Karbala the heroes

The Karbala heroes - their stories and personalities

Mrs. Zainab daughter of Imam Ali

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Imam Hussain's sister is without a doubt Karbala's most famous personality after Imam Hussain.

Mrs. Zainab was the ideal person to take over the leadership of the rebellion after her brother's martyrdom, as this position was appointed to her from the day she was born.

Most of the accounts point to the fact that Mrs. Zainab had been prepared to take on this role all her life even though she witnessed all the horrific events she experienced from the loss of her brothers, family members and companions.

She witnessed all the sad deaths of, among others, her grandfather; the Prophet Muhammad, and her parents Mrs. Fatima Al-Zahra and Imam Ali. Not least, this deep grief was confirmed in Karbala with both Imam Hussain and Abbas´ martyrdom and murder before her eyes.

However, these abominations and atrocities did not stop her from passing on the message of upholding justice and dignity.

May God exalt Mrs. Zainab's stage for the sufferings she has endured after the martyrdom of her brothers and children on the plain of Karbala.


Abbas son of Imam Ali

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Since childhood, Abbas has been a true brother to Imam Hussain, despite not having the same biological mother.


Abbas' mother made sure to always remind her son Abbas of his duty to care for Hussain, not just because they had the same father; Imam Ali, but also because Imam Hussain was the chosen "imam" as a term for a religious leader.


Imam to be obeyed according to the religious obligation. Abbas always showed a special respect for Imam Hussain and for the household of the Prophet, and with his sacrifice showed the best example of brotherhood and loyalty.  

Karbala´'s most remembered event and heartbreaking moment was when Abbas, as the last soldier in Hussain's minaret, had to fight the countless hundreds to fetch water back to the thirsty camp. Abbas stood in front of the water in the hot heat and wanted to enjoy the cold water before his return with the can, however, he remembered his brother Hussain and the thirst of the women as well as the children throwing the water away and saying:


"O ego came next after Hussain, for after him you will not be able to remain. Hussain is approaching death and you are drinking the cold water. By God, this is not my religious journey, nor is it the fate of a destiny-conscious believer."


Imam Hussain son of Imam Ali

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Throughout his upbringing and life, peace be upon him, Imam Hussain has been surrounded by and raised with love and care, both the spiritual and the familial as well as the human.


Loved so much by his grandfather, the Prophet Muhammad pbuh, he was free to unfold and open his eyes to a world of grace and mercy in the way of continuing Islam and the word of God since childhood. Both himself and his brother Imam Hassan were known for their ethics and morals that reflected the Prophet peace be upon him.

With a father like Imam Ali, Hussain learned that with strength comes responsibility, and that there must be no giving in to oppression. Imam Hussain learned from his father and grandfather how justice could be enjoyed in a society, rejecting poverty and inequality.

Besides the nights the Imam learned to starve in order to sacrifice his food for the benefit of those in need, the Imam could realize his mother's patience and spirit of care and love. Mrs. Fatima showed Imam Hussain and his siblings how to enjoy donation and almsgiving, and yet live in dignity.

Few words can describe the long life of the Imam, so dive deeper into the literature and gain insight into the main character of Karbala and Ashura.

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Habib ibn Mudhahir (al-) Asadi

Habib was one of the companions of the Prophet Muhammad and he participated in wars during the life of the Prophet and Imam Ali´s. He was known to have lived a life of dedication and was a pious man. He practiced Islam in performing the good and abstaining from sins as well as by following the instructions and guidelines of the Qur'an carefully.


According to Imam Hussain, Habib recites the Qur'an every night.

Despite his age of 75, Habib chose to go to Karbala to care for the Prophet's grandson. Observing the large number of soldiers in Yazid's army, he asked the permission of Imam Hussain to ask for help and support from the nearby clan of Banu Asad.When Habib preached the Imam's cause and informed Banu Asad of their duty to uphold Islam and justice, they agreed to send an army.

Banu Asad's participation was stopped at the last minute by Umar ibn Sa´ad.

Habib is the only one among the Karbala martyrs to have his own burial ground, as his clan buried him after the Ashura tragedy.


Qasim son of Imam Hassan

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Al-Qasim was one of Imam Hassan's sons who joined his uncle's caravan.

There are no accounts of al-Qasim's birth, however, the historical Ashura renditions (Maqtal) indicate that he had not even reached puberty.

On the night of Ashura Day (9th Muharram), Imam Hussain gathers his companions and gives a speech in which he informs them, among other things, that they will all become martyrs the next day.

Qasim asks his uncle if he is going to be a martyr on Ashura Day. His uncle Imam Hussain replies that he will be and asks him what he thought about death. Qasim does not hold back and answers the familiar answer: "It is sweeter than honey".


On the battlefield, according to the reproducing accounts, Qasim reproduces the following while his Karbala enters the battlefield:

"If you reject my participation, then I am the lion cub of al-Hassan. (I am) the grandson of the chosen and trusted Prophet (Muhammad). water (paradise).


Ali (al-) Akbar son of Hussain

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Imam Hussain named all his sons Ali to resist the repeated attempts to eliminate and eradicate Imam Ali´'s name, ethics and morals from the memory and daily life of the people.

