Hazrat Abu’l-Fazl al-Abbas (AS) [Gateway to God’s Mercy]
Millions of pilgrims are assembled in the holy city of Karbala. They are paying their respects to the Chief of Martyrs, Imam Husain (AS), whose birthday devotees throughout the world celebrated yesterday on the 3rd of Sha’ban.
Today on the 4th of Sha’ban the faithful, whether those assembled in Karbala or all over the globe, are making the auspicious birthday of the Valiant Standard-Bearer of the Immortal Epic of Karbala, Hazrat Abu’l-Fazl al-Abbas (AS).
Many of the adherents of the Blessed Ahl al-Bayt of Prophet Muhammad (SAWA), among other supplications and ziyarahs, are fervently reciting the following phrase as invocation in the Divine Court.
“Ya Kashef al-Karbe an wajhi’l-Husain, ikshif karbi be haqq Akhi-al-Husain”
(O Remover of grief from the countenance of Husain! Remove my grief for the sake of the Brother of Husain).
This invocation to the One and Only Creator is often recited in times of grief and affliction. As is clear by the wordings, the All-Merciful is being beseeched for the sake of a brother of the Immortal Martyr of Karbala — the younger grandson and 3rd Infallible Heir of the Almighty’s Last and Greatest Messenger, Prophet Muhammad (SAWA).
Imam Husain (AS) needs no introduction, and neither does his brother, although he is not mentioned by name in this invocation to God which is recited 133 times after performing a 2-rak’at prayer (similar to the obligatory Fajr ritual prayer).
It is clear that the brother referred here is not Imam Hasan Mujtaba (AS), the Prophet’s elder grandson and 2nd Infallible Heir, who along with Imam Husain (AS) is hailed specifically by name in many of the Hadith regarding the superiority of the Ahl al-Bayt, narrated by all denominations of Islam, such as:
“Al-Hasan wa’l-Husain Seyyedai Shabab Ahl il-Jannah” (Hasan and Husain are Leaders of the Youth of Paradise.
Then who is this brother, for the sake of whom God opens floodgates of mercy to ease the sufferings of the faithful — as proved time and again by those who perform this particular act of worship?
For those with insight, the number “133” provides the answer. As per “Abjad” or the decimal numeral system of the Arabic Alphabet, it is the total sum of numerical values assigned to each letter, and thus spells out the name.
For those who have not yet grasped the simple truth, the 4th of Sha’ban ought to be a clear pointer to the identity of Imam Husain’s (AS) brother. He is none other than “Abbas” (AS), the valiant Standard-Bearer of the Epic of Ashura, who for the sake of God and for defence of Islam and all humanitarian values sacrificed, first his both hands and then life, while trying to fetch water from the River Euphrates for the thirsty children of the Prophet’s Household.
That is why we read in his “Ziyarah” (standard form of salutation) the phrases:
“Curse of Allah on those who killed you; Curse of Allah on those who ignored your rights and violated your sanctity; Curse of Allah on those who stood between you and the waters of the Euphrates.”
The “Ziyarah” taught to us by no less a person than Imam Zain al-Abedin (AS) — his nephew and Imam Husain’s (AS) son and successor — greets the martyred uncle with the words “Abdus-Saleh”, which means “most sincerely pious servant of God”. This is an indication of high stature of Hazrat Abbas (AS) in the sight of God Almighty.
Born in the year 26 AH to a virtuous lady of the Kilabiya Clan, whom the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (AS), had married years after the martyrdom of the Prophet’s Immaculate Daughter, Hazrat Fatema Zahra (SA) — the Noblest-ever lady of all times — Abbas grew up into a handsome youth who acquired the epithet “Qamar Bani Hashem” (Moon of the Hashemite Clan).
He was virtue personified. After the martyrdom of Imam Ali (AS) he faithfully adhered to the cause of his brothers, the Prophet’s grandsons Imam Hasan (AS) and Imam Husain (AS), acquiring from them the ethereal values of faith, which only the Gnostics achieve.
He was in charge of social affairs and welfare projects of the Ahl al-Bayt for the poor and needy before coming to Karbala in the full bloom of manhood at the age of 35.
Here was the battle between right and wrong that would serve till eternity as the barometer to distinguish truth from falsehood. Abbas stood up admirably to the task, never detaching himself from his brother, Imam Husain (AS), even when offered the tantalizing bait of monetary rewards and positions in the Omayyad regime for deserting the cause of the Prophet’s grandson.
His words ring true to this day when he replied firmly to the Omayyad agents who brought to him in Karbala the offer of amnesty from the tyrannical governor of Iraq, Obaidullah ibn Ziyad:
“We are in no need of your security. The safety that Allah has provided us with, is better than that of the (grand)son of Sumayyah.”
Abbas (AS) then turned towards the charlatan Shimr Zi’l-Jowshan and said: “May Allah paralyze you and damn you and the letter you have brought. Are you offering us safety while the son of the Messenger of Allah is not safe?”
In short, since his whole life was in the service of God and religion, on his martyrdom, Imam Husain (AS), bent with grief at the loss of a valiant brother, hailed him as “Bab al-Murad” (Gateway to Needs).
The Survivor of the Tragedy of Karbala, Imam Zain al-Abedin (AS), paid worthy tributes to his martyred uncle with the words:
“Allah bless Abbas ibn Ali (AS), who dedicated (his life),was tested by tribulations, and sacrificed his life for his brother, to the extent that both his hands were cut off. Surely, Abbas has a status in the presence of Allah that all the martyrs will envy on the Day of Judgement”
Now we understand why God Almighty grants the requests of those who beseech him for the sake of Hazrat Abu’l-Fazl al-Abbas (AS), as said in the opening paragraph of this brief newspaper column.
By: Seyyed Ali Shahbaz
read more : http://en.wikishia.net/view/Al-%27Abbas_(a)
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