Shi‘a Muslims - What is Mourning of Muharram

What is Mourning of Muharram

سه شنبه 13 مهر 1395 07:49 ق.ظ

Author : A.A.Nasr

Muharram refers to the first month of the Islamic Calendar. The complete month of Muharram is sacred according to the Muslims. However, it is the tenth day which is of most significance. Different factions of the Muslim community observe this day for different reasons. While the Shia Muslims celebrate this day to mourn the death of Husayn Ibn Ali, the Sunni Muslims observe this day to celebrate the victory of Moses over Egyptian Pharaoh.

According to the legend popular among Shia Muslims, Husayn Ibn Ali was beheaded during the Battle of Karbala on the tenth day of Muharram. Husayn Ibn Ali is an important figure in Muslim religion and is believed to be a member of the Muhammad's household. During the reign of Yazid, it is believed that Husayn refused to accept the Islamic rules laid down by Yazid. Instead, Husayn decided to revolt against the ruler which led to the uprising in Karbalan. During the battle of Karbalan, Husayn was beheaded while his family was imprisoned in Damascus. However, according to Sunni Muslims, it was on this day that Moses gained victory over Egyptian Pharaohs. Moses was a religious leader and was meant to propagate religious teachings around the world. It was on the tenth day of Muharram that Moses gained victory over the Pharaohs of Egypt, the most famous one being the Pharaoh of oppression.

As is evident, different factions of the Muslim community observe this day differently. While for Sunni Muslims, it is a day of celebration, for Shia Muslims, it is a day of mourning. However, both the factions have almost identical traditions. Both the factions observe fast on this day, with the Sunni Muslims observing fast for an extra day, either before or after this day. It is believed that this extra fasting day is observed in accordance with the teachings of Muhammad Prophet. In certain cases, the Shia Muslims fast for the whole month and also flagellate themselves with sticks and rods on this day. They harm themselves to commemorate the sufferings of Husayn Ibn Ali while fighting against the oppressive regime of Yazid. Other than that, there are no major celebrations on this day.

Mourning of Muharram

The Mourning of Muharram, Remembrance of Muharram, or Muharram Observances, is a set of rituals associated with both Shia and Sunni, which takes place in Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar. Many of the events associated with the ritual take place in congregation halls known as Hussainia.

The event marks the anniversary of the Battle of Karbala when Imam Hussein ibn Ali, the grandson of Muhammad, was killed by the forces of the second Umayyad caliph Yazid I at Karbala. Family members, accompanying Hussein ibn Ali, were killed or subjected to humiliation. The commemoration of the event during yearly mourning season, from first of Muharram to twentieth of Safar with Ashura comprising the focal date, serves to define Shia communal identity. At present, Muharram observances are carried out in countries with a sizable Shia population.

The word of Azadari a persian word  which mean mourning and lamentation; and Majalis-e Aza have been exclusively used in connection with the remembrance ceremonies for the martyrdom of Imam Hussain. Majalis-e Aza, also known as Aza-e Husayn, includes mourning congregations, lamentations, matam and all such actions which express the emotions of grief and above all, repulsion against what Yazid stood for.

Expression of grief with thumping of the chest by Shia Muslims is known as Latmya, Latmaya or latmia in Arabic-Persian countries. In India and Pakistan it is called Matam or Matam-Dari/Sina Zannee (chest beating).

Muharram rituals was often called by European observers "the Feast of Hasan and Hosayn," as the participants shout "Hasan! Hosayn!."

The term majalis has both a grammatical meaning and a meaning which relates to Aza-e-Husayn. In its technical sense, a majalis is a meeting, a session or a gathering

According to Shia sources, The Azadari of Muharram was started by the family, specially womenfolk, of Muhammad (the Ahl-ul-Bayt) immediately after the death of his grandson and even before entering Damascus.[6] Following the battle of Karbala, Muhammad's granddaughter Zaynab bint Ali and sister of Imam Husayn, began mourning for the fallen and making speeches against Imam Husayn ibn Ali's opponents: Ibn Ziyad and Yazid I. News of Imam Husayn ibn Ali's death was spread by Imam Zain-ul-Abideen, who succeeded Imam Husayn as the Shia Imam, via sermons and speeches throughout Iraq, Syria and Hejaz]

Zainab and Imam Zain-ul-Abideen informed the people that Yazid had martyred Hossein ibn Ali and seventy-two of his companions including his six-month-old son Ali Asghar, and that their women and children were taken as prisoners to Syria. When word of mourning reached Yazid he decided to release the captive women and children from the prison in Damascus, out of fear of public revolt against his rule. He sent for Imam Zain-ul-Abideen, informed him of the impending release and asked if he wished for anything further. Imam Zain-ul-Abideen said he would consult with Zainab. She asked Yazid to provide a place where the people could mourn for Imam Husayn and others of Muhammad's household. A house was provided, and here Zaynab bint Ali held the first Majlis-e Aza of Imam Husayn and started the Mourning of Muharram.[citation needed]

