‘Abbas ibn al-Ahnaf, also known as Abu al-Fadl 'Abbas ibn al-Ahnaf (b. 750 in Basra - d. 809), was an amatory of Iraq from around 750 until after 808. He became a favorite of the ‘Abbasid caliph Harun al-Rashid and was connected with the Barmakids. He cultivated the genre of erotico-elegiac poetry, known as ghazal, using simple and fluent language. His poems became ready made material for composers and singers.
'Abbas Ibn al-Ahnaf was an Arab Abbasid poet from the clan of Hanifa. His work consists solely of love poems (ghazal). His poems are primarily concerned with the hopelessness of love, and the person in his compositions seems resigned to a relationship of deprivation. The vocabulary 'Abbas chose was simple and his style is fluent and easy.
'Abbas grew up in Baghdad, where he became a friend of the Abbasid caliph Harun al-Rashid. Harun al-Rashid employed him for the purpose of amusing him in time of leisure. His work was an acknowledged influence on Abdullah ibn al-Mu'tazz and Abu al-Atahiya.
Alternative names include:
'Abbas ibn al-Ahnaf
Abu al-Fadl 'Abbas ibn al-Ahnaf
al-'Abbas ibn al-Ahnaf
'Abbas ibn 'Ali (646/647-680) was the son of the fourth Sunni caliph (and the first Shi'a imam), 'Ali ibn Abi Talib, and Fatima bint Hezam, commonly known as Ummul Baneen.
Al-'Abbas is particularly revered by Shi'a Muslims for his loyalty to his
half-brother and third Shi'a imam, Husayn ibn 'Ali; his respect for the Ahl
al-Bayt; and his role in the Battle of Karbala.
Al-'Abbas was married to Lubaba bint Ubaydullah ibn 'Abbas ibn Abdil
Muttalib. He had three sons, and their
names are al-Fadl ibn al-'Abbas, Qasim ibn al-'Abbas, and Ubaydullah ibn
al-'Abbas. Two of them (al-Fadl ibn
al-'Abbas and Qasim ibn al-'Abbas) were killed during the Battle of Karbala.
It is said that the Angel Gabriel informed Muhammad what would happen to his
grandson Husayn ibn 'Ali at Karbala.
Muhammad, Fatima Zahra (Muhammad's daughter), and 'Ali were saddened by
this, so 'Ali wished for a son to help Husayn ibn 'Ali at Karbala. He asked his brother, Aqeel ibn Abi Talib, to
search for a wife from courageous descent.
Aqeel discovered Fatima Qalabiyya, better known as Ummul Baneen. Ummul Baneen was descended from the honored
lineage of Hezam ibn Khalid ibn Rabi'e ibn Amer Kalbi. However, 'Ali ibn Abi Talib did not marry
Ummul Baneen (or any other woman) until after the death of Fatima Zahra.
Al-'Abbas ibn Abi Talib was born on 4 Shaban 26 A.H. (646). He was the son of 'Ali ibn Abi Talib and
Fatima bint Qalabiyya (Ummul Baneen). It
is said that he did not open his eyes after he was born until his half-brother
Husayn ibn 'Ali took him in his arms.
This was a sign of the devotion that al-'Abbas would have for Husayn
throughout his life.
Al-'Abbas showed his loyalty to Husayn at the Battle of Karbala. After succeeding his father Muawiya ibn Abu
Sufyan as caliph, Yazid ibn Muawiyah required Husayn to pledge allegiance to
him. Husayn refused to do so. In 680, Husayn left Medina with a small group
of his companions and family, to travel to Kufa. The people of Kufa said that they would
support Husayn if he claimed the caliphate.
