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  Updated: December 19, 2009

Husseini dome’s red standard changed signifying mourning season start

By: Ismail Zabeeh

HOLY KARBALA, Iraq: Red standard (alam), which signifies revenge, on the holy golden dome of the shrine of Al-Imam Abi Abdellah Al-Hussein (AS) in the holy city of Karbala was replaced with a black one declaring the beginning of month of grief and sorrow - Moharram - in a special spiritual environment.

The rituals of changing the Alam were held in presence of flocks that included political, social and religious figures from holy cities of Karbala, Najaf, Kadhimiyah and other cities.

The ceremony started with recitation of Quran verses and Aza Al-Husseini followed by beating of drums to greet Al-Imam Al-Hussein (AS). With the beat of drums, the mourners were chanting: “Ya Hussein … Ya Shaheed (O martyr) … Ya Habib Rasul Allah (O the favourite of Allah’s Prophet)”. During all this the standard was replaced with weeping hearts and eyes.

Later, the mourners went to the holy shrine of Al-Abbas bin Ali (AS) where the same ceremony was held.

It is worth-noting that placing of red flag on a grave indicates that the man of grave was killed unjustly and his revenge has not been taken yet.

Replacing red flag on the holy dome with the black one is annual practice done by believers as Moharram nears.

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