The nature of a human is driven towards beauty, Human attraction to beauty is intrinsic and the gratitude of beauty is entwined with his essence. Beauty can be cleaved into two groups: the beauty in outside and the beauty in inside moralities/aspects. Outright and downright beauty as contemplated by man is a combination of outer (appearance) and innate (soul) beauty. Albeit, natural beauty and embellishment beautify the mein,
morality and knowledge preserve the entire beauty in man, giving him ethereal.
Demise of the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) and his dearest daughter in a span of a few months left an ineradicable mark on Hazrat Ali’s (A.S) persona. The grief of Ali(A.S) was uncontrollable and his sorrow was beyond elucidation. Allah alleviated his mourning and distress through a newborn junior son. The son had the desired effect on all the grieving members of Hazrat Ali’s (A.S) household. Imam Hasan (A.S) delighted because his arms were bolster through the infant. Imam Hussain (A.S) saw in him his most trusted adviser , helper, and standard-bearer and right handed man. Janabe Zainab (A.S) got a younger brother who would protect her. Hazrat Ali (A.S) held the newborn close to himself and saw in him the nobility of martyrdom and christened him – Abbas, which means a lion.
Hazrat Abbas (A.S) is an individual whose advent was awaited with great anticipation and fervour. The Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) prophesied his unparalleled bravery. Hazrat Ali (A.S), a man of few wants and needs, none the less desired him. Janabe Zahra (S.A) referred to him as her own son. Imam Hasan (A.S) introduced him as his helper and supporter. Imam Husain (A.S) proclaimed about him, ‘may my life be sacrificed upon you’. And once Hazrat Abbas (A.S) was born the Ahle Bait (A.S) took great pride in him and his unique traits.
Apart from the five infallibles (A.S) from the ‘Incident of the Cloak’, even the Imams (A.S) spoke of Hazrat Abbas (A.S) in a most venerating manner. Imam Zainul Abedeen (A.S) gave testimony to his elevated status. Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) acquainted him as ‘Abdus Saleh and one with vision and foresight and Imam Mahdi (A.S) has sent his salutations upon him.
Historical sources depict Abbas ibn Ali (A) as an attractive man with obvious and undeniable beauty his nickname of Bab al-Hawaij is one of the most famous nicknames of Hazrat Ab al-Fadl al-Abbas (A.S) ,His face simulated a glint as that of the moon blether, and betwixt the Bani Hashem, all of them were popular for their dazzling beauty. Abbas ibn Ali (A) referred as the “Moon of Bani Hashem” (Manaqib Ibn Shahr Ashoob, vol. 4, p. 108). Abbas ibn Ali (A) was tall and strong. When he sat on horse, his feet would touch the earth (Maqatil al-Taalebin, p. 90 – Bihar al-Anwaar, vol. 45, p. 39). When he placed his feet in the horse pedal his knee would align the horse ears. Abbas ibn Ali (A) was beautiful both in character and in spirit. He was strong in loyalty, faith, and commitment and devotion, he owned great knowledge and considered among the heroes of Islam.
Abbas ibn Ali (A.S) was committed to his faith in Allah , he had an astute intelligence and a strong belief, Allah love and Monotheism was deep-seated in his heart. Sheikh Saduq has narrated the marks of prostration on his forehead (Thawaab al-‘Amaal wa Iqaab al-‘Amaal, p. 219). Abbas ibn Ali (A) was familiar with midnight worship and his face witnessed his worship and absolute humility towards Allah.He was exceptional in both ritual worship and when it came to the battlefields, he had his father’s bravery. These two characteristics and virtues rarely are found in an individual. He had combined courage and loyalty for truth, and devoted himself to the path of the infallible Imams (A.S). The courage and loyalty of Abbas ibn Ali (A) was so well known that the Shia Imams had continuously praised him as a man of high virtue and morality.
One day Imam Sajjad (A.S) looked at “Ubaidallah” the son of Abbas ibn Ali and cried… in remembrance of Abbas (A.S), Imam said: “May Allah bless my uncle Abbas who sacrificed himself for the cause of his brother and devoted his life. He sacrificed such that his both hands were cut off. In place of the two cut off hands Allah blessed him with two wings in the heaven to fly with the angels, similar to Ja’far ibn Abi Talib.”
