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Zanjeer Zani (Cutting back with Knifes)

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(salam)

Does someone know from the history or any other sources that when was the first time Zanjeer Zani was performed? what is it originated from? I would imagine if its permitted in Islam than it must have been started somewhere in the time of any of the Imams (a.s.)?

Why Shias have so much disagreement on this single issue?

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Both the accounts of European travelers and Shii sources point to the Caucasus and Azarbayjan as the place of origin of flagellation. The earliest accounts of travelers go back to the first half of the seventeenth century. Comparing the pre-nineteenth century ac- counts of travelers to Iran, Henri Masse noted a fundamental differ- ence in the nature of the Muharram processions. In the southern ci- ties such as Isfahan and Shiraz, the travellers Della Valle, Thevenot, Tavernier, and Le Brun (whom Masse considered noteworthy for their precision) did not mention any shedding of blood. In contrast, in the frontier-like, Turkish-speaking regions of the Caucasus and Azarbayjan in northern Iran, the travelers Kakasch, Olearius, and Struys wrote that devotees struck their heads with swords.50 One of the earliest descriptions of the use of instruments to shed blood in commemoration of Husayn's death is provided by the Ottoman traveller Evliya Chelebi who visited Tabriz in 1640 and attended the observances of the tenth of Muharram in that city

. . .

While flagellations as a form for reenacting the shedding of Husayn's blood had existed in the Caucasus and Azarbayjan at least from the seventeenth century, the practice is not reported in the cen- tral and southern cities of Iran, nor among Im-ami Shiis in the Arab world before the nineteenth century. It is also unclear when ShiCi in India began to observe flagellation, and in what forms exactly. The practice could have been transmitted into that country either by Iranian Shi'i immigrants in the nineteenth century or perhaps even earlier by Shi'i Qizilbash cavalrymen hired by Safdar Jang, the governor of Awadh, from Nadir Shah following the withdrawal of the latter's army from India around 1740.

. . .

__

For more see: An Attempt to Trace the Origin of the Rituals of ʿĀshūrāʾ , Author(s): Yitzhak Nakash

http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0043-2539...%3E2.0.CO%3B2-B

w/s

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Thanks for your reply

So there is no evidence that this practice was started or permitted by any of the Shia Imams (a.s)? this is something which just started few hundred years ago?

I am just wondering how come something like this hold highest position as act of commameration?

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I am just wondering how come something like this hold highest position as act of commameration?

Who said it holds the highest position as an act of commemoration?

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I dont know which part of the world you are from? but among Asian communities, this act hold such position. Ofcourse this is not said by anyone similar to no one has told us to do it...

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I dont know which part of the world you are from? but among Asian communities, this act hold such position. Ofcourse this is not said by anyone similar to no one has told us to do it...

Well, tatbeer being the "highest position" certainly isn't endorsed by any Imam or any scholar. At the most, it is considered to be one of the ways to demonstrate grief.

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Thanks for your reply

So there is no evidence that this practice was started or permitted by any of the Shia Imams (a.s)? this is something which just started few hundred years ago?

I am just wondering how come something like this hold highest position as act of commameration?

Dear Brother let me remind you that Muharram is the longest ever running revolution since 685A.D.(61Hijri) and it continues till date.

Secondly the first instance of self Flagelation can be found on the soil of Syria on the route taken by the YAZIDI forces taking the captured Group of women,children and the 4th Imam ALI IBNE HUSSAIN (as).At various places people fought the YAZIDI forces when they learnt the truth.In the process quite a number of people were killed by the YAZIDI forces.

At other places people self flaggelated themselves out of grief on seeing the household of prophet being paraded and women,children and 4thIMAM beng flaggelated(i hope you won't deny this).It was out of love for PROPHET (pbuh) and his AHLULBAIT (as).We donot find any references of any of the IMAMS condenming it.

:yaali:

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It is haram and nobody benefits from it. Mourning is one thing and beating yourself or harming your body in anyway is another thing. One of the reasons why we are not allowed to drink Alcohol/use drugs is because it damages our body. We can only use these things if it is for medical reasons and nothing else. Everything we do or do not do is for a logical reason in Islam. That is the beauty of our religion.

