Abbas was the son of Imam Ali (peace be on him) and the brother of Imam Husain (peace be on him) from a different mother. He was the flag-bearer of the Imam’s army. One of his titles was Abalfadl.
Abaas was known for his bravery and his penetrating eyes; however, in the camp of the Imam, he was always a source of comfort for his brother and a support for the children and women. He was renowned for his beauty and for this reason had the title of the moon of the Hashemites. Abbas was also known for his obedience to his brother as he always considered him as his Imam and leader. He received letters of immunity from the enemy twice but refused to compromise with them as their condition was that he abandons his Imam. He could not accept this condition and in one of his replies said to them that we are in God’s refuge and will not accept this shameful letter of immunity. The next time his reply to one of the commanders of the enemy’s army – who was his maternal cousin – was: O enemy of God! Death to you for calling me to obey disbelief and abandon assisting my brother Husain (peace be on him).
On the day of Ashura, which was the day of the Imam’s fight against the enemy, Abbas was present in Karbala along with three of his younger brothers. All three of those brothers went to the battlefield before Abbas and he had seen their martyrdom with his own eyes and experienced the pain of losing them. He and his Imam, Husain, were the only ones left who had not gone to the battlefield. Hearing the cries of thirst of the children, Abbas requested permission from his brother to get water for them from the River Furat. He therefore got on his horse and went to the battlefield; he beat back the soldiers guarding the water and reached the river. He got off his horse; thirst had weakened him and he put his hands into the water and brought them to his cracked lips and sought to have a drink of water. It was at this moment that he remembered his brother and the children’s thirst. He threw back the water into the river and drank none of it, filled the water skin, got back on his horse and moved towards their camp through the palm grove.
He showered with the enemy’s arrows from all sides; however, Abbas made his limbs, his shoulders, hands, sides and back, a shield for the arrows and protected the water skin. Tens of arrows pierced his body and blood covered him like a crimson shield. But until the water skin was safe, Abbas felt none of the wounds on his body.
Suddenly, someone jumped out from among the palm trees and cut of his right hand. Abbas immediately shifted his sword to his left hand and started fighting. During the tumult of the battle, someone came from behind one of the trees and cut off his left hand and then struck his head with a heavy iron pole and this blow caused his martyrdom a short while later. In the time that he remained alive, Imam Husain came to his flag bearer’s side and cried beside him and said: now my back has broken… this short sentence could be a source of comfort for Abbas as his brother considered him to be his support; however, Abbas was ashamed of the children because the water skin that he was supposed to bring for them to relieve their thirst had been pierced with the arrow of the most vicious of people
Author: Mo. Bagher