This chapter will be divided into two sections. In the first section, the relationship Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu had with Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam honourable uncle Sayyidina ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu will be discussed with incidents of their mutual faith and trust. In the second section, his relationship with Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and Sayyidina ‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu cousin, Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhum, will be highlighted. All these will substantiate that Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu appreciated and honoured the Banu Hashim at every level.
This section will be sub-divided into five headings.
During the Faruqi reign, when there were no rains and people were constrained due to the famine, Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu would implore Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala for showers of mercy by presenting the being of Sayyidina ‘Abbas ibn ‘Abdul Muttalib radiya Llahu ‘anhu as tawassul. The incident is as follows. This incident is quoted from Sahih al Bukhari:
عن أنس بن مالك إن عمر بن الخطاب كان إذا قحطوا استسقى بالعباس بن عبد المطلب رضي الله تعالى عنه فقال اللهم إنا كنا نتوسل إليك بنبينا صلى الله عليه و سلم فتسقينا و إنا نتوسل إليك بعم نبينا فاسقنا قال فيسقون
Anas ibn Malik reports:
When people were struck with famine, ‘Umar ibn al Khattab would beseech Allah for rain through the medium of ‘Abbas ibn ‘Abdul Muttalib radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He would supplicate, “O Allah, we would make tawassul to You through Your Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and You would provide us with rain. And now we make tawassul to You with our Nabi’s uncle, so provide us with rain.” And rain was showered upon them.
An addition is found in al Mustadrak and Kanz al ‘Ummal. It says that Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu delivered a sermon on this occasion wherein he said, “O people! Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam respected and honoured his paternal uncle ‘Abbas and fulfilled his oaths, just as a son honours the rights of his father. So, O people, emulate your Nabi in respect of his honourable uncle and make him a wasilah to Allah in the face of calamities.”
The details of this incident can be learnt from the books of hadith and Siyar. We will quote the tradition of Musnad Ahmed:
عن عبيد الله بن عباس بن عبد المطلب أخي عبد الله قال كان للعباس ميزاب على طريق عمر بن الخطاب رضي الله عنه فلبس عمر ثيابه يوم الجمعة و قد كان ذبح للعباس فرخان فلما وافى الميزاب صب ماء بدم الفرخين فأصاب عمر و فيه دم الفرخين فأمر عمر بقلعه ثم رجع عمر فطرح ثيابه و لبس ثيابا غير ثيابه ثم جاء فصلى بالناس فأتاه العباس فقال والله إنه لموضع الذي وضعه النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم فقال عمر للعباس و أنا أعزم عليك لما صعدت على ظهري حتى تضعه في الموضع الذي وضعه رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم ففعل ذلك العباس رضي الله عنه
‘Ubaid Allah ibn ‘Abbas ibn ‘Abdul Muttalib, ‘Abdullah’s brother, narrates:
‘Abbas had a gutter on the path of ‘Umar ibn al Khattab radiya Llahu ‘anhu. One day, ‘Umar wore his clothes on the Day of Jumu’ah, and two young birds had just been slaughtered for ‘Abbas. As he was passing the gutter, water polluted with the blood of the birds dripped onto ‘Umar’s clothes so he ordered that the gutter be removed. He then turned back, took of his clothes, and wore someone else’s clothes. Thereafter, he came and led the people in salah. ‘Abbas then approached him and said, “By Allah, indeed this is the place where the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam attached it (the gutter). So ‘Umar told ‘Abbas, “I take a determination upon you that you will climb my back and reconnect it exactly where Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam fixed it.” ‘Abbas complied and did just that.
Ibn Jarir al Tabari relates an event of the year 15 A.H. prior to the conquest of Bayt al Maqdis in which Sayyidina ‘Umar and Sayyidina ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma travel to Sham. Many aspects of mutual respect and honour are contained in this incident. A number of scholars have recorded it. We will present one such narration:
عن عدي بن سهل قال لما استمد أهل الشام عمر على أهل فلسطين استخلف عليا و خرج ممدا لهم فقال علي أين تخرج بنفسك إنك تريد عدوا كلبا فقال إني أبادر بجهاد العدو موت العباس إنكم لو فقدتم العباس لانتفض بكم الشر كما نتتفض أول الحبل
‘Adi ibn Sahl reports:
When the armies in Sham demanded reinforcements from ‘Umar against the inhabitants of Palestine, he appointed ‘Ali deputy and left to reinforce them. ‘Ali submitted with concern, “Where are you off to? You are intending to face a doggish enemy. (i.e. just as precautions are taken for a dog attack, you should take precautions of safety.)”
