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The death of Imam Hussein.

Readers may have read a little while ago about the bombing of the Tomb of Imam Hussein in Iraq who is revered by the Shiite Moslems all over the world. His tomb is a sacred place for them. His body is housed in a special tomb inside the splendid mosque. The head of Imam Hussein is buried elsewhere.

John Lang's poem The Death of Imam Hussien was published in the Mofussilite in 185???? simply entitled The Death of Hussein and some time later in the year was published as a book in Lahore, a famous city now part of Pakistan with the title amended to The Death of Imam Hussein, to give the man his correct title. There is a copy of the book in the British Library and I was able to make a copy when I was there last year.

The account of the death as depicted by Lang is fairly accurate and taken from records and dates from a very early period in Moslem History. Lang used his knowledge of the Persian language to write his poem. The story has great religious aspects because Imam Hussein was descended from the great prophet Mohammed the founder of the Moslem faith. He was a noble person compassionate and good, he ruled over part of the country. However the Caliph of Damascus wanted his territory. He sent a large army and his best general to take over the land which Hussein refused to surrender. A battle took place and Imam Hussein was defeated and killed, his head cut off and sent back the the Caliph at Damascus. His wife and children were brutally dealt with and carted off to slavery. That is the reason why the body is buried in one place and the head in a different city.

It was from this date that the two divisions of the Moslem Religion occurred. That is the reason for the Sunni and the Shiites not only in Iraq but world wide. Like the Christian Church the religion of the Moslems became split into different groups of believers.

John Lang's poem is a dramatic telling of the story. It can probably considered his best and most effective writing in the poetic vein as a narrative poem a form in which he was so able.

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Title Annotation:JOHN LANG PAGE
Author:Lang, John
Publication:M A R G I N: life & letters in early Australia
Date:Apr 1, 2009
Words:384
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