2. Umm Salamah says, “One day, the Prophet of Allah woke up in a very disturbed state. He slept again and once more woke up in the same agitated state. He repeated this three times. When he woke up for the third time, I saw him holding red soil in his hand. He was kissing it while shedding tears. I asked him, ‘O Prophet of Allah! What is that soil?’ He said, ‘Gabriel has informed me that my son al-Husayn will be martyred in Iraq. I asked Gabriel, ‘Show me the soil where al-Husayn will be martyred’ Gabriel brought this soil and gave it to me’.”21
It is essential to point out that there is a difference between “the one for whom prostration is done” and “on what material it is done”. The Shi‘ahs do not consider the soil from Karbala to be “the one for whom prostration is done”.
On the contrary, they consider it to be “the material on which prostration is done”. This means that the Shi‘ahs do not prostrate for or to the soil of Imam al-Husayn. On the contrary, they prostrate before Allah, the Exalted, by using the soil of Imam al-Husayn (as) as a pure place where they place their foreheads (a medium of prostration). There is a clear distinction between these two.
20. Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Al-Musnad, vol. 2, p. 60.
21. Al-Hakim al-Neyshaburi, Al-Mustadrak ‘ala al-Sahihayn, vol. 4, p. 398.