KarbalaMajlis Summary

Periods of Azadari: Is it cultural?

“With the advent of Muharram, my father (7th Imam) would never be seen laughing. Gloom and weakness would overcome him for the (fisrt) ten days of the month. When it would be the 10th day then it would be a day of tragedy, grief and weeping for him.” 8th Imam Ali ar Ridha a.s.

A person inquired from 6th Imam J’afar as Sadiq a.s. that a person is mourned after their death whereas you and your Shias commence mourning upon Husayn prior to the day (of killing).
In response the 6th Imam informed the person that, “When the crescent of Muharram is sighted, the angels spread the blood-soaked tunic of Husayn tattered by swords which we and our Shias see. We do not see it with our eyes, but we see it by insight. Thus our weeping is aroused.”

Why observe 10 days Azadari in Muharram?

The tradition of observing the Ashra – ten- days of mourning is not cultural custom. Rather it is to follow the practice of the Ahlul Bayt whom the Noble Prophet advised to adhere as part of the Thaqalayn.

Is mourning harmful to the deceased?

A common notion is that mourning, grieving or crying over deceased results into harm /punishment to the deceased person. Several hadith are quoted for this.
Note any hadith is not automatically considered to be authentic. It needs to be verified as per the science of ilmul hadith.

Response from perspective of Aqeeda/fundamentals of religion:

An essential root of religion is Adl; the justice of Allah SWT.
Why should the deceased be charged for a deed of mourning by the wailing person? If crying is a wrong deed then shouldn’t the consequences be borne by person crying? Where is justice?
If crying is a sin, then how come Allah SWT has placed this natural phenomenon of weeping in human nature? Which occasion can this be released without sin?
Weeping is human nature. Even when reading fiction or a movie, due to the mastery of the author /producer, the reader /viewer is drawn to tears; knowing very well that it is not a true scene.

Thus the narrations is contradicting the Adl of Allah SWT as elaborated in the Noble Qur’an.
Could these hadith prohibiting statements not be an example of the propaganda machinery of the Banu Umayya fabricating hadith with motive to cause refrain from mourning over the martyrs of Karbala and thus preventing the relay of the incident?

For azadari is one of the essential pillars that has broadcast the tragedy of Karbala, kept alive the original message of Islam and indeed sustained us as Shias.

To be continued...

Wa ma tawfiqi illa billah

Sheikh Fazle Abbas Datoo
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Resident Alim
Wessex Shia Ithna Asheri Jamaat