Rafed English

Name of Abbas (a.s.)

After holding the Islamic ceremonies of newborns for Imam Ali's new baby, Lady Zaynab (a) turned her face towards her father and asked, "Father, have you chosen a name and a nickname for this new baby?"

Her father answered, "Yes, daughter, I have."

"What are they, father?" she asked eagerly.

The father, as he perceived that this baby would be one of the heroes of Islam and would be frowning in the faces of evils and the wrongdoers, said: "I name him 'al-Abbas (the frowning), and nickname him 'Abu'l-Fadhl (father of virtue)."47

Lady Zaynab however loved this baby very much and could not depart him for a single moment. She then told her father about the strange feelings that she had for this child…


Referring to the linguistic meaning of the Arabic al-Abbas, Ibn-Manzhour, 48 in his al-Ayn, writes down:

(Al-Abbas: the lion that other lions fear and escape.)49In Muntaha al-Irab, the following is recorded:

(Al-Abbas: this name is called on the courageous, the fearless, the strong, and the attacker. It is one of the names of the lion. Describing al-Abbas in the battlefields, many historians have likened him to the angry lion.) 50

Describing al-Abbas ibn Ali, at-Turaihi, in his al-Muntakhab, says:

(Al-Abbas ibn Ali looked like an unshakable mountain. His heart was as same as a mound because he was such a unique horseman and hero. In battlefields, he was fearless.)


47. However, some historians have reported another narration about the naming of Abu'l-Fadhl al-Abbas:
((Umm-ul-Banin swaddled her baby with a white piece of cloth and handed him to his father who held the Islamic ceremonies of newborns, kissed him, passed his hand on the baby's eyes, ears, and mouth, -so that the baby would see, hear, and say nothing but the right- and asked the mother, "Have you chosen a name for him?"
"We will never precede you in such a thing," answered she.
The Imam (a) said, "Well then, I choose for him the name of my uncle; al-Abbas."
He then embraced the baby to the chest, took the two small hands, and kissed them warmly while he was weeping. He then said, "I predict these two hands will be cut!")) -See al-Kulbasi's al-Khassaiss ul-Abbasiyya; 71-2.

48. Ibn-Manzhour is the compiler of the most famous Arabic-Arabic dictionary named 'Al-Ayn'.

49. See Ibn Manzhour's al-Ayn; article: Al-Abbas.

50. See Muntaha al-Irab; article: al-Abbas.

Adopted from the book : "Al-Abbas"

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