The Prevalence of Hagiography in the Sixth and Seventh Centuries after Hijrah

Mahdi Gholamali [1]

The sixth and seventh centuries After Hijrah can be considered as a turning point in the history of Shiism. In this period, despite severe difficulties, the Shiites could resist against the doubts and accusations posed by common people and ruling systems. This period is referred to as a period of stagnation in the history of Shiite Hadith. Although such a description is true for this period in comparison to the previous centuries, it should be noticed that the enmity of the opponents was very severe and the authors did their best to resist against the various attacks arranged by the rulers. The hagiographic and Arbainographic (writing about the fortieth day after the martyrdom of Imams PBUT, esp. Imam Husayn PBUH) styles are manifestations of such great efforts. These styles were appealed to more than other styles. The styles had some strong and weak points. The growth and prevalence of hagiography are more considerable in these two centuries; so that there are about sixty of such works written in a period of two hundred years. Discovering the reason behind such a growth is possible through the study of the remaining hagiographic books and the historical reports. The present research is an attempt to this end. The book of Naqd written by Abd al-Jalil Qazvini is one of the most important works having dealt with the issue of hagiographic sermons. It has illustrated the blurred conditions of that age properly. This book is a good source for the identification of the reasons and causes of the increase of hagiographies in these centuries. It seems that there were various political, scientific and culture reasons behind the growth in such a style of writing. Some of these reasons are referred to in this article.

Key Words: hagiography, eulogistic biography, sixth century After Hijrah, stylistics, history of Hadith.

[1] A member of the Faculty of Hadith Sciences