BS (Social Sciences & Liberal Arts)

Faculty / School

School of Economics and Social Sciences (SESS)


Department of Social Sciences & Liberal Arts

Date of Award

Spring 2022

Date of Submission



Mohammad Nabeel Jafri, Visiting Faculty, Department of Social Sciences

Project Type

SSLA Culminating Experience

Access Type

Restricted Access


Shiʿa Imams' suffering is a widely held belief among Twelver Shiʿa Muslims. There is substantial literature devoted to the how and why of the Imams' suffering. However, the notion of Imams' suffering is a product of history, where it evolved into what it is now known to be. To comprehend the Imams’ suffering, it is necessary to go back to the early Shiʿa texts, as through these primary texts the classical narratives behind the suffering of the Imams are produced and developed. This research paper aims to comprehend how the notion of suffering has been employed to develop narratives about the Imams' martyrdoms. For this purpose, this project researches a specific work by Sheikh al Mufid (336/338-413 AH or 948/950-1022 CE), a highly prominent Shiʿa Twelver scholar of the 10th century, called Kitab al-Irshad, (composed in Baghdad before al-Mufid turned forty). My aim here is to comprehend the themes of the Imams' martyrdom and how these themes loop throughout the text. Once established, I then study the themes in terms of what they imply and symbolize.



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