Zaki Thaher al-Imari, Al-Hayat, 2003/04/29
Many historians have written about Hussein Bin Ali (God bless his soul), including al-Moukaram, al-Haydari and al-Akkad. The best writer is probably the late Sheikh Mohammad Mehdi Shamseddine. However, most studies did not rely on a scientific style, based on a data study yielding results that the researcher reveals when he finishes his work. They mostly followed the traditional style that states the result in advance, then gathers all the data to reach that result. The researches studied the subject as a historical novel, and the revolutions that followed the Hussein Revolution are affected by them.
We should address two points in this respect: the first is the events in the day of the memory of al-Hussein and their effect on the Shiite reality; the second is the negative and positive changes they created among the Shiite citizen and people's behaviors. There is no doubt that the goal of Imam Hussein (God bless his soul) is to eradicate the moral and religious corruption, to stop the injustice, fortify the nation against delinquency, and build it by the religious Islamic believes. The ways of commemoration turned the practices into rites with no relation to the Husseini believes. Many Shiite groups expressed their disapproval, even their disgust, with these practices.
Thus, we invite those who are still decided to continue with these practices, from gestures and chains and polluting the ocean with the special oil they use, to study how these strange practices entered the Arab Islamic reality. They were brought from countries neighbors with Russia, and from Iran and India. Anyway, who wants to release the Husseini believes from these negative aspects has to prove to us how are these acts related to the Husseini revolution? We know what is the role of passion in the commemoration. What is dangerous is to spoil this passion, and teach the people depraved acts that don't develop the Islamic spirit and believes to reach supreme goals. The fact that Sitt Zeinab (God bless her soul) hit her face doesn't mean that this is an obligation. The visit of Jaber al-Ansari and the escape of al-Sharif al-Radi, didn't lead to any of these practices. So do these practices heighten the Muslim's feeling of confidence or is it the opposite?
The evil people took advantage of the presence of the television in each house to broadcast the scenes of hitting the heads, scratching the back with chains and carrying sticks of fire dripping on the carriers. Thus do the rest of the newspapers, and other media means, such as the British newspaper Daily Mirror (14/3/2003), which only chose these scenes. The truth is that the practices had a negative effect on the human and religious concepts and goals. No-one owes loyalty unless he is from the house, thus, loyalty became inherited. This is a reduction of dimensions that doesn't surely please the believers.
We notice, on the individual side, that many Iraqi Shiites parents started accepting material compensations when their sons were killed during the war between Iran and Iraq, as Saddam asked. This is not listening to the verse the hear, which the sermon's orators repeat during the elegy of al-Kassem (God rest his soul): "your apostasy doesn't bring earth nor wealth/ you carry me even if I am broke with no money." We don't mention this because sons are more important than nations, but because the war wasn't fair. As for those who are still convinced with these practices, some drink alcohol. But when the Ashura comes, we see them getting all active, hitting themselves with chains among other things. They only knew Hussein from an inherited passion.
The tribes only know their tribal martial law, and many of their famous expressions. We wouldn't be exaggerating if we say that this morality showed defects even in the cultured society.
How else could we explain the conflicts between the different factions of the Islamic Shiite opposition, and their fighting about an illusionary leadership? Can we take advantage of the plurality and the variety of opinions, to enrich the society instead of having dozens of leaderships? Is this the cooperative spirit we learned from our masters?