I came across some disagreement over this issue. But I couldn't find any evidence for whether Abu Talib did or didn't become Muslim.
Does anyone know?
It is recorded in Sahih Al-Bukari, that the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) at the time of death of his uncle, kept asking him to say the shahada, but two others were asking whether he would leave the religion of his father, in the end Abu Talib refused to accept Islam and said he followed the religion of Abdull Muttalib. The Prophet said that he would seek forgiveness for him unless Allah forbid him to do so, and so (9.113) came down, Allah also revealed specially about Abu Talib (Suratul Qasas Ayah 56)
Source: Volume 6, Book 60, Hadith 295
According to Shia Islam he not only died as a Muslim but he was a Muslim at his life and one of the best supporters of messenger of Allah, Muhammad. The shia regard the refusal of Abu Talib to become Muslim, as a false claim attempting to defame Ali (May Allah be Pleased with him). Also regard the ahadeeth which goes against this as inauthentic.
There are different historical facts that prove he has been Muslim for example poems recorded from him at historical books prove that he has been a Muslim in his life and a supporter of prophet SAWW. Imam Sadiq has said about him:
Abu Talib died as a non muslim. As muslim said the Messenger of Allah (saw) pleaded with him to accept islaam but he died on the way of his forefathers.
There are many authentic hadiths that prove this, I will mention a couple below :
It is easily seen from that his fate. and Allah knows best.
Edit (arabic for first hadith with full isnaad):
Further clarification :
As sayyid mentions, Al-musayyib did not witness this event. However Al-Musayyib may Allah be pleased with him was a sahaabi, who migrated with his father to madina, and was present at bayatur ridwaan.
It is well known that Bukhari and Muslim accept Muraasil hadith (in which a further sahaabi is missing). It is the belief of Ahlus Sunnah that all of the sahaabah are trustworthy, against that of the Rawaafid. Thus, since Al-Musayyib was trustworthy, even a faqeeh, he is guaranteed to have only narrated from another sahaabi who did witness the event or heard directly from the Messenger of Allah (saw).
Thus the hadeeth is deemed saheeh by the majority of muslims today, mainstream Islaam considers the authenticity of Bukhari only 2nd to the Quran itself.
Apparently he did not accept it. Since the People accept only the things that are apparent. What ever his matter is, it is with Allah Almighty.
What he did for Prophet in Shib Abi Talib. there are other matters as well where his support was completely for Prophet Muhammad PBUH.
So i suggest leave this matter to ALLAH Almighty and respect Abu Talib.
Yes, he did accept islam for the following reasons:
Why would the prophet say that if Abu Talib wasn't a muslim( note: the other calamity was the death of Khadija).
Source and further reading:Arabic.