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Turbah

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A stone turbah

Turbah (Arabic: تربة) or muhr (Farsi: مُهر) is a piece of stone or molded clay which Shi'a put their forehead on when prostrating in the prayer. Shi'a believe that turbah is not essential in prostration, and prostrating on the ground, soil, stone, or what grows from the ground (except edible and wearable things) is valid. They use turbah as an easy access to soil.

To prove their claim, Shi'a consider turbah actually as soil or stone and bring argument from the conduct of the Prophet (s) and the Ahl al-Bayt (a) who prostrated on the soil, stone, and the ground.

In the views of Shi'a, prostrating on the soil from the grave of Imam al-Husayn (a) (turbah of Imam al-Husayn (a)) is recommended. They make turbah from this soil and prostrate on it.

Wahhabis consider making turbah and prostrating on it, a bid'a (an illegitimate invention), while Shi'a believe that turbah is actually soil.

History

In early Islam, Muslims usually spread soil, sand, mat from palm leaves on the ground of mosques and houses, on which prostration is acceptable. In many hadiths transmitted by Shi'a and Sunni, the Prophet (s) and his companions prostrated on soil, pebbles,[1] and mat from palm leaves.[2] Also, according to Shi'a hadiths, the Ahl al-Bayt (a)[3] prostrated on soil, mat made from palm leaves[4] and also especially on the soil from the grave of Imam al-Husayn (a).[5] Gradually, Shi'a molded some soil for easy access in prostration and called it turbah. After a while, using turbah became common among Shi'a and turned to a Shi'a symbol.

Shi'a View

According to Shi'a fiqh, turbah is not essential in prostration and the obligation in prostration is to prostrate on the soil, elements of the ground, or things which grow from the ground (except edible and wearable things).[6]

Also according to Shi'a fiqh, prostrating on the soil from Karbala is recommended and it is the best thing to prostrate on.[7] Thus, Shi'a used the soil from the grave of Imam al-Husayn (a) to make turbah and prostrate on it.[8]

Impermissibility of Using Turbah

Some marja's declared it impermissible to use turbah in some conditions or places; such as prostrating on turbah in Masjid al-Nabi and Masjid al-Haram for being flagrant and preparing the grounds for abusing Shi'a and that it is against taqiyya and unity of Muslims.[9]

Wahhabi Views

According to the rulings of Sunni scholars of fiqh, it is not obligatory to put the forehead on the soil in prostration, but prostrating on anything which is not najis is valid.[10] However, Sunni people do not prostrate on turbah.

Wahhabis are against prostrating on turbah and consider it a bid'a; while, Shi'a believe that turbah is actually soil and the Prophet (s) and his companions always prostrated on pebbles and soil.[11] In Al-Sujud 'ala l-turba al-Husayniyya, al-'Allama al-Amini rejected those who considered making turbah a bid'a and wrote, "How come you do not consider the act of the Sunni faqih, Masruq b. al-Ajda', bid'a, who used to take some of the soil of Medina with himself for prostration?[12] But, molding the clay from the soil of Karbala in different shapes and sizes a bid'a?".[13] Also, some Shi'a marja's considered prostrating on turbah a tradition and prostrating on carpet a bid'a.

Wahhabis consider prostrating on turbah an act of polytheism and claim that Shi'a worship turbah. Shi'a respond to this false claim that, if prostrating on turbah is an act of polytheism, then prostrating on mat and clothes would be an act of polytheism too and thus, Wahhabis too worship the mat.

Apparent Characteristics

Turbah is made of soil and stone in different shapes and sizes. Shi'a make turbah from different types of soil and stones, but due to the merits mentioned in hadiths, Shi'a are interested in turbahs made from the soil of Karbala.

See also

Notes

  1. Ibn Tiymīyya, al-Fatāwā al-kubrā, vol. 2, p. 61.
  2. Bayhaqī, al-Sunan al-kubrā, vol. 2, p. 104.
  3. Mūsawī al-Kharsān, al-Sujūd ʿalā l-turbat al-Ḥusaynīyya, p. 113-114.
  4. Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, vol. 3, p. 231-232.
  5. Ḥurr al-ʿĀmilī, Wasāʾil al-Shīʿa, vol. 5, p. 366.
  6. Ḥurr al-ʿĀmilī, Wasāʾil al-Shīʿa, vol. 5, p. 366; Burūjirdī, Tibyān al-ṣalāt, vol. 6, p. 68.
  7. Ḥurr al-ʿĀmilī, Wasāʾil al-Shīʿa, vol. 5, p. 366; Ṣadūq, Man lā yaḥḍuruh al-faqīh, vol. 1, p. 266-268.
  8. Amīnī, al-Sujūd ʿalā l-turbat al-Ḥusaynīyya, p. 66-67.
  9. Maḥmūdī, Manāsik-i ḥajj, p. 608.
  10. Al-Mawsūʿa al-fiqhīyya al-kuwiyytīyya, vol. 24, p. 201.
  11. Ibn Tiymīyya, al-Fatāwā al-kubrā, vol. 2, p. 61.
  12. Ibn Abī Shayba al-Kūfī, al-Muṣannaf, vol. 2, p. 172.
  13. Amīnī, al-Sujūd ʿalā l-turbat al-Ḥusaynīyya, p. 66-67.

References

  • Group of authors. Al-Mawsūʿa al-fiqhīyya al-kuwiyytīyya. Kuwait: Wizārat al-Awqāf wa al-Shuʾūn al-Islāmīyya, [n.d].
  • Amīnī, ʿAbd al-Ḥusayn al-. Al-Sujūd ʿalā l-turbat al-Ḥusaynīyya. Qom: Majmaʿ-i Jahānī-yi Ahl al-Bayt (a), 1422 AH.
  • Bayhaqī, Aḥmad b. al-Ḥusayn al-. Al-Sunan al-kubrā. Beirut: Dār al-Fikr, [n.d].
  • Burūjirdī, Ḥusayn. Tibyān al-ṣalāt. Edited by ʿAlī Ṣāfī Gulpāyigānī. Qom: Ganj-i ʿIrfān, 1426 AH.
  • Ḥurr al-ʿĀmilī, Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan al-. Wasāʾil al-Shīʿa. Qom: Muʾassisat Āl al-Bayt, 1409 AH.
  • Ibn Abī Shayba al-Kūfī. al-Muṣannaf. Edited by Saʿīd al-Laḥām. Beirut: Dār al-Fikr, 1409 AH.
  • Ibn Tiymīyya, Aḥmad b. ʿAbd al-ḥalīm. Al-Fatāwā al-kubrā. Edited by Muḥammad ʿAbd al-Qādir ʿAṭā & Muṣṭafā ʿAbd al-Qādir ʿAṭā. Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmīyya, 1408 AH.
  • Kulaynī, Muḥammad b. Yaʿqūb al-. Al-Kāfī. Edited by ʿAlī Akbar Ghaffārī & Muḥammad Ākhūndī. Tehran: Dār al-Kutub al-Islāmīyya, 1407 AH.
  • Maḥmūdī, Muḥammad Riḍā. Manāsik-i ḥajj. Tehran: Mashʿar, 1429 AH.
  • Mūsawī al-Kharsān, Muḥammad Mahdī al-. Al-Sujūd ʿalā l-turbat al-Ḥusaynīyya. Beirut: Muʾassisat al-Aʿlamī li-l-Maṭbūʿāt, 1420 AH.
  • Ṣadūq, Muḥammad b. ʿAlī al-. Man lā yaḥḍuruh al-faqīh. [n.p]: Nashr-i Ṣadūq, 1367 Sh.