Al-Muttalib and Haashim were two sons of Abd Manaaf. They were full brothers, that is, they had the same father and mother. Haashim married a lady in Madinah Munawwarah. From her a child was born whose name was kept ‘Shaibatul Hamd’ or ‘Shaibah’. This child later came to be known as Abdul Muttalib and this Abdul Muttalib is the grandfather of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam).
Haashim set out for Shaam on a business venture. There he passed away. Haashim’s brother, Muttalib came to know of his nephew, Shaibah’s presence in Madinah. He decided to bring his nephew to Makkah for upbringing in the family. Shaibah was of a discerning age. His mother therefore sent him with his uncle.
When Muttalib took his nephew to Makkah seating him behind on the camel, he was asked who the lad was. Someone responded, “Abdul Muttalib”, which means: the slave of Muttalib. This name stuck to Shaibah and he became known as ‘Abdul Muttalib’.
Some historians say that in view of Muttalib taking Shaibah into his custody and raising him, Shaibah was therefore called Abdul Muttalib in lieu of the noble act of Muttalib. In the Age of Jaahiliyyah – the Ignorant Times, that is, the Pre-Islamic period – such a title or name was in vogue for this type of upbringing.