Karbala (كَرْبَلَاء, romanized: Karbalāʾ; Persian: کربلا) or Kerbala is a city in central Iraq, located about 100 km (62 mi) southwest of Baghdad, and a few dozen miles east of Lake Milh. Karbala is the capital of Karbala Governorate, and has an estimated population of 700,000 people (2015). The city, best known as the location of the Battle of Karbala in 680 CE, or the Mosques of Imam Husayn and Abbas, is considered a holy city for Shi'ite Muslims in the same way as Mecca and Medina.
We should not conflate the reward of the Ziyaras or Hajj. Performing one does not mean we should not perform the other. Hajj has its specific times and the Ziyara of Imam Hussayn has a specific time. If you can afford to perform both, that would be great. Keep in mind, those who perform Hajj will also have the opportunity to visit RasulAllah, FatimaZahra, and the Imams in Baqee'.
We believe that every act of the Infallible is based on the complete wisdom which may not be available to us as our thinking is limited.
The wisdom behind the way of fighting the enemies in Karbala can be to avoid immediate collapse of the camp of Imam Husain (AS) looking at huge numbers of the enemies facing small number of believers.
It can be also to give more chances to the army of the enemies to reconsider their stand.
After all, the whole wisdom of that arrangements is with Imam Husain (AS) which aims definitely to serve the noble aims of Islam.
The presence of women is a fundamental and important element of understanding the true philosophy of Karbala. As for the precise number of females in the camp of Imam Husain (a.s.) in Karbala, there is no exact consensus for this.
In one reference (al-nafas al-mahmum) it is said that there were twenty, being either wives, mothers or daughters.
Here are two links (in Arabic) that give detailed description of this analysis:
With prayers for your success.
The tragedy of Ashura' and the martyrdom of the companions and family members of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) did not extend for a long time, and within this short duration of the battle, the sad event enfolded quickly. Historians do mention the first who was martyred, and the last.
There were also common combating practices, like duel fights, but what made the tragedy more severe was that none of these fighting rituals were observed. In general, it was Imam Husain (a.s.) who granted permission for the companions and members of Ahlul Bayt (a.s) to fight.
And Allah knows best.
The narrations regarding history matters are usually different, that is why you find in matters of history, deferent opinions. The most famous opinion among the historians that the number of the martyrs of Karbala is 72 martyrs.
We have other narrations in some books suggesting different numbers.
According to Shaykh al-Mufid (Kitab al-Irshad):
The Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him, had twenty-seven children, male and female:
3. Zaynab the elder
4. Zaynab the younger, who was given the kunya Umm Kulthūm.
Their mother was Fāṭima, the blessed, mistress of the women of the worlds, daughter of the master of those sent by Allāh and the seal of the prophets, the Prophet Muhammad.
5. Muḥammad, who was given the kunya Abū al-Qāsim. His mother was Khawla, daughter of Ja‘far b. Qays al-Ḥanafī.
7. Ruqayya They were twins.
Their mother was Umm Ḥabīb, daughter of Rabī‘a.
11. ‘Abd Allāh
(The last four) were martyrs with their brother al-Ḥusayn on the plain of Karbalā’. Their mother was Umm al-Banīn, daughter of Ḥizām b. Khālid b. Dārim.
12. Muḥammad, the younger, who was given the kunya Abū Bakr.
13. ‘Ubayd Allāh
Both of these were martyrs with their brother al-Ḥusayn on that plain. Their mother was Layla, daughter of Mas‘ūd al-Dārimī.
His mother was Asmā ̓, daughter of ‘Umays al-Khath‘amī, may Allāh be pleased with her.
15. Umm al-Ḥasan
The mother of these two was Umm Sa‘īd, daughter of ‘Urwa b. Mas‘ūd al-Thaqafī.
18. Zaynab, the youngest
19. Ruqayya, the younger
20. Umm Hānī ̓
21. Umm al-Kirām
22. Jumāna, who was given the kunya Umm Ja‘far.
24. Umm Salama
These, the blessings of Allāh be on them, had different mothers. Among the Shī'a, there are those who mention that Fāṭima, the blessing of Allāh be on her, after the Prophet had a miscarriage with a son, whom the Prophet, may Allāh bless Him and His Family, had (already) named during her pregnancy as Muḥsin.
According to this group there were twenty-eight children of the Commander of the Faithful, the blessing and peace of Allāh be on him. Allāh knows and judges best.
(End quotation from Kitab al-Irshad)
Yes. This is mentioned in some books of history.
Obligatory Hajj is Must on every Muslim who can perform it and no other worship can replace it. Visitation to Karbala is very great but not in stead of obligatory Hajj.
Visitation of Imam Husain (AS) in Karbala is greater in reward than recommended Hajj and Umra.
It is not allowed to break the fast before the start of the night as we read in Quran (ثم أتموا الصيام إلى الليل ) (And complete fasting till night). This is the Quranic order which can never be challenged. This is for all people who have day and night in 24 hours.
If you live in a place where there is no day and night in 24 hours, then you need to either leave the place to another place where there is day and night in every 24 hours or to follow the timings of Salah of the nearest place to you. There is question at all to follow the timings of places which very far away from your place like Makkah, Madina, Najaf, Karbala etc.