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The history and evolution of Muharram’s mourning ceremonies in India – Aamir Hussaini

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20-July-2020

    I started this translation a year ago, I thought I would complete it in a few days, but in the meanwhile, I was affected by various diseases, and the wave of unemployment during the Covid-19 wreaked havoc. Akbarabadi’s poem “Poverty” came to my mind, When a man faces poverty It afflicts pain and […]

 

 

I started this translation a year ago, I thought I would complete it in a few days, but in the meanwhile, I was affected by various diseases, and the wave of unemployment during the Covid-19 wreaked havoc. Akbarabadi’s poem “Poverty” came to my mind,

When a man faces poverty

It afflicts pain and misery in many ways

And in the meantime

I also remembered that Al-Faqr Kad Al-Kufr (Faqr can lead to Kufr)

Toby M. Howarth, a self-professed priest, and preacher of Christianity, has examined the history of Muharram’s mourning ceremonies in India and the evolution of its forms on an objective basis.

Toby M. Howarth examines the historical evolution of mourning ceremonies, the formation of these ceremonies and sermons in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

One of the things I was most interested in was Toby M. Howarth’s book, and that was that Howarth reviewed what the Shiite mourning procession looked like during the Safavid Empire in Iran and Qutb Shahi era in southern India, in northern India, it had the official patronage from the Awadh kingdom and what happened when this official patronage was not there.

Howarth’s research is that in the days of government patronage, mourning ceremonies were held only by nobles, Nawabs, and Elite families, though the participation was not restricted, but when there was no official patronage, mourning ceremonies became more public and their structure and formation also changed.

The first chapter of Toby M. Howarths’s book is a wonderful and important document to know the connection of mourning ceremonies with Shia Muslim identity in India

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