Pas az Panja Saal Pajoohesh-e-Taaze Piramoon-e-Qiyam-e-Imam Hussain AS (Book)

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Pas az Panja Saal Pajoohesh-e-Taaze Piramoon-e-Qiyam-e-Imam Hussain AS written by Seyyed Jafar Shahidi, is a book that, while adhering to the historical narratives, has an analytical view of the Ashura event and has also addressed the social, political, ethnic, and religious contexts in the formation of Imam Hussain's uprising.

About the author[edit | edit source]

Seyyed Jafar Shahidi (born in 1918 in Borujerd - died in 2007 in Tehran) first turned to seminary studies and for this purpose, he left for Iraq and other highly honored places. Following that in the late 1940s, he returned to Iran and engaged himself in teaching, researching, and writing books, articles, and the Dehkhoda dictionary. During these nearly six decades after returning to Iran till his death in Tehran in 2007, he authored and published dozens of books and many more scientific articles and treatises.

He was a great researcher, a knowledgeable thinker, and a prolific writer, who has many works, including Sharh-e-Loghat, Mushkilat-e-Diwan-e-Anwari, and the translation of Nahj-al-Balagha.

About the book[edit | edit source]

Pas az Panja Saal Pajoohesh-e-Taaze Piramoon-e-Qiyam-e-Imam Hussain AS is an analytical and enjoyable book about the uprising of Imam Hussain. Shahidi's introduction to this book was written in 1979 and it seems that the first edition of this book was published in 1980 and the end date of its writing is 1979 (1399 AH). After that, during the past four decades, this book has been reprinted and published several times by various publishing houses in full or abridged, and also its Arabic translation under the title: Ba'da Khamseen Sina: Tahqeeq-e-Tareekhi fi Kaifiya-te-Takween Waqa'e Karbala has been published.

Shahidi mentions his motivation for writing the book, doubts about several narratives surrounding the Ashura incident, and writes: "What made me perplexed and then led me to pursue the study was the research on several seemingly small incidents such as:

  • The story of Gharaniq
  • The story of Shahrbanoo
  • The cause or causes of the deaths of Umar and Uthman
  • The Khawarij conspiracy to kill Ali
  • Sa’d bin Abdullah bin Abi Sarh and his addition to the Qur'an and stories like this that naive historians such as Tabari and others have brought into their books

and unfortunately, some of those baseless stories have become a pretext for orientalists and opponents of Islam."

In this book, the author is not much responsible for historiography, but rather has analyzed the history and tried to analyze the causes of the Ashura. In another part of the book, Shahidi writes about his purpose for writing the book, "Qiyam-e-Imam Hussain AS": "My intention while writing these notes is not to write an obituary, to preach religion, or even to write history. While collecting the traditions and classifying them, I have tried to answer to 'why' in the events themselves. To find the right answer, I have ignored my religion and beliefs. I have put together the contradictory traditions and stories from more than a century and from those, I have written those that are historically correct and the climatic, religious, economic, and social conditions also confirm it. In this book, I have looked at this incident from an angle that has not been paid much attention to in the past."

Considering that the general structure of most of the topics in the book is based on historical topics, during the discussed topics, Shahidi examines the sources of surviving narratives from the Karbala incident on several occasions. For example, at the beginning of the twenty-sixth chapter and while examining the events of the Day of Ashura, he writes: "As a result of two centuries of manipulation of historical traditions, bringing out external facts, especially about such an incident in which the opposing groups have benefited, it is a difficult task. Fortunately, the chroniclers who were present at the scene of the incident saw what happened with their own eyes or were close to the place of the incident, or they heard how it was from other narrators. Therefore, when several reporters are telling the same story about an incident, the possibility of fabrication cannot be annulled, nor can it be decreased, and also what is confirmed by external sources can be accepted better. "

Abstract of the book[edit | edit source]

The whole book is divided into thirty parts or chapters, which have different amounts of content, so that, the 16th chapter (about the personality of Muslim bin Aqeel), contains only three pages. The first to the twelfth chapters are about the events before the death of Muawiyah, investigating the causes of the Ashura incident and people's thoughts and morals. The 13th chapter is the conclusion of the previous chapters and the 14th chapter until the end of the book is devoted to Imam Hussain's uprising. Each chapter of the book begins with a quote from the Qur'an or hadith.

