Shia Muslims from Leicester will be marching through town on Sunday to mark the death of Hussain ibn Ali, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad.
Several hundred people are expected to gather in Town Hall Square in Leicester’s city centre for the annual Muharram procession hosted by the Muslim Khoja Shia Ithna-Asheri (MSKI) community .
Muharram is the first month of the Islamic calendar when Shia Muslims observe rituals commemorating several historical and religious events.
One of events is the Battle of Karbala where Hussain ibn Ali was martyred. It took place in 680AD – 61AH in the Islamic calendar.
It was Hussain’s refusal to show loyalty to Yazid I – who was a leader of the Umayyad Islamic state which Hussain regarded as unjust – that led to his death.
His stand as well as his advocacy for human rights are the reasons he is celebrated within the Shia community.
Organiser Ali Abbas Rajani told LeicestershireLive: “He stood for humanity and his values which is what we’re marching for.”
Similarly to the difference between Catholics and Protestants, Shia Muslims follow a slightly different doctrine and teachings to Sunni Muslims.
Shia Muslims will dress in black to symbolise the mourning of Hussain ibn Ali and take part in a peaceful march through town which will finish in Jubilee Square.
A stall at the Clock Tower in the city centre will be offering information about the significance of the march throughout the day.
Sweets, balloons and souvenirs will also be handed out by volunteers to anyone wishing to watch the procession.
The event will be attended by families young and old for its 31st year running in Leicester.
It will start in Town Hall Square where marchers will gather and set off at 2.30pm, ending at 4.30pm in Jubilee Square.