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The end of the boycott occured in the 10th year of the dawah, around 2.

5 years b
efore the Hijrah. Barely when they returned Allah willed that 3 great calamaties
happened. Because of these three calamties, this whole year is called the 'year
of Sorrow'.
The first of these was that barely 5/6 weeks after the Banu Hashim came back, Ab
u Talib fell sick and he eventually passed away in the month of Shawwal in the 1
0th year of the dawah. In Bhukari its narrated "when Abu Talib reached the nearn
ess of death, the prophet PBUH entered upon him while Abu JAhal was there. And h
e said "oh my uncle say the kalima so I can argue in front of Allah". And he was
about to say it but there with him was Abu Jahal, and Abdullah ibn Umaya and th
ey said "are you going to leave the religion of Abdul Muttalib?!"". And they kep
t on saying this every time they thought he might say the kalima. And eventually
he died without ever uttering the kalima. And the prophet PBUH said "I will con
tinue to ask Allah to forgive until Allah stops me". Note the prophet PBUH's rol
e is to obey Allah and wait for his commandments. And generally, the prophets fo
llowed this. But in this case the prophet PBUH was so emotionally attached he sa
id even though Allah hasn't told him, he decided he will ask for forgiveness unt
il Allah stops him. And so Allah revealed in the Qur'an very elegantly and gentl
y "it is not appropiate for the prophet or believers of Allah that they ask Him
to forgive anyone, even their relatives, if they didn't die upon tawheed". And t
hen the prophet PBUH stopped seeking forgiveness for him. And Allah also relveal
ed Surah Qassas. That "oh messenger, you will not guide those whom you love; rat
her Allah guides those whom he wishes". And in another hadith, we find it was Al
i ibn Abu Talib who eventually came to inform him that Abu Talib had died. So th
is shows the prophet PBUH wasn't literally there when Abu Talib had died. In ano
ther narration Ali told the prophet PBUH "your misguided uncle has died" - this
shows his anger and fustration with the fact his dad didn't revert. And so the p
rophet PBUH told Ali "go and burry him and then come back as soon as you do". An
d then the prophet PBUH made a long dua in front of Ali RA when the dust of the
burial was still on him. And Ali RA said "
Note these 13 years of Mecca we only have a handful of incidents; nor do we know
the excat chronology. Its because we don't have many narrations, and for the on
es we do there is no context. The famous story where the people visited Abu Tali
b to beg the prophet PBUH to stop preaching and then Abu Talib then went to the
prophet PBUH etc. One version is that this happened in the beginning in the dawa
h. Another is that it happened, Abu JAhal, Utbah ibn Umaya etc. they said "you a
re about to die; resolve this conflict NOW or else there will be civil war". And
this also makes sense that they had one last try. And the condition they gave w
as "we won't kill him just make sure he minds his own business". Its reasonable
to understand this story even on his deathbed. So according to this, then when t
he prophet PBUH came, that was when Abu Jahal and Umaya were all standing there
and then Abu Talib says "my people have surrounded me, what do you want me to do
? Give them this one condition - don't intefere with them. Don't ridicule their
idols just mind your own business". The prophet PBUH said "I will give them this
if they just give me one condition. And I promise all of the kingdoms of the ar
abs will be theres!". Abu Jahal stood up and said "We'll give you 10! What do yo
u want?" Then the prophet PBUH said "say the one kalima and I'll give you the en
tire kingdoms". But of course Abu Jahal said "never!". In another version Abu Ta
lib told the prophet PBUH he didn't say the kalima because he said: "now I am ab
out to die, and I am scared of death, my people might say I was scared of my dea
th". So his goodness aside, he had this pride and arrogance about his legacy. In
deed he had so much good, but this was one his own real crime that he didn't giv
e this element of "my father is Abdul Mutallib and I have a legacy that I must k
eep" even up to death. Even though he knows his newphew is a real prophet. In on
e of his poetry he says "indeed my newphew's religion is the best of all religio
ns and were it not for the fact people would critisize me that I've left my fath
er's religion I would accept it". So he chose ego and pride over the truth, simp
ly because his father was Abdul Muttalib. And again Abdul Mutallib was the legen

d of the arabs. And Abdul Muttalib was the main son and leader and carrier of th
e legend. And so for people to say "he left the religion of his father and embra
ced the relgion of his newphew" was too much for him to accept. Even though he w
itnessed so many miracles of the prophet PBUH. The main one was when he rested h
is entire prestigue on the fact that the treaty had been eatan up. And of course
it was true.
