The Prophet is Under the Care of Abdulmuttalib, his Grandfather

When our Holy Prophet (PBUH) lost his mother at the age of six, his elderly grandfather took him under his care.

Abdulmuttalib, the leader of the Quraysh, had his share of the light of Ahmad. That light (noor) caused him to earn high merits and attributes.  Excellent traits like a bright face, kind words, shyness, gentleness, and a superior code of conduct were added to his height, large head, and grandiose appearance.  He was patient, clever, thoughtful, chivalrous and generous. Even animals were not exempted from his charity and generosity. He would even think about the hungry animals and birds on the mountains.

That light (noor) caused him to earn high merits and attributes.  Excellent traits like a bright face, kind words, shyness, gentleness, and a superior code of conduct were added to his height, large head, and grandiose appearance. Even animals were not exempted from his charity and generosity. He always thought and was concerned about the ones that roamed with hunger and thirst on the mountain tops.

He was one of the fortunate people who had not separated from the path of light that was in between the vast darkness of the age of ignorance. He was very devoted to God and believed in the hereafter. Thus, he did not hesitate to place his most beloved son underneath a knife so that he could fulfill the promise that he had made to God. He would have sacrificed his son if the Qurayshis had not intervened. He would distance himself from the ugly rituals of the Age of Ignorance and would also prevent others from participating. At the same time, he would prevent others from the horrible practice of burying infant girls alive. He would always abstain from alcohol and adultery and would try to avert the occurring torture and injustice in Mecca with all his might.

He deeply enjoyed entertaining guests. He would pay close attention to his relatives and would show them compassion and loving kindness. Because of this wonderful quality, the Qurayshis would refer to him as “Ibrahim the Second”.

When Ramadan entered, he would retreat to the cave of Hira and would be preoccupied with worshipping; he was the first to have started this practice.

At the same time, this elderly grandfather knew what loving a child and grandchild was like. It was a great pleasure to love a grandchild as sweet and immaculate as the Master of the Universe (PBUH).

Abdulmuttalib truly loved his grandson who disseminated light everywhere. He sheltered our Holy Prophet (PBUH) like a delicate nestling in between his affectionate wings. He did not want to go anywhere without him. Even at this age, our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) behavior was no different than that of an enlightened person. Immediately, everyone would notice this extraordinary circumstance wherever he went. In fact, from time to time, Abdulmuttalib would first consult with his grandson before he provided any answers to the questions asked during meetings and conversations.

At that age, the Prophet was like a sincere friend of his old grandfather, a sympathetic ear and a trustable consultant. However, he always acted respectfully toward his grandfather.

Only he was allowed to sit on the seat of his grandfather!

A mat would almost always be laid out for Abdulmuttalib upon the shadow of the Kaaba’s wall. None of the children would get on top of this mat. Instead, they would sit around it and wait until their fathers came.

Abdulmuttalib would not take any of his children on this mat except for his grandson whom he would hug and place alongside himself. Our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) uncles would always want to separate him from this mat; however, their father would hinder them and say:

“Release my son. By God, in the future, his reputation and glory are going to be great”.

He would then indicate his everlasting love for his venerable grandson by placing him alongside himself once more while gently rubbing his back. 1
Nobody other than our Beloved Prophet (PBUH) had the courage to wake Abdulmuttalib up while he was sleeping. And nobody was able to enter Abdulmuttalib’s personal room without permission except for our Holy Prophet (PBUH).

The elderly grandfather would have his radiant-faced grandson sit next to him or on his lap at the dining table. He would feed him the most delicious portion of the meal and would not allow the meal to begin until he came.

When the Prophet was a bit late!

One day, the Master of the Universe’s grandfather sent him to go look for his missing camel. When our Holy Prophet (PBUH) was running slightly late, his grandfather was overcome with worry that he was lost. His sadness could easily be read on his face. He immediately ran to the Kaaba and opened his hands to pray to the Supreme Creator. He begged, “My Lord, please return my Muhammad back to me!”

A little while later, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) suddenly appeared with the camel right next to him. His grandfather happily hugged him and said “my unique grandson, dear, I was so sad and worried about you. I bawled so much that I will never have you leave my side and send you somewhere on your own from now on”. 2
Indeed, Abdulmuttalib did not refrain from following his grandson like a shadow until his death.

What did the Yemeni ruler, Saif bin dhi Yazan, say to Abdulmuttalib

Abdulmuttalib, who loved our Holy Prophet (PBUH) wholeheartedly, was away from him for a short period of time only once during his life.

