, 28 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
#THREAD | The Hussaini Rituals: Purpose and Rulings

Why are the Hussaini rituals important and what are some key legal points we should know and understand when dealing with them?
This thread is not only about tatbīr, but about all Hussaini rituals and practices. The point of the thread is to shed light on the value and objectives of Hussaini rituals, and then give an understanding of the legal parameters of Hussaini rituals.
The Qur'an says, {And whoever magnifies the symbols of God - indeed, it is of the piety of hearts}.

As an introduction, we begin with the most fundamental point, and it is that God created the human being to attain perfection through constantly being conscious of Him.
In theology, we have a rule called qā'idat al-lutf (the rule of grace), which sets a standard that explains how and why God guides the human being towards that perfection. From this rule, we construe that God is self-inclined to provide His creation with the tools to worship Him.
This worship has different forms, but all forms aim to constantly remind the believer of God, in order to encourage the ultimate feel of submission at the individual and social levels. Some forms would be prayer, fasting, reading the Qur'an, Hajj, and the Hussaini rituals.
And because of the heroic role the revolution of Imam Hussain (a) played in the survival of Islam and the security of this system of divine guidance, rituals and practices performed to honor Imam Hussain (a) are of the essence. They are some of the most important acts of worship.
Why is that? Three main reasons:

1. Spiritual: connecting with Ahl al-Bayt (a) at the moral/emotional level purifies our characters.

2. Theological: loving Ahl al-Bayt (a) is the key to acceptance of all acts of worship.

3. Political: rituals are a form of mobilization.
But what happens when these rituals - because of the differences in culture from one era to another and from one location to another - become counterproductive? What happens when the intention is sincerely to honor Imam Hussain (a), but the expression is unsuitable?
Even when the goal is to mobilize, to propagate, to educate, to glorify, to magnify - when the way or method is inconsiderate of the surrounding conditions, it no longer is directed towards the greater benefit or purpose. What happens when this takes place? Islam is harmed.
This brings up the issue of legal guidelines. Some general concepts: as Shi'a Muslims, we get our guidance, which includes legal guidance, from Ahl al-Bayt (a), who are extensions of Prophet Muhammad (s) - the primary carrier of God's law.
The final Imam, Muhammad al-Mahdi (aj) ordered us to refer to the jurists during his occultation or disappearance. He set conditions for what authorities should be like to enjoy legitimacy. Since the time of Ahl al-Bayt (a), we have followed the jurists for legal guidance.
In matters like the Hussaini rituals, which are substantially legal topics, we refer to the jurists to know whether they are permissible or not. Each person refers to their religious authority (or marja'), who gives them a general ruling on the subject. This is how it works.
The popular opinion amongst the jurists of the Shi'a school is that although Hussaini rituals are primarily sacred, powerful and integral to the religion, when they cause great harm to the self or damage the image of Islam, they become impermissible by secondary ruling.
There are some jurists, of course very few, who maintain the opinion that regardless of the image of the religion, the rituals should be performed. One of them is Grand Ayat. Sheikh Bashir al-Najafi and another is Grand Ayat. Sheikh Muhammad al-Sanad, may God preserve them both.
But this is just their stance on this, while it remains the case that: this is not the mainstream Shi'a opinion and people still must follow their own religious authority. Also, it remains the case that certainty can be a motive for action without the need to pass through taqlīd.
So, for example, whether or not a marja' says it is necessary for survival to drink water should not be the 'only' motive for me to drink water. If I am certain of this necessity, it becomes a 'hujjah on me to act upon my certainty. I then must drink water to survive.
Of course, if my marja' says not to perform an act, it differs. In that case, I abide by his prohibition because it is not just that he has no instruction on the topic, but furthermore, he has restricted me from performing the act. These are just some explanatory notes.
As for tatbīr, I will not mention the views of all jurists/contemporary religious authorities on the case because I have already mentioned that the overwhelmingly popular view amongst our beloved guides is impermissibility in the aforementioned scenarios (great harm, image, etc.)
But I will mention the opinions of some of the most prominent late jurists and contemporary religious authorities to give a brief overview of their line of reasoning and for the general education in knowing their views. Of the earlier ones, may God have mercy on their souls:
Grand Ayat. Sayed Mu'hsin al-Amin prohibited it in A'yān al-Shi'a, v.10, p.263. Grand Ayat. Sheikh Muhammad Hussain Kāshif al-Ghitā' prohibited it in Al-Ferdaws al-A'la, p.21. It was also ruled impermissible by Grand Ayat. Sayed Abu al-Hassan al-Isfahāni (Hākadha 'Araftuhum, v.1)
Of the late ones: Imam Khomeini said, "Tatbīr should not be practiced in this period of time." (Istiftā'āt, v.3, p.581). Again, notice that his opinion is based on the relevance of circumstance - that the practice may cause more harm than good in our era, so it [becomes] illegal.
Imam Sayed Mu'hsin al-'Hakeem says, "Such acts are not from the religion and they harm the believers. [...] The issue of tatbīr is a chunk in our throats." (Dawr Ahl al-Bayt (a) fi Binā' al-Jamā'ah al-Sāli'ha, v.1, p.78).

Notice how his opinion is also centered around harm, etc.
Grand Ayat. Sayed al-Khoei says, "There is no mentioned text about it being a ritual, thus there is no path to rule it musta'hab (recommended)." He also says, "It is prohibited if it causes great harm or damages the image of Islam." (Al-Masā'il al-Shar'iyyah, v.2, p.237).
Grand Ayat. Sayed Muhammad-Bāqir al-Sadr says, "Striking bodies and shedding blood is of the acts of laymen and uneducated people. Scholars do not do this, but furthermore tend to prohibit it and make it impermissible." (Kul al-'Huloul 'ind Āl al-Rasoul, p.105).
Other jurists also agree, such as the late revolutionary marja', Grand Ayat. Sheikh Muhammad-Fādhil al-Lankarāni, Ayat. Sayed Muhammad-Bāqir al-'Hakeem, Ayat. Sheikh Murtadha Mutahhari, Allāmah Sheikh Muhammad-Jawād Mughniyyah, and others.
Even Sayed Muhammad al-Shirāzi says that anything that hurts the image of Islam and Muslims is impermissible (Fiqh al-'Awlama, p.159). Although he was talking about non-violence, the rule still stands. And again, it is clear that his opinion revolves around the condition of harm.
Of the present religious authorities, Imam Khamenei, Grand Ayat. Sayed Kādhim al-'Hāeri, Grand Ayat. Sheikh Jawādi Āmoli, Grand Ayat. Sheikh Hussein Mazāheri, Grand Ayat. Sayed Muhammad-Taqi al-Modarresi, and others also prohibit it if it damages the image of Islam.
Because it explains the point of the thread, I will conclude with the opinion of Grand Ayat. Sheikh Nāser Makārem, who says, "I kiss the hands of those who perform tatbīr and take the swords away from them, and I tell them it is not suitable for this period of time."
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to إبن الغُبيري
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Follow Us on Twitter!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!


This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!