2.1 Abdullah Prophet Father
Abdul-Muttalib had almost everything; he had health, wealth, and power and was respected by his tribe, but he had one source of sadness, he had only one son. At a time when the Arabs prided themselves on their numerous offspring, he had just one child and he needed many, many sons to help him in the noble office he had been entrusted with. This office was to provide the pilgrims who came to visit the Kaaba every year with water to drink. It was an honorary office but it meant much to him. Over the honorary offices concerning the maintenance of the Ancient House and catering to its pilgrims so many struggles had taken place and so many pacts and covenants had been made. Abdul-Muttalib vowed that, if he should have ten sons and they all reached manhood, he would sacrifice one of them to the gods of the Kaaba.
The years went by, Abdu1-Muttalib became head of his tribe, revered and obeyed by all, and he had eleven sons. He realized that he should fulfill his vow to the gods of the Kaaba but which of his dearly beloved sons should he sacrifice? All were dear to him, particularly Abdullah, the youngest, who had grown up to be a very fine young man, the handsomest that Quraysh could boast of. Abdul-Muttalib decided to draw lots for he could not part willingly with any of them. The name of Abdullah came out -Abdullah, the youngest and the one closest to his heart. Abdul-Muttalib felt himself bound to fulfill his vow no matter how painful it would be to him, but all the people of Quraysh protested. Would he sacrifice a young man of such great promise, the pride and joy of Quraysh? Abdul-Muttalib did not know how to extricate himself from this terrible vow. Then some of the wise men in Mecca counseled him to consult a renowned soothsayer in Al-Taif.
Abdul-Muttalib went to see her with a group of the nobles of Mecca. She asked them what the ransom of a man in their land was and they answered that it was ten camels. She told them to draw lots (these lots were drawn by the priests of their gods) between the name of Abdullah and ten camels. If the name of' Abdullah came out again, they were to increase the number of camels each time by ten, until the gods were appeased.
In hope and fear Abdu1-Muttalib returned to Mecca. He went to the Kaaba where they kept the arrows for drawing lots and asked to have lots drawn between' Abdullah and ten camels. Ten times in succession did the name of Abdullah appear, and each time Abdul-Muttalib increased the number of camels by ten until they became a hundred camels. The tenth time the arrow of the camels appeared and not Abdullah's name. To make sure that the gods were truly appeased, Abdul-Muttalib drew lots three more times, and each time it was the camels' arrow that appeared. Thus he was satisfied that he was exonerated from his terrible vow and now he could keep his Beloved young son.
When Abdullah reached twenty-four years old his father decided it was time for him to get married, so he chose for him Amina, the daughter of the chief of Banu Zuhra, a bride worthy of being the wife of the son of the Head of Quraysh and ruler of all Mecca. After the wedding, Abdullah remained with his bride for three days in her father's house, according to the custom of the Arabs. Then he took her to his own home among the houses of Banu Abdul-Muttalib.
The Meccans built their houses according to their rank. The higher the rank, the closer the house was to the Kaaba. The houses of Banu Abdul-Muttalib were the closest to the Ancient House for they were the most noble of Quraysh and gave precedence to no one. Those of lesser rank had houses further removed from the Kaaba, while slaves and clients had houses still further off. People of ill repute had houses very far removed from the Kaaba on the outskirts of the city.
Abdullah did not remain long with his bride, but left to go on a trading expedition to Gaza in the north as most ambitious young men did. The Meccans lived chiefly by trade and had two annual journeys, one in the summer and another in the winter. The summer journey took their merchandise northwards to Al-Sham (modern Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan) and the winter journey took their merchandise southwards to the Yemen. Mecca formed the meeting point between east and west, the link between the Roman empire and merchandise coming from India and China.
On his way back from the summer journey, Abdullah stopped at Yathrib (Medina) to visit his maternal uncles, Banu Najjar. There he fell ill and the caravan had to leave without him. On its return to Mecca, they reported his illness to his father who sent his elder brother, Al-Harith, to bring him back.
Arriving in Yathrib, AI-Harith found that Abdullah had died one month after the caravan had left and had been buried there. Al-Harith returned to bring the tragic news to his aged father and the waiting bride. Amina was with child, a child that would never see its father's face.