I am Iraqi, and in my opinion people that do it are doing haram for the reasons stated above and more. The people doing it are only helping to spread a bad reputation of the shia. It looks barbaric in my opinion.

No offence meant to anybody but that is my opinion and what I believe in.

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^^^ U know there wz a majlis i herd the otha day on peace n unity by... i forgot the name of the mollana...it was broadcasted on DM Digital on 9th Muharram... wich was tuesday in UK i think.. n tht explained why it was done before n how ppl make it look lyk now.. if u lissen to tht thn u'll kno wat the reasonz were!

i would appreciate if some1 cud fine tht online coz i wz unable to as it hada alotta other info in it to do wiv Shias n Sunnis :)

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bro farcry the imams not doing it does not make it haram. it is a cultural expression of grief, and a personal thing. its true that its origins are pretty hard to trace but i think its just one of those things that evolved over time. in the same way im pretty sure none of the imams every shouted "naray haidari" and those listening said "ya ali", does not make saying naray haidari a bad thing.

this is a good book to read about azadari

http://www.shirazi.org.uk/al-hussain.pdf

as for the comment about "it doesnt benefit anyone", i suggest you speak to someone whose actually DONE zanjeer zani and see if they have benefitted or not. personally i have never felt as much closeness, mohabbat, rouhaniyat or connection to maula hussain by any amount of namaz, dua, roza etc as i have from a single act of zanjeer zani.

as for those who see it as "barbaric", how do you think non muslims would view qurbani?

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[It is haram and nobody benefits from it. Mourning is one thing and beating yourself or harming your body in anyway is another thing

.

Let the MARAJAE decide on the asspect of haram and halal.We are too ignorant to use such strong words.

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as for the comment about "it doesnt benefit anyone", i suggest you speak to someone whose actually DONE zanjeer zani and see if they have benefitted or not. personally i have never felt as much closeness, mohabbat, rouhaniyat or connection to maula hussain by any amount of namaz, dua, roza etc as i have from a single act of zanjeer zani.

Benefit does not necessarily mean just for oneself, but also benefiting the Muslim community by within and its reputation for outsiders. If you go to Google Images, and type in "ashrua", "muharram", "shia muslim", or anything of sorts, tons of pictures of people in the street with blood all over themselves is shown, and this is what non-Muslims view about Shias and what Wahhabis love to show as propaganda on their sites. I know these actions are very important to some and give spiritual benefit to those who practice it, but at what cost are we going to allow these cultural practices to interfere with the bigger picture here, and that is to spread the word of Islam? Governments, medias, and think tanks already have so much ammunition against Muslims and anything Islamic in general, so do we really need to add more fuel to the fire?

And personally bro, I think you have crossed the line when you say that zanjeer zani benefits you more than namaz. Emam Hussein (as) did everything to defend the very institution of namaz, and saying that it can be rivaled with a cultural practice is missing the whole point.

I know someone CAN do zanjeer if they want to, but SHOULD we? And personally, I don't think it's worth it. There are so many much more important traditions and practices that we need to uphold and protect. Like making sure our prayers are valid, that hajj isn't diluted because of Saudi skys[Edited Out]ers, and that fasting is preserved and encouraged. These are where the focus lies and that is what Kerbala is about.

Edited by Shia Engineer

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^^^ what i herd on tht majlis i wz tlkin bout that first as people who werent towards Islam lyk non-muslims..thy didnt lissen n all so Zanjeer zani wz done lyk right in the middle of town to attract the people to make them come and lissen n nt to make them away from Islam as thy wudnt otherwise lissen so ths was sumthing lyk dint happen befroe so ppl were lyk oh wats goin n wud go see... n as it also made a noise to attract ppl to come n see wats happenin... n coz of this alot of ppl actualli became Muslim aswell..so i dnt see how it dint benefit ne1..bt the mollana also sed tht ths was the reason.. bt nw ppl mke it look lyk as if its sum kinda competition tht hwo has the biggest zanjeer for it n all... wich is rong as its nt to show off or watever..it is to show the grief n pain :)

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The reasons for (bloody) flaggelations have been derived from people who were not Imams that were designated to Guide the Shiites, but their family members who did not have any leading position in Islam. The historical reason is that after Hussein was martyred, his family beat themselves. One family member beat herself so hard that she started bleeding.

