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In the Name of God بسم الله

Do They Give A Bad Image Of Islam?

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Salam Alaikum

I dont want to go to the old topics because they get confusing and I got reminded of this question I had so I want to ask it. Firstly this is in no way a question on fatwas or pro zanjeer zani vs anti zanjeer zani topic. I am asking one specific question and I want replies only to that. I am not asking whether specific forms of tatbeer/matam are halal or not.

My question is: Do extreme forms of matam/tatbeer like zanjeer zani, qama zani etc give Islam or Shiaism a bad image?

Please answer with proof which is acceptable to fiqh. I dont want personal opinions and I will report any off topic or any opinionated posts. Fiqh might/does have some conditions for when a specific act gives Islam a bad image. Bring proof that these acts fulfill those conditions.

My question is very specific and I dont want any other posts or anything. They wont be appreciated in the least no matter what your intentions and I WILL report them. I hope the mods understand that this sensitive issue can go off topic VERY quickly.

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salam No this does not give Muslims a bad image only if you allow it , this is devotion to your faith so be proud of it . Alhmdullah your devotion to GOD will surely reward you in the after life insh

I would like to share the detailed opinion of Syed Fadhlallah(ha). . . 'There is a common denominator between the rites of celebration on the tenth of Muharram in the past and in the present time. It

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It depends on the person that witnesses it. There's people who see it and think of it as an act of devotion, and there are others who believe it's barbaric.

You can't get everyone to accept what you believe. So even if it does give a bad image of Islam to some, does that mean we should stop it?

I don't understand why zanjeer is being singled out here, not this topic specificly, but the general attitude of the forum. There's plenty of things in our religion that may give it a bad image. Hijab, Namaz, Saum, etc. Sure, those are vajib and zanjeer is not. But how about mustahab saum or salat? Don't you think it's possible that a non-Muslim may think, "These people are starving themselves, and it's not even a required fast according to their own religion." Does that mean we stop mustahab fasts and prayers?

So to answer your question, yes. It does give a bad image of Islam to SOME, but I believe we shouldn't have to worry about what others think of us.

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I would like to share the detailed opinion of Syed Fadhlallah(ha). . .

'There is a common denominator between the rites of celebration on the tenth of Muharram in the past and in the present time. It is mainly to condole the death of imam Al-Hussein (may Allah be pleased with him). In the past, people used to strike their cheeks as an expression of sorrow, but not in an excessive way as people do at present.

Nowadays, people observe some excessive habits such as hitting their heads with swords and slashing their backs with iron chains.

Such extreme customs did not emerge as a result of legal collective ijtihad based on the Shari`ah. Rather, they emerged out of individual innovation that turned into ritual acts that so excited people’s sympathy that they imitated them blindly until they became sacred customs that none can ignore; otherwise one would be considered negligent and extremist. The issue reached the extreme that even reverent scholars do not dare to stand in the face of the majority to dissuade them from such extremism, because whoever tries to do so will be accused of hating the Prophet’s household and trying to erase their tracks and erase them from people’s memory.

Some people may argue that some great scholars in the field of Shari`ah, 50 and 60 years ago, issued fatwas legalizing the Shiite rites on that occasion. They said that such rites are not originally prohibited unless they lead to ruining oneself.

Concerning the reason for issuing those fatwas, they were raised in a juristic seminar on “Is It Prohibited for Man to Harm Himself? What about Slight Harms?” This means, for instance, injuring one’s hand, hitting the head, and the like which does not lead to man’s ruin. Is the harm itself prohibited or what is unlawful is the harm that leads to destroying oneself or jeopardizing one’s heath?

There are two views on this case:

The first view indicates that harming oneself is intrinsically forbidden, unless there is an urgent need for it, such as the dangers man faces in his travels or working day and night to attain material and spiritual gains. There must be a prior estimation of the benefit or loss entailed by subjecting oneself to harm. If the benefit expected from tiring oneself deserves the harm borne in its cause, then benefit is given priority over harm in such a case. That is, one disregards the harm he would do himself for the benefit he would attain. Hence, those who hold this view see that it is prohibited for man to harm himself, even in mourning or expressing love, et cetera.

