Informing Centre of Religious Beliefs  © 2010-2015 | Privacy Policy


As for those who strive in Us,

We surely guide them to Our paths (Quran)

ABU TALIB'S ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF HIS BELIEF IN ALLAH AT THE TIME OF HIS DEATH


As for your second objection, my reply is quite simple. It is necessary to express one's acknowledgement of the unity of Allah, prophethood, the Day of Resurrection, etc. in prose. But if one composes couplets in which he expresses his belief, it is quite sufficient. When Abu Talib said: "You who believe in Allah! Bear witness that verily I follow the religion of the Prophet of Allah, Ahmad," it had the same effect as if he had said it in prose.


Besides this, he acknowledged his belief at the time of his death in prose as well. Seyyed Muhammad Rasuli Bazranji, Hafiz Abu Nu'aim, and Baihaqi have reported that a party of the chiefs of the Quraish, including Abu Jahl and Abdullah Ibn Abi Umayya, came to Abu Talib when he was dying. At that time the Holy Prophet said to his uncle Abu Talib: "Say that 'there is no god but Allah,' so that I may bear witness to it before Allah." Instantly Abu Jahl and Abi Umayya said, "Abu Talib! Will you turn away from the creed of Abdu'l-Muttalib?" They repeated these words time and again until he said, "You should know that Abu Talib follows the creed of Abdu'l-Muttalib." The result was that those people went away well pleased. When the signs of death appeared on Abu Talib, his brother Abbas, who was sitting on the edge of his bed, saw that his lips were moving. When he listened to what he said, he heard him saying: "There is no god but Allah." Abbas said to the Holy Prophet: "Nephew! I swear by Allah that my brother (Abu Talib) has said what you ordered him to say." Since Abbas had not himself embraced Islam at that time, he did not utter those words.


We have proved earlier that the ancestors of the Holy Prophet were all believers in the unity of Allah. You should know that it was expedient for Abu Talib to say that he followed the creed of Abdu'l-Muttalib. He satisfied those people, and in reality he acknowledged his faith in the unity of Allah because Abdu'l-Muttalib followed the creed of the Prophet Abraham. Moreover, he did utter the words "There is no god but Allah." If you study the historical facts about Abu Talib, you will certainly acknowledge that he was a believer.


HOLY PROPHET'S CONVERSATION WITH ABU TALIB AT THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF HIS PROPHETHOOD


On the day of his bi'that (announcement of Prophethood) the Holy Prophet, along with his uncle, Abbas, went to Abu Talib and said to him: "Verily, Allah has ordered me to announce His command; verily, He has made me His Prophet; so how will you treat me?"


Abu Talib was the chief of the Quraish, the Head of the Bani Hashim, and the most veracious man in the eyes of the people of Mecca. He had reared the Holy Prophet. Had he been an infidel, he would have at once opposed him. And if that had not proven sufficient, since the Holy Prophet had come to him to seek help to propagate his prophethood, Abu Talib seeing that it was against his religion, would have confined the Holy Prophet or at least would have turned him out of his place. Such a rejection would have hindered the Holy Prophet from his great resolve. Abu Talib's religion (supposing it to be polytheism) would have been saved, and he would have earned the gratitude of his associates. Abu Talib could have rebuked the Holy Prophet as Azar had done to his nephew the Prophet Abraham. 


ABRAHAM'S ANNOUNCEMENT OF PROPHETHOOD AND HIS CONVERSATION WITH AZAR


In the Holy Qur'an, Allah Almighty tells of the raising up of Abraham Khalilu'r-Rahman as Prophet of Allah. He said to his uncle, Azar, "O my father! Truly knowledge has come to me which has not come to you; therefore follow me, I will guide you on a right path." (19:43) "He said: Do you dislike my gods, O Abraham? If you do not desist, I will certainly revile you; leave me for a long time." (19:46)


ABU TALIB ASSURES HOLY PROPHET OF FULL SUPPORT AND ALSO RECITES COUPLETS IN PRAISE OF ISLAM


But, on the contrary, when the Holy Prophet sought his help, Abu Talib said: "O my nephew! Proceed with your mission. Verily, you are high in rank, strong in your clan and the most exalted in family lineage. I swear by Allah that the tongue which speaks ill of you will be answered by me with sharp swords. By Allah, the whole Arab world will kneel down before you, as an animal humbles itself before its master."


Moreover, he composed the following verses, referring to the Prophet's mission. These have been recorded by Ibn Abi'l-Hadid in his Sharh-e-Nahju'l-Balagha, vol.III, p. 306, and Sibt Ibn Jauzi in his Tadhkira, p. 5:


"I swear by Allah that those people with their partisans will never reach you, till I consign them to their graves.


So you should go on performing your duty. I give you the good news of your success. Make your eyes cool with it. 


You have called me to your religion. I believe that you have guided me to the right path; you are surely the truthful one and have ever been trustworthy.


You have brought us a religion which I know is the best of all religions. 


If I had no fear of taunt and reproach, you would have found me openly supporting you."


These couplets show that Abu Talib recognized Muhammad to be a messenger of Allah. There are however many other similar couplets which Ibn Abi'l-Hadid in his Sharh-e-Nahju'l-Balagha, and many other ulema, have recorded in their books.


Is a man who recites such couplets an infidel or a true believer? 


ABU TALIB WAS A SUPPORTER AND GUARDIAN OF THE HOLY PROPHET 


Most of your prominent ulema have recorded this fact. You might consult Sheikh Sulayman Balkhi Hanafi's Yanabiu'l-Mawadda, ch.52, in which it is reported from Abu Uthman Amr Bin Bahr Jahiz that, writing about Abu Talib, he said, "Abu Talib was a supporter of the prophethood and messengership of the Holy Prophet. He wrote many couplets in praise of the Holy Prophet. He was the leader of the Quraish."


