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Historical account of Karbala

Q:

I have a question to ask, please. I am Shia but a Sunni relative of mine has been questioning me lately over our community’s Azaadari practices and the story of the tragedy of Karbala. He has been asking how the story of what happened in the battle can be recollected in such detail (ie, how many arrows severed the arms of Hazrat Abbas (AS), the exact words that were said when he and all the other martyrs fell from their horses, how it took so long for Yazid’s 30,000+ men to overcome Imam Hussain’s (AS) small group etc etc). He was asking where we got all this information from, since all the men of Imam (AS)’s household died in the battle and he also thinks that much of the narrations have been dramatized and that it is not based in historical fact.

Naturally his skepticism is making me quite upset as I know in my heart that these stories are all true but I heard them growing up in majlises and cannot seem to find anywhere online that explains simply how the battle was recorded in history and who recorded these stories.

I would like to know if there are any links/books/ resources you can send me to share with him that can shed light on this subject further as I want to be educated and informed when sharing the story of Karbala and the ultimate sacrifice of our Imam (AS) and his household.

Thank you very much in advance for your guidance!

A: