When the Prophet (s.a.)’s voice went outside the four walls of the home and reverberated in the idolatrous environments of Makka, then, as a reaction, waves of resistance and opposition rose. Those who were his friends and admirers turned sworn enemies now.. Qureish created hurdles at every step in the way of the missionary activities of the small group. They created every imaginable impediment in the way of propagation of the Faith. But the Prophet (s.a.) took all these difficulties in his stride. When the Qureish saw that he was pursuing his mission with determination, they came to Abu Talib as a strong and influential delegation to ask him to dissuade Mohammed (s.a.) to forthwith terminate his activities. They said that he had flattered some unimportant persons to adopt his Faith. They also said that they wanted to talk with Mohammed (s.a.) to refrain from what he was doing. Abu Talib went inside the house to meet Mohammed (s.a) and apprise him of what the delegates were saying. He asked him to meet them, if he felt it worth doing so. The Prophet (s.a.) came out and asked the Qureish what they wanted to tell him. They said that they wished to bring to his notice that they wanted him not to have anything to do with their idols. They wanted him not to talk ill of the idols and stop attacking their age old religious practices. They said that if he agreed to abide by this demand, they would not interfere with his activities. The Prophet (s.a.) rejoined saying that his belief was that Allah is one and that they should worship only Him. Other than Him, they should stop worshipping their own fabricated gods. He affirmed that it was his bonden duty to condemn idolatory and promote worship of one and only Allah. The Qureish said that it was strange that he wanted them to give up the practices of their fathers, grand fathers and the forbears! How, they said, he expectesd them to abandon their pantheon of gods and accept to worship only one god, Allah! Saying this they went away in a huff.

At this juncture, Abu Talib used his discretion and cool thinking to ensure that the disturbed feelings of the Qureish didn’t go beyond control. If he had taken a tough stand with them, they might have turned aggressive instantly. Besides considering discretion as the better part of valor, Abu Talib wanted to give some time to the Qureish to give a serious thought to Mohammed (s.a.)’s mission. He wanted them to think over the matter with cool minds to distinguish between the right and the wrong. He told them that they had all along recognized Mohammed (s.a)’s truthfulness and straightforwardness, they should weigh him in this matter with the same yard-stick. He wanted them to consider that till the age of forty years they
never found him telling a falsehood, then how could they imagine that in the very important matter of Faith he would suddenly tell falsehoods against his very grain! But the Qureish were very adamant. They wouldn’t budge an iota from their stand. They thought that the only solution to the problem lay in silencing the Propagator of the Truth! But Abu Talib being around, the Qureish didn’t have courage to take the extreme step against Mohammed (s.a.) They played a trick on Abu Talib that they brought a handsome lad from the clan of Qureish to him and suggested that he could adopt him, Amara ibne Walid, and hand over Mohammed (s.a.) to them. When he heard this strang request, Abu Talib said:

“How strange is this justice that you want me to bring up your son and hand over my own son to you for killing.

By God! I shall never do this!”

Ref: Tareeq e Kaamil, Vol 2, Page 42

This demand of the Qureish was contrary to all norms of natural love and affinity, made in utter ignorance or deliberate purpose that they wanted Abu Talib to hand-over his nephew to their tyranny. Even a person of very ordinary intelligence would not tolerate such a suggestion. Abu Talib, on the contrary, was a person of great courage and filial affection.

This demand of the Qureish demonstrates their mean mentalities. They stooped so low in the enmity of Mohammed (s.a.) that all thought of virtue had left them. It can well be imagined how difficult it would have been to prevent them from implementing their nefarious plans. Did anyone other than Abu Talib ever think of removing these hurdles in the way of Mohammed (s.a.). History is helpless in indicating any other name than this uncle and protector of the Prophet (s.a.). Becaues of Abu Talib this stratagem of the Qureish too was neutralized. Despite all their tyrannies and oppression, the voice of Islam, instead of getting suppressed, increased in volume day by day. Now they feared that if the numbers of his followers swelled, then this group might grow in strength to disturb the political balance in Makka. When they felt that this revolutionary idea might disturb their apple cart, some of the sheiks and elites came once again to Abu Talib. They said that during their previous visit they had quietly departed after making their case with him. But they stressed that they had now run out of patience and no more willing to consider his seniority and old age. They had thought that the voice advocating for change might die of its own. But, contrary to their expectations, that didn’t happen. They wanted him to warn his nephew sternly to stop talking about the heavenly things. Otherwise, they wanted him to stay aloof and let them decide the things for themselves! Seeing their changed and stern attitude Abu Talib went to Mohammed (s.a.) and apprised him of the unreasonable attitude of the Sheiks of Qureish and advised him to adopt an attitude that they didn’t kill him with stealth. Abu Talib also told him that how long he could contend with their crowd all alone. Hearing these words from Abu Talib, Mohammed (s.a.)’s eyes watered. And he said in a shaking voice, “Uncle! I invite them to be virtuous and to worship Allah! This is according to Allah’s Commandment to me. Even if the Qureish put the moon in one hand and the sun in the other, I cannot refrain from doing my duty!”.Saying this he walked away
from the presence of his uncle. When Abu Talib saw Mohammed (s.a.) going, he felt a shivering in his old body. He called Mohammed (s.a.) to come back and impressed with his courage said with full confidence: “O Son of my brother! Go and tell them what you wish to!

