Al-Abbas (Hazrat Abul Fazl)

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Al-Abbas (Hazrat Abul Fazl)

Author: Abu Talib Al-Tabrizi
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Al-Abbas (Hazrat Abul Fazl)

Al-Abbas (Hazrat Abul Fazl)

Author:
Publisher: www.alhassanain.org/english
English

Al-Abbas in The Imams' Sight

The Immaculate Imams are the representatives of God, the successors of His Prophet and the leaders that God has assigned for people so as to make distinction between the right and the wrong. They, peace be upon them, praised many persons and, also, condemned many others, each according to his deeds. On that account, they described Al-Abbas, with the finest words of praise, appreciation, and commendation, and showed their admiration for his heroic situations for defending Islam. He, however, has occupied the hearts and feelings of the great personalities and has become the melody of the free people all over history.

Let us now refer to some of the medals that the Immaculate Imams (a) conferred upon al-Abbas:

1) IMAM ALI

We have already mentioned that Imam Ali (a) foretold about the personality and future of al-Abbas when he was one-day old. In many other situations, Imam Ali (a) foretold that his son would shoulder the responsibility of protecting the harem of his brother and would sacrifice himself for his religion and belief. These predictions are regarded as commendations for al-Abbas whose mission was divinely identified and prepared. He did not disappoint his father when he accomplished his mission as completely as possible to the last spark of his life.

2) IMAM AL-HUSSEIN

Historian have narrated many reports showing the close, unique relation between al-Abbas and his brother, Imam al-Hussein (a) who addressed to him a word showing the great rank that al-Abbas occupied in his brother's mentality:

In one of the many situations in Karbala, Imam al-Hussein said to his brother al-Abbas: "Ride on, may I be your sacrifice." When al-Abbas breathed his last breaths while his head was on the knees of Imam al-Hussein (a), the latter declared with deeply sad tone: "Now, my spine is broken, and I have become helpless, and my enemies are rejoicing at my misfortune." This word expresses the real position that al-Abbas was occupying for his brother.

3) IMAM ZAYN UL-ABIDIN

Imam Zayn ul-Abidin is one of the founders of true piety and virtue of Islam. Historians have reported that he used to seek Allah's mercy for his uncle, al-Abbas, and used to refer to him with the finest words of admiration and commendation. Listen to the following valuable word of the Imam (a): "Allah may have mercy upon my uncle, al-Abbas. He preferred his brother to himself, did well, and sacrificed himself for his brother until he lost his two hands for sake of such. Thus, Allah, instead of his two hands, will give him two wings with which he will fly with the angels in Paradise, just like Ja'far ibn Abi-Talib. In the sight of Allah the Blessed the Exalted, al-Abbas enjoys a peculiar rank for which all the shahids will hope if they had its like on the day of Resurrection."65

The previous statement of Imam Zayn ul-Abidin (a) includes the most significant sacrifices that al-Abbas did towards his brother; Imam al-Hussein (a). For sake of his brother, al-Abbas sacrificed his two hands and went on resisting until he was felled. For these great sacrifices, God will grant al-Abbas an unparalleled rank that all martyrs will wish if they had its like.

4) IMAM AS-SADIQ

Imam as-Sadiq (a) used to praise his uncle al-Abbas and pay tributes to his heroic situations during the battle of at-Taff: "My uncle al-Abbas was clear-sighted and steadfastly faithful. He fought with his brother al-Hussein, did very well, and was martyred."66 Imam as-Sadiq, in the previous statement, refers to the noblest characteristics that al-Abbas enjoyed:

A. CLEAR-SIGHTEDNESS

Clear-sightedness is originated from well-advisedness and intellectual genuineness. It is attached to self-pureness and simple-heartedness, and enjoyed only by those who are free from control of passions. In the personality of al-Abbas, this characteristic was very clear. It was the principal motive that incited him to support and follow Imam al-Hussein (a) to climb up to the summit of honor and glory. Hence, his great personality has lasted forever as long as man is submitted to the human values whose summits and climaxes have been attained by al-Abbas, al-Abbas.

