History of Islam – Pre-revelation: Abu Talib’s protection of Prophet Muhammad
In this video, I will talk about Abu Talib, the uncle of Prophet Muhammad, and how he protected his nephew…
- Abu Talib was a very compassionate person. His family was crowded; and he did not have much property. However, people in Mecca respected him very much despite his poverty.
- They would pay attention to his words and his commands.
Abu Talib’s wife, Fatima, was a virtuous woman as well. She was, also, taking care of Muhammad with great attention and care. Prophet Muhammad later on said that when all her kids were hungry at home, she would feed him first. So he was so grateful to her. He was saying that she was his 2nd mother after his own mother.
We also know that when prophet Muhammad was 10 or 12 years old, he volunteered to graze Abu Talib’s sheep. Because he did not want to be burden on his uncle’s shoulders financially. So, he grazed their sheep in Mecca for approximately one year.
As for Abu Talib, he was engaged in trade like most of the people in Mecca. And He sometimes took his nephew with him in order to prepare him for the future. By this way, Prophet Muhammad learned the art of trade and gained experiences in this field…One day, Abu Talib and Prophet Muhammad joined a trade caravan that was going to Damascus. When the caravan, arrived in the town of Busra, which is between Damascus and Jerusalem, it stopped there to rest, near a monastery. There was a famous monk, called Bahira, who lived in that monastery. He was one of the most famous Christian scholars at the time. So when the caravan began to relax, a man approached them and said that The priest in the monastery was inviting them for a dinner! The men in the caravan were surprised, because they always stopped and rested at the same place, but the priest had never called them for a dinner. So what was different that year? In fact, when Monk Bahira saw that a caravan was approaching the town, he was in the monastery. He realized that a cloud was following the caravan and protecting them from the sun. And When the caravan stopped for a break, Prophet Muhammad went to rest under a tree. Then Bahira realized that the same cloud followed the young boy to shade him. He saw that Even the branches of the tree had come closer to protect that person from the heat of the sun! This seemed extraordinary to Bahira, and he wanted to find out if there may be a connection between what he read from the religious texts and what he just saw.
And Because Bahira always studied people. He thought that if a particular person in the caravan is shaded, this must be a special characteristic of a Prophet. So he thought that the expected prophet must be in that caravan! That is why he invited everybody in the caravan to his church.
So Everybody went to the church. However, Bahira had not seen the face that he looked for. Then he asked:
“O people of Quraysh! Is there anyone among you who did not come with you?”
“No one remained, except for a little boy. He was the youngest of us, and we left him behind, to look after our wares.”
“Do not do so! Let him join you!”
So, One of them ran back and took prophet Muhammad to the dinner. Bahira was so excited. He looked at him very carefully, and observed him while he was eating. In fact, He had seen the physical attributes that he read in the ancient books, on this young boy. But he had to verify that by asking him some questions.
He said to him that he would ask him a few questions and he would answer them in the name of Lat and Uzza.” Bahira already knew that the people of Quraysh would take a vow in the names of Lat and Uzza, so that is why, he asked Prophet Muhammad to take a vow in the names of these idols. However, Prophet Muhammad was disturbed by these names, and said:
“Do not ask me anything in the name of Lat and Uzza, since I do not hate anything as I hate them.”
In fact, this was what Bahira was expecting to hear. Bahira responded:
“Then answer my questions in the name of Allah.” PM said: “Then ask whatever you like.”
So Bahira asked several questions about the manners of his sleep, his dreams, hopes and his ideas on life. Prophet Muhammad answered all the questions with ease. Bahira realized that all of his answers was as described in the books that he read! After The conversation ended, there was only one thing left. It was the mark of prophethood! The priest whispered in Prophet Muhammad’s ear that he wanted to see it as well. PM did not refuse his request; so he bared his shoulders and showed it to the priest. Bahira saw the mark of the prophethood he knew from the books, in the exact place on his body.(W) Then he took Abu Talib to his side and warned him, he said:
“You should return to your homeland as soon as possible and you should be careful about this boy. There may be some jealous clergy around here who know what I know.I swear by God that if they see what I see in him, they attempt to kill him. Because, your brother’s son will have a great position and fame in the future!
Abu Talib trusted the priest and took his advice. He also remembered his father’s words about his nephew; so he decided to return home before any bad thing could happen to him. He sold his trading goods there and returned to Mecca with his nephew. We will continue on the life of the Prophet in our next videos.
- Thank you for watching!