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Abdullah ibn Abd al-Muttalib (/æbˈdʊlə/; Arabic: عبدالله بن عبد المطلب‎, romanizedʿAbdullāh ibn ʿAbd al-Muṭṭalib ("Abdullah" is the nominative case of "Abd Allah" (servant or slave of Allah); c. 546–570) was the father of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He was the son of Abdul-Muttalib ibn Hashim and Fatimah bint Amr of the Makhzum clan.[1]

Abdullah ibn Abd al-Muttalib
Abdullah-ibn Abd al-Muttalib.png
Abdullah ibn Abd al-Muttalib
Born546 AD / 78 BH
Mecca, Hejaz, Arabia
Died570-571 AD / 53-52 BH (aged 24-25)
Medina, Hejaz, Arabia
Resting placeMedina, Hejaz, Saudi Arabia
OccupationMerchant and clay-worker
Spouse(s)Āminah bint Wahb c.July 570 AD - c.Jan 571 AD
ChildrenSon: Muhammad
Parent(s)Father: 'Abd al-Muṭṭalib
Mother: Fatimah bint Amr

He was married to Āminah bint Wahb.[2] Tabari also refers to another unnamed wife.[3] However, Aminah's son Muhammad was Abdullah's only child.[4]


"ʿAbdullāh" means "servant of God" or "slave of God". His full name was ʿAbdullāh ibn ʿAbd al-Muṭṭalib ibn Hāshim ('Amr) ibn Abd Manāf (al-Mughīra) ibn Qusayy (Zayd) ibn Kilāb ibn Murra ibn Ka`b ibn Sûf^iyāń ibn Lu'ayy ibn Ghālib ibn Fahr (Quraysh) ibn Mālik ibn an-Naḑr (Qays) ibn Kinānah ibn Khuzaymah ibn Mudrikah ('Āmir) ibn Ilyās ibn Muḑar ibn Nizār ibn Ma'ād ibn 'Adnān.[5]


His father chose for him Āminah daughter of Wahb ibn 'Abd Munāf who was the grandson of Zuhrah ibn Kilab, the brother of his great-great-grandfather Qusayy ibn Kilāb. Wahb had been the chief of Banu Zuhrah as well as its eldest and noblest member but had died some time previously and Āminah became a ward of his brother Wuhaib, who had succeeded him as chief of the clan.

His father went with him to the quarter of Banū Zuhrah. There, he sought the residence of Wuhayb and went in to ask for the hand of Wahb's daughter for his son. 'Abdullāh's father fixed his marriage with Aminah.[6] It was said that a light shone out of his forehead and that this light was the promise of a Prophet as offspring. Many women approached 'Abdullāh, who is reported to have been a handsome man, so that they might gain the honor of producing his offspring. However it is believed that, as decided by God, the light was destined to be transferred to Āminah through 'Abdullāh after consummating the marriage.[7] 'Abdullāh's father was the custodian of the Kaaba in Makkah. 'Abdullāh lived with Āminah among her relatives the first three days of the marriage. Afterwards, they moved together to the quarter of 'Abdul-Muttalib.


Soon after their marriage 'Abdullāh was called to Palestine and al-Shām (present day Syria) on a trading caravan trip. When he left, Āminah was pregnant. 'Abdullāh was absent for several months in Gaza. On his way back he stopped for a longer rest with the family of his paternal grandmother, Salma bint Amr, who belonged to the Najjar clan of the Khazraj tribe in Medina. He was preparing to join a caravan to Mecca when he felt ill.

The caravan went on without him to Mecca with news of his absence and disease. 'Abdul-Muttalib immediately sent his eldest son al-Harith to Medina. Upon his arrival, al-Harith learned that his brother had died and that he had been buried there a month after falling ill. Harith returned to Mecca to announce the death of `Abdullāh to his aged father and his bereaved wife Āminah.[8][9] Abdullah left a few camels and goats and a slave girl named Umm Ayman as terms of inheritance.

He was buried in Dar ul Nabeghah in Madinah tul Munawwara and his mausoleum was demolished in 1976. Reportedly he was reburied in Al' Baqee Graveyard next to Muhammad's son.


