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Imam Hussain’s Great Sacrifice in Karbala



10 /Muharram/61 Hijri   or 10/October/680 A.D, The grandson of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) “Hussain” (May God send his blessings on him) was martyred with his family and friends with a thirst of more than 3 days in the hot desert of Karbala. The most shocking fact is that Hussain (A.S) was not killed by a non-muslim army, he was unfortunately killed by the Muslims who read the Fie of Hussain’s Grandfather Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him).

Yazid (May God curse him),the ruler of that time who was a sinful man and with totally Anti-Islamic views, he used to drink alcohol in namaz, he allowed the marriage of sisters with their brothers and was a determined tyrant of the time was advised by one of his ministers that he should ask Hussain for his allegiance.

So Yazid (l.a) sent a letter to Madinah’s Governor “Waleed bin Utba” to ask Hussain for the Bai’at (Bai’at means an oath of allegiance), However Hussain refused to give any allegiance to the tyrant ruler and said “From Adam to Prophet Muhammad, Does anyone like me has given an allegiance to a person like Yazid?” Imam Hussain (A.S) didn’t just refused Yazid’s allegiance because of the matter of his pride or his right to khilafat. Bai’at to Yazid would mean Imaam’s approval of Yazid’s way of life and this would decidedly lead to a total destruction of Islam.

It was Imaam’s duty to uphold and defend Islam. After that  Hussain in his journey decided to left Madinah for Mecca(The Holy City of Islam), he asked Hazrat Abbas(A.S) (who is his brother and Commander of the caravan in Karbala) to lead the preparations of the Caravan to Mecca. Imaam Husayn’s mission was to destroy the evil that Yazid (L.A) and his father Muawiah (L.A) has left in muslims. For this he needed to awaken the spirit of Islam amongst the Muslims.

Imaam arrived at the mosque. He lit a candle and walked towards the grave of the Holy Prophet. The thought that this might be the last time he would see the grave filled him with sorrow. He sat by the grave, put his cheek on it and began to sob. “I have come to say good-bye to you O grand-father. I have to leave Madina to save Islam. Pray that Allah grant me patience!!”

Imam Hussnain (Peace be upon him) then went to the grave of his mother, Lady Fatimah Zahra(May Allah send peace and blessings on her). He was unable to speak. He kissed the grave and said a silent farewell. Some Zaakirs say that as the Imaam began to walk away, Bibi Fatimaah’s voice was heard from the grave: “Khuda Haafiz, my son. Go! I too will be with you.”

In his journey he left Madinah on 28th Rajab, 60 A.H. and reached Mecca on the fourth of Shabaan. He decides to perform Hajj but he was informed by one of his companions that Yazid has sent some men in the shape of the Hajjis (Hajjis are the men who perform Hajj) to kill Imam Hussain (A.S) in Kabah, Hussain did not want any bloodshed in the home of Allah, he left Mecca and converts his Hajj into Omrah. The people of Kufa were informed of these happenings. Kufa was a strong hold of Shia’s (Ali Believers), the people of Kufa were frustrated of the Muwayiah and Yazid’s tyranny. So they sent so many letters and special emissaries to ask Hussain to come Kufa.

Imam Hussain (A.S) sent his cousin Hazrat Muslim Ibne Aqeel (A.S) to search Kufa’s situation and handed over a letter to Muslim Ibne Aqeel (A.S), he writes ; “I am sending my cousin and one of the most trusted ones from my family, Muslim ibn Aqeel, to report to me about your affairs. If his report agrees with what you have writ_ten I will soon be with you. You must be clear of the fact that the Imam is only one who follows the book of Allah, and serves Allah in all matters and affairs with justice, honesty and truth.”

As Hazrat Muslim was preparing for the journey, Imaam Husayn went to him and said: “Muslim, the whole world knows that you are one of the bravest warriors. It is just possible that seeing you in Kufa some people may think that our intention is to fight Yazid. Take your two sons Muhammad and Ibraheem with you. When they see you with such young children, they will know that our intentions are peaceful.”

Hazrat Muslim and his two sons said good-bye to all and left Mecca. Their journey through the desert in the heat of summer was very difficult.

They arrived in Kufa towards the end of Dhul Qaad. They were received extremely well by the people of Kufa. Very soon more than eighteen thousand people appeared before Hazrat Muslim and pledged their allegiance to Imaam Husayn as their Imaam.

