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'Umar b. al-Imam 'Ali (a)

Descendant of Imam
'Umar b. al-Imam 'Ali (a)
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
Well-Known As 'Umar al-Atraf
Father Imam 'Ali (a)
Mother Layla bt. Mas'ud
Place(s) of Residence Medina
Demise 61/680
Place of Burial Karbala

ʿUmar b. ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib (Arabic:عُمَر بن عَليّ بن اَبي طالِب d. 61/680), known as 'Umar al-Atraf was one of the children of Imam Ali (a) and according to some historians, was among the martyrs of Karbala, while some others believe he was not present in the Battle of Karbala. It is said that except him (who was called 'Umar al-Asghar), Imam Ali (a) had another son called 'Umar al-Akbar, whose mother was Umm Habiba and was not present in the event of Karbala.


His Life

Some have mentioned 'Umar b. Ali as 'Umar al-Akbar whose kunya was Abu l-Qasim or Abu Hafs. There are different reports about the name of his mother. Ibn Sa'd and al-Ya'qubi reported the name of his mother as Sahba (Umm Habib), daughter of Rabi'a al-Taghlibi and reported that she was taken captive by Khalid b. Walid in 'Ayn al-Tamr and brought to Medina, but there is no information about the year Imam Ali (a) married her. Some other sources have mentioned her name as Layla bt. Mas'ud al-Darami. Al-Fakhr al-Razi mentioned that 'Umar was the youngest child of Imam Ali (a).

According to Sepehr, Imam Ali (a) had two sons called 'Umar: 'Umar al-Akbar whose mother was Umm Habiba and was not present in the Event of Karbala; and 'Umar al-Asghar who was martyred after his brother Abu Bakr in the Event of Karbala.

Cause of Naming

Al-Baladhuri and al-Dhahabi wrote that 'Umar b. al-Khattab made his name the same as his own and gave him a slave. He also changed the name of some others. Another point is that names such as 'Umar was a common name at that time and more than 20 of the Companions of the Prophet (s) were named 'Umar.

Presence in the Battle of Karbala

There are disagreements among historians and biographers about the presence of 'Umar b. Ali in Karbala: al-Khwarazmi, Ibn Shahr Ashub, al-Mamaqani and some others counted him among the martyrs. It is reported that he made war cries on the Day of 'Ashura and attacked the enemy. He attacked Zahr, the killer of his brother and killed him.

Al-Khwarazmi reported his martyrdom after the martyrdom of his brother Abu Bakr. It is said that first, his horse fell down and then they martyred him.

Also, there are reports about the absence of 'Umar b. Ali in Karbala by Abu l-Faraj, Ibn Sa'd and some others who did not mention his martyrdom. Also evidences about his presence in Karbala have been reported. According to one report, he was not present in Karbala and lived until the caliphate of 'Abd al-Malik b. Marwan. Accordingly, he had complaints about donations of the Holy Prophet (s) and Imam Ali (a) and passed away after all the children of Imam Ali (a).