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Happy Mother’s Day

The world celebrates Mother’s Day today. Talking about mother, there is a picture that I hardly can erase from my memory. It’s a photo of an orphaned Iraqi girl who missed her mother so much, and drew an image of her mother on the ground. She then felt comfortable with the mother’s image, and fell asleep inside her. What a heartbreaking image. This picture made me so sad, imagining what kind of life with eternal longing for a mother’s love. (photo source: internet) This picture reminded me to a Chinese song my mother used to sing by whispering to my ears: Mom is the best in the world; the child with a mom is always be cherished;drop into mom’s arms, the happiness can be enjoyed forever.Mom is the best in the world; the child without a mom is like a grass;leave mom’s arms, where to find the happiness? You know how lucky you are, who have access to internet to read this post. You live in a peaceful country without the suffering of wars and disasters, you know what peace is and what love is. And how grateful you should be, to have a mother who loves you always. I [...]

May 10, 2015 // 6 Comments

A Junior Devotee

A kid shows his scars in his first-ever self-flagellation of Ashura. Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan, 9 February 2006 (Ashura)     Ashura, literally the “tenth”, refers to the 10th date of the Islamic month of Muharram, is the holiest days in Shia Islam. In this occasion, the Shiites all over the world remember the martyrdom of Imam Hussein ibn Ali, the son of Ali ibn Abi Talib, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. The martyrdom took place in the 10 Muharram 61 Hijri calendar (680 CE), when Imam Hussain with only 72 men faced 4000 soldiers of Ummayyad army led by Yazid. Hussein, his family, and all of his soldiers were massacred in the battle of Karbala (in present-day Iraq). Pakistan has about 20 percent of Shia population, but the day of Ashura and Chehlum (40th day after the Ashura as the end of the mourning period) are observed as national holidays. Both of the remembrance festivals are not exclusively for Shiites, as Pakistani Sunnis also flock to the mosques to listen to majlis (sermons), in which the tragedy and the spirit of Hussain is being recounted to the mass. The honesty of Ali and the martyrdom of Hussain to fight [...]

January 5, 2015 // 0 Comments

Stop Him

Crowds try to stop an over-enthusiastic devotee in doing self-flagellation. The bloody ritual can be dangerous as a devotee may run out of blood. Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan, 9 February 2006 (Ashura)   Ashura, literally the “tenth”, refers to the 10th date of the Islamic month of Muharram, is the holiest days in Shia Islam. In this occasion, the Shiites all over the world remember the martyrdom of Imam Hussein ibn Ali, the son of Ali ibn Abi Talib, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. The martyrdom took place in the 10 Muharram 61 Hijri calendar (680 CE), when Imam Hussain with only 72 men faced 4000 soldiers of Ummayyad army led by Yazid. Hussein, his family, and all of his soldiers were massacred in the battle of Karbala (in present-day Iraq). Pakistan has about 20 percent of Shia population, but the day of Ashura and Chehlum (40th day after the Ashura as the end of the mourning period) are observed as national holidays. Both of the remembrance festivals are not exclusively for Shiites, as Pakistani Sunnis also flock to the mosques to listen to majlis (sermons), in which the tragedy and the spirit of Hussain is being recounted to the [...]

January 5, 2015 // 0 Comments

Permanent Scars

A man bears permanent scars on his back from self-flagellation in Ashura of previous years. Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan, 9 February 2006 (Ashura)   Ashura, literally the “tenth”, refers to the 10th date of the Islamic month of Muharram, is the holiest days in Shia Islam. In this occasion, the Shiites all over the world remember the martyrdom of Imam Hussein ibn Ali, the son of Ali ibn Abi Talib, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. The martyrdom took place in the 10 Muharram 61 Hijri calendar (680 CE), when Imam Hussain with only 72 men faced 4000 soldiers of Ummayyad army led by Yazid. Hussein, his family, and all of his soldiers were massacred in the battle of Karbala (in present-day Iraq). Pakistan has about 20 percent of Shia population, but the day of Ashura and Chehlum (40th day after the Ashura as the end of the mourning period) are observed as national holidays. Both of the remembrance festivals are not exclusively for Shiites, as Pakistani Sunnis also flock to the mosques to listen to majlis (sermons), in which the tragedy and the spirit of Hussain is being recounted to the mass. The honesty of Ali and the martyrdom of [...]

