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Going for Hajj or Ziyarat of Imam Hussain or Imam Reza

Question 124: Has anyone heard that you have to go for Hajj before you go for ziyarat? Someone advised me of this and I’ve never heard it before. So, tell me sholud I Going for Hajj or Ziyarat of Imam Hussain or Imam Reza?

Answer 124: If a wajib hajj become obligatory upon you, you would have to go for Hajj, first. If you are dubious whether to go for Hajj or visit the holy shrine of the Infallibles Imams (pbuth) you are supposed to act based on the few traditions, as follows: Read More

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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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Returning Fadak to Imam Hasan and Hussain (pbuth)

Question 244: Why didn’t Imam Ali (as) give Fadak to Imam Hassan (as) and Hussain (as)?

Answer 244: “Fadak” was a thriving and flourishing village located near Khaybar, 140 kilometers from Medinah. In the seventh of hijrah, the fortresses of Khaybar were conquered one after another and the central power of the Jews was overthrown. The residents of Fadak surrendered and promised to give the prophet (pbuh) half of their lands and orchards on condition of no fighting and keep the rest for themselves. In addition, they accepted to do the farming of his lands for a wage.

Lands that fall into the hands of the Muslim army without any fighting and violence become the personal property of the prophet (pbuh), and he can make any decisions about them, that is why when the verse: “وَ آتِ ذَا الْقُرْبى حَقَّهُ وَ الْمِسْكينَ وَ ابْنَ السَّبيلِ وَ لا تُبَذِّرْ تَبْذيرا”[1] was revealed unto him, he summoned his daughter and granted her Fadak.[2]

But unfortunately, after the prophet (pbuh) passed away and during the reign of Abu Bakr, Lady Fatimah (as) was deprived of the gift of Fadak.[3]

In his famous book of Sahih Muslim, Muslim ibn Hajjaj Neyshabouri narrates the story of Lady Fatimah claiming Fadak in detail and has reported Ayishah saying that after the khalifah refused to return it to her, she sulked and didn’t speak another word with him until her demise.[4]

It has also been stated in the Nahjul-Balaghah that: “Of course, all that we had in our possession under the sky was Fadak, but a group of people felt greedy for it and the other party [its rightful owners; Imam Ali (as) and Lady Fatimah (as)] withheld themselves from it. Allah is, after all, the best arbiter.”[5]

In order to get the answer to your question, one fact that should be paid attention to is that the imam’s first and foremost priority always, was to preserve Islam itself, despite all of his objections to those in power before him, and that is why he would cooperate with them and help them in internal affairs and governing the Muslim nation, as he himself beautifully put it: “We [the progeny of the prophet (pbuh)] have a right [which was to be the true successors to the prophet (pbuh)] in which if we are allowed to exercise, then all the better, and if not, we prefer to be the second person sitting in the back of the camel [behind the person guiding it, instead of completely getting off]”.[6]

Therefore, in reality, the imam considered political power a tool and means of fulfilling godly objectives, not a goal, and that is why he would prefer to keep quiet about many different issues, both during his reign and the reign of those before him, leaving judgment for future generations to come. As for why he didn’t act according to his own viewpoint during his own rule, although he had the authority to do so, a small example will clarify things. During his own rule, when he attempted to bring an end to the “tarawih” prayer [that had been innovated by one of previous khalifahs and wasn’t a tradition of the prophet (pbuh)], he was confronted with objections and forced to leave the people to themselves.[7] Also, you surely know of his discontent regarding the arbitration of Abu Musa Ash’ari and that he was forced to give in to it. Essentially, the imam’s coming to power was preceded by twenty five years of continuous justification of all the actions and things the previous khalifahs had done, making it almost impossible to oppose their methods and bring change to some of them; one of those being returning the Fadak to its rightful owners, because some would think that the imam was making use of his power for his own benefit. Add to that the fact that Fadak was important to the household of the prophet (pbuh) and Lady Fatimah (as) because it was a gift and remembrance from him and more importantly, a financial asset and backing for them, especially Ali (as), and that is why the government of the time confiscated it; because it was their financial support; doing so would ensure that Ali (as) wouldn’t be able to do anything against them. Keeping in mind all of these and other circumstances, such as the battles and sabotage the nation was experiencing, preventing the imam (as) from making even important and primary changes that the nation was in need of, how was Ali (as) to take back Fadak? It would surely harm the Muslim nation and shadow over more important national issues, and that is why he chose not to.

