The Prophet (peace be upon him) had an uncle who was known by the nickname ‘Abu Lahab’ which means ‘Father of the flame’ because of his fiery temper. This uncle was one of the staunchest enemies of the Prophet and of Islam.
He would follow the Prophet (peace be upon him) and whenever he saw him speaking to a stranger, he would wait till they had parted and then ask the stranger,”What did Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) tell you ? Did he say black? Its white! Did he say morning? It’s night!”. He would state the exact opposite of what the Prophet (peace be upon him) said.
There is a chapter in the Qur’an called Surah Al-Masad This chapter prophesied that Abu Lahab and his wife will perish in the hell fire – implying that he would never become a Muslim and therefore will enter the hell fire:
“Perish the two hands of Abu Lahab, and perish he! Neither his wealth benefited him, nor what he earned. He will soon enter a Fire, full of flames. And his wife as well, the wicked carrier of the firewood. Around her neck there is (a collar of iron, like) a well twisted rope.”
تَبَّتۡ يَدَآ أَبِى لَهَبٍ۬ وَتَبَّ (١) مَآ أَغۡنَىٰ عَنۡهُ مَالُهُ ۥ وَمَا ڪَسَبَ (٢) سَيَصۡلَىٰ نَارً۬ا ذَاتَ لَهَبٍ۬ (٣) وَٱمۡرَأَتُهُ ۥ حَمَّالَةَ ٱلۡحَطَبِ (٤) فِى جِيدِهَا حَبۡلٌ۬ مِّن مَّسَدِۭ (٥)
This Surah was revealed 10 years before Abu Lahab died as an unbeliever in the battle of Badr. Many of Abu Lahab’s friends and other disbelievers accepted Islam during those 10 years after this Surah was revealed. Abu Lahab was very intelligent and one of the staunchest enemy of Islam who was always eager to try and prove that the Qur’an was false and was a human invention. All that Abu Lahab had to do, to prove the Qur’an and Surah 111 (al Masad) wrong was to say ‘I am a Muslim’– and the Qur’an would have been proven wrong.
Abu Lahab had 10 years to think over it, but he never recited the Shahadah. He did not have to behave like a Muslim. Even if he had lied and said that he was a Muslim, the Qur’an would have been proved wrong, yet he never did! If the Qur’an was not from God, and as critics claim, authored by a man, how would they have known that Abu Lahab would never accept Islam or pretend to be a Muslim? Only someone who knows the future can know for certain that Abu Lahab would never accept Islam, and this someone is God. Thus proving that the Qur’an is from God.
and God knows best.