The relationship between Sayyidina ‘Umar and Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas ibn ‘Abdul Muttalib radiya Llahu ‘anhuma will be highlighted here. ‘Abdullah is the son of Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam uncle Sayyidina ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu and the cousin of Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He is an individual of merit and knowledge from the Banu Hashim. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam prayed for increase in his knowledge which was certainly answered. He holds a very high academic position among the Banu Hashim, just below Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. The Shia mujtahidin have attested to his academic prowess in many narrations. Sheikh Abu Jafar al Tusi has reported on this issue in al Amali. Ibn ‘Abbas addressed someone saying:
قال ثكلتك أمك علي علمني و كان علمه من رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله و رسول الله علمه الله من فوق عرشه فعلم النبي صلى الله عليه و آله من الله و علم علي من النبي و علمي من علم علي
May your mother be bereaved of you! ‘Ali taught me and his knowledge was from Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. And Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was taught by Allah from above His ‘Arsh. So, the Nabi’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam knowledge is from Allah and ‘Ali’s knowledge is from the Nabi, and my knowledge is from ‘Ali.
It should be known that the upcoming Shia scholars and mujtahidin have duly praised and given credibility to Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas ibn ‘Abdul Muttalib radiya Llahu ‘anhuma and have listed him as one of Sayyidina ‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu special supporters.
After this clarification, we will now present some incidents highlighting the bond between Sayyidina ‘Umar and Sayyidina ‘Abdullah radiya Llahu ‘anhuma under few headings. We hope the readers will enjoy it.
a. Tabaqat ibn Sa’d
عن عطاء بن يسار أن عمر و عثمان كانا يدعوان ابن عباس فيشير مع أهل بدر و كان يفتي في عهد عمر و عثمان إلى يوم مات
‘Ata’ ibn Yasar relates:
Indeed, ‘Umar and ‘Uthman would call Ibn ‘Abbas who would give counsel with the participants of Badr. And he would pass verdicts during the reign of ‘Umar and ‘Uthman until he passed away.
b. Tabaqat ibn Sa’d
عن مروان بن أبي سعيد عن ابن عباس قال دخلت على عمر بن الخطاب يوما فسألني عن مسئلة كتب إليه بها يعلى بن أمية من اليمن و أجبته فيها فقال عمر أشهد أنك تنطق عن بيت نبوة
From Marwan ibn Abi Sa’id―from Ibn ‘Abbas who reports:
I entered the presence of ‘Umar ibn al Khattab one day who asked me about a ruling which Ya’la ibn Umayyah had written to him about from Yemen. I answered him, upon which he remarked, “I testify that you speak from the house of nubuwwah.”
c. Kanz al ‘Ummal with reference to Ibn Sa’d
عن يعقوب بن يزيد قال كان عمر بن الخطاب يستشير عبد الله بن عباس في الأمر إذا همه و يقول غص غواص
Ya’qub ibn Yazid says:
‘Umar ibn al Khattab would seek counsel from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas in important matters. He would tell him, “Dive, O diver (into the ocean of knowledge) (i.e. ponder deeply over the matter and answer).”
It appears in Tabaqat ibn Sa’d:
عبد الرحمن بن أبي زناد عن أبيه أن عمر بن الخطاب دخل على ابن عباس يعوده و هو يحم فقال عمر أخل بنا مرضك فالله المستعان
‘Abdul Rahman ibn Abi Zinad reports―from his father:
‘Umar ibn al Khattab entered Ibn ‘Abbas’s home to visit him in his sickness; he was suffering with fever. ‘Umar said, “Your sickness has disturbed our work. And help is sought from Allah alone!”
The acclaimed Shia historian Mirza Muhammad Taqi Lisan al Mulk (d. 1297 A.H.) quotes from another famous Shia historian al Mas’udi (d. 346 A.H) in his book Nasikh al Tawarikh fine words of admiration and approval from the tongue of Sayyidina ‘Ali’s cousin Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas for Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhum, wherein he describes his qualities in a splendid way. This narration will be presented from both the original and transmitted books as proof against the Shia. Kindly accept.
رحم الله أبا حفص كان والله حليف الإسلام و مأوى الأيتام و منتهى الإحسان و محل الإيمان و كهف الضعفاء و معقل الحنفاء و قام بحق الله صابرا محتسبا حتى أوضح الدين و فتح البلاد و آمن العباد و أعقب الله من ينقصه اللعنة إلى بوم القيامة
May Allah shower his mercy on Abu Hafs. By Allah, he was the confederate of Islam, the sanctuary of the orphans, the frontier of kindness, the house of iman, the cave for the weak, and the fortress of the orthodox. He established the right of Allah, bearing patiently and anticipating reward until he promulgated din, conquered the cities, and gave safety to the faithful. Allah’s curse till the Day of Qiyamah be upon the one who condemns him.
It appears in Musnad Ahmed under the narrations of Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu:
عن قتادة عن أبي العالية عن ابن عباس قال شهد عندي رجال مرضيون منهم عمر و أرضيهم عندي عمر إن نبي الله صلى الله عليه و سلم كان يقول لا صلوة بعد العصر حتى تغرب الشمس و لا صلوة بعد الصبح حتى تطلع الشمس
From Qatadah―from Abu al ‘Aliyah―from Ibn ‘Abbas who said:
Few men who are reliable―among whom is ‘Umar―bore testimony in my presence, and the most pleasing to me of them is ‘Umar that the nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would say, “There is no salah after ‘Asr until the sun sets and there is no salah after Fajr until the sun rises.”
