As Salamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu
THE YEAR OF GRIEFAbu Talib's Death
In Rajab, the tenth year of the Prophethood, Abu Talib fell ill and passed away, six months after leaving the confinement at Ash-Sh‘ib. In another version, Abu Talib breathed his last in Ramadan, three days prior to the death of Khadijah (Radhi Allahu Anha). On the authority of Al- Musaiyab, when Abu Talib was on the death bed, the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) entered the room where he saw Abu Jahl and ‘Abdullah bin Abi Omaiyah. He requested his uncle:
“My uncle, you just make a profession that there is no true god but Allah, and I will bear testimony before Allah (of your being a believer)”.
Abu Jahl and ‘Abdullah bin Abi Omaiyah addressing him said: “Abu Talib, would you abandon the religion of ‘Abdul-Muttalib?” The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) constantly requested him (to accept his offer), and (on the other hand) was repeated the same statement (of Abu Jahl and ‘Abdullah bin Abi Omaiyah) — till Abu Talib gave his final decision and he stuck to the religion of ‘Abdul-Muttalib and refused to profess that there is no true god but Allah. Upon this the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) remarked:
“By Allah, I will persistently beg pardon for you till I am forbidden to do so (by Allah)”.
It was then that Allah, the Magnificent and Glorious revealed this verse: “It is not (proper) for the Prophet and those who believe to ask Allah’s forgiveness for the Mushrikûn (polytheists, idolaters, pagans, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah) even though they be of kin, after it has become clear to them that they are the dwellers of the Fire (because they died in a state of disbelief).” [Surah At-Taubah 9:113]
And it was said to the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam):
“Verily! You [O Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam)] guide not whom you like.” [Surah Al-Qasas 28:56]
It goes without saying that Abu Talib was very much attached to Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam). For forty years, Abu Talib had been the faithful friend — the prop of his childhood, the guardian of his youth and in later life a very tower of defence. The sacrifices to which Abu Talib exposed himself and his family for the sake of his nephew, while yet incredulous of his mission, stamp his character as singularly noble and unselfish. The Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) did his best to persuade his octogenarian uncle to make profession of the true faith, but he remained obdurate and stuck to the paganism of his forefathers, and thus could not achieve complete success. Al-‘Abbas bin ‘Abdul-Muttalib narrated that he said to the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) “You have not been of any avail to your uncle (Abu Talib) (though) by Allah, he used to protect you and get angry on your behalf.”
The Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) said: “He is in a shallow fire, and had it not been for me, he would have been at the bottom of the (Hell) Fire.” (Al-Bukhari 1/548)
Abu Sa‘id Al-Khudri narrated that he heard the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) say, when the mention of his uncle was made,
“I hope that my intercession may avail him, and he be placed in a shallow fire that rises up only to his heels.” (Al-Bukhari 1/548)