Hazrat Muslim reported to Imaam Husayn that most of the people in Kufa were ready to receive him as their Imaam and advised that Imaam should proceed to Kufa. Amongst the people of Kufa there were many spies employed by Yazid to report to him direct. When Yazid heard from them of the invitations to Imaam Husayn and the arrival in Kufa of Hazrat Muslim he was filled with fury. He sent a message to his Governor in Basrah, Ubaydullah ibn Ziyad, to go to Kufa and take over the position of Nu’amaan ibn Basheer. Ibn Ziyad was also told to arrest Muslim and kill him and do all that was necessary to suppress the Shiahs in Kufa.
Ibn Ziyad was a cruel and unjust man.

He arrived in Kufa on the evening of 2nd Dhul Hajj. On the following day he went to the mosque and addressed the people of Kufa. He first announced his appointment as Yazid’s governor. He then threatened any one who was engaged in any activity against the government with immediate death, and ordered them to surrender Hazrat Muslim to him.

Ibn Ziyad sealed Kufa in such a way that no one could go in or out of the city without the governor’s permission.
At this time Hazrat Muslim was staying with Al Mukhtar. At the invitation of Hani bin Urwah, another leading member of the Shiah community, he moved to Hani’s house.

This was done secretly and except for a few people no one knew where Hazrat Muslim was. Through a spy who pretended to be a Shiah, Ibn Ziyad found out where Hazrat Muslim was. Hani was arrested and thrown into prison. Not wishing to endanger the lives of his friends, Hazrat Muslim and his two sons left Hani’s house. He left the children with Qadhi Shurayb, a judge, and went into the desert to try and get back to Imaam Husayn to warn him not to go to Kufa. This was the seventh of Dhul Hajj.

That whole day and the following day Hazrat Muslim tried to get out of the city. He found all the exits sealed and guarded by Ibn Ziyad Soldiers.

On the eighth, late in the evening, tired, hungry and exhausted, Hazrat Muslim knocked at the door of a house on the outskirts of the city. A lady opened the door. Hazrat Muslim requested for a little water to quench his thirst.

The lady gave him water. When she learnt who he was, she invited him in and offered him shelter for the night. This lady was called Tau’aa. She gave Hazrat Muslim some food and water and took him to a room where he might spend the night.

Late that night Tau’aa’s son came home. When he learnt that the man Ibn Ziyad was looking for was in his mother’s house, he felt that he would be rewarded by the governor if he got Hazrat Muslim arrested. Unknown to his mother he slipped out in the darkness of the night and gave the information to a captain in ibn Ziyad army. Early the next morning, five hundred soldiers surrounded the house of Tau’aa and demanded Hazrat Muslim’s surrender.


Hazrat Muslim came out holding his sword. Three times he drove the enemy away. Twice Ibn Ziyad had to send in reinforcements.
While Hazrat Muslim was fighting, some soldiers went up the rooftops and began throwing stones and lighted torches at him. Others dug a trench in the path of Hazrat Muslim and covered it with grass. Although badly wounded and totally exhausted, Hazrat Muslim kept on fighting. Then he fell into the trench. More than fifty soldiers pounced upon him and chained him. He was dragged to the court of Ibn Ziyad.

Ibn Ziyad told Hazrat Muslim that he would be killed and asked him if he had any last wishes. Hazrat Muslim said: “I owe a debt which should be discharged by selling off my sword and armour. Secondly I want my body to be given a proper burial.

Thirdly I want a message sent to Imaam Husayn advising him not to come to Kufa.” Ibn Ziyad agreed to the first request but refused to do anything about the second and third requests. He then ordered Hazrat Muslim to be taken to the roof of the palace to be executed and his body thrown to the ground.

Hazrat Muslim was calm and composed as he was dragged up the steps. He was reciting “Allahu Akbar” until the last moment. Then there was an absolute silence followed by a thud as Hazrat Muslim’s body fell to the ground.
This was on 9th Dhul Hajj. Immediately after Hazrat Muslim was killed Hani bin Urwah was dragged to the roof top and executed.

Hazrat Muslim Ibne Aqeela (A.S) fought bravely in Kufa and he is recognized as the first martyrs of the journey of Karbala.

Hussain was informed of the martyrdom of Muslim Ibne Aqeel (A.S). He was Plaintive and mourn over his cousin martyrdom.

