8. The proof for self-flagellation during the commemoration of Hussain’s murder

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8. The proof for self-flagellation during the commemoration of Hussain’s murder


Tijani says:


I asked, with reference to our master al Hussain, may Allah’s blessings be upon him, “Why do the Shia cry and beat their cheeks and other parts of their bodies until blood is spilt, and this is prohibited in Islam, for the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: He who beats the cheeks, tears the pockets and follows the call of al Jahiliyyah is not one of us.”

Al Sayed replied the saying is correct and there is no doubt about it, but it does not apply to the obsequies of Abu Abdullah, for he who calls for the avenging of al Hussain and follows his path, his call is not of the Jahiliyyah. Besides, the Shias are only human beings, among them you find the learned and not so learned, and they have feelings and emotions. If they are overcome by their emotions during the anniversary of the martyrdom of Abu Abdullah, and remember what happened to him, his family and his companions from degradation to captivity and then finally murder, then they will be rewarded for their good intentions, because all these intentions are for the sake of Allah. Allah – praise be to Him, the Highest – who rewards people according to their intentions.

Last week I read the official reports from the Egyptian government about the suicide incidents that followed the death of Jamal Abdul Nasser. There were eight such incidents in which people took their lives by jumping from buildings or throwing themselves under trains, besides them there were many injured people. These are but some examples in which emotions have overcome the most rational of people, who happen to be Muslims and who killed themselves because of the death of Jamal Abdul Nasser, who died of natural causes, therefore, it is not right for us to condemn the Sunnis and judge them to be wronged. [1]


Our comment:

To claim that beating one’s chest in lament of Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu is not a call of Jahiliyyah requires specific evidence to exclude it from the general prohibition. There is no evidence that excludes lamenting Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu from the general prohibition.

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam lost his beloved uncle, Hamzah, at the Battle of Uhud. Despite this he did not behave in the way the Shia behave. Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu was a martyr who was murdered over ten centuries ago. If it is argued that they want to mourn him? Why do they not do the same for his father, ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, as he too was killed unjustly and he is superior to Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu by consensus?

To assert that they are rewarded for their action because their intention was to please Allah begs the question on how do we know their intentions are for the sake of Allah? Even under the assumption that their intention is to please Allah, is that sufficient for the acceptance of an action condemned by the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam as the mourning of Jahiliyyah?

Strangely, the actions of the Shia are justified by deflecting the lack of evidence and referring to the actions of some ignorant people who committed suicide and some other people who hurt and injured themselves upon hearing the news of the death of the tyrant Jamal ‘Abdul Nasir! Did Tijani consider Jamal ‘Abdul Nasir an equal to Sayyidina al Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu that he accepted such a ridiculous explanation? Where was his sceptism then? Did his ‘objective thinking’ only get activated when he wished to discredit the Sahabah?

The books of the Ahlus Sunnah prohibit suicide on account of a wali. What then about a tyrant who allowed the spilling of innocent Muslim blood and violation of their honour? The legal framework for the Ahlus Sunnah is rooted in the Qur’an and the Sunnah, not on the basis of people’s actions.

If anything, his response proves that the legal framework within the Shia tradition is influenced greatly by the later actions carried out by people. There is no other way of explaining such evasive reasoning. This is further demonstrated in the ensuing discussion.


Tijani says:


I asked, “Why do the Shia decorate the graves of their saints with gold and silver, despite the fact that it is prohibited in Islam?”

Al Sayed al Sadr replied, this is not done just by the Shia, and it is not prohibited. Look at the mosques of our brothers the Sunnis in Iraq or Egypt or Turkey or anywhere else in the Islamic world, they are all decorated with gold and silver. Furthermore, the mosque of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in al Madinah al Munawarah and the Kaba, the House of Allah, in the blessed Mecca is covered every year by a cloth decorated by gold which costs millions. So such a thing is not exclusive to the Shia. [2]


In his eagerness to please the masses it appears that al Sadr is prepared to forgo the Prophetic prohibition in embellishment of Masajid as it is among the signs of Qiyamah.

Anas relate that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:


لا تقوم الساعة حتى يتباهى الناس في المساجد

The Day of Judgement will not occur until people boast about the Masjids.[3]


There is another narration which has reached us by way of Ibn ‘Abbas, who said that the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:


ما أمرت بتشييد المساجد قال ابن عباس لتزخرفنها كما زخرفت اليهود والنصارى

“I have not been commanded to decorate the Masjids.”

Ibn ‘Abbas said, “Indeed, you will embellish it like the Jews and the Christians embellished it.”[4]


Why was Tijani speechless? He either lacked knowledge or was still finding his impartiality!


NEXT ⇒ 9. Explanation of the hadith of division in the Ummah.

[1] Then I was guided, p. 44-45.

[2]  Ibid.

[3]Sunan Abu Dawood, Kitab al Salah, Bab fi Bana al Masajid, hadith no. 449; See also Sahih Abu Dawood by Albani, hadith no. 432.

[4]Sunan Abu Dawood, hadith no. 448; See also al Sahih, hadith no. 431.

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