Nation observes Youm-e-Ashura under shadow of coronavirus

A large number of mourners attending the procession of 9th Muharram-ul-Haram at G-6 in Islamabad, on August 18, 2021. — INP/File

In remembrance of the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussain, the nation is observing Youm-e-Ashura, Muharram 10, with due solemnity  amid tight security today (Thursday), with several mourning processions being held across the country.

The government has shut down mobile services in major cities of the country, including Karachi, Hyderabad, Quetta, and Sukkur to avoid any untoward incident.

This is the country’s second Ashura being observed under the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic.

The route for the main procession in Karachi is from Nishtar Park  till the Hussainian Iranian at Kharadar, with Allama Shahenshah Naqvi addressing the procession.

The participants of the procession will offer prayers at Tibet Centre, while all the connecting roads of MA Jinnah have been sealed off to provide security to the procession.

The processions started at 9am in Hyderabad and Jhang, 10am in Faisalabad and will start at 11am in Gujranwala and Rohri and 12pm in Sukkur and Khairpur.

The processions in Quetta  and Dera Ismail Khan started earlier at at 8am and 7:30am, respectively.

Standard operating procedures (SOPs) have also been issued for the mourning processions to avoid the spread of coronavirus, as the cases in the country increase due to the fourth wave of the pandemic.

Tight security arrangements are in place and all security-related departments have been alerted to avoid any untoward incident during the mourning processions, Radio Pakistan reported.

President and prime minister’s   messages

On the occasion, President Dr Arif Alvi said the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA) is a symbol of determination and perseverance and urged the nation to rise above hatred, malice, and sectarianism in line with his teachings.

“We have to prepare ourselves for all kinds of sacrifices by becoming a metaphor of determination and stability for our religion, nation, and country,” the president said.

President Alvi said following such a pathway leads to success in the world and the hereafter, as he highlighted Ashura has a special place in the hearts of the Muslim Ummah.

The grandson of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), along with his family and other devoted companions, had sacrificed their lives while fighting the forces of tyranny and oppression, said President Alvi.

He said the immortal sacrifices had revived the spirit of Islam and even today, such character was a source of inspiration for the believers in the moments of trial and tribulation.

He said the best way to pay homage to Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA) was to pledge about conforming to life in accordance with his teachings.

Amid the fourth wave of COVID-19, he said, the nation must observe precautions, especially during the gatherings and processions of Ashura.

He urged the public to adopt precautionary measures and SOPs issued by the government and to get vaccinated for their own protection.

Prime Minister Imran Khan urged his countrymen to pay tribute to Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA) by supporting  justice and the truth, besides thwartin any falsehood tactics as the nation observes Youm-e-Ashura.

The prime minister, in his message to the nation on Ashura, said that Iman Hussain (RA) had proved through his practice that one should always side with the truth and never hesitate to sacrifice their life for a cause.

He said Imam Hussain (RA), along with his companions, were martyred after they refused to accept the aggression of Yazid.

Imam Hussain preferred martyrdom to bowing before tyranny, the premier said.

The Prime Minister said Youm-e-Ashura had been a day of significance even before the advent of Islam but its importance increased manifold owing to the sacrifice of Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA).

He said the martyrdom of Imam Hussain was a tragedy that had been saddening the Muslims despite the passage of centuries.

The PM said Iman Hussain (RA) had become a symbol of force against falsehood, besides becoming a source of strength for all movements fighting against tyranny in the times to come.

He said the battle between the truth and falsehood persisted forever and will also continue in the future, but that we should support truth and justice every time.

He also advised his countrymen to ensure the implementation of the anti-COVID-19 SOPs for the country’s protection against the pandemic.

With additional input from APP

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