Did Abu-Talib die as a believer of Islam such that the Shia consider it an honor to visit his shrine?
ANSWER:According to the view of the Shias, AbuTalib, the Son of Abdul Muttalib and the father of the Commander of the faithful, the uncle of the honorable prophet of Islam is a believer in the message of God and His prophet, and was a supporter of the Prophet during difficulties and hardships right from the early period of Islam. The Family of Abu talib:He was born in the family of 'Abdul-Muttalib', the Prophet's grandfather who happened to be the hero of the followers of the religion of Prophet Ebrahim, the friend of God. Abdul-Muttalib never desisted in worshipping Allah and supporting the truthful religion of unity, and this is clearly noted throughout the pages of History. It all began when Abraham came with a heavy army of elephants aiming to destroy the Holy sanctuary of Kaaba and in the midst of their path; some of the camels of Abdul-Muttalib were confiscated. At this juncture, Abdul-Muttalib came and asked Abraham to restore his camels, Abraham retorted:" Instead of asking back for your camels, why don't you ask that my army should return back, and Allah's sanctuary, the Holy Ka'aba, not be destroyed?" Abdul-Muttalib answered with an overflowing spirit of faith and reliance towards the Lord that: "I am the owner of my camels, and this House the 'Ka'aba' has a Lord in the same manner, for it's protection."Then Abdul-Muttalib came towards Mecca and reached the holy Ka'aba, and supplicated to the Lord whilst holding the loop of the door, saying, "O my Lord, I have no hope whatsoever in anyone but Thou. O Lord! Protect me from the evil of these enemies, the enemies of the Ka'aba who are fighting against you, prevent them from destroying your Holy Sanctuary."Such eloquent utterances among other similar ones, clarify the evidences of His worship towards Allah, and his firm faith this is why 'Yaqoobi' in his history writes the following regarding Abdul-Muttalib:"He refused to worship idols and was a believer in the one and only Exalted and Glorious Lord."Now let us now look at the opinion of Abdul-Muttalib regarding his son, Abu-Talib:Abu Talib from the viewpoint of Abdul-Muttalib:Amidst the pages of History, it is evident that some of the predictors of clear conscience informed Abdul-Muttalib of the bright future of the Holy prophet and his prophethood.When 'Saif bin thi Yazdan' was ruling over Abysinnia, Abdul-Muttalib who was heading a mission came to meet him, and after presenting him with an eloquent speech, the commander of Abyssinia gave him the glad tidings that a dignified Prophet shall be born in his family, then added to the following regarding the characteristics of the Prophet;"His Name will be Muhammed (p), His father and mother shall die and both his grandfather and uncle will take the responsibility of his guardianship."Later the king went on giving a detailed description of this prophet who would come in the future adding that: "He worships the beneficent God, prevents the Satan, puts off the fires and destroys the idols. His speech shall be the criterion for distinguishing right from wrong and his judgment will be based on justice. He will not only invite the mankind to enact the lawful, but will also practice it himself, and shall forbid the people from committing the unlawful and will nullify it."Then the King said to Abdul-Muttalib:"Undoubtedly, you are his grandfather."Abdul-Muttalib after hearing all these glad tidings, immediately went in prostration to show his gratitude towards the Lord. He mentioned the story of this blessed child as follows: "I had a son whom I loved very dearly, in his youth, I arranged his marriage with an noble lady known as 'Aminah', the daughter of Wahab bin Abd-Manaf, she then gave birth to a boy whom I named Muhammed, His parents after some time, died and so both his uncle and I became his guardians."According to the above-mentioned statement of Abdul-Muttalib, it becomes quite evident that Abdul-Muttalib was aware of the bright future of the orphan child and thus, he planned to assign his guardianship to his dearest son, Abu-Talib after him and deprived the rest from this great honor of the guardianship of the Prophet.Therefore it was only Abu-Talib who was worthy to guard the Holy Prophet according to the Abdul Muttalib, who was a staunch believer in the unity of God.For further explanation, let us go on to mention the proofs of the faith of Abu Talib:The Proof Of The faith of Abu-Talib.His Library and Scholarly works:The Islamic scholars and historians have mentioned beautiful poems of Abu Talib that cover very high literary scholarly works, and disclose his true faith. Let us mention