January 5, 2015 // 0 Comments

Always Remember

Mass gatherings is held in a Shiite mosque in Lahore to remember the martyrdom of Hussain, one night before the Ashura. The majlis or sermon recounts the suffering of Hussain in the Battle of Karbala. The story, despite of being repeated every year, still raises tides of emotions among the devotees. They listen, cry, shout, and beat their chests with hands as symbol of mourning. Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan, 9 February 2006 (Ashura)   Ashura, literally the “tenth”, refers to the 10th date of the Islamic month of Muharram, is the holiest days in Shia Islam. In this occasion, the Shiites all over the world remember the martyrdom of Imam Hussein ibn Ali, the son of Ali ibn Abi Talib, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. The martyrdom took place in the 10 Muharram 61 Hijri calendar (680 CE), when Imam Hussain with only 72 men faced 4000 soldiers of Ummayyad army led by Yazid. Hussein, his family, and all of his soldiers were massacred in the battle of Karbala (in present-day Iraq). Pakistan has about 20 percent of Shia population, but the day of Ashura and Chehlum (40th day after the Ashura as the end of the mourning period) are [...]

January 5, 2015 // 0 Comments

The Blades

A man is distributing blades for the mass during majlis (sermon) as they are going to start the self-flagellation ritual to remember the martyrdom of Hussain in the Battle of Karbala. Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan, 9 February 2006 (Ashura)     Ashura, literally the “tenth”, refers to the 10th date of the Islamic month of Muharram, is the holiest days in Shia Islam. In this occasion, the Shiites all over the world remember the martyrdom of Imam Hussein ibn Ali, the son of Ali ibn Abi Talib, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. The martyrdom took place in the 10 Muharram 61 Hijri calendar (680 CE), when Imam Hussain with only 72 men faced 4000 soldiers of Ummayyad army led by Yazid. Hussein, his family, and all of his soldiers were massacred in the battle of Karbala (in present-day Iraq). Pakistan has about 20 percent of Shia population, but the day of Ashura and Chehlum (40th day after the Ashura as the end of the mourning period) are observed as national holidays. Both of the remembrance festivals are not exclusively for Shiites, as Pakistani Sunnis also flock to the mosques to listen to majlis (sermons), in which the tragedy and the [...]

January 5, 2015 // 0 Comments

Women with Tears

Women in black veil are in high emotion during the majlis (sermon) session of Ashura remembrance in a mosque in Lahore, while the speaker recounts the suffering of Hussain in the battle of Karbala. Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan, 9 February 2006 (Ashura)   Ashura, literally the “tenth”, refers to the 10th date of the Islamic month of Muharram, is the holiest days in Shia Islam. In this occasion, the Shiites all over the world remember the martyrdom of Imam Hussein ibn Ali, the son of Ali ibn Abi Talib, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. The martyrdom took place in the 10 Muharram 61 Hijri calendar (680 CE), when Imam Hussain with only 72 men faced 4000 soldiers of Ummayyad army led by Yazid. Hussein, his family, and all of his soldiers were massacred in the battle of Karbala (in present-day Iraq). Pakistan has about 20 percent of Shia population, but the day of Ashura and Chehlum (40th day after the Ashura as the end of the mourning period) are observed as national holidays. Both of the remembrance festivals are not exclusively for Shiites, as Pakistani Sunnis also flock to the mosques to listen to majlis (sermons), in which the tragedy [...]