Hadiths from the imams somewhat point to these issues:

1- Time had passed since the incident [of Fadak’s usurpation] and there was no need for Ali (as) to speak of it after so many years:

Abu Basir says: “I asked Imam Sadiq (as) why Imam Ali (as) didn’t repossess Fadak after he came to power. The imam (as) answered: “Because both the oppressed [Lady Fatimah (as)] and oppressor [those who deprived her of Fadak] had both died and Allah (swt) had punished the oppressor and rewarded the oppressed by then, and Ali ibn Abitaleb didn’t like the idea of returning a property in which its usurper had been punished and the one usurped from had been rewarded already.”[8]

2- Sacrificing personal benefits for higher and universal goals. Ibn Ibrahim Karakhi says: “I asked Imam Sadiq (as) about why Imam Ali (as) didn’t return Fadak after becoming khalifah. He answered: “When the prophet (pbuh) conquered Mekkah, he was asked if he would return to his homeland. He said: Aqil has sold my house. The people asked: Why don’t you take it back? He answered: We belong to a household that doesn’t take back what has been wrongfully taken from them; Imam Ali (as) did the same in order to have followed the prophet (pbuh) [in not taking back what rightfully belonged to him].[9]

A person asked Imam Kadhim (as) the same question; the imam answered: “Our household [the progeny of the prophet (pbuh)] whose guardian is Allah (swt); He is the one who makes sure what belongs to us comes back to us, and we are the guardians of the people and make sure what belongs to them returns to them, but we don’t take back what belongs to us.”[10]

Having said that, it’s good to see what the fate of Fadak was and what happened to it after the martyrdom of Imam Ali (as).
What historic records says is that after Mu’awiyyah took power, he divided it amongst Marwan, Amr ibn Uthman and his son Yazid. During Marwan’s rule, he took control of all of Fadak and he granted it to his son Abdul-Aziz, who later granted it to his son, Umar. Umar ibn Abdil-Aziz gave Fadak back to the descendants of Lady Fatimah (as). After his death, it once again fell into the hands of the Umayyid dynasty and remained there.

After rule of the Muslim empire shifted to the Abbasid dynasty, it was once again given back to Abdullah ibn Hasan [from the progeny of Imam Hasan (as)]. Mansour Davaneqi took it back from them when he took over, but his son returned it to them after his death.

After Mahdi, the son of Mansour, Musa and Haroun took it back again, but after them Ma’moun officially returned it to the progeny of Fatimah (as). It continued to be returned and taken after Ma’moun.

During that era, Fadak was considered a political issue, and wasn’t looked at as a financial asset, because the khalifahs of both dynasties were in no way in any need of the profits it yielded; that is why when Umar ibn Abdil-Aziz returned it, the Umayyids scolded him, saying: “By doing so, you have rejected Abu Bakr and Umar [who had refused to return it during their time]!”[11]

Eventually, during the Abbasid ruler, Mutawakkil, it was seized, its trees cut down by the order of a person by the name of “Abdullah ibn Umar Mazyar”. This shameful act remains a sign of disgrace for the wrongdoers of that time. It must be noted that even the eleven date palms that the prophet (pbuh) had planted with his own hands were cut down. History says Bashran ibn abi Umayyah Thaqafi, the person who had cut them down, suffered from paralysis after returning to Basrah.[12]

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

Index: Imam Ali (as) Gave Bay’ah (Allegiance) to Abu Bakr?, answer 260.

Index: The exact date on birth or Martyrdom of Lady Fatima and Infallibles, answer 254.

Index: Who were behind the Martyrdom of Lady Fatimah al-Zahra (sa), answer 486.

