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Observing Hijab in Muharram

Question 286: One thing that am disagree and as am faild to justify my views against this, is unveild women coming in the jaloses of men in moharram and chehlam. As this called bepardgi which is not Mission e Imam Hussain as. At all. Please answer me regarding this issue. Thanks

Answer 286: The philosophy behind the hijab for woman in Islam is that she should cover her body in her associations with men ‘whom she is not related to according to the divine law’ (na-mahram) and that she does not flaunt and display herself.

The verses of the Holy Quran which refer to this issue affirm this and the edicts of the religious jurisprudents confirm it. The concept of hijab is to create a healthy environment in the family and society.

If we study hijab from a Quranic perspective, we will see that the Quran sorts out hijab into different kinds one of which is the modest covering of the body. In order to clarify the discussion, we will enumerate the different kinds of hijab from the perspective of the Holy Quran:

1) Modesty in looking as the Quran says: “Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty” and also, “And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty,”[1]

2) Hijab in utterance: Women have advised how to speak to strangers (males outside of their family): “O wives of the Prophet! you are not like any other of the women; If you will be on your guard, then be not soft in (your) speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease yearn; and speak a good word.”[2]

3) Hijab in conduct: Women have been guided how to conduct themselves when in front of strangers. They have been ordered not to attract strangers’ attention by showing their ornaments and beautifications: “…and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments.” [3]

Note: It is necessary to mention that one of the main missions of Imam Hussain (as), by which he himself along with his followers and families have been killed by their enemies for, was to revive the pure Islam of the Holy Prophet (saws) by “Amr bil Maroof wa Nahi ‘anil Munkar,” which means recommending us the Maroof (lawful acts) and forbidding us the Munkar (unlawful acts). Hijab is an obligatory (wajib) act that a woman must observe, but mourning for Imam Hussain (as) is a recommended (mustahab) act. Therefore, they are supposed to mourn for Imam Hussain (as) if they have a proper hijab.
As a result, if a woman doesn’t observe her hijab deliberately and comes in the majlis of Imam Hussain (as) in this state, her azadari wouldn’t be considered as sahih.

For further information in this regards, please read the following answer:

Index: Philosophy of Hijab during prayer, answer 020.

Index: Hijab of Sayeda Fatima al-Zahra (sa), answer 492.

Index: Men and Women: Covering body in prayers, answer 594.

[1] . Al-Noor, 30: قُلْ لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ يَغُضُّوا مِنْ أَبْصارِهِمْ،; Al-Noor, 31: قُلْ لِلْمُؤْمِناتِ يَغْضُضْنَ مِنْ أَبْصارِهِنَّ،.

[2] . Al-Ahzab, 32: فَلا تَخْضَعْنَ بِالْقَوْلِ فَيَطْمَعَ الَّذِي فِي قَلْبِهِ مَرَضٌ.

[3] . Al-Noor, 31 وَ لا يَضْرِبْنَ بِأَرْجُلِهِنَّ لِيُعْلَمَ ما يُخْفِينَ مِنْ زِينَتِهِنَّ.

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Kumeil, Salman Farsi, Bilal and Miqdad in Karbala

Question 378: Why did not Kumayl join the mission of Imam-al Hussain (a) in Karbala and where were Salman al-Farisi and Miqdad in the same time?

Answer 378: After the martyrdom of Imam Ali (as) in the holy month of Ramadan (40 A.H), Kumeil along with the people of Kufa gave allegiance to Imam Hasan (as). According to Majlesi (ra), Kumeil was one of the Imams (as) companions.[1]

Kumeil like Qanbar, the servant of Imam Ali (as) were imprisoned by Mu’āwīyya (la) due to his love and affection toward Ahlul Bayt (pbuth), during the time of Imam Hussain (as). He was freed from prison right after the day of Ashura.[2]

Kumeil was martyred by Hajjaj (la) at the age of ninety and was buried in Thawiya (between Najaf and Kufa).[3] 

Miqdad passed away at the age of seventy in Jurf in 33 A.H, while the Story of Karbala happened in 61 A.h. Therefore, it is natural that he couldn’t be in Karbala with Imam Hussain (as) as he had passed away 28 years before Ashura.[4]

There have been mentioned some different opinions about the date of Salman al-Farsi’s demise. Some say he passed away in 36 A.H.[5]

In some sources it is mentioned that he had a long life and even some have considered his lifespan about 350 years.[6]

After Salman had passed away, Ali bin Abi Talib (as) travelled to al-Mada’in to bathe and enshroud his body, and then he performed funeral prayer on his body, before burying him in a grave. Imam Ali (as) returned to Medina that night.[7]

Salman had written this poem on his enshrouding cotton:  I am heading toward the Munificent, lacking a sound heart and an appropriate provision.  While taking a provision (with you) is the most dreadful deed, if you are going to the Munificent.[8]

Bilāl b. Rabāḥ known as Bilāl al-Ḥabashī: According to most history sources, his death was in 20 A.H in Damascus, however 17, 18 and 21 have mentioned as well.[9]

Some sources have specified plague as the cause for his death.[10]

It is widely ascribed that he is buried in Bab al-Saqir cemetery, in Damascus.[11]

He was older than sixty when he died, however the ages 63, 64, and 70 were also noted in some sources.[12]

For further information in this regards, please refer to the following answer:

Index: Every day is Ashura and Every Place is Karbala, answer 071.

