Dec 6, 2011

Muharram, month of grief

Muharram, Imam Hussain, IranMuharram is the first month of the Islamic calendar. It's a month of remembrance that is often considered synonymous with the event of Ashura. Ashura, which literally means the "Tenth" in Arabic, refers to the tenth day of Muharram. It is well-known because of historical significance and mourning for the martyrdom of the grandson of prophet Muhammad, Imam Hussein ibn Ali, in modern-day Iraq 1,300 years ago.
Imam Hossein was martyred in the 680 A.D. battle fought on the plains outside Karbala, a city in modern Iraq that's home to the Imam's holy shrine and where 3 million Shiites gathered Tuesday to mark Ashoura.
"More than 28,000 security forces including back up troops from the interior ministry (police) in Baghdad were sent to control the security of the city," military officials said earlier this week.
The governor of Karbala province, said hundreds of thousands of foreigners had already arrived from countries such as Iran, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Pakistan and Tanzania.
In this month, shittes express their grief by sine-zani (beating the chest), zangir-zani (beating oneself with chains) and emerged as common features of the proliferating mourning-processions (dasta-gardani). Mourning for the martyred Imam also takes place in assemblies held in buildings erected especially for the purpose, known either as Hussainia or takia, as well as in mosques and private houses.
Read more: 1, 2

Iran: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Karbala (Iraq): 1, 2

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