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 Updated: November 16, 2012

Husseini dome’s red standard replaced as Moharram starts

By: Ismail Zabeeh

HOLY KARBALA, Iraq: Declaring the start of month of grief and sorrow – Moharram -, red standard on the holy golden dome of Husseini shrine in the holy city of Karbala was replaced with a black one.

Soon after the office of Al-Marje Al-Aala Sayyed Ali Al-Husseini As-Sistani announced that Friday November 16 is first Moharram, the flag replacing ceremony was held on Thursday November 15 evening at the Husseini shrine compound after Maghrebayn prayers as a sign that Husseini season began.

In view of millions of believers and in presence of tens of thousands including political, social and religious figures, the ceremony was held.

The color of the standard means much. Red color is a symbol that the personality lying under this tomb was killed unjustly and his revenge has not been taken yet, and that Al-Imam Saheb Al-Asr (A) will take revenge from the killers.

It has been a practice that during the mourning months of Moharram and Safar, red standard is replaced with a black one to signify sufferings of Al-Imam Al-Hussein (A), his Ahl-i-Bayt (A) and companions.

It is worth noting that at the same time, standards at holy shrines throughout Iraq i.e. Imamayn Al-Jawwadain (AS), Al-Imam Ali (AS), Al-Imamayn Al-Askariyain (AS), Muslim bin Aqeel (AS) and also in Iran at the holy shrine of Sayyedah Fatimah Al-Masumah bint Al-Imam Moussa Al-Kadhim (AS) are replaced with the black ones.

The ceremony started with recitation of Quran verses.

Then at the mourning beat of drums to salute Al-Imam Al-Hussein (AS), while the mourners were chanting and crying: “Ya Hussein … Ya Shaheed (O martyr) … Ya Habib Rasul Allah (O the favorite of Allah’s Prophet)”, the standard was replaced with weeping hearts and eyes.

Later, the mourners marched to the holy shrine of Al-Abbas bin Ali (AS) where the same ceremony was held. The ceremony culminated with a majlis al-aza at the shrine.


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