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Al-’Abbas in Arabic

Referring to the linguistic meaning of the Arabic al-’Abbas, Ibn-Manzhour5 in his al-Ayn, writes down:

Al-’Abbas - the lion that other lions fear and escape6



Epithet is a word or phrase that expresses a quality or attribute which is considered to be a characteristic of the person or thing mentioned.1 Epithets then reflect one’s characteristics, whether good or bad.

To al-’Abbas a number of lofty epithets expressing his kind mentality and high moral standards have been ascribed:


Al-’Abbas in the Imams’ Sight



Hamil ul-Liwaa

The holding of standards in wars is 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 from the beginning of the tragic journey from Medina to up until the last spark of his life.

Al-’Abbas protected that standard so bravely and uniquely that he embraced it to his chest when his two hands were severed. In more than one situation, al-’Abbas asked his brother Imam al-Husayn for permission for fighting, but the Imam used to say to him, “You are the standard-bearer of my army. If you are martyred, my troops will separate”.

It is also well known that standard-bearers are chosen according to special qualifications:

The standard-bearer must be accepted by everybody and must bear qualities such as courage, chivalry, and honor.

The standard-bearers must also exert all efforts to keep the standard high. For this reason, al-’Abbas exerted unique efforts for keeping the standard high. When his right hand was severed, he held the standard in the left. And when this one was also severed, he embraced the standard to his chest and held onto it until the last breath of his life.

Historians have also recorded that when the Umayyad army raided at the camp of Imam al-Husayn after his martyrdom - they robbed everything including the standard borne by al-’Abbas.

In Syria, when Yazid’s sight fell on that standard, he was amazed. He noticed that it was completely stabbed at all places except at the place of its handle, where it was held. He asked about the bearer of that standard and was told that it was al-’Abbas ibn ‘Ali.

Astonished by the courage of al-’Abbas, Yazid turned his face to the attendants and said: “Look at this standard! It is stabbed in every place except its handle. This clearly means that its bearer was so courageous and chivalrous that he faced all stabs and strokes without letting that standard fall from his hand. This is the true loyalty to a brother!!”

Hence, al-’Abbas was called ‘Hamil ul-Liwaa’, the standard- bearer.


In the special ziyara of al-’Abbas that Abu-Hamza ath-Themali narrated, Imam as-Sadiq (a) says:

“Salaam be upon you, the righteous servant!”

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How good the Lord's many sacrifices

Offered on the banks of the Euphrates!

The best of guidance is that

Sacrifices come from those who guide,

After having said their prayers

Spent to be for the prayers sacrifices.20


The one whose light enables all to see

At Karbla’ is killed and none to bury,

O Grandson of the Prophet! May He

Reward you with goodness for us and for me,

May your balance of Good Deeds never fall short.

To me you were a mountain where I seek resort.

To be kind to kinsfolk you used to always exhort.

Who now shall to the orphans and the destitute import

And to whom shall the helpless go when in need?

By Allah! Never shall I fall short of my every deed

By trading you for anyone else's worth

Till I am buried between the sands and the earth


The mighty lions mourn their youths

And their saviours when calamity overwhelms,

Mourning them with blood. So tell the burning heart

How the red sigh does ascend;

It yearns, but its yearning is crying,

It mourns, but its mourning is only by sign.23


O soul! After al-Husayn nobody does count!

After him, you should to nothing amount,

Here is al-Husayn nearing his end

While you drink of cool water?!

By Allah! Such is not a deed

At all enjoined by my creed!25


I do not fear death when it calls upon me,

Till among the swords you bury me.

My soul protects the one

Who is the Prophet's grandson,

Al-’Abbas am I, the water bag do I bear

When I meet evil, I know no fear!


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.


Beside al-’Alqami he fell, how I wish to witness

Those who subdued him drinking of bitterness.


Disappointment marked his forehead,

So the mountains crumbled for his pain.

Why not since it was the beauty of his face

And on his forehead the pleasure of his heart?

O supporter of his family, waterer of his children,

Bearer of the standard with all his determination!30


He called, filling the valleys with his cries

Even solid stones from their horrors are in pain

O Brother! Who after you shall guard Muhammad's daughters

When they seek mercy from the merciless?

My hands after you are paralyzed,

My eyes blinded, and split is my spine,

For others, cheeks are beaten,

But these white deer before my eyes

Are now beating their cheeks.

Between your terrible death and my own

Is like I call you before and you are pleased,

Here is your sword: Who after you

Shall with it subdue the foes?

And here is your standard: Who shall with it advance?

O son of my father! You have dwarfed in my eyes

The death of all my offspring,

And the wound is healed only by

What is more painful, so

He knelt over and his tears

Painted the ground like gold,

He wished to kiss his lips but he found

No place spared from a weapon's kiss.32



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1 hour ago, S.M.H.A. said:

To al-’Abbas a number of lofty epithets expressing his kind mentality and high moral standards have been ascribed:


Al-’Abbas in the Imams’ Sight


Thank you. For those who would like the pdf of that book 'Al-Abbas' here is the link:


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