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It is not Haraam for Shias to perform majlis of Ashura.

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.  (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)

 

 

One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

Dear Brother in Islam,

Al salam Alaikum Wa Rahmatu Allah Wa Barakatuh.

I have been receiving your emails for about a week now, than you for the good woek and may Allah grant you all that you deserve for the work that you are doing. Today I received the mail titled Ashoura, and I have a few questions and comments about it may Allah grant you the patience to go through them all, and help me with them.

1. In your mail you used the word "Bidad" several times and I could not find the meaning of this word could you please explain it to me.

2. Also in your mail you mentioned that the prophet (saws) cried several times for the slaying of his son and friends, and other occasions. May I add to this the Hadith by the prophet (saws) that says "when your hearts are filled with sorrow you should visit the graves", keeping all that in mind how can you say that it is haram for the shias to perform the majlis of ashoura. For the general information the ritual of beating oneself with blades, chains and other objects was said to be haram several years ago by all the shia scholars and is not performed any more. Add to this the hadith by the prophet (saws) saying " All the eyes on the day of judjement will be filled with tears except those eyes that shed tears over Hussain they will be happy filled with joy", and Allah knows that if given the chance I would like to be one of these laughing eyes.

3. Reading from your mail again, you mentioned that it was the actions of Imam Hussain that kept the religion of Islam from going astry under the rule of Bani Ummaya, hence as a Sunni Muslim agreeing with the hadith of the Imam that says "If the religion of my grandfather will not carry on uless I am killed then you swords of Karbala take me". This only means one thing that the Imam Hussain was and still is an essential link between the prophet (saws) and us as modern day muslims, and we feel it as our obligation to inform our children and the new generation and as many people as we can of this man and of what he did, and of the way that he was treated, because if we do not do this then all that he did would have simply gone to waste. think of a scenario where there were no shias to carry on the tradition of ashoura, from more than 1300 years ago untill now there would not be any one remembering the Imam and what he did, and all that he did would have gone to no avail. We as shias believe that the revolution of the Imam Hussain lives through us and is carried forward by us.

In conclusion, I would like to say that I do not mean to offend or upset any one with what I am saying, and all I wrote I did with great respect to you are your point of view, I am just trying to defend my self and my believes. May Allah grant you the patience to read, understand, and reply to my mail.

 

(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)

 

ANSWER:

 

It is not Haraam for Shias to perform majlis of Ashura.

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.

 

Your Comment: 1. In your mail you used the word "Bidad" several times and I could not find the meaning of this word could you please explain it to me.

A bidaah as described by the Messenger of Allah (saws), is an innovation in the deen of Islam. If one does something which was not done by the Messenger of Allah (saws) in his act or ritual of ibaadah is called a bidaah in Islam. Bidaah is something which was invented by people after the death of the Messenger of Allah (saws) and in time became part and parcel of Islam and its rites.

 

It has been reported in an authentic narration that the Prophet of Allah (saws) said: Whoever introduces a bida (innovation) in this deen brought by me (saws), it will be rejected.

 

It has been reported by Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (r.a.) that the Prophet of Allah (saws) said: If anyone introduces an innovation (in religion), he will be responsible for it. If anyone introduces an innovation or gives shelter to a man who introduces an innovation (in religion), he is cursed by Allah, by His angels, and by all the people.

 

It has been reported by Jabir ibn Abdullah (r.a.) in another authentic narration that the Prophet of Allah (saws) said in a sermon: The best speech is that which is embodied in the Book of Allah, the Al Quran; and the best guidance is the guidance given by me, Mohamed (saws). The most evil affairs are the innovations, and every innovation is an error.

 

The Prophet said in an authentic narration: Every innovation is a sin, and sins lead to the Hell-Fire.

