Defining Orthodox Islam - Does majority prove orthodoxy? A new way of intra-faith dialogue that is candid yet respectful. Origins of the terms Shī‘ah and Sunnī.
'A'udhu billahi min al-Shaytan al-rajim, Bismillah, al-Rahman, al-Rahim. Al-hamdulillah Rabbi 'l-alameen, bari' al-khalaa'iqi ajma'een. Wa as-salat wa as-salam 'ala asharafi al-anbiya'i wa'l-mursalin, sayyidina, wa nabiyyina, wa habibi qulubina, wa tabibi nufusina, wa shafi'i dhunubina Abil Qasimi Muhammad. [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad]. Thumma as-salatu wa as-salam 'ala aali baytihi, at-tayyibeen, at-tahareen, al-madhlumeen. Wa la'anatullahi 'ala a'da'ihim ajma'een min yawmi 'adaawatihim ila yawm id-deen. Amma ba'd, faqad qal Allahu tabaraka wa taa'la fi kitabih, wa huwa asdaqul qaa'eleen. Bismillahi, al-rahman, al-Rahim. "Wa a'tasimu bi habl Illahi jami'an wa la taffaraqu wa adhkuroo ni'amata Allahi alaykum idh kuntum aa'daan faallafa bayna quloobikum fa asbahtum bi ni'amatihi ikhwaana, wa kuntum ala shafa'a hufratin min an-naar fa anqadhakum minha, qadhalika yubayn Ullahi lakum aayatihi la'allakum tahtadoon" (3:103). Salawat ala Muhammad [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad].
First night of Muharram, 1439 after Hijra, and as is our custom we begin the Muslim New Year not with celebration and rejoicing, but with grieving. As we commemorate the martyrdom of the grandson of the Prophet of Islam, Aba Abdallah Sayyid ash-Shu'aada, Al-Imam ul-Husayn bin Ali, alayh afdhal assalat wa assalam [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad].
Sayyid Ibn Tawoos tells us that the sign of being loyal to the house of Zahra, alayha assalam, is that when the month of Muharram comes there is a change in our lives and that we rejoice when they rejoice and we grieve when they grieve. And we have many ahadith from the A'imma, alayhum assalam, that every one of our Imams, as soon as the moon of Muharram was sighted they put on black clothes, they stopped rejoicing or laughing and they began mourning for their jadd Husayn until the day of Ashura. And they would hold majlis in their homes. So Insha'Allah, in this spirit, we would do the same. And as part of marking these nights and commemorating them, we also seek to learn something from the teachings of Imam al Husayn, alayhi assalam, and promoting his message, Insha'Allah.
You have heard in the introduction that the subject that we will be discussing, Insha'Allah, is Orthodox Islam. I would like to use tonight's Majlis as an introduction. And in a sense, set out the platform on which we will Insha'Allah build the rest of the nights in this 12 nights Insha'Allah. When we say orthodox Islam what we mean, at least for the purpose of this series, is that original Islam that Allah and His messenger had intended for Muslims to follow. In a looser sense, we can define orthodox Islam as mainstream Islam, as original Islam, the opposite of Orthodox would be heterodox and it would suggest those who are heretical and those who break away from that original mainstream orthodox Islam.
Most of us do not choose what religion or what madhab we are born into. And so for many of us, we tend to grow into the same madhab that we were born into. And we defend and believe in all those teachings. But it is a sign of maturity and a sign of sincerity that one should understand why one follows the manhaj and the madhab that they do, and therefore we want to ask this question to say which version of Islam that we see in the world today in so many forms is that original Orthodox Islam that Allah and His Messenger had intended for Muslims and for all of humanity?
It is true that over 14 centuries there is a lot of cultural incursions that have taken place and come into all the different madhahibs. So whether you are Sunni or Shi'a or any other sect of Islam, you could argue that the Islam you follow is not a 100 percent exactly as the Islam that was introduced by Rasul Allah, sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi wa sallam [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad].
But we seek to understand which madhab, or which manhaj or which path should we follow that would be the closest to that Islam that Allah talks about in the Qur'an when he says: "Inna ad-Deena inda Allahi Al-Islam"(3:19) . And the only way to do this is obviously to engage in some sort of inter or intrafaith dialogue where we understand and we seek to understand.
Now, unfortunately, when we look at the history of these intrafaith dialogue that have taken place amongst Muslims, what we find is that most of the times there have been two approaches to these dialogues. One approach is very exclusivist that starts on the basis that I am right, you are wrong and I can say anything about you - mock, jeer, laugh, ridicule what you believe in, because I know I am right. And if you want to follow the truth, follow it, and if you do not, I don't really care.
The other extreme has been a very pluralistic approach to say we have been discussing the differences between us for 14 centuries and nothing has come out of it. It is about time that as Muslims, we move on, and so we should stop discussing these issues. For how long will we keep talking about Ghadeer and Saqeefa and Badr and Ohud and Khandaq and so on and so forth? History is history what has happened has happened we cannot change that. But as Muslims, we are in a pitiful state in the world today, and therefore we need to look beyond history and move on. So this has been the other approach to say let us forget our differences and let us come together as one religion and focus on what is common between us and move on.
The problem with that, as I shall demonstrate in this 12 nights, is that it actually does not resolve the problem. It just suppresses it. And it festers as long as it is not discussed and it is only a matter of time before it resurfaces.
There is a third approach that I will be taking that is neither one that is high handed, filled with hubris, nor the other that is very pluralistic and in a sense, sweeping everything under the rug. And this approach is to say that a lot of times the misunderstandings we have amongst ourselves as Muslims is not because of what we say, but how we say it. And that we can learn as Muslims to have a very candid conversation but one that is respectful. And this is not very difficult to understand.
Supposing we had some strife and some tension in a relationship in our family, whether it is between us and our spouses or us and our parent or a sibling or a child. How do you resolve these differences? Let us suppose a man and his wife have a very troubled relationship in their marriage. Supposing they decide - let us not talk about it, let us just forget about it that there was any differences between us. Is the problem going to go away? It is not going to go away. It will stay on both minds and it will remain there. But the problem is not going to go away. Supposing they decide, let us talk about it, but the conversation is very high handed and there is a lot of blame and abuse and pointing fingers. Is it going to solve anything? Well, it is predictable how that marriage is going to end. The only way that, that relationship can be mended is if the two come together and say, 'look, we are both human we both make mistakes. If we truly love each other and we want to repair this marriage, then let us talk to each other the language of love.' So you both sit down. Each one expresses their grievances. The other one listens to the other one. Each one apologises to the other. You seek to understand and then you seek to be understood. And from there, that marriage can move on. The same things that were said in hostility are now being said again, but what has changed is how it is being said.
