How Do We Receive Muharram?
The main axes of the subject:
1- The immortal tragedy
2- How did the holy leaders (Imams) receive Muharram?
3- How should we receive Muharram?
We will explain the state that a loyalist should experience while receiving the month of Muharram coupled with the conditions that should overwhelm the community of the believers.
Exporting the subject:
Imam al Rida (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “For someone like Hussein let the weepers weep; weeping for him erases the greatest sins.”1
– The immortal tragedy:
The masters of the creation have been inflicted with choking disasters and were subjected to great wrongness that can make a noble human moan and render the true humanity shameful while invoke living consciences throughout time and place.
However, the disaster, which made the heavens, earth, orbits, stars, mountains and valleys cry, ached the hearts of all people of living feelings and consciences, took the sleepiness from the perceptive eyes, and bled the beating hearts, was the murder of Abi Abdillah al Husayn the son of Ali Bin Abi Talib (a.s.). The accounts narrated that “the murder of Husayn caused a fever in the hearts of the believers that will never cool.” The prophets, guardians, and angels all cried for him (may peace be upon all of them).
– How did the holy leaders (Imams) receive Muharram?
The month of Muharram is the month of gloominess and sorrow. It is the month of the great tragedy, the great disaster. No one should ignore the fact that it is a month during which sorrow and sadness overwhelms the household of the prophecy and inerrancy (peace be upon all of them). We must not ignore the fact that their Shiites rejoice for their happiness and sadden for their gloominess.
The stories confirmed that they did not receive the month of Muharram equally like the rest of the months; rather, they used to be overwhelmed by sorrow and mourning.
In the accounts, Imam Ali Bin Moussa al Rida (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “My father – Moussa Bin Ja’afar (a.s.) – was never seen smiling when Muharram commences. Gloominess would overwhelm him until ten days are passed. And on the tenth day, it will be the day for his tragedy, sadness and crying. He would say: “This is the day when my grandfather Husayn was killed.”2
It was narrated that Do’bol al Khuzaei had said: “I visited my master and lord Ali Bin Moussa (a.s.) in Mero on the tenth day of Muharram, and I saw him sitting like a saddened and gloomy person with his companions sitting around him. When he saw me approaching he said to me: welcome O Do’bol. Welcome O our supporter with his deeds and words. Next, he gave me a seat next to him and said: O Do’bol, I want you to recite me a poem because these are days of sadness for us, the household of the Prophet; and they are days of joy for our enemies…”3
– How should we receive Muharram?
We must realize that Muharram is the month of incitement and rising, the month of revolting and revolution. Therefore, we must accustom ourselves with the Husaynism spirituality that leads toward rejecting tyranny while projecting self-esteem, generosity, altruism, and pledging allegiance to the spiritual leaders (Imams) of the truth while dissociate from wrongness and its embracers and their leaders. We must embark on the following issues:
1- Setting the Husaynism sessions:
During these sessions, the tragic story of Husayn (a.s.) will be recited in order to encourage tears and invoke the sorrows as well as kindle the hearts. Imam al Sadiq (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “Any believer who recalls us or works on us being recalled at his place with a small tear emerging in his eyes, even if it was the size of a mosquito wing, Allah will build for him a house in the heaven and will render that tear drop as a shield for him from the fire.”4
Imam al Khomeini (RIP) says: “These sessions were the reason for keeping the nations alive, and these sessions must increase during the days of Ashura, growing and spreading.”5
2- Generalizing black clothes (mourning):
We can perform this issue by wearing dark clothes, hanging black textiles on the balconies, in the arenas and public places and joints, to the point where the general scene would look different, bringing a question into the mind of he who does not know the reason for doing so while encouraging others to join the procession of sadness and sorrow for the master of the youths in the heaven (a.s.).
This issue in its entirety is being performed as a consolation gesture toward the women of the sons of Hashim. For example, Omar the son of Imam al Sajjad (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “When Husayn Bin Ali (a.s.) was killed, the women of the sons of Hashim wore black clothes and would never complain from the heat or cold.”6
3- Avoid showing joy and happiness:
This issue is a necessity in order to grieve with the purified household of the Prophet (peace be upon all of them). The best words ever said can be found in the poetry of Sayyid Ja’afar al Hilli. Here is a translation of the poetry:
How long will you keep us gloomy O new moon of Muharram
Your bow shape keeps firing us with arrows
All the tragedies of the world may ease except
That which left the heart of Muhammad sorrowful
The day when the tyrants of Umayyah approached
In order to quench their hatred by revenging from Husayn
1- Al A’mali, by Sheikh al Saddouq, P. 191
2- Al A’mali, by Sheikh al Saddouq, P. 111
3- Bihar al Anwar, by scholar Muhammad Baqir al Majlisi, Vol. 45, P. 257
4- Al Ghadir, by scholar al Amini, Vol. 1, P. 202
5- Qiyam Ashoura, P. 102
6- Mahasin al Barqi, Vol. 2, P. 420