In the Name of the Most High
A Small Grave, A Dire Tragedy
During the lifetime of Allameh Bahrol Oloom1 areas of the tomb of Abu Fazel Abbas (PBUH) required repair and renovations. Allameh Bahrol Oloom was informed of the matter, and set a date to visit the tomb with an architect to identify the amount of repair required.
The day arrived, and Allameh and the architect entered the Sardab2 and observed the foundations of the Holy Shrine from up close. When the architect observed the tomb of Abbas (PBUH), he asked, “Sir, may I ask a question?”
Allameh: “Do ask.”
Architect: “We had heard and read that Abbas (PBUH) had a tall posture, such that whenever he mounted his horse, his knees would be by the horse’s ears.3 Therefore, the length of his tomb should be longer, but what I see here is a very small grave! Did I understand incorrectly? Or is there another reason for the size of the grave?
Allameh Bahrol Oloom cried greatly after hearing the architect’s question. He did not respond, and instead leaned his head to the wall and cried intensely. After a while the architect, now worried asked, “Sir, why are you crying? Did I say anything wrong?”
Allameh said, “You have heard correctly. Abbas (PBUH) was tall! But your question reminded me of the calamity that befell him. On the day of Ashura, the body of Abbas was wounded to such an extent from all the sword and spear injuries, tearing his body into many pieces!4 How can you expect a ripped apart body, which was gathered and buried by Imam Sajjad (PBUH), to have a tomb larger than this?!
Selection taken from the book, The Character of Abu fazel (PBUH), by Ali Ataee Khorasani, (with minor changes)
On behalf of Roshd Website, we send our condolences to you dear friend and all devotees of Abu Fazel, Abbas Ibn Ali (PBUH) on the day of Imam Hussain’s Tasooa,
A day of commemoration for the water-bearer of Karbala
And manifestation of manners and sacrifice
Roshd Islamic Shia Website
1. Sayyed Mohammad Mahdi Bahr al-‘uloom (1155 to 1212 AH) who is also known as Allameh Bahr al-Oloom was one of greatest Shiite scholars of 12 to 13th century.
2. Sardab is a constructed underground space of certain buildings. Sardab is used to bury the passed away while keeping the body away from the heat. Some of the pilgrimage sites have this feature amongst which is the shrine of Abbas; thus the actual grave is four meters below the ground and the shrine on the ground is created for the respect and convenience of visitor and pilgrims.
3. For more information please refer to: maghatel alTalebbin, pg. 56; ‘Ayaan al-shi’a, vol. 7, pg. 430; Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 45, pg. 39 and more.
4. Bihbahani narrates in al-Dam’ate al-Sakibah:
The wounds to the body of Abbas were so severe and deep that Imam Hossein was unable to carry his body.