This has been the most concentrated reason for some to allow it. Some people refer to companions to justify this act and so on but it is mainly derived from the former story. With today's society this is largely rejected. Most scholars do not want this to be a part of Shi'a Islam and it is not.

Beating yourself on the chest (which is a common practice and can be traced to Islamic history) is allowed

but Beating yourself with blood gushing out is by today's consensus of scholars and standards no longer acceptable.

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bro shia engineer, im sorry if i offended you. i wasnt saying that azadari > namaz in that sense, i meant that on ashura, with a set of zanjeers in my hand, i feel a closeness to maula hussain, to the point i can almost feel him near me, watching me, i feel as tho i am his sahabi and he has just given me ijazat to fight for the last time. no amount of namaz or other ibadat has ever in my life made me feel like that. what always frustrates me is that people always diss zanjeer zani without ever having felt that feeling in their lives, as though they have some right to judge whats in my heart from their armchairs, do u know what i mean?

personally, this sensation is more valuable to me than anyones impressions, and i definately dont care if anyone mocks or insults me for it, azadars in the past have suffered much worse than we have for the sake of azadari.

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Why does everythign has to have a benefit?? It is all about what benefit one can derive from it? Then why do matam even with your hands?? I do zanjeer out of love that's it. If it doesn't benefit anyone than too bad for them, as I am not doing it for them anyways.

Whether an Imam did or nto is a seprate issue, and I agree no Imam did it, but just because no Imam did it doesn't mean its not allowed. There are three ways to determine if something is allowed or not, If a masoom did it, if a masoom said its allowed then its allowed or if a masoom observed an act taking place and did not crticizie it (kept quiet) then its allowed and we all know about Owas-e-qarani and what Prophet said about him.

So please if you feel its not beneficial then don't do it, but you can't force your beliefs on others.

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^^^ subhanallah, we are not supposed to do any act for any other reason other than love, we are supposed to pray salat out of love, there is nothing we ask benefit for!

I ask no wage from you but love for my ahl ul baiyt a.s.

love, love is what we have, love is what we give freely, asking nothing, wanting nothing, just out of sheer love!

mashallah brother, may you see the face of our Imam a.s.

Edited by Anjaam

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Brothers and Sisters,

Thank you for all your comments, however my orginal post never mention the practice of ZANJEER ZANI being Halal or Haram. I understand the sensitive and emotional nature of this topic but i was simply trying to find out the history behind it. Most of the replies i have received so far are emotionaly written, the purpose of this topic is to find out the ORIGINS and History of this practice with some historical references to support it.

I would also like to tell you a little bit more about why this has come to my mind, I myself have practiced Zanjeer Zani, but to be honest the idea to do it developed in me because i saw my family members and community doing it and i felt like it was expected of me, I have lived most of my life in sub continent and also have travelled into different other parts of the world, from what i have observed is that majority of people who do it they dont really understand the idea behind it that why they doing it, except LOVE for Imam (a.s.) has been describe the sole reason for it. Alhumdullilah Over the past few years I have started trying to get more closer to my religion, which made me to know bit more about it and this was one of the question which is still unanswered.

Just last night i asked the same question to a scholar who was here to deliver the 11th Muharram Lecture, and the reply was that if you have understood it then dont do it, he couldnt give me any answer to the question of ORIGINS and the HISTORY the reply was that its cultural thing not being describe in the book. From what i have learnt by searching on the internet and from other sources is that it started 250 - 300 years ago, which ofcourse is not in any of the time of our Imams(a.s) so comments describing him condemning or permitting doesnt make sense.

Again I urge everyone to take this post as possible addition to one's knowledge not an attack on their emotions, beliefs or practices.

