Ali al-Asghar ibn Husayn

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"Ali Asgar" redirects here. For villages in Iran, see Ali Asgar, Iran. For the Indian actor, see Ali Asgar (actor).

‘Abdullah ‘Ali al-Asghar ibn Al-Husayn (10 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 Shia Imam) and Rubab bint Imra’ al-Qays. He was killed during the Battle of Karbala’, and is commemorated in Shi‘ism as the "personified quintessence of the innocent victim."[1]


He was born in Medina on the 10th of Rajab, 60 AH. His father's other sons were Imam ‘Ali Zaynul-‘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 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 killed Ali by an arrow to his throat.[1] Shia tradition relates that Ali Asghar was killed by Harmala with a three-headed arrow, when he moved his neck to stop the three-headed object from hitting his father. It has also been stated that it took Hurmala three attempts to shoot the arrow. He said he kept seeing the mother of Ali Asghar in front of his eyes.[citation needed] At Karbala, Ali Asghar was only six months old before he died. He is honored by Shia as the youngest person killed 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.[2][3][4][5]


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 the most visited shrine in the world.[6][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] 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.


Each first Friday of Muharram in Iran and other countries, mothers and their babies receive Alavi's green gown and scarf and the forehead band of Ya Sahebazzaman upon their arrival[where?]. They will then mourn Ali Asghar's infant death at Karbala. In 2003, the first ceremony was held in Tehran. Other cities of Iran and other countries have been holding the ceremony ever since.[7][8]

  • 2003: Tehran (the first year)
  • 2004: Tehran, Mashhad, ghom, Karbala, Najaf, Bahrain
  • 2005: 54 cities of Iran and 21 cities aboard
  • 2006: 112 cities of Iran and 30 cities aboard
  • 2007: 213 cities of Iran and 43 cities aboard
  • 2008: 400 cities of Iran and 59 cities aboard
  • 2009: 550 cities of Iran and 70 cities aboard
  • 2010: 970 points of Iran and 87 cities aboard
  • 2011: 1550 points of Iran and 110 cities in the five continents
  • 2011: 2000 points of Iran and 220 cities in the five continents
  • 2012: 2050 points of Iran and 222 cities in the five continents
  • 2013: 2075 points of Iran and 225 cities in the five continents
  • 2014: 2500 points of Iran and 230 cities in the five continents


The ceremony is held in these countries:

See also[edit]


  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. ^ "al-Mukhtār ibn Abū ʿUbayd al-Thaqafi". Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. 2013. Retrieved 22 November 2013. 
  3. ^ al-Syyed, Kamal. "The Battle of al-Khazir". Mukhtar al-Thaqafi. Qum, Iran: Ansariyan Foundation. p. 21. Retrieved 22 November 2013. 
  4. ^ Al-Kashee, Ikhtiyaar Ma`arifah Al-Rijaal, pg. 127, hadeeth # 202
  5. ^ Al-Khoei, Mu`jam Rijaal Al-Hadeeth, vol. 18, pg. 93, person # 12158
  6. ^ Journeys of Tears, published by the Wessex Jamaat
  7. ^ "remembrance of Ali al-Asghar ibn Husayn in ceremony of the Global Day of 'Ali Al-Asghar' mehrnews". Retrieved 2014.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  8. ^ "ceremony of the Global Day of 'Ali Al-Asghar' .Global Convent for Respect Ali-e-Asghar honour". Retrieved 2014.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)

External links[edit]