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Auto(biography) Section > The Companions of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) > The Biography of Hazrat Ibn-e-Abbas (rta) -- A Companion of the Holy Prophet (pbuh)

The Biography of Hazrat Ibn-e-Abbas (rta) -- A Companion of the Holy Prophet (pbuh):
by Mirza Masud Beg
The Light (Sep 8, 1979; pp. 12-14)


Hazrat 'Abd Allah Ibn-e-Abbas was a cousin of the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, about 50 years younger to him in age. He was born in Mecca, in 619 A.D., three years before the Hijra, and was a boy of 13 when the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, left this world. But he benefited by the inspiring and glorifying company of the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, even at this young age for about eight years, and received the early impressions of his spiritual training and character-formation from the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, himself, which developed further in the company of his eminent Companions (rta).

Ibn-e-Abbas was known as 'Hibr-al-Umma' or 'the Doctor' or 'Rabbi of the Community'. He was also called 'the Sea' for the vastness of his knowledge.

The Holy Prophet's (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) wife, Hazrat Maimuna (rta), was a maternal aunt of Ibn-e-Abbas, and he had the opportunity of observing how devotedly and steadfastly the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, spent the greater part of the night in Tahajjud prayer; whenever he was in Hazrat Maimuna's house. Once he got up to join the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, in Tahajjud, and had the personal experience of feeling how the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, prolonged his qiyam (standing position), so much so that Ibn-e-Abbas felt quite exhausted. The Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, noticed a lot of promise in this young lad and blessed him. He also prayed to Allah for the grant of unusual knowledge and wisdom to Ibn-e-Abbas and deep insight into the meanings of the Book of God. This prayer was no doubt granted and Ibn-e-Abbas became a very learned man at a very young age.

He was often known as or a 'sage in a young age'. Hazrat Umar (rta) held him in great esteem and used to tell people "he is the most learned of you all". His son, Ibn 'Umar (rta), another learned and eminent Companion, used to say about him, "the most learned man among the followers of Muhammad (pbuh) in the Book that was revealed to Muhammad (pbuh)." Hazrat Ibn Mas'ud (rta) called him "the best commentator of the Holy Quran." And there are many other similar expressions of the Companions (rta) of the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, in recognition of his worth and profound learning. He was the authority for 1660 traditions of the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.

His reputation as a scholar and expounder of the Holy Quran and of traditions and the decisions of the Caliphs (rta) stood so high that crowds flocked from all parts of the Muslim world to hear his discourses. He gave public lectures one day in a week, on the interpretation of the Quran; another day, on law; the third, on grammar; the fourth, on the history of the Arabs, and the fifth on poetry. He gave an impulse to the study and preservation of pre-Islamic Arab literature and history by frequently quoting verses from the ancient poets to explain and illustrate the difficult passages of the Holy Quran. He possessed a strong memory and remembered a vast material by heart.

Ibn-e-Abbas had gained considerable social and political prominence during the reign of Hazrat Uthman (rta). The Caliph entrusted him with the leadership of the pilgrimage in the year 35 A.H., and it was to this that he owed his fortunate absence from Madina when the Caliph was murdered. He then went over to Hazrat Ali (rta), who frequently employed him as an ambassador and appointed him governor of Basra. In his old age, he was deprived of his eyesight, and he settled down in Taif, where he died in the year 68 A.H. at the age of seventy-one. Hazrat Ibn-e-Abbas did not owe his fame to his political activity, but to his greatly admired knowledge of profane and sacred tradition, of jurisprudence and exegesis of the Holy Quran.


This page was printed from the 'Official Website of the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha'at-e-Islam Lahore (Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement for the Propagation of Islam)'
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