ACCOUNT OF `ABD AL-MUTTALIB

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medina
Muhammad Ibn `Umar Ibn Waqid al-Aslami informed us; he said:

Al-Muttalib Ibn `Abd Manáf Ibn Qusayyi was older than Háshim and ‘Abd Shams, and it was he who made a treaty with al-Najáshi on behalf of the Quraysh relating to their trade; he was noble among his people and they obeyed him. He was a chief. The Quraysh gave to him the appellation of al-Fayd because of his generosity. He took over al-siqŕyah and al-rifádah after Háshim. Referring to this he said:

“Convey to Banu Háshim, calling them near you, that we have done although we were not asked.
We took the responsibility of providing water to the pilgrims of the sanctuary when this honour had been suspended.
We take the pilgrims to our houses as if they were kine which are put together.

He (Ibn Sa`d) said: Thabit Ibn al-Mundhir Ibn Harim who was the father of the poet Hassŕn Ibn Thabit came to Makkah to perform `umrah and visited al-Muttalib who was his friend sad said to him: If you had seen your nephew Shaybah amidst is you would have seen (a combination of) beauty, reverence and nobility, which I have noticed in him. He competes in archery with its maternal uncles and his two arrows hit the target, like my palms, and when his arrow hits the target he exclaims: I am the son of the exalted ‘Amr. Thereupon al-Muttalib said: I shall not take rest even till evening, unless I set out towards him and bring bim. Thabit then said: I fear Salma will not entrust him to thee, nor his maternal uncles who zealously guard him. I would like to suggest that you leave him with his maternal uncles till he grows and comes to you. Thereupon al-Muttalib said: 0 Abu Aws! I shall not leave him there because he would not then acquire the noble qualities of his people, and you are fully aware that his bonour, respect and noble breed would depend upon his being brought up among his own people. Then al-Muttalib set out and reached al-Madinah; he stayed in a quarter and began to make inquiries about him. At last he found him shooting with his maternal uncles. When he saw him, he perceived in him resemblance with his father; his eyes shed tears and he embraced him and dressed him in Yamani garment and began to recite:

“I recognized Shaybah while the offspring of the Najjar were around him, busy in shooting with arrows. (Cf. al-Tabari, Vol. II, p. 177)
I noticed his fortitude and habits which were like ours, and so my tears trickled down”.

Consequently Salma sent a (messenger) to al-Muttalib and asked him to come and live with her. He replied: Circumstances do not permit me because I shall have to loosen a knot by getting hold of my nephew and taking him to his place and people. She said: I shall not allow him to go with you, and she expressed her anger at him. Thereupon al-Muttalib said: Don’t do it, I shall not return without my nephew, who has attained the age of reason; he is alien to other people, and we belong to a family whose nobility is well-known, his stay, therefore, among his own people will be more profitable for him than his stay here, and he [P. 49] would remain your son no matter where he may like to live. When she found that he would not give up the idea of taking him (Shaybah) along with himself she asked for a respite of three days. In the meantime he shifted to her place and lived there for three days. Then he departed with him (Shaybah) and recited the verses which Hisham Ibn Muhammad related to me on the authority of his father:

“If you happen to be with Banu al-Najjar, convey to them that this party, this child and I, belong to them.
When I came to them I observed in them a passion to meet me and love for the sound (of my movement).” (Cf. al-Tabari, Vol. II, p. 178)

Now we go back to the narration of Muhammad Ibn `Umar; he said: Al-Muttalib entered Makkah with him in the afternoon. When the Quraysh saw him, they declared him to be `Abd al-Muttalib (the slave of al-Muttalib). Thereupon al-Muttalib said: Woe to you ! he is my brother’s son, Shaybah Ibn ‘Amr. When they saw him they said: By my life ! he is his (Amy’s) son. Subsequently `Abd al-Muttalib stayed in Makkah till he attained the age of reason. Al-Muttalib Ibn `Abd Manaf set out on a trade journey to Yaman where he expired at Bardmán.

