Imam Hussain (a.s.)

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Imam Hussain (a.s.)

Hussain ibn Ali is the third Shia Imam, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), and the son of Ali ibn Abi Talib and Fatima (pbut). Imam Hussain (a.s) together with his elder brother Imam Hassan (a.s) have been famously regarded by the Prophet (pbuh) as the "masters of the youth of Paradise" (Phyllis 350). Moreover, the Holy Prophet's special affection for Hassan and Hussain is evident in both Shia and Sunni literature. After his brother, Hussain (a.s) held the position of the Imam of the Muslims and, acting in accordance with the provisions of Imam Hassan's agreement with Muawiya, maintained peace with the Umayyad caliphate. However, even before the death of Muawiya, the Umayyad side (by appointing his son, Yazid, to succeed him) violated the agreement under the terms of which "after Muawiya's death, the leadership should be restored to Hassan, or, if he was not alive, to his younger brother, Hussain" (Phyllis 350). Along with this breach of the agreement, Yazid forcefully took caliphate while being notorious (also confirmed by the Sunni sources) for being publicly neglectful of fundamentals of Islam and an immoral tyrant devoted to liquor. Yazid attempted to coerce Imam Hussain (a.s) to swear allegiance to him, however, Imam never accepted, finding the oath of allegiance to Yazid would definitely result in the destruction and total deviation of Islam. At this time, a great number of Kufis expressed their support and assistance for Imam Hussain (a.s), inviting him to come to Kufa and become the legitimate caliph. Thus, Hussain (a.s) set for Kufa. However, Yazid's army together with many of the same Kufis (having shifted their allegiance to Yazid) intercepted Imam at the desert of Karbala. At last, on the 10th of Muharram, after having denied Imam Hussain, his family, and companions access to water, Yazid's army, which outnumbered Imam's by thousands, martyred Hussain (a.s) and his seventy-two companions, trampled on their bodies, pillaged the tents, and took the women and children captives. In Shia belief, what happened in Karbala is the saddest point in history, a group of people massacred the son of their prophet and then celebrated. The Shia Muslims, annually commemorate and mourn the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (a.s) and on Arbaeen (the fortieth day after Ashoora), following the example of Ahl al-Bayt (pbut), make a long journey on foot to visit the holy shrine of Imam Hussain (a.s), the epitome of martyrdom, self-sacrifice, and freedom in Shia culture.

Synonyms: Imam Hussain,Hussain
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