How did Abu Talib, who took the Prophet (pbuh) under his protection, and his wife, Fatima, treat the Prophet?

Details of the Question

How did Abu Talib, who took the Prophet (pbuh) under his protection, and his wife, Fatima, treat the Prophet?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Abu Talib was deeply connected to our Holy Prophet (PBUH) as his father had been. He showed the utmost attention to our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) upbringing. He would never separate his nephew from his side, would take him wherever he went, would have him sit next to him, and would talk to him as a friend.

They would not sit at the dinner table without him. When the table was set and when our Holy Prophet (PBUH) was not seen, Abu Talib would say, “Where is Muhammad? Call him to the table”. Everyone would be full yet the food would still increase at whichever table our Holy Prophet (PBUH) was found. Many times, at tables where our Holy Prophet (PBUH) was not present, the food would quickly finish before anyone got full.1

Besides, ever since that time, our Beloved Prophet (PBUH) would eat very little. He was always serious and would always respect the food. Unlike other children who would pounce on the food as soon as the table was set, he would not put anything in his mouth until the adults began eating. In fact, his uncle would sometimes set up a separate table for him so that our Holy Prophet (PBUH) would not be bothered by other children.2

Like in his adulthood, our Beloved Master (PBUH) would never complain about hunger or thirst during this age (his childhood). His nanny, Umm Ayman, described this property of his as follows: “I have never seen our Holy Prophet (PBUH) complain about being hungry or thirsty during his childhood. He would drink a sip of Zamzam in the morning. Whenever we would want to feed him, he would say, “I do not want anything. I am full”.3

Every morning, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) would open his eyes that were full with happiness and life, with a pristine countenance that shone bright.4

The love and compassion of Fatima, the wife of Abu Talib, toward the Prophet was endless. She loved him as one of her own children and would show the utmost attention to his upbringing. In fact, she would not pay attention to her own children until she had fed him and had made sure that he was full. In this way, she was trying to have him not feel the pain of being an orphan.

Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) never neglected showing Lady Fatima love and respect. He never forgot the kindness that she had shown him throughout his entire life. When she died, he expressed his love for her by saying “Today my mother passed away”.  Afterwards, he made her a shroud by taking off his shirt and wrapping her with it, and he then descended with her to her grave and he lay there for some time.

This particular action had not escaped from the eyes of our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) companions. When they asked him for the reason, he provided the response:

“After Abu Talib, there was no woman who had shown me as much kindness as this dear woman had. I made my shirt a shroud for her so that she could wear a dress from Paradise in the Hereafter and I had lain there with her so she could like and be accustomed to the grave”5

The great Prophet (pbuh), who never forgot the favors done to him no matter who did them and who returned those favors to them manyfold...

Our Holy Prophet’s noble and exceptional trait greatly influenced people to convert to Islam, as it can be seen in the various stages of his life.

Footnotes:

1. Tabaqat, 1/120.
2. Ibid, 1/119.

3. Qadi Iyad, ash-Shifa, 1/729-730
4. Ibid, 1/730
5.
Suhayli, Rawdu’l-Unf, 1/112; Ibn Abdi’l-Barr, al-Istiab, 1/369-370.

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