Question 507: Assalamu alaikum. Ya ali a.s madad. My questions is, would you please tell me that how many from our 12 imams shed blood (Qama Zani) for imam Hussain (a.s) as Azadari and did condolence? If yes then, can you please provide me authentic reference?
Thank you.

Answer 507:  The Shia Imams (A.S.) and Different Ways of Mourning for Imam Hussein (A.S.) are as follows:

Holding Mourning Ceremonies: One of the methods that the Imams used to keep the memory of the rise of Ashura alive was arranging gatherings for crying and mourning and making others cry for the tragic incidents that took place in Karbala and reminding people of those incidents on appropriate occasions.

Imam Sajjad would constantly cry and mourn for what had taken place on the day of Ashura during the years he was the Imam of the Ummah.  He cried so much to the extent that he was known as and called one of the “Bakka’een” (those who cried very much).[1]

Imam Sajjad (as) and Lady Zeynab (sa) have always been trying to hold mourning ceremonies for Imam Hussain (as), even at that disaster time.

Delivering a sermon in the court of Yazeed and the People of Damascus was one of the Imam Sajjad’s (as) methods He used. He (as) said: O Yazid, is Muhammad (sa) your ancestor or Mine? If you say He is your ancestor you would lie and blaspheme, and if you believe that He is my grandfather, why you killed His son and imprisoned His family? Why you killed my Father and brought his family to this city as prisoners”? The Imam (as) then cried a lot and tore off his collar. When the people saw how the Imam is crying they also cried too much.[2]

Alqame Hadrami relates that Imam Baqir (as) would gather people in his house on the day of Ashura to cry and mourn, and the Imam himself would cry for his grandfather.  There was no Taqiyyah involved and he would tell those in the house to cry for Imam Hossein and to express their condolences to each other on the day of his martyrdom.[3]

On one occasion Imam Sadiq told Dawood Ruqi: “I have never drunk cold water without remembering Imam Hossein.”[4]

It is narrated in a hadith that Imam Reza said: “When the month of Muharram would arrive no one would see my father (Imam Kazim) smile and sadness and sorrow would take over him until the day of Ashura. The tenth day of Muharram was the day of sorrow and sadness and tragedy and he would say: Today is the day in which Imam Hossein was martyred.”[5]

Therefore, not only would the Infallible Imams attend these gatherings themselves and cry for Imam Hussein but they would always encourage people to cry and mourn for the Imam.  It has been said in a hadith that: “Whoever cries for Imam Hossein or makes someone else cry for the Imam will be rewarded paradise, and even those who show they are sad and crying [even if they aren’t because of whatever reason] will also be rewarded with paradise”.[6]

The eulogists and poets like Kumit Asadi, Da’bal Khaza’ei and Seyyed Humairi were praised by the Infallible Imams (A.S.) for their reciting elegies and composing poems on the tragedy of Karbala.

Tatbir (Qama Zani): Qama zani has been used as a means of mourning by some Shiahs in some cities and countries like Iraq, Pakistan and India. (It is said that the message of such mourning is that the mourners are ready to sacrifice and give away their lives in the path of Imam Hossein).

The ruling of Qama has always been a matter of dispute among the Ulema and the Maraj’e; there have always been two different opinions, some would allow it while others would forbid it.

The Grand Ayatollah Na’ini was the first to be inquired about the ruling in Islam regarding the usage of Qama, and his fatwa was considered the base of the fatwa of the other Maraj’e of his time and after him.

The Grand Ayatollah Na’ini held that there is not one verse or hadith that relates to Qama in particular, therefore if there is not fear that one might cause notable damage to his body through the use of Qama then it is permissible.  Tens of the Ulema after him did not issue a different fatwa and simply accepted his fatwa.  At the same time there was a group of the Ulema that forbade the usage of Qama due to the negative impact striking the head and making it bleed had on non Muslims and because it was used to misrepresent Shiism and harm it.  For example the Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Abolhasan Isfihani had declared the usage of Qama haram.[7]

It is noteworthy that even those of the Ulema that did not consider the usage of Qama haram would only allow it to the extent that it would not cause considerable damage to the body.

Not only hasn’t this type of mourning been mentioned in the ahadith to make it one of the “Sha’air” (sacraments), it is not even mustahab[8], but today the adversaries of Islam are taking advantage of these ceremonies by showing them to the world and misrepresenting Islam and the Shia school of thought all of which end up in Islam and Shiism being harmed.

