Debunking the innovation(bidah) of celebrative rituals by Nasibis on Ashura.


Debunking the innovation(bidah) of celebrative rituals by Nasibis on Ashura.

Shaykh al-Islam Ahmad Ibn Taymiyah(rah) said: 

Because of the killing of al-Hussain(ra), shaytaan caused the people to introduce two innovations: the innovation of mourning and wailing on the day of ‘Ashoora’, by slapping the cheeks, weeping, and reciting eulogies. … and the innovation of rejoicing and celebrating. … So some introduced mourning and others introduced celebration, so they regarded the day of ‘Ashoora’ as a day for wearing kohl, doing ghusl, spending on the family and making special foods. … And every innovation is a going astray. None of the four imams of the Muslims or any other (scholars) regarded either of these things as mustahabb. (Minhaaj al-Sunnah (4/554).

To counteract the extreme position of the Shias, another extreme group called  “the Nawasib(Nasibis)” took this day as a day of happiness. The Nawasib, which consisted mainly of the Khawārij, held animosity against Sayyidna Hussain(ra) and the Ahlal-Bayt. They celebrated this day by wearing new clothes, cooking special food and spending extra money on their family. These people now take the day of Ashura for a seasonal celebration like that of festivals and weddings.

Shaykh al-Islam Ahmad Ibn Taymiyah writes in his Fatāwā:

“As for cooking special foods, wearing new clothes, applying kohl, spending extra money on the children, doing special prayers, having a special bath…all of this is a wretched innovation (bid`ah) which the Messenger of Allāh(saw) never practiced nor did the rightly guided caliphs, and neither was it recommended by any of the great Imāms such as, Mālik, at-Thawrī, al-Layth b. Sād, Abū Hanīfah, al-Awzāī, ash-Shāfi’ī, Aḥmad b. Hambal, Ishāq b. Rāhūyeh (may Allāh be pleased with them all), nor by other such scholars. Rather some of the later followers started to instruct in some of these things and claimed that there were some authentic ahadith supporting their view. But these people are clearly mistaken and are in error according to the people of knowledge.

Imām Aḥmad was asked about the ḥadīth: “One should spend on his family on the day of `Āshūra” and He regarded it as unauthentic.

In fact the best narration they have is what is reported from Ibrāhīm b. Muḥammad b. al-Muntashir from his father that he said: “It reached us that one who increases (his spending) on his family on [the day of] `Ashura, Allāh will increase it for him throughout the year.” Sufyān b. ‘Uyaiynah said: “Ibrahīm b. Muḥammad was from Kūfa and he did not mention from whom he heard it or how it reached him. It is most likely that the one who related this [to him] was someone from the people of Bid`ah who hates the companions and wants to oppose the Rāfidhah with lies. So they oppose corruption with corruption and an innovation with an innovation.” [Source: Majmū`ah al-Fatawā, Volume 13, page 169]

Therefore, The Shiah and the Nawasib opposed each other by introducing an innovation in the religion. So while one group lamented and mourned on this day the other group celebrated and made it a day of happiness. As for the Ahl as-Sunnah they oppose both of these groups, neither making it a day of celebration nor a day of mourning. This is the established practice of the companions and the pious predecessors, including the four Imāms: Imām Abū Hanīfah, Imam Mālik, Imām ash-Shāfi’ī and Imām Aḥmad.

 

The correct  Sunni Stance on Yazeed:

Here are the views of some renowned scholars of Ahlusunnah  regarding Yazeed.

(i). Imam of Ahlesunnah Ahmad ibn Hanbal(rah):

قيل : لأحمد ابن حنبل أيؤخذ الحديث عن يزيد فقال : لا ولا كرامة أو ليس هو فعل بأهل المدينة ما فعل ؟ وقيل له : إن أقواما يقولون : إنا نحب يزيد فقال : وهل يحب يزيد من يؤمن بالله واليوم الآخر ؟ فقيل له : أو لا تلعنه ؟ فقال : متى رأيت أباك يلعن أحدا

“It was said: Ahmad ibn Hanbal was asked: Would you take narrations from Yazeed?” He said: “No, and no karamah(honour) for him, was that not him who did to people of Madina what he has done?”. It was said to him: “Group says that they love Yazeed”. He asked: Does anyone love Yazeed who believes in Allaah and the Last Day?” It was said to him: Would you curse him?”. Imam answered: When did you ever see your father curse anybody?. (Ibn Muflih Hanbali in “Adabu sharia” ,1/336).

(ii). Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali:

Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali did not hold the opinion of cursing and declaring Yazid to be a disbeliever. He refuted the allegation on Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal that he cursed Yazid. So he writes: “The statement of Imam Ahmad only establishes cursing on all of the oppressors and there is no clarification or specification for the permissibility of cursing Yazid only.” (Dhayl Tabaqaat al-Hanabillah, 2/356).

(iii). Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani(rah):

In his book “al-Imta bil al-Arba’in al-Matbainatus Samah”, he said:

وأما المحبة فيه والرفع من شأنه فلا تقع إلا من مبتدع فاسد الاعتقاد فإنه كان فيه من الصفات ما يقتضي سلب الإيمان عمن يحبه لأن الحب في الله والبغض في الله من الإيمان والله المستعان

Loving and glorifying him (Yazid) is not done except by innovator who has void belief because he (Yazid) had such characteristics that his lover deserves to be faithless, because to love and hate just for the sake of God is a sign of faith. (Source: “al-Imta bil al-Arba’in al-Matbainatus Samah p 96.)”