 

Your Comment: 2. Also in your mail you mentioned that the prophet (saws) cried several times for the slaying of his son and friends, and other occasions. May I add to this the Hadith by the prophet (saws) that says "when your hearts are filled with sorrow you should visit the graves", keeping all that in mind how can you say that it is haram for the shias to perform the majlis of ashoura. For the general information the ritual of beating oneself with blades, chains and other objects was said to be haram several years ago by all the shia scholars and is not performed any more. Add to this the hadith

by the prophet (saws) saying " All the eyes on the day of judjement will be filled with tears except those eyes that shed tears over Hussain they will be happy filled with joy", and Allah knows that if given the chance I would like to be one of these laughing eyes.

May Allah make you and us of those who are saved from the punishment of Hell Fire, and make you and us of those who are granted His Mercy and His Forgiveness.

 

It is reported in an authentic narration that the Prophet (saws) said: "Allah does not punish a person for shedding tears or feeling pain in his heart. But He does punish, though he may show mercy, because of (what he utters with) this," and then he (saws) pointed to his tongue.

The Prophet (saws) wept on the death of his son, Ibrahim, and said: "The eyes shed tears and the heart feels pain, but we utter only what pleases our Lord. O Ibrahim! We are aggrieved at your demise." He (saws) also wept when his grand daughter, Umaymah, daughter of Zainab, died, and said, "This (weeping) is the mercy that Allah has placed in the hearts of His servants. And surely Allah bestows mercy upon those who are merciful among His servants."

 

It is reported that the Prophet (saws) said: "Four practices of the pre-Islamic days of Ignorance will continue to be practiced by my ummah: taking pride in one's parentage, giving a person a father other than his own genealogical father, believing that rain is caused by some stars, and wailing over the dead." He (saws) further said: "A mourner, unless she repents before her death, will be raised on the Day of Judgement wearing a garment of tar and an armor of blistering puss."

 

It is evident from the above authentic narrations of the Messenger of Allah (saws) that he himself wept at the death of his loved ones. But he (saws) clearly said that Allah will punish those who wail over the death of the ones they love. If the ritual of beating oneself with hands, blades, chains and other objects were forbidden several years ago by the scholars, then that is in line with the teachings of Islam. Alhamdolillah.

 

My beloved brother, but the wailing in these majaalees still carries on, when we are commanded by Allah several times in several authentic narrations that wailing is prohibited in Islam. Wailing is nothing but saying things and repeating events, that make oneself as well as the ones who hear, cry over the death of our loved ones. Some people gather together in the ten days of Muharram every year, and the speaker repeats the unfortunate events that transpired on the tumultuous fields of Kerbala, wails and cries and exhorts the others to cry over the great sacrifice of our beloved Imam Hussain (may Allah be pleased with him) and his family and companions. There is not a true muslim in this world, no matter what school of thought he claims he belongs to, whether Shia or Sunni, who is not pained and hurt at the murder of Imam Hussain (r.a.) and his family and companions. But we have to do only what Allah and His Messenger (saws) commanded us to do. And the Messenger of Allah (saws) never commanded us to gather every year and wail over our loved ones! Brother, this is nothing but an innovation in Islam, as the Messenger of Allah (saws) never took part in nor authorized such gatherings when he was alive.


 

Hadrat Hamza ibn Abdul Muttalib (r.a.), the beloved uncle of the Messenger of Allah (saws), was killed in the Battle of Uhud. The enemies cut off his nose and his ears and it is also reported that Hind, the wife of Abu Sufyan, ordered that Hadrat Hamzas body by cut open and she actually bit a piece out of his heart! In excess of seventy of the noble companions of the Prophet (saws) were martyred and their bodies mutilated on this Day of Uhud. We cannot even imagine the pain the Messenger of Allah (saws) felt at the loss of his beloved uncle and his companions, and the way their bodies were mutilated by the enemies of Allah. But he (saws) never gathered the people and wailed over their story! He never ordered the believers to gather every year in the mosques and wail over the martyrs of Uhud! He never ordered the believers to mourn for more than three days.

 

This ritual of repeating the events that unfolded in the fields of Kerbala and the subsequent wailing and beating of chests was started by some unscrupulous leaders many years after the shahaadah of Imam Hussain (r.a.). These unscrupulous people invented this bidaah of gathering people and celebrating the Day of Aashoora and gave fiery speeches, for their own political and worldly gains. These rituals have absolutely no basis or evidence in Islam.

