Hyderabad: Mourning and solemnity marked Muharram on the ‘Youm-e-Ashura’, the 10th day of the first month of the Islamic calendar falling on Tuesday.
Several religious meetings were organized in the city to mark the day with the Bibi Ka Alam procession taken out from the Bibi-ka-Alawa in the old city being the highlight of the religious ritual. The Alam (standard) was carried on an elephant ‘Sudha Rani’ brought from Bijapur in Karnataka.
Several thousands of bare-chested men of Shia community, who were part of the procession flagellated themselves as they mourned Hazrath Imam Hussain, the grandson of Prophet Mohammed who was martyred during the battle of Karbala.
The procession started from Yakutpura made its way to Charminar where it received an offering or ‘dhatti’ from Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar. En route, several people offered ‘dhatti’ to the Alam. It then passed to Mandi Mir Alam through Panjesha where it halted at Qadm-e-Rasool for a brief while. Along the way to Purani Haveli, the family members of Nizam and those of other former royal families made offerings to the Alam. The procession then culminated at Chaderghat.
The important characteristic of the Alam is that it contains a wooden plank on which Bibi Fatima, daughter of the Holy Prophet, was given the final ablution. It also has six diamonds and other jewellery gifted by the Nizam VII, Mir Osman Ali Khan in the 1950s, said Hamed Hussain Jaffery, president of Telangana Shia Youth Association.
Initially, the Alam was carried upon an elephant named Hyderi. After its death, another elephant called Hashmi carried the Alam for some years. Later, Rajani carried the Alam until last year but could not be roped in this year due to court orders.
Meanwhile, Home Minister Mohammed Mahmood Ali, GHMC officials, HMWS&SB officials offered ‘dhatti’ near Mir Chowk police station to the Alam. Food camps were organized at various places across the city and people were offered ‘sherbat’ (a sweet drink) at various roads on the occasion. Police kept a vigil on the procession to ensure it passed off without untoward incidents.