Why is Muharram celebrated?
The names of those who fight against injustice are immortalized in history for ever and ever. One such immortal name is Badshah Hussain, in whose memory Tajia (a replica of tomb of Husain) is taken out every year on the day of Muharram.
Muharram. Image Credit: dailypionerr.com

The Story of Muharram

There is a unique story of martyrdom hidden behind Muharram, a story that brings tears to the eyes of every Muslim even today. This story goes back several hundred years, when 72 people (123 according to Shia belief, which included 72 men and women and 51 children) were martyred, one of those was Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad.

In Islam, the Caliph (Successor of Muhammad) was not just any position but a highly respected one that everyone aspired to have, something the Yazid had similar aspirations for. Yazid was a ruler who wanted to rule Arabia, he knew that this was possible only if he became the Caliph. The cruel ruler even declared himself as the Caliph, but he considered Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, as the biggest threat to himslef.

Yazid crossed every limit of cruelty to harass Emperor Hussein. Yazid increased atrocities in Medina, after which Emperor Hussein decided to go from Medina to Iraq's city of Kufa with his small convoy, but on the way Yazid's army stopped the convoy of Emperor Hussein.

The place where his convoy stopped was the desert of Karbala (a small town about 100 kilometers northeast of Iraq's capital Baghdad), with only one source of water - the Euphrates River. But he and his convoy were not allowed to drink water, so Emperor Hussein decided to fight Yazid's army. It was one of the most unjust wars in history as Yazid had an army of thousands of soldiers on one side and only 72 men on the other. But despite this the war lasted for 10 days. For 10 days, Emperor Hussein kept on facing the army of Yazid firmly. On the 10th day, only Emperor Hussain was left in his convoy.

Even after many efforts, when Yazid's army could not kill him, he resorted to deception. When Badshah Hussain was offering prayers, he was betrayed and martyred. But even after doing all this, the purpose for which Yazid did all this could never be fulfilled. He wanted to establish his supremacy in the whole of Arabia by eliminating Emperor Hussein, but after his martyrdom, his supremacy was established not only in Arabia but in the whole world forever.

Even today Tazia is taken out in his memory on the 10th day of Muharram, mostly Shia Muslims take out this Tazia. In which women weep with chest beats and men beat themselves and chant 'Ya Hussain, Hum Na Hue'. His martyrdom may have happened several hundred years ago, but his sorrow is visible in the eyes of every Muslim on this day. For 10 days, Emperor Hussain was hungry and thirsty, so water and sherbet are distributed on this day in his memory. Tazia is taken out on this day in almost every major city of India. Not only men but women and children also participate in these in large numbers.

Esha Jain Author
Well, either I can be social or I can read and I am gonna go read. A tinge of salt, a bit of sugar, and a whole spoonful of clumsiness. I overthink like my life depends on it and let's not talk about my organizational skills- it can make Monica Geller proud.

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