Imam Hasan al-Askari(a.s) tore his shirt crying for his father


A question is very often raised from both the followers and the enemies of Ahlul Bayt(a.s ) – did any of the Imams (a.s) grieve in ways such as beating of the chest, slapping the face, ripping of the shirt etc. or any other expression of extreme emotions like the mourners of the Ahlul-Bayt i.e the Shia, display. The following article provides such instances from the life of the 11th Master – Imam al-Askari  (a.s) on the death of his father Imam al-Naqi  (a.s)

أحمد بن علي بن كلثوم السرخسي، قال حدثني أبو يعقوب إسحاق بن محمد البصري، قال حدثني محمد بن الحسن بن شمون، و غيره، قال، خرج أبو محمد (ع)في جنازة أبي الحسن (ع) و قميصه مشقوق، فكتب إليه أبو عون الأبرش قرابة نجاح بن سلمة من رأيت أو بلغك من الأئمة شق ثوبه في مثل هذا فكتب إليه أبو محمد (ع) يا أحمق و ما يدريك ما هذا قد شق موسى على هارون عليهما السلام

(Rejaal al-Kashi, p. 572)
Imam Abu Muhammad (al-Askari a.s.) came out in the funeral of Imam Abu al-Hasan (al-Naqi a.s.) while his shirt was torn. So, Abu Aun al-Abrash – a close relative of Najaah Ibn Salmah – wrote to him, “Have you seen or heard any of the (past) Imams (a.s.) tear his clothes in such a situation?” Imam Abu Muhammad (a.s.) wrote to him,“O fool! What do you know what is this? Indeed, Moosa (a.s.) tore his clothes when his brother Haroon (a.s.) died.”

أحمد بن علي، قال حدثني إسحاق، قال حدثني إبراهيم بن الخضيب الأنباري قال، كتب أبو عون الأبرش قرابة نجاح بن سلمة إلى أبي محمد (ع) أن الناس قد استوحشوا من شقك ثوبك على أبي الحسن (ع) فقال يا أحمق ما أنت و ذاك قد شق موسى على هارون عليهما السلام، إن من الناس من يولد مؤمنا و يحيى مؤمنا و يموت مؤمنا، و منهم من يولد كافرا و يحيى كافرا و يموت كافرا، و منهم من يولد مؤمنا و يحيى مؤمنا و يموت كافرا، و إنك لا تموت حتى تكفر و تغير عقلك فما مات حتى حجبه ولده عن الناس و حبسوه في منزله، في ذهاب العقل و الوسوسة و كثرة التخليط، و يرد على الإمامة، و انكشف عما كان عليه

(Rejaal al-Kashi, p. 572)
Abu Aun al-Abrash – a close relative of Najaah Ibn Salmah – wrote to Imam Abu Muhammad (a.s.), “Surely, the people felt very strange because of your tearing your clothes in the funeral of your father Abu al-Hasan.” Imam (a.s.) replied, “O fool! What do you know about this? Indeed, Moosa (a.s.) tore his shirt at the death of his brother Haroon (a.s.). Surely, from the people is the one who is born a believer,lives a believer and dies a believer. And from them is the one who is born a disbeliever, lives a disbeliever and dies a disbeliever. And from them is the one who is born a believer, lives a believer and dies a disbeliever. You will not die till you become a disbeliever and lose your mental balance.” Thus, he did not die till his sons hid him from the people and confined him in his house because he had lost his sanity, became skeptic and excessively confused in his beliefs.
Consequently, he rejected the belief in Imamat and stood thoroughly exposed.”

The same type of question is raised today by people even from people amongst us that when we cry,wail and beat ourselves in the Aza of Sayed-us-Shuhada Imam Al-Hussain(a.s) people feel very strange therefore we can also address them the same as Imam has addressed the man as above. There is one more narration from Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq(as) which is as follows:

وَ ذَكَرَ أَحْمَدُ بْنُ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ دَاوُدَ الْقُمِّيُّ فِي نَوَادِرِهِ قَالَ رَوَى مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عِيسَى عَنْ أَخِيهِ جَعْفَرِ بْنِ عِيسَى عَنْ خَالِدِ بْنِ سَدِيرٍ أَخِي حَنَانِ بْنِ سَدِيرٍ قَالَ سَأَلْتُ أَبَا عَبْدِ اللَّهِ ع عَنْ رَجُلٍ شَقَّ ثَوْبَهُ عَلَى أَبِيهِ أَوْ عَلَى أُمِّهِ أَوْ عَلَى أَخِيهِ أَوْ عَلَى قَرِيبٍ لَهُ فَقَالَ لَا بَأْسَ بِشَقِّ الْجُيُوبِ قَدْ شَقَّ مُوسَى بْنُ عِمْرَانَ عَلَى أَخِيهِ هَارُونَ  وَ قَدْ شَقَقْنَ الْجُيُوبَ وَ لَطَمْنَ الْخُدُودَ الْفَاطِمِيَّاتُ عَلَى الْحُسَيْنِ بْنِ عَلِيٍّ ع وَ عَلَى مِثْلِهِ تُلْطَمُ الْخُدُودُ وَ تُشَقُّ الْجُيُوبُ

(Tahzeeb, vol.8, p. 325, H. 23)

Hanaan Ibn Sadeer reports that I asked Imam As-Sadiq (a.s.) about a man who tore his clothes on the death of his father or mother or brother or any close relative. He (a.s.) replied, “There is no harm in tearing the clothes. Indeed, Moosa (a.s.) had torn his clothes on the death of his brother Haroon (a.s.). The daughters of Fatema (s.a.) tore their clothes and beat/scratched their faces on the death of Husain Ibn Ali (a.s.). And for the likes of him (viz. Husain a.s.), faces are beaten and clothes are torn.”


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