t keep to or obey those rules. Then those ones have to be fought as enemies whether they are clear or covered with hypocrisy and deceit. There was a great difference between the monotheists (the Jews and the Christians) and the polytheists or the unbelievers.
The polytheists and the unbelievers must be avoided and treated severely and there was no any way of being kind to them. It was these people, who were meant by these Quranic verses. Hence Abu Talib, according to the thought of the evil-willed fabricators, was not one of the monotheists but was one of the polytheists and unbelievers; therefore he would be, according to their malicious thinking, among those, who must be avoided.
- 32. Al-Kashshaf, vol.3 p.115 (vol.4 p.275).
- 33. Al-Mustafa is one of the Prophet’s surnames. Refer to Al-Hujja p.24, Tathkiratul Khawass p. 12, Sheikhul Abtah p. 50, Mo’jamul Quboor, vol. 1 p.206, al-Ghadeer, vol. 3 99, vol.7 p.379,389 and A’yan ash-Shia, vol. 39 p.140.
- 34. Al-Hujja p.15, Tathkiratul Khawass p. 11, Sheikhul Abtah p. 32, al-Ghadeer, vol. 7 p.388.
- 35. Al-Ghadeer, vol.7 p.388, al-Abbas p.18, Mo’jamul Quboor, vol. 1 p.200.
- 36. Al-Hujja p.23, al-Ghadeer, vol. 7 p.388.
- 37. Ibid p.389, Mo’jamul Quboor, vol. 1 p.200.
- 38. Al-Ghadeer, vol.7 p.370,389, Al-Hujja p. 23, A’yan ash-Shia, vol. 39 p.136.
- 39. Az-Zamakhshari said: “The name of this Abdullah was Hubab bin Abdullah bin Ubayy but the Prophet (S) changed it into Abdullah and said: Hubab is a name of the Satan.”
- 40. Az-Zamakhshari said: “When Abdullah bin Ubayy (the father of this Abdullah) wanted to enter Medina; his son objected him and said to him: “Go back! By Allah, you won’t enter Medina unless you say: The messenger of Allah is the most honored and I am the meanest.ﬂ He was still captive under his son’s control until the Prophet (S) ordered to be freed. It was also said that he said to his father: “If you don’t declare that all honor is for Allah and His messenger, I will kill you.” His father said: “Woe unto you! Do you do that?” He said: “Yes, I do.” When he saw that his son was determined, he said: “I witness that honor is for Allah, his messenger and the believers.” Then the Prophet (S) said to Abdullah (the son): “May Allah reward you with all goodness.”
- 41. Refer to ibnul Atheer's Tareekh, vol. 2 p.131-132, at-Tabari's Tareekh, vol. 2 p.260-263, al-Kashshaf, vol.2 p.461-462 (vol.4 p.423- 424), Tafseer Ali bin Ibraheem p.680-682, Majma’ul Bayan, vol.28 p.85-87.
- 42. Refer to Waq’at Siffeen p.59-600 and ibnul Atheer's Tareekh, vol. 3 p.165.
- 43. Waq’at Siffeen p.308.
- 44. Waq’at Siffeen p.597.
- 45. Ahlul Bayt: the Prophet’s progeny.
- 46. Imam Sajjad was the fourth imam of the Shia. His full name was Ali bin al-Husayn bin Ali bin Abu Talib.
- 47. She was Imam Ali’s mother. Bint means the daughter of.
- 48. Al-Hujja p. 24, Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol. 3 p.312, Sheikhul Abtah p. 76, al-Ghadeer, vol. 7 p.381,390-391, A’yan ash-Shia, vol. 39 p.136-137.
- 49. He was the son of Imam Sajjad.
- 50. Abdullah and Aamina were the Prophet’s father and mother.
- 51. Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol. 3 p.311, Al-Hujja p. 18, Sheikhul Abtah p. 23,76, al-Ghadeer, vol. 7 p.381, 391, A’yan ash-Shia, vol. 39, 136.
- 52. He was the son of Imam Baqir.
- 53. The progeny of Ali bin Abu Talib.
- 54. Al-Hujja p. 17,15, Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol. 3 p.312, al-Ghadeer, vol. 7 p.381,391, Mo’jamul Quboor, vol. 1 p.191, A’yan ash-Shia, vol. 39 p.136.
- 55. Al-Hujja p. 17, Sheikhul Abtah p. 23, 75, al-Ghadeer, vol. 7 p.394.
- 56. Al-Ghadeer, vol. 7 p.392.
- 57. Ibid
- 58. Al-Hujja p. 25, al-Ghadeer, vol. 7 p.395.
- 59. Imam Kadhim was the son of Imam Sadiq.
- 60. It was thought that Abu Talib was a guardian of the previous prophet (Jesus Christ (S)). He had the percepts, which he had to deliver to the next prophet (Muhammad).
- 61. Al-Abbas p.18, al-Ghadeer, vol. 7 p.395.
- 62. He was the son of Imam Kadhim.
- 63. Quran 4:115.
- 64. Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol. 3 p.311, Al-Hujja p. 16, al-Ghadeer, vol. 7 p.381,396, Mo’jamul Quboor, vol. 1 p.189, A’yan ash-Shia, vol. 39 p.136 (without mentioning what was after the Quranic verse).
