ACCOUNT OF ‘ABD AL-MUTTALIB’S VOW TO SLAUGHTER HIS SON

medina
He (Ibn Sa`d) said: Muhammad Ibn ‘Omar Ibn Wáqid al-Aslami informed us: Muhammad Ibn `Abd Allah informed us on the authority of al-Zuhri, he on the authority of Qabisah Ibn Dhuwayb, he on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas; (second chain) al Waqidi said: Abu Bakr Ibn Abi Sabrah informed us on the authority of Shaybah Ibn Nisŕh, he on the authority of al-A`raj, he on the authority of Muhammad Ibn Rabi`ah Ibn al-Harith and others; they said:

When `Abd al-Muttalib saw that he had few supporters in digging (the well of) Zamzam, that is, he had only his son al-Harith to help him in digging, he took a vow that he would sacrifice one son if Allah bestowed on him ten (sons). Accordingly, when their number reached ten, namely, al-Harith, al-Zubayr, Abu Talib, `Abd Allah, Hamzah, (Hamzah was born after `Abd Allah’s demise. His mother Halah was married to ‘Abd al-Muttalib when ‘Aminah was married to ‘Abd Allah and only three months after that ‘Abd Allah passed away. This shows that the number of ‘Abd al-Muttalib’s sons at the time when he wanted to sacrifice ‘Abd Allah was not ten. Ibn Hisham says that it is interpolation in the narration Vol. I, p. 98) Abu Lahab, al-Ghaydaq, al-Muqawwim, Dirar and al-Abbas, he assembled them, informed them of his vow and called them to fulfill it for Allah’s sake. None objected; they said: Fulfil your vow and do whatever you like. He asked them to write their names on an arrow each, which they did. (They must have put some marks on the arrows as they were illiterate). Then ‘Abd al-Muttalib entered the Ka`bah and asked the priest to cast them. `Abd Allah’s arrow was drawn. Although ‘Abd al-Muttalib loved him, he caught him by the hand and wanted to go to the place of sacrifice, with a knife. Thereupon the daughters of `Abd al-Muttalib, who were standing nearby, wept and said to their father: In his place offer camels for sacrifice from among those which were in the sanctuary. The priest asked him to cast arrows, between him and ten camels, which at that time were considered to be al-diyah (ransom for a man’s life). He cast (the arrows) but again it was drawn in the name of `Abd Allah. So he went on increasing the number by ten and each time it was drawn in the name of Abd Allah. Ultimately when it was cast for the tenth time it was drawn in the name of the camels. Thereupon ‘Abd a1-Muttalib and his comrades shouted, Allah is Great. The daughters of `Abd al-Muttalib took their brother and `Abd al-Muttalib offered the camels and slaughtered them between al-Safa and al-Marwah. (Cf. al-Tabari, Vol. II, p. 174)

medina
He (`Ibn Sa`d) said: Muhammad Ibn `Umar informed us; he said: Sa’id Ibn Muslim related to me on the authority of Ya’ia Ibn [P. 54] Muslim, he on the authority of Sa’id Ibn Jubayr, he on the Authority of Ibn ‘Abbas; he said:After slaughtering them `Abd al-Muttalib left the camels for any one, a human being, a beast or a bird, and did not prevent them from taking their meat; but he and his sons took nothing out of it.

medina
He (Ibn Sa’d) said: Muhammad Ibn `Umar informed us; he said: `Abd al-Rahmán Ibn al-Harith related to me on the authority of `Ikrimah, he on the authority of Ibn `Abbas; he said:In those days al-diyah was ten camels but `Abd al-Muttalib was first to make it one hundred camels for a human soul; the Quraysh and the Arabs recognized it and the Prophet confirmed it.

