Abbas ibn Ali
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Al-Abbas ibn Ali
ٱلْعَبَّاس ٱبْن عَلِيّ
|Born||4 Shaban, 26 AH:39–40|
≈ 15 May 647
|Died||10 Muharram, 61 AH|
≈ 10 October 680 (aged 33)
|Cause of death||Martyred|
|Resting place||Al Abbas Mosque, Karbala, Iraq|
|Known for||Battle of Karbala|
|Spouse(s)||Lubaba bint Ubaydillah|
|Relatives||Sayyida Ruqayya bint Ali (sister)|
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)
Fatimah bint Muhammad (half-mother)
|Family||Banu Hashim, Banu Kilab|
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Al-Abbas ibn Ali ibn Abi Talib (Arabic: ٱلْعَبَّاس ٱبْن عَلِيّ ٱبْن أَبِي طَالِب, romanized: al-ʿAbbās ibn ʿAlīy ibn ʾAbī Ṭālib; born 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'), was a son of Ali ( the fourth Rashidun caliph) and Fatima bint Hizam, commonly known as Umm al-Banin (Arabic: أُمّ ٱلْبَنِين, lit. 'Mother of the Sons').
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 Mosque in Karbala, Iraq, where he was killed during the Battle of Karbala on the day of Ashura. He was praised for his "handsome looks" 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. 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".
Birth and early life
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 ibn Ali ibn Abi Talib, Jafar ibn Ali, and Uthman ibn Ali. Abbas married a distant cousin named Lubaba bint Ubaydillah. They had three sons named Fadl ibn Abbas, Muhammad ibn Abbas, and Ubaydullah ibn Abbas. His mother would recite famous lines of poetry in supplication to ward off the evil of those who envied him.
Battle of Siffin
Abbas debuted as a soldier in the Battle of Siffin, one of the main conflicts of the struggle between Abbas's father, Ali, and Muawiyah 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:
Abbas was trained by his father and his elder brother Hassan 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 Akbar, son of Husayn. He also taught Qasim, Aun and Mohammad.
Battle of Karbala
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. Husayn's elder brother Hassan 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 of diverse affairs.
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, most historians state that the letters were actually sent by the people of Kufa who later betrayed him when the body of Muslim ibn Aqeel (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 Aqeel, on ahead to 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. They were forced into a detour and arrived in Karbala on the 2 Muharram, 61 AH. Husayn's camp was surrounded and cut off from the Euphrates river. The camp ran out of water on the 7 Muharram.
Apart of being the "standard bearer" of Husayn ibn Ali's army, Abbas was asked by Husayn to provide some water for the thirsty children. The Euphrates river was occupied by Yazid I's army to prevent the camp of Husayn from getting water. Abbas was only allowed to be defensive because his brother Husayn didn't want him to fight. He was only allowed to get water (although there are also narrations which mention that he participated in battle, too).
Eventually, Abbas went to the river to get water for the children in Husayn's camp. he was surrounded by hundreds of soldiers trying to stop him from taking water and they were attacking him from everywhere eventually someone pulled the water away from him so he got down from his horse to take it and started fighting to defend himself while he was fighting for his life a man came from behind a palm tree and cut his right arm off abbas then carried the water between his teeth and held his sword with his left hand and started fighting with it while his other arm was on the ground then his left arm got cut off in the same way so he started running towards the camp with the water between his teeth and everyone attacking him with arrows and rocks from every side until one of the arrows got in his eye still he didn't stop and kept going to deliver the water for the thirsty children eventually an arrow was thrown to the water container he was using and started pouring out and when that happened he started feeling deep sadness when suddenly a man with a metal pole hit him on the head to the point where his brain was showing and he fell on the ground until his brother imam Hussein stayed by his side until he passed away in the battlefield because he refused to go back to the camp because he felt embarrassed that he couldn't bring the water for the children after he promised them (please don't spread false information this is a very important battle in the Islamic history and every detail is valuable), and died on Friday, 10 Muharram, 61 AH, near the bank of the river Euphrates. 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 Mosque was built around his grave, at which millions of pilgrims pay homage every year. The Albanian Bektashi community also maintain a shrine to Abbas on the summit of Mount Tomorr, where an annual pilgrimage is held every August.