Abbas ibn Ali’s (A.S) courage has given him a high status such that, Imam Sajjad (A.S) elaborates further about his uncle: “Abbas has such high position with Allah that all martyrs will envy him on the Day of Judgment.”(Amali Sheikh Saduq, p. 432).
“May Allah have mercy on my uncle, Abbas (A.S). He displayed loyalty and service and sacrificed himself on his brother; so much so that both his arms were severed. Allah Almighty, the Mighty and Sublime granted him a pair of wings by the help of which he floats in Paradise, just as they were bestowed for Ja’far ibn Abi Talib… there is such a position for Abbas (A.S) near the Almighty that one the Day of Resurrection, all the martyrs shall vie for it.”
Imam Zayn al-Abidin (A.S)
[Biharul Anwar v. 44, p. 298, h. 4]
The author of Asraar al-Shahaadah has narrated from a few books of Maqatil:
On the Day of Judgment, when the people gathered will encounter the harsh difficulties of the Hereafter, the Messenger of Allah (P.B.U.H&H.P) will send the commander of the faithful (A.S) to Hazrat Zahra (S.A) and invite her to the position of intercession.
The commander or the faithful (A.S) will ask her, “What do you have for intercession? What have you stored for this great and frightful day?”
She (A.S) will reply, “O The commander of the faithful (A.S)! On this great day, I have the two chopped hands of my son Abbas!
[Source: Asraar Al Shahadat Pg. 325]
Abbas (A.S) could erstwhile bear life after having seen how his companions and the members of his family killed and how the Hujjah of his time was suffering from the great number of the enemies surrounding him after his supply route had been cut off and after hearing the women wailing and the children crying of thirst. He, therefore, sought permission from his brother. Since Abbas (A.S) was the most precious asset to the grandson of the Prophet (P.B.U.H&H.P), who is soon to be martyred, especially since the nemesis always dreaded having to fight him and feared his advance, and how the ladies felt a sense of security upon seeing the standard raised high, the sacred soul of the Father of the Oppressed did not accept to part with him. The Imam (A.S) said to him, “O brother! You are my standard-bearer!” Abbas (A.S) said, “I am fed-up with these hypocrites, and I want to seek revenge against them.” Hussain (A.S) ordered him to bring water for the children, so Abbas went to those people and admonished them, warning them of the Wrath of the Omnipotent, but all of that fell on deaf ears.
He then shouted: “O Umar ibn Sa’ad! Here is Hussain son of the daughter of the Messenger of Allah! You have killed his companions and family, and here are his children suffering from thirst! Give them some water, for thirst has burnt their hearts!” As he kept repeating his pleas, he also kept saying to them, “Let me go to Rome or to India, and I shall leave Hijaz and Iraq for you all.” There were some people among the enemy ranks who were genuinely moved by those pleas, so they wept, but Shimr shouted as loudly as he could, “O son of Abu Turab! Had the face of earth been entirely covered with water, and had it been in our hands, we would still have not given you a drop of it to drink unless you swear the oath of allegiance to Yazid!”
Abbas ibn Ali (A.S) went back to his brother to tell him of the outcome of his negotiations with those ruffians. Abbas heard the children crying of thirst, so he could not tolerate the situation any longer, he was fired up with his Hashemite zeal.
Then he rode his horse and took the water bag. As many as four thousand archers soon surrounded him and shot him with their arrows, yet their large number did not impede his attempt. He kept chasing those throngs alone as his standard kept fluttering above. Those people could not tell whether that was Abbas who was thus slaughtering their heroes. Their men could not maintain their grounds before him, and he succeeded in getting into the Euphrates River heedless of the huge crowd around him.
The moment he took one handful of water to drink he remembered how thirsty Hussain (A.S) and those with him were, so he spilled it then said:
O soul! After Hussain nobody does count!
After him, you should to nothing amount,
Here is Hussain nearing his end
While you drink of cool water?!
By Allah! Such is not a deed
At all enjoined by my creed!
Then he filled the water bag, rode his horse, and went in the direction of the camp. His path was blocked, so he kept killing those who blocked it till he was able to make his way through them as he was saying:
I do not fear dead when it calls upon me,
Till among the swords you bury me.