By Allah! I shall never abandon your side!”

Ref: Tareeq e Tabari, Vol 2, Page 67

Getting this courageous response from Abu Talib the tears from Mohammed (s.a.)’s eyes vanished. The courage of the determined heart increased many fold. The feeling of loneliness and helplessness had gone. After renewing his determination, Abu Talib headed towards the Qureish. He asked them not to linger there any more and added:

“By Allah! My nephew’s tongue is never accustomed to falsehoods!”

Ref: Asaba Vol 4, Page 116

Although these delegations from the Qureish were making Abu Talib a medium of communication, he was never seen as siding with them. If he had endorsed their views, he would have asked Mohammed (s.a.) to avoid interfering with their religious practices instead of just communicating their messages. He would have asked him not to condemn their idol. He could have also told to Mohammed (s.a.) that he himself was a follower of their creed. But history fails to make any reference that Abu Talib ever took that sort of attitude. He was just communicating the message without adding anything to endorse their stand. The Qureish too had understood that Abu Talib was in total support of his nephew and that it was not possible to endorse their stand. They now formed a group to oppose Mohammed (s.a.) tooth and nail on their own. They sometimes threw stones on him, sometimes the garbage. They called him a magician, a sorcerer and a madcap. Whenever he stood up for offering prayer, they would try to ridicule him.

One day the Prophet (s.a.) was busy offering prayer near the Kaaba. Abu Jahal spotted some persons sitting nearby and asked them if one of them who could disturb Mohammed (s.a)’s prayer. Abd Allah bin al Zabari stood up and brought some dung and gore. He rubbed it on the face of Mohammed (s.a.). After completing his prayer the Prophet (s.a.) went straight to Abu Talib who was very upset seeing him in that predicament. He asked the name of the person who did such a mean thing. When he was told that the mischief was done by Abd Allah al Zabari, he took his sword and proceeded towards the Kaaba. As soon as the culprit and his companions saw him coming in a rage, they tried to sneak away from there. Abu Talib told in a thundering voice that if any one of them moved from his place, he will no more be a living man. They shrank into a huddle at the place they were in. Abu Talib smeared gore and dung on each of their faces and chided them.

Once it happened that the Prophet (s.a.) didn’t return home till late in the evening. Abu Talib was worried that the Qureish might abduct or even kill him. He searched him in all the possible places but without any success. He called some Hashemite youths and asked them to sit near the Qureish chiefs hiding poniards inside their sleeves. One of them should go and take a place near Abu Jahl. If they got wind that Mohammed (s.a.) was killed, they
should pounce on their individual targets and kill them instantly. The youths took their poniards and sat close to the chiefs as instructed.. Abu Talib redoubled his search now. Near the hill of Safa he found Zaid ibne Haritha coming towards him. He asked him if he had seen Mohammed (s.a.). He informed that a few moments ago he was with him at the base of the hill of Safa. Abu Talib asked him to go and call him immediately. He added that till he found him safe and sound, he wouldn’t return home. Zaid informed Mohammed (s.a.) the worry of his uncle. He immediately rushed to where his uncle was. Abu Talib was much relieved to see his nephew. The next day he took Mohammed (s.a.) and the Hashemite youths to the chiefs of Qureish and recounted the previous evening’s episode to them. The youths showed the poniards that they were hiding under their sleeves. Abu Talib told to the chiefs that if Mohammed (s.a.) had come to any harm at their instance, they would all have been slayed. He asked them to view those sharp poniards carefully:

“By God! If you had killed Mohammed (s.a.), not one

of you would have lived thereafter. We would have

died and would have killed you all!”

