Is not a soil that symbolizes the signs of Tawhid and the defense of Tawhid to the end more worthy of prostrating upon? It surely invites one to be kind at heart, to be compassionate, to be affectionate and gentle.
Is it not most exemplary and the best thing to do to make the prostration on a soil from which springs of blood gushed out colored with the dye of love for Allah and crafted on the Sunnah of Allah and on pure and sincere loyalty to Him? Is there anything better than a soil kneaded with the blood of a pure and revered person, an individual the rewards of loving whom are the token of appreciation of the Conclusive Divine Message? It is a soil fermented with the blood of the Master of the Youths of Paradise, a symbol of love for Allah and for His Messenger (P) and the trust left by Muhammad (P) among his Muslim nation as we are told by the Sunnah.
It is based upon both premises that we take out of the soil of Kerbala such pieces to prostrate upon them just as the faqih of past generations, namely Masrooq ibn al-Ajda`, used to carry with him a block of baked clay taken out of the soil of sacred Medina to prostrate on. This man was the student of the righteous caliphate, the faqih of Medina and the teacher of the Sunnah. Far away from him to be charged of inventing a bid`a. Which of these premises causes us to really feel the pain of unfairness? Which one of them contradicts the call of the Holy Qur'an or the Sunnah of Allah and His Messenger (P)? Which one of them should we denounce and label as a bid`a? Which one of them violates reason, logic, or common-sense?
When the Shi`as use Kerbala's soil to prostrate upon, they do not claim that doing so is absolutely obligatory, nor do they claim that it is an obligation derived from the Shari`a or the creed, nor is it one of the sect's obligation, nor does anyone among them, from the very first day, distinguish between it and others collected from the earth's soil, when they regard prostrating upon it as permissible, contrary to what ignorant folks claim, those who base their claim on their own personal views.
To them [Shi`as], [such a turba] is mandated by reason and is highly commendable, that's all. It is opting for the best of what one should prostrate upon when one consults his reason and logic and common-sense alone, as you have already been told above. There are many followers of this sect who take with them when they travel any such thing other than Kerbala's turba upon which the prostration is valid such as a pure and clean rug woven of palm leaves they are confident to be clean, or anything like that upon which they prostrate when they perform their prayers.
We are of the view that anyone who adopts these sound premises and takes into consideration the issues relevant to precaution and to sanctity will conclude that the people who live at the Sacred Mosques: Mecca and Medina, and who seek shelter with them, as well as those who live around them, must take out of that soil round flat pieces or tablets upon which they should prostrate in accordance with both arguments and as a means to rid themselves of the heat of the gravel at the Sacred Mosque especially at noon and during hot weather to prostrate upon and to carry them as pure and blessed places of prostration whenever they travel as was done by their good ancestors, the peers of the faqih Masrooq ibn al-Ajda` whose story you have already heard. They should make them available to those who visit these Mosques and to the pilgrims who go to those sacred lands from other Islamic countries.
They should be adopted by the Islamic nation as a place of prostration when at home and when travelling, and they should regard them as souvenirs reminding them of Allah and His Messenger (P) and of the places where His angel of revelation descended, ones which remind them of their Lord and of His Prophet whenever they look at them, smell them, and smell in them the fragrance of Tawhid and Prophethood... They would be lanterns of guidance at Muslims' homes enlightening the hearts and the minds of those endowed with wisdom. The Muslims would then seek nearness to Allah Almighty in every part of the world by prostrating upon a soil taken from the very best spot chosen by Allah Himself to be a safe, secure, and holy House, a house of sanctity, honor, blessing, the sacred resting place of His Prophet.
Besides, it actually carries a great and effective publicity: It invites people to enter into the folds of Islam, to visit the Ka`ba, in order to worship Allah, to visit the capital of His Sunnah and the grave of the one who carried out the Message of such Sunnah. Indeed, whoever holds Allah's sanctities with high regards, it surely is better for him with his Lord.
Finally, such is our Husain (as), and such is our love for him. Such is his mourning. Such is Kerbala and its turba: the piece of earth upon which we prostrate. Allah is our Lord, and our Sunnah and its tradition is the Sunnah of our Prophet (P) and its tradition, and to Allah does all Praise belong. And what reason do we have not to believe in Allah and in the truth that has come to us while we earnestly desire that our Lord lets us join the (ranks of) the good people?
(Holy Qur'an, 5:84)
And so that those who have been given the knowledge may know that it is the truth from your Lord, so that they may believe in it and their hearts may be humbled before it. Most surely Allah is the Guide of those who believe in a straight path.
(Holy Qur'an, 22:54)