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التنزیه لاعمال الشبیه.jpg
Original titleالتنزیه

At-Tanzeeh is a book about criticism of non-religious behavior in the mourning of Imam Hussein.

About the book[edit | edit source]

At-Tanzeeh, whose full title is At-Tanzeeh fi A’maal al-Shabiyyah, is a short treatise. The date of its completion is Muharram 1346 AH. According to the report of Agha Bozurg Tehrani, this treatise was first published in Al-Irfan publishing house in 1347 AH in 22 pages in Al-Dhari'a . The present treatise has been published many times in several books, and a summary of it has been published in A'yan ash-Shi'a.

Content of the book[edit | edit source]

At-Tanzeeh is about purifying mourning ceremonies and Taziya from heresies and is the most controversial book that has been written about mourning. The most important part of this book is the three pages at the beginning, which talk about heresies and abominations in mourning for Imam Hussain, and the following matters are considered among them:

  1. Lies; are told in pulpits and gatherings.
  2. Self-mutilation with machetes and chains.
  3. Using instruments of recreation, such as drums, trumpets, and cymbals.
  4. Assimilation of men to women in Ta'zia.
  5. Women riding on the palanquins with open faces while comparing them to the daughters of the Messenger of God.
  6. The screams of women in the presence of non-mahram men; even if not haram, is a form of disgrace and a violation of decency and morals.
  7. Crying and wailing in an inappropriate and ugly voice.

All those actions that cause a desecration of the ceremony, and are not counted as a part of the ceremony per se.

What follows, until the end of the treatise, is the criticism of a book in which wearing a shroud, using blades and chains, playing drums and cymbals, and playing trumpets on Ashura is considered good. Allameh Amin did not mention the name of the author and the title of his book, but Agha Bozurg Tehrani said in al-Dhari'ah : "He is Sheikh Abdul Hossein Sadiq Ameli and the title of his book is Sima al-Salhaa Fi Asbat Jawaz Iqameye Aza li Sayyid al-Shahada, which was published in 1345 AH. From this, it turns out that al-Tanzeeh was written one year after the book of Sima al-Salhaa and in response to it.

While quoting some contents from the book, Allameh Amin gave reasons to refute them and stated some hadiths against wearing shrouds or using machetes or chains. He added at the end: "If the words of this author are true, it would have been appropriate for scholars to do these things and become pioneers, and played drums and cymbals and trumpets, wore shrouds, and hit themselves on the head and face with swords so that the people would follow them. However, the scholars never did this and did not command it, and some of the people of the contemporary era have invented these practices."

The value and importance of the book[edit | edit source]

In terms of debunking superstitions, At-Tanzeeh is like the book Al-Lo'lo wal Marjan by Nouri. Just as Nouri is responsible for exposing the superstitions in his book, Allameh Amin has debunked the superstitions about mourning in Al-Tanzeeh, with the difference that, firstly, the richness of knowledge in the book, Al-Lo'lo wal Marjan, written by Fazl Tadegh is more, secondly, the book of Lullu and Marjan was almost accepted, but al-Tanziyyah was disputed and many refutations were written on it. Let us add that the scholars in Najaf not only did not support Allamah Amin's opinion on the sanctity of the use of the machete, but also opposed it. The only person who did not oppose him was Ayatollah Seyyed Abulhasan Esfahani. Let us also say that some of Amin's opponents called him Umayyad and cursed him as well. In some mourning gatherings, when distributing water, they would say: "May God curse Amin! Have water."

This treatise was translated by Jalal Ale Ahmad into Farsi under the title of "Azadari'haye Na'Mashrooh" and published in Tehran in 1322 AH, and then burned. Ale Ahmad says in the book Yek Chah wa do Chaleh: "I had translated a pamphlet from Arabic to Farsi called Azadari'haye Na'Mashrooh, which was published in 22 AH, and we sold it for a sum and it was finished in two days, and we were happy... We didn't know that the religious markets had bought and burned it all. We understood this later."  This translation had always been rare until half a century later when it was published with an introduction by Seyyed Qasim Yahosseini having the same title, along with an analysis of the book and a description of its author's biography in 53 pages (Bushehr, Shoroh Publishing House, 1371).

Following the treatise of At-Tanzeeh, several books were published in support of it and many more against it; among them were:

  • An-Naqd at-Tanzeeh li Risaleh at-Tanzeeh
  • ash-Sha'aer al-Husainiyah
  • Aqalatul A'ar fi Aqamatul ash-Sha'aer al-Husainiyah
  • Al Kalamatul Jamea Haul al-Mazaherul Eza'iyyah.

Agha Bozurg Tehrani in Al-Dhari'ah (Vol. 2, p. 263; Vol. 4, p. 455; Vol. 8, p. 228; Vol. 14, p. 191; Vol. 18, pp. 24 and 114; Vol. 24, pp. 279-280), has identifies these books.

Eighteen works (articles, books, and part of the book), which are said to be in support or rejection of At-Tanzeeh, are included in the book Sa'il ash-Sha'aear al-Husainiya: Risalatut Tanzeeh lil Sayyid Mohsen al-Amin wal Risael al-Moyada wa al-Ma'aradatu laha, written by Muhammad Hassoun, however some of these works are not about At-Tanzeeh and were written even before it.