In the Name of Allah, the most Gracious, the Ever-Compassionate
السلام علیک یا اباعبدالله وعلی الأرواح التی حلّت بفنائک
The month of Muharram which is a time to commemorate and mourn the martyrdom of Imam al-Husayn is one of the great treasures of not only the Shiʻa world, but all of the Muslim world. It is a time for all Muslims to be inspired by Imam al-Husayn’s great sacrifice in Karbala and seek assistance with him to free themselves from the oppression of the oppressors. It is a time for all Muslims to chant Imam al-Husayn’s motto, “far from us is humiliation”, and learn the ways of piety, free-spiritedness, gallantry, justice, and valiance from him.
Today, as this month of mourning and sorrow begins, it is necessary to mention a few points:
First, it is essential to hold the mourning ceremonies for Imam al-Husayn’s martyrdom more magnificently than the past years while observing the health protocols and it is incumbent upon all to help uphold this culture as much as they can.
Second, the respectable preachers and speakers should not limit their sermons to recounting the history of ʻAshura and its events. Rather, they need to raise public awareness, particularly the youth, regarding the sublime and sacred goal of this great uprising which was upholding what is right and combatting what is wrong, by explaining its roots, causes, events, and implications.
Third, I advise the respectable panegyrists to try to raise public awareness regarding this great event while explaining the great sacrifice and valiant acts of Imam al-Husayn (ʻa) and of the other martyrs of Karbala and by appealing to Imam al-Mahdi (ʻa) for assistance. Moreover, they need to avoid reciting any poems that contain exaggerations or are disrespectful and they should also refrain from using inappropriate panegyric styles in order to prevent possible deviations.
Fourth, it is essential that the respectable commemorators and mourners of Imam al-Husayn (ʻa) avoid doing anything that could disrespect or defame the religion so as not to provide the enemies of the Ahl-al-Bayt (ʻa) any excuse to criticize their school.
Fifth, those who are in charge of the Hay’ats of mourning need to avoid extravagance and treasure sincerity instead by holding these blessed ceremonies free from any extravagance or pretention. They must also give precedence to the prayers in their due time so as to be blessed by Allah’s special favors.
Sixth, undoubtedly one of the important lessons that must be learned from Imam al-Husayn’s uprising concerns the two forgotten religious obligations of enjoining what is good and forbidding what is bad as well as the proper Islamic education and upbringing. These are, in fact, the important values for the promotion of which Imam al-Husayn (ʻa) sacrificed his sacred life.
If these values are promoted within the Muslim community respectfully and free from any sort of insult until they turn in to a culture, a large portion of moral and social vices and corruptions, including lack of proper Hijab, will be eliminated from the society. It should be noted that one of the duties of the Hay’ats of mourning is to foil the plots of the enemies who seek to create such kinds of moral corruption in the society.
Seventh, although the current difficult economic conditions and the high price inflation are causing tremendous suffering to people_ and as we have repeatedly said, it is necessary that the officials double their efforts to control inflation and improve people’s economic conditions_ these issues must not overshadow the mourning ceremonies held in commemoration of Imam al-Husayn’s martyrdom. Thus, I advise everyone to join hands and help organize these ceremonies more magnificently than ever.
In conclusion, I ask all of the mourners and followers of Imam al-Husayn (ʻa) to pray to Allah to hasten the reappearance of Imam al-Mahdi (ʻa) and also pray for the elimination of all problems from Muslim communities. We also ask Allah to send down His special favor and bounty on the Muslim Ummah_
particularly the honorable Iranian people_ by the blessing of the tears shed in commemoration of Imam al-Husayn’s sacrifice and sufferings and those shed in mourning for the martyrdom of the martyrs of Karbala.
May Allah’s peace and blessing be upon you
Qom, Naser Makarem Shirazi
Dhi-al-Ḥajjah, 29, 1443 AH