Battle of Karbala

Infobox Military Conflict

conflict=Battle of Karbala
date=October 10, 680
result=Military victory for the forces of Yazid I
combatant2=Supporters of Ali
commander1=Yazid ibn Mu'awiah Umar ibn Sa'ad
commander2=Husayn ibn Ali Abbas ibn Ali
Shia Islam The Battle of Karbala took place on Muharram 10, 61 AH (October 9 or 10, 680 CE) [ [ Western-Islamic Calendar Converter ] ] [ [ Gregorian-Hijri Dates Converter ] ] in Karbala, in present day Iraq. On one side were supporters and relatives of Muhammad's grandson Husayn ibn Ali; on the other side was a military detachment from the forces of Yazid I, the Umayyad caliph.

Husayn ibn Ali's group consisted of notable members of Muhammad's close relatives, around 72 men and women, of which some were either very old or very young. Husayn and some members of his group were accompanied by some of the women and children from their families. On the opposite side, the armed forces of Yazid I were led by Umar ibn Sa'ad.

The battle field was a desert region located beside one of the branches of the Euphrates River. The battle resulted in the military defeat of Husayn ibn Ali's group, the death of almost all of his men, and the captivity of all women and children. This battle also had significant effects on formation of subsequent revolts against the Umayyad dynasty. [ ] The battle of Husayn ibn Ali is commemorated during an annual 10-day period held every Muharram by Shiites, culminating on its tenth day, Ashura. [ [ Karbala: The Everlasting Stand - Muharram 1427 ] ]

Battle based on Islamic traditions

Political background

The rule of the third Caliph Uthman concluded with a violent uprising. This uprising ended with the martyrdom of Uthman and for many days rebels seized and occupied the city of Medina. Under the overwhelming pressure of the ummah, Ali ibn Abi Talib was elected as the fourth Caliph with massive numbers of people swearing their allegiance to him. His immediate steps were to ensure the unity of Muslims. He issued the orders of not attacking the rebels until order was restored. The governor of Syria, Muawiya, refused allegiance to Ali before the rebels were chastised. This split resulted in the battle of Seffin. The Kharijites agreed among themselves that the whole issue can be solved if they managed to eliminate the three big movers among the fighting parties, namely: Muawiya, Amr Ibn Al-As (Egypt's ruler at that time), and Ali ibn Abi Talib. As it happened, Muawiya and Amr escaped their assassination attempts, while Ali did not.

Umayyad dynasty appears [ Dur al-Manthur of Imam Al-Suyuti]

Hasan ibn Ali succeeded his father Ali ibn Abi Talib. He proceeded to sign a conditional truce with Muawiya. Following were the key conditions:THE PEACE TREATY

1."Handing over authority to Muawiyah provided that he should act according to the Book of Allah, the Sunnah of His Apostle, and the Sira (the conduct of life) of the righteous Caliphs." 2. "The authority should be for al-Hassan after him (Muawiyah).If an accident happened to him (al-Hassan), the authority should be for his brother al-Husain. Muawiyah has no right to entrust anybody (else) to it." 3. "He (Muawiyah) should abandon cursing the Commander of the faithful (Ali) as well as the practice of using personal prayer (Qunut) against him (al-Hassan) in Salat (the prescribed ritual prayers), and that he should not mention the name of All except in good manner." 4 "He (Muawiyah) should keep excluded what is 'in the treasury of Kufa, that is five million (dirhwns). So, handing over the authority does not include it (the sum of this money). Muawiyah should send al-Hassan one million dirham per year, he should prefer banu Hashirn in giving and gifts to banu Abd ash-Shams, and should divide one million (dirham) among the sons of those who were killed helping the Commander of the faithful (Ali) in the Battle of the Camel and the Battle of Siffin and should spend that from the taxes of Dar Abjard." 5. "The people should be safe wherever they are in the earth of Allah; in Sham (Syria), Iraq, Hijaz, Yemen, etc. He should give security to the black and the red alike. He (Muawiyah) should bear their slips, should not follow some of them for the bygone, nor should he punish the Iraqis foe hostility."

6. "The companions of Ali should be given security wherever they are; that he (Muawiyah) should not expose them to any evil; that they should be given security over their lives, their properties and women and children; and that he should give them their rights.

"He (Muawiyah) should not seek a calamity secretly or openly for al­Hassan or his brother al-Husain, nor for anyone from the progeny of Ahle Bait of the'Apostle of Allah, nor should he frighten them in any country or territories." (ref; Tibri, Ibn-Katheer, etc.)

Kufa's opposition to Damascus

Kufa, a garrison town in what is now Iraq, had been Ali's capital, and there were still many people in Kufa claiming they are still supporters of Ali. Husayn ibn Ali received many letters from the Kufans expressing their offer of support if he claimed the caliphate. They were also trying to restore Kufa's power against Damascus, the Umayyad capital.

Particulars of the event

The route of Husayn ibn Ali from Medina to Karbala is mentioned in various history books. [ [ The Route of Imam Hussain from Makkah to Karbala ] ] [ [ Hazrat Husain As-Shaheed, Ya Hussain, Imam Husayn sacrifice for Mankind, Birthday of Imam ] ]


Yazid, the new ruler, feared that Husayn would revolt. Therefore he sent a letter to Walid ibn Utbah, governor of Medina, and ordered him to take allegiance from Husayn or to kill him if he refrains. Walid consulted Marwan ibn al-Hakam and he advised Walid to kill Husayn since he will never accept Bay'ah with Yazid, but Walid did not accept this advice since he did not want to kill Husayn.

Husayn departed Medina on Sha'ban 3, 60 AH (May 9, 680 CE) to perform the Hajj ritual. [ Lohouf, By Sayyid ibn Tawoos. Tradition No.21 ] More authentic reports tell us that Husayn bin Ali actually left Medina on the 28th day of Rajab in the 60th year of Hijra.


Husayn ibn Ali stayed in Mecca from the beginnings of the Sha'ban and all of the Ramadan, Shawwal, as well as Dhu al-Qi'dah.

When many letters came from Kufa assuring Husayn ibn Ali of Kufan support, he answered their calls and sent Muslim ibn Aqeel, his cousin, to Kufa as his representative in an attempt to consider their last situation and opinions.

Abd-Allah ibn Abbas and Abdullah ibn Zubayr held a meeting with Husayn ibn Ali in Mecca to advise him to refuse to travel to Iraq.

In another meeting, Abdullah ibn Umar asked him to reconcile with the strayed people and to prevent war. But he warned Abdullah ibn Umar not to stop supporting him.

Meanwhile Husayn ibn Ali corresponded with nobles of Basrah and asked them to support him. Major tribes of Basrah gathered and got ready for fight against Yazid I and informed Husayn ibn Ali. At the same time Ubayd-Allah ibn Ziyad, governor of Basrah, executed one of the messengers of Husayn ibn Ali and then addressed people and warned them to avoid insurgency. Ibn Ziyad, governor of Basra and Kufa, left Basra toward Kufa next day, leaving his brother as deputy governor of Basra. Basrah rebels’ army never reached Husayn ibn Ali and they became aware of his martyrdom midway of Kufa.