Ref: Tabaqaat ibne Saad, Vol 1, Page 203

Rivalry already existed between Qureish and Bani Hashim. And now it turned into open enmity. The ire of the Qureish reached such heights that they decided to boycott Bani Hashim. They forced them, thus, to move away from the town.to a ravine of the hill on the outskirts. This place too was not out of the reach of the Qureish. A danger always lurked that they might attack from any direction any time. In the nights the danger used to be more. In view of this danger Abu Talib used to remain awake the whole nights. In the bed of the Prophet (s.a.) he used to make one of his sons sleep every night. It was the time when the Prophet (s.a.) had supporters in the entire Arabia who could be counted on the fingers! It was Abu Talib in these dire circumstances whowas like a mountain of support and protection for him. He neither left his side any time, nor did he remove his hand from giving help and protection to his nephew. It was his courage and support that Qureish could not put into operation their nefarious plans and the Prophet (s.a.) remained safe from them. Abu Talib continued to defend him the way the circumstances demanded every time and rendered the satanic plans of the Qureish ineffective. If Abu Talib had not protected his nephew wholeheartedly, the course of history would have been different and the early Muslims, and their Prophet (s.a.), would have had to bear untold atrocities at the hands of the cruel Qureish.

Abu Talib’s spirit of sacrifice and dedication and determination in providing help and support to the Prophet (s.a.) is a universally acknowledged fact of Islamic History. None could dare to deny this fact. But some people have tried to give another colour to this act of support to mar the spirit of the entire act. Therefore they have been stressing that the help rendered by Abu Talib was not with any spirit of religious fervor but was sheer filial and tribal consideration that prompted him to do what he did! They say that Arabs come to the help of a person who is related to them by the distance of many generations. In the case of Mohammed (s.a.) he was

caring for his own brother’s son! There is no denying the fact that he was most closely related to Abu Talib. But one has to consider that the dispute was not over any material things. Mohammed (s.a.) had challenged the very fabric of their religion, their idolatory and Abu Talib was a practitioner of that creed. In the matters of religion persons don’t tolerate the deviation of their own sons, here we find him defending a nephew knowing fully well that he had plans to destroy the very creed! Abu Talib was helping him to strengthen his mission of change. This attitude cannot just be termed as support because of filial attachment only! If the support extended was only because of familial attachment, one has to consider whether the support will be more for one’s own sons or a nephew. Abu Talib, with his unstinted support to Mohammed (s.a.) exposing his own sons to the danger of retaliation by the Qureish and this danger was potent and constant! He went to the extent of asking his sons to sleep in the bed of Mohammed (s.a.) to preclude any chance of surprise attack by the enemy in the nights. At what cost? Was it not at the risk to the lives of his own sons? What was the spirit behind these acts? Any father rates the protection of his own son more than that of a nephew? Then why this phenomenon contrary to human nature ? There must have been a stronger and more potent inspiration for Abu Talib to do what he did! This certainly makes one ponder that the help and support to Mohammed (s.a.) had a very strong religious overtone and not only filial attachment of his uncle. Abu Lahab too was an uncle of the Prophet (s.a.). Why didn’t he come to the rescue of Mohammed (s.a.) because of filial attachment! To the contrary he has gone down into the history as the worst and sworn enemy of the Prophet (s.a.) only because he cared only for his ancestral creed and was intolerant to any change even at the hands of his own blood relation! Even Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) and Azar were related to each other. Azar too was an uncle of Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.). Why did he come to harm his own nephew? Similarly Noah (a.s.)’s own son went in support of the infidels against his father. Why there were dissensions between Noah (a.s.), Lot (a.s) and their wives? The differences were because they wished to practice different creeds! On the one hand attributing Abu Talib’s unstinted support only to filial love and on the other hand doubting his Faith doesn’t appeal to reason!

The way Abu Talib dedicated himself wholeheartedly to the protection and care of Mohammed (s.a.), a rational mind will think that if he was not convinced of the veracity of the Prophet (s.a.)’s Mission, he wouldn’t have gone to the lengths in his support that he did. He was doing this at the cost of his comfortable life and the eminence that he had in that nomadic society. This is clear evidence that his heart was radiant with the light of Faith and there were the imprints of belief in Allah and His Prophet (s.a.) in his psyche. Therefore Qazi Azd ud Deen has written:

“In our view Faith is witnessing (upholding) the Things upheld by the Prophet (s.a.) and their inclusion in the Shariah is proven. This too is the belief of most Imams like Qazi (Baqlani) And Ustad Ishaq (Safraini).’ “”

Shara Mawafiq, Page 718


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