`Abd al-Muttalib succeeded him in the office pertaining to al-rifŕdah and al-siqŕyah. He continued the feeding of the pilgrims and making provision of drinking water in the cisterns at Makkah. The use of cisterns was discontinued when water could be had from the Zamzam well, and it was he (`Abd al-Muttalib) who supplied them water from it by redigging it. He used to carry the water of the Zamzam to the ‘Arafah for their use. The Zamzam was a spring of Allah, which was shown to him in dream several times and he was ordered to dig (Eaybah) the place shown to him. Thereupon he asked: What is taybah? Next night he again had a dream and he was commanded to dig barrah. He asked what is barrah? The next night when he was sleeping in his bedroom he again dreamt that he was commanded to dig al-madnunah; he again asked: what is al-madnunah? Please explain to me what you say. The following night he dreamt that he was ordered to dig the Zamzam. Thereupon he asked? What is Zamzam? He (the angel) said: It will not exhaust, nor will it be disliked. The pilgrims will drink (water) out of it, and that spring is (hidden) between faeces and blood close to the place where a aow of red beak and claws pecks.

He (Muhammad Ibn `Umar) said: the crow with red beak and claws never left the place of slaughtering close to the place of faeces and blood. (`Abd al-Muttalib heard the angel say): It would be a source of water supply for you and your descendants after you.

He (Muhammad Ibn `Umar) said: Next morning `Abd al-Muttalib went with his pickaxe and shovel along with his son, al-Harith Ibn `Abd al-Muttalib, and at that time he had no other son except him. Then `Abd al-Muttalib began to dig with his pickaxe, filling the earth in a vessel with the shovel, and al-Harith look it to throw it away. He dug it for three days, after which he found the traces of the well. He said: Allah is Great, and the traces were of the spring of Isma’il. The Quraysh knew that he (`Abd al-Muttalib) had succeeded in reaching the water level. Thereupon they came to him and said: Let us be your partners. He said: I am not going to do this, because I have been specially ordered to dig it, and if you like you may appoint an arbitrator. They said: Hudhaym the sorceress of Banu Sa`d, who resides at Mu`án near the border of Syria (will arbitrate).

They set out towards her; `Abd al-Muttalib was accompanied by twenty persons of the Banu `Abd Manáf and the Quraysh had twenty men of their tribes.

When on the way to Syria they reached al-Faqir or [P. 50] Hadhwah their stock of water was exhausted, and they were thirsty. Thereupon they said to ‘Abd al-Muttalib: What do you think? He replied: It means sure death; let every one of us dig a pit for himself, so that whenever a man expires others will bury him till the last man may die without burial; this will be an easy affair. Consequently they dug pits and sat there awaiting death. Then ‘Abd al-Mujtalib said: By Allah ! to surrender ourselves to death would mean weakness. Let us go about in the world; it is likely that we might get water. So they departed and `Abd al-Muttalib stood up to ride his steed, but suddenly he noticed a spring of sweet water gushing out of the earth from under the feet of his steed. On this `Abd al-Muttalib said: Allah is Great. His partisans also joined him in calling out: Allah is Great, and all of them drank water; then he called the people of the Qurayshite tribes: Come along, and quench your thirst; verily Allah has bestowed water on us. They drank and made others drink. Thereupon they said: The matter has been decided. He who has bestowed water on you in this wilderness, has also bestowed the well of Zamzam on you. By Allah, we will never dispute with you. Then he as well as they returned; they never went to the sorceress and withdrew their claim on Zamzam in his favour.

medina
He (Ibn Sa`d) said: Khalid Ibn Khidash informed us: Mu`tamar Ibn Sulayman al-Taymi informed us; he said:

I heard my father relating on the authority of Abu Mijlaz that `Abd al-Muttalib was shown a site in a dream and was told to dig the ground. He asked: Where? He was told: At such and such place. He did not dig. Subsequently he was told: Dig close to faeces and ants, near the place where the Khuza’ah assemble. He dug it and discovered the image of a gazelle, weapons and worn out garments. When the people saw this find they wanted to fight him; (on this occasion) he made a vow to slaughter one of his sons if he begot ten. When ten sons were born to him he wanted to slaughter `Abd Allah, but the Banu Zuhrah stopped him and said: Cast a dice between `Abd Allah and the camels in such and such numbers. Accordingly he cast a dice which came out successively seven times in favour óf `Abd Allah and only one for the camels. He (lbn Sa’d) said: I do not know if the number seven was mentioned by Abu Mijlaz or not. However, the affair was then settled; he let his son go, and slaughtered the camels.

