Shi’ite Muslims Around the World Mark Ashura

Shi'ite Muslims from Lebanon to Afghanistan mark Ashura, a day of mourning, celebration and remembrance

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Shi’ite Muslims marked Ashura on Thursday, a day of pain, pilgrimage, and pageantry that is one of the holiest in their religion.

The word Ashura means 10, and the holiday is the tenth day of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar. For Shi’ite Muslims, those ten days are a period of mourning and remembrance, where they commemorate the death of Hussein ibn Ali, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. One of the central figures in the Shi’ite denomination, Hussein was beheaded in the Battle of Karbala in the year 680, and his martyrdom was a defining event in the split between Sunnis and Shi’ites.

Like all religious holidays, the rituals and ceremonies marking Ashura vary greatly. In some countries, men flagellate themselves; in acts of solidarity with Hussein and his family, they beat their backs with blades dangling from chains and slice their scalps with swords to allow their blood to run freely. Some Shi’ite leaders have condemned the practice, and instead organize blood donation drives as an alternative.

In the days leading up to Ashura, thousands of Shi’ites make the pilgrimage to Imam Hussein Shrine in Karbala, Iraq. During the first week of Muharram, they pile into buses and vans and walk by the thousands to visit the holy mosque. In the winter of 2006, when I led a platoon of American soldiers patrolling south of Baghdad, one mission was to guard the pilgrims on their journey. They walked south from Baghdad, thousands each day, chanting and marching as they made their way to the holy city. Groups of men beat themselves with blades and their blood spilled onto the pavement of Highway 1. I didn’t think they could continue, but they barely slowed down, driven by a collective pain and a desire to memorialize a great loss.

Shi’ites believe that Hussein was the rightful successor as the leader of Islam, and his death is a tragedy that that is fixed in their collective memory. According to Vali Nasr, a scholar of the Middle East, Shi’ites remember Hussein as “an innocent spiritual figure…in many ways martyred by a far more powerful, unjust force. He becomes the crystallizing force around which a faith takes form and takes inspiration.”

- Nate Rawlings

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96 comments
BahaaMohammedAl-Atta
BahaaMohammedAl-Atta

Most shia scholars says its forbidden to do so.. thus its unfair to show these pics and say thats how shia celebrate Ashura.. cuz its not the way.. you  see about 10 million of people go to Karabla on the 10th of Muhrram.. lets say 1000 do shed blood from themselves.. those do not represent Shia.. those represent 1000 out of 10million ... BE FAIR

FreeCommentator
FreeCommentator

It was once a tradition in ancient Egypt. When a pharaoh dies, his followers beat themselves. This tradition along with the trinity and other pagan practices became part of the Roman culture and later on part of Christianity all over the world until Christians begin abolishing the practice.


Shi'ah had simply copied the Christians of center Asia.This practice, by the way, is a modern addition to  the Shi'ah religion. There is no historical records of the practice ever been practiced or called for by the early Shi'ah or their Imams.

mujtaba.roohani
mujtaba.roohani

And the last objection to the reporter is that when you know there is a big big debate in shia muslims and sunni muslims on this so why are you discussing with incomplete information on this topic, I request not to do it again specially topics with debate between muslims as they can go to really critical level.

Thanks


mujtaba.roohani
mujtaba.roohani

I read most of the comments about shias in which majority was against them, I can understand what can be the reason for this but I don't understand why the reporter is so dump that instead of telling others to hide these pics as they are not beating themselves to be captured, they are in mourning, he is also showing these pics to the world, other than this the reporter even does not reported after the complete research, he should tell the readers the reason for not following the leaders of shi'ite hence, he should explain the concept of taqleed in Shi'ite or he should talk nothing about this.

you should not talk about this act of Shi'ite because it is on extreme nobody can accept it on first watch instead you should tell them about the other mourning ways used by shia muslims, like crying, walking hundred of miles to visit the holy shrine, arranging majalis at there homes or centers for spreading teachings of Imam Hussain (A.S) etc.

The act you shown was on the extreme and to accept extreme you should know the greeeeeaaaaat reason behind that is more extreme than this act and if the people who are excluding shias from Islam get to know the real story of karbala they will surely never forgive themselves for insulting shias.


Aliab
Aliab

First of all they don't celebrate!

Secondly, Shia(Shi'ite) is a branch of Islam.

Third and most important is that, the real belief of the Shia branch is not to mourn in Ashura by hurting yourself and damaging your body. Most Shia Muslims hold this ceremony in a completely logical way - like most Iranians- so you cannot expand this to all Shia people (These scenes are usually from Pakistan or Iraq). In any religious belief, there are some radical people who destroy (on purpose or without knowing) the real image of the belief and ONLY some radical Shias damage their body...

I recommend people who really want to know more about the reason for mourning in Ashura and the person we hold this ceremony for, to visit this website:

http://www.whoishussain.org/

Wish you a great day...

Kulmie
Kulmie

so shea'a is some other

Kulmie
Kulmie

Don't say muslim This is Shea'a

mhelmy3
mhelmy3

thi is not for Muslim .

lucidfir
lucidfir

Why all the anti-Islamic propaganda, mainstream media? What are you afraid of?

whatmeworry
whatmeworry

let them beat themselves and  all mohammedan followers to bloody death. it is the will of pedophile mo-ham head. 

AhmedHussein
AhmedHussein

They are not Muslims, it is the customs and traditions of the Shia religion and nothing to do with the religion of Islam

john_rambo
john_rambo

Almost as holy as the  Blow Yourself and Many Others to Smithereens Festival. Praise Allah and pass the ham!

