Monday, January 29, 2007

Shiite Flagellation & Heavy Metal

10th Muharram is the biggest day ever for Shiite religion, more so important than the two holy Eids, more important than prayer, more important than pilgrmige, it is the most important day ever. The day Hussein was killed in Karbala, some 1400 years ago. Here are some widespread practices during this day:

Maseer (March) Shiite pilgrims walk from everywhere towards Karbala, in a symbolic cememoration of Hussein's march towards that accursed city with 74 of his family and women and children(why?) to meet the Umayyad army. While this practice was present in individual patterns, it did not become widely adopted until 1970.

Flagellation At its most extreme, Shi'ism rituals can be as severe and ominous as any Opus Dei around - Flagellation or Latum is the beating of chests in unison to the rhythm of a sung verse by a radood, a person who recites a poem usually about the death of a Shiite religious figure, be it Ali, Fatima, Hussein, Zainab, Abbas and even recently, the destruction of the reverred Askari shrines in Samarra. The beating of chest is a traditional Arab way of showing grief, mostly performed by women.

Tatbeer or (head-splitting) This practice is derived from the way Imam Ali was killed, while he was praying dawn when a person called Bin Muljim killed him by a sword which hit his forehead. As a form of solidarity and remembrance, a mutabir brings a sword to his forehead and gently stabs with the wide sheath of the sword - blood usually spurts in great lengths, eventually covering the whole person in blood, it is one of the most controversial and sickening practices, and has been introduced by a Turkish brigade coming from the Kaukaz.

Tashbeeh or Re-enactment Those are convoys which re-enact the battle of al-Taff with great detail, from the beginning of the battle until the decapitation of Imam Hussein. This was imported from Iran at the end of the 18th century.

All these practices above are considered the most iconic, graphic representations of Shi'ism today. In particular the flagellation, Most religious Shia scholars condemn all these acts, but all their edicts against them have been met with disapproval and rejection, and sometimes even anger. Religion sometimes opposes thinking, and as the majority of Shiites in Iraq are common and poor, they oppose rationalization and follow only emotion, and consider this as an unthinkable practice that may be for some people the most important, and basically the nutshell, of religion, to try and shed the most tears in hope of getting the intercession of the holy figure they are mourning. The scholars had to grudgingly accept this, a scholar once said: 'The truth of Islam has been lost between the Sunni and Shi'ite scholars, Sunnis followed the whims of the ruler, and Shiites followed the whims of the people." There are also other reasons for this complete disobedience, The Ashura ceremonies is a massive group-activity that invokes feelings of strength and identity, it is the only purely Shia activity to be practiced on such a massive scale, and anything against it will fall on deaf ears. This is why Shiite political factions greatly pushed this exercise after post-Saddam war, despite the unfortuante result of so many people being exposed as an easy prey for any would-be malignant force, despite repeated terrorist attacks which killed many people in 2003 and 2004, Shiites politicians have stubbornly pushed people to practice them, as if Shi'ism is all about this - a foolish show of defiance. Also, a whole trade has been created around these practices, it is interesting to notice that most of the people who actually perform those flagellations and tatbeers are from the dregs of society and the lowest of lows, and have nothing to do whatsoever with religion. It's more about identity and the ominous flair of the processions.

Today, religion is all about big show, most of Iraqis (and Arabs) are not traditional Muslims in the sense, most of them think about sex more often than God.

Admittedly, those processions are somewhat exotic in their own way, any serious fan of violent, angry music should give Shia latmiyas a go, once you get past all that initial disgust and bypass all religious identification, try to look at it as you would look at Greek mythologies or read the Odysseus. It's got plenty of cool stuff: a plethora of sad, dark melodies ; hordes of epic battles between Good and Evil, with Evil always victorious - and also, it sends shivers down one's spine when you remember that the only musical instrument being used, the oddly time-signatured precussion is made by thousand hands beating down a thousand chests. Look at this frightening verse from a latmiya about the death of Imam Ali:

and you are Death, on the day of Death, when Death
obeys your every wish and command.
Everyone who would hear of your tales
would tremble in fear, of your presence

Yowza!

The most famous Shia performer is undoubtedly superstar Bassim al-Karbalie, I think he is one of the best performers I've ever heard - his poems greatly use a tool which Western Music could only dream of having: the quarter-note.