B. STEADFAST FAITH

Imam as-Sadiq (a) testified to the unmatched character of his uncle al-Abbas when he attached the characteristic of steadfast faith to him. This steadfast faith provoked al-Abbas to challenge the enemies in the fields of jihad and sacrifice himself for his religion.

C. FIGHTING WITH IMAM AL-HUSSEIN

The testimony of jihad is the best proof on the perfection of personality. Hence, Imam as-Sadiq (a) ascribes this great virtue to the personality of al-Abbas because of the latter's self-evident fighting for sake of his brother; Imam al-Hussein (a).

ZIYARA OF IMAM AS-SADIQ

After he had visited the tombs of Imam al-Hussein, his household, and the virtuous companions, Imam as-Sadiq (a) ran to visit the tomb of his uncle al-Abbas. He stood on that tomb and recited that famous Ziyara.

Imam as-Sadiq (a) begins this Ziyara by seeking the greetings and salaams of God, His favorite angels, commissioned Prophets, righteous servants, and all martyrs and truthful ones to be on al-Abbas. He then goes on testifying to his uncle of being submissive, believing, faithful, and sincere:

A. SUBMISSION

Al-Abbas submitted completely to his brother and leader, and followed him from top to bottom until he was martyred for his sake. This unmatched submission was the result of al-Abbas's full acquaintance with the Imamate of al-Hussein (a) that is incumbent upon every Muslim. Al-Abbas practiced all matters stemming from the divine commandment of the submission to the Immaculate Imams (a).

B. BELIEF

Al-Abbas believed in God and gave full credence to his brother. He surpassed all doubts in his belief of the equity of his issue. He believed he was the right while his enemies were wrong.

C. LOYALTY

Imam as-Sadiq (a) testified that his uncle al-Abbas accomplished his duties regarding the pledge of God and the loyalty to the Imam of his age utterly. He supported the right party, stood steadfastly with his brother in the most intensive circumstances, and did not leave him until he was martyred although he lost his two hands. Finally, al-Abbas was created to be faithful; therefore, his loyalty was a natural element of his personality and was also the fruit of the unparalleled loyalty of his parents.

D. SINCERITY

Sincerity is another feature in the personality of al-Abbas to which Imam as-Sadiq (a) testified. Al-Abbas was sincere in his fighting against the wrong and opposing the wrongdoers. He played a great role in the jihad of his brother who took the leadership of struggling the wrong.

In another paragraph of the Ziyara, Imam as-Sadiq (a) showed his great admiration for the great help and huge sacrifices that al-Abbas made for Imam al-Hussein. He sacrificed himself, protected him with his dearest things, and tolerated steadfastly crises and hardships-all for sake of God. God may reward him so remarkably on behalf of Prophet Mohammed, Imam Ali Amir ul-Mu'minin, Fatima az-Zahraa, al-Hasan, and al-Hussein (a).

Imam as-Sadiq, in the same Ziyara, testified that his uncle al-Abbas followed the same line of the martyrs of Islam whose blood raised the word of God highly. As he noticed the Umayyads' attempts to eradicate Islam and take people to the pre-Islamic customs and traditions, al-Abbas, under the leadership of his brother, revolted to keep the word of God high, to achieve victory to Islam, and to defeat the enemies and rivals. In the last paragraphs of the Ziyara, we notice the great rank of al-Abbas in the sight of Imam as-Sadiq (a) who testified to him that he did not show any shortcoming or retreat and did his best for sake of the religion. Hence, the Imam beseeches to God to confer al-Abbas with eternal happiness, large place in Paradise, and companionship of the prophets, martyrs, and righteous ones.

