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Burial Place of the Head of Abbas (a.s.)

Various reports have been narrated about the places where the heads of the martyrs of Karbala were buried.

Historians have, almost unanimously, agreed that Omar ibn Saad gave the orders of beheading the bodies of the warriors of Imam al-Hussein's army. 76They were seventy-eight heads carried by the tribes and individuals of Yazid's army. These heads were taken to Kufa. Afterwards, Ubaidullah ibn Ziyad, the governor of Kufa, sent these heads with the caravan of the captives to Syria.

After a long series of events the stars of which were Imam Ali ibn al-Hussein Zayn ul-Abidin and his aunt Zaynab daughter of Imam Ali in Damascus, Yazid anticipated revolution of people against him. He therefore had to allow the Imam and the captives to go home and responded to all of their demands. They demanded Yazid to give them the head of Imam al-Hussein so as to attach it to the body in Karbala.

Historians, though most of them did not refer to the other heads, have mentioned that Yazid gave all the heads to Imam Zayn ul-Abidin who attached them to the bodies on the twentieth of Safar. The head of al-Abbas was one of these. 77

This report seems to be the most acceptable if we take in consideration the events and motives that obliged Yazid to respond to the demands of Imam Zayn ul-Abidin who would surely ask for all the heads so as to attach them to the bodies.

Nevertheless, there are other narrations:

In his A'yaan ush-Shi'a; 4/290, Sayyid Muhsin al-Amin records:

"In AH 1321, I saw a place in the cemetery known as 'Maqbarat Bab us-Sagheer' in Damascus on whose door there was a rock with the script: This is the burial place of the heads of al-Abbas ibn Ali, Ali al-Akbar ibn al-Hussein, and Habib ibn Muzhahir… A few years later, that burial place was destroyed.When it was reconstructed, that rock was taken away and a tomb was built inside that burial place. On that tomb the names of many individuals whom were martyred in Karbala with Imam al-Hussein (a) were engraved. In fact, that tomb contained only the three aforementioned heads…etc."

Had Sayyid al-Amin skimmed through the book of Habib us-Siyar, he would have believed that these three heads were not buried in that cemetery in Damascus. Anyhow, those who wrote the names of these three heroes of Karbala on that rock in the cemetery had other intentions. Finally, it is not unlikely that these three heads were crucified, not buried, at that place.


76. See al-Lahouf, 81.

77. See Nafas ul-Mahmoum; 253 and Riyad ul-Ahzan; 155.

Adopted from the book : "Al-Abbas"

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