medina
He (Ibn Sa`d) said: Hisham Ibn Muhammad Ibn al-Sŕ’ib al-Kalbi informed us; he said: al-Walid Ibn `Abd Allah Ibn Jumay` al-Zuhri related to me on the authority of a son of `Abd al-Rahmŕn Ibn Mawhab Ibn Ribah al- Ash`ari; an ally of Banu Zuhrah, on the authority of his father; he said: Makhramah Ibn Nawfal al-Zuhri related to me; he said:I heard my mother Ruqayqah Bint Abi Sayfi Ibn Hashim Ibn ‘Abd Manaf, who was his (`Abd al-Muttalib’s) comtemporary, relating: The Quraysh faced several years of drought; their wealth exhausted and they were on the verge of extinction. She continued: In a dream I heard a person saying: 0 people of the Quraysh ! the Prophet who is to be raised will be from among you; it is now the time of his emergence, and with him you will get plenty and abundance; so make a search of the man who is of noble birth, of high stature, white (in complexion), with eyebrows joined, eye-lashes long, hair curly, cheeks smooth, and the cartilage of his nose thin. Then ask him (the person answering this description) to come out with his children, and one member from every family should accompany him. All of them should be cleansed; then apply perfumes, kiss the rukn of the sanctuary and mount the peak of Abu Qubays; this man should come forward and pray for rains; others should only say, Amen! Then rains will come to you. In the morning she related her dream to the people who made a search and found ‘Abd al-Muttalib answering those qualities. They assembled round him and from every fatty a person came out and did as the woman ordered them to do. They mounted Abu Qubays, and the Prophet, theta only a boy, was with them. `Abd al-Muttalib came forward and said: 0 my Lord ! they are Thy slaves and children of Thy slaves, and Thy maids and daughters of Thy maids; Thou seest what has befallen us; several years have elapsed since it has rained; our animals which have hoofs or talons have perished and we are also on the verge of death. (O Lord!) keep away this famine from us and bring plenty and prosperity to us! They had not yet returned to their places when the valleys were over-flown (with-water). They had received rains due to blessings on the Prophet of Allah.

Then Ruqayyah Bint Abi Sayfi Ibn Háshim Ihn `Abd Manaf recited:
“Our town received rain in honour of Shaybat al-Hamd; we had missed clouds and the rains had disappeared.
Ultimately it showered from the dark clouds which were full of rains, and from it animals and trees regained life.
It was the kindness of Allah, and it appeared at an auspicious moment; the best of those of whom this good news has been given are the Mudar.
[P. 55] He is lucky and the clouds shower rain for him and there is no equal to him in the mankind.”

medina
He (Ibn Sa`d) said: Muhammad Ibn `Umar Ibn Waqid al-Aslami informed us: ‘Abd Allah Ibn `Uthmŕn Ibn Abi Sulayman informed us on the authority of his father; (second chain) he (Ibn Sa’d) said: Muhammad Ibn ‘Abd al-Rahmán Ibn al-Baylamani related to us on the authority of his father; (third chain) he (Ibn Sa’d) said: `Abd Allah Ibn ‘Amr Ibn Zuhayr al-Ka’bi related to us on the authority of Abu Malik al-Himyari, he on the authority of ‘Ata Ibn Yasar; (fourth chain) he (Ibn Sa’d) said: Muhammad in Sa’id al-Thaqafi related to us on the authority of Ya’la Ibn ‘Ata, he on the authority of Waki` Ibn ‘Udas, he on the authority of his uncle Abu Razin al-‘Uqayli; (fifth chain) he (Ibn Sa`d) said: Sa’id Ibn Muslim related to us on the authority of `Abd Allah Ibn Kathir, he on the authority of Mujŕhid, he on the authority of Ibn `Abbas; their narrations are mixed up, they said:

Al-Najashi (Negus) sent Abu Asham Aryát with an army, four thousand strong, to Yaman, which he entered and seized. There he made the potentates poor, and humiliated the mendicants. Thereupon a person from Abyssinia who was called Abu Yaksum Abrahah al-Ashram revolted and asked (the people) to submit to him. They responded and he (Abrahah) slew Aryat and seized Yaman. Subsequently he observed the people making preparations for the pilgrimage of the sanctuary of Allah. Thereupon he asked where the people were going. He was informed: They go on a pilgrimage to visit the sanctuary of Allah at Makkah. He asked: Of what was it constructed? They replied: Of stone. Then he asked: What sort of covering it has? They said: The striped sheets which are sent from here. Thereupon he said: By the Messiah! I shall erect a better building for you. Consequently he constructed an edifice of white, red, yellow and black marble and decorated it with gold and silver, beset with jewels. He made its doors of golden plates with gold nails set with jewels and placed a red ruby of large size (An incense compound containing olibanum, musk and ambergris imported from Mandal in India) it, and then covered it with screens. He burnt there Mandali inscense and applied musk to its walls so that they became black end the jewels were hidden. Then he ordered the people to visit that place as pilgrims.

