Assalam o Alaikum.
I am a shia and I am exploring my beliefs and practices from Shia books, Qur’an, Sunnah and Nehjul Balaghah and I found in all of these sources that extreme wailing and hitting your body is forbidden and not liked.
I believe it is not the correct way of showing your love to the Ahl-e-Bayt, many shia’s believe that this is the way they show their love for Ahl-e-Bayt and Karbala but I can not comprehend this practice and I feel ill when I see Qama Zani and Zanjeer Zani.
Can you please explain in detail if this is permissible in Islam and Shari’ah? And is it the correct way of showing your love to Ahl-e-Bayt and should we be honouring them and their sacrifice in such way?
This will be very helpful for me.
أعوذ بالله من الشيطان الرجيم
بِسْمِ ٱللَّٰهِ ٱلرَّحْمَٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
As Salaamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh,
Based on your specific question and information provided.
From the Fiqh / Jurisprudence perspective.
Question: Is mourning for Imam Hussain and other Infallibles (a.s.) recommended?
Answer: Yes, it is recommended (Mustaḥabb) and God will reward those who sincerely revive their memories and commemorate their martyrdom.
Question: Is it permissible to wail and cry loudly as well as beat one’s head and face in mourning for Imam Hussein, peace be upon him?
Answer: There is no problem in it .
If a mukallaf comes across a matter for which he does not know the Islamic ruling, it is necessary for him to act with caution or to follow a mujtahid according to the aforementioned conditions. However, in the event that a person does not have access to the fatwa of the most learned mujtahid, it is permitted (jāʾiz) for him to follow the next most learned mujtahid.
In Islamic jurisprudence, when a jurist declares something ‘mustaḥabb’ or ‘makrūh’, it means that in his opinion the action has an established legal status, i.e., it is something that the sharia has legislated as being ‘recommended’ or ‘disapproved’. A jurist will only make such a declaration if he is convinced that there is sufficiently strong evidence to support it.
If on the other hand the jurist deems the evidence weak but finds no reason to suggest the act should not be performed/avoided, then he may say that it can still be enacted but with the intention of ‘rajāʾ’ (shorter form of ‘rajāʾ al-maṭlūbiyyah’), i.e. in the hope that it is desired by Allah. In this way, the jurist has not attributed something to the sharia that may not have actually been sanctioned by it, nor has he dissuaded his followers from performing/avoiding the action just in case in reality it is something that has been divinely legislated and carries with it abundant blessings and rewards.
As far as your concern regarding what many shia’s believe or do and the law aspect. It is important to point out that the people who attend to revive the memories in general and specially the Day of Ashura and commemorate the martyrdom, of the Son of Sayyeda Fatima Az Zahra (sa) are not only “Shia”, but these commemorations are also attended by non-Muslims, non-Shia’s, Twelver Shia, non-Twelver Shia. Even among the Twelver Shia’s there are Shia’s who may follow Traditionalist Fiqh methodology or non-Traditionalist Fiqh methodology or something in that spectrum, and even within the Non-Traditionalist ( Usuali) Fiqh methodology, there are differences of opinions on certain acts among the non-Traditionalist Jurists. Couple that with the fact that Mourning commemorations are not purely in the domain of Fiqh. It has its base in our Fundamental of Religion, and there is no Taqlid in Belief/Creed/Theology.
A Muslim’s belief in the fundamentals of religion (uṣūl al‑dīn) must be based on personal insight [i.e. grounded in reason], and he cannot follow anyone in the fundamentals of religion; i.e. he cannot accept the word of someone who knows about the fundamentals of religion simply because that person says so. However, in the event that a person has certainty (yaqīn) in the rightful beliefs of Islam and expresses them – even though this certainty may not be based on insight – then that person is a Muslim and a believer and all the laws (aḥkām) of Islam and the faith are applicable to him.
However, in matters concerning the laws of religion – apart from those that are indispensable and indisputable [such as the obligation to perform prayers (ṣalāh)] – a person must either be a jurist (mujtahid) who is capable of ascertaining laws based on proof, or he must follow a mujtahid [i.e. do taqlīd], or he must exercise precaution (iḥtiyāṭ) by performing his duty in a way that he is certain to have fulfilled his responsibility (taklīf).
Considering the above definition, “in matters concerning the laws of religion – apart from those that are indispensable and indisputable “. Two opinions or rulings are inherent, as these are disputed issues. For this reason, Jurists may have difference of opinion or a person who is a learned person himself may have a different opinion / understanding based on his own study.
In order to keep the unity of the Shia’s. We do not Judge; we allow a learned person (Scholar) to follow his own understanding or allow a person who is not a learned person (non-Scholar) to follow the opinion/ruling of the learned person (Scholar) he follows or the one who take precautionary measures (ihtiyat).
In essence, in the commemoration as long as No clearly defined / indisputable Islamic Law is violated, what the Mourners / Azadar (those who sincerely revive the memories and commemorate the martyrdom) do is a matter between them and Sayyada Fatima Az Zahra (sa).
Some Jurists do not issue a ruling on certain issues (based on their wisdom, insight and profound understanding), in that case, if you are not a learned person (Scholar), you can refer to the next learned Scholar, if you think the issue is in the domain of Fiqh (Jurisprudence).
(and Allah(awj) Knows best)
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