This clear evidence proves the sincerity of Abu Talib's faith. Of course the Bani Umayya encouraged people to curse the chief of the monotheists, the Commander of the Faithful, and the grandsons of the Holy Prophet, Hasan and Husain. They also fabricated hadith condemning the holy imam and forged reports that his father (Abu Talib), died an infidel. The reporter was the accursed Mughira Bin Sha'ba, an enemy of Ali and friend of Mu'awiya. The Kharijis and Nasibis propagated the view that Abu Talib was an infidel. The simple people were led to believe that it was a correct view. It is strange that they consider Abu Sufyan, Mu'awiya, and Yazid (May Allah's curse be upon them) believers and Muslims, even though there are countless indications to the contrary. And yet they attribute infidelity to Abu Talib in spite of clear proofs which show that he was a firm believer. 


ADDITIONAL PROOF OF ABU TALIB'S BELIEF 


Is it not a fact that the Holy Prophet's Ahle Bait have said that Abu Talib was a believer and that he died a believer? Has not Asbagh Bin Nabuta, a highly trusted man, narrated from the Commander of the Faithful that he said, "I swear by Allah that my father, Abu Talib, my grandfather, Abdu'l-Muttalib Hashim, and Abdu'l-Manaf never worshipped idols."


Is it proper that you should reject the statements of Ali and the holy Ahle Bait and give credence to the statements of the cursed Mughira, Amawis, Kharijis, Nasibis, and other enemies of the Commander of the Faithful?


JA'FAR TAYYAR'S EMBRACING ISLAM BY HIS FATHER'S ORDER


Moreover, many of your ulema, including Ibn Abi'l-Hadid in his Sharh-e-Nahju'l-Balagha, have written that one day Abu Talib came to the mosque and saw that the Holy Prophet was offering prayers. Ali was offering prayers on the right side of the Holy Prophet. Abu Talib ordered his son Ja'far (Tayyar) who was with him and had not yet embraced Islam, "Stand on the side of your cousin and perform the prayers with him." Ja'far moved forward and, standing on the left side of the Holy Prophet, began to say his prayers. At that time Abu Talib composed these lines of poetry: 


"Verily Ali and Ja'far are my strength and solace in my distress and disappointment. O Ali and Ja'far! Never leave the company of your cousin and my nephew, but help him. I swear that I will never leave the Holy Prophet. Can anyone leave the company of a Prophet of such noble family?"


So it is the unanimous view of your own ulema that Ja'far's embracing Islam and his performing the prayers with the Holy Prophet were at the order of Abu Talib.


THE HOLY PROPHET WEPT BITTERLY AT ABU TALIB'S DEATH AND INVOKED ALLAH'S BLESSINGS ON HIM


Ibn Abi'l-Hadid in Sharh-e-Nahju'l-Balagha and Ibn Jauzi in Tadhkirat-e-Khawasu'l-Umma report from Tabaqat-e-Muhammad Ibn Sa'd, who reports from Waqidi and Allama Seyyed Muhammad Bin Seyyed Rasul Barzanji in his Kitabu'l-Islam Fi'l-'am-o-Aba'-e-Seyyedu'l-An'am, a report from Ibn Sa'd and Ibn Asakir, who report on authentic sources from Muhammad Bin Ishaq that Ali said: "When Abu Talib died, and I informed the Holy Prophet of Allah about it, he wept bitterly. Then he said to me, 'Go and wash his body in preparation for burial, wrap his body in a shroud, and bury him. May Allah bless him and have mercy upon him!"


Is it permitted by Islam to perform the burial rituals for a polytheist? Is it right for us to say that the Holy Prophet invoked the blessings of Allah upon an infidel and a polytheist? The Holy Prophet did not leave his house for several days and continued praying to Allah for Abu Talib's eternal peace.


ALI'S ELEGY FOR HIS FATHER, ABU TALIB


If you consult the Tadhkira of Sibt Ibn Jauzi, p.6 you will see what the Commander of the Faithful said in his eulogy for his father. "O Abu Talib! You were a haven for the seeker of refuge, a rain of mercy for dry lands, and a light which penetrated the darkness. Your death has toppled the pillars of safety. Now the real Benefactor has bestowed mercy upon you. Allah Almighty has attached you to His Court. Verily, you were the best uncle of the Holy Prophet."

Can it be believed that a man who was the embodiment of monotheism would write such a eulogy for a person who died an infidel?


ABU TALIB CONCEALED HIS FAITH WHILE HAMZA AND ABBAS PROCLAIMED THEIRS 


Sheikh: If Abu Talib was a believer, why did he not reveal his faith as his brothers, Hamza and Abbas did?


Well-Wisher: There was a great difference between Abbas, Hamza, and Abu Talib. Hamza was so fearless and formidable that all Meccans dreaded him. His embracing Islam proved a great help to the Holy Prophet.


Abbas, however, did not announce his Islam immediately. Ibn Abdu'l-Bar writes in his Isti'ab that Abbas embraced Islam while he was in Mecca, but he concealed his faith from the people. When the Holy Prophet migrated from Mecca, Abbas also intended to be with him. But the Holy Prophet wrote to him that his stay in Mecca would be useful to him (the Holy Prophet). Accordingly, he remained in Mecca and used to send the Holy Prophet news from there. The idolaters brought him with them to the Battle of Badr. When the infidels were defeated, he was taken prisoner. On the day of the conquest of Khaibar he was finally allowed to reveal his faith. 


