Is Tatbir Azadari?
In the same manner that these rituals have been incorrectly labeled as ‘Hussaini rituals’, they have also inappropriately been put under the category of ‘Azadari’. The word Azadari in some Asian languages means mourning; the Arabic equivalent is the word ‘Aza’.
However many of us contend that blood shedding is not a natural means to mourn, also it is not in the Sunnah (as a form of mourning), it wasn’t practiced by pious Shias for centuries and it has many seriously damaging effects. Therefore blood shedding should not be categorized as a true form of Azadari.
Human beings do not strike their heads with swords when they wish to mourn; it is simply not a natural way to mourn. Similarly people do not need to resort to cutting their heads in order to mourn Imam Hussain (a). Since the dawn of Islam until the relatively recent advent of these rituals, pious Shias quite naturally performed Azadari without having to damage their own bodies. The retelling of the tragedy of Karbala drives peoples to tears and inspires them to perform good deeds. This is how it has been for centuries. A grieving person does not naturally resort to cutting their own head and reason does not lead them to doing that either. Those who claim that these acts are their own personal methods of mourning and showing love, should realize that these sentiments of theirs are not natural, and at most they have been acquired.
Unfortunately those who are not in favor of blood shedding are often falsely branded as being against Azadari. This is nothing but propaganda. The word Azadari has been hijacked and the people need to be reminded of this reality.