 

One small note I would like to mention here is that we can never say something is haraam or halaal, as this is the absolute right of Allah and His Messenger (saws) Alone. The maximum we can ever say is this is allowed or prohibited in light of the Quran and Sunnah.

 

Allah says in the Holy Quran in Chapter 7 Surah Al-Araaf verse 157: So, now Mercy has been assigned to those who follow this Messenger, the unlettered Prophet, whose mention they shall find in the Torah and the Gospel. He (Mohamed (saws)) enjoins them to do good and forbids them for evil. He makes pure things halaal for them and impure things haraam. He relieves them of their burdens and frees them from the shackles that they bound themselves with (of customs and pagan rituals).

 

Your Comment: Add to this the hadith by the prophet (saws) saying " All the eyes on the day of judjement will be filled with tears except those eyes that shed tears over Hussain they will be happy filled with joy", and Allah knows that if given the chance I would like to be one of these laughing eyes.

May Allah make you and us of those who are saved from the punishment of Hell Fire, and make you and us of those who are granted His Mercy and His Forgiveness.

 

Allah Alone Knows best if the Messenger of Allah (saws) ever uttered these words! The truth of the matter is that the Messenger of Allah (saws) would never ever say something which was against the context of the Holy Quran. The Quran exhorts us to do good deeds, and all the good deeds are either mentioned in the Holy Quran or we can learn them from the Sunnah of our beloved Messenger (saws). On the Day of Judgment, every person will be standing alone in the Court of Allah, and he will have to answer for his deeds alone, and he will not be asked regarding the others deeds. This is clearly mentioned many times in the Holy Quran.

 

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 134: They were a people who passed away. They shall receive the reward of what they earned, and you shall have the reward of what you will earn. And you will not be questioned as to what they did.

 

The (Jews and Christians) say: None shall enter Paradise unless he be a Jew or a Christian. These are their wishful fancies! Say to them, Bring your evidence if you are right in your claim!. The fact is that no one has any special claim to Paradise! Whoever surrenders himself to Allah in obedience, and is a door of good deeds, shall have his reward with His Lord. There shall be neither fear nor grief for such people.

 

The Quran and the Messenger of Allah (saws) guides mankind to believe and do good deeds. Never does the Quran or the Messenger of Allah (saws) that we have to follow or cry or wail for a personality to have our sins forgiven or to cry and wail for a personality to enter Paradise. This is absolutely against the guidance of the Quran and Sunnah.

 

And if we think clearly for a moment, our Jews and Christian cousins did exactly the same thing. They took their personalities and made them their route to Paradise, without any basis from the revealed books. The Jews made Uzair their icon and the Christians made Prophet Jesus their icon! They say all you need to do is love these sons of Allah, and all your sins will be forgiven. Allah says in the Holy Quran several times, that this is a blasphemy and a lie they have created themselves! Similarly, in Islam, some people have taken their personalities and made them their route to gain the Mercy of Allah. This thinking is absolutely against the principles and context of the Holy Quran and the Sunnah of our beloved Messenger (saws).

 

Lets relate a simple example: In todays world, if the ruler or king forgives or honors somebody simply because he knows or loves a personality from amongst his family and friends, he will be considered an unjust ruler. A just ruler will punish or reward anybody only because of his merit and his deeds no matter how much he loves or is close to a personality. If the ruler were indeed to forgive or honor somebody, just because he loves or is close to a personality he will be considered an unjust ruler! But we coolly strand Allah with such absurdities, that He will honor somebody simply because he cried at the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (r.a.).

 

One of the attributes of our Lord and Creator is that He is the Al Aadil or the All Just! The criteria for entering into the Mercy of Allah is much more than crying on a personality. The criteria of attaining the Mercy of Allah is clearly expounded and laid out in detail, time and time again, in the Holy Quran. The Messenger of Allah (saws) explained that the criteria for saving oneself from the fire of Hell was nothing but imaan and good deeds. Nowhere is there any

evidence, either in the Quran or in the Sunnah, that Allah and His Messenger (saws) ever exhorted mankind to weep or cry over a personality to attain the Mercy of Allah.

