The Imams of guidance (‘a) liked to keep such memories alive forever so that successive generations might discuss them. They knew that the creed would stay fresh as long as the nation remembered this great tragedy. They did not only condone what has to be done, that is, weeping upon remembering the tragedy, they went as far as recommending feign crying over it, that is, that one cries without shedding any tears. Imam as-Sadiq (‘a) says, “Whoever cries [over our tragedies] even without shedding tears will be in Paradise.”1
It is a known fact that one who finds it hard to shed tears while being moved by a tragic event is not unaffected by it. Many do so. Being psychologically moved by imagining what pain and agony a loved one suffers necessitates repugnance towards the person responsible for inflicting them.
The Prophet (S) once recited the last verses of Surat az-Zumar to a group of the Anar:
“So those who disbelieved were driven to hell in hordes” (Qur’an, Sura az-Zumar, 39:71).
They all wept with the exception of one young man among them who said, “My eyes did not shed a tear, yet I wept feignly.” The Prophet (S) then said, “One who weeps feignly [over such matters] will be in Paradise.”2
Jarir quotes the Prophet (S) saying, “I am going to recite to you Surat al-Takathur; so, anyone who is unable to weep tearfully should do so feignly. Whoever weeps tearfully will be in Paradise, and whoever weeps feignly will also be in Paradise.” 3
Abu Tharr al-Ghifari has quoted the Prophet (S) saying, “If one of you is able to weep, let him do so, but if he cannot, then let his heart sense the grief, and let him weep feignly, for a hard heart is distant from Allah”4
These traditions tell us that even if one weeps without shedding tears, he does so because his heart is grieved, and his soul cries.
But out of awe for the Almighty, Praise to Him, grief and sadness are the outcome of imagining what consequences await those who disobey the Master, what shame they will receive in the hereafter. Hence, he distances himself from any such thing and does whatever brings him closer to the Almighty. When it comes to remembering the tragedies inflicted upon the offspring of the Prophet (S), it is a must to hate those who opposed, schemed against, and harmed them.
What we have pointed out may be the same that Shaikh Muhammad ‘Abdoh refers to. Says he, “To cry feignly is to weep with affectation, not out of pretense.”5
Al-Sharif al-Jurjani says that some people dislike it because of the affectation in it, whereas others permit it for those who aim to express the same feeling [of grief]. Its origin goes back to a statement made by the Messenger of Allah, peace of Allah be upon him and his progeny, “If you do not weep tearfully, then pretend to do so,” meaning those who wish to weep, not those who are indifferent, are distracted.6
Both one who weeps tearfully and one who does so tearlessly share one common denominator: both are deeply distressed and saddened by imagining what injustice was inflicted on Ahl al-Bayt (‘a). Both are equal in their repulsion from those who usurped the status reserved for Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) and their aversion thereto.
One who does not comprehend the implication of the speech of the Infallible ones (‘a) will rush to make a judgment on those who weep tearlessly, yet after our explanation of the mystery, you will come to realize their wisdom and eloquence.
Numerous are the mysteries that involve Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) which cannot be comprehended except by one who carefully examines their speech and studies their circumstances, for they never ceased to explore minute ways to attract the souls to them and to acquaint them with their usurped right.
Among that is what Imam al-Baqir, peace be upon him, wished to be done by way of his will which was the giving of eight hundred dirhams to women to mourn him at Mina during the Hajj season.7
Pilgrims from various countries of the world, and from different sects, assemble at Mina during the Hajj. It is then that they can enjoy anything previously made prohibitive to them (during the earlier ten days) except women.
These are days of festivities and merry making; people in groups visit one another; congratulation parties are held, and places are set up to congratulate one another.
If you consider the Imam's choice of this particular time and place, you will realize the precise observation the Imam (‘a) took notice of when he preferred those days at Mina over those at ‘Arafat or at the mash’ar where people will usually be busy with the rituals and the supplications to the Creator, Praise to Him, in addition to the short period they have to spend there.
