Abbas (properly Abd-el-Mottalib), the paternal uncle of Mohammed and progenitor of the Mohammedan dynasty of the Abbassides (q.v.), was born at Mecca about A.D. 566. He was but four years the senior of Mohammed, and was still a pagan when the prophet began his public career, and long remained his open enemy. He fought against Mohammed in the battle of Bedr, and was taken prisoner; but as soon as the cause of the prophet seemed to succeed he gave in his adhesion to the new faith, and defended it zealously. When Mecca surrendered to Mohammed, the holy well Zemzem was retained, although a monument of paganism, in deference to Abbas, its keeper. He was the chief mourner at Mohammed's funeral, and his presence and memory were treated with great respect by the caliphs.