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Re-Allegiance to Teachings of Shia School

 

A brief look at holding the mourning ceremonies of Moharram month (the 10th month of lunar month in which Imam Hossein (A) and his 42 companions were martyred) and performance of Ta`ze-e from the view point of foreign sites.

The present essay deals with some issues concerning the mourning ceremonies of Imam Hossein (the son of Imam Ali) and performance of Tazieh collected from the foreign sites. Although some presented information in this essay is primary information for Shiites, it can be understood that some of the foreign writers and journalists have understood the grateful and vital importance of mourning ceremonies of Muharram for Muslims and they remember it with specific respect, reading this subject can be interesting from this point of view.

The mourning ceremonies of Muharram are one of the most important kinds of mourning in Shia school which is held in the first lunar month. This mourning ceremony shows the anniversary of Karbala incident in which Imam Hossein was martyred by Ummayyads armies (the first Yazid). These mourning ceremonies are in fact the gatherings to pledge allegiance to Shia and Islam again. The climax of these mourning ceremonies is in the 10th day of Muharram (Ashura) that 72 companions of Imam Hossein were martyred by Yazid corps.

Background of Mourning Ceremonies

The mourning ceremony of Muharram month was done at first by the Prophet`s family (PBUT) and immediately after the martyrdom of Imam Hossein in Karbala in 680 A.D. After the incident of Karbala, Hazrat Zeinab (the sister of Imam Hossein) (S) started the mourning with grieving and utterance of sermons concerning the oppression of Ibn- e- Ziad ( the son of Marjaneh and governor of Kufe) and Yazid. The news of Imam Hossein `s martyrdom was disseminated by Imam Sajjad (the son of Imam Hossein) through the utterance of sermons ad speeches throughout Iraq, Syria and Hejaz. Many people were informed of Imam Hossein and his 72 companion`s martyrdom via Hazrat Zeinab and Imam Sajjad statements. Afterwards, Imam Sajjad consulted with Hazrat Zeinab (S) and selected a place for holding the mourning ceremony. So, he held the first mourning of Imam Hossein there and the mourning ceremony of Muharram month was founded.

The mourning and commemorative ceremony of Imam Hossein was started from Iraq (the place of Imam`s martyrdom) at first. Although Shi`ites and Sunnites held mourning ceremony from the beginning of 12th century, the mourning ceremony used to be hold in Saffavids period each year. The preaching and lamentation were done by some people like Hossain Vaez- Ashtigani in Hosseinieh (house of worship), mosque and people`s houses. The dramatic aspects of Karbala`s tragedy were formed with the form of performance of Ta`zy- e (reciting a morality play) in the Saffavides period.

The mourning ceremonies of Muharram in the different parts of the world

In the middle of 19th century, the mourning ceremonies reached their highest level and extended in the wide regions of the Middle East, India, Indonesia and Thailand in addition to Iran. The mourning ceremonies of Imam Hossein were founded in Thailand by the immigrant Indian Muslims. In Southeast Asia, the mourning ceremonies is held with music, lamentation and elegizing by Shi`ites and Sunnites. In Tobago and Jamaica, the Muslims mourn under the title of “Hosay”. In Indonesia, this mourning is called as “Taboot”.

Many Shi`ites hold most of mourning ceremonies in Imam Hossein `s holy shrine which is the most sacred place for mourning. Each year, a crowd over one billion people arrive in Imam Hossein holy shrine in order to mourn.

The Indian Shi`ites carry the soil of Karbala after they take a pilgrimage to Imam Hossein holy shrine like other Shi`ites.

A look at Tazieh

One kind of mourning ceremonies for Imam Hossein is Tazieh which is considered as one form of drama`s art. Tazieh is a passion play in accordance with the incident which occurred in Karbala in Muharram of 61 Hejira for Imam mourning and his companions.

Tazieh is the most important form of drama which has been registered as a heritage in the global culture in UNESCO.  

The actors of Tazieh can be the professional performers or the ordinary people. Due to the religious beliefs, the women don`t have any role as an actress. So, the young men play the role of woman`s character in it. However, among the child artists, the girls who are less than 9 years old are seen.

 The duty Tazieh director is the accomplishment of his activity in addition to performing his role, for he is moving between the scene and actors. He directs the acting and guides the music group through sign and gesticulation that how music should be performed in each moment of drama.

The groups of Tazieh have enjoyed specific popularity especially since Qajar time. Reza Shah forbidden the performance of Tazieh, but after the victory of Islamic Revolution, the performance and holding mourning ceremonies in Muharram increased.

            

 

Sunday, February 06, 2011 - 10:25

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