From WikiAhmadiyya, the free encyclopedia on Islam and Ahmadiyyat

Imam Hussain bin Alira also spelled Hussein or Husayn (625–680) was the grandson and companion of the Prophet of Islam, Muhammadsa through his daughter Fatima and her husband, the fourth Caliph, Ali.

Following the death of Ali, the leadership of the Muslim state came under dispute. Many viewed Hussain's older brother Hassan as the rightful heir, while rival Mauwiyah disputed the claim. To bring peace and prevent Muslim bloodshed in a civil war, Hassan accepted Mauwiyah's leadership on the understanding that following Mauwiyah's death, the Muslims would be permitted to freely elect their leader. However, when Mauwiyah passed away, his son Yazid claimed to have inherited the leadership of the Muslims. Hussain condemned this act of hereditary rule as unIslamic and against the previously established treaties. Yazid set about assassinating Hussain's supporters. Eventually the situation came to a head when Yazid's army cornered Hussain's family - numbering only 70 or so including women and children - at Karbala. There a battle followed in which Hussain and the male members of his family were slaughtered, while the women and their possessions were taken captive.

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