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THE TRUE MEANING OF OBEDIENCE
Title: Qamar al Bani Hashim
Kunya: Abul Fadhl
Date & Place of Birth: 4th Shabaan 26 AH, Madinah
Father: Ali ibn Abi Talib
Mother : Faṭimah bint Ḥuzam al-Kulabiyya
Date & Place of Martyrdom: 10th Muharram 61 AH, Karbala
When discussing the personality of Abbas ibn Ali (a), we are often left without word to describe him. What can be said about a man who has so many different virtues and had perfected each of them in himself. He was both a warrior and a scholar, both a commander and a servant. Within Abbas (a) raged a fearlessness in the face of the enemy and yet a subdued humility when he came before his master, al-Husayn (a).
The most obvious qualities of Abbas (a) are of course his bravery and his absolute unshakeable loyalty to Imam Husayn (a), but we often forget his patience and obedience because we think these to be passive traits and cannot reconcile how such different aspects can exist in such perfect balance within one individual. It is what makes him so much like his father, Ali ibn Abi Talib (a).
For Abbas (a), it was the greatest test of patience to have to stand back and watch others - his friends, brothers, even the children of Imam (a) - go forward to fight, while he could not. However, nowhere in history do we hear that he protested, complained or even expressed a silent disapproval when Imam (a) would tell him to stand back. To his last breath, his only concern was whether he had fulfilled his duty to his brother.
It is enough for his status that in Ziyarah Waaritha, we send salutations to him and then follow with the words: "How wonderful is the patient one, the fighter, the protector, the helper and the brother who defends his brother..." Our fourth Imam (a) once condoled Ubaydullah, the son of Abbas (a), saying, "You should know that Abbas passes through the ranks of Paradise with the angels." (Muntakhab al-Tawarikh)