Al-Khasa'is al-Husayniyya

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Al-Khasa'is al-Husayniyya
Al-Khasa'is al-Husayniyya1.jpg
AuthorHaj Sheikh Jafar Shoushtari
Original titleخصائص الحسین
SubjectThe biography of Imam al-Hussain, Characteristics of Imam and the Uprising of Ashura
PublisherDifferent publisher

The book Al-Khasa'is al-Husayniyya (Arabic: اَلْخَصائصُ الْحُسَینیه) or "Al Khasaes Al Hosseinya Va Mazaya Almazloom" has an important role in  deepening one’s knowledge on Imam Hussain as much as possible. Identifying as many of his personality traits as possible is the author’s main goal in writing this book.

About the book[edit | edit source]

The book Al Khasaes Al Hosseinya Va Mazaya Almazloom has been reviewed by various scholars and translators, and its full text or excerpts from it has been published many times.[1] Sheikh Jafar Shoushtari expresses his motivation for writing the book as follows: "With the arrival of Muharram, I whispered to myself for how long should I hold the book and use it to run the preaching gatherings, and till when can’t I preach using the knowledge I know by heart ? I have to find a way and save myself from this bad situation. But the more I thought about it, the less I came to a conclusion, and due to a lot of thinking, I got tired and fell asleep. I dreamed that I was in Karbala. I looked everywhere and saw a raised tent. I found out that the enemy army was sitting in a tight line around Imam Hussain's tent. I entered and greeted Imam Hussain warmly. He placed me near him and said to Habib Ibn Mazahir: Habib! Sheikh Jafar is our guest and must be entertained. Although we do not have water in the tent, flour and oil are available. Get up and prepare food for our guest. Habib ibn Mazahir got up on the orders of Imam Hussain and after a while he entered the tent and put food in front of me. There was also a spoon in the dish. I had eaten a few bites of that heavenly food when I woke up and realized that because of the pilgrimage of that Imam, I was inspired by science and knowledge that until that time, no one had been inspired and no one had understood them before me."[2]

In the book's introduction, Shoushtari explicitly mentions the division of the book into an introduction and eleven titles.[3] At the end of the introduction, the author mentions that "the eleventh title of the book is considered as the end of the first volume of the book.[3] He intended to discuss the three hundred attributes of that Imam in thirty titles in the book but there is no indication of the existence of the second volume.[4]

The titles or chapters of the book are completely different in terms of the number of pages. For instance the number of pages of the sixth title of the book, "Characteristics related to humility when mentioning Hussain", is 117[5], and the number of pages of the seventh title of the book, "Characteristics of Hussain's pilgrimage", is 96[6], and the number of pages of the tenth title, "Characteristics of angels" is 12[7] and the twelfth title, "Imam Hussain and the best of the Prophets", consists of only three[8] pages.

At the beginning of each chapter, the author gives a brief explanation of the general content of that chapter. For example, the third chapter of the book, entitled, "Attributes, ethics and worship of Imam Hussain on Ashura day", begins with the following phrase: "In this title, we are trying to express the characteristics of Imam Hussain, which are the source of all his other features. . “This was the obedience of the Imam to a special message from God, who ordered him to perform a special worship on a special day, and in return, as a divine reward for that worship, he was given a special grace by God."[9]

The author has also summarized the material presented in some chapters at the end of it and in a separate section, called conclusion. An example is  the  conclusion of the ninth title in  five pages.[10]

In the third chapter, "Ethics and worship of Imam Hussain on Ashura day", Sheikh Jafar Shoushtari considers two issues, the special jihad of Imam Hussain and the matter of Enjoining Good and Forbidding Wrong,  as the causes of Imam Hussain's uprising . He considered Imam Hussain's jihad a speial one , which has the following characteristics:

1-   Jihad in the beginning was one against ten, it means that one person did not do jihad with more than ten people. Then God reduced the severity of this ruling and made the condition of the obligation of jihad one against two, but still ordered for Imam Hussain to confront one person with thirty thousand or more.

2-   Jihad is not obligatory for children and the elderly. But in the Karbala incident, jihad was allowed for children such as Qasim and Abdullah bin Al-Hassan and elderly people like Habib bin Mazahir.

