Shayba ibn Hāshim (Arabic: شَيْبة ابْن هاشِم; c. 497–578), better known as ʿAbd al-Muṭṭalib, (Arabic: عَبْد الْمُطَّلِب, lit.'Servant of Muttalib') was the fourth chief of the Quraysh tribal confederation. He was the grandfather of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.

Abd al-Muttalib
عَبْد ٱلْمُطَّلِب
4th Major Chief of Quraysh
Chiefshipc.497–578 CE
PredecessorHashim ibn Abd Manaf
SuccessorAbu Talib ibn Abd al-Muttalib
BornShayba ibn Hāshim
c. 497
Yathrib, Hejaz, Arabia (present-day Medina, Saudi Arabia)
Diedc. 578 (aged 80–81)
Mecca, Hejaz
(present-day Saudi Arabia)

Arabicعَبْد ٱلْمُطَّلِب شَيْبَة ٱبْن هَاشِم
ClanBanu Hashim
FatherHashim (Son of Abdul Manaf)
MotherSalma bint Amr

Early life edit

His father was Hashim ibn 'Abd Manaf,[1]: 81  the progenitor of the distinguished Banu Hashim, a clan of the Quraysh tribe of Mecca. They claimed descent from Ismā'īl and Ibrāhīm. His mother was Salma bint Amr, from the Banu Najjar, a clan of the Khazraj tribe in Yathrib (later called Madinah).[2] Hashim died while doing business in Gaza, before Abd al-Muttalib was born.[1]: 81 

His real name was "Shaiba" meaning 'the ancient one' or 'white-haired' because of the streak of white through his jet-black hair, and is sometimes also called Shaybah al-Ḥamd ("The white streak of praise").[1]: 81–82  After his father's death he was raised in Yathrib with his mother and her family until about the age of eight, when his uncle Muttalib ibn Abd Manaf went to see him and asked his mother Salmah to entrust Shaybah to his care. Salmah was unwilling to let her son go and Shaiba refused to leave his mother without her consent. Muṭṭalib then pointed out that the possibilities Yathrib had to offer were incomparable to Mecca. Salmah was impressed with his arguments, so she agreed to let him go. Upon first arriving in Mecca, the people assumed the unknown child was Muttalib's servant and started calling him 'Abd al-Muttalib ("servant of Muttalib").[1]: 85–86 

Chieftain of Hashim clan edit

When Muṭṭalib died, Shaiba succeeded him as the chief of the Hāshim clan. Following his uncle Al-Muṭṭalib, he took over the duties of providing the pilgrims with food and water, and carried on the practices of his forefathers with his people. He attained such eminence as none of his forefathers enjoyed; his people loved him and his reputation was great among them.[3]: 61 

'Umar ibn Al-Khaṭṭāb's grandfather Nufayl ibn Abdul Uzza arbitrated in a dispute between 'Abdul-Muṭṭalib and Ḥarb ibn Umayyah, Abu Sufyan's father, over the custodianship of the Kaaba. Nufayl gave his verdict in favour of 'Abdul-Muṭṭalib. Addressing Ḥarb ibn Umayyah, he said:

Why do you pick a quarrel with a person who is taller than you in stature; more imposing than you in appearance; more refined than you in intellect; whose progeny outnumbers yours and whose generosity outshines yours in lustre? Do not, however, construe this into any disparagement of your good qualities which I highly appreciate. You are as gentle as a lamb, you are renowned throughout Arabia for the stentorian tones of your voice, and you are an asset to your tribe.[citation needed]

