What were the ethics and life of Abdulmuttalib, the grandfather of the Prophet (pbuh), in the Era of Jahiliyyah?

Details of the Question

What were the ethics and life of Abdulmuttalib, the grandfather of the Prophet (pbuh), in the Era of Jahiliyyah?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

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 Allah 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 Allah. 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.

- How was the relation of the Prophet (PBUH) with his grandfather, Abdulmuttalib?

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 Pride 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.

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 Allah, 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. (Sirah, 1/178; Tabaqat, 1/118, Ansab, 1/81)

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.

One day, the Pride 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”.

Indeed, Abdulmuttalib did not refrain from following his grandson like a shadow until his death.

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