3-   In jihad, there should be no suspicion of being killed, but Imam was aware of his martyrdom and that of his companions.[11]

Hussain's share of this worship is more than others, and he was obliged to perform this duty. Even though he knew that doing this worship would harm him. He even smiled and preached to his killer when he beheaded him. And even the beheaded Imam invited a Christian monk to Islam. "Have you ever seen or heard such an Enjoining Good from anyone other than Hussain? Never"[12]

About the author[edit | edit source]

Haj Sheikh Jafar Shoushtari was born in 1227 AH in Shushtar. After completing his primary education in his hometown, he went to Najaf at the age of fifteen and received a degree in ijtihad from the great scholars there.[13] In 1259 AH, he left Najaf and returned to his hometown and settled in that city. Finally, after a pilgrimage to Mashhad in 1302 AH and on the way back home, he died in Kermanshah on 28 Safar 1303 AH.[14] One of the most important books of Sheikh Jafar Shoushtari is Risāla Munhaj al-Rashad on purity and prayer, which great scholars have marginalia on it.[15]

Abstract of book[edit | edit source]

  • The twelve titles or chapters of the book are as follows:
  • The first title: "Imam Hussain in the world of existence"[16]
  • The second title: "Traits, ethics and general and absolute worship of Imam Hussain",[17]
  • Third title: "Attributes, ethics and worship of Imam Hussain on Ashura Day", including the main text in addition to two chapters and a conclusion.[18]
  • The fourth title: God's special attention and respect to Imam Hussain ", including seven sections[19]
  • The fifth title: "Hussain, the manifestation of the special grace of God", including two introductions[20]
  • Sixth title: "Characteristics related to humility when mentioning Hussain"[21]
  • Seventh title: "Characteristics of Hussain's pilgrimage" includes twelve chapters[22]
  • Eighth title: "Characteristics of Imam Hussain in the Holy Quran"[23]
  • Ninth title: "Characteristics of Imam Hussain regarding the [sanctity of the] House of God." Consists of three parts[24]
  • Tenth title: "Characteristics of angels" consists of three parts.[25]
  • Eleventh title: "Characteristics of Hussain, which belongs to the great prophets" includes four sections[26]
  • Twelfth title: "Imam Hussain and the best of the prophets"[27]

Among the titles of the book Al Khasaes Al Hosseinya, only the seventh chapter of the book "Characteristics of Hussain's pilgrimage"[28] is not directly related to the subject of the book. Under that title and in twelve chapters, the divine reward of the pilgrimage to Karbala and the characteristics of the Imam Hussain pilgrim are stated. Sheikh Jafar summarizes this part of the book with the following words:

“Hussain Pilgrim achieves virtue in any of his situations, and I have collected their results from authentic hadiths in sixteen cases."[29] In addition, the author believes: "The pilgrim of that Imam is purified from sins in a special way", "the pilgrimage of that Imam is superior to the pilgrimage of the living Imam."[30] Under the same title, Sheikh Jafar Shoushtari, in honor of the pilgrim status of Imam Hussain, states: "On the Day of Judgment, it will be said, 'Where are the Shias?' Then heads will rise up from among the people that only God will count. Then there is a voice. Where are the pilgrims to the grave of Hussain bin Ali? At that time, a number of people stand up. "They will then be told to take the hands of those you love and enter Paradise."[31]

The value and importance of the book[edit | edit source]

Al Khasaes Al Hosseinya Va Mazaya Almazloom is a book about the characteristics of Imam Hussain, which also recounts the events of Ashura and Karbala. From this perspective, this book differs from most maqtal books of Imam Hussain. Some scholars consider the subject of emotion and emotional stimulation in Al Khasaes Al Hosseinya as the special feature of that book.[32] Another group describes the author's approach in the book as an emotional one.[33] In return, for many others, the book was sanctified.[34]

Sources[edit | edit source]

Esfandiari, Mohammad, Ketabshenasi-e- Tarikhi-e- Imam Hussain (Historical Bibliography of Imam Hussain (P.B.U.H)), Second Edition. Isfahan: Arma Publishing, 1400 SH

