Yaum-e-Ashoora observed in Hyderabad with procession

Friday, December 17, 2010

HYDERABAD - Muslims Friday observed Yaum-e-Ashoora or the 10th day of the Muslim month of Moharrum remembering the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, the grandson of Prophet Mohammed, and his followers in the battle of Karbala about 1,400 years ago.

While Shia Muslims in this historic city observed the day by taking out the traditional ‘tazia’ (mourning) procession, the devout among Sunnis observed fast.

Clad in black, groups of mourners beat their chests. The bare-foot youths, holding blades and other sharp-edged weapons in their hands, flagellated themselves amid ‘nowha khwani’ (elegy singing).

A mood of mourning pervaded through the old city of Hyderabad and cries of “Ya Hussain” rent the air as blood oozed out from the heads and chests of the bare-chest Shia mourners in the mammoth tazia procession.

As the day coincided with Friday prayers, police made massive security arrangements near the places of worship and imposed traffic restrictions for the smooth conduct of the procession.

Thousands of men, women and children joined the traditional ‘Bibi ka alam’ procession, which passed through the Muslim-majority old city.

‘Matam’ or mourning started in the morning at ‘ashoor khanas’ and ‘alawas’. At the historic ‘Bibi ka alawa’ in Dabeerpura, hundreds of Shia mourners flagellated themselves. Later, the procession was taken out with an especially trained elephant carrying the ‘alam’ or the flag, symbolizing the martyrs.

Thousands including those who came from neighboring districts lined both sides of the procession route while others were standing on roof-tops to catch a glimpse of the alam and make their offerings.

Eminent personalities including Minister for Minority Affairs Mohammed Ahmedullah, top police officials, members of the royal family of the Nizam, the ruler of erstwhile Hyderabad state, were among those who offered ‘dhatti’ to the alam.

Sunni Muslims too observed the day with many devouts observing fast. In many Muslim neighborhoods youngsters were seen offering sharbat or special juice to passers-by.

During the Friday sermons in the mosques, the imams recalled the great sacrifice made by Imam Hussain and his followers to uphold the truth. They said the war of Karbala signifies the moral victory of right over wrong. The imams underlined the message of Yaum-e-Ashoora and exhorted Muslims to emulate Imam Hussain, who sacrificed his life

rather than surrendering to the evil.

The procession passed through the historic Charminar and other major thoroughfares in the old city.

The city has an estimated 200,000 Shias, the second largest Shia population in the country after Lucknow.

Filed under: Religion

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