Abbas ibn Ali

Al-Abbas ibn Ali ibn Abi Talib (Arabic: ٱلْعَبَّاس ٱبْن عَلِيّ ٱبْن أَبِي طَالِب, romanizedal-ʿAbbās ibn ʿAlīy ibn ʾAbī Ṭālib; 15 May 647 – 10 October 680), also known as Abu al-Fadhl (Arabic: أَبُو ٱلْفَضْل) and Qamar Bani Hashim (Arabic: قَمَر بَنِي هَاشِم, lit.'Moon of Banu Hashim'),[6][7][8] was a son of Ali (the fourth Rashidun caliph and first Shia Imam) and Fatima bint Hizam, commonly known as Umm al-Banin (Arabic: أُمّ ٱلْبَنِين, lit.'Mother of the Sons').

Al-Abbas ibn Ali
ٱلْعَبَّاس ٱبْن عَلِيّ
Al-Abbas ibn Ali.png
Al-Abbas ibn Ali ibn Abi Talib's name in Arabic calligraphy
Born4 Sha'ban, 26 AH[1]: 39–40 
15 May 647
Madinah, Rashidun Caliphate[1]: 39–40  (present-day Saudi Arabia)
Died10 Muharram, 61 AH
10 October 680(680-10-10) (aged 33)
Cause of deathMartyred
Resting placeAl-Abbas Shrine, Karbala, Iraq
NationalityArab Caliphate
Known forBattle of Karbala
Title
  • ʾAbū al-Fadhl
    (أَبُو ٱلْفَضْل)
    (Father of Virtue)
  • Qamar Banī Hāshim
    (قَمَر بَنِي هَاشِم)
    (Moon of the Hashimites)[1]: 45–47 
  • Bāb al-Ḥusayn
    (بَاب ٱلْحُسَيْن)
    (Door to Husayn)
  • Bāb al-Ḥawāʾij
    (بَاب ٱلْحَوَائِج)
    (Door to Proofs)[2][3]
  • Quwwat al-Ḥusayn
    (قُوَّة ٱلْحُسَيْن)
    (Strength of Husayn)
  • ʾAfdhal ash-Shuhadāʾ
    (أَفْضَل ٱلشُّهَدَاء)
    (The Best of the Martyrs)
  • as-Saqā
    (ٱلسَّقَىٰ)
    (The Provider of Water)[1]: 45–47 
  • ʾAbū Qirbah
    (أَبُو قِرْبَة)
    (Possessor of the Waterskin)
  • Shāhanshāh Wafā
    (شاهنشاہِ وفا)
    (King of Loyalty)
  • Alamdār
    (علمدار)
    (Flag-Bearer)
Opponent(s)Yazid I
Spouse(s)Lubaba bint Ubaydillah
Children
  • Ubaydullah ibn Abbas
  • Qasim ibn Abbas
  • Hasan ibn Abbas
  • Fadhl ibn Abbas
  • Muhammad ibn Abbas
Parent(s)Ali
Umm al-Banin
RelativesSayyida Ruqayya bint Ali (sister)[4]
Hasan ibn Ali (paternal half-brother)
Husayn ibn Ali (paternal half-brother)
Zaynab bint Ali (paternal half-sister)
Umm Kulthum bint Ali (paternal half-sister)
Muhsin ibn Ali (paternal half-brother)
Muhammad (Uncle)/(half-grandfather)
Fatimah bint Muhammad (half-mother)
FamilyBanu Hashim, Banu Kilab
Painting commemorating the martyrdom of Imam Husayn at the Battle of Karbala; its focus is his half brother Abbas ibn Ali on a white horse.[5]

Abbas is highly revered in Islam for his loyalty to his brother Husayn ibn Ali and his role in the Battle of Karbala in which he was the standard-bearer for the Ahl al-Bayt. Abbas is buried in the Al-Abbas Shrine in Karbala, Iraq, where he was killed during the Battle of Karbala on the day of Ashura.[9] He was praised for his handsome looks[10] and was also well known in the Arab community for his courage, bravery, strength and ferocity as a warrior. Ibn Manzur narrates in his al-Ayn that Al-Abbas was the lion that other lions feared as a testament to his accolades as a warrior.[11] Sheikh at-Turaihi describes Abbas's appearance as resembling an unshakable mountain, with his heart firmly rooted, due to his qualities as a unique horseman and a fearless hero.[11]

