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Home arrow Islamic Articles arrow Abdul Muttalib – Son of Hashim
Abdul Muttalib – Son of Hashim E-mail
Tuesday, 09 October 2012
Introduction to Abdul MuttalibSample Image

Abdul Muttalib was the grandfather of our Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his household). His mother's name was Salma and his father was Hashim. Abdul Muttalib was born in Madina. His mother named him Shibah. He was very young when his father Hashim died. When Hashim was about to die, he told his brother Muttalib, "Go to Madina and bring my son Shibah to Makka."

Muttalib went to Madina and brought his nephew Shibah back to Makka with him. When the people saw the young Shibah with his uncle, they thought he was his slave, and called him Abdul Muttalib, which means slave of Muttalib. Although Muttalib tried to explain that the boy was his nephew, the name stuck, and from that time onwards, Shibah was always known as Abdul Muttalib.

Muttalib continued to manage his brother Hashim's duties until Abdul Muttalib was old enough to take over.

Abdul Muttalib took over the duties of Saqaya and Rifada when his uncle Muttalib died. He had many good qualities and made many changes to the lives and habits of the Quraish. Some of these were:

1. He was the first man to make Nazr and fulfil it. A Nazr is where a person promises Allah that, if his wish is granted, he will perform a certain good deed.
2. He stopped the custom of marriages between close relatives like brother and sister, mother and son, etc.
3. He started the rule of cutting off the hand of a thief.
4. He stopped the people from drinking alcohol.
5. He discouraged the terrible practice of burying daughters alive.
6. He set the fine of 10 camels for killing a person by mistake.
7. He was the first to give 1/5 (Khums) of treasure in the way of Allah.
Abdul Muttalib lived for 82 years and his good leadership earned him the title Sayyidul-Bat'ha, which means Chief of Makka.

The Well of Zam Zam

The well of Zam Zam had existed since the time of Prophet Ibrahim (A.S.). It was a sign of Allah's Mercy to Prophet Ibrahim's (A.S.) wife Hajira and son Prophet Isma'il (A.S.). This blessed well exists even today.

After Prophet Isma'il (A.S.), the tribe of Jarham settled around the well of Zam Zam and used its water for their needs. When they grew rich and powerful in Makka, they did not take care of the well and overused it, so it dried up.

By the time Abdul Muttalib was born, people only knew that the well of Zam Zam existed, but nobody knew where it was anymore.

One day Abdul Muttalib received instructions in a dream to dig up Zam Zam and was given some signs as to where it was. He took his eldest son Harith, and after digging for four days, they managed to find the entrance of the well.

The Quraish claimed that the well belonged to the whole tribe so everyone should have the honour of digging the well. Abdul Muttalib wanted to dig up the well himself, so that he could arrange the distribution of water to everyone, especially the pilgrims, in an organized way.

They could not reach a decision, so they decided to go to a famous wise person in Syria and follow whatever he said.

Every clan sent one person to represent itself. Abdul Muttalib with his son and companions were in one caravan and the others were in another.
During the long journey Abdul Muttalib's caravan had run out of water so they asked the other people for some, but were refused. The situation was such that Abdul Muttalib thought they would die and asked everyone to dig their grave so that when the first person died the other would bury him, and it would only be the last person who would remain unburied. They all dug their own graves.

After some time Abdul Muttalib decided that it was better to keep searching than to die in such a way. By Allah's Mercy, they soon discovered water. Thus, they were able to quench their thirst and fill their water skins. The other group requested for water. The companions of Abdul Muttalib tried to refuse, but Abdul Muttalib said that if they did that, then there would be no difference between the two.

Seeing the kindness of Abdul Muttalib, the other group said that the miracle of discovering water in the middle of the desert was proof from Allah that the well of Zam Zam belonged to Abdul Muttalib. They did not go on any further and returned to Makka at once.

On his return, Abdul Muttalib dug deeper in the well and found some treasure - two gold deer, some swords and battle armour. The Quraish again claimed a share of the treasure and were prepared to fill up the well if they did not get it. It was decided to draw lots, and the result was that the two gold deer went to the Holy Ka'ba and the rest to Abdul Muttalib, and the Quraish got nothing.

It was then that Abdul Muttalib gave 1/5 of his share to be spent in the way of Allah.
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