Considerable military units under Umar ibn Sa'ad entered Mecca to confront or attack Husayn ibn Ali on Tarwiyah day. [ Lohouf ( _ar. اللهوف), By Sayyid ibn Tawoos ( _ar. سید ابن طاووس). Tarwiyah day ( _ar. یوم الترویة) ]

Husayn ibn Ali gave a speech to people the day before his departure and said:

"... The death is a certainty for mankind, just like the trace of necklace on the neck of young girls. And I am enamoured of my ancestors like eagerness of Jacob to Joseph ... Everyone, who is going to devote his blood for ours sake and is prepared to meet Allah, must depart with us..." [ الحمد لله ما شاء الله و لا قوّة الا بالله و صلّی الله علی رسوله وسلّم. خطّ الموت علی ولد آدم مخطّ القلادة علی جید الفتاة و ما اولهنی الی اسلافی اشتیاق یعقوب علی یوسف و خیر لی مصرع انا لاقیه. کانّی باوصالی تقطّعها عسلان الفلوات بین النّواویس و کربلاء فیملانّ منّی اکراشا جوفا و اجربة سغبا. لا محیص عن یوم خطّ بالقلم. رضا الله رضانا اهل البیت نصبر علی بلائه و یوفّینا اجور الصّابرین. لن تشذّ عن رسول الله لحمته و هی مجموعة له فی حظیرة القدس تقرّ بهم عینه و ینجز بهم وعده. من كان باذلا فينا مهجته و موطّنا علي لقاء الله نفسه فليرحل معنا فانّی راحل مصبحا غدا ان شاء الله تعالی" Lohouf, By Sayyid ibn Tawoos, Tradition No.72 ]

He also willed before his journey his half-brother Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah. Muhammad ibn Hanafiyyah was preventing him from going to Kufa knowing hypocrisy and insincerity of its people even with Ali. But Husayn departed toward Kufa to avoid the battle inside the holy city of Mecca.

Husayn ibn Ali left Mecca toward Kufa with his family members plus some supporters on Dhu al-Hijjah 3 or 8, 60AH (September 4 or 9 September 680 CE).

Husayn's representative to Kufa, Muslim ibn Aqeel were welcomed by the people of Kufa, and most of them swore allegiance to him. But he and his host, Hani ibn Urwa were executed by the new governor of the Kufa, Ubayd-Allah ibn Ziyad on Dhu al-Hijjah 9, 60AH (September 10, 680 CE) without any considerable resistance of the people. And almost all the Kufan supporters of Husayn turned into his enemies.

Toward Kufa

He met with Boshr ibn Ghalib in the Zat-Erq station who was coming from Iraq and asked about his opinions about Iraq political situation. Boshr replied: "I left the hearts which are adherents of yours and the swords which are adherents of the Umayyad!” And Husayn confirmed his analysis and news.

Zuhair ibn Qayn left Mecca toward his town at the same time but was trying to be away from convoy of Husayn ibn Ali due to the political disputes he had with Ali ibn Abi Talib before. After a while and passing away some stations, Zuhayr forced to camp near Husayn's camp caused by some limitations. At this time Husayn sent a messenger toward Zuhayr and called him for a meeting. Zuhayr's wife encouraged him to visit offspring of the Prophet. Zuhayr visited Husayn. After the meeting Zuhayr ordered to move his tent to Husayn's camp and asked his wife to leave him and told her: "I have decided to accompany Husayn in order to sacrifice myself for him and to shield him by my soul."

The word came about the death of Muslim ibn Aqeel in Zobalah station. This news caused a great sorrow in the convoy. A group of fellow travelers left Husayn alone after that and only his family members and loyal followers remained with him. Husayn continued to advance toward Kufa even after receiving news of the loss of Kufan support. Now, nowhere is safe for him and for his family.

Husayn sent Qais ibn Musahhar al-Saydavi as messenger toward nobles of Kufa, such as Solayman ibn Sorad al-khozaei. He was captured in the vicinity of Kufa but managed to tear the letter to pieces to hide names of its recipients. Ibn Ziyad forced him to reveal the names or publicly curse Husayn and his father and brother upon pain of death. He accepted the latter but cursed ibn Ziyad instead and encouraged people to join Husayn ibn Ali. Ibn Ziyad ordered his execution by dropping him from the top of the palace afterward, just like what he did with Muslim ibn Aqeel.

Clash with vanguards

Husayn was two days' journey away from Kufa when he was intercepted by the vanguard of Yazid's army; about 1000 men led by Hurr ibn Yazid Al-Riyahi. Husayn asked: "With us or against us?" Hurr replied: "Of course against you, oh Aba Abd Allah!" Husayn said: "... So if you are different from what I received from your letters and from your messengers then I will return to where I came from." Hurr refused Husayn's request of his return to Medina and told him: "No, but select a way neither toward Kufa nor Madina enabling me to find a pretense before ibn Ziyad that you would have disagreed with me on the way."

After receiving a threatening letter from ibn Ziyad to halt them, Hurr prevented Husayn from moving to any direction and let them know the new order from ibn Ziyad. Then Husayn ibn Ali gave a speech to his companions and said:

"... It has happened from the events what you have seen. And the world has been changed and become abominable and its goodness turns ... Don't you see that the truth is not put into action and the false is not prohibited? The believer has got to be fond of meeting his God justly. So I do not consider the death but blessedness and living with the oppressors other than abjectness." [ انه قد نزل بنا من الامر ما قد ترون و ان الدنیا قد تغیرت و تنکرت و ادبر معروفها و استمرت حذاء و لم یبق منها الا صبابة کصبابة الاناء و خسیس عیش کالمرعی الوبیل. الا ترون الی الحق لا یعمل به و الی الباطل لا یتناهی عنه؟ لیرغب المومن فی لقاء ربه محقا. فانی لا اری الموت الا سعادة و الحیوة مع الظالمین الا برما Lohouf, Syyid ibn Tawoos, Tradition No.99 ]
Some of his followers asserted their loyalty and he started moving. Hurr was continuously preventing them to move further or was making them deviate from their way.

Husayn ibn Ali, his family and his supporters arrived at Karbala on Muharram 2, 61AH (October 2, 680 CE). He was forced to pitch a camp on dry, bare land and Hurr stationed his army nearby.

