Saturday, January 30, 2010

Muharram and husaini Dalan.

Muharram or the 'sacred month' is the first month of the Islamic or Hijri calendar. The 10th day of Muharram is called Ashura. Imam Husain (R) the grandson of the Holy Prophet (SM) was killed on this day at the hands of the troops of Yazid. As Sunni doctrine there is another significant of this day but most prominently remember about Karbala tragedy. In Shiite tradition it is the greatest tragedy of world.

During the Mughal rule that were originally from Persia the Shia ideology spread its influence on the cultural sphere of some regions of the Indian subcontinent especially in Hooghly, Murshidabad and Dhaka. Muharram processions have been common in this country since the 18th century AD. Horses and elephants were used in the processions.

Today the Muharram celebration is limited only within Old Dhaka. In the morning of the celebration day the main procession starts from the Husaini Dalan. It marches through the roads of Bakhshibazar, Azimpur, Purana Paltan and ends at Dhanmondi Lake in the afternoon. The Tazia is later immersed in the lake.
Now a day it turned into a traditional fair where handicrafts, pottery, brass ware, bows and arrows, swords made of CI sheet were the main exhibits. The merry-go-round and Ferris wheel are added attractions for children. The fair starts from the 7th of Muharram and ends on the llth.
The centre of observances of Muharram in Dhaka is the Husaini Dalan Imambara. Husaini Dalan is important heritage of Bangladesh. It is an Imambara, the mourning place for the two grand children of the Prophet Hazrat Mohammad (SM) who were savagely murdered at the battle-field of Karbala by their unscrupulous, opponents.

Traditional Persian wall decorations in blue and white; Iranian paintings on the tragic events of Karbala; a large pond at the entrance; children holding candles before the stairs; epitaphs erected upon the graves and flower garlands covering the graves--Hosni Dalan still presents a unique view of the Muslim culture. Shias in Bangladesh represent the diversity of our heritage.’ This description is followed by Audity Falguni, a famous writer.

Husaini Dalan a Shiite shrine in the old part of the city of Dhaka attributed to the Mughal Period. It is a common practice among the Shia community to build edifices to commemorate the martyrdom of al-Husain, at the battle of Karbala in Iraq on the tenth day of Muharram 61 AH (10 October 680 AD). The building seems to have been originally erected by one Sayyid Murad during the governorship of Shah Shuja, who, although he a Sunni was eager to preserve and patronise Shiite institutions. Traditions relate that Sayyid Murad, having seen al-Husain in a vision erecting a tazia khana (house of mourning), was inspired to raise the building, which he named Husaini Dalan. The original building may have been a small structure, expanded to its present form in later times. The east India companay repaired it in 1807 and 1810, and a portion of the building was reconstructed after the earthquake of 1897.

information and photo courtesy: the daily star, the daily independent, wikipedia and Husaini Dalan official site.

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