There is another view adopted by many scholars. They maintain that man is not prohibited to harm himself if such harm would not lead him to a bad state of health or to death.

In light of this view, scholars see that hitting the head with a sword and striking the cheeks in mourning are not forbidden acts in themselves. Rather, they are forbidden because man is forbidden to do anything that may lead to his ruin.

Scholars who legalize harming oneself in principle hold some restrictions. They see that the issue in question is prohibited in certain cases if it leads to something prohibited in the second place.

The above view is also maintained by the late major Shiite scholar Sheikh As-Sayed Abul-Qasim Al-Khaw`ie.

As for my own opinion regarding this issue, I consider such acts and practices as forbidden. This stems from the well-established fact that hurting oneself is forbidden as far as the Islamic Shari`ah is concerned unless there is a necessity for that. Thereupon, it is forbidden to strike heads with swords, or backs with chains, or even to harshly strike one’s cheeks that may hurt him even slightly. This can be deducted from the aforementioned texts that prove that harming one’s self is forbidden.

In addition, rational thinking requires this, as people reject the idea of anyone doing any sort of harm to himself. All these support my opinion that such acts are forbidden in Islam even if they are done in the name of sadness and mourning.

I have another observation in this regard, that those who strike their heads with swords or backs with lashes claim that they do this to express sympathy with imam Al-Hussein (may Allah be pleased with him) in his pains and with Zainab (may Allah be pleased with her) and her sisters when she was scourged. But, I would say that expressing sympathy does not require one to be injured in the same way as imam Al-Hussein or to be scourged in the same way as Zainab.

Truly, Al-Hussein was injured while he was striving in Allah’s Cause. So, those who express sympathy with imam Al-Hussein are only those Palestinian young men who fight against the Israeli enemy. They are indeed injured in a similar stance as that of imam Al-Hussein’s. Also, those who show sympathy with Zainab are none but those who suffer from whipping in the vaults of the Israeli prisons. This is because she was scourged in the way of an “issue”.

Based on all the aforementioned, I find it necessary to wipe out these customs, for they are forbidden due to the many negative effects they have on the individual level and on the level of the image of the Shiite Muslims all over the world. That’s why I said earlier that they are some sort of backwardness.'

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Salam Alaikum

My question is: Do extreme forms of matam/tatbeer like zanjeer zani, qama zani etc give Islam or Shiaism a bad image?

(wasalam)

I have seen and known people, many of them, to convert to Shia Islam from other religions after exposure to Zamjeerzani.

Apart from one, all the rest were non-muslims.

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Rawshni: Please please I also dont want those experience stories. Some people will say I ahve seen people disgusted, others will say I ahve seen people come to Islam etc. I just want straight proof acceptable to fiqh. I hope you understand why I am being so strongly defensive.

Jondab Azdi: Alright so according to Ayatollah Fadlullah, a reliable and very learned scholar, these extreme forms of mata/tatbeer do harm Islam's image and he says this after genuine and thorough research.

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Perceptions of individual's do not matter; especially when the individuals belong to other faiths.

To give an example, Palestinians are genrally perceived to be terrorists; while not all of them are.

In the Fadhlullah fatwa above, they are said to be the true followers of Imam Hussain. That again is one individual's perception, and it should not be expected that the entire world will agree with it.

So to cut short and cut is fine, perceptions of others do not matter.

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So how do we apply the fatwa that if an act gives Islam a bad image, it is haram? How do we apply it practically? How do we know if an act is giving Islam a bad name or not.

In my case I follow the learned. I copy and imitate the rules of taqlid. In the application of the fatwa, I can use my own limited knowledge and experience or rely on another scholar to do the application. Many scholars like Ayatollah Fadlullah do it. As he is more learned than me, I take his application of the fatwa and I take these forms of matam to be haram.

Rawshni: What I understood and remember from the rulings is that if these things give Islam a bad image then it is haram. It obviously means if it gives OTHERS a bad image. The already Muslims will know what Islam is. But again this is another topic and discussion and question.

Edited by dingdong
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I do not do taqleed.

