Shia Muslims start Muharram mourning rituals amid pandemic
Cultural Council of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran > News > Iran News > Shia Muslims start Muharram mourning rituals amid pandemic

Shia Muslims in all Iranian cities started Muharram mourning rituals and decorated their neighborhoods with black banners for observing mourning ceremonies for the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (PBUH), the third Imam of Shia Muslims, as the holy month of Muharram arrived on August 10.

This year, however, Muslims are marking the second Muharram amidst a pandemic that has cancelled every mass gathering.

The lunar month coincides with the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (PBUH) and his companions, 14 centuries ago, who were martyred in the modern-day Iraqi city of Karbala by the forces of the second Umayyid caliph, Yazid, on the 10th day of Muharram, which is called Ashura.

Every year, during the first 10 days of Muharram, Muslims dress in black, erect mourning tents, and participate in mass processions to commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (PBUH).

The Iranian government said it would not prevent Muharram ceremonies, but advised people to observe health protocols.

Any physical mourning ceremony needs to be held in open air environments.

According to IRNA, Tehran Municipality will organize special events for mourning of martyrdom of Imam Hussein (PBUH), in the capital city, which are going to be held while respecting health protocols to avoid the spread of the coronavirus among mourners.

The mourning program consists of ta’ziah (Iranian Passion play on religious events, especially on the day of Ashura) in the open air as well as online mourning plays, under the slogan of ‘In memory of you, the city has been revitalized.’

Kazem Davoudi, Tehran Municipality official, said in accordance with the current situation, this year’s mourning ceremonies and religious rituals will be held based on health recommendations, with the collaboration of mosques and other religious entities.

Municipality buildings, as well as sports clubs and cultural houses, are also covered in black during the holy month, he said.

Cultural houses of Tehran Municipality will organize holding 215 ta’ziah performances in 25 parks, holy shrines and open areas of cultural houses in Tehran.

Mojtaba Shokri, mayor of District 13 of Tehran, underlined that people’s contribution to the mourning ceremonies will help hold better rituals.