Now we come back to the narration of Muhammad lbn ‘Umar. He said: When the Jurhum had sensed their departure from Makkah, they buried two gazelles, five Qal’i (Swords of Marj al-Qal’ah ware famous) swords, and five complete armours, which `Abd al-Muttalib now took out. He was a man of piety and considered cruelty and fornication great sins. So he dedicated the two gazelles which were of gold to the Ka’bah and fixed the swords at its two gates indicating the protection of the treasure of the Ka`bah, and then he put a golden lock and key.

medina
Hishám Ibn Muhammad informed us on the authority of his father, he on the authority of Abu Salih, he on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas; he said:

The gazelles belonged to the Jurhum, so when ‘Abd al-Muttalib dug the well of Zamzam, he took out the gazelles and Qal’i swords. He then cast the arrows of dice which revealed that the articles of gold were for the Ka`bah, so he placed them at its door. They remained there for some time; then three persons of the Quraysh joined together and stole them.

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He (lbn Sa`d) said: [P. 51] Hisham Ibn Muhammad Ibn al-Sai’b al-Kalbi informed us on the authority of his father and of ‘Abd al-Majid Ibn ‘Abs and Abu al-Muqawwim and others; they said:

‘Abd al-Muttalib had a handsome face, straightness in gait; very forbearing and very generous, and abstained from all that spoils the character of a man. No king saw him but honoured him and accepted his recommendation; and he remained the chief of the Quraysh till his death. (Once) a few persons of the Khuza’ah came to him and said: We are neighbours, so let us pledge (help to each other). `Abd al-Muttalib agreed to it and went there with seven persons from among the descendants of al-Muttalib; al-Arqam Ibn Nadlah Ibn Hashim, and al-Dahhak and ‘Amr sons of Abu Sayfi 1bn Hashim; none from the descendants of `Abd Shams or Nawfal joined with him. They entered the Dar al-Nadwah and pledged mutual help and assistance; they prepared a document and suspended it at the Ka`bah.

`Abd al-Muttalib composed the following verses relating to it: “I enjoin on Zubayr, if I die, to stick to the terms of the treaty that I have made with the sons of `Amr.I enjoin on him to honour the commitments of his old (father) and never show faithlessness and cruelty.They are the descendants of Fihr who honoured the old friendship and pledged (friendship) to your father.”

He (Ibn Sa`d) said: So `Abd al-Muttalib left a will for his son, Zubayr Ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib, Zubayr left a will for Abu Talib, and he for al-‘Abbas Ibn `Abd al-Muttalib.

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He (Ibn Sa`d) said: Hishŕm lbn Muhammad Ibn al-Sa’ib informed us; he said: Muhammad Ibn ‘Abd al-Rahmán al-Ansŕrl related to me on the authority of Ja`far Ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman Ibn al-Miswar 1bn Makhramah al-Zuhri, he on the authority of his father, he on the authority of his (Miswar’s) grandfather; he said:
Whenever `Abd al-Muttalib visited Yaman he stayed with one of the Himyarite chiefs. Once he stayed at (the spring of) al-Marr, where a man from Yaman met him; he was very old and had studied the books. He said to `Abd al-Muttalib O `Abd al-Muttalib ! allow me to examine your body. `Abd al-Muttalib said: I cannot allow you to examine every part of my body. Thereupon he said: Let me examine your nostrils. He (`Abd al-Muttalib) said: Very well. Thereupon he examined yár (a hair in the nostril) and said: I find prophethood and sovereignty in you, but I also find that one of these two will be shared by the Banu Zuhrah. Then `Abd al-Muttalib returned (to Makkah) and married Halah Bint Wuhayb Ibn `Abd Manaf Ibn Zuhrah and got his son `Abd Allah married to ‘Aminah Bint Wahb ibn `Abd Manáf Ibn Zuhrah. (As a result of this union) Muhammad, may Allah bless him, was born. Thus Allah bestowed prophethood and sovereignty on the family of `Abd al-Muttalib, and Allah knoweth best as to how He did it.

medina
He (Ibn Sa`d) said: Hisham Ibn Muhammad informed us; he said: My father related to me. Hisham (also) said: A person from the residents of Madinah related to me on the authority of Ja’far Ibn `Abd al-Rahmán Ibn al-Miswar Ibn Makhramah, he on the authority of his father; they (Hisham’s father and the Madinite) said:

