Translator’s Foreword

In the Name of Allah, The Most Merciful, The Most Beneficent All praise is for Allah the Lord of the Universe

Peace and Blessings be upon Muhammad the Prophet of Allah and his Holy Progeny

This wonderful work before us by Marhoom Jafar Ali Asil has been translated into English so that it reaches a wide readership. Mourning for Imam Hussain (pbuh), the prophet Muhammad (pbuh)’s grandson, on his brutal murder on the orders of Yazid ibn Muawiya from the Banu Umayya clan, is the bedrock of Shia Muslim life: without Hussain (pbuh)’s sacrifice, there would not have been Islam in its purest pristine form. Thus it is no surprise that over the centuries there have been constant attempts to stop the mourning gatherings that are held, either by attacking the mourners, or by spreading propaganda that mourning and crying is against the spirit of Islam.

By questioning the act of mourning and remembrance, the enemies of Imam Hussain (pbuh) have tried to create an atmosphere of doubt. However, there are two things we take solace in: firstly, that it is Fatima (pbuh)’s prayer and Allah’s promise to her that there will always remain a nation on earth to mourn her son’s supreme sacrifice. Secondly, it is the effort of sincere people like Jafar Ali Asil who spent a lifetime devoted to writing and preaching Islam that we continue to take inspiration to keep the message of Hussain alive.

This translation offered is not always literal, as language semantics need to be taken into account: therefore I have remained as close as possible to the original Urdu whilst also trying not to compromise on the sense and on appropriate use of English expressions and idioms. The author used a very informal tone throughout his work, as it was intended for ordinary readership: I have tried to retain that. Further I have used subheadings which do not appear in the original, for ease of reading. Finally, pbuh/t denotes peace be upon him/her/them, and Quranic references appear with the surah (chapter) number, name, followed by the verse.

The views expressed herein are the original author’s, except for the Introduction and an edit on page 19 (see below for details). The purpose of the Introduction is to explain Islamic history in brief up to the events of Karbala so that it becomes clear to the reader why we cry and mourn for Hussain (pbuh). For further information please consult other more detailed works.

There is only one purpose behind translating this work: to bring Karbala into the very lives and hearts of people, because remembering Hussain (pbuh) at Karbala teaches us core values of humanity and worship. This mourning and commemoration is a miracle, it is a healing, it is an inspiration for the oppressed, it is a lesson in bravery, it is a source of peace par excellence.

Many people collaborated in bringing this message before you: may Allah accept the efforts of each and every one.

R. B. Shah,
United Kingdom 2013