The Call of the Free

Sayyid Amjad H. Shah Naqavi
An adaptation of Riḍā al-Khafājī’s Ṣawt al-Ḥurr al-Riyāḥī

The first volume in the ʿĀshūrāʾ Literature Series, 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.

In Ṣawt al-Ḥurr al-Riyāḥī, the Iraqi poet and playwright Riḍā al-Khafājī invigorates the historical narrative of al-Ḥurr’s defection, and the turmoil of his conscience, by introducing the character of The Caller—a mysterious voice from the unseen.

This adaptation by Sayyid Amjad H. Shah Naqavi of Ṣawt al-Ḥurr al-Riyāḥī into English, employs many characteristic features of traditional prosody and seeks to introduce the Mystery plays in honour of ʿĀshūrāʾ to the Anglophone world, and offers the reader an insight into the rich commemorative practices surrounding the lamentation of the massacre at Karbala.

The Call of the Free is available to purchase, please email the institute to order your copy.

ISBN: 978-0-9935884-1-9 (Hardback)