31 Powerful Scenes Of Ashura Commemorations Around The World

Shiite Muslims around the world today observed Ashura, a religious commemoration of the martyrdom of Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, during the battle for Karbala in in 680 AD. Ashura, which means 10, falls on the 10th day of the sacred month of Muharram. Shiite Muslims often mark the day by wearing black, parading through the streets, and making a pilgrimage to the historical site of Hussein’s death in Karbala, Iraq. Many Shiite Muslims also take part in mourning rituals, such as self-flagellation by whip and knife, and passion plays reenacting Hussein’s death.

1. Karbala, Iraq

Mushtaq Muhammed / Reuters

Shiite pilgrims run between the Imam Hussein and Imam Abbas shrines as part of a ritual of the Ashura ceremony in Karbala, the historical site of Hussein’s death.

2. Sanaa, Yemen

Mohamed Al-Sayaghi / Reuters

Shiite men take part in a procession in honor of Ashura, commemorated on the tenth day of the Islamic calendar’s month of Muharram.

3. Beirut, Lebanon

Sharif Karim / Reuters

Lebanese Hezbollah supporters gesture as they march during a religious procession to mark Ashura in Beirut’s suburbs, a stronghold of the Shiite militant group.

4. Istanbul, Turkey

Murad Sezer / Reuters

Turkish Shiite men beat their chests as they mourn during an Ashura procession.

5. Amroha, India

Anindito Mukherjee / Reuters

6. Sadr City, Iraq

Thaier Al-Sudani / Reuters

Local actors dressed as ancient warriors re-enact a scene from the battle of Karbala. Shiite Muslims consider Hussein to be the Prophet Muhammad’s true heir; Hussein’s death was a major cause for the historical schism between Sunni and Shiite Muslims.

7. Kabul, Afghanistan

Omar Sobhani / Reuters

Afghan men flagellate themselves to ritually punish their bodies.

8. Karbala, Iraq

Mushtaq Muhammed / Reuters

Shiite pilgrims beat themselves with iron chains.

9. Amroha, India

Anindito Mukherjee / Reuters

10. Beirut, Lebanon

Jamal Saidi / Reuters

Lebanese Red Cross personnel stand watch as Lebanese supporters of the Shiite Amal movement men beat their foreheads, another Ashura tradition.

11. Mumbai, India

Danish Siddiqui / Reuters

Shiite Muslims use knives and whips, in another display of self-flagellation.

12. Baguba, Iraq

Iraq / Reuters

13. Kabul, Afghanistan

Omar Sobhani / Reuters

14. Nabatieh, Lebanon

Ali Hashisho / Reuters

A Shiite Muslim woman bleeds as she taps her forehead with a sword in Nabatieh town, southern Lebanon.

15. Najaf, Iraq

Iraq / Reuters

16. Amroha, India

Adnan Abidi / Reuters

17. Yangon, Burma

Soe Zeya Tun / Reuters

A Shiite Muslim walks across hot coals at a mosque in central Yangon.

18. Karbala, Iraq

Mushtaq Muhammed / Reuters

A man with mud on his face cries in commemoration of the religious festival.

19. Istanbul, Turkey

Murad Sezer / Reuters

Turkish Shiite women publicly mourn as an Ashura procession passes.

20. Beirut, Lebanon

Jamal Saidi / Reuters

A girl wearing a headscarf that reads ‘Hussein’ watches a Muharram procession in Beirut.

21. Sadr City, Iraq

Thaier Al-Sudani / Reuters

Residents watch a re-enactment of the 7th century battle of Karbala.

22. Kabul, Afghanistan

Omar Sobhani / Reuters

23. Istanbul, Turkey

Murad Sezer / Reuters

Turkish Shiite girls watch a re-enactment of the battle of Karbala being broadcasted on a huge screen in Istanbul.

24. Manama, Bahrain

Hamad I Mohammed / Reuters

Women look at art pieces during an art exhibition set up by locals artists as part of events related to the holiday.

25. Yangon, Burma

Soe Zeya Tun / Reuters

Shiiite Muslims wait outside of a mosque during a ceremony in central Yangon.

26. Turkey, Istanbul

Murad Sezer / Reuters

27. Baghdad, Iraq

Iraq / Reuters

Supporters of Iraq’s Shiite party, the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council, listen to their leader, Ammar al-Hakim, during a rally in Baghdad.

28. Beirut, Lebanon

Khalil Hassan / Reuters

Lebanon’s Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah addresses his supporters during a religious procession in Beirut’s suburbs.

29. Karbala, Iraq

Mushtaq Muhammed / Reuters

Security personnel stand guard in Karbala, where around a million pilgrims are expected to converge. Ashura has become a show of strength for Shiites in Iraq, as under Saddam Hussein they faced religious oppression.

30. Al-Alam, Iraq

Iraq / Reuters

Iraqi security forces inspect the site of a suicide attack targeting Iraqi police and Shiite pilgrims in the town of Al-Alam, near Tikrit. Shiite pilgrims are often attacked during Ashura; dozens were killed today.

31. Cairo, Egypt

In Egypt, authorities closed the Shia Al-Husseini Mosque in Cairo so no commemorations were allowed inside.

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