The image is a cover page of a lecture delivered by the religious scholar Hasan al-Husayni on the life of the grandson of the Prophet, Imam Husayn: “al-husayn—safahat min hayat rayhanat al-mustafa” (“al-Husayn—pages from the life of Rayhanat al-Mustafa”). The phrase “rayhanat al-mustafa” is an epithet of al-Husyan meaning Chrysanthemum of Mustafa; Mustafa is one of the Prophet’s nicknames. In this image, the word Husayn is dripping with blood. It evokes the martyrdom of al-Husayn on 10 October 680 A.D., which is a central moment in Shi’a history, marking the greatest confessional schism within Islam. In the Shi’a context, the blood symbolizes the oppression, tyranny and injustice surrounding the martyrdom of the Prophet’s grandson, as well as of the continued oppression of Shi’a under Sunni regimes. While the blood glorifies al-Husayn’s martyrdom specifically, it also glorifies martyrdom in general.


More Information
Group Type religious
Dominant Colors Red, Yellow
Secondary Colors Green
Language Arabic
Visual or Textual Reference to Significant Recent Events
Date EntryAnalysis Entry
Tanzim al-Tajdid al-Islami logo - calligraphal representation of the word "tajdid"
Isolated Phrases / Mottoes / Slogans Rayhanat al-mustafa
Image Number 0201
Groups Region of Operation Middle East
Weapons Cold Weapons and Defensive Armor, Sword / Crossed Swords
Body Parts Blood
Air Analysis Sun
Air Celestial Bodies
Liquid Drops / Tear
Fire Flames, Light Rays / Light
People Operative / Warrior (=mujahid), Horse Rider
Religious Textual References Other Medieval Text, Use of Calligraphy
Religious Textual References Analysis Blessing/ prayer radiya Allah `anhu?
Fauna Horse
Flora Trees / Shrubs, Palm
Topography Mountain, Horizon
Topography Analysis Mosque
Visual Themes The dominant green in the image resonates the idea of God’s benevolence, and is symbolic of creation, life and sustenance. Furthermore, green is considered the traditional color of the Prophet Muhammad’s tribe, and has been adopted as a sacred color based on Qur’anic verses (76:21; 18:65-82) and a reliable hadith (prophetic tradition or report) that associates green with “universally good things.”

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