Translated by Br. Muhammed Jaffer.
خليليَّ ما أُذْني لأوَّلِ عاذلِ
بِصَغْواءَ في حقٍّ ولا عندَ باطل
خليليَّ إنَّ الرأيَ ليسَ بِشِركة ٍ
ولا نَهْنَهٍ عندَ الأمورِ البَلابلِ
ولمّا رأيتُ القومَ لا وُدَّ عندَهُمْ
وقد قَطَعوا كلَّ العُرى والوَسائلِ
وقد صارحونا بالعداوة ِ والأذى
وقد طاوَعوا أمرَ العدوِّ المُزايلِ
وقد حالَفُوا قوما علينا أظِنَّة ً
يعضُّون غيظا خَلفَنا بالأناملِ
صَبرتُ لهُمْ نَفسي بسمراءَ سَمحة ٍ
وأبيضَ عَضْبٍ من تُراث المقاوِلِ
وأحْضَرتُ عندَ البيتِ رَهْطي وإخوتي
وأمسكتُ من أثوابهِ بالوَصائلِ
قياما معا مستقبلين رِتاجَهُ
لدَى حيثُ يَقضي نُسْكَهُ كلُّ نافلِ
وحيثُ يُنِيخُ الأشعرونَ ركابَهُم
بِمَفْضَى السُّيولِ من إسافٍ ونائلِ
مُوسَّمَة َ الأعضادِ أو قَصَراتِها
مُخيَّسة ً بين السَّديس وبازِلِ
تَرى الوَدْعَ فيها والرُّخامَ وزينة ً
بأعناقِها معقودة ً كالعثاكلِ
أعوذُ بربِّ النَّاسِ من كلِّ طاعِنٍ
عَلينا بسوءٍ أو مُلِحٍّ بباطلِ
ومِن كاشحٍ يَسْعى لنا بمعيبة ٍ
ومِن مُلحِقٍ في الدِّين ما لم نُحاولِ
وثَوْرٍ ومَن أرسى ثَبيراً مَكانَه
وراقٍ ٍليرقى في حِراءٍ ونازلِ
وبالبيتِ رُكنِ البيتِ من بطنِ مكَّة ٍ
وباللَّهِ إنَّ اللهَ ليس بغافلِ
وبالحَجَرِ المُسْودِّ إذ يَمْسَحونَهُ
إذا اكْتَنَفوهُ بالضُّحى والأصائلِ
ومَوطِىء إبراهيمَ في الصَخرِ رَطَبة َ
على قَدميهِ حافياً غيرَ ناعلِ
وأَشواطِ بَينَ المَرْوَتَينِ إلى الصَّفا
وما فيهما من صورة ٍ وتَماثِلِ
ومن حجَّ بيتَ اللَّهِ من كلِّ راكبٍ
ومِن كلِّ ذي نَذْرٍ ومِن كلِّ راجلِ
وبالمَشْعَرِ الأقصى إذا عَمدوا لهُ
ألالٍ إلى مَفْضَى الشِّراج القوابلِ
وتَوْقافِهم فوقَ الجبالِ عشيَّة ً
يُقيمون بالأيدي صُدورَ الرَّواحِلِ
وليلة ِ جَمعٍ والمنازلُ مِن مِنى ً
وهل فَوقَها من حُرمة ٍ ومَنازلِ
وجَمعٍ إذا ما المَقْرُباتُ أجزْنَهُ
سِراعاً كما يَفْزَعْنَ مِن وقعِ وابِلِ
وبالجَمْرَة ِ الكُبرى إذا صَمدوا لها
يَؤمُّونَ قَذْفاً رأسَها بالجنادلِ
وكِنْدَة ُ إذْ هُم بالحِصابِ عَشِيَّة ً
تُجيزُ بهمْ حِجاجَ بكرِ بنِ وائلِ
حَليفانِ شَدَّا عِقْدَ ما اجْتَمعا لهُ
وردَّا عَليهِ عاطفاتِ الوسائلِ
وحَطْمُهمُ سُمْرَ الصفاح وسرحه
وشبرقه وخذ النعام الجوافل
فهل فوقَ هذا مِن مَعاذٍ لعائذٍ
وهَل من مُعيذٍ يَتَّقي اللَّهَ عادِلِ؟
يُطاعُ بنا الأعدا وودُّا لو أنَّنا
تُسَدُّ بنا أبوابُ تُركٍ وكابُلِ
كذَبْتُمْ وبيتِ اللَّهِ نَتْركَ مكَّة ً
ونظعَنَ إلاَّ أمرُكُم في بَلابلِ
كَذَبْتُم وبيتِ اللَّهِ نُبَزى محمدا
ولمّا نُطاعِن دونَهُ ونُناضِلِ
نقيم على نصر النبي محمد
نقاتل عنه بالظبى والعواسل
وننصره حتى نُصَرَّعَ حَوْلَهُ
ونَذْهُل عن أبنائِنا والحَلائلِ
