Matam is a physical action, which does not have only one cause.
Matam can be observed when there is an objection against the zulm (injustice) of innocent souls. (Owais Qarni knocked out all his teeth on hearing that the Prophet (pbuh) had lost his tooth in the battle of Uhud)
It can be observed when an individual objects to an action, which he/she has committed against their own soul. (An incident has been narrated in the Muwatta of Imam Malik in regards to a man who started beating his breast due to having relations with his spouse one day, within the Holy month of Ramadhan)
It can be observed when an individual may hear some shocking news. (The wife of Ibrahim (AS) smote her face on the news that she would bear a child)
The question is, did such actions within the History of Islam, cause objection from Almighty Allah or His Prophet (pbuh).
When one looks at the first einstanc – The Prophet said: “Owais is our devoted friend,” whilst remaining silent on hearing that Owais had knocked out all his teeth.1
When one looks at the second instance – The Prophet said “Are you able to free a slave (in relation to the action with his spouse) whilst remaining silent in regards to the breast beating.”2
When one looks at the third instance – Allah stated: ““But his wife came forward (laughing) aloud; she smote her forehead and said: "A barren old woman.”3 The Qur’an portrays no objection from Allah towards this action.
Objections are not portrayed through silence. Objections both by man and Allah are expressed.
From this, we can understand that silence marks acceptance.
Move our thoughts to Karbala.
Imam Husayn (AS), his companions and his family.
We observe the objection of zulm against innocent souls.
Should we object to this Matam, or to the zulm, which was committed?
Can we state that Imam Husayn (AS) would object to the words: “They are your devout friends” if we were to state them?”
This matter is not obscure from our minds, but we like to obscure it.
The tragedy of Karbala also shocks the mind, how could such brutal actions have been carried out by those who called themselves Muslims. It’s something that many call unbelievable and smote their faces.
Why they are not befriended is the question we must ask?
A message is being sent, and we need to understand it.
We need to understand Karbala and understand its significance at this moment in time.
And if Matam is observed, the question that should foremost come into our minds is, its cause, and when one understands the cause, one should realise that due to it, such a practice will never end, regardless of what others wish. It is something that will remain till the final Imam appears, who will wipe out the oppression the followers of Aali Muhammad are making known.