Muharram procession at Srinagar

Moharam procession of Shia community was held at Zadibal area of old city of Srinagar. Thousands of Shia mourners participated in this procession.

Muharram: The month of mourning, sacrifices

Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar, begins with mourning processions all over the world. Muslims of shia sect, in black attire, participate in the gatherings in which the sacrifices of Hussein and his companions are commemorated.

Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad, was martyred in 680 AD by a group of 72 men, women and children in the harsh terrain of Karbala.

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On the seventh day of the Muharram, the food, water and other essential supplies to the Hussein’s camp was ceased by the Yazid’s army. During these three days he (Hussein) witnessed the torture, execution of his companions, including his brother Abbas and newly-wed nephew Qasim ibn Hassan.

Muharram’s message

Hussain was martyred after he refused to pledge allegiance to Yazid, son of Muawiyah ibn Abu Sufyan. For the legitimacy to his sultanate, Yazid, despite his misdeeds, urged Hussein to vow allegiance. Hussein not only rejected this but also demanded that Yazid revive Islamic values and ethics.

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What Yazid wanted was to crush dissent and get rid of the opposition. The only way to thwart him was to keep the memory of dissent alive. We would do well to remember this.

Muharram is all about remembering. It is a salute to those who chose death over life. But it is definitely not about merely feeling their pain. It shouldn’t be reduced to ritual enactments of shedding blood. It certainly shouldn’t be about picking a side or a name to hate.

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