Abdul Muttalib and his relationship with his grandson Prophet Muhammad ﷺ
Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was 6 years old when his mother Amina passed away. He became a complete orphan, yet, he had guardians in his family. His first guardian was his grandfather Abdul Muttalib. Abdul Muttalib had a friendly personality and he was a generous man. He loved to offer food to the poor in Mecca. During the pilgrimage time he gave the best products he had to the pilgrims as charity. He also gave the Zamzam water to the pilgrims as well as to his people in Mecca.
In terms of his beliefs, he believed in God, the Afterlife, and the Divine Judgment. He was also far from the Jahiliyya customs which were the ignorant practices of the polytheists in Mecca. He even tried to avoid the people from these customs because he was the leader of the tribe of Quraysh. He also prohibited adultery and drinking alcohol in his community.
Apart from these, it is a less-known fact that Abdul Muttalib was the person who started the practice of retreat at the top of Mount Hira in the month of Ramadan. It is commonly known that Prophet Muhammad, pbuh, used to go to the Mount Hira every year to retire before his prophethood started; however, it is not commonly known that this practice was actually begun by his grandfather Abdul Muttalib.
How was Abdul Muttalib’s relationship with his grandson?
Abdul Muttalib showered great affection to his grandson Muhammad. He wanted to help him forget the absence of his parents; thus, he always kept his grandson in his company.
Muhammad, pbuh, was the only person who could freely go into his room without asking permission. He would also sit with his grandfather next to the Ka’ba and join his conversations with the elder people. Abdul Muttalib would never eat without having Muhammad with him. He also trained his grandson in terms of good manners.
Abdul Muttalib knew from Amina—the mother of the Prophet– that his grandson was not an ordinary child, and he would have a serious position among people in the future. Additionally, some prominent people had warned Abdul Muttalib about the future of his grandson. One of them was the king of Yemen named Sayf ibn Dhi Yazan. When Abdul Muttalib visited him in his palace, the king wanted to share some knowledge that he got from the sacred books with him. He said to Abdul Muttalib: “A boy will be born in Tihama, (close to the Red Sea in Arabia), and there will be a mark between his two shoulder blades. He should come into being around this time. His name is Muhammad. His father and mother will die when he is a child. First, his grandfather, and then his uncle will look after him. Oh Abdul Muttalib, I swear by the Ka’ba that you are his grandfather.” The king also told him to protect the child well especially from the jealous men. After hearing all these things from the king, Abdul Muttalib became very concerned about his grandson and his future. One day he called one of his sons named Abu Talib and said to him that Muhammad would have a great fame and glory, and that he entrusted his grandson to him.
Abu Talib was the most compassionate one among his siblings. Also, Prophet Muhammad, pbuh, loved him very much. Abu Talib accepted his father’s request gladly. Soon Abdul Muttalib gave his last breath when he was 82 years old. Muhammad, pbuh, was 8 years old when Abdul Muttalib passed away.
Little Muhammad once again lost his guardian in an early age; yet, many can interpret that it was as if God was preparing the spirit and the heart of His messenger to the hardships he would face in his later ages due to his mission. Allah knows the best.
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