|Author||Mirza Mohammad Taghi Khan|
|Original title||ناسخ التواریخ|
Nasikh al-tawarikh (farsi: ناسخ التواریخ) is one of the most important books of the contemporary history of Iran, which was written by its Lesan al-Molk Sepehr, Mohammad Taghi, with the encouragement and desire of two Qajar kings. A chapter of that book is dedicated to the biography of Imam Hussain.
About the book[edit | edit source]
Nasikh al-tawarikh, specially its sixth volume which is about the biography of Imam Hussain, is one of the books that have been published by various institutions during a century without change or correction. At the beginning of the book, Lesan al-Molk Sepehr, introduces himself as a human being and one of the Qajar courtiers and announces the completion date of the sixth volume in 1291 AH. Considering that the announcement of the mentioned date is done in the middle of the book, it seems that the compilation of that volume was done around the years 1290-1291 AH.
Arabic language proficiency, and access to the Qajar royal library, provided a great opportunity for Sepehr to write various volumes of Nasikh al-Tawarikh, including the one on Imam Hussain and Ashura events.
Lesan al-Molk in the mentioned book does not mention its narrators when narrating the events. In addition, some of Sepehr's judgments and opinions about the events of Ashura, including the dispersal of Imam Hussain's companions a night before the Ashura, have been criticized by other authors such as Salehi Najafabadi and Mortaza Motahhari. The approach of Lesan al-Molk in Nasikh al-Tawarikh about the events of Ashura and Karbala has also been placed by some scholars under the emotional approaches of historians and Maqtal-writers of the Qajar era.
[edit | edit source]
Mirza Mohammad Taghi Khan known as Lesan-al-Molk Sepehr, the son of Mullah Mohammad Ali, was born in 1216 AH in Kashan. He started his education in religious sciences as well as literature and poetry as a child. In Tehran, he served Fath Ali Khan Saba, who had been entitled as Malek-o-sho’ara (means the King of Poets) during the reign of Fath Ali Shah, and since then he began to rise through the ranks of the royal apparatus. During the reign of Mohammad Shah, he was highly respected (masculine) and with the encouragement of Haj Mirza Aghasi, the Chancellor, he began writing Nasikh al-Tawarikh. Lesan al-Molk Sepehr died in 1297 AH.
The following books, are the works left from the Lesan al-Molk Sepehr: Mahmood al-Qasaed, Barahin al-Ajam Fi Ghavanin al-Mojam, Asrar fi manaqib al-a'immat al-athar, Ayeneh Jahan Nama, Jang al-Tawarikh, Divan-e- Ash’ar, Nasikh al-tawarikh which include: the first book from the descent of Adam to the migration of Muhammad (P.B.U.H) in 2 volumes, the second book: from the migration of the Prophet to the end of the events related to Imam Hussain in 6 volumes and the Nasikh al-tawarikh of Qajar in 3 volumes.
Abstract of book[edit | edit source]
The sixth volume of Nasikh al-tawarikh which is related to the biography of Sayyid al-Shuhada consists of two parts. Some of the most important titles of the text in the first part of Nasikh al-Tawarikh about the life of Imam Hussain are as follows:
"Birth of Imam Hussain, Moral characteristics of Imam Hussain, hadiths about the Prophet's love for Hussain, verses of the Qur'an and news related to the Imamate of Hussain, Mu'awiyah and the murder of Shias, the martyrdom of Hojr ibn Uday, correspondence of Hussain and Mu'awiyah, Mu'awiyah and the issue of Yazid becoming the crown prince, Imam Hussain's sermon in Mina, The news of the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, the death of Mu'awiyah, and the caliphate of Yazid»
In the second part, information about the pilgrimage to the tomb of the Prophet by Imam Hussain and his meeting with various people in Medina such as Muhammad ibn Hanafiya, as well as the departure of the Imam to Mecca, letters from Kufa to Imam Hussain and their reply, information about Muslim ibn Aqeel from arrival To Kufa until martyrdom, the departure of the Imam from Mecca to Iraq and Kufa, the arrival of the Imam in Karbala and the events of the following days until Ashura, the events of the Ashura, The manner of martyrdom of Imam Hussain's companions and family is discussed separately and finally the manner of martyrdom of Imam Hussain is discussed in detail.
