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I have recently read a work by Sheikh Murtaza Mutahhari regarding distortions surrounding the event of Karbala. Which are the history books that give a proper reliable account of the event?
There are many authentic sources about Karbala tragedy which can be found in the authentic narrations from Ahlul Bayt (AS) in our books of Hadeeth like Al-Kaafi, Al-Tahtheeb, Al-Estibsaar, al-Faqeeh, Jaami' al-Ziyaraat,etc.
What is an authentic history book about Islam during the Prophet's (sawa) lifetime? And what authentic history book discusses the aftermath of his death?
Compiling or writing books was not common during that period. No books were compiled during the time of previous prophets as well simply because people at that time did not have the practice of writing books. Nevertheless, the most important facts are documented and mentioned in Quran and in the authentic Hadeeths from the Prophet (SAWA) and Ahlul Bayt (AS). Aftermath the passing away of the Prophet, there were few books like Kitab Sulaym ibn Qays, which has many historic facts about that period.
The Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) divorced Hafsah Bint Omar as it is narrated in Sunni books like Sunan Abu Dawood 2283 and Ibn Maajah 2016, and An Nasaa'ee 3560, and Al-Mustadrak by Al-Nisaboori , volume 2, page 197 and Al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheeha, V. 5,npage 15.
'They narrated that the Prophet (SAWA) took her back after divorcing her.
It is also narrated that the Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) divorced Daughter of Al-Jawn who told him: I seek refuge of Allah from you. He also divorced daughter of al-Dhahhaak and Omaymah Bint Sharhabeel. All these three were divorced before the consummating of the marriage.
It is also narrated that Prophet Lut divorced his wife who insisted on disobeying Allah, and Prophet Esmael also divorced his wife who was complaining poverty when his father Prophet Ebraheem asked her. The narrations say that Prophet Ebraheem sent a message to his son Esmael to divorce his complaining wife and look for a wife who can tolerate his difficult life.
Were there any similarities in the facts of history between the life and experiences of Prophet Haroon and Ali ibn Abi Talib?
There are many similarities between Prophet Haroon (AS) and Ali ibn Abi Talib (AS).
1. Prophet Haroon (AS) was the brother of Prophet Musa (AS) while Ali (AS) was the cousin brother and spiritual brother of Prophet Muhammad ( (SAWA) who said to Ali : O Ali, You are my brother in this life (Dunham) and hereafter (Aakhirah). (Al-Mustadrak 'Ala al-Saheehain by al-Haakim al-Nisabori, Hadeeth number 4345).
2. Prophet Haroon (AS) was the partner of Prophet Musa (AS) وأشركه في أمري)( Make him my partner in my responsibilities) in conveying the message of Allah to people and facing the hardships from the enemies, while Ali (AS) was the partner of the Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) in his responsibilities in conveying the message and protecting it.
3. Prophet Haroon (AS) was the main helper of Prophet Musa ( AS) وزيرا, while Ali (AS) was the main helper of the Prophet Muhammad (SAWA).
4. Prophet Haroon was the leader of the followers of Musa when used to leave them, اخلفني في قومي ( Be my deputy in my followers) while Ali (AS) was the deputy of the Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) who declared : من كنت مولاه فعلي مولاه For whom so ever I am the leader, Ali is his leader (al-Tareekh al-Kabeer by al-Bukhari, V. 1, P. 375 and V. 4, P. 193) also ( Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Musnad al-Asharah al-Mubashshareen, Hadeeth numbers 606 and 633 and 906 and 915 and 918 and 1242.
5. Prophet Haroon (AS) suffered from deviation of many of the community of Prophet Musa (AS) when he left them, while Imam Ali (AS) suffered the same and more from those Muslims who deviated from the teachings of the Prophet (SAWA) immediately after him.
6. Prophet Haroon had three sons; Shubbar, Shabbir and Mushabbar while Ali ( AS) had from Lady Fatimah (AS) three sons; Hasan, Husain and Mohsin. These names is similar in Arabic to the names of the sons of Prophet Haroon.
7. Prophet Haroon was tortured by some of the community of Prophet Musa (AS) وكادوا يقتلونني while Imam Ali (AS) was tortured and was near to be killed by the Saqeefa gang to force him to give allegiance to them. He was ultimately killed by Ibn Muljam.