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Ali al-Akbar (a): Bearing the Most Resemblance to the Prophet (s)

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Ali al-Akbar (a) was the first-born son of the revered Imam al-Hussain (a), his noble lineage tracing back to Prophet Muhammad (s). He was born on the 11th of Sha’ban in the year 33 AH. It is widely recognized that this heroic martyr of Karbala bore an uncanny resemblance to Prophet Muhammad (s) in both physical appearance and character. In this article featured on Islam4u, we shall delve into the remarkable life and character of Ali al-Akbar (a).

Ali al-Akbar’s Parents and Date of Birth

It is a historical fact that the esteemed father of Ali al-Akbar (a) was none other than the third Imam, Imam al-Hussain (a). This great leader, renowned for his wisdom and piety, bestowed upon his son a name that was steeped in significance and meaning: Ali, just like his own father, the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (a).

Imam al-Hussain (a) was known to have declared that, no matter how many sons he might have, he would name them all Ali. And true to his word, his second and third sons were also given this noble appellation, thus highlighting his deep reverence for this particular name and its connotations.

As for Ali al-Akbar’s mother, she was none other than Layla bint Abi Murrah. Her marriage to Imam al-Hussain (a) was blessed with the birth of their son Ali al-Akbar (a), a child who was destined to leave an indelible mark on the annals of history.

It was on the eleventh day of the month of Sha’ban in the thirty-third year after the Hijra that Ali al-Akbar (a) came into this world in the holy city of Medina. His birth was greeted with great joy and celebration, and it was clear from the outset that this child was destined for greatness. With his noble name and his lineage of piety and leadership, Ali al-Akbar (a) was born to impact the world profoundly.

Resemblance to the Prophet (s)

Ali al-Akbar (a), son of Imam Hussain (a), was a man whose exceptional character, appearance, and speech resembled the beloved Prophet (s) the most among all other people in a truly awe-inspiring way. It is said that whenever the longing for the Prophet (s) consumed the hearts of the Imam (a) and his companions, they would cast their eyes upon Ali al-Akbar (a). In him, they would see a reflection of the noble features and mannerisms of the Prophet (s).

Indeed, the resemblance between Ali al-Akbar (a) and the Prophet (s) was so remarkable that it was as if he had inherited not only the physical traits but also the noble qualities that defined the Prophet’s (s) character. Such was the love and reverence that Imam al-Hussain (a) and his companions held for the Prophet (s) that they would find solace in the mere presence of Ali al-Akbar (a) as if the Prophet (s) himself was among them.

In the face of great adversity and hardship, Ali al-Akbar remained steadfast and resolute, embodying the courage and fortitude that were the hallmarks of the Prophet’s (s) own character. No wonder he was so deeply loved and revered by those around him.

Ali al-Akbar’s Presence in Karbala

Imam al-Hussain (a) led his family into the heart of Karbala, his sons marching beside him from the youngest to the eldest. Amongst them was Ali al-Akbar (a), a warrior of just twenty-seven years. As they arrived at the battlefield, Ali al-Akbar (a) was the first Hashemite to enter the battlefield. He begged his father for permission to enter the fray. Without hesitation, Imam al-Hussain (a) granted his son’s request.

Ali al-Akbar (a) stepped forward, his heart full of courage, and fought with all his might. It is said that he took down two hundred soldiers of Umar ibn Sa’d‘s army before returning to his father, weary and in need of water. “Father,” he implored, “I am weighed down by my weapons and parched with thirst. Do you have any water to give me strength for the battle?”

Imam al-Hussain (a) wept at his son’s request, knowing the end was near. “My dear son,” he said, “soon you will meet your grandfather, the Noble Prophet, and he will quench your thirst in a way that you will never thirst again.” With these words, Ali al-Akbar (a) returned to the battle, his heart full of determination.

Ali al-Akbar (a) was struck on the head by an enemy soldier and soon found himself surrounded by attackers. They cut him into pieces, leaving his father to mourn the loss of his beloved son. In his last moments of life, Ali al-Akbar’s thoughts turned to his father. “Peace be with you, father,” he said. “It is my grandfather, the Prophet (s), who is quenching my thirst and saying, ‘Hurry toward us!’ ” With these words, he took his last breath, and his spirit soared to the heavens.

Ali al-Akbar (a) was buried beside his father in Karbala, a symbol of the sacrifice and devotion that defines the Shia faith. Even in death, he remains a shining example of bravery and loyalty, a testament to the unbreakable bond between father and son.


Ali al-Akbar (a), the illustrious son of Imam al-Hussain (a), graced the world with his presence on the 11th of Sha‘ban in the year 33 AH. With a countenance that mirrored the Prophet (s) in all its splendor, Ali al-Akbar became a source of solace for Imam al-Hussain (a) whenever he yearned for the beloved Messenger. Alas, the valiant Ali al-Akbar met a tragic end on the 10th of Muharram in 61 AH, whereupon he was laid to rest beside his father, Imam al-Hussain (a), in Karbala.

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