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This book which is written on Imam Hossein’s place of execution, is the most comprehensive book on the events in Karbala, the martyrdom of Imam Hossein (the third Imam of Shias) and his companions and also oppression and cruelty of Umayyads towards the Prophet’s family. Maqtal is an Arabic term, meaning the place of execution. Because the way of Imam’s martyrdom and the events in Karbala (the place of his martyrdom) are explained by Abu Mekhnaf, therefore it is known as “the Maqtal of Abu Mekhnaf”.
Lut Ibn Yahya Azudi, known as “Abu Mekhnaf”; great Shia historian and traditionist and one of the companions of Imam Sadeq (the sixth Imam of Shias). In spite of his fame, there is not much information of his life. According to the historians, he was born in 689. Abu Mekhnaf compiled the events of the early years of Islam, especially the events of Iraq, therefore there are little information about the events of Iran, Egypt and Syria. Unfortunately, the book has been lost by the passage of time. It seems the most complete text of this book is inserted in the book, “Tabari History”. In any case, this work of Abu Mekhnaf, is the most important and reliable source for the events in Karbala, which is concerned profoundly by the later writers. It is said that he died in 774.
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