Defamation and Vilification
People who have even questioned the suitability of the rituals have often been vilified and denigrated by ardent adherents of blood shedding.
When Grand Ayatullah Muhsin al-Amin wrote in opposition to the rituals (whilst stressing the importance of Azadari) many protagonists vilified him and even resorted to cursing (la’na) him. They started to call his supporters ‘Umayyids’ (Umawiyoon) and they called themselves ‘Alids’ (alawiyoon) i.e. the supporters of Imam Ali (a). In the holy city of Najaf the men selling water to the mourners would call out the phrase: “La’na Allah al-Amin” (May God curse al-Amin). In Nabatieh, South Lebanon some people marched in the streets chanting: “May Allah curse the people who forbid the lamentation of Hussain”. The fierce propaganda campaign was successful in gaining supporters from the uneducated masses in opposition to the Ayatullah.
Grand Ayatullah Muhsin al-Amin wrote the following about this propaganda campaign that started after his writing a book in opposition to blood flagellation:
“Some people rose up against this book and caused disruption. They made ignorant people emotional. They told the ignorant masses that so and so forbids the mourning of Imam Husayn (a). In addition to this they accused me of leaving the religion.” – A’yan al-Shia, v.10, p.363
Even today those who discourage these innovated rituals are denigrated and called names such as ‘Nawasib’ (haters of Ahlulbayt), ‘Muqassir’ (one who belittles Ahlulbayt), ‘Wahabi’ and ‘Batri’. They are often accused of being against the mourning of Imam Hussain (a) even though they wish to mourn him (a) in the way that the Imams (a) did.
It is amazing how some people will go to such lengths to vilify their shia brethren just for questioning the permissibility of innovated and damaging rituals. We must speak out against this name calling propaganda. An example of the denigration can be seen in this video where it is said that those who stand in the way of acts such as Tatbir will “have no place but hellfire”.
Ayatullah Sadiq Shirazi has said about Tatbir: “Those who forbid it are from the like of Yazid and are imams of kufr”. This has been verified by his office, and his representative said:
As for those who argue against tatbir, they are mistaken and are ill-informed. However, those who proactively prevent or forbid tatbir, then this is deemed a major sin.
The statement you quoted of Ayatollah Sadiq Shirazi is correct and it can be relied upon.
We cannot agree with that position because many great Shia scholars have prohibited Tatbir and we cannot compare them to the likes of Yazid.
It is this public vilification that has sometimes discouraged many of the great scholars from coming out even more strongly against the rituals.
Those of us who are not in favor of the rituals, must never stoop to this level whereby we vilify, defame, insult, name call and initiate disunity. Such activities cause the corruption of the soul.