Hafidh Ibn Hajar also said:

– يزيد بن معاوية بن أبي سفيان الأموي أبو خالد ولي الخلافة سنة ستين ومات سنة أربع ولم يكمل الأربعين ليس بأهل أن يروى عنه من الثالثة مد

Yazeed bin Muawiyah bin Abi Sufiyan al Amwi Abu Khalid. He was not in those to whom one can narrate ahadith.[Taqreeb at Tahdeeb  7777]

(iv). Imam Abul Faraj Ibn Al-Jawzi(rah)

Imam Ibn al-Jawzi(rah) wrote a whole book with the name of “الرد على المتعصب العنيد المانع من ذم يزيد” (Refutation of The bigot and stubborn who says it is not allowed to condemn Yazid.)

(v). Imam al-Ghazzali said:

فإن قيل هل يجوز لعن يزيد لأنه قاتل الحسين أو آمر به قلنا هذا لم يثبت أصلا فلا يجوز أن يقال إنه قتله أو أمر به

“And if it would be said: Is it permitted to curse Yazeed because he killed Hussain or ordered to? We would say: It’s not established(from any authentic report), and it’s not permitted to say that he killed him or ordered to kill him”.(Ihya uloom al-Din , 3/125).

(vi) Imam Ibn Salaah says:
لم يصح عندنا أنه أمر بقتل الحسين رضي الله عنه
“It is not authentic according to us that He(Yazid) commanded to kill Husayn.” ( قيد الشريد page 58, Al Khulaasa fi bayaani rayi 1/151)

(vii). Allama Ayni stated:
وَقَالَ الْمُهلب: فِي هَذَا الحَدِيث منقبة لمعاوية لِأَنَّهُ أول من غزا الْبَحْر، ومنقبة لوَلَده يزِيد، لِأَنَّهُ أول من غزا مَدِينَة قَيْصر. انْتهى. قلت: أَي منقبة كَانَت ليزِيد وحاله مَشْهُور؟ فَإِن قلت: قَالَ، صلى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسلم، فِي حق هَذَا الْجَيْش: مغْفُور لَهُم. قلت: لَا يلْزم، من دُخُوله فِي ذَلِك الْعُمُوم أَن لَا يخرج بِدَلِيل خَاص، إِذْ لَا يخْتَلف أهل الْعلم أَن قَوْله، صلى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسلم: مغْفُور لَهُم، مَشْرُوط بِأَن يَكُونُوا من أهل الْمَغْفِرَة حَتَّى لَو ارْتَدَّ وَاحِد مِمَّن غَزَاهَا بعد ذَلِك لم يدْخل فِي ذَلِك الْعُمُوم، فَدلَّ على أَن المُرَاد مغْفُور لمن وجد شَرط الْمَغْفِرَة فِيهِ مِنْهُم

al-Mulhab said: In this hadith there is virtue of Muawiyah(ra) because He is the first one who won naval expedition. And there is also a virtue of Yazeed because invaded Caesar’s City. I (al-Ayani) say what kind of Virtues of Yazeed? When his haal(condition) is famous? and If someone says that Prophet(saw) prayed for forgiveness in the right of this army. Then I say: It is not obligation that everyone is included in it without any specific evidence. There is no disagreement in people of knowledge that the saying of Prophet(saw) regarding maghfirah(forgiveness) is conditional that is If someone becomes murtad after the victory than he will not be the one who is forgiven with the agreement (of scholars). This is a proof that  the forgiveness is conditional..[Umda tul Qari 14/198]

(viii). Imam al Qurtubi(rah):

He mentioned some ahadith regarding the destruction of Ummah by youngsters and commented

وكأنهم والله اعلم يزيد بن معاوية وعبيد الله بن زياد

As If they are Yazeed bin Muawiyah and Ubaidullah bin Ziyad. [alTadhkirah fe ahwaal al Akhirah page 562]

(ix). Shaykh Allama Muqbil ibn Hadi al-Wadi(rah) said:

مختلفٌ فيه بين أهل السنة ، فمنهم من يراه كافراً ، ومنهم من يراه فاسقاً ، والذي رجحه الحافظ الذهبي – ولعله الصواب إن شاء الله – أنه يعتبر فاسقاً ، وأمره إلى الله .

Ahlesunnah differed in regards to him. And from them who called him Kaafir, and from them who called him Faasiq. And hafidh adh-Dhahabi preferred opinion – which is more correct, inshAllah – that he was Faasiq. And his ruling upon Allah. (Source)

(x). Shaykh Zubair Ali Zaee(rah) said:

“We do not send lanah(curse) nor declare him(yazeed) Kaafir, We consider him a Tyrant, Majrooh and whose trustworthiness is not known. We give his case to Allah and we announce that we are free from all the Tyrants”. [His article on ten lies of Sanabili page 24]

(xi). Shaykh al-Islam Ahmad ibn Taymiyyah described people’s attitudes towards Yazeed ibn Mu’aawiyah, and said:

شيخ الإسلام ابن تيمية الموقف من يزيد بن معاوية فقال :

افترق الناس في يزيد بن معاوية بن أبى سفيان ثلاث فرق ، طرفان ووسط .

فأحد الطرفين قالوا : إنه كان كافراً منافقاً ، وأنه سعى في قتل سبط رسول الله تشفِّياً من رسول الله وانتقاما منه ، وأخذاً بثأر جده عتبة وأخي جده شيبة ، وخاله الوليد بن عتبة وغيرهم ممن قتلهم أصحاب النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم  بيد على بن أبى طالب وغيره يوم بدر وغيرها . وأشياء من هذا النمط وهذا القول سهل على الرافضة الذين يكفرون أبا بكر وعمر وعثمان فتكفير يزيد أسهل بكثير .

