The Story of Hussain
Hussain ibn Ali was born in 620 AD in the city of Medina (present day Saudi Arabia). He came from a family renown for their strong values of justice, charity and peace – the family of Muhammad (the Prophet of Islam). Hussain was widely respected across the lands of Arabia and beyond for his generosity, sincerity and wisdom.
Despite coming from a relatively privileged background and being a prominent figure in the Islamic Empire, Hussain would dismiss the grandeur of his status, in favour of breaking bread with the poor and needy. He challenged the status quo and brought people together.
Not long after the passing of Muhammad, the leadership of the vast Islamic Empire had fallen into disrepute. The moral values that Muhammad had spent his life instilling into society were being eradicated as the new ruler, a ruthless man called Yazid from the Ummayad dynasty, was determined to gain complete control.
Hussain witnessed and protested the rights of his people being violated, and the values of society being destroyed by a tyrannical and corrupt government. Yazid was the antithesis of everything Hussain stood for and preached, yet he demanded that Hussain pays allegiance to him, in order to increase his own credibility.
Hussain had to make a decision… To give his oath of allegiance to a tyrant and submit to evil, or to make a stand of defiance against evil and risk his own life? What would you do? The timeless words of his grandfather Muhammad echoed in his heart, and Hussain knew what he had to do: “The greatest stand is to speak the word of truth in the face of a tyrant.”
For Hussain the decision was straightforward. “A man like me can never give allegiance to a man like him” he famously said. Hussain’s defiance of Yazid grew stronger, and was forced to flee his home city under threat of assassination. Hussain did not want Yazid ruthless forces to attack his city and risk civilians lives.
Along with his family and 72 companions, Hussain made his way towards the East seeking to gain support for his uprising whilst avoiding violence. It was on this journey Hussain, his family and companions were forced to stop by an army of over 30,000, on the hot plains of a land called Karbala (present day Iraq).
Yazid’s forces cut the supply of water for Hussain’s family and companions, including women and children. In 680 AD, after three days of no water and food in the scorching heat, Hussain stood and fell valiantly in what is known as The Battle of Karbala. Hussain died defending those around him being oppressed and whilst standing for his principles.
Through this tragic end but heroic act of sacrifice, Hussain was ultimately victorious. His death became the catalyst for revolutionary change and led to the collapse of Yazid’s tyrannic rule. Hussain stood by his principles till the very end, and his legacy continues to inspire millions around the world.
From civil rights leaders like Gandhi to volunteers at local charities – centuries later, people across the world are empowered by his selflessness, courage and determination. The story of Hussain ibn Ali stands as an inspiration to all, no matter what colour or creed.
Hussain, his values and his stand are the underlying foundations for our organisation. Inspired by Hussain, our reps around the world in over 60 cities organise charitable events to help the homeless, feed the hungry and donate blood to save lives.