وينهضَ قَومٌ في الحديدِ إليكُمُ
نُهوضَ الرَّوايا تحتَ ذاتِ الصَّلاصِل
وحتَّى نرى ذو الضِّغْنِ يركبُ رَدْعَهُ
منَ الطَّعنِ فِعلَ الأنكَبِ المُتَحامِل
وإنِّي لعَمرُ اللَّهِ إنْ جَدَّ ما أرى
لَتَلْتَبِسَنْ أَسيافُنا بالأماثلِ
بكفِّ امرئٍ مثلِ الشِّهابِ سَمَيْدَع
أخي ثِقَة ٍ حامي الحقيقة ِ باسلِ
من السر من فرعي لوي بن غالب
منيع الحمى عند الوغى غير واكل
شُهورا وأيّاما وحَولاً مُجرَّما
عَلينا وتأتي حِجَّة ٌ بعدَ قابلِ
وما تَرْكُ قَومٍ ، لاأبالك ، سَيِّدا
يَحوطُ الذِّمارَ غَيرَ ذَرْب مُواكلِ؟
وأبيضَ يُسْتَسْقَى الغَمامُ بوجههِ
ثِمالُ اليتامى عِصْمة ٌ للأراملِ
يلوذُ به الهُلاّكُ من آلِ هاشمٍ
فهُم عندَهُ في نِعمة ٍ وفَواضلِ
لعَمري لقد كَلِفْتُ وَجْدا بأحمدٍ
وأحببته دأبَ المحبِّ المُواصِلِ
فأيَّدَه ربُّ العبّادِ بنصرهِ
وأظهرَ دَينا حقُّه غيرُ ناصلِ
فلا زالَ في الدُّنيا جَمالاً لأهلِها
وزَينا على رغم العدو المخاتل
فمَنْ مثلُهُ في النَّاسِ أيُّ مؤمَّلٍ
إذا قاسَه الحكَّامُ عندَ التَّفاضُلِ
حليمٌ رشيدٌ عادلٌ غيرُ طائشٍ
يُوالي إلها ليسَ عنهُ بغافلِ
ألم تعلموا أنَّ ابْنَنا لا مُكذَّبٌ
لَدَينا ولا يُعْنى َ بقَوْلِ الأباطلِ
فو اللهِ لولا أن أَجيءَ بسُبَّة ٍ
تَجُرُّ على أشياخنا في المَحافلِ
لكنَّا اتَّبعْناهُ على كلِّ حالة ٍ
منَ الدَّهرِ جِدا غيرَ قَولِ التَّهازُلِ
وداستكم منا رجال أعزة
إذا جردوا أيمانهم بالمناصل
رجالٌ كِرامٌ غيرُ مِيلٍ نَماهُم
إلى الغُرِّ آباءٌ كرامُ المَخاصلِ
دَفَعناهُم حتَّى تَبدَّدَ جَمعُهُمْ
وحسَّرَ عنّا كلُّ باغٍ وجاهلِ
بِضَربٍ تَرى الفتيانَ فيهِ كأنَّهُم
ضَواري أسودٍ فوقَ لحمٍ خَرادلِ
ولكنَّنا نسلٌ كرامٌ لسادة ٍ
بهم نَعْتلي الأقوامَ عندَ التَّطاوُلِ
سَيَعْلمُ أهلُ الضِّغْنِ أيِّي وأيُّهُمْ
يفوزُ ويعلو في ليالٍ قلائلِ
ومَنْ ذا يمَلُّ الحربَ مني ومِنْهم
ويحمدُ في الآفاقِ مِن قَولِ قائلِ؟
وأيُّهُم منِّي ومنْهُم بسيفهِ
يُلاقي إذا ما حانَ وقتُ التَّنازُلِ
فأصبحَ فينا أحمدٌ في أُرومة ٍ
تُقصِّرُ عنها سَورة ُ المُتَطاوِلِ
وجُدْتُ بنفسي دونَهُ وحَمَيتُهُ
ودافَعْتُ عنه بالذرى والكلاكلِ
ولا شَكَّ أنَّ اللهَ رافعُ أمرِهِ
ومُعليهِ في الدُّنيا ويومَ التَّجادُلِ
كما قد أرى في اليوم والأمس قبله
ووالده رؤياه من خير آفل
Oh my friends! I don’t yield to the first admonition
In times of discerning a truth or a fiction
Oh my friends! Decisions are not by plurality
Nor are they clear during times of calamity:
When I saw this clan, devoid of affection
Cutting off every tie and connection;
Vaunting upon us with pain and rancor
Heeding the words of spiteful recanters;
