A Revelation – Abu Lahab
Prophet Muhammad (r) had an uncle by the name of Abu Lahab. This man hated Islam to such an extent that he used to follow the Prophet around in order to discredit him. If Abu Lahab Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam the Prophet (r) speaking to a stranger, he would wait until they parted and the would go to the stranger and ask him, “What did he tell you? Did he say, ‘Black’? Well, it’s white. Did he say ‘morning’? Well, it’s night.” He faithfully said the exact opposite of whatever he heard Muhammad (r) and the Muslims say. However, about ten years before Abu Lahab died, a little chapter in the Quran (Surah al-Lahab, 111) was revealed about him.
It distinctly stated that he would go to the fire (i.e., Hell). In other words, it affirmed that he would never become a Muslim and would therefore be condemned forever. For ten years all Abu Lahab had to do was say, “I heard that it has been revealed to Muhammad that I will never change – that I will never become a Muslim and will enter the Hellfire. Well, I want to become Muslim now. How do you like that? What do you think of your divine revelation now?” But he never did that. And yet, that is exactly the kind of behavior one would have expected from him since he always sought to contradict Islam.
In essence, Muhammad (r) said, “You hate me and you want to finish me? Here, say these words, and I am finished. Come on, say them!” But Abu Lahab never said them. Ten years! And in all that time he never accepted Islam or even became sympathetic to the Islamic cause.
How could Muhammad (r) possibly have known for sure that Abu Lahab would fulfil the Quranic revelation if he (i.e., Muhammad) was not truly the messenger of Allah? How could he possibly have been so confident as to give someone 10 years to discredit his claim of prophethood? The only answer is that he was Allah’s messenger; for in order to put forth such a risky challenge, one has to be entirely convinced that he has a divine revelation.
By: Dr. Gary Miller-غاري ميلر, All Rights Reserved 1992. Abul-Qasim Publishing House (AQPH).