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Imam Hussain (A.S) and His Martyrdom

The month of Muharram is the first month of the Islamic calendar. An important and tragic event took place on the tenth of Muharram which changed the Muslim world as a whole i.e. the murder of Imam Hussain (A.S), his family members, and his close friends by the army of Yazid. Yazid was at that time the despotic and absolute ruler of the Muslim world, who came to power as the self-proclaimed "sixth caliph of Islam" after the death of his father. Yazid gave himself the title of Ameer-ul-mu 'mineen.

Hussain (A.S) was one of the two grandsons of the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.A.W.), and the younger of the two sons of Hazrat Fatima (A.S.), the daughter of the Holy Prophet (S.A.A.W.). The Holy Prophet (S.A.A.W.) loved his two grandsons, Hassan and Hussain (A.S), dearly; he used to call them his "sons".

There are numerous traditions, recorded by many historians, which indicate the great love and respect the Holy Prophet (S.A.A.W.) had for his grandsons. According to a tradition, the Holy Prophet (S.A.A.W.) declared that Hassan (A.S) and Hussain (A.S) are the Leaders of the Paradise youth.
Yazid was an immoral and ruthless man, with no sense of justice. Imam Hussain (A.S), as the protector and guardian of the religion, which was established by his noble grandfather, Prophet Muhammad (S.A.A.W.), refused to swear allegiance to him. Yazid realized that he could never legitimize and consolidate his rule without the allegiance of Imam Hussain (A.S), the grandson of the Holy Prophet (S.A.A.W.).

Consequently, he decided that he would either force Imam to submit to his rule, or will kill him.
At the end of 60thyear of Hijra, Imam Hussain (A.S), started his journey towards Kufa, the capital of Iraq on invitation of the people, to come and lead them according to Islam. He took with him his family members and close friends. His journey to Kufa was intercepted by a group of Yazid's army, led by a commander named Hur. Hur had orders to re-direct the Imam to camp in the desert plains of Karbala, on the banks of the River Euphrates. He and his companions were forced to camp at a great distance from the river, which was the only source of water in the area.

On the seventh day of Muharram, Ibn Ziyad, the governor of Kufa, ordered that food and water supplies were to be blocked from reaching Imam Hussain's (A.S) camp. Meanwhile the number of Yazid's army was increasing by thousands. The children especially were becoming dehydrated and weak, and Imam Hussain (A.S) asked Yazid's army to supply water at least to children.

On the tenth day of Muharram, Yazid's army was ready to attack the small band of defenders in Imam Hussain's (A.S) camp. One by one, his friends and relatives took permission to go out and fight and each one laid down his life in the defense of Islam.

Imam Hussain (A.S) made a final plea to the army of Yazid, reminding them of his kinship with the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) of Islam, the love and respect which the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) used to show him, and the numerous traditions in which the Holy Prophet(S.A.W.) had warned the Muslims not to disobey or injure him. He reminded them of his desire to uphold the truth and his status as one of the true protectors of the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.).

The commanders of the opposing army were unmoved, and repeated their desire to kill Imam Husain unless he chose to submit to the authority of Yazid. Hussain (A.S) was left with no choice but to take a firm and final stand against falsehood, and to fight for the preservation of Islam. He fought bravely, and in the end he achieved martyrdom.

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