Rafed English

The significance of the mourning programs

As for the truths and validity (of the Sha’a’er), they are reflected in the realities we come across in our daily lives. One of the Maraje’ in the holy city of Qum narrated to me an interesting account of his encounter with a Christian priest. He said, “When I was studying in Najaf (in Iraq), I once went to Baghdad with some of the fellow students. While there we heard that there is a priest who actively preaches for Christianity, so we decided to wear normal clothing (not the usual ‘Aba and turban) and attend his session. At the end of the program, and when the people left the hall, the priest turned to us and asked us, “Who are you?” we replied, “we are native” he said, “I don’t mean that, but it seems to me that you are scholars and I do not think you came here to learn from me.” I replied that we study theology. I could tell that from the outset, he replied. In our conversation with him he said, “I shall admit to you a truth that someone else would not say it, and the truth is that your Prophet (Salla-llahu Alayhi wa Aalih) was a man of knowledge and reflection and was aware of reality- and in these qualities he was unparalleled and came second to no one. Furthermore, your Prophet left behind for you things that no other prophet left for his people, and if we had just one of those things we would have made the entire world Christian. The first of those things is the Noble Qur’an, which is the eternal miracle of Islam; the second of them, the descendants of your Prophet who are referred to as “Sayyid”. They always continue to remind the people of the existence of the Messenger of Allah; the third of those is the existence of the shrines of the impeccable Imams as well as those of their of springs. These shrines act as a magnet and a focal point for the people, continually attracting them and giving them spiritual strength and guidance. The fourth of these things are the mourning programs that are established to commemorate them, and these programs are the best centres for making the people adhere to Islam. As you can see I have difficulty attracting followers of my own faith, whereas in your case as soon as you put a banner with “Ya Husayn” written on it, masses of people flock to your assembly.”

Adopted from the book : "Husayn; the Sacrifice for Mankind" by : "Imam Muhammad Shirazi"

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