The Journey of Imam Husayn

The book The Journey of Imam Husayn is published in different languages with the aim of conveying the message of Islam to the people of the world.

The Journey of Imam Husayn
The Journey of Imam Husayn.jpg
AuthorShaykh Al-Mufid
TranslatorIan Keith Anderson Howard
PublisherCreatespace Independent Publishing Platform

About the authorEdit

Abu ‘Abd Allah Muhammad b. Muhammad b. Nu’man al-Harithi al-Baghdadi al ‘Ukbari (338/949 – 413/ 1022), is commonly known as Shaykh Mufid. His father took him to Baghdad to further his education. There he worked largely with Shi’i and Mu’tazili scholars. He showed such promise that one of his teachers recommended that he study under one of the leading scholars of the period, ‘Ali b. ‘Isa al-Ramani. He also studied under the leading Shi’i traditionist of the time, al-Shaykh al-Saduq. He acquired the name of Shaykh Mufid (‘he who provides benefit’) due to his skill in argument, in particular for the subtle distinctions he managed to draw in theological debate. Shaykh Mufid wrote a large number of books on a wide variety of topics and died in the month of Ramadan in the year AH 413/1022.

About the translatorEdit

Ian Keith Anderson Howard, 1939-2013, was a distinguished scholar of Islamic studies, and one of the few Western scholars to devote themselves the study of Shi’ah Islam. He translated a number of important Shi’ah texts and wrote a series of articles on Shi’ah Islam at a time when there was little other work being undertaken on this important subject in Western universities, as such he can be seen as a pioneer in the field. For many years he held a senior lectureship at the University of Edinburgh where he taught Arabic and Islamic studies. His exactitude and scholarly rigour were unfailing, as his students had cause to note, but this was tempered by an encouraging and generous approach to their endeavours. He came to Islamic studies through a circuitous route, but none the worse for that, beginning with a degree in Greek from the University of Wales in 1961. He then taught English in the Middle East, in the Yemen and Lebanon, in the 1960s and early 1970s and thus began his lifelong interest in Arabic and Middle Eastern studies leading to a degree in Arabic from the University of London, and an MA from the American University in Beirut in 1972, which he studied for part-time. It was after receiving his PhD, on Shi’ah law, from the University of Cambridge in 1975, that he became a lecturer at Edinburgh in 1976. His academic knowledge of Islamic studies and Arabic was therefore complemented and enriched by his personal experience and love of the Middle East, its culture and peoples.

About the bookEdit

This book published in Createspace Independent Publishing Platform, Sep 2014, has 38 pages and is written by Shaykh al-Mufid in Arabic language and translated to English by Dr. I. K. A. Howard.

Abstract of chaptersEdit

Chapter 1: Imam Husain (as) sets out on his JourneyEdit

The book begins with the story of al-Husayn b. Ali who left Mecca accompanied by (some men carrying) swords and shields. The hearts of the people were with him but their swords were against him and al- Husayn Knew that the decision comes from Heaven and God does what he wishes.

When al-Husayn left Makkah, 'Amr b. Said ordered: "Go back from where you are going." But al-Husayn refused to (obey) him and continued. They even fought them with whips. But al-Husayn and his companions strongly resisted. al-Husayn continued until he got to al-Tanim. There he met a camel-train which had come from Yemen. He hired from its people (additional) camels for himself and his followers to ride.

Chapter 2: The Continuation of the JourneyEdit

Along the way of Kufa, al-Husayn reached one of the watering (places) of the Arabs. There, there was 'Abd Allah b. Muti al-'Adawli, who was staying there. He adjured al-Husayn before God (to think) about the sacredness of the Arabs. He said about the sacredness of the Arabs and said:

"By God, if you seek that which is in the hands of Banu Umayya, they will kill you. If they kill you, they will never fear anyone after you. Then it will be the sacredness of Islam which is violated, and the sacredness of Quraysh and the sacredness of the Arabs. Don't do it! Don't go to Kufa! Don't expose yourself to Banu Umayya!"

Chapter 3: continued from Part 2Edit

In this part, there is the story of al-Husayn’s confrontation with al-Hurr. al-Hurr declared that he had been ordered to take al-Husayn to Kufa to 'Ubayd Allah when met him. but al-Husayn said to him:

"If you are not going to help us," al-Husayn, peace be on him, said to him, "then be sure that you are not one of those who fight against us. For, by God, no one will hear our cry and not help us without being destroyed."

Chapter 4: continued from Part 3Edit

In this part we see that al-Husayn hurried to remount and to continue the journey with his followers, veering to the left with the intention of separating from (al-Hurr's men). But al-Hurr b. Yazid stops him and his followers (from going in that direction) and he begins to (exert pressure to) turn them towards Kufa, but they resisted him until they reached Ninawa, (which was) the place where al-Husayn stopped. Then ibn Ziyad Prevents al-Husayn and his followers from (getting) water. That was three days before the battle against al- Husayn.

Chapter 5: continued from Part 4Edit

In this part of the book Ibn Ziyad wrote to Umar b. Sa'd:

If al-Husayn and his followers submit to my authority and surrender, you send them to me in peace. If they refuse, then march against them to fight them and to punish them; for they deserve that.

So, 'Umar b. Sa'd prepared to (do battle with) al-Husayn on the night of Thursday, 9th of the month of Muharram. (In the meantime) Shimr went out and stood in front of the followers of al- Husayn.

Chapter 6: continued from Part 5Edit

Al-Husayn knew that his followers were the most loyal and virtuous followers. So, when he realized that won’t be (any further) days (left) to them by these men, he permitted them to leave him, and prayed for them:

May God reward you well on my behalf. All (of you) go away with the absolution of your oath (to follow me), for there will be no (further) obligation on you from me. This is a night (whose darkness) will give cover to you. Use it as a camel (i.e., ride away in it).

At the end of the book, when Zainab realizes that she would lose her brother Hussain, she cries:

Zain al-Abidin says that when my aunt Zainab realized that she would lose her brother Hussain

"Then I will lose (a brother)," Zaynab said to him. "Would that death deprived me of life today, (for) my mother, Fatima, is dead, and my father, 'Ali, and my brother, al-Hasan, peace be on them (all)."

Al- Husayn tries to console her saying:

Sister, I swear to you - and I (always) keep my oaths - that you must not tear your clothes, nor scratch your face, nor cry out with grief and loss when I am destroyed.