[1] . Isra’:26.

[2] . See: Tabarsi, Majma’ul-Bayan, vol. 3, pg. 411.

[3] . Sharhe Nahjul-Balagheh, vol. 16, pg. 274.

[4] . Sahih Muslim, vol. 3, pg. 1380.

[5] . Nahjul-Balaghah, letter 45.

[6] . Nahjul-Balaghah, pg. 472.

[7] . Ibn Abil-Hadid, Sharhu Nahjil-Balaghah, Library of Ayatullah Mar’ashi Najafi, vol. 12, pg. 283.

[8] . “فَقَالَ لَهُ لِأَنَّ الظَّالِمَ وَ الْمَظْلُومَةَ قَدْ كَانَا قَدِمَا عَلَى اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ وَ أَثَابَ اللَّهُ الْمَظْلُومَةَ وَ عَاقَبَ الظَّالِمَ، فَكَرِهَ أَنْ يَسْتَرْجِعَ شَيْئاً قَدْ عَاقَبَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ غَاصِبَهُ وَ أَثَابَ عَلَيْهِ الْمَغْصُوبَةَ” Biharul-Anwar, vol. 29, pg. 395, hadith 1.

[9] . Ibid, hadith 2.

[10] . Ibid, hadith 3.

[11] . Jafar Sobhani, Furughe Abadiyyat, vol. 2, pg. 669.

[12] . Ahmadi Miyanji, Makatibul-Rasul.

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Ziyarat Nahiya Muqaddasah

Question 147: I was reading Ziyaret Nahiyah and I came across a part of the Ziyaret that says, “I will continue to weep morning and evening and weep for you with tears of blood.” Can someone give me the tafsir on this Ziyaret and the meaning of this statement?

I was reading Ziyaret Nahiyah and I came across a part of the Ziyaret that says, “I will continue to weep morning and evening and weep for you with tears of blood.” Can someone give me the tafsir on this Ziyaret and the meaning of this statement?

Answer 147: The ziyarah of Nahiyah Muqaddasah is an ‘absolute’ or ‘unconditional’ ziyarah, meaning that it can be recited anytime; on Ashura or any other day.

This ziyarah begins with greeting the Prophet of Islam (pbuh), the other Prophets and the Imams (as), and is followed by greeting Imam Hussain (as) and his loyal companions. Afterwards, the ziyarah explains in detail the honorable characteristics, traditions and way of life of the Imam before his rise, the affection of Imam Mahdi (aj) for him, the circumstances that led to his rise, gives a description of what took place in Karbala, tells us of his martyrdom and the tragedies he suffered and underwent, and about the mourning of all earthly and heavenly creatures for him. The ziyarah ends with a tawassul (asking for mediation and intercession) to the imams and supplications to Allah (swt).

The famous Ziyarah Nahiyah Muqaddasah has an authentic and reliable chain of narrators [sanad] and has been issued by Imam Mahdi (as) to one of his “special” representatives [one of the four representatives that were specifically appointed by the imam (as) himself in the third century (ah) during his minor occultation] in the form of a tawqi’ [letters written by the imam in response to questions that were asked from him].

This ziyarah was passed down to great scholars such as Sheikh Mufid and Sayyid Murtadha through Shia narrators, and from them to others like Ibnul-Mashhadi. Finally from them on to later scholars, namely, Sayyid ibn Tawus and Allamah Majlisi.

In this Ziarat Imam Mahdi (ajtf) has said:

«فَلَأَنْدُبَنَّكَصَبَاحاً وَ مَسَاءً، وَ لَأَبْكِيَنَّعَلَيْكَ بَدَلَ الدُّمُوعِ دَماً،حَسْرَةً عَلَيْكَ وَ تَأَسُّفاً عَلَىمَا دَهَاكَ وَ تَلَهُّفاً، حَتَّىأَمُوتَ بِلَوْعَةِ الْمُصَابِ وَ غُصَّةِالِاكْتِيَاب»

Transliteration: “Fala’andubannaka šabāħan wa masā’ā, wa la’abkiyanna lakabadalad-dumū3i damā, ħasratan 3alayka wa ta’assufan 3alā mādahāka wa talahhufā”

Translation: “I will, therefore, lament you morning and evening, and will weep blood in place of tears, out of my anguish for you and my sorrow for all that befell you”.

