Answers to Azadari (Mourning)

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Blue Oasis

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When a question is asked for which one does not feel sufficient of position and knowledge to answer, the best one can do is say "Allah (swt) knows best" and point in the right direction. I'm not a qualified teacher to answer the questions raised about mourning, but I know a place which provides answers and isntead of passing on their logic, here it is directly for you.

So for those serious about finding the truth, visit:

Posted 19 Feb 2005

Badal says
Azadari (Mourning ):

Nothing in the Shari`ah prohibits sadness for the death of dear people; it is an innate feeling. However, one should demonstrate such sadness without violating the rules of Islam. For example, slapping the face, tearing clothes, slashing the back and hitting the head with swords are all forbidden acts. If one does so, then he is harming himself, and in Islam one is not allowed to even expose himself to harm or ruin.

If people do such deeds to show sympathy for Imam Al-Hussein (may Allah be pleased with him), then they should rather show it by spreading justice, as Al-Hussein sought to do. Moreover, reviving past sorrows is not permissible. That is why the interval specified for mourning someone’s demise is just three days after death.

Thus, these Shiite customs done to mourn Imam Al-Hussein (may Allah be pleased with him) have no Islamic basis, not even in the Shiite jurisprudence itself. Such acts are no more than individual practices that developed into regular customs of millions of people with the elapse of time so that anyone who acts against them is resented. However, most contemporary Shiite scholars prohibit such acts and practices and consider them a type of backwardness.

Responding to your question, Sheikh Muhammad Hussain Fadlullah, a major Shiite Scholar in Lebanon, states the following:

"There is a common denominator between the rites of celebration on the tenth of Muharram in the past and in the present time. It is mainly to condole the death of Imam Al-Hussein (may Allah be pleased with him). In the past, people used to strike their cheeks as an expression of sorrow, but not in an excessive way as people do at present.

Nowadays, people observe some excessive habits such as hitting their heads with swords and slashing their backs with iron chains.

Such extreme customs did not emerge as a result of legal collective ijtihad based on the Shari`ah. Rather, they emerged out of individual innovation that turned into ritual acts that so excited people’s sympathy that they imitated them blindly until they became sacred customs that none can ignore; otherwise one would be considered negligent and extremist. The issue reached the extreme that even reverent scholars do not dare to stand in the face of the majority to dissuade them from such extremism, because whoever tries to do so will be accused of hating the Prophet’s household and trying to erase their tracks and erase them from people’s memory.

Some people may argue that some great scholars in the field of Shari`ah, 50 and 60 years ago, issued fatwas legalizing the Shiite rites on that occasion. They said that such rites are not originally prohibited unless they lead to ruining oneself.

Concerning the reason for issuing those fatwas, it was raised in a juristic seminar on “Is It Prohibited for Man to Harm Himself? What about Slight Harms?” This means, for instance, injuring one’s hand, hitting the head, and the like which does not lead to man’s ruin. Is the harm itself prohibited or what is unlawful is the harm that leads to destroying oneself or jeopardizing one’s heath?

There are two views on this case:

The first view indicates that harming oneself is intrinsically forbidden, unless there is an urgent need for it, such as the dangers man faces in his travels or working day and night to attain material and spiritual gains. There must be a prior estimation of the benefit or loss entailed by subjecting oneself to harm. If the benefit expected from tiring oneself deserves the harm borne in its cause, then benefit is given priority over harm in such a case. That is, one disregards the harm he would do himself for the benefit he would attain. Hence, those who hold this view see that it is prohibited for man to harm himself, even in mourning or expressing love, et cetera.

There is another view adopted by many scholars. They maintain that man is not prohibited to harm himself if such harm would not lead him to a bad state of health or to death.

In light of this view, scholars see that hitting the head with a sword and striking the cheeks in mourning are not forbidden acts in themselves. Rather, they are forbidden because man is forbidden to do anything that may lead to his ruin.

Scholars who legalize harming oneself in principle hold some restrictions. They see that the issue in question is prohibited in certain cases if it leads to something prohibited in the second place.

The above view is also maintained by the late major Shiite scholar Sheikh As-Sayed Abul-Qasim Al-Khaw`ie.

As for my own opinion regarding this issue, I consider such acts and practices as forbidden. This stems from the well-established fact that hurting oneself is forbidden as far as the Islamic Shari`ah is concerned unless there is a necessity for that. Thereupon, it is forbidden to strike heads with swords, or backs with chains, or even to harshly strike one’s cheeks that may hurt him even slightly. This can be deducted from the aforementioned texts that prove that harming one’s self is forbidden.

In addition, rational thinking requires this, as people reject the idea of anyone doing any sort of harm to himself. All these support my opinion that such acts are forbidden in Islam even if they are done in the name of sadness and mourning.

I have another observation in this regard, that those who strike their heads with swords or backs with lashes claim that: they do this to express sympathy with Imam Al-Hussein (may Allah be pleased with him) in his pains and with Zainab (may Allah be pleased with her) and her sisters when she was scourged. But, I would say that expressing sympathy does not require one to be injured in the same way as Imam Al-Hussein or to be scourged in the same way as Zainab.

