The faith of Abu Talib

3 years 8 months ago #461 by Mohand
Assalamu 'alaykum !

I wonder what are the zaydi arguments to prove the faith of Abu Talib and what we can say to refute the view of majority of sunnis who think he was not a believer ?

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3 years 8 months ago #463 by Imam Rassi Society
wa alaykum as salaam wa rahma!

We pray that all is well with you and your family! Thank you for your question! The topic of the Islam of Abu Talib deserves an in-depth article; however, for the sake of brevity we will address the topic in brief.

It must be known firstly that the consensus of the Ahl al-Bayt holds to the Islam of Abu Talib. Our imams and scholars have staunchly defended him and refuted the position of those who say that he was kaafir. Even some of the Mutazila held to the Islam of Abu Talib. Ibn Abil-Hadeed dedicated a section to this discussion in his Sharh Nahj. Also, al-Hakim al-Jashmi dedicated a section of his Tanbeeh al-Ghaafileen to proving the Islam of Abu Talib. Since you requested Sunni sources, I will confine myself to those Sunni sources recognised and authenticated by their scholars.

The proof for the Islam of Abu Talib can be proven from multiple perspectives:
1. The weakness of the claims of those who say that he was kafir
2. The testimony of Abu Talib from his poetry

As for the weakness of those who claim that Abu Talib died a disbeliever, they cite various proofs to justify their position. First, they say that the Qur'an proves that Abu Talib was a kafir. They say that the verse {They prevent others from him and they turn away therefrom} (Q. 6:26) was revealed regarding Abu Talib. This is insufficient as a proof for them because we have no record of Abu Talib ever preventing anyone from accepting Islam or the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny. Furthermore, other exegetes say that this verse refers to the Meccan idolaters in general which is more along the line of the context and history.

Then, they say that the verse {Verily, thou guidest not whom thou lovest; rather, Allah guides whom He wills} (Q. 28:56) was revealed about Abu Talib. However, we say that the verse does not refer to Abu Talib but rather the Meccan pagans in general. This view is supported by similar verses such as Q. 2:272, 10:43, 14:4. Furthermore, we say that those narrations that attribute this verse's revelation to Abu Talib were narrated on the authority of az-Zuhri (who was known to narrate deceptive narrations) and Abu Hurayra (who embraced Islam way after Abu Talib died). Therefore, their narrations aren't accepted.

Interestingly enough, according to Asbaab an-Nuzuul by Imam al-Waahidi, Abu Talib said on his deathbed that he will die on the religion of his father Abdul-Mutallib. However, it is also evident from history that Abdul-Mutallib was a monotheist. You can refer to the tafsir of Surah al-Fil.

As for the so-called ahadith that are used to prove the kufr of Abu Talib, one can easily see that they aren't acceptable on the grounds that they contradict the Quran. The most famous of these narrations is that the Prophet said that due to his intercession, Abu Talib will be raised from the lowest level of Hell to the most shallow part in which his brain will boil(!). This falsity is narrated by both al-Bukhari and Muslim. However, according to the consensus of the Muslims no hadith is accepted if it is in contradiction to the Quran. The Quran clearly states that there is no intercession for the disbeliever. Allah says: {And for those who disbelieve there shall be the Fire of Hell. They shall neither be done away with that they may die nor shall the punishment be lightened for them. Thus do We recompense the disbelievers} (Q. 35:36).

What is even more amazing is that they narrate that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, passed by the grave of his mother who supposedly died upon kufr and wept. He was asked: "Do you see her being punished?" And he purportedly replied: ((Yes. And I am unable to help her in any way!)). So he was unable to help his own mother but he was able to intercede for Abu Talib?! Nonsense!

As for the proof of Abu Talib's faith from his poetry, this is most explicit and decisive in proving his belief. Interestingly enough, none of the opponents deny the authenticity of the poetry. One example is Abu Talib's famous couplet of poems:

The best of people know that Muhammad
Is the vizier of Moses and Christ son of Mary
He came to us with guidance like that of both
Each of them guides by Allah's command and protects.

Narrated by al-Hakim in al-Mustadrak

Abu Talib also said:

Don't you know that we find Muhammad to be
A Prophet like Moses in the primary Scriptures?

Narrated by Ibn Ishaq in his Sira, Ibn Katheer in his Sirat an-Nabawiya and Bidaaya wan-Nihaaya as well as Ibn Hishaam in his Sira.

Abu Talib also said regarding the name Muhammad:

And He [i.e. Allah] split his Name so as to magnify him.
So the Possessor of the Throne is praised (mahmuud) and he is Muhammad.

Narrated by Ibn Hajar in his Fath al-Baari, Ibn Katheer in his Sirat an-Nabawiya and Bidaaya wan-Nihaaya , Ibn Asaakir in his Tarikh Dimashq. Hassaan bin Thabit also quotes this from Abu Talib in his Diwaan.

Are these the words of a kafir? There are other examples that I could list but these should be sufficient to the fair-minded.

And Allah knows best!


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3 years 6 months ago #499 by Mohand
Replied by Mohand on topic The faith of Abu Talib
All is well for me and my family thank you very much. I hope the same for you and your relatives and I pray Allah to bless you all ameen.

Thank you very much for your complete answer !

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