Who is Hussain?

Who is Hussain?

Why has this question been all over London Buses and the Underground during November?

Why is 7th Century Hussain an inspirational figure for One World in the 21st Century?

The 25 November this year (2012) commemorates the Day of “Ashura” when Imam Hussain, a 7th Century leader, stood up for justice, truth, morality and freedom from oppression.

Who is Hussain? is a campaign created to let the world know about one of the most important men in history; what he stood for and what he died for.

Hussain is a universal figure of inspiration and this campaign has no religious, political, or monetary aspirations: it simply aims to inspire you to become a better person, using the timeless example of Hussain.

What do you stand for? This is a question asked by organisers of the inspirational campaign.

Hussain was a political and spiritual leader who alone stood against the oppression of 7th Century rulers. He was killed fighting for what he believed in, but his legacy lives on.

Have you got what it takes? Central to the campaign is the idea that the life of Hussain has contemporary relevance to modern society. The organisers, a group from across London, believe his qualities of willpower, generosity and the determination to stand up for what one believes in are universal. The story of Hussain is uniquely inspiring.


The website went viral within hours of launching. It hosts self-made videos about what Hussain means to people and the story of his life.

Dozens of pictures have been taken and posted on social media of tube posters advertising the website.

More of Hussain’s story:

A grandson of Muhammad, the last prophet of Islam, Hussain served the people as a leader – promoting and upholding many universal principles of equality, justice, and honour, and he was known for his truthfulness and selflessness.

After the passing of Muhammad, the leadership of the vast Arab Empire had fallen into major disrepute and corruption. The morality that Muhammad had spent his life instilling into society was slowly being eradicated as the new tyrannical ruler, Yazid, seized power.

Imam Hussain, witnessed how the fundamental human rights of his fellow citizens were being usurped, and knew something had to be done. Yazid, knew nothing of morality or humanity, and ruled with an iron fist. He demanded Hussain pay him an oath of allegiance, to lend credibility to his tyrannical rule.

So, 1400 years ago on the plains of Karbala in present- day Iraq, Hussain, and his party of 80 surrounded by the oppressor’s  army of 10,000, was faced with a dilemma: should he give his oath of allegiance to the tyrant – stand aside and allow injustice to overcome morality? Or should he take a stand and risk great personal loss? The timeless words of his grandfather, the Prophet Muhammad, echoed in his heart and Hussain knew what to do:

 The greatest stand is to speak the word of truth in the face of a tyrant.

On this day, known as ‘Ashura’, not only were the 80 men slaughtered, but so was a 6 month old infant. The remaining children, wives, daughters and sisters of the men were shackled and taken as prisoners along with the heads of their men.

Hussain’s sister, Zaynab, ensured that this was a victory for all mankind. She awakened the people with her call to what had happened to her brother, a call which has echoed for over a thousand years and will remain in the hearts and minds of people everywhere:

To stand up for justice, truth, morality and freedom from oppression.

To find out more visit:  whoishussain.org

See :   What non-muslim scholars, including Ghandi,  have said about Hussain


Thanks to: Sheikh Fazle Abbas Datoo, Imam / Resident Alim of the Wessex Shia Ithna Asheri Jamaat, for this story.

And to: the Who is Hussain? website