5) IMAM AL-MAHDI

The Great Reformist Imam al-Mahdi, God may hasten his return, said a great word about al-Abbas:

"Salaam be upon Abu'l-Fadl al-Abbas, son of Amir ul-Mu'minin. He preferred his brother to himself, supplied himself with (opportunities of) today for (rewards of) tomorrow, sacrificed himself for his brother, protected him, hurried for fetching him water, and his two hands were cut (for such). Allah curse his killers; Yazid ibn ar-Raqqad and Hukaim ibn at-Tuffail at-Taee…"67 In the previous statement, Imam al-Mahdi praises al-Abbas for the noble characteristics that he enjoyed: The Imam (a) commends al-Abbas for:

1. Preferring his brother; the chief of the martyrs, to himself,

2. Supplying himself with opportunities of this life for the life to come. This is an indication to his piety, God-fearing, and support for the right and its people,

3. Sacrificing his brothers, sons, and himself for Imam al-Hussein (a),

4. Protecting his brother with his soul, and

5. His efforts to fetch water to his brother and his harem when the other party encircled the Euphrates so as to prevent the party of Imam al-Hussein from having water even for their children and women.

THE HOLY SHRINE

From early ages of humankind, people used to show various forms of adulation to their honorable and unique personalities. One of these forms was the sanctification of their tombs by constructing handsome buildings that are, in most cases, taken as places of worship. The holy Quran, narrating the story of the seven sleepers of Ephesus, has referred to this phenomenon:

"We caused their story to become public so that people would know that God's promise was true and that there is no doubt about the coming of the Day of Judgment. They started to argue with each other about the matter (Resurrection) and some of them said, "Let us establish a building at the youths' sleeping place. Their Lord knew best their intentions about them. The majority prevailed in their suggestion of the establishment of a mosque in that place."68

Such buildings have been ceaselessly visited by people for seeking blessings, showing respect, and practicing definite ceremonies and rituals of worship there. The question of visiting the tombs of the prophets, their successors, and saints has been an uninterrupted tradition quoted from Prophet Mohammad's words, deeds, and confirmations.

Nevertheless, some heretical doctrines claiming belongingness to Islam have arisen problematic matters regarding this point. As if they are the only Muslims believing in the legality of visiting the tombs, the Shia have been accused of believing that it is permissible to visit the shrines of the Prophets, Imams and saints, building them, to seek blessings through them, to pray and make supplications around them. All the other Islamic schools of jurisprudence have shared the Shia in such beliefs.69 Not only is the holy shrine of al-Abbas visited by the Shia, but also Muslims from other Islamic sects have been pilgrimaging to that shrine ceaselessly.

The Immaculate Imams of the Ahl-ul-Bayt (a) confirmed the pilgrimage to the holy shrines of the prophets, Imams, and saints and referred to definite rules of conduct to be followed there. They also dedicated definite statements of supplication and greetings to such shrines. As a matter of fact, the question of constructing shrines on the tombs of certain individual is not an ordinary issue originated from personal views or tendencies. Indeed, it is a divine will having many dimensions. First of all, God the Exalted has promised His sincere servants to commemorate their names and mentioning in this world as well as the world to come. One of the signs of their eternity in this world stands for the presence of handsome buildings on their tombs to remind of their situations, ways of life, and piety to the Creator.

As they played the roles of examples during their lives, the pious individuals' shrines keep in people's minds these examples that should be followed for winning happiness in this life and the life to come. The holy shrines, too, have become the shelters of those who are inflicted with worldly disasters and those who seek refuge of God. Under the domes of such shrines all supplications to God are responded, all screams of the repentant are heard, and all cries of seekers of succor are answered.

These holy shrines, finally, have very frequently been the source of many reestablishments of relations with the Lord, many revolutions against individual and shared wrong and injustice, and many returns to God.

LOCATION

Historians have confirmed that Imam al-Hussein (a) used to carry the bodies of his soldiers who were killed in the field of fighting to a special tent prepared for this purpose. For instance, historians have confirmed that al-Hurr ibn Yazid, when was killed, was carried to the tent of the killeds, and Imam al-Hussein ordered some young men of his household to carry the body of his son; Ali, to that tent, and he himself carried the body of al-Qasim; his nephew to the same tent.

