In a statement released to mark the beginning of the sorrowful month of Muharram, Grand Ayatollah Naser Makarem-Shirazi emphasized the need to avoid things which cause division among Muslims.
His Eminence explained that even if we travel the world over we will never find an event like Ashura in any time or place. Many people do not realize this fact but every year its magnitude becomes more visible. There is no event in all of human history which is as rejuvenating as the event of Ashura was. “Ashura unites both the followers of the Ahlul-Bayt (A) and Muslims as a whole and it also injects new blood which is filled with courage and bravery into the veins of the lovers of Imam Husayn (A) which powers them against the oppressors. Ashura also leads to the purification of the soul and develops ones morality and helps one turn toward God in repentance,” Ayatollah Makarem-Shirazi explained.
In his statement, Ayatollah Makarem-Shirazi stated that evidence shows that more than any previous year, this Muharram’s mourning ceremonies for the Ahlul-Bayt (A) will be more passionate and more splendid. He stated that he hopes that all mourners, speakers and elegists do not forget how powerful Ashura can be.
The renowned source of emulation gave several pieces of advice to the believers on how to conduct themselves during this holy and sorrowful time.
First and foremost, he emphasized that the believers should try to partake in traditional mourning ceremonies which are the most pleasing to the Ahlul-Bayt (A) and to avoid any forms which are offensive and unbefitting to the dignity of the holy martyrs of Karbala.
When the mourners mourn the martyrs of Karbala, they should understand the objectives of Imam Husayn’s (A) uprising and the speakers and elegists should help the people to become familiar with the Imam’s objectives.
Ayatollah Makarem-Shirazi encouraged mourners, especially the youth, to prevent the exploitation of mourning ceremonies by political and factional groups. Muslims should avoid forms of mourning which causes conflict between Muslims and gives the enemies excuses to attack Muslims, such as self-flagellation and insulting the sanctities of our Sunni brethren, emphasizing that any abuse will come at a great cost to the peace and security of Shi’ites throughout the world and will only serve our enemies. He said this in reference to attacks by Takfiri terrorists on Shi’ite mourners which occur every Muharram throughout the Islamic world, especially in Iraq and Pakistan.
His Eminence encouraged the believers to take advantage of the two-month long period of mourning that encompasses Muharram and Safar, saying mourning has great spiritual and moral effects on the soul. He especially encouraged the youth to participate with full vigour. He stated that commemorating the tragic martyrdom of Imam Husayn (A), his beloved family (A), and righteous companions (RA) on the plains of Karbala is a “thorn in the eyes of the enemies of Islam.”