Ruhollahi Amiri, Zahra and Sharifi Shokooh, Zeinab Ruykardshenasi-e- Movarekhan-e- Asre Ghajar Be Ashura (The Approach of Qajar Historians to Ashura, Shia Pazhoohi Quarterly, Vol. 17, No. 6, Fall and Winter 1398 SH

Saifullah Vahidnia, Nameie az Haj Sheikh Jafar Shoushtari Be Atabak Azam (a letter from Haj Sheikh Jafar Shoushtari to Atabak Azam), Vahid Magazine, No. 91, Tir 1350 SH

Shoushtari, Jafar, Zeytoon. Tarjome-e of Al Khasaes Al Hosseinya Va Mazaya Almazloom (translation of Al Khasaes Al Hosseinya Va Mazaya Almazloom), translated by Khalilullah Fazeli. Tehran: Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Support Organization, Defa Publications, 1384 SH

Sadri Keyvan, Haj Sheikh Jafar Shoushtari, Vahid Magazine, Vol. 4, Farvardin 1343 SH

References[edit | edit source]

  1. These include the following:   - Jafar Shoushtari, Vasael Almohebin Tarjome-e- Al Khasaes Al Hosseinya Va Mazaya Almazloom (Vasael Almohebin Translation of Al Khasaes Al Hosseinya Va Mazaya Almazloom), Translated by Mohammad Hussain Shariatmadar Tabrizi. Tehran: Islamic Library, second edition, 1377 SH - Jafar Shoushtari, Ashk-e- Ravan Bar Amir-e- Karevan (flowing tears for Caravan’s Amir, translation of Al Khasaes Al Hosseinya Va Mazaya Almazloom(, translated by Mohammad Hussain Shahrestani. Qom: Dar al-Kitab, twenty-fifth edition, 1392 SH - Jafar Shoushtari, Imam Hussain Ingoone Bood Tarjome-e- Al Khasaes Al Hosseinya Va Mazaya Almazloom (Imam Hussain (P.B.U.H) was like this, Translation of Al Khasaes Al Hosseinya Va Mazaya Almazloom), translated by Sadegh Hassanzadeh. Qom: Al Ali, thirteenth edition, 1392 SH - M. Shams,Nafs Motmaeneh Gozideie Az Al Khasaes Al Hosseinya Va Mazaya Almazloom (the confident soul, a selection of Al Khasaes Al Hosseinya Va Mazaya Almazloom by Sheikh Jafar Shoushtari). Tehran: Shaparak Sorkh, 1398 SH
  2. Shoushtari, pp. 19-20
  3. 3.0 3.1 Shoushtari, p.36
  4. Esfandiari, p.91
  5. Shoushtari, pp. 138-255
  6. Shoushtari, pp. 256- 251
  7. Shoushtari, pp. 460- 472
  8. Shoushtari, pp. 510- 512
  9. Shoushtari, p.51
  10. Shoushtari, pp. 455- 459
  11. Shoushtari, pp. 56-57
  12. Shoushtari, p. 60
  13. Vahidnia, p.603
  14. Sadri Keyvan, pp. 63-64
  15. Sadri Keyvan, p.64
  16. Shoushtari, pp. 37- 45
  17. Shoushtari, pp. 45-51
  18. Shoushtari, pp. 51- 75
  19. Shoushtari, pp. 75-117
  20. Shoushtari, pp. 117-138
  21. Shoushtari, pp. 138-256
  22. Shoushtari, pp. 256- 352
  23. Shoushtari, pp. 252- 394
  24. Shoushtari, pp. 394- 460
  25. Shoushtari, pp. 460- 473
  26. Shoushtari, pp. 473- 510
  27. Shoushtari, pp. 510- 513
  28. Shoushtari, pp. 256- 352
  29. Shoushtari, p. 262
  30. Shoushtari, pp. 268-273
  31. Shoushtari, p. 278
  32. Ruhollahi Amiri, p. 338
  33. Ruhollahi Amiri, p. 332
  34. Esfandiari, p.90