We can figure out how much the above mentioned phrases allusively indicate Imam Mahdi’ (ajtf) anguish for Imam Hussain (a.s). This doesn’t mean, that its the actual meaning of such phrases. Imam Mahdi (ajtf) wouldn’t like to weep blood by using external devices. He wants to shed many tears in a way that make his eyes bloody, instead. Weeping and moaning is not damaging yourself when you are filled with a lot of grief, especially when it is related to divinely religious affairs.[1]

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

Index: Reciting Dua or Dikr in any language during the Prayer, answer 579.

Index: Evaluating the chain of narration of Dua Muqatil bin Sulaiman, answer 150.

Index: Ziyarat Ashura, Arabaeen, Ameenullah and Warith, answer 253.

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

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

[1] . Ibn Mashhadi, Muhammad bin Jafar, al-Mazar al-Kabir, editor and researcher: Qayoumi Esfahani, Jawad, Pg. 501, Qom, first edition 1419A.H. – Al-Mazar, Pg. 27 & 496. – Noori, Hussain, Khatimatul Mustadrak, Vol. 1, Pg. 360, first edition, Alul Bayt institution,Qom, 1415 A.H. – Qomi, Sheikh Abbas, al-Alqab, Vol. 1, Pg. 409, Maktabat al-Sard, Tehran, Bita. – Al-Mazar, introduction, Pg. 6.

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Glossary 505: Delaying Death and Called before its Time

Original Post: Delaying Death and Called before its Time

Related Code: 505

Glossary 505: Ahadith[1], Quranic[2], Ajal[3], Ajal muallaq[4], Ajal hatmi[5], Lawḥ[6], Ithbāt[7], lawh mahw wa ithbat[8], Umm al-Kitāb[9], Pbuth[10], Gheib[11], Imam Sadiq[12], Mulla Sadra[13], Harakat Jowhariyah[14], Tawaffi[15], Ruh[16], Nafs[17], Wafat[18], Faut[19], Mawtehââ[20], Anfos[21], Manameha[22], Imam Hussain[23], Maḥw[24], Ajal musamma[25]

[1] . – Ahadith:  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”.

[2] . – Quranic: It is used to describe something which belongs or relates to the Holy Quran.

[3] . – Ajal: Term. Life Time. Preordained Time. Specified Date.

[4] . – Ajal muallaq: The conditional ajal. Suspended Lifespan.

[5] . – Ajal hatmi: Cannot be changed. Definite Lifespan.

[6] . – Lawḥ: Tablet. The Book of Allah’s Recorded Knowledge.  Tablet of wood or stone used for writing.

[7] . Ithbāt: Affirmation. Writing.

[8] . – lawh mahw wa ithbat: The knowledge which is capable of erasure and substitution; The knowledge which is Liable to change from time to time.

[9] . – Umm al-Kitāb: The Mother Book, The Basis of the Book, The Original of the Book.

[10] . – Pbuth: Peace be Upon Them (The Infallibles).

[11] . – Gheib: The Unseen.

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

[13] . – Mulla Sadra: Ṣadr ad-Dīn Muḥammad Shīrāzī. He was an Iranian Shia Islamic philosopher, theologian and ‘Ālim who led the Iranian cultural renaissance in the 17th century.

[14] . – Harakat Jowhariyah: substantial motion.

[15] . – Tawaffi: This word is derived from the root word “وفی” which means to receive something in a complete way. “توفیت المال” means that I received all of the money with no shortage. The Quran refers to death with this term in 14 verses and this means that first: man has a metaphysical aspect and it is because of this aspect that man never ceases and is delivered completely to the angels at the moment of death.

[16] . – Ruh: Spirit.

[17] . – Nafs: Soul.