January 5, 2015 // 0 Comments

Shiite Kids

Some Shiite kids are preparing for the remembrance of Ashura in a mosque in Lahore. Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan, 8 February 2006 (Ashura)     Ashura, literally the “tenth”, refers to the 10th date of the Islamic month of Muharram, is the holiest days in Shia Islam. In this occasion, the Shiites all over the world remember the martyrdom of Imam Hussein ibn Ali, the son of Ali ibn Abi Talib, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. The martyrdom took place in the 10 Muharram 61 Hijri calendar (680 CE), when Imam Hussain with only 72 men faced 4000 soldiers of Ummayyad army led by Yazid. Hussein, his family, and all of his soldiers were massacred in the battle of Karbala (in present-day Iraq). Pakistan has about 20 percent of Shia population, but the day of Ashura and Chehlum (40th day after the Ashura as the end of the mourning period) are observed as national holidays. Both of the remembrance festivals are not exclusively for Shiites, as Pakistani Sunnis also flock to the mosques to listen to majlis (sermons), in which the tragedy and the spirit of Hussain is being recounted to the mass. The honesty of Ali and the martyrdom [...]

January 5, 2015 // 0 Comments

Mass Mourning

Muzaffarabad was hit by 7.6-magnitue of earthquake half a year before, but the mass mourning of self-beating (maatam) and self-flagellation (zanjirzani) parade along the main street is still huge and powerful. Muzaffarabad, Azad Jammu & Kashmir, Pakistan 21 March 2006 (Chehlum)     Ashura, literally the “tenth”, refers to the 10th date of the Islamic month of Muharram, is the holiest days in Shia Islam. In this occasion, the Shiites all over the world remember the martyrdom of Imam Hussein ibn Ali, the son of Ali ibn Abi Talib, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. The martyrdom took place in the 10 Muharram 61 Hijri calendar (680 CE), when Imam Hussain with only 72 men faced 4000 soldiers of Ummayyad army led by Yazid. Hussein, his family, and all of his soldiers were massacred in the battle of Karbala (in present-day Iraq). Pakistan has about 20 percent of Shia population, but the day of Ashura and Chehlum (40th day after the Ashura as the end of the mourning period) are observed as national holidays. Both of the remembrance festivals are not exclusively for Shiites, as Pakistani Sunnis also flock to the mosques to listen to majlis (sermons), in which the [...]

January 5, 2015 // 0 Comments

Not Hindered by Disaster

Muzaffarabad was hit by 7.6-magnitue of earthquake half a year before, but the mass mourning of self-beating (maatam) and self-flagellation (zanjirzani) parade along the main street is still huge and powerful. Muzaffarabad, Azad Jammu & Kashmir, Pakistan 21 March 2006 (Chehlum)     Ashura, literally the “tenth”, refers to the 10th date of the Islamic month of Muharram, is the holiest days in Shia Islam. In this occasion, the Shiites all over the world remember the martyrdom of Imam Hussein ibn Ali, the son of Ali ibn Abi Talib, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. The martyrdom took place in the 10 Muharram 61 Hijri calendar (680 CE), when Imam Hussain with only 72 men faced 4000 soldiers of Ummayyad army led by Yazid. Hussein, his family, and all of his soldiers were massacred in the battle of Karbala (in present-day Iraq). Pakistan has about 20 percent of Shia population, but the day of Ashura and Chehlum (40th day after the Ashura as the end of the mourning period) are observed as national holidays. Both of the remembrance festivals are not exclusively for Shiites, as Pakistani Sunnis also flock to the mosques to listen to majlis (sermons), in which the [...]

