I watched in awe as a woman walked in wearing a long black kameez, with intricate white floral pattern along the neckline, running all the way down her kameez and finishing off in neat tassels. Then another walked in behind her in a white kurta with self-colored geometric patterns and the prettiest black and white lace I had ever seen, consciously placed along the edge of her long kurta, finely matched with a printed churidaar giving her attire a perfect finish. While trying to digest this, a young girl of about 15 years of age, walked in next wearing a rusty brown kameez with a bold slant cut at the bottom. She had a huge black screen-printed motive in front that was disturbingly screaming for attention and matched perfectly with her black tights.

If you think this is a description of a fashion show, then you won’t be completely wrong. The only difference is all these women dressed in black and white are those coming to a majlis gathering in covered heads – and yes, for anyone who’s observant; this does distract you from listening to the sermon.

I belong to the Shia community myself and have been brought up in a conservative family with strong religious beliefs. My purpose is not to mock Muharram but to bring to your realisation that the fashion around us is changing so drastically that people often forget the purpose and significance of these days in all their wardrobe preparations. A color that was initially worn during the month of Muharram for the purpose of mourning the martyrdom of the Shia Imam, HussainIbn Ali, has now become an element of fashion.

People start ordering black clothes prior to the month in order to keep their wardrobes ready. In fact, in order to keep up with the demand for the colour, many fashion outlets showcase an entire ‘Muharram collection’ of black clothes close to the start of the month. Shops and entire markets are filled with black and white prints with big attractive floral designs and intricate patterns. Fashion designers claim that they sometimes have to stop taking orders because they are overloaded with orders for Muharram clothes.

I may sound a bit chauvinistic but sadly this is real. Most of them may not be turning this into a fashion fiesta on purpose and making clothes particularly for Muharram may even be a necessity for many, as they don’t normally wear black on regular days. However, special preparation of clothes for Muharram, in the same manner you would do for Eid or any other festive occasion, is disconcerting.

The concept of ‘azadari’ in Muharram was started by the family of the Prophet after the death of his grandson HussainIbn Ali at the Battle of Karbala in 680 AD. They did not ‘dress-up’ when they began mourning for the fallen.

Our concept of wearing black is not any different to Christians wearing black on funerals or the Hindus wearing white. Even though they wear plain black and white on funerals of regular people, I think it is the best way to symbolise mourning. Why can’t we keep it as simple as them? Why can’t we respectfully mourn the leaders of our religion in simplicity? Why does it have to become extravagant to the point of becoming fashionable?

I’ve even attended a majlis where dinner is lavishly catered and the menu consists of everything from finger-licking biryani and qorma to the much-loved warm gulab jamuns served with vanilla ice cream.

With all due respect, it felt nothing less than a wedding in black.

Whatever happened to the simple menu of daal chawal that was once a trademark at all majlises and even funerals?

People have every right to serve food and conduct their gatherings at a large scale but turning these gatherings into glamorous feasts defeats the purpose of mourning and the significance of the month. It is disappointing to see how people unintentionally take away the essence of mourning and turn it into a celebration-like event.

I say unintentionally because I am aware that people make a lot of effort to be presentable for such gatherings and also make it comfortable for those they invite over for the sermons they hold in their houses. There is no reason to doubt their faith but the fact that they get carried away in the process is quite evident.

Amongst all this, I remember an old lady who lived in our neighborhood. Being from outside the community, the way she respected Muharram was worthy of praise. Always dressed in crisp plain white shalwar kameez, she came to any neighborhood majlis she was invited to and paid her respects.

There are still many people like her as well. It doesn’t matter what faith you follow, the beauty lies in the simplicity of your personality and how to present yourself. That is what reflects and leaves an impression – not becoming part of the trend.


Meem Fay is a diabolic angel always on an eye-chase for sensitive issues.


The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

More From This Section

SC declares appointment of NAB chief legal

The court has disposed of PTI chief Imran Khan's petition against appointment of Qamar Zaman Chaudhry as chairman NAB.

Nawaz vows to spend $1.6bn on Balochistan development

Addressing the cabinet meeting in Islamabad, the prime minister said that he himself will monitor these projects.

Police arrest six suspected LJ militants

Police said the suspects are responsible for killing 16 people over the last two years and for four attempted murders.

Khawaja Asif takes U-turn, calls Pakistan Army an asset

The defence minister called his past statements a mistake and insisted that those were made in a difference context.


Comments are closed.

Comments (197)