'Abdullāh left five camels, a herd of sheep and goats, and a slave nurse, called Umm Ayman, who was to take care of his son Muhammad.[10] This patrimony does not prove that 'Abdullāh was wealthy, but at the same time it does not prove that he was poor. Furthermore, 'Abdullāh was still a young man capable of working and of amassing a fortune. His father was still alive and none of his wealth had as yet been transferred to his sons.[11]

Fate in the afterlifeEdit

Islamic scholars have long been divided over the religious beliefs of Muhammad's parents and their fate in the afterlife. A hadith in the authoritative Sahih Muslim collection states that Abdullah was sentenced to hell,[12] while one transmitted by Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah states that God refused to forgive Aminah for her disbelief. While this caused scholars like Ali al-Qari to state that Muhammad's parents were denied salvation, this thought proved discomforting for many Muslims. Some Ashʿari and Shafi‘i scholars argued that neither would be punished in the afterlife, as they were ahl al-fatrah, or "people of the interval" between the prophetic messages of Jesus and Muhammad.[13] The concept of ahl al-fatrah is not universally accepted among Islamic scholars, and there is debate concerning the extent of salvation available for active practitioners of polytheism,[14] though the majority of scholars have come to agree with it and disregard the ahadith stating that Muhammad's parents were condemned to hell.[12]

While a work attributed to Abu Hanifa, an early Sunni scholar, stated that both Aminah and Abdullah died as disbelievers, some later authors of mawlid texts related a tradition in which Aminah and Abdullah were temporarily revived and embraced Islam. Scholars like Ibn Taymiyya stated that this was a lie, though al-Qurtubi disagreed and stated that the concept did not disagree with Islamic theology.[13] Shia Muslims believe that all of Muhammad's ancestors, Abdullah included, were monotheists and therefore entitled to paradise. A Shia tradition states that God forbade the fires of hell from touching either of Muhammad's parents.[15]

Family treeEdit

Quraysh tribe
Waqida bint Amr
Abd Manaf ibn Qusai
Ātikah bint Murrah
Nawfal ibn Abd Manaf
‘Abd Shams
Muṭṭalib ibn Abd Manaf
Salma bint Amr
Umayya ibn Abd Shams
ʿAbd al-Muṭṭalib
Abū al-ʿĀs
Abī Ṭālib
Abū Lahab
ʾAbī Sufyān ibn Harb
(Family tree)
Khadija bint Khuwaylid
(Family tree)
Khawlah bint Ja'far
ʿAbd Allāh
Muʿāwiyah I
Marwān I
ʿUthmān ibn ʿAffān
Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah
ʿAli ibn ʿAbdallāh
(Family tree)
Abu Hashim
(Imām of al-Mukhtār and Hashimiyya)

Ibrāhim "al-Imām"

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Muhammad ibn Sa'ad. Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir. Translated by Haq, S. M. (1967). Ibn Sa'd's Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir Volume I Parts I & II, pp. 99-100. Delhi: Kitab-Bhavan.
  2. ^ Muhammad Mustafa Al-A'zami (2003), The History of The Qur'anic Text: From Revelation to Compilation: A Comparative Study with the Old and New Testaments, pp. 22, 24. UK Islamic Academy. ISBN 978-1872531656.
  3. ^ Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari. Tarikh al-Rusul wa'l-Muluk. Translated by Watt, W. M., & McDonald, M. V. (1988). Volume 6: Muhammad at Mecca, p. 6. Albany: State University of New York Press.
  4. ^ Ibn Sa'd/Haq p. 107.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-02-23. Retrieved 2006-01-08.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ Cook, Michael. Muhammad. Oxford University Press: New York, 1983. ISBN 0-19-287605-8.
  7. ^ Ibn Kathīr The Life of the Prophet Muḥammad : Volume 1. Trans. Prof. Trevor Le Gassick. Garnet Publishing: Lebanon, 1998. ISBN 1-85964-142-3.
  8. ^ Ibn Sa'd/Haq pp. 107-108.
  9. ^ Armstrong, Karen. Muhammad : A Biography of the Prophet. HarperSanFrancisco: San Francisco, 1993. ISBN 0-06-250886-5
  10. ^ Ibn Sa'd/Haq p. 109.
  11. ^ Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources, Martin Lings, George Allen & Unwin, 1983, p24
  12. ^ a b Brown, Jonathan A.C. (2015). Misquoting Muhammad: The Challenge and Choices of Interpreting the Prophet's Legacy. Oneworld Publications. pp. 188–189.
  13. ^ a b Holmes Katz, Marion (2007). The Birth of The Prophet Muhammad: Devotional Piety in Sunni Islam. Routledge. p. 126-128. ISBN 9781135983949.
  14. ^ Rida, Rashid. "2:62". Tafsir al-Manar. p. 278-281.
  15. ^ Rubin, Uri (1975). "Pre-Existence and Light—Aspects of the Concept of Nur Muhammad". Israel Oriental Studies. 5: 75-88.

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