______

There have been activities, mostly by non-Shia muslims over the past seven or eight decades, whichhave brought far greater harm to the fair name of Islam than any that can be caused by any form of tatbeer.

Let us first unite and devote our energies to rectifying that, and then we will see if]we can convince these Shia boys and men to stop tatbeer, IF it can be proven that tatbeer harms the image of Islam.

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i agree with sister rawshni here; by certain people making sheeple focus on azadari, the rest of the world keeps missing out on bigger issues which give a "bad impression" to people who hate us anyway.

why dont we start on things like misyar/ mutah with girls under 16? or public executions? or people like al-khoei jnr being pals with saddamned hussains former agent, and getting killed in najaf due to his treachery? or people claiming to recieve information from imam mehdi directly and basing their decisions on that? or a scholar moaning that a woman carried a flag in the olympics (wtf?) and so on and so forth.

but keep wagging your fingers at people showing their love for imam hussain and keep chasing after a world who, if not focusing on azadari, will just pick something else to complain about.

and i expect nothing else from ayatollah fadhlallah; the man who praised muawiyyahs crying about the description of imam ali (as) in his jummah khutbah. nice to see where his loyalties lie.

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My question is: Do extreme forms of matam/tatbeer like zanjeer zani, qama zani etc give Islam or Shiaism a bad image?

In general, I think YES.

I was in a class talking when one of my classmate talking about how "the Shiites acting crazy with swords hurting themselves". The teacher was a westerner and she didn't know about it and she was interested (they didn't even know I'm shia), so I told them that these people did that out of love cus they want to feel the pain our Imam had. But they still thought it was crazy...

Well, my marja forbids it so it stops at that and besides I don't want to argue about it..

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Just a personal, yet I think an important, sidenote from me. I used to be gruesomely hardcore against Zanjeer, because I thought all these people who were doing it, were crazy, backward, barbaric, hazed up, potted up, smoked out southasians who probably were misled by some Hindu shamanic rituals. Untill I found myself going out of my mind when I felt Hussayn's (as) last words on karbala. I mean, really FELT it.. pierced with stone carved machettes through my heart.

I think these things, not to downplay Fiqh or Shari'ah, should be understood through the power of love and the connection with the beloved thereof. And I guess everyone feels or deals with their beloved ones differently.

However, I only say this to the ones who do it out of intense and sincere purity and love. Because I've heard about and seen people with my own eyes coming to 'Ashura events for very strange, very stupid and quite blasphemous reasons. Those guys (and girls) are, in my eyes, the ones that you oughta bash, NOT the act itself.

Peace.

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sayid Fadhlullah has started and finished the discussion to be honest.

Why dont you just look at what people say about the youtube videos of this kind of stuff?

It would be interesting to see a crowd of non muslims reaction to it, I think we all know what would be in their minds.

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So can anyone bring proof which is acceptable to fiqh that extreme forms of matam do indeed give shiaism a bad name?

Please bro MDM I am trying to get some proof about this specific thing.

salaam

Bloodshedding as a form of grieving was never practiced either during the Holy Prophets (PBUHAHP) or the Imams (as)time.

This so called expression of grief was an innovation after this period.

The very fact that people are debating whether it brings Islam into disrepute is an indication that its is. Based on there is no smoke without fire.

Therefore it is up to the blood letters to prove it is a legitimate form of grieving not vice versa.

salaam

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I don't think zanjeer should be looked at through the scope of Fiqh.

Zanjeer should and mostly is done out of extreme grief and love for Imam Husain (as). Like brother P. Ease said, bash the people who do it for the wrong reasons, not the act itself.

If I read something or hear a qasida or anything about the greatness of Imam Ali (as), and I start talking to Him (as), wether anyone believes he can hear me or not, it'll be done out of the burst of love that I felt after reading about Maula Ali's (as) greatness. The last thing that I'm gonna be worrying about is wether an Ayatullah approves of what I'm doing or not.

IMO, If the love is there, and sincerity is there, then NO ONE, no Ayatullah or scholar has a right to stop someone from showing their love and grief for any Imam.

