Historic Bibi-ka-Alam taken out on van in Hyderabad

Historic Bibi-ka-Alam taken out on van in Hyderabad
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Historic Bibi-ka-Alam taken out on van in Hyderabad

Highlights

For first time in more than 400 years, the tradition of Bibi-ka-Alam procession using an elephant could not be observed in the city this year amid Covid scare and due to guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs

Hyderabad: For first time in more than 400 years, the tradition of Bibi-ka-Alam procession using an elephant could not be observed in the city this year amid Covid scare and due to guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Bibi-ka-Alam was carried on a van on Sunday. Every year, Azadari (mourning) procession sees thousands of barefoot and barechested Shia mourners from more than 40 'anjumans,' some of whom self-flagellate, participate in a procession taken out from Bibi-ka-Alawa in Dabeerpura to Masjid-e-Ilahi in Chaderghat. But this year, only a few hundreds gathered for Moharram procession, which was allowed with conditions by the city police late on Saturday.

Youm-e-Ashoora falls on the 10th day of Moharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar. The historic procession was started in a van from Bibi-ka-Alawa in Dabeerpura around 11 am and passed with only one stop at Qadam-e-Rasool near Gulzar Houz. It was passed via its route passing from Yakutpura-Alijakotla-Charminar-Gulzar Houz-Purani Haveli-Darulshifa and ended in Chaderghat by 4 pm.

It was observed that, inspite of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, starting from Sunday morning the Shias were on streets and were seen mourning by self-flagellate and mourners also performed the 'khooni matam' (self-flagellation) with chains and swords as well in procession. Each year, various politicians, government officials, police officials etc. used to offered dhatti to Alam, but this year they couldn't offer due to Covid restrictions.

The 10-day of Muharram is observed as mourning to mark the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (grandson of Prophet Mohammed) and his companion in the battle of Karbala. Bibi-ka-Alawa, which houses the Alam a piece of wooden plank on which Fatimah the mother of Hassan and Hussain was given her final ablution by her husband before burial.

The Alam, was brought from Karbala to Hyderabad during the Qutub Shahi's dynasty. The Alam was preserved in the calligraphic with Arabic lettering of Allah, Prophet Mohammed and Hazrath Imam Ali. It is covered with an alloy of metals and gold. Six pouches in the shape of earrings containing precious gems are suspended on either side of the Alam.

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