Pearl of Wisdom
'No sooner was he confronted with two tasks than he took the hardest of them.'
Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib [as]
Makarim al-Akhlaq, v. 1, p. 61, no. 55
We acknowledge that the below references for providing the original file containing the 'Events of Karbala'. Their references are
Yousuf N.Lalljee (2006). Know Your Islam. Ansariyan Publications. Qum
Lohouf, By Sayyid ibn Tawoos
Ali Hussain Jalali (2003). Karbala & Ashura. Ansariyan Publications. Qum
The files you find here are NOT IN the Public domain, and the copy rights of the files still remain with the above author
Who was Al-Abbas He was the son of Ali ibn Abi Talib and Fatimah bint Hizam (commonly known as: Ummul Banin - Mother of the Sons).
He was known as the greatest warrior in Arabia and mirrored the strength of his father, Ali ibn Abi Talib
In early childhood Abbas (as.) would follow Imam Hussain (a.s.) like a shadow. If Imam Hussain (a.s.) looked thirsty, Abbas (a.s.) would rush to bring him water. If Imam Hussain (a.s.) seemed hot, Abbas (a.s.) would fan him with the hem of his cloak.
On the eve of 10th Muharram On the eve of tenth Muharram Hussain was passing through a camp in which his nephew Qasim ibn Hassan, his son Ali Akbar ibn Hussain and brother Abbas were sitting and were discussing a matter.
He stood beside the camp and heard their conversation. Ali Akbar was saying that tomorrow he will be the first person to sacrifice his life on Hussain. Abbas interrogated him and said “You are the son of my Master. How can you fight before me”? Ali Akbar replied "Uncle, you are the strength of my father. If you go first and die my father will be destroyed. And also you are the commander and the commander should not go first".
Abbas replied to Ali Akbar, "nephew! A son is the light of his fathers eyes. If you die first, my brother will be visionless. Most of all, I cannot bear to see you dying". Qasim was listening to the conversation, and replied, "My dear Uncle! And my dear brother! I will proceed first so that the strength & vision of my uncle Hussain remains, and I am also an orphan".
Hussain then entered the camp and held Qasim in his arms and replied "Oh, my nephew don’t ever consider yourself as orphan. I am like your father." Abbas was not ready for anyone entering battlefield before him.
Then, Hussain explained to Abbas, "We have not entered Karbala for war". He said “We could win because we have Banu Hashim men like you. However, our mission here is to serve Islam and now Islam requires our sacrifice. We are here to sacrifice our lives for this pure & noble religion."
Al-Abbas in the Battlefield The Euphrates river was occupied by Yazid's Army to prevent the camp of Hussain from getting water. Because of Abbas's skill and bravery, he could have attacked Yazid's army, occupied the river, and retrieved water for the camp alone. However, Abbas was not allowed to fight.
He was only allowed to get water. Thus, he went to the river to get water for Hussain’s 4 year old daughter Sakina bint Hussain. Sakina was very attached to Abbas, who was her uncle. To her, Abbas was the only hope for getting water. Abbas could not see her thirsty and crying "Al-Atash" (the thirst).
When Abbas entered the battlefield, he only had a spear, and a bag for water in his hands. He was also given the authority to hold the standard (Alam) in the battle. Once he had made it to the river, he started filling the bag with water. Abbas's loyalty to Hussain was so great, that Abbas did not drink any water because he could not bear the thought that Sakina was thirsty (The essence of this event was to illustrate that Abbas conquered the Euphrates river, held it with his mighty hands, yet still did not drink, just to prove his loyalty and the level of his excellence. For until this very day the water from Euphrates river circles the grave of Abbas).
After gathering the water, Abbas rode back towards the camp. On his way back, he was struck from behind and one of his arms was amputated. Then, he was stuck from behind again, amputating his other arm. Abbas was now carrying the water-bag in his mouth. The army of Yazid ibn Muawiyah started shooting arrows at him. One arrow hit the Bag and water poured out of it.
One of Yazid's men hit his head with a mace and Abbas fell off his horse without the support of his arms. As he was falling, he called, "Ya Akkha" ("Oh master").
Abbas fell first onto his face before he let the standard fall.
He tossed on the burning sand with excruciating pain. He called for his master. Hussain immediately came to him lifting his head and taking it into his lap. Abbas lifted his head off Hussain's lap. Hussain put Abbas's head onto his lap, but Abbas forced it off his lap again.
Hussain asked Abbas: "Why are you preventing me from comforting you".
Abbas replied: "O master, why should I be comforted in death by you, while no one will be there to comfort you when you die?".
Hussain eventually talked Abbas into being putting his head on the Imam's lap. He said "My brother what have they done to you?"
Abbas replied, "My Master, I thought I was not destined to have a last look at you but, thank God, you are here." Then he said, "My Master, I have some last wishes to express. When I was born, I had first looked at your face and it is my last desire that when I die, my gaze may be on your face. My one eye is pierced by an arrow and the other is filled with blood. If you will clear the eye I will be able to see you and fulfill my last dying desire.
My second wish is that when I die, you should not carry my body to the camp. I had promised to bring water to Sakina and since I have failed in my attempts to bring her water, I cannot face her even in death. Besides, I know that the blows that you have received since morning have all but crushed you and carrying my body to the camp will be back-breaking work for you.
My third wish is that Sakina may not be brought here to see my plight. I know the love and affection she has for me. The sight of my dead body lying here will kill her."
Hussain fulfilled his wishes. Hussain asked him for one last thing. Hussain said, "Abbas, I too have a wish to be fulfilled. Since childhood you have always called me Master. For once at least call me brother with your dying breath." Abbas closed his eyes while repeating, "Hussain my brother, my Imam".
He was killed on Friday, 10th Muharram 61 Hijri on the banks of the river Euphrates. Hence, he is called Hero of Al-Qamah (another name for the river Euphrates).