This is only one example of Sayyidina Ibn ‘Abbas learning a narration from Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhum. Otherwise, there are innumerable narrations like these in Musnad Ahmed and other hadith compilations. However, the noteworthy sentence is: the most pleasing to me of them is ‘Umar. This is a great testimony of Sayyidina ‘Umar’s religiousness, trustworthiness, and truthfulness by Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma.
Imam al Bukhari reports via his sanad in al Tarikh al Kabir:
عن عطاء عن عبد الله بن عباس عن الفضل بن عباس عن النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم قال الحق بعدي مع عمر حيث كان
From ‘Ata’―from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas―from al Fadl ibn ‘Abbas―from the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam who said:
The truth after me is with ‘Umar wherever he is.
It is clearly stated in the books of hadith that the method of deducing religious rulings of Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma was that he would find the answer firstly in the Book of Allah. If he could not locate it, then he would search through the Prophetic traditions. If he did not find an answer, then he would determine Sayyidina Abu Bakr’s and Sayyidina ‘Umar’s radiya Llahu ‘anhuma decision in this matter and practice accordingly. Senior ‘Ulama’ have documented this methodology of his at many places
Al Baihaqi’s al Sunan al Kubra and al Baghawi’s Sharh al Sunnah:
عن عبيد الله بن أبي يزيد قال سمعت عبد الله بن عباس إذا سئل عن شيء هو في كتاب الله قال به و إذا لم يكن في كتاب الله و قاله رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم قال به و إذا لم يكن في كتاب الله و لم يقله رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم و قاله أبو بكر و عمر رضي الله عنهما قال به و إلا اجتهد رأيه
‘Ubaid Allah ibn Abi Yazid explains:
I heard that when ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas was asked about anything which is present in the Book of Allah, he would pass judgment according to that. And if it was not found in the Book of Allah and Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had commented on it, he would pass judgement accordingly. If it was not found in the above two sources and Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma had declared regarding it, he would pass judgement accordingly. Otherwise, he would make ijtihad and pass verdict according to his opinion.
Hafiz Ibn Taymiyyah al Harrani has elucidated on this point in his own words in al Fatawa al Kubra. We present the text for the benefit of the readers:
و قد ثبت عن ابن عباس أنه كان يفتي من كتاب الله فإن لم يجد فبما سنه رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم فإن لم يجد أفتى بقول أبي بكر و عمر و لم يكن يفعل ذلك بعثمان و علي و ابن عباس حبر الأمة و أعلم الصحابة و أفقههم في زمانه و هو يفتي بقول أبي بكر و عمر مقدما لقولهما على قول غيرهما من الصحابة و قد ثبت عن النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم أنه قال اللهم فقهه في الدين و علمه التأويل
It is established concerning Ibn ‘Abbas that he would pass verdict from the Book of Allah. If he could not locate anything therein, then by what Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam founded. If he could not, then he would pass judgement according to Abu Bakr’s and ‘Umar’s opinion. He would not do the same with ‘Uthman and ‘Ali. Ibn ‘Abbas was the scholar of the Ummah and the most knowledgeable and best jurist among the Sahabah of his era. And he is passing verdict according to Abu Bakr’s and ‘Umar’s view, giving precedence to their stance over all the Sahabah besides them. It is authentically transmitted that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam supplicated, “O Allah, give him the understanding of din and teach him the commentary (of Qur’an).”
May Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala unite all the Muslims and grant us the obedience of our religious elders who were examples of pure love and fondness, and epitomes of merciful among themselves.
 Al Amali, vol. 1 pg. 11, Najaf Ashraf print, Iraq.
 Tabaqat ibn Sa’d, vol. 2 pg. 120, biography of Ibn ‘Abbas; Ibid report from Sa’id ibn Jubair that ‘Umar would include Ibn ‘Abbas with the participants of Badr in the mashwarah; Musnad Ahmed, vol. 1 pg. 14, musnadat ‘Umar al Faruq, ‘Asim ibn Kulayb reports from his father from Ibn ‘Abbas a narration of a similar kind.
 Tabaqat ibn Sa’d, vol. 2 pg. 122, biography of Ibn ‘Abbas
 Kanz al ‘Ummal, vol. 7 pg. 53, Hadith: 413, old print.
 Tabaqat ibn Sa’d, vol. 2 pg. 123, biography of Ibn ‘Abbas, old print.
 Muruj al Dhahab, vol. 3 pg. 60, mention of the Sahabah and their praise; Nasikh al Tawarikh, vol. 5 pg. 144, book two, Iran print.
 Musnad Ahmed, vol. 1 pg. 18, Egypt print.
 Al Tarikh al Kabir, vol. 4 pg. 114, section one, under Fadl ibn ‘Abbas.
 Al Sunan al Kubra, vol. 10 pg. 115, Dakkan print; Sharh al Sunnah, vol. 1 pg. 208.
 Al Fatawa al Kubra, vol. 1 pg. 466.