‘Umar replied pointing to a significant point, “I wish to hasten to wage jihad against the enemy prior to ‘Abbas’s death. Indeed, if you lose ‘Abbas, evil will spread all around you just like when the top of the rope is slashed.”
Al Dhahabi adds:
Sayyidina ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu was ahead of them mounted on a horse. He was an extremely handsome man. The Roman army general and the Christian patriarch came forward and greeted him thinking him to be the khalifah of Islam. ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu indicated to them that he was not the khalifah, but rather ‘Umar ibn al Khattab radiya Llahu ‘anhu was the khalifah of the Muslims.
Kanz al ‘Ummal has this final addition:
Thereafter, during the khilafah of Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Sayyidina ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu passed away in Ramadan 32/33 A.H. By Allah, from that time, evil burst and spread among the people.
Honouring and showing kindness to the seniors is one of the obligations of Islam. Sayyidina ‘Abbas ibn ‘Abdul Muttalib radiya Llahu ‘anhu was senior to the Khalifas’ in age and had the great fortune of being the uncle of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, due to which he was deserving of the utmost of respect and honour. Following this, both the Khalifas’ (Sayyidina ‘Umar and Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhuma) made a concerted effort during their reigns to show him the highest of deference and reverence.
Have a look at the following report to a get a glimpse of this aspect:
إن العباس بن عبد المطلب لم يمر بعمر و لا بعثمان و هما راكبان إلا نزلا حتى يجوز العباس إجلالا له و يقولون عم النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم
‘Abbas ibn ‘Abdul Muttalib would not pass by ‘Umar or ‘Uthman while they were mounted except that they would alight until he passed, out of honour for him. They would exclaim in esteem, “The uncle of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.”
It appears as follows in Kanz al ‘Ummal with reference to Ibn ‘Asakir:
عن ابن شهاب قال أبو بكر و عمر في ولايتهما لا يلقى العباس منهما واحد و هو راكب إلا نزل عن دابته و قادها و مشى مع العباس حتى بلغه منزله أو مجلسه فيفارقه
Ibn Shihab said:
Abu Bakr and ‘Umar, during their khilafah, none of them would meet ‘Abbas while he was mounted except that he would dismount from his animal, and walk with ‘Abbas, while leading the conveyance, until he would reach ‘Abbas’s home or place of destination. Only then would he separate from him.
Towards the end of the Faruqi khilafah, many conquests were made and wealth poured into Madinah. Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu set up a meeting to discuss the distribution of wealth. It was decided that those who rendered the initial and most services to Islam should be placed first.
Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu issued orders that the relatives of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam be given precedence when handing out stipends and that a register be drawn up of with the name of all those to receive stipends which should be kept in the treasury and which will prove beneficial in future. Masters of the genealogy of tribes were tasked with drawing up the register with the correct lineage and names of people. Read the upcoming narration which elucidates on this point.
فدعا عقيل بن أبي طالب و مخرمة بن نوفل و جبير بن مطعم و كانوا من نساب قريش فقال اكتبوا الناس على منازلهم … و لكن ابدأوا بقرابة النبي صلى الله عليه و آله الأقرب فالأقرب حتى تضعوا عمر حيث وضعه الله
He called ‘Aqil ibn Abi Talib, Makhramah ibn Nawfal, and Jubair ibn Mut’im who were genealogists of the Quraysh and ordered, “Write the names of the people according to their status.” (Someone suggested that they begin with the tribe of the khilafah of the Muslims, ‘Umar.) He said, “Instead, begin with the family of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, in order of closeness to him until you place ‘Umar where Allah placed him.”
Brothers that are interested in research should be informed that this aspect has been confirmed by the Shia scholars. Have a look at Sharh Nahj al Balaghah of Ibn Abi al Hadid. Such Shia texts were quoted verbatim in chapter two, section four of this book.