January 5, 2015 // 0 Comments

For the Beloved Hussain

The devotees in Muzaffarabad parade along the main streets during the remembrance of Chehlum, or the fortieth day after Ashura, as the end of the whole mourning period for the martyrdom of Hussein ibn Ali in the Battle of Karbala. Muzaffarabad, Azad Jammu & Kashmir, Pakistan 21 March 2006 (Chehlum)   Ashura, literally the “tenth”, refers to the 10th date of the Islamic month of Muharram, is the holiest days in Shia Islam. In this occasion, the Shiites all over the world remember the martyrdom of Imam Hussein ibn Ali, the son of Ali ibn Abi Talib, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. The martyrdom took place in the 10 Muharram 61 Hijri calendar (680 CE), when Imam Hussain with only 72 men faced 4000 soldiers of Ummayyad army led by Yazid. Hussein, his family, and all of his soldiers were massacred in the battle of Karbala (in present-day Iraq). Pakistan has about 20 percent of Shia population, but the day of Ashura and Chehlum (40th day after the Ashura as the end of the mourning period) are observed as national holidays. Both of the remembrance festivals are not exclusively for Shiites, as Pakistani Sunnis also flock to the mosques [...]

January 5, 2015 // 0 Comments

Harmonious

The devotees in Muzaffarabad parade along the main streets, beating their chests harmoniously, during the remembrance of Chehlum, or the fortieth day after Ashura, as the end of the whole mourning period for the martyrdom of Hussein ibn Ali in the Battle of Karbala. Muzaffarabad, Azad Jammu & Kashmir, Pakistan 21 March 2006 (Chehlum)     Ashura, literally the “tenth”, refers to the 10th date of the Islamic month of Muharram, is the holiest days in Shia Islam. In this occasion, the Shiites all over the world remember the martyrdom of Imam Hussein ibn Ali, the son of Ali ibn Abi Talib, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. The martyrdom took place in the 10 Muharram 61 Hijri calendar (680 CE), when Imam Hussain with only 72 men faced 4000 soldiers of Ummayyad army led by Yazid. Hussein, his family, and all of his soldiers were massacred in the battle of Karbala (in present-day Iraq). Pakistan has about 20 percent of Shia population, but the day of Ashura and Chehlum (40th day after the Ashura as the end of the mourning period) are observed as national holidays. Both of the remembrance festivals are not exclusively for Shiites, as Pakistani Sunnis [...]

January 5, 2015 // 0 Comments

Mourning Festival

Ashura is commemorated as national holiday in Pakistan, as well as in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, India, Turkey, and Lebanon. Muzaffarabad, Azad Jammu & Kashmir, Pakistan 21 March 2006 (Chehlum)     Ashura, literally the “tenth”, refers to the 10th date of the Islamic month of Muharram, is the holiest days in Shia Islam. In this occasion, the Shiites all over the world remember the martyrdom of Imam Hussein ibn Ali, the son of Ali ibn Abi Talib, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. The martyrdom took place in the 10 Muharram 61 Hijri calendar (680 CE), when Imam Hussain with only 72 men faced 4000 soldiers of Ummayyad army led by Yazid. Hussein, his family, and all of his soldiers were massacred in the battle of Karbala (in present-day Iraq). Pakistan has about 20 percent of Shia population, but the day of Ashura and Chehlum (40th day after the Ashura as the end of the mourning period) are observed as national holidays. Both of the remembrance festivals are not exclusively for Shiites, as Pakistani Sunnis also flock to the mosques to listen to majlis (sermons), in which the tragedy and the spirit of Hussain is being recounted to the mass. [...]

