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Al-‘Abbas ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib

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Born c.567
Died c.653 (aged 85)
Brother(s) Abdullah ibn Abd al-Muttalib
Known for Paternal Uncle of Muhammad

Al-‘Abbas ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib (Arabic: العباس بن عبد المطلب‎) (c. 567 – c. 653 CE) was a paternal uncle and Sahabi (companion) of Muhammad, just three years older than his nephew. A wealthy merchant, during the early years of Islam he protected Muhammad while he was in Mecca, but only became a convert after the Battle of Badr in 624 CE (2 AH). His descendants founded the Abbasid Caliphate in 750.[1]

Early years

Abbas born in 568, was one of the youngest sons of Abdul-Muttalib. His mother was Nutayla bint Janab of the Namir tribe.[2] He became a spice-merchant in Mecca,[3] a trade that made him wealthy.[4]

Acceptance of Islam

During the early years, while the Muslim religion was gaining adherents (610-622), Abbas provided protection to his kinsman but did not adopt the faith. He acted as a spokesman at the Second Pledge of Aqaba,[5] but he was not among those who emigrated to Medina.

Having fought on the side of the polytheists, Abbas was captured during the Battle of Badr. He was a big man and his captor Abu'l-Yasar was slightly built. The Prophet asked Abu'l-Yasar how he had managed the capture, and he said he was assisted by a person whom he described and whom Muhammad identified as a noble angel. Muhammad allowed al-Abbas to ransom himself and his nephew.[6]

Ibn Hisham says that Abbas became a secret Muslim before the Battle of Badr;[7] but this clear statement is missing from Tabari's citation of the same source.[8][9] It is sometimes said that he converted to Islam shortly after Badr.[10] It is elsewhere implied that that Abbas did not formally profess Islam until January 630, just before the fall of Mecca, twenty years after his wife Lubaba.[11] Muhammad then named him "last of the refugees" (Muhajirun), which entitled him to the proceeds of the spoils of the war. He was given the right to provide Zamzam water to pilgrims, which right was passed down to his descendants.[1]

Abbas immediately joined Muhammad's army, participating in the Conquest of Mecca, the Battle of Hunayn and the Siege of Ta'if. He defended Muhammad at Hunayn when other warriors deserted him.[12] After these military exploits, Abbas brought his family to live in Medina, where Muhammad frequently visited them[13] and even proposed marriage to his daughter.[14]

Later Abbas fought in the expedition to Tabuk.[15]


Abbas had at least five wives.

  1. Lubaba bint al-Harith (Arabic: لبابة بنت الحارث), also known as Umm al-Fadl, was from the Banu Hilal tribe. Umm al-Fadl claimed to be the second woman to convert to Islam, the same day as her close friend Khadijah, the first wife of Muhammad. Umm al-Fadl's traditions of the Prophet appear in all canonical collections of hadiths. She showed her piety by supernumerary fasting and by attacking Abu Lahab, the enemy of the Muslims, with a tent pole.[16]
  2. Fatima bint Junayd, from the Al-Harith clan of the Quraysh tribe.[17]
  3. Hajila bint Jundub ibn Rabia, from the Hilal tribe.[18]
  4. Musliya, a Greek concubine. [19][20]
  5. Tukana, a Jewish woman from the Qurayza tribe and a former concubine of Muhammad, whom Abbas married after 632.[21] It is not known whether any of the children were hers.

The known children of Abbas were:

  1. Al-Faraa, who married Qatn ibn Al-Harith, a brother of Lubaba. Her mother is not named.[22]
  2. Al-Fadl.
  3. Abdullah.
  4. Ubaydullah.
  5. Quthum.
  6. Maabad.
  7. Abdulrahman.
  8. Umm Habib. These seven were all the offspring of Lubaba.[23]
  9. Al-Harith. His mother is variously said to have been either Fatima[24] or Hajila.[25]
  10. Aown, whose mother is not named.[26]
  11. Mushir, whose mother is not named.[27]
  12. Kathir, son of Musliya.[28]
  13. Amina, probably the daughter of Musliya.[29][30]
  14. Safiya, probably the daughter of Musliya.[31][32]
  15. Tammam, the youngest, son of Musliya.[33]


Abbas died in February 653 at the age of 85. He is buried at the Jannatul Baqee' cemetery in Medina, Saudi Arabia.[34][35]


The Abbasid dynasty founded in 750 by Abu al-`Abbās `Abdu'llāh as-Saffāh claimed the title of caliph (literally "viceregent") through their descent from Abbas's son Abdullah.[36]

Many other families claim direct descent from Abbas, including the Kalhora's of Sindh,[37] the Berber Banu Abbas,[38] and the modern-day Bawazir of Yemen[39] and Shaigiya and Ja'Alin of Sudan.[40] and Dhund Abbasi of Murree Pakistan.