Truly, Al-Hussein was injured while he was striving in Allah’s Cause. So, those who express sympathy with Imam Al-Hussein are only those Palestinian young men who fight against the Israeli enemy. They are indeed injured in a similar stance as that of Imam Al-Hussein’s. Also, those who show sympathy with Zainab are none but those who suffer from whipping in the vaults of the Israeli prisons. This is because she was scourged in the way of an “issue”.

Based on all the aforementioned, I find it necessary to wipe out these customs, for they are forbidden due to the many negative effects they have on the individual level and on the level of the image of the Shiite Muslims all over the world. That’s why I said earlier that they are some sort of backwardness."
Posted 20 Feb 2005

Blue Oasis says
Clarification of the Misconceptions About Azadari (Mourning)

A contemporary scholar Mr Abdul Ghaffar in the daily 'Hindustan' dated 21 June 1993 has raised certain objections about the 'Welcome to Mourning' (Istiqbale Aza). Perhaps his one-sided study might have plunged him into misunderstandings. Hence it became imperative for us to clarify his misgivings.

The summary of his objections, based on five premises, which are as follows:

Certainly the assassination of Hussain will kindle fire in the hearts of the believers until eternity, which will never extinguish. It is a tradition from the Holy Prophet (S) ? What is the proof of its authenticity ?

The mourning of Prophets (A) before Imam Hussain (A) is a meaningless thing.

The survival and resilience of Islam is based on its cardinal principles of Namaz, Roza, Hajj etc. Islam thrives on it and not on mourning of Imam Hussain (A).

Mourning and self-flagellation for Imam Hussain (A) is forbidden.

Mourning and establishing such gatherings does not have any relevance to the religion. Man should follow Qur'an and Traditions and not the practice of scholars.

Now we shall reply to the above-mentioned objections so that the foundation and base of Azadari may become evident to one and all. And none shall remain unaware of the existence found in reliable and authentic traditions.

Refutation to the First Objection

"Martyrdom of Hussain kindles such a fire in the hearts of the believers which will never extinguish."

This tradition is but a part of a lengthy narration which Imam Sadiq (A) had related from Holy Prophet (S). Complete tradition is quoted below:

Imam Sadiq (A) said:

"When Imam Husain (A) came to the Holy Prophet (S), he looked at him, hugged him and said: 'Martyrdom of Husain will generate such a fire in the hearts of believers which will never be extinguished.' Then he said' My parents be sacrificed for him who is the fountain-head of all mourning'. When the companions asked 'What does it mean?' He replied 'That no believer will remember him but mourning and weeping.'

The tradition was recorded by a great scholar of 8th Century AH. Shamsuddin Mohammed Aalim (died in 786AH.), who was given the title of' Collection of merits and excellences and total knowledge of the world and hereafter' by Shaikh Mohammed Yusuf Quraishi Shafei in his book 'Majmua' quoted from the book 'Al-Anwaar' written by Shaikh Abu Ali Mohammed bin Abi Bakr Hammam bin Sohail Katib Iskafi (died in 336 AH.), who was student of the renowned Sunni scholar of 3rd century AH. Abdur Razzaq. The narrator of this tradition was Ahmed bin Abi Hiraasa Bahuli, who related from Ibrahim bin Ishaque, who related from Hemad bin Ishaue Ansari, who quoted from Ibn Sinan and who narrated from Imam Sadiq (A).

This tradition has surprised our respected brethren Abdur Ghaffar but its authenticity was supported by Bukhari in 'Al Adab Al Mufrad', Ibn Majah in his 'Sunan' in the chapter of Merits of Imam Hassan and Imam Hussain (A). Hakim has written about it in his 'Mustadrak' pg 77 and Ahmad Bin Hambal in his 'Musnad' vol 4, pg 172. Apart from these stalwarts, other traditionalists have also narrated it in their books on the authority of Yali Bin Murrah and Jafar Bin Abdullah Ansari that 'Once the Holy Prophet (S) alongwith his companions was going to attend a feast. He saw Imam Husain (A) playing with his friends. The Holy Prophet (S) moved with agility and wanted to hug him. But when Imam Hussain (A) dodged him smilingly. This made the Holy Prophet (S) to laugh with him and be pleased. Finally he caught Imam Hussain (A) and took him in his arms, kissed him and said:

"Hussain is from me and I am from Hussain, Allah likes him who loves Hussain. He is one of my grandsons."

Refutation to the Second Objection

He objects that how come past Prophets (A) mourned and wept for Imam Husain (A) before his martyrdom ?

The cause of this question is that Abdul Gaffar considers Prophets to be like ordinary mortals and thinks that they are unaware of the future happenings. While they are gifted with Divine Knowledge due to which they are aware of future happenings. They used to rejoice at joyous occasions and became sorrowful and uncomfortable at the sad incidents. It has been mentioned in reliable traditions that often Holy Prophet (S) mourned for Imam Hussain (A), which was obviously before his martyrdom.

