Undoubtedly, you are suffering in these lands from the feeling of being strangers and lonely, having left behind your countries where you lived and in the laps of which you grew up, enjoying the blessing of being near your families, loved ones, acquaintances and peers who all are familiar with your norms of conduct, habits, gatherings and companionship. It is there that you were used to holding your rituals, frequenting your sacred places, visiting these revered sites and lofty stations which the souls of the believers seek and towards which people who are not their residents yearn, let alone those who grow up in them and spend the best years of their lives near them.
There is no blame on you in all of this especially since you are now in an environment which is distant from all of this and in a society whose doctrine and concepts, norms of conduct and companionship clash with yours.
Yet a wise person who has a strong and integral personality is the one who has good conduct and manages his problems, coexisting with them and acclimating according to the dictates of the conditions that surround him and the reality which he lives with peace, patience, wisdom and discretion, and does not dwarf before them, nor does he collapse. He does not become angered and it is difficult for him to find solutions, which complicates his problems. Imam al-Sadiq (peace be upon him) is quoted as having said, "The believer is strong in his creed, firm while being kind… During the times of turbulences, he is dignified, and during times of difficulties, he preserves.”[i]
We do not want you to forget your homeland which you left behind, the reality which you lived and the good habits to which you were accustomed. Rather, you must emphasize your ties with your homeland, with its principles, beautiful customs, holy places and mausoleums which you picture in your hearts and bear their memories with your minds, seek them with your thoughts, cling to them as much as you can, for what is possible is not dropped by that which is difficult.
Then preserve your good habits and norms of conduct in order to create a community among yourselves which suits you, one with which you were familiar, and an atmosphere similar to the one which you knew before, so you may not be separated from the reality which you underwent and through which you lived.
There are two matters which you should observe regarding what you hold as sacred:
Firstly, you must commit to visiting these sacred places and revered sites and direct your hearts towards them despite the distance, with eagerness and passion, with affection and longing sorrow, remembering how the believers used to gather in them when you were in their company. Salute the Infallibles who are buried in them and all such places throughout the Islamic world. Address them like one who is in love and who is grieved, heart-broken, deprived. Salute them with whatever you can with your tongues, although it is better for you to choose the common addresses in the narrated Ziyarats from the Ahl al-Bayt (peace be upon them). You must exert effort to obtain these Ziyarats, become acquainted with them and absorb them. They have lofty content and truthful realities that strengthen your ties to the Infallible Ones (peace be upon them). They control your relationship with them, your loyalty and love for them, your hatred of their enemies and dissociation from them. This has its great religious significance as you will come to know, God willing.
When you perform the Ziyarats of your Imams (peace be upon them), you will thus prove your loyalty to the covenant round your necks. In a tradition narrated by al-Washa, the latter says that he heard Imam al-Rida (peace be upon him) saying, "For each Imam, there is a covenant round the necks of his followers and supporters, and the completion of this covenant is to visit their grave sites.”[ii] Other traditions in wording close to this are numerous.
The Imams from among the Ahl al-Bayt (peace be upon them) have been quoted emphatically urging the performing of Ziyarat from afar by those who cannot visit them. This is so in order to firm the relationship of loyalty to the visited personality, in order to safeguard the sense of being affiliated with him, to strengthen the tie to him and to renew the commitment to the pledge to follow his Imamate.
