" Know Karbala (Special for kids) "
Once there was an important family. Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) was the last messenger of Allah. He was the prophet that started the religion of Islam. His daughter Bibi Fatimah married Hazrat Ali (A.S) and had two sons Hazrat Hassan (A.S) and Hazrat Hussain (A.S). This is the family known as Panjtan Paak and Ahlulbayt (Family of the prophet).
When the prophet went to mosque and his grandchildren went with him, he would sit his grandson Hazrat Hussain on his lap and tell all his followers to remember his face…the prophet knew about the events that were to come! He would comment to people how his grandson resembled him the most.
Muawiyah, son of Abu Sufyan and father of Yazid, was removed from the post of governor of Syria by Hazrat Ali (A.S). Hazrat Ali was later killed under the command of Muawiyah who promised marriage and wealth to Ibne Muljim. This led to Hazrat Hassan becoming the next Calipha.
Hazrat Hassan attempted to stop fights by coming to an agreement with Muawiyah: that he could be the next Calipha so long as he returned the caliphate back to Hazrat Hussain. Muawiyah agreed to this but later went back on his word as he declared his son Yazid as the successor. Yazid was a terrible, evil person. He changed the laws of Islam, saying alcohol was halal and getting involved in wrong doings.
Yazid wanted Hazrat Hussain to pay allegiance to him and follow his leadership but Hazrat Hussain refused. Whilst Hazrat Hussain went to Mecca to do the holy pilgrimage, he heard that Yazid was planning to attack him there. Hazrat Hussain did not want to have bloodshed in such a holy and sacred place so he quickly led his family out without completing the hajj. Hazrat Hussain was offered allegiance from the people of Kufa so he started to head there. Hazrat Hussain sent his cousin, Muslim Ibne Aqeel to go in advance and find out what the situation was like in Kufa. So that the people did not think that Hazrat Hussain was preparing to fight, he asked Muslim to take his two young sons with him. However Yazid’s army had already bribed the people of Kufa with wealth and others were threatened with death. So unfortunately the people of Kufa had paid allegiance to Yazid and betrayed Hazrat Hussain, they killed Muslim and later killed his two young sons too.
Meanwhile Hazrat Hussain, along with his family travelled towards Kufa. As they headed towards the city in Iraq, they were surrounded by Hur and his army. Hur worked for Yazid and prevented the Ahlulbayt from going any further. The family were surrounded for two days, from the 2nd until the 4th of Muharram. Hazarat Hussain asked someone for the name of this place where they were surrounded. He was told that this was Karbala. Hazarat Hussain told his family to set up camp besides the River Euphrates because they had reached their destination, the place of torture and pain!
On the 4th of Muharram, Shimr (the murderer of Hazrat Hussain) turned up from kufa with an army of 10,000 to fight a camp of about 40 people. These 40 people consisted of men of over 80 years old, women, children and a baby of six months old. Shimr ordered them to move their camp away from the river. Hazrat Abbas (Hazrat Hussain’s half brother because he was the son of Hazrat Ali but not Bibi Fatima’s son)) refused but Hazrat Hussain ordered it and so the camp was moved back from the river. Shimr and his army immediately occupied the river. So by the 7th of Muharram, all water supplies were stopped and the thirsty cries of the children could be heard from the camp as any water that they had stored was finished. It is impossible to go a few hours without water in the scorching heat of the desert but that family went three days without water!
On the 9th of Muharram, Yazid’s army moved forward to attack. Hazrat Hussain sent his brother Abbas and son, Ali Akbar to find out what was happening. The army replied that they had been sent orders from Kufa to attack and finish the family off. Hazrat Hussain requested that they be given one more night in order to spend a night in worship of Allah. This was granted.
All night the family prayed and worshipped Allah. Meanwhile, Yazid’s army revelled in music and dance. Some of the army members realized that they were on the wrong side and in the dark hours, they crept off to the camp of Hazrat Hussain, knowing that this was a worthier cause. One such man was Hur, the leader of the army who initially stopped Hazrat Hussain’s caravan from moving on to Kufa. Even the cold hearted can change if Allah will’s it. Hur realized the horrors that were about to occur. Hur, along with his son, went to see Hazrat Hussain. He begged for forgiveness and pleaded with the Imam to let him be the first to fight for him and so Hazrat Hur was the first to fight in the battle of Karbala, and his son followed after him.
That night, Hazrat Hussain held a meeting for his family and companions. He gave them the opportunity to leave the camp and save their lives because Yazid only wanted to punish him, he had no qualms with any of the others. To save anyone from embarrassment, Hazrat Hussain turned all candles out so that whoever wished to leave could do so anonymously. But when the candles were re-lit, no-one had left. All the companions swore allegiance till the bitter end, they were willing to give their lives over and over again regardless of the horrors that they were to endure.
On the morning of the 10th of Muharram(The day of Ashura), Ali Akbar read azan and they all followed Imam Hussain in prayers. Hazrat Abbas was made to be the flag bearer for the small army of about 72 people. Imam Hussain did not order for the fight to start but when Yazid’s army started shooting arrows, he sent Hur out first. Hur battled bravely but as Yazid’s army was enormous, he did not really stand a chance and soon died a martyr to Imam Hussain’s cause, for the true religion of Islam.