Ashura 2014: Devout Shia Muslims Mark Holy Day With Mass Self Flagellation Ceremonies

A Bangladeshi Shiite Muslim performs a fire-breathing act as he takes part in a religious procession on Ashura in Dhaka on November 15, 2013. Ashura mourns the death of Imam Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Mohammed, who was killed by armies of the Yazid near Karbala in 680 AD. AFP Photo/Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Warning!  This article contains some graphic images.

(SOURCE) Devout Shia Muslims across the world have mourned the martyrdom of the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson with rituals including fire breathing and mass flagellation.

Indian Shiite Muslims take part in ritual self-flagellation during Ashura in New Delhi on November 15, 2013. Ashura mourns the death of Imam Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Mohammed, who was killed by armies of the Yazid near Karbala in 680 AD. AFP PHOTO/Prakash SINGH (Photo credit should read PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images)

The ritual is known as Ashura, and is celebrated on the tenth day of the Islamic month of Muharram (the first month of the lunar calendar).

It marks the death of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Holy prophet in 680 AD in Karbala, near Baghdad in Iraq. He was killed by political rivals alongside an army of 72 men. Hussein’s body was then mutilated, leading to his martydom.

As well as marking the occasion with self-flagellation – to emulate the suffering of Hussein – some Shia Muslims take part in processions which involve walking on coals and carrying a ‘Tazia’ – a replica of his coffin.

Bangladeshi Shiite Muslims perform ritual self-flagellation as they take part in a religious procession on Ashura in Dhaka on November 15, 2013. Ashura mourns the death of Imam Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Mohammed, who was killed by armies of the Yazid near Karbala in 680 AD. AFP Photo/Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Blood donation drives are also organised for those who prefer to donate blood instead.

According to the BBC, the campaigns were launched by Shia clerics who believe self flagellation has no place in modern Islam.

The death of Hussein is the event which led to the split in Islam between the two sects of the Shias and the Sunnis.

2 thoughts on “Ashura 2014: Devout Shia Muslims Mark Holy Day With Mass Self Flagellation Ceremonies

  1. This was a really shitty article. You just kept saying the same thing over and over again, and the information given could have been summed up in a sentence with nothing of value lost. I can write better articles drunk on absinth.

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