Some ‘purist’ Muslims have a rather biased attitude when it comes to ‘azadari’ and would like to see it money-free. They argue that when it comes to azadari (mourning the Ahle Bait (a.s.) there cannot be any involvement of money as this commercializes azadari, making it insincere and worthless.
While many acts like lapsed fasting and prayers of the dead, recitation of Holy Quran, organizing Hajj and Ziyarat tours and so on are performed for a fee,it is odd why money involved in azadari evokes such an adverse reaction. At any rate, the money is well-spent going by reports on the subject.
Allah rewards spending on Azadari
Allah has promised amazing rewards to the one who spends in the way of azadari. In Hadith al-Qudsi, Allah informs Prophet Moosa (a.s.) about Ashoora which is one of the distinctive traits of the Muslim community due to which it has gained ascendancy over all other communities.
Regarding Ashoora Allah reveals to Prophet Moosa (a.s.):
A servant will not spend from his wealth a dirham in the love of the son of the Prophet’s daughter (s.a.) for food, etc. except that I will increase it in this world by 70 dirham and he will be pardoned and in Paradise and I will forgive his sins.
- Mustadrak al-Wasail v 10 p 318, Majma al-Bahrain p 403
If involvement of money in azadari is a sign of insincerity and loss of spirituality as some claim, Allah would not have placed such immense reward in the spending.
Imams (a.s.) paid money to implement Azadari
Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) willed that he must be mourned for seven hajj seasons and he (a.s.) paid money for mourning in each season.
- Tehzeeb al-Ahkam v 9 p 144
- Man la Yahzorohu al-Faqih v 4 p 244
In this regard, Imam Sadiq (a.s.) was following in the footsteps of his infallible father – Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.).
Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) informs:
My father (Imam Baqir (a.s.)) instructed me – O Jafar, pay out from my wealth such and such amount to mourning ladies who must mourn me for ten years during the hajj season (when pilgrims are) at Mina.
- Al-Kafi v 5 p 117
- Man la Yahzorohu al-Faqih v 1 p 182
- Tehzeeb al-Ahkam v 6 p 358
- Wasail al-Shia v 17 p 125
The infallible Imams (a.s.) know best the sign of sincerity and acceptance of azadari. If it were detestable to pay or seek money for azadari, Imams (a.s.) would have stopped it, rather than encouraging it by paying money upfront in their lifetime.
Clearly, the skeptics are no authority to determine what makes azadari worthy of reward. Moreover, their skepticism on azadari is questionable, when they do not see any problem with involvement of money in performing prayers, fasting and Quran recitation for the dead and many other recommended acts performed for a fee like pilgrimage and ziyarat. But money on azadari evokes adverse reaction although it is money well-spent going by the promise of Allah and the Sunnah of His infallible representatives (a.s.).