The Biography Of Imam Hussain



It was the 3rd of Shaban on a Thursday, the fourth year of hijra, when our beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), Sayyida Fatima Zahra (PBUH) and Imam Ali (PBUH) were blessed with another son named Hussain. According to the traditionalists, he was the first in the world named Hussain and this name was revealed to the Prophet by Allah. A few days after his birth, Ummi Fazi, the wife of Abbas Ibn Abd Muttalib, had a dream in which a piece of the Holy Prophet’s flesh got detached from his body and landed on her lap. When she described the dream to the Prophet, he explained that “my daughter will have a son and the baby will be given to you to feed.” Considering that Sayyida Fatima Zahra had become weak after giving birth to Imam Hussain, Ummi Fazi took over the nursing of the newborn.

When Imam Hussain was born, there was a great feast and celebration in heaven, and Allah sent all the angels to congratulate the new parents and the Holy Prophet. After the celebration, all the angels returned to heaven with the blessings of Imam Hussain. Only Jibrail stayed behind with a sad face. When the Holy Prophet asked him the reason why, he replied: “Allah asked me to tell you about this son (Hussain) who will be the savior of Islam, he, his family and friends will be deprived of food and water for 3 days, and then brutally murdered, and his holy body will be trampled by horses. Their family will be plundered, their veil will be removed and they will be in captivity.” The Holy Prophet and Jibrail wept.

Early Life

The childhood of Imam Hasan and Imam Hussain was very different from that of any ordinary child. They both grew up with the Holy Prophet as their grandparent, and Imam Ali and Sayyida Fatima, with the revelation of Quranic verses and the teachings of the Holy Prophet. Imam Hussain was the divine image of the Holy Prophet. Allah Almighty bestowed Imam Hasan and Imam Hussain the title of Sardar Jawan Jannat (Chiefs of the Youths of Paradise). The Holy Prophet has urged the sincere and true believers to love, respect and cherish his grandchildren in this world as they would be respected and cherished by the inhabitants of heaven in the next world.

When Imam Hussain was young, he once visited the mosque where the Holy Prophet was giving a sermon. Imam Hussain’s clothes got entangled in his legs, and as he was about to fall, the Prophet came down from the pulpit in the middle of his sermon and took him and placed him on his lap. People wondered why the Holy Prophet interrupted the sermon. Seeing the uneasiness of the people, the Holy Prophet declared, “He is the child who will save Islam when Islam is in danger.”

In the eleventh year of the Hijrah, when Imam Hussain was seven years old, his beloved grandfather left this world behind. Before passing away, he hugged Imam Hasan and Imam Hussain (a.s.) and instructed them to always recite salat, especially tahajjud (optional supplication after midnight salat) and to be patient with whatever difficulties they encountered, and most important of all, to save Islam.

However, after the passing of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), the overall atmosphere changed dramatically. Temporal powers were transferred from the Holy Household to the so-called caliphs. As a child, Imam Hussain, along with his mother, sought justice from the ruling party over Fadak, but they sought witnesses. As a result, Sayyida Fatima (s.a.) presented Imam Hasan and Imam Hussain as her witnesses, but the ruling party rejected them. They were accepted by Allah as heavenly witnesses, but still they were rejected by the ruling party and Fadak was taken away. During those days, he witnessed his father Ali being dragged through the streets by the ruling party with a rope tied around his neck.

After the deaths of the Prophet, Sayyida Fatima and Imam Ali, it was clear that nothing would change without drastic measures being taken.

The Role of Imam Hussain in Islam

Imam Hussain’s role in Islamic life started very early on. While still young, he effectively contributed to the rising movement of Islam. Notable was his role during the imamate of Imam Ali, his father, the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.). During the imamate of his brother, Imam Hasan (a.s.), he lived as a loyal and obedient soldier. They shared the same opinion and acted in unison. He and his brother experienced events, including signing a peace document with Muawiya. Then he accompanied his brother and members of the House of the Prophet to Medina. There, they carried on with their mission of keeping away the Divine Message of God from deviation and corruption

The Uprising

Studying the life of Imam Hussain (a.s.), the things he witnessed throughout his life and the circumstances surrounding him and his family, leads us to believe in the fact that he had no chance, whatsoever, to score victory over the oppressive Ummayyads and he trusted nobody. This resulted in him declaring his opposition to Yazid as a ruler before the arrival of kufans’ envoys and messages.