Abbas, the uncle of the prophet PBUH, asked the prophet PBUH "have you benefited
your uncle anything? He used to protect you and be angry on your behalf". The p
rophet PBUH said "yes he is on the edge on the hellfire, and were it not for me,
he would have been in the depths of hell". In a hadith in Muslim the prophet PB
UH said "the person that is being punished least in the fire of Hell (eternal in
habitants of hellfire)". Indeed we know the muslims who enter Hell; their punish
ment will never be eternally or bad as those who are in hellfire for ever. And s
o what is the punishment of Abu Talib? He shall made to wear sandals of fire and
because of this his brain will be boiled. And this is the lowest punishment of
those damned to Hell. This is what we know of Abu Talib's death. There are many
lessons of his life and death:
1. We must be careful to follow just what our people are doing. Even if its your
forefathers or parents. Those who follow others won't be excused. Allah says in
the Qur'an about these people "We followed our leaders" and Allah says "what if
we bring you something better?".
2. Another powerful message we get indeed Allah is the true lord in control. For
the prophet PBUH despite being the most beloved to Allah, he couldn't guide the
one whom he loved the most. Allah says "you cannot guide those who you love". A
nd indeed if the prophet PBUH didn't even have this power in his life; its impos
sible to elavate him when he is dead. This shows us that the status of the proph
ets cannot ever be prepared to Allah. Never allow our emotions to get confused i
n this regard. This is what many muslims do wrong. They allow their praises of t
he prophet PBUH to increase to the level of shirk.
3. Allah affirmed the prophet PBUH had a love for Abu Talib. There are some extr
emist muslims that say "we must hate all kufar". This is a complete misunderstan
ding of the Qur'an and Sunnah. How can anyone say this when Allah himself said t
he prophet PBUH loved Abu Talib. The only animosity we have towards them is beca
use they rejected the beatiful message of Allah. Indeed anyone who dosen't accep
t Islam - we can't have a religious/strong love for them. Allah says "you will n
ever finding people having a strong love to anyone who imposes Allah and his mes
senger". Some muslims say "Islam preaches hatred of non muslims" - this isn't co
rrect. In a nutshell, the love Allah is talking about is a religous love and rel
igious hatred. The religious love we have for all muslims; we can never have for
non muslims. But we may have a natural love for non muslims i.e. if they are fa
thers or mothers. And again for example a muslim man can marry a jewish or chris
tian lady. So we say its permissable to feel a natural affinity and love for peo
ple of your tribe, family and kinship.
4. As we mentioned before, Abu Talib had to be a kafar - indeed, the only thing
that allowed him to be the leader and protect the prophet PBUH was that he follo
wed the religion of his father and his tribe. Had he converted there was nothing
that would keep Abu Talib as the leader. His kufar protected the prophet PBUH a
nd allowed him to spread imaan. The question though is why didn't Allah convert
him on his deathbed? Well, we will never understand it. Allah knows best. What i
s the wisdom? Why didn't he convert on his deathbed? What can we say? Nothing. A
llah says "they have no right to ask Allah what he does; Allah will ask them wha
t they do". We have no right to challenege Allah's wisdom. This is literally sat
anic - this is what shaytan did. We accept the decree of Allah even though we mi
ght not understand it.