Allying against us with folks detested
Biting their nails in hate, so fetid—
Then I saved for them so supple a spear
And a silver sword, for kings whetted sheer
And at God’s House brought my tribe and my kinsmen
And clasped at its braided Yemenite curtain
Standing together while facing its entrance
At just the place where the pious pay penance
Where shaggy pilgrims do halt their mounts
Where the valley at Isaaf and Naa’il sprouts
Camels branded on necks or on limbs
Between eight and nine, for sacrifice primmed
Whose necks are adorned with marble’s luster
And cowrie shells like racemes in clusters!
With the Lord of men I do seek shelter
from every traducer and stubborn rejector
From every foe that seeks to malign us
And those who with falsity aim to align us
And with Thawr and Thabeer’s creator
And Mount Hiraa’s righteous meditator
With the right of God’s House in Mecca’s enclosure
And with God Himself, forever the Knower!
And with that Black Stone, hallowed of reverence
Which by day and night is paid such deference
With Abraham’s footprint, in stone so weathered
Wrought out barefoot, of sandals unfettered
And with those tracks between Safa and Marwa
And what resides there of statues plethora
And with those who to God’s house tredge
By foot or by riding, bound in their pledge
And with that final site where they head
Across Mount Alal, through its watershed
And with their station on the Mount in the evening
And when they restrain their camels from leaving
And the night of assembly and Mina’s embankments
For beyond these where else are holy encampments?!
With Jam’ when they cross it on their steeds
As though from a torrent they race to flee
And with the great Jamrah when they do approach
And hurl its crest with the stones of reproach
And by Kindah’s reaching the station of stoning
When Bakr’s pilgrims safeguard their going:
Two tribes that meet there to strengthen their bonds
Exchanging emotions of amity, fond
And in those clifftop shrubs they trample
Like ostriches surging, on the scramble
Is there any refuge past these for shelter?
Or any God-fearing righteous defender?!
We are—on account of enemies’ fancy—
well-nigh banished to Kabul and Turkey!
By God’s house! That we should leave Mecca you lie
Indeed, your affairs would be shambles thereby!
