Working On Ashura

Question:

Is it permissible to go for work on the day of Ashura?

Answer:

It is Makruh or undesirable, and the work shall not be blessed on that day.

61 meaning “Master of the Martyrs”. This is title of Imam Husayn alayhis-salam.

Husayni Shrine

Question:

Were the severed heads of the martyrs returned with the captives of Ahlul- Bayt alayhum-as-salam and buried with the bodies? Or were the heads buried in another location?

Answer:

The overwhelming evidence is that they were returned back and buried with the sacred bodies.

Question:

We have a mosque in Cairo, where it is believed that the sacred head ofImam Husayn alayhis-salam is buried. However, I have also seen in Bihar al-Anwar that the head was buried in the holy city of Najaf. What is your opinion about this issue, and where do you think the head is buried?

Answer:

Based on reliable and authentic sources, the head of Imam Husayn alayhis-salam was returned to the holy Karbala and Imam Zayn-al-Abidin alayhis-salam buried the head with the sacred body. There are other claims, but that we mentioned above is the correct one.

Zeyarah

Question:

In some books it is stated that if we wanted to read the Zeyarah (salutation) of Imam Husayn alayhis-salam from a distant location – not actually being in Karbala – we should go to the roof of a building and face the direction of Karbala, and read the Zeyarah. Does this mean that reading the Zeyarah from a room is not acceptable? Is the Zeyarah without reading the associated prayer acceptable?

Answer:

The Zeyarah is acceptable. Going to the roof, and performing the associated prayers increases in the reward.

Question:

Are the Zeyarah of Ashura, and Zeyarah of Nahiyah reliable and authentic? What about Du’a Nudbah?

Answer:

All are correct, reliable, and authentic.

Query on Ashura

A group of the faithful presented a question on the validity of Tatbir to the leading Maraje‘ of the Shi‘a world in Muharram 1423 Hijri, March 2002.

The question and the respective Maeaje‘ fatawa are given below:

Their Excellencies the Grand Maraje', may Allah protect them.

Salaam Alaykum,

We would be grateful if you express your opinion about Qama-Zani. Please state the ruling if it were to be conducted in private and/or in public.

With thanks

The Lovers and Devotees of Abi-Abdillah al-Husayn alayhis-salam.

Fatawa

Decrees of the leading Shi‘a Maraje‘ in the holy city of Qum in response to the above query:

Fatwa of Ayatollah al-Udhma Behjat

In the case of it (Qama-Zani) not being harmful, there is no problem with it.

Stamp of the office of Ayatollah al-Udhma Behjat

Fatwa of Ayatollah al-Udhma Abtahi

If it does not cause death, or unbearable harm, it should not be prohibited.

For Allah is the Knower and Helper to the good.

Seal of Ayatollah al-Udhma Abtahi

Fatwa of Ayatollah al-Udhma Mirza Jawad Tabrizi

There is no objection to Qama-Zani in its own right.

Seal of Ayatollah al-Udhma Mirza Jawad Tabrizi

Fatwa of Ayatollah al-Udhma Muhammad Sadiq Rouhani

To do Qama-Zani is a very good act indeed, and to perform Qama-Zani in public enhances the excellence of this act, and ifm one is harmed in the process, the reward (Thawab) for this act will be increased even further.

One of the things that I regret not doing is that I did not have the honour to perform this great practice, and now that I am old and frail, I am unable to perform it.

In any case, from all the people who have had the honour to perform this religious symbol I wish to ask them to pray for me after performing Qama-Zani.

Signature and seal of Ayatollah al-Udhma Muhammad Sadiq Rouhani

Fatwa of Ayatollah al-Udhma Langaroudi

Salaam upon the Lovers of Imam Husayn

In our opinion since Abi-Abdillah al-Husayn alayhis-salam is Thar- Allah, the Blood of Allah, then it would be appropriate, but in fact imperative that for the Blood of Allah, the blood of the creatures of Allah is shed. Therefore not only Qama-Zani is permissible, but it is also regarded as one of the Sha'a'er and it has great, and extensive Thawab (reward).

