Perceptions about Imam Hussain

Various theologians, politicians and others have discovered the greatness of Hussein and his revolution:


“I learnt from Hussein how to be oppressed yet victorious”

“When called upon to surrender, they refused. They knew at the time that this would mean death for them. If, however, they were to submit to injustices they would disgrace their manhood and betray their religion. In these circumstances, they yielded to the embrace of death. The heads of these fine young men rolled on the battlefield. In my view, Islam did not attain its greatness by the power of the sword but entirely through the self-immolation of its fakirs.”


Charles Dickens

“ If Husain had fought to quench his worldly desires, then I do not understand why his sister, wife, and children accompanied him. It stands to reason therefore, that he sacrificed purely for Islam ” , “Charles Dickens’ Miscellanies”, p.61.


Peter J. Chelkowski: Professor of Middle Eastern Studies, New York University

“Hussein accepted and set out from Mecca with his family and an entourage of about seventy followers. But on the plain of Kerbela they were caught in an ambush set by the … caliph, Yazid. Though defeat was certain, Hussein refused to pay homage to him. Surrounded by a great enemy force, Hussein and his company existed without water for ten days in the burning desert of Kerbela. Finally Hussein, the adults and some male children of his family and companions were cut to bits by the arrows and swords of Yazid’s army; his women and remaining chilfren were taken as captives to Yazid in Damascus. The renowned historian Abu Reyhan al-Biruni states; “…then fire was set to their camp and the bodies were trampled by the hoofs of the horses; nobody in the history of the human kind has seen such atrocities.”” [Ta’ziyeh: Ritual and Drama in Iran. New York, 1979, p. 2].