02 Nov 2014
Hazrat Abbas a.s: The brave Commander of Karbala
Abul Fazalil Abbas a.s son of Ali Bin Abi Talib a.s incomparably surpassed as one of the greatest leaders in the whole history in respect of his unique heroism. He (p.b.u.h) indescribably showed great will and steadfastness in the battles. With his deep-rooted determination and self-sacrifice principles he was as a great army himself that appalled the whole army of Bin Zeyad and defeated them psychologically before the fierce battle took place, as well as he defeated them physically on the battle field.
Undoubtedly the family relation with the great personalities is an honor and dignity, especially when such great personality is the choice of God and the seal of the prophets. Al-Abbas ibn Ali enjoyed a close relation with Prophet Mohammad (saww) since he was the son of Ali ibnAbi-Talib a.s who was an independent source of honor and dignity.
About Ali, the Prophet (a) and his family, said: "My brother Ali ibn Abi-Talib a.s enjoys innumerable merits. Neither jinn nor can human beings count them." Mohammed ibnIdris ash-Shafii; the founder of the Shafiite school of law answered those who asked him to say his opinion about Ali: "What can we say about a person whose partisans have had to hide his merits because of fear, and enemies have hidden his merits out of envy? But between these two, his merits that have become widely known are too numerous to be counted."
IbnAbi'l-Hadid; the Mutazilite, says: "The merits of Ali ibnAbi-Talib a.s are too great and familiar to be mentioned or detailed. Even his enemies and rivalries could do nothing but confessing of the unmatched virtue of this man whose advantages are unconcealed and excellences are unrestrained. Everybody knows that when the Omayyads held the reins of the Islamic world, they spared no single effort for extinguishing the light of Imam Ali and inventing flaws against him.
Moreover, they issued the decisions of cursing him openly from the Platforms of their mosques and sentenced to death everyone who would mention any of his incalculable merits. They also prevented people from reporting any narration that may refer to any of his excellence. Finally, they even prevented people from calling his name on their newborns. Nevertheless, all these procedures exalted Ali's reputation and took him to more elevated levels. He was like musk whose perfume spreads when it is screened, and like the sun that cannot be screened by one's palm, and like daylight that is seen by many eyes if one eye is closed against it."
Thus was the father of al-Abbas who has every right to take pride in him and learns from his morals, ethics, and excellence.
From the maternal side, al-Abbas was the son of a great lady; namely Umm-ul-Banin, who enjoyed excellent lineage and personality. In addition to her high moral standards, she was well known of her loyalty to the Ahl-ul-Bayt and her devoutness. Therefore, she occupied an elevated position in the sight of the Ahl-ul-Bayt who praised her in many occasions and showed her great respect. Because of such remarkable care for Imam Ali's sons and daughters, God has given Umm-ul-Banin exclusive positions and made her a means that takes to Him and a way through which the suppliants' most complicated problems are solved. On the hands of her noble parents, Umm-ul-Banin was brought up on righteous moralities and the highest ethical standards that she became fit to be the wife of Imam Ali (a) and a compassionate mother for the chiefs of the youth of Paradise.
This great lady gave birth of four courageous sons the elder among whom was Abu'l-Fadhl al-Abbas. He, as well as his full brothers, acquired the qualities of courage and bravery from their mother whose descendants were the most courageous among the Arabs. Umm-ul-Banin, then, contributed in the composition of the personalities of her four sons who showed unmatched courage on the day of Ashura and sacrificed themselves for their religion and its representative; Imam al-Hussein (a). HIS GRANDFATHERS: Al-Abbas is the son of Ali, son of Abu-Talib, son of Abd-ul-Muttalib, son of Hashim, son of Abd-Menaf, son of Qussay, son of Kelab, son of Murra, son of Kaab, son of Luway, son of Ghalib, son of Fihr, son of Malik, son of an-Nadhr, son of Kenana, son of Khuzayma, son of Mudrika, son of Ilias, son of Madhar, son of Nizar, son of Maad, son of Adnanâ€¦ As we recite the Prophet's saying, 'When you refer to my fathers, you should stop at Adnan,' we have to stop at him, because of, as it seems, the difficulty in pronouncing the names of the other fathers utterly or because errors might occur in the series of their names.
