In the month of Muharram 61 AH (approximately, the 20 of October 680 AD), an event took place in Iraq at a place known as Karbala on the bank of the river Euphrates. A large army which had been mobilized by the Umayyad regime besieged a group of Shi’a numbering less than a hundred and put them under pressure to pay allegiance to the Khalifat of the time and submit to his authority. The small group resisted and a severe battle took place in which they were all killed.
The leader of the small band of men who were martyred in Karbala was Husayn (as), son of Ali bin Abi Talib (as) and grandson of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sal), the Seal of the Prophets. Husayn (as) was the son of Fatima (as) the daughter of the Prophet Muhammad (sal). The Holy Prophet Muhammad (sal) once said regarding his grandson: “Husayn is from me and I am from Husayn. May Allah love whoever loves Husayn.”
Notes : Ibn Majah: Sunan, Hadith 144.
As well: “(Hasan and Husayn are) the chief youths of Paradise.”
Notes : Ibn Maja, Sunan, Vol. 1, p.44, No. 118.
And: “He who has loved Hasan and Husayn has loved me and he who has hated them has hated me.”
Notes : Ibn Maja, Sunan, Vol. 1, p. 51, No. 143.
Kaffir Yazid was the son of kaffir Mu’awiyya and grandson of kaffir Abu Sufyan – the arch-enemy of the Prophet Muhammad (sal). Mas’udi writes that Yazid was a pleasure-seeking person, given to drunkenness and filthy living. Small wonder that Husayn’s response to Yazid’s governor, when asked to pay allegiance to Yazid was, “We are the household of the Prophethood, the source of Messengership, the descending-place of the Angels, through us Allah had began (showering Hu’s favours) and with us Hu has perfected (Hu’s favours), whereas Yazid is a sinful person, a drunkard, the killer of innocent people and one who openly indulges in sinful acts. A person like me can never pledge allegiance to a person like him…”
Notes : Sayyid ibn Ta’us: Maqtalu’l Husayn, pp.10-11
The revolution of Husayn (as) was an Islamic movement spearheaded by one of the greatest leaders of Islam. The principles and laws of Islam demanded that Husayn (as) act to warn the Ummah of the evil situation which it was in, and to stand in the way of the deviating ruler. As Husayn (as) himself remarked when he left Madina for the last time, “I am not rising (against Yazid) as an insolent or an arrogant person, or a mischief-monger or tyrant. I have risen (against Yazid) as I seek to reform the Ummah of my grandfather. I wish to bid the good and forbid the evil.”
Notes : Al-Khatid al-Khuwarazmi: Maqtalu’l Husayn ,vol.1, p.88
“I am not leaving (from Medina) as a rebellion, oppressor and transgressor, instead my purpose is to reform the nation (Ummah) of my grandfather. I wish to reform the nation (Ummah) by the method of Amr Bil Maroof and Nahi Anil Munkar. It is not that I am the first person who is adopting this method to reform a nation, before me my great grandfather and father both adopted this method. I desire to follow their character (Seerah) of doing Amr Bil Maroof and Nahi Anil Munkar for reforming the nation (Ummah)”.Imam Hussein (a.s.)
On the day of Ashura, Imam Hussein (a.s.) revived great human values, attracted his companions towards them and displayed them to the camp of enemies in form of patience, steadfastness and forbearance. His army- which in terms of numbers was countable on fingers -portrayed attributes and qualities which dominated millions on the battlefield. His companions did not fight for worldly pleasures, but for the betterment of the Muslim nation (Ummah) by preventing the message of Prophet Muhammed (s.a.w.w.) from being wiped out by the likes of Muawiyya and Yazid