Tuesday 3rd of October 2023
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Did Janab Abu Talib die a believer?

Did Janab Abu Talib die a believer?

By: Sayyid Rida' Husayni Nasab

Reply: From the viewpoint of the Shi‘ah, Abu Talib, the son of ‘Abd al-Muttalib, the eminent father of the Commander of the Faithful ‘Ali (‘a) and the uncle of the Holy Prophet (S), is among the people who believed in the apostleship {risalah} of the Messenger of Allah (S), and among his helpers and confidants in time of tribulations and adversities during the early period of Islam.

The family of Abu Talib

He was born in a house and grew up under the supervision of the Prophet’s (S) grandfather, the champion of the followers of the school of Ibrahim al-Khalil (Prophet Abraham) (‘a), viz. ‘Abd al-Muttalib. A cursory glance at the history of the Arabian Peninsula will reveal that during the most critical and dangerous junctures of his life, ‘Abd al-Muttalib never abandoned worshipping God and safeguarding the creed of monotheism.

When Abraham headed toward Mecca with a huge army of elephant-riders with the aim of destroying the Ka‘bah, he took some of ‘Abd al-Muttalib’s camels which were on the way. As ‘Abd al-Muttalib came to him to get back his camels, Abrahah asked him in astonishment: “Instead of requesting for the return of your camel, why do you not ask for the return of my army and do something to save the Ka‘bah from destruction?”

Full of faith and trust in God, ‘Abd al-Muttalib replied:

“.{يحميه} يمنعه ربّ وللبيت الإبل ربّ أنا”

“I am the owner of the camels, and this House (Ka‘bah) has its Owner Who shall protect it.”[1][288]

He then went back to Mecca, and holding the door of the Ka‘bah, he thus said:

سواكا أرجولهم لا ربّ يا

حماكا منهم فامنع ربّ يا

عاداكا من عدوّالبيت إنّ

فناكا يخربوا أن امنعهم

O God! I plead no one but You to repel the enemies. O God! Guard Your Sanctuary against them.

The enemies of the House are inimical to You. Prevent them from destroying Your House.[2][289]

These eloquent statements and the like are a clear testimony to the monotheistic belief and unflinching faith of ‘Abd al-Muttalib, the eminent father of Abu Talib. In his history book, Ya‘qubi writes the following about ‘Abd al-Muttalib:

“.عزّوجلّ الله وحّد و الأصنام عبادة رفض”

“He kept aloof from worshipping idols and worshipped no one other than Allah, the Honorable and Glorious.”[3][290]

Now, let us see what is this monotheist and faithful father’s opinion about his own son, Abu Talib:

Abu Talib according to ‘Abd al-Muttalib

Historical records show clearly that some enlightened predictors informed Abu al-Muttalib of the bright future of the Holy Prophet (S) and his prophethood {nubuwwah}.

When Sayf ibn Dhu’l-Yazn took over and became the ruler of Abyssinia, ‘Abd al-Muttalib went to him at the head of a delegation. After delivering an eloquent speech, the ruler of Abyssinia gave him glad tidings of the coming of an honorable prophet from his offspring, and regarding the prophet’s features he thus said:

– وسلّم {وآله} عليه الله صلى – محمّد اسمه

.عمّه و جدّه ويكّفله أمّه و أبوه يموت

“His name shall be Muhammad (S); his father and mother will die (early) and his grandfather and uncle will shoulder the burden of his custodianship.”[4][291]

Then, giving more details about this future prophet, he added:

يكسر و النّيران يخمد و الشّيطان يدحض و الرّحم?ن يعبد”

و يفعله و بالمعروف يأمر و عدل حكمه و فصل قوله .الأوثان

“.يبطله و المنكر عن ينهى?

He will worship the Most Merciful (God), avert Satan, extinguish the fires, and break down the idols. His words are decisive and his judgment equitable and fair. He will enjoin good and he himself will do good deeds and he will forbid evil and nullify it.[5][292]

Then, he said to ‘Abd al-Muttalib:

“.كذب غير عبدالمطلب يا لجدّه إنّك”

“O ‘Abd al-Muttalib! Without doubt, you are his grandfather.”[6][293]

Upon hearing this glad tiding, ‘Abd al-Muttalib performed thanks-giving prostration {sujud ash-shukr}, and concerning that blessed birth (of the Prophet) he said:

