9 Feb, '06

Ashoora procession/haidar, originally uploaded by jamalaly.

Images of commemoration of Imam Hussain‘s martyrdom in Karbalah on the 10th of Muharram in 680 CE.

The “haidar” is a barbaric and completely unwarranted and unneeded custom which does more damage to Shiism than anything else.

The Shi’as pride themselves as “progressive” in that they have “Ijtihad” which is the act of re-interpretation of Islam taking into consideration the current state of affairs done by studios and respected central figures of the faith. But this single act of commemoration of the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, the grandson of the Prophet in 680 CE does away with all the gains of Shiism.

Admittedly, most schools within the Shiism ban this stupidity, but the “ultras” who belong to the Shirazi branch of Shiism allow it.

Morons galore.

Filed in: Thoughts
Tagged with:

Comments (62)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. anonymous says:



    That’s all I am capable of doing nowadays!

    Silly me

  2. anonymous says:


    You’re right, most Ulema ban this. Its a complete diregard for the sacredness of the body, that God has given you to take care of. And for them to argue they’re showing this as a sign of love for Imam Hussain is absoloute hogwash. Its dangerous and its also embarassing.

    Ive been told a lot of them are druggies..


  3. anonymous says:


    It’s ugly, but I ultimately care more about how they treat others than how they treat themselves.


  4. anonymous says:


    Looks like the average English city centre after a soccer match … 😉

  5. anonymous says:


    مقرÙ? حقاً ومثيرٌ للإشمئزاز أيضا، Ù?هذه الأقلية لازالت تشوه الصورة الرائعة للاحتÙ?الية التي غدت Ù?لوكلورية أكثر منها دينية وراحت تعطي للمنامة وغيرها من المدن الشيعية طابعها الخاص Ù?ÙŠ مثل هذه الليالي،،، البارحة اصطحبت بعض الأصدقاء الأجانب للمنامة وكانت انطباعاتهم إجابية للغاية عداً عن هذه الممارسة التي أثارت رعبهم واشمئزازهم. ربما تكون المنامة Ø£Ù?ضل حظاً من المدن الشيعية الأخرى Ù?مثل هذه الممارسات تكاد لا تشكل نسبة تذكر مقارنة بالممارسات الأخرى الأكثر تعقلاً وانضباطاً،،،، وحسناً Ù?علت الأكثرية الساحقة من البحارنة عندما استبدلتها بحملات التبرع بالدم التي تجرى Ù?ÙŠ مختلÙ? مناطق البحرين Ù?ÙŠ مثل هذه الأيام.

    حتى مع هذه الممارسات الشاذة يبقى للاحتÙ?الية طابعها الخاص خصوصاً وأنها أصبحت بعيدة عن الدين والتشدد وغدت Ù?لكلوراً جميلاً يحتÙ?Ù„ به الشيعة بغض النظر عن توجهاتهم الÙ?كرية والسياسية والعرقية،،، أعشق المنامة Ù?ÙŠ مثل هذه الأيام، Ù?كم هو مثير أن ترى مواكب العرب والÙ?رس والهنود والباكستانيين جنباً إلى جنب Ù?ÙŠ صورة رائعة من صور التعايش على هذه الجزيرة الصغيرة

    حسن الخزاعي

  6. anonymous says:


    Do you really need to be so strict? I mean, do people get killed or do they hurt themselves very badly?

  7. anonymous says:


    Well, I suppose it was only a matter of time before I’d have to strenuously disagree with you, and here it is, Mahmood. Most of those wounds aren’t that deep (head wounds bleed copiously, even when shallow), and in the end, to be honest, it’s a personal choice, isn’t it? It isn’t just Shii Muslims in Muharram who do this sort of thing, it is something you find in a huge variety of religious and non-religious traditions, and yet when it comes to Zanjeer matam (another name for it), the first word most people put forth is barbaric.

    People crucify themselves in the Phillipines. Sufis in Kurdistan pierce their faces with rods and needles, as do many Hindus in South Asia. Even in Judaism, males sometimes engage in flagelation during Yom Kippur. Being part Native American, I can also tell you a bit about the Sundance, where the pectorals of males were pierced and threaded with rope and then hung from a pole for hours. Even today in the US, the modern tribal movement has picked up a lot of these practises and incorporated them into their lifestyles, whether it be body modification such as piercings etc, tattooing, and even Sundance-like activities as well.

