Who was Imam Hussain (AS) ?

Imam Hussain Ibn Ali (AS) the third Imam.

Imam Hussain ibn Ali ibn Abi Talib (AS) was born on 3rd of Shabaan, year 4 AH/626 AD, at Medina - killed on 10th of Muharram, year 61 AH/680 AD, at Karbala, in what is now southern Iraq. He was the second grandson of the Islamic prophet Muhammad (SAW), and the son of Imam Ali (AS), the first Imam. His mother was Fatimah (SA) daughter of Islamic prophet Muhammad (SAW).

Hussain ibn Ali (AS) is revered as the third Imam by most Shia Muslims. Hussain (AS) was killed in the Battle of Karbala in 680 (61AH) by Shimr Ibn Thil-Jawshan for refusing to pledge allegiance to Yazid I, the Umayyad caliph.

The anniversary of his martyrdom is called Ashura and is a day of mourning and religious observance for Shia Muslims. Revenge for Hussain (AS) death was turned into a rallying cry that helped undermine the Umayyad caliphate and gave impetus to the rise of the Shia movement.

Birth and childhood

Imam Hussain ibn Ali (AS) was born on 5 Sha'aban 4 AH/10 January 626 AD.

He and his brother Imam Hassan (AS) were the only descendants of Muhammad (SAW) who remained alive. Many of the accounts about Muhammad's (SAW) treatment of his grandsons and his great love for them deal with them together.

When he was born the Holy Prophet was given the news of the birth of his 2nd grandson. He arrived at the house of his daughter, took the little baby in his arms, said the Azan and Iqamah in his ears. People around the Prophet saw tears in his eyes. Fatimah (SA) asked what was the reason for this, he told her that this boy of hers will achieve martyrdom, but consoled her by adding that God will create a nation who will mourn Hussain till the Day of Judgement.

Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is reported to have said that "whoever loves them [his grandsons] loves me and whoever hates them hates me" and "al-Hasan and al-Husayn are the sayeds of the youth of Paradise". The latter saying has been particularly important for Shias who used it in support of for the right of Muhammad's (SAW) descendants to the imamate.

Muhammad (SAW), according to other traditions, is pictured with his grandsons on his knees, on his shoulders, or even on his back during the prayer at the moment of prostrating himself. According to traditions, Muhammad (SAW) loved them and declared them as his Ahl al-Bayt frequently. The Quran has accorded the Ahl al-Bayt of the Prophet an elevated position above the rest of the faithful.

In addition to these traditions, a number of traditions also involve presence of angels.

Another famous saying of the Prophet at the same time became synonymous with the name of his grandson Hussain (AS).

“Hussian-o-Minni wa Ana Minul Hussain”. Hussain is from me and I am from Hussain. One can explain this Hadith that Hussain (AS), being the grand son of the Prophet was from him biologically. How a grandfather was from his grand son needs to be explained.

Prophets of God speak spiritually rather than materially. He was talking about Islam the Deen he was assigned by God to propagate God's religion.. He was for Islam and his whole life was for Islam and its establishment on earth. Any break in this mission would subvert this mission which was the purpose of his creation. The message of the Holy Prophet in this saying was that Hussain (AS) will, in some near future save this mission from destruction, hence the very purpose of his being will be saved by the sacrifice of his grandson. He was giving the news of a future occurrence. The story of Kerbala unfolds.