The Significance and Role of Lamentation in muharram


The Significance and Role of Lamentation in Reviving Islam and the Ideology of the Master of Maryrs

We must all know that, that which unites Muslims is the political dimension of lamentation for the Infallible Imams (a.s.) especially lamentation for the Lord of the Oppressed and the Master of Martyrs, His Holiness Abi Abdullah Imam Hosein (a.s.). It preserves the “nationality” of the Muslims particularly the 12-Imamate Shiites.

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The Infallible Imams (a.s.) have emphasized the necessity of holding lamentation gatherings, for ever, in honor of the Master of, Martyrs. The cry of the oppressed progeny of the Prophet (SAW) and the cries condemning the Bani Omayyad, although they have long been overthrown, are the cries of the oppressed against the oppressor and such cries must continue. Today the blessing of those cries is quite evident in the wars imposed on Iran by the descendants of Yazid.

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Almighty God, having observed that the adventurous men of early years of Islam had shaken the foundations of the Religion and only a few of the faithful had remained, designated Imam Hosein ibn Ali (a.s.) who, by the sacrifice of his life awakened the Ummat. He, also assigned many rewards for those who mourn Imam Hosein (a.s.) so that the Ummat would remain alert and the Event of Ashura which was set up to uproot tyranny and cruelty and to guide men to monotheism and justice, may not become redundant. Thus it is necessary that such awards be granted for lamentation so that people do not abandon it in spite of pressures and imposed hardships.

Otherwise, the efforts of Hazrat Imam Hosein (a.s.) would be wasted in no time at all and that would lead to neutralization of the efforts made by the Prophet (SAW) for the establishment of Shiism. Assuming that the rewards which Almighty Allah grants be deemed as return for benefits gained from such action, such benefit which can be gained will be the survival of the rightful religion and the bases of Shiism which insures the happiness of the entire humanity. And, considering the circumstances of the Shiites at that time and the multi- dimensional pressures brought down on Imam Ali’s followers, the price of such action is far more than we can imagine and the rewards which Allah has decreed are things that no eye has ever seen and no ear has ever heard, and this is justice in the absolute.

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It is the blood of the Master of Martyrs that sets fire to the bloods of all Muslim nations and it is these Ashura bands and passion players that excite the people and prepare them for sacrifice to preserve Islam and Islamic purposes, these mourning demonstrations must be continued.

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Right is the victor, right is the winner! But we must find out the secret of our victory, the secret of the survival of Shia in all the ages from the time of the Master of the Faithfuls, His Holiness Imam All (a.s.) to the present, at certain stages the Shia population was meagre, it has increased, thanks God. We must also learn the secret of the survival of this Religion and of the Muslim countries, the Shiite nations. W@ must learn that secret by heart. One of the major secrets pertains to Hazrat Imam Hosein (a.s.). This secret should be preserved. These lamentation meetings that were arranged in the course of history by orders of the Infallible Imams (a. s.) were not meant for our youth to attend them in order to shed tears, we must not weep anymore! This is a mistake they make!

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He (Imam Hosein – a.s.) has saved Islam to this day. The Prophet (SAW) has said: “I am from Hosein”, meaning that the sacrifice of lives by Imam Hosein (a.s.) has preserved the Religion of Islam and, we, too, must protect it. These youthful people are not attentive enough. Surely, there is a group who are injected with the idea that there should be no mouming for the martyrdom of Imam Hosein (a.s.). This is because lamentation for the martyrs of Ashura moves the people to such extent that they get ready for anything. When people observe that Imam Hosein’s children were cut to pieces, it becomes easy for them to sacrifice their lives. And, the feeling of welcoming martyrdom made our nation advance the cause. This is the meaning, the message that the Ashura event at Karbala has conveyed to all directions and to all nations making them wish martyrdom for themselves, a martyrdom like that of Imam Hosein (a.s.)

