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Abbas ibn Ali

Hazrat al-‘Abbās
Abul Fadhl
( Father of Virtue )
*Qamar Banī Hāshim[1]
(Arabic: Moon of the Hashimites)
(Arabic: The Provider of Water‎)
(Persian/Urdu: Flag/Standard Bearer)
*Shāhen Shāh-e-Wafā
(Urdu: King of Loyalty‎)
*Bābul Husayn[1]
(Arabic: Door to Husayn‎)
*Bābul Hawā'ij[2][3]
(Arabic: The door to fulfilling needs‎)
*Afdhal ush-Shuhadā
(Arabic: Most Superior Martyr‎)
*Abū Qurba
(Arabic: The owner of the skin of water‎)
*Strength of Husayn
Dome of the Al-‘Abbās Shrine in Karbala, Iraq
Successor ‘Ubaydullāh
Issue ‘Ubaydullāh
Full name
Hazrat al-‘Abbās ibn ‘Alī
House Banū Hāshim
Father ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib
Mother Fātimah bint Hizam (Ummul Banīn)
Born 4 [shaban] 26 AH[4]
(647-05-15)May 15, 647
Died 10th Muharram 61 AH
October 10, 680(680-10-10) (aged 33)
Burial al-‘Abbās Mosque, Karbalā, Iraq
The painting by 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]
Artictic depiction of Hazrat Abbas ibn Ali, Images such as this one are prevalent in Shia Islamic countries during Muharram
Abbas ibn Ali at the Battle of Karbala

Al-‘Abbās ibn ‘Ali (Arabic: العباس بن علي) (born 4th Sha‘bān 26 AH – 10 Muharram 61 AH; approximately May 15, 647 – October 10, 680) was the son of ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib (the first Imam and first Caliph and Fātimah bint Hizam al-Kilabiyyah (commonly known as: Ummul BanīnMother of the Sons).

Al-‘Abbās is revered by Shia Muslims for his loyalty to his half-brother Husayn ibn ‘Alī, his respect for the Ahl al-Bayt, and his role in the Battle of Karbalā. Abbas ibn Ali is buried in the Al Abbas Mosque in Karbala, Iraq where he was martyred.


  • Early life 1
  • Battle of Siffin 2
  • Battle of Karbala 3
    • Martyrdom 3.1
  • Descendants 4
  • Titles 5
  • Horse of Abbas 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9

Early life

Abbas ibn Ali ibn Abu Talib was born on 4 Shaban 26 AH. He was the son of Ali ibn Abi Talib and Fatimah AlKilabiyya. Abbas had three brothers, Abdullah ibn Ali, Jafar ibn Ali, and Usman ibn Ali. Narratives state that he did not open his eyes after he was born until his brother Husayn ibn Ali took him in his arms.

Abbas married a distant cousin, Lubaba bint Ubaydillah. They had three sons, Fadl, Qasim, and Ubaydullah.

Battle of Siffin

Abbas debuted as a soldier in the battle of Siffin, one of the main conflicts of the 657 AD Muslim struggle between Abbas's father Ali and Muawiya ibn Abi Sufyan, the governor of Syria. 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 himself 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 Hashimi family".[6][7] He was trained by his Father Ali in the art of battle, that is why he resembled his father in the battlefield.

Battle of Karbala

Abbas shrine, Karbala, main gate.

Abbas showed his loyalty to Hussain at the Battle of Karbala. After succeeding his father Muawiya ibn Abu Sufyan as Caliph, Yazid ibn Muawiyah required Hussain to pledge allegiance to him, but Hussain refused to do so, saying, "Yazid is a drunkard, womanizer who is unfit for leadership, as above act of Yazid were/are prohibited in Islam. If Hussian would have pledged allegiance to Yazid his act would have ruined Islam which was not possible, and would have ruined the basics of Islam. Hussain's elder brother Hasan has done a pact that they will be responsible for religious/islamic decisions and will not interfere in other matter, hussain to followed that but Yazid want to take total control. yazid with the help of ibne marjana conspires to kill Hussain by sending letter to hussain in the name of people of Kuffa to come to kuffa and help them follow right path and to guide them which was accepted by Hussain." In 60 AH (680 CE), Hussain left Medina with a small group of his companions and family to travel to Kufa. The people of Kufa invited Hussain to teach them about Islam. Initially he sent sending his cousin, Muslim, to make his decision after the advice of his cousin. But by the time Hussain arrived near Kufa, his cousin had been killed. On the way, Hussain and his group were intercepted. They were forced into a detour and arrived in Karbala on the 2nd of Muharram, 61 AH. Husayn's camp was surrounded and cut off from the Euphrates river. The camp ran out of water on the 7th of Muharram.