Sheikh Sulayman Balkhi Hanafi in his Yanabiu'l-Mawadda, ch.56, p.226 reports from the Dhakha'iru'l-Uquba of Imamu'l-Haram Abu Ja'far Ahmad Bin Abdullah Tabari Shafi'i, who reports from Faza'il of Abu'l-Qasim Ilahi that scholars know that Abbas had embraced Islam in the beginning but that he kept it secret. In the Battle of Badr, when he came along with the infidels, the Holy Prophet told his men, "Whoever sees Abbas should not kill him because he unwillingly accompanied the infidels. He was ready to migrate, but I wrote to him that he should remain there and give me information about the idolaters." On the day Abu Rafi'i informed the Holy Prophet that Abbas proclaimed his acceptance of Islam, the Holy Prophet set Abu Rafi'i free. 


WHY ABU TALIB CONCEALED HIS FAITH


If Abu Talib had revealed his faith, all of the Quraish and the entire Arab nation would have united against the Bani Hashim. Abu Talib understood the expedience of concealing his Islam. He pretended to be loyal to the Quraish in order to thwart the activities of the enemy. 


So long as Abu Talib remained alive the same condition continued, and the Holy Prophet was protected. But at the death of Abu Talib, the Angel Gabriel appeared before the Holy Prophet and said: "Now you should leave Mecca. After Abu Talib, you have no helper here." 


Sheikh: Was the Islam of Abu Talib known during the time of the Holy Prophet of Allah, and did the community believe in it?


Well-Wisher: Yes, it was commonly known to the people and they pronounced his name with full reverence. 


ABU TALIB'S FAITH WAS COMMONLY KNOWN DURING THE TIME OF THE HOLY PROPHET


Sheikh: How is it possible that during the time of the Holy Prophet a thing was so much spoken of and commonly known to all, but after a period of thirty years, a contrary view gained credence because of a false hadith?


Well-Wisher: This was not a unique instance. Often what was accepted during the time of the Holy Prophet completely changed its form after a few years because of a forged hadith. Other religious orders and practices in force during the life of the Prophet were abandoned after some years due to the influence of the people.


ABU TALIB WAS GUIDED BY ALLAH TO NAME HIS SON ALI


In the same way that the bee, the mother of Moses, and the mother of Jesus were instructed by Allah, though none of them was a prophet, Abu Talib was also instructed to give a name to his son.


Moreover, no one has ever said that Abu Talib was a prophet or that wahi (revelation) was granted to him. A heavenly voice and a tablet contained the instruction to name the child. Your own ulema have written this fact in their books.


Sheikh: Where have our ulema stated this?

Well-Wisher: There are many such books.


REVELATION OF LAWH (TABLET) TO ABU TALIB


Mir Seyyed Ali Hamadani Faqih Shafi'i, in his Mawaddatu'l-Qurba, Mawadda VIII, from the report of Abbas Ibn Abdu'l-Muttalib, which Sulayman Balkhi Hanafi also quotes in his Yanabiu'l-Mawadda, chapter 56, and Muhammad Bin Yusuf Ganji Shafi'i in his Kifayatu't-Talib narrate with slight variation in wording, that when Ali was born, his mother Fatima Bint Asad named him after her father, Asad. Abu Talib did not agree with her and said: "O Fatima! Let us go to the Qubais hills, and invoke Allah (some reporters say that he said they should go to the Masjidu'l-Haram). He may tell us the name of this child." It was night when they reached the Abu Qubais hills (or the Masjidu'l-Haram) and began their invocations. Abu Talib prayed: "O Creator of this dark night and bright moon, let us know Your will regarding this child's name."


At that time a voice came from the sky. When Abu Talib raised his head, he saw a tablet like a green jewel, with four lines written on it. He took the tablet and clasped it to his chest. When he read it, he found these verses written on it: "I have conferred a special honor on you both by giving you a pure, distinguished son. He has been given the name 'Ali' from the side of Allah. It is derived from 'Ali' (The Exalted)." 


Ganji Shafi'i writes in Kifayatu't-Talib that a voice came in reply to the verses of Abu Talib reciting these two couplets: "O people of the exalted Prophet's House! I have distinguished you with a pure child. Verily, he has been named 'Ali' from the side of Allah Almighty. This name is derived from Allah's own Name, Al-Ali."


Abu Talib was immensely pleased and fell down in prostration before Allah. As a token of thanksgiving for this great event, he sacrificed ten camels. He hung the tablet in the Masjidu'l-Haram. The Bani Hashim used to take pride in it before the Quraish. The tablet remained hanging there until it disappeared in the time of war between Abdullah Ibn Zubair and Hajjaj. 


This report also supports the previously mentioned hadith which say that from the very beginning Abu Talib had been a believer. He implored Allah Almighty to name the child. When he saw Allah's merciful bounty, he fell down in prostration before Him. Is this the behavior of an unbeliever? 


A RESPONSE FROM 'RELIGIONINFORM.COM' TO QUESTIONS REGARDING THE TOPIC:


The following Hadith by Al-Bakhari inlcudes the verse that you have mentioned, and also the claim that the prophet promised that he will intercede for his [so claimed disbeliever] uncle, unless he will be commanded not to do so. I will post the Hadith before posting the reply to it:


4675- حَدَّثَنَا إِسْحَاقُ بْنُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الرَّزَّاقِ أَخْبَرَنَا مَعْمَرٌ عَنِ الزُّهْرِيِّ عَنْ سَعِيدِ بْنِ الْمُسَيَّبِ عَنْ أَبِيهِ قَالَ لَمَّا حَضَرَتْ أَبَا طَالِبٍ الْوَفَاةُ دَخَلَ عَلَيْهِ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَعِنْدَهُ أَبُو جَهْلٍ وَعَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ أَبِي أُمَيَّةَ، فَقَالَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «أَيْ عَمِّ قُلْ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ. أُحَاجُّ لَكَ بِهَا عِنْدَ اللَّهِ». فَقَالَ أَبُو جَهْلٍ وَعَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ أَبِي أُمَيَّةَ يَا أَبَا طَالِبٍ، أَتَرْغَبُ عَنْ مِلَّةِ عَبْدِ الْمُطَّلِبِ.


فَقَالَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «لأَسْتَغْفِرَنَّ لَكَ مَا لَمْ أُنْهَ عَنْكَ». فَنَزَلَتْ: {مَا كَانَ لِلنَّبِيِّ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَنْ يَسْتَغْفِرُوا لِلْمُشْرِكِينَ وَلَوْ كَانُوا أُولِي قُرْبَى مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُمْ أَنَّهُمْ أَصْحَابُ الْجَحِيمِ}.



Quote:"

When Abu Talib's death approached, the Prophet went to him while Abu Jahl and 'Abdullah bin Abi Umaiya were present with him. The Prophet said, "O uncle, say: None has the right to be worshipped except Allah, so that I may argue for your case with it before Allah." On that, Abu Jahl and 'Abdullah bin Abu Umaiya said, "O Abu Talib! Do you want to renounce 'Abdul Muttalib's religion?" Then the Prophet said, "I will keep on asking (Allah for) forgiveness for you unless I am forbidden to do so." Then there was revealed:--


'It is not fitting for the Prophet and those who believe that they should invoke (Allah) for forgiveness for pagans even though they be of kin, after it has become clear to them that they are companions of the Fire.' (9.113)


Sahih al-Bukhari.Com

"End-Quote.


Now for the striking truth!


This verse from the surah Bara'ah is among the last verses revealed to the prophet...It was revealed in Madinah and Abu Talib has died in Makkah as all Muslims agree. Moreover, how can anyone who has adequate understanding of Islam claim that the prophet will invoke (Allah) for forgiveness for a pagan, or will promise to intercede in the behalf of a pagan...


This Hadith can only be categorised in the same category of many other strange Hadiths related by Al-Bukhari…


ANOTHER RESPONSE FROM 'RELIGIONINFORM.COM' TO QUESTIONS REGARDING THE TOPIC:


I must say that the fact that early Muslims (with the exception of AhlulBayt a.s.) have prohibited the writing of the Hadiths (The sayings of the Prophet SAAW), have made it a little bit harder to find the truth...But still, Honest people will always be guided to the straight path...


Quote:"

والذين جاهدوا فينا لنهدينهم سبلنا وان الله لمع المحسنين


As for those who strive in Us, We surely guide them to Our paths, and lo! Allah is with the good.

سورة 29 - آية 69

"End-Quote.


Although it is common to find different argument regarding many Islamic subjects, by paying the required effort, one can identify the ones that must be rejected...


Quote:"

ولو كان من عند غير الله لوجدوا فيه اختلافا كثيرا...


... If it had been from other than Allah they would have found therein much incongruity.

سورة 4 - آية 82

"End-Quote.


This is true with the argument of Ibn Kathir [The Tafsir of Ibn Kathir] and those he has cited, where for instance we find the following flagrant discrepancy:


when it became clear to Ibrahim that he his father is an enemy of Allah, he dissociated himself from him. 


While even after the death of the prophet's mother, he was asking Allah for permission to invoke Him for forgiveness for her.

FATHERS AND MOTHERS OF THE HOLY PROPHET WERE NOT POLYTHEISTS BUT THEY WERE ALL BELIEVERS


The second proof of the fact that the Holy Prophet's ancestors were not polytheists and infidels is verse 219 of Chapter 26 of Shu'ara (The Poets) which says, "And your turning over and over among those who prostrate themselves to Allah." (26:219) 

Concerning the meaning of this holy verse Sheikh Sulayman Balkhi Hanafi in his Yanabiu'l-Mawadda, vol.II, and many others of your ulema have narrated from Ibn Abbas, who said, "Allah transferred particles of the being of the Holy Prophet from Adam's loins to successive prophets, one after the other, all of whom were monotheists, until He made him appear from his father's loins through nika (lawful wedlock) and not unlawfully." 


There is also a well known hadith which all of your ulema have narrated. Even Imam Tha'labi, who is called the Imam of traditionists, writes in his commentary and Sulayman Balkhi Hanafi in his Yanabiu'l-Mawadda, vol. II, narrates from Ibn Abbas, that the Holy Prophet said: "Allah sent me to the earth in the loins of Adam and transferred me to the loins of Abraham. He continued transferring me from the distinguished and exalted loins to pure wombs until He created me from my father and mother, who never met unlawfully." 


In another hadith he is reported to have said, "Allah never mixed in me any base element of ignorance."


In the same chapter Sulayman Balkhi reports from Ibkaru'l-Afkar of Sheikh Salahu'd-din Bin Zainu'd-din Bin Ahmad known as Ibnu's-Sala Halbi and from Sharh-e-Kibrit-e-Ahmar of Sheikh Abdu'l-Qadir narrating from Ala'u'd-Dowlat Semnani, a detailed hadith from Jabir Ibn Abdullah that the Holy Prophet was asked about what Allah created first. He answered the question in detail, which I cannot relate at this time. Towards the end of the hadith the Holy Prophet said: "Similarly, Allah continued transferring my light from pure side to pure side, until He deposited me in my father, Abdullah Bin Abdu'l-Muttalib. From there He brought me to the womb of my mother, Amina. Then He caused me to appear in this world and conferred upon me the title of Sayidu'l-Mursalin (the chief of the Messengers) and Khatamu'n-Nabiyyin (the Seal of the Prophets)."


