The great chieftan of Bani Hashim Abdul-Muttalib, dying on his death bed, designated his son Abu Taleb to take care of The Holy Prophet Mohammad(pbuh&hf).
"Son, Mohammad thine newphew will be of great importance, one day. So support him with your hand and tongue!"
So his father Abdul-Muttalib died and Abu Taleb became the Chief of the tribe of Bani Hashim.
He took his brother's son Mohammad to live with him and his family. And his wife Fatimah Bint Assad rejoiced in him and took loving care of the small lad. She preferred him over all of her children.
Abu Taleb love for his younge orphaned newphew increased day by day and he admired his good manners and politeness towards everyone. He was proud of the fact that everyone looked at his nephew as being the trusted person of all Mecca.
One day as the family was about to eat. Abu Taleb stopped and withdrew his hand from the food before him and his hungry family and said,
"We shall eat only, until my son Mohammad arrives."
As soon as the little lad arrived and took his place at the table spread. Abu Taleb affectionely offered him the small bowl of fresh yoghurt. Mohammad took it readily and drank his full and emptied it and passed it along to his Uncle who also drank from it and his sons all drank one by one and had their full. Abu Taleb was thankfull and said to his newphew,
"Mohammad thy are truely blessed."
When AbuTaleb had finished from his trading in Syria. He returned to Mecca with his nephew, who continued his solitary life as before. But his uncle saw to it that he, as also Abbass and Hamzah, had some training in the use of weapons of war. Abu Taleb had heard stories of the Jews and the Christians of a coming Prophet. He suspected the little lad Mohammad was the Prophet the Ahlu Kitab were talking of and resigned himself in always protecting him and have him with him were ever he went.
Ever since his encounter with the christian monk named, Buhaira in the city of Busra in Syria underlined his believe even more.
Abu Taleb disliked and spoke out against any kind of persecution and always championed the unfortunate and persecuted against their aggressors. The little boy Mohammad loved his uncle even more for his principles.
One day, a battle took place between the defending tribe of Kinana and the agressing tribe of Qais. The chief from the tribe of Kinana came to Abu Taleb for help and said,
"Son of the bird feeder and pilgrim water giver, don't be absent from us. We will get victory in your presence!"
Abu Taleb answered,
"I won't be absent from you if you promise to avoid all types of persecution, enmity, rudeness and falsehood!"
The Kinana chief clansman readily agreed to Abu Taleb's conditions and the Hashimite chieftian joined them in battle with Mohammad at his side.
The Alliance of Fodhool
Abu Taleb founded the Alliance of Fodhool. It was an agreement signed by all the Meccan chieftians. According to the agreement they decided to help and protect any pilgrim was was attacked or robbed.
One day a pilgrim from the Khathaam tribe, was paying homage to the Holy Kabah in Mecca with his daughter. When thieves snatched away the man's daughter and struck the resisting father down.
The Khathaamian father shouted for help. And the people told him to rush to Abu Taleb the founder of the Fodhool Alliance.
When the man reached Abu Taleb and pleaded his case. Abu Taleb quickly order some men armed with their swords to look for the girl and bring the abducting people to justice.
Mohammad who was also part of the Fodhool Alliance with the armed men quickly rescued the girl and reunited her with her father. And apprehended the theives and brought them before the Meccan Elders for punishment.
The unwavering support of Abu Taleb
When Mohammad was fourty years old and had declared his Prophethood and the attestment of only one God and the religion of Islam. Quarish were openly aggressive but could not move against Mohammad personally as they feared and respected Abu Taleb's high position and standing as a great and powerfull Hashimite chieftain.
Although now Abu Taleb was a very old man, he nevertheless strongly stood by his nephew Mohammad's Divine Mission. His protection was paramount in the success of Islam in the very early and dangerous stage. And his uncle was unwavering in his support and in his protection to his nephew and his new religion.
But to the dismay of Quraysh. The new religion of Islam grew quite rapidily and the idolators of Quraysh became restless and uneasy. So the Quraysh leaders in desperation came to Abu Taleb and demmanded he removes his protection from his nephew. But Abu Taleb refused to do so.
"Never. He and I are one!"
In another instance they came to Abu Taleb who was sick and bedridden and angrily demmanded,
"Abu Taleb, you must prevent your nephew from us, because he's weakening our thoughts and insults our gods!"
Abu Taleb saddeened because Qurashy did not wish to listern to words of truth. He acknowledged to himself that the situation was becoming desperate. So, he said to them,
"Go, give me time to speak with him."
Abu Taleb related to Mohammad the words of Quraysh. But his nephew replied politely,
"Uncle, I can't disobey my Lord's Command!"