Index: The number of soldiers who came to Karbala to fight against Imam Hussain (as), answer 568.

[1] . Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 44, Pg. 111;  Al-Manaqeb, Vol. 4, Pg. 41.

[2] . Kumeil Mahram Asrar Amir al-Momeneen (as), Hussain Heidar Khani, Pg. 145;  The Story of Karbala, Pg. 358, narrated from Al-Mofid Dhikri al-Sebt al-Shahid, Pg. 115.

[3] . Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 42, Pg. 149;  Muntaha al-A’mal, Vol. 1, Pg. 255.

[4] . Tabaqat, ibn Sa’d, Beirut, Dar Sader, Bita, Vol. 3, Pg. 163;  Muhammadi, Muhammad, Simaye Miqdad, Pg. 123.

[5] . Ibn Asakar, the History of Medina and Damascus, Vol. 21, Pgs. 458-459.

[6] . Khatib Baqdadi, History of Baghdad, Vol. 1, Pg. 176.

[7] . For further information, please refer to: Majlesi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 22, Pg. 380.

[8] . Noori, Nafs al-Rahman fee Fadhael Salman (ra), Pg. 139.

[9] . Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, Pg. 238;  ibn Qutaiba, Book of al-Maaref, Pg. 88;  Tabari, Tarikh (history), Vol. 4, Pg. 112;  Khatib Baghdadi, History of Baghdad, Vol. 1, Pg. 184;  Tusi, Rijal, Pg. 8;  ibn Abd al-Birr, al-Istiaab, Vol. 1, Pg. 179;  ibn Asakar, History of Medina and Damascus, Vol. 10, Pgs. 432-476-479;  ibn Athir, Asad al-Ghabah, Vol. 1, Pg. 244.

[10] . Tusi, Rijal, Pg. 8, ibn Asakar, History of Mediana and Damascus, Vol. 10, Pg. 476;  Tahzib al-Kamal, Vol. 4, Pg. 290;  ibn Hajar Asqalani, al-Isaba, Vol. 1, Pg. 327.

[11] . Tusi, Rijal, Pg. 9;  ibn Sad, al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, Pg. 238.

[12] . Ibn Abd al-Birr, al-Istiab, Vol. 1, Pg. 179;  Tahzib al-Asma’, part 1, Pg. 137;  Tahzib al-Kamal, Vol. 4, Pg. 290.

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Glossary 507: Qama Zani / How the Infallible Imams mourned for Imam Hussain

Glossary 507: Qama Zani / How the Infallible Imams (pbuth) mourned for Imam Hussain (as)

Related Code: 507

Categories: Islamic Laws / Azadari

Glossary 507: Karbala,[1] Imam Hussain (as),[2] Ashura,[3] Imam Sajjad,[4] Ummah,[5] Bakka’een,[6] Taqiyyah,[7] Imam Sadiq,[8] Imam Kazim,[9] Kumit Asadi,[10] Da’bal Khaza’ei,[11] Seyyed Humairi,[12] Qama zani,[13] Ulema,[14] Maraj’e,[15] Ahadith,[16] Mustahab,[17] Sha’air” Arabic: شعائر,[18] Hijamah,[19] Shi’ism,[20]

[1] . A city in Iraq, located about 100 km (62 mi) southwest of Baghdad.

[2] . Al-Ḥussain ibn ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib (as), was the grandson of the Holy Prophet (pbuh), and the son of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib and lady Fatimah al-Zahra (pbuth) the daughter of the Prophet.

[3] . The tenth day of Muharram in the Islamic calendar.

[4] . Ali ibn Hussain known as Zayn al-Abidin and Imam al-Sajjad (as), was the fourth Shia Imam, after his father Imam Hussain (as), his uncle Imam Hassan (as), and his grandfather Imam Ali (as). Ali ibn Hussain (as) survived the #Battle of #Karbala and was taken, to the caliph in Damascus (Yazīd ibn Mu‘āwiya (la)).

[5] . An Arabic word meaning Community.

[6] . Those who cried very much.

[7] . Literally means to avoid a harm or an injury. Technically, it means expressing peace and reconciliation even if one may internally act against it.

[8] . Imam Jaʿfar ibn Muḥammad al-Ṣādiq (as), commonly known as Jaʿfar al-Sadiq or simply al-Sadiq, is the sixth Shia Imam.

[9] . Imam Mūsá ibn Ja‘far al-Kāzim (as), also called Abūl-Hasan, Abū Abd Allah, Abū Ibrāhīm, and al-Kāzim, was the seventh Shiite Imam after his father Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (pbuth).

[10] . One of the prominent poet contemporary with #Ahul #Bayt (pbuth) that meet the three following approbation: Imam Sajjad, Imam Muhammad Baqir and Imam Ja’afar Sadiq (pbuth).

