Colombo/Mumbai, Aug. 20 – With Covid-19-induced restrictions still in place, members of Dawoodi Bohra community across the world including in Sri Lanka and India, under the guidance of His Holiness Dr. Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin, will commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad, during Muharram in their homes, keeping in line with strict health guidelines and policies set in place by their respective governments.
The month of Muharram began for Bohras on Wednesday as they follow the Egyptian calendar and the next 9 days, Bohras across the world will remain glued to Television sets for two hours daily hearing the recorded Muharram sermons of Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin, his father Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin and grandfather Syedna Taher Saifuddin.
“Starting on the 2nd day of the month of Muharram and delivered over nine days, the sermons explore themes of justice, sacrifice, brotherhood, forgiveness, kindness and piety,” said a spokesperson for the community. He added that, earlier for the Ashara Mubaraka, the 10-day commemoration of the martyrdom, thousands of community members would assemble at the mosque in a city where the Syedna delivered his sermons or at their local mosques to hear him but this year, due to the pandemic, no congregations will be held.
Since the pandemic has kept all places of worship shut and congregations suspended, the recorded sermons of His Holiness and the past two spiritual heads will be relayed to all Bohra homes via local cables and online.
“We have turned a corner of our houses into a sacred place with flags and banners commemorating the martyrdom. We will observe both the social distancing and guidelines given from Syedna sahab’s office,” said India Byculla-based textile designer Alefia Jamali. She said that her family feels more blessed this year as her 6 month- old son is the newest member in the house.
Juzer Malekji, 68, said it is for the first time in his life that he is observing Ashara Mubaraka seated at home. “We would go to our local masjid or jamaat khana to listen to Syedna Sahab’s waaz. But this year we are giving our houses a feel of the mosque as we mourn the martyrdom of Imam Hussain and his companions at Karbala,” said Malekji.
This year, every Bohra family will have food delivered to their house from the community kitchen the community runs. “It will save time on cooking and we can concentrate in prayers, reflection and listening to the sermons,” said Jamali.
With inputs from Times of India