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