من كريمة زوّجته إنّي و رقيقًا عليه و معجبًا به كنت و ابن لي كان أنّه

بغلام فجاءت زهرة ابن عبدمناف بن وهب بنت آمنة قومي كرائم

.{أباطالب يعني} عمّه و أنا وكفلته أمّه و أبوه مات محمّدا فسمّيته

I had a son whom I greatly admired and was gentle with him. I married him off to an honorable lady named Aminah bint al-Wahhab ibn ‘Abd al-Manaf. That lady gave birth to a son whom I named Muhammad. After sometime, his father and mother passed away, and his uncle {Abu Talib} and I took care of him.[7][294]

These statements indicate that ‘Abd al-Muttalib was aware of the bright future of that orphan, and as such, he decided to entrust the child after his death to the most beloved of his sons, Abu Talib, and deprive others of this unequalled felicity.

This shows clearly that in the view of his faithful and monotheist father, Abu Talib was so faithful and upright that he was worthier than any other person to take care of the Holy Prophet (S).[8][295] Now, in order to elaborate on this topic, here are some proofs that confirm Abu Talib’s faith.

Proofs which confirm Abu Talib’s faith

1. Literary works of Abu Talib

Muslim scholars and historians have recounted eloquent elegies from Abu Talib. The contents of these magnificent works verify his true faith. Below are some of these works which are plenty:

محمّدًا أنَّ النّاس خيار ليعلم

مريم ابن المسيح و كموسى? نبيّ

به أتيا ما مثل بهدي أتانا

ويعصم يهدي الله بأمر فكلّ

Distinguished personalities should be aware that Muhammad is a prophet like Musa (Moses) and Masih (Messiah) the son of Maryam (Mary).

He has brought to us celestial radiance similar to that of these two. Each of them guides people and keeps them away from sins through the command of Allah.[9][296]

محمّدا وجدنا أنا تعلموا ألم

الكتب أوّل في خطّ كموسى? رسولا

محبة العباد في عليه وأنّ

بالحب الله خصّه فيمن حيف لا و

Don’t you know that we consider Muhammad an apostle (of Allah) like Musa (ibn ‘Imran) and read about him in the earlier Scriptures?

The people love him and it is not unfair to love someone, the love of whom Allah has in people’s hearts.[10][297]

محمّدًا النّبيّ الله أكرم لقد

أحمد النّاس في الله خلق فأكرم

ليجلّه اسمه من له وشقّ

محمّد وه?ذا محمود العرش فذو

Allah has exalted Prophet Muhammad. So, the most exalted one of the creation of Allah is Ahmad.

He (Allah) has derived a name from His name so as to exalt him. So, the Owner of the Throne is the Praised One {Mahmud} and he is the Highly Praised {Muhammad}.[11][298]

بجمعهم إليك يصلوا لن والله

دفينا في التّراب حتّى أوسّد

غضاضة عليك ما بأمرك فاصدع

عيونا قرّمنك و بذ?لك وابشر

ناصحي أنك علمت و ودعوتني

أمينا ثمّ وكنت دعوت ولقد

مُحمّد دين بأنّ علمت ولقد

%%%دينا البريّة أديان خير من)

By Allah! The enemies will never harm you so long as I am alive.

So, fear not, and execute that which has been entrusted to you. Be glad and let your eyes be at rest.

You invited me to your creed and I knew that you are my well-wisher and you are indeed trustworthy in your invitation.

And I knew well that the religion of Muhammad is the best of all religions that exist.[12][299]

فاشهد عليّ الله ياشاهد

أحمد النّبيّ دين على? أنّي

%%%مهتدي فإنّي الدين في ضلّ من)

O witness of Allah! Bear witness that I believe in the religion of Prophet Ahmad. (Bear witness that) if anyone deviates from the religion, I will remain with the guided.[13][300]

In the last days of his blessed life, Abu Talib urged the chiefs of Quraysh to completely support the Messenger of Allah (S) as shown in the following odes:

أربعة الخير نبيّ بنصر أوصي

عباسا القوم شيخ و عليّا ابني

حقيقته الحامى الأسد وحمزة

النّاسا دونه تذودوا أن وجعفرا

ولدت ما و أمّي لكم فداء كونوا

%%%أتراسا النّاس دون أحمدَ نصرِ في)

I admonish four people to assist the Prophet of Goodness: my son ‘Ali, the chief of (our) clan ‘Abbas, Hamzah the Lion (of God) who is protecting his truth, and Ja‘far (my son). May my mother and her children be your ransom!— be like a shield in assisting Ahmad vis-à-vis the people.[14][301]

When a just and fair person considers all these eloquent literary works, which bespeak with utmost explicitness of the conviction and belief of Abu Talib in the One God and the prophethood of the Holy Prophet (S), he will realize the soundness of the Shi‘ah’s view concerning Abu Talib’s true faith, and feel regret about the groundless accusations made by some writers for political reasons against the true believer of Quraysh, the Prophet of God’s uncle and great defender of the religion in the difficult conditions of the early period of Islam.

