Muharram processions in Hyderabad

Written by | October 13, 2016 | 0

Hyderabad: Mourning processions, meetings and fasting marked ‘Yaum-e-Ashura’ across Telangana on Wednesday. The day was observed in memory of the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, a grandson of Prophet Mohammed, and others in the Battle of Karbala.

‘Bibi ka Alam,’ the traditional mourning procession by Shias, was held in the Old City. The Sunni Muslims observed the day by fasting and holding meetings to remember the sacrifices of Imam Hussain and his followers who were martyred in 61 Hijri or 680 CE at Karbala, in present day Iraq. Poor-feeding and distribution of water and juice also marked the 10th day of Muharram, the first holy month of Islamic calendar.

The fasting is observed on two days- ninth and 10th or 10th and 11th Muharram. Muharram rituals are all aimed at remembering the great sacrifices of Imam Hussain and his followers who refused to bow to despotic and tyrannical authority.

Blood oozed out from the heads and chests of hundreds of bare-chested Shia mourners participating in the ‘Bibi ka Alam’ march and flagellating themselves with sharp-edged objects.

Amid cries of ‘Ya Husain’ and recitation of Marsiyas (elegies) and noha-khwani (poems expressing sorrow), the barefoot youths, using knives, blade-encrusted chains inflicted injuries on themselves to show solidarity with the sufferings of the martyrs. Others were seen weeping and beating their chests.

The massive procession began from ‘Bibi ka Alawa’, with the ‘alam’ insignia of the martyrs kept on ‘Rajni’, an elephant brought from Nehru Zoological Park.

The ‘Bibi ka Alam’ is believed to contain a piece of wooden plank on which Bibi Fatima Zahra, daughter of Prophet Mohammed, was given the final ablution.

The ‘Alam’ was installed over 430 years ago during the Qutub Shahi period. It also contains six diamonds and other jewellery donated by Mir Osman Ali Khan, the seventh and last Nizam.

The procession passed through various parts of the Old City including historic Charminar, with thousands of people, irrespective of religion and caste, standing along the roads to pay their respects.

Filed in: Hyderabad

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