Martyrology and conceptions of time in Hizbullah's writing practices


Saade B (2015) Martyrology and conceptions of time in Hizbullah's writing practices. International Journal of Middle East Studies, 47 (4), pp. 723-744.

Soon after its founding in the early 1980s, the Lebanese political organization Hizbullah developed a specific practice of remembering its dead. In this article, I argue that through this practice Hizbullah constructed an elaborate conception of time and history that gave ideological coherence to the movement's main political project,al-muqāwama al-islāmiyya (Islamic Resistance). Examining early writings in the Hizbullah weekly al-ʿAhd published during the organization's formative period, I show how such writings were instrumental in producing ideological templates that have continued to be replicated until today. Through a set of ritualistic practices, Hizbullah-affiliated intellectuals have archived everything related to martyrs and other kinds of human legacies, a process that has fed into the notion of an ever-present, and at times anticipated, era (ʿahd) of resistance. Moreover, the project of Islamic Resistance has gained salience each time the past is relived in the present, producing political action. Hizbullah's efforts at history writing have involved a transmission of ethics through martyrs' act of witnessing and their testimony to a way of life. Analyzing this phenomenon sheds light on the way political Islamic groups such as Hizbullah articulate national imaginaries through specific kinds of ideological production.

International Journal of Middle East Studies: Volume 47, Issue 4

Publication date30/11/2015
Publication date online14/10/2015
PublisherCambridge University Press