Maybe it’s not in the perfection of life that things make sense, but in the chaos.

The Battle of Karbala took place on the 10th of Muharram, in year 61 of the Islamic calendar. On one side of the highly uneven battle were a small group of supporters and relatives of Muhammad’s grandson Husain ibn Ali, and on the other was a large military detachment from the forces of Yazid I, the caliph, whom Husain had refused to recognize as caliph (ruler). Husain and all his supporters were killed, including Husain’s six months old infant son, and the women and children were taken as prisoners. The dead are regarded as martyrs by Muslims, and the battle has a central place in Shi’ah history and tradition.

The Battle of Karbala is commemorated during an annual 10-day period held every Muharram by the Shi’ah as well as many Sunnis, culminating on its tenth day, Ashura.

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