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Salam Alaikum

I dont want to go to the old topics because they get confusing and I got reminded of this question I had so I want to ask it. Firstly this is in no way a question on fatwas or pro zanjeer zani vs anti zanjeer zani topic. I am asking one specific question and I want replies only to that. I am not asking whether specific forms of tatbeer/matam are halal or not.

My question is: Do extreme forms of matam/tatbeer like zanjeer zani, qama zani etc give Islam or Shiaism a bad image?

Please answer with proof which is acceptable to fiqh. I dont want personal opinions and I will report any off topic or any opinionated posts. Fiqh might/does have some conditions for when a specific act gives Islam a bad image. Bring proof that these acts fulfill those conditions.

My question is very specific and I dont want any other posts or anything. They wont be appreciated in the least no matter what your intentions and I WILL report them. I hope the mods understand that this sensitive issue can go off topic VERY quickly.

Salamu-alaikum...

We live in world where others can physically see what we do .... Yes! extreme forms of matam... will give Shiasm a bad image.

A true cry for the sacrifice of Hussain (as) that comes from the inside of the heart is more important that outer looks or physical outlooks. Reserve the physical sacrifices when the right time arrives... (like what Hezbollah did).

Yes, and without any doubt, the true love for the sacrifice of Hussain (as) does bring miracles in physical forms...we need to channel it to the benefits of Islam rather than for our own show of satisfaction under the love for Hussain (as).

Why not we channel the love of Hussain (as) in designing a defensive equipment that can jamm all the US electronics warfare? After all we believe that the love of Hussain (as) bring miracles...and that miracles can be in the form of knowledge to develop advance weapons or other types of knowledge. Certainly, these knowledge are more needed than extreme forms of matam. It will really victory to Islam and scare of the enemies of Hussain (as)!!!

Kullu yaumul Aashura, kullu arzin Karbala... be ready all the time to defend the religion of Hussain (as) in all occassions...at any place.

Wallahualam.

Layman

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Salam Alaikum

My question is: Do extreme forms of matam/tatbeer like zanjeer zani, qama zani etc give Islam or Shiaism a bad image?

There are some who would say that it only gives a bad image to some, but let us suppose we conduct a survey of all the people in the world and show them a tape of Tatbeer, what do you think their response would be? I had an Arabic teacher who saw me wear black in Muharram, and she pulled me aside and asked me about the millions of people that she saw on Tv wearing black and hitting themselves.

I do not think Tatbeer as an act in itself, before time and people have corrupted it was neccesarily bad. Tatbeer has been corrupted, now I see pictures on the internet of parents holding their baby, sometimes only 2-3 years old, and holding a metal blade to their head, for blessing. I don't think the child will grow up loving Imam Hussain through this.

One sometimes feels so much pain from Imam Hussain's tragedy that one gets this immensely sudden impulse to hit himself, to make the pain go away.

However, it is different to be in a room listening to a matam and out of sadness and love and pain, you hit yourself, and it is another story when Men stand in an orderly fashion and begin banging swords and saying that we're doing it out of pain. You cannot force the pain to come, it comes by itself with the love. You cannot stand and wait for it to happen by hitting yourself no can any sadness come out of it if it is treated like a competition in front of the public.

Let Imam Hussain speak. After he was treated, After his family was humilated, does he want more of his Shia to hurt themselves while they could be doing what Imam Hussain wanted them to do. What Imam Hussain died for. What we love him for. He did not die for Tatbeer, he died so that Justice could be heard. And we Shia can make it happen. Through Tears. Through Words.

Why do we not carry Imam Hussain and his family on by showing who he really was?

I agree with S.H Rizvi, no one can ban Imam Hussain's love, bu do we really have to make a show of it through this? Is it more harm than good?

I do not know if you have heard of the famous Sheikh Ahmad Al-Waeli (May God's full blessings and mercy be upon him), unfortunatley it is in Arabic, Insh'Allah I will try to translate it.

