Know Your Religion | Author: Murtaza Sikander

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Muhammad Mahdi
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Postby Muhammad Mahdi » 12 Mar 2007, 18:15

Azadari - a mourning ritual for the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (as).
The world witnessed that in spite of having used unlimited material means, Yazid failed miserably to vanquish Husayn (as). Neither could Yazidism take away the magnificent remembrance of Husayn (as) from the hearts, nor could it erase the sanctified mention from the tongues.
History testifies that from the time of Yazid till date in every period and century an organized propaganda is unleashed so that people do not continue to remember Husayn (as).
Just to cite an example:
Imam Ghazzali said, “To mention the martyrdoms of Hazrat Hassan (r) and Hazrat Husayn (r) is forbidden as the martyrdom of Hazrat Husayn (r) inflames malice against the companions of the prophet” (Ref: Ibn Hajar Makki in “sawaiq muhriqa”)

Such people who instigate these ideas and issue such fatwas deliberately suppress the truth.
For these people Allah (swt) says in the Holy Quraan:
“they desire to put out the light of Allah with their mouths, and Allah will not consent save to perfect His light, though the unbelievers are averse” (Sura tawbah, 9:32)

And that is the reason we see day by day the name of Husayn (as) continues to become more and more illuminated, and the devotion towards him appeals to people of all faiths and communities.
For sometime the communal riots had silenced the flames of opposition to Azadari, but recent reports suggest this spark is again ignited and blown to demolish the structure of Islamic unity.
Now vested interest has started calling the custom of Azadari to be a religion innovation and hence labeling it haraam.
The method nowadays used by these oppositions is to attack youths by providing wrong information and accusing the concept of Azadari to such an extent, that the one that is not aware of their intention and lacks knowledge on this matter often becomes their target.
These opponents beguile the masses by saying that weeping, alam, majlis all are haraam as there is no proof in Quraan & Hadith for these. In short totally condemn Azadari.
Therefore for the benefit of our readers especially the youths who are target to these attacks;
we provide proofs from Quraan and Hadith that these actions are not at all haraam nor any innovation but are all allowed in Islamic shariah and were practiced and preached in one way or the other during the time of prophets (S).

To establish the remembrance of the immortal tragedy of kerbala and to express ones grief and sorrow on this tragic event is what is called Azadari.
Allah (swt) through the religious law made us committed to always remember His proximate ones and keep their feats in our view. In our daily prayers we utter at least ten times:
“guide us on the right path. The path of those on whom you have bestowed favors” (Fatiha, 1:6, 7).
The point worth noting is that until we do not honor and respect the feats of the proximate servants of God and do not keep their sacrifice on our views the actual purpose of the above invocation cannot be realized.
We ask was not Husayn (as) among the proximate ones of the Almighty? Was he not on the right path? Was he not among who favors of Almighty bestowed? Was he not among the purified ones, (Quran, 33:33)? Was his way of life not like his grandfather the Messenger of Allah (swt)?
The answer to the above questions is certainly, he was.
Since Husayn (as) possessed such qualities to be among the ‘bestowed of favours’ from Allah (swt), then what is wrong, if we in our majalises honour him and his companions and remember their great sacrifice?

Let us glance at a great pillar of Islam i.e. Hajj. We notice that the rituals of Hajj portray the events that took place between Prophet Ibrahim, Prophet Ismail and his mother Hajra.

The practice of sae’e between Mt.Safa and Mt. Marwa, is a reminder of lady Hajrah (as)’s action of running between two hills with the infant Ismail (as) in search of water. The Holy Quran calls these two small hillocks as ‘Signs of Allah’.

On 10th of Zilhajj pilgrims perform the slaughtering of an animal at mina. This is also an important duty in hajj, reminding us of Prophet Ibrahim (as)’s obedience and submission to Allah (swt) when he went to sacrifice his son.

The Quran has kept the memory of this sacrifice alive and called all the animals of sacrifice as signs of Allah. “… and whoever respects the signs of Allah, this surely is (the outcome) of the piety of hearts” (hajj, 22:32)
These events prove that it is one of the ancient practices of the Almighty Allah to keep the memory of the past events alive and it is His continuing preference, provided the condition is that those events should be connected to His selected servants.
We again ask was not Husayn (as) among the proximate ones of the Almighty? When an incomplete sacrifice of Ibrahim (as) can be so dear to Allah (swt) , then would He not like the remembrance of a greater sacrifice?

The event of kerbala is very important and from an ethical point is full of lessons.
Coming a step further on morning and weeping for Imam Husayn (as) particularly, we present the comments of an outstanding sunni scholar, Shaikh 'Abdul Qadir Jilani, in his famous book, "Ghanyatul Talibeen", on page 430: " 70,000 angels came to the grave of Husayn bin Ali after his martyrdom and they wept for him and will keep weeping unto the Day of Judgment."

