No large processions, Muslims observe muted Muharram amid COVID-19

Updated: 31 August, 2020 09:07 IST | Sunny Rodricks
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    On Muharram, Shia Muslims took out a peaceful procession with five people armed with face mask and following social distancing norms. 

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    The peaceful procession saw the Muslim community take out the Tazia - a replica of the mausoleum of Imam Hussain - on a truck from Bhendi Bazaar to the graveyard in Mazgaon. In the wake of the procession, South-bound traffic from JJ Junction to Nesbit Junction was shut for vehicular movement from 4 pm to 5.30 pm.

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    Prime Minister Narendra Modi recalled the sacrifice of Imam Hussain - the grandson of Prophet Muhammad and said, "His emphasis on equality as well as fairness are noteworthy and give strength."

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    As per tradition, Muharram is the period of intense grief for Shia Muslims across the world. It is the month of mourning for the death of Hazrat Imam Hussain, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad.

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    In photo: A child snapped with his family during the Muharram procession in South Mumbai.

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    On Muharram, Shia Muslims across the world mourn and offer prayers at mosques and take out processions grieving the death of the Prophet's grandson.

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    A petition seeking permission to take out Muharram processions by the Shia community was filed before the Supreme Court, the top court, however, refused permission and said that it would lead to chaos and "one particular community will be targeted" for spreading coronavirus.

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    However, on Friday, the Bombay High Court allowed Tazia procession on Muharram in Mumbai with not more than five people. It must be noted that no other procession was allowed anywhere in the state of Maharashtra, the HC said.

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    After the Bombay HC granted permission for the 'Tazia' procession for Muharram, the Mumbai Police urged citizens not to gather in large numbers and avoid crowding on roads. Taking to Twitter, Mumbai police said, "We urge citizens to neither spread nor believe in rumours. Only trust communication from official sources."

    In photo: A member of the Muslim community puts up a banner on Muharram.

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    In photo: A group of men armed with face mask wait for the arrival of the Tazia procession.

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    In a show of unity and brotherhood, a Hindu family in Hyderabad installed Tazia at their residence to observe Muharram. Meanwhile, a large number of Muslim devotees took part in the 'Bibi Ka Alam' procession carried out on Sunday at the Old City area in Hyderabad.

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    While it was for the first time in the history that the 'Bibi Ka Alam' was taken out on a van instead of an elephant, visuals from the site showed participants flouting social distancing norms amid the COVID-19 crisis.

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    In photo: A Muslim family offers prayers as they see the Tazia procession pass by.

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    In photo: A daily wage labourer looks at the Tazia procession. Security was enhanced during Muharram in South Mumbai.

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    In photo: Children look out of the window waiting for the Tazia procession to arrive.

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About The Gallery

Muharram is the first month of the Islamic calendar, and its first 10 days are observed by Muslims in reflection and sorrow, culminating in Ashura. This year, Ashura, when the martyrdom of Prophet Mohammed’s grandson Imam Hussein in Karbala is commemorated, was on Sunday. Peaceful and small processions were held in Mumbai amid tight police security from Bhendi Bazaar to the graveyard in Mazgaon.

(All Photos/Ashish Raje)

First Published: 31 August, 2020 09:00 IST