Hussain keeps on moving soon he meets a thirsty army which was lead by Hazrat Hurr (A.S) who was the leader of Yazid (L.A) at that time, Imam Hussain (A.S) give water to Hazrat Hurr(A.S) army and their horses. Hazrat Hurr (A.S) keep his army side by side to Imam Hussain (A.S)’s caravan and when on 4rth Muharram when both Imam Hussain (A.S) and Yazid’s army reach Karbala, Hazrat Hurr (A.S) stopped Imam Hussain (A.S) on the order of Ubaidullah Ibne Ziyad (L.A) at that stage Imam Hussain (A.S) said “O Hurr! May your mother cry over you”.

Later Hazrat Hurr (A.S) left Yazid’s army and joined Hussain (A.S) with his son, brother and his servant. He showed his apologies to Imam Hussain (A.S) and ask Imam to forgive him.

Imam Hussain (A.S) took up Hurr who was sitting in the knees of Imam at that time and said “Me, my mother Fatimah (S.A), my father Ali (A.S), my grandfather Prophet Muhammad (SAWW) and Allah forgives you.” But Hurr said that my sin is so big that my forgiveness cannot be achieved till I sacrifice my son on you Imam, tomorrow My Son will go in the battlefield before me.

On 10th Muharram Hurr’s son was martyred, Hurr (A.S) tried to march towards the battlefield to take his martyred son. However, Imam Hussain (A.S) said “O Hurr! Wait, A father should not bear his young son’s martyred body”. But later when all were martyred Imam Hussain (A.S) took up of his young son(Hazrat Ali Akbar (A.S)’s body after his martyrdom because no one else left for this to do.

Hussain (A.S) sacrificed his whole family including his sons, brothers, nephews, cousins and his companions to save Islam with a thirst of 3 days in many narrations 7 days in the hot desert of Karbala.

After he martyrdom of all companions, only three men from Bani-Hashim were left Hazrat Ali Akbar A.S, Hazrat Abbas A.S and Imam Hussain A.S himself. Hazrat Abbas A.S who was amongst the bravest man from Bani-Hashim(a tribe of Arab) which was the recognized as the most brave tribe in the whole Arab  asked Imam Hussain (a.s.) several times for permission to go and fight. Each time Imam Hussain (a.s.) would reply “Abbas, you are the captain of my army, you are my ‘alamdaar – the standard bearer”.

Hazrat Abbas (a.s.) would never argue with Imam Hussain (a.s.). His three brothers were killed in the battle fought after Zuhr. Imam Hussain (a.s.) could see the anger in Hazrat Abbas’s (a.s.) eyes, especially when Hazrat Qasim’s (a.s.) body was trampled upon by the enemy. Imam Hussain (a.s.) knew that if he let Abbas (a.s.) go and fight, there would be a massacre in the enemy rank. Imaam Hussain’s (a.s.) object was to re-awaken Islam and not to score a victory on the battle field.

Just then Bibi Sakina (a.s.) came out holding a dried up mashk. She walked up to Hazrat Abbas (a.s.) and said “AL ATASH, YA AMMAHU! I am thirsty O my uncle Abbas !”. Abbas (a.s.) went to Imam Hussain (a.s.) and requested for permission to go and get water for Sakina (a.s.). Imam Hussain (a.s.) gave his permission. Abbas (a.s.) put Sakina’s (a.s.) mashk on the ‘alam, mounted his horse and rode up to Imam Hussain (a.s.). He said “I have come to say goodbye”. Imam Hussain (a.s.) said “My brother, come and embrace me”. Hazrat Abbas (a.s.) dismounted his horse.

There were tears in Imam’s (a.s.) eyes. As Hazrat Abbas (a.s.) prepared to mount his horse, Imam Hussain (a.s.) said, “My brother, I want a gift from you. I want your sword”. Hazrat Abbas (a.s.), without uttering a word, gave Imam Hussain (a.s.) his sword and rode into the battlefield, armed only with a spear and holding the ‘alam.

There were 90,000 enemy soldiers in the battlefield. They had all heard of the valour of Hazrat Abbas (a.s.). A cry arose, “Abbas is coming!” Yazeed’s soldiers started hiding behind one another. A few brave ones dared go near Hazrat Abbas (a.s.) but were soon put to death by the spear or by a kick.

Hazrat Abbas (a.s.) reached the river Furaat. He filled the mashk with water. He himself was very thirsty. In fact every one in Karbala was thirsty for 3 days but Hazrat Abbas (a.s.) was thirsty since the 2nd of Muharram for 9 days. He took the water in his palms, looked at it and threw it away saying, “O water of Furaat, my lips can welcome you only after Sakina has quenched her thirst !?” He placed the mashk on his ‘alam and started to ride back.

