KARACHI: Moharram is the venerated first Islamic month in which martyrdom of Holy Prophet Mohammad’s grandson is observed.
Imam (spiritual leader) Hussain has refused to swear loyalty to Yazid (second Umayyad Caliph).
While traveling with his family and followers from Medina to Kufa he was surrounded by the large army of Yazid at Karbala (situated in today’s Iraq).
They refused to bow down though during the siege they were dying of thirst. Imam Hussain (RA)’s brother Abbas was assassinated while bringing back water towards camp. On tenth of Muharram (known as Ashura) all were martyred.
Shia Muslims all over the world observe this day by congregating at homes and Imam Bargahs. In Karachi the mourners’ processions originate from numerous Shia mosques (Imam Bargahs) and converge at Nishtar Park. From there thousands of mourners walk to the seafront. Many resort to flagellation while others chant sacred verses.
Due to sectarian violence security has become a great challenge. This year CM Sindh Murad Ali Shah has been proactive in this respect. It is yet to be seen how far his strategy prove to be successful.