Shias observe Hazrat Ali's martydom virtually

New Delhi: Every year on 21st Ramzan, just after the morning prayers, numerous processions and congregations are carried out across the globe to commemorate the martyrdom of Hazrat Ali, the son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad.

However this year, the COVID-19 pandemic changed it all. The tradition was broken and that too with tears. This is the first time that Imambaras (congregation hall for Shia ritual ceremonies) had a deserted look.

Amid the lockdown, the Shias mourned their Imam online with multiple social media platforms like twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp used to organise virtual gathering to remember Hazrat Ali and his teachings.

Anees Fatima, a resident of Okhla Vihar in Delhi's Jamia Nagar received a message on a WhatsApp group to recite Nauhas and Marsiya to mourn the martyrdoom of Hazrat Ali. She recorded the video and uploaded it on the group, which was then received by other women members.

"Had the Imambaras not been shut we would have gathered and remembered Imam Ali. However, we understand the seriousness of the pandemic and hence we went for virtual majlis and congregation on social media," Anees Fatima said.

The Imambaras remained locked and many had pre decided to shift to virtual gathering considering the pandemic.

"This is the first time in history that the Imambaras are closed on such an important day for Shias. On normal days, thousands would have gathered inside," said Syed Iradat Hussain Rizvi, a resident of Johri Farm in Delhi's Jamia Nagar.

Even AIMIM President Asaduddin Owaisi addressed a public meeting online to observe the day of martydoom of Imam Ali.

"Hazrat Ali was a sea of wisdom and knowledge. I could just try to elaborate on his teaching along with other members of the Holy Prophet's family," Owaisi said in a video message.

Dressed in traditional black kurtas and shirts, many mourned the martyrdom on Facebook and the pages of Muslims were seen flooded with the teachings and quotes of Hazrat Ali who was martyred inside a mosque by a swordsman in Kufah in present day Iraq, 1400 years ago.

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