5. Another benefit is that imaan, belief in Allah, is more than just acknowledgi
ng the truth of the prophet PBUH. In other words, whats the definion of a muslim
? It's not someone who believes in one God and that the prophet PBUH is a real p
rophet. Because Abu Talib believed this. He fully believed and knew what the pro
phet PBUH said was true. But he refuses to accept. Therefore someone who knows t
he truth dosen't need they are muslim. A muslim is someone who sumbits to the tr
uth. Islam is submission. To merely know the truth dosen't make you a muslim. Ib
lees knows and accepts the truth. But he dosen't submit to Allah. Indeed Iblees
affirms the prophets and calls Allah by 'rabbi'. He asks Allah "allow me to live
until the day of judgement". Yet is Iblees a muslim? Obviously not! Allah says
"he refused to obey due to his arrogance". Therefore a kaafir can be someone who
dosen't know the truth; but also someone who knows the truth but refuses to act
upon it. This gets us to the deep issue. What do we say to the muslim who knows
Islam to be true but dosen't act upon it. What is the difference between say Ab
u Talib and such a muslim? They both recognise Allah is one and the prophet PBUH
is the last messenger. They recognise Allah is one, the prophet PBUH is true bu
t both refuse to submit in action to Allah. The fact is, someone who says they a
re muslim but dosen't do anything i.e. dosen't fast, pray or give zakaat. This t
heoretical saying "I am a muslim" is not different to the imaan of Abu Talib or
even Iblees. This is very pertinent to the hadith "whoever says the kalima shall
enter Jannah". One final point: its incorrect to translate imaan as faith. Abu
Talib had faith. Iblees has faith. It dosen't make him a mu'min. Faith is but on
e part of imaan.
6. The danger of hanging around evil company. His final compratiats were Abu Jah
al and Waleed ibn Mugira etc. And he would have accepted Islam but they stopped
7. A fiqh benefit: being a non muslim and dying as a non muslim dosen't mean the
muslims have nothing to do with the funeral. And so when the prophet PBUH said
"go and bury your father." Ali said "But he's a mushrik". The prophet PBUH said
"I know he is go bury him". So we can see we can help with the burial, money etc
but we cannot do the religious ceremony. We cannot particpate in those services
. Ali not only went to the funeral, he took charge - he put the body in himself.
This shows us that we may attend the janazah of a non muslim.
Out of the four uncles that witnessed the prophet PBUH's Islam. He had 10 uncles
, so 11 brothers including his father. Of those 11 brother, 7 died before the pr
ophet PBUH preached the message. So 7 never heard the prophet PBUH preaching taw
heed. Out of the four, two converted and two rejected. It's ironic that the two
who rejected had pagan names. The two who accepted has beautiful, noble names. R
ecall Abu Lahab was the uncle, Abu Jahal is from the Banu Makhzum. Two different
people completely. Abu Lahab's name was actually Abdul Uzza. And he was a very
handsome man so they called him 'abu Lahab' meaning fire coming from his cheeks.
But Allah mocked this name and literally called him 'Lahab' to mean he will bur
n in the fire. Recall Abdul Mutallib had 5 wives and one of them gave birth to o
nly Abu Lahab. Abu Talib's name was Abd Munaf. And he was the full brother of Ab
dullah. And these two brothers didn't convert. The two brothers that converted w
ere Humza and Abbas - both names mean the lion. Humza also has the connotation o
f strength; Abbas has the connotation of bravery. Munaf and Uzza were names of t
he idols. And so the two brothers with these two names didn't convert for reason
only Allah knows.
As for the prophet PBUH's aunts: there were six aunts. And we only know of one o
f them that for sure converted to Islam, Safiyyah bint Abd al-Muttalib who was th
e full sister of Hamza. Another aunt, Aatika, we know for sure she heard of Isla
m - Aatika is the one who saw the dream of the battle of Badr. The rest of them
we don't know who amongst them converted, nor do we know if they even lived to s
ee Islam. And logically this means the rest of them didn't convert since if they
did we would know about it.

