The heroism of Abu alfadhl al-Abbas’ (PBUH) has been, and continues to be widely discussed amongst people. One can’t help but wonder how a person who is hit hard with immense sorrow and grief, attack crowds of heavily armed enemies, and cause grave damages to their army.

Historians have described the bravery of Abu alfadhl (PBUH) on the day of Ashura as such: “Whenever he attacked the heavily fortified army of the enemy, despite their high number, they would turn back and flee to save their lives, crushing each other along the way, as they feared death upon them.”

But Abbas’ (PBUH) heroism was not the only thing that described him. Abbas (PBUH) was courageous, virtuous, loyal, and the manifestation of empathy.  He remained strong and steadfast alongside his brother, Imam Hussein (PBUH). Abbas (PBUH) was the flag bearer of the army, and the Imam’s powerful hand in all matters. Amongst the Imam’s companions and family, Abu alFadhl (PBUH) had the strongest spirit.  He advocated the essence of martyrdom in the path of Imam Hussein (PBUH), while death was a small matter and life itself, trivial.

The value of Abbas’s (PBUH) sacrifice in the path of Imam Hussein (PBUH) was beyond a familial matter.  It had nothing to do with his relation as the Imam’s brother, rather he had pure and divine intentions for the cause of Allah (SWT) alone. This is the very secret of the magnificence and everlastingness of his sacrifice. 

Narrators have stated: “The heart of Imam Hussein (PBUH) was filled with the love and pure intention of Abu alfadhl.  And eventually, Abu alfadhl sacrificed his life for his master. Imam Hussein (PBUH) would hesitate, and refuse permission to fight in the battlefield, until his companions and family had been martyred. For the Imam could feel the strength of his presence beside him…”

And then Abbas (PBUH) fell, on the ground.  He called to his brother: ”O Aba ‘Abdellah! May peace [from me] be upon You.”2

With that, the Master of Martyrs fell, heart broken. He rushed towards ‘Alaqameh, shoving the enemy aside. He stood upon his brother’s body, and threw himself on it.  His eyes were filled with tears, and his heart was filled with pain.  He grieved: “Alas! My back is now broken, and all paths are closed on me.”3

It has been narrated that when the Imam stood, he could not walk away from the body.  He was in despair, and yet remained patient. With tearful eyes he returned to the tents.  His daughter, Sakina came to him and asked: “O Father! Where is my uncle Abu alfadhl?”

Imam (PBUH) broke into tears, and lowering his voice, he broke the news of the martyrdom of Abu alfadhl. Sakina, shocked, began to cry heavily. When lady Zeinab (PBUH) heard the news, she lamented: “O my brother! O my Abbas! Your departure is extremely hard on us! Alas on this loss! Woe on this great sorrow!”4

Indeed! Abu alfadhl Abbas (PBUH) showed extraordinary strength, persistent will and indescribable bravery.  He became one of exceptional commanders to portray virtue and purity in the history of Islam.

(Selection taken from the Life of Abu alFadhl al-Abbas (PBUH) by Baqir Shareef al-Qurashi5)

On behalf of Roshd Website, we send our condolences to you dear friend and all devotees of Abu Fadhrl, Abbas Ibn Ali (PBUH) on the day of Imam Hussain’s Tasu’a,

A day of commemoration for the water-bearer of Karbala

And manifestation of manners and sacrifice


1. When his right hand was cut off, Abbas changed his chant, and while riding his horse, he recited: “By Allah! if you cut off my right hand, I will continue to support my religion and leader (Imam)”

These slogans presented the aim of soldiers in fighting. Abbas’ (PBUH) slogan shows his dedication to Islam and the fact that he has aimed to defend the true Islam and Imam of the Muslims. These were the only motivations of Abbas for all the sacrifices her performed.

2. Maqtal al-Hussain pg. 282

3. Maqtal al-Kharazmi vol. 2, pg. 30

4. Maqtal al-Hussain pg. 283

5. Translated over from the Farsi translation of the original book

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