The Murder of Al-Husayn: Maqtal Al-Husayn

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The Murder of Al-Husayn: Maqtal Al-Husayn
The murder of Al husayn maqtal al husayn.jpg
TranslatorRafic Laboun
PublisherFatima Books

Maqtal al-Husayn, known as Maqtal Muqarram, is one of the most important Maqtals written about mourning for Imam Husayn and the battle of Karbala by Muqarram; it owes its significance to the numerous references it has.

About the book[edit | edit source]

The Maqtal of Muqarram was published in 1367 LNY in Arabic, and 25 years later, it was published in 1351SH. The latter was under the title of «Chehreh Khunin Husayn Sayyid al-Shuhada» (the bloody face Husayn Sayyid al-Shuhada) or «Dastane Karbala» (the story of Karbala), which was published after being translated to Persian by Aziz Allah Atarodi. Later Murteza Fahim Kermani translated and published the book under the title of «Salare Karbala Husayn ibn Ali» (The ruler of Karbala, Husayn ibn Ali).[1] «Roozeh Vaghee» (The day of event) is the title of another translation of Maqtal Muqarram, published in 1381 HS and prepared by Aghighi Bakhshayeshi, who wrote an introduction to the book as well; this version, translated by Muhammad Mahdi Aziz Allahi Kermani, was published by Navid Islam publications in Qom with Azad Islamic University of Rafsanjan's cooperation. There are several editions of the titles mentioned above. Summarization of Maqtal Muqarram is also published with Hasan Jahandideh's translation.[2] Moreover, in 1399 LNY Dar al-Ketab al-Islami in Beirut published the Maqtal for the fifth time with an introduction by Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Muqarram.[3]

This book is translated to English by Rafic Laboun, and it was published in 2015 by Fatima Books.

About the author[edit | edit source]

Sayyid Abd al-Razzaq Musavi Muqarram (1316-1391 LNY/ 1277-1349) was born in Najaf, and later, he passed away in the same city.[4] Some other books of his include:[5]

  • al-Muhazerat Fi al-Figh al-Jafari
  • Ser al-Iman fi al-Shahada al-Salasah
  • al-Imam al-Jawad
  • al-Imam al-Reza
  • al-Mukhtar ibn Obayd al-Saghafi
  • al-Sayyedeh Sakineh
  • Zayd al-Shahid

The introductions he wrote to Fiqh books like Nazir al-Amali by Sheykh Mufid and al-Malahem by Sayed Ahmad Ibn Tawus are among other works of his.[6] Additionally, Muqarram has some unpublished works like Ashura Fi al-Islam and Zekri al-Ma'asoomin.[6]

Some of Muqarram books other than the Maqtal, which is discussed in this text, are translated to Persian; to name a few examples the book al-Abbas (under the title of Sardare Karbala Hadrat Abul Fadl al-Abbas)[7] and Imam al-Sajjad, Zayn al-Abedin Ghoreh Ain al-Nazerin[8] can be referred to.

Abstract of the book[edit | edit source]

The text of Muqarram 's Maqtal begins with the events after Mu'awiyah's death and the start of Yazid's reign. In the first serious part of the Maqtal, the author describes the situation of "a group that was afraid of Hussain in this uprising." Imam's will before leaving Medina and the events that occurred simultaneously with Imam's presence in Mecca are stated afterwards. Mentioning Kufis' letters, the author writes: "in Mecca Imam received letters from Kufis, written by a single individual or a group of two, three or four people, inviting him to go there. They had written that they did not have a leader, and they did not attend Friday prayers or other congregational prayers along with Ne'man b. Bashir (the governor of Kufa appointed by Yazid)[9]

Most pages of Muqarram  Maqtal describe the events in Karbala, from the time Imam arrived at Karbala till the time the prisoners were moved from Karbala. "Tef villages" is the title given to the parts of the book that describe the events related to Imam Hussain's arrival at Tef and Karbala.[10] The latter events, especially the ones that took place in Ashura till the martyrdom of Imam, are restated by Muqarram with a high level of accuracy under 54 titles and in 56 pages.[11] To name only a few of the titles used by the author to describe the details of the events of the day, the following ones can be mentioned: Husayn’s prayers, the first sermon, generosity and guidance, ibn Sa’ad’s state of being misled,

Hurr’s repentance, the battle of two and four, the steadfastness of the right-wing, noontime, horses rolling in the ground, the martyrdom of Ahl al-Bayt, Qasim and his brothers, Abbas’s brothers, Imam in the battle, the second farewell, prayers.

Muqarram even uses the footnotes to mention facts and describe issues and subjects. In such cases, most of the content regards reasoning. This method can be found in the text he wrote in one of the footnotes about clarifying the exact day of Muslim ibn Aqil’s martyrdom. Moreover, the footnotes are a place for the author, Muqarram, to state his personal opinions. For instance, in the first pages of the book, when it is said that "Imam retold his dream during which Muawiya’s house got burnt, and his pulpit got inverted," the author explains in the footnote (number 4) that " it is not a secret that Imam's dream is seeing reality and seeing through the light of Imamat; the light that nothing can stop and by its medium, all the facts of the world are clear and as a result can be understood; it is clear that such a thing for someone who is Hujjat for the two worlds is not strange.  So what Imam meant by inverted was the fact that he lost control over the affairs, and as a result of his destruction, his lust stopped. The flames of fire referred to seditions like the Tef catastrophe, Harrah battle, the destruction of Bayt al-Haram, and other events.[12]

The book finishes after a brief description of the events related to imprisoning Imam’s family and taking them to Kufa and Sham, and their arrival to Medina.[13]

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

Muqarram’s  Maqtal is among the ones to which numerous references were given. The author did his best to arrange all the text and footnotes using the other Maqtals and historical and geographical sources. The number of the resources used by Muqarram to write his Maqtal is above a hundred, and a list of them is provided in the final part of the book. The footnotes of the book equipped with thorough explanations given by the author about the events, happenings, Rijal (significant people), characters and places, using primary historical sources and Salaf Maqtals are among the main features of the book; such footnotes are given to provide the reader to make the most of the text and get familiar with the events.

Source[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]