Ibn Ziyad appointed Umar ibn Sa'ad to command the battle against Husayn ibn Ali. Umar ibn Sa'ad was not a military man but he was famous for being a "clergyman". At first he rejected the leadership of the army but he accepted after Ibn Ziyad threatened to depose him from the governorship of Ray city. Umar ibn Sa'ad moved towards the battlefield with a 4,000-men army and arrived at Karbala on Muharram 3, 61AH (October 3, 680 CE). Ibn Ziyad was continuously sending reinforcements to his army such that they became a 20,000 army on Muharram 6, 61AH. [Lohouf ( _ar. اللهوف), By Sayyid ibn Tawoos ( _ar. سید ابن طاووس). Tradition No.112 ] It finally reached around 30,000 horsemen and infantrymen. [ Nafas-al-Mahmoum, by Abbas Qomi. ]

Ibn Ziyad asked Shabath ibn Reb'ei, also another "clergyman" of Kufa, to join Umar ibn Sa'ad. At first he feigned illness but finally accepted. He together with 1,000 horseman was dispatched toward Karbala.

Water blockade

Ibn Ziyad sent a brief letter to Umar ibn Sa'd that commanded: "Prevent Husayn and his disciples from accessing water and do not allow them to drink a drop of water; the same as Uthman was treated." In this letter he falsely accused Husayn and his father of being responsible for what rebels did with Uthman before. On Muharram 7 (October 7, 680 CE), ibn Sa'ad ordered 500 horsemen to cut Husayn's camp off from the Euphrates to stop them from "accessing water". The camp now had no supply of water and the enemy hoped to force Husayn to surrender on account of thirst.

One of the disciples of Husayn ibn Ali asked Husayn's permission to negotiate with Umar ibn Sa'ad about obtaining access to water and Husayn accepted. He met Umar ibn Sa'ad but ibn Sa'ad refused to allow Husayn access to any water.

Husayn ibn Ali ordered his half brother Abbas ibn Ali to conduct a night mission to the Euphrates to get water. Abbas ibn Ali with 30 horsemen and 20 infantrymen carrying 20 water skins advanced toward the front lines of the enemy Euphrates by night. The infantrymen quickly destroyed the formation of 500 enemy horsemen and succeeded in filling their water skins but they were counter attacked by a massive brigade on their way back. Abbas ibn Ali and his horsemen managed to stop their enemies and his infantrymen rejoined Husayn's army. Miraculously there were no casualties in Husayn's army even though the entire battlion of 500 horsemen had been decimated. This prompted Ibn-e-Saad to increase the guard on Euphrates from 500 to 3,000. [ Fazail-e-Abbas by Allama Tousi. ]

The water blockade continued up to the end of the battle on Muharram 10 night (October 10, 680 CE).

Reconciliation negotiations

Overnight negotiations between Husayn ibn Ali and Umar ibn Sa'ad has been reported. Husayn was trying to cause ibn Sa'ad to change his mind. Finally Umar ibn Sa'ad agreed to Husayn's proposal that the siege be lifted so that Husayn, his family, and his companions could leave Iraq. He sent word to ibn Ziyad, asking him to ratify the offer.

Ibn Ziyad liked the proposal, but another Umayyad grandee, Shimr ibn Dhil-Jawshan, vetoed it and advised ibn Sa'ad to offer surrender to Husayn. Ibn Ziyad sent letter to Umar ibn Sa'ad and ordered him to destroy Husayn if he do not surrender or be dismissed from all services and Shimr ibn Dhil-Jawshan will lead the army. Shimr delivered the letter to ibn Sa'ad in Karbala. Ibn Sa'ad showed his protest against Shimr's idea since he was sure that Husayn will never surrender. But accepted orders of ibn Ziyad and appointed Shimr as commander of infantrymen.

Choice between life and death

On the 9th of Muharram (October 9, 680 CE) which is called Tasua'a, the Husayn camp was completely besieged and had exhausted its water. Their only choice was between surrender or death.

Shimr ibn Dhil-Jawshan approached the camp of Husayn ibn Ali and yelled: "Where are my nephews Abd-Allah, Ja'far, Abbas and Uthman?" He described the sons of Ali ibn Abi Talib from Fatimah bint Hizam, nicknamed Umm-al-Banin, as his nephews since Umm-al-Banin was from his tribe. They replied and Shimr said: "You nephews of mine; you are in protection and do not be murdered for the sake of Husayn and obey the chief of the believers, Yazid." But all of them refused to leave Husayn ibn Ali and Shimr went away angrily.

Umar ibn Sa'ad received an order from ibn Ziyad to start the battle immediately and not to postpone it further. The army started stealthily advancing toward Husayn's camp on the afternoon of Tasua'a. At this time Husayn sent Abbas ibn Ali to ask ibn Sa'ad for another delay, until the next morning, so that he and his men could spend the night praying. Ibn Sa'ad agreed the respite.

On the night before the battle, Husayn gathered his men and told them that they were all free to leave the camp in the middle of the night, under cover of darkness, rather than face certain death if they stayed with him. None of Husayn's men wished to defect. Instead they stated their wish to be killed repeatedly in the name of Husayn if they were brought back to life by Allah.

Husayn and his followers held a vigil to pray all night. Some guards from ibn Sa'ad's army who were patrolling that night joined Husayn's army. They were said to be as many as 32 men.

Husayn ibn Ali ordered his fighters to dig a trench around their tents by night and to fill it with firewood and dried shrubs to prevent the enemy from flanking them or infiltrating the camp. Only one passage was left open. Ibn Sa'ad's army did not notice this activity till next morning.

"Day of battle"

On Muharram 10 called Ashura, Husayn ibn Ali prayed Morning Prayer with his companions. He appointed Zuhayr ibn Qayn to command the right flank, Habib ibn Muzahir to command the left flank and his half-brother Abbas ibn Ali as standard bearer of his army. Also he ordered to set the trench around their tents on fire.

The companions of Husayn ibn Ali were 32 horsemen and 40 infantrymen. According to another tradition from Muhammad ibn Ali, they were 45 horsemen and 100 infantrymen. [ Lohouf ( _ar. اللهوف), By Sayyid ibn Tawoos ( _ar. سید ابن طاووس). Tradition No. 140 ] Husayn rode on his horse Zuljenah.

On the other side, Umar ibn Sa'ad reorganized his army and nominated various commanders among them were Hurr ibn Yazid as commander of men from Tamim and Hamdan tribes, Shimr ibn Dhil-Jawshan as commander of left flank and Shabath ibn Reb'ei as commander of infantrymen.

Lectures prior to engagement

Burayr ibn Khudhayr, Zuhayr ibn Qayn and Husayn ibn Ali made speeches to the Kufan army immediately before the military engagement. They were trying to exhort the Kufans not to fight Husayn and remind them of their invitations letters as well as Husayn's family tie with Muhammad.