[11] . Abu Ali, Da’bal bin Ali bin Razin bin Uthman bin Abd Allah bin Budayl bin Warqa Khaza’ei Kufi. His grave is in Daniyal City in Khuzistan Province in Iran.

[12] . One of the greatest poet. His parents were Nasibi. He became Shia later. He composed thousands of elegiacs and poems about the virtues of Ahlul Bayt (pbuth).

[13] . An act of mourning by some of Shia Muslims. It is also known as Talwar Zani.

[14] . Singular عالِم ʿĀlim, “scholar”, literally “the learned ones”, also spelled ulema; feminine: alimah (singular) and uluma (plural)), is defined as the “those recognized as scholars or authorities” in the “religious hierarchy” of the Islamic religious studies.

[15] . Known as a marjaʿ #taqlīdī or marjaʿ dīnī (Arabic: مرجع تقليدي / مرجع ديني‎‎), literally means “source to imitate/follow” or “religious reference”, is a label provided to the highest level Shia authority, a Grand Ayatollah with the authority to make legal decisions (Fatwa) within the confines of Islamic law (Ahkam) for followers and less-credentialed clerics. After the Holy Quran and the Holy Prophet and Infallible Imams (PBUTH), marājiʿ are the highest authority on religious laws in Usuli Shia Islam.

[16] . One of various reports describing the words, actions, or habits of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The term comes from Arabic meaning a “report”, “account” or “narrative”.

[17] . Referring to recommended, favored or virtuous actions. Mustahabb actions are those whose status of approval in Islamic Laws (ahkam) falls between Mubah (neither encouraged nor discouraged) and Wajib (compulsory, obligatory, mandatory). One definition is “duties recommended, but not essential; fulfilment of which is rewarded, though they may be neglected without punishment”

[18] . Sacraments, Way marks.

[19] . An Arabic term for wet cupping, where blood is drawn by vacuum from a small skin incision for therapeutic purposes. The practice has Greek and Persian origin and is mentioned by #Hippocrates. It is reported that the Holy Prophet #Muhammad (pbuh) has said, “Indeed the best of remedies you have is hijama, and if there was something excellent to be used as a remedy then it is hijama. (#Bihar al-#Anwar, Vol. 62, Pg. 300, chapter 89;  #Kafi, Vol. 6, Pg. 484.)

[20] . The true and righteous religion. #Islam is the last and the most complete of the revealed religions.  Indeed, it is only the teachings of the Shia religion that can depict the pure Muhammad Islam.

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What happened to Zuljanah in Karbala?

Question 166: What happened to Imam Hussein’s horse (Zuljanah) in Karbala?

Answer 166: The writers of books on what happened on Ashura (these books are referred to as ‘maqatil’) have not mentioned much about what happened to Zuljanah. What is mentioned is that he made his mane bloody with the blood of the Imam and returned to the tents neighing very highly.[1]

When the household of the Imam heard Zuljanah they came out of the tents and found out that the Imam had been martyred.[2] But, some of the later maghatel like Nasekhul-Tawarikh have extended saying that Zuljanah banged his head to the ground so much that he died[3], some say that Zuljanah had been killed before the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (as) and Imam himself fought against Ubayd Allah ibn Ziyad till has been martyred[4] or that Zuljanah threw himself in the Furat (the river in Karbala that Imam Hussain was denied water from).[5]

For further information in this regards, please refer to the following answer:

Index: Every day is Ashura and Every Place is Karbala, answer 071.

Index: The Wedding of Hadrat Qasim in Karbala on the Day of Ashura, answer 605.

Index: Enemies killed by Imam Hussain (as) in Karbala on the Day of Ashura, answer 598.

[1] . Biharul Anwar, Majlesi, Vol. 44, Pg. 321, A.H. 1404.

[2] . Qummi, Muntaha al-Amaal, Vol. 2, Pg. 910.

[3] . Ibid, Pg. 909.

[4] . Refer to: Tahqiq wa Pegouhish dar Tarikh Zendegani Imam Hussain (as), Pg. 684.

[5] . The ziyarah of Nahiyah Muqaddasah; Amaliyy of Sheikh Saduq, pg. 163; Mirza Muhammad Taqi Sepehri, Nasekhul-Tawarikh, vol. 6, pg. 2.

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Greeting with Salam is mustahab responding to it is wajib

Question 062: Why shouldn’t we greet fellow Muslims with Salam on Ashura day? Is it a cultural tradition or there’s an Islamic justification to this?

Answer 062: There is a tradition narrated from Ali bin Ibrahim from his father from al-Nawfeli from al-Sakooni, from Imam Sadiq (as) that the Holy Prophet (pbuh) says: Greeting with Salam (peace) is recommended and voluntary, but responding to it is obligatory.[1] The Prophet (s) also says: Do not give answer to one who doesn’t initiate saying Salaam before his speech.[2]

Arabic version of this hadith is as follows:

السَّلَامُ تَطَوُّعٌ وَ الرَّدُّ فَرِيضَةٌ.

