Qamqam-e-Zakhar and Samsam-e Battar

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Qamqam-e-Zakhar and Samsam-e Battar
Qamqam e Zakhar.jpg
AuthorFarhad Mirza Motamed Al-Dawlah
SubjectImam Hussain
GenreHistoric and Narrative

A vast sea and the winning sword is the translation of the title of the “Maqtal’’ or Mosibat-Nameh” of Qamqam-e-Zakhar and Samsam-e Battar (Arabic: قَمْقام زَخّار وَ صَمْصام بَتّار) Which has been written by Farhad Mirza Motamed Al-Dawlah with the aim of publishing Manaqib and mentioning the sufferings of Ahlul Bayt.

About the author[edit | edit source]

Farhad Mirza Motamed Al-Dawlah is the son of Abbas Mirza, the Qajar viceroy. He was born on Jamadi Al-Awal, 1233 AH / 1196 SH, and died in 1305 AH / 1266 SH. He spent nearly four decades of his life in the highest positions in administrative and political jobs in Iran during the Qajar period. Governing states such as Lorestan, Fars, Khuzestan, Kurdistan and Hamedan and representing the monarchy with full authority to run the country during Nasser al-Din Shah’s trip abroad were the most important jobs of Motamed al-Dawla.[1] He has been described as an extremely religious and extremely ambitious person.[2] In addition to Qamqam-e-Zakhar, other books such as: Kanz al-Hesab, Jam-e-Jam, Safarnameh of Medina or Hedayat al-Sabil and Kefayat al-Dalil, Zanbil, Mansha’at and poems’ book were written by him.[3]

About the book[edit | edit source]

Qamqam-e-Zakhar is a two-volume book, the first volume of which includes the life of Imam Hussain from the beginning to the battle of Karbala and the second volume includes writing the Maqtal of the Bani Hashem family and the description of the captivity of Karbala prisoners until Mukhtar’s uprising with examples of lament.[4] According to Motamed al-Dawla, he began to compose the Qamqam-e-Zakhar in 1303 AH and finished it on Wednesday,[5] the 25TH of Dhu al-Hijjah in the year 1343 AH (27TH of Farvardin 1257 SH).[6]

Qamqam-e-Zakhar was first published in 713 pages in early 1266 SH. The second edition was published more than half a century later in 1337 SH. In recent decades, this book has been revised by various researchers and published by various publications.[7] One of the most widely circulated in the last half century is a text from the book edited by Mahmoud Moharrami Zarandi.[8] The book was also translated into Arabic by Mohammad Shoaa Fakher and published under the title "Al-Qamqam Al-Zakhar and Al-Samsam Al-Battar".[9]

The book has an unusual name compared to other Maqatils. This is a literary title that shows the author's familiarity with literature, which, in turn, has led to the use of many literary devices when writing the text of Qamqam-e-Zakhar.[10] This is why Motamed al-Dawlah has not refrained from using poems and laments everywhere in the text and during the various sections of Qamqam-e-Zakhar. Among them,[11] we can mention poems by Sayyid Humairi, Farzadagh, Sulayman ibn Quba, Najashi, Hind bint Zidalansariyah, Tarmah ibn Uday, Abdullah ibn Hur and some battle cries of the companions of Imam Hussain (P.B.U.H) in Karbala.[12]

In the final part of the book, Motamed al-Dawla devotes a section to introducing his sources and their selection criteria. This part begins with the book "The Remaining Works of the Empty Centuries" and ends with the book “Wasa’il al-Shia".[13] In this regard, Motamed al-Dawla, in another part of the book, mentions that in compiling the text, he has not quoted from the books of narrators and historians from the year one thousand AH and later.[14] The author does not state why he did not use these resources.[15] As a result of adopting such a criterion, the author has not used many books such as Bihar al-Anwar.

In general, and despite the efforts made by Motamed al-Dawla, some of the contents and narrations in the book are still unreal or with an unreliable document which include the following:

  • Entrusting the deposits of Imamate to Fatimah bint Al-Hussain
  • An aborted child for Imam Hussain named Mohsen
  • Transfer of Imam Hussain's head to Asqalan and Cairo in the years after burial[16]

Another feature of the book is the correct recording of the names of people and places and the correct translation and explanation of the meanings of names, places, words and in some cases, the introduction and expression of short biographies of some people whose names are in the text.[17]

Abstract of chapters[edit | edit source]

In the introduction of the book, Motamed Al-Dawlah provides a detailed description of his devotion to the family of Imams and his services to them, as well as his motivation for writing a book describing the martyrdom of Imam Hussain and Ashura. The first volume of Qamqam-e-Zakhar begins with a discussion about the Umayyad dynasty sultans and ends with a discussion on the events of Ashura. The second volume begins with the Martyrdom of Abu al-Fadhl al-Abbas, Ali ibn al-Hussain, and other Hashimids, and ends with the part related to presenting poems and laments.

