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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Matam

This and the following few posts will be a series of educational posts, about something many of you have probably never heard of and will give you an insight into a people very emotional and devoted to what they believe in you can click the links in the post for further details.

Today is the 8th of Muharram the first month of the Islamic calander, Muharram is a very importnat month for Shia Muslims because on the 10 of Muharram Imam Hussain the grandson and family (consisting of 72 people) of the Prophet Muhammed were killed by an army of between 20,000-30,000 at the Battle of Karbala on the orders of Yazid because Hussain did not accept him as Caliph and was not willing to take the oath of allegiance. The next few days I intend to post pictures from Lahore which will show how the Shia mourn their Imam and his death, a celebration of justice over evil.

This picture shows devotees doing Matam.

I agree with wikipedia's description of Matam which is "Many of the male participants congregate together in public for ceremonial chest beating (matam) as a display of their devotion to Imam Husayn and in remembrance of his suffering. In some Shi'a societies, such as those in Bahrain, Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Iraq, some male participants incorprate knives or razors swung upon chains into their matam. This practice is permissible by major Usooli Ayatollah such as Muhammad Shirazi and Sistani, however some major scholars such as Khameini have banned it in Iran temporarily, while others such as Fadlallah deem it permanently impermissible. In general however, the act is controversial."

11 comments:

Sterl the Pearl's Daily Pics of Boulder said...

How interesting. Thank you for the background. I like pictures that really talk about the culture.

Petrea said...

I've read about this elsewhere too, D.R. Your photo is full of movement and emotion. If I tell you it has "oomph" to it, do you know what I mean? I can feel heat and energy from it. I can almost hear it. Wonderful.

USelaine said...

This is a very effective photo, and like Petrea said, the movement and energy are very tangible, making the event immediately present.

Thank you for the thoughtful explanation. Most of us in the west know very little about the history of Islam.

Destitute Rebel said...

Sterl, Thanks, I too like to learn about different cultures and thats why I showcase mine here at lahore daily.

Petrea, Thanks, I understand when you say "oomph" I'm glad you like the picture, had a short video too, might post a link in one of the following posts.

USelaine, Thanks, Thats what I like about City Daily Photo blogs we learn something new from each other every day.

JM said...

Very interesting post. It's allways very rewarding to learn other cultures traditions.

Destitute Rebel said...

Thanks JM, I'm glad to be sharing an integral part of Lahore's culture.

Julie said...

It looks as though that room could get very hot.

Destitute Rebel said...

Julie, The weather here is quite cold here these days, but the hall was pleasant not too hot, but in summers it can get scorching hot.

Mubi said...

the pic is so good. when they beat themselves, there is a beat and that pause in the beat is somehow visible in the picture..

maicher said...
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wholesale said...
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