Lengthy and short Ziyarats have been narrated from the Imams (peace be upon them). Imam al-Sadiq (peace be upon him) is quoted as having said, "If distance becomes long for you, and if your home is far away [from the Imam's shrines], you must go the highest point in your home, perform two Rak'ahs (units) of prayer, and then face our graves sending your salutations, for your greeting will then reach us.”[iii]
Imam al-Kadhim (peace be upon him) quotes his ancestors, peace be with them all, who cited the Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) as saying, "One who visits my grave after my demise will be like one who migrated to me during my lifetime. But if you cannot do so, send salutations to me, for they will reach me.”[iv]
The Leader of all Women, Fatima al-Zahra (peace be upon her) is quoted as having said, "My father, here he is, told me that one who salutes him and salutes me for three days, Allah will allot Paradise for him.” She was asked, "This salutation takes place during your own lifetime or during his?” She said, "Yes, as well as after our deaths.”[v]
In a tradition narrated by Sadeer from Imam al-Sadiq (peace be upon him), the Imam said to him, "O Sadeer! Do you visit al-Hussain's grave every day?” Sadeer said, "May I be sacrificed for your sake, No!” The Imam said, "How cold your heart is! Do you, then, visit it every Friday?” Sadeer answered in the negative. The Imam asked him, "Do you, then, visit it every month?” Sadeer again answered in the negative, whereupon the Imam asked him, "Do you, then, visit it every year?” Sadeer said, "Probably.” The Imam said, "How cold your heart is about al-Hussain (peace be upon him)! Do you not know that Allah, the most Exalted, the most Great, has two million angels, unkempt and dust-covered, visiting the grave of al-Hussain (peace be upon him) tearfully and incessantly, while you, O Sadeer, are not asked but to visit the grave of al-Hussain (peace be upon him) five times a week and once every day?” Sadeer said, "May I be sacrificed for your sake! Many miles separate us from it.” He said, "Go to your rooftop. Turn right then left, then raise your head to the sky and direct your face towards the grave and say, Peace with you, O Abu Abdullah! Peace be upon you, the blessings and mercy of Allah be with you!' and it will be written down for you as a Ziyarat, and this Ziyarat is equivalent to a Hajj (major pilgrimage) and an Umrah (minor pilgrimage).” Sadeer said that he might have done so more than twenty times a month.[vi] And there are many narrations emphasizing on such.
They [the Ahl al-Bayt] are, besides the above, your means towards Allah Almighty and intercessors with Him; so, seek their intercession with regard to your needs of this world and of the hereafter, for resolving your problems, the removal of your worries, the ease of your distress and to help you in all your affairs. Resort to them (peace be upon them) so they may plead to Allah Almighty for the achievement of all of this so He may shower His mercy on you, to open His treasures, blessings, favors and boons for you, for they are more affectionate towards you than you are towards your own selves. They are not prevented by the distance of abode from doing so if your call reaches them, if your cry is heard by them. They do not fret about anything no matter how magnanimous it may be because their status with Allah Almighty is greater than that, their affairs with Him is loftier; their call is heard, their intercession is accepted.
So, thank Allah Almighty for having guided you to get to know them, to be loyal to them, to hold on to them, to resort to them, making you among those who stick to them, who are attributed to them.
You must emphasize your relationship with the Imam of the Time, the Awaited Authority, the one on whom hopes rest, Imam al-Mahdi, may Allah hasten his reappearance, His peace and blessings with him and with his pure forefathers, for he is the direct master according to whom matters are affected through permission of Allah Almighty; so, remember him often, picture him in your hearts, sense him in your conscience, make it a habit to greet and perform Ziyarat to him, resort to him in your needs, seek his intervention in your tasks, seek to repel affliction through his blessing and affection. Do not be oblivious about him, about his status and the greatness of his dignity with Allah Almighty and the greatness of his obligation on you.
Secondly, you must work hard towards holding and keeping alive your religious occasions, such as the birth and martyrdom anniversaries of the Infallibles (peace be upon them), and to feed people on these occasions, in addition to other traditions to which you became accustomed in your homelands, for this deeply impacts the standing of your religious entity and its preservation, on your personalities, on your tie to your past and to staying always in touch with it.
Pay a special attention to the gatherings that commemorate the calamities which befell the Ahl al-Bayt (peace be upon them), how they were oppressed and what they had to go through at the hands of tyrants who changed the religion of Allah Almighty, who distorted His Book, terminated its injunctions, repealed its legislation, worked hard to put out the light of the Household of Mercy, tightening the noose round their necks, killing, displacing and sweeping their followers off the surface of earth…, up to the end of the lengthy list of tragedies and calamities which words cannot encompass fully, nor can speech entirely describe.
We emphasize the above particularly during the occasions that are filled with grief and bitterness, which are regarded as the starting point towards changing the path of calling for righteousness, such as the misfortunes of the Truthful one, Fatima al-Zahra (peace be upon her) and related events. These events opened the doors to the afflictions on the Ahl al-Bayt (peace be upon him), altering the path of Islam. The tragedy of the Commander of the Faithful, (peace be upon him), who is the first oppressed person although he is the best of all people next to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his progeny) and it was through his sword that the religion could stand. And remember the misfortune of Imam al-Kadhim (peace be upon him), which reveals more of the oppressors' recklessness and disregard.
