Muslim shiits mark Ashura Day, Azerbaijan, October 12, 2016. Photo by Aziz Karimov for the 'Caucasian Knot'.

13 October 2016, 14:20

On Ashura Say, Azerbaijani Shiites hold blood donation

The actions of blood donation were held in 15 mosques of Azerbaijan on the mourning Ashura Day; a total of 4141 Shiite Muslim took part in them. The Spiritual Administration of Muslims (SAM) of the Caucasus has treated the blood donation as more appropriate form of remembrance on the Ashura Day than traditional rituals of symbolic self-torture.

Day of Ashura is a day of remembrance of the Prophet Muhammad's grandson Imam Hussein, killed on 10 Muharram 61 AH of the Arab calendar (October 10, 680 AD) in an unequal battle with the forces of Umayyad.

In the morning on October 12, on the occasion of the Ashura Day, Baku hosted religious ceremonies, during which Shiites sang mourning songs and chanted religious slogans in honour of Imam Hussein and the other Imams. Believers came to mosques with their children.

A part of the ceremony was a symbolic self-beating. Some believers hit themselves with palms on their shoulders; others struck their chests with fists, the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent reports.

However, before the start of the Muharram, the Council of Gazis of the SAM of the Caucasus issued a fatwa stating that the most appropriate action to mark the Ashura Day, which should be promoted by the clergy, is blood donation, not self-torture, the "Vesti.Az" reports.

As a result of the blood donation action on the Ashura Day, they collected 1863.3 litres of blood, the Ministry of Public Health of Azerbaijan, which organized the actions jointly with the SAM of the Caucasus, has reported today.

Full text of the article is available on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’.

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