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Islam in the West

Iraqi Shi’i Communities in Transition and Dialogue


Kieran Flynn

This book studies the historical, religious and political concerns of the Iraqi Shi‘i community as interpreted by the members of that community who now live in the United Kingdom and Ireland, following the 2003-2010 war and occupation in Iraq. It opens up a creative space to explore dialogue between Islam and the West, looking at issues such as intra-Muslim conflict, Muslim-Christian relations, the changing face of Arab Islam and the experience of Iraq in the crossfire of violence and terrorism – all themes which are currently emerging in preaching and in discussion among Iraqi Shi‘a in exile. The book’s aim is to explore possibilities for dialogue with Iraqi Shi‘i communities who wish, in the midst of political, social and religious transition, to engage with elements of Christian theology such as pastoral and liberation theology.


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Appendix 2 The Calendar of the First Ten Days of Muharram Leading to Ashura


1 Muharram The demand by the of ficials of the Calif Yazid for the oath of allegiance (bay‘at) from Hussein, and the departure of Hussein’s caravan from Medina to Mecca. 2 Muharram The departure of Hussein’s caravan from Mecca to Kufa. 3 Muharram The caravan’s arrival in Kufa. 4 Muharram The commemoration of Hurr, leader of the Kufan (Umayyad) cavalry, who changed sides on the eve of the Battle of Karbala to become a martyr fighting for Hussein. 5 Muharram The martyrdom of the brothers Wan and Muhammad (b. Abd Allah b. Ja‘far b. Abi Talib), young relatives of Hussein who were killed together at Karbala. 6 Muharram The martyrdom of ‘Ali Akbar, the second son of Hussein. 7 Muharram The martyrdom of Qasim, the son of the second Imam Hasan. Widely commemorated on this day also is the marriage believed by many Shi‘a to have taken place between Qasim and Hussein’s daughter Fatima Kubra, at Karbala, just before the bridegroom’s martyrdom. Also remembered is the cutting of f of Hussein’s camp from water (from the nearby Euphrates). 8 Muharram The martyrdom of Abbas (b. ‘Ali b. Abi Talib), the standard bearer of Hussein, who was killed attempting to fetch water for Hussein’s camp. 9 Muharram The martyrdom of the infant ‘Ali Asgar, the youngest son of Hussein, killed by an arrow in his father’s arms at Karbala. 10 Muharram The martyrdom of Hussein himself. Glossary ‘Abbasid (‘Abbasi) Descendant of Al ‘Abbas, uncle of the Prophet Muhammad....

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