والطرف الثاني : يظنون أنه كان رجلًا صالحاً وإمام عدل ، وأنه كان من الصحابة الذين ولدوا على عهد النبي وحمله على يديه وبرَّك عليه . وربما فضَّله بعضهم على أبى بكر وعمر ، وربما جعله بعضهم نبيَّا …

وكلا القولين ظاهر البطلان عند من له أدنى عقل وعلم بالأمور وسِيَر المتقدمين ، ولهذا لا ينسب إلى أحد من أهل العلم المعروفين بالسنة ولا إلى ذي عقل من العقلاء الذين لهم رأى وخبرة

والقول الثالث : أنه كان ملكا من ملوك المسلمين له حسنات وسيئات ولم يولد إلا في خلافة عثمان ، ولم يكن كافرا ، ولكن جرى بسببه ما جرى من مصرع الحسين وفعل ما فعل بأهل الحرة ، ولم يكن صاحبا ولا من أولياء الله الصالحين ، وهذا قول عامة أهل العقل والعلم والسنة والجماعة  .

ثم افترقوا ثلاث فرق فرقة لعنته وفرقة أحبته وفرقة لا تسبه ولا تحبه وهذا هو المنصوص عن الإمام أحمد وعليه المقتصدون من أصحابه وغيرهم من جميع المسلمين  قال صالح بن أحمد قلت لأبي : إن قوما يقولون : إنهم يحبون يزيد فقال يا بني وهل يحب يزيد أحدٌ يؤمن بالله واليوم الآخر !! فقلت يا أبت فلماذا لا تلعنه ؟ فقال : يا بني ومتى رأيت أباك يلعن أحداً .

وقال أبو محمد المقدسي لما سئل عن يزيد فيما بلغني لا يُسَب ولا يُحَب   وقال : وبلغنى أيضا أن جدنا أبا عبد الله بن تيمية سئل عن يزيد فقال : لاننقص فيه ولا نزيد وهذا أعدل الأقوال فيه وفي أمثاله وأحسنها

The people differed concerning Yazeed ibn Mu’aawiyah ibn Abi Sufyaan, splitting into three groups, two extreme and one moderate.

One of the two extremes said that he was a kaafir and a munaafiq, that he strove to kill the grandson of the Prophet(saw) to spite the Messenger of Allaah and to take revenge on him, and to avenge his grandfather ‘Utbah, his grandfather’s brother Shaybah and his maternal uncle al-Waleed ibn ‘Utbah and others who were killed by the companions of the Prophet(saw) , by ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib and others on the day of Badr and in other battles – and things of that nature. To have such a view is easy for the Raafidis who regard Abu Bakr, ‘Umar and ‘Uthmaan as kaafirs, so it is much easier for them to regard Yazeed as a kaafir.

The second extreme group think that he was a righteous man and a just leader, that he was one of the Sahaabah who were born during the time of the Prophet and were carried and blessed by him. Some of them give him a higher status than Abu Bakr and ‘Umar, and some of them regard him as a prophet. Both views are obviously false to one who has the least common sense and who has any knowledge of the lives and times of the earliest Muslims. This view is not attributable to any of the scholars who are known for following the Sunnah or to any intelligent person who has reason and experience.

The third view is that he was one of the kings of the Muslims, who did good deeds and bad deeds. He was not born until the caliphate of ‘Uthmaan. He was not a kaafir but it was because of him that the killing of al-Husayn happened, and he did what he did to the people of al-Harrah. He was not a Sahaabi, nor was he one of the righteous friends of Allaah. This is the view of most of the people of reason and knowledge and of Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah.

Then they divided into three groups, one which cursed him, one which loved him and one which neither cursed him nor loved him. This is what was reported from Imaam Ahmad, and this is the view of the fair-minded among his companions and others among the Muslims. Saalih ibn Ahmad said: I said to my father, some people say that they love Yazeed. He said, O my son, does anyone love Yazeed who believes in Allaah and the Last Day? I said, O my father, why do you not curse him? He said, O my son, when did you ever see your father curse anybody?

Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi said, when he was asked about Yazeed: according to what I have heard he is neither to be cursed nor to be loved. He said, I also heard that our grandfather Abu ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Taymiyah was asked about Yazeed and he said: we do not deny his good qualities or exaggerate about them. This is the fairest opinion. (Source: Majmoo’ Fataawa Shaykh al-Islam, part 4, p. 481-484).

(xii). The status of the report that Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyya[The brother of Hussain(ra)] defended Yazeed:

وقد رواه أبو الحسن على بن محمد بن عبد الله بن أبى سيف المدائنى عن صخر بن جويرية عن نافع..ولما رجع أهل المدينة من عند يزيد مشى عبد الله بن مطيع وأصحابه إلى محمد بن الحنفية فأرادوه على خلع يزيد فأبى عليهم فقال ابن مطيع إن يزيد يشرب الخمر ويترك الصلاة ويتعدى حكم الكتاب فقال لهم ما رأيت منه ما تذكرون وقد حضرته وأقمت عنده فرأيته مواضبا على الصلاة متحريا للخير يسأل عن الفقه ملازما للسنة

It is narrated by Abul Hasan Ali bin Muhammad Madaini from Sakhar and he from Naf’e that.. Abdullah bin Mutee and his companions went to Muhammad bin Hanafiya [The brother of Hussain(ra)].. Abu Mutee said Yazeed is a drinker, he left salah and he goes against the laws of Allah. Muhammad bin Hanafiya said I have not seen anything of it in him as you say., i went to him and stayed. I saw him offering prayer, seeker of khayr(good), seeker of fiqh, follower of sunnah. [AlBidaya wal Nihaya 8/295]

Comment: According to Shaykh Zubair Ali Zai(rah) this narration is not proven rather munqata(disconnected) because it is not mentioned that Ibn Kathir quoted this from the book of Imam Madainee. If for the sake of argument it is proven, then Abdullah bin Mutee`s saying that Yazeed used to leave salah and he was a drinker is more correct as he was a sahabi, and against the sahabi, Muhammad bin Hanafiya is a tabiyee. So the saying of Sahabi is Muqaddam on Tabiyee. But according to him this narration is not proven so these accusations are also not correct. [see Majallah al Hadith no: 107].