Husayn ibn Ali addressed:

"... Lo and behold; an ignoble (i.e ibn Ziyad), son of other ignoble (i.e. Ziyad ibn Abihi), has entangled me in a bifurcation, between either unsheathing the swords or accepting abjectness. And far be it that we accept abjectness. Allah abominates that for us, plus his proph­et, believers, the chaste pure gentlewomen, those who do not accept oppression as well as the souls who do not submit to meanness abominate it. They disapprove that we prefer obedience of scrooges to the best sites of murder. Beware; I assault you together with this family while they are few and when the helpers deserted. ..." [ Lohouf, Tradition No.136-139 "الا و انّ الدعیّ ابن الدعیّ قد رکز بین اثنتین: بین السلّة والذلّة و هیهات منّا الذلة. یابی الله ذلک لنا و حجورٌ طابت و طهرت و انوفٌ حمیّة و نفوسٌ ابیّة من ان نوثر طاعة اللئام علی مصارع الکرام. الا و انّی زاحفٌ بهذه الاُسرة مع قلة العدد و خذلان الناصر" ]

The battle starts

Ibn Sa'ad advanced and fired an arrow at Husayn's army, saying: "Give evidence before emir that I was the first thrower." Then his army started showering Husayn's army with weapons.

Both sides began fighting. Successive assaults resulted in the death of a group of Husayn's companions.

Then Husayn ibn Ali called the people around him to join him for the sake of Allah and to defend Muhammed’s family. His speech affected Hurr ibn Yazid Al-Riyahi, the commander of the Tamim and Hamdan tribes who had stopped Husayn from his journey. He abandoned ibn Sa'ad and galloped his horse to Husayn's small force and told him: "May I be sacrificed in your place! I am the one who prevented you from returning and severely treated you. I swear by Allah, I did not know they were going to do in this way. And now I am returning to Allah. So, do you think if any return can be imagined for me?" Husayn replied: "Yes. Allah will return to you. So, dismount." Then Hurr asked Husayn to let him to fight to the death. Afterwards Husayn cleaned dust from his face when he found his corpse and said: "You are noble in this world and the next, as your mother named you."

The first skirmish was between the right flank of Husayn ibn Ali's army with the left of the Syrian army. Astonishingly 32 men under the command of Zuhayr ibn Qain inflicted a major defeat on at least 4,000 men.Fact|date=June 2008 They quickly retreated and broke the pre-war pact of not using arrows & lances. This pact was made in view of the small number (72) of Husayn's companions. Thereafter almost all of Husayn ibn Ali's companions were killed (including Husayn's infant boy Ali Asghar) by the onslaught of arrows or lances.

In order to prevent random and indiscriminate showering of arrows on Husayn's camp which had women and children in it, Husayn's followers went out to single combats. Men like Burayr ibn Khudhayr, Muslim ibn Ausaja and Habib ibn Muzahir were slain in the fighting. They were attempting to save Husayn's life by shielding him. Every casualty had a considerable effect on their military strength since they were vastly outnumbered to begin with.

Husayn ibn Ali ordered Zuhayr ibn Qayn and Said ibn Abd-Allah to stand in front of him enabling him to say a Dhuhr prayer on the battlefield. They shielded him with their bodies until Said ibn Abd-Allah was killed by multiple arrows.

Historians say that Husayn's companions were coming, one by one, to say goodbye to him, even in the midst of battle. They reassured him that: "... We are following you" and adding: "And among them (believers) is one who fulfilled his vow, and among them is one who waits (to fulfill their vows). And they did not change (their vows), any change" [ the last parts of Verse 23, Sora 33, of Quran ]

Death of the men from Banu Hashim

After almost all of Husayn's companions were killed, his relatives asked his permission to fight. The men of Banu Hashim, the clan of Muhammad and Ali, went out one by one. Ali Akbar ibn Husayn, the youngest son of Husayn, was the first one who received permission from his father. [ al-Tabari, ibn-Tavoos, et al ]

Casualties from Banu Hashim were sons of Ali ibn Abi Talib, sons of Hassan ibn Ali, Son of Husayn ibn Ali, Son of Abd-Allah ibn Ja'far ibn Abi-Talib and Zainab bint Ali, sons of Aqeel ibn Abi Talib, as well as a son of Muslim ibn Aqeel.

Death of Abbas ibn Ali

Husayn ibn Ali advanced toward Euphrates branch along a dyke and his brother Abbas ibn Ali was moving ahead of him. They had planned to bring some water to tents. But ibn Sa'ad army prevents them and one of them hit Husayn on his chin with an arrow. Husayn pulled out the arrow and stopped further advance enabling him to cover Abbas and protect the tents at the same time. Abbas ibn Ali continued his advance into the heart of ibn Sa'ad's army. [ Lohouf, Tradition 174 and 175. ] He was under heavy shower of arrows but was able to penetrate them and get to the branch leaving heavy casualties from the enemy. He immediately started filling the water skin. In a remarkable and immortal gesture of loyalty to his brother and Muhammad's grandson he didn't drink any water despite being severely thirsty. He put the water skin on his right shoulder and started riding back toward their tents. Amr Saad ordered an outright assault on Abbas ibn Ali saying that if Abbas succeeds in taking water back to his camp, we won't be able to defeat them till the end of time. A massive enemy army blocked his way and surrounded him. He was ambushed from behind a bush and his right hand was cut off. Abbas put the water skin on his left shoulder and continued his way but his left hand also cut off from wrist. Abbas now held the water skin with his teeth. The army of ibn Sa'ad started shooting arrows at him. One arrow hit the water skin and water poured out of it. Abbas ibn Ali turned his horse back in to ibn Sa'ads forces because he does not want to go back without water and arrow's started hitting his chest and Abbas fell off his horse and called his brother just before his death. [ Bihar al-Anwar ( _ar. بحار الانوار) ]

Death of the infant son of Hussain

When nobody was left in Imam Hussain's camp, Imam Hussain cried for help by saying, "Is there anyone who can help me?" Hearing this call, Imam Hussain's six-month-old baby dropped himself from the cot, saying "LABAIK", meaning I am at your service. Imam Hussain only realized and came to know about this when he heard the women crying and wailing. He went to the tent and asked his sister Zainab what was the reason for them to cry and she said that after hearing his call for help Ali Asghar had dropped himself from his cot. He then asked Abdullah Alradea's mother to dress Ali Asghar up in new clothes because he wanted to take him to the battlefield so that he could ask some water for his child, and he was about to meet with Allah so he needed to look his best. Abdullah Alradea's mother handed him over to Imam Hussain. Imam Hussain then took Ali Asghar towards the enemy camp. After getting near the enemy camp he cried out, "Is there anyone who can give some water to my thirsty child?" When no one came forward he again pleaded and said, "OK, if you think that I will drink the water then fine, I will put my son down on the burning sand anyone who wants to give him water can come forward and do so." Imam Hussain put his son down on the burning sand and waited ... but no one came forward. He then picked him up and Imam Hussain told him to open his mouth and show his tongue; even if you just had some nice cold water and if you stuck out your tongue then you would need water right away. Ali Asghar started to roll over his tongue over his lips to convey to Yazeed's army that he really was thirsty. Seeing this, many in Yazeed's army started crying, but the commander of the army, Omar Ibn Saad, was unfazed by it. He sent for his best archer, Hurmula, and ordered him to take aim and shoot an arrow in Ali Asghar's direction. He took aim and launched an arrow, but it missed; he shot again, and it also missed; and then he shot a third time, and that missed as well. Then Omar said, "You are my best archer; why can't you kill the child who is lying still?" Hurmala answered, "His mother is watching from the tent and I can see that if I kill this child then I will go to hell." But with the money in mind, Hurmala shot his 3-pronged arrow, the kind used to kill horses. When Hurmala shot the arrow then Ali Asghar saw that it would hit Imam Hussain, so Ali Asghar jumped and the arrow pierced his throat, killing him instantly. The arrow end came out and attached itself, along with Ali Asghar, to Imam Hussain's arm.Fact|date=June 2008

