Seerah episode 15: With His Loving Grandfather & Uncle

— The Prophet (saw) was 6 years old when his mother Aminah passed away. His father Abdullah died before he was born.

  • Ummu Aymen brought the 6-year-old Muhammad back to Makkah to his grandfather Abdul Mutallib

— Everyone who was an influence on Muhammad were always people of high character – his mother, his milkmother Halimah, his grandfather

  • Abdul Mutallib was a very remarkable man. He was very devout, moral, ethical, & noble. We have learnt previously, that even some scholars believe that he is of the Fitrah.
  • He was a leader of all of Quraysh tribe. He’s not just the head of Banu Hashem, but all the other families of the Quraysh
    • Many people referred to him as the most powerful man of Arabia

— Abdul Mutallib was a very busy man. He had many affairs of others to take care of, but he also had time to take care of his grandson Muhammad.

  • He didn’t just hire a maid to take care of Muhammad. He didn’t put a slave to take care of Muhammad or tell one of his children to take care of the orphan
  • After Aminah passed away, Abdul Mutallib took guardianship of Muhammad. He was more kind & affectionate with Muhammad than he was with his own children.
  • Abdul Mutallib would always draw Muhammad near him. He always checked on his grandson

— There was a cushion that was placed next to the Kab’ah, where the shade would fall. Abdul Mutallib would sit there & greet & meet visitors/residents of Makkah

  • That special seat was like his throne; it was reserved just for Abdul Mutallib. No one would dare sit there, not even his own children. His sons would sit around Abdul Mutallib
  • The child Muhammad, a chubby little kid at that time, would run right up to his grandfather’s cushion & sit right in the middle of the seat
    • His uncles would be shocked and would grab him & move him out of the seat, “No, no, don’t sit there.” They of course were afraid that Abdul Mutallib would take offense.
  • When Abdul Mutallib would see this, he’d say, “No, no, leave my boy alone. Let Muhammad sit there. He looks like a king. I swear by Allah, there’s something special about this boy.” He already can see that there’s something different with the Prophet.
    • Then Abdul Mutallib would sit the boy on his lap
    • Abdul Mutallib would rub the boy’s back & look at Muhammad with adoration. Abdul Mutallib would often just watch Muhammad do whatever he did, like he was the most precious thing in the world. Abdul Mutallib loves to observer Muhammad.

— One time a man from Banu Mudlej came to Makkah & visited Abdul Mutallib

  • While the man is meeting with Abdul Mutallib, he’s staring at Muhammad (who was on Abdul Mutallib’s lap)  the whole time
    • He says to Abdul Mutallib, “Take care of this child. The way he carries himself, the way he talks, you can tell he’s going to be someone great, someone special. He’s meant for greatness, so be careful with this child.”
  • When Abdul Mutallib hears this, he calls for his most trusted & responsible sons, Abu Talib
    • “Listen to what this man has to say about your nephew.”
    • Abdul Mutallib had the man repeat what he said about Muhammad
    • Then Abdul Mutallib tells Abu Talib, “From now on, I want Muhammad under your care. I’m not going to be around for long.”
      • Some history books say that Abdul Mutallib lived to be 153 years old

— Abu Talib goes to Baraqah (Ummu Aymen), one of Muhammad’s milkmothers

  • “Ya Baraqah. This son of mine (he already called Muhammad as his son), don’t ever be neglectful of him. Make sure you always take care of him. I’ve been keeping an eye on him. My father specially put me in charge of him, so I’ve been watching him. I‘ve seen him play with other boys. They were playing on the outskirts of Makkah & I went out there to check on them. While they were playing, I saw some of the Ahlul Kitab (Christians & Jews) pass by. They were encamped there. They were also watching the boys very closely, especially Muhammad. And I heard them talking, & they think that this nephew of mine is the Nabi (Prophet) of this ummah. Regardless of this is true or not, a lot of people will have their attention on him.  Some might mean him good, & some might mean him harm. This is why we must be diligent of him at all times.”

— Whenever Abdul Mutallib would sit down to eat, he’d always say, “Where’s Muhammad?”

  • If Muhammad wasn’t there, Abdul Mutallib wouldn’t eat
    • “I need to know if Muhammad ate first.”
  • Abdul Mutallib literally wouldn’t take a bite of food unless he knew for a fact that Muhammad had eaten
    • This is significant given that he had such an influential & respected leadership in Makkah – he was The Man
  • Even if others told Abdul Mutallib that Muhammad had eaten, Abdul Mutallib would say, “I still need to see him.”
    • So the others would have to bring the child to his grandfather. “Son, did you eat? Are you okay?”
    • Only then would Abdul Mutallib would eat.