By God’s House you lie that Muhammad should yield
While still for his sake bow and lance we don’t wield
Muhammad the Prophet we’ll stay and support
By sword and by lance, attacks we will thwart
Defending him till all around him we’ve fallen—
Depriving for him our children and women
Upon you will ravage a folk, iron-coated
The ravage of watering-camels, loaded!
Until we see those steeped in their hate
Fall on their face from the strike of our mace
By God we swear: should the threat reach fruition
Our swords will collide with your choicest kinsmen
In the hands of a blazing youth, magnanimous
Trustworthy, protective, and most valorous
From Lu’ayy ibn Ghalib doubly descending
In battle impervious, most unrelenting!
War we will wage for months in succession
And year after year, without a concession!
How can we leave—may you have no father—
A noble bulwark, not weakened nor bothered
By whose radiant face the rain is summoned
The refuge for widows, asylum for orphans
In whom Banu Hashim’s estranged seek refuge
And find in his favors a most ample deluge
By my life! In Ahmad’s affection I’m smitten
For I love him the love of a lover, stricken
May the Lord of Servants grant him His aid
And make clear the truth of his creed, not to fade
Midst this world’s folk, his is beauty eternal
And his is a charm, despite foes infernal
For who is like him, to whom else is yearned?!
When squared with kings, the latter are spurned!
Forbearing, wise, just, and eminent
Who takes as his Lord The Forever Cognizant
For do you not know that we don’t belie
Our son, and he does not hearken to lies?!
For had it not been that disgrace I should garner
Amidst assemblies against our forefathers
We would have adhered to him, devout
Forever to him, so ardent no doubt!
And upon you our hosts would smite
With brandished swords, imbued with might!
Men upright who know not retreat
Their bloodline stamped by honor, replete
Yes we would oppose them till they crumble
And till every fool and rebel does crumple
From our troop a strike so fierce would teem
As though we were lions amidst smithereens
But we are that spawn indeed by whose lords
Other tribes vaunt by relation towards
Nay soon those wont to hatred will witness—
In just a few nights—which of us will flourish!
Whether they or I will grow weary of war
And which of us shall earn praise galore
And which among us his sword will furnish
When at the brink of violent skirmish
For among us Ahmad is borne of a stalk
At which every boaster may only gawk
I do defend him and my soul do ransom
Protecting him with my choicest, most handsome
Yes no doubt that God will raise his stature
And exalt him here and in the Hereafter
As I had believed both today and prior
And just as that vision of his grandfather!
 Ja’far an-Naqdi believes that this poem was composed while Abu Talib and the rest of Banu Hashim had been boycotted by the Quraysh and consigned to live in the Shi’b of Abu Talib on the outskirts of Makkah. Abu Talib begins his panegyric in a dual address; thus a more literal rendering would be “Oh my (two) friends!” The dual was used at times in Arabic poetry to refer to one’s most intimate companions. In these lines, Abu Talib tells his companions that in his judgements, he does not listen to those who are quick to rebuke him but rather relies on his own independent intelligence. It is notable here that Abu Talib does not engage in the classic form of tashbeeb (rhapsody), but rather directly engages with his subject matter.
 This is a further clarification from Abu Talib to his companions that he does not believe a correct decision is made based on consultation with others; rather they may be convoluted and require an intimate knowledge only discernible to the decision-maker. The decision in particular being referred to here is his undying and ardent support for our Holy Prophet (saw).
 This is of course a reference to the Quraysh and their boycott of Banu Hashim despite their bonds of tribal kinship.
 It is said that the sword alluded to in these lines was a gift to ‘Abdul Muttalib from the Yemenite Himyari king Sayf ibn Dhi Yazan, who was a monotheist and prophesized the coming of the Holy Prophet (saw). Abu Talib makes it clear in these lines that he had prepared himself for war against those who sought to persecute the Holy Prophet (saw).
