Shia Muslims do not practice self-flagellation on Ashura
Despite what you see in the Google image when you search the word of “Ashura”, Any self-mutilation such as self-flagellation with knives, chains or razors even walking on fire is definitely not allowed in Islam, but It seems this is the media policy showing Shia Muslims as violent as they can!
Ritual self-flagellation is forbidden by Shia clerics such as Grand Ayatullah Khamenei who is the leader of Islamic Republic of Iran:
“blood matam (Self-flagellation) is a part of the culture that was made up. It is an issue that has no relation to religion and, without doubt, Allah is not happy with it.
It is an incorrect action which some people perform – taking a blade in one’s hand and hitting themselves on the head with it spilling their blood. What do they do this for? How is this action considered mourning? Of course, hitting one’s head with their hands is a form of mourning. You have seen over and over again, a person who has had something bad happen to them, hit themselves on their head and chest. This is a normal sign of mourning. But, have you ever seen a person who has had something bad happen to their most loved (ones) hit themselves on the head with a sword until blood flows down? How is this action considered mourning?”
(A speech given to scholars of Kahgiluyeh and Bavir Ahmad in Muharram 1372)
The following questions are also replied by Grand Ayatullah Khamenei :
Question 1449: In commemorating the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (PBUH) on the tenth of Muharram, some people hit themselves with a machete, or walk bare-footed on fire. Such actions defame Shi‘ism and put it in a bad light, if not undermine it. They cause bodily and spiritual harms on these doing it as well. What is your opinion in this matter?
Answer: Any practice that causes bodily harm, or leads to defaming the faith, is haram(forbidden). Accordingly, the believers have to steer clear of it. There is no doubt that many of these practices besmirch the image of Ahlul Bayt’s (PBUH) School of Thought which is the worst damage and loss.
Question 1450: Is hitting oneself with swords halal (allowed) if it is done in secret? Or is your fatwa in this regard universal?
Answer: “In addition to the fact that it is not held in the common view as manifestations of mourning and grief and it has no precedent at the lifetime of the Imams (a.s.) and even after that and we have not received any tradition quoted from the Infallibles (a.s.) about any support for this act, be it privately or publicly, this practice would, at the present time, give others a bad image of our school of thought. Therefore, there is no way that it can be considered permissible.”
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