For those who speak arabic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KckPNZ-kV2o...feature=related

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the problem is, what is a "bad image" and who is the judge? peoples ideas of a good or bad image interchange all the time. for example back in the day abortions were seen as evil, while now they are more or less accepted. same for drug abuse (look at celebrities), rampant sexual freedom and forcing your parents to live in nursing homes instead of caring for them when they become old.

these are the people you are all so desperate to please. they have reached the level of depravity that baby girls start dressing like prostitutes to look "cool" yet we are worried of being judged by THEIR standards? azadari is our duty, and our blessing. each to his own. people have the tendency to look at things like zanjeers or tatbeer and think that they are just empty ritualistic acts that dont really mean anything and is mostly showing off. they do an injustice to people all over the world by assuming ALL matami are like this.

my point is - dont judge what you cant understand.

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I don't think it gives a bad image of islam or even shiaism, if anything it promotes a curiosity among observers of such matam, as the first question that comes to their mind is why is this person doin this to himself, now that can be a great starting point to do tableegh.

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you 2 guys above, you seem to miss the point every time. Please, read this, and think.

IF we truly beleive in islam, then you must believe that the practices within it are ultimately from Allah, and of a perfect nature. Not only are they perfect, but with the right intentions they are the most rewarded deeds.

From our prayer, to khums, to our laws, they are all from Allah, and if a non muslims asks us about them, we can explain to them, using Allahs words or the Prophet SAW/Imams AS words, which are a correct argument. So then if the non muslim says thats good, and Allah accepts there faith, then excellent, they become muslim. If they ignore it, then there is no loss for us, we have done our duty.

However, what if we say to a non muslim, we wear hijab to prevent sexism in the work place. Now this is not a technically correct statement. Now if the non-muslim goes, ah yes, thats a good idea, and accepts islam, what are they going to do when they find out that they joined islam on a false basis? And if they didnt accept islam, it will be our fault for giving them false information and denying them potentially the best thing ever.

Now lets think about zanjeer, if a non muslim comes and sees it, and asks, and we say its a great deed and we do it for the love of the Imam AS, and they join islam on that basis, what are they going to do when they find no mention of it on the quran, hadith and from the Imams AS? and the fact its banned in Iran, and many scholars at least discourage it or try to limit it? So the interest that brought them into islam, is suddenly shown to be either not part of islam, or a optional minor act. That person may then think, well forget it then.

Now what if a non muslim sees people doing zanjeer and asks about it, and then gets completely put off by it, and there impression of islam ruined. So now that person may never be interested in islam again, we may never even get the chance to explain the real gems of our religion to them, because of the false image they saw.

Think about that.

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(salam)

Zanjeer either give a good image of Islam, a bad image of Islam or a neutral view? I am interested to know which of these is valid.

The second point, does no one think how dangerous this practice can be in terms of diseases ...such as AIDS and hepatitis C? :unsure:

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Salam to all,

Remembrance of the sufferings of Imam Hussain (as) (or any members of Ahlulbayt (as)) and the followers that was with him is a MUST! The question is "how to do it" and "how to do effectively" and "in accordance to Ahlulbayt wishes".

Yes, when we say that we want to follow Ahlulbayt wishes, we don't care what others would say to us. At the same time, we also don't want to confuse others. Confused people will create bad images and make fitnah about Shiasm. When a Fitnah is spread in the public, the damage will be done that is what we wanted to avoid.

The feeling of connected to Hussain (as) and the suffering of Hussain(as) can't be described by words...and the likelihood that our nafs can't tolerated it...we cry..we beat the chest...we do extreme things on our physical body. Basically we will forget the existent of our own nafs...we don't even feel when drawing the blood from our body with the sword or sharp blades. Honestly, we will not feel it...because our heart is not with our body...it is with Hussain (as). We go into spiritual world and disconnect ourselves to the current world...we witness Karbala. If our body can't stand it ...we may collapse. With the belief and love to Hussain (as), the body will then recover from the wounds...(it is just like a miracle).

When the heart bleeds in remembring the sufferings of Hussain... Allah swt, all the aimah (as), past Prophet (as)...the whole inhabitants of unseen world and the angels with see it and will witness it. What else do we want??? Is not that a great achievement already???

Yes, we should sacrifice our body when Islam is in danger and when we are required to do so...at the right time. And we must be ready.