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The lamentation for the Master of the Martyrs is a mean by which his ideology (Islam) can be preserved. Those who want us not to observe the martyrdom of Imam Hosein (a.s.) by mouming and lamentation do not understand the ideology of the Master of Martyrs; they do not know that these mouming sessions have preserved this ideology. It is now 1,400 years that these lamentations, elegies and passion plays have kept us alive, have maintained Islam up to now. To these youths who want us to speak the language of the day we say the words of Imam Hosein (a.s.) are the words of the day, it has always been the language of the day. In fact it is the Master of Martyrs who has brought forth the final word for today and left it with us. These lamentations have preserved the Master of Martyrs; his ideology has been preserved by the cries of mouming and by tears shed, by these passion plays, elegies and breast-beatings. If instead of these actions, some saints would stay at home, confined to a room in which they would do nothing but recite Ashura prayers and use rosary beads, nothing would have survived. It requires clamour, every school of thought or ideology demands clamour. No ideology can be saved and maintained unless tears are shed for it and breasts are beaten.

The antagonists merely do not understand, they are like children, they do not know the role of the clergy and of those who preach in the pulpits of Islam. You, too, may not know it. This is a role that has kept Islam alive. It is a rose that has been kept in full bloom by irrigation with tears. It is these recitations of pains and anguish (suffered by the martyrs on Ashura) that has kept alive the ideology of the Master of Martyrs. If someone near to one of us is slain, we cry and mourn and raise black banners; we weep, shed tears and hold mouming sessions. If a (political) party member gets killed, they hold processions, screams are raised to high heavens, meetings are arranged for lamentations.

Our passion plays, recitation of elegies and bemoaning from pulpits and at meetings, are just cries to revive the ideology of the Master of the Martyrs. These cries and lamentations are the things that have kept us alive and have advanced the Movement that could not take one step forward if there was no Master of Martyrs (Imam Hosein – a.s.). The Master of Martyrs is present everywhere “All lands are Karbala!”; all pulpits are thresholds of Imam Hosein (a.s.); all altars belong to the Master of Martyrs. Imam Hosein (a.s.), saved Islam by his blood, should we remain silent while he sacrificed so much to perpetuate the true Islam? We must cry and mourn everyday; we should climb up the pulpit everyday to preserve the movement and the ideology, these moves owe the Master of Martyrs a great deal!

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What is a better coordination than this? Can you name a nation as harmonized as this? Who has coordinated them? The Master of Martyrs has made them harmonious. In all Islamic countries, the Muslim nations on the days of Ashura (10th Muharram) and Tasou’a (9th Muharram), line up in these well coordinated, orderly bands of passion plays and reciters of elegies and mourners. Who is there to duplicate such gatherings? Where on earth can you find such coordinated groups. Travel to India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Afghanistan, and Iraq wherever you happen to be on these days, you will meet this orderly, well coordinated parades or demonstrations of mourners. Who has harmonized them? Do not give up this coordination and harmony!

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These lamentation gatherings and elegy recitations in honor of the Master of Martyrs who, to please God, sacrificed his own life and the lives of his family and companions, have nurtured our youth in such a manner that they go to the battle-fronts and beg for martyrdom and take pride in attaining to it, feeling unhappy if martyrdom does not come their way. Furthermore, by their influence, parents are so made as to wish they had more sons to send them to the war fronts, if their first offer is honored with martyrdom. It is these lamentation gatherings in honor of the Master of Martyrs, these prayer meetings, the Komail and other prayers that build these gatherings and have built the foundation of Islam on them so that it advances with this idea and program.

Now, a group of people come and tell us not to recite elegies nor arrange lamentation gatherings. They just do not understand the meaning of the lamentations nor do they comprehend their nature. They do not know that the movement of Imam Hosein (a.s.) has developed these gatherings, and the revolutions like ours are rays, reflecting that Movement. They do not know that shedding tears in mourning for Imam Hosein (a.s.) means the survival of his Movement; that a small number of men stood up against a mighty empire and said, “No!”. This “No” must be reiterated every day everywhere. And, these gatherings are to voice this “No” collectively. Let not our children and youths drink that the issue is one of weeping, a problem of the “weeping nation”! ‘Mat is the suggestion of others so that we, too, say so! They fear these tears, for they are shed in honor of the oppressed and in damnation and condemnation of the oppressors. These mourning and passion play processions are uprising against cruelty.