  1. Greeting is one of the desirable acts that have been recommended. It is not makrooh (abominable) to greet someone from this perspective. However, according to some religious authorities (maraje’), if not doing an action such as shaking hands is considered in common view as a way of mourning and expressing grief, it is better not to do it.[3]
  2. Imam Baqir (as) was asked about how we should console each other on the Day of Ashura? The Imam answered: Say: May God increase our rewards as a result of what has befallen us through Hussein’s sufferings. May God make both you and us men who seek vengeance for him together with his great successor (wali), the Imam, the Mahdi from the family of Muhammad (a).[4]

The Arabic version of this recommendation:

“أعظَمَ اللهُ اجورَنابمُصابِنابِالحُسَینِ،وَجَعَلَناوایّاکُم مِنَ الطّالِبینَ بِثارِهِ مَع وَلیّهِ الامامِ المَهدیِّ مِن آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ”

  1. The word ‘Salaam’ has been mentioned 22 times and the word ‘Assalam’ 7 times in the holy Quran. Some of the verses in which the word has been mentioned are as follows:

– When they entered into his presence, they said,” Peace!”” Peace!” He answered,”[5]

– Certainly Our messengers came to Abraham with the good news, and said,” Peace!”” Peace!” He replied.[6]

– Peace is to me the day I was born, and the day I die, and the day I am raised alive.”[7]

For further information in this regards, please refer to the following answer:

Index: Ways to Greet in Islam with Muslims and Non-Mahram, answer 369.

Index:  Lamentation: Normal mourning for Imam Hussain (as), answer 049.

[1] . Kulainy, Muhammad bin Yaqoub, al-Kafi, Vol. 2, Pg. 644, H. 1.

[2] . Ibid, H. 2.

[3] . Tabrizi, Jawad, New Isteftaat, vol.1, p. 454, Qom, first edition (date and place of publication not known).

[4] . Tusi, Muhammad bin al-Hasan, Mesbah al-Mujtahid wa Selah al-Muta’abbed, p. 772, Fiqh al-Shi’ah, Beirut, first edition, 1411 A.H.

[5] . Surah adh-dhariyat, verse 25.

[6] . Surah Hood, verse 69.

[7] . Surah Mariam, verse 33.

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The Wedding of Hazrat Qasim in Karbala on Ashura

Question 605: A’salamu Alaikum. I was wondering if you could shed some light on this matter. Is it true that Imam Hussain (as) recited the nikkah of hazrat Qasim (as) to one of His daughters on the day of ashura? I don’t know what to believe as i have only heard this  by people,i have never read this anywhere. Can someone send me a link or give me a quote from a reliable book? In our country it has become ritual and custom to have Mehdi and henna! What is the Shia point of view about the wedding of Hazrat Qasim bin al-Hasan in Karbala on the day of Ashura?

khuda hafiz

Answer 605: The event of ‘Ashura’ has been subject to tahrif (distortions) an instance of which is the concocted story of the wedding of Hadrat Qasim, a story which has not been mentioned in any reliable book of history not to mention the fact that such a thing is not rationally possible because, firstly, Qasim was not more than thirteen years old on the day of Ashura and he had not attained the age of puberty. Secondly, the wedding could not have taken place because Imam Hussein (as) and his companions were surrounded by their enemies and a pitched battle was going on. Moreover, Imam Hussein (as) attached great importance to fulfilling his divine duty against his cunning enemies such as the Banu Umayyads. Therefore, the story of the wedding of Qasim is a fabricated and unacceptable story according to Shia researchers.  Below we will mention the viewpoints of some those researchers:

  1. Hajji Mirza Husayn Nuri, the author of Mustadrak al-Wasail, writes in a famous work he has authored about the manners of the speakers or preachers who preach on the pulpits: “One of the derogatory and factitious reports which prominent scholars have not heeded or referred to is the story of Za’far the Jinn and the wedding of Qasim mentioned in a well-known book called Rawdat al-shuhada’ by Mulla Husayn Kashifi. The wedding story has not been mentioned in any books before Rawdat al-shuhada from the time Shaykh Mufid until this book had been published. How could an event so great and a story so tangible be not observed by scholars over this period of time?[1]
  2. The great narrator Shaykh Abbas Qummi has reiterated that the story of the wedding of Qasim in Karbala and the marriage of Fatima bint al-Hussein with him is not valid. In addition, Imam Hussein (as) had two daughters, one named Sakina (sa) and another Fatima (as). The first was married out to Abdullah who was martyred in Karbala and the second was married to Hasan Muthanna who was also present in Karbala.[2]
  3. Martyr Ayatollah Qazi Tabatabai considers the story of the wedding of Qasim as invalid. He quotes Allamah Mamqani as having said in his Tanqih al-Maqal: Other researchers and I could not find anything in historical and biographical sources to confirm the authenticity of what has been alleged inTurayhi’s book about the story of the marriage of Qasim. It is very unlikely that such an incident should have taken place on the day of Ashura keeping in view the difficult and extremely dangerous conditions and the calamities that followed. It seems that a mistake has taken place in regards to the wedding of Qasim who had not reached the age of puberty by then. It is indeed the story of the wedding of Hasan Muthanna (the Second) that has become known in such a way on the tongues of people.[3]
  4. Martyr Ayatollah Murteza Mutahhari says in this regard: “As you know, in the heat of the battle on the day of ‘Ashura’, the Imam offered his prayers hurriedly in the form of salat al-khawf[4] and there was no respite even to offer full prayers. In fact, two of the companions of the Imam came to stand in front of him to shield the Imam (against the arrows) so that he may offer two rak’ahs of the salat al-khawf. The two of them fell from the injuries inflicted under the shower of the arrows. The enemy would not even give respite for offering prayers. Nevertheless, they have concocted a story that the Imam called for a wedding ceremony on this day, declaring, ‘It is my wish to see one of my daughter wedded to Qasim.’ Obviously, one cannot take one’s wishes to one’s grave.  …. And this is said to have occurred at a time when there was hardly any respite even for offering prayers. They say that the Hadrat said, ‘I want to wed my daughter to my nephew here and now, even if it is just an appearance of a wedding.’ One of the things that was an inseparable part of our traditional ta’ziyahs was the wedding of Qasim, the boy bridegroom. Such an episode is not mentioned in any reliable book of history.”[5]

