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Thar Allah

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​ ​ Thār Allāh (Arabic: ثار الله) is a title of Imam al-Husayn (a) which is mentioned in Ziyarah Ashura. There are different interpretations of this term. A well-known interpretation is that God will revenge for Husayn's (a) blood.

Title of Imam al-Husayn

In Shiite hadiths and texts, "Thar Allah" is a title of Imam al-Husayn (a). In some ziyarahs of Imam al-Husayn (a), including Ziyarah Ashura and Ziyarah al-Warith, it appears in phrases such as "Al-salam Alayk ya Thar Allah wa ibn Tharih" (Peace be upon you, O "Thar" [blood] of God and the son of His "Thar").[1] It is also mentioned in Ziyarah of Imam al-Husayn (a) in the frist day of Rajab, middle of Rajjab and Sha'ban and in the day of Arafa.

A prominent Shiite poet, ibn Rumi(d. 283/896-97) used the phrase in a long poem he composed for the elegies of Yahya b. Umar,[2] a great grandson of Imam al-Husayn (a) who was martyred in 250/864-65 at the command of the Abbasid caliph.[3]

Meaning

"Thār" literally means revenge for the blood[4] (murderer and enemy are also mentioned as its meaning).[5] Its verb form means to kill a murderer in order to avenge the victim.

In Ziyarahs

In some of the ziyarahs of Imam al-Husayn (a), after using this title for that Imam, Its meaning is explained. According to these explanations, Imam al-Husayn (a) is "Thar Allah on Earth", and God is the avenger of his blood who calls everyone to avenge for him.[6] Finally, heirs (wali al-dam) of Imam al-Husayn will avenge for him, or it is said that Imam al-Husayn (a) himself will avenge for his own and his family's blood from his enemies after raj'a.[7]

According to Lexicographers and Scholars of Hadiths

In general, scholars of hadiths and lexicographers have mentioned 5 meanings for "Thar Allah":

  • "Thar Allah" means: a person for whom God will avenge (the phrase originally was "ahl thar Allah" and the word "ahl" [people who have the right] before "Thar" is elliptical).
  • "Thar Allah" means: someone whose avenger is God ("Thar" is an object noun, that is, a person who is killed and has avengers).
  • "Thar Allah" means God's blood. Thar Allah is used metaphorically similar to phrases such as "'Ayn Allah" (God's eye) and "Yad Allah" (God's hand).
  • "Thar" is a distorted form of "Tha'ir", meaning: a person who avenges for the sake of God.
  • "Thar" means an avenged blood. Thus, "Thar Allah" means a blood whose heir (wali al-dam) or avenger is God.[8]

Abu l-Fadl al-Tihrani, in his book Shifa' al-sudur fi sharh ziyarat al-ashur which is one of the famous commentaries on Ziyarah Ashura, criticizes four aforementioned meanings and offers the last meaning.[9]

Related Works

Al-Lari wrote an essay for the exposition of the hadith of "Ya Thar Allah wa ibn Tharih" and discussed some issues about "Thar Allah". He has also elaborated some arguments for the infallibility of Ahl al-Bayt (a).

Notes

  1. See: Ibn Qulawayh, Kāmil al-zīyārāt, p. 176, 195, 196, 199; Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, vol. 4, p. 576.
  2. Ibn Rūmī, Dīwān, vol. 2, p. 27.
  3. Abū l-Faraj al-Iṣfahānī, Maqātil al-ṭālibīyyīn, p. 506.
  4. Zubaydī, Tāj al-ʿarūs, vol. 6, p. 138.
  5. Farāhīdī, al-ʿAyn, vol. 8, p. 236.
  6. Ibn Qulawayh, Kāmil al-zīyārāt, p. 218.
  7. Majlisī, Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 98, p. 151.
  8. Ṭihrānī, Shifāʾ al-ṣudūr, p. 163-164.
  9. Ṭihrānī, Shifāʾ al-ṣudūr, p. 163-165.

References

  • Abū l-Faraj al-Iṣfahānī, Maqātil al-ṭālibīyyīn. Edited by Sayyid Aḥmad Ṣaqar. Beirut: Dār al-Maʿrifa, [n.d].
  • Farāhīdī, Khalīl b. Aḥmad al-. Al-ʿAyn. Edited by Mahdī Makhzūmī & Ibrāhīm Sāmirrāʾī. Qom: Hijrat, 1410 AH.
  • Ibn Qulawayh, Jaʿfar b. Muḥammad. Kāmil al-zīyārāt. Edited by ʿAbd al-Ḥusayn Amīnī. Najaf: Dār al-Murtaḍawīyya, 1356 Sh.
  • Ibn Rūmī, ʿAlī b. ʿAbbās. Dīwān. Edited by ʿAbd al-Amīr ʿAlī Mahnā. Beirut: [n.d], 1411 AH.
  • Kulaynī, Muḥammad b. Yaʿqūb al-. Al-Kāfī. Edited by ʿAlī Akbar Ghaffārī & Muḥammad Ākhūndī. Tehran: Dār al-Kutub al-Islāmīyya, 1407 AH.
  • Majlisī, Muḥammad Bāqir al-. Biḥār al-anwār. Beirut: Dār Iḥyāʾ al-Turāth al-ʿArabī, 1403 AH.
  • Ṭihrānī, Abū l-Faḍl b. Abū l-Qāsim al-. Shifāʾ al-ṣudūr fī sharḥ zīyārat al-ʿĀshūr. Tehran: Murtaḍawī, 1376 Sh.
  • Zubaydī, Muḥammad Murtaḍā al-. Tāj al-ʿarūs min jawāhir al-qāmūs. Edited by ʿAlī Shīrī. Beirut: Dār al-Fikr, 1414 AH.