Latifa Al-Husseini: Ashura in Bahrain

2023-08-07 - 7:21 p

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): One may think for a moment that they are standing between the two holy shrines of Karbala, but they in fact stand in another Husseini spot: A Bahrain Ma'tam. The tiny Gulf kingdom ranks at the top on the map of the Ashura commemorations. The country witnesses a number of events in form and substance, attracting the attention of people abroad more than those inside the kingdom.

In the search for the secret behind the prevalence of Bahraini rituals of condolences among Muslim countries, especially among those loyal to the AhlulBayt (the Prophet's household) (pbuh), the media jumps to the list of means of promotion without dispute or competition. There are dozens of accounts followed by thousands for their continuous activity throughout the days of the Islamic calender months of Muharram and Safar and in all religious occasions. These accounts show the proceedings of the Husseini Majlis and post materials about Karbala's epic of grief.

A massive commemoration is carried out in Bahrain comparable to that held in Karbala and the holy shrines. It is enough to watch one night of the Ma'tams held in Bani Jamra, Sanabis, Manama, Sitra, Dar Kulaib, Karbabad, Karzakan and Al-Hemla via their pages to realize how successful publicity is made for the Ashura season in Bahrain. Photographers, media committees, directors and digital designers cooperate to demonstrate the tremendous effort made by the reciters of the majlis, preachers of the platforms, eulogy reciters and the poets of Al-Hussein (pbuh) on the path of rewards and blessings.

Bahrain's mass mourning gatherings and processions that fill the roads and streets across the country reflect a vital image of the distinctive Husseini love, and encourage those who watch all the published materials to head to the Kingdom to share with its people these days of mourning.

It is true that the official state authorities and the Ministry of Interior continue to monitor the committed Shiite movement, but Bahrainis insist on not breaking away from their Husseini rites. Showing the rising turnout, including the elderly and the youths confirms unequivocally that the state is incapable of besieging Bahrain's Shiites. The regime's media goes out of its way to boycott the wide tide of people participating in these rites or completely ignores the size of these events and popular interaction with them, especially on social media. However, the obsequy media breaks the norm. There are no independent channels that allow to broadcast and report what is actually happening on the ground, but the Husseini Majlis events reach everyone through cyberspace.

Dedicated activity on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok pages and other sites successfully export a culture of purposeful commemoration with programs, speeches and laments, as if the moderators of these pages had taken it upon themselves to take responsibility for spreading the mourning season to all countries, no matter who is annoyed or pleased by it.

The smallest Arab country is at the forefront of the Husseini mourning scene today. Its people perform their duty to the fullest, on the tenth of Muharram and the days that follow. Who does not remember the waves of Bahrainis in the Husseini shrine in Ashura 1444! Who will now in this regime be able to cover and conceal the rites and pledges of allegiance? The media effort of those in charge of Ma'tams and husseiniyas frustrates the regime to no end, consolidating the faith doctrine rooted in Bahrainis.

Arabic Version