On the way, Husayn and his group were intercepted. They were forced into a detour and arrived in
Karbala on the 2nd of Muharram. Husayn's
camp was surrounded and cut off from the Euphrates River. The camp ran out of water on the 7th of
On the 8th and 9th of Muharram, Husayn refused to send al-'Abbas to fight for
water. Al-'Abbas was extremely eager to
fight. Husayn asked al-'Abbas to dig a
well. Al-'Abbas and some of the Banu
Hashim men began digging. But there was
On the eve the tenth of Muharram, Husayn was passing through a camp in which
his nephew Qasim ibn Hassan, his son 'Ali Akbar ibn Husayn and half-brother
al-'Abbas were sitting and were discussing their situation. Husayn stood beside the campfire and heard
their conversation. 'Ali Akbar said that
tomorrow (the tenth of Muharram) he would be the first person to sacrifice his
life for Husayn. Al-'Abbas interrogated
him and said, "You are the son of my Master. How can you fight before me?" 'Ali Akbar replied, "Uncle, you are the
strength of my father. If you go first
and die my father will be destroyed. And
also you are the commander and the commander should not go first." Al-'Abbas replied to 'Ali Akbar replied,
"Nephew! A son is the light of his father's eyes. If you die first, my brother will be
visionless. Most of all, I cannot bear
to see you dying." Qasim
interjected, "My dear Uncle! And my
dear cousin! I will proceed first so
that the strength and vision of my uncle Husayn remains. After all, I am an orphan." At this Husayn burst upon the group, held
Qasim in his arms and replied, "Oh, my nephew don't ever consider yourself
to be an orphan. I am your father."
Despite the offers of others, al-'Abbas could not stand for anyone else
entering the field of battle before he did.
But Husayn reminded him, "We have not entered Karbala for
war." He added, "We could win
because we have Banu Hashim men like you.
However, our mission here is to serve Islam and now Islam requires our
sacrifice. We are here to sacrifice our
lives for this pure and noble religion."
Access to the Euphrates River was blocked by Yazid's army and prevented the
camp of Husayn from getting water.
Shi'as believe that al-'Abbas, because of his skill and bravery, could
have attacked Yazid's army, gained access to the river, and retrieved water for
Husayn's camp. However, al-'Abbas was
not allowed to fight. He was only
allowed to get water. Thus, al-'Abbas
went to the river to get water for Husayn's four year old daughter Sukayna bint
Sukayna was very attached to al-'Abbas, who was her uncle. To Sukayna, al-'Abbas was the only hope for
getting water. Al-'Abbas could not stand
to see Sukayna thirsty and crying. He
had to get her some water.
Al-'Abbas entered the battlefield with only a dagger and a bag for water. He was also given the authority to carry the
standard in the battle. Somehow he made it to the river and began filling the
bag with water. Shi'as emphasize that
al-'Abbas' loyalty to Husayn was so great that al-'Abbas did not drink any
water because he could not bear the thought that Sukayna was thirsty. After gathering the water, al-'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 struck from behind again,
amputating the other arm. Al-'Abbas was
now carrying the waterbag in his mouth.
The army of Yazid started shooting arrows at him. One arrow hit the bag and water poured out of
it. At that moment, al-'Abbas
despaired. One of Yazid's men hit
al-'Abbas on his head with a mace and al-'Abbas fell from his horse without the
support of his arms. According to Shi'a
tradition, al-'Abbas fell first onto his face before he let the standard fall.
Al-'Abbas tossed on the burning sand with excruciating pain. Al-'Abbas called for his master. Husayn immediately came to him lifting his
head and taking it into his lap.
Al-'Abbas lifted his head off Husayn's lap. Husayn put al-'Abbas' head onto his lap, but
al-'Abbas lifted his head again. Husayn
asked al-'Abbas, "Why are you preventing me from comforting
you?" Al-'Abbas replied, "O
master, why should I be comforted in death by you, while no one will be there
to comfort you when you die? Husayn
eventually talked al-'Abbas into putting his head on the imam's lap.
Husayn asked al-'Abbas, "My brother what have they done to you?" Al-'Abbas replied, "My Master, I thought
I was not destined to have a last look at you but, thank God, you are
here." Then he said, "My
Master, I have some last wishes to express.
When I was born, I had first looked at your face and it is my last
desire that when I die, my gaze may be on your face. My one eye is pierced by an arrow and the other
is filled with blood. If you will clear
the eye I will be able to see you and fulfill my last dying desire. My second wish is that when I die, you should
not carry my body to the camp. I had
promised to bring water to Sukayna and since I have failed in my attempts to
bring her water, I cannot face her even in death. Besides, I know that the blows that you have
received since morning have all but crushed you and carrying my body to the
camp will be back-breaking work for you.
My third wish is that Sukayna may not be brought here to see my
plight. I know the love and affection
she has for me. The sight of my dead
body lying here will kill her."
Husayn fulfilled his wishes.
Husayn asked him for one last thing.
