Rasulullah SAW Presents the Kalimah to his Uncle Abu Taalib

Abdullah bin Abbas RA reports that several leaders of the Quraysh once went to Abu Talib to speak to him about Rasulullah SAW. Among them were Utba bin Rabee'ah, Shayba bin Rabee'ah, Abu Jahal bin Hishaam, Umayyah bin Khalaf and Abu Sufyaan bin Harb. Addressing Abu Talib, they said, "You are well aware of the high position you hold among us. The condition of your health is apparent and it makes us 'concerned for your life. Since you know well the differences that exist between us and your nephew, we need you to call him (so that you could mediate between us) and (in doing so) accept some of our requests as well as some of his. In this manner, he could stop opposing us, we would stop opposing him, he would leave us to our religion and we would leave him to his religion."

Consequently, Abu Talib sent for Rasulullah SAW.When Rasulullah SAW arrived, Abu Talib said to him, "0 my nephew! These prominent leaders of your people have come to you to give you (some of your requests) and to take from you (some of their requests)." Rasulullah SAW replied, "Very well. I require you people to give me a single statement which would give you control of all the Arabs and which would make the non-Arabs follow you." Hearing this, Abu Jahal exclaimed, "Certainly! By the oath of your father! We are prepared to accept then such statements." Rasulullaah SAW said, 'You should then say, 'Laa IlaahaIllallaah ("There is none worthy of worship but Allah") and discard everything that you worship besides Him."

Those present then started clapping their hands (mockingly) saying, "Do you wish to make all our gods into one! This is indeed most strange!" They then said to each other, "By Allah! This man will not give in to any of your requests. Let us leave and continue practising the religion of our forefathers until Allah decides between us and him." They then dispersed. (When they had all left) Abu Talib said to Rasulullah SAW,"0 my nephew, I don't think that you asked anything difficult of them."

Hopeful that his uncle would accept the message of Islam, Rasulullah SAW said to him, "0 uncle! Why don't you say it (the Kalimah) so that 1 may be permitted to intercede for you on the Day of Qiyaamah." Seeing the enthusiasm of Rasulullah SAW, Abu Talib said, " 0 nephew! By Allah! 1 would certainly utter this Kalimah to please you if it were not for my fear that I and my progeny would become targets of insults and that the Quraysh would say that I said it only for fear of death."

Sa'eed bin Musayyab RA (5) reports from his father that Rasulullaah SAW visited Abu Talib when he was on his death-bed at a time when Abu Jahal was also present. Rasulullah SAW "0 uncle! Say 'Laa Ilaaha Illallaah' so said, my that I could defend you in the court of Allah."

Abu Jahal and Abdullaah bin Abi Umayyah then said to Abu Talib, "Are you turning away from the religion of (your father) Abdul Muttalib?" The two of them continued speaking to Abu Talib in this manner until the final words he uttered (as he passed away) were, "I remain on the religion of Abdul Muttalib."

Rasulullah SAW then said, "I shall continue seeking Allah's forgiveness for you (0my uncle) until I am forbidden from doing so." Allah SWT then revealed the verses of the Qur'an which state:

It is not (permissible for the Nabi SAW ,nor (is it permissible for) the
Mu'mineen to (ever/ seek forgiveness for the Mushrikeen, even if they
be their relatives, after it has become clear to them (when these
Mushrikeen died without Imaan) that they (the Mushrikeen) are to be
residents of the Blaze Jahannam).{Surah Taubah, verse 1 13)

Verily you (0 Rasulullah SAW)cannot guide (to Islaam) those whom
you love (such as Abu Talib),but Allah guides whoever He wills. He is
best aware of those who are (deserving to be) rightly guided (and who
deserve to be guided to Imaan). {Surah Qasas, verse 561(~)

Another similar report states that Rasulullah SAW continued presenting the Kalimah to Abu Talib as the two Mushrikeen (Abu Jahal and Abdullah bin Abi Umayyah) repeated their words to him. Eventually, Abu Talib passed away with the words, "I remain on the religion of Abdul Muttalib" without reciting,

"Laa Ilaaha Illallaah" Rasulullaah SAW then said, "Behold! I shall continue seeking Allah's forgiveness for you (0 my uncle) until I am forbidden from doing so." It was after this that Allah SWT revealed the two verses (mentioned above). Abu Hurayrah RA ,narrates that Rasulullah SAW came to see his uncle Abu Talib when he was about to pass away. Rasulullah SAW said to him, "0 my beloved uncle! Say 'Laa Ilaaha Illallaah' so that I may be witness to it on the Day of Qiyaamah." Abu Talib said, "I would have certainly said it to please you if I did not fear that Quraysh would ridicule me by saying, 'He said it only because he feared death.' I would have then definitely said it only to please you." 1t was on this occasion that Allah SWT revealed the verse:

Verily you (0 Rasulullah SAW  cannot guide (to Islam)those whom
you love (such as Abu Talib),but Allaah guides whoever He wills. He is
best aware of those who are (deserving to be) rightly guided (and who
deserve to beguided to Imaan). {Surah Qasas, verse 56)(2)

(1) This Hadith has been reported by lmaams Ahrnad, Nasa'ee, Ibn Abi Haatirn and Ibn Jareer in their
books when discussing the commentary of Qur'aanic verses. Tirmidhi has also reported the
Hadith and states that the Hadith reliable. A similar Hadith has been narrated by Ibn Katheer in his
commentary of the Qur'aan (Vo1.4 Pg.28), by Bayhaqi (Vo1.9 Pg.188) and by Haakim (Vol.2 Fg.432).
Haakim states that the chain of narrators is authentic even though the Hadith is no narrated by
Imaams Bukhari and Muslim. lmaam Dhahabi also states that the Hadith is authentic.
(1)Ibn Is'haaq, as quoted in A1 Bidaayah wan Nihaayah (Vo1.3 Pg.123).There is one unknown narrator
in the chain of narrators.
(2) Bukhari and Muslim.