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Last Updated: 2013/05/15
Summary of question
What is the Islamic law regarding cleaning Turbah of Imam Hussein (a.s.) when it turns dark?
What is one supposed to do with the sand (of Karbala) that comes out from the Turbah while cleaning it? Are there any particular precautions to be observed while disposing it? And is it necessary to clean the Turbah if it gets very dark and shiny due to the oils released from one\'s forehead during prostration.
Concise answer
Based on the sayings of Ahlul-Bayt (a.s.), the soil of Karbala and the Turbah which is associated with the Chief of Martyrs, Imam Hussein (a.s.) enjoys a special significance. Sajda on this soil has been highly recommended by Infallible Imams (a.s.). For information in this regard, you can refer to index: 3015 (Prostration on Karbala Soil) on our website. That is why, in Shia jurisprudence, the Turbah which is associated with Imam Hussein (a.s) has certain rules which we will explain as under:
1. It is forbidden (haram) to make Turbah of Imam Hussein (a.s.) impure and in case it becomes impure, it is obligatory to make it clean.[1]
2. Used Turbahs or its fragments (broken pieces) should, like holy names, be buried underground or it should be thrown into river or running water.[2]
3. There should not be any obstruction between the forehead and the thing on which Sajda is done (e.g. ordinary Turbah). Therefore, if a Turbah is dirty and there are substances forming obstruction between the forehead and the Turbah, Sajda would be void on it but there is no problem in a Sajda on a Turbah whose color has changed.[3]

[1] Tabatabai Yazdi, Sayyid Muhammad Kazem, Al-Urwah al-Wuthqa, vol.1, p. 91, Al-A’lami Printing and Publication Institute, Beirut, second edition, 1409 A.H; Imam Khomeini, Tawzih al-Masail (with annotation), prepared by: Bani Hashemi Khomeini, Sayyid Muhammad Hussein, vol.1, p. 94, Islamic Publications Office, Qom, eighth edition, 1324 A.H.
[2] Vide: Musavi Gulpaigani, Sayed Muhammad Reza, Majma’ al-Masail, vol.4, p. 23, Dar al-Quran, Qom, second edition, 1409 A.H.
[3] Tawzih al-Masail (with annotation), vol.1, p. 576.
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