Al-Hindiya city is close to Karbala and has a deep rooted warrior history against unjust rulers. During Ottoman rule, in the 1800s, peasants rebelled against the high taxes and the construction of dams which dried out the rivers. In 1920 the inhabitants of al-Hindiya protested against the British occupation and in 2003 they rose up against the US-occupation. It is said that Al-Hindiya derives its name from the Indian wazir (secretary) Yahya Asif Al-Dawla Bahadur Al-Hindi who funded digging a canal on the Euphrates to provide drinkable water for the region in 1793 AD.
However even before al-Hindi, the district was inhabited by Indian Hindu families who befriended the prophet Muhammad and his family on trade routes. One of them was Rahib Dutt, who in 680 CE fought on behalf of imam al-Husayn during the Battle of Karbala (680 C.E.) against the oppressive Umayyad dynasty. Rahib Dutt’s seven sons were sacrificed in the battle. Until today the Hussaini Brahmin community holds dear the legacy of their willingness to sacrifice and cross the boundaries of religion and culture in the name of justice. Through annual observances during the month of Muharram, this Hindu community keeps their history alive, and teaches us that unification under shared objectives is the foundation of our success.
Oh! Dutt the king
With the religion of the Hindu
And the faith of the Muslim
Half Hindu, half Muslim - Hussaini Brahmin poem