'Abd Allah b. Imam al-Husayn (a)

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Descendant of Imam
'Abd Allah b. Imam al-Husayn (a)
Martyrdom of 'Abd Allah b. al-Husayn by Mahmud Farshchian
Epithet 'Ali al-Asghar
Father Imam al-Husayn (a)
Mother Rubab
Demise 61/681
Place of Burial Holy shrine of Imam al-Husayn (a)

ʿAbd Allāh b. al-Ḥusayn b. ʿAlī b. Abī Tālib (Arabic: عبدالله بن حسین بن علی بن ابی طالب) (b.? - d.61/681) best known as 'Ali al-Asghar (Arabic: علي الاصغر) [literally: the younger 'Ali] and 'Abd Allah al-Radi' (Arabic: عبدالله الرَضيع) [Literally: suckling 'Abd Allah"] was the youngest child of Imam al-Husayn (a) and his mother was Rubab.

He is the youngest martyr of the Battle of Karbala on the day of 'Ashura and has very respectable and a high position among Shi'a (and even Sunni Muslims). He is given the title "Bab al-Hawa'ij".

Birth

There is no consensus on the exact date of his birth but most historical references have mentioned that he was recently born when he was martyred on the Day of 'Ashura (61/681). He is buried in Karbala next to the tomb of Imam al-Husayn (a).

Lineage

'Abd Allah is the youngest son of Imam al-Husayn (a). His mother was Rubab bt. Imru' al-Qays.

Family tree of Ahl al-Bayt (a)
 
 
 
 
 
 
Khadija
 
 
 
Muhammad
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lady Fatima
 
 
 
Imam Ali
 
 
 
 
Umm al-Banin
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Imam al-Husayn
 
Imam al-Hasan
 
Lady Zaynab
 
Umm Kulthum
 
Muhsin
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Al-'Abbas
 
Abd Allah
 
Uthman
 
Ja'far
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Muhammad
 
'Awn
 
Ali
 
Al-'Abbas
 
Umm Kulthum
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Al-Hasan
 
Al-Qasim
 
'Abd Allah
 
Fatima
 
Zayd
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
'Abd Allah
 
Zaynab
 
Ibrahim
 
Al-Hasan
 
Hasan
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Muhammad
 
 
Ibrahim
 
 
Idris
 
 
 
Nafisa
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Imam al-Sajjad
 
'Ali al-Akbar
 
 
'Ali al-Asghar
 
 
Fatima
 
Sukayna
 
Ruqayya
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Imam al-Baqir
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Zayd
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Imam al-Sadiq
 
'Abd Allah
 
Ibrahim
 
'Ubayd Allah
 
'Ali
 
Yahya
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Imam al-Kazim
 
Muhammad
 
Ali
 
Ishaq
 
Umm Farwa
 
'Abd Allah
 
Isma'il
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Imam al-Rida
 
Ma'suama
 
Hamza
 
Ishaq
 
Ahmad
 
Ibrahim
 
Muhammad
 
 
 
 
 
Imam al-Jawad
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Imam al-Hadi
 
 
Musa
 
 
 
 
Fatima
 
 
 
Hakima
 
 
 
Amama
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Imam al-Hasan al-'Askari
 
 
Husayn
 
 
 
 
Muhammad
 
 
 
Ja'far
 
 
 
 
 
Imam al-Mahdi
 
 


Name

Both Shi'a and Sunni early sources have mentioned that the name of this infant was 'Abd Allah; however, in later Shi'a sources, he is known as 'Ali al-Asgar).

The books Maqtal al-Husayn by Akhtab Kharazm and Manaqib Al Abi Talib by Ibn Shahrashub are two of the above-mentioned later Shi'a sources which have mentioned the youngest son of Imam al-Husayn (a) as 'Ali. Later sources followed them in calling This infant 'Ali al-Asghar (a) (especially in Persian sources).

Martyrdom

There are different narrations about how he (a) was martyred on the Day of 'Ashura. It is narrated that when all Imam al-Husayn's (a) companions were martyred and before he (a) went to the battle field, he (a) came to the tents and embraced 'Ali al-Asghar and when he (a) was kissing the child suddenly a soldier from Banu Asad tribe threw an arrow towards the child's neck and killed him. The murderer's name was Harmala b. Kahil.

Some other narrators stated that Lady Zaynab (a) brought 'Abd Allah to Imam al-Husayn (a) and asked for water for 'Abd Allah. Imam (a) took his child in the front of the army and said, "O people! You murdered my household and all my companions except this thirsty newborn child who is dying! Give him some water!" While he (a) was speaking with them, suddenly a soldier threw an arrow towards 'Ali al-Asghar and made him martyred.

But the most reliable narration is quoted by Ibn al-Jawzi from Hisham b. Kalbi who said when Imam al-Husayn (a) saw that Kufan army persisted to kill him, took the Qur'an on his head addressing them, "This book of the Qur'an and the Prophet Muhammad (s) will judge between me and you. Oh, people! How do you assume killing me lawful?"

At this time, Imam (a) saw one of his children was crying of thirst; thus he (a) took him on his hand and said, 'O People! If you show no mercy to me; Have mercy on this thirsty child!" At this moment, someone from Kufan army threw an arrow towards 'Ali al-Asghar.

Imam al-Husayn (a) cried hard and said, "O God! Judge between us and the people who invited us to help us but they killed us!" Then, Imam al-Husayn (a) took his hand under Abd Allah's neck and when his hand filled with blood, threw it all up to sky. Then, Imam al-Husayn (a) said, "what makes all these hardships easy for me is the fact that all of this is happened in the presence of God." It is narrated from Imam al-Baqir (a) that none of that blood returned down or poured on earth.

Imam al-Husayn (a) returned the body of 'Ali al-Asghar to the tents for burying.

Some historians have mentioned that after the martyrdom of Ali al-Asghar (a), Imam al-Husayn (a) said, "O God! The martyrdom of this child is not less importance of martyrdom of Naqa Salih (camel of the Prophet Salih (a)) before You! So, if today, You have prevented us from the victory, assign better things for us!"

It is narrated that Imam al-Husayn (a) dug a grave using his sword and buried Ali al-Asghar (a). But, some historians mentioned that he (a) took the bloodstained body back to tents and gave it to his honorable sister Zaynab (s). Also, it is mentioned that Imam (a) put the body next to bodies of other martyrs.

Bab al-Hawa'ij

Many Shi'as call 'Ali al-Asghar (a), Bab al-Hawa'ij [Door to Invocations]. This shows that in their view although at the time of martyrdom he was an infant but he has a very high position before God.

References