Ashura, Symbol of Resistance

Muharram is a very important month in the history of Islam, and it can easily be understood by sad looks and the streets in black. This month has a great event in the name of Karbala, a tragic battle that accrued a long time ago

Iranians have long honored this month, and in every city and land they have used a special style of mourning to preserve the deep bond of indigenous traditions of religion, and to perform a meaning full event to the ritual.

During the 9th and 10th of Muharram, which are known as Tasu’a and Ashura, the mourning plans come to a peak, and different customs and traditions are seen everywhere in this land. Along with the preservation of traditions and beliefs, everyone tries to show their grief at this massive disaster and to hold mourning for the best. In every corner of Iran, the mourning flags show the presence of tribes that shake their big flags on their hands and whispering a sad song.

Story of Karbala

Long ago, when the last prophet Muhammad was gone, his grandson Husayn ibn Ali was invited by the people of kufa, a city in Iraq. The  y asked him to be the next Caliphate. But  Umayyad Caliphate, Yazid I could not let this happen. So he send his man to kufa and bought their loyalty. Husayn send his cousin to check the situation. People allowed him to send a letter to Husayn and tell him that everything is fine. But after that they brutally murdered him. Husayn strarted to move his man and family toward Kufa but Yazid send his man to stop him. Yazid was not the rightful caliphate but he couldn’t let go of power so easily. He tried to force Husayn to get his allegiance but Husayn refused to do so. The result of this disobedience was murdering Husayn and all his man and family in the most horrible way. 

Traditions of Ashura

In Muharram there are several ways to show grief and sorrow. People may gather around in a mosque and tap their chest. this action is called “Sine Zani”.

They may line up and strike their shoulder with light cluster of chains. Few people will beat the big drums to resemble the war drums. A singer called Maddah sings sad war songs.  This group is called Daste. 

There are also somthing like theater performed that is called Ta’zieh. Ta’zieh is a kind of musical drama about events of Karbala.


Ta'zieh Performance


Daste(Zanjir Zani)

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