Archive for shia

The Bond of Brotherhood

Posted in Islam with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 26, 2012 by designldg

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“The mystical bond of brotherhood makes all men brothers.”
(Thomas Carlyle – Scottish Historian and Essayist, 1795-1881)

Those young men standing on the top of a wall are Shia devotees waiting for the processions with replicas of Husayn’s mausoleum called tazia which were coming in this narrow street.
It was at the time of Muharram when Varanasi (Benaras) add a little more magic and becomes timeless.
The Eternal city has so many amazing sides, this festival allows to feel a warm bond of brotherhood among the inhabitants of this area.

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The Vision of the Heart

Posted in Islam with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 11, 2011 by designldg

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“What the eye sees the heart preserves.”
“The vision of the eye is limited; the vision of the heart transcends all barriers of time and space.”
(Ali ibn Abi Talib – religious leader, warrior, Orator and Poet. Son-in-law of the prophet Muhammad, 600-661)

I met those two brothers in a little street of Jaitpura in Varanasi (Benaras) at the time of Muharram.
They were standing nearby a tazia.
The night was cold however it was easy to feel the heat from everyone’s heart. They were happy to share this generous and heartful moment in front of my camera.

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A Passionate Intuition

Posted in Islam with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 11, 2011 by designldg

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“Faith is a passionate intuition.”
(William Wordsworth – English Romantic poet, 1770–1850)

This little boy wearing a beige jacket made this tazia.
His family invited me to have tea and to share a few sweets which are especially done at the time of Muharram.
From the window of the house I took several pictures of the people passing by and admiring this miniature replica of Husayn’s mausoleum and the children of the house decided to go outisde and to gift my lense their happiness.
This picture was shot in the area of Jaitpura in Varanasi (Benaras).

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An Oasis in the Heart

Posted in Islam with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 11, 2011 by designldg

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“Faith is an oasis in the heart which can never be reached by the caravan of thinking.”
(Kahlil Gibran – Lebanese born American philosophical Essayist, Novelist and Poet, 1883-1931)

Walking in the narow streets from Pili Kothi to Jaitpura in Varanasi (Benaras) at the time of Muharram is an enchantment.
In front of each house stands a tazia which is a miniature replica of Husayn’s mausoleum.
The simple ones are usualy done by the children living there, others which are more elaborated are made by several artcrafters from the city who follow different religions and maintain this way that well-known Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb (Ganges-Yamuna Culture) which is a fusion of Hindu and Muslim elements in the culture of the central plains of Northern India.
During this magical evening families and friends visit each house where stands a tazia as the day after they will be carried in processions.

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Ontology of Observing

Posted in Islam with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 8, 2011 by designldg

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“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
(Reinhold Niebuhr – American theologian, 1892-1971)

This picture was shot in Varanasi (Benaras) during Muharram.
Those men were observing the remembrance of the Battle of Karbala when Imam Hussain ibn Ali, the grandson of prophet Muhammad, and a Shia Imam, was killed by the forces of the second Umayad caliph Yazid I.
They gathered in front of a tazia in order to review Islamic teachings and to commemorate Imam Hussain’s sacrifice.

The night was generous and offering a wondeful and timeless journey in those narrow streets of the old Kashi.
I wouldn’t have been surprised to bump into Aladdin and his Wondeful Lamp…

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Whatever Man Makes

Posted in Islam with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 25, 2011 by designldg

Whatever Man Makes

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“Whatever man makes and makes live
lives because of the life put into it.
A yard of Indian muslin is alive with Hindu life.
And a Navajo woman, weaving her rug in the pattern of her dream
must run the pattern out in a little break at the end
so that her soul can come out, back to her.
But in the odd pattern, like snake-marks on the sand
it leaves a trail.”
(D. H. Lawrence – English novelist & poet, 1885 –1930)

This is a tazia shot in Varanasi (Benaras) during Muharram.
Muharram is the first month of Hijri era however the month is better known for the tragedy of Karbala, where Imam Husain, the grandson of Prophet Mohammad, and his 72 companions were martyred during the battle against evil forces of Yazid, then ruler of Syria who had claimed to be the successor of Islamic spiritual seat.
On the ninth day of Muharram the Tazias, the replicas of Mazar of Imam Husain in Karbala, made of paper and bamboo sticks are kept at Imam Chauks and also on Chabutaras (platforms) of Hindu devotees.
The Muslims as well Hindus keep night vigil.
No country other than India has the versatile and varied nature of making Tazia.
Its making involves workers from almost all communities and religions and gives employment to the whole household of an artist during Muharram.

Varanasi (Benaras) is known as the ancient city for devout Hindus and also as the city of Lord Shiva, it is also known for its unique cultural harmony and coexistence which is often referred to as the “Ganga Jamuni tehzib” (Ganges-Yamuna Culture, गंगा जमुनी तहज़ीब, گنگا جمنی تهزیب).
Joint observance of Muharram is the most conspicuous example of this cultural and religious harmony which is reflected in Hindus participating in Tazia processions and paying homage to Imam Husain, the martyr of Karbala tragedy.

Matam for Devotion

Posted in Islam with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 19, 2010 by designldg

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“(Once when he happened to pass by Karbala), Isa (Jesus) sat down and began to weep.

His disciples who were observing him, followed suit and began weeping too, but not comprehending the reason for this behaviour, they asked him: “O’ Spirit of God! What is it that makes you weep?”
Isa (Jesus) said: “Do you know what land this is?”
The disciples replied: “No.”
He then said: “This is the land on which the son of the Prophet Muhammad shall be killed”.
(Ali to Ibn Abbas – Bihar al-Anwar vol. 44,g. 252)

This was shot in Varanasi (Benaras) during the Mourning of Muharram which marks the anniversary of the Battle of Karbala when Imam Hussain ibn Ali, the grandson of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, and a Shia Imam, was killed by the forces of the second Umayad caliph Yazid I.
Those young devotees congregate together in public for ceremonial chest beating (matam) as a display of their devotion to Imam Husayn and in remembrance of his suffering.

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