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Translator's Word

This is my humble translation for the epical story of the battle of Karbala. This is the most common story that is used to be read every year in the day of Ashurah (10th day of Moharram, the first month in islamic calendar). This story here is written directly from the available casettes with omission of the usual poems that were said in the iraqi dialect. In this book, only poems in standard Arabic were kept, and some long ones or those who were added by the narrator itself are all omitted. I tried my best on keeping the rhyme (which made me change some words positioning and/or replace words at times), but lot of them lack the rhyme and only the meaning is translated.
This story, can be really cruel to the hearing and to the eyes that read it, but this is indeed what happened back at that time in the year 61 A.H. (almost 680 A.D.). That is why shiites cry every year in this month severely. The cruelty of the enemies of the grandson of the prophet Mohammed did not even spare his infant who was carried by him on his chest, needless to say how they blocked the water from the Household of the prophet Mohammed and killed the grandson of the prophet by thirst, swords and everything their hands could bear. In this version of the story, the true cruelty even is not mentioned and only a simple picturing is gives. There are many other related stories to this battle, and this is natural because there were many resources for this battle, either from the survivors or even from the enemies themselves. Thus, there are some events that are not mentioned here, but could be mentioned in some other books that discuss this event.
In this translation, I will use the word "Allah" instead of "God" like I did in my previous translations. I believe this step makes it more closer to the Arabic culture. Here comes the guide for spelling and pronunciation:

" ' " = Simple glottal stop.
" ` " = Hard glottal stop. Foreginers usually say it like the one above, but it is a common sound in semitic languages.
"á" = Long "A" vowel, like in "Father."
"th" = Usually like "TH" in "thin."
"ð" = Like "TH" in "this."
"h" = Hard fricative sound, closer to "H" but with more voiced friction. Foreginers usually say it simply as "H"
"dh" = Hard plosive sound, usually not found in any language even semitic ones. Can be close to "D."
"zh" = Be careful here, this is NOT like "S" in "pleasure" but it is to represent an absent sound mostly in all languages which is a lighter version of the above. The representation here reflects the fact that turkish people used to spell this letter like heavy "Z."

"kh" = The usual sound in german "bach" or the scottish "loch."
"gh" = Mostly like the french R.
"q" = A hard "K" sound, like the way it is said in filippino language.
"s" = A hard "S" sound almost like "S" in "Sun" or almost like the german "ß."
"t" = A hard "T" sound, maybe closer to the japanese way of saying "T" or the spanish one.
"^"  = This is a separator between letters to make sure they are not mixed into one of the combinations mentioned above.
"PUH" = Peace Upon Him/Her. Said to holy people usually.
"PUT" = Peace Upon Them.
"MADH" = May Allah Damn Him/Her. Usually said to people that are believed to damned by God for their bad deeds.
"MAPH" = May Allah Please Him/Her. Usually said to the good companions of the prophet, of the successors of the prophet, and sometimes to great scholars after they die.
"MMAUH" = May the Mercy of Allah be Upon Him/Her. Almost similar to the usual "Rest in Peace" but it is more considered like a pray to God to have the mercy upon the dead person. Usually it follows (in speech) the name of the dead person.

[...] = These are my own comments.
[C] = It means the term is coined by me.

This book, contains 4 parts. First part is a little preview over the famous narrator of this epical battle, Sheik `Abdul-Zahrá' Al-Ka`bee, whose famous voice is always in the minds of shiites all around the world. The second part is a word about the revolution of Al-Husayn (or Al-Hussein, or Al-Husain) and what were the goals and what are the benefits that Islam gained in return after such a massacre that reached the grandson of the prophet, Al-Husayn, and his companions. The third part is the story itself, and the fourth is the story of the prisoners of women and children of Al-Husayn who were captured as prisoners and their journey in captivity from Karbala in Iraq to Damascus, the capital of the Umayyad state, then back to Karbala then back to Medina.
I will try my best, and please, if you are able or trying to learn Arabic, then I advise you to read it in Arabic since the literature here is the main factor of the emotional state, especially considering the poetry that was flowing in the battle fields by the heroes of Karbala.
Keep a tear in your eye, you will never know when do you need it.

Taher Al-Shemaly (TJ)

Next: A Biography of `Abdul-Zahrá' Al-Ka`bee (MMAUH)