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The people who practice Tatbir take lead, amongst the teachings of other infallibles, from Zaynab al-Kubra sa, heroin of Karbala and sister of Imam Hussain (as)peace be upon them. Zaynab sa peace be upon her was the first person who hit her forehead to a bar inside the carriage she was in, causing considerable bleeding, when the head of al-Hussain (as) was being paraded in Kufa. This is one evidence that the shedding of blood is permissible; whether from the head or from the back etc. It is a sunna of Hz Zainab Binte Ali sa.

Those who perform Zanjeer today and make their backs bleed do so for various reasons:

Zanjeer fulfills the Sunnah of Zainab Bint Ali ibn Abu Talib, the grand daughter of Prophet Muhammad (sawas)

Zanjeer is an act of sorrow and Grief

With every zanjeer hitting our back, we display anger against Yazeediyat la of 1400 years ago and yazeedyat of today

We shed our blood to Tell Imam Hussain (as) that if we were present with him 1400 years ago, we would not refrain from letting our blood spill for the cause of Kerbala

Remember when cartoons making fun of Prophet (sawas) were published? People took to streets and destroyed public property as a sign of anger an disgust apparently. The shia take out peaceful processions on the street as a sign of disgust and anger. Each hand when it hits the chest, dissociates the person from the evils yazeed la used to commit. Each hand on our own chest is infact a smite on yazeed's la evil

as far as when, well the first to do qama zani was bibi Zaynab (sa) but of course every culture has a different way to mourn so this type of mourning, zanjeer and qama, differs from place to place, culture to culture. there is no haram in this, only in the eyes of the sunnis and those who would appease the sunnis. the way of mourning is part cultural, however, mourning Imam Hussein (as) is all religion no matter how one expresses their greif!

Imam Zayn al-Abidin (as) wept for his father for twenty years until he breathed his last, and every time he was served food and drink, he wept for Imam Hussain as , until on one occasion his servant said to him, "Is your sorrow and grief not going to end?", Imam Zayn al-Abidin,as replied, Woe unto you! The prophet Jacob as had twelve sons, and (when) Allah made one of them disappear, his eyes turned white (i.e. blind) because of his increasing crying for him, his head turned gray because of grief, and his back humped because of sorrow, and all this while his son was alive in the world. Whereas I saw my father, my brother, my uncle, and seventeen members of my family killed around me . . . so how can my grief and sorrow end?"

Are we really losing the Message of Imam Hussain(as) performing by these rituals? People opposed to the mourning rituals will make comments like: "Instead of telling the world that Human Rights, Truth, Justice, Integrity is what Imam Husayn a.s. stood for we are shown as barbarians who cut the heads of their babies"

Had the message really been lost, we would have been seeing a very different Islam today Islam is still spreading today, the teaching of the Ahlulbayt as still touch millions of nonmuslims. The way the Shiah take to the streets, people who are unaware of Kerbala question themselves that why are people hitting themselves. When they dive into the matter, they come to know about the matter which was unreal to them before.

The symbolism of the spilling of blood by the devotee, his own blood, is thus symbolic of the very nature of Karbala and brings that event, the supreme sacrifice, to the fore, a sacrifice that for which the lamb was sacrificed instead of his son by a knife by Ibrahim Khalilullah. And what, if Mohammad (saws)'s blood is spilt will man not spill his own blood? And even then the spilling of the blood has a deeper, more personal reason - the heart of worship is love, and here we find love of ahl-ul-bait as.

"Say (O Muhammad!): I do not ask of you any reward (or fee) for it (my service to you) but love for my near relatives"

Quran [42:23]

Azadari as a sign of love for Prophet's ahlulbayt (as) as the brother before has said.

lanat on all the enemies of the ahl ul baiyt (as)

Edited by zainab_

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The people who practice Tatbir take lead, amongst the teachings of other infallibles, from Zaynab al-Kubra sa, heroin of Karbala and sister of Imam Hussain (as)peace be upon them. Zaynab sa peace be upon her was the first person who hit her forehead to a bar inside the carriage she was in, causing considerable bleeding, when the head of al-Hussain (as) was being paraded in Kufa. This is one evidence that the shedding of blood is permissible; whether from the head or from the back etc. It is a sunna of Hz Zainab Binte Ali sa.

