Seeking Tabarruk from the soil of Imam Husain (peace be upon him)
A view among the so-called puritanical Muslims with regards seeking grace and blessings also called Tabarruk is that it is contrary to religion and the principles of Tauheed. We should seek help and blessings and grace only from Allah and never from the effects (aathaar) of the infallibles (peace be upon him) like the soil of Imam Husain’s (peace be upon him) shrine, as the Shias do.
We will go on to prove how objections regarding Tabarruk are baseless and un-Islamic just like the objections on other actions like Tawassul (mediation) and Shafaa’at (intercession).
Holy Quran validates Tabarruk
The skeptics must first familiarize themselves with the Majestic Quran then they wouldn’t have so many problems dealing with Tabarruk. The following verses should put their doubts to rest, if indeed they consider the Holy Quran as proof.
1. Blood-stained shirt of Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him)
The Holy Quran furnishes a fitting reply to the skeptics of Tabarruk through the incident of the prophets Yaqoob (peace be upon him) and Yusuf (peace be upon him).
Prophet Yaqoob (peace be upon him), who lost his eyesight due to continuous weeping after separation from Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him), was eventually healed when the blood-stained shirt of Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) was cast over his eyes.
“Take this my shirt and cast it on my father’s face, he will (again) be able to see…”
[Surah Yusuf (12): 93]
Why can’t we seek blessings from the blood-stained soil of Imam Husain’s (peace be upon him) grave – the one who stands tall over all humanity as the Chief of Martyrs, the beloved son of Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) and the Chief of Youths of Paradise along with his brother Imam Hasan (peace be upon him)? After all, if Prophet Yaqoob (peace be upon him) was granted Tabarruk from a lifeless shirt, what is wrong if Muslims expect the same from the soil of Imam Husain’s (peace be upon him) grave.
2. Soil of Jibraeel’s (peace be upon him) footsteps
Prophet Moosa (peace be upon him) was summoned by Allah on Mount Tur, when the deviant and corrupt – Samiri – fashioned a calf and spread the message that Moosa (peace be upon him) had gone for good and the calf is the Lord of Moosa (peace be upon him)!
The Bani Israel were taken in by his deceit and began worshipping the calf. When Prophet Moosa (peace be upon him) returned he was dismayed to see his followers in that state. When he learnt of Samiri’s handiwork he demanded – O Samiri, why and how were you able to successfully deviate my followers?
“I saw (Jibreel) what they did not see, so I took a handful (of the dust) from the footsteps of the messenger, then I threw it in the casting; thus did my soul commend to me.”
[Surah Taha (20): 96]
If the soil from Jibraeel’s footsteps can make infuse life in a lifeless figure, why is there an objection to the soil of Imam Husain’s (peace be upon him) shrine which can infuse a far greater benefit in mankind.
Jibraeel is after all the servant of Imam Husain (peace be upon him) and other members of the cloak.
[Madinah al-Ma’aajiz vol. 2 p. 395, vol. 4 p. 56]
Sunnah validates Tabarruk
1. Reality of Hajar al-Aswad
The critics can harp all they want about how Tabarruk is wrong or un-Islamic. Let them remove the Hajar al-Aswad from the Holy Kaaba if they feel so strong about Muslims seeking blessing from the lifeless. Let them not pay their respects to the Hajar al-Aswad and ignore it as if it were meaningless (Allah forbid).
As advocated by reliable Sunnah, all Muslims accept the reality of Hajar al-Aswad as a witness on the Day of Resurrection for the pilgrimage of all pilgrims. Muslims take great pains to salute it or acknowledge it, no matter how far they are from it while circling it, so as to ensure the Hajar remembers them on the Day of Resurrection.
The blessings of Hajar al-Aswad are a sure sign for the deniers of Tabarruk.
2. Healing from earth of Medina mixed with spit of companions
There are many instances where sick people have consumed the pure earth of Imam Husain’s (peace be upon him) shrine and were cured. Traditions to this effect are widely documented in many reliable books and their chains of narrators are verified. However, the skeptics reject these traditions under the guise of shirk, non-permissibility, innovation and so on.
