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  Updated: January 31, 2006

Muharram crescent marked with tears, majalis, black dresses

By: Raza Ali

AUCKLAND, New Zealand: As the crescent of Muharram gave its emergence, mourners of Hazrat Imam Hussain bin Ali Ibn-e-Abi Talib (A.S.) the world over wore black mourning dresses, spread mourning carpets in Imambargahs, Imambaras, Ashour-Khanas, Aza-Khanas, Hussainiyaat and Islamic centers, decorated relics, and hoisted Alam (standards) of Hazrat Abbas (A.S.) paying rich homage to Hazrat Imam Hussain (A.S.) and his 72 companions.

“Ya Hussain and Wa Hussaina” are being heard from every nook and corner and tears are being gushed out of every eye with intense grief over the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussain (A.S.) along with his near and dear ones in the burning plain of Karbala at the hands of Yazid (L.A.) in 61 AH.

Crescent of Muharram – that dignified month which became the kernel and fountainhead of defensive front for the protection of religion & Shariah by matchless and unparalleled sacrifices rendered by Imam Hussain (A.S.) along with his companions and lofty family -was sighted on January 29 in some countries while in some others on January 30.

According to traditions the Chief of Martyrs Imam Hussain (A.S.), holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (S.W.)’s grandson, had sighted the crescent of Muharram 61 AH when he reached “Manzil-e-Ashraf” passing through different places after he departed the holy city of Makkah for Iraq.

Hazrat Imam Jafar-e-Sadiq (A.S.) says: “When crescent of Muharram appears the angels show blood-soaked shirt of Al-Hussain (A.S.), we see it and those wo love us, we see it with baseerah (discernment) and not with sight.”

Whenever Hazrat Imam Sadiq (A.S.) sighted the Muharram crescent, his grief increased. People used to come to him for condolence, consolation and matam.

A saying of Imam Reza (A.S.) goes: “In the month of Muharram nobody had ever seen my father (A.S.) happy and merry. During this month he remained in continuous grief and pain and on the 10th of this month he was used to say, ‘Today Imam Hussain (A.S.) was martyred brutally’.”

In previous times in Indian city of Lucknow, as the Muharram crescent was sighted, the brood and youth were prohibited from laughing; married women even newly married weds were asked to smash their bangles; wear out red outfits. Mouth-watering dishes were prevented till the 40th day of Imam (A.S.)’s martyrdom on Safar 20 rather for 2 months and 8 days; Desserts were not prepared; Sweet dishes were put on the table on Rabi-ul-Awwal 9; fish was also not allowed. Cold drink was considered the best tabarruk in majalis even in the winters and patients after drinking it became healthy. The word of drink (sharbat) is found in the original words of Imam Hussain (A.S.) “Shiati in sharibtum maa azbun...” (O friends! when you drink sweet water remind my thirst…).

Bahrain Muharram preparations … processions, majalis, exhibitions

MANAMA, Bahrain: Hundreds of thousands of Bahrainis will be taking part in a string of religious activities during the first month of Muharram which begins on Tuesday.

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