There are also numerous narrations to show that the Holy Prophet (saw) himself had mourned for his grandson.
Apart from shia scholars even the sunni scholars have narrated this incident, like “Allamah Ibn Hajar Makki, where he has quoted on the authority of Shobi and also in Musnad of Ahmad Ibn Hambal:
Amir al-mu’minin (as) said: one day I came to the holy Prophet (saw) and saw tears in his eyes. I asked, ‘Has someone angered you?’ why are these tears in your eyes?’ The Holy Prophet (saw) said, “a little while ago Jibraeel told me that Husayn shall be slain at the banks of Euphrates. Jibraeel asked me if I would like to get the soil of that place so that I can smell it. I said, ‘Yes’. Thus Jibraeel extended his hands and then gave me a handful of soil, due to which tears flow from my eyes.”

This tradition informs us that weeping for Imam Husayn (as) is not only permissible; rather it is sunnah (practice) of the Messenger of Allah (saw) and according to:
Sura Hashr, 59:7 “…..whatever the apostle gives you, accept it…..”, it is obligatory for us to practice it.

This incident also contains the point worth noting that in spite of the fact that the Holy Prophet (saw) loved Husayn (as) to an indescribable degree and Husayn himself was present before the eyes of the Holy Prophet (saw) and he (the prophet) was also given the news of the martyrdom but in order to create more intensity in the emotion of grief he felt it necessary that he send for the soil of the place of Husayn’s martyrdom and smell it.

The sentence: “Jibraeel extended his hands and then gave me a handful of soil, due to which tears flow from my eyes,” tells us that if we also keep before us things that bring memories of Karbala such as the water skin, the standard (alam), the taaboot, the cradle and arrows in order to increase our emotions of grief it would be according to the verse of the Quraan: “….you have in the Apostle of Allah an excellent exemplar….”(Surah Ahzab, 33:21
And it would be a perfect emulation of the practice of the Messenger of Allah (swt).

Further more to provide more evidence of the importance of making taaziya, alam and taboot, we further have a traditional report as follows:
On page 868 of Majma ul Bahrain, the Shi'a author relies on a Sunni reference:
A companion told the messenger of Allah (saw) that he had vowed to kiss the threshold of paradise and the Hourul Ein. The Holy Prophet (saw) told him: Go and kiss the feet of your mother and the forehead of your father. He asked what he should do if his parents were not alive anymore. He was told to kiss their grave. Again he asked what he should do if he didn’t know where their graves were. The Messenger of Allah (saw) told him to, “draw two lines and consider one as the grave of the mother and the other as the grave of the father and kiss them, and do not break your vow.”

This tradition is itself so detailed and self- explanatory that it clarifies that there is nothing wrong in making images of the graves of ones parents. The rank of Imam Husayn (as) is no doubt, higher than ones parents. Then why is there objection to making image of Imam Husayn (as)'s grave?

We read in Sawaiqh-e-Muhriqa, page 679 - 680 Dhikr Imam Ali Raza:
When Imam Ali Raza (as) came to Khurasan and reached Nishapur, Abu Dhara Razi and Muhammad bin Muslim Tusi came to welcome him along with other scholars and people. People were in such a condition that some were screaming, some were crying, some were throwing dust on their heads and some were kissing the hoofs of the horse.

Dear readers we do not worship the images that are made in Muharam, only Allah all Mighty is worthy of worship. The purpose of these symbols is to portray the picture of Karbala and bring back to our minds the things that happened there. Kissing and paying respect to them is actually showing love and respect to Ahlul Bayt (as) just as people kissed the hooves of Imam Raza (as) to demonstrate their love and respect for the Imam (as).

It is written in book Akseer-ul-Abadaat, page 263:
“Imam Ali told Malik-e-Ashtar, “I have a Standard, which I never took out before. And it was the first Standard of Rasoolallah (saw) and he told me that a time will come when I will fight with rebels.” Then Ali (as) took out that Standard, which had became old. When people saw the Standard of Rasool (s), they started weeping in loud voices. And all those who found the way till the Standard, kissed it."
This reference depicts people weeping and kissing a standard in front of Imam Ali (as). This proves that it is allowed in Sharia to weep and kiss a Standard.
Similarly, Muslims are ordered to kiss Hajar-e-Aswaad. But you will see thousands of people touching and kissing the walls of Holy Kaaba. Do all of them become Mushriks for their love and respect?

Replica is only to make people remember the incidents clearly, which happened in the past and their respect is a sign of love only.

And lastly, some brief comments and proofs regarding the validity of matam ;
We are often asked to prove our mourning rituals from the Qur'an such as chest beating etc. We ask these oppositions of Azadari 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.
In the Holy Quraan we read:
Surah adh-Dhaariyaat that Hadrath Sara (as) struck her face when she was told that she would conceive a baby.