In other words, I do not need to labour this point, but if we are to solve the problems in Islam today between the major sects in Islam, what is needed is this element of sincerity, of being genuine, of humility, of really wanting to reach out to each other with compassion, with empathy. And this is the language, actually, that the Qur'an teaches us. You see Rasul Allah, sallallahu alayhi wa aali wa sallam [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad] he is the messenger of Allah, he is sent to polytheists he knows what he is preaching is true and absolutely true. He has no doubt. And that is not an iota of you know doubt in his conviction that what he has is true. But look at what Allah tells him, that when you preach to the polytheist what should you say to them? This is Surah Sabah, chapter 34, verse 24. He says first ask them who is it that sustains you in the heavens and the earth? Is it not Allah? And then tell them "Wa Inna wa iy-yakum la-ala hodan ao fi dala-il mubeen"(34:24) "and you and us, either one of us is on guidance and the other one is on misguidance."
This is the messenger of Allah. He is being told, do not tell them I am guided and you are misguided. No, tell them one of us is guided and one of us is misguided. Come, let us talk and find out. "Wa Inna wa iy-yakum la-ala hodan ao fi dala-il mubeen" This is Khatimul Ambiya. So Allah is teaching us the language we must speak, and this is not hidden from you, that unfortunately, unfortunately, even amongst the Shi'a, we have groups that have chosen to promote the message of the Ahlul Bayt in a manner that serves no purpose.
For example, the setting up of satellite channels where 24/7 all that happens is cursing. And cursing the individuals that our Sunni brothers and sisters look up to with a lot of respect, they were born into that faith and they were raised like that. And then, you know, celebrating and having a cake to celebrate the demise of Aisha, the wife of the Prophet, and clapping and dancing. You have to question what is the intention behind that?
You see, you have to remember that as we claim to be the followers of the Ahlul Bayt, we become the face. Not the face of the Ahlul Bayt, but the face of their manhaj, the face of their mission. If someone is to decide do I want to follow the Ahlul Bayt or not, there is no Imam that they can look at, so they will look at the Shi'a and decide - Do I want to follow the Ahlul Bayt or not? So if they are indeed superior, then that superior and superiority of theirs must shine and radiate through us, because we are the face of that.
And a lot of times what happens is when people discuss this, how should we discuss polemics and differences between us? What I hear is that the debate is around the fact that it puts the Shi'as in danger. This is what you commonly hear, is not it? When people objects to those who speak out against the early caliphs, for example? Or the wives of the Prophet (s) and so on. What do they say? They say you guys in other parts of the world go up on the pulpit and you do la'an and you talk about all these things and you talk about the caliphs, the Shi'as in Pakistan and Afghanistan are being killed because of your words.
So the concern is being expressed is what? Security. The opposite side, those who run these satellite channels and who say we should be free and open and just say the truth because the truth needs to be said. And if we do not say how will our children know the truth, their argument is what? Their argument is - they consider us to be kafir. Whether we say it or not they are going to kill us anyway. So we might as well say it before we die.
But you see, the argument is around what? The argument is about our lives and our security and the fact that we are being killed or not being killed. I want to change that perception and that conversation and say the argument is not about whether we are being endangered or not. The argument is that we have a responsibility, a takleef to promote the Ahlul Bayt to the rest of the world.
It is not about us and making ourselves feel good, that I feel good, that I love Amir al-Mu'mineen so much. It is about the fact that Amir al-Mu'mineen will ask me on Youmul Qayamah "what did you do to introduce me to others?" And therefore, when the argument is like that, then it is a no brainer. What is the best way to introduce the Ahlul Bayt? Because the Ahlul Bayt, alyhum assalam, themselves have said that humans, by their nature and fitra, have been wired to be attracted to us and to love us. You do not need to sell us to them. You simply need to introduce us to them, that is all. Let them know who Amir al-Mu'mineen is and then leave it to Allah.
It is not your job to convert anyone, but you are the face, the person standing at the door that they first look at before they enter the room to be introduced to the Ahlul Bayt, alayhum assalam. So it is very important then that we you know when we talk about what is the best way to approach - it is not about being validated. It is not the fact that we are in minority and we want the majority of the Muslims who are Sunni Muslims to accept us as you know being Muslims and not being kaafir and as being another one you know of the fifth madhab. So it is not about validation. It is about the fact that we have to demonstrate the akhlaq of the Ahlul Bayt and we have an obligation to actively promote and introduce them to the rest of the world. And so how do we go about doing that?
And so what I will do, Insha'Allah in these 12 nights is I will take the approach as follows : the first thing I want to do is discuss the major points of contention between the Shi'a and the Sunni. And because I speak obviously from the perspective of a Shi'a, what I will do is talk about all those issues that our Sunni brothers and sisters find objectionable about the Shi'as. And I want to respond to those very quickly between tonight and tomorrow night. No more than two or three nights.
Thereafter, I want to derive from this a yardstick to say that if we are going to identify the Orthodox Islam, the original Islam that Allah and His messenger had intended, what should those parameters be? What should the yardstick be? How are we going to decide this is how we are going to measure, to what degree are we following that orthodox Islam? And then finally, of course, will be coming to understanding then what is Orthodox Islam, but what I want to also emphasise here is that the purpose of this whole discussion, because you will hear me tonight and tomorrow and in the first few nights discussing some very sensitive and contentious issues. And you will you know, I see a lot of polemics as well, and I am going to do it as candidly as I can, but as respectfully as I can Insha'Allah. But I want to emphasise this, and I want you to bear this in mind throughout the series Insha'Allah that the purpose of this discussion is not merely to determine which is the right path, because every side has this conviction that I am following the right path.
The purpose of this discussion in determining orthodox Islam is that, I wish to also demonstrate that the cause of suffering for Muslims in the world today is directly the result of having forgotten what Orthodox Islam is.