 In these lines, Abu Talib seizes upon his status as the Custodian of the Ka’bah, explaining how he, along with his family, sought refuge at God’s House against the conspiracy hatched against the Holy Prophet (saw). During the pre-Islamic period, the Ka’bah was adorned with braided Yemenite cloth. It is said that the first individual who clothed the Ka’bah with a kiswah was the Jewish Himyarite king As’ad al-Kamil (390-420 CE).
 In the powerful imagery of these lines, Abu Talib seeks to describe the House where he has gathered his kinsfolk. These lines serve as valuable historical documentation, as they provide us with many details of the Ka’bah and rituals of Hajj in the pre-Islamic era. Abu Talib makes it clear that the Ka’bah was a place of homage and pilgrimage for the pious. The reference to “shaggy pilgrims” gathering at the Ka’bah substantiates that the tradition of shaving one’s head after its visitation was upheld even during that era. Isaaf and Naa’ilah were two statues that were kept at Safa and Marwa respectively; it was held in Arab legend that these were two individuals who fornicated in the Ka’bah and thus were transfigured into statues as Divine punishment. Over time, the Arabs began to worship them as idols. When the Holy Prophet (saw) conquered Makkah, he ordered for these statues to be destroyed. Finally, Abu Talib describes the camel-sacrifices made at the Ka’bah by the pre-Islamic Arabs: how they were brandished, their age, and how they were decorated.
 Abu Talib, as a form of stirring up the sympathies of his listeners, now begins to take refuge against his enemies through a long series of entities and places which the Arabs held sacred or dear, starting with God Almighty.
 Thawr is a mountain to the south of Makkah, and incidentally was also the mountain which the Prophet chose to seek as a place of refuge against his enemies from Quraysh when he was migrating to Madinah. Thabeer refers to a mountain range to the east of Makkah which the Pre-Islamic Arabs used to appoint the time of exit from Muzdalifa. It is also purported as the place of descent for the sacrificial lamb of Prophet Ibrahim (as). Finally, Abu Talib takes refuge in Hiraa’, a mountain to the northeast of Makkah that was known to the Arabs as a place for meditation. This is also the place where the Prophet (saw) received revelation.
 Abu Talib takes refuge in sites here that continue to be regarded by Muslims as sacred: the Ka’bah, the Black Stone, and the Maqam Ibrahim (the Station of Ibrahim) where the imprint of Prophet Ibrahim’s feet may still be seen.
 We see again a reference to the racing back and forth between Safa and Marwa, a tradition that is preserved in the Islamic Hajj. In the hadith, it is reported that Safa was the place of descent of Prophet Adam (as), and given that he was the chosen one (al-mustafa), the mountain Safa derived its name from this indication. Meanwhile, Eve descended on Marwa, and given she was a woman (al-mar’ah) the mountain Marwa derived its name from this. Of course, racing between these two sites is seen as a tribute of emulation to Hajar in her search for water. During the time of the pre-Islamic Arabs these mountains were filled with idols. It should be said that as a strict monotheist, Abu Talib only describes the idolatry at those sites in keeping with the Arab customs of that time, not due to his own reverence for them.
 The allusion to the “final site” is to Mount ‘Arafat, still revered in the Islamic Hajj; it is referred to as “final” here because it is the furthest from Makkah. Mount Ilaal is one of the mountains within the confines of ‘Arafat.
 Referring to the pilgrims’ standing at ‘Arafat before their descent into Muzdalifa and Mina, again preserved in the Islamic Hajj tradition. Muzdalifa here is referred to as “the night of assembly” due to the pilgrims gathering there.
 Jam’ (gathering) is an alternative name for Muzdalifa; here Abu Talib describes how the pilgrims rush at this site in crowds, again quite parallel to the Islamic Hajj.
 The great Jamrah is a reference to the largest pillar at Mina, also known as Jamrah al-‘Aqabah, which the pre-Islamic Arabs used to hurl with stones just as Muslims do today.
