Members of the Muslim community take part in a Muharram procession near Delta Square in Bhubaneswar on Wednesday. Picture by Ashwinee Pati
Cuttack/Bhubaneswar, Oct. 12: The twin cities observed Muharram today with religious fervour as members of the Muslim community took out processions across the two cities.
Muharram is considered a day of mourning, which remembers the martyrdom of Hussain Ibn Ali, grandson of Prophet Muhammad, at the hands of Yazid, the ruler of Iraq, in the holy Battle of Karbala.
Devout Muslims mourn Hussain's martyrdom by taking out tazias. While Muslims of the Shia sect spend the day in mourning, those belonging to the Sunni sect observe fast on the day. Special prayers, discourses and processions marked the day as devout Muslims observed fast and mourned.
Tazias were taken out in Cuttack's Pension Lane, Odia Bazaar and Jobra areas.
Muharram was also observed peacefully in the state capital. The tazia procession from Unit-IV area went off peacefully with no untoward incident being reported from the city. The tazia is buried or immersed in water once the procession ends. A re-enactment of the Battle of Karbala was presented by members of the community who took part in the procession. Besides, the devotees also performed martial arts during the procession.
Muharram is the first month of the Islamic calendar and it is one of the four sacred months of the year. Explaining the significance of Muharram, religious teacher Sheikh Ali said the word "Muharram" meant forbidden. It is the second holiest month after Ramadan. Ali said this was the second time that Muharram was celebrated a day after Dussehra since 1982-83.
Police had formed special teams with officials of the peace committee and members of the Muslim community to ensure that the occasion was observed peacefully and without any hassle in the early hours of Wednesday.
A member of the peace committee said the local residents co-operated with those who took part in the procession. The cops had conducted meetings for smooth conduct of the processions and policemen in plain clothes were present to thwart any attempt to cause disturbances on the occasion.