Birth and early lifeEdit

Abbas was born in the month of Sha'ban in the year 26 AH (approximately May 647 CE) in the city of Medina to Ali and Umm al-Banin. Abbas had three full brothers, Abdullah, Ja'far and Uthman. Abbas married a distant cousin named Lubaba bint Ubaydillah. They had three sons named Fadl ibn Abbas, Muhammad ibn Abbas, and Ubaydullah ibn Abbas.[9] His mother would recite famous lines of poetry in supplication to ward off the evil of those who envied him.[11][12]

Battle of SiffinEdit

Abbas debuted as a soldier in the Battle of Siffin, one of the main conflicts of the struggle between Abbas's father, Ali, and Mu'awiya in 657. Wearing the clothes of his father, who was known to be a great warrior, Abbas killed many enemy soldiers. Muawiya's forces actually mistook him for Ali. Therefore, when Ali appeared on the battlefield, Muawiya's soldiers were astonished to see him and confused about the identity of the other soldier. Ali then introduced Abbas by saying:

He is Abbas, the moon of the Hashimites.[13][14]

Abbas was trained by his father and his elder brother Hasan ibn Ali in the art of battle, which may be one reason he resembled his father on the battlefield. When describing his fighting on the battlefield, many historians call him a furious lion because of his courage, fearlessness and strength as an attacker. Abbas then became the trainer of most of his elder brothers' sons in the art of battle. An example of this is the courage of Ali al-Akbar, son of Husayn ibn Ali.[11] He also taught Qasim ibn Hasan, Awn ibn Abdullah ibn Ja'far and Muhammad ibn Abdullah ibn Ja'far.

Battle of KarbalaEdit

 
Entrance to the shrine of Abbas in Karbala, Iraq

Abbas showed his loyalty to Husayn at the Battle of Karbala. After succeeding his father Mu'awiya I as caliph, Yazid I demanded that Husayn pledge allegiance to him, but Husayn refused,[15] saying:

Yazid is a person who kills people without cause, and an individual like me doesn't pledge allegiance to someone like him...[16]

As Yazid's behaviours were (and still are) prohibited in Islam, if Husayn had pledged allegiance to Yazid, his act would have ruined the basics of Islam.[17] Husayn's elder brother Hasan ibn Ali had made a pact, that the Ahl al-Bayt would be responsible for religious decisions and would not interfere in other matters. Husayn wanted to do what had been agreed upon, but Yazid I wanted to take total control.

With the help of Ubayd Allah, Yazid invited him to come to Kufa and guide them on the right path, an invitation that was accepted by Husayn. However, it was said that the letters were actually sent by the people of Kufa who later betrayed him when the body of Muslim ibn Aqil (Husayn's messenger to Kufa) was thrown from a building in the centre of Kufa by Yazid's army while the people of Kufa stood silent.

In 60 AH (680), Husayn left Medina for Mecca with a small group of companions and family members to travel to Kufa. He sent his cousin, Muslim ibn Aqil, on ahead to see how he would be received and then he could make his decision to enter Kufa based on the advice of his cousin. But, by the time Husayn arrived near Kufa, his cousin had been killed.

On the way to Kufa, Husayn and his group were intercepted.[18] They were forced to detour[19] and arrived in Karbala on the 2 Muharram, 61 AH.[20] Husayn's camp was surrounded and cut off from the Euphrates river. The camp ran out of water on the 7 Muharram.[21]

DeathEdit

Apart of being the "standard and flag bearer" of Husayn ibn Ali's army, Abbas was asked by the thirsty children of the Ahl-al-Bayt to bring water from the river.[22] The Euphrates river was occupied by Yazid I's army to prevent the camp of Husayn from getting water. Abbas was only allowed to take a defensive role because his brother Husayn didn't want him to fight. He was only allowed to get water.

Eventually, Abbas went to the river to get water for the children in Husayn's camp.[23] However, on the way back, the enemy soldiers afraid of Abbas first started showering arrows on him one which pierced one of his eyes and then seeing him vulnerable they moved forward and cut off one of his hands (while he was mounted on the horse) while he tried to ward them off and then later cut the other one , and then one arrow struck the Mashki, or the water jug, and he fell from the horse face first and cried out his last salutations to his imam Imam Hussain (a.s) .Hearing his voice Hussain rushed towards the Euphrates where Abbas lay wounded and on the verge of death . Hussain reached Abbas and lay his brother’s head in his lap as Abbas breathed his last.Abbas before dying had asked his brother and leader Hussain to not take his body back to the tents for his sisters and the women would be inconsolable (is also said that he was ashamed for he could not bring water to the thirsty children who were waiting hopefully for his return and some water ). Abbas died on Friday, 10 Muharram, 61 AH, near the bank of the river Euphrates. Later,his body was decapitated and the head was shown the spikes and paraded with the other martyrs of Karbala.


