A lively discussion took place at Hartford Seminary on May 3, 2016, after a presentation by Prof. Nebil A. Husayn on the topic, “Is My Kind Uncle Doomed? Debates on the Salvation of Abu Talib.”
The talk by Prof. Husayn, an assistant instructor in the Near Eastern Studies Department at Princeton University and an assistant professor of religion at the University of Miami, was the third in a series of three seminars offered by Hartford Seminary and the Imam Ali Chair for Shi’a Studies and Dialogue Among Islamic Legal Schools.
Abu Talib was the father of Imam Ali, who is revered by Shi’a Muslims as the successor to the Prophet Muhammad. Abu Talib was also the Prophet’s uncle and acted as a father to him for much of his life. A debate has gone on for centuries about whether or not Abu Talib died as a Muslim or a pagan.