Grant of Reprieve for al-Abbas (a.s.)
In addition to their numerous mean and inhuman means to weaken the party of Imam al-Hussein, Shemr ibn Thi'l-Jawshan obtained a grant of reprieve to al-Abbas and his full brothers from Ubaidullah son of Marjana. This callous trial was intended to take al-Abbas and his full brothers away from the battle and make them forsake their brother.
Hence, Shemr stopped before the army of the Imam and shouted: "Where are sons of our sister? Where are al-Abbas and his full brothers?"
Al-Abbas and his brothers kept silent to avoid answering him, but the Imam asked them to answer and see what for he had come. Only then they stood before Shemr and said, "What do you want, son of Thi'l-Jawshan?" He said, "I have taken for you a grant of reprieve."
As they heard his shameless words they shouted in his face, "Curse you and curse your grant of reprieve. How dare you say such words while son of God's Messenger is not saved from danger?" 131
These words were enough to express their real situation; they were ready to protect the Imam until he is saved or they lose their lives.
It was afternoon on Thursday when the vanguards of the Umayyad army forwarded for fighting against the Ahl-ul-Bayt. Imam al-Hussein was sitting near his tent with the sword in his hand when Abu'l-Fadhl al-Abbas turned his face and said: "They have come to you." The Imam then asked his brother to identify their intents. He said to him:
"May I sacrifice myself for you, brother! Ride on and meet them to ask about their intentions."
With twenty horsemen, al-Abbas hurried towards that army and asked what they wanted. "The Emir has ordered us to call you to submit to his orders, otherwise, we will fight you," 132 answered they.As al-Abbas turned back to tell his brother about their intention, Habib ibn Muzhahir delivered a sermon to that army in which he admonished and warned them against the divine punishment they would face if they fight against the family of the Prophet. However, some of them answered him impudently.
When he heard the words of his brother, Imam al-Hussein said to him: "Go back to them and try your best to delay them until tomorrow morning so that we, this night, will pray to our Lord Who knows that I love praying for Him, reciting His Book, and supplicating to Him."
Al-Abbas conveyed these words to the Umayyad army. Omar ibn Saad, because he feared that others would bear his situation to the Emir, offered the suggestion to Shemr who was his only competitor. The other however did not say anything, but Amr ibn al-Hajjaj intruded, "How strange this is! Even if they are from the non-Arabs we will respond to their demand!!"
As others supported Amr's opinion, Omar ibn Saad accepted to postpone waging war against the camp of the Imam.
Thus, the fighting was postponed for a night and Omar ibn Saad's army waited whether the Imam would respond to them or fight.
On that night, Imam al-Hussein gathered his companions and household and foretold them of the fate that they would face tomorrow. He also permitted them to leave him since the other party wanted him, not anyone else.
As soon as the Imam finished his words, Abu'l-Fadhl al-Abbas, representing the Ahl-ul-Bayt, said to his brother:
"Why should we do so? Is it for that we will live after you? No! We supplicate to the Lord to forbid it."
The same situation was shown from the sons of Aqil, and the other companions who showed their readiness to sacrifice their souls for their Imam.
Hence, the all spent that night with worship and acts of obedience to Allah. They were waiting for the dawn of that day on which they would obtain their highest goal in this life; martyrdom.
131. See Ansab ul-Ashraf; 3/181.
132. See al-Bidaya wan-Nihaya; 8/177.
Adopted from the book : "Al-Abbas"
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