As for the misfortunes of al-Hussain, the Master of Martyrs (peace be upon him) it is the greatest epic and tragedy of the creed which filled the world with sadness, distress, pain and bitterness, and it is remembered, due to its horror, when one faces his own calamities and afflictions. It is on it that the mill revolves and the matters continue.
Bringing to life these occasions, actually all religious occasions, has great fruits and magnanimous benefits:
Firstly: It will be solace for you in your misfortunes and crises. This solace raises your morale, strengthens your determination, increases your perseverance and firmness, strength and resolve. They, Allah's blessings with them, are the best role models for you, the highest examples and the best to emulate. Many texts have indicated that anyone who is afflicted with a calamity should remember his affliction of losing the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his progeny), for it is the greatest of all calamities.[vii]
In a narrative by Abu Baseer, the latter quotes Imam Al-Sadiq (peace be upon him) as saying, "Ismaeel was a messenger, a prophet, whose nation was empowered by Allah, they skinned his face and skull, so a messenger [angel] from the Lord of the World went to him and said, 'Your Lord greets you and says that He has seen what has been done to you and ordered me to obey you; so, order me whatever you please.' He said, 'I have set Al-Hussain (peace be upon him) as my role model.'” Indeed, the poet who composed the following line articulated the truth:
أنست رزيتكم رزايا التي سلفت و هونت الرزايا الآتية
Your calamity rendered past calamities a forgotten thing, making calamities to come so tolerable.
This is so especially if you look at the outcome of those calamities and the ordeals which Allah Almighty destined they would go through: They surrendered to them and persevered. You have seen how the ultimate outcome was in their favor, so Allah Almighty granted them victory over their enemy by keeping their own memory alive, their issue enduring, raising their status, elevating their light, so much so that their radiance filled the east of the earth and the west; whereas the oppressors failed miserably, their final outcome was awful, filled with disappointment, loss and eternal curse on them on earth and in the heavens. You remember the statement made by the wise lady of Banu Hashim, Zainab al-Kubra (peace be upon her) to Imam Zainul-Abidin (peace be upon him), as she was on the peak of the tragedy when they passed by the martyrs of Karbala and saw their parts scattered on the ground. She said, "Allah took a covenant from people from this nation, who are not known to the Pharaohs of this land whereas they are known to the people of the heavens: those who gather these scattered parts and bury them and these bodies that are covered with blood. They will raise a sign above the grave of your father, the Master of Martyrs, the features of which shall never be obliterated, the shape of which shall never disappear, even as the nights pass and the days. The leaders of disbelief and the promoters of misguidance will work hard to obliterate and hide it, yet its marks will only increase in appearing more and more radiantly and in becoming loftier.”[viii]
To Yazid she said the following as she was a captive at his court: "Scheme and work hard and continue your effort, yet by Allah, you shall never obliterate our name, nor will you ever kill our inspiration or reach our levels, and its shame shall never be cleansed from you. Your view is nothing but nil, your days are counted, your gathering is destined to dispersal on the Day when a caller shall call: 'The curse of Allah be on the unjust'.[ix]
Allah has surely said the truth when He said, 'They desire to extinguish God's light with their mouths, but Allah will not allow but that His light should be perfected, even though the unbelievers may detest (it)' (Qur'an, 9:32) and also when He said, 'So be patient, for the good end is for those who are pious' (Qur'an, 11:49)."
Secondly: It increases your religious education and your strong attachment to your religion. It clearly shows for you the status of the Ahl al-Bayt (peace be upon them), their merits and virtues, greatness of position, status with Allah Almighty, the strength of their connection with Him, their sacrifices for His sake and for His religion and their providing advice to His servants. It also shows you the intensity of the injustice to which they were exposed, the calamities which they suffered, the afflictions which were poured on them and on their followers in the process. All this increases your loyalty to them, love for them and clinging to them.
