Self-beating in Muharram
It is common knowledge that a person is not allowed to injure himself during a funeral. Now since we know this, how can the self-inflicted injuries during Muharram be justified? If beating oneself is not allowed for a deceased relative, why is it allowed during Muharram? What is the reasoning given by the Shiah scholars as to why it is allowed and what is its purpose and benefits? Mourning is good, but what is the purpose and benefit of self-inflicted injuries? When the Sunnis or non-Muslims look at the Shiahs, they use this as an example to belittle the school of Ahlul-Bayt. In the West, whenever the images of Shiahs beating themselves is plastered on the TV screens, the Shiah school is insulted and given a bad name. In spite of it not being allowed for relatives and the bad impression it leaves in the minds of non-Muslims and non-Shiahs, why is it allowed by the ulema and what is its benefit and purpose?
According to all Shia scholars, mourning for Ahlul-Bayt specially for Imam Hosayn is a great pious deed and has great reward in the hereafter. And you know that different nations have different customs of mourning and they can perform this ceremony according to their customs. Nevertheless you find that most of people beat themselves when they face a great tragic event such as death of their beloved son. So if they beat themselves in the tragedy of Ashora, it will be a sign of sympathy and this act will bring heavenly reward. I mean crying and inflicting soft beats on our chests in the ceremony of Ashora is justifiable and something common among wise men of every nation. But it is not allowed for us to inflict heavy beats on ourselves.
Regarding your second question, you should know that we have many things that people of other cultures do not understand . For example if a non Muslem look at Hajj ceremony specially the ceremony of throwing stones at the Satan, he will be astonished and call us mads. We should not give up Islam due to people's wonder and mockery. Instead we should explain and justify our believes and traditions.
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