Who? Hussain Ibn Ali a.s was the Grandson of the Prophet Muhammed peace be on him.
Why is he significant?He is the one who saved Islam from destruction at the hands of Yazid - the Caliph at the time who was a known drunkard and was causing the destruction of Islam. Yazid wanted Hussain Ibn Ali a.s to give him his allegiance - which would then have given him a mandate and greater authority or acceptance - if the grandson of Muhammed pbuh who was well known and respected gave his allegiance, it would be like some form of acceptance to the barbaric acts the tyrant Yazid carried out. Therefore Hussain , with his women and children and few companions/family members were isolated in a desert known as Kerbala, where they were forced to fight for their lives or give allegiance, and they were massacred with some of the women and children taken prisoners after.
What did not giving allegiance achieve?
After the death of Hussain Ibn Ali a.s people were moved and began to see Yazids evil. There were protests which eventually led to his removal from power.
Hussain as and his family and children and around 150 or so companions, were massacared. They were denied water for three days, and when Hussain a.s went to the enemy camp to ask them to feed his six month old baby, if they did not want him to have water - at least let the baby have water, the enemies and this is historically documented shot an arrow at the baby thus killing him.
Hussain Ibn Ali a.s showed that numbers do not prove the truth. That we must rise against injustice, we must stand against oppression. It was an act of utter selflessness embroided with such courage and bravery, that one of the greatest tragedies ever occurred on the plains of Kerbala.
Narrated Salma: "I went to visit Umm Salamah and found her weeping. I asked her what was making her weep and she replied that she had seen Allah’s Messenger (S) (meaning in a dream) with dust on his head and beard. She asked him what was the matter and he replied, `I have just been present at the slaying of al-Husayn.’" - Sahih Tirmidhi, per: - Mishkat al-Masabih, by Khatib al-Tabrizi, English Version, Tradition #6157
Um Salama (the wife of Prophet (S)) said: I heard the Jinns (the unseen creatures) mourning for al-Husayn."
(1) Tarikh al-Kabir, by al-Bukhari (the author of Sahih), v4, part 1, p26
(2) Fada’il al-Sahaba, by Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v2, p776, Tradition #1373
(3) Tabarani, v3, pp 130-131
(4) Tahdhib, v7, p404 As for the Shi’ite references, there is a traditions from the Prophet
"If Husain fought to quench his worldly desires, then I do not understand why his sisters, wives and children accompanied him. It stands to reason therefore that he sacrificed purely for Islam."
Dr. Rajendra Prasad
The sacrifice of Imam Husain is not limited to one country, or nation, but it is the hereditary state of the brotherhood of all mankind.
Dr. Radha Krishnan
Though Imam Husain gave his life almost 1300 years ago, but his indestructible soul rules the hearts of people even today.
It is Husain's sacrifice that that has kept Islam alive or else in this world there would be no one left to take Islam's name.
In order to keep alive justice and truth, instead of an army or weapons, success can be achieved by sacrificing lives, exactly what Imam Husain did.
(Original post by Tawheed)
India is free today , and one of the reasons is Ghandi was inspired by HUSSAIN a.s. Past events can teach us principles and inspire us to rise against tyranny and build a better future.
Hussein had nothing to do with the independence of India.
India is free because of men like Bhagat Singh.
Don't insult us by comparing your religious zealots to our freedom fighters.
Hussain a.s and his few companions were not an army set out to strike and attack and cause death first. They were an army of self defense against the opressor who sought to murder them or force them into giving allegiance to his corrupt ways.
Hussain a.s brought his own women and children with him to testify it was not a stand for worldly desires.
Gandhi must have meant the sublime patience and loyalty of these men , who in front of them were tens of thousands wanting to murder or lure them from the truth, yet they kept their patience and endured for a greater good.
I must note it was Gandhi himself who spoke the quoted image about Hussain a.s - those are not my words.
(Original post by CJKay)
Can you give a reliable source for these quotes? When/where were they written/said/recorded?
Peace be upon you,
I apologise for my late reply, here are most of the quotes including the references:
Imam Hussein was the third successor and grandson of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon them both.
He was martyred by Yazid. This is a collection of short quotations about him from a variety of non-Muslim notables from around the world.