[1] Lu’lu’ wa Marjan, Mirza Hussein Nuri, p. 193.

[2] Muntaha al-Amal, Shaykh Abbas Qummi, vol.1, p. 70.

[3]  Research about the first Arba’ein of the Chief of Martyrs by Shahid Qazi.

[4]  The Shari’ah stipulates certain modifications in the obligatory salat, the daily ritual prayers, when offered in conditions of war and danger of the enemy’s attack. The salat thus offered is referred to as salat al-khawf; (see the Quran, 4:101).

[5] – Ashura: Misrepresentations and Distortions (Hamasa Hussaini), Murteza Mutahhari, vol.1, p. 27-28; See: Guli Zawareh, Ghulam Reza, Qasim bin Hasan (as), the Role Model for Adolescents, 209, May 1999; Adopted from answer 11430 IQ.

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The Role of Lamentation for Imam Hussain (as) in Reviving Society

Question 052: Asssalamu alaikum, I am not sure whether this matter was discussed here before. How to explain fact of Lamentation for Imam Hussain (as) and mourning for Him and other members of family for so many days in the month of Muharram, when some sunni brothers and sisters will call it a bidah as there are hadiths claiming you can only mourn after somebody for max 3 days and only women is allowed to grieve after her husband for 40 days. JazakAllah Khair.

Answer 052: The incidents that have taken place in the history of every society can have great effects on the destiny of that society and other societies. If an incident has been useful and effective in its own place, then reviewing and reconstructing it and keeping it alive can have a lot of benefits and effects for humanity. Hence, forgetting it can entail enumerable irreparable damages to human society. That is because the events take place in the history of nations at great material and spiritual cost in the sense that those nations lose their great men and go through a lot of hardship, difficulties and deprivations.

Therefore, these great incidents, lessons and the experiences which human beings should learn and benefit from are valuable assets for a nation and even for the whole humanity. The intellect judges that such an asset be preserved, revived and benefited from in the best possible manner.

Without doubt, the great and multi-dimensional incident of Ashura has been one of the incidents that took place at a heavy cost for humanity because it was achieved with the martyrdom of the Infallible Imam (the perfect man) and his devout companions accompanied with great pains and sufferings suffered by the Imam’s family and children.

Moreover, this incident has not been a personal incident to serve the interest of a particular individual or group of people; in fact, the event of Karbala and the martyrdom of Hussein bin Ali (a.s.) and his devout friends are but a school with lessons and lofty goals such as monotheism, imamate, amr bil ma’ruf and nahy anil munkar (bidding good and forbidding evil), truth-seeking, human dignity, self-esteem and fight against oppression and injustice.

The school of Hussein (a.s) is a man-making school, not a school that produces sinners. Hussein is the bastion of righteous conduct, not a citadel for sin and sinfulness. If this man-making school is passed on from one generation to another, mankind can make best use of it. However, if it is forgotten, God forbid, the human society especially the religious side of society will suffer most. The infallible Imams’ emphasis[1] on lamenting the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (a.s) is because they want this man-making school to remain alive and dynamic, and that the victory of blood over sword and truth over falsehood should serve as torch illuminating man’s path towards his destination for ever.

The emphases on the part of the Infallibles have caused the lamentation and mourning ceremonies ever since the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (a.s.) to turn into a thriving, active and revolutionary current with thousands of poets, writers and lecturers composing, writing and speaking in this regard. Although the enemies have made extensive efforts to distort this great event, these mourning ceremonies have reinvigorated Islam and caused it to remain and alive for ever. They have caused the fight against oppression and injustice to echo out in the entire world as one of the mottos of Imam Hussein bin Ali, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him.