The Euphrates river was occupied by Yazid's Army to prevent the camp of Hussain from getting water.Abbas, because of his skill and bravery, could have attacked Yazid's army, occupied the river, and retrieved water for the camp alone. However, Abbas was not allowed to fight. He was only allowed to get water. Thus, he went to the river to get water for kids of Hussain's camp .[8] Sakina was very attached to Abbas, who was her uncle. To her, Abbas was the only hope for getting water. Abbas could not see her thirsty and crying "Al-Atash" (the thirst).[6] When Abbas entered the battlefield, he only had a spear, and a bag for water in his hands. He was also given the authority to hold the standard (liwa') in the battle. Once he had made it to the river, he started filling the bag with water. Abbas's loyalty to Hussain was so great, that Abbas did not drink any water because he could not bear the thought that Sakina was thirsty despite being severely thirsty himself. The essence of this event was to illustrate that Abbas conquered the Euphrates river, held it with his mighty hands, yet still did not drink. until this very day the water from Euphrates river circles the grave of Abbas. After gathering the water, Abbas rode back towards the camp. On his way back, he was struck from behind, and one of his arms was amputated. Then, he was stuck from behind again, amputating his other arm. Abbas was now carrying the water-bag in his mouth. The army of Yazid ibn Muawiyah started shooting arrows at him. One arrow hit the bag and water poured out of it. Immediately after the bag of water was hit, the enemy shot an arrow at Abbas that hit his eye.[9] One of Yazid's men hit his head with a mace and Abbas fell off his horse without the support of his arms. As he was falling, he called, "Ya Akkha" ("Oh brother!") he was actually calling for his brother, Hussain. Abbas fell first onto his face before he let the standard fall.

He was killed on Friday, 10 Muharram 61 Hijri on the banks of the river Euphrates. Hence, he is called Hero of Al-Qamah (another name for the river Euphrates). His death is generally mourned on the 8th night of Muharram. Muslims mourn the death of all martyrs of Islam associated with Hussain in the month of Muharram, the first of the Islamic calendar, mainly in the first ten days (see Remembrance of Muharram). Fadl ibn Abbas and Qasim ibn Abbas also laid down their lives at Karbala. Ubaydullah ibn Abbas lived to continue the lineage of Abbas with five sons of his own.

‘Abbās was buried at that ground where he fell from his horse in Karbalā, Iraq. The Al-‘Abbās Mosque was built around his grave, to which millions of pilgrims visit and pay homage every year.[10] Albanian Bektashis also maintain a shrine to Abbas on the summit of Mount Tomorr, where an annual pilgrimage is held every August.


Al-Abbas had five sons; Ubaidullah, al-Fadhl, al-Hasan, al-Qasim, and Mohammed, and two daughters. 95 Ibn Shahrashub; the famous historian recorded that Mohammad was martyred in Karbala with his father. The mother of Ubaidullah and al-Fadhl was Lubaba daughter of Ubaidullah ibn al-Abbas ibn Abd-ul-Muttalib. Genealogists have agreed unanimously that the progeny of al-Abbas ibn Ali came from his son Ubaidullah. Sheikh al-Futouni, however, added that al-Hasan ibn al-Abbas had sons and descendants, too. Ubaidullah ibn al-Abbas who died in AH 155, was one of the celebrated scholars. Handsomeness, perfect morality, and personality were ascribed to him. He married three ladies.

Imam Ali ibn al-Hussein Zayn ul-Abidin (a), respected Ubaidullah greatly. He, very frequently, wept when his sight fell on Ubaidullah, excusing that this man reminded him of his father's unique situations on that day in Karbala.

Al-Hasan; son of Ubaidullah lived for sixty-seven years and had five sons; al-Fadhl, Hamza, Ibrahim, al-Abbas, and Ubaidullah. All these were honorable, virtuous authors.

Al-Fadhl was such an eloquent, religious, and courageous personality that caliphs respected him. He was named 'Ibn al-Hashimiyya -son of the Hashemite lady-'.96 He had three sons; Ja'far, al-Abbas al-Akbar, and Mohammad.