It is also related that Imam al-Baqir (a) said:

"Al-Hussein used to put the bodies of the killeds in one place and used to comment: These killeds are just like the killed prophets and sons of prophets."70 Nevertheless, Imam al-Hussein (a) left the body of his brother al-Abbas in the place where he was felled-on the bank of the River al-Alqami near the dam. Some historians have mentioned that Imam al-Hussein (a) could not carry the body of al-Abbas because it was wounded so heavily that all the organs were separated from each other.71

Others have mentioned that al-Abbas, in his last spark of life, begged his brother to leave him in his place because he was shy to meet Sukaina, daughter of Imam al-Hussein, whom he had promised to bring water.72 However, it is now very clear that Imam al-Hussein (a) left the body of his brother in that place for an excellent secret that can be understood only by the well-mannered ones. Anyhow, the Imam was not unable to carry the body of his brother. Days have uncovered that secret when al-Abbas had that handsome shrine to which thousands of people pilgrimage ceaselessly. Hence, the place where that holy body was felled has become one of the most considerable areas on this earth. People have sought nearness to God, supplicated to Him to solve their most complicated problems and ordeals, offered to Him the most acceptable rituals of worship, and seen the most miraculous charismata under the golden, shining dome of that holy shrine that contained the holy body of al-Abbas; al-Abbas ibn Ali, the righteous servant of God.

People therefore have recognized the actual standing of al-Abbas in the sight of God and, in turn, recognized the scope of respect that they should bear to this personality who has played the role of the connecting link between people and their Lord. God the Exalted has willed to grant al-Abbas an idiosyncratic rank in this world as well as the world to come.

Just like the Immaculate Imams, al-Abbas has had a special shrine pilgrimaged by the Imams who passed by that area. We have already mentioned that Imam Ja'far ibn Mohammad as-Sadiq (a) visited the tomb of al-Abbas and recited a special Ziyara, different, in statements, from the Ziyaras recited before the tombs of the other martyrs. In the same manner, the shrine of al-Abbas has had its special ceremonies and rites of Ziyara. The traditions of Ahl-ul-Bayt (a) have guided us to the location, as well as the ceremonies and rites to be practiced at that holy shrine of al-Abbas.

Ibn Qawlawayh, in his book titled Kamil uz-Ziyara, page 256, narrates, with an authentic series of narrators, that Abu-Hamza ath-Themali related the following saying to Imam as-Sadiq (a): "If you intend to visit (the tomb of) al-Abbas ibn Ali, which is on the bank of the Euphrates opposite to al-Haair, you should stop at the gate of the shed and say: Salaam of Allah and Salaam of His angels… etc."73

Al-Mejlisi, in his book titled Mezar ul-Bihar, records another Ziyara for al-Abbas, as related to the narration of Sheikh al-Mufid and Ibn al-Mash'hadi, defining the same location that is defined by Imam as-Sadiq (a) in the previous narration. Similar narrations are recorded in Allama an-Nouri's Tahiyyat uz-Zaair and related to Sheikh al-Mufid, ash-Shahid, and Sayyid Ibn Tawous.

The following statement of Sheikh al-Mufid identifies the location of the tomb of al-Abbas that is decided by the saying of Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a):

"Except al-Abbas ibn Ali who was buried in a place on the dam in the way of al-Ghadhiriyya, all the members of Imam al-Hussein's family, peace be upon them, were buried in a hole located beyond the legs of Imam al-Hussein. The tomb of al-Abbas is clear and known… etc." All scholars and investigators have followed this definition of the location. They all have decided that the tomb of al-Abbas ibn Ali is opposite to the holy Haair near the shore of the River Euphrates.74

RIVER AL-ALQAMI

River al-Alqami was a stream branching from the Euphrates. It was passing by and irrigating the lands of Karbala. It was the only river in that area.