After the death of Ali Asghar

When Ali Asghar was killed then the Imam had to face the dilemma of getting Ali Asghar to the tent, Imam Hussain throw the blood in the sky and not even a drop of blood came back to the ground. Imam Hussain A.S. thought when the sky consumed the blood than the child shouldn't be laid down on the dry and hot land. Imam Hussain A.S. took out his ZULFIQUAR and digged up a small KABR and buried ALI ASGAR. and proceeded to the tents, when imam Hussain was going to the tents, he remembered that Ali Asghar's mother was present in the tent, so imam took a few steps back, then he moved a few steps up and then a few steps back, and he continued this for a while, this is why on ziarrat-e-ashura on 10th muharram shias move a few steps forward and than a few steps back, and a few steps forward and a few back, then when Imam hussain had reached the tents then Rubab (Ali Asghar's mother) sees Imam Hussain's face and she knows that Ali Asghar has been killed.

After he returned to the tents, Imam Hussain had made a small grave for Ali Asghar behind the tents with his sword, Imam hussain had no water to make the grave wet, but there was enough tears shed by Imam Hussain that the grave became very wet.

After the battle, when Yazeed's army was looting the tents, they where placing the heads on spears, but then they couldn't find the body of Ali Asghar so he thought that he would probably be buried then so they started jabbing their spears into the ground and eventually the spear went into the stomach of Ali Asghar and then the body came out of the ground, then they severed Ali Asghar's head and placed it onto a spear, then they threw the body.

Death of Husayn ibn Ali

Husayn ibn Ali offered single battle to the enemy. He killed everybody that fought him in single battles. [ Lohouf, Tradition No.177 ] He demonstrated extreme courage and bravery, forced the enemy into retreat frequently and killed a great number of opponents. Husayn and earlier his son Ali Akbar were the two warriors who penetrated and dispersed the core of Ibn-Saad's army (Qalb-e-Lashkar), a sign of extreme chaos in traditional warfare.

Husayn advanced very deep in the back ranks of the Syrian army. When the enemies stood between him and the tents he shouted:

"Woe betide you oh followers of Abu Sufyan's dynasty! If no religion has ever been accepted by you and you have not been fearing the resurrection day then be noble in your world ..." [ "ویلکم یا شیعه آل ابی سفیان! ان لم یکن لکم دین و کنتم لا تخافون المعاد فکونو احرارا فی دنیاکم هذه و ارجعوا الی احسابکم ان کنتم عربا کما تزعمون" Lohouf, Tradition No.179 ]
Then his enemies invaded back toward him.

He was continuously invading them and they were continuously invading him and. [ " و هو فی ذلک یطلب شربة من ماء فلا یجد ..." Lohouf, Tradition No.181 ] Until his numerous injuries caused him to stay a moment. At this time he was hit on his forehead with a stone. He was cleaning blood from his face while he was hit on the heart with arrow and he said: "In the name of Allah, and by Allah, and on the religion of the messenger of Allah." Then he raised his head up and said: "Oh my God! You know that they are killing a man that there is no son of daughter of a prophet (Husayn is son of Fatimah bint Muhammad) on the earth except him" Then he grasped the arrow and pulled it out of his chest from behind which caused heavy bleeding. [ Lohouf, Tradition No.182 ]

He became very weak to fight and halted and the soldiers approaching him were giving up confronting him, until a soldier approached him while cursing and hit him on his head with his sword.

The enemies halted for a while and then returned and surrounded him. At this time Abd-Allah ibn Hassan, who was an underage boy, escaped from the tents and ran until arrived beside Husayn. When a soldier intended to hit Husayn with his sword, Abd-Allah ibn Hassan defended his uncle with his arm which caused it to be cut and hanged. Husayn hugged him but the boy was hit on his neck with an arrow. [ Lohouf, Tradition No.184, 185 ]

Husayn became very weak due to his heavy injuries and hits by arrows. Then the voice of god comes from skies "we are satisfied with your deeds and sacrifies"after words imam husayn saved his sword in to its holder and then,Imam Hussain A.S. wanted to get down from the horse but was tremendously injured and so Husains horse let him down. [ Lohouf, Tradition No.188 ]

Umar ibn Sa'ad ordered a man to dismount and to finish the job. But Khowali ibn Yazid al-Asbahiy preceded the man but feared and did not do it. Then Shimr ibn Dhiljawshan dismounted his horse and cut Husayn's throat with sword. Shimr ibn Dhiljawshan was saying: "I swear by God that I am raising your head while I know that you are grandson of the messenger of Allah and the best of the people by father and mother" when he raised head of Husayn ibn Ali on a spear. [ Lohouf, Tradition No.192 and 193 ] The inb Sa'ad's men looted all the valuables from Husayn's body, leaving it semi-naked.

The army of Ibn Sa'ad rushed to loot the tents. The daughters of Mohammad's family were expelled from the tents unveiled and barefooted, while weeping and crying for their slain relatives. The army set all the tents on fire. The women were asking: "By God if you pass us from beside the site of the murder of Husayn." And when they saw the martyrs and wailed and hit their face. [ Lohouf, Tradition No. 209, 211, 213 ] Then Sakina bint Husayn (Death, 117 AH) embraced her father's body until some people dragged her off his body. [ Lohouf, Tradition 214 ]

Umar ibn Sa'ad called volunteer horsemen to trample Husayn's body. Ten horsemen trampled his body such that his chest and back were ground.

As a matter of fact, the essence in all this story is that, Imam Hussain body wasmartyred but his NOOR and Imamat was passed on to his son Ali who became Imam Ali Zainul Abideen (Sahifa-e-Sajjadiya is a Collection of His supplications).


