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Author: M Muhammadi Rayshahri
Translator: Abbas Jaffer
The martyrdom of Imam Husayn (a) sent shockwaves through the early Muslim community. Today, this tragedy is still remembered, studied, and commemorated. However, in recent years, there have been increasing questions over the reliability of the historical accounts of his martyrdom. What material is reliable, and what sources can be used when presenting the narrative of his martyrdom to others?
The Chronicles of the Martyrdom of Imam Husayn was compiled to fill the need for a strongly reliable source on Imam Husayn’s (a) final days. Meticulously researched, it contains narrations about the Imam’s last stand that are found only in the earliest extant sources. Hand-selected for their reliability, they have been arranged and translated into fluid, precise English. No detail of the narrative of the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (a) has been left out, from his fateful journey towards Iraq, to the journey of the captives afterwards and the events surrounding Arba‘in.
The Chronicles also includes narrations on related topics of interest such as the custom of mourning the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (a) and fasting on the day of Ashura. Ample preliminary matter written by recognised Islamic scholars addresses the question of the reliability of early and medieval sources, the nature of the oral versus the written tradition, and the challenges faced in the modern era in presenting a reliable account of Imam Husayn’s (a) martyrdom. The Arabic text of the narrations has been included throughout, and the work is rounded out with five detailed maps of the Imam’s journey.
This work is certain to find a special place in the personal library of historians, students and scholars of Islam, those speaking from the pulpit, and anyone with an interest in Imam Husayn ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (a).