Dr Klaus Bung
© 2010 Klaus Bung
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Name the first month of the Islamic calendar.
|2||What does the word "Muharram" mean?|
|Violence is forbidden. mu = violence, haram = forbidden|
|3||Which is the most important day in Muharam?|
|Day 10, called Ashura (= tenth)|
|4||What do Sunnis commemorate on Day 10?|
|A great victory which Musa (Moses) had over the Pharaoh on this day.|
|5||What do Shias commemorate on Day 10?|
|The martyrdom of Imam Husayn?|
|6||Name a favourite daughter of the Holy Prophet?|
|7||Whom did Fatima marry?|
|She married Ali, the cousin of the Holy Prophet.|
|8||Fatima and Ali had several children. Name the second son of Fatima.|
|Husayn, also known by Shias as Imam Husayn|
|9||Who was Husayn in relation to the Holy Prophet?|
|He was his grandson.|
|10||Did Imam Ali have only one child?|
|No, he had several, from several wives|
Name two of the sons Imam Ali had together with Fatima.
|2||Name one of the daughters Imam Ali had together with Fatima.|
|3||How did Ali die?|
|He was murdered while praying in a mosque in Kufa.|
|4||Ali is revered in all branches of Islam, but particularly in two branches. Name them.|
|Ali is particularly revered by the Shias and by the Sufis.|
|5||How was Imam Hasan killed?|
He was poisoned by a member of his household at the instigation of some enemies.
|6||How and where was Imam Husayn killed?|
|Imam Husayn was killed at the battle of Karbala. Several others of Fatima's children were also killed in the same battle. Husayn's small army was almost wiped out during that battle.|
|7||When did the battle of Karbala take place?|
|On the 10th day of Muharram (Ashura) (Muharram 10).|
|8||Where is Karbala situated?|
|In present-day Iraq.|
|9||Name the two parties in the battle|
|10||Who was Imam Husayn?|
|The grandson of the Holy Prophet.|
How was his opponent, the caliph Yazid I, related to the Holy Prophet?
He was NOT related.
|2||What did Imam Husayn say about Yazid I and his followers. This is a famous quote. Write it down literally.|
|"Anyone akin to me will never accept anyone akin to Yazid as a ruler."|
|3||There is something important about the role of water at Karbala. What is it?|
The army of Yazid I had instructions to block the army of Husayn to get water from the nearby river of Euphrates. The blockade lasted for several days while the armies on the battlefield waited for battle to begin (from Muharram 2 to Muharram 10 when the battle ended with the death of Husayn and most of his followers).
Hussayn had a brother taking part in the battle. What was his name?
|5||Abbas managed to make his way to the river to get water in a leather flask. For whom?|
|For Hussayn's four-year-old daughter, who was very fond of her uncle Abbas. She was crying because she was so thirsty.|
|6||What was the little girl's name?|
|7||What happened when Abbas went to fetch water.|
|He did not drink any water himself even though he was very thirsty. His only desire was to help the little girl to whom he had promised the water. He held the flask under his right arm. It was cut off by an enemy soldier. He held the flask under his left arm and continued. When another soldier cut off his left arm, he held the flask with his teeth and continued. He was determined to keep his promise to the little girl. A soldier hit the flask with an arrow and the water started pouring out. Then Abbas was killed.|
|8||What was so terrible about the Karbala water story?|
|That the hatred was so great that water was denied to a little child. This has become proverbial. When someone commits an act of pointless cruelty, people can ask: "What is this? Are we in Karbala?"|
|9||When did the battle start, and end?|
|On Muharram 10.|
|10||There is an important role that Hussayn's horse played in the Battle of Karbala, and many stories and miracles are told about him. What is the name of this famous horse?|
Was the battle of Karbala a fair fight?
It is said that many pre-battle agreements were broken, people became fanatical and extremely cruel (more so than would normally have been expected in wars at that time). This is similar to the lawlessness that developed during the great battle of Kurukshetra in the Mahabharata. Like in the First World War, it was sometimes more like a massacre than a battle.
|2||There were many women and children in Husayn's camp. What was done to keep them out of danger?|
|Representatives of both sides came out to fight in single combat. (This also happened in the Battle of Troy.) Husayn's followers, and then his relatives, were killed one by one.|
Did Imam Husayn not take part in single combat?
|He did when his turn came. He fought very valiantly and killed many people who came to fight him on behalf of Yazid I. Eventually he was wounded by a stone on his forehead and an arrow into his heart.|
|4||How did Husayn finally die?|
|His head was cut off with a sword.|
|5||What happened to his head?|
|His head was raised on a lance and taken to the city of Kufa. It was then taken to Damascus to be presented to Yazid I as a trophy.|
|6||How old was Imam Husayn when he died?|
|He was 54 years old.|
Wat happened to the little girl, Sakina? Did she die as well?
|I don't know. In modern Iran they are planning to stone her.|
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