Battle of Karbala
The Battle of Karbala or Battle of 'Ashura in which Imam al-Husayn's (a) fought against an army from Kufa on Muharram 10, 61/October 13, 680 who were mercenary soldiers of Yazid b. Mu'awiya, the second Umayyad caliph. The Battle of Karbala is the most sorrowful incident in the history of Islam, especially for the Shiites. hence they hold huge mourning ceremonies every year during the first (10) days of Muharram.
The movement of Imam al-Husayn (a) began from Medina towards Mecca after the death of Mu'awiya on the first days of Rajab 60/679; and it was the first action of Imam al-Husayn (a) to refrain from giving allegiance to Yazid b. Mu'awiya. On this journey, the family of Imam (a), some of Banu Hashim and some Shi'a accompanied him.
Imam al-Husayn (a) stayed in Mecca for about four months until Dhu l-Hijja 8/September 12. During his staying in Mecca, he (a) received invitation letters sent by the people of Kufa. Since the possibility of being killed in Mecca by the agents of Yazid and invitations by the people of Kufa, Imam (a) moved towards this city; however, before arriving in Kufa, he (a) was informed that the people of Kufa had broken their promise to support him and that Muslim b. 'Aqil, who was sent by Imam al-Husayn (a) to Kufa to investigate the situation- had been martyred . After Hurr b. Yazid al-Riyahi blocked the way of Imam (a), he (a) went toward Karbala and there he (a) encountered the army of 'Umar b. Sa'd who was appointed by 'Ubayd Allah b. Ziyad as the commander of the army.
Two armies confronted on 10th of Muharram best known as the Day of 'Ashura'. On this battle, Imam al-Husayn (a), his brother, 'Abbas b. 'Ali (a), the former's son, 'Ali Asghar, 17 members of Banu Hashim clan, along with more than fifty companions of Imam al-Husayn (a) were martyred. Some maqtal writers have mentioned Shimr b. Dhi l-Jawshan as the murderer of Imam al-Husayn (a). A group of soldiers from the army of 'Umar b. Sa'd ran over the bodies of martyrs with their horses. In the evening, this army attacked the tents of the families of the martyrs and set them on fire. This night is called "Sham-i Ghariban" in persian. Imam al-Sajjad (a) was not involved in the fight due to his sickness, so survived. He was captured by the army of Yazid along wi