The Most Luminous Personality of The Youths of Bani Hashim


السَّلامُ عَلَیْکَ یا اَبَا الْفَضْلِ الْعَبّاسَ بْنَ اَمیرِالْمُؤْمِنینَ

Abul Fazl Abbas was the most prominent young man of the Bani Hashim. He was the standard bearer of the Imam’s force. He is the epitome of loyalty and his name would signify devotion for all the days to come. His mother was Fatima, Ummul Baneen who was from a tribe famed for its valor and bravery.

This noble lady had four sons of whom Abbas was the eldest. On the Day of Ashura, they laid down their lives in such an exemplary manner that even today their blood is gushing with fervor on the sands of Kerbala and their names are engraved in the history of Islam.

Abbas in the Arabic language means an awful lion. That is a lion, which commands intense awe. Thus, he was true to his name in awe-inspiring demeanor. He had a very elegant countenance and a tall physique. When he mounted a horse, his knees came very close to the ears of the animal. In addition to a well-built stature he possessed unsurpassed physical strength and great spirituality. He was considered

second only to his brother Imam Husain (a.s) among the youths of Bani Hashim.

Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s) says, “My uncle, Abbas was a man of enlightened conscience whose faith was very strong. He performed Jihad in the way of Allah along with Abu Abdillah (Imam Husain) and passed the divine test with flying colors.”

The fourth Imam has said, “May Allah have mercy on my uncle Abbas who sacrificed his life for the sake of his brother in such a manner that both his arms were severed. The Almighty Allah bestowed him with a pair of wings with the help of which he glides in Paradise with the angels in the same way as Allah bestowed Ja’far Ibn Abi Talib.

Abbas is a martyr at whom on the Day of Judgment the assembly of all the martyrs would vie that if only they all had been like him. Abbas had the honor of being trained under three Imams; that is his respected father, Amirul Momineen Ali (a.s) and his honorable brothers Imam Hasan and Imam Husain (a.s). His countenance shone like a full moon and he had unsurpassed elegance. That is why, on the basis of his collective merits he was given the honorific of “Moon of the Hashimites” (Qamar-e-Bani Hashim).

In Kerbala the age of Abbas was thirty-four years. On the basis of this he was the Chief of the Youths of Bani Hashim and according to the unanimity of all the writers and historians he was the most influential and remarkable personality of Kerbala. That is why he was the center of attention of the Infallible Imam.

Abbas was the standard bearer of the battalion of Imam Husain (a.s). When except for him none remained on the

side of the Imam he sought permission for Jihad to display his martial feats also. However, instead of according him permission for Jihad, the Imam told him to arrange water for the holy family and the thirsty children who all were on the verge of death.

This ferocious warrior who was second only to Ali (a.s) in his martial expertise attacked the army of the enemies, which had surrounded the banks of Euphrates. There were hardened fighters among them, well versed with the techniques of swordsmanship and archery but Abbas launched a scathing attack on them dispersing the rows and rows of militia to clear his way to water. History records that he slew eighty foes and put his horse into the water. Then he filled the water skin and like a streak of lightning turned to head towards the Imam’s encampment.

Now he only concentrated on how he could convey this water to the camps. The thirst of Imam Husain (a.s) and the parched throats of the young children and ladies had affected him so much that he took a handful of water and threw it back with distaste saying how could the slave drink when the master was thirsty? Can there be a better example of loyalty, devotion and manliness?

On his return the army that had fled also came back and surrounded him from all sides but the brave one continued to deflect their attacks and kept on racing his steed towards his destination. When the foes realized that attacking him from the front was of no use, some of them attacked from the right severing his right arm. However, the valiant warrior said, “By Allah! Even if my right hand is gone I will

continue to fight for the sake of religion in this condition.” So saying he transferred the standard to his left hand.

Soon however a malicious attacker hit from the left and severed his left hand and the standard came to the ground. At that moment he said, “O life! Why to fear these infidels? Good news that the mercy of Allah awaits you! These oppressors have severed my left hand also. O Allah! Make these unjust people taste the fire of hell.” Just then an arrow pierced the water skin and all water spilled on the sands. When the water was gone, Abbas became broken hearted and did not wish that he should go to the camp anymore. Just then an oppressor hit his head with a mace, due to which he fell down from the horse.

Who can estimate the valor and courage of this valiant youth? For whom, when Imam Husain reached his wounded brother, he sat near him and heaved a sigh of sorrow and said, “O my brother your grief has broken my back. Now I have also washed my hands off this world. It is the time when after you the enemies will attack us.” As he worded these statements a flood of tears flowed from his eyes. An Arabic poet has mentioned this in a beautiful way:

You must weep most on the young man on whom the Imam also wept.

It is that brother of Husain and the son of Imam Ali.

It is Abul Fazl Abbas bathed in his own blood. [ Al-Irshad, Shaykh Mufid and NafasulMahmoom]