The well-known scholar of 10th century A H. Allauddin Muttaqi Hindi in his book 'Kanzul Ummal' has quoted Ibn Abi Shaibah, who has related from Umme Salmah, the wife of Holy Prophet (S), that:

"Once Imam Hussain (A) came to Holy Prophet (S) when I was sitting near the door. I saw that Holy Prophet (S) had something in his palm, which was moved by him and weeping profusely. By now Imam Hussain (A) had fallen asleep in his lap. I asked about the matter. He replied: 'Jibreel has brought the sand of the place where Hussain will be martyred and informed me that people of my Ummat will slay him.'" (Kanzul Ummal, vol 2)

The great Sunni scholar of 8th century A H., Hafiz Nuruddin Haithami Shafei has related from Tabrani, who has narrated from Hazrat Aisha that:

"Once Imam Hussain Bin Ali (A) visited Holy Prophet (S), while he was in the middle of a revelation. He climbed on the shoulders of Holy Prophet (S), Jibrael asked from the Holy Prophet (S) that did he love him? The Holy Prophet (S) replied 'How could I not love my son'. Jibrael said: 'Surely your Ummat will kill him after you'. Then he stretched his hand and handed over a white sand to Holy Prophet (S) and said: 'Your son will be killed on this soil. The place is known as Taff.' After the departure of Jibrael, the Holy Prophet (S) came out, he had the same sand in his hand, he was weeping and he said: 'O Ayesha, Jibrael has informed me that my son Hussain will be killed on the land of Taff. My Ummat will pass through test after me.' Then the Holy Prophet (S) went, weeping profusely. Hazrat Ali (A), Hazrat Abu Bakr, Hazrat Umar and Hazrat Abu Zar were present there. When they all inquired about the cause of grief. He replied: "Jibrael has informed me that, after me, my son Hussain will be killed on the land of Taff. He also gave me the sand and said that it is from his grave." (Majmauz Zawaed, vol 9, pg 187)

Hakim Neshapuri has related a tradition from Umme Fazl that once in her dream she saw the Holy Prophet (S), whose limb got cut and fell in her lap. She related the dream to Holy Prophet (S), He replied "You have seen a good dream. InshaAllah, Fatema will give birth to a child and you will upbring him." Umme Fazl said soon after Fatema gave birth to Husain and I brought him up. Once I took him to Holy Prophet (S). When the Holy Prophet (S) looked at me, his eyes were brimming with tears. When I inquired about the cause of tears. He replied: "Jibrael had come to me and told me that after me, my Ummat will kill my son." I asked "Will it be this son?" He replied in the affirmative. Jibrael also brought reddish sand for me." (Mustadrak Hakim, vol 3, pg 176)

Are not these three traditions enough to prove that Prophets, and Holy Prophet (S) in particular, due to Divinely gifted knowledge were well-aware of the martyrdom of Imam Husain (A). They were aggrieved and mourned for him.

Refutation to the Third Objection

Undoubtedly Namaz, Fasting and Hajj are from the fundamental principles of Islam and none of the Muslim can repudiate it. But what about those things which are regarded as a matter of belief and related to the emotional feelings like the Oneness of Allah, Prophethood of Hazrat Mohammed (S) or for that matter love of Allah, His Prophet and Ahlul-Bayt. Are not these things also among the obligatory deeds. Are not these things higher than obligatory deeds of Islam? Qur'an and traditions bear testimony to the fact that faith has precedence upon deed. The pre requisite for acceptance of a virtue is correct belief. Belief in Allah and Prophet, Resurrection, avoidance of polytheism and disbelief, enmity with the enemies of Islam, love of Allah, Prophet Mohammed (S) and his Ahlul-Bayt are in fact total and absolute belief. Good deed leads to perfection and elevation of faith. Allauddin Muttaqi Hindi, a great Sunni scholar has recorded a tradition in his book 'Kanzul Ummal' from a great Sunni traditionalist and historian Ibne Asakir that Hazrat Ali (A) related from Holy Prophet (S) who said:

"O Ali! Islam is bare naked, it is covered by piety, its dress is guidance, its adornment is shame, its pillar is abstinence and its base is good deeds. The foundation of Islam is my love and love for myAhlul-Bayt." (Kanzul Ummal, vol 13, pg 90 and vol 6, pg 218)

Imamul Mohaddesin Ahmed Bin Hambal has related a tradition from Holy Prophet (S) in which he addressed his cousin Mutallib Bin Rabiah:

"By Allah faith will not enter any Muslim's heart unless for the sake of maintaining contact with me and he loves my Ahlul-Bayt (A)." (Musnad Ahmed, vol 3, pg 201)

The great traditionalist Hafiz Jalaluddin Suyuti has recorded from Tabrani that the Holy Prophet (S) said:

