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The battle of Karbala was fought between the small army of Hussain bin Ali رضي الله عنه who is the grandson of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and the Umayyad Caliph named Yazeed ibn Muawiya in the 60A.H.
Yazeed ibn Muawiya became the Caliph in 60 A.H
Yazeed ibn Muawiya became the Caliph in 60 A.H after his father Muawiyah رضي الله عنه died. His rule was based in Damascus.
Hussain رضي الله عنه and Abdullah bin Zubair رضي الله عنه were of the view that Yazeed ibn Muawiya should not continue to be the Caliph.
Hussain was in Makkah
Hussain رضي الله عنه was in Makkah where he received a lot of letters from the people of Kufa. The people pleaded with him to restore the unity of the Muslim community by removing Yazeed ibn Muawiya.
Hussain رضي الله عنه could not ignore the matter as the letters of plea had reached a number greater than 100 which lead to the battle of Karbala.
Hussain left for Kufa
On receiving the news, Hussain رضي الله عنه along with his family and relatives formed a small group and left for Kufa.
Abdullah bin Abbas رضي الله عنه requested Hussain رضي الله عنه not to trust the people of Kufa. Yet Hussain رضي الله عنه left as he could not ignore the plead of people.
Yazeed ibn Muawiya overthrew the governor of Kufa
While he was on his way things had gotten worse. Yazeed ibn Muawiya had overthrown the governor of Kufa and his newly appointed governor was instructed to heavily charge those who are against Yazeed ibn Muawiya.
When people saw this, they started to obey Yazeed ibn Muawiya leaving Hussain رضي الله عنه alone. These unfaithful people on the orders of Yazeed ibn Muawiya formed an army and missioned to capture or kill Hussain! This mission of unfaithful people resulted in the battle of Karbala.
People of Kufa stood against Hussain
When Hussain رضي الله عنه reached Kufa, the people stood against him. He even produced those letters which they had themselves written to him, yet these people had no shame and were determined to capture Hussain رضي الله عنه dead or alive.
Hussain saw Prophet Muhammad in a dream
On thisو Hussain رضي الله عنه asked them to not to hold fight on the night of Ashura.
He also called his sister named Zainab رضي الله عنه not to get depressed and cry after he gets martyred as his martyrdom would let him earn a greater rank.
On the very night, he saw Prophet Muhammad ﷺ in his dream telling him to remain patient as he is to join him shortly.
The battle of Karbala
In the morning the caravan was attacked by the mighty army. The fight was bloody in which one after another, the family of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ got martyred. Hussain رضي الله عنه fought till the time he could.
It was the time of Jumma prayer when Hussain رضي الله عنه asked his enemies to halt the fight so that he could offer his prayers. Yet they refused, and Hussain رضي الله عنه offered his prayers through signs.
Hussain was beheaded
Soon Shimr Zil Jawshan hit his head and caused his head to detach from his body. His dead body was poorly treated, some cursed people along their horses rode over it.
The people not only killed him but also became enemies of his family, they did not show mercy to children either.
Everyone involved in the Battle of Karbala died soon
His blessed head was served to the governor of Kufa named Ubaidullah Ibn Ziyad who disrespected it by touching it through a stick.
- Yet he himself died exactly six years later and his head was presented to Mukhtar ibn Abi Ubaid.
- Shortly after three years Yazeed ibn Muawiya also faced death. It is reported that all the murderers lived a miserable life and died shortly.
The death of Hussain saddened Madina
Hussain رضي الله عنه was martyred in the battle of Karbala, yet he has won the war. There is a great lesson to be learned from this battle to not to accept the wrongdoing, no matter how powerful your enemy is.