Those who perform Zanjeer today and make their backs bleed do so for various reasons:

Zanjeer fulfills the Sunnah of Zainab Bint Ali ibn Abu Talib, the grand daughter of Prophet Muhammad (sawas)

Zanjeer is an act of sorrow and Grief

With every zanjeer hitting our back, we display anger against Yazeediyat la of 1400 years ago and yazeedyat of today

We shed our blood to Tell Imam Hussain (as) that if we were present with him 1400 years ago, we would not refrain from letting our blood spill for the cause of Kerbala

Remember when cartoons making fun of Prophet (sawas) were published? People took to streets and destroyed public property as a sign of anger an disgust apparently. The shia take out peaceful processions on the street as a sign of disgust and anger. Each hand when it hits the chest, dissociates the person from the evils yazeed la used to commit. Each hand on our own chest is infact a smite on yazeed's la evil

as far as when, well the first to do qama zani was bibi Zaynab (sa) but of course every culture has a different way to mourn so this type of mourning, zanjeer and qama, differs from place to place, culture to culture. there is no haram in this, only in the eyes of the sunnis and those who would appease the sunnis. the way of mourning is part cultural, however, mourning Imam Hussein (as) is all religion no matter how one expresses their greif!

Imam Zayn al-Abidin (as) wept for his father for twenty years until he breathed his last, and every time he was served food and drink, he wept for Imam Hussain as , until on one occasion his servant said to him, "Is your sorrow and grief not going to end?", Imam Zayn al-Abidin,as replied, Woe unto you! The prophet Jacob as had twelve sons, and (when) Allah made one of them disappear, his eyes turned white (i.e. blind) because of his increasing crying for him, his head turned gray because of grief, and his back humped because of sorrow, and all this while his son was alive in the world. Whereas I saw my father, my brother, my uncle, and seventeen members of my family killed around me . . . so how can my grief and sorrow end?"

Are we really losing the Message of Imam Hussain(as) performing by these rituals? People opposed to the mourning rituals will make comments like: "Instead of telling the world that Human Rights, Truth, Justice, Integrity is what Imam Husayn a.s. stood for we are shown as barbarians who cut the heads of their babies"

Had the message really been lost, we would have been seeing a very different Islam today Islam is still spreading today, the teaching of the Ahlulbayt as still touch millions of nonmuslims. The way the Shiah take to the streets, people who are unaware of Kerbala question themselves that why are people hitting themselves. When they dive into the matter, they come to know about the matter which was unreal to them before.

The symbolism of the spilling of blood by the devotee, his own blood, is thus symbolic of the very nature of Karbala and brings that event, the supreme sacrifice, to the fore, a sacrifice that for which the lamb was sacrificed instead of his son by a knife by Ibrahim Khalilullah. And what, if Mohammad (saws)'s blood is spilt will man not spill his own blood? And even then the spilling of the blood has a deeper, more personal reason - the heart of worship is love, and here we find love of ahl-ul-bait as.

"Say (O Muhammad!): I do not ask of you any reward (or fee) for it (my service to you) but love for my near relatives"

Quran [42:23]

Azadari as a sign of love for Prophet's ahlulbayt (as) as the brother before has said.

lanat on all the enemies of the ahl ul baiyt (as)

To say that those blood let follow the teachings of the infallibles is outrageous. As usual the pro-bloodletters are great on emotive words but if you look beyond the emotive words there is a distinct hollownes to their arguments.

The only thinh that pro-bloodletters do is plough through the history books looking for a mention of blood. They then dress up their warped logic to justify a cultural barbric act

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The people who practice Tatbir take lead, amongst the teachings of other infallibles, from Zaynab al-Kubra sa, heroin of Karbala and sister of Imam Hussain (as)peace be upon them. Zaynab sa peace be upon her was the first person who hit her forehead to a bar inside the carriage she was in, causing considerable bleeding, when the head of al-Hussain (as) was being paraded in Kufa. This is one evidence that the shedding of blood is permissible; whether from the head or from the back etc. It is a sunna of Hz Zainab Binte Ali sa.

