Now, when we pay attention to the issue of the martyrdom of Allah’s awliya’ (as), especially the Doyen of Martyrs, Imam al-Husayn (as), we come to the conclusion that reminding people about the sad event of ‘Ashura and refreshing their memories about what transpired in the history of Islam will result in incitement of their feelings.
In this way, we can take those great people to be our role models in life. We can thus communicate their messages to the people, because the messages and orders we receive from Allah’s awliya’ (as) are in actual fact messages and commands of Allah.
It is for this reason that after the event of ‘Ashura, Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin (as) used to weep and mourn for the martyrs of Karbala, especially for his father Imam al-Husayn (as).
The issue of mourning the awliya’ of Allah becomes clearer when we bear in mind the tribute paid by the Holy Prophet (S) to Imam al-Husayn (as).
The Holy Prophet (S) said,
«حسين منّي وأنا من حسين، أحبّ الله من أحبّ حسيناً. »
“Al-Husayn is from me and I am from al-Husayn, Allah loves the one who loves al-Husayn.”4
Similarly, the Holy Prophet (S) said,
«الحسنُ والحسينُ سيِّدا شبابِ أهلِ الجنَّةِ. »
“Al-Hasan and al-Husayn are the two masters of the youths of Paradise.”5
3. Spiritual benefits derived from the atmosphere at gatherings where mourning for Allah’s awliya’ takes place
Whenever mourning ceremonies are held for Imam al-Husayn (as), his heavenly spirit and divine soul is always present at the gatherings. This is also true of the other awliya’ of Allah (as); wherever mourning ceremonies are held for them, their divine souls are present in those gatherings.
Therefore, people from all walks of life can benefit spiritually by attending such mourning ceremonies. Elderly people and children alike can derive vast spiritual benefits from the graces and favors present in these ceremonies.
It has been narrated that one of the great people had said, “For the first few months after birth, take the cradles of your newborns to academic gatherings and assemblies where invocation of Allah takes place.
Take them to Husayniyyahs6. Carry them with you when you go to places of mourning where the name of the Doyen of Martyrs, Imam al-Husayn (as), is mentioned because the souls of the newborns are like magnets; they easily absorb knowledge and the invocations which are recited. They easily absorb the sacred soul of Imam al-Husayn (as).
Even though the newborn cannot speak, it still perceives and absorbs what occurs around it. And if it is taken to a place or places where sin is committed during the period of its childhood, the sins which are committed there corrupt the baby. If it is, on the contrary, taken to places of worship and knowledge, the newborn perceives the purity and serenity of those places.”
That same great man also said, “You should place the cradles of your newborns next to the rooms of commemoration of the martyrs of Karbala and the rooms where invoking Allah takes place. This was the custom of the scholars of past times. The effects which the newborn absorbs during this period remain firm and stable in its soul up to the end of its life.
They become a part of its instincts and natural attributes, because the newborn has absolute ability to perceive during the period of its infancy, even though simple or ordinary people do not comprehend this important secret.”
4. Reform and guidance of the community
In addition to the fact that people gathering in mourning ceremonies where the name of the Doyen of Martyrs is mentioned express and feel love for Imam al-Husayn (as), they also attain to great graces from these gatherings because eulogy of Imam al-Husayn (as) is presented along with discussion of Islamic sciences including beliefs, laws and morals.
By participating in such gatherings, people can achieve spiritual prosperity and stimulate perfection of their faith, and that is exactly what Imam al-Husayn (as) sacrificed his life for.
4. Ibn Majah, Sunan, vol. 1, p. 51, Fada’il Ashab Rasul Allah (s).
5. Al-Tirmidhi, Al-Sahih, vol. 5, p. 617; Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Al-Musnad, vol. 3, p. 369.
6. Places of assembly specially built for mourning Imam al-Husayn. [trans.]