Says the Shaykh Abu Ja'far: Our belief concerning them is that they were believers (muslimun) from Adam down to Abdu'l-lah, his (Prophet's) father, peace be on him, and that Abu Talib and the Prophet's mother Amina bint Wahb were Muslims.1
And the Prophet, on whom be blessings and peace said: I am derived from (the bonds of) matrimony and not from any unlawful union (sifah), from Adam downwards.
And it is related that 'Abdu'l-Muttalib, peace be on him, was a hujjat and Abu Talib was his wasi.
- 1. The Urdu translator adds a note that among the ancestors of the Prophet were seven prophets, namely: Adam, Seth, Noah, Elias, Abraham, Ishmael and al-Yasa` (Esau?); and he cites Qur'an 6, 83-86 as supporting his own argument. He also cites a verse attributed to Abu Talib proving that he was a Muslim: "(O people of Quraysh) do you not know that we have found it written down in the earliest book (Torah) that Muhammad was a prophet". The translator is surprised that despite such clear proof people should hold other views.
Wensinck shows that in the Fiqh Akbar II, art. 27 sometimes began with the statement: The parents of the Apostle of Allah died as infidels, and so did Abu Talib, his uncle, MC, 197, n. 1. In the hadith the Prophet is reported to have visited Abu Talib on his death-bed and admonished him to accept Islam. Later, however, perhaps on account of Shi'itic influence, this attitude was abandoned, MC, 239-240; KP, 31,84. For Abu Talib, see Donaldson, 5, n.2.