However, it is unacceptable to mistake intentionally the names of those whose descendant was the great Prophet Mohammed (s). To have little discussion about fathers of the Prophet (s), we may refer, first of all, to the following point: We believe that all fathers of the Prophet (s) up to Adam are pure in birth and belief. In other words, all ancestors of the Prophet (a) were believers as none of them had ever worshipped an idol or anything other than Almighty God. The holy Quran proves this fact by saying: "And rely on the Mighty, the Merciful Who sees you when you stand up and (watched you during) your turning over and over among those (ancestors) who prostrate themselves before Allah.
Surely, He is the Hearing, the Knowing." Any contrary matter that may be arisen must be interpreted in a way befitting this principle. For instance, the one to whom the holy Quran has referred as being Prophet Abraham's father was not his father. He was either his uncle or maternal grandfather. All historians have proved that Prophet Abraham's father was called 'Tarikh', not 'Azar,' as the Quran says -(Consider when Abraham asked his father, Azar, "Why do you believe idols to be your gods? I find you and your people in absolute error."
In addition, the holy Quran, in another situation, refers to the uncle as father: (Were you-believers-there when death approached Jacob? When he asked his sons, "Whom will you worship after my death?" They replied, "We will worship your Lord, the Lord of your fathers, Abraham, Ishmael, and Isaac. He is the only Lord, and to Him we have submitted ourselves." 9) Prophet Isaac was the uncle of Jacob. Nevertheless, the Lord has added him to 'fathers'. Prophet Mohammed (s) declared that all his ancestors were not worshippers of anything other than Almighty God, and were not the products of illegitimate copulation: "When Allah wanted to create us, He made us in a form of a pillar of light in the spine of Adam. Hence, that light was shining in his forehead.
That pillar, then, moved to Shith his successor who received the commandment of his father that he must not put that pillar in any place other than wombs of purified women. With the moving of this pillar of light, this commandment moved with it. Hence, only the celebrities could carry that pillar of light and only the purified women carried it. When it reached the spine of Abd-ul-Muttalib, that pillar was divided into two parts-one went to Abdullah who moved it to the womb of Amina, and the other went to Abu-Talib who moved it to the womb of Fatima bint Asad."
Meaning of his name:
This name is called on the courageous, the fearless, the strong, and the attacker.It is one of the names of the lion. Describing al-Abbas in the battlefields, many historians have likened him to the angry lion.) 50 Describing al-Abbas ibn Ali, at-Turaihi, in his al-Muntakhab, says:
(Al-Abbas ibn Ali looked like an unshakable mountain. His heart was as same as a mound because he was such a unique horseman and hero. In battlefields, he was fearless.)
After holding the Islamic ceremonies of newborns for Imam Ali's new baby, Lady Zaynab (a) turned her face towards her father and asked, "Father, have you chosen a name and a nickname for this new baby?"
Her father answered, "Yes, daughter, I have."
"What are they, father?" she asked eagerly.
The father, as he perceived that this baby would be one of the heroes of Islam and would be frowning in the faces of evils and the wrongdoers, said: "I name him 'al-Abbas (the frowning), and nickname him 'Abu'l-Fadhl (father of virtue)."
Lady Zaynab however loved this baby very much and could not depart him for a single moment. She then told her father about the strange feelings that she had for this childâ€¦
Since it denotes the soundness and perseverance of personality, courage is regarded as the highest characteristic of manhood. Abu'l-Fadhl al-Abbas came into this characteristic from his father who was the ever most courageous. Al-Abbas's maternal uncles, too, were characterized by this feature among all the Arabs. He was a perfect world of valor; fear had never been on his mind during battles in which he participated with his father.