F Hyat
November 30, 2012 2:05 am
Dear author, you were at a majlis to mourn, why then did your attention get diverted so easily. Perhaps it is a cue for you to look within yourself.
Khumar
November 28, 2012 5:20 am
Wish you would have use this space in talking about what the majlis was all about & what did you learn from it. And how these gatherings are not about general man's daily concerns but it reflects onto something that is larger than life. Imam's sacrifice was not for us to think about what everyone wears at his gatherings ... but how we as individuals can make a difference!
Anonymous
November 27, 2012 8:40 am
Muharram Mournings...like many other religious rituals, have become hollow with time. Totally agree with the writer, wearing black during Muharram is a fashion statement not a sign of simplicity anymore.
peace lover
November 28, 2012 4:04 am
a very perfect criticism, but unfortunately it will be used as tool by anti-shia organizations. I think the platform for this kind of satire should have been different.
Open Minded
November 28, 2012 7:24 am
I wont call you conversative or close minded person because its your piece of writing and you decided to pick up this topic. But you do realize make-up, kameez, kurta, daal chawal, qorma etc. its beyond that I wish you had seen that aspect as well. When you (i mean the writer) can have a lavish bday party that no one is going to remember next year with delicious cake, qorma, pizza etc why not for a figure who's bday and death will be observed every day every year till day of judgement. Plus, when WE can have lavish dinners and wear nice clothes to a relatives death why not for Imam. I would agree that some people take fashion to a very obnoxious level, but those same people are wiping there tears right after "hadees." We cant judge and should not judge but Imam is not seeing if you are wearing Alkaram or Sunday bazaar kurta shalwaar Imam must be seeing your heart and your NEEYAT! PS: I enjoy qorma, biryani, haleem etc served after majlis. IT has a difference taste and aroma!
Aq
November 27, 2012 8:15 am
I completely agree with the writer. ladies do get swayed away by the black colour in Muharramm. The sanctity of these days, and the message becomes blurred and even forgotten. Further on, is it really neccessary that black clothes be worn, especially if none are available and they have to be purchased. The abaya would be a better alternative.
shout4animals
November 28, 2012 7:45 am
Real soul & purpose of majlis is to educate minds. Point is to attend it with an open mind & block yourself from who is doing what and how they show their respect.
Arif Abid
November 28, 2012 8:40 am
May God bless us all, Criticisum is very harsh and compromises the basic rights of people
ali
November 27, 2012 9:12 pm
absolutely right
ali
November 28, 2012 5:09 am
YOU DEPICT A REALITY BUT WE SO CALLED MUSLIM DONT BOTHER YET
Ali Hamza
November 27, 2012 3:13 pm
Sad, but true!!
azfar
November 30, 2012 7:19 am
so true....but fact is that people now eat biryani or karahe at funerals also what use to be called " Karwa Khana". It is responsibilities of zakir to condemn lavish menus and fashionable outfits during ayam-e-aza
Bilawal Sarwar
November 29, 2012 8:48 pm
faith in love of Imam Hussain(as)
Rashid Khatana
November 30, 2012 8:37 am
No...Allah will not care but you kind of people for sure will care
ad
November 30, 2012 8:53 am
Noor your one and only tool is shaming language. Other than that you seem to be obsessed with bikinis and miniskirts.
russianroullete2
November 30, 2012 5:24 am
Reblogged this on russianroullete2 and commented: I did not know that fashion was anti-religious
M. Khan
November 30, 2012 3:56 pm
It is not about "looking pretty" or "shopping" u idiot..
winston
November 30, 2012 10:05 am
criticizing people for what they were wearing on Muharrum!! Grow up for God's sake!!!
HUMANE
November 29, 2012 6:08 pm
"The concept of ‘azadari’ in Muharram was started by the family of the Prophet after the death of his grandson HussainIbn Ali at the Battle of Karbala in 680 AD.".........Kindly give the reference of the statement that you have made.
Syed rizvi
November 29, 2012 6:17 pm
The young genration of mourners are changing in theit outfits with passGe time. However, the dignityof moharrM is always kept intact. There is no harm in dress code as long as it is not vulgar, or unislamic.
Yamina
November 29, 2012 6:39 pm
Meem Fay- the point in Pakistan isn't what they wear during the Majlis and how extravagant but how all Muslims have forgotten the message of Imam Hussain for which he fought the battle in Karabla. He fought so that people know what is right and what is wrong. He fought so the Muslims don't forget the basic principals on which the foundations of Islam are laid. He fought so Muslims remain pious, honest, humble but we are the most arrogant, corrupt , dishonest followers. Who cares what one wears if the heart is pure. Let's focus on what Imam Hussain wanted to teach us and not on frivolous thins.
Agha Ata
November 30, 2012 3:02 am
That is killing two birds with one stone. You want us to respect Moharram and wear black. Alright we will wear black, but it will be on an outfit of own choice! Any objection?
pearlofocean
November 29, 2012 6:33 pm
Very thought Provoking indeed...
Zymaidar
November 29, 2012 4:20 pm
To remind what enemies of Prophet (PBUH) did to HIS Grandson (AS). Show truth in white and injustice in black, so that when we all are raised, one should not complain that s/he was confused. (Quran is full of reminders)
M. Khan
November 30, 2012 3:55 pm
So very right Mam. I would like to know if the writer a shia or out to malign shias
Asghar Hassan
November 30, 2012 3:25 am
+1 to the above comment. Such criticism should be made in our Majalis. And a point completely unrelated to the article..... Imam Hussain (A.S) is not "our Shia Imam" as mentioned in the article. You probably didn't mean it that way but I would like to clarify that. He is the Imam of Islam. He is the Imam of all of humanity.
nbokhari
December 4, 2012 11:31 am
Fashion among women is not new and is found across all the faiths. How far they go is individual act.
Zymaidar
November 29, 2012 4:16 pm
Meem Fay. Wonderful! But remember, most of the dawn readers will not fathom your concern as your sampled ladies belong to the same strata of society who observe Muharram with a different attitude. Parents of majority of mourners nowadays used to observe Muharram with a different feeling. But times have changed, and as certain intoxicating materials have become "justifiable", fashion in Muharram has also became justifiable. Seculars, non seculars, liberals or fanatics, all will agree on one thing that atleast we should not kill the "intent of mourning". But as you rightly put it, that intent is simply missing.
Raza
November 29, 2012 5:00 am
So now you will decide what people should cook, eat or serve in Muharram? Let me tell you that there is hardly any wastage of food. On the contrary lot more gets distributed to the poor and needy. There are social and economic aspects of this month that most people don't even realise. Oh and the "condolence period" as you put it, hasn't been over in 1400 years in spite of people like yourself wishing it. I guarantee you won't see it happen in your lifetime either.
Noor
November 28, 2012 10:34 pm
Natasha does'nt sound like a pakistani name. So pls keep your cultural "high" values to yourself and leave us with our "sick" mentality which we refer to as "Modesty". thankyou.
Zahida
November 30, 2012 12:23 pm
Whether one gets distracted or not by fancy blackwear is not the issue here. The issue as I have understood by the article is about ' appropriateness of the occasion'. It is not an occasion to display your best wardrobe - there are lots of other places for that. If you really understand the pain and suffering of the Family of the Prophet and what they were they going through, you wouldn't FEEL like dressing UP like that. I guess it all comes down to your intentions and only ALLAH is the judge that. Please take the writer's comment in the spirit that it is given. Criticizing someone for the sake of criticism?
Ali
November 27, 2012 12:34 pm
A shia would stand by this article. Because these fashion shows and show of extravagence defeat the purpose. These people have forgotten about the reason they commemorate Moharram. They have forgotten the reason they were handed over this great responsibility. This author isnt showing any disrespect but he is only preserving the Ideals of Ashura and Majalis.
Some one with concern
November 27, 2012 10:47 am
On a general note dupatta's are a thing of the past, in the name of modernisation and liberalism we will eventually see ladies with bikini's on Eid ??
dogar
November 27, 2012 10:49 am
Ironically you are also trying to suppress someone else's freedom!!!!! and for God sake try to be a little bit more sensible in drawing some analogy.
SB
November 29, 2012 2:44 pm
Does it mean a person who does not mourn dont respect them?
Ali
November 28, 2012 9:22 pm
yes and the writer did not see that people in majlis still cry and pay tribute to Imam (a.s) like their forefathers did in past which is a good reflection of purity of their heart and soul affection towards Ahl-ul-Bayt. But he/she can only see outlook of people which is a materialistic approach.
Hassan
November 27, 2012 12:05 pm
My dear friend, the spirit of Shias for Muharram will never die and neither the Mournings will ever become hollow... Over the years, it has grown not just in Pakistan but globally... I am not sure what is your reference of judgement .... but trust me... its your dream that Azadari will ever fade....
Alien
November 30, 2012 7:18 pm