— When Muhammad was 8, his grandfather passed away

  • Before passing away, Abdul Mutallib called all of his children for a gathering
  • Abdul Mutallib emphasized the importance of taking care of Muhammad. He singled out his son Abu Talib
    • “My last request to Abu Talib is to take care of Muhammad, my grandson.”
  • Abdul Mutallib was buried in graveyard of Hajun

— Because Abu Talib got such a huge & important responsibility of the care of Muhammad, Abdul Mutallib passed on the responsibility of the well of Zamzam & the custodianship of the Haram to one of his youngest sons, al Abbas

  • Muhammad shared a deeper connection with Abu Talib because Abu Talib’s mom was also the blood grandmother (Fatimah) of Muhammad.
  • Abdul Mutallib had more than one wife, so Muhammad had grandmothers (only related by marriage)
  • Abu Talib was the full brother of Abdullah, Muhammad’s father

— Abu Talib was a very simple man (a zahid)

  • Zohood – someone who has no connection or desire to worldly/materialistic things
  • He had no money, no wealth

— Abu Talib loved his nephew Muhammad immensely, more so than his own children. Muhammad was 8-years-old when he was taken in by his uncle. Usually, we hear someone who loved someone like his children. Not the case here: Abu Talib literally loved Muhammad more than his children.

  • He wouldn’t go to sleep until he checked that Muhammad was safe
  • He would not eat until Muhammad had eaten
  • When he’d go out, he’d make sure that his nephew was with him
  • When he’d sit down to eat, he’d make sure that Muhammad had the first bite
  • There was very little food in Abu Talib’s household because he wasn’t very wealthy. However, when the family of Abu Talib would eat individually, or together, if Muhammad was sitting there with them, there would miraculously be enough food for everyone
    • The same amount of food would be made – the same small amount of food. This is amazing, because it should have been less food, because now that Muhammad is with them, then there’s another mouth to feed.
    • But when Muhammad would sit and eat with them, the food was enough for all of them and there would even be leftovers, even though there should have been little food in the first place
  • Abu Talib would sometimes come home after managing his affairs. He’d come home for lunch. His family would be sitting waiting for the head of the household to come home.
    • If Muhammad wasn’t at the table, Abu Talib would say, “Stay as you are, until my son gets here. Nobody eats until Muhammad gets here.”
    • The family would give preference to Muhammad. If there was a nice cut of meat or something similar, Muhammad would be given that piece

— Abu Talib would often sit there looking at his nephew with adoration & say, “My son, there is something special about you.”

— When people wake up in the morning, they have a bit of gunk in their eyes. Their hair would be messy & may have drool in their faces. When kids wake up in the morning, they’d look like a mess.

  • But when Muhammad would wake up in the morning, his hair was perfect.
  • His eyes were bright, clean, & clear – no gunk or redness in his eyes

— Muhammad, from a young age, had always had a dignified manner of behaving

  • In the morning, the children would rush to the table & grab all of the food that their mother had put out. They’d be behaving like animals, fighting over the best pieces
    • Muhammad would stand aside, waiting for his turn
  • Abu Talib observed his nephew’s behavior. Abu Talib would get to the table early & take a portion of the food & keep it aside
    • When the kids woke up & rushed to breakfast, Abu Talib would give his nephew the food from earlier, which Muhammad would eat with adaab (manners)

— A Bedouin man (a soothsayer/fortune teller) came from an outside tribe/village to Makkah

  • Fortune telling was a big part of Arab culture
  • This soothsayer was very famous
    • His specialty was he’d look at people’s children & ask them a few questions. He’d do some mumbo jumbo & then tell the parents what lies in the future of their kids
      • It was like taking your kids to see Santa at the mall. It’s like a rite of passage at the time.
  • Abu Talib took his kids to this soothsayer
    • The Bedouin fortuneteller looked at the young Muhammad for a while. After a while, Abu Talib figured their time was over, so he grabs Muhammad’s hand & start to leave
    • In the midst of the long line of other parents waiting to have their kids’ fortune determined, the soothsayer lost sight of Muhammad for a second
      • He got really nervous, & started yelling “Where’s the boy I was just looking at?! Where’s that boy?!”
  • Abu Talib hears that man, who was panicking. The soothsayer seems a little too interested in Muhammad.
    • Abu Talib is already very overprotective of Muhammad, so he’s nervous about how all of a sudden this stranger seems to take a keen & creepy interest in his nephew
    • Abu Talib takes his kids & nephew & gets out of their quickly
  • The soothsayer was very upset. He didn’t want to see any more of the other kids standing in line & tells them to get lost. He yells, “Bring me back that boy! There’s something special about him! That’s not an ordinary child. I need to see him!”
  • A lot of times, these soothsayers are influenced by shayatin. The shayatin bring bits & pieces of broken information from the malaika (angels)
    • There’s a Hadith about Saf Ibn Sayyad, a child whom the Sahaba feared was the Dajjal (AntiChrist). The Prophet quelled the Sahaba’s fears, that Ibn Sayyad is not the Dajjal, but that he’s influenced by Shayatin. The Prophet tested Ibn Sayyad, by telling him, “I’m thinking of something (an ayah of the Qur’an – from surah Dukhan). What am I thinking of?” The child Ibn Sayyad sat there for a while & said, “Dukh, dukh.” The Prophet turned to his Sahaba & said that this child is influenced by shayatin
    • It’s possible that the soothsayer was influenced by shayatin at the time, when he met with Muhammad. That’s why he freaked out when he lost sight of Muhammad, but Muhammad was already long gone with his uncle

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