What did Sayf bin dhi Yazan, the king of Yemen, tell Abdulmuttalib, the grandfather of the Prophet, about the prophethood of Hz. Muhammad?

The Details of the Question

What did Sayf bin dhi Yazan, the king of Yemen, tell Abdulmuttalib, the grandfather of the Prophet, about the prophethood of Hz. Muhammad?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

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 Allah 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. Abdulmuttalib was thinking about his luminous grandchild but it was not possible for him to refuse the wish of the king. They were taken to the place where they would stay upon the order of the king. They ate and drank there.

Abdulmuttalib and his friends stayed in the palace for a month. They were almost forgotten there. They could not speak to the king; they were not allowed to return to Makkah either.

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?” Abdulmuttalib, whose eyes shone with joy like his heart, narrated:

"O king! I had a son called Abdullah, whom I loved very much. I married him off to Amina, who was the daughter of Wahb bin Abd Manaf, one of the notables of my tribe. They had a child. There is a mole between his two shoulder blades. He has all the signs that you have mentioned. His father and mother died. He is under my guardianship now."

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 you to 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. (Ibn Hajar, al Isaba, 1/134-135; Insanul Uyun, 2/186)

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.

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