Blood, violence, darkness, epic battles, long-hidden secrets. Screw Maiden, man! Of course, it's kinda frightening that some people actually believe this shit, but then again, what more could you possibly want?

30 comments:

Omar said...

You have a very imaginative way of putting things Kid :)

While reading about your description of the chest beating of lattum I could literally see the armies of Orcs in Mordor of Lord of The Rings...

Maybe Iraq is becoming, or has become Mordor. Let's rock & roll baby!

Iraqi Mojo said...

I wonder what percentage of Shia participate in this ritual.

fed up iraqi said...

examples of shiite hymns:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quh_tJJC3SA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52aMR9gd0-Q&mode=related&search=
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STMTHlLpMlc&mode=related&search=
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wJfrZuI4zY

and this one is amusing because it uses a shiite latmiya as a eulogy for saddam:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayWVrXOwzvc

Little Penguin said...

"it's kinda frightening that some people actually believe this shit, but then again, what more could you possibly want?"

I suggest you look at this subject with greater objectivity..

As a Shia, I don't hit my chest and gently stab my head just for the sake of conformity.. I don't mourn the martyrdom of Ali, Fatima, Hussain, etc - out of raw emotion, I mourn them out of concrete belief that whilst their tragedies made God's very own throne tremble - they served to pass on the undistorted version of Islam from one generation of believers to another.. had Hussain not revolted against Yazeed, we would have been monkey-worshipping drunkards like Yazeed..

It's a sacrifice that they made, one which religion, logic and emotion bind us to appreciate and remember..

this isn't just bull-shit..

In any case, one shouldn't take a sarcastic tone when assessing the most revered of beliefs for any group of people.. be it Shias, Sunnis, Sufis, Budhists, whatever.. a little bit of respect is the least we could show..

I hope you take what I say seriously, i'm not just writing in anger, eventhough im deeply offended, but I really want you to look at it from a different perspective..

Konfused Kid said...

I wasn't actually referring to the Shiite doctrine in general when i said 'shit', I was refering to the latum in particular.

In any case, I could be accused of being a little too biased - you're right Penguin. I am sorry for offending ya, however, you must understand that it's all in good humor...

Anonymous said...

I respect you very much "Iraqi konfused kid".
You are NOT Sectarian, sadamist, fanatic or bloodthirsty idiot. You sounds "3raqi" for me. Keep the good job
Thank you
This iraqi song is for you:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86Fsd81RNEM

Enjoy!

Iraqi Mojo said...

'As a Shia, I don't hit my chest and gently stab my head'

Neither do I, and I don't know any Shii who does. When I (as a teenager) first saw this on TV I was sickened - I had no idea that I was Shii back then, and I didn't know that Shia do this. I didn't even learn about Ashura until college.

I must admit that I have learned very much about Shiism and Islam just in the last three years. For example, until a few months ago I did not know that Fatima was the Prophet's only child, and that all his descendants go through Fatima and Ali.

Iraqi Mojo said...

I take that back. I knew I was Shii as early as the age of 7, but I didn't know what it means to be Shii. Now that I understand Shiism more, I have formulated my own opinion, and I believe that the Shia were wrong: I believe that any Muslim can be a great leader.

Little Penguin said...

it's not a question of who qualifies to be a good leader.. the shia/sunni debate goes much deeper than that..

with regards to Kid's post, what came across was a rather unfair depiction of a fundamental aspect of many people's belief..

Kyubai said...

Kid for God's sake have u reached the point to say "Shitte religion" is it now a diffrent religion now? well what can I say I’m speechless, all I can do is to wish u the best…

Anonymous said...

Iraqi Mojo,
Only Shi'as believe Fatima was Muhammad's only child.

Xenical said...

Good design!

Phentermine said...

Thanks for interesting article.

ShopMan said...

I like articles like this. Thanks!

Anonimous said...

Well done. Keep up the great work. Best regards!

Anonimous said...

I like it a lot! Nice site, I will bookmark!

Anonymous said...

