In 680 AD, the grandson of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, Husayn ibn Ali, was brutally slaughtered by an army of thirty-thousand at the order of the Umayyad caliph Yazid ibn Muawiya. History tells us that Husayn knew of his inevitable fate and embraced it – that he would be killed by an unjust lot and in a land that would forever be enshrined in the hearts of men and women across the ages, as Karbala.
While Husayn was killed at the whims of men’s greed and lust for power, what did Husayn actually die for? What was the purpose of his most tragic death? Even beyond the stance of justice against injustice and the notion of supporting the oppressed against oppression, all of which are noble pursuits of humanity, the foundational purpose for which Husayn died is very simple. Husayn died for the same thing that he lived for – Islam. His tragedy, his Saga of Hope, would be the catalyst to save the religion that billions of people around the world have come to follow over the past fourteen centuries.
This book is about his story. It tells the tale of Husayn’s amazing life and most heroic death. Husayn grew up in the lap of his grandfather the Prophet Muhammad, and was slain at the hands of the same people who claimed to follow his grandfather. Husayn was by far the greatest leader, most noble warrior, and highest scholar of his time. He is certainly one of the most inspiring and consequential figures in human history. His legacy of sacrifice, love, and hope, have moved even the coldest of hearts, perhaps even those who took part in killing him.
Jalal Moughania is an American lawyer, lecturer, and researcher. He has authored and translated original works on Islamic history and thought, religious authority in Shi’ism, and Shia Muslim identity and society. He serves as Director at the Mainstay Foundation — an NGO working in the space of research, education, and development. Moughania holds a Juris Doctorate in Law.