Hussain is the grandson of Prophet Muhammad. He is a significant historical figure of humanity and religious figure of Islam recognized by historians and people from different faiths as a man of integrity and honor who stood for social justice and fought against oppression. Hussain was a martyr who was brutally massacred in Karbala in 680 AD by a tyrant and an army of 30,000. Hussain was only accompanied by 72 which included his family and companions. Hussain, his family and companions were traveling until they were intercepted by the massive army of the tyrant, Yazid. They blockaded water supply to leave Hussain's camp thirsty for days and brutally killed Hussain and many of his family and companions including his six month old son. To read the full story on what happened, the reason of the martyrdom and legacy, I deeply encourage you to visit the link below to learn who is Hussain.
During the first month of the Islamic Lunar Calendar, Muharram
, many Muslims and even people of different faiths mourn the death anniversary of Imam Hussain which remarks at the 10th of Muharram. On the 10th day, known as Ashura, the Battle of Karbala took place where Imam Hussain, the Prophet's own blood, was killed
. During the holy month, gatherings to commemorate Imam Hussain, his family and companions at the Battle of Karbala, called majlis
, are taken place climaxing from the 1st of Muharram to Ashura (10th). During the majlis, stories of events that took place at Karbala are read and passionately mourned. Proceeding the majlis, matam which is a gesture of mourning, striking the chest with hands, is displayed as devotion to Imam Hussain and the remembrance of the suffering. The first majlis or forms of mourning of Muharram was began by the family, mostly women, of the Prophet immediately after the death of Hussain.
Zaynab, the granddaughter of Prophet Muhammad and sister of Hussain, began mourning and used the power of her voice to make speeches against Imam Hussain's opponents: Ibn Ziyad and Yazid. Imam Zain-ul-Abideen spread news of Imam Hussain's death via sermons and speeches which is still powerfully done every Muharram to-date. Arba'een
, forty days after Ashura, is one of the largest peaceful gatherings in the world of +20 million people annually in remembrance of the Battle of Karbala. Many in early history have tried to suppress the spreading of the stories of Karbala and the truth about the battle, however the awareness continues to grow today.