To get more acquainted with Sepehr's writing style and arguments, we will have an overview of some phrases from that book:
In the first part of the book and during Imam Hussain's letter to Mu'awiyah, we read: "I received your letter. In the first part of the book and during Imam Hussain's letter to Mu'awiyah, we read: "I received your letter. You said that you received news about me that was unpleasant to you, while I do not do such things. Reporting such actions is the work of gossipers who decide to create discord among the Muslim Ummah.
I swear to God that I have never stopped fighting you. I fear of the lord in this regard. I do not think that God will be pleased with me in abandoning the trial of you and the atheist and oppressive party and the friends of the devils. Weren't you the one who killed Hojr Ibn Uday and his companions out of oppression and aggression after granting them immunity while they fought tooverthrow oppression and opposed heresies and were not afraid of any danger. Aren't you the killer of Amr bin Hamaq Khazaei? He was one of the companions of the Prophet and the intensity of worship made his body weak and thin. You left the tradition of the Prophet, deliberately disobeyed his command, you left the tradition of the Prophet, deliberately disobeyed his command, and pursued your evil passion without paying attention to divine guidance. You made Ibn Ziad the ruler of Basra and Kufa while he cut off the hands of the Muslims and blinded their eyes and hung them on palm branches.
O Mu'awiyah, I condemn you to retaliation for killing Hojr. Rest assured that for God is a book in which every small and big sin is recorded. "Yes, God will not forgive you for killing people with suspicion and slander, Rest assured that for God it is a book in which every small and big sin is recorded. “Yes, God will not forgive you for killing people with suspicion and slander, and forcing them to swear allegiance to your idiot, a drunkard and a dog fancier son.”
Conversely, Lesan al-Molk mentions the number of martyrs of Ashura as more than seventy-two and writes as an argument: "Seventy-two is the number of people who migrated from Medina with Hussain.”But during the journey and while they were staying in Mecca, a large crowd accompanied Imam, and on the night of Ashura, thirty members of Ibn Sa'd's army joined Imam's camp."
The value and importance of the book[edit | edit source]
Ashura scholars generally place the book Nasikh al-Tawarikh, the biography of Imam Hussain, under the distorting books of Ashura. In this regard, they mention a few cases, such as the offer made by Imam Hussein and his horse to each other over drinking water and the conversation of Sayyid al-Shuhada with Shimr in that book. In this regard, Qazi Tabatabai who is the author of one of the most famous books in this field (Reaserch on first Aaba’en) notes that at the time of writing the book, "even quoting from Nasikh al-Tawarikh, which is the official history of the state, has been avoided as much as possible." and he states the reason for it as follows: "Because lots of contents are written without research and he has made many mistakes, an independent book should be written in this regard with several volumes to refine and revise that book, so that its correct contents and histories are recorded, and the distorted ones are removed."
