Syedna al-Muʾayyad al-Shirazi’s RA Majaalis al-Nawh

Majlis One

O Congregation of Mumineen! 

May Allah place you amongst those who have taken His beloved as caverns for the salvation of their souls, so that they may receive their intercession on the Day of Qiyamat when ‘the Spirit and angels will stand in a row.’  Shed — may Allah bless you with His mercy — a downpour of tears! Don the garbs of grief and sorrow! Let out wails in grief and mourning! Weep upon this great calamity in the morning and the evening, for it is a calamity of such magnitude and agony that even the sacrifice of one’s life in its expression would be inadequate and any amount of maatam would be insufficient. A calamity that brought Rasul Allah SAW to tears and set ablaze Maulatena Fatema’s AS liver. How could it not, for [the blessed body of] Husain AS lay upon the scorching desert sands, while his sacred head is raised upon a spearhead swaying in the wind. His revered family has been enslaved and made to sit upon camels, while the veils of the women of his household are snatched from their pious heads. They were marched from place to place bound in shackles and chains. Oh, my grief for those bodies drenched in blood! Oh, my sorrow for those lips parched from thirst! Oh how my heart burns in agony for Maula Husain SA whose calls went unanswered, whose cries for help were ignored, and whose plea for but a sip of water was mercilessly denied. Indeed, water is forbidden for him, although it is permitted for everyone else.

If only Moulatena Fatema AS could see her descendants, unveiled and surrounded by the enemy, bewailing with cries of ‘O Brother’, calling out ‘O father’, screaming ‘O grandfather’, and crying out in wails of agony and distress. Their clothes are torn, their hearts pained by the slaughter of their loved ones, their hair unfurled and they have been forced to leave their sanctuaries.

How can mourning be justified on anyone apart from these pure descendants [of Rasul Allah SA]? How can grieving be appropriate for anything apart from the massacre of Ameer al-Mumineen’s AS progeny?

Majlis Two

O congregation of Mumineen!

May Allah purify you of the filth of deception and disobedience, and keep you from treading the path of those who conspire to spread corruption and wreak havoc across the earth. Know that Allah has made this world a house of trials and tribulations by which he tests his followers. Their lives in this world are tarnished by troubles and suffering. If one of you were to be beset by that which the progeny of Mohammed SA has been beset in these days [of Muharram] at the hands of the misguided or were to be harrowed by a tragedy in which they were devastated by the calamitous swords of ignorant tyrants, then they should recite the following Quranic verse:

 انا لله وانا اليه راجعون 
Innaa li Allahi wa innaa ilayhi raajiʿun 
Indeed, we belong to Allah, and indeed to Him we will return.

They should seek solace by emulating the forbearance of the progeny of Rasul Allah SAW

in the face of sudden misfortune and they should bear hardship in the cause of Allah’s Creed as Rasul Allah’s SAW descendants have, their gratitude unabating. By doing so, they should hope to join those pristine and pure individuals who preceded them. They should desire the company of the Prophets, the Sincere (lovers of Truth), the Witnesses (who testify), and the Righteous (who do good) in the eternal abode.

O what sorrow for those pure souls who were few in number, yet abundant in pain. Those deemed weak on earth, yet held in high esteem by Allah.  How they were butchered by swords and brought to their death in these days.

To be tyrannized in this manner while amongst their ranks are to be found the pure Imams who call towards righteousness and prosperity! And amidst whom exist the children of the Prophets who are the route to salvation! They are the pure progeny; the extensive path that leads to the deliverance of souls. Did they (ignorant tyrants) not uphold the sanctity of Rasul Allah SAW in his children! Did they not honour [in their treatment of these children] any pact of kinship or covenant of protection! Did these tyrants not know that Allah has obligated the Ahle Bayt’s AS love upon the umma when He called them towards it with His following instructions to their respected grandfather Nabi Mohammed SAW:

O Mohammed, say unto them, ‘No reward do I ask of you for this except the love of the Qurba (those near of kin).

Aah! I am in agony because of what has befallen Rasul Allah’s SAW children. Aah! I pain for that which has descended upon Fatema al-Batul AS. Aah! I anguish about that battlefield upon which both the young and old lay fallen. Aah! I grieve the imprisoned [women and children] who were paraded upon the backs of camels. Aah! I ache thinking of the infants’ cries and the  women’s weeping. Aah! I lament the loss of men and children. Aah! I mourn the slaughter of those pure and virtuous bodies. Aah! I shudder thinking of the wailing and lament of Maulatona Zainab AS, soaked in Husain Imam’s AS blessed blood, her hair unfurled. How I yearn wholeheartedly to come to their aid and attain the honour of shahaadat through jihad before them. May Allah distance the people of such cruelty from His mercy. “Do they not reflect upon the Qur’an, or are there locks upon [their] hearts?”

