The Call of the Free – Book Launch Event

On the 4th of November 2016, the Shīʿah Institute hosted a well-attended book launch at Senate House, University of London, for ‘The Call of the Free’; the first volume in the ʿĀshūrāʾ Literature series, published by The Shīʿah Institute Press.

‘The Call of the Free’ portrays the events leading up to the massacre of Imām al-Ḥusayn, his family, and his companions at Karbala on the day of ʿĀshūrāʾ in 61 AH/680 CE, as seen through the eyes of al-Ḥurr al-Riyāḥī, a man caught between his worldly duty as a soldier of the Umayyad Caliphate and his conscience.

‘The Call of the Free’ is an adaptation by Sayyid Amjad H. Shah Naqavi of Ṣawt al-Ḥurr al-Riyāḥī by the Iraqi poet and playwright Riḍā al-Khafājī, which employs many characteristic features of traditional English prosody. It is the first work of its kind to introduce the long theatrical tradition of Mystery plays in honour of ʿĀshūrāʾ to the Anglophone world.

This new publication offers readers an insight into the rich commemorative practices surrounding the lamentation of the massacre at Karbala.