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['Aalim Network QR] Narrations of the Tragedy of Kerbala

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|       In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the All-Merciful       |\
|  Greeting of Allah be upon Muhammad and the pure members of his House |\

Salaamun Alaykum

Please find below the questions on the narrations of the Tragedy of Kerbala to
which the reply was kindly provided by Ma'alim Hamid Mavani.


With Duas and Salaams

Maqbul Rahim
Acting Moderator for ABDG-A


Q1. Is the narration that Habib Ibn Mazahir had died when he was young and was
brought back to life to/for Imam Husayn (as) authentic and true.

ANSWER:  I have not come across this narration in reliable works of
maqtal and It appears not to be accepted generally as authentic acccording to my

Q2. Why do we hear varying accounts of Kerbala on the minbars in relation to (a
the marriage and ta'weez of Qasim, (b) Zaynul 'Aabideen a.s. being younger than
'Ali al Akbar and (c) Prisoners of Karbala being kept in prison for a year in
Sham by Yazid.

(a)  This report of marriage of Qasim to one of the daughters of
Imam Husayn (a.s.) is suspicious and thus not vouched by the scholars.
This question was put to Ayatullah Khu'i and he responded that this
anecdote is not proven or established according to him.  Thus, the
preachers have an obligation to exercise precaution and avoid relating
such weak narrations.  This was the advise given by the late Ayat. Khui.

(b) Hadith reports were manufactured in wholesale and thus the scholars
have to scrutinize them, but there is no guarantee that they will come
to the same conclusion.  We just have to learn to live with these
differences.  From a practical point of view, does it really make a
gigantic difference to a believer's life on who was elder than the
other - i.e. between Imam Zayn-ul-Abidin (a.s.) and Ali Akbar (a.s.)?
These are marginal issues that should not consume the bulk of the
energy of the preacher.

(c)  Based on reliable historical accounts, they were kept for only
a short while.  This is what Shaykh Mufid writes in Kitab al-Irshad on
pp. 369-70:  "Then he [Yazid] ordered the women to be lodged in a house
on (the) banks (of the river).  With them (also he sent) their brother,
'Ali b. al-Husayn, peace be on them.  (Later) a house was set aside for
them, which was attached to Yazid's own house.  They resided (there) for
several days.  (After a short time) he summoned al-Nu'man b. Bashir and
told himm to make preparations to take these women back to Medina."

Q3. How can the problem of  unauthentic narations of Kerbala be dealt  with.


Through scrutinizing the narrations so that the authentic ones
can be sifted from the fabricated ones.  There is a highly developed
science in this area of hadith.  The problem arises from the zakir(a)/s
who are not properly trained and thus relate whatever they have read
or heard from other zakir(a)/s. Pretty soon, these reports receive wide
currency and become to be regarded as authentic reports.  Take the
example of the marriage of Qasim (a.s.).  Some of the reports that
are related from mimbar are blatantly false and invented to arouse
public emotion.  This is certainly immoral and unethical.

Q4. Is it true that it does not matter whether these things are authentic
or not so long as these things make us cry and that telling the truth about
these things or not is outside the jurisdiction of the Shari'ah.


Attributing false reports would constitute a lie (kidhb) and
a grave sin especially when it is done from the mimbar of the Prophet(S)
which should be a platform for transmitting authentic information.
To invent traditions under the pretense that it is done to induce
people to cry is treasonous.  May Allah (s.w.t.) protect us all from
this sin.  Ayatullah Khu'i's advise was that one should exercise caution
even when relating those things about which one is not sure, let alone
forging traditions. The problem is that, often at times, the preachers
slip and err because the audience demands such passionate statements.
If he/she does not cater to this demand, then no invitation will be
forthcoming in the future.  We need to educate the audience so that they
do not lobby for such kind of majlises and explain to them the
philosophy of Kerbala in its true sense.  Whenever you hear a report
that is suspicious or does not make sense, kindly approach the preacher
and ask him for his source.  If this is done on a regular basis, all
preachers will avoid relating questionable and false narrations.  Thus,
it is a symbiotic relationship between the preacher and the audience,
and the latter will have to play a more active role to bring about
reform and change.

wa bi-l-laahi-t-tawfiq,

Hamid Mavani

SOURCES:  Books on Maqtal
          Shaykh Mufid, Kital al-Irshad
          Ayat. Khu'i, Masa'ilah wa rudud


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