Nafas al-mahmum (book)
|Author||Shaykh 'Abbas Qummi|
|Original title||نفس المهموم|
|En. title||Nafasul Mahmum, Relating to the heart rending tragedy of Karbala'|
|Translator||Aejaz Ali T Bhujwala (Al Husaynee)|
|En. publisher||Islamic Study Circle|
Nafas al-mahmūm fī muṣībat sayyidina al-Ḥusayn al-maẓlūm, (Arabic: نَفَسُ المَهموم فی مصیبة سیدنا الحسین المظلوم) is a book written by Shaykh 'Abbas Qummi, regarding the Event of Karbala and the following incidents. It begins with the birth of Imam al-Husayn (a) and goes on with his holiness virtues, and then describes all the events regarding his allegiance and his martyrdom. Mirza Abu l-Hasan Sha'rani and Muhammad Baqir Kamari'i have translated the book into Persian.
- Main article: Shaykh 'Abbas Qumi
'Abbas b. Muhammad Rida al-Qummi (b. 1294/1877 - d. 1359/1941), known as Shaykh 'Abbas Qummi or as Muhaddith Qummi, was one of the prominent Shi'a scholars of the 14th century in hadith, history, and preaching and sermon. He was the author of many books in various fields, the most famous ones which are; Mafatih al-jinan, Safinat al-bihar, and Muntaha al-Amal. Muhaddith Qummi passed away in the year 1359 AH/1941 in Najaf, and was buried in the shrine of 'Ali b. Abitalib (a) .
Considering his motivation for writing the book, Shaykh 'Abbas has said:
"I longed to write a brief book about the martyrdom of our master Imam al-Husayn (a), and to cover in a book what I consider authentic and has passed to me from reliable narrators and with a complete chain of narrators. But I was constantly restrained from this purpose by barriers and occupations, until I was honored to make a pilgrimage to the tomb of Imam al-Rida (a), and in his holy shrine I prayed and asked God to give me the chance and grant my wish, for that was my greatest desire."
The name of the book is inspired by a hadith from Imam al-Sadiq (a) that he said; "the breathing of the stricken by the oppression carried upon us is as reciting rosary, and the grief over us is worship of God, and the reservation and concealment of our secret is jihad for the sake of God." Imam al-Sadiq (a) then added; "this hadith must be written in gold letters." Muhaddith Qummi therefore, has called his book this name (the breathing of the stricken), since it reminds of the miseries of Ahl al-Bayt (a).
The book includes five chapters and a conclusion:
- The first chapter; is divided into two parts, the first which covers Imam al-Husayn's (a) virtues, and sequentially describes his courage, knowledge, diction, asceticism, humbleness, and worship, and the second discusses the reward of weeping for the misery of Imam al-Husayn (a), and the reward of cursing his murderers.
- The second chapter; is about what happened to Imam al-Husayn (a) after people pledged allegiance to Yazid b. Mu'awiya, until the martyrdom of his holiness. This is the longest chapter of the book including 20 sections, which also describes the martyrdom of Rushayd al-Hajari, Hujr b. 'Adi, and 'Amr b. Hamiq, before the Event of Karbala.
- The third chapter; covers the incidents following to the martyrdom of Imam al-Husayn (a) and his brothers, children, and companions in several sections.
- The forth chapter; describes what happened by the time Imam al-Husayn (a) was murdered such as; the cry of the sky, the groan of the angels, and the weep of the genies.
- The fifth chapter; is about the wives and children of the Imam, and the merits of pilgrimage to his tomb, and the oppression of tyrants destroying his holy shrine.
- The conclusion covers the Tawwabin and Mukhtar revolts.
Reporting the Event of Karbala, preachers would use various references before the book Nafas al-mahmum was written, such as; Bihar al-anwar vol. 10, Muthir al-ahzan by Ibn Nima al-Hilli, Muhayyij al-ahzan by Sayyid 'Abd Allah Shubbar, al-Luhuf by Ibn Tawus, Maqtal of Abu Mikhnaf, etc. None of these books though, as 'Ali Dawani observes, quenched the thirst of the seekers of the Event of Karbala and were comprehensive. Muhaddith Qummi therefore, compiled his book from all he knew as authentic and valid in reliable sources.