That, however, was special about the eldest son of Imam Hussain; Ali al-Akbar was that according to the accounts, he was the one introduced by his father to be the one who resembled the Prophet Muhammad in appearance, manners and qualities among people.

Among his many qualities was that he was knowledge within narratives and its science (Muhadath).

On Ashura Day, Ali Akbar was the first martyr from the Banu Hashim clan and is mentioned in the martyrs' greeting of peace (Ziyarat al-Shuhada).

Despite Ali Akbar´'s strength in battle, and after fighting 120 knights, he returned to his father to the camp asking for water.

Without water in the extreme heat, Ali was able to strike another 200 foot soldiers before returning to camp for the second time.

As he lost energy, Ali Akbar was surrounded by the enemy and attacked from all sides to his martyrdom.


Aslam ibn Amru (al-) Turki

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Burair (al-) Hamadani

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John ibn Hawi

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Originally, Aslam was of Turkish descent with Dylamite roots close to the border with the Iranian city of Qazwin.

Bought free from slavery by Imam Hussain to later become a servant to his son Ali (al-) Sajjad.

Most accounts mention that Aslam was an educated individual who chose to accompany Imam Hussain on his journey to Kufa.

Like all martyrs in Karbala, Aslam was approached by Imam Hussein on Karbala deleted on the 10th and was embraced and hugged as well as greeted by the Imam putting his face on Aslams.

Aslam's famous poem on Ashura day was "The sea will feel the heat of my daggers and stings, and the weather will fill with my bow and arrow when my sword is no longer in my right (hand). The heart of the envious will split".

Burair was a well-known family member of the Hamadani clan as one of the oldest households in Kufa with its Yementian roots.


He was both a Quran reciter and teacher who often recited in the Kufa Mosque. As part of his continuous help and support for the poor, he was called to be the support of the poor, and he had a very exalted stage among his large family.

When Burair heard about Imam Hussein's caravan, he chose to join the Imam until his arrival in Karbala.


Reports mention that Burair gave a very famous speech when the enemy blocked the road for Imam Hussain in his direction towards Kufa, where Burair said: "O Prophet's grandson. God has blessed us to fight by your side where our bodies will be amputated. This will result in the Day of Judgment that your best father (the Prophet) will vouch for us. who call for repentance while in the fire of hell ".

John was bought free from slavery by Imam Ali and chose to be a servant of the Prophet's companion Abu Thar (al-) Ghifari.

After Abu Thar's death, John chose to join Imam Hussein's family to serve them and joined the caravan on its way to Kufa, where he insisted on sacrificing his life for the Prophet's grandchildren and relatives as part of his rendition of liberation from slavery and the enjoyment of acquaintance and affiliation with the Prophet's household.

Despite his African descent and the racism and discrimination of the Arabs, John realized that neither his ethnicity nor race diminished his respect or dignity among the Prophet's household and chosen companions.

John's most famous quote during Ashura Day was: "how can I allow myself to eat of your food in well-being and leave you when you are in distress and minority. By God I will not leave you to have my dark blood mixed with yours".


About Wahab

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Ali (al-) Asghar; the infant

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Hurr (al-) Riyahi

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Wife of Abdullah ibn Umair (al-) Kalbi and she was the first female martyr in Karbala.

Um Wahab's husband and partner Abdullah was the second of Imam Hussein's companions to lose his life on Ashura Day.


Um Wahab and her husband lived in Kufa and chose to join Imam Hussein's caravan in Karbala when they saw that they were paying and bribing in Kufa started preparations to fight the Imam.

When Abdullah was killed by Yazid's army on the battlefield, Um Wahab ran to say goodbye to her husband and congratulated him on paradise.


Shimr ordered his soldier Rustum to hit her on the head with a metal pole, where she then lost her life instantly from wounds of a broken skull.

Also called Abdullah (al-) Radi (breastfeeding).

Yazid´'s army could not just cut off the camp from water, and rather not have a problem rejecting the water for women and children. Their ethics and morals could not reach a lower level, as even when Imam Hussain came out with his infant to ask for water, they showed no pity and failed to show mercy to the children.

The Imam said, "O people! You murdered my household and all my companions except this thirsty newborn child who is dying! Give him some water!".

The words of the Imam created strife in the enemy camp and divided the soldiers between those who are there to give the child water and those who do not want this.

Army Chief Omar ibn Sa´ad ordered the soldier Harmala to kill the child with an arrow, ending the quarrel and discussion.

Despite the fact that (al-) Hurr (al-) Riyahi was known for being the general and individual who was most strict when it came to carrying out orders and respecting one's work and profession, he was the enemy who changed from being a general for the, no doubt, winning team on the battlefield at Karbala, to be a private soldier among the ranks of the few 72 companions of Imam Hussain.

As the leader of one of the most recognized tribes of Bani Tamim, Al-Hurr was not forced to end his life with Hussein, however, the Imam's message gave Al-Hurr such great meaning and made a deep impression enough that he sacrificed his life. in this fight against the clock.

Hurr was one of the individuals in Kufa who joined the caravan of Imam Hussein and sacrificed himself in Karbala for the just cause.

The most famous quote in Hurr´'s journey is when he applied for forgiveness from Imam Hussain before joining the Imam's caravan, where Imam said: "You are truly a Hurr (free) in this world and in the next".