I want to show you that if Muslims are in a pitiful state today it is because they are missing some very important ingredients that Allah and his messenger had wanted Muslims to hold onto. So side by side, as we determine orthodox Islam, we want to see how this is related to the plight of Muslims.
I do not need, again, to sell this idea to you that Muslims are in a bad state and shape today alright. You may have sometimes played this game where someone says a word and you guess.You just say the first word that comes to your mind, is not it? Someone says cat, you say dog. Someone says apple. You say orange. Someone says blue. You say red. If you speak to a non-Muslim and you say Muslim, what is the word they are going to reply? Terrorists! I was going to say that. But you all said it before I did. So we are all thinking the same way. We need to change that perception. We cannot simply say, well, they are wrong and they do not understand Islam. There is something we are doing wrong, which is why that is the word that comes to their mind.
You know, many of you work in the corporate world, and if you work in the corporate world, you usually have this department that does you know surveys, customer satisfaction surveys, and they have this term they use called NPS - Net Performance Score, is not it? And if you have ever been asked to fill out a survey, you will see that any survey you fill out, there is one question towards the end, which is the primary NPS question. And the question is, would you recommend us to a friend or a colleague? Now, you think that is just one question on the survey? That is the question. That is the question that all corporations use to measure how they are doing. All their bonuses are driven by that, their churn rate is driven by that, the marketing strategy is driven by that. They have a way of saying if we get a score of seven and above, these are our promoters. If we get a score of, you know, less than five or six, these are our detractors. These are the ones we need to go after. And then the other one in the middle, and they have a formula they use to determine how they are doing based on this question.
Now, obviously, Islam is not a corporation, but we need to be able to ask this question to a non-Muslim or to somebody who is newly introduced to Islam. Would you recommend Islam to a friend or a colleague?
And I am going to demonstrate to you, as you saw, that the subject is "In search of orthodox Islam", the difference that adalah and Imamah make. I want to demonstrate that because we have lost these values like adalah and Imamah, Divine Leadership and justice, this is the root cause of Muslim suffering today. And these were meant to be very much part and parcel of Orthodox Islam, if you can recite a salawaat 'ala Muhammad wa aali Muhammad [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad].
The first issue we need to discuss is that the general assumption in scholars and the Muslim world is that because the Sunni Muslims are the majority, therefore that is mainstream Orthodox Islam. And the Shi'as are a breakaway sect from that. Now, throughout this lecture, I will use the term Shi'a Islam, Sunni Islam, but I want to make it clear that I do not mean to suggest there are two versions of Islam, Shi'a and Sunni Islam, nor do I intend to create that division. What I mean to say is that those who call themselves Sunni Muslims, they follow Islam, but they take their teachings through one set of sources and those who call themselves Shi'a Muslims when we say Shi'a Islam, we are referring to those Muslims who take their understanding of Islam from another source. And for the Shi'a, it is very simple actually, that source is none other than the household of the Prophet of Aali Muhammad, aleyhum as-salat wa assalam [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad].
And so even when you look at the works by university scholars and academics, you will find that there is this underlying messaging that because and again, what is the percentages? These are the two major divisions of Islam. If you ask the Shi'a and they will say the Shi'as are probably 20 percent, 30 percent of Muslims, but we take a conservative estimate or even 10 percent or 15 percent.
If you ask some of the more, you know, some of the Sunni Muslims who are more opposed to the Shi'as, they will tell you the Shi'as are only three percent and the Sunni Muslims are ninety seven percent, which in fact speaks to the credit of the Shi'a, that if the Shi'as today are seen as a major, you know, alternative to Sunni Islam, then how does this three percent stand before 97 percent? What is it that these three percent have that the 97 percent do not?
But this is the general understanding that the Prophet of Islam came, preached Islam, he passed away, the Muslims Ummah stayed together. And as this Ummah progressed because they spread out to different regions, different cultures, different ideas came introduced, groups began to break away, just like you might have one major mosque or center. And then groups break and from smaller forms and centers. So the same idea that the Khawarij began forming and the Shi'as came out and formed. And when you speak to a lot of individuals and some of these are not necessarily, you know, Salafis or people who are just opposed to Shi'a, some of these are, you know, very sincere, very learned individuals from Sunni Islam you know. And I was recently reading a book by, you know, a Sunni scholar called Abdul Hakim Murad whose you know pre-Islamic name was Timothy Winters'. He is a respected academic scholar. He has translated books of Ghazali, and, you know, he writes the same idea that the Shi'as and the Khawarij broke away because they were unhappy with how things were being run in Islam.
So there is different ideas. One is that there was a Jew by the name of Abdullah bin Sabah who whose main focus was cursing the Sahaba, and he started this new cult that became Shi'a faith. Another is that the Shi'a faith started as a political group and then it slowly crystallised into a fully formed sect with its fiqh and theology and so on and so forth. The other is the Shi'as were essentially an extremist group who had extremist ideas, they ascribed divinity to the Ahlul Bayt. They believed Imam Ali was divine and so on. And then with time in order to survive, they you know, toned down their extremism and they took some theological ideas from the Muhtazilites and they borrowed and begged and took pieces from here and there, and they slowly formed into the religion that they have today.
So this is the messaging. Now, we want to change that perception.
And I want to argue, besides the fact that the majority does not necessarily mean that is Orthodox Islam, but I want to argue the fact that the Muslims that are majority today, they came about to be Sunni Muslims because of historic and socio political reasons. Not because of any religious or theological reason. Let me explain this. There was no major debate at some point where the Shi'a ulama and the Sunni ulama had this big debate and the Sunni ulama completely trumped and defeated the Shi'a ulama and then the majority went with this and the other ones were left behind. It was not like that. What I will demonstrate to you is that most people living in a society will follow the government of the time without standing up for any cause or fighting for anything that they see wrong in that society.
