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  Updated: January 20, 2007

Worldwide mourning begins with Muharram crescent emergence

By: Raza Ali

BERLIN, Germany: Muharram-ul-Haram, first lunar month, is that dignified month which became the kernel and fountainhead of defensive front for the protection of Din and Shariah by matchless and unparalleled sacrifices rendered by the grandson of holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (S), his companions and lofty family.

As the crescent of Muharram-ul-Haram surfaced, black mourning dresses were worn, mourning carpets in Imambargahs, Imambaras, Ashour-Khanas, Aza-Khanas, Hussainiyaat and Islamic centers were spread, and religious relics (tazia, standards etc) were decorated by the mourners of Hazrat Imam Hussain bin Ali Ibn-e-Abi Talib (S), across the globe to pay rich homage to his supreme sacrifice in the burning desert of Karbala in 61 AH.

Touching voices of lamentations “Ya Hussain (S) and Wa Hussaina (S)” 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 (S).

Muharram crescent was sighted on January 18 in some countries while in some others on January 19 and some on January 20.

According to traditions the Chief of Martyrs Imam Hussain (S) 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 Mecca for Iraq.

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

Imam Reza (AS) said: “In the month of Muharram nobody had ever seen my father (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 (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 (S) 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 (AS) “Shiati in sharibtum maa azbun...” (O friends! when you drink sweet water remind my thirst…).  

Holy Najaf confab focuses on security during Moharram

HOLY CITY OF NAJF, Iraq: A conference to review Moharram arrangements was held in the holy city of Najaf presided over by Najaf’s deputy governor Alhaj Abdul-Hussein Abtan and attended by security officials and heads of Husseini mawakeb.

Muharram arrangements reviewed in Budgam meeting

BUDGAM, HELD KASHMIR: An important meeting of officers was held here with District Development Commissioner in chair to finalize arrangements regarding observance of Muharram-ul-Haram in Budgam district.

Public holiday in Oman marking Muharram

MUSCAT, Oman: To mark the beginning of the month of mourning, Muharram, the Omani government has declared Saturday a public holiday.

Security plan geared up for Muharram in Holy Karbala

HOLY CITY OF KARBALA, Iraq: As the month of mourning, Muharram-ol Haram, nears, preparations for its reception have been finalized in the holy city of Karbala – home to the holy shrines of Chief of Martyrs and grandson of holy Prophet Muhammad (p), Al-Imam Abi Abdellah Al-Hussein (p) and his brother Al-Abbas bin Ali (p).

Meeting in S.Africa confers azadari arrangements as Moharram nears

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa: Shiia centers in different South African cities held a meeting in Pretoria to discuss and review azadari of Imam Hossein (a.s.) arrangements in the mourning month of Moharram 1428.

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