Abbas (A.S.), Who Conquered Euphrates
This magnificent fearless Muslim champion Abul Fadhle Al-Abbas(as), who is the half brother of Imam Hussain (as), from his father's side Imam Ali Ibin Abe Taleb (as).
He was given the sole responsibility of guarding the camp of Imam Hussain (as). He would patrol the perimeter of the encampment upon his high horse carrying in one hand the banner of the Imam's (as) colours and in the other hand a javelin and with his sword in its sheath around his hips.
He was very tall and with dark long hair and beard. So tall in fact that when he sat mounted on his Arabian stallion his feet would gently caress the ground beneath his mount. Abul Fadhle Al-Abbas( as) was well built with a huge muscular body and wore a turbaned helmet and leather jacket of mail. His magnificent stature of appearance gave confidence and courage to all within the encampment and drew the utmost respect and reverence of his reputation as a courageous warrior skillful in warfare as well as with his sword.
He was a gentle man who loved his brother very much as well as his half sister Zainab (as) who brought him up as if he was her own son. He constantly played with the children and kept their moral and spirit high. He had a temper when tested and had no time for any foolishness or useless talk. He was a very religious person who took his religion and duty as the protector and top general of Imam Hussain's (as) contingent very seriously and was always ready at a moment notice to confront whatever problem that should arise.
Abul Fadhle Al-Abbas(as) seeks permission for combat. Now afar he saw the great despair and the deep grief of his brother the Imam Hussain (as), and it pained him greatly for he loved his Leader and brother very much. He gently approached his brother, the Imam (as) and started to pleaded with him to give him his permission and blessing to fight the the evil godless murdering infidels.
But the Imam (as), looked into his brother's eyes and wept, for he was reluctant to do so! Fearing for the invertible, the loss of Abul Fadhle's (as) life.
"O, Abul Fadhle Al-Abbas, thou art my holder of my Banner and Colours. If thou art but slain. Who whilst then defend my camp after I lay slain?"
The brave champion reluctantly accepted his Leader's explanation with respect for he did not want to seem to disagree with him in such a difficult time and turned slowly away saddened, looking yonder at the dead bloodied bodies of his sons and of his brothers and comrades who had fought in the name of Islam and who had fallen down hacked into pieces, having gained the ultimate prize of Allah's (swt) acceptance and entry into the Garden of Paradise in Heaven.
The Imam (as) saw and recognized his younger brother's sadness and frustration of not joining in the battle to defend his religion and avenge the slaying of his sons and his friends. But could be the thought of not having his brother around him in his difficulty for support and reassurance of the safety of his camp should he be killed.
However the holy Imam Hussain (as) walked up to him and affectionly put his arm on his half brother's shoulder and softly consoled him and then commanded him.
Fetch some water for the thirsty
O, My faithful brother the children are crying from thirst. Go, I beg thee and bringeth them water from that river yonder. On thou way do not engage in battle with the enemy but try to advise them of their serious error and folly.
And make to them known of Allah's impending curse for what they are willing to do, to The Messenger of God's Family, the sacred and holy Ahlu Al-Bayt.
They might after all respond to the reasoning of such a valiant warrior!"
Abul Fadhle Al-Abbas(as) embraced his Imam (as) and quickly accepted his new assignment and went to collect all the water skins from the all the tents, who were glad to give it to him.
However Zaynab (as) his elder half sister and who had reared him since he was just a lad. She saw a cloud of gloom sweep upon the Imam Hussain's(as) holy face and feared suddenly for Abul Fadhle Al-Abbas's(as) life. Zaynab(as) pleaded to Abul Fadhle Al-Abbas's(as) not to depart onto this very dangerous expedition.
As she was compassionately pleading to her brother. Rugayah the younger daughter of Imam Hussain(as), one of his favorite ten year old niece ran up to Abul Fadle Al-Abbas(as) who was now, mounted and sitting upwright proudly on his Arabian stallion, ready to go, with her aunt Zaynab(as) sobbing softly, and hugging tightly to his right thigh, refusing to let go.
"Uncle I'm so thirsty. Please bring us some water. The thirst is so unbearable!"
Al-Abbas(as) looked pitifully at his niece desperatly holding back his tears, didn't acknowledge an answer to her. In out of respect and deep love for his sister's he waited for her permission to leave and face the godless enemy. He so looked down into the moist eyes of his loving sister Zaynab (as) for her goodness. As he was now torn between staying by his elder sister who was like a mother to him. Or to go to fetch some water for the thirsty women and children. For the love and respect he had for her, he felt that he was obligated to seek her permission and blessing to leave. So he waited looked deep at his sister now to release him and bless him in his quest.
