Religious zeal, communal amity marks Muharram in India (Roundup)December 28th, 2009 - 9:59 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Dec 28 (IANS) Religious fervour and communal amity marked the 10th day of the Islamic month of Muharram in India Monday with Hindus coming out in large numbers across India to join their Muslim brethren in processions to mourn the killing of Imam Hussain, the grandson of prophet Mohammad.
Considered a day of bereavement, many Muslims observe a fast, give alms and pray in remembrance of Hussain who was martyred this day at Karbala in Iraq around 1,400 years ago.
It was during the month of Muharram in 680 AD that soldiers of the ruling caliph Yazid surrounded Hussain, his family and some followers at Karbala. In the days that followed, they were denied food and water and many of them were killed in the clash that lasted till the 10th day of the month. Hussain was himself killed on the tenth day which is observed as “Youm-e-Ashura”.
In Lucknow, a large number of Shia Muslims, wearing black clothes, took out mourning processions, beating their chests and backs with chains, while Muslim residents of Amrai village in Chinhat area of the state capital lined up at a daylong blood donation camp and gave blood.
In Hyderabad’s old city, it was all black and blood as a mood of mourning pervaded the area. Cries of “Ya Hussain” rent the air as blood oozed out of the heads and chests of the bare-chested Shia mourners in the mammoth procession, known as “Bibi ka alam”.
The bare-foot youths, who were holding blades and other sharp-edged weapons in their hands, flagellated themselves amid “noha-khwani” (recitation of elegies).
In Srinagar, security forces cordoned off Abi-guzar area to foil attempts by the Shia mourners to take out the main Muharram procession, which has been banned since 1990.
Heavy deployment of police and paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) was made in the area and the adjacent Lal Chowk where roads had been blocked and concertina wire barricades set up. Shops in the area remained shut.
In a rare show of communal harmony, dozens of Hindu families in a Bihar village too observed Muharram and took out a “tazia” (replica of Hussain’s shrine) in a procession.
“We observed Muharram and also took out a tazia procession along with the Muslims,” Lalan Choudhary, a resident of Thepha village in Siwan district, where the procession took place, told IANS by phone.
“It is an old tradition in our village that Hindu families observe Muharram,” he said. His brother Ramayan Choudhary said that five tazias were built in the village for Muharram - four by the Muslims and one by the Hindus.
Sita Devi, a Hindu woman who observed a fast, said that in last one decade more Hindu families have been observing Muharram after one “miracle” or another in their lives.
“Hindus observing Muharram send a message of peace, harmony and brotherhood to others,” village cleric Shamshul Haque said.
Muharram was also observed in Mumbai, Thane, Raigad, Pune, Nashik, Malegaon, Aurangabad and other cities of Maharashtra.
Cries of “Ya Hussain” rent the air as thousands of Muslims proceeded with the tazias to the seashore in south Mumbai, central Mumbai, Juhu and other parts of the city, with the biggest processions starting from Byculla, Mahim, Bandra and Andheri in the city and Mira Road, Mumbra, Bhiwandi and other parts of adjoining Thane district.
Shia Muslims in Kolkata took out mourning processions, beat drums and thumped their chests grieving for prophet Mohammad’s grandson as they observed Muharram.
Amid cries of “Ya Hussain”, hundreds of Muslims marched through the streets of Kolkata with three huge rallies from Rajabazar, Kidderpore, and Sealdah meeting at Beliaghata crossing in the north-eastern part of the city, as mourners whipped themselves, carried sticks and knives, observing the occasion.
Similar rallies were also brought out from Khidderpore, Matiaburz in West Kolkata and Prince Anwar Shah road in the southern part of the city.
Reports of Muharram processions were also received from other parts of West Bengal.
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- Shias take out mourning procession in Delhi - Feb 22, 2010
- Yaum-e-Ashura observed with procession in Hyderabad - Dec 28, 2009
- Muharram observed in West Bengal - Dec 06, 2011
- Hindus observe Muharram in Bihar village - Dec 28, 2009
- Restrictions in some Srinagar areas to prevent trouble - Dec 06, 2011
- Curfew imposed in Srinagar during Moharum - Dec 17, 2010
- Muslims turn blood donors on Muharram in Lucknow - Dec 28, 2009
- Muharram observed throughout the country - Dec 28, 2009
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Tags: ashura, black clothes, blood donation camp, chowk, communal amity, concertina wire, crpf, elegies, imam hussain, month of muharram, muharram, muharram procession, muslim brethren, muslim residents, prophet mohammad, religious fervour, religious zeal, reserve police, shia muslims, youm