Were the Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) parents Muslims?

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Muslims take a lot of pain to defend the Islam and faith of the companions. Any attack on the companions is interpreted as an attack on Islam itself and there are all kinds of decrees (fatwas) of kufr passed against the attackers. If these Muslims only took the same pain in defending the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) or his parents, it would have been better and far more rewarding.

It will undoubtedly come as a shock to most Muslims that their own Sihaah-e-Sittah (or six most important books considered as Sisters of Quran) claim that the Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) mother (a.s.) and father (a.s.) were non-Muslims (Allah forbid) and will reside in Hell (Allah forbid).

For the benefit of those who are unaware of such beliefs, we reproduce over here two traditions on the Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) parents.

1. Anas reported: Verily, a person said: Messenger of Allah, where is my father? He (s.a.w.a.) said: (He) is in the Fire.     When he turned away, he (the Holy Prophet) called him and said: Verily my father (Abdullah) and your father are in the     Fire.

  • Sahih-e-Muslim – Book 1, trad. 408 – Chapter: Clarifying that whoever died upon disbelief then he is in the Fire, and no intercession or relationship with those who are close to Allah will be of any avail for him

2. Abu Hurairah reported Allah’s Messenger (s.a.w.a.) as saying: I sought permission to beg forgiveness for my mother,     but He did not grant it to me. I sought permission from Him to visit her grave, and He granted it (permission) to me.

  • Sahih Muslim – Book 11, trad. 134 – Chapter: The Prophet (s.a.w.a.) asked his Lord for permission to visit the grave of his mother

These are but two reports from the numerous traditions on the subject. Since both are from Sahih-e-Muslim, there can be no denying the authenticity as far as the viewpoint of this group is concerned.

Shia view on the Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) parents

Shias vehemently reject any suggestion of apostasy and disbelief for the Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) parents – Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Abdul Muttalib (a.s.) and Hazrat Aaminah binte Wahab (s.a.). Both were perfect believers in Islam and there was not even a shadow of uncertainty or doubt about Tauheed in their faith. They were on the religion of their father – Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) – the foremost proponent of Deen-e-Haneef.

These are some traditions on the subject from Shia sources:

i. It is mentioned on the authority of Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) that once Jibraeel descended on the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) and said: The Creator of the universe greets  you and says: I have forbidden Hellfire for one from whose loins you are born and in whose womb you grew up and; that is Abdullah and Aaminah and also one who maintained you, i.e., Abu Talib…

  • Al-Kafi vol 1 pg 446, vol 2 pg 456
  • Al-Amaali of Shaikh Sadooq (r.a.) pg 606
  • Maani al-Akhbaar pg 137
  • Behaar al-Anwaar vol 15 pg 108

ii. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) declared – When I am raised on the Praiseworthy Station (Al-Maqaam al-Mahmood), I will most certainly intercede for my father, my mother, my uncle…

  • Tafseer al-Qummi (r.a.) under Surah Hijr (15): Verse 95
  • Tafseer al-Saafi under Surah Hijr (15): Verse 95
  • Tafseer al-Burhan under Surah Hijr (15): Verse 95
  • Behaar al-Anwaar vol 15 pg 110, vol 22 pg 278

iii. A man approached Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) and said: A man has some of my wealth and I am afraid he will not return it. Imam (a.s.) said: When you reach Mecca, perform two units of prayers on behalf of Abdul Muttalib (a.s.) and make two rounds for Abu Talib (a.s.) and likewise also for Hazrat Aaminah (s.a.), Hazrat Fatima binte Asad (s.a.). That man says: I did that and I got back my property the same day.

  • Hayaat al-Quloob vol 2 – Chapter of Ancestors of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.)

Hadith-e-Nur – Tradition of the Light

The most famous tradition on the faith of the Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) parents documented by both sects is known as Hadith-e-Nur.

We mention one variant of the Hadith over here:

The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a) informed:

We were in the form of lights. When Allah wished 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 which 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 (a.s.), 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) Aaminah (s.a.) and the other half to (Ali’s mother) Fatima binte Asad (s.a.). I was born from Aaminah (s.a.) and Ali (a.s.) was born from Fatima binte Asad (s.a.). Then, the Light reverted to me and my daughter Fatima (a.s.) was born. Likewise, the Light was reverted to Ali (a.s.) and subsequently Hasan (a.s.) and Husain (a.s.) were born from both parts of the Light i.e. light of Ali and Fatima. Thus, my Light found its way in the Imams (a.s.) from the progeny of Husain (a.s.) till the Day of Judgment.

Both Ahle Tasannun and Shia scholars have narrated this tradition and/or its variants underscoring its reliability.

Among others, the following Ahle Tasannun scholars 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
  • Abdul Hameed Ibn Abil Hadeed in Sharh Nahj al-Balaaghah
  • Haafiz Sulaimaan Qundoozi in Yanabee al-Mawaddah

After such clear-cut traditions on the subject it is impossible for any rational Muslim, with true love and respect for the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) to conclude that his parents were non-Muslims and will be punished in Hell (God forbid).

Such perverse thinking can only be attributed to minds that hate the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and share a mentality with fabricators of traditions like the Bani Umayyah who propagated the false reports on the Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) parents. These reports were an attempt at character assassination of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) because the Bani Ummayah were themselves non-Muslims and liable to be punished in Hell.

Indeed it is an enormous irony that Abu Sufyan and his son and grandson are considered Muslims and expected to be forgiven on the Day of Judgement while Abdullah (a.s.), Aaminah (s.a.) and Abu Talib (a.s.) are deemed non-Muslims awaiting punishment in Hellfire!

Respect of Prophet (s.w.a.) is in parents or wives?

The Islam of the companions and wives is defended as if it is from the necessities of religion. Against all rationale as also the Quran and the Sunnah, the Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) dignity is linked to the respect of wives and companions on one hand, while the Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) parents are considered no better than common apostates!

This is after the Holy Quran commands towards the parents along with Tauheed in Surah Baqarah (2): 83. Is there any verse like its equal regarding companions and wives? Then how did the Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) respect and dignity come to be associated with the companions and wives rather than his own parents?

Then take lesson O people of wisdom!

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