29th Shawwal marks the birth anniversary of Hazrat Abu Talib (as) who was the son of Hazrat Abdul Muttalib (as), paternal uncle of Prophet Muhammad (saw) and father of Imam Ali (as). Hazrat Abdul Muttalib had ten sons and Hazrat Abdullah (as) the father of Prophet Muhammad (saw) was one of them who born to same mother as that of Hazrat Abu Talib (as) Bibi Fatima Binte Umru (as) of Bani Makhzum tribe. When Hazrat Abdul Muttalib (as), a follower of the religion of Hazrat Ibrahim (as) and Hazrat Ismail (as), was on the deathbed told his sons "A grandson of mine will be a Prophet. So he who will be present at his time must believe in him" and then he whispered to Hazrat Abu Talib (as) "Abu Talib, Muhammad will be of great importance. So support him with your hand and tongue."
Hazrat Abu Talib (as) original name is recorded as Abdul Manaf as well as Imran. He is known in the history with esteemed titles such as Shaikh Al-Batha, Bayzatul Balad (Light of City), Sheikh ul Quraish and Raees ul Makkah. He was married to Bibi Fatima Binte Asad (as), a well-known momina in the history of Islam, who remained in his nikkah until his last breath. Hazrat Abu Talib were given the responsibilities of building of Makkah, safe keeping of the Holy Kaaba, all family affairs, lineage responsibilities along with the sacred task of upbringing the Holy Prophet (saw) by Hazrat Abdul Muttalib (as). Thus he was entitled to a remarkable honor and possessed high status and courage.
The guardianship of Prophet Muhammad (saw) required a character of ethics, belief and faith of the highest order. Ibn Hajar in his book writes "When Abdul Muttalib (as) expired he wrote in his last will to Abu Talib (as) to raise the Holy Prophet (saw). Hence Abu Talib (as) nurtured him (saw) with a lot of love and affection, not even raising his own son Ali (as) in the same manner. Thus Abu Talib (as) fulfilled the will of his father by upbringing the Prophet (saw). He took the Prophet (saw) in his journey to Syria. By this time the Prophet (saw) had matured into a youth. When He (saw) proclaimed prophet hood, Hazrat Abu Talib (as) stood up to help and support him. And the infidels who turned against the Prophet (saws) also turned against him." On a couple of occasions Hazrat Abu Talib (as) did take the Prophet Muhammad (saw) with him on trade trips. On one of these trips he encountered the priest Bahira who saw the Prophet (saw) and gave glad tidings of His (Saw) prophet hood. After this, Hazrat Abu Talib (as) was even more determined to protect the Prophet (saw) and considered Him (saw) to be his most important trust. He stopped visiting Syria after that and remained busy in safeguarding the Prophet`s (saw) life.
Hazrat Abu Talib (as) recited the nikkah of Prophet Muhammad (saw) with Bibi Khadijah (as) and started with the hamd of Allah and praised Prophet Muhammad (saw), referred to the prophet hood of Hazrat Ibrahim (as), the books sent by Allah and praise to Allah to have ordained Hazrat Abu Talib (as) in the progeny of Hazrat Ibrahim (as). He also paid the mehr of Hazrat Khadijah (as) on behalf of Prophet Muhammad (saw).
During the first dawah of Islam Dawat-e-Zul Asheera, Prophet Muhammad said to his tribesmen "No Arab young man had brought his people like what I`ve brought you. I`ve brought you the good of here and of the hereafter." to which Abu Lahab replied "Muhammad (saw) has put a spell on you". At this, Hazrat Abu Talib intervened and said to Abu Lahab "Shut up! It`s none of your business!" and asked Prophet Muhammad (saw) "Get up and say whatever you like. Spread Your Lord`s Mission, for you`re the Truthful, the Trusted one." Hazrat Abu Talib (as) once recited a couplet "`I swear by the Almighty, your enemy cannot even glance at you until I am buried beneath the soil. You reveal your message and don`t fear, may your eyes be soothed with your works.`"
When Abu Talib (as) saw the increasing Quraishi persecution, he decided to leave Makkah and moved with Bani Hashim to live in a new place now known as Sheb-e-Abi Talib (as). The place resembled a prison where only a small window exists for sunlight and air. In such a miserable condition, Abu Talib (as) and his dear ones lived in exile for three years. He did not have anything to eat or drink nor did he have anyone to comfort him in his distress. The only encouragement that the residents of the valley had was divine motivation and support, which helped them withstand the most difficult of circumstances.
Hazrat Abu Talib once composed a couplet "O Muhammad (saw)! You invited me towards Islam and I came to know that you are honest in your claim and whatever you said was the truth and I was the trust for that and I also came to know that the religion of Muhammad (saw) was better than all religious of the world.`"
It is narrated from maqatil that Hazrat Abu Talib (as) made a will to Bani Hashim at the time of his death "O Bani Hashim, if you all obey the Prophet Muhammad (saw) and if you all believe in his truthfulness you will be guided."
Imam Ali (as) said "By Allah, Abu Talib was a faithful Muslim, keeping his faith secretly, not to cause to Bani Hashim a harm from Quraish boycott." Imam Ali (as) also said "By Him who sent Muhammad (saw) as a prophet, If my father`s intercession is given to forgive all the sinners on earth, Allah will forgive all of them."