In those days (during the rule of Rex Khan) one of the slogans that had currency was “The Nation of Tears”. This was aimed at disbanding the lamentation gatherings. Such meetings and gatherings were forcefully Prevented by him who used to attend them with all his frolickings and rigmaroles. [45] It wasn’t the turbans, hats or other head gears per se; nor the lamentation gatherings per se that mattered. They had realized that these elements had the influence of preventing them from doing whatever they wanted. When the nation in the months of Muharram and Safar, especially in the Ashura event, clear across the country, gathers together to lament and observe the Karbala martyrdoms, when the clergy climb up the pulpits and recite elegies and recount the tortures that the Infallible Imams(a.s.) have gone through, such recitations and gatherings give the people a single direction in which to move, and Muslims are thus united, some 30, 40 millions or more, in a single front ready for any necessary move and action. This is the political dimension of these gatherings and is above all other aspects.

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They see that in all years and ages these lamentation gatherings, the recounts of cruelties and the crimes against the oppressed reveal the oppressors and condemn them but they fail to see the service these gatherings render the country and Islam. Let not our youth be deceived by the frisks and pranks of these elders, they are traitors who try to inject the slogan of “weeping nation” and the like. They, their prominent men and their masters are afraid of these tears. Reza Khan was an example he was assigned to curb tears and lamentation arranged in honor of Imam Hosein (a.s.). When he left the country the British announced in Radio New Delhi: “We brought him and now take him away.” They were right, they had brought him with orders to prevent lamentation gatherings and to suppress Islam. Our young must not think that by going to the gatherings and preventing the Ashura event to be mentioned, they will be doing the country a service, it is wrong! The glergy must mention the cruelties perpetrated against the Prophet’s progeny, so that people understand what has happened. Such mention must be made every day. This has a political dimension and a social aspect as well!

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The first time they seized and took me away, on the way from Qum some of the agents said they had been sent for me but were frightened by the tents (set up for the Ashura lamentation gatherings) lest the mourners would become aware and, as a result, they fail to accomplish their task. Not only minor elements such as those who had taken me, but even great powers are afraid of these lamentation tents! The major powers fear the organization which, without a single hand to run it, has gathered these mourners together, has welded national elements together, so solidly all over the country, for all times especially in the 2 months of Muharram and Safar. If an issue may serve Islam or if someone wants to make a country-wide announcement, the Ulama and preachers can most effectively and expeditiously publicize it from the pulpit. Under the divine banner, this “Hoseini” standard people converge.

If great powers want to call in a large group of people, they might succeed, after many days or weeks of publicity, in many towns and villages, and with considerable expenses, to bring together a crowd of say, 50 to 100 thousand men to listen to the person who is scheduled to speak. But, as you can see, when the clergy have something the public should know, these lamentation meetings serve as a most effective instrument and, in no time at all, people all over the country are informed; all layers of population and Imam Hosein’s mourners gather together in the shortest time, with least effort and publicity. People get together whenever words of the Master of Martyrs are going to be recited.

The Philosophy of Mourning and Lamentation



Know that the entire instructions of the Infallible Imams (a.s.) for observance of this historic epic of Islam and the curses levied on the oppressors of the Ahl-e-Bayt (the Prophet’s progeny) are all the epic cries of valiant nations in condemnation of the perpetrators of cruelty and oppression at all times in man’s history. You must also know that cursing the Bani Omayyad, although they were overthrown and are in the Hell, is the cry of condemnation of all oppressors and is meant to maintain this cruelty – smashing outcry.

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Lamentation of the martyrs, means preservation and perpetuation of the Movement. It is narrated that he who cries (at, Imam Hosein’s martyrdom) or make others cry or even he who p@ on a weeping appearance, will be admitted to the Heaven. [42] Such a person who appears sad, whose face shows his affectation by tears, is actually helping to preserve the uprising and movement of Imam Hosein (a.s.)

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If we weep until Doomsday for Imam Hosein (a.s.) we ourselves will profit by it not Imam Hosein (a.s.). Consider its benefits in this world, let alone its rewards in the next world, consider the spiritual aspect, how it rings the hearts together!