NOTE 1: Our opinion is that, Yazeed can’t be loved nor praised and deserves to be detested. It can be said that his drinking wine, and others examples of fisq and lacks of morality aren’t proven. But for sure the least thing that can be said about him, that he is responsible for butchery in Madina. However, we do not censure the ones who use after the name of Yazeed, the Dua(prayer), ‘Rahimahullah(May Allah’s mercy be on him), because the jamhoor(majority)of Ahlus Sunnah are agreed on the Islam of Yazeed, they don’t consider him to be a kafir(disbeliever). So praying of mercy for a Muslim is allowed, so it they want to do this, then it’s their own ijitihad.

NOTE 2: A lot of false and untrue stories were fabricated by Shias regarding the incident of Karbala, Hence we read:

Shia translator of Bihar al-Anwar in Urdu – Sayed Tayyab Agha Al-Moosvi Al-Jazairi states:

Most of the speakers, orators(Zakireen) and elegy reciters(Marsiya Khwan) inorder to run their majlis(gathering to commemorate), rely on false and baseless reports and in this way instead of gaining reward, they step down from the pulpit of Messenger(saw), incurring double wrath on them.(Bihar al-Anwar, Part 1, page 12. Urdu]

Mirza Noori, a famous Shia scholars, has written a book on distortions and misrepresentations of the event of Ashura. In his book titled “Pearl and Coral” (Lu’lu wa Marjan) he explicitly says: “Today, we must weep not for the martyrdom of Hussein but for all the lies and false stories related about the event of Karbala with no one giving a stop to them. We must weep for this new tragedy of Hussein bin Ali not for the swords and spears that landed upon his holy body.[Tahreefat Ashura 1]

In this regard, Shia scholar Murtaza Mutahhari also delivered speeches which were gathered in the first volume of Hamasa-e Husseini (The Husseini Epic). Speaking about the misrepresentations of the event of Ashura, he said: “Most of the fabrications that have occurred have been for the purpose of drawing tears, nothing else.[Tahreefat Ashura 2]

Therefore, it’s a fact that many false stories were fabricated for this incident, and in most of these false stories Yazeed was made a scapegoat and was portrayed as extremely evil and inhuman person, and because of some of the proven crimes of Yazeed people easily accepted all these false reports. For example: It is said that Yazeed disrespected the children of Hussain(ra), He hit the head of Imam Hussain(ra) when it was presented to him, etc; So keeping in mind the fact that many false stories were fabricated, as objective Muslims we must not believe in any such story, unless proven from authentic chain of narrators, because not everything written in history books is authentic, books of history contains all sorts of reports, from fabrications to reliable reports. Like the books of history even record that Yazeed was quite upset with killing of Imam Hussain(ra), he wept, he condemned his governor for the killing of Imam Hussain(ra), and when the family of Imam Hussain(ra) were brought before him, He held them with respect and honor, etc, and the same books of history even records evil actions of Yazeed. That’s why it’s important to verify the authenticity of such reports before believing in them or relating it to others; but unfortunately even many Sunni scholars became naive in this issue and spread those false and untrue reports in their books and speeches. Another fact which encourages us to verify those  reports which say that Yazeed disrespected the children of Imam Hussain(ra), esp. grand-daughter of Prophet(saw), Sayyida Sukayna(sakinah)RA or hit the head of Imam Hussain(ra) is that, the mother of Yazeed – Maysun bint Bahdal al-Kalbiyya was from the tribe of Kalb. Her cousin sister from the same tribe of Kalb was al-Rabab Kalbiyya, This Rabab Kalbiyya was the wife of Imam Hussain(ra) and the mother of Sukayna(sakinah); therefore Imam Hussain(ra) was the maternal uncle of Yazeed, and Sukayna(sakinah) was maternal cousin sister of Yazeed.

 

Some Kufis who were from those who invited Sayyidna Hussain(ra) to Kufa also participated in his killing.

Let us see, what the Shia book Maqtal al-Husayn says about this issue, but before that, here is brief info about this book:

The first historian to systematically collect the reports dealing with the events of Kerbala was named Abu Mikhnaf [Lut b. Yahya b. Sa‘id b. Mikhnaf b. Salim al-Azdi al-Ghamidi al-Kufi] (d. 157 A.H.) in a work titled Kitab Maqtal al-Husayn. His father was a companion of Imam‘Ali (a). Abu Mikhnaf was a trusted and a reliable historian whose tradition-reports were relied upon by many historians… Ibn Nadim in al-Fihrist enumerates 22 monographs composed by Abu Mikhnaf and Najashi lists 28 titles. Most of his works deal with the Shi‘ah and the events unfolding in Kufah It is indisputable that Abu Mikhnaf was a profound scholar and man of integrity. For instance, an eminent scholar of works on rijal, Najashi, writes, “[Abu Mikhnaf] was a preeminent scholar in Kufah.” Ayatullah Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr and Allamah Sharaf al-Din both agree with this assessment.[Kitab Maqtal al-Husayn, Translator’s foreword, page 7; page 8] {Online source}

We read in the Shia book , Kitab Maqtal al-Husayn, of Abi Mikhnaf, how the Kufis wrote letters to Sayyidna Hussain(ra) inviting him to Kufa :

“After two more days, another letter was dispatched through Hani b. Hani Sabi‘i and Sa‘id b. ‘Abdallah Hanafi with the following contents:

In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate. To Husayn b. ‘Ali, from his Shi‘ah among the believers and Muslims. Please make haste, for the people are waiting for you. “(Shia book, Kitab Maqtal al-Husayn p.26)

Shabath b. Rib‘i and others wrote another letter:“The dates have grown green and the fruit has ripened and the waters have overflown. Thus, come to an army that is ready and well-prepared. Peace be with you.” (Shia book, Kitab Maqtal al-Husayn, p.26)

