Abdullah ibn Abbas (رضي الله عنه)
There are many companions of Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) who came in glow of fame for many reasons. One would feel their greatness upon knowing their tremendous love towards Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) and the superior religion He had propagated. They have made incredible contributions to Islam with their admirable lifestyles, relentlessness in acquiring and teaching Islamic knowledge and keenness in preaching and spreading Islam to anybody they meet.
Our discussion is about one of closest companions of Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) and one among many children who were with and around Him. It is Abdullah ibn Abbas (رضي الله عنه), son of Abbas ibn Abdul Muttalib (رضي الله عنه) uncle of Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم). His mother is Lubabah al Kubrah bint Harith (رضي الله عنها) also known as Umm Jameel. She was close friend of Khadeejah al Kubrah (رضي الله عنها) and among initial believers of Islam.
He was only 13 years old when Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) departed this world. But even this brief companionship with Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) in his childhood lead him to be called ‘Raeesul Mufassireen’ (رئيس المفسرين) – leader of interpreters of Qura’n. He is also called as ‘Al Bahr’ (البحر) – the Sea because of abundance of his knowledge. Hibrul Umma (حبر الامة) – Ink of the Nation is another title attributed to him because of literature he submitted for the Ummah.
He attained this enviable position because of the guidance he got from Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) and dua’ He made for him after drawing him close and patting his shoulders “O Allah, bless him with the full knowledge of the religion and interpretation of the Holy Qura’n”. Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم) repeated this dua in various occasions.
There is no question on his command on Qura’n interpretation. But vastness of his knowledge won’t stop there. He was a great authority in Islamic jurisprudence (فقه), History and Arabic language literature. He relocated to Taif (طائف) in latter part of his life and met his last breath there. His Qabr in Taif is among few ones preserved by recent rulers of Arabian Peninsula. A big Masjid is constructed beside his Qabr.
A Library is established near his Qabr by Turki governor of Hijaz (Old name of area enclosing Makkah and Madinah) Muhammad Rasheedi Pasha Al Sharwani in 13th century hijri. Scholars and travelers during 7th and 10th century hijri used to endow (وقف) many books and manuscripts in Masjid ibn Abbas. In 1217H number of books there reached almost 10,000, a big number considering that age!
Taif, some 80KM away from Makkah in direction of Najd (Riyadh) has much historical significance. It is a hill station over gorgeous desert of Hijaz with pleasant weather and good plantation. I might write on Taif in another post (ان شاء الله).