PART ONE: MUHAMMAD
the price of revelation: For discussion of Islamic theologians on Muhammad’s late-life childlessness, see Madelung, Succession to Muhammad.
“Oh God, have pity on those who succeed me”: Shia hadith quoted by, among others, Ayatollah Khomeini. See Khomeini, Islam and Revolution.
brightly colored posters: Popular Shia religious posters are reproduced in Steven Vincent’s article “Every Land Is Karbala: In Shiite Posters, a Fever Dream for Iraq,” in the May 2005 issue of Harper’s, and can also be seen in news photos, such as that by Shawn Baldwin for The New York Times, December 28, 2006, “Posters of Shiite religious figures and Iranian and Syrian leaders,” accompanying the article “Iran’s Strong Ties with Syria.”
“ I am from Ali and Ali is from me”: This and other statements of Muhammad on Ali are examined in, among others, Momen, Introduction to Shi’i Islam and Jafri, Origins and Early Development.
People of the Cloak: See Jafri, Origins and Early Development and Momen, Introduction to Shi’i Islam.
Nahj al-Balagha: Translated into English by Sayed Ali Reza as Nahjul Balagha = Peak of Eloquence: Sermons, Letters and Sayings of Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (Bombay: Imam Foundation, 1989). Shia scholars refer to this collection as “the brother of the Quran.”
44 Al-Fahisha: This usage is discussed in Spellberg, Politics, Gender, and the Islamic Past and noted in Fischer, Iran: From Religious Dispute to Revolution.
time and place … not in dispute: Jafri, in Origins and Early Development, notes that although Ibn Ishaq, al-Tabari, and Ibn Saad did not record the events at Ghadir Khumm, “as far as the authenticity of the event itself is concerned, it has hardly ever been questioned or denied even by the most conservative Sunni authorities, who have themselves recorded it.” Jafri gives details of those records.
but on Ali’s: Madelung, Succession to Muhammad and Jafri, Origins and Early Development both discuss this tradition, citing Ibn Saad, Tabaqat.
PART TWO: ALI
severed head of Hussein: This tradition is reported in Halm, Shi’a Islam.
halal: Though this word is generally known in the West only as it applies to Islamic dietary laws, it is used throughout Arabic-speaking countries for anything licit or permitted under Islamic law.
“tribal imperative to conquest”: See, for instance, “Tribal states must conquer to survive,” on p. 243 of Patricia Crone’s controversial Meccan Trade and the Rise of Islam (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1987). A more nuanced look at the “tribal imperative” is in Berkey, Formation of Islam.
“goat’s fart”: Madelung, Succession to Muhammad, citing Ibn Asakir’s twelfth-century Tarikh Madinat Dimashq (History of the State of Damascus).
“millstone around his feet”: Madelung, Succession to Muhammad, citing al-Baladhuri, Ansab al-Ashraf (Lineage of the Nobles).
“one of nine stuffed beds”: Madelung, Succession to Muhammad, citing Shia hadith from al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar (Ocean of Light).
“a bubbling spring in an easy land”: This and other sayings of Muawiya on the exercise of power in Humphreys, Muawiya, citing al-Baladhuri, Ansab al-Ashraf (Lineage of the Nobles).
“will you be cuckolds?”: Rogerson, Heirs of the Prophet, citing al-Waqidi’s eighth-century Kitab al-Tarikh wa al-Maghazi (Book of History and Campaigns).
135 “I see Syria loathing the reign of Iraq”: Madelung, Succession to Muhammad, citing al-Minqari’s Waqiat Siffin (The Confrontation at Siffin).
“you had to be led to the oath of allegiance”: Madelung, Succession to Muhammad, citing al-Baladhuri, Ansab al-Ashraf (Lineage of the Nobles).
Ibn Washiya’s Book on Poisons: This fascinating and immensely detailed book is translated in full in Levey, Medieval Arabic Toxicology.
“So was your brother cooked”: Abbott, Aisha, citing Ibn al-Athir’s thirteenth-century Al Kamil fi al-Tarikh (The Complete History).
PART THREE: HUSSEIN
The hand that slipped the fatal powder: Madelung, Succession to Muhammad cites several early historians, both Sunni and Shia, on Jaada’s role, noting that al-Tabari suppressed the incident for political reasons.
“a woman who poisons her husband?”: Madelung, Succession to Muhammad, citing al-Baladhuri, Ansab al-Ashraf (Lineage of the Nobles).
“never any subject I wished closed”: Abbott, Aisha, citing Ibn al-Jawzi, Tahqiq, twelfth-century Sunni collection of hadith.
“your death as the most infamous act of Ali”: Abbott, Aisha, citing Ibn al-Athir’s thirteenth-century Al Kamil fi al-Tarikh (The Complete History).
A vast cycle of taziya: Most of the taziya Passion plays are based on al-Kashifi’s tenth-century Rawdat al-Shuhada (Garden of the Martyrs), discussed in Halm, Shi’a Islam and Momen, Introduction to Shi’i Islam. See also Pinault, Horse of Karbala on both Rawdat al-Shuhada and al-Majlisi’s seventeenth-century Bihar al-Anwar (Ocean of Light).
build the wedding canopy: Ingvild Flaskerud’s DVD Standard-Bearers of Hussein includes rare footage of women commemorating Karbala.
“the Karbala factor”: Momen, Introduction to Shi’i Islam. Michael Fischer refers to it as “the Karbala paradigm.”
“Let the blood-stained banners of Ashura”: See Khomeini, Islam and Revolution.
the Mahdi: It should be noted that the term “Mahdi” is also used in Sunni Islam but not for a specific figure. Sunnis use it to refer to an ideal Islamic leader, and indeed many have claimed the title, over the centuries. In Shia Islam, however, there is only one Mahdi, the twelfth Imam, a clear messianic figure.
eleventh-century treatise: See al-Mufid, The Book of Guidance, and discussion of signs of the Mahdi’s return in Sachedina, Islamic Messianism.
“the Shia revival”: Most notably in Nasr, The Shia Revival.