Friday, November 2, 2012
'Abbas (al-'Abbas ibn al-Muttalib)
'Abbas, also known more formally as al-'Abbas ibn al-Muttalib, (c.566  -  653) was the paternal uncle of the Prophet Muhammad and of the fourth caliph, 'Ali. A rich merchant of Mecca, 'Abbas initially fought against Islam but was converted in 629. Thereafter, 'Abbas staunchly supported Islam with money and arms. 'Abbas accompanied the Prophet on the Prophet’s march on Mecca in 630. 'Abbas was the forebear of the 'Abbasid dynasty of caliphs.
Al-‘Abbas ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib, also known as Abu'l-Fadl, was the half-brother of the Prophet Muhammad’s father, ‘Abd Allah. He joined the Prophet in 630. The ‘Abbasids took their name from him, being descended from his son ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Abbas.
'Abbas was born in Mecca. 'Abbas was a successful merchant known for the grandeur that he surrounded himself with during his travels. Stories tell that he was in charge of the Zamzam, while this was part of the pre-Islamic pilgrimage of the Ka'ba. His job was to put raisins into it.
'Abbas opposed Muhammad while he still lived in Mecca, but was not one of the fierce opponents. Later, he became the protector of Muhammad after Abu Talib died.
'Abbas was captured with other Meccan fighters at the Battle of Badr. Historians are uncertain as to whether 'Abbas converted to Islam before returning from Badr to Mecca or not. If he did, he kept his conversion a secret. However, we know that 'Abbas gave his sister-in-law, Maimuna, in marriage to Muhammad in 628 or 629, when the latter visited Mecca.
'Abbas helped wash Muhammad’s body after the Prophet’s death. However, for the remaining 20 years of his life, little is known. He died around 652 [653?] in Medina.
Alternative names include:
'Abbas ibn 'Abd al-Muttalib, al-
'Abbas ibn al-Muttalib
'Abbas ibn al-Muttalib, al-
Al-'Abbas ibn 'Abd al-Muttalib
Al-'Abbas ibn al-Muttalib
Ibn 'Abd al-Muttalib