Only Muslims from the Shia sect participate in Muhurram rituals. (File Photo)
With Muharram less than three months away, the Mumbai Police has been asked by the Bombay High Court to chalk out a strategy for the processions in the city. The court today ordered the Additional Commissioner of Police (South Region) to meet representatives of the Shia Muslim community.
The order was passed on a suo-moto petition over the participation of children in the mourning procession during Muharram.
Shia Muslims, who participate in processions, hit themselves with sharp objects to mourn the death of Imam Hussain, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad. Only Muslims from the Shia sect participate in Muhurram rituals.
Shia Muslims, who are in minority among Muslims sects, believe that they must spill some blood to atone for Imam Hussain who was killed in the Battle of Karbala.
A Public Interest Litigation or PIL has already been filed seeking a ban on participation of children in the ritual. The PIL has asked for a directive to ensure that sharp weapons are not used during the Muharram procession.
The All India Muslim Board has maintained a neutral stand on the matter. "Muhurram processions are organised by Shia Muslims. They use small objects and there are small injuries which cause bleeding but I haven't seen any of these turning serious or fatal. This is a part of their respect for Imam Hussain. If it causes small injuries and no one has any issue then we also don't have any issues with it. If the court has taken cognizance of the matter then only the honourable court can decide," All India Muslim Personal Law Board Member, Maulana Syed Athar Ali, who belongs to the Sunni sect, told NDTV.