Maqtal al-Hussain (al-Khwarizmi)

From Wikihussain
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Maqtal Al-Hussain
مقتل خوارزمی.jpg
AuthorAbul Mavid Kharazmi
PublisherAnwar al-Huda

Maqtal al-Husayn or Maqtal Kharazmi (Arabic: مَقتَلُ الحُسَین) is one of the Maqtals remaining from the sixth Hijri century written by Abul Mavid Kharazmi (484-568 AH)[1] in Arabic.

About the author[edit | edit source]

Abu Mavid Muvaffagh ibn Ahmad Makki[2] known as Khatibe Kharazm and Akhtab Kharazm and Kharazmi (484-568 AH) Hanafi faqih, mohaddes (Hadith narrator), preacher and scholar and one of Zamakhshari (the renowned scholar) students. There are several guesses regarding Kharazmi’s way of thinking.[3][4][5][6] Kharazmi is believed to be a Sunni historian and hadith narrator who loved Ahl al-Bayt[1] and had many works about the biography and good features of Imams. Some of his works include: Ghazayayeh Amir al-Momenin, Rad al-Shams ala Amir al-Momenin, Managheb Amir al-Momenin, al-Arbaeen fe Managheb al-Nabi al-Amin, Vasiyat Amir al-Momenin, and Maqtal al-Husayn.[7]

About the book[edit | edit source]

There are some original hand-written editions of Maqtal al-Husayn, and one of them is believed to have been written by Muhammad ibn Husayn Amidi Husayni Najafi[8] in 986 AH. Another edition was written based on 986 AH’s edition in 1306 AH by Sayed Muhammad Mahdi Tabatabaee Hasani.[9] The hand-written editions of Maqtal al-Husayn have been repeatedly published in foreign countries during the last decades.[10]

Maqtal al-Husayn Kharazmi is a historical-narrative book in which the author has tried to mention the references of the narrations thoroughly and show the validity of each narration. Moreover, a significant part of the content of Maqtal is taken initially from the book of Fotouh ibn A'tham and then other reliable historical books before that.[11] What is clear from the titles of the chapters of Maqtal al-Husayn Kharazmi and especially from the content of the translated edition of the eleventh chapter is the author's adherence to the general structures of Maqtal writing during the sixth century (the time in which he wrote his book). This quality is in a way that the structure and description of the event of Karbala in Maqtal al-Husayn Kharazmi, from the beginning to the end, is like other Maqtals till then (and even after that).

Abstract of chapters[edit | edit source]

Maqtal al-Husayn Kharazmi is written in two volumes with an introduction and fifteen chapters:

1. The prophet's virtues

2. Khadijeh's virtues

3. Fatima bint Asad's virtues

4. Amir al-Momenin's virtues

5. Lady Zahra's virtues

6. Hasanain's virtues

7. Specific virtues of Imam Husayn

8. The news said by the prophet regarding Imam's martyrdom

9. Muawiya's death and Imam Husayn's refusal of allegiance

10. Imam Husayn in Mecca

11. Imam Husayn's exit from Mecca until his martyrdom

12. The murderers' punishment

13. Poems and laments

14. Karbala pilgrimage

15. Mukhtar's uprising[12]

The most important chapter is the eleventh one which is about Imam Husayn's martyrdom; Mustafa Sadeghi translates this part into Persian, and it was published with the title of Sharhe Ghame Imam Husayn (the description of Imam Husayn's sorrow) in 1388 for the first time and then in 1400 for the second time. The latter was re-edited before being published with a new cover design by the holy mosque of Jamkaran's publication.

A review of the book's fifteen chapters clarifies that nine chapters, or maybe ten chapters of this Maqtal (including chapters six to 15), are directly about Imam Husayn's life and how he did his uprising Imam Husayn's martyrdom, and its consequences.

The eleventh chapter of Maqtal Kharazmi describes: Imam Husayn's exit from Mecca and his move to Iraq; the events that took place on the way, arriving in Karbala, and Imam's martyrdom.[13] But the description of the events until Imam's martyrdom (end of Ashura) is presented in just 63 pages, and the last part of the eleventh chapter of the Maqtal is dedicated to the events after Imam's martyrdom in Ashura; in those pages, important events like "Kufa and Zaynab's speeches," " in Yazid's palace" " Imam Sajjad's sermon, " return to Medina" and "Yazid's letter(s) to ibn Abbas and ibn Hanafiya" are paid attention to.[14]

The part describing Imam's move in the book begins with a narration by Ibn A'tham Kufi: "Imam Husayn gathered his friends who intended to go towards Iraq with him and then gave each one of them 10 Dinars and a camel to ride and carry his stuff with. He then made a tawaf to the Kaaba, Safa, and Marwa and prepared to leave Mecca. He helped his daughters and sisters to sit on the camel, and on Tuesday the eighth of Dhu al-Hijjah, which is the day of Tarvieh, he left Mecca. There were 82 men of his followers, close ones, and family accompanying him."[15]

Description of the events of Ashura start with sentences like this: “narrators in history books have this idea in common that Imam Husayn’s murder (martyrdom) took place in Ashura, the tenth of Muharram year 61 AH, although there are disagreements whether it was a Friday or a Saturday.” Then the text of some narrations (ravayat) regarding the value of Ashura is presented[16] and the events of Ashura are described in this order: military array and the continuation of the speeches, the start of the attack, Hur's repentance, Barir's martyrdom, the armies' battles, noon's prayers (al-Salah) and continuing the fight, Ahl al-Bayt's presence in the battlefield, Imam in the battlefield and deprivation and loot.[17]

According to Kharazmi, Imam attacked like a furious lion on the battlefield, and no one dared to approach his sword since he would defeat them all. There were arrows coming from any direction and sitting on his throat and chest, and he said: "oh the bad ummah, how badly you behaved with Muhammad's family. Beware that killing the righteous people will not be difficult and terrifying to you after me. Because this will be easy for you after my murder."[18]

We can find the story about the events behind Imam Husayn's martyrdom and what his family went through in another part of the book. "they took the Prophet's family like captives and they entered Sham. The Kufis got out of their homes watching them; they also expressed their sorrow while crying. Ali ibn al-Husayn, who was sick and in the chain, said: are they crying for us and sad because of us? Then who has created this catastrophe? Beihaghi, the historian, says: year 61, in which Husayn was killed, is called the year of sorrow."[19]

Maqtal al-Husayn Kharazmi finally ends after describing how Ahl al-Bayt returned to Medina[20] and after mentioning the letters, Yazid sent them to ibn Abbas and ibn Hanifah.[21]

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

If a part of the significance and value of each book derives from its author's academic credibility, Abu Moayed Kharazmi is highly valued among the Sunnis and Shias. This is why many Shia scholars have praised Kharazmi's educational level. Allameh Amini, for example, believed him to be "a knowledgeable faqih (scholar), a renowned memorizer, a narrator with many references, and a well-known preacher."[22]

Generally, the most important features and most valuable characteristics of Maqtal Kharazmi is due to how old it is and the use of the primary sources of maqtal writing.

Sources[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]