It is honour and good for the Husayni Lovers who participate in this beautiful and honourable act, since Qama-Zani is one of the Sha'a'er.

Needless to say that to practice this Sha'a'er in public is better.

Salaam be upon the Righteous Lovers (of Imam Husayn) and upon all the Righteous servants of Allah.

Signature and seal of Abd-el-Saheb Sayyid Muhammad Mahdi Murtadhawi Langaroudi

Fatwa of Ayatollah al-Udhma Sayyid Sadiq Shirazi

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim

To perform Qama-Zani, whether in private or in public, and other kinds of Azadari for Sayyid al-Shuhada Abi-Abdillah al-Husayn - may my soul be his sacrifice and peace and blessings of Allah be upon him - brings about the pleasure of Allah Almighty as well as Imam Mahdi - may Allah hasten his reappearance - InSha'Allah.

{And he who glorifies the Sha'a'er of Allah, surely it is from the piety of the hearts.} [The Holy Qur'an, 32: 22]

Signature and seal of Ayatollah al-Udhma Sayyid Sadiq Shirazi

Is it true that . . .

Question:

Is it true that the skies wept blood for Imam Husayn when he was killed? Answer:

Yes. When he was killed, the sky wept blood for Imam Husayn alayhissalam.

It is reported that when Imam Husayn alayhis-salam was killed not only the residents of the heavens cried for Imam Husayn alayhis-salam, but even the skies cried for him and they wept blood for him. This is reported not only in the Shi’a books but also in the most important Sunny references:

“On the day of the martyrdom of Husayn alayhis-salam the sky rained blood . . .”

See

Thakhaa’er al-Uqba pp 144, 145, 150.

Al-Sawaa’eq al-Muhriqah pp 116, 192. . . . . .

“(on the day Husayn was killed) there was not a stone which was not lifted but underneath it was found blood . . .” See Al-Sawaa’eq al-Muhriqah pp 116, 192. Tathkirat-ul-Khawaas p 284, Tafsir ibn Kathir vol. 9, p 162 . . . . .

There are great many more hadith and great many references in abundance in this respect, but for brevity only a few are cited here. These astonishing events were observed and reported by people in various geographical locations. The chroniclers in the reference such as the above record theses reports from people who were in Medina, Karbala, Kufa, Damascus, Jerusalem, etc. But this does not mean that these events were confined to those areas only. In fact we have solid evidence that the skies everywhere wept blood for Imam Husayn alayhis-salam. Chroniclers in Britain for example, have recorded that in the year coinciding with the event of Ashura, the skies in Britain rained blood, and milk and butter turned into blood! The exact quote is as follows:

“685. In this year in Britain it rained blood, and milk and butter were turned into blood.”

The above is recorded in:

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle,

Translated, edited by G. N. Garmonsway,

Professor of English,

King’s College, London

ISBN 0-460-87038-6

Question:

Is it true that Imam Mahdi alayhis-salam weeps blood for Imam Husayn? Answer:

Yes it is true. Imam Mahdi, may Allah hasten his reappearance, mourns for Imam Husayn alayhis-salam every day - night and day - and he weeps blood for his great grandfather, as seen from his declaration he makes in his Zeyarah, known as Zeyarah of Nahiyah: “. . . now that I could not be with you on the day of Ashura to defend you and fight your enemies, I shall mourn you every morning and every evening, and I shall weep blood for you instead of tears . . . ”

Question:

Is it true that the head of Imam Husayn alayhis-salam spoke, and recited the Qur'an, while being carried from Karbala to Shaam and back?

Answer:

Yes this is true, and the report of this phenomenon is reported by numerous chroniclers and recorded in many references. This topic is referred to in more details in chapter three of this book.

Question:

Is it true that Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin alayhis-salam mourned and wept for Imam Husayn alayhis-salam for more than twenty years?

