Ibn Abbas (Abd Allah)

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“I’ve never seen one with such presence of mind, nor more intellectual and milder than him.”
Sʿad ibn Abī Waqqās (may Allah be pleased with him)

“I’ve never seen a scholar listening to him without submitting himself completely to him, nor asking without being impressed by his vast and rich knowledge.”
ʿUbayd Allāh ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn ʿUtba (may Allah show compassion towards him)

“Whenever I saw him, I would say he is the most handsome of men. When he spoke, I would say he is the most eloquent of men. When he held a conversation, I would say he is the most knowledgeable of men.”
Masrūq ibn Al-Ajdaʿ (may Allah show compassion towards him)

ʿABD ALLĀH IBN ʿABBĀS IBN ʿABD AL-MUṬṬALIB IBN HĀSHIM (may Allah be pleased with him) was born three years before the emigration to Madīnah. He was a cousin and close companion of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), who was respected for his piety, generosity, bravery, and love of peace. His father was the paternal uncle of the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), and so he spent a lot of his early years in the company of the Prophet of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). He is commonly acknowledged as the greatest scholar of the first generation of Muslims, being a narrator of Prophetic traditions (one thousand, six hundred and sixty), a leading Companion Jurist, and the founder of the Islamic science of Qur’ānic exegesis (Tafsīr). The Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) had supplicated for him to attain discernment in religion(i) and for him to understand inner meanings of the Qur’an(ii).

The grave of the companion Abd Allah ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him). It is located near the mosque named after him in al-Ta'if, near Makkah
The grave of Ibn ʿAbbās located near the mosque named after him in al-Ṭā’if

Ibn ʿAbbās was thirteen years old when the Prophet of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) passed away, and he spent the rest of his youth seeking knowledge in the company of older companions (may Allah be pleased with them all). Despite his young age, he was an advisor of the Caliph ʿUmar (may Allah be pleased with him) and would teach different disciplines (including Qur’ānic exegesis, jurisprudence, history, Arabic language, and literature) to large audiences every day. He was appointed governor of Baṣra by the Caliph ʿAlī (may Allah ennoble his face) and fought alongside him at Ṣiffīn, having persuaded approximately twenty thousand seceders to re-join his army. He was lauded for his oratory, listening, and decision-making skills whilst he was governor. He kept voluntary fasts, prayed during the nights, and wept when he recited the Qur’an. He died at al-Ṭā’if in 68 AH aged seventy-one years old.


His Sayings

“If I wanted to know something about an issue I would ask thirty Companions.”

“When I realize the importance of a verse of Allah’s book, I would wish that all people should know what I know.”

“When I hear of a Muslim ruler who deals equitably and rules justly, I am happy on his account and I pray for him.”

“Fight your tongue. The tongue is quick to kill a man. The tongue is the posting of the heart. It shows man his intellect.”

“Seizing silence is better than plunging, even if you are eloquent in speech.”

“The trace of ink on the garment of the master of Prophetic traditions is better than the perfume on the bride's garment.”


His Family: Family Tree
Related Biographies:
Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq
Ibn Sirin (Muhammad)
Umar ibn Al-Khattab
Uthman ibn Affan
Zayd ibn Thabit
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