"Then came forward his wife in grief, she smote her face and said (what! I) An old barren woman?" Quran 51:29
The slapping of Prophet Ibraheem (as)'s wife Sara is stated in the Qur'an. The Qur'an tells us to adhere to the ways of the people of Ibraheem (as), so if the Shi'a beat themselves whilst mourning for Imam Husayn (as) such acts are lawful.

The most explicit proof of self-inflicted injury comes from Uwais al-Qarni the great Muslim Sahabi, (praised by both Shi'a and Sunni erudite) who had an immense love for the Holy Prophet (s). When news reached him in Yemen that two teeth of the Holy Prophet (s) were broken in the battle of Uhud, he extracted all his teeth. When the Holy Prophet (s) got this information in Medina that Uwais had struck down all his teeth, he (s) exclaimed, "Indeed Uwais is our devoted friend". This event can be found written in 'Seerate Halbia' vol II, page 295.

The renowned Sunni Scholar Shiekh Farid al Din Attaar in 'Tadhkhirathul Awliya' Urdu translation page 17 and 18 writes:

“Hadhrath Uwais Qarni (ra) said to Umar Khattab: 'If you were true in friendship than why on the day when the holy teeth of the Prophet (s) were broken didn't you break your teeth in companionship? Because, it is a condition of companionship.”

Then he showed his teeth all of which were broken and said "I broke all of my teeth without seeing you (O Prophet) and in the state of Ghaybah in your companionship. I had broken one tooth but couldn't get satisfaction so kept on breaking them one by one until I had broken them all '".

Had the breaking of teeth by Uwais Qarni (ra) been in opposition to Shariah, Umar would certainly have pointed it out at the time or at least commented and answered the accusation by Uwais Qarni (ra) of his less than perfect companionship. The silence of Umar proves that he didn't deem the act of breaking one's teeth as done by Uwais Qarni (ra) as opposed to Shariah but considered it an act of sincerity and also a proof of friendship.

It is also important to note that the Prophet himself praised Uwais for what he did as an act of showing his love for the Prophet. If inflicting pain on oneself was against Islamic sharia, the Prophet would definitely have pointed it out.

We should point out that breaking one's teeth is a thousand times more painful than the beating of one's chest for a few hours. It is more extreme than chest beating with chains or knives (Zanjeer) because those who have suffered from tooth ache will understand the immense pain that circulates in the mouth and head. Compare the removal of a tooth to the forced removal of a full set of teeth without the benefit of modern day anesthetics and instruments. The pain must have been unbearable. This was clearly an act of great courage.
It is quite clear that holding mourning of Imam Husayn (as) by means of Matam (chest beating) or Zanjeer (blood letting) is to give physical expression of sympathy for Imam Husayn (as). It expresses nothing but love and loyalty for the Ahl'ul bayt (as).
We can bring plenty of proofs for the concept of Azadari , but for now we conclude with the words of the Holy Prophet (s) to his beloved daughter Bibi Fatima (as):

The women of my Nation shall mourn the calamities of women of my Ahl - e - Bait and the men of my Nation shall cry on the misfortunes and miseries of men of my Ahl - e - Bait. This they shall do generation after generation, remembering the trials and tribulations of my Ahl - e - Bait and on the Day of Judgment, O my Daughter ! You shall intercede on behalf of these women while I shall do so on behalf of the men. Whosoever weeps and cries for Husayn (as), we shall take them by their hand and lead them into the Garden of Paradise. Bihar al Anwaar, Vol.10, Page 167

This Hadeeth of the Holy Prophet (s) guarantees Paradise to all men and women who are the Azadaar of his Holy Progeny (as).

Thus faith in his Prophet hood dictates, that Azadari on the calamities and hardships of his Ahl - e - Bait (as) should be performed with all sincerity of faith and religious zeal so as to stand with a clear conscious and full confidence in front of the Holy Prophet (s) on the Day of Reckoning and thus expect salvation through his intercession and thereby gain entry into Paradise for Eternal Bliss.

We have presented several proofs and hope that we have proven our case beyond doubt.

Be it clear to one and all, that we, The Shi'as, do Matam because we are Muhammad’s (saw) Ummah. So if we turn our faces from performing Azadari of his Holy Progeny (as) today, then The most Beloved of Allah's Creation, Muhammad Mustafa (s) will also turn his face away from us on the Day of Accounts!

May Allah Bestow His Choicest Blessings upon His Most Beloved Prophet & his Holy Progeny (s) and May He Damn the Tyrants with His Choicest Punishment & Chastisement and Throw them in Hell forever.

(Ii have tried my best to edit. However, I may have made mistakes. If anyone notices anything wrong please do point it out. The article is written by murtaza)
The educated man has the right to manipulate the ignorant, if the ignorance of the of the ignorant is due to his own ignorance.
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Postby murtaza » 13 Mar 2007, 22:48


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