Biography/ Occasion

Al-Abbas Ibn Ali (A.S.): Birth and Personality

Biography 231-232


Al-Abbas, was the first child of Umm-ul-Banin. With his birth, Medina shone and the whole world glittered. Waves of pleasures flowed in the family of Ali (A.S.), for the birth of their magnificent moon that would light this world with his merits, and would add immortal glory to the numerous glories of the Hashemites.

On the seventh day of birth, Imam Ali (A.S.) shaved the newborn’s hair and gave golden and silver alms as weighty as the cut hair. As he had done to al-Hasan and al-Hussain, Imam Ali (A.S.) slaughtered a ram as offering to God on behalf of his baby. These practices are adopted from the Prophet’s (SAWA) Sunnah.

The year of his birthday (A.S.):

Historians have confirmed that Al-Abbas was born on the fourth of Shaaban, AH 26.

Naming him (A.S.):

The father, as he perceived that this baby would be one of the heroes of Islam and would be frowning in the faces of evils and the wrongdoers. And he was as he perceived; Al Abbas was frowning in battlefields raised by hostile forces against the Householders (A.S.) He destroyed their battalions, killed their heroes and the death shadow remained above all sectors of the enemies army during the day of Ashura.

A poet said about him: ‘Faces of people were surly fearing death – but Al Abbas among them, laughing and smiling.’

 His nicknames (A.S.):

He was nicknamed with the following:

  1. Abu’l-Fadhl: Al-Abbas was called Abu’l-Fadhl (father -or owner- of virtue). Some mentioned that he had a son called al-Fadl. (Maqatil ut-Talibiyyin;p. 84). As a matter of fact, this name represents his personality completely, because he was the owner, leader, and source of virtue. In his life, he was so openhanded-he used to distribute his virtue and charity on everyone who directed to him. After martyrdom, he is the shelter and refuge of everyone who seeks his help.
  2. Abu’l-Qasim: He was also called Abu’l-Qasim. This name, however, is not common among historians some of whom have mentioned that al-Abbas had a son called al-Qasim and was martyred during the battle of at-Taff. He sacrificed his son for the sake of the true religion of Allah, and for the nice smelling flower of Messenger of Allah (PBUHH), Al Hussain (A.S.).
His Epithets (A.S.):
  • Qamar bani Hashim: Al-Abbas was so bright-faced and handsome. Hence, he was called ‘Qamar Bani Hashim -Moon of the Hashemites.’ He was also the moon of his family and the moon of Islam because he paved the path of martyrdom with light and shone upon the lives of Muslims.
  • As-Saqqaa: it one of his greatest epithets. The reason he was given this epithet is Al-Abbas, undertook the mission of fetching water to the camp and harem of his brother when the terrorist Ibn Marjanah imposed a blockade on the sources of water so as to prevent Imam al-Hussain (a), his household, and army from having water.
  • Battal-Alqami (The hero of Al Alqami): Al-Alqami is the name of the river on whose bank was the last scene of the life of al-Abbas. This river was gathered around by big numbers of soldiers whose mission was to prevent the camp of Imam al-Hussain (A.S.) from water. By his giant determination and unmatched heroism, al-Abbas could attack that army and occupy the river to carry water to the camp of his brother more than once. In the last time, he was martyred there. Hence, he was called ‘Battal ul-Alqami -the hero of al-Alqami.’
  • Hamil-Liwaa (the standard-bearer): The holding of standards in wars was the most significant position in armies. Standards are given exclusively to the soldiers who enjoy special military abilities. During the battle of at-Taff, the standard was in the hand of Abu’l-Fadhl al-Abbas who preserved and held it since the beginning of the tragic journey in Medina until the last spark of his life.
  • Kebsh al-Kateeba: (the big chief of battalion): this title is exclusively given to the higher commander whose mission is to protect and manage his troops. Hence, this title was conferred upon al-Abbas for his unique courage and bravery during the battle of at-Taff when he protected the camp of Imam al-Hussain (A.S.) and guarded the harem.He was like a strike force guarding his brother’s camp and a terrifying and destructive thunderbolt against the armies of evil.
  • Al-Ameed: This title is also addressed to the lofty military personalities. It was conferred upon al-Abbas because he played the role of the support and commander of his brother’s army.
    Hami Al-dha’ena: Because he played an honorable role in guarding and defending the harem of the Prophet (SAWA), al-Abbas was called ‘Hami Al-dha’ena’ -the protector of the harem.’ He was responsible of keeping watch over the harem and serving them during the journey from Medina to Karbala.

Sayed Jaafar Alhili said in his poem (the infallible poem):

Where is Rabe’a clan to see this protector of the harem?

And who will be honored from his father, Ali’!