"Think not of those who are slain in God's way as dead. Nay, they are living, finding their sustenance in the presence of their Lord" (Quran 3:169)
Peter J. Chelkowski: Professor of Middle Eastern Studies, New York University. "Hussein accepted and set out from Mecca with his family and an entourage of about seventy followers. But on the plain of Kerbala they were caught in an ambush set by the ... caliph, Yazid. Though defeat was certain, Hussein refused to pay homage to him. Surrounded by a great enemy force, Hussein and his company existed without water for ten days in the burning desert of Kerbala. Finally Hussein, the adults and some male children of his family and his companions were cut to bits by the arrows and swords of Yazid's army; his women and remaining children were taken as captives to Yazid in Damascus. The renowned historian Abu Reyhan al-Biruni states; "...then fire was set to their camp and the bodies were trampled by the hoofs of the horses; nobody in the history of the human kind has seen such atrocities." [Ta'ziyeh: Ritual and Drama in Iran, New York, 1979, p. 2]
Simon Ockley (1678-1720): Professor of Arabic at the University of Cambridge. "Then Hosein mounted his horse, and took the Koran and laid it before him, and, coming up to the people, invited them to the performances of their duty: adding, 'O God, thou art my confidence in every trouble, and my hope in all adversity!' ... He next reminded them of his excellency, the nobility of his birth, the greatness of his power, and his high descent, and said, 'Consider with yourselves whether or not such a man as I am is not better than you; I who am the son of your prophet's daughter, besides whom there is no other upon the face of the earth. Ali was my father; Jaafar and Hamza, the chief of the martyrs, were both my uncles; and the apostle of God, upon whom be peace, said both of me and my brother, that we were the chief of the youth of paradise. If you will believe me, what I say is true, for by God, I never told a lie in earnest since I had my understanding; for God hates a lie. If you do not believe me, ask the companions of the apostle of God [here he named them], and they will tell you the same. Let me go back to what I have.' They asked, 'What hindered him from being ruled by the rest of his relations.' He answered, 'God forbid that I should set my hand to the resignation of my right after a slavish manner. I have recourse to God from every tyrant that doth not believe in the day of account.'" [The History of the Saracens, London, 1894, pp.404-5]
Reynold Alleyne Nicholson (1868-1945): Sir Thomas Adams Professor of Arabic at the University of Cambridge. "Husayn fell, pierced by an arrow, and his brave followers were cut down beside him to the last man. Muhammadan tradition, which with rare exceptions is uniformly hostile to the Umayyad dynasty, regards Husayn as a martyr and Yazid as his murderer." [A Literary History of the Arabs, Cambridge, 1930, p. 197] Robert Durey Osborn (1835-1889): Major of the Bengal Staff Corps. "Hosain had a child named Abdallah, only a year old. He had accompanied his father in this terrible march. Touched by its cries, he took the infant in his arms and wept. At that instant, a shaft from the hostile ranks pierced the child's ear, and it expired in his father's arms. Hosain placed the little corpse under the ground. 'We come from God, and we return to him!' he cried; 'O Lord, give me strength to bear these misfortunes!' ... Faint with thirst and exhausted with wounds, he fought with desperate courage, slaying several of his antagonists. At last he was cut down from behind; at the same instance a lance was thrust through his back and bore him to the ground; as the dealer of this last blow withdrew his weapon, the ill-fated son of Ali rolled over a corpse. The head was severed from the trunk; ...and the next morning the women...were carried away to Koufa. The bodies of Hosain and his followers were left unburied on the spot where they fell...." [Islam Under the Arabs, Delaware, 1976, pp. 126-7]
Sir William Muir (1819-1905): Scottish scholar and statesman. Held the post of Foreign Secretary to the Indian government as well as Lieutenant Governor of the Northwestern Provinces. "The tragedy of Karbala decided not only the fate of the caliphate, but of the Mohammedan kingdoms long after the Caliphate had waned and disappeared." [Annals of the Early Caliphate, London, 1883, pp. 441-2]
Edward G. Brown: Sir Thomas Adams Professor of Arabic and oriental studies at the University of Cambridge. "...a reminder of the blood-stained field of Kerbala, where the grandson of the Apostle of God fell at length, tortured by thirst and surrounded by the bodies of his murdered kinsmen, has been at anytime since then sufficient to evoke, even in the most lukewarm and heedless, the deepest emotions, the most frantic grief, and an exaltation of spirit before which pain, danger, and death shrink to unconsidered trifles." [A Literary History of Persia, London, 1919, p. 227]
Ignaz Goldziher (1850-1921): Famous Hungarian orientalist scholar. "Ever since the black day of Karbala, the history of this family ... has been a continuous series of sufferings and persecutions. These are narrated in poetry and prose, in a richly cultivated literature of martyrologies - a Shi'i specialty - and form the theme of Shi'i gatherings in the first third of the month of Muharram, whose tenth day ('ashura) is kept as the anniversary of the tragedy of Karbala. Scenes of that tragedy are also presented on this day of commemoration in a dramatic form (ta'ziya). 'Our feast days are our assemblies of mourning.' So concludes a poem by a prince of Shi'i disposition recalling the many mihan of the Prophet's family. Weeping and lamentation over the evils and persecutions suffered by the 'Alid family, and mourning for its martyrs: these are things which loyal supporters of the cause cannot cease. 'More touching than the tears of the Shi'is' has even become an Arabic proverb." [Introduction to Islamic Theology and Law, Princeton, 1981, p. 179]
Edward Gibbon (1737-1794): Considered the greatest British historian of his time. "In a distant age and climate the tragic scene of the death of Hosein will awaken the sympathy of the coldest reader." [The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, London, 1911, volume 5, pp. 391-2]