But for Quraysh that wasn't good enough for they truely feared Mohammad and his new founded religion for their position, wealth and standing in Mecca and Arabia. So Abu Jahal the most spitefull of them all proposed desperately.
"We'll give him whatever he wants and demmands of our wealth and money. Rather, we'll make him king over all of us, if that what he wants!"
The Holy Prophet(pbuh&hf) answered,
"I want nothing, but only one word."
Abu Jahal quickly said.
"Yes, what's the word? We'll give you as ten times of it!"
The Messenger of Allah(swt) replied.
"Say, that there's no other god but Allah!"
On hearing Mohammad's answere Abu Jahal turn full red in the face and was filled with anger and snapped back.
"Ask us of another word instead!"
The Holy Prophet of God(pbuh&hf) said.
"If you brought me the sun and placed it in my right hand, I'd not ask other than that word!"
The tension in the air increase from Quraysh elders who were angry of Mohammad's demmand. The polytheists all stood up and started to threaten Mohammad, when Abu Taleb intervened and they stompped out in anger. And Abu Taleb sighed and turned to his nephew and said.
"Son, save your soul and don't overburden me."
The Holy Prophet eyes filled with tears and answered.
"Uncle, by Allah, if they put the sun in my right hand and the moon on my left hand, just to leave this matter. I'd not leave it till Allah supports it or I perish for it!"
Abu Taleb wept at his nephew's words, and gestured his nephew to draw closer to him and kissed him and said surely and softly.
" Nephew, go and say whatever you like. By Allah, I'll never leave you alone!"
Then Abu Taleb smiled at his orphaned nephew and rejoiced in a small song.
"By Allah, they all won't reach you.
Till a pillow of dust will be put under my head.
And till I'll be buried."
Life for a life
Still the wicked tyrants of Quraysh was relenless and once again came to Abu Taleb and tried another way of persuasion and said to him.
"Abu Taleb, this is Amarah Ibin Al-Waleed, Khalid Ibin Al-Waleed's brother. He's the most strongest and the most handsome of all the younge men of Quraysh. So, take him and give us Mohammad to kill!"
Abu Taleb was shocked and sorry to hear of their distastefull idea and he angrily said.
"Do you give me your son to feed him for you, while I give you my son for you to kill!
By God! Have you ever seen a she camel take a pity on another other than its own younge?"
The polytheists anger and frustration increased and they intensed their harm over the followers of Mohammad by imprisoning and torturing them. And Abu Taleb feared gravely now even more over his nephew.
Protection of the Bani Hashim
Under the protective wing of his Uncle Abu Taleb, The Holy Prophet Mohammad Al-Mustafa(pbuh&hf) went on preaching the new religion to bring to the people into the light of God's the good tidings and to leave the wickness of the darkness of the life they used to live idolising pagan gods of stone and wood.
However, after the confrontation with Quraysh Abu Taleb feared for Mohammad's safety and would go after him if he were to be delayed.
One day Abu Taleb called upon his clansmen of Bani Hashim to swear to protect and save Mohammad. All accepted but for the wicked Abu Lahab who was AbuTaleb's brother and Uncle to Mohammad.
For Abu Lahab and his wife the wood collector both disliked Mohammad and his new religon and were in favour with Quraysh argument.
One day Khadeejah was worried for the safety of Mohammad her husband, as he had not returned from the desert that evening for his meal. She quickly ran to Abu Taleb and told him of her worry.
Abu Taleb had heard that Abu Jahal and other polytheists were planning to kill his nephew Mohammad. So he and his son Jafar immeadiately went to the surrounding hills of Mecca looking for Mohammad, fearing for the worst. They looked every where for him all day long.
Finally they found him in solemn prayer with him Mohammad's cousin and Abu Taleb's youngest son Ali praying behind him on his right hand side. Abu Taleb looked and took pity at the sight of the two worshipers like a bird with one wing. And he wept joyfully and said to his son Jafar.
"Go and complete your good cousin's wing."
And Jafar immeadiately took his position behind the Prophet's left side alongside that of his younger's brother side and all prayed to Allah. Hence Mohammad was flanked by either side with Ali and Jafar and the bird's wing was complete.
In another instance again Mohammad went missing for a very long time and Abu Taleb feared that Mohammad was killed. So he went to all the frequent sites that his nephew would visit and indulge in prayer in the desert, but he was nowhere to be seen.
So, on his return from the desert Abu Taleb called upon all the Bani Hashim tribe and said solemly to them.
"Each one of you must take a strong iron bar and conceal it under your robes. When I enter the mosque, each one of you must follow and take a seat and sit beside a Qurayshian leader. And each of you must kill the Qurayshian leader with your concealed weapon, beside him, if it is known that Mohammad had been murdered!"
