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Shias in Mumbai begin mourning as Mohurrum starts

Saturday, 17 November 2012 - 2:01am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA
Besides the sermons, Shias will take out a procession where they will brood over the loss of Imam Hussain.

Even for the uninitiated, it is easy to spot the difference in the day-to-day affairs of Muslims in areas of Imambada and Dongri. Black dress, water stalls springing up in every corner, tragic story of Imam Hussein put up on banners guides one to the Mohurrum period that began from Friday, mainly for the Shias.

Considered as the darkest days in the history of Islam, Mohurrum is observed to mark the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, Prophet Mohammed’s grandson. Imam Hussain was martyred on the 10th day of Mohurrum by then Umayyad Caliph Yazid I in the Battle of Karbala in 622 AD.

No occasion that is considered “celebratory” is observed during this period. Sermons are conducted at various places in the city that describe Imam Hussain’s sacrifice.

“This year, I will talk about the importance of knowledge as that is what has dragged the Muslims down. Its neglect has resulted in collective deterioration of the community,” said Maulana Mirza Mohammed Ather whose sermons are the most popular in the city.

This is the Maulana’s 55th year of delivering sermons from the Masjid-e-Irania (Mogul Masjid). His supporters now wish to have him in the Guinness Book of World Records for this.
“Imam raised voice against all that was wrong and that is why he was martyred. Today, in the name and dress of Islam, some misguided people are committing acts of terror. We tell people to be humane,” said Maulana Jaffar Abbas whose sermons are considered very popular too.

Shezanali Hemani, an MBBS student, even takes leave to attend the processions. “Diwali break is till November 20 but I have extended it till the 26th as Ashura is to be observed on that day,” said Hemani, a Mazgaon resident.

Besides the sermons, Shias take out a procession where they recollect the loss of Imam Hussain. “Every day of the procession (julus) symbolises a loss of that time. The processions start on seventh day and are held till the 10th, the day on which Imam was martyred with his 72 companions. We beat our chests in his memory,” said Kausar Zaidi, president of Anjuman-e-Imamiya, an organisation that conducts such processions.

Darkest Day In Mourning

  • Considered as the darkest days in the history of Islam, Mohurrum is observed to mark the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, Prophet Mohammed’s grandson
  • No occasion that is considered “celebratory” is observed during this period. Sermons are conducted at various places in the city that describe Imam Hussain’s sacrifice a record
  • This year will be Mirza Mohammed Ather’s 55th of delivering sermons from the Masjid-e-Irania (Mogul Masjid). His supporters wish to have him featured in the Guinness Book



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