Were all ancestors of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) monotheists. Did they follow the religion of Prophet Musa and Isa (a.s.) during their respective periods? If it is so, then His Eminence, Abdul Muttalib ought to have been a Christian.

 Q.I : Were all ancestors of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) monotheists. Did they follow the religion of Prophet Musa and Isa (a.s.) during their respective periods? If it is so, then His Eminence, Abdul Muttalib ought to have been a Christian. If Abdul Muttalib and Abu Talib were on the religion of their ancestor, Ibrahim (a.s.), what prevented them from accepting the religions of Musa and Isa (a.s.)? It is said that Hamza, the Chief of Martyrs was formerly a polythe ist and that he accepted Islam afterwards and earned the attention of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.). Is it correct?


A: One of the agreed matters according to the true creed of the Imamites is that all ancestors of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) right upto the father of mankind, His Eminence, Adam were monotheists.


Allamah Majlisi, in Chapter 3, Volume 2 of Hayatul Qulub says: Imamite scholars are unanimous that the parents of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and their grandparents right up to His Eminence, Adam (a.s.) were believers and the effulgence of his holiness never settled in the loin or womb of any polytheist and there never has been any doubt in the matter of the genealogy of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and his male and female ancestors. There are traditions (both Sunni and Shia) to prove this.


On the contrary successive traditions show that all ancestors of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) had been messengers and Imams, and carriers of Religion of God (lslam). The descendants of Ismail (a.s.) who were ancestors of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) were legatees of Prophet Ibrahim (a.s.) and the rulership of Mecca and guardianship of Holy Kaaba and its construction etc. had always rested with them and they were the point of reference whom people approached for guidance. The nationality of Ibrahim (a.s.) had always been in them.


And when the Shariat of His Eminence, Musa and His Eminence, Isa was there, the Shariat of Ibrahim had not been cancelled for the children of Ismail. They were the protectors of that Shariat and willed one another about it and had been handing over the heirloom of messengership to one after another until they made Abdul Muttalib and Abu Talib their legatees and Abu Talib handed over these things to the last prophet, His Eminence, Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) when he was raised by Allah as His final messenger.


Also in Chapter 13 of the same book, it is mentioned that the legatees of His Eminence, Ibrahim and Ismail (a.s.) are the descendants of Ismail and his legatees ended at His Eminence, Abdul Muttalib and then after him to Abu Talib and the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.), because, as mentioned in some narrations, the legatees of Ibrahim were in two branches: one the descendants of Ishaq among whom are the prophets of Bani Israel and second the sons of Ismail among whom were grandfathers of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and they were on the faith of His Eminence, Ibrahim and had protected his Shariat and the prophets of Bani Israel were not raised from them.


Statements of Allamah Majlisi clarify that His Eminences, Abdul Muttalib and Abu Talib were not bound to follow the religious law of Musa and Isa (a.s.) as they themselves were the legatees of His Eminence, Ibrahim (a.s.) and divine proofs. Thus it is written in Volume 6 of Biharul Anwar that Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said: The Almighty Allah will raise Abdul Muttalib on Judgment Day, having the appearance of messengers and the pomp of kings.2


It is mentioned in Ittiqadaat of Shaykh Sadooq (r.a.) that:


"And it is related that Abdu l Muttalib was a Proof (Hujjat) and Abu Talib was a Successor (Wasi)."3


As for His Eminence, Hamza, uncle of the Prophet, the cause of his conversion to Islam is explained in detail in Elaamul Waraa of Tabarsi . It also shows how high his sacrifice was in the path of mono heism and in support of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.).


Sayyid Abdul Husayn Dastghaib



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