 Kindah and Bakr were two ancient Arab tribes that used the season of the Hajj to re-establish their alliances; by invoking this imagery, Abu Talib seeks to draw a stark contrast with the Arab tribes’ betrayal of the Banu Hashim, whereby they are offered no friendship or refuge amidst their boycott.
 Abu Talib alludes here with his imagery to the enthusiasm and energy with which the pilgrims make their pilgrimage, trampling all foliage in their path.
 This marks the end of Abu Talib’s extended appeal to the Arabs by all they hold dear; he concludes by a rhetorical question to the effect of asking, “Is there anything else I can use to appeal to you, dear listener, against these enemies who seek to malign us?”
 Abu Talib alludes here to how the enemies of Banu Hashim sought to exile them and excommunicate them from the Arabian peninsula altogether.
 Rather than relenting to their pressure, Abu Talib in these lines doubles down and emphasizes that he will no doubt support the Prophet until the end, sacrificing it all including his own family. His epithet of “Muhammad the Prophet” clearly proves his belief in the Holy Prophet’s (saw) prophethood. The threatening nature of these lines helps to shed light upon to what extent the enemies of the Prophet had gone in pressuring Banu Hashim to succumb and relinquish their support from the Holy Prophet (saw). Thanks to Abu Talib’s staunch leadership, this did not materialize.
 This is a complex metaphor difficult to render into English idiom; in the desert climate of Arabia, camels loaded with water were seen as a sign of power, wealth, and endurance. Here, Abu Talib likens his army in its fury to these well-equipped camels.
 During times of war, Arabs always sought to match the prowess of their warriors with those of their opponents. This was considered a sign of chivalry, as attacking low-level combatants was not seen as honorable. In these lines, Abu Talib therefore threatens the chieftains of his enemies. It is said that after the Battle of Badr while the Prophet was surveying the dead bodies of his enemies from Quraysh, he stated, “If only Abu Talib was alive today, he would see that our swords indeed struck down their choicest kinsmen!”
 The reference to the blazing youth is of course to the Holy Prophet (saw), who Abu Talib recognizes with abundant praise and places as the commander of Banu Hashim in war.
 The reference to the blazing youth is of course to the Holy Prophet (saw), who Abu Talib recognizes with abundant praise. Lu’ayy ibn Ghalib was the ancestor of the Holy Prophet eight generations previously and he was descended from him from both his mother and his father. Abu Talib’s identifying the Prophet in this manner could be either 1) because the Arabs had known for generations that a Prophet would rise from the descendants of Lu’ayy ibn Ghalib; or 2) because he wanted to acknowledge the nobility of the Prophet’s birth as a direct descendant of one of the highest princes of Makkah, who was himself a direct descendant of Prophet Isma’il.
 The Arabic here is approximated in translation. More literally, Abu Talib rhetorically wonders how Banu Hashim could ever betray such an honorable individual like the Holy Prophet (saw), who preserves whatever is placed under his supervision with the utmost integrity (yahutu adh-dhimar), is pristine in character (ghayr dharb), and never burdens others with his responsibilities (ghayr muwaakil).
 These are among the most quoted and famous lines of Abu Talib’s qasidah. It is narrated that when the Prophet (saw) was a youth, Makkah was stricken by a severe drought and the Arabs asked Abu Talib to supplicate for rain. Abu Talib came out with the Holy Prophet who raised his finger to the sky whereupon rainclouds immediately started to accumulate. In recalling this event, Abu Talib seeks to remind Quraysh of the Holy Prophet’s merit upon them. It is narrated in the hadith that when the Prophet supplicated for rain during latter years in Madinah, he recalled these lines of Abu Talib and prayed for him on the mimbar.