We have two groups in Islam that believe Abu Talib was in fact muslim. One is th
e shias who say the father of the 12 imams could not have been kaafir and they f
eel insulted about this. The other is the more extreme sufi groups i.e. brelvis;
one such argument is Abu Talib did the nikaah of the prophet PBUH so he could n
ot be muslim. In response to the first specifically, none of the imams are bette
r than Ibrahim AS yet Allah says his father made and worshipped idols showing th
eir reasoning is false. In general, we say there are verses in the Qur'an, sahih
hadith, Ibn Ishaaq etc which all show Abu Talib did not die on tawheed. So our
position is very clear.
Moving on the death of Khadija followed. She passed away on the 10th Ramadan. Le
ss than 40 days had gone by when she died. And when Khadija passed away the sala
h had not yet been revealed. But the prophet PBUH took charge himself of burying
her. He himself put her in the grave. And the sahaba report after her death "we
didnt see the prophet PBUH smile for months". And indeed these two were so impo
rtant to the prophet PBUH. Abu Talib protected him externally; KHadija gave him
support and protected him internally inside the house. And the death of these tw
o was so immense that this whole year is a year of sorrow. And there are so many
narrations which show how much the prophet PBUH loved Khadija RA. And even when
her sister Hala visited the prophet PBUH in Madinah, he jumped up because he re
membered Khadija. And when Hala left Aisha RA said "oh prophet for how long will
you remember an old... Allah has given you someone better than her" and she use
d words not appropiate simply out of jealousy. When the prophet PBUH heard the l
atter phrase he said "Allah has not given me someone better than her, she suppor
ted me when no one did, she comforted me when the world gave me grief, she spent
on me when we were boycotted" and indeed Aisha RA does not have any of these be
When Abu Talib died this proved to be a very difficult time politically for the
prophet PBUH. Why? Because Abu Talib was his protection, his passport. Ibn Ishaa
q says after the death of Abu Talib the Quraysh increased the persecution of the
muslims like never before. A tabi said they came out like they couldn't do duri
ng the time of Abu Talib. Of the most signifcant things is the infamous incident
of six/seven elders conspiring to throw a dead carcuss on the prophet PBUH when
the prophet PBUH went into sadjah. We mentioned this before: Utbah himself carr
ied the entrails with his own hands and threw it on the prophet PBUH. But if we
think about it, it makes more sense for this to happen now i.e. when Abu Talib i
s not around to protect him. So it also make sense when the prophet PBUH said "h
Allah I call to you, you deal with these..." and he mentioned each by name. The
re were exactly seven and every one of them died in the battle of Badr. After th
e death of Abu Talib, Abu Lahab instantly took charge since he is the most senio
r son. When he took charge and someone curses the prophet PBUH from outside the
Banu Hashim; and when he hears this he goes to the prophet PBUH and he says "oh
Muhammad, be as you were in the times of Abu Talib. For as long as I am alive, y
ou shall live in the same manner." So he felt some responsibility to protect the
prophet PBUH as a cheifton of the Banu Hashim. This shows a very common trait t
hat before you get responsibility you can say what you want etc. But when you ge
t that burden, Before Abu Lahab came to power he basically said he will kill the
prophet PBUH. But when he became the cheif, he settled down. And there is a pre
stigue element that he has to guard and protect his people, which includes the p
rophet PBUH. And so when the people heard this, the people spread a rumour that
he accepted Islam. So they asked him and he said "no, but I am protecting my flo
ck". So Abu Jahal and Utbah hatched a plot to remove this protection. They said
to Abu Lahab "why don't you ask your newphew about the fate of your father ABdul
Muttalib?" And so Abu Lahab did this. But of course its a trick question. And t
he prophet PBUH answered generically "he is with is people". And this shows the
wisdom of the prophet PBUH that he didn't lie. So Abu Lahab went back happy and
told Abu Jahal "oh it's fine - he is with his people". But Abu Jahal said "you f
ool! and where is his people?! In the fire!" And Abu Lahab understood this; so h

e became enraged and Abu Jahal plot worked since from this point, the prophet PB
UH was left without any protection in Mecca. And this is what left him to try hi
s hand at the closest city to Mecca, Taif, which will be discussed.