Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 13 items for :

  • Refine by Access: All content x
  • Refine by Content Type: All x
Clear All Modify Search
Open access

Invisible and Visible Shi'a

Ashura, State and Society in Kuwait

Thomas Fibiger

The Twelver Shi'a commemoration of Ashura – the day of the Prophet Muhammad's grandson Imam Husayn's martyrdom in the Battle of Karbala (680 CE [61 AH]) – is in the academic literature often seen as a ritual of political mobilisation and regime

Restricted access

‘Ashura in Bahrain

Analyses of an Analytical Event

Thomas Fibiger

'Ashura is an annual Shi'i ritual commemorating the death of Imam Husayn at the Battle of Karbala in AD 680. In Bahrain, the ritual runs for two weeks and involves processions with more than 100,000 participants. Bahrain is a small but ethno-sectarian heterogeneous island state, where a Sunni minority dominates a Shi'i majority. The religious ritual of 'Ashura therefore has deep political connotations, and a variety of analyses, aspirations, and actions are played out in the context of the ceremonies. This article discusses 'Ashura from the various viewpoints of participants and observers, thereby raising the question of the relationship between analysis and event. I argue that the ritual itself includes an interpretation of the relationship between the Sunni and Shi'i sects, and that this leads to a variety of reflections among Bahrainis on what 'Ashura is and should be.

Open access


Religious Rituals’ Reflection of Current Social Conditions in the Middle East

Ingvild Flaskerud

Thomas Brandt Fibiger in ‘Invisible and Visible Shi'a: Ashura, State and Society in Kuwait’. The Twelver Shi'a minority community in Kuwait has been described as being controlled by the state, and as being supportive of and supported by the Sunni al

Open access

Mourning at New Year's Day (Nowruz)

Cultural Practice against Ideology

Reinhold L. Loeffler and Erika Friedl

solar calendar. The Twelver Shi'a commemorative rituals on Ashura in Muharram and Arba'yin , the 40th-day-mourning of the death of Imam Huseyn, fall on different dates during the four seasons, sometimes making it awkward for people to perform the

Restricted access

Les rites d'âshurâ dans un village de l'Iran contemporain

Révélateur privilégié d'un monde rural en mutation

Anne-Sophie Vivier-Muresan

This article aims to analyse the evolution of âshurâ Shi’ite rituals in an Iranian village, in light of the socio-economic transformations of the last thirty years. Studying these rites as a fait social total, we show that they reflect many aspects of local life. Thus, the increasing dependence of the village on the urban regional centre, the reorganisation of the ties between neighbouring but antagonistic localities, the decreasing status of the great landowners and the increasing social homogenisation, the development of rural exodus and recent national history (the Iran-Iraq war, the establishment of the Islamic Republic and the development of religious reformism) – all have had an influence on the organisation of âshurâ ceremonies. The many functions of this ritual appear then more clearly, manifesting the manner of regional integration, reaffirming internal hierarchies and communal identity, and showing the ever-increasing dependence on the urban world.

Open access

Reinventing a Traditional Ritual

Commemorating Karbala's Youngest Martyr in Iran

Atefeh Seyed Mousavi

final battle on the day of Ashura, the tenth day of the month of Muharram, Husayn and his male supporters were dismembered and decapitated, while the women and children who had accompanied him were captured ( Flaskerud 2010: 79 ; Tabari 1990: 92

Open access

The History in Procession

Shiʿite Identity Formation through Frames of Arbaʿyin Pilgrimage Narrative

Ahmad Shekarchi

refused to take an oath of allegiance to the incumbent caliph, Yazīd ibn Muʿawīyah. As the two parties engaged in a battle on the plains of Karbalâ in 680 CE, Ḥusayn was killed and beheaded on ʿĀshura, the 10th day of the first month, Muharram in the Hijri

Open access

Nourrir les vivants par la grâce des saints

La nourriture et le sacré dans le chiisme iranien

Sepideh Parsapajouh

jour (‘Ashurâ), puis le jour de Arba'în, les préparations de nourriture votive atteignent leur comble pour occuper largement l'espace public de toute ville et de tout village. On assiste à des sacrifices d'animaux et à des distributions de nourriture

Open access

Circling around the really Real in Iran

Ethnography of Muharram laments among Shi'i volunteer militants in the Middle East

Younes Saramifar

called Hussain the blood of Allah turned the martyrdom of Hussain into the deepest grief through the Symbolic order available to him. He articulated the chain of signification given to him by a famous prayer called Ziyarat Ashura (Homage to the tenth

Open access

From the Throes of Anguished Mourning

Shi‘i Ritual Lamentation and the Pious Publics of Lebanon

Fouad Gehad Marei

relevance to the saying “every day is Ashura, and every land is Karbala,” a tenet central to activist modes of religiosity inspired by Shi‘i revisionist thinking. Moreover, the majlis exhibits two important sensory-affective features crucial to the