Let us make it relevant and talk about the society we live in today. We live in Canada, we see a lot of things in the policies of this government that we like, that gives us the freedom, the security, the comforts, the benefits that we live in, Al-hamdulil-Lah. But we see things that are wrong as well. How many of us stand up in protest about it? Right! For example, the government introduces gender specific education to very young children and some of that teachings we know are wrong and are corrupting the minds of our children. We are very concerned. But will we go downtown and protest and write petitions and write letters? No! Why? We are busy with our lives. We have to go to work. We have to put food on the table, we have, you know, dependence, we have responsibilities there is no time for these sort of things. So we say, you know, others will do it. The government is trying to legalize pot. We all know it is wrong, right? We do not want marijuana legalized, but how many of us are going to write petitions and letters? No. We just let things go. The government when we came to Canada many of us, there was no gay marriages. Now it is legalized. How many of us said anything about it? No! If you came a long time back, maybe there was a time when Canada had capital punishment and then they removed it.Right! You can give example after example after example. Abortion, right? Pro-life, pro-choice, we see these things happening on a day by day basis. You hear in the news that the government is now the province of Ontario is going to allow alcohol and wine to be sold at the grocery stores. You do not want that. You do not want your children when you go grocery shopping, seeing the bottles of wine and alcohol. But are you going to do anything about it? You let it go. You let this slide, you let that slide.
Over a period of time that way of life and that way of thinking becomes what is defined quote and quote as "Canadian values". And these are then infused into your children's minds. And they grow up with these ideas of what is human rights, what is feminism, what is animal rights, what is right and wrong about the environment, what should you stand up for? What should you not stand up for? And then you speak that language. When you get on social media you blog, you write comments to every news article, you write based on what you have determined to be right and wrong, based on what society has fed you as values. But your fathers, when they saw these first creeping in, they kept quiet. So it went and you go with the flow.
What I am trying to say here is - this is the same thing that happened with Islam. The rights of the Ahlul Bayt, as we shall demonstrate, were usurped. There were marginalized and put aside and tormented and tortured. After the early caliphs, and particularly after Amir al-Mu'mineen, alayhi assalam, when the Ummayads came to power, they were brutally opposed to the Ahlul Bayt. And they also spread lies and rumours and fabricated false traditions to disparage Amir al-Mu'mineen and the Ahlul Bayt and to downplay their importance in Islam.
And so the society grew up with those values. Now, those people for whom the caliph was Muawiyah at that point, you would not necessarily call them Sunni Muslim, but they are just Muslims living in different countries. They are living in Egypt. They are living in Syria. They are living in Iraq. They are living they have probably never seen Muawiyah, but they know there is a caliph by that name. They never met Amir al-Mu'mineen, they never met the Prophet, right, the ahadith in praise of the Ahlul Bayt have been washed away, hidden, changed, forged. Right. So they do not know any better to go with the flow. You do not protest. You have a living to do. You have to go to work, you have to provide a family and things go one after the other.
The Ummayad's rule comes to an end, the Abbasids come to rule. The Abbasids rule comes to an end, the Ottomans come to rule. The Ottomans rule until the First World War, Second World War, the Khilalfat comes to an end. Countries break up. There is now nations with borders. But for the majority of the time when the Muslim ummah was growing and expanding in hundreds and thousands and millions, the government was determining what is going to be the official story of Islam.
And what some of these caliphs did, as well as I shall demonstrate, is they also created a sanctity around the idea of the Sahaba and said that we must not speak any ill of any one of the companions of the Prophet (s) and create sort of an aura of infallibility around them. Why? Because if we allow investigations and discussions around them, even if they are true and honest, they might lead people back to seeing the Ahlul Bayt .alayhum assalam, and they might now also point fingers at us that we are not as good as even the Sahaba kiraam. So we must somehow make them perfect, but at the same time, we are claiming titles to be Khalifah of Allah and Khalifah of Rasul, so we must bring the Prophet (s) down as well and show flaws in his character so that now we are worthy of being his khalifah. Now, this sounds like a conspiracy theory at this point, but I will abundantly prove this with evidence.
The one advantage that the Shi'a Muslims have over the Sunni Muslims is that when the Shi'a Muslims argue their case, they bring their proofs and arguments from the Sunni sources, because a lot of the early history, the Seerah of the Prophet, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, were written by Muslims that you might today categorize as Sunni. So, for example, Tarikh al-Tabari , Tarikh ibn Atheer, Tafsir ibn Katheer, Suyuti, Ghazali, Tabaqat ibn Saad and there is a host of them. Right. Seerah ibn Ishaaq, Seerah ibn Hisham, None of these were Shi'as.
So we use those very same sources to argue our case. But what we argue is we say - we must not bury our heads in the sand and pretend that there was nothing wrong. We must dig this out and talk about it, not because we want to foster division and arguments, but because that is the only way to heal and understand what we lost in the original Islam so that we can recalibrate our compass and find the way forward and solve the plight of the Muslims today. If you can recite a salawaat 'ala Muhammad wa aali Muhammad [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad].
You see the Qur'an itself abundantly argues that the majority for the most of times is wrong. If you read the Qur'an, the language of the Qur'an always condemns the majority. We are not saying that this is proof that the Sunnis are wrong the Shi'as are right. But we are saying it is not an argument that because you are the majority, therefore you must be right. Consider, for example, in Suratul An-am Chapter 6, verse 116, it says "Wa intuti at akthara man fil ardhi yudillooka an sabeelillah"(6:116), "And if you were to follow most of those who are on the earth, they will take you away from the path of Allah".Right! "i-yattabioona illathdhan wa in hum illa yakhrusoon"(6:116), "they follow nothing but suspicions and they are only guessing their way through". It is only conjecture. So the Qur'an repeatedly argues this case.
Now, I am coming close to the end of my time for tonight, but I want to discuss one more thing here, and that is the issue of what is the origin of the words Shi'a and Sunni. And many of you have heard this time and time again. But I want to again substantiate this from the sources of our Sunni brothers and sisters. You see, again, the perception is that there was no such thing as Shi'a during the time of the Prophet (s) and that after the Prophet, sallallahu alayhi wa aali wa sallam, passed away and the Muslim spread out, everyone was following Islam and there was only Muslims. And then this one group broke away and they began calling themselves Shi'a.
However, when we go back to the sources of Hadith of our Sunni brothers and sisters, what we find is this is actually not true at all. The word Sunni never existed, yes, but the word Shi'a existed and was used by the Prophet himself, sallallaahu aleyh wa sallam [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad].
One very, very, very popular example that you will find in many Sunni tafasir is that when you read Al Bayannah Chapter 98 of the Qur'an, verse 7, the last verse, it says "Innal ladheena amanoo waamilus swalihat ulaika hum khayr ul-bariyyah"(98:7), "Those who have faith and do good, they are the best of creation." Many Sunni mufassiroon have reported this, that the Prophet (s) (s) when this first was revealed, he looked at Imam Ali, alayhi assalam, and said, O Ali! Khar ul-Bariyah is you and your Shi'a, the best of creation. And on many occasions when Amir al-Mu'mineen would approach the Prophet, he would say Ja'a khair ul-Bariyah , the best of creation has now come.