Shaykh 'Abbas has used the following books as reference:
- Al-Irshad by al-Shaykh al-Mufid,
- Al-Malhuf 'ala qatla al-tufuf, commonly regarded as al-Luhuf, by Sayyid b. Tawus,
- Tarikh Kamil by Ibn Athir al-Jurzi,
- Tarikh al-rusul wa l-muluk by Muhammad b. Jarir al-Tabari,
- Maqatil al-talibiyyin by Abu l-faraj Isfahani,
- Muruj al-zahab wa ma'adin al-jawhar by 'Ali b. Husayn al-Mas'udi,
- Tazkirat al-khawass by Sibt b. al-Jawzi,
- Matalib al-su'ul fi manaqib al al-rasul by Muhammad b. Talha al-Shafi'i,
- Al-fusul al-muhimma fi ma'rifat al-a'imma by Ibn Sabbaq al-Maliki,
- Kashf al-ghumma by 'Ali b. 'Isa al-Irbili,
- Al-'Iqd al-farid by Ahmad b. Muhammad al-Qurtubi al-Maliki,
- Al-Ihtijaj by Ahmad b. 'Ali Tabrisi,
- Al-Manaqib by Ibn Shahr Ashub,
- Rawdat al-wa'izin by al-Fattal al-Nisaburi,
- Muthir al-ahzan by Ibn Nima al-Hilli,
- Rawdat al-safa by Khavandshah,
- Tasliyat al-majalis by Muhammad b. Abitalib Musa Husayni.
Author's Request to Respect the Intellectual Property Right of the Book
The author has asked readers to mention the name of the book and author when narrating or reporting a part of his book. He stated that:
Following to this observation, Shaykh 'Abbas mentions the impropriety of plagiarism which he considers as even worse than robbery.
- This book was first translated into Persian by Mirza Abu l-Hasan Sha'rani titled as Dam' al-sujum. He made an amendment to the book in 1396 AH/1976, and translated it into Persian a year later. The disadvantage of this translation is that many explanations and annotations (as poetry or prose) are added to the book, while no distinction has been made between them and the actual text of the book.
- Muhammad Baqir Kamari'i also has translated the book into Persian in 1339 SH/1961 titled as Rumuz al-shahada or Dar Karbala chi guzasht. Furthermore, he attached to the book a translation of the book Nafthah al-masdur written by the same author, for he knew it as a complementary to Nafas al-mahmum. Another feature of this translation is that the Arabic poems at the end of the book are replaced with some Persian poems by Muhammad Husayn Isfahani and Akhtar Tusi. 'Ali Dawani has acclaimed this interpretation.
- This book has been translated into English by Aejaz Ali T Bhujwala (Al Husaynee) as "Nafasul Mahmum, Relating to the heart rending tragedy of Karbala".
Sayyid 'Ali Kashifi Khwansari has summarized and revised this book.
- al-Shaykh al-Mufid, al-Amali, p.338
- Dawani, Mafakhir, vol.11 p.624
- Dawani, Mafakhir, vol.11 p.624
- Qummi, Nafas al-mahmum, p.6-9
- Kashifi, Guzidi nafas al-mahmum, p.41
- Kamari'i, Rumuz, p. 236-274
- The material for writing this article is mainly taken from نفس المهموم (کتاب)
- Dawani, 'Ali, Mafakhir-i islam. Intisharat markaz-i asnad-i inqilab-i islami, 1377
- Qummi, 'Abbas, Nafas al-mahmum. Manshurat dhawi al-qurba, 1379
- Kashifi khwansari, Sayyid 'Ali, Guzidi nafas al-mahmum. Tehran: Kanun parwarish fikri kunakan wa nawjawanan, 1384
- Kamari'i, Muhammad Baqir, Rumuz al-shahada. Intisharat kitabchi, 1376
- Shayk al-Mufid, al-Amali, ed. Husayn UstadWali and 'Ali Akbar Ghaffari, Qom: Kungiri Shaykh Mufid, 1413 AH