Abbas B Abd Al-Muttalib (d. 32 H/652 CE) عباس بن عبد المطلب

Abbas B Abd Al-Muttalib (d. 32 H/652 CE) عباس بن عبد المطلب

Lunar Crater King pairing with Crater Ibn Firnas on its North East. The red circle above indicates the position of the crater named in honour of Ibn Firnas on the moon surface

An uncle of Prophet Muhammad (on whom be peace). An important figure in the pre-Islamic era, he held the office of siqayah (watering the pilgrims). Throughout the Prophet’s mission in Makkah, he and his family, including his slaves, extended both overt as well as covert and substantial help to the Prophet (saws) and the Muslims. Although the thin smoke could not fully conceal his intentions and activities, outwardly he continued to maintain a cautious balance between the Muslims and the Makkans, protecting the Prophet against his adversaries. His professed loyalty to the Makkans led him to the battle field at Badr. He was captured and carried to Madinah. He prevented the Muslims from chasing Abu Sufyan’s caravan on grounds that Allah had promised them only one of the two groups; which shows that he followed the Qur’anic revelations. At Madinah, he was asked to ransom himself as well as `Aqil ibn abi Talib. He protested that he was a Muslim at heart. The Prophet did not accept the excuse since Islam was judged by outward avowals and not inner feelings. He paid the ransom and returned to Makkah.

Some time later, when Hajjaj ibn ‘Ilat spread the rumor that the Prophet had been defeated at Khyber and had been captured by the Jews, he collapsed unable to rise on his feet. He took his son Quthm, who resembled the Prophet, stretched himself down on the ground, placed him on his breast and rumbled, “My dearest resembles the Prophet of the Bestower in his nose and head. It makes no difference who disapproves of it.” Then he sent across a slave to Hajjaj – who had spread the rumor for his own reason – to seek confirmation of the news. Hajjaj confided in him that it was nothing but a hoax. When the slave came back with the good news, `Abbas jumped to his feet, kissed him on his forehead and freed him.

He migrated to Madinah a little before the Makkan expedition and took part in the battle of Hawaazin (8 H) during which he remained by the Prophet’s side when others fled. Physically a tall, broad man, Islamically too he was a man of such stature that when there was drought in Madinah `Umar (ra) prayed for rain entreating Allah (wasilah) in his name. He died in Madinah in 32 H.

The `Abbasids sprang up from him. Of his three sons, `Abdullah, Fadl, Fudayl, Quthm the first mentioned became an eminent scholar.

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