Ayatollah Khamenei Tatbir Qama Zani

Tatbir is a wrongful and fabricated tradition: Imam Khamenei

Tatbir is a wrongful act. I know some might say, “It would have been rightful if he had not talked about tatbir.” They might say, “What would you have to do with Tatbir?”, “Some people practice it, let them do so!” No! One cannot stay silent towards such unlawful actions. If they had propagated tatbir during the blessed auspicious life of Imam Khomeini (r.a)—like they have done over the past four or five years and continue to do—he would certainly speak against it.

It is wrongful that some people hit themselves on the head with daggers to break blood. What are they in search of? How can this be considered an act of mourning? Of course light drumming on the head with one’s own hand is a distinctive sign of mourning. You have seen it several times when people are stricken by grief, they hit own their chests or heads. This is a typical symbol of distress for mourning. But when have you ever seen a person, who is grief stricken by the loss of a dear loved one, take a dagger to their own head in order to draw blood? How can this be a form of mourning?

Tatbir [Qame Zani] is also a fabricated tradition. It is among issues that do not belong to the Islamic religion and undoubtedly God is not pleased with such a practice. Scholars among the last few centuries did not have the opportunity to speak out and declare it as an unlawful or wrongful act. However, today is the day of Islamic establishment and the day for the manifestation of Islam. We should not go along with actions that may introduce a small group of irrational, superstitious individuals to Muslims and non-Muslims alike, to be represented as the bulwark of the noble Islamic society--the society that loves the progeny of the prophet (pbuh) and has the honor to carry the names of the Imam of our Time (may our souls be sacrificed for him), Imam Hussain Ibn Ali (as) and Imam Ali Ibn Abi Talib (as).

The more I thought about it (tatbir), the more I truly realized I cannot overlook my responsibility of informing our dear people on Tatbir, which is certainly an act of wrongdoing built upon heresy. Do not practice it, I do not approve. If someone does anything to display their desire to practice Tatbir, I will be deeply disappointed in them. I am declaring this solemnly. This is certainly an unlawful action, one which Imam Hussain (as) would not be pleased with, as practiced today. I cannot fathom who would and based on what evidence would they establish such peculiar and wrongful traditions in Islamic societies and within our revolutionary society?

Tatbir is one of those concerns which not only lacks logical reasoning, but is also the nearest of things to superstition. Why do some promote such things? This is a great danger, which has to be carefully tended to within the world of religion and religious insight by the guardians of the faith.
Like I said, some people will say—certainly out of compassion--that it would have been better if I had not talked about Tatbir. No, I must speak out on it. I must address it. I have a responsibility greater than others and certainly others should talk about it too.

- Ayatollah Khamenei, June 07, 1994


  • Arbaeen
  • Ashoora
  • Ashura
  • ashura self flagellation
  • blood matam
  • Fatwa
  • Haram
  • Imam Hussain
  • Matam
  • qama zani
  • self flagellation
  • Shia
  • Talwar zani
  • Tatbir
  • zanjeer zani