Umar ibn Sa'ad sent Husayn's head to ibn Ziyad on Ashura afternoon and ordered to sever heads of his comrades to send them to Kufa. The heads were distributed to various tribes enabling them to gain favor of ibn Ziyad. Ibn Sa'ad remained in Karbala until the next noon. [ Lohouf, Tradition No. 222, 223 ]

After ibn Sa'ad's army went out of Karbala, some people from Banu Asad tribe came there and buried the dead bodies in the place where they are now located. [ Lohouf, Tradition No. 226 ]

On Muharram 11 (October 11, 680 CE), all captives including all women and children were then loaded onto camels without neither saddle nor sunshade and were moved toward Kufa. And when they approached Kufa, its people gathered to see them. Some women of Kufa gathered veils for them upon knowing that they are relatives of Muhammad. Among the captives were Ali ibn Husayn, who was gravely ill, as well as Hassan ibn Hassan al-Muthanna, who was seriously injured in the battle of Karbala. [ Lohouf, Tradition No. 227, 228, 229, 230 ]

Zainab bint Ali pointed at the people to be quiet. Everybody halted and kept silent. Then she addressed the people of Kufa:

"The praise is exclusively attributed to Allah. And greetings to my father (grand father), Muhammad, and to his pure and benevolent family. And then, Oh people of Kufa! Oh deceitful and reneger people! Do you weep? So let tears not be dried and let groans not be finished. ... Beware, such a bad preparation you have made for yourself that Allah became furious of you and you will be at punishment forever. Do you weep and cry? Yeah, by Allah, do weep numerously and do laugh less! Since you brought its shame and fault on yourself and you will not be able to cleanse it forever. ..." [ الحمد لله و الصلوة علی ابی محمد و آله الطیبین الاخیار. اما بعد یا اهل الکوفة! یا اهل الختل و الغدر! اتبکون؟ فلا رقات الدمعة و لا هدات الرنة ... الا ساء ما قدمت لکم انفسکم ان سخط الله علیکم و فی العذاب انتم خالدون. اتبکون و تنتحبون؟ ای والله فابکوا کثیرا و اضحکوا قلیلا فلقد ذهبتم بعارها و شنارها و لن ترحضوها بغسل بعدها ابدا. ... Lohouf, Tradition No. 233 to 241 ]

And also Fatima al-Kubra, Sakina, Umm-Kulthoum bint Ali and Ali ibn Husayn delivered speeches to Kufans. [ Lohouf, Tradition No. 243 to 258 ] All lectures caused a deep sorrow of the people.

During the journey from Karbala to Kufa, and from Kufa to Damascus, Husayn's sister Zaynab bint Ali and Umm-Kulthoom bint Ali, and son Ali ibn Husayn gave various speeches that exposed the truth about Yazid and told the Muslim world of the various atrocities committed in Karbala. After being brought to Yazid's court, Zaynab courageously gave a famous speech in which she denounced Yazid's claim to the caliphate and eulogized Husayn's uprising.

The prisoners were held in Damascus for a year. The people of Damascus began to frequent the prison, and Zaynab and Ali ibn Husayn used that as an opportunity to further propagate the message of Husayn and explain to the people the reason for Husayn's uprising. As public opinion against Yazid began to foment in Syria and parts of Iraq, Yazid ordered their release and return to Medina, where they continued to tell the world of Husayn's cause and Yazid's atrocities.

Account of the battle accepted by western academics

Encyclopædia Britannica narrates the story in the following way: A police force, consisting of a several thousand men, plus 500 archers, surrounded the family and supporters of Husayn ibn Ali. The battle ended with the deaths of Husayn and his entire military force. [ Britannica Encyclopedia, Karbala', Battle of ]

John Esposito states that the "brave and charismatic" grandson of Muhammad was trying to regain power and reinstate the true values of Islam. [ Unholy war, Oxford University Press US, 2002, p.37 ]

Many of the details attributed to the event are disputed. For example, the Encyclopædia Britannica states that "the facts gradually acquired a romantic and spiritual coloring."

Casualties of Husayn ibn Ali army

"See also List of casualties at the Battle of Karbala"

There were seventy-two dead in all (including Imam Hussain) (see [] , [] ). Here are the names of casualties from Banu Hashim tribe. Nafas-al-Mahmoum ]

Historiography of the battle of Karbala

Primary sources

The first historian to systematically collect the reports of eyewithnesses of this event was Abi Mikhnaf(died in 157 AH, 774 CE) in a work titled "Ketab Maqtal Al-Husayn". [ Kitab Maqtal al-Husayn.doc ] ] Abi Mikhnaf's original seems to have been lost and that which has reached today has been transmitted through his student Hisham Al-Kalbi (died in 204 AH.) There are four manuscripts of the Maqtal, located at Gotha (No. 1836), Berlin (Sprenger, Nos. 159-160), Leiden (No. 792), and St. Petersburg (Am No. 78) libraries. [SYED HUSAYN M. JAFRI, "The Origins and Early Development of Shi’a Islam", Oxford University Press, USA (April 4, 2002), ISBN-13: 978-0195793871]

Rasul Jafarian has counted 5 Primary sources which are now availlable. Among the original works on maqàtil (pl. of maqtal or place of death / martyrdom and hence used for books narrating the incident of Karbalà) the ones that could be relied upon for reviewing the Karbala happenings are five in number. All these five maqtals belong to the period between the 2nd century AH (8th CE) and the early 4th century AH (10th CE). These five sources are the "Maqtal al-Husayn" of Abu Mikhnaf, the "Maqtal al-Husayn" of Ibn Sa'd-Sunni Historian-, the "Maqtal al-Husayn" of Baladhuri -Sunni Historian-, the "Maqtal al-Husayn" of Dinawari, and the "Maqtal al-Husayn" of Ibn A'tham. [ [ A Glance Into The Sources On The Incident Of Āshūrā ] ] How ever some other historians have recognized some of these as secondary sources. For example Veccia Vaglieri has found that Baladhuri (died 279AH/892-893CE) like Tabari has used Abi Mikhnaf but hasn't mentioned his name. [In the Istanbul Ms. of the Ansab, Husayn is discussed in Ms. 597, ff. 219a-251b ] On the basis of the article of "Abi Mikhnaf" in "Great Islamic Encyclopedia" Ibn A'tham has mentioned Abi Mikhnaf in "Al-Futuh" thus he should be recognized as secondary source. [ Great Islamic Encyclopedia, Article of "Abu Mikhnaf" in Persian ]

econdary sources

Then latter Muslim historians have written their histories on the basis of the former ones especially Maqtal Al-Husayn of Abi Mikhnaf. However they have added some narrations through their own sources which weren't reported by former historians.