2. Abu Talib’s behavior toward the Prophet (S) is indicative of his faith

All renowned Muslim historians mention Abu Talib’s self-sacrifice to defend the Messenger of Allah (S) as an indicative sign of his firm faith.

With the aim of protecting Islam and guarding the Prophet (S), Abu Talib preferred remaining with the Messenger of Allah (S) in isolation for three years of life in the Valley of Abu Talib {Sha‘b Abu Talib} to being the head of the Quraysh. He remained with the Prophet (S) till the termination of the economic (and social) boycott against the Muslims, enduring all kinds of tribulations and intolerable circumstances.[15][302]

In addition to this, Abu Talib urged his own beloved son, ‘Ali (‘a), to always accompany and assist the Messenger of Allah (S), asking him to attend to the Prophet (S) in the pressing circumstances of the early period of Islam.

In his Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah, Ibn Abi’l-Hadid al-Mu‘tazili narrates that Abu Talib said to his son, ‘Ali (‘a): “The Messenger of Allah invites you to nothing but goodness. So, be always at his side.”[16][303]

It is clear that Abu Talib’s service to the Prophet (S) and his sincere self-sacrifice in defending the holy sanctity of Islam confirm the idea of Abu Talib’s faith.

For this reason, the great Muslim scholar, Ibn Abi’l-Hadid refers in his verses to Abu Talib’s major role in protecting and guarding the Messenger of Allah (S) and his pure creed, and says:

فقاما شخصًا الدّين مثل لما ابنه و أبوطالب ولولا

الحماما جسّ بيثربّ وه?ذا حامى? و آوى? بمكّة فذاك

تعامى? بصير أو لغى? جهول طالب أبي مجد ضرّ وما

Had it not been for Abu Talib and his son, the religion (of Islam) would have never been established.

One (Abu Talib) gave refuge and protection to him (Prophet) and the other (his son ‘Ali) put himself in the whirlpool of death in Yathrib.[17][304]

The splendor of Abu Talib will not be undermined by a nonsense-talking ignorant or an informed one who is unwilling to see the truth.[18][305]

3. Abu Talib’s will and testament is a clear testimony to his true faith

Renowned historians of the Muslim world such as Al-Halabi ash-Shafi‘i in his Sirah, and Muhammad ad-Diyar al-Bakri in Tarikh al-Khamis, mentions Abu Talib in which he calls upon his people to assist the Messenger of Allah (S):

منكم أحد لايسلك والله حماةً، ولحزبه ولاة، له كونوا قريش يامعشر

مدّة لنفسي كان ولو سعد، إلاّ بهديه أحد يأخذ ولا رشد إلاّ سبيله

.هلك ثمّ .الدّواهي عنه لدفعت و الهزائز عنه لكففت تأخّر ولأجلي

O my kinsmen! Be his friends and the supporters of his party. By Allah! Whoever follows him becomes prosperous. If death would delay, I would have warded off all the dangers that come up against him. (Then, he made his last breath.)[19][306]

4. The Messenger of Allah’s love and affection to Abu Talib testifies to the latter’s faith

On various occasions, the Messenger of Allah (S) praised his uncle Abu Talib and expressed his love and affection to him, of which we shall cite two instances:

a. A group of historians have narrated that the Holy Prophet (S) has said to ‘Aqil ibn Abi Talib:

“.إيّاك عمّي حبّ من أعلم كنت لما حبّا و منّي لقرابتك حبًّا حبّين أحبّك إنّي”

“Indeed, I love you for two reasons: the first is your kinship to me and the second is that which I know of the love of my uncle (Abu Talib) to you.”[20][307]

b. Also, Halabi narrates in his Sirah that the Messenger of Allah (S) has said in praise of his uncle Abu Talib:

“.أبوطالب مات حتّى (الكراهة اشدّ أي) أكرهه شيئا منّي قريش مانالت”

“Throughout Abu Talib’s life, the Quraysh {infidels} had not caused me serious trouble.”[21][308]

It is evident that the love and great respect of the Holy Prophet (S) for Abu Talib is a clear indication of the latter’s sincere faith; for, the Messenger of Allah (S), abiding by the Qur’anic verses, loves the believers and is hard against the infidels and idolaters. The Glorious Qur’an states in this regard:

?بَيْنَهُمْ رُحَمَاءُ الْكُفَّارِ عَلَى أَشِدَّاءُ مَعَهُ وَالَّذِينَ اللهِ رَّسُولُ مُّحَمَّدٌ?

