Are The Narrations Of Karbala Reliable?

Are the Narrations of Karbala Reliable? As-salamu alaykum, wa Rahmatu Allah. It is a very good question. How can we trust the reliability of what is narrated to us about what took place on the plains of Karbala on the 10th of Muharram? There is no doubt that if you break the word history into two, it becomes 'his - story', and everybody will look at a certain part of history in their own way, whether they're affected by society or they're affected by their own political opinions. Can we ever recreate or can we ever reconstruct exactly what took place on the 10th of Muharram?

I think that is virtually impossible. And I think anyone who even attempts to do so will even admit that this is as best an effort as they could possibly come up with. But the reality is, at the same time there were those who survived the events of the 10th of Muharram to live to tell the tale of the tragedy and the oppression that took place. First and foremost, Imam Zayn al-'Abidin, alayhi as-salam, lived after the 10th of Muharram for over 30 years, and he was able to narrate to us what exactly took place. Likewise, Imam al-Baqir, alayhi as-salam, who was only three and a half years of age on the plains of Karbala, was able to tell us what took place on the 10th of Muharram.

Likewise, Sayyida Zaynab, alayha as-salam, who lived for a couple of years after the events of the 10th of Muharram. She could tell us about Karbala, she could tell us about Kufa, she could tell us about Shaam. Likewise, Imam Al-Hasan, alayhi as-salam, according to some narrations, had three sons who survived Karbala, and one of them, Al-Hasan al-Muthanna, would be able to tell us what took place. Likewise, there were certain companions of Imam al-Husayn alayhi as-salam, such as Wahhab bin Abdullah, who may not be the best example of loyalty to Imam al-Husayn, alayhi as-salam, but certainly lived after Karbala and after what took place in Kufa and Shaam.

There were also ladies such as Rabab, or such as Dailam, who were able to remain alive and tell us what took place at Karbala. There were journalists, such as Hamid bin Muslim, who was able to narrate to us what took place at Karbala. Likewise, Mukhtar al-Thaqafi, when he caught those who oppressed and killed and butchered the family of Rasul Allah, salla Allahu alayhi wa alih, and their companions, he was able to get out of them statements about what took place.

The likes of; Umar bin Sa'ad, Ubaydallah bin Ziyad, Harmala bin Kahil, Shimr bin Dhi 'l-Jawshan were all captured five years after Karbala and were executed. And they were able to say parts of what took place. Likewise, the Imams of Ahl ul-Bayt, salawatu Allah, wa as-salam alayhim, were able to tell us about what took place at Karbala, in their own way, and their traditions, in the Ziyarat as well.

Therefore, there are many roots in which we are able to know some of what took place at Karbala, and maybe it is a blessing that we don't know about everything that took place, for some of us may not be able to take it.

Wa as-salamu alaykum, wa Rahmatu Allah.
 

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