"Maintain love of my Ahlul-Bayt. Meet Allah in such a way that you maintain love with us. He will enter into paradise by our intercession. I swear by the One who holds my life in His hands that no deed will be accepted unless we Ahlul-Bayt approve of it." (Ahyaul Mayyit, Tradition No 18)

Hence if Namaz, Fasting, Zakat and Hajj are compulsory acts of Islam then the base of these acts is veritable faith and belief, which includes love of Ahlul-Bayt. Since Imam Hussain (A) is very much from Ahlul-Bayt, heartly attachment and love for him according to authentic tradition forms an indispensable condition for the veritability of faith. At this juncture a question arises that if by Qur'anic injunction and religious instruction someone loves Imam Hussain (A) from the depth of heart then is it possible that he will remain unmoved at his calamity and he will not express grief for him?

Therefore, we say that if Namaz, Fasting, Hajj and Zakat are pillars of Islam and its establishment are intact eternity of Islam. Then it is amply proved by traditions that love of Ahlul-Bayt and love of Imam Hussain (A) and mourning on him, which is an offshoot of love of Ahlul-Bayt, is the foundation of Islam. Its establishment is a pre-condition for establishing Islam.

Refutation to the Fourth Objection

The reply to this objection becomes evident from the earlier reply though. Allah, the Almighty, says in Qur'an:

"O Prophet say that I do not ask of you any reward except the love for my kindred" (Shura: 22).

Hence according to this verse love of Prophet (S), Ahlul-Bayt and Imam Hussain (A) is compulsory. And the best expression of love is to be pleased in the happiness of the beloved and to express grief at his sorrow. Hence mourning on Imam Hussain (A) for Muslims who believe in this Qur'anic verse is compulsory.

Factually speaking, it is highly surprising how can a Muslim dare to differ from clear injunctions of Qur'an and traditions and opine that act which is a part of belief is forbidden. It is really astonishing that how will this man face the Holy Prophet (S) and his Ahlul-Bayt on Qiyamat and how will he expect their intercession.

Is not there the story of Hazrat Yaqub (A) in Qur'an? Who wept at the separation of his son Hazrat Yusuf (A) for an age. So much so that he was blinded. While Hazrat Yusuf was not tormented by thirst, nor was he brutally killed, neither his sons were killed in his arms, his corpse was not trampled under the hoods of the horses, his tent was not set ablaze and even his women folk were not made captive.

Respected Sir Abdul Gaffar what you suggest that while following the practice of Hazrat Yaqub (A) how much shall we mourn?

Before the event of Karbala the Holy Prophet (S) often mourned for Imam Hussain (A). After the demise of Holy Prophet (S), Janabe Fatema (A) mourned for him so much that according to the narration of Ibne Sa'ad she was not seen smiling even for a day. Imam Zainul Abedeen (A) mourned for his father for his entire lifetime. Whenever a sheep was slaughtered and its head separated he used to say:

"My father's head was chopped off in the same manner. The son of the Prophet was slain in this way."

Now we seek a reply from Janab Abdul Gaffar - why should we stop mourning and expressing grief on Imam Hussain (A) which is an Islamic principle, and a Sunnat of Holy Prophet (S). In the end we request Janab Abdul Gaffarthat about any religious matter unless he does not make impartial study and investigations he should not pursue the matter blindly otherwise his actions will be nothing but plain waste. We also suggest that he should refer some of the Sunni books like Maqtal-al-Husain by Mowaffeq Bin Ahmad Khwarizmi Hanafi, Qurratul Ain fil Baka Alal Husain by Mohammed Mobin Tanava Hanafi, Sawadul Ain fi Rethail Husain by Abu Bakr Hadrami Shafei, Fasle TarjamatuI Imam Al Husain Az Tarikhe Damishq by Ibn Asakir and such other books and compilations. And he should accept the religious factuality of Imam Hussain (A) and cease associating with the enemies of Islam thus causing a rift in the unity of the Muslims. He should know that some of the most difficult stages on the Day of Qiyamat will be giving explanation of such verdicts and rulings which a man makes inadvertently. There are such traditions in Sihahe Sitta where it is mentioned that on the Day of Quiyamat angels will bring some companions to the Fountain of Kausar and they will turned away because they did not fulfil their rights towards Holy Prophet (S).

Source taken from
Posted 20 Feb 2005

Blue Oasis says
Sayed Mahdi Modaressi's lecture also deals with these issues and a lot more. If you have the dedication, they can be downloaded at
name=zina&op=modload&file=index&p=Seyed%20Modaressi/Muharram %201426

if that link doesn't work try and follow the links to the lectures instead. The 9th lecture talkes on the issues of this (supposed) split between shia and sunni.
Posted 20 Feb 2005

Blue Oasis says
The mourning and shedding of blood on the day of Ashura by the Shi'as is a protest against the oppression of Mu'awiyah and his descendants for their brutal treatment of the Ahl'ul bayt (as). Our protests shall Inshallah continue till the Day of Judgement, and we don't care what the Nasibis try to end it.
Posted 20 Feb 2005

Blue Oasis says
Majalis (Gathering) to remember the dead

Allah (swt) and his Prophet have instructed us to organise gatherings to remember Allah (swt)

Allah (swt) says in the Qur'an:

[Shakir 2:152] Therefore remember Me, I will remember you, and be thankful to Me, and do not be ungrateful to Me.

