Posted on October 12, 2016 by Editorial Staff in Islam
Kurdish Shiite Muslims mark the Ashura day at a shrine in Sulaimani, Iraqi Kurdistan Oct. 11, 2016. Photo: Rudaw
SULAIMANI, Iraq’s Kurdistan region,— Shia Muslims took to the streets in Iraq’s Kurdistan Region on Wednesday to mark Ashura – a day marking the seventh century death of Hussein Ibn Ali.
A large crowd dressed mostly in black made its way down Sulaimani’s Salem Street chanting lamentations and beating chests until it stopped in front of the city’s grand Shia mosque, NRT reported.
Similar events also took place in Kirkuk and Khanaqin, both of which have sizeable Shia communities.
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) announced Wednesday as a holiday in the region in observance of Ashura.
Farther south, an estimated two million Shias from Iraq, Iran, Pakistan and elsewhere have descended on the holy city of Kerbala over the past 10 days to mark Ashura, which commemorates the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, grandson of the Prophet Mohammed, who was killed in battle more than 1,300 years ago.
Dozens of young men and boys, whipped themselves with strands of chains, using both hands to lash first one side of their backs and then the other, all to a slow drum beat.
Hussein’s body is believed to lie in a Kerbala mausoleum with a golden domed shrine at the heart of the city that is one of the holiest sites in Shia Islam.