TEHRAN – The Rawadat al-Shuhada (Garden of the Martyrs), a Persian book written over 500 years ago about the suffering and martyrdom of Imam Hussein (AS) and other martyrs at the Battle of Karbala on Ashura, has been published in its entirety.
Persian language scholar Hassan Zolfaqari has made some corrections to the book originally written by Mulla Husayn Waiz Kashifi (d. 1504).
Rawazah is an Arabic word that literally means garden, but following the release of the book in the late 15th century, Iranians began using this word to name a remembrance through recitations and chanting of the suffering and martyrdom of Imam Hussein (AS) and other martyrs “rawzah”.
In addition, rawzah khani, narrative accounts of Imam Hussein’s martyrdom, began emerging after the publication of the book at that time.
Recitations are performed at various types of religious gatherings throughout the year, especially on the anniversaries of the martyrdom dates of the Imams and other saintly figures such as Hazrat Fatima, the daughter of the Prophet Muhammad (S) and wife of Imam Ali (AS), the first Imam.
The book was later used by some other scholars as a major source to create maqtals, reports of Imam’s martyrdom, during the Safavid period and Qajar era.
Parts of the Rawadat al-Shuhada had been published earlier. The book also has recounts of other Shia saints’ suffering during their lives.
The Battle of Karbala took place on Ashura, the tenth of Muharram in 680, during which Imam Hussein (AS) and his loyal companions fought against the forces of the Umayyad Yazid, an illegitimate, oppressive usurper of the caliphate.
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