In this verse, Allah (swt)orders us to remember him and it is clear that remembrance should be practiced in ways other than just offering Salat. The esteemed Sunni scholar Allamah Jalaludin Suyuti states that Holy Prophet (s) said:

"On the day of judgment Allah shall declare that on this day theose gathered shall know those bestowed with honour and respect." The companions asked: "O! Prophet of Allah, who are these honourable and respectable people?" The Prophet (s) replied: "Those who conduct the Majalis [gatherings] of Dhikr [remembrance] and participate in them."

Suyuti then states that the Holy Prophet (s) said: "Those who gather at a place in order to please Allah and do His (swt) Dhikr in their speeches, will be addressed by an orator from the skies, who shall proclaim that as soon as they leave that place, their sins shall be forgiven and their bad deeds shall be transformed into virtues."

Then he further states that the Holy Prophet (s) said: "Those in the skies shall look at the houses in which Allah (swt) is remembered and mentioned. To the angles, they shall appear bright and shining to the angels in the same way that the stars appear to those on the earth."

Suyuti further states Ibn Omar asked the Holy Prophet (s): "What shall be the reward for participating in a Majalis where the Dhikr [remembrance] of Allah (swt) is conducted ?" The Holy Prophet (s) replied: "Paradise will be earned."

He adds further, that the Holy Prophet (s) said: "On the Day of Judgment, Allah will appoint people whose faces will be glowing with spiritual light, they shall be seated on the pulpit made of pearls and their eminence will cause anger and envy among the people and neither will they be Prophets nor Martyrs." On hearing this someone said: "O! Prophet of Allah (s), bless us with the description of their appearance." The Holy Prophet (s) said: "They will be the people who have friendships with each other for the sake of Allah; they will be from different families and different countries."

We have taken all of the above comments of Suyuti from his acclaimed Tafseer Durre Manthur Volume 1, page 151.

Along the same line we also read in Sahih Muslim: The Book of Prayers (Kitab Al-Salat) Book 035, Number 6505:

Abu Huraira reported Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) as saying Allah has mobile (squads) of angels, who have no other work (to attend to but) to follow the assemblies of Dhikr and when they find such assemblies in which there is Dhikr (of Allah) they sit in them and some of them surround the others with their wings till the space between them and the sky of the world is fully covered, and when they disperse (after the assembly of Dhikr is adjourned) they go upward to the heaven and Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, asks them although He is best informed about them: Where have you come from? They say: We come from Thine servants upon the earth who had been glorifying Thee (reciting Subhan Allah), uttering Thine Greatness (saying Allah o-Akbar) and uttering Thine Oneness (La ilaha ill Allah) and praising Thee (uttering al-Hamdu Lillah) and begging of Thee. Be would say: What do they beg of Me? They would say: They beg of Thee the Paradise of Thine. He (God) would say: Have they seen My Paradise? They said: No, our Lord. He would say: (What it would be then) if they were to see Mine Paradise? They (the angels) said: They seek Thine protection. He (the Lord) would say: Against what do they seek protection of Mine? They (the angels) would say: Our Lord, from the Hell-Fire. He (the Lord) would say: Have they seen My Fire? They would say: No. He (the Lord) would say: What it would be if they were to see My Fire? They would say: They beg of Thee forgiveness. He would say: I grant pardon to them, and confer upon them what they ask for and grant them protection against which they seek protection. They (the angels) would again say: Our Lord, there is one amongst them such and such simple servant who happened to pass by (that assembly) and sat there along with them (who had been participating in that assembly). He (the Lord) would say: I also grant him pardon, for they are a people the seat-fellows of whom are in no way unfortunate.

These Ahadeeth proves the validity of acts that go beyond Majalis [gatherings] where Allah (swt) is remembered. These are gatherings wherein the Holy Qur'an is explained, the Orders of Allah are described and recited, the Holy Prophet (s) is praised, and the virtues of Islam are also explained.

The Wahabi and Deobandi sect do not conduct any Majalis what so ever, whereas normal Hanafis do observe births and deaths including Majalis for Imam Husayn (a.s).

Whilst some ceremonies carry components such as the remembrance of Allah (swt) and the recitation of the Holy Qur'an many are observed in a different manner and involve the recitation of poems and rhymes which do not fall under the category of gatherings as explained earlier. The Nasabi's have tainted both types of gathering with the same brush deeming both to be Bidah.

Now the question arises which type of Majalis are these Ahadeeth pointing to? They must exist nothing spoken by the Prophet (s) is senseless or without any reason.