As was stated above, man’s God-gifted intellect commands that the event of Ashura be protected, preserved and kept alive and the Seerah (biography) of the Infallible Imams (a.s.) denotes that they attached great importance to maintaining and keeping up such ceremonies. Imam Reza (A.S.) said: “With the advent of the month of Muharram, my father Imam Kazim (A.S.) would never be seen laughing; gloom and sadness would overcome him for (the first) ten days of the month; and when the tenth day of the month would dawn, it would be a day of tragedy, grief and weeping for him.”[2]

For those unable to go for the ziarat of Imam Husain (A.S.) on the day of A’ashura, Imam Baqir (A.S.) mentions the manner of performing A’zadari as follows:

“He should mourn over Husain (A.S.), weep for him and instruct the members of the house to weep for him. He should establish the mourning ceremony in the house by exhibiting lamentations and grief over him; the people should meet one another in their homes and offer condolences and consolation to each other over the calamities which befell him.” [3]

It is necessary to know that Hussein bin Ali (a.s.) is not in need of such ceremonies. The Infallible Imams’ emphases on lamenting and mourning the martyrdom of the Chief of the Martyrs are because of the effects and benefits of these gatherings some of which are enumerated as follows:

  1. The mourning ceremonies help create unity and solidarity among the followers of Imam Hussein (a.s.) in the same as the Hajj ceremony causes Muslims from all sects and religions to come together and demonstrate their unity. The mourning ceremonies held for Imam Hussein (a.s) bring Shiites and the lovers of the Imam together and unify them.
  2. These ceremonies help acquaint people with the traditions and lifestyles of the leaders of the Religion because they provide the best opportunity for explaining and biographies and goals of those noble leaders. In fact, those who attend such gatherings are best prepared to imbibe and accept what they receive and learn.
  3. They help create and establish people’s relationship with the divine proofs (Imams) enabling them to benefit from their attention because great stress has been laid by the Imams on holding such ceremonies. In fact, holding such ceremonies amounts to respecting the Infallible Imams (a.s.) and obeying their commands. Obviously, obeying this particular command will not go unrewarded.
  4. During the narration of the event of Ashura, when the oppression, tyranny and injustice committed by the enemies of Islam are explained to people and the true faces of the claimants of Islamic caliphate are unveiled, the minds and attention of the addressees and the audience are directed towards the deviations existing in their own society; thus they seek to reform their society; they keep themselves away from the Yazid and obey the Hussein of their time and they will understand that fighting oppression, deviations and evil is not restricted to a special era or period of time as it is possible that a society may get afflicted with such evil phenomena at any time. In other words, these religious gatherings help create understanding and awareness among people concerning their times. And it is in these gatherings that they come to know their duties and obligations.

These are part of the effects and benefits of mourning for the Chief of Martyrs, Imam Hussein (a.s.). In case, these gatherings are canceled, the society will be deprived of those blessings.

The point to note is that the commemoration of the great event of Ashura must take place in the best possible manner. It is possible to revive the memory of that event by holding seminars, making films and writing books and novels. But none of these methods is the best method because man is a combination of various cognitive, social, instinctive, emotional and sentimental dimensions. If we want to revive the great and highly significant event of Karbala in the best possible way and to help humanity benefit from its blessings, it is necessary for us to uphold and commemorate it in a way such that all these aspects of human existence should have a role in it. The mourning ceremonies held in their present form and shape from the time of the Pure Imams as of today with grief and sorrow in a way such that the feelings and sentiments have been provoked are the best method for maintaining and keeping up these ceremonies. Because through these methods, not only the details of the event are made known to people but they also establish a deep relation with their hearts and minds making them contribute to holding such commemoration ceremonies with whatever means at their disposal. In fact, when it comes to such matters, it is necessary to be mindful of deviations and distractions about which the Imams, peace be upon them, and religious leaders have warned.

In addition, since Hussein bin Ali (a.s) was martyred in the way of humanity and human values, all the human generations consider it necessary by dint of their nature to praise and thank them (albeit in the form of such gatherings) for their sacrifices and devotions.

Based on the above, it is the humanity that needs to protect and safeguard human values and move on towards them so as to permanently keep the name and memory of the Imam (a.s.) alive. If the memory of the sacrifices, values and aspirations of Hussein bin Ali (a.s.) are forgotten one day, it is the humanity and human society at large that will be at loss.

The Holy Quran also underscores and emphasizes on this. God orders Prophet Moses (a.s.) in Sura Ibrahim (a.s) to remind people of the Days of God:

و ذکّرهم بایام الله انّ فی ذلک لایات لکل صبّار شکور

“… and remind them of the days of Allah; most surely there are signs in this for every patient, grateful one.”[4]

In his interpretation of the above verse, Late Allamah Muhammad Hussein Tabatabai (r.a) says: “Certainly, the terms ‘days of Allah’ refer to the times in which God’s command (amr), oneness and kingdom appear or become visible and also the days on which the divine blessings emerge out. Of course, (we mean) the days on which the divine bounties have been made more visible as compared to other days namely the days on which Prophet Noah (a.s) came out of the ship and the day on which Prophet Ibrahim (a.s) was saved from the fire…”[5]

Based on the above, the event of Ashura and the protection and revival of Islam together with grief for Imam Hussein bin Ali (a.s.) and his companions are some of the manifestations of the “days of Allah” which all of us have been ordered to revive, remember and commemorate.