Thanks to author! I like articles like this, very interesting.

twistedsister18 said...

ah, athiesm. Happy refuge!

eczema said...

companies marketing mineral makeups and also get the best bargains in mineral makeup you can imagine,
find aout how to consolidate your students loans or just how to lower your actual rates.,
looking for breast enlargements? in Rochester,
homeopathy for eczema learn about it.,
Allergies, information about lipitor,
save big with great bargains in mineral makeup,

change edition interviewing motivational people preparing second
,

interviewing motivational people preparing second time
,

interviewing people motivational preparing for a second time
,

black mold exposure
,

black mold exposure symptoms
,

black mold symptoms of exposure
,

free job interview questions
,

free job interview answers
,

interview answers to get a job
,

lookfor hair styles for fine thin hair
,

search hair styles for fine thin hair
,

hair styles for fine thin hair
,

beach resort in the philippines
,

great beach resort in the philippines
,

luxury beach resort in the philippines
,
iron garden gates, here,
iron garden gates,
wrought iron garden gates
, here
,
wrought iron garden gates
,
You: The Owner's Manual: An Insider's Guide to the Body That Will Make You Healthier and Younger
,
eat eating mindless more than think we we why
,


texturizer,
texturizers here,
black hair texturizer,
find aout how care curly hair,
find about how to care curly hair,
care curly hair,
lipitor rash,
lipitor reactions,
new house ventura california,
the house new houston tx,
new house washington dc,
new house pa philadelphia,
san antonio tx house new,
house new pa philadelphia,
new house washington dc,
new house ventura california,
the house new houston tx,
house new san antonio tx,
the house new houston tx, that you are looking for,
new house ventura california, you need to buy,
new house washington dc,
house new pa philadelphia,
new house san antonio tx,

hair surgery transplant
,

air filter allergy
,

refurbished dell laptop computers
,

hair surgery transplant
,

air filter allergy
,

refurbished dell laptop computers
,

hair surgery transplant
,

air filter allergy
,

refurbished dell laptop computers
,

chocolate esophagus heartburn study
,

chocolate esophagus heartburn study
be informed,

digestion healing healthy heartburn natural preventing way
,

digestion healing healthy heartburn natural preventing way
,
sew skirts, 16simple styles you can make!,
sew what skirts 16 simple styles you,
rebates and discounts on sunsetter awnings,
sunsetter awnings discounts and rebates,
discount on sunsetter awnings


truck and bus tires 12r 22.5, get the best price,
tires truck and bus 12r 22.5 best price,
tires truck bus tires12r 22.5 best price,
plush car seat strap covers,
car seat strap covers,plush,
car seat strap, plush covers,
oscoda voip phone systems, the best!,
oscoda voip the phone system,
oscoda voip phone systems,
exterior iron gates,
oriental wrought iron gates,
powder coated iron garden fencing,

makeup said...

black mold exposure,
black mold symptoms of exposure,

wrought iron garden gates,
your next iron garden gates, here,

hair styles for fine thin hair,
search hair styles for fine thin hair,

night vision binoculars,
buy, night vision binoculars,

lipitor reactions,
lipitor reactions,


luxury beach resort in the philippines,
beach resort in the philippines,

homeopathy for baby eczema.,
homeopathy for baby eczema.,

save big with great mineral makeup bargains,
companies marketing mineral makeups,

prodam iphone praha,
Apple prodam iphone praha,

iphone clone cect manual,
manual for iphone clone cect,

fero 52 binoculars night vision,
fero 52 night vision,

best night vision binoculars,
buy, best night vision binoculars,

computer programs to make photo albums,
computer programs, make photo albums,

Anonymous said...

Hello. And Bye.

Anonymous said...

hi friends. I'm really into shoes and I was digging for the sake of that singular brand. The prices for the sneakers are around 300 pounds on every page. But completely I bring about this locate selling them for the benefit of half price. I really love those [url=http://www.shoesempire.com]gucci sneakers[/url]. I will absolutely buy these. what is your opinion?

Anonymous said...

hi there dudes. I'm actually into shoes and I had been looking as far as something that exact model. The prices due to the fact that the velcros were approximately 230 pounds everwhere. But completely I found this area selling them for the benefit of half price. I really like these [url=http://www.shoesempire.com]gucci sneakers[/url]. I will absolutely order those. what do you think?

Rekha Decor said...

Nice Blog , This is what I exactly Looking for , Keep sharing more blog .

aluminium awnings | Wooden Flooring

Rekha Decor said...