We would like to draw the attention of the critics to their own books that have painstakingly documented numerous instances of the sick being treated after consuming earth.
For the sake of brevity we mention only a few. It must be noted that the Shias don’t necessarily take these traditions as God’s word, since these books are not a proof for them. The reports are being reproduced only serve to complete the argument.
Ayesha narrates: Whenever a person complained to the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) about blisters or wounds, he reported that the he (peace be upon him and his progeny) took some sand in his finger and lowered his forefinger on the earth then he raised it in the name of Allah and mixed our earth (i.e earth of Medina) with the spit of one of us so that we were cured with the permission of our Lord. He said – Ibn Abi Shaibah was cured and he said – Zohair cured our sick ones.
[Sahih Muslim, vol. 4, p. 1,724, trad. 2,194, ‘Book of Salaam’, chap 31, under ‘Istehbaab al-Reeqiyyah’ (Recommendation of using saliva)]
Readers must also refer to:
- Sahih Bukhari vol. 5 p. 2,168, trad. 5,414, chap 37 under ‘Reeqiyyah al-Nabi’ (peace be upon him and his progeny),
- Sahih Bukhari Book 79, ‘Book of Medicines’
3. Earth of Medina cure for leprosy
Indeed, skeptics will admit to the healing prowess of all cities but find it challenging to accept the healing nature of the earth of Imam Husain (peace be upon him)! Here we can see how their records speak highly of Medina’s earth.
Ismail Ibn Muhammad Ibn Thabit Ibn Qais Ibn Shammaas reports from his father that the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) informed – The dust of Medina is a cure for leprosy.
- Jaame al-Ahadith vol. 5 p. 237 by Hafiz Jalaal al-Deen al-Suyuti
- Subul al-Huda wa al-Rashad by Muhammad Ibn Yusuf al-Salihi, al-Shami (exp. 942 A.H.)
- Kanzul Ummaal vol. 12 p. 106, trad. 34,728
Why is Tabarruk Shirk (Polytheism) in Karbala and Tauheed (Monotheism) in Medina?
4. Healing from the wings of fly
Instead of mocking Shias for resorting to the healing power of Imam Husain’s (peace be upon him) shrine, the cynics must reflect on their own books which give a very different meaning to the ‘fly in the soup’ problem.
Abu Huraira relates from the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) – When the fly drops in one of your bowls, then its whole body should be taken with food or should be swallowed with the drink because one of its wings is a cure while the other one is a medicine!
[Sahih Bukhari vol. 5 p. 2,180, chapter 57, ‘When a fly drops in the bowl’, Book 79, ‘Book of Medicines’]
5. Healing from the urine of Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny)
The skeptics mock the Shias over their belief about their Imams (peace be upon him) being pure and clean from all aspects. They either don’t know or forget that their own books mention many such reports about the Prophet’s (peace be upon him and his progeny) stool and urine being pure and a medium of healing and intercession.
Umm Ayman narrates – Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) found a bowl and discharged urine in it and in the morning he said – O Umm Ayman discard the contents of the bowl. I rose in the night while I was thirsty I mistakenly ingested the contents of the bowl. Later the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) asked – O Umm Ayman did you empty the contents of the bowl. I said – O Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him and his progeny) – I rose at night feeling thirsty and consumed its contents. He (peace be upon him and his progeny) said – From today, you will never complain about abdominal pain.
- Tareekh Dimishq vol. 4 p. 303
- Al-Bedaayah wan Nehaayah vol. 5 p. 326
- Al-Khasaaes al-Kubra vol. 1 p. 122
Hakimah binte Amimah narrates from her mother – Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) discharged the urine in a vessel and placed it beneath the bed. He woke up at night and searched for the vessel but couldn’t found it. He (peace be upon him and his progeny) was informed that ‘Barrah’ the Ethiopian servant of Umm Salmah consumed it. He (peace be upon him and his progeny) informed – With this he has protected himself from the Fire of hell.
