Monday 4th of March 2024
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Martyrdom of our Master Abbas bin Ali bin Abi Talib(a.s)

Shaikh Mufeed in his Irshad and Shaikh Tabarsi in his A'alamul Wara say, that the army attacked Imam Husain (a.s) and also scattered his troops while their thirst intensified. Imam, accompanied with his brother Abbas, galloped towards the Euphrates. The army of Umar bin Sa'ad blocked their way, while a man from Bani Darim called out to them, "Woe be to you! Block their way towards the Euphrates so that they may not reach it". Imam Husain (a.s) said, "O Allah! Let him be thirsty". He was infuriated and shot an arrow towards Imam that pierced his chin. Imam pulled out the arrow and placed his palm below it that became full of blood. Then he said,

"O Allah! I complain to You regarding how they treat the son of the daughter of Your Prophet (s.a.w.s)",

Then they returned thirsty. But the army surrounded Hazrat Abbas (a.s) and separated him from Imam Husain (a.s). Abbas fought lonely until he was martyred. Zayd bin Warqa' Hanafi and Hakeem bin Tufayl Ta'i jointly killed him after inflicting several wounds upon him and he did not have the strength to move. Sayyed ibne Tawoos too relates somewhat similarly.

Hasan bin Ali Tabarsi relates, that the arrow of the accursed (from Bani

[1] This Shahrbanu is not the mother of Imam Ali Zainul Abedeen (a.s), who had died during childbirth, as will be quoted in the end of this book.


Darim) pierced the forehead of Imam Husain (a.s) and Abbas removed it. But the previous narration is more renowned.

Tabari relates from Hisham, who relates from his father Mohammad bin Saeb, from Qasim bin al-Aasbagh bin Nabatah, who says that someone who was present (in Karbala) during the martyrdom of Imam Husain (a.s) told me that, when the army of Husain was routed, he mounted his horse and went towards the Euphrates. A man from Bani Aban bin Darim said, "Woe be to you! Station yourself between him and the Euphrates so that his Shi'ah may not join him". He galloped his horse and the army too followed him and blocked his access to the Euphrates. Imam Husain (a.s) said, "O Allah! Make him thirsty". The Abani shot an arrow that pierced the chin of Imam. Imam pulled out the arrow and placed his palm below it, which became full of blood, and he said,

"O Allah! I complain to You regarding how they treat the son of the daughter of Your Prophet (s.a.w.s)".

By Allah! Not much time passed, when I saw thirst overwhelming him while he (the Abani man) was never satiated.

Qasim bin al-Aasbagh further says that I was alongwith the one who was fanning him (the Abani man) while a sweet drink, a jar of milk and jug of water was kept. He was saying, "Woe be to you! Thirst is killing me". A jar of water or a cup, which was quenching the thirst of his family, was handed over to him. He drank and vomited it, then slept for some time. Then again he started saying, "Woe be to you! Give me water, thirst is killing me". By Allah! A sight similar to this was not seen before, while his stomach cracked like that of a Camel.

We (the author) say that from the narration of Ibne Nima it proves that the name of the person was Zar'ah bin Aban bin Darim.

It is related from Qasim bin al-Aasbagh bin Nabatah, who relates from a person who had seen Imam Husain (a.s) (in Karbala) who had positioned himself upon a high moat close to the bank so as to reach the Euphrates, while Abbas was alongwith him. Suddenly the letter of Ubaydullah addressed to Umar bin Sa'ad arrived, which said that, "Block the water supply to Husain and his companions, and let them not taste a drop from it". Umar bin Sa'ad despatched Amr bin Hajjaj alongwith five hundred men to the waterfront. Abdullah bin Haseen Azdi called out, "O Husain! Do you see this water flowing similar to the heavens? By Allah! You shall not get a drop from it until you, alongwith your companions, perish of thirst". Zar'ah bin Aban bin Darim said, "Position yourselves between him and the Euphrates". Then he shot an arrow towards Imam that pierced his chin, and he said, "O Allah! Let him die of thirst and never forgive him". A drink was brought for the Imam

(a.s), but he could not drink due to the constant flow of blood. He threw the blood towards the heavens and said, "Likewise towards the heavens".

And it is related from Shaikh Abdus Samad, from Abul Faraj, from Abdul Rahman bin Jawzi, that after this the Abani man (Zar'ah) was inflicted with the (disease of) scorching of the stomach and cold back, and was yelling. Thereafter the above narration of Tabari is quoted until the end.

