Muslims celebrate the day of Ashura, a world shocked by photos of self-harm



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Muslims celebrate the day of Ashura, a world shocked by photos of self-harm



Millions of Shiites celebrated the feast of Ashura this week, gathering in shrines and mosques to commemorate the death of Hussein, one of the grandsons of Prophet Muhammad.

Ashura falls on the tenth day of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic lunar calendar. The Shiites then commemorate Hussein's death at the Battle of Karbala 680. Hussein was the grandson of Prophet Muhammad and the son of Ali, the founder of Shi'iteism, Express reports.



Self-harming rituals

This year, the holiday was celebrated on September 9, 10 or 11, depending on the country, and the world was shocked by photos depicting self-harming rituals in which children can participate.

We warn that some readers may find this photo disturbing

But celebrating this holiday is mostly safe for the participants. Shiites usually congregate in a mosque or in the streets and, in memory of their martyrdom, participate in ceremonial mourning, where drums are sung and struck. Specifically, many Shiite leaders discourage ritual self-harm for the duration of the celebration because it creates a negative image of Islam.

Ashura under Saddam Hussein was banned

Ashura is a national holiday in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Bahrain and Pakistan, but is also celebrated in other countries where there is a strong Shiite community, such as India, Turkey, Greece or Saudi Arabia.

Celebration in Iraq has been banned for years under ousted President Saddam Hussein.

Muslims celebrate the day of Ashura, a world shocked by photos of self-harm

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