The Holy Prophet's statement that he continued to be transferred from pure one to pure one proves that none of his forefathers was an infidel. According to the Holy Qur'an, which says: "Verily, the polytheists are polluted ones," (9:28) every infidel and polytheist is polluted. He said that he was transferred from pure wombs to pure wombs. Since idol worshipers are not pure, it follows that none of his forefathers was an idol worshiper. 

In the same chapter of Yanabiu'l-Mawadda a hadith from Ibn Abbas is reported via Kabir that the Holy Prophet said: "I was not born through the unlawful wedlock of the days of ignorance. I was born through the Islamic ways of Nika." 


Have you not read sermon 105 of Nahju'l-Balagha?. The Commander of the Faithful says about the forefathers of the Holy Prophet: "Allah provided for them (i.e., the Prophets) the best place (the loins of their forefathers) and gave them the best placements (the holy wombs of their mothers). He transferred them from distinguished and respectable loins to pure wombs. When the father of any of them passed away, his son succeeded him with the religion of Allah, until Allah Almighty made Muhammad His Prophet and Messenger. So He made the source of the Holy Prophet's creation the most exalted one. The Holy Prophet's lineage included His Prophets who were of high rank."


In short, the ancestors of the Holy Prophet, back to the Prophet Adam, were all believers and monotheists. It is quite obvious that the people of the Ahle Bait (the Progeny) of the Holy Prophet knew more about the status of their forefathers than others knew. 


ALI'S FOREFATHERS WERE EQUALLY FREE FROM POLYTHEISM


When it is proved that the ancestors of the Holy Prophet were believers and monotheists, it naturally follows that Ali's ancestors were also worshipers of Allah. I have already proved through your own books that Muhammad and Ali were from one light and always remained together in pure loins and wombs until they were separated from each other in the loins of Abdu'l-Muttalib. Every sensible man would admit that such a distinguished personality was the rightful claimant to the caliphate.


MISUNDERSTANDING ABOUT ABU TALIB'S FAITH CLARIFIED 


Sheikh: I accept the fact that Tarukh was Abraham's father, and you have proved the purity of the Holy Prophet's ancestors. But it is not possible to find such evidence in the case of Ali. Even if we admit that all of his ancestors down to Abdu'l-Muttalib were monotheists, his father, Abu Talib, certainly left this world an infidel.


Well-Wisher: I admit that there are differing opinions among the community concerning Abu Talib's faith. But we should say, "O Allah! curse the first tyrant who showed injustice to Muhammad and curse his descendants. Allah's curse be on him who fabricated hadith with the result that the Nasibis and Kharijis began to claim that Abu Talib left this world an unbeliever. 


The Shia ulema in general and all the members of the entire family of the Holy Prophet believe in the faith of Abu Talib. Also, many of your scholars and fair minded ulema, like Ibn Abi'l-Hadid, Jalalu'd-din Suyuti, Abu'l-Qasim Balkhi, Abu Ja'far Askafi, their teachers from the Mu'tazali sect, and Mir Seyyed Ali Hamadani Faqih Shafi'i - all agree that Abu Talib was a Muslim.


SHIA CONSENSUS REGARDING BELIEF OF ABU TALIB


The Shia believe that Abu Talib, from the very beginning, believed in the Holy Prophet. The Shia, following the holy Ahle Bait, acknowledge with one accord "Abu Talib never worshipped an idol; he was one of the successors of Abraham." The same view has also been expressed in the authentic books of your own ulema. For instance, Ibn Athir says in his Jam'u'l-usul: "According to the holy Ahle Bait among all the uncles of the Holy Prophet, only Hamza, Abbas, and Abu Talib accepted Islam.


The common agreement of the holy Ahle Bait regarding a point must be considered decisive. The Hadith-e-Thaqalain and other hadith which I have referred to on previous nights clearly prove that the Holy Prophet made clear statements regarding his family's infallibility. They were the parallels of the Holy Qur'an and one of the Thaqalain (two weighty things) which the Prophet left as sources of infallible guidance for his people. It is necessary for all Muslims to adhere to them so that they may not be led astray.


Second, according to the saying "The people of the house know better about family matters," this exalted family knew more about the belief of their forefathers than Mughira Bin Sha'ba, the Bani Umayya, the Kharijis and Nasibis, or other uninformed people.


It is really surprising that your ulema do not accept statements of the Ahle Bait of the Holy Prophet, including the chief of the pious, the Commander of the Faithful, to whose veracity and truthfulness Allah and the Holy Prophet testified. All say that Abu Talib died a believer. You do not believe that, but you accept the word of the confirmed liar and sinner, Mughira, some Amawis, Kharijis, and Nasibis.


Ibn Abi'l-Hadid Mu'tazali, who is one of your accredited ulema, says in his Shahr-e-Nahju'l-Balagha, vol.III, p.310: "There is a difference of opinion concerning the Islam of Abu Talib. The Imamiyya sect and most of the Zaidiyyas say that he left this world a Muslim. Apart from the entire Shia ulema, some of our own chief ulema, like Abu'l-Qasim Balkhi and Abu Ja'far Askafi hold the view that Abu Talib embraced Islam, but he did not reveal his belief so that he might give full support to the Holy Prophet and, because of his (Abu Talib's) influence, the opponents might not block the Holy Prophet's way."


MISUNDERSTANDING ABOUT CONCOCTED HADITH OF ZUHZAH CLARIFIED


Sheikh: Apparently you are not familiar with the "Hadith of Zuhzah" which says: "Abu Talib is in the fire of Hell."


