Mourning the event of Karbala.

The Meaning of Mourning

Mourning and its rituals are the means of promoting the story of oppression endured by the Imam (as) and his companions in such a way that anyone who has a heart can relate and feel the pain. On the other hand, there is no question about the fact that the purpose of Mourning is to prepare us for supporting the oppressed against the oppressors.

However, in order to achieve the objective, we will have to keep the form of lamentation open (so long as haram is not committed). When it comes to Mourning, the means are just as important as the objective.

Mourning is one door for the whole of humanity in order to step into the institution of tawheed and wilayat. Yes, it was none but Imam Hussain (as) who left the door open for anyone like Hur (as) to come to the door of true Islam. The door of the Imam is open until the day of judgement.


The purpose of Mourning (lamentation) is twofold – taaziat (mourning for Hussain) and nusrat (spreading the mission of the Imam), of which activism is a part of the whole concept of nusrat. Mourning of our beloved Imam (as) is the prerequisite for assisting with his mission. Mourning establishes the bond between mankind and the mission of Hussain (as). That is why the movement of Hussain (as) is not just alive but also gradually taking over the world.

Since Islam is a religion of nature and the message of guidance was for humanity, in order to keep the message of justice immortal and eternal, Imam Hussain (as) adopted the way to address humanity with the message of grief and pain by facing the atrocities imposed on him and his family. 

The intent was not to fight and be victorious in the battlefield that is confined to time and place; rather the intent was to be victorious eternally. One needs to ponder on the fact that if the intent was to just win the battle in Karbala then Abu Fadl Abbas (as) would have fought and subdued the army of Yazeed with no trouble.

The Significance of Mourning

Allah (s) has gifted Muslims and specifically Shia Muslims several bounties and abundant opportunities about which we lack recognition (Maarifat). Due to lack of recognition, we do not realize the value of these bounties and as a result we are not getting benefited by the effects of these bounties on us.

The biggest of all bounties is that Allah (s) has given us the recognition of his essence and made us believers in God, by presenting us the proofs of his oneness he has made us monotheists, by teaching us the ways of his worship he has made worshippers, his kindness and generosity has guided us with the lamp of Prophethood.

he has given us a pure religion like Islam, he has descended a book like Holy Quran, he has made us followers of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s) and has granted us love and obedience of the progeny of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s), and apart from this there are thousands of other bounties given to us which we are completely negligent about and hence we are not appreciative and grateful of these bounties; but sill Allah (s) has not abandoned us from these bounties. 

Allah (s) has granted us thousands of opportunities; the significance and value of which is not known to us due to which we are not getting benefitted by these opportunities given to us though some of the opportunities are such that they suffice the need for making up our hereafter.

The opportunity of Mourning

One of the bounties amongst these is the Mourning (mourning and lamentations gatherings) of Doyen of martyrs (a.s) which majority of Muslims are not acquainted with, some have become victims of doubts and fabrications and with utmost grievances there are few who out of ignorance have become enemies of Mourning. Even those who have accepted and perform Mourning are also not well acquainted with its reality and are unaware of it status and esteemed position. 

Opportunities, spare time and bounties are wasted due to being unappreciative and the punishment for such deeds is very severe from Allah (s) because the losses due to wasting opportunities are very high and specifically for those opportunities whose availability has been an outcome of stringent efforts, sacrifices and hardships. 

Allah (s) does not tolerate negligence and abandonment of such bounties for which great capital has been consumed. The opportunity of Mourning has not come to us easily; for this the greatest capital of universe has been spent; for this the purest of beings have suffered unimaginable calamities by the hands of impure beings.

If the recognition of Mourning

If the recognition (Maarifat) of Mourning is acquired than becoming an Azadar would never be considered as a shortcoming it would be something prestigious. The Azadar will then realize the great reality with which he is associated and he will also become aware about his responsibilities.

Any level of expression of gratefulness would be considered less for those who have received this great opportunity of Mourning and god forbid if they become the cause of any damage to Mourning then there won’t be a crime greater than this.