Majlis Three

O congregation of Mumineen!

May Allah Taʿala protect you from the faction that made an adversary out of their own Nabi SAW as a result of their maltreatment of his daughter Maulatona Fatima’s SA children. A faction that was determined to bring ruin upon the House of Guidance by oppressing the beloved family of [the person who personified] this guidance. Indeed the day of ʿAashura is the day in which members of your Nabi’s SAW household were crushed by the grindstones of suffering and misfortune! The day in which they were tyrannized by the hands of time! A day the atrocities of which tore the very veils of the religion of Islam; its duties and customs. Allah Taʿala has narrated for His Rasul SAW the tragedy that was to befall his family in the Quran through veiled references and analogies where He states:

 أَيَوَدُّ أَحَدُكُمْ أَن تَكُونَ لَهُ جَنَّةٌ مِّن نَّخِيلٍ وَأَعْنَابٍ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ لَهُ فِيهَا مِن كُلِّ الثَّمَرَاتِ وَأَصَابَهُ الْكِبَرُ وَلَهُ ذُرِّيَّةٌ ضُعَفَاءُ فَأَصَابَهَا إِعْصَارٌ فِيهِ نَارٌ فَاحْتَرَقَتْ

Would any of you wish that he should have a garden with date-palms and vines and streams flowing underneath, and all kinds of fruit, until he is stricken with old age, his children weak, and a fiery whirlwind strikes the garden, burning it all up? 

In its apparent meaning, this aayat shareefa is a statement of rebuke. Would any of you wish for such a calamity to descend upon their yard? Or wish for such a terrifying evil to present itself at their court? No, surely this is not something one desires. If such affliction is something one does not wish upon oneself, nor a fellow human, let alone one’s kith and kin, then the Nabi SAW — in that he is the very path to salvation and the bridge to the deliverance of souls — is far more entitled that such suffering should not knock upon his door nor be directed towards him by his own umma.

Is the shariat of Rasul Allah SAW — which provides nourishment to souls and intellects — any less than a date and vine filled garden? Are the flowing rivers of Rasul Allah’s SAW knowledge deemed inferior to these physical rivers before us? Are the fruits of his wisdom which souls assimilate so effortlessly, of less value than these edible fruits which are physically digested?

Is not the Quranic reference of having reached an old age a suitable analogy for the Prophet’s SAW demise and his ascension from this world to his heavenly abode? His advent to the Hereafter, which is far superior to the material world, is where he reached a lofty station and proximity to his Lord.

Are not the words ‘weak children’ analogous to Rasul Allah’s SAW statement to Maulatona Fatima AS when she enquired upon his deathbed as to who would be the Ahle Bayt’s refuge after his passing, “By Allah, you will be weakened after me!”

Was this garden not afflicted by a fiery whirlwind and burned down when this religion’s crescent-like Awliya AS were wiped out? [The garden turned to ashes] when tyranny spread the world over, when the doors to guidance were forced shut, and when pure bodies were separated from their heads.

What would be the state of a household whose matriarch was slain by anguish, whose patriarch was hacked by a whetted blade and whose two children were either poisoned to death or slaughtered by a sword? [A household whose] women were enslaved and whose men were subjected to massacre and exile? Instead of the obligation to offer salawaat upon them in prayers, they were cursed at atop minbars. Instead of the obligation to heed their command in all matters related to faith, their throats were slit. Their minbars have become the stomping grounds for impure feet. And the celebratory seasons dedicated to Allah, [as a result of the atrocities committed against them,] have now become dreadful days.

Has anything been destroyed by fire the way this house has? Is there a darkness greater than the darkness that enveloped it? “Would any of you wish that he should have a garden with date-palms and vines and streams flowing underneath, and all kinds of fruit, until he is stricken with old age, his children weak, and a fiery whirlwind strikes the garden, burning it all up?” Glory be to the One who is vastly tolerant of tyrants and declares, “We grant them respite only that they may grow in their iniquity.”

Majlis Four

O Congregation of Mumineen!