Consequently many an Arab tribe went on a pilgrimage to that place for several years and people stayed there for worship and devotion, and as ascetics. Among them was a person Nufayl al-Khath`ami who had an evil intention of desecrating it. He was seeking an opportunity for which he waited long; ultimately one night he entered unnoticed and having brought excrements appliéd it to its qiblah, and threw there carcasses which he had collected. Abrahah was informed about the incident; he got extremely angry and said: Surely the Arabs have done it, having been annoyed for what I did to their sanctuary which I shall now demolish, stone by stone. Then he wrote to al-Najáshi about the incident and asked him to send his elephant named Mahmud the like of which in size, body and strength was not noticed in the land. He sent it to him (Abrahah). Abrahah then marched (on Makkah) with his people, the Himyarite King and Nufayl Ibn Habib al-Khath`ami. When he approached the sanctuary he ordered his people to seize their animals. Consequently they seized the camels of `Abd al-Muttalib. Nufayl being his friend, `Abd al-Muttalib talked to him about his camels. Nufayl said to Abrahah: 0 king ! [P. 56] the chief of the Arabs has come to you, he possesses high qualities and is highly respected; he makes people ride his steeds, bestows money on them and feeds them as the air blows (i.e. continously). Abrahah admitted him to his presence and said: What do you want? He said: Return my camels to me. He (Abrahah) said: So what 1 have learned about you is false, I was under the impression that you would talk to me about your sanctuary for which you have earned respect. `Abd al-Muttalib said: Return my camels to me, and talk not of the sanctuary which has a Lord (Rabb). Who will protect it. Thereupon he (Abrahah) ordered his camels to be returned to him. When he took possession of them, he applied leather on their hoofs, branded them and left them in the sanctuary to be sacrificed, fearing the wrath of its Lord. Afterwards `Abd al-Muttalib climbed up the mount of Hira along with `Amr Ibn `Ayidh Ibn `Imrŕn Ibn Makhzum, Mut’im Ibn ‘Adi and Abu Mas’ud al-Thaqafi. There `Abd al-Muttalib recited the following couplets:

“0 my Lord! Verily a man protects his luggage; Thou protect Thy property. Neither their (invaders’) cross, nor their manoeuvres can overpower Thy might. If Thou shalt let them do whatever they like to do with our qiblah, Thou canst”.

He (lbn Sa`d) said: Then flocks of birds came from the side of the sea and every bird had three pebbles-two in its claws and one in its beak. They cast these pebbles on them and no sooner did a pebble hit a thing than it smashed it causing eruption, it was the first occasion when small pox and measles spread in the area. These pebbles uprooted all the trees with bitter fruits. Subsequently Allah sent a flood, which swept them away and pushed them into the sea. (Cf. al-Qur’an, Surah al-Fil) He (Ibn Sa`d) said: Abrahah fled away with those who remained there, and ultimately Abrahah’s limbs began to fall one by one. As regards al-Najáshi’s elephant, Mahmud, it abstained from attacking the sanctuary, so it was saved, but the other elephant was rash, so it was crushed; it has been stated that there were thirteen elephants (with Abrahah). Then ‘Abd al-Muttalib came down from the Hira; two Abyssinians rushed forward and kissed his head and said: You knew best (Cf. al-Tabart. Vol. II, pp. 111-113).

