City observes Youm-e-Ashura with solemnity, reverence

City observes Youm-e-Ashura with solemnity, reverence

  • Thousands of Shias take part in historic 'Bibi-ka-Alam' procession
  • After a gap of two years, it was held without Covid restrictions

Hyderabad: Hyderabad observed 'Youm-e-Ashura', the 10th day of the Islamic month Moharram, with due solemnity, somberness and mourning in remembrance of the martyrdom of Prophet Mohammed's grandson, Imam Hussain, his family and companions in the battle of Karbala in 680 AD. Thousands of Shia Muslims took part in the historic 'Bibi-ka-Alam' procession in the Old City on Tuesday.

It was all black and blood as a mood of Shias mourning and passing through the lanes in the Old city, where the Bibi-ka-Alam, the traditional mourning procession was taken from Bibi-ka-Alawa in Dabeerpura to Masjid-e-Ilahi in Chaderghat near Musi on an elephant 'Madhuri'. It was brought from Maharashtra. After a gap of two years, the procession was held without any Covid restrictions.

En route the procession, amid cries of 'Ya Hussain' and recitation of Marsiyas (elegies) and Nuoha-khwani (poems expressing sorrow), the barefoot processionists self-flagellating with chains and swords in remembrance of the martyrs. Water and sharbat (juice) made of milk and Jaggery were distributed from the water sabils set up at various places in the Old city, which has the second highest population of Shias in the country after Lucknow.

Bibi-ka-Alawa, houses the Alam, believed to contain a piece of wooden plank on which Prophet Mohammed's daughter Bibi Fatima Zehra, was given the final ablution, was carried on the caparisoned elephant.

Historically, the 'Alam' was brought from Karbala to Hyderabad during the reign of Qutub Shahi dynasty. The Alam was preserved in the calligraphy with Arabic lettering of Allah, Prophet Mohammed and Hazrath Imam Ali. It was covered with an alloy of metals and gold later. Six green pouches in the shape of ear-rings containing precious gems are suspended on either side of the Alam, which is kept under the strict vigil of the police.

Prominent personalities, including politicians, police, civil officials and family members of the Nizam, the ruler of erstwhile Hyderabad State, will make offerings of 'Dhatti' to the Alam at different places. Home Minister Mohammed Mahmood Ali and other politicians also offered 'Dhatti' to Alam. At Charminar, City Police Commissioner C V Anand, along with other police officers, offered Datti to the Alam and remained with the procession.

The police, along with the RAF, were deployed along Alam's route to keep vigil of the precious gems mounted on the elephant along with Alam. A medical emergency vehicle was deployed during the procession.

During this yearly Azadari (mourning) procession, hundreds of barefoot and bare-chested mourners from more than 24 'anjumans', including a few from various parts of the country, formed part of the procession. Starting from Bibi-ka-Alawa in Dabeerpura, the procession passed through Yakutpura. It stopped at the Ashoorkhana 'Khadam-e-Rasool' where the footprints of Prophet Mohammed are displayed. The next stop was at Peeli gate in Purani Haveli, where one of the members of the Nizam's family offered 'Dhatti' to the Alam. It concluded at Chaderghat.

Moharram rituals are aimed at remembering the great sacrifices of Imam Hussain and his followers, who refused to bow to despotic and tyrannical authority. Mourning processions, meetings and fasting marked the day among Muslims. Communal harmony marked the day as Hindus and Muslims came together in several parts of the city to take out Alams in a traditional manner.

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