There must be some kind of Majalis / Gathering that the Ahadeeth of the Holy Prophet (s) refer that carry these immense rewards. The only Majalis that conform with the requirements of these traditions are those traditions wherein the Majalis of Imam Ali (as), Imam Hasan (as), Imam Husayn (as) and the other Imams of Ahl'ul bayt (as) are remembered. These are the Majalis, in which the speaker:

Begins by cursing Satan and the praising the Creator,

refers to the virtues of Allah and his beloved Prophet (s) (that constitutes the remembrance of Allah),

Recites verses from the Holy Qur'an,

Comments on the Oneness of Allah, the perfection of Prophethood and core components of Deen.

Paints a true representation of Islam in all its greatness.

Uses his elegant tongue to refute the enemies of Islam [hypocrites] and the Kuffar.

Narrates events from the life of the Prophet (s) and his Holy Progeny

We have hence proven that the Majalis of Imam Ali (as), Imam Hasan (as) and Imam Husayn (a.s) are gatherings that constitute the remembrance / Dhikr of Allah (swt), in accordance with the Hadeeth of Rasulullah (s).

Ayesha's gathering (Majalis) at the time of Umar's death

As evidence we shall rely on the following esteemed Sunni works:

Tareekh Khamees Volume 2 page 349

I saw 'Umar bin Al-Khattab (when he was stabbed) saying, "O 'Abdullah bin 'Umar! Go to the mother of the believers Ayesha and say, 'Umar bin Al-Khattab sends his greetings to you, do not say Ameer ul Momineen since today this term expires' Abdullah went and found that Ayesha was crying at the plight of Umar"

What we see is Ayesha was crying, so if this is an act of Bidah then it is the Sunnah of Ayesha. If Ayesha will receive salvation for her tears so will the women who mourn Imam Husayn (as).

Umm'ul Momineen Salmah obtained the approval of the Prophet (s) to participate in a mourning ritual

We read in Ahl'ul Sunnah's authority work Al-Jami al-Sagheer by al Tabrani page 206:

On one occasion Umm Salmah appeared before the Prophet (s) and said 'O Rasulullah (s) the women of Waleed bin Waleed ibne Mugheera's of Bani Majhum are arranging a mourning gathering, and I require your permission to be present there He gave his permission. Umm Salmah went and recited a couplet whilst crying…"

Umm Salmah obtained the consent of her husband to participate in this mourning procession If mourning rituals are Haraam then Rasulullah (s) would have refrained his wife from attending and made an order that women abstain from such Haraam activities. Not only did she participate she even recited a sad elegy!

If Rasulullah (s) allowed participation in a gathering which was for an ordinary deceased Sahabi and Umme Salmah recited a sad couplet in it then how can mourning rituals for Imam Husayn (as) be Haraam?

Muharam gathering under the auspices of al Muhaddith Shah Abdul Aziz Dehlavi

The Shah would convene two Majalis per annum at his residence;

1) To remember the passing away of the Holy Prophet (s) and
2) Majlis of Imam Husayn (as)'s martyrdom.

The words of Fatawa-e-Azizi Page 199-200 published by H.M Saeed Co. Karachi are:

" About 400-500 and on some occasions a thousand would assemble on the day of Ashura or a day or two before it and would collectively recite Durood. Then this pauper (The Shah is referring to himself) would speak on the greatness of Imam Husayn (as) and give a detailed account of the martyrdom and how retribution against these killers was meted out.

The Elegies from Jinn for Imam Husayn (as) as heard by Umm - e - Salama and other Sahabas would be recited listening to which people including this pauper would be effected and would start lamenting and crying. The Holy Qur'an would then be read and then Fateha would be read on the departed Holy Souls and finally, food would be distributed".
Fatawa e Azizi, Page 199 & 200

The Shah needs no introduction to those from the Indian Subcontinent.He hated the Shi'a. Author of the famous Taufa Ithna Ashari, he dedicated his whole life to countering Shi'a influences in the Indian Subcontinent. Despite his anti Shi'a stance he supported Azadari of Imam Husayn (as). If holding Majalis during Muharam, referring to the greatness of Imam Husayn (as) and his martyrdom, reciting elegies, crying and feeding the people is Haraam, the Shah would never have initiated such gatherings. Shah's fatwa as mentioned above clearly proves that Azadari for Imam Husayn (as) is permissible, and recommended under the Shari'ah.

Majalis to mourn Husayn (as) build character

If we analyse all that is done in Muharam we see that it is a very effective method of character building for all people. During our Majalis we convey the teachings of Islam from the Holy Qur'an, Sunnah and lives of our Holy Imams. Speakers refer to the lessons and sayings of the Holy Prophet (s) and the Ahl'ul bayt (as). Our processions maintain peace and perfect harmony. We express our hatred against cruelty, propagate the truth and convey salutations to the Holy Prophet (s) and his family. We set out teachings on Jihad against tyranny, strengthening of faith and belief, patience and fortitude in times of danger and such other noble and sublime thoughts and emotions. Why then do these Nasibi oppose our gatherings?

