in obedience to allâh’s commands, muhammad [pbuh] rallied his kinsmen of bani hashim with a group of bani al-muttalib bin ‘abd munaf. the audience counted forty-five men.
abu lahab immediately took the initiative and addressed the prophet [pbuh]: "these are your uncles and cousins, speak on to the point, but first of all you have got to know that your kinspeople are not in a position to withstand all the arabs. another point you have got to bear in mind is that your relatives are sufficient unto you. if you follow their tradition, it will be easier for them than to face the other clans of quraish supported by the other arabs. verily, i have never heard of anyone who has incurred more harm on his kinspeople than you." the messenger of allâh [pbuh] kept silent and said nothing in that meeting.
he invited them to another meeting and managed to secure audience. he then stood up and delivered a short speech explaining quite cogently what was at stake. he said: "i celebrate allâh’s praise, i seek his help, i believe in him, i put my trust in him, i bear witness that there is no god to be worshipped but allâh with no associate. a guide can never lie to his people. i swear by allâh, there is no god but he, that i have been sent as a messenger to you, in particular and to all the people, in general. i swear by allâh you will die just as you sleep, you will be resurrected just as you wake up. you will be called to account for your deeds. it is then either hell forever or the garden (paradise) forever."
abu talib replied: "we love to help you, accept your advice and believe in your words. these are your kinspeople whom you have collected and i am one of them but i am the fastest to do what you like. do what you have been ordered. i shall protect and defend you, but i can’t quit the religion of ‘abdul-muttalib."
abu lahab then said to abu talib: " i swear by allâh that this is a bad thing. you must stop him before the others do." abu talib, however, answered: "i swear by allâh to protect him as long as i am alive." [fiqh as-seerah p.77,78]