Those who perform Zanjeer today and make their backs bleed do so for various reasons:

Zanjeer fulfills the Sunnah of Zainab Bint Ali ibn Abu Talib, the grand daughter of Prophet Muhammad (sawas)

Zanjeer is an act of sorrow and Grief

With every zanjeer hitting our back, we display anger against Yazeediyat la of 1400 years ago and yazeedyat of today

We shed our blood to Tell Imam Hussain (as) that if we were present with him 1400 years ago, we would not refrain from letting our blood spill for the cause of Kerbala

Remember when cartoons making fun of Prophet (sawas) were published? People took to streets and destroyed public property as a sign of anger an disgust apparently. The shia take out peaceful processions on the street as a sign of disgust and anger. Each hand when it hits the chest, dissociates the person from the evils yazeed la used to commit. Each hand on our own chest is infact a smite on yazeed's la evil

as far as when, well the first to do qama zani was bibi Zaynab (sa) but of course every culture has a different way to mourn so this type of mourning, zanjeer and qama, differs from place to place, culture to culture. there is no haram in this, only in the eyes of the sunnis and those who would appease the sunnis. the way of mourning is part cultural, however, mourning Imam Hussein (as) is all religion no matter how one expresses their greif!

Imam Zayn al-Abidin (as) wept for his father for twenty years until he breathed his last, and every time he was served food and drink, he wept for Imam Hussain as , until on one occasion his servant said to him, "Is your sorrow and grief not going to end?", Imam Zayn al-Abidin,as replied, Woe unto you! The prophet Jacob as had twelve sons, and (when) Allah made one of them disappear, his eyes turned white (i.e. blind) because of his increasing crying for him, his head turned gray because of grief, and his back humped because of sorrow, and all this while his son was alive in the world. Whereas I saw my father, my brother, my uncle, and seventeen members of my family killed around me . . . so how can my grief and sorrow end?"

Are we really losing the Message of Imam Hussain(as) performing by these rituals? People opposed to the mourning rituals will make comments like: "Instead of telling the world that Human Rights, Truth, Justice, Integrity is what Imam Husayn a.s. stood for we are shown as barbarians who cut the heads of their babies"

Had the message really been lost, we would have been seeing a very different Islam today Islam is still spreading today, the teaching of the Ahlulbayt as still touch millions of nonmuslims. The way the Shiah take to the streets, people who are unaware of Kerbala question themselves that why are people hitting themselves. When they dive into the matter, they come to know about the matter which was unreal to them before.

The symbolism of the spilling of blood by the devotee, his own blood, is thus symbolic of the very nature of Karbala and brings that event, the supreme sacrifice, to the fore, a sacrifice that for which the lamb was sacrificed instead of his son by a knife by Ibrahim Khalilullah. And what, if Mohammad (saws)'s blood is spilt will man not spill his own blood? And even then the spilling of the blood has a deeper, more personal reason - the heart of worship is love, and here we find love of ahl-ul-bait as.

"Say (O Muhammad!): I do not ask of you any reward (or fee) for it (my service to you) but love for my near relatives"

Quran [42:23]

Azadari as a sign of love for Prophet's ahlulbayt (as) as the brother before has said.

lanat on all the enemies of the ahl ul baiyt (as)

(salam) Sister Zainab,

Thank you very much for sharing you thoughts, again my question is unanswered as nothing from books of history or times of our Imam(a.s) has been produced which showed a practice of moruing for shias of that time, mixing culture with our relegion can sometime be a bit of a problem.

I just want to comment on what you have produced about sister of Imam Hussain (a.s).

