Karbala is a city in Iraq, located about 100 km (60 mi) southwest of Baghdad at 32.61°N, 44.08°E. In the time of Imam Husayn ibn Ali A.S.’s life, the place was also known as al-Ghadiriyah, Naynawa, and Shathi’ul-Furaat. At the centre of the old city is the Masjid al-Husayn A.S., the tomb of Imam Husayn ibn ‘Ali A.S., grandson of the Prophet Muhammad (SAWW) by his daughter Bibi Fatima tuz-Zahra (S.A.) and ‘Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (A.S.). The Al-‘Abbas Mosque or Masjid al-‘Abbas A.S., the tomb of‘Hazrath Abbas ibn ‘Ali A.S. is located across the Imam Husayn A.S. Mosque. The distance between the shrines of ‘Hazrath Abbas A.S. and Imam Husayn A.S. are the same as the distance between the hills of Al-Safa and Al-Marwah.


  • In 1801, Wahhabis attacked Karbala, damaged the shrines, and robbed all precious decorative items.
  • In 1817, Fat’h ‘Ali Shah Qajar: For Imam Hussain A.S.’s shrine reconstructed the screens by plating with silver. He also replated the dome with gold and therefore repaired the damage caused by the Wahhabis. And for Hazrath Abbas A.S.’s Shrine reconstructed the dome of the shrine, gifted new chandeliers and lustrous pieces of decoration to the holy shrines, and had other constructions carried out.
  • In 1991 March, damage to the shrines occurs as the city experiences a violent uprising against the regime of Saddam Hussein following the Persian Gulf War.
  • In 1994, repairs to the shrines from the damage done in 1991 are finally completed.
  • In 2004 March 2: At least 6 explosions occurred during the ‘Ashura’ commemorations, killing 85 people and wounding 230.
  • In 2004 December 15: A bomb detonated near the gate of the Imam Hussain A.S.’s shrine, killing at least 7 people and injuring 31 others.
  • In 2006 January 5: Suicide bombers among the crowd between the two shrines, killed at least 60 people and injured more than 100.
  • In 2007 April 14: A suicide attack 200m from the Imam Hussain A.S. shrine killed at least 36 people and injured more than 160 others.
  • April 28: A suicide car bomber in front of Hazrath Abbas A.S. Shrine killed at least 58 people and wounded 170 others as people were heading towards evening prayers.
  • In 2008 March 17: A female suicide bomber detonated herself in the market near the shrine, killing at least 42 people and injured 58 others.
  • In 2008 September 11: A bomb was detonated 500m from the Hazrath Abbas A.S.’s shrine which killed one civilian, wounded 12 others, and damaged buildings in the area.