Husayn(ra) replied, “By God, I have pondered deeply about going towards Kufah as my Shi‘ah, and the eminent members of these people have written to me. I seek the best choice from God.”(Shia book, Kitab Maqtal al-Husayn, p.70)

Abdallah bin Sulaym and Madhrib Mushma‘ill who were from the tribe of Asad, accompanied Hussain(ra) in his journey and were from his wellwishers, they got the news about the killing of Muslim bin Aqil and Hani bin Urwah. So they predicted the treachery of the Shia of Kufah, Hence they pleaded to Hussain(ra) saying:

“We implore you in the name of God, for your sake and for the sake of your family, not to move from this place or set out for Kufah. You have none to assist you in Kufah you have no Shi‘ah. Rather, we fear that they will battle against you.” Upon that, the sons of ‘Aqil exclaimed, “By God, we will not retreat until we have exacted vengeance or tasted death like our brother.”( Shia book, Kitab Maqtal al-Husayn, p.86)

“It was at Zubalah that Husayn(ra) received the news of the death of his brother-in-nurture ‘Abdallah b. Yuqtur. He brought out a written statement and read it aloud to the people: “In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful. Very troubling news has reached us regarding the murder of Muslim b. ‘Aqil, Hani b. ‘Urwah and ‘Abdallah b. Yuqtur. Our Shi‘ah have abandoned us. Thus, those of you who wish to part company with us are free to go without any sense of obligation.” People began to scatter away from him in all directions only they remained with him who, being his followers, had joined him from Medina”. (Shia book, Kitab Maqtal al-Husayn, p.87).

Hussain(ra) called out the treacherous kufis saying:

Shabath b. Rib‘i, Hajjar b. Abjar, Qays b. Ash‘ath, Yazid b. Harith, did you not write to me ripened; the dates have grown green; come to an army that is ready’?” They replied that they had not written such a letter. Husayn responded emphatically, “Glory be to God! By God, you certainly have. O people, since you are displeased with my presence, let me withdraw to a place where I am secure.” (Shia book, Kitab Maqtal al-Husayn, p.132).

This Shabath bin Rib’i who invited Hussain(ra) and then betrayed him, joined the killers of Hussain(ra). Esteemed Shia scholar, al-Shaykh al-Mufeed mentions those who set out to fight and kill Husayn(ra):

وأصبح عمر بن سعد في ذلك اليوم وهو يوم الجمعة وقيل يوم السبت، فعبأ أصحابه وخرج فيمن معه من الناس نحو الحسين عليه السلام وكان على ميمنته عمرو بن الحجاج، وعلى ميسرته شمر بن ذي الجوشن، وعلى الخيل عروة بن قيس، وعلى الرجالة شبث بن ربعي، وأعطى الراية دريدا مولاه

And Umar bin Sa’d arose that morning, and it was the day of Jumu’ah (Friday), and it is said it was Saturday and he mobilized his companions, and then set out with those people who were with him towards the direction of al-Husayn(as), and on his right was Amr bin al-Hajaj, and on his left was Shimar bin Dhil-Jawshan, and in charge of the horsemen was Urwah bin Qays and in charge of the infantry was Shabath bin Rib’i and he gave the flag to Durayd, his mawlaa.( Kitab al-Irshad, 2/95-96).

Shia scholar Muhsin al-Ameen al-Husaynee al-Aaamilee says in his book:

Zahar bin Qays, he participated in the [battles] of al-Jamal and Siffeen with Ali(as), and Shabath bin Rib’i and Shimmar bin Dhil-Jawshan al-Diyaabee also witnessed [the battle] of Siffeen with him. Then they waged war against Al-Husayn(as) on the day of Karbalaa, so it was an evil end (soo’ al-khaatimah) for them and we seek refuge in Allaah from the evil end.( Fee Rihaab A’immah Ahl al-Bayt”, vol 1/9).

Comment: This Shabath bin Rib’i who betrayed Hussain(ra) and also participated in the killing of Hussain(ra), was the same person who assisted in the killing of the third Caliph of the believers Uthman bin Affan(ra).

 Esteemed Sunni scholar Ahmad Ibn Abdullah Ibn Salih Abu al-Hassan al-`Ijli said:

Shabath ibn Rib’i from the tribe of Tamim, he was the first one who contributed in Uthman’s(ra) assassination and the first who headed up the battle of Al-Haruriya (battle of Khawarij) and contributed in Hussain ibn Ali’s(ra) killing. (Source: M’arifat Al-Thiqat of al-Ijli. Vol. 1, Pg. # 448, Person # 814.)

Likewise Ibn Hajar stated: Shabath ibn Rab’i Al-Tamimi Al-Yurbo’i Abu Abd Al-Quddous Al-Kufi… Al-Ijlli said that this was the first individual who assisted in the killing of Uthman(ra) and also participated in the killing of Hussain(r.a). (Source: Tahdeeb Al-Tahdeeb. Vol. 2, Pg. # 149.)

