Hassan Rouhani talks Iran's plans on holding the Mourning of Muharram
TEHRAN, Iran, July 26
Iran is to hold the Mourning of Muharram on August 21 by following health protocols, said Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Trend reports via IRNA.
"The Mourning of Muharram can be held only if the health protocols are observed, to prevent the coronavirus spread," Rouhani said. "The mourning would be held in red, yellow and white zones with low crowd density and following social distancing" he said.
As many as 2,333 people have been infected with the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the past 24 hours in Iran. According to recent reports, over 291,100 people have been infected and 15,700 people have already died. Meanwhile, over 253,200 have reportedly recovered from the disease.
The Islamic Republic announced its first infections and deaths from the coronavirus on Feb. 19.
"Large gatherings in small spaces should be avoided. The health protocols include disinfecting the gathering places and wearing face masks at all time," Rouhani said.
"Food donations during the commemoration rituals should be prepared and distributed by through health protocols, while it is recommended that food items such as meat and rice distributed instead of cooked meals," he added.
The Mourning of Muharram is a set of commemoration rituals observed by Shia Muslims, as well as some non-Muslims. The commemoration falls in Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar.
The event marks the anniversary of the Battle of Karbala (AD 680/AH 61), when Imam Hussein ibn Ali, a grandson of Prophet Muhammad, was martyred by the forces of the second Umayyad caliph. Family members and companions accompanying him were either killed or subjected to humiliation.
The commemoration of this event during the yearly mourning season, with the Day of Ashura as the focal date, serves to define Shia communal identity. Muharram observances are carried out in countries with a sizable Shia population.