How old was the Prophet (pbuh) when Abdulmuttalib, his grandfather, died? Who took the Prophet (pbuh) under his protection after the death of his grandfather?

Details of the Question

How old was the Prophet (pbuh) when Abdulmuttalib, his grandfather, died? Who took the Prophet (pbuh) under his protection after the death of his grandfather?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

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 Pride (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. 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. (Tabaqat, 1/119; Ansab, 1/57)

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.

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.

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