For further information in this regards, please refer to the following answer:

Index: Qama Zani / How the Infallible Imams (pbuth) mourned for Imam Hussain (as), answer 507.

Index:  Lamentation: Normal mourning for Imam Hussain (as), answer 049.

Index: Mourning for Imam Hussain (as) while you are grieving, answer 047.

Index: Ziyarat of Imam Hussain when you are far away from Karbala, answer 057.

Index: The number of soldiers who came to Karbala to fight against Imam Hussain (as), answer 052.

[1] . Biharul-Anwar, vol.44, pg. 292; Wasail al-Shi’ah, vol.3, pg. 282.

[2] . Wasail al-Shi’ah, vol.10, pg. 394.

[3] . Kaamil al Ziyaraatpg. 175; Wasail al-Shi’ah, vol.10, pg. 398.

[4] . Surah Ibrahim, verse 5.

[5] . Translation of Tafsir Al-Mizan, vol.2, pg. 23.

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Enemies killed by Imam Hussain (as) in Karbala on the Day of Ashura

Question 598: Salam. How many zio-Muslim pagans from the army of satan (yazeed son of Moawia) were sent to hell by Imam Hussain a.s before embracing martyrdom? How many Enemies killed by Imam Hussain (as) in Karbala on the Day of Ashura?

Answer 598: Some narrators said: when Imam Hussain became alone on the Day of Ashura, we, the narrators swore  by Allah that there was no one braver than him, because his children, families and companions have been killed, but when the enemies attacked Him He attacked them all too. He himself attacked the whole enemies in a way that they were all running away from Him like locust, He then came back to his military base saying: La Hawla wa la Quwwata illa billah al-Ali al-Adhim.

In Ithbat al-Wasiyya there is a tradition in which mentioned that 1800 fighters, the infidels have been killed by Imam Hussain (as) on the Day of Ashura.[1]

In Bihrar al-Anwar ibn Shar Ashub and Muhammad bin Abi Talib narrated: The Imam (as) has been continuously attacked and finally single-handedly killed 1,950 infidels in Karbala. And then Umar bin Sa’ad shouted at his army and said: Woe is to you! Do you know with whom you are fighting? He is the son of Qattal al-Arab! Attack him from all sides. And then Four thousands fighters surrounded him and close the way toward his tents.

In response to this question that how is it possible that the Imam (as) can kill the number of infidels, we should say that since the army of Umar Sa’ad were afraid of the Imam’s fighting they were running away from Him in order to save their lives. So, some of them have been killed under the hands and feet of horses and the crowd of people and therefore, the dead were too much in number.[2]

The Arabic version of this narration is as follows:

قال بعض الرواة فو الله ما رأيت مكثورا قط قد قتل ولده و أهل بيته و صحبه أربط جأشا منه و إن كانت الرجال لتشد عليه فيشد عليها بسيفه فتنكشف عنه انكشاف المعزى إذا شد فيها الذئب و لقد كان يحمل فيهم و قد تكملوا ألفا فينهزمون بين يديه كأنهم الجراد المنتشر ثم يرجع إلى مركزه و هو يقول لَا حَوْلَ وَ لَا قُوَّةَ إِلَّا بِاللَّهِ الْعَلِيِّ الْعَظِيمِ.

و قال ابن شهرآشوب و محمد بن أبي طالب و لم يزل يقاتل حتى قتل ألف رجل و تسعمائة رجل و خمسين رجلا سوى المجروحين فقال عمر بن سعد لقومه الويل لكم أ تدرون لمن تقاتلون هذا ابن الأنزع البطين هذا ابن قتال العرب فاحملوا عليه من كل جانب و كانت الرماة أربعة آلاف فرموه بالسهام فحالوا بينه و بين رحله‏.

For further information in this regards, please refer to the following answer:

Index: The number of soldiers who came to Karbala to fight against Imam Hussain (as), answer 568.

[1] . Ithbat al-Wasiyya, Al-Mas’udi, Pg. 168.

[2] . Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 45, Pg. 50.

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How to Express Condolences in the Month of Muharram

Question 050: What are we supposed to say to each other during Muharram, it’s a time of mourning?

Answer 050: Imam Muhammad Baqir (as) was asked if we want to condole others in the month of Muharram, especially on the Day of Ashura, how and what do we say? The Imam replied, “Say: May Allah (SWT) increase our rewards of our mourning for Imam Hussain (as) and let us be one of the companions of Imam Mahdi (ajtf) to take our revenge against the killers of Imam Hussain (a.s)”.

