Al-Arba'in al-Husayniyya (book)

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Al-Arba'in al-Husayniyya (book)
کتاب الاربعین الحسینیه.png
AuthorMirza Muhammad Arbab al-Qummi
Original titleالاربعین الحسینیة
Series1 volume
SubjectImam al-Husayn (a)
Published1372 SH/1993-4

Al-Arba'īn al-Ḥusaynīyya (Arabic: الاربعین الحسینیة) is a book in Persian written by Mirza Muhammad Arbab al-Qummi (d. 1341/1922). The book was written in 1328/1910-1. The author criticizes some types of mourning for Imam al-Husayn (a) and some authors of maqtal (narration of the Imam's murder), and then explains forty hadiths about the Imam (a).

The Author

Muhammad Arbab al-Qummi (1273/1856-7 -1341/1922) was born in Qom. He went to Iraq when he was an adolescent, and attended the lectures of Sayyid Muhammad Hasan Shirazi in Samarra, as well as those of Mirza Habib Allah Rashti and Akhund Mulla Muhammad Kazim Khurasani in Najaf. He returned to Qom after receiving a permission for ijtihad from Akhund Khurasani and Mirza Habib Allah Rashti and permission for the transmission of hadiths from al-Muhaddith al-Nuri, Shari'at Isfahani, and Mirza Husayn Khalili Tihrani.[1] His most important works include al-Arba'in al-Husayniyya, his exposition of al-Shahid al-Awwal's book, and Rujum al-shayatin (a refutation of Babism and Baha'ism). Haj Muhammad Arbab al-Qummi has a diwan (collection of poems) as well.[2]

The Story of Writing the Book

According to reports, al-Muhaddith al-Nuri assigned Arbab with the comparison and correction of Bihar al-anwar before its printed publication. As a result of the strenuous work, Arbab lost his eyesight. Thus, he made a vow (nadhr) to God to the effect that if his eyesight was back, he would write the book, al-Arba'in.[3]


In this book, Mirza Muhammad Arbab cites forty hadiths about Imam al-Husayn (a), and then provides expositions of these hadiths drawing upon other hadiths, exegeses of the Qur'an, history, theology, Arabic and Persian poems, lexicography, and jurisprudence, under titles such as "bayan" (exposition), "bayanat" (expositions), and "takmila" (supplements).

In the first hadith, the author cites his continuous chain of transmission from al-Muhaddith al-Nuri to the infallible Imams (a),[4] and in the last hadith, he recounts his chains of transmission through Mirza Husayn Khalili Tihrani, Sayyid Muhammad Hindi Najafi, Shaykh al-Shari'a Isfahani, and al-Muhaddith al-Nuri.[5]

In general, the book discusses the following issues:

1. The month of Muharram and crying for Sayyid al-Shuhada'.

2. Some events and speeches during Imam al-Husayn's (a) travel from Medina to Karbala

3. Catastrophes of Karbala and the martyrdom of Imam al-Husayn (a)

4. The Ziyara of Imam al-Husayn (a)

5. The virtues of Imam al-Husayn's (a) companions and helpers, and vices of his enemies

6. Events of the Caravan of Captives in Kufa and Syria

7. Reactions of Ahl al-Bayt (a) to the martyrdom of Imam al-Husayn (a).[6]

Critique of Maqtal Writers

The author opens the book by a critique of some mourning ceremonies for Imam al-Husayn (a) and some maqtal writers who do not act upon the laws of shari'a and cause objections by other Islamic denominations and other religions. He recommends those who mourn for Imam al-Husayn (a) to refrain from forbidden acts, fake catastrophes, and playing musical instruments.[7]

He criticizes some maqtals as well for citing unreliable sources and distorted, unsubstantiated events such as the wedding of Qasim. To support his claims, the author cites the books, Rawdat al-shuhada' and al-Turayhi's al-Muntakhab, as those containing strange contents.[8]


  1. Sharīf Rāzī, Ganjīna-yi dānishmandān, vol. 1, p. 152; Mudarris-i khiyābānī, Reyḥānt al-adab, vol. 3, p. 320; Āqā Buzurg al-Tihrānī, Al-Dharīʿa, vol. 1, p. 425.
  2. Sharīf Rāzī, Āthār al-ḥujjat, vol. 1, p. 221; Biography of Haj Muhammad Arbab Qummi, (Persian).
  3. Nujūm ʿummat, (Mirzā Muḥammad arbāb), p. 84.
  4. Arbāb, arbaʿīn ḥusaynīya, p. 11.
  5. Arbāb, arbaʿīn ḥusaynīya, p. 371.
  6. Arbāb, arbaʿīn ḥusaynīya, p. 385-399.
  7. Arbāb, arbaʿīn ḥusaynīya, p. 8-9.
  8. Arbāb, arbaʿīn ḥusaynīya, p. 8-9.


  • Amīn, al-Sayyid Muḥsin al-.Aʿyān al-Shīʿa. Beirut: Dār al-Taʿāruf, 1421 AH.
  • Āqā Buzurg al-Tihrānī, Muḥammad Muḥsin. Al-Dharīʿa ilā taṣānīf al-shīʿa. Beirut: Dār al-Aḍwāʾ, 1403 AH.
  • Arbāb, Muḥammad. Arbaʿīn ḥusaynīya. Tehran: Intishārāt-i Uswa, 1372 Sh.
  • Zindigīnāma-yi Hāj Muḥammad Arbāb Qummi. (The Biography of Hāj Muḥammad Arbāb Qommi), (Persian).
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  • Nūr-i ʿIlm Magazine. Nujūm ʿummat 13.(Āyatollāh Mirzā Muḥammad Qommi), Summer 1365 Sh. No 16.
  • Sharīf Rāzī, Muḥammad. Āthār al-ḥujjat or Dāʾirat al-maʿārif Ḥawza-yi Ilmīya-yi Qom. Qom: Intishārāt-i Nuwīn, 1335 Sh.
  • Sharīf Rāzī, Muḥammad. Ganjīna-yi dānishmandān. Tehran: Kitābfurūshī-yi Islāmīya, 1352-1354 Sh.