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Holding Mourning Ceremonies in the Interest of Unity

It is sometimes said that holding mourning rites is not compatible with Islamic unity because these ceremonies include protest against and condemnation of some of the Muslim caliphs. Therefore, it is felt by some that discontinuation of such protests and cursing for the sake of creating unity among the Muslims is binding and necessary.


Firstly, remembering the uprising of Imam al-Husayn (as) is not only in the interest of Shi‘ah Muslims, but also in the interest of all Muslims and freedom-seekers of the world, because holding mourning rites in memory of Aba ‘Abd Allah al-Husayn (as) establishes in man the spirit of seeking martyrdom for the sake of securing and establishing freedom and faith. This orientation can help free human societies which are now living under the yoke of captivity and exploitation.

Secondly, when the suffering of Imam al-Husayn (as) is kept alive there is no negative mention of the Prophet’s faithful companions. It must be realized that the Prophet’s loyal companions loved and respected Imam al-Husayn (as). Some of them were even with him at Karbala and they attained martyrdom. The Prophet’s companions who were martyred include Habib ibn Mazahir, Muslim ibn ‘Awsajah, Burayr ibn Khadir Hamadani, ‘Urwah Ghaffari and others.

Commemorating the ‘Ashura uprising of Imam al-Husayn (as) has not been and will never be a cause of disagreement and disunity among Muslims.

Commemorating the struggle of Imam al-Husayn (as) against those hypocrites that desired to blot out the religion of Islam can only bring about more unity among Muslims and create division and discord between the Muslims and such deceitful tyrants as Yazid, Ibn Ziyad, ‘Umar ibn Sa‘d and others that wish to destroy Islam, but, then again, this is precisely what the tyrants and oppressors fear.

Adapted from: "The Uprising of Ashura and Responses to Doubts" by: "‘Ali Asghar Ridwani"