Answer:

This issue is widely reported in and recorded in history books. More details are presented in chapter three of this work.

Who was the first to . . .

Question:

Who was the first individual who founded the Husayni Sha'a'er or the mourning ceremony for Imam Husayn alayhis-salam? was she Zaynab alayhas-salam, the loyal sister of Imam Husayn? or was he one of the imams?

Answer:

The first one who founded the Husayni Sha‘a’er is Allah the Almighty.

This was in the form of the composition of Zeyarah of Ashura. According to authenticate hadith, it (Zeyarah of Ashura) was composed by the Almighty.

[The hadith of Zeyarah of Ashura being the composition of Allah Almighty is reported in Bihar al-Anwar, volume 98, page 300, second edition, 1983/1403, al-Wafa publishers, Beirut.] After narrating Zeyarah of Ashura and the Du'a that comes after the Zeyarah, Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq states, “I have received this Zeyarah from my father, who received it in this form from Ali ibn al-Husayn, who received it in this form from al-Husayn, who received it from his brother al-Hasan, who received it from Amir-ul- Mu’minin Ali ibn Abi Talib alayhum-as-salam, who received it in this form from Rasulollah salla-llahu-alayhi-wa-aalih, who received it from Jibra'il alayhis-salam, who received it from Allah Almighty.”

This report also appears in misbaah al-motahajjid, pp 542-546, by Sheikh al-Tousi.]

Needless to say, the Ahl-ul-Bayt alayhum-as-salam continued with the Husayni Sha‘a’er, starting from Lady Zaynab alayhas-salam, and Imam Zayn-al-Abidin alayhis-salam, and the rest of the Ma‘soom Imams alayhum-as-salam.

Question:

Who was the first person that wept for Imam Husayn for the momentous tragedy of Ashura? is it true that when Imam Husayn alayhis-salam was born, archangel Jibra'il descended upon Rasulollah salla-llahu-alayhi-waaalih to tell him of the events of Karbala?

Answer:

Yes this is true. On a number of occasions, Rasulollah wept for Imam Husayn alayhis-salam while the latter was a baby, and quoted Jibra'il alayhis-salam of the events of Ashura in a land called Karbala. However the first person who wept for Imam Husayn alayhis-salam was the father of mankind Adam alayhis-salam. Adam alayhis-salam is reported as saying to archangel Jibra’il when he descended upon him on one occasion, "Why is it that every time I pass through this particular area I feel extremely sad and depressed and weep?" Jibra’il alayhis-salam said to Adam, "The name of this particular area is Karbala", and he went on to narrate to him the events of Ashura in detail.

Question:

Who was the first individual who founded the practice of walking on fire?

Answer:

Lady Zaynab and Imam Zayn-al-Abidin alayhum-as-salam are the founders of walking on fire in the Husayni Sha'a'er.

When the army of Yazid slaughtered every companion and then Imam Husayn alayhis-salam, they attacked the living quarters of the Imam and his companions. The victorious army of Yazid torched the tents and the women and children fled the blazing tents. Lady Zaynab alayhas-salam was asked why she did not escape, as they were about to torch her tent, she replied "how can I when I have a patient inside the tent". When her tent was eventually set on fire, Lady Zaynab dragged her nephew, Imam Zaynal- Abidin alayhum-as-salam, walking on the fire of the burning tents as they crossed them to a less dangerous area.

Question:

Who was the first Ma'soom Imam from the Ahl-ul-Bayt to hold a mourning and lamentation program, like the traditional Majlis Husayni that are held annually in Muharram today? Or is it that the Majlis Aza that we have today is the invention of the Shi’a over the last few centuries?

Answer:

Imam Zayn al-Abidin alayhis-salam was the first member of the Ahl-ul- Bayt alayhum-as-salam to publicly hold a mourning and lamentation program for Imam Husayn - like the Majlis Aza that are held today.

