Tuesday, December 8, 2009


One form of mourning is the theatrical re-enactment of the Battle of Karbala. In Iran this is called taziya or taziyeh. Theatrical groups that specialize in taziya are called taziya groups.[3] Taziyas were popular through the Qajar dynasty up into the early twentieth century, but the reinactments slowly declined until they were mostly abandoned in the large cities by the early 1940s. Nonetheless, taziyas continued to exist in Iran on a smaller scale especially in more rural and traditional areas. Reza Shah, the first of the Pahlavi dynasty, had outlawed taziyas. Despite some attempts at since 1979, Muharram processions and various forms of the rawza khani are still more common.

In South Asia where dramatic commemmorations are less significant, ta'zīya came to refer as specifically to the miniature mausoleums used in processions held in Muharram. It all started from the fact that the great distance of India from Karbala prevented Indian Shi'is wish to buried near tomb of Imam Husayn or frequent pilgrimages(ziyarat) to tomb. This is the reason why Indian Shi'is established local karbalas on the subcontinent by bringing soil from Karbala and sprinkling it on lots designated as future cemetries. Once the karbalas were established on the subcontinent, next step was to bring Husayn's tomb-shrine to India. This was established by building replicas of Husayn's mausolem called ta'zīya to be carried in Muharram processions. Thosands of ta'zīyas in various shapes and sizes are fashioned every year for months of mourning of Muharram and Safar; and are carried in processions and may be buried at the end of Ashoura day or Arbain day.


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