“Muhammad, the Apostle of Allah, and those who are with him are hard against the faithless and merciful among themselves.”[22][309]

And it also states:

? تَجِدُ قَوْمًا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ يُوَادُّونَ مَنْ حَادَّ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَلَوْ كَانُوا آبَاءهُمْ أَوْ أَبْنَاءهُمْ أَوْ إِخْوَانَهُمْ أَوْ عَشِيرَتَهُمْ أُوْلَئِكَ كَتَبَ فِي قُلُوبِهِمُ الْإِيمَانَ

“You will not find a people believing in Allah and the Last Day endearing those who oppose Allah and His Apostle even though they were their own parents, or children, or brothers, or kinsfolk. {For} such, He has written faith into their hearts.”[23][310]

Taking into account the quoted verses and comparing them with the Holy Prophet’s (S) affection and exceptional respect toward Abu Talib shown on various occasions, no doubt will remain concerning the fact that Abu Talib had strong faith in God and the Prophet (S).

5. The companions of the Messenger of Allah’s testimony to Abu Talib’s true faith

A group of the Companions of the Prophet (S) have testified to the sincere faith of Abu Talib. Below are some accounts:

a. Once, an ignorant person made unfair accusation against Abu Talib in the presence of the Commander of the Faithful ‘Ali (‘a). So, Imam ‘Ali (‘a) to him with a sign of anger on his face said:

أبي شفع لو نبيًّا بالحقّ محمّدًا بعث والّذي فاكَ، الله فضّ مه،”

“.الله لشفّعه الأرض وجه على مذنب كلّ في

Keep silent! May God disfigure your mouth! By the One Who sent Muhammad with the truth to be a prophet! If my father intercedes for every sinner on the earth, Allah will accept his intercession.[24][311]

And he (‘a) also says elsewhere:

مسلمًا مؤمنًا عبدالمطّلب بن مناف عبد أبوطالب والله كانّ”

“.قريش تنابذها أن بني هاشم على? مخافة إيمانه يكتم

By Allah! Abu Talib ‘Abd Manaf ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib was a true believer and Muslim. He used to hide his faith before the Quraysh {infidels} lest they should be hostile to the Banu Hashim.[25][312]

These words of Imam ‘Ali (‘a) not only confirm Abu Talib’s firm faith but also place him in the rank of awliya’ who can intercede on behalf of others by a divine decree.

b. Abu Dharr al-Ghaffari thus says about Abu Talib:

.أسلم حتّى عنه الله رضى ابوطالب مات ما هو إلا إله لا الّذى والله

“By Allah other than Whom there is no god! Abu Talib (may Allah be pleased with him) did not depart this life without having accepted Islam.”[26][313]

c. It has also been narrated and confirmed by many chains of transmission that ‘Abbas ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib and Abubakr ibn Abu Qahafah thus said:

الله رسول محمّد الله إلاّ إله لا :قال حتّى مات ما طالب أبا إنّ

7Surely, Abu Talib did not depart this life without having uttered, “There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah” {La ilaha illallah, Muhammadan rasulullah}.[27][314]

6. Abu Talib in the view of the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a)

All the Imams from the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) have emphasized Abu Talib’s firm faith, and on various occasions, they defended this self-sacrificing helper of the Holy Prophet (S). We shall mentoin only two examples in this regard:

a. Imam al-Baqir (‘a) says:

الخلق هذا إيمان و ميزان كفّة في طالب أبي ايمان وضع لو”

“.إيمانه لرجّح الأخرى? الكفّة في

“If the faith of Abu Talib is placed in one pan of a scale and the faith of this creation in the other pan, his faith will tip the scale in his favor.”[28][315]

b. Imam as-Sadiq (‘a) narrates from the Messenger of Allah (S):

أجرهم الله فآتاهم الكفر أظهروا و الإيمان أسرّوا الكهف أصحابَ إنّ”

“.مرّتين أجره الله فآتاه الشّرك أظهر و الإيم?ن أسرّ أباطالب إنّ و مرّتين،

Verily, the Companions of the Cave {Ashab al-Kahf} hid their faith (on account of some expediency) and pretended to be infidels; so, Allah gave them double reward. Abu Talib also concealed his faith and (due to certain expediency) feigned polytheism; so, Allah granted him double reward.[29][316]

From the set of the stated proofs, we realize that Abu Talib enjoys the following praiseworthy qualities:

1. Staunch faith in God and the Holy Prophet (S);

2. Devotion to help and protect the Messenger of Allah (S) and self-sacrifice in the path of Islam;

3. The Holy Prophet’s (S) unique love for him; and

4. The privilege of intercession with God.

This establishes the idea that the repulsive accusations made against him is groundless.

