This picture was taken 14 years ago on this day (Muharram 23rd, 1427 AH),when terrorists bombed the ‘Askariyya Shrine in Samarra, Iraq.
That day evening, three religious authorities of Najaf, Ayatollah Hakim, Ayatollah Fayyad and Ayatollah Najafi gathered in the house of Ayatollah Sistani. The result of this gathering on that day was issuing a very important statement by Ayatollah Sistani.
The result of issuing and disseminating that statement was that a serious conflict between Shias and Sunnis was avoided and eventually Iraq passed this painful tragedy.
In a part of that statement, it was mentioned, “Sinful hands engaged in the crime of demolition of the shrine of Askariyyayn Imams (a) and exploded the holy dome which led to destruction of a great part of it and great damages. Words fail to condemn this atrocity and we offer condolences to Imam al-Mahdi (a) and ask believers to peacefully condemn violation of sacred places.”
What Follows is the statement from Ayatollah Sistani’s Office in Najaf:
In The Name of Allah The Merciful, The Compassionate
“They desire to put out the light of Allah with their mouths, and Allah will not consent save to perfect His light, though the unbelievers are averse”
(Holy Qur’an – 9:33- Repentance)
This morning, evil hands perpetrated a most heinous crime against the holy shrines of Imam Al-Hadi and Imam Al-Askari (may Allah bless them). Explosives were detonated, which destroyed a large part of the dome causing considerable damage to the surrounding area.
Words fall short of condemning this terrible crime that was aimed at creating discord between the Iraqi people so that the evil hands, of the unjust who have strayed from the path of Islam, may reach their malicious objectives.
The Iraqi government is called upon today, more than ever before; to accept its entire responsibilities and halt the series of criminal acts aimed at holy sites. If government security forces are incapable of providing adequate protection then the faithful can do so with help of Allah the Blessed and Almighty.
While we convey our condolences on this sorrowful occasion to our 12th Imam (may Allah hasten his reappearance), we call for a week of national mourning. We invite the faithful to protest and express their condemnations, on the violation of their sanctities, by peaceful means. We stress upon everyone going through the shock of this atrocious crime not to be drawn into what the enemies want them to be drawn into, which is sectarian discord, for as long as the enemies are seeking to pull Iraq in its flames.
There is no power but with Allah, The Sublime and Mighty and soon they who act unjustly shall know to what final place of turning they shall turn back.
The Office of Ayatullah Seestani – Najaf
23 Muharram 1427 A.H. (22 February 2006)