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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?

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5 Answers 5

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

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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:

The case of Abu Talib was like that of the people of the Cave (Qur’an 18:9-26); they concealed their faith and disclosed shirk. Yet Allah bestowed upon them double reward.

Shi’a Reference:

  • al Kulayni in al Kafi, vol 1 p 448
  • al Amini, al Ghadir, vol 7 p 330

Reference:

Islam of Abu Talib Part 1

Islam of Abu Talib Part 2

Islam of Abu Talib Part 4

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1  
Why would he needed to conceal his faith? If he was protecting the Prophet he was already exposed? –  Sayyid Apr 17 at 0:10
    
Answer edited to address more of the question about Abu Talib, rather than Ali and the Hadith in bukari. –  Mujahid مجاهد Apr 17 at 22:20
    
@Sayyid please ask your questions as a new question to receive the answer. –  Battle of Karbala Apr 19 at 6:52

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 :

Bukhari Narrates : Narrated Sa'id bin Al-Musaiyab from his father: When the time of the death of Abu Talib approached, Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) went to him and found Abu Jahl bin Hisham and Abdullah bin Abi Umaiya bin Al-Mughira by his side. Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said to Abu Talib, "O uncle! Say: None has the right to be worshipped but Allah, a sentence with which I shall be a witness (i.e. argue) for you before Allah. Abu Jahl and Abdullah bin Abi Umaiya said, "O Abu Talib! Are you going to denounce the religion of Abdul Muttalib?" Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) kept on inviting Abu Talib to say it (i.e. 'None has the right to be worshipped but Allah') while they (Abu Jahl and Abdullah) kept on repeating their statement till Abu Talib said as his last statement that he was on the religion of `Abdul Muttalib and refused to say, 'None has the right to be worshipped but Allah.' (Then Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said, "I will keep on asking Allah's forgiveness for you unless I am forbidden (by Allah) to do so." So Allah revealed (the verse) concerning him (i.e. It is not fitting for the Prophet (ﷺ) and those who believe that they should invoke (Allah) for forgiveness for pagans even though they be of kin, after it has become clear to them that they are companions of the fire (9.113).

Muslim Narrated : It is narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira that the Messenger of Allah said to his uncle (at the time of his death): Make a profession of it that there is no god but Allah and I will bear testimony (of your being a Muslim) on the Day of judgment. He (Abu Talib) said: Were it not the fear of the Quraysh blaming me (and) saying that it was the fear of (approaching death) that induced me to do so, I would have certainly delighted your eyes. It was then that Allah revealed: " Verily thou canst not guide to the right path whom thou lovest. And it is Allah Who guideth whom He will and He knoweth best who are the guided" (xxviii-56).

Bukhari Narrates : Narrated Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri: That he heard the Prophet (ﷺ) when somebody mentioned his uncle (i.e. Abu Talib), saying, "Perhaps my intercession will be helpful to him on the Day of Resurrection so that he may be put in a shallow fire reaching only up to his ankles. His brain will boil from it." Narrated Yazid: (as above, Hadith 224) using the words: "will make his brain boil."

Muslim Narrates : Ibn 'Abbas reported: The Prophet (ﷺ) said: Among the inhabitants of the Fire Abu Talib would have the least suffering, and he would be wearing two shoes (of Fire) which would boil his brain.

It is easily seen from that his fate. and Allah knows best.

Edit (arabic for first hadith with full isnaad):

