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TAZIAH-WAY TO COMMEMORATE THE EVENT OF KARBALA

“Ya Hussain Ya Hussains”


Khadija listened the voice produced by procession passing by her house. She saw
through the window. People were mourning for the grandson of the Holy Prophet (SAW).
Some people held the model of Hazrat Imam Hussain’s shrine. She was surprised to see
it. She asked her elder sister, what is it?” She replied that it was tazia.
Ta’ziah Naqqali is traditional Persian theatrical genres in which the drama is
conveyed wholly or predominantly through music and singing. Taziah dates before the
Islamic era and the tragedy of Saiawush in Shanameh is one of the best examples.
In Persian tradition, Taziah and Parde-khani, inspired by historical and religious
events, symbolize epic spirit and resistance. The common theme is the hero tales of love
and sacrifice, and of resistance against the evil.
While in the west the two major genres of dramas have been comedy and tragedy
in Persia (Iran), Taziah seems to be the dominant genre. Considered as Persian opera,
Taziah resembles the European Opera in many respects.
Persian cinema and Persian symphonic music have been influenced by the long
tradition of Taziah in Iran. Abbas Kiarostami, famous Iranian filmmaker, made a
documentary movie entitled “A Look to Taziah” in which he explores the relationship of
the audience to this theatrical form. Nasser Taghvaee also made a documentary entitled
“Tamrine Akhar” on Taziah.
Tazia shows the love and involvement with Hazrat Imam Husain (R.A). Basically
Tazia is the model of things used by Hazrat Imam Husain (R.A) and his family.
The word Tazia is originated from Arabic, used for commiseration or condolence.
Its purpose is to pay a tribute to the event of Karbala. It is an old tradition of the
subcontinent to commemorate the event by making well-decorated tazias. It is said that
the tradition of the domed tazia probably began in lucknow. It is believed that it
flourished during the time of Asif ud Daula.
Another researcher tells that Taimur, who used to visit Karbala every year with
his army, brought the first tazia to Delhi. One year they couldn’t visit Karbala. Taimur
gave his soldiers a model of the shrine, made from khaak-e-shifa.
Alam is the symbol of flag of Imam Husain’s companions. Usually it is made up
of black, green or red cloth. It is decorated with ornaments like gota, beads and laces.
There is a big range of size and decorations in alams.
Alams are also decorated with swords, arrows and Punja. Parasols of steel and
silver, decorated with jewel work can also be placed on top of the Panjas. These things
are attached to large alams.
Crafting a zari (Replica of a shrine) is very difficult. It involves creativity. Every
zari should be masterpiece of art decorated with artwork. It should be same as the
original structure whose duplicates these are. In the history of the subcontinent Jaipur is
very much famous for making very beautiful and precious tazias.
Zuljinah is the name of the horse of Hazrat Imam Husain (R.A). Procession for
Zuljinah is arranged to commemorate the faithful animal of the Imam (R.A). It is
decorated with jewllery, fresh flowers and embroidered cloth. In olden days instead of a
horse a decorated elephant, was a tradition in Hyderabad.
Gehvara is the symbol of swing. It memorizes the cruelty done by Yazid’s army.
They martyred the six months old son of Hazrat Imam Husain (R.A). A little swing
crafted with metal, wood or plastic refreshes the sacrifice of the Imam (R.A).
Mashkiza is the model of water bag, specially related to Hazrat Bibi sakina four
years old daughter of Hazrat Imam Hussain (R.A).
It can be made up of silver or leather. Multan is very famous place for crafting a
tazia. The multani tazia is made of hard wood and preserved for a longer period. Tazia art
is purely a religious tradition. It is a symbol of love and respect paid to the grandson of
the Holy Prophet (SAW). It refreshes the object and philosophy of the event of Karbala.

Written By
Faqiha Abbas