The author of Umdatut Talib, in context of the children of Abbas (a.s), says that his Kuniyah (agnomen) was Abul Fazl and title Saqqa (the water carrier). He was bestowed this title because he went to seek water for his brother on the day of Ashura, but before he could reach it to him, he was martyred. His grave is situated near the bank of the river (Euphratus) on the spot of his martyrdom. He was the standard-bearer of Imam Husain (a.s) on that day.

Abu Nasr Bukhari relates from Mufazzal bin Umar, that Imam Ja'far as Sadiq (a.s) said,

"Our uncle Abbas was prudent and possessed a firm faith. He fought alongwith Abu Abdullah (Imam Husain) and underwent trials until he was martyred. While (the responsibility of) his blood lies with the Bani Hanifah, and he was thirty-four years when he was killed. His mother, as also that of his brothers Usman, Ja'far and Abdullah, was Ummul Baneen, the daughter of Hizam bin Khalid bin Rabi'ah."

Then he goes on to say, that it is related that the Commander of the faithful Imam Ali (a.s) inquired from his brother Aqeel, who was a genealogist and knew the Arabian families well, to find a woman from a valorous Arab family, so that he could marry her and she in turn would bear him a valorous son. Aqeel replied, "Then marry Ummul Baneen Kilabiyyah, for there is none among the Arabs who is more valorous than her fathers", thus he married her. Then on the day of the tenth of Moharram (Ashura), Shimr bin Ziljawshan Kilabi came and called for Abbas and his brothers saying, "Where are my nephews?" They did not reply to him. Imam Husain (a.s) told his brothers,

"Answer him, although he is a lewd person, for he is from among your uncles (of the same tribe)".

They asked him, "What do you desire?" Shimr replied, "Come to me, for you all are under protection, do not kill yourselves alongwith your brother". Hearing this they denounced him in harsh words and said, "May you be ugly and may that be ugly too what you have brought (the document of security). Should we desert our Master and Chief and enter your security?" He (Abbas) alongwith his three brothers was martyred on that day.

Shaikh Sadooq relates from Imam Ali Zainul Abedeen (a.s) that

"May Allah's Mercy be upon Abbas! He self-sacrificed fairly and underwent

trials. He offered his life for his brother until both his arms were severed. And Allah, the Mighty, the Sublime, compensated him with two wings and he flies in Paradise alongwith the Angels as He had presented to Ja'far bin Abi Talib (a.s). While Abbas (a.s) possesses such a position near Allah, may He be Hallowed and Exalted, that on the day of Qiyamah all the martyrs will be envious of it".

Abul Faraj (Isfahani) says that Abbas bin Ali bin Abi Talib (a.s)'s agnomen was Abul Fazl, while his mother was Ummul Baneen (a.s), whose eldest son he was. And he was the last among his real brothers to be martyred, for he had sons, while his other brothers had none. He sent them to the battlefield before himself until all of them were martyred and their inheritance passed on to him.[1]Then he himself stepped into the battlefield and fell a martyr. Ubaydullah (the son of Abbas) inherited from all of them and his uncle Umar bin Ali disputed with him in this regard. Then he settled with him by giving him the wealth that he agreed upon.

Jarmi bin Abul A'la relates from Zubayr, who relates from his uncle, that the progeny of Abbas (a.s) referred to him as Saqqa and bestowed him with the agnomen of Abul Qirbah (Lit. father of the water-skin, for he strived hard to get water for Imam Husain (a.s) and his family). But I have never seen any of his sons nor have I heard anything like this from them.

A eulogizer praises Abbas thus: "The youth is more worthy to be wept upon whose death made Husain weep in Karbala, he was his brother and the son of his father Ali, Abul Fazl who was smeared in blood and assisted his brother, he himself remained thirsty and strived to get water for him".

Kumayt (Asadi) says regarding him: "Abul Fazl whose remembrance is pleasant and a cure for the illness of the soul, who fought against the illegitimate men, while they fought against him who was the most honourable among those who consumed the rain-water".

Abbas (a.s) possessed a pleasant countenance, he was handsome and of immense height. When he would mount upon a sturdy horse, his feet would touch the ground. He was called 'Qamare Bani Hashim' (the Moon of the Bani Hashim). He was the standard-bearer of Imam Husain (a.s) on the day of

[1] From the above report of Abul Faraj it appears that Hazrat Abbas sent his brothers before him so that he (or his son) might inherit from them (Allah's refuge). This seems quite fictitious, for if he had desired the wealth of this world he would have accepted the invitation of Shimr, who had offered him protection and Ubaydullah in turn would have bestowed lavish gifts upon him. But his sincerity and devotion towards serving his Imam is indisputable, while his faith and virtue unparalleled. Thus this report of Abul Faraj is nothing but the outcome of prejudice and his (Abul Faraj's) pervert opinion.



