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24 April 2024 / 15. Shawal 1445

Who is Hussain?

Updated 28 November 2012

Why is it that a man stood on a day against an impossible army of thousands? Why did he give his life – everything he held dear in the world – for what he believed in? And even if he did – why does it matter to you?

In another age a tyrant persecuted the vulnerable, shackled his people and denied basic liberties. Imam Hussain, his family and a few select devotees alone stood against this autocrat and the oppressive fist of a vengeful regime. 

Imam Hussain was the standard bearer for truth and justice. Faced with the
 unimaginable choice between our life and our values many of us would choose the former. But not Imam Hussain. It was he who cried out: “Death with dignity is better than a life of humiliation.” He refused to bow down to an immoral ruler.

So preserve truth, morality, justice and honour, Imam Hussain sacrificed himself.

But whilst the Imam and his 72 companions were slain on the hot deserts of Karbala, their legacy lives on.

His legacy lives on through modern day icons, such as Gandhi, who were so inspired by this Hussain that they sought to emulate him. It was Gandhi who said: “I learnt from Hussain how to be wronged and be a winner, I learnt from Hussain how to attain victory while being oppressed.”  It was Gandhi who picked 72 followers to accompany him; the same number Hussain had during his final tragic stand.

His legacy lives on, too, through his timeless wisdom, which transcends the ages. “Your life consists of passing days; with each passing day a part of you goes away for good.”

20 million people visit the shrine of Hussain each year to reacquaint themselves with one of humanity’s great personalities, which is the largest peaceful demonstration on the planet. These wayfarers, men and women, black and white, poor and rich, young and old – they know that while they do not have to face oppressors on the battlefield to defend their ideals, in their daily lives they seek to inculcate the virtues of kindness of spirit, truthfulness and devotion to the cause.

Who is Hussain is not a campaign with a political stance or with a religious motive. Its sole objective is to inspire and enthuse: Imam Hussain’s story is a reminder we can all be the change we want to see.

In a time of societal discord in the form of riots at home, and global economic turbulence and political upheaval abroad, we can all take so much from this pre-eminent personality.

When the people of the East awake to push back dictators and oppressors, let them remember Imam Hussain’s uprising against cruelty and persecution. And when citizens of the West battle unemployment, recession and spending cuts, let them yearn for the valour, the dedication, the courage of conviction of this Hussain.

To promote the campaign, posters of the campaign are on display at many of London’s prominent underground station, 60 buses in the capital are carrying the Who is Hussain message, whilst 25,000 water bottles and 50,000 are being distributed across the country.

How can you get involved?

• Volunteer – [email protected];

• Facebook –;

• Twitter– @WhoisHussain, #WhoIsHussain;

• Share – take the message of Imam Hussain to your colleagues, friends, neighbours – and let them be acquainted with this amazing personality.

Make today your day. Visit and let Imam Hussain inspire you.



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