Dear Winston! In my view, It is not criticizing the people on what they wear in Muharram, it is analyzing a part of society forgetting about why actually they go to attend Muharrim majlis.
ali
November 27, 2012 1:35 pm
exactly thats my point of view. charity begins at home. Mindset is key to see the world.
Fareed (usa)
November 29, 2012 2:10 am
Little glamour breaks the monotony of grief. Nothing wrong with that Dress is still black. We are living in a changing world.Let the ladies decide.
khurram
November 29, 2012 1:33 pm
if u deeply studied the KARBALA, you would able to see the main cause behind it. KARBALA was not just the battle between two political groups, it was (and still, it is the on going) war between Right and Wrong. KARBALA is a living miracle. if u deeply ponder on it, its reality will be revealed upon u. think! how a small group of people (Imam Hussain, his family and few companions) fought with the super power of that time i.e. Yazeed`s Govt in order to revive the fundamentals of divine religion. and in course of battle, Imam Hussain and his companions were brutally eliminated, but history and time(more that 1400 years) prove that the eternal victory is for rightous people, who were devoted themselves to the religion of god(Allah). and from that time and till the day of judgement, His (Imam Hussain) name will be the source of courage, hope and struggle for all the people(beyond the boundaries of religion) of the world
Hassan
November 27, 2012 11:58 am
Thank you Rehan, I appreciate your comments, I 10000% agree with you...
GhostRider
November 27, 2012 1:19 pm
how do you know author is a bro...it can be a sis
abbastoronto
November 27, 2012 2:46 pm
The truth shall set you free.
Ali
November 28, 2012 9:32 pm
then tell me about growing beard , doing miswak, keeping salwar above takhna ect ect .
zeeshan
November 27, 2012 2:32 pm
i Wonder y we dont even ponder to read before objecting a sensible point.no one is saying anything about peaceful or non peaceful procession or will it ever fade
Shia woman
November 27, 2012 9:32 am
Moharram mourning will never be hollow. So you stop worrying about it. Just google largest peaceful gathering in history and you will get the answer to your query!
Ahmed
November 30, 2012 8:24 pm
I completely agree with u.
A s ahmed
November 27, 2012 10:50 pm
What's wrong with looking pretty? Women are born to shop.
shabbir
November 29, 2012 10:24 am
Taha this mourning is a matter of heart and of that individual. I also do not advocate being extravagant and being a show off in majlis and yes simplicity, humility is the essence. but at the same time i also wont point finger to someone who has come to majlis wearing designer clothes. Its a matter of affection, aza between me and my Shaheed Imam (as) and has nothing to do with clothes that i wear in majlis
Aq
November 29, 2012 12:50 pm
no objections, just observation. The essence is simplicity, which can be distingushed from fashion.
Cyrus Howell
November 28, 2012 3:19 am
How the world now sees you: Al-Jazeera Nov. 26 2012 "In the days leading up to the religious holiday of Ashura, leading members of the Pakistani Shia community in Pakistan received anonymous text messages warning of violence to come: "Kill, Kill, Shia". In recent years, Ashura - which not long ago throughout the country was an occasion which Sunnis, Shias and others among Pakistan's ethno-religious milieu would commemorate together in harmony - has become an annual flashpoint in Pakistan's increasingly sectarian and violent religious culture. Tragically, and despite high-profile efforts by the government to clamp down on the ability of militants to target worshippers such as the limitating cellphone service and banning of motorcycles from public roads during the holiday, this year's Ashura in Pakistan signified a continuation of the country's spiral into self-destructive communal violence."
faisal
December 3, 2012 7:58 pm
cant understand ..wht they bring from majlis ,,,,that is not justification...fashion or education
Shia woman
November 27, 2012 9:30 am
All people who are giving comments which are agaisnt the Moharram majlish (gathering) need to know that these majlis are part of our life, the author is just pointing towards women who spend so much money on getting black clothes ready for majlis. I agree with the author but you should also visit majlis in area which belong to low income people, you wont find anything like that. I guess you should have mentioned it as well. Let people wear what they want to , at least these women are wearing black and not some bright colours as a respect of moharram.
KLSaigol
November 29, 2012 2:30 am
May be ladies are getting bit tired of wearing black the whole month - they are adding little'spice' to their dresses. We should appreciate it.
shirin
November 27, 2012 1:33 pm
Answer: A good shia momin. As the prophet said "Never put loyalty above truth. It is the root cause of evil". And yes, Pakistanis have gone way overboard with their love for clothes. I go to a shia mosque in US, where the majority are Arabs and Iranians, and more Americans than Pakistanis. Result is that every body is in a simple ..very simple..black abaya, or long kurtas. Everybody does hijab with zero exception as women are in the same prayer room. The masjid is very simple and humble with no fancy decorations. Very simple. The food, if served, is very simple.
Wicked Makri
November 27, 2012 10:19 am
Not one word on what men are wearing or supposed to wear !! U think Allah cares about what his believers are wearing ???
Saleem
November 28, 2012 9:54 am
Why the writer spotted mourn and what is the rezone to point out someone or community. Is there anything else in this country to talk and I think now they are targeting by different way and means to a particular sect. Who’s behind this? Instigating to innocent people of this poor country against other, this is none of there business. Who ware what and how they perform their religious events. Why the writer is entrusted and what is the agenda
Noor
November 28, 2012 9:21 am
If it was just like this then Haj would not have required people to wear specific piece of clothing, we all would have gathered in shorts, t-shirts, bikinis, puffing on cigarettes and sipping on chai kahwa whatever....our religion has a way of teaching things and there is something called "Adab-e-Mehfil". If we start listening to your attitude of lets take a chill pill n be open minded, don a bikini and attend a majlis then God save this religion...
Dawood
November 28, 2012 8:30 am
The real concept of the Divine Religion of Islam does not allow to look like the non believers even if the act may be ok as the writer agrees the Hindus and Christians wear black and white respectively to mourn, so why do the Muslims do it... I am not sure Islam has much room for symbolism but the Shia sect has a a lot of room for it as i could see it on the tv this time at least....and to personify past incidents in a dramatic manner is also something the real teachings of Islam wont approve of along with self-infliction. I am not instigating a controversy but thats what i have learnt from my little knowledge of Islam...
abbastoronto
November 27, 2012 2:25 pm
Truth must be told.
Zain
November 27, 2012 2:27 pm
A very good article indeed. It is not about being a leftist of a right winger, the ideas have died in this era. However, it is not just about Moharram, it is applicable to the Pakistani thought as a whole. Where we all are so much concerned about the irresponsible government behavior, we ourselves are in deep complexes of the society. Whether men or women, everyone seems to have this inner will to show off. Inevitably, the same thought has infiltrated the communal thought and hence, is evident. It has more to do with the extravagant tradition than to do with a specific month of a festival.
rehan
November 27, 2012 9:55 am
I am not a Shia , but i find this article very offensive and insensitive !
Ayaz
November 27, 2012 5:11 pm
What's the problem in combining faith with fashion?
Leftist
November 27, 2012 9:52 am
oh come on !!! what is to you if anybody is not being conservative, you are not responsible for them nor you will be asked about others deeds on the day of judgement. Please show tolerance, we desperately need it here in Pakistan !
Muba Khan
November 27, 2012 4:03 pm
Really? Why don't you wear some shorts and a t-shirt on your next prayer at a local mosque and see how well that goes. Allah does care about what his believers wear, various verses in Quran and Ahadith's are on this topic. Do some research please!
shout4animals
November 28, 2012 11:40 am
wow!! You have got be kidding me!! Just coz i said be open minded ... you straight away went to wearing bikini while performing hajj?? what is the matter with you?? All i'm saying is that we all are answerable to our own actions. You don't know what's running in other person's mind!!! That is something for Allah to decide. You attend majlis to learn & improve your ways of thinking.
Noor
November 28, 2012 7:06 am
I think you missed the point of the article all together. Author is highlighting the very fact that real soul and purpose of majlis is now being lost to worldly things like feast of a meal and women dressing un appropriately. I can understand you are hurt being a female, but there is a reason why islam preaches "Pardah".
Hashim
November 27, 2012 2:48 pm
The author of this article has tackled a very important and crucial issue. If there is a death in our family, how many of us would care about our clothes? But upon brutal massacre of the Prophet's(PBUH) grandson, we see an outburst of fashion shows in several(not all) majalis. Know whose majlis you are going to. Know that Rasool Allah(Saw) wept over his grandson before this tragedy actually happened. Know that it is the majlis of the one who when was struck with arrows during namaz. And know that Hussain(AS) did not give his life away for these fashion shows.