In another Sunni hadith, we are told that Umme Salama, one of the wives of the Prophet (s), says, "I was seated with the Prophet, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, and with us was Ali and Fatima, and the Prophet raised his head and looked at Ali and said, rejoice O Ali! For you and your Shi'a will be in Jannah". This is a Sunni hadith. Now listen to this one, Al Magazili, Ibn il-Magazili as Shafii, has a book called Al-Manaqib. It is a well-known Sunni source. He quotes a hadith from a companion of the Prophet (s) called Anas bin Malik. Anas bin Malik says that the Prophet, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, said that 70.000 of my ummah will enter Jannah will enter paradise without any hisaab, without any accounting. And then he looked at Ali, alayhi assalam, and said, O Ali, these are your Shi'a and you are their Imam". This is not a Shi'a source.
So we find examples after examples where the Prophet (s) says to Imam Ali when he talks about khair ul-Bariyah, he says, Anta wa Shi'atuka Yawm ul-Qiyamah Radheen, Mardhiyeen. "Khair ul-Bariyah O Ali is you and your Shi'a. You will be pleased with Allah and they will be pleased with you" which means the verse that says: "Radhi Allahu anhum wa radh anhu" (9:100) is also about them. So we have lots of such examples that we find in this.
Now, let me then explain how this idea came about. So what we have understood so far is that in the time of the Prophet, salllallahu alayhi wa salllam, there was Muslims. And within the Muslims, there was a subset and a group who are very close to Amir Al-Mu'mineen. And the Prophet (s) pointed them out as the Shi'a of Ali. Now, this Shi'a of Ali at the time of the Prophet (s) were not a separate group that you could say there was two sects in Islam. There was the Muslims following the Prophet (s) and there was the Shi'a following Ali. No, they were following the Prophet (s), but amongst them there were some who were identified as the Shi'a of Ali. It would be like saying amongst the Muslims, you have the Mu'mineen, you have the Muttaqeen, you have the Saliheen, you have the Siddiqeen, you have the Zuhad. And then you said these were the Muttaqeen, but they were also Muslim. So they existed and were identified separately. But they are part of Islam, not a separate group.
When the Prophet, salllalahu alayhi wa sallam, passed away and the first caliph came to rule, the case continued like that. There was Muslims who are now told or following Abu Bakr as their caliph. But amongst the Muslims, there were some who were attached to Ali. They were known as his Shi'a and the term Shi'at Ali remained in history. Second caliph, the same thing. Third caliph, the same thing. Now, when Imam Ali became the caliph, the whole Muslim Ummah followed him. Those who are following him are all Muslims. But amongst those Muslims, there was still a group that was Shi'a. Can you see that until this point, there is no two sects. The Shi'as exist, but as part of the Muslim Ummah, not as a separate sect.
It was only when Muawiyah contested the right of Ali and said, no, I refuse to pay allegiance to you that the Muslim Ummah split into two. And if you read the books of history at that point, the Muslims were now divided into two groups. They were known as Shi'at Ali and Shi'at Muawiyah. So the term Shi'a was also used for the other group, but they were called Shi'at Muawiyah. Now, supposing because Imam Ali, alayhi assalam, when he was leaving this world, he appointed Imam Hasan as his successor and Imam Hasan, alayhi assalam, was the caliph for six months. Supposing Muawiyah had not opposed the Imam Ali and the khilafat would have continued in the descendants of Imam Ali, then to this day, what you would have seen in Islam is there would be one Muslim Ummah, but within that Ummah there would have still existed an elite group that would have been pointed out as those who closely follow Amir al-Mu'mineen and they are the Shi'a, but they would not be a separate group.
But what happened was when the Umaiyyads took the khilafat, they severely opposed Amir al-Mu'mineen. They began cursing him from pulpits and they began forging ahadith against him. And they marginalized and put aside the Shi'a and identified them as renegades and said, these are heretics. This is a heterodoxy. These are the rafidi. And so now they became mainstream Islam and those who followed Ali now, who refused to accept that, they became the outcasts. Yes, there were other groups that broke away, like the kharijites and so on, but you can see what has happened here and in this political game a lot of times it is all about marketing and labeling.
If you label someone with something, they immediately detach themselves from it and now they take on, if they can't detach themselves from it, they take on that label. So, for example, if you speak against Zionism and they label you and say anti-Semite, now that is a label in itself. If you are not smart enough to see that you do not want to be called antisemite, is not it so you will do anything to show yourself as not being anti Zionist because you do not want that label. And so people will create these things like, you know, he is a homophobic or he is Islamophobic or is this phobic and that phobic. And we do not like these terms. So now these terms came about. These are ghulu,this is, you know munafiqoon, these are the breakaway sects, these are majoos, these are rafidis. These are this and these are that.
And then to again cement their position over time these titles changed from Shi'at Muawiyah it became Ahlul Sunnah. And then it expanded and became Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama'ha and so on and so forth. But as I said, it is not the all the Sunni Muslims necessarily agreed with what Muhawiyah preached or what Haroon al-Rashid did or what Mutawakil did. But when you live in a society, in a government, you go with the flow. You do not really oppose it. And this is how the majority came to follow that one path.
It is because for the longest time, Muslims were ruled by tyrants and dictators. But that does not mean the majority is right, nor does it mean that the minority who voiced their opinion and opposed these tyrants are wrong. And so when we search for orthodox Islam, we must not judge it on the basis of majority or play with words and labels of saying, you know, how did the word Shi'a come about and how did the word Sunni come about? If you can recite a salawaat 'ala Muhammad wa aali Muhammad [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad].
I think I have run out of my time for tonight. So we will stop here for tonight. And what we will now begin doing from tomorrow night, Insha'Allah, is we will now begin discussing some of these contentious issues and saying what are the things and reasons for which the Shi'as are seen as being a heterodoxy? What are the things that we are opposed for and said you are not Muslims?
