World ? Asia ? India ? Mumbai

Muharram

Dec 2009 (annual)
Cost: Free
Link:
Muharram marks the first month in the Islamic calendar and Muslims stage traditional celebrations at mosques across Mumbai. These include the ornate Haji Ali Tomb opposite Bombay's racecourse, the Majiria Masjid and the Harajat Makhdum Fakir Ali Saheb.
The Islamic year begins with Muharram ul Haram, the first month of the Hijri Calendar. On this day, Muslims take out taazia (dome-shaped models inscribed with sacred scriptures, reminiscent of an Islamic mosque) on processions.

Special prayers are held to observe Muharram, marking the martyrdom of Prophet Mohammad's grandsons, Hussein and Hassan, in the battle of Karbala. Cries of "Hai Hussein, Hai Hassan" fill the air as followers lament the slayings. Some devotees beat their chests and inflict wounds on themselves in remembrance of hardships suffered by Hassan, Hussain and their followers.

Great reward is said to come to those fasting during Muharram, and Muslims also carry out prescribed rituals, such as giving charitable donations and visiting shrines. Respectful dress inside the temples is imperative - shoulders must be covered and shoes left outside the entrance.
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