Well-Wisher: This is a fabricated hadith invented during the period of Mu'awiya Bin Abu Sufyan by some of the enemies of the Holy Prophet. Later the Bani Umayya and their followers continued their efforts to fabricate hadith against Ali Bin Abi Talib and circulated them among the people. They did not allow Abu Talib's belief to become well known like that of Hamza and Abbas. The forger of Hadith Zuhza was one Mughira, who was a sinner and an enemy of the Commander of the Faithful.


Ibn Abi'l-Hadid in his Sharh-e-Nahju'l-Balagha, vol.III, pp 159-163; Mas'udi in Muruju'z-Dhahab and other ulema write that Mughira committed fornication in Basra. When his witnesses were produced before Caliph Umar, three of them testified against him, but the fourth was tutored to say such things as made his evidence unacceptable. Accordingly, the three other witnesses had to suffer the prescribed penalty, and Mughira was acquitted.


The author of this hadith, however, was a fornicator and drunkard upon whom the penalty prescribed by religion was about to be inflicted. He invented hadith because of his opposition to the Commander of the Faithful and to flatter Mu'awiya. Mu'awiya and his followers and other Umayyads strengthened this spurious hadith and began testifying that "Abu Talib is in the fire of Hell." 


Moreover, those connected with the narration of this hadith like Abdu'l-Malik Bin Umar, Abdu'l-Aziz Rawandi and Sufyan Thawri, are weak and unacceptable reporters. This fact has been verified by your own eminent commentator and scholar, Zahi, who has expressed this view in his Mizanu'l-I'tidal, vol.II. So how can one rely on a hadith like this, which has been narrated by such notorious liars and weak reporters?


EVIDENCE FOR ABU TALIB'S BELIEF


There is plenty of evidence to prove the belief of Abu Talib. 


(1) The Holy Prophet says in a hadith (joining his two fingers): "I and the supporter of the orphan are together in Paradise like these two fingers." Ibn Abi'l-Hadid also has reported this hadith in his Sharh-e-Nahju'l-Balagha, vol.IV, p.312, where he says that it is obvious that the Holy Prophets statement does not mean all supporters of orphans, since most of the supporters of orphans are sinners. So the Holy Prophet meant by it Abu Talib and his distinguished grandfather, Abdu'l-Muttalib, who looked after the Holy Prophet. The Holy Prophet was known in Mecca as the yatim (orphan) of Abu Talib because after the passing away of Abdu'l-Muttalib, the Prophet, from the age of eight, had been in the care of Abu Talib.


(2) There is a well known hadith which both the Shia and Sunni sects have narrated in different ways. Some of them say that the Holy Prophet said: "Gabriel came to me and gave me good news in these words: 'Allah has definitely exempted from the fire the loins through which you appeared, the womb which sustained you, the breasts which suckled you, and the lap which supported you.'"


Mir Seyyed Ali Hamadani in his Mawaddatu'l-Qurba, Sheikh Sulayman Balkhi Hanafi in Yanabiu'l-Mawadda, and Qazi Shukani in his Hadith-e-Qudsi have reported that the Holy Prophet said: "Gabriel came to me and said 'Allah sends greetings to you and says verily He has exempted from the fire the loins which gave you shelter, the womb which sustained your weight, and the lap which supported you.'" 


These reports and hadith clearly prove the faith of the Prophet's supporters, namely, Abdu'l-Muttalib, Abu Talib and his wife Fatima Bint Asad, and also the Holy Prophet's father, Abdullah, and mother, Amina Bint Wahhab, and his wet nurse, Halima. 


IBN ABI'L-HADID'S COUPLETS IN PRAISE OF ABU TALIB


(3) Your great scholar, Izzu'd-din Abdu'l-Hamid Ibn Abi'l-Hadid Mu'tazali, composed the following couplets in praise of Abu Talib. They are recorded in Sharh-e-Nahju'l-Balagha, vol.III, p.318: "Without Abu Talib and his son (Ali Bin Abi Talib), Islam would have no distinction or strength. Abu Talib protected the Holy Prophet in Mecca and supported him and Ali in Medina. Abda'l-Manaf (Abi Talib) by order of his father Abdu'l-Muttalib, continued taking care of the Holy Prophet and Ali and perfected those efforts. 


When Abu Talib died through Allah's will, it did not cause any loss because he left his fragrance (Ali) as his memory. Abu Talib initiated outstanding services in the way of Allah, and Ali perfected them for the sake of Allah.


Abu Talib's eminence cannot be harmed by the foolish utterances of people, or by the willful suppression of his virtues (by his opponents), just as when a man calls the light of day darkness, the light will not be affected."


COUPLETS OF ABU TALIB PROVE HIS ISLAM


(4) Similarly, the couplets Abu Talib himself composed in praise of the Holy Prophet are a clear proof of his faith. Some of these couplets have been recorded by Ibn Abi'l-Hadid in his Sharh-e-Nahju'l-Balagha, vol.III, p.316. Moreover, your prominent ulema, like Sheikh Abu'l-Qasim Balkhi and Abu Ja'far Askafi, have produced them as evidence for Abu Talib's belief.


Abu Talib wrote: "I seek shelter in Allah from those who rail at us or attribute profanity to us, from the sinner who speaks ill of us, and from the person who associates things in religion from which we are aloof.


I swear by the House of Allah that he lies who says that we shall leave Muhammad, though we have not yet fought against his enemy with the sword and lance.


We will indeed help him until we have crushed his enemy. We will offer such sacrifice that we will forget our wife and children. 

His light is such that through the brightness of his face we invoke the shower of Allah's mercy.


He comes to the assistance of orphans; he is the refuge of widows. The helpless people of the Bani Hashim go to him for help and are blessed with all kinds of favors.


