Guidelines of the Specialized Encyclopedia of Imam Hussain

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Guidelines of The Specialized Encyclopedia of Imam Hussain aims to provide reliable, documented, and citable information about Imam Hussain and the culture inspired by Ashura. In this document, we attempt to explain the guidelines and policies governing the entries of this encyclopedia.

Entry content, style, and size[edit | edit source]

Wiki Hussain focuses on the topics related to the social, religious, and political life of Imam Hussain and the culture inspired by Ashura in recent centuries, so that it provides citable and reliable information for a wide range of audiences, including scholars and enthusiasts. Based on the topic of each entry being written, a historical, sociological, philosophical, or theological perspective or occasionally a mixed method may be adopted. As for the content, the encyclopedia documents both the events of Imam Hussain's life as well as the socio-cultural manifestations of Ashura that have been formed and evolved in the history of Islamic communities. Also, theological-philosophical topics which reflect on different interpretations of the key concepts related to the life and martyrdom of Imam Hussain are selected. Furthermore, there will be entries dedicated to institutions, figures, thinkers, and scholars who have played an important role in promoting and developing the Hussaini culture on different intellectual, cultural, artistic, social, and political levels.

Principles[edit | edit source]

The content of Wiki Hussain Encyclopedia entries should be written in accordance with the following principles:

Clarity[edit | edit source]

The encyclopedia aims to introduce the topics related to Imam Hussain to a wide range of audiences who might lack specialized knowledge or even prior familiarity with Shia culture. Hence, while adhering to the highest professional standards, the topics are to be presented in a simple, non-extravagant language and avoid jargons as far as possible. Accordingly, the essays must be written in such a way that prepares those unfamiliar with the subject to refer to academic sources and delve into deeper studies. It must be noted that excessively long essays may deter those unfamiliar with Shia culture to continue going through more entries. Therefore, it is best if controversial or detailed topics are divided into multiple sections based on historical or conceptual divisions. Clarity of the writing style is one of the primary principles of Wiki Hussain.

Impartiality[edit | edit source]

The entries must not be polemic and in defense of a specific view; rather, they must discuss different views to reach an impartial balance in presenting the topic. Impartiality means presenting all prominent views published in credible sources, while remaining fair, proportional, and impartial. Overall, what the Encyclopedia of Imam Hussain considers “impartiality” points to accurate, critical analysis of different sources and conveyance of the results to the reader in a clear and accurate manner. In other words, the encyclopedia attempts to explain different opinions while not interfering with or taking sides. For maintaining impartiality, the following points must be taken into account:

1- The essays must refrain from adopting a judgmental attitude. An impartial essay expresses neither interest nor disinterest in an idea discussed in it (and what has been provided by reliable sources). Further, it uses an impartial tone to introduce analyses and contradictory findings as different views.

2- The opposing views must be presented according to their weight. To elaborate, reporting different views must represent the amount of support they rally, hence avoiding false balance or overly emphasizing one view. Therefore, to fairly present a dispute, the controversial, opposing views must be discussed proportional to their scale of acceptance among the experts or involved parties. For this purpose, it is possible to separate minority views from mainstream Shia beliefs. In addition, highly minor theories must not be presented in the main essay; but discussed in a separate entry.

Verifiability[edit | edit source]

The credibility of an entry is measured based on the credibility of its sources; hence, content not verifiable through credible sources shall be removed from the entries. The credibility of the cited references will be assessed with three standards:

1- The source (e.g. paper, book, journal, or newspaper) must have the following qualities: a) It must be published and accessible to the public; b) It must directly support the content in the essay; C) It must enable the verification of the truth of its claims, evidences, and contents; that is, present and back its reasoning and claim in a proof-based manner.

2- The author must have the following characteristics: a) Be an expert in Islamic studies, especially Shia studies; b) Be well-known in adherence to scientific-professional standards. Accordingly, the work of an individual suspected of non-professional behavior or partiality cannot be cited.

3- The work’s publishing house must be reliable, well-established, and well-known. Generally, academic press and research journals have the highest scientific credibility because the content is verified and approved by a board of supervisors before publication. Nevertheless, content from non-academic sources may be used in some cases, especially when it has been printed by reputable, respectable publishers.

Dynamism[edit | edit source]

Wiki Hussain is a dynamic source committed to updating its content. As such, the entries are periodically reviewed and expanded. The principle of dynamism will be maintained in the following cases:

1- Adding new parts to the entry aiming to expand different aspects of the topic.

2- Improving the existing parts according to the latest studies and findings, especially when they reveal new facets of the topic.

3- Correcting the shortcomings and improving the quality of the entry based on fair, scholarly feedbacks.

Supervision[edit | edit source]

Before publication, every essay is to be studied and reviewed by the editor in chief and a number of experts. After receiving the feedback of the supervisors and applying the corrections, the author again sends the essay to the Wiki Hussain office. The essay will be published in Wiki Hussain website after the final approval.