    I’ve posted on this subject before, and to be honest, it is very UN-Barbaric, and I cannot stress this enough.

    You know I love ya and your blog, but I had to say something! My button is officially pushed!

  8. anonymous says:


    oops,. the above was by me, Leila (Sr Scorpion). Anyway, I bet you could tell anyway 😉

  9. anonymous says:

    Re: Haidar

    I think Mahmood is a little too categorical, condemning this sort of thing. I am no Muslim, but I can empathize with the idea of shedding some tears for the sake of your holy man, especially if you do it with your friends and relatives, people you share your religion with. There is much about Islam, both Shia and Sunni, I find frightening or objectionable, but I have always felt somehow touched by this veneration and mourning of Ali and Hussein.

    Of course, I agree with Mahmood that it should be as little real blood as possible, for reasons of health and hygiene, especially in the Arabic climate. And I do appreciate his idea of donating the blood instead of shedding it in the street. But still, isn’t he a little too harsh about condemning it? People want to have great, poetic and strong emotions in their life, they want to celebrate, celebrate something larger than life. Come on, Mahmood! Let them have some poetry in their life. If they feel better afterwards, it is certainly worth the while.

    Personally, I am much more depressed about those stampedes in Mecca where people get killed, such as the one Alhamedi (“Muttawa”) in Saudi Arabia wrote about.

  10. anonymous says:

    Re: Haidar

    But in my opinion it should be either banned or kept under close control due to its image.

    I don’t think image counts. It is health and hygiene that counts. However, I would wish Mahmood would take a more constructive approach to opposing it. Calling those people morons will not get you anywhere.

  11. anonymous says:


    Mahmood, your biggest flaw is that you write about things you have no clue about! This is by far your most pathetic post yet.

    Your problem is that you are so out of touch with the story of Imam Hussain that you don’t know the magnitude of what happened on that day. I doubt you’ve ever heard the story in its entirety.

    Philipinos crucify themselves for Christ, yet no one lifts a finger.

    Thank God that Imam Hussain said on the day of Ashoora that when the stomach is filled with that which is unlawful (Alcohol in your case), the heart dies.

  12. anonymous says:

    Re: Haidar

    Hey awkward-stage,

    Why the ambulances if its a ‘safe’ parade? Instead of all the gore, why not celebrate something instead of crying about it?

  13. anonymous says:


    I don’t know. I tend to agree with M here.

    Many religions have sects which self-abuse. Opus Dei in Catholocism for example.

    It does produce a high as does masochism and sadism but I don’t think its healthy.


  14. Steelangel says:


    In truth, however, doesn’t the Haidar constitute Idolatry in the eyes of Islam?

    Shi’a Muslims don’t go around self-flagellating for Allah, or even their Prophet. They hurt themselves commemorating the brutal slaying of a family member of Mohammed.

    Ergo they elevate Hussain to a level of veneration that a simple human should not have. Did not Mohammed claim that Allah told him to tear down the god-statues in the Ka’bah? Hiw is this festival different? How is the veneration of ANY PERSON different? All religion is claimed to for Allah, right? Not for the personality cults of famous people. (Eat that Bashar Assad!)

    Or am I just being too Wahabbi about my Islamic knowledge?

    I mean, at an extreme level the Wahabbis have a point in their destruction of Islamic History. No history, no idolatry. No history, no past, no future, simple staid unchanging ossified control over the mindless masses. Who needs itjihad when all that was needed to be known was discovered when the mountains pinned down the Earth, and the moon split because someone said so?

    Allahu Akbar or something.


  15. anonymous says:

    Re(1): Haidar

    😀 Please feel free to use it – again and again and again, as required!

    It occurred to me after my last comment that I do of course come from a country in which every year several people break their limbs hurtling downhill after giant wheels of cheese … so perhaps I shouldn’t comment on the Haidar at all 😉

  16. anonymous says:

    Re: Haidar

    [quote]So what if the “wounds are shallow” ? What about all those diseases that can develop with all that blood lying around? [/quote]

    Do you have any documentation of anyone being seriously injured as a direct result of these activities? Just curious…

  17. mahmood says:

    Re: Haidar

    Ah! Welcome back.

