Hazrat Abbas (a.s.) was unique in the tribulations and sufferings forced on him. Yet, he (a.s.) endured all these for Allah’s pleasure and obedience of the Imam of the time with complete recognition and absolute faith. We shall mention some of them hereunder:
1. All the great warriors and combatants of history had an opportunity to display their courage and valor in the battlefield. But when Hazrat Abbas (a.s.) requested Imam Husain (a.s.) to fight, Imam (a.s.) asked him instead to get water for the thirsty children. Obviously, there is a vast difference in mindsets between going out to secure water for thirsty children and to venture out for a fight. At that moment, the emotion of obedience and compliance displayed by Hazrat Abbas (a.s.) is the greatest show of courage. Thus, Hazrat Abbas (a.s.), the fearless combatant, did not get an opportunity to display his fighting skills in the battlefield. Ah! The power of Imam, the zeal of valor subdued Alas! The storm unleashed for permission refused
2. Hazrat Abbas (a.s.) was unique even in his position as provider of water, notwithstanding the fact, that offering water had been a family status for him. His grandfather, Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.) always supplied drinking water for the pilgrims who visited the Holy Kabah at Mecca. But there is a huge disparity in giving water to the pilgrims during Haj, when there is abundant water available, and to fetch water for the thirsty children of Imam Husain (a.s.). Perhaps, this is the reason that Hazrat Abbas (a.s.) was given the title of “Provider of water for the children and womenfolk”. Greatness lied in the attempt to obtain water for the scorched throats while not allowing one’s own burnt tongue and gullet to get a feel of the water’s coolness.
3. When the Abyssinian slave attacked Janab-e-Hamzah (a.s.), there was no water-skin on his chest and there was no anxiety of thirsty children on his mind. But when the wretched opponent attacked the chest of Hazrat Abbas (a.s.) with an arrow, the water-skin that he was protecting with all his life after the severing of his hands was ruptured and all the water spilled.
4. Ibn Muljim, the accursed, attacked the holy head of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) with a poisonous sword. Yet, at that moment, Ali (a.s.) was in the mosque’s prayer-niche, not on the back of his horse. His hands were intact, due to which, he could hold his injured head together. But when Hazrat Abbas’s (a.s.) head was attacked, he was without his arms, his chest was riddled with arrows and he was on the back of his horse. To fall on the ground in this condition, badly injured and wounded, is specific only to the son of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.), a peculiarity in which he is unique.
5. To go to the river Euphrates, fill the water in the water-bag and yet deprive one’s own thirsty self of water!
6. Every martyr, who went to the battlefield on the day of Aashoora, was dear and beloved to Imam Husain (a.s.). But for nobody’s death did Imam Husain (a.s.) claim, ‘Now, my back is broken!’
7. Imam Husain (a.s.) brought the corpse of every martyr from the battlefield. But he did not bring the dead body of Hazrat Abbas (a.s.) and allowed it to remain on the shores of Euphrates. He only brought the severed arms to his camp. The reason for this was the uniqueness of Hazrat Abbas (a.s.). Like his position and status, Allah the Almighty desired to keep his calamities unique as well. If you deliberate a little, you will realize that in front of the shrine of an infallible, no shrine of a non-infallible stands. In Medina , opposite the grave of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) are the destroyed graves of the Imams (a.s.) of Jannat al-Baqee’ and Janab-e-Fatimah Zahra (s.a.). Of course, this is the country of the Wahhabis and its all their doing. But in Najaf, Iraq only the memorial of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) stands. In Kazmain, Iraq, are the shrines of Imam Moosa al-Kazim (a.s.) and Imam Muhammad al-Taqi (a.s.). In Mashhad , Iran , only the sacred grave of Imam Reza (a.s.) exists. In Saamarra, Iraq, the shrines of Imam Ali Naqi (a.s.) and Imam Hasan al-Askari (a.s.) co-exist. All are infallible (a.s.) and there is no
non-in fallible. But in the case of Hazrat Abbas (a.s.), Allah the Almighty has
granted him the honor of allowing his shrine to exist with that of Imam Husain (a.s.) in the sacrosanct city of Karbala. The huge inflow of pilgrims and visitors to his holy grave and the countless miracles that occur in it are evidences enough that Allah the Almighty wants to raise the position and status of Hazrat Abbas (a.s.) even higher. For, Allah’s satisfaction cannot be expressed without the power of miracles and extraordinary feats. Also, Allah does not raise anyone’s eminence in vain. Such great eminence and stature, as granted to Hazrat Abbas (a.s.), is enough proof that no martyr enjoys as high a position as him and on the Day of Judgment, everybody will be envious of his eminence and significance.
8. A martyr’s sacrifice can never be fully compensated in this world. It will be in the Hereafter that Allah will reward and punish each one in exact accordance with his acts in this world. Thus, one can only imagine the greatness and rewards of Hazrat Abbas (a.s.) on the Day of Judgment and in the Hereafter.
The author of Asraar al-Shahaadah has narrated this incident from a few reliable persons:
On the Day of Judgment, when the people gathered will encounter the harsh difficulties of the Hereafter, the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) will send Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) to Janab-e-Zahra (s.a.) and invite her to the position of intercession (shafaa’h). Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) will ask her, “What do you have for intercession? What have you stored for this great and frightful day?” She (a.s.) will reply,
“O Ameerul Momineen (a.s.)! On this great day, I have the two chopped hands of my son Abbas! ”
Hazrat Fatema Zahra (s.a.) is the lady of the Day of Judgment and its intercessor. She (s.a.) is the daughter of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and the wife of Ali (a.s.), who is the distributor of heaven and hell. Also, she (s.a.) is the mother of the chiefs of the youth of paradise, Imam Hasan (a.s.) and Imam Husain (a.s.). When she (s.a.), despite all these greatnesses and positions, is using the severed arms of Hazrat Abbas (a.s.) for intercession, one cannot just imagine his greatness!
O Allah! For the sake of the atrocities inflicted on Hazrat Zahra (s.a.), please grant us the intercession of Hazrat Abbas (a.s.) on the Day of Judgment. Please confer on us the grace of defending, praying for, protecting and protecting the message of the Imam of our time, Hazrat Hujjat Ibn al-Hasan al-Askari (a.s.)! Aameen!