Neither geographists nor have historians referred to the location and history of this river. Moreover, Imam as-Sadiq (a) did not refer to this name as he mentioned the location of the martyrdom of al-Abbas. However, this name was mentioned in many narratives recorded in authentic, trustworthy reference books.

At-Turaihi, in his book titled al-Muntakhab page 91, writes down a narration in which there is a reference to the River al-Alqami. A narration recorded in Medinat ul-Ma'aajiz page 263 Chapter 127, includes a reference to the River al-Alqami. Ibn Shahrashub, in his book titled al-Manaaqib; 2/190, records the narration of al-Mutawakkil's orders of digging the tomb of Imam al-Hussein (a). In this narration, he refers to the River al-Alqami. In Mezar ul-Bihar page 161, a narration of a special Ziyara to the tomb of al-Abbas is recorded. This narration begins with:

"If you intend to visit Karbala, you should first reside at the shore of the River al-Alqami, undress yourself, wash…etc." This narration is quoted from the famous books of Ziyara compiled by Sheikh al-Mufid and al-Mash'hadi. All these narrations prove that the name of al-Alqami was known for everybody for many decades. Nevertheless, the reason beyond this name is not known. Some mentioned that a man from the tribe of Alqama dug that river.

In his book titled Zeenat ul-Majalis and written in AH 1004, Sayyid Majduddin Mohammad Majdi records that the vizier Saeed ibn al-Alqami gave his orders of ruining that river after he had heard the saying of Imam as-Sadiq (a) addressing to the river: "How is it that you are still flowing after my grandfather was prevented from drinking from you?"75 As the River al-Alqami was ruined, the gardens of Kufa were damaged, because they were irrigated from its water.

BURIAL PLACE OF THE HEAD

Various reports have been narrated about the places where the heads of the martyrs of Karbala were buried. Historians have, almost unanimously, agreed that Omar ibn Saad gave the orders of beheading the bodies of the warriors of Imam al-Hussein's army.76 They were seventy-eight heads carried by the tribes and individuals of Yazid's army. These heads were taken to Kufa. Afterwards, Ubaidullah ibn Ziyad, the governor of Kufa, sent these heads with the caravan of the captives to Syria.

After a long series of events the stars of which were Imam Ali ibn al-Hussein Zayn ul-Abidin and his aunt Zaynab daughter of Imam Ali in Damascus, Yazid anticipated revolution of people against him. He therefore had to allow the Imam and the captives to go home and responded to all of their demands. They demanded Yazid to give them the head of Imam al-Hussein so as to attach it to the body in Karbala. Historians, though most of them did not refer to the other heads, have mentioned that Yazid gave all the heads to Imam Zayn ul-Abidin who attached them to the bodies on the twentieth of Safar. The head of al-Abbas was one of these.77

This report seems to be the most acceptable if we take in consideration the events and motives that obliged Yazid to respond to the demands of Imam Zayn ul-Abidin who would surely ask for all the heads so as to attach them to the bodies. Nevertheless, there are other narrations:

In his A'yaan ush-Shi'a; 4/290, Sayyid Muhsin al-Amin records: "In AH 1321, I saw a place in the cemetery known as 'Maqbarat Bab us-Sagheer' in Damascus on whose door there was a rock with the script: This is the burial place of the heads of al-Abbas ibn Ali, Ali al-Akbar ibn al-Hussein, and Habib ibn Muzhahir… A few years later, that burial place was destroyed. When it was reconstructed, that rock was taken away and a tomb was built inside that burial place. On that tomb the names of many individuals whom were martyred in Karbala with Imam al-Hussein (a) were engraved. In fact, that tomb contained only the three aforementioned heads…etc."

Had Sayyid al-Amin skimmed through the book of Habib us-Siyar, he would have believed that these three heads were not buried in that cemetery in Damascus. Anyhow, those who wrote the names of these three heroes of Karbala on that rock in the cemetery had other intentions. Finally, it is not unlikely that these three heads were crucified, not buried, at that place.

