Abdullah bin Abbas was the son of Abbas, the uncle of Muhammad, thus Ibn Abbas was Muhammad's cousin and also the cousin of Ali bin Abi Talib.
He was born in Mecca three years before Muhammad fled to Madinah (619 A.D.) and was about 13 years old when Muhammad died.
Ibn Abbas grew up as a Muslim and had a good relationship with his cousin Muhammad the prophet of Islam. He memorized a great number of hadiths at that time.
One of the stories told about him states that Muhammad prayed for him: "Allah, give him wisdom, and teach him the interpretation (of the Qur'an)." Then Muhammad looked at him and said: "You are a good Qur'an interpreter."
After Muhammad's death he was considered one of the highest authorities in interpretation of the Qur'an and narration of correct hadiths. He has been called Baher ("sea"), because of his wide knowledge about Islam, and was also called Heber al-Ummah ("the scholar of the Ummah").
When Ali bin Abi Talib was Caliph, he made him governor of Basra (a city in Iraq). Ibn Abbas fought on the side of his cousin Ali in the battle against Mu'awiya.
He died in Ta'if (a city near Mecca) around 68 A.H. (690 A.D.) at the age of about 71 years. Almost all Muslim scholars respect his opinion and consider him of supreme authority in hadith narration and Tafsir (Qur'an interpretation).
Go Back to Main Index