1429 Hijri, The Mourners of Muharram

ashoura20073.jpgI i looked up and saw an armed helicopter conducting aerial survey… There were armed personnel on many rooftops looking at us down below,  there was a convoy, belonging to different security forces, crawling in front of what appeared to be a huge crowd of both, old and the young, male and the female… and most of them were clad in black.

They kept chanting the same thing over and over again… and that is when i saw the first gleaming silver blade in mid-air, attached to it was a chain…

i was trying to make sense of why it had suddenly swung up, when with the same force that it had come up just a few seconds ago, it went down… and i heard a loud cry as this man who was already bleeding, started to bleed more…

the mourners had begun…

I spoke to a young boy who was part of the procession and he complained that the turnout was low, and although to me it seemed like a huge crowd… He insisted that last year there were more people… What kept them indoors? I asked him. The boy replied – “Fear…”

Putting everything at risk, these procession mourners were out on the roads… and doing something extra-ordinary… inflicting pain on oneself… it made me wonder what was going through their minds?

To me, it seems totally pointless to perform these acts of torture… But whether it is right or wrong is not the debate i want to get into…

I wanted to highlight that the first month for the Islamic Calendar coincides with January…

Two News Years within 2 weeks – sounds like its going to be a heavy year.. And although it can be regarded as random superstition … 2008 feels like the Year of Mourning…

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3 thoughts on “1429 Hijri, The Mourners of Muharram

  1. What is sad that in this day and age they still continue to ‘punish’ themselves for the sins of a past forgotten…did you know that the bora shia sect too mourns? but they beat themselves with their fists instead of something so gory…

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