Ashura 2018: Hundreds of Shi'a Muslims gather in Newbury Park to mark martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali
PUBLISHED: 17:00 20 September 2018 | UPDATED: 08:57 21 September 2018
Hundreds from the borough’s Shi’a Muslim community gathered together, dressed in back, for a somber procession through the streets of Newbury Park to mourn the martydom of the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson.
Community charity the Imamia Mission today (September 20) held a ceremony to mark the Ashura for the first time since it relocated to Perryman’s Farm Road earlier this year, away from Romford Road, Forest Gate.
The day sees Shi’a Muslims pay their respects to Imam Husayn ibn Ali, as well as his family members and supporters, who were all killed in the battle of Karbala, in modern day Iraq, in the year 61 AH.
He was beheaded following his efforts to dethrone Yazid, a leader during the Ummayad dynasty, who regime he regarded as tyrranical.
Syed Adil Hussain Shah, the mission’s president, said: “[The story] is still as relevant as it was 1,400 years ago. Injustice is still being done, innocent people are being killed all over the world.”
The worshippers set off at around 11am and the heavens opened, showering them in light rain as they traced a triangular route Perrymans Farm Road, Perkins Road and Horns Road.
They chanted as they marched a stopped periodically to beat their chests.
“We are a peaceful nation. We are beating our chests, we are crying and loudly saying that we are against injustice and terrorism,” added Mr Shah.
He added: “[The chest-beating] says that we are unhappy about what happened and we are against people who cruelly kill other people for no reason.”
Men carried upon their shoulders a replica of the Imam Hussain shrine built in Karbala as well as an ornate metallic coffin and baby manger, honouring of the Imam’s slain 18-year-old son and infant child respectively.
At the helm of the procession was the Ayatollah Hassan Reza Ghadeeri, who led the worshippers in prayer after the march came to an end.
Ashura falls on the 10th day of the first month of the Islamic calendar, which is known as Muharram.
The Imamia Mission has been overseeing Ashura ceremonies for 39 years.
Find out more at imamiamission.org