and paying homage to Hasan and Hussain on their death
anniversaries, Muharram is followed in all parts of Andhra
Pradesh. Indicating the dawn of New Year of Muslims, the
festival primarily involves mourning sessions that are
organized by both sunni and shia communities.
Being the grandsons of Prophet Mohammed, Hasan and Hussain
hold an intensely pious place in the hearts of the Muslim
people. As such, the entire Muslim sect becomes bereaved
members of Hazrat Mohammed's extended family and sacrifices
every possible source of mirth and exultation during the ten
days of Muharram. While the sunnis are found in green
attires, the shias
clothes to express their grief and agony on the occasion.
Since Hussain was assassinated in Kerbala by the battalion
of king Yazid, the battle scenes are posted in all the shia
mosques. During the entire period of Muharram, the women of
shia community wear off all types of jewelleries and other
items of make-up. Instead, they leave their hairs uncombed
and wear sober colored cloths to mourn over the death of
In Hyderabad, Muharram starts with the occurrence of the new
moon and goes on for 14 days. Drum-beating is a common
custom that is practiced in the place during the festival.
At the end of the 14th day, followers of Prophet Mohammed
and his descendants come to the streets with bowls to beg
for alms. They approach every house of the city to collect
as much victual as possible.
In some parts of Andhra Pradesh, a group of ardent followers
beat themselves with chains to express their agony over the
death of Hussain. They are even found strolling the streets
without any footwear.
The whole festival of Muharram not only signifies the
extreme feeling of loss of the Muslim groups but also shows
the passionate dedication of shia and sunni followers who
take every possible pain to compensate for the death of the
two great successors of Hazrat Mohammed.