For further elucidation on this matter, read the following passages:
و فرض للعباس ثم لعلي رضي الله تعالى عنهما و فرض لنساء المهاجرات ففرض لصفية بنت عبد المطلب ستة آلاف درهم و لأسماء بنت عميس ألف درهم إلخ
He allocated for ‘Abbas and then for ‘Ali. He stipulated for the Muhajirat women. He stipulated for Safiyyah bint ‘Abdul Muttalib (Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam paternal aunt) 6000 dirhams and for Asma’ bint ‘Umais (who was in the wedlock of Sayyidina ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhuma at the time) 1000 dirhams.
Beloved readers, kindly ponder over these aspects.
All these incidents are signs of the harmonious relationship these seniors enjoyed. Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu held Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam uncle Sayyidina ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu in high esteem. They respected one another. If you look with an eye of impartiality, then this is definitely Sayyidina ‘Umar’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu utmost respect for the Banu Hashim. Despite all of this, if someone still harps on the existence of hatred, enmity, and animosity between them, then this is the product of jealousy and prejudice which is incurable. We have related authentic incidents verbatim without addition or subtraction. Those with sound and just temperaments will understand the reality.
 Sahih al Bukhari, vol. 1 pg. 137, chapters on istisqa’, section four, Nur Muhammadi print, Delhi; Tarikh Khalifah Ibn Khayyat, pg. 109, under the year 18 A.H., new edition; al Mustadrak, vol. 3 pg. 334, book on recognising the Sahabah, Hyderabad Dakkan print; Kanz al ‘Ummal, vol. 7 pg. 65, with reference to al Bukhari, Ibn Sa’d, Ibn Khuzaimah, Abu ‘Awanah, al Tabarani, Ibn Hibban, and al Baihaqi, Hyderabad Dakkan print, old edition.
 Musnad Ahmed, vol. 1 pg. 210, musnadat ‘Abbas, with selections of Kanz al ‘Ummal; Musannaf ‘Abdul Razzaq, vol. 8 pg. 292, Beirut print; Abu Dawood Sulaiman ibn al Ash’ath al Sijistani: Kitab al Marasil, pg. 44, chapter regarding traditions regarding harm, Egypt print; Majma’ al Zawa’id, vol. 4 pg. 206, chapter regarding reconciliation, Ahmed narrated it and his narrators are reliable; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 2 pg. 70, biography of ‘Abbas ibn ‘Abdul Muttalib.
 Tarikh al Tabari, vol. 4 pg. 159, the year 15 A.H., chapter on the conquest of Bayt al Maqdis, old Egypt print; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 2 pg. 58, biography of ‘Abbas ibn ‘Abdul Muttalib; Kanz al ‘Ummal, vol. 7 pg. 69, Hadith: 568, with reference to Saif ibn ‘Umar and Ibn ‘Asakir, old print.
 Al Isti’ab, vol. 3 pg. 98, biography of ‘Abbas ibn ‘Abdul Muttalib, with al Isabah; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 2 pg. 68, biography of ‘Abbas; Tahdhib al Tahdhib, vol. 5 pg. 123, same chapter.
 Kanz al ‘Ummal, vol. 7 pg. 69, Hadith: 567, first print.
 Tabaqat ibn Sa’d, vol. 3 pg. 213, section one, chapter on ‘Umar, old Leiden print, Europe; Tarikh al Tabari, vol. 5 pg. 23, the year 23 A.H., discussion on allocating stipends; Kitab al Amwal, pg. 224, chapter on stipulating stipends from the Fay’, Egypt print; al Sunan al Kubra, vol. 6 pg. 364, chapters on division of the wealth of Fay’ and booty.
 Sharh Nahj al Balaghah, vol. 3 pg. 166, 176, Beirut print, under the text: may Allah favour him for he straightened crookedness.
 Tabaqat ibn Sa’d, vol. 3 pg. 213 – 214, section one, chapter on ‘Umar; Kitab al Kharaj, pg. 43 – 44, section on ‘Umar’s allocation for the Sahabah of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, under the heading: distribution of wealth between the Sahabah, Egypt print; Futuh al Buldan, pg. 454 – 455, chapter on stipends during the khilafah of ‘Umar ibn al Khattab, Egypt print; Kitab al Amwal, pg. 224 – 226, chapter on allocation of stipends.