 

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 103 Surah Asr verses 1-3: By the Time! Man is surely in great loss, except those who believed and did good works, and exhorted one another to the Truth, and exhorted one another to patience.

 

Allah says in the Holy Quran in Chapter 67 Surah Al Mulk verse 2: He (Allah) created death and life that He may test you, to see which of you is the best in deeds.

 

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 6 Surah Anam verse 70: And leave alone those who have taken their deen as a sport and past time, and have been deluded by the life of this world. Nevertheless, you go on admonishing them by reciting the Quran to them, lest any person should be seized because of his own deeds; and that too, at a time, when there would be no protector, no helper and no intercessor to rescue him from Allah; when no conceivable amount of ransom would be accepted from him. This is because such people shall be seized, in consequence of what they themselves had earned.

 

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 51 Surah Dhariyat verse 56: I have not created the jinn and men except for this that they should worship Me alone.

 

When Allah revealed the verse: "Warn your nearest kinsmen," Allah's Apostle (saws) got up and said, "O people of Quraish (or said similar words)! Buy (i.e. save) yourselves (from the Hellfire) as I cannot save you from Allah's punishment; O Bani Abd Manaf! I cannot save you from Allah's punishment, O Safiya, the Aunt of Allah's Apostle! I cannot save you from Allah's punishment; O Fatima bint Muhammad! Ask me anything from my wealth, but I cannot save you from Allah's punishment."

 

My beloved brother, Islam is not the way of life, whereby we have to love or follow a personality for our redemption. Islam is living our entire lives in the submission of our will to that of Allahs. And Allah has laid out this criteria in detail in the Holy Quran and sent us, in His Mercy, the Last Messenger so that we can follow his example of how to live a perfect Islamic life. This is the only way to attain the Mercy of Allah.

 

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 3 Surah Ale-Imran verse 85: And whoever adopts any other than this way of Islam, that way shall not be accepted from him and in the Hereafter, he shall be among the losers.

 

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 5 Surah Al Maidah verse 3: Today I (Allah) have perfected your deen for you and completed my Blessing on you and approved Islam as your way of life.

 

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 3 Surah Ale-Imran verse 19: Indeed, Islam in the ONLY right way of life in the sight of Allah.

 

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 3 Surah Ale Imran verse 31-32: Prophet, tell the people, If you sincerely love Allah, follow me. Then Allah will love you and forgive you your sins, for He is All Forgiving, All Merciful. Also say to them, Obey Allah and His Messenger. And if, in spite of this, they do not accept your invitation, warn them that Allah does not love those, who refuse to obey Him and His Messenger.

 

Your Comment: 3. Reading from your mail again, you mentioned that it was the actions of Imam Hussain that kept the religion of Islam from going astray under the rule of Bani Ummaya, hence as a Sunni Muslim agreeing with the hadith of the Imam that says "If the religion of my grandfather will not carry on unless I am killed then you swords of Karbala take me". This only means one thing that the Imam Hussain was and still is an essential link between the prophet (saws) and us as modern day muslims, and we feel it as our obligation to inform our children and the new generation and as many people as we can of this man and of what he did, and of the way that he was treated, because if we do not do this then all that he did would have simply gone to waste. think of a scenario where there were no shias to carry on the tradition of

ashoura, from more than 1300 years ago untill now there would not be any one remembering the Imam and what he did, and all that he did would have gone to no avail. We as shias believe that the revolution of the Imam Hussain lives through us and is carried forward by us.

Firstly, brother, we must be careful not to break this Ummah of Islam into sects. That is a grave sin in the eyes of Allah. There are no Shias, no Sunnis, no Bohris, no Ismaelis, no nothingWe are all one Ummah and our recognition should be only muslims.

 

Allah says in Chapter 30 Surah Rum aayat 31-32: "This (Islam) is the right and true faith, but most people do not know. (Be steadfast on this) turning wholly and sincerely towards Allah Alone, and fear Him, and establish the Salat, and do not be like the mushriks, who have set up their separate creeds and divided themselves into sects, each sect rejoicing in what it has."

