Mourners perform matam (self-flagellation) during the Bibi-ka-Alam procession to mark the Youm-e-Ashoora, near the Charminar in Hyderabad on Tuesday. The Alam is carried on caparisoned elephant.
Hyderabad: Thousands of Shias participated in the historic Bibi–ka–Alam procession on Tuesday, mourning the martyrdom of the grandson of the Prophet, Hzt. Syedna Hussain Ibn Ali and his companions in the battle of Karbala, while Sunnis organised religious meetings at various places.
The massive procession began in the afternoon. A caparisoned elephant carried the historical Bibi ka Alam, studded with diamonds, from the Ashoorkhana. This alam (standard) dates back to the Qutub Shahi era. It contains a piece of the wooden plank upon which Hzt. Fatima-tuz-Zehra, the daughter of Prophet Muhammed was given a final ablution.
The main procession of Bibi–ka–Alam passed through Shaik Faiz Kaman, Etebar Chowk, Charminar, Purani Haveli and Chaderghat and ended at Masjid-e-Ilahi in Chaderghat in the evening. It passed through Alawa Qadm-e-Rasool, Alawa Sartooq, Aza Khana Zehra and Bait ul Qayam.
More than 24 mourning groups paid tribute to the martyrs of Karbala reciting elegies and flagellating themselves with sharp-edged blades. Blood oozed from the heads and backs of hundreds of Shia mourners amid cries of ‘Ya Hussain’.
Commissioner of Police Anjani Kumar made offerings to the alam at Charminar while Mohammed Mahmood Ali, Home Minister, T. Srinivas Yadav, Minister for Animal Husbandry, Mir Inayat Ali Baquari, former chairman SETWIN, Commissioner of the GHMC D.S. Lokesh Kumar, Mirza Riyaz ul Hassan Effendi MLC, B. Srinivas Reddy, Zonal Commissioner Charminar Zone, Baba Fasihuddin, Deputy Mayor GHMC, family members of the Nizam and many politicians offered dhatti to the alam at Aza-Khana Zehra Darushifa.
Water and sherbet (juice) were distributed from stalls set up at various places in the old city. Voluntary organisations and individuals also arranged food for the general public.
Elaborate security arrangements were made for the peaceful and smooth conduct of the procession under the supervision of senior police officers.
The procession was monitored from the Police Commissioner’s Office with the help of surveillance cameras.
The GHMC ensured cleanliness along the procession route and cleaned the roads with water to remove blood stains.
Sunni Muslims observed the day by fasting. They held spiritual meetings in remembrance of the martyrdom of the grandson of Prophet Muhammed, Imam Hussain and his companions who were martyred in 61 Hijiri or 680 CE at the Karbala grounds.
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