    Wrong end of the stick, my friend. Try the other end.

  18. mahmood says:

    Re: Haidar

    And I just as squarely condemn other religions, sects, tribes, and local customs if they indulge in any form of blood-letting or self flagellation as a way to demonstrate their “love” and respect for a person or deity.

    Imam Hussain, in this particular case, did not command his followers to do anything like this in his name. His story is about justice, where is the justice in this? To me, this custom is barbaric, no matter how you want to massage the story.

    Hassan Al-Khozai in his comment (in Arabic) is absolutely right and he agrees with me (for those who can’t read his comment) and I too agree with him in return in that the whole Ashoora event in Bahrain now far transcends flagellation; it has become a complete cultural festival which should be marketed throughout the world, and all denominations should work to take part in it.

    A friend commented a few weeks ago that maybe in 100 years, Ashoora in Bahrain will be like Mardi Gras. I can see his point now and say that judging by how the activities are, especially this year, and their organisation and the participation of people who don’t normally go near Manama during this event, I would say it would be a lot less than a 100 years to get to that stage; much less.

  19. mahmood says:

    Re: Haidar

    Nope, you too have the other end of the stick!

    The whole Ashoora event is not to idolise Imam Hussain, but to propagate his story, take lessons from his experience, revel in the knowledge that even a very small band of people can rise against a tyrant to seek justice even in their full knowledge that they will be massacred, and that their massacre will be remembered for thousands of years and give hope and courage to those who choose to fight for just causes, even if it costs them their lives or livelihood.

  20. anonymous says:


    hey nothing wrong with it being influenced by culture, man! Look at what they do on Ashura in Trinidad- they have HUGE processions, drums, and mini mesjids constructed and pulled or carried down the street. Culture is not exactly a bad thing, it’s just a form of expression that develops over time. Some ppl eat haleem on Ashura, and others eat Asur (like in Turkey). Does it make a difference?

    As for the bloodletting thing- ok you don’t like it, and I’m not snapping on you for that; I know plenty others who are against it as well, shi’is included. However, pain and love are not contradictory. There’s a VERY good book out there entitled “Sacred Pain : Hurting the Body for the Sake of the Soul” by Ariel Glucklich that looks at these sorts of phenomenon in world faiths; you might gain a different understanding of why people do it, instead of assuming some sort of “barbarity “(a word that… is not my favorite for many reasons). Anyway, I recommend the read to anyone, it’s not in any way a religious tract, it’s more of a socio, even a biological look at things such as these.

    Ethan- in regards to the idolatry thing, well as a shi’i myself, I’d have to say no, it’s not idolatry. No one there is confusing Imam Hussain for God, not in any way shape or form. On a similar note, shrine visitation (which is common in both Shia traditions as well as many Sunni traditions) is also a common practise amongst many Muslims, and have been argued as being “bad” by… well, Salafists and those coming from the Wahhabi standpoint. I think in cases such as these, we’re looking at one secton of the Muslim population that is extremely literalist in its outlook as well as very “exoteric” versus other groups which focus as well on the inner aspects of Islam, the human connection to the divine, and the comfort with the belief that a cigar is not always a cigar (reverse freud, you know).

    Regards (again)


  21. anonymous says:


    Re. Shia in Trinidad. Keep in mind almost half the population is of indian descent. Also, “haleem” is the local patios for haram ergo the pig ref., “asur” is asur b’achilah, it’s hebrew and means prohibited, anything not kosher, in this case also refering to pork.

    Now on to the main issue. I am a firm believer in freedom of religion, but to have a practice and defend it by saying it’s tradition seems foolish to me. Christianity used to have the practice of burning people at the stake for blasphemy, should they have continued because of tradition.
    If these people really want a blood letting, I like the idea of donating blood. Everybody wins.
    That being said, if these people want to continue it reakky means nothing to me.