These days [of Ashara] have arrived. Days that evoke latent resentment at the unruly enemies of Allah’s Awliya, ignite flames of sorrow and inconsolable grief in the hearts of the faithful, and bring forth a downpour of tears from their eyes. How can this not be, for this calamity has befallen the one who was for all the people of his time Allah’s hujjat. The one who was a piece of the Prophet Mustafa’s SAW heart, just as he SAW stated, “Our children are our hearts (akbaad, lit. livers).” O Allah, how precious are those hearts and those children! 

Will you not lament over the one who is a piece of Mohammed’s SAW flesh! The son of Maulatona Fatima, for whom Rasul Allah SAW stated, “Fatima is indeed a piece of me.” He — Allah’s salawaat and salutations upon him — was forced to swallow one agonizing gulp/mouthful of death after another. The despotic heretics of his grandfather’s umma subjected him to the worst atrocities and heresies. 

Shed tears of sorrow! Intensify your grief for the shahzada of your Nabi’s shahzadi and his Wasi! Rain forth from your eyes tears of blood as you grieve for the one whose blessed head was severed from his sacred body at the nape of his neck! The one whose saintly body was made to be a zabihat for swords to slaughter and a target for arrows to attack. Imprisoned and shackled, the innocent women [of his household] were subjugated to the oppressors’ cruelty. They have no one to provide them succor nor give them justice. “The wrongdoers will come to know what (dreadful) end they will meet” as retribution [for their oppression] on the prolonged Day of Judgement when Allah will ask them [of their ill deeds]. On that day, they will have made an adversary of the Nabi Mustafa SAW. Praise be to the one who made the temporal world a place of hardships for His Awliya and compensated them in the Hereafter with the ease, comfort and reward of jannat.

Majlis Five

O congregation of Mumineen!

Will you not mourn the one who is the most pre-eminent of pious martyrs in both body and spirit! [Will you not shed tears for] the one who is the purest of those righteous souls who lie upon the sands of Karbala! Will you not weep for the one whose martyrdom shattered the very heart of Islam! [Will you not lament] the one whose persecution at the hands of oppressive infidels violated the sanctity of prophethood! A tragedy that led to the daughters of Mustafa Rasul Allah SAW being herded atop hunchbacked camels, their heads unveiled, to the tyrant of Damascus (Yazeed). His (Husain Imam AS) posessions were vengefully looted and distributed among the remaining idol worshipers who had only accepted Islam out of the fear of the swords drawn upon them. 

Will you not grieve for the one whose tragedy agonized the angels of heaven?

The sacred Kaʿba as well as [Rasul Allah’s SAW]  lofty minbar and blessed mihrab wailed when his blessed head was brutally severed from his pious body at the hands of the oppressors and paraded from one place to another. Such cruelty, despite his (Imam Husain AS) being the recipient of Rasul Allah’s SAW undying affection, Rasul Allah’s SAW sweet aroma and a piece of the Nabi’s SAW heart. May Allah’s majesty be exalted; He who offers His enemies temporary respite until [the the Day of Qiyamat when] he will try them [for their atrocities], “and mighty is His wrath.” He will bring down upon them terrible torment and severe punishment. 

Majlis Six

O Congregation of Mumineen!

I exhort you all to fear Allah, be obedient to Him, and be vigilant of Him. And [I exhort you] to sever all ties from those who broke the covenant between them and their benefactor, and ravaged the household of their Nabi SAW. “And they have taken their scholars and monks as lords [besides Allah]” (9:31), and handed over possession of [Rasul Allah’s SAW] minbar and mihrab to those whom they appointed of their own accord. Cursed are those imams chosen by the umma. “And your Lord creates and chooses whom He pleases; the choice is not theirs.” (28:68). They (the Nabi’s SAW household) are the rightful Aʾimmat — pious and virtuous. And those chosen by the people are wretched and lowly. 

Would that I knew — is Nabi Mohammed’s SAW reciprocation [for guiding the umma] that his esteemed uncle’s son, Maulana Ali AS, be torn away from his minbar and mihrab? And that his beloved daughter, Maulatona Fatima AS, be denied her entitled portion [of her father’s inheritance] prescribed by the Quran? Or was his recompense, that they set ablaze his heart by tormenting the fruit of his heart? [Was his reward] that his beloved sons be slaughtered and cherished daughters shackled and imprisoned?

Of his two dear grandsons, one’s innards were shredded while the other’s slain, blessed body was deserted out on the open desert sands.