From this discussion, two facts have been brought to light:

1. The faith of Abu Talib is acknowledged by the Messenger of Allah (S), the Companions of the Prophet (S), the Commander of the Faithful (‘a), and the Imams from the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a).

2. The unfair accusations made against Abu Talib are unfounded and baseless, and they were incited for political reasons by a number of Umayyad and ‘Abbasid caliphs, who always showed enmity toward the Ahl al-Bayt and the offspring of Abu Talib.

Now, it is appropriate to examine the most apparent fabrication intended to besmirch the personality of that persistent helper of the Prophet (S), and by considering the tradition known as the Hadith ad-Duhdah, the noble verses of the Qur’an, the indisputable Sunnah of the Prophet (S), and sound perception, we will prove the groundlessness of these accusations.

A review of Hadith ad-Duhdah

Relying on such narrators like Sufyan ibn Sa‘id ath-Thawri, ‘Abd al-Malik ibn ‘Umayr, ‘Abd al-‘Aziz ibn Muhammad ad-Darawardi, and Layth ibn Sa‘d, some authors (and compilers) like Bukhari and Muslim attribute the following two statements to the Holy Prophet (S):



ضحضاح إلى? فأخرجته النّار من غمراتٍ في وجدته

“He is in a shallow place of Fire {duhdah}.[30][317] But had it not been for me he would have been in the lowest part of the Fire.”[31][318]


من ضحضاح فى فيجعل القيامة يوم شفاعتى تنفعه لعلّه


دماغه منه يغلى كعبيه يبلغ النّار

“Perhaps my intercession will be helpful to him on the Day of Resurrection so that he may be put in a shallow fire reaching only up to his ankles. His brain will boil from it.”[32][319]

Although the aforementioned set of traditions and clear proofs which testify to Abu Talib’s faith prove the groundlessness of this grave calumny and libel of Hadith ad-Duhdah, we shall discuss this hadith and concentrate on two aspects in it:

1. The groundlessness of its chain of transmission, and

2. The discordance of its contents with the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Prophet (S).

The groundlessness of the chain of transmission of Hadith ad-Duhdah

As it has been stated earlier, the narrators of Hadith ad-Duhdah are Sufyan ibn Sa‘id ath-Thawri, ‘Abd al-Malik ibn ‘Umayr, ‘Abd al-‘Aziz ibn Muhammad ad-Darawardi, and Layth ibn Sa‘d.

Now, we will cite some statements of Sunni scholars of ‘ilm ar-rijal in order to have a clear idea of the personal records of these narrators:

a. Sufyan ibn Sa‘id ath-Thawri

Abu ‘Abd Allah Muhammad ibn Ahmad ‘Uthman adh-Dhahabi, a renowned Sunni scholar of ‘ilm ar-rijal, says regarding Sufyan:

“.الضّعفاء عن يدلّس كان”

“He used to narrate fabricated hadiths from weak narrators.”[33][320]

This statement confirms that Sufyan ath-Thawri’s narrations are deceitful and related by weak or unknown narrators. Consequently, his hadiths are void of all credibility.

b. ‘Abd al-Malik ibn ‘Umayr

Referring to Ibn ‘Umayr, adh-Dhahabi says:

.حفظه تغيّر بحافظ، ليس أبوحاتم: قال .حفظه وساء عمره طال

ابن قال و مخلط، :معين بن قال و يخلّط، ضعيف :أحمد قال و

.جدًّا ضعّفه انّه احمد عن الكوسج ذكر و لايرضاه شعبه كان :خراش

He has grown old and his memory became defective. Abu Hatam says: “He is unable to memorize hadiths and his memory changed.” Ahmad ibn Hanbal says: “‘Abd al-Malik ibn al-‘Umayr is weak and makes mistakes (that is, he narrates fabricated traditions).” Ibn Mu‘in says: “He mixes false hadiths with authentic {sahih} ones.” Ibn Kharash says: “Shu‘bah was not pleased with him.” Kawsaj says that Ahmad ibn Hanbal has enormously weakened ‘Abd al-Malik ibn ‘Umayr.”[34][321]

We understand from these statements that ‘Abd al-Malik ibn al-‘Umayr:

1. has weak memory and is forgetful;

2. is, according to ‘ilm ar-rijal, “weak”; a term referred to a person whose traditions cannot be trusted;

3. makes a lot of mistakes; and

4. is mukhlit, i.e. he mixes false traditions with authentic {sahih} ones.