Husayn said, "Abbas, I too have a wish to be fulfilled. Since childhood you have always called be
Master. For once at least call me
brother with your dying breath."
Al-'Abbas closed his eyes while repeating, "Husayn, my brother, my
Shi'a historians say that this was the first time in his life that he called
Husayn his brother. Al-'Abbas was killed
on Friday, 10th Muharram, on the banks of the Euphrates River. Al-'Abbas is called the Hero of Al-Qamah
(another name for the Euphrates River).
His death is generally mourned on the 8th night of Muharram. Shi'a Muslims mourn the death of all martyrs
of Islam associated with Husayn in the month of Muharram, the first month of
the Islamic calendar, mainly in the first ten days.
After the Battle of Karbala ended, the dead bodies of the slain warriors were
lying about without heads. The enemy
forces decided to run their horses over the bodies. They did this in order to inflict the maximum
possible humiliation on the households of Muhammad and 'Ali.
Al-'Abbas was buried at the ground where he fell from his horse at Karbala,
Iraq. Millions of pilgrims visit the shrine
and pay homage to it every year. The
grave of al-'Abbas is beneath the mausoleum and is present in the shrine. However, environmental effects caused the
Euphrates to shift location. Today,
nearly 1400 years after the Battle of Karbala, the Euphrates flows across the
grave of al-'Abbas, making a circle around it.
It is said that the Euphrates has come to al-'Abbas now.
Al-‘Abbas ibn ‘Ali (born 4th Sha‘ban 26 AH – 10 Muharram 61 AH; approximately May 15, 647 – October 10, 680) was the son of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (the first Imam and fourth Rashidun Caliph) and Fatimah bint Hizam al-Kilabiyyah (commonly known as: Ummul Banin – Mother of the Sons).
Al-‘Abbas is revered by both Shi'a and Sunni Muslims for his loyalty to his half-brother Husayn ibn ‘Ali, his respect for the Ahl al-Bayt, and his role in the Battle of Karbala. He was known as the greatest warrior in Arabia and mirrored the strength of his father, ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib.
'Abbas ibn Ali ibn Abu Talib was born on 4 Sha'ban 26 AH (May 15, 647). He was the son of 'Ali ibn Abi Talib and Fatimah al-Kilabiyyah. 'Abbas had three brothers, Abdullah ibn 'Ali, Jafar ibn 'Ali, and Uthman 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 Ubaydullah. They had three sons, Fadl, Qasim, and Ubaydullah.
'Abbas debuted as a soldier in the Battle of Siffin, one of the main conflicts of the 657 C. C. 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". He was trained by his father 'Ali in the art of battle, which is why he resembled his father on the battlefield.
'Abbas showed his loyalty to Hussain at the Battle of Karbala. After succeeding his father Muawiya ibn Abu Sufyan as Caliph, Yazid ibn Muawiya required Hussain to pledge allegiance to him, but Hussain refused to do so, saying, "I am the grandson of the messenger of Allah, and Yazid is a drunkard, womanizer who is unfit for leadership. A person like me does not pay allegiance to a person like him." In 60 AH (680 C.C.), 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 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. Shi'as believe that '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 Hussain's 4 year old daughter Sakina bint Hussain. 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). 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. Shi'as emphasize that 'Abbas's loyalty to Husayn 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. They claim that until this very day the water from the 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 Muawiya started shooting arrows at him. One arrow hit the bag and water poured out of it. At that moment, Abbas lost all hope. 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, Husayn. According to Shi'a tradition, Abbas fell first onto his face before he let the standard fall.]
'Abbas was killed on Friday, 10 Muharram 61 Hijri on the banks of the river Euphrates. Hence, he is called the Hero of Al-Qamah (another name for the river Euphrates). His death is generally mourned on the 8th night of Muharram. Shi'a Muslims mourn the death of all martyrs of Islam associated with Husayn in the month of Muharram, the first of the Islamic calendar, mainly in the first ten days. 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.
‘Abbas was buried in the ground where he fell from his horse in Karbala, Iraq. The Al-‘Abbas Mosque was built around his grave, to which millions of pilgrims visit and pay homage every year.
Ghazi, or Gha'Z, 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.
Alternative names include:
'Abbas ibn 'Ali
Al-'Abbas ibn 'Ali
Ibn 'Ali, 'Abbas
Ibn 'Ali, Al-'Abbas