The ‘Ḥussaini symbolic rituals’ (Shaʿa ’ir)

Tatbīr (Self Flagellation) Chest Beating , and Shedding Tears forbidden, permissible, or recommended?


Translators Introduction
Following the translation of the research of His Eminence, Shaykh Nāmi Farḥāt al-ʿĀmili, titled ‘Chest Beating & Shedding Tears – forbidden, permissible, or recommended’ – there was a huge demand to cover the ever-controversial topic of self-flagellation (Taṭbīr).

One does not need to elaborate the details of the sensitivity of this topic; which is now a source of division among the lovers of Imām al-Ḥussain (as). It is a topic that is so sensitive that many scholars tend to ignore or deflect giving their opinion and conclusions on it. However, Shaykh Nāmi Farḥāt has courageously shared his research on this topic, and it was an honour to be able to translate his work.

An important point that I want to emphasise before the reader embarks on observing the Shaykh’s position in this matter, is that it is imperative to read this translation from start to finish, and not immediately jump to the conclusion. This research is not only to know his opinion, but rather – and more beneficial – is to observe the method, analysis, and critique that the Shaykh so eloquently presented in reaching his conclusion. It is with regret that I say, it is extremely rare to find such clearly expressed research on such topics – especially in the English language. It is one that I have personally learned a lot from and I hope that this translation is one that is also able to benefit others.

One may benefit from this without necessarily changing their opinion. Rather, the real benefit that I aspire the readers to reach is that it opens the minds to be more tolerant and understanding of differing opinions. One of the diseases infecting the Shīʿas of today is the lack of tolerance between each other – to the point that we have become mirror images of the very same takfīris that we have historically despised. We have become a people who are so quick to condemn anyone who does not share the same opinion as us, even if we have not understood the reasoning for such stances. Rather than closing all doors of development, growth, and broader understanding – let us be of those who unite under the banner of al-Wilāyah and show love, respect, and support to others, even if they do not say what we say. By doing so, we also open our hearts to the possibility that some other opinions may enlighten us to new understandings, and truly submit to the truth - wherever it may take us.

Along with this analysis of al-Shaykh Nāmi Farḥāt al-ʿĀmili, we have taken the liberty of providing some commentary through the footnotes. Please note that aside from the primary sources, any further footnotes are considered the opinion and/or research of the translator, and totally independent from the author of this work, Shaykh Nāmi Farḥāt al-ʿĀmili.
We thank Allāh, Mighty and Majestic, for the strength and blessings of completing this translation, and hope it is of benefit to those who wish to seek the truth.

Instructor Bio

Sheikh Mohammed Ismail

Sheikh Mohammed Ismail - 

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