I still remember when the Basijs and Pasdarans were ready for a battle to attack the baaths army... they were ready in the state of remembring the sacrifice of Hussain (as)... they were ready to give their life. After kissing the Qur'an, they entered the battlefield...with the spirit of Aba Abdilla in the heart...they faced the bullets and the enemies. One of the combatants lost his leg, and instead of crying of pain...he was crying in remembrance of Hussain...and was repeatedly asking Allah swt.."I come to a battle to give everything ... You took only my leg and your Hussain (as) has given everything... why only my leg". And he kept crying... May Allah swt bless him with syafaat of Hussain (as).

Layman

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Suicide bombers, dictatorial regimes, persecution of religious minorites and oppression of women are FAR worse problems in ummah than zanjeers.

Why should sunnis complain about zanjeer zani, when they produce 99% of today's suicide bombers. Hypocrasy at its worst!

However zanjeer zani advocates should realize since this stuff is creating so much bad press they need to be more discreet about it. Do it, but do it privately. Public displays of bloodshedding where men take their shirts off in front of mixed gendered gatherings should be a no-no anyway. Do it inside closed mosques, not on the streets.

the shias are hated enough, so please don't add to reasons why they are misunderstood.

compromise is the key to our solutions, for now.

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Why should sunnis complain about zanjeer zani, when they produce 99% of today's suicide bombers. Hypocrasy at its worst!

Although I do see the logic in the statement, Sunnis don't embrace suicided bombing as a ritual or practice and dissociate themselves from it. Zanjeer is accepted (to a degree) as a mourning ritual by many and many of those who don't do it don't flat out speak out against but just stick to the statement "it's a personal choice."

Granted, there are bigger problems in the Ummah, fixing one like this in the process wouldn't hurt (no pun intended) at all.

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Suicide bombers, dictatorial regimes, persecution of religious minorites and oppression of women are FAR worse problems in ummah than zanjeers.

Why should sunnis complain about zanjeer zani, when they produce 99% of today's suicide bombers. Hypocrasy at its worst!

A lot of senior Sunnis are not against shias seeing Zanjeer as central to their faith because as long as malangs concentrate on zanjeer they will bring the Shia faith into disrepute and open the Shia faith to ridicule. Best way to stop conversions is to ridicule the faith.

in addition there are more conversions to wahhabisisn despite its cult of suicide bombers. So all i can say that to say Zanjeer helps conversions is fallacious to say the least. And even if it does aid in the conversion of a few people do you really want converts who are attracted by a cult of blood.

salaam

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Salam Alaikum

I dont want to go to the old topics because they get confusing and I got reminded of this question I had so I want to ask it. Firstly this is in no way a question on fatwas or pro zanjeer zani vs anti zanjeer zani topic. I am asking one specific question and I want replies only to that. I am not asking whether specific forms of tatbeer/matam are halal or not.

My question is: Do extreme forms of matam/tatbeer like zanjeer zani, qama zani etc give Islam or Shiaism a bad image?

Please answer with proof which is acceptable to fiqh. I dont want personal opinions and I will report any off topic or any opinionated posts. Fiqh might/does have some conditions for when a specific act gives Islam a bad image. Bring proof that these acts fulfill those conditions.

My question is very specific and I dont want any other posts or anything. They wont be appreciated in the least no matter what your intentions and I WILL report them. I hope the mods understand that this sensitive issue can go off topic VERY quickly.

assalamu alaikum

In shia'ism one isn't supossed to hurt the self. This is determined by the thinking of the person engaged in the act and what is acceptable in the society they live in. For example, Shah Abas walked from Esfahan to Meshad barefoot at one time. This wasn't viewed as "hurting him self" even though his feet obviously took quite a beating. Zanjeer, for all the controversy doesn't hurt anyone to do it. Qama in itself isn't haram but hurting one's self where one has to go to the hospital and get stitches is. Then again, there are plenty who engage in Qama that don't end up getting stitches.

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Its easy to say "fiqh has nothing to do with it as fiqh cannot regulate love", the problem is that fiqh does regulate all human acts including those resulting out of love (not love itself). Even acts related to our love of the Imams (a) - we look into fiqh to see if we can have portraits of the Imams, if we can touch their writings without wudhu, what to do during ziyarat to Imams... zanjeer seems to be the only case where we can allegedly ignore fiqh.

