Hussain ibn Ali was the grandson of Muhammad (the last prophet of Islam), born in 620 AD to a family famed for their values of love, honour and peace. Hussain was a leader who was known widely for his compassion, wisdom and integrity. Not long after the death of Muhammad, the Muslim empire had slid into political turmoil and corruption as Yazid (from the Ummayad dynasty) usurped power and slowly began destroying the moral fabric of society.
Yazid wanted Hussain to pay him an oath of allegiance in order to gain credibility for his illegal rule. Hussain out of moral obligation towards his principles of social justice and honour refused to do so, despite it being a risk to his life.
Hussain chose to make a stand, and began a small but mighty uprising – he chose to leave the comfort of his own city and begin a journey eastwards towards modern day Iraq. Hussain travelled with his family and 72 companions to make it clear that he did not want violence, but was prepared to defend himself and sacrifice all he had for the greater good of his people.
Word reached Yazid of Hussain’s movement and out of fear it would gain momentum he dispatched an army of 30,000 to halt Hussain and his supporters in their tracks. They were blocked from moving further until Hussain pledged allegiance, but Hussain resisted. Yazid ordered his army to attack and kill Hussain and his supporters, on the 10th day of the first month of the Islamic calendar (Muharram) – which is known as The Day of Ashura (the 10th day).