Umar ibn-e-Sa’ad cried out, “Do not let that water reach Hussain’s camp, otherwise we shall all be doomed!”

A soldier climbed a tree and as Hazrat Abbas (a.s.) was riding past the tree he struck his sword on the right shoulder The spear and the right arm fell on to the ground. Just then someone crept behind Hazrat Abbas (a.s.) and struck him on the left shoulder. His left arm and the ‘alam fell. Hazrat Abbas (a.s.) gripped the mashk with his teeth. His one objective was to get the water to Bibi Sakina (a.s.). Fighting with his feet he urged the horse to get him to Imam’s (a.s.) camp as quickly as possible.

Alas ! an arrow was shot. It went flying across the desert and hit the mashk. The water began to pour out and with the water all the hopes of Hazrat Abbas (a.s.) poured on to the sands of Kerbala to be buried forever in the thirsty desert. Hazrat Abbas (a.s.) now did not want to go back and face Bibi Sakina (a.s.). With his feet, he signaled the horse to turn back.

The enemy surrounded him from all sides. A spear came flying and struck his eye. Abbas (a.s.) fell from the horse!!. Imagine someone falling from a horse and not having his arms to support him. As he fell, he cried out “My salaams to you Ya Mawla!”

Imam Hussain (a.s.) seemed to lose all his strength when he heard the voice of his dear brother Abbas (a.s.).

When Hazrat Abbas (a.s.) left to go to fetch water, Imam (a.s.) stood at the gate of the camp watching the ‘alam. Bibi Sakina (a.s.) was standing next to Imam Hussain (a.s.), also with her eyes fixed on the ‘alam. When Abbas (a.s.) reached the river bank and bent down to fill the mashk, the ‘alam disappeared from sight. Bibi Sakina (a.s.) was frightened and looked at her father.

Imam (a.s.) said, ‘Sakina, your uncle Abbas is at the river bank’. Sakina (a.s.) smiled and said, ‘Alhamdulillah !’ and called out all the children to welcome Abbas (a.s.). When Hazrat Abbas (a.s.) lost both arms, the ‘alam fell onto the ground. Sakina (a.s.) could see it any longer! She looked at Imam Hussain (a.s.), but he turned his face away. Bibi Sakina (a.s.) began to tremble with fear and her eyes filled with tears. She raised her hands and prayed, ‘Ya Allah! Do not let them kill my uncle Abbas! I will never ask for water again!’ and ran inside to her mother.

Imam Hussain (a.s.) reached where Hazrat Abbas (a.s.) was lying. It was a tragic sight. Hazrat Abbas (a.s.) was lying on the ground. Both arms had been severed! There was an arrow in the right eye and blood blocked the left eye. As soon as Hazrat Abbas (a.s.) sensed the presence of Imam Hussain (a.s.) he said “Mawla, why did you take the trouble to come over? Please go back and look after Sakina.” Imam Hussain (a.s.) said, “My dear brother, all your life you have served me and my children.

Is there anything I can do for you at this last moment of you life ?” Hazrat Abbas (a.s.) replied, “Aqaa, please, clean the blood from my eye so that I can see your beloved face before I die!” Imam (a.s.) cleaned the blood. Hazrat Abbas (a.s.) fixed his gaze on Imam (a.s.).

Then he said, “Mawla please do not carry my body to the camp. I do not wish Sakina to see me in this state!” Imam Hussain (a.s.) took Hazrat Abbas (a.s.) in his arms, and kissed his forehead. Just then our Mawla, our Mushkil Kushaa, Abbas ibne Ali (a.s.) breathed his last. Imam Hussain (a.s.) placed Sakina’s mashk on the ‘alam and carried the ‘alam to the camp. He went to Bibi Zainab’s (s.a.) tent. Imam Hussain (a.s.) could not say a word. He gave the ‘alam to Bibi Zainab (s.a.) and sat down on the floor! The brother sister performed aza-e-Abbas.

After the martyrdom of Hazrat Abbas A.S,  Ali Akbar stood in front of Husayn ibn Ali after Zuhr prayers and said, “Father I request for permission to go and fight the enemies of Islam.” His father gave him permission and said, “May Allah be with you! But Akbar, you know how much your mother, sisters, and aunts love you. Go and say farewell to them.” Ali Akbar went into the tent of his mother. Every time he wanted to come out of the tent his mother, aunts, and sisters would pull his cloak and say, “O Akbar, How will we live without you?” Husayn ibn Ali had to plead with all to let Ali Akbar go.