During the battle of at-Taff, al-Abbas gave the highest examples of heroism and courage. In fact, that battle is seen as the greatest conflict in the history of Islam. Facing the large gatherings of Yazid's army, al-Abbas manifested himself so bravely that he changed their courageous warriors into cowards and filled in the hearts of their troops with horror. Losing any means to face this great hero, they went on using deceptive ways-they promised they would give him the general commandment of their army if he would leave the camp of his brother, but al-Abbas put them down and their promise was no more than a factor that increased his perseverance on his principles and persistence on defending his beliefs.
Narrators have referred to the great casualties that Yazid's army suffered at the hands of al-Abbas ibn Ali who was, in the midst of that fighting, smiling. He did fill the fields of that battle with the bodies of their victims, did paint their horses with their blood, and did plant horror and terror in their hearts. His sword was a destroying thunderbolt that inflicted bereavement and fatality upon people of Kufa who were on the opposite party.
The courage of al-Abbas has astonished poets and authors who have gone on describing it in nonesuch styles, and given the best examples of heroism all over history. Since this courage was shown for defending the right and protecting the high values and principles of Islam, its significance has been increasing.
Faith was another major feature in the personality of al-Abbas. He was brought up in the laps of the true faith, centers of God-fearing, and faculties of obedience to God. His father; chief of the faithful and head of the pious, fed him with the essence of faith, and factuality of God's oneness. Hence, al-Abbas grew up on the cognizant faith and the true pondering over the secrets of creation. This giant, nonesuch faith interacted in the mentality of al-Abbas to change him into one of the great individuals of faith, piety, and sincerity. Out of his faith, al-Abbas ofered his brothers, sons, and himself as pure sacrifices for the sake of God.
Bravely, al-Abbas fought for defending the religion of God and protecting the principles of Islam that were exposed to eradicative dangers during the reigns of the Umayyad ancestry. He aimed at nothing other than the satisfaction of God and the attainment of the eternal joy of the life to come.
Disdain and sense of honor painted the personality of al-Abbas so densely that he refused completely to live in humbleness under the shadows of the Umayyad rulers who usurped the wealth of God and treated people as slaves. Thus, he pushed himself in the fields of fighting, following his brother who raised the slogan of honor and dignity and declared that death would be no more than pleasure, while to live with the wrongdoers would be only humility.
During the battle of at-Taff, al-Abbas represented all the concepts of disdain and sense of honor when he rejected proudly the commandment of Yazid's army if he would leave the camp of his brother. As a result, he pushed himself sincerely in the fields of the battle, felling the warriors and harvesting his enemies' heads-all for defending his freedom, religion, and dignity.
On the day of Ashura, al-Abbas had to encounter unspeakable crises. Nevertheless, he did not show any item of intolerance or worry and did not utter any single word of resentment. On the contrary, he provided the whole matter to his Lord the Most High and copied his brother, al-Hussein (a), whose patience was as heavy as unshakable mountains.
Al-Abbas saw the companions of his brother melted by the sun on the dust of Karbala, heard the weeping of the children out of their thirst and heard the moaning of the harem who were mourning for their men, and saw the loneliness of his brother who were encircled by the meanest enemies, intending to kill him so as to 'win' the prize of the governor of Kufa. In the midst of all these crises, al-Abbas submitted to his Lord completely without showing any weakness.
Loyalty to his brother:
It is incumbent upon each Muslim to swear allegiance to the Imam who lives in his time. Hence, al-Abbas gave the best example of being faithful to the allegiance to the Imam of his time-al-Hussein (a). All over history, you cannot find an item of loyalty more exalted than that of al-Abbas to his brother and leader. Hence, his loyalty has become the extremity that attracts every free, honest man.
Imamâ€™s a.s views about abulfazail abbas a.s
1-Imam Ali a.s:
We have already mentioned that Imam Ali (a) foretold about the personality and future of al-Abbas when he was one-day old. In many other situations, Imam Ali (a) foretold that his son would shoulder the responsibility of protecting the harem of his brother and would sacrifice himself for his religion and belief.