It also highlights the extent of meanness of the oppressors and their enmity to Allah Almighty, their ugliness and barbarism, their falling in the pits of crime, their extreme disregard of principles, and their psychological and behavioral shallowness. This increases your revulsion towards them, distance from them, hostility towards them, and your vision becomes stronger in dissociating yourselves from them, their friends and followers.
Through the above, your religion will be completed and conviction perfected as texts narrated about the Infallibles (peace be upon them) have consistently imparted this meaning. In the authenticated narration of Abu Ubaydah al-Haddha, Imam al-Sadiq (peace be upon him) is quoted as having said, "One who loves for the sake of Allah, hates for the sake of Allah and gives [by way of charity] for the sake of Allah, is one whose faith is perfected.”[x] And in the authenticated narration of Sa'eed al-A`raj, the Imam (peace be upon him) is quoted as having said, "One of the strongest ties of faith is that you love for the sake of Allah, hate for the sake of Allah, give for the sake of Allah and withhold for the sake of Allah.”[xi]
In a tradition narrated by Amr ibn Madrak al-Ta'i, the Imam (peace be upon him) quotes the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his progeny) as asking his companions the following: "Which pillar of faith is the strongest?” They said, "Allah and His Messenger know best.” Some of them said that it is offering prayers; some others said it is the payment of Zakat (the alms tax), others said: the fast, and others said: the Hajj and Umrah (the major and minor pilgrimage). Some of them said it is Jihad (holy war). The messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his progeny) said, "Each of what you have stated has a merit, but it is not the one. The strongest tie of faith is to love for the sake of Allah, to hate for the sake of Allah, to be loyal to those who are loyal to Allah, and dissociate from the enemies of Allah.”[xii] In a tradition narrated by Ishaq ibn Ammar, the Imam (peace be upon him) is quoted as having said, "One who does not love for the sake of the creed and does not hate for the sake of the creed has no creed at all.”[xiii] And there are many other such texts.
All believers must know that this is one of the most important religious pillars which they must observe and safeguard. Beware of ignoring or neglecting them or taking them lightly, for such behavior may lead to tolerating oppressors and making compromises with them, even inclining to them and attempting to apologize to them. Thus, God forbid, the believer departs from his belief unintentionally; he is robbed of his faith while he is unaware of it. Allah, the most Praised and Exalted, has said: "You will not find any people who believe in Allah and the last Day loving those who resist Allah and His Messenger, even though they may be their fathers or sons, or brothers, or tribesmen” (Qur'an, 58:22). We seek refuge with Allah against being misguided after having received guidance, against becoming blind after having vision and insight.
As for you, dear expatriates, the matter is even harder, because you are in a society where freedom is practiced without restrictions, and there are in it those who cannot distinguish right from wrong, misguidance from guidance, whom Allah Almighty has forsaken and abandoned, so they do not care if the prophets of Allah Almighty and His friends are insulted and ridiculed or that the enemies of Allah from among the tyrants, sinners and licentious people are honored and emulated due to admiration of and respect for them.
If you do not fortify yourselves and cling to your principles and sanctities, Allah Almighty will turn away from you and leave you to your own selves. So, get to know the sanctity of Allah Almighty, observe His rights, remind yourselves of His presence at all times, hold on to His religion, befriend His friends and be the enemies of His enemies, and exert yourselves in these regards. Rely on your Lord and seek His protection. Resort to Him, the most Sublime, so He may look after you and help you, support you and keep you firm, through firm speech in the life of this world and in the Hereafter and increase your faith, conviction, submission and surrender to Him. He surely is the most Merciful of those who have mercy, the Helper of those who resort to Him, the Protector of those who seek His protection.
Thirdly: It is one of the strong pillars and solid foundations of the religion. It has throughout lengthy history, which is filled with tragedies and crises, proven to be effective in erecting the true sect, firming it, preserving, promoting, advocating, disseminating and demonstrating its soundness and truthfulness.
For this reason, the tyrants, oppressors and their supporters, since early Islamic centuries, have most severely opposed these occasions, these anniversaries, and worked hard to find fault with them, defame them, even prohibit and prevent them, scaring those who observe them and seeking revenge against them, in an attempt to put out the light of Allah Almighty Who has insisted to perfect this religion while they are averse to it.