Rasul Allah’s SAW daughters are made prisoners to be paraded on camels and subjected to the irreverent gaze of spectators. Those that remain [of the Nabi’s SAW household] are butchered by swords and crushed between the grindstones of death. 

Whenever a tyrant from these oppressive usurpers came to power, a large number of Maulatona Fatima’s SAW children were slaughtered by his sword. Within the cradle of peace, while others were left to prosper, their safety, comfort and solace were denied. In place of the obligatory prayers of salawaat in their honour, they were cursed and damned. By Allah, how can the murder (shahadat) of someone who professes the shahada that ‘There is no God but Allah and Mohammed is Allah’s Rasul’ be justified, let alone when they are Rasul Allah’s SAW own progeny and knowing who he is? Glory be to the One who has stretched the halters [upon the necks] of tyrants and broadened His tolerance [of their misdeeds], for he states, “We grant them respite only that they may add to their sins”.

Majlis Seven

O congregation of Mumineen!

I enjoin upon you the fear of Allah and adherence to the Imams of True Guidance. I bid you to contemplate the spiritual matters of your faith through the lens of what you witness in your worldly affairs. Would your worldly kings be pleased if a few of their subjects usurped the throne from the kings’ rightful heirs and ruled over them? Would they welcome submission to the authority of intruders and interlopers while the rightful sovereignty of their successors remains unacknowledged and neglected? [If this would not be tolerated for worldly kings,] Then why have you accepted such mistreatment for Rasul Allah’s SAW heirs, those whom Allah Taʿala has given “that which He had never given anyone in the world” (28:68), since he has raised prophets from amongst them and made them sovereigns. 
Would Nabi Mohammed SAW be pleased that Maulana Ali AS be made a vassal of [the tribes of] Taym and ʿAdee? Would he welcome the notion that his pure progeny be substituted for the umma while the ‘Tree Cursed in the Quran’ (Banu Umayya) were made Imams [to reign over them]? Do you find it plausible that Allah Taʿala would sustain sovereignty within the descendants of Roman and Turkic [kings, generation after generation], yet deny Nabi Mohammed’s SAW heirs any share of their esteemed grandfather’s kingdom? Or that He would garb interlopers with the mantle of this dominion and leave those who were its true and rightful associates, both in terms of lineage and integrity, undraped. If so, what of Nabi Mohammed’s SAW widely attested position of pre-eminence and highly sought-after wellspring of glory and honour?

Would Nabi Mohammed SAW be pleased that Maulana Ali AS be made a vassal of [the tribes of] Taym and ʿAdee? Would he welcome the notion that his pure progeny be substituted for the umma while the ‘Tree Cursed in the Quran’ (Banu Umayya) were made Imams [to reign over them]? Do you find it plausible that Allah Taʿala would sustain sovereignty within the descendants of Roman and Turkic [kings, generation after generation], yet deny Nabi Mohammed’s SAW heirs any share of their esteemed grandfather’s kingdom? Or that He would garb interlopers with the mantle of this dominion and leave those who were its true and rightful associates, both in terms of lineage and integrity, undraped. If so, what of Nabi Mohammed’s SAW widely attested position of pre-eminence and highly sought-after wellspring of glory and honour? 

Did Allah Taʿala not favour the progeny of Ibrahim [with imamate] and grant them the ‘magnificent kingdom’ when he stated, “We have given the descendants of Ibrahim the Scripture (al-kitāb) and Wisdom (al-ḥikma), and conferred upon them a magnificent kingdom. (4:54)” What then was the offence committed by the progeny of Nabi Mohammed SAW, who are superior to Nabi Ibrahim’s AS descendants, that prevented them from inspiring even a trace of that breeze [of what was given to Nabi Ibrahim’s AS descendants]? They received not scripture nor wisdom; they were offered not kingdom nor bounty. The Scripture has been doled out to individuals with arbitrary views, preoccupied by their whims and fancies. The Wisdom remains a bodiless form not to be found, like the mythical phoenix. And the Kingdom is interchanged and swapped exclusively between cursed pharaohs and tyrants. 

This, indeed, is a catastrophic misfortune: a calamity of which there is no greater. Would that they (Nabi Mohammed’s SAW Ahle Bayt AS) had been withdrawn from this all since it remained a constant source of persecution and hostility. They would have evaded drinking from the chalice of death, gulp after gulp. Bear witness [O Mumineen], may Allah shower you with His mercy! Did a single one of them escape or elude either unthinkable massacre or atrocious torment? If the Ahle Bayt of Mohammed, Allah’s salutations and salawaat upon them, did not deserve to inherit their revered grandfather’s kingdom, did they deserve to be mercilessly slaughtered by his umma? Take heed, O people of discernment! And take note and remember, O people of intellect!