  22. anonymous says:


    http://persia.org/Recipes/haleem.html haleem, often served during this time. Even here in the states, there were a lot of Iraqi families I know who would make HUGE pots of it and go door to door to all of the community and hand out bowls of it to people. Many times, haleem is made in large quantities in Muharram in fulfillment of a Nadhir/Nazir, or vow to Allah.

    http://www.superluminal.com/cookbook/pudding_ashura.html pudding, called Asur/Ashura, most often made in Turkey

    Here’s another one made, more often by sufi orders: http://www.superluminal.com/cookbook/pudding_pumpkin.html

    And so on,


  23. anonymous says:


    Shia in Trinidad ? and what the heck is haleem and Asur ?

  24. mahmood says:

    Re: Hosay Hosay

    Here you go, enjoy your reading:


    and my favourite:

    I don’t buy that haleem and asur thing. I hope Leila would be good enough to provide links. Haleem is baby pig. No idea what asur is.

  25. mahmood says:

    Re: Haidar

    Phew! That’s not the pork stuff thank goodness. What you call haleem, we call something else here and is cooked and distributed by the Persians in Bahrain too. I can’t remember the name just now, although I’ve had some yesterday at lunch!

    Come on people you know what I mean, what’s that thing called?

  26. Ibn says:



    Bloody yes,

    But I would say they have a right to bleed themselves all they want – its a personal choice…they have a right to do it…but I wouldnt any part of it.

    Also Mahmood, remember that in many cultures, self-mutilation is done as a way of “cleansing” oneself. I personally would rather work out or go for a jog, but hey! To each’s own. It need not be self-mutilation, but any other sort of suffering incurred on the body. Its pretty universal dude. The brain is a [i]pretty[/i] complicated organ. 🙂

    Anyway, as far as “condemnation”, there are two aspects here:

    1) The “right to…” do something.
    2) The “intelligence” of doing that something.

    As for (1), I have no problem with Shiites if they want to go down a street bleeding themselves, VOLUNTARILY. If my Shia friend says “Im going to eat, go to class, and then oh yes Im going to cut myself superficially all over my forehead to draw blood and cleanse myself”, id say: “take some pictures!”. It is his/her choice.

    For (2), thats a different topic. Usually we judge a culture’s actions by comparing that action with the average. How far away it is from the average, is how “weird” we classify it. Think or “weirdness” as a sort of standard deviation (sigma in statistics).

    Weird? Depends on your average. (Which depends on your geography)
    Unhygienic? Possible, but with the proper precautions, I dont think it is too much of an issue.
    Disgusting and repugnant? This partly depends on the “weird factor”, and on personal thresholds for disgust…(which also partly depend on the weird threshold incidentaly…). I personally find it disgusting, only because I get queesy around blood, which is why I could never become a doctor…


  27. anonymous says:


    I am not sure that I understand the purpose of this ritual. If it is to celebrate or remember those who gave their lives in defence of a cherished principal then that seems like a good thing.

    As a non-religious Canadian, it strikes me as being sort of primitive. However, I am not entitled to, nor do I deserve, nor do I require any justification for another mans religious beliefs or rituals (as long as they are not trying to convert me).

    Someone commented earlier that they are celebrateing something larger than life. I believe that the only things larger than life are the quality of life and the defence of life.
    I do find the idea of cutting young children offensive.


  28. chalk66x says:

    Re: Haidar

    Leila I listened to a catholic priest who lives in Egypt today talking about an old Egyptian priest who said culture can’t live without religion but religion can live without culture.


  29. mahmood says:

    Re: Haidar

    True, but it’s also my right to criticise things I find objectionable, and judge that at least superficially that these sort of actions can and do get interpreted in a very negative manner, which in turn reflect badly on a whole sect or even religion.

  30. anonymous says:


    For those people who have never been to this carnival of blood, please take note:

    Mahmood is commenting on the ‘haider’ ritual which he deems barbaric. You cannot argue against the fact that the ritual itself is barbaric and gruesome. As a curious sunni, I was there yesterday and got to see the ‘festivities’ first hand. The worst part, other than seeing kids lined up during the procession with cuts to their foreheads, is the smell. Imagine the smell of blood in the heat mixed with rose water. The stench is far more worse than what you see in the pictures. For those who don’t oppose this, would you want your kids to grow up in such an environment?

    This has nothing to do with religion, nor does it help with the tarnish image of Islam being a peaceful religion.

