During the Umayyad era, a ruler known as Muawiyah had appointed his son to rule as the next successor. This ruling was opposed by the grandson of the Holy Prophet ﷺ, as well as various companions, who had a strong ongoing bond to the family of the Prophet. It is also important to note that this lineage of leadership would publicly defy Islamic principles and lacked an obvious moral compass. Once the wretched caliph, Muawiyah, had passed away, his son carried on his leadership and his immediate duty was to attain the oath of allegiance from Imam Husayn عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ and other dissidents. It was then, that the people of Kufa were eager to invite Imam Husayn عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ to their land. The people of Kufa had a strong distaste towards the Umayyads. On the other hand, they held the household of Imam Ali عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ and his teachings close to their heart.
Imam Husayn عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ then deployed from Mecca to Kufa. Along with him on this journey were approximately 70 men, and various family members. During this voyage, they were intercepted as they approached Kufa. This interception was instigated by the caliph’s army, forcing him to divert his route and encamp on the desert known as Karbala. During this time, Imam Husayn عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ was also alarmed with news that signaled the dangers of his arrival. He advised those of the dangers, it was then that his loyal companions made clear, they would die for him, rather than commit allegiance of Yazid. Upon arrival, he was faced with an even larger army, containing 4000+ troopers, all under the command of Umar ibn Sa’d. With constant denial of Imam Husayn عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ pleading allegiance, in order to compel him to do otherwise they refused access to the Euphrates river and cutting off basic necessities to their campsite. The Umayyads made clear, if the commissioned terms were not followed, they would attain it through force. Following that, Shemr ibn Ziljawshan, argued letting al-Husayn go, would demonstrate weakness. Shemr openly proposed going to war with Imam Husayn عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ, or letting ibn Sa’d face the consequences. Subsequently, Yazids father’s, Muawiya, and his preconceived notion of a permanent reigning Bani Umayyad, was not succeeding. With that in mind, Yazid made clear to his people, they would attack Imam Husayn عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ and those that stood with him.