Was it necessary for Abu Talib (a.s.) to recite the dual testimony (Shahadatain)?

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After recording hundreds of reliable and well-documented poetic verses from Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.) on Islam, Tauheed and Prophethood, Allamah Amini (r.a.) laments:

‘I do not understand the (need for) testimony and confession in prophethood after narrating all these verses. Had even one of these verses or a single line of prose been found for anyone else, all Muslims would have applauded his Islam. However, all these verses put together are not sufficient to prove the Islam of Abu Talib (a.s.). I am shocked!’

– Al-Ghadeer v 7 p 460

This is the point that is highlighted in this exchange between Imam Zainul Abideen (a.s.) and Saeed Ibn Musayyab on Abu Talib’s (a.s.) faith and whether it was even necessary for the likes of Abu Talib (a.s.) to profess Islam openly.

Saeed Ibn Musayyab asked Imam Zainul Abideen (a.s.):

What was the age of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) when he embraced Islam?

Imam (a.s.) retorted: Was Ali (a.s.) ever a disbeliever (so that he needed to embrace Islam)?!

– Al-Kafi v 8 p 338-339

– Mukhtasar al-Basaer p 342

– Al-Wafi v 3 p 727

Clearly, Islam of Abu Talib (a.s.) is a non-issue that is raked up in a thinly veiled attack on Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.). Famous scholars and historians across the board have acknowledged the high level of faith and conviction of Abu Talib (a.s.) that has no equal outside the fourteen infallibles (a.s.).

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