After they were released from captivity in Shaam, the women and children of Imam Husayn and his followers, lead by Imam Zayn-al-Abidin alayhissalam headed towards Karbala so that they could revisit the graves of their loved ones and bury the heads of the Martyrs with their bodies. They arrived at the site of the graves and the battle of Karbala on the twentieth of Safar – forty days after the martyrdom of Imam Husayn and his followers, hence Arba‘een occasion which means forty.

After Karbala they headed back to their hometown - Medina. At the outskirts of Medina, Imam Zayn-al-Abidin alayhis-salam ordered the caravan to halt and to set up their tents there. They ended up staying there for three days. The Imam turned to Bishr Ibn Hadhlam asked him if he could compose poetry and lamentation for Imam Husayn saying, "Your father was a very good poet, have you inherited some of that talent" The reply of Bishr was affirmative.

Bishr Ibn Hadhlam entered Medina and went to the tomb of Rasulollah salla-llahu-alayhi-wa-aalih and announced the martyrdom of Imam Husayn alayhis-salam, describing, in his lamentation poetry, the savagery and brutality with which Imam Husayn and his sons, brothers, and companions were killed. This touched the heart of the people to the extent that the whole of Medina was lamenting Imam Husayn alayhis-salam, and almost everyone gathered at the tomb of Rasulollah salla-llahu-alayhi-waaalih to mourn his grandson en masse.

Then the people headed to the outside of the city to receive the remainder of the Ahl-ul-Bayt alayhum-as-salam . . . . . . *Historical background / evidence for Ashura practices * Question:

I was wondering if you could provide some historical background / evidence to the mourning ceremonies that the Shi’a people perform during the ten days of Muharram. Did any of the Imams perform and or condone such practices?

Answer:

Members of the Ahl-ul-Bayt alayhum-as-salam always encouraged their followers to commemorate the memory and the tragedy of Imam Husayn alayhis-salam and they themselves set examples in different ways for us to follow. Commemoration of Ashura is on the same basis as the commemoration of the birthday of Rasulollah salla-llahu-alayhi-wa-aalih,which are referred to as Sha‘a’er or symbols, just as the Hajj is an example of Allah’s Sha‘a’er:

“Behold! Safa and Marwa are among the Sha’a’er (Symbols) of Allah ”62 “. . . and whoever holds in honour the Sha’a’er of Allah, such (honour) are truly from the piety of heart.”63 There are also reports that Imam al-Saadiq alayhis-salam arranged for shabeeh or ‘enactment’ about Ali al-Asghar (the infant son of Imam Husayn alayhis-salam) to recreate the scene of Karbala for the people, and the Imam alayhis-salam does not hold this enactment solely for the Ali al- Asghar but for all the martyrs of Karbala. On another occasion a poet comes to the Imam alayhis-salam and asks permission to recite a poem about Imam Husayn alayhis-salam. The Imam alayhis-salam said to the poet to wait so that he could set up a partition screen so that the women could come to the Majlis and listen to the lamentation. When the screen was set up, the Imam invited the women to come to the Majlis and asked the poet to start reciting, which he did. The Imam alayhis-salam stopped him and asked him to recite the lamentation in the dialect that he does it in their hometown (in Iraq for example).

All these indicate that the Ahl-ul-Bayt alayhum-as-salam used to teach and proactively encourage their followers to uphold the memory of the torment, and the teachings of Imam Husayn by words, poetry, enactment, and by showing devotion to Imam Husayn alayhis-salam in Tatbir as shown by Zaynab al-Kubra alayhas-salam (as discussed later).

Furthermore, if today some people engage in practices that does not contradict the teachings of Islam and at the same time those practices depict the tragedy of Karbala in different ways then this could be approved by the Maraje‘.

On the legality of Tatbir Question:

Please enlighten me on Imam Shirazi’s teachings regarding the practice of drawing blood during mourning ceremonies in Ashura. Is it permissible or Makruh? What category does it fall in?