حَدَّثَنَا إِسْحَاقُ، أَخْبَرَنَا يَعْقُوبُ بْنُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنِي أَبِي، عَنْ صَالِحٍ، عَنِ ابْنِ شِهَابٍ، قَالَ أَخْبَرَنِي سَعِيدُ بْنُ الْمُسَيَّبِ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، أَنَّهُ أَخْبَرَهُ أَنَّهُ، لَمَّا حَضَرَتْ أَبَا طَالِبٍ الْوَفَاةُ جَاءَهُ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَوَجَدَ عِنْدَهُ أَبَا جَهْلِ بْنَ هِشَامٍ، وَعَبْدَ اللَّهِ بْنَ أَبِي أُمَيَّةَ بْنِ الْمُغِيرَةِ، قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم لأَبِي طَالِبٍ ‏"‏ يَا عَمِّ، قُلْ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ، كَلِمَةً أَشْهَدُ لَكَ بِهَا عِنْدَ اللَّهِ ‏"‏‏.‏ فَقَالَ أَبُو جَهْلٍ وَعَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ أَبِي أُمَيَّةَ يَا أَبَا طَالِبٍ، أَتَرْغَبُ عَنْ مِلَّةِ عَبْدِ الْمُطَّلِبِ فَلَمْ يَزَلْ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَعْرِضُهَا عَلَيْهِ، وَيَعُودَانِ بِتِلْكَ الْمَقَالَةِ، حَتَّى قَالَ أَبُو طَالِبٍ آخِرَ مَا كَلَّمَهُمْ هُوَ عَلَى مِلَّةِ عَبْدِ الْمُطَّلِبِ، وَأَبَى أَنْ يَقُولَ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ‏.‏ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏"‏ أَمَا وَاللَّهِ لأَسْتَغْفِرَنَّ لَكَ، مَا لَمْ أُنْهَ عَنْكَ ‏"‏‏.‏ فَأَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى فِيهِ ‏{‏مَا كَانَ لِلنَّبِيِّ‏}‏ الآيَةَ‏.‏

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.

-End-

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The first hadith states that Sa'id bin al-Musaiyab from his father. But his father wasn't around during the time Abu Talib was alive. How's he narrating an event he didn't see? So there seems to be some disconnection here. The other two do say Abu Talib will be in hell, but it doesn't say he died as a disbeliever. Muslims will be in hell but not forever. –  Sayyid Apr 17 at 0:12
    
Sayyid, Imam Al-Bukhari had the most stringent conditions on hadith. I have also provided a similar hadith from Muslim to back the one of Bukhari, this time from Abu Huraira (RA). –  Muhammad Apr 17 at 8:58
    
Imam al-Bukhari didn't say al-Musaiyab was present at the time. So where did he get the narration to this incident from? How do we know it even happened? There are several hadiths in Sahih al-Bukhari that are not Sahih and several scholars have also proven this. –  Sayyid Apr 20 at 19:28
    
The Arabic you posted is for the second narration from Muslim but with an addition. –  Sayyid Apr 20 at 19:30
    
@Sayyid The arabic is for the bukhari hadith, improve your reading. –  Muhammad Apr 20 at 23:09

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.

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please use references. –  Battle of Karbala Apr 16 at 9:33

Shia view:

Yes, he did accept islam for the following reasons:

  1. We have ahadeeth from our imams that he is a muslim like:

    from Imam Al baker (A.s):

    لو وضع إيمان أبي طالب في كفة وإيمان الخلق في كفة أخرى لرجح إيمانه

    translation:

    If Abi Talib's faith was put in a pan and the faith of creation in another, his faith is likely to outweigh the other faith.

  2. Abu Talib stood with the prophet and helped him in his fight against kufar and have sacrificed his position and children to help him. If he wasn't a muslim why would he do all that?

  3. From Abi talib's poetry we assure he was with the prophet. Here is a sample:

    ألم تعلموا أنّا وجدنا محمداً    نبياً كموسى خط في أول الكتب
    أنت الرسول رسول الله نعلمه    عليك نزّل من ذي العزة الكتب

    Translation:(forgive me for any fault)

    Haven't you known that we found Mohammad    a prophet that has been declared in the first books
    You are the prophet of Allah     from him the book was sent to you

  4. The prophet have prayed for Allah to forgive Abu Talib from his sins.The prophet said:

    اجتمعت على هذه الأمة مصيبتان لا أدري بأيهما أنا أشدّ جزع
    Translation:
    Two Calamities have met on this nation, I don't know which one is more alarming.

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.

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How did Imam al-Bakr know this information about Abu Talib? –  Sayyid Apr 17 at 0:14
1  
@Sayyid do you know the hadith about Imam Ali that says: "علمني رسول الله الف باب من العلم ، يفتح من كل باب الف باب" i.e: "Verily, the Holy Prophet taught me 1,000 chapters of knowledge, each chapter of which opened another 1,000 chapters" this knowledge was transferred from one imam to another –  user4456 Apr 17 at 7:31

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