Use these occasions as a slogan that unites your opinions, firms your unity, brings you life, rules over your companionship, a lighthouse that lights people's path towards you, as an invitation to the true religion of Allah, attracting their attention to it, sending them in its direction.
Try in a nice and careful way to mix with the people among whom you live when these rituals are held. Draw their attention to them, even involve them in these rituals through whatever means you have at your disposal. The great rewards and continuous blessings of these rituals will reach you. They will sense them in such a way that they shall recognize them and surrender to their truth, finding their origins and sources to be right.
It may happen that through these rituals one may reach this upright religion and revered sect, as has been the case in many nations of the world. This is so due to the spiritual vacuum in the societies in which you live: This may be the reason for their thirsting for spirituality, for their grabbing this pure genuine reality which is backed by Allah Almighty with support, with sacred verses and dazzling miracles.
Thus, you would become among those who invite others to the religion of Allah Almighty and its supporters; you will thus proudly win and receive great rewards: "(As to) those who strive in Our (cause), We will certainly guide them to Our paths, for truly Allah is with those who do right” (Qur'an, 29:69). Do not regard anything to be too far-fetched, nor should you take anything lightly, for Allah does whatever He pleases; He decrees whatever He wants.
In order to underscore the importance of organizing these occasions and the continual remembrance of the Ahl al-Bayt (Allah's blessings be with them) and expressing their merits and the calamities to which they were exposed and the great effects of such remembrance, they (peace be upon them), have urged - in an amazing way - doing so by word and by action which we cannot fully present here. Therefore, we should mention examples of these narrations that light the path for us and provide us with guidance:
It has been narrated from the Commander of the Faithful (peace be upon him) that he said, "Allah, the most Praised and Exalted One, cast a look at the earth and chose us, and He chose for us followers (Shi’ites) who support us, who feel happy when we are happy and feel sad when we are sad; they spend their wealth and sacrifice their lives for our sake; these are from us and [are rendered] to us.”[xiv]
In the authenticated narration of Yazid ibn Abdul-Malik, Imam al-Sadiq (peace be upon him) is quoted as having said [to his followers], "Visit each other, for your visits bring life to your hearts and keep our mention alive. Our traditions bring about affection between you. If you follow them, you will be rightly guided and thus saved, but if you abandon them, you will stray and thus perish; so, do follow them, and I guarantee your salvation.”[xv]
In the authenticated narration of Maysar, Imam al-Baqir (peace be upon him) is quoted as having said the following to Maysar, "Do you [Shi’ites] meet and say whatever you please?” Maysar said, "Yes, by Allah, we gather together and say whatever we please.” The Imam (peace be upon him) said, "By Allah, I wish I were with you in some of those occasions. By Allah, I love you and I love your souls. You are truly followers of the religion of Allah and of His angels; so, seek help from piety and diligence.”[xvi]
In a tradition, Mu'attib quotes Imam al-Sadiq (peace be upon him) as saying the following to Dawood ibn Sirhan: "O Dawood! Convey my greetings to my followers and that I say this to them: 'May Allah have mercy on a slave of His who meets with another and discusses our message, for their third will be an angel praying for their forgiveness. No two persons discuss us except that Allah Almighty boasts about them to the angels. If you meet, keep yourselves busy with remembrance, for your meeting and discussion keep our message alive. The best of people after us are those who remind others of us and call others to do the same.”[xvii]
In a tradition narrated by al-Hassan ibn Fadhal, Imam al-Rida (peace be upon him) says, "One who remembers our misfortunes and weeps for what was committed against us will be with us in our level on the Judgment Day. One who is reminded of our misfortunes and who weeps and causes others to weep as well will not weep on the Day when the eyes will be tearful. One who sits in a meeting where we are mentioned, his heart will not die when hearts will be dying.”[xviii]
In the authenticated narrations of Muhammed ibn Muslim, Imam al-Baqir (peace be upon him) is quoted as having said that Imam Ali ibn al-Hussain (Zainul-Abidin [peace be upon him]) used to say, "Any believer who sheds tears for the killing of [Imam] al-Hussain ibn Ali (peace be upon him) until they trickle down his cheeks will be granted by Allah chambers in which he will live for long periods of time. Any believer whose eyes become tearful until they trickle down his cheeks about what harm we were subjected to by our enemies in this life will be granted by Allah a truthful abode. And any believer who is harmed on our account, so he sheds his tears and they trickle down his cheeks because of the bitterness of the harm we had to endure, Allah will prevent harm from reaching his face and will grant him security on the Judgment Day from His wrath and from the Fire.”[xix]