Abu'l-Abbas al-Fadhl ibn Mohammed ibn al-Fadhl ibn al-Hasan ibn Ubaidullah ibn al-Abbas was a famous orator and poet. He composed some poetic verses eulogizing his forefather; a-Abbas. Hamza ibn al-Hasan ibn Ubaidullah ibn al-Abbas copied his forefather; Amir ul-Mu'minin. His grandson Mohammed ibn Ali-the famous poet resided in Basra and died in AH 286.97

Ibrahim Jardaqa was another descendant of al-Abbas. He was jurisprudent, man of letters, and well known of his ascetics. Abdullah ibn Ali ibn Ibrahim wrote some books, such as the book titled al-Ja'fariyya. He died in Egypt in AH 312. Al-Abbas ibn al-Hasan ibn Ubaidullah ibn al-Abbas was a great celebrity among the Hashemites. He visited Baghdad during the reign of Harun ar-Rashid. He was one of the most celebrated poets. 98

Abdullah ibn al-Abbas was also a famous personality for his virtue and celebrity. When he was informed about Abdullah's death, al-Ma'moun- the Abbasid caliph said: "All people are the same after your departure, son of al-Abbas!" 99 Abu't-Tayyib Mohammed ibn Hamza enjoyed a good personality. He was also well known of his regard of relatives and virtue. He had big fortunes in Jordan where he was killed in AH 291. His descendants were called 'sons of the martyr.' Ubaidullah ibn al-Hasan was the governor and qadi of Mecca and Medina during the reign of al-Ma'moun. Abu-Ya'li al-Hamza ibn al-Qasim ibn Ali ibn Hamza ibn al-Hasan ibn Ubaidullah ibn al-Abbas ibn Ali was one of the most celebrated men of knowledge. He was great hadithist who instructed many famed scholars and wrote many books, such as Kitab ut-Tawhid, Kitab uz-Ziyaraatu wel-Menasik, and many others in various fields of knowledge, especially in Ilm ur-Rijal and Ilm ul-Hadith.100 Many scholars described him with remarkable words of praise. 101 In a village called 'al-Hamza' and lying in al-Jazira, central Iraq, between the Euphrates and the Tigris, 102 there lies that handsome shrine which was built on the tomb of al-Hamza and has been incessantly visited by people.


Ghazi, or Gha'Z (غازی), means "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 battle of Siffin. This horse belonged to his other half brother Hassan ibn Ali. Abbas retained control over the horse and presented it to Husayn. [1] He's also known as Abu Fadl (ابوافضل), mean the father of heavenly graces and/or the father of graceful manner. Abbas (as) is the king of chivalry and the most loyal companion to his brother Imam Hussain (as). Abbas ibn Ali is also known as Qamar Bani Hashim, meaning the moon of the Hashemites.

Horse of Abbas

Abbas was given a horse named "Uqab" (Eagle).[11] 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 Abdul 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 as "Murtajiz". The name "Murtajiz" comes from Arabic name "Rijiz" which means thunder (lightning).[11][12][13]

See also


  1. ^ a b c at-Tabrizi, Abu Talib (2001). Ahmed Haneef, ed. Al-Abbas Peace be Upon Him. Abdullah Al-Shahin. Qum: Ansariyan Publications. pp. 45–47. 
  2. ^ Lalljee, Yousuf N. (2003). Know Your Islam. New York: Tahrike Tarsile Qur'an. p. 160.  
  3. ^ "Al-Abbas". Retrieved 2006-07-30. 
  4. ^ a b at-Tabrizi, Abu Talib (2001). Ahmed Haneef, ed. Al-Abbas Peace be Upon Him. Abdullah Al-Shahin. Qum: Ansariyan Publications. pp. 39–40. 
  5. ^ "Brooklyn Museum: Arts of the Islamic World: Battle of Karbala". Brooklyn, New York: Brooklyn Museum. Retrieved 7 July 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "Hazrat Abul Fazl Al Abbas". Archived from the original on 7 January 2006. Retrieved 2006-01-08. 
  7. ^ Lalljee, Yousuf N. (2003). Know Your Islam. New York: Tahrike Tarsile Qur'an. p. 161.  
  8. ^ "The Great Sacrifice". Retrieved 2006-07-30. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ KaraÌraviÌ, NajmulhÌ£asan (January 1, 1974). Biography of Hazrat Abbas. Peermahomed Ebrahim Trust. ASIN B0007AIWQW. 
  11. ^ a b Tehrani, Allama Ahhsan. Zindagi-e-Abbas Lang. Urdu. p. 83. 
  12. ^ Pinault, David (February 3, 2001). Horse of Karbala: Muslim Devotional Life in India. Palgrave Macmillan.  
  13. ^ Naqvi, Allama Zamir Akhtar (2007). Imam aur Ummat. Markaz-e-Uloom-e-Islamia. 

External links

  • AL-ABBAS By Abu Talib At-tabrizi, Translated by Abdullah Al-Shahin, Edited by Ahmed Haneef
  • Abbas b. Ali b. Abu Taleb an article by Encyclopædia Iranica
  • Sacrifice and Courage of Hadrat Abbas
  • Personality of Hadrat Abbas
  • Hazrat Abbas's Grave stone in his Holy Shrine
  • Cellar (basement) of Hazrat Abbas 's Shrine
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