- Al-Mojam al-Kabeer vol. 24 p. 205
- Al-Khasaaes al-Kubra vol. 2 p. 441
There are plenty of reliable and authentic traditions of Ahle Tasannun on the subject with authentication from the likes of Qazi Ayaaz al-Maliki, who writes:
‘The tradition where it is mentioned that the women ingested urine of Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) is authentic because Daar Qatni reports on them thus – Bukhari and Muslim had themselves mentioned in their respective Sahih, that the name of the woman was Barkah (Barrah). The above traditions are validated by many great scholars of the Ahle Tasannun and Salafis like Ibn Hajr Asqalani, Ibn Hajr Haithami, Abu Hamid Ghazzali. Many others likewise considered as pure the Prophet’s (peace be upon him and his progeny) body waste and passed rulings (fatawa) based on it.
- Fath al-Bari fi Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari vol. 1 p. 272
- Al Fataawaa al-Faqihah al-Kubra vol. 4 p. 117
- Kitab al-Shifa vol. 1 p. 59
6. Consuming the blood of Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) post-Hijamat (cupping)
It is strange how the puritanical Muslims take exception to the bloodstained earth of Karbala when their books advocate consuming the blood of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) to gain security from Hellfire.
Abu Hamid Ghazzali records – One of the youngsters of Quraish saw the blood of Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) dropping in the vessel after cupping and when it was concluded, he glanced left and right and whisked away the vessel behind the wall and consumed it without anybody seeing him. After some time the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) saw him and said – Woe on you, why did you consumer the blood? He replied – I hid behind the wall. He (peace be upon him and his progeny) asked – Why were you hiding? Youth said – O prophet of Allah, I thought it unfitting to let your blood spill on the soil, so I consumed it instead. He (peace be upon him and his progeny) said, ‘You have protected yourself from Hellfire.’
- Al-Elal al-Mutanahiyah vol. 1 p. 186
- Al-Badr al-Muneer vol. 1 p. 473
- Al-Khasaaes al-Kubra vol. 2 p. 440
This is the same Ghazzali who justifies spilling of Imam Husain’s (peace be upon him) blood by defending Yazid and then goes on to record traditions that show it is unfitting to spill the Prophet’s (peace be upon him and his progeny) blood!
7. Water from Ibn Taimiyyah’s funeral bath taken as Tabarruk
Ibn Kathir Dimishqi – one of Ibn Taymiyyah’s foremost students – records how the Muslims accompanying Ibn Taymiyyah’s funeral took the water left over from his funeral bath as Tabarruk.
[Al-Bedaayah wan Nehaayah vol. 5 p. 326]
8. Grave of Ibn Taymiyyah center of Tabarruk
There are many incidents of Muslims seeking blessing from Ibn Taymiyyah’s grave. They took the soil of his grave as a healing agent to treat ailments like sore eyes.
[Al-Radd al-Waafir vol. 1 p. 74]
9. The ‘Fragrant’ Dung of Ayesha’s camel
It is shocking how the earth of Imam Husain’s (peace be upon him) shrine is a matter of raging debate among the self-proclaimed flag bearers of Tauheed, but there is no objection on the filth that is taken for Tabarruk by other Muslims.
A group of Muslims from the tribes of Zabbah and Azd followed Ayesha’s camel around in the Battle of Jamal. They secured the dung of Ayesha’s camel, toyed with it and inhaled it and said – The dung of our mother’s camel smells of musk!
- Tareekh al-Tabari vol. 3 p. 48
- Al-Kamil fi al-Tareekh vol. 3 p. 134
- Nehaayah al-Arab fi Funoon al-Adab vol. 20 p. 43
Clearly seeking blessings is mandated by the Majestic Quran as also the Sunnah. When sweat, urine, blood and camel dung can double up as Tabarruk, why are the skeptics so adamant on treating the chaste soil of Karbala as unworthy of Tabarruk. Clearly this is not a case of Tauheed and Shirk, as is made out to be. It is a case of envy regarding the innumerable merits of Aale Muhammad (peace be upon him). How else can one explain a different definition of Tauheed for the companions and wives from the one espoused by the Majestic Quran and the correct Sunnah with regards Aale Muhammad (peace be upon them)?