In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
All praise belongs to God, and his greetings and salutations be upon His Prophet Muhammad (S) and his Household, the best and the purest creatures (a.s.).
The tragedy of Ashura has been a shock to the souls and consciences of human beings, and raised the emotions of the Muslims to expand their social activities. In that event the emotions and reasons of people were injured. The tears and mourning run through their faces; the hearts were drowning towards the place of martyrdom of the sons and househoulds of the holy Prophet and divine messenger. The love and affection of the Muslims, all those who trusted in the message of their grandfather, the holy Muhammad (S), were directed toward them; and caused the people to come nearer to each other.
This terrible tragedy has always injured the souls of the pure human beings during the history, which will never recover. By the passage of time, more dimensions of the calamity become apparent. And, at the same time, the divine virtues and characteristics of the martyred innocent persons becomes more apparent to the generations and communities more and more.
The Muslims reminded of the meaningful word of their holy Prophet (S) who said, " Husayn is from me, and I am from Husayn!" This valuable tradition was a witness about the beginning and continuation of the pure religion of Islam. It began with the divine message brought by the holy Prophet, and continued by the terrible martyrdom of Imam Husayn (a.s.). By that great sacrifice of the holy Imam, his household, and his prominent companions, he guaranteed the future survival of Islam.
The holy Imam Husayn had in minded the considerations, problems, and difficulties of the Islamic nation. He was also looking for the establishment of a just and successful Islamic state. He expressed his intention at the time of movement to Kufa:
My movement is not a revolt, nor for seizing just the power. It is rather an evolutionary conduct in the nation of my grandfather, Muhammad (S).
The progressive experience of "Ashura" reveals the honest crusade and clarity of his view. It had a tremendous and successive reaction in the long history of the Islamic world. On the opposite side, the enemies of the Ahlul Bayt (the infallible household of the holy Prophet) have always tried to change the true meaning of the message of Karbala, and take it away from the minds of the Muslims. "But the Almighty God will survive His light, even though the disbelievers do not like it."
From the time of occurrence of the event of "Karbala" till now, many books have been written about it by different persons, of different views or schools of thoughts, and in different languages. They are generally named as "Maq'tal". There are just some names remained from those books of Maqtal. The oppressors and cruel governments robbed, burnt, or destroyed those books, in order to cause the communities to forget his name (and teachings). Although they could not achieve their target.
Altogether, there are very few ancient Maq'tal available, with their original texts. Only traces or some parts of them have been narrated and transmitted through the historical texts and literatures.
It seems that the first writer, who compiled a text about the events of Karbala and Ashura, was Asbaq Ibn Nobata. He was one of the close friends, and sincere companions of Amirul Momenin Ali (a.s.). His death has been in the early years of the second century after hejrat.
The second writer was Abu Mekh'naf Lut Ibn Yahya Azdi, who was contemporary to Imam Sadiq (a.s.), and wrote the book, "Maq'tal al-Husayn (a.s.)".
During the 2nd and 3rd centuries of hejrat, some other traditions and historians wrote and compiled books about the tragic event of Karabala, and martyrdom of Imam Husayn and his beloved disciples. Some of those writers are:
• Abdul Aziz Ibn Yahya Jalloudi.
• Jaber Ibn Yazid Jo'afi.
• Muhammad Ibn Umar Waqedi.
• Muammar Ibn Mosanna Taimi.
• Nasr Ibn Mozahem Menqari.
• Abdullah Ibn Ahmad Bin Abi Donya.
• Ibn Wazeh Yaqoubi.
• Muhammad bin Zakaria bin Dinar Ghalaei.
In the next stage, some of the Shia and Sunni scholars wrote books about the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (a.s.). They are:
• Shaikh Muhammad bin Hasan Tousi (died in 460 A.H.)
• Mowaffaq Ibn Ahmad Kharazmi (died in 568 A.H.)
• Ibn Shahr Ashoub (died in 588 A.H.)
• Mah'moud bin Mobarak (died in 592 A.H.)
• Jafar bin Najib bin Nama Helli (died in 645 A.H.)
• Ezzuddin Abdul Razzaq Jazari (died in 661 A.H.), and
• Ali bin Mousa bin Jafar, Ibn Tawus, (died in 664 A.H.) who is the author of this book.
Sayyid Ibn Tawus has reminded of this book, in his two other books. In his books Iqbal and Kashful Mahajja has said, "My book "al-Malhoof ala Qat'lalTofouf " is about the mar tyrdom of Imam Husayn (a.s.), which is organize d in a wonderful order , which has been a kindness of God, Who guided me to write it. "
The late Allamah Majlesi, in Beharul Anwar (vol 107, P. 42) has stated that Sayyid Ibn Tawus has mentioned in his book, "al- Ejazat", "I have written the book "al-Malhoof ala Qat lal Tofouf " in an order which is new. Anyone who re ads it will know about its preferences over similar books " .
From the writings of the writer, Sayyid, it becomes clear that the original title of the book has been ""al-Malhoof” but in the old manuscripts it is called as "Lohoof".
Lohoof, in its Arabic language, has been published more than 20 times in Iraq, Iran, and Lebanon. Some of the clergy translators have translated it in to Persian, such as Mirza Reza Qoli Khan, Ahmad Najafi, M.E. Nawab, and Sayyid Ahmad Fehri.
Recently, Naba cultural organization has translated Lohoof in to English, and decided it to be published as one of the works of the library and publishing house of the holy Shrine of Imam Husayn (a.s.). It is the third published work of that library.
I pray God to bless all those who work and cooperate with Naba cultural organization, and may He support and protect the translator and all those who participated in preparation of this book. And, at last, may the blessings and greetings of God be upon all you kind readers!