Assalamo alaika Ayyohal Abdus Saleh!
Salutations upon you O Pious Servant.
These are the words we read in the ziarah of the flag-bearer of the army of Imam al Hussain (as), Abal Fazl al Abbas (as).
Let us have a glance at the holy life of this great personality. When Ameerul Momineen Ali ibn Abi Talib (as) wished to remarry, he asked his brother Janabe Aqeel to inquire for an appropriate lady belonging from a brave ancestry. As per the request made, Janabe Aqeel brought a proposal from the family of Kalabiya. The lady was of name Fatema, popularly known as Ummul Baneen (s.a). Aqd of Imam Ali (a.s) was recited with her, and Ali (as) used to pray to Allah (swt) to grant him a brave son through Hazrat Ummul Baneen (sa).
Allah (swt) answered the prayers of Ameerul Momeneen (as) and a son was born to Hazrat Ummul Baneen (sa). They named him Abbas, which means “lion”. With regards to the date of his birth, there are authentic narrations of it being 4th Shaban or 7th Rajab of 26 AH. Historians narrate that the way Imam Ali (as) opened his eyes for first time in the arms of his Master Hazrat Muhammad al Mustafa (saws), so did the son of Imam Ali (as), al Abbas (as) opened his eyes in the arms of his Master, Aba Abdillah (as) and the first thing his eyes witnessed was the light of Imamate. Imam al Hussain (as) recited azaan and eqamah in the ears of the newborn child.
Ameerul Momeneen (as) himself trained his son Abbas(as) in all the aspects like that of bravery, loyalty, humbleness, piety. His childhood was blessed with the companionship of the infallibles like Imam al Hasan (as), Imam al Hussain (as) and his father Imam Ali (as).
He was always special to Sayyeda Zainab (sa) and Sayyeda Umme Kulsum (sa). He was a tall, good looking youth, and was rightly known as Qamar – Bani Hashim – The Moon of Bani Hashim.Right from the childhood till his last breathe, Hazrat Abbas (as) use to always accompany Imam al Hussain(as) everywhere. He use to always take precedence in serving his Master Aba Abdillah(as) as trained by his mother Ummul Baneen(sa). During his last breathes, Ameerul Momeneen(as) handed over Abbas(as) to Imam al Hussain(as).
History is a witness to how circumstances changed after the martyrdom of Holy Prophet(saws), and people gathered to set fire to the house of Ali(as) and throw a burning door on the pregnant daughter of Holy Prophet(saws) that she lost her son Mohsin in her womb. The atrocities and oppression continued with the same intensity towards his Ahlulbayt (as). Imam al Hasan (as) was poisoned and on his coffin were showered arrows while being taken for burial.
After the death of Muawiya ibne Abi Sufyan (la), the filthy outcome of Banu Umayyad, Yazid ibn Muawiya (l.a) came to power and gathered the courage to ask for the allegiance from the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (saws) by writing a letter to the Governor of Medina, Waleed (la). When Waleed bin Utba (la) and Marwan bin Hakam (la) summoned Imam Hussain (as) to his court seeking allegiance to Yazid (la), Hazrat Abbas (as) too accompanied Imam Hussain (as). The banner of truth and justice, the Imam of the Pious ones denied paying allegiance to the pinnacles of injustice and blasphemy. The illegitimate ones planned of killing and demolishing the sign of Allah, the Proof of Allah, the beloved one of Ali (as) and Zahra (sa). And then family of Holy Prophet (saws) was forced to leave their city of Medina.
Hazrat Abbas (as) helped everyone to get on their rides. The orphans of Imam Ali (as) and Janabe Fatema (sa) visited the graves of their parents and their grandfather and bid farewell to them crying and lamenting. The caravan left for Karbala on 28th of Rajab 61 AH and reached Karbala on 2nd of Muharram. Tents were established near the river of Euphrates. When the army of Yazid (la) arrived, they ordered to relocate the tents of Ale Muhammad (as) away from the water source. Imam Hussain (as) advised his brave brother al Abbas (as) to patiently shift the tents. It was very difficult on the part of the lion of Ali (as), al Abbas (as) to not teach enemy a lesson. However being a loyal servant to his Master, he did so. On the 7th of Muharram water was stopped from reaching to the tents of Ahle Haram. The thirst and hunger of children and women was difficult for Hazrat Abbas (as) to bear. On the day of Ashura, when the battle started, one by one, the companions and then the kins of Hussain ibne Ali (as) went to the battlefield and sacrificed their selves for the sake of protecting the religion of Allah and the grandson of Holy Prophet (saws).