[P. 52] The first person of the Quraysh of Makkah who dyed his hair with wasmah (Leaves of woad or incďiel used for dying hair) was ‘Abd al-Malik (Apparently a misprint for ‘Abd al-Muttalib) Ibn Háshim, who used to stay with one of the Himyarite chiefs. He said: O `Abd al-Muttalib ! will you like to change the colour of your grey hair and regain youth? He (`Abd al-Muttalib) said: It dopends on you. He (lbn Sa’d) adds: Then he ordered his hair to be dyed with hinna and finally hair-dye was applied to it. Thereupon ‘Abd al-Muttalib said to him: Give me a little more of it. He gave it to him in large quantity. He (`Abd al-Muttalib) arrived at Makkah by night; then he appeared in the morning with his hair as black as the wings of a raven. Thereupon the mother of al-‘Abbas lbn `Abd al-Muttalib, Nutaylah Bint Janab Ibn Kulayb said to him: 0 Shaybat al-Hamd! It would have added to your beauty if it had been permanent. `Abd al-Muttalib said:
“I would have praised this blackness if it had been permanent, and then it would have been a substitute for the youth that has now passed away.
Although life is short, I would have enjoyed it, but O Nutaylah ! there is no escape from death or old age.
A man’s bounty and prosperity are of no avail on the day his throne is to be demolished.So the praised death coming soon is dearer to me than their speeches full of wisdom”.He (Ibn Sa’d) said: Since that time the people of Makkah began to dye their hair black.

medina
He (lbn Sa`d) said: Hishŕm Ibn Muhammad Ibn al-Sŕ’ib al-Kalbi informed us on the authority of his father; he said:

A person of the tribe of Kinŕnah, who was called Ibn Abi Sŕlih; and a resident of al-Raqqah, a client (Mawla) of the tribe of Asad who was a scholar, informed me; they said: `Abd al-Muttalib Ibn Hŕshim and Harb Ibn Umayyah had a dispute (about their superiority) and they approached al-Najashi the Abyssinian to decide the matter between them, but he declined. So they appointed Nufayl Ibn `Abd al-Uzzá lbn Riyŕh lbn `Abd Allah lbn Qurt Ibn Razáh Ibn `Adi lbn Ka`b, as an arbitrator who said to Harb: 0 Abu `Amr do you dispute with a person who is taller in stature than you, whose head is larger than yours, whose comeliness is better than yours, whose blemishes are fewer than yours, who has children are more numerous than you, whose beneficence is greater than yours, and whose tongue is more forceful than yours; so he declared him (`Abd al-Muttalib) superior. Thereupon Harb said: It is due to vicissitudes of time that we appointed you arbitrator (to decide between us).

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He (Ibn Sa`d) said: Hishám Ibn Muhammad informed us on the authority of his father; he said:

`Abd al-Muttalib was the boon-companion of Harb Ibn Umayyah till they referred their dispute to Nufayl Ibn `Abd al-`Uzzá, the grand-father of `Umar Ibn al-Khattáb; but when Nufayl gave his decision in favour of `Abd al-Muttalib they parted company, and Harb became the boon-companion of ‘Abd Allah Ibn Jud`án.

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He (lbn Sa`d) said: Hishám Ibn Muhammad informed us on the authority of Abu Miskin; he said:

`Abd al-Muttalib Ibn Háshim owned a spring at Ta’if which was called Dhu al-Harim and had for long been in the possession of the tribe of Thagif. When `Abd al-Muttalib claimed it, they denied and the person who was in charge of their affairs was Jundub Ibn al-Harith Ibn Hubayyib Ibn al-Hárith Ibn Malik Ibn Hutayt Ibn Jusham Ibn Thaqif; Jundub denied the claim and had a dispute with him about it, so they ro referred the case to the kŕhin of Udhrah who was known as ‘Uzzá Salamah and resided in Syria; [P. 53] they pledged that a certain number of camels (would be given over to the successful claiman). `Abd al-Muttalib set out with a party of the Qurays and his son al-Harith; at that time he had no other son. Jundub set out in a party of the people of Thagif. On the way the stock of water with `Abd al-Muttalib exhausted, and he and his companions asked for water from the people of the Thaqif; they refused. Thereupon Allah made a spring gush out from beneath his (`Abd al-Muttalib’s) camel. He thanked Allah, be He Glorious and Great, and considered it to be a favour from Him. They drank water out of it and quenched their thirst, and carried from it for their othe requirements. (In the meantime) the stock of water of the people of the Thaqif also exhausted; they asked `Abd al-Muttalib to supply them with drinking water, which he did.

Then they reached the kahin who decided in favour of `Abd al-Muttalib. `Abd al-Muttalib took the camels and slaughtered them. He took possession of the (spring of) Dhu al-Harim, and then returned to Makkah. Allah had granted him (`Abd al-Muttalib) superiority over him (Jundub); and to his (`Abd al-Muttalib’s) people over his (Jundub’s) people.

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