Hindu Muslim Unity: Hindu Family makes Tazias for Muharram

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Hindu Muslim Unity: Hindus join Shias for Muharram procession

Muharram procession
Muharram procession

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.”

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Hindu Muslim Unity: Switzerland creates interfaith House of Religions

House of Religions in Bern, Switzerland
House of Religions in Bern, Switzerland

BERN: It is thought to be a one-of-a-kind: tucked away in a multicultural, working-class suburb of Bern stands a house with five sanctuaries, one per religion. The House of Religions is a place for coexistence and interaction.

In the early 2000s, Rotach, a theologian of Jewish origin from Zurich, was the presenter of a German-language television show called “Sternstunde” (great moment). It was there that she met Hartmut Haas, a Moravian pastor (a branch of Protestantism) who today manages the association House of Religions – A Dialogue of Cultures.

“He had spent several years in Palestine. It was just after September 11, 2001, when everyone was talking about the clash of civilisations,” Rotach recalls. “He came with an imam and a rabbi and the three brought up this utopia of a place where the religions would coexist and understand each other.” At the time, the fathers of the idea were well aware that such a place would not miraculously rise from the earth. But Haas was in no mood to wait for a building and started the association in his kitchen before finding a space in town.

He called it the House of Religions and the communities started a restaurant, organised various activities such as language and integration courses, yoga and so on. The institution then moved into wooden huts, where the Hindus had a small temple and the Buddhists, the Alevis (derived from Shiite Islam) and the Moravians gathered to pray and meditate.

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Hindu Muslim Unity: Hindu brahmins participate in Shia Ashura

Ashura procession, Delhi
Ashura procession, Delhi

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.

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Hindu Muslim Unity: Hindus & Muslims travel to Iraq to protect Imam Hussain shrine

gateway to Hussain shrine, Iraq
gateway to Hussain shrine, Iraq

MUMBAI: 125 Hindus, in addition to thousands of Shias and Sunnis, have registered their names to travel to Karbala, Iraq to defend the holy shrine of Imam Hussain, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad from the anticipated attack by the extremist group ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), which has unleashed a reign of terror on the predominantly Shia Iraq.

One of the most important events in early Muslim history was the battle of Karbala fought in 680 CE in which Imam Hussain, grandson of the Prophet through his daughter Fatima  al-Zahra and her husband Imam Ali, was slaughtered along with a small band of disciples in a bloody battle against the tyrant Caliph Yazid. This event occurred in the Islamic month of Muharram, and it is for this reason that this month is observed with great solemnity in many parts of the Muslim world.

Prof. Yoginder Sikand, a former Professor of Islamic Theology, Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi writes, “What is particularly striking about the observances of the month of Muharram in large parts of India is the prominent participation of Hindus in the ritual mourning. In several towns and villages, Hindus join Muslims in lamenting the death of Hussain, by sponsoring or taking part in lamentation rituals and tazia processions. In Lucknow, seat of the Shia nawabs of Awadh, prominent Hindu noblemen like Raja Tikait Rai and Raja Bilas Rai built Imambaras to house alams, standards representing the Karbala event. The Hindu Lambadi community in Andhra Pradesh have their own genre of Muharram lamentation songs in Telugu.”

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Hindu Muslim Unity: Brahmins honor Imam Hussein’s martyrdom

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.

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Hindu Muslim Unity: Hindus observe Moharram

The “imambara” is flocked by Hindus and Muslims both, who observe Moharram by offering prayers and holding majlis in which men and women chant and weep, mourning the martyrdom of Imam Hasan and their followers.

“My mission is to promote Hindu-Muslim unity. We can do so by taking part in each other’s religious programmes and sharing their joys and sorrows,” says Harish Chandra Dhanuk, a Hindu who participates in the Islamic holiday. Dhanuk’s is the third generation in his family, who religiously observe “Moharram.” “I have seen my father and grandfather doing the same during their days,” he said.

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Hindu-Muslim Unity: Shias assist Hanuman festival

Hanuman Mandir with crescent on top

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.”

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Hindu-Muslim Unity in Orissa: Hindus join Shia procession

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.

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