Discovery of Zam Zam Well edit

'Abdul-Muṭṭalib said that while sleeping in the sacred enclosure, he had dreamed he was ordered to dig at the worship place of the Quraysh between the two deities Isāf and Nā'ila. There he would find the Zamzam Well, which the Jurhum tribe had filled in when they left Mecca. The Quraysh tried to stop him digging in that spot, but his son Al-Ḥārith stood guard until they gave up their protests. After three days of digging, 'Abdul-Muṭṭalib found traces of an ancient religious well and exclaimed, "Allahuakbar!" Some of the Quraysh disputed his claim to sole rights over water, then one of them suggested that they go to a female shaman who lived afar. It was said that she could summon jinns and that she could help them decide who was the owner of the well. So, 11 people from the 11 tribes went on the expedition. They had to cross the desert to meet the priestess but then they got lost. There was a lack of food and water and people started to lose hope of ever getting out. One of them suggested that they dig their own graves and if they died, the last person standing would bury the others. So all began digging their own graves and just as Abdul-Muṭṭalib started digging, water spewed out from the hole he dug and everyone became overjoyed. It was then and there decided that Abdul-Muttalib was the owner of the Zam Zam well. Thereafter he supplied pilgrims to the Kaaba with Zam Zam water, which soon eclipsed all the other wells in Mecca because it was considered sacred.[1]: 86–89 [3]: 62–65 

The Year of the Elephant edit

According to Muslim tradition, the Ethiopian governor of Yemen, Abrahah al-Ashram, envied the Kaaba's reverence among the Arabs and, being a Christian, he built a cathedral on Sana'a and ordered pilgrimage be made there.[3]: 21  The order was ignored and someone desecrated (some saying in the form of defecation[4]: 696 note 35 ) the cathedral. Abrahah decided to avenge this act by demolishing the Kaaba and he advanced with an army towards Mecca.[3]: 22–23 

There were thirteen elephants in Abrahah's army[1]: 99 [3]: 26  and the year came to be known as 'Ām al-Fīl (the Year of the Elephant), beginning a trend for reckoning the years in Arabia which was used until 'Umar ibn Al-Khaṭṭāb replaced it with the Islamic Calendar in 638 CE (17 AH), with the first year of the Islamic Calendar being 622 CE.

When news of the advance of Abrahah's army came, the Arab tribes of Quraysh, Kinānah, Khuzā'ah and Hudhayl united in defence of the Kaaba. A man from the Ḥimyar tribe was sent by Abrahah to advise them that he only wished to demolish the Kaaba and if they resisted, they would be crushed. "Abdul-Muṭṭalib told the Meccans to seek refuge in the nearest high hills while he, with some leading members of Quraysh, remained within the precincts of the Kaaba. Abrahah sent a dispatch inviting 'Abdul-Muṭṭalib to meet him and discuss matters. When 'Abdul-Muṭṭalib left the meeting he was heard saying, "The Owner of this House is its Defender, and I am sure He will save it from the attack of the adversaries and will not dishonour the servants of His House."[3]: 24–26 

It is recorded that when Abrahah's forces neared the Kaaba, Allah commanded small birds (abābīl) to destroy Abrahah's army, raining down pebbles on it from their beaks. Abrahah was seriously wounded and retreated towards Yemen but died on the way.[3]: 26–27  This event is referred to in the following Qur'anic chapter:

Have you not seen how your Lord dealt with the owners of the Elephant?

Did He not make their treacherous plan go astray?

And He sent against them birds in flocks, striking them with stones of baked clay, so He rendered them like straw eaten up.

— Qur'an sura 105 (Al-Fil)

Most Islamic sources place the event around the year that Muhammad was born, 570 CE,[5] though other scholars place it one or two decades earlier.[6] A tradition attributed to Ibn Shihab al-Zuhri in the musannaf of ʽAbd al-Razzaq al-Sanʽani places it before the birth of Muhammad's father.[7]

Sacrificing his son Abdullah edit

Al-Harith was 'Abdul-Muṭṭalib's only son at the time he dug the Zamzam Well.[3]: 64  When the Quraysh tried to help him in the digging, he vowed that if he were to have ten sons to protect him, he would sacrifice one of them to Allah at the Kaaba. Later, after nine more sons had been born to him, he told them he must keep the vow. The divination arrows fell upon his favourite son Abdullah. The Quraysh protested 'Abdul-Muṭṭalib's intention to sacrifice his son and demanded that he sacrifice something else instead. 'Abdul-Muṭṭalib agreed to consult a "sorceress with a familiar spirit". She told him to cast lots between Abdullah and ten camels. If Abdullah were chosen, he had to add ten more camels, and keep on doing the same until his Lord accepted the camels in Abdullah's place. When the number of camels reached 100, the lot fell on the camels. 'Abdul-Muṭṭalib confirmed this by repeating the test three times. Then the camels were sacrificed, and Abdullah was spared.[3]: 66–68 

Family edit

Wives edit

Abd al-Muttalib had six known wives.