Imam (a.s) 's sister (s.a) commiting an act of sorrow where she hit her head is something she must have reached after passing many earlier stages of sorrow? isnt it? means she committed as she felt the sorrow so deeply in her heart.. now the question is do we as followers of them feel the same sorrow? do a person who has pre planned everything that i am going to commit this act today at this time at that vannue feel the sorrow that deeeply or somethere near how Bibi Zainabe (s.a) felt and she committed?

What we find in these gathering is very disturbing, we see people eating/drinking/chatting some even laughing just few moments before committing this act.. I just feel that actual message of Karbala has been lost for which our Imam (a.s) went through all this, was the deen (religion) he went through this to save the religion.

up till now i have not come across even single evidence of Zanjeer Zani as part of our religion rather its part of culture starting few hundred years ago, none of the imams (a.s) practiced or asked us to practice it.

(wasalam)

To say that those blood let follow the teachings of the infallibles is outrageous. As usual the pro-bloodletters are great on emotive words but if you look beyond the emotive words there is a distinct hollownes to their arguments.

The only thinh that pro-bloodletters do is plough through the history books looking for a mention of blood. They then dress up their warped logic to justify a cultural barbric act

Brother,

Do you commemorate Ashura in any form?

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(salam)

There are differences of opinion as to when blood matam started. The most reliable opinion is that the cutting of the head was a practice performed by the Turks in Azerbaijan which was transferred to the Iranians and Arabs.

The Iraqi author of the book The Tragedy of Karbala also believes that such practices were not common in Iraq before the nineteenth century. At the end of this century they started to gain popularity in this country. Therefore, blood matam started elsewhere and came to Iraq which means it is not rooted in Arab heritage.

Shaykh Kazim Dajili also accepts this view and says: "Iraqis did not participate in these processions until the beginning of the twentieth century. This practice was first seen amongst the Turkish Iraqis, Sufis, and Western Iranian Kurds."

A report by English sources covering Ashura in Najaf in the year 1919 shows that 100 Turkish Shias performed blood matam that year.

~ A Hidden Hand

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How and when it started depends on how you look at it. Imam-e-zamana cries blood for imam Hussain, Bibi Zainab hit her head on seat on camels back. Owais-e-qarni broke his own teeth upon hearing of Rasool's broken teeths, we do zanjeer and its our way of expressing our love of Imam Hussain. Any of the deeds mentiobed above could have developed into zanjeer, the issue is moot anyways, whats important is why we do it.

Our love is stronger than any desire to perfom acts that are deemed beneficial by all. There might be no benefit in doing zanjeer, but I do it out of love of my Mola and I am not looking for any reward, if I were doing it for some kind of reward then I would stop and think about the benefits but since its purely out of love there is no need to consider benefits. If i get any reward for it in akhrah that's a bonus, if I don't then I didnt lose anything as i was never looking for rewards.

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It is haram and nobody benefits from it. Mourning is one thing and beating yourself or harming your body in anyway is another thing. One of the reasons why we are not allowed to drink Alcohol/use drugs is because it damages our body. We can only use these things if it is for medical reasons and nothing else. Everything we do or do not do is for a logical reason in Islam. That is the beauty of our religion.

I am Iraqi, and in my opinion people that do it are doing haram for the reasons stated above and more. The people doing it are only helping to spread a bad reputation of the shia. It looks barbaric in my opinion.

No offence meant to anybody but that is my opinion and what I believe in.

I ask you and other muqassireen like yourself, do you challenge the ijaza of following maraje'?

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Fatwa of Ayatollah al-Udhma Muhammad Sadiq Rouhani (may Allah Almighty protect him)

To do Qama-Zani is a very good act indeed, and to perform Qama-Zani in public enhances the excellence of this act, and if one is harmed in the process, the reward (Thawab) for this act will be increased even further.


One of the things that I regret not doing is that I did not have the honour to perform this great practice, and now that I am old and frail, I am unable to perform it.


In any case, from all the people who have had the honour to perform this religious symbol I wish to ask them to pray for me after performing Qama-Zani.

