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Al--Abbas (a.s.) in the Battle of Siffeen

Some historians have slackened the reins when they ascribed exaggerate situations of fighting to al-Abbas ibn Ali. As a matter of fact, it is not strange for a hero like al-Abbas to record astonishing situations of fighting from his early youth, because he was the son of that hero and the descendant of the heroes of the Arabs, and, originally, he was prepared for showing supreme heroism and courage. Besides, history has recorded for the Hashemites such unparalleled situations of heroism from early stages of their lives. For instance, Mohammed ibn al-Hanafiyya, son of Imam Ali, showed great heroism in the battles led by his father while he was twenty year old or maybe less.116

Some historians have mentioned that al-Abbas supported his brother Imam al-Hussein who led the division that defeated Muawiya's troops and occupied the two banks of the River Euphrates during the battle of Siffeen.117

Historians, also, have referred to the following narration:

During the battle of Siffeen, a sublime, courageous young man of about seventeen year old putting a veil on the face advanced for fighting. Muawiya, seeing that people feared that warrior, asked Abu'sh-Shaathaa to fight with him. Abu'sh-Shaathaa refused claiming that he was too courageous to fight with such a young warrior. He suggested he would send one of his seven sons to fight. That young warrior could kill all the sons of Abu'sh-Shaathaa who became angry and decided to fight with that warrior himself. The warrior could kill Abu'sh-Shaathaa and return to the camp. Showing their admiration of the heroism and courage of that young warrior whom nobody knew, the companions of Imam Ali recognized that he must have been one of the Hashemites. When Imam Ali removed that veil from the warrior's face, he was al-Abbas. 118

Al-Khawarzmi, in his book titled Manaqib ut-Talibiyyin; 147, records the following incident:

Kuraib the strong soldier in Muawiya's army advanced and could kill three of the horsemen of Imam Ali's army. He then challenged Imam Ali. Saddened by this challenge, Imam Ali called his son al-Abbas who was mature and ordered him to ride off his horse and take off his clothes. The father put on his son's clothes, rode on his horse, and asked his son to dress his clothes and take his horse so that Kuraib will not shrink in fear and withdraw fighting…

These two incidents emphasize that al-Abbas ibn Ali participated in the battle of Siffeen with his father and brothers.

Some historians, however, have denied the participation of al-Abbas ibn Ali in that battle, claiming that it was al-Abbas ibn al-Harith, not al-Abbas ibn Ali, who attended that battle.

This is in fact not accurate, because there are other narrations, recorded in books of history such as al-Khawarzmi's Maqatil ut-Talibiyyin; 105, referring to the roles of al-Abbas ibn al-Harith in that battle.


116. See Tathkirat ul-Khawaass and Ibn Kuthair's al-Bidaya wen-Nihaya; 9/38.

117. See al-Kibrit ul-Ahmar; 3/24.

118. See al-Kibrit ul-Ahmar; 3/24.

Adopted from the book : "Al-Abbas"

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