The first chapter can be the introduction of the book, in which, in the continuation of the preface, the author provides more explanations about his motivation and purpose for writing the book. The second chapter of the book includes a general discussion about the social, political, and cultural structure of the Muslim community after the advent of Islam, especially after the death of the Holy Prophet.

An important question has been raised in this book, why did they kill the son of the Messenger of God fifty years after his demise and did such a thing to his companions and family? The description of this question, to which the main title of the book also refers, is as follows: "What happened that the Muslim community on that day showed so much coolness and indifference in front of this incident [Ashura]?" Why did the people of these vast and densely populated lands become spectators of the scene? What happened that after half a century passed, they remained so ignorant of Islamic jurisprudence and the rules of religion that they did not know what they are negating and what shame would befall them?... Why did the unjust killing of a soul become unimportant in their eyes? "About half of the book, from the first to the thirteenth chapter (up to page 111), is the answer to the above questions directly and indirectly.

Throughout the third chapter, which is one of the longest chapters of the book " Qiyam-e-Imam Hussain AS ", general aspects of the social and political structure of the Muslim community until 63 AH are discussed. As a result, the preface and the first three chapters of the book can be considered as the initial chapter of the book, in which the author describes the generalities, the outline of the book, the questions, and his goals of compiling the book.

From the fourth chapter onwards, the text of the book is dedicated to the study and analysis of the events and developments of the Arabian Peninsula at the dawn of Islam and the formation of the Muslim community in the decades after the rise of Islam.

In another part of his book, in pursuit of the root and structural causes of the Karbala incident, Shahidi mentions the government, the right to rule, and the role of the people in it, and after the preliminary statement, he concluded that during the five decades after the death of the Prophet until the incident of Karbala, "people's right to intervene in affairs was taken away from them. As in the last 20 years of these 50 years, it was no longer a matter of what the ruler should do. Is it fair or not? If he goes against justice, should he be warned or not? What was important in these years was what should be done to keep the ruler happy."

From the fourteenth chapter, a new approach begins in the book which is very similar to the other Maqtals written before and the tradition of writing these Maqtals, moreover, the report of the incident of Karbala from the beginning of the uprising of Imam Hussain to the end of Mukhtar's uprising in a concise form is presented within the same framework, however with new literature.

At the end of many parts, the author gives a brief summary of the contents presented in that part. In this regard, the author assigns the summary of the topics presented in the fourth to twelfth chapters, which are related to the structural and general investigation of the Karbala incident and the Ashura movement, to the final summary. In general, Shahidi lists ten main factors and issues as the causes of the Ashura event, such as:

  • The newness of the Muslim generation
  • The death of the majority of those who understood the time of the Prophet or the old age of the survivors of that generation
  • Getting used to the atmosphere of the period of ignorance as well as the absence of the spirit of piety and justice

Shahidi, however, brings forward the familiarity of Muslims with the way of thinking of other nations and the prevalence of philosophical and theological discussions among Muslims as one of the factors contributing to the Ashura event.

The Value and Importance of the book

The historical sociological analysis style of the book and the importance of providing a general analysis of the Karbala event are so great for the author that the first parts of the book are dedicated to the general causes and factors and the formation of the Ashura movement.

The book Qiyam-e-Imam Hussain AS can be introduced as a symbol of the form of writing and literature regarding Ashura prevalent during several decades in Iran (until 1979). The historical sociological analysis style of the book and the importance of providing a general analysis of the Karbala event hold such importance for the author that the initial chapters of the book are dedicated to the general causes and factors and the formation of the Ashura movement, and following that, the narrative of Ashura in a new and customary language of literature of the 1960s and 1970s has been included in the author's work.

Translation and other printing

The present book has been translated and published in Arabic under the title of "Baa'da Khumseena Sina: Tajqeeq-ut-Tareekhi Fi Kayfiya-tut-Takween'e Waqi'ah al-Karbala" (Tehran, 1989). Similarly, a summary of it has been published under the title "Khulase'ye Qiyam-e-Imam Hussain AS."