[18] . – Wafat: complete reception. In Farsi it is وفات.

[19] . – Faut: ceasing. In Farsi it is فوت.

[20] . – Mawtehââ: Death.

[21] . – Anfos: Souls.

[22] . – Manameha: Sleep.

[23] . – Imam Hussain: – Imam Hussain: 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.

[24] . – Maḥw: Erasure; Rubbing something out.

[25] . – Ajal musamma: The definite ajal. Specified term. Fixed time. Fixed Term.

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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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Mourning for Imam Hussain (as) while you are grieving

Question 047: Is mourning for Imam Hussain (a.s) while you are grieving allowed?

Answer 047: There are no restrictions limiting the time of mourning for Imam Hussain (as) to the Day of Ashura. When you are grieving for any worldly things and want to forget about them you can remember the tragic incidents that took place in Karbala against Imam Hussain (as) and His family and Followers.

In this regards, Imam Reza (as) said: O Son of Shabib! If you want to cry over something, then do so over Husain bin Ali bin Abi Talib (as). This means that if you are grieving you would be recommended to mourn for Imam Hussain (as).[1]

Arabic version:

يَا ابْنَ شَبِيبٍ إِنْ كُنْتَ بَاكِياً لِشَيْ‏ءٍ فَابْكِ‏ لِلْحُسَيْنِ‏ بْنِ عَلِيِّ بْنِ أَبِي طَالِبٍ ع‏

Also, there is a hadith in which Imam Ali (as) said: If you cannot be patient, then act as if you are patient (i.e. behave like a patient person), because it is very unlikely that a man make himself like a group of people but does not become like one of them.[2] We can find a similar saying suggested by psychologists: Fake it till you make it.

Arabic version:

إِنْ لَمْ تَكُنْ حَلِيماً فَتَحَلَّمْ فَإِنَّهُ قَلَّ مَنْ تَشَبَّهَ بِقَوْمٍ إِلَّا أَوْشَكَ أَنْ يَكُونَ مِنْهُم

So, according to the previous mentioned ahadith, you can mourn and cry for Imam Hussain (as) anytime you want even when you are grieving.

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

Index: Cry or Pretend to Cry over our Sins, for Imam Hussain (as) or Fear of Allah (SWT), 048.

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

[1] . Al-Amali of Sheikh Sadouq, al-Nass, Pg. 130; Uyūn akhbār al-Riḍā (as), Vol. 1, Pg. 299; Wasael al-Shia, Vol. 14, Pg. 502; Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 44, Pg. 286.

[2] . Nahj al-Balaghah, H. 203.

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Every day is Ashura and Every Place is Karbala

Question 071: Is the statement “Every day is Ashura and every place is Karbala” a hadith? How reliable is its chain of narrators (sanad)?
Answer 071: We weren’t able to find such a hadith[1] saying: “Every day is Ashura and every place is Karbala”.[2]

Yet, this sentence is a correct conclusion obtained from the incident of Karbala and the line of movement of our imams and contains some valuable and instructive points; because although another Ashura will never take place, but oppression and tyranny will always continue, until Imam Mahdi (as) reappears and roots out and eliminates all of it.  The culture of Ashura will go on forever and Karbala will remain the symbol of resistance and fighting against injustice and oppression.  Our religious leaders have taught us to stand up against tyranny, and would do so themselves.  Therefore, it isn’t true that Ashura was an incident that took place in a certain time and place and is to be forgotten afterwards.

The sentence “Every day is Ashura and every place is Karbala” signifies that the battle between good and evil is to go on and isn’t limited to any time or place, and that this battle is linked to the ones before, forming a single chain.  The incident of Ashura and Karbala is one of the clearest links of this very long chain.  Good and evil are always face to face, and libertarians are responsible for the guardianship of the good and fighting the evil, thus, being careless regarding this battle is considered turning away from religion.

