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Huge turnout at Muharram procession

Published On : 13 Oct 2016   |  Reported By : Courtesy : DHNS   |  Pic On: Photo credit : DHNS

Bengaluru, DHNS: People gathered in large numbers on Hosur Road in Bengaluru for the annual Yaum-e-Ashura Juloos, the procession on the 10th day of Muharram when Muslims mourn Imam Hussain, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad and his family who were martyred on this day.

Dressed in black, the mourners began the procession at Masjid-e-Askari near Johnson Market and slowly moved towards the Persian Shia cemetery nearby.

In unison, the crowd called out Hussain’s name as men and young boys gathered at the centre of the procession, were beating their chests to the sound of drums.

As women and onlookers watched, the men took out chains with blades and knives attached to them and whipped their backs with it. Scars from previous years were visible on the backs of many. Even young boys took part in the ritual.

Abbas Khaleeli, a degree student explained its significance. “Zanjeer ka matam, as it is known, is performed so that we feel the pain Hussain and his family went through in the Battle of Karbala. This battle was fought with Yazid, who was propagating anti-Islamic practices.”

Zaki Khaleeli, a consultant, and his family refrain from all forms of entertainment during the first 13 days of Muharram.

“We do not have any parties and we listen to sermons more often. We had a death in our family recently but we did not have the usual mourning period or have a funeral ceremony because the mourning of Muharram precedes all else.”

Families have congregations in their homes calling people from the community to gather and pray in their homes. “It is said that the spirit of the martyrs will come to your home if you have a congregation. Food is offered to the people who come,” Khaleeli added.

There was an atmosphere of grief as poems about the sacrifice of Hussain and the sufferings of his family were recited. Banners with sayings condemning terrorism were also put up. The police monitored the crowd to ensure that no untoward incident took place and, ambulances were on standby to ensure medical aid to those in need. Volunteers handed out packets of water to the participants. Water was sprayed to provide relief to the participants and to clean the blood on the path

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