Experiencing the treachery of the Kufis Sayyidna Imam Hussain(ra) made supplication saying:
وقال الإمام الحسين عليه السلام في دعائه : اللهم إن متعتهم إلى  حين ففرقهم فرقاً، واجعلهم طرائق قدداً، ولا ترض الولاة عنهم أبداً، فإنـهم  دعونا لينصرونا ثم عدوا علينا فقتلونا
O Allaah if you make them to  enjoy for a while, then split them with a splitting, and make them of  divergent paths (amongst themselves), and do not make their rulers happy  over them ever, for verily they invited us to support us, but then they  showed enmity towards us and killed us.(Shia Shaykh al-Mufeed’s  book al-Irshaad p. 241)

Imam Zain al-Aabideen(ra) the son of Sayyidna Hussain(ra) addressed the kufis who deserted his father and killed him, reviling them, saying:

O people, we implore you by Allaah, do you know that you wrote to my father and you deceived him and you gave him the pledge, the covenant, and you killed him and deserted him? So may you perish for what you have sent forth for yourselves, and for your evil opinionn. With which eye will you look towards the Messenger of Allaah(saw) when he says to you, “You killed my family, and you violated my sanctity, so you are not from me.” [Al-Tabarsee in al-Ihtijaaj (2/32), Ibn Taawoos in al-Malhoof (p. 92), al-Ameen in al-Lawaa’ij al-Ashjaann (p. 158), Abbaas al-Qummee in Muntahaa al-Aamaal (1/572), Husayn Kawrani in Fee Rihaab al-Karbalaa (p. 183), Abd al-Razzaaq al-Muqrim in Maqtal Husayn ((p. 317), Murtadaa Iyaad in Maqtal Husayn (p. 87) and Ridhaa al-Qawzeenee in Tadhlim al-Zahraa (p. 262), Abbaas al-Qummee in Nafs al-Mahmoom (p. 360)]

And when Imam Zain al-Aabideen(ra) saw the people of Kufah wailing and crying, he rebuked them, saying:

You wail and cry for us, so who are the ones who killed us? [Maqtal Husayn of Murtadaa Iyaad (p. 83), Tadhlim al-Zahraa of al-Qazweenee (p. 257) and al-Malhoof of Ibn Taawoos (p. 86), Nafs al-Mahmoom of Abbaas al-Qummee (p. 357)]

Similar words of Imam Zain al-Abideen(ra) are mentioned in [Bihar al-Anwar, part 2, page 12, urdu]

Shia scholar Asad Haydar quotes from Zaynab bint Ali bin Abi Taalib(ra), which is also mentioned by Shia scholar al-Tabarsee in al-Ihtijaaj (2/29-30):

أما بعد يا أهل الكوفة، يا أهل الختل والغدر والخذل .. إنما مثلكم كمثل التي نقضت غزلها من بعد قوة أنكاثاً، هل فيكم إلا الصلف والعجب والشنف والكذب .. أتبكون أخي؟! أجل والله فابكوا كثيراً واضحكوا قليلاً فقد ابليتم بعارها .. وانى ترخصون قتل سليل خاتم النبوة

To proceed, O people of Kufah, O people ofdeception, treachery and desertion … your example is like she who spins (yarn) only to break it after its strength. Is there anything in you but bragging, amazement, rank hatred and lying … do you cry for my brother?! Yes, by Allaah, cry much and laugh little, for you have been put to trial through its infamy … and how do you consider cheap the killing of the descendant of the Seal of the Prophethood. [Ma’al-Husayn Fee Nahdatihi (p. 295)]

Esteemed Sunni scholar- Shaykh al-Islam Ahmad ibn Taymiyyah(rah) summarized this tragedy stating:

وَقَامَتْ طَوَائِفُ كَاتَبُوا الْحُسَيْنَ وَوَعَدُوهُ بِالنَّصْرِ وَالْمُعَاوَنَةِ إذَا قَامَ بِالأَمْرِ , وَلَمْ يَكُونُوا مِنْ أَهْلِ ذَلِكَ , بَلْ لَمَّا أَرْسَلَ إلَيْهِمْ ابْنَ عَمِّهِ أَخْلَفُوا وَعْدَهُ , وَنَقَضُوا عَهْدَهُ , وَأَعَانُوا عَلَيْهِ مَنْ وَعَدُوهُ أَنْ يَدْفَعُوهُ عَنْهُ , وَيُقَاتِلُوهُ مَعَهُ . وَكَانَ أَهْلُ الرَّأْيِ وَالْمَحَبَّةِ لِلْحُسَيْنِ كَابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ وَابْنِ عُمَرَ وَغَيْرِهِمَا أَشَارُوا عَلَيْهِ بِأَنْ لا يَذْهَبَ إلَيْهِمْ , وَلا يَقْبَلَ مِنْهُمْ , وَرَأَوْا أَنَّ خُرُوجَهُ إلَيْهِمْ لَيْسَ بِمَصْلَحَةٍ , وَلا يَتَرَتَّبُ عَلَيْهِ مَا يَسُرُّ , وَكَانَ الأَمْرُ كَمَا قَالُوا , وَكَانَ أَمْرُ اللَّهِ قَدَرًا مَقْدُورًا .  فَلَمَّا خَرَجَ الْحُسَيْنُ – رضي الله عنه – وَرَأَى أَنَّ الأُمُورَ قَدْ تَغَيَّرَتْ , طَلَبَ مِنْهُمْ أَنْ يَدْعُوهُ يَرْجِعُ , أَوْ يَلْحَقَ بِبَعْضِ الثُّغُورِ , أَوْ يَلْحَقَ بِابْنِ عَمِّهِ يَزِيدَ , فَمَنَعُوهُ هَذَا وَهَذَا . حَتَّى يَسْتَأْسِرَ , وَقَاتَلُوهُ فَقَاتَلَهُمْ فَقَتَلُوهُ . وَطَائِفَةٌ مِمَّنْ مَعَهُ , مَظْلُومًا شَهِيدًا شَهَادَةً أَكْرَمُهُ اللَّهُ بِهَا وَأَلْحَقَهُ بِأَهْلِ بَيْتِهِ الطَّيِّبِينَ الطَّاهِرِينَ . وَأَهَانَ بِهَا مَنْ ظَلَمَهُ وَاعْتَدَى عَلَيْهِ , وَأَوْجَبَ ذَلِكَ شَرًّا بَيْنَ النَّاسِ .