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Don’t think that we weep and arrange these mouming meetings to please the Master of Martyrs! No, he has no need for our tears and our tears, per se, cannot do anything! But these lamentation gatherings and meetings unite the people and give them direction. 30 to 35 million people during the month of Muharram, especially the Ashura days, all have a united aspect and move in one direction. Some of the Imams (a.s.) have asked that mouming be arranged for them at Mana [43]. Some of the Infallible Imams (a.s.) have wanted that elegies be recited for them from the pulpits, others have stressed that rewards will accrue to those who cry, make others cry or appear to be sad and crying. The issue is not shedding of tears at all, it is political for our Imams (a.s.) with their divine vision wanted to unite and mobilize the nations, bring them together by various ways so that they won’t be vulnerable.

Some of the Infallibles, (e.g. Imam Baqir – a.s. may have been the one) have wanted a reciter of elegies to be stationed at Mena (a place where hajj pilgrims converge to perform certain hajj rites) and recite elegies in their names. That was not because Imam Baqir (a.s.) had needed elegies, rather, it has had political significance. Consider Mena during the hajj season; pilgrims from all around the earth would be gathered there hag lamentation over the crimes committed by the Imam’s opponents which had resulted in his martyrdom and the matter would surely reverberate clear across the Islamic World. These mourning sessions have been underestimated.

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His Holiness Imam Baqir (a.s.) upon his death willed that someone be hired for ten successive years and placed at Mena to cry for him. What kind of challenge is this? Did Hazrat Baqir (a.s.) need tears, what for and why at Mena during the hajj pilgrimage!? This is the point, the political, psychological and humane point. Ten years of tears in succession! Well, people who make the pilgrimage see this and ask about it and when they receive answers, their attention is gained toward this ideology. It supports the oppressed and weakens or destroys the oppressors. We offered youth, so did Karbala. We should preserve this. You shouldn’t think that tears were the issue. No, not tears but political, psychological and social aims are involved. If tears were the issue, why the pretension to it? What need could the Master of Martyrs have for tears? The Imams (a.s.) insisted that we hold gatherings for lamentation, etc., because it gives solidarity to the move and safeguards the Faith.

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The depth significance of the lamentation meetings is little known and, to some, it is not evident at all. Our narratives place such great value on even one drop of tear, even for pretension to crying, for the victim of Karbala not because the Master of Martyrs personally needs the tears or lamentations and not even for the reward that those who shed tear will receive [44]. But, why such exterior dinary rewards have been prescribed for the lamentation gatherings? Why has God Almighty granted so much reward for even one drop of tear, for even pretension to crying? The political dimension of the issue is, little by little, becoming known and, God willing, it will become more evident in the future. The assignment of such great rewards for lamentation and mouming gatherings, for recitation of elegies has been in addition to its spiritual and devotional aspects, for political considerations, a major political purpose. The day the related narratives were issued, this saviour minority group was afflicted with the Omayyad and Abbasid rulers, a small minority vis-a-vis great powers.

At that time, in order to organize the political activities of this minority, they devised a path which itself was an organizing element. That device was to quote divine inspirational sources for the formation of these meetings, their greatness and the highest reward for mourners. The Shiite minority in those days gathered around these lamentation meetings, many of them did not know what it was all about. The issue was imparting organization to a minority group that faced a cruel majority. In the course of history these lamentation gatherings developed into an all-inclusive organization in every Muslim Country. In Iran, which is the cradle of Islam and Shiism that which threw fear in the despotic autocrats, who meant to destroy the clergy and Islam, was these mourning sessions.

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Maybe Westernized individuals call us a weeping nation and maybe our own people cannot grasp the meaning of so much reward for one drop of tear or for one lamentation gathering. Perhaps they cannot digest or comprehend the promises made for praying. The political aim of these tears and prayers is to draw people together and their collective attention to God that will result in their unity and mobilization for an Islamic aim. A lamentation gathering is for people to cry for the Master of Martyrs and be rewarded for it in the Hereafter. However, the important point is the political aspect that was designed by our Infallible Imams (a.s.) in the early days of Islam, and will last to the end, to get all the people gathered under one single banner, one single ideology and nothing can bring about such unity as readily as the mourning for Imam Hosein (a.s.).

