Hyderabad, Aug 30 (IANS) ‘Yaum-e-Ashura’ was observed on Sunday with solemnity and sombreness, though on a low key in view of Covid-19 pandemic rules.
However, the historic ‘Bibi-ka-Alam’ procession in the old city of Hyderabad was taken out with a large number of participants.
‘Yaum-e-Ashura’ or the 10th day of Muharram, the first month of Islamic calendar, is observed in memory of the martyrdom of Prophet Mohammed’s grandson Imam Hussain and his followers at the battle of Karbala.
Perhaps for the first time in its 400-year-old history, the ‘Bibi-ka-Alam’ was not taken out on a caparisoned elephant. The standard was carried on a DCM van as per the conditions laid down by the Telangana High Court.
However, a large number of people joined the procession. Self-flagellating youth were seen in the procession while police kept a tight vigil along the route from Bibi-ka-Alawa in Dabeerpura to Chaderghat, passing through Yakutpura Road, Alijah Kotla, Charminar, Gulzar Houz, Mir Alam Mandi and Darulshifa.
Blood oozed out from the heads and chests of bare-chested Shia mourners who flagellated themselves with sharp-edged objects.
Amid cries of ‘Ya Hussain’ and recitation of ‘marsiyas’ (elegies) and ‘noha-khwani’ (poems expressing sorrow), barefoot youths using knives, blade-encrusted chains and other sharp-edged weapons, inflicted injuries on themselves to show solidarity with the sufferings of the martyrs. Others were seen weeping and beating their chests.
The ‘Bibi ka alam’ is believed to contain a piece of wooden plank on which Bibi Fatima Zehra, daughter of Prophet Mohammed, was given the final ablution.
The ‘alam’ was installed over 430 years ago during the Qutub Shahi dynasty.
The Covid-19 pandemic forced low-key observance of the day in Hyderabad and other towns in Telangana with only a handful of religious gatherings organised.
There were only a few food and ‘sherbat’ camps in view of the restrictions.
The Sunni Muslims observed the day by fasting and holding meetings to remember the sacrifices of Imam Hussain and his followers who were martyred in 61 Hijri or 681 CE at Karbala in present day Iraq.
The fasting is observed on two days – ninth and 10th or 10th and 11th Muharram.