The men of Bani Hashim obeyed their cheif clansman Abu Taleb and each took their position beside a heathen paganist leader and waited for the news of Mohammad's death.
Abu Taleb waited in silence in the mosque amongest the Quraysh leaders. When suddenly Zaid Ibin Harithah , Mohammad's faithfull servant rushed into the mosque and knelt beside Abu Taleb and wispered into his ear that his nephew Mohammad had returned and was safe in his home with his wife Khadeejah.
Abu Taleb face lit up with joy and rose silently without a word and signalled for his men to withdraw after him. Only then did Quraysh become to know and realised what had Abu Taleb had intended for all of them, and they became fearfull and weary of Abu Taleb since that day. And one of them commetted.
"Abu Taleb would readily destroy us and Quraysh for which his family is part of, just for the sake of his nephew Mohammad."
Open Abuse on his nephew
In another instance, Mohammad was praying in the public square before the Kaba when a younge came up to the praying Prophet and through a mixture of animal blood and waste at Mohammad. All the polytheists began laughing out aloud.
Mohammad ended his prayer and got up and went home to clean himself when he was met on the way by his loving protector and Uncle Abu Taleb. Who could see that Mohammad was very unhappy and covered all in filth. His uncle inquired on what had happen and Mohammad told him.
Abu Taleb was angered and told Mohammad to go home and wash up and he would shortly follow. Abu Taleb went to his house and got his sword and ordered his boy to collect all the waste from his house and to follow him. The Hashimite chief then proceeded to the mosque followed by his boy carrying the waste. He came up to the still jeering and laughing polytheists leaders who were rechanting to the people gathered before them what they had done to Moammad earlier.
He stopped in front of them with his sword in one hand and starred coldly at the idolators one by one in the eye. He then ordered his boy to through the waste he was carrying onto the polytheists standing before him.
All of the Qurayshian leaders were covered in filth and begged for him to stop his boy from throughing anymore filth at them.
"Enough, Abu Taleb thats enough!"
"This is so you will understand. Mohammad is under my protection and any harm comes to him. I'll bring harm to man who harms him!"
It was now cristal clear to Quraysh that Abu Taleb resolved was strong in protecting his nephew even it meant the sacrifice of his life and that of the Bani Hashim. So they gathered and pondered in another strategy. An enomic boycott and social ban on any dealings with the tribe of Bani Hashim. They wouldn't trade with them, have any inter-marriage with them, or have any dealings with them whatsoever, a complete boycott of Bani Hasshim.
So in the month of Muharram, of the seventh year after the Prophetic Mission, fourty leaders of Quraysh all signed a contract stipulating the terms and agreement of the Total Ban on Bani Hashim and fixed it upon the wall inside the Kabah.
Quraysh expected Abu Taleb's to surcome to their will and surrender Mohammad to them. But the wise old man known also as the Shaikh Al-Batha refused and instead took his tribe to a safe valley between two moutains, to protect even more Mohammad against any possible assination from from Quraysh and well as from within his tribemen.
Abu Taleb keep close vigilance on the work of closing the opening of the valley in case Quraysh tried to attack them. And even at his age Abu Taleb with his brother Hamzah and some other men of Bani Hashim stood guard at the entrance of the valley.
Abu Taleb every night moved the place of Mohammad's bed in secrecy as a precaution and let only his most trusted and loyal men guard his nephew. He sometimes will tell his son Ali to sleep in Mohammad's bed. Again he would do so to expidite the success of Mohammad's flight from Quraysh to Yathrib in the following years.
Many days and months passed. The besiged were in complete isolation. They suffered from pains of hunger and deprivation. When the time of pilgrimage came, they left their safe valley to shop for food and clothes.
But Quraysh brought all the food and clothes preventing the Bani Hashim opportunity to get any food and other supplies. Still Abu Taleb remained strong in his resolve and was fearless and resolute in his belief of his nephew and never ceased to protect him. Abu Taleb commented that when he looked at his nephew's face it is as if he was seeing his younge handsome brother Abdullah Mohammad's father.
Months and months had passed and the boycott had taken it toil. Their patience and hunger increased they started eating the leaves of the trees, and the children cried and moaned from their hunger and thirst.
Good Tidings from the Lord
One day the Holy Prophet Mohammad came to his Uncle. He was filled with joy and happiness, and he said to his Uncle.
"Uncle, my Lord had commanded the white ants to eat the paper of the Quraysh Ban.
So, it has been all eaten up except for Allah's name!"
Abu Taleb happily inquired.
"Has your Lord told you this?"