DosthanS
DosthanS

I'm Muslim, and I was born in Turkey. I've never seen that thing before. What is that? Is that joke or something. In Islam, there is nothing like that action. In Islam, it is forbidden to hurt yourself and someone. This type of actions are supposed to be cultural for Iranian. I think those people don't practice Islam.

Alto-91
Alto-91

The Shi'ite so called "Muslims" lead a life of violence, hate and mythical fabrications. Islam has nothing to do with these people. 

SalimAli
SalimAli

They turn them in wrong way..Islam do not support those type of action which shia's do..so it is not islam which they show....

SmootMahooty
SmootMahooty

Who cares.   I think I'll have me some bacon.

MuhammadNaIya
MuhammadNaIya

Many of the comments and responses point succintly to the sharp divide amongst Muslims. This Sunni/Shiite divide has shown one thing -no amount of expletives and insults can change anything. Yet we go through the same ritual almost in a hypnotic trance. If all the centuries gone by have not changed anything, why not try an open dialogue and accept to let each other be?; Afterall the reward will not be the prerogative of any individual, it is an exclusive preserve of the Almighty

Read more: Shi'ite Muslims Celebrate Ashura | TIME.com http://world.time.com/2013/11/14/shiite-muslims-celebrate-ashura/#ixzz2m46nJ4Ck

____sHosH
____sHosH

This is not really Islamic religion, not as you think the media is distorted Islam!!!

zwain4u
zwain4u

 this is not true >> this is shiaa the wrong turn of muslims

CrossWinds
CrossWinds

Hebrews 9:14

how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

MuhammetAliBulut
MuhammetAliBulut

This is not the islam . Thes shi'iaa make those things not the islam there nothing of those things in islam

NanyEmran
NanyEmran

Not all the  muslims   do it >>    I am  muslim but   I never do it  

Alhobishy
Alhobishy


Shiite ritual that are not belong to Islam, Shiite pretend that they are Muslims, and in fact they are the enemies of Islam... because those group of people do the most brutality and nasty actions and ritual, Shiite torture themselves brutality which can’t be accepted by any human being to do this as a part of any religion, those Shiite always say this is Islam, while Islam prohibits all their actions, in reality they are the most people on the earth hate Islam and Muslims and they named  and called themselves Muslims and deliberate to do such disgusting, brutality and  nasty ritual in order to discolor / distorts Islam .... while Islam came to save and honor the human being  ….


hajjoubihicham
hajjoubihicham

pour illustrer les choses les personnes de cette images ne sont pas des musulmans , sont des shaiaas , c'est interdit dans l'islam . 


AhmedAlabsi
AhmedAlabsi

I am a Muslim Shiite I have donated blood to revive this painful anniversary

HaneenHabeballah
HaneenHabeballah

This is not the islam . Thes shi'iaa make those things not the islam there nothing of those things in islam> 

mohebargand
mohebargand

You cannot find anything about beating yourself in Quran.  This act is against the teaching of Quran and Mohammad SAW.  It just give a bad image to Islam where all kinds of self destruction is forbidden.  There is no justification what so ever for doing such a stupid act.  These people have lost their minds.  They have been brain washed completely to believe in such a brutal act against themselves.  It is barbaric and it brings shame for Muslim communities.  No real Muslim would do such a nonsense thing. 

TerryClifton02
TerryClifton02

Religion/Cults will make humans do stupid things, in groups it seems..

İrregularboyDurduaskar
İrregularboyDurduaskar

I am Muslim, I am a Turk Everybody's Cat beliefs come from their ancestors to learn about other religions Poor comment Please do ..


RobertManning
RobertManning

Wonderful! more sheer idiocy that the world certainly does not need at this point. 

CrossWinds
CrossWinds

........1 Corinthians 13:3........

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

.........Hebrews 9:14........

how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Ed167
Ed167

I have seriously never understood self-whipping.

kepten
kepten

@TedSmith 

my dear fellow sons of Adam, please get to know the real Islam by truly reading the Qur'an. If you sincerely seeking the truth, God will guide you through. Death is real and it will happen anytime. There will be life after death. What other book than Qur'an would you believe as the words of God? 

ho.amini.po
ho.amini.po

This is forbidden in Islam, Shi it or Sunni. Each person isn t represent of each religion. For example we do not know Daesh as represent of Sunni muslims ... 

thhdhn
thhdhn

@DosthanS In Islam, it is forbidden to hurt yourself and someone?????????????????????

scooterdie
scooterdie

@Ed167 Catholics do something similar though it's more symbolic. Beating their chests, now it's just a tap. 

Ed167
Ed167

I have tried to read it but it is much harder for me to follow than the Bible - not the stories or message or anything; rather, I literally have a harder time getting used to the literary style, the 'flow' of the book.

paul46
paul46

@Ed167 Hi Ed. I struggle also with the Qur'an, but I like it a lot. To me it's very similar to reading the Old Testament. Harsh times--harsh laws. The people of Muhammad's time were very similar to the people of Moses' time. The two books seem remarkably similar. Jesus came into a much more civilized age--the Greco-Roman culture. Thus instead of an "eye for an eye", the law of brotherly love was more applicable. We evolve spiritually.

ota
ota

@Ed167 the bible holds much  truth, Mr. Ed

AakaankshPothukutchi
AakaankshPothukutchi

@ota @Ed167 that makes no sense. You have absolutely no justification or proof for you to say that the Bible holds more (or less) truth than any other religious text...

If that is what you believe, then that's fine, it is your prerogative, but for you to openly denounce someone else's beliefs or attempt to understand their belief is idiotic and immature. 

-an educated agnostic