  31. anonymous says:


    This body does not belong to you. It’s God’s property. Take care of it. This is why you are’nt allowed to even smoke a cigarette because you’d be harming it.

    So what if the “wounds are shallow” ? What about all those diseases that can develop with all that blood lying around?

    As I said earlier its an embarassing custom that spreads the message of violence at a time when we’re trying to tell the world that “No, you’ve got it wrong, Islam is a message of peace”.

    There is no justfication for this act in the hadiths of the Prophet & Imams and the majority of religious authorities have spcifically banned this act. If anyone claims to know more than them then they are big headed and selfish.

    I’d prefer it if people actually listened to the message of Imam Hussain and learned something deep instead of just going there to specifically weep and bleed yourself. I believe Ali Shariati wrote specifically about this issue.


  32. anonymous says:

    Re(1): Haidar

    “madrooba” is very similar to haleem.

    — chan’ad

  33. Dan says:


    My original intention was to read all of the preceding comments BEFORE I added my own. However, after reading the first few, I see that some of your readers are completely sick and deranged…at least as much as those that you portray in this blog entry.

    Yes; it is true that anyone may do what they want to their body and it is true that anyone may partake in any religion in anyway that they see fit.

    However, and this comes from one who is certainly NOT religious, this ritual that you post about does much dishoner to Islam. It should NOT be allowed and should be shunned. Surely Islam (and Christianity, for that matter) honors a LOVING GOD and NOT A BLOODY SPITEFUL DEITY THAT SEEKS THE LETTING OF BLOOD.

    I could give examples from Christianity, the religion that I was raised with and eventually shunned, but these were already mentioned in the first few comments which tried to (erroneously) defend them and use these as examples to validate this bloody Islamic ritual.

    Get your heads out of your fucking asses people! Allah/God = LOVE NOT HATE AND BLOODSHED OR SELF-SACRIFICE!!!


    [Modified by: Citizen Quasar (Dan) on February 10, 2006 01:19 AM]

  34. anonymous says:


    Have you been to Haj ? how about describing the smell there.
    The smell doesn’t keep me from going there or encouraging my son to go.
    I only write this comment cos I smell somthing from your post.

  35. Dan says:


    Well, I see that the “f” words is not allowed…
    Thank you Nahmood. I shall be less passionate or more articulate in the future.


  36. mahmood says:

    Re: Haidar

    Whoa horsey!

    You’ve got to read a bit more about the occasion before you jump to conclusions, as you have done here. Unfortunately you too are holding the stick from the other end.

    – This ritual is not universally sanctioned.
    – This ritual is not done in honour of God.
    – It is a re-enactment of a battle scene and an extreme expression of remorse and grief.
    – Stupidity doesn’t come into it as much as conviction and long-standing custom.

    Now take your food out of your mouth and try reading and understanding before ranting and raving.

  37. mahmood says:

    Re: Haidar

    So you condone Haidar. Is that what you are trying to say?

    If so, explain to me why please.

  38. anonymous says:


    No I don’t condone Haidar, I just didn’t like the way sunni chose to express himself.

  39. anonymous says:


    I don’t see any problem with the ritual. As others have said, there are equivalents in many religions. There are even non-religious rituals that are far more dangerous, eg the Pamplona bull run in Spain in which people are seriously injured every year and quite often someone is killed. Another example: my incredible martial arts instructor, who shoves a spike through his forearm, between the muscle and the bone, hangs a bucketful of water to it and lifts the full weight of it. Purpose: to achieve and demonstrate the power of mind and spirit over the body.

    Personally I find the haidar far more “human” that the autistic sterility of, say, Wahhabi Islam.

  40. mahmood says:

    Re: Haidar

    the autistic sterility of, say, Wahhabi Islam

    Damn! Never thought of it in that particular mental image! Brilliant.

  41. anonymous says:


    I remember 30 years ago my father used to take me to where the Hasawiya start their Haidar procession at 6:30 Am. A fat guy was holding a sword and just hitting people who came to him with it, it didn’t matter where they got hit, one of them got hit on his nose. I remember seeing a boy with green eyes holding a shaving blade and sliting his head, was it you Mahmood ?

