Ali al-Asghar ibn Husayn

Abdullah Ali al-Asghar ibn Al-Husayn (Arabic: عَبْد ٱللَّٰه عَلِيّ ٱلْأَصْغَر ٱبْن ٱلْحُسَيْن‎, ʿAlīy al-ʾAsghar ibn al-Ḥusayn, 9 Rajab 60 AH – 10 Muharram 61 AH / 10 October 680 CE), or simply Ali Asghar ("Younger Ali"), was the youngest child of Al-Husayn (son of ‘Ali, grandson of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad and the third Imam) and Rubab bint Imra’ al-Qays. He was martyred during the Battle of Karbala, and is commemorated in shia as the "personified quintessence of the innocent victim."[1] He is given the title "Bab al-Hawa'ij" [2]

Ali al-Asghar ibn al-Husayn
عَلِيّ ٱلْأَصْغَر ٱبْن ٱلْحُسَيْن
Hazrat Ali Asghar (A.S.).png
Arabic name of Ali al-Asghar ibn Husayn
BornRabi' al-Thani (or (680-04-12)12 April 680)
Died10 Muharram 61 A.H.
(or c. (680-10-10)10 October 680 (aged 6 months)
Karbala’, ‘Iraq
Burial placeImam Hussain Shrine
Imam Hussain's child.jpg


He was born in Medina on the 10th of Rajab, 60 AH. His father's other sons were Imam Zayn al-Abidin and ‘Ali al-Akbar. ‘Abdullah's three sisters were Ruqayyah (Sukainah), Fatimah al-Kubra (Sakinah) and Fatimah al-Sughra.

Rubab and her two children, Sakina and Ali Asghar, accompanied Husayn to Karbala. In hagiography about the Battle, Husayn's camp at one time was cut off from water supplies from 7th moharram till Ashura and so Husayn went to Yazid's besieging forces to plead water for the women and children in his camp. Husayn had brought along Ali Asghar for mercy, but Yazid's soldiers then martyred Ali by an arrow to his throat.[1] Shia tradition relates that Ali Asghar was martyred by an opposing soldier named Hurmala with a three-headed arrow, when he moved his neck to stop the arrow from hitting his father. Ali Asghar was only six months old when he died. He is honored by Shia as the youngest person martyred at the Battle of Karbala.


The massacre at Karbala made Mukhtar al-Thaqafi seek revenge. He led an uprising in which Hurmala and a number of his comrades were killed.[3][4][5][6]


Iranian children wearing keffiyehs in a Shia ritual for remembrance of Ali al-Asghar ibn Husayn
In the Hosseini infancy conference, babies wear green or white cloth like cloth of Ali al-Asghar ibn Husayn

Ali al-Asghar is buried along with his brother Ali al-Akbar and his father Husayn in Karbala, Iraq, which is now one of the most visited shrines in the world.[7][unreliable source?] Ali al-Asghar and his death are commemorated in various ways, including iconographic depictions, hagiography recitations (rowzeh), poetry (nowheh), replicas of Ali Asghar's cradle and grave, and dolls representing him.[1] according to Shia ritual shahadat-e-Ali asghar is on 9th moharram night however, he was killed 71st before imam Husayn. During nowheh, women perform self-flagellating rituals (sineh-sarpay or aza-sarpay) in which they move around (sineh-dowr) a cradle replica and hit their chests with their hands.[1] In Muharram ceremonies and commemorations, Ali al-Asghar is represented as an innocent child suffering unbearable thirst. His death is mourned at length in rawza-khani (recital of the Rawdat ash-Shuhada "The Paradise of the Martyrs") literature and in early ta'ziya (passion play) traditions, a complete majles was dedicated to Ali al-Asghar, with the infant's cradle a conspicuous element on the stage. Ali al-Asghar is also represented in Muharram processions and mourned in folklore.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d Flaskerud, Ingvild (2010). "Ali Asghar". Visualizing Belief and Piety in Iranian Shiism. Continuum International Publishing Group. pp. 134–139. ISBN 978-1-4411-4907-7.
  2. ^ "Encyclopedia of Imam Hussain".
  3. ^ "al-Mukhtār ibn Abū ʿUbayd al-Thaqafi". Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. 2013. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
  4. ^ al-Syyed, Kamal. "The Battle of al-Khazir". Mukhtar al-Thaqafi. Qum, Iran: Ansariyan Foundation. p. 21. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
  5. ^ Al-Kashee, Ikhtiyaar Ma`arifah Al-Rijaal, pg. 127, hadeeth # 202
  6. ^ Al-Khoei, Mu`jam Rijaal Al-Hadeeth, vol. 18, pg. 93, person # 12158
  7. ^ Journeys of Tears, published by the Wessex Jamaat

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