Importance of Maatam
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:
I am what you would call a `practising Bohra`. But like you I have had several doubts in my mind about the `religion` that I practise. Perhaps that is because I have read the translation of the Holy Quran and I understand that what Islam requires of me is not always what Bohraism requires of me. I do not entirely agree with you on all your issues - for instance, I (personally) remember the `shahadat` of Imam Husein (AS) and the Ahle-bait and grieve over it not because I believe that for every tear that I shed I will get jannat but because I think of the supreme sacrifice that Imam Husein (AS) made for the sake of Islam.
Of course, I am offended by the belittling of the tragedy of Karbela by the Bohra leadership because that is what they are doing when every day, every occasion, every mazlis, they make us do mataam. Be that as it may,
I must commend you for the enlightening work that you are doing. I have just discovered your site through a friend of mine. While I am still pondering on what is right and what is wrong, could you please help me with some questions on my mind.
1). I have 2 young daughters and my wife and I have been discussing on whether we should have them circumcised or not. I have tried to find an answer from the Holy Quran but have not been successful. Can you please assist? Does Islam require the circumcision of women? Is it sunnah to do so?
2). Who can lead imamat namaaz?
3). Is `mataam` unislamic? We have been told that Zainab binte Ali and Ali Zainulabidin ibn Husein did mataam. If one uses the same logic as you are doing, are you saying that the family of Rasulallah (SAWS) who had Rasulallah (SAWS) as their teacher, were wrong in what they were doing? 4). Can you shed some light on the circumstances surrounding the death of Lady Fatima (AS)? Is it true that she was buried secretly at night by Imam Ali (AS) so as a avert a confrontation with Abubakr? Awaiting your reply. May Allah bless you.
(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.)
Importance of Maatam
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.
We have already sent you an answer earlier today on all the issues of matam.
Your question: I have 2 young daughters and my wife and I have been discussing on whether we should have them circumcised or not. I have tried to find an answer from the Holy Quran but have not been successful. Can you please assist? Does Islam require the circumcision of women? Is it sunnah to do so?
The Glorious Quran is silent on the issue of circumcision. All the scholars of Islam are unanimous in their opinion that circumcision for men is a Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws), and of the Prophets who came before him. There is a difference of opinion amongst the scholars regarding the circumcision of the woman; and the majority of them are of the opinion that it is neither a Sunnah or a deed which the Prophet commanded or encouraged.
Your question: Who can lead imamat namaaz?
If there is a mosque in a community, and an imam is officially appointed to lead the congregational prayers; then it is his right to lead the prayers.
But if one or more people are gathered at a place or mosque, or if the appointed imam is not available for any reason, then the one who is most pious or the one who has memorized the most of the Quran amongst them may lead the prayers. It is the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws) that when more than one believer gather at a place to offer their obligatory prayers, they should pray in congregation and choose the most pious, or the one who has memorized more Quran amongst them, to lead the prayers.
Your question: Is `mataam` unislamic?
Matam, wailing loudly, beating oneself on the face or body, or tearing ones clothes, etc. when one is afflicted with a misfortune or calamity is absolutely prohibited in Islam.
It is reported in an authentic narration that the Messenger of Allah said: He is not a believer, who beats his face, or tears his clothes, or wails, when afflicted by a misfortune.
Your question: We have been told that Zainab binte Ali and Ali Zainulabidin ibn Husein did mataam. If one uses the same logic as you are doing, are you saying that the family of Rasulallah (SAWS) who had Rasulallah (SAWS) as their teacher, were wrong in what they were doing?
We seek refuge in Allah from saying that people of the stature of the noble and chaste ahle-bayt like Zainab and Imam Ali Zainul Aabedeen did wrong in the deen of Islam!
There is absolutely no evidence in any of the authentic or accepted narrations that Hadrat Zainab binte Ali (r.a.) or Hadrat Imam Zainul-Aabedeen ibn Hussain (r.a.) ever did the act of matam. It does not behove believers of the stature of the noble ahle-bayt to do anything which is against the direct command of the Messenger of Allah (saws).
Allah is witness, that whoever slandered Hadrat Zainab and Hadrat Imam Ali Zainul-Aabedeen and said that they did the prohibited act of matam are nothing but liars; and whoever said such a thing will be held severely accountable in the Court of Allah Subhanah. We seek refuge in Allah from ascribing such a deed to the noble and chaste members of the ahle-bayt of the Prophet of Allah (saws).
Your question: Can you shed some light on the circumstances surrounding the death of Lady Fatima (AS)? Is it true that she was buried secretly at night by Imam Ali (AS) so as a avert a confrontation with Abubakr?
It is indeed true that Hadrat Fatima binte Rasool Allah (saws) was buried at night (so was the Messenger of Allah (saws) buried at night); but it is absolutely a false notion that she was buried at night so as to avert a confrontation with Abu Bakr!!!
Allah and His Messenger (saws) made it abundantly clear that no believing man is allowed to see the face of or unnecessarily encounter a non-mehram woman; whether living or dead! And it is inconceivable if any non-mehram male believer even saw the face of the Leader of the Women in Paradise, Sayyid-un-Nisaa, and the noble and chaste daughter of the Prophet (saws), Hadrat Fatima binte Rasool Allah (saws), after the advent of the command of purdah in the Quran; leave alone at her burial! Thus, it is nothing but slander and false stories which some unscrupulous people have circulated that Hadrat Fatima (r.a.) was buried at night because she did not want Abu Bakr, or Umar, etc. to see her face!
Allah Alone knows best why and under what circumstances was Hadrat Fatima (r.a.) buried at night! But to claim that she was secretly buried, is to challenge the bravery, might, courage and piety of one of the bravest and noblest companion of her husband and the beloved cousin of the Messenger of Allah (saws); Hadrat Imam Ali ibn Abi Taalib (may Allah be pleased with him). It is evident from his whole life, that Hadrat Imam Ali (r.a.) feared no one other than Allah; and it does not behove this courageous and fearless Imam to bury his wife secretly. It is probable and possible that Hadrat Fatima (r.a.) might have died in the late afternoon and she was buried in the night by Imam Ali (r.a.) and the believers. Allah Alone knows best.
Besides, it does not behove a truthful person to have knowledge of the unseen, and claim to know the intentions of Hadrat Ali (r.a.) regarding the burial of Hadrat Fatima (r.a.) at night! It may be that Hadrat Fatima (r.a.) willed that she is buried at night, or immediately after her death; or even maybe that Hadrat Ali (r.a.) chose to bury her at night. Allah Alone knows best.
Whatever the circumstances
surrounding the death and burial of the Leader of the Women in
The deen of Islam was completed, the Quran revealed, and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws) was established at the time of the death of the Prophet (saws). Whatever happened after the death of the Prophet (saws) is the History of the Muslims, and this is in the knowledge of Allah Alone. Allah will not hold us accountable for the deeds of those people, nor ask us about them on the Day of Judgment. We will be asked about our deeds and what did we do for the cause of Islam.
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.
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 in Islam,
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