Hazrat Abbas (as) was desperately waiting for the permission from Imam Hussain(as) to go to the battlefield and finish the left over filth of Badr, Ohad, Khaiber, Khandak and Siffin. The Proof of Allah however denied his flag bearer to go to the battlefield. The cries of water raised by the children in Imam Hussain’s camp on the day of Ashura, deeply grieved Hazrat Abbas (as). After taking permission from Imam Hussain(as), he took the empty water-bag from Janab-e-Sukaina (sa), the daughter of Imam Hussain (as), and rode towards the river Euphrates. Cutting through the rank and file of Yazid’s army, he reached the Euphrates and gathered water. Three days of hunger and thirst could not challenge his loyalty, a single drop of water did not reach his lips. The hue and cry of the children in the tents left him grieved. Carrying the bag of water and hopes, looking at the tents the son of Ummul Baneen (sa) began rushing towards the tents. One of the illegitimate from the enemies, deceitfully attacked from behind and chopped off the left hand of Abbas (as). Then slowly they began approaching him with spears and arrows when his right arm was chopped off. Abbas (as) managed to hold the water-bag with his teeth. An arrow hit the water-bag and there the water began to drain. And all the hopes to make water reach the camp were lost. Rider when falls on the ground takes support of his hands, but how helpless was Abbas (as) that his limbs were dismembered and he fell on his head. In this great difficulty he called out the Imam-e-Asr (as). Imam al Hussain (as) on hearing the call said in the aggrieved tone, “O brother, with your going away my back has been broken”. Imam Hussain (as) crying this eulogy reached his brother. He cleaned the blood from his face and eyes and ask Abbas (as) if he has any last will. Embarassed he said “Master I had promised the children to bring water, but I could not. Please do not carry my corpse to the tent”. Saying this he closed his eyes in the arms in which he had first opened his eyes. There laid the Moon of Banu Hashim, the protector of veils of the women Ale Muhammad (saws), the very back bone of Imam Hussain (as) at the river of Euphrates. Imam Hussain (as) carried the flag and the torn water-bag to the tents and informed the ladies and children about the martyrdom of their protector. Huge mourning occurred in the camps.
After the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (as), at the eve of 10th Muharram enemies burnt the tents of Ahle Haram and snatched the veils of women. Everyone cried, How we wish Abbas (as) was alive, enemy would not dare to look at our veils.
After the event of Ashura, when the women and children were made as captives, while leaving the land of Karbala, Sayyeda Zainab (sa) looked at the banks of Euphrates and wailed, O Abbas, who will make us get on our rides.
Both the mother and the son have proved their service and loyalty to the family of Holy Prophet (saws). Hazrat Ummul Baneen (sa) rests in Jannatul Baqi with her grave equally demolished as that of her Mistress Sayyeda Zahra (sa). Her son, al Abbas(as) has his tomb right in the front of that of his Master Imam al Hussain (as). It is due to his lofty position that his tomb is built in front of that of an infallible Imam. No where else would you find this kind of similarity.
With the tears in our eyes, our hearts aggrieved, we pray to Allah (swt) to hasten the reappearance of the Master of the Time, Imam al Mahdi (atfs) so that he avenge the oppression on his uncle Abbas (as). We ask Allah (swt) to grant us tawfeeq to our eyes to cry and lament and to beat our chests more and more remembering the difficulties of Ale Muhammad(as).
O Allah, by the dignity and honour of Abbas (as), grants us too the gift of loyalty and service to the Imam of Our Time Hazrat Hujjat ibn al Hasan al Askari(atfs) and count us among his sincere servants.
Allahumma ajjil fee faraje maulana Sahebuz Zaman(atfs)!