Hence, he is called the "Hero of the Euphrates" (Arabic: بطل العلقمي). Shia Muslims mourn the deaths of all those who fell at the Battle of Karbala with Husayn in the Islamic month of Muharram, mainly in the first ten days of the month. Abbas' death is generally commemorated on the eighth night of Muharram. Fadl ibn Abbas and Qasim ibn Abbas also laid down their lives in Karbala. Ubaydullah ibn Abbas lived to continue the lineage of Abbas with five sons of his own.

Abbas was buried at the spot where he fell from his horse in Karbala, Iraq. The Al-Abbas Shrine was built around his grave, at which millions of pilgrims pay homage every year.[24]

DescendantsEdit

 
Stencilled phrase Arabic: یا أبوالفضل, meaning O' Abol-Fazl (title of Abbas ibn Ali), made by stencil and cinnamon powder on the Iranian dessert, Sholeh-zard

Abbas ibn Ali had five sons: Ubaydullah, Fadhl, Hasan, Qasim and Muhammad; and also 2 daughters.[25] Ibn Shahrashub, a prominent historian, recorded that: "Muhammad ibn Abbas was martyred in Karbala with his father." The mother of Ubaydullah and Fadhl was Lubaba. Genealogists consider that the progeny of Abbas came from his son Ubaydullah. Sheikh al-Futouni, however, mentioned that Hassan ibn Abbas also had sons and descendants. Ubaydullah ibn Abbas, who died in 155 AH, was a celebrated scholar known for his handsomeness, perfect morality and fine personality. He had three wives.[25]

Ali ibn Husayn Zayn al-Abidin, had great respect for his uncle Abbas. He often wept when his eyes fell on Ubaydullah, explaining that he reminded him of his father's heroic and tragic exploit on that day in Karbala.

TitlesEdit

 
Painting depiction of Hazrat Abbas ibn Ali at the Battle of Karbala

Abbas is known as Abu al-Fazl (ابوالفضل), meaning the father of heavenly graces and/or the father of the graceful manner.[26][27][28] Abbas was a chivalrous and loyal companion to his half-brother Husayn.

Abbas ibn Ali is also known as-Qamar Banu Hashim, meaning the moon of the Hashim clan.

He is also known as Ghazi[29] (غازی), meaning "soldier who returns successfully from the battle". Although Abbas was killed at Karbala, he is known as Alamdar because the flag (alam) bearer is known as Alamdar. Abbas was not given permission to carry a sword by his brother. To get water for the children in the camps he was provided with a spear and a horse by his stepbrother Hussain. The tradition(s) narrates that: "Gazi cleared all the forces of Yazid with just a spear and made it to the river (Euphrates) and filled the water in the water carrying bag (mashkeza). He then started heading back to the camp. This time, the army knew they could not stop him in hand to hand combat, so they shot arrows towards the arm in which he was holding the mashkeza. When one of his arms got detached by the arrow, he started to carry it with the other arm; afterwards, that arm was targeted and also was cut off. Then, he held the mashkeza with his teeth and continued heading back. The enemies pointed the arrows at the mashkeza in his mouth, and when that mahskeza got attacked and the water spilled out, they started shooting arrows at Abbas. The traditions say that the number of arrows were so numerous that Gazi Abbas' body did not land on the ground, but was instead on top of the arrows (in between the ground and the sky) - and when his brother Hussain came towards him, Abbas said: "I am sorry and ashamed for not fulfilling my promise", as he promised Hussain's young daughter that he will get the water to her. Hussain, with tears in his eyes and a heavy heart, said his final good-bye to his stepbrother Abbas.

Horse of AbbasEdit

Abbas was given a horse named "Uqab" (Eagle).[30] Shia sources say that this horse was used by Muhammad and Ali and that this horse was presented to Muhammad by the King of Yemen, Saif ibn Zee Yazni, through Abd al-Muttalib. The king considered the horse to be very important, and its superiority over other horses was evident by the fact that its genealogical tree was also maintained. It was initially named "Murtajiz", which comes from the Arabic name "Rijiz" meaning thunder (lightning).[30][31][32]

In BektashismEdit

According to the traditions of the Bektashi Order, a Sufi community based primarily in Albania, Abbas ibn Ali (Albanian: Abaz Aliu) went to Albania on a white horse to save it from the barbarians, and continues to return to Mount Tomorr in Albania for five days (August 20–25) each year, during which animal sacrifices are made and homage is paid to Abbas ibn Ali. During these five days, Bektashi pilgrims visit the Abbas Ali Türbe, a mausoleum (Albanian: mekam) believed to house the remains of Abbas ibn Ali. The mausoleum is located on the southern peak of Mount Tomorr, which was originally constructed in 1620. The mausoleum lies adjacent to the Bektashi tekke on Mount Tomorr, which was built in 1916.[33]

