Imam Hussein, is the third Apostolic Imam. When the good news of his birth reached the Holy Prophet, he came to his daughter’s house, took the newly-born child in his arms, recited adham and iqamah in his right and left ears respectively, and on the 7th day of his birth, after performing the rites of aqiqah, named him al-Hussein, in compliance with Allah’s command.
The Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace be on him and his progeny, had openly prophesied that the faith of Islam would be rescued by his second grandson Hussein, when Yazid, son of Muawiayh, would endeavour to destroy it.Yazid was known for his devilish character and brutish conduct. He was known as the most licentious of men. The people having known and understood the character of Yazid, fromed a covenant by which Muawiyah could not appoint Yazid as his successor. This undertaking was given by Muawiyah to Imam Hasan from whom Muawiyah had snatched power. Muawiyah violated this undertaking and nominated Yazid who succeded his father.
Yazid demanded allegiance from the Holy Imam Hussein, who could have never agreed to it at any cost. The people fearing death and destruction at the hands of the tyrant had yielded to him out of fear. Imam Hussein said that come whatever may, he would never yield to the devil in place of God and undo what his grandfather, the Holy Prophet had established.
The people of Kufah getting tired of the tyrannic and satanic rule of Yazid, had written innumerable letters and sent emissaries to Imam Hussein to come over and give them guidance in faith. Although Imam Hussein knew the ultimate end of the invitations, he as the divinely chosen Imam could not refuse to give the guidance sought for. When the Holy Imam with his entourage had reached Karbala,his horse mysteriously stopped and would not move any further.
He alighted from his horse, and ordered his followers to encamp there saying: ’Here shall we be martyred and our childern be killed. Here shall our tents be burned and our family arrested. This is the land about which my grandfather the Holy Prophet had foretold, and his prophecy will certainly be fulfilled.’
On the 7th Muharram water supply to the Imam’s camp was cut and his torture of thirst and hunger started. The Holy Imam’s camp consisted of ladies, innocent chidlren including babies and some male members of the Holy Prophet’s family; along with a small band of some faithful friends of Imam Hussein who had chosen to die with the Holy Imam, fighting against the devil for the cause of Allah