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Biography::Abd Allah ibn Abbas

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Biography

Family

He was the second son of a wealthy merchant, ‘Abbas ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib, thus he was called Ibn Abbas (the son of Abbas). His mother was Umm al-Fadl Lubaba, who prided herself in being the second woman who converted to Islam, on the same day as her close friend Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, Muhammad's wife.<ref>Marriage to a 'past': Parents should not reject a proposal without a good reason – and being a revert with a past is not an acceptable one</ref>

The father of Ibn Abbas and the father of Muhammad were both sons of Shaiba ibn Hashim, better known as ‘Abdu’l-Muṭṭalib. Shaiba bin Hashim's father was Hashim ibn Abd Manaf, the progenitor of the Banu Hashim clan of the Quraish tribe in Mecca.

619–632: Muhammad's era

Ibn Abbas was born in 3 BH (619–620 CE) and his mother took him to Muhammad before he had begun to suckle. Muhammad put some of his saliva on the newborn's tongue, and that was the beginning of the close relationship between them.<ref name="usc"/>

As he grew up, he was by Muhammad's side doing different services like fetching water for ablution (Arabic: wudu‎{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}). He would pray (Arabic: salat‎{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}) with Muhammad and follow him on his assemblies, journeys and expeditions. Muhammad would often draw him close, pat him on the shoulder and pray, "O God! Teach him (the knowledge of) the Book ",<ref>Sahih al-Bukhari, 9:92:375</ref> and Ibn Abbas devoted his life to the pursuit of learning and knowledge. Muhammad had also supplicated for him to attain discernment in religion.<ref>Sahih Muslim (#6523)</ref> Ibn Abbas kept following Muhammad, memorizing and learning his teaching.<ref name="usc"/>

Muhammad's statement

{{#invoke:main|main}} In AH 10 (631/632), Muhammad fell into his last illness. During this period, the Hadith of the pen and paper was reported, with Ibn Abbas as the first level narrator, at that time was around twelve years old.<ref name=understanding>Regarding Omar's Refusal to Give the Prophet a Pen to Write his Will!!!</ref> Ibn Abbas used to say, "No doubt, it was a great disaster that Allah's Apostle was prevented from writing for them that writing because of their differences and noise." <ref>Sahih al-Bukhari, 1:3:114</ref> Days after that, Abbas and Ali supported Muhammad's weight on their shoulder, as Muhammad was too weak to walk around on his own accord.<ref>Sahih al-Bukhari, 1:4:197, 1:11:634, 3:47:761,5:59:727</ref>

632–634: Abu Bakr's era

Inheritance from Muhammad

{{#invoke:main|main}} Ibn 'Abbas was thirteen years old when Muhammad died. After Abu Bakr came to power, Ibn Abbas and his father were among those who unsuccessfully requested their part of Muhammad's inheritance, because Abu Bakr said that he heard Muhammad say that prophets do not leave inheritance.

Continued education

After Muhammad's era, he continued to collect and learn Muhammad's teaching from Muhammad's companions (Arabic: Sahaba‎{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}), especially those who knew him the longest. He would consult multiple Sahaba to confirm narrations, and would go to as many as thirty Companions to verify a single matter.<ref name="usc"/> Once he heard that a Sahaba knew a hadith unknown to him.

A narration attributed to Abd Allah ibn Abbas reports:

Ibn Abbas was not content just to accumulate knowledge, but due to a sense of duty to the ummah, he educated those in search of knowledge as well as members of the general community. He turned to teaching and his house became the equivalent of a university, with specialized teaching and with him as the only teacher.<ref name="usc"/>

One of his companions described a typical scene in front of his house:

I saw people converging on the roads leading to his house until there was hardly any room in front of his house. I went in and told him about the crowds of people at his door and he said: 'Get me water for wudu.'

He performed wudu and, seating himself, said: 'Go out and say to them: Whoever wants to ask about the Quran and its letters (pronunciation) let him enter.'

This I did and people entered until the house was filled. Whatever he was asked, Abdullah was able to elucidate and even provide additional information to what was asked. Then (to his students) he said: 'Make way for your brothers.'

Then to me he said: 'Go out and say: Who wants to ask about the Quran and its interpretation, let him enter'.

Again the house was filled and Abdullah elucidated and provided more information than what was requested.<ref name="usc"/>

He held classes on one single subject each day, classes on issues such as tafsir, fiqh, halal and Haraam, ghazawa, poetry, Arab history before Islam, inheritance laws, Arabic language and etymology.<ref name="usc"/>

634–644: Umar's era

Advising Umar

Umar often sought the advice of Ibn Abbas on important matters of state and described him as a "young man of maturity":<ref name="usc"/>

A narration attributed to Abd Allah ibn Abbas Sahih reports:

The Sahaba Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas said:

I have never seen someone who was quicker in understanding, who had more knowledge and greater wisdom than Ibn Abbas. I have seen Umar summon him to discuss difficult problems in the presence of veterans of Badr from among the Muhajirin and Ansar. Ibn Abbas would speak and Umar would not disregard what he had to say.<ref name="usc"/>

656–661: Ali's era

Battle of Siffin

{{#invoke:main|main}} Ibn Abbas remained a staunch supporter of the final Caliph Ali ibn Abi Talib, during Ali's war with Muawiyah, including at the Battle of Siffin. He had also been given the position of governor of Basra during Ali's reign as Caliph.

A large group of Ali's army were discontented with the conclusion of that arbitration, and broke off into a separate group that became known as the Khawarij (The Kharijites). Ibn Abbas played a key role in convincing a large number of them to return to Ali; 20,000 of 24,000 according to some sources. He did so using his knowledge of Muhammad's biography, in particular, the events of the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah.<ref name="usc"/>

680–683: Yazid's era

Sunnis believe that ibn Abbas was in favour of the unity of the Muslims and hence did not revolt against rulers. He advised Husayn ibn Ali against his proposed expedition to Kufa that ended at Karbala. Shias contend that due to coercion and duress he gave an oath of allegiance to Yazid, using Taqiyya.

Wives and Children

By a Yemenite princess named Zahra bint Mishrah, Ibn Abbas had seven children.

1. Al-Abbas, the first born, who was childless.

2. Ali ibn Abdullah (died 736 CE), who was the grandfather of the first two Abbasid caliphs, who replaced the Umayyads in 750 CE.

3. Muhammad, who was childless.

4. Ubaydullah, who was childless.

5. Al-Fadl, who was childless.

6. Saad had two children

7. Lubaba, who married Ali ibn Abdullah ibn Jaafar and had descendants.

By a concubine, he had another daughter, Asma, who married her cousin Abdullah ibn Ubaydullah ibn Abbas and had two sons.<ref>Tabari, vol. 39, pp. 54-55.</ref>


Abd Allah ibn Abbas sections
Intro  Biography  Hadith transmitted by him   Legacy    His descendents   Views  See also  References  External links  

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