Nice Blog , This is what I exactly Looking for , Keep sharing more blog .

aluminium awnings | Wooden Flooring

ninest123 Ninest said...

ninest123 12.17
oakley sunglasses, ralph lauren polo, uggs on sale, michael kors handbags, michael kors outlet online, burberry factory outlet, uggs on sale, longchamp bags, michael kors, cheap oakley sunglasses, ray ban sunglasses, uggs outlet, gucci handbags, uggs on sale, nike air max, louis vuitton outlet online, ray ban sunglasses, burberry outlet, tiffany jewelry, tory burch outlet, michael kors outlet, nike outlet, louboutin uk, louis vuitton, louis vuitton handbags, ralph lauren outlet, nike air max, louis vuitton outlet, louis vuitton outlet, christian louboutin, michael kors outlet online, ray ban sunglasses, cheap jordans, christian louboutin, longchamp outlet, tiffany jewelry, prada outlet, oakley sunglasses, oakley sunglasses, michael kors outlet online, replica watches, uggs outlet, replica watches, longchamp outlet, louboutin shoes, oakley sunglasses, prada handbags, nike free

ninest123 Ninest said...

mulberry uk, nike blazer pas cher, michael kors outlet online, nike air max, polo ralph lauren uk, nike free pas cher, nike tn pas cher, nike roshe run pas cher, lululemon outlet, true religion outlet, jordan pas cher, nike air force, true religion outlet, coach outlet store online, lunette oakley pas cher, michael kors, abercrombie and fitch UK, lunette ray ban pas cher, michael kors uk, true religion outlet, hermes pas cher, ralph lauren pas cher, coach purses, sac guess pas cher, true religion jeans, north face uk, new balance, hollister uk, nike air max uk, vanessa bruno pas cher, nike air max uk, timberland pas cher, ray ban uk, polo lacoste pas cher, north face pas cher, nike free, converse, louboutin pas cher, replica handbags, longchamp soldes, nike trainers uk, nike roshe uk, nike air max pas cher, hogan sito ufficiale, burberry pas cher, michael kors, vans pas cher, abercrombie and fitch, longchamp pas cher

ninest123 Ninest said...

iphone 6 plus cases, nike air max, iphone cases, nike air max, new balance shoes, nfl jerseys, beats by dre, insanity workout, iphone 6s cases, soccer shoes, vans scarpe, north face outlet, herve leger, bottega veneta, mac cosmetics, converse, reebok outlet, north face outlet, nike roshe run, hermes handbags, s6 cases, lululemon outlet, mont blanc, iphone 5s cases, wedding dresses, timberland boots, hollister, ghd hair, celine handbags, p90x workout, jimmy choo outlet, abercrombie and fitch, polo ralph lauren, instyler ionic styler, oakley, asics running shoes, giuseppe zanotti, softball bats, iphone 6s plus cases, hollister clothing, iphone 6 cases, ray ban, gucci, mcm handbags, salvatore ferragamo, babyliss pro, vans outlet, louboutin, valentino shoes, chi flat iron, soccer jerseys, ipad cases

ninest123 Ninest said...

barbour jackets uk, toms shoes, doke & gabbana, bottes ugg pas cher, barbour, canada goose outlet, links of london uk, swarovski uk, louis vuitton, pandora jewelry, hollister, sac louis vuitton, moncler pas cher, swarovski jewelry, converse shoes outlet, moncler, montre pas cher, ugg pas cher, pandora charms, replica watches, pandora uk, louis vuitton uk, coach outlet, canada goose pas cher, karen millen uk, canada goose jackets, marc jacobs, canada goose outlet, canada goose, thomas sabo uk, supra shoes, moncler, juicy couture outlet, canada goose uk, lancel, moncler, moncler outlet, canada goose jackets, louis vuitton, sac louis vuitton, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, wedding dresses uk, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, canada goose, ugg uk, juicy couture outlet, moncler jackets, moncler uk, pandora jewelry, moncler
ninest123 12.17

艾丰 said...

JIANBIN0628
basketball shoes
true religion jeans
louis vuitton outlet
prada handbags
swarovski crystal
true religion outlet
coach outlet
cheap nfl jerseys
replica watches
tiffany jewelry
adidas outlet
juicy couture tracksuit
air max 90
tory burch shoes
ray-ban sunglasses
ferragamo shoes
burberry outlet online
bottega veneta outlet online
beats headphones
michael kors handbags
hollister clothing
louis vuitton sunglasses
ralph lauren pas cher
longchamp
nike air huarache
michael kors outlet
air max 90
adidas outlet store
longchamp handbags
tiffany jewellery
louis vuitton bags
tory burch outlet
coach outlet
nike tn pas cher
pandora outlet
fitflops uk
nba jerseys