62 The Holy Qur’an, [2: 158] 63 The Holy Qur’an, [22: 32]

Answer:

Any action of a Muslim may fall in one of the following categories:

Haram Forbidden

Makruh Detestable/undesirable but not Forbidden Halal Permissible Mustahab Desirable but not obligatory Waajib Obligatory As with the issue of hitting the head with swords (Tatbir in Arabic or Qamah-Zani in Farsi) Imam Shirazi is not exceptional in any way to permit, and encourage this action in Ashura. In fact all high-ranking ‘Ulema, Ayatollahs, and Maraje‘ not only have this permissible, and continue to do so, but throughout the entire history of the Shi’a over the past fourteen centuries, they have always encouraged this, declaring Tatbir as Mustahab.

And it should be pointed out that if one suffers hardship in the cause of commemorating Imam Husayn alayhis-salam, then so be it! Imam Husayn alayhis-salam is a special case. He went out of his way to save Islam, and offered all he had in this cause, not only worldly possessions, but also his Ahl-ul-Bayt and sons . . . from Ali al-Akbar to his infant sons . . . and not only that but his womenfolk (wives, sisters, daughters, nieces) were left at the mercy of the most ruthless people on earth, to be taken prisoners. All of this is in aid of us receiving the Islam we have today. If it were not for the monumental sacrifices offered by Imam Husayn alayhis-salam, today we would be living in an unimaginably different world, if at all. Whatever we do is nowhere nearly sufficient in appreciating what Imam Husayn alayhis-salam did.

Question:

As part of Ashura ceremonies, is shedding one’s blood permissible these days? Was it ever permissible?

Answer:

The shedding of blood on the day of Ashura (the 10th of Muharram) for Imam Husayn alayhis-salam is not only Mubaah (permissible), but it is also very Mustahab (desirable) indeed, and all prominent scholars and religious authorities – Maraje‘ – always encouraged it throughout the history of Islam. This included Tatbir or Qama-Zani which is the hitting of the head with swords. The Maraje‘ have even decreed that it is acceptable and permissible if one is harmed in this process, provided the injuries sustained do not constitute permanent injuries or endanger the life of the individual.

The people who practice Tatbir take lead, amongst the teachings of other infallibles, from Zaynab al-Kubra, the heroin of Karbala and the loyal sister of Imam Husayn alayhum-as-salam. Lady Zaynab alayhas-salam was the first person who hit her forehead to a bar in the carriage she was in, causing considerable bleeding, when the head of Imam Husayn alayhissalam was being paraded in Kufa. This is one evidence that the shedding of blood is permissible.

Last, but not least, our Imam Mahdi alayhis-salam – may Allah hasten his reappearance – states in his Zeyarat-al-Nahiyah, addressing Imam Husaynalayhis-salam: “ . . . . now that I could not help you when needed most help . . . I SHALL WEEP BLOOD FOR YOU INSTEAD OF TEARS.”

And according to the Fatwa of Imam Shirazi, we can deduce from this statement by Imam Mahdi, that Tatbir is an emphatically Mustahab (desirable) act.

Conducts of members of the Ahl-ul-Bayt

The following questions and answers are related to the topic of Tatbir from the point of view of history and Shari‘ah.

Question:

Did Zaynab alayhas-salam hit her head on the bar by mistake, or did she do it on purpose? What was her Niyya (intention) when she did the act? Is it categorised as an act of Mubaah (permissible) or Mustahab (desirable)?

Answer:

There is no doubt that Lady Zaynab alayhas-salam hit her head to the bar on purpose, and most certainly this was not done by mistake. And her ladyship alayhas-salam did that to show her grief and anger for the catastrophe that had been brought about upon the Ahl-ul-Bayt alayhum-assalam and upon Islam, and in particular to Imam Husayn alayhis-salam – who was the head of the Ahl-ul-Bayt and leader of Islam.

This act was to declare her stance about the awesome events of Karbala.