“Some groups wrote to al-Husayn and promised to support and help him if he went ahead and declared himself khaleefah, but they were not sincere. When al-Husayn sent his cousin [son of his paternal uncle Muslim bin Aqil] to them, they broke their word and gave help to the one they had promised to defend him against, and fought with him against [al-Husayn’s cousin Muslim bin Aqil]. Those who were wise and who loved al-Husayn, such as Ibn ‘Abbaas and Ibn ‘Umar and others, advised him not to go to them, and not to accept any promises from them. They thought that his going to them served no useful interest and that the consequences would not be good. Things turned out just as they said, and this is how Allaah decreed it would happen. When al-Husayn (ra) went out and saw that things were not as he had expected, he asked them to let him go back, or to let him join the army that was defending the borders of Islam, or join Yazeed, but they would not let him do any of these things unless he gave himself up to them as a prisoner. So he fought with them, and they killed him and some of those who were with him, and he was wrongfully slain so he died as a shaheed(martyr) whose martyrdom brought him honour from Allaah, and so he was reunited with the good and pure members of his family. His murder brought shame on those who had wrongfully killed him, and caused much mischief among the people. (Extracted from Ibn Taymiyyah’s Al-Fataawa al-Kubra, part 5).

The people of knowledge have said that, when Hussain(ra) saw the treachery of those Kufis who first invited him then betrayed him and then stood against him, He(ra) suggested three things, of which one was Or I give my hand in the hand of Yazid as a pledge of allegiance. (See: Tarikh al-Tabari, 4/313). So one of choice Sayyidna Hussain(ra) made was that he should be allowed to go and meet Yazeed, which caused terror in the hearts of some of those treacherous Kufis, as they feared of being exposed and punished for their mischief, since Hussain(ra) had the proof along with him, which were those letters which they sent inviting him to Kufa, thus they played a major role in Hussain’s(ra) killing and martyrdom and they even looted and burned the tents of Hussain(ra) , inorder to destroy those letters which were an evidence against them.

We read in Shia hadeeth:

Ahmad Bin Muhammad, from Al-Hassan Bin Ali Bin Fazaal, from Al-MufazzAl-Bin Saleh, from Muhammad Al-Halby who has said:Abu Abdullah(as) has said: ‘Allah Presented Our Wilayah on the inhabitants of the regions, but they did not accept it except for the inhabitants of Kufa. (Basa’ir al-darjaat, page 109)

Narrated to us Yaqoub Bin Yazeed, from Ibn Sinan, from Uteyba Bayaa’ Al-Qasb, from Abu Baseer who said: ‘I heard Abu Abdullah(as) say: ‘Our Wilayah was Presented to the heavens and the Earth, and the mountains, and the region, they did not accept it. It was accepted by the inhabitants of Kufa. (Basa’ir al-darjaat, page 109)

Famous Shiite scholar, Qazi Noorullah Shustri said:
“There is no reason to prove that the Kufans were Shias. The Kufans being Sunni is against logic and needs to be proven even though Abu Hanifa (who was a Kufan) was a Sunni”.(Majalis al Momineen,Vol. 1, p. 25).

The Shia scholar, Kaadhim al-Ihsaa’ee al-Najafee says: The army that set out to wage war against al-Imaam al-Husayin (alayhis salaam) were 300,000 (in number) all of them were from the people of Kufah. There was not amongst them any Shaamee, Hijaazee, Hindee, Baakistaanee, Sudaanee, Misree, or Afreeqee. Rather, all of them were from the people of Kufah and they had gathered together from many diverse tribes. [Aashooraa (p. 89)].

Note: The Shia might try to reject this fact using their conjectures. They bring forth a hadeeth from Sahih Bukhari, where a man from Iraq, approached Ibn Umar(ra) for a Fatwa on the blood of mosquitoes. From it they claim that an Iraqi turning to Ibn Umar for a fatwa evidences that the Shia of Uthman killed Imam Hussain (as). This is a irrational and non-sensical conjecture, because as we have proven that a Shia who killed Uthman(ra) participated in killing of Hussain(ra). Moreover, the Shia have a misconception that, those people were the twelver Shia, and they held the beliefs that knowledge can only be sought from Imams, No this is incorrect. This ideology was a much later invention, the early Shias didn’t have a problem in acquiring knowledge and taking Fatwa from Sahaba. Infact, we find that even the Shia Imams took knowledge from Sahaba.

 

The correct Sunni stance regarding the killers of Sayyidna Imam Hussain(ra).

Shaykh al-Islam Ahmad Ibn Taymiyah(rah) stated:

