Passing away of the Prophet’s Guardian
Publish Date: 6/16/2016 Code: 51812

Passing away of the Prophet’s Guardian

Condolences to you on the doleful day of the 7th of Ramadhan, the day on which Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) lost his loving uncle and guardian, and the Commander of the Faithful Imam Ali (AS) lost his dear father.


“Did He not find you an orphan, and shelter you?”

What we recited to you is ayah 6 of Surah number 93 of the Holy Qur’an. Here, God Almighty reminds His Last and Greatest Messenger of how He, the Source of creation and life, groomed the Best of creation right from the beginning, when the posthumous son of Abdullah had lost his mother Amena bint Wahb by the age of 6, and his loving paternal grandfather, Abdul-Muttaleb, two years later. Eight years is too young an age for an orphan, who moreover, has no grandparents left on either the paternal or maternal side to take proper care.

Who in Arabia would now take custody of this child in a land submerged in the darkness of polytheism and where fratricide is the order of the day; where moral values are virtually non-existent; where obscenity reigns supreme; where carrion and all filthy things are eaten; where wine flows like water; and where there is no distinction between right and wrong?

God, however, does not leave His Chosen Ones all alone, especially when the boy happens to be the person who as the “Mercy to the entire creation” (holy Qur’an ayah 107 of Surah Anbiya) and the “Most Excellent Exemplar” (ayah 21 of Surah Ahzaab), for the human race, embodying everything virtuous and hygienically clean, would one day change the destiny of all mankind.

Divine Providence, thus decreed that the future Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) be entrusted to the monotheist care of his loving elder uncle Abu Talib – the consanguineous brother of his father Abdullah – who, along with his wife Fatema bint Asad and his entire household, was free of all the impurities and negative characteristics of the ordinary Arabs. In other words, Abu Talib, like his deceased brother, father, and direct forbears, was a “Hanif” or the “Upright One”, firmly adhering to the code of religious and social laws bequeathed by his illustrious ancestor Prophet Abraham. To be more precise, he was a Primordial Muslim. Thus, in contrast to Abraham’s idol-maker uncle, Azar, who is called a polytheist by God in the holy Qur’an, history bears testimony that Abu Talib never let the shadow of the Meccan idols ever fall upon his dear nephew during those crucial formative years of childhood, adolescent and youth. He found work for him with the trade caravans of that other monotheist – Lady Khadija (peace upon her), the wealthiest and virtuous lady of Arabia. When Khadija (SA) proposed marriage to the 25-year old sincere, honest and upright manager of her business, it was Abu Talib who solemnized the nuptial, whose fruit would be the Noblest Lady of all times, Hazrat Fatima Zahra (SA). In view of these facts, a closer scrutiny of the ayah which we recited in the beginning, reveals that God has attributed to Himself, Abu Talib’s actions, especially his sheltering, protecting, and grooming of his orphaned nephew – from childhood to marriage, and from declaration of Islam’s universal mission to its promotion for over a decade under acute persecution that required asylum in the safety of the gorge outside Mecca during the 3-year economic-social boycott by the pagan Arabs.

No wonder, when Abu Talib left the mortal world on the 7th of Ramadhan, although the latter’s sons were pictures of grief, the most saddened visage was that of his 52-year old nephew, who performed his last rites in Jannat al-Mu’allah, the ancestral graveyard of the Hashemite Clan – which alas the modern day miscreants of Arabia, the Saudi Wahabis, sacrilegiously destroyed in 1925.

Since the death of Abu Talib occurred less within a year of the passing away of the Mother of all True Believers, the Prophet’s loyal wife of 25 long years Hazrat Khadija (SA), the year is known in history as “Aam al-Huzn” (Year of Grief).

The death of Abu Talib emboldened the pagan Arabs to plot against the Prophet’s life, as is evident by the aggrieved nephew’s saying: “The Quraysh could not raise a hand against me until (my uncle) Abu Talib died.”

It was one of the factors that made the Prophet migrate from Mecca to Medina, but in order to delay the chase by the pagan Arabs, he asked his uncle’s valiant son, Imam Ali (AS), whom he and his wife Khadija (SA) had personally brought up as their ward, to sleep on his bed that night – a selfless endeavour of the son of Abu Talib that God rewarded by revealing ayah 207 of Surah Baqarah.    

A brief radio programme cannot do justice the virtues of Abu Talib, who during his 44-guardianship of his nephew, often exposed his own sons to dangers by making them sleep in their cousin’s place so that the Prophet would be safe from any would-be assassin.

Once when Mecca was faced with a terrible drought and the Quraish came to Abu Talib for a solution, he took his young nephew to the holy Ka’ba and leaning on the wall of Abraham’s edifice of monotheism, raised the child’s hand towards the sky, and prayed: “O Lord! Send rains for the sake of this young boy and favour us with your unlimited blessings.”

Abu Talib, whose poems in flawless Arabic have hailed his nephew as a Prophet like Moses and Jesus, foretold in the heavenly scriptures, stated in his Last Will: “I recommend Mohammad to you, because he is the trusted one of Quraish and the truthful one of Arabia and possesses all the virtues. He has brought a religion, which has been accepted by the hearts, but the tongues have chosen to deny it on account of fear of taunts.”

The merits of the “Shaikh al-Bat-ha” (or Chief Statesman of Mecca) cannot be described. Abu Talib through the marriage of his son, Imam Ali (AS), to the Prophet's Immaculate Daughter, Hazrat Fatima Zahra (peace upon her), built such an unbreakable bond with his nephew that his grandsons, Imam Hasan (AS) and Imam Husain (AS), were hailed by the Prophet as Leaders of the Youth of Paradise. In other words, to the chagrin of the malicious offspring of the pagans (who later reluctantly became Muslims) that had opposed him and his nephew, it is Abu Talib who is the paternal progenitor of the 12 Infallible Imams or Divinely-Decreed Heirs of the Prophet of Islam and subsequently of all “Saadats” (plural of “Seyyed” or descendants of the Prophet.