Was Zainab forbidden, to hurt herself out of grief?

Muhammad Al-Ukbari reported, that Imam Zain-ul-Abidin (a.) said:,,I took my seat on the morning before the evening, when my father was killed, while my aunt Zainab was with me taking care of me and while my father was retreating to one of his tents. Juwain, a servant of Abu Dharr Al-Ghifari, was with him taking care of his sword and mending it. My father said: ﴾O time, fie for a friend like you. How many dawns and sunsets or hunted down seekers you have and yet time cannot be persuaded to exchange. The matter is only for the Exalted One and every living being enters my path.﴿ He repeated it two – or three times until I understood and realized what he meant. Tears came over me, but I pushed them back and bound myself to silence, knowing that the calamity had already run its course. As for my aunt, she heard what I heard because she was a woman and delicacy and mourning is a characteristic of women. So she did not stop herself from jumping up and tearing her garment, grieving, until she came to him and said: ﴾What a loss, if only death had put an end to my life. Today my mother Fatimah and my father Ali and my brother Hasan have passed away. O departed successor and remaining.﴿ Thereupon Husain (a.) looked at her and said to her: ﴾O sister, satan shall not take away your gentleness.﴿ His eyes filled with tears and he said: ﴾If the wild bird were left alone, it would sleep.﴿ She said: ﴾Woe, will your soul be taken away from you? That is more painful for my heart and more burdensome for my soul!﴿ Then she slapped her face and tilted on her garment and tore it and fainted on it. Husain (a.) stepped in front of her and poured water on her face and said to her: ﴾O sister, fear God and lament your grief to God and know, that the inhabitants of the earth die and the inhabitants of the heavens do not linger and that everything comes to an end except for the face of God, Who created the creation by His power and raises the creatures and they return and He alone is unique. My father, mother and brother are better than me and for me and for every Muslim, the Messenger of God (s.) is an example.﴿ He comforted her with this and the like and said to her: ﴾O sister, I have taken an oath, so fulfill my oath. Do not tear a garment on account of me and do not scratch the face on account of me and do not lament and mourn on account of me, when I have passed away.﴿ Then he brought her and made her sit beside me.” [Al-Irshad of Al-Mufid, Volume 2, page 93 – 94]

عن محمد العكبري عن الإمام زين العابدين عليه السلام قال: إني لجالس في تلك العشية التي قتل أبي في صبيحتها، وعندي عمتي زينب تمرضني، إذ اعتزل أبي في خباء له وعنده جوين مولى أبي ذر الغفاري وهو يعالج سيفه ويصلحه وأبي يقول: يا دهر أف لك من خليل كم لك بالإشراق والأصيل من صاحب أو طالب قتيل والدهر لا يقنع بالبديل وإنما الأمر إلى الجليل وكل حي سالك سبيلي فأعادها مرتين أو ثلاثا حتى فهمتها وعرفت ما أراد، فخنقتني العبرة فرددتها ولزمت السكوت، وعلمت أن البلاء قد نزل، وأما عمتي فإنها سمعت ما سمعت وهي امرأة ومن شأن النساء الرقة والجزع، فلم تملك نفسها أن وثبت تجر ثوبها وإنها لحاسرة، حتى انتهت إليه فقالت: وا ثكلاه! ليت الموت أعدمني الحياة، اليوم ماتت أمي فاطمة وأبي علي وأخي الحسن، يا خليفة الماضي وثمال الباقي. فنظر إليها الحسين عليه السلام فقال لها: يا أخية لا يذهبن حلمك الشيطان، وترقرقت عيناه بالدموع وقال: لو ترك القطا لنام فقالت: يا ويلتاه أفتغتصب نفسك اغتصابا؟! فذاك أقرح لقلبي وأشد على نفسي. ثم لطمت وجهها وهوت إلى جيبها فشقته وخرت مغشيا عليها فقام إليها الحسين عليه السلام فصب على وجهها الماء وقال لها: يا أختاه! اتقي الله وتعزي بعزاء الله، واعلمي أن أهل الأرض يموتون وأهل السماء لا يبقون، وأن كل شئ هالك إلا وجه الله الذي خلق الخلق بقدرته، ويبعث الخلق ويعودون، وهو فرد وحده، أبي خير مني، وأمي خير مني، وأخي خير مني، ولي ولكل مسلم برسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله أسوة. فعزاها بهذا ونحوه وقال لها: يا أخية إني أقسمت فأبري قسمي، لا تشقي علي جيبا، ولا تخمشي علي وجها، ولا تدعي علي بالويل والثبور إذا أنا هلكت. ثم جاء بها حتى أجلسها عندي


[1.] The tradition has no chain (Isnad) and is therefore interrupted (Mursal). But those who still want to use it as an argument, should no longer allow themselves to reject other traditions with this reasoning

[2.] If it were forbidden (Haram), then Zainab (a.) would have committed an act that was a wrong, because she tore her garment several times in a row, so whoever believes this must also reject the infallibility of Zainab (a.)

[3.] The statement ,,do not scratch” is not a proof that it would be forbidden (Haram), because it was also said to Adam (a.) ,,do not approach” (2:35), whereas the Imams (a.) considered his act as permitted (Ja’iz) and did not condemn it

[4.] If it was forbidden (Haram), then it would be the same with lamenting and mourning for Husain (a.), because these things are also mentioned, whoever believes in it must stop his lamenting and mourning

[5.] The statement ,,when I have passed away” could indicate that it is about this certain point in time, but after that the mentioned things like mourning and lamenting are desirable again

[6.] Even if the text would mention a prohibition to scratch the face, it would be an invalid analogy (qiyas), to deduce, that causing the bleeding of the head is the same as this and therefore forbidden as well (haram).

[7.] If the bleeding of the head was forbidden (Haram), then Zain-ul-Abidin (a.) would not have done it after Husain (a.) had passed away.

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