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Reliving Karbala
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Reliving Karbala: Martyrdom in South Asian Memory

Syed Akbar Hyder


In 680 C.E., a small band of the Prophet Muhammad’s family and their followers, led by his grandson, Husain, rose up in a rebellion against the ruling caliph, Yazid. The family and its supporters, hopelessly outnumbered, were massacred at Karbala, in modern-day Iraq. The story of Karbala is the cornerstone of institutionalized devotion and mourning for millions of Shii Muslims. Apart from its appeal to the Shii community, invocations of Karbala have also come to govern mystical and reformist discourses in the larger Muslim world. Indeed, Karbala even serves as the archetypal resistance and dev ... More

Keywords: Prophet Muhammad, Karbala, Iraq, devotion, mourning, Shii Muslims, religious symbols, South Asia, Islam, martyrdom

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2008 Print ISBN-13: 9780195373028
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195373028.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Syed Akbar Hyder, author
University of Texas at Austin N.U.S.