Fida Hussain
November 27, 2012 1:46 pm
I do agree with the point you have raised. Month of Moharram should not become a symbol of fashion and people must comprehend the philosophy behind wearing black dresses. Thanks a lot for raising the issue.
Da-ood
November 27, 2012 2:50 pm
we Pakistanis? ok so 180 million of us are homogeneous. Didn't realise that all my life.
Umar Khalid
November 27, 2012 4:21 pm
Taqi Abbas's comment is the best logical & rational comment on this article.
Meher
November 27, 2012 12:39 pm
From one shia to another, what kind of shia puts up an article like this and opens the community to ridicule or are you not aware of the dynamics of the country? Never heard the phrase- don`t wash your laundry in public
A
November 27, 2012 3:19 pm
People should stop to judge each and every matter. Why does everyone have to see what others are wearing or what they do.. Sorry but it is more important how characters of people are- if we imrove our characters we also don't have false intentions...
Grow Up
November 27, 2012 8:12 am
Average people always talk about people. Mosques were the centre of alll activities in the era of Prophet(S.A.W.W). Even the marriages used to take place at mosques , where a simple nikah followed by a simple meal was called a marriage. Now all Muslims, Shia or Sunni, rent marriage halls and total expenditures reach around a minimum of 1 million even though Pakistan is a poor country. Just the stage costs around 50,000 to 5 lac rupees or even more. Please stop being standard bearers for taking responsibility to 'address' every other issue. Freedom of speech can do wonders if people stop being concerned about every other person around them. Start from within, and you will be able to see and point out many beautiful aspects.
Omi
November 27, 2012 9:25 am
sadly but it is true :(
Rf
November 27, 2012 9:36 pm
A fashion parade indeed! It's ironically sad, but then how will the young ladies get married if they don't dress up :)
Rayhan Khan
November 27, 2012 4:45 pm
A beautiful story but it has nothing to do with being Pakistani or Indian. It is human nature and exists in all cultures. I live abroad and have friends in all type of races and nations including Desi(bangali, Indian) and non-desis. It exists in every culture where people poke their noses in others businesses or freedom so you kinda killed your beautiful story and showed a narrow mindset with the sense of your anti-paki comments.I hope you bring good stories with wide mind and extended exposure of the world in future. Good Luck!
Ali Barket
November 27, 2012 4:45 pm
yes indeed it is sad. Women spend more time and money in buying clothing for Muharram than on EID. Another sad thing is that families be looking for their future daughter-in-laws while they are sitting in the majalis.
Zulfiqar
November 28, 2012 6:52 am
Well whoever written this is very close minded and conservative person- in our asian society or in a small world clothes, fashion, car, money are more important then human being - I beleive azadar -e- Hussain can belong to any part of society and allowed to dressed up as he/she liked, there is no harm adopting fashion in Muharram. Muharram is about self control- Its like Human cannot deny or give up being a muslim in any circumstances and Imam Hussain is our role model if our Imam can do it we can do it! Clothes, food, Fashion are secondary and not important and it has no effect- the main thing is how strong your faith would be after each year! One should be covered and if clothes are nice and presentable it has no effect on religion and faith!!! And one more thing "Its a miracle of Imam Hussain that most fashionable people are also attaracted towards religion and arrange gatherings for Imam and get chance to hear something about religion" otherwise people never read or listen anything related to religion as its seems old fashioned for them! But Imam Hussain (as) and Azadari is always new and attracts everyone !
Assad
November 27, 2012 3:37 pm
To those commenting about why a Shia should not have put this article up must realize that this problem exists among both the Shias and Sunnis (I myself am a Sunni). Extravagance and show-off are the hallmark of Pakistaniat now and it transcends the sectarian divide. People are tripping over each other to show off how much more than can lavish on weddings, milad, majalis and what not. Time for us to take stock of what is real and what isn't.
Cyrus Howell
November 28, 2012 2:57 am
Correct. We are not born to fulfill other people's expectations of us. A brilliant religion has been turned into a pecking order for busybodies.
BRR
November 27, 2012 4:31 pm
One might not want to emulate others, but decrying someone for being better dressed, is like competing to see who is more conservatively dressed. The writer seems to want people to be conservatively dressed, and not well dressed according to his definitions. It should be clear that there can be a competition on his side too - where one competes to be more conservatively dressed than the other. So where does competition stop. We have enough pakistanis competing with each other on being a better muslim - some even kill others to show that they are better muslims. Please stop this competition. Live and let live.
Goga Nalaik
November 27, 2012 12:02 pm
Thanks for your attempt in trying to bring us on the 'other side of road'. Mind broadens with Education and unfortunately in a country where literacy ratio is still under 50%, it will take us Decades to reach the 'other side of road'
Ahmed
November 27, 2012 8:35 pm
Read the Quran and find out. Or femember this simple rule of being well-dressed which is basically similar to what the Quran says about dress: You are well-dressed if what you wear does not draw attention to you from others. Pakistani "elite" are in this way among the worst dressed people on earth. Because they are so egotistical they try to draw attention to themselves in whatever way they can. This includes wearing the hijab in the west because if they dressed like normal people here no one would give them a second glance.
Natasha
November 28, 2012 11:57 am
Donating blood is a noble thing. But ye forget there are 365 days in a year, if you take out out 10 main days of muharram, you still will be left with 355 days to donate blood whenever you want.
Cyrus Howell
November 28, 2012 2:06 am
Mothers are good at forbidding. That is their job. There was a man in Manilla, the Philippine Islands, who was nailed to the cross four years in a row in the biggest Easter Passion of Christ procession in the city streets of that great city. He carried the cross and lived through the pain and the passion of Jesus of Nazareth for four years. In the fifth year he told people, "I cannot do this anymore." Jesus was crucified only once. It makes a person wonder why so many feel they must suffer for their religion.
Cyrus Howell
November 28, 2012 2:23 am
You can take the boy out of India, but you can't take India out of the boy. If Indians and Pakistanis would stop trying to prove their superiority there would be fewer problems between the two. After the day of Imam Ali's death the split between Sunni and Shia has always been about power - not religion. That is what Arab history teaches us. The Sunnis are not killing because of religious beliefs. Don't be fooled even for one minute.
Cyrus Howell
November 28, 2012 2:09 am
Well, it is hard for us to take our noses out of other people's business isn't it? Some of us were born to spy.
IndianAdvice
November 27, 2012 9:03 am
I am reminded of the beautiful zen story, The Burden, which goes like this...... Two monks were returning to the monastery in the evening. It had rained and there were puddles of water on the road sides. At one place a beautiful young woman was standing unable to walk across because of a puddle of water. The elder of the two monks went up to a her lifted her and left her on the other side of the road, and continued his way to the monastery. In the evening the younger monk came to the elder monk and said, “Sir, as monks, we cannot touch a woman ?” The elder monk answered “yes, brother”. Then the younger monk asks again, “but then Sir, how is that you lifted that woman on the roadside ?” The elder monk smiled at him and told him ” I left her on the other side of the road, but you are still carrying her.” Why you Pakisthani's have such narrow mindset and cant tolerate Freedom of someone else. If you don't like something, its your mind problem no hers.
nasir gilgit baltistan
November 28, 2012 6:46 am
ap shayad Shayad pata nhe hay k Muharam ma black dress banany say kitna ziada Economy ma azafa hota hy.
Cyrus Howell
November 28, 2012 1:53 am
Isn't it obvious Allah lets all of us choose our own path - for good or for evil. That is the whole point of religion. Only the rich ones want to make us believe otherwise. It is the ultra religious of any faith who want to impose One Voice on all voices. If you'll pardon my pun, they will use every trick in the book to accomplish that goal. People who cannot see the game being played on them are truly waiting for Allah to solve all their problems on earth.
Cyrus Howell
November 28, 2012 1:36 am
More than in any other country in the world Pakistan is the Great Muslim Board Game. The first words out of a baby's mouth are, "Who's better?" " We have enough pakistanis competing with each other on being a better Muslim..." Yes. The very first thing I noticed about Pakistanis living in Britain. No. Please. There will never be enough Pakistanis competing with each other as Muslims. It is Pakistan's national sport.
syed baqar ahsan
November 28, 2012 1:12 pm
