For the readers who are not conversant with the history of Islam, I must share some information about these two antagonistic prominent characters of history of Islam. First, Imam Hussain (AS) was the grandson of Prophet of Islam Hazrat Mohammed (PBUH). He was born in 620 AD to the family of Imam Ali ((AS) and Bibi Fatima (SA). The family is known for their values of equality, love, morality, compassion, piousness and peace.
Hussain was raised by his grandfather and imbibed the virtues of integrity, generosity of spirit and faith in accordance of Universal constants of truth and justice. People of all faith used to flock around him. One who was ready to sacrifice, 1400 years ago, his life in love of Imam Hussain was a Hindu Brahmen of India whose progeny still proudly call themselves Hussani Brahmen. It is believed that his sons were also martyred in Karbala.
Islamic history reveals that sometime after passing of the Prophet of Islam (PBUH), the leadership of vast Islamic empire fell into the hands of corrupt rulers of Umayyad dynasty who coverted the Islamic Caliphate into heirarichal Kingdom. Yazid was the representative of that clan, He wanted that Hussain should accept him as the Ameer - material, moral and spiritual guide of Muslim Empire. He was imposed by his father Muawiyah bin Abu Sufiyan who had promised that he won't nominate anyone his successor.
Before his death, Muawiyah ignored his promise and declared Yazid as his heir apparent. Yazid was known as usurper, debauch drunkard and fond of all the prevalent evil habits of his time. The morality that the Prophet (PBUH) had so diligently instilled and inculcated into society was slowly eradicated by the new rulers. Imam Hussain witnessed the fundamental human rights of his fellow citizens being usurped. He knew something had to be done. He was aware that Yazid knew nothing of morality or common humanity, and ruled with an iron fist. Yazid demanded Hussain to pay him an oath of allegiance, to lend credibility to his brutal rule.
Hussain refused to accept his demand. After long struggle of attrition, Hussain was forced to leave the land of his birth and traveled to Kufa to protect his family and faith. He was martyred in the battlefield of Karbala there but he denied to give his allegiance to a vicious despot. Hussain's elders had taught that: "The greatest stand is to speak the word of truth in the face of a tyrant." He implemented that Gospel in letter and spirit. Hussain chose to make a stand against Yazid's might and mammoth army with only 72 followers.
Today, the same tyrannical Yazidi streak is re-emerging and reactivated in form of Al Qaida, ISIS, Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, Lashkar-e-Jhangwi and other brainwashed mushrooming fanatical groups in the name of safeguarding Islam. They want to re-establish the OLD intolerant theoretical Caliphate of Islam where non-Muslims would be compelled to pay Jizya (Tax of Protection and Survival). The brutal and blood curdling advance of ISIS is the token of that vicious ideology.
Among the many victims of this new fanaticism and Wahabi Ideologists in the Middle East are a group of up to 50,000 Yazidis, who are trapped in the mountains in northwest Iraq without food or water for many days. But, contrary to suggestive name of tribe, they have nothing to do Umayyad ruler Yazid. These Yazidis are the followers of a mysterious religion that was very introvert and protective in nature. Throughout ages, they were adherents to isolated life and avoided to come into prominence.
A Yazidi is ONLY born Yazidi and no outsider could ever be allowed to CONVERT or enter to their strict religious fold. They are scattered across northwest Iraq, Syria and southeast Turkey. Their current numbers is estimated to ranging from 70,000 to 500,000. Many Muslims believe that the name of the tribe derives its name from Yazid ibn Muawiya (647-683), the deeply unpopular second caliph of the Umayyad dynasty.
Modern research, however, has clarified that the name is nothing to do with the loose-living Yazid, or the Persian city of Yazd, but is taken from the modern Persian "ized", which means angel or deity. The name Izidis simply means "worshippers of god", which is how Yazidis describe themselves.
Yazidis revere both the Bible and the Koran but rest of their traditions are and shrouded in secrecy. Their faith is also linked to Zoroastrianism with even sun worship. Their shrines are often decorated with the sun and that graves point east towards the sunrise. Yazidis fast for three days, before drinking wine with the pir.
On 15-20 September there is an annual pilgrimage to the tomb of Sheikh Adi at Lalesh north of Mosul, where they carry out ritual ablutions in the river. They also practice sacrifice of animals and circumcision. Malak Taus is considered the God'salter ego and they pray pray to Malak Taus five times a day. Yazidism is monotheistic religion.
Strange irony of situation and names where a Hussain is coming to help the Yazidis!