Major figure in Islamic history; Shia muslim Imam. Born 626, died 668. Grandson of the Prophet Muhammad; son of Fatima and Ali ibn Abu Talib.
In 668, Husayn accepted the proposal of a group of leading muslims, to travel to Kufa, and be acclaimed Caliph. On his way to Kufa, he and his entourage were intercepted at Kerbala by an army loyal to the Umayyad Caliph Yazid. Surrounded and outnumbered, Husayn and his forces were annihilated.
In Shia muslim tradition, Husayn is considered the third Imam. The Shia view is that Husayn was the rightful leader of Islam.
Shia scholars often present Husayn as the epitome of willingness to oppose an illegitimate political system, regardless of personal consequences - he is considered a glorious martyr. In this context, reference was often made to Husayn during the Iranian Revolution of 1978-1979.