Abd AL Muttalib عبد المطالب
He was the grandfather of Prophet Muhammad being a son of Hashim, son of `Abd Munaf, son of Qusayy. The Banu Hashim were a clan of the Quraysh tribe. Originally he was named Shaybah by his mother Salma who was of the Najjar clan of the Khazraj tribe, settlers in the township of Yathrib. He inherited the job of feeding and watering the pilgrims after the death of his nephew. It was he who had – following inspiration from on High - dug up Zamzam after it fell into disuse and its location became unknown.
As the Prophet ’s father had died six months before his birth, `Abd al Muttalib took charge of him. It was he who had named him Muhammad . When asked why he had preferred the name Muhammad over those commonly used by his family, he replied that he wished that Muhammad be praised by Allah in the heavens and by the people on the earth.
Reports say that he took great care of his grandson. Once, he sent the child Muhammad to look for a camel that was lost. When he took long to return, he got extremely worried, to the extent that when he appeared with the camel, he promised himself that he will never send him on any errand anytime, and will never let him out of sight. Accordingly, he kept him close to himself and would not allow anyone to visit him when he was asleep. He had an appointed place for himself in the shade of the Ka’ba, where he spread his mat. No one was allowed a place on the mat but Muhammad , his own children taking front positions. Perhaps in recognition of the love and care he bestowed on the Prophet , he said the line during the initial rout of the Muslims at Hunayn:
When Abraha of the Yemen decided to invade Makkah and raze the Ka’ba to the ground, the Makkans left for mountain tops, unable to defend the city, and unable to bear the sight of the House being razed to the ground. `Abd al-Muttalib, however, sought an interview with Abraha. It was granted, and when he went in, Abraha was quite impressed by the imposing personality. `Abraha wished to know the purpose of his visit. `Abd al-Muttalib said he wanted the camels that had been seized from him returned. Abraha replied that he was much impressed by the personality which evoked respect. He thought `Abd al-Muttalib would ask that the Ka’ba be spared. But, he was disappointed that his concern should only be his camels. `Abd al-Muttalib replied, “I am the owner of the camels. The House has its owner. He will defend it.” The next day birds swooped upon Abraha’s army, stoning them to death and disease.
He left six daughters the familiar names being Umm Hakeem, Barra, `Atika, Safiyyah, and ten sons, `Abbas, Hamza, `Abdullah, Abu Talib and Abu Lahab being the notable ones.
The story about he offering 100 camels to save `Abdullah from being sacrificed, has been discredited by most Hadith experts.