It is related from Imam Ja'far as Sadiq (a.s) that he said that, "Imam Husain (a.s) arrayed his troops and handed over his standard to Abbas (a.s)".

Imam Mohammad al Baqir (a.s) says that Zayd bin Waqad Jahmi (or bin Warqa' Hanafi) and Hakeem bin Tufayl Tai' killed Abbas.

It is related from Mu'awiyah bin Ammar, who relates from Imam Ja'far as Sadiq (a.s), that he said that, "Ummul Baneen, the mother of the four martyred brothers would go to (the cemetery of) Baqi' and would lament with heart-rending and grief-stricken words upon her sons. People would gather and listen to her (sorrowful words). One day Marwan (bin Hakam) came and heard her lamenting and started weeping (inspite of being ruthless himself).

Ibne Shahr Ashob in his Manaqib says that Abbas, the Saqqa' (the water Carrier), the Moon of the Hashimites, the Standard-Bearer of Husain, and the greatest of his real brothers went in pursuit of water. They attacked him and he too lay siege and said, "I do not fear death even when it calls out to me, or until I do not fight the tested fighters and fall upon the ground, my life is ransom upon the one who is the life of Mustafa, verily I am Abbas the one who fetches water, while I do not fear on the day of battle".

He scattered the forces, while Zayd bin Warqa' Jahni, who was lying in ambush for him behind a tree, severed his right hand alongwith the help of Hakeem bin Tufayl Sumbosi. Then he took the sword in his left hand while reciting the following Rajaz: "By Allah! Although you have severed my right hand, I shall keep defending my Religion as also my positively Truthful Imam, who is the son of the Chaste and Trustworthy Prophet".

He fought until he was exhausted and Hakeem bin Tufayl Ta'i hid behind a tree and dealt a blow upon his left hand and severed it. Abbas said, "O self do not fear the infidels, may you receive the glad tidings of the Mercy of the Omnipotent, alongwith the Prophet the Master of the empowered, they have severed my left hand with injustice, O Lord burn them with the fire (of hell)".

The accursed killed him with his iron mace. When Imam Husain (a.s) saw him upon the ground near the bank of Euphratus, he wept and said, "You have done injustice through your actions O accursed nation, and have opposed the words of Prophet Mohammad (s.a.w.s), did not the Best Prophet bequeath to you regarding us, are we not of the progeny of the Righteous Prophet, is not Zahra (a.s) from among you my mother, is not Ahmed (s.a.w.s) the best among the creations, curse befell you and you were humiliated on account of what you did, and very soon you will face the scorching fire (of hell)".

We say that if one desires to realise the state of Imam Husain (a.s) on the death of his brother, family members and other companions, should ponder

upon the words of Imam Ali (a.s) and his condition upon the death of his eminent companions and friends (in the battle of Siffeen) like Ammar bin Yasir, Malik Ashtar, Mohammad bin Abu Bakr, Abul Haysam bin Teehan, Khuzaymah bin Sabit and others. It is related that on a Friday preceding his martyrdom, Imam Ali (a.s) made a speech in which he remembered them and said, "Where are my brothers who were upon the thoroughfare and where have they passed who were truth loving men? Where is Ammar? Where is Ibnat Teehan? Where is Zush Shahadatayn (Khuzaymah bin Sabit)? Where are others similar to them who had pledged among themselves to die and their heads were despatched to the presence of wicked men?" Then he held his blessed beard in his hand and wept bitterly, then said, "Alas upon the brothers who recited the Qur'an and remained steadfast. Those who recognised their obligation and fulfilled them, they enlivened the customs and trampled the innovations. They were invited to strive and they hastened towards it".

It is related, that when Ammar bin Yasir was martyred in Siffeen alongwith a group of the companions of the Commander of the faithful Imam Ali (a.s), and when night came, Imam Ali (a.s) wandered among the martyrs. When he saw Ammar fallen upon the ground, he lifted his head and placed it upon his thigh and wept, then said, "O death! Till when shall you be away from me, when you have not spared for me any friend of (my) friend, I find you discerning towards those whom I love, as if you proceed towards them with evidences".