In the tradition of the famous Ziyara of Ashura about him [Imam Zainul-Abidin (peace be upon him)] following a Ziyara by Malik al-Juhani who performed it from a distance, the Imam (peace be upon him) said the following: "Let one mourn al-Hussain (peace be upon him) and weep for him and order those in his house whom he does not fear to weep over him, too. Let him commemorate the tragedy in his house by grieving over him. Offer each other condolences on the occasion of the tragedy that befell al-Hussain (peace be upon him), and I guarantee for them, if they do so, that Allah, the most Exalted, the most Great, will reward them all", meaning rewards of two thousand performances of the major pilgrimage (Hajj), two thousand minor pilgrimages (Umrah) and two thousand military campaigns. Al-Juhani asked the Imam (peace be upon him), "Do you guarantee for them such rewards and do you give your word for it?!” The Imam (peace be upon him) said, "I am the guarantor and I am answerable to anyone who does so…, and if you can afford to refrain from attending to your needs on that day [Ashura], do so, for it is a day of ill luck… If they do so, Allah will record for them rewards of a thousand major pilgrimages, a thousand minor pilgrimages and a thousand military campaigns, all in the company of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his progeny), and each will receive rewards similar to those received by every prophet, messenger, truthful one and martyr who died or was killed since the day Allah created the world and until the Judgment Day …”[xx]
In a narrative by Abu Haroun Al-Makfoof, Imam al-Sadiq (peace be upon him) is quoted as having said the following to him, "O Abu Haroun, recite for me lines about al-Hussain (peace be upon him).” The narrator recited some verses of eulogy. Imam al-Sadiq (peace be upon him) asked Abu Haroun to recite to him the verses as he normally recites them, i.e. in a very sad tone, which he did, saying:
أمرر على جدث الحســـــــــــــــــــــــــــــين فقل لأعظمه الزكية
Pass by the slain body of al-Hussein,
And say to his bones, full of fragrance …
The Imam (peace be upon him) wept and asked another poem to be recited to him. He (peace be upon him) wept again, so much so that weeping could be heard from behind the curtain. When Abu Haroun finished his recitation, the Imam (peace be upon him) said, "O Abu Haroun! One who recites poetry about al-Hussain and causes ten persons to weep, Paradise will be written down for them all. One who recites poetry about al-Hussain, so he weeps and causes five persons to weep, too, Paradise will be their reward. And if one recites poetry about al-Hussain, so he weeps and causes one person to weep, Paradise will be the reward of both of them. If one hears the name of Hussain and he sheds a drop of tear as much as the wing of a fly, he will receive from Allah, the most Exalted, the most Great, rewards no less than Paradise.”[xxi] There are numerous such texts which contain commendations, high and stunning, leaving neither room for rebuttal nor excuse for anyone.
With this emphasis and enticement, the Imams, Allah's blessings be with them, were able to direct their Shi’ites in this blessed direction with great effort, not heeding difficulties, calamities, quakes or catastrophes, so much so that they became accustomed to so doing, and their tradition maintained it. Through it, they won the great victory in the field of doctrine and doctrinal education. We plead to Allah, the Greatest, to keep us and all their followers firm on following these and other directives and teachings of our Imams, Allah's peace and blessing be with them, and may He reward them on our behalf with the best rewards given for those who advise. May He enable us to live as they lived, to die as they died, and to gather us in their company [on Judgment Day]; surely He is the most Merciful of those who are merciful, the Master of the believers.
Yes, all believers in general, and you expatriates in particular, should take care of two matters:
Firstly, to maintain the sanctity of these occasions, respect and veneration, and to distance them from appearances of disintegration, looseness, opulence and insolence, even though they may not reach the status of prohibition, let alone reaching such a status. Let them stay away during these occasions from music and self-grooming [wearing makeup, flashy clothes and jewelry, etc.], for they are spiritual religious occasions which are supposed to be for remembering Allah Almighty and the holiness of His friends and chosen ones; so, they must be observed in a way which is appropriate for them.