BURIAL PLACE OF THE TWO HANDS

In Karbala there are two sacred areas believed to be the burial places of the two hands of al-Abbas. Uninterruptedly, these two sanctuaries have been visited and respected by the generations who believed their being the burial places of the two hands that were cut during the encounter between al-Abbas and his enemies. The sanctuary of the right hand lies to the north east of Karbala on the borders of district known as 'Bab Baghdad -Gate of Baghdad' and the district known as 'Bab ul-Khan', near the eastern gate of the holy shrine. On the window found on the wall of that sanctuary, two poetic verses in Persian are carved. Nobody, however, knows the poet, date of construction, the designer of the window, or the carver of these two poetic verses.

The sanctuary of the left hand lies in the Minor Market near the small gate of the holy shrine to the south east. This market is called 'Bab al-Abbas as-Sagheer.' On the wall of that sanctuary poetic verses composed by Sheikh Mohammad as-Sarraaj are carved.

CONSTRUCTION

Indeed, the shrine of Abu'l-Fadl al-Abbas ibn Ali is one of the houses about which Almighty God said: "…the houses that Allah has declared to be highly respected and His Name be mentioned therein in glory in the morning and evening. (24:36)" The construction of the holy shrine, altogether with the dome, of al-Abbas who is on the top in the list of the martyrs and righteous servants of God is another factor helping the discovery of the secret of his having an independent tomb away from the tomb of the other martyrs. During his visit to the tomb of al-Abbas, Imam as-Sadiq (a) referred to the praiseworthy personality of this hero who possessed alone such a lofty rank because of which all martyrs will wish if they have its like.

On that account, it has become very important to pay a great attention to the construction of the holy shrine of this unique, righteous servant of God.

God, the Exalted, gave the holy mission of constructing this shrine to some individuals who won eternal reputation in this world and will be rewarded abundantly in the life to come, each according to his intention. Many kings, princes, scholars, and celebrities succeeded each other in constructing this holy shrine, which, day by day, has become in increasing splendor and beauty. Today, it is very gorgeous for its attractive, golden dome that challenges the heavens in elevation and dares the stars in brilliance, its impregnable sanctuary that is as great as throne, its porticoes that are covered by flasks, its yard that is the field of sanctity, and its handsome, golden lobby that is similar to the edifices of Paradise. Historians have mentioned that Shah Tahmasp,78 in AH 1032, decorated the dome of the holy shrine with tile, built a window on the box that contained the tomb, arranged the porticoes and the yard, built the lobby that lies in front of the first gate of the sanctuary, and sent precious carpets made in Iran.

In AH 1115, Nadir Shah sent many gifts to the holy shrine and decorated some of the buildings there with flasks. In AH 1117, the vizier of Nadir Shah pilgrimaged to the holy shrine of Imam al-Hussein (a), remade the box of the tomb, reconstructed the portico, and presented a chandelier for lighting the holy precinct.

In AH 1216, the Wahhabis invaded Karbala and robbed all the precious lusters and chandeliers that were in the holy shrines of Imam al-Hussein and al-Abbas. Fath Ali Shah79 gifted new lusters, chandeliers, and precious pieces of decoration to the holy shrines in Karbala. He also reconstructed the dome on the holy shrine of al-Abbas with tile, gilded the dome of the holy shrine of Imam al-Hussein (a), and made other constructions. Hajji Mirza Abd-ul-Karim al-Muqaddas al-Urumi, in his book titled Taqat Raihan, records that Hajji Shukrullah Badal Beg al-Afshari gilded the big hall facing the holy precinct of al-Abbas and spent all his fortune on this work, carrying out the constructions of Sheikh Zayn ul-Abidin al-Mazindarani who died in AH 1309. He also recorded his name on the western side on the wall of the hall on the golden plates. This golden script is still present.

