even more than his own children. He made him sleep near himself. Whenever he went out, he always took him along. He valued him more than anything else in the world!” Ref: Tabaqat, Vol 1, Page 119

Abu Talib had made a deep study of the ways of Mohammed (s.a.) from his very childhood. He found him quiet, shy and lonely. He never played or cavorted like any other children would. He had no taste for sight seeing. Neither he was harsh to anyone nor did he ever play any childish pranks. All these observations impressed Abu Talib so much that he realized that the child was far above the ordinary children of his age. Therefore besides his familial love for the child, he developed an inexplicable respect for him! This affection and respect was behind his willingness to make any sacrifices for Mohammed (s.a.) as years went by.

The manifestations that Abu Talib observed in the child made him wonder. Whenever Mohammed (s.a.) partook food with the family, however sparse the quantity, everyone seemed to have eaten his fill! Therefore it was a practice in the household that the child had to be around before anyone started eating. Abu Talib made it a rule that Mohammed (s.a.) should take the first morsel before anyone else partook of the food. If someone lifted the bowl of milk to drink, Abu Talib asked him to wait till Mohammed (s.a) had it. They noticed that when they drank the milk after the child, the quantity in the bowl would suffice for the entire family. Seeing this Abu Talib would say to Mohammed (s.a.), “Innakal mubarak- you are very lucky!”

Once he was going somewhere with Mohammed (s.a.). When they were at a distance of three miles from Arafa at Zil Majaz, they felt very thirsty. He asked Mohammed (s.a.) if water could be found anywhere near that place? Mohammed (s.a.) dismounted from the camel, kicked a boulder and uttered something. Water started flowing near the boulder. He said, “Come uncle! Drink the water!” When they drank the water, he kicked the boulder once again and the flow of the water stopped. Seeing these manifestations, Abu Talib used to make Mohammed (s.a) the intercessor for his prayers, particularly in times of drought and rainlessness. Therefore, once there was utter panic in Makka because of no receipt of rains for a very long spell. Some said that they must beg Laat and Uzza for help.Others were bowing to Munat. One elderly person said:

“Where are you loitering (in the dark) when there is the

Offspring of Ibrahim (a.s.) and the son of

Ismail (a.s.) in your midst.

Ref: Tareeq al Islam Dahabi, Page 36

People asked him if he was referring to Abu Talib? He said “Yes!” Hearing this Abu Talib was approached by the people complaining of the failure of all cultivation and drought prevailing in the region. He wanted him to pray for rains. Abu Talib caught hold of the hand of the Orphan of Abd Allah and proceeded to the precincts of the Kaaba. He made the child squat near the wall of the Kaaba, raised his finger towards the sky. There were no signs of rain falling. But within moments cool winds started
blowing, dense clouds gathered and it started raining cats and dogs. The parched land became wet and greenery reappeared in the wilderness.

Abu Talib was a reputed trader of wheat and perfumes in his day. According to the custom of the Qureish, he used to travel on business to Syria once every year. When the time for one of his journeys approached, he mentioned to Mohammed (s.a.) about his plans but didn’t ask him to join the caravan. At that time his age was only twelve years and he didn’t want to expose the youth to the hardships of the travel through the desert. When he knew that his uncle was not taking him along, he embraced him and started insisting on accompanying him. Abu Talib too had no desire of leaving him behind in Makka. He agreed to take him along saying:

“By God, I shall take him along!

“We shall never be separated from each other!”

