Husayn bin Ali

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Imaginary portrait of Husayn ibn Ali, by contemporary Iranian artist.
Husayn ibn Ali ibn Abu Talib (c. 626 - October 10, 680) was the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, and son of his daughter Fatima Zahra with Ali ibn Abu Talib. Husayn is revered by Muslims, and has a special importance to the Shia as their Third Imam by most shias and second Imam by some Shia sects.

Husayn was the second son of Ali and Fatima. He was beloved by his grandfather Muhammad and many stories tell of a great resemblance between Husayn and Muhammad. There are numerous hadith that talk about Husayn and his elder brother Hasan and express the love that Muhammad had for them. In one of these hadith the Prophet said 'Hasan and Husayn are like my two sweet bazels in this world'. Husayn is also one of the four persons included in the Hadith Of The Cloak.

After the death of his father Ali in 661, the succession to the Caliphate was undetermined, and a conflict existed between those who thought Muawiyah should be the caliph, and those who felt that the son of Ali should succeed him. Husayn's elder brother, Hasan, chose not to pursue the issue. However, when Hasan died in 669, Husayn took up his claim to the caliphate amid charges that the then caliph (Yazid, the son of Muawiyah) was corrupt.

Husayn thus led an insurrection and received support from the people of Iraq. However, when his forces met those of Yazid at Karbala, he was betrayed by those who had come to his aid. Husayn, most of his family and 72 of his companions were massacred at the battle. Husayn himself was decapitated and his head was delivered to Yazid. This event is known as Aashurah and is a great day of mourning and remembrance for the Shia.

This episode of Husayn's life is of special importance to many Muslims for its tragedy and for the bravery of Husayn in the face of an overwhelming opponent. The Festival of Muharram is held in honor of his sacrifice.

Husayn is said to have married the eldest daughter of Yazdegerd III, the last King of Sassanid Persia. Bibi Shahrbanu gave birth to to the fourth Imam, Ali ibn Husayn.

His shrine is in Karbala, Iraq, where his body is buried. His head was later buried in Karbala.

Preceded by:
Shia Imams
Succeeded by:
Zainul Abideen

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See also

External links

nl:Imam Hoessein pl:Husajn ibn Ali


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