Karbala is a well known historical city of Iraq. The history of Karbala backs up to Babylon period. Today Karbala is known for the battle of Karbala which was fought between the forces of Imam Hussain as and Yazid. The shrines of Imam Hussain as and Mola Abbas as and other companions are present here. Millions of people visit Karbala every year to recall the memory of martyrdom of Imam Hussain as and his companions.
Karbala from Hadiths
Karbala is chosen land by Allah.
Imam Zain ul Abideen (as) narrates,
“God chose the land of Karbala as a safe and blessed sanctuary, twenty-four thousand years before He created the land of the Kaaba and chose it as a sanctuary. Verily it [Karbala] will shine among the gardens of Paradise as a shining star shines among the stars for the people of Earth.”
Ref. Kamil al-Ziarat, page # 534
Martyrdom and Popularity
In the early age Karbala was inhabitant land and never witnessed the construction. Although the land was fertile and had water.
In 61 HJ when Imam Hussain as visited the place, He bought the land. The tribes of Banu Asad which lived nearby were called and instructed to build the graves of martyrs of Karbala. The first-ever construction was the graves of Imam Hussain as and his companions in Karbala. The lovers of Imam Hussain as started to visit the place and it got popularity.
Many rulers wanted to demolish the graves but they did not succeed in their evil plans.
Before 1000 AD
The development of Karbala soon started with the graves of Imam Hussain as and his companions. Imam Hussain as and his companions were martyred in 61 HJ. At early times these graves had a roof of the leaf.
Muntasir Al-Abbasi built the holy shrines and few houses around them. A small town started to develop in 861 AD. The city was destroyed by his father before.
In the year 982 AD, the first enclosure was built around the holy shrine. The enclosure measured 2400 meters.
From 1000 AD to 2000 AD
The minister namely Hassan ibn al Fazil built a second enclosure around the shrines.
The Persian Shah Ismail al-Safawi visited the Karbala in 1534 AD. On his orders, the canal was dug for water supply to the city. He also contributed to the renovation of holy shrines.
The city was attacked by the mobs in 1801 AD. The city was demolished including the homes of locals and markets were burned. The shrines were also damaged. King of Awad in India visited the city of Karbala after the attack. A strong wall was built around the city and markets. The houses were reconstructed for those who lost their home in the attack.
Very next year, Syed Al-Tabatabai built the six portals for the shrine of Imam Hussain as. Each portal had a different name.
In the year 1860 AD telegraph lines were installed. Karbala was connected to the wider world.
Ottoman emperor, Midhat Pasha built modern government buildings along with new markets in the year 1868 AD.
Nasir Uddin Shah, ruler of Persia broadened the courtyard of the mausoleum of Imam Hussain as.
Syed Tahir Saifuddin, a well-known representative of Dawood Bohra community gifted the set of silver screens with gold which was used of the decoration of the shrine. Later he built western Minnaar of the shrine in the year 1941 AD.
In the year 1991 AD, Karbala was attacked by the militants who demolished the shrines, markets and the homes of locals. Soon after the end of attacks, the city of Karbala once again started to develop.
After 2000 till Present
Shrines of Imam Hussain as and Mola Abbas as were renovated again. Corridor also is known as Bain ul harmain was constructed. With the passage of time, Karbala is developing day by day. The size of the courtyards was extended to the maximum. Today these courtyards can hold thousands of zaireen at a single time. The city has modern schools, colleges and hospitals for the locals and visitors.
As the Karbala was an ancient city, with the passage of time and multiple developments Karbala is now a developed city of Iraq. The history of Karbala is a vast topic. We tried to cover up all major events lead in the development of the city. These developments are never stopped and everything needs advancements.