Celebrating 9th Rabi’ al-Awwal – What For?

Update 21st December/2015: There was a minor factual mistake in the section of Mukhtar & ‘Umar ibn Sa’ad which has now been corrected.


In many Shi’i communities, it is the 9th of Rabi’ al-Awwal that marks the end of the two-month mourning period that begins with the first of Muharram. The day is celebrated in most communities, for different reasons, and is referred to by a few names, such as Eid al-Zahra, Farhat al-Zahra, Eid-e Shuja, Taj Poshi-e Imam, Yawm Raf’ ul-Qalam, Umar Kushshun etc. The significance of the day is due to four different reasons, all of which have been attributed to it:

  • ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (the 2nd caliph) was killed on this day
  • The angels lift their pens up for the Shi’as and they do not record anything (i.e. one can commit sins and not be held accountable for them)
  • The transfer of the Imamate from Imam Hasan al-‘Askari to his son, Imam al-Mahdi
  • Mukhtar killed ‘Umar ibn Sa’d which resulted in the happiness of Imam Sajjad and the women of Bani Hashim

Some communities may celebrate the day for some of the reasons, while some misinformed ones may celebrate the day for all four reasons – particular the first two reasons. In this post, I will simply be looking at the historical validity of all four of these reasons.



Regarding the Rules for Affirming or Weakening Someone [From Buhuth fi Ilm al-Rijal by Muhammad Asif Muhsini]

This post is a paraphrased (incomplete) translation, with my personal comments and notes, of the chapter pertaining to the rules of weakening or strengthening a narrator. This is from the book Buhuth fi ilm al-Rijal of Ayatullah Asif Muhsini. The Arabic for this can be found on page 18 of his book – he discusses[…]

Types of Hadith – [From Durus Tamhidiyah fi al-Qawaid al-Rijaliyah of Baqir Irwani]

This post is a paraphrased (incomplete) translation, with my personal comments and notes, of the chapter regarding the Types of Hadith [page 47] from section one of Muhammad Baqir Irwani’s book Durus Tamhidiyah fi al-Qawaid al-Rijaliyah. The section on al-khabar al-dha’eef, al-khabar al-mudhmar, and al-khabar al-mursal have not been added to this post. For an actual translation-in-progress[…]

Introduction to Ilm ul-Rijal – [Chapter 1 from Fawaid al-Rijaliyah of Syed Ali al-Hussaini al-Sadr]

This post is a paraphrased translation (not an actual and complete translation) mixed with my own supplementary notes, of Chapter 1 of the book Fawaid al-Rijaliyah by Syed Ali al-Hussaini al-Sadr. The author in this book discusses various benefits of Ilm al-Rijal and its importance, and brings 40 benefits all together Those not familiar with certain Arabic ahadith terminology will not be able[…]

Library Books

List of Arabic Dictionaries – Particularly Important for Qur’an and Ahadith Studies

Previously I had compiled a list of some of the most famous and well known Qur’anic Exegeses that have been written throughout history. This time I have tried to compile a list of some of the famous Arabic dictionaries that are beneficial for a student of Qur’an and Ahadith. These have been collected and taken from a[…]

A Conversation with a Nasibi & a Meeting with Imam Mahdi (as)

This is a very lengthy yet interesting tradition that I read recently. It has been recorded in Shaykh Tabarsi’s Volume 2 of al-Ihtijaj. I came across its translation in the English copy of the book Mikyalul Makarim, by Ayatullah Isfahani and translated by Sayyid Athar Hussain S.H. Rizvi. The original Arabic version of the narration[…]

Resemblance of Imam Mahdi (as) to the Prophets (pbut)

This is a summary I wrote up from the volume 1 of the book Mikyalul Makarim Fee Fawaaid ad-Duaa Lil Qaaim by Ayatullah Sayyid Muhammad Taqi Musawi Isfahani. The title of the book translates to Perfection of Morals Among the Benefits of Praying for Al-Qaim (meaning the 12th Imam al-Mahdi). The author goes into details[…]