The evidence that would suggest that Lady Zaynab alayhas-salam did what she did with the intention of a Mustahab act is that with her action she wanted to defend the reputation of Imam Husayn alayhis-salam and to defend the stance he took against the tyrant of the time. She did that to show how oppressed Imam Husayn alayhis-salam was, and to declare and defend his cause, which is the Truth and the Haqq, and she did that to declare the Batil or False nature of the front opposing Imam Husayn alayhis-salam, who are also the enemies of Islam and the Ahl-ul-Bayt alayhum-as-salam.

Her action was very much Mustahab, if not obligatory, given the role she had to play and the responsibility to discharge under those circumstances.

It was her duty to defend the stance of Imam Husayn alayhis-salam and his cause, which is the Truth, and to expose the opponents of Imam Husayn alayhis-salam who are the Falsehood.

If it were not for the actions of Lady Zaynab alayhas-salam - and every single action of hers for that matter - and those of Imam Zayn-al-Abidin alayhis-salam, the message of Imam Husayn alayhis-salam and his action and effort would probably have been lost.

Question:

Was our 4th Imam alayhis-salam present when it happened (Lady Zaynab hitting her head to the bar), or was he alayhis-salam later informed about it and he alayhis-salam consented to the action?

Answer:

Most probably Imam Zayn-al-‘Abidin alayhis-salam was present when Lady Zaynab alayhas-salam hit her head to the bar, since when she did so, the captives were being paraded in one single caravan through the Kufan streets, and she did so at the moment when the army displayed the head of Imam Husayn alayhis-salam and those of his followers.

Even if we were to suppose that the Imam alayhis-salam was not present in the vicinity of Lady Zaynab alayhas-salam at that moment, history does not record that the Imam Zayn-al-‘Abidin alayhis-salam protested against that action! Normally the Ahl-ul-Bayt alayhum-as-salam used to advice the people in general not to show (too much) grief for their dead! But on the contrary, the history of the Ahl-ul-Bayt alayhum-as-salam is full of examples of the Imams actually supporting and encouraging grief – Azadari – for Imam Husayn alayhis-salam and the show and enactment of the scenes of Karbala.

Question:

A few of the brothers here say that what Zaynab did was an understanding but typical female emotional response to the event of Ashura. What is your opinion about this claim?

Answer:

In arguing against the practice of Tatbir or Qama-Zani, some might argue that Lady Zaynab alayhas-salam was overwhelmed by emotion, and therefore she hit her head to the bar causing substantial bleeding, i.e. it was a natural, spontaneous, and emotional reaction and nothing more than that.

The reply to this argument is two fold.

First, the statement of Imam Zayn-al-Abidin alayhis-salam about her - “an ntaught scholar” – would counter any such argument. The infallible Imam Zayn-al-Abidin alayhis-salam used to address Lady Zaynab al-Kubra alayhas-salam by saying to her “Anti al-Hamdu-Lillah ‘Alimah Ghair Mu‘allimah”, meaning “By the Grace of Allah, you are an untaught scholar” Alimah Ghair Mu‘allimah – an untaught scholar – means that Lady Zaynab alayhas-salam did not her knowledge through the time’s formal education, but through divine teaching. Scholars see this statement as indicating a degree of infallibility for Lady Zaynab alayhas-salam, let alone her expertise in Shari‘ah laws, and ability in legislation. Therefore Lady Zaynab alayhas-salam is better able to derive the laws of Islam – if she needs to do so – than any of the scholars we follow today! Today the scholars and the Fuqaha of Islam derive the laws of Islam for the Halal, Haram, Mandoub, and Makruh while there is no specific hadith about the scientific, scholarly status of any particular Faqih. Despite that we follow their Fatwa and their Decisions in the Halal and Haram.

Whereas in the case of Lady Zaynab alayhas-salam there is a specific hadith from the infallible Imam alayhis-salam about her status.

