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Abū Ṭālib ibn ‘Abd al-Muṭṭalib () (549 – 619) was the head of the clan of Banu Hashim. He was married to Fatima bint Asad and was an uncle of Muhammad. His real name was Imran [ عمران ] but he is better known as Abu Talib because he had a son named Talib.

Abu Talib raised and supported Muhammad while he was a young man.



Abu Talib had four sons

  1. Talib ibn Abi Talib
  2. Ja'far ibn Abi Talib
  3. Aqeel ibn Abi Talib
  4. Ali ibn Abi Talib

and two daughters:

  1. Fakhitah bint Abi Talib
  2. Jumanah bint Abi Talib

Pre-Islamic era[]

The son of Abd al-Muttalib ibn Hashim (Muhammad and Ali's paternal grandfather) and Fatimah bint Amr, Abu Talib was one of nine children. His brothers were:

Asad ibn Hashim (Ali's maternal grandfather) Abu Saifi ibn Hashim Nadla ibn Hashim ,

and his sisters were:

Ash-Shifa bint Hashim, Khalida bint Hashim, Da'ifa bint Hashim, Ruqayyah bint Hashim, Jannah bint Hashim,

A full brother of Muhammad's father 'Abdullah ibn 'Abdul Muttalib, who died before Muhammad's birth. He was a scion of the noble Banu Hashim clan. As such, he held high status and respect among the Makkans, and owned a prosperous trading caravan business.

After the death of Muhammad's mother Aminah bint Wahab, Muhammad was taken into the care of Abdul Muttalib (father to Abu Talib, grandfather to Muhammad). When Muhammad reached 8 years. old, Zubair bin Abdul Muttlib took his care as well as chiefdom of Banu Hashim as a result of the death of Abdul Muttalib. Afer death of Zubair when Mohammad was twenty years old ABu Talib became chief of the tribe. When Muhammad grew older, he began to work for his uncle, and he took responsibility for Abu Talib's son Ali ibn Abu Talib. Ali was among the first to accept the call to Islam.

The business sense Muhammad displayed while working for Abu Talib was one of the catalyst for his first wife Khadijah bint Khuwaylid's (a wealthy trades woman) interest in him.

Muhammad's era — 570-632[]

After Muhammad began preaching the message of Islam, members of the other Quraishite clans increasingly came to feel threatened by Muhammad. In attempts to quiet him, they would lean on Abu Talib to silence his nephew or control him. Despite these pressures, Abu Talib did nothing but support Muhammad and defended him from the other heads of the Quraish. Muhammad passed from Mecca to Medinah because he was forced to leave. He came to Medina at 622 ce and died 632 ce.


Abu Talib died in 619 or 623 , at around the same time as Muhammad's wife Khadijah. This year was known as the saddest year of the life of the prophet, the Year of Sorrow.

Abu Talib died a Muslim however some Sunni Muslims refuse this position with reference to their Books like Bukhari which Shias Reject as Sunni Books like Bukhari or Muslim hardly carries anything narrted from Prophet Mohammad's [s] Households [Ahlulbayt] .

Sunnis are often criticized by the Shias and other Sects of Islam to be more sympathetic to Abu Sufiyan and characters like Muawiyah and Yazeed. Ibn Taymiyyah has often supported Yazeed in his narrations.

Bukhari :: Volume 8, Book 76, Number 569:

Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri:

I heard Allah's Apostles when his uncle, Abu Talib had been mentioned in his presence, saying, "May be my intercession will help him (Abu Talib) on the Day of Resurrection so that he may be put in a shallow place in the Fire, with fire reaching his ankles and causing his brain to boil."

The Book of Faith (Kitab Al-Iman)

Muslim :: Book 1 : Hadith 411

Abu Sa'id al-Khudri reported: A mention was made of his uncle Abu Talib before the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) He said: My intercession may benefit him on the Day of Resurrection and he may be placed in the shallow part of the Fire which would reach his ankles and his brain would be boiling.

In Nur-ul-Absar, the author mentions the date of demise of Abu Talib to be the first of Dhilqada shortly about 8 months and 21 days after the removal of economic sanctions which had lasted for three years. Abu Talib and the other Muslims lived in the bare mountains of Makkah for all those times of great hardship. In Mawaheb-ul-Ladnia, the age of Abu Talib at the time of his demise is mentioned to be 70. . Abu Talib's grave can be found in Jannatul Mualla cemetery in Makkah, Saudi Arabia.

After the death of Abu Talib, Muhammad under the threat to his life, emigrated to Medina.


In addition to the protection of Muhammad, Abu Talib also recited the Nikah of the Prophet...

Shi'a scholars also believe that such false commentaries and statements were fabricated as a part of the smear campaign which the Omayyads and their allies waged against Imam Ali. Shi'as think that by fabricating such traditions they tried these to convince people that Abu Sufyan, father of Muawiyyah was better than Abu Talib, father of Imam Ali, claiming that Abu Sufyan died while he was a Muslim and Abu Talib died while he was a pagan.

It is well established that Abu Talib died before the Hijrah, 

and that the verse in question was revealed after the treaty of Hudaybiyyah, more than 7 years later, thus making it impossible for the verse to have been revealed about Abu Talib.

However regarding the faith of Abu Talib it is mentioned in the sahih al bukhari

Volume 2, Book 23, Number 442:

Narrated Said bin Al-Musaiyab from his father:

When the time of the death of Abu Talib approached, Allah's Apostle went to him and found Abu Jahl bin Hisham and 'Abdullah bin Abi Umaiya bin Al-Mughira by his side. Allah's Apostle said to Abu Talib, "O uncle! Say: None has the right to be worshipped but Allah, a sentence with which I shall be a witness (i.e. argue) for you before Allah. Abu Jahl and 'Abdullah bin Abi Umaiya said, "O Abu Talib! Are you going to denounce the religion of Abdul Muttalib?" Allah's Apostle kept on inviting Abu Talib to say it (i.e. 'None has the right to be worshipped but Allah') while they (Abu Jahl and Abdullah) kept on repeating their statement till Abu Talib said as his last statement that he was on the religion of Abdul Muttalib and refused to say, 'None has the right to be worshipped but Allah.' (Then Allah's Apostle said, "I will keep on asking Allah's forgiveness for you unless I am forbidden (by Allah) to do so." So Allah revealed (the verse) concerning him (i.e. It is not fitting for the Prophet and those who believe that they should invoke (Allah) for forgiveness for pagans even though they be of kin, after it has become clear to them that they are companions of the fire (9.113).

The verse was revealed after his death, which leaves no room for contradiction. The hadith does not mention when the verse was revealed, but it does describe who this verse was revealed for.

See also[]

  • Family tree of Abu Talib ibn 'Abdul Muttalib



  • Book of History by Ibne Aseer (Arabic)
  • Book of History by Aasam Kufi (Arabic)
  • Usool e Kafi (Arabic)
  • Bahar ul Anwar (Arabic)