Yazid took the office of caliphate. Being a deviant, inexperienced, obstinate and rash man, he shaped a real threat to the ummah as he had no good Islamic education or upbringing due to the fact that he lived in a house with a family who never shone the light of Islamic guidance over him. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that he took to alcohol, gambling and any kind of act unaccepted and frowned upon in Islam.

Everything said, led to Imam Hussain and his family and friends putting their lives on the line to save Islam and pursue what his grandfather, the Holy Prophet, had asked him to do on his death bed.


Ashura is a depiction of a school where the personality of man is shaped and developed and Imam Hussain (a.s.) has been the greatest teacher of humanity throughout all these centuries. It is not solely a historical event, but a school for learning what it means to be faithful, believe in the Almighty, be courageous and understand the essence of martyrdom and justice. It’s a place to learn the meaning of freedom, aspiration, jihad and standing against what is evil and impure, it’s a place to learn about patience and steadfastness, authority and leadership of imams, and about sacrificing. To put things in perspective, it teaches the world how to be human in the realest sense possible. Although it was a one-day event, it has affected the world throughout ages and miles.

Imam hussain in Battle of Karbala

Being aware of the fact that there were only 72 individuals on the battlefield fighting side by side with Imam Hussain (a.s.) against tyranny to protect Islam, it seems like there were very few heroes out on the field on the Day of Ashura, but in fact, this number is increasing day by day by including all the people who fight for justice and freedom from all over the world and in different ages, and all those whose hearts are beating for moral and humane values.

Throughout history, Ashura has been a repressed cry for tyranny, a repressed anger of all Abels against Cains, and a crystallized mobility against evil for humanity. There is no doubt that justice is very important in Islamic culture and values. This is why the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and undoubtedly, Imams, placed great importance on it, striving to restore and gain justice in Islamic society, and sacrificed their lives for victory.  The mission of the Prophet, justice, is revealed by the Holy Quran. From this divine commandment point of view, Imam Hussain’s (PBUH) Ashura movement was the heaviest and bloodiest holy struggle in history. It has been, and will continue to be, the inspiration and driving force of all rebellions against tyranny and injustice until the day of judgment. According to Imam Hussain (AS), accepting and acquiring justice is one of the most important obligations and a true standard for all Islamic leaders.

The Message of Imam Hussain’s Life

The rebellion against evil by Imam Hussain (a.s.) and his loyal and faithful companions became the model for other movements against tyranny and oppression after the Ashura bloodbath in Karbala. Ashura leads to uprising for the rebirth of all Islamic values and the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (a.s.) was for the victory of divine justice and humanity. Ashura conveys this message to all mankind, and to Muslims in particular, that even if you have to soak yourself in blood, you must not obey any Yazid or tyrant, nor should you be subject to the pretense and deception of any Yazid.


Imam Hasan and Imam Husseyn were the grandsons of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, and sons of Lady Fatima and Imam Ali, the daughter and son-in-law of the Prophet, peace be upon all of them. He was not just some sort of fairy tale hero like Hercules, he, as described by Prophet Muhammad, is considered the leader of youths in paradise. On the 10th of Muharram (Ashura) in year 680 A.D., in less than half a day, on the hot desert sands of Karbala in Iraq, Imam Hussain (a.s.), and 72 of his family members and his friends and followers, including his 6-month-old infant, were brutally killed under the most grotesque circumstances. The movement of Imam Hussain (a.s.) and his family on the Day of Ashura was a method of dealing with our soul and with others, as he aimed to teach us a lesson about servitude at every stage and level of his blessed and historically unique movement.

The martyrdom of Imam Hussain will always remain the biggest tragedy in the history of Islam which is still concealed by the majority of Muslims around the universe. This tragedy not only affected Muslims, but it also affects every individual in the world of today for his struggle was for the salvation of all mankind.


– Understanding Karbala by Sayyid Sa’eed Akhtar Rizvi; P 37

– Imam Hussain (a.s.): The End of a Tragedy and the Beginning of an Uprising by Mustapha Abdullah Kuyateh; P 1

– Ashura: Uprising as struggle for justice to uphold humanity by Khuda Bakhsh and Shafqat Hussain; P 637:638

– Biography Of Imam Hussain by Yusuf Abd’il Qadir; P 7:18

– Imam Hussain Ibn Ali by Al Balagh Foundation; P 20:26

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5 months ago

[…] The Biography Of Imam Hussain […]

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