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The Martyrs of Karbala: Shi'i Symbols and Rituals in Modern Iran Paperback – October 1, 2004
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"For those concerned with the political currency of religious ritual and symbolism among the Shi'ites of Iran, take heed of Kamran Scot Aghaie's Martyrs of Karbala..An essential study for our leaders and general readers alike."―Virginia Quarterly Review
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Since that time, the Tragedy is remembered as a solemn event by sad lamentations (populalrly known as AZADARI), as an effort to protect the basic human rights by a lone crusader against a tyrannical despot, and as the struggle for true and pristine Islam against a debauch oppressor who had taken the garb of a Caliph.
The Shi’a Muslims have taken that as a part of their religious duty and practice that lamentation mixed with some demonstrations. Iran being the majority Shi’a country, stands out for that practice. However, the Iranian general public has developed a custom of T’aziyya to commemorate the tragedy which consists of street dramas which look like a celebration more than a solemn observation of a tragedy. Scholars who have written about the Tragedy have obviously been attracted to those dramas rather than to the true passion and the underlying philosophy of the great sacrifice presented by Husayn.
A number of books have appeared describing the Tragedy. Kamran Scott Aghai’s The Martyrs of Karbala is one such book. This book, as we mentioned, is also full of glossy pictures and describes the Iranian tradition of T’aziyya.
However, the main spread of the Karbala observance has happened in the wider world through the South Asian culture of India/Pakistan, so is true about the U.K. and the U.S.A.Read more ›