Al-‘Abbas ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib

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Al-‘Abbas ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib (Arabic: العباس بن عبد المطلب‎) (c. 566 – c. 653 CE) was a paternal uncle and Sahabi (companion) of Muhammad, just a few years older than his nephew. A wealthy merchant, during the early years of Islam he protected Muhammad while he was in Mecca, but only became a convert after the Battle of Badr in 624 CE (2 AH). His descendants founded the Abbasid Caliphate in 750[1]

Early years[edit]

Abbas was one of the youngest brothers of Muhammad's father Abd Allah ibn Abd al Muttalib, born only a few years before his nephew Muhammad (570 - 632). He became a wealthy merchant in Mecca. During the early years while the Muslim religion was gaining adherents, Abbas provided protection to his kinsman but did not adopt the faith. However, shortly after being a captive in the Battle of Badr he turned away from the Quraysh rulers and gave his support to Mohammad.[2]

He married Lubaba bint al-Harith (Arabic: لبابة بنت الحارث) also known as Umm al-Fadl. Umm al-Fadl claimed to be the second woman to convert to Islam, the same day as her close friend Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, the first wife of Muhammad. Umm al-Fadl's traditions of the Prophet appear in all canonical collections of hadiths. She showed her piety by supernumerary fasting and by attacking Abu Lahab, the enemy of the Muslims, with a tent pole.[3]

His children by Umm al-Fadl were Al-Fadl, Abdullah, Ubaydullah, Quthum, Maabad, Umm Habib and Abuldrahman.[4] By other women, he was also the father of Al-Harith, Amina and Safiya.[5] After 632 he married a Jewish woman, Tukana, who had formerly been a concubine of Muhammad.[6] A Greek concubine, Musliya, bore him his two youngest sons, Kathir and Tammam.[7]

Acceptance of Islam[edit]

Abbas was captured during the Battle of Badr and accepted Islam just before the fall of Mecca 20 years after his wife. Abbas was a big man and his captor Abu'l-Yasar was a slightly built man. The Prophet asked Abu'l Yasar how he managed the capture, and he said he was assisted by a person whom he described and whom Muhammad identified as a noble angel. Muhammad allowed al-Abbas to ransom himself and his nephew.[8] The Prophet then named him "last of the refugees" (Muhajirun), which entitled him to the proceeds of the spoils of the war. He was given the right to provide Zamzam water to pilgrims, which right was passed down to his descendants.[1] Abbas ibn Abd al-Muttalib is buried at the Jannatul Baqee' cemetery in Madinah, Saudi Arabia.[9]


The Abbasid dynasty founded in 750 by Abu al-`Abbās `Abdu'llāh as-Saffāh claimed the title of caliph (literally "viceregent") through their descent from Abbas's son Abdullah.[10]

Many other families claim direct descent from Abbas, including the Kalhora's of Sindh,[11] the Berber Banu Abbas,[12] and the modern-day Bawazir of Yemen[13] and Shaigiya and Ja'Alin of Sudan.[14] and Dhund Abbasi of Murree Pakistan.

His ancestors and the family tree[edit]

Quraysh tribe
Abd Manaf ibn Qusai
Ātikah bint Murrah
‘Abd Shams
Salma bint Amr
Umayya ibn Abd Shams
‘Abd al-Muttalib
Abu al-'As
ʿAbd Allāh
Abî Ṭâlib
ʾAbī Sufyān ibn Harb
Affan ibn Abi al-'As
(Family tree)
Khadija bint Khuwaylid
`Alî al-Mûrtdhā
Khawlah bint Ja'far
ʿAbd Allâh
Marwan I
Uthman ibn Affan
Fatima Zahra
Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah
ʿAli bin ʿAbd Allâh
Umayyad Caliphate
Uthman ibn Abu-al-Aas
Hasan al-Mûjtabâ
Husayn bin Ali
(Family tree)
al-Mukhtār ibn Abī ‘Ubayd Allah al-Thaqafī
Muhammad "al-Imâm" (Abbasids)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Huston Smith, Cyril Glasse (2002), The new encyclopedia of Islam, Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press, ISBN 0-7591-0190-6 
  2. ^ Annotated (1998), The history of al-Ṭabarī = (Taʼrīkh al-rusul waʼl mulūk), Albany: State University of New York Press, ISBN 0-7914-2820-6 
  3. ^ Roded, Ruth (1994), Women in islamic biographical collections : from Ibn Saʻd to Who's who. P37-38, Boulder u.a.: Rienner, ISBN 1-55587-442-8 
  4. ^ Al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Rusul wa'l-Muluk, vol. 39. Translated by Landau-Tasseron, E. (1998). Biographies of the Prophet's Companions and Their Successors, p. 201. New York: State University of New York Press.
  5. ^ Beheshti, M. (1967). Background of the Birth of Islam, chapter 5. Translated by Ayoub, M. M. (1985). Tehran: International Publishing Co.
  6. ^ Majlisi, Hayat Al-Qulub vol. 2 chapter 52.
  7. ^ Tabari (Landau-Tasseron), vol. 39 pp. 75-76.
  8. ^ Wahba, al-Mawardi Translated by Wafaa H (2000), The ordinances of government = Al-Aḥkām al-sulṭāniyya w'al-wilāyāt al-Dīniyya, Reading: Garnet, ISBN 1-85964-140-7 
  9. ^ Faruk Aksoy, Omer Faruk Aksoy (2007), The blessed cities of Islam, Makka-Madina, Somerset, NJ: Light Pub., ISBN 1-59784-061-0 
  10. ^ Ira Lapidus. A History of Islamic Societies. Cambridge University Press. 2002 ISBN 0-521-77056-4 p.54
  11. ^ History of Daudpota's, Altaf Daudpota, retrieved 2009-04-12 
  12. ^ Brett, Michael Fentress (1997), The Berbers, Oxford: Blackwell, ISBN 0-631-20767-8 
  13. ^ Web Site of the Bawazir Abbasid Hashimite Family
  14. ^ Nicholls, W (1913), The Shaikiya: an Account of the Shaikiya Tribes, of the History of Dongola Province from the XIVth to the XIXth Century