Abbas ibn Ali had 5 sons: Ubaidullah, Fadhl, Hassan, Qasim and Muhammad; and also 2 daughters. Ibn Shahrashub, a prominent historian, recorded that: "Muhammad ibn Abbas was martyred in Karbala with his father." The mother of Ubaidullah and Fadhl was Lubaba. Genealogists consider that the progeny of Al-Abbas came from his son Ubaidullah. Sheikh al-Futouni, however, mentioned that Hassan ibn Abbas also had sons and descendants. Ubaidullah ibn Abbas, who died in 155 AH, was a celebrated scholar known for his handsomeness, perfect morality and fine personality. He had three wives.
Ali ibn Husayn, had great respect for his uncle Abbas. He often wept when his eyes fell on Ubaidullah, explaining that he reminded him of his father's heroic and tragic exploit on that day in Karbala.
- Al-Hassan, son of Ubaidullah, lived to age 67 and had five sons, Fadhl, Hamza, Ibrahim, Abbas, and Ubaidullah, all of whom became honourable, virtuous authors.
- Ubaidullah - He was the governor/qadi of Mecca and Medina during the reign of al-Ma'moun.
- Al-Abbas - He was a well-known poet among the Hashemites. He visited Baghdad at the time of Harun ar-Rashid reign.
- Al-Fadhl - He was such an eloquent, religious and courageous personality that even caliphs respected him. He was named Ibn al-Hashimiyya (son of the Hashemite woman). He had three sons, Ja'far, al-Abbas al-Akbar, and Mohammad.
- Abu'l-Abbas al-Fadhl ibn Mohammed - He was a grandson of Al-Fadhl and was an orator/poet, composed several poetic verses eulogizing his ancestor, Abbas ibn Ali.
- Ibrahim Jardaqa - He was a jurist and writer who was well known for his ascetics (piety).
- Abdullah ibn Ali - He was a grandson of Jardaqa, wrote several books, including one titled al-Ja'fariyya. He died in Egypt in AH 312.
- Hamza - He was like "Ali ibn Abu Talib" who was his ancestor.
- Abu't-Tayyib Mohammad - He was son of Hamza and was known for his good personality, his regard for his relatives and his virtue. Abu-Tayyib had properties in Jordan where he was killed in 291 AH . His descendants were called "sons of the martyr".
- Abu-Ya'la al-Hamza - He was a descendant of Hamza and was a knowledgable man. He was great hadithist who instructed many scholars and wrote many books, such as "Kitab ut-Tawhid", "Kitab uz-Ziyaraatu wel-Menasik", and many others in different fields of knowledge, particularly in Ilm ur-Rijal and Ilm ul-Hadith. Many scholars described him with words of praise. In a village called al-Hamza in al-Jazira, central Iraq, between the Euphrates and the Tigris, is a handsome shrine built over his tomb that continues to be visited by many people.
- Qutb Shah - A ruler and religious scholer, was a grandson of Abu-Ya'la al-Hamza. He is the primary ancestor of Awan tribe. His lineage is traced as Qutb Shah (Aawn) ibn Yaala ibn Hamza ibn Qasim ibn Tayyar ibn Qasim ibn Ali ibn Jaffar ibn Humza ibn al-Hassan ibn Ubaidullah ibn Abbas ibn Ali ibn Abu Talib.
Abdullah ibn al-Abbas is another son of Abbas ibn Ali whose name has been mentioned among the "martyrs of Karbala", He was known for his virtue. The Abbasid caliph al-Ma'moun mentioned about him that: "All people are the same after your departure, son of al-Abbas!".
Abbas is known as Abu al-Fazl (ابوالفضل), meaning the father of heavenly graces and/or the father of the graceful manner. 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 (غازی), meaning "soldier who returns successfully from the battle". Although Abbas was killed at Karbala, he is known as Ghazi because, when he carried out the first strike against Yazid's army, his mission was to rescue the horse which was seized by Shimr during the battle of Siffin. This horse belonged to his other brother, Hasan ibn Ali. Abbas retained control over the horse and presented it to Husayn.
Horse of Abbas
Abbas was given a horse named "Uqab" (Eagle). 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).
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