Explaining the Iconographic Role of Karbala in the Formation and Continuity of the Shia Movements and the Islamic Revolution

Document Type : Science - Research


1 Ph.D. Geography and Remote Sensing Researcher, Imam Hossein University, Tehran, IRAN.

2 Associate professor, Department of Political Geography, Kharazmi University, Tehran, IRAN.


Shia, as one of the main components of Islamic society, has always had a revolutionary attitude towards other religions throughout history. The Shi'ite school has been the promoter of movements that have stood up to oppression, and this political thought has shaped Shia political and social movements throughout history. Historically, the turning point of the Shia revolution and the formation of Shia protest movements is the Ashura incident in the year 61 AH. And the land of Karbala as the Shias holy shrine of and the place of Imam Hussein martyrdom (a.s.) has always, at all times and places, conveyed the ideological burden of the Ashura event to Shia communities. Thus, the formation and activity of Shia movements can be traced well after the Karbala event and examined in terms of the effects that Karbala has had on their structure and continuity in different categories. The present study aimed to investigate the role of Karbala in the formation and continuation of Shia movements in the context of political geography based on Gatman's theory of iconography. To this aim, Descriptive-analytical methods and library and document studies are used. Based on the results, this influence has not always been the same at different times, and in each period, it has manifested itself in different ways depending on the temporal and spatial requirements and the degree of Shia community readiness. That can investigate the type and extent of this effect on dual format in the Imamiyyah and the Zaydiyyah method. So, the categorization of Shi'ite movements is as following: Imam Hussein's revenge and revenge revolts, Zaydiyya uprisings, movements that led to the formation of the government, and contemporary Shi'ite movements.