In the afternoon of Tasu’a (the day before Ashura) Shimr sent a protection letter to Abbas ibn Ali (PBUH) and his three brothers due to their familial and blood relations. He was faced with a stern rejection from Abbas (PBUH). 1
And in action it was seen how on the Day of Ashura Abbas ibn Ali (PBUH) and his brothers fought courageously and sacrificed their lives for Imam Hussein (PBUH). Historians have recorded, when the companions of Imam Hussein (PBUH) and a number of his family members had been martyred, Abbas (PBUH) called his brothers in accordance to age and told them to “Rush to the battlefield.”
The first of them was Abdullah ibn Ali. He was about eight years younger than his brother Abbas (PBUH). On the day of Ashura, Abbas (PBUH) called Abdullah and said to him, “O brother! Rush to the battlefield, so I can witness your being killed in the way of Allah.” Abdullah rushed to the battlefield and fought with his sword amongst the enemies, while reciting, “I am the son of the generous brave man. He is Ali, the kind-natured and doer of good. The sword of the messenger of Allah (PBUH&HP) inflicts plain, and daily fear.”۲
And after a courageous lengthy battle, he fell to his martyrdom as a result a sword hitting to his head.
The second brother was Uthman ibn Ali. He was born two years after his brother Abdullah. After birth, Amir al-Mu’minin (PBUH) said, “I have named him after my brother in faith Uthman ibn Ma’zoun3.”
When Abdullah ibn Ali was martyred, Abbas (PBUH) called his brother Uthman and as he had said to Abdullah, “Brother go forth to the battlefield.” Uthman went, he would fight with his sword, saying,
“It is me Uthman, the owner of pride, my master is Ali, the same good and pure man.”۴
And after an apparent fighting, he was hit by an arrow, to which he fell to the ground on his side. A man from the enemy came forth and finished him off leaving him to his martyrdom, and separating his head from his body.
After Abdullah and Uthman, the brothers of Abbas (PBUH) were martyred, Abbas called upon Ja’far and asked him to rush to the battlefield like his brothers. Ja’far ibn Ali was born two years after his brother Uthman. It has been narrated from Amiralmu’minin that he was named after his brother Ja’far ibn Abi Talib.
Ja’far rushed towards the field, and put forth his sword among them saying, “It is me Ja’far, the owner of prides, son of the gracious and doer of good, Ali.”۵
In the end, he too was martyred after his many acts of courage.
Indeed, the Moon of Bani Hashim, Abal-Fazl al-Abbas (PBUH) first sent his brothers to the field where they were sacrificed for Imam Hussein (PBUH) in the path of Allah (SWT). And in the end he too was martyred in utmost cruelty6, gaining a status that martyrs envied his state.7
These four brothers, Abbas (PBUH), Abdullah, Uthman, and Ja’far, the sons of Ummul Banin (PBUH) never left Hussein (PBUH) alone in word and act, and sacrificed their life for him.
(Selection taken from the book Absar al-Ein Fi Ansar al-Hussein (PBUH) by Sheikh Muhammad ibn Tahir Samawee (with minor changes). )
On behalf of Roshd Website, we send our condolences to all Muslims, especially you dear friend upon the Tasua (9th day of Muharram) of Imam Hussein (PBUH)
The day of commemorating the martyrdom of the water-bearer of Karbala,
The manifestation of manners and selflessness,
Abbas ibn Ali (PBUH)
1. Nafas al-Mahmoom, p. 202
2. Manaqib, vol. 4, p. 107
3. He was the thirteenth person who had accepted Islam. He was present in the battle of Badr, in the second year A.H., he was the first man who died in Medina. During the era of ignorance, he had chosen to abstain from alcohol. When Uthman ibn Maz’oun had died, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) went to his house and said, “May Allah bless you,” then he bent down and kissed his face. When he had raised his head it became obvious that he had cried. Then the Prophet performed Salat for him, and buried him in the graveyard of Baqi’, and placed a stone on his tomb. He would visit his grave often.
4. Nafs al-Mahmoum, p. 297.
5. Manaqib, vol 4, p. 107
6. For more on the life of Abbas (PBUH) in the last moments click here.
7. Al-Khisal, chapter 2, hadith # 101, p. 68
8. The above excerpt was taken from the Farsi translation by Abbas Jalali