The Sahabah Series: ‘Abdullah ibn Abbâs
In the name of Allah Most Gracious, Most Merciful
‘Abdullah ibn Abbâs
‘Abdulllah ibn Abbâs was the cousin of the Messenger, upon him be peace. He was born three years before the Prophet’s migration from Makkah to Madina, prayers and salutations upon him. It is reported that his mother, Umm Fadl, brought him to the Messenger, upon him be peace, shortly after he was born and the Messenger, upon him be peace, read the adhân, call to prayer, in his right ear and the prayer announcement, the iqama, in his left ear. He, upon him be peace, then said to her, ‘you may leave with the father of the Caliphs’ His father, Abbâs was the Prophet’s uncle and was born two years before him, upon him be peace, and although he became Muslim he was instructed to keep his conversion quiet and continue to reside in Makkah after the other Muslims had migrated to Madina. The Messenger, upon him be peace, said of him, ‘whoever harms Abbâs has harmed me.’
He had a number of titles including Ibn Abbâs, the son of Abbâs. He was Abbâs’ eldest son, may Allah be pleased with them both. He was also called ‘Turjumân al-Qurân’, Interpreter of the Qurân and ‘the Ocean’ because of the depth of his knowledge.
His vast knowledge and understanding of the subtleties of the Qurân was a result of a special supplication that the Messenger, upon him be peace, made for him. He used to say, ‘O Allah, make him understand the religion and teach him the interpretation.’ Ibn Sâlih mentioned that he saw a huge congregation of people gathered outside the door of Ibn Abbâs. It was impossible to pass because of the congestion in the street. He entered the house and informed Ibn Abbâs who requested water for ablution. Once he had performed his ablution, he told them to allow in anyone who wanted to know about the Qurân, its meanings and intentions. They entered and filled his house and courtyard. Each one of them asked him questions and he answered every one of them to their satisfaction. Once their questions were answered they would leave to be replaced by others. Once all those who had questions about Qurân were satisfied, he then said, ‘whoever has questions about jurisprudence should enter’ and again the house and courtyard were full. This continued with groups coming in to ask about inheritance and then language and poetry. Ibn Sâlih said that he never saw anyone else who could do that.
Ibn Abbâs died in Tâif in the year 68H. When Jâbir ibn Abdullah, may Allah be pleased with them, heard the news, he placed one hand upon the other on his chest and said, ‘today, the most knowledgeable and gentle of all people has died.’
(Sources: Ibn Hajr, al-Isâba fi Tamyîz al-Sahâba, Abu Nuaym Hilyatul ‘Awliya and Muhammad al-Jardâni al-Dimyâti, al-Jawâhir al-Lu’luwiyya)
Related by al-Khatîb on the authority of Ibn Abbâs, (Kanz ul-‘Amâl 33587)
Related by Al-Hâkim (3/534).