I swear by my life that I have a passionate love for Ahmad. I love him like a pure friend.

I found my self fit for sacrifice to him, so I helped him as he is an ornament for the people of the world, a curse for enemies, and a grace for society.


May the Creator of the World support him with His help and reveal His religion, which is the way to Allah, and in which there is not a particle of wrong."


There are some special couplets of Abu Talib which Ibn Abi'l-Hadid in his Sharh-e-Nahju'l-Balagha, vol.III, p.312, and others have quoted in proof of his belief. In his panegyric, he says:


"These people expect us to fight against Islam with sword and lance; they think that we will kill Muhammad. But our faces have not yet been colored with blood in his help. I swear by the House of Allah that you have told me a lie; you may fall into disaster. Hatim and Zamzam may fill to the brim with severed heads. Injustice is being done to the Prophet, who has been sent by Allah to guide the people. He has been given the book, which has been revealed by the Lord of the Sky."


Apart from these clear evidences, which prove the faith of Abu Talib, Ibn Abi'l-Hadid in his Sharh-e-Nahju'l-Balagha, v.III, p.315, quotes the following couplets: 


"You bear witness to the existence of Allah! Bear witness that verily I follow the religion of the Prophet of Allah, namely, Ahmad. Others may be misled in their religion, but I am one of these who are guided."


Gentlemen ! Be fair and tell us if the writer of such couplets can be called an infidel. 


Sheikh: These couplets are not acceptable for two reasons. First, there is no continuity of narration about them. Second, it was nowhere seen that Abu Talib acknowledged Islam. Reporting some of his couplets does not conclusively prove that he was a Muslim. 


Well-Wisher: Your objection about lack of continuity of narration is strange. Whenever you wish, you accept a lone report to be reliable and when you do not wish, you use the weapon of lack of continuity. 


If you reflect for a moment that if these couplets have not been continuously reported by individuals, even so, taken as a whole, they prove that Abu Talib believed in the Prophethood of the Holy Prophet. 


There are many such things whose continuity of narration is determined in the same way. For instance, the battles of the Commander of the Faithful and the examples of his bravery also depend upon lone reports. But taken as a whole these reports create the sense of continuity, which gives us the necessary knowledge of his valor. Hatim's generosity and Nushirwan's justice are known in the same way.


Since you are so fond of continuity, please let us know how you would prove that the Hadith of Zuhza has been successively transmitted. 

'PESHAWAR NIGHTS' is based on the transcript of a dialogue between several Sunni divines and a 31 year-old Shi'ite scholar, al-`Abd al-Fani Muhammad al-Musawi Sultanu'l-Wa'izin, of Shiraz, Iran, held over a period of ten nights in Peshawar, India, beginning on 27 January 1927. The dialogues were a model of mutual respect, and in spite of the seriousness of the subject and the presence of an audience of some 200, there was no breach of decorum. The author refers to himself throughout the book as "Da'i," that is, one who prays for or invokes a blessing upon someone, translated here as "Well-Wisher." His success is indicated by the fact that at the end of the dialogue one of his Sunni opponents and five other dignitaries in the audience publicly acknowledged their conversion to the Shia sect. A condition of the dialogue was that only sources acceptable to both sects would be cited. The dialogue was held in Farsi, commonly understood in the city of Peshawar. The transcript, made by four reporters and published in the newspapers daily, was published in book form in Teheran and soon became a classic authority in the East. The present work is based on the fourth edition, published in Teheran in 1971, the year in which Sultanu'l-Wa'izin died at the age of 75. (PESHAWAR NIGHTS is published by 'al-islam.com', where it is available from: http://www.al-islam.org/peshawar/toc.html)


ALI'S CREATION FROM LIGHT AND HIS ASSOCIATION WITH THE HOLY PROPHET 


From the point of view of light, Amiru'l-Mu'minin occupied the foremost place, as many of your illustrious ulema point out. Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal in his Musnad, Mir Seyyed Ali Hamdani Faqih Shafi'i in his Mawaddatu'l-Qurba; Ibn Maghazili Shafi'i in his Manaqib and Muhammad Bin Talha Shafi'i in Matalibu's-Su'ul Fi Manaqib-e-alu'r-Rasul narrate from the Holy Prophet that he said, "I and Ali Bin Abi Talib both were a single light in the presence of Allah 14,000 years before the creation of Adam. When Allah created Adam, he deposited that light in Adam's loins. We remained together as one light until we separated in Abu'l-Muttalib's loins. Then I was endowed with Prophethood and Ali with the caliphate." 


Mir Seyyed Ali Hamdani Faqih Shafi'i in his Mawaddatu'l-Qurba, Mawadda VII, mentions this point. "Ali and the Holy Prophet are from one Light. Ali was endowed with such qualities as were not given to any one else in all the world."

Among hadith which have been recorded in this Mawadda, there is a report from the third Caliph, Uthman Bin Affan, who said that the Holy Prophet said, "I and Ali were created from one light 4,000 years before the creation of Adam. When Allah created Adam, He deposited that light into Adam's loins. We remained as one light until we were separated in Abdu'l-Muttalib's loins. Then I was endowed with prophethood and Ali with vicegerency." In another hadith he writes that the Holy Prophet, addressing Ali, said: "So prophethood and messengership came to me. Vicegerency and the Imamate came to you, Ali."