In the complete poetical work (of Imam Ali), the first couplet is as follows: "O death which shall not leave me, relieve me for you have taken away all my friends".

It is related in Bihaar al-Anwaar, that when Hazrat Abbas (a.s) found himself alone, he came to Imam Husain (a.s) and said, "Do you permit me?" Imam wept bitterly and said, "O dear brother! You are my standard-bearer, then if you go away my army will get scattered". Abbas replied, "My heart is getting narrow and I am satiated from life. And I desire to avenge the blood of my brothers from these hypocrites". Imam Husain (a.s) said, "Then bring water for these children". Abbas proceeded and counseled the army and warned them, but it did not prove fruitful. Then he returned to the Imam and informed him. He heard the children wailing "O thirst", he took a water-skin and mounted his horse and went towards the Euphratus. Four thousand men, who were guarding the Euphratus, surrounded him from all sides and shot arrows at him. He attacked them and killed eighty men until he had ripped them, then he entered the river. He tried to drink water, [1] when suddenly he remembered

[1] The above incident cannot be relied upon for the simple reason being that such covetousness can never be expected from a person of Hazrat Abbas (a.s)'s caliber,


the thirst of Imam and his Household. He then threw away the water and filled the water-skin. He placed the water-skin upon his right shoulder and turned towards the tents. They blocked his way and surrounded him from all sides. He fought with them until Nawfal severed his right hand with his sword. Then he placed the water-skin upon his left shoulder. Nawful then severed his left hand from the wrist and he held the water-skin by his teeth. Then an arrow pierced the water skin and water flowed from it. Another arrow pierced his heart and he fell off from the horse and called out, "O Master! Find me". When Imam came to his head, he saw him smeared in sand and blood and wept.

Regarding his martyrdom, Turayhi says that a man attacked him and struck at the crown of his head with an iron club that split up and he fell down upon the ground and called out, "O Aba Abdillah! My salutations be upon you!"

Ibne Nima says regarding Hakeem bin Tufayl that he stole the dress of Abbas off his body and shot an arrow at him.

It is stated in Bihaar al-Anwaar that it is said, that when Abbas (a.s) was martyred, Imam Husain (a.s) said,

"Now my back has bent, and my maneuver has lessened".

Here the author quotes two couplets in praise of Hazrat Abbas, one by Abu Ja'far bin Ameer Alhaj Husainee, and the other by Shaikh Ibne Nima, which we forgo.

I (the author), say that while discussing the aid rendered by Hazrat Abul Fazl (Abbas) to Imam Husain (a.s) reminds me of the aid rendered by his (Abbas)'s father, the Commander of the faithful Imam Ali (a.s) to his cousin, the Prophet of Allah (s.a.w.s). Therefore, I shall quote it as an embellishment for this book.

Jahiz in the book Usmaniyah quotes from Ibne Abil Hadeed that Abu Bakr

who was far more exalted than can be perceived by the ordinary intelligence. Thus to say that Abbas (a.s) intended drinking water, in reality tarnishes his eminent personality and falsifies his devotion towards his Imam (a.s), that it was only after he remembered the thirst of Imam Husain (a.s) and his household, did he throw away the water. Probably, what Abbas (a.s), the 'Virtuous Slave of Allah', intended, while filling his palm with water, was to announce to the enemies that the water, which they had held back from them, was very easy for them to conquer, and he did this perhaps to instill fear in their hearts. It was very easy for them to vanquish the enemies and crush their suppression, but they had readily submitted to the Will and Command of Allah, thus he threw away the water without partaking a drop of it. Most significantly, it could also be described as a declaration of Imam Husain (a.s)'s everlasting triumph against evil and despotism at Karbala.


was in great severity in Makkah before migration, while Ali bin Abi Talib (a.s) was in safety. Neither was he sought after nor did he seek. Abu Ja'far Iskafi, while refuting this, says that we have related a reliable tradition with chain of authorities that when Imam Ali (a.s) accepted Islam, he was adolescent and sane. And he expelled the Qurayshite polytheists with his tongue and heart and was a burden for them. While he was the one who was confined in the valley (alongwith the Prophet during boycott) and not Abu Bakr. He was the one, who in the dark and straightened circumstances of the boycott, was a confidante of the Prophet of Allah (s.a.w.s) and drank the bitter cup of persecutions at the hands of Abu Lahab, Abu Jahl and others, and burnt in the fire of confinement. He bore the difficulties alongside his Prophet and carried the burden of great hardships upon his shoulders while facing dangerous tasks. He was the one, who at night, would steal out in fear [1] from the valley and would go concealing to the noblemen of Quraysh, like Mut'em bin Adi and others, in compliance at the orders of Abu Talib (a.s), and would also carry the load of foodstuffs with a thousand fears and shivers upon his back for the Bani Hashim. And if the enemies like Abu Jahl would see him, they would have shed his blood. Verily Ali (a.s) was the one who did thus during the days of boycott, or was it Abu Bakr?

