Abdulla Ibn Abbas was a paternal cousin of Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم. A son of Abbas Ibn Abdul-Muttalib and was born during the era of the boycott.
When his mother brought him to Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم, he put some of his saliva on the baby’s tongue even before he started suckling, which was the beginning of the close relationship between them. After he grew up he attached himself to the services of Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, like he would fetch water for him when he wanted to make wudu, not only this but he would stand by his side while praying, he would be next to him when going for journeys or expeditions. Thus they had a strong bond between both of them.
Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم made dua for him on many occasions. Once the prophet made a dua for him saying “O Allah, give him the knowledge of thauweel-ul –Quran”.
Another time was when Ibn Abbas went to spent a night at his maternal aunt Maimoona’s رضي الله عنه house, (who was one of the wives of prophet), intending to learn how prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم spent his night. That was the night when prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, again made dua for him saying “o Allah give him the knowledge of thauweel-ul-quran & understanding of the religion”. He indeed became vastly knowledgeable in translation of Quran & understanding of the religion. (1)It’s said that he memorized 1660 hadeeths of prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم.
Ibn Abbas was known as “Hibr-al-Umma”, the most learned man of the ummah. Additionally he had the best etiquettes of seeking knowledge. And had a clear & sincere intention to learn the righteous ways through Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم & his companions in order to gain the pleasure of Allah.
After the death of the prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, Ibn Abbas extended his keenness to learn more about the sayings of Messenger of Allah. And he humbled himself to attain knowledge. Ibn Abbas would often visit the sahabas or learned people to get knowledge. It’s reported from (2)Al-Sha’bi that once Ibn Abbas took hold of Zayb Bin Thabit’s reins, & when Zayd asked him to stop it, he said that we have to respect & serve scholars. This proves that Ibn Abbas never believed that he is superior to anyone. An interesting fact is that he would not stop after narrating a hadheeth from one single narrator; he would consult as many as thirty sahabas to verify a single hadheeth. That way he would make sure what he has learnt is correct & authentic.
Ibn Abbas was known as “tharjamaan-ul-Quran”, for he knows the best interpretations of the holy Quran. In those days he was often asked to sit in the gatherings of the major sahabas by Umar رضي الله عنه. He used to tell people to never blame him for the love he has for Ibn Abbas, as it is only because of his knowledge. But he never made himself be arrogant & look down upon others for the knowledge Allah has granted him. Indeed he didn’t try to appear to be more knowledgeable than others. Instead he spent his days imparting the knowledge which Allah granted him.
In fact he spent most of his time teaching about recitation & interpretation of Quran, issues of Fiqh, & laws of inheritance to others etc, right at his house. He used to explain more than people asked. He gave clear & logical explanations.
He was also known to be steadfast in helping others; he was generous & hospitable to others. Some of his contemporaries stated that they have never seen any house full of food, drink or knowledge than Ibn Abbas’s.
Ibn Abbas was known for his firm advices, not fearing & hesitating to correct anyone who is in power. Once Ali رضي الله عنه burned some people, when they claimed that he was god. When Ibn Abbas heard about it, he went on & told him what he did was wrong. And advised that he could have given them the death penalty rather than burning them. As Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم said that nobody has the right to burn except the one who created fire. Ali رضي الله عنه believed him & regretted what he did. This was Ibn Abbas stating what is true, not fearing anyone else other than Allah & being firm on the ways of prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم.
It’s reported from (3)Abi Qilabah that when Ibn Abbas went to masjid the neighbors would know that he passed because of the pleasant smell. He adorns himself with such beautiful manners.
This man beautified himself with the knowledge Allah granted him. Abdulla Ibn Abbas used to fast every week on Mondays & Thursdays, and when asked about why he wouldn’t skip a day, he answered saying that he would like his deeds to be raised on while he’s fasting. (4)One of the students of him, Abhi Rabah narrated that Ibn Abbas had deep dark circles around his eyes. Because of the tears he used to shed every night before Allah. He was so fearful to Allah and committed himself to the continual observance of Allah. This is how his knowledge affected his life & how he applied his knowledge & understanding to his daily life.
(5)Masruq Bin Ajda said about Ibn Abbas “when I saw him, he was the most handsome of men, when I heard him, he was the most eloquent of men, when I listened to him, he was the most knowledgeable of men”.
(6)Ibn Abbas died at the age of 71 in Taif.
(1)Wikimedia Abd Allah Ibn Abbas (17 May 2014)
Retrieved on 29 May 2014 from
(2)Abu Abdillah Owais Al-Hashimi Abdulla b. Abbas
Retrieved May 13, 2004 from
(3)Abu Abdillah Owais Al-Hashimi Abdulla b. Abbas
Retrieved May 13, 2004 from
(4) jaihoontv (Published on Dec 10, 2012) Untold Tales (part 1) Abdulla Ibn Abbas(r)
Retrieved on May 5, 2014 from
(5) Abdul Samad Parek (Monday, April 23, 2011) Abdulla Ibn Abbas: A student of knowledge.
Retrieved on May 13, 2014 from
(6)Wikimedia Abd Allah Ibn Abbas (17 May 2014)
Retrieved on 29 May 2014 from