Abdullaah bn Abbaas – may Allaah be merciful to him and his father – was one of the 'Abaadilah (those among the young Companions whose name was Abdullah) amongst the Companions of the Prophet – sallallaahu alahyi wa sallam. His father was an uncle to the Prophet – sallallaahu alahyi wa sallam. The ‘Abaadilah were four in number. Apart from him, there were Abdullaah bn ‘Umar [the son of the Second Khaleefah, ‘Umar], Abdullaah bn ‘Amr bn al-‘Aas [the son of one of the foremost people of the Qurayshee Tribe who later embraced Islam wholeheartedly), and Abdullaah bn Az-Zubayr bn al-Awwam [the son of the husband of Aaisha’s sister, Asmaa bint Abee Bakr. This Abdullaah later became an Ameer of Makkah and Madeenah and was eventually murdered by Al-Hajjaaj bn Yusuf].
They were all youthful Companions of the Messenger of Allaah – sallallaahu alahyi wa sallam. It is usually difficult to point out the best amongst them. Nevertheless, Abdullaah bn ‘Abbaas stands out. He was the best exegete of the Qur’aan (if not Abdullaah bn Mas’ood – who was never categorized amongst the Abaadilah because of his age and the fact that he belonged to the Senior Companions). The Messenger of Allaah – sallallaahu alahyi wa sallam actually prayed for ‘Abdullaah bn ‘Abbaas, that Allaah should endow him with the knowledge of the Qur’aan. No doubt, the prayer was granted.
Thus Abdullaah bn ‘Abbaas – may Allaah be merciful to him and his father – was one of the best to have traversed this Ummah.
This piece wants to highlight some of the students that took knowledge from him from among the Taabi’een so as to know the legacy left by him after death.
The first among them was ‘Ataa bn Abee Rabbaah. He was a black person with a squinted face; he was pug-nosed, suffered some paralysis and was lame. In fact, he later became blind upon all that. Yet Allaah made him the foremost scholar in Makkah. He died year 114 Hijrah. May Allaah bestow mercy on him.
The second figure was Taawus bn Keesaan al-Yamanee. He was by name, Dhakwaan. ‘Taawus’ or if you like you say ‘Tawus’ (peacock) was just a nom de plume. He died in year 106 Hijrah just a day before the 8th of Dhul Hijrah of that year.
The third was Mujaahid bn Jabr (some would say ‘Mujaahid Ibn Jubayr’). He was by agnomen, ‘Abul-Hajjaaj’, al-Makkee. He read Qur’aan to Abdullaah bn Abbaas about thirty times. He died in prostration in the year 100 Hijrah.
The fourth was Jaabir bn Zayd Aboo Ash-Sha’thaa al-Azdee. He died in year 93 Hijrah.
The fifth was ‘Ikrimah who was a former slave of Abdullaah bn Abbaas. He was Abu Abdillaah al-Qurashee. He died in year 104 Hijrah.
The sixth was Sa’eed bn Jubayr bn Hishaam al-Asadee. He was killed by al-Hajjaaj bn Yoosuf, the maximum ruler from the clan of Umayyah. The event of his killing was in the year 95 Hijrah. He did not attain fifty years in life. He was actually the last person al-Hajjaaj would kill before things turned round against him. He was haunted by the murder of Sa’eed until he died himself. Sa’eed bn Jubayr was regarded as the most knowledgeable among the students of Abdullaah bn Abbaas; in fact, he was the most reliable among them (in terms of rendering narrations perfectly).
May Allaah be merciful to the teacher and students.
Partly adapted from Dr Alee Umar’s PhD thesis on al-Imaam Ahmad’s Methodologies of Criticism of Men of Hadith (borrowed from Aboo Naasir’s library)
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