KHARAGPUR: Muslims in West Bengal’s Kharagpur have decided to cancel Muharram procession this year and donate the money for the treatment of a Hindu neighbour, who is a cancer patient.
Samaj Sangha Club, which organises Muharram procession in Kharagpur’s Puratan Bazar, will raise Rs 50,000, the amount needed for the celebration, for Abir Bhunia (35), a mobile recharge shop owner who is suffering from Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system. They have already given him Rs 6,000.
Bhunia is undergoing chemotherapy at Saroj Gupta Cancer Centre in the southern fringes of Kolkata and needs Rs 12 lakh for a treatment that includes bone marrow transplantation.
“Muharram processions can be organised every year. But we have to save the life first,” said Amjad Khan, secretary of Samaj Sangha.
Mohammad Bilal, a member of the Muharram committee of Puratan Bazar, said God would be satisfied “if we serve the people”. “He is suffering from cancer and fighting with death. We should stand by him.”
TRILOKPURI: Setting a precedent for communal harmony in the Capital, the Muharram procession in Trilokpuri saw the participation of both Hindus and Muslims. Members of the “Aman Committee” formed by the local police in the area had on Monday volunteered to lead the procession.
The gesture of solidarity was in response to the “jagran” day, when the Muslims had helped with prasad distribution.
A member of the Aman committee, Hans Raj said: “This is a message to the anti-social elements. Hindus and Muslims live here like brothers and we will continue to live in peace. No outsider can create fissures between us.”
MITHI: A small town where both Hindus and Muslims have lived together since the creation of Pakistan enjoys cooperation and harmony.
“I am a Hindu from Sindh, but throughout my life I have lived with Muslims and this is why during Ramazan, we fast along with them; and when it is Muharram, us Hindu boys lead the procession because this is the culture which Sufism has given us” one Hindu resident said
It is a town where Muslims, out of respect for Hindus, do not slaughter cows; and where Hindus, out of respect for Muslim rites, have never organised any marriage ceremonies or celebrations during the month of Muharram. Not only that, the Hindus of Mithi also happily participate in providing food and drinks for Muslims during Ramazan, and both groups exchange sweets on Eid and Diwali. The crime rate in Mithi is at two per cent and never has anyone witnessed any incident of religious intolerance.
DELHI: Indian Shiites commemorated Ashura, which for them is a day of mourning that honors the martyrdom of the Imam Husain, grandson of the Prophet Mohammad, who was supposedly killed at the 7th century Battle of Karbala. That historical event prefigured the schism between Sunnis and Shiites, and is remembered annually through passion plays known as the ta’ziyeh or taziya and startling scenes of ritual scouring and self-flagellation.
Joining the throngs in Delhi on Tuesday was an unusual community of mourners. They carried out their own taziya procession and beat their chests in lamentation. But they were Hindus, not Muslims. A report in the Times of India follows these Hussaini Brahmins, also known as Mohyals, a community of Hindus in North India who adhere to certain Muslim traditions and rituals. According to Mohyal lore, a number of famous ancestors fought on Husain’s side at Karbala and died in the battle. The community now bears the legacy of that mythic lineage.
They embrace an eclectic range of Hindu and Muslim practices. “We believe that both Hindus and Muslims should follow each other’s rituals and traditions,” Rajinder Kumar, a Mohyal man tells the Times of India. “Our community observes Muharram and women keep fasts just as Muslims do.”
Despite the relative obscurity of these Hussaini Brahmins, their existence speaks of a wider legacy. For centuries, the subcontinent has been a crucible for many divergent traditions and beliefs, some coming into friction, most existing in harmony. Muslims celebrated Hindu holidays; Hindus still worship at the old shrines of Sufi saints.
Hindus brahmins join Shia Muslims in procession honoring Imam Hussain’s death
MUZZAFPUR: Hindus joined Shia Muslims to commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, saying it was part of their tradition. The martyrdom of the grandson of Prophet Mohammed, his family and followers marks the 10th day of the month of Moharram. These Hindus belong to the Bhumihar Brahmin Mahasabha and claim their lineage as the Hussaini Brahmin sect.
“We also mourn the martyrdom of Imam Hussain like Shia Muslims. It is part of a centuries-old tradition started by our ancestors,” said Mahinder Singh, one of the dozens of Hindus who marched barefoot. “It is a historical fact that our ancestors joined Hussain when he was fighting against Yezid at Karbala,” Sharma told IANS. “We are following an ancestral tradition,” he said. Singh said according to historical records, Hussaini Brahmins had settled on the banks of the Euphrates river after the battle of Karbala. Later they moved to India. In the preface to his novel titled Karbala, published in 1924 from Lucknow, Munshi Prem Chand stated that Hindus who died in the Karbala war were believed to be descendants of Ashvathama.
LUCKNOW: The Nawabs of Awadh gave land and finances to build temples while Hindus participated in the mourning during the month of Muharram. “The most visible example is the Purana Hanuman Mandir in Aliganj. A crescent over its dome symbolises Hindu-Muslim unity,” he said. It is believed that the temple was built after the mother of Nawab Saadat Ali Khan, Janab-e- Alia had a dream for its construction and devoting it to Lord Hanuman.
Water stalls which are akin to sabeels put up during the month of Muharram are set up by Muslims during the Hindu festival of Bada Mangal. Hindus also set up sabeels during Muharram to offer their reverence for Imam Hussain.
“We support the water stalls on Bada Mangal and our Hindu brethren put up sabeels during Muharram. It is the spirit and tradition of Lucknow. There is no religious discrimination. Our religion also stresses on offering water to the thirsty.”
BHUBANESWAR – Hundreds of Hindus Thursday joined Muslims in Orissa to observe the 10th day of Muharram, to mourn the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, the grandson of Prophet Mohammed.
Hindus joined Muslims across Orissa and participated in the tazia (replica of the Imam Hussain’s shrine) processions. A Hindu family in Orissa’s Sambalpur district took out a tazia procession during first Ashra (ten days) of Muharram.
Only 2.1 percent of Orissa’s population of 36,706,920 are Muslims. Muslims and Hindu families are known to participate in each other’s religious functions.