Friday, November 1, 2013

Sawaneh Karbala by Syed Muhammad Naeemuddin Muradabadi

The Battle of Karbala took place on Muharram 10, in the year 61 AH of the Islamic calendar (October 10, 680) in Karbala, in present day Iraq. The battle was between a small group of supporters and relatives of Muhammad's grandson Hussein ibn Ali, and a much larger military detachment from the forces of Yazid I, the Umayyad caliph, whom Hussein had refused to recognise. Hussein and all his supporters were killed, including Hussein's six-month-old infant son, Ali al-Asghar ibn Husayn, and the women and children taken as prisoners. The dead are regarded as martyrs by Muslims, and the battle has a central place in Shia history and tradition, and has frequently been recounted in Shia Islamic literature. The Battle of Karbala is commemorated during an annual 10-day period held every Muharram by the Shia as well as many Sunnis, culminating on its tenth day, Ashura.

Hussein and his followers were two days away from Kufa when they were intercepted by the vanguard of Yazid's army; about 1,000 men led by Hurr ibn Riahy. Hussein asked the army, "With us or against us?" They replied: "Of course against you, oh Aba Abd Allah!" Husain ibn Ali said: "If you are different from what I received from your letters and from your messengers then I will return to where I came from." Their leader, Hurr, refused Hussein's request to let him return to Medina. The caravan of Muhammad's family arrived at Karbala on Muharram 2, 61AH (October 2, 680 CE). They were forced to pitch a camp on the dry, bare land and Hurr stationed his army nearby.


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