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Bismillah ir Rahman ir Raheem
Published on 6th May, 2003

Ashoora in Mystical Kashmir

By Syed Zulfiqar Ali Shah Kazmi

Ashurra by Syed Zulfiqar Ali Qazmi (decd)

This land of beauty enjoyed peace for long periods, but has had its share of conflict long before India and Pakistan took to arms over it and this year's Ashoora in Kashmir continued as normal no matter what side was  wrangling over its beautiful countryside and mountaintops now in the present era.

It is a fair and passable truth that there is no part or place of the globe that remained empty of Marasim-e-Azadari Imam-e-Mazloom Hazrat Imam Hussain ('a) who offered that great sacrifice some 1,400 years back to save the tree of Islam which is unparalleled.

Ashurra by Syed Zulfiqar Ali Qazmi (decd)Marasim-e-Azadari were also held in all districts and cities of Azad Kashmir and also in Indian held Kashmir. On the Day of Ashoora, mourners performed Amal-e-Ashoora followed by majalis, matam, processions and Niyaz-e-Hussaini. Along with the whole of the world, Azadari is observed in Kashmir with religious moral values and  great zeal with thousands of mourners commemorating the martyrdom of Imam-e-Alee Maqam Imam Hussain ('a) and his ('a) companions.

Ashoora-e-Muharram was observed on Friday with due solemnity and devotion throughout Kashmir paying tributes to Nawasa-e-Rasool ('a), Dilband-e-Ali ('a) and Batool ('a) and his 72 companions who kissed martyrdom in Karbala. Majalis-e-Aza were held and Zuljinah, Alam and Tazia processions were taken out from Imambargahs and Azakhanas followed by Majalis Sham-e-Ghareeban.

The Philosophy of Azadari

The main Youm-e-Ashoor processions in Azad Kashmir were taken out from Markazi  (Hadri) Immam Bargh Bagh City, Central Immam Bargah Muzaffarabad City, Markazi Kazmia Immam Bargah  Serian Syedan, Markazi Masjid and Immam Bargah  Chattrah,  Markazi  Immam Bargah  Teetrenote in  cities  i.e (Muzaffarabad,  Bagh,  Havali, Rawalakot,  Abbas pur, Hajaira, Kotli, Mirpur) Mourners of Imam Hussain ('a) performed Zanjeer-Zani and matam on this great occasion. Addressing thousands of participants of the procession at Hadri Chowk-District  Bagh, Air Port Chowk-District Muzaffarabad, Hadri  More Serian Syedan. During these processions, the Ulama and Zakireen presented  the ideology of Imam Hussain ('a). The philosophy of Azadari  is the name of preferring death with honour than living in disgrace and  grief for Imam Aali Muqaam ('a) is not an inheritance of any particular sect and was rather his sacrifice for human values and for the survival of the principles of Allah (swt), which is why every conscious person is indebted to Imam Hussain ibne Ali ('a).

Code of Azadari - Shia-Sunni Brotherhood

Ashurra by Syed Zulfiqar Ali Qazmi (decd)During their speeches, all the presenters said that Azadari is a universal protest of the oppressed against oppression and the oppressors and the sacrifice of the Imam Aali Muqaam ('a) was for the survival of Deen-e-Islam and humanity. Speakers urged Azadars to strictly follow the Code of Azadari announced by Quaid-e-Millat-e-Jafariya Agha Syed Hamid Ali Shah Moosavi and to promote Shia-Sunni brotherhood and unity all around. 


The thousands of Mourners gathered on the occasion, reiterated their resolve to offer every kind of sacrifice at  the call of Quaid-e-Millat Jafariya Agha Moosavi for the promotion of Wilayat-e-Ali ('a) and protection of Azadari-e-Hussain ('a). Markazi  Anjumen-e-Kazamia, Mukhtar Force, Mukhtar Students Organisation, Mukhtar Generation and other political and religious organizations took part in organising the processions. 


Arrangements for Sabeel and Langar-e-Hussaini were also made during the processions  at various locations en route to the processions in different cities of Azad Kashmir.

Brief History of Kashmir:  Kashmir sold for $166 

In 1819 Sikh Ranjit Singh conquered Kashmir, but his disorganized empire fell to the British in 1846 when they took control of Punjab. Kashmir was then sold to the self-entitled Maharajah (Indian King) Ghulab Singh of Jammu for 7.5 million rupees (app US$166) under the Treaty of Amritsar. Ghulab Singh also brought Ladakh, Zanskar, Gilgit and Baltistan under his control. A succession of Maharajahs followed, marked by several uprisings by the Kashmiri people, of whom a large percentage are now Muslim. In 1889 Maharajah Pratap Singh lost administrative authority of Kashmir due to worsening management of the frontier region. The British restored full powers to the Dogra rule only in 1921.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

Meanwhile in India,  the freedom movement gained strength under Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi's leadership. (The Indians gave him the name "Mahatma" meaning "Great soul".) The call for freedom soon echoed in several princely states, particularly Kashmir.

After a mass uprising against Hari Singh in 1931, Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah formed Kashmir's first political party, the All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference in 1932. In 1934 the Maharajah gave way and allowed limited democracy in the form of a Legislative Assembly. The Muslim high priest of the Kashmir Valley, Mirwaiz Maulvi Yusuf Shah, joined in the Conference rally, but when it became apparent that he was accepting a monthly stipend from the Maharajah, Sheikh Abdullah steered away from the Muslim Conference to a secular base and formed the National Conference in 1939, comprised of Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs.

Independence for 72 days

Ashurra by Syed Zulfiqar Ali Qazmi (decd)In 1947, Muhatmah Ghandi led the Indian continent to independence from the British in a remarkable display of perseverance. But it came at a great cost. While Gandhi was leading a largely Hindu movement, Mohammed Ali Jinnah was fronting a Muslim one. Jinnah advocated the division of India into two separate states, Muslim and Hindu. When the British left, the Muslim League created the separate states of Pakistan (from the West Pakistan province in India ) and Bangladesh.

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