Abu Taleb heart was filled joy and he rushed to Mecca at the mosque where the leaders of Quraysh sat. As he entered, all stood up for him as a respect of his standing as the Chief Clansman of Bani Hashim tribe. They all were happy with themselves and expected Abu Taleb's deafeat and his surrender due to the pressure of their Ban. But instead, Abu Taleb suprised and shock them with his words of defiance.
"Leaders of Quraysh. My nephew has told me that Allah had commanded the white ants to eat your contract of your Ban against us the Bani Hashim. So, it's all been eaten up, but His name!"
They laughed at him, but he again sounded with a defiant challenge to them.
"Go and check for yourselves and end this foolish Ban immeadiately."
All were quiet for a long while. Then after the intial shock had lapsed, Abu Jahal sneered.
"And if Mohammad lies?"
Abu Taleb turned to look coldly into Abu Jahal's eyes and said.
"Then, I'll hand over to you my nephew."
The leaders of Quraysh looked at each other in agreement and all followed the old Chief of Bani Hashim Abu Taleb out of the mosque to the Kabah. They immeadiately opened the doors to the Kabah and found that truely the white ants had eaten away the contract that they all had signed. Only the writing left was Allah's written name! The boycott ended and all of Bani Hashim rejoiced within the Meccan valley returned triumphantly to their homes.
The Demise of Abu Taleb
Soon after the Ban of Bani Hashim. Abu Taleb, who now was well over eighty years old became frail and was confined to his bed. He became weaker and weaker every day and he feared for his nephews wellfare after his death. For after his death Quraysh would fear no-one and they would kill Mohammad without further delay.
On day the leaders of Quraysh visited Abu Taleb at his home on his sickbed. The leaders of Quraysh said to the old man.
"Abu Taleb, you're our Shaikh and Master, and you're about to die. So, put an end to the enmity between your nephew and us. Tell him to stop hurting us and we'll stop hurting him. Tell him to leave us with our religion, and we'll leave him with his religion."
Abu Taleb sighed heavily with sadness and looked up at Abu Jahl, Abu Sufyan and all the other leaders of Quraysh and said to them in a faint pleading voice.
"If you only hear Mohammad's words and obey his commands, you'll surely rejoice. So, why not heed him and get happiness here in this world and in the hereafter!"
The leaders of Quraysh all stood up over Abu Taleb, and Abu Jahal said spitefully.
"Do you want us to sacfrice all our gods for his One God? Never!"
And they all stomped out of Abu Taleb's house in anger.
Abu Taleb now was very anxious of Mohammad's safety and welfare so, he immeadiately called upon elders of his tribe the Bani Hashim to gather around him. He said to them.
"I order you tribesmen of Bani Hashim to always protect and give every support to Mohammad my nephew at any cost after my death."
They all replied their readiness to obey their old master.
Abu Taleb knew this was not enough but felt better in the belief that Mohammad would not be alone and his tribesmen would at least provide what support and protection they could muster against the powerfull menacing leaders of Quraysh, for his nephew.
He looked up at his sons Taleb, Ageel, Jafar and Ali, and bade them farewell. He then took hold of his younger brother Hamzah's strong hand and urged him to protect their nephew from any harm and danger.
Finally the old dying man look deep into the tearfull eyes of his beloved nephew Mohammad, and wept softly. Then he sighed heavily and closed his eyes for the last time and died peacefully.
The Holy Prophet Mohammad(pbuh&hf) kissed his uncle lovingly on his forehead and mourned him, by saying.
Uncle, may Allah have mercy on you. You had educated me when I was small, looked after me when I became an orphan, and supported me when I became a grown man. So may Allah reward you a lot."
And all of Abu Taleb's sons, family and the tribe of Bani Hashim wept and mourned for the loss of Abu Taleb their great Arab Chieftian of Quraysh.
In contrast the leaders of Quraysh rejoiced on the news of Abu Taleb's death, and Abu Jahal with glee remarked out aloud.
"Now at last I can get my revenge on Mohammad!"
Only a few weeks after Mohammad's Uncle Abu Taleb had died, his beloved wife Khadeejah also died. And Mohammad was greatly saddened and hence named that year, the Year of Saddness. And Quraysh increased their open hostilities and aggression towards Mohammad and his family and followers.
One day a man threw some mud on Mohammad face. So he went home to bathe.While his daughter Fatimah(as) was washing his head from the mud. She began to weep. Her father Mohammad patted her little head and said.
"Little daughter don't weep. Allah will protect your father. He'll protect your father from all enemies of His religion and of His Mission!"
The holy Archangel Jibraeel came down from the sky saying to Mohammad.
"O Mohammad, go thee out of Mecca. Your supporter has died."