Shaybah ibn Hāshim (Arabic: شيبة ابن هاشم عبد المطّلب; ca. 497 – 578), better known as 'Abdul Muṭṭalib or 'Abd al-Muṭṭalib, since he was raised by his uncle Muṭṭalib, was the grandfather of Islamic prophet Muḥammad.
Early life 
|This article is part of a series on:|
|Lineage of six prominent prophets according to Islamic tradition|
|Dotted lines indicate multiple generations|
His father was Hāshim ibn `Abd Manāf and his mother was Salmah bint `Amr from the Banū Najjār tribe in Yathrib (later called, Madinah). On his father's side he belonged to the distinguished Banū Hāshim clan, a subgroup of the Quraish tribe of Makkah which traced their genealogy to Ismā'īl and Ibrāhīm. His father died while doing business in Gaza, before he was born.
He was given the name "Shaybah" meaning 'the ancient one' or 'white-haired' for the streak of white through his jet-black hair, and is sometimes also called Shaybat al-Ḥamd ("The white streak of praise"). After his father's death he was raised in Yathrib with his mother and her family until about the age of eight, when his uncle Muṭṭalib went to see him and asked his mother Salmah bint `Amr to entrust Shaybah to his care. Salmah was unwilling to let her son go and Shaybah refused to leave his mother without her consent. Muṭṭalib then pointed out that the possibilities Yathrib had to offer were incomparable to Makkah. Salmah was impressed with his arguments, so she agreed to let him go. Upon first arriving in Makkah, the people assumed the unknown child was Muṭṭalib's slave, giving him the name `Abdu'l-Muṭṭalib (slave of Muṭṭalib). When Muṭṭalib died, Shaybah succeeded him as the chief of the Banū Hāshim clan.
The Year of the Elephant 
According to Muslim tradition, the Ethiopian governor of Yemen, Abrahah al-Ashram, envied the Ka'bah's reverence among the Arabs and, being a Christian, he built a cathedral in Sana'a and ordered pilgrimage be made there. The order was ignored and someone desecrated (some saying in the form of defecation) the cathedral. Abrahah decided to avenge this act by demolishing the Ka'bah and he advanced with an army towards Mecca.
There were many elephants in Abrahah's army and the year came to be known as 'Ām al-Fīl (the Year of the Elephant), beginning a trend for reckoning the years in Arabia which was used until 'Umar ibn al Khaṭṭāb replaced it with the Islamic Calendar.
When news of the advance of Abrahah's army came, the Arab tribes of Quraysh, Banū Kinānah, Banū Khuzā'ah and Banū Hudhayl united in defense of the Ka'bah. A man from the Ḥimyar tribe was sent by Abrahah to advise them that Abrahah only wished to demolish the Ka'bah and if they resisted, they would be crushed. `Abdu 'l-Muṭṭalib told the Meccans to seek refuge in the nearest high hills while he with some leading members of Quraysh, remained within the precincts of the Ka'bah. Abrahah sent a dispatch inviting `Abdu'l-Muṭṭalib to meet with him and discuss matters. When `Abdu'l-Muṭṭalib left the meeting he was heard saying, "The Owner of this House is its Defender, and I am sure He will save it from the attack of the adversaries and will not dishonor the servants of His House."
It is recorded that when Abrahah's forces neared the Ka'bah, Allah commanded small birds (abābīl) to destroy Abrahah's army, raining down pebbles on it from their beaks. Abrahah was seriously wounded and retreated towards Yemen but died on the way. This event is referred to in the following Qur'anic chapter:
"Have you not seen how your Lord dealt with the owners of the Elephant? Did He not make their treacherous plan go astray? And He sent against them birds in flocks, striking them with stones of baked clay, so He rendered them like straw eaten up."—Qur'an sura 105 (Al-Fil)
This conflict occurred in 570, according to many sources the same year Muḥammad was born.
Wives of Shaybah ibn Hāshim 
Shaybah ibn Hāshim married:
- Sumrah bint Jandab.
- Lubnā bint Hājar.
- Fāṭimah bint 'Amr, belonging to the tribe of Quraysh.
- Hālah bint Wuhayb, belonging to the tribe of Quraysh.
- Natīlah bint Khubāb al-Khazrajī.
- Mummana'ah bint 'Amr, belonging to the tribe of Khuzā'ah.
Children of Shaybah ibn Hāshim 
From Sumrah bint Jandab:
- Ḥārith ibn 'Abd al-Muṭṭalib, the eldest child, but he passed away before his father.
From Lubnā bint Hājar:
From Fāṭimah bint 'Amr:
- Abu Talib ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib - He became the leader of the Quraysh after his father. He was the father of 'Alī, the first Shī'ah Imām and fourth Caliph
- al-Zubayr ibn 'Abd al-Muṭṭalib, the poet of Quraysh; he died before Islam was propogated.
- 'Abdullāh ibn 'Abd al-Muṭṭalib - Father of Muḥammad
From Hālah bint Wahb:
- Ḥamzah ibn 'Abd al-Muṭṭalib
- Quthum ibn 'Abd al-Muṭṭalib
- Ḥijl ibn 'Abd al-Muṭṭalib
- Ṣaffiyah bint 'Abd al-Muṭṭalib
‘Abdullāh ibn 'Abd al-Muṭṭalib of Banū Hāshim and Āminah bint Wahab of Banū Zuhrah were the parents of Muḥammad. ‘Abdullāh died four months before Muḥammad's birth, and Āminah bint Wahab was taken care of by Shaybah. Āminah also died six years later and Shaybah ibn Hāshim died in 578 when Muhammad was eight. Shaybah ibn Hāshim's grave can be found in the Jannat al-Mu'allā cemetery in Makkah, Saudi Arabia.
See also 
- The correct form of the name is with two T's (Ta's) and one l (Lam). Thus for instance in Ibn Mākūlā's work: Al-Ikmāl fī Raf' al-Irtiyāb 'an al-Mu'talif wa al-Mukhtalif fi al-Asmā' wa al-Kunā Wa al-Ansāb. vol. 7. pg. 200. Quote: And as for Muṭallib it is with Ḑammah (u) of the Mīm, and Tashdīd (doubling) of the Ṭā' ; and there is a group of them (i.e people called by this name)".