Tabari narrated this story on the basis of Abi Mikhnaf's report through Hisham Al-Kalbi in his history, History of the Prophets and Kings. [Abu Mihnaf: ein Beitrag zur Historiographie der umaiyadischen Zeit by Ursula Sezgin] Also there is fabricated version of Abi Mekhnaf's book in Iran and Iraq.Then other Sunni Muslim historians including Balazari and Ibn Kathir narrated the events of Karbala from Abi Mikhnaf. Also among Shi'a Shaykh al-Mufid used it in Irshad. [SYED HUSAYN M. JAFRI, "The Origins and Early Development of Shi’a Islam", Oxford University Press, USA (April 4, 2002), ISBN-13: 978-0195793871 [] ] However, followers of Ali – later to be known as Shia Muslims – attached a much greater importance to the battle and have compiled many accounts known as Maqtal Al-Husayn.

hia writings

Salwa Al-Amd has classified Shia writings in three groups: [ [ On Difference & Understanding: Al-Husayn: the Shiite Martyr, the Sunni Hero] ]
*Religious texts: The legendary character of this category associates the chronological history of Al-Husayn with notions relating to the origin of life and the Universe, that have preoccupied the human mind since the beginning of creation, and in which Al-Husayn is eternally present. This category of writing holds that a person’s stance toward Al-Husayn and Ahl al- Bayt is a criterion for reward and punishment in the afterlife. It also transforms the historical boundaries of Al-Husayn’s birth in 4 Hr. and his death in 61 Hr. to an eternal presence embracing the boundaries of history and legend.

*Historic texts:This category is the nearest to Sunni writings because it fully cherishes the historical personality of Al-Husayn and regards the Karbala ’ incident as a revolt against oppression; dismissing the legendary treatment, while using the language of revolt against tyranny and despotic sovereignty. These oral traditions were later collected and recorded by Shia historians such as Abi Mekhnaf and Ibn A'tham.

*Tragedic poems, plays, and other narratives intended for popular consumption, which may contain material not strictly supported by the Hadiths or the histories. This category comprises the literary works common in rituals and lamentations (poetic and prose) and is characterized by its melodramatic style, which aims to arouse pity and passion for Ahl al-Bayt’s misfortunes, and charge feelings during tempestuous political circumstances on the memory of Ashura.

Distortion of the history

As Jafarian says "The holding of mourning ceremonies for Imam Husayn was very much in vogue in the eastern parts of Iran before the Safawids came to power. Kashefi wrote the "Rawzah al-Shuhada" for the predominantly Sunnis region of Herat and Khurasan at a time when the Safawid state was being established in western Iran and had no sway in the east." Jafarian, Rasool, A Glance at Historiography in Shiite Culture, chapter 13 ] After the adoption of the Shi'a faith in Iran, many Iranian authors composed poems and plays commemorating the battle. [ [ Table of Contents and Excerpt, Aghaie, The Women of Karbala ] ] Most of these compositions are only loosely based upon the known history of the event. They are dramatizations designed in order to make the people cry more.

Some 20th century Shia scholars have protested the conversion of history into mythology. Prominent critics include:

*Murtaza Motahhari [ [ Meaning of 'Ashura: Misrepresentations & Distortions ] ] [ [ 'Ashura - History and Popular Legend ] ] [ [ 'Ashura - Misrepresentations and Distortions ] ]
*Abbas Qomi, author of "Nafas al-Mahmoum" [ [ Nafasul Mahmoom ] ]
*Sayyid Abd-al-Razzaq Al-Muqarram, author of Maqtalul-Husayn [ [ ḤUsayn Ibn ʿAlī, Al- |Encyclopedia of Religion ] ]

Also several books have been written in Persian language about political backgrounds and aspects of the battle of Karbala. [ [ :: ::. -> Magazines -> Islamic Government ] ]

Impact on the Literature

The theme of suffering and martyrdom occupies a central role in the history of religion from the earliest time. Sacrifices are a means for reaching higher and loftier stages of life; to give away parts of one's fortune or to sacrifice members of one's family enhances one's religious standing. The Biblical and Quranic story of Abraham who so deeply trusted in God that he, without questioning, was willing to sacrifice his only son, points to the importance of such sacrifice.

Taking into account the importance of sacrifice and suffering for the development of man, Islamic literature has given a central place to the death on the battlefield of Muhammed's grandson Husayn. The development of the whole genre of marsiya and taziya poetry in the Persian and Indo-Persian world, or in the popular Turkish tradition is in this way.

Persian Literature

The name of Husayn appears several times in the work of the first great Sufi poet of Iran, Sanai. Here, the name of the martyred hero can be found now and then in connection with bravery and selflessness, and Sanai sees him as the prototype of the Shahid (martyr), higher and more important than all the other martyrs who are and have been in the world. [ Karbala ] ]

The tendency to see Husayn as the model of martyrdom and bravery continues in the poetry written in the Divan of Attar.

When Shiism became the official religion of Iran in the fifteenth century, Safavid rulers such as Shah Tahmasp, patronized poets who wrote about the tragedy of Karbala, and the genre of marsiya, according to Persian scholar Wheeler Thackston, "was particularly cultivated by the Safavids." [ Wheeler Thackston, A Millennium of Classical Persian Poetry (Bethesda: Iranbooks, 1994), p.79. ]

The most well-known fifteenth-century Persian marsiya writer was Muhtasham Kashani, [ [ Shams Alshoara Mohtasham kashani ] ] whose works consequently became a source of elegy emulation for Iranians.

Azari and Turkish Literature

Turkish tradition, especially in the later Bektashi order, is deeply indebted to Shi'i Islam. But it seems that already in some of the earliest popular Sufi songs in Turkey, those composed by Yunus Emre in the late 13th or early 14th century, Muhammed's grandsons played a special role. [ (Yunus Emre Divani, p. 569.) ]

Indo-Muslim Literature

As in many other fields of Sindhi poetry, Shah 'Abdu'l-Latif of Bhit (1689-1752) is the first to express ideas which were later taken up by other poets. He devoted “Sur Kedaro” in his Hindi Risalo to the martyrdom of the grandson of Muhammed, and saw the event of Karbala as embedded in the whole mystical tradition of Islam.

A number of poets among the Shia of Sindh composed elegies on Karbala. The most famous of them is Thabit 'Ali Shah (1740-1810), whose specialty was the genre of “suwari”. This genre, as well as the more common forms, persists in Sindhi throughout the whole of the 18th and 19th centuries, and even into our own times (Sachal Sarmast, Bedil Rohriwaro, Mir Hassan, Shah Naser, Mirza Baddhal Beg, Mirza Qalich Beg, to mention only a few, some of whom were Sunni Sufis).

The most famous corpus of Urdu poetry on Karbalas was produced by two poets of Lucknow named Mir Babar Ali Anees a and Mirza Salamat Ali Dabeer. Both these poets lived in the 19th century and they were the contemporaries of the Delhi based poet Mirza Ghalib. The genre of poetry that thos etwo poets produced is known as MARSIYA. Recently, professor David Matthews of the School of Oriental and African Studies, Londn, has translated a full length (197 stanzas of six lines each) MArsiya of Anis into English verse. This was published in book form by Rupa and Co.m, New Delhi, India.

The legacy of Urdu Marsiya has lasted to this day and many poets are still writing that kind of poetry. Both Josh MAlihabadi and Iqbal followed the genere of six-line stanza and have produced great poetry.

But there was also another way to understand the role of Husayn in the history of the Islamic people, and importantly, the way was shown by Muhammad Iqbal, who was certainly a Sunni poet and philosopher.

