Some so-called Muslims claim that Abu Talib (a.s.) was not a Muslim. They doubt his faith only because of their malice against Ameerul Momineen Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.). There are several proofs of his faith and Islam.
We begin with how not just Abu Talib (a.s.) rather all his ancestors right from Prophet Adam (a.s.) were perfect Muslims and believed in divine monotheism like none else.
Hadith-e-Nur – Tradition of the Light
Hadis-e-Nur has been extensively documented by the scholars of both the sects. We present hereunder its common variants, with a common message underpinning all of them.
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a) informed:
“We were in the form of lights. When Allah willed to give us a shape, He placed us in the form of a pillar of light in the loin of Adam (a.s). He then transferred this light from the loins to the wombs. He always kept us purified from filth, polytheism and adultery that were widespread in the period of disbelief. In every era, certain groups of people attained felicity on account of believing in us and several others were unfortunate on account of rejecting us. When He brought us in the loin of Abdul Muttalib, He divided it into two parts and placed one half in the loin of Abdullah (a.s) and the other part in that of Abu Talib (a.s). Thereafter, my light was transferred to (my mother) Aamenah and the other half to (Ali’s mother) Fatima bint Asad (s.a.). I was born from Aamenah and Ali was born from Fatima bint Asad. Then, the light reverted to me and my daughter Fatima was born. Likewise, the light was reverted to Ali, and Hasan and Husain were born from both parts of the light i.e. light of Ali and Fatima. Thus, my light found its way in the Imams from the progeny of Husain till the Day of Judgment.”
Both Shia and the Ahle Tasannun scholars have narrated this tradition and/or its variants, underscoring its reliability.
Among others, the following scholars of Ahle Tasannun have documented Hadith-e-Nur:
• Imam Ahmad b. Hanbal in his Musnad
• Mir Sayyed Ali Hamdani in Mawaddah al-Qurbah
• Ibn Maghaazili Shaafe’i in his Manaaqib
• Muhammad b. Talhah Shaafe’i in Mataalib al-So’l fi Manaaqib-e-Aal-e-Rasool
• Ibrahim b. Muhammad Hamweeni Shaafe’ei in Faraaid al-Simtain fi Fazaail al-Murtuza wa al-Batool wa al-Sibtain
• Khaarazmi in his al-Manaaqib
• Abd al-Hameed Ibn Abil Hadeed in Sharh-o-Nahj al-Balaaghah
• Haafiz Sulaimaan Qundoozi in Yanabee al-Mawaddah
This tradition clearly establishes certain points:
1. Not just Abu Talib (a.s.) every ancestor of Ameerul Momineen Ali b. Abi Talib and the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) right from Prophet Adam (a.s.) were perfect believers and Muslims. Disbelief and apostasy never mixed with their faith.
2. Individuals like Abu Talib (a.s.) set an example for others with their creed and faith in divine monotheism.
3. Those who believed in Abu Talib (a.s.) achieved felicity. Those who rejected him were among the unsuccessful ones.
4. It is not possible to believe in Islam and monotheism of Ameerul Momineen Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) without first attesting the same for his father Abu Talib (a.s.). Those who acknowledge Ali b. Abi Talib’s (a.s.) faith but claim his father was not a Muslim are only declaring their extreme prejudice and hostility towards Ameerul Momineen Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.). They believe the fruit is pure, but claim the tree is corrupted!