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Ali al-Akbar ibn Al-Husayn (Arabic: علي الأكبر بن الحسين‎), commonly known as simply Ali al-Akbar, was the son of Al-Husayn ibn Ali, the third Shia Imam, and Umm Layla. He was killed at the age of 18 on the day of ‘Ashura’, in Karbala’.[1] ‘Ali Al-Akbar is highly respected by Shia Muslim and also respected by Sunni Muslims .[2] According to Jean Calmard writing in Iranica, ‘Ali al-Akbar's reputation as a valiant warrior of the Household of Muhammad might have preceded that of Al-‘Abbas ibn ‘Ali.[1]

‘Ali al-Akbar ibn Al-Husayn
عـلي الأكـبـر بـن الـحـسـيـن
Hazrat Ali Akbar (A.S.).png
Arabic text with the name of Ali al-Akbar ibn Husayn
BornMonday, 11th of Sha'ban, 42 A.H. / 30 November 662 (Gregorian Calendar)
Medina, Hijaz
DiedFriday, 10th of Muharram, 61 A.H. / 10 October 680 (Gregorian Calendar) (aged 18 years 4 months 29 days)
Karbala’, ‘Iraq
FatherAl-Husayn ibn ‘Ali
MotherUmm Layla


Life before Karbala’Edit

Two of his brothers were also named Ali, Ali al-Asghar ibn Husayn and Zayn al-Abidin. He so much resembled Muhammad, the prophet of Allah, that Husayn ibn Ali often said, "whenever I happen to miss my maternal grandfather I look at the face of Ali al-Akbar." Ali al-Akbar was martyred by Murrah ibn Munqad on 10 Muharram 61 AH in battle of Karbala.[3]

Martyrdom in the Battle of Karbala’Edit

He had a loud and beautiful voice, on the morning of the day of Ashura, Husayn ibn Ali asked Ali Akbar as to call out the Adhan. Husayn ibn Ali, and many women in their tents, began to weep when Ali Akbar began calling out the Adhan, suspecting that it may be the last time they heard Ali Akbar give the Adhan.[4]

Ali Akbar stood in front of Husayn ibn Ali after Zuhr prayers and said: "Father I request for permission to go and fight the enemies of Islam." His father gave him permission and said, "May Allah be with you! But Akbar, you know how much your mother, sisters, and aunts love you. Go and say farewell to them." Ali Akbar went into the tent of his mother. Every time he wanted to come out of the tent his mother, aunts, and sisters would pull his cloak and say, "O Akbar, How will we live without you?" Husayn ibn Ali had to plead with all to let Ali Akbar go.[5]

Husayn ibn Ali helped his son mount his horse. As Akbar began to ride towards the battlefield he heard footsteps behind him. He looked back and saw his father. He said: "Father, we have said good-bye. Why are you walking behind me?" Husayn ibn Ali replied, "My son, if you had a son like yourself then you would have surely understood!"[6]

According to Bal'ami, Ali Akbar stroke the enemies ten times and killed two or three of them each time.[1] He killed many well-known warriors. No one dared to come close to him in a single combat. Umar ibn Sa'ad ordered his soldiers to kill him, saying, "When he dies, Husayn will not want to live! Ali Akbar is the life of Husayn." While a few soldiers attacked Ali Akbar, Murrah ibn Munqad threw a spear through Ali Akbar's chest. Murrah ibn Munqad then broke the wooden part of the spear and left the blade inside Ali Akbar's chest, to cause him more pain. As Ali Akbar fell from his horse, he said, "Yaa bata alayka minni salaam" upon hearing his son's call, it is said that Imam Hussain lost his eyesight. When Imam Hussain arrived close to him and tried to remove the spear from his chest, the spear's head had been tangled in his veins and when Imam Hussain pulled it out, his heart came out alongside it.[3] He was then surrounded and was cut to pieces.[1] The reason he said this was because after Ali Akbar killed significant members of the enemy forces, he went to Husayn and said he is too thirsty to fight. Husayn was very sad and told his son: "Do not worry, Akbar. After you are killed your grandfather, the messenger of Allah, will give you water that is so sweet, that you will never forget the taste."[citation needed]

He walked towards the battlefield.[7] When he went to Akbar, Akbar placed his right hand on his wounded chest and his left arm over the shoulder of his father. Al-Husayn asked, "Akbar, why do you embrace me with only one arm?" Akbar did not reply. Al-Husayn tried to move Akbar's right hand, but Akbar resisted. Then Al-Husayn forcefully moved the hand, and saw the blade of the spear. He laid Akbar on the ground and sat on his knees, placing both of his hands on the blade of the spear. He looked at Najaf, where his father was buried, and said, "Father, I too have come to my Khaybar!" He pulled out the blade, with it came the heart of Akbar. Al-Husayn, distraught seeing his son in such pain and stress, wept. Akbar sent his last Salam and died.[8]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d Calmard, J. (1 August 2011). "ʿALĪ AKBAR". ENCYCLOPÆDIA IRANICA.
  2. ^ Ibn Katheer. The Short Story of Al-Husain bin 'Ali, (May Allah be Pleased with him). Darussalam Publishers. pp. 16–. GGKEY:KJAFKJADS2F.
  3. ^ a b Aghaie, Kamran Scot (30 November 2004). The Martyrs Of Karbala. University of Washington Press. p. 200. ISBN 0-295-98448-1.
  4. ^ Jalali, Ali Husayn (2000). Karbala and Ashura. Ansariyan Publications. ASIN B000EEP2NM.
  5. ^ Haeri, Shaykh Fadhlalla (25 April 2006). Son of Karbala: The Spiritual Journey of an Iraqi Muslim. O Books. p. 240. ISBN 1-905047-51-7.
  6. ^ Mathews, David (18 July 1994). The Battle of Karbala. Rupa & Co. p. 96. ISBN 81-7167-213-2.
  7. ^ Darbandi, Aqay-e. Israr-e-Shahadat Lang. Persian. p. 337.
  8. ^ Jalali, Ali Husayn (2000). Karbala and Ashura. Ansariyan Publications. ASIN B000EEP2NM.