Azadari processions in India

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Asia
Wednesday, 15 December 2010


azadari_procession_in_indiaPune, India: With Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar under way, it's time for devout Muslims to pay homage to the martyrs of Karbala who fought a war that symbolises the eternal and unwavering stance of truth against falsehood. The tenth day of Muharram Ashura falls on December 17 this year, and marks the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad.
According to Islamic history, the year 680 AD was witness to the massacre of Imam Hussein and 72 of his followers, including his family members, at Karbala in Iraq on the orders of Yazid, who had taken over the caliphate from his pious father Amir Muaviya after his demise and wanted Imam Hussein to accept his rule. Yazid's men deprived Imam Hussein and his family and supporters of food and water in the course of a siege. One by one, the defenders fell, and on the last day of Ashura, Imam Hussein himself was brutally killed.

"Imam Hussein was a pious man and was the Prophet's beloved grandson. He did not accept Yazid's caliphate as Yazid was not following Islam in the true spirit. Accepting Yazid as caliph would mean accepting his ways. Hence, Imam Hussein refused to follow him and laid down his life to save the deen' (Islam)," says entrepreneur Arif Mohammad Khan, who has also penned a book on saints and tombs.

Homemaker Aazra Quettawalla says, "This period is observed by both Shias and Sunnis in memory of the martyrs of Karbala. We remember that Imam Hussein fought this war for Islam and for righteousness. There are prayers in the evening, and on the day of Ashura, we fast. The fast usually ends with a simple meal of khichda (a simple dish made of wheat, meat and pulses.)"

Auto driver Firoz Khan says, "This is a time to sit back and take stock of how we lead our lives. Imam Hussein shed his blood for the cause of truth. Do we have it in us to do the same? Or at least lead our lives in a way that is beneficial to others."

Businessman Amjad Akkalkotkar says, "No new projects or weddings take place in this period. People remember the poor, and give food and alms. During each of the first nine days of Muharram, Majlis' (assemblies) are held where orators recall the incident of the martyrdom of Imam Hussain and his supporters."

PR professional Zubair Poonawalla says: "A typical feature of this period is the sabeels (huge constructions containing pots of water and sherbet') kept in the streets, in the vicinity of mosques and homes. These sabeels may contain water, rose water, sherbets or milk sherbets and help passers-by quench their thirst. Children are the most enthusiastic of all, when it comes to sitting next to the sabeels and offering a drink to anyone who passes by. Basically, this is done in the memory of all those who valiantly fought and laid down their lives at Karbala even when they had been deprived of water by the opponents to weaken them."

There is also a lot of community service in this period, adds Poonawalla. "People provide meals to the poor; similarly mosques organise meals in both the afternoon and evenings."

Source Times of India

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According to Islamic history, the year 680 AD was witness to the massacre of Imam Hussein and 72 of his followers, including his family members, at Karbala in Iraq on the orders of Yazid, who had taken over the caliphate from his pious father Amir Muaviya after his demise and wanted Imam Hussein to accept his rule. Yazid's men deprived Imam Hussein and his family and supporters of food and water in the course of a siege. One by one, the defenders fell, and on the last day of Ashura, Imam Hussein himself was brutally killed.

"Imam Hussein was a pious man and was the Prophet's beloved grandson. He did not accept Yazid's caliphate as Yazid was not following Islam in the true spirit. Accepting Yazid as caliph would mean accepting his ways. Hence, Imam Hussein refused to follow him and laid down his life to save the deen' (Islam)," says entrepreneur Arif Mohammad Khan, who has also penned a book on saints and tombs.

Homemaker Aazra Quettawalla says, "This period is observed by both Shias and Sunnis in memory of the martyrs of Karbala. We remember that Imam Hussein fought this war for Islam and for righteousness. There are prayers in the evening, and on the day of Ashura, we fast. The fast usually ends with a simple meal of khichda (a simple dish made of wheat, meat and pulses.)"

Auto driver Firoz Khan says, "This is a time to sit back and take stock of how we lead our lives. Imam Hussein shed his blood for the cause of truth. Do we have it in us to do the same? Or at least lead our lives in a way that is beneficial to others."

Businessman Amjad Akkalkotkar says, "No new projects or weddings take place in this period. People remember the poor, and give food and alms. During each of the first nine days of Muharram, Majlis' (assemblies) are held where orators recall the incident of the martyrdom of Imam Hussain and his supporters."

PR professional Zubair Poonawalla says: "A typical feature of this period is the sabeels (huge constructions containing pots of water and sherbet') kept in the streets, in the vicinity of mosques and homes. These sabeels may contain water, rose water, sherbets or milk sherbets and help passers-by quench their thirst. Children are the most enthusiastic of all, when it comes to sitting next to the sabeels and offering a drink to anyone who passes by. Basically, this is done in the memory of all those who valiantly fought and laid down their lives at Karbala even when they had been deprived of water by the opponents to weaken them."

There is also a lot of community service in this period, adds Poonawalla. "People provide meals to the poor; similarly mosques organise meals in both the afternoon and evenings."

Source Times of India

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