You know, the Shi'as curse the Sahaba, the Shi'as, you know, practice Mu'tah, the Shi'as do this and the Shi'as do that, and all these things that are contentious will very quickly review them, brief them. And then once we have done that, we are now in a better position to separate the lies from the facts and then say, what are really the fundamental issues on whose basis we should determine where does Orthodox Islam lie?
And once we have done that, then for the rest of this ashara what I will do Insha'Allah is take you on a journey from the time of the Prophet (s) passing away to the present day Islam. And throughout this journey, as we explore all the different governments and Islamic movements and different ways of rules, we will keep looking at these yardsticks and measures of orthodox Islam and say, if these had been present, what would the history looked like? And without these, how did history play out? And it will become clear to us as we approach the end, Insha'Allah, that what is it that we are missing as Muslims and what is it we need to do to change our plight? Insha'Allah. If you can recite a salawaat 'ala Muhammad wa aali Muhammad [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad].
Sallallaahu wassalam alaika ya Aba Abdillah, Roohi wa arwaah ul-aalameena lakal fida.Ya laytana kunna ma'akum fa nafooza fawzan adheema.
As we begin the month of Muharram. All months are the months of Husayn. And we cry for Sayyid ush-Shohada throughout the year, but there is a particular atmosphere that the month of Muharram brings that you have all begun to sense and feel. It is as if it is not just humans who weep for Husayn. But that the universe itself is crying out Ya Husayn, Ya Husayn, Ya Husayn. We cry for Husayn throughout the year, but you will find that in this particular month, it comes to us more naturally sometimes even during the day when we are just driving or just sitting by ourselves and we are just thinking of Imam Al Husayn, tears begin to flow from our eyes.
There is a beautiful couplet in Urdu that captures this essence, and it says Aankhon ke sahilon pe hai ashko ki ek hujoom. Sahil you know Sahil is a coast an edge. The coast of our eyes. Shayad ghame Husayn ka mousam kareeb hai. The poet says that all of a sudden I have begun to feel that my eyes well up. And my eyes are invaded with tears. What is it that is happening? Perhaps it is a sign that the season of Husayn is now here. The days and nights to offer our condolences to the mother of Husayn. The days and nights to express our remorse. And say Aba Abdullah if only we had been with you when you called out Hal min nasarin yansurnah? And our hearts bleed, knowing that our Imam was by himself and kept calling out, and if only we could have been there.
There are many different miracles that people speak off with regards to Imam Al-Husayn and the Aza of Husayn. And I do not want to go into any of those miracles tonight, but I certainly want to mention two things about these majalis and the crying for Husayn that I find are miraculous in nature. The one thing that I find miraculous about this Aza is that it never grows old. You see any story that is told to you once, twice, three times, four times, you get bored with it, even the story of your own father or your grandfather. If your story of your grandfather has been told to you once and even if he died tragically - once, twice, three times, four times after a while, when it is told to you, you listen to it dispassionately, it is no longer of an appeal to you.
But what is it with the tragedy of Karbala and the madhlumiya of Aba Abdillah that fourteen hundred years have passed and you have lived for decades now, but every year when the day of Ashura comes, you want to listen to every single detail again. You want to hear every little bit of how Imam Husayn called for help. You want to hear how the throat of Asghar was pierced. You want to hear how Abbas fell from the horse. You want to hear how Husayn's body was trampled? What is it about this story that it never grows old? There is something miraculous about it.
The other thing that is miraculous about the Aza of Husayn is that when you hear something horrific and tragic, it makes you restless, it makes you upset. But the gham of Husayn brings you tranquility. It brings you peace. You can lullaby a baby to sleep with Ya Husayn Ya Husayn Ya Husayn. It does not seem natural that when you speak of such tragedy that people should feel a sense of you know calmness from within. There is a cathartic experience to listening to the Aza of Husayn. So I ask myself, what is it that makes this miraculous? One possible reason that we might say for this miraculous nature, that it never grows old for us and that we always find we want to listen to the Aza of Husayn - is the ahadith that we have heard from the Prophet (s) and the Ahlul Bayt of how the Shi'a of the Prophet (s) and his family are attached to them.
For example, the hadith of the Prophet (s) that says 'Inna li qatil al-Husayn harraratun fil qulobi il-mu'mineen - the Prophet (s) says, "In the killing of Husayn, there is a burning passion in the heart of the mu'mineen, and there is nothing that will cool that fire in the heart of the mu'min. And then the other hadith from the Imams that says, "khuliqu Shi'atuna min fadhili tinatuna". Our Shi'as were created from what was left over from what we were created from. "Wa ujinu bimai wilayatina". And their clay when Allah created them, it was kneaded and washed in the water of our Wilayat. So it becomes part of your nature and your Fitrah. To a point that some Ulema will tell you that if a person is of a very high level of spirituality, he is so connected to the Imam of the time that sometimes he might feel sadness for no reason at all. There is nothing happening in his life, but he just feels really sad. And the reason is because his Imam is sad about something and he is so connected that he imbibes within himself at the atomic level, that connection to the Imam.
There is another possible reason for this miraculous nature in the Aza of Husayn, alayhi assalam, and that is the fact that it is in the Fitrat of all that Allah, Subhana Wa Ta'ala has created, that everything that Allah has created has a connection to Husayn. We have this in the books of our Ahadith not just for the Shi'a, but even amongst the Sunni. We have Ayatollah Firozabadi in his book Fadhail al-khamsa fi sihah as-Sitta, the excellences of the Ahlul kisa' in the Sihah as-Sitta. He narrates reports. He says he shows us ahadith from Sunni sources that say the jinn cry for Husayn, the Malai'ka cry for Husayn, the Hur al-'ain cry for Husayn. The beasts in the forests cry for Husayn. The fish in the oceans cry for Husayn. The birds in the sky cry for Husayn. Everything that Allah has created cries for Husayn.
There is something about Husayn that is beyond human understanding. It is in the fitrah of humans. It is primordial for every creature to want Husayn to be a part of their lives. And therefore we are told in the books of ahadith that from the day Allah created this Earth, he decided that every Ambiya' will listen to the Majlis of Husayn and cry. Adam, alayhi assalam, came to this earth Gibra'il sat him and told him the story of Husayn. Adam cried and cursed his killers. Nuh came on the ark amidst the floods, Gibra'il came to Nuh and told him the story of Husayn. He cursed the killers of Husayn. Ibrahim came and Ibrahim heard the Majilis of Husayn. Musa was told the story of Husayn, 'Isa was told the story of Husayn. Ambiya' after Ambiya', Rasul after Rasul, Yunus was told the story of Husayn. Every one of them, Yahaya and Zakariya, cried for Husayn.