 

Allah says in Chapter 42 Surah Ash-Shura aayat 13: "He has appointed for you the same Way of Life, which He had ordained for Noah, and which (O Mohamed (saws)) We have now revealed to you, and which We had already enjoined on Abraham and Moses and Jesus, stressing this: " Establish this way and be not divided in it"."

 

Allah says in Chapter 45 Surah Al-Jathiyah aayat 17: "Then they differed amongst themselves after the knowledge (of Islam) had come to them, only because they wanted to wrong one another. Your Lord will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection concerning the matters in which they have been differing."

 

Just look at the Anger and Wrath of Allah described on those who break up their religion into sects:

 

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 23 Surah Muminoon verse 52-55: And you all belong to one and the same ummah, and I (Allah) am your Lord; so fear Me Alone! Yet afterwards the people divided themselves into different sects, and each sect rejoicing in what it has. Well, leave them deeply involved in their heedlessness up to an appointed time. What? Do they think that by continuing to provide them with wealth and children, We are solicitous for their welfare? Nay, they do not understand the reality of the matter!

 

Please note that the all the scholars of Islam, no matter what school of thought they belong to, are unanimous in their opinion that Imam Hussain (r.a.) was martyred in the Cause of Allah, and that he was absolutely on the Right Path. May Allah take full retribution from the people who murdered him.

 

What happened in the fields of Kerbala is the history of Islam, and probably, are the darkest pages ever recorded in the annuls of history. Every true muslim must be grieved and saddened at those tumultuous events that took place in the fields of Kerbala. Allah honored and chose Imam Hussain (r.a.) and his family and his companions to be martyred in His Cause, and their reward is in the safe custody of the Lord of the Worlds.

 

To say that, if we do not meet every year and repeat the story of Kerbala in fiery speeches and cry and beat ourselves, the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (r.a.) will be forgotten or will be of no avail or will have gone in waste, is against the principles of the Quran and Sunnah. My beloved brother, Imam Hussain (r.a.) did not sacrifice his worldly life so that he would have a following and every year people would gather and sing his praises. He (r.a.) sacrificed his life and the lives of his family and companions for the sole Pleasure of Allah Subhanah. His dignified and great martyrdom will never ever be forgotten! Allah is the one who honors his slaves, and when He honors them, there is none to remove that honor! And the biggest honor will be bestowed by Allah on the Day of Judgment in His Court, in front of all mankind! That is the honor Imam Hussain (r.a.) and all the true believers ever craved for they never craved for honor in this measly and passing world.

 

Your Comment: In conclusion, I would like to say that I do not mean to offend or upset any one with what I am saying, and all I wrote I did with great respect to you are your point of view, I am just trying to defend my self and my believes. May Allah grant you the patience to read, understand, and reply to my mail.

We really do appreciate the time and effort you have taken to write your comments and questions to us. Brother, we are commanded by Allah Subhanah in the Holy Quran to invite all mankind to the Truth in Islam, and that is our only objective. We do appreciate your point of view, and the only way to determine who is guided and who is astray is to come back to what is common between us: The Holy Quran and the guidance of the Messenger of Allah (saws). You have every right to defend your beliefs, and we will try and portray our beliefs by always giving evidence from the Holy Quran and the Sunnah of our beloved Messenger (saws). Apart from these two sources, there is no other guidance to the Truth, and the truth is, there is no need for one.

 

Allah says in the Holy Quran: Chapter 16, Surah An-Nahl Ayat 125: Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and excellent admonition and argue with people in the best manner. Your Lord knows best who has gone astray from His Way and who is Rightly guided.

 

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 27 Surah Al Naml verse 64: Bring forth your evidence, if indeed what you say is the Truth!

 

I will, Insha Allah, answer your question no.4 on a separate sheet as this reply has already become too long.

 

May Allah help us, guide us, and forgive us our sins. May Allah guide you and us to the Siraat al Mustaqeem.

 

Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.

 

Your brother and well wisher in Islam,

 

 

Burhan

 


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