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Mourning processions in Delhi on Mohurram

December 28, 2009

Thousands of Muslims Monday took out mourning processions in the capital to commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, the grandson of Prophet Mohammed.

Dressed in black clothes and holding flags, men and women, mainly belonging to the Shia sect of Muslims, went in processions, crying and beating their chests in the ceremonial ‘matam’ or mourning to observe Youm-e-Ashura – the 10th day of Mohurram, the first month of the Islamic calendar.

Special prayers were also offered at various mosques across the capital to mark the day.

Considered a day of bereavement, many Muslims observe a fast, give to charity and pray in remembrance of Hussain who was martyred around 1,400 years ago at Karbala in Iraq.

It was during the month of Mohurram in 680 AD, soldiers of the ruling caliph Yazid surrounded Hussain, his family and some followers at Karbala. In the days that followed, they were denied food and water and many of them were killed in the clash that lasted till the 10th day of the month.

“We observe matam (mourning) in the memory of the killing of Prophet Mohammed’s grandson and his family. After taking part in the procession, we will distribute food to the poor,” said Qazim Abbas, a resident of Okhla.

According to Delhi Police, over 300 processions will be taken out Monday across the city. Most of the processions will culminate at Karbala in Jorbagh in south Delhi.

Police have issued guidelines for commuters to take different routes as traffic will be affected.

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