Rugayah begs for water
Zaynab(as), but smiled up at her tall handsome brother of a champion. She reached for both of his strong hands and kissed the inside of both of his palms of his hands fondly. With her tears streaming down from her eyes, rolling down onto her cheeks dripping onto the warrior's right thigh. She said.
"Our father, Imam Ali Ibin Abe Taleb, had instructed me to kiss both of thine hands in Karbala, whenever thou are called to face and fight the enemy."
She then released his thigh and withdrew a small step backwards and picked up her little niece Rugayah into her arms. Zaynab(as) lifted her head proudly looking up at the mighty warrior Al-Abbas(as) mounted before her and said proudly to him.
"O, Champion of champions. Go, with God's speed and blessing and fetch us all some water!"
Rugayah happy at hearing her aunt affirming that her uncle was really going to bring them water said to her Uncle Al-Abbas(as).
"Dearest Uncle, please promise me that thou will bringeth water for us. Promise me Uncle, promise me!"
Abul Fadhle Al-Abbas(as) fighting off his tears again at sight of her happy smile, and at the sheer excitement she displayed, replied to her softly in a firm voice without any hesitation.
"I promise thee. My dearest little one. I wilst bringeth thee some water to drink. Thou shalt see!"
With that the faithfull Abul Fadhle Al-Abbas(as) placed the Imam's(as) Colours that had been entrusted to him by tying it up on the Imam Hussain's (as) main meeting tent, in the middle of the camp. He looked towards his Imam (as) and said.
"I go with thine permission and blessing O, Holy Man of God!"
The Imam(as) looked up at him and said.
"Thou hast my blessing and my permission, O, Abul Fadhle Al-Abbasmy Champion of my Colours!
And remember do not engage with enemy in combat but advise them."
Parley with the enemy. With that he then turned and walked his Arabian steed silently through all the wailing women folk gathered before is path and acknowledging their crys of farewell until he reached the outskirts of the camp.
Abul Fadhel Al-Abbas(as) looked back behind him and lock his eyes onto his beloved Imam(as) for the last time for a moment, then kicked away at his Arabian and galloped gallantly into the enemies midst.
"Halt, who goes there!"
A voice called out to him under the hot mid-afternoon blazing sun.
"I am Abul Fadhl Al-Abbas, The son of Ali Ibin Abe Taleb cousin to The Holy Prophet of God."
The infidel was startled as he had not seen this formidable champion so close up before and was surprised that he stood now before him. He had usually marveled at the sight of this Hashimi warrior patrolling the camp's perimeters carry aloft proudly the Banner of Imam Hussain(as).
"What do you want?"
The infidel asked nervously hoping that he didn't want to challenge him into a fight, which he is sure to lose his life.
"Where are you commanders, so that I may parley on the part of my Imam Hussain?"
The horsemen relieved that he didn't want to challenge him, quickly turn his animal and galloped off to a bunch of horsemen not far off resting on a knoll. They parleyed and then immeadiatly mounted up and rode up to the Hashimi warrior. It was Umar Ibin Saad who spoke.
"So Hussain has come to his senses finally and wishes to surrender, yes?"
Abul Fadhle Al-Abbas(as) started by trying to reason for a solution and asked mercy to be shown to their sick, elderly, women and children.
"I advise thee that thou must, beware of God's curse, upon thee. If thou harm this holy man and his family. Mind they are the offspring of thy Prophet Mohammad. To show mercy for his family is a prayer in itself to God. What ill have they done to thee to deserve to be tortured so?"
Shimir shouted at Abul Fadhle Al-Abbas(as).
"If thou want mercy and to save thy lives. Then first surrender to us and give allegiance to our lord calipha Yazeed. Or prepare to die here and now!"
The Hashimi Arabian knight stared coldly at Shimir and slowly approached him. Shimir quickly retreated behind Umar, who interceded and spoke.
"We ask just a simple bequest of Hussain. To give his allegiance, and all of his family sufferings will end."
Abul Fadhle Al-Abbas(as), saw that it was of no use. For the terms and conditions were impossible and humiliating for Imam Hussain(as) to meet, and they knew it. Their only interest was to kill the Imam(as), he thought to himself.
