Hussain was a 7th century revolutionary leader who made the ultimate stand for social justice in the face of corruption and tyranny. He gave everything, including his life, for the dignity of his society.
Hussain ibn Ali was born in 620 AD in the city of Medina. 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.
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Not long after the passing of Muhammad, the leadership of the growing Islamic Empire had fallen into disrepute. Hussain witnessed the moral values of his society being destroyed under the corrupt leadership of a tyrant.
Hussain protested the rights of his people being violated by the oppressive regime of Yazid – who was determined to gain complete control. Yazid wanted Hussain to pay allegiance 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. “Death with dignity is better than a life of humiliation” 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 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.
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