Husayn ibn Ali helped his son mount his horse. As Akbar began to ride towards the battlefield he heard footsteps behind him. He looked back and saw his father. He said, “Father, we have said good-bye. Why are you walking behind me?” Husayn ibn Ali replied, “My son, if you had a son like yourself then you would have surely understood!”

He killed many well-known warriors. No one dared to come close to him in a single combat. Umar-e-Sa’ad ordered his soldiers to kill him, saying, “When he dies, Husayn will not want to live! Ali Akbar is the life of Husayn.” While a few soldiers attacked Ali Akbar, Murrah ibn Munqad threw a spear through Ali Akbar’s chest. Murrah ibn Munqad then broke the wooden part of the spear and left the blade inside Ali Akbar’s chest, to cause him more pain.

As Ali Akbar fell from his horse, he said, “O Father, my last salaams to you! Here is my grandfather, the Messenger of Allah, giving me my water. He says yours is here waiting for you”. The reason he said this was because after Ali Akbar killed significant members of the enemy forces, he went to Husayn and said he is too thirsty to fight. Husayn was very sad and told his son: ‘Do not worry, Akbar. After you are martyred your grandfather, the Messenger of Allah, will give you water that is so sweet, that you will never forget the taste’.

When Husayn ibn Ali heard Akbar’s salaam he looked at Furaat where Abbas ibn Ali’s body was laying and asked, “Abbas, now that this brother of your needs you the most, where have you gone?” Husayn ibn Ali walked towards the battlefield.

When Husayn ibn Ali went to Akbar, Akbar placed his right hand on his wounded chest and his left arm over the shoulder of his father. Husayn ibn Ali asked, “Akbar, why do you embrace me with only one arm?” Akbar did not reply. Husayn ibn Ali tried to move Akbar’s right hand, but Akbar resisted. Husayn ibn Ali forcefully moved the hand. Then he saw the blade of the spear.

Husayn ibn Ali laid Ali Akbar on the ground and sat on his knees, he placed both of his hands on the blade of the spear. He looked at Najaf,where his father Imam Ali was buried and said, “Father, I too have come to my Khaybar!” He pulled out the blade, with it came the heart of Ali Akbar (a.s), Hussain wept and distraught seeing his son in such pain and stress. Ali Akbar sent his last salaam and was released to the heavens.

After the martyrdom of Hazrat Abbas A.S and Hazrat Ali Akbar A.S, Imam Hussain A.S came to his sister and his family, said goodbye to them then he reaches his son Imam Zain-ul-Abideen A.S’s tent who was seriously ill and give him the responsibility of Imamat and said to him that O My Son! when you reach Madinah ask our believers to always remember us when they drink cold water.

When Imam Hussain A.S was leaving the camp of Ahle-Bait, his young daughter BiBi Sakina S.A didn’t allow him to go. Imam took her daughter with him and left her in his camps. After leaving his family Imam Hussain A.S came to the battlefield where he fought courageously, when he was leaving his tents he said “O the martyrs, Now watch the battle of the 3 days hungry and thirsty”.

One of the man from Yazid’s army said that I have never saw someone fighting with such bravery who’s son , brothers and cousins were killed so mercilessly. After fighting bravely Imam Hussain A.S bowed his head in front of Allah SWT when he hears the voice of Azaan. Then Shimmar (L.A) who was on of the commander in Yazid L.A army attacked Imam Hussain A.S from behind. Imam Hussain A.S fall on the land of Karbala from his horse then Shimmar L.A beheaded Imam Hussain A.S with 13 hits of a knife.

Later Yazid’s army attacked the camp of Hussain A.S where the family of Prophet Muhammad SAWW were. They burn the tents, they snatched the ear rings of BiBi Sakina S.A and took the Shawls from the heads of the Holy Women of Ahle-Bait (Family of Prophet). On 11th Muharram Yazid’s army arrested all the children and women along with BiBi Zainab S.A and Imam Zain-ul-Abideen A.S and take them to Kufa, later yazid’s army took them into Al-Sham(Syria) where the were locked in Captivity for about 1 year.


P.S: Read this to know more about Hussain (A.S)’s sacrifice and Karbala and Please if you are interested search more on Google. 

Finally I will like to embed a Noha from Mr. Hassan Ayaz that he recited in mourning of Imam Hussain A.S


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