When Rasulullah (sallallah ‘alaihi wasallam) reached the age of six, his mother, Aaminah, took him to visit their family, the Banu Adiyy bin Najjaar clan, who were residing in Madinah Munawwarah. Accompanying them on this journey was Hazrat Ummu Ayman (radhiyallahu ‘anha) (the slave woman whom Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) inherited from his father).
They remained with the Banu Adiyy bin Najjaar in Madinah Munawwarah for one month, after which they departed to return to Makkah Mukarramah. However, on the return journey, when they reached a place known as Abwaa, Aaminah passed away and was subsequently buried in this place. Thereafter, Hazrat Ummu Ayman (radhiyallahu ‘anha) returned to Makkah Mukarramah with Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and handed him into the care of his paternal grandfather, Abdul Muttalib.
The Deep Love and Affection which Abdul Muttalib Showed Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)
Abdul Muttalib always kept Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) with him. Whenever Abdul Muttalib would be present in Musjid-ul-Haraam, a special mat would be placed in the shade of the Baytullah for him to sit on. Abdul Muttalib’s sons (the uncles of Rasulullah [sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam]) would sit around the mat and wait for Abdul Muttalib to arrive, and none of them would sit on the mat out of respect for Abdul Muttalib.
At that time, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was a young boy (aged between 6 and 8), and when he would arrive, then he would sit on Abdul Muttalib’s mat. His uncles would try to move him away from this mat, but when Abdul Muttalib would see them doing this, he would stop them saying, “Leave this son of mine! By Allah! He will have a very high position in the world one day!”
Thereafter, out of love and affection for Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), Abdul Muttalib would make Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) sit with him on the mat, and at times, he would pass his hand over the back of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). When Abdul Muttalib would see Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), he would become extremely happy and pleased.
Abdul Muttalib’s Strong Attachment to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)
The father of Kindeer bin Sa’eed, Sa’eed bin Haidah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) says:
During the era of ignorance, before the advent of Islam, I once came to Makkah Mukarramah to perform Haj. I saw a person making Tawaaf of the Ka’bah whilst uttering the following couplet:
رُدَّ إِلَيَّ رَاكِبِيْ مُحَمَّدًا يَا رَبِّ رُدَّهُ وَاصْطَنِعْ عِنْدِيْ يَدًا
“O Allah! Return to me my mounted one (i.e. the one mounted on a conveyance), Muhammed! O Lord! Return him to me and show me Your great favour (through You returning him to me).”
I asked the people who this person (making the announcement) was and they replied that this was Abdul Muttalib. They told me that he had just sent his grandson, Muhammed (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), in search of a lost camel. The reason why he had sent his grandson to retrieve the lost camel was that previously, no matter what task he would send him for, he always found that he would return successful. However, this time, the young boy was taking longer than usual. That is why Abdul Muttalib was concerned and reciting these couplets.
It was not long thereafter that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) returned with the lost camel. The moment Abdul Muttalib caught sight of him, he immediately embraced him saying, “My son! I was extremely worried about you – such worry that I never experienced before in my life over anything! Never again will I send you out on an errand, and after this, never again will I allow you to be separated from me!”