My soul protects the one
Who is the Prophet’s grandson?
Abbas am I, the water bag do I bear
When I meet evil, I know no fear!
Zayd ibn Arqam ambushed him from behind a palm tree assisted by Ibn Tufail, dealing a sword blow to his right arm, completely severing it. He (A.S), said:
By Allah! If you cut off my right hand,
I shall not cease defending my creed,
And an Imam true to his conviction do I defend,
A son of the trustworthy Prophet whom Allah did send.
He did not pay attention to the fact that his right hand had been cut off because he was only concerned about getting the water to the children and the family of Hussain (A.S), but Ibn Tufail was still hiding another palm tree when he passed by. Hakim struck him with his sword on his left hand, amputating it, too, and soon a large number of men were surrounding him. Arrows fell on him like rain, piercing the water bag and boring a hole in it through which its water was completely spilled. An arrow pierced his chest. A man hit him with a pole on his head, severely injuring him.
He fell on the ground shouting, “Peace unto you from me, O father of Abdullah!” Hussain (A.S) rushed to him.
How I wish to know in what condition he went to him, with a soul imperiled by this great loss, or by the brotherhood that pulls a brother to his beloved brother….
Yes; Hussain (A.S) reached him and witnessed how sacrifice was being offered to the Holy One on a plain covered with blood and crowned with arrows. Abbas had no might nor speech nor anything whereby he could keep his foes away. He could not even see anything; his head was on the ground bleeding.
Is it accurate to say that Hussain (A.S) saw all of these calamities and still had any strength whereby he could stand on his feet? Only Hussain remained after the martyrdom of Abbas. He remained a figure staring in the sky, stripped of all the necessities of life. He (A.S) described his condition best when he said, “Now my spine has been split and my endeavor is further weakened.”
He left him where he had fell and did not move him anywhere due to a hidden reason which time later unveiled:
He was to be buried where he had fallen separately from the other martyrs so that he would have a mausoleum of his own visited by those who seek his intercession with the Almighty to grant them the fulfillment of their wishes, and so that his grave-site would be a place for the people who seek nearness to the Almighty, Praise to Him, under its dome that stands lofty in the sky, glowing. It is there that dazzling miracles manifest themselves and the nation thereby comes to know his lofty status and station with Allah Almighty. It then carries out its obligation of loving him which is renewed by continuous visits. Greeting him will establish a link between them and Allah, the most Exalted.
Hussain (A.S) went back to the camp feeling extremely depressed, tearful. He kept wiping his tears with his cuffs as men raced with one another to assault his camp. He called out: “Is there anyone who can help us?! Is there anyone who grants us security?! Is there anyone who seeks justice, so he supports us?! Is there anyone who fears the Fire, so he defends us?!” Roqayya, his daughter, came to him and asked him about her uncle Abbas.
He told her of his being killed. Zainab heard him revealing this sad news, so she cried out, “O brother! O Abbas! O our loss after you!” Women wept, and Hussain (A.S) wept, too, and said, “O our loss after you!”
Maqtal al-Hussain- Martyrdom Epic of Imam al-Hussain (A.S)
By: Abd al-Razzaq al-Muqarram
What is courage? In Islamic ethics, courage is not defined by physical strength; courage means to have control over one’s emotions and feelings and to use them only for the right cause. A person who only relies on his physical strength and cannot control his emotions is not a courageous person; he is rather a foolhardy person.
While describing the Prophet and his true followers, Allah says: “Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah, and those who are with him are firm against the enemies but soft with their own.” (48:29)
Famous poet Allama Iqbal of the Indian subcontinent, presents the same concept in his poetic style:
In the struggle of truth, the believer is as solid as the steel
But in the midst of his companions, he is as soft as silk.
Abbas ibn Ali (A) was not the slave of his desires and emotions even his courage was linked to the spiritual relationship ,he was very stern and firm when he confronted the enemies, but he was very kind, compassionate, and caring towards the good people. The children of Hussain and the clan of Banu Hashim adored him. He was the favourite uncle of Sakina, the four years old daughter of Imam Hussain.
Regrettably, we see in the world today is that the tyrants, the kings, and the generals who rule over Muslim countries behave in the opposite manner, they are humble in front of the enemies but very bold when they deal with their own people and oppress them!
