Before we start... The tragedy of Karbala is one of the most painful events ever happened on the face of earth. Considering the criticality of this event for Muslims and its place in Islamic history, it is important to understand the fact that over a period of time, a number of fabrications have made into the history of this event. In order to segregate real facts from suchfiction, in my opinion, we need to take following sequential approach:
1. Level 1: Read books of authentic scholars who have written history based on authentic chain of narrations. This has to be done in conjunction with guidance from authentic Islamic scholars to ensure correct understanding.
2. Level 2: The second stage in exploring this historical event correctly is to understand the correct methodology of writing and studying Islamic History (Usool at-Tarikh), which is a very close relative of Usool Al-hadith (science of interpreting hadith and its classifications). In this science, we study the authenticity of narrations in terms of:
Who is presenting the narration (Detailed biographies of narrators are available in books of Ilm ul Rijal enlisting their contributions and if they are reliable or not) and
The acceptability of chain of narrations (i.e. if there are any gaps in chain, any missing narrators, any narrators in sequence who did not have an opportunity to meet the proceeding narrator etc. - Ilm ul Asnad).
Islamic methodology (Usool) for interpreting the hadith and history are our great treasures. Most misconceptions come up ONLY when we do not assess things in the light of this critical branch of knowledge and base it on certain sectarian or emotional beliefs. With even a basic background in Usool-Al-Hadith, seekers of knowledge start seeing things in a much brighter light and many confusions get clarified. I would strongly recommend going through some books from our bookshelf on the topic of Usool al hadith.
Urdu Readers can make use of a scholarly critique made available to us by مستند اسلامی تاریخ: Click here to read. This review presents critical analysis of books of history and has a section dedicated to history of Karbala.
Audios on the tragedy of Karbala:
English - A detailed historical analysis by Dr. Yasir Qadhi - Listen: Part1, Part2
Urdu - Saneha e Karbala - Dr. Israr Ahmed - Watch Urdu - Imam Hussain AS ki Shahadat - Sahih Hadees Ki Roshni Mein - Maulana Ishaq - Audio Urdu - Shahadath E Hussain RA by Shk Tauseef Ur Rehman - Audio Urdu - Waqia e Karbala ki Haqeeqat - Mufti Tariq Masood - Audio
Urdu Shaheed e Karbala By Mufti Muhammad Shafi Read / Download
ENGLISH The Tragedy of Karbala By Dr. Israr Ahmed Read / Download