Shafa al-Sodor fi Sharh Ziyarat al-Ashur

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Shafa al-Sodor fi Sharh Ziyarat al-Ashur
Shafa al-Sodor fi Sharh Ziyarat al-Ashur.jpg
AuthorAbolfazl Tehrani
Original titleشفاء الصدور
SubjectHussain ibn Ali

Shafa al-Sodor fi Sharh Ziyarat al-Ashur is the title of a book by Abolfazl Tehrani that has been compiled on the description of Ashura Ziyara (an Islamic salutatory prayer to God, recited by Shi'a to salute Imam Hussain and to commemorate the epic-tragic Battle of Ashura and the martyrdom of Imam Hussain and his companions. This ziyara is deemed very important by Shi'a and has been narrated from Imam Baqir in the early fourth century. This Ziyara is one of the important relics of the Ashura movement that for many centuries many religious leaders have considered writing a commentary on  it necessary.  

About the book[edit | edit source]

Shafa al-Sodor fi Sharh Ziyarat al-Ashur has been published several times by various publishing houses in recent decades.[1] The version that is currently being reviewed was prepared by Mohammad Baqer Malekian and its third edition was published in 1391(SH).

The foreword of this book, written by the author, is a description of how Shafa al-Sodor was written. According to Tehrani, the idea of writing this book was first formed during the Hajj trip in 1306 AH, at the request of some clerics.[2] The request was not answered by Tehrani. Two years later, in Jamadi al-Awal 1308 AH, during a trip to Samarra, when Ayatollah Shirazi was also present, Sayyed Kazem Sarraf Tehrani once again asked to write a book on the pilgrimage of Ashura, and this time Tehrani's refusal was met with an order to compile from Ayatollah Shirazi.[3]

Thus, the compilation of Shafa al-Sodor began shortly afterwards and at the end of Ramadan of the same year. The author first started and finished writing the main part of the book - the second chapter in the translation and description of the Ashura Ziyara. In the next stage, at the end of Muharram in 1309 AH, the author researched the document and the text of the narration of the Ashura Ziyara, and a few days later, in Safar month, he presented the results of the research in the first chapter of the book Shafa al-Sodor.[4] And finally the compilation of the first chapter of the book and the book in general was completed during his stay in Samarra and in the evening of Ashura in 1309 AH.[5]

The text begins with the introduction of the researcher and corrector (Malekian). In this section, and as an expression of the method of correcting the book, Malekian informs us that due to the fact that a manuscript of the text of Shafa al-Sodor is not available, its correction was done based on the oldest edition of the book (Mumbai).

About the author[edit | edit source]

Abolfazl Tehrani, the son of Mirza Abolghasem Kalantar Tehrani, was born in 1273 AH in Najaf. In 1277 AH, after his father returned from Najaf to Tehran, he studied Arabic and literary skills with his father. After eight years, he left for Atabat to complete his education. He first stayed in Najaf for a few months and then left for Samarra at the invitation of Ayatollah Shirazi.[6] After a decade, he returned to Iran and entered Tehran in Muharram 1310 AH. Shortly afterwards, Nasser al-Din Shah issued a decree entrusting the affairs of the Nasiri school to Tehrani, where he also taught and conducted congregational prayers and published sermons and rulings until the end of his life. Finally, he died in Tehran in 1316 AH.[7] Among the writings of Ayatollah Tehrani, we can mention Hashiyeh Va Sharh Bar Makaseb Sheikh Ansari, Al-Asaba Fi Qaeda Al-Ijma 'Ali Al-Asaba, Manzoomeh Fi Al-Ijma' and Sharh Arjuzeh Bahr Al-Ulum.[8]

Abstract of book[edit | edit source]

At the end of the preface of the book Shafa al-Sodor, Abolfazl Tehrani, states the general division of the text of the book as follows:

  • Chapter One: Explanation of the document and text of the narration of Ashura Ziyara
  • Chapter Two: Explanation and translation of the words of the Ashura Ziyara
  • Conclusion: Translation and expression of the problems of the prayer known as Alqameh[9]

But from another perspective, the book Shafa al-Sodor consists of four parts as follows.

1- Table of contents of the book that is given in the last part of the book. This list contains many main and secondary headlines. For example, for the content of page 206 or page 323, titles are introduced, but almost all of the mentioned titles in the table of contents are provided by the book editor and do not exist in the original text.

2- Introduction of the editor and foreword of the author of the book, in addition to Ayatollah Shirazi's preface for the book.

3- The text of the book, which is divided into three parts: the first chapter, the second chapter and the conclusion.

4- List of sources and references that the editor has used to correct the text of the book. List of sources and references that the proofreader has used to correct the text of the book. The list includes the titles of 205 books, most of which are in Arabic and a few in Persian.

