One of the famous incidents that people justify doing tatbir (hitting swords on heads) and zanjeer (hitting chains on backs) when commemorating the tragedy of Imaam al-Hussayn (عليه السلام) is about Uways al-Qarni (companion of Imaam `Alee (عليه السلام)). After hearing that the Prophet’s (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) teeth were broken in the Battle of Uhud, he was so sad that he, himself, knocked out his teeth.
Of course, the sources people use to prove this are either from Sunni books and this incident is NOT found in the Shee`ah books. After looking through our books trying to find the Uways al-Qarni incident, it got me to ask this question, “Did the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) even have his teeth broken during the Battle of Uhud?”
Here is a Muwaththaq (Reliable) hadeeth from the Ahl al-Bayt (عليهم السلام) categorically denying that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) broke his teeth. The hadeeth is fairly lengthy; I will only quote the relevant part.
(Taken from my personal copy of Al-Sadooq’s Ma`aani al-Akhbaar, Baab Nawaadir al-Ma`aani, pg. 406, hadeeth # 80)
(Click to enlarge)
(Click to enlarge)
Chain of Narrators (sanad):
أبي رحمه الله قال حدثنا سعد بن عبد الله عن أحمد بن محمد عن ابن فضال عن ابن بكير عن زرارة قال
Content of the Hadeeth (matn):
فقلنا له و روي لنا أنه كسرت رباعيته فقال لا قبضه الله سليما و لكنه شج في وجهه فبعث عليا فأتاه بماء في حجفة فعافه رسول الله ص أن يشرب منه و غسل وجهه
“So we said to him (al-Baaqir (عليه السلام)), it has been narrated to us that he (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) broke his upper interior teeth? So he (عليه السلام) said: “No, by Allaah, Allaah protected him, rather it was a wound on his face. He (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) sent `Alee (عليه السلام) to bring water in a container, the Messenger of Allaah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) denied drinking from it, and washed his face with it”
1. Al-Sadooq, Ma`aani al-Akhbaar, Baab Nawaadir al-Ma`aani, pg. 406, hadeeth # 80
This hadeeth has also been narrated in al-Tabarasi’s biography of the Prophet i`laam al-Waraa:
قال أبان بن عثمان حدثني بذلك عنه الصباح بن سيابة قال قلت كسرت رباعيته كما يقول هؤلاء قال لا و الله ما قبضه الله إلا سليما و لكنه شج في وجهه قلت فالغار في أحد الذي يزعمون أن رسول الله صار إليه قال و الله ما برح مكانه
Abaan bin `Uthmaan said this has been narrated to me from al-SabbaaH bin Siyyaabah. I asked him (عليه السلام): “Did he (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) break his upper interior teeth like these people say? He (عليه السلام) said: “No, by Allaah, Allaah protected him; rather it was a wound on his (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) face. I said about the cave in Uhud that they claim the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) retreated to it. He (عليه السلام) said: “By Allaah, he did not depart from his place!”
1. Al-Tabarasi, i`laam al-Waraa, pg. 83
Since the A’immah (عليهم السلام) categorically denied that this teeth breaking incident ever happened and the sources that deal with Uways al-Qarni breaking his teeth are not from Shee`ah books, then there is NO WAY for people who are for these practices (tatbir & zanjeer) to use this as a way to justify their actions.