In the name of Allah the most Merciful Beneficent
The great sacrifice of Imam al-Husain(AS) is one of the most significant event in Islamic history. Its significance lies in drawing clear line of demarcation between the Truth and Falsehood. For the seekers of guidance and truth, the sacrifice of Imam al-Husain(AS) beckons and guides as a manifest sign towards Allah(SWT). To receive more light and guidance from this divine torch, we are required to come nearer to it, and to comer nearer we must know it first. The greater is our understanding of this source of light and guidance, the greater benefit we can receive in terms of guidance and direction. But the nearness requires more recognition or marefah, and that can come from knowledge about it. The purpose of this write up is to present some of the books on martyrdom of Imam al-Husain(AS) so that we could increase our knowledge of Imam al-Husain(AS) and come nearer to him to receive more guidance and light. In this regard we can refer to the following books or articles which are available online on Al-Islam library.
Al-Lohoof ala Qatla al-Tofuf is a heart-rending but detailed and authentic account of the tragedy of Karbala and the sacrifice of Imam Husayn (a.s.), it was written by renowned Shia scholar, Sayyid Raziuddin Ali bin Musa Ibn Ja’far bin Muhammad Ibn Tawus al-Hilli (r.a.) better known as Sayyid Ibn Tawus, that died 664 hijri. Sayyid Ibn Tawus (r.a.) was a top Shia scholar and thinker of the seventh century, and he belonged to the family of learned who wielded tremendous influence in the scientific, religious and political circles.
Maqtal al-Husain by Abd al Razzaq al-Muqarram is a detailed and authentic account of the tragedy of Karbala and the sacrifice of Imam Husayn (as).
The Event of Taff, The Earliest Historical Account of the Tragedy of Karbala’ The researchers have written numerous books on the martyrdom (maqtal) of the lord of the martyrs (as). The first of these researchers is Lut bin Yahya bin Sa’id, [famously known as] Abu Mikhnaf. He compiled this book in this regard, recounting the events that occurred to al-Husayn, his children, brothers and companions (as). This is revised edition of the research and editing of Abu Mikhnaf’s work by Shaikh Muhammad Hadi al-Yusufi al-Gharawi.
Imam Husayn’s (as) is a hero and a historical personality. But unlike a historical personality who is forgotten, the struggle of the Imam (as) will never be forgotten. His actions and the events of his martyrdom have a profound impact upon society and the behaviour and the cultural aspects of someone’s life. The lessons learned from this episode of bravery are many and they can be applied now as they were applied then. The lessons are aimed not just at Muslims but at every human being and were we to follow his manner the society would be a peaceful and happy one Read more on this in the book The Life of Imam Husayn (‘a) Research and Analysis by Baqir Shareef al-Qurashi
Shaykh ‘Abbas Qummi has written Nafasul Mahmum, Relating to the heart rending tragedy of Karbala’ which is a historical account, using original sources, of the Tragedy of Karbala’, from the time of the birth of Imam Husayn (as) till the time of Mukhtar’s revolt.
The book Misbah-uz-Zulam, Roots of the Karbala’ Tragedy by Sayyid Imdad Imam , discusses the causes of the tragedy of Karbala’ and it will also throw light on numerous other matters, which are yet unknown to the vast majority of Muslims.
Karbala and Ashura by Ali Husayn Jalili is a brief yet documented narrative of events that took place in Medinah, Mecca, Karbāla’, Kufah, and Syria, and began in Rajab, 60 A.H. (680 CE) and ended in Muharram 61.
The Martyrdom of Banu Hashim in Karbala as described by Ibn Nama’ Al-Hilli by Morteza Karimi offers a description on the martyrdom of several members of the Banu Hashim.
A Probe into the History of Ashura’ by Dr. Ibrahim Ayati is a history of the events leading to and including the tragedy of Karbala, and its aftermath.
Karbala and Beyond by Yasin T. Al-Jibouri this book contains a brief yet documented narrative of the incident of Karbal
The Uprising of Ashura and Responses to Doubts by Ali Asghar Ridwani is a detailed account of the life of Imam Husayn (a) and his personality, the tragedy of Karbala and the sacrifice of the Imam (a) and his companions, and a detailed analysis of Shi’i behaviours, like mourning and crying to refute the doubts of being un-Islamic.
Our Husayn, Mourning him and his Karbala by al-‘Allama al-Sheikh al-Ameeni is a brief article on Imam al-Husain(AS), his martyrdom and mourning.
The Martyr of Karbala by Dr. Mahmoud Ayoub is a brief essay focusing on the elements of revolution and martyrdom of the tragedy of Karbala.
Analytical Studies on Karbala
The following books and articles are important from the point of view of in depth analysis and investigation into the tragedy of Karbala from different aspects and its impacts on Muslims society at large.
There have been many unauthentic interpolations into the history of Ashura. These unauthentic injections into the history of this great event have harmed the significance of revolutionary spirit associated with Ashura. To know some of these unauthentic interpolations we must study with great attention the book on this subject, which is a compilation of lectures delivered by Ayatullah Murtadha Mutahhari. The ‘Ashura – Misrepresentations and Distortions part 1 and ‘Ashura – Misrepresentations and Distortions part 2 must be attentively studied to get an understanding of the unauthentic stuff injected into the history of Karbala.
The Revolution of Imam al-Husayn (a) by Shaykh Muhammad Mahdi Shams ad-Din Al-Amili discusses the impact of Karbal on the consciousness of Muslim society.
Karbala an Enduring Paradigm of Islamic Revivalism by Dr. Sayyid Wahid Akhtar discusses impact of the mourning of Imam Husayn (a) in Islamic history.
The Revolution of Imam Husayn by Shaykh Mansour Leghaei is a historical analysis of the roots & the impacts of Karbala. It is a series of seven Lectures that analyse the roots & the impact of Imam Husayn’s (as) uprising against the caliph of his time, Yazid
Ashura by Shaykh Muhammad Mahdi Al-Asifi is a research and analysis on the Uprising of Imam Husayn (as) from Hijaz to Iraq.
‘Ashura Lectures 1990 by Dr. I. K. A. Howard is an analysis into the Martydom of Imam Hussain through looking into Yawm al-Tarwiya
The Role of Women in Karbala by Shaykh Mansour Leghaei is a lecture delivered at Hannans Rd Public School, on 1/6/1997 (25/1/1418) on the role of women in the Karbala.