So shedding blood to show one’s grief for Imam Husayn alayhis-salam was carried out by the likes of Lady Zaynab, and condoned by Imam Zayn al-Abidin alayhis-salam.

Second, if she were to be overcome by grief and emotion, she would have done so in Karbala, where the carnage and the unbearably horrific scene there on the Day of Ashura were overwhelming to the utmost degree . . .

but in fact her Ladyship alayhas-salam did not do such a thing there . . .

let’s not forget that at Karbala she sees her loved ones being slaughtered and decapitated one after the other . . . before her own eyes . . . the young and the old . . . and even the infants have their throats slit . . . no one is spared, no matter what their age is . . . and ultimately she sees the then leader of Islam and Ahl-ul-Bayt alayhum-as-salam, her most beloved one is slaughtered, beheaded and then his body is trampled upon before her eyes . . . given this most horrific scene – the pain of which no pen can put to paper, with the blood of her loved ones flooding the battlefield and mutilated bodies everywhere, Lady Zaynab alayhas-salam could have taken one of the hundreds of swords there and hit her head with it, but Zaynab alayhas-salam does not do that. On the contrary she keeps her composure – which is impossible for almost any man and woman to do under those circumstances – and takes care of the petrified orphans and bereaved women who were being chased by the victorious army of Yazid after their tents were burnt and possessions looted.

Lady Zaynab alayhas-salam does not hit herself in the highly charged atmosphere at the scene of Karbala, but she does so in the relatively calmer environment of Kufa, the first public gathering following the Karbala massacre. Therefore it cannot be said that she was overcome by grief and emotion and she did not know what she was doing, but in fact her actions were calculated . . . she did that in Kufa to make a public statement . . . about the events of Ashura, Imam Husayn alayhis-salam, his cause, and what he stood for.

Question:

Did any of the Shi’a present at that time follow the example of Lady Zaynab alayhas-salam?

Answer:

Whether any of the Shi’a followed her example or not, does not change the legality of this act or reduce or diminish from its desirability. Without researching more into this aspect, we cannot tell whether the people followed the practice of Zaynab alayhas-salam or not, especially at the times of the Umayyad brutal rulers when people were arrested on mere suspicions, and executed on the basis of an accusation of being followers of the Ahl-ul-Bayt alayhum-as-salam.

Question:

Which of our Imams alayhum-as-salam use to draw blood during the days of Muharram?

Answer:

There have been many books written about the biography of the Imams of the Ahl-ul-Bayt alayhum-as-salam but were brunt or destroyed. So we do not know if any of the Imams alayhum-as-salam did draw blood from their heads on the Day of Ashura. However there have been many hadith that show the extent the ma‘soom Imams used to go to in order to emphasise the importance of such matters. This can be seen from the following hadith, which is one of many clear instructions from the infallible Imams to the Shi'a, the enormity of the orders given to the Shi'a goes far beyond what the Shi'a do today, and which they would have to do if it comes to that . . .

Imam al-Saadiq alayhis-salam used to encourage the Shi’a to go and visit the tomb of Imam Husayn alayhis-salam, at all costs and under any circumstances, at a time when the ruling authorities used to threaten the visitors of the tomb with the amputation of the limbs. Despite that, the Imam alayhis-salam used to urge them to visit the tomb, and used to detail the thawab (rewards) for such visits, even if one loses an arm and a leg in the process and even if such a visit led to the killing of the person visiting the tomb of Imam Husayn alayhis-salam.

This is an irrefutable evidence on how far the Imams of the Ahl-ul-Bayt alayhum-as-salam used to go to keep the cause of Imam Husayn alayhissalam alive, even to the extent of arms and legs being amputated and lives lost, let alone the shedding of a few drops of blood, which we do these days!

Needless to say that we have mentioned elsewhere in this work reports that the Imams alayhum-as-salam used to, and Imam Mahdi alayhis-salam, and may Allah hasten his reappearance, goes as far as weeping blood instead of tears for Imam Husayn alayhis-salam.