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Common and Specific A’amaal for three nights of Qadr

Question 637: What are the common and specific A’amaal we the Muslim can perform during the three Nights of Power (Laylatul Qadr)?

Answer 637: The Night of Power (Laylatul Qard) is the night, which is the most blessed and excellent of all nights. A prayer during this night is superior to the prayer of a thousand months.[1] The destiny for the year is decided (decreed) on this night.[2] That is why the Du`as for this night ask for special favours in the decree for the year. Believers are encouraged to stay awake the entire night, and pray for blessings and forgiveness. It is the holiest night of the year, and it would be unwise to be heedless of the tremendous benefits of this night. The Angels and Roohul Ameen (a highly dignified Angel) descend on this earth, with the permission of Allah (swt) & call on the Imam of the time, and what is ordained (by Allah) for everybody is presented before the Imam.[3] Read More

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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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The daughters of Imam Hussain (as)

Question 181: Would you be able to share (i) some insights regarding the total number and fate of the daughters of Imam al-Husayn (as), and (ii) perhaps suggest several researches in English and Arabic, in the form of books/articles that analyze this question?

Answer 181: Many historians and those who write maqtals (accounts of what took place on Ashura) have mentioned two girls with the names of Fatimah and Sukainah when counting the daughters of Imam Hussein.[1] Also, some have added the name of “Zeynab”,[2] while other books have narrated the story of the Imam’s small daughter and the tragic incidents that took place for her in the ruins of Sham.[3] Most of these writers have cited this story from the book of “Kamel Baha’i” which was written in seventh century A. H.

There are also clues in our hadith and history sources that support her existence and as an example we will mention one of them:

First: When Lady Zeynab was speaking to the head of her brother, Imam Hussein, she recited poems that consisted of the following sentence: “O Brother! Speak to little Fatimah for it is close for her heart to become empty (it is close for her to pass away).”[4] This sentence indicates that such a small girl existed and could not bear the separation from her father.

When examining historical books and the Maqatel we find that Shia and Sunni historians have mentioned a daughter named Sukainah for Imam Hussein. In this regard Sheikh Mufid says:” Sukainah is among the daughters of Imam Hussein and her mother’s name is Rubab.”[5] Sheikh Tabarsi also mentions her name saying that: “Imam Hussein married her to Abdullah Bin Al Hassan – her cousin – that was martyred on the day of Ashura.”[6] It is mentioned in the book Maghtal al-Hussein that: “She (Sukainah) married her cousin (Abdullah Bin Al Hassan) who was martyred on the day of Ashura before consummating their marriage and no child was born from this marriage.”[7] Tabarsi also narrates that: “Sukainah, the daughter of Imam Hussein was 10 years old during the incident of Ashura.”[8]

Dhahabi has also mentioned in his “Tarikh al-Islam” that Sukainah was the daughter of Imam Hussein and names up to 20 books that have mentioned Sukainah as the Imam’s daughter.[9] Therefore many books have mentioned Sukainah as the daughter of Imam Hussein. In addition to the books mentioned in this article, we have mentioned the names of the rest of these books in the footnotes.[10]

However, regarding her age, there is no clear narration, and it is only understood from the different opinions that during Ashura she was either married or she had reached the age of marriage.[11]

Taking what was said in to consideration, one can conclude that a daughter of Imam Hussein (who was either named Ruqayyahh or Fatimah) passed away beside the head of her father in the ruins of Sham, and that this little girl was not Sukainah, the other daughter of the Imam who lived for many years after her father’s martyrdom.

For further information, please read the following answer:

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

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

[1] . Mufid, Muhammad bin Nu’man, Al-Irshaad, The Collection of the Works of Sheikh Mufid, vol. 2, pg. 135, Dar al-Mufid, Beirut, 1414 AH. Ibn Shahr Ashub, Manaaqib Aal Abi Taleb, vol. 4, pg. 77, Allamah Publications Institute, Qom Seminary Print; Tabarsi, A’laam al-Waraa, vol. 1, pg. 478, Aal Bayt Institute, first print, 1417 AH; Mus’ab al-Zubayri, Nisab al-Quraysh, pg. 59, Dar al-Ma’aarif, Cairo, third print; Beladheri, Ansaab al-Ashraaf, vol. 3, pg. 1288, Dar al-Fikr, Beirut , first print, 1401 AH; Sibt bin Jowzi, Tadhkirah al-Khawass, pg. 349, Ahlul-Bayt Institute, Beirut, first print, 1401.

[2] . Al-Arbali, Kashf al-Ghummah fi Ma’rifat al-A’immah, vol. 2, pg. 38, researched by Rasuli, Tabriz, Suuq Masjid Jame’.