The Yemeni monarch, Saif bin Dhiyazan, recaptured his father’s country from the Habashis and occupied the throne in the city of Gumdan. Tribal chieftains were coming from all four sides of Arabia to congratulate him.

A committee representing Mecca that was headed by Abdulmuttalib was supposed to go to Gundam. For this reason, by leaving Mecca, Abdulmuttalib was going to be far away from our Holy Prophet (PBUH).

Following their long journey, Saif bin Dhiyazan accepted the Meccan committee upon their arrival to Gundam. Abdulmuttalib received permission from the Emperor to mention his high merits and his father who had been an auspicious ruler. He made the following connection to specify and distinguish his committee:

“We are the people of this nation that God has made inviolable. We are the ministrants of the Baytullah (the Kaaba)”.

This statement grabbed the monarch’s attention, therefore he asked, “Oh smooth-spoken person, who are you?”

Abdulmuttalib answered, “I am Hashim’s son, Abdulmuttalib”.

Saif was interested in more. He said joyfully and excitedly, “So, you are my sister’s son”.

Abdulmuttalib said, “Yes.”

Upon hearing this, Saif took a greater interest in Abdulmuttalib and wanted him to come closer. He then said, “I learned that we are related. I am very happy with your visit. You are worthy of being treated very hospitably and of being conversed with day and night. You are a very honorable and esteemed people”.

Saif did not settle on those complimentary words. He proved that what he was sincere by entertaining Abdulmuttalib as a guest in his palace for a month.

The days in the palace were always spent by conversing. Saif had learned about the attributes of the forthcoming Prophet from the Holy Books and was finding some clues from his conversations. One day, he discreetly called Abdulmuttalib during a break so that no one would notice. He wanted to speak with him. When Abdulmuttalib arrived next to him, he said, “Oh Abdulmuttalib, “I am going to entrust a secret to you and I believe that this secret is related to you. We have been hiding this very great and important news that I have found in a book”.

Abdulmuttalib asked, “What is it?”

Saif then unveiled his secret: “It is probable that he is a living child. He is going to be or has been born in the region of Tihama, which is on your side of the country. He has a mole in between his shoulder blades. His grandfather and uncle will take him under their care when both of his parents die. He will show hospitality to both his friends and helpers and will cause his enemies to suffer from contempt. He is going to conquer the most prosperous places and be the people’s guide and leader until Armageddon. He will remove false religions, eliminate idol worship, and worship the Compassionate Lord. His words will solve impasses and his work will be based upon foresight and justice. He will always order for goodness to be done, will do good deeds, and will prevent others from committing misdeeds”.

Abdulmuttalib was overcome with curiosity and excitement and wanted the Ruler to further explain and to further open this secret. He said, “Oh, Emperor! May your life be long, your reign continuous, and your glory be great. Could you further describe this child?”

After the Emperor listed the other signs and proofs he said, “Oh, Abdulmuttalib. It means that when all these signs are considered, that you are probably the grandfather”.
Abdulmuttalib immediately prostrated from happiness.

This time, it was the Emperor’s turn to be curious and puzzled. He asked, “Oh Abdulmuttalib! Did you sense anything from what I have told you?”

Saif was happy that he had not been mistaken and said, “Protect your grandchild very carefully. The Jews are enemy to him. Protect him so that they will not harm him. Nevertheless, God is not going to give his enemies the chance or the possibility to do so. According to what I have found and learned in the ancient books, Yathrib (Medina) is going to be his place of emigration and he is going to receive much help there”.

Both the Emperor and Abdulmuttalib were relieved for having solved a great impasse.

Saif bin Dhiyazan was heralding our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) advent as a Prophet.

A while later, the Emperor saw off the Qurayshi committee to Mecca by treating them with immense respect and honor and giving them generous gifts. Abdulmuttalib’s gifts were far more in number than everyone else’s. After he bid them farewell, the Emperor said, “I would like to you inform me of the changes that are seen in the child’s condition every year”.

However, in less than one year after this conversation, Saif bin Dhiyazan passed away without being able to receive any further news from the Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) grandfather. 3

On their journey back, Abdulmuttalib’s companions asked him why the Emperor had given him more gifts and showed him more respect and kindness. He comforted them by saying, “Do not be jealous. There is a certain reason for this”.

When Abdulmuttalib arrived in Mecca after a month of separation, he hugged his radiant grandson with longing and tried to rid his pain of separation with the sweetness of having been reunited.

