Sunday, December 04, 2011

'Ashura 2011 (1433 Hijri) Series Post #4: Latmiyya for al-Fadl al-'Abbas ibn 'Ali

The latmiyya (mourning recitation) below is for Al-'Abbas, the son of the first Shi'i Imam, 'Ali ibn Abi Talib, and half-brother of the third Imam, Husayn ibn 'Ali. Al-'Abbas was loyal to his half brother and he and his two sons, al-Fadl ibn -'Abbas and Qasim ibn al-'Abbas, were killed on the plain of Karbala in Iraq by the army of 'Umar ibn Sa'd, who was sent by the Umayyad governor 'Ubaydullah ibn Ziyad on the orders of the Umayyad caliph Yazid ibn Mu'awiya. Al-'Abbas is often referred to as Abu'l Fadl, the "father of al-Fadl."

According to Shi'i traditions al-'Abbas was extremly close to his niece, Imam Husayn's young daughter Sukayna, who is also known as Ruqayya. During the battle against the much larger Umayyad military force, Imam Husayn's small group was cut off from water. The children, including Ruqayya, suffered the most. Al-'Abbas promised her that he would bring water for her and the others and, still carrying the banner of the Ahlul Bayt (family of the prophet Muhammad), went to the river to fill waterskins. In a fierce fight, his two hands were cut off by Umayyad soldiers and al-'Abbas fell onto his face. When Imam Husayn came to him al-'Abbas asked his half-brother why he had risked his life in doing so. Husayn asked if he could do anything for al-'Abbas in his last moments and his half-brother, according to one popular Shi'i account, asked for the Imam to clean the blood from his face so that he could see him before he died. Al-'Abbas also lamented that, although he had tried his best, he was unable to fulfill his promise to Ruqayya.



First post in this series HERE

Second post in this series HERE

Third post is HERE


Charles Cameron (hipbone) said...

Hi, Chris:

I just wanted to leave a word of thanks to you for this series. It allows an outsider such as myself a valuable and valued window onto a
profound and moving devotion, one that is of significance to a large part of the human population.

Again, my thanks.

إبن الصقلي said...

Thanks, Charles, for your comment and for your always enlightening analysis and posts at Zen Pundit and elsewhere!