Abdullah ibn Abd al-Muttalib

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Abdullah ibn Abd al-Muttalib
Born c. 546
Died c. 570
Occupation Merchant
Spouse Āminah bint Wahb
Children Muhammad ibn Abdullah (son)
Parents 'Abd al-Muttalib (father)
Fatimah bint Amr (mother)

Abdullah ibn Abd al-Muttalib (عبدالله بن عبد المطلب) is the name of Prophet Muhammad's father.

Abdullah was the son of Shaiba ibn Hashim (`Abd al-Muttalib). He and Āminah bint Wahb (Muhammad's mother), belonged to the family of the Banū Hāshim, a branch of the powerful Quraysh, the ruling tribe of Mecca, that also guarded the Ka'aba.[1] According to Tabari, Muhammad also had another wife, though her name is not known.[2] Still, traditional sources maintain that Muhammad was Abdullah's only child.[3]

Abdullah is said to have died on his way back from a trading trip in al-Sham (the Palestine/Syria area) whilst resting in Medina. At the time he had departed for this trip, Aminah had been pregnant with Muhammad.[4]

According to Islamic scriptures

Abd al-Muttalib's deal with Hubal

The grandfather of the Muhammad and father of Abdullah, Abd-al-Muttalib, is reported by the Islamic tradition to have almost sacrificed Abdullah. According to the tradition, he went to the Ka'aba in order to engage in ميسر‎ "maisir" or gambling on which one of his 10 children to sacrifice to the pagan god Hubal. After the die fell on Abdullah, the future father of Muhammad, his daughters implored Abd al-Muttalib to sacrifice 10 camels instead. After repeatedly playing the game of chance again, the dice finally fell on the camels, which he sacrificed, and this was seen as evidence of divine intervention (though, as an example of a theological foible, it is not clear whether the intervening deity is Hubal or Allah). This story is also used to explain Qur'an surah 37 ayahs 106-107, where "him" is in reference to Abdullah.

This was certainly an evident test. And We redeemed him with a great sacrifice.

Fate in the afterlife

According to Sahih Muslim, Abdu’llah and Aminah are both in Hell.

Anas reported: Verily, a person said: Messenger of Allah, where is my father? He said: (He) is in the Fire. When he turned away, he (the Holy Prophet) called him and said: Verily my father and your father are in the Fire.
Abu Huraira reported: The Apostle of Allah (ﷺ) visited the grave of his mother and he wept, and moved others around him to tears, and said: I sought permission from my Lord to beg forgiveness for her but it was not granted to me, and I sought permission to visit her grave and it was granted to me so visit the graves, for that makes you mindful of death.

While some classical scholars held that these sahih (authentic) narrations had been abrogated, theirs was a minority position founded on fabricated/very-weak ahadith and, rather than relying on sound scripture, rested more on a theological/moral objection to the idea that the prophets's parents could be in hell.[5] The fabricated/very-weak hadith referenced by scholars holding the non-mainstream view argue that even while Muhammad said the narrations attributed to him in Sahih Muslim (and quoted above), his parents were thereafter resurrected from their graves in order to convert to Islam. Ibn Taymiyyah wrote regarding hadith these specific fabricated/weak hadith that "imams of hadeeth are unanimously agreed that they are fabricated, such as al-Daaraqutni, al-Jawzaqaani, Ibn Shaheen, al-Khateeb, Ibn ‘Asaakir, Ibn Naasir, Ibn al-Jawzi, al-Suhayli, al-Qurtubi, al-Muhibb, al-Tabari, Fath al-Deen ibn Sayyid al-Naas, Ibraaheem al-Halabi and others."[6]

In an example of another unresolved theological foible, most Sunni theologians would end up insisting that Muhammad's parents could not be in hell, despite these explicit statements in scripture, without anything other than a respect for the Ahl al-Bayt (lit. "people of the house", Muhammad's family) that stifled the acceptance of the plain meaning of these narrations.


The name Abdullah means "Slave of Allah". Abdullah's name demonstrates that the title of "Allah" and the idea of being his 'Abd, or slave, was familiar to polytheistic Arabs prior to the advent of Islam, though the matter is hardly contested.

See Also

External Links


  1. "ʿAbd Allāh", Encyclopædia Britannica, July 9, 2011 (archived), http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1237855/Abd-Allah. 
  2. Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari. Tarikh al-Rusul wa'l-Muluk. Translated by Watt, W. M., & McDonald, M. V. (1988). Volume 6: Muhammad at Mecca, p. 6. Albany: State University of New York Press.
  3. Ibn Sa'd/Haq p. 107.
  4. Ibn Sa'd/Haq pp. 107-108.
  5. "Are the parents of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in Paradise or in Hell?", Islam Q&A, Fatwa No. 47170 (archived), http://islamqa.com/en/ref/47170/hell. 
  6. Ibid.