When Imam Hussain asked Abbas to try and get water for the children, Abbas confronted the enemy force and he was easily able to disperse them and got access to the river. Abbas entered the river and filled the water-bag with water. On the way back, he had to pass through some palms trees, and that is where the enemy was hiding behind the trees to attack him from the back. One Yazidi soldier attacked him from behind in such a way that he lost his right hand. Abbas courageously got hold of the water-bag and consoled himself by the following verses:
By God, though you have severed my right hand
My faith, I will surely forever defend
I will defend the truthful leader of conviction
The grandson of the pure and truthful Prophet.
Abbas ibn Ali (A.S) was not only a courageous and pious man, but also his depth of knowledge benefited from the fountain of knowledge (of his father) from childhood. The statement: “He has fully tasted the knowledge” has been used on some narrations which points to knowledge he received in early age.
The Jurisprudence level of Abbas ibn Ali (A.S) was very high and he was among the most trusted narrators of his time. Some of the scholars have the following statement about him: “Abbas (A.S) was among the learned scholar of the Imams’ children who was just, trusted and pious” (Tanqih al-Maqaal, vol. 2, p. 128) or “Abbas (A.S) was among the intellectuals and scholars of Ahl al-Bait (A.S)” (Qayeni has used this term for Abbas ibn Ali).
According to the Ahadith, Imam Hussein (A.S) has addressed his brother, Hazrat Ab al-Fadl al-Abbas (A.S), by saying, “May I sacrifice my life for you! (Tarikh Tabari, vol. 4, p. 315).” Moreover, Imam Sajjad (A.S) has said the following in this regards,” May Allah (S.W.T) bless Abbas (A.S) who preferred the life of his brother (Imam Hussein (A.S)) over his own life, suffered (in this way), and sacrificed his life for his brother…There is a high status for Abbas (A.S) before Allah (S.W.T) such that all the martyrs will envy his status on the Day of Judgment (Khisal of Shaykh Saduq, p. 68)”.
But why is it so? How has he become Bab al-Hawa’ij? In fact, how has he gained such an extreme love from the greatest guardians of Allah ?
If ever we study different portions of Hazrat Abbas’s (A.S) life, we come to realize that he was completely obedient to the orders of Allah, and undoubtedly, his high rank and status is based on his unconditional obedience of the religion of Allah. This righteous servant of Allah was so obedient that on the day of Ashura and in the last moments of his life when his right hand was cut, he said,”I swear to Allah that even if you cut my right hand, I would never give up supporting the religion of Allah, the messenger of Allah (P.B.U.H), and the righteous Imam (Maqtal Abu-Yusuf, p. 179)”.
Abbas (A.S) was martyred in this aisle and became one of the decontaminate and baronial souls. As a matter of fact, that kind of a righteous person shall become a beloved one of Allah and His guardians, and it is pertinent for such a person, who is following the path of gratified and consent, to help people, arbitrate for them, and become the door to fulfilling their needs. Of course, Hazrat Abbas (A.S) is a manifest example of the need fulfilling attribute of Allah.
(Selection taken from,” Khasaa’is al-Abbasyyah”, by Ayatullah Sayyid Muhammad Ibrahim Kalbasi (with summarization))
Abbas (A.S) verbact the successor of the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) till the last breath of his life under the troublesome and arduous circumstances. he was a virtuous slave near Allah and near the Prophet (P.B.U.H) he was a submissive and obedient Muslim. He set forth completely to the wishes of the Imam of his era and eventually sacrificed his life to safeguard the Imam and thus, earned the latter’s satisfaction and approval. Therefore we find the infallibles (A.S) speaking of Hazrat Abbas (A.S) with such high regard and respect. As devotees of this personality and his fervid lovers, we au fait strive to follow the actions of our Master Abbas (A.S) by supporting the Imam of our era till the dying moments of our lives.
What was referenced was only a jot or iota of the moral virtues of Abbas (A.S). In brief he had the beauty in face and entire character. These valuable characteristics have made Abbas ibn Ali (A.S) outstanding and eternal in the history of Islam.
(from “Abbas Ibn Ali (A.S)”, by Scholar Jawad Muhaddithi and sibtain (with some additions))