"This, thou knowest that, he cannot do and will never accept!"
So the champion of champions had a small request and Umar granted him to ask his small request.
"I have skins here to be filled with water, for the sake only of the children. It has been now three days since they last drank. They are innocent and are not part of this quarrel!"
Umar adamantly refused his request, by saying,
"Ask thou anything else from me and it is granted but water will only be given when this matter is settled either way!"
Then the defiant Abul Fadhle Al-Abbas(as) said to them coldly,
"Then I shall get them the water myself"
Combat for water
Umar was stunned shocked, at the frankness and courage of the Hashimi champion and quickly ordered his men to attack and the Hashimi horseman quickly disposed of all his attackers under the gaze of their commander's Umar and Shimir. Then the fearless champion turned towards both Umar and Shimir and invited them to fight.
They cowardly, turned their mounts away from the brave horseman before them and stabbing their horses sides violently and galloped away and only to stop when they were at a safe distance away.
Umar angry at their humiliation then frantically signaled for more combatants to attack the infincible Hashimi warrior before them. One by one the infidel horsemen was cut down by Abul Fadhle Al-Abbas(as), and laid slain under the feet of his Arabian mount.
There was a lull in the fighting and Abul Fadhle Al-Abbas(as) quickly took the advantage of the situation and galloped off towards and through a forest of palm trees and emerged out of the forest plunged his stallion into the cool waters of the river.
He quickly threw down the water skins into the river and bent over to sqooped up some water into his hand to drink. But only to remember the thirst of Imam Hussain(as) and the women and children and with disgust threw the water back in the river saying out aloud poetically to himself.
"Upon thine soul, be thy not so cheap for Hussain's sake. Hussain is facing death, but thou now face a cool drink...O, no this is not the way of thy religion. Nor it is, the behavior of a true believer!"
With the water skins filled and tied over his lap on his saddle. He then quickly made his way out of the river and back again through the thick palm tree forest.
Ambushed.... At the forest edge he stopped and saw that his way was completely blocked by the whole awaiting Kufain army. He stopped and stood up in his saddle and with a cheerful smile recited a battle poem to his foes before him.
"I have no fear of death. For I am Abul Fadhle Al-Abbasthe water provider. And I fear not from death on this day of warfare!"
On hearing the poem the infidel army acknowledged him and his courage with a tremendous cheering roar. He at once kicked his Arabian forward and charge into their midst and fought gallantly and feriousily and killed many infidels before him. Until a man swung at him with a sword from up one of the palm trees and cut off his right hand.
Abul Fadhle Al-Abbas(as) ignored his severe injury to his hand and at the surprise of his foes closing in on him, he again addressed them with a defiant poem. They admiringly stopped and listened to his poem.
"If thou cut off my right hand, I will still fight for my religion and for my Imam! Who is the true believer of God, and the Grandson of The Holy Prophet! The most Nobel and the most Faithful Person."
He quickly took his sword in his left hand and flashed it before them and continued to fight them feriousily until his left hand was severed and his sword dropped onto the ground.
He quickly took hold of the water skins strings with the grip of his teeth and made a determid charge through his, now swarming foes around him, heading towards the safety of his camp.
But Umar sensed his prey would escape his grasp. He commanded that all the archers surrounding him and fire their arrows at him from all sides at will. Deadly shower of a thousand arrows or more stuck into his magnificent muscular body, making his body look like a porcupine.
The Hashimi Champion looked in despair as the arrows pieced the water skin and the precious water pouring down onto the desert ground. An arrow finally found it's dealy mark pieced and buried itself into his chest over his heart and another embedded itself deeply into his right eye.
Abul Fadhle Al-Abbas(as) still did not give up. Now without any hands to grasp with, he tried frantically in vain, to shake out the deeply lodged arrow within his eye. He shook furousily with his head from side to side and too and fro. But only to dislodge his protecting helmet off his head which fell down unto the ground. A despicable man with a long iron pole swiftly struck him hard on the crown of his bare and unprotected head, splitting open his head.
Now, Abul Fadhle Al-Abbas(as) was badly dazed and stung from the blow which was bleeding badly and streaming down over his face. He tried to stay mounted but swayed and lost his balance and the dazed the Hashimi champion was sent crashing down head first into the sands, by reflex he put out his arms to brace himself from the fall, but where his hands once were, now were just bloody stumps. He crashed face down onto the desert hot sands with his severed stumps digging into the ground and the arrow sinking even deeper into his eye.
