The principle of Creation
The creator of the mankind has established a principle in the creation of creatures. In a particular species of creation one has been given superiority upon the other. For instance among the angels Hazrat Ruhul Qudus (the Holy Spirit), Hazrat Jibraeel and Hazrat Mikaeel has been accorded superiority upon the other angels. This superiority became the cause and consequence for the Holy Spirit that he got the great privilege of protection and support of Imams (a.s). He remains in the presence of Imams for each and every moment. Similarly Allah has accorded the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) superiority over all the men and Quran was held superior to all the Divine books. This has continued from the inception of the creation to this day. What are the reasons and rationale behind these superiorities? These are known only to those who have knowledge of unseen and none else. These are those Divine secrets which cannot be questioned by the creatures. It is due to the Divine wish and discretion which is beyond the human understanding and intellect. It is the outcome of such a Divine Discretion that he gave superiority to the land of Karbala and soil and of Imam Husain (a.s) and grave upon the other lands and soils of the world.
The Excellence of the Land of Karbala
When Allah intend something and the destiny is decreed then all the powers of the world becomes numb and all the men lay prostrate in humility in front of His Greatness and Might. Hence when he decided to give superiority to Karbala then he did it in such a manner that the whole universe witnessed the sacrifices of Bani Hashim and their loyal companions. It is that piece of earth where Islam was given a new lease of life, where shackles of slavery were extricated from the grip of infidelity. Where the battle between the truth and the falsehood reached at such a stage, that falsehood was exposed, and was standing on the crossroads of time, denuded and divested, with the supporters of Truth scoffing at its helplessness and mocking at its bankruptcy and destitution.
But for attaining such coveted heights, the land of Karbala had to witness such gory and macabre events which if any other land would have seen then surely it would have busted into bits and pieces. Karbala had seen the martyrdom of Aun and Mohammad at the hands of tyrants, the trampling of the corpse of Qasim under the hoots of horses, the amputation of the arms of Hazrat Abbas (a.s) at the river side, the piercing of Ali Akbar’s heart with the edge of dagger, the neck of infant Ali Asgar was pierced by the three-pronged arrow of Hurmula. How would the land of Karbala beer all these atrocities. But when the grandson of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) was slaughtered then it could not contain itself patiently
and out of uneasiness it quivered in such a way that the whole region was shaken by the quake. The pacifying of Imam Zainul Abedeen (a.s) could only bring it to its original state . The excruciating event of 61 A.H is sufficient to prove the greatness of Karbala. But from beginning of the creation Allah desired to sublimate the land of Karbala. As Imam Baqir (a.s) says that:
“Allah created Karbala before Kaaba by twenty four thousand years and made it chaste and pure. This position of Karbala will remain forever. Allah has made it from the most superior land of the paradise.”
(Kamiluz Ziaraat, pg.270)
The Geographical Limit of Karbala
Now the question arises that the Land of Karbala which is the superior most land between the earth and the sky, as to what is the geographical area of Karbala How far is it extended? Whether its sanctity is limited only up to the grave of Imam Husain (a.s)? or the whole city of Karbala can be considered sacred? The reply to all these queries can be had from the following tradition of Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s) in which he says:
“The shrine of Imam Husain is Five farsakh (approximately 30 kilometers) from all sides.”
(Kamiluz Ziaraat pg 272)
It can be inferred that Karbala is the name of a particular region whose limits are stipulated. No place on earth can vie with its greatness and sanctity. But even in this region the greatness which is enjoyed by the grave of Imam Husain (a.s) cannot be equaled by the other places. Same is said by Imams (a.s). Ishaq Bin Ammad relates from Imam Sadiq (a.s) that: “The place where Husain Bin Ali (peace be upon them) is buried, since the day he is hurried is regarded as a Garden of Paradise. It is also one of the doors of Paradise.”
(Behaarul Anwaar, vol.101 pg. 211)
One of the names of Paradise is Rizwan which is given as a reward to the person who led his life in the obedience and worship of God. Hence it should not be surprising if a Garden of Paradise is the grave of the one who is the pride of humanity, whose credo was: “Lord in your pleasure is my pleasure and in your displeasure is my displeasure.”
No ‘Qasr’ (Shortend) prayers in the shrine of Imam Husain (a.s.)
Imam Sadiq (a.s) says:
“Full prayers has to be performed in Masjidul-Haram, Masjidul-Nabi, Masjidul-Kufa and Shrine of Imam Husain (a.s).”
(Kamiluz-Ziaraat pg. 250)
A thoughtful reading of this tradition will reveal that these are the most important places in the world and hence we are ordered to perform full prayers in Masjid-e-Haram i.e. Holy Kaaba, Masjidul Nabi where the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) passed the last moments of his life and was buried in it. Masjid-e-Kufa, where Hazrat Ali (a.s) attained martyrdom and exclaimed, ‘By the Lord of Kaaba! I have succeeded’ And lastly Karbala may our lives be sacrificed for such great men whose sacred existence conferred such esteem to the respective places.
The Legality of consuming ‘Khake-Shifa’ and its merits
Sa’ad Bin Saeed relates from Imam Kazim (a.s) “Consumption of soil is as much haram as consumption of blood and meat of swine except the
soil of the grave of Imam Husain (a.s) because in it is cure for the diseases and security from all feats.”
(Kamiluz Ziaraat pg. 285)
Certainly Allah has valued the sacrifices of his true servant in this way that the consumption soil in which his blood was mingled was not only made legal rather the effects of panacea was kept in it and his fears will be converted in to security. Imam Sadiq (a.s) said: “The soil of Imam Husain (a.s)’s grave is a panacea for all diseases, at the time of eating it say ‘Bismillahe-wa-Billah O Allah! make it for me a expanded subsistence, beneficial knowledge and cure for all diseases. Surely you are Omnipotent.”
(Ibid pg. 284)
Hence our Imams have also taught us the way of consuming the Khake-Shifa.
The Advice of Imam Sadiq (a.s.)
Our sixth Imam, Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s) advised to Husain Bin Abitulla that: “Make your children to taste the soil of Imam Husain’s grave.”
(Ibid pg. 278).
If we wish that our children should believe ardently in Wilayat of Ahle Bait (a.s) and their hearts should beat with the love of Imam Husain (a.s) then we should make them to taste the Khake-shifa because through this sustenance will be received and fears will converted into security.
“O Lord give us an opportunity to visit the grave of Imam Husain (a.s) and may we also be blessed with the visitation of the scion of Imam Husain (a.s), our Imam of the time on the same earth ” Amen.