January 5, 2015 // 0 Comments

Blood of Love

In Pakistan, self-flagellation is typically an essential part of Ashura mourning. But in neighboring Iran, where Shia is the official religion, the government forbade blood to be shed during the festival, and suggested the devotees to replace self-flagellation with blood donation. Muzaffarabad, Azad Jammu & Kashmir, Pakistan 21 March 2006 (Chehlum)   Ashura, literally the “tenth”, refers to the 10th date of the Islamic month of Muharram, is the holiest days in Shia Islam. In this occasion, the Shiites all over the world remember the martyrdom of Imam Hussein ibn Ali, the son of Ali ibn Abi Talib, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. The martyrdom took place in the 10 Muharram 61 Hijri calendar (680 CE), when Imam Hussain with only 72 men faced 4000 soldiers of Ummayyad army led by Yazid. Hussein, his family, and all of his soldiers were massacred in the battle of Karbala (in present-day Iraq). Pakistan has about 20 percent of Shia population, but the day of Ashura and Chehlum (40th day after the Ashura as the end of the mourning period) are observed as national holidays. Both of the remembrance festivals are not exclusively for Shiites, as Pakistani Sunnis also flock to the [...]

January 5, 2015 // 0 Comments

Parade of Blood

 The devotees in Muzaffarabad parade along the main streets during the remembrance of Chehlum, or the fortieth day after Ashura, as the end of the whole mourning period for the martyrdom of Hussein ibn Ali in the Battle of Karbala. Muzaffarabad, Azad Jammu & Kashmir, Pakistan 21 March 2006 (Chehlum)   Ashura, literally the “tenth”, refers to the 10th date of the Islamic month of Muharram, is the holiest days in Shia Islam. In this occasion, the Shiites all over the world remember the martyrdom of Imam Hussein ibn Ali, the son of Ali ibn Abi Talib, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. The martyrdom took place in the 10 Muharram 61 Hijri calendar (680 CE), when Imam Hussain with only 72 men faced 4000 soldiers of Ummayyad army led by Yazid. Hussein, his family, and all of his soldiers were massacred in the battle of Karbala (in present-day Iraq). Pakistan has about 20 percent of Shia population, but the day of Ashura and Chehlum (40th day after the Ashura as the end of the mourning period) are observed as national holidays. Both of the remembrance festivals are not exclusively for Shiites, as Pakistani Sunnis also flock to the mosques [...]

January 5, 2015 // 0 Comments

Ya Hussain

In Pakistan, self-flagellation is typically an essential part of Ashura mourning. But in neighboring Iran, where Shia is the official religion, the government forbade blood to be shed during the festival, and suggested the devotees to replace self-flagellation with blood donation. Muzaffarabad, Azad Jammu & Kashmir, Pakistan 21 March 2006 (Chehlum)     Ashura, literally the “tenth”, refers to the 10th date of the Islamic month of Muharram, is the holiest days in Shia Islam. In this occasion, the Shiites all over the world remember the martyrdom of Imam Hussein ibn Ali, the son of Ali ibn Abi Talib, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. The martyrdom took place in the 10 Muharram 61 Hijri calendar (680 CE), when Imam Hussain with only 72 men faced 4000 soldiers of Ummayyad army led by Yazid. Hussein, his family, and all of his soldiers were massacred in the battle of Karbala (in present-day Iraq). Pakistan has about 20 percent of Shia population, but the day of Ashura and Chehlum (40th day after the Ashura as the end of the mourning period) are observed as national holidays. Both of the remembrance festivals are not exclusively for Shiites, as Pakistani Sunnis also flock to [...]

January 5, 2015 // 0 Comments

Determined

Self-flagellation requires a total determination and dedication, as the devotees use no pain-reduction medication. It’s only their love and faith which enable them to feel of no pain in doing the self-flagellation. Muzaffarabad, Azad Jammu & Kashmir, Pakistan 21 March 2006 (Chehlum)   Ashura, literally the “tenth”, refers to the 10th date of the Islamic month of Muharram, is the holiest days in Shia Islam. In this occasion, the Shiites all over the world remember the martyrdom of Imam Hussein ibn Ali, the son of Ali ibn Abi Talib, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. The martyrdom took place in the 10 Muharram 61 Hijri calendar (680 CE), when Imam Hussain with only 72 men faced 4000 soldiers of Ummayyad army led by Yazid. Hussein, his family, and all of his soldiers were massacred in the battle of Karbala (in present-day Iraq). Pakistan has about 20 percent of Shia population, but the day of Ashura and Chehlum (40th day after the Ashura as the end of the mourning period) are observed as national holidays. Both of the remembrance festivals are not exclusively for Shiites, as Pakistani Sunnis also flock to the mosques to listen to majlis (sermons), in which the [...]

