Rafed English

Samarra, O Samarra Your Golden Dome Shall Shine Again

Samarra, O Samarra Your Golden Dome Shall Shine Again

On Wednesday the 23rd of Muharram 1427 (22 February 2006), the world woke up to the shocking news of the explosion at the shrine of Samarra (Iraq) which totally destroyed its golden dome. Underneath that dome is the resting place of Imam Ali an-Naqi (a.s.) and Imam Hasan al-Askari (a.s.)

Of all the spaces in any society, places of worship are the most sacred. Even warring factions, if they have any sense of civility and humanity, respect the sanctity of the churches, synagogues, and mosques. Almighty God expects good people to stand up for protection of the places of worship: "... Had it not been Allah’s preventing some people by others, certainly the monasteries, the churches, the synagogues, and the mosques (in which Allah’s name is much remembered) would haven pulled down." (22:40)

The attack on the shrine of Imam Ali an-Naqi and Imam Hasan al-Askari is not just demolition of a building; it is attack on one of the most visible symbols of Shi'a Islam.

Iraqi Shias are being tested in a harshest way possible. The enemy could not perpetuate its hold on the political power by free and democratic election; and so it sought refuge in bullets and explosives. Shia leaders and civilians have been systematically targeted. Even on Monday and Tuesday before the explosion, many Shi'as were killed in Baghdad. Nonetheless, the Shi'as under the leadership of the Grand Ayatullah Sistãni, have restrained their anger and stopped themselves from seeking revenge.

Now by targeting the shrine of our Imams, the enemy has indeed reached the height of provocation. Even then, we see that Ayatullah Sistãni, with support of other maraji of Najaf, asked Shias to protest peacefully and restrain their emotions of revenge. We praise the over-all restraint shown by Iraqi Shias otherwise the situation would have been much worst than the few cases of reprisal attacks after the explosion of the dome. Only three groups stand to benefit from the civil war, which was the intended goal of the provocateurs: the remnants of Saddam’s Baathist regime, the extremist Wahhabi elements, and the occupiers who want to perpetuate their hold on Iraq and its oil. We pray that the patience and forbearance of Iraqi Shias will prevail over such kinds of provocation.

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