The general titles, without division, are in the form of chapters, parts and sections, and are included in the final list of the book.[18] Some of them are:

Mentioning Teknonym (kunya), titles, life span, children, marriage and the companions of Imam, mentioning the virtues of the fifth member of Ahl al-Kisa, Sa'd ibn Abi Waqas, mentioning Ashura and the establishment of ranks, mentioning the martyrdom of Sayyid al-Shuhada, expressing the lament of the jinn on that Imam, mentioning the punishment of his killers, poems of Imam Hussain, the departure of Mukhtar Ibn Abi Obaid and aristocracy oath of allegiance, mentioning the reward of crying over the calamity of the Imam. In a part of Qamqam-e Zakhar, about the "coming of Imam Sajjad and the Ahl al-Bayt of the Prophet to Karbala and entering to Medina", we read: “The companions went to Karbala as requested by the Ahl al-Bayt until they reached the holy shrine. On that day, Jabir ibn Abdullah Ansari entered Karbala with a group of Ibn Hashem, who had also come for pilgrimage. So their entry into that land was simultaneous. As the servants saw the family of the Prophet, that calamity was recalled and they mourned and the women gathered. Several times a day, they held mourning ceremonies for the martyrs and then left for the shrine of the Prophet."[19] Finally, Qamqam-e-Zakhar ends with an Arabic poem by Mirza Abolhassan Aliabadi Monshi Bashi and a short list of the most important titles of the text.[20]

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

Qamqam-e-Zakhar is mentioned as an innovative book in the field of Ashura, which, unlike other texts of its era, examines the reasons for the uprising of Imam Hussain, discusses the struggle against oppression by him and his uprising against abominations.[21] Mirza Mohammad Ali Moallem Habibabadi, in honor of Qamqam-e-Zakhar, mentions it as a book that "has never been seen before and the utmost care has been taken to correct the news and explain the places where the Ahl al-Bayt stopped at and the names of the martyrs and opponents are correctly expressed in it...”[22]

In general, Qamqam-e-Zakhar is a precious and reliable book about the events of the Karbala movement.[23]

Sources[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Rahimi, pp. 28-29
  2. Rahimi, p. 29
  3. Mahmoudi Bakhtiari, p. 326
  4. Sheykh al-Islami, p. 155
  5. Motamed Al-Dawlah, p. 19
  6. Motamed Al-Dawlah, p. 999
  7. - Including: - Motamed Al-Dawlah Farhad Mirza, Qamqam-e-Zakhar and Samsam-e-Battar, correction, summary and translation of Arabic phrases by Gholam Hossein Ansari. Tehran: Islamic Propaganda Organization, International Publishing Company, 2011 - Motamed Al-Dawlah Farhad Mirza, Sword on the Sea, research and rewriting of Qamqam-e-Zakhar and Samsam-e-Battar, rewriting of the text by Maryam Nourinia, under the auspices of Reza Bayat, excavation and research by Abbas Mohammad Qalyan. Tehran: Shams Al-Dhahi, 1397 - Motamed Al-Dawlah Farhad Mirza, Qamqam-e-Zakhar and Samsam-e-Battar, Murder of Sayyid al-Shuhada, rewritten by Abolfazl Hadi Manesh. Qom Jamal Publishing, 1399
  8.   Examples of printing this version of Qomqam Zakhar are: - Motamed Al-Dawlah Farhad Mirza Qajar, Qamqam-e-Zakhar and Samsam-e-Battar, Abi Abdullah Al-Hussain PBUH, with corrections and margins of Mahmoud Moharrami Zarandi. Tehran: Islamic Library, 1973 - Motamed Al-Dawlah Farhad Mirza Qajar, Qamqam-e-Zakhar and Samsam-e-Battar, Abi Abdullah Al-Hussain PBUH, with corrections and margins of Mahmoud Moharrami Zarandi. Tehran: Islamic Library, 1984 - Motamed Al-Dawlah, Farhad Mirza Qajar, Qamqam-e-Zakhar and Samsam-e-Battar, Abi Abdullah Al-Hussain PBUH, with corrections and margins of Mahmoud Moharrami Zarandi. Tehran: Ketabchi, 2000
  9. Esfandyari, p 96
  10. Sheykh al-Islami, pp. 157-168
  11. Asgari, p.68
  12. Rafat, p. 24
  13. Motamed Al-Dawlah, pp. 973- 999
  14. Motamed Al-Dawlah, p. 19
  15. Rafat, pp. 26-31
  16. Rafat, pp. 26-31
  17. Hayati, p. 40
  18. Motamed Al-Dawlah, pp. 1006-1008
  19. Motamed Al-Dawlah, p. 676
  20. Motamed Al-Dawlah, pp. 1003-1008
  21. Roohollahi Amiri, p 329
  22. Farhad Mirza, p. 24
  23. Sheykh al-Islami, p. 167