Last updateSun, 20 Aug 2023 9pm

Courage in Abbas Bin Ali

What is courage? In Islamic ethics, courage is not defined by physical strength; courage means to have control over one's emotions and feelings and to use them only for the right cause. A person who only relies on his physical strength and cannot control his emotions is not a courageous person; he is rather a foolhardy person.
While describing the Prophet and his true followers, Allah says: "Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah, and those who are with him are firm against the enemies but soft with their own." (48:29)
Iqbal, the famous poet of the Indian sub-continent, presents the same concept in his poetic style:
In the struggle of truth, the believer is as solid as the steel
But in midst of his friends, he is as soft as the silk.
Abbas was not the slave of his desires and emotions; even his courage was linked to the spiritual relationship: Abbas was very stern and firm when he confronted the enemies, but he was very kind, compassionate, and caring towards the good people. The children of Hussain and the clan of Banu Hashim adored him. He was the favourite uncle of Sakina, the four years old daughter of Imam Hussain.
Unfortunately, what we see in the world today is that the tyrants, the kings, and the generals who rule over Muslim countries behave in the opposite manner: they are humble in front of the enemies but very bold when they deal with their own people and oppress them!
When Imam Hussain asked Abbas to try and get water for the children, Abbas confronted the enemy force and he was easily able to disperse them and got access to the river. Abbas entered the river and filled the water-bag with water. On the way back, he had to pass through some palms trees, and that is where the enemy was hiding behind the trees to attack him from the back. One Yazidi soldier attacked him from behind in such a way that he lost his right hand. Abbas courageously got hold of the water-bag and consoled himself by the following verses:
By God, though you have severed my right hand
My faith, I will surely forever defend
I will defend the truthful leader of conviction
The grandson of the pure and truthful Prophet.


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