This is why the Great Imam Khomeini says in response to a question regarding these ceremonies: “In such a situation they should not use Qama in the ceremonies…”.[9]

It is due to the same reason (the capitalization of the west on the harsh face of these ceremonies and its harming Shiism) that some of the Maraje like Grand Ayatollahs Khamenei, Fazel, Makarem, Noori Hamedani and Tabrizi have declared the use of Qama haram at this time.

According to most of maraja, as it is not held in the common view as manifestations of mourning and grief and didn’t take place in the imams’ time and even after that, and we have not received any tradition quoted from the Infallibles about any support for this act, be it privately or publicly, this practice would, at the present time, give others a bad image of our school of thought, therefore, there is no way that it can be considered permissible.[10] But, according to few of Maraja, Qama Zani is permissible.[11]

It must be noted that Hijamah is a Mustahab act that has its own conditions and rituals[12](10), but even if it is scientifically proved that the use of Qama has the same effect of Hijamah, it will still be haram, because it brings about the harm of Shiism and the adversaries of Islam take advantage of it.

The Philosophy of Azadari (mourning and lamentation) for Imam Husain, according to Ayatollah Sistani is as follows:

There is no doubt that the tragedy of Kerbala, when ascribed to the killers, is a criminal and terrible act. However when ascribed to Husain (A) himself, it represents a conscious confrontation and a courageous resistance for a sacred cause. The whole nation had failed to stand up to Yazid. They had succumbed to his will, and deviation and regression towards the pre-Islamic ways were increasing.

Passiveness by Husain (A) in this situation would have meant the end of Islam as we know it. Thus Husain (A) took upon himself the responsibility of the whole nation. The greatest tragedy was that one who stood up for the noblest of causes, the defense of Islam, was cut down in so cruel a manner.

It is for this reason that the sacrifice of Husain (A) is commemorated annually throughout the Muslim world. Our sorrow never abates as we relive the tragedy.

The commemoration of Ashura on the 10th of Muharram every year serves to remind us of the sacrifices of the family of the Prophet (S). It also makes us aware of the people, then and now, who tried to destroy Islam and the family of the Prophet (S) and all that they stood for – as well as those who watched, listened and did nothing.[13]

Conclusion: The great Shia Imams, peace be upon them, mourned for Imam Hussain (as) and have encouraged us to keep the memory of the event of Karbala alive through different ways namely, holding mourning ceremonies, weeping and making others weep, reciting elegies and visiting the grave of the Chief of the Martyrs, Imam Hussein (A.S.).[14]

None of the Imams (pbuth) shed blood for Imam Hussain (as). They just cried so much to the extent and held mourning ceremonies. So, there would be no problem in crying loudly as well as beating our head and face in mourning for Imam Hussein (as).

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

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

Related Link: Glossary 507.

[1]Wasa’elul-Shia, vol. 2, pg. 922.

[2] . Sirayeh (the Way of life) Chahardah Masoom (the Fourteen Infallibles (pbuth)), Pg. 397.

[3]Wasa’elul-Shia, vol. 2, pg. 398.

[4]Amali (Saduq), pg. 142.

[5]Mafatihul-Jinan, Sheikh Abbas Qummi, the section on the rituals and supplications of Muharram.

[6]Biharul-Anwar, vol. 24, pg. 284.

[7] Farhange Ashura, pg. 215.

[8] Fadlullah, Seyyid Muhammad Husein, Negahi Eslami be Ashura, pg. 44.

[9] Farhange Ashura, pg. 387.

[10] . Risalh Ajwabah, Q. 1461; Imam Khomeini, Istiftaat, Vol. 3, Pg. 581, Q. 37-38; Farhang Ashura, Pg. 354; Ayatollah Fadhel, Jame al-Masael, Vol. 1, Pg. 622; Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi, Istiftaat Jadid, Vol. 1, Pg. 158, Q. 571;  Ayatollah Tabrizi, Istiftaat Jadid, Vol. 1, Pg. 454, Q. 2003.

[11] . A similar question has been asked (by phone:) the office of Ayatollah Saafi Golpayegani.

[12] Qummi, Sheikh Abbas, Safinatul-Bihar, vol. 1, root: حجم

[13] . The official website of the office of Sayyid Sistani, rules regarding Azadari.

[14] . Ramz al-Mosibah, Vol. 1, Pgs. 24-25; Kamel al-Ziyarat, Pg. 175; Tarikh al-Niyyahat, Pgs. 123-132, Shahid Karbala, Pg. 80; Maali al-Sibtayn, Vol. 1, Pgs. 153-154.

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