Abbas (äbäsˈ, ăbäsˈ, ăbˈəs) [key], d. 653, uncle of Muhammad the Prophet and of Ali the caliph. A wealthy merchant of Mecca, he was at first opposed to the religious movement initiated by his nephew Muhammad. In 629 he became a convert, however, and from then on he was a companion of Muhammad and the chief financial support of Islam. His descendants founded the Abbasid dynasty. The son of Abbas, Ibn Abbas (Abd Allah), was a celebrated authority on Islamic traditions and law.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
More on Abbas from Fact Monster:
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Islam