Children edit

According to Ibn Hisham, ʿAbd al-Muṭṭalib had ten sons and six daughters.[4]: 707–708 note 97  However, Ibn Sa'd lists twelve sons.[1]: 99–101 

By Sumra bint Jundab:

  1. Al-Ḥārith.[4]: 708  He was the firstborn and he died before his father.[1]: 99 
  2. Quthum.[1]: 100  He is not listed by Ibn Hisham.

By Fatima bint Amr:

  1. Al-Zubayr.[4]: 707  He was a poet and a chief; his father made a will in his favour.[1]: 99  He died before Islam,[citation needed] leaving two sons and daughters.: 101 [8]: 34–35 
  2. Abu Talib, born as Abd Manaf,[1]: 99 [4]: 707  father of the future Caliph Ali.[9] He later became chief of the Hashim clan.[citation needed]
  3. Abdullah, the father of Muhammad.[1]: 99 [4]: 707 
  4. Umm Hakim al-Bayda,[1]: 100 [4]: 707  the maternal grandmother of the third Caliph Uthman.[8]: 32 
  5. Barra,[1]: 100 [4]: 707  the mother of Abu Salama.[8]: 33 
  6. Arwa.[1]: 100 [4]: 707 
  7. Atika,[1]: 100 [4]: 707  a wife of Abu Umayya ibn al-Mughira.[8]: 31 
  8. Umayma,[1]: 100 [4]: 707  the mother of Zaynab bint Jahsh and Abd Allah ibn Jahsh.[8]: 33 

By Lubnā bint Hājar:

  1. Abd al-'Uzzā, better known as Abū Lahab.[1]: 100 [4]: 708 

By Halah bint Wuhayb:

  1. Ḥamza,[4]: 707  the first big leader of Islam. He killed many leaders of the kufar and was considered as the strongest man of the quraysh. He was martyred at Uhud.[1]: 100 
  2. Ṣafīyya.[1]: 100 [4]: 707 
  3. Al-Muqawwim.[4]: 707  He married Qilaba bint Amr ibn Ju'ana ibn Sa'd al-Sahmia, and had children named Abd Allah, Bakr, Hind, Arwa, and Umm Amr (Qutayla or Amra).[citation needed]
  4. Hajl.[4]: 707  He married Umm Murra bint Abi Qays ibn Abd Wud, and had two sons, named Abd Allah, Ubayd Allah, and three daughters named Murra, Rabi'a, and Fakhita.[citation needed]

By Natīlah bint Khubāb:

  1. al-'Abbas,[1]: 100 [4]: 707 [10] ancestor of the Abbasid caliphs.
  2. Ḍirār,[4]: 707  who died before Islam.[1]: 100 
  3. Jahl, died before Islam[citation needed]
  4. Imran, died before Islam[citation needed]

By Mumanna'a bint 'Amr:

  1. Mus'ab, who, according to Ibn Saad, was the one known as al-Ghaydāq.[1]: 100  He is not listed by Ibn Hisham.
  2. Al-Ghaydaq, died before Islam.[citation needed]
  3. Abd al-Ka'ba, died before Islam.[1]: 100 
  4. Al-Mughira,[1]: 100  who had the byname al-Ghaydaq.