Sources[edit | edit source]
- Esfandiari, Mohammad, Ketabshenasi-e- Tarikhi-e- Emam Hossein (Historical Bibliography of Imam Hussain (P.B.U.H)), Second Edition. Isfahan: Arma Publishing, 1400 (SH)
- Basiri, Abbas, Barresi Va Naghd-e- Sirenegari-e- Sepehr Dar Nasekhatavarikh(review and critique of Sepehr's biography in Nasikh al-Tawarikh). Journal of Islamic History Studies, Vol. 36, spring 1397 (SH)
- Heydari, Maryam, Bastarhay-e- Siyasi-Ejtemaie-e Negaresh-e- Nasekhatavarikh (Political and Social Contexts of Nasikh al-Tawarikh Writing). Research Culture Quarterly, Vol. 29, Spring 1396 (SH)
- Ranjbar, Mohsen, Seiri Dar Maghtalnevisi Va Tarikhnegari-e- Ashura Az Aghaz Ta Asr-e- Hazer(A Journey Through Maqtal-Writting and historiography of Ashura from the beginning to the present (3)). Journal of History in the Mirror of Research, Vol. 16, Winter 1386 (SH)
- Ruh Alahi Amiri, Zahra and Zeinab Sharifi Shokooh, Ruykard Shenasi-e- Movarekhan-e- Asr-e- Ghajar Be Ashura (Qajar Historians' Approach to Ashura), Shia Research Quarterly, Vol. 17, No. 6, Fall and Winter 1398
- Shajari, Reza and Kheili, Qasim, Mohammad Taghi Lesan al-Molk Sepehr Va Nasekhatavarikh (Mohammad Taghi Lesan al-Molk Sepehr and Nasikh al-tawarikh). Book of the Month of History and Geography, Vol. 137, Mehr 1388.
- Tabatabai, Seyed Mohammad Kazem and Mousavi, Seyed Hamid, Etebarsanji-e- Kotob-e- Maghatel-e- Emam Hussain(Validation of the Maqatel books of Imam Hussein (P.B.U.H)) opponent, Ayatollah Bustan (Research Journal of Hosseini Education), Vol. 1, Spring 1395 (SH)
- Ghazi Tabatabai, Mohammad Ali, Tahghigh Darbare Avalin Arbaeen-e- Hazrat-e- Sayedalshohada (research on the first Arba’en of Sayyid al-Shuhada (P.B.U.H). Tehran: Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, Printing and Publishing Organization, 1385 (SH)
- Lesan al-Molk Sepehr, Mohammad Taghi, Nasekhatavarikh Dar Ahvalat-e- Hazrat-e- Sayed-a-Shohada (Nasikh al-tawarikh Related to Sayyid al-Shuhada (P.B.U.H)), vol. 6. Tehran: Islamic Bookstore, 1398 AH,
- Mohammadi Reyshahri, Mohammad and Tabatabai Nejad, Seyyed Mahmoud et al., Daneshname-e- Emam Hussain Bar Paye Qur’an, Hadis Va Tarikh (Encyclopedia of Imam Hussain (P.B.U.H) based on Quran, Hadith and History). Qom: Dar al-Hadith Scientific and Cultural Institute, Publishing Organization, 1389 (SH)
References[edit | edit source]
- For example, we can mention the publication of a collection of volumes of Nasikh al-tawarikh by Asatir Publications in 1386.
- including: - Sepehr, Mohammad Taghi, Nasikh al-tawarikh Related to Sayyid al-Shuhada (P.B.U.H). Tehran: Ketabchi, 1379 (SH) - Sepehr, Mohammad Taghi, Nasikh al-tawarikh of Imam Hussain (P.B.U.H) writing fluently, rewriting, compiling and completing by Mohammad Mohammadi Eshtehardi. Qom: Nasser, 1383 (SH)
- Lesan al-Molk Sepehr, Volume 1, Page 2
- Lesan al-Molk, Volume 3, Page 200
- Heidari, p. 141 and Ahmadi, p. 28
- Basiri, pp. 50-51
- Esfandiari, pp. 88-89
- Ruh Allahi Amiri, pp. 330-331
- Shajari, p. 90
- Lesan al-Molk Sepehr, Volume 1, pp. 195-197
- Lesan al-Molk Sepehr, Volume 2, pp. 308-309
- Sehati Sardroudi, pp. 216 and 233-232 Similar reasons for the invalidity of Nasikh al-tawarikh (the section related to the Sayid Al-shuhada) have been stated in the following sources: Tabatabai, p. 14, Ranjbar, pp. 23-24
- Ghazi Tabatabai, p. 28