medina
He (Ibn Sa`d) said: Hishŕm Ibn Muhammad Ibn al-Sŕ’ib al-Kalbi informed us on the authority of his father; he said:
‘Abd al-Muttalib lbn Háshim ‘Ibn `Abd Manaf begot twelve sons and six daughters. They were: (1) al-Harith, the eldest of his children, from whom he derived his Kunyah, died in the life time of his father; his mother was Safiyyah Bint Junaydib Ibn Hujayr Ibn Zabbab Ibn Habib Ibn Suwŕ’ah Ibn ‘Amir lbn Sa`sa`ah, (2) `Abd Allah, the father of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him; (3) Zubayr who was a poet and chief and in whose favour ‘Abd al-Muttalib had made a will; (4) Abu Talib whose name was `Abd Manaf and ‘Abd al-Ka`bah who died leaving no ofspiring; (This is a mistake; it may be a misprint.) (la) Umm Hakim whose name was al-Baydŕ, (2a) `Atikah; (3a) Barrah; (4a) Umaymah and (5a) Arwŕ; and the mother of all of them was Fŕtimah Bint `Amr, lbn `Ayidh Ibn `Imrŕn Ibn Makhzum Ibn Yaqazah Ibn Murrah Ibn Ka`b Ibn Luwayyi; (5) Hamzah, who was the lion of Allah and His Apostle, was present at the battle of Badr and died a martyr’s death on the occasion of the battle of Uhud; (6) al-Muqawwim; (7) Hajl whose name was al-Mughirah, [P. 57] and (6a) Safiyyah, and their mother was Hálah Bint Wuhayab Ibn `Abd Manaf lbn Zuhrah Ibn Kilab, and her (Hálah’s) mother was al-`Ayyilah Bint al-Muttalib Ibn `Abd Manaf Ibn Qusayyi; (8) al-`Abbas who was noble, sagacious and awe-inspiring; (9) Dirŕr who was handsome in features and benevolent among the youth of the Quraysh and had died when Allah made revelations to the Prophet, having left no children; (10) Qutham Ibn (`Abd al-Muttalib also left no children, and their mother was Nutaylah Bint Janab Ibn Kulayb Ibn Malik Ibn `Amr Ibn `Amir Ibn Zayd Manŕt lbn `Amir whose name was al-Dahyan Ibn Sa`d Ibn al-Khazraj Ibn Taym Allah Ibn al-Namir Ibn Qasit Ibn Hinb Ibn Afsá Ibn Du`mi Ibn Jadilah Ibn Asad Ibn Rabi`ah Ibn Nizŕr Ibn Ma`add Ibn ‘Adnan; (11) Abu Lahab Ibn `Abd al-Muttalib, whose name was `Abd al-`Uzza and whose Kunyah was Abu ‘Utbah; `Abd al-Muttalib had given him the appellation of Abu Lahab becaurse of his beauty and charm; he was very generous and his mother was Lubna Bint Hŕjir Ibn `Abd Manaf Ibn Datir Ibn Hubashiyyah Ion Salul lbn Ka`b Ibn `Amr from the tribe of the Khuzŕ’ah, and her (Lubna’s) mother was Hind Bint `Amr Ibn Ka’b Ibn Sa`d Ibn Taym Ibn Murrah, and her (Hind’s) mother was al-Sawda Bint Zuhrah Ibn Kilab; and (12) al-Ghaydŕq Ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib whose name was Mus’ab and whose mother was Mumanna’ah Bint `Amr Ibn Malik Ibn Muwammal Ibn Suwayd Ibn As’ad Ibn Mashnu’ Ibn `Abd Ibn Habtar Ibn `Adi Ibn Salul Ibn Kalb Ibn ‘Amr of the tribe of the Khuza`ah, and his uterine brother was ‘Awf Ibn `Abd `Awf Ibn `Abd Ibn al-Hŕrith Ibn Zuhrah; `Awaf was the father of `Abd al-Rahmŕn Ibn `Awf’. (Serial numbers with letters indicate daughters)
Al-Kalbi said: No sons of any father were equal to those of ‘Abd al-Muttalib, nor were there any, nobler and sturdier than them. Cartilages of their noses were elevated, and when drinking water their noses would dip into it before their lips. Qurrah Ibn Hajl Ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib said about them:
“If you are counting liberal men then count Dirar, Hamzah the Lion and al-`Abbás.
Count Zubayr and after him al-Muqawwim; and the stout Hajl who is the head of the youth. And count Abu ‘Utaybah and the eighth one is the chief `Abd Manŕf and (next to him) al-Jassas.
The chief Ghaydaq is considered a leader. They all have been the chiefs of the people much against the wishes of the enemy. (Literally: The nose of the enemy should bleed)
The generous al-Hŕrith retained greatness till he drank from the cup of death.
There are no uncles in the world like mine, nor people like ours.”
He (Ibn Sa`d) said: The progeny of `Abd al-Muttalib’s sons sprang from al-`Abbas, Abu Talib, al-Harith and Abu Lahab, Hamzah, al-Muqawwim, al-Zubayr and Hajl the sons of `Abd al-Muttalib begot children who expired and the others did not leave aspiring. In the beginning the sons of al-Hŕrith were many in number; then the number of those of Abu Talib increased and ultimately those of al-‘Abbas exceeded them.

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