See alsoEdit

BibliographyEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d at-Tabrizi, Abu Talib (2001). Ahmed Haneef (ed.). Al-Abbas Peace be Upon Him. Abdullah Al-Shahin. Qum: Ansariyan Publications.
  2. ^ Lalljee, Yousuf N. (2003). Know Your Islam. New York: Tahrike Tarsile Qurʼan. p. 160. ISBN 978-0-940368-02-6.
  3. ^ "شبكة رافــد للتنمية الثقافية". rafed.net. Retrieved 2006-07-30.
  4. ^ [File:Name plate Zarih Sayyida Ruqayya.jpg]
  5. ^ "Brooklyn Museum: Arts of the Islamic World: Battle of Karbala". Brooklyn Museum. Brooklyn, New York. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  6. ^ "Biography of Hazrat Abbas (ibn Ali)". yjc.ir. Retrieved 5 March 2019.
  7. ^ "Abbas martyrdom". hawzah.ne. Retrieved 5 March 2019.
  8. ^ "Al-'Abbas (a)". Archived from the original on 2016-05-19. Retrieved 2015-11-21.
  9. ^ a b Calmard, J. (13 July 2011). "ʿABBĀS B. ʿALĪ B. ABŪ ṬĀLEB". Encyclopædia Iranica.
  10. ^ Bulookbashi, Ali A.; Negahban, Tr. Farzin (2008). Al- ʿAbbās b. ʿAlī. Brill. doi:10.1163/1875-9831_isla_COM_0009.
  11. ^ a b c d Shahin, Badr (2001). Al-Abbas. Qum, Iran: Ansariyan Publications. p. 22. ISBN 978-1494329235.
  12. ^ Abu Hanifa Dinawari (1888). Kitab Al-Akhbar al-Tiwal. Cario: Dar Sader. p. 254. ISBN 978-9953138282.
  13. ^ "Hazrat Abul Fazl Al Abbas". Archived from the original on 7 January 2006. Retrieved 2006-01-08.
  14. ^ Lalljee, Yousuf N. (2003). Know Your Islam. New York: Tahrike Tarsile Qurʼan. p. 161. ISBN 978-0-940368-02-6.
  15. ^ "Imam Hussain didn't pledge allegiance to Yazid". Tebyan. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  16. ^ "Yazid demands allegiance of Husayn". al-islam.org. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  17. ^ "If Imam Hussain (a.s.) would pledge allegiance to Yazid ..." mashreghnews.ir. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  18. ^ "Who was Hurr?". .alkawthartv.com. Retrieved 2 March 2019.
  19. ^ "Detour, from Kufa to Karbala". karbobala.com. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
  20. ^ "Muharram came". farsnews.com. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
  21. ^ "The crisis of water". farsnews.com. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
  22. ^ "Army standard bearer". hawzah.net. Retrieved 12 March 2019.
  23. ^ "The Great Sacrifice". Archived from the original on February 13, 2007. Retrieved 2006-07-30.
  24. ^ KaraÌraviÌ, NajmulhÌ£asan (January 1, 1974). Biography of Hazrat Abbas. Peermahomed Ebrahim Trust. ASIN B0007AIWQW.
  25. ^ a b "Descendants of Al-ʻAbbas". al-islam.org. Retrieved 5 March 2019.
  26. ^ Amin, A'yan al-Shia, Vol. 7, P. 429
  27. ^ Qommi, Nafs al-Mahmoum, P. 285
  28. ^ "Who is Abbas?". alkawthartv.com. Retrieved 7 March 2019.
  29. ^ "Hazrat Ghazi Abbas". shiatv.net. Retrieved 7 March 2019.
  30. ^ a b Tehrani, Allama Ahhsan. Zindagi-e-Abbas Lang. Urdu. p. 83.
  31. ^ Pinault, David (February 3, 2001). Horse of Karbala: Muslim Devotional Life in India. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-312-21637-5.
  32. ^ Naqvi, Allama Zamir Akhtar (2007). Imam aur Ummat. Markaz-e-Uloom-e-Islamia.
  33. ^ Elsie, Robert (2019). The Albanian Bektashi: history and culture of a Dervish order in the Balkans. London: I.B. Tauris. ISBN 978-1-78831-569-2. OCLC 1108619669.

External linksEdit