There was one things in Sayyid Fadhlullah's words that reminds me of a story that is quite well known in Hawzah circles in Iran. A group of muqallids of Ayatullah Burujirdi once came to him (after hearing he had some anti-zanjeer sentimens) and asked him how many days are there in a year and then they told him "we will follow you 355 days in a year and we will not follow you in the 10 days of Muharram".

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Salaams

Ya Ali Madad

As far as I know the largest act which give muslims a bad name is terrorism and we are doing mataam for those who gave their life so that we do not follow tyrants that took part and are taking part in these atrocities.

Why do we not try and stop terrorism from within then try and stop mataam which does not affect anyone on the outside.

Wasalaam

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It depends on the person that witnesses it. There's people who see it and think of it as an act of devotion, and there are others who believe it's barbaric.

You can't get everyone to accept what you believe. So even if it does give a bad image of Islam to some, does that mean we should stop it?

I don't understand why zanjeer is being singled out here, not this topic specificly, but the general attitude of the forum. There's plenty of things in our religion that may give it a bad image. Hijab, Namaz, Saum, etc. Sure, those are vajib and zanjeer is not. But how about mustahab saum or salat? Don't you think it's possible that a non-Muslim may think, "These people are starving themselves, and it's not even a required fast according to their own religion." Does that mean we stop mustahab fasts and prayers?

So to answer your question, yes. It does give a bad image of Islam to SOME, but I believe we shouldn't have to worry about what others think of us.

Salaam

my apologies akhi but that is an incorrect way of approaching it. How in the world does Salat and Saum and Hajj give Islam a bad name? Salat is just a form of worship and Saum is seen as a yearly practice of Muslims... Hajj the same. But Qama zani, is 1)not wajib 2)might not even be sound from the point of view our Islamic sources, 3)looks horrific, when you see pictures of a mom holding her 3 year old with a big knife by his head and hes bloody and so is she.

Also Zanjeer Zani.. amongst the pakistanis, as far as ive heard and seen in pictures, is pretty damn brutal

amongst us Iranians, our zanjeers usually do not have blades attached at the ends and the mataam groups who do it, do not even do it that hard. So i guess it depends on which location and which practices of zanjeer zani one is referring to.

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Salaam

my apologies akhi but that is an incorrect way of approaching it. How in the world does Salat and Saum and Hajj give Islam a bad name? Salat is just a form of worship and Saum is seen as a yearly practice of Muslims... Hajj the same. But Qama zani, is 1)not wajib 2)might not even be sound from the point of view our Islamic sources, 3)looks horrific, when you see pictures of a mom holding her 3 year old with a big knife by his head and hes bloody and so is she.

Also Zanjeer Zani.. amongst the pakistanis, as far as ive heard and seen in pictures, is pretty damn brutal

amongst us Iranians, our zanjeers usually do not have blades attached at the ends and the mataam groups who do it, do not even do it that hard. So i guess it depends on which location and which practices of zanjeer zani one is referring to.

Ws,

you said in Iran your Zanjeers have no blades and do not do matham hard etc, if we are talking about images are you seriously saying that attracts people to Islam or that does not give a bad image to Islam?

If we are going on "other peoples" opinion then what will they see? People hitting themselves with chains and doing some kind of ritualistic dance. Now the question is... Is it wrong because some "other people" may or may not see it as a bad thing?

Why limit it to Blood letting, why not include crying? Does the image of groups of hundreds of people crying give a bad image in Islam?

Look at this video and tell me if this portrays a good image in Islam... http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=Cii7I-cnZ-0

Even so does that mean we now stop crying because certain people may not percieve this in a positive manner?

Ya Ali (as) Madad.

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I think you received your fiqhi reply from the explaination of Ayatullah Fadhlullah.

I happened to look at another video on youtube - http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=AMRYfEhndY8&...feature=related

I perceive this video as a bad and distorted image of matam although I have done matam all my life.

We need to understand why we do maatam? I believe that it is an expression of grief and this depends on culture. Some may beat their heads, some may wear a black suit and shed af few silent tears. One cannot judge an appropriate way to express grief.