 In his commentary of Nahjul Balaghah, the famous Mu’tazili scholar Ibn Abi al-Hadid remarks on these lines of Abu Talib saying, “If it had not been for the special status of Prophethood, it would not behoove the great chieftain of Arabia Abu Talib to describe the Prophet, who was his orphan-nephew that he himself had raised, with such abundant praise. This type of praise is not befitting to describe dependents and subordinates; rather this is a form of praise only suited for kings and celebrities. Hence, when you realize that the speaker here is Abu Talib, the esteemed leader of Quraysh, describing a youth who was under his protection and for whom he had assumed responsibility in upbringing, feeding, and sheltering, you recognize that the impeccable disposition of the Holy Prophet was truly unrivaled and was a special Divine gift not at all acquired or derived from his surroundings.”
 In these lines, Abu Talib notes that he has fallen head over heels in love with the Holy Prophet (saw). In Arabic, there are three words used here for love as a form of hyperbole: al-hubb (love in the general sense), al-wajd (love in the sense of constant engrossment and concern), and al-kalaf (love in the sense of tormented enrapture).
 This supplication from Abu Talib is explicit confirmation that he indeed believed in the truth of the Prophet’s message.
 Here, Abu Talib details the reasons why he is infatuated with the Prophet: he is physically, morally, and spiritually pristine. It is notable that Abu Talib exalts the Holy Prophet beyond all kings and rulers in these lines, again proof that he indeed believed and supported his Prophethood.
 This is a more implicit confirmation from Abu Talib that he believed in the Prophethood of our Holy Messenger (saw) whereby he notes that he does not belie anything that the Prophet has brought and recognizes its truth.
 These lines expound the dissimulation (taqiyyah) of Abu Talib. As the ahadith state, he was “like the believer from the family of the Pharaoh.” The Quraysh respected and honored Abu Talib because they thought he believed in their religion; therefore, they treaded very carefully and often sought to avoid physical confrontation with the Prophet lest they offend Abu Talib and trigger his conversion. Abu Talib therefore recognized that keeping up this façade was necessary to protect the Prophet’s life. As he says in these lines, he cleverly avoided acknowledging his full adherence to the Prophet so as to not invoke the wrath of Quraysh upon himself and lose his ability to protect the Prophet Muhammad. Nonetheless, as can be seen in his poem there were ample indications that he believed and supported the Holy Messenger (saw), not just as his nephew but as God’s prophet.
 Abu Talib again threatens the Quraysh with the prospect of war should they continue in their persecution of Banu Hashim. He makes it clear that had it not been for his reputation as the level-headed chieftain of Makkah, he would spare no effort in wiping out his adversaries and crushing his opposition. However, due to the pristine nobility of the Banu Hashim he is exercising expectant caution in launching cavalierly into combat.
 This line is only approximated in translation. More literally, Abu Talib is saying that in relation to this noble tribe of Banu Hashim, the Holy Prophet comes from roots that are inviolable and in relation to which anyone boasting about their lineage cannot compete.
 It is well-known that Abu Talib considered the Holy Prophet (saw) more dear to him than his own children; an example of this can be seen in his entrusting his own son al-Imam ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (as) to the protection of the Prophet.
 This is among the strongest proofs that Abu Talib believed in the Hereafter, unlike his pagan contemporaries who are quoted many times in the Qur’an as mocking the Day of Resurrection. More literally, Abu Talib calls the Hereafter in Arabic “Yawm at-Tajaadul,” or “The Day of Disputation” in keeping with the fact that it will be the day when humankind will be reckoned and put on jury in front of God.
 The reference to the vision in this line is narrated in the books of history; it is said that Abdul Muttalib fell asleep close to the wall of the Ka’bah and saw a vision where a tree of light had emerged from his back and extended into every direction. He then saw the Prophets Ibrahim and Nuh emerge and say to him, “How blessed is he who resides under this tree and how wicked is he who turns away from it!” After seeing this dream, Abdul Muttalib knew that he would have a descendant who would be a Prophet and call towards a new religion. As Abu Talib states in these lines, he had the foresight to recognize the actualization of this vision in the Holy Prophet (saw).
Muhammad Jaffer is a neurologist by profession, and his field of interest is Islamic literature. He enjoys translating Arabic poetry in particular.