It is evident that detecting any of the mentioned shortcomings can contribute to the groundlessness of the hadiths of ‘Abd al-Malik ibn ‘Umayr, in which all these weaknesses are detected.

c. ‘Abd al-‘Aziz ibn Muhammad ad-Darawardi

Sunni scholars of ‘ilm ar-rijal regard ad-Darawardi as a forgetful person whose memory is so weak that his traditions cannot be relied on.

Ahmad ibn Hanbal says about ad-Darawardi:

“.ببواطيل جاء حفظه من حدّث إذا”

“When he narrated hadiths from memory, he presented unfounded and irrelevant statements.”[35][322]

Also, Abu Hatam says about him:

“.به لايحتجّ”

“One cannot rely on him.”[36][323]

Abu Zura‘ah describes him as “الحفظ سيّئ” {sayya’u’l-hifz}, i.e. a person who has poor memory.[37][324]

d. Layth ibn Sa‘d

When we study the Sunni books on ‘ilm ar-rijal, we find that all the narrators whose name is “Layth” are either unknown or weak whose narrations are not trusted.[38][325]

Layth ibn Sa‘d is one of the weak and heedless narrators who was nonchalant about what to hear and what to narrate.

Yahya ibn Mu‘in says about him:

“.السّماع و الشّيوخ في يتساهل كان إنّه”

“He was not careful as to whom he narrated from or to the kind of hadith he heard.”[39][326]

Nabati also regards Layth as a weak narrator, and mentions his name in his book, At-Tadhlil ‘ala’l-Kamil, in which he mentions the name of weak narrators only.[40][327]

From what have been stated so far, it is evident that the principal narrators of Hadith ad-Duhdah are very weak and their hadiths are not reliable.

The disagreement between the contents of Hadith ad-Duhdah, and the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Prophet (S)

In the aforementioned hadith, it is assumed that the Messenger of Allah (S) will transfer Abu Talib from the lowest part of the Fire to a shallow place in it, and in doing so, the alleged punishment for him will be mitigated; or, that the Prophet (S) wishes to intercede for him on the Day of Resurrection. This is while the Glorious Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (S) acknowledge that the mitigation of punishment and intercession of the Prophet (S) can be granted only to the faithful and Muslims. Therefore, if Abu Talib had been an infidel, the Prophet would never have been able to minimize the chastisement or interceded for him.

This confirms that the contents of Hadith ad-Duhdah—based on the assumption that Abu Talib is an infidel—are not reliable.

Now, we shall examine this question and introduce clear proofs from the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (S):

a. The Holy Qur’an thus says:

وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لَهُمْ نَارُ جَهَنَّمَ لَا يُقْضَى عَلَيْهِمْ فَيَمُوتُوا وَلَا يُخَفَّفُ عَنْهُم مِّنْ عَذَابِهَا كَذَلِكَ نَجْزِي كُلَّ كَفُورٍ

“As for the faithless there is for them the fire of hell: they will neither be done away with so that they may die, nor shall its punishment be lightened for them. Thus do We requite every ingrate”[41][328]

b. The Sunnah of the Prophet (S) also negates intercession for infidels. Abu Dharr al-Ghaffari has thus narrated from the Messenger of Allah (S):

شيئًا بالله لايشرك من أُمّتي من نائلة هي و الشّفاعة أُعطِيتُ

“My intercession is granted to those of my ummah who do not associate others with Allah.”

Therefore, the content of the Hadith ad-Duhdah, based on the assumption that Abu Talib was an infidel, is baseless and unfounded, as well as contradictory to the Book (of Allah) and the Sunnah.


In the light of what have been stated so far, it is clear that the Hadith ad-Duhdah is devoid of any credibility both in regard to its chain of transmission and its content, and so, it cannot be relied.

As such, the most formidable fortress in which some seek asylum for besmirching the sincere faith of Abu Talib has crumbled, and the radiant face of the believer of the Quraysh and the Prophet’s persistent helper will continue to shine forever.

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