However, in this video, I do not see grief on any (or most) of the people doing matam. And this is what we need to overcome. Matam should not become a need for rythym. Can we honestly tell a non-muslim that these people are feeling the pain of Imam Hussein or mourning the tragedy of Imam Hussein.

If matam can be perceived by anyone (muslim or non-muslim) as an expression of grief (albeit a different way) it is fine. But when it ceases to project that image, it has lost its purpose and distorts its true meaning and should be haram.

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I happened to look at another video on youtube - http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=AMRYfEhndY8&...feature=related

I perceive this video as a bad and distorted image of matam although I have done matam all my life.

Some may beat their heads, some may wear a black suit and shed af few silent tears. One cannot judge an appropriate way to express grief.

However, in this video, I do not see grief on any (or most) of the people doing matam. And this is what we need to overcome. Matam should not become a need for rythym. Can we honestly tell a non-muslim that these people are feeling the pain of Imam Hussein or mourning the tragedy of Imam Hussein.

If matam can be perceived by anyone (muslim or non-muslim) as an expression of grief (albeit a different way) it is fine. But when it ceases to project that image, it has lost its purpose and distorts its true meaning and should be haram.

Searchfortruth, I actually found this video quite touching! Difference is always frowned upon and there is nothing new of something new beeing seen as something more then it actually is. They are doing Matham, let them do it! Or do we need a fatwa against that too?

You said yourself "one cannot judge an appropriate way to express grief' yet you distance yoursef from this expression of grief?

You also stated "I do not see grief in this video"...

Just because you may not see any grief does that mean they are not grieving here? I don't see anything else apart from matham and why else would a group of people stand around beating their chests and calling the name of the Masooms (as)?. So yes, we CAN tell non muslims that they are doing this for grief and so how you arrived to your earlier conclusion I do not know

Perception is the Magic word that you have used! Each person has his or her own perception. Just because someone else may percieve something in a negative manner, does not mean we should stop our form of mourning and praying. I believe I highlighted this issue in my previous post when I posted the youtube link. People find our crying for the Aima Masomeen (as) funny, should we stop that now because of how others percieve it?

Where will this end?

Ya Ali (as) Madad.

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Salam Alekum nastynas.

Perceptions to some feelings are universall - love, grief, anger. It's not hard to identify,explain or understand them. I said one cannot judge an appropriate way to express grief. But is it grief?

You said " I don't see anything else apart from matham and why else would a group of people stand around beating their chests and calling the name of the Masooms (as)?. "

I don't think all people who beat their chest and call the name of Masumeen do it out of grief. Just in the same way people who pray salat, fast, jihad etc may not do it out of Ibadah. Some do it out of fear, habit, for fun?? I have heard men who start going to the gym before muharram to look good without their shirts during matam! Of course it doesn't mean that we can judge matam wholly like that. But again, I don't think we should be afraid to say that matam does not seem appropriate when done a certain way by so many people that it starts to project an image different from its purpose.

Where does it all end? We certainly should not stop doing something because someone else perceives it negatively. That should not be the measuring stick. The measuring stick should be Islam and sunnah. As long as it remains within the boundaries of Islam, it is fine. For example, when a marsiyah/nauha/masaib become tainted with falsehood and exaggeration it cannot be permissable (irrespective of how much it attracts people to congregations); a recitation with much undulation in the voice is impermissable (irrespective of how much it may move a person). That being said, I think it is the duty of every mukhallaf to ascertain these boundaries. In my personal opinion this video was much too rhythmic. I asked a couple of people in my family and they agreed. Forget perceptions of people outside our faith, how do people of our own madhab perceive this?

The detailed opinion of Ayatullah Fadhlullah was also based on sharia reasons and not on perceptions of others. That extreme tatbir emerged out of individual innovation and that it causes harm to the individual and it is not necessary.

Perhaps we don't need to ask other people how they perceive our practices; we don't need to accomodate other people's perceptions. We need to look at ourself. How much of our jahalat and our inappropriate customs are we accomodating in the name of the love of ahlulbait?

Wassalam.

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