These predictions are regarded as commendations for al-Abbas whose mission was divinely identified and prepared. He did not disappoint his father when he accomplished his mission as completely as possible to the last spark of his life.
2-Imam Al-Hussain a.s:
Historian have narrated many reports showing the close, unique relation between al-Abbas and his brother, Imam al-Hussein (a) who addressed to him a word showing the great rank that al-Abbas occupied in his brother's mentality: In one of the many situations in Karbala, Imam al-Hussein said to his brother al-Abbas: "Ride on, may I be your sacrifice." When al-Abbas breathed his last breaths while his head was on the knees of Imam al-Hussein (a), the latter declared with deeply sad tone: "Now, my spine is broken, and I have become helpless, and my enemies are rejoicing at my misfortune." This word expresses the real position that al-Abbas was occupying for his brother.
3-Imam Zayn Al-Abideen a.s:
Imam Zainul-Abideen is one of the founders of true piety and virtue of Islam. Historians have reported that he used to seek Allah's mercy for his uncle, al-Abbas, and used to refer to him with the finest words of admiration and commendation. Listen to the following valuable word of the Imam (a):
"Allah may have mercy upon my uncle, al-Abbas. He preferred his brother to himself, did well, and sacrificed himself for his brother until he lost his two hands for sake of such. Thus, Allah, instead of his two hands, will give him two wings with which he will fly with the angels in Paradise, just like Ja'faribnAbi-Talib. In the sight of Allah the Blessed the Exalted, al-Abbas enjoys a peculiar rank for which all the shahids will hope if they had its like on the day of Resurrection."
The previous statement of Imam Zaynul-Abidin (a) includes the most significant sacrifices that al-Abbas did towards his brother; Imam al-Hussein (a). For sake of his brother, al-Abbas sacrificed his two hands and went on resisting until he was felled. For these great sacrifices, God will grant al-Abbas an unparalleled rank that all martyrs will wish if they had its like.
4-Imam Al-Sadiq a.s:
Imam as-Sadiq (a) used to praise his uncle al-Abbas and pay tributes to his heroic situations during the battle of at-Taff:
"My uncle al-Abbas was clear-sighted and steadfastly faithful. He fought with his brother al-Hussein, did very well, and was martyred."
The Great Reformist Imam al-Mahdi, God may hasten his return, said a great word about al-Abbas:
"Salaam be upon Abu'l-Fadl al-Abbas, son of Amir ul-Mu'minin. He preferred his brother to himself, supplied himself with (opportunities of) today for (rewards of) tomorrow, sacrificed himself for his brother, protected him, hurried for fetching him water, and his two hands were cut (for such). Allah curse his killers; Yazidibnar-Raqqad and Hukaimibn at-Tuffail at-Taeeâ€¦"
In the previous statement, Imam al-Mahdi praises al-Abbas for the noble characteristics that he enjoyed:
His mercy and kindness:
Al-Abbas enjoyed the highest standards of morality. He was so kind and merciful with the underprivileged and the persecuted. In Karbala, when the troops of Yazid occupied the banks of the Euphrates and deprived the other party of water, al-Abbas showed the most clear-cut signs of kindness and mercy when he saw his brother's children, as well as others, pale-faced and dry-lipped because of thirst. Seeing this view, al-Abbas pushed himself towards the river and came back with water for those children. On the tenth of Muharram, he also heard the children crying because of thirst; therefore, his kindness and feelings of mercy prompted him to sate their thirst. He took the container and faced the enemies so bravely that he could take them away from the river. As he was about to have a drink, he remembered the thirst of his brother and his children. He therefore refused to drink before he would sate the thirst of those ones.
Has anyone ever seen, heard, or known of such feelings of mercy and kindness at any person other than al-Abbas who
climbed to the highest summits of glory because of the characteristics of his unique personality?