- 65. As-sawa’iqul Muhriqa p.111.
- 66. He was the eleventh imam of the Shia.
- 67. Al-Hujja p. 115, al-Ghadeer, vol. 7 p.368.
- 68. We began our book with the verses talking about the believer of The Pharaoh’s people because they had a similarity to our subject.
- 69. Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol. 3 p.312, Sheikhul Abtah p. 71, al-Ghadeer, vol. 7 p.370, 401, A’yan ash-Shia, vol. 39 p.136.
- 70. Sheikhul Abtah p. 71, 73, al-Ghadeer, vol. 7 p.399, 401, A’yan ash-Shia, vol. 39 p.136.
- 71. Al-Hujja p.94, 115, al-Ghadeer, vol. 7 p.397.
- 72. Al-Ghadeer, vol. 7 p.399.
- 73. Tathkiratul Khawass p. 31.
- 74. Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol. 3 p.314, al-Ghadeer, vol. 7 p.337, Al-Hujja p. 54, Divan Abu Talib p.10, The Theses of aj-Jahidh p.32.
- 75. The Theses of aj-Jahidh p.32.
- 76. Taqiya means: (ﬁself-protectionﬂ), in Islam, the practice of concealing one's belief and foregoing ordinary religious duties when under threat of death or injury to oneself or one's fellow Muslims.
- 77. The Theses of aj-Jahidh p.51.
- 78. The Theses of aj-Jahidh p.5.
- 79. Tathkiratul Khawass p. 10-11.
- 80. Tathkiratul Khawass p. 11.
- 81. It is one of the Prophet’s surnames.
- 82. Mo’jamul Quboor, vol. 1 p.194-195.
- 83. Al-Fitnatul Kubra: Othman p.151.
- 84. We wished if the professor had referred to the source of this saying of ibn Khaldoon.
- 85. Abu Talib; the Sheikh of the Hashemites p.5-6.
- 86. Ibid p.7.
- 87. Abu Talib; the Sheikh of the Hashemites p.89.
- 88. Imam Ali; the Voice of the Human Justice p.34 (vol.1 p.154
- 89. Imam Ali; the Voice of the Human Justice p.54 (vol.1 p.55).
- 90. Ibid
- 91. Ibid p.56
- 92. Imam Ali; the Voice of the Human Justice p.35 (vol.1 p.58).
- 93. Ibid p.59.
- 94. Ibid. p.60
- 95. Imam Ali; the Voice of the Human Justice p.46 (vol.1 p.71)
- 96. The author of Sharh Nahjul Balagha.
- 97. It was a group of people denying the existence of Allah the Creator and denying the resurrection after death.
- 98. Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol. 1 p.139.
- 99. Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol. 1 p.9-10.
- 100. Ibid vol.3 p.322.
- 101. Sharh Nahjul Balagha 1 p.47.
- 102. The fidelity of research (!!!) led Muhammad Abul Fadhl Ibraheem to omit this word from the origin! Refer to Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol. 1 p.142, which was edited by this man!
- 103. Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol. 3 p.305-318.
- 104. Ibid p.310
- 105. Ibid p.310-311
- 106. He was Muhammad bin Abdullah bin al-Hassan bin Imam Hassan bin Ali bin Abu Talib (S).
- 107. He was an Abbasid caliph.
- 108. Sharh Nahjul Balagha vol.3 p.317.
- 109. Refer to at-Tabari’s Tareekh, vol.6 p.196. You find it in al-Kamil by ibnul Atheer, vol. 5 p.5 with some difference and in Muhadharat Tareekhul Umam-the Abbasid state (lectures on the history of the nations) p.65 in a different way. Al-Mubarrid mentioned this letter in his book al-Kamil vol.3 p.1274-1275 but he didn’t mention anything of this passage.
- 110. Sheikhul Abtah p. 81.
- 111. At-Tabari's Tareekh, vol.6 p.195.
- 112. It was mentioned in al-Ghadeer, vol. 5 p.329 that Muhammad bin Yahya bin Razeen al-Maseesi was a liar fabricating traditions. So was mentioned in Mizanul I’tidal vol.3 p.147.
- 113. Mizanul I’tidal vol.3 p.146-148.
- 114. Mizanul I’tidal vol.3 p.31.
- 115. Ibn Abul Hadeed said: …I am the son of the evil… whereas the others said: …I am the son of the best of the evil…
- 116. Refer to at-Tabari's Tareekh, vol. 6 p.197, al-Kamil vol.5 p.6, Muhadharatul Umam -the Abbasid state- p.66, al-Kamil fil Lugha p.1277,3.
- 117. This question was just for arguing, otherwise there was no any way of comparison between Abu Talib and these two wicked unbelievers at all.
- 118. Refer to Nasab Quraysh p.53, 227 and Sheikhul Abtah p. 82.
- 119. The reality showed that the letter was fabricated or at least some statements were inserted into it just for defame and disgrace and not for proudness. It was the unjust policy that inserted such lies to assist the Abbasid rule.
- 120. The progeny of Abu Talib.
- 121. It was the book Al-Hujja Ala Ath-Thahib Ila Takfeer Abu Talib by Sayyid Shamsuddeen. It was one of our references in this book.
- 122. Abd Manaf was the name of Abu Talib.
- 123. Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol. 3 p.317-318.