my comments not appeared were they too bad, Muharram- faith or fashion,strong objection on the title ,it really hurt me.
Nigah
November 28, 2012 4:28 am
Completely agree with Fapps. Also think that criticism should best be made on the forums we have, i.e., our Majalis, This article does not help our cause. The author is apparently speaking from her personal experience which might not represent the majority. At least it does not represent my experiences. There is too much generalization in here. Religion talks about simplicity every where, and not particularly when mourning. Fashion and large feasts of the sorts described in the article would be religiously inappropriate at weddings as well. So the message should not be limited to Majalis only.
Mustafa Razavi
November 27, 2012 9:14 pm
Looking good has always been important for sinf-e-nazook.Everybody has their idea of what is proper for a majlis. The holy prophet has already said what needs to be said about matters such as these: "My ummah will take the middle path", in short moderation. You don't have to dress like the shuada did in Karbala, but don't make a cat walk out of a majlis.
Omi
November 28, 2012 3:49 am
yeh its true but i guess author had a limited perspective and just focus on posh areas as middle and lower middle ladies could afford these types of fashions.
Azad Qalamdaar
November 28, 2012 10:15 am
all these muharram, ramzan, rabi-ul-awwal exhibitionism got nothing to do with any spirituality or other oft-cited exalted ideals.. dhanda hai sub dhanda.. religion sells! big-time!
Cyrus Howell
November 28, 2012 1:26 am
No political system can take away a woman's most basic right. The right to shop.
shabbir
November 29, 2012 10:05 am
Frankly speaking I didnt understood the purpose of this article. Mourning of Shaheed Imam (as) is a matter of heart and of that particular individual. Let it remain between him and his Shaheed Imam instead of discussing it with a totally different and irrelevant perspective. You cannot ask someone to not mourn because she is wearing a designer cloth or niaz wont serve the purpose if more than 2 dishes are offered. After all purity of heart is only known by Allah and we are nobody to judge that. And yes title is misleading as well !!!!!
amir
November 28, 2012 8:51 am
I would like to see your sis in a mini skirt and then repeat the Qs: Do you care ?
Cyrus Howell
November 28, 2012 1:24 am
There is nothing wrong. It is just a girly thing. Women dress to please each other and will dress up at any occasion. They will also have their little girls looking perfect. This is the woman's realm in places where tending to the family is all women do.
ahsan rizvi
November 28, 2012 1:24 am
well said zehra
rizwan
November 27, 2012 8:27 am
MashALLAH you have such a nice thoughts bro... ,may ALLAH give us real essence of ISLAM. I hope most of the Muslims will follow simplicity not the trend after reading this lesson... ALLAH Bless you
Gary Sahi
November 28, 2012 1:13 am
Ayaz, It is high time that feelings come back in fashion.
Syedsaki
November 28, 2012 1:34 pm
I meant to click like, but my fat fingers clicked unlike, sorry...but I liked your comment cause its true. Here in the USA,we have all manner of dressings & styles. We have different sects come, like Arabs & Persians who don't even wear shalwar khameez, they wear skirts & jeans. We have non-Shias...who are just interested in learning, whose to say whose mourning is more "Qubool"? Everything on us Shias is picked on.....our azadari, our namaz, now this author has planted another seed of discord into our majlises, by labeling people who dress & serve good food as vain. Good job.
ali
November 27, 2012 9:22 pm
actually writer is confuse . Probably he likes old style of dikhawa and people are performing new type of show. the show making people are hardly 2 or 3 % and he is after them. he is not able to see the other 98 % .
khizar khan
November 28, 2012 12:38 pm
Only God knows about the heart/internal feelings of every human being...
Adeel
November 28, 2012 10:22 am
good observation...atlast someone has spoken on this issue...i have personally observed it in our society...mourning should not be like a fashion show...but we Pakistanis can't live without showing off even on such sacred occasions!
Samar
November 28, 2012 10:10 am
I'm rather impressed by the author's naivety over the very basic elements of female psychology - the urge to show off at every given chance. Perhaps majalis are your only source of exposure and you haven't attended funerals of the rich. People who can't get enough of their status advertisement 'celebrate' funerals like mehndis. Don designer labels, eat a grand buffet and sit on fancy chairs. Why would you mention this only in relation to a "majlis"? Perhaps because Majlis is the spice that would sell it.
Syedsaki
November 27, 2012 7:22 pm
What's wrong w/looking well,stylish, & up to date. Who says you have to sit in uncomfortable clothes that are unflattering to you, I know I would feel subconscious the whole time if I was wearing something that was unfitted, especially when I knew people like you who have a short attention span are staring. And btw, it's Sawab to feed an azadar. The azadar is supposed to be respected & catered to, for they are coming out of their way, to give pursa to the Ahlul Bayt. So people will feed however much they can afford. Would you rather a rich family serve nothing cause they are too cheap to give out food. Your analysis is waaaaaay off, you should be thankful & proud that businesses are finally providing for Shia consumers
Batool Bano Rizvi
November 27, 2012 7:02 pm
WTH .i am shia and sorry to say the author of this article is wrong. plz for God sake LIVE AND LET OTHERS LIVE....hmmm.... stop creating PETTY ISSUES woman.. how much time u ve got... God...
Ali
November 27, 2012 11:33 pm
To each his own , if some one wants to dress up fashionably for an event then so be it thats her choice and you have a choice not to do it. People need to grow up.
Yusuf
November 28, 2012 12:07 am
So now we are having problems with the way ppl dress?
Ahmed
November 27, 2012 9:26 pm
Islam teaches us to pray for the deceased whether at home or in group. Indeed what happened in Karbala is one of the greatest tragedies ever seen by mankind. Our actions to the contrary meaning doing anything except prayers would tantamount to diversion for ourselves and for others and it may lead to one “gunnah” after another. We may actually become a huge distraction and not let other people offer prayers for the departed soul. I love Sunnis and Shias however Islam is beyond Sunnism and Shiaism...it is “Just Islam” I hope we all understand the basics of our Deen. Ameen. Please click on likes if you like the message and spread it around. Thanks.
Taqi
November 28, 2012 9:47 am
This might be a very rare case as everyone saw Muharram processions and majalis on several TV channels but haven't observed such thing. The main responsibility lye on those people who are aware of its consequences. They should think in a solution oriented way rather than dancing around the fire. Societies collapse when the intellectuals and educated take a side and don't play any role in the uplifting of values and norms.
Syed Asghar Hussain
November 28, 2012 6:40 am
Whatever you call it - commercialism, capitalism or exhibitionism - it's true for many religious events nowadays. The same thing happens in Ramadan or Baqr-eid, for that matter. The show-off and extravagant factors are so obvious, you can't ignore it. The real message or purpose is completely lost. 'Designer Labels' rule. If you can afford it, you buy it and make your class statement. It's for the men by the men - God is no longer part of the equation.
M Danish
November 28, 2012 1:18 pm
I don't know who the Meem Fay is ... but i know that the media people for the sake of good ratings ... have only highlighted the negative aspects in each and everything. Being a writer for dawn you can write more useful than this. I have never seen the dressing discussed above in Rawalpindi, Islamabad or Peshawar at least. I don't know why Pakistani media people always look for the negative aspects always. "daal chawal" for what ??? If one can give better than daal chawal then whats is bad in this ? he/she can give. Sick thinking ... If I raise the point regarding your tag line ... Meem Fay is a diabolic angel always on an eye-chase for sensitive issues. I don't think its true. Whats the logic of hiding your name ????????? I hope you will write better for your society.
Cyrus Howell
November 28, 2012 2:45 am
The men who wrote them, not Allah cared. As I recall Allah had never spoken to Caliph Osman and his scholars. From God's mouth to their ears, no doubt. Even God no longer has the Word of God. Men have taken it from him to make God deaf, dumb and blind to what they are doing.
Chaigram
November 27, 2012 2:40 pm
I would like to share a discussion regarding serving fancy food ( Biryani, qurma gulab jamans etc etc ..) at religious functions including majlises. Why is it expected to serve plain food in the name of Allah but OK to serve lavish dinners at parties(or marriage reception) where rich guests are invited? The important thing is the niyat and affordability of the invitee. What he wishes to spend or serve in the name of Allah (as long as he does not beg or borrow) is the sign of his love for God.
Cyrus Howell
November 28, 2012 2:11 am
" The truth shall set you free, but first it will make you miserable."
anon
November 27, 2012 1:14 pm
There were many atrocities committed during Moharram this year and it is difficult to understand why this was the one you chose to write about.
Ahmed
November 27, 2012 8:31 pm
Religion itself is a fashion in Pakistan.
mirasha
November 28, 2012 2:27 am
Why limit this discussion to Majalis? If its acceptable to objectify women in the name of liberalism, then its only a matter of time to surreptitiously makes its way into the peoples heart and minds in all occasions. In any religion or culture, unscientific modernity leads to eventual debauchery. Instead of contributing to advancement of mankind and dedicating ones life to advance ones scientific and scholarly faculties, failed societies generally fall prey to exhibitionism and showing off faculties that are utterly useless and akin to intellectual retardation. If you cant understand this, well, continue watching what the media offers. Besides, Muslims who want to emulate the wests controversial pursuits should be allowed to convert to other religions, rather than corrupt and pollute the word of truth.
Noor
November 28, 2012 7:13 am
No Mr yousuf. Problem is "Dress to Occassion". Why don't people walk into an interview wearing a short and T?
Nadeem
November 28, 2012 12:11 pm
In every society, the upper class is not much concerned over religious beliefs and values. The same might have happened to the upper class of shiite. However, I believe that the comments / opinion of the author do not reflect the picture of most of Shia families. The type of food narrated by the author is not available in all niaz menus rather perhaps in only upper class gatherings. So before writing on religoius gatherings, one should be cautious as such articles only highlight the negative aspects followed by meager number of people and result in shame to the members of entire society belonging to the sect / religion. The practices of average people or most of the people if discussed and highlighted are welcomed which also result is bringing positive changes. Alas, we have got the right of freedom of expression but not the wisdom to exercise it in meaningful manner.
baumesh
November 28, 2012 9:43 am
the same manner if girls like not to wear burqa/veil and likes to wear jeans..skirt etc then so be it thats their choice....pakistani need to grow up...
Fapps
November 27, 2012 5:53 pm
Who decides on how one should commemorate Muharram? The past? Our ancestors? Please try not to object on ones intentions, for only Allah knows what's in their heart! Stop preaching on the rights and wrongs of ones belief. The message of Muharram goes far and beyond how people should dress up or what food should be served at the majalis. This is a time of reflection on the sacrifices that were made by the Imam, his family and followers. Please try to ponder on the reasons that bring us to these events.
Akhter.
November 28, 2012 9:42 am
Islam is not confined in dresses and appearances; making appearance good is other thing and making mind to mourn and understand the cause is another thing. In fact the level and standards of tolerances the hardships have been changed for human.
rana
November 27, 2012 1:51 pm
Meem Fay spoke the truth and not that the rest of us are not aware of Muharram being sabotaged by consumerist.
imran
November 27, 2012 11:39 pm
Why people become too judgmental when it comes to religion.belief and dress is personal.I dont care what some one think about it and I dont care what some one is wearing and believing.
Haq nawaz
November 28, 2012 3:01 pm
Wearing black is not favorite in our religion but it is a sign of Grief and Mourning, We Show that since Our Imam A.S and His Family was Martyred and the army of Yazeed (So Called Muslims) torchered the Family of Imam A.S, by many ways. The other section of society is present in all religions whom does have no interest with any belief or thoughts but they are just the Slave of their Wishes, You can found them in any Religion or Sect So never ever apply their deeds in the name of Religion or Faith.
Mohammad Rafay
November 27, 2012 8:21 am
Great observation! Nice work. may ALLAH bless you
nasir
November 27, 2012 10:13 pm
in my view, it is not a good idea to buy new cloths, but if some people do it, i consider it like stages of love to Ahle bait in different stages. those who wear block cloth as a symbol or solidarity to sad day. is a love to ahlebait in low level. and those who use old dress and prefer to condole to Ahle bait is alove at high stage.
syed baqar ahsan
November 28, 2012 4:20 am
You had only one aspect in mind to pen down.The mothers of teen age girls always make lot of dresses with lot of purpose, one to take them to majlis because in this age majlis is not the attraction for very young lot ,so due to dresses they are moved and the come back after learning from the occasions and secondly this going is of two months so definitely large numbers is required.Mostly during this period the mothers/sisters of boys are also on the look out for the girls to get them married with their sons/brothers.Definitely this happens after the months of muharran and safar.So nothing bad in it to dress up in good out fit.I think this critic has only one aspect where as cloth makers,sellers,taliors do big business or it is a rosegar for a large base.
khurram
November 27, 2012 2:08 pm
i think, this article is only projecting or narrating us the condition/ norm of the so called gentry of our society. this gentry has its own norms. irrespective to their belongings to any sect, they are always concious of thier own personal status and outlook. on the other hand, if someone thinks that muharram majalis are becoming hollow ritual and losing its spirtuality. he or she is absolutely wrong. you can see, despite all the threats which are often of massive destruction, azadars (with their complete family including women and children) attend these majalis and jaloos with the spirit which is unspeakable/unmatchable to any worldly event.
Umar Khalid
November 27, 2012 4:37 pm
As "Meem Fay" is a diabolic angel , his views are also diabolic. When devoutly angel comes diabolic angel faces disgrace...
Muba Khan
November 27, 2012 4:06 pm
I'm not a Shia either but find this article a face of reality. Check out Amir Liakat's prg on muharam and you'll see why every word of this article relates to our society on its way of self destruction.
Da-ood
November 27, 2012 2:45 pm
Oh come on!!! What is it to you if someone exercise his/her right to free speech! you won't be held responsible for what they say. Please show tolerance for other people's opinions. We desperately need it here in Pakistan.
Naila
November 27, 2012 8:34 pm
Neither, I would say!
Cyrus Howell
November 28, 2012 3:34 am
Every politician must place loyalty above the truth or be out of business.
Zehra
November 27, 2012 3:55 pm
I completely 100% agree with this article. I was, as the author put it, born in a traditional shia family and we actually never eat meat during the first 10 days, don't go out at all till 8th rabi ul awal and my mother actually forbade me to wear black other than muharrum. Being brought up with all of this means that I actually am very sensitive to the topic of Ashura and the Ahl al Bayt's sufferings. Nowadays, however, it is not uncommon to go to a majlis and find that all the girls there have their hair perfectly straightened and flowing around their shoulders. The essence of the majlis is still there but think about how depressed we get when a member of our family passes away. Shouldn't we extend the same curtesy to the sufferings of the Ahl al Bayt (as)?
Raza
November 27, 2012 7:06 pm
Sweetie my dear, you seem to have studied Milton more than Prophet Mohammad (SAWW). I suggest you either stick to it or do some serious research on what the Prophet (SAWW) uses to do and wear. And while you're at it do look up the concept of bida'a in Islam. Might compel you to reconsider some things you might be a part of. And Meem, one correction here. It was in fact the Prophet (SAWW) not his family that first recited the Shahadat of Imams Hussain (AS) and cried over it. This is well documented even in some Sunni Sahih books.
abdul rahim
November 27, 2012 6:51 pm
I am from Bahrain and today while I was chatting with my colleagues at my university, they asked me if I had been to their matams. The food was amazing. They had prawn biryani, and meat biryanis. They actually were commenting at the huge quantity of food that was available during the aashoora and there was a lot of wastage. I guess what the writer describes and what I heard makes sense. The condolence period in "NOW OVER" for the imams Hussain and Hassan death and the time to move on has come.
Cyrus Howell
November 28, 2012 2:52 am
The whole history of the Hebrew people shows how God punishes those who fall away from him. It is never a pretty sight. They were so sure of themselves!
Anonymous
November 28, 2012 9:29 am
Dear Hassan, I dont remember posting a comment dreaming that Azadari would fade away. Thats your judgement and you have right to your views. The essence of someones intent can be guaged by the persons deeds. Flashing up in a Muharram majlis...as the writer says just does not add up to the rituals of Muharram. Thats why I consider them as hollow and I stand by it. I consider the same for people queing up at fancy restaurants during Ramadan, skipping prayers for gluttony. Filled stomachs, hollow spirits. Ms. Shia lady, googled as advised....the most peaceful gathering was indeed a muharram event in Karbala in 2012, but since I live in Pakistan, I was more interested in the most peaceful event here...and the same list suggests it was a tableeghi event in Raiwand. Just stating facts...not drawing any conclusions.(source wikipedia)
BRR
November 27, 2012 4:37 pm
A saint who is naked in front of god would be a sinner in your world. Wah! judging people by their clothes! So typical.
Asma
November 27, 2012 10:13 pm
Whats wrong in being stylish? Please stop criticizing people and pay attention to the real problems. We are living in a country where people can kill each other to save the great Qila of Islam.
Noor
November 28, 2012 7:10 am
Mate, just by watching Western Channels, one should not start acting like one, and start using words like "Medieval" without knowing what it means. Madonna performs vulgar acts wearing a cross on state performances so do you have a suggestion on how this should be followed by the young generation?
zeeshan
November 27, 2012 2:38 pm
there is no need to google for something that is openly available in media LIVE ,remember the result the peaceful processions brought to a place named BOULTON market.
Bhatti
November 28, 2012 7:25 am
To dress up to mourn does not fit together at all. If you will mourn, you will concentrate on the core of issue for which you mourn and not on your outfit how you should look like. But if you have other motives such as to be spotted during mourning sermons then it is different story. Mourning demand simplicity and devotion. However I wish to know why black colour has been selected to mourn as it was used in other culture and relegions long time before the incidence of Karbala.
Ray Hay
November 28, 2012 7:23 am
@Shahzad.... The azadari was actually started by Bibi Zainab (AS) immediately after Karbala. This was when the family of Imam Hussain was being taken from Karbala to Shaam. It was intended to spread the message of Karbala and let people know how great a sacrifice Imam Hussain did for Islam. Also, there have been examples of mourners (among the family) beating their heads to mourn. Hadith and Quran came before Karbala so obviously there should not be anything relating to the way you mourn. There are lots of information and knowledge in the books.....of both Sunnis and Shias.
Taqi Abbas
November 27, 2012 2:38 pm
Dear 'concerned' Author: 1. Had your intentions been pure, you would never put a Fashion Image from google. 2. You didn't mention what YOU wear to the majaalis? because sincere Hijaab observers never explore shortcomings of others and do not publicize them. For this, there is no compulsion on being a shia or sunni. 3. It appears as if you had to go to a majlis not by your own will, but your mother-in-law took you there. 4. In this 'discovery', you fail to point out that a large number of women actually start observing proper sharyee hijaab after attending a few majaalis in which lecturers discuss the importance of hijaab for both men and women.
Khurram
November 28, 2012 7:45 am
After going through the comments, I am writing a consolation message for the author ??? ??? ?????? ?? ???? ??????? ??? ???? ????? ??? ??? ?????? ?? ??? ???
Ali
November 28, 2012 11:51 am
I think it's not the dress or physical apperance that matters. That feeling is in your heart. I am sorry but I think it's not appropriate to look into these things. It's up to the individual coming to the majlis, the way he/she dresses. Ofcourse one should dress appropriately , but then again we are no one to judge people on the basis of their clothes or the meals they are giving in the majalis. Isn't it possible that a person from a good financial background is attending a majlis with old worn out clothes?, but he/she is not attending it for the sake of the 'real purpose'?, but just for show off?. I have seen people coming in red clothes to majlis with far better believes and thoughts than that of an individual with plain clothes ( or whatever the criteria you mentioned), and about the "niaz" , it should be the BEST, since it is given in their (imam's) name ( just to add in your good religious knowledge) Let people live the way they want to !
Tehseen Baber
November 27, 2012 4:17 pm
Now a days fashion has entered in every religion, people dress according to the fashion to look more attractive, the concept of simplicity is very far behind of it.
Cyrus Howell
November 28, 2012 2:38 am
You can't if you have something to hide.
fbn2
November 27, 2012 2:16 pm
Very very true! The simple 'sog' culture is now disappearing. People dressing up, laughing, being extravagant just to show their 'respect'. This isn't what it used to be few years back. :/
babu
November 28, 2012 2:24 pm
finally people become aware the economic benefits of religion,Deep south in India all temple towns like Madurai have booming clothing shops around the temple run by Muslims !! Muslims in Lucknow are the talented actors in plays of Mahabharata or Ramayana.....the list is endless .I want all to benefit and that is why i fear the talibinization of Islam.
Syed Taha Hasnain
November 28, 2012 9:49 am
I agree 100% with what the opinions expressed. It’s about the true Islamic beliefs for the most somber of occasions. It is to mourn. Simplicity, humility and selflessness is the essence. People who engage in such fashion/feasts have probably forgotten what Imam Ali (A.S) said regarding 'risk' (food) the gist of which is: If a person overeats or over indulges in eating, let them be reminded for every extra morsel he/she eats or wastes someone from Allah's creations goes hungry. As i read some of the comments by my Shia brethren, this thinking is not closed minded or conservative. The most fashionable people should gather and mourn in a manner not to cause ill feeling in their less fortunate brethren in terms of earning capacity in this world. They should not feel ashamed/concerned when going to Aazadari if their clothes are shabby/simple as compared to other people at a majlis. They should not be ashamed if they cannot order catered food at a majlis because of lack of worldly resources. You are mourning your Imams, who ate 'jau ki roti' and 'dates' as their evening meals. They wore the simplest of clothing. For their sake, people don’t turn this into a fashion statement or competition. The extra money you spend on fashion/caters would be well spent on charity to the less privileged.
hinduismglance
November 28, 2012 4:46 pm
How weird that humans live a split personality life.The self/soul or conscience tells you to do something in ideal ways but ignorance tell you to lie,hate and cheat.Humans find it very difficult to learn two things to Love all and to be 100% unselfish.For these two basic necessity we have so many Books,Gods,prophets, saviors,Gurus,Swami,Qazi,Rabbi,Pope,Pundits,Organizations,Temple,Churches,Mosque,Religious TV Channels,Website,Youtube channels,Taliban,Pakistani Army,Indian Army,American Army,Chinese Army,Pilgrimage,dress code,religious war and whole lot of unnecessary,time consuming,money consuming,wasteful drama. My favorite quote by Swami Vivekananda—Are you unselfish? That is the question. If you are, you will be perfect without reading a single religious book, without going into a single church or temple.
Cyrus Howell
November 28, 2012 3:10 am
"None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free." -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
ali
November 27, 2012 1:22 pm
Let me allow to clear your head Mr. conservative shia......why u were looking at those women when u were there for holy cause of moharram. secondly what about those men wear dashing armani dress in majlis instead of shalwar kamiz. and now your last point of view about food. read some history books in which u will find many majalis where people used to serve good food in majlis. Now in the old times Roh afzah drink and kheer in sweet dish was good food . today the food u mentioned is latest good food .Clearly , vulgarity lies in human mind . Clear the mind and u will see that the world is beautiful. Adapting to the modern world is the key to success. Those who did not change are only there in history books. So if u want to survive u have to change yourself.Otherwise i feel sorry for your type of people .
Abdul Hasan
November 27, 2012 10:31 am
what a beautiful story, thank you :)
GhostRider
November 27, 2012 1:20 pm
Majority of women wear abaya at muharam gathering...only if you could see and not object
Khurram Awan (@thekhomi)
November 28, 2012 5:19 am
You summed up the reason for your attitute in the statement ''I belong to the Shia community myself and have been brought up in a conservative family with strong religious beliefs''. Childhood indoctrination is very hard to escape. You've got to realize that you cannot criticize how others approach religious occasions or the religion itself. Your being self righteous while suggesting that only a particular way of clothes nad food should be served on majlises. Everything changes with time, and a living language, culture or religion is that which has the ability to adapt to the changing times. Young people are losing therei nterest in religion, as it is shown to be negatively correlated with the level of education. The churches in the West, in an attempt to have young followers, have started doing viriety shows and all that jazz in churches. And you expect lament our young generation for failing to observe Muharram as they did in medieval times? I'm afraid the truth is it's not going to happen, and if you have any afflication with the religious events like Muharram Majalis, you should be thankful they're still happening and quite a few young people are part of them. You cannot expect others to share your version of the right path, because everyone has full right to believe and practice religion how they see fit.
g.a.shirazi
November 28, 2012 2:29 am
It is all insecurity. Hafiz Shirazi was treated pretty badly when he came in ordinary outfit until he had a chage of wardrobe. Let us get real.
Shahzad Ghaffar
November 28, 2012 5:47 am
Well written.However,I disagree with your view that Azadari was started by the Prophet's (P.B.U.H) family.This tradition began quite some time after Hazrat Imam Hussain's (R.A) martyrdom.It is the biggest sacrifice in the history of Islam.But there is no concept of self-infliction of pain or torture in Hadit or Quran.We should all learn the lesson this great sacrifice gave to the world for all times to come.
S. Imam
November 28, 2012 5:44 am
And so is riding a car, using a cell phone. watching TV, travelling in airplane and using an internet because none of these things were used by our beloved prophet. Are you so ignorant that using black & white clothes are bidath for you?
GhostRider
November 27, 2012 1:17 pm
What a myopic view of life...does performing religious rituals in rags makes one a saint? and does performing them in prada outfit makes one a hypocrite? I just dont know whether to laugh at your intellect or cry at your shallowness. Just FYI cross the clifton bridge and you ll see the poor people doing muharam in a style advocated by you.
Syed Taha Hasnain
November 28, 2012 9:59 am
Thats exactly the point my friend. Each their own attitude is what Imam Hussain (A.S) was at Kerbala to stop. Otherwise, everyone was interpreting Islam the way he/she wanted, if not for Kerbala this attitude would have cost us Islam.
Adnan (USA)
November 27, 2012 8:48 pm
I am sure the eligible bachelors would take mourning easy ...gotta look good
Zafar Iqbal Tayyab
November 27, 2012 11:21 am
Great advice of Freedom, perhaps it would have even been greater had it been delivered first to the people who attacked two girls homes in recent past for just exchanging their honest views about the real cause of Shut Down. My brother its not charity alone begins at home humanity must come first.
Riz
November 27, 2012 9:05 pm
I don't think, you can revolve the orthodoxy or Conservative in this matter. Sometimes look things elegant when modest approach put on. Its not all about how you wear your dress or how you represent yourself, matter of fact this is all about how we behave & where we are behaving.
Farida
November 28, 2012 5:18 am
When we are going to grow up - another downside. Religion is for people not people is for Religion so allow people to lead their lives
ali
November 27, 2012 9:08 pm
Sorry Mr. Assad but delete the word pakistaniat because it is world wide attitude of people. pakistan is still most coservative society in the world and people commenting want even more but the world is moving in opposite direction i guess . Who will convince them . zalim samaj :D
zehra
November 27, 2012 3:28 pm
I agree with you meher
Batool Bano Rizvi
November 27, 2012 6:56 pm
I am a shia and this is nonsense. Please let live AND LET OTHERS LIVE. the author of this article is totally insane. such a petty article. i have nothing to say more.
khizar khan
November 28, 2012 12:40 pm
Cleanliness is half part of belief....
Anonymous
November 28, 2012 9:36 am
Not even the annual Hajj Pilgrimage?
BJ
November 27, 2012 9:10 pm
We muslims waste so much money in unnecessary things. Now why we should make TAJIAS and spend lot of money in decorating them and then throw them in water. Is this any kind of homage to our Imams? No. Instead feed the poor and needy with this money and Allah will bless you. And why we are beating our bodies and take out blood? I don't think Imam Hussain's soul will be happy with this instead donate your blood in a hospital and save some body's life and then again Allah will bless you. I hope people will understand this. May Allah show us the right path.
sweetie
November 27, 2012 4:14 pm
It's everyone's own mind , The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven..” ? John Milton, in fact new rituals are been added to our religion ,,,,,,,,,,,wearing black , white ,,,,,,this is was not at the time of Our Beloved Prophet (peace be upon him ) it's all baaydath ,May Allah guide us all on the right path .Ameen
Tabish Bilgrami
November 28, 2012 9:47 am
So true. Majalis are now more or less a social gathering where people meet, chat, look for new rishtas and have food. The real essence is lost... You have food served lavishly. I am a firm believer that if you are rich enough to afford all this, why not give away the food to poor people who don't get to eat food. Why not support a family which has widows or orphans. The people coming in the majalis already Masha allah get to eat good food and get to wear good clothes through out the year. Indeed a food for thought!!
Natasha
November 27, 2012 8:14 pm
Shouldn't you be concentrating more on the Majlis rather then observing what others are wearing. This hypocritical mentality of trying to prove yourself more righteous, pious and momin then others needs to go. A servant of Maula should not judge another servant .Let that be left to the Supreme authority.
Ehtisham
November 28, 2012 5:35 am
You clearly don't belong to the Shia community, or you would have brought this up on one of our private forums.
Mate
November 27, 2012 4:17 pm
I agree with you and the article as well.. @Meher: washing your laundry in public is one thing, but this also shows that we know there are some things that are out of line and we need to mend them. In essence it shows that Muharram is about simplicity and we shias know this. (but some, however, give the wrong impression. ) People notice the three course majalis and the fashionable ladies. These things, as Ali said: defeat the purpose of azadari and the tableegh of mission of Imam Hussain. This article rightly defends the actual mission of Imam Hussain A.S from an actual shia perspective.
Cyrus Howell
November 28, 2012 2:34 am
"Does performing religious rituals in rags makes one a saint?" Yes. It does. Does driving a Bentley make a Pakistani an Arab or an Indian an Englishman? Did Mother Teresa wear Paris fashions to minister to the poor, the sick, the hungry, the crippled and the lonely? She didn't need to. The ones who do need to. It is their greatest need.
Syed Jafri
November 27, 2012 8:18 pm
The biggest problem is women culture or nature, if any lady repeat dress or try do it simple other take it in negative. Men have no issues I have few dresses which I am using last five years or may be more in muharram but nobody care what I wear, I am sure women can not do that. When I come back from any event I not remember what other wear in event, but my wife can told what other ladies wear. Might be it is due to women nature they analyse deeply. This is also due to show off nature of our society. which we adopt in our every aspect of life. Seems nobody like simplicity. that also create problem.
Fay Ray
November 28, 2012 11:37 am
I see the writer's point of view but dont agree with everything said in the write-up. I bet the writer herself must have got atleast SOME clothes made for muharram - or does she still wear mini kameezs from 5 years ago which look completely out of place in 2012? Unfortunately, as sad and shallow as it sounds, you cant take fashion and trends out of every day life - I agree that majlises should not be used as a forum for showing off designer clothes and what not but there is nothing wrong with looking presentable (I understand that 'presentable' may mean different things for different people). Another thing is that I feel fashion is only so ardently followed in big cities in Pakistan. I do muharram in London and the imambargahs here have no fashion parades going on. Everyone is simply dressed in black. No one has any shame in repeating the few black kameezs and shawls they have every day. Mourning should be done in simplicity. Decking up and caking up for majlises is just not in line with the theme of what muharram stand for.
AbB
November 28, 2012 7:43 pm
Why to mourn the living and the praised..?
Tanweer
November 28, 2012 9:16 am
291 years after the karbala incident .......to be precise ...
Ali Ain
November 28, 2012 8:07 pm
I feel that the title is wrongly generalizing Moharram by the definite terms - as if either faith or fashion. I agree that there are a few people who CELEBRATE Moharam, rather than commemorating it; who are more concerned about showing off their wealth through the religious gatherings. I personally know a few families who host 'majalis' just as a social gathering, with a menu similar to that of a Valima. And their biggest concern is about inviting the 'chachi', 'khala' or other eminent ladies of THEIR class. But that is the story of A FEW families only. There's a greater number of people who attend these 'majalis' and processions with simplicity and religious devotion, while not caring about the class differences etc. [as somebody wrote "In every society, the upper class is not much concerned over religious beliefs and values."] I guess this is the same case here. So highlighting this issue with such sort of title is not appropriate.
Hamza
November 27, 2012 11:21 am
Yo respeck !!
Cyrus Howell
November 28, 2012 3:03 am
Young women and their mothers and grandmothers have been playing "dress up" since they were small girls. It is part of life all right, and religion doesn't mean a damn. Women are the same everywhere. The Mosque is where men go to pray - and also to socialize. That is life as well.
Saleem
November 28, 2012 5:06 pm
Why the writer spotted mourn and what is the rezone to point out someone or community. Is there anything else in this country to talk and I think now they are targeting by different way and means to a particular sect. Who’s behind this? Instigating to innocent people of this poor country against other, this is none of there business. Who ware what and how they perform their religious events. Why the writer is entrusted and what is the agenda
sf
November 28, 2012 5:05 am
I thought the rituals were forbiden in Islam, I am neither a shia nor sunni or any other sect, just Muslim, as Islam was intended to be.
Natasha
November 28, 2012 12:11 pm
Amir your comment shows your sick mentality. Disgusting.
Explore: Indian elections 2014
Explore: Indian elections 2014
How much do you know about Indian Elections?
How much do you know about Indian Elections?
Bloggers
Tweets