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'Abis b. Abi Shabib al-Shakiri

Companion of Imam (a)
'Abis b. Abi Shabib al-Shakiri
Darih of Imam al-Husayn & the grave of martyrs of Karbala.jpg
Burial Place of most of the martyrs of the Battle of Karbala, near the holy grave of Imam al-Husayn (a) in his shrine
Companion of Imam Ali (a), Imam al-Husayn (a)
Lineage Banu Shakir
Place(s) of Residence Kufa
Death/Martyrdom 61
Cause of
Martyred in the Event of Karbala
Burial Place Karbala
Activities participating in the battle of Siffin and Event of Ashura

ʿĀbis b. Abī Shabīb al-Shākirī (Arabic: عابس بن ابي شبيب الشاکري) or ʿĀbis b. Shabīb al-Shākirī (عابس بن شبيب الشاکري) was among the companions of Imam al-Husayn (a) and the martyrs of Karbala. He was from Banu Shakir clan of the great Banu Hamdan tribe. He was among the famous people of Kufa. It is reported that he was powerful in speaking and giving sermons and was a man of worship.


His Name and Lineage

His name has been recorded as 'A'ish and 'Abbas b. Habib. His father has been recorded as Shabib, Habib, Shibth or Layth.

'Abis b. Abi Shabib al-Shakiri was from Banu Shakir clan from Banu Hamdan tribe. People of this tribe were brave ones at war and thus Arabs called them Fatayan al-Sabah, meaning "the Youths of the Morning".

Banu Shakir tribe including 'Abis b. Abi Shabib al-Shakiri were among the lovers of the Ahl al-Bayt (a) and the followers of Imam Ali (a) who loved him exceptionally.

'Abis was among special companions of Imam Ali (a) and companions of Imam al-Husayn (a). He was perfect in the good qualities of his tribe. He was one of the Shia noblemen and their chiefs. He was a brave man, a competent speaker, striving worshiper of the day and night.

In the Battle of Siffin

It is narrated that about loyal and brave men of Banu Shakir in Siffin, Imam Ali (a) said, "If the number of the men from Banu Shakir reached a thousand, the right of God for worshiping would be made." In the battle of Siffin, 'Abis was injured on his forehead, the mark of which remained on his forehead forever.

Supporting Imam al-Husayn (a)

After Muslim b. 'Aqil entered Kufa, he went to the house of Mukhtar b. Abi 'Ubayd. The Shia of Kufa were informed about the entrance of the special representative of Imam al-Husayn (a) and gathered in the house of Mukhtar.

In this gathering, Muslim read the letter of Imam al-Husayn (a) for people. 'Abis was the first person who stood up after reading of the letter of Imam (a) and after praising God the Almighty, addressed Muslim and said, "I do not give news about people and I do not know about their intentions and I do not give false promises on their behalf. By God I swear, I speak about what I have decided that when you call, I will answer and will fight with your enemy and defend you with sword until I go to God and I do not want anything from it other than rewards."

Then, Habib b. Muzahir stood up and announced his readiness for helping Imam al-Husayn (a). The speeches these two persons prepared the ground for allegiance of people and more than 18 thousand people gave allegiance to Muslim.

Delivering the Letter of Muslim to Imam (a)

After many of the people of Kufa gave allegiance to Muslim, he wrote a letter to Imam (a) and invited him to Kufa. In his letter, he asked Imam (a) to move as soon as he (a) received 'Abis's letter, because people do not want the people of Mu'awiya. Msulim sent this letter written by 'Abis b. Abi Shabib and Qays b. Mushir al-Saydawi to Imam (a).

'Abis b. Abi Shabib together with his slave, Shawdhab moved to Mecca to deliver the letter to Imam al-Husayn (a) and delivered it to Imam (a) in Mecca.

After delivering the letter, 'Abis accompanied Imam al-Husayn (a) and his caravan from Mecca to Karbala.

Participating in the Battle on the Day of 'Ashura

'Abis performed the noon prayer and went to the battlefield and was martyred, but some contemporary sources say that when Imam al-Husayn (a) wanted to perform the noon prayer on the Day of 'Ashura, 'Abis stood in front of Imam (a) and made a shield of his body against the arrows shot at Imam (a).

When most of the companions of Imam al-Husayn (a) were martyred and a few were left, 'Abis turned to his servant Shawdhab and said, "what do you want to do?"

Shawdhab said, "Together with you, I will defend the son of the Prophet (s)."

'Abis said, "I did not expect from you other than this…If I had anyone dear than you, I would send him to the battlefield before myself, since today is the last chance to act and tomorrow is the day of reckoning and no act would be beneficial then."

After the martyrdom of his servant Shawdhab, 'Abis went to Imam al-Husayn (a) and said, "O Aba 'Abd Allah! By God I swear that on the earth, whether far or near, I have no one dearer than you. If I had the power to keep off the oppression from you by something even more valuable than my life and blood, I would definitely do so."

He then said, "May peace be upon you O Aba 'Abd Allah (a)! I testify that I am upon your guidance and the guidance of your father! Greetings be upon you O Aba 'Abd Allah! Beware that I am steadfast upon the way of you and your father and I will be guided to the right path." After he received permission from Imam (a), he went to the battlefield.

Rabi' b. Tamim al-Hamdani, who was in the army of 'Umar b. Sa'd, said, "when I saw 'Abis was coming to the battlefield, I recognized him. I had seen his fights in different battles and I knew that he was among the bravest people, so, I told the army of 'Umar b. Sa'd, 'This man is the lion of all lions. This is son of Shabib. Lest anyone should ever go to fight him.'" 'Abis was shouting far cries and asking for someone to go fight him, but no one dared to go to the battlefield.

When 'Abis saw that no one was going to fight him, took off his armor and his helmet and attacked the army of Kufa and disarranged the army. By the order of 'Umar b. Sa'd, they stoned him.

Rabi' b. Tamim said, "By God I swear that I saw him injured and killed more than 200 people, but finally, they besieged him and beheaded him. I witnessed that the head of 'Abis b. Shabib was being handed to each other by them and they argued to attribute his killing to themselves, until 'Umar b. Sa'd said, "Do not argue with each other! By God I swear not one person could have killed this man.'"

The headless body of 'Abis was moved to the tent of martyred by Imam al-Husayn (a) and after the Event of 'Ashura, he was buried by Banu Asad tribe.

Ziyara Rajabiyya and Ziyara Nahiya Muqaddasa

'Abis was among those companions of Imam al-Husayn (a), whose name has been mentioned in Ziyara Rajabiyya of Imam al-Husayn (a) and Ziyara al-Nahiya al-Muqaddasa (non-famous). He has been greeted well in the two Ziyara as following, "Peace be upon 'Abis b. Shabib al-Shakiri."

About him, Shaykh 'Abbas Qummi has said, "Peace be upon 'Abis b. Abi Shabib al-Shakiri. I will testify that you also suffered like those afflictions the fighters of Badr and other fighters of the way of God had."