Monday, July 31, 2023

Festive Spirit Replaces the Spirit of Mourning During Muharram Processions India and Pakistan

By New Age Islam Staff Writer 31 July 2023 6 Persons Die Of Electrocution In Jharkhand And Gujarat Main Points: 1. Tazia processions are taken out on the 10th of Muharram. 2. The spirit of mourning has disappeared from Muharram processions. 1. 3.Tall Tazias cause accidents. 3. Processions sometimes turn violent. 4. Shias mourn the martyrdom of Imam Hussain. ------- Three accidents of Electrocution during Moharram procession reported in Bihar, Jharkhand and Gujarat (Image Source - Gujarati Jagran) ----- In India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, the first ten days of the Islamic month of Muharram is observed as days of mourning the martyrdom of Imam Hussain and his family members in 680 A. D. at Karbala by the army of Yazeed. The two communities of Muslims Shia and Sunni mourn their martyrdom in their own ways. While Shias take mourning processions while beating their chest and singing Marsia, the Sunnis take out tazia processions while enacting the battle of Karbala. They beat drums and enact fighting scenes with swords, lathis, spears etc. Tazias are symbolic replicas of the mausoleum of Hazrat Imam Hussain situated in Baghdad. In India, the Muharram processions have gradually changed in spirit. The spirit of mourning has been replaced by the spirit of festivities. Tazias are made tall and costly in order to compete with others. People clothe in new colourful dresses and show their skills in wielding swords, spears and lathis. Nowadays, girls also take part in the symbolic battle adding to the charm of the processions. In short, it has turned into a 'Hussaini mela' as a Shia mourner described it. On the other hand, Shias hold sessions of Zikr where Zakirs narrate the tragedy of the martyrdom of Imam Hussain and his family members in Karbala. They also take out mourning processions beating their chests and wailing. The Tazia processions taken out by Sunnis sometimes causes accidents. Sometimes, tazias are very tall and touch the overhead electricity wires in the streets. This causes death by electrocution. Every year deaths by electrocution occur but precautions are not taken. People are so immersed in festive spirit that they forget about the overhead electricity wires. This year also, deaths by electrocution during Tazia procession occurred. 4 people died in Jharkhand while 2 died in Gujarat. In Delhi, the Tazia procession turned unruly and violent in Nangloi. The organisers of the Tazia procession tried to divert the procession from predetermined route. When the police objected and told the mob to follow the route, the mob turned violent and clashed with the police. They pelted stones at the police injuring 12 police personnel, according to reports. This kind of behaviour is highly condemnable and against the Islamic principles. When drums will be beaten, lathis and swords will be wielded and girls will jump and swirl while wielding lathis or swords, the spirit of mourning will naturally disappear. This is what has been observed in the Muharram processions. The tradition of making Tazia is said to have been started during the reign of the central Asian ruler Timur in the 14th century. According to the historical accounts, he visited the Mausoleum of Imam Hussain every Ashura day. But one year he could not visit the mausoleum due to his illness. He consulted one of his ministers who was a Shia and told him about his dilemma. The minister found a solution. He made the announcement to the public that whoever builds a replica of the mausoleum of Imam Hussain would be rewarded. People made one beautiful replica which was brought to Timur. He was very happy and rewarded the minister and the artisans. From then on, making a replica of the mausoleum became a tradition. Every year the replica of the mausoleum was built on 10th Ashura and kept at the palace. The king would pay respects to the replica which was named Tazia and reward the artisans. This continued till his death in 1405. But the tradition of making tazia on Ashura became popular among the Muslims of Iran, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, China and Russia. This is how a tradition started by a king spread among the Muslims of central Asia though it has no roots in Islam. People have accepted it as a part of culture, not as a religious observance. Many Muslim intellectuals and writers do not find Tazia processions wrong. They say it should not be judged from merely religious point of view but from a cultural point of view. But the basic issue remains since it has become a cultural event, people have lost respect for the month. The lack of respect for this holy month was also evident from the suicide blast in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan on the 11th Muharram. More than 40 people have died and more than 200 people have been injured. In India, Muharram is also observed by a section of Hindus who are called Dutt Hussaini Brahmans. According to folklore popular among them, some Brahmans living in Makkah and Kufa had reverence for Imam Hussain. One of their ancestors Rahab Dutt of Makkah who was a cloth merchant was childless. He was blessed with seven sons thanks to the blessings of Imam Hussain. When he learnt that Imam Hussain had left for Kufa with his family, he feared for his life. He travelled with his seven sons to Karbala but by the time he arrived at Karbala, Imam Hussain had already been martyred. It is said that he and his sons were part of the army under Mukhtar Saqafi that avenged Hussains martyrdom and killed many soldiers of Yazeed. But Yazeed again gained hold of the situation and many of Hussain’s, supporters were killed by Yazeed. Rahab Dutt's seven sons were also martyred. Rahab Dutt and other Brahmans had to leave Iraq and came back to India. They settled in Haryana and Rajasthan. These Brahmans are called Dutt Hussaini Brahmans and they take pride in the fact their forefathers fought for Imam Hussain. Sunil Dutt belongs to the community of Hussaini Brahmans. They are spread all over India and take out Tazia processions and mourn the martyrdom of Inam Hussain. Therefore, Muharram brings Hindus and Muslims together and adds to the diversity of our culture. URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

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