He is Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan. He was given the title Al Dibaj (silk) on account of his handsomeness. He is the uterine brother of ‘Abdullah al Mahd, Hassan al Muthallath, and Ibrahim al Ghamr radiya Llahu ‘anhum.
Muhammad al Dibaj was devoted to his brother ‘Abdullah al Mahd.
Al Khatib al Baghdadi has reported from ‘Abdullah ibn Hassan al Muthanna:
I loathed Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn ‘Uthman when he was born, I hated him more than I ever hated anyone. Then when he grew older, he [still] honoured me and as a result I never loved anyone as much as I loved him.
Muhammad al Dibaj has narrated Hadith from his father, mother, Kharijah ibn Zaid, Tawus, Abu Zinad, al Zuhri, Nafi’, and others. A group has narrated from him. He has been deemed Thiqah (reliable) by al Nasa’i and Ibn Hibban. Muhammad al Dibaj was generous and kind, praised by the poets; al Zubair ibn Bakkar narrates that Sulaiman ibn ‘Abbas al Sa’di recited to him couplets in praise of Muhammad al Dibaj:
وكنت له بمعتلج السيول
أتاك المجد من هنا وهناك
وما للمجد دونك مقيل
فما للمجد دونك من مبيت
ولا هو قابل بك من بديل
فلا يمض وراءك يبتغيه
Glory came to you from here and from there, when you were in obtaining it at a clashing point of the floods.
Now, without you, it does not spend a night. And now, without you, it does not spend a day.
It will not go on after you, nor would it accept a substitute to replace you.
The greatest sign of the loving and unshakable bond shared between Muhammad al Dibaj and his uterine brothers is that he was imprisoned with them, subsequently punished and tortured along with them, then finally executed by their side by al Mansur al Dawaniqi. The suffering endured by Muhammad al Dibaj grieved ‘Abdullah al Mahd very deeply.
Al Asfahani reports with his chain of narration from Muhammad ibn Hashim ibn al Barid, freed slave of Muawiyah:
I was present at al Rabdhah when the family of Hassan (al Muthanna) were brought in chains, with them was al ‘Uthmani—it was as if he was created from silver. Sometime later, one of Mansur’s men arrived and asked, “Which one of you is Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah al ‘Uthmani?” So Muhammad stood up. Muhammad was not gone long when we heard the sound of the whip. When Muhammad returned his face was so blue that he looked like an African due to the severe beating. One of his eyes had been gouged out and blood was flowing down his cheek from the wound.
He was thrown next to his brother, ‘Abdullah al Mahd. Muhammad was suffering from intense thirst and asked for water, but no one responded.
‘Abdullah yelled out, “Who will give the son of Rasulullah a sip of water.”
A man from Khurasan then stood and gave him water.
Al Asfahani said in the beginning of his biography, “I have mentioned his incident with theirs as he was their uterine brother, and devoted to them. ‘Abdullah ibn Hassan loved him dearly. He was martyred alongside them.”
Muhammad al Dibaj had immense respect for the scholars, amongst his praise for them:
I have not seen a better Mufti than ‘Ata’ ibn Abi Rabah. His gatherings would be filled with the remembrance of Allah with no extremities while they would be engrossed. When he spoke or was asked a question then he would reply most excellently.
Al Dhahabi said about him in Tarikh al Islam, “He was openhanded, generous, chivalrous, magnanimous, dignified…”
Perhaps the narration reported by Ibn ‘Asakir with his chain of narration from Muhammad ibn ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Abi al Mawali provides us with the best insight to the values imparted by Fatimah bint Hussain rahimaha Llah to her sons:
When the sons of Fatimah bint Hussain from Hassan al Muthanna and ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr were imprisoned the guard gave a pillow to ‘Ali ibn Hassan al Muthallath saying, “Rest your head on it and take some comfort therein.” He in turn gave preference to his father, Hassan al Muthallath, giving it to him instead. Hassan al Muthallath said, “O my son, your uncle—’Abdullah ibn Hassan—is more deserving of this.” so he sent it to ‘Abdullah, who said, “O my brother, this brother of ours, who has suffered on our account, and received the lashing that he did because of [his love for] us—referring to Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn ‘Uthman—deserves it more.” So it was given to him and he was told, “You are most deserving of resting your head on this pillow.” So he did.
This was a snippet from the lives of these great sons of Sayyidah Fatimah bint Hussain rahimaha Llah. Were we to dig deeper into their lives, we would find invaluable gems of piety and goodness; however, the little we have cited will prove sufficient for the one who seeks guidance.
 Tarikh Baghdad, 3/276; Mukhtasar Tarikh Dimashq, 1/3031.
 He said once that he is Thiqah, while at another juncture he said, “He is not that strong.” Refer to Tahdhib al Kamal, under the biography of Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr, # 5364.
 Tarikh al Islam, 9/274.
 Maqatal al Talibiyin, pg. 197; Tarikh al Islam, 1/1036.
 Maqatal al Talibiyin, pg. 183.
 Tahdhib al Kamal, biography of ‘Ata’ ibn Abi Rabah, # 3933; Tarikh al Islam, 1/879, biography of ‘Ata’ ibn Abi Rabah.
 Tarikh al Islam, 1/1091, biography of Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan.
 Tarikh Dimashq, 53/390, with slight adaptation.Back to top