10th of the month of Muharrem - The Day of Ashura: Huseyn bin Ali was murdered at Kerbela [8] Remembrance by Jafaris, Qizilbash Alevi-Turks and Bektashis together in the Ottoman Empire.
Reliable evidence of public mourning rituals dates back to 963 CE: historian Ibn Kathir recounts how Mu'izz al-Dawla ordered his people to wail over Husayn ibn Ali. The mourning rituals evolved differently in different places, until the Safavid dynasty established a centralized Shia state in the 16th century. the annual mourning ceremonies and ritual cursing of Husayn's enemies, acquired the status of a national institution. According to popular belief, Shia rituals spread to South Asia starting at the end of the 14th century with the conquests of Tamerlane.Observance has since spread to countries such as India, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan, Syria, Nigeria, Tanzania, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Yemen, Bahrain, Azerbaijan and Lebanon

Types of mourning

After almost 12 centuries, five types of major rituals were developed around the battle of Karbala. These rituals include the memorial services (majalis al-ta'ziya), the visitation of Husayn's tomb in Karbala particularly on the occasion of the tenth day of Ashura and the fortieth day after the battle (Ziyarat Ashura and ziyarat al-Arba'in), the public mourning processions (al-mawakib al-husayniyya or the representation of the battle of Karbala in the form of a play (the shabih), and the flagellation (tatbir).

How the event is mourned differs between different branches of Shia and different ethnic groups. The event is observed by many Sunnis, but to a lesser extent, and as a time of remembrance, rather than mourning. The Nizam of Hyderabad/Deccan Mir Osman Ali Khan, was not only a Sunni Muslim and the famous powerful ruler of Hyderabad Deccan State till 1948 but also a great lover of Ahle Bait and promoter of Azadari.

Expressions of grief such as sine-zani (beating the chest), zangir-zani (beating oneself with chains), and tage-zani or qama-zani –also known as tatbir (hitting oneself with swords or knives)– emerged as common features of the proliferating mourning-processions (dasta-gardani) during Safavid rule. Mourning rituals take place in assemblies held in so-called Hussainiya or takia, as well as in mosques and private houses. In Iran, Husayn's funeral is reenacted by carrying a huge wooden structure (nakhl), which is usually carried by several hundred men.

In the Twelver three traditional schools (Usooli, Akhbari, and Shaykhi), mourners, both male and female, congregate (in separate sections) for sorrowful, poetic recitations performed in memory of the death of Husayn, lamenting and grieving to the tune of beating drums and chants of "Ya Husayn." Passion plays are performed, reenacting the Battle of Karbala and the suffering and death of Husayn at the hands of Yazid. They offer condolences to Imam-e-Zamana also known as Imam al-Mahdi whom they believe will avenge the blood of Husayn and bring justice to the world.

Bektashis and Alevis also mourn, and they keep themselves from eating and drinking ("fasting") the first 10–12 days of Muharram. In this period, the Alevis wear black clothes, do not shave themselves and avoid entertainment and pleasure. Originally, it was forbidden to bathe and change clothes during this period, but today most Alevis do not follow this rule. This is called "Muharrem Matemi", "Yas-i Muharrem" or "Muharrem orucu". But because it is called "fasting", many people falsely think that Alevis celebrate the Muharram. The definition of the "fast" in this connection is different from the normal type of "fasting". Bektashis greet each other by saying "Ya Imam! Ya Husayn."

The only Ismaili group which mourns are the Mustaali, who mourn similarly to most Twelvers. Although, Nizari Ismaili commemorate Muharram through the tradition of not celebrating marriages, birthdays, and other religious celebrations during this time to show respect to their other Muslim brothers who are mourning.

For the duration of the remembrance, it is customary for mosques to provide free meals (nazar) on certain nights of the month to all people. These meals are viewed as being special and holy, as they have been consecrated in the name of Imam Husayn, and thus partaking of them is considered an act of communion with Allah, Imam Husayn, and humanity.

In South Asia, literary and musical genres produced by both Shias and Sunnis, that have been inspired by the Battle of Karbala are performed during the month, such as marsiya, noha and soaz. This is meant to increase the peoples understanding of how the enemies fought The Battle of Karbala against Husayn and his followers. In Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica all ethnic and religious communities participate in the event, locally known as "Hosay" or "Hussay". In Indonesia, the event is known as Tabuik (Minangkabau language) or Tabut (Indonesian).

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Edit date: سه شنبه 13 مهر 1395 07:51 ق.ظ

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چهارشنبه 19 آبان 1395 03:40 ب.ظ
مطلب عالی بود. مرسی بابت این مطالب و محتوای وبلاگ خوبتون
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چهارشنبه 5 آبان 1395 10:25 ب.ظ
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پنجشنبه 15 مهر 1395 06:48 ق.ظ
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بک لینک ارزان
سه شنبه 13 مهر 1395 09:01 ب.ظ
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سه شنبه 13 مهر 1395 04:54 ب.ظ
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سه شنبه 13 مهر 1395 12:22 ب.ظ
سلام عزیزم