In Pakistan, Moslems began celebrating Muharran, the anniversary of the Martyrdom of Hazrat Iman Hussain, grandson of the Holy Prophet Mohammad, on Wednesday (19 November).
TGV Crowd thronging streets of Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
SV ZOOM INTO CU & PULL BACK TO GV Flagellants beating themselves.
SV Flagellation continues with blood pouring down from men's backs.
TGV Decorated horses being led through crowd. (2 SHOTS)
CTV People adorning horse with garlands and ribbons.
TGV Procession carrying decorated spears and religious relics through streets.
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Background: In Pakistan, Moslems began celebrating Muharran, the anniversary of the Martyrdom of Hazrat Iman Hussain, grandson of the Holy Prophet Mohammad, on Wednesday (19 November). In Rawalpindi, Pakistanis recalled that thirteen hundred and thirty-nine years ago, the martyr, his family and a handful followers undertook the fateful march to Karbala to face a ferocious horde of 4000 Kufis. The Kufis were followers of the 'Tyrant of Damascus' Umayyad Yazid who usurped power, and in so doing is said to have destroyed the Islamic Society - based on the Holy Koran.
SYNOPSIS: Large crowds gathered in the Raja Bazaar, to re-enact the monumental protest of Hussain, the declared heir of the Prophet. The flagellations are symbolic of Hussain's sacrifice of his body - for Islam.
Mourners chanted songs about Hussain's sacrifice, which blazed the trail for those who accept islam as a total way of life. They sang that it symbolised the triumph of good over evil.
The horses represent the martyr's horse Zuljinah, which carried him into the battle.
Pakistani President Zia ul-Haq's message to the people was that this day of mourning demanded that Moslems throughout the world bury their differences and forge a common unity and discipline for the glorious cause of Islam.
At home, too, he said, the need for peace and tranquillity was necessary, so that all members of society could successfully discharge their duties in harmony. Decorated spears symbolised those on which the martyr's head was carried at Karbala by followers of Yazid.