The Prophet, a means of “Mercy”

Our Beloved Prophet (PBUH) was still under his grandfather, Abdulmuttalib’s care.

Mecca and its surroundings were suffering from terrible hardship and famine due to the drought.

Abdulmuttalib, who understood his grandson’s degree of importance, took him and his son, Abu Talib, to the Abu Qubays Mountain. The Qurayshis were coming right behind them.

Abdulmuttalib turned his face towards the Kaaba and lifted our Holy Prophet (PBUH) towards the sky three times and begged, “My Lord! Gladden us by sending rain for the sake of this child”.

The supplication that was done out of respect for the Master of the Universe (PBUH) was accepted. Raindrops instantly mixed with the people’s and the gentry’s teardrops of happiness.

All of these occurrences further increased the love and attachment the grandfather had towards his grandson and strengthened his conviction that his grandson would become an exalted person in the future. And it was for this reason that he showed the utmost care to this radiant grandchild.


Abdulmuttalib, who had become considerably old, fell ill one day. And his illness was gradually increasing its level of intensity.

He understood that his emigration to the afterlife was near. However, he had one necessary duty left to fulfill: To choose a dependable person that he could entrust our Beloved Prophet (PBUH) to.

For this reason, he called all of his sons. Abu Lahab came into his mind. However Abu Lahab was a coldhearted and merciless individual, therefore Abdulmuttalib said “no” to himself.

How about Abbas? No, he could not be, either. He had so many children and could only find time for them.

How about Hamza? He could not accept him either. Hamza was young and interested in hunting. He would not be able to to show due attention and care to our Holy Prophet (PBUH).

Very well. Then how about Abu Talib? He had found his radiant grandson’s guardian! Although Abu Talib’s assets were little, his compassion and mercy were ample. Only he deserved taking our Holy Prophet (PBUH) under his care.

Abdulmuttalib did not neglect asking our Holy Prophet (PBUH) for his opinion. He asked, “Which of your uncles’ custody would you like to be under?”
Upon hearing his grandfather’s question, our Beloved Prophet (PBUH) got up from his spot and went to embrace his Uncle Abu Talib. And it was in this manner that he expressed whom he would like as his guardian.

Abdulmuttalib was happy that he had preferred the best candidate. Afterwards, he turned to Abu Talib and said, “I am entrusting him to you. He is a Divine trust. Promise me that you will protect him inspite of everything, even if it is at the cost of your own life so that I will not have to worry and my heart can be content”.

Abu Talib, who was deeply touched that our Master (PBUH) had favored him, responded to his father with teary eyes:

“Do not worry, my dear father. You can be assured that I will prefer him over my own children and my life. I promise that I will not allow anyone to harm him as long as I live”.

Abdulmuttalib was pleased a lot by his son’s statement and his eyes were filled with tears of happiness.

...And Muhammad (pbuh) was delivered by Abdulmuttalib to Abu Talib, his uncle.

Abdulmuttalib, who was unable to be saved from his afflicted illness, passed away from this world as an elderly man having exceeded 80 years and who was not yet full of his grandson’s happiness, love, and affection 4

The date was 578 AD, eight years after the Year of the Elephant (Elephant Year).

The Meccan market was closed for days on account of Abdulmuttalib’s death. The Qurayshis and all those who loved and respected him mourned for days. His corpse was passed from one hand to the next in the highest esteem upon its burial. They then buried him in the Hajun cemetery next to his grandfather, Qusai. 5

Tears of the Prophet

Beloved Prophet (PBUH) felt deep sorrow for having lost his grandfather. This incident reminded him of his parents’ emigration to the hereafter.

Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) could not contain his teardrops during his grandfather’s funeral and burial; sometimes he would sob and other times he would cry silently without making a single sound.

Many years later, they asked our Holy Prophet (PBUH) whether or not he remembered his grandfather’s death. He responded by saying, “Yes, I remember. I was eight years old at that time”.

The first eight years of Our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) blissful life were filled with pain, sadness, and sorrow. From that age onwards, his great soul and compassionate heart were molded with anguish and tribulations so that he could endure the hardships and catastrophes that he would have to face in his future.

[1] Ibn Hisham, Sirah, V. 1, p. 178; Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, V. 1, p. 118; Balazuri, Ansab, V. 1, p. 81.
[2] Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, V. 1, p. 112-113.
[3] Ibn Hajar, al-Isaba, V. 2, p. 134-135.
[4] Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, V. 1, p. 110; Balazuri, Ansab, V. 1, p. 57.
[5] Ibn Sa’d, ibid, V. 1, p. 119.

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