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In the Name of God بسم الله

Al-Husayn bin ‘Ali - in the eyes of academics

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I think it seems like a well made documentary and Rebecca Masterton is a very staunch traditional Shia.

 The academic amongst us brothers your input and comments would be most appreciated. I am not going to tag anyone but we all know who they are. 

Anyone not sticking to the norms of posting among brothers for the sake of learning will be asked not to participate in this thread.  And please do not copy paste long passages, instead give us your own input again not without proofs. 

Jazakallah khair.  

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1 hour ago, Panzerwaffe said:

I'm not qualified to comment here by any means  but if u allow me can I add a few ?

You definitely are well qualified brother. Give me some credit for my observations on shiachat all these years.

You might have forgotten but years ago almost six I had asked you for a historical book to read to get upto speed with our history. 

Have respect for you. 

Edited by haideriam
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Regarding this lady scholar I applaud her efforts and knowledge but  my issues are following 

1 it is a inquiry into academic side  And she does not even mention the names of the  primary sources or  The timeline of the compilation of events 

2  She jumps too much from one topic to another there is absolutely no coherence , the first scholar  Mentions tribalism was a huge problem in Arab society after Prophet there is no mention that the state followed by Omar was trying to replace that  by a meritocracy based on early conversion albeit with qureshi precedence.Incidentally Shias themselves are on the same page  When it comes to giving precedence based on tribe I.e banu hashim first 

So in all honesty Shia egalitarianism is just as selective as that of Umar , although I would say based on merit and sacrifices Ali had a great claim to successor of Prophet but following the same principle Ansar after Ali were biggest contenders not any other hashimite? Because who other than Jafar , and Hamza amongst hashimite coul boast of such services as Ali ? Yet both were sadly dead 

3 Ummayyad vs hashimi rivalry is not the core cause of Karbala as she claims it's more the clash of imperialist roman model of centralized Syrian ummayyads and tribal consultative consul of ancient Arab traditions espoused by earlier converts and their sons settled in Iraq and hijaz , one must remember abdur rehman b abibakr  he is the  1st one to raise voice against succession of yazid and was allegedly poisoned by muawiyah.This is further supported that Iraqis were so wary of ummayyad control that they followed ANY Arab  leader whether a neo-Shia like  mukhtar,  proto Sunni like ibn zubair or opportunist tribal like ibn ashath to counter their influence.This is a broader perspective of Karbala movement from Iraqi nationalist point of view 

4 I feel like she  Just focused on work for  her ideological agenda and ignore the rest like for example when the 2nd scholar was saying that  Karbila commemorations became an important part of Shia culture and later down-the-line it was these commemorations and these pilgrimage to certain sites that distinguish them from the rest of the community essentially saying that evolution of Shia  thought occurred over time.That part she just ignored........

I'll post more a little later 


Edited by Panzerwaffe
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3rd scholar who is Shia very artfully explains that any grace or humility shown by yazid to member of husyan family was part of typical ummayyad political finesse, so those reports if show up in historical records are not automatically anti Alid 

He also rightly says that most Muslim world from east to Africa was naturally sympathetic to husyan whether Shia or not 

This nuanced approach by Exeter professor was refreshing but masterton has no comments. She only perks up her ears when 3rd shi a scholar rightly says that Sunnis initially did not recognize Ali as the rightful caliph. This is true but considering the anti alid environment their Imams lived in was hardly surprising , masterton could have added here to keep record straight most Sunni Imams esp from Iraq and hijaz were pro Alid Sunnis and whose masters had been companions of Imam Ali.Seems like her sectarian agenda got in the way of it acknowledging it

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Also there was no comparison of hussains movement in 60 AH with that of Ali revolution in 36 AH 

They have a lot in common

A previous period of political quietism 

A pressure from ummah to take leadership

Lack of support from other quraish subtribes

Reluctant and some incompetent family relatives 

Both start of initially as reform movements not militaristic adventures e.g when Aisha attack and seize basra Ali leaves medina with only 700 men mostly of Ansar it's a puny force hardly a threat considering forces in the subsequent battles were over 20000 each.

It's only after all chance of peace fail Ali sends his son and nephew to secure allegiance of kufans much like husyan will later send Muslim b aqeel 

This Gravitation towards major power center of Iraq in 36 ah and 60 ah is unavoidable and completely understandable, which along with egypt and Syria were the only places to have incase of a movement to overthrow a tyrant govt due to

A large grain supplies

B cadre of military veterans 

C large urban infrastructure needed to run an empire 

D control of communications routes 

E big urban centers were also breeding grounds for religious ideas far from the more ossified atmosphere of mecca where quraish were trying hard to maintain status quo 

So why did Ali succeeded so easily in 36 AH yet it was so difficult for husyan in 60 AH?

Not only did Ali secure bayat of all major personalities in hijaz without coercion ( which Hussain could not or will not  maybe )but his network of followers in Iraq was far more successful than husayns 

Even though one might argue people will be a lot more inclined to oppose ummayyads after 20 yrs of muawiyah tyranny in Iraq and hijaz 

Its only natural what Ali did in 36 AH I.e taking charge of a faltering ummah should have been the same eventual goal of husyan movement in 60 AH when situation was just as grave,  no logical reason to think otherwise.Making a sojourn to Iraq to preach disciples would have hardly raised ummayyad eye brows.Lots of senior sahaba preached right under the noses of muawiyah in Syria sometime openly criticizing him yet they remained immune as long as their criticism was restricted to muawiyah violation of fiqah matters and did not interfere in politics.This hypocritical and arrogant attitude of muawiyah was later much touted by his supporters as his " hilm" .Yet Syrian wolves would so mercilessly crush husayns migration to kufa ? There must have been some alarm bells ringing in Damascus 

These are some questions worth exploring In my humble opinion 

And God knows best 


Edited by Panzerwaffe
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Final question remains 

 When all was lost and there was no hope of any help coming from Kufa why did Hussein fight to the last man, sacrificing his male relatives probably the most painful experience a Arab tribal leader could have

he could have done what Ali did at the time of arbitration, or what Prophet did at hudabiyah some might argue 

Obviously there are a lot of ifs and buts and since our sources are not 100% reliable no one will know for sure 

Here I diverge considerably from western scholarly opinion Which seems to portray all actions taken by medevial leaders as a product of economic or political gain we sometimes forget it was a very different world at that time.People would die to honor their word , loyalty meant everything, salvation in afterlife was a real life concern not merely lip service and  Warnings of apocalyptic visions of end of Earth  seem to be in the near and not too distant future.So It is quite rational Imam Hussain (عليه السلام)  perspective to think that sacrifice of 18 males of  banu hashim was well worth it if it smears the hated tyrannical regime forever and causes it downfall if it spared the lives of thousands of other Muslims who would have undoubtedly have died during their rule in extra judicial killings just like in time of muawiyah but then Hussain was silent to honor the word of treaty,  now he was free from all such inhibitions.This is again just my guess 

At the very least what we can say is to present the testimony of his contemporary Musab b zubair by no means a likable character by himself yet the husband of sukayna bint husayn.When surrounded by ummayyads , sukayna advised he should compromise but he replied to the effect of "  Your father Hussein has raised the bar of chivalry and bravery to such an extent that no honorable leader would accept A fate other than fighting to the last man" 




Sorry brother any criticism of Dr....... Masterton was purely to highlight a certain bias I felt watching this video I don't know much about her to comment on anything further 

Edited by Panzerwaffe
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