Ref: Tareeq e Khamis, Vol 1, Page 257

Abu Talib took him along and commenced his journey to Syria. When their caravan arrived at Basra in the southern region of Syria, the hermit Jarjees ibne Abi Rabiah, who was known with the sobriquet of Bahira, saw Mohammed (s.a.) in the caravan and noticed signs in him that he knew were of the Last of the Prophets (a.s). To look at him from close quarters, he invited the entire caravan to his hermitage for a meal. The Qureish left behind Mohammed (s.a.) near the baggage and went along to the hermitage to share Bahira’s repast. When he didn’t find the youth in the group, he asked, “Is anyone left outside that has not entered the hermitage with you?” They informed him that only a child has been left out to take care of their merchandise. Bahira asked them to call him in too. When he came, Bahira looked at Mohammed (s.a.) with keen interest from head to toe, removed his cloak from the back and saw the Seal of Prophethood between his shoulders. He also asked him about several things experienced by him during the waking and sleeping hours. Then he asked Abu Talib about his relationship with the child. Abu Talib said that it was his son. Bahira said that he couldn’t possibly be his son. He told that he could say with certainty that the child’s father was no more. Then Abu Talib told him that the child was his nephew and was his charge. That he was posthumously born. Bahira said that the child must be taken back home from there only, lest the Jews learn about him and cause him harm. The child is the Messenger of Allah and will be Ordained as Prophet. He added that when the caravan was descending from the hill, he noticed that the trees were bowing down and wherever the child went a cloud was hovering over his head. Besides these manifestations, he had read about the child in the revealed books of yore wherein his face, the personality and other features have been described. On the strength of these evidences he stressed that the child was the Prophet whose coming has been forecast!

When the Prophet (s.a.) attained the age of twenty, he told to Abu Talib that he had seen three radiant bodies in his dream and one of them, pointing towards him, was saying to the other two that this is the one to whose succor you must rise when the time comes. He didn’t talk anymore than that. Abu Talib mentioned about this dream to a scholar of Makka. He looked at Mohammed (s.a.) intently and and said, “By God! He is the possessor of a
pure spirit and is a true prophet!” Abu Talib asked the person to keep his counsel and not reveal about his finding to anyone. He feared that people of his own tribe become jealous of Mohammed (s.a.) and cause harm to him. He told to the man that what he surmised was true and he himself had visions about the phenomenon.:

“My father Abd al Mutallib had told me that he (Mohammed-(s.a.) Has been sent as a Nabi by Allah and had instructed me to keep the matter a secret lest the enemies harm him.” Ref: Tareeq e Yaqoobi, Vol 2, Page 14

These events had paved the way for Abu Talib to accept the evidence of Mohammed (s.a.)’s prophethood. He had the conviction that the Orphan of Abd Allah was the prophet of the near future. Therefore, for his upbringing and education, he felt spiritual elation more than material happiness. He used to hover around him like a worm around the radiance of the light. He took full care of him, day and night. Mohammed (s.a.) had entered the state of youth from childhood. Now Abu Talib started thinking of putting him on the road to earning his livelihood. The economic medium of earning a living in the Qureishi society was trading. But this definitely needed monetary investment that Mohammed (s.a.) lacked. At that time in Makka there was a wealthy lady, Khadija binte Khaweelad, who used to depute her representatives to different cities to trade on her behalf. Abu Talib suggested to Mohammed (s.a.) to offer to manage her business. He himself went to her and requested her to depute Mohammed (s.a.) to tour on her behalf for business as is done by others. Khadija approved of this offer, explained her business terms and issued merchandise to Mohammed (s.a.) to proceed on a tour of business. He kept trading on her behalf for some time and achieved much success. Khadija was much impressed with his business skills, honesty and straightforwardness. Through some source she sent a proposal of matrimony to Mohammed (s.a.). After consulting his uncle, Abu Talib, he accepted the proposal. After finalizing the initial procedures Abu Talib, Hamza, Abbas and other persons from Bani Hashim and important personages from the tribe of Qureish went to the house of Khadija. The Aqd (marriage Agreement) was finalized and Abu Talib recited the Sermon of Nikah:

