How Islam Split – Ali, Hassan and Hussein

Mohammed’s cousin and adopted son Ali

Ali: Born in about AD 600 – died January AD 661
Ali was the cousin, adopted son and son-in-law of Mohammed. He married Mohammed’s daughter Fatimah in AD 624. His name means “exalted, noble.” He reigned over the Muslim empire as Caliph from AD 656 to 661. Shi’a (Shiite) Muslims regard Ali as the first true infallible Imam and consider he and his descendants (Hassan and Hussein) as the rightful successors to Mohammed. Disagreement over succession eventually split Islam into the Sunni and Shi’a branches. Ali encountered opposition and civil war during his reign. At about age 60 Ali suffered an assassination attempt while praying in the mosque of Kufa in Iraq – he died soon afterwards. The main mosque of Najaf, Iraq is supposedly his final burial place and has become a major Shi’a shrine dedicated to his memory.


Born in March AD 625 died March AD 670
Hassan (Hasan) was the grandson of Mohammed and the son of Ali and Mohammed’s daughter Fatima. His name means “handsome one.” Hassan’s succession to the Caliphate was contested and eventually he conceded in order to avoid bloodshed. He retired to a quiet life in Medina till he died, poisoned by his wife, many years later. He is regarded by all Muslims as a martyr.


Born January AD 626 at Medina in Saudi Arabia, died October AD 680 at Karbala in Iraq
Hussein was the second grandson of Mohammed through Fatima. His name means little Hassan, “the little handsome one.” Hussein, son of Ali, is revered as a martyr, having died in a struggle for the Caliphate. The anniversary of his martyrdom is called “Ashura,” which is a day of mourning and religious observance especially for Shi’a Muslims. Hussein’s death was significant because it launched the Shi’a movement which is so prominent today in Iraq and Iran; they believe that Hussein should have been Caliph.

Prayer Requests:

  • There are literally millions of Muslim men around the world who are named Ali, Hassan and Hussein. Pray for them to encounter the living Messiah (Acts 7:56 and 9:1-5).
  • Millions of Iranians and Iraqis commemorate the memory of Hussein’s death each year. Sometimes as many as 7-8 million pilgrims visit Karbala during that time. Many Shi’a men will cut and flail themselves, shedding blood in the memory of Hussein. A popular Shi’a saying tells us, “a single tear shed for Hussein washes away a hundred sins.” Pray that Shi’as of Iraq and Iran could see the value of the blood of Jesus (1 Peter 1:18-19).

Definition: The Caliph is the title for the leader of the Islamic Ummah, the worldwide Islamic community or nation which should ideally be ruled by the religious law, the Shari’ah. The word is derived from the Arabic word which means “successor” or “representative.” The early Caliphs in particular were seen as Mohammed’s successors.


  1. hava- if you don’t believe in Gods word you wil believe anything. You must have faith to believe in the God of Abraham.
    John 14:6 “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
    Proof that God came to Earth in the form of man (Jesus) to die for our sins. He arose on the third day from that cross, Alive and is still alive today. Jesus is our salvation and is the King of Kings.

  2. Why did Hassan’s wife poison him??

  3. Islam means Peace says:

    Peace be upon you. Very good website. Muslims do believe in Prophet Jesus(peace be upon him)and have utmost respect for him.He is mentioned in the Holy Quran many times and his beloved mother, Mary(peace be upon her)even has a chapter in her name.This proves how much respect Islam has for them both.Muslims believe in all Law-Bearing Prophets.The second coming of the Messiah has already come! look it up on where your questions will be answered, God Willing. Peace be with you.

  4. Muslims already deeply believe in and respect Jesus more than any other religion does. He is a brother in Islam–submitting to the One Creator. One who submits is a Muslim. Truly Jesus is a pure example.

  5. hi
    al muslim brothers
    peace be unto you in the name of Yahweh
    the true name of the true God is yahweh it was revealed to me a few months back when i put forth a question to God that who is the true God
    then God asked me to learn Hebrew and i wondered why then as i started learning hebrew i found that every letter means something with a definite numerical value so it dawned upon me then
    Y in hebrew means yod which is hand
    H in hebrew is Heh which means to see or behold
    V means a nail
    H again means to see

    so the true God is YHVH which means see the nail see the hand

    the crucified christ is the true God which was said to Abraham and Enosh much before Allah was told about to Mohammed

    Praise Yehoshua !!!

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