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About the Map of Imam Husayn's Journey to Karbala

About the Map of Imam Husayn's Journey to Karbala

This map shows Imam Husayn's journey from Madinah to Karbala' in 60/680 CE, and the journey of his family from Karbala' to Damascus and back to Karbala'. The route of the Imam's journey was determined by cities mentioned in Maqtal al-Husayn by 'Abdul Razzaq Muqarram.

Some of the cities are positioned according to locations given by Tavo in a map of Islamic Arabia until the death of the Prophet. The route that the Imam took from Makkah to Karbala' follows, in reverse, a popular pilgrim route from Kufah to Makkah, which later became Tariq Zubayda.

The Imam followed this route until prevented by Hurr from continuing towards Kufah. Thereupon, he deviated from the route and headed towards Karbala'. However, due to difficulty in determining the exact location, not all cities mentioned in Maqtal al-Husayn appear on the map.

The journey of the Imam's family after the massacre of Karbala' in 10th Muharram 61/680 is described as going through major cites and the only names mentioned are Aleppo and Hamah. At that time two main routes existed from Kufah to Damascus. One followed the Euphrates Northwest to Aleppo and then South to Hamah, then Damascus. The other goes west across the desert directly to Damascus. It was concluded that the army took the Imam's family on the river route through Aleppo and Hamah, and upon leaving Damascus the family used the desert route in order to reach Karbala' on the occasion of 'Arba'in, 20th of Safar. The following sources were consulted: Al-Faruqi, Isma'il Ragi. Historical Atlas of the Religions of the World. New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1974. Iraq: Official Standard Names Approved by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names. Washington, D.C.: Office of Geography, Department of the Interior, 1957. Powell, Grace L. Atlas of the Middle East. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, 1975. Rebstock, Ulrich. "Das Islamisch Arabien his zum Tode des Propheten" in Tubinger Atlas des Vorderen Orients (TAVO). Wiesbaden: Dr. Ludwig Reichert

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