Majlis Eight

O congregation of Mumineen!

The Day of ʿAashura is upon us! The Day in which the fruit of Rasul Allah’s SAW heart and a piece of Fatema al-Batul’s AS own flesh was slain. It is imperative that every Mumin remember the suffering and pain he (Imam Husain AS) was afflicted with in Karbala. [Each Mumin must] don garbs of grief and sorrow. Remember — may Allah bless you with His mercy — the slaughter of Imam Husain, salaams upon him.  [Recall] the merciless slaying of his esteemed Ahle Bayt and his noble companions; those who sacrificed their lives for Husain AS and thus achieved the two best outcomes (a pious death in this world and salvation in the next).  Cry out in your grief and wail in your sorrow throughout the morning and the eve! Shed tears for the martyr whom angels in heaven wept as they recalled what befell him at the hands of the damned umma: a group, which unlike the faithful and true, tread the path of Allah’s disobedience. [Lament] the martyred Imam whom the wicked umma left headless [upon the scorching desert sands]; by whose slaying, they in turn slew all of mankind.

They tore to shreds the liver of Nabi Mustafa SAW when they severed his (Imam Husain’s AS) blessed head from his sacred body at the nape of his neck. 

Mourn for those pure women who — enslaved and bareheaded — wept the fallen nobles of their household. They, the daughters of the Lord of all Prophets (Nabi Mohammed SAW) and the Leader of all the Prophets’ Legatees (Amirul Mumineen AS),  were paraded like slaves between hordes of enemies. Bewail those young children, [their hands] bound with ropes, who were thrust into unthinkable hardship and persecution. O Mumineen! Throughout the Night of ʿAashura, occupy yourselves in supplication and prayer just as Imam Husain AS and the members of virtuous household had. They chose martyrdom for the sake of Allah — may Allah reward you all generously for your remembrance of Imam Husain’s AS tragedy — and by exerting every effort, they acquired lasting honour and eternal salvation.

Majlis Nine

O congregation of Mumineen!

The Day of ʿAashura is here!

Its burning intensity has stoked the fires of grief and sorrow inside the hearts and livers of Mumineen, setting them ablaze. ʿAashura brings even stones to tears in the remembrance of the slain, martyred Imam of Karbala. 

Will you not weep the Imam who was slaughtered and whose body was left strewn out in the open [in the sweltering desert heat]? 

Weep the son of Ali al-Murtadha AS and Fatima al-Zahra AS! Weep the one whose martyrdom broke the heart of Islam! Let forth a deluge of crimson tears – May Allah’s mercy be upon you!

Will you not weep the one who was slain by the damned umma? For the angels of heaven mourned him. 

Will you not weep the blessed body weakened by wound after wound inflicted by Satan and his followers? The one who was raised and nurtured in Rasul Allah’s SAW warmth, showered with affection and kisses from morn to eve? 

Will you not weep the blessed severed head that was raised atop a spear? The head of the Imam who held the position of the head in the body of faith? 

Will you not weep the one whom Rasul Allah SAW placed on one shoulder, and his brother Imam Hasan AS on the other, and then declared, “The greatest of all mounts is their (Hasan and Husain’s AS) mount, and they are the greatest of all riders. And their father surpasses them both.” 

They (the damned umma) forsook him to be butchered by swords. They showered arrows upon him from above like rains from the sky. They denied him the waters of the Euphrates while it remained open to others. For him, access to the water was declared haram, yet all sorts of animals drank from it and wallowed at its banks. 

Besides the sacred body of Husain Imam AS, they left the desert floor bestrewn with the pious bodies of martyrs of the Prophet’s SAW household. Littered across the barren, parched land, they abandoned the bodies in contempt, offering neither burial shrouds nor funerary biers for cover or protection. 

These foes forced the daughters of Rasul Allah SAW on to the backs of camels whose drivers violently mistreated them. The insolent enemies hurled insults at them while they were paraded [from town to town] like slave girls. 

With the intent to deride and mock, they then insincerely declare, “We are the umma of Mohammed SAW”. “[But] Allah will throw their mockery back at them, leaving them to continue wandering blindly in their defiance.” (2:15)