The Elephant Raid
The King of Abyssinia (
When the Quraysh came to know of the attack, they were filled with fear, as they were no match for such a large and strong army. They jointly requested their chief, ‘Abdul-Muttalib to go to Abrahah and explore a way to avert the battle. When ‘Abdul-Muttalib presented himself to Abrahah, he was greatly impressed and held him in high esteem. ‘Abdul-Muttalib stated that Abrahah's army had captured 200 camels, which belonged to him. Thereupon Abrahah remarked that he took him to be a wise person but he obviously was mistaken. He (‘Abdul-Muttalib) was aware that Abrahah had come with the sole purpose of demolishing the House of Allah — the Ka'bah. However, intentionally ignoring the topic, he only spoke of his camels instead of saving the Ka'bah.
‘Abdul-Muttalib said: " I am merely the owner of the camels, but this House also has an Owner and He will save it."
The answer enraged Abrahah and he burst out in anger saying he would see if the Lord of the House would save it. His army was destroyed and left like an empty field from which all the corn has been eaten up, and only the straw with stalks and stubble was left. The complete rout of Abrahah's forces after ‘Abdul Muttalib’s daring reply was a very significant event for
After that fateful event, the rule of
We have mentioned that ‘Abdul-Muttalib invoked Allah the Almighty that in case he was granted ten sons, he would sacrifice one of them in the name of God. ‘Abdul-Muttalib had ten sons, Al-Harith, Az-Zubayr, Abu Talib, 'Abdullah, Hamzah, Abu Lahab, Ghidaq, Maqwam, Safar and Al-'Abbas. He also had six daughters, who were Umm Al-Hakim, Barrah, 'Atikah, Safiya, Arwa and Omayma.
'Abdullah was the father of Prophet Muhammad . His mother was Fatimah, daughter of 'Amr Ibn 'A'idh Ibn 'Imran Ibn Makhzum Ibn Yaqdha Ibn Murrah. 'Abdullah was the most handsome of ‘Abdul-Muttalib's sons, the chastest and the most loved. He was also the son whom the divination arrows pointed at, to be slaughtered as a sacrifice to Al-Ka'bah. When ‘Abdul-Muttalib had ten sons and they reached maturity, he revealed to them his secret vow which they silently and obediently accepted. Their names were written on divination arrows and given to the guardian of their most beloved goddess, Hubal.
The arrows were shuffled and drawn. An arrow showed that it was 'Abdullah to be sacrificed. ‘Abdul-Muttalib then took the boy to Al-Ka'bah with a razor to slaughter the boy. Quraysh, his uncles from Makhzoom tribe and his brother Abu Talib, however, tried to dissuade him from consummating his purpose. After much discussion they turned to Saja', a famous soothsayer. She pointed out that blood money for their (‘Abdul-Muttalib's) clan was ten camels. Thus, they should put ‘Abdullah on one side and ten camels on the other and then draw the lots.
In case the camels were chosen they would be slaughtered, but if ‘Abdullah was chosen they should add ten more camels and draw again. They should keep adding to the number of the camels until the camels were drawn. This exercise went on until the number of camels reached one hundred. ‘Abdul-Muttalib drew the lots twice more for his personal satisfaction, but each time it fill upon the camels. Hence, 100 camels were slaughtered and ‘Abdullah was saved. Since that time, the blood money of a person who was killed was fixed at one hundred camels.
‘Abdul-Muttalib chose Aminah, daughter of Wahab Ibn 'Abd Munaf Ibn Zahrah Ibn Kilab, as a wife for his son, 'Abdullah. In the light of this ancestral lineage, she stood eminent in respect of nobility of position and descent. Her father was the chief of Bani Zahrah, to whom great honor was attributed. They were married in Makkah, and soon after 'Abdullah was sent by his father to buy dates in Madeenah where he died. According to another version, 'Abdullah went to
'Abdullah left very little wealth -- five camels, a small number of goats, a woman servant called Barakah Umm Ayman, who would later serve as the Prophet's nursemaid.