10-day Muharram mourning begins in Lucknow

By Faisal Fareed, TwoCircles.net,

Lucknow: The traditional shahi zari juloos was taken out amidst hundreds of mourners to mark the first day of Muharram on Sunday. The procession orginated at Bada Imambara and culminated at Chota Imambara amidst heavy security.

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Muharram, the first month of Islamic calendar marks the martyrdom of grandson of Holy prophet and his companions at Karbala. The tragic martyrdom of Imam Hussain, the grandson of Prophet Muhammed nearly 1300 years ago is observed with solemnity with Muslims mourning.

Draped in black clothes, the mourners assembled at Bada Imambara before the procession. The procession traces its history to the period of third nawab of Awadh Mohammad Ali Shah (1837-42) is managed by Hussainabad and Allied Trust headed by the District Magistrate (DM) of Lucknow.

The highlight of the procession is a zari, prepared with bamboo stick and wax. The procession also included camels, elephants and members of Royal Family of Awadh. As per the tradition the procession includes 34 items as Alam Hazrat Abbas, Taboot with shamiyana, Zarihey Aqdas-Mom and Zarihey Aqdas-Abraqi, Zuljunah (duldul) with chatri and pankha. A matami band playing sad tunes also followed the precession.

Sozkhwans recited marsiyas, special couplets highlighting the martyrdom of Imam Hussain. The incidents of Karbala are narrated in the marsiyas.

The route from Bada Imambara to Chota Imambara was decorated with black buntings and banners with sayings of Imam Hussain. Hoardings with Chief Minister (CM) Mayawati also expressing solidarity with the mourners were erected at several places.

President, Begumat-e-Awadh, Farhana Maliki expressed thanks to the district administration for proper arrangements and high security during the procession. The procession is taken out as per the tripartite agreement between Shias-Sunnis, the two sects of Muslims and district administration. Owing to sectarian tension, the processions are always a litmus test for the administrative officials who heaved a sigh of relief with no untoward incident during the procession.