#8: The Grandfather of The Prophet ﷺ


بِسْمِ اللّٰهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْم
الحمد لله رب العالمين الذي منّ علی المؤمنين اذ بعث فيهم رسولا من انفسهم يتلوا عليهم ايته و يزكيهم و يعلمهم الكتاب و الحكمة و ان كانوا من قبلُ لفي ضلال مّبين

After the Prophet’s ﷺ blessed mother passed away, Sayyidah Umm Ayman رضی الله عنها brought our Beloved Prophet ﷺ back to Makkah, and into the care of his ﷺ grandfather Abdul-Muttalib.

Abdul-Muttalib personally took responsibility for the care and upbringing of his grandson, who he dearly loved since birth. Over time his love became apparent to all, until he could not bear to let the Prophet ﷺ out of his sight. He would take his beloved six-year-old grandson with him everywhere, and his face would light up with love every time he gazed upon the Prophet ﷺ. Abdul-Muttalib would place the Prophet ﷺ next to him on his special seating in the shade of the Kaa’bah, whilst all the elders and nobles of Makkah – including Abdul-Muttalib’s own sons – watched how this innocent child was honored to sit where no one else could, caressed with love by the senior leader of Quraish, and the entire of city of Makkah.

Who was Abdul-Muttalib?

The Prophet’s ﷺ grandfather was an extremely honorable and dignified individual. He was extremely handsome and well-refined. He earned and demanded respect, whilst also being kind and generous. He was exceedingly hospitable and cared greatly for the rights and welfare of people. He would defend the weak and shelter the impoverished. He would fight the unjust practices of Jahiliyyah, to the extent, that he would protect innocent baby girls from being buried alive by their fathers, and would raise them and pay for their needs with love and dignity.

His real name was Shaybah ibn Hashim, and he was originally from the city of Yathrib. He became an orphan at a young age and his uncle ‘Muttalib’ brought him to Makkah riding behind him on his camel. It was from this moment he was given the name ‘Abdul-Muttalib’ by the inhabitants of Makkah. As he grew older, he eventually took upon the responsibility of his uncle and grandfather to lead Makkah and take custodianship of the Kaa’bah, as well as the responsibility of tending to the needs of its people and the needs of its pilgrims. Allah سبحانه و تعالی chose him for many great, noble tasks; among them was the instruction to unearth the well of Zam Zam which he was shown in a dream. He fulfilled this task with his son by the will and permission of Allah سبحانه و تعالی. Above of all, he was selected by Allah سبحانه و تعالی to be the bearer of the light of His Final Messenger ﷺ as it passed through his lineage.

إِنَّ اللّٰهَ اصْطَفٰى كِنَانَةَ مِنْ وَلَدِ إِسْمَاعِيْلَ، وَاصْطَفٰى قُرَيْشًا مِنْ كِنَانَة، وَاصْطَفٰى هَاشِمًا مِنْ قُرَيْش، وَاصْطَفَانِي مِنْ بَنِي هَاشِمٍ

“Indeed, Allah سبحانه و تعالی chose (the clan of) Kinanah from among the descendants of Isma’eel علیه السلام, and He chose )the tribe of) Quraysh from among (the sons of ) Kinanah, and He chose (the sons of) Hashim from among tribes of Quraysh, and me from among the sons of Abdul-Muttalib” (Sahih Muslim, Tirmidhi)

Fulfilment of Purpose

As well as having great love for his grandson, Abdul-Muttalib also had a great reverence for him ﷺ. He recognized the unique qualities his grandson possessed, as well as the immense Khair and Barakah that surrounded him ﷺ. Whenever a difficult task arose, he would assign his grandson to carry out that task, knowing he could reach the fulfillment of purpose through the Barakah that lied within his grandson.

Once a man had come to Makkah to perform Hajj. When he entered upon the haram, he found Abdul-Muttalib earnestly performing tawaf around the Kaa’bah, supplicating for the safe return of his beloved grandson – Muhammad ﷺ. Upon further inquiry the man was told:

“This is ‘Abdul-Muttalib. He had just sent his grandson in search of some lost camels. Whenever he sends his grandson on an errand, the child returns successful. However, on this latest task, the young boy was taking longer than usual”

Shortly after, the Prophet ﷺ returned with the lost camels, successfully fulfilling what others would have failed to do. As soon as Abdul-Muttalib saw him ﷺ, he rushed to embrace him and told him how worried he was over his safety and well-being. Abdul Muttalib then vowed that he would never let the Prophet ﷺ part from his sight ever again. (Ibn Hisham)

Abdul-Muttalib Passes Away

Our Beloved Prophet ﷺ enjoyed the deep love and care of his grandfather in the painful absence of his parents, and he ﷺ grew up under his supervision till he was eight-years old. Then Abdul-Muttalib had fallen severely ill and called upon all of his children. After witnessing the death of his ﷺ mother, he had barely spent two-years settling in with his grandfather before seeing him lay on his death-bed. In his final moments Abdul-Muttalib showed how much he cared for his beloved grandson, ensuring that he bequest that his son Abu Talib – the full brother of Sayyidinaa Abdullah رضی الله عنه, the father of the Prophet ﷺ – take complete responsibility of his grandson and never ever leave his side. (Ibn Hisham, Ibn Ishaq)

Sayyidah Umm Ayman رضی الله عنها recalls the painful moment when the grandfather of the Prophet ﷺ had passed away and was being taken for burial.

رَأَيْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ – صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ – يَوْمَئِذٍ يَبْكِي خَلْفَ سَرِيرِ عَبْدِ الْمُطَّلِبِ

“I saw the Messenger of Allah ﷺ on that day, in tears, crying behind the funeral procession of Abdul-Muttalib” (Ibn Saa’d)

May Allah سبحانه و تعالی bless the innocent heart of Our Beloved Prophet ﷺ, and fill it with happiness and joy, in a manner that is befitting His generosity in giving and the majesty of his treasures. Ameen Yaa Rabbal ‘Aalameen

Join us tomorrow as we continue in the next article: “In the Guardianship of Abu Talib”


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