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.


Permissibility of doing Matam for those passed away

Question 051: According to the hadith in the attached meme, from how I understand it, a person was killed and the Prophet Muhammad (saws) saw women doing matam due to the person being killed and he said for them to stop doing matam and only ghum and crying are accepted. So, is matam really allowed?

Rough translation of the attached meme, “One time the Prophet (saws) was passing from near Sham and saw women doing matam on a killed person. The Prophet (saws) called the owner of that qabila and asked him, why have you not told them that they cant do this; only weep and ghum a lot. Go and tell them to stop.”

Answer 051: There are many traditions narrated from our Infallibles (pbuth) in which we are allowed to do matam. Like what has been mentioned in Dua Abu Hamza Thumali.[1]

Given the supposition made in your questions, this Hadith is narrated from Imam Ali (A.S) not the Holy Prophet (PBUH). The following is the hadith I have translated it:

The tribe of Hamdan was one of the three tribes having the largest number of combatants in the army of Hadrat Ali (as). In one of the encounters in Siffin, members of this tribe, being on the right flank, had shown their unique firmness especially eight hundred from among their youth who remained steadfast till their last breath. One hundred and eighty of them were martyred and wounded; eleven among those who attained martyrdom were commanders.

When the Imam (as) was passing from Hamdan, He asked why they are mourning? Nasr replied: they are mourning for those of their family killed in Siffin Battle. Imam (as) has said, “I witness (and guarantee) that every one of them who were killed, were very patient and his Shahada (martyrdom) is accepted”. Then. Imam Ali (as) was passing from Sham (Syria) and heard some women mourning loudly. Harb Bin Syurahbil approached Imam Ali (as). The Imam has said to him: “Do your wives overcome to you? You cannot prevent them from mourning? Harb replied, “O Amir al-Momenin, if it was one, two or three persons we could do so, but one hundred and eighty of this tribe were martyred.” Imam Ali (as) said to him, “May Allah bless your martyrs.”[2]

The Arabic version of this hadith is as follows:

نصر عن عمر قال حدثني عبد الله بن عاصم الفائشي قال لما مر علي بالثوريين يعني ثور همدان سمع البكاء فقال ما هذه الأصوات قيل هذا البكاء على من قتل بصفين فقال أما إني أشهد لمن قتل منهم صابرا محتسبا بالشهادة ثم مر بالفائشيين فسمع الأصوات فقال مثل ذلك ثم مر بالشباميين فسمع رنة شديدة و صوتا مرتفعا عاليا فخرج إليه حرب بن شرحبيل الشبامي فقال علي أ يغلبكم نساؤكم أ لا تنهونهن عن هذا الصياح و الرنين قال يا أمير المؤمنين لو كانت دارا أو دارين أو ثلاثا قدرنا على ذلك و لكن من هذا الحي ثمانون و مائة قتيل فليس من دار إلا و فيها بكاء

The following verses of the Holy Qur’an tell us there is no problem to do matam for those who have passed away or have been killed.

In the Holy Qur’an Allah (SWT) says: And he turned away from them, and said, “Alas! My grief is great for Yusuf!” And his eyes turned white due to weeping [and he kept his anger within Himself.” They said, “By Allah! You will go on remembering Joseph until you wreck your health or perish.” He said, “I complain of my anguish and grief only to Allah. I know from Allah what you do not know.”[3] Thus, according to the Holy Qur’an, there is no problem to do matam.

For further information regarding other traditions in which such mourning is considered as makruh, please refer to:

– Mustadrak al-Wasael wa Mustanbit al-Masael Vol. 2, Chapter Mourning, Pgs. 456-457 & ….

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

[1] . Mafatih al-Jinan, Dua Abu Hamza Thumali.

[2] . Biharul Anwar, Vol. 79, Pg, 89, Chapter 16.

[3] . Surah Yousef, verses 84-85 &86.


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)).


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:

[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.


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.


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.