  • 2016-10-08 12:53
    I have been trying to change their minds but failed I have worked in different surgical at karbala and Najaf but failed to change their thoughts they believe by doing this they r giving pursa but I have not given I'm trying my best as I'm doing dressing I'm wirking on that inshallah one day we will succeed
  • 2016-10-09 15:58
    I live in london and the shia there encourage it and in the usa i heard the same they try to force these superstitious idears on muslim whilst leading them off the path of Islam
  • 2016-10-09 21:16
    Salam, Please make this website in Hindi also.
  • 2016-10-10 21:39
    people of Pakistan of some areas are illetrate .they don't want to know right thing they practice these things
  • 2016-10-13 07:59
    Qama zani is purely related to the act of yazeed...its yazideyat..
  • 2016-10-13 20:10
    I really appreciate the words of such a persuasive personality.. Definitely love and mourn for Imaam Hussain A.s and his family has nothing to do with cutting one's body by ownself
  • 2016-10-15 08:27
    Long Live Rahbar ! We need to get out of this(tatbir) and let the world know that who are we and whom we represents(Ahlkebaits a.s.).
  • 2016-10-19 21:58
    This superstitious act is a big hindrance in showing true message of karbala and ashura to the world. May Allah give us all taufiq to eradicate this wrong tradition from the community.
  • 2016-11-26 22:32
    their is no logic behand this practice
  • 2016-11-27 11:33
    i really appreciate the opinion of our rehbar regarding tatbir.. this can not be the right way to represent islam and karbala.. what message we are trying convey by doing such activities.. we have to represent islam in such a way that the people of other religion would attract towards islam.. instead of going away from it.. image of islam is more important than our faith(regarding tatbir).. so our duty is to represent islam in appropriate way.. the way that our twelve imams did.. under the guidance of our mujtahids..
  • 2016-12-24 13:48
    Words of wisdom for the ignorant ones /respect Rehbar
  • 2016-12-24 17:19
    Words of wisdom for the ignorant ones /respect Rehbar
  • 2017-01-05 21:58
    Unitil, people would not know the prestige of waliye e faqi (Absolute guardianship) How come they will stop such acts. Pulpits are responsible for encouraging all this since thet are not tring to stop it anyway. It is very important to educate people and learn them marjiyat and wilayat e faqi is distinct. How important it is, to acknowledge the edicts of Rehbar as we expect to accept the order of the imam of our age atfs.
  • 2017-09-29 19:53
    My view point is you peoples now most powerful. you do something very rapidly for oppressed Muslim countries. make something different for overcoming devils countries.
  • 2017-09-30 00:01
    Is their any limit to the intensity with which we hit our chests? Is it ok if it doesn't bleed no matter how hard we strike?
  • 2017-09-30 12:46
    In Kashmir (India) this practise is freely propagated with reasons and basis. Even it is said that who is Khamenei to stop it now when it has been i practice for hundreds of years. Please send a guide to Kashmir to talk with such ulema who are deviated from the true path and are getting the image of Ahlulbait school under extreme danger.
  • 2017-09-30 13:22
    There is no mention of zanjeer zani in whole article, is it allowed? (Zanjeer zani refers to doing the similar to tatbeer but on the back of body instead of head)
  • 2017-09-30 23:36
    In my whole lifetime of resistance in the learning of Steelers Islam, it has made me so offended of that practice,that not even the idolatrous in their idol worships recedes their idolatry as much as these so called mourners of the maximizing do. Impossible from Panama central America, trying to eradicate that teaching of spreading that ignorance in the true Islam.
  • 2017-10-01 14:16
    very right
  • 2017-10-02 11:39
    I was always confused on this issue as it is raised by so many every year but now when I have seen this message I will surely forward it to others
  • 2017-10-03 17:16
    I wish and pray all political scholars and those who are not involved in politics sit together before coming out to the public
  • 2017-10-04 13:55
    Salam: I really respect what Rehbar is saying. But what about those are following Mujahideen and their verdicts who are allowing them to do the "Tatbir". Ayatollah Bashir Ahmed Najafi is one of them who is promoting Tatbir and asking his followers to do it. This thing must be resolved by getting all these Mujahideen gether around the table so that shia unity be saved. Wa salam.
  • 2017-11-05 22:09
    As Salam alie kum, Is Zanjeer Zani ( hitting with normal size blade on the back) is complete HARAM in INDIA ? If yes then why do all the MARJAH including Ayatuallah SISTANI don't condem it & why don't the LAWYERS of MARJAH in every country announce it from public platform . I am will be greatful if I get my answer as soon as possible.
  • 2018-07-18 14:07
    If after contineously educating people that tatbir and walking on fire is a wrongful practice but still they follow it and keep practicing it. What is the order ? Shall we use force to stop them even if it may lead to a big fight? Even if it may lead to a separation between a community? Even if people from either side becomes enemies of each other? In short do we have the order of Jihad in this case? Or we should just tell them and then be sailent whether they accept it or not. ..what is the best solution? To fight even if it may cost some lifes or let them do..whetever they do and keep ourselves away from such practices... Please do reply!!!
  • 2018-09-23 16:59
    I don't think Farhan Ali waris is uneducated i just saw his video doing such activity... How the people around the world will understand not to do such activity.. I would request to all Rehbar please come forward and talk about it and every one should stop it...
  • 2018-09-24 12:09
    May Ayatullah Khamenei have a long and blessed life. May Imam e Zamana (A.S) be pleased of him. A glimpse of his face gives us energy and provokes to be a Mujahid of Islam. May I be fortunate enough to get an opportunity to kiss his hands and offer at least one prayer of my life in his Imamat. May Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala shower His countless blessings on him.
  • 2018-09-24 14:07
    Later is better than never, I think it is too late but salaam rahbar who has the power to say upon such controversial tradition practicing since long time.
  • 2018-11-06 11:07
  • 2019-09-08 18:02
    Masha Allah we are grateful. I really learnt something from your post.
  • 2019-09-09 20:01
    Blood donation camp should set up during Muharram.
  • 2019-09-10 00:08
    MASHA ALLAH. I would request webmaster to post more informative issues like these. JAZZAKALLAH KHAIR
  • 2019-09-11 04:59
    that act is illogical and against Quran and Islam. Allah never ever forgive these acts as Allah not alow us to harm any thing than how we harm ourselfs our blood shed
  • 2019-09-13 00:17
    Allah has really blessed us to have such a good leader
  • 2019-10-24 23:29
    Long Live Rehbar
  • 2020-05-29 01:02
  • 2020-05-29 01:02
  • 2020-08-31 10:19
    Unfortunately Google mostly brings up unpleasant pictures when you search 'Shia', And most Shia scholars have repeatedly discouraged Tatbir (self injuring)
  • 2020-09-04 20:30
    Long live Rehbar.
  • 2020-09-06 06:07
    Asalamualikum Some people from kashmir are illetrate and they dont accept this statement but they are telling we will kill overselves on rehbars farmaan,but they are not accepting such statement.Actually it is not theur fault it is their leaders fault Imran Reza Ansari i think
  • 2020-09-20 13:22
    I tried to convince my followers on Instagram but they start abusing nothing can happen if God don't want a person to choose right path
  • 2021-02-04 23:17
    I really appreciate this but why Shia ignore such personality big question .may Allah take them us on right way