Noor Al-Ain fi Mashhad Al-Hussain

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Noor Al-Ain fi Mashhad Al-Hussain
Noor Al-Ain fi Mashhad Al-Hussain.jpg
AuthorAbu Ishaq Esfarayeni
Original titleنورُ الْعَیْن فی مَشْهَدِ الْحُسَیْن
TranslatorHussain Ansarian

Noor Al-Ain fi Mashhad Al-Hussain (Arabic: نورُ الْعَیْن فی مَشْهَدِ الْحُسَیْن) is a Maqtal with a small number of pages, the content of which is like other Maqtals of Imam Hussain, but the ambiguity about the author, type of narration, how to use narrations, has caused many discussions about that book.                                               

About the author[edit | edit source]

The book Noor al-Ain fi Mashhad Al-Hussain or according to some authors, the Maqtal-e- Esfarayeni, is a book attributed to Abu Ishaq Esfarayeni, Rukn al-Din Ibrahim ibn Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Ibrahim Ibn Mehran (337-418 AH),who is a Shafi'i and Ash'ari jurist (a branch of Shafi'i religion). His works include Adab Al-Jadal, Taliqeh Dar Osool-e- Din, Al-Jame Dar Osool-e- Din and Tartib Al-Mazhab.[1]

About the book[edit | edit source]

Noor al-Ain was first published in Cairo in 1298 AH and has been reprinted many times in various cities such as Mumbai, Tunisia and Baghdad.[2] Selected sections of Noor Al-Ain fi Mashhad Al-Hussain along with the book Qora Al-Ain fi Akhz Sar Al-Hussain by Allama Abdullah Ibn Mohammad[3] were translated into Persian by Ali Kalati and published in 1397 SH by Armaghan Tooba Publishing Institute in Iran. There are three copies of this book in the library of Sepah Salar Mosque, the National Library of Iran and Central Library of the University of Tehran.

Due to the inconsistency of the writing style of the book with the works left from the fourth century AH, Tabatabai Yazdi rejects its attribution to Esfarayeni.[4] In addition, the book mentions the rule of the Fatimids in Egypt and the transfer of Imam Hussain's head there; an event that took place in the middle of the sixth century AH and of course cannot be mentioned by a person who died in 418 AH.[5] Of course, there are a number of scholars, including Agha Bozorg Tehrani, Ismail Pasha Baghdadi, and Elian Sarkis, who attribute Noor al-Ain to Esfarayeni. Despite this, in the old sources about the Maqtals and books related to Ashura and Imam Hussain, the existence of this book is not recorded among the works left by Esfarayeni.[6]

The text of the book begins with Mu'awiyah's will to Yazid. The author of Noor al-Ain claims that Mu'awiyah ordered Yazid to be the guardian of the rights of Imam Hussain and Bani Hashem and not to do anything without consulting him, and then the author speaks of Yazid's disobedience to his father's will.[7] In the following, many points and distortions are quoted about the event of Ashura, including the following:

  • After leaving Medina for Mecca, Imam Hussain returned from Mecca to Medina and then left Medina for Kufa and Karbala.
  • Imam Hussain's companions dispersed on the night of Ashura and some of them withheld their support and joined Omar Saad's army.
  • When Al-Sayyida Zaynab saw her brother's head on a spear in Kufa, she hit her head on a stick and split it.[8]

But the important point is the narration of forgeries that Shias and Sunnis have confirmed to be untrue. In this regard, Fazl Ali Qazvini writes: "Anyone who investigates the Maqtal of Noor al-Ain will notice lies in it and will find issues which both branches of Muslims (Sunni and Shiite) have refuted. ."[8]

In addition, there are some interesting points in the book. For example, when  Ibn Ziad threatened the people of Kufa, they said, "What does the dispute between the sultans have to do with us? We are the vassals of whoever gets the province;" "Whether it is Yazid or Hussain."[9]

The general structure of the book, like other common Maqtals of Ashura and Imam Hussain, is historical and narrative about his uprising and martyrdom and the events that followed until the return of the caravan of captives from the Levant. Despite the general similarity, the author of the book has arranged its contents as a popular story[9], without chapters and titles, and the presented narrations are without source, and the author begins his text by writing "Qal al-Rawi" meaning "the narrator has said".[10]

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

Perhaps few books or Maqtals can be found in the history of Karbala and the uprising of Ashura, such as Noor al-Ain, that there is such a consensus among scholars about the widespread distortions in it. As stated in one interpretation, much of the material in the book in question is so unreliable and irrational that it is unlikely that it would have been written by a scientist jurist. In the book “ Tahghigh dar bare Aval Arba’een –e- Hazrat-e- Sayyid Al-Shuhada",[11] Ghazi Tabatabai also refers to Noor al-Ain or “The Maqtal-e- Esfarayeni”, as a very unreliable book, and says the book is "A Sea of Falsehoods and Lies."[12]

Sources[edit | edit source]

  • Islamic encyclopedia, article "Noor Al-Ain fi Mashhad Al-Hussain"
  • Esfandiari, Mohammad, Ketabshenasi-e- Tarikhi-e- Emam Hossain Historical (Bibliography of Imam Hussain (P.B.U.H)), Second Edition. Isfahan: Arma Publishing, 1400
  • Sehati Sardroodi, Mohammad,Ketabshenasiy-e- Ashura (Ashura Bibliography), Book Review Quarterly, No. 41, Winter 1385 SH
  • Tabatabai, Sayed Mohammad Kazem and Mousavi, Sayed Hamid, Etebar Sanjiy-e- Kotob-e- Maghatel-e- Emam Hussain (Validation of the Imam Hussain (P.B.U.H) Maqtal Books), Ayatollah Bustan (Research Journal of Hosseini Education), No. 1, Spring 1395 SH
  • Qazi Tabatabai, Mohammad Ali, Tahghigh Darbare Aval Arbaeen-e- Hazrat-e- Sayyed Al-Shuhada) research on the first forty of Seyyid al-Shuhada (P.B.U.H). Tehran: Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, Printing and Publishing Organization, 1385 SH
  • Mohammadi Rey Shahri, Mohammad, Shahadat Name Emam Hussain Bar Paye Manabe Bargerefte Az Daneshnameh Emam Hussain (Imam Hussain (P.B.U.H) Maqtals based on sources taken from Imam Hussain (P.B.U.H) encyclopedia. Qom: Dar al-Hadith Scientific and Cultural Institute, Publishing Organization, 1389 SH
  • Hojjati Kermani, Mohammad Javad, Abu Ishaq Esfarayeni, Great Islamic Encyclopedia Center, Great Islamic Encyclopedia, Vol. 5

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Hojjati Kermani, Article "Abu Ishaq Esfarayeni"
  2. Sehati Sardroudi, p. 217
  3. The subject of this book is Mukhtar Uprising, blood Feud and killing the killers of Imam Hussein (P.B.U.H).
  4. Sehati Sardroodi, p. 217
  5. Esfandiari, p.48
  6. Tabatabai, p.12
  7. Esfandiari, p.49
  8. 8.0 8.1 Sehati Sardroodi, p. 218
  9. 9.0 9.1 Esfandiari, p.49
  10. Islamic Encyclopedia
  11. Mohammadi Rey Shahri, p.63
  12. Qazi Tabatabai, p.50