Devoted to the viewpoint of Islam of Muhammad SAW and Amir ul-Mumineen, Ali ibn Abi Talib SA, in the Shi'a Fatimi Ismaili Dawoodi Bohra tradition.
So last month, an Iraqi Shia community center -- a Husseiniya -- in the suburbs held its own underground Ashura ceremony, in the basement late at night. The PG-rated portion of the evening -- during which scores of boys beat themselves with chains and slapped their chests pink -- ended around midnight. Once they left, a rump faction of the older men shut the doors -- like a British pub lockdown after-hours -- and waited until a few hours before dawn.
Then, after wolfing down tea and Turkish Delight, they passed out long knives, and donned tunics made from white bed sheets, all the better to show bloodstains. Cutting their scalps with straight razors, and hitting their heads to make the blood rush, they shouted "Haidar!" which means lion, and is one of the nicknames of Ali, the father of Hussein the martyr of Karbala. The Haidar ceremony continued for perhaps an hour, until the celebrants collapsed from exhaustion and emotion, many of them breaking into tears.
permalink | posted by Shi'a Pundit
Shi'a Pundit was launched in 2002 during the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. The blog focuses on issues pertaining to Shi'a Islam in the west and in the Islamic world. The author is a member of the Dawoodi Bohra Muslim community. Bohras adhere to the Shi'a Fatimi tradition of Islam, headed by the 52nd Dai al-Mutlaq, Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (TUS).