It is the same that caused the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and his progeny, to tearfully mourn his grandson al-Husain (as) and hold many a mourning ceremony in his memory and take the turba of Kerbala, smell it and kiss it, up to the end of the recorded tradition. It is the same that caused Lady Ummu Salamah, Mother of the Faithful, to keep a specimen of Kerbala's turba in her clothes. It is the same one that caused the Truthful Lady Fatima (as) to take a specimen of the soil of her father's pure grave and smell it.
It is the same that prompted Banu Zabbah during the Battle of the Camel to collect the droppings from the camel on which the Mother of the Faithful Ayesha was riding. They broke them up then sniffed them, as al-Tabari indicates [in his Tarikh]. It is the same that caused the Commander of the Faithful Ali, peace be upon him, to take a handful of Kerbala's turba when he reached that land, smell it then cry till the ground became wet with his tears as he said, "From this loin, seventy thousand shall be permitted to enter Paradise without being judged." This incident is transmitted by al-Tabrani and is recorded on p. 191, Vol. 9, of al-Haythami's book Majma` al-Rijal, a concordance of trusted transmitters of hadith.
It is the same that prompted a man from Banu Asad to smell the soil where al-Husain (as) was buried then cry. Hisham ibn Muhammad has said, "When water was released to overwhelm [and obliterate] the grave of al-Husain (as), it dried after forty days, and the grave was completely left without any trace. A bedouin from Banu Asad came and kept sampling one handful of soil of that site after another, smelling it each time, till he was able to identify al-Husain's grave, whereupon he wept and said, "May my parents be sacrificed for you! How sweet you smelled when you were alive, and how sweet your soil (turba) smells when you are dead!" Then he wept again and composed this verse of poetry: Out of enmity did they want to obliterate his grave, But the good smell of the grave's soil led to the grave.
Refer to page 342, Vol. 4, of Ibn `Asakir's Tarikh and also to p. 293 of the book written by hafiz al-Kanji titled Al-Kifaya.
A human being, whoever he may be, wherever, whenever, whatever race he belongs to, or however he may be, in all his life's stages remains a subject of such an authority, a hostage to expressions such as: my soul, my body, my wealth, my family, my offspring, my kinsfolk, my relatives, my extended family, my trade, my creed, my sect, my principle, my house, my property, my government, my leaders, my masters..., up to a countless such possessives...!
These are literally, in the possessive form, what are being given lip service by governments, states, societies, committees, creeds, faiths, kings, parties, and ruling authorities that chew their words when they discuss these issues and endlessly many more.
Once the possessive pronoun is applied and the attribution of something partial or complete is established, or when an individual, or a social issue raised by those mentioned above, there will be outcomes, and there will be injunctions which nobody has any choice except to submit and surrender to them, defend and uphold them.
This is a useful research which provides solutions for the society's problems with regard to its principles, views and beliefs, ties of love or grudge, intricate sects, decrees of the holiest legislative system, philosophy behind what the easy creed recommends. It is a discussion of what Islam and its rites hold as sacred, what it prohibits, the various levels of distinction it sets, and what it holds as holy.
Having provided such a detailed account, we reveal to the discreet and free-minded researcher the secret why the turba of the sacred land of Kerbala is thus honored, the extent of its relationship to Allah, Praised and Exalted is He, the extent of its sanctity and that of the one to whom it is related in the light of his nearness to the Sublime One, the most High. What would you think of the sanctity of a soil that is the burial ground of someone who was killed in the Cause of Allah, of a supreme leader of His army who never flinched from defending His cause? Surely it is the soil of one whom He loves, of one who invited others to Him, who led them to Him, who rose for His sake, who sacrificed his family and his own life and everything precious for Him, one who imperiled his blood for the sake of raising the status of His Commandments, for the dissemination of His Unity, so that His Commandments may rule, and so that His path and means may be firmly rooted.
Which of the world's kings or the land's monarchs, since the time of Adam, has a leader who is ever-ready to rise in the defense of such a king or monarch, one who is pure, honorable, faithful, truthful, valiant, dignified, exalted..., like the leader of those who remained sincere till they were all martyred at Taff, namely al-Husain (as) for whom our lives may be sacrificed?
Why does Allah boast about him, and why does He maintain his blood with Him and not permit a drop of it to fall upon the earth when al-Husain (as) hurled it above in the direction of the heavens ? Why should He not prolong the celebrating of his name on His earth and in His heavens, since all Husain's heart was filled with love for Him? Why should the face of the world not turn black on Ashura and not manifest the venues of His Wrath on the day when he was killed, and on the page of existence? And why should the earth not weep over him and the sky? This is exactly what Ibn Sirin records, and it is recorded by a multitude of huffaz. And why should the sky not rain blood on the day when he was killed? A consecutively recorded tradition details such an event.
Did not Allah send His messenger angels who are near to Him to His Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and his progeny, to give him a specimen of Kerbala's turba? Why did the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and his progeny, smell it, kiss it, then refer to it as long as he lived? Why did he (P) even use it as a balsam in his own house?
Come along with me, O true Muslim! Is not prostrating on such a turba in order to seek nearness to Allah as one performs his prayers at the ends of the night and the day anything other than that? Is it, rather than any other soil, earth, hall, etc., more worthy of being held as pure and clean? Is it not better than rugs, sheets, or carpets woven by weaving machines operated by unknown hands? Moreover, there is nothing in the Sunnah that recommends prostrating on such items...
Is it not more worthy of seeking nearness to Allah and more fit to earn His favor and is more appropriate to do when we submit and solemnly surrender and worship Him, the most Exalted One? Is it not better to place the face's sides and forehead on such a piece of earth since doing so connotes lessons in defending the Cause of Allah, the manifestations of His Sanctity, and the symbol of defending His canon, holy Islam?