The same hadith has been narrated by Ibn Abi'l-Hadid Mu'tazali in his Sharh-e-Nahju'l-Balagha, vol.II, p.450 (printed in Egypt) from the author of Kitab-e-Firdaus. Also Sheikh Sulayman Balkhi in his Yanabiu'l-Mawadda, part I, reports from Jam'u'l-Fawa'id, Manaqib of Ibn Maghazili Shafi'i, Firdaus of Dailami, Fara'idu's-Simtain of Hamwaini and Manaqib of Khawarizmi, with slight difference in wording but not in purport, that the Holy Prophet Muhammad and Ali were created from light thousands of years before the creation of the universe and that both of them were one light until they were separated from each other in the loins of Abdu'l-Muttalib. One part was placed in the loins of Abdullah and through it was born the Holy Prophet. The other part was placed in the loins of Abu Talib and through it was born Ali. Muhammad was selected for prophethood and Ali for vicegerency, as was disclosed by the Holy Prophet himself.


Abu'l-Mu'ayyid Mu'affaq Bin Ahmad Khawarizmi and many others have reported from reliable sources that the Holy Prophet said: "I and Ali were born of one light. We remained together until we reached the loins of Abu Talib where we were separated from each other."


ALI'S PHYSICAL ANCESTRY


So far as Ali's physical creation was concerned, he was evidently of the most exalted rank from both his maternal and paternal side. All of his forefathers back to Adam himself were worshipers of Allah. This light never settled in an impure loins or womb. None of the other companions can make such a claim. The lineage of Ali is as follows:


(1) Ali Bin (2) Abu Talib Bin (3) Abdu'l-Muttalib (4) Hashim (5) Abd-e-Manaf (6) Qusai (7) Kilab (8) Murra (9) Ka'b (10) Luwai (11) Ghalib (12) Fehr (13) Malik (14) Nazr (15) Kinana (16) Khazima (17) Madreka (18) Ilyas (19) Muzar (20) Nizar (21) Ma'd (22) Adnan (23) Awwad (24) Al-Yasa' (25) Al-Hamis (26) Bunt (27) Sulayman (28) Haml (29) Qidar (30) Isma'il (31) Ibrahim Khalil-Ullah (32) Ta'rikh (33) Tahur (34) Sharu (35) Abraghu (36) Taligh (37) Abir (38) Shale' (39) Arfakhad (40) Sam (41) Noah (42) Lumuk (43) Mutu Shalkh (44) Akhnukh (45) Yarad (46) Mahla'il (47) Qinan (48) Anush (49) Seth (50) Adam Abu'l-Bashir. 

Except for the Holy Prophet, no one else had such a brilliant ancestry.


AZAR WAS ABRAHAM'S FATHER 


Sheikh: You have said that all the ancestors of Ali were monotheists. I think you are mistaken. Some of his ancestors were idol worshipers. For instance Abraham Khalilullah's father, Azar, worshipped idols. The Holy Qur'an clearly says "And when Abraham said to his father, Azar: 'Do you take idols for gods? Surely I see you and your people in manifest error.'" 


Well-Wisher: You repeat what your elders have said although you know that the scholars of genealogy unanimously agree that Abraham's father was Tarukh, and not Azar.


Sheikh: But this is ijtihad (reasoning based on your own judgement) in face of divine ordinance. You are putting forward the views of the scholars of genealogy in opposition to the Holy Qur'an, which clearly says that Abraham's father was Azar, who was an idol worshiper.


Well-Wisher: I never argue in opposition to divine law. My aim is to know the real interpretation of the Qur'an. In order to accomplish this, I seek guidance from those who are equal to the Holy Qur'an as sources of guidance, the Ahle Bait of the Holy Prophet. The word in the holy verse has been used in the general sense because in the general sense even the uncle and the mother's husband are also called "father." 


There are two views about Azar. One is that he was Abraham's uncle and the second is that in addition to being his uncle, after the death of Abraham's father, Tarukh, he married Abraham's mother. Hence Abraham used to address him as his father, since he was his uncle as well as his mother's husband. 


Sheikh: We cannot ignore the explicit meaning of the Holy Qur'an, unless we find its other meaning in the Qur'an itself, clearly indicating that uncle or mother's husband are also called 'father'. If you fail to produce such evidence (and certainly you will fail), your argument will be unacceptable. 


Well-Wisher: There are instances in the Holy Qur'an where words have been used in their general sense. For example, verse 133 of chapter II, Baqara (The Cow) of the Holy Qur'an supports my point. It records the questions and answers of the Prophet Jacob with his sons at the time of his death. It says: " When he said to his sons: What will you serve after me? They said: we will serve your God and the God of your fathers, Abraham and Isma'il and Isaac, the one God only, and to Him do we submit." (2:133)


In this verse the proof of my claim is the word Isma'il. According to the Holy Qur'an, Jacob's father was Isaac and Isma'il was his uncle, but, according to the general practice, he used to call him his father. Since the sons of Jacob also according to the general practice, called their uncle their father, they used the same word in reply to his father. God reported their question and answer as it was. Similarly, Abraham also used to call his uncle and his mother's husband, 'father', although, according to strong evidence of historical and genealogical accounts, it is an acknowledged fact that Abraham's father was not Azar, but Tarukh.

Was Abu Talib (as) a disbeliever? 

"Abu Talib ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib (549 – 619). He was the leader of the Bani Hashim clan of the Quraysh tribe of Mecca in Arabia. He was married to Fatima bint Asad and was an uncle of the Islamic prophet Muhammad [SAAW] [and the Father of Imam Ali a.s.] . Abu Talib was an important supporter of Muhammad until his death, after which Muhammad and his followers left Mecca" (wikipedia). Excerpts from a great book titled 'PESHAWAR NIGHTS' discussing the Islamic faith of Abi Talib, will be presented hereunder. These excerpts will present many of the evidences that prove without any doubt that the uncle and the supporter of the prophet Abi Talib was a believer who have hidden his faith till before his death, for the sake of protecting the prophet SAAW. Counter-argument will also be refuted in the topic.