Background of Arbaeen Day
Hussain ibn Ali was a 7th century revolutionary leader who made the ultimate stand for social justice against the ruler Yazid. Yazid was a corrupt ruler who was violating the basic rights and dignity of the people.
Yazid wanted Hussain to acknowledge his rule and give credibility to his corrupt leadership. However Hussain refused to do so, based on his moral values and principles, and was killed along with his companions holding onto their honour and dignity.
After the Battle of Karbala, Yazid’s men took the women and children of Hussain’s family as prisoners. They were degraded as they were forced to walk in chains through many towns and cities including Damascus and Kufa – where they were abused by crowds until they were eventually presented to Yazid and placed in prison.
Hussain may have died, but his movement lived on. His sister Zainab and son Ali ibn Hussain both gave powerful speeches against Yazid in front of his ministers, calling him out for his corrupt regime and unnerving Yazid’s ministers. Yazid eventually realised that if he left the family of Hussain at his palace they would humiliate him in front of his ministers even further and was forced to free them. The family of Hussain would spend their lives after the Battle of Karbala teaching people about Hussain’s message and his stand against corruption.
It is said that the Day of Arbaeen is the day on which Hussain’s family returned to the land of Karbala, to properly bid farewell to the fallen heroes and finally grieve for their loved ones.