(A’adhamallahu ujurana wa ujurakum bi musaabina bil Hussain alayhis salaam)

The Arabic Version is:
“عَظَّمَ اللَّهُ أُجُورَنَا بِمُصَابِنَا بِالْحُسَيْنِ ع وَ جَعَلَنَا وَ إِيَّاكُمْ مِنَ الطَّالِبِينَ بِثَأْرِهِ مَعَ وَلِيِّهِ الْإِمَامِ الْمَهْدِيِّ مِنْ آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ ص”

It is noteworthy that sacred months which are known as Ḥarām months are Dhu al-Qidah, Dhu al-Hijjah, Muharram-ul-haram and Rajab-al-Murajjab. The reason we say Muharram-ul-haram is because fighting in this month is forbidden.[1]

For further information in this regards, please refer to the following answer:

Index: Qama Zani / How the Infallible Imams (pbuth) mourned for Imam Hussain (as), answer 507.

Index: Mourning for Imam Hussain (as) while you are grieving, answer 047.

Index: Lamentation: Normal mourning for Imam Hussain (as), answer 049.

[1] . Kamil Al-Ziyarat, al-Nass, Pg. 175; al-Misbah al-Kaf’ami (Jannatul Aman al-Waqiyah), Pg. 482; Wasael al-Shia, Vol. 14, Pg. 509, H 19709; Biharul Anwar, Vol. 98, chapter 24 (how to visit the Holy Shrine of Imam Hussain on the Day of Ashura.); Mustadrak al-Wasael wa Mustanbit al-Masael, Vol. 10, Pg. 316, Chapter 49 (recommendation of crying over martyrdom of Imam Hussain (as)).

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Lamentation: Normal mourning for Imam Hussain (as)

Question 049: What measures should we take so that Mola Hussain (as) will accept our Azadari? What is the normal mourning for Imam Hussain (as)?

Answer 049: What has been mentioned with great emphasis in the verdicts of grand jurists and religious authorities is that mourning, lamentation, crying and being sad at the sad martyrdom of the Chief of Martyrs, Imam Hussein (a) is good and profusely rewarded. It should be noted that different cultures, communities and people hold different forms of mourning and ceremonies in commemoration of the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (a). No special form of mourning has been recommended in the traditions. Taking off clothes which is customary in some countries or places are subject to the same area’s customs and habits; they have no special virtue or value nor has any special emphasis been laid on them. In fact, at places where there are women and these ceremonies are held in their presence, it is better and more appropriate to hold these ceremonies without taking one’s shirts.[1]

In any case, what has been mentioned in the fatwa of most the grand jurists about taking off one’s shirts and beating the chest indicate that it is permissible to take off one’s shirts, if one is not taking them off in front of non-mahram and if it does not entail any corruption.[2]

It is worth mentioning that taking off shirts (in its current manner) is not considered to be derogatory. In case, it is considered to be derogatory in some countries, it is not permissible.

Latmiyya literally means hitting the face and body with the palm.[3] Considering the traditions about mourning for Imam Hussein (a), none of the jurists have ever forbidden Latmiyya or beating the chest in mourning for Imam Hussein (a) and other infallibles; rather, they have emphasized on its desirability.[4]

It goes without saying that permissibility of beating the chest is allowed only to some extent. Firstly, it should not involve self-crime. Secondly, it should not entail desecration and derogation of Islam and Muslims.[5]

For more information on this issue, please read the following answers:

Index: Qama Zani / How the Infallible Imams (pbuth) mourned for Imam Hussain (as), answer 507.

Index: Mourning for Imam Hussain (as) while you are grieving, answer 047.

[1] . Answer provided from Porsman Software.

[2] . Gulpaigani, Lotfullah Saafi, Jami’al-Ahkaam, Hazrat Ma’sumah Publications, Qom, fourth, 1417 A.H.; Khomeini, Rohullah, Istifta’at, vol.3, Miscellaneous Questions, question NO.46; Fazel Lankarani, Muhammad, Jami’ al-Masail, vol.1, question 2163 and 2165; Bahjat, Muhammad Taqi, Tawzih al-Masail, Issue No.1937; (Ayatollah Makarem: If there are women present, it is haram to take off one’s shirts and if there are no women, it is problematic i.e. a matter of objection. Refer to his website at the following address: persian.makarem.ir/estefta/index.php.

[3] . Farahidi, Khalil bin Ahmad, Kitab al-Ain, vol.7, pg.433, Hijrat Publication, second, Qom, 1410 A.H; Ibn Manzur, Abul Fazl Lesan al-Arab, vol.12, pg.543, Dar al-Fikr Publiations, third, Beirut, 1414 A.H.

[4] . A number of authors, Fiqh-e Ahlulbayt Magazine, vol.49, pg.201, Islamic Jurisprudence Encyclopedia Institute, Qom, first; Tabrizi, Jawad, New Questions and Answers, vol.1, pg. 452, Qom, first; Lankarani, Muhammad, Jami’ al-Masail, vol.1, pg.579, Amir Qalam Publications, Qom, 11th.

[5] . Shirazi, Naser Makarem, New Questions and Answers, vol.2, pg.247, Imam Ali bin Abi Talib Institute, Qom, 2nd, 1427 A.H.