  42. Ibn says:



    [quote]which in turn reflect badly on a whole sect or even religion.[/quote]

    Yes, I agree, but regarding the above quote…who’s keeping score? 🙂 This isnt like some new phenomenon that has recently emerged that might reflect badly on a religion -…its been around for more than a 1000 years already, so it IS part of the religion.

    If outsiders and people not familiar with Islam want to look at it and automatically draw their conclusions, then they are too narrowminded for us to worry about.

    Thats the way I see it.


  43. anonymous says:

    Re: Haidar

    Hey slick, what didn’t you like about the sunni’s choice of expressing the smell of blood? If you have a problem with it, then I suggest you drown your sorrow by taking a sword, cut your forehead with it, and cry about it all night while self-mutilating yourself. Throw in a whip with razors, just for laughs.

  44. anonymous says:


    Just to get some facts straight, not only the Great Shirazi family encourages Shias to perform Tatbeer, but so do many great marje3 like Ayatollah Al-Uthma Al-Sistani, Ayatollah al-Udhma Mirza Jawad Tabrizi , Ayatollah Al-Uthma Al-Khoei, Ayatollah Abdul-Kareem Al-Ha’eri, Ayatollah Al-Imam al-Sheikh Muhammad Hussain al-Naa’ini, Ayatollah al-Udhma Behjat, Ayatollah al-Udhma Safi Gulpaygani, Ayatollah al-Udhma Abtahi, Ayatollah al-Udhma Muhammad Sadiq Rouhani, Ayatollah al-Udhma Langaroudi – Now which Mujtahid prohibits Tatbeer? Sayed Khamanaei has issued a secondary Tahreem, meaning that this act is forbidden when the point of Ishar is present, thus deeming it haram. However, if one would do it in a Hussaynia or his house, it is not prohobitted.


  45. mahmood says:

    Re: Haidar

    Your point of view is valid of course. However; should this particular custom disappears, I will not be the one to shed tears on its demise, and that would be one less “bad” thing to worry about.

  46. anonymous says:

    Re: Haidar

    As a guy who doesn’t really give a rat’s ass about secularism, or religion as a whole, your comments about haj have fallen on deaf ears. To me, Haj, ashoora, or any other ‘event’ that leads to either death, disease, or violence should be abolished. If you want your kid to grow up to be a butcher or torturer, then keep taking them to these fun family-oriented atmospheres which fuel hatred between the sects (I’m sure the dark sunni sides do the same via sermons, just so you don’t feel left out).

    Your lot have cried senslessly for hundreds of years and will continue to cry for hundreds of years to come, so I guess its a bleak future for you! Ha! Thankfully, I’ve got a more positive outlook on life, and so will my kids. Buy more black clothing cuz you apparently will need it for the rest of your existence. Cheers!

    ps. the grim reaper called, he wants his scythe back.

  47. mahmood says:

    Re: Haidar

    not guilty your honour!

  48. anonymous says:


    A normal person can not stand between these people its so horror
    Its harram to watch these people they are doing suicide

  49. anonymous says:


    A normal person can not stand between these people its so horror
    they are doing suicide, Its harram to watch these people

  50. anonymous says:

    Re(1): Haidar

    Haidar or no Haidar, racists and other stupid and bigoted people will always find ways to denigrate Shia Islam. And in my humble opinion, the day there will be no more terror attacks by any kind of Muslims, Shia or Sunni – pardon, the day God wills that – people in the West will be take Haidar as another picturesque and exotic religious spectacle. In fact, when terror attacks die down, anti-Muslim hatred at least in the United States will die down so quickly we all will be astonished at it.

    It is more entrenched in Europe though. Americans are notably less racist than us. When they mobilize for a war, a regular war or the “war on terror”, they will sound terribly racist and un-PC. That is just part of the mobilization mindset, though. When the war is unambiguosly over, they won’t hold grudges. They don’t hold a grudge just for laughs.

  51. anonymous says:


    It is good to see those of you who are faithful to Islam debating the merits and shortfalls of your religion. It proves to me that it is a living thing, capable of growth, change and correction. It also provides a fantastic resource for those of us who know little to learn more about what it really is in tangible terms rather than theoretical ones.

    Rituals tend to lock people into a set of beliefs that were formulated many generations ago when times were bad (read worse). Ancient truth vs everything that has happened since then.
    Traditions tell us where we come from but they can also keep us from getting any further.