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Others go to the mosques, listen to the sermons and hear what is being preached but when time comes for lamentation, they leave. This is because they do not know the significance of lamentation and elegies for the Infallibles. It is these mourning gatherings that have saved and preserved the altar and the pulpit. If there was no lamentation, this pulpit would not be here today. We must cry for our Martyrs, cry out loudly and awaken the people. We must make the people realize that our lamentation is not to earn rewards. We do lament to advance. The Master of Martyrs did not sacrifice himself to earn rewards, he was not in need of such a reward. He did so to save the ideology, to advance Islam and revive it. You who cry from the pulpit and make others cry, you who recite elegies that make listeners shed tears, your aim and purpose must be to advance Islam by these tumultuous uproars just as you have done so to the present time. People must be made to understand that the aim of our lamentations is not just to make them cry, rather, they must know for sure that Islain has been preserved by these tears, even sham weeping helps the ideology.

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If people could truly understand and make it understood by others what all this is about, the lamentations, the mournings and the elegies and why such high divine reward for a drop of tear shed for Imam Hosein (a.s.), they would not call us the weeping nation, rather they would call us the nation of epic action. If they could understand the meanings and mobilizing effects of the prayers enunciated by His Holiness Imam Sajjad (a.s.) at Karbala where he was under a governmental rule that had usurped all the powers, they would not say “what are prayers for!?” If our intellectuals could understand the political and social dimension of these mouming and lamentation meetings, these recitations of elegies and passion plays, they would not tell us why we have them, hold them and observe them.

Some are asking our youth: “How long will you cry” How long will you mourn” Let’s hold a demonstration in protest!? Ills is because such people do not understand the meaning, the aim of the Ashura lamentations and (how) it has been maintained so far. They do not know this, they cannot be made to understand.

They do not see that this lamentation (in honour of the Infallibles) “builds” up human beings, develops the men. These Ashura mouming sessions, are propaganda against tyranny, against the arrogant taghuts; it is reciting the oppression of the oppressed and it must go on indefinitely.

The Eternal Wisdom of muharram and ashura



Students of the so called historical method argue that in terms of immediate history, nothing was achieved as a result of the events on `Ashura, i.e. Muharram. They say that it was a tragedy, but its overall effect on the political events of the period was negligible.

This is their conclusion and when they are asked why the Islamic books of history, written by scholars many centuries ago, devote more space, more pages, more words, to that event than to any other in the history of Islam, why there are more books devoted to that event in Islamic history than to any other, they shrug their shoulders and mumble something about the Shi`i influence on the writing of history. Yet, many of the writers are not members of the Shi’a. The famous Islamic historian Tabari devoted nearly two hundred pages to the story. No other event receives as much attention from him. He most certainly was not a member of the Shi`a.

Cosmic Nature of the Martyrdom of Imam Husayn (A)

The fact is that these petty scholars with their tendentious criticisms are concerned only with the narrow details of political history. They do not perceive the cosmic nature of the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (A). For them, history is the restricted study of immediate cause and effect in political developments. But real history is about something far more important than that. Real history concerns men’s relationship with God and how that rela­tionship affects men’s relationships with each other. Real history attempts to show the cosmic significance of events, not their narrow immediate political results.

The tragedy of Karbala’, the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (A), is one of those events of cosmic significance. Its lessons concern not just one group of men and their relationship to the world, but all mankind. It is a moral paradigm. It teaches sacrifice and opposition to injustice: it teaches integrity of purpose, love of family, gentle­ness, and bravery. In fact, in the account of the tragic journey and martyrdom of Imam Husayn (A), there are lessons in all the moral virtues. Perhaps the one that strikes most of us most forcefully is our own inadequacy in comparison with the enormous sacrifice Imam Husayn (A) made on behalf of mankind.

Sacrifice of Imam Husayn (A) and Will of God
Imam (A) voluntarily allowed himself to be the greatest sacrifice on this earth, seeking to fulfil the will of God. On this day, nearly fourteen hundred years ago, the Imam prepared himself for martyrdom. The symbols of his martyrdom are many, the suffering dreadful.

He watched as, one after another, his followers went to their deaths; as, one after another, his kinsmen went to their deaths; even his baby son was slaughtered in his arms as he gave him a farewell hug.