The family tree and some of his important descendants edit

Quraysh tribe
Waqida bint AmrAbd Manaf ibn QusaiĀtikah bint Murrah
Nawfal ibn Abd Manaf‘Abd ShamsBarraHalaMuṭṭalib ibn Abd ManafHashimSalma bint Amr
Umayya ibn Abd ShamsʿAbd al-Muṭṭalib
HarbAbū al-ʿĀsʿĀminahʿAbdallāhHamzaAbī ṬālibAz-Zubayral-ʿAbbās Abū Lahab
ʾAbī Sufyān ibn Harbal-ḤakamʿUthmānʿAffānMUHAMMAD
(Family tree)
Khadija bint KhuwaylidʿAlī
(Family tree)
Khawlah bint Ja'farʿAbd Allāh
Muʿāwiyah IMarwān IʿUthmān ibn ʿAffānRuqayyahFatimahMuhammad ibn al-HanafiyyahʿAli ibn ʿAbdallāh
SufyanidsMarwanids al-Ḥasanal-Ḥusayn
(Family tree)
Abu Hashim
(Imām of al-Mukhtār and Hashimiyya)

Ibrāhim "al-Imām"al-Saffāḥal-Mansur

Death edit

Abdul Muttalib's son 'Abdullāh died four months before Muḥammad's birth, after which Abdul Muttalib took care of his daughter-in-law Āminah. One day Muhammad's mother, Amina, wanted to go to Yathrib, where her husband, Abdullah, died. So, Muhammad, Amina, Abd al-Muttalib and their caretaker, Umm Ayman started their journey to Medina, which is around 500 kilometres away from Makkah. They stayed there for three weeks, then, started their journey back to Mecca. But, when they reached halfway, at Al-Abwa', Amina became very sick and died six years after her husband's death. She was buried over there. From then, Muhammad became an orphan. Abd al-Muttalib became very sad for Muhammad because he loved him so much. Abd al-Muttalib took care of Muhammad. But when Muhammad was eight years old, the very old Abd al-Muttalib became very sick and died at age 81-82 in 578-579 CE.

Shaybah ibn Hāshim's grave can be found in the Jannat al-Mu'allā cemetery in Makkah, Saudi Arabia.

Legacy edit

He sired his own sub-clan of Banu Abd Al-Muttalib under the Banu Hashim sub-clan.

He was the ancestor of two prominent Muslim dynasties the Fatimids and the Abbasids.

At the battle of hunayn Muhammad chanted "I am the Prophet undoubtedly; I am the son of `Abdul Muttalib."[11]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y Muhammad ibn Saad. Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir. Translated by Haq, S. M. (1967). Ibn Sa'ad's Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir Volume I Parts I & II. Delhi: Kitab Bhavan.
  2. ^ "Banu Najjar". Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Muhammad ibn Ishaq. Sirat Rasul Allah. Translated by Guillaume, A. (1955). The Life of Muhammad. Oxford University Press.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Abdulmalik ibn Hisham. Notes to Ibn Ishaq's Sirat Rasul Allah. Translated by Guillaume, A. (1955). The Life of Muhammad. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  5. ^ Çakmak, Cenap (2017). Islam: A Worldwide Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. p. 170. ISBN 978-1-61069-216-8.
  6. ^ Esposito, John L. (1995). The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World: Libe-Sare. Oxford University Press. p. 154.
  7. ^ ibn Rashid, Mamar (16 May 2014). The Expeditions: An Early Biography of Muhammad. Translated by Sean W. Anthony. NYU Press. pp. 3–5. ISBN 978-0-8147-6963-8.
  8. ^ a b c d e Muhammad ibn Saad. Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir. Translated by Bewley, A. (1995). The Women of Madina. London: Ta-Ha Publishers.
  9. ^ Muhammad ibn Saad. Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir vol. 3. Translated by Bewley, A. (2013). The Companions of Badr, p. 20. London: Ta-Ha Publishers.
  10. ^ al-Tabari, Muhammad ibn Jarir (1998). Tarikh al-Rusul wa'l-Muluk: Biographies of the Prophet's Companions and Their Successors. Vol. 39. Albany: State University of New York Press. p. 24.
  11. ^ "Sahih al-Bukhari 4316 - Military Expeditions led by the Prophet (pbuh) (Al-Maghaazi) - كتاب المغازى - - Sayings and Teachings of Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم)". Retrieved 16 February 2024.

External links edit