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`Abbas ibn `Abd al-Muttalib

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Title: `Abbas ibn `Abd al-Muttalib  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Caliphate, Nahj al-Balagha, Election of Uthman, Fadak, Abdul Muttalib (disambiguation), Shia view of Umar, Hadith of Muhammad's inheritance, Umar's marriage to Umm Kulthum, Rashidun Caliphate, Second pledge at al-Aqabah
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

`Abbas ibn `Abd al-Muttalib

‘Abbas ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib (Arabic: العباس بن عبد المطلب‎) (c. 566 – c. 653 CE) was a paternal uncle and Sahabi (companion) of Muhammad, just a few years older than his nephew. A wealthy merchant, during the early years of Islam he protected Muhammad while he was in Mecca, but only became a convert after the Battle of Badr in 624 CE (2 AH). His descendants founded the Abbassid caliphate in 750[1]

Early years

Abbas was one of the youngest brothers of Muhammad's father Abd Allah ibn Abd al Muttalib, born only a few years before his nephew Muhammad (570 - 632). He became a wealthy merchant in Mecca. During the early years while the Muslim religion was gaining adherents, Abbas provided protection to his kinsman but did not adopt the faith. However, shortly before the fall of Makka he turned away from the Quraysh rulers and gave his support to Mohammad.[2]

He married Lubaba bint al-Harith (Arabic: لبابة بنت الحارث) also known as Umm al-Fadl. Umm al-Fadl claimed to be the second woman to convert to Islam, the same day as her close friend Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, the first wife of Muhammad. Umm al-Fadl's traditions of the Prophet appear in all canonical collections of hadiths. She showed her piety by supernumerary fasting and by attacking Abu Lahab, the enemy of the Muslims, with a tent pole.[3]

His children by Umm al-Fadl were Al-Fadl, Abdullah, Ubaydullah, Quthum, Maabad, Umm Habib and Abuldrahman.[4] A Greek concubine, Musliya, bore him his two youngest sons, Kathir and Tammam.[5] After 632 he acquired a Jewish concubine, Tukana, who had previously been a concubine of Muhammad.[6]

Acceptance of Islam

Abbas was captured during the Battle of Badr and accepted Islam just before the fall of Mecca 20 years after his wife. Abbas was a big man and his captor Abu'l-Yasar was a slightly built man. The Prophet asked Abu'l Yasar how he managed the capture, and he said he was assisted by a person whom he described and whom Muhammad identified as a noble angel. Muhammad allowed al-Abbas to ransom himself and his nephew.[7] The Prophet then named him "last of the refugees" (Muhajirun), which entitled him to the proceeds of the spoils of the war. He was given the right to provide Zamzam water to pilgrims, which right was passed down to his descendants.[1] Abbas ibn Abd al-Muttalib is buried at the Jannatul Baqee' cemetery in Madinah, Saudi Arabia.[8]


The Abbasid dynasty founded in 750 by Abu al-`Abbās `Abdu'llāh as-Saffāh claimed the title of caliph (literally "vicegerent") through their descent from Abbas's son Abdullah.[9]

Many other families claim direct descent from Abbas, including the Kalhora's of Sindh,[10] the Berber Banu Abbas,[11] and the modern-day Bawazir of Yemen[12] and Shaigiya and Ja'Alin of Sudan.[13] and Dhund Abbasi of Murree Pakistan.

See also


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