January 5, 2015 // 0 Comments

Flag of Islam

The spirit of Ashura is to remember the battle of Karbala, the symbols of the bravery of Hussain ibn Ali to fight against injustice. Black flags with prayers and verses are they symbols of the God’s warriors fighting against injustice. Muzaffarabad, Azad Jammu & Kashmir, Pakistan 21 March 2006 (Chehlum)   Ashura, literally the “tenth”, refers to the 10th date of the Islamic month of Muharram, is the holiest days in Shia Islam. In this occasion, the Shiites all over the world remember the martyrdom of Imam Hussein ibn Ali, the son of Ali ibn Abi Talib, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. The martyrdom took place in the 10 Muharram 61 Hijri calendar (680 CE), when Imam Hussain with only 72 men faced 4000 soldiers of Ummayyad army led by Yazid. Hussein, his family, and all of his soldiers were massacred in the battle of Karbala (in present-day Iraq). Pakistan has about 20 percent of Shia population, but the day of Ashura and Chehlum (40th day after the Ashura as the end of the mourning period) are observed as national holidays. Both of the remembrance festivals are not exclusively for Shiites, as Pakistani Sunnis also flock to the mosques [...]

January 5, 2015 // 0 Comments

Children Blades

Children also participate in the self-flagellation rituals in Ashura remembrance. The zanjir (blades) they use are typically smaller, but not less sharper, from those used by adults. Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan, 9 February 2006 (Ashura)   Ashura, literally the “tenth”, refers to the 10th date of the Islamic month of Muharram, is the holiest days in Shia Islam. In this occasion, the Shiites all over the world remember the martyrdom of Imam Hussein ibn Ali, the son of Ali ibn Abi Talib, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. The martyrdom took place in the 10 Muharram 61 Hijri calendar (680 CE), when Imam Hussain with only 72 men faced 4000 soldiers of Ummayyad army led by Yazid. Hussein, his family, and all of his soldiers were massacred in the battle of Karbala (in present-day Iraq). Pakistan has about 20 percent of Shia population, but the day of Ashura and Chehlum (40th day after the Ashura as the end of the mourning period) are observed as national holidays. Both of the remembrance festivals are not exclusively for Shiites, as Pakistani Sunnis also flock to the mosques to listen to majlis (sermons), in which the tragedy and the spirit of Hussain is being [...]

January 5, 2015 // 0 Comments

Rumbles among Rubbles

  Muzaffarabad was hit by 7.6-magnitue of earthquake half a year before, but the mass mourning of self-beating (maatam) parade along the main street is still huge and powerful. Muzaffarabad, Azad Jammu & Kashmir, Pakistan 21 March 2006 (Chehlum)   Ashura, literally the “tenth”, refers to the 10th date of the Islamic month of Muharram, is the holiest days in Shia Islam. In this occasion, the Shiites all over the world remember the martyrdom of Imam Hussein ibn Ali, the son of Ali ibn Abi Talib, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. The martyrdom took place in the 10 Muharram 61 Hijri calendar (680 CE), when Imam Hussain with only 72 men faced 4000 soldiers of Ummayyad army led by Yazid. Hussein, his family, and all of his soldiers were massacred in the battle of Karbala (in present-day Iraq). Pakistan has about 20 percent of Shia population, but the day of Ashura and Chehlum (40th day after the Ashura as the end of the mourning period) are observed as national holidays. Both of the remembrance festivals are not exclusively for Shiites, as Pakistani Sunnis also flock to the mosques to listen to majlis (sermons), in which the tragedy and the [...]

January 5, 2015 // 0 Comments

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