Signature and seal of
Ayatollah al-Udhma Muhammad Sadiq Rouhani

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Fatwa of Ayatollah al-Udhma Langaroudi (may Allah Almighty protect him)

Salaam upon the Lovers of Imam Hussain
In our opinion since Aba-Abdillah al-Hussain alayhis-salam is Thar-Allah, the Blood of Allah, then it would be appropriate, but in fact imperative that for the Blood of Allah, the blood of the creatures of Allah is shed. Therefore not only Qama-Zani is permissible, but it is also regarded as one of the Sha'a'er and it has great, and extensive Thawab (reward).


It is honour and good for the Hussaini Lovers who participate in this beautiful and honourable act, since Qama-Zani is one of the Sha'a'er.

Needless to say that to practice this Sha'a'er in public is better.


Salaam be upon the Righteous Lovers (of Imam Hussain) and upon all the Righteous servants of Allah.

Signature and seal of
Abd-el-Saheb Sayyid Muhammad Mahdi Murtadhawi Langaroudi

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Fatwa of Ayatollah al-Udhma Sayyid Sadiq Shirazi (may Allah Almighty protect him)

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim
To perform Qama-Zani, whether in secret or in public, and other kinds of Azadari for Sayyid al-Shuhada Aba-Abdillah al-Hussain - may my soul be his sacrifice and peace and blessings of Allah be upon him - brings about the pleasure of Allah Almighty as well as Imam Mahdi - may Allah hasten his reappearance - InSha'Allah.
{And he who glorifies the Sha'a'er of Allah, surely it is from the piety of the hearts.} [The Holy Qur'an: Ayah 32 of Surah al-Hajj].

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Fatwa of Ayatollah al-Udhma Behjat (may Allah Almighty protect him)

In the case of it not being harmful, there is no problem with it.

Stamp of the office Ayatollah al-Udhma Behjat

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Fatwa of Ayatollah al-Udhma Safi Gulpaygani (may Allah Almighty protect him)

For the Azadari (mourning) of Sayyid al-Shuhada, Master of the Martyrs, if it does not accompany unusual harm, then there is absolutely no problem with it.

Signature and seal of
Ayatollah al-Udhma Safi Gulpaygani

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Only that thing which the Imams [as] have explicitly asked us to do is "right and always right".

And who are the "muqassireen" you are cursing in your signature?

Muqassir is one who considers himself to be equal in creation to the 14 infallble Muhammads. And therefore cannot comprehend certain shia beliefs and practices.

Edited by zuhair_naqvi

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Muqassir is one who considers himself to be equal in creation to the 14 infallble Muhammeds. And therefore cannot comprehend certain shia beliefs and practices.

Why are you calling Shi'as muqassirs? We all believe that the infallibles [as] are superior to us.

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Why are you calling Shi'as muqassirs? We all believe that the infallibles [as] are superior to us.

To begin with, a shi'a is never a muqassir and a muqassir is never a shi'a. Am sure even you know that there are quite a few among us these days who say that there is no difference between us humans and the 14 infallibles except that they don't go astray. There are so called shi'a alims even here in Australia who deny the nooraniyyat of the 14 and this is nothing hidden from us.

To add to this, the label of "muqassir" also covers those who deny the universality of prophethood of Mohammed (sawas) and imamte of his 12 successors. As in they say that their prophethood and imamate was only over the jinn and humans and not on other creation.

Edited by zuhair_naqvi

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Okay, thanks for the explanation.

But why did you call zane muqassir? He just opposed Zanjeer. Does that make him a muqassir?

By denying the station of aale mohammed a muqassir is led to deny their rights as well and matam (ajr) is one of them. Therefore, in my understanding his stance implies such. If he is willing to provide a clarification, am willing to take the claim back.

Edited by zuhair_naqvi

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By denying the station of aale mohammed a muqassir is led to deny their rights as well and matam (ajr) is one of them. Therefore, in my understanding his stance implies such. If he is willing to provide a clarification, am willing to take the claim back.

In other words, you assumed he denies the rights of the Aimmah [as].

Bro, this is seriously sick. Calling Shi'as names just because they are saying Zanjeer is not allowed.

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