Shia Muslims gear up to mark the martyrdom of Imam Hussain as Muharram begins

Shia Muslims remember the martyrdom of Imam Hussain ibn Ali, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. Community members wear black clothes, organize Majlis and hold processions during Muharram

Mumbai: Shia Muslims prepare to mark imam Hussain's martyrdom as Muharram begins

Shia believers will participate in a mourning ritual at Imam Hussein Shrine in Iraq’s holy city of Karbala on July 29, 2022, on the eve of the 1st of the Muslim month of Muharram. Photo/ AFP

As the holy Islamic month of Muharram Shia Muslims in Mumbai are gearing up to celebrate the martyrdom of Imam Hussain ibn Ali, grandson of the Prophet Muhammad.

Mumbai’s Shia Muslims are grateful to Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde for lifting the curbs on religious festivals introduced during the pandemic. During the Covid-19 pandemic, restrictions including public gatherings and processions were banned.

“We have noticed in recent weeks that the number of Covid-19 cases has decreased, it is a welcome step and we are grateful to the Secretary of State, Mr Shinde, for his decision,” said Vasi Sayed, chairman of Salute 72 Matamdari Foundation, a non-profit organization.

All India Shia Personal Law Board (AISPLB) spokesman Maulana Yasoob Abbas thanked the Maharashtra government for its announcement to lift restrictions on religious functions.

Also Read: No curbs on Ganesh festival, other religious events: CM Eknath Shinde

Explaining the history and importance of Muharram, Maulana Yasoob Abbas told “In this month, 1,400 years ago, Imam Hussain and his family had reached Karbala, now a city in Iraq. Imam Hussain and his 72 Companions were martyred on the day of Ashura (the 10th day of Muharram) in Karbala by the army of Yazid at his command.

“The Shia Muslims commemorate the massacre and mark the public mourning and pain suffered by their great leader and his family members. The members of the community wear black clothes, organize majis and go out in processions to mark the martyrdom of Imam Hussain ibn Ali,” he added.

He said: “Members of the Shia community not only in India but all over the world are distributing food and water to people who remember Imam Hussein, his children and companions who were martyred without food and water for three days. .”

Vasi Sayed, who is also the head of Guldasta-E-Matami, a Mumbai-based Anjuman, told “We would start the pursa and matam (mourning) from July 30 at night.” He explained: “The matam of Imam Hussain ibn Ali is done around the clock during Muharram and Safar. There are several Anjumans who participate in matam at different intervals, hence we coordinate with each other. Several Anjumans have also set up Sabeels in the city from which food and water are distributed to the people. This is in memory of Imam Hussain ibn Ali and his children who were refused even water.”

During Muharram and Safar (the next month of the Islamic calendar), Shia Muslims refrain from attending and celebrating joyful events.

Ali Shozab Sayed, President of Anjuman-E-Hussaini and Member of Anjumane Sipah-E-Hussaini, Mumbai, an Anjuman founded in 1952, said: “Unlike the moon of other months, with the sighting of the moon of Muharram, we start the Azadari (mourning) A juloos is organized around 10 pm after the moon sighting, the juloos starts from the Iranian mosque on Imamwada road, Dongri to Zainabia Imambargah in Bhendi Bazar.

He added: “Our Anjuman has two Sabeels- Sabeel-E-Anjumane Sipah-E-Hussaini in Iranian Mosque and Sabeel-E-Tashnalab in Zainabia Imambargah where food, juices and water are distributed to people. We also organize the Shame-E -Gareeb (Evening after the martyrdom of Imam Hussain Ibn Ali) Majlis by Maulana Mirza Jafar Abbas Sahab followed by Shama (Candle) Juloos, a walk where the recitation of nohas and matam is done.”

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