[3]. Qummi, Sheikh Abbas, Nafas al-Mahmum, pp.415-416, Maktabah al-Heydariyyah Publications, first print, 1379; Al-Iqaad, Shah Abdul-Azimi, pg. 179, researched by Razavi, Firuzabadi Publications, first print, 1411 AH; Ha’eri, Ma’aali al-Sibtayn, vol.2, pg. 170, Al-Numaan Publications, Beirut, 1412 AH; Qummi, Sheikh Abbas, Muntaha al-Aamaal, vol. 1, pg. 807, Hijrah Publications Institute, fourth print, 1411 AH; Tabari, Imaduddin, Kamel Baha’i, vol. 2, pg. 179, Maktabah Al-Mustafavi.

[4] . Majlisi, Muhamamad Baqir, Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 45, pg. 115 “…یا اخی فاطم الصغیرة کلمّا فقد کاد قلبها ان یذوبا”;
Al-Qanduzi, Yanabi’ al-Mawaddah, vol. 2, pg. 421, Al-Sharif Al-Radhiyy Publications, first print, 1371.

[5] . Mufid, Muhammad bin Nu’maan, Al-Irshad, vol. 2, pg. 37, Ilmiyyah Islamiyyah Publications.

[6] . Tabarsi, A’laam al-Waraa, vol. 1, pg. 418, Aal al-Bayt Publications; Mufid, Muhammad bin Nu’man, Al-Irshad, pg. 25; Arbali, Kashf al-Ghummah, pg. 157.

[7] . Musawi, Abd al-Razzaaq, Maqtal al-Husein, pg. 397, Basirati Publications.

[8] . Ibid.

[9] . Al-Dhahabi, Tarikh al-Islam, vol. 7, pg. 371, Dar al-Kutub al-Arabi, Beirut, Lebanon.

[10] . Abu al-Faraj al-Isfahani, Maqaatil al-Talebin, pp. 94, 119, 133, 167; Al-Baladheri, Ansaab al-Ashraaf, vol. 3, pg. 362; Ibn Hanaan, Al-Thuqaat, vol. 4, pg. 351, Al-Kutub al-Thaqaafiyyah Publications; Al-Bukhari, Al-Taarikh al-Saghir, vol. 1, pg. 273, Dar al-Ma’rifah, Beirut, Lebanon; Al-Usfuri, Taarikh Khalifah bin Khayaat, pg. 274, Dar al-Fikr, Beirut; Muhammad bin Sa’d, Al-Tabaqaat al-Kubra, vol. 8, pg. 475, Beirut; Al-Muzni, Tahdhib al-Kamaal, vol. 6, pg. 397, Al-Risalah Publications; Ibn Aamir, Taarikh al-Madinah, vol. 2, pg. 52, and vol. 29, pg. 69 in different pages, Damascus, Dar al-Fikr; Ibn Maakulaa, Ikmaal al-Kamaal, vol. 4, pg. 316 and vol. 7, pg. 107, Dar al-Kitab al-Islamiyy, Cairo; Majlisi, Muhammad Baqir, Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 45, pg. 169, pg. 47, Beirut; Qummi, Sheikh Abbas, Muntaha al-Aamaal, vol. 1, pg. 547, Huseini Publications.

[11] . Mufid, Muhammad bin Nu’maan, Al-Irshad, vol. 2, pg. 22.

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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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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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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.

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Pretending to cry over our Sins, for Imam Hussain (as) or Fear of Allah (SWT)

Question 048: What is the ruling of one who desires to cry for his sins, but is unable to do so, so he pretends to cry? Is pretending recommended? What procedures does one have to go through in order to be able to shed tears?

Answer 048: When you want to pray, supplicate or fear Allah, the Almighty you had better to cry or pretend[1] to cry. This act is a psychological example of an artificial effect on our soul.

According to a hadith, in order that your prayers be granted by Allah, the Most High you should cry or pretend to cry. Also, try to have at least one drop of tear coming out of your eyes, even by remembering a memory of one of your relatives who has passed away. In this regards, there is a hadith narrated from the holy Prophet (pbuh) that if one cries or pretends to cry while reciting the holy Quran or hearing it, he will certainly go to the Heaven. Furthermore, if you fear Allah (SWT), the punishment of Hell and desire to go to the Heaven you are supposed to cry or pretend to cry especially at the time of offering prayers, ta’qibat, supplications, dhikr, and during the practices of hajj, especially in Sa’y, stay in Arafa, and on top of Marwa Mount.[2]

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Ziyarat of Imam Hussain when you are far away from Karbala

Question 057: Can I do the ziyarat for Imam Hussein (as) from home? How does one determine the direction of Karbala?

Answer 057: You can do the ziyarat for Imam Hussein (as) from home. You say, ‘Assalamo-Alaika Ya’ Aba Ab’dillah Al-Husain’. It does not matter where you are, because the ziyarat depends on your niyat (intention). Just do it with all your heart. Read More