Muharram 2022: Juloos, majlis, blood donation to mark Ashura day in Mumbai

The first month of Islamic Calendar, Muharram, is not celebrated but is mourned.

Staff ReporterUpdated: Monday, August 08, 2022, 11:33 PM IST
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Muharram 2022: Juloos, majlis, blood donation to mark Ashura day in Mumbai | File Photo

City Muslims, Shiahs in particular, will drown themselves in sorrow all day in remembrance of Imam Husain today. Muslim neighbourhoods like Bhendi azaar, Govandi, Malad, Mira Road and Mumbra wear a pall of gloom with juloos in which thousands of followers beat their chest to mark the martyrdom of Imam Husain.


The first month of Islamic Calendar, Muharram, is not celebrated but is mourned. Considered as the darkest days in the history of Islam, the month marks martyrdom of Imam Husain – grandson of Prophet Mohammed. Imam Husain was martyred on Ashura - the tenth day of Muharram by then Umayyad Caliph Yazid I in the Battle of Karbala in 622 AD.

"Imam Husain stood for human values while Yazid was a tyrant. He wanted that Imam to accept him as a Caliph, which was not acceptable to him. After surrounding and cutting off food and water supplies, Imam Husain was killed by forces of Yazid in the battle of Karbala on the day of Ashura," said Maulana Ejaz Athar, who gives sermons at Masjid-E-Iranian, more commonly known as Mughal Masjid.


Athar and many scholars like him from across the world come to the city to narrate the 'Wakiya-E-Karbala' to describe the day and the values that Imam Husain stood and sacrificed himself for. Followers also try to depict the scene of the battle by painting walls in the areas. "Imam Husain and his companions numbered just 72 against thousands of Yazid's soldiers. After circling them, they cut the water supply on the seventh day. Among those martyred was also the six-month-old son of Imam. He was thirsty. When Imam asked that he be given water as there is nothing that he has done, instead of providing water, they killed him with an arrow," said Ali Namazi, honorary secretary, Mughal Masjid.


Sabils - where water and food is distributed - spring up in larger numbers from the seventh day onwards of Mohurrum which is when the water supply was cut. They are put up in remembrance of people who died of hunger and thirst.


Acts of charity this year will also include collecting blood during this period. "During Covid there was no procession and the need for blood was felt. We will be organising blood camps here in the city and also across the country," said Dr. Shezanali Hemani who is part of a group that will be collecting blood.


The day ends with Taziya being buried. In Bhendi Bazaar, I am part of Anjuman-E-Imamia, one of the oldest juloos in the city that mourns Imam Husain. A Taziya is buried at Rehmatabad Qabrastan and after that again we go to Majlis to hear about the stories and values of Imam Husain," said Kausar Zaidi, an orator at Mughal Masjid for over 40 years.

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