One of the most valued Islamic characteristics is observation of politeness. Courteousness in front of elders, religion principals and in life in general form the foundation of any spiritual intellect.
The Commander of the faithful (PBUH) advised his son, Imam Hassan (PBUH) in learning manners and said: “My Son! Politeness is what causes wisdom to be believed and awareness of heart and sing of superiority.”1
And he also said: “There is no inheritance more valuable than politeness.”2
Imam Ali (PBUH) gave especial attention to Abbas’ (PBUH) nurture from early childhood. He involved Abbas in important and challenging tasks such as agriculture, military training, reinforcement of soul and body and education of high virtues. Abbas (PBUH) respected his siblings very much and cooperated with them on enhancing the culture of society. Abbas (PBUH) was simply the capable hand of Ali (PBUH), the sharp Eye of Islam and completely submissive to his brothers Hassan and Hussain (PBUT). He had eloquence of Ali (PBUH) and the face of Hassan (PBUH) and the blood of Hussain (PBUH) in his veins. And among all, he had learned politeness extremely well form his father and elder brothers.
One day Imam Husain (PBUH) requested water in the mosque. Abbas (PBUH), while he was still a child, went out of the mosque with telling anyone. After a few moments he returned back with a bowl of water and offered it to his brother in a very respected manner.
Another day he received some grapes; he rushed outside despite his young age; he was asked: where are you going? He said: “I want to take these grapes to my master, Hussain (PBUH).3” This is how he respected his elder brother and preferred the Prophet’s child to himself.
It has been narrated that Abbas never sat without permission besides Imam Hussain (PBUH) (his elder brother and his Imam); and we he was granted permission he would sit humbly like a servant on his two knees in front of his master.4
In his 34 years of lifetime, out of outmost respect, he never called Imam Hussain (PBUH), “brother”; he would address the Imam with titles such as my master, my lord and the Prophet of Allah’s son. The only exception is the last moment of his life, where he called the Imam, “O brother! Hear out your brother”. Even this outreach is out of high respect, as it shows that your brother (Abbas) has done his best in brotherhood and now he requests you to reach to him out of compassion.
Every moment of Abbas’s (PBUH) presence in Karbala was filled with resemblance of humility and politeness in front of the Imam. History has narrated that crowds were shocked at his behavior. In the day of Ashura when Abbas (PBUH) came to his brother to get permission of going to the battle, the Imam (PBUH) asked him to bring water for the children instead. Abbas (PBUH) followed orders and went towards Euphrates; after advising the enemy to give up their cruelty and saw no sign of improvement from their vicious intentions, he attacked them and broke their lines of protection from the river. He reached the water and put his hand in the river to drink a bit of water and relinquish his heavy thirst after few days of no water. Then he remembered the thirst of Hussain (PBUH) and his children; he pours the water back in the river and filled up his water-skin, in the hope if getting water for the thirsty … 5,6
Indeed Abbas was trained and nurtured in the school of thought of Imam Ali (PBUH) and how beautifully his father said: “There is no inheritance more valuable than politeness.”
(The above is a selection from “The Flag bearer of Neynavaa” by Mohammad Mohammadi Eshtehardy with minor changes)
The Roshd Website congratulates all Muslims, especially you dear friend, upon 4thof Sha’ban, the birthday anniversary of the water-provider of the thirsty, Hadrat Ab al-Fadl al-Abbas (PBUH).