Imam Ali (a.s), in his renowned sermon, explains his state at that time and says,

"They pledged together that they would not deal with us not enter into a wedlock. They kindled the fire of battle upon us and they drew us, the entire Bani Hashim, into a mountain of severity. Those who were believers among us desired reward (in lieu of assisting us) and the disbelievers were assisting their family. All the tribes of Quraysh gathered together to oppose them and withheld their sustenance from them. And they waited for them every morning and evening to succumb to hunger while there was no way for any redress or improvement. Their determination parted away and their desires died away".

Abu Ja'far Iskafi says, that there is no doubt that Abu Usman Jahiz has succumbed under the influence of falsehood and has traversed the road of error and treachery. Ultimately he became perplexed and understood nothing

[1] Abu Ja'far Iskafi, in his above narration, has misinterpreted that, "Ali (a.s) would steal out in fear from the valley .........". These words do not confirm to the invincible character of Imam Ali (a.s), whose invincible prowess is evident in Islamic history, quoted by both Shi'ah and Non-Shi'ah sources. In fact he often said, "By Allah! I do not fear whether I hasten towards death or death hastens towards me", these being the words of a dauntless warrior, being 'Approved' (Murtaza) by Allah. Verily the friends of Allah, no fear shall be upon them, nor do they grieve. (Surah al Yunus: 62).


until he said that what he said. And he assumed that Imam Ali (a.s) did not face miseries and hardships before Migration, and that only after Migration, from the day of (the battle of) Badr, was he engulfed in severity and trials. He has very well forgotten the days of the boycott in the valley as to how Imam Ali (a.s) faced severity while Abu Bakr was in comfort and tranquility. And he (Abu Bakr) could sit alongwith anyone whom he pleased and eat whatever he desired, while he was independent and contented. But Imam Ali (a.s) was in the whirlpool of imprisonment and bore hunger and thirst. Every morning and evening he faced the risk of being killed, for it was he, who at the invitation of the noblemen and the wisemen of Quraysh, would go to acquire the food for them, until he would take care of the Prophet of Allah (s.a.w.s) and the rest of Bani Hashim in the straightened circumstances of the imprisonment in the mountain. And it was very much possible that the enemies of the Prophet of Allah (s.a.w.s) would unsparingly make him a prey of their swords. And he could become a victim of Waleed bin Mugheerah, Utbah bin Rabi'ah and other Pharaohs and tyrants of Quraysh. He himself remained hungry and gave his own food to the Prophet of Allah (s.a.w.s), while he himself remained thirsty and gave away his share of water to the Prophet of Allah (s.a.w.s). It is he who nursed the Prophet during his illness and was his aide during his loneliness. While Abu Bakr was discharged from all these difficulties and he did not face their pain and hardships, infact he was unaware of their state, rather roughly. Dealing with them or marriages among them was banned for three years. They were imprisoned in the valley and could not step out and look after their affairs. Then how could (Abu Usman) Jahiz overlook this merit and neglect this privilege that was unparalleled.

"This being one of his numerous excellences, from which you can analyze other (excellences)".

Here the author quotes some couplets of Shaikh Azari.

I (the author), say, that Abu Ja'far Iskafi has truly said that Imam Ali (a.s) nursed the Prophet (s.a.w.s) during his illness. As Ibne Abil Hadeed relates from Salman Farsi (a.s) that, I went to the presence of the Prophet (s.a.w.s) on the morning preceding the day of his death. He said,

"Do not ask me as to how I passed the last night in pain and sleeplessness with Ali".

I asked, "O Prophet of Allah! Do permit that tonight I may bear the sleeplessness with you in place of Ali". The Prophet (s.a.w.s) replied,

"No, rather he is more worthy than you for this task".

May my parents be your ransom O Ali!

Here the author quotes a couplet and another that of Safiyuddin Hilli.

source : http://www.maaref-foundation.com/
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