It is essential to understand that human being cannot fulfil the rights of anything without its recognition; without recognition an action does not meets its objective and it does not gets delivered the way it has to be delivered.

The Origins of Mourning

Mourning is the custom of the great Lady Zainab (s.a.) and this great custom has two dimensions; one dimension is that of its benefits and second dimension is that of the purpose in it. The benefit of Mourning is rewards (Thawaab) but the purpose of Mourning is something else. 

We need to come towards the purpose of mourning and lamentations which brings us towards worship and religion. Even if we do not intend to earn rewards still we get rewards but a purpose cannot be acquired until we intend for it. Purpose itself means something that is acquired with intention and cannot be acquired without intention. Rewards can be acquired without recognition (Maarifat) but purpose cannot be acquired without recognition.

Lady Zainab (a.s) never demanded compensation for the blood of martyrs instead she transformed the blood of martyrs into a movement and developed action in a dead nation thereby awakening a dead society. This commander of the movement of Karbala was alive for nearly one and half years after Karbala but this period was enough for this purified lady to accomplish this mission. Zainab (s.a.) is the name of the personality that develops movement in a dead society.

Last Word (Mourning Meaning)

Mourning is not just a means of earning rewards. Mourning is life and existence without which is death. One who does not mourn and does not do Mourning is dead; and to bring him to life he needs to come out. The tears for the sake of earning rewards can be shed inside homes also but the tears for the sake of rewards don’t give birth to movements. Thus, you need to shed tears of protest and where are the tears of protest shed?

You should shed tears out in the field, recite elegies, recite mourning poems (Nauha) and on these poems beat your chests thereby informing the world that we will break this silence and stagnancy despite of enormous cruelties. 

This is because the great Lady Zainab (a.s) has awakened humanity. Today no one can stop this movement, neither these followers of Yazeed, nor the present Yazeed can stop this and neither the Yazeed of any era can stop this. Is there any other movement that is going on in every house? 

Any movement that is present inside children?

Is there any movement that exists inside old people as well, inside women as well, inside villages, inside cities and present everywhere? 

Is there any other movement in which the scholars and ordinary man both participate without being invited? 

This is the movement started by the Daughter of Ali (a.s) and it carries salvation inside it. It is not that if we mourn, we will escape from hell but instead if we mourn then these tears will bring life to our hearts and this message of life will be received by the world. The society will come back to life and salvation will be from the Yazeeds of our era and also salvation in hereafter. 

Mourning first gives protection in this world and then in the hereafter. Mourning is the name of life and these youths should possess the message of life and these youths should have movement inside them.


Imam Hussain (as) is the ambassador of Allah (swt) who owns the complete authority given by Him (swt) to implement and safeguard the system of Divine justice. In Karbala, the objective of Imam Hussain (as) for humanity was to safeguard and implement the system of divine justice, the oneness of God and the guardianship of the infallibles. 

Another objective was liqa ullah (meeting of Allah). Imam Hussain (as) decided to sacrifice his life, the lives of his beloved Family, and his companions who also followed his decision (to eternally safeguard the true principles of Islam) while facing oppression in every possible way.

Today, any human being can relate to Imam Hussain (as) because pain has no religion. Pain of losing loved ones is common to all human beings and that makes the mourning of our beloved Imam (as) universal and relevant in every age. This communal mourning made people from diversified cultures and religions absorb the grief of Hussain (as).

All Maraje support Mourning & consider it to be a corner stone of Shia Islam. Some anti-Islam ,internal and external forces present the Fatawa (verdicts) and opinions of Maraje Uzzam with distortion and tempering which is a severe deeni, literary and moral breach of trust.


  • What is Mourning, the Mourning of Imam al-Hussain? 
  • by Shahid Hussain Baltistani Mourning in the Sight of Maraje Uzzam and Ulema compiler by Islamic Mobility
  • Mourning (Mourning and Lamentations) A Movement by Lady Zainab (s.a) by Syed Jawad Naqvi