Prophet (saww) arranged Majalis to mourn his uncle Hadrath Hamza (ra)

"When Holy Prophet (s) reached Madina, he saw that cries could be heard from most of the houses of Ansaar (the helpers) but not from Hadhrath Hamza's house. Holy Prophet (s) said that wasn't there anyone to cry over Hamza, the helpers(Ansaar) asked their females to mourn over Hadhrath Hamza first and later on they may go and cry over their own martyrs, the women went to Hadhrath Hamza's house in the evening and kept crying till midnight, When Holy Prophet(s) woke up and asked about it, he was told the whole thing, Holy Prophet(s) blessed them by saying” May Allah be pleased with you and your children."
1. Madarij al-Nabuwat, volume 2, page 166 by Sheikh Mohammad Abdul Haque Mohaddis Dehalvi
2. Tarikh e Kamil, Volume 2 page 64
3. Tarikh Khamees, Volume 1 page 499

Had such gatherings been bidah or against islamic injunctions , Holy Prophet (s) would have not showed sadness over absence of mourners for Hamzah(r) and would have not given glad tidings for those who had later on participated in the mourning gathering of martyred Hamzah (r).

Weeping while relating the tragedies befallen on pious is sunnah of Holy Prophet(s) and listening to them is the sunnah of Sahaba

We read in Sahih Bukhari Volume 2, Book 23, Number 338:

Narrated Anas bin Malik: The Prophet said, "Zaid took over the flag and was martyred. Then it was taken by Jafar who was martyred as well. Then 'Abdullah bin Rawaha took the flag but he too was martyred and at that time the eyes of Allah's Apostle were full of tears. Then Khalid bin Al-Walid took the flag without being nominated as a chief (before hand) and was blessed with victory."

We arrange gatherings to relate the calamities befallen on Imam Hussain [as] and their companions and weep over them just like Holy Prophet [s] wept while relating the miserable tragedies befallen on the martyres before their death.

The mourning gathering of Sahaba and elegies recited by Hassaan bin Thabit over the death of a martyr

Ibn Katheer in his authority work al Bidayah wa al Nihaya records the grief of Sahaba over the death of a sahabi Sa’ad bin Ma’az in the following way:

Ibn Ishaq narrates that on the death of Sa’ad bin Ma’az, which was termed as martyrdom by the Holy Prophet (s), Hasaan bin Thabit had recited a very woeful elegy, furthermore, such a huge number of people was never seen crying over someone’s death ever before.
al Bidayah wa al Nihaya, Volume 4, page 547

Here we can see that not only Hassaan bin Thabit recited elegies over the death Sa’ad bin Ma’az who was according to Ibn Katheer reached to the status of martyrdom during war of Bani Qariza but a large number of Sahaba also gathered and wept over his death. Likewise Shias arrange gatherings to commemorate the martyres of Karbala where they recite elegies and weep over them. Had reciting elegies and weeping over the death of a martyr been forbidden, Sahaba would have not gathered to do so in the presence of Holy Prophet (s).

The Fatwa of Ulema e Ahle Sunnah regarding the permissibility of Majalis e Hussain (as)

The name of Allamah Muhammad Shafi Okarvi is not new to the Ahl-e-Sunnah living in the sub continent, a person popularly known as “Khateeb e Pakistan”. In his book “Shaam e Karbala” he cites the fatwa on the permissibility of mourning gatherings [majalis] for Imam Hussain (as).

“Hadhrath Shah Rafiuddin Mohaddith Dehalvi who is also the translator of Holy Quran, says in one of his edicts:

‘Holding of Majalis for the remembrance of Imam Hussain [as] in the month of Muharram, or other than that, listening to Salams and elegies, and crying and wailing for the martyrs of Karbala is permissible and correct.’”
Shaam e Karbala, page 300

Worthy of note is the fact that Allama Muhammad Shafi Okarvi was one of those Sunni scholars who arranged Majalis in the month of Muharram where thousands of Sunni muslims would gather and listen to the merits of Imam Hussain (as) and the tragedy of Karbala. In a brief biography of Allama Shafi Okarvi mentioned in the preface of his book “Shaam e Karbala” we read:

“Molana Sahib kept delivering religious speeches every night continuously for forty years. His sound knowledge, eloquence, decent behavior and the excellent oratory was singular and had made him the beloved of all. Hundreds of thousands of people gathered for every speech of his. On the night before Ashura in the month of Muharram, the largest religious gathering used to be at Molana Sahib’s place of speech. There would hardly be any place left in Pakistan where Molana Sahib hasn’t satisfied the hearts and souls of people through his speeches.”
Shaam e Karbala, page 11

On page 15 we read:

“Hadhrat Moulana started the process of conducting the Majalis in 10 days of Muharram, and the procession and gatherings of Eid Millad-un-Nabi by Ahl e Sunnah wal Jama’at.”
Shaam e Karbala, page 11 & 15