In the same book it is recorded that Nasir ud-Dawla gilded the minaret of the holy shrine of al-Abbas. Sayyid Hasan, the writer of Fadak and other books, has mentioned that the golden small hall facing the first gate of the holy shrine was established by the king of Lakanhu Mohammad Shah the Indian. The wooden shed was established according to the instruction of Sultan Abd-ul-Hamid Khan. Mohammed Sadiq al-Isfahani reconstructed the dome with tile. He also purchased the houses attached to the yard of the holy shrine and increased that yard. He increased the area from the direction of the kiblah to a greater extent. He was buried in a room at the Gate of the Kiblah. He also constructed the yard with tile.

In AH 1355, Sayyid Murtadha; the custodian of the holy shrine, rebuilt the silver gate lying in the golden hall facing the room of the tomb. On the shutters of that gate he wrote the poem of Sheikh Mohammad Ali al-Ya'qoubi. The custody of the holy shrine of al-Abbas has been taken by honorable individuals who spared no efforts in managing, servicing, and constructing this holy shrine.

PILGRIMAGE

The pilgrimage to the holy shrines of the prophets, Imams, and saints is called Ziyara. It is different from the ritual pilgrimage to Mecca, which is called Hajj. Hajj however is obligatory upon every Muslim man and woman under specific conditions, whereas Ziyara is not obligatory. It is yet very recommended for the innumerable narrations of the Prophet and the Imams regarding the rewards of those who perform such pilgrimages voluntarily.80

Simply, Ziyara is to visit the tomb and say any word of greeting, such as 'Salaam'. Other narrations have confirmed that it is acceptable to address such words of greetings from any place in the world while directing the face towards the direction of the tomb. At any rate, it is advisable, according to reason as well as instructions of well-versed scholars, to commit to the statements of the Ziyaras that are related to the Ahl-ul-Bayt (a), because such statements express deeply the actuality of the owner of the visited tomb and hint at the most accurate conducts to be practiced there.

On that account, it is recommendable for the visitors of the tomb of al-Abbas to follow the instructions mentioned in the saying of Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a) regarding the Ziyara.

In this saying, the Imam instruct the visitor to stop opposite to the body of al-Abbas turning the back to the kiblah, just like visiting the tombs of the prophets and Imams. This expresses the utmost courtesy befitting the elevated rank of al-Abbas. In fact, to visit al-Abbas after his death is same as visiting him during his life. This is because the martyrs are "alive with their Lord and receive sustenance from Him. "81 The author of Mezar ul-Bihar on page 165, records that Sheikh al-Mufid, Ibn al-Mash'hadi, and ash-Shahid al-Awwal emphasized that the visitor of the tomb of al-Abbas should, first, stop at the door of the shed and seek permission to enter by saying: "Greetings of Allah… etc." He then should enter and throw himself on the tomb and recite: "Salaam be upon you, the righteous servant of God… etc." He then should move to the direction of the head to offer the prayer and supplicate to God. He then should return to the tomb, stop at the two legs, and recite: "Salaam be upon you, Abu'l-Fadhl al-Abbas… etc."

Although these statements do not show whether it is advisable to stop at a specific side, it is understood that the direction of the kiblah is the intended.

Some scholars however advised of visiting the tomb of al-Abbas before that of Imam al-Hussein (a), because the earlier is the door to the latter. It is also advisable to offer the two-Rakaa82 prayer of Ziyara at the tomb of al-Abbas. During his visit to the tombs of the martyrs of Karbala on the fortieth day after their martyrdom, Jabir ibn Abdullah al-Ansari visited the tomb of al-Abbas ibn Ali and offered a two-Rakaa prayer.83 It is also advisable to kiss the tomb. This is proved through the narration of Safwan al-Jammal who relates it to Imam as-Sadiq (a): "… You should then come near the tomb of al-Abbas ibn Ali and say… Then throw yourself on the tomb, kiss it, and say… etc."84