Iranian Muslims Mourn the Martyrdom of Imam Hussein
Millions of Muslim mourners begin the processions shortly after the sunrise on the Day of Tasu’a (the ninth day of the lunar month of Muharram).
One day before Ashura, huge masses in Iran and other countries such as Pakistan and Yemen hold mourning rituals on the ninth day of Muharram to mark Tasu’a.
In Iran, devotees in cities, towns and villages across the country listen to elegies recounting the indescribably tragic events in the Battle of Karbala during which Imam Hussein (PBUH) and some members of his family and his companions were brutally martyred.
Muslims usually stage these mourning ceremonies in commemoration of Ashura (the tenth day of the lunar month of Muharram) that marks the martyrdom anniversary of the icon of sacrifice to the faithful, Imam Hussein (PBUH), the third Shia Imam.
Ashura is the culmination of a 10-day annual mourning period in the lunar month of Muharram for Imam Hussein, who was a grandson of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and fell martyr along with 72 of his companions in 680 A.D. in a land that is known today as Iraq, after they refused to pledge allegiance to the ruler of the time, Yazid.
Sunni Muslims in the Iranian provinces of Kurdistan and Sistan and Baluchestan and other provinces as well as devotees of other faiths such as Armenians join Shia mourners, distributing free food in a show of solidarity.
Ashura is also an occasion for unity when Iranians of all ethnic backgrounds, including Azerbaijanis, Arabs, Kurds, Lors, Baluchis and Turkmen, commemorate it in their local languages and dialects.
The Battle of Karbala between a small group of supporters and relatives of Imam Hussein (PBUH) and a larger military detachment from the forces of the caliph represents the war as one between good and evil.