Every Muslim must offer condolence to Prophet (s.a.w.a.) on martyrdom of Imam Husain (a.s.)

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Some of the questions posed to the Shias with regards the Muharram mourning include:

  • Why do you mourn over Imam Husain (a.s.)? Is it based in the Holy Quran?
  • Why is the mourning repeated every year?


Undoubtedly, every Muslim must thank the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) for rescuing him from Hellfire. This is a debt and obligation of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) on every Muslim, rather on every creature, who is rescued from Hellfire be it from the Muslim or from past nations or even human or non-human.

The Noble Quran declares:

وَ كُنتُمْ عَلَىَ شَفَا حُفْرَةٍ مِّنَ النَّارِ فَأَنقَذَكُم مِّنْهَا

…and you were on the brink of a pit of fire, then He saved you from it…

  • Surah Aal Imran (3): 103

We offer our gratitude to Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) for this eternal salvation from Hellfire in his Saturday Ziyarat:

الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي اسْتَنْقَذَنَا بِكَ مِنَ‏ الشِّرْكِ‏ وَ الضَّلَالَة

…All praise is for Allah, the One who rescued us through you (Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.)) from apostasy and deviation…

And it is necessary to thank Holy Prophet for rescuing us from eternal Hellfire, since, if we do not thank Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), then we have not thanked Allah. As Imam Ali Reza (a.s.) informs:
One who does not thank the benefactor (creatures), has not thanked Allah.

  • Oyoon al-Akhbar v 2 p 24

Basic bounties like food and clothing should be recompensed by thanking the benefactor, often our own parents. Then what should be our compensation for the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) who has granted us all worldly and other-worldly bounties.

The Noble Quran informs us on how we can thank Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.):

قُلْ‏ لا أَسْئَلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ أَجْراً إِلَّا الْمَوَدَّةَ فِي الْقُرْبى‏

Say: I do not ask of you any reward for it but love for my near relatives…

  • Surah Shura (42): 23

It is not our objective to delve into the definition of ‘near relatives’ over here, suffice to say that according to interpretation of various Muslim scholars it refers to Ali (a.s.), Lady Fatima (s.a.) and their infallible sons ending in Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.).

How can we show our love and affection for Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) ‘near relatives’?

By sharing their grief and sorrow and in this way helping them in these difficult moments.

Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) informs:
There is none who cries (over Imam Husain (a.s.)) but that his crying reaches Lady Fatima (s.a.) and he supports her in her lamentation, and his crying also reaches the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and in this way he fulfills our rights.

  • Kamil al-Ziyarat p 81
  • Behar al-Anwar v 45 p 207
  • Mustadrak al-Wasail v 10 p 314

Imam Sadiq (a.s.) informs his companion Muawiyah Ibn Wahab:
O Allah….then forgive me and my brothers and the visitors to the Shrine of my father – Imam Husain (a.s.). They (i.e. Shias) spend their wealth and tire their bodies out of love for us and to do good to us and out of hope of what is with you with regards to our relation. And with this they wish to please your Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and answer our call and displease our enemies and with this they wish to attain Your Pleasure…

  • Kamil al-Ziyarat p 116-117

Our weeping soothes grief of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and Lady Fatima (s.a.) and in this way we fulfil their rights that is demanded from us in the verse – ‘Say: I do not ask of you any reward for it but love for my near relatives…’

Visiting Imam Husain (a.s.) pleases Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.)

Visiting Imam Husain’s (a.s.) shrine in Karbala or for that matter shrine of any of the infallible Imams (a.s.) is yet another way to thank Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) for his service to the Muslim nation. This Ziyarat is witnessed by Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) as he (s.a.w.a.) is a witness on actions of the Muslims according to the Holy Quran.

Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) while urging Shias to visit Imam Husain’s (a.s.) shrine:
Aspire to perform Imam Husain’s (a.s.) Ziyarat and don’t abandon it ever, because Imam Husain (a.s.) is a witness on you from the side of Allah, His Prophet (s.a.w.a.), Ali (a.s.) and Fatima (s.a.).

  • Tahzeeb al-Ahkam v 6 p 43

Imam Sadiq (a.s.) adds:
Don’t you want to see Allah gather you amongst those for whom none other than the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), Imam Ali (a.s.), Lady Fatima (s.a.) and the Imams (a.s.) are praying.

  • Kamil al-Ziyarat p 116

Ziyarat of Imam Husain (a.s.) which is roundly condemned by the critics is in fact one of the best ways to thank Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) through the medium of his ‘near relatives’. Given that there are many reports of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) recommending his own Ziyarat, it is natural to conclude that Ziyarat of his ‘near relatives’ likewise pleases him and attracts similar rewards.

Grief for Imam Husain (a.s.) part of believer’s faith

Every Muslim and Mo’min must grieve over Imam Husain (a.s.) as this is proof of his Islam and faith (eemaan).

The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) had forecast the killing of Imam Husain (a.s.) and had urged the Muslims to help Imam (a.s.) in Karbala and had predicted that believers will forever grieve over his martyrdom afterwards. This means that a believer is defined by his grief for Imam Husain (a.s.). Minus the grief, he is not a believer.

Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) informs:
Certainly the killing of Husain (a.s.) will inflame the hearts of believers with heat that will never cool.

  • Mustadrak al-Wasail v 10 p 318

Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) informs:
May my father be sacrificed over Imam Husain (a.s.); he is the massacred one behind every tear.

Imam Sadiq (a.s.) was asked: What is the meaning of the massacred one behind every tear.

Imam (a.s.) informed – A believer will not remember Imam Husain (a.s.) but will weep for him.

  • Mustadrak al-Wasail v 10 p 318

Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) on creation of Shias:
Our Shias are part of us. They were created from the remainder of our clay. That which grieves us grieves them, and that which pleases us pleases them.

  • Al-Amali of Shaikh Tusi (r.a.) p 299

On same lines, Imam Sadiq (a.s.) informs Masma, one of the prominent Shias of Basra, who used to weep excessively for Imam Husain (a.s.):
May Allah have mercy on your tears. Indeed, you are among those who grieve for us impatiently, those who are happy in our happiness and grieve on our grief and those who are fearful when we are fearful and feel safe when we feel safe.

  • Kamil al-Ziyarat p 101

Clearly, the Quranic verses and traditions of the infallibles underscore why it is important, rather obligatory, for the Muslim and Mo’min to grieve over Imam Husain (a.s.).

  • First and foremost, this grieving reaches Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and soothes his pain over the martyrdom of Imam Husain (a.s.).
  • Our grieving is a small token of gratitude from our side, in recompense of Holy Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) tireless efforts, in delivering the Islamic Shariah and rescuing us from eternal hellfire.
  • Our grieving is a sign that we are Muslim and Mo’min, as this grief is one of the unmistakable signs of Islam and eemaan.

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