What is the real name of Karbala? Was it given this name after Hz. Husayn was martyred?
Submitted by on Fri, 11/11/2016 - 14:07
Dear Brother / Sister,
Karbala, which is located about 100 km southwest of Baghdad, is a famous place in the history of Islam because Hz Husayn and his family members were martyred there by the Umayyad on Muharram 10, 61 H (October 10, 680) and their graves are there.
It is the second holy place after Najaf, where Hz. Ali is believed to be buried. There are some views about where the name comes from but they are disputable: It may come from Akkadian word 'karballatu' meaning pointed cone, which was changed to karbala in the Middle Hebrew and Aramaic; it may also come from 'kuwar Babil' in Arabic meaning around Babylon or from the verb karbala, which means (feet) sinking into soft ground.
It is known that after the conquest of Hira, Khalid bin Walid came here with his army and stayed there for a few days in the year 12 H (634). It is also narrated that Hz. Ali stopped here while returning to Kufa from Anbar or Siffin, that the people around him were worried about lack of water and that they found a well and drank water from it. The information above shows that Karbala is a place established before Islam.
(see T.D.V. İslam Ansiklopedisi, KERBELA item., Mustafa Öz, Ankara 2002, Vol. 25, p. 271)
Questions on Islam