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Arise and Bear Witness: Dr Ali Shariati - An Overview

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Much has been said and written about Imam Hussein and the event of Karbala, examining the historical role of the Imam but rarely have the purpose for which Hussein sacrificed himself been particularly inspected. In Arise and Bear Witness, Dr Ali Shariati examines the concept of sacrifice, that idea we call ‘martyrdom’ from an intellectual, philosophical and scientific point of view.  

In order to understand the true meaning of martyrdom, the ideological school from which it originates is first clarified. We understand from the first few pages the choice of the title Arise and Bear Witness, the Islamic meaning to martyrdom, in opposition to ‘death’ or ‘to die’ in non-Islamic rites. Therefore, Shariati dissects the concept of martyrdom within the context of its school of thought, viewing Hussein and the battle of Karbala as an eternal and transcendent phenomenon rather than solely a tragic event to cry about.