Imam Khomeini, who was the establisher of the Islamic Republic, a true follower of Imam Husein (as) and fought against the oppressors of his time, refers to this statement (Everyday is Ashura and…) as “The Great Statement” and stresses on keeping the message of Ashura alive and putting it into practice saying: “This statement is a great one…our nation must always pay attention to the fact that even today is Ashura and that we must stand up against oppression and that we are currently in Karbala and must act according to it, Karbala isn’t limited to a specific land.  The incident of Karbala isn’t limited to a group of seventy-something people in the land of Karbala, all lands must play the same role as Karbala did.”[3]

In reality, with the belief that the rise and martyrdom of Imam Hussain (as) must be the guideline for all Muslim social activities, Imam Khomeini made the rise of Imam Hussain (as) the foundation of his movement.  “…what Imam Hussain (as) did, the idea that he had and his way and his victory after his martyrdom and consequently, the victory of Islam.  This statement brings forth a responsibility for us, while bringing about good news as well.  The responsibility is that the oppressed, no matter how little in number, must stand up like Imam Hussain (as) against their oppressors, regardless of their number, how armed they might be and the evil power they might possess.  The good news being that this statement has considered our martyrs (that stand up as a result of following Imam Husein [as]) as part of the martyrs of Karbala.”

During the imposed war on Iran, the great leader of the revolution stated: “Although the battle of Ashura was the shortest one time wise (half a day), it is the longest battle between good and evil as far as length goes , therefore, whenever one wishes that he/she were one of the companions of the imam (as) and one of the martyrs of Karbala (یا لیتنا کنا معکم‏ فنفوز فوزا عظیما)[4], the battle of Karbala is still going on and the clash of Ashura is continuous (so there still is hope to be able to reach such a rank).”[5]

In other words, as Imam Hussain (as) is the inheritor and successor (wareth) of Prophets: Adam, Ibrahim, Nuh, Musa, Isa, and Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon all of them), the followers of Imam Hussain (as) are the inheritors and successors of the red line of Jihad and Shahadah (martyrdom) and will never put down the flag of Karbala, and this is the valuable asset of Shi’ism in its political dimension, as Imam Hussain (as) himself says: “فلکم فی اسوة‏،  در کار من برای شما الگو است  (there is a good exemplar in me for you)”[6].  This viewpoint of Imam Khomeini, rejects theories that say Karbala and Imam Hussain’s (as) movement were all a personal responsibility that were only for the imam himself and others can’t follow him in it.

One writer even says: “We are certain that if Imam Hussain (as) were to be alive today, he would create another Karbala out of Quds, southern Lebanon, and most Islamic regions, holding the same grounds he held against Mu’awiyyah and Yazid.[7]

Index: Cry or Pretend to Cry over our Sins, for Imam Hussain (as) or Fear of Allah (SWT), 048.

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

[1]  Of course, some quote this statement from Imam Sadiq (as) without any hadithic backup, see: Abbas Azizi, Payame Ashura (The Message of Ashura), pg. 28 and Javad Muhaddethi, Farhange Ashura, pg. 371.

[2] Some have even submitted evidence that this statement isn’t a hadith. See: Ulume Hadith Magazine, no. 26.

[3] Sahifeye Noor (A collection of the late Imam Khomeini’s sayings), v.9, pg. 202.

[4] Ziyarat Ashura

[5] Sahifeye Noor, v.20, pg. 195.

[6] Tabari, v.4, pg304.

[7] Hashem Ma’ruf Al-Hasani, Al-Intifadhat al-Shi’iyyah, pg.387; Adopted from answer 822 IQ.

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The number of soldiers who came to Karbala to fight against Imam Hussain (as)

Question 568: Dear Scholars. We have varying numbers relating to the forces in Yazids (la) army in the battle of Karbala. Tabari mentions 1000 troops under the regiment of Hur and 4000 under Umar ibn Sa’ad and therefore 5000 in total. What is a more authentic account?

Salaams and duas

Answer 568: Umar bin Saad was the commander in charge of Yazids army. Although, records differ as to the number of soldiers who came to Karbaa to fight against Imam Hussain (as), but, according to the most reliable sources, they were 30 thousand people. The two following hadith support this idea. Read More

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

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.