As a familiar ruling decided by master scholars of Muslim jurisprudence, it is impermissible to have any thing of dust or clay except the blessed clay taken from Imam al-Husayn’s tomb in purpose of seeking healing and with no intention to have a desirable taste from it, provided that the amount that may be had must be as small as a chick-pea grain or, as a precautionary ruling, is not bigger than a seed of lentil.
It is also preferred to put that amount of clay in the mouth and have a drink of water, saying the following supplicatory words:
اَللَّهُمَّ ٱجْعَلْهُ رِزْقاً وَاسِعاً
allahumma ij`alhu rizqan wasi`an
O Allah, (please) render this to be liberal sustenance,
wa `ilman nafi`an
وَشِفَاءً مِنْ كُلِّ دَاءٍ وَسُقْمٍ
wa shifa'an min kulli da'in wa suqmin
and curative from all maladies and diseases.
Merits and Etiquettes of the soil of Imam al-Husayn’s tomb
Be it known to you that there are traditions, supporting each other, stating that the soil (turbah) of Imam al-Husayn (i.e. the dust of the land of Karbala' where Imam al-Husayn (`a) was buried) heals from all diseases and ailments except death. It also immunizes from all infections and fears. Traditions confirming this fact are uninterruptedly reported and the miracles emphasizing it are also too many to be counted.
In my book of al-Fawa'id al-Radawiyyah on the biographies of the Imamiyyah Shi`ite scholars, I have mentioned that Sayyid Ni`matullah al-Jaza'iri, the well-versed traditionist, was one of those who exerted painstaking efforts in seeking knowledge, enduring hardships and suffering very much for that purpose. He was so poor that he used to benefit from the moonlight in order to study the religious knowledge at night. He kept on so until he became partially sighted.
As a treatment of this impairment, he used to use the soil of Imam al-Husayn (`a), as well as the soil of the tombs of the Holy Imams (`a) buried in Iraq, as eye ointment. Owing to the blessings of that soil, his eyesight was be recovered.
I have already warned the people of the present age against doubting about this tale due to their associations with unbelievers and atheists.
In his famous book of Hayat al-Haywan al-Kubra, al-Damiri states that after the serpent lives for one hundred years, it loses eyesight. Hence, Almighty Allah inspires it to anoint its eyes with dry rush() so that it recovers its eyesight. So, a serpent comes from the desert towards orchards and gardens, where the dry rush grows, even if it has to cover very long distances until it finds this plant, anoints its eyes with it, and recovers eyesight.
This very fact has been also reported by al-Zamakhshari and others.
In conclusion, if we believe that Almighty Allah has placed such healing material in this dry plant to which a blind serpent is guided in order to take its share of it, then why do we deem unbelievable and astonishing that Almighty Allah places remedy of all maladies, as well as other utilities and blessings, in the dust of His Prophet’s grandson, Allah’s peace be upon him, who was martyred along with all of his family members so that his adherents and devotees will benefit by it?
Traditions that make us believe this fact:
First Tradition: It has been reported that whenever the Paradisiacal women (al-Hur al-`«n) notice that an angel is about to descend to the earth for any matter, they ask him to bring them as presents rosaries and prostration-clays made of the clay of Imam al-Husayn’s tomb.
Second Tradition: Through a valid chain of authority, a man related that Imam al-Rida (`a) once sent him parcels of clothes among them there were pieces of clay from Khurasan. “What are these pieces of clays?” the man asked the courier. He answered, “This clay is from the tomb of Imam al-Husayn (`a). Whenever Imam al-Rida (`a) sent clothes or any thing else to anybody, he would certainly add pieces of this clay to his presents. He used to say: This is security by the permission of Allah.”
Third Tradition: `Abdullah ibn Ya`fur has reported that he once said to Imam al-Sadiq (`a), “Some persons take a piece of the clay of Imam al-Husayn’s tomb and it brings them good benefits; but when others do, they do not find any benefit.”
The Imam (`a) commented, “This is untrue. I swear it by Allah. Every one who takes from this clay and believes that Almighty Allah will benefit him by it, will certainly find benefit.”
Fourth Tradition: Abu-Hamzah has reported that he once asked Imam al-Sadiq (`a), “I noticed some people of our faith taking with them a piece of the clay of Imam al-Husayn’s tomb as means of healing. Does such clay really heal?”
The Imam (`a) answered, “Healing is sought from the dust that lies between him and his tomb for a distance of four miles.() Healing may be also sought from the dust of the tomb of my grandfather the Messenger of Allah as well as the tombs of al-Hasan, `Ali (ibn al-Husayn), and Muhammad (ibn `Ali). Therefore, you may take from this dust, for it is remedy of all maladies and security from whatever you fear. Nothing that is used in treatment of maladies can ever match this dust in healing except prayer to Almighty Allah.
However, the effect of this dust may be spoiled by the matters that are mixed to it from the bowels in which this dust is placed as well as the lack of faith of those who are treated with it.
As for those who have full confidence in the facility of this clay to heal when it is used as treatment, it will definitely heal them, by the permission of Almighty Allah, more than other means of treatments do. It may also be spoiled by devils and faithless jinn who rub it over their bodies. All things by which this clay is passed smell it.
As for devils and the faithless jinn, they envy the sons of Adam (i.e. human beings) for having this clay. Hence, they try to rub it over their bodies and when they do, its general benefit vanishes. Whenever a piece of clay comes out from the Ha'ir, an innumerable number of devils and faithless jinn ready themselves for it. While this clay is still in the hand of its owner, they rub it, because they cannot enter the Ha'ir since the angels are always there. If any part of that clay is saved from the rubbing of them, it will immediately heal the one for whom it is used as treatment. So, if you take such clay, you should hide it and mention Almighty Allah on it as much as you can. However, I have been informed that some people take such pieces of clay and belittle its worth so much that some of them even throw it in the place where camels, mules, and donkeys excrete, or they put them in vessels from which they eat, vessels from which they wash their hands from the residues of food, packs, or baskets. How can those who belittle these pieces of clay find healing? A faith-free heart of such people who belittle such things in which their prosperity lies will definitely spoil the effects of these things.”
Our well-versed traditionist and mentor, Shaykh al-Nuri, has mentioned the following story in his book of Dar al-Salam re respecting the turba:
When one of my brothers presented himself before my mother, may Allah rest her soul, she noticed that he had put a piece of the clay of Imam al-Husayn’s tomb in his pocket, which is under his garment. She thus reproached him, saying, “This is impoliteness! This piece of clay may be under your thigh and then broken.” He answered, “This is true! Two pieces of this clay have been already broken.” He then promised her not to do this ever again.
There are more privileges
of the clay taken from Imam al-Husayn’s tomb.
It is recommended to put a piece of it with the dead bodies in the tombs.
It is recommended to use it in writing on coffins.
It is recommended to use it to prostrate oneself on.
It has been reported that prostration on a clay taken from Imam al-Husayn’s tomb penetrates the Seven Screens; that is, it achieves admission of the prayer since it climbs to the heavens.
It is also recommended to have beads made of this clay to use it in supplications and statements of mentioning Almighty Allah. Even if such beads are grasped in hands without uttering any supplication, this deed brings about a great reward.
It is worth mentioning that such utterance of glorification statements is different from the glorification that is uttered by all things to which Almighty Allah has referred, saying:
And there is not a single thing but glorifies Him with His praise.
but you do not understand their glorification.
In summary, the glorification mentioned in the previously cited report is restricted to the glorification of the clay of Imam al-Husayn’s tomb—may Allah accept our souls to be ransoms for him.