The first chapter of the book begins with the author's description of what is the "document and text of the narration of the Ashura Ziyara." Tehrani writes in this regard: “The Ashura Ziyara, which is mentioned in the current way in Shia books, is taken from two sources, that is, Mesbah and Kamil al-Ziyarat.The contents of this book are first narrated in the style of Sheikh Tusi and then the differences in the narrations are pointed out.”[10] in order to observe fairness, the author examines all Shiite and Sunni books and sources.

The first chapter also contains a text entitled Destination/Maghsad (in Ashura Ziyara), which consists of two chapters.[11] In the last part of the first chapter, Tehrani writes: :"since the document and the text of this news got clear and its reasoning became apparent, Now that the authenticity of this Ziyara has been determined and its validity has been confirmed, we will describe some of the benefits of reading the Ashura Ziyara and put it in the last section of the book. In the following",[12] the author of the book states twelve benefits in relation to the document and text of the Ashura Ziyara.[13]

The second chapter of the book "Translation of the description of the words of the Event in the Ashura Ziyara" is the main part of the book which includes about eighty percent of the whole text of the book and Tehrani states his purpose of writing it as follows: "as well as deadline, and in order to distinguish the translation from the code description, we decided to consider 'ج' as a translation mark and 'ش' as a description mark."[14]

The description of each sentence and sometimes a word of Ashura pilgrimage is presented under titles such as: "explanation, position, advantages and disadvantages ". For example, in the meaning of the word “Salam” (means salutation ) and under the heading of punishment, Tehrani writes: "The meaning of Salam is that health and comfort have overtaken you and no harm will come to you from me, and you are safe and secure in my area. Of course, the pilgrim must greet while standing in the presence of an Imam or visiting the Imam from a distance, and be in a state where no harm or injury from him will reach that Imam neither then nor after, And because it is clear that those whose intention is nothing but to lead the ummah and the good of the people and to exalt the word of monotheism and the appearance of the effects of servitude and the spread of obedience to God in people And sinning against God and disobeying His commands will be a sign of having vicious morals such as: greed, hypocrisy, arrogance, stinginess, ambition, materialism and like that.[15]

But in addition to the two main chapters, there is a concluding section in the description of the prayer known as Alqameh in the book Shafa al-Sodor, which Tehrani states the purpose of writing it as follows: The narrator of the prayer is Safwan. However, what was intended to describe this Ziyara was not more than this. We have already mentioned that this prayer is not part of this honorable act. However, in order to complete the service and the benefit, a translation of the words of this prayer is provided so that first, all religious people can benefit reading it and then the description of difficult words and unfamiliar combinations is given very briefly, not in the manner of description, but through the expression and explanation given in the books of Sheikh Baha'i and Majlisi, etc."[16]

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

Shafa al-Sodor fi Sharh Ziyarat al-Ashur is one of the most detailed and authoritative writings that have been compiled so far on description and interpretation of Ashura Ziyara.[17] In a way that after the completion of its compilation, Ayatollah Shirazi, the general Marja' at that time, wrote in the preface: “It is a very good book that has integrity and sobriety which is comprehensive in terms of research and mentions all types of knowledge. It is beneficial for different classes of people. It is worthwhile for the general readers to refer to it and correct their opinions and solve problems by reflecting on its topics."[18]

Sources[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. The following editions can be mentioned: - Tehrani, Abolfazl, Shafa al-Sodor fi Sharh Ziyarat al-Ashur, footnote by Ebrahim Shobiri. Tehran: Mortazavi, 1376 (SH) - Tehrani, Abolfazl, Shafa al-Sodor fi Sharh Ziyarat al-Ashur, Talkhis Va Nazari Tareh Va Hazf Va Ezafat (summary and theory of Tarah and removal and additions), Hassan Saghafi Tehrani. Tehran: Had, 1385 (SH) - Tehrani, Abolfazl, Shafa al-Sodor fi Sharh Ziyarat al-Ashur, correction, research and suspension of Hamed Fadavi Lorestani. Qom Toubai Mohabbat, 1393 (SH)
  2. Tehrani, p.13
  3. Tehrani, pp. 13-14
  4. Tehrani, p.15
  5. Tehrani, p.8
  6. Ansari Qomi, 70-71
  7. Ansari Qomi, pp. 73-74
  8. Tehrani, pp. 7 and 8
  9. Tehrani, p.17
  10. Tehrani, p.18
  11. Tehrani, pp. 40-65
  12. Tehrani, p.65
  13. Tehrani, pp. 66-84
  14. Tehrani, p.85
  15. Tehrani, 93
  16. Tehrani, p.561
  17. Esfandiari, p. 100
  18. Tehrani, p.11