Yes, those three days at Mina, the days of Eid, of merry-making and of felicity, not of grief or weeping, were the choice of the Imam (‘a). Of course, one who hears someone crying during those happy days will be strongly motivated by curiousity to find out the reasons that caused him to cry, and to ask who is being mourned, what his cause is, and what he had done.
He would ask about those who antagonized him and usurped his right. Through such questioning will the truth become clear and so will the best way, for the light of Allah can never be extinguished, and the call to Him is clear in argument.
Such news will be transmitted by the people to those who are distant from its stage once they go home. Those who were not there to witness it would thus come to know about it, and the argument would be completed, so nobody can say that he did not go to Medina, home town of Allah's Hujjah, or that nobody told him anything, nor did he know the Imam's call and of his opponents being misguided. Nobody would thus remain ignorant of it.
Thus do we come to understand the reason why the Imam (‘a) refrained from requiring those mourners to mourn him at Mecca or Medina during the Hajj days: in both cities, mourning is done at home, so how can men get to know about these mourners, and how can such mourning convey the desired message?
The claim that a woman's voice is one of her means of attraction which strangers are prohibited from hearing is rebutted by a narration recorded by al-Kulayni in his book titled Al-Kafi:
Umm Khalid came once to visit Imam as-Sadiq (‘a), and she was a lady of wisdom and knowledge. Abu Busayr was then present among his companions. He, peace be upon him, asked Abu Busayr, “Would you like to hear her speak?” Then he (‘a) seated her with him on a couch. Umm Khalid spoke, and she was a wise and eloquent woman.8
Had a woman's voice been prohibited from reaching strangers’ ears, the Imam (‘a) would not have permitted Abu Busayr to hear her.
In his will, Imam al-Baqir (‘a) appropriated money for female mourners to mourn him at Mina. This implies the permission of men to hear their voices; otherwise, he would have required them to mourn him at their homes in Medina and Mecca. But the Imam's reasoning is quite clear, and his objective cannot be achieved unless men heard these women's voices and came to know who they were mourning.
In an incident narrated by Hammad al-Kufi, Imam as-Sadiq (‘a) said to him, “It has come to my knowledge that some people from Kufa visit the grave of Abu ‘Abdullah (‘a) on the fifteenth of Sha’ban, and that some of them recite the Qur’an while others narrate stories about him, and that some women mourn him.”
Hammad said, “I have witnessed some of what you have just described.” The Imam (‘a) then said to him, “Praise is due to Allah. Who has let from among our Shi’as those who visit our grave sites, who praise and mourn us.”9
Nobody can deny that when women mourn their dead at any cemetery, they will be heard by strangers. Had it been prohibitive, the Imam and Hujjah (‘a) would not have commended it and invoked Allah to have mercy on their dead.
A woman's voice being ‘awra is not supported by any narration. What is reported about men being prohibited from talking to or sleeping at the house of a female stranger is not on account of her voice being ‘awra but because of the possibility that omenous things may happen.
As he starts discussing nikah in the 9th query, ‘Allama al-Hilli, in his book Al-Tahrir, says that a blind man is not permitted to hear the voice of a female stranger. He probably is saying so only on account of her being a stranger, without implying that it is so because of its being an ‘awra.
Yes, he indicates in his book Al-Tathkira, at the beginning of his discussion of nikah, that her voice is an ‘awra, and that it is not permissible to be heard by strangers due to the allurement potential, not without. The Shafi’is have two viewpoints regarding its being an ‘awra.
The author of Al-Jawahir responded to the critics by saying that along the passage of many centuries, women have been addressing leading religious authorities (imams); the speeches of Fatima al-Zahra’, peace be upon her [before Abu Bakr and in the presence of the Anar and the Muhajirun], and that of her daughters [such as Zainab's speeches in Kufa and at Yazid's court in Damascus], are very well known facts.
Sunni fiqh does not prohibit it. For example, on p. 167, Vol. 1, of Al-Fiqh ala al-Mathahib al-Arba’a, it is indicated that, “A woman's voice is not an ‘awra because the wives of the Prophet (S) used to speak to the Sahaba who used to listen to their [wives'] religious ahkam.” On p. 127, Vol. 2, of his book Nayl al-Arab, al-Shaybani, a Hanbali Sunni, says, “Woman's voice is not an ‘awra, but to derive illicit pleasure out of hearing it is haram.”
