With No Muslim in This Karnataka Village, Muharram Here is An All-Hindu Affair

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Muharrram taziya

During the Muharram observance, a Maulvi from a neighboring village is called for a week to offer prayers inside the mosque of Hirebidanur village while the locals celebrate the festival outside the mosque

Syed Ali Mujtaba | Clarion India

Heartwarming news of communal harmony has come from Hirebidanur village in Saudatti taluk of the Belagavi district, formerly known as Belgaum, in Karnataka. Here, Hindus are observing Muharram with all its pomp and glory even though the village does not have a single Muslim family.

This year, the month of Muharram (in Islamic calendar) began in India on Sunday, July 31, 2022, and its related rituals will culminate on August 9, 2022, a national holiday.

The Hindus of the village Hirebidanur observe Muharram from day one every year.  A very bright and colourful procession adorned the streets and the people walk along with the procession holding torches in hands with vibrant folk music playing in the background.
“We celebrate Muharram on par with our village fair. Several art forms are showcased in those eight days which also gives an opportunity to folk artists to exhibit their talent. The entire village has been happily celebrating the festival for over a century now,” said Prakash Kumar, a resident of Hirebidanur while talking to the media.

Hirebidanur village is some 51 kilometers from the Belagavi district headquarters. It is home to around 3,000 people, but does not have a single Muslim family. The majority of the population of the village belongs to Hindu Valmiki and Kuruba communities.

During the Muharram observance, a Maulvi from a neighboring village is called for a week to offer prayers inside the mosque of Hirebidanur village while the locals celebrate the festival outside the mosque.

Muharram holds great significance for the followers of the Islamic faith. It is deemed the second holiest month in the Islamic calendar after Ramadan. The first day of Muharram is also the New Year for the Muslims.

Muharram is observed as a period of mourning and extreme grief for the Muslim community world over. It is on these days the battle of Karbala in Iraq took place. It saw the death of Imam Hussain, the grandson of the Prophet of Islam. Muharram is observed to commemorate his martyrdom.

The Shia sect of Muslims observes Muharram with extreme grief and act of piety. They fast and pray during the eight days of extended rituals. On the last day, a procession is taken out where the faithful inflicts self-injury on their body as an act of mourning and grief. Whereas the Sunni sect of Muslims observes it differently; they also fast and pray and take out a coloruful procession with Tazia and Sipals that culminates in the burial ground.


The author has reported a similar incident from the interiors of Tamil Nadu where Hindus observe Muharram as ‘Allah Festival.’ https://countercurrents.org/2019/09/in-tamil-nadu-hindus-observe-allah-festival-on-eve-of-muharram/

Syed Ali Mujtaba is a journalist based in Chennai. He can be contacted at syedalimujtaba2007@gmail.com

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