    You religious folks sure know how to hold a grudge.


  52. smiley says:


    I agree that this single act which is repeated every year particularly in high profile places like Lebanon does more harm to shiism than anything. Here in Oman it’s been stopped by the shia themselves since the 80’s. Instead they encourage people go donate blood. More blood is donated to the local blood banks during the first ten days of ashoura than any other period of the year even though the shi3a are a minority group in a country that’s probably 51% sunni and 45% ibadhi muslim.

  53. anonymous says:


    to the past comments regarding the enviroment surrounding haider.

    Am just entering adult-hood, born and raised in manama, seen haider before i could even speak. Am against it, due to its image and the possibility of spreading of diseases, I raise my voice at those who take part in it and encourage it and have long debates regarding it on and on, its just a dead end. its a really complicated case, the Ayotallahs dont just bann a thing or a agree to it depending on how barbaric it is, there needs to be all sort of studies and research regarding it and thats why they will never get to agree upon it.

    Anyway back to the point, i have grown around it and i dont see myself as barbaric in anyway :S, am against any type of violence and the only thing different i see in me from others who didnt grow around haider is not throwing up everytime i see blood., regarding body harm and “suicide”, get ur facts right. i am against it but the scars are harmless, the blood comes out from under the skin, its called the “hijama” blood, scars are hardly a few milimeters deep, no one just hits himself with a sword, and whoever the fat dude is in the earlier post is an idiot and probably got into alot of shit. The scarring itself is usually done by a few “known” individuals who know what they are doing and they do it perfectly everytime (but accidents do excist), the only known harm from haider up to date is all hygiene factors and the possibility of spread of disease. oh yeah, there is no “pain”, hardly just the tingle of a scar, dont let the images fool you that the individuals are in alot of pain and crap.

    But in my opinion it should be either banned or kept under close control due to its image.

  54. anonymous says:

    Re: Haidar

    dude. get ur facts right.

    Part of the religion my nice ASS. you dont have to do it! and most of the Shiaa Ayotallah’s are against it.

  55. anonymous says:

    Re(1): Haidar

    the ambulance are there to clean and cover the wounds of those who are “done” with haider.

  56. anonymous says:


    it’s called SHILLA

  57. anonymous says:


    I have to agree w/ Mahmood here. I understand mourning for someone and feeling shame that your own people killed this man, but to take to the streets and cut your heads w/ swords, whip your backs w/ chains and spikes, and to pound so violently on your chests, because of this is too extreme for my blood. I’d be interested to know if anyone has ever had a heart attack during this. I went there two years ago to see this (I converted to Islam about three years ago and my father-in-law insisted that I go), and I have never felt such sickening horror in my life. For one, the smell of blood is so thick you want to vomit, and then you first see the men coming who beat hit their chests w/ such violent force that blood comes through the skin, then you get to see the men coming through who have cut open their hits w/ swords and continue to cut away while they walk past you, and then let’s not forget the men who are beating themselves w/ chains that have spikes on them.

    It was a horrible experience and something I will never do again, although I was urged to go this year by my father-in-law. I refused to go. I have no desire to see men beat themselves like this. I cried, it was horrible. I did not cry in mourning but because of the way these people beat and cut themselves.

    I was told by a guy I used to work with, and also by some people I work with now that young men go there to show how “manly” they are to the girls, and to also pick up girls or to meet their girlfriends. Basically, it’s just a ploy to meet up w/ the girls so that their family won’t suspect anything. Now… how religious is that? Young guys go there and hurt themselves just for the sake of looking manly to the females??? Where is the logic in that?

    This all makes me go: “hmmmm”.


  58. anonymous says:


    Greeting one and all from Rudyard Kipling, are you sitting comfortable then I will begin. It is said that to all augments there are two sides, this might be the case if we ask a computer to resolve an issue. It will solve the problem by determining if a switch is either on or off. For or against, yes or no, simple rules but it could also workout the “don’t knows� or not one of these, if provide with a further option. When it comes to human nature things are seldom black or white but rather shades of grey and everything in between. We all have an opinion, as valid as the next, I support this or I support that, but or however, there I go again. Just how often do we add or use but or however or a similar word for that matter in our augments, and does the use of such words expressed an opinion reduce the value of that opinion.