Bravery of Imam Husyn (A)
Yet Imam Husayn (A) was not merely the example of a great martyrdom, he was also the exemplar of bravery and fortitude. He fought a brave and fierce fight against so many. Such was his power and strength, such was the aura of his person and he was by no means a young man that the only way his enemies could kill him was by a whole group of them attacking him at the same time and stabbing him together. The humiliation of the death was total; the vindictiveness and wickedness of this action by men is illustrated by the fact that his clothes were ripped from his body and then horses ridden over it.

The Paradigm of all Unjust Deaths
The lesson is clear to us all: it shows the lengths of human wickedness. Imam Husayn (A) exemplifies all suffering humanity. In that martyrdom, in those blows to his body, in the trampling of horses over it, Imam Husayn (A) is the model, the paradigm of all unjust deaths, of all humans suffering.

Steadfastness in the way of Right Path
In this, his martyrdom teaches suffering men to endure, to remain steadfast in their belief in God. It also has a lesson to teach men who are more fortunate, that the world is a transitory place, worldly success is not an end in itself, and that man should always be aware of the suffering Imam Husayn (A) experienced. By their awareness of this they will learn to treat worldly success with humility.

In the real sense of cosmic history, the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (A) is a mighty triumph, a wondrous victory. Who would know the name Yazid today except for the fact that he was responsible for the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (A) ? Otherwise he would just be another of the thousands of despots, tyrants, and bullies that have abused their authority, another footnote in the history of man. However, because his tyranny and wickedness was responsible for the good, the noble, the pure Imam’s martyrdom , he, by killing the Imam, the human model of goodness and bravery, has become the human model of injustice and wickedness.

The Victory of Truth over Falsehood
The triumph of Imam Husayn (A) lies in the fact that his inspiration has moved men to grieve for him throughout the centuries. The pure light of ennobled humanity in the Imam has motivated generation upon generation of the Shi’a, to suffer endless hardship, to keep his memory alive.

The first beginnings of the majlis, the sessions held in honour of the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (A). are to be discerned in the first gatherings of the surviving family of the martyred Imam. Very soon these gatherings of grief developed outside the family to include others.

Not long afterwards there was the majlis of the Kufan penitents, the tawwabin, when they gathered at his graveside to lament, to grieve, to prepare for martyrdom in the battle that was to come, to try, in some small way, to make them worthy of the sacrifice Imam Husayn (A) had made for them and all mankind.

The triumph of the martyred Imam is such that every year on `Ashura, in places all over the world, the faithful gather together to remember the Imam.

A Threat for Tyranny
All despotic regimes have felt threatened by these majlises. Throughout the centuries they have tried to prevent them. At one time even the site of Imam Husayn (A)’s grave at Karbala’ was ploughed up.
They feared the grief and lamentation for Imam Husayn (A) because in that grief and lamentation people remembered the goodness, the justice, the kindness, the gentleness, and the bravery of the martyred Imam (A). These were not qualities that tyrannical governments wished people to think about; their concern was bribery, corruption, nepotism, and naked force. They saw the threat to their world, to their values, to their position. Seeing it, they sought to suppress the memory of Imam Husayn (A). However, such was the power, the influence, the glory of that memory, that they could not remove it from the hearts of men, from the Shi’a of all the Imams, the Shi`a of Imam Husayn (A).

The Importance of a Global Platform
In one of his historic statements Imām al-Ĥusayn (A) clearly says that the main reason behind his uprising is to seek reform in the Muslim nation. Then he describes the path he would undertake to meet this aspiration:

“I would like to invite towards good and shun the evil.”
In order for him to carry out this reform immediately, the best place to go to was Makka, where pilgrims from all over the Muslim world would come to perform ‘Umra and Ĥajj. They would listen to his message, wake up, and relate the same to their people on their return.

Historical records tell us that while in Makka, Muslims from different countries used to visit Imām al-Ĥusayn (A) day and night, and listen to what he had to say.

Opposition against Falsehood
The movement of Imām al-Ĥusayn (A) reveals the personality of Imam (A) as a great freedom seeker. He never allowed himself to submit to any government that does not obey the laws of God. In fact it is a practical manifestation of ‘Islām’ (submission to the will of God). Submitting to every call of disbelief or polytheism is to alienate from the path of utter submission to Almighty Allāh. Not surrendering to falsehood and remaining very steadfast in his stance, he taught every future human being ‘the lesson of steadfastness’ by not submitting to falsehood and oppression. And this unwavering stance remained until his martyrdom.