“All praise to Allah who created us in the offspring of Ibrahim (a.s.) and the progeny of Ismail (a.s) the children of Ma-ad and Madar; and made us the keepers of His House (the Kaaba) and made it the Place of Haj and Peace for us. He made us rulers over men This is my nephew, Mohammed ibne Abd Allah. To whomsoever he is compared, he will emerge superior in nobility And felicity; wisdom and superiority Although he has less of wealth, wealth is like the declining shadow that goes away and is like something that comes to one temporarily and is withdrawn! By Allah! His future is great and a great Message will emanate from him!” Ref: Seerat e Halabia, Vol 1, Page 139

Although this sermon is very short, it reflects Abu Talib’s beliefs and thoughts about the Prophet (s.a.) He starts the sermon with the praise of Allah that proves his faith in the Unity of Allah. Then he proudly claims his descent from Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) and Hazrat Ismail (a.s.). Then he expresses pride over the privilege his family had of being the keepers of the Holy Kaaba. This indicates that they were the rulers because of their august descent but also because they were the true practitioners of the Faith of Ibrahim (a.s). Then he praises the wisdom and sagacity of Mohammed (s.a.) and describes the transitory nature of wealth in this world. He compares wealth to the declining shadow that vanishes with time. Then with the words of “Naba e Azeem” he concludes that the Prophet (s.a.) had a radiant future in store and predicts that soon he will guide the humankind on the Straight Path.

When the Prophet (s.a.) completed forty years of his life, Allah wanted him to fulfil the purpose for which he had been created. The heavy burden of guiding mankind was placed on his shoulders. He came to light the beacons of guidance and removing the darkness of ignorance and polytheism from the society. He stood up to take the Message to every home in every nook and corner of the world. In the early years of Baasat (the Annunciation) he propagated his creed discreetly and in secret. Only select few persons had embraced Islam and great care was exercised in declaring their faith to others. For offering congregatory prayer (Namaz e Jama-at) they carefully sought opportunities and venues. Sometimes they used to pray inside the four walls of their homes. At other times he would go with Hazrat Ali (a.s) to the crevices of hills around Makka to offer their prayers. Once Abu Talib chanced upon the two cousins prostrating in one of these hidden crevices. He called up Ali (a.s.), his son, and asked him about the faith that he was practicing along with his cousin. He replied, “I have adopted the Faith of Allah and His Prophet, Mohammed (s.a)!.”

Hearing this, Abu Talib said:

“You remain attached to him, he will guide you to the Path of Virtue!” Ref: Tareeq e Tabari, Vol 2, Page 58

If Abu Talib was an infidel and an enemy of Islam, he would definitely have told to the Prophet (s.a.) that he had entrusted to him his impressionable young son, Ali (a.s), with full trust that he would not lead him away from his father’s faith and create rift between father and son doing otherwise. To the contrary, when Abu Talib noticed Ali (a.s.) offering prayers according to the tenets of Mohammed (s.a.)’s Faith, he encouraged him and told him that by following his cousin he would remain on the right path! This proves that Abu Talib was not in favor of the ways of the infidels and idolators.

Three years went by when the Prophet (s.a) propagated his Faith quietly without making any public announcement. Now came Allah’s Command that he should go public in spreading his mission.. For this purpose the Prophet (s.a.) got together a feast at the home of Abu Talib where all the relatives and friends were invited to convey the Message of the New Faith to them and ask them to give up idolatory forthwith. Abu Talib realized from the very looks of the Qureish that they would not budge from theirdeeply ingrained beliefs. He knew that they will be forced to rise against the Prophet (s.a.). He therefore sounded Mohammed (s.a.) to be discreet in propagating his mission. However he told Mohammed (s.a.) that he should not consider himself hapless and alone. He assured him that, as his uncle, his fullest protection was there for him. Impressed by Mohammed (s.a)’s spirit of choosing the Right Path despite all the difficulties, Abu Talib told him:

“By God! Till we have lives in our bodies, we shall protect him from his enemies!”

Ref: Tareeq e Kaamil, Vol 1, Page 41


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