So where is the Nasibi Fatwa of Bidah for those Sunni Muslims who arrange Majalis during the month of Muharram and commemorate the tragedy of Karbala? If according to Nawasib arranging of Majalis for Imam Hussain (as) is bidah / kufr than are all those Sunni Muslims of the world who arrange mourning gatherings in Muharram Kaafir in the eyes of Nawasib?
Posted 20 Feb 2005

Blue Oasis says
Crying and wailing for Imam Husayn (as)

Crying is a natural act

Islam is a religion based on nature. Wailing or weeping is the innate instinct of a human being. A newborn child starts his life crying. Weeping is not prohibited in any religion or creed of the world. Tears are automatically shed when a man is confronted by any physical, mental or spiritual mishap, and tears are not only the sign of grief but also a kind of reimbursement for that grief. Now in whose grief does a newborn child weep? That's the question, which can be answered by the one who remembers his own weeping when he was born. It is said, that when Adam (as) was sent to this earth from heaven, he wept on that migration and hence every child of Adam (as), weeps when he opens his eyes in this world. If this is true, then this reason for wailing certainly supports our point of view that in the grief of a departure, wailing is a natural habit. Wailing or weeping is a natural instinct hence Allah (swt) has also praised this act and has said in the Holy Qur'an:

We read in Surah Maryam 019.058

YUSUFALI: Those were some of the prophets on whom Allah did bestow His Grace, - of the posterity of Adam, and of those who We carried (in the Ark) with Noah, and of the posterity of Abraham and Israel of those whom We guided and chose. Whenever the Signs of (Allah) Most Gracious were rehearsed to them, they would fall down in prostrate adoration and in tears.

Surah An-Nahl verse 53

YUSUF ALI: And ye have no good thing but is from Allah. And moreover, when ye are touched by distress, unto Him ye cry with groans.

It is quite clear from these words of Allah (swt) that He praises this act and dislikes mocking the concept of weeping. Therefore, during mortification or humility before Allah (swt) and during the situations of calamity and catastrophe, wailing is the act of the praised ones and since 'wailing' is a composite act of mourning it serves as evidence for mourning.


this artical is too long to be suited here, you can find the rest at
Posted 20 Feb 2005

Blue Oasis says
On a side note as I have said before, I don't like this divide between Muslims. It's our God, our Prophet (A.S.)and our Imams (A.S.) this divide only makes us weak my brothers and sisters. BUT DO NOTICE HOW THE WRITTERS FOR ANSWERING ANSAR.OR USE SUNNIE BOOKS FOR THEIR REFRENCES

Hitting ones body (Matam / Zanjeer)

This is one of the favourite areas of exploitation for the Nasibi and they enjoy making fun and insisting that these practises are against the Shari'ah. They serve as further evidence that the Shi'a are a deviated Sect. Since they adhere to Umar ibn al Khattab's way famed for his words 'the Qur'an is sufficient for us' lets turn the tables on them. They keep asking us to prove our mourning rituals from the Qur'an such as crying, chest beating etc.We ask them to cite us any verse containing the words Matam, Latmiyah (blood letting) wherein Allah (swt) has declared such practices to be Haraam. No where in the Holy Qur'an has Matam been classified as Haraam. On the contrary, the stories of Prophets include examples of their mourning. As such, the permissibility of Matam is there in Qur'an but not its prohibition. Thus an act, for which there is no restriction of any kind by Islamic Laws, becomes permissible. It is Nasibi who have lied by stating that Matam is against patience and call only for patience instead!

Mourning rituals and self harm as found in the Qur'an

We read in Surah Nisa 004.148

YUSUFALI: Allah loveth not that evil should be noised abroad in public speech, except where injustice hath been done; for Allah is He who heareth and knoweth all things.

We read in Tafseer Ibn Katheer Volume 2 page 20 Surah Nisa, under the commentary of this verse:

"Ali bin Abi Talhah said that Ibn Abbas commented on the Ayah and said,

'Allah does not like that the evil should be uttered in public, He does not like that any one should invoke Him against anyone else, unless one is wronged. In this case, Allah allows one to invoke Him against whoever wronged him. Hence Allah's statement Allah loveth not that evil should be noised abroad in public speech, except where injustice hath been done'"

A similar narration can also be located in Saheeh al Bukharee Volume 2 page 820 on the authority of Muhammad ibn Kab.

This verse makes it clear that the public's relaying of injustice is permissible. Relaying the suffering of a victim is permissible. The tradition from Bukhari proves that mourning is permissible when one is citing the pains inflicted on the aggrieved party hence any tradition that contradicts this must be ignored.

Major efforts are made to prove that the term mourning is proof that Matam is Haraam under the Shari'ah. On the contrary breast-beating, bloods letting all come within the term mourning and its purpose is to convey the pains inflicted on the victim, something which the Quran has sanctioned. We the Shi'a perform all these acts as Allah (swt) has permitted us to do so, and the opposition of Nasibi is only on account for their love and support for Imam Husayn (as)'s killers.

Like the above, you can find the rest of the artical at
Posted 20 Feb 2005

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