فِتَنٌ وَقِتَالٌ فَلَمَّا قُتِلَ الْحُسَيْنُ بْنُ عَلِيٍّ رضي الله عنهما يَوْمَ عَاشُورَاءَ قَتَلَتْهُ الطَّائِفَةُ الظَّالِمَةُ الْبَاغِيَةُ , وَأَكْرَمَ اللَّهُ الْحُسَيْنَ بِالشَّهَادَةِ , كَمَا أَكْرَمَ بِهَا مَنْ أَكْرَمَ مِنْ أَهْلِ بَيْتِهِ . أَكْرَمَ بِهَا حَمْزَةَ وَجَعْفَرَ , وَأَبَاهُ عَلِيًّا , وَغَيْرَهُمْ , وَكَانَتْ شَهَادَتُهُ مِمَّا رَفَعَ اللَّهُ بِهَا مَنْزِلَتَهُ , وَأَعْلَى دَرَجَتَهُ , فَإِنَّهُ هُوَ وَأَخُوهُ الْحَسَنُ سَيِّدَا شَبَابِ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ , وَالْمَنَازِلُ الْعَالِيَةُ لا تُنَالُ إلاّ بِالْبَلاءِ , كَمَا قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم { لَمَّا سُئِلَ : أَيُّ النَّاسِ أَشَدُّ بَلاءً فَقَالَ : الأَنْبِيَاءُ ثُمَّ الصَّالِحُونَ ثُمَّ الأَمْثَلُ فَالأَمْثَلُ يُبْتَلَى الرَّجُلُ عَلَى حَسَبِ دِينِهِ , فَإِنْ كَانَ فِي دِينِهِ صَلابَةٌ زِيدَ فِي بَلائِهِ وَإِنْ كَانَ فِي دِينِهِ رِقَّةٌ خُفِّفَ عَنْهُ , وَلا يَزَالُ الْبَلاءُ بِالْمُؤْمِنِ حَتَّى يَمْشِيَ عَلَى الأَرْضِ وَلَيْسَ عَلَيْهِ خَطِيئَةٌ } . رَوَاهُ التِّرْمِذِيُّ وَغَيْرُهُ . فَكَانَ الْحَسَنُ وَالْحُسَيْنُ قَدْ سَبَقَ لَهُمَا مِنْ اللَّهِ تَعَالَى مَا سَبَقَ , مِنْ الْمَنْزِلَةِ الْعَالِيَةِ , وَلَمْ يَكُنْ قَدْ حَصَلَ لَهُمَا مِنْ الْبَلاءِ مَا حَصَلَ لِسَلَفِهِمَا الطَّيِّبِ , فَإِنَّهُمَا وُلِدَا فِي عِزِّ الإِسْلامِ , وَتَرَبَّيَا فِي عِزٍّ وَكَرَامَةٍ , وَالْمُسْلِمُونَ يُعَظِّمُونَهُمَا وَيُكْرِمُونَهُمَا , وَمَاتَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم  وَلَمْ يَسْتَكْمِلا مِنْ التَّمْيِيزِ , فَكَانَتْ نِعْمَةُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهِمَا أَنْ ابْتَلاهُمَا بِمَا يُلْحِقُهُمَا بِأَهْلِ بَيْتِهِمَا , كَمَا اُبْتُلِيَ مَنْ كَانَ أَفْضَلَ مِنْهُمَا , فَإِنَّ عَلِيَّ بْنَ أَبِي طَالِبٍ أَفْضَلُ مِنْهُمَا , وَقَدْ قُتِلَ شَهِيدًا وَكَانَ مَقْتَلُ الْحُسَيْنِ مِمَّا ثَارَتْ بِهِ الْفِتَنُ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ . كَمَا كَانَ مَقْتَلُ عُثْمَانَ رضي الله عنه مِنْ أَعْظَمِ الأَسْبَابِ الَّتِي أَوْجَبَتْ الْفِتَنَ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ , وَبِسَبَبِهِ تَفَرَّقَتْ الأُمَّةُ إلَيَّ الْيَوْمِ

When al-Hussain ibn ‘Ali(ra) was killed on the day of ‘Aashura’, he was killed by the sinful, wrongdoing group. Allaah honoured al-Husayn with martyrdom, as He honoured other members of his family, and raised his status, as He honoured Hamzah, Ja’far, his father ‘Ali and others. Al-Husayn and his brother al-Hasan are the leaders of the youth of Paradise. High status can only be attained through suffering, as the Prophet(saw) said, when he was asked which people suffer the most. He said, “The Prophets, then righteous people, then the next best and the next best. A man will suffer according to his level of faith. If his faith is solid, he will suffer more, but if his faith is shaky, he will suffer less. The believer will keep on suffering until he walks on the earth with no sin.” (reported by al-Tirmidhi and others). Al-Hasan and al-Husayn achieved what they achieved and reached the high status they reached by the help and decree of Allaah. They did not suffer as much as their forefathers had, for they were born and raised during the glory days of Islam, and the Muslims respected and honoured them. The Prophet(saw) died when they were still young, and Allaah blessed them by testing them in such a manner that they would be able to catch up with the rest of their family members, as those who were of a higher status than them were also tested. ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib was better than them, and he was killed as a shaheed (martyr). The killing of al-Husayn was one of the things that caused fitnah (tribulation) among the people, as was the killing of ‘Uthmaan, which was one of the greatest causes of fitnah, because of which the ummah is still split today.(Source: Al-Fataawa al-Kubra, part 5)

Shaykh al-Islam Ahmad Ibn Taymiyah(rah) also said:

وأما من قتل ” الحسين ” أو أعان على قتله أو رضي بذلك فعليه لعنة الله والملائكة والناس أجمعين ; لا يقبل الله منه صرفا ولا عدلا . قال : فما تحبون أهل البيت ؟ قلت : محبتهم عندنا فرض واجب
.“As regards the one who killed Al-Husain or helped in his killing or was pleased with that, then upon him will be the Curse of Allaah and of the angels and of all the people, and Allaah will not accept from him either obligatory acts or supererogatory acts.” He said: What about loving ahlul bayt? I say Loving them is Fardh and Waajib according to me. [Majmoo’ Fataawa Shaykh al-Islam, part 4, p. -488]

 

Conclusion:

To conclude, what is authentically established from the Sunnah is the fasting on the day of Ashura. As for mourning, lamenting or celebrating by making special foods, wearing new clothes, etc, then it is all innovations(biddah).

Finally, We leave you with the statement of Imām Mālik(rah), who said: “He who introduces an innovation (Bid’ah) in Islam, regarding it as something good has claimed that Muḥammad(saw) has betrayed his trust to deliver the message. As Allāh says: ‘Today have I completed your Deen(religion)’ Whatever was not part of the Deen(religion) during the time of the Prophet cannot be considered as part of the Deen(religion) today.” [al-I`tisām, ash-Shāṭibī]

Imam Malik also said: “Nothing will benefit the later ones from this Ummah, except that which benefited the earlier ones (i.e., the companions).” [Ibn Taymiyyah, al-Qā’idah al-Jalīlah]

May the Peace and blessings be upon our beloved Prophet Muḥammad, his family, and his companions.

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