When all had cried for Husayn, then Allah sent His final Prophet. And when this final Prophet was sent in the year 4 AH Allah blessed Ali and Fatimah with their second son when Husayn, alayhi assalam, was born. On the 7th day Rasul Allah, is holding his Husayn in his hand, he is kissing Husayn on his lips, he is holding his Husayn to his heart. Gibra'il comes down to Rasul Allah - O Ahmad, your Lord sends you salaams, and your Lord says you shall name this child Husayn. This is the Husayn that the universe has been waiting for. Now Gibra'il is looking for a way to read this majlis to Rasul Allah. So he sees Rasul Allah kissing Husayn, hugging Husayn he begins to weep. Rasul Allah says O Gibra'il this is an occasion to be happy about. Why is it that you weep? Gibra'il says O Ahmad, do you love this child? He said: by Allah I love this child. He said, O Ahmad, your ummah will kill this child after keeping him for three days thirsty.
Rasul Allah now since he is the azadar, Gibra'il recites the Majilis to Rasul Allah. Rasul Allah cries for Husayn, Gibra'il leaves. Now Ali and Fatimah come. They see Rasul Allah is crying so now Ali and Fatimah are the azadar. Rasul Allah reads the second Majilis in Islam for Husayn. He begins telling them what will happen in Karbala and what will happen to Husayn. Gibra'il gives Rasul Allah some sand from Karbala and says - leave this behind. On the day that the sand begins to froth like blood that is the day that your Husayn has been slaughtered. Rasul Allah leaves this with Umm Salamah and, says O Umm Salamah, when this changes to blood, then my Husayn has been killed.
Ali and Fatimah are now listening to the Majlis of Husayn. Fatimah is holding her Husayn and listening to how this Ummah will slaughter her child. When she has heard this Majlis and she has understood why Husayn must be sacrificed for Islam. She does not ask Ya Abatah, who will give kafan to my Husayn? She does not ask Ya Rasul Allah who will bury my Husayn? She only ask Ya Rasul Allah when my Husayn is killed will you be there? No Fatimah I will not be there. Ya Rasul Allah, I am the mother. Will I be there? No, Fatimah, you will not be there in Karbala. Ya Rasul Allah will Aba 'l-Hassan be there? No Aba 'l-Hassan will not be there. Then his older brother Aba Muhammad, Al-Hasan will be there? No, Al-Hasan will not be there.
Now, Fatimah asks one question only - Abata if none of us will be there, who will cry for my Husayn?Why? Because Fatimah knows that if this will survive, it will survive through the tears of those who will cry for Husayn. Rasul Allah assures Fatimah - O Fatimah, Allah will create a qaum, Allah will bring forth a nation, their men will cry for the men of Husayn, their women will cry for the women of Husayn. Their children will cry for the children of Husayn.
Fatimah, alayha assalam, is now preoccupied with this child. The Ahlul Bayt are constantly concerned that this child must not cry and must not suffer in any manner. We are told in some of the books of history that sometimes when Rasul Allah would be sitting in his masjid with his ashaab and preaching to them, Fatimah would dress up her sons, Hassan and Husayn, in new robes and then send them into the Masjid. Husayn would come running into the Masjid. As he runs into the Masjid, he would trip on his robes and fall down. When Rasul Allah would see his Husayn has fallen down he would stop his majilis. He would stop his lecture and say, "Bring my Husayn to me".
Now the books of Hadiths said the ashab would carry Husayn from the back of the mosque. Everyone would carry the little Husayn, kiss him and pass him to the one in front. The next person would carry him and kiss him and pass him to the front. I would say, O ummah of Muhammad, if only you would remember this on the day of Ashura! When Husayn would come to the front Rasul Allah would descend from the mimbar. He would take his Husayn up, then he would sit his Husayn on his lap and said to this Ummah - O people Haza Husaynul fa arifuhu. Oh People!This is my Husayn recognize him. Do not forget, this is Husayn. Husayn um minni wa ana minal Husayn. O people not only is Husayn from me, I am from Husayn.
Ajrakum ala Allah. There came a day when Rasul Allah was leaving this world. Amir al-Mu'mineen, alayhi assalam, says when he was taking his last breath, Hasan and Husayn went besides the Prophet. Hasan kept his head on one chest on one side of the Prophet's chest, Husayn on the other. Rasul Allah put his hands around his Hasan and Husayn, Amir al-Mu'mineen says I tried to move the children away, Rasul Allah said 'No Aba 'l-Hasan, leave my Hasan and Husayn, let me smell the fragrance of Husayn once more and the fragrance of my son'. This is the approach of Rasul and Ahlul Bayt for Husayn.
A few months later, it was time for Fatimah to leave this world. Some of the arbaab of Aza say that one of the qualities of Imam Al Husayn was that he always felt thirsty. He was constantly thirsty. So some of the arbaab of Aza say that when Fatimah, alayha assalam's ribs had been crushed and when she went into the room and said to Asma, O Asma as long as you hear the voice of my tasbih, do not come into this room. Before she went into the room, she went and filled water and all the flasks in the house. Asma said: bibi why are you filling water in all this? She said "my Husayn is always thirsty. I do not want him to be thirsty. And there is no water in the house. Ajrukum ala Allah. When Fatimah, alayha assalam, left this world Amir al-Mu'mineen says I washed the body of Fatimah and shrouded it. I put it in a room. Then I called the children and I said, Oh, Hasan and O Husayn, O Zaynab, and Umm Kulthum come for widah. This is the last time you will see your mother. Sheikh Allama Al-Majlisi says in Bihaar, when Husayn, alayhi assalam, came for widah to his mother, he did not come and approach his mother immediately. He stood in the corner of the room and kept looking at the body of his mother. Amir al-Mu'mineen says 'By Allah, the hands of Fatimah came out from the kafan as if saying come O Husayn! Come do widah to your mother for the last time. Abal Hasan Amir al-Mu'mineen says 'By Allah, I heard a voice from the heavens saying Aba 'l-Hassan move Husayn for by Allah the angels are weeping.'