  • Bab ul-Hawaaij: (the door to the settlement of needs) People believed that God will surely settle the needs of him who implores to Him by seeking the intercession of al-Abbas for the special rank that he enjoys in the sight of Almighty God and for dedicating himself to the obedience to Imam al-Hussain. Hence, al-Abbas is called ‘Bab ul-Hawaaij -the door to the settlement of needs.’
 His attributes (A.S.):
  • The strength of faith in the Almighty Allah: it’s the most prominent element. Without a doubt it’s natural that al-Abbas, being brought up in the center of the genuine worship, which is the house of the chief of the worshippers; Imam Ali Amir ul-Mu’minin, acquires the quality of worshipfulness superiorly.
  • His sense of honor (disdain): it’s the Self-esteem. He (A.S.) disdained to live a servile life under the shadow of Umayyad government which works on financial corruption and enslaving people. So he rushed himself towards the battlefields of Jihad as his brother Al Hussain the father of the free to raise the banner of pride and dignity. And he announced that to live under the shadows of swords is happiness and to live among oppressors is humiliation.
  • Patience: one of his special characteristics and features is patience with the tribulations of time and calamities of life. On the day of Al-Taff, terrible disasters and tribulations which can melt irons faced al-Abbas (A.S.) but he did not fear them or said any word to show his displeasure and refusal to what happened to him and his family. Rather! He trusted the great creator Allah, imitating his brother the master of martyrs (A.S.) whose patience as weight as high mountains and more.
  • Fulfill: it is one of the most noble and distinctive characters. He (A.S.) broke the record of representing ‘fulfill’, and reached its highest limits.He was the most fulfill towards his religion and the strongest when it comes to defending it. People through history couldn’t see fulfill as Abu’l-Fadhl to his brother Al Hussain (AS). And definitely, there is no register in humanitarian fulfill nor better than that fulfill which became a role model to every free human.
  • Willpower: it’s one of the noblest character of the great immortals who’s the destiny to success in their works. Because it impossible to spiritless person with lack of interest to do any social objective or political action.

He was unique in bravery and stiffness of his will so he joined to the camp of the right, he did not humiliate or Abuse. He performed on the stages of history as a unique great leader and if he was not characterized by this phenomenon then the destiny of proud and immortality would not be for him forever.

Statements of the Imams for him (A.S.):

The Sheikh abu-nasr Albukhari the genealogist narrated from Almufathal bin Umar said:

Imam Al Sadeq Jaafar bin Mohamed (A.S.): Our uncle Al-Abbas Bin Ali was insightful and solid in faith. He fought beside Abi-Abdullah (A.S.) and did very well and died martyred.1
Imam Al Sajjad (A.S.) has proved for him (A.S.) a great status no-other martyr gained it.  He equalized him with his uncle (Al’tiar). He AS said: God bless my uncle al-Abbas bin Ali. He preferred to sacrifice himself and done it. He ransomed his brother with his-self until his hands were severed. Allah the Almighty exchanged him with wings to fly by them with angels as the almighty did to Jaafar bin Abi-Taleb. Al-Abbas has a status near Allah which makes the other martyrs to envy him on Day of Resurrection.2

In the sermon of Ziyarat Al-Nahiya Al-Muqaddasa, the Lord of our age, Imam Mahdi (may Allah hasten his reappearance to cleanse the world of oppression and corruption and to establish the global government of peace, prosperity, and justice), says: “Peace upon Abu’l-Fadl al-Abbas, the son of the Commander of the Faithful, and Defender of his brother (Imam Husain) with his life and soul, who prepared for the fateful morning since the day before, and lay down his life for Husain, faithful unto death; and who strove to bring water for him and his children, but whose arms were both cut off. God damn his killers, Yazeed bin Alraqad Aljuhani and hakim bin Tufail Altaee.”3

And in his Ziyarah sermon it says:

‘I bear witness that, verily, you indeed served the cause of Allah), and made utmost efforts to pursue its purpose. Allah, therefore, has included you among the martyrs, and let your soul rest in peace with the souls of the fortunate, awarded you a spacious space in His Paradise, in the seventh Heaven, paid tribute to you by making mention of your name in the highest circle, chosen you to move in the company of the Prophets, the truthfuls, the martyrs and the pious, and those are the best companions. I bear witness that, verily, you did not lag behind, did not turn away the face; verily, you were fully aware of the truth at the time of leaving this world, following in the pious infallibles’ and the Prophets’ footsteps, so, may Allah assemble us together (His Messenger, His representatives, you and us), all those who have surrendered to Allah. Verily, He is the most Merciful.’


1 – Umdat altaleb by Ibn Anbah: Page 356./ Maqtal Alhussain by Abi Mukhnaf: Page 176./ AlAnwar Alalaweiah by Alnaqdi: Page 442.

2 – Alaamali by Sheikh Alsadoq: Page 548./ Alkhesal: Page 68.

3 –  Shefa›a Alsodor fe sharh Zeiarat Ashura by Alhaj merza Abi-alfadhel Altahrani: V1, Page 244.