This is the same view expressed by Ibn Hajar on p. 27, Vol. 1, of his commentary on restraints in his book Kaff al-Ru’a’. Yes, some scholars from among Ahl al-Sunnah went as far as considering it an ‘awra, a view which is not endorsed by Ibn Hajar. Ibn Najim, a Hanafi Sunni, says the following on p. 270, Vol. 1, of his book Al-Bahr al-Ra'iq:
“The author of Al-Kafi says that woman must not utter the talbiya audibly because her voice is ‘awra. The same view is expressed by the author of Al-Muhit as he discusses the call to the prayers (athan).”
Commenting on this subject, the author of Fath al-Qadir says, “Had this been applied to her raising her voice during the prayers, and that it voids them, it would make more sense.” The author of Sharh al-Maniyya says that a woman's voice is not an ‘awra but it may lead to infatuation.
This is the same reasoning adopted by the author of Al-Hidaya and by others with regard to the issue of making talbiya. In Al-Nawazil, the author states that a woman's tone of voice is an ‘awra. He bases it on his claim that a woman prefers to learn the Holy Qur’an from another woman rather than from a blind man.
In his book Al-Ashbah wa al-Naza'ir, Ibn Najim, on p. 200, where he discusses the injunctions relevant to hermaphrodites, says that the latter’s voice is an ‘awra. On p. 12, Vol. 3, of Al-Furu’ by Ibn Muflih, the Hanbali scholar, it is stated that it is more accurate to say that hearing a stranger's voice is not a sin because it is not an ‘awra.
On p. 12, Vol. 4, of al-’Ayni's book Sharh al-Bukhari, at the end of a chapter discussing walking behind borne coffins, the author states that a woman has to reciprocate the greeting of a man and not to raise her voice because it is an ‘awra.
On p. 250, Vol. 1, of Zayn ad-Din al-Iraqi's book Tarh al-Tathrib, the author cites Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr's view in his book Al-Istithkar that a woman's voice is not an ‘awra adding, “... which is the accurate view according to the Shafi’is.” On p. 45, Vol. 7, of the same reference, where nikah is discussed, the author says,
“Her voice is not an ‘awra.” The following is stated on p. 249, Vol. 7, of al-Nawawi's book Sharh al-Majmu’ (second edition): “Both al-Darmi and Abu al-Tayyib, the judge, have said that it is not prohibitive for a woman to raise her voice during the talbiya.” As he discusses the subject of talbiya, on p. 274, Vol. 4, of Nayl al-Awtar, al-Shawkani says,
“According to al-Ruyani and Ibn al-Rif’ah, her voice is not prohibitive when raised during the talbiya because it is not an ‘awra.”
- 1. as-Saduq, Amali, p. 86, majlis 29.
- 2. al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Kanz al-’Ummal, Vol. 1, p. 147.
- 3. Kanz al-’Ummal, Vol. 1, p. 148.
- 4. al-Nawari, Al-Lulu’ wal Marjan, p. 47. Majmu’at Shaikh Waram, p. 272.
- 5. Tafsir al-Manar, Vol. 8, p. 301.
- 6. Al-Ta’rifat, p. 48.
- 7. al-Tusi, Al-Thahthib, Vol. 2, p. 108, “Kitab al-Makasib.” ‘Allama al-Hilli, Al-Muntaha, Vol. 2, p. 112. The First Martyr, Al-Thikra, the fourth topic of the injunctions relevant to the dead.
- 8. al-Hurr al-’Amili, Al-Wasa’il, Vol. 3, p. 25, chapter 106, in the verdict with regard to one who hears a female stranger. It is also recorded as tradition 319 in al-Kafi's Rawda.
- 9. Ibn Qawlawayh al-Qummi, Kamil al-Ziyarat, p. 325, chapter 108, at the beginning of discussing rare incidents.