Seeking Refuge in Allah
Imam al-Ĥusayn (A)’s move to Makka also alludes to something highly important. His refuge to the Divine sanctity of safety, perhaps demonstrated that his only refuge is Allāh in whose house there is always safety:

“In it are clear signs and whosoever enters therein is safe” (Quran, 3:97)

Seeking refuge in the Divine sanctity, however, should transport us to a loftier meaning: one who really seeks refuge in Allāh is safe from all kinds of polytheism and oppression. It is not necessary for us to limit our understanding to the physical and tangible import of the verse.

The safety referred to in the verse, however, is a legislative direction which creates responsibilities on the Muslim nation. In other words, Almighty Allah commands us to observe security in His house. No one is allowed to shed blood in there; no animal is to be injured, etc. But if some like Hajjāj bin Yūsuf al-Thaqafī, out of their disbelief, were to transgress the limits, they can endanger the lives of the like of the selfishly motivated ‘Abdullah bin Zubayr who despite having sought asylum in the holy precincts of the Ka’ba was killed therein.

However, the safety can also refer to seeking the shelter of ‘one’s spirit’ in Almighty Allah. This meaning can also be understood by looking at some recommended supplications to be recited near the Ka’ba:

O Allāh, surely You said ” and whosoever enters therein he/she would be safe”; therefore, save me from the punishment of Hell Fire.

Therefore, one who seeks the protection of his spirit from Almighty Allah would undoubtedly be safe from every calamity that would ruin his spiritual life. If his physical life were to be sold for an exalted aim, he would never lose. Instead he would attain a lofty station and eternal salvation.

If the leaders who govern Muslim nations of the world today were to understand and apply this lofty concept they would never assist terrorist and tyrant regimes whose evil nature is more apparent than ever today. Every concerned Muslim should try to understand and heed to the call of Imām al-Ĥusayn (A) which still echoes in the hearts and minds of the truth-seeking human beings:

Indeed you know that the Messenger of Allah (s) said during his lifetime:
“Whoever observes a sovereign legalizing what God has made unlawful, violating the covenant of God, opposing the Sunnah of the Messenger of God, and treating the creatures of God sinfully and oppressively, and does not oppose him with his speech and action, God has a right to bring him to the same fate as that of the tyrant…”

“Don’t you see that what is true and right is not acted upon and what is false and wrong is not forbidden?…”

“Is there any protector who defends the sanctuary of the Messenger of Allāh?”

1. Bihar al-Anwar, Allama Majlisi, v. 44, p. 328
2. Al-Kafi, Thiqatu’l Islam al-Kulayna, v.4, p. 528
3. Bihar al-Anwar, Allama Majlisi, v. 44, p. 381
4. An Everlasting Instruction;Imam al-Husayn’s (‘a) Journey to Makka, Abu Muhammad Zaynu’l ‘Abidin
5. Tabari, op. Cit., 216 390.
6. Tabari, op. Cit., p. 360.
7. Tabari, op. Cit., p. 366.
8. Tabari, op. Cit., p. 368.
9. M. M. Shams al Din, op. cit., pp. 140 50.
10.Tabari, Ta’rikh, III, 1408.
11.Ashura Lectures 1990,(Yawm al-Tarwiya: a Day of Beginning and Ending in the Martyrdom of Imam Husayn),Dr. I.K.A Howard

Hoisting the black flag of Imam Hussain on the dome of Husainiyyah in Zaria, Nigeria / Pics

The Leader of the Shiite Islamic Movement in Nigeria, led the hoisting of a black flag on the dome of Husainiyyah Baqiyyatullah in Zaria on Friday the 1st of Muharram 1426 (24/10/14).

The flag was donated to the Islamic Movement  from the holy shrine of Imam Hussain (A), Karbala, Iraq.

Hundreds of thousands witnessed the event from far as the red flag on the dome of the Husainiyyah was replaced with the black flag with inscription of ‘ya Hussain’ on it. This, heralded the beginning of Ashura Mourning gathering at Husainiyyah.