His ancestors and the family tree

Quraysh tribe
Abd Manaf ibn Qusai
Ātikah bint Murrah
‘Abd Shams
Salma bint Amr
Umayya ibn Abd Shams
‘Abd al-Muttalib
Abu al-'As
ʿAbd Allāh
Abî Ṭâlib
ʾAbī Sufyān ibn Harb
Affan ibn Abi al-'As
(Family tree)
Khadija bint Khuwaylid
`Alî al-Mûrtdhā
Khawlah bint Ja'far
ʿAbd Allâh
Marwan I
Uthman ibn Affan
Fatima Zahra
Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah
ʿAli bin ʿAbd Allâh
Umayyad Caliphate
Uthman ibn Abu-al-Aas
Hasan al-Mûjtabâ
Husayn bin Ali
(Family tree)
al-Mukhtār ibn Abī ‘Ubayd Allah al-Thaqafī
Muhammad "al-Imâm" (Abbasids)

See also


  1. ^ a b Huston Smith, Cyril Glasse (2002), The new encyclopedia of Islam, Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press, ISBN 0-7591-0190-6 
  2. ^ Tabari, Tarikh al-Rusul wa'l-Muluk, vol. 39. Translated by Landau-Tasseron, E. (1998). Biographies of the Prophet's Companions and Their Successors, p. 24. Albany: State University of New York Press.
  3. ^ Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasul Allah. Translated by Guillaume, A. (1955). The Life of Muhammad, p. 113. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  4. ^ Ibn Ishaq (Guillaume) pp. 309-310.
  5. ^ Ibn Ishaq (Guillaume) p. 203.
  6. ^ Wahba, al-Mawardi Translated by Wafaa H (2000), The ordinances of government = Al-Aḥkām al-sulṭāniyya w'al-wilāyāt al-Dīniyya, Reading: Garnet, ISBN 1-85964-140-7 
  7. ^ Ibn Ishaq (Guillaume) p. 309.
  8. ^ Alfred Guillaume's footnote to Ibn Ishaq (1955) p. 309.
  9. ^ Tabari, Tarikh al-Rusul wa'l-Muluk. Translated by McDonald, M. V. (1987). Volume 7: The Foundation of the Community, p. 68. Albany: State University of New York Press.
  10. ^ Annotated (1998), The history of al-Ṭabarī = (Taʼrīkh al-rusul waʼl mulūk), Albany: State University of New York Press, ISBN 0-7914-2820-6 
  11. ^ Ibn Ishaq (Guillaume) pp. 546-548.
  12. ^ Tabari (Landau-Tasseron) pp. 24-25.
  13. ^ Ibn Saad, Tabaqat vol. 8. Translated by Bewley, A. (1995). The Women of Madina, p. 194. London: Ta-Ha Publishers.
  14. ^ Ibn Ishaq (Guillaume) p. 311.
  15. ^ Tabari (Landau-Tasseron) pp. 24-25.
  16. ^ Roded, Ruth (1994), Women in islamic biographical collections : from Ibn Saʻd to Who's who. P37-38, Boulder u.a.: Rienner, ISBN 1-55587-442-8 
  17. ^ Ibn Hajar, Isaba vol. 8 #11586.
  18. ^ Ibn Hajar, Isaba vol. 2 #1904.
  19. ^ Ibn Saad, Tabaqat vol. 4. “Al-Abbas ibn Abdalmuttalib.”
  20. ^ Beheshti, M. (1967). Background of the Birth of Islam, chapter 5. Translated by Ayoub, M. M. (1985). Tehran: International Publishing Co.
  21. ^ Majlisi, Hayat Al-Qulub vol. 2. Translated by Rizvi, A Detailed Biography of Prophet Muhammad (saww), p. 1180.
  22. ^ Ibn Hajar, Isaba vol. 5 #7129.
  23. ^ Tabari (Landau-Tasseron) p. 201.
  24. ^ Ibn Hajar, Isaba vol. 8 #11586.
  25. ^ Ibn Hajar, Isaba vol. 2 #1904.
  26. ^ Ibn Hajar, Isaba vol. 5 #6279.
  27. ^ Ibn Hajar, Isaba vol. 6 #8329.
  28. ^ Tabari (Landau-Tasseron) vol. 39 pp. 75-76.
  29. ^ Ibn Saad, Tabaqat vol. 4. “Al-Abbas ibn Abdalmuttalib.”
  30. ^ See also Majlisi (Rizvi) p. 1208.
  31. ^ Ibn Saad, Tabaqat vol. 4. “Al-Abbas ibn Abdalmuttalib.”
  32. ^ See also Majlisi (Rizvi) p. 1208.
  33. ^ Tabari (Landau-Tasseron) vol. 39 pp. 75-76.
  34. ^ Tabari (Landau-Tasseron) vol. 39 p. 25.
  35. ^ Faruk Aksoy, Omer Faruk Aksoy (2007), The blessed cities of Islam, Makka-Madina, Somerset, NJ: Light Pub., ISBN 1-59784-061-0 
  36. ^ Ira Lapidus. A History of Islamic Societies. Cambridge University Press. 2002 ISBN 0-521-77056-4 p.54
  37. ^ History of Daudpota's, Altaf Daudpota, retrieved 2009-04-12 
  38. ^ Brett, Michael Fentress (1997), The Berbers, Oxford: Blackwell, ISBN 0-631-20767-8 
  39. ^ Web Site of the Bawazir Abbasid Hashimite Family
  40. ^ Nicholls, W (1913), The Shaikiya: an Account of the Shaikiya Tribes, of the History of Dongola Province from the XIVth to the XIXth Century 

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