The Adil Shahi and Qutb Shahi dynasties of South India (Deccan), predominantly Twelver Shi'is in religious persuasion, patronized Dakhni (an early South Indian dialect of Urdu) marasi. Although Persian marasi of Muhtasham Kashani were still recited, the Adil Shahi and Qutb Shahi rulers felt the need to render the Karbala tragedy in the language of common Muslims. In the Adil Shahi and Qutb Shahi kingdom of Deccan, marasi flourished, especially under the patronage of Ali Adil Shah and Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, marsiya writers themselves, and poets such as Ashraf Biyabani. Urdu marasi written during this period are still popular in South Indian villages.]

Mirza Ghalib described the "King of Martyrs", Imam Husayn, by using metaphors, similar to the ones he used in his odes. Ghalib used regal imagery to underscore the virtues of Imam Husayn. The marasi of Mir Taqi Mir and Mirza Rafi Sauda are similar to those of Ghalib in that they perform their panegyric function for the martyrs of Karbala; but these poets also wrote marasi in which the narration of the Karbala tragedy was saturated with cultural and ceremonial imagery of North India.

Josh Malihabadi renowned as "Shair-i inqilab", or the Poet of revolution, used the medium of marsiya as a means to propagate the view that Karbala is not a pathos-laden event of a bygone era, but a prototype for contemporary revolutionary struggles. Josh's writings during the late 1930s and the early 1940s, when nationalist feelings were running high in South Asia, had a momentous impact upon his generation. Josh attempted to galvanize the youth of his day by intertwining their contemporary struggle of liberation from colonization with Husayn's battle:“O Josh, call out to the Prince of Karbala [Hussain] ,cast a glance at this twentieth century,look at this tumult, chaos, and the earthquake.At this moment there are numerous Yazids, and yesterday there was only one.From village to village might has assumed the role of truth,Once again, Human feet are in chains”

Vahid Akhtar, formerly Professor and Chairman, Dept. of Philosophy at Aligarh Muslim University, [ ] has been crucial in keeping the tradition of marsiya dynamic in present-day South Asia. His marasi rely on the images, metaphors, and nuances inherited from nineteenth century masters, and on the values invested in this genre by socio-religious reformers like Josh. On the back cover of his recently-published marsiya anthology, for example, is the famous Arabic saying: "Every place is Karbala; every day is Ashura." By positing a similarity between Husayn's historic battle and the present day struggle of human kind against renewed forms of Yazidian oppression, Akhtar deflects the interpretation of the martyrs of Karbala as mere insignia of Islamic history; they are instead posed as the sinews for the revival of an ideal Islamic state of being. [ [ Karbala', an Enduring Paradigm ] ]

hia observances

The Battle is commemorated each year by Shia Muslims in the Remembrance of Muharram. The mourning reaches its climax on the 10th of Muharram, the day of the battle, known as Ashurah. It is a day of speeches, public processions, and great grief. Men and women chant and weep, mourning Husayn, his family, and his followers. Speeches emphasize the importance of the values for which Husayn sacrificed himself, his family, and his followers.

In South Asia, the Battle of Karbala has inspired a number of literary and non musical genres, such as the marsiya, noha, and soaz.

ee also

*Day of Ashura
*Persecution of Shia Muslims
*Ahl ul-Bayt
*Shi'a Imam



*cite book |last = Al-Tabari|first = Muhammad ibn Jarir |authorlink = Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari|title = History of the Prophets and Kings , translation and commentary issued iby I. K. A. Howard|publisher = SUNY Press |year = 1990 |id = 0395652375 (volume XIX.)


*al-Tabari, Muhammad ibn Jarir – History of the Prophets and Kings; Volume XIX "The Caliphate of Yazid b. Muawiyah", translated by I.K.A Howard, SUNY Press, 1991, ISBN 0-7914-0040-9
*Kennedy, Hugh – "The Armies of the Caliphs: Military and Society in the Early Islamic State", Routledge, 2001

External links

* [ Battle of Karbala] An article by Encyclopedia Britanica Online
* [ Online book: The Tragedy of Karbala and the Martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA) - By Hazrat Sheykh Abu Anees Muhammad Barkat Ali QSA]

unni links

* [ Karbala – A Lesson For Mankind]
* [ UnMasking the other Villains of Karbala]
* [ Who Were Responsible in Killing of the Karbalâ?]
* [ The Tragedy of Karbala and Martyrdom of Imam Hussain]

hia links

* [ The Story Of Imam Husayn's Martyrdom.]
* [ The history of Abi Mekhnaf, reconstructed and translated into English]
* [ Ayati's discussion of the history of Ashura]
* [ Islam and Karbala]
* []
* [ KARBALA: When Skies Wept Blood docufilm homepage]
* [ Mourning for Imam Hussain]
* [ Who Killed Imam Hussain]
* [ Karbala & Imam Hussain]
* [ poetry on Kerbala by Mahmood Abu Shahbaaz Londoni]

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  • Battle of Karbala (2003) — Infobox Military Conflict conflict=Battle of Karbala partof=2003 Invasion of Iraq caption=Mural of Saddam Hussein in Karbala, 7 April 2003 date=March 31 April 6 2003 place=Karbala, Iraq result=American victory combatant1=flagicon|Iraq|1991… …   Wikipedia

  • List of casualties at the Battle of Karbala — Part of a series on Shī‘ah Islam Twelvers The Fourteen Infallibles …   Wikipedia

  • Karbala — Infobox Settlement official name = Karbala other name = Karbala al Muqaddasah native name = كربلا image caption = Shi a Muslims make their way to the Imam Husayn Shrine in Karbala, Iraq in 2008. map caption = Location in Iraq subdivision type =… …   Wikipedia

  • Karbalāʾ — ▪ Iraq also spelled  Kerbela   city, capital of Karbalāʾ muḥāfaẓah (governorate), central Iraq. One of Shīʿite Islam s foremost holy cities, it lies 55 miles (88 km) southwest of Baghdad, with which it is connected by rail.       The city s… …   Universalium

  • battle — battle1 battler, n. /bat l/, n., v., battled, battling. n. 1. a hostile encounter or engagement between opposing military forces: the battle of Waterloo. 2. participation in such hostile encounters or engagements: wounds received in battle. 3. a… …   Universalium

  • Battle of Basra (2008) — Part of Iraq War, Civil war in Iraq, (Spring Fighting of 2008) Location of Basra …   Wikipedia

  • Battle of Ramadi (2006) — Part of the Iraq War US soldiers take up positions on a street corner during a foot patrol in Ramadi, A …   Wikipedia

  • Battle of Samarra (2004) — Battle of Samarra Part of the Iraq War Smoke rises from near the Golden Mosque during the battle of Samarra, October 1 …   Wikipedia

  • Battle of Baqubah — Part of the Iraq War (Diyala province campaign) Soldiers have a short meeting at an airfield in Baqubah be …   Wikipedia

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