    I ask this since as I read through the replies here I noticed that the most polarised views did not contain any buts or however, strange; but however true. Such is the case with the Anonymous posting that states this to be Mahmood’s most pathetic post yet. Read that reply and see for yourself.

    I also observed a few inbuilt anomalies in attention to detail in the replies since religion is not my forte and thus ask this, of those that know the subject better. How did the God of the Jews, and then of Christianity became the exclusive property of Moslems. Secondly If Imam Hussain was killed and all those with him as well, who informed us about what he said on that day, One finial point the world is 4,000,000,000 years old plus or minus a few noughts, however according to the best informed sources on the Internet be them Jewish Christian or Moslem God placed Adam and Eve here but a mere 6,500 years ago I just wonder does anybody know what God was doing up until that moment.


  59. anonymous says:


    Why doesn’t Shia Islam, merge/reunite with Sunni Islam?
    After all this time, and all this blood which side has the courage to invite the other to unify and strengthen?
    Imagine a world where you are Muslim. End of story.
    I fear the small minded. They are driven by fear of the unknown. By definition they are a hazard, and yet most of them have found pulpits and congregations. What does that say about the listeners?
    The world Muslim population would unequivically benefit from a re-unification of Sunni and Shia.
    But it won’t happen.
    Why not??

    The Wanderer

  60. mahmood says:

    Re: Haidar

    now there’s a novel idea! I’m all for it.

  61. anonymous says:


    للعلم Ù?قط

    أن كل من ÙŠÙ?عل هذا بنÙ?سه ليس بشيعي
    Ù?الهدÙ? من إحياء ذكرى عاشوراء هو الأخذ الموعظة من ما حصل مع الإمام من خيانة وتعذيب

    وليس الهدÙ? من الإحياء تعذيب النÙ?س

    أعيد وأكرر

    كل من ÙŠÙ?عل هذا ليس بشيعي ونحن الشيعة متبررون منه

    وهذا ليس كلامي Ù?قط بل كلام المشايخ الشيعة

    عند اللطم لا يجوز إحمرار مكان اللطم

    Ù?الهدÙ? من اللطم تبيين مدى أسنا على ما حدث مع الإمام الحسن وتخليد ذكراه إلى يوم الساعة

    كل مايÙ?عله هؤلاء كانت بدع ابتدعها عباد النار من المجوس بعد دخولهم الاسلام وخاصة القبايل التي تسكن جبال ايرانو الهند واÙ?غستان واطراÙ? من باكستان وغيرها من المناطق القريبة

    سيد علي[size=18][/size]

  62. Salman says:

    Can we not all do what we personally believe in, and let God judge us? Please?

    I am a practicer of this ritual myself. I didnt approve of it for a long time, and i said exactly what everyone else had said. But, somehow, in my heart, i feel the greif deep inside, and there are many ways of expressing your sorrow. Beating the chests. Not untill you cry, and listen to the words of the procession reciter, do you get emotional, and you feel the pain, and understand the sorrow, and sacrifice, which drives you to hit harder, and harder. And it is the most wonderful feeling in the world. Another way of expressing my grief, is with the zanjeel. The three cries of Ya Hussain break my down into tears by the 2nd cry itself, and i hit harder and harder, every swing. Sure, it hurts, but let it hurt. And again, the so-called barbaric act. I did also think of it the same way. Diseases could spread, my personal hygene is at risk, god knows who used the sword before me. But in grief, i did it.

    We re-enact what happened to Imam Hussain, as he was hit by swords, arrows, rocks, speres. We want to put ourselves in the same position, and feel the pain.

    Why do women hit themselves when someone dies? And slap their faces? The same thing. Maybe the blood is a bit gorey for some, no doubt. But please, let us do what we believe in.

    And can no one accuse any Cleric of making it halal or haram without providing a link with proof?

    As far as i know, there is not 1 cleric who has declared it haram, and i challenge anyone to come forward and prove me wrong.

    I have attended a lecture for the respectable Shaikh Abdul Redha Ma’ash, who clearly said that he had personally asked every single Sh’ia Cleric of reference, and none of them said that they had declared it halal, or haram.

Back to Top