Last dying moments
On the desert ground Abul Fadhle Al-Abbas(as) stayed face down on the ground for a while and caught his breadth when he finally rolled over onto his back. He cried out his last farewell to his brother, the Imam Hussain(as).
"Peace be upon thee, I bid thee farewell, O, Hussain. Peace be upon thee!"
Imam Hussain(as) who was standing on a small sandy knoll saw his brother's plight and started to gallop towards him tearing through the ranks of the infidel army that stood between him and his brother, Al-Abbas(as).
He reached him as soon as he heard his brother's painful farewell to him. He jumped off his steed and knelt down onto his knees. He rested his brothers back onto his chest and held on to his bleeding head. Al-Abbas(as) blinded by the flowing blood over his good eye, mistaken Imam Hussain(as) for one of the infidels coming to finish the job of killing him.
"I pivey thee, give thee my regards to Imam Hussain, after thou hast slain me."
Imam Hussain(as) hearing his brother plea, could not contain himself any further and wept openly over his brother and softly spoke to him.
"I am here. I am Hussain thy brother."
What mischief have they done to thee, my little brother?"
Abul Fadhle Al-Abbas(as) sighed and wept and when he heard and felt the comforting arms of Imam Hussain(as) embracing him.
Then he began to weep and moan out aloud and the Imam Hussain(as) asked him what ales him, and Al-Abbas(as) said in utter despair.
"Here art thou consoling me on my last breath of life. Who I privey thee will take thee in his lap and comfort thee, in thy last dying moment'"
Imam Hussain(as) now tried to move his brother Al-Abbas(as), and his dying brother question him,
"Where art thou want to take me?"
Imam Hussain(as) dragging him replied, "Back to camp."
The Arabian champion, Abul Fadhl Al-Abbas(as), feeling for the empty torn water skin, again wept and shock his bloodied head and pleaded with his brother to let him die here where he fell.
"I privey thee. Leave me here to die.
The Imam(as) replied in despair,
"O, Abul Fadhle my brother. I cannot leave thee here in their midst!"
"But thou must O, beloved Imam. My body is in no form or state to be moved.....Besides, I hadst promised thine little sweet Rugayah that I would bringeth her some water to drink. Alas, I cannot bear to see the disappointment on her face. When she sees that I have not bring her any water.
I am but ashamed, for not keeping my promise to her!"
The faithful and courageous Abul Fadhle Al-Abbas(as) momments later died quietly in his brother's arms, and the Imam stayed on holding onto his brother dead body mourning for him for a while.
Then Imam Hussain(as) began to straighten out his brothers body on the ground and laid his shield upon his body and his sword beside him. He stood over his dead brother and wept and cried out in pain.
"Verily at this very moment. They have succeeded in breaking my backbone. I have been left with no choice now. The enemy will now rejoice at my death!"
The camp mourn the loss of Al-Abbas(as)
He silently mounted his Arabian and galloped off towards his camp without anyone challenging him or baring his way. As soon as he arrived and dismounted from his horse all the women folk and their children surrounded him and asked,
"What news of my Uncle Al-Abbas?"
Rugayah pulled at her father's cloak. Imam Hussain(as) tried look away, but she insisted to know.
"Where is my uncle, Al-Abbas. He promised to bring me water. Why is he, taking so long. Why isn't he here with thee Father?"
The Imam(as) gently picked up Rugayah his daughter and embraced her and spoke softly to her.
"My dearest daughter, Thine Uncle Abul Fadhle Al-Abbas, hast been killed."
Zaynab greeted the bad news by weeping and screaming out aloud,
"O, my sweet brother Abbas. We are now truly at a lost, without Abul Fadhle's magnificence. Our brother Hussain is now but alone!"
The rest of the women folk joined Zaynab(as) in her grief and couldn't but help to look with further grief at the lonely pained Imam Hussain(as). Who now joined them in their mourning at a small distant away.
He looked around him, and saw that he was truly alone. Their was no able faithful man of the religion here in his midst, to defend him from the enemy's thirst for his holy blood.
A sudden shrilling roar came from the enemy's ranks when they had cut off his brother's head off and began to parade it between themselves and proded it up on a long lance, showing it off to Imam Hussain(as).
After a short lull they turned their attention once more to his camp. Imam Hussain(as) walked over to his tent to prepare himself for his destiny as prophesied by his Holy Grandfather, The Prophet Mohammad The Messenger of God(S.A.W.).
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