Independent National Security Analyst and Cyber Security Analyst | JP Morgan Chase: Cyber Security, Risk Analyst, Business Analyst, Data Analyst subject matter expert (SME). FBI-CAA: Government & Counter-Terror Expert. VIPSS Volunteer. Author, Activist, Commentator, Islam & Middle East Expert. Ex-MFU President, Ex-CAIR Executive Director, Current MALA Advisory Board member. | Columbus, Ohio, USA
Haram (Forbidden): Bloodletting During Muharram and Ashura
Considering that the month of Muharram is upon us in November, I think it is very necessary to remember that blood letting is forbidden in Islam, even in the Shia school of thought. There are many who continue to say that it is ok, however common sense and reason say otherwise in addition to the following comments by Shia scholars on the subject...
ZANJEER OR QAMA ZANI ON ASHURA DURING MUHARRAM
Question by Ahmed: My brother wants to do Qama on 20 Safar, he is following Ayatollah Sistani. Based on the misuse of Qama today, insincerity of many people, diseases spreading around, and political views can I stop him from doing Qama?
Answer by Board of Istifa, Office of Grand Ayatollah Sistani: The main objective of mourning and lamentation during 'Ashura', is to respect the signs and symbols of religion and remember the suffering of Imam Hussain (as), his companions, and his uprising to defend Islam and prevent the destruction of the religion by Bani Umayyad dynasty. These rites must be done in such a way that in addition to serving that purpose, it draws the attention of others to these lofty goals. Also its ritual aspect should be preserved. So those actions which are not understandable for the enemies of Islam and non-Shia Muslims and causes misunderstanding and contempt for the religion must be avoided.
Question by Zaeem Sherazi: I want to know the status of beating our backs with knives (ZANJEER) on the day of Ashura? What is it status in our Fiqh?
Answer by Board of Istifa, Office of Grand Ayatollah Sistani: The philosophy of mourning during 'Ashura', is to respect the symbols of religion and remember the suffering of Imam Hussain (as), his companions, and his uprising to defend Islam and prevent the destruction of the religion by Bani Umayyad dynasty. These rites must be done in such a way that in addition to serving that purpose, it draws the attention of others to these lofty goals. So those actions which are not understandable and causes misunderstanding and contempt for the religion must be avoided.
This video is for our Urdu and Hindi speaking community that this issue is the most problematic:
Ayatollah Khamenei: Practical Laws of Islam >> Religious Events
Q1430: What is the view on beating the drum and cymbal, blowing the trumpet, and lashing oneself with chains with blades during the processions of the commemoration of the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (a.s.)?
A: If the use of such chains leads, in the eye of the public, to defaming our school of thought or inflicting a noticeable harmful effect on the body, it is not permissible. There is no harm in using the drum, cymbal, and trumpet in the traditional way.
Q1439: Is there any basis in religion for piercing one's body with weights dangling therefrom, all in the name of commemorating the martyrdom of the Imam Husayn (a.s.)?
A: These acts, which are, inevitably, bound to portray our school of thought in a negative shade, are impermissible.
Q1449: In commemorating the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (a.s.) on the tenth of Muharram, some people hit themselves with a machete, or walk bare-footed on fire. Such actions defame Shi'ism and put it in a bad light, if not undermine it. They cause bodily and spiritual harms on these doing it as well. What is your opinion in this matter?
A: Any practice that causes bodily harm, or leads to defaming the faith, is Haram. Accordingly, the believers have to steer clear of it. There is no doubt that many of these practices besmirch the image of Ahlul Bayt's (a.s.) School of Thought which is the worst damage and loss.
Q1450: Is hitting oneself with swords Halal if it is done in secret? Or is your fatwa in this regard universal?
A: In addition to the fact that it is not held in the common view as manifestations of mourning and grief and it has no precedent at the lifetime of the Imams (a.s.) and even after that and we have not received any tradition quoted from the Infallibles (a.s.) about any support for this act, be it privately or publicly, this practice would, at the present time, give others a bad image of our school of thought. Therefore, there is no way that it can be considered permissible.
After reading the above mentioned orders from two Great Ayatollah's of our times. People should start following the orders to safeguard Islam and to fail the propaganda of "Taghoot" and arrogant powers of this era against Shiites proving them "Crazy" & "Insane" people who beat themselves sometimes so hard even threatening their own lives. To see the propaganda of "Taghoot" by yourself to believe, please visit the below given link called as Ashura.
As such the true form of Azadari (mourning) is relevant to Wilayat only. The Azadari seen mostly are a set of rituals which are done with the purpose of earning rewards, expressing love of Imam Hussain (a.s.) in the form of grief, or expressing condolence to his mother Fatima Zahra (s.a.). Whereas Azadari in its true sense is awakening of the Ummah to stand and protest against the Yazid of our age and denounce their cruel and harmful policies towards Islam, and this spirit is very much lacking in our Azadari sessions, and this can only be enlightened through the Wilayat of the righteous, that is the Ulama (Faqih) during the occultation of Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.).
As far as mourning is concerned and getting attention of entire world, then it should be done very nicely with "beating chests and heads with hands" and with complete discipline in procession. All the people should participate with fully dressed in black cloths. Then definitely it will impress the entire world and will force them to accept us as a peace loving people. On the other hand people fear from Shiites when they see them doing Zanjeer Zani crazily and from head to toe covered with blood.
Some people call it Mojeza (Miracle) of Imam Hussain (a.s.), that there is no infection out of the wounds of Zanjeer and Qama.
As far as no infection with Zanjeer and Qama is concerned, shows the lack of knowledge regarding cultures and religions of world. National Geographic channel has shown many times that in some countries they do the same things which Shiites do and they neither feel pain nor infection after doing so. Hence they can also claim it as Mojeza. So, it has been decided that religion can not be practiced according to our assumptions and self-made thoughts instead we should commemorate true Azadri with its soul.
Some says; this is an issue of Aqeeda, whereas Taqleed is forbidden in Aqeeda, so what concern we have with the Marjae's?
This is one more ignorant question. Aqeeda (Usool example Tauheed) is belief, beliefs are always in the heart, when the beliefs get manifested in practical form it becomes Furoo (example Salaat), and all Furoo are controlled by laws of Shariah. Now love for Allah is Tauheed, but when the same love comes into action it become Salaat, which is Furoo, and Shariah will tell us the way of Salaat. In a similar way, the love of Imam Hussain (a.s.) is Aqeeda, but when the same love comes in practical form, it becomes Furoo (example Azadari) and has to be controlled by Shariah.
As far as matter of Owais-e-Qarani is concerned, he didn't broke his teeth's deliberately but infact it was emotional act and was not pre-planned thing rather than it was unplanned and very quick as he heard the news of the Prophet's broken teeth's. So if we suppose that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) didn't object on it then even we can't relate it to Zanjeer and Qama Zani's permission. Because (1) we do this Zanjeer and Qama Zani pre-planned and we do it every year and Owais-e-Qarani did it only once so we can't make habit of it. (2) we see no continuation of such practice after Owais-e-Qarani, hence proving that its not desirable or Mustahab thing otherwise other companions (Sahabas) would have done it or after that any of companions of Aimma would have done it when hearing martyrdom of any Imam.
Hence it is proved that we find no legal status of shedding blood deliberately and make a practice of it every year rather then we should try to find out the ways which Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) has done, don't forget after Imam Hussain (AS), we have the history of eight (8) Imams, its not less. Why sticks on the act of Owais-e-Qarani only hence try to prove baseless thing?