Actually, this must be observed even on merry occasions, as the happiness is related to the group of divinely-appointed guides who are close to Allah Almighty, His ambassadors, those who speak on His behalf, who remind others of Him. Yet our truly happy occasions in this life is accompanied - at the end - by grief and sorrow and remind one of these tragedies because they are relevant to the chosen ones who were oppressed and persecuted and whose final end was stamped by tragedies and miseries. At the time when we are happy for Allah Almighty having blessed humanity through them and enabled us to accept their mastership and be affiliated with them, we are still saddened because of what they had to go through and what all mankind was harmed as a result of being deprived of their goodness. So, to Allah do we belong, and to Him is our return.
Secondly, is to focus on the tragic aspect and the shedding of tears especially during commemorative gatherings. This is so because what these gatherings aim at, besides bringing to memory the Ahl al-Bayt, Allah's blessings with them, is to highlight the loftiness of their status with Allah Almighty, their sacrificein His cause, the misfortunes which they and their Shi’ites and supporters had encountered, their suffering at the hands of oppressors, the low status of the oppressors and the crimes of all types which they committed. Add to the above the explanation of the teachings of Ahl al-Bayt, Allah's blessings with them, and their directives in traditions, sermons, biographies and actual conduct and religious education as a whole. All of this results from keeping their message alive, the best of Allah's blessings with them, which they stressed in previously quoted texts and in others. Yet charging the atmosphere emotionally by expressing the tragedy and thus causing tears to flow is more effective in firming it and the souls interacting with it, attaching souls to it and causing them to cling to Ahl al-Bayt, blessings of Allah be with them, rejecting the oppressors and those who deserve to be cursed, separating and disassociating themselves from them.
Moreover, texts quoted from them – the ones that have already been cited as well as others– stress this fact. Actually, one who looks into the biographies of our Imams, may our lives be sacrificed for their sake, and into their norms of conduct, one who absorbs them, realizes how they cared about this aspect in an extraordinary way, and sees their pursuit for places of emotional excitement and the drawing of tears in an amazing, puzzling and noticeable way that testifies to the loftiness of the goal behind it, to the greatness of its benefit, to the magnanimity of its blessings.
Based on the above, this aspect in these gatherings and occasions must not be neglected; it must not be overlooked without taking of it a measure that suits its great significance. They are mourning sessions more than meetings, commemorative meetings more than meetings of education and guidance, even though education and guidance depend on performing them in their perfect way for which they were legislated and on which they were established.
We have prolonged discussing this subject due to its great significance in the structure of the true sect and in building its body. We plead to Allah, Praise and Exaltation belong to Him, to grant us success; He suffices us, and how great for reliance He is.
[i] Ibid., Vol. 11, p. 145.
[ii] Ibid., Vol. 10, p. 346.
[iii] Bihar Al-Anwar, Vol. 98, p. 367.
[iv] Wasaail Al-Shi'a, Vol. 10, p. 263.
[v] Bihar Al-Anwar, Vol. 97, p. 194; Wasaail Al-Shi'a, Vol. 10, p. 287.
[vi] Al-Kafi, Vol. 4, p. 589, and the wording is his; Wasaail Al-Shi'a, Vol. 10, pp. 385-86.
[vii] Refer to Vol. 2, p. 911 of Wasaail Al-Shi'a.
[viii] Bihar Al-Anwar, Vol. 28, p. 57.
[ix] Ibid., Vol. 45, p. 135.
[x] Wasaail Al-Shi'a, Vol. 11, p. 431.
[xii] Ibid., Vol. 11, p. 439.
[xiii] Wasaail Al-Shi'a, Vol. 11, p. 440.
[xiv] Bihar Al-Anwar, Vol. 10, p. 114.
[xv] Wasaail Al-Shi'a, Vol. 11, p. 567.
[xvii] Ibid., Vol. 11, pp. 568-69.
[xviii] Bihar Al-Anwar, Vol. 44, p. 278.
[xix] Wasaail Al-Shi'a, Vol. 11, p. 392.
[xx] Ibid., Vol. 10, pp. 398-99.
[xxi] Bihar Al-Anwar, Vol. 44, p. 288.