This Husayn has always lived in Madinah. This Husayn has always gone to the cover of his mother, Fatima. Now it is time for Husayn to leave Madinah. The year 60AH month of Rajab, Husayn, alayhi assalam, he is sitting in Masjid un Nabawi, it is time for Magrib he is praying salaat. A messenger comes to him, a messenger comes to him and says Aba Abdillah the governor of Medina summons you immediately. He asks that you come to him in the middle of the night. You come with me immediately to see him. Husayn, alyhi assalam, knows all is not well. He says to the messenger, 'Go back and say to Waleed bin Uthbah, I will come shortly after I am done with my prayers'. Husayn, alayhi assalam, goes back to his house. It is not common for a governor to call you in the middle of the night to his palace. He begins to call all the young men of the Banu Hashim O Abbas, O Qasim, the brothers of Abbas, O aliunil Akbar, come with me.They all take their swords.
Husayn comes to the Palace of Waleed. He asks this Shabab of Banu Hashim wait outside. Do not come in unless you hear me calling you. When Husayn enters, he sees Waleed sitting on a throne. Besides him is the wretched Marwan ibn Hakam. Waleed says to Imam Husayn: we have received news that Muawiyah has died in Damascus. Imam al Husayn recites the Ayat of Tarjih: Inna Lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un. Then Waleed says that Yazeed has now taken on the Khilafat, and Yazeed has sent this letter that he shows Imam Al-Husayn. And the letter says that Husayn must now pledge allegiance to me as the caliph. And if he does not, he must be put to death.
When Imam Al-Husayn hears this, he says to Waleed, It is not appropriate that a man like me should pledge allegiance in the middle of the night enclosed behind closed doors. If you have something to ask me, ask me in bright day in public and you will have my answer. Marwan Ibn Al-Hakam, who knows Imam Al-Husayn, he says to Waleed, O Waleed, this is the son of Ali. If you do not take bayah of Husayn now, you will never get Husayn again. Force him to give you bayah now or you must behead him right now. At this point, the son of Zahra is enraged. He turns to Marwan ibn Haqam. He says: A anta taqtuluni ya ibn al-zarqa' am huwa?Will you the son of an unchaste woman, kill me? Or will this man kill me? But as soon as the voice of Husayn was raised, the doors flung open. Abbas came in with the naked sword. Did you call us O Mawla?
Abbas this is what Husayn will call out for on the day of Aashura. Husayn takes his young men back with him, Waleed and Marwan know they cannot force Husayn. Husayn goes back home and speaks to his family. He tells them the time has come now to leave Madinah. They decide who will remain in Madinah and who will go. Some of the women are left behind. Umm Salamah and Umm ul-Baneen, Abdullah bin Ja'far and Muhammad Al-Hanafiya, Fatima Sugra. These remain behind. The rest are to leave with Husayn. Husayn asks them to get ready to leave the next day as arrangements and preparations are being made.
Sheikh Saduq says in his Amali, he says Husayn decides he will go for one final ziarat to the qabr of Rasul Allah. Husayn knows he is now leaving Madinah and he will never return to Madinah again. Sheikh Saduq says Imam Al Husayn goes to the qabr of Rasul Allah. He cries at the grave of his jadd. Then he goes into sujood. For a long time, Husayn is in sujood. While he is in prostration Sheikh Saduq says Imam Husayn has a vision. He has a muqashafa. He sees his grandfather standing before him. He cries to Rasul Allah and says O Rasul Allah! O Jadd it is time for me to leave Madinah. I do not wish to be separated from you. Why do you not pray to Allah that I should not leave Madinah? Rasul Allah says to him O Husayn "ka anni araka murammilun bidamiq", oh Husayn it is as if I can see you now rolling in your blood. O Husayn, "Inna laka darajatan inda Allah la tanalahu illa bi sh-shahadah".O Husayn you have a status with your Lord. You will not attain this except through martyrdom. Go towards Iraq O my Husayn. It is time for you to leave.
Husayn returns home. Preparations are being made. The ladies are getting ready to leave. Amir al-Mu'mineen's policy was that the women of his household should not be seen by strangers. In particular, he protected Zaynab and Umm Kulthum. It was the policy of Amir al-Mu'mineen that even when he went to Kufa, he told Imam Hassan, 'When you bring Zaynab and Umm Kulthum to Kufa, when you get to Kufa, do not enter Kufa during the daytime. Wait outside Kufa until it is night. Bring my Zaynab to Kufa in the dark of the night. Someone announces in Medina, the daughters of Rasul Allah are now leaving their homes. Lower your gaze and move away.
Qasim comes comes forward to hold the reins of the camel, Ali Akbar comes and holds the hand of his aunt Zaynab. Abbas comes forward and kneels down and puts his knee forward, for Zaynab to mount the camel. This is what Zaynab will look for on the day after Aashura. She will turn towards Furaat and say, Abbas you are the one who helped me get on the camel in Medina. Zaynab and Umm Kulthum and all get ready to leave.
When this kafilah is about to leave, others are trying to stop Husayn from leaving. Abdullah ibn Abbas comes to Imam Al Husayn and says, Ya Aba Abdullah, why do you not stay in Madinah? We will fight from Madinah and defend you. Imam Al Husayn says, No, Yabna Abbas this is something that has been foreordained Innallahah shah irani qatila.Allah wishes to see me being killed. He says then go, O Husayn. But why do you take Zaynab with you He says Inna Allaha shah irahun nasabayah.O Ibne Abbas, Allah also wishes to see them captives. O Ibne Abbas You cannot stop us from this now. Husayn is getting ready to leave. The arbab of Aza say the last thing that Husayn did was he went to Jannat ul-Baqi.
Husayn now went for widah to his mother. Husayn went to the qabr of his brother Hasan. Then he came to his mother, Zahra. I do not know what Husayn said to his mother, Fatimah. Perhaps he said Amma I have come to you for Salam every day. Amma, Husayn is leaving Madinah. Amma, Husayn will not come and say Salaam again. Amma this is widah I am leaving. I would not be surprised if a voice would call out from the qabr of Fatimah. O Husayn I am leaving Medina with you as well, O Husayn Go forth to Iraq and wherever you go, Zahra will follow you!
Ala lanatulLahi alal qoum adh-dhalemeen. Wah Husayna, Wah Madhlooma. Matam al-Husayn