some of these:"Let the noble and great people know that Muhammed is a prophet as was Prophet Musa and Jesus. He had the same heavenly light which they had; thus all the divine prophets with God's command guide the people and prevent them from the unlawful.""Don't you know that we found Muhammed (p) a prophet as Moses; this was explained in the heavenly books. People love him and no oppression should be practiced against the one whom the Mighty Lord has put His love in the hearts.""The Glorious Lord has honored his Prophet Muhammed. Therefore, the most honored creature of God is Ahmad. God had derived the Prophet's name from His own, wanting to glorify him. Thus, God, the owner of the throne is Mahmood (the praiseworthy), and his prophet is Ahmad (the very much praising)""O God's messenger, never shall your enemies get to you, not till I rest in my grave, so don't worry, disclose your mission, give glad tidings and enlighten the hearts. You called me to your religion and I know that you are only a well- wisher to me, and also sincere in your call. I clearly realized that Muhammed's (p) religion is the best of religions in all of the worlds."O God's religion witness upon me, witness to my faith in God's messenger: Muhammed (p), if others are mislead in religion, I am guided."Abu-Talib in his last days of his sacred life, adviced the important figures of the tribe of Quraish to give their full support to God's messenger and this is clearly witnessed in the following poems (translated)"I advice four persons to support the prophet of goodness, my son Ali, the great man of our tribe: Abbas, God's Lion: Hamza who has always been the protector of the honored prophet, and my son Jaffer. You-who is my beloved and I am sacrificed for you- be as the shields towards God's messenger, before the enemies."Any impartial and righteous person, by witnessing all these Lovely poems which states with perfect frankness and lucidity, explaining Abu-Talib's faith in the Oneness of God and the honorable Prophet's message, will realize his perfect faith; and will feel remorseful for the baseless accusations which some writers, with special political aims, have against the believer of Quraish, God's prophet's uncle and the protector of the great religion in the most difficult circumstances of early Islam. Abu Talibs love and affection towards the Holy prophet shows his faith in Islam:All the well-known historians and biographers mention that his unique devotion to God's messenger clearly states the evidence to the firm belief that he had.Abu Talib with the aim of protecting Islam and the Holy Prophet, preferred three yearof seclusion besides God's messenger in the mountain pass defile of Abu-talib, to heading Quraish. He stayed with the Honorable Prophet will the end of the economical siege and bore all the problems in those unendurable circumstances.Moreover, he also called his beloved son Ali (p) to have perfect agreement with the messenger of Allah and to accompany him in all the difficult circumstances during the early period of Islam. Ibn Abi-Al-Hadid Al-Mutazali in the commentary of Nahjul-Balagha mentioned that Abu-Talib addressed his son (p) Ali, of this: "God's messenger is only calling you to goodness, thus make sure to always accompany him."It is clear that all these services of Abu-talib towards the Holy prophet and his sincere self-sacrifices in the defending of Islam are the most evident witnesses to his faith.Therefore, this great Muslim scholar Ibn Al-Hadid said the following poem regarding the crucial role of Abu-Talib in protecting God's messenger and His religion. "If it was not for Abu-Talib and his son, the religion of Islam would never be settled; the one gave protection to him in Mecca and the other (his son) immersed in the maelstrom of death (in defense of God's messenger).Nobody can ever harm the glory of Abu-talib, neither the ignorant idle-talker, not those who are aware, pretending of ignorance!"The final will of Abu Talib shows his faith in that:The well known historians of Islam such as 'Halabi Shafe-ee' in his history and 'Muhammed Dayar-bakri' in Tareekh Al-Khamees mentioned the last speech of Abu-Talib calling his people to the support of the messenger of Allah saying that:"O people of Quraish, be the lovers and followers of Muhammed and support his party (Islam), swearing to God, that whosoever followed his light of guidance will gain nothing but felicity. If my life would have continued and death gave me a respite, I would have undoubtedly removed all his hardships and difficulties. He said this and then passed away.God's messenger in many occasions glorified his uncle-Abu-Talib- showed his love to him, that we shall point two instances: