Shiites set to commemorates Ashura with processions on Tuesday

By Bature Dan-Inni

Members of Islamic Movement in Nigeria, also known as Shiites have concluded plans to commemorates the upcoming Ashura procession on Tuesday.

The Ashura procession, also called the Day of Ashura, is the tenth day of Muharram, the first month in the Islamic calendar.

It is observed annually by Shiite Muslims worldwide to commemorate the martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali in the Battle of Karbala in Iraq.

Known as the third Shia Imam, Husayn was the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and son of Ali ibn Abi Talib, the first Shia Imam.

Husayn was said to have died during the Battle of Karbala, which was fought on October 10, 680 between his army and the army of the second Umayyad caliph Yazid I.

It is expected as usual that, the Shiites would troop out from cities and villages in the 19 northern states and Abuja to mark its annual procession in memory of Imam Husayn (the third imam of Islam revered by Shiites).

The President, Media Forum of IMN, Ibrahim Musa, said some Shiites had already commenced the mourning procession in various cities, noting that no arrest had been reported so far.

Musa, who doubles as the Shi’ite spokesperson, stated, “To date, there have been no arrests since we started the Ashura mourning procession in various cities and villages.

“We will join our Shia brothers worldwide in commemorating the killing of the Prophet’s grandson, Imam Husayn on the tenth of Muharram (Tuesday).

“Our leader, Sheikh Zakzaky, has demonstrated our love for our country. We would rather die here than leave since we are not criminals. Our procession will hold on Tuesday in Abuja and major cities in the North, Insha Allah.”

He stated the procession would be peaceful and hitch-free.

When asked what they would do if confronted by the police, Musa said, “Ours is a peaceful religious procession, that is why our women and children join us. So, if there is any confrontation, it is the government that may cause it, not us.

“We are ready to sacrifice our lives just as Imam Husayn did in Karbala. We are not going to war, we are going on a mourning procession which is a universal event on that day.”

The IMN spokesperson also explained that the order proscribing the group had been challenged, expressing the confidence that justice would be done in the matter.